I have been an ardent follower and admirer of Ronnie Sarwan ever since his Test debut against Pakistan in 2000, and have been mesmerized by his undoubted class which has gained the admiration of no less than Ted Dexter, Viv Richards and a host of other cricket cognoscenti around the world. Ronnie’s fall from grace began some time in 2006 when, as vice-captain and after playing 64 Tests, he was unceremoniously dropped from the team, in the 2nd Test ironically against the said team that he made his debut with. Captain Lara made these comments: “It’s a chance for Sarwan to reflect. Hopefully he can come back more energetic and more purposeful.” These words are most apt regarding his attitude and commitment 23 Tests and 5 years later. Cricket now seems to be more of a hobby for Ronnie than a career. He seems to be lost or totally ill-advised or misguided.
Reading the latest news about his issue with the GCB I decided to research the history of Ronnie during the last 5 years focusing especially on the period after he was dropped against Pakistan in November 2006, that he himself described in August 2007 as one of the most shocking incidents of his life. (A synopsis of these events has been provided.) It really shows a rapid decline of what could have been a very special cricketer. At one time he was being compared with the great and illustrious Rohan Kanhai. Save and except for a brief resurgence during the 2008-09 period when he reeled off 6 centuries and made close to 1500 Test runs, this 5 year period has been dogged by several indiscretions, injuries, fights with the establishment, poor form, axing from the team, severe indiscipline and generally a total lack of commitment to his career as a professional cricketer. At 31, Ronnie still has at least another 5 to 8 years of solid cricket in him. He needs to get his act together. Prior to the incident of 2006, Sars was known as the one-day finisher for the WI, and had achieved quite a reputation in his first 6 years of international cricket. His sojourn with the IPL occurred when he was enjoying a rich vein of form in 2009, but it was short-lived lasting 1 season, since he was not even bought for the 2010 or 2011 seasons by any franchise. This particular occurrence in 2010 was another that should have opened his eyes as no franchise is going to spend money on a player who is not performing or is prone to injury and does not place a premium on his fitness. He then lost his retainer contract with the WICB in 2010 and again in 2011 due to his indifferent approach to his fitness. This has become a recurring decimal in his fights and he has now resorted to using his star power and marquee status of yesteryear to wage war against the authorities. This will not work and he needs to decide whether he wants to continue with his cricket career at this time or pursue his other business interests. If his decision is the former he will need to get someone to advise him appropriately.