West Indies are on a high following their 2-0 Test series win at home over New Zealand. The series saw sparkling batting performances from Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels, while Chris Gayle marked his return to the team after an 18-month gap with a century in the first Test in Antigua.
However, in the absence of Darren Bravo, Assad Fudadin and Narsingh Deonarine couldn't quite capitalise on their opportunities. One man who could have fitted in is Ramnaresh Sarwan, who was once a pivot around which the West Indies batting revolved. But Sarwan has been out in the cold since July 2011 after differences with Ottis Gibson, the coach of the team, surfaced.
Gibson, at the end of the New Zealand Test series, said he wanted to move on and was ready to welcome Sarwan back into the team whenever possible. "I've never had an issue with Sarwan," said Gibson to Trinidad Express. "Never once in my three years here have I had an issue with Sarwan. I was very disappointed to hear the stuff that Sarwan said because I don't know where there was an issue. But I've always said we can't go where we want to go without our experienced players."
Sarwan, in May 2012, lashed out against Gibson in an interview with BBC Sport. "The coach said some negative stuff that hurt me mentally and emotionally." Said Sarwan. "Mentally I was broken down. It took a toll on my confidence and the way I played. Now, I'm away from all those problems, my mind is at ease and I have had nothing to worry about, no coach to say any negative things."
Gayle was also involved in a stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board following his public statements against Gibson and WICB, which saw him being sidelined for 18 months before the impasse ended in June 2012. Gibson said Gayle's return made "a huge difference" to the team's morale and performance. "He's been back to his normal self. We had a chat when he came back into the team and I asked him to be himself and enjoy his game," said Gibson.
Gibson's contract with WICB comes to an end in February 2013, but he has expressed the urge to continue. "Of course I want to stay on," said Gibson. "I don't think the job that I've come to do is finished and I would want to be here to finish the job. I think we are somewhere towards achieving what I said we could do. But there were some things that, looking back, you hope that didn't happen."