Ramnarine calls it quits

Dinanath Ramnarine, a 28-year-old West Indian legspinner, has announced his retirement from first-class cricket. His decision to call it a day comes after his continued exclusion from the national side.

Even though he was named on standby for the forthcoming series in South Africa, Ramnarine has decided to stop playing and will now concentrate on his role as president of the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA).

Despite taking 45 wickets in 12 Tests, and being the leading wicket-taker in the recent Red Stripe Bowl tournament, Ramnarine has been left out in the cold since February 2002, his last Test, against Pakistan. In that series, he and Carl Hooper, captain at the time, had an on-field disagreement, and their relationship became worse last year when Ramnarine, in his role as president of the WIPA, changed the system of sharing sponsorship prize money among players from seniority to equality.

It was a move Hooper didn't agree with, but even after Brian Lara replaced Hooper as captain, Ramnarine still couldn't get back in the team. "I haven't been chosen for the West Indies for the last two years and I don't think it was because of my performances on the cricket field," he said. "I believe the whole Caribbean knew what was taking place but everyone basically allowed it to happen."

He added: "At the end of the day, you have to decide what it is you want to accomplish. I've been basically playing cricket, day in, day out, for the past two years and not been able to get a chance." He also inisisted that it was pointless to continue playing for Trinidad and Tobago with no prospect of playing international cricket. He said, "It's better someone else has a chance."

Ramnarine made his Test debut against England at Guyana in 1998, and took a best of 5 for 78 against South Africa in Barbados in the 2000-01 series, in which he took 20 wickets. He also played four one-day internationals.