As tears were flowing from his eyes after the ODI against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town in December 2003, where the West Indians went down fighting till the last ball, a new star of West Indian cricket was born. His name – Ravindranath Rampaul better known as Ravi Rampaul. Ravi plays his domestic cricket in the West Indies for Trinidad and Tobago and has been a West Indian Under-19 and Under-15 regular in the recent years. His chance in the international arena came after his success with Trinidad picking 18 wickets in 6 first class matches. Ravi also has the distinction of bagging a ten-wicket haul in an innings of a Youth Cup match for Trinidad and Tobago.
Rampaul, who many West Indian pundits hail can go really afar is a right arm medium pacer and a lower order tonker. He made his international debut against Zimbabwe in 2003 and in conditions where the batsmen ruled the roost, Rampaul’s bowling was tight and restrained although he had no wickets to show for his bowling efforts. Not to be disheartened by the lack of wickets beside his name, Rampaul further pursued his thirst for wickets in South Africa, a place where his cricketing career took a certain path in the right direction and was finally rewarded with the wicket of Jacques Kallis for 16, who was in the form of his life at that point of time. In his eager urge to improve his cricketing finesse, Rampaul then joined his teammates at the Under-19 World Cup at Dhaka, where he played a crucial role in guiding his team to the finals of the tournament, which they eventually lost to Pakistan in the finals.
Ravi Rampaul, over the few months of his international cricketing tenure has become famous as a death-overs specialist. His death-bowling has become a unique feature of the West Indian One Day unit and has proven really effective in the reasonable success they have enjoyed against England and Bangladesh. In the West Indian cricketing circles, Rampaul is also being hailed as a useful lower-order batsman who can do some damage in the latter stages of a One Day game. He is also known to be an athletic fielder both in the infield and in the outfield. Rampaul, perhaps is one of the rare all-rounders West Indies cricket can be proud of for say a period of 5 years or so.
Although his bowling figures may not represent the true meaning of “economy” in One Day cricket, this young lad has a long way to go as far as his contribution towards West Indies cricket in its efforts to re-emerge as a force to reckon in International Cricket is concerned. If everything goes on well for Ravi, he could receive his prestigious Maroon Test Cap sooner rather than later. As West Indian cricket over the years has been day-counting as to when a youngster would emerge, I feel the days of day-counting are over as a young lad named Ravindranath Rampaul is ready and raring to give his mighty best for West Indian cricket.