Narsingh Deonarine was drafted into the West Indies Test side during the contract dispute, between Digicel and Cable & Wireless, which saw seven players left out of the first Test against South Africa, in March 2005. A compact batsman, and useful offspinner, he struggled initially with the bat, but found his feet in partnership with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, his Guyana team-mate.
There are many similarities between Chanderpaul and Deonarine, both having come through the cricket system in Guyana, from the sharp fielding at cover-point to the anti-glare patches under his eyes. His offspin showed promise - in the Carl Hooper mould - but his stay at the top was brief once the big-guns returned.
He fell out of favour for almost two years, until he was called up to West Indies' Twenty20 squad for the inaugural World Championship in September 2007, but didn't make the final squad. He remained consistent in the domestic game and was the overall leading run-scorer in the 2008-09 regional four-day competition with 1068 runs. He was recalled for the 2009 England tour with a chance to earn a spot in the middle order.