Reflecting back on West Indies' disappointing and really, a demoralizing performance in the first Test against India at Rajkot, former West Indies batsman Daren Ganga has said that a lot of what is getting transpired these days is a result of long-term poor administrative decision making across all levels in the Caribbean.
West Indies meekly surrender a Test away from home and attracted harsh but perhaps, deserving criticism from around the world. You can only feel for the players because they are performing at the domestic level, but if the quality of the contest there and training programmes they go through while growing up is simply not good enough, cricketers from the Caribbean will never have the required tools to perform at the highest level.
“I can understand the reactions. India has set a standard for themselves. This series is not adding any value to the No.1 Test team in the world," told Ganga to Indian Express, "More so when they have been defeated by a strong England team in England and they have the challenge of Australia ahead. We also need to consider this Indian team has dominated all opposition over the years at home. Let’s not forget that India is a performing team while Windies are a forming team. That will amplify the gap between the two squads."
“While people on the outside only see these 12-15 players representing the West Indies, they don’t see the back-end of what is happening with our cricket and the systemic issues around it," he added.
The situation where the young players in the region are preferring to feature for teams in leagues around the world isn't lost on Ganga. In fact, he is very well aware of the seriously alarming matter.
"Teams like India, Australia, England and South Africa have the resources to ensure that their players don’t need to compromise on their marketability, and that as a professional they can continue to earn what they will from the open market even after lining themselves with the national team," Ganga reiterated, "They can support their players and satisfy their earning ability at home unlike us. Back home, a lot of it is left to the players themselves to ensure that they become world-class."
“I draw an analogy with the corporate world. If I have invested in a product, there’s no way I am going to leave the quality of the product to chance," he further added, "If CWI, as stakeholders, continue to invest in West Indies cricket, they must have a more hands-on approach to the quality of cricketers we produce."
In line with this, Ganga gave an insight into the quality of the domestic first-class cricket back home and said, “The quality of players aren’t anywhere near those in the 1990s when the Laras and Ambroses would play in our first-class cricket. Every region has 15 centrally contracted players dedicated to playing all-year-round but that security of tenure doesn’t make them better cricketers. The backend of their program of development is non-existent. It’s left to chance."
“You don’t know what’s happening in Guyana as against Barbados as against Jamaica. Because we have a small pool of quality players the competition isn’t great. So players are being selected on potential for international cricket and not performance,” he signed off.
The second Test at Hyderabad starts on Friday, October 12.