Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Ganga: Overhaul required to make Windies great again

Published:Wednesday | October 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Daren Ganga

RAJKOT, India (CMC):

Ex-Test opener Daren Ganga says West Indies' heavy defeat in the first Test last week was another stern reminder of the crisis in Caribbean cricket, and that cricket in the region was in need of a structural overhaul.

The Windies crashed to an innings and 272-run defeat to India here - the hosts' largest-ever margin of victory in Tests - to extend their dismal record of 24 years without a win on Indian soil.

"What I saw in Rajkot was a contrast to what I saw in the Caribbean [earlier this year]," said Ganga, who is a media pundit for the series.

"The last five Tests played by the Windies were actually good in terms of their form in this format, where they won three out of five and lost only one to Sri Lanka. I saw progress in a lot of the players.

"This was a meek surrender. They capitulated. I have seen it years upon years when the Windies don't start well in a Test series, it goes downhill. It's very difficult for them to recover."

He continued: "The alarm bells are still ringing but they've been ringing from five to seven to 10 years - you get jaded hearing them ring. That's been the case in the West Indian set-up. You no longer get a jolt from the performance like Rajkot."

Ganga, who played 48 Tests between 1998 and 2008, argued that the respective boards in the Caribbean were not modernised enough to deal with the changing sport.

He also contended that "self-interest" had also inhibited administrators from making decisions for the benefit of cricket, resulting in a negative overall impact.

"The administrative arm and the vehicles that administer the game - I speak directly about the territorial boards, the constitution and framework - is archaic and outdated," Ganga told the India Express.

"And they're charged with the responsibility to support a modern, dynamic game. There are lot of things being done to change but there is an old guard that continues to hold on to power, like the incumbent group of executives in Trinidad & Tobago who continue to inherit power."

Ganga said issues like coaching in the Caribbean and the lack of an academy also needed to be addressed, as this directly impacted the quality of cricket being played by representative West Indies sides.

West Indies take on India in the second and final Test in Hyderabad starting Friday.