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espnstar.com’s Rajarshi Gupta spoke exclusively to Trinidad and Tobago skipper Darren Ganga, who made some startling revelations.
Normally, soft-spoken and suave, Ganga was a man possessed in his hotel room in Hyderabad, as he spoke of the state of cricket in the West Indies.

An avid fan of legendary Hindi singer, the late Kishore Kumar, Ganga spoke out on why he thinks Chris Gayle does not deserve to be captain and more.

Coincidentally, Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board president Deryck Murray approached the West Indies Cricket Board to look at appointing Ganga skipper of the national team. Excerpts:

Rajarshi Gupta: Has Chris Gayle been able to live up to the legacy of Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richard?

Darren Ganga: No way, maan. Gayle has been extremely selfish with team selection. Since he is from Jamaica, he picks up all his players from Jamaica.

That has been the problem with West Indies cricket. We have a lot of nepotism and favouritism in the game and consequently progress has been hampered. What cricket in the Caribbean needs now is a strong leader, who can instil more passion in the boys.

Gayle maybe a very good player and the records speak for him but I think he has failed as a leader. His man management skills have been poor and the team has suffered badly.
The skipper has not really done enough to motivate our bunch.

RG: What about the stars of the 1970’s and 80’s? Have they been of any help to modern day cricketers in the West Indies?

DG: I cannot say that either. Our former players have just not evolved with the game. They don’t want to realise that cricket is no more the same. It is not played the way it used to be 20 or even 30 years ago.

Andy Roberts still believes that you can scare a batsman by bowling two bouncers at him. You tell me, does that happen anymore? Batsmen are much smarter these days and they plan for every bowler and for all kinds of deliveries that can be bowled on a cricket field.

A captain has to be ready with precise field placements and strategies for bowlers. Technology has made sure nothing is a secret for too long. The days of bouncing out batsmen are gone. Today, it is all about pitching the ball on the right spots, whether you are bowling to your field or spraying it all over and reading the batsman’s mind.
RG: Some of your younger players in the T&T squad are more aware of what needs to be done on the field than the legends.

DG: Yes, I do agree with that. That is because we tell them exactly what their roles are. Every player in my team knows what is expected of him when he walks out to the middle.

Players have to be told what the team needs them to do and trust me they deliver. These guys make it to the top because they have the talent but you have to use these resources well.

RG: The Trinidad and Tobago had a wonderful run in the Airtel CL T20 (before losing to the NSW Blues in the final). Do you see any of these players making it to the West Indies Test team?

DG: That is difficult to answer. The problem with today’s youngsters is that most of them start with Twenty20 cricket and that is no reflection of your skills in the traditional format.

Players have to realise that Test cricket is the ultimate. That is where you need to shine. A good Test player can be successful in ODI’s and T20’s as well.

I started off with the longer version and (opener Adrian Barath too) and that is a major advantage. There is still some time for most of my boys as they are so young but I do hope that they make it big in the Test circuit.

RG: What about the upcoming Tests against the Australians? Do you think a full strength West Indies team can make it Down Under?

DG: I don’t know what the selectors are doing. We just have three weeks left for the first Test to start and the committee have not even picked up a team.

That is no way to prepare for a Test series against Australia. No one knows what is happening with cricket in the West Indies. The Board should make up their mind and decide what it is to be done for the tour Down Under.

There is a complete lack of direction and that spells disaster.

RG: Thanks for your time Darren:

DG: Cheers, maan. Hope to see you soon.
 
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