PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Former Test batsman Daren Ganga believes West Indies players needed to exercise more faith in the judgement of Cricket West Indies (CWI) instead of pulling out of the tour to Bangladesh.
While agreeing players had the right to make their own decisions, Ganga said the CWI medical panel had assessed the risks to player safety in the upcoming series and given the all-clear, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The former Trinidad and Tobago captain pointed to a lack of commitment on the part of players, contending there needed to be a “collective effort” on their part if West Indies cricket was to succeed.
“Now, more than anything else, it’s a collective effort that is required from the players,” Ganga told CNC3 TV here.
“Yes, it’s been a challenging year (last year), West Indies has had to select a different team to go to Bangladesh (this year). It’s not a normal year so I don’t think you can judge the players.
“Every individual is different in terms of an assessment of his or her situation but … there still needs to be a certain amount of commitment towards West Indies cricket, which I don’t think we’re seeing from many of the players. That is where I would like to point my fingers – in that direction.”
He continued: “Players need to show more commitment to West Indies cricket. CWI did do a reconnaissance trip to Bangladesh and Dr Akshai Mansingh, who headed the medical panel on that actual trip, cleared Bangladesh as being a secure environment for an international tour.
“And you’ve got to trust the institution that governs the game in the region.”
Ten first-choice players declined selection for the Test and One-Day International series in Bangladesh with CWI citing “COVID-19 related concerns or personal fears” as the reason behind their decisions.
The group was headed by Test skipper Jason Holder and white-ball captain Kieron Pollard, and included the likes of Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran.
Ganga, now a well respected television analyst, said bold decisions were required not only by CWI but by players as well.
“I really want to see a little more commitment on the part of players and I also respect a player’s individual right but for us to challenge the fortunes of West Indies cricket, we need to make bold decisions,” he argued.
“Not only as an administrative body, but the players themselves need to show that commitment. Not only on the field but off the field as it relates to making themselves available.”
The 41-year-old Ganga, who played 48 Tests and 35 One-Day Internationals, said the last year had proved another disappointing one for West Indies, especially with the recent dire results in New Zealand where they lost both the T20 and Test series comprehensively.
“You felt there was a lot of room for improvement. In the last tour of New Zealand I did expect the West Indies to win at least the T20 series – that didn’t happen,” Ganga pointed out.
“I expected more competition with regard to the two Test matches which were played – it got even worse in the second Test match.
“There were some bright lights – Joshua DaSilva making his debut, Chemar Holder getting a chance to debut as well. It’s not going to change overnight – the fortunes of West Indies cricket.”