England v West Indies, 2nd Test, Headingley May 29, 2007

We have to close the frightening gap - Murray

Kern De Freitas

Jerome Taylor's wicket sealed a humiliating defeat for West Indies at Headingley © Getty Images

Extremely disappointing. That was the general consensus from three former regional players after West Indies' humiliating defeat by an innings and 283 runs at Headingley, their worst ever.

Deryck Murray, the former West Indies wicketkeeper who is currently the Trinidad & Tobago board president, felt the "unfortunate" loss of experienced batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and captain Ramnaresh Sarwan was no excuse for the huge margin of defeat, and the "frightening gap that we really have to close".

"We really need, and I'm saying ... I'm a board member, and I'm saying this to the other board members, we need to stop talking and actually do things that will kick start our development and get us to a [competitive] state," said Murray. "We have had defeats all over...at Headingley, at Lord's, we've had them everywhere. That's not good enough for West Indies cricket."

Tony Gray, former West Indies fast bowler and T&T Under-19 coach, was unhappy as well. "It's a disappointment for me," said Gray "being not just a West Indies cricket fan, but a former player, to see us perform that way. Even if Sarwan was out through injury, we should have shown a little more resolve, a little more fight."

He said changes needed to be made for the third Test on June 7. He suggested that fast bowlers Ravi Rampaul and Fidel Edwards be given a chance. Gray felt that even if he was injured, Sarwan should remain on tour, if only in a motivational role to help with the team's confidence.

Joey Carew, a former chairman of selectors, blamed the batsmen's technique for their meek surrender. "It is obvious without the services of Sarwan and Chanderpaul the batting will be weakened, but this had nothing to do with them. They have to look at their technique, and look at the way they play. At the moment, it doesn't look like they have that knowledge."