September 27, 2011

'T&T could go its own way'

The side's inspirational captain looks at the possibility of a potential breakaway from the West Indies
61

Daren Ganga's 48 Tests for West Indies have been spread over nine years, but since his last international appearance in 2008 he has built an impressive reputation as Trinidad & Tobago's captain. Ganga spoke to ESPNcricinfo in Hyderabad about T&T wanting to break away from the West Indies set-up, the problems within the administration and how he developed as a leader.

Do you think the WICB has over-reached itself in its handling of player issues?
Given the state of our cricket, there needs to be a certain amount of checks and balances, in terms of the governance of the game in the Caribbean. Whether that balance is carried out or not in the right spirit is another issue. But if you look at all the successful countries, you'll realise their players' body and their administrative body work very closely together. They have established a very cordial and respectful manner in which they go about doing things. You look at the Australian Cricketers' Association and how they operate with Cricket Australia. We're still stuck somewhere in between, and the faster we can get around that and move forward, the more positively it will impact on cricket.

Do you think there has been too much player power [in West Indian cricket]?
I think the board does need to have a certain amount of control. They are the governing body for the game so they need to ensure that it is well protected and guided in the right direction. Globally Twenty20 is influencing the game. Our governing bodies need to be strong enough to ensure there is balance in terms of Test and 50-over cricket. And there needs to be a certain amount of authority for doing those things. You must have people who have that sort of influence, but if the head is not in the right place, that is an issue.

Sometimes, they have got to recognise themselves as providing a service to the game rather than the cricket being all about them.

Has that attitude been lacking? How flexible do you think the board needs to be?
There needs to be a certain amount of flexibility. What is complicated in the WICB is that it comprises members of each individual territory. It's a very cumbersome structure that does not allow efficiency and easy decision-making. There is always an insular thought or an insular comment. What is left to be seen is whether we can be mature enough to get past that and see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is that the best decisions are made in the interests of our cricket. That is where all the Caribbean nations need to come together and make sure that the game and its quality in the West Indies are protected.

During the 2009 Champions League you said that if things didn't improve, there would be a day when the individual [national] boards would want to go their separate ways. Has the situation deteriorated or improved since then?
I think it's closer in that direction [deterioration]. That is what you hear from the people who support you. The common man on the ground… you read sometimes in the editorials and you listen to comments. It's not always about the people who make the decision. There is a certain amount of influence by the masses. If a certain player is not selected and doing well, public pressure will ask the selectors to get that player in the set-up.

I speak from the T&T perspective. There is a lot of discussion about the positives of going in that direction and about certain players who are not being given the opportunity. At the moment, I can't really say what the other territories are saying. You see the controversies with Chris Gayle not being in the set-up. You are seeing a heavy influence from the Windward Islands in terms of players being selected because of the people who are in power now. Historically, it's been like that. Whether that changes, we do not know.

With the advent of all these third-party competitions [like the Champions League], where individual countries are getting an opportunity, it may fragment the West Indies federation and the West Indies cricket team, which is the only sporting body that allows all the territories to play as one.

"When you play for your country, the country that you were born in and brought up in, and you sing your national anthem, it brings a different individual spirit to you. Saying that you are West Indian, yes, there is a certain amount of patriotism, but there is no West Indian anthem, there is not that sort of closeness"

How long can nebulous concepts like the West Indies legacy - which is now decades old - sustain this unity?
You hear pros and cons for the West Indies federation. How with the advent of global trade and technology, individual countries can sustain. We are seeing in different sports that countries are playing as individual nations. We had the T&T football team that qualified for the World Cup [2006]. We have Jamaica, who are doing very well in athletics. We have a lot of athletes who compete in the Olympics as citizens of individual countries. The more that happens and the more global exposure that each country gets, the more that is going to impact negatively on our collective West Indian effort.

Can you foresee a time frame before public opinion in T&T turns irrefutably in favour of going solo?
I definitely think the performance of our team will push that discussion in either direction. If we go on to do well on a global stage such as the Champions League, you are going to have public pressure being applied, where they think that a T&T team can fend on its own and has the opportunity to qualify on its own in the 50-over or the 20-over World Cup. When you do well in a global competition, there is talk that T&T should go on their own. "It will allow so many opportunities for young players. We have the financial backing. Why don't we do that in terms of positive benefits for the country? The amount of money that we spend on conventions and heads-of-government summits, we could channel that into sport."

Leaving aside the legacy and emotion, do you think it is practically feasible to do that, given that larger countries have struggled?
I think there is an opportunity to head in that direction. The ICC allows a country to apply and go through the process of getting in that member set-up. Whether anyone has the confidence and bravery to go in that direction and to run the risk of breaking that legacy is to be seen. But we all know that it is possible in today's world.

Do you think T&T will take the lead some day? You have always loved that flag, haven't you?
If you speak to any West Indies player, you will hear them talking about this special affiliation to their country. When you play for your country, the country that you were born in and brought up in, and you sing your national anthem, it brings a different individual spirit to you. Saying that you are West Indian, yes, there is a certain amount of patriotism, but there is no West Indian anthem, there is not that sort of closeness. Yes, historically we have achieved great things and when you travel across the world, you hear people talking about our legacy. But to be close to it, feel it and interact directly with it on a daily basis, no, it is not present. In the Caribbean we are talking about the CSME [CARICOM Single Market and Economy], which is establishing a common economic market, and still we have had a lot of challenges in getting it on stream. So that in itself is sending a strong message in terms of us collectively as a Caribbean federation.

So will it ultimately come down to a pull between the legacy of the past and, say, the love of the T&T flag?
Not really. I think they both go hand in hand. T&T cricket is a subset of West Indies cricket. If you want to effect a change in West Indies cricket, it must come from the subsets, which are the individual territories. We are still not grasping that concept. We are still looking at things from the top and not realising that the change needs to come from our subsets. If I could change that, then it would help and contribute positively to West Indies cricket.

Coming to leadership, Darren Sammy said that it is overrated. What do you have to say on that?
I don't think so. There is a lot that a captain can do. But a captain must have the full support of the administration. That confidence has not been there in the West Indies. Even someone like Brian Lara was placed on probation. While all of us want results, but you cannot put a gun to a guy's head. A lot more freedom could have been given in terms of selections and choice of support staff. If you ask me, I would have taken it up only if such things were put in place.

I'll bring Sammy again into this. Your batting record has gone against you in the past. Do you think standards have not been applied consistently when it comes to deciding on the captaincy? I don't like to comment too much on guys who are given the opportunity to lead, because I don't know the premise of the board in terms of decision-making and what their intentions are. We can see there is a seeking out of younger players and building a young team. That is what you gather from the decisions of the selectors.

But could those same standards have been applied earlier?
It is baffling to me that there was a guy like Ramnaresh Sarwan who was always playing second fiddle as vice-captain and yet he was never given a fair chance to lead West Indies. I can recall him playing under Carl Hooper and Brian Lara and being vice-captain for years. He hasn't been given that opportunity to lead even in two or three consecutive series. There is no structured manner and clear philosophy and guideline in terms of selecting a captain and players.

Players having one good first-class season are thrust into the international arena, while there are players who dominate the first-class scene day in and day out and don't even get that opportunity. For the last four years I haven't played for West Indies. This year I am not far behind Marlon Samuels in terms of runs, and I am not involved in any West Indian representative team. Yet I am doing so well for T&T. Marlon was out of cricket for two years. He had one good season and he is playing all versions of the game.

Forty-eight Tests spread over almost a decade. You think you were handed a raw deal?
Probably. I am not too sure. There are selectors and powers-that-be who make those decisions. As a player I can only control my performance. For T&T, for the past four-five years, I have been enjoying a great time as a captain and as a batsman. I started playing this game because I love it and not because I want to play for West Indies. It is a great honour to play for West Indies and represent the collective Caribbean. But at the same time, I get my fulfillment from playing the game in the best manner that I can. And as a captain it is not just about winning matches. There is a certain fulfillment you get from being influential in terms of selecting and helping young players and seeing them move on to play and do well in international cricket.

How much of a motivation is leadership, and how much of a role does having a solid grounding in education play in leadership?
A lot of leadership has to do with communication and having a certain amount of openness and integrity in terms of your decision-making. Those are the things I stand very close to when leading cricket teams - and anything in life, as a matter of fact. In this T&T set-up all the young players know that they can come and speak to me about anything. They know when they are left out that they can come to me and get a reason. There are always cricketing reasons behind it. The minute you step away from cricketing reasons, you find yourself in hot water.

All the players are aware that not everyone can be selected. We try not to take any shortcuts as players, as we know that there is a certain effort and preparation that goes into getting results. We have built that attitude that you have got to work to get the results. That has brought us success as a team.

"This year I am not far behind Marlon Samuels in terms of runs, and I am not involved in any West Indian representative team. Yet I am doing so well for T&T. Marlon was out of cricket for two years. He had one good season and he is playing all versions of the game"

It is probably a touch early to ask you this, but any regrets so far, as a batsman and as a leader?
As a batsman, I think if I had the experience of playing a certain amount of cricket before I got the opportunity to play international cricket, I would have been a lot more mature. I would have been better prepared to think of my responsibilities. My entry to international cricket was very premature. I had just played three of four first-class matches and I was on my first tour with West Indies to South Africa in 1998. Initially I was told by Brian [Lara] and the selectors that it was a learning tour for me and I would be playing most of the practice matches to help my development. I ended up playing in three of the five Tests on that dreaded tour.

The experience made me stronger. It built my character as a cricketer. But as a batsman it scarred me very early in my career. I have had to learn my game at the international level, which has been without a lot of success. I always wanted to hone my skills at the first-class level, where you can try and make mistakes and get away with it. In international cricket you make one mistake and you are out. That is my one major regret as a batsman. On the flip side, having had that experience and going through those things has shaped me as a person and built a certain resolve.

Do you think that is required as a leader?
Of course. They say that in order for you to enjoy success as a leader and probably as a person, you have to go through great periods of failure and misery. I have gone through mine. That is why I think, over the years, I have enjoyed success. I can also allude to Steve Waugh, if you look at his career and how things went for him. It makes it great in the end because you can see all the trials and tribulations that you have gone through.

You would have wanted to do better as a batsman but would you have taken all this to be the leader that you are today?
Yeah, I would. As I said, I have no regrets [on that front]. I am still playing, I can still make that difference, I still believe in my ability. A lot of people in the West Indies do have that belief in me as well. They want to see a change in West Indies cricket. If I could make my difference to a certain period of West Indies cricket, then I would have played my part.

We don't know where it will head. The cricketing landscape globally is changing and we don't know how it will be in the next 10 years. I just want to play my part as a cricketer and as a leader, and hopefully look back on a fulfilling career.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John-Price on September 30, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Forty-eight Tests as an opening batsman - average 25.7, in an era when decent batsmen average twice as much. And he thinks he 'probably' has had a raw deal? Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

  • VivGilchrist on September 30, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Wow! 48Tests @ 25. What a fortunate player. He has nothing to complain about. To almost play 50 Tests and be so average with the bat, he should be sending the WI selectors a 'Thankyou' card.

  • Mayfield on September 30, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    This is my response Ganga. Barbados-3W's,Sobers,Hall,Griffith,Greenidge, Haynes,Marshall,Garner. Jamaica-Headley,Holding,Smith,Valentine,Dujon,Rowe, Walsh.Combined Islands-Richards,Richardson,Roberts,Ambrose.Guyana-Kanhai,Gibbs,Kallicharan,Fredericks,Lloyd,Butcher,Chanderpaul. Trinidad-Lara, Ramadhin. I guess we can include Ganga and Dwane Bravo as Trinidadian greats? Nuff said.

  • on September 30, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    @hayden_w.i, Were you around when Ganga was first selected for the West Indies. he was in fact T&T 's opener.

  • hayden_w.i. on September 29, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    Darren Ganga's average is low because the selectors pick him solely as an opener to face the new ball when in fact he doesn't open for Trinidad and Tobago. He bats at number 4 - so why does the WICB believe that he is an opener?

  • on September 29, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Darren Ganga...future WICB president hopefully very good cricketing brain even though i can't see why he didn't go for the win against Mumbai

  • nafzak on September 29, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Ganga never said that he supported going it alone. He merely responded to a question and gave his honest opinion based on reality. Would anyone deny that all of us West Indians really care much more about our home country than we do about being West Indian? Does anyone really believe that Sammy is captain and in the team because of merit as an all rounder? Why is Samuels after being out 2 years suddenly in the team again? to quote Ganga; "A lot of leadership has to do with communication and having a certain amount of openness and integrity in terms of your decision-making. Those are the things I stand very close to when leading cricket teams - and anything in life, as a matter of fact. In this T&T set-up all the young players know that they can come and speak to me about anything. They know when they are left out that they can come to me and get a reason." WICB could learn a thing or 2 from Ganga's interview.

  • on September 29, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    Craziness. Is T&T really willing to be an ASSOCIATE for a long time to come? No Windies = no Test cricket for a long time... Craziness.

  • Stevros3 on September 29, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    1. Ganga is not suggesting the split, he is just saying that with the deep divisions within the West Indies he could see it happen. Hope not.

    2. As for going alone; they are not strong enough on the bowling front for test matches, to coin a phrase from TMS. I just can't see 20 wickets from their bowling attack, especially against top class test batsmen. The ONLY country IMO that can put out two world class bowling attacks is England; Anderson, Broad, Tremlett & Swann followed by Bresnan, Finn, Onions & Panesar with injury backup from Woakes, Shazad, Dernbach & Rashid (These four could play the odd test but aren't top wicket takers in tests yet.). Its like rugby the forwards decide who wins and the backs decide by how much, and the batsmen get the plaudits. In test cricket its the bowlers that sort out who wins and the batsmen that decide by how much.

  • on September 29, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    Currently, the West Indies are living on past laurels, and we should all recognize that.Their current record of results over the past five years or so does not really justify their place as a test nation, and there are "real" countries like Ireland who are being denied any chance of joining the elite group. It doesn't seem that West Indies will be given a pass to play substandard cricket in the top flight forever, so the truth is that if West Indies do not FIX THE PROBLEM SOON, then it will be fixed for them! Nations like England, Australia and India will soon start to forget about the legend of the mighty West Indies and see the situation for what it really. is. Ganga's comments should be a call to action. Nobody in Trinidad or Jamaica or West Indies wants WI team to be dissolved, because we are proud of the acheivements of Sobers, Richards, Worrell, Kanhai, Lara, Gayle and all the rest. But we must have a unity of purpose within the union.

  • John-Price on September 30, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    Forty-eight Tests as an opening batsman - average 25.7, in an era when decent batsmen average twice as much. And he thinks he 'probably' has had a raw deal? Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

  • VivGilchrist on September 30, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Wow! 48Tests @ 25. What a fortunate player. He has nothing to complain about. To almost play 50 Tests and be so average with the bat, he should be sending the WI selectors a 'Thankyou' card.

  • Mayfield on September 30, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    This is my response Ganga. Barbados-3W's,Sobers,Hall,Griffith,Greenidge, Haynes,Marshall,Garner. Jamaica-Headley,Holding,Smith,Valentine,Dujon,Rowe, Walsh.Combined Islands-Richards,Richardson,Roberts,Ambrose.Guyana-Kanhai,Gibbs,Kallicharan,Fredericks,Lloyd,Butcher,Chanderpaul. Trinidad-Lara, Ramadhin. I guess we can include Ganga and Dwane Bravo as Trinidadian greats? Nuff said.

  • on September 30, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    @hayden_w.i, Were you around when Ganga was first selected for the West Indies. he was in fact T&T 's opener.

  • hayden_w.i. on September 29, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    Darren Ganga's average is low because the selectors pick him solely as an opener to face the new ball when in fact he doesn't open for Trinidad and Tobago. He bats at number 4 - so why does the WICB believe that he is an opener?

  • on September 29, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Darren Ganga...future WICB president hopefully very good cricketing brain even though i can't see why he didn't go for the win against Mumbai

  • nafzak on September 29, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    Ganga never said that he supported going it alone. He merely responded to a question and gave his honest opinion based on reality. Would anyone deny that all of us West Indians really care much more about our home country than we do about being West Indian? Does anyone really believe that Sammy is captain and in the team because of merit as an all rounder? Why is Samuels after being out 2 years suddenly in the team again? to quote Ganga; "A lot of leadership has to do with communication and having a certain amount of openness and integrity in terms of your decision-making. Those are the things I stand very close to when leading cricket teams - and anything in life, as a matter of fact. In this T&T set-up all the young players know that they can come and speak to me about anything. They know when they are left out that they can come to me and get a reason." WICB could learn a thing or 2 from Ganga's interview.

  • on September 29, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    Craziness. Is T&T really willing to be an ASSOCIATE for a long time to come? No Windies = no Test cricket for a long time... Craziness.

  • Stevros3 on September 29, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    1. Ganga is not suggesting the split, he is just saying that with the deep divisions within the West Indies he could see it happen. Hope not.

    2. As for going alone; they are not strong enough on the bowling front for test matches, to coin a phrase from TMS. I just can't see 20 wickets from their bowling attack, especially against top class test batsmen. The ONLY country IMO that can put out two world class bowling attacks is England; Anderson, Broad, Tremlett & Swann followed by Bresnan, Finn, Onions & Panesar with injury backup from Woakes, Shazad, Dernbach & Rashid (These four could play the odd test but aren't top wicket takers in tests yet.). Its like rugby the forwards decide who wins and the backs decide by how much, and the batsmen get the plaudits. In test cricket its the bowlers that sort out who wins and the batsmen that decide by how much.

  • on September 29, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    Currently, the West Indies are living on past laurels, and we should all recognize that.Their current record of results over the past five years or so does not really justify their place as a test nation, and there are "real" countries like Ireland who are being denied any chance of joining the elite group. It doesn't seem that West Indies will be given a pass to play substandard cricket in the top flight forever, so the truth is that if West Indies do not FIX THE PROBLEM SOON, then it will be fixed for them! Nations like England, Australia and India will soon start to forget about the legend of the mighty West Indies and see the situation for what it really. is. Ganga's comments should be a call to action. Nobody in Trinidad or Jamaica or West Indies wants WI team to be dissolved, because we are proud of the acheivements of Sobers, Richards, Worrell, Kanhai, Lara, Gayle and all the rest. But we must have a unity of purpose within the union.

  • JimDavis on September 29, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    I wonder if something akin to rugby's British and Irish Lions set up might work for the West Indies and their individual nations.

  • Midonoff on September 29, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Does T & T have the best fast bowlers in the Caribbean or best test bastmen in the Caribbean team? Don't think so. They have couple of good twenty players and cannot see them holding their own againts other major cricketing countries. To my knowledge T & T does not have a great history of producing great players.

  • on September 29, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    I AM A JAMAICAN AND I AM IN TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH YOU GANGA T&T AND JAMAICA CAN BE VERY COMPETITIVE WITH THESE INTERNATIONAL SETUPS ACROSS ALL FORMATS. ESPECIALLY THE SHORTER ONES, THESE 2 SHOULD BREAK AWAY FROM THIS WICB AND THIS UNWISE MANAGEMENT TEAM OF WI CRICKET. THEY HAVE THE WRONG COACH AND THE WRONG CEO TO START WITH.

  • yocasi on September 29, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    A couple of you guys are still in serious denial over Sammy. Though lacking in pace, he has been our BEST bowler in recent times. Our only test win over a major team in the last 2 years was engineered by Sammy the bowler & skipper. While still weak, Windies are beginning to look like a competitive TEAM under Sammy's leadership. It would be better if you guys dealt with the facts and forgot the hype.

  • anver777 on September 29, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    T&T is second time unlucky in CLT20.........hope at least the 3rd game will bring some luck for them !!!!!!!!!

  • on September 29, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    Could any one explain why Ganga would imply about insulatiry in West Indies cricket, and mention that the windwards have to much pics becuase of the leadership of West Indies cricket, and to even suggest to the question asked that yes he thinks they should go on their own? Phillip Peters you are correct he should look at "FIRE IN BABYLON"

  • on September 29, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    FANTASTIC INTERVIEW GANGA.U PLAYERS SHOULD LEAVE WEST INDIES AT EARLIEST AND TRY TO SET UP YOUR OWN TEAM.THE WI TEAM MANAGEMENT IS THE WORST MANAGEMENT IN THE EARTH.I AS A SRILANKAN FAN IS CURRENTLY ENJOYING THE RIFT IN INDIES CRICKET.GREAT GOING WESTINDIES.GAYLE,BRAVO,POLLARD NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY FOR WESTINDIES.LOL HOPEFULLY SOON A DAY WILL COME IN CRICKET WHENN WESTINDIES IS KICKED OUT OF TEST CRICKET LOL

  • on September 29, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Hmmm. Darren Ganga. The Brearley of the WI. Clearly has the best man management skills of any WI cricketer since the war. Clearly has one of the finest cricket brains in the Carribean. Equally clealy, not QUITE an international batsman. So, question one. do you pick a brilliant captain, as captain, when he's a little short on the "hard skills". Answer, yes, you do, if that's the way to get the best results, because you try to pick the best TEAM and that's not always the best 11 names taken as individuals. Question two, if Ganga had been WI captain for the last five years, would he have got the situation sorted out, or would it have broken him, as it broke Hooper and others since ? A more difficult question to answer, but it probably WOULD have broken him; the arrogance of the WI board of control seems to know no bounds. They seem to have "broken" every strong-minded leader they have appointed over the last ten years, scarificed, it seems, on the altar of their collective ego

  • on September 29, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    When things got tough and Jamaica bailed out to WI Federation - Eric Williams followed Sparrow's math 10 from 1 leaves 0 - and Federation done. Why couldn't the Doc show leadership and lead with the remaining countries? Now another Trinidadian in fascinated with WI leadership by reduction. I think Ganja should look at "Fire in Babylon" to be re-inspired. Let pray for the brother.

  • on September 29, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    What the Hell GANGA!!! WI fans have enough problems with their team at the moment, they dont need talk of you ditching the WI team with your TandT team. What it will do is destroy carribean cricket forever and they will never recover again. As long as WI holds together, there is hope for WI. You cant just abandon the people of the carribean like that! Why is it that no one cares about windies? TandT will be worse than Ireland in test cricket and WI will be too weak to compete without TT. Both will be severely weakened without eachother. What happened to rally rounf the west indies? Why are you betraying your region Ganga?

  • on September 29, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    here again you have these trinis thinking that they are better than the caribbean islands. What have they dominated? T20 and what? This is ridiculous and i hope they get this "greater than them" mentality and start working together with the other islands. One Caribbean. One WI.

  • johnathonjosephs on September 29, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    Oh trinidad&tobago... another very disappointing end to a dominating performance. It seems as if they choke in the end and I definetely think that Rampaul should NOT bowl at the death.... He is much more effective in the beginning

    Think Ganga is a little upset that West Indies don't pick him for the national side.... But truthfully, most cricketers are from Trinidad and Tobago... Pollard, the Bravo brothers, Ramdin, and even Rampual are from T&T. Ganga's form in first class has been good recently, too.... Don't think its a good idea. The West Indies team is based on the idea of unity. This is similar to saying that Mumbai should break off from India and form their own team (And they can definetely do it with Zaheer, Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Agarkar, Powar, and Rahane.....

  • edmo2732 on September 29, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    I am not aganist going alone. Yes it will be a very hard and long journey but the time has come. The insularity is rampant and will always exist where you have little islands with petty mentalities and their own agendas. The united West Indies was necessary in the past and has served its purpose - to show the world that talent exist in the Islands. This is evident in other sports, be it, netball, soccer, tennis, golf, etc and unless we break the harness than is holding us back, we will lose all our gains over the years. Breaking away will and time will attest to this, rekindle the interest in cricket that has died over the years. Playing for your country has a greater attraction than fighting up for the chance to play for mixed team who selection is always not in the best interest of those who follow the game but to serve the interest of a few. The game in the West Indies can only grow from splitting up into the different territories, i.e. Barbados, Jamacia, Guyana, T&T, L.I,W.I - amen

  • on September 29, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    Splitting the West Indies would be a DISASTER. Such talk flies in the face of reality. It would be 1962 all over again and cricket in the region (already suffering) would never recover. I respect Ganga as a captain of TT but these words show that his heart is not in the right place to lead the West Indies. We need unity now more than ever. Yeah, Jamaica and TT made it into the soccer World Cup competition, and they went nowhere. And they never will. A nation of 1.3 million will never produce a team that can best England, India, Australia, etc.

  • on September 28, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    Ill advised comments which should be ignored by all concern. For some strange reason I didn't expect better from this guy. WI cricket can do without him.

  • Metman on September 28, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    @dclar301 !You are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT ! Ganga's interview can only be viewed as a classic case of sour grapes,filled with a series of contradictions,and a lot of hypothetical nonsense !Mr.Ganga,What do you mean by breaking away ?You mean to tell me that this TT NATIONAL team,which is at present struggling to beat the CLUB teams at the CLT20,is going to break away from the WI group? then what ?Who are you going to play against ? Do you think the ICC will place you among the heavy weights in World Cricket ? Stop living in a World of fantasy,someone should also tell you that TT is not known for producing cricketers that can excel on the WORLD SCENE,and that in the last 100 years of WI cricket,you have only produced ONE,I repeat ONE cricketer that made a name for himself,and that is life in the REAL WORLD. At present TT has the most players representing the WI,and the WI can't beat a fella,therefore it comes as no surprise to me that TT are struggling at present.

  • Hawk793 on September 28, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    a most disappointing interview, Darren Ganga, the only reason you are not playing Test Cricket is because your returns has been dismal and your average is poor, you however has done quite well at the FC level and has built this TnT side into a strong FC side, beating any franchise at this level cannot compare with playing bona fide test sides, you should use TnT success to build a case for a second West Indian side in the CLT20 rather than the "going it along" notion. the problem is nobody seem to be putting West Indies cricket first, island teams and personal agendas are on top on the list

  • Hemraj on September 28, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    Darren Ganga is after publicity i was shocked that mentioned Sarwan was not given a fair chance of captaincy, because a while back he was talking rubbish if Tiger and Sars. Ganga is where he deserves to be and where he will always be in the T&T team. Darren Ganga should never be allowed to even think of playing for West Indies again as he would another waste like Sammy.....

  • on September 28, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    Well said Daren! Our problems come from the territorial boards whose representatives are the Directors of WICB. The CEO and the 28 other staff members must follow instructions. We have Directors who are afraid to speak for obvious reasons. Changes in the six boards with administrators who have the strength of character and a vision will ultimately change the course of West Indies cricket. T&T cannot comtemplate going it alone. Funding from ICC cannot compare to the amount received from WICB. On the other hand could you imagine how long it will take T&T to move up the ladder to play against the present Test countries? Ask Ireland! We are unique in the world of sports. Our union has stood the test of time. Instead of finding ways to separate we should be looking towards a brighter future as one caribbean people. Implement the Patterson Report now!

  • NewYorkCricket on September 28, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    Good guy but lacks ability as a batsman. He was not handed a raw deal. Not too many players play 48 tests and average only 25!!

  • Mohan_Krishnamurthi on September 28, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    What Darren Ganga talking sounds good but in the West Indies Cricket it seems that the players are not united and they does not have discipline among themselves. They are individually talented bunch and not united as a team. During the Clive Lloyd era the team was united and had a hunger to win and I have seen that era as a kid and developed a lot of respect for that team. But currently the west Indies team meekly surrenders before the big oppositions like Australia, South Africa, India and England which saddens me. But Still I do not agree with Ganga's idea to part ways from the West Indies because you are respected only as a West Indies not as a Trinidad and Tobago. Ganga got 48 test matches, Bradman got 52, only four more than him, so he (Ganga) got a fair deal but failed to live up and giving excuses. Despite blaming WICB try to make efforts improve the West Indies team to get back the golden era of Clive Lloyd, Richards, Holding, Garner, Marshall and Richardson.

  • dclar301 on September 28, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    What nonsense is Ganga talking. First off it will take at least 15 to 20 years to move from associate status to full Test status. And it might be longer, that will resign all the currect players to playing against Canada, USA, Ireland etc. What Trinidad should do is, wait around until Barbados and Guyana cricket is strong again. That's the only time WI cricket is strong. Does he think Australia and England would waste their time playing Trinidad.

  • sharidas on September 28, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    Very straightforward Darren. All the best in whatever you do. I hope you become a selector when the time comes.One can be assured of a fair deal.

  • AceB on September 28, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    I'm not at all surprised by Ganga's comment re; going it alone . One other Caribbean island , giddy with success , when they had a winning team also shared these sentiments . Those thoughts of going it alone soon evaporated , and the same thing will happen when Mr Ganga's IPL is over..

  • rson on September 28, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    I am not sure that the atatement that none of the individual West Indian teams could have beaten international sides is accurate.Yes,Barbados was well beaten by the Rest of the World but they were facing an all-star team from several countries and anyway it was just one match,not a series.I would venture to say that the Barbados team of that era would have beaten any of the individual national sides of today more often than not.But so too would the New South Wales teams of the Benaud,Davidson,O'Neill and Harvey era.

  • on September 28, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    As an outsider (an Englishman at that) I find the idea that the WI as a team may disappear incredibly saddening. I can understand why it may happen, but if it does then all cricket lovers all over the world will lose something.

  • Silloh on September 28, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Darren Ganga is a true leader and has done TT proud. Just look at his. comments. He has the true backing of the entire TT team, I believe TT population and administrators. I do not think notwithstanding the temptation, TT should go off on its own but surely the WICB's actions are probably driving us and maybe others slowly towards that direction.But we cannot blame the board squarely and entirely as surely it's not a compensation issue. Caricom is fragmented we must note. The respective leaders are under close scrutiny for their own political performances. Therefore, who should we turn to in the interest of West Indies cricket ? Only time will tell.

  • on September 28, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    I don't think trading WICB politics for TTCB politics is such a good idea. As for entering too early!Did Chanderpaul start too early? and after 48 Test matches, I don't think he was given a raw deal.

    Just imagine needing 48 Test Matches at an average of 25 to get experience.

    Excuses, Excuses, Excuses....

    I wouldn't give Ganga any more Tests if I could give it to a 20 year old to gain experience who is averaging in the 30+.

    As for captaincy! Ganga is a great talker and leader off the field, but on it he cannot set a field. He is just lucky to be surrounded by a bunch of talented players,. It does not take much to lead the T&T team. I bet you anyone can do just as well a job, if anyone could actually get a chance.

  • on September 28, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Here is a scary thought for the so called powers that continue to run West Indies cricket into the ground - after reading this interview it seems like Daren Ganga could do a commendable job as West Indies captain, W.I. CEO, and W.I. Goodwill Ambassador. Stop shaking in ur boots Mr. Hillary! And yes, I am a strong advocate for the big 4 cricket teams in the W.I. - TT, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana to fend for themselves in the international arena.

  • Bajan848 on September 28, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    T&T can go alone if they want to compete with non-test playing countries. T&T must remember they haven't competed against Australia, England, South Africa, etc.

  • on September 28, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    As an Indian I've grown up hearing tales of the Good Old Windies Team with legends like Sir Gary Sobers,Lance Gibbs,Sir Viv Richards,Clive Lloyd,Sir Frank Worrell,Malcolm Marshall and many more.The most special tale is obviously India's 1983 WC win.Its a regret that I've only been able to watch the last of the greats Curtly Ambrose,Courtney Walsh and Brain Lara in a period of disintegration.The core reason for all these are the WICB and the WIPA who are only busy in fighting each other.For the WICB the players are servants while for the WIPA they are puppets to take on WICB.I feel West Indies despite a small player pool can put a competitive team on the field but without an accountable system that is not happening.The bigger nations like T&T,Jamaica,Barbados and Guyana are strong enough to go their own ways,but what about Antigua?Don't forget Antigua gave Viv the King,Little Bird Ambrose and Andy Roberts to the world.

  • vatsap on September 28, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    Nothing but sour grapes. Ganga was an extremely average batsmen, a good trier may be ... on the Neil Mckenzie, Ashish Chopra mould. His captaincy is unproven in international arena, leading the team in T20's and inter-state is never fully conclusive. India's Ashok Mankad was supposedly great leader, but score runs first. Regarding Sarwan, it is so disappointing to see him struggle so much in the last few months. Such a free flowing batsman.

  • yocasi on September 28, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Ganga talks about insularity and in the same breath, he takes a broadside at the selectors for including players from the Windward Islands. Does Ganga remember Lincoln Roberts and Suruj Ragoonath? Does he remember Daren Ganga? Gimme a break, fella!

  • Rahul_78 on September 28, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Ganga is a proud man and the pride and passion is evident in his cricket. He is certainly a captaincy material for international team as endorsed by none other then Ian Chappell. But he needs to work on his bating. Currently WI team is captained by Sammy who is also a admirable and passionate leader but there are always question mark over his selection in the team..WI cant afford to have same scenario with Ganga. Still knowing that he has touch of Indian blood in him I am always rooting for T&T. All the best to Ganga and Co.

  • AnshulNagar on September 28, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    I believe at least in T-20, all the teams under westindies umbrella shd go by themselves.It would be more good to cricket and wipe out dirty politics from WI.

  • Silva-Surfa on September 28, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    For years Daren Ganga has easily been the best Captain in the Caribbean. There's arguement to say he should've had it when Brian Lara was in charge (during his second stint). But the reason why he never got a fair shake was because it was said that wasn't good enough to warrant a place in the team. That's a valid point, but now we have the Board choosing Darren Sammy, when his place in the side is questonable. Political double-standards at it's best. As far as the regions splitting would come as no surprise, i could see the main four (T&T, Jam, Barb and Guy) having enough depth to go their own way and the remaining regions probably forming a franchised team (LeeWind Islands?). and we can all thank those bunch of school headmasters, we know as the WICB for eventually ending the legacy, we know as the West Indies!!

  • andrew.henshaw on September 28, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Personally I like Ganga's leadership. However, to say that he was given a 'raw deal' is ridiculous. Ganga averaged approximately 25 in both Tests and ODIs - thats only marginally better than say, Mohammed Ashraful. As for the break up of the Windies, never ever going to happen. Aside from the fact that the current West Indies side is barely competitive, the individual islands populations are just too small. The entire population of the West Indies is roughly comparable to New Zealand.

  • Gizza on September 28, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    I have heard that if Frank Worrell didn't die so young he may have entered into politics and united the different West Indian islands into one nation. Such was his power and charisma. Anyway even when the Windies were the best team in the world individually they couldn't beat the other strong sides of the time. Maybe they would have been competitive but never consistently dominate. Remember the Barbados vs Rest of the World game? Barbados had the likes of Sobers and co but they were still smashed. If anything, I think a separate team like Bermuda at the moment should also be accepted into the West Indies national side, increasing the player pool of the country.

  • rama_krish on September 28, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Excellent interview by Abhishek Purohit and measured responses by Mr. Ganga. Can TnT go it alone? Perhaps not, but Trinis will always support their side over any other team from the Caribbean. It's called Pride, folks, and for Trinis, there is nothing in these west indies that generates that.

  • simonviller on September 28, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    I have always called for you in the test side as an opening bat Mr Ganga ,because I think that you would have made a better partner for some other real opening batsman ,other than C.G . I also called for Mr Ramadin as keeper ,because he is the best ; but as far as going it alone ,remember this --together we stand -devided we fall--- .One other thing ; would you have advocated this had you been selected to the test side ???

  • on September 28, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    Its an enticing possibility......and if the WICB doesn't get its act together, why the hell not??? I'm not saying we'll suceed. But, its better than trying to fight on a sinking ship!!!

    I LOVE WI cricket....but the men in power of the game in the WI are killing the cricket.......and they aren't listening to their biggest stakeholder....the FANS!

  • on September 28, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    well said darren,keep makin us proud,we support you all the way

  • on September 28, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    well said darren spoken like a rue leader,continue to make us proud

  • NBRADEE on September 28, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    I cannot think of another interview that I have read such a poignant and sincere point of view! I like that he has not ACTUALY stated his opinion, but only articulated some facts about future realities for the Caribbean game - I do not think myself that the best argument for WI cricket is the dissolution of the WICB, but one can understand why this might be apparent in time to come!

  • on September 28, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    What makes people think that ICC would give full member status to Trinidad & Tobago just because we decide to go on our own. You all are fooling yourselves if you think so.

  • redneck on September 28, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    trinidad winning 20/20 matches doesnt mean they will make a decent test side!!!! the best way is to fix the rott in west indies cricket, not go it on your own. all that will achieve is create 2 weakend sides in the caribbean. west indies still have global appeal and while trinidad going it alone may have the locals support, is giving a test spot to a side that would be on par with zimbabwe or bangledesh going to increase crickets global appeal? would england, australia, india etc actually invite trinidad on its own to tour???? considering bangledesh are yet to set foot on indian soil for a test match and its 10 years until they get to tour england again i dont like trinidads chances!

  • harryboom on September 28, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    Trinidad cannot by any means go to international cricket by themselves. The current crop of players are very talented, but can this be sustained in the long run with a population of only 1.5 million people? Look at history and we will see how long it takes the much bigger countries with millions of people in population to field a competitive team after a drought. We as a Caribbean territory need to stick together and force the players from all the islands to respect each other (because the respect is not there currently), and one day we will be able to field a winning team once again.

  • on September 28, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    t&t going alone....should not b a problem ...thy already have ...simmonds, barath, darren bravo, dwayne bravo, Kiron pollard, denish ramdin, ravi rampaul, badre, sherwin ganga, narine, mohamed...thtz a whole team there

  • Grutness on September 27, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    Complete disintegration of the WI side would spell the end for cricket in some of the smaller islands - there's no way the likes of St. Lucia or Dominica could hope to remain at cricket's top table. A halfway measure might be plausible, though, with four teams - Jamaica, T&T, Windwards, Leewards.

  • on September 27, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    Hmmmm T&T as a single territory....Food for thought....

  • on September 27, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Well said Darren. Make T&T proud!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on September 27, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Well said Darren. Make T&T proud!

  • on September 27, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    Hmmmm T&T as a single territory....Food for thought....

  • Grutness on September 27, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    Complete disintegration of the WI side would spell the end for cricket in some of the smaller islands - there's no way the likes of St. Lucia or Dominica could hope to remain at cricket's top table. A halfway measure might be plausible, though, with four teams - Jamaica, T&T, Windwards, Leewards.

  • on September 28, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    t&t going alone....should not b a problem ...thy already have ...simmonds, barath, darren bravo, dwayne bravo, Kiron pollard, denish ramdin, ravi rampaul, badre, sherwin ganga, narine, mohamed...thtz a whole team there

  • harryboom on September 28, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    Trinidad cannot by any means go to international cricket by themselves. The current crop of players are very talented, but can this be sustained in the long run with a population of only 1.5 million people? Look at history and we will see how long it takes the much bigger countries with millions of people in population to field a competitive team after a drought. We as a Caribbean territory need to stick together and force the players from all the islands to respect each other (because the respect is not there currently), and one day we will be able to field a winning team once again.

  • redneck on September 28, 2011, 1:34 GMT

    trinidad winning 20/20 matches doesnt mean they will make a decent test side!!!! the best way is to fix the rott in west indies cricket, not go it on your own. all that will achieve is create 2 weakend sides in the caribbean. west indies still have global appeal and while trinidad going it alone may have the locals support, is giving a test spot to a side that would be on par with zimbabwe or bangledesh going to increase crickets global appeal? would england, australia, india etc actually invite trinidad on its own to tour???? considering bangledesh are yet to set foot on indian soil for a test match and its 10 years until they get to tour england again i dont like trinidads chances!

  • on September 28, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    What makes people think that ICC would give full member status to Trinidad & Tobago just because we decide to go on our own. You all are fooling yourselves if you think so.

  • NBRADEE on September 28, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    I cannot think of another interview that I have read such a poignant and sincere point of view! I like that he has not ACTUALY stated his opinion, but only articulated some facts about future realities for the Caribbean game - I do not think myself that the best argument for WI cricket is the dissolution of the WICB, but one can understand why this might be apparent in time to come!

  • on September 28, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    well said darren spoken like a rue leader,continue to make us proud

  • on September 28, 2011, 3:02 GMT

    well said darren,keep makin us proud,we support you all the way