West Indies were humiliated in an innings and 272-run defeat in the first Test that concluded in three days at Rajkot. @ AFP
West Indies were humiliated in an innings and 272-run defeat in the first Test that concluded in three days at Rajkot. @ AFP

West Indies cricket has plunged to deplorable levels as far as their performance goes. Once regarded as a formidable force in world cricket, the Caribbean side has shown no glimpses of their past, and with the recent pay disputes between the players and the West Indies cricket board taking centre stage, the climb back to the top has grown all the more steeper.

West Indies, currently on tour to India, were humiliated in an innings and 272-run defeat in the first Test that concluded in three days at Rajkot. None of the West Indies batsmen showed any gumption to score runs, apart from Kieron Powell, who top-scored with 83 in the second innings.

Former West Indies captain Daren Ganga said that the recent result has been due to an ending issues in the Caribbean that have had a direct impact on the sport.

“I can understand the reactions. India has set a standard for themselves. This series is not adding any value to the No.1 Test team in the world, more so when they have been defeated by a strong England team in England and they have the challenge of Australia ahead,” Ganga told Indian Express on Tuesday.

“Let’s not forget that India is a performing team while Windies are a forming team. That will amplify the gap between the two squads. While people on the outside only see these 12-15 players representing the West Indies, they don’t see the back-end of what is happening with our cricket and the systemic issues around it.”

Highlighting issues Caribbean cricket has had to face, Ganga said: “Our coaching education program and the coaching certification program haven’t been in existence for many number of years. When you think about how that’s not been consistently addressed over the years, you realise there’s been over a generation of cricketers who’ve been coming out of the grassroot levels, who have not interfaced with quality coaches, not learnt the proper technique or approaches, who are currently going through a process of unlearning and therefore developing into substandard cricketers.

“The coaching education should ideally be in alignment with the player development pathway. That is a fundamental issue. It’s a hit-or-miss situation. Then there’s no academy or finishing school like the Australian Institute of High Performance, which I and Ramnaresh Sarwan attended and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Michael Clarke and Shane Watson.”

The continues issues that have plagued Cricket West Indies (CWI) has led to many players make their way to T20 leagues. Ganga said that the players are left with no other option, but to depart for greener pastures. However, he advised CWI to be more hands-on in their approach.

“Teams like India, Australia, England and South Africa have the resources to ensure that their players don’t need to compromise on their marketability, and that as a professional they can continue to earn what they will from the open market even after lining themselves with the national team. They can support their players and satisfy their earning ability at home unlike us.

“Back home, a lot of it is left to the players themselves to ensure that they become world-class. I draw an analogy with the corporate world. If I have invested in a product, there’s no way I am going to leave the quality of the product to chance. If CWI, as stakeholders, continue to invest in West Indies cricket, they must have a more hands-on approach to the quality of cricketers we produce.”