Former West Indies fast bowler Joel Garner slams the current bunch of West Indies cricketer as they no longer wants to play Test cricket as T20 cricket is helping to bolster their expectation for money.
Cricketers don’t want to work for five days because three hours of working is brimming their purse.
“I think everybody looks at the Twenty20 cricket and they want to play that format of the game as opposed to playing the longer version of the game, and, you know, it is a matter of choice. Why work for five days if you can work for three hours?” asks Garner.
“I think that that’s the mentality and it’s something that we’ve got to try and change in terms of how our players look at the cricket and the type of cricket our players want to play,” Garner added.
Garner, the president of Barbados Cricket Association and director of West Indies Cricket Board, talks about the problem in West Indies cricket. Garner was himself a towering 6.8’’ and used to bowl from clouds and crushed the toes of the batsman. From 1977 to 1987 Garner, the big bird dominated the world with his bowling style. He played only 58 Test matches and took 259 wickets. Garner was excellent in Test cricket and dangerous in limited over cricket. He was a part of the golden age of West Indies cricket.
“My challenges are different from the rest of the region. If you look at the budget for Barbados, it’s maybe five-and-a-half million, six million dollars. If you look at all the other territories which play cricket, you can look at their budgets and you can see how much money they are spending on the developmental stages. My challenges are, in that, we have systems and everything in place, but like everything else, I think that is a lot of organised cricket,” explains Garner.
“I don’t think that the players take that little bit extra to do things on their own, and I don’t think that everything can be structured or everything can be done in a… I think that what you have to do is that, it is a responsibility that we have to take where it’s a culture that we have to change and a culture that we have to grow from within the team, where training is an integral part of what we do. When you look at our cricket, we are challenging maybe up to Under-19. If you look at every world competition, when you look at them, West Indies is there. Where we have the challenge is when we go away,” Garner said.
Garner said he doesn’t know how to change the current system, but this is the time to act.
“Drastic situations call for drastic measures and I think that while T20 cricket is a money-spinner, and a money-earner if we really want to be on top of the world, we might have to do things a little differently. We must get used to playing the longer version of the game, get people to become more professional, and I think that if we can get them to become more professional, then performances will improve,” he said. “We are fortunate that we can play 10 games now as opposed to five. Are 10 games enough in a year? When I played, I played 20-something or 40-something games in a year playing County cricket, and that is where the strength of the cricket is – the more you play, the more you get accustomed to it, the harder the cricket is and the more professional you become.”