A lot of plotting and skilful maneuvering went into Trinidad and Tobago’s regional success over the years and one important factor was the input of the late Joey Carew, who captained T&T to back-to-back four-day titles in 1970-71.
Current Trinidad and Tobago skipper Daren Ganga said he was very close to his predecessor who offered advice about cricket and situations that could arise on the field of play.
Ganga said Carew, who died earlier this month at the age of 73, was his “turn-to guy” and dedicated T&T’s triumph in the 2011 Caribbean Twenty20 to the former national captain.
Even before Trinidad and Tobago departed for Antigua to start their CT20 campaign, Ganga recalled having a conversation with Carew and he said that was a regular thing for him to seek out his insight before and even during tournaments.
“Carew obviously was someone who a lot of people held in high regard and as a player he would always offer the world of advice,” Ganga said.
“In every single tournament I have played in, I have spoken to him at least once, getting his thoughts on different aspects of the game. It was actually Carew who was one to tell me it would be difficult to win the Caribbean T20 last year…that is now history,” he stated, referring to T&T losing to Guyana in the semi-final.
Looking back on last Sunday’s Caribbean T20 victory against Hampshire, Ganga said: “It is very fulfilling to see the guys fulfil their promise and reap the rewards. I think, individually, they were some very good performances, but I am not one to single out any player.
“Lendl Simmons has shown his value and worth, Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo are both exciting talents and are really beginning to blossom in their own right and the other players are really coming into their own,” he said.
Ganga is planning for the four-day series which bowls off next month and insisted it is in the longer tournament that Trinidad and Tobago can blood new players and that is something they have to do in the coming season.
Five of T&T’s regular starting line-up, including Barath and Bravo, will be unavailable due to international commitments and Ganga believes this season will be an important one for his players.
“I think it is going to be very important to take note of the tournament–we have four home games and three on the outside and we have to understand where we are and we want to be in the four-day game.”