Growing up in a rural community limited Daren Ganga’s access to top class players and relevant information that could provide him with the fundamentals to become a consistent and well-rounded cricketer.
He was not alone.
“In my interactions with other cricketers, they came from a similar background where there was limited cricket infrastructure and opportunities to learn from those who had played the sport at the highest level,” the Trinidad & Tobago sports ambassador and cricket commentator revealed. “I learned the sport through trial and error and as my game progressed, I had to “unlearn” a lot of things I picked up in those early years.”
That prompted Ganga to launch an interactive DVD – The Fundamentals – that explains the core tenets of the game, including batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping. The concepts are explained and proper techniques and drills are demonstrated in an exciting, stimulating and easy-to-use-format.
Ganga, who represented the West Indies in 48 Tests and 35 One-Day Internationals, launched the DVD in Canada last weekend at the annual limited-overs cricket competition at the University of Toronto ground to celebrate Trinidad & Tobago’s 52nd independence anniversary.
“After careful research, I recognized there was no product on the market that encapsulates all aspects of the sport,” he said. “I also know there are a lot of coaches who don’t have the fundamental knowledge. Through this DVD, young players can learn the game on their own and it can also be a support tool for coaches, teachers. It’s a simple format where the technique is introduced and demonstrated, there are graphics and an icon of the game speaks about the particular component of the sport.”
The video features personal stories and tips from retired fast bowlers Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop who combined to take 566 wickets in 141 Tests and off-spinner Sunil Narine who last July became the first bowler to deliver a Super Over maiden in the Guyana Amazon Warriors exciting win over the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in the Caribbean Premier League competition.
“You have Ambrose speaking about his open grip in holding the ball, Bishop talking about how he used a closed grip and Narine explaining the conventional method of using the index and middle fingers to hold the off-break and also showing his unconventional and unorthodox way of holding the ball with the middle and fourth fingers,” said the former West Indies vice-captain.
Ricardo Powell, the youngest West Indian to score a One-Day International century, Ramnaresh Sarwan who has appeared in 87 Tests, veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul who has registered 11,414 runs in 156 Tests, Billy Doctrove who retired from international umpiring two years ago after officiating in 38 Tests and off-spinner Anisa Mohamed, who was honoured last weekend with the Hummingbird Medal (bronze) for sports excellence by the Trinidad & Tobago government, are also featured on the instructive video.
“In order to reduce the time you take to develop as a player, an easy option is obviously hearing it from the horse’s mouth, and those are the people who have excelled and brought great joy to us as West Indian people,” Ganga said. “But you still have to execute and I am saying that the higher you go in the sport, strategy, thinking on your feet and recognizing what is appropriate at that particular point in time becomes even more critical.
“You can’t learn that in a book. You can only get that from people who have been in that position and who are able to see things in terms of the outcome from the different approaches that they have applied. You learn that from the players who would have done that.”
Supported by the Daren Ganga Foundation founded in 2007, the video is available through www.darengangafoundation.com and Amazon.