“No Grass, Old Nets…”: Ravichandran Ashwin Reveals Sorry State Of Cricket In Windies

Just days after the conclusion of the third ODI between India and West Indies, where Hardik Pandya slammed the hosts’ cricket board for their poor facilities, veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has echoed the same sentiments. Ashwin, who isn’t a part of the ODI or T20I series against the Windies, explained the nature of affairs in West Indies, highlighting how poor certain facilities are in the Caribbeans. The off-spinner even explained that with such poor infrastructure and conditions, it is going to be tough for West Indies to produce quality cricketers in the years to come.

“I feel that if cricket should improve in a country, the primary improvement should start from the infrastructure. Even the U10, U12, and U14 kids from their country should get a decent net and ground. They should get the accessibility to play their matches.

“This is a talent-driven sport and a hardworking sport. So, if a kid works hard, he or she will definitely get better. The infrastructure is really important,” Ashwin said in a video on his YouTube channel.

Speaking specifically of the situation in West Indies, Ashwin didn’t shy away from saying that the cricketing infrastructure there isn’t up to standards. The veteran spinner even shared examples from the recently-concluded Test series between the two nations of which he was a part.

“When it comes to West Indies, see, they are actually coming from different countries/islands like Antigua, Barbados, and they all represent West Indies together. So, if you ask me whether their infrastructure has developed well in all those islands? Actually, no.

“We played at the Barbados Test Center. While we practiced in the nets, there was no grass left on the surface. Their nets looked too old. I am not saying these things to blame them or anything. I actually feel really bad for them,” said the marquee spinner.

“How Hard Should Their Cricketers Work?”

Ashwin feels the poor state of infrastructure is one of the reasons behind the deteriorating state of cricketing quality in the Caribbean islands.

“If the infrastructure is like this in their Test center, then how hard their cricketers should work to get better? Because once they practice under these conditions and suddenly, when they come to India and play on a slightly quicker surface, it will be difficult for them to adjust.

“The pitches have become slower in West Indies. We should put a lot of effort into pitch maintenance.
They are just cutting the grass and rolling it through in the name of pitch maintenance. I have already spoken about this topic. That’s the easiest way to prepare a pitch. Because then the pitch will become dead and slow.

“Once the cut grass gets air and with time, the pitch will start turning. Obviously, there was a bit of effort in pitch maintenance during the Test series from their end. But their infrastructure is not up to the standards when compared with other international teams,” Ashwin further stressed.

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