By Neto Baptiste
Former national, Leeward Islands and West Indies cricketer Gavin Tonge said he holds no grudges or malice towards any coach or selectors and has blamed his own shortfalls for not advancing his cricket career deeper into the professional realm.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Tonge, who played just one Test and five One Day Internationals for the West Indies in 2009, said he should have done more with the opportunity he was given.
“In terms of playing international, I wouldn’t really say or blame fair chance, I really have myself to blame. I feel like I should have really done a bit more because I don’t really go around blaming, whether it’s selectors or captains. I should have had a better average, I should have scored more runs and I should have been a better player, so I don’t really have the time to blame anyone; I have myself to really blame at the end of the day,” he said.
Even more than not grabbing his opportunity with both hands however, Tonge said his biggest mistake was not having someone with reach on the international market to plead his case.
“I’ve done everything on my own my entire career, but I think I was short of someone to really guide me in the right way. Now, agents are giving people all these opportunities to play in all these major leagues and all that, but I never had that luxury so it was a little bit tough. I am not saying that I have any regrets but being on the outside now and seeing younger layers with agents making this further step. I just wish that I had these opportunities when I was much younger and was part of the international circuit,” the former player said.
As for what next, Tonge is eyeing a career in coaching.
“I have a lot of ideas and watching the West Indies vs England series, all those boys [batsmen] were outing the same. I used to away-swing the ball and if you’re going to look to play me straight then you are going to get your edge hit, you cannot play an away-swing ball straight. Some people would say that you need to play straight and yes but you can’t play an away-swing ball straight so being a bowler with 249 wickets and probably 220 caught behind, I have a little idea about batting also,” he said. Tonge has played 87 First Class matches, claiming 249 wickets for 6,679 runs with a best of seven for 58. In his lone Test for the West Indies, he picked up one wicket for 113 runs while in his five ODIs, he picked up five wickets for 224 runs.