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The Chanderpaul conundrum: Should ‘Tiger’ tail wag WI cricket dog?

Shivnarine Chanderpaul thinks, I am hearing, that West Indies cricket has not given him the send-off he deserved. I agree. 100%.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul also thinks, I am hearing, that West Indies cricket has not given him the send-off he deserves. As does Brian Charles Lara. I disagree. 100%.

Photo: West Indies cricket great Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Photo: West Indies cricket great Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, I am hearing, has been privately told the truth. In the considered view of the current coach and the selectors, he will be surplus to requirements for the two-Test series against Australia set to begin in Dominica this week.

I hear his defiant response. “I have decided to make myself available for the Australian series. I am not retiring. Thanks.”

Ill-advised? Perhaps. But had the long-serving former captain limited his statement to those 16 words, I think, maybe the fans would have started a spontaneous initiative to buy Shivnarine Chanderpaul some more playing time.

Leading the charge, former WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine would most likely still have sent this barb in the direction of the old enemy: “It is typical of how the WICB have mismanaged top players’ departure from WI cricket” and forthrightly condemned the manner in which the veteran batsman was being treated as “most disgraceful.”

If only for the form, the adversarial posture is an essential part of the WIPA brand so Ramnarine’s successor, Wavell Hinds, would almost certainly still have classified the process of omitting his former teammate as “untidy and distasteful.”

Photo: Former WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine. (Courtesy RJRNewsonline)
Photo: Former WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine.
(Courtesy RJRNewsonline)

Citing Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 11,867 runs from 164 Tests with 30 centuries and 66 half-centuries, Guyana Minister with Responsibility for Sport Dr Rupert Roopnaraine might still have argued the case for retaining his countryman.

“What he has contributed,” he says, “has just been gigantic and that should have been acknowledged, recognized and dealt with appropriately. It has not been dealt with appropriately.”

Conceding that, “At the moment, on current form, he doesn’t make it (the best team)…,” he would still have concluded, I think, that we should “let him leave in a dignified way.”

And on SportsMax, former West Indies wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon would still have enunciated, I think, the unassailable principle that “a player should always know when he is playing his last Test.”

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, it is true, was not told that he was playing his last Test when he donned the maroon cap for the Third Test against England in early May. But by the end of it, had he been honest with himself, even without being told, surely he would have known that he had played his last Test. I did.

Photo: New West Indies cricket coach Phil Simmons (right) talks to Test captain Denesh Ramdin. (Copyright AFP 2015)
Photo: New West Indies cricket coach Phil Simmons (right) talks to Test captain Denesh Ramdin.
(Copyright AFP 2015)

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, I wrote here then, “has managed scores of 46 and 13, 1 and 7 and 0 batting often with his team in trouble. At 40, he is not the Chanderpaul of old, facing 186 and 63 balls in the two innings of the First Test and then 40 and 38 respectively in the next two Tests.

“Chanders has served West Indies cricket long and well and it would be wrong to dump him unceremoniously if he wants to stay on to try his hand against the Aussies. But someone should be designated to have a conversation with him about the advisability of playing on at this stage.”

Selection chairman Clive Lloyd and new coach Phil Simmons tried. In vain. Instead of accepting the reality, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, so often at a loss for appropriate words when he was at the helm of the team in 2005/06, forced us all to revisit the discomfiture of the “maninger” days when we almost always squirmed as he spoke to television and other interviewers.

“At the conclusion of the series,” his statement said, “it would give me an opportunity to thank the WI public and the Board for all the opportunities. It may also be an occasion for the WICB to recognize me for my long and dedicated service.

“It would be a good send-off after dedicating 21 years of my life to WI cricket.”

“Say what?” I ask myself, cringing. “Is the Tiger for real?”

But he is not done; there is more.

Photo: West Indies middle order batting star Shivnarine Chanderpaul in action against England. (Courtesy UK Telegraph)
Photo: West Indies middle order batting star Shivnarine Chanderpaul in action against England.
(Courtesy UK Telegraph)

“My request to finish up with the Australian series is not asking too much. It gives me a chance to acknowledge my supporters at home and the possibility of the WICB properly honouring me for my contribution to WI cricket. I should not be pushed into retirement.”

Take dat in allyuh rookoongkertoongkoong. I wonder what Minister Roopnaraine thinks of “dignified” now.

For me, the heart of the matter is set out in Garth Wattley’s “Tale of a Terrific Tiger” (Express, Wednesday May 27). In a fine, balanced piece that gives the one-time West Indies captain his due while also giving the full context, the Express Sports Editor writes, “Shiv’s sense of timing of a cricket ball was one of his assets but when it comes to knowing when it was time to go, his timing was way off.”

In “Daunting challenge from Aussies,” a weekend piece assessing the imminent tour (Sunday Express, May 24), Tony Cozier, dean of West Indian cricket writers, had referred en passant to “The inevitable decline, at 40, of the ever dependable Shivnarine Chanderpaul, repeated saviour of lost causes…”:

In the same paper two days later, under the unequivocal headline “Time betrays Chanderpaul,” Cozier added this, “(In) 11 innings in three Tests each in South Africa and England in the Caribbean, (…) he was just a sad shadow of a batsman who has been the most immovable object in the game.”

Photo: International cricket analyst and former West Indies legend Michael Holding. (Courtesy Telegraph.co.uk)
Photo: International cricket analyst and former West Indies legend Michael Holding.
(Courtesy Telegraph.co.uk)

Michael Holding, Bryan Davis, Tony Gray and Michael Findlay all agree that Shivnarine Chanderpaul can no longer command a place on the best team although the former WI wicketkeeper feels that, his decline notwithstanding, the veteran’s experience might well prove useful, indispensable even, against the battle-hardened Aussies.

But really, I am no longer listening to any arguments, I have lost all interest in the details.

In my head, I hear CLR James asking in Beyond a Boundary “What know they of cricket who only cricket know?”

And I am thinking not of Shivnarine Chanderpaul but of the cricket/culture matrix. What is it that has so blighted us old colonials that, blessed with abundant talent, we so often shift the focus in other directions?

I think of how Indian authorities bent over backwards to extend the careers of first Sunil Gavaskar and later Sachin Tendulkar so that they could achieve personal milestones. Gavaskar retired a few months short of his 38th birthday, making scores of 74, 5, 91, 0, 24, 63, 21 and 96 in his last eight innings after back-to-back centuries versus Australia in October and versus Sri Lanka in December of 1986.

Tendulkar’s retirement came in November of 2013 after 23 Tests in which he posted eight scores over 50 but never quite managed a century.

Photo: India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar plays a shot in an ODI against England. (Copyright AFP 2014/Prakash Singh)
Photo: India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar plays a shot in an ODI against England.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Prakash Singh)

I think of the South Africans’ handing the leadership mantle over to a green 22-year-old who would remain in charge for more than a decade, during which time he quite transformed the Proteas’ international fortunes.

Despite three bites of the cherry, our own prodigy only managed “moderate success, devastating failures.”

I think of  Aussie skipper Mark Taylor who, ending the day on 334 not out versus Pakistan in Peshawar in October 1998, declared the innings closed because he did not think it was appropriate for anyone, certainly not an Australian, to surpass the Don.

Not for the first time, I ask myself whether as, unbeaten on 320, our gifted almost 25-year-old left-hander retired for the night on April 17, 1994, the issue of being worthy enough to claim Gary Sobers’ record ever arose.

I think of a frightening story told me by the late West Indies off-spinner Jack Noreiga who, selected ahead of his ageing but long-serving rival on the side to face India in Jamaica in 1971, faced violent reaction in the dressing-room.

Ramnarine might have raised it for the wrong reasons, I think, but is it not true that the WICB has often failed to do right by those who have served us long and/or well on the field of play? Andy Ganteaume, Deryck Murray, Sir Garry, IVA Richards, Desmond Haynes and Tony Gray all come readily to mind…

Photo: Former West Indies cricket great Brian Lara at work. (Courtesy Guardian.com)
Photo: Former West Indies cricket great Brian Lara at work.
(Courtesy Guardian.com)

And, of course, Lara. The multiple record-holder was just 47 runs shy of the then magical 12,000-run mark when he jumped into retirement to avoid being pushed.

He was just over 37 years old and had made two double-centuries, two centuries and a half-century in the last year, with his last ten scores being 120, 10, 19, 26, 11, 61, 122, 216, 0 and 49.

So I rest my case by saying that, much as I liked, admired and respected Shivnarine Chanderpaul, I think it is fair that he will finish short of Lara’s mark.

The public record is there to show that I have repeatedly disapproved of and criticised the Prince of Port-of-Spain for his many “indiscretions.” But I have no doubt that, barring Sobers, he more than anyone else deserves to be at the top of the West Indian batting heap.

Indeed, as my friend Frank Hernandez has already convincingly argued in these pages, he has a real claim to being the best batsman the game has known.

And without taking anything away from the doughty left-hander with the crab-like stance, without underestimating or in any way underplaying his hugely valuable contribution to West Indies cricket, I say without fear of successful contradiction that nowhere on any objective shortlist of the best batsmen the world has known will you find the name Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Photo: Cricket icons (from left) Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Sachin Tendulkar.
Photo: Cricket icons (from left) Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Sachin Tendulkar.

WI 1st Test squad: Denesh Ramdin (Capt.), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajindra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor.

About Earl Best

Earl Best
Earl Best taught cricket, French, football and Spanish at QRC for many years and has written consistently for the Tapia and the Trinidad and Tobago Review since the 1970's. He is also a former sports editor at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Express and is now a senior lecturer in Journalism at COSTAATT.

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116 comments

  1. The fans would always accept this tiger tail wagging the WICB dog…..any day of the week and twice on Sundays….

  2. Give him some cash or an Honorary Doctorate, nah.

  3. Agree with you Gerry. He deserved a better send off. Sad for him.

  4. From a purely cricketing perspective Shiv does not deserve to be selected for this Series. However, were it my decision to make I would have selected him for these two last Tests in recognition of and gratitude for his contribution to West Indies Cricket over the years. Of course, I would then have to brace myself to take the flak that would be sure to follow such a decision if he failed to break the record and the Aussies pummel us. But, that’s life eh?

  5. They should have a testimonial match for him…the way it’s done in England for footballers and cricketers

  6. It’s not what you do that counts as much as how it’s done!
    He will always remain a cricket hero!
    Corporations do it all the time. You are only as good as you are worth to give, in their books, but in the sight if the cricketing world, the lil giant stands TALL TALL TALL. No cricket body can deny that.

  7. It is a sad day …do you remember who was dropped so that Chandepaul could make his test debut… ah ha you all don’t really follow cricket!!! It was Phil Sommonds who till today is my favourite cricketer …all heart. I doubt it is payback???

    And for Clive Lloyd he was a failure early in his career but WI selectors persisted with him just as they did with Bacchus….

    We will lose our real talents because of small minds and people who comment on cricket … and write articles that have never played competitive sports in their lives … do you remember how they retired Viv Richards… come on!!!! it is a pattern that needs to be changed … we don’t appreciate our heroes … and it is second rate commentators that want to decide what is right and good…

  8. He deserved his swansong on WI soil. So he had a bad tournament. Who didn’t? Not that i’m any great lover of Chanders as i always thought him a selfish player but he was first class and surely should have been given a grand send off. Unfortunately, like Lara he got run out not by Samuels but the WI selectors. Hats off to a brilliant career and thanks for your 21 yrs of yeoman service.

  9. look at the top teams….. when u stop making runs, you get dropped no matter who you are… even Ponting had to go when it was his time. No man is bigger than the team.

    • Why wastnt Chris Gayle dropped when he went 19 or 21 innings without a fifty….cause he has the potential to make a big score…..Chanders fail in 2 series and now he is the downfall for West Indies cricket….i dont like losing but unfortunately no matter what WI are gonna lose this series and how much lower can we go….so at the expense of 1guyanese great we put two more on the chopping blocks….we debut our youngsters against the greatest opposition in world cricket…break them early and drop them along the wayside…. go WICB….

  10. Digicel need to gave everyone free phone card ever month in stead off sponsoring wi cricket dem is a waste off time

  11. Well my Australian media friend on the ground in Dominica Daniel Brettig has all but confirmed that Simmons sane approach to dealing with the IPL players going forward.

    “There is another reason for the young team personified by Holder to look as far forward as possible without too much rancour over Chanderpaul. It is well known that Simmons has re-opened lines of communication with the region’s bevy of IPL players, meaning the West Indies team may soon be as competitively stacked for places in the Test XI as at any time since the first Indian Twenty20 tournament in 2008.”

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/west-indies-v-australia-2015/content/story/883089.html

  12. Ashley Mohammed, Surrey. Necks thyme I will knot rite in inglish; I will rite in sum town u cud under stand. Good buy.

  13. And Spark, ask ten people of your choosing to compile a list of the ten best batsmen the world has seen. Show me one of them whose list includes Shivnarine Chanderpaul and I’ll show you either a Guyanese, an entomologist or an American football fan. Or a Guyanese entomologist who is an American football fan. And I’ll express genuine surprise at your having chosen French President Francois Hollande among your ten candidates.

  14. Hey, Spark, you say, “Chanders has one target now” and ask “What is wrong with that? Should he not have one?” My answer is, “Yes, he should have a target; nothing is wrong with that.” But I have a statement and question of my own: The West Indies selectors have one target now, which is to rebuild a competitive team that uses new blood. What is wrong with that?

  15. Oh, the last paragraph is very thought provoking. Would Lara have scored all those runs for WI with Chanderpaul being out?? It is a successful contradiction where the player who the author deems “the best of the heap” has played a team sport and how can he be best when last man out is not a rule of the game! Chanderpaul’s “hugely valuable contribution” also pertains to Brian Lara’s entertainment and achievement. More so Lara had targets written on pieces of paper in his pocket to motivate him and he achieved most of them. Chanders has one target now. What is wrong with that? Should he not have one? Does the team or even board have and achievable target with the means to achieve it in the shortest space of time??? Did our beloved capt. Holder have the target of all that stick he got recently in WC? Did Gayle also have targets of failure before his twitter war?? Weren’t both given an opportunity to redeem themselves? They came through big time! Tiger is big time because the Tiger is clutch. It is very absurd to allude that Chanderpaul is not a great in an objective shortlist of batsmen because the ilk of him, jayawardena and select few are what kept Test cricket alive in this recent era.

  16. I think that the board was honestly thinking of giving Chanders the Australia series to be his final swan song. However, his continued terrible form prompted that the England tour was his last. It is embarrasing that it happened this way but at the end of the day he was given ample time and the team comes first. The issue of him beating Lara’s record is mute and really not deserving for him to continue playing. The tiger has lost his bite – RIP.

  17. Malvern Mentore, who says it is “disrespectful for Chanderpaul to want to be the best, even beyond Lara”? I certainly did not. Who says he should not be given the opportunity to achieve his highest potential? I certainly did. And I repeat that, in the world of hard knocks that is international sport, you aren’t GIVEN anything, you earn it. Who says, kind sir, that “giving Chanders this last swansong” will allow him to surpass Lara? He started the South African tour needing 260 runs to claim the record; eleven innings later, he is still 87 runs shy… You draw your own conclusions. And finally, you say I am “insular” and “myopic” and “not entirely selfless”? Why stop there. Don’t you want to add “racist”?

  18. Gaiven Clairmont

    So I’ll try to keep this short. In my view Chanderpaul could’ve gotten a farewell series, had he been performing well, the fact is he hasn’t, I enjoyed the article and agree that Chanders, shouldn’t be trying to bully his way into the team, about the Lara record, in my personal view, Chanders doesn’t deserve it, but he should be picked if he’s playing well. Its like with Sachin, i was appalled how long they allowed a batsman who was no longer feared in international cricket to keep playing, his scores were horrible, and trust me had he extended his career for 12 more months, I believe his avg might have dipped under 50, at the very least Lara would have surpassed him. Think about Ricky Ponting, in his prime his avg was great, but he didn’t know when to retire, imagine my shock when I went on cricinfo and saw that because he unwisely extended his career by x amount of matches, Lara’s avg was higher than his (mouth open in shock) all to get that fairy tale sending off, is it really worth that’s why I will alway admire Lara for leaving cricket when he did, he could’ve been the first batsman to 12,000 runs but that didn’t matter to him, all that mattered was “did he entertain” and that’s I love Kumar Sangakkara, because he’s leaving cricket on his terms, records be damned, those are enviable qualities in sportsmen, they don’t need to hog the spotlight and they retire at the top Lara did so will Sangakkara, but history will always judge the fact that Ponting, Tendulkar and now Chanderpaul prolonged (or tried to prolong) their careers when they were well past their best.

  19. Go in peace TIGER leave those haters alone.Thanks for the the times u made me and many West Indians feel proud.

  20. 51.47 is the batting average. I would ask anyone and everyone to go play cricket for 21 years; come in to bat where ever you are put to try to save face for the team; not at least get a pre-retirement discussion and see how it would feel. The man left the other forms for the younger fellas to make their names and they still wasted their chances. I for one did not mind his entertaining eloquence at interviews over listening to his King’s Speeches with the bat. How can international critics pound a man and later have no choice but to appreciate him as being no.1 in the world. Many can appreciate the Mayweather defense and counter-punch against lesser opponents but I appreciate Chanderpaul’ s offence better. This is the enigma that surrounds the true brilliance of the unorthodox West Indian technique, mystery and persona. Chanderpaul gave up so much runs for other nationalities to score! We owe him more than a few runs if in fact he does not get them. He is right to boldly make this call. Who will make it for him other than himself?? Tiger has a right to make his stance and firmly hold his Balls whether they are aged for Tiger Balm or not! WI cricket is made up of the players and the people not just the Board and critics.
    Cozier is and was always a sad shadow of himself. He also had an opportunity and I cannot say that his commentary has been reflective of the excitement of West Indies cricket. We can even relate his rise inversely to the fall of West Indies cricket. The bright spots of Lara, Gayle, Chanderpaul and few have stood up to his blighted remarks and have saved the public from his counter- enthusiastic commentary! Time to put down the mic instead and let the younger blood like Mr. Live come through in all forms of the game.

  21. Russell Providence, “proven” is a hard word; “suggested” is more like it. And his ONLY desire? Well, I don’t know about that. But all in all, your essential point is that Chanders has not exactly covered himself in glory with his stance on this issue and it’s hard not to agree with that. I say let’s condemn his actions but continue to give him the respect he deserves.

  22. Tiger has proven that he is not a selfless man. His only desire seems to be to overtake Brian Lara as West Indies cricket most prolific run scorer, and in my opinion that shows a lack of dignity, a lack respect for the game, for west indies cricket and for the great man himself. Sorry Tiger, but that is my opinion.

    • Why is it disrespectful for Chanderpaul to want to be the best, even beyond Lara? Everyone ought to be given the opportunity to achieve their highest potential and giving Chanders this last swansong will allow him to do just that. Can’t believe you are so insular and myopic to deny this great servant if WI cricket this last signal honour. Methinks it is you sir who is not entirely selfless.

    • Russell JC Providence, I agree with your comments. He was not a team player, too self centered.He should have retired long time.He was only for himself. Like he wanted to play until 100 years until he broke Lara’s record.

    • Stop talking shit if u was a great sports man u would understand reaching a great milestone before u retire will be amazing , I guest u dont know one (edit) bout sports so keep ur mouth shot

    • Janet TD, I believe that Tiger, (and his sympathizers’ indirectly) intent is not in the best interest of West Indies cricket as much as it is to fulfill Tiger’s own dream. Cricket is a team sport, not an individual sport, and in my humble opinion, if one’s contribution is not in the interest of the team, but to achieve a personal goal, then there is no place in the team for that individual. Dignified, consummate professionals in any sphere, know when it is time to say farewell. Anyone who is a follower or world sport, would be familiar with the similarities of the Drogba/Chelsea relationship. My questions are; Are we privy to the conversations that may have occurred between Chanders and the team management in the not too distant past regarding his honorable departure? Have we not considered that Chanders may very well have been given the opportunity to achieve his goal in the last two series and failed miserably? Hasn’t he failed in the last two series? Should the outcome of the series in favor of the west indies, be sacrificed to allow one man to achieve a personal goal?

    • They going to get blows anyways. Especially with the waste of time Gayle and the others third class bowlers and batting. So I don’t see why they could not have shown some more shame and not show their biased mentality so blatantly.

    • Jaidath Maharaj, people in India, England and Australia does pay Chris Gayle Big Big money to come an play cricket fuh dem inno. Can you name any entity in any international cricketing country, or anywhere in the world willing to pay Tiger to come an play cricket fuh dem? So yuh calling Sunil Narine a third class bowler?

    • Even the Prince of POS doesnt have a problem with Chanders breaking that record….he is all for Chanders playing in this series….it was Chanders who stood with BC when he broke Sobers 365 record….

    • You are on point Ashton Mohammed, Chanders did stand with Brian when he broke Sir Garfield’s record, they were both young and in their prime, not struggling old professionals with diminished reflexes and deteriorating eyesight, begging for a chance to go after a legend’s record, the cricketing world was theirs to conquer, or to concede. The Prince of Port Of Spain is being exactly that, A Prince, being dignified! Brian Lara scored 11,953 test runs, in 131 matches and 232 innings, off 19,753 balls. Tiger to date has scored 11,867 test runs, in 164 tests and 280 innings, off 27, 395 balls. The Sobers analogy may very well be out of context. Tiger is a selfish man who does not have the best interest of the team at heart.

  23. Typical WICB, a bunch of self-serving, greedy, thieving, egotistic enuchs!

  24. Man.. u a big international player that has made a significant amount of money over your career – doh pin life after cricket on the WICB. I mean we blame them for a lot but come on. In the case of the women I can see this – there are many opportunities that can be taken up by the women that are not and would be aided by a little support from the WICB. But doh tell me shivnarine chanderpaul need help after cricket. If he does – he can afford to pay a consultant – doh pin that on the wicb

  25. All this would have been avoided if the manner was more appropriate by WICB. they should have indicated to him if he doesnt perform against England then its Goodbye… now having played against England it maybe felt that his selection was automatic still vs aussie… BUT Shiv should know that its time too!

  26. i am of the opinion that Chanderpaul should have been told at the start of the England tour that this was going to be his farewell series and give the man the honor he deserves at Barbados. now you have sent him out in disgrace, had i been him i would not accept any further embarrassment from the WICB and their chairman of selecors

  27. As Juliet Solomon said elsewhere, part of the problem is these players don’t have any help from administration in preparing for life after cricket.
    They might be especially terrified of retirement for that reason.

  28. Players must know when to retire in professional sports and not wait to be discarded.

  29. The same way Merissa Aguilleira captain the WI Women on their last tour after she was dropped as skipper (for good statistical reason), Stafanie Taylor was informed she was captain and Azim Bassarath made a call and got her reinstated as skipper a few days before the tour – par for the course in WI cricket Lasana… par for the course.

  30. How could he look his teammates in the eye if he selected after threatening the board? Beats me. To quote Earl Mango Pierre: dem really good yes

  31. Exactly my point Lasana – he put himself in this position
    It is unfortunate but we can’t demonize the WICB alone for it. They erred… but he also had a part to play.

  32. Nah. Every player should know they are one bad series away from being dropped. Especially at his age.
    Name one Soca Warrior over 25 who can be sure of being picked again after a poor Gold Cup?
    I always support players. But you know the reality as an athlete.

  33. …the shabby treatment from the WICB jefes continues..this is not about Lara’s record…throughout the history of sport, records are broken..this is about a man who has served WI cricket for 21 years and asked to end his career on Caribbean soil…two more tests..is the WI expected to beat the second ranked test team with or without Chanderpaul??… As you read comments on the world web, the support for Shiv has been overwhelming…for a man who still holds a test average over 50 and who averages 80 at home vs Australia..and ranked # 12 in the ICC test rankings..he asked for two more tests…Viv Richards wanted to play his final World Cup in Australia 1992…39 years…an icon of WI cricket like Shiv…this is what the Chairman of the WI selectors, Jackie Hendricks said: “I feel Richie will do a fine job and he has the Board and selectors totally behind him. It is with the rebuilding in view and two, the difficulty that both of you and captain Richie Richardson would have for you to be on the team that has brought the selectors to the view that, in the interest of you both, we would not consider you for selection on these teams (Sharjah and Toronto)..”
    It is no secret that Shiv Chanderpaul is my good friend…and I conclude that my friend has been treated in a distasteful manner…

  34. I think they knew they were going to drop him had he not performed at least and that should have been communicated

  35. I don’t think the wicb knew it was his last series. If he did well, he would have probably been picked on merit.

  36. This can be looked at from multiple angles and while Earl Best wrote a wonderful piece, that is really the last angle that should be considered. 1. Chanderpaul is full of shit – ur old man, retire or at least have a discussion about it ahead of time. He only asked for Australia because he realized he was being kicked out. 2. The WICB knew England was going to be his last Test regardless of his scores and out of respect they should have informed him as much and allow him a dignified sendoff. 3. Another country would have let him score 4 ducks just out of respect – something the WICB lacks. So it really can be looked at from a number of angles but really and truly it is Chanderpaul’s own fault that it has come to this. This is professional sport, not club cricket and the question of his retirement has been in the air for quite some time now. His own selfishness is the reason he is in this position. He was attempting to depart much like he has played all his innings – only concerned about his his own performance.

  37. The dislike of WICB towards IPL is ridiculous and such a backwards mentality. Modern cricket, however much boards try to deny it, centres around T20 franchise leagues. The WICB and ECB are the only two boards who actively try to dissuade their players from featuring in the IPL. Although with WICB, it seems to be Englishman Richard Pybus who is leading such acrimony. The difference however, between WICB and ECB is that in England, central contracts are worth near 200,000usd a year, enough for players to live well on without worrying about IPL. WI cricket is different and its crazy the WICB currently resents players for earning a livelihood in the IPL

  38. from Haynes to Lara to the Tiger…the WICB simply discards its players regardless of status

  39. No amount of justification will ever make this right. It’s a damn shame and will be yet another of the many stains on West Indies cricket.

  40. Kion Samora If acrimony still in place by WICB to IPL players – that is why Dave Cameron should not have been re-elected. We needed a fresh perspective like what Simmons said.

  41. NZ is logical: they know their players can’t turn down the $$ of IPL so they reached a compromise. If anything, the IPL provides better training for Test games than a usual 3 day warm up match would based on the level of staff/players you work with in IPL.

  42. Prince Borde, if Shiv needed to be told to score runs or be dropped then he would be in a worst place than we thought.
    Any athlete in the world knows their job or ought to.
    Ask players like Raul, Lampard, Terry and so on. They all recognized they had to prove themselves constantly.

  43. As i always say Prince Borde look at how New Zealand a similar weak financial board like WICB handles their large group of players who go off to IPL every year and have no problems compared to WICB – and you will notice how WICB continues to make a mountain out of molehill on that matter.

  44. Both are all rounders whose runs saved us embrassment against england!! The point is the new management is looking to the future and potential and commitment is as important as the young players record thus far

  45. I think Coach Simmons is being diplomatic with the board.He couldn’t just come and bring in the ipl guys and throw them into a team that just drew a series after all the acrimony.He say he will sit and talk to them first and look long term. Hopefully we can sort out the off field issues between the end of the oz series and the next test series

  46. Lasana Liburd did he get a warning before he was dropped? That’s the only sympathy I have for him. If he was told to score runs or he would be dropped.

  47. Lasana Liburd Ye in reference to Tendulkar and his farewell, I was referring to the point Fazeer made about the series being scheduled outside of the Future tours programme.

    India in shameful display used their typical financial bully status in the world game to shorted their tour to S Africa at the time – because India were unhappy that S Africa had chosen Haroon Lorgat as present due to his advisary relation with Indian when he was ICC president.

    And the cashed strapped WICB just came running to play those two tests mainly for the money

  48. Genuinely painful, Juliet. But though I too like you am a huge Chanders’ fan, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

    • Agreed. I essentially agree with your analysis but feel real ongoing pain that we, the West Indies continue to devalue our greatest assets. To me the context is important. Also perhaps Chanders doesn’t have the kinda mass appeal internationally that others had. The awkward stance. The constant fidgeting. (which I found endearing but probably irritated others) etc. Can’t see him posing in a Saville Row get up like Brian did so what is left for him,?
      In a way he makes me think of Mike Tyson. Not that he will bite anybody but after cricket then what?
      Someone mentioned in another post that they should have a benefit match for him. Didn’t we used to do that before? I still have a T-shirt from the Curtley Ambrose one years ago.

  49. I sympathize with Shiv in that no athlete wants to stop. Retirement is scary.
    But the way he is trying to force his way in isn’t classy to me.

  50. I don’t mind not picking the ipl guys because I don’t think they are dedicated to playing test cricket. When last those guys played first class cricket? Good talents but not sure about their genuine desire

  51. Folks how many first class hundreds blackwood has? How many holder had but they are producing not so? We are looking at the future

  52. Prince Borde Gayle could be excused because he did say at end of world cup that his back wasn’t strong enough to play test vs England. But i have a strong suspicion Lloyd & co didn’t make a effort to seek his availability for this test before he started his county T20 stint for Somerset.

    If Narine action is fine now, why not pick him. Queen’s Park have this weekend in their game vs Merry Boys.

    Bravo has said he is open to playing tests again – the team is unbalanced without an all-rounder.

  53. How could he when he played so many more innings to get there.

  54. Even if Chanderpaul broke Lara’s record, according to the columnist, he would never be mentioned in the same breath as him anyway

  55. “I think Chanderpaul should have a testimonial. But I don’t agree with him having an official Test match for that purpose. (…) we can book a stadium and have him assemble an all-star cast of great players and have a wonderful send off.”
    Thumbs up, Lasana! It would be nothing short of churlish to disagree.

  56. Lasana Liburd no where close to Lara’s too. Lara was actually in some form lol

  57. Colin Benjamin, Earl Best gave Tendulkar’s final figures as an Indian cricketer. Chanderpaul’s scores don’t come close.

  58. Juliet, Chanders is not “fighting for recognition against the odds;” he is fighting against the odds for a record which, for me, is unforgivable. His contribution over the 21 years has been truly immense. I’m sorry. Having played 164 Tests and scored almost 12,000 runs, you really have nothing to prove to anyone.

  59. Colin Benjamin I think it was too quick of a turnover. Gayle is in form but can he field for 5 days? Even Andre Russell is in form

  60. Yea picking Chandrika is shocking. The real story isn’t Chanderpaul not picked IMO – its that selectors didn’t make a bigger effort to include Gayle and Narine and talk DW Bravo out of retirement to play in this series.

  61. San I think Simmons should have been picked to replace Chanders

  62. Also people should recall this excellent Fazeer Mohammed article from 2013 about the real reasons why Tendulkar even got a farewell series

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/sports/Players-in-a–BCCI-pappyshow-231381721.html

  63. Well as Tony Cozier said this week, Lloyd has always been one to not let sentiment get in the way of promoting youth. Which is a good trait, but really, I don’t see how Chandrika can be seen as a long-term replacement for Shiv. He has yet to hit a FC 100 in his career. If there was a young batsman scoring runs for fun at First Class level then by all means, replace Shiv asap. But currently nobody is doing such, and therefore I believe Shiv deserved a chance in this Test.

  64. This is a tough argument. Would Chanders be angry he got dropped if he had already beaten Lara’s record? I am sure he would have not said a word

  65. Akins Vidale, last year there was a retirement match for Chris Birchall and Carlos Edwards. Only Carlos didn’t want to be retired and took it as insult.
    So coach Stephen Hart apologized to Carlos and then never picked him again. The point is retirements can be messy. I don’t blame just the coach for that.

  66. Akins Vidale, last year there was a retirement match for Chris Birchall and Carlos Edwards. Only Carlos didn’t want to be retired and took it as insult.
    So coach Stephen Hart apologized to Carlos and then never picked him again. The point is retirements can be messy. I don’t blame just the coach for that.

  67. San Toki But that’s the thing, no way could the selectors have told him before England series that this was last series.

    When he failed vs S Africa, that was like his first bad series he had averaged under 40 since the 2010/11 tour to Sri Lanka. At that point people began to whisper – keep an eye on his form due to his age.

    He made runs Guyana in the super50 as they reached final and won regional 4-day – people were then saying Shiv is fine.

    But as the failures became worse during England tests, I would say even up until last innings in Barbados more people and i believe even selectors were of the view – “Given his record lets give him one last innings to make runs”.

    I’d bet it was Chanderpaul instead of Blackwood making those runs to win the test vs England – we would not have had this debate now.

  68. I am concerned though that it is now personal and not about team with Chanders. Is the team best interest at heart or is he only concerned with passing Lara? Did it ever cross his mind like Best suggested to retire short of Lara out of respect? We have seen Chanders propping up the non-strikers end while Lara batted into cricket folklore. To retire purposefully short would not bring his career, achievement or talent into focus. In fact to retire and express the desire to not pass Lara would have lifted him higher than he could ever imagine..

  69. Shiv is retiring having lost more tests than anybody in the history of the game and in danger of losing his +50 avg. WI are not likely to beat Oz with him so might as well build for the future now instead of two tests down the road.

  70. I think the new coach was diplomatic enough to not drop Chanderpaul as his 1st order of business thus he was kept for the England series before an assessment was made. Simmons then spoke with him and told him to do the honorable thing and retire. He didn’t. Thus all the bacchanal now. It gives credence to those who say his batting is selfish and not in the teams interest.

  71. I agree. A 40 year old can’t play the same way as he did in his prime. 20 years of cricket is a long time and he has had his success. Maybe I am thinking that Chanders in four more innings can’t make WI cricket great again. Maybe I am thinking he certainly can’t make it any worse either..

  72. What this comes down to ultimately is WICB/Selector incompetence: OK if they don’t feel Shiv is an asset to the team anymore, then the logical thing to do would be to have told him the series vs ENG could potentially be his last if form doesn’t improve. Suprising such a legendary player with the news he will be dropped days before a Test is not respectful nor the right way to have approached the matter.

  73. The selectors and Simmons took the safe option really. Its very possible C’Paul could have defied doubters of his form and if picked scored runs. But if they had picked him & he continued his poor form vs a very strong AUS attack – it would have been an undignified end.

  74. Kirk A Inniss after blackwood performance against england the question about talent being around should not arise!! Shiv averaged 16 in eleven innings be real and think about it thats a long enough run!!

  75. Lasana Liburd my own view on this is whethet or not Chanders wanted this last series before or after he got dropped. I am not convinced that he was keen on retirement. He should have had this discussion with management at the start of he year given prior knowledge of the schedule. His exit could have been done better but it should be done.

  76. The fact is that he is 40 going on 41 ! Time for him to go. He’s not batting like he used to.

  77. Yeah I am evenly divided on this. The arguments can work both ways. Chanders has been such a loyal warrior that to omit him from the team seems unfair. I do understand of course that he should not take up space on a team on the merit of who he is alone. But let’s be real. There is such a fantastic crop of current players that Chanders will be denying a good player a spot? Yeah? And let’s be real a little further: Teams do pick players on the merit of their name and past achievements..

  78. In my opinion, if Chanderpaul’s experience was deemed to be an asset for West Indies, then Phil Simmons would have picked him.

  79. It’s a tough debate. On the one hand I agree with the sentiment that Shiv is being very narrow-minded in his refusal to retire in pursuit of the 12,000 run Holy Grail. However, based on the fact that WI lacks experience, I would have put him in vs Aus and made it clear it was his last test, he would have risen to the occasion. What will happen now is Chandrika/Dowrich will come in for Shiv, be decimated by an Aussie bowling attack, and probably be dropped indefinitely from WI. I’d have let Shiv bat this out and his replacement to be eased in the next WI tour which is against Zim

  80. The key part IMO:

    ““At the conclusion of the series,” his statement said, “it would give me an opportunity to thank the WI public and the Board for all the opportunities. It may also be an occasion for the WICB to recognize me for my long and dedicated service.

    “It would be a good send-off after dedicating 21 years of my life to WI cricket.”

    “Say what?” I ask myself, cringing. “Is the Tiger for real?”

    But he is not done; there is more.

    “My request to finish up with the Australian series is not asking too much. It gives me a chance to acknowledge my supporters at home and the possibility of the WICB properly honouring me for my contribution to WI cricket. I should not be pushed into retirement.”

    Take dat in allyuh rookoongkertoongkoong. I wonder what Minister Roopnaraine thinks of “dignified” now.”

    Shiv should have known the Barbados test was his last given his age and recent performances and should have retired, even though it wasn’t planned to let fans know. Asking to use the series vs AUS or a test to have a farewell is not in teams interest.

  81. I agree with that Juliet Solomon. Sporting officials in the Caribbean generally think they are the stars and the athletes are just lucky to get a sweat for “their” teams.

  82. I like Phil Simmons and I am a massive fan of Chanders but my point is that the WICB has neither succession planning nor respect for service.

  83. I think when they hired Phil Simmons, they told him to try and win as many matches as possible. And West Indies has made a good start under its new coach.
    His professional opinion should count.

  84. Totally agreed lasana that was my sentiments exactly!!

  85. Well written article by Earl Best.

  86. Retirement is always scary for athletes. And moreso in such a chaotic system, I’m sure.
    I do sympathise with him.
    But I was not happy to hear him try to demonise the poor coach. Phil Simmons is doing his job of picking the best possible team.

  87. All of a sudden winning is important? I think a month is worth twenty years.

  88. There should be a clear future for excellent players who have served for so long.

  89. I think Chanderpaul should have a testimonial. But I don’t agree with him having an official Test match for that purpose.
    If another player deserves the spot on merit, I think he should have it.
    And we can book a stadium and have him assemble an all-star cast of great players and have a wonderful send off.

  90. Chanders shouldn´t end as he started: fighting for recognition against the odds.

  91. I think I agree with you but I do have sympathy with Chanders because the WICB have been abysmal at recognizing their players at the appropriate time. Both in terms of retaining them when that had runs left in them (Haynes) and when they are on the way out. And remember, there is little future for ex-players at home. Unlike in other cricket jurisdictions. It is a matter of showing respect throughout.

  92. Lol. Can’t remember your specific comments on Jack.

  93. Thanks my brother! U know u is d last sports reporter but i know a thing or two!! Wonder if u agreed with my comments on a Jack!! Lol

  94. Dunno..
    need to think more on this

  95. I agreed with your comments about this on In Conclusion Gordon Pierre.

  96. Personally, I feel out of respect for the team you should earn your pick for an official tour match. A testimonial is a different matter but should be separate.

  97. This must have been a difficult article to write.