Chanderpaul’s illustrious career came to a controversial end at the beginning of the current two Test series against Australia when he was unceremoniously dropped. Despite repeated calls for him to be included in the current series, the West Indies selectors have maintained their position.
Clearly, the assessment of Chanderpaul’s ability, quoted earlier by Clive Lloyd, is misleading but this is the flawed logic and misguided thinking that are used to justify his exclusion from the team, like an old pair of boots that is no longer needed. No one likes to be told, even privately, that his or her services are no longer required but it is much worse to hear it said publicly and on the basis of questionable evidence.
While this has been the story till now, recently, Shiv has made a statement about his intentions on continuing in the longer format of the game.
“Definitely [I want to play more Tests], but I am on the outside just waiting to see what is happening. Retirement isn’t on the cards at the moment. Not for now, probably the ending of the year maybe then.”
Asked if he is thinking about breaking that run scoring record that Lara has held since 2003, he says it would be nice to get there, but it isn’t something that is a burning desire.
“Well I am not thinking too much about that, you can’t have all these things at the back of your mind but if it happens it happens, but if it doesn’t it doesn’t,” Chanderpaul said.
While T20 gets many of the headlines, and Shiv being involved in the CPL, its pretty clear that Chanderpaul’s first love is Test cricket. He says it is the purest form of the game.
“Test cricket is definitely the best format. Test cricket is the ultimate. That is where you are tested and where you are made. You have people coming at you.” the legend said.
Nanton, the vice-president of the WICB speaking about Chanderpaul’s exit from the Test arena said: “Chanderpaul is a hero of West Indies cricket. In fact he is a hero of Caribbean civilisation whether it be cricket, music or education. Heroes of the people need to be recognised and we are looking to honour him soon.”
Mr Nanton, its high time the board owns up for its failed decisions and starts respecting their legends. The Australia series was testimony enough to the fact that the void Chanderpaul leaves in the team is too hard to fill.
The WICB and particularly Mr Clive Lloyd need to understand that a couple of uneventful series does not mean the demise of one of their biggest legends ever. The experience and stability he adds to the dressing room, are just as valuable as his on-field performances.