Not everyone believes Shivnarine Chanderpaul should be given an opportunity to bow out of international cricket against the touring Australians. In fact, legendary West Indian fast bowler and cricket commentator Michael Holding believes chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd was correct to call time on Chanderpaul’s career.
Chanderpaul, 40, has enjoyed an outstanding career but has managed just 183 runs in his last 11 innings at an average of 16.64, and Holding offered the opinion that he was no longer good enough to be picked for the West Indies.
“I don’t believe that cricketers should just get a series for getting a series sake. I don’t think Shivnarine Chanderpaul has proven in recent times that he is still a good enough player to be playing for West Indies,” Holding told ESPNcricinfo. “He has done yeoman service for over two decades. West Indies should be happy to have had him playing for them for that long. All good things have to come to an end.
“I saw him play against South Africa recently and he certainly did not look like the Shivnarine Chanderpaul that I was accustomed to seeing. He was a little bit slow with his reactions to the fast bowlers and we know what Australia are going to be bringing.”
Holding also echoed Lloyd’s sentiment of making way for youth though it would take time to fill the Chanderpaul-sized void.
“Chanderpaul has to make way for someone younger. The person that comes in obviously is not going to fill Chanderpaul’s shoes immediately. He has done so much good work for West Indies. But it is time for someone younger than him who can grow into those shoes.”
While Chanderpaul’s former team-mate, Brian Lara, criticised the “despicable” treatment meted out to Chanderpaul and called for a farewell series akin to the one arranged by the BCCI for Sachin Tendulkar, Holding said that he had “no problems” with the way the WICB had dealt with the issue. Chanderpaul is just 86 short of equalling Lara’s record of being the highest West Indian run-scorer in Tests.
“From what I have heard I don’t think anybody can complain. From what I heard they called him, had a meeting with him. They told him exactly what they would like to do and I have no problems with that,” Holding said.
“I don’t think Chanderpaul is ever going to be one to say, ‘listen, my time has come and I have to move on’. So they have done the right thing.”
When asked about the legacy left behind by Chanderpaul, Holding said: “Chanderpaul’s legacy will be someone who went and played for West Indies and gave his all for a very long time. To show everyone that if you can go out and work hard, if you have deficiencies in technique and you work hard enough, you can produce the goods.”
However, today the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) expressed disappointment with the treatment of Chanderpaul.
In a media release WIPA president Wavell Hinds said the treatment of the Guyanese veteran was especially disturbing since it had come after a statement made by WICB president Dave Cameron who had stated that at the end of Chanderpaul’s long and illustrious career the board wanted to ensure that whatever it did, it was well respected and that Chanderpaul and the region knew how much his services to West Indies cricket was valued
“The West Indies Players’ Association acknowledges and accepts that the purview of selecting the West Indies cricket team lies solely and independently with the selection panel led by chairman Clive Lloyd. However, we are very disappointed in the manner which Mr Chanderpaul was treated. WIPA believes the process of omitting Mr Chanderpaul was untidy and distasteful. We will continue to have dialogue with the West Indies Cricket Board with the hope to bring an amicable solution in the best interests of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and West Indies cricket,” Hinds said.
See ESPNcricinfo interview with Michael Holding here.