Shivnarine Chanderpaul has insisted he has not retired from domestic cricket and intends to resume playing for Guyana within a couple of weeks.
In an episode that sheds light on the sometimes toxic relationship between the West Indies Cricket Board and Caribbean players, Chanderpaul has expressed resentment at being obliged to announce his international retirement in order to gain a No Objection Certificate to play in the Masters Champions League currently taking place in the UAE.
Chanderpaul, 41, has not played international cricket since May 2015 and was omitted from the list of contracted WICB players in December.
“I was given a No Objection Certificate by WICB with a clause in it that I retire on the 23rd,” Chanderpaul told ESPNcricinfo. “If I didn’t announce my retirement they would have taken it back.
“I have spoken to Guyana already. I know the chairman wants me to go back and play.
“They have a game against Trinidad starting on February 12. Then Barbados, then Windward Islands, Leeward Islands and Jamaica. Those are games that I’ve talked to them already about going back to play. I’ve not retired from first-class matches. I’ve retired from international games.
“I wasn’t being picked to play for West Indies anymore and there was nothing else for me to do. So I decided I would come out here to the UAE and play some cricket.”
While Chanderpaul earns a modest fee per match for representing Guyana, it is dwarfed by the rewards on offer – around $30,000 for just over two weeks involvement – with the MCL.
“I don’t have a contract with anybody. No local boards; no West Indies board. I’ve been playing for Guyana because the coach and chairman saw the value of having me around as a player. They pay me a match fee and I play and try and help the young fellas as much as I can.
“Anything is possible in life. You can go into retirement; you can come out of retirement. It is my choice. I’m definitely still hungry to play. It’s something I’ve done most of my life. There is still passion and hunger to play.”
Criticising the “brute force and ignorance” of unspecified former players, Chanderpaul is currently enjoying the stress free – and lucrative – environment provided by the MCL.
Irritation lingers, however, at the manner in which his international ‘retirement’ was handled, with no recognition given to his illustrious record for the West Indies or the fact that he is contracted neither to the board or Guyana.
“You can’t [chose the way you go]; not with those guys,” he said. “It’s the way we’re being treated. It’s still going on and it’s not changing. We’re being treated like that and worse sometimes. That’s how it goes.
“Some of the past players had better times in their career. They don’t want to change. They want to stay the same way; have the same attitude.
“But you can’t bring the same thing to the table every time because you’re not going to go anywhere. We’re not going forward. We’re just going down. They’re creating some problems.
“As much as you’re saying we have past players, they are the ones who are creating the problem because they have their ways – their old ways – and there’s brute force and ignorance and they’re still carrying it around and still expecting things to go the same way.
“You feel much better just coming out here to play [in the MCL]; without all the stress, without all the other stuff that’s going on.”