Chanderpaul deserves a dignified send-off: Lara
West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has severely criticised the Cricket Board’s (WICB) move to axe Shivnarine Chanderpaul from the national team and has called for an <g data-gr-id="62">honourary</g> send-off to the veteran batsman by including him in two-Test home series against Australia.
The selectors, led by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, left out 40-year-old Chanderpaul from the 12-member squad for the first Test against Australia, citing lack of form of the left-handed batsman over his last 11 innings, in which he averaged only 16.
But Lara feels the decision was just another example of the way the WICB disrespects its players.
“This has nothing to do with numbers or averages. What are they saying that Chanderpaul was given the last 11 innings to get the desired number of runs to break a record? This has absolutely nothing to do with runs or numbers. It has to do with respect and Chanderpaul has earned the right to say goodbye in an acceptable way,” he said.
“In fact, he should be allowed to do it in his own way,” Lara was quoted as saying by ‘Trinidad and Tobago Guardian’.
The snub effectively means the end of Chanderpaul’s illustrious career, in which the talented cricketer has scored 11,867 runs at an average of 51.37.
Lara has urged the WICB to reinstate Chanderpaul for the two Test matches against Australia and the series be looked <g data-gr-id="53">ipon</g> as his final series.
“In that way, there will be no hostility and whether he makes a double century or a duck, it doesn’t matter, it will be his farewell series and the entire cricketing world will know that,” the former West Indies skipper said.
“He deserves it. The WICB and the Caribbean owe it to Shiv to send him off with dignity and respect. He has earned it,” he insisted. .
Lara, who scored 11,953 Test runs, which Chanderpaul is just 87 runs away from surpassing, pointed out that most of the other cricketing nations ensured an <g data-gr-id="61">honourary</g> farewell to their heroes.
Citing Indian iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s example, Lara said: “What did they (BCCI) do? They organised a Test series in his honour and gave him a farewell in keeping with his contribution to the game.”
He described Chanderpaul as an extremely competitive individual.
“From Guyana in 1994 when he made his debut to his last Test innings he gave his heart to West Indies cricket and what do we do... drop him and that’s it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the president and CEO of the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), Wavell Hinds also expressed “immense disappointment” at the axing of Chanderpaul.
“At the end of a long and illustrious career like Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s, we want to ensure that whatever we do, it is well respected and that he knows and the region knows how much we value his services to West Indies cricket,” Hinds stated in a WIPA release.
“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, <g data-gr-id="50">however</g> we are very disappointed in the manner which Mr Chanderpaul was treated. WIPA believes the process of omitting Mr Chanderpaul was untidy and distasteful.