Chanderpaul off Windies squad vs Australia

Cricket with Dalchand Bissoon

Shivnarine Chanderpaul – “rapid” decline in form.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul – “rapid” decline in form.

Shivnarine  Chanderpaul, the 40-year-old veteran Guyana and West Indies batsman, was dropped from the West Indies Test  squad for the upcoming two-Test series against Australia, starting June 3 in Dominica.

At a media conference last Sunday, West Indies Chairman of Selectors Clive Lloyd told journalists that Chanderpaul had suffered a “rapid” decline in form and as a result they decided to look to the future.

According to Lloyd, “we do have a lot of exciting young cricketers and it is an exciting time for our cricket. We are hoping that these guys come through and show their mettle.”

Head Coach Phil Simmons said Chanderpaul had a long and illustrious career and “we know he’s done a lot for West Indies cricket but at the same time we sit down to select a team against Australia and when you go through that process he didn’t fit in.

“It’s not about giving someone two Tests to finish their career, it’s about picking the right team to play the next game,” said Simmons.

Earlier media reports indicated Chanderpaul was dropped and then reinstated, following reports that at least two directors of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the president were in favour of the selection of Chanderpaul.

Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) in a recent statement criticized the decision by West Indies Cricket Board selection panel to omit Chanderpaul. According the GCB he should be given a formal send-off like many great cricketers have received.

Chanderpaul in 2011, playing against Pakistan at Dhaka, topscored with 44 not out as the West Indies lost the one-day match by 10 wickets.

He was afterwards asked by the then-selectors to retire but he refused and was subsequently dropped from the one-day international side, despite scoring 8,778 runs at an average of 41.60 with 11 centuries and 59 half-centuries. Chanderpaul made his debut against India at Faridabad and went on to play in 268 ODIs.

Chanderpaul has played in 164 Tests, the most by a West Indies player since his debut against England at his home ground, Bourda, Georgetown, Guyana, in the second Test in March 1994.

He has scored 11,867 runs his highest 203 not out with 30 centuries and 66 half-centuries at an average of 51.37. He is 86 runs short of overtaking Brian Lara 11,953 as the all-time run-scorer for the West Indies.

The West Indies face Australia in the first Test June 3 at Windsor Park in Dominica, and the second Test at Sabina Park, Jamaica, starting June 11.

The 12-man squad named: Denesh Ramdin, Davendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Jerome Taylor.