Batting legend Brian Lara believes recently retired West Indies batsman Shiv Chanderpaul should have been afforded the time to make a graceful exit from the game.
Hailing Chanderpaul as one of the “giants of West Indies cricket”, Lara said he was disappointed the 41-year-old had been axed from the Test team without having the opportunity to have a “proper send-off”.
“Shiv, who played since 1994, had a tremendous career. I started with Shiv in Guyana and remember his first Test match against England,” Lara said here Monday.
“That guy with the most Test matches for the West Indies, playing for over 20 years, I don’t think people in the West Indies understand exactly his contribution.
“I was very disappointed that Shiv was not allowed a couple of more Test matches, not necessarily to break the record but to have a proper send-off. Something I think he is very disappointed (about) and unfortunately that did not happen.”
Chanderpaul’s form came under the microscope after he managed just 91 runs in three Tests against South Africa last year January and 92 runs in a similar three-Test series against England in April.
In announcing the left-hander’s sacking ahead of Australia’s tour of the Caribbean last May, chief selector Clive Lloyd said Chanderpaul’s decline in form had been “rapid” and selectors had opted to focus on younger players.
Overall, Chanderpaul pummelled 11,867 runs from 164 Tests at an average of 51, with 30 centuries.
Though known for his patient, attritional batting, Chanderpaul piled up 8,778 runs from 268 One-Day Internationals at an average of 41.
Lara said he was a big admirer of Chanderpaul throughout his career.
“He has been a great servant for West Indies cricket and he has done some tremendous things throughout his career, and credit must be given to the man for how he has played,” said Lara, who is here to play in the Masters Champions League.
“When I do have the opportunity to give him a call and thank him, I will because for me he was one of the giants of West Indies cricket.”