Mumbai: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the grandfather of West Indies cricket, may not have a fitting end to his 21-year-old career. According to a report in the Guyanese newspaper Kaieteur News, the southpaw and the team coach Phil Simmons had a heated exchange on WhatsApp over his selection for the series against Australia.
The 42-year-old – who is 86 short of overtaking Brian Lara’s record of most Test runs by a West Indian batsman (11,953) – isn’t pleased with the treatment meted out to him.
He failed to shine in the series against England averaging 15.33 with a highest of 42 leaving his position in the team on the rocks.
Simmons asked him to retire rather than not being picked.
“We had selection before each Test and I did back you for the Barbados Test when it was close between the selectors but it is no longer close for the Australia series. I understand how you feel but it is in the hands of the selectors not yourself to decide on a squad for the series so what I was saying to you is that you retiring would make more sense than you being left out of the squad for the series. You can still thank the WICB and the public for the opportunities in your statement and the WICB will recognise you for your long and dedicated service to cricket,” Simmons texted.
Chanderpaul replied: ““My request to finish up with the Australian series is not asking too much. It gives me a chance to acknowledge my supporters at home, and the possibility of the WICB properly honoring me for my contribution to WI cricket. I should not be pushed into retirement. Here is a situation where I firmly believe public opinion would be in favour of me being given the opportunity to play in my final Test series at home. Thanks.”
Simmons, later, came down harsh on the batsman and said that longevity of career is not a criteria for being selected in the team.
“There is no dispute that you have dedicated the last 21 years of your life to WI cricket and as stated before this will be acknowledged and recognised by the WICB, but unfortunately length of service is not a criterion for selection. If public opinion was a criteria for selection then we can agree maybe you would play until you are 50. Unfortunately it is not,” he said.
The selection is on May 29 and both the parties are firm on their decisions. Simmons want him to make a dignified exit whereas the batsman wants a last flourish in front of fans and supporters....