North Sound, Antigua – Shivnarine Chanderpaul said on Tuesday that he totally enjoys every moment on the cricket field and it’s that love for the game which keeps him going day in and day out. That passion and commitment was evident as he meticulously prepared for the first Digicel Test match against New Zealand at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
On Wednesday the youthful-looking 37-year-old will play in his 143rd Test match for West Indies. He is already the most capped West Indian of all-time. He spoke to reporters on Tuesday, and indicated that he plans to keep fighting for West Indies.
“It’s the love of the game that keeps me going. Cricket is a great game and I enjoy every moment out there on the cricket field. Yes, it’s true, I have been playing for a long time, but I still love the game and take great pride in playing for West Indies. As a little boy I loved the game and the love is still there. I really wanted to play cricket and I achieved that dream,” he said.
Chanderpaul made his Test debut as a 19-year-old back in 1994, and since then has worked tirelessly to become one the leading batsmen in the history of West Indies cricket. He has a hugely impressive record of 10,290 runs in 142 matches with 26 centuries at an average of 50.44 runs per innings.
He is presently at Number 2, behind Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakarra, in the ICC Test match batting rankings. However, Chanderpaul said it is not his aim to chase the Number 1 spot, but to bat West Indies into winning positions in the upcoming two-match series.
“It was never my aim to go into any game and try to surpass anyone or become Number 1. If you are there, it means you have done well. I will continue to take it day by day, game by game and do my job to the best of my ability. If you are up in the Top 10, you could say you are doing quite well.”
Chanderpaul enters the first Test in good form following a well-compiled half-century for the West Indies Cricket Board’s President’s XI against New Zealand last weekend. He said it was good preparation for the big test which starts on Wednesday at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. Jamaica Time).
“I’ve been preparing hard for the series. As a cricketer you always look to do well whenever you get on the park. I will look for a good start and try to carry on in the series. In the three-day game we applied ourselves well – Narsingh played a fantastic innings and got a hundred, while Barath and Powell laid the foundation,” he said.
“This series is very important for us. We did well in the One-Day Series and the T20 matches. It would be nice for everyone to crown it off with a win in the Test series.”
West Indies Squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Denesh Ramdin (vice captain), Adrian Barath, Tino Best, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels.