St John’s, Antigua – West Indies batting star Shivnarine Chanderpaul has made a return to the top of the International Cricket Council’s Test Match Batting Rankings. The reliable left-hander was listed at Number 1 in the latest ICC Test Players Rankings released by the game’s governing body on Tuesday. He has 879 ranking points and is closely followed by Australia captain Michael Clarke on 878 points and Hashim Amla of South Africa on 875 points.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul celebrates his second Test match double-century during the 1st Test against Bangladesh at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium last month. (Photo courtesy WICB MEDIA)

Chanderpaul’s rise came after two brilliant batting performances in the recent two-match series in Bangladesh. In the first Test at Mirpur he made 203 not out – to equal his highest Test score – and followed up with 150 not out in the second Test at Khulna. This earned him the Man-of-the-Series award and led West Indies to victories in both matches as they won the Series 2-0.

The West Indies Cricket Board congratulated Chanderpaul on his return to the top of the international batting ladder as well as his excellent performances with the bat this calendar year.

Chanderpaul ended 2012 with 987 Test runs at the amazing average of 98.70 runs per innings. His other century this year came in his first Test innings when he made 103 not out against Australia at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

His numbers were a big improvement on a good year in 2011 when he scored 646 runs at an average of 53.83 runs per innings. He now stands second on the West Indies all-time list of Test run-makers with 10,696 runs at an average of 51.67, including 27 Test centuries, in 146 Test matches.

In a message, Dr Julian Hunte, President of the WICB, was full of praise for the ever-green 38-year-old, who copped the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy back in 2008, when he was named ICC Cricketer-of-the-Year.

“On behalf of the WICB as well as cricket-lovers across the Caribbean, I want to congratulate Shiv on regaining the Number 1 batting spot in the ICC Test rankings as he completed another outstanding year of batsmanship for West Indies in the Test match arena,” Dr Hunte said.

“Shiv has set very high standards and has maintained those standards. He continues to demonstrate his commitment to West Indies cricket and his love for the game. Earlier this year he scaled new heights becoming just the second West Indian, after Brian Lara, to make 10,000 Test runs. In 18 years of international cricket Shiv has also demonstrated his appetite for runs and the ultimate desire for success.”

Dr Hunte added: “We urge Shiv to continue to ‘bat on’ for West Indies. This year the team showed major improvement with four Test match wins and Shiv played a vital role in those results. He remains a source of inspiration for persons at all levels of West Indies cricket.”

Chanderpaul was fourth on the Test match run-chart this year behind Clarke (1,358 runs), Amla (1,064 runs) and England’s Alastair Cook (1,044 runs). Chanderpaul was the leading West Indies batsman in Test cricket this year. The others in the Top 5 were: Marlon Samuels (866 runs), Kieran Powell (587 runs), Darren Bravo (482 runs) and Darren Sammy (456 runs).

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