ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Several legends of West Indies Cricket have hailed left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul as he prepares to play what will be a West Indies record 150th Test match.
Three West Indies batting greats – Sir Everton Weekes, Rohan Kanhai and Desmond Haynes – applauded Chanderpaul and urged him to celebrate the occasion. The match will be played against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and will also be the 200th and final Test match for India’s batting great Sachin Tendulkar.
First ball is Thursday midnight Eastern Caribbean Time (11pm Wednesday Jamaica Time).
“It will be a West Indian record and to play 150 Test matches tells you all you need to know about his stamina and longevity. He has not changed his style – which is a very beautiful thing – he has remained a batsman who bats for long periods and always looks to secure his wicket,” said Sir Everton.
“Chanderpaul’s style is unique and quite different to that of most West Indians but he has done a magnificent job for West Indies cricket. I want to wish him all the very best in this historic match,” added Sir Everton, who played 48 Tests and averaged 58.61 runs per innings.
The 39-year-old Chanderpaul made his Test debut in 1994 against England at Bourda. He enters the historic Test with 10,897 runs at an average of 51.89 and made 28 hundreds and 61 half-centuries. Only fellow left-hander Brian Lara has scored more runs (11,953) for West Indies.
Kanhai, who played 79 Tests between 1957 and 1974, praised Chanderpaul for his ability to bat for long periods and never get flustered.
“I first saw him playing years ago in Guyana and was always impressed. Back them he was a raw youngster with bundles of talent and immense concentration. He has blossomed to become one of the great cricketers of the world,” Kanhai said.
“He has a unique style of batting and it works well for him. He continues to show he has the great powers of concentration and likes to bat for long periods and the most important thing is he never gives his wicket away.
“I want to urge the West Indies first four can take leaf out of Chanderpual’s book and look to bat for a long period. If they do we will do well, and look to make 350 to 400 runs in first innings.”
Kanhai added: “Sachin Tendulkar will also be playing his 200th Test match and this is another great achievement by another stalwart of our great game – an achievement that will be remembered forever.”
Chanderpaul was named the International Cricket Council’s Player of the Year in 2008. He has scored 4,161 runs at an average of 70.52 runs per innings in 48 Tests since 2007 including 14 hundreds.
Haynes, who played 116 Tests, praised Chanderpaul’s approach to his batting.
“When he first came into the West Indies team I was still around and I remember seeing a little boy and I was very impressed with his ability. He was someone who was driven and was determined to get better. He came into Test cricket with a good attitude towards batting – always looking to bat long and play within his limitation and I was pleased with his progress,” said Haynes.
“A very memorable moment for him was when he batted with Brian Lara when he (Lara) broke Sir Garry Sobers’s record in Antigua. Not many people remember the role Shiv played on that day but I will always recall how he stayed at the crease and did the perfect job.
“He (Chanderpaul) will be missed when he makes the decision to retire and we have to look at a succession plan for when Shiv goes.”