Holding backs Windies Shiv call

Former West Indies great Michael Holding says the decision to dump veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the Australia series is logical.

The 40-year-old left-hander was axed for the two-Test campaign against Australia after making just 183 runs in his past 11 innings.

But many in the Caribbean, including batting great Brian Lara, say Chanderpaul deserved a farewell series so fans could pay homage to his 21-year, 164-Test career.

Holding disagrees and says it would have been the wrong move to pick someone purely on that basis.

“I don’t believe that cricketers should just get a series for getting a series sake,” Holding told ESPNCricinfo.

“I don’t think Shivnarine Chanderpaul has proven in recent times that he is still a good enough player to be playing for West Indies.

“He has done yeoman service for over two decades … All good things have to come to an end.”

Chanderpaul is just 86 shy of Lara’s record as the highest West Indian run-scorer in Tests.

Lara labelled the veteran’s axing as “despicable” and said the West Indies Cricket Board should have used the Australian tour as a farewell series akin to the one arranged by India for Sachin Tendulkar.

Holding said chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd was right to say the time had come to look at younger players, although he urged caution when it came to expectations about who will replace Chanderpaul.

“The person that comes in obviously is not going to fill Chanderpaul’s shoes immediately,” Holding said.

“He has done so much good work for West Indies. But it is time for someone younger than him who can grow into those shoes.”

The Windies are set to name their final 14-man squad for the Australia series on Friday (Saturday AM AEST).

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