Shivnarine Chanderpaul insists he is not yet retired, despite admitting his disappointment with the manner in which his career as a West Indies cricketer has come to an end.
The shabby treatment of one of the country’s most decorated cricketers has also angered champion West Indian batsman Brian Lara.
The chairman of the West Indies Cricket Board’s selection panel, Clive Lloyd, explained that younger batsmen in the region needed an opportunity following the announcement at the weekend that the 40-year-old veteran of 164 Tests was not included in the 12-man training squad that will be based in Barbados ahead of the first of two Tests against Australia.
Dominica hosts the first Test beginning June 3 with the second and final match getting underway in Jamaica June 11.
“My request to finish up with the Australian series is not asking too much,” Chanderpaul was quoted as saying in the local newspaper Kaiteur News on Tuesday.
“It gives me a chance to acknowledge my supporters at home … I should not be pushed into retirement.”
Confirming that he will be available for his native Guyana when the regional first-class season begins in November, Chanderpaul has found solid support from his countrymen, especially with the left-hander just 87 runs away from surpassing Lara’s tally of 11,953 as the most runs by a West Indian in Test cricket.
“The manner in which they deal with their players is despicable and should no longer be tolerated,” Lara was quoted in the Trinidad Guardian as saying.
“When you look back to so many of our heroes and the manner in which they were dumped, it makes you shudder.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with runs or numbers. It has to do with respect and Chanderpaul has earned the right to say goodbye in an acceptable way. In fact, he should be allowed to do it in his own way.
“In that way, there will be no hostility and whether he makes a double century or a duck, it doesn’t matter, it will be his farewell series and the entire cricketing world will know that.
“He deserves it. The WICB and the Caribbean owe it to Shiv to send him off with dignity and respect. He has earned it.”
However, new head coach Phil Simmons emphasised that selecting a West Indies team had nothing to do with sentiment and was all about picking the best available players to compete against a formidable Australian side.
“When we went through the process, he didn’t fit in so it’s not about giving someone two Tests to finish their career,” Simmons explained.
West Indies’ squad for the first Test at Windsor Park is expected to be finalised on Friday evening.