West Indies coach Phil Simmons says omitting veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the upcoming series with Australia is the right call.
Chanderpaul’s incredible 164-Test career came to an abrupt halt after he was left out of a 12-man Windies training squad for the two Tests against Australia next month.
Many in the Caribbean have suggested the 40-year-old deserved a farewell tour to have his two decades of service to Windies’ cricket honoured by fans.
It was also felt Chanderpaul should have been allowed to try and score the 86 runs he needed to pass Brian Lara’s all-time record of 11,953 Test runs by a West Indian.
But Simmons, who took over as Windies coach in March, says the left-hander’s form just didn’t warrant selection.
In his past 11 Test innings Chanderpaul has scored just 183 runs and he failed to pass 50 in the recent three-Test series against England.
“You talk about giving him two Tests to say goodbye,” Simmons said.
“He’s had a long and illustrious career and we know that he’s done a lot for West Indies cricket but at the same time when we sit down to select a team we sit down to select a team to win a game against Australia.
“When you go through that process, he didn’t fit in.
“It’s not about giving someone two Tests to finish their career, it’s about picking the best team to play in the next game.”
Windies chairman of selectors Clive Lloyd, who expressed admiration of his fellow Guyanese, said any farewells for Chanderpaul will have to wait until the man himself calls time on his career.
Despite it seeming unlikely he’ll ever play Test cricket again, Lloyd said Chanderpaul hadn’t retired and it’s up to him when he leaves the game.
“Chanderpaul, whenever he retires, will be given the accolades he should receive,” former captain Lloyd said.
“I think it’s only fitting that we do so.
“He’s been a great servant to our cricket and when that time comes I think he should be given that sort of send off that is expected of a player of his calibre.”
Chanderpaul’s omission will present an opportunity to youngsters Leon Johnson and Carlos Brathwaite in this week’s three-day tour match against Australia in Antigua.
Johnson, who has played four Tests, and Brathwaite are captain and vice-captain of the West Indies Cricket Board President’s XI which will face the tourists.
The Windies’ final 14-man squad for the Test series will be named on Friday, the final day of the tour match.