Shiv ‘a professional’
CHAIRMAN?of the West Indies selection panel, Clyde Butts, is not worried about how Shivnarine Chanderpaul will fare in the Digicel Test series despite the controversy that has swirled around the player in recent weeks.
Chanderpaul, a veteran of 129 Tests and 280 limited-overs matches, caused a stir, first with a letter to the West Indies Cricket Board chief executive officer Dr Ernest Hilaire in which he questioned statements Hilaire made in a radio interview, which he claimed, inferred that he had been less than professional in his duties.
Chanderpaul then stated in a follow-up letter that he had been asked to retire by the regional selectors and later claimed in a radio interview with the Line & Length Network that management was “telling me how to bat”.
Chanderpaul, excluded from the just-concluded One-Day series against Pakistan, has since been included in a 13-man squad for the first Test, starting here tomorrow. And asked yesterday whether there had been any conversation with the player since his public statements, Butts told the media: “All three selectors were here and we have spoken to Shiv.”
Asked further whether he was satisfied the matter was in the past, he replied: “I don’t want to say I am satisfied that that is behind. But like I said, I think he is a professional and I think he’s gonna go out there and do his business.”
Butts did not confirm whether Chanderpaul and team management had spoken but he expressed confidence that Guyana’s favourite “Tiger” would get on with his job of making runs.
“I have confidence in Shivnarine Chanderpaul. He has been around cricket for a long time, he has been a professional, and I think he’s gonna go back in there and he’s gonna play the game how he’s supposed to play it,” he said.
Chanderpaul is one of five players competing for spots in the middle order, the others being vice-captain Brendan Nash, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels, who scored a double century in the two-day practice match which ended on Monday.
If the selectors opt for four specialist bowlers in addition to all-rounder skipper Darren Sammy, two of them could be left out.
However, Butts claimed to be happy to have such a problem.
“In any Test match, I don’t think you can play everybody in a team, and looking at the thing, I think it’s a good issue to have your players in form and they are batting well,” he said.
“I think it’s good to have all of those good players around, so when it comes probably later on when we discuss our team, then we will probably come up with a final eleven that is good for the venue.”
Butts and his fellow selectors opted to omit promising West Indies Under-19 opener Kraigg Brathwaite from their squad of 13 in preference to struggling opener Devon Smith.
“That’s why we had Brathwaite here to cover in case,” Butts said. “But what we decided was . . . Devon in his last Test match actually batted pretty well in Sri Lanka and you know they have got spinners there as well.
“Of course, he’s not gonna start against spin in a Test match so we think that he can actually go out there and do the business and we want to give him that chance.”
Meanwhile, Younis Khan, the experienced former Pakistan captain and middle-order batsman, will miss the two-match Test series as he has been granted permission to return home due to the death of an older brother.