Shivnarine Chanderpaul had been doing a lot of writing this past week.
Yesterday, the West Indies star batsman decided it was time to do as much talking.
And after he was done, it was clear the war between him and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) was certainly not abating.
In an exclusive interview with the Line & Length Network, which was carried live across the Caribbean as the Windies played Pakistan in the final One-Day at the Providence Ground, in Guyana, Chanderpaul again reiterated that the WICB wanted him to retire from One-Day cricket, despite his being ranked in the world’s top ten, and that he adamantly refused to, which angered board members.
“After the meeting they were upset about it. I can’t be retiring, and you be telling me I haven’t done anything in the last 12 months. You can’t ask me to retire and I’m ranked as one of the top ten batsmen in the world.
“I was very disappointed at being dropped for the Pakistan tour,” Shiv said yesterday. “After leaving the World Cup with an average of 38, batting at No. 5, seven, even eight, and then back to two, was very difficult. I was batting all over the place, and didn’t really get an opportunity to do much.
“I don’t think I did badly over the past year. I think that given an opportunity, I probably might have gotten bigger scores, but when I settled in and started to get runs, I kept getting messages about what to do and what not to do, about how to bat and how not to bat.
“When John Dyson was coach I didn’t get any messages. He told me, ‘Do your job’. When Bennett King was coach, I didn’t get any messages. He told me, ‘Go, do your job’,” Chanderpaul recalled.
He said more frustrating was that after every innings he was bombarded with questions and comments at meetings about his style of batting.
He accused the board of getting too deeply involved in the play of players on the pitch during matches, and constantly holding unecessary meetings.
“ . . . I was being called into lots of meetings every day or every other day and spending hours answering questions until they got whatever answer they wanted,” Chanderpaul complained.
The left-hander indicated he was tired of board interference when it comes to his play.
“ . . . Seems people know what is good for me. I know what is good for me. I’ve been doing this for 17 years. I play my cricket. I play county cricket to keep me going. I can’t stop and start. I need to keep playing consistently,” he added.
Chanderpaul also revealed he had a chat with CEO of the WICB, Dr Ernest Hilaire, about clarifying statements he (Hilaire) made on the same network last week, regarding the performance of senior players.
“I had a chat with Hilaire. He said [the comment] wasn’t directed at me. But he made a public statement about us, the senior players. He was referring to us who were on the outside.
“You’re actually saying I haven’t been doing my job. I’ve been working so hard, sometimes I’ve been in the gym for so long I can’t lift my bat afterwards. I’ve been doing things I’ve never done before to keep myself ready,” Chanderpaul revealed.
He also denied that senior players acted outside the confines of the board regarding training.
“We were doing what we were told to do. The executive members of the board made a decision to get rid of the senior members of the team. This is the power they have,” Chanderpaul claimed.
The star batsman said he had seen Chris Gayle and his countryman Ramnaresh Sarwan also putting in extra work in the gym as they prepared for matches.
“We’ve all put in extra work. And yet, we’ve been cast aside just like that. He was our most successful captain in the recent past,” Chanderpaul said of Gayle.
Chanderpaul said he was glad to be recalled to the Test match squad against Pakistan next week, but was hoping things would change.
“I want to play. Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with the stress of all the meetings, and people telling you what to do and how to bat, and being told we feel we have a God-given right to play for the team. All of these are things that are happening. The senior players don’t have a say. We just do what we’ve been told.”
Chanderpaul said he still has a dream to reach 10 000 runs in each form of the game (Test and One-Days).
“I still have a lot to offer. The youngsters can learn a lot from us [the senior players]. All the other teams in the game have their senior players around,” he observed.