Windies batting great Chanderpaul retires

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Georgetown, Jan 23 (IANS) West Indies batting great Shivnarine Chanderpaul has announced his retirement from international cricket, bringing an end to a stellar career that saw him score more than 20,000 runs in over 20 years.

The announcement on Friday came eight-and-a-half months after the 41-year-old left-hander last turned out for the West Indies, a period in which he had said on more than one occasion that he hoped to continue to play Test cricket.

Chanderpaul, whose 11,867 runs are the second highest for the West Indies behind Brian Lara’s 11,953, still harboured dreams of playing Test cricket for the Caribbean outfit. He was recently part of the Guyana Jaguars side that lost the first semi-final of the Super50 Tournament against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force.

Chanderpaul, 41, made his Test debut in March 1994 against England in Guyana, his country of birth, and scored a half-century.

West Indies won that match by an innings and 44 runs. The last of his 164 Tests was also against England, in May 2015 in Barbados, with the West Indies once again winning, by five wickets to level a three-match series against Alastair Cook’s side. Following that, he was dropped from the Test side.

He had a highest of 203 not out, with an average of 51.37, and sits seventh in the list of all-time Test run-getters. Chanderpaul hit 30 Test centuries and 66 half-centuries.

Chanderpaul also played 268 One-Day Internationals, amassing 8,778 runs at an average of 41.60 and a strike-rate of 70.74, with 11 centuries and 59 half-centuries. His last ODI match was on March 23, 2011.

In a briefer Twenty20 International career, Chanderpaul, known for his Dave Cameron, the unorthodox batting stance, played 22 matches.

Chanderpaul, who was the rock in the West Indies middle order, is fourth on the list of batsmen who have faced the most deliveries in Test cricket — 27,395 — behind only legendary Indian duo of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar and former South African superstar Jacques Kallis.

However, when the occasion demanded, the former captain could cut loose spectacularly too, as he showed in hitting a 69-ball hundred against Australia in front of his home fans in Guyana in the first match of a four-Test series in 2003. That knock remains the joint fifth fastest Test ton ever.

“The WICB acknowledges the invaluable contribution Shiv has made to the game globally and we wish him all the best,” WICB president Dave Cameron said.

A $30,000 contract with Masters Champions League (MCL) franchise Gemini Arabians could have played a part in the decision to retire early. The tournament, that starts later this month, is only for retired cricketers.

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