Recognising a champion: Tribute to Shiv Chanderpaul

first_imgDear Editor,Guyanese cricket legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul, a former captain of the West Indies team, will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws later this year by my alma mater, the University of the West Indies (UWI). It is a deserving appreciation for an unsung hero, who was denied the chance to become the leading test scorer in West Indies cricket, and “forced to retire.”His career was unceremoniously derailed by Dave Cameron and the WICB’s whimsical and spiteful actions. The left-handed batsman scored 11,867 runs at an average of 51, with 30 centuries in an illustrious career of 164 Tests, to end at the second place in the list of all-time West Indies run-scorers, 86 runs short of legendary Brian Lara with 11,953 runs.After all, this is the man who personified longevity and tenacity, surviving while 519 Test batsmen perished at the other end, and sharing a record 771 different partnerships in Tests, worthy world records that speak volumes about his durability and dependability.Rahul Dravid, the Indian “Wall”, is next, but quite some distance behind at 453 Test dismissals at the other wicket, and 738 partnerships. Yet, Chanderpaul has rarely been given deserving accolades, like Dravid and Tendulkar. “That guy with the most Test matches for the West Indies, playing for over 20 years, I don’t think people in the West Indies understand exactly his contribution,” the great Brian Lara acknowledges, reminding us that Shiv was instrumental in his many batting feats, and felt his compatriot deserved to go past his record for the most Test runs by a West Indian.Many cricket pundits have told me that if their lives depended on the professional application and dedication of a batsman to combat, survive the best bowling, and keep his wicket intact, they would choose Shiv Chanderpaul, and then Dravid. Indeed, Shiv famously faced 1,051 deliveries against India in 2002 without being dismissed, batting for 1,513 minutes. He was the consummate professional, blessed with the heart of a lion.Brett Lee knocked him out cold when he “could not feel anything, and could not stand or move any limb,” with a fast, vicious bouncer; yet Chanderpaul refused the stretcher, and was up and running in a few minutes, and even went on to score a brave century.Such was his dedication to his craft that he is the only international batsman I know who used dark stickers below his eyes, as anti-glare patches used to reduce light entering the peripheral area of the eyes, so that he could bat and field without being affected by the sun’s glare. Such attention to minute detail in his improvement and comfort as a cricketer defines the man appropriately called “Tiger.”Shiv has been the rock and anchor of the West Indies since 1994, an unlikely yet worthy Atlas, and has been one of the Caribbean’s most accomplished yet unsung heroes. Chanderpaul’s first Test century came in his 19th match, a testimony to his application and determination, after scoring as many as 15 half centuries in the previous 18 matches. He spent most of the initial phase of his career under the shadows of the legendary Lara, and became a lone warrior after Lara and Sarwan had retired.With a humble background from Unity, a small fishing village in Guyana, Shiv became the people’s star of David and Goliath vintage, whose struggles and ultimate successes reflected their daily struggles to overcome the odds, the proverbial underdog defeating social and economic barriers that suppressed them.His batting stance has been described as being ‘crab-like’ and ugly to watch, but those who tolerate this degrading and unfair assessment palpably fail to appreciate that he honed his technique to make the very best of what God gave him, and made up for deficits overwhelmingly in other areas. It is this single-minded dedication and adaptability that made him the champion and master he is today.Shiv did not have the genius of Rohan Kanhai or Sir Gary Sobers; the power of Sir Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge or Clive Lloyd; the dominance of Roy Fredericks; the technique of Alvin Kallicharran; or the finesse of Carl Hooper, Lawrence Rowe or Ramnaresh Sarwan, but the statistical achievements he accumulated that determines how a batsman is measured — runs, centuries, averages — surpassed theirs. This is not to say he was better in the wider context by which batsmen are assessed, but it ensures that one cannot deny his status among the greats of the game.Those who are critical of his doggedness fail to appreciate that he was often the lone warrior in many lost causes at a time when West Indian cricket sank to unfathomable depths; and responsibility forced him to eschew glamour and style for dependability, audacity for attrition. Like all the great players, the breadth and depth of his achievements provide sound rebuttals, considering that Chanderpaul has the record for the 4th fastest Test century, off just 67 balls against the worthy visiting Australians in 2002. In 2008, he hit a four and a six against the bowling of Chaminda Vaas, with 10 needed off two balls to win a One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka.He also created history with Sarwan when they combined to help West Indies chase down a 418-run target at Antigua in 2003 against Australia, scoring 105 and 104 runs each. He was named the captain of the team to face the visiting South Africans in 2005, and celebrated it by becoming only the second player to make a double-century on debut as a Test captain, scoring an unbeaten 200 in Guyana.Another absolutely stunning record Chanderpaul holds is that of being stumped for the first time after having batted in 266 innings, and he has batted with as many as 82 different Test partners.When I interviewed him about the reason for his longevity and success, he told me, “I have an immense skill and unique gift – concentration, a divine gift bestowed by Lord Shiva.”Ian Bishop, now an international cricket commentator, said it best in tribute to Chanderpaul, 2008 Wisden Cricketer of the Year, “I played several Test series with him (Shiv), and have seen more esteemed team-mates shrink in the face of the fastest bowling, but never Chanderpaul…That no other West Indian managed a score of more than 60 in the Tests speaks of the yawning gap between his skill, commitment and experience – and theirs.”Yours respectfully,Albert Baldeolast_img read more

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FOUR MASTERS U10’S PERFROM WELL AT BLITZ IN ARDARA

first_imgClub Notes 06/06/2016Socks R us: The Ty Mini Company Socks R Us are selling club socks sizes 3-6 and 7-10 at €10 a pair. Contact Gerard Byrne on 0879413888. Great competition in Ardara today for our two U10 boys football teams. The A team lost their first game to Glenswilly by two points which meant they dropped down into the Shield Competition. The lads went onto beat McCumhaills, Naomh Padraig, and Gweedore before losing to Cloughaneley in the shield final. The B team had a fantastic day out. They beat Glenswillly in their first game before they lost out to McCumhaills. They then went on to beat St Nauls and Glenswilly before they overcame Buncrana in the final. Well done to all the coaches and players for their continued hard work. Huge thanks goes to John McConnell and Ardara for  the invite and a well organised blitz. Our U10’s after winning the Joe Larry Gallagher B Shield today in Ardara. Well done to all the coaches and players.  Our U12 girls had a busy month of May.  Firstly we met Naomh Columba in Tir Chonaill park and with a very good performance, we beat the Glen girls.  We then travelled to Ballyshannon where we met a very strong Aodh Ruadh team and we suffered a heavy defeat on a very wet evening.  We had a disappointing result in Killybegs, after leading at half time, we let a few quick goals in at the beginning of the second half and we never recovered, ending up loosing by a few points.  Last Tuesday saw a wonderful performance in Tir Chonaill park, where some wonderful skill, excellent teamwork and determination ensured that we defeated our near neighbours St Nauls.  This was a great evening to watch a football match and  the girls showed how much they have improved and scored some wonderful goals & points.  We have one league match against Kilcar to play and then on to our all county blitz on July 9th.  Well done to all the girls for great efforts at training & matches. Club Lotto: Renew Subscriptions, the club would ask all persons that are members of our lotto to pay annual subscription to sellers of to treasurer Paul Timoney 0872791305. New members are welcome with quarterly and half yearly subscriptions available. Club Lotto: There was no winner of the lotto jackpot €1300 in week 47 of the 2015/16 season draw held in the Abbey Hotel on Monday the 6th of May. The €25 winners in the lucky dip were Donal Mc Mullin, Care of the post office, Noel Ward, Druminin, Des D, C/o Michael Kelly Jnr, and Eamonn Timoney, Castle Street. The numbers drawn were 1, 8, 12 and 19, Congratulation to all winners. The next draw takes place on the 13th of June.Club Notes: Any club managers, mentors or members who wish to have information included in the club notes should email fourmasterspro@gmail.com before Monday at lunchtime to ensure it is included.Follow us via facebook, twitter, club app and www.fourmastersgaa.com FOUR MASTERS U10’S PERFROM WELL AT BLITZ IN ARDARA was last modified: June 7th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:four mastersGAASportlast_img read more

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