Shivnarine Chanderpaul: 300 First Class Cricket Matches


We are aware that our cricketers have been quite a disappointment for the better part of two decades. Those of us expecting a rapid return to the top of Test cricket have been brutally reminded that it is much easier to fall to the bottom than rise to the top. The fall is even harder, when you fall from the highest point. Simple scientific fact based on the laws of gravity.
Unfortunately, there is no special pill we can use to get back up there. Oh how we yearn for a Viagra pill for our cricketers…well we can be funny at times.
However, we do have some good news centered on the little tiger from Unity Village Guyana, Shivnarine Chanderpaul. He is celebrating his 300th first class performance/appearance.  We recall him at the beginning of his career as a rather slim chap, who many thought would never have the strength to hit mighty sixes. However, what he then lacked    in physical prowess, he quickly made up for with a mental toughness that sometimes, surpassed that of the rest of his team mates combined.
He has clearly demonstrated that cricket is a mental game and unless the mental aspect is achieved, only sporadic heights would be possible. To date, Chanderpaul has accumulated over 22,000 runs and at the age of thirty eight, we believe that he has a few more years in the game. We can only hope that other Caribbean youth, emulate this tremendous cricketer, who encapsulates, not only what it takes to build a career, but what it takes to build a region: determination, belief in oneself and mental fortitude.
Unfortunately, Chanderpaul would probably exit the cricketing world without the West Indies regaining their   supreme status as the world’s best; he would have played many a brilliant innings without being rewarded with the thrills of victory and we all can empathize with the many disappointments that this would have caused. However, it can never be denied that he has always given of his best and never 'wasted' his talents.
Not bad for a chap who many thought would never be a swashbuckling batsman. He never thought he would be either; he had bigger plans and those included to be at the  wicket for many years. He therefore joins a select and very small group of six others, who have played over three hundred first class cricket matches. They are: Denis Compton, Sachin Tendulkar, Garfield Sobers, Ranjitsinhji, Graeme Hick and Barry Richards.
A great achievement in Caribbean sporting history. We salute Mr. Chanderpaul.

Below is The West Indies Cricket Board(WICB) Statement on Chanderpaul’s achievement.
Jamaica:  West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron says "character and focus" are the main factors that have driven West Indies middle-order batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul to reach the milestone of 300 first-class matches.

The 38-year-old achieved the rare feat appearing for Derbyshire against Sussex in the English County championship.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors of the WICB and the entire West Indies cricket fraternity, I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to Shiv on this momentous occasion," said Cameron on Saturday.

"His character and focus have helped him to earn this landmark and he should never let those qualities fade away."

Only six men in the history of the game have reached the landmark of 300 first class appearances.

They are Denis Compton, Sachin Tendulkar, Garfield Sobers, Ranjitsinhji, Graeme Hick and Barry Richards.

"He continues to impress us all with his durability and appetite for the game, and we urge him to to keep up the good work” said Cameron

"He is a living, breathing example of determination for any young player and we salute him on reaching another milestone in his illustrious career."

The Guyanese batsman has now scored 22,139 first class runs and has a high-score of 303.

Story first published on: Sunday, 19 May 2013 18:13
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