Sir Viv feels Chanderpaul deserves more respect
If Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s complaints about West Indies cricket management are true, then he deserves more respect, says Sir Viv Richards.
Chanderpaul recently claimed that West Indies selectors asked him to retire from one-day internationals and dropped him from the regional team when he refused.
The veteran batsman also accused team management of interfering with his batting during matches.
Richards told the Express yesterday that he did not know all the details of Chanderpaul’s complaints, without which he said it would be difficult to come to a conclusion. But he said Chanderpaul, as talisman of the West Indies in recent times, should be shown respect as a senior player.
“If that’s true, I think he deserves a little bit better than that,” Sir Viv told the Express.
“When West Indies cricket was at its lowest (point),” Richards pointed out, “Shivnarine Chanderpaul stood out as a man who had some pride about what he wanted to achieve (more) than any other player in that team to me. If that’s all true, it cannot be right.”
The former hard-hitting batsman also feels that, given the team’s poor performances of late—West Indies have not beaten a Test-playing nation in more than two years—Chanderpaul should not be dropped from the squad due to his experience.
Richards also said criticism of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) by his former teammate, ex-West Indies pacer Andy Roberts—including calls for WICB president Julian Hunte and CEO Ernest Hilaire to step down—show just how serious the problems of regional cricket are.
“When Andy speaks, guys like that when they come out, they are not regular contributors to comments (about regional cricket), so when Andy makes a comment you should stand up and listen.”
When asked his opinion on the current strained relationship between the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the WICB, Richards urged the players body to be “careful” about what they represent.
Said Richards: “Players do need representation, but at what price? That’s a sentiment I will share with Andy Roberts. (You should) look at the guys and say ‘what are you going into the boss for?’ You tell the boss ‘I need a raise’, and you haven’t performed that well last week.”
The “Master Blaster”, as Richards was known for his aggressive batting style, said he is “disappointed” with Windies captain Darren Sammy, saying the St Lucian all-rounder needs to “buck up”. Regarding him as a “cricket brain”, Richards said the skipper needs more than a thinking cap.
“He needs to improve (his personal performances) a little bit more so he gives confidence to (teammates), having (warranted) that position as captain. The ball is in his court, but I still think that in a thinking capacity he is the right person, but at some point he will have to (back it up). If he doesn’t know that, he is in the wrong game.”
Overall, Richards is concerned about the current state of West Indies cricket.
“We’ve got to start looking ourselves in the mirror at some point and all the little excuses, the weak excuses we hear… Let us find some solutions,” said Richards.
“How are we going to do it? We are grieving big time as Caribbean folks. We are. For a sport which has brought us so closely together and joy as a region, we may have it individually, but collectively we haven’t really touched that note, and it’s got to be stopped. It’s got to stop. How we’re going to do it I’m not quite sure.”