The University of West Indies has done right in honouring cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul with a (honorary) doctorate for his achivements and contributions in the game and for making the region stand out in matches when he was a member of the team. He played extremely well. It is a deserving honour for a son of the region. The doctorate should have been conferred a long time ago.
Chanderpaul was unceremoniously dropped from the West Indies team in 2015 although he performed better than most of the batsmen at the time. When he was forced out of the team, he was just 86 runs short of equaling Brian Lara’s test record for the most runs scored by a West Indian.
Chanderpaul was the most consistent batsman in the history of West Indies cricket. He could be depended upon to save a match, and he did so countless times for whichever team he played for in first class cricket. People everywhere labelled him “dependable” or “Mr consistent”.
Chanderpaul, though now 44 (as of last August 16) has been sadly missed by the West Indies test team since 2015. The team has performed terribly over the last three years without his presence.
Through Chanderpaul, Guyana and/or West Indies have accrued widespread recognition. Chanderpaul is known worldwide and people admire him for his contributions to the game of cricket. I tend to travel extensively and whenever I did so, especially in faraway places like South Asia, Australia, New Zealand, England, Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji, to associate my home country, Chanderpaul’s name pops up.
Guyana and the West Indies are better known through the name of this legendary son Shivnarine Chanderpaul. And when I am traveling within the West Indies region, when the names of great cricketers are mentioned, Chanderpaul is among them. Many call him “Tiger”. No one has been given greater admiration for his patience in batting, for he hardly ever threw away his wicket.
With our leading university honouring Chanderpaul, the government of Guyana and West Indies cricket board should also consider honouring this iconic son for his 25 years of service to the region.
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