Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has defended the national selectors’ decision to snub veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the upcoming Test series against Australia.
Even though Chanderpaul has played 164 Tests and only needs 87 runs to surpass Brian Lara as the highest West Indian run-scorer in Tests, Simmons pointed out that the national selectors couldn’t pick the 40-year-old just to let him to play a farewell series.
“He has had a long and illustrious career and we know he’s done a lot for West Indies cricket but at the same time when we sit down to select a team, we sit down to select a team to win a game against Australia, and to play the two Tests in the series against Australia,” Simmons told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). “When we went through the process, he didn’t fit in so it’s not about giving someone two Tests to finish their career, it’s about picking the best team to play the next game.”
Responding to suggestions that snubbing Chanderpaul was a harsh move, Simmons made it clear that the veteran batsman had to be dropped as he has only scored 183 runs in his last 11 innings.
“It depends on what you consider to be shabby,” Simmons said. “Players before were not recognised and lauded for their performances. But to say you have to play two Test matches for me to laud your performances over 164 (Tests) doesn’t make sense.
“It is a case where we need to acknowledge and laud his performances over the years by acknowledging it. There are other ways of acknowledging what he’s done for West Indies cricket and that’s in the process now with the Board, of doing things to acknowledge that this is what he’s done for West Indies cricket over the past 20 years.”