Chanderpaul awarded the Golden Arrow of Achievement

Friday, August 1, 2008

… as a cricketer, especially as a batsman, at the National, Regional and International levels.
GUYANA and West Indies prolific batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who two days ago displaced Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara as the leading batsman on the ICC Test Player Rankings, was yesterday appointed by President Bharrat Jagdeo as a member of the Order of Service of Guyana and has been awarded the Golden Arrow of Achievement.

An Office of the President release last evening stated:

His Excellency Bharrat Jagdeo, President of the Republic of Guyana, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Guyana and Chancellor of the Orders of Guyana, is pleased to appoint Shivnarine Chanderpaul as a member of the Order of Service of Guyana and has awarded him the Golden Arrow of Achievement for “his consistently outstanding performance as a Cricketer, especially as a Batsman, at the National, Regional and International levels.

The 33-year-old Chanderpaul joined an illustrious group by becoming the fourth West Indian batsman to reach 8 000 runs in Test cricket on the fifth and final day of the third Digicel Test against Australia recently, The reliable left-hander ended the series with an aggregate of 442 runs to win the man-of-the-series award.

The possessor of the crabbiest technique in world cricket, Shivnarine Chanderpaul proves there is life beyond the coaching handbook. He never seems to play in the V, or off the front foot, but uses soft hands, canny deflections, and a whiplash pull-shot to maintain a Test average over 40 runs.

In cricket terms, Chanderpaul has had two main problems: first, a low conversion rate of around one hundred to every ten fifties, and secondly, a frailty, widely thought to be hypochondria.

That myth was shattered when a large piece of floating bone was removed from his foot late in 2000, and, suitably liberated, he set about rectifying his hundreds problem, scoring three in four Tests against India in 2001-02, and two more in the home series against Australia the following year, including 104 as West Indies successfully chased a world-record 418 for victory in the final Test in Antigua.

A good run in South Africa in 2003-04 preceded a tough one with England – only his second lean trot in a decade of international cricket.

But like in the good old days, he rediscovered form on the tour to England, and though his batting did not change the team’s fortunes, it lessened the margins of defeat greatly. However, in the Champions Trophy that followed, he contributed to the victory greatly with a consistent performance.

The following year he was appointed West Indian captain during an acrimonious contracts dispute, and celebrated with a double-century in front of his home fans in Guyana, although he was too passive in the field to prevent South Africa taking the series.

In April 2006 Chanderpaul resigned as captain citing a need to focus on his batting. Having not made even a fifty in West Indies’ last two Test series, his 301 runs in four games against India at home was a welcome relief. It was tough to predict his approach – in Antigua, with his side fighting for a draw, he made a glorious fifty; in St Kitts, with his side pushing for a win, he bizarrely turned defensive – but he remained the glue that held the batting together.

Nothing changed in the 2006-07 season where he looted 744 runs at 57.23 with six fifties and two consecutive hundreds – an unbeaten 149 against India being the highlight, in the ODIs.

Like a limpet, he singlehandedly defied England’s bowlers in 2007 with 446 runs in three Tests and was snapped up by Durham for the remainder of the season.

Source: Guyana Chronicle


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