Going into his fifth and final World Cup, Shivnarine Chanderpaul says there is still some unfinished business, something he says he would like to take care of in his final World Cup
Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi
For a batsman with a disjointed stance that he seems to be forever correcting, Shivnarine Chanderpaul is more simple when it comes to words. Much straighter. More brief. To the point. Only Sachin Tendulkar (6) would have featured in more World Cups than Chanderpaul, who will be playing his fifth World Cup along with Muttiah Muralitharan, Ricky Ponting and the Kenyan pair of Steve Tikolo and Thomas Odoyo. As a batsman, Chanderpaul is bold, original and a standout in this West Indies squad. Still there is some unfinished business, something he says he would like to take care of in his final World Cup.
This will be your fifth World Cup. You are in a good position to be able to give a good assessment of West Indies’ chances relative to the past?
It is very good, our chances. We have done a lot preparation. We have played in Sri Lanka recently quite a bit. We have some young players who I can see playing an important role in batting and bowling. If we can win the preliminaries and get to the quarters and from there take it step by step and hopefully win the final.
You had a superb period of run production which has dried up a little. What do you have to do to get back among the runs?
I have some catching up to do. I have been out there but we haven’t played so much. But hopefully it will come right once the World Cup starts.
Which do you rate as your best World Cup innings?
The semi-final against Australia (in 1996) when the game was set up for us to win and then we messed it up that was a bittersweet moment. It was the best innings I played. That was the best team (after Clive Lloyd’s West Indians in 1970s and 80s) because we had a lot of experienced batters and bowlers. Even now we have a very good chance to win especially with [Adrian] Barath who just got a hundred, young [Darren] Bravo is playing well as are [Ramnaresh] Sarwan and Carlton Baugh. We know what Chris [Gayle] can do. We have some experience and some young players who are doing well. The bowling attack is pretty good.
But the team has been struggling to notch wins and the fact that West Indies have not beaten a Test side in an ODI in more than 18 months.
I know what we have done and what we haven’t done. And now is the time to do it.
Despite having potential match-winners in impact players like Gayle, Pollard and Dwayne Bravo why do the batsman fail to perform consistently?
You have to put the last thing behind you. You have to believe the next game is another game and move forward.
What does somebody like Richie Richardson, who was the captain in 1996 bring to the team?
Experience. We have three players from that 1996 World Cup – the manager (Richardson), the coach (Otis Gibson) and myself. Probably having experienced the highs and lows in that tournament we can bring that experience to this team now. One of the reasons we panicked back in 1996 was because the coach panicked, the entire dressing room panicked and that went down to the batsmen in the middle. At the same time I don’t see that happening again.
Your older son is playing youth cricket in Guyana and doing quite well. Do you see a lot of you in him?
He has got the potential to become a very, very good player. But he needs to finish school (first). He is just 14 and he has got exams coming up soon. I want him to finish school and don’t want him to do the same things I did. I had to leave school to play cricket.
This is your last World Cup. What would you like to leave with?
Obviously winning the World Cup would be something that would be my goal. Personally, I would like to play a significant role in the tournament which can help us win.