Barbados: Shivnarine Chanderpaul has claimed the West Indies selectors asked him to quit at the conclusion of the World Cup and that he was dropped from the West Indies team when he refused to comply. Chanderpaul's allegation forms part of a letter he's written to WICB chief Ernest Hilaire - the second such communication over the past few days - in which he's sought explanations for various issues that are at the centre of the current controversy in West Indian cricket.
The controversy was kicked off by comments made by Hilaire on April 25. Two days later, Chanderpaul reacted to that with a letter addressed to Hilaire seeking a few clarifications. Hilaire responded on April 29, stating that his comments on cricketers did not name individual players and were based on reports and public comments made by previous coaches.
Hilaire also stated that Chanderpaul "has been and remains a valued member of the West Indies first team squad".
It was in response to that April 29 letter, that Chanderpaul has once again questioned why he was then dropped for the series against Pakistan. "As far as you are concerned I was dropped from the team not for lack of performance, age, fitness and/or discipline but it is the new direction WICB is going in. What direction is that, when three of the four best batsmen are dropped from the team?"
In that letter, also dated April 29, Chanderpaul also expressed his displeasure with Hilaire's statement that he was acting on the "ill advice" of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA). Hilaire said, "The WICB has informed Chanderpaul that he has been and remains a valued member of the West Indies first team squad and looks forward to his continued involvement with West Indies cricket," Hilaire wrote. "The WICB expresses disappointment that WIPA appears to be intent using every opportunity to cause disaffection in West Indies cricket and is not averse to offering ill advice to players to achieve this end."
Chanderpaul's retort was acerbic: "I may not be Dr Chanderpaul, but I have been a top-ranked international batsman and we have to be able to think critically under the most intense and stressful situations.
"It is therefore distressing that you blame WIPA by implication, if not overtly, for my letter saying that WIPA was offering me "ill advice". You may not be aware but I have faced the best bowlers in the world in my career and I know how to counter-attack. Furthermore, I am my own man and would ask that you respect that!"
In this latest letter, Chanderpaul also raised several other issues that include claims of faulty injury management by the WICB.
- "The treatment towards me after the last Australian tour where, after diving for a ball, I got injured and my treatment from the WICB physio was ineffective. I had to look after myself on my return home, including paying for all my medical expenses. The WI team physio advised that what I required was rest when in fact the doctors decided that I needed to have a cast because of the seriousness of the injury.
- "That the WICB selectors asked me to retire and were upset when I refused to do so;
- "That one of the selectors further told me that I would need to go to Regional Cricket and do exceptionally well and then they might consider me for future selection, despite me having the 3rd best average in the recently concluded World Cup for the WI cricket team, of anyone with more than two innings;
- "That the Coach said that I did not do anything for the team in the last 12 months and hence the reason for me being dropped."