"We played for more than just money": Shivnarine Chanderpaul feels T20 leagues have impacted West Indies Cricket negatively
The Windies legend made his debut in 1994 when West Indies were yet to be overtaken as the best side in the world. But the state of Windies Cricket was much different when he retired in 2015 as they were considered a team that could be beaten easily for most of the part
Former West Indies batter and recent inductee into ICC Hall of Fame Shivnarine Chanderpaul on Monday said the recent rise of T20 leagues across the globe has made Windies players less interested in representing their side in international cricket. The Windies legend made his debut in 1994 when West Indies were yet to be overtaken as the best side in the world. But the state of Windies Cricket was much different when he retired in 2015 as they were considered a team that could be beaten easily for most of the part.
West Indies continued to add more weight to this negative reputation during the ICC T20 World Cup, where the two-time champions were eliminated in the first round itself after shocking losses to Scotland and Ireland. They could only register one win against Zimbabwe. In this situation, Chanderpaul, who was inducted into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame in Sydney last week, feels that T20 leagues all over the world are having a bad impact on the West Indies team, once regarded as an unbeatable side.
"We all played for more than just money, we played for pride," Chanderpaul was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald. "There are a lot of Premier [T20] leagues around the world. West Indies cricket is not what these guys would depend on these days so I do not think they are as keen. They can go elsewhere and play and not focus on having to represent West Indies."
"Whatever comes up, the guys are happy to make as much as they can while their cricket career lasts," he concluded his point. Chanderpaul is not really wrong as a number of West Indies players have become T20 specialists who have walked into many leagues across the world at heavy prices. All-rounder Andre Russell is one such example.
This potent all-rounder has played a Test, 56 ODIs and 67 T20Is for WI. Besides that, he has represented 31 teams in T20 cricket across the globe, notably Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL and Melbourne Renegades in the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season. While big names like Chris Gayle, Russell, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo etc would strictly commit themselves to West Indies during big white-ball events, it was largely a bunch of new, relatively unknown players led by Nicholas Pooran which crashed out the recent T20 WC in the qualification stage.
A two-match Test series against Australia will start this month in Perth. Windies have lost their past five series in Australia from 1997, which was also the year when they last won a Test in this country. This has left the Hall of Famer scared of how the current side will fare against Aussies in conditions that offer high pace and bounce.
"It is never going to be easy, it is always tough out here. And Australia's bowling attack is the best in the world. You can tell by the number of guys ranked in the top 10," he said. Interestingly, Chanderpaul's son Tagenarine, a left-hander like his father, has been included in the squad and is expected to play in the first Test.
After a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, Tagenarine started off poorly in the domestic season and then went to Florida with his father for some coaching. "When he got back he got a couple of hundreds, and now he has got selected to come here. Coming to Australia knowing the attack Australia has, these guys are relentless. If he can come here and do well it will be a start to his career," said the 26-year-old batter's father.
West Indies squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Devon Thomas Series Schedule: November 17-19: v ACT/NSW XI at Philip Oval, Canberra23-26 November: v Prime Minister's XI at Manuka Oval, Canberra (day/night)30 November to 4 December: 1st Test at the Perth Stadium, Perth8-12 December: 2nd Test at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (day/night). (ANI)
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