Love for the game keeps Shiv going
By Avenash Ramzan
An insatiable love for the game is what keeps veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul going. After his second First-Class hundred in as many matches, the left-handed batting maestro spoke to News Room Sport about his passion for the sport and his role in helping the Guyana Jaguars to retain their regional Four-day title.
“It’s something I love doing- playing cricket. I’ve always prepared myself well also. This is the stuff you been doing for many years and young enjoy doing it, and you keep on doing it,” Chanderpaul said.
At 42, Chanderpaul is by far the oldest active cricketer in the Caribbean at the moment. However, he has proven that age is just a number, as he reeled off back-to-back hundreds in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Professional Cricket League Digicel Four-day competition.
He followed up his even hundred against Barbados Pride in a day/night, pink ball contest, with a magnificent 143 against Trinidad and Tobago Force, both at the National Stadium, Providence. For good measure, the dogged middle-order stalwart made 91 against Jamaica Scorpions in the opening round and 81 not out against Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
At the halfway stage of the tournament, the former world number one Test batsman has racked up 447 runs in seven innings, the most by a Guyanese, at an average of 74.50. He has the third most runs in the competition and is one of only two batsmen with two centuries in the tournament.
Despite the rigours of playing over two decades of gruelling international cricket, Shiv believes his ageing body is holding up well.
“Pretty much okay so far, because I’ve done a lot of work, if not fitness, I’ve been around doing different things trying to keep my body going and that has helped over the years,” he intimated.
With defending champions Guyana Jaguars in second position behind Jamaica Scorpions at the completion of five rounds, Chanderpaul believes that it will take a collective effort when the competition resumes in March 2017 for the Jaguars to lift the title for a third consecutive time.
“The good thing about us so far is that we have a lot of guys in our team who have performed and have scores behind them. That’s the good thing; we just need everybody to come now and put it together. We need a collective effort from everyone to help us win the tournament,” Shiv related.
Meanwhile, Chanderpaul, who now has 74 First-Class hundreds from 355 games, pointed out that apart from his primary role to score runs and help the team to win, he also has an obligation to guide the young players, something he has been fulfilling as part of the Jaguars set-up.
“Not by just talking alone, but by performing on the field. You know that could look at you and learn also- like some of the situations and the way you play them. This is how you learn cricket, and this is how I learnt cricket- you watch a lot of players play and learn this from them,” Chanderpaul advised.
When action resumes on March 10, Jaguars will play Scorpions in a top-of-the-table clash in Jamaica.