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Bridgetown (Barbados), May 26: New West Indies head coach Phil Simmons says veteran batsman Shiv Chanderpaul did not “fit in” with the squad to face Australia in the two-Test series next month, and does not believe that his exclusion means he has been shabbily treated.
The 40-year-old Chanderpaul was on Sunday axed from a 12-man squad named for the Australia series, despite boasting 11,867 runs at an average of 51, with 30 Test centuries. Simmons said selectors did not see it fitting to pick Chanderpaul simply to offer him a farewell series, reports CMC.
“He has had a long and illustrious career and we know he’s done a lot for West Indies cricket but at the same time when we sit down to select a team, we sit down to select a team to win a game against Australia, and to play the two Tests in the series against Australia,” Simmons said.
“When we went through the process, he didn’t fit in so it’s not about giving someone two Tests to finish their career, it’s about picking the best team to play the next game.”
Simmons, along with selection chief Clive Lloyd, defended Chanderpaul’s axing, contending the Guyanese left-hander’s form had declined rapidly.
Chanderpaul averaged 48 when New Zealand toured the Caribbean for three Tests last year and then plundered 270 runs in two Tests against Bangladesh last September without being dismissed. However, he has managed just 183 runs from his last 11 innings in series against South Africa and England, prompting selectors to overlook him.
Responding to suggestions Chanderpaul had been shabbily treated, Simmons said it was now for the West Indies Cricket Board to properly reward the long-serving batsman for his years of service.
“It depends on what you consider to be shabby. Players before were not recognised and lauded for their performances. But to say you have to play two Test matches for me to laud your performances over 164 (Tests) doesn’t make sense,” Simmons argued.
“It is a case where we need to acknowledge and laud his performances over the years by acknowledging it. There are other ways of acknowledging what he’s done for West Indies cricket and that’s in the process now with the Board, of doing things to acknowledge that this is what he’s done for West Indies cricket over the past 20 years.”
West Indies face Australia in two Tests, the first starting at Windsor Park in Dominica on June 3 and the second bowling off at Sabina Park in Jamaica on June 11.