Former West Indies captain Brian Lara has described Shivnarine Chanderpaul as 'one of the giants of the Caribbean cricket' and expressed that the recently retired batsman should have been given a 'proper send-off' in international cricket.
"Shiv, who played since 1994, had a tremendous career. I started with Shiv in Guyana and remember his first Test match against England," Lara was quoted as saying by the international media.
"I was very disappointed that Shiv was not allowed a couple of more Test matches, not necessarily to break the record but to have a proper send-off. Something I think he is very disappointed [about] and unfortunately that did not happen," Lara was quoted as saying by Jamaica Observer.
Chanderpaul, who played 164 Test matches for West Indies, remained 86 runs short of surpassing Lara as the highest West Indian Test run-maker. He ended his career with 11,867 runs.
Chanderpaul notched up 11,867 runs from 164 Tests at an average of 51, scoring 30 centuries in the process. In ODIs, Chanderpaul made 8,778 runs from 268 matches at an average of 41.
The veteran batsman had been sidelined from the squad since May 2015 following a weak performance during the three-Test series at home against England. Despite harbouring hopes of making a comeback, Chanderpaul was not given annual contract by the West Indies Cricket Board last month.
"That guy with the most Test matches for the West Indies, playing for over 20 years, I don't think people in the West Indies understand exactly his contribution.
"He has been a great servant for West Indies cricket and he has done some tremendous things throughout his career, and credit must be given to the man for how he has played," Lara remarked.
"He has been a great servant for West Indies cricket and he has done some tremendous things throughout his career, and credit must be given to the man for how he has played," Lara said.
"When I do have the opportunity to give him a call and thank him, I will because for me he was one of the giants of West Indies cricket," Lara added.
Image: West Indies' Brian Lara plays football with teammate Shivnarine Chanderpaul during a team training session at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on April 20, 2007
Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images