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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Shivnarine achieves what Sachin could not......... playing with his son

Sachin retired….. on his own special terms in a grand manner … and that walk to 22 yards and his bending down to touch the ground were immortalized.  When Sachin played his historical 200th test, another player not so popular but equally committed achieved a grand feat – that 150 tests in the same match….. that was Shivenarine Chanderpaul.  On Sachin’s farewell, camera focussed on young Arjun Tendulkar too…. what Sachin could not … Shivnarine has achieved !!!!!

The chubby  Arjun Tendulkar is 14 and making a decent name for himself as a batsman in the Mumbai junior leagues… on that day Sachin said - “As a father, I will say leave Arjun Tendulkar alone” – he pleaded to the media to let Arjun  enjoy the cricket, and not  burden him with expectations. Sachin was to say humourously ‘If I had such pressure on me, I would have ended up with a pen in my hands because my father was a literature professor.’  In less than 24 hours from bidding adieu to International cricket, Sachin was to say this of his son who reportedly is also madly in love with cricket.  After his retirement also, press followed him stating that the next day - Tendulkar laughed about waking up at 6.50am, showering quickly, ready to rush down to the ground, when it suddenly dawned that for the first time in a quarter of a century he need not bother.  So he made a cup of tea for himself, relaxed, dined with his wife and thought of nothing else.  Just a day earlier, he had received a call from the Prime Minister of the Nation to inform him of the special moment of his being conferred the nation’s ‘Jewel of India’ honour.  Tendulkar, adamant that he left cricket at the perfect time and without a single regret, dedicated the award to his mum Rajni and the “millions and millions of mothers in India who, like her, sacrifice thousands of things for their children. I would like to share this award with all of them”. Sachin and his exploits would ever be remembered by all of us who were mesmerized by his batting.

Tagenarine made his debut as an opener for Guyana, captained by spinner Veerasammy Permaul. That may not matter much until you read his full name of Chanderpaul yes, son of illustrious father. 

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has proved to be dodgy and difficult to dismiss customer for most International bowlers.  Born in Aug 1974,  this lefie has made  11040 runs in 151 Tests (257 innings) and when you add them to 8778 one day runs in 268 matches / 251 innings they sound too impressive.  He has 39 International hundreds in all.  He never seems to play in the V, or off the front foot, but uses soft hands, canny deflections, and a whiplash pull-shot to maintain a Test average of around 50. Throughout his career, he has managed to keep his own standards at a remarkably high level despite the perennial problems that West Indies have faced. A stint as West Indies captain followed in 2005-06, and though he celebrated with a double-century in front of his home fans in Guyana, it was clear that captaincy was affecting his batting, and in 2006 he gave it up to concentrate on his main job. 

His greatest contribution, though, has been in holding together West Indies' fragile batting line-up after Lara's retirement. While things have crumbled all around him in West Indies cricket, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has managed to not only maintain his standards but also raised the bar consistently throughout a career that has already lasted almost 20 years and shows no sign of ending. The Mumbai Test is his 150th, placed him in a select group of seven who've played that many Tests. The price that he puts on his wicket has always been high and has scored against all. No bowler has dismissed him more than seven times; Anil Kumble has got him out most often with seven, while Kallis, Angus Fraser and Danish Kaneria have dismissed him six times each.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul's son Tagenarine, who's often known as "Brandon", made his first-class debut for Guyana earlier this year, aged only 16. In his fourth match, against Trinidad and Tobago in Port-of-Spain in March, he played alongside his father, who made a valiant 108 in the second innings as Guyana fell 45 short of their victory target of 376. There has never yet been an instance of a father and son playing alongside each other in a Test match, the nearest approach being that Chris Cairns' Test debut for New Zealand was only four years after his father Lance's final appearance. There have been a few instances in first-class cricket, though, the most recent being in April 1996, when Heath Streak's 46-year-old father Denis was called up, owing to a player shortage, to play alongside his son for Matabeleland in Zimbabwe's Logan Cup final. Most of the other instances came in county cricket in England quite a long time ago: there was one celebrated Championship match, in Derby in June 1922, in which father-and-son Bestwicks, playing for Derbyshire, bowled to father-and-son Quaifes for Warwickshire. [thanks to Cricinfo and Ask Steve column for this]

As the 17-year-old Tagenarine, starts out on his journey as a professional cricketer – perhaps there could be a time when both father and son play together for the West Indies National team and have a century partnership

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

12th Dec 2013.

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