Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bad excuse Chetty

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) president, Chetram Singh said yesterday batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul had sought permission to attend the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) awards ceremony, and had not abandoned the Guyana team during their final round Carib Beer Series match.

Singh, also a West Indies Cricket Board director, said the Test batsman had been granted permission by the GCB to attend the WIPA function on Sunday when he collected the three major awards.

Chanderpaul, who made an unbeaten 78 on the opening day on Saturday against the Windward Islands, was absent on the second day of the match on Sunday but match officials were given no explanation as to his whereabouts.

“Shiv asked to go before the match began and permission was granted. He agreed to play for his country which was good for the game, especially since (Ramnaresh) Sarwan was asked to rest from this game,” Singh explained.

“The idea was for him to leave after the day’s play and return the next day but no flight was available out of Guyana to Trinidad after 10:30 pm even though you could have travelled to Barbados in the evening.

“Shiv was forced to cut short his innings to catch that flight and as agreed he returned the next day even though the second Test was being played in Trinidad.”

Confusion mounted on the second day when Gajanand Singh came out to partner skipper Travis Dowlin instead of Chanderpaul at the start of the day on Sunday.

Match referee Omar Bacchus and the two umpires confirmed they were never officially informed about Chanderpaul’s absence by the Guyana camp and had no other choice than to rule him retired out.

Guyana manager Carl Moore also could not provide any explanation to the Windward Islands team concerning Chanderpaul’s absence and this upset the Windward Islands manager Lochart Sebastien, who later refused to allow Guyana a substitute fielder when his side batted.

When contacted for an explanation, Moore refused to comment on the matter while Guyana coach Albert Smith said he was not aware that Chanderpaul had been scheduled to leave on Sunday morning.

Moore’s failure to inform the match officials of Chanderpaul’s absence is expected to be documented in the match referee’s report on the game. Singh argued it had been Moore’s responsibility to ensure match officials were informed.

“The responsibility of the manager is to inform all the relevant parties that Shiv was not going to continue his innings and I would say that poor management caused all this confusion,” Singh said.

“I have been getting calls from foreign radio stations today (Tuesday) and this could have all been avoided if the manager had explained the situation at the start of the second day’s play.

“Chanderpaul has served Guyana and West Indies cricket well and I feel he deserved to have been allowed to personally collect his awards.

“He could have also requested some rest and missed the last round game, but in the absence of Sarwan he felt he needed to play. It was unfortunate that the unavailability of an afternoon flight resulted in him having to cut short his innings.

“The manager was informed that Shiv was leaving and I am at a loss as to way he felt it was not necessary to inform the relevant authorities.”

An upset Chanderpaul said he was disappointed that the lack of a proper explanation gave the impression that he just took off without anyone being informed.

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