Cricket: The Slight Glimmer Of Hope for West Indies

Prthvir SolankiCorrespondent IJune 16, 2008

When he took his stance on his test debut against England in 1994, the commentators said that he is playing the wrong game and asked him to go to the hockey stadium.

But soon they would have to take their words back, as Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored a very unorthodox 62, where his runs came from the legside or the offside but nothing from the V. What better debut than to have a 112 run partnership with the great Brian Lara?

When Chanderpaul came into the team, he was surrounded by legends. Desmond Haynes, Carl Hooper, Courtney Walsh and Brian Lara just to name a few.

Fourteen years down the line, and Chanderpaul is on one of the weakest cricket teams in the world. West Indies are ranked eight in the test rankings, only above Bangladesh as well as in the ODI rankings.

Coming at about a 3 or 2 down position, he usually finds his team struggling at a 20 for 3 or, if their lucky, 80 for 3. From there, he takes the team to a commendable position where they might just sneak a victory but the bowlers disappoint.

What used to be powerhouse team now looks like a school team except for one player, Shivnarine Chanderpaul. He is extremely unlucky to be in such a team.

West Indies have the firepower as well as the players, but they just don't perform at the right time. Sometimes I think, maybe Chanderpaul should have been playing during the 70's and 80's.

Though West Indian cricket is on the downfall, Chanderpaul gives the people a glimmer of hope that West Indian cricket could just make it back to the top. But now at almost 34 years of age, he might not have enough left in him to go on playing.

After Lara's retirement, Chanderpaul stood up and took the opportunity to become the trump card of the team. While he consistently plays valuable knocks, the rest of the team crumbles around him.

But for some reason I believe, slowly all players are beginning to grab an opportunity and show their worth. With Chanderpaul leading the way, West Indies could well on be on the pathway to glory.