Chanderpaul plays one down the leg side in his inimitable style enroute his 100 off 69 balls against Australia in Georgetown © Getty Images
Chanderpaul plays one down the leg side in his inimitable style enroute his 100 off 69 balls against Australia in Georgetown © Getty Images

Former West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul will be awarded the Honorary Doctors of Law later this year by the University of the West Indies (UWI) later this year.

A thoroughly deserved award for one of the least celebrated modern legends of the game to come out of the West Indies. His name was unceremoniously dropped by the West Indies Cricket Board from the players’ contract in December 2015 sighting poor performances in one series against England in the Caribbean in 2015 despite West Indies lacking strength in their middle order. He subsequently retired from international cricket in January 2016 but still continues to play first-class cricket for Lancashire in the County Championship and his native Guyana in the Regional Four Day Competition of West Indies.

Chanderpaul scored 11,867 runs at an average of 51, with 30 centuries in an illustrious career of 164 Tests to end at the second place in the list of all-time West Indies run-scorers, 86 runs short of legendary Brian Lara with 11,953 runs. The southpaw has the record for the sixth fastest Test century, off just 69 balls against Australia at the Bourda Oval, Georgetown in 2003. He also helped the West Indies accomplish the highest chase in Test cricket (418/7) against Australia at St John’s, Antigua, in 2003, when he scored 104 and was partnered ably by Ramnaresh Sarwan (105) in their quest for victory.

Speaking to Caribbeancricket.com about the reasons for his longevity, he said, “I have an immense skill and unique gift – concentration, a divine gift bestowed by Lord Shiva.” Ian Bishop credits his former team-mate thus – “I played several Test series with him (Shiv), and have seen more esteemed team-mates shrink in the face of the fastest bowling, but never Chanderpaul…That no other West Indian managed a score of more than 60 in the Tests speaks of the yawning gap between his skill, commitment and experience – and theirs.”

The legendary Guyanese and West Indian cricketer, whom we all fondly cherish for his unique batting stance and doggedness, is a shining example of the Latin maxim Lucens et ardens, a burning and a shining light for the generations to come.