Chanderpaul steps down

Much to the relief of many around the Caribbean, Shivnarine Chanderpaul has resigned from the captaincy of the West Indies cricket team. He has endured a rocky tenure at the helm of the regional team, and the decision puts to end any speculation as to his future in the role.

Chanderpaul was elevated to the leadership role in early 2005, when contract disputes ruled the incumbent Brian Lara out of selection for the first Test against South Africa in the Caribbean. Despite the unusual and unfortunate circumstances, the team rallied under its new leadership in that first Test, which ultimately ended in a drawn result.

Since, the West Indies have lost 10 of 13 Tests, winning just one. Chanderpaul’s captaincy has been criticized for bizarre tactics and on-field man-management, with suggestions that he was simply executing explicit directions from coach Bennett King.

The 31-year-old has long been a force in the West Indies middle order, and scored his maiden double hundred on captaincy debut. Since, his batting has progressively gone downhill, seemingly suffering from the pressures of leading a struggling side. The decision to resign has been attributed to this lack of form, and Chanderpaul has stated that he would like to concentrate on his batting.

He started his captaincy stint with scores of 203*, 127, 92 and 153* in his first 8 innings against South Africa and Pakistan. Chanderpaul has since passed fifty only once. In his last 13 completed Test innings, he has failed to even reach 40 – an unseen lean stretch for the typically consistent batsman.

There is no clear indication as to who will succeed Chanderpaul. Incumbent vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle and Daren Ganga are some of the names involved in speculation, however. Double world-record holder and former captain, Brian Lara has stated publicly that he is not interested in the captaincy at this stage of his career.

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