This is the way a cricket career ends, not with a bang

Shiv - Nurdled the shit out of every attack from 1994 to 2015

Hurray! Friday! Let’s celebrate by writing about melancholy exits!

We’ve sadly had two recently. Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s international career ended just as he imagined it would when he first took up the sport as a boy, with a WhatsApp exchange between Test series. Meanwhile, Craig Kieswetter has had to call it a day at the age of 27 because of the hideous eye injury he sustained last year.

Chanderpaul did at least make it to the age of 40 as an international cricketer and with 164 Tests to his name, few can boast a longer career . He also finishes with an average of 51, so few can boast a better career either. Even so, no-one dreams of a poignant final moment in which all they’re doing is fuming at a message on their phone.

Was it the right time for him to go? He didn’t want to, but it’s a lot easier to make the decision to continue when you’re the player. You don’t really have other options, whereas the selectors do. For the West Indies, life goes on. For Chanderpaul, in a certain maudlin sense, it doesn’t.

It’s unclear from Kieswetter’s statement whether the issue is the injury itself or his reaction to it. “I feel mentally I will never again be the player that I was,” perhaps hints that it’s the latter.

And who can blame him? Having your eye socket fractured and your vision knackered is going to leave a perfectly understandable psychological mark, even if you get over the physical effects. This is why we should never be too angry at batsmen who back away from short-pitched bowling. They’re the logical ones. It’s the ones who get in line who have the wonky thinking.

Kieswetter’s career high point was being named man of the match when England won the World T20 in 2010. That bigstagegoodknockability was never really on display again and it’s bleak to think that reports such as this one reduce the whole course of his life up until now to those 49 balls.

Somerset play Hampshire tonight and the West Indies continue their Test against Australia. Hopefully both players will join the rest of us by having a beer and enjoying the spectacle. After all, it really ain’t so bad this side of the boundary ropes.

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31 Appeals

  1. I prefer Sangakkara’s exit. He un-selected himself from ODI team. No selector could have dared to drop him, when he was on top of his game.

    Then there is Rahul Dravid who didnt explicitly state the obvious, till the funny guy Krish Srikanth selected him for a tough ODI tour to South Africa

    Those two will be my all-time best retirement exits

  2. I did see a comment along the lines that it wasn’t that Chanderpaul deserved a big send off, but that the fans deserved a chance to give him one. Just seems like another needlessly PR blunder to me.

    What I’ve seen on this suggests that Clive Lloyd is a massive arse. I wonder if Phil Simmons was trying to make a statement as the new coach. All just leaves a bitter taste to me.

    And I can’t shake the feeling that the WICB would prefer to keep Lara ahead of Chanderpaul in the run scoring lists.

  3. Khurram Khan retired as well. Khurram, who did all those things on the field. Remember the way he used to look at the bowler when he batted? No? How about the way he looked at the batsman when he bowled?

    Khurram Khan.

  4. I thought of a thing while watching the roses T20 match today.

    If Rich Pyrah ever goes berserk and wins a game with a quickfire half century, I will say “Pyrah-techniques” to my wife and then I will laugh and laugh.

    Then I will sell the idea to the tabloid press and become a millionaire.

    This is, I’m sure you’ll all agree, an excellent plan.

  5. “After all, it really ain’t so bad this side of the boundary ropes”

    What?? Yes it bloody is, playing is 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times better.

    • That much better than a career in business? I don’t think so.

    • Dermot Reeve is an interesting choice by Strauss from left field. As far as I can understand he is only involved on Sundays when England can enjoy their recreational drugs. I wonder how much he might make fron selling bats signed by the English greats like Cook, Bell, Truman and Laker

  6. What’s all this business with Worcestershire getting rid of the wicket keeper? Is it the new thing?

    • Certainly not. If anything, they are feeling the pinch of a wicketkeeper deficit caused by the likes of New Zealand.

    • There’s at least 6 keepers playing in the NZ / Leics game today.

    • Topically, Somerset have lost two quality keeper-batsmen now (to lose one is careless, etc…), such that ‘Wheel’ Barrow (FC Average: 20.12) and Banger (ancient) are seemingly the only available options.

    • Apologies for my laxness; for “‘Wheel’ Barrow” read Barrow, Alexander William Rodgerson.


    • Definitely a “right sort of family” name.

    • I see Leics have lost to NZ by 198 runs, meaning they are now slightly better than England – such progress in just a week.

  7. Runs for The Sledge today. Never doubted him.

    • I actually watched that game. Funny how he scored 90 pretty quickly without ever looking like he was putting much effort in.

      Dreadful shot to get out, mind.

    • That’s the thing with Bell. He never looks like he’s trying, so when he’s doing badly it looks like it’s because he’s not trying, and therefore he draws thrice as much ire as someone like Alastair Cook, say.

    • King Cricket

      June 7, 2015 at 9:29 am

      Cook looks like he’s trying his heart out, grinding it out, even when everything’s coming easily to him.

    • Bell’s dismissal looked bad but he was pushing for a quick victory in what had been an impressively timed innings. Hopefully this is a sign that the bad form that has dogged him the last 4 tests (you know since he scored 143 runs in 2 sessions to ensure England got a healthy 1st innings lead).

    • Came to an end (sorry, computer problem terminated the end of that sentence).

  8. Can’t forget that World T20 Final Against Australia to give England there lone ICC title. England Cricket will certainly miss Kieswetter.

  9. Slurrey 139/6 against Leics in the absence of KP.

    Shove it up yer arse – Leicestershire are the second best team (second to Middlesex of course) in the whole world.

  10. the great test batsman ever.
    we miss u.. chanderpaul

  11. Hold on there. Chanderpaul’s been absolutely brilliant for the WIndies, but Don Bradman would like a word. Or possibly slightly fewer than 100 words.

    • I fear that I might inadvertently have kicked off the claim inflation at 14:47 yesterday.

      The prospect of the forthcoming two days at Headingley got me overexcited.

  12. what a great cricket player i have ever seen…
    the man himself…
    the wall of west indies…

    Cricket Samrat

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