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Thirty-six year-old Guyanese Shivnarine Chanderpaul is to become a Citizen of Dominica after the Island’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt made the announcement during yesterday’s play of the first ever Test match to be played in the 290 square mile Island. The Prime Minister said that the decision would be ratified on Tuesday when the next session of Parliament is convened in Dominica which became an Independent nation on November 3, 1978.
Chanderpaul, from Unity Village on the East Coast of Demerara in Guyana but resided for a few years in Florida USA, was afforded the honour for becoming the most capped West Indies Test cricketer.
The middle order batsman who made his debut as a 19-year-old against England in 1994 at his home ground Bourda, passed Courtney Walsh in the number of Test matches played by a West Indian in the final Test of the three-match series against India which ended yesterday in Dominica.
The left-hander, whose eldest of three children is representing Guyana in Trinidad in this year’s Regional under-15 competition has now played 133 Tests and he is only behind Brian Lara on the runs aggregate among West Indian batsmen.
His 23rd Test century yesterday took him to one away from Vivian Richards’ 24, while Sir Garfield Sobers (26) and Lara (34) are the only other West Indians with more Test hundreds than Chanderpaul.
Chanderpaul, who is no longer being considered for ODI cricket, has been a great servant of West Indies cricket since first playing for Guyana at the under-19 level in 1991.
Chanderpaul hails from the same Village in Guyana as President Bharrat Jagdeo, the Guyana Cricket Board President Chetram Singh, former Test pacer Colin Croft, former West Indies female player Indomatie Goordial and former West Indies Blind Cricketer Ganesh Singh.
Chanderpaul’s century yesterday was his first score over 50 since his 54 against Sri Lanka last year and his first century since his 166 against South Africa in St Kitts in June last year.
Chanderpaul’s former Team mates Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan both sent congratulatory messages to the last senior player remaining in the team, with Gayle saying that the ‘Tiger’ still had about five years of cricket left in him.