Shivnarine Chanderpaul has launched a wide-ranging attack on the West Indies management, claiming it interfered with his batting during matches and subjected him to unreasonable questioning. He also compared the present regime unfavourably to those of previous coaches John Dyson and Bennett King, under whom Chanderpaul felt this same West Indies squad had far better results.
Relations between Chanderpaul and the West Indies management have been strained since he was dropped from the ODI squad for the series against Pakistan, which the visitors won 3-2 (he is in line for a Test recall). Chanderpaul had demanded an explanation from WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire, who had made general comments about the attitude of West Indian players over the past 15 years, following wholesale changes to the squad.
When asked whether he was happy with his form over the past year before he was dropped, Chanderpaul - speaking to local radio station Line and Length - said he could have done better had he not been hampered by batting at different positions and dealing with external pressure during his innings.
"I think, given the opportunity, I might have got bigger scores. Every time I settled in and started to get runs, messages would come telling what to do and what not to do, how to bat and how not to bat," Chanderpaul said. "I've been doing it for 17 years. When John Dyson was coach he never said anything to me. When Bennett King was coach he said, 'You go and do your job, we don't have to tell you what to do.' I had no problem then.
"Now we have people here, who are telling me how to bat. And when the game is over, I have to answer questions. I have to answer those questions and when I do, and it's not suitable, then I have to agree with whatever answers they want before the meeting is over.
"Been called into meetings everyday, or every other day, spending hours answering questions. You never leave a meeting until they get whatever answer they want. That is what I've been going through. When you batting there are messages coming to you telling you how to bat, it happens until you get out, you know."
Chanderpaul had objected to Hilaire's comment that the management needed to put a new system in place because no individual was bigger than the team and no one was a "superstar". When asked if he knew any player who fitted that description, Chanderpaul said: "None of us did that. We've been doing what we've been told to do. The CEO and the executive members of the board made a decision to get rid of the senior players. They will have passed on that information to the chairman of selectors and the coach and let them pressure us in every way they can, which they did.
"I see Christopher Gayle in the gym working, Sarwan doing extra work. All of us doing extra work and yet we've been cast aside just like that."
A criticism of the present West Indies team has been its poor results against top sides - the victory against Pakistan in the fourth ODI was their first against a Full Member other than Bangladesh since June 2009. Chanderpaul, however, said the team had been "doing pretty OK."
"I've been hearing a lot of things recently, about how this team hasn't been doing anything, haven't been winning against a top team. The same team, the same team, when John Dyson was coach, we were winning against England, winning against Sri Lanka, winning against South Africa, winning against top teams around the world."
Chanderpaul also reiterated that he was asked to retire but refused, which had left the management unhappy. "They called me into a meeting and asked me to retire. I said I'm not retiring and when I left the meeting they were all pretty upset about it. You telling me I haven't done anything the last 12 months and I've been ranked among the top ten batsmen around the world. Just because I have been batting all over the place, I haven't had an opportunity to do anything much …"