West Indies will have their most experienced Test player in the middle when they play their 500th Test, against Bangladesh. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who is also just 413 runs shy of overtaking Brian Lara as West Indies' highest run-scorer in Tests, has made plans to impress his younger team-mates about the enormity of West Indies cricket's history.
Chanderpaul has played his record-breaking 157 Tests under twelve different captains. He is also one of eight West Indies cricketers to have played as a 40-year-old, and the first from the country in 30 years to do so.
Chanderpaul made his debut when Richie Richardson was captain in 1994, and the vastness of his career means the likes of current captain Denesh Ramdin as well as rookies like Leon Johnson and Jermaine Blackwood, will be given a profound account. He will tell the rest of the team how figures like Curtly Ambrose, the bowling consultant, and Courtney Walsh, now a selector, often battled against the odds and never backed down from a fight.
"We will talk about history, where we came from, what happened in the past," Chanderpaul said. "Show some of the videos of what happened in the past. We are West Indians who fight as hard as we can whenever we step out. We are the type of people who never give up.
"I was a young fellow when I came into the team, seeing Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Brian (Lara), Richie Richardson. All the greats that were in the team in the past. I have seen them play as well, I got into the mixture of those who were around even before me, guys like Desmond Haynes. The toughness we take out from them and the toughness in the cricket field also. We used to fight in the past. We never give up, all the way, down to the bottom."
Chanderpaul said he would make note of several games from the past where West Indies bounced back to win despite being written off at the start, as he looked to inspire a team that has been in relative decline since the mid-90s.
"There were games when we fought very hard to win. There was Ambrose and Walsh who won us those matches in the past. These are the guys who came out and bowled their heart out when everyone wrote us off, and wins games for us. We pick our challenge and we go out and we fight hard."
Chanderpaul wished that future generations of West Indies cricketers would continue the legacy that dates back to June 23, 1928, when they played their inaugural Test match against England, at Lord's.
"That's a lot of Test cricket. We have such a great history. It means a lot to me and I know everyone else in the team right now. Even the guys who played in the past, some of them are still around like Ambrose and Stuart Williams. It means a lot for us.
"It is a milestone that we have achieved. Hopefully we go from strength to strength. Cricket will go on. The youngsters will hopefully keep flying the West Indies flag flying as high as possible."