The start of the West Indian domestic season may still be a few days away, but already a row has broken out over the selection of Shivnarine Chanderpaul as Guyana's captain ahead of Ramnaresh Sarwan, who is currently the Test team's vice-captain.

The Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) reacted angrily to the decision of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB), describing it as "unbelievable, ludicrous and autocratic", and called on Chanderpaul to turn down the appointment. "The DCB is of the firm view that the GCB's decision can only sow the seeds of discord and disunity between these two illustrious national heroes and is definitely not what is desired at this stage of West Indies cricket development," it said in a statement. "Should the GCB, in its usual autocratic style, fail to exercise either option, the DCB is now calling on Chanderpaul to exercise prudent judgment and not allow himself to be used as the GCB's political football."

Warming to the theme, the DCB statement continued: "In the national and regional interest, Chanderpaul should display the courage and moral fibre that has been the hallmark of his brilliant career by declining this appointment as captain. This is a glorious opportunity for him to display the skills, strength and courage of a true and selfless leader."

Sarwan captained Demerera to victory in the recent El Dorado inter-county one-day tournament, and the GCB's subsequent decision has been interpreted by the DCB as a deliberate snub. But Chetram Singh, the GCB president who was also the DCB's president until two years ago, denied suggestions that Sarwan had been their original choice but that the GCB executive had overturned the decision.