Following the ICC Hall of Fame announcement on 8 November 2022, open letters have been written to the inductees by those close to them, with their reactions to the news. West Indies ex- cricketer Jimmy Adams writes to Shivnarine Chanderpaul. It was nearly three decades ago that I got to share a room with a 19-year-old from Guyana who I am proud to say became a great batting partner, roommate, friend, and now ICC Hall of Fame member.
I am thrilled that you are getting the recognition for everything you did for cricket in the West Indies and globally. I am not sure I ever met someone who worked harder at their craft, and it is testament to that work
and sacrifice that even as the team's fortunes met challenges, you got better and better. I still remember the first time I heard your name. We were told about this young kid from Guyana, thin as a pencil, not the strongest but who nobody could get out.
When they picked you as a teenager for that Test in England in 1994, it raised eyebrows, my own included. I had never seen you play and there was a sense that you had jumped the queue. Two decades and more than 10,000 Test runs later, it is fair to say, the selectors got it right on that occasion.
We were roommates for most of my career from that tour onwards and as well as the trust that developed over that time, it's fair to say you taught me a lot both about cricket as well as life in general.
I think the biggest lesson is that there are no excuses. I look at how you got to the top and stayed there for as long as you did despite all the challenges you faced. You are a symbol to kids from difficult backgrounds that anything, including greatness, is possible. I've spoken to many youngsters who held you up as a role model and who believed that "If Shiv could do it, I can do it."
I hold you up as the example of what can be - the possibilities that exist. You opened my mind up to the fact that if you get a young kid who is willing and tries, never ever put a ceiling on him/her. We all knew you were talented, but if you had said 10,000 Test runs over 20 years...!!!! That happened because you adapted and kept adapting and kept working.
Your numbers are outrageous, and lots of people will focus on them. But what resonates with me is just how much it took me firstly to get to the international stage and secondly how much it needed for me to hang around
for 10 years. You did it for 20!!! The effort and the sacrifice just boggle my mind!
It is hard to quantify just how great your legacy is. You started in a winning team, and along with Brian Lara, as the team became less formidable, your personal contributions got greater and greater. It was a reminder that
you can even rise above the fortunes of any group if you work hard enough. It is easy to ride on the bandwagon of a successful team, but you were able to set impossibly high standards and maintain them even as the rest of the team struggled.
It was amazing watching, not only your cricket maturing, but you as a person. From a shy, introverted teenager, you grew into someone who would go on to become captain of the team. Where many others have chosen to hide deficiencies and flaws behind their on-field success, you from a very young age, confronted yours and invested the time in your personal development. Watching this transformation from close-up was truly inspirational.
You had so many truly memorable knocks over the years that I might struggle to say which one, for me, stands shoulders above the rest. However, the greatest standout for me is simply the fact that you "sat at the table" for
Having said that, if I have to pick out one, it is impossible not to mention the 69-ball hundred against Australia at your home ground in Guyana. I was not in the team by that point but watched all of it from a studio in the UK.
The innings resonates with me simply because it was proof to me that there was far more to you and your game than the world, and maybe even you, gave yourself credit for.
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-INP