Chanderpaul receives Guyana’s 3rd highest award
Under a clear night sky at State House on Tuesday, West Indies batting sensation Guyanese Shivnarine Chanderpaul was awarded Guyana’s third highest National Award (Cacique Crown of Honour) for achieving excellence and International standing in the field of Sports.
President Bharat Jagdeo made the announcement to resounding applause from a large gathering which included members of the diplomatic corps, the entire West Indies cricket team and members of the visiting English team in Guyana for the first two ODIs this weekend at Providence. The President told the gathering which included a large contingent from the East Coast Village of Unity that the 34-year-old left-hander had made Guyana proud with his dedication and commitment to hard work in his field and reminded the ICC cricketer of the year that all Guyana loved him.
The Head-of-State, who also hails from Unity, added that the small village of approximately 800 people had the knack of producing the best.
President of the Guyana Cricket Board Chetram Singh, who later joined Chanderpaul and the President to pose for photographs with their fellow Unity villagers, also come from the East Coast village, the same area that also produced former West Indies fast bowler Colin Croft. President Jagdeo said that in the last month the smiles were back on the faces of Guyanese and West Indians because of the improved performance of the region’s cricket team which beat England 1-nill in the five-Test series and also won the on-off 20/20 clash last Sunday in Trinidad.
“Guyanese and West Indians are very passionate about cricket and the performance of the West Indies affects the economic situation in this part of the world. When the team is doing well the spirit of the citizens is high, there is less stress and there is more production. But when we are losing people don’t work as much and are generally not in good moods and this affects the economic growth negatively,” the Guyanese leader explained.
With a big smile and then a chuckle, the President told West Indies Captain Chris Gayle and his team that he could say the politicians and financiers were doing a perfect job to blame the cricketers’ poor run of form until recently for the economic downturn and loss of jobs by many. On a more serious note he encouraged the West Indies team to continue their success this weekend in Guyana and assured the players that the team would receive tremendous support at the Stadium.
He said cricket is very important to Guyanese and Chanderpaul’s achievements have placed Guyana on the world map in a positive way and have influenced many other youngsters to want to emulate the talented Guyanese who has scored more Test runs than any other Guyanese including greats like Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Alvin Kallicharran and Roy Fredericks.
The official awards ceremony will be conducted in the last quarter of the year and the CCH award is limited to 100 living Guyanese citizens and is the highest honour under the Order of Service; the only awards higher than the Order of Service is the Order of Excellence of Guyana (O.E.) and the Order of Roraima of Guyana (O.R.).
Chanderpaul, wearing a black jacket, white shirt and black pants, was accompanied by his wife Amy and year-old son Bradley and said he was deeply honoured to be awarded after the citation was read by Vic Persaud, Secretary to the rally of the Orders. The prolific batsman with 8,502 runs from 119 Tests at an average of 50.01 with 21 tons and 51 fifties and 7,858 runs from 241 ODIs at an average of 41.14 with nine centuries and 53 half-centuries, thanked everyone for their support over the years and promised to continue doing his best for his team and country.