Imagine you were a professional cricketer. Now imagine you had to share your dressing room with… your father. And, on top of that, your dad is a legend of your sport. A lot to handle? Doesn’t quite seem to be the case with Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who shares the Guyana dressing room with his father Shivnarine. Chanderpaul junior, 21, jokes that Shiv, 43, “knows how I am, so he’s kind of free up with that”.
Tagenarine says he knows enough to make good use of the vast experience of his father – the most capped player for West Indies in Test cricket – but does not let his record put unreasonable pressure on himself. “I just try and be myself. I can’t be him, you know,” Tagenarine said, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. “[But] most of the training, I use him to get some help. He gives me a few pointers.”
Shivnarine, not unexpectedly, had plenty of advice for his son: “He’s been around [the domestic circuit] for a while. He had a good season in the [first-class] Regional Four-Day tournament. It’s the first time he had a full season, but that’s just the beginning.
“He needs to keep going. He’s young and he needs to learn as quickly as possible and take it a distance because, whenever you get an opportunity, you have to grab it sometimes.”
That said, the equation was not all work and no play between father and son. “We still have our fun and have our jokes,” Shivnarine said. “In any team sport, you need to have fun. That’s the only way to keep going.
“When I went into the Windies team, we had people who used to give us a lot of jokes – guys like Kenneth Benjamin, Amby [Curtly Ambrose]. Those are the guys who keep you going on tour. I know how important that is. You need people like them around to keep you going. So yeah, there’s a time when you make your jokes and a time to get serious and down to business.”
Guyana are currently in Antigua, to play the semi-final of the Regional Super50 List A tournament. They take on Windward Islands at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Thursday afternoon.