Shivnarine Chanderpaul looking to bring Guyanese grit to Derbyshire CCC
SHIVNARINE Chanderpaul is currently in Bangladesh for their t20 Premier League.
After that, he will return to the West Indies to play for Guyana in their domestic competitions and get ready for a two-Test series against Zimbabwe in the Caribbean.
Such is the life of an international cricketer but he has still had time to think about April, when he will arrive at the County Ground to take up the role of Derbyshire's overseas signing for the 2013 season.
The scale of Chanderpaul's achievements in the sport make him the most exciting Derbyshire capture for many years.
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The numbers are mind-boggling – 10,696 runs in 146 Tests at an average of 51.67, 64 first-class hundreds, 8,778 one-day international runs at 41.60.
Chanderpaul has done it all and is still ranked one of the outstanding current batsmen in world cricket but that does not mean he is looking at a spell in the county game as a chance to take it easy.
"The way I'm going to approach playing for Derbyshire is to lift my game to the best of my ability," he said.
"Over the years, I've enjoyed doing this at my previous county teams, trying to meet the standards that county cricket brings.
"County teams are improving and getting tougher to beat in every season.
"When I get to Derbyshire, I think I will bring stability in the middle order – a bit of rearguard batting when we need it, bat the innings, hold the innings together.
"As a team, we will have to expect our opponents to come at us hard, so we can't let up if we want to do well in the First Division."
The Chanderpaul work ethic is legendary. He would not still be playing so well at the age of 38 without it.
That influence will unquestionably be as valuable to Derbyshire as they prepare for the challenges of Division One as the weight of runs he is expected to contribute.
His wicket is so highly prized by opponents because he does not give it away and that is a simple principle he will try to pass on to his new county team-mates.
"I can concentrate for long periods when I'm batting but it takes a lot out of you, especially in the heat over here," he added.
"In the Caribbean, pitches can be tough to bat on. Just like in county cricket, some bounce, some don't, some spin, some don't.
"But this is what you prepare for in the nets over the years, getting your mind right for batting long periods.
"I always spend two hours in the nets, sometimes two and a half hours. It's hard but the opposition help if they start saying things.
"Sledging me makes me more determined."
Chanderpaul will play all forms of the game for Derbyshire and says he hopes to prove to the West Indies selectors that they should not continue to overlook him in limited-overs cricket.
"I am annoyed at no longer playing ODI and t20 cricket for the West Indies," he said.
"The board asked me to retire from ODI cricket but I haven't. I'm still trying to get 10,000 ODI runs. Right now, I'm 1,200 short."
But there can be no regrets as he looks back on a sparkling career through which he has shone even at times when the West Indies team has been less than sparkling.
"My career highlight is my first Test hundred against India in Barbados, although being out there when Brian Lara scored 375 to break Garry Sobers' world record was a pretty special moment," he added.
"My worst moment was when I was West Indies captain. I was under a lot of pressure, wasn't enjoying being captain and didn't score any runs.
"Whenever I'm doing well, I always remind myself of what happened back then. It stops me getting over-confident.
"In Test cricket, I maybe don't get as much credit as Richards, Lara, Lloyd, Greenidge and Haynes. Perhaps that's because of the way I bat, because I'm not such an attacking player.
"But I get enough credit for what I've done and I'm thankful for that."