West Indies veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul has shouldered arms to a delivery for the one millionth time in a test match.
The incredible feat comes just one day after New York Yankees slugger Derek Jeter registered his 3,000th ‘hit’ some 16 years after making his MLB debut.
Chanderpaul’s historic moment came in the 43rd over of the third test against India this week, when the left-hander ignored an innocuous outswinger by Indian paceman Zaheer Khan. The eager Barbados crowd immediately flooded the field to congratulate the bemused batsman, who himself was not even aware of the occasion.
“Its just testament to my longevity in the game, I guess, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined as a kid that I’d go down as the greatest leaver in the game,” he said.
“I guess it just comes down to knowing where your off-stump is and thinking ‘shit, that’s probably not worth playing at’. People definitely underestimate the mental side of leaving the ball alone.”
Accepting a specially-made award at the conclusion of the third day of the test against India at Barbados, Chanderpaul said he hoped his achievement wouldn’t take any of the publicity away from Jeter’s feat.
” Three thousand hits, geez that’s something. I bet he remembers every mishit, ‘Baltimore chop’, ‘Texas leaver’ and bunt.”
When asked to name his best ‘leave’, Chanderpaul said it was almost impossible, but there was one that “probably stands out against the rest.”
“I did a really nice leave against Australia at the WACA in 1999. It was a hard deck and [Glenn] McGrath was generating some steeping bounce. I just shuffled back and across and raised my arms well above my head; the ball managed a bit of late swing through to the keeper. It really set the tone, albeit a boring one, for my innings.”
“I watched it a few times at home on video [since then] and it looked really nice.”
Meanwhile, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant will be hoping the current lockout comes to a close soon. The shooting guard is only seven bounces away from recording 10 million bounces of the basketball in official NBA fixtures.
By Dave Edwards