West Indies star Shivnarine Chanderpaul has ended his spell with Derbyshire to return to international duty.
The diminutive batsman has headed home to join up with his team mates ahead of a training camp, beginning in August.
He will have enjoyed his last weekend with Derbyshire, as they earned back-to-back wins in the first round of fixtures of the Royal London One-Day cup.
The Falcons beat both Hampshire and Leicestershire, though Wayne Madsen threatened to steal the limelight from the outgoing batsman, hitting two centuries in as many games.
Nonetheless, there was still time for Chanderpaul to hit 52 against the Foxes as a farewell token.
A player of vast experience, his influence in the dressing room is also undeniable, and his impact has been praised by Derbyshire’s elite performance director Graeme Welch.
“It’s been a privilege to have him and he has played a central role in some important recent wins in 50-over and four day cricket”, Welch told BBC Sport. He described him as a “legend of the game”.
Derbyshire have finally secured an upturn in fortunes, having previously been rooted to the bottom of Division Two. However, with no prospect of promotion on the horizon, Chanderpaul will mostly be missed in the shorter format.
The West Indies will face Bangladesh in three ODIs and two Tests over August and September.
They go into the series looking to rebuild confidence after losing last month’s series against New Zealand 2-1. However, the last time they faced Bangladesh, they triumphed by 73 runs in the T20 World Cup.
Indeed, the Bengalis provide ideal opposition, themselves enduring a miserable 2014 that has included defeats to India, Pakistan, Australia, and even the more humble Hong Kong.
Chanderpaul – the first man to reach 100 Tests for the Windies – will turn forty before the series even begins, but there is no sign that he is ready to throw in the towel.
Derbyshire have taken little time in replacing him, though, as former Australia batsman Marcus North will now fill the void as the club’s overseas player. North had already been a squad member, but was unavailable for selection because of Chanderpaul’s presence. North could make his return in their one-day against Worcestershire next Thursday.
English crowds have grown used to the sight of the Guyana-born star at the crease, having seen him play for Durham, Lancashire, and Warwickshire.
Derbyshire plan to lure Chanderpaul back to the County Ground next season.
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