Georgetown - Shivnarine Chanderpaul is disappointed with the manner in which his career as a West Indies cricketer has come to an end but insists that he has not yet retired from the game.
Chairman of the West Indies Cricket Board's selection panel, Clive Lloyd, explained the need to give younger batsmen in the region an opportunity following the announcement at the weekend that the 40-year-old veteran of 164 Tests was not included in the 12-man training squad that will be based in Barbados ahead of the first of two Tests against Australia.
Dominica hosts the first Test beginning June 3 with the second and final match getting underway in Jamaica June 11.
"My request to finish up with the Australian series is not asking too much," Chanderpaul was quoted as saying in the local newspaper 'Kaiteur News' on Tuesday.
"It gives me a chance to acknowledge my supporters at home...I should not be pushed into retirement."
Confirming that he will be available for his native Guyana when the regional first-class season begins in November, Chanderpaul has found solid support from his countrymen, especially with the left-hander just 87 runs away from surpassing Brian Lara's tally of 11,953 as the most runs by a West Indian in Test cricket.
That backing includes the Guyana Cricket Board, whose officials have condemned the decision.
However new head coach Phil Simmons emphasised that selecting a West Indies team had nothing to do with sentiment and was all about picking the best available players to compete against a formidable Australian side.
"When we went through the process, he didn't fit in so it's not about giving someone two Tests to finish their career," Simmons explained. "It's about picking the best team to play the next game."
Ironically, Simmons, then a West Indies opening batsman, was dropped in 1994 to accommodate Chanderpaul's Test debut as a 19-year-old at the former Guyana Test venue of Bourda.
Despite his durability and consistency - he averages 51.37 per Test innings - the former captain has endured a precipitous drop in form over the past two series, averaging just 16.63 overall in three Tests in South Africa at the end of last year and a similar three-match duel at home to England which ended earlier this month.
West Indies' squad for the first Test at Windsor Park is expected to be finalised on Friday evening following the Australians' only warm-up match of the tour, a three-day fixture against a WICB President's XI that began on Wednesday in Antigua.