Shivnarine Chanderpaul went missing in action on Sunday, and turned up at the West Indies Players' Association's fifth annual awards to make a clean sweep of the top prizes.
The 33-year-old Chanderpaul left Guyana Cricket Board officials bewildered when he failed to show for the second day of the national team's final round match in the West Indies domestic first-class championship against Windward Islands at the Guyana National Stadium, where the opening Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka was played last week.
Chanderpaul was unbeaten on 78, as Guyana, choosing to bat, reached 312 for three on Saturday's opening day, but the long-standing left-handed batsman stunned team officials and his opponents when he did not appear to continue his innings on the second day.
Media reports indicated that Chanderpaul left his native Guyana to attend the WIPA Awards and was expected to return on Monday.
Neither Guyana manager Carl Moore nor coach Albert Smith were aware of Chanderpaul's departure, and Windwards manager Lockhart Sebastien was left fuming.
"This is a first-class encounter, and things like this are allowed to happen, and we wonder why West Indies cricket is in the state that it is in," he said.
"Chanderpaul told Devon Smith on Saturday that he was here just to take a knock, but we assumed he was joking. If he knew he had to leave, then he should not have played and given one of the youngsters a chance," Sebastien said.
Smith was appalled at Chanderpaul's decision and said that the former West Indies captain had been a part of the selection of the final 11.
"He is our most dependable batsman and has done so much for West Indies cricket as a top-class batsman," Smith said.
Chanderpaul may now find himself in trouble with the Guyana authorities, as a senior official said an investigation would be launched into the matter.
As it turned out, Chanderpaul had plenty reason to hop onto the plane and jet his way across the channel.
He eclipsed West Indies captain Chris Gayle, all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, and fast bowler Daren Powell to win the International Cricketer-of-the-Year award.
Chanderpaul also won the West Indies Test and One-day International Player-of-the-Year titles, getting the better of the same trio in both instances.