Hooper fires early warning shot at South Africa

Guyana Chronicle
March 5, 2001

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CANA) - Noting South Africa is not as strong as Australia, new West Indies' captain Carl Hooper has fired an early warning shot at Shaun Pollock's team.

Hooper, who will lead the Windies in the first Test against South Africa in his native Guyana on Friday said he is hoping to avenge the 5-0 drubbing the Brian Lara-led regional side received in South Africa, two years ago.

"I don't think they (South Africa) are as hard as the Australians, maybe they haven't got as many quality players as the Australians but they are a very disciplined side and they are very tough," Hooper said.

"We've got our hands (covered) over the next couple of months but I'm sure we are going to survive," added Hooper during a radio interview yesterday.

Hooper said his immediate task is to make an impression on the young West Indian Test players and get them to respond to him like the Guyanese players have done during the 2001 Busta Cup Series.

"If I can get the young West Indian players to do the same thing, it will be a good way to start," Hooper said.

"We hope to pay back some of the treatment that was handled out to us in South Africa. So first and foremost, I think it is to try and be competitive and in so doing, get a couple of good results," Hooper said.

"I think it is going to be a team performance but I think it is very important for me to do my bit actually. I am not a young man. I'm not 25 or 26 anymore, I'm 34," noted Hooper.

Hooper said his experience of having played 80 Tests weighed in his favour in terms of being named West Indies captain but he has not given any thought about how long he wants to be in the job.

"Not really, take it from game to game, tour to tour and see what happens," Hooper said.

"I think the job was given to me based on experience. I've been around for a very long time and I think it is time to get down to the plate and hopefully this is the time," Hooper noted.

Hooper revealed that he was told by a friend about his appointment while practising on Friday but was officially informed by the WICB Chief Executive Officer, Gregory Shillingford later the same day.

Hooper also reacted to the mixed reaction he received from sections of the Jamaican crowd when he went out to spin the toss with his predecessor Jimmy Adams prior to the start of the Shield final on Friday.

"At the end of the day, everybody is entitled to their own opinion and you can't take that away from people.

"Some might think that maybe you should be playing in the squad but not captaining but that's their opinion. The selectors see it fit to give me the job which I am thankful for and I'll try to do my best," Hooper said.