Support for Hooper and selectors

Guyana Chronicle
March 6, 2001

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CANA) - Trinidadian free-lance journalist Andre Baptiste has lauded the West Indies' selectors for their choice of Carl Hooper as the new captain of the regional cricket team.

Writing in his column "Dancing Brave" in the Weekend Independent newspaper, Baptiste said the selectors have to be praised for their forward thinking selection of the Guyanese all-rounder.

"Hooper has clearly demonstrated in his captaincy for Guyana, that his cricketing brain has matured to a very high level and that with his people skills, he will make the perfect West Indies captain at this juncture," Baptiste wrote.

"It was, though, a bold decision by the four-member West Indies panel, particularly as it was clear that there was still a lot of doubt over the dropping of a former West Indies captain in Jimmy Adams.

"We must also acknowledge the fact that with Adams out of touch and with (Brian) Lara not interested in the post, the choices were limited to Hooper or Ridley Jacobs and at this time, Jacobs has no captaincy experience and we would hate for him to lose his form, focus and fighting spirit because of the burden," Baptiste said.

"Perhaps though in all of this, the West Indies selectors are giving those of us who believe in freedom of choice a chance to express ourselves as Hooper's bat and his bowling arm have both shown a quality never seen before in West Indies domestic cricket," Baptiste declared.

Baptiste remarked that those people from Jamaica, who believe another son of the soil has been mistreated "need to look beyond their parochial glasses and examine what is the best for West Indies cricket."

"We would hate for a repeat of the reception given to Brian Lara to be castigated on Carl Hooper when he leads out our West Indies team against South Africa at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica," Baptiste wrote.

"We must take pride in the West Indies team because when they do good we all feel a jump in our step and a pride in our smile," said Baptiste.

"Hooper too has to be admired because he allowed his performances and his smooth style to dominate the headlines and to bombard the cricketing public of the Caribbean with a touch of class rarely seen at the regional level.

"West Indies cricket longs for his class and his cool but tough calculating temperament," Baptiste added.