Hooper dismisses news report

by Orin Davidson
Stabroek News
January 7, 2000

Carl Hooper yesterday dismissed a wire service report which stated he was not denied release from Australian Club Carlton to play for Guyana in the Busta Cup cricket competition.

In a reaction via telephone from Adelaide last evening, Hooper expressed surprise on hearing of the news item published by Reuters news agency yesterday.

The report quoted a spokesman for the club, Gary Schickerling as stating that Hooper was free to return home to the Caribbean but told the club he wanted to stay in Australia where he had been based for some years.

The report further quoted Schickerling. "I spoke to the chairman of selectors.....and he said everything was okay and Carl hadn't indicated anything about wanting to go home."

However, Hooper said the report was entirely misleading. "I don't evey know the fella (Schickerling), never heard of him," the allrounder said and added "The two most important people in the club are Mr Lovit the president and Craig Cooks the chairman," they are the ones who have been taking about the matter.

The former West Indies vice captain said the development is making the news on television, radio and the newspapers in Australia, "Mr Lovit was on Channel 10 (television) explaining the club's position because the media is putting pressure on the club," Hooper disclosed.

"It was a stupid thing to do," Hooper referring to the reported Schickerling statement, "the club is taking too much flak," he added.

Hooper who told Stabroek News on Thursday that his release was not granted by the committee of Carlton after he was given verbal consent by Cooks, explained yesterday that the Carlton also comprises a football section which has controlling interest. He said the cricket interest is smaller and most of the money is generated by the football operations. This he said, might have made it difficult for the cricket officials to convince the others to release him in the middle of the season when all or most of his financial expenses would have paid for in advance.

He explained that Carlton is based in Melbourne where he is flown to from Adelaide every week to play matches in the district competition.

Hooper was appointed captain of the Guyana team which will oppose Barbados in their first Busta Cup match from today at the Kensington Oval.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples