Richards wants Hooper for Windies

Stabroek News
January 13, 2000

West Indies caretaker coach Vivian Richards has expressed a desire to have Guyana's Carl Hooper back in the team following their disastrous tour of New Zealand which ended on Tuesday in Christ Church.

According to Reuters News Agency, Richards was quoted by the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) as stating that he would love to have Hooper back.

"I still believe he's got so much to offer West Indies cricket. I would love to see Carl Hooper back," the NZPA quoted Richards.

Hooper's all-round ability was sorely missed by West Indies in New Zealand which whitewashed the Caribbean 2-0 in the Test series and 5-0 in the limited overs rubber.

Hooper who retired in the middle of West Indies' Cable and Wireless one-day series against Australia in April this year, just before the World Cup, was expected by many fans to be preparing for a return to international cricket following a stint for Guyana in the current Busta Cup.

But Hooper who was not released by his Australian club Carlton, told Stabroek News that he is not thinking of making a return to the regional team. He explained that his main desire was to represent Guyana this year

Richards was also quoted by Reuters as wanting to continue as coach of West Indies but hinted at personnel changes if he gets the job.

Richards said it was inevitable there would be changes after such a disappointing series.

"You do need players who you can trust around you. There could be changes, and I think that's normal if you're looking forward to a positive future," he told NZPA.

A decision has yet to be made on who will coach the West Indies for their home Test and one-day series against Zimbabwe and Pakistan, starting on March 16 while a crucial 5-Test tour of England follows in late May.

Despite the results in New Zealand, Richards has the backing of his captain, Brian Lara, who has praised Richards' impact on the young West Indies team.

"Viv Richards has done a tremendous job," Lara said at the weekend. "He's worked very hard and I think one of the main assets of having Viv around is the pride he has shown throughout his career and he has tried very hard to get this rubbing off on our players.

"We try to do the right things. The coach and the manager are very influential. Out in the middle the guys have got to believe in themselves. You can only do so much," Lara said.

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