Hooper says return not motivated by money

Stabroek News
January 11, 2001

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CANA) - The usually ice-cool Carl Hooper had his feathers ruffled by a Barbadian caller who claimed on a radio call-in programme here this week the enigmatic all-rounder only returned to the West Indies because things didn't work out for him in Australia.

The 34-year-old Hooper, who has come out of retirement seeking a recall to the regional team, is captaining his native Guyana in the West Indies' Busta Cup first-class series.

Confronted by the caller about his reasons for making himself available for Test selection again after retiring in 1999, Hooper reacted angrily, admonishing the caller and making it abundantly clear he doesn't play cricket for money.

Speaking on Voice of Barbados radio call-in programme Tell It Like It Is Sports Monday night, Hooper said his return to the Caribbean has absolutely nothing to do with money or things not working out for him in Australia.

"A lot of people think that I came back to the West Indies because things didn't work out in Australia. I want to say this to you, there was a guaranteed offer from South Australia to play state cricket for South Australia if I wanted to and the money was decent," Hooper said.

"I've never played cricket for money. I just want to make this clear because a lot of people are just running their mouth up.

"It's irritating. This is annoying me. There was an offer to play state cricket. I can make a living outside of West Indies cricket. I've never played cricket for money," Hooper continued.

"If I played for money, you know what I would have done, I would have stayed in it. I would have gone to the (1999) World Cup (in England) because at the end of the day, it is not like if I wasn't selected to go to the World Cup. I was selected," Hooper added.

"I want to make it clear to you that I know that for as long as I am fit, I can stay and keep my place in this West Indies side and this is at the time that I retired," Hooper said. Hooper also told the caller not to "believe everything that you read that things didn't work out in Australia."

"That is utter nonsence. People just read a lot of stuff in the newspaper and you sit on the roadside corner and talk, I mean that is a lot of 'crap'. That's 'crap' you are talking," an angry Hooper said. Hooper also defended his record at the Test level after another caller desribed him as "a miserable failure".

"I always try to give of my best, whether bat, bowl or field. People might want to consider me a failure, that's their opinion. At the end of any cricket game, I like to look at the game and say what did you contribute.

"Did you get some wickets, did you get some runs? Did you had a partnership of 70, 80, a hundred, whatever it might be, I like to be a part of it," Hooper said.

"That's one of the reasons why I worked hard to become a good slippie (slip fielder) so that when I am not bowling, I can be somewhere where I can be in the action, taking a couple of catches or something like that," Hooper noted.

"That has always been my aim. I would love to have a better record but it hasn't turned out that way but at the end of the day, I am happy for what I did for West Indies cricket," Hooper said.

"I know that there are a lot of people out there who think that it is not enough. It never will be enough for them but it's enough for me. Maybe, a few changes here and there but I suppose you can't want everything in life," declared Hooper.

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