Hooper's return to regional cricket

What the people say about... By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
January 15, 2001

Former West Indies vice-captain Carl Hooper has made himself available at his own expense to play for Guyana in this year's Busta Cup regional tournament. He has also indicated his willingness to play for the West Indies once he is selected. We asked the man/woman-in-the-street to comment on the return of Carl Hooper to the local scene and his chances for leading the regional side. Their views follow:

Patricia George - former athlete/housewife: `I like Carl Hooper because he is a good cricketer, good all-rounder and a good leader at the same time. He leads by example. I would like to see him captain the West Indies team because he has a good personality, gets along good with his team mates and could be a good influence on the younger members of any team he leads. He was never recognised by the West Indies Cricket Board because at the time the board members were blinded by the flashiness and flamboyance of Brian Lara who is undoubtedly one of the world's best batsmen, but definitely not a good leader. Right now Adams is not performing and he needs to be replaced urgently. Hooper left because of frustration and I could understand that. I do not think that he returned to the Caribbean because he was motivated by money. Hooper loves the game and he returned because he feels he could still make a contribution to West Indies cricket. We should welcome his return and give him credit for that.'

Eldon Trotman - vendor: `I see Hooper as the best person to captain the West Indies side now and I welcome his return to play for Guyana most heartily. The West Indies Board needs to drop Adams immediately and replace him with Hooper who should have been named captain even before Adams. The West Indies Board should stop holding on to baggage and replace players who cannot perform. The board should also stop showing favouritism. At this time only Hooper's skill and experience can bring back some dignity and respect to West Indies cricket. Give those who can play a chance and bring back the days of Garfield Sobers, Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher and Lance Gibbs. Hooper has more years left for cricket but bringing cricket back on top will not be easy for him.'

Sahid Khan - Canada-based Guyanese: 'Carl Hooper's return should be welcomed not only in Guyana but in the region as a whole. We can do with his expertise. With his return we'll see a big change in West Indies cricket. Not because I am a Guyanese I would support him taking over the helm of the West Indies team, but because of his experience and the fact that he knows the game well. I can see him doing a better job than his two predecessors. I think he has had time to assess the players not playing over the past two years at the regional level and international level, being on the sideline. He will do well but the going would not be easy for him. He is also a good example for the young players who can take some grooming from him. Our young players need exposure and more first-class cricket experience. Hooper is a sportsman and loves the game. Whatever the motivating factor, his return to play for Guyana and the region should be welcome. I do not think that his return was motivated by money but he needs to make a point and prove himself.'

Joel Matil - taxi driver: 'I welcome Hooper's return mostly for West Indies cricket. I thought that when he left he was frustrated because he was given a raw deal by the West Indies Cricket Board. I don't think his return is because of money like some persons want to think. I think he has seen the team doing badly and knows that he can still make a contribution. It was good in a way that he took a break and assessed the WI team situation and probably looked into himself as well. Right now some journalists in the Caribbean are lobbying for him to be named the captain for the upcoming series against South Africa at home and I will join in their lobby. I think that Jimmy Adams has outlived his usefulness and should be honoured for his contribution. Let Hooper take over.'

Desmond Watkins - cricket fan: 'Hooper has come back to put back something into Guyana and West Indies cricket and I welcome him. Playing for Guyana will qualify him for the regional side and that is what the West Indies needs at the moment. I think that Hooper is the best person to replace Adams right now. He has the personality and the knowledge of the game. As far as I am concerned he is two captaincies overdue. He should have taken over from Walsh. Probably it happened for the best too because Lara would have fought him down like he did Walsh. Bringing back the team to respectability would require team effort. He alone would not be able to do it. And this thing about Hooper coming back because of money is nonsense--sheer nonsense. I say no more.'

Vijai - self-employed: 'Hooper is the best man to lead the West Indies side right now. He is fit and is willing to give his service. He is an all rounder and a good leader. He has shown this before and is showing the same now captaining the Guyana team in the Busta Cup competition. There is no one else but Hooper right now. Adams has failed, Lara failed and the others are either on their way out or lack the experience. I think Hooper returned to Guyana and the West Indies team because he was hurt by seeing his home side getting trashed left, right and centre and he was powerless to do anything. His early retirement was forced on him and in some ways I agree with him. I am glad good sense prevailed and he has returned.'

Eon Edwards - self-employed: 'Hooper's return is great. We need a boost and he is that boost. We have been failing badly and I feel his input could make a difference. I don't think that we have anyone who could take over the captaincy right now but Hooper, so his return is timely. I think Hooper knows that, hence his return. Hooper deserved the captaincy even before Lara got it but Lara was a favourite of the WICB.'

Trevor Rupan - 'Hooper is the right man to return West Indies cricket to respectability right now but he cannot do it alone. He will need to get the cooperation of his teammates and that of the West Indies Cricket Board. He was never a favourite child of the WICB or he would have been made captain before Lara but he was given a bad deal. I think he has returned because he wants to prove a point and I have the feeling he will do it. I wish him well and the Guyana team now playing in the Busta Cup.'

Sundar Pheir - salesman: 'I think Hooper should have been made captain a long time ago even before Lara. That is in the past and the time is now ripe for him to be made captain. It would be grossly unfair if he has made himself available to play in the side and he is not considered. He should have been made captain after Walsh but we all know what happened. Hooper's inclusion on the team and even captaincy, which I support, will make a difference to the side. He can lead by example and he is also a good tactician. He has gained much experience playing first under Richie Richardson, Walsh, Lara and even under Adams at Bourda when he was by-passed in favour of Adams.'

Paul Pheir - bank clerk: 'Hooper's return is welcome. He has returned to play for Guyana and what I am happy about is that the local cricket board, which must get some credit, has been encouraging him to return. I think he is the best person to captain the local and West Indies side because of his experience. He plans his game. I don't think he returned to Guyana and the region because of money or because things were not going in his favour. I think he has given up some money to come here on his own and at his own expense, for which he must be congratulated. That alone shows his commitment to cricket. I feel he still has a lot more to give and we need to support him all the way.'

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