Adams was axed for poor form

By Tony Cozier
Stabroek News
March 8, 2001

Carl Hooper was made West Indies captain because he was "the most logical choice", chief selector Mike Findlay said yesterday.

And Jimmy Adams was replaced for the imminent home series against South Africa as his form in the previous two series against England and Australia meant he couldn't command a place in the team, he explained.

"When you look at the 16 players chosen for the training camp last week, Hooper was the most logical choice," Findlay said.

The only other candidate considered was Ridley Jacobs but Findlay said he and his fellow selectors felt it would be placing "too much pressure" on someone who had to keep wicket and is "a very valuable batsman in the West Indies lower order".

Hooper, the 34-year-old all-rounder with 80 Tests and 182 one-day internationals to his name, was appointed after an outstanding Busta Cup season almost two years since he unexpectedly pulled out of the team during the one-day internationals against Australia in the Caribbean.

His elevation has brought mixed reactions from former players and from fans. Those opposing the decision have alluded principally to his past run-ins with the WICB and his withdrawal at the last minute from the team prior to the last two World Cups.

"We discussed that and looked at the problems Hooper has had in the past," Findlay said. "We thought that he had shown enough commitment since his return to the region for us to recommend him as captain."

"He had batted well and he's become extremely fit, remembering that he wasn't so fit the last time he played (for the West Indies)," he added.

Findlay said that the selectors had met with Hooper since his appointment was confirmed and pointed out "the concerns we've seen expressed in the press and generally".

"We asked about his commitment and he admitted that he has done some things in the past that he should not have done," the chief selector added. "But he thinks he is a more matured person now, that his family situation is more settled and that he feels at peace within himself."

"We can only now look to see what happens," Findlay said. "We have put the cards on the table to him and even warned him that he should expect mixed feeling when he takes the field."

"He said he understood that and was prepared for it," he added.

Findlay said the selectors were concerned with Adams' form.

"When you have a captain who is not performing the team may well lose confidence in him," he stated. "We felt it was in his own interest and in the interest of West Indies cricket to take a break, reorganise his cricket and bounce back."

Findlay said that, for logistical reasons, he was unable to inform Adams of the situation before the 16 names to participate in the scheduled training camp in Trinidad had been announced.

"I called Jimmy when I got to Jamaica (for the Busta International Shield final) and explained the position to him," Findlay said. "As you know, Jimmy doesn't talk much and all he said was, 'okay, chief'."