On captaincy, WI cricket and Carl Hooper By Pryor Jonas
Stabroek News
May 4, 2002

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Let's begin with this fairly recent clipping from the front page of one of our two more popular dailies.

Were you to do the necessary research, you would find it under the headline "Captain Hooper Wields His Pen". It reads thus: Stabroek News is pleased to inform its readers that it has concluded a deal with the captain of the West Indies cricket team, Carl Hooper, to do a series of articles on the coming Test series with India, etc. etc. I was moved publicly in this very media to call upon the WICB President, the very Rev. Wesley Hall, urging him to do his utmost to dissuade his captain and our Carl Llewellyn Hooper, from going ahead with his project. If it's money he needs, then surely our president can get in touch, if needs be, with Caricom itself! Surely this becomes at root level a political matter in which we're all involved, all without exception Martin Carter or

not dead or alive? This I have learnt, sings our bard, even louder today, today a speck/tomorrow a hero/hero or monster/you are consumed. But no, Carl Llewellyn follows South Africa's Shaun Pollock, rather than England's Mike Brearley, who writes AFTER his team has won, or West Indies' Frank Worrell, who doesn't write, but selects none other than a barrister at law to write for him, and even then still vets with his running commentary.

Yes, Carl Llewellyn Hooper writes, "Well, the Indians won the second Test after five hard days of gruelling cricket. Since my return to international cricket, this Test I would put down as my most disappointing, simply because it was a game that we NEVER should have lost." That was how Carl Llewellyn

Hooper started his Captain's View, in the SN of Sat. Apr. 27. And here is Tony Cozier giving us further dope as Carl Llewellyn Hooper writes again.

Reports Cozier, ostensibly matter of factly, "Writing in his column for the Press Trust of India, Hooper said Lara wanted to do well in front of his home crowd at the Queen's Park Oval, and alluded to the pre series build up as a show down between Lara and India's premier batsman, Sachin Tendulkar.

After the Indian master's hundred in the first innings, he wanted one for himself. What better way than to do it in the final innings of the match, and win the Test for the team, but it didn't work out as planned."

That was the WICB's most senior commentator, highly respected Tony Cozier, reporting verbatim on what Carl Llewellyn wrote for India's Press Trust. But Cozier himself, in his brief summary, added these words, which must make you think, mustn't they? "Lara added only seven to his overnight 40 before he edged a catch to first slip off left arm swing bowler Ashish Nehra. Hooper followed in Nehra's next over, and India went on to win the Test by 37 runs for a 1 0 lead in the five Test series."

Carl Llewellyn Hooper has not so far impressed with his captaincy. I have written before, and write again, that "To date Carl Hooper is NOT a successful captain. His plate is already over full. That's why I'm asking, Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Surely there must be someone close to the West Indies captain to convince him that he has enough on his hands already, that he is in danger of becoming another Richie Richardson. Because of what cricket means to us, we in the West Indies do not forgive or forget easily."

Finally I repeat to the West Indies captain and his co selectors my eleven that will beat the world despite our current team management: GARRICK, GAYLE, HINDS (W), SINGULARA, CHANDRAPAUL, HOOPER, a wicket keeper, a leg spinner or left armer, and three pace men to be selected by Courtney Walsh the only quintuple hundred world champion to date.

Sadly there is no place for Ramnaresh Sarwan in my triumphant XI. Why? Because, though we've robbed Garrick and Hinds, we've killed Sarwan. And what about Marlon Samuels, you're still asking.