Legall hopeful that Hooper will show up By Sean Devers
Stabroek News
August 8, 2002

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Pat Legall, manager of the Guyana Red Stripe Bowl cricket team which will begin the defense of their regional limited overs title in St. Lucia next week is hopeful that West Indies skipper Carl Hooper will show up to represent Guyana in this year’s competition.

Hooper, who is presently in Australia where he resides with his wife and son, is expected back in the Caribbean in time for the Red Stripe Bowl competition which runs from August 14-September 1.

The elegant Guyanese all-rounder missed the test captains meeting recently in England and according to media reports is ‘taking a break’ after the tough back to back series against India and New Zealand.

Legall, who represented British Guiana as a fast bowler in the 1960’s, said if Hooper fails to show up he will be badly missed as a top class batsman, bowler and most importantly captain.

“I am hopeful that he (Hooper) will be back in time especially since no vice-captain has been named by the board (Guyana Cricket Board). He is a key member of the team and I hope that since he has played with most of the guys in the squad, his late arrival will not be too much cause for concern,” Legall told Stabroek Sport yesterday.

The Manager said although he has not heard from Hooper the Guyana captain called the GCB on Tuesday to confirm that he was coming for the Red Stripe Bowl tournament. Legall also added that he understands that Hooper might join the team in Trinidad on their way to St. Lucia on Monday.

The last time Hooper promised to join the Guyana team at their match venue (in 2000 in Barbados for the Busta Cup) he failed to show up but with the West Indies set to tour India in October and the World Cup coming up in South Africa early next year, most people are confident that the captain will be in the starting line for Guyana on August 16 when Guyana face Canada in their first match in this year’s Red Stripe Bowl competition.

Legall said the Guyana team is very strong with seven test players who all have played limited overs cricket at the highest level and he expects Guyana to qualify for the final four play-offs round of the competition to be held in Jamaica from August 28-September 1.

“Looking at our zone Trinidad should give us our toughest fight but cricket is played in the middle and we will be taking all of our games seriously and playing our hardest” Legall promised.

Guyana play Antigua, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Rest of the Windwards in Zone `B’ of the two zone competition.

The top two teams from each zone qualify for the semi finals and final.

The Guyana players will have their final warm up match today at Bourda before returning for their respective homes on Friday. The players return to Georgetown on Sunday afternoon to prepare to travel to St. Lucia on Monday.

Guyana beat Barbados in last year’s final and Legall feels that the team has all the talent to do well even though he is not totally satisfied with the team’s preparation.

‘Three days are not enough to properly prepare the side and I would have liked the team to have been picked earlier. But I guess we had to wait on the inter-county competition and that was kept back due to the rain. We can’t blame anyone for the late selection of the team since no one controls the weather,” Legall said.

Pacer Reon King who was a member of the West Indies ‘A’ team is expected to arrive home Friday while Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Lennox Cush have both returned home from the USA earlier this week.