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In a statement, released during the final day of the Carib Beer International Shield semifinal between Guyana and Jamaica at the Albion Community Centre ground yesterday, the enigmatic Hooper pointed out that the next few weeks will determine the role he can play in West Indies cricket and the direction his life will take.
Hooper was replaced as West Indies captain by Brian Lara on Monday after leading the regional side in 22 Tests, during a transition period in which he was charged with the responsibility of moulding the young players in the side.
According to Hooper, he has been prompted by the expressions of concern and questions about his immediate future.
Explaining that he was grateful to be given the opportunity to play an active role in the rebuilding phase of West Indies cricket, which is in progress, Hooper said he took tremendous pride and satisfaction in how such a talented side has been moulded into an effective unit, capable of competing against the best in the world.
Hooper had hinted that he wanted to give up the captaincy after West Indies had failed to qualify for the ICC World Cup Cricket Super-Sixes in South Africa but was persuaded by chairman of the West Indies selection panel, Sir Vivian Richards, to reconsider his intention.
Hooper has totalled 5 762 runs in 102 Tests at an average of 36.46 with 13 centuries.
As captain he has four hundreds and nine fifties in 1 609 runs at an average of 45.97.
The text of the statement reads:
I have been prompted by the expressions of concern and questions about my immediate future to make this public statement.
The selectors of the West Indies Cricket Board have made a decision, ratified by the Directors of the Board, that I should no longer be captain of the West Indies team.
It is a decision that I accept, since it is not the God-given right of anyone to be captain or to represent the Region.
Those selectors have been given the authority and they are expected to use that authority rationally and in the interest of West Indies cricket.
May God give them that wisdom.
I am truly grateful to have been given the opportunity to play an active role in the rebuilding phase of West Indies cricket, which is in progress. I take tremendous pride and satisfaction in how such a young and talented side has been moulded into an effective unit, capable of competing with the best in the world.
Significantly, it is the very availability of the obvious talent that I need to take into consideration in determining my immediate future.
I know that I still possess the physical skill, the desire and the passion to represent this great West Indian nation.
I can state, unreservedly, too, that I am a team player, regardless of circumstances, and would demonstrate the same level of commitment under any leadership. It is the success of the West Indies that matters.
I would be less than honest if I did not indicate that I was relishing the thought of facing the challenge of the touring Australians and felt confident that the experience I had gained playing against them over the years would have been a valuable asset. I must be unselfish, though, and ask myself if my presence in the team would not be unfair, by blocking the path of some younger and promising player.
The next few weeks will determine the role I can play in West Indies cricket and the direction my life will take. God bless.