WIPA welcomes Lara and says thanks to Hooper

Guyana Chronicle
April 6, 2003

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC - The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) yesterday welcomed Brian Lara as the new West Indies captain and said thanks to Carl Hooper for his two-year contribution in that role.

In a press release, WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine commended Lara for accepting the captaincy.

"Brian Lara is a natural leader who will help to take West Indies cricket one step further along the pathway to progress and perfection," Ramnarine said.

Commenting on the role of Hooper, who was replaced by Lara as West Indies skipper last Monday, Ramnarine said: "Carl answered the call when our fortunes were at their lowest ebb and we must never forget that fact.

"He (Carl Hooper) is a great player and a very responsible individual. We still have a lot to learn from him and, as far as WIPA is concerned, his contribution has not yet ended."

The WIPA president was also high in praise of the WICB Selection Committee's choice of Ramnaresh Sarwan as vice-captain and its ratification by the Board.

"This is the kind of forward-looking and futuristic thinking we want to see in all areas of cricket," he commented.

Ramnarine congratulated young Sarwan on becoming vice-captain but stressed the level of responsibility required and the need for support for Sarwan from the players as well as the Board.

He said: "We (WIPA) are putting in place a major programme for upgrading the skills of members, not just in cricket, but in all aspects of life.

We would like to see this supplemented by the Board and by individual countries.

"We also want to see other young players with captaincy potential identified from early and groomed to take over the reins at every level of the game."

The WIPA president also congratulated the two previous vice-captains, Ridley Jacobs and Wavell Hinds, for their contributions.

"Ridley is a legend and a driving force in West Indies cricket and while we must now think of a replacement for him as a keeper, he can never be replaced as a human being and team player. Wavell is the future of West Indies cricket and will give of his best regardless of post or position. He is an inspiration for young players."

The WIPA president revealed that his association has a number of initiatives for the future, including greater use of former Test players.

He said, "We will be presenting a very comprehensive action plan shortly.

However, there is no doubt that the experience, expertise and knowledge of these former greats have been under-utilised and we have to maximise their presence and inputs. We have in mind a personal mentoring programme to help individual players.

"Whatever we do, Carl and others like him will be actively involved." Ramnarine stressed.

"We, the players, will always remember the depth of Carl's commitment and will never forget how he helped to rescue the team when things were really tough," Ramnarine said.

In a written statement to the press on Tuesday, Hooper was non-committal about whether he would continue playing. He said he would be willing to play in the forthcoming Cable & Wireless series against Australia but has to consider making room for a young developing player.

WIPA will hold its first Annual Dinner on Wednesday, April 16, at the Trinidad Hilton.

Speakers for the event include Michael Holding, David Hookes (Australia), West Indies Cricket Board president, the Rev. Wes Hall, and WIPA president Ramnarine.

At the dinner, Ramnarine is expected to unveil a comprehensive plan for the future development of WIPA.

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