Hooper is a victim of insularity
Sports view by Neil Kumar
Guyana Chronicle
April 9, 2003

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‘SIR Carl’ Hooper, former Guyana and West Indies cricket captain, admirably and politely announced that he is unavailable to play for the West Indies in the first Test match against Australia at Bourda.

This is indeed a very sad moment for West Indies cricket. As for Guyanese, we are extremely hurt and it is most painful for us to endure this rough and harsh treatment for our Golden Boy Carl Hooper.

Carl, ever since his youthful days and for more than a decade, thrilled, excited, entertained and provided us with great moments of relaxation and leisure. Carl made cricket look simple. As a batsman, his elegant stroke play, precise timing and sweet drives to the boundaries were most pleasant to look at. Hooper’s last Test innings at Bourda was a masterful double century.

Guyanese in their thousands cheered Hooper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul as they both batted splendidly, but we never knew that Hooper was playing his last and giving us his best at Bourda, one year ago.

Carl Llewellyn Hooper is the only player in the great game of cricket to score over 5 000 Test runs captured more than 100 wickets, and in his safe hands took more than 100 catches in both Tests and One-day Internationals.

‘Sir Carl’ played 102 Test matches and 227 One-day Internationals.

He is one of the five Guyanese who captained the West Indies cricket team. M.P. Fernandes, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd, Alvin Kallicharran and Carl Hooper demonstrated their leadership qualities at the helm of West Indies cricket.

This entire nation recognised the contribution of our sports personalities and even though we are totally behind Hooper, we as a responsible and hospitable Guyanese people, will give our unflinching support to our West Indies Test team.

Rohan Kanhai took over the captaincy from the world’s greatest cricketer, Sir Garfield Sobers. He moulded a disciplined team and handed it over to Clive Lloyd. Lloyd took West Indies cricket to the helm of world cricket.

Hooper can boast that he is leaving the captaincy with several young players, who under his stewardship arrived on the international arena and they are destined for greatness. Our own Ramnaresh Sarwan is heading for the skies. As Chanderpaul gets mature, he is more reliable and prominent.

Young Narsingh Deonarine and Rayon Griffith are about to make it to the top.

The selectors must explain to the Caribbean people why Hooper was dismissed as captain. Hooper was selected for the first match at Bourda as the only spinner, batsman and he is one of the best fieldsmen in the team. Given the fact that he was selected to play then we are demanding an explanation on his removal as captain.

As Guyanese, we have great expectations. Our captain Hooper and coach Roger Harper were victims of insularity.

We all are fully aware that Sir Vivian Richards supported Hooper and I knew that Gus Logie is a decent person. I recalled vividly what Logie told me about Sarwan four years ago.

To my very few West Indies Cricket administrators who we can rely on and hope to guide our cricket development to the helm of world cricket, we Guyanese look forward to support you and plead for fairness; we will not take anymore Roger Harper and Carl Hooper Insults.

‘Sir Carl’, your last Test innings at Bourda will live in our memory.

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