Hooper undecided on future
Stabroek News
April 2, 2003

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC - Carl Hooper, sacked Monday as West Indies cricket captain, was inconclusive yesterday as he gave a written statement to the press about his immediate plans.

Hooper, 36, hinted that he would like to play against the powerful Australians in the forthcoming Cable & Wireless series but added that he has to contemplate making room for a younger player coming up.

He said the next “few weeks will determine the role” he can play in West Indies cricket and the “direction” his life will take.

“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,” said Hooper.

Hooper, who came out of retirement two years ago and was given the West Indies captaincy after a prolific season in first-class cricket, was replaced by Brian Lara Monday to lead the West Indies in the Cable & Wireless home series against Australia and Sri Lanka.

Hooper lost 11 and drew four of the 22 tests in which he captained the West Indies and presided over the sides early (first-round) exit from Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2003.

He said he accepted the decision by the selectors — ratified by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) — to replace him as captain since it is not the “God-given right” of anyone to be captain or to represent the region.

He added that he was “grateful” to have been given the opportunity to play an active role in the rebuilding phase of West Indies cricket and expressed satisfaction with his work with the team.

“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.”

Hooper, who has scored 5,762 runs in his 102 tests at an average of 36.46, said he is confident he can still perform at the highest level and indicated that he would not be bothered playing under a new captain.

“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,” stated Hooper, who smashed an unbeaten 130 yesterday in Guyana’s failed attempt to get first innings points over Jamaica and a place in the Carib Beer International Challenge final.

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