won't play under Lara
April 8, 2003
CARL Hooper announced yesterday he is pulling out of the Test series against Australia and will never play under new captain Brian Lara.
An angry Hooper, dumped from the captaincy last week, believes he was backstabbed by two of the three national selectors - Joey Carew and Gordon Greenidge, in concert with Lara, in recent weeks.
Selection panel chairman Viv Richards wanted Hooper retained as captain but was out-voted.
Hooper had yet to tell Richards of his decision to abandon the series against Australia when The Daily Telegraph learned of the story early this morning.
"Carl will never, ever play under Brian," a source close to the West Indian veteran said. "He got the captaincy based on an untruthful report on Carl's fitness.
"Brian is a very insecure man."
Hooper believes Carew former teammate Greenidge and Lara spread lies about his fitness, saying he was "unable to walk and was unfit to play in the team".
"That's just rubbish," the source said. "As soon as Carl went home they started leaking stories he was unfit and that they needed to find a new captain."
Hooper flew to Adelaide with his family after the World Cup last month to rest and have both of his surgically-repaired knees inspected by local doctors.
But he returned to the West Indies in time to play for Guyana in the semi-finals of the domestic competition, where he scored an unbeaten 130 and bowled 40 overs of off-spin.
"West Indian officials have since been calling him up and saying they couldn't believe he was walking properly. They had been told he was unfit to play," the source said.
It's understood Hooper would have played under any other captain, even one of the younger players, but believes Lara should not be skipper because of past off-field troubles.
"Not one of the players in the side respects Lara," the source said. "Carl may be the first of several to leave the side." (Daily Telegraph Australia)