"I haven't retired," says Hooper
Stabroek News
April 12, 2003

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(CRICINFO) Axed West Indies captain, Carl Hooper, said on Thursday that he had not retired from international cricket and intended to fight his way back into the team.

Hooper, sacked as skipper after the World Cup, said he would not be available for the Test series against Australia and Sri Lanka.

"I want to remain active. I don't want to be out for too long," he added.

Hooper was replaced by Brian Lara as captain and then withdrew from the West Indies squad after being selected for the first Test against Australia, which started on Thursday in George-town, Guyana. Chairman of selectors, Viv Richards, responded by saying he was not aware of Hooper's long-term plans but thanked him for his contribution to the West Indies cricket.

Hooper, speaking on the phone, said he had withdrawn from the squad for personal reasons but declined to discuss them, although he felt it was time for West Indies to select young talent.

He added he would consider playing in England if he was offered a county contract but was aiming to return for the West Indies for the tour to South Africa at the end of the year.

West Indies failed to reach the second round of the World Cup in South Africa in February-March.

Hooper has scored more than 5,000 runs and taken more than 100 wickets with his highly effective off spin in both Test and one-day cricket. He has played 102 Tests and 227 one-dayers.

It is the second time Hooper has opted not to play for the team.

He went into a two-year self-imposed exile in 1999, never fully explaining why, before returning as captain.

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