'I would welcome Hooper,' says Lara
September 29, 2003
WEST Indies captain Brian Lara suggested Saturday that former captain Carl Hooper would be welcomed back as a player once he meets criteria, as set out by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Lara was responding to a question on Hooper's future with the West Indies, after addressing the two-day Ernst & Young Caribbean Entrepreneur conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay, Saturday.
"That is a decision that Carl (Hooper) has to make," said Lara. "He (Hooper) has done tremendously well for West Indies cricket over the years and if he's got time and is physically fit, he is going to be welcomed back into West Indies cricket, as long as he fits the criteria of West Indies cricket."
Hooper only recently completed part of a season in England, helping Lancashire to the NCL Division Two title.
He topped Lancashire's NCL batting average, scoring 597 runs at an average of 74.62, including seven half-centuries.
But Hooper is not part of the recently selected Shivnarine Chanderpaul-led Guyana squad for the Red Bowl limited overs tournament, which begins Wednesday. On that basis and given existing WICB eligibility rules, he is presumably not eligible for selection to the West Indies team for upcoming tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Lara said also that he was ready to welcome Jamaican pacer, Jermaine Lawson, once the problems with his action are corrected.
Lawson was reported by ICC officials for a suspect bowling action in May during the Australian tour of the West Indies. The 21-year-old fastbowler, who has also had back problems, has been undergoing remedial work since then.
"Jermaine has a lot to offer to West Indies cricket and as soon as he is able to get over his problems, I am almost sure that he will be back ...," Lara said.
Lara said preparation for the tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa would begin with the Red Stripe Bowl and would be followed by a one-week camp in Antigua. (Jamaica Observer)