Hooper Post-Captaincy 2003
Outgoing West Indies captain Carl Hooper says the four-Test series against Australia starting at the Georgetown Cricket Club, Bourda tomorrow, will not be a one-sided affair.
"I think it is going to be an exciting series. A lot of people think it is going to be one-way traffic but I've got a different view," the 36-year-old Hooper said hours before revealing he was withdrawing from the team to make way for a younger player. "I think that we've got the makings of certainly a good side and it will depend on how well we compete in the first Test match that will set the trend for the rest of the series," Hooper noted.
"I honestly think that we will do well in Guyana. We have got to make sure that the first morning, in the first session, we are up for it and that we carry them tooth and nail, session by session. We've got to make them work hard for their runs and everything, but I think we are going to give a very good account of ourselves in this Test series," He said.
Hooper, who was replaced by Brian Lara as captain after two years in the job, expressed disappointment at not being re-appointed. "Obviously, I am a bit disappointed but I suppose life moves on. I've had the opportunity to do it for two years and it was a wonderful experience," Hooper said.
"I just want to take this opportunity to thank the fellows for all their support, especially a number of the young players, who really rallied around and sort of toe the line . . . . I thought it [captaincy] worked well and I just hope that we can continue going from strength to strength. I think what we need now is to give them [younger players] the support, a little bit of trust, a bit of loyalty and I am sure that in a few years time, they will be the ones to bring West Indies cricket right back up to the top," he contended.
Hooper said one of the pleasing aspects about his stint as West Indies captain was the improvement shown by the team in general.
"When I took over the job, one of the most important things that I wanted to do was to make sure that regardless of the result, whenever you look at a West Indies team playing, that you saw guys who wanted to play. Regardless to whether we won or lost, you would see a bunch of guys playing as a team which is important and wanting to compete," he said.
"Obviously, as any captain, you want to have success but it was also important to have things like the discipline come through, setting the right example, raising the work ethics, things like this to make sure that we were heading in the right direction, not just two or three guys but as a team in general. I think as I look back over the last two years, I am fairly happy with the job that I did given the players that we had. I have seen players take massive strides forward, just to mention a few, Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Marlon Samuels."
"I have seen them play responsible innings in my stint as captain and I am happy to see that. It shows something must have worked and worked in a favourable manner and I just hope that they can continue with the rest of their careers going from strength to strength," Hooper said.