Sir Garry Sides With Holding

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CANA) - The legendary Sir Garfield Sobers has endorsed Michael Holding's view that Carl Hooper does not deserve to be elevated to the highest position in West Indies cricket, the Nation newspaper reported yesterday.

"We are rebuilding and I can't see Hooper being a part of the rebuilding of West Indies' cricket," Sir Garry, the most celebrated West Indian cricketer, told the Nation.

"West Indies have suffered many defeats at the hands of lots of teams and Hooper was nowhere around. How come all of a sudden this is happening?" Sir Garry asked. "I am not in favour and I endorse the sentiments of Michael Holding."

The 34-year-old Hooper was last Friday named West Indies captain for the forthcoming series against South Africa - an appointment that comes almost two years after his sudden retirement from international cricket.

Sir Garry, a former West Indies skipper, told the Nation there were more esteemed cricketers who were never given the sort of treatment they deserved. "It's obvious that he (Hooper) hasn't been committed," Sir Garry said.

In reacting to Hooper's appointment as captain, Holding said he was so incensed that he would not be performing duties as a television commentator nor would he be attending any of the matches during the series. Asked if he would take such a stance by not attending matches, Sir Garry told the Nation, a prior engagement would keep him out of Barbados for the Kensington Oval Test starting March 29. He is due to attend the Colin Cowdrey Memorial Service in England.

Sir Garry, however, was not willing to identify which individual he would name as his captain. "I would pick my 11 or 12 and then name a captain," he said.