Former West Indies captain Carl Hooper is disappointed to see the downfall of Caribbean Cricket heritage. In a recent chat with the CrickerSoccer, he stated that he is ready to change the scenario if the Caribbean Cricket board takes initiative.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): You are travelling with the West Indies National Cricket Team these days. How are you seeing them as a performing unit?
Carl Hooper (CH): To be very honest, I’m not satisfied at all to see the performance of the West Indies Cricketers. It’s not that they don’t have potential. But they lack the urge to applying their plan on the field. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that the Caribbean Cricketers are showing the very casual approach. They don’t have the intensity or lack of eagerness to show it on the field. It hurts, really hurts.
CS: The likes of Chris Gayle declined to make himself available for selection most of the times. Sunil Narine and Andre Russell have some bizarre injury issues. Your take on the issue.
CH: It’s a shame that some players are not interested in playing for the West Indies. I don’t know why they are not interested to play for the team, but it’s clear that they are not interested. Come on guys. Once we ruled the cricketing world. Legends like Viv Richards, Garry Sobers, Malcolm Marshall played for this country. Opponents were afraid of us. I don’t want to name anybody in particular. But feel proud that you have been selected to play for the country. Feel proud that you are one of those few guys who had the opportunity to represent the country. Donning the West Indies jersey should be enough motivation for them.
CS: But what could be the reason behind the downfall of Caribbean Cricket?
CH: There are many. Even the West Indies Cricket board can not shed off their responsibility. I’ve heard that players are agitated for the disrespect they get from the association. And add to that is the enticement of many rich T20 leagues across the world. Playing for the country has become secondary in the players’ priority list. But there must be a remedy for this issue.
CS: How can this be resolved?
CH: Both the current and former players should come out with a remedy. Everybody should take responsibility. There is enough popularity for the game of cricket even now in the West Indies. In limited overs cricket, we are not doing badly. But we have to bounce back in Test Cricket. Players should be encouraged enough to play and do well in Test Cricket.
CS: The team didn’t perform well against India. Even against Bangladesh, they are struggling…
CH: This is a young squad and these players need time. Had the senior players been there, it would not have been that easy for India. The main concern is that we lack consistency.
Some days we are playing well, some days we are not performing according to the situation. We need to be consistent.
We have the talent, but they need to be nurtured well. Cricket West Indies needs to adopt good policies.
CS: Do you yourself make you available for help?
CH: Yes, why not. Even I have a few words with Brian (Lara) recently. He is also very eager to change the scenario. But the West Indies Cricket board should take the initiative to engage former Cricketers. There should be a committee, which will travel with the national team most of the times. The domestic cricket structure should be scrutinized. School level cricket should be more encouraged. I don’t think the scenario cannot be changed. If there is will, there is a way.