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Carl Hooper

by Saurabh Sharma Jul 21, 2018 • 03:55 AM
Carl Hooper Biography

Carl Hooper is a former West Indian allrounder known for his elegant and graceful batting. He was was the first cricketer to have scored 5,000 runs, taken 100 wickets, 100 catches and received 100 caps in both ODIs and Tests, a feat only matched since by Jacques Kallis. One of the cleanest strikers of the cricket ball, Carl hooper was born on 15 December 1966. He represented the country in 227 ODI and 102 tests over a period of 21 years.

Hooper made his Test debut against India at Mumbai on December 11, 1987. The West Indian line-up was full of  legends such as Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes. Hooper promised to carry forward its legacy in the years ahead.

The promise was evident when he smashed a hundred in only his second Test at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Batting at Number 6, Hooper scored his maiden cantury (100*). He shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 169 runs with Logie (101) in a game which turned out to be a high-scoring draw. In his first series, Hooper finished scored 147 runs in 4 innings along with 2 wickets.

While he was more renowned for his batting, he could contribute with his off-breaks. Perhaps his hopping delivery stride is what made his bowling more famous.

During his career, it wasn’t only his inability to translate his performances that frustrated West Indian fans. His withdrawals from the West Indies team on two occasions left them angry as it came when the team would have needed its senior player the most. He withdrew from the squad for the 1996 World Cup – one during which West Indies came agonisingly close to qualifying for the finals.

 

In 1999, Hooper dropped out of the World Cup squad yet again and also announced his retirement from international cricket. However, the reasons were emotional this time as his young son wasn’t keeping well and his family needed him. At the age of 32, one felt that Hooper’s career was over as he headed towards a different direction.

Then came one of the most unexpected moves. Hooper returned to the West Indies setup in early 2001 – that too as captain. West Indies were going through a bad phase and they entrusted the responsibility on Hooper to take them through. He had to lift this team and make them do justice to his talent, something he had to do as an individual as well.

It can be said that the responsibility of captaincy brought the better out of him. On his return he was more consistent and he averaged close to 46 in Test cricket. He held the reins for almost two years until the 2003 World Cup – where West Indies were knocked out in the first round. In the aftermath of that tournament, there was a lot of talk surrounding his future. The team management retained him in the squad as a player for the Test series against Australia. Hooper dropped out yet again and this time he said that it was to allow a younger player in. Those were the final curtains on his international career.

After international retirement, Hooper played for Lancashire in County Cricket and his last official game was in 2004. He has now settled in Australia with his family. The West Indian supporter will always wonder what this talent could have achieved.

Hooper was also a strong slip fielder, usually at second slip. He took numerous catches from the likes of Ambrose and Walsh. He is one of only three players to have scored centuries against 18 different English county sides

Steve Waugh writes that "quickness of feet and sweet yet brutally efficient stroke play were Hooper's trademarks."

Shane Warne also thought very highly of Hooper's footwork and, in 2008, named him among the top 100 cricketers of his time, citing in particular his ability to disguise his dances down the track.

Abhishek De

In 1999, Hooper dropped out of the World Cup squad yet again and also announced his retirement from international cricket. However, the reasons were emotional this time as his young son wasn’t keeping well and his family needed him. At the age of 32, one felt that Hooper’s career was over as he headed towards a different direction.

Then came one of the most unexpected moves. Hooper returned to the West Indies setup in early 2001 – that too as captain. West Indies were going through a bad phase and they entrusted the responsibility on Hooper to take them through. He had to lift this team and make them do justice to his talent, something he had to do as an individual as well.

It can be said that the responsibility of captaincy brought the better out of him. On his return he was more consistent and he averaged close to 46 in Test cricket. He held the reins for almost two years until the 2003 World Cup – where West Indies were knocked out in the first round. In the aftermath of that tournament, there was a lot of talk surrounding his future. The team management retained him in the squad as a player for the Test series against Australia. Hooper dropped out yet again and this time he said that it was to allow a younger player in. Those were the final curtains on his international career.

After international retirement, Hooper played for Lancashire in County Cricket and his last official game was in 2004. He has now settled in Australia with his family. The West Indian supporter will always wonder what this talent could have achieved.

Hooper was also a strong slip fielder, usually at second slip. He took numerous catches from the likes of Ambrose and Walsh. He is one of only three players to have scored centuries against 18 different English county sides

Steve Waugh writes that "quickness of feet and sweet yet brutally efficient stroke play were Hooper's trademarks."

Shane Warne also thought very highly of Hooper's footwork and, in 2008, named him among the top 100 cricketers of his time, citing in particular his ability to disguise his dances down the track.

Abhishek De

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