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 Debate: Hooper’s Appointment As Captain 
Is it a step In the Right Direction?
By S Zeyaur Rahman

Contrary to all the contradictions by the West Indian Cricket Board and in conformity with the media speculations, Carl Hooper has been named as the new captain of the West Indian team. Hooper has an unenvied task of leading a thoroughly de-motivated and sub-standard side and is expected to stem the rot as soon as possible. The wretched run of the Caribbean’s has so far accounted for three captains, Lara, Walsh and now Adams. Given the background let us examine if Hooper is the right choice for the musical chair. 

Yes, His Selection Might Do The Trick

It has been a huge turnaround for Carl Hooper. He has been forced out of his retirement and installed as the captain of the side. Not many people have such a fortune. The only example that comes to my mind is that of Imran Khan. And it is history that he took off on a flight that culminated with the zenith – the World Cup.

The present West Indian team has been going through a slump, a very bad one at that which refuses to get over. The selectors have tried changing captains, batsmen, bowlers, wicket keepers virtually everything they could. None of it has delivered. So it was natural for them to look beyond the available and conventional resources. That is how they zeroed on Hooper, who in his turn gave the right kind of signals.

De-motivation and discouragement are two factors, which are suicidal for a team. With reported failures that is precisely what happens. No wonder that most of the current players in the West Indian team is low on morale. They do not go for the sweet taste of victory for the simple reason that they have hardly ever tasted it.

It is here that Hooper becomes important. Due to his retirement he has escaped the beating that the Caribbean’s have taken in the past few years. He is not expected to be dejected and disillusioned as the rest of his teammates. He is one person who has tasted victory as a member of the unbeatable Windies sides. Who knows that he might be able to recall the taste and prepare a delicious meal of victories for a starved side?

No, It Is A Regressive Step

It is perfectly fine to draw inspirations from the past. But no matter how great the past be, one should not try to draw sustenance from it or merely try to cling to it for the fear of future. The selectors decision to appoint Hooper shows a regressive tendency and in likely hood is a step taken in sheer desperation.

The Imran Khan example does not hold much water in Hooper’s case. There is a fundamental difference between these two examples. Imran, to add to his immense potential, was a great leader of men. Hooper is man of limited means and as a matter of fact has never leaded the side. He was never even considered for the top post during his days at the top. With Imran one could look for magic and miracles because he had done that too often in the past. What does Hooper has to show for his achievements as captain?

The Kiwi side was facing a similar crisis in the mid 90’s. Their performance had suddenly hit an abyss as their entire cream had left within years of each other and without providing an alternative. The Kiwi selectors did not ask Hadlee or Wright to come out of retirement and lead the side. When they ran out of ideas they took a daring step – asking and uncapped Lee Germon to lead the side. That was a positive move. Not that Germon worked wonders but nonetheless that was a daring attitude.

Age is not on Hooper’s side. One does not even know if he is still fit enough to play for an international side. With the tremendous amount of expectations and pressure, it will not be unexpected if he breaks down. He does not have a single soul to look upto. Lara is not going great guns, Walsh is in his farewell series and here the search stops.

We have seen both the pros and cons of Hooper returning to lead the side. As always it is performance that will vindicate the mo
ve.

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