Hooper has his say on Windies in Australia

Carl Hooper
Carl Hooper

SOUTH AUSTRALIA – Former West Indies captain Carl Hooper has lamented the West Indies One-Day International whitewash against Australia and treatment of Marlon Samuels in Big Bash League showdowns with Shane Warne and Darren Lehmann this summer.

Hooper was disappointed at the disparity of a 5-0 one-day scoreline against a virtual third string Australian side weakened by departures of Test players for this month’s tour of India. However, it was the images of World Twenty20 hero and Melbourne Renegades all-rounder Samuels’ clash with Stars skipper Warne last month that particularly peeved the former batting stylist.

Lehmann publicly questioned the legitimacy of Samuels’ action in December while Warne was found guilty of making inappropriate physical contact and verbal abuse during a fiery January 6 exchange with Samuels.

“I spoke with Marlon and heard Cameron White say he was not liked but I have found him OK. I was surprised to see some of the responses coming,” said Hooper who played a 102 Test matches.

“If you have an issue with Marlon’s action you probably report it to the match referee. It didn’t look good for cricket.”

Warne copped a one-ban and $4500 fine while Lehmann copped a suspended $3000 fine for their troubles.

Samuels only received a reprimand for a bizarre clutch at Stars batsman David Hussey’s shirt to prevent him from attempting a run in the January 6 clash at the MCG.

“Yeah he shouldn’t have blocked Hussey, I can’t condone that, it didn’t look good either,” Hooper said.

Hooper said the West Indies 5-0 losing scoreline “could have been different” if Samuels – who blasted a decisive 78 from 56 balls against Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20 final last October – played and hadn’t had been floored by a bouncer from Stars slinger Lasith Malinga during the Big Bash.

He said the series loss underlined the gulf in class between the nations.

“There is a gap in world cricket. Australia is rebuilding, had guys in India and others chucked in at will and it was still 5-0,” Hooper said.

The West Indies have not won a one-day game in Australia since 1997 in Perth.

Hooper still expected Darren Sammy’s side to turn around an embarrassing road record this summer – buoyed by the World T20 triumph.

However the Windies bowling unit is a shadow of the gladiators Hooper started his Test career with including Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Patrick Patterson.

“We have struggled for years now playing away from home,” Hooper said, now coaching grade side Woodville.

“In the last one-day game Australia was 4 for 2 and made 274, so the most disappointing thing was the bowling.”

Hooper said the Windies batting received a pass mark but lacked trademark thunderous starts from opener Chris Gayle who made 10 runs in three games.

“Chris didn’t fire and he is the linchpin, if he fires he is the key. Kieron Pollard came good in the last couple of games, Johnson Charles also made a hundred, Darren Bravo looked good so the batting was there and there abouts,” Hooper said.††

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