At 36, West Indies skipper Hooper remains one of the most gifted cricketers in the world.india Updated: Jan 29, 2003 23:55 IST
At 36, West Indies skipper Hooper remains one of the most gifted cricketers in the world, not to mention one of the game's most curious characters.
An immensely graceful middle-order batsman with the ability to make the game look incredibly easy at times, he joined the national set-up at just 21, performing impressively in three one-day internationals against New Zealand.
Since then, he has witnessed the highs and, more noticeably in recent years, the lows in West Indian cricket.
It was thought that Hooper's international career was over in 1999 when he announced his retirement just before the World Cup.
But his plans to hang up his bat were short-lived as "Hoops" sensationally returned to lead the beleaguered team in 2001.
Although an excellent timer of the ball, he retains a penchant for getting out at the most inappropriate times to the most inappropriate bowlers.
Hooper is bearing down on the West Indies one-day appearances record and continues to contribute with the bat.
Elsewhere, he is an excellent slip fielder as well as a formidable off-spin bowler with nearly 200 wickets and three four-wicket hauls.
He comes into his first World Cup in a decade fresh from the treatment table having had surgery on his troublesome knees.