As Carl Hooper walked out of the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday afternoon — a few minutes after West Indies’ embarrassing defeat against India — some of the scribes and fans asked him if this was the lowest point for West Indies cricket? The former captain gave a wry smile and replied: “Can it get any lower? There’s only rock bottom after this.”
The 51-year-old, who is here as a radio commentator witnessed a disastrous showing by the West Indies in the first Test, however, plans to meet the players in one of these days and perhaps talk to them about how to go ahead. “I would definitely speak to them. I did not talk during the match because that would have confused them. But I intend to talk to them,” he told Sportstar .
“There are many senior coaches in the team and they must have spoken to the boys. Stuart (Law) is a good coach,” Hooper, who played his last Test against India in 2002, said.
Former cricketers usually try and talk to the young cricketers as and when possible, in a bid to motivate them and after a disastrous outing in Rajkot, the Caribbean cricketers wouldn’t mind a word or two from Hooper.
The Holder Story
As West Indies struggled in the second innings of the first Test, regular captain, Jason Holder, could be seen bowling at the nets for a while. Braving the scorching sun, Holder — who pulled out of the first Test with an ankle injury — bowled for a while under the watchful eyes of bowling coach, Corey Collymore.
While he bowled from a short run-up, Collymore made it a point to note down a few points. Later in the day, West Indies’ stand-in captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, however, did not have a definite answer on whether Holder will be fit for the second Test. “Not 100 per cent sure. In a couple of days, we will come to know,” he said. With the side bleeding runs, Holder’s return will be a big boost.
Heart attack on the ground
Before the third day’s play got underway at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday, Pupatbhai Talatia, one of the core members of the association suffered a cardiac arrest at the ground. In-charge of the ground security, Talatia was inspecting the ground a while before the play began when he felt uneasy and was immediately rushed to the hospital. “He is better now. The doctors are monitoring him,” a Saurashtra Cricket Association official said. A day earlier, the car carrying three scorers to the stadium toppled, injuring all three passengers. Tushar Trivedi, a BCCI-affiliated scorer, was severely injured and underwent a shoulder surgery. On Saturday, he was discharged and left for his home in Ahmedabad.
So, what if Brian Lara is not around, the fans in Rajkot seem to be missing the West Indies legend. But then, on Saturday, they confused one legend, Ian Bishop, with another. As Bishop — who is here as a television commentator — got out of the media centre and was heading towards his car, some fans from the stand shouted, ‘Lara, Lara…’ Bishop perhaps heard those voices, but quietly got into the car.