Did Carl Hooper Undeachieve?


Club Cricketer
Jan 29, 2012
Could Carl Hooper have achieved more had he applied himself better? Should he have had better career numbers?

It is the bane of the languid stroke-player that his failures are frequently attributed to a lack of effort or a lack of grit. David Gower was a high-class player with an excellent record who entertained many a gathering with the liquid ease of his batting. But he was often accused of getting out to the “lazy” shot, never mind that the same lazy shot would other times, speed to the boundary.

Maybe it is the impression that batting came easier to the likes of Gower, Hooper and others of their ilk than it came to others why their errors were less forgivable. If you are given much, then much will be expected of you; and so if you are more gifted than most then it is your duty to tend and nurture your gift till it blossoms and bears much fruit, and a dereliction of duty if you let it go to waste. It is the opinion of most Caribbean cricket fans that Hooper squandered his substantial talent.

It was said of Frank Worrell that it was worth the price of admission to see him walk to the wicket. Hooper displayed the same kind of gait, exuding class and competence wherever he was and whatever he did on a cricket field. He was among the best slip catchers in the game, and his off-spin was good enough to capture 114 test wickets, including four five-wicket hauls, even if Geoff Boycott thought Hooper’s was “lollipop” bowling that even his grandmother could play.

Remembering Carl Hooper


Rally Round The West Indies
Jan 1, 2013
Kingston, Jamaica
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The short answer to the question is 'Yes'. Hooper was incredibly talented and a very good skipper too. In the team as a specialist batsman, he was the man with a golden arm, even when bowling pace in his early days. He might not have the best of numbers to flaunt but he was good with both bat and ball. Someone who slowly and steadily would contribute to the team on a consistent basis while others steal the limelight.

One has to believe it when one of the best fast bowlers ever is all praises for him.



Chairman of Selectors
Feb 10, 2010
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Yea, the windies version of mark waugh. I never forget watching the video of him & Lara batting vs Australia on the 1st day of the 1995 series vs Australia when he hit Shane Warne for 4 consecutive boundaries. Classic stuff, outside of Indian batsmen & Saleem Malik in 1994, no other batsman ever played Warne so competently.

He really should have average closer to 50 in tests, during the 90s he was guilty of getting out to lazy shots a lot & he played to crowd a great deal. When he came back as captain in 2001 - he averaged close to 50 & that was the real hooper. He probably had a year or two left in windies colours, the selectors quite strangely got rid of him after 2003 world cup.


Panel of Selectors
Oct 29, 2006
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Ah yes the old underachievement chestnut. That original article points out that those who make it look easy are judged against tougher standards. It's a conundrum.

Ultimately, I think Carl Hooper got an average he deserved. Laziness is no less a sin than any other way of getting out. And if his talent somehow entitles him to the warm fuzzy feeling of beleving that he could have averaged more, what about guys like Wasim Akram and Mitchell Johnson? Both had/have boat loads of batting talent. Did they underachieve? Or get what they deserved? It's an interesting topic.

Jayawardene outside of Sri Lanka is one I'd pinpoint as quite disappointing. Nathan Astle's Test career with the bat. Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton are on the other end of the scale. Neither looked talented, but could be impossible to remove on occasions. Disappointing that they ended their careers averaging under 40.

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