“Windies’ position in world cricket ‘distressing” – Carl Hooper Describing his role on the team

West Indies will play their first match against USA at 3 am Caribbean time on Sunday at Takashinga Sports Club in Highfield, Harare.

Ten teams will compete in the qualifiers with the top two teams advancing to the 2023 ICC World Cup in India from October 5 to November 19.

Assistant coach Carl Hooper wants to see West Indies reach close to where they once were in world cricket, saying that he never thought he would witness the regional team playing qualifiers to advance to a World Cup.

In his first interview with journalists on Friday, Hooper said, “It is a fantastic feeling (to be back). West Indies cricket has always been dear to me. I have been away for a long time, but I have kept track of our progress or lack their off…I am among some familiar faces certainly from the coaching staff perspective. I know Daren Sammy, I know Floyd Reifer, James Franklin is new to me but I may have played against him.”

Former West Indies player Reifer and former New Zealand cricketer Franklin are also assistant coaches.

Speaking about the decline of West Indies cricket over the past 25 years, he said, “Can we go lower than this? Yes we can go lower than this because if we don’t qualify you’ve gone a step lower. Never did I thought I will live to see the day where West Indies would be trying to qualify for major tournaments…no disrespect to the other teams, but we are playing against the likes of the US and Nepal and Scotland, even Afghanistan is ahead of us, Bangladesh has gone ahead of us. This is distressing.”

Describing his role on the team, Hooper said, “It is predominantly to deal with the batters…my primary role will be to help and make sure I prep the batters for the games.”

Discussing the areas he is trying to work on, he said, “There has been an issue I suppose outside of the power play which is after ten overs. We are very good strikers of the ball, but what happens in between the fours and the sixes we have to be able to rotate the strike.”

West Indies won two of their warm-up matches convincingly defeating Scotland by 91 runs and United Arab Emirates by 114 runs.

“We finished the prep on a high which is good, but now the business end of the tournament starts,” Hooper said. “I am confident that the boys are ready. As I said before the energy in the team is good and I think they are up for the challenge and we want to make sure that we qualify and go to India later this year.”

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