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By Martin Pegan:
Former West Indies skipper Carl Hooper will return as an assistant alongside white-ball head coach Daren Sammy for the three-match ODI series against United Arab Emirates.
Hooper has been a coach and mentor at various levels in the Caribbean and Australia after playing 329 international matches for the West Indies across more than 15 years.
The 56-year-old was most recently an assistant coach with Adelaide Strikers during Australia’s Big Bash League season last summer.
Hooper has also held coaching roles with the Antigua Hawksbills and Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League, and was previously a mentor at the West Indies High Performance Centre in Barbados.
The all-rounder scored more than 5000 runs and took more than 100 wickets in both Tests and ODIs, and was captain of each West Indies outfit from 2001 to 2003.
“When I was initially approached by Daren about the potential opportunity, I immediately confirmed my interest, as I really want to help with the challenge and make a meaningful impact,” Hooper said.
“I firmly believe that it is time for West Indies Cricket to ascend, and I am confident in my ability, knowledge, and experience to aid in this endeavour.”
Former West Indies international Floyd Reifer, who was captain of the Test team for two matches in 2009, also joins the white-ball staff as an assistant coach along with former New Zealand all-rounder James Franklin.
“Having the right set of people around you, who share your vision, is extremely important. This is a group of hard-working, passionate men, who have no egos,” Sammy said.
“Our collective desire is to have a positive impact on the players and West Indies cricket.”
West Indies will play three ODIs against the UAE starting on June 4 as they fine-tune for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.
The two-time Men’s Cricket World Cup champions have been drawn in Group A where they will start their campaign against the United States on June 18. They will also face Netherlands, Nepal and hosts Zimbabwe in the preliminary round of the Qualifier.
The 10 teams will be competing for the two remaining places at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to be hosted in India later this year.
The staff supporting the West Indies Test team will continue with Andre Coley as head coach, while former internationals Kenny Benjamin and Stuart Williams will be assistants alongside Rayon Griffith.