Carl Hooper December 9, 2009

'I'd do it all over again if I could'

From a cricketer in Guyana to a businessman in Australia: Carl Hooper may not play too much cricket but he stays in shape, and he plays the markets

You live in Australia now, why is that?
I love the weather and the lifestyle, plus my wife Connie comes from Australia.

What have you done for a living since retiring from Lancashire in 2004?
I help my wife and her brothers to run a chain of coffee shops called Un Caffe Bar.

Do you enjoy any hobbies?
In my spare time I trade currencies on the foreign-exchange markets. It's not stocks and shares, just trading dollars against sterling, that sort of thing. With the time difference between Australia, North America and England, it's ideal for me to trade in my spare time - first thing in the morning or last thing at night. That's when all the big boys really come out and it's the best time for me to trade.

Do you work for an investment firm?
Are you crazy? I couldn't work for anyone else. I'd find it tough. And I could only ever invest my own money. I like to sleep at nights, and if things go against you on the markets I wouldn't be able to do that.

Have you made your fortune as yet?
I want to live well, but it doesn't bother me about becoming a millionaire. I just want to be happy and sleep peacefully.

Do you still play cricket?
The last time I played was in a benefit game for the family of David Hookes, up in the Barossa Valley sometime last year, but whenever I've got cricket coming up, I make sure I train. I'm off to Barbados later this month (November) to play in the first Cricket Legends of Barbados T20 Tournament organised by Joel Garner. I'm looking forward to catching up with a few old friends.

"I could only ever invest my own money. I like to sleep at nights, and if things go against you on the markets I wouldn't be able to do that"

You were never one for spending hours in the nets, do you keep fit in other ways still?
I'm 42 now, but I'm slim and trim. I've played a lot of indoor soccer for the fathers' team at my son's school, but had to stop that, so I'm doing some road running instead."

You failed to win a major trophy while playing seven seasons of county cricket for Kent and Lancashire. Does that upset you?
I have good memories and if I could do it all over again I probably would. I couldn't have hoped for a better club than Kent to start my introduction to English cricket. It was a good set-up. We had Min Patel, who was Indian-born; Dean Headley, who had some Caribbean roots; and a few more guys around my age, who I could mix with and relate to. The disappointment was that we didn't win a championship or have a trophy or two under our belts.

Did you notice much difference in attitude between the two dressing rooms?
There was a huge difference between Kent and Lancashire. At Old Trafford the guys were very hungry to get out on the park and desperate to win things. Most of them had aspirations and I'd hear them talking about wanting to play for England. I never heard too much of that at Kent.

Do you wish you were still playing?
No, I've had my time and really enjoyed it. Viv Richards and Garry Sobers used to say, "We all have our time to play and you just have to make the best of it."

Your game would have ideally been suited to the Twenty20 format. Do you regret not being around to cash in on the global phenomenon of the short-form game?
You can't look back with regrets; I had my time and enjoyed it. There will probably come a day 20 years from now when a cricketer picks up £5 million for a season. Who knows? But my thinking is, it'll just get better and better. Good luck to them I say.

This interview was conducted in November 2009. Mark Pennell is the managing director of freelance reporting and public relations agency Kent & Sussex Sport