Ind vs WI: Harper rubs Indians the wrong way

first_imgAustralian Daryl Harper, who was at the centre of an umpiring controversy in the first India-West Indies Test in Kingston last month, has drawn criticism for his insensitive remarks about Indian players in a private travelogue-cum-diary.In the diary, he seems to have uncharitably taunted the Indians while admitting some of the errors he made in the June 20-23 match. He has also chided the International Cricket Council (ICC), his employers, for not taking action against India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and other unnamed players, who made disparaging remarks against umpiring decisions after India won by 63 runs.Aussie umpire Daryl Harper has hit back over poor umpiring allegations. APHarper, who was officiating in his 95th Test, gave some debatable decisions and admitted them too in his travelogue, titled ‘Getting The Runs… 21 – A postscript from Philadelphia’. The 59-year-old Aussie, in his 28th year as an umpire, also admitted his mistake of failing to notice leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo’s no-ball, off which he dismissed Dhoni in the second innings.”There was one LBW against Harbhajan Singh that would have been reversed had the Decision Review System (DRS) been available. I also failed to detect a no ball when Bishoo’s back foot touched the side or return crease. It’s about as common as Indians eating beef burgers,” wrote the ever-smiling umpire.Harper admits making a second mistake. “Another decision that was notable involved Virat Kohli. He flashed wide of his body at a short ball that passed well outside his body down the leg side. He clearly gloved the ball and was given out. Replays could not confirm that my decision was right… and they could not confirm that my decision was wrong,” he writes.advertisementOn Friday, Harper himself emailed the travelogue to MAIL TODAY, saying that it was the media publication that he was authorising for use. He had earlier e-mailed it only to his family members and friends.Harper also penalised debutant pacer Praveen Kumar by preventing him from bowling for the rest of the first innings, as per the rules, after he repeatedly ran on to the ‘danger area’ of the pitch.When he asked Dhoni to remove him from the attack, the captain, according to Harper, said: “We’ve had issues with you before, Daryl.””Oh dear, I interpreted that comment as meaning that I should just leave them all alone and mind my own business. So, Dhoni and I didn’t exchange any pleasantries for the duration, although I did enjoy telling him that his over rate was down from time to time,” he disclosed.He pointed out that Praveen had played 52 ODIs before his Test debut, so he ought to have known the rules. “I didn’t have my best game of the year but (ICC) referee Jeff Crowe, who observed every ball, calculated that I had managed to get 94 per cent of all my decisions correct.That analysis was confirmed from HQ in our Dubai office,” he wrote.The Indian players’ criticism of umpiring infuriated Harper, an otherwise friendly soul.Although they didn’t take either umpire’s name, lest they should be penalised by the ICC, their target was clearly Harper, who has officiated in 174 One-day Internationals.The ICC media department informed Harper about the negative reports. “One Indian paper claimed that I had made six errors against India; another claimed it was only five. Someone pulled the race card and someone suggested that I had always had it in for the Indians,” he wrote in his 2,342-word travelogue.”The captain was quoted making a derogatory comment about my efforts and an ‘unnamed player’ was quoted as saying that the whole team wanted me out of the action. This was bizarre stuff. Obviously, I should never have applied the laws of cricket to Indian players.”Harper was to officiate in the third Test too – the first one ever that Dominica would host – but he withdrew after the first Test controversies. His contract with the ICC ended on June 30.In the ongoing the three-Test series, the DRS, which assists on-field umpires in giving certain decisions with help of replays, is not being used as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn’t trust it. Had the DRS been in use, these controversies could have been avoided.Harper also pointed out the low quality cameras that were used and hinted that they contributed to the controversies.He is annoyed with the ICC for ignoring the Indian players’ comments on umpiring.”If someone from the ICC management had shown an ounce of leadership, the referee’s log should have quashed the nonsense immediately,” he said.advertisementA day after the first Test, on June 24, Harper’s became grandfather for the first time when Jack Edward Harper was born to his daughter-in-law Kate and son Tim. That brought a smile to his lips amidst the tension.From the Daryl diaryI failed to detect a no ball when West Indian Bishoo’s back foot touched the side or return crease (in the first Test). It’s about as common as Indians eating beef burgers.Someone pulled the race card and someone suggested that I had always had it in for the Indians.Obviously, I should never have applied the laws of cricket to Indian players.If someone from ICC management had shown an ounce of leadership, the referee’s log should have quashed the nonsense immediately.I correctly answered 96.7 per cent of appeals in the last 10 Tests against India. Of the 10 errors made in those Tests, five went in India’s favour and five went against them.If the ICC was so limp that they couldn’t come to my defence, just as they had never come to my defence on previous issues, then it was time to golast_img