Harper Accuses Dhoni of Pressure Tactics During Kingston Test

Melbourne, July 15 (IANS) Australian umpire Daryl Harper accused Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni of applying pressure tactics on him during the first Test between India and the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica last month.

The Australian reported that Harper, in an email, accused Dhoni of pressurising him during the match after he had removed pacer Praveen Kumar from the attack for repeatedly running on the wicket.

"The Indian captain had the temerity to say, 'We've had issues with you before, Daryl'. I didn't ask him to elaborate but I'm still puzzled as to what those issues may have been," Harper wrote.

The Indian players, especially Dhoni, publicly criticised the Australian umpire for his poor decision making in the Kinston Test. The criticism prompted Harper to take hasty retirement.

Harper in his email said the International Cricket Council's (ICC) lack of support was the main reason he did not officiate in the third Test in Dominica, which would have been his last Test as umpire.

Harper, who admitted that the first Test was not his best in the year, was angry that Dhoni criticised the umpiring in a press conference but went unpunished by the ICC.

"After I had informed them of my decision, there was a brief media release announcing that they had 'every faith' in me to finish the job, but I hadn't seen or felt any of this faith, especially in what has turned out to be the final two years of my career."

Harper slammed the ICC for not taking any action against Indian players in the same way it does against players of other countries.

"When I need to consider which team is playing and apply the laws differently for different teams, then this game has lost sight of its standards and its values. I waited for a response or some action from management... and I waited. No response came...no support, no action. This wasn't the first time that I felt that I had been left out on a limb," Harper was quoted as saying by The Australian.

"People don't always think before they speak. Some spontaneous comments can be harmful to the game and its best interests. I had previously imagined that was the reason for a clause in the ICC Code of Conduct about 'inappropriate public comment'."

"If it happened on my watch, I'd take action. If it happens after my watch, after the game is over, I expected the ICC, the controlling body, to do some controlling."

Harper claims his umpiring record is good and also revealed he had been sacked by the ICC in May.

He was also stood down from the Twenty20 World Cup in 2010 for "performance reasons".

Harper's claims that India players are treated differently by the ICC have been supported by others, including Steve Bucknor.

Bucknor was removed from the Australia-India series after complaints by the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).


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