Melbourne: Controversial Australian umpire Daryl Harper, who was criticised by the Indians for his poor decisions during the first Test against the West Indies, on Thursday hit back at captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, accusing him of trying to intimidate him during the match. Agencies
Harper, who was forced to withdraw from the third Test following criticisms from Indian players, said Dhoni should have been penalised for his comments on poor umpiring, adding that he was forced to break his silence following ICC's inaction.
Harper said Dhoni tried to intimidate him after paceman Praveen Kumar was removed from the attack for repeatedly running on the pitch.
According to a website, Harper said that Dhoni approached him and said "we've had problems with you before, Daryl", which the umpire interpreted as an attempt to intimidate.
"I decided what he meant was that I was one umpire not influenced by any personalities or teams or boards. He hadn't been able to intimidate me, I think that was part of it," Harper said.
Harper also said that Dhoni should have been punished for his comments at the post-match conference.
"If the correct decisions were made the game would have finished much earlier and I would have been in the hotel by now," Dhoni had said.
"That was my opinion (that he should have been censured), those were inappropriate comments .. I think that's definitely inappropriate," Harper said.
Dhoni's criticism was described as "unfair" by the ICC general manager of cricket David Richardson, but neither he nor the match referee Jeff Crowe elected to charge the Indian captain.
Harper lashed out at the ICC for its lack of support in the face of concerted pressure from India's players and media, which ultimately saw him hounded out of Test cricket a match earlier than he was scheduled to retire during the Caribbean series.
"I'm disappointed for the game of cricket that management has allowed this to happen. I think there was basically a hive of inactivity in Dubai. I think it would have been very simple to apply the code of conduct that umpires have to apply on the spur of the moment in every game they umpire...
"I guess someone had to show some leadership when it came to such an important issue for the game's future. It's a wonderful game and I don't want to see it going down the tube by selective management," he said.
Stating that three players were charged under the ICC code of conduct in the Kingston Test, Harper said the two West Indians - Darren Sammy and Ravi Rampaul - had shown far more contrition than Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who was also sanctioned.
"Three players were reported ... Two of them came to the umpire's room afterwards and they realised they were wrong in what they'd done. They both apologised profusely, they were humbled, they expressed their disappointment with their actions, they didn't avoid the issue, they owned up.
"One was reprimanded, Darren Sammy, Ravi Rampaul was fined 10 per cent of his match fee, and those boys were apologetic. In the other case, the first player reported was Amit Mishra, and even on the fourth day of the game he was still adamant that he'd got a bad decision.
"... his (Mishra's) character failed to respond in the appropriate way, and four days later he still hadn't worked out that he'd breached the code of conduct and thought he was quite justified," said Harper.
Harper admitted that he decided to withdraw from the third Test at Dominica as he didn't want to be in focus.
"I was going to be on a hiding to nothing if I officiated in Dominica. It would have been all about my performance in my 96th Test," Harper said in his statement. "I'm not sure if any more scrutiny was actually possible. I loved my role but I didn't want to see the focus switch to me when it should centre on the players and the contest.
"In an ICC media release to explain my withdrawal from the third Test, ICC manager, cricket operations David Richardson wrote 'the reality of the situation is that Daryl's statistics show his correct decision percentage in Tests involving India is 96 per cent, which is considerably higher than the international average for top-level umpires'.
"If this type of support had been forthcoming before the horse had bolted, I would have stayed and officiated in my 96th Test match."
According to a website, the ICC intends to make a presentation to Harper, recognising his contribution to the game, during the next Test match to be held at the Adelaide Oval, his home ground. It will be played against India.
Melbourne: Controversial Australian umpire Daryl Harper, who was criticised by the Indians for his poor decisions during the first Test against the West Indies, on Thursday hit back at captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, accusing him of trying to intimidate him during the match.