Former ICC umpire Daryl Harper has said that the Indian captain MS Dhoni has repeatedly offended against the spirit of cricket. This came after Dhoni did not recall England batsman Jonny Bairstow who was controversially given out caught by Gautam Gambhir at silly mid-off in the Mumbai Test.
A leading edge from Bairstow was taken well by Gambhir but there was doubt whether the ball hit the grill of Gambhir’s helmet before he completed the catch as the rule states that a batsman cannot be given out if the ball hits a fielder’s helmet.
“It is a clear breach of the laws of cricket, and any national captain worth his weight in salt – or any other condiment – would have immediately withdrawn the appeal and allowed Bairstow to continue his innings,” Harper told Sports360.
“But this captain is a repeat offender MS Dhoni is a repeat offender of spirit of cricket," says former umpire Daryll Harper, when it comes to ignoring the spirit of cricket.
Harper went on to list numerous incidents in which he believed that Dhoni’s behaviour had violated the spirit of the game. After the first Test in West Indies in 2011, Dhoni went on to say that India had been forced to take more than ten wickets in the second innings, taking a dig at the umpires officiating in that game.
The most blatant incident according to Harper was the dismissal of Ian Bell during India’s tour of England in 2011. Though Bell was allowed to return to the crease, Harper said that the decision was taken despite Dhoni’s objection. Harper claimed that the umpires asked Dhoni three times to withdraw his appeal but he refused and it took England coach, Andy Flower to go and talk to him in the dressing room to overturn the appeal. This attitude, according to Harper, suggests Dhoni considers himself to be above the game.
Harper was a Test umpire from 1998 to 2011 and was even a member of ICC’s Elite Panel from 2002 to 2011. He announced his retirement following complaints from India about the quality of his umpiring in the first Test against West Indies in Jamaice in 2011.
First Published: November 28, 2012, 12:30 pm