Harper fires broadside at ICC over Dhoni comments

SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper has accused cricket authorities of being too lenient on  India’s player and claimed their captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni  had put undue pressure on him in last month’s Jamaica test,  local media reported yesterday.

The 59-year-old, who opted against standing in his scheduled  farewell test between India and West Indies in Dominica  following “unfair criticism” of his performance in Jamaica,  believes the International Cricket Council (ICC) employed double  standards.

“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,” Harper was quoted as  saying in the Australian newspaper on Friday.

Daryl Harper

He wondered how Dhoni escaped without punishment despite  publicly criticising umpiring decisions in the Sabina Park test  which India won by 63 runs. “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.

“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’.”

Harper, who officiated in 95 test and 174 one-day  internationals, claimed Dhoni pressured him in Jamaica after he  had ordered pacer Praveen Kumar out of attack for running on the  pitch.

“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, who was dropped from the elite panel in May, said he  was not convinced of ICC’s support.
“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.”

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