The Umpire's Decision is Final (unless the umpire is Daryl Harper)

It's been a tricky and tedious week, with too much time spent trekking to and from work amid the snow and ice to allow me to see any of the live action from Cape Town.

I have, however, managed to catch each evening's retrospective on Sky, and found last night's especially entertaining, although that had nothing to do with anything the players did.

A theme which has occasionally surfaced here over the years - and something which I find genuinely mystifying and shocking - is the question of how on earth an umpire with such a record of utter incompetence as Daryl Harper has remained a member of the ICC Elite Umpires' Panel for as long as he has.

One of the few pundits who's consistently given Harper his due over the years is the inimitable Bob Willis, and, after the howlers of yesterday and the day before (both thankfully rendered insignificant by the UDRS), he was the usual model of splenetic restraint.

Delving into the depths of his vocabulary for a word rarely if ever heard before on a major sports programme, Willis appropriately described Harper as a 'nincompoop'.


Rob said...

The Cape Town test was effectively decided by review. Pietersen and Collingwood were both given out on 0 to what were very poor decisions. The review saved them and England.

Cricket Tragic said...

The more I see Harper umpiring, the more the belief in my own umpiring prowess increases! :P

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. I don't like having a go at officials but with Harper you can't avoid it. For a long time I wondered if I was the only person who'd noticed how poor he was, but it seems most people have now, apart from those who can do something about it (the ICC).

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Not too sure of my facts here as haven't looked into it, but I'm sure that I am right in thinking that Harper was the main culprit in a lot of the problems that the 'review system' seemed to have on England's tour of West Indies last year.

Seem to remember the interpretation of the system caused some umpires more problems than it did the players and I think Harper was involved there.

Brian Carpenter said...

You're right, Dean. I can't remember the precise details (and the system was slightly different) but I recall that Harper couldn't even get things right with the help of a TV screen.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

It could almost be said that the system was introduced purely for Harper's benefit on the evidence of that last test.

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