Daryl Harper

The other Harper

An umpire makes friends with a namesake

Text size: A | A

© Getty Images

My habit of talking has sometimes nearly got me into trouble. During a tri-series match in 1996 in Australia - Pakistan and West Indies were the other teams - Roger Harper, the West Indies allrounder, was batting at the Adelaide Oval.

It is not often that you come across someone with the same surname as yourself. I remember looking up the scoreboard and reading his name in the batting order and my name in the umpire's area. After the fall of a wicket I turned to him and said, "Two Harpers on the scoreboard, that's very unusual." Being a man of few words, he just nodded.

Then I asked him, "Do you think we might be related?" I didn't know what to expect. He thought about it for a moment and in his beautiful, deep, rich Guyanese voice he said, "Maybe if you go way, way back."

That broke the ice between Roger and me, and every time he has seen me since he has treated me with a high-five and said, "G'day, mate."

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in Once Upon an Anecdote
RSS FeedAll
  • What does the future hold for Ian Bell?
    The Switch Hit crew talk about Bell, Buttler's resurgence, and the pink ball
  • Can South Africa trust in Tabraiz Shamsi?
    Luke Alfred: If they are serious about improving their T20 record, they could do worse than give Titans' promising chinaman bowler a look-in
  • The Warner way
    Numbers Game: Australia have had a rich tradition of left-hand opening batsmen, and David Warner is a worthy addition to that list
  • 'Cardio tonight!'
    The thrilling lives of the stars, laid bare for your delectation in the Twitter round-up
  • From dawn till dusk
    Daniel Brettig: The long road to the first day-night Test is also a history of cricket's often fraught relationship with commerce
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet