Daryl Harper

The other Harper

An umpire makes friends with a namesake

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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

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