Roger Andrew Harper
March 17, 1963, Georgetown, Demerara, British Guiana
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Queen's College High School, Georgetown
The outfield at the Demerara Cricket Club is rough and bumpy. Hardly the place to nurture great fielders, you might think. But in the pavilion there hangs a portrait of Roger Harper, who learned his trade there as one of the game's finest. Graham Gooch remembers him all too well. Batting for MCC against the World XI in the festival MCC Bicentenary match at Lord's in 1987, Gooch had passed 100 when he drilled Harper's offspin just to the on side of straight and took some anticipatory paces down the pitch. It was not a clever move. Harper took one stride to his right, his right arm telescoped and plucked the ball cleanly from the turf. In the same flowing movement he threw down Gooch's middle stump with the batsman upended on all fours. Harper was not a great offspinner - he suffered in later years from the yips - and little more than an adequate hard-hitting batsman. But his fielding was fabulous. After retirement he went into coaching, taking charge of West Indies between 2000 and 2003 during a period of transition. He was appointed as the U-19 coach in December 2005, but quit after a month to take charge of the Kenyan national side where he rebuilt a squad that was close to a shambles when he arrived. He stood down from that role in September 2007 as the job took him away from his home in Guyana for too long.
Batting & Fielding