Friday 5 January 2007 

India Should Have Known About Tendulkar, Says Harper

Umpire Daryl Harper said India should have known that Sachin Tendulkar was not permitted to bat early on the fourth day of the third and final test against South Africa on Friday.

South Africa, who need 211 runs to win and clinch the series, reached stumps on 55 for two in their second innings after India had been dismissed for 169.

Tendulkar spent 18 minutes off the field on Thursday, which meant he was not allowed to bat until 18 minutes of Friday's play had elapsed.

But India lost two wickets in the first 13 minutes of the day, and number four Tendulkar had to be stopped on his way to the crease.

"We don't remind the players each morning that they could be out lbw or caught or bowled," Harper told a news conference.

"Players must be responsible for knowing the game and knowing the conditions they're playing under. If a player leaves the field, he's got to serve that time.

"They (India) should have known. In most cases you would find that the manager would be aware of those conditions, and nothing would need to be said."

Harper said he had nonetheless sent a reminder to the Indian dressing room.

"I had those 18 minutes in the back of my mind, and I looked up at the scoreboard to see he was due to bat at number four," Harper said.

"At about that time the first wicket fell, and I got on the blower to send the Indians a reminder that Sachin could only bat at 1048 (local time). Unfortunately the moment the message got through, the second wicket fell."

It took eight minutes before Saurav Ganguly made it to the crease, five minutes longer than the South Africans needed to lodge an appeal for timed out.

"The subject of timed out did come up in the middle," Harper said.

"I went straight to (South African captain) Graeme Smith and explained that in the case of a timed out appeal, if it should happen, the umpires are obliged to do some investigation and find out if there is some reason why the batsman hasn't appeared.

"In this instance we knew exactly why he hadn't appeared, and the South African boys were quite happy with the explanation. Saurav arrived looking like he had run a couple of laps of the ground, all hot and sweaty."

Ganguly said news of Tendulkar's restriction had taken the Indians by surprise.

"The fourth umpire came and told us when the second wicket fell, and (Vangipurappu) Laxman was in the shower," Ganguly added. "I had to get ready, I was in a tracksuit."

© Reuters 2007