Roger Harper


Warriors Depart For First Match

The Amazon Warriors depart on 08 July 2014 for grenada. From left: official, N Stewart, T Griffith, R Harper (coach), V Permaul, M Guptill, M Hafeez, L Johnson, R Bacchus, O Khan (manager), C Barnwell, K Santokie, R Beaton, official, J Neesham, S Jacobs, Orin Bailey (official).

GYO: GTown U13 Champs, 2013

The GYO Under-13 team with GCA officials, competition sponsors and friends after winning the GCA Under-13 competition on 28 September 2013, at the GYO ground.

Harper Seminar At Enmore, 2013

Former Guyana and West Indies all-rounder Harper with members of the Enmore Community Centre CC, after he conducted a seminar at the community centre on 21 September 2013.

CPL Venue Team, 2013

(At table, from left) Alex Graham, Guyana Amazon Warriors coach Roger Harper and Limacol CPL Commercial Director Jamie Stewart with the Limacol CPL Venue Team (in orange jerseys) and Guyana Amazon Warriors players (standing, from left): Ronnie Sarwan, Chris Barnwell and Trevon Griffith (Photo: Avenash Ramzan).

GCA Executive, 2011

Roger Harper sits between vice-presidents Neil Barry (right) and Azad Abrahim, along with other 2011 GCA executives, after elections at the GCA Annual General Meeting on 28 February 2011.

Harper Helps Young Bowlers

Former Guyana and West Indies off-spinner teaches a young member of a GCA club about the art of spin bowling during a one-week GCA camp at Everest, from 19 July 2010. (Orlando Charles photo)

Pres Hoyte Congratulates Team, 1987

Guyana president Desmond Hoyte and Roger Harper admire the Shell Shield on 03 May 1987. The shield will now stay permanently in Guyana, the winners of the last Shell Shield tournament, in 1987.

Harper With Shell Shield, 1987

Guyana captain Roger Harper holds the Shell Shield aloft on 03 May 1987, in a moment of pride shared by all Guyanese. Harper joined Rohan Kanhai (1973) and Clive Lloyd (1975 and h1983) as captains under whom Guyana won the Shell Shield.

Shell Shield Winners Guyana, 1987

The Guyana team, after winning the 1987 Shell Shield at Bourda on 27 April 1987. Standing from left:- R. Seeram, S. Matthews, J. Angus, C. Hooper, G. Charles, S. Dhaniram, A. Sattaur and S. Bamfield. Sitting from left:- A. Jackman, C. Butts, R. Harper (captain), Wilfred 'Sonny' Edun, T. Mohamed and C. Lambert.

Guyana Wins The Shell Shield, 1983

The Guyana team that won the 1983 Shell Shield. Standing (from left): Garfield Charles, Kamal Singh, Monte Lynch, Ray Joseph, Roger Harper, Clyde Butts, White(?) and Derrick Kallicharran. Sitting (from left): Leslaine Lambert, Tyrone Etwaroo, Faoud Bacchus, Clive Lloyd, Roy Fredericks, Andrew Lyght and Milton Pydanna. Fredericks, then Guyana Minister of Sports, scored 217 in his final innings for Guyana.

Roger Harper Profile

Full name: Roger Andrew Harper
Born: 17 Mar 1963, Georgetown, Demerara, Guyana
Batting: Right-hand batsman
Bowling: Right-arm off-break
Relations: Brother: MA Harper
Teams: Guyana U-19 (2in: 1979-1980?); West Indies U-19 (Test: 1980-1982); West Indies U-19 (ODI: 1982); Demerara (FC: 1979-1989); Guyana (FC: 1980-1996); Guyana (ListA: 1980-1996); West Indies (Test: 1983-1993); West Indies (ODI: 1983-1996); Northamptonshire (FC: 1985-1987); Northamptonshire (ListA: 1985-1987); All teams
Club: Demerara Cricket Club, Georgetown
School: Fountain AME, Queen's College, Georgetown
Northamptonshire cap: 1986
Lists of matches and more detailed statistics

Roger Andrew Harper was a 6-foot-5-inch tall (195.5 cm) off-spinner, hard-hitting middle-order batsman and fabulous fielder for Guyana and the West Indies.

He spent his earliest years in Newtown, Kitty (in north Georgetown), before the family moved to Queenstown (central Georgetown), not far from the Demerara Cricket Club. Roger's early interest in cricket was nurtured by his older brother Mark, a cricket fanatic who later played first class cricket for Guyana, and his father, who loved sports in general.

After attending Fountain AME School, Roger attended Queen's College, in Georgetown. While at Queen's College, Roger obtained a regular high school education, played school cricket, played first division cricket for the Demerara Cricket Club, represented the Guyana youth team in West Indies regional competition and sold insurance after school!

Roger made his debut for the Guyana Under-19 team, against Trinidad & Tobago in August 1979, at Bourda. He scored his first half century and took his first five-wicket haul against England Young Cricketers in January 1980, at Bourda. In July 1980, he scored his first century for Guyana, and took another five-wicket haul, in a youth match against Barbados, at the Kensington Oval, in Barbados.

In 1979 Roger made his first class debut, for Demerara against Berbice, in a match that was ruined by rain. In 1980 he made his debut for the senior Guyana team in the regional first class Shell Shield competition. The Guyana team struggled in the Shell Shield that year, except against Jamaica at Jarrett Park. The young Roger Harper took 5 wickets in the first innings and 4 in the second, with Jamaica barely saving the game with 9 second innings wickets down.

Guyana fared no better in 1981, but another outstanding Guyana off-spinner, Clyde Butts, made his first class debut. Butts was a flat, economical off-spinner with plenty of speed and line variation, but Roger depended more on varying his flight. Butts' value as a spinner was soon evident, but Roger continued to be valuable as an all-rounder and extraordinary fielder. In 1981 too, Roger Harper started playing professional cricket, in Ireland.

Guyana's performances in regional cricket showed no improvement in 1982, but Roger was chosen to captain the West Indies youth team on its tour to England. In 1983 he made his ODI debut for the West Indies in India, followed by his Test debut.

Unlike Guyana, the West Indies team provided little opportunity for Roger's bowling. The West Indies fast bowlers usually blew away the opposition, with Roger being used occasionally for variety, speeding up the over rate or simply to give the fast bowlers a rest. His outstanding fielding made the West Indies fast bowling even more effective, and his batting ability provided some re-assurance for the West Indies batting - not that it was needed often. 

Despite the West Indies' almost complete reliance on fast bowling, however, Roger still managed to lead the West Indies to a 64-run Test victory over England in 1984, by taking 6 for 57 - his best Test bowling figures in an innings. Nevertheless, Roger's place in the West Indies team was never secure, with Butts breathing down his shoulder and Carl Hooper providing another off-spin option in later years.

Harper's outstanding performance during the entire 1984 tour led to his signing by Northamptonshire the following year and he remained with the county until 1988. His best ever season was in 1986 during which he took 62 wickets at 26.93 apiece and also recorded his highest ever first class score, an innings of 234 against Gloucestershire which included twelve sixes and twenty-five fours.

In 1987, Roger Harper led Guyana to rather surprising success in regional cricket, by  capturing, and keeping, the famous Shell Shield, in its last year of competition. Two centuries each by Roger himself and debutante Sudesh Dhaniram, who was having a sensational debut  year in regional competition, were the foundation of Guyana's success.

His Test career which seemed so promising at the start, to the degree that he was even identified as a future West Indies captain, was however stymied by a knee injury he suffered during the 1989 domestic series which ruled him out of selection for India's tour that year. Attempting perhaps to rush his recovery, he was selected for the tour of England the following year, but almost completely lost his bowling action and was never again quite the force he had been before.

Roger made a mammoth 202, his highest first class score for Guyana, and took 6 for 24, his best first class bowling figures for an innings, in 1995 in a match against the Windwards at Bourda.

If Roger's Test career proved to be less rewarding than anticipated, the same could not be said about his ODI career. An electrifying fielder in any position, his all-round talent made him an automatic pick for the West Indies ODI team. He played in his first World Cup in India and Pakistan in 1986 and a decade later was still enough of a force to be a huge part of the West Indies 1996 campaign, which ended with a semi-final loss to Australia.

One of his notable ODI bowling performances for the West Indies was against South Africa, in the quarter finals of the 1996 Cricket World Cup, when he took 4 for 47 to allow the West Indies to seize control of the match.

Graham Gooch would probably always remember Roger Harper's outstanding fielding. Batting for MCC against the World XI in the MCC Bicentenary match at Lord's in 1987, Gooch had passed 100 when he drilled Harper's off-spin to the on side and took a few paces down the pitch. 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.

Roger also played for Bacup Cricket Club in the Lancashire League from 1989 to 1996, then for Nelson Cricket Club from 1998 to 1999.

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 Under-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 (after the Cricket World Cup in the West Indies) as the job took him away from his home in Guyana for too long.

Roger Harper was elected president of the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Caught up in the Demerara Cricket Board debacle of the early 2010s, he received strong support from those under GCA, other local cricket boards, former and current cricketers. Under Roger's leadership, the GCA continues to be a vibrant organisation.

Batting and Fielding Averages
Team Format M I NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct
Guyana U-19 2in 6 8 2 231 102 38.50 1 1 7
West Indies U19 Testy 6 9 2 195 48 27.85 0 0 13
West Indies U19 ODIy 2 2 0 20 15 10.00 0 0 1
Demerara FC 5 6 2 142 61 35.50 0 1 6
Guyana FC 57 89 6 2844 202 34.26 5 14 99
All FC 200 263 43 7480 234 34.00 10 36 262
Guyana List A 48 41 9 780 53 24.37 0 1 27
All List A 214 165 44 2650 69* 21.90 0 6 120
West Indies Test 25 32 3 535 74 18.44 0 3 36
West Indies ODI 105 73 20 855 45* 16.13 0 0 55
Bowling Averages
Team Format Balls Mdns Runs Wkts BB Ave 4wI 5wI 10wM SR Econ
Guyana U-19 2in 1430 64 444 19 5/100 23.36 0 2 0 75.26 1.86
West Indies U19 Testy 799 44 267 9 5/103 29.66 - 1 0 88.77 2.00
West Indies U19 ODIy 108 2 57 3 2/26 19.00 0 0 - 36.00 3.16
Demerara FC 798 25 370 16 5/72 23.12 - 1 0 49.88 2.78
Guyana FC 12478 520 4568 206 6/24 22.17 - 13 3 60.57 2.20
All FC 37826 1655 14726 567 6/24 25.97 - 28 3 66.71 2.33
Guyana List A 2342 42 1199 53 5/37 22.62 3 1 - 44.18 3.07
All List A 10403 133 6466 210 5/37 30.79 7 1 - 49.53 3.72
West Indies Test 3615 183 1291 46 6/57 28.06 - 1 0 78.58 2.14
West Indies ODI 5175 47 3431 100 4/40 34.31 3 0 - 51.75 3.97