Bob Taylor saddened by umpire Hanumantha Rao's death
Former England wicket-keeper Bob Taylor had never interacted with Indian umpire Hanumantha Rao (83) who died in Bangalore earlier this week.
It was Rao who had adjudged Taylor out caught by Syed Kirmani off the bowling of Kapil Dev in the Golden Jubilee Test in Bombay in 1979-80. The decision was overturned after India captain GR Vishwwanath, realised that the ball had not touched the bat and requested the umpire to recall Taylor.
Taylor recalled this incident and expressed his sadness after he came to know of Rao’s demise. “I am sad to hear this news,” he said. “It was a good gesture on the part of the umpire also. It requires a lot of courage to change a decision. Yes, there was no DRS and no technology in those days and umpires rarely used to change their verdict. Rao had that courage,” he added.
“Contrary to belief, there was no protest from my end,” he stressed. “We only had discussions with Kapil Dev, Kirmani and Botham who was the non-striker. I was asked by them to wait and not return to the pavilion. I am not sure what Vishy communicated to the umpire. Possibly, he may have withdrawn the appeal and that is how I survived.
“I kept my head down and didn’t speak to Rao. I was standing near square leg. Neither did I try to influence the umpire (to change the decision).” Taylor enquired about Rao’s age at the time of his passing and when told he was approaching 84, he signed off by saying: “Oh, then it was a long innings. I am 72!”