Sydney: The removal of Steve Bucknor from the remainder of the India-Australia series marks a low in the career of cricket’s senior most international umpire known as ‘Mr Slow Death’.
Now approaching 62, the West Indian who has officiated in 120 Tests, the most by an umpire, and 167 ODIs, has umpired all the five World Cup finals since 1992.
Unfortunately for Bucknor, due to retire in May 2011, the second cricket Test between India and Australia turned out to be a disaster because he became ‘finger-happy’ while dealing with appeals against the Indians, earning him the dubious distinction of being the first umpire ever to have been replaced.
Bucknor first rubbed India the wrong way back in 1992-93 when he refused to refer a Jonty Rhodes run out when the third umpire was introduced for the first time in cricket’s history.
Sachin Tendulkar has twice found himself at the receiving end of Bucknor’s blunders in 1999 and 2005 and the Jamaican also angered the Indians in the 2003-04 series in Australia with his series of judgemental errors.
After replays often exposed his lack of consistency in making the decisions, Bucknor in 2006 alleged that the broadcasters were doctoring images to make the umpires look bad in public eye.
The West Indian was also one of the umpires, who were responsible for the farcical end to the 2007 World Cup final where Ricky Ponting’s men beat Sri Lanka in semi-darkness and amid utter confusion. — Agencies