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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Umpire Shepherd set to stand down
David Shepherd
Shepherd has been an international umpire since 1983
Long-serving umpire David Shepherd is to retire at the end of the summer.

Shepherd, one of the game's most colourful characters, will be 65 in December and has decided 24 years as a match official is enough.

He was a Gloucestershire batsman for 14 years before joining the umpire's list and has stood in 90 Tests and a record 165 one-day internationals.

"I have enjoyed a wonderful career and it has been a very difficult decision to leave a job I love," he said.

"I seriously believe, however, that it is better to go at five to nine rather than five past."

Shepherd's last Test will be the second match between West Indies and Pakistan in Jamaica next month.

And his final international match will be a one-dayer between England and Australia at The Oval on 12 July.

The International Cricket Council has decided not to replace him on their elite panel of umpires which will reduce in size to seven from August until April 2006.

Shepherd will finally bow out in familiar surroundings on 25 September when Gloucestershire take on Glamorgan.

He told BBC Sport: "It will be really nice to end my career why it all began in Bristol."

Shepherd has been English cricket's leading umpire since the retirement of Harold 'Dickie' Bird in 1998 and includes standing in three successive World Cup finals among his career highlights .

But he is perhaps best known t spectators for his superstitious observance of 'Nelson' - all multiples of 111 - which involves him in hopping from foot to foot until the score moves on.

International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed paid tribute to Shepherd.

"He has consistently been one of our sport's top officials for over two decades," he said.

"His astute decision-making and cheerful manner earned him the respect of players throughout the cricket world and he will deservedly be remembered as one of our sport's greatest ever umpires."




SEE ALSO
Shepherd faces extra pressure
09 Mar 04 |  Cricket
Shep completes Cup hat-trick
21 Mar 03 |  India


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