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Retiring umpire Bucknor praised

Steve Bucknor
Bucknor has officiated in a record 128 Test matches

West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor has been praised after he stood in his 128th and last Test in South Africa's win over Australia in Cape Town.

His final international game before retiring will be the one-dayer between England and West Indies on 29 March.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq praised the example set by the 62-year-old - cricket's most-seasoned umpire.

Inzamam said: "I always respected his decision-making, man-management skills and his humble and friendly attitude."

English umpire Ian Gould and New Zealander Tony Hill have been added to the International Cricket Council's elite panel of umpires because of Bucknor's retirement and the decision of Darrell Hair to stand down in 2008.

Former Sussex wicketkeeper Gould played 18 one-day internationals for England.

606: DEBATE

"I believe that having played cricket at a high level for 21 years I understand the game from the players' point of view and that I bring that empathy out in my umpiring," stated Gould.

Bucknor is the most experienced umpire in international cricket history, having officiated in a record 128 Tests, stood in 179 one-day internationals - including five consecutive World Cups - and he was also the first umpire to officiate in 100 Tests.

Inzamam hopes Bucknor will pass on that knowledge despite retiring.

"It was an absolute privilege to play in matches he umpired," he enthused.

"I also know he was an inspiration to many young umpires who took up umpiring with him as their role model.

"I sincerely hope he keeps his association with this great game and passes on his rich experience and knowledge to the umpires and continues to play the mentor's role."

I have the utmost respect for Steve and his career. He has been one of the best

Rudi Koertzen

Bucknor made his one-day international umpiring debut in the match between West Indies and India at St John's, Antigua, on 18 March 1989 and four weeks later at Kingston, Jamaica, he stood in his first Test between the same sides.

Former West Indies captain and coach Clive Lloyd described Bucknor as an honest and dedicated umpire.

"Things that come to mind about Steve Bucknor are his honesty and hard-working attitude," he commented.

"I hope that the West Indies Cricket Board will look to use his knowledge and experience when it comes to training and coaching new umpires."

Bucknor has been an umpire for 29 more Test matches than South Africa's Rudi Koertzen, although Koertzen is the leading umpire in one-day internationals, with 195 compared to Bucknor's 179.

Koertzen explained how much his fellow umpire will be missed.

"I have the utmost respect for Steve and his career. He has been one of the best you have to be to have umpired five World Cup finals and I will definitely miss having him around," he said.



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see also
Support grows for umpire Bucknor
09 Jan 08 |  Cricket
Bucknor unfazed by 100 Test mark
14 Mar 05 |  International Teams


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