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April 23, 2007
Steve Bucknor, the Jamaican umpire, is in line to officiate in his fifth successive World Cup final. One criterion for choosing an umpire for the final is that the incumbent's national side wouldn't be playing and, with West Indies already out of the competition, Bucknor, who holds the record for having officiated in the maximum number of Tests (117), is a shoo-in.
Bucknor and Aleem Dar, from Pakistan, will be officiating in the second semi-final between South Africa and Australia in St Lucia on Wednesday. South Africa'a Rudi Koertzen and Australia's Simon Taufel, who has been voted the ICC Umpire of the Year for the last three years, will adjudicate in the first semi-final between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Jamaica on Tuesday. Either Koertzen or Taufel will definitely miss out on officiating in the final, as one of South Africa or Australia will feature in the clash.
Bucknor officiated his first final between Pakistan and England in Melbourne in 1992. Four years later, the World Cup panel chose him for the Sri Lanka-Australia final in Lahore. In 1999, he and David Sheperd, the English umpire, stood in the final between Australia and Pakistan at Lord's.
The umpires for the first semi-final will be assisted by TV umpire Daryl Harper (Australia) and fourth umpire Asad Rauf (Pakistan). Mike Procter (South Africa), former allrounder, will be the match referee. The corresponding list for the second semi-final reads: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) as TV umpire, Mark Benson (England) the fourth umpire, and Jeff Crowe (New Zealand) as the match referee.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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