Cape Town Test to be his last February 23, 2009

Steve Bucknor to retire from umpiring

Cricinfo staff

Steve Bucknor is the only umpire to have stood in 100 Tests © Getty Images

Steve Bucknor has announced that he will retire from umpiring at international level in March and the ICC has confirmed his decision.

The third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town from March 19 to 23 will be his last Test while the two upcoming ODIs between West Indies and England in Barbados on March 27 and 29 will be his last one-day international assignments.

"I have notified the ICC that the South Africa versus Australia series will be my last Test series," Bucknor, 62, told the Jamaica Gleaner on Sunday. "The body is feeling quite good and I know I could go on for another two or three years. However, something inside me is telling me that it is time to go."

Bucknor was looking forward to help improve the standard of umpiring in the Caribbean after his retirement. "I hope I will be accorded the opportunity by the West Indies board to work with young umpires in the region because I still would like to continue making a contribution," he said.

The ICC has announced it will pay a special tribute to Bucknor after his final match.

"Steve's contribution to our great sport over two decades at the top level of umpiring has been immense," Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive, said. "To have remained as one of the game's top officials for that length of time has required Steve to be self-motivated, confident and well respected, and he has all those qualities in abundance, while at the same time remaining a very humble man.

"In the meantime I know that Steve, being the understated man that he is, will want to focus on the job at hand, that of getting things right on the field, something he has done as well as any other umpire in the history of the game."

Bucknor, who began his international umpiring career in 1989, has officiated in a record 126 Tests. He has also stood in 179 ODIs, including five consecutive World Cup finals since 1992 - the most by any umpire. Bucknor has been on the ICC's elite panel since 2002.

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  • Javed on February 28, 2009, 23:25 GMT

    maybe harper should take this into consideration.

  • Dinesh on February 24, 2009, 1:11 GMT

    finally man...he was great, 10 years ago...but boy has he been bad recently. Good luck Steve in your future endeavors

  • Haridas on February 23, 2009, 14:18 GMT

    Re retirment of Steve Buckner. I have always wondered why doesn't the ICC have a mandatory retirement age for umpires at the international level as soccer has ? The umpire is the only person who is not only on the field throughout the period of play but has to concentrate on each and every ball.This reqyuires a high degree of physical fitness and mental stamina . Besides a mandatory retirement age there should also be annual physical and medical examination . This should ensure that umpires are of a reasonable age and mentally and physically fit. The most depressing & distressing part of cricket is that there are so few umpires available for international ODI's & Tests .The same pesons officiate - Koertzen , Tauffel , Alim Dar , Harper , Doctor and maybe one or two others .Is this the way to run international cricket with the stress ,strain and money that is involved ?

  • Herman on February 23, 2009, 13:50 GMT

    Mr Bucknor have served West Indies and World cricket outstandingly for many years and should be commended.To err is human, but his countless successes edify a brilliant umpire.I congratulate him and wish him the best in his future challenges.

  • Saif on February 23, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    Congratulations to Steve for completing a very loang career but to be honest Team India and other Asian teams would not be too unhappy with his decision, but then no one is perfect and all's well that ends well, Good Bye Steve and no hard feelings (on behalf of all Indians)!

  • Prince on February 23, 2009, 12:33 GMT

    At last he is going off!!!Lolzzz...maybe I am being a mite harsh,but he passed his prime a long time ago.Recently,he was nothing than a source of disturbance & lack of belief in the field,although all might not have been his fault.However,now that at last he has decided to quit,I wish him an enjoyable post-retirement life.

  • Mahesh on February 23, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    a long overdue decision has at last come. other than the history of troubles with India, Bucknor ones upon a time was a very good umpire. but he for some time now, has been all over the place. but better late than never, it would have been sad to force him out. anyways good luck to him for the days ahead.

  • Rajaram on February 23, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    Indian Cricketers and BCCI should be ashamed of demanding his withdrawal just because some of his decisions did not suit them. By that yardstick, they should threaten to walk out of EVERY Tour! Disgusting!

    At least, now, they should have the grace to publicly apologise to Steve Bucknor,for their damning of the greatest Umpire of all time - on par with Dickie Bird and David Shepherd.

  • The on February 23, 2009, 10:44 GMT

    Extremely weak to be heaping this much abuse on a decent bloke who just happens to be the best credentialled of all time in his field. "Past his prime"?? Who isn't at 62, or whenever they retire?? We didn't see Tendulkar or Hayden retire after the 2004 series! And one person writes that Venkat's retirement timing was "OK." OK??? Venkat's last couple of years were clownishly bad with most decisions outright guesses, and he didn't retire - he was dumped with his contract not renewed.

  • Mandar on February 23, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    A disastrous umpire who was a disgrace to cricket, and a tribute to ICCs blindness and inefficiency in dealing with obvious frailties that keep cricket cricket. An umpire notorious for 'thinking' before giving lbws, except he never said not out after his 'thought'!! So in effect if he didnt say not out immediately, it was as good as it being given out. I wonder if he was 'kicked out' by the footballers - apparently he used to referee before.

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