Steve Bucknor to retire from umpiring
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.