Cape Town Test to be his last

Steve Bucknor to retire from umpiring

Cricinfo staff

February 23, 2009

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

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Javed0589 on (February 28, 2009, 23:25 GMT)

maybe harper should take this into consideration.

Posted by drajwani 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

Posted by preempalaver 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 ?

Posted by hermanfraser01 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.

Posted by SaifS 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)!

Posted by Nipun 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.

Posted by MaheshSPanicker 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.

Posted by popcorn 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.

Posted by The_Wog 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.

Posted by druid09 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.

Posted by robheinen on (February 23, 2009, 9:24 GMT)

Let he who is without fault throw the first rock. Steve Bucknor can proudly look back on an impressive career. Thank you for the way in which you led many, many cricket matches in the right spirit, Steve. I hope you can continue your contribution to our beuatiful sport in the way whcih you see fit.

Posted by Chris.Rulz07 on (February 23, 2009, 8:09 GMT)

He's a good umpire on most occasions maybe not as good as Rudi Koertzen or Simon Taufel or maybe Darrel Hair....lol. p.s indians quit your whinging

Posted by MVSubra on (February 23, 2009, 7:41 GMT)

His prime ended long back. He should have retired when Venkataraghavan retired. He would have still been regarded as the best umpires. Whether it is cricketers or officials one should know when to say good bye. There are only few people who seem to understand this. I feel Sunil Gavaskar, as a Cricketer, the best in this respect. He just retired when everyone felt that he could have continued for 2-3 years. Venkataraghavan's timing was also OK as far as umpiring retirement is concerned.

Posted by Rezaul on (February 23, 2009, 5:53 GMT)

He was a very good umpire in his prime time period. But lately it felt like that he lost his preciseness in judgment 3 years earlier. His bad decisions cost India a series against Australia. It was seen that many times his decisions went in favor of Stronger teams which makes Aussies just better! And similar when a weak team like Bangladesh play NZL or England. I think ICC should take this point very seriously. Its cricket who should win end of the day not any biased or wrong decisions which hamper cricket a lot.

Posted by pka1982 on (February 23, 2009, 5:52 GMT)

He should have retired after the 2003 world cup. He was a liablility to cricket since then. His listless decisions and adamant stance led people to beleive he is biased. Another classic case of a past legend streching too far and losing all the rspect he deserved. Anyways, wishing good luck to him in his future endeavours.

Posted by legb4 on (February 23, 2009, 5:07 GMT)

Wow the Indians are complaining about umpiring decisions who would have ever thought that would happen. Good luck to him i say there's been a lot worse go round.

Posted by Subra on (February 23, 2009, 3:23 GMT)

Steve Bucknor was first and foremost a man - as such he made a few mistakes. Those who criticise him are magnifying the 1 to 2 % of his decisions. He got about 95% correct - yet they hard on his few errors. As Christ said - he that has not sinned shall cast the first stone. How many of those who are criticising him have ever stood as an umpire (I have) in any match and said that they have not made any mistakes. As for the timing, Steve knows what is best and we must respect him. Thank you Steve for your service to cricket - records may be broken (even the Don's records have been broken - by lesser mortals) - but you did the job for so many years and for your sacrifices for the game I thank you. Your family will be glad to have you back. Enjoy your retirement and may there be many many more 'Bucknors' from those that you take under your wing. Siva from Singapore

Posted by busbybabe on (February 23, 2009, 2:47 GMT)

Ha ha - he isn't going to be missed - he overstayed his welcome for sure - he should have retired about 3 years ago when people would have asked why and not when - the old adage definitely applies here - his visibility and hearing were gone and his obstinacy in not referring to the third umpire where he was not sure (the case in point being the Ind v. Aus Test @ Sydney) is now legendary! Good riddance, I say!

Having said that, it would be difficult to replace the "old" Bucknor, the one who was revered and respected a few years ago - this one that is retiring is a completely different Bucknor.

His record of tests and ODIs umpired will surely be overtaken the prime candidate to do that being Simon Taufel, who undeniably is the best umpire in the world.

Posted by 2overpar on (February 23, 2009, 1:34 GMT)

Thank goodness. He should have been fired a long time ago. His umpiring has been so eccentric that one would almost suspect bias. Even if one puts down his horrendous decisions to human error, check out the way he admonished Parthiv Patel during India's 2003-04 tour of Australia. Would he ever do that to a Gilchrist? In any case, the incompetence displayed during the last World Cup final should have been the last straw. Good riddance, I say.

Posted by tgevans on (February 23, 2009, 1:06 GMT)

It'll be good to see the back of him. Without him, Australia would have had a fairly ordinary record over the past few years. He should have been cashiered a long time ago.

Posted by AnthoniJi on (February 23, 2009, 0:44 GMT)

Is Steve Bucknore right to stand down now? That is a question we have no right to ask. The man knows deep inside what he is to do next and he is following the higher guidance. Please leave him be. We should applaud and celebrate a good man.

Posted by Ryan-dg on (February 22, 2009, 23:56 GMT)

I'm sure he will receive many messages from India and Pakistan urging him to change his mind.

Farewell Steve.

Posted by DarthKetan on (February 22, 2009, 22:59 GMT)

4-5 years late. He was past his prime long back. He cost India a couple of historic series at least in that time-frame. Anyhow, he was good before that. Good bye!

Posted by crowbar6 on (February 22, 2009, 22:59 GMT)

Yes, it is high time Bucknor retires from umpiring. He has been one of the best Cricket has seen, but was well beyond the 'best by' date 3-4 years ago. Remember the Ind-Aus series in 2007 where he gave out shockers?

Anyways, thanks for all his contributions, and good luck him in the rest of his endeavours.

Posted by nnpp on (February 22, 2009, 22:36 GMT)

I am happy to hear that as it is good for India!!!

Posted by RickT on (February 22, 2009, 22:31 GMT)

It is time to go Steve. He was a very good umpire in his time, however over the last few years he has clearly shown that he is on the decline with a number of very poor decisions. The simple fact is there are better umpires currently going around at domestic level who deserve promotion to the elite panel.

Posted by Hoggard_Fan on (February 22, 2009, 22:12 GMT)

A fantastic umpire, Mr Bucknor will be sorely missed.

Posted by drdolittle on (February 22, 2009, 22:03 GMT)

Is this article from the archives?

Is Steve Bucknore right to stand down now?
Comments have now been closed for this article

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