Robert Maxwell Crockett
1863, Hepburn, Victoria
December 11, 1935, Seddon, Melbourne, Victoria
Bob Crockett was one of the leading Australian umpires in the early years of the 20th century and was one of the most respected but also one of the most controversial. Crockett became an umpire after being inspired by the move to stamp out throwing, and made a mark in 1901 when he repeatedly no-balled aboriginal fast bowler Jack Marsh. By the standards of the day he was young when he stood in his first Test - he was 38 - and he also had no notable playing career behind him. Between 1901 and 1925 he stood in 32 Tests - a record that stood for many years - and won a reputation best described by Wisden: "He was held in high regard by everyone for his accurate decisions. Recognised by cricketers the world over as one of the finest umpires of his time, his quiet demeanour, unfailing good humour and strict impartiality endeared him to all players with whom he came in contact." Critics were quick to counter that he had a reputation for heavily favouring Victoria. In 1926 he toured England with the Australian side, retiring from first-class officiating soon after because of failing eyesight. Away from cricket he ran a company making bats out of willow grown near Melbourne. He died after contracting a chill at the MCG.
Umpire & Referee