Bucknor comes under the scanner

Steve Bucknor once again came under the scanner after he adjudged Dravid out for 38 when replays clearly showed the ball had nicked his pads

updated: January 10, 2008 14:12 IST
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The man in the eye of the storm is of course Steve Bucknor. He isn't just the most capped Test umpire on the ICC rolls.

He's always figured in every cricket trivia quiz because of his background as a qualified football referee.

However the West Indian could now find his career in jeopardy because of the insistence of the BCCI that he should be removed from officiating in the rest of the India-Australia series.

Bucknor's bloopers contributed in large measure to India getting eight decisions going against them in the Sydney Test.

Steve Bucknor missed this edge of Andrew Symonds when he was on 30 and he went on to make 162 not out.

Steve Bucknor once again came under the scanner after he adjudged Dravid out for 38 when replays clearly showed the ball had nicked his pads and not the bat, while Mark Benson declared Ganguly out in a controversial decision on Day 5 of the Sydney Test.

All in all a terrible game for the man popularly called slow death because of how long he usually takes to raise the dreaded finger.

But now its Bucknor's career that might be facing not a slow death but a speedy end. He was one of the four umpires involved in the farcical World Cup final in the West Indies in 2007.

The ICC took action against Bucknor and the other umpires by suspending them for the 20-20 World Cup in South Africa.

However, the ICC seems to be supporting its most qualified and capped umpire in this crisis. Bucknor has stood in 120 Tests, the most by any umpire, and he's also stood in 167 one-dayers including five World Cup finals going back to 1992.

Bucknor is due to stand in the Perth Test between India and Australia.

Darrel Hair is currently on the ICC elite panel but he is in so called rehabilitation that follows after he was removed from umpiring following the oval Test fiasco.

Rudi Koertzen the most capped one-day international umpire has had his own problems when he gave Kumara Sangakkara out in Australia a few weeks ago.

The Sri Lankan was on 192 at that time.

A crisis in umpiring no doubt in international cricket, but it could well be that Bucknor is the one who could lose his job and his credibility.

"Every time there is an umpiring controversy, we talk about technology. What about improving umpiring standards? Umpires are also making more mistakes because they are referring to the third umpire a lot more," said Ian Chappell, 75 Tests and 16 ODIs for Australia.

However, a fired up Navjot Sidhu who is of course an NDTV cricket commentator says the BCCI should stick to its demand to have umpire Steve Bucknor removed from the rest of the series.

ICC's claims that Bucknor was just having a bad day at the office. All this from an umpire who apparently had a 96 per cent success rate in the last two years but got it almost a 100 per cent wrong in Sydney.