ICC Cricket Umpires
Steve BucknorStephen Anthony Bucknor, popularly known as Steve Bucknor, was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 31 1946. He became a high school maths teacher and sports coach, before going on to be one of Jamaica's leading sports officials as an international football referee but more famously as an international cricket umpire.
The highlight of his time as a FIFA referee was the World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and the Netherlands Anitilles in 1988. Soon after this Bucknor had to retire from football refereeing because the FIFA age limit for referees was lowered to 45. However, this allowed him to pursue his career as a cricket umpire. Bucknor's first international cricket fixture was a one-day international (ODI) between the West Indies and India at Antigua on March 18 1989. His first test match was at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, between April 28 and May 3 1989, with the competing teams again being the West Indies and India. He quickly earned the respect of the players and, after just a handful of international matches, he was selected to umpire at the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Australasia, and went on to stand in the final. He also stood in the next 3 world cup finals (in 1996, 1999 & 2003), and with the 2007 world cup to be held in his native Caribbean, he says it would be the ultimate honour to stand in a fifth final in front of his home crowd. In the early 1990's the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced a policy of one home umpire and one neutral umpire for all test matches. The neutral officials were chosen from a panel of the world's best umpires, and Bucknor had the honour of being included in the inaugural list. In 2002 the ICC changed its policy again, and decided to have two neutral umpires in ech test match and one neutral & one home umpire in each ODI. The neutral officials are selected from the ICC Elite Umpire Panel for which Bucknor was all but guaranteed a place, having been considered by far the best umpire in the world throughout the 1990's and early 2000's. He had built up the respect of the players through his accurate decision making and calm but authoritative on field manner, skills that mean he continues to be one of the world's top umpires.
Aside from his world record four world cup finals, Bucknor has stood in the third highest number of ODI's, passing a landmark of 150 ODI's with the Champions Trophy match between India and Australia at Mohali on 29 October 2006. Bucknor has also umpired more test matches than anyone else, 113 to date. The highlights of his test match career include Bangladesh's first ever test match, his 100th Test (the macth between India and Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Calcutta in March 2005) and no fewer than 12 Ashes Tests, including the thrilling Boxing day test in 1998 and the Old Trafford test in 2005. His umpiring career has not been without controversy, for instance he has accused television companies of doctoring their coverage of cricket to make umpires look bad. He has also had to defend his reputation in recent times after some shocking decisions. Lately, however, he has been back to his best, getting 96% of his decisions right in 2005-06, which is way above the average for the international panels. Steve Bucknor continues to be regarded as one of cricket's very best umpires, and he has a very strong and unususal position for a sports official in that the players are actually pleased to learn that Bucknor will be umpiring their matches because they can trust him to be accurate, fair and completely honest. Bucknor is also a favourite with the spectators, and his lengthy pause for consideration before raising the finger of doom is very much a popular trademark among cricket followers, and has earned Steve the nickname "Slow Death Bucknor", a fitting nickname for one of the world's greatest ever cricket umpires.
Steve Bucknor News
Bucknor reaches landmark at Champions Trophy
Oct 29 2006ICC Champions Trophy clash between India and Australia in Mohali is a massive game for both sides as only one of them can progress to the semifinals.
But for one of the people at the centre of the action the match has a degree of personal significance, whatever the result. For umpire Steve Bucknor, it is his 150th ODI and he becomes only the third official in the history of the game to reach that milestone, following in the footsteps of David Shepherd and Rudi Koertzen. The list for most appearances by an umpire in ODIs looks like this: 172 - David Shepherd, 156 - Rudi Koertzen, 150* - Steve Bucknor, 126 -Daryl Harper, 124 - Darrell Hair, 107 - David Orchard,100 - Steve Dunne. It all started for Bucknor the international cricket umpire back in March 1989 when he stood in his first ODI, the match between the West Indies and India in Antigua.
The home side, led by Vivian Richards, won that match by eight wickets thanks to 117 from Gordon Greenidge and four wickets from Ian Bishop. Bucknor quickly established his reputation as a high-class official and after being named as one of the umpires for the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup in Australasia he went on to stand in the final when Pakistan beat England to lift the trophy in Melbourne. It was the first of four successive final appearances for Bucknor, a figure no other umpire can match.