Billy Bowden
Personal information
Full name Brent Fraser Bowden
Born 11 April 1963 (1963-04-11) (age 54)
Henderson, New Zealand
Nickname Billy
Umpiring information
Tests umpired 75 (2000–present)
ODIs umpired 181 (1995–present)
T20Is umpired 19 (2005–present)
Career statistics
Source: Cricinfo, 25 June 2013

Brent Fraser "Billy" Bowden (born 11 April 1963) is an international cricket umpire from New Zealand known for his dramatic signalling style. He was a player until he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and took up umpiring. He is well known for his dramatic signalling style which includes "crooked finger of doom" out signal.


In March 1995 Bowden officiated his first One Day International between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Hamilton. In March 2000 he was appointed his first Test match as an on-field umpire, and in 2002 he was included in the Emirates Panel of International Umpires. A year later he was asked to umpire at the Cricket World Cup in South Africa, and was chosen to be the fourth umpire in the final between Australia and India. Shortly after this he was duly promoted to the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, of which he is still a member. He reprised his role as fourth umpire in the 2007 Cricket World Cup final and was involved in the wrong decision that caused the match to end in darkness. Bowden was involved in an incident at the 2006 Brisbane Ashes test while standing at the square leg fielding position, when knocked to the ground by a ball hit by Geraint Jones. In January 2007, Bowden became the youngest umpire to officiate in 100 ODIs during the New Zealand and Sri Lanka match at Hamilton, which corresponded exactly with his first ODI in 1995. Simon Taufel bettered that record a few days later.


Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it was too painful for Bowden to signal a batsman out in the conventional fashion, with a straight index finger raised above the head, and this led to the "crooked finger of doom". He has also put his own slant on several other signals, including a "crumb-sweeping" wave of the arm to signal four, and the "double crooked finger six-phase hop" to signal a six. His signals are sedate in Tests, more flashy in ODIs and decidedly flamboyant in Twenty20. His behavior has attracted him both fans and critics alike. Martin Crowe has referred to him as Bozo the Clown, and at least one commentator has said he should remember that cricket is for the players and fans, not for the umpires. However there was the suggestion that he needs to do the signals in the way he does because of his arthritis, as he needs to keep his body fluid.

International umpiring statistics

First Latest Total
Tests Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand v Flag of Australia Australia at Auckland, Mar 2000 Flag of Australia Australia v Flag of England England at Perth, Dec 2013 76
ODIs Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand v Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka at Hamilton, Mar 1995 Flag of England England v Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka at Oval, Jun 2013 181
T20Is Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand v Flag of Australia Australia at Auckland, Feb 2005 Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand v Flag of Pakistan Pakistan at Auckland, Dec 2010 19

Awards ICC Bronze Bails Award for 100 ODIs.

External links

Template:International Panel of ICC Umpires

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