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Steve Bucknor
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Personal information
Full name Stephen Anthony Bucknor
Born 31 May 1946 (1946-05-31) (age 71)
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Umpiring information
Tests umpired 128 (1989–2009)
ODIs umpired 181 (1989–2009)
Career statistics
Source: Cricinfo, 6 May 2009

The Honourable Stephen Anthony Bucknor OJ, also known as Steve Bucknor, is a former international cricket umpire. He was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on 31 May 1946. He became a high school mathematics teacher and sports coach before becoming an international football referee and a cricket umpire. In October 2007, he was awarded the Order of Jamaica, Commander Class, for "outstanding services in the field of sports".

Cricket umpire

Bucknor's first international cricket fixture was a One Day International (ODI) between the West Indies and India at Antigua on 18 March 1989. His first Test match was at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, between 28 April and 3 May 1989, with the competing teams again being the West Indies and India. After umpiring in a few international matches, he was selected to umpire at the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Australia, and went on to stand in the final despite being quite inexperienced. Bucknor also stood in the next four World Cup finals in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007, with the 2007 World Cup taking place in his native West Indies.

In 1994 the ICC introduced a policy whereby one of the umpires in each Test match would be independent of the competing nations, selected from the International Panel of Umpires. Bucknor was a member of this panel from its foundation until the ICC changed its policy on umpires again in 2002. Since then both umpires in Test matches, and one of the umpires in ODI's have been independent of the competing countries. The officials are now chosen from the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, whom the ICC consider to be the world's best umpires. Bucknor maintained a place on the Elite Panel since its foundation until his retirement.

In May 2006, he accused TV companies of doctoring their images to make umpires look bad and key players look good. He was one of five officials, responsible for the wrong decision in the 2007 World Cup final, resulting in play continuing in poor light. Consequently, all five officials were suspended from the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. Dave Richardson, the general manager of cricket at the ICC, has said Bucknors umpiring accuracy was at 96% during 2005-06, above the average of 94.8% for the Elite Panel. In 2007, he was short-listed for the Umpire of the Year award, which was ultimately won by Simon Taufel. Things turned progressively worse in the following months, when he was removed by the ICC from officiating in the third Test between Australia and India in Perth after his several incorrect decisions contributed to India's defeat in the second Test in Sydney in January 2008 & he was replaced by Billy Bowden for the third Test match. Former umpire Dickie Bird suggested that Bucknor had "gone on too long", while Bucknor blamed India's financial power for his ouster.

The ICC confirmed on 23 February 2009 that Bucknor had decided to retire from umpiring in March 2009. His final Test match was the 3rd Test between South Africa and Australia at Cape Town on 19–23 March, and his last One Day International match was the 4th ODI between his native West Indies and England at Barbados on 29 March, bringing his 20 year career as an official to an end.

Bucknor was presented with an award before his final Test match and was given a standing ovation at the start of each of his final matches, by all spectators and the players. A tribute was shown to the crowd on the big screen at the end of the ODI between West Indies and England.

Achievements as an umpire

Cricket World Cup

Bucknor has stood as an onfield umpire in five World Cup tournaments, during which he has officiated 44 matches including five finals.

Test match record

Bucknor holds the record for the most Test matches umpired, and was the first umpire to have officiated in over 100 Test matches (he was later joined in this distinction by Rudi Koertzen). He has stood in 14 Ashes Test matches and officiated in Bangladesh's first ever Test match.

One day internationals

Bucknor has officiated in the second highest number of ODIs, with Rudi Koertzen the only umpire to have stood in more ODIs.

Awards

Bucknor has received the ICC's Bronze Bails Awards for umpiring in 100 ODIs, as well as the Golden Bails Award for umpiring 100 Test matches.

External links

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