Bangalore: West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor is poised to break the world record for umpiring appearances at Test level, during the forthcoming series between Pakistan and New Zealand, according to an official press release from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The first Test in Lahore will be Bucknor's 66th match, bringing him level with current record holder Dickie Bird of England. Bucknor will then move past Bird in the next match - his 67th - in Karachi, to become the world's most experienced Test match official. "Steve is an outstanding umpire who has the respect of international cricketers throughout the world," ICC general manager - cricket David Richardson said. "He is an excellent decision maker who controls a match with an authority that allows him to work well with players. Off the field, his disciplined lifestyle and commitment to personal fitness have been important in enabling him to reach this milestone. They are also characteristics that set an example for other aspiring umpires to follow," he added. Steve made his Test match debut during the 1988-89 series in the Caribbean between the West Indies and India. Since then he has umpired with distinction around the world, appearing in 84 One-day Internationals to sit alongside his Test record. A keen soccer enthusiast, he is the only official to have taken part in both World Cup cricket and football, having refereed a World Cup soccer international between El Salvador and the Netherlands. In Pakistan Steve will be partnered by fellow elite panel umpire Rudi Koertzen for the Tests in Lahore (May 1 to 5) and Karachi (May 8 to 12). Mike Procter will be the ICC match referee for the series, the press release added.
Professional match referees