Bucknor passes milestone, eyes 5th WC final

Published: Sunday, October 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mohali:Umpire Steve Bucknor achieved a personal milestone registering his 150th ODI appearance in the ICC Champions Trophy clash between India and Australia here today.

In the process, Bucknor becomes only the third official in the history of the game to reach the landmark, following in the footsteps of David Shepherd and Rudi Koertzen.

Reflecting on his achievement, Bucknor said, ''I never thought I would get this far as, back when I started, there was the chance to stand in just a few matches every year.

''But now I can look back and think about the ICC Cricket World Cups and many other matches I have umpired and it makes me feel very proud, he said.'' In addition to umpiring in 150 ODIs, Bucknor has also stood in more Test matches -- 113 -- than anyone else, but cricket is not the only sport in which he officiated at the top level.

The Jamaican was also an international soccer referee, so was there ever a chance we could have seen him take charge of World Cup finals in cricket and football? ''Not really and I did not leave football for cricket,'' he said.

''It was just that I got too old for football refereeing when FIFA lowered its retirement age from 50 to 45 so that gave me the chance to focus on cricket.'' Bucknor, who stood in his first ODI back in March 1989 in a match between the West Indies and India in Antigua, is also the only umpire to have officiated in four successive World Cup finals -- a figure no other umpire can match.

And, if Bucknor maintains the high standards he has always set for himself and his profession then he still has plenty of time left at the top level -- and, in the short term, there is next year's ICC Cricket World Cup in his backyard, the Caribbean.

''That is an exciting prospect,'' he said with a smile. ''It would be nice to stand in final number five.''

The leaderboard: David Shepherd (172), Rudi Koertzen (156), Steve Bucknor (150), Daryl Harper (126), Darrell Hair (124), David Orchard (107), Steve Dunne (100)


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