Emulate Gilly and learn to walk, Bowden tells players

Published: Tuesday, January 2, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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London:An admirer of Adam Gilchrist for the fact that he walks, New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden says more players becoming honest would do a world of good for Test cricket's image and ease the pressure on the officials in the middle.

In an interview to the Daily Telegraph, the Kiwi said players walking without waiting for the umpire to make the call would be the greatest change he would like to see in Test cricket.

''More honesty in the game, and players walking when they know they have hit the ball and are out. I respect Adam Gilchrist for the fact that he walks,'' Bowden said.

Bowden feels despite the mistakes umpires make, the use of technology should be limited and the ultimate authority should be with the officials in the middle.

''Too much technology is not a good thing for the game."

"Good umpiring is about making good decisions, but there will always be some mistakes. I'm a great believer in the umpire making the decisions out in the middle, but on other hand, if we are going to get damned for decisions, then maybe we should use the technology,'' he said.

The flamboyant umpire said handling the pressure from players and the media is the toughest part of his job.

''Having the pressure on you from every quarter. Not just from the players, but from the media, the fans, wherever you go and whenever you make a mistake. When umpires make a mistake people have very long memories,'' he explained.

Going back memory lane, Bowden said giving Virender Sehwag out leg-before in the 2004 Test series against Australia despite a clear nick was one of his biggest blunders and rated the decision as his worst sporting moment so far.

''I gave Virender Sehwag out in all honesty, but had been on the road for three and a half months, and mentally and physically I was at the end of my capacity in terms of focus. I gave him out leg before and he hit it. On the replay, it looked obvious. I've learned from that,'' Bowden said when asked about his worst moment on field.

Bowden had immediately apologised for the decision and had blamed the noise in the Bangalore stadium for not being able to hear the nick. The Kiwi was officiating in his first Test in India and his decision left Sehwag fuming, which lead to a fine of 65 per cent of match fee on the Indian.

Bowden, who was a cricketer until the age of 21 when he was struck by arthritis, said he would have been a journalist or a commentator if not an umpire.

''I grew up in a family passionate about soccer, rugby, football. If I had not been an umpire, I would probably have been a journalist or a commentator,'' he said.


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