Indians are gentlemen, says Dickie Bird

Published: Friday, January 11, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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London: Legendary British umpire Herald Dennis Bird aka Dickie Bird has said that he has always found Indian players to be 'gentlemen' and all their past players have been a credit to the game.

"I have always found Indian team going back to Gavaskar, Chandra, Prasanna, Wadekar, when I umpired them, to be gentleman and I mean in every sense of the term. They have all been a credit to their profession and a credit to the game of cricket," Bird said in an interview to NDTV.

Bird said the Aussie players of his era also played the game with spirit.

"Players like (Dennis) Lillee, (Jeff) Thomson, (Rod) Marsh and the Chappell brothers in that Australian team played hard but always within the laws and the spirit of the game. And if I thought things were getting out of control, I used to have a quiet word with both captains," the English umpire, who was honoured with MBE from Queen in 1986, said.

Bird, a veteran of 66 Tests. said the incidents that marred the Sydney Test could have been avoided through the timely intervention of the two umpires.

Bird, who during the course of his career was well-known for his ability to defuse on-field tensions between players before they escalated into major incidents, said: "The two umpires would realise when they look back on it that they should have got the two captains together. In a proper manner, in a nice way probably, cracked a joke with the two captains and a smile and laughter, that's what I used to do."

"I felt very sad when I saw what was going on in this Test match in Sydney. It is sad for the game but I do hope we can rise from this. Cricket has got to be the winner. Let"s play the game in a proper manner within the law and spirit of the game."

Bird believes age has finally caught up with Bucknor, who had a pretty bad five days in the office at SCG that cost India the game, and Jamaican umpire should call it a day.

"I think he has gone on too long and infact advised him to quit while you are still respected," Bird said.

On India's demand to dump Bucknor from WACA Test, he said: "If they (India) feel that an umpire is not up to I think they have the right to say so. That is my view of it.

"But I do believe if umpires are appointed to a Test match they should see it through. That has not happened in this instance."


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