Cape Town: West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor, who will appear in his 128th and last Test here, has stirred controversy by saying that money power allowed the Indian cricket board to succeed in having him sacked from a Test match in Perth in 2008.
"Some people are more equal than others," the Waikato Times quoted Bucknor, as saying in reference to the explosive second test in Sydney in January 2008 that led to India captain Anil Kumble filing a negative report on the West Indies official.
The BCCI then made noises about pulling out of their Australian tour if they didn''t get their way.
Reflecting on a 20-year career that has included a record five World Cup finals, the tall and calm Jamaican says he wasn''t surprised by the fuss the Indian camp made over his efforts in that eventful Sydney Test.
"I know that in the life of everyone there are going to be good times and bad times," Bucknor told AAP in Cape Town.
"I have survived for a long time. Had it not been for strong-willed people within the ICC, I might have been out due to negative reactions from certain quarters. When you speak to a captain and he''s not happy, you are reported. If his (national) association is strong enough they may believe that they should take action. Oh, this umpire shouldn''t be within the system because the captain is seeing something wrong," Bucknor said.
"I knew there would have been a moment when things would not have gone as well. But at the same time, I made two mistakes out of more than 40 calls. There are other who will say getting 90 per cent in a game is relatively good," he added.
"I got better than 94 per cent in that particular game, but it wasn''t good enough for some people. So, I was expecting these things to happen because on Earth. . . there are some people who are more equal than others," Bucknor said.
"Because they are more equal, they seem to have more say. And what they say, especially influenced by money, they seem to have their way. So I''m not too surprised," he added.
Bucknor says Viv Richards is the best batsman he has umpired and Shane Warne the best bowler. He also enjoyed locking horns with Warne and Glenn McGrath.
"The tough bowlers. Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Andre Nel," Bucknor said.
"Even when at times they are annoyed, later on Glenn McGrath will say 'Steve, I thought that was the correct decision, but I''m coming back for another one''.
"In other words, he''s happy for the correct decision. He knows he''ll have to work very hard to get the batsman out so he''s always gunning at you, he''s always having a word.
"So I don''t mind it. I like the tough guys, those who will question you. Not being rude but just you know saying, ''What was that missing Steve, if you say so, I''ll accept it''."