Bucknor to retire after SA-Australia series

Updated: 23 February 2009 09:14 IST

Steve Bucknor, who has officiated in more Test and ODIs than anyone ever, would retire from umpiring at international level next month.

Bucknor to retire after SA-Australia series
©

Kingston:

Steve Bucknor, who has officiated in more Test and ODIs than anyone ever, would retire from umpiring at international level next month.

The Jamaican will retire from Test cricket after officiating in the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town from March 19 to 23.

The two upcoming ODIs between the West Indies and England in Barbados will be Bucknor's last assignments.

So far, the Jamaican has officiated in a record 126 Tests and 179 ODIs.

"I have notified the ICC that the South Africa versus Australia series will be my last Test series," Bucknor told 'Jamaican Gleaner' before leaving for South Africa.

"The third Test match in Cape Town will be my last Test match," he said.

"The body is feeling quite good and I know I could go on for another two or three years. However, something inside me is telling me that it is time to go," said Bucknor, who stood in a record five World Cup finals.

Bucknor, who was a FIFA referee and is still a respected football coach, said he was looking forward to grooming umpires.

"I hope I will be accorded the opportunity by the West Indies board to work with young umpires in the region because I still would like to continue making a contribution," he said.

Football remains another passion and Bucknor said, "I am already back at Cornwall College coaching the Under-16 team and soon I will be taking on the daCosta Cup team, as well. Cornwall has always been dear to me and I am only too happy to go back there to help."

Bucknor said he cherished memories of a two-decade-old umpiring career and was penning a memoir on it.

"My fondest memory was standing in my first ICC World Cup final because it was really a dream coming true for me," said the affable Jamaican, known for his nodding of the head before slowly raising his finger.

Bucknor is also the first black umpire to stand in a Test match in post-apartheid South Africa and he also got to meet former South African president Nelson Mandela during the tour.

"Going to umpire in South Africa was very special because it was something that was endorsed by Nelson Mandela, who is someone I hold in high regard," said Bucknor.

"Meeting Mandela was one of those special moments I will never forget," he added.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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