Steve Anthony Bucknor or better known as just Steve Bucknor is a Jamaican former international cricket umpire. During his time, he was respected and regarded as one of the best umpires. He was most notable for nodding gently before notifying players and audiences alike of the decisions he made.
This earned him the moniker of “Slow Death Bucknor”. He has umpired in 128 Test matches, which is more than anyone, and broke Dickie Bird’s record of 66 back in 2002. David Shepherd and Rudy Koertzen are the only people know to have exceeded his record of umpiring 181 ODIs. He also stood in five successive Cricket World Cup finals.
Steve Bucknor career
Steve Bucknor started his sports career with Football, playing as a goalkeeper in the Jamaica Parish Leagues in the 1960s. He was then selected by FIFA to be a referee on the CONCACAF and World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and the Netherlands Antilles back in 1988.
From Football he moved to cricket and it was during his time in Montego Bay that he chose to take up the white coat due to his experience of incorrect decisions. From the get-go, he had a habit of taking his time making his decisions and also advised other people to do so. According to him, hasty decisions increases the chances of incorrect calls without enough proof.
He quickly rose to fame due to his accuracy in giving correct calls, which led to the quick rise of his international career. His first international debut would be the ODI match between the West Indies and India at Antigua on 18th March 1989. After showing stellar performances in other international matches, he was selected to umpire in the 2007 World Cup despite him being quite inexperienced at the time.
The Unfortunate End
With his experience in football and his patience, Steve Bucknor never took anything for granted. He was a man of routine and would keep to that routine every time before he arrived to work. His career could have gone for much longer since he was not scheduled to retire before 2011 but due to having made high-profile decisions that cost him his status. His old age and heavy workload seemed to have taken a toll on him as he was unable to make the accurate decisions that he once made at the beginning of his career.
Steve Bucknor was suspended from the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa due to him being one of the officials responsible for making a wrong decision in umpiring during the finals. The following months were not kind either as things took a turn for the worse.
He was removed by the ICC from officiating the third Test between Australia and Perth due to several incorrect decisions he made during India’s second Test in Sydney, leading to the former team’s loss. (Steve Bucknor umpire)
Bucknor official retirement
Steve Bucknor decided to retire after March of 2009 which was confirmed by the ICC on 23rd February 2009. His final Test match was the 3rd Test between South Africa and Australia at Cape Town, and his last One Day International match was the 4th ODI between his native West Indies and England at Barbados, bringing his 20-year career as an official to an end.