Steve Bucknor was one of the finest umpires of the cricket world, born on May 31, 1946 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, he is also known as ‘Slow Death Bucknor’. He has been an umpire in three successive World Cup finals, in 1996, 1999 & 2003. He was also an umpire in 2007 World Cup held at his native place, West Indies.
He was a sports coach before becoming an international football referee. Steve has experience of being a referee in a football World Cup Qualifier between El Salvador and Netherlands Antilles in 1988.
He started his career as an umpire on March 18, 1989 in an ODI match between West Indies and India. He was selected to umpire in 1992 World Cup in Australia. He was chosen in ICC Elite panel in 2002.
In March 2005, he became the first to umpire in 100 Tests. One of the most remarkable decisions given in his career span as an umpire was in December 2000 in Karachi in a match between Pakistan and England when despite Pakistan trying to delay the match, he refused to terminate the match. England played despite the dark and eventually won the match.
In October 2007, he won the award of , The Order Of Jamaica, Commander Class, for “outstanding services in the field of sports”.
He won the ICC’s Bronze Bails Award for being an umpire in 100 ODIs, and Golden Bails Award for being an umpire 100 Test matches.
In 2007, he was shortlisted for Umpire Of The Year award.
He has been an umpire in 45 Cricket World Cup matches. He has been an umpire in 128 Test matches and 181 One Day matches.
Due to several controversial decisions given by him in second Test in Sydney which eventually led to India’s defeat from Australia in January 2008, he was removed by ICC from the third Test. This decision involved declaring Rahul Dravid out caught when the ball had only hit his pad, and Andrew Symonds not out even though he was out.
Another contentious decision of his was, declaring Sachin Tendulkar out when Sachin had made 52 in a match at Eden Gardens against Pakistan in 2005.
He ruled Jonty Rhodes not out in a Test match at Johannesburg in 1992-93, even when the replay showed a direct hit.
In another instance, he declared Sachin Tendulkar out when he collided with Shoaib Akhtar in a Test match at Eden Gardens in 1998-99.
Steve retired from umpiring in International matches from March 2009. The last match he was umpire in was a third Test match between Australia and South Africa held between March 19- 23, while his last ODI was between West Indies and England in Barbados held on March 27 & 29, 2009. These were his last international matches.