Billy Bowden: The Reason behind the crooked finger and 7 facts you should know about him


New Zealand umpire Brent Fraser 'Billy' Bowden is one of the greatest umpires to have officiated in the sport. Bowden has been officiating in international matches for almost 20 years now and here are a few interesting things you need to know about the quirky Kiwi.

#1 The \'crooked finger\' comes due to Arthritis

Billy Bowden had a promising career as a fast bowler in his 20s when he was affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis which ended his playing career.

Bowden turned to umpiring in an effort to be involved with the game he so dearly loved. The pain caused by arthritis was too severe for Bowden to lift his index finger raised above the head, and this led to the "crooked finger of doom" which is now popular all over the cricketing world.

#2 Billy Bowden\'s Unique way of signalling as an umpire

Bowden has carved a niche for himself as an umpire with his entertaining and sometimes over-the-top way of signalling boundaries, referrals to the third umpire among other things.

Bowden's signals vary with the formats. He is more orthodox in Tests, a little enthusiastic in ODIs and at his flamboyat best in T20 games.

There have been some suggestions that Bowden needs to do the signals in the way he does because of his arthritis, as he needs to keep his body fluid.

#3 Officiated in the first ever T20 International

Billy Bowden, along with Tony Hill, officiated in the first ever T20 International between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland in 2005.

#4 Billy Bowden- Second youngest to officiate in 100 ODIs

Billy Bowden is the second youngest, behind only Australian Simon Taufel, to officiate in a 100 One Day Internationals.

Bowden is one of the only 7 umpires who have stood in a 100 ODIs or more thereby becoming recipients of the ICC Bronze Bails award.

#5 First neutral umpires from the same country to officiate in a Test.

During the fourth and final Test match played between England at Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010, which is now infamous for spot-fixing by Pakistan players, Bowden and Tony Hill became the first neutral umpires from the same country to officiate in a Test.

#6 Billy Bowden has issued red-cards to players on 2 different occasions

Although there is no system of handing out cards to players like in football, Bowden has shown the red-card to cricketers on two different occasions.

The first instance came in 2005 at the first ever T20 International between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park, Auckland.Glenn McGrath tried to finish off the game by attempting to bowl an under-arm delivery and was promptly shown the red-card for his actions.

Afghanistan wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad too was shown a red-card by Bowden at last month's Asia Cup for excessive appealing during a match against Bangladesh.

#7 4th umpire during the 2007 World Cup final fiasco

Probably the lowest point in Bowden's career as an umpire came during the 2007 World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka.

The showpiece event was completed in near-darkness and Bowden, who was the 4th umpire for the match, along with all the other officials, were suspended for the next ICC tournament due to their errors in decision making on that day.

Edited by Staff Editor


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