'Review technology helps umpires sleep better at night' - iconic official Bucknor confident technology has improved umpiring

By Sports Desk June 20, 2020

Iconic West Indies umpire Steve Bucknor believes the game’s recent embrace of technology must make it easier for umpires to sleep well at night, as bad decisions can be corrected quickly.

Bucknor, whose career behind the stumps lasted for 20-years, officiated in 128 Test matches and 181 One Day Internationals.  In addition, he stood in 5 World Cups.

 With the Jamaica-born official having retired in 2009 and the Umpire Digital Review System (DRS) being trialed in 2008, he never had the advantage of appeals and instant replays but is certain it has made the game better for all involved.

“I am not certain if it affects the confidence of umpires, but I know it has improved umpiring,” Bucknor told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“It has improved umpiring because there was a time when we were saying the batsman was so-called playing down the line, therefore he is not going to be given out leg before, but if the technology is saying the ball is hitting, then you have to give him out.  So, we learn from the technology,” he added.

"The umpires who do not enjoy having technology around, I hope that they have a rethink.  What it does if you make a mistake it can be corrected on the field,” Bucknor said.  “Now thinking about when I was umpiring and I gave a batsman out who was not out, realizing I made a mistake it took a long time to fall asleep that night.  Now you can fall asleep quickly because the correct decision is eventually given.”

Bucknor infamously and incorrectly gave legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar out on two occasions.   The first of the mistakes came in Australia (at the Gabba in Brisbane off Jason Gillespie in 2003) where he declared Tendulkar lbw, when the ball was clearly flying over the stumps.  Another decision was a caught behind (at the Eden in Kolkata off Abdul Razzaq in 2005) when he thought the batsman had nicked the ball. 

“It is human to err.  These were mistakes.  I don’t think any umpire wants to do the wrong thing, it lives with him and his future could be jeopardised.  I was unhappy but human beings make mistakes.  Accepting your mistakes and moving on is a part of life.”

 

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