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Hand over referrals to umpires: Bucknor

cricket Updated: Nov 02, 2009 11:45 IST
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Steve Bucknor, who stepped down as International Cricket Council's Elite Panel umpire on Sunday, urged cricket's governing body to take the right of video referrals away from players and hand them to umpires.

"It is my opinion that it is the umpires on the field, they're the ones who should be asking these questions," said the 62-year-old who quit umpiring after the end of the third Test between Australia and South Africa in Cape Town.

The West Indian believes umpires know instinctively when a decision needs to be referred to the third umpire.

"Not the batsman, not the bowler. We know when the decisions are tough and marginal. We just know. I believe we are the ones who should be going up there to say, 'Third umpire, have a look at this, it is marginal'," said Bucknor, who stood down after 128 Tests.

"Because in these times, in these games, when a team has used its two referrals, they have no more but the umpires still can make mistakes. These mistakes could be costly. I have nothing against the experiments but we know when the decisions are tight," he told 'The Age'.

"And rather than having a team not capitalising on a fair decision because they have used all their referrals, I hope that later on it should be the umpires asking rather than the players," said Bucknor, who dropped on his knees and prayed mid-pitch after the Test match ended.

"I was giving thanks. I'm a believer and I said, 'Thank you, Lord, you have taken me through, and it all seems to have gone well'," said Bucknor, who was given a guard of honour by Australian and South African players after bringing an end to his 20-year tenure.

"The guard of honour was a bit surprising to me. I am not one for these big moments.

"I am more low key than anything else and these surprises — I suppose I understand when they happen and how to react, but it was a big surprise."