‘I gave a batsman out who was not out’: Steve Bucknor recalls umpiring decisions involving Sachin Tendulkar
Steve Bucknor was a top International Cricket Council (ICC) umpire in the 2000s. But some errors from his part led to his decline as a top umpire in international cricket. Two of his most famous errors of judgement led to the dismissal of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. The first one happened during the Gabba Test in 2003 when he adjudged Tendulkar LBW on the bowling off Jason Gillespie despite the ball going above the wickets.
Then it was the infamous decision where he thought Tendulkar had edged an Abdul Razzaq delivery in 2005 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The replays however showed that it had not touched the bat and Bucknor regrets those decisions in hindsight.
“Tendulkar was given out on two different occasions when those were mistakes. I do not think any umpire would want to do a wrong thing. It lives with him and his future could be jeopardised,” Bucknor said on Mason and Guests radio programme.
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“To err is human. Once in Australia, I gave him out leg before wicket and the ball was going over the top. Another time, in India it was caught behind. The ball deviated after passing the bat but there was no touch. But the match was at Eden Gardens and when you are at the Eden and India is batting, you hear nothing.
“Because 100,000 spectators are making noise. Those were the mistakes and I was unhappy. I am saying a human is going to make mistakes and accepting mistakes are part of life,” he added.
Bucknor also talked about the introduction of technology in cricket and feels that the Decision Review System (DRS) has been introduced to make the sport better while correcting the wrong decisions from the umpires.
“I am not certain if it affects the confidence of umpires, but I know it has improved umpiring,” Bucknor said.
“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.
“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.”
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