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'100th Test just match'

PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Kolkata
Mar 14, 2005 05:23 PM IST

Steve Bucknor will become the first umpire to stand in 100 Test matches when he officiates in the second Test between India and Pakistan on Wednesday.

Steve Bucknor will become the first umpire to stand in 100 Test matches when he officiates in the second Test between India and Pakistan starting at the 90,000-capacity Eden Gardens on Wednesday.

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But the 58-year-old Jamaican has dismissed the landmark Test as "just another match", saying he will be as nervous as he was in his first international game 16 years ago.

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"The preparations will be the same, probably more because the Eden Gardens, like most places in the Indian sub-continent, is the toughest place for an umpire," Bucknor told reporters on Monday.

"The noise, the heat and humidity. Mentally and physically it is very demanding."

Bucknor, who has officiated in four cricket World Cups, stood in his first international game during the fourth Test between India and the West Indies in his native Kingston, Jamaica, in April 1989.

A qualified football referee before switching to cricket full-time in 1992, Bucknor will become the first recipient of the International Cricket Council's Golden Bails award.

"I am just plain happy to have officiated at the highest level for 16 years," he said. "There's no other feeling. If I am thankful to anybody, its God alone."

Bucknor said he had no complaints about the induction of technology into the game, but took a swipe at television commentators for making the job of umpires more difficult.

"It is good to show different angles to viewers, but commentators should also emphasise that the umpire only had the benefit of one angle," he said.

"We all make mistakes and I have too. I won't go into details, but I have twice apologised to the players who got affected. A human being is going to err."

In Kolkata, Bucknor will stand with Australian Darrell Hair, who will be doing his 60th Test. David Shepherd of England is Bucknor's closest challenger with 87 Tests.

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