Bucknor: Umpire with a 'soft heart'

On tours abroad, he carries a cricketer's coffin and purchases equipment to be distributed in his alma mater.
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Published on Feb 18, 2006 12:19 PM IST
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None | ByQaiser Mohammad Ali (Indo-Asian News Service), Karachi

West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor is a versatile personality who has even officiated in World Cup football qualifiers and regularly supplies cricket equipment to his alma mater.

On tours abroad, Bucknor carries a cricketer's coffin, as the box that contains cricket equipment is referred to. He buys cricket equipment and takes it to his hometown Montego Bay in Jamaica, to be distributed in Cornwall College.

"Whenever I come to India and Pakistan, I bring along this coffin. I buy cricket bats and other stuff and keep them in this coffin," Bucknor, here to officiate in the India-Pakistan one-day internationals, said.

At times youngsters visit his home and grab whatever they like. But Bucknor, who has so far officiated in 108 Tests and 137 one-day internationals, cannot stop them because he has a "soft heart".

"The other day two youngsters came to my house and said 'let's see your store room'. They went there and picked up two pairs of gloves and a few bats and said they were taking them away," said 59-year-old Bucknor. "I could not stop because, you know, my heart is soft," he said and laughed, almost blushing.

Bucknor, one of the most respected international umpires, is closely connected with Cornwall College.

"I distributed some of the equipment that I buy in Pakistan or India to the cricket team of the college where I studied, Cornwall College in Montego Bay," he disclosed.

Bucknor said he did not buy anything in Multan but he would do so in Karachi.

He has officiated the most number of Test matches and completed a 'century' in March 2005. He has also officiated in three World Cups, in 1996, 1999 and 2003. He will set another record when he officiates in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

Bucknor's next assignment is the series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, for which he would be flying off straight to Dhaka after the fifth India-Pakistan one-dayer on Sunday.

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