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Ganguly damns Bucknor in captain's report

In the mandatory captain's report to ICC, Ganguly has sharply criticised Bucknor for both his conduct and his decision-making ability.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2004 02:40 IST

Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, it is learnt, has given West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor a very poor rating for his performance in the Sydney Test which ended in a draw earlier this week.

In the mandatory captain's report to the ICC, Ganguly has sharply criticised Bucknor for both his conduct and his decision-making ability, highly-placed sources said tonight.

In the column of the captains' report where an umpire is judged on his conduct and his decision-making -- marked as very good, good, average, poor and very poor -- Ganguly has given the West Indian umpire very poor numbers.

The Indians were peeved with the 57-year-old Bucknor for turning down appeals against Justin Langer and Damien Martyn on the final day which they believe were clear-cut cases of leg-before decisions.

Langer survived the shout from Ajit Agarkar while Martyn benefitted from Bucknor's largesse after left-arm spinner Murali Kartik had hit him in front of the stumps.

The Indians also have not taken kindly to his hauling of young wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel with a pointed finger in front of thousands of spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground and millions on television.

"Patel was not wrong in appealing up and down as his view was obstructed by the batsman's back," said a senior Indian cricketer, adding the umpire was downright rude in his reaction to the 19-year-old .

Indians believe not only at the SCG but also in the first Test at Brisbane, Bucknor's umpiring was anything but satisfactory.

Bucknor ruled Sachin Tendulkar out leg before wicket when he had shouldered arms to a rising delivery from Jason Gillespie in India's first innings -- a decision which was slammed around the cricket world.

"He was not like this before but now he seems to be riding a thing against us," commented the senior cricketer.

It is not known what Bucknor had to say in his report about the Indians to match-referee Mike Procter but this thing between the two parties is not going to die down a natural death. Bucknor is to stand in five of India's eight matches in the league stages of the VB Series and two of the three finals next month.

Bucknor is the world's most experienced umpire having officiated in 86 Tests.

It appears Bucknor might have been peeved by constant chattering between the two teams during the tense Sydney Test.

Indians found Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist "handful" in their verbal attacks and were not averse to chip in with their own bantering.

Gilchrist though came over to the Indian dressing room after the fourth Test had ended and spoke in a spirit of let bygone be bygone to Indian boys, according to another senior cricketer.

It is a tradition in Australia that rival captain and his players visit the home side's dressing room at the end of the Test series.

Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid, opener Aakash Chopra and left-arm spinner Murali Kartik too visited the Australian dressing room at the conclusion of the game.

However, Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar did not pay the courtesy call.

But an Australian cricketer was not reading too much into it.

"The dressing room, inside and outside, was extremely chaotic at the end of the Test with all those emotions surrounding Steve Waugh. I would not read too much into it," said the cricketer.

First Published: Jan 08, 2004 18:59 IST