Umpire Bowden says "I'm not a clown"
New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden has denied claims that his exuberant behavior at the end of Stephen Waugh's final Test was unprofessional.india Updated: Jan 08, 2004 10:37 IST
New Zealand cricket umpire Billy Bowden has denied claims that his exuberant behavior at the end of Stephen Waugh's farewell Test in Sydney was unprofessional.
Bowden, who stood in the Test between India and Australia — the last of Waugh's distinguished career — hugged the Australian captain, took photographs and grabbed stumps as souvenirs as the emotionally charged match ended late on Tuesday.
He admitted on Thursday he had been affected by the occasion as Waugh left the Sydney Cricket Ground to a standing ovation after scoring 80 to lead his team to a respectable draw.
But the flamboyant Kiwi denied that his behavior had been improper for a match official.
"I don't think I was being unprofessional," Bowden told Wellington's Dominion-Post newspaper.
"It was after the game. I was (exhausted) after all the pressure involved. It was a time to relax and do what you like.
"Steve's going was a special moment for me and I wanted to capture it with my camera."
Bowden said he hugged Waugh and told him "thanks for the memories and all the best."
He said he'd given one of his two souvenir stumps to Waugh on learning the Australian captain did not have one. "It was a way of saying thank you for all the support he had given in the last two weeks," he said.
Bowden's behavior has been widely remarked upon in Australia but he stoutly defended his flamboyance.
"I'm not a clown," he said. "My first priority is to get the decisions right but I want to enjoy it and entertain the crowd."
Bowden is due to officiate in three limited-overs internationals between New Zealand and Pakistan in New Zealand over the next 10 days.