14 Nov 2008

Bucknor to umpire trans-tasman series

2:23 pm on 14 November 2008

The International Cricket Council may have believed he wasn't up to the task of controlling an Australia-India Test but they have no problem putting Steve Bucknor in charge of a trans-Tasman series.

The ICC has announced the much-maligned umpire will control this month's two Australia-New Zealand Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide with fellow West Indian Billy Doctrove.

The appointment comes 11 months after Bucknor was dismissed by the ICC after they bowed to Indian pressure over his handling of the controversial SCG Test, which Australia snatched in the penultimate over.

The ICC had originally scheduled the ageing Jamaican, who was once considered the sport's best official, to control the third Test in Perth but replaced him with NZ's Billy Bowden after India, also seething over Harbhajan Singh's initial ban for calling Andrew Symonds a 'monkey', threatened to pull out of the tour.

Bucknor, renowned for the prolonged time he takes to raise his finger, has not controlled a match involving the politically powerful Indians since.

But the modest talents of the Black Caps mean the trans-Tasman series is a low-profile encounter on the current world stage.

Englishman Chris Board will travel to Australia as match referee for the two-Test series.