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Sunday, February 28, 2010

the best?

An interesting observation recently by that doyen of cricket commentators, Richie Benaud, while commentating on a guy in which New Zealander, Billy Bowden was officiating.

Some years back, the International Cricket Council determined that in future, umpires from the host nation could not officiate in Test matches. As a result, good umpires may not necessarily be seen in action on their home soil.

Benaud correctly notes that we are now in an era of referrals by both players and umpires to off-field umpires for adjudication on decisions by reference to the various forms of technology being employed. In that event, Benaud argues, we do not have that same difficulty that arguably existed prior to the introduction of this access to greater technology. Consequently, Benaud continued, there is no longer necessarily the need to have home fans denied the chance to see the best in action when it is one of their own.

There was something in what Benaud was saying - except for one prominent exception. He classed Billy Bowden as one of the best. Give me a break! The sheer number of blunders that bloke makes puts him well outside the numbers of the 'best'. Sure, he has done a heck of lot better in his umpiring career than I ever even dreamed of during my own lacklustre playing career, but still - calling him one of the 'best'?

Richie, mate - just how many glasses of chardonnay did you have that day during lunch?

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