Bucknor’s return to Test cricket delayed

November 18th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Nov 18 (IANS) Controversial umpire Steve Bucknor’s return to international cricket after 11 months will be delayed as he has been removed from officiating the two-Test series between Australia and New Zealand starting in Brisbane from Thursday.The International Cricket Council (ICC) said that South Africa’s Rudi Koertzen will take Bucknor’s place in Thursday’s first Test between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane and the second Test in Adelaide. West Indian Billy Doctrove will be the other field umpire.

“Due to travel difficulties, Steve Bucknor… will not be officiating in the two-match series between Australia and New Zealand due to begin on Nov 20. He will be replaced by Rudi Koertzen… for both Tests,” the ICC said in a statement.

The 62-year-old Jamaican was dumped by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the Sydney Test between India and Australia in January.

The match was marred with charges of racism on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh and Australia’s unsporting attitude. Indians threatened to abandon the series if the charges against Harbhajan were not dropped and if Bucknor, who also with Mark Benson gave some wrong decisions in favour of the Australians in Sydney, was not replaced.

The ICC removed Bucknor after it felt that the Jamaican wasn’t up to the task of controlling the controversial Australia-India Test match in Sydney in January.

The ICC denied at the time that their decision to remove the out-of-form Bucknor from the Perth Test was due to pressure from Indian officials.

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