20/12/2009

Will Dickie Bird’s reputation stand?

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 22:  Umpire St...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
It is doubtful whether Dickie Bird’s or for the matter other umpiring legends pristine reputation will stand DRS scrutiny.
But think for a moment of the effect on the umpires in all this, the fellows whose decision-making it is designed to enhance, but will also serve to expose. There was a time when umpires would be classified as "outers" or "not-outers" and while there was something strangely acceptable in the latter, to be called an "outer" was a pejorative term, implying too much of a readiness to get the game moving along. Consider the reputation of Dickie Bird, perhaps the most famous umpire of them all. With the exception of one gloriously aberrant match between West Indies and Pakistan, in which Dickie and Steve Bucknor were complicit in giving a world record 17 lbws, Dickie made a career out of avoiding controversy. Dickie was safe all right, but might have his reputation pricked by today's scrutiny.
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