Monday, 7 January 2008

India outraged: Does Steve Bucknor hate India?

The headline 'Umpires beat India' summed up the mood in India. As millions of fans once again saw Steve Anthony Bucknor give decisions against Indian team that cost them the match, the anger was building up fast across the nation.

The ban on Harbhajan Singh came as a shock. Mike Procter didn't accept the testimony of Sachin Tendulkar, there was no evidence and the Umpires had heard nothing. It was just Symonds claiming that Turbanator called him 'Big Monkey'.

And Bhajji was banned for three tests. Another harsh decision. The headline in Indian Express 'India caught Benson bowled Buckner' was indicator of the mood that swept across the nation that our team had been wronged at Sydney.

TV channels were screaming and former cricketers from Ashok Malhotra to Navjot Singh Siddhu and Kapil Dev were lambasting the Indian Cricket Board. Siddhu even went to the extent of calling the Board 'impotent'.

The question is how long are we going to tolerate this? Last series Down Under we had a similar experience. In 2002-2004 series India was close to victory but he denied LBW appeals that helped Aussies draw the test.

He has been harsh on Tendulkar in the past. In this series it has been confirmed beyond doubt that Bucknor has a bias against Indian team. People joke that may be an Indian girl had ditched him in his prime but there is surely substance in these charges. We have been Bucknored for long.

This must not happen anymore. Coming back midway is no solution, as we are already down in the series and this will not help our team. The BCCI has to take this issue seriously and settle it for all. We are not going to tolerate Procter's one-sided decision.
And we don't want Bucknor officiate in India's next Tests and in future. After all, there has to be a limit of incompetence. Any person would be shamed by such criticism but he is unmoved despite giving wrong decisions.

It is because Bucknor certainly has a hidden agenda, to hurt the chances of Indian team whenever he gets a slight opportunity. And he must be punished. Darrell Hair was incompetent, harsh on teams from sub-continent and gave controversial decisions involving Muralitharan, for which he was punished.
A dozen bad decisions by Bucknor and Benson hit India badly. Times of India headline screamed 'Umpires give Oz 2-0 lead'. For years Stephen Bucknor has been getting away with his 'bias' against India. Now it's time to ban Bucknor or demote him to First Class Cricket.

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