Bird - Buck stops here
Former Test umpire Dickie Bird told Sky Sports News that he feels Steve Bucknor should retire.
Last Updated: 08/01/08 11:26am
Former international umpire Dickie Bird told Sky Sports News that he believes former colleague Steve Bucknor has "gone on too long".
The West Indian, along with Mark Benson, has come in for criticism following the performance of the on-field officials in the second Test between Australia and India at Sydney.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lodged a formal complaint over what they have classed as "incompetent" umpiring during the match.
They asked that Bucknor not stand in the third match of the series in Perth, a request the International Cricket Council orginally turned down.
However, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed announced on Tuesday that Billy Bowden would take over at the WACA, although they insist the move was not made because of India's complaint.
Bird, a veteran of 66 Tests who retired in 1996, admits that he once advised Bucknor to get out of the game while he was still respected.
"I've talked to him and told him not to go on for too long," Bird told Sky Sports News. "I think he's gone on too long."
On the issue of India's complaint, he added: "They've been very, very upset by Steve's umpiring and objected to it.
"If they feel that an umpire is not up to it, then I think they have the right to say so. That's just my view of it.
"But I do agree that once you have been appointed to do a Test match, you should do it and see it through. In this case, that hasn't happened."
Bird admits he never had any major issues with any player during his career in the middle which began in county cricket back in 1970.
He feels gaining the respect of the two teams is the key, revealing that his playing career - which saw him enjoy stints with his home county Yorkshire as well as Leicestershire - was advantageous when he began umpiring.
"I can honestly say that I never had any problems throughout my whole career from any professional cricketer," he said.
"I had the knack of dealing with professional men. If you are to gain the respect of the players, then you are three quarters of the way to winning the battle.
"I played county cricket, and by playing the game I had a tremendous advantage."
The apparent u-turn by the ICC to replace Bucknor is the latest episode in an already hotly-contested series between the two teams.
Spinner Harbhajan Singh was hit with a three-Test ban for racially abusing Australia's Andrew Symonds during the game at the SCG.
India put their tour itinerary on hold, refusing to travel to Canberra to play a two-day tour match, while lodging an appeal that will mean Harbhajan is free to play until any new hearing takes place.