Dubai, Feb.23 (ANI): The ICC today confirmed that Emirates Elite Panel umpire Steve Bucknor had announced his retirement from officiating, effective at the end of his upcoming Test and ODI assignments in South Africa.
Bucknor's last assignment as an elite panelist will be the third and final Test between South Africa and Australia to be played in Cape Town from March 19 to 23, while his final match commitment as an international umpire will be in Bridgetown, Barbados, on March 29 when he will stand as a local appointee with elite panel umpire Aleem Dar in the fourth ODI between the West Indies and England.
It will bring down the curtain on an outstanding career in top-level umpiring in which he has stood in a record 126 Tests and 179 ODIs.
A high school mathematics teacher and a FIFA referee between 1985 and 1992, Bucknor has been on the panel of the world's top umpires since its inception in December 1993.
Bucknor made his ODI debut between the West Indies and India at St John's, Antigua on March 18, 1989 and four weeks later at Kingston, Jamaica, he stood in his first Test between the same sides.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "Steve's contribution to our great sport over two decades at the top level of umpiring has been immense.
"To have remained as one of the game's top officials for that length of time has required Steve to be self-motivated, confident and well respected, and he has all those qualities in abundance, while at the same time remaining a very humble man.
"We will pay Steve the tribute his outstanding service to the game merits once his final appointments have been completed.
"In the meantime I know that Steve, being the understated man that he is, will want to focus on the job at hand, that of getting things right on the field, something he has done as well as any other umpire in the history of the game," added Lorgat. (ANI)