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Billy Bowden dropped from NZC’s elite panel

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Billy Bowden; image credit: WSJ

Mumbai: Charismatic Kiwi umpire Billy Bowden will no longer be seen in international cricket with his customary style of signalling fours, sixes and dismissals as he was dropped from the New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) international panel of umpires.

The lanky New Zealander who officiated in 84 Test matches and and 200 one-day international was the charm of any cricket played that he officiated in the last decade or so.

Many think that Bowden did the gestures with crooked fingers just for style, but as a matter of fact, he couldn’t straighten his finger due to arthritis as insisted bu him.

For the record, Bowden was dropped from the International Cricket Council’s elite panel three years ago but made a comeback the very next year. He was again omitted from the panel in 2015 after the England vs Qest Indies Test match in Barbados.

If he bids adeu at this point, his last fixture would be his 200th ODI between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington in February.

In an interview with Sunday Star Times back in 2009, the 53-year-old disclosed that even ICC had asked him to conform to the general style of signalling, but his blatant reply was “it’s the best I can do.”

According to him, the players used to understand his signals and walked off when they saw his finger, even if they thought that they were half-out.