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When I say it is something about Cricket, I will surely have all the cricket fans having an eye towards what is this post going to be on. Cricket in today's era has not merely been confined to the bat and ball game played where one team wins and other losses. It has that entertainment and glamour part widely associated with it.
But we are going to talk about a celebrity umpire who has always caught the eyes of the viewers due to the unique actions that he does to indicate decisions, changing the definition of 'umpiring'.
Yes, you guessed it right. I am talking about the player turned umpire, Billy Bowden who has given a different status to the mundane job of umpiring. Let us have a look at Billy Bowden's cricket journey.
Very less people know that Brent Fraser, better known as Billy Bowden was an emerging cricket player when he was 20. He was a promising bowler from New Zealand.
..he suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis and had acute pain in the joints. This autoimmune disorder made him quit playing cricket but his love and passion for the game made him take up the job of an umpire.
Normally umpires declare the player out in the most conventional style that is a straight index finger above the head to signal a dismissal but unlike the others, Billy Bowden doesn't lift his index finger to indicate dismissal. His unique action very soon became famous by the name as 'crooked finger out of the doom' action.
From his 'crumb-sweeping' wave of the arm to signal four to his 'double crooked finger six-phase hop' to signal a six, every standard action has got the 'Billy touch' that excites the crowd to the extreme by not only watching the game but also the umpire.
Red card in cricket as a penalty! Yes, you read that right. Have a look at how Glenn McGrath reacts when Billy showed him the red card for doing an underarm delivery against Kyle Mills during the last ball of the match between New Zealand and Australia. That is so 'Billy' thing!
Flamboyant umpire Billy Bowden who officiated in 84 tests and 200 one-day internationals over a span of 21 long years won't be amusing the cricket fans with his umpiring decisions anymore. International Cricket Council(ICC) dropped him from the panel in 2013 but he returned back in 2014. But soon he got axed while umpiring his last test match between West Indies and England in May 2015.
On 6 February 2016, Billy stood for his 200th ODI between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington and bid a farewell to millions of cricketing fans with a smile on his face.
We will miss you, Billy..
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