Billy Bowden

Billy Bowden is my all time favourite Umpire from my childhood because of his crazy signals on the field. He has a very unique and comic way of signalling out four and six.

Billy Bowden is a International Umpire from country of New Zealand. He was a player until he began to suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis.

He is well known for his dramatic signalling style which includes the famous “crooked finger of doom” out signal.

On 6 February 2016, Bowden stood in his 200th ODI match in the game between Australia and New Zealand  in wellington.

Umpire Career

In March 1995, he officiated his first One Day International between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Hamilton.

In the year 2000 March he was appointed as Umpire for his first Test match and also in the year 2002 he was added in the Emirates Panel of International Umpires in  cricket.

 A year later he was asked to umpire at the Cricket World Cup in South Africa, and was chosen to be the fourth umpire in the final between Australia and India.

Shortly after this he was duly promoted to the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, of which he was a member till 2013.

He reprised his role as fourth umpire in the 2007 Cricket World Cup final and was involved in the wrong decision that caused the match to end in darkness.

Bowden was involved in an incident at the 2006 Brisbane Ashes test while standing at the square leg fielding position, when knocked to the ground by a ball hit by Geraint Jones.

 In January 2007, Bowden became the youngest umpire to officiate in 100 ODIs during the New Zealand and Sri Lanka match at Hamilton.

Which corresponded exactly with his first ODI in 1995

Bowden, from his inclusion in the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires in 2003, has umpired in 82 Tests, 192 one-day internationals and 21 Twenty20 internationals.

On 1 July 2014 Billy Bowden returned to the elite panel replacing fellow New Zealander Tony Hill. He was then dropped again a year later, in 2015.

He was selected as one of the twenty umpires to stand in matches during the 2015 Cricket World Cup.

He was a member of the International Panel of Umpires and Referees until June 2016, when he was demoted to New Zealand’s national panel.

Crooked Finger

Suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis, it was too painful for Bowden to signal.

A Batsman out in the conventional fashion with a straight index finger raised above the head, and this led to the “crooked finger of doom”.

He has also put his own style on several other signals, including a “crumb-sweeping” wave of the arm to signal for four and the “double crooked finger” to signal a six.

His signals are different in Tests, more flashy in ODIs and flamboyant in Twenty20. His behavior has attracted him both fans and critics almost equally. 

Martin Crowe has said he should remember that cricket is just for players and its lovable fans only not for the cricket umpires.

Billy Bowden has a good career as  fast bowler in his early 20s before he was affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis which ended his career as fast bowler.

Billy Bowden started umpiring in an effort to be involved with the game of cricket.

The pain caused by arthritis was too high for Billy Bowden to lift his index finger in a straight way like everyone does.

Signalling in Unique Way

Bowden has carved a niche for himself as an umpire with his entertaining and sometimes.

Over-the-top way of signalling boundaries, referrals to the third umpire among other things.

Bowden’s signals vary with the formats.

He is more orthodox in Tests, a little enthusiastic in ODIs and at his flamboyat best in T20 games. 

Billy has some suggestions that he needs to do the umpiring signals in the way he does due to his problem arthritis as he needs to keep his body fluid.

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