Umpire Steve Bucknor admits his ‘mistakes’ ‘cost’ India Sydney Test in 2008

Written by Sumit Seth

The 2008 Sydney Test between India and Australia was one of the most controversial matches in the history of international cricket. The match is remembered for the infamous monkey-gate incident, where Harbhajan Singh was accused of using the racist slur against Andrew Symonds.

Some decisions of umpire also sparked the controversy, as India lost the match by 122 runs despite getting the first-innings lead over Australia. Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson were officiating the match on the field at Syndey Cricket Ground.

Bucknor admitted the errors he made in the 12 years old Test match and said he made two mistakes, which cost India the match.

“I made two mistakes in the Sydney Test in 2008,” Bucknor told Midday.

“Mistake one, which happened when India were doing well, allowed an Australian batsman to get a hundred. Mistake two, on Day Five, might have cost India the game. But still, they are two mistakes over five days. Was I the first umpire to make two mistakes in a Test? Still, those two mistakes seem to have haunted me,” Bucknor added.

India’s Ishant Sharma found the inside edge of Symond’s bat when the all-rounder was batting at 30 but Bucknor ruled it as not out.

Australia set India 333-run target on Day 5 with only 72 overs of play remaining. India were recovering from a poor start with Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly stitching a good partnership before the former was given out caught for 38 in the 34th over off Andrew Symonds’ bowling by Steve Bucknor. Replays showed there was no bat involved, the ball had actually gone off Dravid’s pads. This Bucknor referred as his ‘second mistake’ which he believed might have ‘cost India the Test match’.

Ganguly too fell to a controversial umpiring decision but MS Dhoni and Anil Kumble had managed to take India deep. After Dhoni’s dismissal, India’s tail could not wag as Michael Clarke took three wickets in one over to seal a 122-run win.

“You need to know why mistakes are made. You don’t want to make similar mistakes again. I am not giving excuses but there are times when the wind is blowing down the pitch and the sound travels with the wind. The commentators hear the nick from the stump mic but the umpires may not be sure. These are things spectators won’t know,” Bucknor added.

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Sumit Seth