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Birth of A Super Umpire | Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird

19th April 1933- a superstar was born. A superstar who was a good cricketer but his real greatness was shown from his skills as an umpire.

Last updated: 19.04.2019
Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird | Sports Social Blog

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19th April 1933- a superstar was born. A superstar who was a good cricketer but his real greatness was shown from his skills as an umpire. We are talking about Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird. A very well-known and popular umpire among players and fans, Dickie stood in 66 test matches and 69 One Day International matches in an umpiring career spread over 22 years.

There are a number of great stories about Dickie Bird. As a player, he primarily played for Yorkshire and later for Leicestershire. The Yorkshire from that era was a very strong team and hence the chance for Dickie was few. It was so difficult that Dickie was even dropped after scoring his first-class highest score of 181 not out. Overall his cricket career sustained for 93 first class and 2 List-A matches.

Post-retirement Dickie was given the choice to become an umpire and after some consideration, he decided to go ahead. He first umpired in a first-class match in 1970 and created a solid reputation about him from the very beginning. As a result, he started umpiring in test matches as early as 1973. He was the third youngest English umpires ever to stand in test matches at that time. With his dry sense of humor and great decision-making ability, he became an admired umpire in a short period of time. He could command his players without getting into many confrontations and mostly continued with the flow of the game.


He stood in the finals of the 1975, 1979 and 1983 world cups. By the 1987 world cup, the concept of neutral umpires was in place and as England was one of the teams in the final Bird was not selected to officiate in the final. This actually made the Australian captain Allan Border upset and he made an official plea for Dickie Bird to be an umpire in the final. It was unbelievable how much respect Bird generated from his players and there were similar incidents in test matches also when touring teams demanded Dickie to officiate the test matches.  He was also a well-respected umpire outside the UK and has traveled the world to stand in cricket matches between various countries.

He retired in 1996 after umpiring in the Lord's test match between England and India. In later years his autobiography became one of the most loved sports books for the cricket lovers.

Video: Dickie Bird's Profile

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