Wednesday, October 28, 2009

R.I.P, Mr. Shepard

The new generation of cricket lovers may not identify David Shepard easily, but for people of my generation who started watching cricket on black and white television sets, he was clearly one of the most recognizable faces and umpires of 80s and 90s.

He along with Dicky Bird were the mainstay of cricket umpiring. Between the two of them Shepard was my favorite though..(even when it was fashionable to call Bird as best umpire ever)

I particularly remember an Indo-Pak world cup encounter where Javed Miandad was doing a monkey jump to poke Indians and Kiran More and how Shepard handled that situation really well. He was aware of Indo-Pak matches tensions and would sooth the nerves time and again making sure situations won't go out of hand. An apt Gentleman for a Gentleman's game.

He was also the umpire when Amir Sohail and Venky Prasad had a something going on on the pitch during the famous Banglore encounter of 1996 WC.

He was a thorough professional and good Englishman. And he probably would be most remembered for his 'Nelson' idiosyncrasy. As they say...'Go well Sir'

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