(An open letter to Steve Bucknor, requesting him not to quit)
Dear Mr Bucknor,
Despite knowing well that this act of mine would invite umpteen fatwas and death threats besides casting serious aspersion on my sanity, I take the pain to write to you with a faint hope of being able to convince you not to quit umpiring.
Sir, I know you must be pained by the celebration all around the sub-continent where Talibans, LTTEs, Mujaheedins and Fidayeens have declared ceasefire and joined the euphoria triggered by the news of your imminent retirement.
And I have to admit that yes, the common sanction against coconut – hope you remember your moniker – is finally about to be lifted and SAARC countries are also set to put behind their apprehensions and resume trade with Jamaica once you leave the scene.
Your critics, I must admit they are quite a sizable population, say once you exit, no player would be adjudged OUT for edging in the previous match, World Cup finals would no more be a murky business to be conducted in the dark, Andrew Symonds (i.e. in case he ever picks a bat again) would have only himself to score those runs and East and West may not meet but at least the gap would not increase further.
And then there are others who say to err is human but to steadfastly err is Bucknoresque.
Personally, I would request you not to heed any such nonsense and carry on fingering. You turned a deaf ear to your critics for two long decades. Why allow them a sense of victory now?
Dear Sir, I think I made my point and believe that I have succeeded in my mission to convince you not to go.
If not, then I must tell you the truth. And I hope you can take it.
Dear Sir, you have been a blot on the landscape, a caterpillar in the salad, a fly in the morning cup of tea, a strand of hair in curry, the lone bogey in a rare flawless front nine of a scratch golfer…And your post-retirement plan to groom umpires has scared the hell out of us.
We consistently believed one Bucknor was bad enough for cricket. You read it right, Sir.
Sorry Sir, but we simply can’t encourage umpiring decision, often seeped in prejudice, to carry over to the next match.
Som of Doosra