The Australian cricket umpire, Bruce Oxenford announced his retirement from international cricket on Thursday. The man who popularized the use of arm-shields in cricket, almost as if it was the new fashion in town. Oxenford officiated in almost 200 international matches – 63 Tests, 106 ODIs, and 31 T20Is to be precise. After as many as 15 years in service, the 60-year old will step down from his position this April but will continue to officiate in domestic matches.
Oxenford made his debut in Brisbane in a T20I fixture between Australia and South Africa in 2006. Incidentally, his last Test match was also played at Brisbane (the immortal Test – India vs Australia 2021) in what’s referred to as the most fitting farewell for the umpiring legend. He has been part of three 50-over World Cups, three T20 World Cups and also featured in two Women’s 50-over World Cups in 2012 and 2014.
Happy international retirement, Bruce 🙌 pic.twitter.com/LKQoGbMPmB
— ICC (@ICC) January 28, 2021
“I look back with pride at my international career as an umpire. It is still hard to believe that I officiated in close to 200 international matches. Such a long career was not really something that I had hoped for before commencing on this journey,” he said.
“I would like to thank the International Cricket Council, Cricket Australia, and all my colleagues in the ICC Elite and International panels for their support and encouragement over the years. I had a wonderful time as a match official and will miss the camaraderie that comes with being a part of such a professional group. I shall particularly miss seeing and interacting with the magnificent people who are part of the support structure of our game around the world.
“Most importantly, I want to thank my wife Jo, son James and daughter Kristen for all their love and support over the years. It would not have been possible for me to have such a long career without their sacrifices and for this, I am eternally grateful.”
Born in Queensland, Oxenford featured in eight first-class matches as a leg spinner but found his heart in umpiring in the late 2000s. He was inducted into the ICC’s International Panel of umpires in 2007-08, was promoted to the Elite Panel in 2012. Oxenford is one of six Australians, and 16 overall, after Daryl Harper, Darelll Hair, Simon Taufel, Rod Tucker, and Steve Davies, to stand in at least 50 Tests.
Adrian Griffith, ICC’s Senior Manager – Umpires and Referees, expressed his gratitude towards Oxenford. “Bruce is an excellent umpire, and it has been a pleasure working with him over the years. He is a great team man and well respected by all his colleagues,” he said.
“I congratulate Bruce on behalf of everyone at the ICC for a fine international career and wish him all the success in his future pursuits. It is pleasing to hear he will continue to umpire domestically and share his tremendous experience with the next generation of Elite umpires.”
We all at International Cricket Network (ICN360) wish Bruce a very happy and healthy retirement!!