Bruce Oxenford and Paul Wilson to retire from Cricket Australia National Umpires Panel

Sports |  IANS  | Published :

Melbourne, Feb 28 (IANS) Bruce Oxenford and Paul Wilson, two of Australia’s most respected and long-serving umpires, have announced their retirements from the Cricket Australia National Umpires Panel after the current domestic season.

The Sheffield Shield match between Western Australia and Queensland, set to happen at the WACA Ground from March 1-4, will be the duo’s final game as on-field umpires in the Australian circuit.

Oxenford, a veteran of 62 Tests and 97 ODIs as an umpire, spent 13 years on the ICC Elite Panel before returning to finish his illustrious career on the Cricket Australia National Umpiring Panel.

He has officiated in 75 first-class matches including two Sheffield Shield finals, 50 List A matches and 43 BBL games, including two finals. Oxenford was also the umpire in eight women’s Tests, 12 12 Women’s ODIs and 15 Women’s T20Is.

"My journey as an Umpire has been a rewarding, enjoyable and at times challenging one. I have been extremely fortunate to have travelled the world as a part of this great game, and it is the wonderful people in our sport that I will miss the most.

"I am extremely grateful for all the support and friendship that I have received along the way from my family, Cricket Australia, my Umpiring colleagues, and coaches. None of this would have been possible without it.

"I am looking forward to whatever new challenges lie ahead off the field. I feel privileged to be able to finish my career with Blocker (Wilson) at the WACA and I’ve loved every minute of umpiring here in Australia,” said Oxenford in a statement.

Wilson spent 11 years on the ICC International Panel and officiated in eight Tests, 43 ODIs and 26 T20 Internationals. His 62 first class matches included four Sheffield Shield finals and 61 List A matches.

He was also a popular figure in the BBL standing in 88 matches including five finals. Wilson, who played a Test and 11 ODIs for Australia, will continue to umpire internationally in various franchise tournaments.

"I am forever grateful to Cricket Australia for signing me to the Project Panel, following in the footsteps of Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker. This profession has enabled me to travel the world, be a part of some amazing cricket matches and make lifelong friends along the way. Officiating is what we do but not who we are.

"My wife, Sally, has been an incredible support to me and a pillar of strength for our young family particularly when we spend long periods away from home. I now look forward to spending more time with my crew and begin writing the next chapter in our story! I'm truly honoured to be able to spend my last First-Class match with Ox."

Oxenford will be remembered for sporting a forearm guard as a shield to protect himself from being hit by balls during a match, with Joe Root even likening him to Captain America. CA added that both Oxenford and Wilson believe the time is right to hand the reins to the next generation of Australian umpires.

"Blocker and Ox will leave a wonderful legacy for Match Officiating in this country for a long time to come. They are not only terrific umpires they are terrific people who will be missed on and off the field. We can’t thank them enough for their contribution to umpiring in this country and would love to see them stay involved in cricket in some capacity," said Luke O’Brien, CA Match Officials Manager.

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