Cricket: Bucknor to miss Aussie series over travel issue

Controversial umpire Steve Bucknor's surprise return to Australia has been cancelled because of what the International Cricket Council (ICC) describes as "travel difficulties".

South Africa's Rudi Koertzen will take Bucknor's place in Thursday's first Test between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane and the second Test in Adelaide.

Jamaica's Bucknor was dropped by the ICC for the third Test between Australia and India in Perth in January this year after his poor performance in the tense second Test in Sydney.

Indian officials were furious after their spin bowler Harbhajan Singh was handed a three-Test ban for racially abusing Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds. Harbhajan's ban was later changed to a fine for a downgraded charge of using abusive and insulting language.

With Bucknor facing criticism for some poor decisions during the Sydney Test, India started making noises about quitting their Australian tour and going home.

The ICC denied at the time that their decision to remove the out-of-form Bucknor from the Perth Test was due to pressure from Indian officials.

In a surprise move last week, the ICC had announced the 62-year-old Bucknor would partner fellow West Indian Billy Doctrove in Australia's series against the Kiwis.

But the ICC said in a statement on Tuesday: "Due to travel difficulties, Steve Bucknor ... will not be officiating in the two-match series between Australia and New Zealand due to begin on 20 November.

"He will be replaced by Rudi Koertzen ... for both Tests." 







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