Oval controversy has made me better umpire, says Doctrove
by AFP

Player:BR Doctrove
Event:ICC World Cup 2006/07

DateLine: 26th February 2007


Umpire Billy Doctrove, one of the officials at the centre of the forfeited Test between England and Pakistan last year, has described his first 12 months as an elite umpire as "as a year of achievement".


Doctrove, a 51-year-old West Indian, and Australian colleague Darrell Hair came under scrutiny last August, when they penalised Pakistan for alleged ball tampering in the Oval Test.


The match was awarded to England when the visitors refused to continue the game although Pakistan were later cleared of the ball tampering charge


The controversy has rumbled since on with Hair on Sunday reportedly dropping his racial discrimination case against the Pakistan Cricket Board.


"A lot of attention was placed on me with the Oval Test match," Doctrove told Barbados' Sunday Sun newspaper.


"Although it was a negative at the time, I look back at it as a learning experience. I learnt a lot from that episode both personally and professionally.


"I've become not only a better umpire, but a better person. I've learnt about myself, about how to react under different situations."


Hair has subsequently been stripped of his duties as an elite umpire, but Doctrove returned to the middle for India's recent tour of South Africa.


"It has been a very interesting first year, very challenging, but I can look back at it and say that I've been very satisfied with my performances," Doctrove said.


"I've done very well. The reports from the captains and the match referees have been good.


"Most of my games have been away from the West Indies. This is the first time that I've had that concentration of games outside of the West Indies. I've learnt a lot from that.


"There are many more plusses than minuses during my first year as an elite umpire."


In his first year as an elite umpire, Doctrove stood in four Tests and 15 limited-overs internationals, including the now-infamous Oval Test which he is looking to quickly forget.


"I'm generally a positive person and any negative thing that comes my way, I always try to turn it into a positive," he said.


"That's what I'm doing with this one and I'm hoping that it is history, as far as I'm concerned. You never know when those things can come back up, but I'm hoping it is behind me."


His contract with the ICC ends next month, and he hopes to maintain his place on the elite panel.


"I'm hoping that I can get an extension," he said.


"This will depend entirely on the officials of the ICC. Based on my performances, I have no doubt in my mind that I warrant an extension.


"I'll leave it in the hands of the officials. Whatever they decide, I'll go along with."


His next assingments will be taking charge of World Cup warm-up matches in St Vincent and the opening group stage matches of the World Cup in neighbouring St. Lucia.

(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)