Umpire pulls stumps on international career

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2014
Gary Baxter
Photosport

GO WELL: Australian Rod Tucker, left, wishes Gary Baxter well in what has become his final international cricket match.

Relevant offers

Cricket

Falling one-day international ratings another blow for Cricket Australia's broadcast rights hopes Australia not at their weakest: Mickey Arthur Sublime Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay put India ahead against England Tough lesson for Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson: 'you can't do it all yourself' Digging the data: Martin Guptill is an ODI powerhouse and a test match flop Brownlie stars but Knights and Stags share the points New wicketkeeper set for next Black Caps series as race heats up in domestic cricket Black Caps coach Mike Hesson takes aim at 'sub-standard' batting and passive fielding Opinion: We can handle Australian defeat, it's the meek surrender that grates this time Umpire Paul Reiffel misses rest of Mumbai test following concussion

Nine years after Gary Baxter - umpiring just his second ball of top flight cricket to give out Adam Gilchrist - the Canterbury official has pulled stumps on his international career.

He will still do at least one more year of first-class cricket before hanging up his clicker for good to focus on other pursuits.

The grandfather of four was not going to be involved in next year's World Cup and the 62-year-old thought now was the right time to bow out.

"At my age, I'm never going to get on the elite panel now," he said. "I had a good stint, I thought the one-dayer I did in Hamilton between New Zealand and India in January was going to be my last. I mentioned it to [fellow umpire] Rod Tucker and, unbeknown to me, he organised for the New Zealand guys to sign a jersey for me which was really nice."

Baxter stood in 38 one-day internationals and 16 international Twenty20s.

A trained fireman, Baxter started umpiring club cricket in 1997 and then early in the 2000s was being used as a television umpire.

In 2005 he got his first taste of standing in the middle of an international at the then Jade Stadium.

Two balls into the match, New Zealand bowler Kyle Mills got one to straighten to Gilchrist.

There was a huge appeal and barely 30 seconds from the start of his career, Baxter was giving out one of the world's best ODI batsmen.

It was the right call.

"He wasn't angry or anything," Baxter said. "He walked past me and said he was about to congratulate me on my first international, but I gave him out before he had the chance."

New Zealand chased down 332 to beat the Australians in that match, one of New Zealand's most famous one-day victories.

"That game was a highlight, my first and to do it in front of a lot of friends and family was special.

"Australia-England at the SCG in front of 40,000 people [in 2011] was also a highlight, I had a few."

Baxter said it's not a regret, rather a disappointment that he never got to umpire a test.

"I'm realistic, but it still a bit disappointing. We had guys like Billy [Bowden] and Tony [Hill] on the elite panel so it was always going to be tough. I would have liked to stand in a test, I thought I was good enough, but a country the size of New Zealand was always unlikely to get three."

He still enjoyed umpiring and was looking forward to another season of first-class cricket, maybe two, if they want him.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should bouncers be banned from cricket?

Yes - they're too dangerous

Neutral - it is what it is

No - it's just bad luck when it goes wrong

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content