Shepherd declines Lord's farewell
David Shepherd has declined the chance to make an emotional farewell as a Test umpire in England’s clash against Australia at Lord’s next month.
Chief executive Malcolm Speed revealed the ICC were prepared to seek special dispensation of the neutral umpire rule to allow Shepherd to participate in the first Test of the Ashes series.
But the 64-year-old, whose last Test match was between the West Indies and Pakistan in the winter, has decided not to go back on his decision to retire from the highest level of the game.
Speed said: “There is no better example of David’s integrity than when it came to discussions on his retirement.
“When we sat down with David to discuss his plans earlier in the year, we discussed the relative merits of retirement in 2005 or 2006.
“David carefully considered the information and, as usual, made a firm decision and elected to go in 2005 when he was still on top of his game.
“We then offered to seek special dispensation of the neutral ICC Board for him to make his farewell appearance at the Lord’s Test of this year’s Ashes series.
“Again his decision was unerring. He said there would be too much fuss and he would prefer to go quietly.”
Speed paid tribute to the umpiring qualities of Shepherd, who has been on the first class list since 1981 and joined the Test panel four years later.
He said: “No umpire of recent times has proved to be a greater embodiment of the spirit of cricket than David Shepherd. His assured presence in the middle will be missed.
“There can be no doubt David Shepherd has earned the respect of the players for over two decades at the top of his profession.”