The Reason Behind Billy Bowden’s ‘Crooked Finger Dismissal’ Will Make You Respect Him!


Everyone who has ever seen Cricket or has followed the sport is familiar with Billy Bowden. This umpire is famous for his unusual umpiring style. Being an umpire is one of the most strenuous jobs in cricket. But, Billy Bowden, the flamboyant New Zealand umpire is one of those umpires who make the look fun and easy. Bowden, known for his unique mannerism, is most entertaining umpires to have ever taken the field. He was a showman with great entertainment value and earned fans not only for his superb decision making but also for keeping the entertainment level high on the field.

He has officiated in 200 ODI and 84 Test matches over a period of more than 20 years. He’s best known for his unusual yet entertaining mannerisms like raising a crooked finger to announce a dismissal. Billy Bowden was once a promising fast bowler in his 20’s until he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis which forced him to give up the career as a player. He took up the job of umpiring because Cricket was always his first love. Billy Bowden became famous as the “crooked finger of doom”. His creative ways made surely umpiring a fun job. This colorful character brought the entertainment factor to the boring job of umpiring.
So let’s take a look at 10 facts That You Must Know About Billy Bowden!

1. The secret behind the ‘crooked finger’ is Arthritis.

He had to give up his cricketing career due to his battle with rheumatoid arthritis. He was a great bowler in his 20’s until he got suffered with arthritis. Billy Bowden cannot lift his index finger to signal a batsman out. Normally most of the umpires uses the straight index finger raised above the head, but Billy’s style of dismissal became famous as the “crooked finger of doom”. He used to of his crooked finger to show any player that he is out.

2. Dramatic signalling style.

Bowden became well known for his comic and unique entertaining signaling during games. Some of his classic styles included the “crooked finger of doom” signal to judge a batsman out. He has also a lot of signals like :

– Using the “crumb-sweeping” wave of the arm to signal four, and the “double crooked finger six-phase hop” to signal a six.

–  Over-the-top signalling style, the way he refers a decision to the third umpire.