Umpire Brent Billy Bowden of New Zealand, known all over the world for his crooked finger dismissals and unique umpiring style, will now be seen in a new role – a model.
Navroze Dhondy, CEO, Creatigies Communications, a die hard cricket fan and also a writer on cricket affairs, said, “Billy is a character, and brands who are progressive and open to innovation would happily find a great brand fit with Billy. He is easily recognisable and has great ‘stand-out’ value.”
Bringing a special brand of creative flair to the game, Bowden shot to fame with a zany array of embellished signals and showmanship. He turned to umpiring after the onset of arthritis in his early-twenties and earned a reputation for giving batsmen out with a curiously bent finger. He threw out the rule-book, which states that the best cricket officials are the ones that go unnoticed, and added a whole host of innovations to his daily routine.
For all the ‘showmanship’, his decision-making skills are almost without equal among the ICC’s elite panel, where over the last few years he has been declared by the ICC as one of the Top 3 umpires in the world.
With more than 175 matches, (124 Tests, 46 ODIs and five T20 matches) Bowden is one of the most experienced umpires on the ground today, and at just 45, he has many years to go.
Bowden has also done his bit to promote awareness of arthritis in New Zealand and is a great champion of the cause that total awareness of the problem leads to better management and cure. Bowden is currently in India for the DLF IPL T20 Tournament and is one of the most mobbed characters.