Umpire Doctrove to stand in his 100th ODI at Lord's on Monday
St John's, Antigua: Billy Doctrove, the outstanding international umpire, will celebrate a special milestone on Monday when he officiates in his 100th One-Day International. Doctrove, the 55-year-old who hails from the island of Dominica, is slated to stand in the fourth One-Dayer between England and Pakistan at the historic Lord’s Ground – the home of cricket.
According to Doctrove it will be a truly magical moment when he steps out onto the field. Speaking on Saturday he said: “I feel really proud ... and to walk out at Lord’s is putting the icing on the cake. To do my 100th ODI ... I have to say I am honoured. I am very proud to reach this milestone and at the same time I am humbled. When I joined the Dominica Umpires’ Association in 1975 I never thought I would ever stand in 100 ODIs. I am sure my whole country is looking ahead to this occasion. I am happy to reach this milestone.”
He added: “This is not just for me but for the people of Dominica, the people of the Windward Islands and the people of the West Indies who have supported me. The road has not been an easy one and I want to say special thanks to the Lord who has given me the health and strength to reach this far, to my parents, my wife, my children, and all the people of my country and the region who have been there for me in one way or another.
“It has been an enjoyable experience and I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to do games with the best players in the world and in the best venues in the world. Coming from small country I had to overcome a lot [of challenges] but I’m proud to have made it this far after 35 years standing in the middle.”
Doctrove, who is also a qualified FIFA referee, started umpiring at the first-class level in 1991 during the West Indies Cricket Board’s four-day competition in a match between Jamaica and the Windward Islands at Windsor Park in Dominica. He stood in his first ODI in 1998 at Arnos Vale in St Vincent when England toured the Caribbean. His first Test match came two years later at the ARG in Antigua when the West Indies played against Pakistan.
So far he has officiated in 27 Tests, 17 T20 Internationals and 99 ODIs. The only other West Indian to stand in 100 ODIs is the legendary Steve Bucknor – Doctrove’s mentor. Bucknor did 128 Test matches and 181 One-Day International before retiring in March 2009.