Silently, like a calm but free-flowing stream, Shepherd passed away yesterday. He was fighting cancer and finally succuumbed. But he shall remain immortal in the cricketing world.
I mentioned a stream because that’s how he was. Always calm, never taking any hasty decision, never encouraged poor sportsmanship and was a nice human being. He was one of the most honest umpires that we have ever had, Dickie Bird being the other one. His decisions have never been partial to anybody because he respected the game more than the entertainment value in it.
He will also be remembered for hopping on the field when the scoreboard read 111 or 222 or 333 etc. That was one of his superstitions that wickets tend to fall on such scores, and he was proven right quite a few times. Also, he never got into a conversation, forget having an argument, with any player, thereby maintaining his own dignity and that of the game.
He was always in high spirit and had the rare capability of making even a test-match interesting to watch. Whenever the camera panned on him, he was there with a beaming smile and a sweet gesture. His attitude and the sporting spirit that he maintained, will never be forgotten. He was a great ambassador of the game. My salutations to the great man.