Billy Bowden made a name for himself in the hearts of the cricket fans due to his unique way of giving a decision on the field via a crooked finger. Billy Bowden has not been seen on the international stage ever since he was omitted after umpiring the test between West Indies and England in Barbados in May 2015. The New Zealand umpire celebrated his 57th birthday on Saturday (April 11) with fans taking to Twitter to wish the former umpire. Here's a look at Billy Bowden's acting career when he was chosen to act in an advertisement.
Billy Bowden's unique way of judging batsman out with a crooked finger became so famous that Pepsi decided to feature him in a 2011 World Cup advertisement. The Billy Bowden Pepsi ad saw him become the first umpire to be selected for ad campaign. Here is the entire Pepsi commercial.
The reason behind the Billy Bowden fingers raising in crooked fashion during dismissals was that Billy Bowden fingers were affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis, which ended his playing career. After his playing days were gone, Billy Bowden became an umpire in an effort to be involved with the game he so dearly loved. The pain caused by arthritis did not allow Bowden to lift his index finger straight above the head and that is how the "crooked finger of doom" was born.
While the Billy Bowden retired news is yet to be made official, back in 2016 the umpire was axed from New Zealand Cricket's international panel. He was dropped from the International Cricket Council's elite panel in 2013, returned in 2014, but was omitted again after umpiring the test between the West Indies and England in Barbados in May 2015. Bowden umpired his 200th one-day international when New Zealand played Australia in Wellington in February. The 53-year-old Bowden, who officiated in 84 tests and 200 one-day internationals over 21 years, was known for his eccentric signals, especially the crooked finger with which he indicated dismissals.