Almanack: Birds of a feather

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The Independent Online
THE eminent umpire H D 'Dickie' Bird, who recently became the first member of the ICC's new international panel to officiate in a series, is to be elected an honorary life member of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Almanack can exclusively reveal. The decision will be officially announced next week.

Bird, a veteran of 58 Tests and three World Cup finals, is in New Zealand, standing in the series against Pakistan. He told our man in Wellington: 'I had a letter from Sir Laurence Byford, president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, just before I came here, saying this was a unanimous decision of the committee and it was being put forward at their AGM.' There can be little doubt that the honour will mean as much to Dickie as the MBE he received in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 1986.

'I will take it as the greatest honour bestowed upon me by the greatest cricket club in the world,' the Barnsley-born Bird said. 'To have my name along with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Leonard Hutton, Wilfred Rhodes, Herbert Sutcliffe, Fred Trueman - all great players, and I'm just a humble umpire - will mean so much to me, I should be a very proud man.'

THIS happy news may compensate for the discomfort recently suffered by Dickie on a visit to the National Cage and Aviary Birds Exhibition in Birmingham. A partisan Australian cockatoo, no doubt irrationally incensed by some of Dickie's Ashes decisions, bit him on the nose.