Best cricket umpires of all time

Top 10 Best Cricket Umpires of All Time

Umpires in cricket are incredibly significant; they probably play the most crucial role. The best umpires are major favourites of both players and spectators. Numerous decisions in cricket require the assistance of an umpire, and despite numerous technological developments like DRS, video replays, etc., umpires continue to play a significant role in the game. Their decisions as umpires are heavily influenced by the game’s reputation. We have seen the best cricket umpires in the lengthy international cricket history who are well-liked by all.

Here’s a list of Top 10 Best Cricket Umpires of All Time –

1. Dickie Bird

Harold ‘Dickie’ Bird, the most beloved of all cricket umpires, played for Barnsley CC alongside writer/broadcaster Michael Parkinson and Geoff  Boycott. In 1970, he stood in his first first-class match, and in 1973 in England’s first Test against New Zealand at Headingley. Dickie Bird stood in 66 Tests in total, the last of which was in 1996. He officiated his final county match two years later. Dickie’s mannerisms, quirkiness, and sense of humour are no longer seen on the cricket field.

Dickie bird
Dickie bird

Dickie Bird was unrivalled as a reader of lbws and catches behind and off bat-and-pad. Toward the end of his career, he earned the reputation of being a ‘not-outer,’ a batsman’s umpire, but also from a bowler’s point of view. His instinct for what was out and what wasn’t was his greatest strength as a decision maker.

Trouble and comedy followed him like a pair of mischievous minders from then on. But, after that, he was able to deal with the rest –overflowing drains, firecrackers as Bob Willis ran up to bowl, newspapers going up in flames while he was reading them, finding his car on four piles of bricks and a rubber snake in his soup bowl courtesy of Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh, or having to answer Allan Lamb’s mobile phone while standing at square leg in the middle of a Test match. And a lot more.

2. David Shepherd

On December 27, 1940, David Shepherd was born in Bideford, Devon. Cricket umpire David Shepherd is one of the best umpires in cricket history. He began his playing career in first-class cricket and played 14 years as a middle order batsman for Gloucestershire in county cricket. David Shepherd qualified for umpiring in 1981 after finishing his county career, and he made his debut as an umpire in World Cup 1983 in England when Pakistan faced Sri Lanka at Swansea.

David Shepherd
David Shepherd

The fourth Test of the 1985 Ashes Series at Old Trafford, Manchester, served as his first match as an umpire in test cricket. David Shepherd had an odd habit of lifting his leg anytime a score reached 111. He stood in 92 test matches, the most of any English umpire (the last of which was in June 2005). In addition, he umpired 172 one-day internationals, including the 1996, 1999, and 2003 World Cup finals.

3. Steve Bucknor

Steve Bucknor is another umpire with a distinctive mannerism. His nickname ‘Slow Death’ derives from the fact he takes an eternity to raise the fatal finger to signal that a batsman is out. Steve Bucknor is the only man to have officiated in the cricket and football World Cups. Bucknor stood in five cricket World Cup Finals and as a fully qualified referee was also involved in the qualifying stages of the 1978 football World Cup. Steve Bucknor also became the first umpire to stand in 100 Test matches, including 14 Ashes Tests.

Steve Bucknor
Steve Bucknor

He stood in his first Test in 1988-89 and passed the100 mark in 2005. After umpiring in his 128th Test, between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town, he retired in March 2009. Bucknor’s last match as an umpire was the ODI between the West Indies and England on 29 March, at the end of which both teams formed a guard of honour to applaud him from the field.

4. Rudi Koertzen

Rudi Koertzen quickly gained notoriety for slowly raising his index finger to signal an out for a batsman. With the second Test of the 2009 Ashes between England and Australia at Lord’s on July 16, 2009, he also passed Steve Bucknor as the second umpire to stand in 100 Test matches. He ultimately officiated in 108 Tests. In both the 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cups, he officiated on-field in one of the semi-finals and was the third umpire in the final. Additionally, he officiated the Champions Trophy final in both 2004 and 2006 as one of the on-field cricket umpires.

Rudi Koertzen
Rudi Koertzen

He continued to officiate in a record 209 ODIs, surpassing David Shepherd’s record of 172 ODIs with the Cricket World Cup match between the West Indies and England in Barbados on April 21, 2007, and standing in his 200th ODI with the match between Ireland and Kenya at Dublin on July 11, 2009, becoming the second umpire (after Shepherd) to stand in 150 ODIs.

He was also well-liked by the players; in 2002, they voted him the best cricket umpire, and in 2005 and 2006, they nominated him for the International Cricket Council Umpire of the Year award. On both occasions, he came in third place behind Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar. Only Koertzen has won all three of these awards as an umpire.

5. Simon Taufel

At the age of 27, Simon Taufel stood in his maiden One Day International (ODI) on January 13, 1999 in Sydney in the match between Australia and Sri Lanka. In December 2000, he officiated his first Test match, the Boxing Day Test between Australia and the West Indies in Melbourne.

Simon taufel
Simon taufel

In 2003, he was selected to officiate the Cricket World Cup. He also officiated the Champions Trophy final in 2004. He was recognised as one of the greatest umpires in cricket history after winning the best ICC Umpire of the Year Award five times in a row from 2004 to 2008. Taufel is the youngest recipient of the Bronze Bail Award from the ICC for officiating 100 ODIs. Taufel has officiated 174 One Day Internationals, 34 Twenty20 Internationals, and 74 Test matches. He announced his retirement from international cricket on September 26, 2012, after the 2012 World Twenty20 final.

6. Billy Bowden

Billy Bowden, a cricket umpire from New Zealand, was born on April 11, 1963. He is also renowned for using the “crooked finger of doom” as part of his dramatic signalling. In March 1995, he officiated his first One Day International between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Hamilton. His first Test match as an on-field umpire occurred in March 2000, and in 2002 he was added to the Emirates Panel of International Umpires. He was requested to officiate at the 2003 World Cup a year later and was selected to officiate the Australia vs India final as the fourth umpire.

Billy bowden
Billy bowden

In the New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka game at Hamilton in January 2007, Bowden became the youngest umpire to officiate in 100 ODIs, exactly 20 years after his first ODI in 1995. Since being added to the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires in 2003, Bowden has officiated 82 Test matches, 192 one-day internationals, and 21 Twenty20 matches. Bowden umpired in his 200th One Day International match on February 6, 2016, when New Zealand and Australia faced off in Wellington.

7. Aleem Dar

He stood in his first ODI in 2000 at the age of 32, and two years later, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named him to its panel. He officiated in 2003 World Cup. Nobody was surprised when he was elevated to the ICC’s top panel six months later. He has now gained a reputation for being among the best. Dar is one of just three officials to have overseen 200 ODIs. On Thursday, August 15, 2019, Dar was the umpire for his 128th Test match when the second Ashes Test began at Lord’s.

Aleem dar
Aleem dar

Aleem Dar not only won the ICC Umpire of the Year Award three times (from 2009 to 2011), he also presided over the most international games. The Brisbane Test of 2010-11, in which he maintained composure and rendered correct calls one after another, the 2003 and 2011 world cups (DRS was used in the second; Dar had a 15-0 clean sheet), and the 2016 England and Sri Lanka series, in which he defeated DRS 10-0, including 8-0 at Chester-le-Street alone.

In Test cricket, Aleem Dar set a new record. Aleem Dar has surpassed the Steve Buckner’s record for most Test games officiated. At the Perth ground, he officiated in the 129th Test match between Australia and New Zealand. With this, he set a record for becoming the first umpire to officiate the most test matches.

8. Daryl Harper

Australian umpire Daryl Harper was the first umpire to be elected to the International Cricket Council Elite panel. From 2002 until 2011, he served on the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires. When Harper officiated a One Day International (ODI) between South Africa and New Zealand in Perth in January 1994, it marked his first time officiating an international match. He made his test umpiring debut in the second Ashes test at the WACA ground in November 1998.

Daryl harper
Daryl harper

In addition to standing in one of the semi-finals, Harper officiated in the Cricket World Cup’s first game in 2003. He presided over his 100th ODI, a game between Zimbabwe and New Zealand, on August 31, 2005, in Harare. He was also highly recognised for being fair in his dealings. Throughout his tenure, Harper has presided over 94 Test matches, 174 One Day Internationals, and 10 Twenty20 Internationals.

9. Srinivas Venkataraghavan

Srinivas Venkataraghavan is one of the best cricket umpires of his time. On January 18, 1993, at the One Day International match between India and England in Jaipur, Venkat made his debut as an international umpire.  In the same month, during the India vs. England game in Kolkata, he began officiating Test matches.

He was chosen by the ICC on a regular basis to officiate test matches away from home as the neutral umpire after earning a spot on the inaugural International Umpire Panel in 1994. Srinivas properly a part of the first Elite Panel, and he remained a member of it until he retired in January 2004.

Srinivas Venkataraghavan
Srinivas Venkataraghavan

He was well known for signalling “out” with a bent elbow. He also made a lot of accurate decisions, which earned him the respect of both players and fans. The six Ashes Test matches and his selection to three World Cups in 1996, 1999, and 2003 were among his umpiring career’s highlights. He was chosen to officiate a semifinal in both the 1996 and 1999 tournaments, and he officiated the 1999 World Cup final between Australia and Pakistan at Lord’s as the third umpire. Throughout his career, he officiated on the field in 73 Test matches and 52 One-day Internationals.

10. Ian Gould

Former English cricket player and current member of the ICC Elite Panel, Ian Gould. The 2007 Cricket World Cup appointed Ian Gould to stand in three of the games. On November 2008, he made his umpiring test debut in Bloemfontein, when South Africa played vs Bangladesh. In 2009, Gould was elevated to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.

Ian gould
Ian gould

At the 2011 Cricket World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan at Mohali, he was officiated. One of the twenty umpires chosen to officiate games during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. During the Australia vs. Sri Lanka match in Pool A of the World Cup, he stood in his 100th ODI game. On July 2016, he presided over his 50th Test match against West Indies and India at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.

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