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Ten Best Umpires in Cricket

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Devang Joshi

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Jun 26, 2024

Ten Best Umpires in Cricket

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Umpiring is one of the most high-pressure roles in cricket, and after the introduction of T20, umpiring has become all the more intense. An umpire has to decide within a split second when it comes to declaring a batter out.

If an umpire makes a wrong decision, then he has to face criticism. Umpiring during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s was tough as there were no video referrals or DRS.

In this post, we discuss ten umpires who are considered the best in cricketing history as they have had the temperament and game awareness to tackle any challenging situation. Their quick decision-making made them cut above the rest as they handled situations sensibly.

We take a look at the ten best umpires in cricket.

 

David Shepherd (England)

Arguably one of the most respected umpires in the cricketing world, Shepherd was known for his friendly attitude, jolly nature, and cricketing intelligence. He showcased consistency with his prompt and accurate decision-making.

He made a superstitious gesture by jumping, which was one of his biggest attractions. Shepherd officiated in three World Cups (1996, 1999, & 2003). He expired in 2009 due to lung cancer.

 

Steve Bucknor (West Indies)

Bucknor showcased patience and took his time when it came to making an on-field decision. He officiated in five World Cup campaigns (1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, & 2007). He had to face criticism during the last few years of his umpiring career due to some controversial on-field decisions.

Bucknor also officiated in a FIFA World Cup qualifier game between the Netherlands and El Salvador and also during a CONCACAF (Confederation of North Central America and Caribbean Association Football).

 

Dickie Bird (England)

Dickie Bird was another legendary personality who earned a lot of respect on and off the field. A thorough gentleman, Dickie Bird played for Yorkshire and Leicestershire as a player in county cricket.

He showcased tremendous concentration while umpiring and was the best umpire during the 1970s and 1980s. He didn’t hesitate while warning a player who indulged in unnecessary arguments.

He officiated during three world cups (1975, 1979, and 1983) and showed tremendous efficiency during that period when there wasn’t a video referral system.

 

Billy Bowden (New Zealand)

Bowden entertained the crowds and fans with his expressions and actions, as he was one of the most popular umpires globally. His efficient and prompt decision-making was just amazing. He also worked for advertising firms.

Bowden officiated in 200 ODIs, 84 tests and 24 T20Is. In 2003, he was included in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.

 

Aleem Dar (Pakistan)

Aleem Dar is the winner of three David Shepherd trophies from 2009 to 2011, as he has experience officiating for more than two decades in international cricket, including 5 world cups.

He has a 100% record when it comes to cancelling DRS decisions during the 2011 World Cup. Aleem Dar is the first umpire from Asia to officiate in 172 tests and 288 ODIs, which is a record.

 

Srinivas Venkataraghavan (India)

Making his debut during the India vs England game at Jaipur, Venkataraghavan was one of the best umpires in India and the subcontinent. He was appointed by the ICC to officiate test matches that were played outside India after being included in the International Cricket Umpire Panel in 1994.

He was also one of the most highly respected personalities due to his discipline and well-mannered behaviour. He officiated in 52 ODIs and 73 tests.

 

Rudi Koertzen (South Africa)

Koertzen started his umpiring journey at the international level during the India vs South Africa game in 1992. He had more than 30 years of experience and was included in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires in 2002.

He officiated in more than 200 ODIs and more than 100 tests and was the third umpire during the 2003 and 2007 World Cups.

 

Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka)

The former Sri Lankan umpire started his career as a TV umpire but soon began officiating as an on-field umpire. Dharmasena has showcased a calm temperament while making challenging decisions. He has so far officiated in 191 ODIs, 106 tests, and 67 T20Is.

 

Simon Taufel (Australia)

Taufel won five consecutive best umpire awards from 2004 to 2008 and was also the youngest to officiate in a test match that was played between Australia and West Indies in 2000 at the age of 27. Taufel was on target with his quick decision-making.

He retired at the age of 41 in 2012 but was appointed as ICC’s umpire performance and training manager. Taufel officiated in 174 ODIs and 74 tests.

 

Daryl Harper (Australia)

Harper officiated in 174 ODIs and 94 tests in his 17-year-long umpiring career. His first match as an on-field umpire was in 1988 when South Africa faced New Zealand.

Harper was included in the ICC Elite Panel of umpires in 2002. Harper’s on-field sense of humour was loved in cricketing circles.

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