Officiating in any cricketing format is a challenging test for an umpire. One crucial decision can change the outcome of a game. In modern-day cricket, an onfield umpire has the option for video referrals if he has any doubt but during the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s umpiring was a tough job as the decision of the onfield umpire was final. If there is an error from the umpire these days then he has to face the fans’ criticism on social media which becomes a lot tough for the umpires.
In this piece, we will discuss some of the best umpires of all time in cricketing history. These umpires had the cricketing sense and awareness to handle a tough situation. Their decision-making was prompt and accurate which made them the best in the sport. Although they had their own ways of handling various situations they showcased enough maturity and sensible attitude in those decisions. We take a look at the 10 best umpires of all time.
1. David Shepherd (England)
When it comes to earning respect with his friendly nature and umpiring intelligence David Shepherd rules the cricketing world. The Englishman was accurate as well as efficient with his quick on-field decision-making. His superstitious gestures were the center of attraction but he was one of the finest umpires in world cricket. Shepherd was known for his jolly nature. He officiated in 3 world cups (1996, 1999 & 2003). He passed away in 2008 due to lung cancer.
2. Dickie Bird (England)
Another legendary figure who earned a lot of respect in and outside the cricketing world. Dickie Bird was a gentleman on and off the field while his efficiency as an umpire was truly amazing. Bird earlier played for Yorkshire and Leicestershire as a player in County cricket. He was one of the finest umpires during the 1970s & 80s. he officiated in 3 world cups (1975, 1979 & 1983). He was strict when it came to warning any player for indulging in arguments. He officiated in 66 tests & 69 ODIs. Dickie Bird did his jib brilliantly during a period when there were no video referrals.
3. Steve Bucknor (West Indies)
Bucknor always took his time when it came to announcing an on-field decision. He is the only umpire to officiate in 5 world cups (1992, 1996, 1999,2003 & 2007). Although he faced criticism in his last few years due to some controversial decisions. He also officiated in a football match during the CONCACAF ( Confederation of North Central America and Caribbean Association Football) and the world cup qualifier match between the Netherlands and El Salvador.
4. Billy Bowden (New Zealand)
The New Zealander was one of the most entertaining figures in the cricketing world. He entertained everyone with his antic actions as he was very famous among the fans. His prompt decision-making and efficiency were remarkable. He officiated in 84 tests, 200 ODIs & 24 T20Is. He was hired by reputed Advertising firms. He was included in the ICC Elite panel of umpires in 2003. He last stood in Australia vs New Zealand ODI in 2016.
5. Rudi Koertzen (South Africa)
Koertzen had the experience of more than 30 years as an umpire. He made his debut as an umpire in an India vs South Africa game in 1992. He was also a part of the ICC Elite panel of umpires in 2002. He officiated in more than 100 test matches and more than 200 ODIs. He was the third umpire during the 2003 & 2007 World Cups. He officiated his last match when Australia faced Pakistan in a test match in 2010.
Read More: Top 10 best Cricket fantasy apps
6. Aleem Dar (Pakistan)
Aleem Dar has experience officiating for more than 2 decades in International cricket. The 55-year-old has won three David Shepherd trophies from 2009 to 2011. He has been one of the best umpires since the last decade. He had a 100% record when it came to the DRS that were canceled out against his decision during the 2011 World Cup. He has so far officiated in 299 ODIs, 172 tests & 88 T20Is. He is the first Asian umpire to achieve this record in ODIs & Tests. He has so far officiated in 5 World Cups so far.
7. Srinivas Venkataraghavan (India)
Arguably one of the best umpires Indian cricket ever produced and perhaps world cricket. He made his debut as an umpire in 1993 during India vs England match at Jaipur. After being appointed in the International cricket umpire panel in 1994 he was always selected by the ICC to officiate test matches played outside India. Venkataraghavan was known for his mannerism and discipline.
Highly respected among the fans and players. He officiated in the 1996 & 1999 World Cup semifinals as well as the 1999 world cup final at Lords. He officiated in 6 Ashes series, 73 tests, and 52 ODIs.
8. Simon Taufel (Australia)
Taufel became the youngest to officiate a test match at the age of 27 in December 2000 in Australia vs West Indies test match. From 2004 to 2008 he won five back-to-back best umpire awards. He officiated in 74 tests, 174 ODIs & 34 T20Is. He also became the youngest umpire at the age of 36 to reach 100 ODIs.
The Australian was spot on with his quick decision-making & cricketing sense. Taufel shocked everyone when he retired in 2012 at the age of 41 but he was appointed as ICC’s umpire performance & Training manager.
9. Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka)
The Sri Lankan has loads of experience as an official in the last decade or so. The former all-rounder started as a Tv umpire but later on, started to officiate as an onfield umpire. He has so far officiated in 101 tests, 179 ODIs, and 61 T20Is. He has also been officiating in the IPL. The 52-year-old has showcased tremendous calmness while taking tough decisions. At present, he is amongst the most experienced umpires in world cricket.
10. Daryl Harper (Australia)
Harper’s first officiated in 1988 when South Africa played New Zealand in an ODI game. The 71-year-old had a long umpiring career of 17 years. He officiated in 94 tests and 174 ODIs. He was known for his on-field humor and his generous nature.
He is the most experienced umpire from Australia to officiate in International cricket. He was also selected for the ICC Elite panel of umpires in 2002. Although he was criticized due to his errors during the India-West Indies test series after which he retired.
Read More: Cricketers who died while playing cricket