Top umpires in cricket history

Currently, of technology and social media, it is fair to argue that umpiring is a thankless and very difficult profession. Several umpires have succeeded in winning over spectators and cricket players throughout the years with their sharp judgment, amiable manner, and occasionally humorous antics.

Aleem Dar

Aleem Dar, one of the most renowned umpires of the modern age, has gained a large following throughout the world because of his sharp decision-making abilities, his capacity for composure under pressure, and not to mention his amiable manner. Dar, who made his debut around the turn of the century, won the title of “Umpire of the Year” three times in a row from 2009 to 2011. The Pakistan-born umpire, who turns 53 today, holds the record for calling the most Tests, ODIs, and T20 International matches. Aleem Dar has officiated a record 500 international games (400 on the field and 100 as a TV umpire), with Rudi Koertzen coming in second (397).

Steve Bucknor

He doesn’t get along well with Indians because he appears to have given Sachin Tendulkar the wrong direction multiple times. Above all, his role in the infamous “Monkeygate” incident that occurred in 2008 while India was touring Australia. However, don’t diminish Steve Bucknor’s stellar 20-year career as an umpire. The Jamaican will unquestionably be remembered as one of cricket’s best umpires. In 1989, Bucknor made his international debut. Throughout his 20-year career, he was the first umpire to stand in 100 tests. Also, the Jamaican now holds the record for the most tests that have been officiated.

Billy Bowden

Billy Bowden is a character that everyone is familiar with and adores. The Kiwi umpire is renowned for using dance moves to communicate the numbers four and six. And he got so well-known for using his infamously crooked finger to declare a batter out that he appeared in advertising during the 2011 World Cup. In 1995, at the Hamilton match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, Bowden made his ODI debut. In addition, he joined the ICC’s first Elite Panel in 2002 and participated regularly in nearly all of its tournaments over the following ten or so years. With 84 tests, 200 ODIs, and 21 T20s under his belt, the New Zealander announced his retirement in 2016. But cricket fans will never forget his distinctive umpiring technique.

Simon Taufel

Simon Taufel will go down in history as one of the best on-field officials. He is the first umpire in the history of the sport to win five straight ICC “Umpire of the Year” Awards (2004-2008). Taufel was a smart decision-maker with an eagle’s eye for the game, and he was well known for keeping the peace in tight moments on the ground. Taufel continued to consistently make the proper judgments even after the DRS was established in 2008. The Australian-born official, who made his debut in 2000, officiated in 74 Tests, 174 One-Day Internationals, and 34 Twenty20 Internationals until retiring in 2012.

Rudi Koertzen

The South African umpire’s white beard and sunglasses may have helped you recall him. Rudi Koertzen, though, was much more. One of just two umpires in cricket history to preside over more than 100 test matches and 200 ODIs is a South African. During India’s tour of South Africa in 1992, Koertzen made his debut for his country in both ODI and Test matches. When the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires was established in 2002, he also joined as a founding member. Koertzen was renowned for declaring a batsman out by slowly raising his index finger. During his career, the South African oversaw several high-profile matches, including India vs. Pakistan, The Ashes, the World Cup semi-final, and the Champions League. 

Daryl Harper

In 2002, Daryl Harper, who had a remarkable 17-year career as an umpire, became the first Australian to be named to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires. The Australian oversaw the first ODI game in 1994 after making his first-class umpiring debut in 1987. Harper’s test debut occurred during the 1998 Ashes while officiating at the WACA facility. The Australian oversaw 104 test matches, 221 ODIs, and 17 T20s in total. In 2005, he was given the ICC Bronze Bail Award for playing in 100 ODI matches in international cricket. Harper, who is often a calm and reliable umpire, faced criticism during the 2011 test series between India and the West Indies and had to quit for performance concerns.

Dickie Bird

Even though Harold Dennis “Dickie” Bird hasn’t umpired an international match in more than 20 years, his popularity continues to be unmatched. Dickie Bird, one of the game’s great characters, was adored by both players and spectators for his amiable manner, wise judgment, and many oddities. Former County player Bird officiated in 66 Test matches—a record at the time—and 69 ODIs, including three World Cup finals. His playing career was marred by knee injuries. In 1996, the iconic umpire’s final international match was marked with a guard of honor, a testament to the esteem in which he was held.

Billy Bowden

Billy Bowden, one of the game’s most colorful and entertaining umpires, captured the hearts of many spectators with his antics on the field. Whether it was his signature crooked finger, his way of indicating a boundary, or the way he would send a judgment to the third umpire, Bowden was a box office hit. The spectators love to watch live cricket tv today match video only for his signature steps. Even the other players admired his demeanor, which was amply confirmed in 2012 when Suresh Raina imitated his crooked finger sign during an ODI against Pakistan. Before retiring, Bowden officiated in as many as 84 Tests, 200 ODIs, and 21 T20Is. He was nominated to the ICC’s first-ever elite panel of umpires in 2001.

David Shepherd

The late great David Shepherd is without a doubt the most beloved and well-liked umpire this beautiful game has ever seen. David Shepherd, a star cricketer in his day, retired from playing in 1979 to concentrate on umpiring. He made his debut during a 1983 World Cup match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka to begin 20 years during which he captured the cricketing folklore with his brilliant decision-making abilities, and his many eccentricities—one of which was standing on one leg whenever a team’s score reached the multiples of Nelson (111, 222, etc.), and his amiable demeanor. Shepherd officiated 172 ODIs and 92 Tests in total, including three World Cup finals in a row from 1996 to 2003. The winning umpire died in 2009 from cancer.

These umpires have made a unique image in the eyes of fans and created self-respect towards their decision.

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