Most Famous International Cricket Umpires
Cricket umpires were once known as ‘criers’. Cricket was not played in the presence of umpires until 1825. The positions of umpire and referee were created separately, and the cricket media was predominantly responsible for the latter. Cricket as a sport had grown to a large extent by 1846, where the law book of that year defined an umpire as: “Any person appointed by the two captains to decide near the wickets on all occasions of dispute.” The home-and-away team umpire, who stood in front of the wicket at the bowler’s end, could be either a pitcher or a crier. A professional “crier” made his money by charging a fee.
Over time, while the umpire has remained an important part of cricket, the role of a cricket umpire has significantly changed. This is underlined by the fact that many of today’s official ICC Cricket Umpires have well-paying professional careers outside their profession, and often could not do both at the same time. They are called on to officiate in Test matches and ODIs around the world, with usually three or four matches scheduled in a series.
Dickie Bird is the pen name of Harold Dennis (England)
During his career, Dickie Bird was never allowed to work in a World Cup. This was due to the packed schedule. Apart from Test matches, he officiated in 212 One Day Internationals (ODIs). Dickie Bird retired in 1996 and became an elite umpiring assessor for International Cricket Council (ICC). He is one of the most respected and famous cricket umpires of all time. To date, he is considered one of the most brilliant cricket umpires. He has been described as a career-defining cricketer by many former players who played against him. On 19th April the year 1933 in a city called Yorkshire was the birth of this legend.
Dickie Bird umpired in 40 One Day Internationals (ODIs) including the World Cup finals of 1979 and 1983. He was the third umpire, along with Ken Palmer and Geoffery Howard in the Centenary Test in Melbourne on February 12, 1977.
David Shepherd (England)
A keen student of the game, David Shepherd had spent a considerable amount of time in the middle as an Umpire which brought him to become one of the most respected and renowned umpires in the world. As a player he was known for his stoic view of “play hard but fair” and that philosophy as an Umpire was shared by him too. Though his career was cut short due to injuries, he won the reputation of one of the best cricket umpires of his era. Steve Bucknor may have officiated in 128 Test matches and 181 One Day Internationals. He is the only umpire to have officiated in both formats of cricket. In addition, he was the first umpire from an ICC non-Test playing country to officiate a World Cup final, which happened at the 2007 World Cup in West Indies. December 27, 1940, was the day of David Shepherd’s birth in Bideford, city.
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Aleem Dar, also known as the “Prince of Umpiring,” is the 12th umpire in history to officiate in 100 Tests, the first to stand in a century of Tests, and the first umpire from Asia to do so. He has stood in numerous high-profile contests and holds the world record for officiating in the most number of ODIs (299 until July 2015). In the 20th century, he is one of only three umpires to have officiated in 100 Test matches (the others being Steve Bucknor and Rudi Koertzen). He is indeed a seasoned umpire who began his career in 2003 but is still regarded as the finest in the league.
He would often be seen as a different umpire than his counterparts, as his decisions often took much longer. This was caused by his interpretations of the rules, which were extremely technical and precise. Bucknor’s ability to focus on every motion and movement of the bowler’s action, especially the unique releases of each bowler gave him an advantage over other umpires. His umpiring expertise gave him a career average of 99% correct decisions, the best among all umpires. He played in 128 Tests and 181 One-Day Internationals. His easy-going personality is often misconstrued as a laid-back attitude. However, in reality, his concentration concerning the task at hand was uncanny. Steve Bucknor never had to take off his shirt to prove he meant business!
Billy is the most famous cricket umpire alive. He has received international fame for his unique style of calling. Bowden is one of two surviving members of the trio that was involved in the test cricket match between New Zealand and West Indies at Eden Park on 17 February 1986, which was interrupted by a bomb scare. He has officiated in eight international Twenty20 matches as of February 2011. Bowden has also stood in fourteen Tests and 22 One Day Internationals, including the finals of the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup.
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Koertzen made his international test debut as an umpire during the match between South Africa and India, which was held at Newlands, Cape Town on 15 1997 and this signaled the first time a non-British umpire had officiated an international test match in South Africa. He later became the first non-British umpire to stand in a home test match when England toured for the tests in January 2001. Rudi, began his career as an elite panel umpire in 1996, was an integral part of the ICC Elite Umpires Panel from 2002-2010.
“Gunner” as he is popularly known as had a fantastic career and is appreciated all around the world by Cricket fans for his fair and accurate umpiring which goes beyond just being critical to the game. Ian “Gunner” Gould was born on August 19, 1957, in Pinner, London, England to parents Gary and Eileen Gould. Gould has officiated in several international and domestic cricket matches. He umpired in the Cricket World Cup held in the West Indies during 2007, including a semi-final. In March 2008 he stood in his first Test match, Pakistan v South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. . Ian “Gunner” Gould started at the age of 20 in London, refereeing charity matches. A year later, he took up umpiring as a full-time profession.
Australian Darrell Hair is proud to announce the launch of his tour exhibition, “The Cricket Umpires Tour Exhibition”. This exhibition will feature a collection of pictures charting the career of Darrell over the past 30 years in the world of cricket. Seen all around the globe umpiring some of the greatest moments in cricket, Darrell has achieved much in the sport.
Main Image Source: Pixabay
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