Umpires are among the most important factors in maintaining discipline and fairness in any sport. Cricket is the most popular game after Football worldwide. In Cricket, the role of the umpire increases significantly when the game goes into the crucial stages. The Top 10 cricket umpires have an incredible record in crucial game stages. Like the 2019 Cricket World Cup Finals, every cricket fan witnessed extremely nail-bitter moments in which umpires made crucial decisions. Let’s look at the top 10 cricket umpires in the history of Cricket.
10. Dickie Bird
Dickie Bird is the oldest Umpire in the list of Top 10 Cricket Umpires. Dickie Brid is an English retired cricket umpire. Bird ended his dream to become a footballer after a knee injury at a young age. After this injury, Dickie Bird chased his second love to become a cricketer. As a cricketer, he made no significant contribution to the England team.
In 1973, Dickie Bird started umpiring in cricket matches. Dickie Bird umpired 66 Test matches from 1973 to 1996. Bird officiated 54 test matches in England, a record for officiating the most tests in a single country, broken in 2021. From 1973 to 1995, Dickie Bird umpired 69 ODI matches. In his last game as an umpire in 1996, Dickie Bird got “Guard of Honor” from England and Indian teams.
9. Billy Bowden
Billy Bowden, one of the funniest umpires in cricket, has a significant record as an umpire. Billy Bowden debuted as a cricket umpire in 1995 between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in a game at Hamilton. Billy Bowden umpired 308 international cricket matches. He retired as an umpire in 2016. Bowden was included in ICC’s very first Elite Panel of Umpires 2002. Top Indian Batsmen hailed him as the funniest umpire in cricket history. Billy Bowden is surely on the list of top 10 best cricket umpires.
8. Rudi Koertzen
Rudi Koertzen was a South African cricket umpire who started his career as an umpire in 1992. Rudi Koertzen umpired 331 international matches, including 108 tests, 209 ODI, and 14 T20 matches. Rudi Koertzen was the Umpire in many high-profile series and Tournaments. He was the Umpire in the 2009 Ashes and India VS Pakistan series. Rudi Koertzen was umpire in 2003 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. Rudi Koertzen died in a car accident in Eastern Cape at the age of 73. Because of his services as umpire, Rudi Koertzen deserves a place in the Top 10 cricket umpires.
7. Daryl Harper
Australian Umpire Daryl Harper debuted as an umpire in an international cricket match in 1998. Daryl Harper umpired 342 international matches in his umpiring career. Daryl Harper became the first Australian Umpire to be included in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires 2002. Harper suddenly retired in 2011 after his lousy performance as Umpire in Cricket World Cup 2011.
6. Srinivas Venkatraghavan
Captain of the Indian cricket team in 1975 and 1979, Srinivas Venkatraghavan made his umpiring debut in 1993. Srinivas Venkatraghavan Umpired 204 international cricket matches. He is the only Indian Umpire in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires in 2002. In 2004, Srinivas Venkatraghavan took retirement as an umpire. The government of India honored him with Padma Shri in 2003. Srinivas Venkatraghavan’s excellent achievements make him among the top 10 cricket umpires.
5. Tony Hill
New Zealand umpire, Tony Hill made his umpiring debut in 2001. Tony Hill umpired 227 international matches. For his excellent performance as an umpire, Tony Hill was included in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires in 2009. In 2013, Tony Hill announced retirement as an Umpire. Tony Hill has also worked as a New Zealand Cricket umpire coach. Tony Hill’s outstanding achievements make him among the Top 10 cricket umpires.
4. Simon Taufel
Simon Taufel is an Australian Cricket umpire who started his umpiring journey at 24. Due to a knee injury, Taufel did not fulfilled his dream of playing cricket for the Australian team. From 1999 to 2012, Simon Taufel umpired 74 tests, 174 ODI, and 34 T20 matches. Simson Taufel won 5 consecutive ICC Umpire of the Year Awards. In 2012, at the age of 41, Simson Taufel retired as an umpire and was made Umpire Performance and Training Manager by ICC. Australian legend Simon Taufel has all the qualities to be on the list of Top 10 Cricket Umpires.
3. Aleem Dar
Pakistani legend Aleem Dar has a decent record as a first-class cricketer but could not fulfill his dream of becoming an international cricketer for Pakistan. In 2000, Aleem Dar started a new inning of his life to become a cricket umpire. Aleem Dar has officiated 559 international cricket games. He won the David Sheperd trophy 3 consecutive times from 2009 to 2011. Pakistan’s government awarded Aleem Dar the President’s Award for Pride for his excellent performance. His record proved his place on the list of top 10 cricket umpires.
2. Steve Bucknor
Steve Bucknor, one of the most outstanding cricket umpires, started his umpiring career in 1989. Steve Bucknor officiated 208 ODIs and 130 Test matches. Bucknor has officiated 5 consecutive ICC Cricket World Cup finals from 1992 to 2007. Bucknor got several awards, including the ICC Bronze, Order of Jamaica, and Golden Bails. Steve Bucknor was also a referee in the FIFA World Cup qualifier between El Salvador and the Netherlands Antilles. Incredible achievements make Steve Bucknor one of the Top 10 cricket umpires.
1. David Sheperd
David Sheperd has an excellent career as a First-class cricketer. He scored 10,000+ runs as a First-class cricketer. After retiring from Cricket, David Sheperd joined Cricket as an umpire in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983. David Sheperd officiated 92 tests and 172 ODI matches in his 22 years of umpiring career.
Shepherd officiated three consecutive World Cups from 1996 to 2003. ICC announced the award – “The David Shepherd Trophy” after him for the best Umpire. David Sheperd died in 2009 due to lung cancer. Incredible character on-field, David Sheperd has all the qualities to become one of the Top 10 cricket umpires.
Who is the best umpire for you in our list of top 10 cricket umpires? Let us know in the comment section.