One of the most important and hardest aspects of any sport is umpiring. And if we talk about cricket, the role of an umpire in a cricket game is one of the toughest jobs to execute. It takes a lot of skill and talent to determine if a batsman has edged the ball from as far as 22 yards or to call an LBW ruling. However, despite the complexity of their job, umpiring is not the most popular cricket vocation. Even the most ardent online fantasy cricket fans might struggle to name more than five notable umpires in the sport’s history. An umpire who stands motionless for the whole 100 overs of a match, toiling for 5 days impartial, must be always on his toes, vigilant, and prompt.
In this article, we bring you a list of the top 5 legendary umpires who will always be remembered by every ardent daily fantasy cricket fan for their impeccable decision-making on-field.
Anthony Lloyd Hill, better known as Tony Hill, is a former New Zealand umpire. Tony began umpiring in 1998 during a one-day international match between New Zealand and Zimbabwe. And he’s gone a long way since then, officiating over 150 games in all three forms. In 2001, he made his test debut, and in 2005, he made his T20 debut. Hill was at times nominated as a neutral umpire by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for matches held outside of New Zealand. In 2009, he was named to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires. Despite having no first-class cricket expertise, Hill concluded his 15-year career with 64 Tests, 139 ODIs, and 24 T20s.
Rudi Kortzen was among the most serious, unassuming, and reliable umpires we’ve ever seen. His signature way of lifting the finger to officially declare the batsman out in a very leisurely manner earned him the nickname “slow death.” Back in 2004 and 2006, Koertzen umpired for the ICC Champions Trophy, as well as two World Cup semi-finals. Rudi began his career in 1992 and umpired for the top ICC empires from 2002 to 2010. With umpiring a total number of 105 Tests and 209 One-Day Internationals, Rudi retired in 2010 with his last Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe match. Koertzen has also earned the ICC Golden Bails Award for umpiring in 100 Tests and the ICC Silver Bails Award for umpiring in 200 One-Day Internationals.
Ian “Gunner” Gould, who resigned from international cricket in 2019, was a former English umpire. He only managed to score 155 runs in 18 One-Day Internationals for England. But apart from playing cricket, Gould has been an excellent umpire for many years. He was turned down by Arsenal Football Club because he was too little, and he was also engaged in the 2018 Cape Town Ball-Tampering Scandal. In the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Gould officiated his final ODI at Headingley, where he received a standing ovation from Virat Kohli.
Simon Taufel is one of the most elegant and exquisite umpires in the history of international cricket. His consistency and accuracy, as well as his discipline and grace on the field, are unrivalled. His career as a potential medium pace bowler in Australian county cricket was cut short due to a terrible back injury. But it did not deter him from returning to cricket. Simon made his ODI and Test umpiring debuts in 1999 and 2000. Since then, he has officiated in 174 One-Day Internationals, 74 Tests, and 34 Twenty-20 Internationals. Simon finally took retirement from cricket back in 2012, following the ICC T20 World Cup, and has since taken up the post of ICC Umpire Performance and Training Manager.