Umpiring is the most challenging task for any sport. Umpires get criticized when they make bad decisions, but no one praises them when they make a correct decision. In cricket, any wrong decision of the referee can change the game. Hence, the Decision Review System is introduced in the sport. But there have been some umpires whose decisions were perfect, and they didn’t require any DRS. Many referees have themselves played the game first, and now they use their experience and knowledge. Here are the top 10 best referees in cricket history.
10. Kumar Dharmasena
Handunnettige Deepthi Priyantha Kumar Dharmasena was born on 24th April 1971. He is a Sri Lankan cricket umpire and former cricketer. Kumar played for the winning team of the 1996 World Cup. In 2019, he won the David Shepherd Trophy for the ICC Umpire of the Year at the ICC Awards 2018. He is calm and composed on the field.
9. Daryl Harper
Daryl John Harper was born on 23rd October 1951, is an Australian cricket umpire, who was a Test umpire from 1998 to 2011. Harper had officiated in 94 tests and 174 ODIs. He won the ICC Bronze Bails award for completing 100 ODIs in umpiring. Daryl made his umpiring debut in January 1994. He retired in 2011 after receiving unfair criticism from Indian players during a test against West Indies.
8. Simon Taufel
Simon James Arthur Taufel was born on 21st January 1971. He is a former Australian cricket umpire who had officiated in 74 tests, 174 ODIs, and 34 T20Is. He is the only umpire to win five consecutive ICC Umpire of the Year awards from 2004 to 2008. He was considered as one of the best umpires during his time.
7. Nigel Llong
Nigel James Llong was born on 11th February 1969. He is an English cricket umpireand former first-class cricketer. Nigel had officiated in 62 tests, 130 ODIs and 32 T20Is. In April 2019, he was named as one of the sixteen umpires to stand in matches during the 2019 World Cup. He had a unique style of his “OUT” signal.
6. Tony Hill
Anthony Lloyd Hill was born on 26th June 1951. He is a retired international cricket umpire from New Zealand. Tony was a former member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires. He had officiated in 40 tests, 96 ODIs, and 17 T20Is. Hill retired from umpiring in the year 2012. He is the most experienced cricket umpire to date.
5. Billy Bowden
Brent Fraser “Billy” Bowden was born on 11th April 1963. He is a cricket umpire from New Zealand. He is popularly known for his unique signaling style, which includes a “crooked finger of doom” out signal. He had officiated in 84 tests, 200 ODIs, and 24 T20Is. His dramatic style of umpiring made cricket for viewers more entertaining. He received ICC bronze Bails award for completing in 100 ODIs.
4. Rudi Koertzen
Rudolf Eric Koertzen was born on 26th March 1949. He is a former international cricket umpire from South Africa. Rudi had officiated in 108 tests, 209 ODIs, and 14 T20Is. He has achieved all three ICC Bails awards. Koertzen is the first umpire to achieve this phenomenan before Aleem Dar. He is the most respected umpire in this game. Rudi became an umpire in 1981 and had an inspirational journey throughout his career.
3. Dickie Bird
Harold Dennis “Dickie” Bird was born on 19th April 1933. He is an English retired international cricket umpire. Dickie was an excellent umpire during his time. He was very strict in his decisions for short-pitch deliveries. Bird’s LBW decisions never went wrong. He had officiated in 66 tests and 69 ODIs. Dickie stood in 15 test matches at Lord’s, which is the most by anyone. He was favorite of both public and players.
2. Steve Bucknor
Stephen Anthony Bucknor was born on 31st May 1946. He is a former international cricket umpire from Jamaica. Stephen had officiated in 128 tests and 181 ODIs. He holds the record for most Test matches umpired (128) until December 2019. Bucknor was a football referee before becoming a cricket umpire. He has achieved ICC Bronze and Gold Bails awards.
1. Aleem Dar
Aleem Dar was born on 6th June 1968. He is a Pakistani cricket umpire and former cricketer. Dar won the David Shepherd Trophy forthree consecutive years, 2009 to 2011. He is the best umpire in cricket till date. Aleem is an expert in every aspect of the game. His umpiring style and humor have developed his fan base. Dar has officiated in 136 tests, 211 ODIs, and 53 T20Is. He holds the record for most test matches umpired (136). Aleem was involved in many controversies but he always proved himself as the best. He proved his rightness at the 2011 World Cup when all the 15 Umpire Decision Review System appeals against him were struck down.