On the field of play, the match is played between the team members of two teams but the decisions at every point are made by the umpires. Observing the rules of the games, adding points to the teams, making hard decisions about the cricketers on the field, making sure that the cricketers follow the rules and regulations, giving penalties when required are some of the important duties of the umpires. Umpires need to stay updated with all the cricket records by the players on the field. Generally, there are two umpires during a match. One of them stands at the square leg and the other one stands behind the stump. Also, the third umpire is situated on the sidelines in international matches. Let's take a look at the top 7 umpires who created cricket records of the most matches as an umpire.
Aleem Dar is a former cricketer and currently a Pakistani cricket umpire. He played as a middle-order batsman and leg spinner during his playing career. His cricketing career of a decade was not that great unlike his career as an umpire. He started umpiring in 2000 and within a span of 2 years, he was selected in the ICC panel. Also, he took the charge of directing the world cup 2003. Officiating the world cup 2003 lead to his test debut in October 2003.
He is appreciated a lot for his decision-making skills in difficult times. In the test match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2003, he made such a hard decision, and right after 6 months, he was selected as an Elite panel in the ICC umpires. He was nominated for the David Shepherd Trophy 5 times in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011. He won the trophy 3 times from 2009 to 2011. Till 2021, he umpired in 136 test matches and created the cricket records of most matches as an umpire.
Steve Bucknor from West Indies made his debut as an international cricket umpire in 1989. The 6 ft 3-inch tall umpire was a disciplined man and followed a complete morning routine before coming to the ground that too exactly in time. The Jamaican Empire created a record of umpiring 128 test matches and 181 ODIs. This list of matches includes 5 consecutive Cricket World Cup finals from 1992 to 2007. Everything was going great for him until he got suspended in September 2007 for the T20 World Championship. He made some absurd decisions in the 2007 World Cup final that led to his suspension. Things were getting out of hands and he was not allowed to officiate the third test match between Australia and India. He retired in 2009 and in between this period he umpired in 128 test matches.
Rudi Koertzen is considered as one of the most popular and greatest umpires of his time. Before starting his journey being an umpire, he used to play in local league Cricket matches in South Africa. He made his debut in 1981 after leaving his job at South African Railways. During his initial days, South Africa wasn't part of the international cricket teams. In 1991 South Africa started playing international cricket and Koertzen got the chance to umpire in the international match in December 1992 against India. His ODI debut match is a memorable one as Kapil Dev was seen mankading, Peter Kirsten. He also made his test debut in that month itself and after umpiring for a few years he got the chance of umpiring regularly for the ICC in 1997.
The former umpire was also a member of the elite panel of umpires by the ICC in 2002. He was also involved in the Barbados catastrophe and that is why he could not officiate the ICC World T20 in 2007. The one thing which everyone loves about him was the way he raised his finger. The retired umpire was seen apologizing for his mistakes which is a rare trait. In a span of about 18 years, he did umpire in 108 test matches.
Daryl Harper is a former Australian cricket umpire. He played in Adelaide grade cricket competition as a right-handed batsman before being an umpire. In 1983 he decided to start umpiring and made his first-class debut in 1987. In 1994, he did umpire in an ODI match between New Zealand and South Africa and made his first appearance in an international fixture. Later in November 1998, he made his test match debut in the second Ashes Test match. He was also a member of the elite panel of ICC umpires from 2000 to 2011. Later in 2011, hay he retired from his empire in career, and in this period he witnessed 95 matches as an umpire.
David Shepherd played county cricket for Gloucestershire before becoming an international umpire. The late umpire is considered to be one of the most renowned umpires in the history of cricket. In his career as a cricketer, he scored a century in his debut and smashed boundaries exceptionally in limited overs. Despite his unfit figure, he scored runs for the team but he couldn't excel well in fielding and running between the wickets. In 1981, he was appointed as a first-class umpire. After that, he made his international debut in the 1983 World Cup. One amazing thing that happened on his last test match is that Brian Lara gives him a bat that had a thankful message "the service, the memories and the professionalism" inscribed in it. Shepherd witnessed 92 test matches as an umpire from 1985 to 2005.
The former Empire from New Zealand did not think of becoming an umpire before. He played cricket before getting diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. He started his career as an international umpire in 2000. The umpire was quite well known and loved by the cricket fans because of his unique way of showing the "crooked finger of doom". In 2007 he was suspended from the inaugural of the T20 World Championship because of some fiasco in the World Cup final in Barbados. He retired in 2015 and in the span of 15 years he witnessed 84 matches as an umpire.
The Australian Empire is the 7th on this list of most matches as an umpire. Before starting his impairing career he used to play for North Sydney and most man cenotaph Sydney grade competition. He was a fast bowler and his cricketing career came to a halt with his knee injury. And after that, his journey being an umpire started. He made his debut in 1992 and was a part of the international panel of umpires in 2002 and 2003 before getting selected in the ICC Elite umpire panel.
He was a straightforward guy on the failure and had complete faith in himself and his decisions. This attitude has led to many controversies and he was even banned from umpiring the Asian bloc. In 2008 he got to officiate two tests between England and New Zealand after a rehabilitation period of 6 months. He retired in 2008 and did umpire in 78 matches.