Remember these umpires from the 90’s?

Tags: Cricwaves Columns

Published on: Jun 11, 2013

We often pay flowing tributes to players when they pass away, but such honour is rarely reserved for umpires, who have served the game with distinction.

We often pay flowing tributes to players when they pass away, but such honour is rarely reserved for umpires, who have served the game with distinction. Recently, KT Francis, a former umpire from Sri Lanka who stood in the country’s debut Test, back in 1982, lost his battle with diabetes. Francis was 73. He was a highly respected umpire, who stood in a number of games through the 90’s. For the record, he officiated in 25 Tests and 56 ODIs, including matches of the 1996 and 1999 World Cup. While remembering Francis, we look back at a few other umpires who made a significant contribution to the sport in the 90’s before retiring into oblivion.

VK Ramaswamy: One of India’s reputed umpires from his era and among the earliest from the country on the international arena, Ramaswamy officiated in 26 Tests and 43 one-day matches between 1983 and 2002. He was among the Indian umpires chosen on the first ICC panel in 1994, along with S. Venkataraghavan.

Dave Orchard: The well-built Orchard was among the best in the world in the 90’s. The South African was an umpire in 44 Tests and 107 one-dayers between 1994 and 2004. He officiated in two World Cups – 1999 and 2003. Orchard is remembered for the big gaffe during a Test between England and South Africa in 1995, when he first ruled Graham Thorpe not out after the ball from a fielder hit the stumps, but later asked for the third umpire’s help on Hansie Cronje’s insistence.

Doug Cowie: A Kiwi, Cowie remains among the best umpires from the country to have stood in international matches. He officiated in 22 Tests and 71 ODIs between 1992 and 2005. Cowie was among the group of umpires who did duty during the 1999 World Cup in England. Post retirement he even worked as ICC's Umpires and Referees Manager.

Ian Robinson: A Zimbabwean, Robinson was a highly accomplished official, who rarely gave bad decisions. Between 1992 and 2004, he stood in 28 Tests and 90 one-dayers, including three World Cups. He was controversially sacked by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union in 2004.

Steve Randell: The Aussie was a prominent name among umpires, standing in 36 Tests and 88 ODIs from 1984 to 1998. Sadly, he is more remembered for his controversy. In 1999, he was convicted for sexually assaulting school girls.

Peter Willey: An Englishman, who was a decent cricketer himself, Willey was part of 25 Tests and 34 ODIs as an umpire from 1996 to 2003, and was rated highly by players. He refused to be part of the ICC’s elite panel, stating he wasn’t ready for too much travel around the globe.

BC Cooray: Another umpire from Sri Lanka, Cooray stood in 21 Tests and 48 ODIs in the period of 1985 and 2001. He was considered to be a good umpire. Sadly, he career came to a controversial halt during the Kandy Test between England and Sri Lanka in 2001 after Lankan supporters held demonstrations against him over his poor umpiring in the match.

--By A Cricket Analyst

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