Playing international cricket is a dream for many cricketers. Even after retiring, some cricketers like to be connected with the game in some way or another, be it coaching or mentoring a team or taking up commentary. However a few cricketers after retirement, like to be amidst the action on the cricket field and take up umpiring. Umpires hold enormous powers with the game in their hands. Their decisions on the cricket field are sacred and no one dares to question (except reviews) them. Here is a look at 5 such international level cricketers who became umpires after calling it day from international cricket:
#5 Srinivas Venkataraghavan
Srinivas Venkataraghavan, one of the best spinners to play cricket for India in the 1970’s, had a very successful career as an umpire after retiring from the game of cricket.
Venkataraghavan, who made his debut in international cricket in 1965 had an illustrious career of 18 years, representing India in 57 Tests and 15 ODIs. In 57 Tests, Venkataraghavan scalped 156 wickets at an average of 36.11. He captained the Indian ODI team in the first two editions of the World Cup tournament i.e. 1975 and 1979.
After retiring, he took up umpiring and was one of the most respected umpires of all time. He was known for his accurate decision making in a day and age when the Decision Review System (DRS) was unheard of. Venkataraghavan officiated in 73 Tests and 52 ODIs before retiring from umpiring in March 2004.
#2. Paul Reiffel
Paul Reiffel, the former Australian fast bowler was a part of the invincible Australian team in the late 1990s. Reiffel, represented Australia in 35 Tests in which he took 104 wickets at an average of 26.96. In 92 ODIs, Reiffel picked up 106 wickets at an average of 29.20. Reiffel was a part of the Australian squad which won the 1999 World Cup in England. However injuries cut short his international career and he soon quit international cricket.
Reiffel made his debut as an umpire in the year 2009 and was elevated to the ICC Elite Umpire Panel in 2013. Reiffel was one of the few selected umpires who officiated in the 2015 World Cup. Reiffel still is a member of the ICC Elite Umpire Panel and is well respected by all cricketers. Reiffel has officiated in 35 Tests, 52 ODIs and 16 T 20 internationals.
#3. Kumar Dharmasena
Kumar Dharmasena, the fomer Sri Lankan off spinner is one of the most successful umpires in recent times. Dharmasena, played 31 Tests for Sri Lanka from 1993 to 2004 and picked up 69 Test wickets. Dharmasena was a part of the Sri Lankan ODI team in 1996 which won the World Cup. In 141 ODIs, he picked up 138 wickets at an average of 36. 21.
After retiring from the game, Dharmasena took up umpiring and made his international debut as an umpire in 2009. He was elevated to the ICC Elite Umpire Panel in 2011. In 2012 he was declared as the ICC Umpire of the year. Dharmasena has the distinction of umpiring in a World Cup final when he was one of the on filed umpires in the 2015 World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand. Dharmasena has till date, officiated in 51 Tests, 82 ODIs and 22 T 20 internationals.
#4. Richard Illingworth
Richard Illingworth, the former left arm orthodox spinner from England was one of the umpires who officiated in the 2015 ICC cricket World Cup. Illingworth, did not have a very successful carrier for England in international cricket but has the distinction of representing England in 2 World Cups in 1992 and 1996. He was a part of the playing 11 in the 1992 World Cup final for England against Pakistan. Illingworth played 25 ODIs for England and scalped 30 ODI wickets at an average of 35.30. He played 8 Tests for England from 1991 to 1995 and picked up 19 wickets at an average of 32.36.
Illingworth made his umpiring debut in 2006 and was elevated to the ICC Umpire Elite Panel in the year 2013. Illingworth is one of the umpires who is still officiating in international cricket and has adjusted to the DRS system and other modern day technology too. Till date, he has officiated in 30 Tests, 57 ODIs and 16 T 20 internationals.
#5. Peter Willey
Peter Willey, the former English all-rounder who played 26 Tests and 26 ODIs for cricket was one of the successful umpires in recent times. Willey did not taste much success for England in a stop start international career.
Willey made his debut as an umpire in the year 1996 and went on to officiate in 2 World Cups i.e. 1999 World Cup in England and 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Willey officiated in 25 Tests and 34 ODIs from 1996 to 2003.