Mark Richard Benson is an English umpire who was born on July 6, 1958 at Shoreham, Sussex. Nicknamed as Benny, Mark Benson is considered to be a great umpire in cricket although he has been into various controversies as well.
Mark Benson started his career as a cricket player for Kent and was a nice player who remained in team for a long time. In the 292 First Class matches that he has played, he has scored more than 18000 runs along with 48 centuries and 99 half centuries. He has also scored a double century in First Class cricket.
The international career of Mark Benson was rather too short, where he began in July, 1986 and retired that same month. He played his only test match against India in which he scored 30 and 21 in both innings and his only ODI match came against New Zealand where he scored 24 runs.
Later on he went on to become the captain of Kent County team and he became one of the most prestigious opening batsmen of the team. A knee injury in 1995 forced him to retire from cricket which resulted in him taking up umpiring.
Mark Benson started his career as an umpire in 1997 when he started umpiring in first class matches of England. Since he had been a cricket player himself, it didn't take him too long to reach out to the international cricket. His first international standing came in the year 2004.
Mark Benson was a terrific umpire and was included into the ICC International Panel of Umpires in 2005. In 2006, he was included into the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires which was his best time of career.
Mark Benson also has some remarkable achievements to his name, such as being the first umpire whose decision was overruled by the referral system and also being one of the two umpires to stand in T20 World Cup Finals.
Mark Benson had stood in 27 Test matches, 72 ODI matches and also in 19 T20I matches before retiring from International Umpiring.
Mark Benson was at the epicentre of controversies that took place in cricket during the time of his retirement. In the 2007-08 Border Gavaskar Trophy, he gave six inaccurate decisions in the second test match which were instrumental in the result of the match. He was also criticised for asking a player before replying to an appeal.
Mark Benson was also a hard critic of the referral system and didn't like to refer to the third umpires. When Tillakaratne Dilshan asked for a review and his decision was overruled, he started keeping away from tests that involved referral system.
In 2009, Mark Benson moved out of the match between Australia and West Indies after his decision was overruled yet again. He flew back to England while the match was in progress and hence was never seen in an international match again.
Mark Benson retired from officiating international matches in 2010 but continued to umpire in First Class matches till 2016.