Rating the 10 best umpires of all time

Rating the 10 best umpires of all time

Despite all the technology available to pin-point umpiring errors, some of them stood the test of the eagle eye and proved their worth as a high-quality official. 

Steve Bucknor
Steve Bucknor. (Photo by Julian Herbert/Getty Images)

Not often do the umpires get highlighted in the news for the good reasons, but whenever there’s’ an error coming from them, social media is ready to erupt on them these days. Being an official in any sport is a thankless job, where it takes years to earn a decent reputation and perhaps just a moment to destroy everything.

Officials in the 60s and 70s had no video assistance to back or reverse their decisions, but with evolving technology, video assistance has become a major part of the game. Despite all the technology available to pin-point umpiring errors, some of them stood the test of the eagle eye and proved their worth as a high-quality official.

Here’s a small tribute to 10 such umpires, who with their man-management skills and efficiency in decision making, made games flow smoothly.

10. Richard Kettleborough

Richard Kettleborough
Umpires Richard Kettleborough. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

In his early days as an umpire, Richard Kettleborough didn’t look pretty confident with his decision-making and was at the receiving end of some criticism. But with time, the Englishman grew in stature and went on to become a regular feature in various high-profile games.

Kettleborough played for Yorkshire but his career as a cricketer went on for just five years. In the 33 First-class matches he played, he scored 1,258 runs and soon shifted gears to umpiring. After making his debut as an official in 2006, he was inducted into the elite panel of ICC umpires in 2011.

His precision on the field was rewarded with three consecutive David Shepherd Trophies in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He was given a chance to officiate in the World Cup semifinal and final in 2015. The 46-year-old still has many years left in him and will perhaps rise a lot higher in these rankings in the coming years.