Marais Erasmus’ 50th Test match as an umpire has been waterlogged at Lord’s in London for two days.
Erasmus is the 17th umpire to reach this landmark and the second South African, following in the footsteps of Rudi Koertzen.
The 54-year-old was schooled at DF Malan High School in the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University and enjoyed a decent first-class career for Boland, scoring 1,913 first-class runs at 29.43, with a highest score of 103 not out in addition to seven half-centuries. His right-arm fast-medium bowling netted him 131 first-class wickets at 28.18 runs apiece, including best innings figures of 6-22, with seven five-fors under his belt.
Erasmus made his Test debut as an umpire at Chittagong in 2010, as Bangladesh lost to India by 113 runs, with Sachin Tendulkar scoring 105 not out in the first innings. His 50th Test is also his sixth Test at Lord’s.
‘This is a very big moment in my career as an umpire since I’m only the 17th person to reach this milestone in the history of Test cricket.
‘I still remember my days as a first-class cricketer representing Boland and how I took to umpiring which, in hindsight, was a very good decision.
‘The long journey, which has been enjoyed thoroughly, would not have been possible but for the support of my family. I’m very indebted to my family, especially my wife Adele, for the support throughout my umpiring career.
‘I’d also like to thank officials at the International Cricket Council and Cricket South Africa for their backing over the years.’
‘Marais’ quality and consistency as an umpire has been acknowledged over the years and it is these attributes that have allowed him to reach this milestone,’ said Adrian Griffith, the ICC’s senior manager – umpires and referees. ‘I congratulate Marais on behalf of everyone at the ICC and wish him all the best for the future. We hope he continues to do well in the coming years and across all formats.’
‘Congratulations to Marais on reaching this landmark,’ said CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe. ‘He continues to make us extremely proud of everything he has achieved, including winning the David Shepherd Trophy as the ICC’s top umpire for the last two years, and there cannot be a better venue or occasion for him to celebrate his 50th Test match than at Lord’s in a game being contested by two of the world’s foremost cricketing nations.
‘He is renowned not just for his accurate decision-making but probably even more so for the calm demeanour he brings to ensure the smooth running of the game. He is a wonderful role model for the umpiring community, not just in South Africa, but around the world,’ concluded Moroe.
Erasmus has also stood in 77 ODIs and 26 T20Is.
Erasmus’ international umpiring career
• Stood in his first Test in January 2010 between Bangladesh and India at Chittagong
• Won the David Shepherd Trophy for the ICC Umpire of the Year in 2016 and 2017
• Stood in his 100th first-class match in the England vs West Indies Test at Lord’s in 2017
• Officiated in the ICC Cricket World Cups in 2011 and 2015
• TV Umpire for the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
• Officiated in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017
• The 17th man to umpire in 50 Tests
• The second South African umpire to stand in 50 Tests, after Rudi Koertzen
Umpires with 50-plus Tests
Steve Bucknor – 128 Tests (1989-2000)
Aleem Dar – 120 Tests (2003-2018)
Rudi Koertzen – 108 Tests (1992-2010)
Daryl Harper – 95 Tests (1998-2011)
David Shepherd – 92 Tests (1985-2005)
Billy Bowden – 84 Tests (2000-2015)
Darrell Hair – 78 Tests (1992-2008)
Simon Taufel – 74 Tests (2000-2012)
S. Venkatraghavan – 73 Tests (1993-2004)
Ian Gould – 67 Tests (2008-2018)
Dickie Bird – 66 Tests (1973-1996)
Rod Tucker – 63 Tests (2010-2018)
Steve Davis – 57 Tests (1997-2015)
Kumar Dharmasena – 53 Tests (2010-2018)
Richard Kettleborough – 53 Tests (2010-2018)
Nigel Llong – 53 Tests (2008-2018)