Umpiring is not really a very popular profession among the retired international cricketers. A lot of them take up commentary and coaching, but only a few of them opt for umpiring.
One of the main reasons why most of the retired cricketers don’t opt for umpiring is because it’s a job which requires an enormous amount of travelling across the globe.
However, a few international cricketers over the years have taken up umpiring and some of them have actually gone on to become world class umpires.
Here is an all time XI of cricketers who became international umpires –
Openers (Charles Bannerman, Mark Benson)
Charles Bannerman was the first international cricketer who became an international umpire as well. Bannerman’s debut Test match in 1877 was the first ever Test match in the history of the game.
Bannerman, who played 3 Test matches and scored a total of 239 runs at an average of 59.75, stood as an international umpire for the first time in 1887.
Mark Benson was a very successful first class batsman at the county level, but he didn’t get to play a lot of games for England. His international career was limited to a solitary Test match and an ODI.
Benson’s umpiring career was quite long though as he umpired in more than a hundred international games.
Middle order (John Hampshire, Peter Willey, Ian Gould)
John Hampshire had registered a three-figure score to his name in his very first Test match and that too at Lord’s, but his Test career didn’t pan out very well after that.
Hampshire finished his cricketing career having played just 8 Test matches. He later officiated in 41 international games as an umpire.
Peter Willey was known for his grit and determination while batting against the world class fast bowlers. He was not a very attractive batsman, but he knew how to grind his way through.
Willey played 26 Test matches for England and took up umpiring in the mid 90s.
Ian Gould was a wicket-keeper batsman who didn’t play Test cricket for England, but he represented his country in One Day International cricket.
Although Gould didn’t score a lot of runs with the bat in international cricket, his glove-work was impeccable. He recently retired from umpiring after officiating in the 2019 ODI World Cup.
All-rounders (Paul Reiffel, Kumar Dharmasena):
Both Paul Reiffel and Kumar Dharmasena are part of the ICC elite panel of umpires. Dharmasena even officiated in the ODI World Cup final between England and New Zealand last year.
Reiffel has also been umpiring for quite a while now and is one of the best in the business at the moment.
Talking about the cricketing careers of Reiffel and Dharmasena, both of them were utility cricketers who were capable of not only chipping in with the ball, but also scoring some valuable runs down the order.
Reiffel got 6 half-centuries in Test match cricket, while Dharmasena got three. Reiffel also got more than 100 Test wickets.
Bowlers (Asoka de Silva, Richard Illingworth, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Paul Wilson):
Asoka de Silva was a leg spinner who played for Sri Lanka, Richard Illingworth was a left arm spinner who played for England, Srinivas Venkataraghavan was an off spinner who played for India and Paul Wilson was a fast bowler who played for Australia.
While Illingworth and Wilson are still active and umpiring in international cricket, Asoka de Silva and Venkataraghavan retired a long time back.