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Three-time ICC Umpire of the Year winner calls time on illustrious career

Marais Erasmus began his international umpiring career with a T20I game between Australia and South Africa at The Wanderers in Johannesburg on February 24, 2006. The South African played a total of 53 first-class games before moving towards umpiring.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: February 29, 2024 8:12 IST
Marais Erasmus.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Marais Erasmus.

South Africa's veteran umpire and an integral member of the ICC's elite panel of umpires, Marais Erasmus has called time on his umpiring career and is officiating in his last international game i.e. Test series opener between New Zealand and Australia at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Erasmus is one of the finest umpires who is a part of the ICC's elite panel and his decision to step away from the game is set to create a major void.

Erasmus' retirement will leave Adrian Holdstock as the only other South African umpire in the elite panel.

In a freewheeling chat with Cricbuzz, Erasmus revealed that he had decided to quit in October last year and informed the ICC about his decision.

"I decided in October last year and I informed the ICC that I would finish my contract in April and that would be that," Erasmus said.

A three-time recipient of the David Shepherd Trophy (the highest honour for umpires in cricket), Erasmus believes that umpiring is a challenging job and described the feeling when one gets his decisions absolutely right, as "exhilarating".

"The challenge of the job, being in that moment of trying to get it right. That's always something special and tough, and it's exhilarating when you have a good game," Erasmus told Cricbuzz.

Erasmus won the ICC Umpire of the Year honour on three occasions (2016, 2017 and 2021) and is second only to Simon Taufel of Australia, who won five of those. Erasmus officiated in 80 red-ball games, 124 ODIs and 43 T20Is as an on-field umpire.

Significantly, Erasmus is not yet done with officiating and is likely to feature in the South African domestic circuit after a sabbatical.

"For the first couple of months, I'm just going to take the winter off. We have some travel planned domestically, and from September I'll be in the hands of CSA. We still need to finalise how they want to use me. I'll umpire in domestic cricket next season and play a mentoring role. I might go to the Khaya Majola Week (a school event) or the club championships, and I'll be watching and advising umpires."

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