Marais Erasmus draws the curtain on umpiring career

Marais Erasmus retires from the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires after the second and final Test between New Zealand and Australia which starts on Friday.

The 60-year-old Marais Erasmus will officiate for one final time starting this Friday during the second Test of the ICC World Test Championship series between New Zealand and Australia.

“I have had a wonderful time on the Elite Panel, officiating in some top-class matches around the world and in global ICC events,” Erasmus said ahead of his final Test as umpire.

“I am very fortunate to have continued my association with the game after my time as a cricketer in South Africa and have enjoyed every moment.

“While I will miss being on the Elite Panel and the challenges that come with it, I feel it is time for me to step away and look to contribute to the game in some other way.

Erasmus was appointed to the Elite panel of ICC umpires in 2010, making him the joint-longest serving current umpire on the list, alongside Rod Tucker.

A highlight of Erasmus’ career was winning the David Shepherd Trophy for the ICC Umpire of the Year in 2016, 2017 and 2021.

The Christchurch Test will be Erasmus’ 82nd Men’s Test match as umpire, putting him 10th on the list of umpires to officiate in most Test matches. 

Erasmus has had a storied career, officiating in four ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups (2011, 2015, 2019, 2023), seven ICC Men’s T20 World Cups (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2021 and 2022) and three ICC Women’s T20 World Cups (2010, 2012, 2014) aside from two ICC Men’s Champions Trophy tournaments in 2013 and 2017.

Notably, Erasmus was one of the two on-field umpires for the dramatic final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2019 between England and New Zealand. Erasmus also stood as the umpire in the last two ICC Men’s T20 World Cup finals in 2021 and 2022.

He was also in charge in the final of all three Women’s T20 World Cups he officiated in and was one of the on-field umpires in the high-octane 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final between India and Pakistan.

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ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice congratulated the South African on his outstanding career.

“Marais has had an outstanding career as an international umpire,” Allardice said.

“He has officiated in many global ICC tournaments, including World Cup finals, as well as high-profile series all over the world, at all times displaying his skill, calmness and composure, even in the most challenging of situations.

“He has not only been an excellent umpire but also a fine team man who is respected by his colleagues in the ICC and on the Elite panel. On behalf of the ICC, I congratulate Marais on a superb career and wish him all the success in his future pursuits. He still has a lot to give to the game and I am sure he will continue to be involved in cricket in the years to come.”

Erasmus’ association with ICC events is a story in itself. Erasmus was the on-field umpire in 25 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup matches, 33 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup matches, 18 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup matches and six ICC Champions Trophy games. He stood in seven finals of ICC tournaments.


The second Test between Australia and New Zealand will be his 380th as an official (131 of them as TV umpire). Erasmus’ long career as an umpire began in 2006. In 2010, he became a part of the Elite panel of ICC umpires.

Fellow Elite panel umpire Rod Tucker summed up Erasmus’ career stating that the retiring umpire “epitomises what the Elite Panel is supposed to be”.

“I think the greatest compliment I could give Marais is that he would be mentioned in the same breath as the great David Shepherd, both so calm but very strong and so well respected by all those in the game.”