Fri, 27 May 2022

Paarl [South Africa], January 18 (ANI): Seasoned umpire Marais Erasmus will become only the third South African to stand in 100 ODIs when he officiates in the first ODI of the three-match series between the Proteas and India on Wednesday.

The 57-year-old will join the duo of Rudi Koertzen and David Orchard when he steps out at Boland Park in Paarl. Koertzen held the world record of 209 ODIs - a mark set between 1992 and 2010 - until he was recently overtaken by Pakistan's Aleem Dar (211), who is still going, while Orchard umpired 107 matches between 1994 and 2003.

Erasmus has been officiating at the highest level since 2007 and has also been the man in the middle for 70 Tests, 35 Twenty20 Internationals, and 18 Women's T20Is.

He says that reaching this latest landmark is another pleasing moment in what has been an illustrious career thus far.

"I'm very proud to have survived long enough to get to this milestone. It's a tough environment to survive because we're under scrutiny all the time, so to have gotten through that period fills me with pride. We are all servants of the game, but sometimes when milestones are reached, we are recognized, which is really nice," the official website of Cricket South Africa (CSA) quoted Erasmus as saying.

Erasmus, who will become the 18th umpire to reach 100 ODIs, and his family has sacrificed a lot to get to where he is, and he is grateful for the support they have offered along the way.

"It was challenging when I started because of the amount of travel, so I'm extremely grateful to my wife Adele, who left her job to be both mum and dad for our twin boys," he said. "They've all been fantastic and extremely supportive, especially her.

"And now in Covid times where I've been in a bubble for six weeks, she's alone for Christmas, so it's been tough at times. But umpiring has given us so many opportunities. We've travelled the whole world as a family, so there have been more good things than bad," he added.

Erasmus is widely recognized as one of the best umpires in the world. Although pleased to hear those words, he admits it does come with responsibility.

"It's nice to hear those things," he adds. "But it's two-fold because now when you get to ground there's a certain level of respect, but at the same time, there's a certain level of expectation. That obviously then puts a little bit more pressure on you because we all have pride in our performance," said Erasmus. (ANI)

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