London: Former New Zealand cricketer-turned-umpire Chris Gaffaney will stand in his 50th men’s Test when England take on Australia in the second match of the Ashes 2023 series at Lord’s from Wednesday.
Gaffaney will become only the second New Zealand umpire to reach the half-century mark after Billy Bowden, who stood in 84 Tests.
Gaffaney has also officiated in 77 ODIs and 43 T20Is and was part of the panels that officiated in the ICC Men’s Champions Trophy in 2017, the Men’s Cricket World Cups in 2015 and 2019, as well as the ICC Men’s T20 World Cups in 2016, 2021 and 2022.
His first Test as an umpire was in Harare in 2014 (Zimbabwe vs South Africa) and he has been part of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires since 2015.
Gaffaney said he was thrilled to be reaching the milestone at Lord’s.
“It’s a tremendous honour to reach 50 Tests and it is made even more special since it will be at the home of cricket. I feel very lucky,” Chris Gaffaney was quoted as saying in a release by ICC on Tuesday.
“To be only the second New Zealander in the history of the game to do this is something I’m very proud of. I never thought I’d do one, let alone 50.
“None of it would have been possible without my incredible wife Sarah who has stuck with me through the highs and lows and been my biggest supporter,” he said.
“I’d like to thank Rodger McHarg who was my first umpire manager at NZ Cricket. When I took my first steps into umpiring, he was always there to encourage, help and direct me on the path on which I walk today.
“Also massive thanks to all my umpiring colleagues. Umpiring is an extremely challenging job which is made all the more enjoyable with the quality people I’ve had the privilege of working with. Thanks, team!”
ICC Manager of Umpires and Referees, Sean Easey, congratulated Gaffaney on reaching the landmark.
“Chris is a respected member of the team and has been on our elite panel for close to a decade. An achievement like this is special and a credit to his consistently strong performances,” Sean Easey was quoted as saying in the release.
“Hopefully this Test milestone is just one of many to come. On behalf of the ICC, I congratulate him for reaching 50 Tests and wish him all the best for the future,” he said.