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IND vs SA 2021-22, 1st ODI: Marais Erasmus to become 3rd South African umpire to officiate in 100 ODIs

Marais Erasmus will be officiating in the opening ODI between India and South Africa. It will be his 100th ODI. He will become the third South African to do so.

India vs South Africa, IND vs SA 2021-22, 1st ODI: Marais Erasmus to become 3rd South African umpire to officiate in 100 ODIs-ayh
Paarl, First Published Jan 19, 2022, 12:41 PM IST

On Wednesday, India and South Africa play in the opening One-Day International (ODI) at Boland Park in Paarl. South African umpire Marais Erasmus will be officiating in the same. It would be his 100th ODI in charge, while he will be becoming the third South African to have done so after Rudi Koertzen and David Orchard.

Erasmus is a part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Panel of the Umpires and is undoubtedly one of the best to officiate in the sport. As of now, Koertzen holds the record from SA of officiating in 209 ODIs between 1992 and 2010, while Orchard officiated in 107 ODIs. The world record lies with Pakistan's Aleem Dar (211 ODIs and counting).

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"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 recognised, which is nice," 57-year-old Erasmus told Cricket South Africa (CSA), who has also officiated in 70 Tests, 35 T20Is and 18 Women's T20Is.

"When you start, you never look that far ahead. It's a new thing, and you try to enjoy those moments, which is what I've done. But, as you get on to the third, fourth, and fifth year, you naturally think about reaching 50 or whatever landmark is closest. So, getting 100 is fantastic, but it's not part of the goal-setting. You want to be there and do the best job you possibly can," Erasmus added.

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Erasmus will also become the 18th umpire in the world to officiate in 100 ODIs. While he loves doing his job, he admitted that he is under pressure to deliver with a good performance and that all umpires take pride in getting the job done perfectly. He also acknowledged that Test cricket is the most rigid format to officiate as an umpire.

"With the limited-overs, if you have a bad day, you know you don't have to be on the field tomorrow, but with a Test, you know you have to come back, and that is just psychologically challenging, especially if you have a bad start. You know it can be a long five days. They all bring different challenges, the different formats, but I've enjoyed everything about international cricket so far. I'm motivated to continue. I'm still keen to do another two or three years," Erasmus concluded.

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