Erasmus set for Ashes honour

2010-11-09 12:17
Marais Erasmus (File)
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - South Africa’s Marais Erasmus is about to earn recognition for an encouragingly swift rise through the international umpiring ranks with a standing role in the Ashes series.

My understanding is that Erasmus, 46, will be an on-field presence in two matches of the keenly-awaited five-Test series between old foes Australia and England, which begins in Brisbane on November 25.

Although the umpiring appointments for the tradition-steeped series are not yet official, impeccable sources have indicated that the George-born former Boland seamer and useful lower-order batsman will be rewarded for his “reassuring on-field demeanour” and consistency recently.

It will be a feather in Erasmus’s cap because he has only stood previously in three Tests and 23 one-day internationals.

He has umpired in all three of the ODIs between Australia and Sri Lanka this month, with the visitors upsetting the Aussies 2-1 – twice in tandem with Paul Reiffel, another seam bowler of renown with no shortage of caps for Australia before he made the move into officiating.

Erasmus played 53 first-class games for Boland between 1988 and 1997, taking 131 wickets at 28.18 and also being credited with a century.

He was promoted to the ICC’s International Panel of Umpires in August 2008, and his coming to prominence is nicely timed from a South African perspective, considering that Rudi Koertzen retired in July after lengthy and distinguished service on the Elite Panel.

Koertzen, 61, stood in 108 Tests, a record 209 ODIs and 14 Twenty20 internationals.

*The Decision Review System will be use during the Ashes, often making life a little easier for the umpires standing in high-stakes series.

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