Veteran South Africa umpire Marais Erasmus said he would be retiring from his international umpiring career after the ongoing Test series between New Zealand and Australia. Erasmus had played as a seam-bowling all-rounder for Boland in South Africa’s domestic cricket circuit, before transitioning as an umpire at the international level since 2006. As of now, he umpired in 80 Tests, 124 ODIs and 43 T20Is played by men, as well as in 18 women's T20Is, and being the TV umpire in 131 men's internationals across the formats. NZ vs AUS 1st Test 2024: Steve Smith Pushes for Rule Reform, Urges Intervention on Leg-Side Bouncers.

"I'll miss the privileges and the travelling. But I've had enough of being away and living outside of my comfort zone. I think having a more boring life is what I'm looking for. I decided in October last year and I informed the ICC that I would finish my contract in April and that would be that," Erasmus told Cricbuzz.

Erasmus won the ICC Umpire of the Year award thrice — in 2016, 2017, and 2021, leveling alongside Richard Kettleborough and Aleem Dar in a list topped by Simon Taufel, who got the honour five times. He joined the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires from 2010.

Asked about his plans after retiring from international umpiring, Erasmus said, "For the first couple of months I'm just going to take the winter off. We have some travel planned domestically, and from September I'll be in the hands of CSA.

"We still need to finalise how they want to use me. I'll umpire in domestic cricket next season and play a mentoring role. I might go to the Khaya Majola Week (a schools event) or the club championships, and I'll be watching and advising umpires."

Erasmus also spoke about what he would miss the most about being an umpire in international cricket. "The challenge of the job, being in that moment of trying to get it right. That's always something special and tough, and it's exhilarating when you have a good game.

"There's lots of camaraderie, because we're all in it together even though there's competition between the guys. We all understand the highs and the lows, and that when someone is going through a rough period you need to support him because your turn will come. Neil Wagner Spotted Fielding During NZ vs AUS 1st Test 2024 Despite Having Announced Retirement From International Cricket (Watch Video).

"To have seen the best players and been to the iconic venues and World Cups is a massive privilege. It's been quite a journey from being a schoolboy who kept score while watching Eddie Barlow play at Newlands."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 29, 2024 01:44 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website