London, Aug 15:
Chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle became the first to reach the 150-mark in Tests when he took the field to officiate in the fifth and final Test between England and India at The Oval here Friday.
A former Sri Lanka captain, who was a mainstay during his nation’s formative years in the Test arena, Madugalle represented his country in 21 Tests and 63 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) between 1979 and 1988, in which he scored 1,029 and 950 runs, respectively.
Following his retirement, he soon made the transition to refereeing and marked his debut in the Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Karachi.
“It is a huge honour for me to reach this landmark in my career and I am extremely proud and privileged to be the first person to do so,” said Madugalle.
“It is impossible for me to select a highlight from that time, if I’m honest, because I have had many happy memories. I have approached every series and every Test match in the exact same manner and I have learned a lot working across the world over the years.
“Without strong support bases in your personal life, it would not be possible to fulfil your ambitions professionally and I would like to thank my family, friends and the match officials community for their support. I would also like to thank the ICC for its encouragement over the years,” he said.
Paying tribute to Madugalle on reaching his 150th Test, ICC’s senior umpires and referees manager, Vince Van Der Bijl, said: “Ranjan is a consummate professional match referee and deeply respected by all involved in the game. His energy levels, enjoyment, match preparation, attention to detail and dedicated service to cricket remain as high now after 150 officiated Tests as ever. The global match official community salutes you, Ranjan, on your 150th Test – enjoy.”