Madugalle made his debut as a match referee in a Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Karachi in 1993. © Getty Images

Madugalle made his debut as a match referee in a Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Karachi in 1993. © Getty Images

Ranjan Madugalle, the chief match referee of the International Cricket Council, became the first member of the Elite Panel of ICC match referees to officiate in 150 Test matches when he took the field for the fifth and final Test between England and India at The Oval on Friday (August 15).

The former Sri Lanka skipper had played in 21 Tests and 62 One-Day Internationals before assuming the role of a match referee in 1993.

“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.”

Madugalle made his debut as a match referee in a Test between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in Karachi in 1993.

“There was a time when it seemed that the only avenue for past players to stay involved in the game was in the media,” added Madugalle. “But it is wonderful to see so many opportunities nowadays in terms of areas such as coaching, management and officiating.
“The game of cricket has given me an enormous amount – both as a player and in later years as a match official – and I feel especially lucky to have worked across the transition from amateurism to professionalism with some incredible players, officials and administrators in that time.”

Vince Van Der Bijl, ICC’s Senior Umpires & Referees Manager, lauded Madugalle for his professionalism. “Ranjan is a consummate professional match referee and deeply respected by all involved in the game,” said van Der Bijl. “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.”