(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)
New Delhi, Oct 27: Chris Broad on Saturday became only the second member of the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees to reach 300 ODIs when he walked out for the toss in the third match between India and the West Indies.
Even though Broad made his ODI debut as an official in Auckland in 2004, 11 years after Ranjan Madugalle refereed in his opening match in Karachi, the Englishman now trails the Sri Lankan by only 36 ODIs.
Jeff Crowe of New Zealand is third on the list with 270 ODIs, while former India fast bowler Javagal Srinath has officiated in 212 ODIs. Roshan Mahanama retired in 2015 after refereeing in 222 ODIs.
Broad is presently sitting on 98 Tests and will become the second referee after Madugalle to complete a unique double by reaching the 100-Test mark in the second Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Wellington in March 2019. Madugalle also leads Broad 92-89 on a head-to-head in T20Is.
A stylish left-handed top-order batsman during his playing days, Broad became an elite match referee in 2004, a year after refereeing in his maiden Test in Hamilton, and has since refereed in all the ICC Cricket World Cups.
"I feel honoured and incredibly fortunate to be actively involved with the game for such a long period," remarked Broad, adding: "300 is not a number for me but a story of all those who have made contributions and sacrifices so that I can live my dreams and achieve my objectives. "On top of that list is my immediate family, and followed by colleagues in the ECB and ICC, and all my mates in the match officials' panel."
To mark the occasion, a memento was presented to Broad before the start of the match. He played 25 Tests and 34 ODIs for England between 1984 and 1989, scoring 1661 and 1361 runs, respectively. In 1986-87, he hit three successive centuries in an Ashes series to equal Jack Hobbs and Wally Hammond's record.
Besides 300 ODIs, Broad has also refereed in 98 Tests and 89 T20Is. He will complete his century of Tests in the second Test between New Zealand and Bangladesh in Wellington in March 2019.
Broad's son Stuart is a regular member of the England Test side, having taken 433 wickets in 123 matches. He also played in 121 ODIs and 56 T20Is, taking 121 and 55 wickets, respectively.