Australians Simon Fry and John Ward have retired from elite umpiring, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Friday (17th April).
South Australia's Fry officiated in 100 first-class, 130 List-A and 93 Twenty20 men's matches and won the CA Umpire Award four times in a career spanning 20 seasons.
On the other hand, Victorian umpire Ward, who called time on his career after 19 seasons in the elite ranks, stood in 32 white-ball internationals, in a total of 87 first-class, 84 List-A and 117 T20 matches.
"Never would I have thought that a chance meeting with a former team-mate would lead to a twenty-year career in the game that I love. I believe the time is right to step aside and for someone else to experience the same opportunities, challenges and sense of satisfaction that I have enjoyed," Fry said.
"I feel fortunate to have made many wonderful friendships which I will treasure forever. I wish to thank the SACA, CA and the ICC for their support throughout my career. Most importantly, I thank my wife Rachel, our children and our families for their encouragement and support over the years," he added.
Fry and Ward have enjoyed distinguished careers at the international and domestic level. The pair stood in their final match together, in the Marsh Sheffield Shield at Blundstone Arena in March.
"I feel very fortunate to have umpired cricket at this level for so long. It has been a privilege. The relationships I've developed with on-field colleagues, match referees, CA staff and players have been the highlight for me," Ward said.
"My retirement creates an opportunity for someone else to experience this high-performance environment and I hope they enjoy it as much as I did."
Peter Roach, CA Head of Cricket Operations, thanked both retiring umpires on behalf of the Australian cricket fraternity.
"We extend our congratulations and thanks to both Simon and John on their outstanding contributions to umpiring in Australia," Roach said.
"Throughout their careers, Simon and John have demonstrated outstanding skill and leadership. Both depart the umpiring ranks at the top of their craft and we wish them well in their retirement," he added.