President pledges more for umpires

Jamaica Sports article.

Kingston, Jamaica - West Indies Cricket Board President, Dave Cameron has promised more training for local and regional umpires while commending them for the 'utterly thankless job' they do.

Cameron was speaking at the Annual Awards Dinner and Function of the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association at the Rex Nettleford Hall Multi-Purpose Room at the University of the West Indies Mona on Saturday December 14th.

Cameron bemoaned the fact that only the mistakes made but umpires get highlighted in the media, while the occasions where the decisions made are 'top drawer' are frequently overlooked.

In citing an example from the recent tour of India by the West Indies, the President said, "I can call on the example recently from the West Indies versus India One-Day Series. India opener Shikkar Dhawan drove at a ball from Ravi Rampaul and there was a noise. There was upheaval in the commentary box that Dhawan was out. They were sure that the noise emanated from bat hitting ball.

"The commentators ...proceeded to commence their usual derision. They were stopped cold in their tracks when the replays  showed that the ball passed close to the bat without hitting it and the noise came from the bat hitting the ground.

"Such impeccable decisions are not news, they do not get a mention in match reports or get featured on plays of the day. It is a tough job being an umpire - utterly thankless," he opined.

Clearly championing the cause of the umpires, Cameron called for more respect to be given to the body - "It is time that we treat with umpiring, on the field and in the boardroom, formally and casually, with the dignity, with the respect and with the seriousness that the profession deserves."

"The fact that the West Indies has full time career umpires is an indication that as the sport grows, the supporting structure must be in place to maintain and improve the standards of cricket. There is now a career opportunity for umpires which require aspirants to train, study and make it a fulfilling livelihood."

He indicated that the Board of Directors unanimously approved the Training Programme for Umpires and Referees at their last meeting which is a clear signal of the 'high esteem' in which they were being held.

"While the training programme will be dependent on the availability of funding we will strive to ensure the funds are provided and we work in conjunction with the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association, the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association and all other territorial umpires associations to allow for the highest quality of training and information sharing to enhance and upgrade the skills and expertise of all umpires," he promised.

Awards handed out at the function included: Rookie Umpire of the Year, Zone Umpire of the Year, Most Outstanding Junior Umpire and Most Outstanding Umpire.

The East Zone Rookie of the Year went to Randolph Nelson, Michael Rowe copped the award for Central Zone, Winston Richards for Northern Zone and Christopher Miller for West Zone.

Zone Umpire of the Year went to, Patrick Gustard for Central Zone, Athol Hamilton for East Zone, Collin Bryan for Northern Zone and Rushane Samuels for West Zone.

Double awardees were, Rushane Samuels, who in addition to his Zone Umpire award also received the Thomas Wilson Trophy for the Most Outstanding Junior Umpire and Patrick Gustard who received the Lyndon Wright Trophy for Most Outstanding Umpire to go along with his Central Zone Award.

Gifford Anderson who has stood as an umpire for 48 years received a special Long Service Award.

First Published On Jamaica Sports.

Wed, 12/18/2013 - 09:39