A technician raises his finger… on the cricket field

Richard Jones is an NHS Dental technician working at Leeds dental hospital, working with undergraduate and postgraduate dental students and dentists up to consultant level on prosthodontic dentistry.

 Richard Jones and his nephew (aged 15) in their umpiring whites.

Two cricket umpires

He has been a technician in the Leeds Trust for 38 years and a cricket umpire for 28 years. Here he tells us why you to should become a cricket umpire.

Imagine, if you will, a cricket umpire. Probably you will think of an older man, white, middle class, glasses, hearing aid, white coat and trilby hat. Very much a stereotype these days, I’m glad to say. These days, the cricket umpire is a much younger and professional person than those old images. Just google “Simon Taufel”, “Susan Redfearn” or “Richard Kettleborough” to see the new younger breed of official.

So, you are mildly interested at this stage and are continuing to read. You like cricket, but you don’t know how to get involved, or what it involves. Well, like any other hobby, it takes time. Cricket umpires are at a premium. There aren’t many of us out there. So, consequently, you will be as busy as you want to be. I know umpires who umpire every evening and all weekend, whilst others limit themselves to just one day. It’s your choice.

How do you start? You need to get in touch with Prof John Chartres on jandjchartres@btinternet.com in the first instance. You will then be invited to a cricket umpires course, generally in the winter months over one weekend. There, you will be taught the laws of cricket, and some of the fieldcraft.

Following qualification, you will stand with experienced umpires who will look after you, show you tips and tricks, and help you develop. You will get observations and assessments to help you improve and then the world is your oyster. Your only limitation is yourself. If you only want to do local leagues on a Saturday, or you aspire to stand in test matches, you can go as far as you wish, and your ability allows.

You will meet a great group of people (your fellow umpires) and many a night the “What if’s” and the “I had a….stories” flow to and fro.

Membership of the Association of Cricket Officials brings its own benefits. You will be fully insured, there is a newsletter, and an online shop for merchandise and clothing.

Cricket umpires are remunerated for their time, and an average umpire will earn an extra £1500 a year from their activities, depending on their commitment.

You will have noticed that this article is gender neutral. Not for any political correctness, but because umpiring is open to all, young, old, male, female. For the youth, being a cricket umpire is a great addition to the CV, for the older person, it’s a great hobby.

So, what are you waiting for? Come and join us and become another cricket official, outstanding in their field!
Written by Richard Jones

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