October 27, 2020

The Umpires strike back


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Billy Doctrove, an ICC Elite Umpire, spoke about exactly what it takes to be a good cricket umpire

The Cayman Islands Cricket Association, together with the Cayman Islands Cricket Umpires Association held a Cricket Seminar and Umpires Workshop at the John Gray High School Hall.

The workshop was hosted by Billy Doctrove an International Cricket Council’s Elite Umpire, who had flown all the way from Dominica.

The audience had come to hear Mr. Doctrove speak on the art and science of umpiring, and topics included new playing conditions and laws, and the qualities needed to be a top class umpire.

Sydney Moore, Secretary of the Cayman Islands Cricket Umpires Association said: “We have just become a full member of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association WICUA,

“And we want to motivate local umpires, encouraging them to continue to gain a full umpires qualification,”
he said.

“This seminar is aimed at encouraging young umpires and cricketers to see umpiring as a career path,” he added.

Technical director of the Cayman Islands Cricket Association “Coach” Theo Cuffy said: “This visit from an international umpire is a credit to our local umpires association- the CICUA

“We are very pleased that Billy Doctrove could find time in his busy schedule to be here with us. His presence affords us the opportunity to widen our knowledge in the laws and regulations of cricket, and his life story shows us that cricket officiating can be used as a career opportunity.”

Mr. Doctrove began his presentation by asking the audience: “If you had to think of one quality the umpires need, what would it be?”

Answers coming back included,  “Good eyesight, “A high level of consistency,” and “high level of fitness”.

“That last answer is critical. You need to be in good physical condition, because when you get tired the first thing to go is your concentration,” he said.

Another answer suggested by  Mr. Doctrove was “honesty,” and gave the example of an umpire disallowing a catch because he favoured the batsman. But being completely honest and impartial as an umpire was not something that could be easily switched on and switched off, it had to be cultivated in everyday life.

“You have to groom yourself to be honest and impartial in everyday life, and transfer it to the cricket pitch. You cannot do it the other way round,” he said.

Another very important quality was the ability to ‘let go’ of a mistake, and not have it on your mind for too long, as it will affect an umpire’s concentration. Another quality was the ability to be “Thick Skinned,” “You have to be prepared to be called names,” he said.

Confidence in your own abilities was also an important umpire’s characteristic, Mr. Doctrove said, as he cited an example of an umpire who was known to be good with low-level matches, but went to pieces during an important international game. When asked why he replied: “ ‘There were too many big names.’”

“You have to have a sense of humour too, to be able to laugh at yourself. Common sense too, – something no book will tell you,” was another piece of sound advice.

“As an umpire you have to prepare properly for the game. Get a good night’s rest beforehand- it’s no good ‘bobbing and weaving’ because you went partying before the game,” he said.


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