Gatting welcomes officials
Mike Gatting, the ECB’s managing director cricket partnerships, has outlined his vision to revamp the umpires and scorers’ association.
The former England captain is five weeks into his new role, which was created to help forge links from grass roots level to the professional arena - below international level.
That remit covers the 10,000 officials around the country, most of whom are members of the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers, a long-established and independent body; while the ECB Officials Association continues to increase membership itself.
Gatting is keen to push through an initiative to bring umpires and scorers under the ECB banner, forming a new organisation called the Association of Cricket Officials.
“My job is about partnerships and this is a huge one. We would love the ACU&S members to come on board,” said Gatting.
“We would like them to become part of the family so we can help them do what they would like to do.
“We want to be united. The ACU&S has built the foundations and we want to take it forward because we have the resources, money and backing.
“We have the tools to go forward. We have accredited courses in place with new developments to help them become better umpires.
“We want to be the best body in the world."
Gatting is keen to encourage more people to take up umpiring - there is a shortage in many leagues around the country - by stressing that it is an enjoyable role.
He is also planning to introduce coaching courses that use technology already in use at the highest level.
“There has been an increase of about 25 per cent in participation round the country in the last two or three years so we are going to need more officials,” he added.
“It is not about pushing people into becoming Test umpires; it is about helping them to be what they want to be. If they want to be a village green umpire then they can and we will help them.
“They will be able to see a DVD where there is footage they can watch and then make up their own minds.
“At the bottom there might be something that then tells you ‘you got it right’ or ‘you got it wrong’. Things that are being promoted at international level might just filter down.
“Hopefully there are things out there that will make being an umpire and learning about the game more enjoyable.
"The ACU&S hasn’t got the resources to push on with the new technology that is coming in and they haven’t got the man-power to go forward with better coaching methods.
“There is no set budget as yet but we think this is the right thing to do so it is a must-have.”
ACU&S members will vote on the proposals on November 14. The results are expected within a month.