Look, listen and learn
On the evening of Tuesday August 24 the ACO welcomed the arrival of the first neutral Test officials to be officiating at Lord’s from the same nationality: Tony Hill, Steve Davis and Billy Bowden were all at Lord’s to speak to and entertain ACO members.
It was a small affair with 35 ACO members present. The ECB Boardroom was comfortably filled and our two MC’s (our very own Glyn Pearson and Pierre Tartari) introduced our guests for the evening who were smartly dressed in their ICC blazers and shirts as the ACO members waited intently to hear their words of wisdom.
The event began with questions that had been assembled by the ACO executives earlier in the day. The questions stirred the officials' memories of the past and gave the attendees a clear insight into what it would be like to be part of the ICC Elite Panel.
Following this, a 30-minute break was called for our guests and ACO members to grab refreshments. The members were then given the opportunity to have a one on one chat with their idols and also an opportunity to have their photo taken.
The Q&A resumed and members of the audience were invited to ask their questions. Contemporary issues were raised and also questions about the Laws. The last question was one to remember: Billy Bowden was asked by one of the ACO members ‘what was the best advice that he had ever been given’ to which he replied ‘Look, listen and learn’.
Quotes from ACO members:
"I thought it was a very enjoyable evening and a good insight into the world of Test match umpiring. Of particular interest was the attitude shown towards the new referral system and how much in favour all three umpires were, especially when it comes to getting decision right More opportunities of this nature would be hugely welcomed!"
"I thought that the evening was excellent, an inspirational event for recreational umpires"
"This was a unique opportunity to meet and listen to three admired and highly respected Umpires from the Elite panel. Their responses were candid, humorous and thought-provoking. A big thank-you to ECB ACO for organising this event"