Talking to men in white coats
David, congratulations on your appointment for the historical Eton versus Harrow fixture at Lord’s; did you enjoy your day at the home of cricket?
Firstly I would say it was completely out of the blue when I got the letter from Kate Matheve at the MCC office inviting me to stand in the match. I was delighted when I arrived at Lord's and met David Ludlow from Warwickshire, my colleague for the day, who too was surprised to receive the invitation. We would both be standing at Lord's for the first time.
It was a fantastic day. Kate and the whole of the staff at Lords made us so welcome. We were introduced to all the people we needed to know for the day to run smoothly.
Have you been to Lord’s before?
I have been to Lord's before to sit on the original ECB ACO Board and to watch internationals and Devon; but to umpire there was a dream come true.
What was the end result?
It was a marvellous game which ebbed and flowed. Harrow were chasing 205 to win in 55 overs and eventually won by five wickets with three overs to spare.
We played on the edge of the square near the Mound Stand, where the spectators were housed. I am told there was a crowd of between two and three thousand and the atmosphere created by the boys in the crowd was unbelievable. David and I worked as a team and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
How were the spectators?
The reception we received from the members and the Eton and Harrow supporters thronged in the Long Room was a marvellous end to a wonderful day.
David tell us a little about your history officiating?
I have been umpiring for 20 years in Devon and have umpired in the Devon Premier League for the last 12 years. During that time I have stood in Minor Counties games and many Twenty20 games involving Devon. These include games against Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire, Gloucester and Kenya, who were in Devon warming up for the ICC tournament. All of these attracted big crowds but nothing can compare with umpiring at the spiritual Home of Cricket.
I would have been umpiring Exeter v Budleigh in the Devon Premier League that Saturday .I am afraid on this occasion the Devon Premier League had to take second place!!
You also work with ECB as Chairman of the Devon ACO. What do benefits do you see having your Association aligned to the ECB ACO?
I am Chairman of the Devon ACO and was fortunate enough to be asked to sit on the original ECB ACO Board. Devon was keen to promote the opportunity for umpires 'from the sticks’ to have the chance to umpire further afield in top level games - and even more important, that there should be a pathway for younger umpires who the have desire and the ability to progress to the top.
I am delighted that ECB ACO has made rapid strides in this direction. I would encourage every club umpire and scorer to join their local ACO. The benefits, especially the Insurance cover, are very important but it will enable you to keep up to date with all Law changes, ECB directives and local initiatives. Meeting like-minded people at local meetings and being involved in what is going on in your county will help you to get a lot more enjoyment out of your involvement in cricket.
Thanks for your time David; finally what bit of advice would you give to a young person wanting to become a cricket official?
For younger people , in particular, get involved now for I genuinely believe there will be the opportunity for the right people to progress right to the top of our great game.
David was speaking to Sam Greaves following the Eton vs Harrow fixture at Lord’s on June 26