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A bright future

Posted in ECB ACO

I started playing cricket when I was about five years old using a cut off bat of my dad's which my grandpa sawed off and shaped.

Ever since I have loved the game whether I've been playing, watching, scoring and now umpiring.

In the winter I asked Terry Francis if I could sit the umpire's course. I'd seen my dad do it before and had looked through his file on the laws. I was surprised at how much I learnt on the course and it was great chatting with the umpires as usually I'd only seen them when I was playing and never really spoken to them.

They were good fun even though they called me a swot for answering all the questions.

When I passed the exam I was really pleased and then really surprised to find that I might have been the youngest.

It was a huge honour for me to be invited to Lord's to be presented with my certificate by ECB's Nick Cousins and to meet Ben Francis who has the job of promoting young officials.

We had a fantastic tour and I saw the Ashes Urn and sat in Freddie Flintoff's favourite chair in the home dressing room. The best part of the day was the Hawkeye demonstration in the Indoor School. It was so cool with the technology able to analyse the batting and bowling really easily.

Since that day, I've been mentioned in my school newsletter and this month, Wisden Cricketer magazine did a little piece too. But the best bit by far was being asked to umpire an Essex County under-ten boys' match last Sunday at Chigwell School where I stood with Bill Taylor and was paid, like a true umpire.

Bill was great and gave me a few thumbs up to support me in the game and I really enjoyed it.

Mum says I should say a big thank you to Terry and Jonathon Glynn who ran the course at Wanstead and who have supported me fully throughout and will keep an eye on me in the future. They were brilliant as were all the other umpires who encouraged me.