February 8, 2008

Germany

'Schiedsrichter' - German for 'umpire'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Paul Baldwin, the England-born German umpire, has steadily climbed the rungs and will officiate in the upcoming Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia. KR Nayar of the Gulf Times caught up with him in during the ICC Intercontinetal Cup in Sharjah.

Just before stepping out for the match, a few players asked him: "Do people play cricket in Germany?" Baldwin's prompt answer shocked them. "We have 70 teams playing every weekend and are already in the World League Division five."

Baldwin went on to impress everyone with his shrewd decision-making skills. "I was born in England. My parents were with the British forces and I moved to Germany when I was 17. I've never been to England since then," said the 34-year-old umpire who has also acted in two German movies.

How did he land up as an umpire? "I was the captain of my team, not because I was a good player, but as someone who used to do the rounds to make sure 11 players were on the bus at the right time. During matches, I also used to umpire. In fact, I once gave a decision which was disgusting," he revealed sheepishly.

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Posted by Savi on (May 25, 2008, 8:31 GMT)

It's great to see some new countries getting interested in cricket like Germany, and well done to Paul Baldwin! I'd really love to see a German cricket team - viel Gluck fur die deutscher mannschaft, ich bin sehr erregt.

Posted by Vetch on (May 21, 2008, 7:00 GMT)

Samy: Allemagne? I don't think so - probably Germany. I guess most of German cricket teams speak English among themselves :)

And I wish Paul Baldwin AND the German team all the very best! Because if they are successful, then perhaps cricket will be shown on German TV, and then I definitely will get a TV set, something I have been avoiding for about 20 years now. :)

Posted by Madawaj on (February 29, 2008, 10:33 GMT)

Paul Baldwin is a person that needs to be seen more of. He has taken up his role as an umpire and received international status. If all emerging nations had the support of someone like him then cricket would find itself being projected on a wider scale. I am the captain of his club team in Germany and his continuous support with the Club is paramount. He has supported me endlessly and I wish him all the luck for his future umpiring challenges. I hope to be part of the Germany squad for the 2008 World League 5 and I think with the speed of development in this country we certainly wont let anyone down.

Posted by Fat_Bulborbs (Brisbane) on (February 10, 2008, 7:18 GMT)

I agree with Aditya, more developing nations are great for cricket and the ICC. Developing the game in Europe is not only great for the enormous financial potential, but also balances out the ICC administration from being too BCCI-central.

Posted by Samy on (February 9, 2008, 16:51 GMT)

It's good to see that umpires from non-Test playing nations are making it to ICC events. Herr Baldwin can be a role-model for umpires from other non-test playing teams. Germany will probably make it to WC 2015 along with China and Holland. Wonder what they'll call themselves- Deutschland, Germany or Allemagne.

Posted by Dan Kiesel on (February 9, 2008, 16:39 GMT)

Having seen Paul Baldwin in different countries umpyering,i was very impressed from his shiedsrichtering and him as a real GENTLEMAN. We all wish Paul the very best in Malesia,and beyond.

Posted by Dhushan on (February 8, 2008, 16:55 GMT)

PaulBaldwin has been doing excellent work over the past few years in Germany and we are all extremely proud of the way he has supported - and continues to support - the German cause! I am certain that every single cricketer in Germany wishes him all the very best in Malaysia. We┬┤re looking forward to seeing Paul at the very top very soon. Howzat??

Posted by Aditya Mookerjee on (February 8, 2008, 16:22 GMT)

I look forward to the emergence of nations like Germany, with great anticipation. Indeed there are not a few nations, where skillful teams can develop. The nature of the game being what it is, the whole setup of administration will become like the United Nations, if a lot many more nations become regular members of the ICC. Also, the functioning of the ICC will depend less on the BCCI.

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