January 11, 2003

Somerset Cricket Development Officer warns of countywide umpire shortage

There is going to be a desperate shortage of cricket umpires in the recreational game when the 2003 season gets underway, according to Somerset Cricket Development Officer Andrew Moulding, and at the moment he is struggling to rectify the situation.

Mr Moulding told me: "We wanted to go to the clubs and get them to encourage their former players to become umpires, but at the moment we don't have anybody who is able to do the training. There is a real shortage of trainers for umpires.

However the Somerset Cricket Development Officer has come up with a couple of possible solutions. He told me: "Peter Robinson and myself are looking into the possibility of using an ex-professional cricketer to do the training, or another way forward may be to use one of the trainers from the Bristol and District Umpires Association."

Mr Moulding is also prepared to arrange for someone to be trained who could then go onto train the umpires.

He continued: "We are actively trying to recruit people to become umpires, and we are also looking people who might become trainers. Men or women are welcome to apply and if there is anybody who feels they want to become involved with training they should contact me at the Centre of Excellence on 01823 352266."

Meanwhile a large number of youngsters enjoyed the cricket `taster' sessions that were run by Westlands Cricket Club at Yeovil over the Christmas holidays.

Until recently there was little junior club cricket in Yeovil, but as a result of this initiative there are now more opportunities for young cricket players in the town.

Andrew Moulding told me: "Westlands CC, who currently play in the Bristol and Somerset division of the Premier League have now entered youth teams in the Under 12,13 and 16 age groups and have also got two players who are going on an ECB Level One coaching which is all very good news."

He concluded: " We are absolutely delighted with this development for young cricketers in the Yeovil area which will create strong links between the schools and Westlands CC and provide coaching and competition for a wide range of young cricketers."