New Zealand news July 18, 2014

Fulton eyes career as rugby referee

ESPNcricinfo staff

New Zealand opener Peter Fulton has made moves to pursue a post-cricket career as a rugby referee after missing out on a central contract this year. Fulton, 35, was cut from New Zealand's contract list last week after a disappointing year in which he managed only 270 Test runs at 19.28 and lost his place in the team during the tour of West Indies in June.

"I'm obviously disappointed not to get a contract, but I had plenty of opportunities,'' Fulton told The Press. ''I had plenty of opportunities and I didn't take them. That's what it comes down to. When I look back, I had those two Tests against India and the first one against West Indies. If I'd scored then, then we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

''When you're closer to the end of your career than the start and you run out of chances, that's not a good thing. Reading between the lines, I think that's probably it for me, but you never say never.''

Although Fulton plans to keep playing first-class cricket for Canterbury for as long as he can, he has already made enquiries about moving into refereeing when his cricket career ends. In his younger days, Fulton played rugby to a high level and reached the Canterbury Colts team before choosing cricket over rugby.

"The last couple of years I've been thinking about it and it's just been a matter of finding the time to do it, which has been a bit hard when you're still playing cricket," Fulton told the New Zealand Herald. "But it's something I'm now starting to look more seriously at.

"I made some enquiries at the start of this winter, but it was just going to be a bit hard to fit in. So hopefully next winter I can get into it. I understand the game pretty well and always have plenty of advice to give the referees, so I guess it's a bit of a case of put up or shut up."

Fulton said if he was to get into refereeing, he would be aiming to progress to a point where he could officiate in international matches.

"If I'm going to do it, I guess it's like most things I've done with my sporting career - I want to try to do them as well as I can and go as high as I can," he said. "I'm under no illusions as to it being tougher than it looks, but it's definitely something I'd be committed to."

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  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut. Ever heard of Glenn Jackson?

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    Would be nice to think that Fulton may also join the cricketing umpire ranks over the summer as well, so he could be the second New Zealander behind the late Eric Tindill who played Test cricket as well as refereed Test rugby and umpired Test cricket. If he did that triple feat, Fulton would still be behind Tindill on account that the latter also played Test rugby as well!

  • paul on July 19, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    id blow the whistle on that for slow around the field for mine.

  • Blake on July 19, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Try and find a player from another country who is as humble as a kiwi cricketer. Fulton admits he was given enough chances, whereas I can think of countless players from around the world (most recently, Kamran Akmal) who moan about how they were treated unfairly and weren't given enough chances. I respect this man for taking it on the chin and being honest. Good luck to him.

    @kiwicricketnut - that is a very good point about players 35+ with no potential of reaching the international scene possibly holding back younger players. Fortunately for Fulton, as you said, Cantebury are really light on batting this season and will need him. Good observation.

  • joe on July 19, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    Yep sorry to say but I hope never to see peter in the blackcaps eveer again was hever in favour of his selection at anytime he just didnt look right playing at the International level. Hope he passes on his experience to others but not at the expense of a young up and commer. Cheers

  • Jon on July 19, 2014, 1:20 GMT

    I can't wait to see 6ft 6" Fulton telling off an English halfback while reffing a match at Eden park, where he scored 2 centuries in a test against Anderson, Finn, Swann, Broad not so long ago.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    If he gets to rep level, he would have to be the tallest rugby referee

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut Yes he's destined to never touch the BCs side again, but if he's performing for Canterbury you also have to consider that of the young players going through the first class system you want them playing as high level of cricket as possible to bridge the gap between domestic and international cricket.

  • Dummy4 on July 18, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    Wow Peter you really are a sucker for punishment. Two of the toughest, most criticized roles in sport - being an opener for the Black Caps, and being a rugby referee. Wish you the best of luck, it would be great to see you running around the rugby field.

  • jared on July 18, 2014, 5:57 GMT

    at 35 he might be leaving it a bit late for a professional reffing career, i would imagine it would take a while to rise through the referee ranks but good on him for giving it a go. he still has a bit to offer at first class level, just never test level ever again, though i do hate it when players that have no chance of playing for the black caps drag their first class careers on and on, season after season, blocking the way for young talent but canterbury are going to need him this season but if the batting talent is coming through by the end of the season i hope he does the honourable thing and move on, allowing younger talent to develop.

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