Full name William Joseph Smyth
Born July 8, 1916, Maryborough, Victoria
Died September 16, 2007, Melbourne, Victoria (aged 91 years 70 days)
|Test debut||Australia v England at Melbourne, Dec 29, 1962 - Jan 3, 1963 scorecard|
|Last Test||Australia v England at Melbourne, Dec 30, 1965 - Jan 4, 1966 scorecard|
Bill Smyth took up grade umpiring in 1948 when 31 after an injury prematurely ended his club career as a fast bowler. He stood in his first state match nine years later, and in 1962-63 made the first of his four Test appearances in the Ashes Test at Melbourne. "It has stuck in my mind because I got an appeal first ball," he said 40 years later. "The very first delivery was from Fred Trueman and he appealed for a leg before wicket against Bill Lawry and I was quite happy to say, 'Not out'. Bill Lawry was a left-handed batsman and the ball was pitched outside his leg stump. Freddy Trueman knew it because he came back and said - leaving the language out of it - 'Just making sure you're awake!' His last outing came exactly three years later in another Ashes Test at the MCG. He continued to umpire at state level until the end of the 1971-72 season - his last first-class match was also the last for Bill Lawry; his first had also been Lawry's debut. On retirement, he became a long-term president of the Victorian Cricket Association Umpires' Association, an adviser to the panel of VCA umpires, and lecturer on the Laws of Cricket.
Thirty years ago England were battered, bruised, broken and blackwashed in the Caribbean