Roger Dill, a 48-year-old fireman from Bermuda, will create history in Trinidad later today.
Dill will become the first member of the ICC's Associate and Affiliate umpires' panel to stand in a one-day international during the opening match of the tri-series between Zimbabwe, Bermuda and Canada which is being held in Trinidad. He will officiate alongside Simon Taufel, while former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd will act as match referee for the four matches.
"I'm pleased to be invited and also very excited," said Dill. "I didn't realise I will be the first person from the Associates and Affiliates to umpire a ODI but the chance to do that is a great vote of confidence in the new panel. It shows the ICC is now looking at all umpires, no matter where they come from, and no one is out of the circle."
Dill's rise is especially impressive given he has been umpiring for less than ten years and he admitted he began by chance and not because of any burning ambition. "I started in 1997 when I went to watch a friend playing and they were short of an umpire," he said. "I was told afterwards I didn't do too badly so I went to a few meetings to learn more, I found it fun and interesting and it went from there.
"I did play a bit as well but I never expected to get this far in my umpiring career. Now I just want to continue to enjoy the game, make myself available whenever I can and umpire consistently at as high a level as I can."
Dill was a member of the first ICC Associate and Affiliate umpiring panel, created in April last year to give officials outside the Full Member countries the chance to progress to the highest level possible. He has stood in Intercontinental Cup, ICC Trophy and ICC U-19 World Cup matches and after impressing during those appointments has now gained further recognition.
It means Dill will have to take time off from his job as a sergeant in Bermuda's fire service but he views it as a worthwhile sacrifice. "There have been a couple of instances where I have had to take some leave and my colleagues have also been willing to cover for me," he said. "It is all worth it for something like this. When we get these sorts of opportunities as Associate and Affiliate umpires then it is part of our responsibility to take them."
Dill believes his job as a firefighter, one he has done for almost 30 years, has helped him in his efforts as an umpire. "They do have some similarities," he said. "They both involve being under pressure and everyone around you expects you to be calm and in control."
Now he has the chance to work with the ICC's umpire of the year Taufel and Lloyd, a legend of the game, and he cannot wait. "Simon is one of the top elite umpires and he came and spoke to us during a recent meeting in Dubai," he said. "He is so professional in everything he does, his dedication and attention to detail is amazing and I can only gain from his experience and knowledge. And to be part of Clive's team will be a great thing given the way he is revered in the cricket world."
And what advice has Dill got for other aspiring officials, especially those from the Associate and Affiliate ICC members? "I have learnt lots from the Elite and International panels I've met but the main things are to maintain a sound knowledge of the Laws, be physically fit and stand in as many matches as you can. And as for the matches in Trinidad, I'm really looking forward to them and am determined to enjoy it all."