Cricket Ireland has today announced the appointment of four cricket umpires to full-time season contracts as part of its restructure of its Umpire Panels, a process that also doubles the number of women umpires on the Panels.
The restructure of the Cricket Ireland Umpires Panels will see the creation of a First-Class Panel of 11 umpires (four of which have been awarded full-time season contracts and will stand in the majority of Inter-Provincial Series matches), and Representative Panel of five umpires (who will stand primarily in the remainder of the representative fixture list).
The full-time season contracts have been awarded to: Alan Neill, Paul Reynolds, Roland Black and Mark Hawthorne.
Paul Reynolds, who in 2018 stood in his first T20 International, said:
“Cricket Ireland’s new support for match officials is a huge boost to officiating on the island. It means that those who are starting out in their careers now know that there is a tangible path for them to take. It also means that it is now easier for the best to officiate at the very top of the sport, rather than just those who can afford to give up their time, which could have been the way officiating developed without this support. Irish cricket will benefit as umpiring, scoring and refereeing becomes a valued part of the Cricket Ireland set-up.”
“Being a full-time umpire now gives us a great opportunity to do something that we love, at the same time as no longer having to worry about spending many weeks each year living only on expenses. And with such a great summer’s cricket ahead of us, we can now look forward to it knowing that all our time can be devoted exclusively to preparation.”
Furthermore, as part of the development of women umpires, Cricket Ireland has doubled the number of women umpires on the Umpires Panels, with Mary Waldron continuing on the First-class Panel, and Laura Caughey being appointed to the Representative Panel.
Mary Waldron, who recently returned from umpiring in Australia during the Irish winter, said:
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Australia over the last few months - I’ve had some fantastic umpiring experiences and hopefully have developed my knowledge and skills further. It’s going to be a big home season of cricket in Ireland, and between umpiring and playing, I’ll be spending plenty of time in the middle this season.”
“I’m delighted that Laura has joined as the second female umpire on the Umpires Panel, and hope that we are the first of many women to be involved in top-level officiating in Ireland over coming years.”