The 27th of February was a Saturday like any other at Shore Road. The stumps went in and the bails were gently placed on top as the players prepared for a tense six hours of cricket. But for one man, it was a very special day.
In the middle of it all stood umpire Kerry Dawe, preparing for his 500th day of decision-making as an Auckland Cricket umpire.
Dawe started with Auckland Cricket in the summer of 2008/09 and has umpired every season since.
Umpires Administrator Doug Cowie said Dawe has become a proud servant of our game.
“Kerry’s experience as a player has helped establish himself as a good decision-maker, who is always looking for new ways to make the game flow.
“Kerry is popular with many players who like his friendly approach.”
Dawe’s journey as an umpire started in Rotorua. He tells the story of how as a player umpire, he was often told he would make a great umpire one day.
“When I played in Rotorua, we hardly had umpires so if we were batting both teams would agree that I would umpire for as long as I could.
“Then I moved to Auckland and had a job preparing cricket wickets for City Parks. I remember doing the wickets for a tournament and got speaking with an umpire named Diana Venter and told her I would love to become an umpire.
“That was 12 or 13 years ago.”
Asked what keeps him involved in the game, Dawe said it was an easy question to answer.
“The people. For example, players, scorers, and my peers. I would like to think I’ve made some amazing friends through umpiring.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this if it wasn’t for the support of my wife. She has always steered me through life.
“I have often come home after umpiring all day and she would know I had a bad game. She would sit down and talk me through my game and where I went wrong.”
There are no signs of slowing down for Dawe, who has his sights set on the next milestone.
“My next goal is 750 days. I’m still pretty young and would like to think I have another five or six years left in me. Lastly, I just want to acknowledge Doug Cowie, Dean Bartlett and Auckland Cricket for their ongoing support.”