It’s a fine Summer afternoon, the players are ready to go and a voice from behind the stumps says, ‘Play’.
No. The voice is not the wicketkeeper’s; instead, it has Auckland Cricket’s youngest umpire, Harrison Clark.
The 16-year old from Hibiscus Coast took up officiating as a way to stay involved in the game.
“My mum first suggested umpiring. I was missing playing the game and still wanted to be involved, so I started umpiring my brother’s junior cricket.”
Clark is thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the wider Umpiring team and for the support he has received.
“My mum is my driving force, Mr Coetzee helped me get in contact with key people around Auckland Cricket and encourage me to push my umpiring and Doug Cowie has been an amazing mentor to me.
“It is tough to start umpiring at my age as you can only go through clubs or schools. Once you make it to the Auckland Cricket Umpires level, there are plenty of opportunities and support from the club and Doug himself.”
Umpires Administrator Doug Cowie has been impressed with Harrison’s progress so far and cannot wait to see how far he can go.
“Harry has shown remarkable development from when his mother brought him down from Hibiscus Coast to our Monday workshops at Eden Park. He has also been recently attached to his local club’s Senior 5th-grade men’s team as their Community Team Umpire.”
“Harry already displays excellent law knowledge and rapidly improving umpiring skills. He is a quick learner with a bright future as an umpire.”
Community Team Umpires are a recent initiative to attract and keep new umpires in touch with the game through their established cricket colleagues. This provides a consistent cricket environment for support and it maintains their social links so they are not lost to the game when they stop playing.
If you, like Harrison, would like to get involved, contact Doug Cowie.