West Indies umpires ‘heavily impacted’ by COVID19 b

first_imgCMC – A top West Indies Cricket Umpires Association official says regional umpires have also been heavily impacted by the cessation of cricket, stemming from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.Vivian Johnson, who serves as secretary of WICUA, pointed out that with cricket at every level brought to a halt, the situation with umpires was “heartbreaking” as it had resulted in “dislocation” among the umpiring community.“Where this pandemic is actually concerned, it is a little heartbreaking to know that the cricket is sidelined,” Johnson told DBS Radio here.“And it’s not only the West Indies, it’s all over the world. We know we have a tour to England and therefore we’re not even sure that’s going to go on.“In Australia, their borders are closed. Just like countries in the Caribbean, their borders are closed to anyone coming in.”He continued: “Local cricket [in the Caribbean] territories, there is no cricket so that impacts the umpiring aspect of the game and umpires are likely to get involved and are involved on a weekly basis [usually] because cricket generally in most countries of the Caribbean is all year round.“So this is something that has caused a lot of dislocation as we speak.”The fallout for regional umpires would have been especially felt after Cricket West Indies was forced last month to postpone a suite of tournaments.Apart from aborting the last two rounds of the 10-round domestic first class championship, CWI postponed the Women’s Super50 Cup and inaugural Under-19 Championship, while completely scrapping the Under-15 Boys Championship.South Africa Women were scheduled to arrive for five One-Day Internationals later this month while South Africa A were expected to follow in June for five one-dayers and three four-day “Tests” but both are now likely to be called off.Deprived of opportunities to officiate, Johnson said that some umpires – particularly in Jamaica – were using the time to conduct small group seminars, to ensure that officials remained savvy on the laws and rudiments of the game.“It’s not only on the field of play that we train umpires for because a lot of the things about umpiring is judgement, management of the game and so on,” said Johnson.“I would hope that having spoken with a lot of the other territories that they would be embarking on training programmes to make sure their umpires are up to speed and are learning in the classroom, the fundamentals of umpiring and having discussions amongst each other.“Not only in small settings but using the technology – Zoom, Skype, and so on. So if everyone is not engaging that and over time, [they need to start] because we don’t know how long his pandemic will last, so we have to get umpires active in this regard.”last_img

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