This is me, umpiring a game of cricket back in 2011. I’ve been involved in cricket since around 1980, when I was eight years old. Started umpiring in 1987. Cricket has brought me joy, pain, pleasure, upset, criticism, friendship amongst the whole gamut of emotions.
The last eight seasons has seen my interest in umpiring wane quite a bit. I’ve only completed more or less a full season of cricket since 2010. The rest of the time, I start the season off ok, then it reaches the buffer stops right in the middle of the season. The interest goes, the enthusiasm disappears, mainly due to illness. Mental illness has impinged far too much on cricket umpiring the last eight years.
I take the view that if I’m not 100%, then I will not set foot on that field. Being ill is unfair on me, unfair on the players on the field, and it interferes with decision making and being able to control the game properly. I’ve had too much time off from umpiring since 2010, and I don’t want to make promises that I can’t keep. I don’t want to say that I’m available to umpire and then stop halfway through. Again, that’s unfair on me and those I’m officiating.
I can’t be doing with these stop start seasons and so this year, I’m not going to even attempt to venture out on the field. The flame is close to burning out, and I have to be honest with myself. I had it in my mind before I became ill that I would umpire into my advancing years. Not so now. I just don’t think I’m good enough anymore and not fit enough, physically or mentally, to umpire for 6/7 hours a day.
The stint at the coalface has been done. Time for others to take over. I’ll still do tutoring and I’ll still be involved in watching cricket and taking an interest. However, not being well for some of the time and having other things going on too means that committing to a full season of cricket is now totally out of the question. A decision needed to be made and I’ve now made it. I’ll try not to rescind that decision. I’ve had a good go at cricket umpiring and made some great friends and acquaintances along the way. The end has been reached.