Umpioneering evening a success for Essex Cricket in the Community

Essex Cricket in the Community has introduced a new Umpioneers Programme to encourage women and girls into becoming cricket umpires.

After a successful winter, which saw over 100 women umpire and score their own indoor hardball and softball cricket games, the Umpioneer Programme was officially launched on the evening of April 27, when 32 women attended an introductory session.   

“The amount of cricket that females are playing across the county is growing at a great speed and it is vital we have the support to officiate all the games,” Women & Girls Operations Manager, Natalie Samaranayake, explained.

“We hope this programme will build the confidence of women to get involved with the game in a different way.” 

Attendees came from a variety of backgrounds, such as teaching and playing in softball cricket leagues, but was all keen to know more about the laws of cricket. The evening was run by Angela Tuff, Tracey Murphy and Steve Davis. Angela and Tracey are both well-known umpires in Essex and Steve is an ex-international umpire.   

The women discussed umpire signals, no ball, run-outs, wides, lbws and boundaries. They then had the opportunity to ask Angela, Tracey and Steve about their experiences as umpires. 

“It is our aim to grow this programme so we would welcome any sponsors that would like to partner with us to help develop female leaders in this way,” Natalie added.

“For many people coming out of Covid times, it is hard to find ways of engaging with others again, especially if you are not keen to play sport. We have found that umpiring is a great way of getting outdoors and meeting new people; great for the mind and body.” 

The evening was a great success and the women were very enthusiastic about what they had learned. It is hoped that some of the women will now go on to do their ECB accreditation with the aim of running a female level 1 course before this season ends, providing them with the opportunity to try out their new umpiring skills before the winter.   

The programme will also give the women access to Umpioneer mentors who can help them through their training. 

For more information about this programme email [email protected] 

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]