WARRNAMBOOL and District Cricket Association boss Nick Frampton wants veterans retiring from the sport to turn their hands to umpiring.
Frampton yesterday called for more people to become umpires as the Warrnambool Cricket Umpires Association (WCUA) sought to increase its numbers.
The WCUA has “20 or 21” umpires on its list ahead of the opening day of the 2012-13 season.
The figure allows the association to provide two umpires for every division one match and one umpire for each division two match.
A handful of division three matches will also have a WCUA umpire taking the central job, depending on availability.
Frampton said the WDCA needed 36 umpires to be able to have two officials at every match of a weekend, but admitted this was unlikely.
But he said he would welcome any additions to the WCUA ranks. Umpires earn at least $90 a day in the WDCA.
“The reality is we’re not going to get 16 walk in the door and get a start,” Frampton said.
“But we’d encourage anyone who has had a passing interest in umpiring. A lot of players do umpire at some stage, whether it’s a junior match or standing at square leg.”
Frampton said the WCUA would subsidise the cost of training and uniforms for new umpires, who would officiate alongside a mentor early in their careers.
He said retired players “had the best knowledge to interpret and apply the rules” and were the ideal candidates to control matches.
“Twenty-one (umpires) is a relatively healthy position to be in,” Frampton said.
“But when you look at the number involved in senior cricket — we have hundreds involved each week,
“You think about the number of those that would retire at the end of each season, you could have 20 or 30 putting away the kit each year.
“If even one or two of those gave a year or two service back to the association through umpiring, it would greatly help.
“That’s all we’re asking. We’re not asking someone to come on board and commit to 30 years of cricket.”
Female prospective umpires are also encouraged to consider the role.
“I’ve umpired in Melbourne with female umpires and they’ve done as good a job, if not better, than some of my male colleagues,” Frampton said.