The Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers of Nigeria (ACUSN) successfully conducted a one day webinar on the 7th of June 2020 via Zoom Online Cloud meeting Application. The meeting which began at about 2:00 pm Nigerian time saw the opening proceedings rendered by the Vice President of the Federation, Mr. Uyi Akpata. In his remark, he welcomed the various speakers and participants who joined in from Nigeria and across Africa. He explained the vision and mission of the present board of the Federation while highlighting the importance of growth and development at grassroots level as the main fulcrum for sustaining the sport in the country with emphasis of the importance of professional umpires and scorers in the scheme of things.
Section 1 was delivered by Mr. Stephen Harris, International Umpire and Facilitator with Cricket South Africa. His topic was Level 1-4 offenses by players and Actions by umpires. In his section, he explained the various levels of offenses that could be committed by players on and off the field which are considered minor offenses with relative minor punishment of let off by a warning. He also explained level 2 and 3 offenses which required stiffer penalties and the channel for which such incidences should be reported. Concluding with Level 4 offenses, this are referred to as offenses that ultimately could lead to bringing the game to disrepute and usually punishments for these offences could be as much as a life ban depending on the severity.
Concluding on the topic, he however clarified the fact that umpires are only required to report such incidences and do not determine the level of punishment to rendered.
Section 2 resumed with Meet Shah from India, (Co-founder of CricHeroes Online Cricket Scoring Application). In his section, he resumed with comparing traditional Cricket and modern Cricket with statistics of how the game has evolved from being a bowlers game from the 80’s to the Millennium and now a Batters game with improvement on the bat and fielding restrictions. The section which was more practical as he analyzed the various advantages of digital scoring over book scoring with less work and more efficiency and transparency. The application also revealed benefits to individual players in terms of monitoring their performance with the ball and bat with clear evidences on areas where they can improve their game. Coaches will also be able to monitor every single player and also how to improve certain players and what type of coaching will be required. Team selectors will also be able to see the various statistics of every player in every aspect of their game to help them make informed choices. Federations and governing bodies will also be able to track player’s performance. Finally but not the least, the Application can also provide mileage for sponsors as there are designated areas for advertisement.
The final session for the day was delivered by Andrew Louw, International Umpire with Cricket Namibia. He spoke on the topic, Career path in Umpiring and how to become a professional umpire. He explained the various pathways for umpires in relations to their various countries. He explained that umpires with ODI status are more likely to be invited for inter-continental games between fellow ODI countries while umpires whom their countries do not have ODI status will have to settle for regional games as well as age grade world cup qualifying tournaments.
Mr. Andrew in his presentation, mildly explained how to become a successful umpires and qualities one must possess and areas to improve. He also explained the grading process for umpires and the importance of umpire’s education and certification to stand better chances of getting international recognition and call ups.
Questions were taken from participants on the various topics with the speakers providing adequate answers.
The Webinar which lasted about 3 hours 30 minutes saw at his peak over 70 participants from within and outside Africa with umpires from Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Botswana, The Gambia, Rwanda to mention a few. Participants expressed delight at well-organized webinar and asked for more sessions like that to continue the education, knowledge, bond and information spread among member nations.
At the end of the webinar, the chairman of ACUSN also announced that the association through her various supporters would be providing facemask for member chapters with the gesture also extended to members on the press citing that the time frame for the action will be officially communicated via its secretariat.
The vice president of the Federation gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the President of the Federation Prof. yahaya Ukwenya who was unavoidably absent from the program.
MUSA EHIZOJE BODIE
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER (NCF)