Gloucestershire’s drive to recruit new officials at the Brewin Dolphin Cheltenham Cricket Festival has received a helping hand from former international umpires Ken and Roy Palmer.
The brothers – who both played for Somerset – took time out from the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s (PCA) Past Players Day to encourage more people to get involved.
Ken, who stood in 22 Tests, and Roy who took charge of two – were supporting the Gloucestershire Association of Cricket Officials (GACO), who have a stand at the world’s longest-running cricket festival.
GACO’s Peter Sawyer said: “Ken and Roy kindly took time out from the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Past Players’ Day to support the recruitment drive.
“They both had great careers, firstly as Somerset players and later as 1st class and test umpires. Ken scored over 7,700 runs and took nearly 900 wickets, before becoming a respected umpire. Roy scored over 1,000 runs for Somerset and took over 170 wickets, before a 1st class umpire career which included nearly 450 matches and several Test matches.”
Despite his impressive record for Gloucestershire’s local rivals Ken has a local connection through his grandson James Palmer who plays for Glos U17 and Lechlade.
This is the second year that GACO have had a recruitment stand at the festival. The campaign is designed to recruit and train cricket officials from across the county.
Training courses are designed for all levels. An Umpire Introductory Course is aimed at players, coaches, parents, and anyone who just wants to know more about the key role umpires play in the game. For those who want to gain formal qualifications, a Level 1 course equips people to be appointed as independent umpires, able to stand across the county.
Similarly, for those interested in the vital role of scoring, there are Introductory and Level 1 courses available. For those with ambition and ability the training pathway can lead to First Class and even Test level appointments for both umpires and scorers.
Umpire trainer, Doug Oakey said: “The Cheltenham Cricket Festival is the oldest cricket festival in the world, attracting over 20,000 visitors, so it is an ideal venue for our ongoing recruitment campaign and for publicising the work of Gloucestershire’s cricket scorers and umpires.”
Peter Sawyer added: “Every Saturday we are asked to provide over 40 umpires to league matches. Additionally, during this coming week we have been asked to find umpires for 17 County Youth and cup matches, so we need to keep persuading people of all ages to come and join us, get trained and enjoy the best seat in the house!”