European umpires selected for international panel speak to ICC Europe

Wed, Jan 18, 2012 10:47 PM

European umpires selected for international panel speak to ICC Europe
Ian Ramage
Following the announcement that four European Officials were named on the ICC Associate and Affiliate International Umpires' Panel for 2012, we spoke to three of the umpires and got their thoughts on the prestigious selection.

Niels Bagh (Denmark), Mark Hawthorne (Ireland), Ian Ramage (Scotland) and Richard Smith (Ireland) all feature on the panel which when assigned officials can stand at ODIs and T20Is involving Associate and Affiliate Members as well as officiate in under-19 and women?s international cricket.

It is a great honour for all officials as well as a fantastic feat for the European region to have four out of the 11 selected.

Ireland's Mark Hawthorne goes into his second year on the panel and is very proud to be named again; "I am delighted to be given this great opportunity where I can improve myself as an umpire, its great as a Northern Ireland representative to be named within this elite group," said Hawthorne.

"I also have great appreciation for the European panel who has given me the chance to travel to different countries to umpire; this has taken me out of my comfort zone working alongside different colleagues from different countries. The regulations for different tournaments in Europe are also different so key preparation needs to be done prior to the tournament and this is great experience," concluded Hawthorne.

Niels Bagh from Denmark is delighted to be on the panel which he always agrees helps improve the standard as an umpire, "I must have done something right as I was picked from 25 umpires and joining the panel was great for me personally as it has given me lots of opportunity to travel and develop me as an individual and improve the umpire standard," said Bagh.

The ICC European Umpire Panel which has been running since 2007 is a fantastic grounding for officials to be able to improve their skills, "Umpires in Europe are very well schooled and prepare you as an official to get to a higher standard as you get to share experience with other umpires and learn from each other. I feel this has been key in getting promotion to the International Umpires' Panel," concludes Bagh.

Scotland's Ian Ramage is delighted by the honour; "Starting off at club level and working your way through the levels, to the regional panel and now the international panel develops you as an official in a great way. It develops you more as a team player, especially at European level with playing conditions, calculations and focusing clearly on the European guys.

"The international panel gives you the best view of the game and to stand with officials such as Aleem Dar is a fantastic experience," concluded Ramage.

The panel was named by the Associate and Affiliate Selection Committee which is made up of Vince van der Bijl, ICC Umpire and Referees Manager, ICC regional match referee David Jukes, ex-Test umpire Brian Aldridge, ICC Match Officials Operations Manager Brent Silva and ICC Development Events Manager Edward Fitzgibbon.

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