Cricket South Africa (CSA) continued its build-up to the return to cricket by holding a successful four-day conference for its match officials in Gauteng.
The conference covered all aspects of the match officials’ role with the participants writing exams on specific subjects as well as being exposed to the more practical aspects such as the latest developments in television technology as well as dealing with the mental issues that covid-19 has brought to the fore with officials having been confined to home during lockdown and also needing to enter the same bio-bubble as the players when the action gets underway next month.
“The mental issues of the new normal is something that we have to deal with in a pro-active manner,” commented CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith. “It is a very important part of our planning for the season ahead. We benefited from extremely valuable input from sports psychologist Dr. Dawn Saunders.
“I am very happy to report that our match officials without exception returned negative tests with our medical team at the start of the conference and I congratulate them all for the responsible attitude they are bringing to the fore in these difficult times.”
One of the highlights of the conference was the virtual session with England umpire Michael Gough who spoke about the route he followed and its challenges in making it successfully to the ICC elite panel of umpires.
“This sort of interaction is incredibly valuable to our match officials,” added Smith. “They were also able to draw on the inspirational input from Marais Erasmus, our own representative on the ICC elite panel, who was able to relate his experiences at the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Final.
“Marais is a wonderful role model to all our umpires. It was fitting that he presented the official CSA black blazers to the two umpires recently promoted to our first-class panel, Abongile Sodumo and Mazizi Gampu,” he concluded.
CSA First-Class Panel: Murray Brown, Mazizi Gampu, Siphelele Gasa, Lubabalo Gcuma, Shaun George, Stephen Harris, Ryan Hendricks, Adrian Holdstock, Arno Jacobs, Bongani Jele, Tom Mokorosi, Allahudien Paleker, Dennis Smith, Abdoellaah Steenkamp, Abongile Sodumo, Philip Vosloo, Brad White.
CSA Reserve List Panel: Lauren Agenbag, Rudi Birkenstock, Gawie Botha, Jannie Erasmus, Gladman Gaseba, Marlon Jansen, Kevin Lawrence, Sinethemba Mjekula, Bongani Ntshebe, Jurie Sadler, Godwin von Willingh.
CSA Match Referees: Shandre Fritz, Devdas Govindjee, Barry Lambson, Zama Ndamane, Laurence Matroos, Gerrie Pienaar, Shaid Wadvalla.