Stu­art ready to raise the fin­ger

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Giv­ing a friend out leg­be­fore-wicket doesn’t bother Stu­art Hope a bit.

The Tawa Col­lege year 13 stu­dent re­cently passed his level 3 cricket um­pir­ing exam.

It means he can of­fi­ci­ate at all lev­els of col­lege cricket.

He also hopes to stand in some se­nior Wellington club matches this sum­mer.

Cricket Wellington named Hope its level 2 um­pire of the year for his work last sum­mer.

He was also named the re­gion’s top sports of­fi­cial at the Col­lege Sport Wellington awards ear­lier this month.

‘‘I’ve played cricket for a long time and I just de­cided to give um­pir­ing a proper go when I was in year 9,’’ he said.

‘‘The school helped a few of us sit tests. ‘‘It’s gone from there.’’ It’s not some­thing many col­lege stu­dents would think of do­ing on a Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Hope said he loved the game and wanted to im­prove his knowl­edge of it.

He said en­cour­age­ment from the likes of Evan Watkin and Phil McMa­hon had given him a lot of con­fi­dence out in the mid­dle.

He has um­pired at re­gional un­der-16 rep­re­sen­ta­tive level.

Thus far, Hope has not faced any abuse from bats­men or bowlers dur­ing a match but the ques­tion­ing look from a de­jected bats­man after he was given out does hap­pen.

Giv­ing mates out is not an is­sue although he re­cently found him­self on the re­ceiv­ing end of a ter­ri­ble call while bat­ting for his col­lege’s sec­ond XI.

‘‘I clearly inside-edged it into my pads but was given LBW.

‘‘I had to go but I went off look­ing at my bat.’’

The cal­cu­la­tions for rainaf­fected matches were not dif­fi­cult, he said, but runouts and LBWs would al­ways be the test of an um­pire.

Hope said he went through a spe­cific process when forced to make a call.

‘‘I take quite a long time and think about the height of the ball, where it pitched and where it will hit [the stumps, for an LBW].

‘‘For a run-out, it’s about look­ing hard at the crease and see­ing the stumps bro­ken with your pe­riph­eral vi­sion,’’ he said.

‘‘At the end of the day, we don’t have DRS [tele­vi­sion re­view sys­tem] so we just have to do our best, and the play­ers know that.’’

Next year, Hope be­gins stud­ies in hos­pi­tal­ity in Queen­stown.

He hopes to keep up with the um­pir­ing while study­ing, if time al­lows, but said it might be some­thing he re­turns to now that a foun­da­tion had been laid.

His mother, how­ever, ex­pects him to don a white coat at Lord’s one day.

Hope wants to con­tinue a nice pur­ple patch he’s in for the sec­ond XI as the year draws to a close – he’s av­er­ag­ing over 50 with the bat in his last three in­nings.

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