Stuart ready to raise the finger
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.