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Poverty Bay Cricket’s finest umpires recognised with two significant appointments

Good umpires are valuable to the game. And Poverty Bay Cricket has seen two of its finest elevated by the powers that be.

Jason Trowill, 51, is one of the five officials selected for the Northern Districts A panel and Luke Fisher, 17, is one of three on the ND Emerging Umpires list.

Poverty Bay Cricket Association umpires manager Trowill, formerly of Auckland's Ellerslie club, came to Gisborne four years ago and played a season for Horouta before he began to stand in competition matches here.

Fisher, a Year 12 student at Gisborne Boys' High School, has been a member of the GBHS first 11 for three years.

Trowill, who already stands in age-group tournaments, may now be considered for Northern Premier League and Basil McBurney fixtures — by ND regional officials co-ordinator and developer Luan Kloppers' good graces. Kloppers, with regional trainer, umpire developer and former test umpire Doug Cowie, is a man to whom Trowill and Fisher now report.

Trowill has lost 68 kilograms since bariatric surgery in January. He feels better than he has in 25 years, and says he has dropped shirt sizes “from an 8XL to an L”.

“I've always aspired to be the best umpire I can be, but I was super-surprised and absolutely stoked to make the A Panel,” said Liverpool fan, Gisborne Herald football reporter and Galaxy World manager Trowill, who never loses sight of the need to keep the local officials' stocks and standards high.

“I want to work on making Poverty Bay's umpires the best in the province (this month eight sat their Level 2 exams and one sat Level 3).

“Our aim as umpires is to make the correct decisions — make cricket more enjoyable for all involved.

At a personal level, I'll work to make it as far up the ranks as I can with good performances in representative cricket this season.”

Luke Fisher opens the batting for the GBHS first 11. In the first Doleman Cup game last season, he made 72 from 109 balls in Gisborne Boys' High School's 99-run win against Horouta. He loves cricket.

“I've always been interested in umpiring,” said Fisher, who first represented the Bay as a player at primary school level in 2016 and is highly regarded within the cricket community as a good citizen.

“Umpiring allows me to be a part of the game I love in a different way, and I've enjoyed being out there in really good games, watching good talent on display.”

He is a young umpire of promise, honest and open: “When I'm umpiring, I know I could take a little bit more time when making decisions; leg-before-wicket (lbw) can be hard to judge, because there are different factors to consider and you have only a split second to take all of those in.”

Perhaps the umpire Luke has most enjoyed standing with is former professional wrestler (“Dr Death”) Rod Newton, the last of Bay of Plenty's famously colourful crew (Bill Irvine, Nigel Stevens, Colin Russ and Barry Beaumont were the others).

Trowill and his fellow Poverty Bay umpires — Stewart Patrick (Premier Grade), Gary Coutts, James Raroa and Martin Bennett (Senior B) have, in Horouta's Mel Knight and Clarence Campbell, two umpires still active in the game as players. Trowill and Patrick will this season wear kit courtesy of English supplier Loft Cricket, and support for the umpires is something Fisher — the youngest of them by 20 years — correctly puts down to numbers.

Doug Cowie said: “I congratulate Jason on the work he's doing in Gisborne on behalf of umpiring and cricket. Long may it continue. Where people are left to their own devices, confusion can reign. It's a happier place with umpires.”

Recognised: Gisborne cricket umpiring has been recognised with two significant appointments. Luke Fisher (left) is on the Northern Districts Emerging Umpires list and Jason Trowill has been selected for the ND A panel. Picture by Paul Rickard