Cricket Malawi is holding an online umpiring course which is being run by the International Cricket Committee (ICC) development panel umpire, Sarika Prasad.
According to Cricket Malawi operations manager Arjun Menon, the course, which started on Saturday, will run up to August.
“The course will be run online in three hour blocks on the 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th July and the 1st of August 2020.
“All candidates will then sit through an online test which will need to be passed to be accredited as Level 1 umpires,” he said.
Twenty-two participants have enrolled for the course consisting of cricket operations staff, national men’s and women’s players, nominees from affiliate clubs in Blantyre and Lilongwe, teachers from St Andrews International High School and a few cricket enthusiasts who wish to stay involved in the game as umpires, which include a retired teacher and a general practitioner.
Prasad, who boasts vast experience in umpiring, has officiated in ICC events such as the World Cricket League, ICC U19s World Cup and also international T20 and ODIs.
He is also a qualified umpire instructor and has run numerous courses in Asia during his time and plays mentor to many up and coming umpires in the region.
Menon said Cricket Malawi hopes that the course will improve the quality of officiating of the game in Malawi which has struggled a bit in the past with only a few accredited umpires.
“A number of the umpires have since retired; hence, the need to replace them.
“Two national payers who are heading towards the twilight of their career are also being encouraged to do this course and accredit themselves as they would probably make good umpires due to their experience of playing the game at an international level,” he said.
Malawi has not had an umpire in the international circuit as compared to many of the neighbouring countries and Cricket Malawi is hoping that the course will create a platform for some umpires who do well domestically to be given an opportunity on the international stage.
Menon said one youthful member of staff, Osman Mhango, has already shown great interest in umpiring and officiated a series between Mozambique and Malawi in 2019.
“We are willing to support him in his endeavour and have made him responsible in coordinating this course with Sarika Prasad. This interaction with Sarika should help him better understand what it entails to coordinate umpire education courses and being in constant contact would also be a chance for Osman to turn to Sarika for mentorship as well,” he said.
On his part, Mhango said the course provides him an opportunity to realise his dream of becoming an international cricket umpire.