Cricket: Hunt on for favourite local umpire

Kiwi amateur cricket umpires are the driving force behind the success of our favourite summertime sport, working tirelessly in their communities to support club cricket.

To reward these unsung heroes, Specsavers and New Zealand Cricket are launching a nationwide competition in search of New Zealand's favourite local cricket umpire.

New Zealand international cricket umpire and ICC elite panel umpire Billy Bowden, who attended Tauranga Boys College, says he knows first-hand the time and energy that goes into being a local cricket umpire.

"It's an amazing privilege to be involved with the young cricketers that are coming through the ranks," Bowden said.

"This competition is all about recognising those umpires that go the extra mile and I know there are plenty out there.

"I am looking forward to receiving a mountain of entries from people around the country who want to nominate their most deserving cricket umpire."

The competition calls for people to nominate their favourite local amateur cricket umpire and will run through to January 28.

Graeme Edmond, Specsavers New Zealand managing director, says this competition is an opportunity to reward those who volunteer their time to club cricket throughout the country.

"Amateur umpires are the driving force behind the success of grassroots cricket and so we are very excited to be offering one lucky umpire a well-earned reward," said Edmond.

Six finalists will be selected from around the country and from this group the national winner will be announced. A range of exciting prizes are up for grabs including tickets to this summer's International ANZ Series featuring the Black Caps against England, $1000 spending money and one-on-one training with a top New Zealand umpire.

Communities are encouraged to nominate their favourite local umpire by visiting or getting information from their local cricket club and Specsavers stores nationwide.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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