Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association (JCUA) President Norman Malcolm has called on the new Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) administration to put more in the development of umpires.
Speaking at the JCUA awards ceremony at University of the West Indies recently, Malcolm pointed to the great disparity between players' and umpires' development programmes, and said for the sport to progress this has to change.
"The level of funding and assistance given to players for development of their career has far outweighed that offered to Umpires, yet both parties are expected to produce the same outcome," said Malcolm, who is also an ICC panel umpire.
"I urge the JCA to include in its strategic planning, contingency for the development of our local umpires. Be cognisant, however, of the fact that consultations and collaborations are critical."
HOPE FOR IMPROVEMENT
Malcolm, who during his presentation outlined a number of achievements made in recent years, including having new members on the regional panel, also expressed hope that the relationship between the JCUA and JCA will improve going forward.
He said this was as a result of what he described as a "strained" relationship in recent times between his administration and the previous JCA administration.
"The level of dialogue between ourselves and the previous administration was at times strained," said Malcolm.
"We sincerely hope there will be a more proactive approach to doing things as well as continuous dialogue between our two organisations.
"While we understand the constraints that face the JCA, we believe that there should be no cutting back in its programme of developing cricket since this will inevitably impact negatively on the quality of umpiring," he added.
Some of the new national umpires who have been added to the regional panel in recent years include Patrick Gustard, Chris Taylor, Athol Hamilton and Verdayne Smith.