Umpire Knight earns top marks
Local umpire Alex Knight earned the highest mark of 97.5 per cent in the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association practical and oral examinations, finishing above 34 others.
Knight, a Jamaican, has been umpiring in Bermuda for about five years. He was previously a wicketkeeper-batsman for Police in the domestic league.
“When I stopped playing for Police, I was encouraged by my peers to umpire after I did a game as a square leg umpire,” Knight said.
With his calm, quiet demeanour, Knight has become one of the island's most respected officials.
He credits fellow umpires Steven Douglas, Roger Dill, James McKirdy, Oscar Andrade and Emmerson Carrington for helping his development.
“I got involved in umpiring after speaking to Mr Douglas and he said I should come and participate,” Knight said. “I went to Mr Dill, the training
officer, and it went from there.
“What helped me also were the continuous classes on
Tuesday nights with the other umpires, which played a big part. It's been never-ending studying.
“I was also being encouraged by the other umpires and coaches and players as well. The team behind me knew that I would do well when it was time to take the exam.”
Knight added: “I always have the support of the guys who know the sport a bit more and share their experience.
“Dill, the training manager, was the calm guy, the book guy. Then you had Mr McKirdy, who was the bible guy. Oscar was like the coach and Steven is the one who makes cricket simple on the field.
“Hector Watson was the military guy. You also had former umpires who would come to the games and give their point of view — Mr Wally Manders was one.
“Richard Austin would stay in the background and would come forward and say, ‘You did this, you did that'.”
Knight, who has been coaching under-eight and under-11 girls' teams for the past eight years, says he has a good rapport with the island's senior players.
“You have to keep receiving the advice because the game is still evolving and is bigger than all of us,” he said.
“I would encourage people to come along and take the local exam, but not to believe that because you passed that you are ‘ready'.
“We have a team of umpires who are always pushing umpires, grilling umpires, teaching umpires. You'll only be ready when the team thinks you are ready, and it could take years.”
The Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association praised Knight on his accomplishment.
“Alex's success is a clear demonstration that we have a very competitive umpiring training product in Bermuda and the only challenge separating our officials from even greater results is more opportunities,” the BCUA said in a statement.
“We're all excited about it; he got the highest mark of anybody. We wish to congratulate Alex on his remarkable results and urge him to continue to develop his craft.”
Lloyd Fray, the Bermuda Cricket Board president, also congratulated Knight on his exam score.
“I am delighted, but not surprised, to learn that Alex has scored so highly in the recent WICUA exams,” Fray said.
“Alex has been officiating locally, and abroad, at a very high level and is well respected in our cricket community. I also recognise the efforts of Roger Dill, the BCUA training officer, who tirelessly continues to develop umpires locally at all levels.
“Alex was one of four umpires recently selected to officiate in Argentina where our BCUA umpires continued to demonstrate their leadership in umpiring in the region. Congratulations, Alex and well done.
“I hope this will inspire more people to enjoy our great sport from the outstanding viewpoint of being an umpire.”