The NWCU is delighted to extend congratulations to our colleague, Roly Black, who has been appointed to the panel of umpires for next month’s World T20 Qualifiers in Dubai. The former Bready bowler has risen through the ranks in the past number of years, culminating in him being awarded a central contract by Cricket Ireland last year.

Roly is a highly-rated umpire both in the North West and well beyond, and he was quick to point out the opportunities available for anyone considering a future “in the middle”.

“Cricket Ireland’s inclusion in the Future Tours Programme has started to open up new opportunities for Irish umpires on the international panel” he said. If I can give it a plug, there’s never been a better time for people to join the umpiring ranks. It’s demanding and there is a lot of hard work behind-the-scenes that no one sees, but if you have the right attitude, perseverance and work ethic the sky is the limit.”

“Like anything in life, with umpiring you have the good days and the difficult days, but the more you put into your umpiring the more that you get back out. I enjoy the challenges that the game of cricket can throw at you and having the courage and strength when it doesn’t go well to put yourself back out there and to learn from your mistakes. Umpiring gives you the best seat in the house and I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with many very good cricketing people.”

Congratulations from everyone in the North West, Roly, and no doubt there will be many more big games ahead.

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