Former BLACKCAP Evan Gray and former Otago cricketer Derek Walker have been contracted by New Zealand Cricket as umpires for the coming season under a new “fast track” initiative.
NZC umpires manager Brian Aldridge said the “fast track” initiative was designed to attract ex international and First Class players to take up umpiring as a professional or semi-professional career.
“It is hoped the initiative will help improve the quality of umpires at the First Class level.
“After an intensive induction programme Evan and Derek will be exposed to a variety of match opportunities during the season.
“These will include opportunities to umpire matches at senior club cricket level, NZC Academy and Major Association games, age group tournaments, the provincial A national tournament, the State League and National Women’s Development Tournament.”
Gray played 10 Test matches for New Zealand between 1983 and 1989 and 10 one-day matches during the same period. He played 120 First Class matches for Wellington between 1976 and 1992.
Walker played in 40 First Class matches for Otago between 1980 and 1988. He was on the NZ A panel for umpires last year and stood in two First Class and two State Shield matches.