Top cricket umpires are ensuring they won’t get caught out after attending a driver awareness course as part of safety training organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board. (ECB)
First class umpires went to the cricket class with a difference to be on the “front foot” when driving often long distances home at the end of a four day match.
A total of 26 top class umpires in England and Wales, who drive long distances to umpire cricket matches, were at the talk in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, delivered by the TTC Group, a UK leader in road safety education.
A fast paced session included former Lancashire and Worcestershire cricketer Steven O’Shaughnessy walking a line to pick up coins on the floor wearing goggles which split the vision simulating the effects of too much alcohol.
Former senior police officer Mel Hughes, an Associate Director of the TTC Group, hit some for six when he spoke about the dangers of driving “the morning after” a few social drinks.
Cricket all rounder Rob Bailey, who bowled Kevin Pietersen for a duck, said the message “hit home” and reminded everyone about the dangers of being over the limit the next day. While former Kent and England fast bowler Martin Saggers said the talk was an “eye opener” about the strength of alcohol and a good reminder about the dangers of driving long distances while tired.
The talk was part of a three day pre-season training session for umpires.
“The more information everyone has, the better decisions they make and that was why we asked the TTC Group along to talk to us about alcohol, driving and how to stay safe,” said Chris Kelly, Umpires’ Manager for the ECB.
“It is all part of our programme to ensure our umpires have all the up to date information to keep them safe so they make the right decision especially when driving home sometimes late at night or in the early morning after a four day match.”