Over the years American College Cricket has utilised the services of some of the best certified umpires in the US such as Hubert Smythe, Steve Kalloo, Max Diah, Vijaya Prakash Mallela and from Canada Ashook Brijcoomar. It has given umpires opportunities to officiate on professionally done worldwide webstreams, then on TV, seen across the USA and Canada.
Setting another precedent for the game in the USA, joining the American College Cricket officiating crew this March will be England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) umpire Billy Taylor.
Billy Taylor played first-class cricket for 10 years, winning the County Championship with Sussex in 2003. After retiring from playing in 2009, Billy went fully into officiating, and has been the youngest umpire, at 37, on the ECB reserve list of professional umpires, Level 1/2 for a couple of years.
Billy has officiated in first-class matches, List A (one-day 1st XI county matches), India vs Kent and England Women vs Australia Women.
In addition to umpiring at the Nationals, Billy will also coach American College Cricket players, particularly the fast bowlers. He said:
"I’m a Level 2 Coach. I have coached cricket throughout my playing career, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, from schools to adult, men’s and ladies cricketers."
What inspired Billy Taylor to go to the American College Cricket National Championship to umpire and coach ?
"After coming to Naples, Florida on vacation, I really fell in love with America and when talking with some locals I told them I umpired cricket and they mentioned that there was a college cricket league, so on my return I found out a lot more.
"I think it’s amazing, and the work that has been done is very inspiring and I would love to be able to help American College Cricket grow even more.
"This will be my first time as an official umpire outside of the UK, and it has been approved by the ICC and ECB. I’m really looking forward to the Nationals."
American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah stated, "We’ve had the pleasure to work with some very good umpires in Florida, New York and around the country, and we’re encouraging our students to umpire as well.
"Having an ECB umpire come to work alongside our local officials is an excellent opportunity to put additional positive spotlight on this important aspect of the sport.
"Billy’s proven interest in giving to the game, and his desire to do more, makes him someone we’re happy to have on our team at the 2014 National Championship."
As a player Billy played with Sussex from 1999 to 2004, during which they won their first ever English County Championship in 2003, and Hampshire from 2004 to 2009. He also played, as an overseas player, in New Zealand.
A fast medium bowler, he took three first-class hat-tricks, including the first ever at Hampshire's home ground, The Rose Bowl, as it was then known.
The American College Cricket National Championship will be held from March 12th to 16th 2014 in Ft Lauderdale, FL presented by Coca Cola, with supporting sponsor Dish Network, and played for the Shiv Chanderpaul Trophy.
The semis and Finals will be televised on TV Asia. All scoring is with Crichq.
© Cricket World 2014