Umpires elated at promotion
Two umpires who have been elevated to the senior umpires' panel of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) say they are elated at their promotion.
Patrick Gustard and Verdayne Smith are among six umpires who have been promoted following recommendations of the Umpires and Match Referees Committee.
The directors of the WICB approved the recommendations during a recent meeting in Barbados.
"This is really, really important to me," said Gustard, who says he has been working hard to make the cut, following his first class debut two years ago.
"The first-class match I did in 2010 was a great experience, so I am glad to be on the senior umpires' panel at this time and be able to have another opportunity."
The other promoted umpires are Zahid Bassarath, Leslie Reifer Jr, Danesh Ramdhanie and Nandkumar Shivsankar.
Gustard's fellow-Jamaican, Smith said his elevation to the senior umpires' panel was justification for hard work and commitment put into umpiring over the years.
"It is only a small step up the ladder," Smith said.
"It just means that the work will get harder now because I want to move on further, so this is just a small step towards my ultimate goal."
The 41-year-old Gustard and the 34-year-old Smith are former cricketers who wanted to remain involved in the sport.
Jamaica has produced a number of international umpires, with perhaps the most famous among them being Steve Bucknor.
Like Bucknor, Gustard and Smith are teachers by profession. They have both benefitted from Bucknor's influence.