Umpire Gustard pleased with Super50 performance
Outstanding Jamaican umpire Patrick Gustard has described as satisfying, his performance in the recent final of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Regional Super50 Cup in Antigua.
The decider, which saw the Windward Islands Volcanoes defeating Barbados Pride by three wickets, with three balls remaining, had Gustard umpiring in his third final, and according to the Clarendon-based Kemps Hill school teacher, it was an honour.
"It felt good standing in another regional final,'' said Gustard. "It's my third Super50 final to go along with the one first-class final I have under my belt, and for someone was elevated to the West Indies Umpires Senior Panel in 2012.
"It was a fairly close contest and, as usual, came with its own set of pressures. However, I am a very confident individual and at no time did the occasion get to me.''
Gustard, who is also a deacon, is one of three Jamaicans on the West Indies senior panel of umpires, with the others being Verdayne Smith and Chris Taylor.
Taylor, along with standard-bearing regional female umpire Jaqueline Williams, also stood in the tournament, albeit during the preliminaries, while Smith, along with junior panel umpire, Chris Wright, stood during the England Lions versus West Indies A "Test" series in Jamaica.
The 46-year-old Gustard, who has umpired in England and Sri Lanka as part of CWI umpire exchange programmes, in outlining how he was able to deliver during the final, explained that familiarity with the teams and players, particularly in the group stages, played a key role.
During the first round in Barbados, he umpired four matches that featured the Windwards and three with the hosts.
This was followed by his on-the-field appearance in the semi-final one between Guyana Jaguars and the Windwards, and third umpire duties in the second semi-final between Barbados and Kent.
"I knew heading into the tournament that given status and performances in the first round, that I would be in a good position to do the final, provided Jamaica was not in it,'' he revealed.
"Jamaica was eliminated after the first round, and thereafter I was called up on to make the trip to Antigua. The final was another good experience, and has further aided in my development, in my quest to umpire at the international level.''
Gustard, along with Trinidadian umpire Zahid Bassarath are said to be next in line to be elevated to the International Cricket Council (ICC) international panel of umpires.
The ICC international panel at present features four West Indians: Joel Wilson of Trinidad, who is the only one of the quartet that has officiated at the "Test" level, Gregory Brathwaite and Leslie Riefer Jr. of Barbados, and Nigel Diguid of Guyana.