Johannesburg -Lions Cricket Umpires Administrator, Brian Catt, took some time out to chat to us about the Lions Cricket Umpires Association: The workings, challenges and all round passion.

Formed in 1922 as the Transvaal Cricket Umpires Association, the Central Gauteng Lions Cricket Umpires Association (CGLCUA) is the Umpiring leg of Lions Cricket here in Gauteng. The Association’s primary function is to appoint umpires to the men’s and ladies senior club leagues (within Lions Cricket), as well as to meet requests for umpires to non-league cricket fixtures. This is achieved though the recruitment of aspiring umpires, and the training and developing of existing members to elevate them through the Association to the senior panels. Ultimately, the aim is to develop and prepare them for appointment to CSA National weeks, then onto the CSA umpiring panels and hopefully to the ICC umpiring panels.

As the Umpires Administrator for the Lions Cricket Union, some of Brian’s duties include: Managing the Association’s administrative duties; training co-ordination; and liaising with CSA, Lions Cricket and all other associations on umpiring related matters.

The umpires with the Association have acquitted themselves well, at whatever level they have umpired, so says Brian.

“We have and continue to provide umpires to the ICC Elite Umpires Panel; CSA First Class Umpires Panel and various CSA National Cricket weeks.”

Current President for the CGLCUA is Lourens Engelbrecht, with Patricia Coetzee as Vice President, both responsible for the well-being of the Association and ensuring all runs smoothly. The Association is proud of all its umpires, and are currently represented as follows;

  • Standing at the Test level is Adrian Holdstock.
  • Standing at the First-Class Level are Roger Burne, Jannie Erasmus, Mazizi Gampu, Khatso Ntuli, Brad White.
  • Standing on a regular basis we have seventy-seven lady and men’s umpires combined.

In terms of the challenges faced by the Association, Brian says that the main challenge is finding enough umpires to meet the requests;

“We receive multiple requests for umpires, particularly for non-league games, sometimes at the 11th hour. Fortunately, we have a pool of umpires available at short notice, but we do still have to balance the transport logistics when allocating umpires as many of our members rely on public transport. Our area extends from Midrand to the Vaal, Randfontein to Jeppe.”

This season has seen some new appointments to the Umpiring Panels, namely Khatso Ntuli and Roger Burne who were appointed to the CSA national Umpires Panel, after successfully completing their CSA National Examination.

Looking a little further back, at December’s National cricket week, the following umpires were selected to represent CGLCUA:

CSA Khaya Majola U19 cricket week: Potchefstroom – Zuber Saleh & Andre Sauls

CSA Girls U19 cricket week: Paarl – Sindy-ann Quaker & Davies Radebe        

CSA Boys U16 cricket week: Pretoria – Joseph Mandibatsira & Jason Smit

CSA Girls U16 cricket week: Gqeberha – Yashika Dinna, Lungisani Ncube, & Pratheesh Kumar Purushothaman

In the same month, Saturday 4th December 2021, history was made in Gauteng when the Ladies Imperial Premier League fixture was officiated exclusively by lady umpires and scorers, making the match an all-ladies affair. The lady umpires in this historic fixture were Yashika Dinna & Sindy-ann Quaker.

January was the month in which Brad White was congratulated as he officiated in his 150th first class match, umpiring a CSA four-day game between Western Province and the Imperial Lions at Newlands. Brad is the third South African umpire to reach the 150 mark, after Rudi Koetzen (220 matches) and Murray Brown (153). Lions Cricket is extremely proud of his achievement!

Before becoming an umpire, Brad played first class cricket. As a left-handed opening batsman and medium pace bowler, he played for SA Schools in 1988, and the SA U21 side in 1989 and 1990. He played seventy-eight first class matches, representing Transvaal (1988 -1995), Border (1996-1999) and Easterns (2000).

Brad started umpiring in 2001. He stood two years of club cricket in Gauteng and won ‘Umpire of the Year’ in the 2002-03 season. In 2003 he was appointed to CSA’s emerging panel, where he remained for five years, before being promoted to CSA’s “A” panel for the 2008-9 season.

His first-class debut came in October 2004, and his 150 games have included matches in New Zealand (November 2016), Australia (February 2018), and India (November 2018), as part of CSA’s exchange program. Last year he stood in CSA’s first class 4-day final.

Recruitment and Training

During the year, the Association runs a number of training courses for people who want to improve their knowledge of cricket, especially the Laws of Cricket.

The introductory course run by CGLCUA is a CSA approved Level 1 Umpires Course and is the entry level for anyone wishing to become a Cricket Umpire. This is also intended for Cricket Coaches, and School Teachers who are often required to umpires games at school level. Many clubs have put their players through this course, as this knowledge of cricket law helps them when playing the game.

Our next course is planned for June / July 2022. Anyone interested should contact Brian Catt, the CGL Umpires Administrator;