The first all-female Premier League umpiring partnership

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Anna Harris, the Welsh Association of Cricket Officials’ women’s and girls’ officer, together with Somerset’s Yvonne Dolphin-Cooper, will stand this Saturday in the St Fagans v Pontarddulais at St. Fagans.

 Anna said: “It’s an exciting opportunity to showcase female umpires at a good level and show that we can and are able!

It is great to have umpires like us as accessible and to show that it is open to all women to get involved.”

Anna recently stood with WACO’s Education officer Peter Williams in a South Wales Premier League division 2 game with Malpas and Ynysygerwn and is really looking forward to Saturday’s Premier 1 game.

“If you still love the game but your body can’t cope, why not stand on a pitch with some highly skilled cricketers and enjoy the contest from close up! Umpiring is also a great way to develop your skills in people management and also in decision making both in the short and long term.

Anyone can do it you don’t have to be a skilled cricketer. You are there to help facilitate the game.”

 

Some of Anna’s umpiring career highlights have been standing in the Rachel Heyhoe- Flint Trophy in 2020 and more recently umpiring in an intra England Women’s Squad match last week at Loughborough where she had to adjudicate on her old teammate Sophie Ecclestone.

If all these achievements aren’t enough, Anna is also in the Wales’ women’s squad. To find out more about Anna and also encouraging young people into officiating click here.

 

John Furnham Chair of the Wales ACO said:

"As chairman of Wales Association of Cricket Officials I am both proud and delighted to see two female umpires stand together for the first time in one of our Premier League Division One fixtures. It is a historic moment for cricket in Wales and I wholeheartedly congratulate Anna and Yvonne for their achievement. They are proof that gender is no bar to progression to officiating at the highest levels of the game.  

We at Wales ACO would certainly like to see many more women and girls officiating and hopefully, seeing Anna and Yvonne umpiring together might encourage other ladies to consider following their example. We will be very happy to provide all the training, support and mentoring needed to anyone interested in taking up the white coat.

So whilst we rightly celebrate the fact that Anna and Yvonne will be breaking new ground as the first women to stand together in a PL1 game in Wales, ultimately I look forward to the day when two women turn up at a ground to umpire and nobody bats an eyelid because it's become the norm and they are no longer considered 'female umpires' but just 'the umpires'. That's when I feel we will really have done our job as an association."

To find out more about how to get involved as an umpire or scorer see the pages here on our website.

Here’s an interview we did with Anna during last summer. https://youtu.be/d593bfIVkco

 

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