THE NCU are appealing for more umpires ahead of the new season which is now only less than two months away.

At the January course, only four people turned up for Stage One compared to 14 last year and with eight NCU umpires on the inter-provincial panel this year and set to be used more often by Cricket Ireland for representative matches, some of the games in Section Three and Junior One at the weekends may not be covered, because of lack of numbers.

Anyone who has fears that becoming an umpire means having to sit an exam and get the vast majority of 50 questions right – that is a thing of the past.

Now all you to do is attend a two-day course – 6 hours on consecutive days - and you could be helping your club ensure umpires are available for your matches.

Females are also encouraged to attend. Laura Caughey is currently the only female umpire in the NCU but she is rising through the ranks and there is plenty of room for more.

Anyone interested should contact NIACUS chairman Phil Thompson, who has just been honoured with the chairmanship of IACUS, the nationwide body for umpires and scorers or Alan Neill, who was fourth umpire at Ireland’s inaugural Test match last year.

The world could really be your oyster if you get involved and impress. Mark Hawthorne, another NCU umpire, is currently in the West Indies on an exchange course and officiating first class games in St Vincent and Antigua.

In the first instance contact Phil at pftsalesmarketing@gmail.com  or Alan at Alan.neill@hotmail.com  and they will be in touch with you.