It was a proud moment for teenager Shian Brathwaite who made his umpiring debut recently when Wanderers and Pickwick juniors played in the ongoing Barbados Cricket Supplies-sponsored Barbados Cricket Association’s Under-13 Cricket Competition.
Perhaps one of the youngest if not the youngest umpire in Barbados at age 16, Brathwaite told Barbados TODAY he was hoping for a call after passing the umpires course last year and when he finally got the call to officiate his first match he became a bit anxious but was grateful for the opportunity.
“From when I was younger I always fancy being an umpire. I just like doing everything an umpire has to do. So when I got older I asked my coach Trevor Alleyne if I could umpire and he advised me to do it and so far I am loving it,” he said.
A happy-looking Brathwaite graced Foursquare Oval cricket ground in St Phillip around noon in his capacity as a umpire beside the owner of Barbados Cricket Suplies Leslie Reifer who is also a First Class umpire at the regional level.
The fifth-form Combermere student explained he felt a bit nervous during his first over but became more relaxed thanks to words of encouragement from Reifer who he looks up to and with whom he was pleased to umpire.
“He told me not to worry about anything, don’t hustle and just enjoy myself.
“It was a pleasure to walk out on to the field with Mr Reifer seeing him on television umpiring first class games made me happy to be officiating my first game with him. I also look up to him because like myself he did the (umpires) course young and therefore we have something in common,” said the former Hilda Skeene pupil.
It seems umpiring isn’t the only thing Brathwaite has his eyes set on. He told Barbados TODAY of his intention to one day represent West Indies as an opening batsman.
Currently a member of the Barbados under-17 cricket team, Brathwaite revealed that sometime this year he will make his debut for Wanderers, a club that has some West Indies players in the line-up including captain Jason Holder.
The talented right handed opener who already has nine centuries in his young career with four of those being for Combermere, will join his uncle Shawn Armstrong at Wanderers.
“My intention is to make the Barbados senior team at age eighteen or nineteen and I am working towards that. Cricket is my main focus. I am just doing umpiring in my free time and it actually helps me with my cricket in terms of knowing the rules,” said Brathwaite, who once captained Combermere’s under-13 and 15 teams.
The young lad from Bayfield, St Phillip said he did not intend to lose sight of his goals and would continue to chart his course and hopefully one day join an elite list of international cricketers from his school such as the great Sir Wesley Hall, current West Indies Test vice-captain and opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite along with all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite and many others.