Tasmanian Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association Life Member Don Heapy will stand in his 700th match this weekend.
While the tally could well be more having started umpiring in 1972-73 in the Clarence Cricket Association, Heapy’s official tally will tick over 700 when he heads out for the University v North Hobart under 15 game at Cornelian Bay.
“I first took up umpiring when I worked for the Supply &Tender Department of the State Government at the start of 1970,” Heapy said.
“We played 10 overs a side.
“I was not a terrific player so they made me the umpire.
“After 3 years or so I was invited by the TCA to move to their competition.”
Heapy went on to stand in no less than 240 First Grade matches, 24 Grand Finals including four in First Grade and becomes only the second known member to reach 700 games, joining fellow TCUSA stalwart Brian Pollard.
Heapy credited several people for his training that got him started and reminisced over some of the great partners he has had over the 700 games.
“In the initial years at the TCA, I was coached by John Grundy and Alan Jones, who taught me the finer points of umpiring,” he said.
“Later on I was influenced by Mike Gandy who taught me the signaling that umpires use between each other.
“The next influential umpire during my earlier career was Graeme Morrisby, whom at the time was the TCUSA Southern Advisor.”
“My funniest partner would have to be Paul “Happy” Howard.
“He was always very jovial and happy.
“Paul always saw the funny side to what was happing, he was a great umpire and partner.”
Being in the middle for so many games, Heapy recalled a couple of the best innings he had seen and some characters he had crossed swords with.
“I remember Keith Bradshaw, Jamie Cox and Dean Hills scoring 100 runs,” Heapy said.
“On one occasion when North Hobart played Sheffield at Sheffield's home ground, Scott Hookey smashed a swash buckling 100 runs to win the match.
“In my initial First Class game between Lancashire and Tasmania first 11, it was Neil Fairbrother's first touring match, he scored 130+ not out.
“Playing for Tasmania for the first time were Dean Hills and Jamie Cox.
“The outstanding bowler I recall is Rodney Hogg, there was not much time to ensure the front foot was behind the popping crease, but thoroughly enjoyed the challenge”
While hopefully not giving too much away, Heapy has umpired under four codes of the Laws of Cricket, the 1947, 1980, 2000 and now 2017 codes.
“Over the years there have been substantial changes to all four codes and many changes to the Laws of Cricket,” Heapy said
“I am thankful for all past and present Directors of Umpiring and training committees for their tireless help and dedication in assisting all umpires.”
Heapy plans to add to his tally in the coming seasons and the 70-year-old still has passion to be on the ground.
“I continue to umpire because I enjoy it so much,” Heapy said.
“I like the challenge of umpiring each game and where possible pass on my many experiences to my colleagues.
The friendships I have made with numerous colleagues and players over the years has been very special.”
Good Cricket Needs Good Umpires.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming an umpire, please contact Will Braid, Cricket Tasmania Match Officials Administrator on 0418 911 362 or email@example.com