Guyanese Nigel Duguid fulfils dream of becoming on-field Test umpire

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By Avenash Ramzan

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At the age of 52 years, 111 days on a sunny Wednesday morning in Bridgetown, Barbados, Nigel Duguid stepped on to Kensington Oval, joining his West Indian compatriot Joel Wilson as the on-field umpire for the second Apex Test match between West Indies and England.

Moments before the 10:00h start, Duguid was given a plaque by Match Referee, the former West Indies captain Sir Richie Richardson, to commemorate his debut in Test cricket as an on-field umpire on March 16th, 2022.

Born November 25th, 1969, Duguid became the 497th umpire in the world to officiate in Test cricket, the 53rd West Indian and just the seventh Guyanese to do on-field duties in a Test match.

Duguid has now followed in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Badge Menzies, Cecil Kippins, Compton Vyphuis, David Narine, Clyde Duncan and Eddie Nicholls.

Prior to Duguid’s entry to Test cricket, Nicholls was the last Guyanese to officiate in the longest format, his final game being the Australia/South Africa Test match in Melbourne in 2001.

Match referee Sir Richie Richardson (second right) presents umpire Nigel Duguid with a plaque on debut as fellow on-field umpire Joel Wilson (left), TV Umpire Gregory Brathwaite (second left) and Reserve Umpire Leslie Reifer (centre) watch during the first day of the second Test between West Indies and England at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados, on March 16, 2022. (Photo by Randy Brooks/AFP) (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

“I’m elated at this achievement,” Duguid told News Room Sport in an exclusive interview.

“A Test match is the pinnacle of cricket and to reach this level is like a dream come through. To have the title of Test Umpire to my name now is a great achievement.”

Duguid has been an international umpire since February 2014 when he stood in a T20 between West Indies and Ireland in Kingston, Jamaica.

Since then, he has officiated in 43 T20 Internationals (26 on-field and 17 TV Umpire) and 16 One-Day Internationals (10 on-field and 6 TV Umpire).

Nigel Duguid has been an international umpire since 2014. He started at the local level in 2010 (Photo by Hannah Peters-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Duguid’s introduction to Umpiring came through an invitation from the late Vyphuis in 2010, as the Guyana Cricket Umpires Council was looking for persons under the age of 40 to take up the role.

“I never started out with an intention to reach the Test level; it’s just after I started doing the exams and started doing regional matches that I really started to take it seriously,” Duguid reflected.

Prior to his on-field Test debut, Duguid did TV Umpire duties in six Test matches.

He noted that preparations to officiate in five days of cricket are quite different from what obtains in the other two formats.

“For Test matches it’s a different preparation; this now calls for longevity, duration, stamina, concentration, and the levels have to be longer because it is five days…so that will really put you to the test,” Duguid explained.

“Five days is a long time, so you have to take it session by session and don’t look too far ahead.”

Prior to his on-field Test debut, Duguid had ample time in the middle as he officiated two games in the Cricket West Indies Regional Four-Day Championship in February and then the England versus Cricket West Indies President’s XI Four-Day game in early March in Antigua.

Duguid pointed out that young persons aspiring to become a Cricket Umpire must possess such traits as professionalism, integrity and honesty, but first and foremost a love for the game and the profession.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Cricket Umpires Council has extended congratulations to Duguid, noting that the Council is proud to have an active on-field Test Umpire in its ranks after two decades.

Nigel Duguid factfile (As at March 18, 2022)

Test Match: 7 (1 on-field; 6 TV Umpire)

ODI: 16 (10 on-field; 6 TV Umpire)

T20I: 43 (26 on-field; 17 TV Umpire)

Women ODI: 7 (all on-field)

Women T20I: 16 (15 on-field; 1 TV Umpire)

First-Class: 58 (all on-field)

List A: 92 (82 on-field; 10 TV Umpire)

T20: 151 (102 on-field; 49 TV Umpire)

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