Cricket: rep player Zac Clarke becomes umpire for the love of the game

If there’s one thing Zac Clarke is certain of, it’s how much he loves cricket.

He does it all. He plays, he watches and now he even umpires.

Clarke’s ascension into the umpiring ranks stems directly from his love of the game.

“I just wanted to be involved in cricket somehow,” Clarke said.

It’s good. I like watching the game anyway and it feels good to be in charge.

Zac Clarke

“It’s a good way to pick up extra money as well but I just wanted to be involved in cricket. It doesn't matter how.”

Clarke did his test to become an umpire last year – where he scored 93 per cent –  and he has now racked up a number of games umpiring in the Tamworth District Cricket Association as well as junior representative matches and he’s enjoying it.

“It’s good. I like watching the game anyway and it feels good to be in charge,” Clarke said.

After one game umpiring fourth grade, Clarke – who goes to school at Carinya – stepped straight up into third grade in Tamworth the following week where he faced the task of umpiring some of his peers. The teenager umpired City United in third grade and knew most of the players in his team.

They, along with Clarke’s other mates, got right behind Clarke’s move into umpiring.

“They’re [Clarke’s friends] actually pretty proud of it,” Clarke said.

“They were saying ‘well done’ and ‘are you umpiring us this week?’.

Clarke also sees umpiring as a career path.

“I’d really like to [pursue umpiring] If I don’t succeed as a player, then I’d love to do umpiring,” Clarke said.

“It wouldn't be much different to a player really – you can still go to the international level with it.”

On the playing front, Clarke represented Northern Inland at the Macquarie Generation HVJCC Under 15s Carnival at the end of January.

The Northern Inland side started the carnival in good touch with a win over Hawkebsury but was unable to score another victory from the other three games played.

Despite the losses, Clarke played a key role for the side as he topped the run-scoring for Northern Inland.

Clarke’s top score was 41 as he scored 111 runs in total at the carnival in Maitland.