Cricket umpiring a game changer for Simon’s health

A CAREER umpiring cricket has been filled with highs and lows for Old Beach’s Simon Burns.

The highs including umpiring at a national underage carnival, an exchange program that took him into the middle of North Sydney Oval and umpiring a grand final seven weeks after leaving hospital.

Simon Burns, left, with life member Tim Swifte.

Simon took up umpiring after he finished playing cricket following a diagnosis with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2003.

“I played underage at Glenorchy, before playing more socially with Bridgewater in the Derwent Valley League when they had a team,” Simon said.

“It was a very hard decision to quit playing, but I realised it was the best way for me to stay involved.  I credit umpiring with playing apart in my quick recovery.”

Simon won the best first year umpire award in 2003/04 and then missed a couple of seasons before coming back in 2012/13.

He rose again to first grade level and stood in the Cricket Australia Under 17 National Championships held in Adelaide before his health took another turn with a relapse of his previous condition in 2013.

Simon said staying healthy and being on the park has been a bit of a battle.

“My challenges have been my health,” Simon said.

“Being diagnosed with cancer a second time at the age of 36, it was a huge setback for my career.

“It took all of my energy and determination to continue to umpire throughout my treatment.

“I must thank Richard Widows at Cricket Tasmania, whose assistance and support helped me through this time, and allowed me to continue to umpire at the pace I was comfortable with.”

The Tasmanian Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (TCUSA) is the peak body or cricket umpiring in Tasmania and provides opportunities for people to work within a system that accommodates umpires aspiring to umpire test cricket right through to local under age and women’s competitions.

The TCUSA is currently requiting umpires for the 2015/16 season and will be hosting its very informative and educational Winter Laws School at Blundstone Arena.

The Laws School will be held in the Century Room at Blundstone Arena starting July 29 and runs for five weeks.

Simon encourages anybody who has an interest in the game to get along and be involved.

“Umpiring is for all skill levels and ages, and we are accepting of all,” Simon said.

“If you just want to spend a Sunday afternoon on the field, or you wish to enter the pathway to Test Match Cricket or anything in between, you will be accommodated.

“The TCUSA offer the best remuneration for sports officials and it is an advantage that Tasmania is a part of a National Competition, offering many opportunities to advance, that other codes can’t offer,” Simon said.

If you or anybody you know is interested in umpiring in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League, contact Roy Loh, Cricket Tasmania Umpiring Development and Administration Officer at or 0418 376 725.