The selection of umpires from Canada to represent the country in international matches has rarely been transparent. All too often, the umpire chosen to stand at international matches outside of Canada has been nominated without any attempt at making the selection in a competitive manner i.e. by the submission of the names of all the most suitable candidates, along with their curricula vitae, to a proper panel under the aegis of Cricket Canada. Furthermore, no input from the Umpire Certification Committee of Cricket Canada has ever been sought.
As a result, umpires that have been chosen have not always been the best, sometimes to the embarrassment of the cricketing community in this country. The latest nomination, that of Vivian Johnson as representing Canada on the “Emerging Panel” of umpires has to be considered the most egregious example of appointing of all. While Mr. Johnson has had considerable experience in the Caribbean, notably in Jamaica, his presence in Canada was totally unknown to the Umpire Certification Committee. This calls into question how his name could be put forward since he has already been nominated by his home country. Furthermore, there was once again no competitive process to identify suitable candidates from the pool of very talented umpires that this country has developed.
It goes without saying that a nomination “out of the blue” as it were, has had a demoralising effect on all the umpires across the country who have worked hard to improve their skills, and who have shown to their peers that they are worthy of consideration. Sadly, they have again been ignored. Despite all the umpire development work that was initiated by Tony Gudgin many years ago, and is currently kept going by Kantilal Patel, there will be no chance for truly Canadian umpires to represent this country until the I. C. C. steps in and creates demands that Cricket Canada puts its house in order. The consensus is that there is no point in trying to get the support of ICC America because at the very least turn a blind eye to what is going on, and (in the opinion of many) is actually participating in the process.