Meet the CA match officials

Umpire profiles

 Phil Gillespie - Individual


Born    Frankston, Victoria 
Occupation    Police Officer 
Favourite cricketer growing up    Dean Jones 
One word to describe you    Committed 
Favourite sporting team    Richmond Tigers 
Which cricket club did you play for    Rowville Cricket Club 
First ever job    Sales Assistant 
Who would play you in a movie    Tom Cruise 
Favourite holiday destination    Lombadina – Western Australia 
Which sporting event in the world would you love to attend    NFL Superbowl 
Favourite food    Roast lamb 
Which talent do you wish you had    The ability to build. I haven’t got a handy bone in my body 
What's the best advice you've received from someone    “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

I’ve always felt embracing your fears will allow you to overcome them

If you could invite three people to dinner, who would they be   

Gregg Popovich – I would like to learn about his leadership and development styles

Aung San Suu Kyi – I am fascinated with her story and passion

John Howard – I am interested in his decision making process particularly in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars




Why did you choose umpiring?    My last couple of seasons of playing with the Rowville Cricket Club, I sustained a snapped achilles, broken jaw and knee reconstruction. As a result, I decided to retire from playing however wanted to remain involved in the game. I went to the Winter Classes in Victoria and enjoyed learning the laws of cricket and the challenges umpiring offered.  I applied and was successful in joining the Cricket Victoria Panel and haven't looked back. 
Who has had the most influence on your umpiring career?    The two most influential people in my umpiring career have been Bob Parry and Richard Patterson. Both have provided unwavering support, advice and guidance that has assisted my development 
Describe your memories from your First Class debut    I was fortunate enough to see my first hatrick at my end. Doug Bollinger was the bowler and he got the wickets of Peter Siddle, Chris Tremain and Scott Boland, the last of which was LBW. On day 3, Nathan Lyon bowled 33 consecutive overs from my end.  He was getting significant turn and bounce and it was a fantastic challenge
Which is your favourite cricket ground to umpire at and why    The Melbourne Cricket Ground. The atmosphere and history is unprecedented in Australian sport 
What's the strangest thing you've seen happen on field    I was umpiring a premier cricket match when a large swarm of bees swept across the ground. The locals had seen it many times before and immediately all got on the ground until the swarm passed. One of the opposition players though he could outrun the swarm and was bitten multiple times. After establishing he was okay we all had a good laugh at his expense 
Greatest cricket moment you've seen on field    I was fortunate enough to watch Colin de Grandhomme smash 210n.o in the National Championships in New Zealand. He faced only 120 balls. He hit the ball to every part of the ground and it was a pleasure to be in the middle and watch the onslaught 
If you could invent a new rule for the game, what would it be    I love the game the way it is 
Why should people get involved in umpiring?    You get the best seat in the house to watch the greatest sport.  Whilst umpiring you will see the physical and mental challenges faced by the players and the way these players face fear and adversity.  Umpiring also teaches you people management skills that are transferable to other aspects of your life.  More importantly, you will learn a lot of about yourself and how you manage difficult situations 
What advice would you give to aspiring umpires?    First and foremost you need to enjoy the challenges umpiring has to offer and the game in general.   Umpire each match to the best of your ability as it is a Test match for those participants. Ensure you have a multi-faceted approach to improvement. 1 - Fitness; 2 - Knowledge of laws and playing conditions; 3 - Technique/self-development; 4 - Preparation.  If you improve these four areas, your umpiring performance will also improve