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Australian Cricket thanks umpire Geoff Joshua

06-160620 Geoff Joshua

Australian Cricket thanks Cricket Australia National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Geoff Joshua for his long-serving dedication to umpiring.

Joshua began his umpiring career with Cricket Victoria in the 1995/96 season and started on the Cricket Australia (CA) pathway at the Under 17 National Championships in 2002/03. He returned to the CA Under 17 Championships in 2004/05 before attending the CA Under 19 Championships held in Adelaide in 2006/07. 

In season 2005/06 Joshua stood in his first of 19 Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) matches, which heralded his first taste of senior domestic cricket. Following a couple of games in the men’s Second XI competition, Joshua made his List-A debut on 18 January 2008 in the fixture between Victoria and Tasmania at the MCG. In total, Joshua stood in 44 List-A matches, and officiated a further 20 fixtures as Third Umpire. 

On 1 February 2008, Joshua returned to the MCG and stood in his first Women’s Twenty20 International as Australia hosted England. He returned to the MCG in January 2011 as part of the Women’s Ashes Series against England and finishes with 12 Women’s Twenty20 International matches to his name. In addition, Joshua was appointed to three matches in the box. 

During the 2008 Australian southern winter, for the first time Joshua umpired in the traditional cricket ‘off season’ as he travelled to Brisbane and officiated the CA Emerging Players Tournament in Brisbane throughout July. 

With three List-A matches under his belt, Joshua made his men’s Twenty20 domestic debut on 2 January 2009 at the MCG between Victoria and South Australia. He was appointed on-field to two matches as part of the inaugural 17-match season. 

Joshua returned to the ‘Top End’ the following off season, including appointment to the CA Emerging Players Tournament again in Brisbane, before standing in the CA Under 19 Series between Australia and Sri Lanka in Darwin.

Whilst juggling his ‘off-field’ occupation as a police officer, in season 2009/10, Joshua was elevated to the CA National Umpire Panel (NUP), and it wasn’t long before his First-Class debut. On 30 October 2009, Joshua stood in the Sheffield Shield match between South Australia and Victoria at the Adelaide Oval. There he stood alongside Rod Tucker whilst Bob Stratford was Match Referee. It was fitting that Joshua would then bring up his 50-match milestone at the same venue in October 2018.

In total, he stood in 60 First-Class matches, which included 56 Sheffield Shield matches and a First-Class Tour Match between Victoria and England. Joshua was appointed to two further First-Class matches as Third Umpire, as Australia A hosted the touring England teams in 2010 and 2013 both in Hobart. 

Throughout his career, Joshua experienced First-Class conditions on foreign soil. In 2007 he travelled to Auckland to officiate as part of the Victoria Premier Cricket – New Zealand exchange program. He returned to New Zealand in February 2016 and stood in a First-Class Plunkett Shield match between Central Districts and Canterbury in Nelson. He then travelled to South Africa in February 2017 and stood in two First-Class matches across Paarl and the famous Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. 

Joshua stood in eight of the previous state based Twenty20 competition fixtures before his debut in the new KFC Big Bash League in the fixture between the Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers on 21 December 2011. On Boxing Day 2018 in Perth, Joshua brought up his 50th Twenty20 match in the middle. His Twenty20 domestic career closes with 67 matches, which included appointment to three consecutive Semi Finals in 2015; 2016 and 2017. In addition to his on-field performances, Joshua was appointed Third Umpire a further 36 times. This included appointed in the box for the Finals between the Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder at the MCG in January 2016, and when the Adelaide Strikers hosted the Hobart Hurricanes in February 2018. He was also appointed to Semi Finals in 2013 and 2014 as Third Umpire. 

Joshua returned to the MCG for another significant debut on 19 January 2014, where he stood in his first Women’s One-Day International as Australia hosted England. He added four further Women’s One-Day International matches to his name, including overseeing matches between the hosts and Pakistan in Brisbane and South Africa in Canberra. He was Third Umpire for three further Women’s One-Day Internationals. 

In November 2017, Joshua was appointed to a rare Women’s Test between Australia and England. The four-day fixture held at North Sydney Oval as part of the Women’s Ashes Series, was the first Women’s Test on Australian soil since January 2014. Joshua also stood in two Twenty20 Internationals during the same Series that was eventually split on points but saw Australia retain the trophy. 

From a men’s international perspective, Joshua was first appointed 4th Umpire in February 2008 during the One-Day International Series between Australia and Sri Lanka. He went on to be appointed as Fourth Umpire for a further five matches. In January 2009, Joshua was appointed to his first of five Twenty20 International fixtures as Fourth Umpire. During the 2014/15 Australia versus India Test Series, Joshua was Fourth Umpire at the Adelaide Oval and the MCG. 

Joshua was appointed to two further Tour Matches throughout his career. In December 2012 he stood in a three-day CA Chairman’s XI match against visitors Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval. In October last season, he returned to Canberra and stood in the Prime Minister’s XI versus Sri Lanka Twenty20.

At the close of season 2019/20, Joshua had 172 First XI Premier Cricket games to his name. Winner of the Jim Phillips XI Umpiring Award in 2016/17, Joshua is also a member of the prestigious Cricket Victoria ‘200 Club’, which is open to those who have played, umpired or scored in 200 or more international or domestic; First-Class; One-Day; Twenty20 or First Grade matches.