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Darren Close Returns to First Class Cricket

Darren Close Returns

Tasmanian umpire Darren Close has been appointed to the Round 5 Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania v Queensland, 27 years after last standing in a First-Class Fixture.

Close remarkably debuted as an umpire in a first-class fixture as an 18 year old in the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and Victoria during the 1986/87 season. Between 1987 - 1992 Close stood in 20 first class fixtures, 17 Sheffield Shield matches and 3 tour matches where New Zealand, West Indies and Pakistan played against Tasmania.

In the same period, Close also stood in two List A matches including the 1986/87 One-Day Domestic Cup final between Tasmania and South Australia.

Close’s umpiring journey was interrupted when he relocated to the United Kingdom for work before returning to Australia ahead of the 2014/15 season. Close quickly reacquainted himself with the umpiring pathway returning to his roots in Tasmania's Cricket North West competition in the 2014/15 season whilst he also made several appearances in the Cricket Tasmania Premier League competition. 

Close continued to stand in both competitions in 2015/16 and was rewarded with appointment to the 2015/16 Under 17 National Championships and the CTPL 1st Grade Grand Final where he was partnered by National Panel member Mike Graham-Smith.

As a member of the Tasmanian State Umpire Panel, Close stood in several representative matches that season. Last season, his workload increased significantly officiating in the Rebel WBBL, WNCL and Toyota Futures League at various times.