Cricket Umpires Australia
Australian Cricket thanks umpire Darren Close
Australian Cricket thanks Cricket Australia (CA) National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Darren Close for his long-serving contribution to the game.
Close’s umpiring career at the national level spanned a remarkable 35 years which did include a significant gap during the 1990’s and 2000’s. Close’s First-Class umpiring debut came as an 18-year old back in the 1986/87 season when Tasmania took on Victoria in a Sheffield Shield match in Devonport. In another unique achievement, Close made his List-A debut in the 1986/87 One Day Cup Final between Tasmania and South Australia at the Tasmania Cricket Association (TCA) Ground in Hobart. Between 1987 and 1992, Close also officiated in First-Class Tour matches between Tasmania and touring New Zealand, West Indies and Pakistan sides.
During the 1990’s Close relocated to the United Kingdom for work before returning to Australia and the Tasmanian umpiring ranks. Residing close to Devonport in Northern Tasmania, Close plied his trade in the Tasmanian Premier Cricket competition predominantly based in Hobart, a testament to his dedication to his umpiring in Tasmania. Close re-entered the CA umpiring pathway through Premier Cricket, WNCL, Weber WBBL and Toyota Second XI cricket on the Tasmanian State Umpire Panel.
Close was appointed to the 2015/16 Under 17 National Championships and travelled to Adelaide the following season to officiate in the Under 19 Male National Championships. Close stood on-field in Final of that tournament and backed that up in 2017/18 by standing in the Final again. Close was appointed to the CA Supplementary Umpire Panel (SUP) for the 2017/18 season and continued to officiate in the WNCL, WBBL, Toyota Second XI and KFC BBL as a Fourth Umpire. In the 2029/20 season, Close returned to professional cricket standing in Sheffield Shield, Marsh One Day Cup and KFC BBL09 matches. His KFC BBL debit came in the match between the Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers at Traeger Park Alice Springs.
In a career spanning two distinct periods, Close stood on-field in a total of 29 First-Class, eight List-A and 20 KFC BBL matches. In the Weber WBBL, Close has stood in 29 and seven WNCL matches, which include the WNCL Finals in 2017/18 and 2018/19. On the International front, and in addition to his First-Class Tour matches, Close has stood in numerous underage International and A-Series fixtures throughout this umpiring career. Close officiated in the 1988 Youth World Cup in the first part of his career. While more recently officiating in the Under 19 Series between Australia and Sri Lanka in 2017 and the 2019 series featuring New Zealand. And in February and March 2020, Close officiated in the England Lions tour matches.
In his native Tasmania, Close stood in five consecutive First-Grade Finals from 2015/16 through to 2019/20 placing him in the top echelon of cricket umpires from the Apple Isle. Close is an active member of the Tasmanian Cricket Umpires & Scorers’ Association and has given the game great service at the highest levels in Australia.