Friday, December 2, 2022

CSA: Holdstock stands tall after double celebration

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Feelings of fulfilment and pride are just some of the emotions Cape Town umpire Adrian Holdstock has been soaking up over the past week.

The 50-year-old last week claimed the rare double of Umpire of the Year and the Umpires’ Umpire of the Year at the recent Cricket South Africa (CSA) Awards that acknowledged those that stood out during the 2019/20 season.

Holdstock enjoyed a stellar 12 months in which he not only flew the flag high domestically, but also saw his international stock rise when he received a first overseas bilateral series appointment.

“It gives me a feeling of honour and great pride that I have been able to make a solid contribution to the excellence of CSA umpiring during the past season,” he said.

“To win the Umpires’ Umpire of the Year award means a lot as it is your peers and colleagues that have voted for you.

“To be acknowledged as Umpire of the Year by CSA and the respective stakeholders provides oneself with a feeling of fulfilment, that all the hard work, commitment, dedication and time spent away from home have been rewarded.

“I have to acknowledge all my fellow Match Officials for their unwavering support and commitment to our beautiful game, thereby, ensuring that cricket played in South Africa is at the highest level within the Laws and the Spirit of the game.”

Holdstock’s overseas bilateral adventure was one of two in the last 12 months after he took charge of series’ in the Netherlands and the West Indies, officiating in five one-day internationals.

The former Boland and Western Province all-rounder was also an ever-present during the limited-overs home series against England and Australia, taking his overall tally to 23 ODI and 28 T20I on-field appointments.

“Umpiring is a long journey with many sacrifices made along the way,” he says. “I am grateful that I have been afforded an opportunity to enjoy a career in cricket that has been part of my life forever.

“I’m also fortunate to have been given the chance to watch the best players in the world compete out in the middle at close quarters – I certainly have the best seat in the house.”

One of the biggest highlights for Holdstock last season, however, was being a standing umpire in the ICC U19 World Cup final between India and Bangladesh in Potchefstroom, one of eight on-field assignments during the global spectacle.

The experienced umpire was also involved in the MSL, 4-Day Domestic Series and Momentum One-Day Cup.

Looking back on his international career, which began in 2011, he named the famous Pink ODI of 2015 against West Indies as his highlight, and for good reason too.

“I was extremely fortunate to be an on-field umpire in the Pink ODI at the Imperial Wanderers against the West Indies when AB de Villiers scored his record-breaking century (of 100 in 31 balls),” Holdstock adds.

“What a display of batsmanship. My recollection of that innings was witnessing thirty-two thousand people going absolutely berserk in the stands as they were treated to a masterclass.”

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