HISTORY ... OUR STORY
Russ Evans, passed away suddenly in November 2017 during some routine hospital tests, leaving the cricket world in shock.
Russ was an ex-professional cricketer for Notts CCC who went onto work in the cricket bat industry and then become a first-class umpire.
Although he was a top umpire in the professional game, he never forgot his journey along the umpiring pathway. He was passionate about the game of cricket and would give his time willingly to help local amateur umpires. On cold winters nights he would often attend the training sessions and umpiring discussions which were held at his beloved Trent Bridge. Russ just loved the game of cricket and helping people, he was an inspiration to many.
The aim of this foundation is to ensure that Russ’ interest in developing young officials and the support he gave to up-coming umpires, will live on. The Russ Evans Foundation will encourage more young players to try umpiring for themselves. Of course, not all will go onto become umpires, but hopefully many will, at some stage in their cricketing lives.
Participants will also have a better appreciation of the umpires view of the game which will hopefully encourage respect and camaraderie between players and umpires. Let’s not forget that most umpires do it for enjoyment, just like the players.
Year 1 - 2018
In 2018, supported by the ECB Innovations Fund, the project was based on four independent schools in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.
Stage 1 training was provided by ECB ACO* tutors and 31 young officials umpired over 135 schools’ games. These young officials were given Membership of ECB ACO, which has been extended for a second year so that the initial year 1 umpires, many who are still at school, will now follow onto Stage 2. It is also hoped that some of these will umpire in local age-group cricket.
For 2019, a maintained school has joined the group and will offer places to other maintained schools in the area.
During the winter of 2018-9, friends of Russ Evans, knowing his strong interest in developing young officials, founded the Russ Evans Foundation to dedicate a young officials project to his memory.
Year 2 - 2019
The two projects combined in early 2019 under the name of the Russ Evans Foundation and will now work together to develop the programme. It seeks to abandon the stereotype of old men as cricket umpires and to establish young officials as the norm. Special clothing for the 2019 group will be available to all new members, so that the name of Russ Evans will be perpetuated in the work being developed in his name.
It is hoped that the next steps will concentrate on developing young officials through clubs, particularly those with youth teams.
*Association of Cricket Officials