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Umpire Mick Martell calls time on illustrious career

Mick Martell

Cricket Australia (CA) National Panel Umpire Mick Martell has announced his retirement from umpiring.

The announcement follows a highly decorated career by the West Australian, which included several international appearances; three International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments; domestic finals and appointment on foreign shores. 

A former Wanneroo Districts and Balcatta Cricket Club player, Martell crafted his umpiring trade through the WACA Premier Cricket ranks before appointment to his first CA Under 17 National Championships in 2005/06. He was duly selected in the following two seasons for the CA Under 19 National Championships.

In October 2007 Martell made his List A debut in a Domestic One-Day Cup fixture between Western Australia and Tasmania in his home state. Later that year Martell debuted in the state-based domestic T20 competition, the forerunner to the Big Bash League. At the close of the 2016/17 season, Martell had officiated in a total of 64 List A Matches, and a further 63 fixtures in the shortest format. Of the 33 official Big Bash League fixtures, Martell had involvement in an unprecedented five of the six Finals (four of which were on-field).

Joining the National Umpire Panel in the same season, Martell returned to the WACA in October 2008 to make his First-Class debut alongside Paul Reiffel in the fixture between hosts Western Australia and Tasmania. He would go on to stand in a total of 53 First-Class matches which included 42 Sheffield Shield matches. Thanks to his consistent performances he was appointed to two consecutive Sheffield Shield Final appearances in 2014/15 in Hobart, and 2015/16 in Adelaide. He also stood in numerous First-Class Tour Matches featuring visiting teams, as well as appointment to the ‘A’ Series in Queensland in 2016.

Martell’s First-Class career provided him with opportunities to officiate on foreign soil numerous times, including matches in India (Duleep Trophy), South Africa (Sunfoil Series) and New Zealand (Plunkett Shield). He also joined fellow Australian John Ward as the first ever international umpires appointed to the Caribbean T20 Premier League in 2015. Their tournament culminated with them being appointed to stand in the final together in Trinidad and Tobago.

In 2009 Martell was appointed by the ICC to the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. Held in Sydney, he stood in two games on-field, and a further three games as Reserve Umpire. Martell’s umpiring potential was again recognised by the ICC as he was invited to officiate at the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh in early 2016. Despite the Australian team withdrawing from the tournament, Martell decided to take his opportunity on the subcontinent. He stood in five matches, before being appointed at Third Umpire in the Final. His appointment to this international tournament rendered him unavailable for the BBL|05 Final.

Martell’s hard work throughout his distinguished domestic career was then rewarded with appointment to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand in early 2014. As part of this tournament, Martell made his One-Day International debut between Kenya and Netherlands on January 23 at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln. In total, Martell stood in eight One-Day Internationals featuring teams such as Australia, England, India, New Zealand, and most recently Pakistan.

Later that year, Martell stood in the first of his four T20 International fixtures when he debuted in the match between Australia and South Africa at the MCG. Martell’s final international appearance was in February this year in Adelaide in the fixture between Australia and Sri Lanka.

In December 2014 Martell achieved a feat few modern-day officials can accomplish. Playing a Test Series without the Decision Review System (DRS), and therefore permissible for a non-ICC Elite Panel Umpire to be appointed as Third Umpire, Martell was duly selected in the hot seat in the highly emotional Australia versus India Test Match in Adelaide on home soil.

To acknowledge his dedication to umpiring in Perth, in July this year Martell was recognised by his peers in Western Australia when he was awarded Life Membership of the Western Australian Cricket Umpires’ Association. This achievement reflects his service to cricket in 238 games across Perth, including 145 in the First Grade.

Throughout his career Martell took an active role with the Umpire Leadership Group. Voted by his peers, the three-person Group is the conduit between the contracted umpires and CA, and entrusted with important issues such as Umpire benefits negotiation.

Martell retires not only highly regarded as an Umpire, but also an individual whose positive vibe; enthusiasm and support for his team mates will be missed across the umpiring family worldwide.