Melbourne, Apr 17: Australians Simon Fry and John Ward have retired from elite umpiring, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Friday. South Australia's Fry who stood in 100 first-class matches, 130 List A games and 93 T20s has bid adieu to elite umpiring after 20 seasons. "Never would I have thought that a chance meeting with a former teammate would lead to a twenty-year career in the game that I love. I believe the time is right to step aside and for someone else to experience the same opportunities, challenges and sense of satisfaction that I have enjoyed," Fry said.
"I feel fortunate to have made many wonderful friendships which I will treasure forever. I wish to thank the SACA, CA and the ICC for their support throughout my career. Most importantly, I thank my wife Rachel, our children and our families for their encouragement and support over the years," he added. On the other hand, Victoria's John Ward, with a little less experience than Fry, acted as an umpire for 19 seasons which consisted of 87 first-class, 84 List A and 117 T20 matches. Fry and Ward have enjoyed distinguished careers at the international and domestic level.
The pair stood in their final match together, in the Marsh Sheffield Shield at Blundstone Arena in March. "I feel very fortunate to have umpired cricket at this level for so long. It has been a privilege. The relationships I've developed with on-field colleagues, match referees, CA staff and players have been the highlight for me," Ward said. "My retirement creates an opportunity for someone else to experience this high-performance environment and I hope they enjoy it as much as I did," he added.(UNI)