Cricket umpire Robinson dies

HARARE - Veteran Zimbabwe Cricket umpire Ian Robinson passed away yesterday after succumbing to lung cancer in Harare.

He was 69.

Robinson, who began his umpiring career in the local first class in 1978, officiated in 28 Test matches, 90 One Day Internationals and three World Cup tournaments (1992, 1996 and 1999).

He was a Zimbabwe Cricket Union (now ZC) board member for 14 years and an employee for nine. Robinson’s international debut came in Zimbabwe’s inaugural Test against India at Harare Sports Club in 1982.

He also played cricket for Hatfield Sports Club as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

Former ZC board member and friend Nick Chouhan described Robinson’s as a fine gentleman.

“Ian Robinson was a fine gentleman and well respected cricketer, both as a player and a cricket administrator,” Chouhan told the Daily News yesterday.

“I had a pleasure of playing against him and also working with him in my years on both the Mashonaland and Zimbabwean Cricket boards.

“He will be remembered all over the world as an International umpire who represented at the highest levels. He will be sorely missed.”

In September, 2004, Robinson was sacked by the then ZCU and was completely removed from the panel of umpiring, a move he challenged through courts.

“During the retrenchment talks they spoke about retaining my expertise as an umpire, retaining me on a consultancy basis to do some training and development of umpires, and umpiring local cricket. I was reassured I would be reappointed as an umpire, but that hasn't happened. It would be very sad if I was to have nothing to do with cricket in the future, because it has been a major part of my life,” Robinson said back then.

Burial arrangements will be announced in due course.

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