SCOTTISH umpiring legend Alex Dowdalls today (Tuesday) reached the remarkable landmark of 250 international appearances.
He reached the milestone when he stood with Ireland’s Roland Black in the World Cricket League Division Two clash between Scotland and Papua New Guinea at Mannofield, Aberdeen.
Alex began umpiring in 1993 and his first appointment with the European Cricket Council was in 1999, an ICC under-19 World Cup qualifier in Penicuik between Ireland and Denmark.
He recalled: “I was standing with my great friend John Thallon and the Irish team that day included a 15-year-old William Porterfield, the now long time national captain.”
Alex, a journalist from Lanarkshire, has been a European Panel umpire since 2005 and promoted to the ICC Development Elite list in 2011 and on the ICC International Development Panel since 2015.
The vastly experienced Coatbridge official has umpired at European events in Scotland, Jersey, Guernsey, Spain, Netherlands and England and has also stood in ICC events in the United Arab Emirates in both Dubai, Abu Dhabi, as well as in South Africa, Thailand and twice in Namibia.
Alex was also on the panel at World Cricket League Division 6 in Essex 2015 and WCL Division 5 in Jersey 2016.In a glittering 20 year umpiring career, which has also included standing in two Scottish Cup Finals, Alex was also onfield in 2013 in 4-day match between Scotland v Australia ‘A’ (first class) at the Grange, an Aussie side which included test stars Steve Smith, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle.
Alex has also stood in the last three CWC Under-19 Qualifiers in Netherlands and twice in Jersey and on-field in Intercontinental Cup (first class) between Scotland and UAE at Ayr.
Alex added: “There are so many highlights and great events, it would be difficult to pick out one, but the two which would stand out, apart from the Australian game would be the Desert T20 in Dubai in January 2017, where I was on-field in the semi-final between Oman and Afghanistan with 10,000 of a crowd and very honored to be appointed third umpire in the final itself between Afghanistan and Ireland.
“I made my ODI debut on-field in January 2017 in a match between UAE and Hong Kong in Dubai International Stadium.
“And then in May, 2017 I stood on field in two ICC Champions Trophy warm-up matches in Kent, England, between Sri Lanka and Scotland. Kyle Coetzer’s innings in the first of those matches was without doubt the best knock I have ever witnessed in international cricket. That day I had the best seat in the house 22-yards away.
“Alex has achieved a lot of stamps on his passport along the way including being on the panel at WCL5 Benoni, South Africa in 2017 and in Dubai in January 2018 in six ODIs tri-series between Scotland/Ireland and UAE.
“In that series I stood with India’s Nitan Menon in Ireland v Scotland, which was a huge honour, as it was a fixture growing up that was regarded as the fixture of fixtures. I was so proud walking out that morning in the ICC Academy Stadium.”
In 2018 he was in Namibia for WCL2, stood onfield in two T20I matches Scotland v Pakistan and further honoured when appointed ICC Umpire Mentor in Essex at CWC Under-19 Europe qualifier and again mentor in Netherlands at T20 CWC Div 2 Qualifier.
On Tuesday in Aberdeen Alex stood in his 250th international in the World Cricket League 2 match between Scotland and Papua New Guinea.
To date Alex has been on-field in 185 internationals and third umpire for 65, at all levels ODI, T20I, senior, youth and women.
“I have been enormously proud to have reached this remarkable milestone,” added Alex.
“I have, and always will, continue to be totally dedicated to umpiring and proud to fly the flag for Scottish umpiring around the world. It would be fantastic to get over the 300 mark.”
In February this year Alex was presented with the W.M. Mann Trophy by the West of Scotland Association of Cricket Officials (WoSACO), for his achievements in umpiring. He received the trophy at the annual dinner from ECB First Class umpire Paul Baldwin.
“I must pay tribute to a few people, who have been an enormous influence on my umpiring career, not least my late mother and father, as well as the late Jim Connell and Bill Smith, and in more recent years Mac Wylie, Sandy Scotland and ICC Match Referee David Jukes,” concluded Alex.
Alex has made more international appearances, on-field and third, than any other umpire in Scottish cricket history.
250 not out.