Former Test umpire Mel Johnson has been awarded life membership of Queensland Cricket at the Annual General Meeting held at Queensland Cricket Headquarters.
Johnson, who devoted more than three decades to umpiring, is the first umpire to have the honour of Life Membership conferred upon him by Queensland Cricket.
“I recall when I was going to take up umpiring, I met one of the umpires down at Bottomley Park for an assessment,” said Johnson.
“He asked me what beer I drank and I told him ‘XXXX’ and he said, ‘well, you’ve passed.’ And that was that, which I am sure some people who encountered me later would not be surprised to hear!”
“As I got towards the end of my umpiring career, I thought to myself that I could certainly help umpires be better prepared for what lay ahead for them, and that gave me something I could really get involved with once I finished on the field.”
Johnson made his first class umpiring debut in 1977-78 and stood in his first Test in 1979-80 , between Australia and West Indies, held at Adelaide Oval
He umpired in 29 Test matches and 49 One Day Internationals during his career and officiated in 66 first class games by the time he retired in 1987-88.
He was the inaugural Chairman of the National Umpires Selection Panel when he was appointed in 2002.
The meeting of the delegates’ council also endorsed the appointments of Michael Kasprowicz and Bryan Phelan OAM to the Cricket Australia Board, with Phelan standing down as Deputy Chairman of Queensland Cricket after eight years in the role.
Phelan, a QC Director since 1991-92, stood down from his Queensland role to take on the CA Director’s position following a change to the QC constitution last year which prevents an individual from serving on both Boards.
QC Chairman Jim Holding thanked Phelan for his diligence and commitment to cricket in Queensland.
“He has made a very selfless decision to go on with the CA directorship. The next 12 months is going to be incredibly important for Australian Cricket and I am pleased Bryan is ready to devote himself to this task,” said Jim Holding.