Today marks the first time a National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) match has been officiated by two Indigenous umpires, with Allan Coulthard and Reuben Garlett overseeing the contest between the Northern Territory and Tasmania men’s teams at Jim McConville Oval.
Heralding from Adelaide and Perth respectively, Allan and Reuben return to the second NICC having both been previously involved in the Imparja Cup, demonstrating the sense of community and history that makes the competition so unique in Australia’s sporting landscape.
Allan Coulthard lives in Adelaide and has had an involvement with cricket for most of his life, including a playing career spanning 15 years and an umpiring career that started in 2006-07. During his playing days, Coulthard played club cricket and also had the opportunity to take part in the Imparja Cup in 2002-03, before returning to represent South Australia as an umpire at the Indigenous competition during his first umpiring season. In his officiating career for the South Australian Cricket Umpires & Scorers Association, which spans 10 years, Coulthard has also had the privilege to officiate a number of SACA grand finals including the SACA B Grade Grand Finals in 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15, and the SACA under-14 Grand Final in 2015-16.
Perth-based Reuben Garlett first began his umpiring career with the WACA in 1996 and has enjoyed a long-standing connection with the state system over the following years. As well as officiating WACA first grade cricket between 2011-12 and 2013-14, Garlett has also been a Western Australian umpiring representative at three Imparja Cups, officiating in the state/territory division in two of the tournaments.
While NICC matches have previously had the involvement of one Indigenous umpire, today’s match is significant as it is the first NICC to have been officiated by two Indigenous umpires.