That this council—
1. Celebrates the outstanding 25-year career of South Australian international cricket umpire, Steve Davis, upon his retirement in June;
2. Acknowledges Steve Davis's commitment to cricket in which he umpired 57 test matches, 137 One Day Internationals, and 26 T20 Internationals; and
3. Recognises the important role played by umpires, officials and volunteers in grassroots, state, national, and international sport.
This motion I move is to concur with the member for Chaffey in the other place—to acknowledge the distinguished career of international cricket umpire Steve Davis.
Steve Davis began his career in South Australia, presumably in district cricket, working his way up to first-class level, where he made his debut in 1991. It was not long before he received an international call-up to umpire a One Day International between Pakistan and the West Indies in Adelaide in 1992. Five years later, Steve made his test debut as an umpire in 1997 in Hobart, where Australia were hosting New Zealand.
In 2001, the International Cricket Council mandated the appointment of neutral umpires for test matches. This forced Australian umpires to umpire exclusively overseas, which no doubt cut short the ambitions of many and still does. However, it also shows how much commitment the job requires, and only the best and the most dedicated are selected to be on both the international panel and the elite panel to which Mr Davis was appointed in 2002 and 2008, respectively.
Since his debut, Mr Davis has gone on to stand in 57 test matches, 137 One Day Internationals and 26 Twenty20 internationals. It was before one of these tests that he was involved in one of cricket's darkest days, when the team and official buses came under attack by terrorists before day 3 of the second test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Lahore. This is how he described it:
We pulled up to a halt behind the Sri Lankan bus—not the Pakistani bus—which had stopped, and we knew things were on because our van started getting hit by bullets. The driver, before he got hit, told us to get down and stay down. The driver was killed with two bullets and died instantly. Glass was shattering everywhere and there were noises of bullets and other ammunition just pelting at us from all sides—back, both sides and the front. I thought we were all going to be killed. I thought they would just do away with us.
One of his colleagues, Ahsan Raza, was shot twice in the chest whilst in the minivan carrying the umpires and match officials, including Mr Davis.
Steve Davis is considered one of the greats of the game and respected by officials, administrators and, most tellingly, the players. We celebrate him in this place today because he is a South Australian but also because it is important that we acknowledge that sport cannot be played without the diligence and goodwill of its officials. It is often a loathed position, particularly by zealots in the crowd, and we must celebrate those who are willing to cop all that purely to see the game run correctly.
I encourage all spectators, parents and players alike to be thankful for all our officials, as without them we would not have organised sport. I commend the career of Mr Steve Davis and I commend the motion to the council.