Umpire Cyril Mitchley is officiating as a match referee for the last time. Mitchley was a household name as an international umpire in the 1990s but the Sunfoil Series fixture between the bizhub Highveld Lions and the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras at the BidVest Wanderers Stadium marks the end of an era.
Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat paid tribute to Mitchley, “Cyril has given a lifetime of service to our great game as player, administrator, umpire and match referee and has been ever present as a match official throughout the period since unity. He has truly been a larger than life character and a true sportsman who was also a professional soccer player of note. Apart from his eight matches as a first-class cricketer for Transvaal, he has stood in 26 Test matches and 61 ODI’s as an international umpire and also been an international match referee on four occasions. He stood in our first home Test match after unity against India at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in the 1992-93 season and he will be well remembered for becoming the first umpire to refer a run out decision to the third umpire from his square leg position when TV technology was introduced for the first time at Test match level. It resulted in Sachin Tendulkar becoming the first player to be given run out via the use of technology after Andrew Hudson, our current convener of the national selection panel, had broken the wicket. It is highly appropriate that Cyril’s last match should be between the traditional rivals of the north and south and at the ground that has featured so strongly in his career. It is also the end of an era for the Mitchley family as Cyril’s three sons all played cricket at first-class level as well. On behalf of the CSA family I would like to thank Cyril for his life-time of service to the game and to wish him many happy and healthy years in retirement. I have no doubt he will continue to take a great interest in the game that he loves.”
Gregory Fredericks, Chief Executive of the Gauteng Cricket board, commended Mitchley on the career he has had in cricket, “Devoting 60 years of your life to this game is no small feat and I would like to congratulate Cyril on this. As a member of the GCB Umpires Association, he is a sterling example of someone that served the game unconditionally and for that we have a massive amount of gratitude.”