Upper Sixth Millfield student Scarlett Hale became the youngest ever international cricket umpire during the Kwibuka Women’s T20 tournament.
18-year-old Scarlett officiated eight matches during the 10-day competition in Rwanda in June, including the opening fixture between Rwanda and Botswana. Scarlett was also selected to umpire the competition final between Rwanda and Uganda.
Scarlett first ignited her passion for cricket umpiring after joining Hampshire Cricket Board’s Champions programme, which is designed to develop girls’ proficiency in umpiring, scoring and coaching. Following this, she officiated her first game at just 12 years old in her home county, Hampshire. She has now been umpiring cricket matches for six years, working her way up the age groups. In 2023, Scarlett was selected to officiate in the Women’s County Championship Regional Finals Day at Taunton, the Regional Academy Festival, the Women’s Club T20 National Plate Final and men's WEPL league.
Scarlett said “Having the title of the youngest international umpire is amazing to have, it still feels crazy to say. I hope it inspires people and shows what you can do when you put your mind to it by working hard and challenging yourself.”
Scarlett has made use of Millfield’s specialist sports provision to balance her academics alongside her cricket umpiring. She said “The school have been supportive of my umpiring. During the summer term I sat down with the cricket coaches and went through school cricket fixtures to decide which ones would be good for me to umpire and fit in my schedule. They have also supported me massively with umpiring tournaments and allowed me extra time to catch up on my work. My teachers help me to plan my schoolwork when I return from tournaments.”
Millfield Director of Cricket, Mark Garaway said “Scarlett has grasped every opportunity to develop her umpiring with both hands. Her hard work and diligence has given her some incredible experiences both in the UK and overseas. Scarlett is a fantastic role model for young people and has helped to showcase the way that we expose our pupils to the numerous development strands within the game of cricket. Whilst playing cricket is the most obvious pathway for young boys and girls at the school, the numbers of young coaches, scorers and umpires coming through the ECB education courses that we host are growing year on year thanks to pupils like Scarlett. We are so proud of her.”
Scarlett currently studies BTEC Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Millfield and has been accepted into England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Talent Pathway, a programme designed for experienced umpires who aspire to officiate at the highest level of cricket. After she leaves Millfield, Scarlett plans to go to Australia to umpire and coach for a season whilst travelling to different international tournaments. In the future, Scarlett hopes to be involved in the professional umpiring circuit and would love to stand in a test match or The Hundred.