Dad's delight as Hartlepool umpire Michael Gough is labelled 'best in the world'

The dad of a leading cricketing umpire has spoken of his delight at hearing his son labelled "the best in the world".

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 1:36 pm
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 10:28 am
Michael Gough senior with scrapbook of memories devoted to cricketing umpire son Michael.

Retired Hartlepool businessman Michael Gough said he was "dumbfounded" when he heard the comment while watching son, Michael junior, officiate on TV in the recent Australia versus India test match Down Under.

Analyst and former England captain Michael Vaughan said fellow cricketing legend Ravi Shastri, the current Indian coach, had told him just before the start of play that Michael junior was the world's number one umpire.

Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake appeals to Michael Gough for the wicket of England's Jos Buttler during a one-day international at Edgbaston, Birmingham, in 2014.

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Vaughan spoke about the conversation when Indian players decided against seeking a review when Michael junior maintained a home batsman was not out.

Vaughan told BT Sport viewers: "I was speaking to Ravi Shastri just before play and they think Michael Gough is the best umpire in the world.

"And they even go on about how if he gives it not out then the Indians, they not do review it because they just trust that he will be making the right decision."

After watching the praise on television at his Bishop Cuthbert home, Michael senior said: "I was dumbfounded when I heard the comment.

Indian coach Ravi Shastri.

"It's not for me to say if he is or if he isn't the best. As far as I am concerned there is very little to choose between so many of them at the top. They are all exceptional."

"But it's still wonderful to hear that someone as legendary as Shastri has spoken about Michael in such a way."

Michael junior represented England A and Durham at cricket before deciding in 2002 to retire competitively and pursue an umpiring career.

Fourteen years later, after working his way up from officiating in local leagues, he was handed his first test and currently represents the England and Wales Cricket Board on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) International Panel of Umpires.

Michael senior, well known in town as the owner of the former Mike Gough Sports shop, in York Road, said: "I am really pleased for him that it has worked out because it was a big gamble to pack in cricket."

Michael junior still lives in Hartlepool and is married to Charlotte, 37. The couple have one daughter, Emma, who is two.

The former English Martyrs School pupil is now third umpire at Australia's current test match with Sri Lanka.

His dad, who is married to Jean, also 68, added: "He follows the sun but he also still follows Hartlepool United from afar and certainly when he is at home. He has been a season ticket holder for around 20 years and has never forgotten his roots."