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FAST TRACKED to the highest level of domestic cricket, Kevin Sisnett is determined to maximize his opportunities and make it all the way to the international stage. The 23-year-old former off spinning all-rounder made his debut as an umpire at the Elite level in the opening round of the 2013 season when Carlton hosted ICBL Empire at the Desmond Haynes Oval recently. It wasn’t long before the confident youngster was called on to make an lbw decision but he later said it was an easy verdict – a “not out”, saving Seth Holder a first ball “duck”, But, in fact, it required careful thought before Sisnett determined the ball that struck the left handed Empire middle order batsman was too high. Sisnett has been umpiring for two seasons having played for the St Leonard’s Secondary School before joining the Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme. The obvious question is why would an active 21-year-old abandon playing cricket to don an umpire’s outfit? He acknowledged that he was influenced in his choice by BDFSP coach Alvin Greenidge. “I was in two minds if to play cricket for a club or just finish with cricket, so one day we were just discussing my career after I finished the sports programme and he told me that I should go and umpire,” said Sisnett. “Really and truly I wasn’t doing as well as I would like so I decided that there comes a time when you have to make a choice. I decided to go with his advice and be an umpire,” he told MIDWEEK SPORT. With a career best in the First Division (rebranded Elite Division) of three for 52 and no significant contribution with the bat either opening or in the middle order, he has no regrets about making the transition and is enjoying his new career. “It makes me study the game more. Umpiring makes me focus more on the game,” said Sisnett who admitted that he was not the greatest student of the game when he played. “One day I would like to be on the ICC Elite Panel and move on from there,” said the ambitious youngster, who has always admired former international umpire Simon Taufel of Australia. “I would like to be even better than him,” said Sisnett. “At this stage I don’t feel pressure anymore but my first season was hard. I am comfortable now. Standing in the middle I feel like I am in control of the game which I should be.” Sisnett revealed he had a very good season in the lower divisions last year and received many positive comments from players. He described his Elite division debut as “a great day for me”. He also gets plenty of support from within the umpiring fraternity. “They encourage me a lot especially Mr [Vincent] Bullen, Mr [Patrick] Grazette and a few others. Everytime I do a match the other umpires always telling me this is a good choice I made and they wish me good luck in the future,” Sisnett said. He highlighted his experience officiating in game involving visiting county teams as giving his valuable exposure particularly when his associates pointed out to him the various ways in which players can tamper with the ball. “It was an eye opener for me,” Sisnett said.