Umpires standing on a field  © Getty Images (Representational Image)
Umpires standing on a field © Getty Images (Representational Image)

In a move taking the cricket world by surprise, Donald Trump has decided not to seek re-election in 2020, but instead will become an international umpire. Michael Jones reports.

ICC confirmed today that Donald Trump will take up an appointment as an international umpire when his first term as President of the United States comes to an end in January 2020.

Lola Firpo, a spokesperson for the governing body, explained the decision: “Of course, it has been usual for umpires to start their careers at lower levels of the game, and be promoted according to performance so that only the best officials are appointed to stand in international matches; however, we feel that the appointment of such a celebrity will help to raise the profile of umpiring in the 21st century. As far as we know, Trump can’t even spell the word ‘umpire’, and probably thinks cricket is an insect — but a complete ignorance of the responsibilities of the role and a lack of any relevant experience didn’t stop him getting his current job.”

Firpo added: “Unfortunately his appearances will be restricted to T20 matches, since with the attention span of a hungover gnat there’s no way he could concentrate for a full day’s play in a Test – even if we let him use a golf buggy instead of having to walk from the bowler’s end to square leg.” It is understood that he tried to appoint Ivanka as third umpire and Jared as match referee, and had to be told that’s not how it works in cricket.

Trump’s own comment on the matter was “You want decisions? My decisions are the best decisions. They’re huge. No-one makes decisions like I do.” When told his new role might require him to travel to New Zealand, he asked “Where’s that? Is it a shithole country? Do I need to build a wall around it?”

Sections 2.1.3 and 2.2.3 of the ICC Code of Conduct, relating to players criticising match officials, will not apply to matches in which Trump is standing. Firpo explained “It’s widely accepted that he’s a complete moron, and we felt we couldn’t penalise players for telling the truth. We expect the players will appreciate this opportunity to criticise an umpire without sanction, and we’re considering introducing a new match award category for the most original insult of him.”

The “Trumpire” will be unable to use the traditional system of signalling, since his fingers are too short for the players or scorers to see. Instead he will be allowed to use his favourite medium of communication, Twitter, to announce his decisions, which will then be relayed on the big screen. Most appeals are likely to be rejected as “Fake news!”, while a batsman who is “fired” (an easier concept for Trump to understand than “out”) will be sent on his way with an exclamation of “Sad!”

This is an April 1 joke, but I am sure you have figured that out, haven’t you?