Trent Bridge honour for cricket umpire Joanne Ibbotson

CRICKET umpire Joanne Ibbotson steps out onto the hallowed turf of Trent Bridge this weekend for the biggest game of her career

Joanne will officiate at the Lightning versus Thunder match in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in Nottingham tomorrow.

Selection to work in the new elite domestic structure of the women's game is a boost for the cricket lover.

“It's quite an honour and quite unexpected,” she said.

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Joanne's late dad, Mick, was well-known in local sporting circles and umpired in the South Yorkshire League for many years and served on the umpires' committee.

Her son, Harvey Wootton, played for Wath and when the club needed a club umpire, Joanne stepped in.

She has gone on to make a success of it, officiating at men's games also.

“Women's games are a bit easier to manage,” Joanne added. “Men's matches are more competitive because there is more money involved in the local teams but I enjoy umpiring and I want to go as far as I can with it. I am really looking forward to working at Trent Bridge.”

The tournament sees eight regional teams compete in a competition held over four weeks, with the final to be held at the end of September.