Clubs: Grimsby Town
Roles and Representation: International umpire
Honours: Umpired in 5 Tests and 8 ODIs, including the semi-final of the 1983 World Cup
Born in Cleethorpes in 1929, Don Oslear was originally employed in his family’s fish merchants on the Grimsby Docks. Himself an average cricketer – though he trialled for the British Olympic squad at ice hockey – he began to umpire, and was placed on the Minor Counties panel of umpires for the 1972 season. From there, he progressed up the ranks, standing in his first Test at Trent Bridge in 1980: England v West Indies.
He made headline news several times during his umpiring career. At Fenners in April 1981 he suspended the match between Cambridge University and Essex because the low temperature made playing almost impossible. In July that year he was one of the umpires in the second Test at Lords, when a decision had to be made to take the players off for bad light, and a section of the crowd threw cushions onto the field to indicate their disapproval! He was also third umpire during the Lords ODI between England and Pakistan in 1992, during which – in consultation with the on-field umpires Ken Palmer and John Hampshire – he ordered the ball to be changed due to suspicions of ball tampering by the Pakistani bowlers.
He retired from umpiring at the end of the 1993 season.