Johnstone, one of the State’s best Premier Cricket umpires, started the caper in 1997 and developed the long-term ambition to feature among Australia’s elite.

“I was speechless, to be honest,” Johnstone said.

“There was a lot of relief. I’ve achieved a goal I set myself years ago.”

Patience has been central to Johnstone’s journey.

He fine-tuned his craft across 405 senior
Premier Cricket matches, including 206 First Grade fixtures and eight First Grade grand finals.

Johnstone has also umpired in six First-Class matches, 11 List A matches and 16 Men’s and Women’s Big Bash League contests since entering the Cricket Australia pathway.

“I had fairly quick progression before making my List A debut in 2010 – WA versus Queensland at the WACA Ground, I believe,” Johnstone said.

“I hit a nice high there and then had a few setbacks with a couple of years in the wilderness where I thought I might not make the next leap.

“Then the pathway became a bit more defined with match referees, selectors and so on, and I was fortunate enough to be selected from there onto the supplementary panel, which I’ve been on for five years.

“It’s a tough gig. We all put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do our best, and it can be a bit lonely when you’re in the wilderness and not sure where things are going.

“But I’ve had amazing support from WA Cricket the whole time and I’m thrilled to take the next step.”

Throughout Johnstone’s winding journey, a passion for cricket has endured.  

“It’s the best seat in the house to watch cricket from,” Johnstone said.

“Whether you’re starting off and coming through, or whether you’re at the pointy end of the gig, it’s an unbelievable spectacle.”

Johnstone encouraged all cricket lovers to contemplate the prospect of umpiring.  

For those already on their umpiring journey, the veteran official said heeding feedback was essential.

“If you’re interesting in cricket at all, give it a go,” Johnstone said.

“In terms of getting on the pathway and developing, just be patient, listen to feedback and set realistic goals.

“For me, at least, it was a long apprenticeship but definitely worthwhile. The next few years there’s going to be a lot of opportunities both within our State and nationally.”

If you’re interested in joining the WA Cricket umpiring family, please contact WA Cricket Umpire Development Specialist John Sherry on john.sherry@wacricket.com.au.