Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
New Zealand opening batsman Peter Fulton has started working towards becoming a rugby referee after he was cut from the country’s list of centrally contracted players.
Fulton has struggled with the bat all year and only scored 270 Test runs at a dismal average of 19.28.
“I’m obviously disappointed not to get a contract, but I had plenty of opportunities,” Fulton told The Press. ”I had plenty of opportunities and I didn’t take them. That’s what it comes down to. When I look back, I had those two Tests against India and the first one against West Indies. If I’d scored then, then we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.
”When you’re closer to the end of your career than the start and you run out of chances, that’s not a good thing. Reading between the lines, I think that’s probably it for me, but you never say never.”
Fulton still plans to play for Canterbury during the domestic season, but it is clear that he has his eyes set on becoming a rugby referee when his cricket career ends.
Fulton was actually picked for the Canterbury Colts team before he chose to pursue a career in cricket instead of rugby.
“The last couple of years I’ve been thinking about it and it’s just been a matter of finding the time to do it, which has been a bit hard when you’re still playing cricket,” Fulton told the New Zealand Herald. “But it’s something I’m now starting to look more seriously at.
“I made some enquiries at the start of this winter, but it was just going to be a bit hard to fit in. So hopefully next winter I can get into it. I understand the game pretty well and always have plenty of advice to give the referees, so I guess it’s a bit of a case of put up or shut up.”
Fulton added that his dream is to officiate in international rugby matches.
“If I’m going to do it, I guess it’s like most things I’ve done with my sporting career – I want to try to do them as well as I can and go as high as I can,” he said. “I’m under no illusions as to it being tougher than it looks, but it’s definitely something I’d be committed to.”