Cricket Rounds 10, 11 & 12

Okay, now that I have at least elicited a 3-letter comment from one of my colleagues, I shall continue with my take on the current Cricket season.

Round 10

Nothing much happened during this match. I didn’t have to make too many decisions and those that I did make were fairly obvious. I did have one incident during the match which is noteworthy. A ball was deflected by a batsman’s pad and they took a single. I turned to the scorers and started to signal the leg bye when a number of players called out “Don! Don! Duck!”. I did as requested and just avoided being hit in the head by the fielder returning the ball to the bowler. I never signal to the scorers until it is obvious that the ball is dead, but in this instance, I should have kept an eye on the ball for a little longer. Good scorers will always wait for your signal, even if it is late. Luckily, I escaped injury this time, thanks to the fielding side’s warning. From now on I’ll be a bit more careful.

Round 11

This was probably the most disappointing round of the season for me, not for the cricket, but for the Umpire’s Association.  I dropped myself down to 2nd Grade to coach a new Umpire and ensure he has the necessary skills to stand on his own.  One the first day, I received an SMS from him to say that he had to take his wife to hospital and he couldn’t make it to the game.  This seemed to me to be acceptable and I notified both Captains that I would be on my own today, but with a trainee next Saturday.  On the second Saturday, the new Umpire did not show up and I had to officiate on my own again.  It was 44°C for most of the afternoon, but I had wonderful support from the player/umpires and from the players themselves.  It was a long day, but I survived with many drinks breaks.  When I got back to the car and turned my mobile phone on, I received an SMS telling me that it was too hot for this umpire and he couldn’t make the game.  He also did not show up for a junior representative match on the Sunday, this time with no explanation.

Cricket Umpiring requires a level of commitment that sometimes exceeds personal comfort.  What would have happened if I had also decided that it was too hot and didn’t turn up to the match?  It puts the Umpires Association in a bad light and I have had to explain to both the Cricket Association and the Juniors why an appointed Umpire did not show up.  It is just not good enough.

Round 12

This round was affected by rain on the first Saturday and for most games, it was not a problem.  But when there is a dispute over what should happen next weekend, and the Umpires cannot agree, there is a real problem.  The Umpires meet once a month to go over any rule changes and scenarios that might occur during a game.  Unfortunately, many Umpires do not bother to show up.  Some have legitimate excuses, such as work commitments, but others just don’t bother.  The minutes of these monthly meetings are emailed to everyone, but some obviously don’t bother reading them.  It is not a good look to have Umpires arguing over local rules, when it is up to the Umpires to administer the rules.

Am I being a bit harsh on the Umpires?  NO!!!  Next Saturday is a one-day match that will end the season for most teams.  After that, we start the final series, and if the Umpires don’t know the rules, they will be found out quickly.  All Umpires have a duty to the game to know the local rules so that the match can be decided according to the regulations and the Laws of Cricket.

If any of my colleagues are reading this, please take note that there is no excuse for not knowing the rules for the final series.

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One Response to “Cricket Rounds 10, 11 & 12”

  1. Well Don, I had a first on Sunday. A batsmen who had a runner was out of his ground after two runs were scored. The bails at his end were removed. The fielding team appealed and the batsman was correctly given out. It was the last wicket, however I remembered that when this occurs there may be something different in regards to the runs scored. I checked the law book which I always have with me, and yes the feeling was right no runs are scored in this situation so thus the losing team instead of losing by 153 runs lost by 154 runs.

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