Cricket Round 2 – The Weather Knows…

Another one-day game and I arrive at the ground, get my umbrella out and watch the rain.  I swear, the weather knows when it is Cricket Season and it knows that we play on Saturdays.

After waiting around for hours, it stops raining.  The ground is so well drained that it is playable almost immediately.  Now to get the covers off.  Hmmm… no super-soper to get the water off, so the players try to sweep it off.  After watching that for a while, it is time to remove the covers.  The idea is to hold each end up to stop the water running off and then to role the covers over until about half way and then drag both ends off the square before releasing the lower half to drain the remaining water away from the square.  But the best laid plans go astray and we end up with water on the square.  We decide to take tea early and go back to look at it after tea.

After tea, my colleague and I check the square and the pitch has improved and is playable, but the edge of the square is still sloppy.  We get the Captains together and they both want to play and agree that the area in question is not likely to affect play and they will advise their players to take care.  Good, we will get a game in, but by this time it is reduced to 30 overs per side, which is the minimum.  Any further interruption to play means it will be called off and declared a draw.

We start play in light that is not good, but it is not dangerous nor unreasonable.  I am delighted to say that both teams played within the spirit of the game and both teams enjoyed themselves.  There was no sledging, just some jovial banter and at no time did either team put pressure on the Umpires.  This makes for a great day’s umpiring because if you are left to do your job, you do it better when nobody hassles you.

Any Umpire worth their salt knows that they are their own worst critic, and I am no exception.  I made a “technical” error in umpiring, but not one of decision-making.  A full-toss was delivered to a batsman who was subsequently caught.  In my opinion, the ball was not above waste height at the popping crease.  I turned to see the bowler’s end Umpire signal “No Ball”.  He then asked me if it was above the waste and I said “no”.  He then revoked his call of “no ball” and game the batsman out.  There are a few problems here:

1.  In our pre-season discussions, the Captains had asked us to be hard on full tosses that are close.
2.  My colleague at the bowler’s end had already signaled “no ball”.  Since he is the overruling Umpire, I should have agreed with him.
3.  Since there was doubt between the bowler’s end Umpire and the square leg Umpire, the benefit should have gone to the batsman.

The fact that it made no difference to the outcome of the match is irrelevant.  I will take it on board and hopefully not make the same mistake again.


One Response to “Cricket Round 2 – The Weather Knows…”

  1. I’m going to keep reading your Cricket reports Don, and see if I can understand something.

    One thing I do know about sport though, is that it can’t happen without referees/umpires. Congratulations for taking on a difficult job, that enables everybody else to enjoy their game. 8)


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