Cricket Round 7 – Day 2

A nice sunny and warm day for Cricket.  It’s nice to Umpire near the coast as there is nearly always a North-East breeze to keep you cool.  Anyway, this week I am prepared for a good day’s Cricket as one side tries to avoid an outright defeat and the other tries to gain maximum points.  It was one of those days where the Cricket wasn’t brilliant but it was hard-fought with each side giving it their best, and as an Umpire you get drawn into the intrigue as the game unfolds.

It is a time when Umpires need to be at the top of their game and it appears that I made a mistake with a caught-behind.  In my opinion, the batsman hit his foot as the bat came though.  There was a noise, but I saw no deviation of the ball, which was taken by the keeper.  On appeal I gave the batsman “not out” because I had a doubt whether it was bat on ball or bat on foot.  Subsequently, I discovered that the batsman had indeed hit the ball.

So what do you do when you know you have made a mistake?  Forget it and get on with the game.  Easier said than done?  You bet.  Your thoughts are “did I just change the outcome of the game?”  But the bowler is bowling the next ball, so you have to concentrate on the here-and-now.  There can be no question of a make-up call – two mistakes don’t make a right and it will definitely result in a loss of trust with the players.

The process I use is a simple one.  The Laws of Cricket state that if there is any doubt, then you say “not out”.  Did I have any doubt?  Yes.  Therefore, I called it correctly.  However, did I make a mistake?  That’s something to discuss after the game at Penguin Corner over a cleansing ale.  The players are willing to accept an occasional mistake from a generally good Umpires and so should Umpires.  A good Umpire is his own worst critic, but instead of beating yourself up about it, learn from it and become a better Umpire.

And did the home team score an outright win?  Yes, but not without a few hiccups.


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