The Ashes – First Shots In A Great Series

I was just having some “quiet time” at my local with a neighbour of mine, who happens to be of New Zealand origin. We were watching Cricket on the big screen (yes I know, when I am not umpiring, I watch cricket – I should get a life). During the luncheon interval, they replayed an old one-day game between Australia and England, when my neighbour shouted out “That’s a great scene!”. I said “what?” and he replied “That’s a great scene – watching an Englishman walking back to the pavilion.” This was repeated a number of times until the luncheon interval was over and it was back to the live match (India v NZ by the way). Cricket between Australia and New Zealand is always very intense, but when it is against the “old enemy”, there seems to be little difference between Oz and NZ.

So, now that the “Englishmen” are here, let’s make sure they know that NZ is backing the Australians. Well, at least most of NZ, who are over here anyway. I’ll refrain from the sheep jokes because my neighbour gets excited when I tell them.


Cricket Round 4 – Day 2

Oh dear, I’ve fallen in a heap again. It is almost time for the next round and I haven’t commented on last weekend. Well, I have good reason for that as I sat in my room, watching the rain and pondering what could have been. There were a number of matches that were of great interest, had they played on day 2, but all matches were washed out. Consequently, there may be a few teams that may have been happy to see the rain, as it did no damage to their ranking.

During this week we have had some very heavy thunderstorms that have kept the grounds wet. However, today has been a nice 28°C, so there should be no problems tomorrow (famous last words).


Very Old Favourites

I’m going to be daring this week and provide what would now be described as a politically incorrect video but at the time was very funny. It is a song by Charlie Drake, who I consider to have been one of the best UK comic characters I encountered in my youth.

Warning: To Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, this video may contain images of people who have died.

Warning: To UK residents, I have been through the dungeons and found some great relics that I will post over the next few weeks.


SCG Country Cup – Round 2

What a day of contrast from yesterday. The SCG Country Cup Round 1 was washed out last weekend. Today was forecast to rain but was relatively sunny, but very humid. The home team batted first and made a reasonable total that I though could be defended.

How wrong was I! I thought something special may be happening when the visiting team were none for 52 of just 3.3 overs. We didn’t even make it to the first drinks break, with the visiting team passing the runs after just 11.4 overs, with no wickets down and one of the openers scoring a century off the last ball.

I know the old saying “a quick game’s a good game”, but I’ve not had one like that before. That was something special.


Cricket Round 4 – Day 1

It has come to my notice that I am slack because it is Friday and I haven’t posted last weekend’s Cricket experiences. Maybe this is because my partner and I kept a low profile and didn’t have cause for concern. It’s a good day’s umpiring if you can last to the finish and the players didn’t notice you, except to give the decisions which everyone expected. And to get thanks from the Captain of the fielding side at the end of the day is also one of life’s little pleasures.

It certainly was an unexpected day’s play. The team who were expected to walk all over the opposition, did not perform very well in the field and gave away too many runs and dropped too many catches. On the other hand, the team that was supposed to be a walk-over, bowled quite well and showed that they could be competitive.

Nobody wants to see a team comprehensively beaten every match, and given their day, teams can perform. Sometimes it just takes that bit of luck – that magical catch that just sticks or that golden ball that no batsman can play – to lift a team into self-belief.

The match is now evenly poised for an exciting finish. This is what umpiring is all about. A close finish, test yourself to be up to the occasion, be alert, keep calm, concentrate. Coming away from a close match, knowing that you did a good job is a high that rivals winning a Grand Final. And I have to opportunity of doing that every weekend, not just once a season.