In the last two week’s a I have had a few firsts.
Last week I umpired Henfield v West Chiltington and Thakeham in Division 4 of the Sussex Cricket League.
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Former first-class umpire Martin Bodenham is president of the Sussex Assocaition of Cricket Officals (SACO).
It was the most thrilling game I have done with West Chilts edging it in the last over by 4 runs.
But early in the first innings, West Chilts opener Sanchit Batra hit a big shot that went for six.
But my colleague Trevor Warbourton signalled a four. I had to correct him and he rightly changed his decision a signalled six to the scorers.
Us umpires are going to make mistakes but as long as we are looking out for each other and always communicate we should get the right decision the majority of the time.
And in this game, when Tim Monday was bowling, his back leg hit the stumps in the delivery stride. Now thanks to watching a lot of Test cricket in the last few years and Steven Finn, I knew this was a no ball straight away.
Later on in the game, I might have made a mistake with a run out. I said not out, the fielders were convinced it was out and there were a few double teapots.
But I can only give what I see.
In this week’s game at Rottingdean v Rye, in the same division, it was the nicest day I have had for umpiring this year.
But in this game there were a couple of occasions I had to be on the ball.
First of all, one delivery went through the wicket keeper and hit the helmet that was directly behind him.
It was the first time I had seen this in a game this season. My colleague Alan Beadle’s view was hampered by the keeper so he did not see it.
But I had the perfect view at the striker’s end and we consulted and gave 5 runs to the batting side. Again communication is key.
Also in the game I had to give a no ball for the back foot - again the first time I have had to do this.
Although never happy to punish a bowler, I was pleased I spotted it and it seemed the bowler knew it too when I told him why.
I am confident I know the majority of the laws of cricket but sometimes putting them into practice in a split second can be tough. But I am pleased with how I handled all these situations. I just hope it continues.
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