Myself and our Glorious Premier have signed-up to take an ECB umpiring course. Both of us felt we were lacking some knowledge and that having two ‘qualified’ umps within the SCC ranks would only be a good thing.
PLEASE NOTE – This does not mean we’re going to stand for every ball of every game, so the rest of you still aren’t off the hook! [Ed: Not by a long fuqin hook!]
Here follows a small précis of events from the first couple of weeks, stay tuned for further updates as the course progresses – same (cricket) bat time, same (cricket) bat channel.
Lord’s claim to being the Home of Cricket is not up for debate, sadly its position as the Home of an Effective Central Heating System is less secure. It would take a better scribe than me to explain to you, dear reader, just how cold our classroom was, suffice to say that Old Father Time looked positively cosy on his perch atop the Mound Stand compared to our shivering group of prospective Bowdens.
Our group, a motley crew of 15 assorted cricket bores, sat attentively while Norman, the font of all things umpire, explained what we had let ourselves in for. Six weeks of instruction, each described as a ‘delivery’ ( see what they did there?), then a mock exam with a final exam taking place on the final night.
Assuming we pass, our CVs will feature the ECB ACO Level 1 qualification, the bottom rung of a ladder that could elevate your comrades to the dizzy heights of Level 5 followed by an invitation by the ICC to join their Elite Panel of umpires who stand at test matches (it’d save me fortune in tickets if nothing else).
Thus far we’ve covered such topics as ‘what to do if a dog runs off with the ball’ – the answer is the ball is dead (so would be the dog if it got in the way of one of Sam’s quicker deliveries) and the ‘correct time for conducting the toss’ – the answer is not as I guessed ‘whenever you can drag the captains out of the warm pavilion’, but a very precise time window of ‘not earlier than 30 minutes, nor later than 15 minutes before the scheduled or any rescheduled time for the match to start’. Scintillating stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree!