Tag: Lord’s

Umpiring, Nets and THE COLD

Comrades, I thought you would like to learn a little of the backstage drama that happens whilst some of us come together to build the excellence of the team! I know you can’t all make it along to these events, but do try, comrades, do try. You will find yourselves being picked more readily for a team, nobody likes a shirker!

Cobra at Winter Nets
Cobra at Winter Nets

February Nets

Oh yes we did. Last Tuesday 19th Feb, Brandonovski, Cobramovich and myself  Yuri, went along to the illuminated nets at Paddington Rec. The lights took a while to come on to be honest, but when they were, they looked great and the nets shone! We were wearing thermals, 20-20 kit, jumpers and thick socks. But to be honest, after a damn good bat and some bowling, our heads were steaming hot.

The hot addition for the night was Brandonovski’s inspired acquisition of the Side Arm. This insures that no matter who is bowling, the ball will get down the net and be playable by the bats person who is practising. Of course, if we are bowling practising then that is a different matter. But tonight we wanted to really improve our bat for the new season. I got my lid on first and faced up to some of Brandonovski’s chucking and boy, it’s fast! Accurate too, and I was facing 90% playable balls. My focus was to Pull shots down the leg side and after a few overs, I was improved. I used to step backwards endlessly just to defend them… duh!

Brandonovski was working on his off side drive although I also think he is looking to up his tally of dots for 2013. But some very nice action and good shapes! But I feel some swinging may add to an excellent quiver of strokes – next nets, comrade. It was good to see that his shoulder was much improved after a recent off spell, tenderly fixed by comrade Samovar.

Cobramovich was stoical in his determination to improve his soft wristed spill to the leg side, giving fine leg a tremendous sprint or the wicky some fractured ribs. He always looks good in his action and most of our comments were to congratulate him on subpplety of wrist. A lesson for us all, comrades. But I wanted him out from and edge and my bowling focused on coming around and across. I know there shall be no LBW from such rash bowling but I want a slip catch or two this season.

Cobramovich was lowering his action in delivery for the height of the nets but Brandonovski and I both felt this gave his balls more speed and improved accuracy to. Could this be a development for the season? We shall see. Whatever, we were all delighted with the nets and will be booking more winter nets very very soon! Come along.

Umpiring Course Week 5

Norman in full flight
Norman in full flight

It is hard to specify exactly how cold these Thursday nights at Lord’s have been. The weather has been utterly shocking, howling wind and snow, and freezing chill factors, Batman! The course is good. We are learning, comrade commissar Brandonovski and myself, all about the art and shall we say approach to umpiring required for us to hopefully get our Level 1 qualification from the ACO. We have one more regular week, then a mock exam week and the final week, the exam!

So what does that mean for you comrades? It doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about umpiring at a match in the future. Nope. In fact, the reverse. We need a good core of umpire happy comrades to take part during all matches. Brandonovski and I will go out with those amongst us with years of cricket umpire helping behind them. So we shall learn their feeling and interpretation. We shall impart our more recent knowledge and other comrades will come in and help and learn. This way, our knowledge can be dissipated through the team and we shall all be happier to go out and ump’. Maybe next year, we can get one or two more comrades to do the course – we do subsidise it from membership!

Well thank you comrades for reading up and what’s going down. GET TO THE NETS as the season is starting very soon and you will all be hopelessly out of shape and none of you will have your eyes in. If we see you at the nets, we shall see you on the pitch – it’s that straight forward!

Do Svidaniya

Yuri P

The Umpire(s) Strike Back

Freezing Lords
Freezing Lords

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!

Lords Nets – The ultimate mysteries revealed

Happy times at Lords
Happy times at Lords

18th December 2012:
Sorry, the mysteries are not revealed. I just thought I would write that to get your attention. However, there were some cricketing mysteries explored further. Stance, movement, I think we all came away with a few new pointers. Our superb Scottish instructor was hurling balls at us at great pace and watching our ever improving flailing. The evening was brilliantly fixed up by Brandonovski who showed brave heart and was soon facing the flinging scot!

The benefit of these sessions is astonishing. Typically one comment will stay with you. One simple thing. A bit like somebody pointing out that you will walk more evenly if you put both shoes on and not just the one. Yet stupidly, all these years, you have only warn the one of them! Then suddenly, “Yes, Yes I can walk better! I cannot believe I have been doing it so stupidly!” – You have to substitute walking for batting there, just in case Christmas has left you utterly dense.

Get this, Brandonovski!
Get this, Brandonovski!

My numpty reforming message was “Get that front foot into the line of the ball and hit it. No, not the foot.” This then led to a spritely series of overs where I clobbered nearly every one. Astonishing. So astonishing, Soldya whispered to the Scot and then i had a few overs of 85mph balls. Actually hit some, so feeling rather smug – Rahhhh! Bloody hell though, you cannot see those things much. You have to make an educated guess on where it may have been heading and don’t try and whack every one, just get in its way.

It was a fabulous event and despite all of us suffering from aches and an expensive curry and beers afterwards, it was well worth it. Thank you Brandonovski – a great piece of organizing.