The Wettest Drought on Record
The secret blog of a local cricket administrator.
The renewed excitement of the pending season has been thoroughly washed away with the April showers and the misery of May. So far the combined record of the five senior teams within our club reads thus Played 3 Lost 3 Cancelled 10. Regular net sessions for both Seniors and juniors have been called off and pity the poor groundsman.
A strange breed the cricket groundsman. Obviously extremely proud of his square and the outfield he can be tetchy at the best of times. The enemy the humble cricketer who knows little of the ceaseless hours that he and his team of helpers have put in and are always quick to tell him where he is going wrong in preparing a better pitch. He has only had 3 weeks of the season to contend with so far and already he has aged 10 years and his mood swings are more than a match for my patience.
Coupled with the terrible weather there has been the usual turmoil that the early season brings. The comings and goings of players (you are never quite sure who is actually going to play until they have stepped out on the pitch). Trying to persuade club members and parents to get more involved either behind the bar or preparing teas. The notice board that was barely used last season is now awash with rotas for pitches, the bar, teas, umpires and scorers. Then there was the incident with the club fixture book which is normally produced and donated by a long standing club person. Unfortunately the company he works for inconsiderately decided to get burnt down in a fire that started in the building next door and so thoughtlessly delayed its production.†
I was unable to see more than an hour of cricket last Saturday due to work and social commitments but my timing was impeccable. Literally 5 minutes after arriving at the ground the players trooped off for tea and I followed 2 minutes behind them. It is a skill timing your arrival at grounds to coincide with tea and many reputations have been forged around† the county by perfecting this artform.
Fortunately the weather at the weekend was dry if not all that warm and with my lack of availability on Saturday I volunteered to umpire on Sunday, well the 1st innings anyway, as work again clashed with the game. A home game, so little travelling involved, a decent tea and a bit of practise for yours truly. Best laid plans etc.
Starting 10 minutes late I thought we would easily make up time but instead it was the longest 40 overís I have ever experienced. It will be remembered for the ongoing saga of the opening batsman who injured his leg and asked for a runner. I agreed but then the debate followed as to the correct batsman who could run for him as they hadnít lost a wicket yet. After then asking for some painkillers he then retired hurt until wickets began to tumble and he returned to the crease again runner in tow. Then the real fun began. After hitting the ball for two runs the wicketkeeper attempted a run out based on the striker being out of his crease. A huge row erupted about the rules regarding runners and run outs and naturally I was the one accused of not knowing the rules. After consulting with the square leg umpire (an opposition player) for the second time of asking the batsmen was given out and after more discussion he reluctantly left the field of play. My blood pressure was through the roof and the thought of my impending shift at work was far more appealing than usual, though frustratingly I had to forego tea.††††
Jobs this week include trying to resurrect the Monday night Selection Meeting, trying to persuade players out of retirement and more importantly trying to get players to pay their annual subs before the Treasurer starts threatening repossession proceedings or banning them from playing again until the debt has been settled.
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