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Back home in time for Dr Who

Posted in ECB ACO

Having just come back from a quick break, I have now completed my first match of the season and feel very out of practise.

My home team was playing its first league match - 55 overs a side is a lot to concentrate on. How the umpires do it I will never know.

At the beginning of the season I find after about 30 overs my brain starts to cease up, the concentration needed to enter everything, especially when a wicket falls, seems to disappear. You have a few balls when your fingers, pen, eyes, brain and all points north and south seem to be working in opposition rather than in an orderly fashion.

That is why it is so important to have two of you in the box, not just to check, acknowledge, record, review and so on, but to keep each other going when the little grey cells take time out to reboot.

In the closed season my husband and myself spent a day spring cleaning the scorebox and adding an acknowledgement light. This made life easier when it came to signalling to the umpires, putting an end to the spectacle of me hanging out the window with a table tennis bat or a handkerchief every few minutes. Now it's much more elegant.

That first game was brilliant to watch as demonstrated by the growing group of spectators as the day went on. The home side started slowly. Lots of dot balls meant a gentle start to my day, but when one of our new signings came to the wicket the ball flew in all directions. The dots were a thing of the past for a while.

There was a moment when one spectator had a lucky escape - a chair, which was temporarily vacant, received a direct hit from a six.

Everything added up at the tea interval and the umpires were happy we had all the dismissals correct, but the total was not as good as we would have liked. The visitors were rubbing their hands - they had beaten us soundly in a friendly the previous week and I think they felt they had this in the bag.

The first wicket of their innings fell to the first ball and the slow start we scorers like to get back into the swing of things was not going to happen this time. My colleague and I were kept very busy until all ten wickets had fallen with the visitors falling 40 short of their target. We had our first win under our belts in time to get home for Dr Who, which was a disappointing episode this week.

But a scorer's job is not finished when the umpire removes the bails. We have to count, reconcile, check and then fight with the internet to get all the details online. This takes quite a time and I did not finally put the scoresheet to bed until 10.30pm, but at least that's the first day of my season done.

From now until the end of June life is very busy for me. My school work is drawing to the climax of the whole academic year's efforts with exams, reports, open days and so on. With the cricket now at the weekends too, I will spend the next eight weeks chasing my tail a bit, but it is a good feeling to be finally back in the box.

Here's to a long, hot summer.

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