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Summer sun and Super 2s

Posted in ECB ACO

June is upon us.The sun seems to shine and stay up long into the evening, the Twenty20 season is underway and the Sussex Cricket League has just completed week six - where does the time go?

As I type this latest blog I have just returned from a weekend in the sun. Saturday saw me at Horsham v Cuckfield in the Sussex Premier Division and without a cloud in the sky the game was sensational. Over 450 runs were scored with the game going nearly down to the wire using 106 of the 110 allotted overs.

As I sat outside after the game watching dusk settle over the ground with a pint of Sussex ale fresh in my hand I thought there could be worse ways to spend a Saturday.

However, it is a funny old game - cricket and the weather can play its part. It may have been sunny at Horsham but only the week before I had been at Glynde (npower Village Champions 2009) for a league game.

Upon arrival the surrounding hills of the Sussex Downs vanished into the clouds and it soon became clear that any action would be coming straight from the pavilion, in the form of watching the first Test against Bangladesh.

Eventually the rain abated for long enough for us to adopt the special league rules and play a Twenty20 – and I mean just long enough, as soon as the last ball had been bowled the heavens opened. Only one route of action to take then, get the paperwork done and then settle down in the pavilion.

Last Tuesday saw me head to Brighton to umpire the Women’s Super 2s. Just fewer than 30 of the best under-15 women in the country would battle it out for a place in the England side over two days of limited overs cricket.

Sadly for me the weather again played its part – an 11.30am start moved to 1pm allowing us just over an innings and a half before rain and bad light forced us off for good.
I don’t like taking players off the field if I can help it but at that age the duty of care is greater and as an umpire that has to be my first responsibility.

On the plus side the early finish did allow me to pop down the road to Hove to watch Sussex launch their bid to retain the Friends Provident t20 with a convincing win over Somerset.

My summer isn’t just made up of league and competition umpiring. Two years ago a group of old friends and I got together in a pub in Victoria and decided to start up a nomadic cricket team.

A few pints later and one fixture in the book and Carpe Vinum (Seize the Wine!) CC was born. We play in and around London on Sundays with usually a tour to Sussex in the mid-season and, subject to my umpiring appointments, there is nothing more I enjoy that accompanying them to fixtures. With a fair few fixtures in the book this season I hope to play a bit for them – that could be very interesting indeed.

Well dear friends, I’m already preparing to stand on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before my next league game on Saturday. I’ve an MCC game coming up soon and, hopefully, many more days in the sun.

See you in the middle.

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