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Plenty of reasons for festive cheer

Posted in ECB ACO

It’s a bitterly cold evening in mid-December as I sit composing this blog but I am cheered by the fact that England are within touching distance of recording their first series win in India for more than 2 decades and I’ve just watched the 21-year-old Yorkshire opening batsman, Joe Root, show maturity beyond his years in harness with firstly, Kevin Pietersen and then Matt Prior, as England recovered in the fourth Test.

There is, of course, a lot of excellent cricket around the world at the moment but we are still a good four months away from a walk to the middle in this neck of the woods. I’ve been ‘keeping my hand in’, however, by attending various meetings and a couple of dinners with more to come in the New Year.

I also found myself avidly watching the Women’s World T20 Final in Sri Lanka, having umpired two of the England team at Loughborough University on three occasions during the early part of the season.

At the end of the 2012 Season I was asked to represent Leicestershire and Rutland ACO (L&R ACO) at the ECB ACO Midland Region Conference in Nottingham and attended the Appointments Session which, as an umpire rather than an Appointments Officer, I found quite illuminating.

I was subsequently, for my sins, appointed Vice Chairman of L&R ACO which, of course, means that I will be attending rather more meetings than hitherto but it will give me the opportunity to see how everything works, so to speak.

Reflecting on the events of the summer, it is hard not to think that the rain had the last laugh. However, although I had a total of 30 appointments cancelled, I was still able to fulfil 65 and, overall, I feel fairly pleased with my level of performance.

The cricket, in the main, was excellent and I experienced matches where I felt right at the top of my game as well as, if I am being honest, those where I was, perhaps, for whatever reason(s), a little ‘off-colour’.

Next April seems a long way off but a mixture of watching rugby, walking, listening to jazz and drinking the odd glass or two of wine should help to while away the time and, before I forget, I must prepare a talk I am giving in early February entitled ‘Oh To Be An Umpire Now That Summer’s Here’.