Summertime and the living is easy

Posted in ECB ACO

After a very chilly start to the season in April and May, warmer weather appears to be with us. It is good to find scoreboxes to service heaters and now fans.

Have you been the sole scorer this summer? How do you maintain concentration and what steps do you employ to ensure accurate scoring?

If on your own inform the umpires before you start. Working on your own creates greater responsibility.

You need to be comfortable and warm, keep refreshed with plenty of drink and snacks - doing a 50-overs per side game creates long breaks between meals - and keep your mobile turned off and also your radio even though your team may be playing.

Do regular checks, perhaps every five overs, that the scores balance, balls received balance and bowling analysis is correct. Ignore outside interruptions and be ready for landmarks like a player’s 50 or 100.

If working with a colleague make sure you conduct regular checks – it will help them to concentrate too. Keep noisy people away from the score box – the press always want information at busy periods. You may be mentoring your colleague so do this at quiet moments.

Have you thought of keeping a log of occurrences - both normal and unusual – during the season? For example, recording how many batsmen have scored centuries in your games, or how many hat-tricks or excellent bowling figures?

I have started recording centuries and I know of one scorer who had scored over 300 and that was a few years ago, he must be over 400 by now. What about the over containing different occurrences for each delivery? I had my first one last week – sometimes known as a 'Smudge', after Mike Smith who used to score for Middlesex.

This season I am keeping a log of centurions but other occurrences could be the fastest 50 or 100 scored by balls received, hat-tricks, five catches by a fielder or wicketkeeper, excellent bowling figures, any penalty runs awarded apart from hitting a helmet, most runs in an over – remember Garry Sobers at Swansea.

How about the umpires and their signalling? Do you always discuss the pre-signal for byes and leg byes?

Have you noticed how many umpires are ignoring Law 3.14(a)(ii) which requires them to repeat the signal of no ball and wide ball when the ball is dead?

I should imagine those of you scoring on the computer are particularly irritated when you have to amend an incorrect entry through a late signal.

Those of you fortunate enough to see Ian Gould and Aleem Dar at the England v Australia match at the Rose Bowl would have seen these two excellent umpires signalling in accordance with the laws. Aleem Dar had one additional practice – when the scorer acknowledged his signal, he nodded his head to indicate he had had seen their signal. Well done to them.

Non-complying umpires please note - scorers and umpires form a team. Several umpires have said to me, when they have had experience of a few overs in the box, they "didn’t realise there was so much to do". Perhaps all umpires should include some basic scoring on their courses.

Now is the time to be thinking of winter training. Contact your county education officer for details of dates and venues. If you are qualified, encourage your colleagues to become qualified as some ECB match appointments are only made to qualified scorers.

The reason this is here is that when the Scorers Appointment Co-ordinator is in place, he will be in touch with the County Scorer Officer for nominations to be given to him of qualified scorers.

The matches I do are for Hampshire 2nd XI, some games for the Royal Navy and Combined Services, for Brian Wilson’s scorer bureau, David English’s Bunbury XI, Lord’s Taverners Inner Cities competition at Arundel.

Andy Scarlett has invited me to score at the England v Pakistan Test at Lord’s in August which I am very much looking forward to.

It will be my first proper Test although I did the Bicentenary Test between MCC and the Rest of the World in 1987.