Tippex and Feng Shui views from a scorer abroad
Posted in ECB ACO
This year marked the inauguration of the ICC Europe Scorers' Panel on international tours.
Scorers are creatures of habit and so it was with great excitement and no little trepidation that I set off with the German senior team for my first overseas tour to Guernsey immediately followed by the U17s on the Isle of Man.
Unfortunately, these tours coincided with a horribly wet and cold July. In hindsight, the weather served a greater purpose than any of us could of imagined. It's one thing to set up a scorer's desk, but quite another to sit there for seven hours.
Our arrival in Guernsey was greeted with brilliant sunshine followed by rain. The new scorebox at Port Soif, renown for its windy location, is a gem.
At King George V and College Field, the scorers had a lovely spot up on the balcony with a good view, but the wind was merciless, drizzle carried and we sometimes sat shivering in the shade, even when the players and umpires toasted in the sun.
At least the rain gave us good experience with Duckworth-Lewis but still we found reasons to grumble.
Two days and four flights later I arrived again to sunshine on the IoM, only for the sky to blacken on the first day of play. Miserable drizzle alternating with heavy rain for the whole week enabled the games to be played but the scorers suffered.
With the best will in the world, nothing could be done to prevent a soggy mess of a scoresheet, though we often tried our 'Cricket Feng Shui' to find the best sheltered places for our desks. My heart really went out to my colleague from Austria when, in the last overs of the game, a tent flap deposited several pints of rainwater onto his scorebook.
Scoring at this level takes on a completely different pace. We scorers had to step up the level of our craft to match that level of cricket whatever the weather.
Running the scoreboard – every day a different one – was difficult. One other thing that we had to adapt to, and adapt quickly, was the lack of time available. Drinks breaks gave us just enough time for a quick check. Lunch meant tallying your book and filling out the ICC result sheet, not food. Communication with your partner was vital.
Some of my colleagues were scoring for teams they did not know so we used quite a bit of Tippex too. However, if we found a fault, the support staff did their very best to solve it as quickly as possible. Volunteers were found for the scoreboards, porta-loos installed for the ladies (yes, some venues do not have ladies' facilities), lunches reserved and we made sure that the third umpires always had plenty to do.
The worst of circumstances brought out the best in our local and ICC organisers and the best in us. We were also so grateful for the full support of all the umpires but perhaps the greatest compliments to show that we had done our job well came from the smiles from our web masters, able for once to take an early dinner with us, and the wonderful cheers from our teams.