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Tournament in full swing

Posted in ECB ACO

Bangalore is an incredible place and the people have been very accommodating. A couple of the players have been struck down with sickness but so far the officials and management are still fighting fit. All that pre-tour training seems to be paying dividends.

On Saturday we had the opening ceremony which involved a march past and dancers, singers etc. All very cultural and a splendid event.

I spent most of the afternoon in the umpires meeting: of the nine participating countries only four have brought umpires: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia and England.

We are supplemented by local umpires, who judging by the length of the meeting - 2.5 hours - and the type of questions raised; I am not sure how much blind cricket they have umpired before...

The regulations are as we know them, but with a very strict view on time. There are four games a day at two venues, so the organisers want to make sure they all run to time. All games require neutral umpires, so I will not be standing in any England match. There are also match referees selected for each game. Interestingly, the match referees all seem to have visual impairments, so their role is of a technical nature.

As I believe as a mark of respect for the standard of English umpires generally I was selected for the opening match between India and Australia, which took place today (Sunday) morning - India won by over 220 runs!. My colleague was from Pakistan and umpired well.

I have also been selected for the big India v Pakistan match next week, which could be interesting.

In all I am umpiring every day, which in Bangalore in December is a bit different from the Essex Metropolitan indoor league.

Tuesday, December 4

It is day three of the tournament and it is now in full swing. The tournament is taking place at two venues in the Bangalore area: Ground A, as it is referred to, is the Bangalore Central College in Bangalore about 20 minutes from the hotel; Ground B is the Aditya Global Sports Ground in Nellamangala which is about an hour’s drive.

The College ground is in the city and has a municipal feel, whilst the Aditya Global Sports Ground is a lovely rural ground which has hosted India under 19 games.

Each day there are two games at each venue: the morning games start at 9:15am with the afternoon games commencing at 1:15pm. Therefore eight teams are involved each day with one team having a rest day. Match officials have been appointed for the nine rounds, with each of the officials standing every day.

Teams and officials leave the hotel at around 7:00am for the morning games or 10:30am for the afternoon games. The match officials - the two umpires and the match referee - travel with the teams they are officiating.

I have stood in two matches since the weekend: Australia v West Indies, which was notable for a 22-ball over due to one of the West Indies bowlers badly losing his radar. Is this a record number of wides ever delivered in an over?

Today I stood in the Pakistan v West Indies match which was notable for Pakistan amassing a record score of more than 360 in 19 overs with the opening bat hitting an unbelievable 264.

The England v Bangladesh match was due to follow the Pakistan game but unfortunately was rained off as a no result.