The umpiring journey: The rain had to come at some point
It took six games but I finally had to deal with it - the rain.
I had been quite lucky so far, not one interruption in five and half games of cricket.
But six overs into the second innings of Hellingly v Seaford, the heavens opened.
Former first-class umpire Martin Bodenham is president of the Sussex Assocaition of Cricket Officals (SACO).
It only rained for about 15 minutes but my word did it fall.
So much so that puddles appeared very quickly.
Hellingly skipper Adam Devlin and his troops got the covers on so the pitch was always going to be ok but it was the tracks adjacent and where the batsmen run which were going to be the issue.
It was great having an experienced colleague in Steve Johnson to help guide me and the players through the process.
But the sun came out and helped but we lost just over an hour’s play.
And if it rains in the second innings you lose one over every 3.5 minutes.
And you don’t lose any play for the first 30 minutes of interruption so we lost 10 overs.
Which is a considerable amount when you are chasing 172 to win and you are already 1-2 before the interruption.
Seaford won the game in the end by 82 runs.
When speaking to Ben Debenham and Steve O’Shaughnessy at Arundel last week, the subject of protective headwear for umpires came up.
The pair believe that soon it will become compulsory but it’s a matter of what the headwear should be. I have seen umpires in cricket helmets and baseball masks.
But I am not sure they are that practical.
And just by coincidence two days later Bruce Oxenford pioneered the use of a protective shield for officials in international cricket in the second ODI between England and Sri Lanka at Edgbaston.
The Australian’s left forearm was clad in what looked like a cut down riot shield. I must admit I quite liked it and it looked practical. Maybe this is the way forward.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses.
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