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In the Hylands

15:30 20 August 2015

Hornchurch Athletic's Hylands Park

Hornchurch Athletic's Hylands Park

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Latest news from Hornchurch Athletic courtesy of Nathaniel Bastin

The perils of umpiring your own cricket match were on full display this weekend.

Those who play league cricket at a standard above this weekly torment will find it difficult to comprehend how the question ‘do you mind doing a bit of umpiring?’ can fill amateur cricketers with such dread.

Consider the following.

You make a decision against the opposition: possibly the most common cause for concern for an amateur umpire. Your opponents, it goes without saying, are already inclined to believe that you are heavily biased in favour of your own team (true in most cases).

The ball thuds into the batsman’s pad, huge appeal goes up, you think it’s angling down the legside. Hands on hips, sarcastic laughs of disapproval, man at midwicket is convinced!

Having woken up that morning an ordinary, largely anonymous citizen, you’re now completely cornered by men who think you’re a pathological liar. Few overs later, same clatter into the same front leg – do you fold? Inner turmoil.

You correctly give your teammate out: we know that there are certain members of every cricket club who are only ever out when their off-stump is lying horizontal behind them.

Wicketkeeper stumps them two metres out of their ground and they’re telling you that he gathered the ball in front of the stumps. This category has left many a colt, unaware of known offenders, permanently scarred.

You incorrectly give your teammate out: The consensus is that Chris Humphries was mistakenly given out in a first team game this week.

I shall allow his formal written statement (yes, that’s right) to summarise – ‘I want it on record that the umpiring decision I received from Liam Levin is the worst I have ever received or witnessed.

So much so that the opposition considered calling me back after being given out. Levin has disgracefully let himself, the club and his family down. As yet I have failed to receive an apology.’

Game of chess, anyone?

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