Reader Quintin Ludeke shares his side’s experience of being on the ‘wrong’ side of umpiring decisions in Cape Town club cricket…
I play cricket for a club in Cape Town. We were batting and we had a batsman in the 90s. Playing in the lower leagues you need to have player umpires, and obviously, as you would know… the umpire will be from the batting side.
Now this comes with its own challenges, as you could think. We have a saying in cricket when going out to umpire against your teammates: ‘No lbws will be given.’
‘Cause you know if you stick a teammate you’ll probably have a Milk Stout or Black Label waiting next to the field after your umpiring spell.
So, our batsmen is on 95 not out, and this being a home game, the supporters and old boys are waiting in anticipation for the last few runs that will take him to the big 100.
Our batsman hits the ball through the covers and it goes for four on the FAR end of our big field!! Everyone is waiting on the umpire to signal the four so we can get ready to celebrate a good innings.
And nothing happened… no signal from the ump.
Everyone on and off the field accepting that it was an obvious four… but as the umpire did not signal it, the scorers never acknowledged the runs.
What happens next will ‘blow your mind’. From within the clubhouse someone mumbled: ‘If he goes out now it will be hilarious!’
Next ball hits the pad (the batsman probably just wanted to work the single), the finger goes up and our batsman is stuck on 95.
Probably the most awkward moment as the umpires came off the field to pad up next, both guys in the changing room and the batsman wants to find out what just took place.
Needless to say, the fines session was interesting!
– Quintin Ludeke