Ken’s Tales 06

The Umpire’s Nightmare

No’s 10 and 11 are batting, 5 runs are wanted off the last over. Both batsmen are injured and each has a runner. Neither has ever batted with a runner before.

For purposes of clarity for what follows, let us call them Batsman No.10 and Runner No.10; Batsman No.11 and Runner No.11.

Batsman No.10 slogs a ball full towards the Square-leg Umpire who has to jump smartly out of the way. The ball speeds towards the boundary.

Batsman No.10 calls ‘two’ and both he and his runner set off for the other end. Batsman No.11, the non-striker, reacts instinctively and both he and his runner respond to the call.

It is when both injured batsmen have crossed that Batsman No.10 realises his error and runs back to the crease he has just left. Batsman No.11 also arrives at the same crease, having continued to run.

Runner No.11 realising that Batsman No.11 is in a vulnerable situation, shouts at him to return to the non-strikers crease. Before he makes good his ground, a fielder picks up a ball from behind the umpires feet and breaks the wicket at the non-strikers end.

The ball flies away into the outfield. At the same moment, the Umpire decides that the non-striker has regained his ground, and gives, ‘not out’ on appeal. Runner No.10 realises that overthrows are on and sets off for the other end. Runner No.11 responds and so does Batsman No.11. who by this time is somewhat confused.

The two injured batsmen and one runner are now at the same end, the over throw has gone over the boundary and the Umpire signals 4 runs. The scores are now level.

At this moment, a fielder throws a ball from near the square boundary to the bowler’s end, at which there is one runner. The bowler breaks the wicket and appeals.

The Umpires, now completely confused, confer whilst the batsmen and their runners fall about laughing. The fielding Captain is not amused.

Those reading, who have managed to achieve 3 ‘A’ levels, will realize that two balls were involved.

As the square-leg Umpire took avoiding action, the slog by Batsman No.10 knocked a spare ball from his pocket which fell behind him, hidden from view of the bowler’s Umpire, the striker, and most of the fielders.

Having had this pointed out to them by the youngest member of the side, who thinks all Umpires are bloody stupid anyway, the fielding Captain asks for a ruling.

For ten points and a free copy of the Laws of cricket, what would your verdict be?

Answers on the back of a £5.00 note please, addressed to, The Assist. Treasurer, The Grove, Upminster, Essex.

(All monies received will be put into the H.C.C. Pension fund.)