The Tuesday of the seven day cricket tour saw yours truly pressed into umpiring service as my colleague was indisposed.
Now I haven’t umpired for three months. You would think I would be a bit rusty. And I was, missing a couple of minor things. But the old enjoyment came back. I felt in control, relaxed and calm. The sun was beating down and the game was going on. But I was staying in the background, remaining in control.
I heard the odd whisper about coming back into League action back here in England. No thank you very much. I want to enjoy my cricket and not feel under pressure. I don’t want my every move scrutinised and then ridiculed. League cricket is a hard school. Been there, done that, got the t shirt and commemorative DVD. It’s not the same as when I started off in panel umpiring back in 1994. There are other reasons too, centring around my mental health.
The occasional walk on part will do me very nicely rather than a full umpiring role. As long as the players still respect me for doing the job, that’s all that worries me really. And I heard plenty of flattering remarks from not only our touring party, but the opposition too. That’s all very nice, but cricket umpiring isn’t the be all and end all of life for me these days. I have other concerns and activities. It’s nice to know I still have it in me to perform well and with credit. But the days of League cricket at 1st XI level are well behind me. No going back, and no changing of mind.