It is no easy task standing for seven hours in the blazing sun focusing on every ball and stroke and making decisions that could turn a cricket match.
Peter Hayward went to Bracebridge Cricket Club to chat with two local umpires Gareth Dowson and Mark Evans before they donned their white coats and headed for the middle.
Mark said: ” The match starts at midday but we arrive at least an hour before any of the players to do a pitch inspection and walk round the boundary.”
Gareth added: ” After midday we look forward to a lot of hard, competitive cricket. We both enjoy the game as much as the players.
“A match usually finishes between 6.30-7.00 pm.
“Unfortunately there is a shortage of umpires in the area. We are finding older umpires are finding it more difficult to stand for long periods.
“As training officer for Lincoln and parts of the county my job is to find younger umpires from perhaps university and try to promote the idea to ‘Stay in the Game’.
” Anyone who thinks they know a little bit about the game and have played at some level can gain the Level One qualification and become an affiliated umpire.”
Mark Evans explains why he umpires : “I have been out every Saturday afternoon since the age of 11. When I stopped playing the game umpiring was the next natural progression.
” Umpiring is all about man management and talking to the players.”
Gareth Dowson added: ” We have both played at a decent level. We understand what players are going through. If you talk to players properly they will respect you more.”
You can listen to the full interview with Mark and Gareth tonight on Mix and Match on Siren 107.3 FM or on www.sirenonline.co.uk between 7-8pm.
Anyone wishing to become a cricket umpire should email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com