Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Some advice for you Dave

Regular readers (hello to both of you) may have heard of Dave Thompson, an obsessive leg-spinner who blogs at and who I've been in contact with pretty much since I started. By astonishing coincidence, he has also found greatness, i.e. captaincy, thrust upon him by his club's elders this season, and he's written a couple of posts about some of the challenges he's facing. All very familiar to me, but since his blog doesn't seem to allow me to post comments I'll have to give him my advice in a place he's bound to find it: Here.

He's identified two issues that may cause problems with a team that, like mine, is pretty junior-heavy: scoring and umpiring. So here's my advice for Dave.

In the first place, get hold of a copy of Tom Smith's Cricket Umpiring and Scoring. It is the definitive text on how to umpire and score and gives a very good, if perhaps rather long, explanation of the correct way to fill out a scorebook. Secondly I'd add two rules:
  1. the captain needs to watch the batting without distraction so he knows how everyone is playing and can give appropriate advice and instructions, so he needs to have someone else do the scoring if at all possible.
  2. The scorer needs to be focused on the scorebook, so someone else needs to be keeping the scoreboard updated (unless he's in a scorebox that's designed to allow scorers to operate it from the inside). It doesn't ultimately matter whether the scoreboard is correct or not, but it very much DOES matter that the book is correct, and the laws specifically state that this is the scorer's duty, not anything else.
Tom Smith does have a very comprehensive description of umpiring but it's probably not the best teaching tool. For this you need to find a copy of "You Are The Umpire", which is a beautifully illustrated book with a whole host of scenarios designed to test one's knowledge of the laws. It should be a good book to pass around while the team is batting and gradually your team will learn what the laws say and how to interpret them.

Hope that helps Dave, and best of luck. It's funny we've both been handed this same challenge at the same time, but there's plenty of examples down the years to show that slow spinners make the best captains!

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