The umpiring journey: The rain had to come at some point

It took six games but I finally had to deal with it - the rain.

DM16114320a.jpg Cricket: Broadwater v Crawley Down (batting). Photo by Derek Martin
DM16114320a.jpg Cricket: Broadwater v Crawley Down (batting). Photo by Derek Martin

I had been quite lucky so far, not one interruption in five and half games of cricket.

But six overs into the second innings of Hellingly v Seaford, the heavens opened.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

If you would like to find out more about the ECBACO training courses, email [email protected] or email SACO secretary Derek Knight on [email protected]

Former first-class umpire Martin Bodenham is president of the Sussex Assocaition of Cricket Officals (SACO).

It only rained for about 15 minutes but my word did it fall.

So much so that puddles appeared very quickly.

Hellingly skipper Adam Devlin and his troops got the covers on so the pitch was always going to be ok but it was the tracks adjacent and where the batsmen run which were going to be the issue.

It was great having an experienced colleague in Steve Johnson to help guide me and the players through the process.

But the sun came out and helped but we lost just over an hour’s play.

And if it rains in the second innings you lose one over every 3.5 minutes.

And you don’t lose any play for the first 30 minutes of interruption so we lost 10 overs.

Which is a considerable amount when you are chasing 172 to win and you are already 1-2 before the interruption.

Seaford won the game in the end by 82 runs.

Protective gear

When speaking to Ben Debenham and Steve O’Shaughnessy at Arundel last week, the subject of protective headwear for umpires came up.

The pair believe that soon it will become compulsory but it’s a matter of what the headwear should be. I have seen umpires in cricket helmets and baseball masks.

But I am not sure they are that practical.

And just by coincidence two days later Bruce Oxenford pioneered the use of a protective shield for officials in international cricket in the second ODI between England and Sri Lanka at Edgbaston.

The Australian’s left forearm was clad in what looked like a cut down riot shield. I must admit I quite liked it and it looked practical. Maybe this is the way forward.

It will be interesting to see how this progresses.

Previous columns:

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at

3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!