Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/295

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
273
A FEW ELEMENTARY POINTS.

attention to this point. Punctuality is a great virtue in cricket. School umpires are sometimes in the habit of taking up their positions very leisurely, and without paying much attention to where they stand, either at the bowler's end or at the other. It is most important to stand at the proper place. Unless this is attended to, it is impossible to see properly. The umpire at the bowler's end should stand about 2 yards away from the bowler's wicket and directly behind it. But he must be careful in no way to hinder the bowler as he runs up to the wicket to deliver the ball. It is best to stand with the shoulders in the same line as that of the wickets, with the face turned over one shoulder towards the striker. This position will enable the umpire to have a clear view of the bowling, and to follow the game without any difficulty. He should be very careful to avoid moving or fidgeting about, otherwise he is sure to annoy the batsman by attracting his attention. He must notice that the bowler does not go over the bowling-crease with his back foot, or place either of his feet outside the return-crease when he delivers the ball. If he sees the bowler doing either of these things, he should promptly call "No ball." But he must not carry promptness to a vice. He must wait until the ball has actually left the bowler's hands, otherwise he is liable to make a very laughable mistake. If he says "No ball" too quickly, the bowler may be able to retain it in his hand instead of delivering it. Such a case occurred last year in the match between Surrey and Nottingham. Lockwood, the Surrey bowler, dragged his back foot over the bowling-crease, and was at once no-balled. Immediately afterwards he pretended to deliver the ball but did not do so. The umpire no-balled him before ascertaining whether the ball had left his hands. Of course, a difficulty arose. The question was, whether a ball that had not been bowled could be regarded as a no-ball, and entered as such in the score-sheet. However, Humphreys, the umpire, insisted upon having the no-ball scored, and was perfectly right in so doing. He had made a mistake in not waiting until the ball actually was delivered, but without a doubt acted quite within his rights. The bowler was, of course, trying to take a point off him, and deserved to be penalised. It would, I think, be a good thing that in cases where, in the opinion of the umpire, the bowler has tried to take an advantage of him, the umpire should be empowered by the rules to add some runs to the score of the side opposing that of which the offender is a member.

It will be noticed that the umpire ought to assure himself that the bowling-crease is of exactly the right length on either side of