Monday 29 August 2022

The Charitable Chairman on The Charity Fun Day

 Being too injured, old and useless to play, I found myself agreeing to umpire the grandiosely named "Kelham Road Cup" match between our First XI and a special Chairman's XI that formed part of our chairty fun day.

We had women's games, kids games, try out sessions with coaches and various stalls and bouncy castles, augmented by a soundsystem designed to pump out cricket themed music at ear crushing decibel levels during the match.

Organised by our first team opening bowler, who like me is too injured to play at the moment, the match was a 20:20 game with a few Hundred rules thrown in, which meant a few extra arm wavey things I needed to learn pre-game and explain to our actual on mic commentator we had brought in specially. 

The Chairman won the toss, and elected to field first having the younger side with a bit less batting firepower. Almost immediately he fell foul of the fielding restrictions rule by having three fielders outside the circle in the powerplay so I got to call "no ball" very loudly indeed and wave my hands in a horizontal circle like a rubbish helicopter trying to take off to signal the free hit.

Annoyed at having had his inability to count to two shown up, the Chairman protested a little at first, but soon quitened down in the face of my supreme umpiring authority. 

Despite being theoretically the weaker side, after a few early lusty blows the first team opening batters were soon deceived by a young off spinner who has bowled trememdously well all through his first season. Both of them were utterly spatchcocked by the flight and were bowled, before another first team players was deceived by a "doosra" and was stumped. 

All through this I got to signal fours, and more excitingly sixes - delivered in my "Mexican Wave" style. Even umpires have to entertain these days. My umpiring colleague got most of the "Free hit" fun though. 

Meanwhile the first team wicket keeper was busy racking up his 6th Sunday 50 of the year, and their Captain promised us some massive 6 hitting which didn't actually happen, giving the DJ fewer opportunities to blast "Fire" by Kasabian across the outfield, although he did make liberal use of some IPL style sound effects. 

They closed on 139 for 7 or so off their twenty overs.

A quick turnaround followed a spot of village raffling, and then it was time for the Chairman's XI to bat. Opening up with two renowned massive straight hitters, one of them an England dodgeball international at that, meant that I was acutely aware that there was a fair chance of being smashed in the face with the ball so I was standing way back from the stumps, so far in fact that I missed a nick again. Batter was kind enough to walk however, no doubt wishing he'd had a digeball game instead of being done for a duck in a charity game.

The other opener did launch a few big sixes however before being castled, which brought the chairman to the middle. This meant only one thing - the unleashing of the fastest bowler in the club upon him, primed no doubt with instructions to "FINISH HIM!!!". 

THe chairman actually coped with this barrage pretty well, although the edges of his bat scored rather more runs than the middle. What he did a few overs later, on 40 and with the game almost won, was a bit sillier.

He decided to try and play a reverse ramp shot off our regular Sunday opening bowler, with predictably disastrously stump-spreading results. Next ball, young third team opener unlucky to be bowled off his bat. 

Sunday opening bowler on a hat trick! And he got it too, as the next batsman's bat missed the ball while he was looking at the sky. And that more or less sealed the game in favour of the First XI.

Very charitable of the chairman, I thought, to give his wicket away like that.

All in all though, the result didn't matter, it had been a great match. And I'd got to do some decent arm waving too. Added a few extra steps on my fitness watch.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 29.09.22