Greetings from Mumbai where Mumbai have just played Pune last night. It’s been pretty full on so far with a match, travel day with ground inspection, then a match. At least we had a “day off” in between the last match in Bangalore and this one in Mumbai. I’m now off to Mohali for another game.
Today we made use of our “no cricket” day with a ground inspection at Wankhede Stadium and a 3rd Umpire training session for two of the umpires with the Director and broadcast crew. It’s a great way to up skill and develop confidence outside of matches.
Over the past week, I’ve umpired in Pune, Bangalore and now Mumbai.
While in Bangalore, I was invited by a local umpire who runs a cricket academy for boys between the ages of 8 and 16. The have started their summer camp which runs for 50 days and the boys turn up between 6am to 9am every morning with their eager parents watching on.
It was great to see the boys so enthusiastic, all emulating their heroes. As you will see, in the photos, the conditions are tough with not much grass to run around on – just plenty of red dirt. Out of 10 nets, 2 are artificial turf and the remainder are mats. I was asked at the end of the session to say a “few words” to the boys and they were all ears – then one young boy had the courage to ask for an autograph and then it turned into a free for all!
So, following being swamped by more cricket bats than the largest sports store you could find, I politely (and loudly) asked all the kids to line up and tried to satisfy them all . . .
and they kept coming and were very patient…
…approximately 250 autographs later and a little writer’s cramp, it was around 9.30am – time to head back to the hotel for breakfast with the other umpires!
The game in Mumbai was a hot and sticky one – mid 30’s and high humidity. With Sachin playing the noise factor was incredible and it must be quite intimidating for any opposition to see these two opening batsmen walking to the crease – the two highest run getters in the history of the game…
These batsmen helped Mumbai towards a score of 183 off their 20 overs against the Pune Warriors and then were off a good start when Mitchell Johnson bowled Aaron Finch first ball in the run chase…
Mumbai won the game easily in the end by 41 runs in the end and we took a well earned rest and drink in the dressing room afterwards. As it was David Boon’s last match with us before heading home, he was the first to crack the top off a cold one.
Finally, I would like to wish my son Jack a happy 12th birthday today. He is spending his birthday playing a game of cricket on Bradman Oval in Bowral, called up to represent the Southern Highlands U/14’s and the news has just come through that he has taken his first wicket. Well done Jack and have a great birthday mate.
Best wishes, Simon.