MY last article mentioned scorers. What a great job these people do. Let’s face it we couldn’t manage without them as a game has to be recorded.

We are very lucky in the Bolton area to have many good experienced scorers and some youngsters who are progressing well through the ECB scorers pathway.

To sit in sometimes not the most pleasant of surroundings, for six hours, is a formidable task and the need to concentrate on every ball was brought home to a group of our umpires who were asked to score a five over match!

Just imagine the concentration and paper work required to record all balls bowled, all balls and runs received by the batsman in a 50-over game where two batsmen scored over 170 and 140 in the same innings. This happened a few weekends ago.

MCC law four says umpires are responsible for the correctness of the score, but a competent scorer makes an umpire’s life much easier.

Umpires will check the totals are going along correctly as well as overs bowled and wickets down as the match progresses, but not the batsmen’s scores or bowlers analysis. Mind you, I have been asked “What’s my bowling figures” while umpiring.

In many leagues umpires have to check the scorebooks are correct at tea time.

In most cases everything balances but on odd occasions there is a problem. All four totals can be different. Then it’s a case of an agreement being reached between the two captains as to the final total to be agreed. Do they go off the bowling analysis or batting totals or an average of both? In the tea interval of 25 minutes, which is only about 15 minutes in real time, not a lot of searching for errors can take place, yet an agreement has to be reached.

I saw a problem like this solved in a club match in New Zealand. Because players there tend to score while waiting for a bat, then often there have been several “scorers” involved. All four totals were different so umpires added up all 4 and took the lowest total. Target final, no comebacks.

We have been very lucky in the scorers we have locally. There is a pathway for them to follow and some have been rewarded with ECB age group matches. A good scorer is worth their weight in gold to umpires.