Anyone watching the Third Test between England and New Zealand would have seen one of the unluckiest ways to be out caught.

The New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls had struggled most of the morning only to hit a middle-of-the-bat straight drive which hit the bat of his colleague at the bowler’s end and ricocheted at right angles only to be caught by fielder Alex Lees, having missed the umpire by inches.

Listening to the commentary on Test Match Special, they thought the ball had hit the umpire but it didn’t - it just went to a nearby fielder.

Maybe I was tempting fate when I mentioned catches last week and how a batter could be out if the ball hit his colleague or an umpire!

As an umpire at the bowler’s end, you have to be ready to move out of the way quickly as the umpire did in this case. There is still talk of umpires wearing protective equipment like some do in Australia where some wear helmets and others have protective arm guards to avoid injury.

Would helmets restrict the umpire’s ability to hear nicks etc, thus being more a hindrance? The arm guard has been developed by Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford and is more like a mini shield, and I can see the benefit of it as can be raised quickly to avoid being hit in the face.

It is not only the bowler’s end umpire that has to be alert. I have seen the striker’s end umpire hit both by the ball after the batter hit it as it seemed to follow the umpire as he moved out of the way, and then also by a fielder returning the ball from the boundary.

Meanwhile, I was asked the other day if an umpire change his decision and, of course, he can. Many of us have signalled a six only to be told it bounced first, so the decision is altered. As for giving a batsman out and then realising you have made a mistake, then it is acceptable to change your decision as long as it done fairly quickly and usually before the batter leaves the field of play. It doesn’t happen very often but it’s surprising how often a misjudgement made by an umpire is always the point of discussion at the end of a game. It was his decision that changed the course of the game, never the dropped catch, misfield or rank bad shot and wayward bowling!