Weekend saw another set of fixtures spoilt by the weather. Some games were able to get started before further rain came and others were unable to start at all due to flooded grounds. For those that started, thanks must go to the ground staff who worked hard at a lot of grounds to get the game on, only to be thwarted in the end by more rain.

On Sunday we did get some sunshine and I watched the Hamer Cup semi-final in the warm sunshine at Settle. That was until after 20 overs in the second innings, when the heavens opened and rather than dash to the clubhouse, we decided to stick it out under umbrellas. We didn’t expect it to rain so hard, but we would have got soaked had we tried to move at that stage. We were thankful when it did ease and soon stopped.

It was a case of mop-up the surface water but the problem was the bowlers’ run-ups. The roll-on, roll-off covers had been placed over the pitch, but as in a lot of grounds the bowlers’ run-ups were not covered. That led to problems as they were drenched. Matting as well as the water hogs were used and sawdust was placed over the existing footmarks but to no avail.

Bowlers must be able to run in off their normal pace and umpires who are sole judges of ground, weather and light must be sure it is safe to do so. The last thing players want is to get injured and not be able to work. It is a hard job for the umpires as they inspect the ground without any interference from participants, however it is their decision. After several inspections, conditions were not improving so in the end it was agreed to continue next weekend with 32 runs needed for a Settle victory.

Appeals were excessive from both sides, some made from fielders on the boundary. How they can determine an LBW decision from where they are fielding, I am amazed. Even heard a comment from one fielder saying the ball hit the batter’s glove when an appeal for caught behind went up. The umpire signalled wide. The fact he thought he had a better view of the situation on the boundary than the umpire who is only 20 yards away made me shake my head in disbelief.