It has been an interesting Anthony Axford North West Cricket League season for all with new teams, new colleagues, new challenges - and poor weather. I don’t think we have ever had so many matches affected, trying to implement the ECB guidelines. Unfortunately, July and August will probably be remembered for the rain rather than the good cricket.

The only disappointing thing has been the lack of umpires and scorers. It is a national thing, not just in the NWCL. We had quite a few games where there was only one panel umpire and needed the assistance of volunteers from the home club to stand at square leg. Umpiring and scoring a game on your own is hard and is so much better with a colleague.

There may be many of you who are considering finishing your playing career, if so, lets hope you still want to be involved in the game. Becoming an umpire gives you the best view of a game. It’s intriguing watching a bowler experiment with different types of seam positions to get a batter out and just as fascinating watching a batter combat this.

While players know most of the laws of the game, there are some which very rarely happen that umpires still need to be aware of so training is given throughout the winter. The Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) are in the process of providing courses for every level of grassroots cricket - from junior level where parents can umpire right through to umpiring inter-league and league matches. The pathway continues if people want to progress to the National Panel and county matches.

There is a similar pathway for scorers should they wish to progress but most just want to be competent at what they do so courses can be provided for book scoring, scoring electronically on Ipad or laptop, linear scoring, and the use of DLS.

The NWCL are fortunate in having experienced tutors in both umpiring and scoring so if any club is interested, or a member of the public, then please contact me on 07800 956904 and arrangements can be made for a course We provide support after courses so there is always someone to turn to for advice

Your league needs both umpires and scorers so please give it a thought.