Afternoon. Not in the best fettle today. I had a lot of sleep yesterday and that has manifested itself in over tiredness, so today is a bit of a struggle to be honest.
Been asked recently as to why I’m not umpiring any cricket at the moment. The reason is, I’ve lost some confidence and interest in umpiring. The spark seems to be missing at the moment, and despite witnessing some good games as a spectator, there’s something inside my over fertile imagination that’s stopping me from donning the white coat and getting out there.
A fellow umpire last week said “You should be back umpiring League cricket on Saturdays during the summer”. I’ve got several reasons as to why League cricket is strictly off limits for me. I tried to return in 2013, against my better judgement. Despite being an umpire of good experience, I just didn’t enjoy the games or the behaviour of the players. I just don’t think I possess that special quality of controlling others. I may have been able to give decisions and to know the laws, but controlling blokes that want to dispute things is very hard work.
Also, as has been the case since 2010, I’ve missed large chunks of the outdoor season due to illness, sometimes anxiety, sometimes depression, sometimes both. I can’t commit to umpiring week in, week out like I used to if mental health issues keep interfering with my progress. So that’s another reason behind not officiating at present.
I can take some solace in the fact that I can do a good job once out there, but I’m worried about making mistakes and taking criticism. And making that step to go out there and face the flak is something I just can’t do at the moment. Crossing the rubicon I think it’s called. Some people can deal with criticism, some cannot. I’m in the cannot category, at present.
Also, cricket used to be the be all and end all of my life for so many years. I have other things going on these days, like volunteering, doing stuff around mental health and the like. Umpiring isn’t high on my list of priorities, like it once was. I still tutor new umpires and am putting something back into the training and retention of umpires. But that’s the limit at the present moment.
This morning, I went to watch some indoor cricket. One of the umpires felt bad because I was just spectating and not being involved umpiring wise. He has no need to feel bad as to be honest, I wasn’t in a get up and go frame of mind today, and the spark needed to go out in the middle is currently dormant. What it will take to rekindle the flame? At the moment, I’m not sure.
So there you have it. Are my umpiring days numbered? Wait and see. No confidence, no interest.
Allen Brooks xx