Torrential rain, thunder and lightning at the weekend meant many Duckworth Lewis calculations, yet most matches in the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League managed to get a result as only a few were abandoned.

It appears many players and spectators do not understand the ECB ruling regarding play or the safety aspects of playing while thunder and lightning is around, and the umpires are being criticised for taking players off the field for 30 minutes after the last thunderclap. That is for pure safety reasons and as I’ve said in a previous article, covers with metal pieces should not be used as the metal acts as a conductor. Umpires must err on the side of safety, as who knows where lightning may strike and it is too late if someone is hit.

The old Bolton League clubs have had to get use to some new rules and one of them is when weather interrupts the second innings, the umpires must calculate the number of overs left to play. That is calculated backwards from 7.05pm. If there is 90 minutes available, then 16 overs can be played which is calculated at 3.75 minutes per over. Obviously, they cannot play more overs than what was played in the first innings but it is a rule we must apply. Again, umpires seem to be being criticised for following these rules, simply because players and spectators do not understand the rules we are playing to.

There are no reductions in the bowling allowances for bowlers like in previous years when the total number of overs are reduced. In the Premiership, one bowler can still bowl 15 overs with the others no more than 12. In the Conference section, no bowler may bowl more than 12 overs. These stand regardless of overs reduced

In a league game where overs are reduced, 20 overs must have been bowled to constitute a game, or time allowed for 20 overs. If at the point of resumption there is not time for 20 overs, a team can try to achieve a result but must chase the original target, not a reduced target calculated through Duckworth-Lewis for 20 overs.

Umpires must read the rules for each competition and make themselves familiar with them. It is a pity some players and spectators are not conversant with them, but are prepared have a go at the umpires!