What a change to wake up to sunshine and it stay fine all day with no sign of rain or the thunderstorms that have played havoc with our fixtures in recent weeks. Fingers crossed the last two remaining weekends stay fine.

I was watching the third T20 match between England and New Zealand on Sunday and a comment was passed over can you be run out off a no-ball and the answer is yes. Devon Conway was well on his way to the boundary when the umpire was informed by the third umpire a no-ball had been bowled. A bit late, but that is the way things go in first-class cricket and the use of the third umpire. The other two ways of being out off a no-ball is hitting the ball twice and obstructing the field.

Us grass roots umpires must make that decision ourselves and are trained in several techniques to help us. As the bowler begins his run up, the bowler’s end umpire will check the positions of the close fielders to see no one is encroaching on to the pitch. Then, we must be ready to watch the bowler’s feet from the landing of the back foot to the landing of the front foot which completes the delivery stride. The bowler’s feet do not always land in the same place so its essential we watch every delivery bowled. By controlling our breathing, we are ready to call ‘no-ball’ when we see the foot land illegally, which is followed by a signal.

Then, we must quickly pick up the flight of the ball to ascertain what is happening at the striker’s end. The bowler’s end umpire usually stands back at least four feet, some will stand further away, so that all is needed is to change eye direction and not move our heads. It’s what feels comfortable for each individual umpire, especially when taking into consideration the power hitting that takes place and by standing back, it gives the umpire more time to react to a ball hit straight back at us. We repeat the ‘no-ball’ signal when the ball is dead so the scorers can record everything that happened.

First-class umpires are told to concentrate only on what is happening at the striker’s end as the third umpire will inform them of any ball that is to be called a ‘no-ball’. Lucky them!