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27th April 2020

It was plus 6 and dry first thing this morning.. Change of weather on the way..

Monday morning and the start of a new week.. I did a round robin video email to all my owners yesterday morning..A slight change.. One which I hope it went down well.

I gave a video tutorial to the RAU mid morning...

Nick Cook has kindly taken up the mantle of Kim Bailey Racing Community spirit....

Nick over to you...

'Some may think being a cricket umpire is only about counting to six, making a few signals and saying not out or out........Read on......

I’ve plucked a match out at random from last season (plucked yes, random definitely not), that match being EssexSomerset Chelmsford , June 23-26th 2019.

Top of the table clash, umpires Nick Cook and Graham Lloyd, and before anyone asks, no, there weren’t any top class umpires available!.

Obviously, the trainers team is Essex, when not supporting Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire or any other team which he has a free-be to!. I also know quite a few owners who support Somerset.

Lets go back 24 hours..

Saturday June 22nd . Eve of match. A very different form of pre match routines.

Royal Ascot, our KBRP horse Younevercall is running in the last. Amongst the owners Cook and Lloyd!!. Well a day out to be enjoyed and not forgotten!.

The weather is perfect, the owners resplendent in top hat and tails, and that’s only the girls!. G and Ts flowed. A table for ten in owners and trainers, the wine flowed, what a day.

Don't worry Bumble,I was heard to say, tomorrow will look after itself!.

Even David Bass, hon. owner for the day looked part of the establishment, despite his topper looking like it was found in the dust bin!.

The race a disappointment, but what a day, now to get out of Ascot, Peter Kerr, that man for all occasions to the rescue, he drove us to our cars, left nearby.

A quick change, Mrs C back to Leicestershire, Bumble driving us to Chelmsford, we’re already reminiscing about the day, Steve O’Shaunessey trying all afternoon to chat up Francesa Cumani, me telling Charlie Appleby how to train two year olds sprinters!, and smiling at the site of the buttons on Steve Winters waistcoat bursting off one by one releasing what was underneath!.

Arrive at out hotel, Chelmsford, time for a quick bite and a beer, not the first of the day!.

The Somerset team, staying in the hotel, but as cricketers don’t seem to drink or socialise no danger of seeing them in the bar...But what is sods law is if you cock up during the match the first person you see at breakfast is the injured party, ah well, we umpires have got thick skin.

Sunday June 23.. 1st DAY

08:45. Leave for ground.  Bumble moans it’s to early, he not good in the morning, apparently.

09.10. Arrive at ground, straight on to the pitch to see head groundsman, Stuart, top man we’re in safe hands. Also meet up with match referee. We, as umpires need to know the following: length of grass on pitch, weight of roller ,length of grass on  outfield , when is it being cut, what the watering plan is, what type of covers are being used, roll on, flat sheets, the bloody list is endless. Then we relate all this information, at the toss to the captains, as if they’re listening!

09:30.  Back to the dressing room to unpack are gear, I have more of the stuff than when I played. Bat gauge, ball gauge, law book, competition rule book etc etc. We then check all the balls, making sure all balls, match and spare go through the ball gauge and are stamped with 2019 mark.

We try and find the dressing room attendant , we’re dry mouthed, I wonder why, and would love a cuppa tea. We’ve nicknamed him Lord Lucan!

I should tell you about the dressing room, it’s undoubtedly the worst in the country, it’s 6ft by 8ft, with a decrepit shower and toilet. Four days of this!

09:45.  Still no tea

10:00. Still no tea..Do crosswords, sudoku and wait on news re YNC from the trainer, turns out not good news.

10:15. Still no tea

10:25. Go out for the toss. Bumble and I are fully aware this is a big game and we tell the captains of our expected standards of behaviour, it’s called getting your retaliation in the first. Play hard, play fair (never going to happen), and respect the the officials and the game.   The toss . Pitch in my humble opinion looks a belter, plenty of runs. Essex win the toss and bat.

10:35. Back inside, still no tea. Somerset bowlers come in and select a ball.

10:45.  Mental rehearsal, and plans for the day ahead, using my cricket experience as to what may come.  Select my counters for the day, six old half pennies.

10:55 The bell goes, we’re off, just as Lord Lucan brings the tea, I give him a bollocking and I’m ready for the day.........

Told you it was a belting pitch, game all over 3 days,  Essex win easily, Kim, I’m still waiting for that drink!. As for our performance out in the middle, well, modestly, I can say we were excellent.

Perhaps are eve of match routine should be one we follow..........'

Thanks Nick..How many years ago was it that I organised a benefit dinner for you?

Todays non virus video nasty..