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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 April, 2003, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
David Shepherd's Umpire Guide

MY QUIRKS

Quirk
A lot of people are quite familiar with one of my superstitions, the little hop I give when the score passes certain milestones.

It harks back to when I was kid playing village cricket down in Devon and we had an unlucky number - 111.

We call it The Nelson, which you would also get with other multiples like 222 and 333.

We found that the only way to counteract something bad happening on a Nelson number was to get your feet off the ground.

You could just lift your feet off the pavilion floor if you weren't in the middle, but if I was on the field of play I would just jump or hop.

I would usually jump, but maybe hop depending on what time of day it is, how long I've been out there or how hot the weather is.

When I took to umpiring, I thought I couldn't keep doing that, but a few mates urged me to carry on and not many people noticed it at the time.

Then I did it in my second Test match at Edgbaston and someone wrote into dear old Brian Johnston on Test Match Special and he let the cat out of the bag.

I've been stuck with it ever since!

Sometimes I miss it when I'm too wrapped up with what's happening on the field.

I can't think of any other umpires with superstitions like that. Perhaps there's only one idiot!




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