CLUBS in the All Rounder Cricket Bradford Premier League are being asked to provide new umpires.

The call comes after a difficult 2017 season when there was a shortage of match officials at key times.

Philip Radcliffe, chairman of the Mini Travel Executive Bradford Premier League Umpires' Association's, told their annual meeting: "I have been involved in the Bradford League for 32 years, and at no stage have we ever had to ask clubs to nominate umpires.

"They don't have to do every game, but maybe do three or four games. One club has even nominated two umpires."

In his annual report, he said: "Although we got more than a dozen new members in 2017, this was offset by others standing down.

"Sometimes the level of commitment was not as in previous years.

"We are working together with the league's management board to redress this situation for 2018, and we hope to have more members as the new season approaches."

He thanked Mini Travel Executive, Ask The Office and IGP Plumbing Services, plus individuals Greg Colehan and Ivan Baulk, for their continued support, and reminded members that the Bradford Premier League have adopted all the changes to the MCC Laws that came into effect on October 1.

Neil Johnson described his job as umpires' appointments secretary "at times impossible" last season.

In his report, he admitted: "I thought that last season (2016) had been taxing – I was wrong.

"This season (2017) has been, at times, impossible.

"The shortage of umpires at certain times of the season – well I think we know how bad it was, and thank you for all your assistance.

"I apologise most sincerely for the number of games you have had to do alone and the uneven distribution of fixtures and clubs you may have visited."

However, Johnson did point out that, on the odd occasion "appointments are being refused because people feel that it is below them or they deserve better-quality fixtures.

"This is not acceptable. We have a shortage of umpires. We must all pull together and cover fixtures when appointed.

"It is only fair to cover as many games as we possibly can, and then the clubs will hopefully assist us in getting more umpires, which in the long run means less games umpiring alone."

He said that during the 2017 season, 214 umpires were appointed to 107 cup fixtures, but that 38 first-team matches out of 538 had only one umpire, while only 44 of 396 second-team matches were fully staffed, with 54 not having a league umpire at all.