STEVE Wilkes, chairman and appointment secretary of the Dales Council Umpires' Association, reckons that his men in white coats are not appreciated by those outside the league.

In his speech to the umpires' association annual meeting at Pudsey Congs Cricket Club, he said that he was "disgusted" that someone from within his organisation were not honoured at the Yorkshire Cricket Board's OSCAs (outstanding service to cricket awards) in 2017 .

Wilkes said: "Once again – I say it year after year – you have astounded me by the contribution, the commitment and the loyalty you have given throughout this season.

"Our season again had its ups and downs, but we have managed to get through approximately 350 games – league and cup – including finals and T20s, which is pretty damn good to say that we have 17 'full-time' umpires, although we have had the odd one or two to help us out throughout the season, and I am very grateful to them for doing so.

"I must add, I was a little disappointed with the Yorkshire cricket awards because we weren't mentioned once.

"The Bradford League, the Bradford (Mutual) Sunday School League, the Aire-Wharfe League were all mentioned and won awards.

"I was disgusted because aren't we known as the grass-roots league, and surely none of these leagues would be operating without us (Dales Council League) as these larger clubs start their juniors in our league and go on to better things?

"The likes of Steve Raistrick, Ken Firth, Ron McKenzie, David Smith, Colin White, Mick Edwards, and all those who have given their time to the Dales Council League and the Dales Council Umpires' Association to keep this league and their umpires alive, all deserve medals and awards in my eyes.

"I feel proud and honoured to have served alongside you. Some of you deserve the Distinguished Service Medal for cricket."

Wilkes added, after being brought up in a cricketing family and after playing for Greenfield, Bradford GPO and Fields: "I got talking to a fellow called Tim Hanley, who asked me to join him at Wibsey Park Chapel, and that was my initiation to the Dales Council League, and I've never looked back since.

"I'm glad I didn't because I wouldn't have got to know all of you.

"No matter where I went, you always respected the umpire.

"You are the best umpires in Yorkshire. You are first-class."

Wilkes finished: "I would like to thank our stalwart secretary (Colin White) for the sterling work that he does for the association.

"You certainly deserve a Distinguished Service Medal and deserve to be mentioned at the Yorkshire Cricket awards.

"Also thanks to treasurer Mick Edwards for keeping our coffers under lock and key."

White in his annual report, said that Wilkes "seems to conjure umpires out of thin air, and for only a couple of matches not to be staffed is nothing short of a miracle."