A LEADING Dales Council League official has warned players that their abusive behaviour and lack of respect towards umpires, who are desperately short on numbers anyway, has caused one man in a white coat to quit.

Steve Wilkes, who is both president and chairman of the Dales Council League Umpires’ Association, told their annual meeting at Pudsey Congs that an umpire had packed in after comments made by players towards him.

Wilkes added: “I hope that we have some respect shown by some of these cricket teams.

"If not, and if they keep abusing these umpires, then I for one will not be umpiring these cricket teams anymore.

"And ultimately, if we don’t have any umpires, then we don’t have cricket.”

Ironically, the league did not have to hold any disciplinary meetings in 2023 as all issues were dealt with by clubs, who punished their players in-house.

It was proposed that the league hold a captains’ meeting prior to the start of next season at which it will be pointed out, among other things, how they are expected to control their players and how to behave towards umpires.

Paul Whiteley, who is the umpires’ delegate to the full league meetings, was made a life member of the DCUA, while it was confirmed that Michael Payne will join Keith Dibb in mentoring umpires in 2024.

It was also confirmed that winter training for umpires, under tutor Della Rebours at Pudsey Congs, will start on February 22 and run for six successive Thursdays.

DCUA officers elected – President, Steve Wilkes; chairman, Steve Wilkes; vice-chairman, Michael Payne; secretary, Maria Vasudev; appointments’ secretary, Maria Vasudev; treasurer, Colin White; league delegate, Paul Whiteley.