A time-honoured sledge from a frustrated fast bowler has led to an unfortunate bit of news for a bush cricket umpire, as he received confirmation this week that he is showing early signs of glaucoma.
Paul Pringle, the unlucky ump who has been a fixture in outback cricket for decades, was on the end of a classic ‘you need your eyes checked, mate’ sledge from long-time nemesis Mick Watkins of the South Ballarat Scrubwhackers.
It’s understood Pringle had denied several LBW appeals from Watkins during the first innings of South Ballarat’s clash with the Shepparton Sheepdogs, leading to the earful from Watkins.
With Pringle scheduled to umpire the Scrubwhackers again this weekend, he made the long drive down to Melbourne to see an ophthalmologist in the hopes of getting written confirmation that his eyes were fine and Watkins was just sending them down outside off-stump.
However, his attempt to put Watkins in his place backfired spectacularly, with the eye doc revealing Pringle has glaucoma and is also developing a cataract.
‘Yeah, that did not go as planned,’ Pringle said.
‘I’ve always thought that the best way to deal with a smartarse is to be an even bigger smartarse, but now I’m gonna have to suck it up and admit that he was right.’
‘The worst part is I should probably thank him – if he never said anything I wouldn’t have caught onto this early so he’s probably saved my vision.’
Upon hearing the news, Mick took the opportunity to sink the boot in further.
‘Can’t say I’m surprised mate – at least three of those LBs were absolutely plumb,’ he said.
‘Maybe next week he should get a hearing test too, because he also missed an outside edge thicker than molasses.’