An acute shortage of umpires in Sussex is causing major concern in the sport.

Players may be forced to umpire in some lower divisions as the present number of officials cannot cope with an overloaded fixture list and ten teams in the county.

Doreen Nightingale, Sussex umpires' organising secretary, said: "I can call on only three really active umpires. Another four do not want to travel to the weekend sessions in the British League and the county championships because of their other, mainly family, commitments."

She added: "In addition we have Grand Prix tournaments at Crawley and Crystal Palace, the Sussex championship, Sussex inter-league and also the national championships."

The umpiring problem has heightened due to the change to weekend events which require umpires to stay overnight.