April 10 (595-600)

(Story numbers 2992-3015 )

595 –  1 April  [2992-2997]

• Grade 'Umpire of the Year' award again goes to Nogajski  (595-2992).

• TCUSA 'Service' and 'Most Dedicated' trophies to Roy Loh  (595-2993).

• Advisor's award to Steve Maxwell  (595-2994).

• Best first year, most improved scorers acknowledged  (595-2995).

• Pair recognised for their umpiring achievements  (595-2996).

• Record thirteen members receive match achievement certificates  (595-2997).

596 –  3 April  [2998-3001]

• Aussie skipper wary of day-night Test concept  (596-2998).

• National stadium pavilion to be named for Doctrove  (596-2999).

• PCB mulls revoking Afridi's 'ball tampering' fine  (596-3000).

• Last ball of IPL match disregarded  (596-3001).

597 –  6 April  [3002-3004]

• Gulf pink ball, day-night trial 'went well', says MCC Chief  (597-3002).

• ICC sees 'hard science' the key to any day-night Test move  (597-3003).

• End-of-season review meeting delayed by six weeks (597-3004).

598 –  9 April  [3005-3010]

• Harper to make ICC appointments return (598-3005).

• Sreesanth's clapping leads to fine for dissent (598-3006).

• Second IPL slow over-rate fine for Ganguly (598-3007).

• Shorter England stint for Windies exchange umpire (598-3008).

• Former Aussie skipper discusses possible ODI improvements (598-3009).

• 'Just asking' about ball-tampering fine, says Afridi (598-3010).

599 –  11 April  [3011-3013]

• Third consecutive 'State Umpire of the Year' award for John  (599-3011).

• Matibiri in line for the IUP?  (599-3012).

• Commentator queries pavilion's naming for Doctrove  (599-3013).

600 –  12 April  [3014-3015]

• MCC members set to vote on proposed Laws changes  (600-3014).

• Second Trinidadian named for England exchange  (600-3015).






TCUSA member Sam Nogajski topped off another excellent season when he was presented with the 'Grade Umpire of the Year' trophy for 2009-10, his second in a row, by Tony Harrison the Chairman of the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) in front of seventy people at the Annual Dinner at Bellerive last night.  The award caps off a busy seven days for Nogajski after being chosen as one of the umpires in the TCA grade 'Team of the Year' a week ago (E-News 592-2976, 25 March 2010), and standing in its first grade grand final last weekend (E-News 592-2975, 25 March 2010). 

At Grade level this season, Nogajski's major contribution to TCA cricket was in first grade where, in addition to the grand final, he stood in nine home-and-away games and a semi final; and was chosen by captains at that level as the best umpire at that level.  Overall during the summer he officiated in twenty-eight games played under the auspices of the TCA, the seventeen outside the top grade including three Womens' National Cricket League Twenty20 (T20) matches, three in the 'Jamie Cox Plate', the final of the Kookaburra Cup, one in the local T20 Cup, two each in at under 17 grade level and in the under 18 vacation and under 15 intrastate cups, and one Southern Tasmania Cricket League game.  

Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpiring, told E-News last night that Nogajski was an excellent example of someone who was always looking for ways to improve his performance as an umpire and who is a "pleasure to watch" as he goes about umpiring-related work both on the field of play and off it.  "Sam's all-round performance as a match official is a result of the fact that he is constantly working at the craft of umpiring", says Widows, the positive relationship he has with both players and officials being clearly demonstrated by his selection in the grade team of the year and as the captain's choice as their most respected umpire.

In his response at the presentation, thirty-one-year-old Nogajski, who has now worked in seven seasons with the TCUSA and stood in a total of 140 TCA matches, forty-six of them in first grade, paid tribute to his wife Monique whose "hard yards and support on the home front" make it possible for him to undertake his umpiring.  He also thanked his employer the Hutchins School for their "invaluable support" of his umpiring and the appointments committee for the faith they had shown in him, and expressed his appreciation to fellow members of the Association he has worked with this season.  "The standard of umpiring in Tasmania is very high", he says, and "members should be proud of the contribution they make to the game and hold their heads high" about the work they do. 

Last night's award tops off a crowded seven months for school teacher Nogajski, a period that has in addition to his achievements at local level, also seen him break into the senior levels of interstate one-day cricket (E-News 558-2835, 27 January 2010).  There were also three Futures League matches involving state second XIs, six in the Futures League Twenty20 (T20), a seventh being the final of the competition which was unfortunately rained off (E-News 535-2741, 19 December 2009), as well as two women's T20 Internationals.




Long-serving TCUSA member Roy Loh was the recipient of both the Alan Powell Memorial Trophy for services to the Association and the Bob Reid Memorial 'Most Dedicated' awards at the annual dinner at Bellerive last night, a 'double' that has only been achieved once before, that being by Ian Quaggin seven years ago.  It is the second year in a row, and third time overall that Loh has been formally recognised with the 'Service' award by a vote of members (E-News 402-2131, 4 April 2009), and the second time this decade he has won the 'Most Dedicated' trophy.

A former TCUSA President who 'retired' from umpiring three years ago, but still managed to stand in four Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches this season, Loh is one of three members on the TCA's umpires' selection panel.  Over the last five months he has travelled around the grounds each weekend to observe and report on the performance of TCUSA umpiring members and capture video footage of their on-field techniques with his digital camera. 

The video system is a project he has worked on diligently over the last three years (E-News 327-1707, 8 October 2008), during that time working through numerous technical challenges, particularly in the software for the editing process, to bring it to its current level of maturity.  Individual umpires can now see themselves in action on their home computers via film sequences put together single-handedly by Loh, and he is currently working to develop a short instructional video for new umpires and other similar projects.

Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpiring, told E-News that Loh's work on the selection committee and with the video system has again been "invaluable".  Widows spoke of  the "sheer volume" of work he undertakes and of his enthusiasm for the tasks he is involved in, his interest in every umpire and the support he provides in their development via his video and other work.




Tasmanian Director of Umpiring and TCUSA Umpires' Advisor Richard Widows presented this year Umpires' Advisor's Award to Steve Maxwell at the Association's Annual Dinner at Bellerive last night.  Widows acknowledged Maxwell's "uncalcuable" contribution to the work of the Association as a member of the umpire's section panel, a mentor for other umpires, and a leader in umpire training activity, and spoke of his willingness to "go anywhere at any time, often at short notice" to support games of cricket.

Maxwell has now stood with the TCUSA in a total of 269 matches, 115 of those in first grade, and received his 250 match achievement certificate during last night's dinner (E-News 595-2997 below).  The former two-time grade 'Umpire of the Year' (E-News 215-1191, 21 March 2008), was appointed to a total of thirty-six matches during the 2009-10 season, a figure that includes thirteen games in first grade, one, five and three in the second, under 17s and under 15s respectively, one in the Southern Tasmania Cricket League, three statewide Twenty20 (T20) games, including the final, the state final of the under 18 vacation T20 series, and several other games. 




Andrea Dare, the second grade scorer with the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Kingborough Club, was named the Association's 'Best First Year Scorer' for 2009-10, and Louise Jauncey from University the 'Most Improved Scorer', at the TCUSA Annual Dinner at Bellerive on Wednesday evening.  TCUSA President-Administrator Graeme Hamley said that the awards had been based on the feedback received from the pair's scoring partners over the season and from an assessment of the score sheets they have produced over the past five months.

Dare, who joined scoring ranks when family members became involved with Kingborough in both playing and administrative roles, told E-News last night that she "very much" enjoys her scoring role as it requires her to closely watch a game, something that enables her to learn something each time about the sport's many interesting facets. 

 Jauncey was also drawn to her club by family playing and management links, and echoed Dare's summary of what her involvement as a scorer gives back to her.  While the season has only just ended, both ladies say that they are already "looking forward to" the start of the 2010-11 competition in October.




TCUSA umpiring members Peter Lynch and Cameron Lee received trophies at the Association's Annual Dinner and awards night at Bellerive last as the Dennis Rogers 'Best First Year' and 'Most Improved' umpires respectively for 2009-10.  

Lynch's award, which came just over six months after he joined the Association and resulted from very steady performances over a total of nineteen matches, including ten in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) under 15 grade, three in the under 17s and five in the Southern Tasmanian Cricket League (STCL) competitions.  

Lee was selected for the 'Most Improved' award after what has been his second season, the first last year ending with the 'Best First Year' umpire trophy (E-News 402-2135, 4 April 2009).  Over the last five months he stood in his first TCA first grade game, eleven in second grade,  two under 17 matches, one each in the STCL, statewide and southern Twenty20 series, and two in the under 18 vacation T20 tournament.       




A record thirteen TCUSA umpiring members were presented with match achievement certificates at the Association's Annual Dinner held at Bellerive Oval last night.  Those recognised have between them stood in a total of 2,250 matches over close to one hundred seasons during the last quarter-of-a-century.

Top of the list was Brian Pollard who passed the 500 match mark earlier this month (E-News 558-2963, 19 March 2010), the others being Mark Gillard, who received his 400 match certificate, Steve Maxwell (250), Wade Stewart (200), Steven John, Jason Nicholls and Martin Betts (150), David Gainsford, Nick McGann and Jamie Mitchell (100), and Ross Carlson, Mark Ferris and Caroline McGregor (50).  

A number of those members have also stood in numerous additional games in northern parts of Tasmania, on the Australian mainland, and in some cases overseas in Asia and the UK. 






Australian captain Ricky Ponting is not in favour of playing Tests in a day-night format using pink balls, says an article published in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' on Thursday.  Ponting, who indicated that he is "yet to face a pink ball", said he could understand the marketing logic behind the day-night push, but admitted that if he had his way, the 142-year tradition of day-time Tests would continue.  

Asked if what a journalist called the "International Cricket Council's" plan (E-News 572-2896, 19 February 2010) to "tinker with tradition bothered him", Ponting was quoted as saying that moves for day-night Tests are "not going to go anywhere until they get a [suitable] ball anyway, so it doesn't matter what we think about it". 

According to the Australian captain, whose employer Cricket Australia (CA) is a strong proponent of day-night Tests (E-News 568-2878, 10 February 2010), those involved in development work with the pink ball are "just going to have to keep looking for different ways to find a ball that works, [but] for me, I'd much rather just leave Test cricket the way it is and leave the other forms of the game as the entertainment packages".

Ponting said that he is yet to see any feedback on the day-night, pink ball, first class match between 2009 county champion Durham and the Marylebone Cricket Club that was played in Abu Dhabi this week (E-News 593-2986, 29 March 2010).  

While indicating he hadn't faced a pink ball as yet, he said he had looked "at a few of the variations of the colouring that they've had but all the feedback I've heard has been a bit negative about the ball", a clear reference to reports that circulated after CA conducted a pink ball, day-night trail in a state second XI match in February (E-News 567-2974, 8 February 2010).  "I can understand where they're trying to go with it but I'm not sure there's enough there yet to suggest we can play" with a pink ball, he said.




Dominican Billy Doctrove, currently the only West Indian on the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is to have the players’ pavilion at his country's national stadium named after him later this year, according to a report published in the 'Dominican Sun' newspaper earlier this week.  The Windsor Park complex is a multi-purpose, 10,000 seat stadium in Roseau, the capital of the Commonwealth of Dominica, that is currently used mainly for cricket, although football and other events are also sometimes held there. 

Dominican Sports Minister Justina Charles has, says the 'Sun', indicated that naming of the pavillion for fifty-four-year-old Doctrove will occur ahead of the two One Day Internationals that are scheduled at the ground between the West Indies and South Africa in late May.  Doctrove, who is likely to officiate in both matches, is the only non-cricketer whose name will be affixed to main structures at the ground as the three spectator stands will be given the names of a number of notable Dominican players.

The current stadium at Windsor Park is just over three years old, its construction being funded and supported by the People's Republic of China.




The Pakistani newspaper the 'Daily Times' reported on Thursday that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has, "in a change of heart", decided to look into revoking the fine it imposed on all-rounder Shahid Afridi for his ball biting act during a One Day International played in Perth in late January.  

Afridi, who was banned for two matches by the International Cricket Council following the incident (E-News 562-2854, 1 February 2010), was last month fined the equivalent of $A40,000 by the PCB and "put on probation for six months" for what it called his "shameful act" (E-News 584-2944, 12 March 2010).

Afridi, the Pakistan captain for the forthcoming World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean, is said to have requested the PCB to review the fine, apparently arguing that “two punishments can not be given for one offence".  He was quoted as saying that he has "lodged a personal appeal" but that in doing so he is "not challenging the PCB's authority".  PCB chairman Ijaz Butt was quoted by the 'Times' as saying that Afridi’s request for removing the fine is under consideration. 




The last ball bowled in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between the Chennai and Bangalore sides on Wednesday evening appears to have been struck from the record, according to reports from the sub-continent.  

With seven deliveries remaining and Chennai needing three runs to win, batsman Suresh Raina hit the ball through covers for two, a score that with the 'no ball' called by South African umpire Rudi Koertzen for over stepping, should have ended the match, but it didn't.  

Raina hit the next delivery for four to take Chennai's total five runs beyond their opponent's score, however, the on line score sheet now available makes no reference to the ball delivered by Bangalore's Vinay Kumur.boundary or the boundary hit by the batsman. 






Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Chief Executive Officer Keith Bradshaw says that the trial of pink balls in the day-night format first class county season opener played in Abu Dhabi last week "went well", and rates the event "seven out of ten" in terms of the development of the concept for Test cricket.  In an interview with 'The Mercury' newspaper in Hobart late last week, the MCC chief indicated a key finding is the need to dye the seam of balls a different colour so that it is easier for batsman to track.

Hobart-born Bradshaw, forty-six, who  was appointed to head the MCC in 2006, the first foreigner in the role since the club was founded in 1787, told journalist James Bresnehan, that during the match between 2009 county champions Durham and an MCC side, the pink ball "was still pretty good" after ninety overs, but that the manufacturer needs to work at getting the dye "into the ball even further".  

A report from the West Indies indicated that a 'Duke' pink ball used there in a day-night game in January lasted for 119 overs (E-News 559-2841, 28 January 2010), although to date no publicity has been given to just what the players there thought about its durability and visibility.  However, comments attributed to players and umpires in a similar match played in Adelaide a few weeks after that suggested they experienced problems with both issues (E-News 567-2874, 8 February 2010). 

Tasmanian Michael Di Venuto, who played for Durham in last week's game, is said by Bradshaw to have indicated that "one of the main things" he found different to the red ball during the match was that he couldn't "pick up the revolutions of the ball from the spinners", although that didn't stop him scoring 131 in just 211 minutes.  As a result of that observation "we will probably dye the seam a different colour to make it stand out", says Bradshaw. 

John Stephenson, the MCC's Head of Cricket who managed the MCC team in Abu Dhabi, was quoted on the club's web site as saying that he "felt the pink ball responded well to the test".  "We have proved that the pink ball is clearly visible in day or night conditions and that day-night first-class cricket is a viable option for cricket administrators". Stephenson also pointed to the need to "darken the seams", although he doesn't see that as "an insurmountable block to progress".

James Foster, of Essex and England, who saw a lot of the pink ball while keeping wicket for the MCC during 196 overs in last week's game, told the MCC web site that he was "pleasantly surprised with the pink cricket ball".  "Given the harsh conditions in Abu Dhabi, especially on the first day, I think this was a successful trial", and "while it was reasonably challenging to pick up at twilight, this is the norm with all coloured balls in that period", he said.  

"More trials should be encouraged, in all types of playing conditions, to get the broadest view in as short a timeframe as possible", continued Foster, and while he "can’t foresee an entire Test series being played in day-night conditions, there is a definite future for Test match cricket under lights".  During the match in Abu Dhabi the players wore whites and the sightscreens were also the normal white colour.

Bradshaw is reported to have indicated to Bresnehan that he feels the MCC is close to finding a solution to the pink ball issue.  "In the red ball the dye infuses but no one could figure out why the pink wouldn't [and now] they have finally come up with the technology to infuse the leather and we've had a pink ball developed, as well as an orange ball and a sort of yellow ball", he said.  Three months ago Australian ball manufacturer 'Kookaburra'  called the quest for a day-night ball a "very difficult problem" (E-News 562-2855, 1 February 2010).

In making his comments the MCC chief told the 'Mercury' that the MCC did not believe the future of Test cricket was in jeopardy, but rather it just needed refreshing.  "We see that as part of our role as independent guardians of the law, Test cricket needs a bit of cosmetic surgery, not heart and lung surgery", he said. 




The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that day-night Test cricket is very much on their agenda but that a move to such a format will not occur until the success of changing the colour of the ball has been justified by hard science rather than the anecdotal evidence of players, says a report in the 'Daily Telegraph' in London on Thursday.  Journalist Derek Pringle attributes that view to David Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket, who was in Abu Dhabi for last week's pink ball day-night trial match organised by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

Richardson was quoted as saying that “the balls that have been developed so far are still a long way off being able to last eighty overs [as] they just get too dirty [for] the beauty of the red ball is that it keeps its colour even when it’s old".  "The MCC has been great in initiating trials around the world, but before we look at these projects we need to establish up front, from a scientific point of view, what makes sense", said the ICC official.


Pringle says that Richardson’s view, which is different from MCC chief executive officer Keith Bradshaw who says the pink balls were "still pretty good" after ninety overs (E-News 597-3002 above), "will seem unnecessarily cautious to those wanting to press ahead with a day-night" format.  The 'Telegraph' journalist talked though about "the twilight zone, when the contrast between the floodlights and the background is at its weakest", as being "one sticking point"

Richardson was quoted as saying that "we need to commission a university to tell us what is the best option for colour combination for ball and sight screens", and that he'd "be surprised if we couldn’t find a ball that worked within twelve months, even if it was developing a better white ball"; although the latter would preclude the use of white clothing.  The ICC indicated last month that it planned to consider day-night Test matches as part of "urgent product research and analysis" into the game at the top level (E-News 572-2896, 19 February 2010). 

“Down the line there are going to be some markets that prefer to watch Test cricket in the evenings and if we can schedule matches at that time we must do it", said Richardson, and "there will be a solution if there is a will for day-night Test cricket".  Australian ball manufacturer 'Kookaburra' said in January that the quest for the ideal day-night ball would remain a "very difficult problem" unless cricket authorities are prepared to compromise on how Test cricket is played (E-News 562-2855, 1 February 2010).

Current Australian captain Ricky Ponting was reported last week to have indicated that he is not personally in favour of day-night Tests (E-News 596-2998, 3 April 2010)




Cricket Australia's (CA) regular end-of-season meeting that reviews umpiring issues that flowed from the summer just completed and looks at planning for the next season in six months time, has been delayed by six weeks this year until after the national body's new umpires manager takes up his position in a fortnight.  

The gathering, which brings together related CA staff from head office in Melbourne, the eight umpire directors from the six Australian states and two territories, and members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel, is normally held in late March, but this year it has been scheduled for 6-7 May.

The revised timing will give Sean Cary, a former Western Australian first class player, just over ten working days on the payroll as CA's new umpire manager to prepare for the meeting (E-News 586-2953, 16 March 2010).  Cary is due to take over the role three months after the previous occupant, Andrew Scotford, vacated the position in late January (E-News 553-2818, 20 January 2010).






Australian umpire Daryl Harper may not have been chosen by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the World Twenty20 International (WT20I) tournament in the Caribbean later this month, but the world body has apparently selected him for the One Day International (ODI) series that is to be played there soon after between the West Indies and South Africa.  The Australian mentions his appointment in an article published on the Indian Premier League's (IPL) web site earlier this week.

Harper, a member of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), says in his piece that he will be standing with EUP colleague West Indian Billy Doctrove in the third and fourth ODIs of the series which are to be played on Doctrove's home island of Dominica in late May.  The players' pavilion at the national stadium there is to be formally named for Doctrove prior to the third match (E-News 596-2999, 3 April 2010).

The first two ODIs will be played in Trinidad and the last in Jamaica, the latter being followed by a three Test series in Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Barbados during June.  If Harper stands in all five ODIs his tally in that form of the game will move to 166, fourth overall behind David Shepherd of England (172), Steve Bucknor of the West Indies (181) and Rudi Koertzen of South Africa (204).  It is possible that the Australian might also stay on for the Tests as part of a three-man ICC umpiring group, and if so a two-game stint on the field in that series would take his Test total to ninety.

While Doctrove and Harper have to date stood together in three Tests and two T20Is, next month's ODI series will be the first time the two have done so in the fifty over game.  Their previous associations in ODIs were all in the 2007 World Cup when one or the other was a third or fourth umpire while the other was on the field of play.

Harper, who is currently two-thirds of the way through a thirteen-match contract with the IPL (E-News 585-2950, 15 March 2010), was omitted from the umpires' list for the WT20I event last month because of what the ICC called at the time "a number of general performance" issues (E-News 583-2939, 11 March 2010).  Some media reports suggested that "a build-up of errors" over a period of time led to his non-selection, although he had been chosen for the final of the 2009 WT20I event in England just six months before (E-News 441-2296, 21 June 2009).

While he was not selected for the WT20I event, the ICC "categorically stated" that Harper had not been dropped because of issues surrounding his role in the review of an on-field decision during the fourth Test between South Africa and England in Johannesburg in January.  The ICC set up an "independent and comprehensive investigation" into the incident over ten weeks ago (E-News 558-2836, 27 January 2010), in response to an official complaint from the England and Wales Cricket Board (E-News 549-2798, 16 January 2010).  

At the time the Australian blamed the television broadcaster for the problems that occurred (E-News 550-2805, 17 January 2010), but so far there has been no publicity about what the two high-profile men conducting the enquiry, Scottish barrister Brent Lockie and former West Indian captain Clive Lloyd, may have concluded.  Just why the investigation is taking so long is not known. 




Indian Premier League (IPL) player Shanthakumaran Sreesanth has been fined twenty per cent of his match fee for showing dissent towards the umpires during his Punjab side's match against the Rajasthan franchise's team in Jaipur on Wednesday.  Sreesanth pleaded guilty to the offence and match referee Srinivas Venkataraghavan's ruling means that the fast bowler will loose close to $A10,000 for his misdemeanour.  

The incident that attracted the fine occurred in the third over of Rajasthan's innings after Sreesanth was no-balled off successive deliveries for overstepping. One of the free-hits that followed was hit over point for four by the batsman, who then got a sarcastic round of applause from the bowler before the same gesture was directed towards Indian umpires Shavir Tarapore and S Ravi to demonstrate his displeasure at the no-ball calls.

Six months ago the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the powerhouse behind the IPL, gave Sreesanth a 'final warning' and threatened him with suspension from domestic cricket after he used offensive language during an Irani Cup match (E-News 502-2612, 15 October 2009).  Prior to that Sreesanth received a warning about his behaviour during the first IPL event two years ago after he was involved in an incident with countryman Harbhajan Singh that saw the latter banned for eleven games (E-News 237-1307, 29 April 2008). 

Harbhajan was fined $A17,000 for an "invective-ridden send-off" directed at a batsman he dismissed during an IPL match in Mumbai last week (E-News 594-2991, 30 March 2010).




Sourav Ganguly, the captain of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Kolkata franchise side, was yesterday fined the equivalent of $A44,000 and his players $A11,000 each, for maintaining a slow over-rate during their match against the Delhi side in Kolkata on Wednesday.  Kolkata was assessed by match referee Andy Pycroft to have been two overs behind the required rate after allowances were taken into consideration.

The fact that it was Kolkata's second offence of the IPL's third season attracted the heavy fines.  Ganguly had lost $A22,000 for the first offence, and will loose a further $A55,000 and be banned for one match if it happens a third time (E-News 586-2958, 16 March 2010), just as the Punjab's side Kumar Sangakkara was two weeks ago (E-News 594-2990, 30 March 2010).

Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir has also been in trouble, being reprimanded for comments he made at a post-match presentation ceremony after another game last week.  Interestingly, Gambhir was reported by IPL Chairman Lalit Modi and admitted to the charge after receiving details of the report.




The so-far unnamed West Indian who will travel to England late this month as part of the two Board's umpire exchange program, will be on the field for eleven days whilst he is there, according to the latest edition of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) 2010 umpire appointments list.  Four matches are scheduled for him in the period from 4-20 May, three county second XI fixtures of four, three and one day's duration in Worcestershire and Gloucester, plus a three-day, first class universities game in Yorkshire.

This is the second year that the exchange agreement between the ECB and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has been in operation, Richard Kettleborough travelling to the Caribbean last year and Trinidadian Peter Nero to England, while Richard Bailey was in the West Indies this January (E-News 555-2825, 23 January 2010).  

Nero stood in four matches in England last year, two of them first class university games, although he was in that country for over three weeks, this year's visit being shorter.  Earlier this year the forty-five-year old Trinidadian was also chosen for the initial exchange program between the WICB and the Bangladesh Cricket Board, standing in three first class games in a seventeen-day period (E-News 572-2899, 19 February 2010).




Former Australian captain Steve Waugh is of the view that a way to improve one-day cricket, especially the middle overs, would be to convert fours to sixes and sixes to 'nines' in order to get batsmen to play more shots.  Waugh told 'Cricinfo' in an interview earlier this week that "maybe the bowlers won't be too happy" with such a move, but that "on the positive side, they have more chances of getting wickets when the batsmen are attacking them".

The now-defunct Indian Cricket League talked of awarding 'Niners' for shots that travel more than ninety metres from the popping crease in its Twenty20 matches, but as far as it is known the concept did not eventuate in practice (E-News 326-1716, 9 October 2008).

Waugh, a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee (WCC), also said that he is in favour of giving the bowlers in the game in general more incentives to restore the balance between bat and ball.  He said the WCC had discussed some radical ideas to that end, including the "possibility of getting the seams a bit larger, even increasing the number to eight".

The International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee is also looking at ways to spruce up One Day Internationals, reports indicating that issues they have examined include the use of two new balls, one from each end, from the start of a game, and for two bowlers to be allowed twelve overs each and two to bowl ten, leaving the fifth bowler an allocation of just six.  The intention behind latter is said to be to encourage captains and selectors to pick more 'specialists' and marginalise the need for what Cricinfo described as "bits-and-pieces cricketers" (E-News 531-2722, 9 December 2009).

Former captain Waugh also backed the concept of day-night Tests for he thinks "it is exciting and brings another dimension to the game".  "People want a bit of change, they want that excitement so why not bring that into Test cricket?", he said, so "let's get a pink ball in and play a day-night Test if it is possible".  Current Australian captain Ricky Ponting was not so positive about day-night Tests last week (E-News 596-2998, 3 April 2010).

While supporting the concept Waugh said though it needed to be thought through as it wouldn't work everywhere, England being one example "because it doesn't get dark till ten o'clock in summer", and "maybe in the subcontinent [where] the dew might make it impossible", both issues being examples of where "you've got to [apply] common sense" to the matter. 




Pakistan's Twenty20 (T20) captain Shahid Afridi says he has no plan to appeal against the heavy fine imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for ball-tampering, according to a report posted on the ' web site.  The Pakistani newspaper the 'Daily Times' last week claimed that the PCB was to look into revoking the $A40,000 fine it handed Afridi for his ball biting act during a One Day International played in Perth in late January (E-News 596-3000, 3 April 2010).  

Afridi was quoted by the web site as saying that he only "wrote the board to ask whether it is possible to penalised twice for one charge", and that he doesn't "want to make an issue of this fine and I will try to resolve it myself".  The T20 skipper says he doesn't "want to get involved in hiring any lawyer, not I have time to do so".

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt was quoted by the 'Times' last week as saying that Afridi’s request "for removing the fine" was under consideration.






TCUSA umpire member Steven John was named the Tasmanian 'State Umpire of the Year' for the third time in a row at the Cricket Tasmania's annual Ricky Ponting Medal dinner for state-level cricket on Friday evening (E-News 403-2136, 7 April 2009).  John's award marks the end of a long and successful season that saw him complete the Australian Sports Commission's National Officiating Scholarship Program (E-News 369-1963, 9 February 2009) in the lead up to breaking into first class cricket, the first Tasmanian to reach that level of the game since now-retired Ken McGinniss eight years before.

John's season commenced back in July when he was appointed by Cricket Australia to the Emerging Players Tournament in Brisbane for the third time, the 2009 event involving teams from the Australian Institute of Sport, New Zealand, India and South Africa (E-News 466-2419, 1 August 2009).  That series was followed a month later by the pre-season 'Festival of Cricket' event in northern New South Wales, from where he travelled to the Sunshine Coast for games that also involved senior squads from a number of states (E-News 468-2428, 5 August 2009).  

In the early part of the summer John was on the field in two one-day domestic interstate matches and worked in another as the third umpire.  Two more such on-field appointments followed after new year, those games taking his List A match tally since his debut in October 2007 to fourteen, four of which have been in the television suite.  He was also active in the shortest form of the game at senior interstate level, standing in one men's match and looking after third umpire duties in two others; also taking the field for a Womens' National Cricket League Twenty20 match.

Opportunities also presented themselves at the international level, the first being as the fourth umpire in the Twenty20 International (T20I) between Australia and the West Indies at Bellerive, an appointment that means he has now worked in that role in all three forms of the international game after a Test and two One Day Internationals in previous seasons.  John also officiated in two T20Is played between the Australian and New Zealand women's sides in 2009-10, one of which was played as a 'curtain raiser' to the men's T20I, and the other a day-night match under Bellerive's new lights. 

However, undoubtedly the highlight of the season for both John and Tasmanian umpiring, was his debut in first class cricket in the tour match between the state side and Pakistan just before Christmas, a milestone that ended a 'drought' for local umpires that had by then stretched to almost four years (E-News 532-2723, 15 December 2009).  That game was followed early in the new year by two Sheffield Shield matches (E-News 536-2765, 28 December 2009).  

A former grade player in Hobart who has now been umpiring for seven years, John told E-News yesterday that "breaking into first class cricket had been very satisfying" and that he was pleased to have come through the three matches "successfully".  While pleased with the progress that he has made to date, he says he is already looking forward to further developing his umpiring skills at first class level in the year ahead, Hobart again being the home-base for his endeavours.

The Tasmanian and Paul Wilson from Western Australia were the only Australians outside the twelve-man National Umpires Panel (NUP) to have been selected for Sheffield Shield matches in 2009-10, both standing in two games each (E-News 571-2893, 16 February 2010).  Just how Cricket Australia rates the abilities and performances of each man on the overall national scene is difficult to assess, however, their promotion to the highest level of domestic cricket this season suggests they could be in the mix when the selectors sit down to consider the membership of the NUP for 2010-11. 




Zimbabwean umpire Jerry Matibiri, who stood in eighteen grade matches in Hobart during the recently completed season,  six of them in first grade, was on the field in the deciding game of his country's first class competition, the Logan Cup, which was played in Harare last weekend.  For Matibiri, who turns thirty at the end of May, the match was his fifth at first class level this season, and thirteen overall since his debut at that level in April 2005.

Matibiri's on-field partner in the game was Owen Chirombe, a Zimbabwean member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  The country's senior umpire Russell Tiffin, who is currently working in the Indian Premier League for the third year running, and Chirombe, currently make up their nation's IUP group.  Third member Kevan Barbour resigned from the panel in December (E-News 534-2737, 17 December 2009).

Chirombe is still formerly listed in the third umpire's spot on the ICC's web site, although so-far unconfirmed reports suggest he has moved into an on-field spot beside Tiffin, and anecdotal evidence suggests that Matibiri could well be in line for selection as Zimbabwe's television umpire.

This season's visit to Tasmania by Matibiri was his second in the last few years, Lancashire League umpire Nick Westwell being the Association's second overseas visitor to stand in first grade in 2009-10 on what was his third sojourn in the state. 




Dominican cricket commentator Joseph Thomas says he is not pleased that the players' pavilion at his country's national stadium is to be named for international umpire Billy Doctrove (E-News 596-2999, 3 April 2010).  Thomas told journalists in Roseau, Dominica's capital, that while Doctrove has had "an outstanding career", "through the history of cricket in the world [no] facility has ever been named after an official [as opposed to a player] and he has "a problem" with the exception being made in this case.

Instead of Doctrove, Thomas suggested naming the pavilion after Dominica’s first test cricketer, the late Grayson Shillingford, with other stands being allocated the names of other players from the island nation, Adam Sanford, Irvin Shillingford, Kaleb Laurent, Lockhart Sebastian, Augustus Gregoire and Val Felix.  

The first three of those players were between them involved in twenty-four matches at senior international level made up of twenty-two Tests and two One Day Internationals (ODI), Sanford's eleven Tests making up the bulk of that tally.  In contrast Doctrove has been on the field of play as an umpire in 128 internationals to date, a list that is currently made up of twenty-nine Tests, eighty-nine ODIs and ten Twenty20 Internationals.

Major tournaments Doctrove has taken part in include the 2004 Champions Trophy, 2007 World Cup and both the 2008 and 2009 World Twenty20 (WT20) Championships.  He has also been named to stand in this year's WT20 event (E-News 583-2940, 11 March 2010).  None of the players mentioned by Thomas took part in any such tournament.






Members of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are to be asked to approve a range of changes to the Laws of Cricket at a Special General Meeting that is scheduled to be held at Lord's on 5 May.  Some of the changes developed by the MCC's Laws sub-committee over the last few years involve key policy changes, but the "vast majority" are in the Club's words "incidental" and are only rewrites designed to improve a reader's understanding of many sections of the text.  

The key changes that are contained in papers MCC members will consider next month are in Laws that relate to: a batsman damaging the pitch (42.14); when a batsman is out of his ground (29.1); the "putting down" of the wicket by parts of a broken bat (28.1); the position of a bowler's feet for a fair delivery (24.5); the taking of catches in relation to the boundary (19.4); practice on the field (17.1); the presence of umpires at the toss (12.4); and matters related to what at present is the "offering of the light" to the batting side (3.8, 3.9). 

Law 42.14 (Batsman damaging the pitch) is to be amended so that the batting side receives two rather than three warnings as applies at present.  In future the first offence will see the batsmen warned, but any repetition will see any runs scored disallowed, five penalty runs awarded to the fielding side and a report being lodged with the appropriate Governing body. That makes it consistent with Law 42.13 (Fielder damaging the pitch), where there is only one warning before penalty runs are issued.

Law 29.1 (When out of his ground) has been amended so that a batsman who has been running to make his ground will be considered to be in his ground if, having grounded some part of his foot behind the popping crease, and "still with continuing forward momentum", he loses contact with the ground. The MCC says that it "is in the nature of running that in every stride, both feet are simultaneously not in contact with the ground [and] it would therefore be unjust if a batsman were to be out in such circumstances".  In making the change they apparently have television replays primarily in mind.

Law 28.1 (Wicket put down) has been amended so that any part of the striker’s bat is capable of putting the wicket down. Although it is a rare occurrence, the Club says it is aware of situations where the bat has broken while hitting the ball and a part of the bat has hit the stumps, putting the wicket down. The Laws sub-committee feels that, whilst this would be an unfortunate method of dismissal for a batsman, a part of a bat that has broken off should be treated in the same way as a bat that has fallen out of the batsman’s hand.

Law 24.5 (Fair delivery – the feet) has been amended in relation to the landing of the bowler’s front foot, as in their delivery stride some slow bowlers end up with their front foot going right across to the other side of the stumps. This means that a bowler could, for example, say that he was bowling over the wicket but release the ball as though bowling round the wicket. The Laws sub-committee felt that this is not fair and have decided the Law should be altered so that the bowler’s front foot must land with some part of his foot, whether grounded or raised, between the return crease on the side on which he runs past the wicket and an imaginary line joining the two middle stumps.

A new 19.4 has been created to clarify further when the ball is beyond the boundary as in recent years increasingly athletic pieces of fielding have brought this area of the Law into the spotlight. The Laws sub-committee felt that it would be wrong to allow a fielder, seeing a ball flying over his head and over the boundary, to retreat beyond the boundary and then to jump up and parry the ball back towards the field of play. Consequently, under the proposed changes, Law 19.4(i) requires that the fielder’s first contact with the ball must be when some part of his person is grounded within the boundary or, if he is airborne, that his final contact with the ground before touching the ball was within the boundary.

Law 17.1, which deals with practice on the field, has been amended to clarify the area that can never be used for practice as being "the pitch and the two strips either side of it".  In addition the Club says it has noticed that practice involving players on the field and a coach of twelfth man off bowling balls to each other is becoming more prevalent and felt it should not be allowed. With slow over rates becoming an increasing problem, the fact that practice should not waste any time is reinforced more strongly than before for in addition the deliberate bowling the match ball into the ground in practice will now contravene Law 42.3 (Changing the condition of the match ball).

Laws 12.4 and 12.5 involve the toss have been changed to formally require that it should be made in the presence of one or both of the umpires, as is normally the case in Cricket Tasmania sponsored matches. In addition the new 12.5 forces the captain winning the toss to notify his decision to bat or field to the other captain straight away, rather than being allowed to wait until ten minutes before the scheduled start of play.  The Laws sub-committee apparently heard examples where the current Law "was being exploited as a means of gamesmanship to give the other team less time to prepare".

The main change proposed to Laws 3.8 and 3.9 relates to the umpires suspending play as a result of the fitness of the ground, weather or light. Umpires will no longer “offer the light” to the batting side but rather will now only suspend play when they themselves consider it to be unreasonable or dangerous to continue.  At present the decision to stay on or come off the field is often made on tactical grounds based on what best suits the batting side, rather than on grounds of safety or visibility.  The MCC anticipates that the new Law, which has been trialled in county cricket "with generally positive feedback", will result in less playing time being lost.  

The MCC says that "once the changes have been approved" early next month, it expects that copies of the new version, which will be packaged as the 'Fourth Edition of the 2000 Code', will be printed and available in the familiar 'light blue' booklet format by "the end of May at the latest".  That should mean that they will arrive in Tasmania in time for the TCUSA's 2010 Winter Laws School which is due to get underway at Bellerive on the evening of Wednesday, 18 August (E-News 585-2948, 15 March 2010).  The MCC proposes that if approved the changes will come into force around the world on 1 October, just prior to the 2010-11 season getting underway in Tasmania.

There has been no publicity given as yet to if and when a new edition of the umpire's bible, 'Tom Smith's New Cricket Umpiring and Scoring' book, will be published to cover the planned changes.  Reports two years ago indicated that the copyright for the book had been transferred from the now-defunct Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers, the original developers of the legendary publication, to the MCC, who were said at the time to have agreed to keep the name in future editions (E-News 193-1056, 8 February 2008). 




Joel Wilson from Trinidad and Tobago has been chosen by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to visit England next month as part of its umpiring exchange program with the England and Wales Cricket Board.  Wilson, forty-three, who follows in the footsteps last year's selectee, fellow Trinidadian Peter Nero, has to date stood in two first class games, both in the Caribbean, the first in January last year and the latest this February.

Records available indicate that the visit to England will be Wilson's first there as an umpire, all of the first class and representative matches he has stood in to date being played at grounds across the island of Trinidad.  Whilst in England Wilson will, over the four-week period starting on 4 May, stand in five matches, one more than reported previously by E-News (E-News 598-3008, 9 April 2010).  

Those games are made up of three county second XI fixtures of four, three and one day's duration in Worcestershire and Gloucester, and two three-day, first class universities games involving Yorkshire and Middlesex.  E-News understands that he will also "observe" senior umpires in action at two full county level forty over matches, the first in Taunton and the second in Oxford.  Overall his visit program is similar to that provided to Nero last year. 

Wilson was one of twenty-eight umpires used by the WICB for this year's domestic twenty-one match first class competition in the Caribbean in January-February.  In terms of the WICB's six regions, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands provided five umpires each, Barbados and the Leeward Islands both four, and Guyana three.  The other two used were Richard Bailey from England and Gazi Sohel of Bangladesh, who each stood in three matches as part of exchange programs between their respective home Boards and the WICB. 

Overall, seventeen of the twenty-six West Indian umpires used stood in one match each, eight in two, while Clancy Mack, of the Leewards, who is also a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, was the only local to be appointed to three.  Patrick Gustard of Jamaica and Ricky Brathwaite of Trinidad and Tobago made their first class debuts during the season.

The West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) earlier this year forwarded a list of issues it says it has been trying to resolve with the WICB.  They are reported to include the appointment of an umpires' manager for the Caribbean; match fees for regional and international matches; operation of the WICB's umpires' exchange program with England and Bangladesh; retirement benefits for regional umpires; and what was called the "unresolved impasse" between two umpiring bodies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Another issue raised by the WICUA was the WICB's policy regarding the "appointment, exposure, upgrading, regrading and promotion" of umpires, the establishment of a twelve-man domestic Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in 2011, and the direction behind the appointment of umpires under the age of thirty-five (E-News 575-2908, 24 February 2010). 

The Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association's is also reported to have queried the WICB about its under thirty-five selection policy after its nominated umpire that met that specification was not selected for a first class game this season (E-News 568-2881, 10 February 2010).  The WICB is reported to have accepted a recommendation from its Umpires Sub-Committee last year that that age group will make up at least half of the EUP by 2015 (E-News 503-2603, 8 October 2009).