March 10 (578-594)

(Story numbers 2919-2991)

578    2 March [2919-2925]
• Discrepency in riot time allowance impacted on WCL5 outcome, claim reports  (578-2919).
• Umpire carried off after blow to head  (578-2920).
• Victoria penalised for slow Shield over-rate  (578-2921).
• Benson to continue to refuse Kent match appointments  (578-2922).
• Nepalese bowler reprimanded for 'send-off' in WCL5 final  (578-2923).
• Pink balls for scrutiny in IPL net sessions  (578-2924).
• MCC working on 'suspect action' testing  (578-2925).

579    3 March [2926-2927]
• ICC to investigate Nepal riot issues  (579-2926).
• Pink ball tested in Mumbai match  (579-2927).
580    4 March [2928]
• Aussie, Kiwi fined for on-field incident  (580-2928).
581    5 March [2929-2931]
• 150th ODI next week for Taufel?  (581-2929).
• ICC announces investigators for Nepal enquiry  (581-2930).
• Bat reflection stops play  (581-2931).
582   9 March [2932-2938]
• Tassy's overseas T20 player subject of ball tampering allegations††(582-2932).
"  Tribunal to look into match forfeit issues††(582-2933).
"  UDRS technology Workshop set for this week††(582-2934).
"  BCB reported concerned about 'debutant umpires'††(582-2935).
"  Last Sheffield Shield final in 2011?††(582-2936).
"  Indian women spinner's action reported as 'suspect'††(582-2937).
"  First Windies-Bangladesh umpiring exchange completed††(582-2938).
583   11 March [2939-2942]
"  Harper's 'general performance' leads to WT20 omission ††(583-2939).
"  WT20 selections a pointer to Elite Panel appointments? † ††(583-2940).
"  Taufel, Madugalle reach significant ODI milestones ††(583-2941).
"  $A600K insurance cover for each IPL umpire, say reports ††(583-2942).
584   12 March [2943-2947]
"  Umpires for trans-Tasman Tests still awaited††(584-2943).
"  PCB fines Afridi for 'ball-bite' incident††(584-2944).
"  IPL captains set for 'Spirit of Cricket' "oaths"††(584-2945).
"  Zimbabwean named as WT20 match referee††(584-2946).
"  Batsman holds the bails on - what's your decision?††(584-2947).
585   15 March [2948-2952]
"  Dates set for TCUSA winter Laws, Scorer, schools†(585-2948).
"  Match officials named for Sheffield Shield final††(585-2949).
"  Koetzen, Taufel for IPL-3 final, Harper on panel††(585-2950).
"  Seven match referees appointed to IPL-3††(585-2951).
"  Rauf, Dar, Gould for trans-Tasman Tests?††(585-2952).

586   16 March [2948-2952]
"  Non-umpire new CA Umpire Manager††(586-2953).
"  Geelong club accused of racial sledging††(586-2954).
"  Split develops in Lankan umpiring ranks†(586-2955).
"  UDRS for 2011 World Cup?††(586-2956).
"  Pink balls get a player's approval††(586-2957).
"  Three IPL skippers fined for slow over-rates††(586-2958).
"  New Tasmanian T20 contract for Naved††(586-2959).

587  17 March 2010 [2960-2962]
• Naming of 2010-11 EUP group due soon?  (587-2960).
• De Silva tops 2009-10 international appointments list  (587-2961).
• Tribunal up-holds umpires' 'forfeit' decision  (587-2962).

588  19 March 2010  [2963]
• TCUSA umpiring member lines up for his 500th match  (588-2963).

589  20 March 2010 [2964-2967]
• EUP contract changes alter appointment timings  (589-2964).
• Bans handed down for sledging, but racism 'not proved'  (589-2965).
• Broad, Swann, pushed the envelope, say reports  (589-2966).
• 'Hawk-Eye' changing batting techniques, claims Pietersen  (589-2967).

590   22 March 2010  [2968-2971]
• UDRS for Test debut in England  (590-2968).
• Kiwis express concern at UDRS 'inconsistencies'  (590-2969).
• PCB to probe Naved ball-tampering allegations  (590-2970).
• Waring clubs had an 'often-strained' relationship  (590-2971).

591   23 March 2010  [2972-2974]
• Nature closes down UDRS operations  (591-2972).
• History of scoring display scheduled for TCA museum  (591-2973).
• Players throw punches in Gold Coast match, says report  (591-2974).
• NZ players 'sin binned' for match behaviour  (591-2974).

592  25 March 2010 [2975-2981]
• Umpiring pair named for second successive TCA first grade final  (592-2975).
• Two again chosen in TCA 'Team of the Year'  (592-2976).
• Near-doubling of T20 International sides possible within five years, says MCC CEO  (592-2977).
• Broadcasters should pay for UDRS use, says ICC President  (592-2978).
• Bangladesh's Aussie coach fined for 'dissent'  (592-2979).
• Life ban would be 'disappointing', says red card recipient  (592-2980).
• IPL 'decision pending' screen a real earner  (592-2981).

593  29 March 2010 [2982-2987]
• Naved cleared of ball tampering allegations  (593-2982).
• Forty-over split format with pink balls, white clothing, for trial  (593-2983).
• Umpires from rival associations line up for match  (593-2984).
• UDRS replays being provided 'live' at grounds in NZ  (593-2985).
• 'English' first class season to start with pink balls, lights  (593-2986).
• Ten-year ban handed out for 'open-handed' blows  (593-2987).

594  30 March 2010 [2988-2991]
• 'Our Don' returns to Asia  (594-2988).
• Umpires from three nations complete South African exchange  (594-2989).
• Sangakkara given one-match ban for third over-rate offence  (594-2990).
• Harbhajan's 'investive-ridden send-off' results in fine  (594-2991).

A crowd riot during a one-day match between home side Nepal and the United States in the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 5 tournament in Kirtipur on Friday impacted significantly on the final standings in the competition, say a range of media reports. †Tied on points with Singapore after the week-long round-robin series, Nepal†took second spot in the event behind the US as its Net Run Rate (NRR) was just 0.04 points ahead of the Singaporeans, but reports from neutrals claim that the way the riot-delay timing factor was handled†inappropriately†boosted the home side's NRR.
Nepal scored 162 in its fifty overs and after thirty-two overs the US needed just thirteen runs to win the game at†Tribhuvan University†when rioting broke out amongst the 12-13,000 spectators present. †One media report stated that with the US looking likely to win the match, "the realisation quickly spread amongst the crowd that such a result could push Nepal into third place" and that that triggered the disturbance, although just how accurate that statement is is not known.†
Rocks were thrown on to the ground resulting in the players and umpires Sarika Prasad of Singapore and†Tyron Wijewardene of Sri Lanka†taking refuge in their respective rooms. †Police took around thirty-five minutes to regain control and after the playing area was cleared of "rocks, stones and other objects", overall match time lost is said to have ranged between forty-five and fifty minutes depending on which report is consulted.
Writing on the 'Cricket Europe' web site on Sunday in a piece titled 'A redeemable disgrace', Rod Lyall described the†management of the match itself as "faultless, the game was continued as soon as the rioters had been dispersed and the field cleared, the regulations regarding interruptions and the Duckworth-Lewis (D-L) [system] were correctly applied, and the game was duly completed". †
However, despite such positive comments he continued by writing that reduction by International Cricket Council (ICC) officials of the length of the interruption from "the actual forty-eight" minutes, to what the world body described as "a thirty-minute break", and then allowing only a four-over reduction in working out the D-L target, was significant for Nepal's NRR. †NRR, the preferred method of breaking ties in multi-team tournaments,†is calculated by subtracting the average runs per over scored against a team†from the average runs per over it scores when at the crease.
The US eventually went on to win the match†but a 'Cricinfo' report indicated that†Nepal, who suffered their first defeat of the tournament" on that day, "would probably have missed out on promotion" had the over reduction for the crowd disturbance been more appropriate as its NRR would have dropped it to third pace behind Singapore.
Lyall says that the ICC "seems to have been at pains to minimise the situation, euphemistically describing the riot as  unruly crowd scenes  ", media releases distribute by the world body making "no mention of the consequences of the riot for Singapore". †The ICC has yet to state publicly its perspective of the situation that prevailed on Friday and the way it dealt with the delay in terms of D-L calculations.†
As a result of Nepal securing second position it was, with the US, promoted to WCL Division 4 and allowed to play in Saturday s Division 5 final against the US†at†Tribhuvan University†which it subsequently won, although not without a reprimand being handed to one of its bowlers for 'sending off' at least one of his seven victims (E-News 578-2923 below).
Long-serving New Zealand first class umpire David Quested had to leave the field after being hit in the head by the ball early on the second day of the Plunkett Shield first class match between Auckland and visitors Wellington on Friday. †Reports say that Auckland's†New Zealand batsman Tim McIntosh†drove the ball past bowler Luke Woodcock who obscured Quested's view, and the umpire had no time to react as it literally 'headed' in his direction.
Christchurch-born Quested, sixty-three, who is standing in his twentieth season at first class level, is said to have been felled by the blow and had to be carried off,†local umpire Richard†Walker joining Dave Paterson on the field. †Fortunately Quested†recovered and was able to resume†umpiring in the afternoon session.
Both Paterson and Quested are members of New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) second-tier 'A' umpires panel this season. †Quested, who has stood in five Tests and thirty-one One Day Internationals in the past, is working as the mentor-coach for that group as well as NZC's third-tier 'Regional-Emerging' panel (E-News 491-2544, 16 September 2009), and the Auckland game was his third at first class level this season.
A coroner found that concentration and positioning issues were key factors involved in the death of Welsh umpire†Alcwyn†Jenkins in a match in Swansea last July†(E-News 516-2664, 6 November 2009).††That tragedy occurred when Jenkins, who was at the bowler's end, moved to the same side of the pitch as the ball as it was hit to mid-off, the fielder's strong throw to the bowler's stumps hitting him on the back of the head while he was watching the crease (E-News†449-2339, 6 July 2009).†
Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday announced it had penalised the Victorian side one competition point for a slow over-rate in their Sheffield Shield match against Queensland played at the Gabba in Brisbane last week. †CA says that the side†was assessed as being two overs behind the required over-rate at the end of the match, and with Playing Conditions requiring a deduction of half a point per over, that resulted in the one point penalty.
Victorian skipper Andrew McDonald was quoted by the 'Sportal' news agency overnight as saying that "we were five [overs] down overnight" heading into the final day of the match last Thursday. †That would have seen the side loose†two-and-a-half points "which is a pretty†harsh rule", said†McDonald, who had to bowl part-time spinner Aaron Finch to try and catch up in a match his side subsequently lost. †"We had to roll the dice and bowl Finch, [for] if we had of bowled†the quicks for the remainder of the day we probably would†have been six, seven or eight overs down", said the captain.
As a result of the penalty Victoria s season points total is now twenty-nine, three ahead of second-placed Queensland and twelve ahead of third placed Tasmania. †The first two sides are vying to host this year's Sheffield Shield final with two rounds to go, while Tasmania could theoretically at least still squeeze into that match but not host it. †
The island state itself was penalised a point following its Shield match against Queensland at the Gabba in November when they were judged to have been two overs short of the required over rate. †Beaten outright on that occasion and scoring 'zero' points, the penalty led to the side accumulate 'minus one point' for that game.
Englishman Mark Benson, who announced his retirement from service as an international umpiring last month, has vowed to†steadfastly refuse to officiate in games†that involve his former club Kent†when he returns to duty with the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) first-class umpiring panel this northern summer†(E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010). †Benson played 291 first class matches for Kent from 1980-95, the last five years as its captain, but has never umpired them in the 150-plus county games he has stood in over the last thirteen seasons.
The fifty-one-year-old Sussex-born opener, who won one Test cap and made a single One Day International appearance for†England against India in 1986, now lives in Florida, and told the 'Test Match Extra' (TME) web site on the weekend that he should be raring to go come the start of the ECB's 2010 season after almost three months rest since pulling out of a Test match in Adelaide in December due to health issues (E-News 531-2717, 9 December 2009).†
Benson was quoted as saying that he feels "okay at the moment" having had "a heart murmur a couple of years back when they found a slight defect and that†has been a worry, but things are fine now, touch wood". † The reality was I never really aspired to being an international umpire [for] when I started umpiring I wanted to do well at it, but†it was never one of my dreams to do Tests, [although]†"I m happy I had that opportunity", says the TME story.†
As for the likelihood of him standing in a Kent game for the first time since he took up umpiring in 1997, Benson added that he doesn't "like the idea of umpiring" his old club. †"I still have friends on the staff and I coached Sam Northeast at a very young age and know him as a player, so I still†wouldn t feel comfortable about umpiring" such games, he says.
"If†I ever gave a decision that cost Kent or the opposition the chance of winning a tight game people might say that 'he s only†done that because he played for and captained Kent' ", said Benson. † I d just rather not put myself in a position of ever being accused of that [and although its] a shame, because I would quite like to umpire†at Canterbury, that s the way it is and the way I want it", he said. †Benson believes that the ECB have plenty of other umpires on its books who can look after Kent games. †
Nepalese spinner Rahul Vishwakarma has been†reprimanded for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of†Conduct regulations during the final of the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 5 final against the United States†in Kirtipur†on Saturday. †The ICC said in a press release that the bowler, who took 7/15 off just 8.2 overs, was†found to have breached†a section of the code that relates to  pointing or†gesturing towards the pavilion by a bowler or other member of the fielding side†upon the dismissal of a batsman .
Match referee David Jukes of England said that† Vishwakarma has apologised for his actions and has given me an assurance†that we will not see a recurrence", and that because he pleaded guilty to the charge brought against him, there was†no need to convene a†disciplinary hearing. †
The charge was brought by the two on-field umpires in the final, Tyron Wijewardene of Sri Lanka a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel and Sarika Prasad of Singapore from the ICC's third-tier†Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel. †Wijewardene was also involved in the censure of Singaporean†Mohamed Shoib Abdul Razak who was found guilty of dissent earlier in the WCL tournament (E-News 577-2917, 27 February 2010).
While that pair looked after the main final on Saturday, the play-off for†third-fourth place that day between Bahrain and Singapore was umpired by Farid Malik (United Arab Emirates) and†Ashwani†Rana (Thailand), while†Buddi Prahdan (Nepal) and†Batumulai Ramani†(Malaysia) looked after the fifth-sixth place match between Fiji and Jersey. †Singapore's missing out on the main final is the subject of some controversy, according to media reports (E-News 578-2919 above).†
The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC)†Laws and Universities Manager†Fraser Stewart will be in India this week to gauge the reaction of senior players from that country such as Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag after they face pink†balls in net practice sessions. †Players from three Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises in Mumbai,†Bangalore and Delhi are to test pink balls in the nets as they prepare†for this year's tournament which is due to get underway in Mumbai on Friday week.
The MCC says that†Stewart "will supervise proceedings" in net seessions that will see around†150 pink 'Dukes', 'Kookaburra' and 'SG' balls that are from nought to fifteen overs old being used. ††Stewart said that "the feedback we'll get from these elite players will be invaluable to us in†our research and potentially extremely important for the future of Test match cricket, as pink†balls could be the factor required to play day-night Tests".
"The [IPL] has embraced the concept of trialling the pink cricket ball and†kindly agreed to test them in their practice sessions for [the] MCC", said Stewart. IPL franchises agreed to†use pink balls for warm-up matches and practice sessions at a meeting of the†IPL†franchises in Bangkok last November, and if the trial proves to be successful they†could be used in the Twenty20 competition proper, according to a report published at the time (E-News†522-2687, 13 November 2009). †Whether that will occur in the 2010 event is not known at this stage.
The last of the four day-night, pink ball matches played during this year's first class competition in the Caribbean ended in St Lucia overnight Australian time with the Leeward Islands defeating Combined Campuses and Colleges by ten wickets. †Unlike Australia where pink ball trials in Futures League matches, one of them a day-night match, resulted in considerable negative publicity (E-News 567-2874, 8 February 2010), there have no reports in the media in the Caribbean as to what either players or officials think about the balls used there.†
Last month Australia's Channel 9 television network used a "mock match" to test how its cameras 'saw' pink balls at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (E-News 568-2879, 10 February 2010). †That occurred after mixed reports from ball manufacturers about the possibility of developing a suitable coloured ball for day-night Test matches (E-News 559-2841, 28 January 2010).
The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) research and development arm†recently conducted testing on illegal bowling actions in†its Indoor School at Lord s. †Working in conjunction with its scientific research partner, Imperial College London, fifteen bowlers were each†fitted with twenty-six reflective markers to ascertain the angle of their arms during delivery. †The MCC says that its long-term aim of the project is "find a definitive process for testing bowlers with suspect actions".
In May 2007 the MCC's World Cricket Committee called for the introduction of a policy of regular monitoring of bowling actions under match conditions, using a combination of camera footage, technology and personal observation (E-News 44-241, 23 May 2007). †
Later that year the International Cricket Council was reported to be working with biomechanists on a system that would enable bowlers with suspect actions to be tested via sensors that would be worn during play and linked to computers off the field (E-News 135-735, 16 November 2007), but nothing has been heard since of just how that particular project is proceeding. †
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to conduct an internal investigation into the events surrounding last Friday's World League (WCL) Division 5 match at†Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu between home side Nepal and the United States of America (USA). †The match, which was interrupted when rocks and other items were thrown on to the field, was won by the USA but the subsequent net run-rate (NRR) calculations†meant that Nepal qualified for promotion to WCL Division 4 along with the USA, just ahead of Singapore (E-News 578-2919, 2 March 2010).
The time lost due to the suspension of play, adjusted by Duckworth-Lewis method, allowed Nepal to pip Singapore for promotion by a NRR of just 0.04. †One media report says that if the USA had taken two balls fewer to seal their five-wicket win to top the table after the week-long competition, Singapore would have leap-frogged Nepal in to the second of the two promotion slots. †Reports earlier this week claimed that the official delay in play was put at thirty minutes rather then the actual forty-five to fifty, but just how that particular time discrepency impacted on how quickly the USA got their runs is not clear.
The ICC said yesterday that the investigation will look first at whether the event technical committee correctly applied and interpreted the tournament regulations†and, secondly, the nature of the security breach at the ground. †No timetable for the investigation, which is likely to be carried out mainly by the ICC's General Manager Cricket David Richardson and its Umpires and Referees Manager Vincent†van der Bijl,†has been announced, the ICC saying only that it "will announce the findings of the investigation in due course".
Imran Khwaja, the chairman of the Singapore Cricket Association, said that he has "spoken with the ICC and [is] satisfied with the†course of action that they are pursuing".
Cricket in India got its first taste of the pink-coloured balls yesterday during an exhibition match between two of the country s top†corporate teams at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. †Balls from three†different manufacturers, 'Kookaburra' from Australia, 'Dukes' from England and 'SG' from India were used during what was a fifteen-over game.†
The Marylebone Cricket Club s (MCC) Laws and Universities manager Stewart Fraser, in India to†experiment with coloured balls (E-News 578-2925, 2 March 2010), was present at the match. †Frazer told India's 'Daily News Analysis' (DNA) that the ongoing experimentation was a part of MCC s research into "a whole lot of" coloured balls. †Most of that work is centred on the pink balls, he says, although orange ones are also involved, says the DNA report. †
In yesterday's match each manufacturer's ball was used for five overs in each innings. †Fraser indicated that after the match he planned to talk†to the players to see what they thought about each ball and how they compared against one and†another, and in relation to their experience with the more common white and red ones as well. †No details of that feedback was provided in the news report.
Former Indian Test player, Praveen Amre, who took the field for one of the sides, said that "we have played with different†coloured balls during the Emerging Player Tournament last year in Australia, but [yesterday's game was] †the first time it has occurred†in India". †"The [pink] ball doesn t last as long as white or red ones, although it is still under experimentation", Amre said.
Mitchell Johnson of Australia and New Zealand s Scott Styris have both been found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC)†Code of Conduct (CoC) during yesterday's One Day International (ODI) in Napier. †Johnson was charged with conduct that involved† inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of†play , and Styris with an offence at a lesser level involving actions that were contrary to the spirit of cricket or bring the game into disrepute.
The offence occurred at the conclusion of the forty-sixth†over of New Zealand s innings. †Initially, there was a verbal exchange between the two players then Johnson approached Styris and†made what the umpires felt "was deliberate and inappropriate physical contact with his opponent". †A Cricinfo report says that†the two men "bumped shoulders and then appeared to clash heads". †Charges against the pair were laid by on-field umpires Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Tony Hill of New Zealand, as well as third umpire Chris Gaffaney, another Kiwi.
Both Johnson and Styris pleaded guilty at an early stage of the investigation into the incident and as such, under the provisions of the CoC, the matter was determined†by match referee†Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka. †He†imposed a fine equivalent to sixty per cent per cent of Johnston's match fee and fifteen per cent of that of Styris.
Madugalle said in an ICC media release †that "sometimes in the heat of competition players cross over the line of what is acceptable behaviour and that has†clearly happened in this case". † I made it clear to [both players] that as role models it s important that they conduct themselves not only within the laws of†cricket but also in keeping with the spirit of the game", he said.
Media reports quote Styris as saying that "there was nothing more than normal, the Australians play good competitive cricket and I'd like to think that we'll match them in that competitiveness [but] there wasn't anything untoward out there". When asked if there had been a head-clash, he said that Johnson "might have come quite close, I don't know, he may have done". †Australian†captain Ricky Ponting who had intervened to separate the two said "obviously something happened, I rushed in as quickly as I could and separated them as quick as I could and we just tried to finish off the game well from there".
Under the CoC, offences such as that Johnson was charged with can result in fines that range from fifty per cent to one hunder per cent of a player s†match fee and/or two suspension points, which translates as a suspension of two ODIs or one Test match. †
This is the second time that Johnson has had to front a match referee this summer. †He was fined twenty-five per cent of his match fee during the third Test between Australia and the West†Indies in Perth in December for an incident that involve West Indian spinner Sulieman Benn and another Australian Brad Haddin. †Benn was banned for two ODIs and Haddin given the same fine as Johnson (E-News 535-2739, 19 December 2009).
Australian umpire Simon Taufel appears likely to stand in his 150th One Day International (ODI) in the match between the West Indies and Zimbabwe on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent next Wednesday. †The International Cricket Council (ICC) is yet to announce who the 'neutral' umpire for that match will be, however, Taufel stood in the first of the five-game ODI series to two sides played in Guyana overnight Australian time, and what information is available publicly suggests he will be there for all those matches (E-News 577-2915, 27 February 2010).†
If so, Taufel, who does not turn forty until January next year, will become just the fifth umpire to pass the 150 mark in ODIs, after Rudi Koertzen of South Africa who will be on 204 games by the end of this week, the retired pair of Steve Bucknor from the West Indies (181) and David Shepherd of England (172), and Taufel's countryman Daryl Harper who is currently on 161 matches. †Shepherd reached 150 when he was sixty-three, Bucknor sixty, Koertzen fifty-nine and Harper fifty-seven.
Taufel made his ODI debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)†in January 1999 a week before his twenty-eighth birthday and almost two years before the first of his now sixty-one Tests, but had to stand in twenty-eight ODIs in Australia before receiving his first overseas appointment to of all places Morocco, where he was involved in a tri-nation series involving Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa in August 2002. †
If he reaches the 150 mark on Saint Vincent next week, his first match on that island, he will have been on the field in ODIs played on forty-five separate grounds across eleven nations, his home turf on the SCG seeing him the most in sixteen games. †In addition to Morocco, fifty-five of his ODIs have been in Australia, only two of them at Bellerive, twenty-one in the West Indies, seventeen in Pakistan, sixteen in England, two at Lord's, eleven each in India and South Africa, seven in Sri Lanka, three each in Bangladesh and Scotland, and one in Zimbabwe. †Three other games he was appointed to were washed out.
Included in his ODIs to date were matches in the World Cups of 2003 in South Africa and 2007 in the West Indies, and the Champions Trophy series of both 2004 and 2006 in England and India respectfully. †He stood in the final of the 2004 event in England, however, despite being chosen as the ICC's 'Umpire of the Year' in each year from 2004-08 (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008), he missed out on the other three finals because his home country was one of the participants.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday appointed a three-man team to investigate the events that occurred last Friday in the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 5 match in Kathmandu between home side Nepal and the United States of America (USA). †The match, which was stopped for three-quarters-of-an-hour when rocks and other items were thrown on to the field, was won by the USA but the subsequent net run-rate (NRR) calculations saw Nepal qualify for promotion to WCL Division 4 fractionally ahead of Singapore (E-News 578-2919, 2 March 2010).
Those involved in the investigation are†David Becker,†the Head of the ICC's Legal Department, David Richardson, its General Manager Cricket, and Ravi Sawani, the General Manager of its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. †Under the terms of their remit, the trio are to look into "all aspects of the match including the calculations of net run-rate, how the match officials reacted and the nature of the security-related issues which arose during the match".
Under the terms of the ICC's security regulations an independent commissioner, Advocate Ajmalul Hossain QC, has also been appointed to investigate any alleged breaches of security protocols on the part of the tournament host, the Cricket Association of Nepal.†
ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Haroon Lorgat said in a media release yesterday that†"what happened in Nepal was unacceptable and we can be thankful that nobody was hurt through the irresponsible actions of spectators". †"The investigation team [appointed] is hugely experienced in the areas of cricket operations, legal affairs and security matters and I have no doubt all the facts will be laid bare", continued Lorgat. †
"It is important to establish exactly what happened that day and I am content with how the investigation is progressing", he said, †for "the safety and security of players, officials and spectators at all our events is our number-one priority".
No time-line for the investigation's completion was announced, the ICC saying simply that the "findings of the investigations will be announced in due course". †The findings of a separate ICC two-man "independent and comprehensive investigation" into Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) procedural issues that applied during the fourth Test between South Africa and England in Johannesburg almost two months ago is still awaited (E-News 577-2918, 27 February 2010).
Play in a match on the north shore of Sydney was stopped last Saturday when a fielding captain asked an umpire to have a batsman remove a sticker from the back side of his bat because "at certain angles" it was reflecting the sun into the eyes of the Asquith side's wicketkeeper and slips. †
Saint Ives opener†Stephen Karrasch, who was was using the same bat he had used all season, told the 'North Shore Times' yesterday that†he "tried to remove [the sticker] quickly because we didn t want to stop play but as we pulled the sticker off some timber came too, so†we put plaster over it". †"You could interpret [the move by the Asquith captain] as a tactic to put me off, and I was out for four, but that was really my fault",†said Karrasch.
Karrasch said everyone had "a good chuckle" about the situation after the match between the two top-of-the-table sides ended, but at the time he was "shocked". † It happened to me once where there was a bright sticker on a bat" when he was fielding in another game he continued, "and I just took it as part of the game".
Pakistan all-rounder Rana Naved, who played five Twenty20 (T20) matches for Tasmania this season, is currently the subject of†ball tampering accusations in his home land. †The Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) has asked the Pakistan Cricket†Board (PCB) to investigate "ball tampering committed by Naved with his nails" during a†National T20 Championship match†between his†Sialkot Stallions†and the Karachi Zebras in late February, according to a Press Trust of India report (PTI) yesterday. †
The PTI report says that Rana "swung the ball prodigiously" during the Sialkot side's four games in the domestic†tournament, the final which his side won in Karachi on Sunday; although bowling figures†of†3/111 from the 14.4 overs from his medium pacers across that quartet of matches do not indicate that he unduly inhibited the†batsman who faced him. †He took 9/155 in the fifteen overs he bowled in his matches for Tasmania.
The KCCA is reported to have said in a letter to the PCB that it does not "wish to wash dirty linen in public or make it a†public issue but we hope you will conduct an impartial inquiry into the matter". †That correspondence is said to have gone†on to make the claim that Naved's alleged used his nails were "ignored by the umpires" Ijaz Ahmed and Tahir Shah, who are both former first class players.
The PTI says that during the latter stages of the eighteen-match domestic T20 tournament, "umpires have been seen strictly†checking the condition of the ball after every few overs", something it claims indicated "that the ball tampering issue†has been taken notice of by the [PCB]".
Rana was recently named in an international media outlet as one of the two Pakistani players†who are under investigation for match fixing by the PCB, however, the Board has denied "any current player" was under†investigation for match fixing. †The player himself was quoted as saying that he "has always played clean cricket and would be seeking†legal action against the people who named him as a match-fixing suspect", says the PTI report.
However, the PTI says that Rana could find himself in trouble as "well-placed sources" are said to have claimed that another team had also†complained about what it called his "ball-tampering habits". †"Apart from the KCCA complaint, Ishtiaq Ahmed one of†the match referees has also apparently mentioned Rana [in terms of ball tampering] in his report to the board", says a "source"†quoted by the PTI. †
Records show that Ishtiaq was the referee in Rana's second match in the tournament against Rawalpindi five days after the Karachi game in which allegations against him were first made.†
The Murray Valley Cricket Association in northern Victoria has arranged an†independent tribunal hearing to look into †just who won the premiership semi-final between the sides from†Cobram and Barooga on Sunday, says yesterday's edition of the 'Shepparton News'. †Umpires Colin Smith and Colin Holdsworth awarded Cobram victory by forfeit after Barooga refused to play in what reports say were rain-affected conditions.†
Bureau of Meteorology data indicates that the area around the two†towns, which lie in separate states just kilometres part on either side of the Murray River, received between forty and fifty millimetres of rain overnight before the match. †Because of conditions that prevailed, Smith and Holdsworth decided to delay the start of play until mid-afternoon, a key concern reportedly being†the area of the bowler's run-up at one end of the pitch. †
However, when the umpires eventually concluded that play could start, Barooga captain Anthony Bradley is said by the 'News' to have "refused to sign a player safety form because of concern that his bowlers were at risk of injury due to wet patches near the pitch". †The form referred to appears to be similar to that which Tasmanian Cricket Association clubs are required to complete prior to the commencement of matches.†
Section 3.8 of the Laws of Cricket says that "The umpires shall be the final judges of the fitness of the ground, weather and light for play", while 7.2 indicates "The umpires shall be the final judges of the fitness of the pitch for play".
The standardisation of technology†used to support the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be one of the aims of a Workshop the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to conduct in Dubai this week. †That gathering on Wednesday-Thursday, which was initially flagged in January (E-News 558-2838, 27 January 2010), will involve the Chief Executives and "key staff" from Test playing nations as well as†representatives of "the major cricket broadcasters" and companies that market UDRS-related†technology.
According to the ICC the Workshop will, apart from trying to develop a "consensus on the technology", also try to refine "the specifications for broadcasters and matches officials"; consider "the cost implications of implementing the [system]"; and map "the next steps in [its] development". †The Workshop is to follow today's ICC Chief Executives Committee meeting in Dubai, the first of four that group has scheduled in 2010, which will be given a†presentation on what the ICC describes as "the successful implementation of [UDRS] in thirteen Test matches [that have been played over] the last four months".†
Despite the world body's positive spin, India has refused to use the system over that time and Bangladesh reportedly cannot afford it, while in countries that have introduced the UDRS the range of technologies that have been available have varied across the Test series involved†(E-News 568-2882, 10 February 2010), particularly 'Hot Spot' which is reported to be very costly to acquire†(E-News 551-2808, 18 January 2010).††
Whether issues related to, or the results of, the ICC's†"independent and comprehensive [two-man] investigation" into UDRS procedural issues that resulted in missing sound during a review in the fourth Test between South Africa and England in Johannesburg in mid-January, will part of discussions during this week's Workshop is not known (E-News 577-2918, 27 February 2010). †
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is reported to have expressed concerns in the past as to why they "are always left to experiments with debutant umpires" in many of their matches, claims†Atique Anam of Dhaka's 'Daily Times' newspaper. †In an article on Saturday which focused on the recently completed One Day International (ODI) series between Bangladesh and England, the journalist talked at length about what he saw as errors made by home umpires†Enamul Haque†and†Nadir Shah, before going on to refer to Australian Rod Tucker and ask the debutant question.
Tucker, who made his Test debut in Bangladesh's only such match in New Zealand last month (E-News 564-2864, 3 Febraury 2010), and then travelled to Bangladesh for this month's ODI and Test series (E-News 574-2905, 22 February 2010), was not specifically criticised in Anam's article for any decision he made in the New Zealand Test or the England ODIs. †Anam says that "talk on corners for the last few days" in Dhaka has centred around "poor umpiring decisions" in the ODIs, then makes the link between that issue and the question of debutant umpires in Bangladesh matches.
The 'Daily Times' piece says that the debutant issue†was raised with the International Cricket Council's general manager cricket, Dave Richardson, at a media conference in Dhaka last year. †Richardson, who has the ICC's umpiring and referees department as part of his management portfolio, is said to have replied that "we cannot make experiments [with umpires] in Ashes series, so Bangladesh have to accept the reality" involved in appointments to its matches.
Nine of the fifteen members currently on the ICC's top-level 'Elite' and 'Emerging' umpire panels made their Test debuts in matches involving Bangladesh over the past decade. †Those from the Elite panel are: Tony Hill (New Zealand) December 2001; Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf (Pakistan) in October 2003 and January 2005 respectively; Ian Gould (England) November 2008; and 'Emerging' umpires Nigel Llong (England) January 2008; Marais Erasmus (South Africa) January †2010; and Tucker last month.†
FINAL IN 2011? ††
The Sheffield Shield final could be cut from Australia's domestic†season in two years as Cricket Australia (CA) continues to search for ways†to expand its domestic Twenty20 (T20) competition, says an article published in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun newspaper yesterday. †CA wants to fit in more T20 matches†from the 2011-12 season onwards without a reduction to the home international calendar or, if possible,†the Sheffield Shield, early summer matches of that competition in Australia's tropical north being mooted as one solution to the issues involved (E-News 558-2837, 27 January 2010).
Cricket Victoria's Chief Executive†Officer†Tony†Dodemaide was quoted by the 'Herald Sun' as saying that†"there's obviously been discussion around the traps" about scrapping the final, for in order to fit in extra T20 matches, "the alternatives are to extend the season or to†find room [by] trimming either the Shield or one-day cricket". †The first-class final, which was introduced in 1982-83, gives the home side a large†advantage as it needs only†to draw to win the title, something that has resulted in "some dull finals dominated by†ridiculously high scores".
The Indian women side's spinner Poonam Raut was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action†by on-field umpires Ulhas Gandhe and S Ravi following†the second Twenty20 International (T20I) against England in Mumbai on Saturday. †Raut, who was playing her fifth T20I for India, took 3/12 off four overs, her first wickets in that format of the international game.
As a result of the report Raut s action will now be scrutinised†by a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) panel of†human movement specialists who will be appointed in consultation with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). †That analysis must take place within three weeks of the umpire's report being received by the BCCI and the results obtained forwarded to the†ICC two weeks after that.
Until the world body receives that assessment Raut can continue to bowl in international matches. †Should the analysis find she bowls†with an illegal action Raut will be†suspended from bowling until remedial action occurs and she is cleared by a second assessment. †
The first season of the umpiring exchange program between Bangladesh and the West Indies has ended, the two umpires involved standing in three first class matches in each other's country (E-News 572-2899, 19 February 2010). †Two of Trinidad and Tobago umpire Peter Nero's three matches in Bangladesh's National Cricket†League (NCL) were played in Bogra and the other in Savar, while his counterpart Gazi Sohel's games in the Caribbean's Regional Four-Day Competition were in Guyana, Trinidad and Grenada.
Sohel's visit to the West Indies doubled the number of first class matches he has stood in to date, while for Nero, who umpired in England last year as part of an exchange with that country, his NCL games make up one-third of his current record at first class level. †The West Indies Cricket Board is yet to announce which of its umpires will travel to England later this year, Richard Bailey of the England and Wales Cricket Board's senior panel having worked in three matches in the Caribbean in January (E-News 555-2825, 23 January 2010).
Australian umpire Daryl Harper†had been omitted from the group of umpires who are to stand in the World Twenty20 (WT20) tournament in the West Indies in April-May because his†"general performance" did not merit selection for the event. †The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday named thirteen umpires and three match referees for the seventeen-day WT20 tournament which is due to get underway in Guyana on the last day of April (E-News 583-2940 below).†
In its announcement of the selections, the world body†"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. †Some media reports overnight say rather that his omission,†which comes in the month the ICC normally announces who will be on its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) for the year ahead,†is the result of what one called "a build-up of errors" over a period of time.†
In the†Johannesburg†Test, Harper gave South Africa captain Graeme Smith 'not out' after conducting the review, and he†and the broadcasters involved later accused one another of making mistakes in ensuring the technology†needed to operate the Umpire Decision Review System was working properly, match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka defending the Australian at the time (E-News 549-2798, 16 January 2010). †The ICC set up a review into the incident, although the outcome of that report is still awaited two months later (E-News 577-2918, 27 February 2010).
The decision not to choose Harper was taken by the ICC's match officials selection panel which consists of David Richardson, the†ICC's general manager cricket who is a former South Africa wicket-keeper, the world body's chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka,†David Lloyd a†former†England batsman, coach and first-class umpire turned broadcaster, and Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, an ex-India spinner and former member of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel. †
In 2007 the ICC dropped Harper's colleagues on the EUP,†Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Steve Bucknor (West Indies), 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand) and Rudi Koertzen (South Africa), plus†match referee Jeff Crowe (New Zealand),†from the inaugural WT20 tournament in South Africa for their part in the problems that arose in that year's World Cup final in Barbados (E-News†59-324, 24 June 2007).†
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) selection of three umpires from outside its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) to stand in the World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies in April-May, may be a pointer to just who the world body plans to appoint to the EUP for the year ahead sometime later this month. †The thirteen-strong umpires' list features ten of the current eleven EUP members, plus Rod Tucker (Australia), Marais Erasmus (South Africa) and†Indian Shavir Tarapore.
Both Tucker and Erasmus are members of the ICC's four-man emerging umpires panel, however, the real surprise is the appointment of Tarapore to the major world event in the Caribbean. †He leap-frogged the two other members of the 'emerging' group, his own countryman Amish Saheba and Nigel Llong (England), in being selected, the latter two along with Tucker and Erasmus working in last year's WT20 tournament in England.
Tarapore, who was appointed to his nation's television officials' slot on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel only eighteen months ago (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008,†played six first-class matches as a leg break bowler for Karnataka from 1980-86 and has been umpiring at first-class level since December 1992. †He has to date stood in fifty-seven first class matches, but no Tests, twelve One Day International matches and just two T20 Internationals.†
The ICC normally announces the membership of the EUP for the twelve months ahead at around this time of year, and while there has been no sign that Tarapore is a possibility to join the top-panel, the naming of Tucker and Erasmus suggests that one or both may be in the mix for elevation to the ICC's top panel in the near future. †At least one spot is currently available on the EUP following the resignation of Englishman Mark Benson last month (E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010).
In addition to Tucker, Tarapore and Erasmus, the other umpires who will be involved in the Caribbean event are EUP members Steve Davis and Simon Taufel (Australia), 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill (New Zealand), Ian Gould (England), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa), Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf (Pakistan), Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka), and Billy Doctrove (West Indies). †The match referees will be†Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka), Alan Hurst (Australia) and Jeff Crowe (New Zealand).††
The eleventh EUP member, Australian Daryl Harper, was not chosen, the ICC citing his "general performance" as the reason for his omission (E-News 583-2939 above), but the world body's decision does not, given the wording used, appear to be an indication that he is in danger of losing his spot on the EUP.†
Australian umpire Simon Taufel became the fifth man to stand in 150 One Day Internationals (ODI) overnight in the third match of the ODI series between the West Indies and Bangladesh played on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent (E-News 581-2929, 5 March 2010). †Another significant ODI milestone will also occur later today in New Zealand when Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka manages his 250th such game as a match referee, the highest number ever, when the home nation takes on Australia in an ODI in Auckland (E-News 574-2906, 22 February 2010).†
Taufel was quoted in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) overnight as saying that he considers himself†"very fortunate to be doing something I really love within our great sport and I am lucky to have such a great support team behind me, led by my wife and family". †
 Umpiring is essentially a mental exercise", continued the Australian, and that for him "it s about being mentally fit and keeping at the top of my game [but] there is also a strong team aspect to umpiring and I am grateful to my umpiring colleagues for their support over the years". † I am very thankful for the opportunities provided to me over the years by Cricket New South Wales, Cricket Australia and the ICC" continued Taufel, and that "for me umpiring is about giving back to the sport and having a good match rather than any particular milestone [as] I go out to enjoy every match I stand in and do my best".
Commenting on the milestone, the ICC's Umpires  and Referees  Manager Vince van der Bijl said that  Simon s achievement is testament to his remarkable consistency and enormous ability as a decision-maker" and that "he is the ultimate professional who constantly strives to improve his performances". †Taufel is "an excellent role-model for modern aspiring umpires, he s setting new standards in officiating and his contribution to the game extends way beyond his performances on the field", says van der Bijil.
Umpires who are to stand in the Indian Premier League's (IPL) third season have each been insured for the equivalent of $A600,000 by the competition's organisers, according to reports published in the financial press on the sub-continent yesterday. †The insurance for the umpires†with the Indian government-owned Orient Insurance Company, is said to be the first time such specific arrangement has been made by the IPL, and is part of a record overall cover of $A240 million that has been driven by concerns about terrorism that reports suggest is costing the IPL around $A5 million in premiums.†
Friday, 12 MARCH 2010
The International Cricket Council (ICC) may have announced which of its umpires are to take part in the World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean in six weeks time, but it is yet to indicate just who will stand in the two-Test series between New Zealand and Australia, the first game of which is due to get underway a week today.
Basic logistic considerations and past practice suggests that Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, who is the neutral for the last three One Day International (ODI) between the two nations this week, together with Sri Lankan match referee Ranjan Madugalle the manager of that series, will also work in the two Tests. †With the Umpire Decision Review System to be used in both games, two other neutral umpires will be required.†
The five Australians and New Zealanders who are on the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) cannot of course stand in the Tests, which leaves their colleagues Billy Doctrove (West Indies), Ian Gould (England),†Rudi Koertzen (South Africa),†Rauf's Pakistani colleague Aleem Dar and Sri Lanka's Asoka de Silva as possibiities. †However, Doctrove and Koertzen have been in NZ recently for Tests and ODIs and de Silva in Australia, Gould has been in India, while Dar has had a relatively light international match load this year to date.
Other possibilities are what are in coming Test series are one of the three neutral members of the ICC's emerging panel, Indian Amish Saheba, Englishman Nigel Llong or South Africa's Marais Erasmus. †Llong umpired the last of his eight Tests in December and Saheba his third the same month, while Erasmus' debut at that level of the game was in January in Bangladesh. †
Pakistan player Shahid Afridi has been fined the equivalent of $A40,000 and "put on probation for six months" by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the ball-biting incident during the One Day International against Australia in Perth in late January (E-News 562-2854, 1 February 2010). †The PCB's censure for what it called Afridi's "shameful act" which it says "brought the game and country into disrepute", is in addition to the two-match ban that the International Cricket Council handed him for his ball-tampering activity, a decision that some observers at the time described as too lenient (E-News 564-2865, 3 February 2010).†
The captains of the eight Indian Premier League (IPL) sides are to take the 'Spirit of Cricket' "oath" to respect their opponents, their teams and umpires prior to the commencement of the opening ceremony of this year's competition in Mumbai late tonight Australian time. †The skippers will then sign what press reports describe as the 'Spirit of Cricket Board' as an attestation that they will play games in the series in a manner that meets the principles involved, a similar process to that which applied last year (E-News 411-2173, 20 April 2009).
No details have been released as yet as to just who the umpires or match referees will be that will manage the forty-five day, sixty-match IPL event this year. †One report from the sub-continent has indicated that "thirty-three" umpires will be used, a figure that is likely to include Indian first class umpires whose role will probably be limited to fourth umpire positions.
The IPL's inaugural season in India in 2007 saw seventeen umpires used for on-field positions while another†eighteen locals served as fourth umpires during the tournament (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008). †That total of thirty-five is similar to the "thirty-three" currently being suggested by the Indian media. †
Last year's tournament, which was hurriedly shifted to South Africa amid security concerns, saw†twenty umpires from eight nations used for on-field slots, while another six, who were all first class umpires from that country, worked as the fourth official in the fifty-nine games played. †Three Indians and a South African were the match referees for that tournament†(E-News 429-2256, 25 May 2009). † †
Fourteen of the umpires used in 2008 were members of International Cricket Council (ICC) panels although as is the case again this year they are believed to have worked via IPL rather than ICC contracts. †Five came from the world body's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) and nine from its second-tier International Umpires Panel, the remaining five being members of India's first class panel. †A similar mix of officials is anticipated by some again this year.
Only two umpires have indicated publicly to date that they will be working in the IPL this year. †Both are Australians, Simon Taufel and Daryl Harper from the EUP, although whether the latter will still be involved given the ICC's concerns about his "general performance", is not known (E-News 583-2939, 11 March 2010).†
The International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday that Zimbabwean match referee Andy Pycroft and not New Zealander Jeff Crowe as it announced earlier this week, has been selected for the World Twenty20 (WT20) tournament in the West Indies in April-May (E-News 583-2940, 11 March 2010). †Pycroft will join Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka and Australian †Alan Hurst as the WT20 referees, with Crowe being the reserve for the event.†
For Pycroft, who was appointed to the ICC's match referee's panel a year ago (E-News 395-2095, 24 March 2009),†the WT20 event will be his first major world tournament as a match official. †Over the past twelve months he has worked in that role in ten Tests, his debut match being at Lord's (E-News 414-2187, 2 May 2009), fifteen One Day Internationals (ODI) and four Twenty20 Internationals. †
Pycroft†is no stranger to such world events though for as a player he represented Zimbabwe in the World Cups of 1983 in England, 1987 on the sub-continent, and 1992 in Australia and New Zealand, two of the games in the latter being played at Bellerive. †All of the ODIs he played for his country were spread across the three World Cups, the three Tests he played in all occurring in 1992, one in Bulawayo and the other two in Harare.†
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) asks in the latest 'Ask the Laws Department' segment on its web site as to what would an umpire's decision be if "A batsman either strikes or is struck by the ball, which then rolls back towards the stumps, and on seeing that the striker places his hand on top of the bails to prevent the wicket being broken". †
The MCC answers the question by saying that the batsman should be given out under Law 37 (Obstructing the Field), for it is "a clear example of an action by the striker, which obstructs the field". †"Without the action", it says, "the striker would have been out 'bowled' [and] it would [therefore] be wrong for him not to be punished". †The legitimate way for him to have dealt with this situation would, of course, have been to strike the ball a second time to defend his wicket.
Dates for the Association's winter Laws and Scorer schools for 2010 have been announced, the former being held over five †consecutive Wednesday nights commencing in mid-August and the latter over four evenings from late that month. †At the conclusion of both courses there will be an optional examination of the Laws in late September, ten days prior to the 2010 Annual Seminar on the weekend of 2-3 October. †
The list of dates for both sets of meetings, which will as usual be held at Bellerive Oval, are provided in the schedule of TCUSA events at the base of this newsletter. †Queries about the Laws course should be directed to State Director of Umpires Richard Widows, and for the Scorers course to TCUSA President-Administrator, Graeme Hamley. †Contact details for them are available on the Association's web site.
Cricket Australia (CA) has appointed Simon Fry of South Australia, Bruce Oxenford of Queensland and Western Australians Ian Lock and Ric Evans as the match officials for the this season's Sheffield Shield final which is to get underway at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. †Fry and Oxenford will be the on-field umpires, Lock the television official, and Evans the match referee for the scheduled five-day game between Victoria and Queensland.
For Oxenford, who turned fifty two weeks ago, its his second consecutive final and forty-seventh in the domestic first class competition since his debut in December 2001. †Fry, forty-three, stood in the competition for the first time the month after Oxenford and this week's game will be his thirty-ninth Shield match but first final. †He has had his best season to date in 2009-10 having also stood in the domestic Twenty20 final (E-News 553-2818, 20 January 2010), and worked as the third umpire in the one-day finale.
Lock, fifty-one, who will be in the third umpire in a Shield final for the†second consecutive year, has stood in†fifty-four matches in the domestic competition since March 2001. †Evans, sixty-seven, stood in forty Shield matches from 1984-97 and three Tests over that time, and after retiring as Western Australia's State Director of Umpiring took up his current role as one of CA's Umpire High Performance Managers in July 2008 (E-News 274-1464, 11 July 2008).
At the conclusion of the final Fry will have topped the appointments list for the Shield competition in 2009-10 with eight games, Lock stood in six, and †Oxenford, who was away on international duty for part of the summer, will have been on the field in five (E-News 571-2893, 16 February 2010).†
South African umpire Rudi Koertzen and Simon Taufel of Australia have been assigned to the final of this year's Indian Premier League (IPL-3) Twenty20 (T20) competition which is to be played in Mumbai on Anzac Day. †The pair are part of a twenty-six man IPL umpiring panel that includes Australian Daryl Harper, who was last week overlooked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the World T20 series in the Caribbean in April-May because of issues related to his "general performance" (E-News 583-2939, 11 March 2010).
A total of sixteen umpires from seven nations will be used on the field or in the third umpire's suite during the sixty-match series, the first three matches of which were played over the weekend, a further ten umpires from India being named for fourth umpire duties throughout the tournament. †Seven match referees from four countries will be responsible for the overall management of matches (E-News 585-2951 below). ††
Apart from Koertzen, Taufel and Harper, two other members of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), 'Billy Bowden' of New Zealand and Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, have also been contracted this year. †Also involved are†two members of the ICC's emerging panel, Marais Erasmus of South Africa and Amish Saheba of India, plus their colleagues on the world body's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP),†Kumar Dharmasena†(Sri Lanka), Brian Jerling (South Africa),†Russell Tiffin †(Zimbabwe), and Indians†Shavir Tarapore and†Sanjay Hazare. †The remaining group on the on-field list are member's of India's first class panel: Sudhir Asnani;†Subrat Das;†Krishna Hariharan;†Sanjay Hazare; and†S. Ravi.
For Doctrove, Harper,†Hariharan,†Jerling, Koertzen, Saheba and†Tiffin it will be their third-straight IPL event, while for††Asani,†Bowden,†Dharmasena,†Erasmus,†Hazare,†Ravi, Taufel and†Tarapore†its their second. †Das, who played first class cricket for Bihar from 1972-86 and has stood in eighteen first class matches since 1999, is the only new comer to the League's on-field ranks this year. †
The appointments sheet for the next six weeks shows Koertzen named for fourteen matches, thirteen on-field and one television spot (14/13/1), followed by Doctrove and Harper (both 13/12/1), Dharmasena 13/9/4,†Taufel 12/11/1,†Tarapore and Tiffin both 12/7/5, Jerling 12/6/6, Saheba 11/7/4, Erasmus, Hariharan and Hazare all 11/6/5, Ravi 11/5/6, Bowden 9/7/2, Asani 6/4/2 and Das 5/2/3. †Just over one-third of overall slots available have gone to EUP members, half to those from the IUP, and one-fifth to the Indian first class group.
As in the last two tournaments Indian umpires have been overlooked for the finals of IPL-3 (E-News 429-2256, 25 May 2009). †Doctrove and Harper are to look after both the semi finals in Bangalore before Koertzen and Taufel, who stood in the final of IPL-2 last year, take over for the the third and fourth place play off match and final in Mumbai on successive nights. †The third umpire spots in those four games are the only positions to whom umpires have not been assigned to this time.
Seven match referees from four countries, three of whom are current members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) panel, are to manage this year's sixty-match Indian Premier League tournament over the next six weeks. † Two of those chosen, Andy Pycroft from Zimbabwe and†Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka of the ICC panel, will be working for the IPL for the first time, while the others are†South African†Devdas Govindjee and†Indians†Yashpal Sharma,†Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan†(or Venkat),†Gundappa Viswanath and†Javagal Srinath, the latter being the third ICC match referee.
Pycroft and Venkat top the list of appointments with thirteen each, followed by†Govindjee and†Vishwanath each with eight,†Mahanama and†Srinath both seven, and Sharma with four. †Venkat, who also works as India's umpiring manager and is one of four on the ICC's match officials selection group, has been named to look after the third and fourth play-off and final matches, and Srinath the two semi finals.†
Four days from the start of the trans-Tasman Test series between New Zealand and Australia and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has still not announced who its match officials will be for those games, however, indications are that Pakistani umpires Asad Rauf and Aleem Dar and Englishman Ian Gould are likely to be the umpires, and Rajan Madugalle of Sri Lanka the match referee (E-News 584-2943, 12 March 2010). †
Suggestions are that Gould could be the third umpire in at least the first match but whether, given the Umpire Decision Review System will be operational, one of the other two will move into that role for the second game and the Englishman on to the field, is not known. †Prior to the series commencing Dar, the ICC's current 'Umpire of the Year' (E-News 500-2581, 2 October 2009), has stood in fifty-nine Tests and worked as the third umpire in five, Rauf in twenty-eight and ten, and Gould in eleven and eight respectively.
None of the four are involved in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) competition (E-News 585-2950 above). †Dar and Rauf were involved in the IPL's inaugural season in 2008 but not since, while Gould and Madugalle have not taken part in any of its now three tournaments. †
Cricket Australia (CA) announced yesterday that is has appointed Sean Cary, a former Western Australian first class player†with no known umpiring experience, as its new Umpire Manager. † Cary, thirty-nine, is to commence with the national body in late April in a position that was vacated†by former manager Andrew Scotford in January after two-and-a-half years in the job (E-News 542-2772, 7 January 2010). ††
Cary joins CA from the Australian Sporting Goods Association (AGA) where he†was its Executive Director. †The AGA is a 'peak body' that represents a range of sporting goods and active lifestyle industry companies and includes such organisations as Adidas Pacific, Bowls Australia, the Australian Football League (AFL), Gray Nicholls, Kookaburra Sport, Nike, Puma, Tennis Australia and the Professional Golfers Association. †Prior to that he†worked in membership, promotions and sales roles at both the Carlton Football Club in Melbourne and the Western Australian Cricket Association in Perth.†
During his playing career Cary, who now†holds a Bachelor of Recreation Studies and a Master of Business in Sports Management,†represented his home state in†thirty-nine first class and sixteen List A games as a medium-paced bowler in the period†from 1994-2002. †His new role will see him responsible for providing general leadership and management of Australian umpiring, including looking after and selecting†CA contracted umpires, and the development, implementation and management of umpire education and training programs at all levels.
One of Cary's key roles will be to manage CA'sUmpire High Performance Panel, a five-man group that is currently made up of two former first class umpires, a former first class player, a retired Rugby Union referee and manager, and an umpire development coach who works with the AFL and other sports (E-News 454-2364, 13 July 2009).†
CA created its Umpire Manager's position just over three years ago after a six-month review of the arrangements that apply for the management of umpires at the national level (E-News 9-50, 25 February 2007). †Following Scotford's decision to depart, the position was advertised in late January (E-News 554-2821, 21 January 2010), and reports suggest that CA received close to one hundred applications for the job, including a number with significant umpiring experience.
Ten players in†the Geelong Cricket Association (GCA) in Victoria† are under investigation for alleged racial abuse during a match last Saturday†after the Association received an official written complaint from the Waurn Ponds Cricket Club. †The club says that six of its†players who are of Indian descent were subjected to a series of "racially motivated verbal attacks" from the Thomson side during a fourth-grade qualifying final, says a report in the 'Geelong Advertiser' this morning.
Waurn Ponds, which is based at Deakin University, has a strong core of international students in its lower grades, more than a dozen of its registered players being of Indian descent. †The side, which lost the match, says that the comments that are under investigation occurred during its run chase in the second innings of the one-day game. †
According to it, requests to stop from both the umpire, who was not named, and several aggrieved Waurn Ponds players to stop the comments went unheeded. †Witnesses have apparently claimed some of the players were reduced to tears and were considering giving up the sport after the alleged taunts, says journalist Nick Wade.
GCA vice president Garry McPherson, who will chair the investigation, told the 'Advertiser' that the Waurn Ponds complaint will be considered at a meeting on Wednesday evening. †McPherson said the Thomson club, which has "categorically denied" the charges made against it, had co-operated and would make players and officials available for the hearing.
Waurn Pond's complaint did not name any players accused of the taunts, however, it does name one member of the Thomson side who it says did not take part in†the alleged racial-vilification.
A large group of senior umpires in Sri Lanka has resigned from that country's†Association of Cricket Umpires (ACU) and set up a new organisation,†the Association of Professional Cricket†Umpires (APCU), according to a report in Colombo's 'Sunday Times' newspaper. †Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is said to be trying to bring the two feuding factions together, however, it has made clear that it will continue to base selection of officials for its matches on their ability, rather than their umpiring affiliation.
International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) member Asoka de Silva is the head of the APCU, and he has been joined by all three of the island nation's officials on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel,†Kumar Dharmasena, Ranmore Martinesz and Tyrone†Wijewardena. †Other senior Sri Lankan umpires reported to have defected include†Nilantha Bopage,†Maurice de La Zilva,†Linden Hannibal,†K.K. Jayaweera,†Gratien Liyanage,†Ruchira Palliyaguru, and†Athula Wickrematilleke.
The 'Sunday Times' says that those who now make up the APCU group initially set up a sub-section of the ACU, calling†themselves its Colombo Branch, but continued differences with the main body eventually led†them to make a complete break. †EUP member†de Silva†is said to have indicated that they were pushed towards that decision because in their view umpiring standards on the island have hit†a low and nothing is being done to deal with the situation. †The APCU plans to work to remedy that problem using the†expertise and knowledge of its membership and by encouraging former players from all levels to join their ranks. †
Despite their move the ACU has apparently refused†to accept the resignations and the 'Times' says that it†is planning to take legal action against the defectors. †ACU secretary Dilshan de Silva questioned how the†new association†is going sustain themselves without an all island network for it is his organisation that "trains and develops new umpires and puts them through the mill .
A SLC spokesman was quoted by the 'Times' as saying that "we have our own systems and our own grading and we choose the respective umpires for SLC†organised matches [and] we are not concerned to which society or to which association that they belong as we are†only worried about how they fit our criteria and are graded by us .
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is reported to be considering using the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in next year's World Cup on the subcontinent, say reports from Dubai where the world body conducted a technology workshop last week (E-News 582-2934, 9 March 2010). †What were described as "constructive discussion"†on the use of the system in the event†were said to have taken place, something that has never officially occurred in a One Day International.
David Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket, said in a press statement that the workshop "was an extremely valuable two days for technology development and we are grateful to all those who attended" and that "it was clear that everyone believes technology is here to stay". †He said little else, however, simply repeating pre-meeting advice that the group "looked at the preferred technology, whether there was a need for standardisation for all Tests around the world and the cost of providing equipment at all Test matches".†
While one media report used the term "universal support" in describing support for the UDRS, there was no reference to the basic concerns nations such as England and India, the latter where most of the matches in the 2011 World Cup will be played, have expressed about it, just what might be done to achieve the desired†standardisation of technology, or just how the ICC plans to deal with the critical issue of who pays for the technology and its use. †The†ICC says simply that it will now follow up on the key issues raised during the workshop and that an up-dated report will be provided to its Cricket Committee for consideration when it meets in London in May.
There was no mention of the results of the ICC's†"independent and comprehensive [two-man] investigation" into UDRS procedural issues that resulted in missing sound during a review in the fourth Test between South Africa and England in Johannesburg in mid-January (E-News 577-2918, 27 February 2010). †The umpire involved, Australian Daryl Harper, who put his web site on hold "due to legal reasons" after the event (E-News 555-2822, 23 January 2010), "resumed normal service" on Sunday with news of his work in the Indian Premier League (E-News 585-2950, 15 March 2010). †
Last week's technology workshop was attended by members of the ICC's Chief Executives Committee, which includes the administrative heads of each Test playing nation, the Marylebone Cricket Club, plus representatives of television broadcasters Channel Nine (Australia), Sky Sports (UK), Ten Sports and Sky New Zealand, and the respective suppliers of 'Hawk Eye', 'Virtual Eye' and 'Hot Spot' technologies.
Gloucestershire†wicketkeeper Steve Snell, who†returned on the weekend from a seven-match, two-week tour a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) side made to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat, says that he "had no problem" with the pink balls used in each game (E-News 573-2904, 20 February 2010). †The MCC has been one of the entities involved in investigating and promoting pink balls, the work conducted being in support of efforts to introduced day-night Test matches (E-News 572-2896, 19 February 2010).
Snell told the 'Test Match Extra' web site that when he first stated to play professionally he found the white ball hard to pick up,†but now its "just the same as facing a red ball and I m sure players will discover the same with the pink one". † He believes that "people are afraid of change so it may take a bit of time, but I see no reason why [pink balls] shouldn t be used". †† White balls need changing after thirty-four overs because of discolouration and the hope is that wouldn t be necessary with a pink ball", said Snell.
Pink balls have been used in day-night matches in both Australia and the Caribbean over the last two months, the latter being first class fixtures. †Feedback from umpires and players in Australia on the balls has, overall, been negative, while what their counterparts in the West Indies thought has not been made public as yet. †The balls were also used by several teams in the Indian Premier League net sessions and practice matches, but what those involved thought is not known either (E-News 578-2924, 2 March 2010).
The Northern Tasmania Cricket Association (NTCA), which has used pink balls in its last two Twenty20 competitions, says that they have made a positive contribution to those events. †NTCA Administer Paul Clark said in January that the balls are not as good as red or white ones in bright sunlight, but once the light starts to fade, or conditions are overcast, they are "brilliant", standing out far better than other colours, even against the coloured clothing worn by players (E-News 561-2851, 30 January 2010).†
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has fined the captains of three of its franchises close to $A22,000 each as a result of slow over-rates during matches played on Saturday. †An IPL press release says that Mumbai skipper Tendulkar was fined after his†side  were assessed†to be two†overs†behind their required rate  during their game†against Rajasthan in Mumbai, while in†a match in Mohali Kumar Sangakkara and Gautam Gambhir, the Punjab and Delhi skippers, received the same censure after their teams were each†assessed to have been one over behind the required rate.
Fielding sides in IPL matches are required to complete their twenty overs in one hour and twenty-five minutes, a period that includes two advertising-rated 'time outs' totalling five minutes. †Under IPL playing conditions the first time a team is found guilty of a slow over-rate, the number of overs involved not being a factor, its captain will be fined $A22,000. †If they transgress a second time the fine for the skipper becomes†$A44,000 and for each of his players $A11,000, while a third occasion sees the captain fined $A55,000 and banned from playing in his side's next match, while his team mates loose $A22,000 from their pay packets.
Pakistani all-rounder Rana Naved, who is the subject of ball-tampering allegations in his home land (E-News 582-2932, 9 March 2010), †has signed a new contract to play with Tasmania in Twenty20 matches in 2010-11, according to reports from Karachi overnight.

NAMING OF 2010-11 EUP 

If it maintains its normal schedule, the International Cricket Council (ICC) should announce, sometime in the next few weeks, just who the twelve men are who have been offered contracts as members of its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) for the twelve months ahead.  While most of the current group are likely to retain their positions, at least one new member is expected to be named as a vacancy exists on the panel, although for some observers there are questions as to whether several others will be replaced by the world body this year.

The EUP is currently made up of: Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf (Pakistan); Steve Davis, Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel (Australia); 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill (New Zealand); Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka); Billy Doctrove (West Indies); Rudi Koertzen (South Africa); and Ian Gould (England).  The vacancy that exists resulted when Gould's countryman Mark Benson resigned from the panel early last month (E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010).

A year ago, when Gould and Hill were elevated to the EUP in place of retiring West Indian Steve Bucknor and Australian Darrell Hair who had resigned (E-News 395-2093, 24 March 2009), the ICC identified publicly within its second-tier International Umpire Panel, a four-man 'emerging' umpires group for the first time.  The world body said then that they had been "identified" for overseas appointments over the year ahead, those named clearly being seen at that stage as having the potential to join the EUP sometime in the future (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009).  

Those four were South African Marais Erasmus, forty-six, Englishman Nigel Llong, forty-one, India's Amish Saheba, fifty,  and Australian Rod Tucker, forty-five, all of whom have played first class cricket in the past.  Presumably, if the ICC is consistent and is satisfied with their progress, one of that quartet will fill the EUP vacancy, the others possibly being in line for promotion if a current member is not selected again this year or decides to retire, the latter not having been flagged publicly by anyone on the panel at this time.

Amongst the emerging group, Tucker has topped overall international appointments over the last twelve months with twenty-seven matches, Saheba worked in twenty-four, Llong twenty-three and Erasmus twenty-one.  Llong was appointed to on-field spots in four Tests, Tucker in three, Erasmus two and Saheba one, but for One Day Internationals it was Saheba with fourteen, Tucker thirteen, Erasmus eleven and Llong nine.  

All four worked in last year's World Twenty20 (WT20) tournament in England, but only Erasmus and Tucker have made the cut for this year's event in the Caribbean in April-May, and while that championship will be played well after EUP contracts are completed, their selection could be a pointer to just who may win promotion to the EUP this year (E-News 583-2940, 11 March 2010).  


Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva topped the list of appointments to internationals during the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 2009-10 Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) contract period from March-March, working in thirty-two matches on the field and four in the television suite.  Australian Daryl Harper and Ian Gould of England stood in the most Tests, de Silva headed the One Day International (ODI) list, and Aleem Dar of Pakistan the Twenty20 International (T20I) match roster.

After de Silva in overall matches played cross the three forms of the game controlled by the ICC, Gould was next with thirty-three matches, then came Rudi Koertzen of South Africa with thirty, Dar twenty-nine, 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Asad Rauf of Pakistan twenty-eight, Steve Davis of Australia and Tony Hill of New Zealand twenty-six, Simon Taufel of Australia twenty-three, Harper twenty-two, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies eighteen and the recently retired Mark Benson of England just eight.

In the Test arena Harper and Gould both stood in eight matches, Doctrove in seven, Dar, Davis de Silva Hill and Rauf six each, Bowden and Taufel both five, and Benson one which he did not complete.  They all also worked in either one or two Tests as third umpires.  

Of the ODIs, de Silva was way out in front with nineteen, then came Bowden and Rauf fourteen, Dar, Gould and Hill thirteen apiece, Davis ten, Koertzen nine, Taufel eight, Doctrove six, Harper three and Benson nil; Dar and Gould's matches including the final of the ICC's Champions Trophy (CT) event during the year.  In addition to on-field appointments, Gould and Rauf were third umpires on four occasions, Harper and Koertzen three each, Bowden and Hill twice, and the others one, except for Doctrove and Benson who did not add to their tally of a year ago; Rauf being the television official in the CT final.

In the shortest form of internationals, the T20Is, Dar topped the list with nine, then came de Silva seven, Bowden and Koertzen six, Davis and Taufel five, Gould and Harper four, and Benson, Doctrove, Hill and Rauf three each.  Harper and Taufel stood in the final of the World T20 tournament at Lord's last northern summer, with Davis being the third umpire.

De Silva was also the most active in his home nation, taking part in eighteen domestic matches, five first class, nine one-day and four T20 games.  Benson was also busy with sixteen (seven-six-three respectively), then came Gould with seventeen (four-eight-five), Davis with three (one-two-zero), and Bowden and Koertzen with one domestic first class match each.  Records available suggest that the other six on the EUP did not stand in domestic games at home at all over the last twelve months.

An independent tribunal established by the Murray Valley Cricket Association (MVCA) in northern Victoria last week rejected the Barooga club's appeal after it lost a premiership semi final match on forfeit earlier this month, says the 'Shepparton News'.  On the day of the match MVCA umpires Colin Smith and Colin Holdsworth awarded the game to the Cobram side after Barooga refused to play in what reports say were rain-affected conditions (E-News 582-2933, 9 March 2010).  Barooga argued to the tribunal that it had a duty of care towards its players taking the field .


TCUSA Life Member Brian Pollard will walk out on to the ground at the Hutchins School just before half-past-eleven this morning to umpire the State Independent Schools second XI one-day grand final between that school and Saint Virgil's Collage, his 500th match as a member of the Association and the highest on record.  Pollard, seventy, who stood in his first Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) game way back in 1985, continues to be rated highly by the selectors, so much so that he has also been selected to stand in a third grade two-day semi final this weekend, his 501st match. 

Pollard played with the Montague Bay Cricket Club as a batsman for many years in what was then the South Suburban Cricket Association (SSCA) and now the Southern Cricket Association (SCA).  In the 1960s he and his batting partner established the competition's record opening partnership of 208, a feat that still remains the highest on the SCA's books after all these years. 

As the club's captain he led his side to several premierships and spent ten years on the committee, his overall service being rewarded with a Life Membership.  After retiring as a player, Pollard took up umpiring in 1982 with the SCCA, standing in its matches for three seasons, each year of which saw him stand in a grand final, before moving over to the TCA at the instigation of then umpire and now Cricket Tasmania Board member, Paul Howard.  

In the nearly thirty years since Pollard had, as of last weekend, clocked up 499 games, a record that includes twelve grand finals, a remarkable 236 of that total being TCA First Grade games, the last being just last year.  His higher-level service included a "two hour stint" in a Sheffield Shield match when one of the on-field umpires fell ill.  However, he has not only been active on the field in that time, for he served for many years on the management committee, his work in that role and as an umpire being acknowledged by the award of a TCUSA Life Membership two years ago (E-News 215-1192, 21 March 2008).

Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpiring, told E-News yesterday that Pollard is highly respected by the whole cricket fraternity, players, match officials and administrators alike, for he epitomises "the very best qualities required to perform the sometimes difficult task of the sports official", and who "regardless of the circumstance, always maintains the highest level of integrity".   

By the time this weekend ends, Brian will have stood in twenty-nine matches across a wide range of grades this season.  Eleven of those were in second grade, four in third, three in the Under 17s, four Under 15s, two with the Southern Tasmania Cricket Association, three women's Twenty20 and two Independent Schools, a record Widows says demonstrates his readiness to go out of his way to make himself available for any appointment. 



The International Cricket Council (ICC) has changed the start date of contracts its has with the members of its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) and it appears that an announcement on the 2010-11 panel will not occur until late June.  Since the EUP was established in 2002 contracts have commenced in March-April and run for twelve months, hence E-News' story earlier this week (E-News 587-2960, 17 March 2010), however, it is now understood that approach was altered in March 2009 and that they now coincide with the year from 1 July to 30 June.

In addition to altering annual timing arrangements the ICC, which has not publicised the change, is also believed to have decided to offer some EUP members one-year contracts and others two-year.  The decision on who gets which contract period is presumably linked to how the world body rates an individual's performance over the preceding twelve months, although that is yet to be confirmed.  As a result of the changes therefore, some current contracts are believed to cover a fifteen month period and expire on 30 June this year, while others are for twenty-seven months and end on the same date in 2011.

Although no hard information is available publicly, intuition suggests that the decision to split contracts into two separate periods may have been taken in part to ease the annual administrative burden within ICC's legal and umpiring departments, a move that in that regard makes sense.  However, just which of the EUP's current eleven umpires are working on one-year agreements and will be under particular scrutiny in the lead up to 30 June this year is not clear.  It seems likely though that around four to six individuals may be involved. 

News that the start of the EUP contract period is now over three months away rather than in the next few weeks puts a new light on the appointment of two of the ICC's four emerging umpires, Rod Tucker of Australia and Marais Erasmus of South Africa, to the World Twenty20 (WT20) tournament in the Caribbean in April-May (E-News 583-2940, 11 March 2010).

With the resignation of Englishman Mark Benson from the EUP last month (E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010), at least one vacancy exists on the panel.  With both Tucker and Erasmus, who are forty-five and forty-six years of age respectively, having a not dissimilar level of experience playing and umpiring at first class level, the WT20 event may well be their final audition prior a decision by the ICC as to which one will win promotion to the EUP.  Tucker though has had slightly more appointments in international matches over the last twelve months (E-News 587-2960, 17 March 2010).


Two players in the Geelong Cricket Association (GCA) in Victoria have been suspended and another censured following an investigation into claims that "racially motivated verbal attacks" were made in a match between fourth grade sides Thomson and Waurn Ponds last weekend (E-News 586-2954, 16 March 2010).  However, the GCA tribunal dismissed the latter club's racial vilification claim as "unsubstantiated", finding that the three players had "breached its player Code of Conduct (CoC) in relation to sledging" and that they had "played outside the spirit of the game".

The outcome of what was a marathon hearing, which stretched over two nights and totalled nine hours, was detailed in a report by journalist Nick Wade in yesterday's 'Geelong Advertiser'.  The GCA launched a probe after receiving a written complaint from the Waurn Ponds Cricket Club on Sunday that six of its players of Indian descent were subjected to racial taunts by Thomson players in what was a qualifying final match played last Saturday.  

Thomson captain Michael O'Neill and teammate Morgan Cleary were banned by the tribunal from today's fourth grade semi-final, and in addition were handed a three-match suspended sentence that will apply the end of the 2011-12 season.  Waurn Ponds player Chandranraj Basavaraju was issued with a reprimand plus a two-match suspended sentence that will also stay on the table until the end of next season.  In addition the Thomson club itself was issued with a $A1,000 fine that was suspended until the end of 2011-12 and "was also reminded" of its obligations to uphold the league's CoC.

GCA president Grant Dew told the 'Advertiser' that the match had provided valuable lessons not only for his Association but for many leagues across Victoria.  "The GCA, Thomson and Waurn Ponds cricket clubs are unanimous in their conviction that racism has no place whatsoever in any level of cricket or society in general", he said, and the "investigation has underlined [that] cricket should be a sport that is competitive but also enjoyable to players of all backgrounds, cultures and abilities".  "It is clear that the match involved in this investigation was far from enjoyable for many who participated, which is a poor reflection upon our sport", concluded Dew.

Thomson president Laurie McGovern was glad to have the case settled. "We are pleased that our players have been cleared of the serious charge of racial vilification", he said, but "equally we recognise the importance of playing in the right manner and we realise that, like all clubs, we have a role to play in educating our members in this issue".  Waurn Ponds president Daniel Breen said his club was determined to stand by its clubmen and "we are pleased to have brought this issue to light and hope that this process will help bring about an improved environment for everyone involved in cricket".

GCA vice president Garry McPherson chaired the hearing with Cricket Victoria (CV) providing  its CoC commissioner Ron Beazley to speak to the players involved before the meeting officially commenced.  Dew said it was the first time the association had heard such charges and that it had been glad to accept Beazley's expertise as he "is the most experienced person in Australia to deal with this sort of issue".


England bowler Stuart Broad "pushed the bounds of acceptable behaviour" when he celebrated a wicket before it had been given out on the final day of the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Tuesday, claims the UK newspaper the 'Daily Telegraph'.  Journalist Derek Pringle makes the claim that Broad only avoided being charged with a breach of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) player Code of Conduct because he "immediately apologised" to the umpire involved, Australia's Rod Tucker, for his actions, a viewpoint that was mirrored in several other UK media reports.

Pringle says that Bangladeshi batsman Abdur Razzak "was stone dead" LBW and Tucker had little hesitation in giving him out, "but" he continued, "bowlers are meant to direct their appeal to the umpire, rather than carry on their merry way, and then delay any celebration until the finger is raised, both things Broad failed to do".  The bowler apparently later made the claim that it was the first time he’d ever transgressed in such a way, and was quoted as saying after the match that he "obviously got a bit carried away and I said sorry to the umpire straight away".  Tucker "accepted my apology and just laughed it off [for] he knew it had been a frustrating morning for us in the field", he said.

The 'Telegraph' story describes Broad as "a feisty cricketer [who] has come close to censure several times though never to the point of being punished".  Former Indian batsman, ICC official and now commentator Sunil Gavaskar said in a recent newspaper column that umpires were afraid of punishing [Broad] because his father Chris is an ICC match referee. Chittagong was Tucker’s second Test, says Pringle, and "any leniency on his part was due to inexperience not fear".

The twenty-three-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler wasn’t the only one whose on-field behaviour was questioned during the Test.  England off-spinner Graeme Swann sent Bangladesh batsman Junaid Siddique on his way after dismissing the centurion in the second innings with what Pringle says was "a few not so choice words", though like Broad "he was quick to show contrition".  

Stephen Brenkley of 'The Independent' quotes Swann as saying his actions were "in the heat of the moment", something that has not stopped the ICC from censuring players in the past.  "It was certainly not anything malicious and I apologise unreservedly if I did swear, it's not something I condone so I feel a bit ashamed of doing it", said Swann.   England captain Alistair Cook claimed not to have heard anything, saying that he had no objection with England playing the game hard but fair. "I was happy with the aggression we showed, not giving an inch, that's what international cricket is about", he said. 

Swann was selected as 'player of the match' for his bowling performance and the ICC later issued a press release about him, but only because he became the first England bowler in six years to rise to second position in its Test bowler rankings.


England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes the increasing use of technology in cricket will force batsmen to adjust their techniques, says a BBC report distributed yesterday.  Pietersen was given out LBW twice in the first Test against Bangladesh played in Chittagong earlier this week, a situation he apparently thinks is because 'Hawk-Eye' ball-tracking equipment has persuaded umpires to uphold more front-pad leg before appeals.

The 29-year-old was troubled by Bangladeshi left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak during the three-match One Day International series that preceded the Test, two of his three dismissals in those games also being LBW.  "If you look at some of the decisions, I think 'Hawk-Eye' has definitely played a huge role in [leg befores] being given off the front foot", and as a result "you've got to sort your technique out and make sure you use your bat as the first line of defence". 



The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) looks set to make its debut in a Test in England this northern summer.  Umpire appointments for the season released by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Saturday indicate that the ICC will appoint both on-field and third umpires for the eight Tests that are to be played  there in the three months from the end of May.

England will be involved in six of the Tests, two against Bangladesh and four against Pakistan, while the other two will see the 'home' side Pakistan taking on Australia.  For a number of years now, the ECB has announced prior to the season getting underway which of its umpires had been appointed to work as the third umpire in Tests scheduled for later in the year.  The list this year simply says 'ICC' against the two on-field and third umpire slots, a clear sign that the UDRS will be in operation.

The ICC is unlikely to name its umpires for the Tests until much close to each series commencing.  However, the ECB as appointed first class umpires Richard Illingworth and Neil Mallender as the fourth officials in the two Bangladesh matches, and Rob Bailey, Peter Hartley, Jeremy Lloyds and Tim Robinson for the Pakistan Tests.  The fourth umpire for the two Pakistan-Australia matches has yet to be named but will be appointed by the 'PCB' (Pakistan Cricket Board).

Four English umpires have been named by the ECB for the thirteen One Day Internationals (ODI) England is to play over summer, five each against Australia and Pakistan and three Bangladesh.  ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Ian Gould will be on the field in four of those games with a yet-to-be-named overseas umpire, and England members of the world body's second-tier International Umpires Panel Nigel Llong, Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth, in four, three and two respectively.  That quartet will also work as third and fourth umpires in the ODIs.


New Zealand cricket captain Dan Vettori is reported to have met with the match referee Javagal Srinath mid-way through the current Test against Australia in Wellington to express his side's "frustration" over the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS), according to a number of media reports from across the Tasman yesterday.  

A Radio New Zealand (RNZ) report says that it understands that Vettori was particularly concerned about the length of time it took for 'B-J' Watling to be given out LBW on review in the second innings after the on-field umpire initially gave him not out.  RNZ also indicated that Vettori also spoke to Srinath about batsman Tim Southee's first innings dismissal when he was given out caught behind,.  Despite replays showing he "clearly missed it", the third umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan is said to have upheld the on-field decision.  

New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch told Sky Sports yesterday that "it's fair to say the system at the moment, it's a little inconsistent".  "I'm not sure whether the technology they've got there is good enough as far as frames per second" is concerned, he added.  The coach concluded his remarks by saying that "the International Cricket Council says they're getting more decisions right, from ninety-five to ninety-eight per cent so you can't argue with that", for "if it's improving decision-making then it's a good thing".


The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) disciplinary committee is to meet today to look into complaints that all-rounder Rana Naved tampered with the ball during the recent national Twenty20 (T20) championship in Karachi two weeks ago, according to a Press Trust of India report (PTI) published over the weekend.  The Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) had asked the PCB to investigate "ball tampering committed by Naved with his nails" (E-News 582-2932, 9 March 2010).

Sultan Rana, the head of the PCB's cricket operations department, told the PTI that serious allegations made against Naved had to be investigated.  "We have received the captain's and match-referee's reports and we also have a complaint from the [KCCA]", he said, and if need arises the committee would review the footage of matches and call Naved to the hearing to "explain himself".

The KCCA is also reported to have accused umpires Ijaz Ahmed and Tahir Shah, who are both former first class players, of "favouring" Naved's Sialkot team which won the T20 title this year, and also of "ignoring ball tampering acts by Rana Naved".  Rana made no mention of those allegations in his discussion with the PTI.

Naved last week signed a new contract to play with Tasmania in T20 in 2010-11 (E-News 586-2959, 16 March 2010).


The Thomson and Waurn Ponds cricket club sides in the Geelong Cricket Association (GCA) who were last week embroiled in what were "not proven" allegations of racial sledging, have been involved in an "often-strained relationship" in recent seasons, says a report in the 'Geelong Advertiser'.  Two players from the Thomson side were suspended and one from their opponents censured by a GCA disciplinary committee late last week (E-News 589-2965, 20 March 2010).

Earlier this season the match between the two sides ended in controversy after Waurn Ponds abandoned the game after twenty-six overs of play.  The forfeit is said by the 'Advertiser' to have been sparked when a Thomson bowler, who Waurn Ponds believed had bowled his maximum allocation of eight overs, snared a wicket with the second ball of his next over, a delivery Waurn Ponds "considered illegal".

Thomson claimed a misunderstanding had led to the additional over, saying it was told the bowler had bowled only seven overs.  After a debate between players, Thomson is said to have allowed the dismissed Waurn Ponds' batsman to return to the crease, but that side's captain Warren Button, then entered the field and ultimately pulled up stumps after claiming he was verbally abused.  Thomson strongly denied the abusive language claim and the result stood, as they secured victory as a result of their opponent's forfeit.

Three years ago following a first-grade match between the two sides, Waurn Ponds received a suspended fine after a GCA probe into the circumstances surrounding a rain-affected pitch at their home ground.  That match descended into controversy at the beginning of the second day's play when the Thomson were sent out to bat on a wicket they are said to have deemed "unplayable and unsafe".  Waurn Ponds had been dismissed for 202 the previous week but Thomson could only reach 154 in their innings.



Wind gusts of up to 120 kilometres an hour in Wellington yesterday caused problems for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) on the fourth day of the opening Test between New Zealand and Australia.  Scaffold-mounted ball-tracking cameras at one end of the ground were shaking in the gale, something that made their projections unreliable, while the side-on 'Hot Spot' cameras, and those used in 'run outs' and 'stumpings', were reported to have been taken down from their positions in order to protect them.  

Reports from across the Tasman say that difficulties in the notoriously windy city commenced when NZ batsman Brendon McCullum was given 'not out' LBW by Pakistani umpire Asad Raud after he did not offer a shot, and Australian captain Ricky Ponting immediately asked for a referral.  It was then that Rauf's countryman, third umpire Aleem Dar, told him by radio that the projected path of the ball was unavailable due to the windy conditions.

Ponting and NZ captain Daniel Vettori, who was batting with McCullum, discussed the issue with Rauf and his partner Englishman Ian Gould for several minutes, and eventually the on-field decision was upheld but the Australians did not lose their review.  Match referee Javagal Srinath from India is said to have told both teams that given the conditions reviews would be assessed on a case-by-case basis and if the technology was not adequate, the on-field decision would stand and no review would be lost.  

Nathan Hauritz, who bowled the off-break that led to the McCullum referral, said that he an his team mates "didn't really know anything until the actual appeal and then we found out 'Hawk-Eye' wasn't working because of the wind".  "You can't really do much about it", he said,  as the UDRS "was just going to be off until they could put it back on, but the wind didn't change through the day so it sort of made any real challenge tough to do because at the end of the day the third umpire is just going on what the [on-field] umpires see".

Srinath is said to have scoffed at suggestions from a journalist the UDRS should be dumped.  "Everything is fine, there is nothing wrong with it", he said, describing conditions yesterday as "very, very unusual".

After the third day's play in the match on Sunday, New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch questioned UDRS technology, calling it "inconsistent" (E-News 590-2969, 22 March 2010), but that was before winds hit Wellington with a particular vengance yesterday. 


A display of scoring techniques from "the early years to the present" is to be featured at the Tasmanian Cricket Museum at Bellerive Oval over two Sundays in May.  The exhibition, with is part of the National Trust's state-wide Tasmanian Heritage Festival, will be open to the public on the second and sixteenth of May between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Bookings are not required and entry to the general public is $2 for adults and $1 for children.  Queries can be directed to Myree Williams at Cricket Tasmania on 03-6282-0433.


A forty-year-old playing for the Loganholme club in the Gold Coast competition in Queensland could face life suspension after being ejected from a semi-final against the Mudgeeraba Nerang side on Saturday.  Jason Roberts was shown a red card by umpire Chris Suter after being involved in a clash with his opponent's sixteen-year-old player Joshua Nelson, witnesses claiming they saw "physical contact, with punches thrown", says a story in yesterday's 'Gold Coast News'.  

The game, between the second and third-placed teams in the competition, was to determine which side progressed to next weekend's grand final.  Tempers flared soon after tea when Roberts, who was keeping wicket, tangled with Nelson after the batsman ran a single.  The 'News' says that "within moments" the pair were engaged in a confrontation that Loganholme captain Allan Rowe described as "embarrassing".  

After Suter sent Roberts from the ground and barred him from taking any further part in the two-day match, Loganholme president Rod Rice escorted him off the field and he is said to be set to be barred from all future connection with the club.   Mudgeeraba Nerang president Norm Goodheer praised Loganholme officials for the speedy manner in which they hosed down the situation.  "They have apologised to us and told us he would not play for them again", he said.

Roberts, who is said by reports to face a ban at a disciplinary committee hearing scheduled for tomorrow evening, is quoted by the 'The Gold Coast News' as admitting he made contact with Nelson but claimed he was provoked.  "I did wrong, I certainly hit out at him at least a couple of times", said Roberts, "I said sorry, I shouldn't have done it, but I want people to know the whole story".

At the time of the incident Roberts was under a six-week suspended sentence after being issued a yellow card in an earlier round this season, and he was handed a one-match ban for dissent a year ago.  Mudgeeraba Nerang officials "closed ranks" around teenager Nelson and refused to disclose his whereabouts or telephone number to the 'News'.


Two players from a club side in New Zealand were 'sin binned' during a two-day semi final match played over the weekend, according to a report in yesterday's 'Taranaki Daily News' (TDN).  The pair were from the Hawera United team in the Taranaki Cricket Association (TCA), a club that has had a number of players suspended for disciplinary reasons over the last few seasons (E-News 374-1991, 18 February 2009). 

Journalist Glenn McLean says in his report that the first player to be shown a yellow card was Hawera batsman Mark Cleaver late on Saturday, after he protested when a team mate was dismissed LBW as his side was in dire trouble at 4/20 in its second innings.  A second player, Mark Parsons, was sent from the field after protesting umpire Brian Hardgrave's decision to dock Hawera five runs for alleged time wasting before play had even begun on Sunday morning.  

McLean indicates that with neither player allowed to field or bat under TCA By Laws, Hawera's second innings finished at 8/45, the Inglewood side winning the match out right by and innings of thirty-eight runs and thus advancing to next weekend's final.

According to the 'TDN' story, "tension appeared to be high between Hardgrave and his [umpiring colleague] Lyn Hotter, and the Hawera players throughout the match".  It is said to have reached its height during the Inglewood side's innings when one of its openers "appeared to edge the ball" behind and started to leave the pitch, only to return after walking several paces when he realised Hotter was not going to give him out.

The 'TDN' says that last weekend's problems came after "ugly scenes" surrounding the TCA's second grade final between Hawera and eventual winner Ratapiko the week before.  Friction is said to have surfaced before a ball was even bowled in the match after Ratapiko protested about the eligibility of two of Hawera's players and the TCA ruled that the pair could not play in the game.

TCA chairman Neil Sulzberger is said to have alleged during an after-match speech that one of the Hawera players commented "it is a better game without umpires". The Hawera player was later reported to have said he was "disgusted with the sportsmanship of Ratapiko stopping players playing in the final" but denied making the umpire remark.  

Sulzberger is said to have written a "scathing two-page letter" to the club a few days later in which he said the conduct of some Hawera players clearly demonstrated their disregard for rules and officials that "every other club respects" and showed "contempt for the image and reputation of both Hawera and Taranaki cricket".  He also wrote that "there will be ongoing discussions between TCA and the Taranaki Umpires Association about the behaviour of your players towards the umpires".

The TCA Chairman would say little on the subject when contacted by the newspaper other than to confirm a letter had been sent to the Hawera club and the TCA was awaiting a response.  He would not comment on the incidents last weekend as he said he did not know anything about them, while Hawera chairman Heath Chittenden, who played in the match against Inglewood, could not be reached by the TDN's McLean for comment prior to publishing his story.



TCUSA umpiring members Steven John and Sam Nogajski were last night named to stand in this season's Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) first grade grand final, their second together in a row, and for John his fourth in succession (E-News 396-2101, 26 March 2009).  The pair were among eight individuals who have been appointed to umpire the four TCA grade season-deciders that are to be played this weekend.

John and Nogajski, two former TCA grade players who are both in their seventh season as umpires, are to work with scorers Brett Walker and Louise Jauncey as the latter pair's sides North Hobart and University sides respectfully, take on each other in the first grade match at Bellerive over three days starting on Friday.  For Walker, a former umpire, and Jauncey, the match concludes what has been their second season as scorers with their clubs.

The second, third and under 17 grade finals will be played as two-day games on the weekend proper.  Mike Graham-Smith and Nick McGann will be looking after second grade at the TCA Ground where the same to clubs as in the major final will be in action, Des Mortimer of North Hobart and thirteen-year-old Josh Chapman of University being the scorers.  Both umpires stood in last year's second grade match and are also former TCA players, McGann being in his fifth season of umpiring and Graham-Smith in his third, while Mortimer, another former umpire, is scoring in his fourth season and Chapman his second.

Jamie Mitchell and Wade Stewart are the umpires in the third grade final between Glenorchy and Lindisfarne at the KGV Oval, while at Queenborough where the under 17s from South Hobart Sandy Bay and Clarence will be in action, Caroline McGregor and Jason Nicholls will be umpiring.  Stewart and Nicholls have been with the TCUSA for a total of nine seasons, Mitchell for five and McGregor for three, the latter standing for a number of years in Launceston before moving to Hobart.  Stewart stood in last season's third grade decider with now-retired Brian Muir. 

All of the eight umpires named have worked at first grade level with five, Graham-Smith, John, Mitchell, McGann and Nogajski, currently make up Tasmania's State Umpires Panel (SUP), while McGregor and Wade are former members and Nicholls was heading that way until work commitments prevented him from taking part in the last two TCA seasons.  Nogajski was last year's TCUSA 'Umpire of the Year', and earlier this decade John was for two-years in a row and Nicholls once, while Graham-Smith, McGann, Mitchell and Stewart are all former TCUSA 'best first year' umpires.  

Over the last decade Stewart has stood if five TCA end-of-season deciders (one first grade, two second, one third and one under 17), John has stood in four (one being in second grade), Nogajski three (one first, one second and one under 17), McGann three (two second grade, one third grade), Nicholls three (all under 17s), Mitchell, who missed the finals last year because of injury (E-News 384-2040, 10 March 2009), two (one third and one under 17s), and Graham-Smith one (second grade).  For McGregor, who last year became the first women to stand at TCA first grade level for twenty-five years (E-News 193-1057, 8 February 2009), this weekend's appointment is her first in a final in Hobart.   

At higher levels, John made his debut at first class level this season (E-News 532-2723, 15 December 2009), and Nogajski's selection at interstate level suggests he has the potential to join him in the future (E-News 558-2835, 27 January 2010), while their three SUP colleagues have all worked at representative level.   

In other finals appointments announced yesterday, Brian Pollard and Mike Lee will look after the Tasmania University colleges' final at Mount Nelson on Sunday, and Ross Carlson and Martin Betts the two-day Tasmanian Independent Schools final between Hutchins of Hobart and Launceston's Saint Patrick's college which, like the TCA first grade game, is due to start at the Hutchins' ground on Friday.  The weather on Friday morning currently looks being a little wet with showers particularly on the western shore of the Derwent River, however, the outlook for Saturday-Sunday appears to be very positive. 


Tasmanian State Umpire Panel members Nick McGann and Sam Nogajski were named as members of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) grade 'Team of the Year' for the second season running at the TCA's annual end-of-season Emerson Rodwell Medal Dinner at Bellerive last night.  The pair were also chosen for grand finals this coming weekend, Nogajski in first grade and McGann in second, again both for the second season running (E-News 592-2975 above).  

McGann, who was named in the side for the third year running, and Nogajski who was chosen for the third time in four years, were selected as the match officials that TCA clubs voted as being perceived, from their point-of-view, as having best handled the management of the umpire's role at first grade level this season.  Prior to moving to umpiring, both had successful playing careers in the TCA's Grade competition, Nogajski with Clarence and McGann with Glenorchy.

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) chief executive officer (CEO) Keith Bradshaw has outlined a future for the game that will see fewer teams and players involved in Test match cricket and a near-doubling of Twenty20 International (T20I) sides in five years time.  Writing in the April issue of 'The Wisden Cricketer' magazine, Bradshaw describes himself as "optimistic" but says that it isn’t difficult to look ahead and see Tests become "virtually redundant" with Twenty20 (T20) games saturating the market and players becoming "globe-trotting mercenaries".
Tasmanian-born Bradshaw points out in his article that several players have already forgone playing Tests to prolong "more lucrative" T20 careers and that the potential long-term is for young players will be schooled purely in the twenty-over game and be unable to adapt to the demands of cricket played over three, four and five days. "The transition from Test to T20 cricket is much easier than the other way round and the result could be far fewer players capable of playing five-day cricket", he says.
Bradshaw says that while Test cricket remains the pinnacle of the game its position should not be taken for granted. “We have a warped sense of the well-being of Tests in [England] because they attract good crowds, [however], there is a real danger that the format could become the preserve of four or five countries unless efforts are made to reinstate a fairer balance between bat and ball, to work alongside rather than against T20 competitions to ensure players do not have to choose between playing for their country and their club, and to attract new audiences".
In his view “T20 could sound the death knell for Test cricket but it could also prove to be the perfect vehicle for the expansion of the game into other countries [as] the shorter T20 game is a "leveller and an excellent pathway into the elite fold", the example he gives being Afghanistan which has qualified for this year’s World T20 tournament in the West Indies.
Looking ahead Bradshaw writes that he firmly believes "the next big step will be the growth of cricket in the United States and it’s not unrealistic to think there could be twenty countries capable of playing competitive T20 cricket within the next five years", something he says would be "surely something to celebrate".


Bangladesh should have the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) by the time of its next home Test series but the International Cricket Council (ICC) should not be expected to fund it, according to comments made on Tuesday by the world body's president David Morgan.  The Reuters news agency says that Morgan, who was in Dakha for the second Test between the home side and England, made his remarks after a controversial third day during which Bangladesh were reported "infuriated" by several naked-eye "not out" decisions given against them by umpires that media reports claim swung the match out of their grasp.

Morgan told BBC Radio Four that Bangladesh could have established a first-innings lead and been in a much stronger position going into yesterday's fifth day if the UDRS had been operational.  According to the ICC chief though "cricket is not the richest of sports" and as "the broadcasters derive a great deal from the system, it's magnificent television actually", they should therefore pay for the technology involved.  On Tuesday Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's captain, criticised his Board for not having the system in place while coach Jamie Siddons was fined after criticising the umpires for turning down "three strong" LBW appeals (E-News 592-2979 below).  

The world body is understood to have indicated as far back as June that it would not be responsible for the costs involved in UDRS operations but rather individual Boards or broadcasters, or both (E-News 532-2692, 16 November 2009).  It held a UDRS workshop earlier this month, one agenda item being just who pays for its operation, but on the surface at least there still appears to be a clear divide between national Boards and broadcasters on that particular issue (E-News 585-2956, 16 March 2010).

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are, says Morgan, "determined to have [UDRS] equipment in place" for its next scheduled home Test series which is against New Zealand in October , but "its a question of negotiations with their broadcaster".  Around the same time BCB President AHM Mustafa Kamal was quoted by 'The Daily Star' newspaper as saying that the absence of the UDRS in the series against England had "nothing to do with finance rather it was a matter of the intricacy of the system that [stopped] it from being installed".

The UDRS was approved by ICC Test playing members last June (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009), but has still not been used in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and England, although there are clear indications the latter will see its debut there this northern summer (E-News 590-2968,  22 March 2010).  Morgan said that "ideally [the UDRS] should be available in every single series".  

One media report made the claim that Morgan said "he was not pleased with the standard of umpiring in the [two Test Bangladesh-England] series", during which the on-field officials were Tony Hill (New Zealand) and Rod Tucker (Australia).  But, he continued, "I cannot accept that any of our international or elite umpires are biased, this game will be monitored in Dubai [where the ICC has its headquarters], and the match referee here is monitoring umpires' performances as well".  We will also listen to the captain of Bangladesh and the coach, but their views will not necessarily be regarded as value judgements at the end of the day", said Morgan.

Bangladesh's coach, Australian Jamie Siddons, has been fined ten per cent of his "applicable match fee" for “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision" during the second Test between his side and England at Mirpur on Tuesday, the issues involved sparking further discussion on the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) (E-News 592-2978 above).  The coach pleaded guilty to the charge laid against him and accepted the sanction offered by match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand.

A number of decisions went against Bangladesh during the day and Siddons at one stage reportedly strode to the front of his team's dressing room to signal that he thought an LBW appeal against English batsman Ian Bell was 'out', then went and spoke to Crowe.  The coach told the BBC that "there were probably three or four decisions I was unhappy with".
“Jamie became increasingly frustrated and let his emotions out during the second session of day three which was obvious for all to see, said Crowe in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council.  “Clearly he behaved inappropriately and he agrees that such actions and gestures must be kept behind closed doors, he is disappointed with himself that he was so public and he did not hesitate in pleading guilty and accepting the proposed sanction", continued the match referee.

The UDRS hasn't been used in the Bangladesh-England series and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan told journalists that he felt the match would have gone differently if the reviews had been available.  "We would have been in a very good position if [UDRS] was in use here", he said, for "I think we would have asked for a referral four times with full confidence, and three of them would have come to our way for sure", he continued.
The charge against Siddons was brought by on-field umpires Tony Hill (New Zealand) and Rod Tucker (Australia) as well as third umpire Nadir Shah and fourth official Enamul Hoque who are both from Bangladesh.


A player on the Gold Coast in Queensland says he regrets an altercation that may see him banned from the sport but he cannot say he would not do it again, says a story in Tuesday's 'Gold Coast Bulletin".  Jason Roberts of the Loganholme side was sent from the ground last weekend after he "swung out a couple of times" at a Mudgeeraba Nerang player , and was due to face a disciplinary hearing last night (E-News 591-2974, 23 March 2010).

Father-of-five Roberts said he acted in the heat of the moment after Nelson deliberately attempted to hit the ball into him as it was being thrown to him by a teammate.  "I was wicket-keeper and he was standing at the crease and as the ball was thrown to me he just wobbled his bat in front of it to try and make it ricochet into me", said Roberts.  "I just said 'that's not cricket, you could have moved out of the way' and he stood up and I walked straight into him, which I'm not denying", he continued.

"As I walked into him he's swung his arm up and hit me under the chin [and] that's when I started swinging my arms with open hands and wicket-keeping gloves on", said Roberts, who described his actions as "just a cheeky, typical thing to do and I feel stupid for retaliating".  "When the umpire pulled out the red card I was expecting [his opponent] to go too but as I was going he had a big smirk on his face which was pretty ordinary", and while "I deserved what happened to me at the same time he should have been disciplined".

John Fitzgerald from Cricket Gold Coast told the 'Bulletin' that  the altercation was very serious and would be discussed at the disciplinary hearing. "From what I have been told the incident was severe and the umpire was warranted in sending [Roberts] off," he said, while the player himself said he would be "disappointed if he was banned from cricket for life".


The third umpire ‘decision pending’ screen that runs commercials during Indian Premier League matches earns the competition the equivalent of $A17,000 for each ten second slot, a fee that is fifty per cent higher than television spots, according to the sub-continent's 'Economic Times' newspaper.  The paper says that during matches the various stadiums being used are running wall-to-wall advertisements with "every possible advertising" spot covered, much to the dislike of cricket fans".   



Pakistani all-rounder Rana Naved has been cleared of ball tampering charges made against him following a national Twenty20 Championship match played in Kararchi last month (E-News 582-2932, 9 March 2010).  A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) disciplinary committee is reported to have found no evidence that Naved had, as alleged by the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), "used his nails" to alter the condition of the ball, and that "neither the match referee and umpires mentioned anything in their reports".  The KCCA had also claimed that umpires Ijaz Ahmed and Tahir Shah, deliberately "ignored" what it alleged was Naved's actions (E-News 590-2970, 22 March 2010).


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that it plans to trial a format this northern summer that involves sides in forty-over matches having two separate innings of twenty overs each.  The split format, which was pushed by several high-profile international cricketers six months ago (E-News 485-2516/2517, 7 September 2009), is to be used in a specially-established nineteen-match county second XI knockout competition.    

Information currently available indicates that after its first innings of twenty overs, a team will then field before resuming on the score and with the number of wickets down that it had reached in its initial time at the crease. It would appear that the ECB plans call for each team to have a total of twenty overs of power plays in their forty overs, half of those being the first ten overs, with the others split into two blocks of five, one taken at the fielding team’s discretion, the other at the batting team’s discretion.  

The ECB plans to push the experiment even further as it is also planning to feature a combination of pink balls and white clothing during the matches.  An ECB spokesman indicated that that mix is to be trialled "in order to understand more about the performance of pink balls in our local conditions, along with how they combine with white clothing".  

Eighteen county teams will be involved in the competition, games being played over five consecutive Mondays commencing on 24 May and ending with a final on mid-summer's day, 21 June.  Given the somewhat fickle nature of the English summer, what are called "special provisions" that take into account the two-phase nature of each innings, are contained in the playing conditions to allow for the "reallocation of overs in interrupted matches".


The friction between Sri Lanka's Association of Cricket Umpires (ACU) and the newly formed Association of Professional Cricket Umpires (APCU) took a new turn when umpires from both organisations turned up to officiate at a high-level two-day schools match in Moratuwa last Wednesday.  The APCU was formed earlier this month after "a large group of senior umpires" resigned from the ACU, their main complaint appearing to be what they see as the decline in umpiring standards across the island nation (E-News 586-2955, 16 March 2010).

The 'Mirror' story says that arrangements were finalised "a month ago" for APCU members to stand in the schools match, and that International Cricket Council Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) member  Asoka de Silva, the APCU's president, and his colleagues K.P. Fernando and Deepal Peiris arrived at the ground well prior to the match starting.  However, "to the surprise of everyone", they were soon joined by umpires Nalin Vithana and Vajira Soorasinghe from the ACU, an event that  left the respective school authorities "in a dilemma", wrote journalist M. Shamil Amit.  

The issue was reportedly sorted out after the principals of the two schools agreed, after some discussion, that the APCU officials should stand in the match, but that is said to have led the two ACU umpires to each "demand" a one-day fee which is equivalent to around $A50.  

ACU Secretary Dilshan de Silva, who is said to be the "cricket master" at one of the schools, was quoted by the ‘'Mirror’ as saying that as the two umpires had gone to the ground to officiate they were entitled for their match fees or else his association would have to pay them.  Another Sri Lankan media outlet says that the two ACU umpires went to the ground as a result of his "directive"  

In his article, journalist M. Shamil Amit queries the validity of the payment as "there was no invitation extended to ACU [umpires] to stand in the match".  An unnamed official from one of the schools was quoted as saying that it is "unfair to take money in this manner”, but EUP member de Silva who eventually stood with K.P. Fernando over the two days, agreed to work free of charge in order to assist the schools who are said to "operate to a very tight budget".

Spectators attending the two-Test series between New Zealand and Australia have been able to watch television replays of challenges made under the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) on big screens at the ground at the same time as the third umpire is making his assessment, according to press reports from across the Tasman.  Match referee Javagal Srinath from India told journalists that New Zealand Cricket pushed for the move to occur and it was backed by host broadcaster Sky TV who provided the technology for the third umpire to review decisions. 

Big screen replays of challenges were run at a ground for the first time in Tests in the first match of the series in Wellington last week, a game in which considerable problems were experienced with the weather (E-News 591-2972, 23 March 2010), and have continued during the current match in Hamilton.  Srinath described the initiative, which is said to be backed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), as still being "in a trial period", but feels "that it will quickly become a normal component of the at-ground game presentation at Test matches".

Srinath, said that cricket fans paying to watch cricket at venues have every right to the technology that is available to those watching at home.  "People who pay to watch [matches] live at the venues are often the biggest cricket fans [and we therefore] think that it is only fair that they see what everyone else is seeing". "It is important for spectators to understand the workings of the technology [and] by seeing the replays on the big screen, this way "they can appreciate the interpretations" made by the third umpire.  

The ICC's General Manager (Cricket) David Richardson, suggested two years ago that the possibility existed that UDRS-related communications between the on-field and third umpires might be broadcast 'live' if the system, which at that time was yet to be trialled, worked satisfactorily.  

Richardson told the media in Colombo before the first UDRS trial Test between the home side and India got underway in July 2008 that for the time being the world body "will be recording the conversation between the [umpires so that it can] check whether they are communicating properly" for "sometimes a good decision can also be spoilt due to poor communication" (E-News 285-1513, 25 July 2008).  There has been no further publicity given to the matter since that time.


The traditional 'English' first-class season opener between last year's county champion and a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) side, which is normally played at Lord's, will get underway in Abu Dhabi this evening Australian time using pink balls and a day-night format (E-News 573-2904, 20 February 2010).  While pink balls and day-night games have been tried in England in limited-over games, tonight's match will be the first of its kind in the history of English first-class cricket, says London's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper, and is part of a push for day-night Tests. 

The Abu Dhabi season opener will be looked after county umpires Barry Dudleston and Tim Robinson.  For Dudleston, who is in his last season on the England and Wales Cricket Board's senior umpiring panel before retirement, the match will be his 412th first class game as an umpire in what is his eighteen season, two of those matches being Tests, a record that came after 295 such fixtures as a player.  Robinson, fifty-one, played 425 first class games, twenty-nine of them Tests, and tonight's game will be his sixtieth at first class level.

'Telegraph' journalist Scyld Berry says that "even if" what he calls the Abu Dhabi "experiment" is a complete success, "floodlit cricket is not going to make much headway in England, because evenings when it is a pleasure to sit outside after dark are rare", he putting the number at "perhaps a handful [of days] per summer".  International Cricket Council (ICC) President David Morgan concurs, saying three months ago that a day-night Test format "is less important" in England and Wales because the grounds used, which are relatively small, sell-out, and the climate is not so favourable (E-News 535-2742, 19 December 2009).

On the other hand Morgan believes that countries like Australia and others who have large stadiums and experience hot weather, are "made for" such games.  Berry writes, for example, that in Dhaka during England's recent tour to Bangladesh, "a day-night Test would have avoided the worst of the heat and more spectators would no doubt have turned up after work".  It would also be "worth trying in other Test venues around the equator, provided mosquitoes don't feast themselves, although the novelty will soon wear off", however, "for a Chester-le-Street Test [in northern England] in May, no thank you".

The 'Telegraph' report says that while the match in Abu Dhabi will not be televised, the MCC will be using a "TV camera to see how the ball shows up on screen", something that was investigated in Australia last month during a "mock match" at night at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (E-News 568-2879, 10 February 2010).  The results of the latter trial have not yet been released.  

Pink balls and day-night formats were trialled in four first class games in the West Indies in January-February, and also in a state second XI fixture in Australia last month.  There appears to have been no publicity given to what the players and officials involved in the Caribbean games thought of pink balls, but in Australia the overall feedback was negative (E-News 567-2874, 8 February 2010), although a wicketkeeper from another MCC team that toured the Gulf recently was much more positive about them (E-News 586-2957, 16 March 2010). 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is currently considering 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). 


A player with the Gold Coast Cricket's (GCC) Loganholme side was last week banned from playing for ten years after being found guilty of "throwing open-handed blows" at a sixteen-year-old Mudgeeraba Nerang player Joshua Nelson during a match two Saturdays ago, says the 'Gold Coast Bulletin' (E-News 591-2974, 23 March 2010).  Jason Roberts, forty, who said before a disciplinary hearing that a life ban would be "disappointing" (E-News 592-2980, 25 March 2010), maintains that Nelson provoked the incident and the latter was put on notice that he needs to improve his on-field behaviour. 

Roberts did not attend last week's hearing, instead giving his evidence via speakerphone as he says threats that had been made against his family forced him to stay at home.  The threats, which are said to have commenced after the altercation with Nelson, came via his mobile phone from callers with private numbers who said, according to the Bulletin's report, "they knew where he lived and where his children went to school".

"I don't know who the calls came from but I was a bit upset and that's the only reason I didn't attend the hearing", said Roberts, for "you don't know what will happen when people think you're out and your family are left at home".  GCC's Neville Taylor said he was disgusted by the threats, its "not the sort of thing we want happening", and "whoever it was should have just left it because [the incident] was always going to be dealt with and now it has".

Roberts, who at the time of his clash with Nelson was under a six-week suspended sentence following another incident earlier in the season, said he was disappointed to have been forced out of the game and was considering whether to appeal.  "After speaking to a lot of other people and seeing how previous incidents have only incurred one or two-year bans, I think ten years is very excessive", he said.



Long-serving TCUSA Life Member Don Heapy has returned to Asia to stand in two 'Sixes' tournaments in Thailand over the next two weeks.  Heapy is currently standing in the week-long Chiang Mai Sixes in far north-western Thailand which started on Sunday and ends next Saturday, then he will move south for the five-day Hua Hin Sixes tournament which begins on Monday at the Dusit Resort on the Gulf of Thailand coast.  

The Chiang Mai Sixes event is in its twenty-third season and Hua Hin its fifteenth, and both will again this year involve multiple teams from Australia, Bangladesh, England, Hong Kong and Thailand.  Heapy and former TCUSA member Paul Edwards, who now lives in Canberra, stood in the Hua Hin Sixes games last year, including the final of the event (E-News 386-2054, 12 March 2009).  


Umpires from Australia, Indian and New Zealand completed their exchange visits to South Africa on the weekend, a period during which they each stood in two domestic first class games (E-News 559-2844, 28 January 2010).  Sudhir Asnani (India), Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand) and Paul Reiffel (Australia) filled six of the twelve umpiring spots that were available in the final half-a-dozen games of South Africa's thirty-match 2009-10 first class competition.

Sudhir was on the field with South African umpire Johanes Cloete in Port Elizabeth and Shaun George in Benoni, Gaffaney with Ian Howell in Durban and Dennis Smith in Bloemfontein, and Reiffel with Cloete in Cape Town and Murray Brown in Johannesburg.  During that Reiffel's match in Johannesburg, he watched on as Eagles batsman Rilee Rossouw, twenty, scored 319 in a 480 second-wicket stand with Dean Elgar who made 161.  Rossouw became the first man to hit a triple hundred in a day in South Africa and, at 276 balls, he reached it quicker than any previous South African.


Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, the captain of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Punjab franchise, has been given a one-game ban and fined the equivalent of $A55,000 after being found guilty of a slow over-rate for the third time in this year's Twenty20 series (E-News 586-2958, 16 March 2010).  Sangakkara was handed the ban after his side was found to have been one over behind the required rate in the match against Kolkata on Saturday.

Fielding sides in IPL matches are required to complete their twenty overs in one hour and twenty-five minutes, a period that includes two advertising-rated 'time outs' totalling five minutes.  The first time a team is found guilty of a slow over-rate its captain is fined $A22,000, a second offence sees the skipper loose $A44,000 and each of his players $A11,000, while a third attracts the $A55,000 fine and a one-match ban and his team mates loose $A22,000 from their pay packets.

The Punjab side's offences to date have seen Sangakkara loose a total of $A121,000 and his players an overall amount of $A330,000.  Sangakkara will now miss his team's next match, which is against the Mumbai side later this evening Australian time.


Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been fined $A17,000 for an "invective-ridden send-off" directed at a batsman he dismissed during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Mumbai on Sunday.  Harbhajan is reported to have pleaded guilty to an offence which relates to "excessively audible or repetitious swearing", IPL chief executive Sundar Raman confirming the sanction soon after the match via his twitter update.

In addition to the fine, match referee Gundappa Viswanath warned Harbhajan about his future conduct, but its not the first time Harbhajan has been in trouble with the IPL.  During the first season in 2008 the bowler was found guilty of slapping opponent Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and given an eleven-match ban (E-News 237-1307, 29 April 2008).

Harbhajan's fine is the first disciplinary action taken against a player during what is the IPL's third season.  In the course of the tournament to date though captains Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara have been fined for the failure of their sides to complete their overs on time (E-News 586-2958, 16 March 2010), the latter yesterday transgressing in that regard for the third time (E-News 594-2990 above).