THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
(Story numbers 3083 to 3131)
615 – 2 June [3083-3087]
• Aussie umpiring pair for Caribbean Tests (615-3083).
• Split innings, forty-over match trials underway (615-3084).
• UK regulations prevent 'Hot Spot, 'Hawk-Eye' sponsorship, claims Agnew (615-3085).
• Captain forgets to advise umpires of 'Powerplay' (615-3086).
• CA domestic revamp to include split innings format? (615-3087).
616 – 4 June [3088-3090]
• Short season 'stifling' Windies umpire development, says Doctrove (616-3088).
• Concerns about disciplinary process sparks resignations (616-3089).
• Ball throw at batsman leads to disciplinary action (616-3090).
617 – 5 June [3091-3094]
• Erasmus, Tucker elevated to Elite Umpires Panel (617-3091).
• Koertzen to retire from international cricket (617-3092).
• Victoria's Barrow promoted to national panel (617-3093).
• CA yet to name new International panel member (617-3094).
618 – 8 June [3095-3099]
• Oxenford for Asia Cup (618-3095).
• No announcement on ICC 'emerging group' planned (618-3096).
• Fry appointed to the IUP (618-3097).
• CA Umpire Manager to visit Hobart today (618-3098).
• Changes announced to umpires for Aussie-Lanka 'A' series (618-3099).
619 – 10 June [3100-3102]
• Asia Cup match officials named (619-3100).
• 'Smith review' investigation remains under wraps (619-3101).
• Six umpires stand in Americas Division 1 tournament (619-3102).
620 – 11 June [3103-3105]
• ECB bans double-bounce delivery, MCC disagrees (620-3103).
• Match officials from eight nations head for Europe (620-3104).
• Drop in umpire numbers concerns Yorkshire league (620-3105).
621 – 13 June [3106-3109]
• CA goes for one-day format, split innings trial (621-3106).
• Queen's award for Duckworth and Lewis (621-3107).
• Koertzen looks to involvement in umpiring development (621-3108).
• Afridi backs day-night Test concept (621-3109).
622 – 15 June [3110-3112]
• Mixed feed-back from ECB's one-day split innings trial (622-3110).
• Koertzen goes into print (622-3111).
• No player microphones in ODI matches, says ICC (622-3112).
623 – 17 June [3113-3117]
• Broadcaster pushes four full innings in one-day split format (623-3113).
• Players must understand and support one-day changes, says Ponting (623-3114).
• ICC closely watching domestic split-inning trials (623-3115).
• 'Nothing wrong' with 50 over format, says Aussie selector (623-3116).
• Hampshire penalised for 'poor' T20 pitch (623-3117).
624 – 20 June [3118-3123]
• Player Academy named for 'Shep' (624-3118).
• 'Roadshow' to collect player views on split-innings concept (624-3119).
• Tassy instructors attend facilitator workshop (624-3120).
• IUP third umps used for Asia Cup (624-3121).
• Dar, Srinath confirmed for 'Ashes' ODI matches (624-3122).
• Oslear returns aged eighty-one (624-3123).
625 – 25 June [3124-3128]
• Batsman gets 'the benefit', then walks on fielder's advice (625-3124).
• ECB disciplines five players (625-3125).
• Rauf, Srinath for England-Bangladesh one-day series (625-3126).
• 'Menacing' masked men stop play (625-3127).
• 'Weed killer' vandalism curtails ground use (625-3128).
626 – 30 June [3129-3131]
• Bucknor to join MCC World Cricket Committee (626-3129).
• UDRS to be used for 2011 World Cup? (626-3130).
• Spitting incident to be investigated? (626-3131).
E-NEWS NUMBER 615
WEDNESDAY, 2 JUNE 2010
AUSSIE UMPIRING PAIR FOR
Two Australian members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) are to take part in the three Tests the West Indies and South Africa are to play in the Caribbean later this month. The series, which starts in Trinidad tomorrow week, will be the seventh in which the Umpire Decision Review System has been operational out of the twelve played since the ICC commenced its "permanent" roll-out of referrals in October last year.
Three EUP members, Asad Rauf of Pakistan plus Steve Davis and Simon Taufel of Australia, are to each work on the field in two Tests and in the television suite in a third, while Sri Lankan Roshan Mahanama will oversee the first match in Trinidad as the match referee, and Jeff Crowe of New Zealand the second and third in Saint Kitts and Barbados respectively. The opening match was to have been played in Jamaica, however, it and the last of the One Day Internationals currently underway were moved as a result of the uncertainties surrounding the civil unrest there last week.
It will be the first time twenty-three Test veteran Davis will have stood in a Test in the West Indies, although he has twice worked there in One Day International series, one of those the World Cup of 2007, and for a third time earlier this year in the World Twenty20 Championship.
Two of Rauf's thirty Tests to date have been in the Caribbean while Taufel has made seven previous appearances in a Test there out of his current total of sixty-one. That pair have worked together in two previous Tests, both of them in the Caribbean four years ago this month. Of Mahanama's twenty-eight Tests as a match referee, two have been in the Caribbean, while eight of Crowe's forty have been played there.
Davis and Taufel are to stand together in the third Test in Barbados, the third time they have done so at the game's highest level. The first was in Karachi in late February last year and the last in Lahore a week later, a match that was curtailed as a result of a terrorist attack in which both men and their umpiring and match referee colleagues were lucky to escape with their lives (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).
SPLIT INNINGS, FORTY-OVER
MATCH TRIALS UNDERWAY
The first score sheet from a split-innings forty over one-day match has been published 'on line', however, as yet no publicity has been given as to just how the seventeen-match trial being conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is progressing. The game for which basic data is now available was played last week in Leeds between the second XIs from Yorkshire and Durham, and involved the use of pink balls and players wearing white clothing (E-News 610-3060, 24 May 2010).
The score sheet, the only one currently available from the ten matches played to date, is presented as if each side had a single innings with a note that each was "suspended" at the twenty over mark, the batsmen who were at the crease at that time resuming the second time their side batted.
Durham won the toss and decided to field and Yorkshire were 2/100 at the end of their first twenty overs, then their opponents reached 2/72 when they batted for the first time. Yorkshire then continued their innings but didn't fare too well, loosing 8/71 in 18.5 overs to be all out for 171, Durham scoring an extra 100 for the loss of three more wickets in their second time at the crease in just 13.5 overs to win the match.
A newspaper report in Australia yesterday stated that the split innings concept is being considered by Cricket Australia as part of a possible revamp of its domestic one-day competition next austral summer (E-News 615-3087 below).
Last week's county second XI game was managed by first class umpire Tim Robinson and Lancashire umpire Duncan Warburton, who has stood in nine county second XI matches over the last five years. Former Lancashire League bowler Warburton is currently standing in his tenth season as an umpire in that competition and at the moment has 104 such games to his credit.
Warburton was three-time Tasmanian umpiring visitor Nick Westwell's on-field colleague when the latter made his Lancashire League debut at Turf Moor, Burnley, in June 2007. The pair have now worked together in that competition five times over the last three years, a period that has seen Westwell notch up fifty-nine matches to date.
UK REGULATIONS PREVENT 'HOT SPOT',
'HAWK-EYE' SPONSORSHIP, CLAIMS AGNEW
It currently costs around £300,000 ($A530,000) to install and operate "all the relevant technology" for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) over "a Test series" in England, according to former England player and now BBC cricket correspondent, Jonathan Agnew. Commentating on the fact that the UDRS is not being used in the current England-Bangladesh Tests, Agnew suggested that part of the cause was not just basic funding issues (E-News 611-3069, 27 May 2010), but was also related in the UK to government telecommunication regulations.
Agnew says that as he understands it 'Ofcom', the UK government's independent regulator and competition authority for the communications industries, "forbids any form of sponsorship for 'Hot Spot' or 'Hawk-Eye' during on-air broadcasts". That impacts on the ability of 'Sky' the broadcaster there to recoup the expenses involved, but just why such a regulation is in place was not spelt out. Agnew went on to state that "the 'Hot Spot' people charge more for their system when [the] UDRS is in place, while 'Hawk-Eye' does not", said Agnew.
Warren Brennan, the head of the company that provides 'Hot Spot' technology used as part of the UDRS package in some countries, estimated earlier this year that it costs around $A50,000 to deploy four of his infra-red cameras for a Test match; a figure that equates to around $A250,000 for a five-Test series (E-News 551-2808, 10 January 2010).
If Agnew's total cost estimate is correct, something that has not been confirmed publicly elsewhere, it suggests operation of a four-camera infra-red 'Hot Spot' system could make up around half of the total bill for UDRS operation in a Test series.
Brennan said in January that unless the International Cricket Council and its constituents are at least prepared to share the cost with the broadcasters, it is probable 'Hot Spot' will not become "a regular feature of the coverage of the game outside Australia and England".
CAPTAIN FORGETS TO ADVISE
UMPIRES OF 'POWERPLAY'
India captain Suresh Raina apparently forgot to tell on-field umpires Brian Jerling of South Africa and Russell Tiffin of Zimbabwe about a Powerplay he thought he had taken while his side was in the field during a tri-nation series match against Sri Lanka played in Bulawayo on Sunday, say media reports.
Raina won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat first and after the opening ten overs, when the compulsory Powerplay had been completed, the field setting indicated that the next, or five-over Powerplay, had been taken by the Indian side. However, apparently there was no official communication from Raina to Jerling or Tiffin and the confusion was prolonged for at the end of the fifteenth over, fielders were pushed back in the deep, as is normally done after the Powerplays.
The sixteenth over was bowled before Raina is said to have realised his mistake and approached both umpires who told him that they had not been informed about his decision to take a Powerplay. It was then taken officially, Raina conceding his mistake after the match by telling journalists that he "forgot it [for] I thought I had told the umpire about the Powerplay, but he said I hadn't".
The Powerplay Raina thought he had taken saw his side take one wicket at a cost of twelve runs, the official one not being quite so good for India as no wickets fell and nineteen runs were scored.
CA DOMESTIC REVAMP TO
INCLUDE SPLIT INNINGS FORMAT?
Australia may see a revamped one-day competition next austral summer with split-innings matches and/or a reduction from fifty to forty overs, says a report by journalist Malcom Conn that was published in 'The Australian' newspaper yesterday. Conn says that there is "a strong consensus", presumably amongst Cricket Australia (CA) management, that something must be done with the current one-day concept, which "struggles to draw crowds and has become a poor cousin of the exploding Twenty20" competition.
Both the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa have already reduced their domestic one-day series from fifty to forty overs, and the ECB is currently conducting trials of the split-innings concept (E-News 615-3084 above). Conn indicates that one current idea is to have the one-day series played at the start of summer with each state playing five matches as opposed to the ten-match home-and-away rounds of the current format "which drags out across most of the summer with little context".
'The Australian' report says there "will be a push at this month's [CA] Board meeting to try to have the changes introduced next season without harming Australia's chances in next year's fifty-over World Cup on the sub-continent in March-April". As a result Conn says that "a traditional fifty overs a side [interstate series] could [also] be played as part of Australia's [World Cup] preparation".
E-NEWS NUMBER 616
FRIDAY, 4 JUNE 2010
SHORT SEASON 'STIFLING' WINDIES UMPIRE
DEVELOPMENT, SAYS DOCTROVE
The "limited amount" of 'domestic' first class cricket played in the Caribbean is "stifling the progress of West Indian umpires", according to Billy Doctrove, the only umpire from the region currently on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP). This year's West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) first class season in January-February saw the seven teams involved play a total of twenty-one games, half the number of the year before.
Doctrove is reported to have told journalists in his home nation of Dominica earlier this week that umpires in the Caribbean only stood in "about two or three [domestic first class] games [during] the season [just completed] and that’s not sufficient to prepare [them] for the international arena". Seventeen of the twenty-six regional umpires used stood in one first class match this year, eight in two, and one in three (E-News 599-3015, 12 April 2010), while two others notched up a total of five between them during exchange visits to Bangladesh and England.
The Dominican believes "that [the Caribbean region] has some umpires who [have the potential to] get on to the [EUP]", but if that is to be achieved the WICB's overall approach to umpiring "needs to be revisited”. "We need to look long-term [by] identifying some younger umpires and fast-tracking them at the regional level", he said.
The West Indies Cricket Umpires Association has been expressing similar concerns for several years, querying the way the WICB appoints, manages and promotes its umpires (E-News 575-2908, 24 February 2010). The WICB decided last year to target umpires under the age of thirty-five (E-News 503-2603, 8 October 2009), but some believe little progress is being made with that initiative (E-News 568-2881, 10 February 2010).
Analysis of Doctrove's own record indicates that he faced similar issues in the early part of his career. He made his first class debut in January 1991 and stood in his first Test nine-and-a-half years later in what was his twenty-fifth game.
In each of his first four seasons he stood in a single first class game, his fifth season brought two, then seasons six, seven and eight each saw three, before the ninth and tenth both had five matches, the very last game of which was his debut Test. Most domestic first class seasons in that period consisted of just fifteen matches, except those of 1997, 1999 and 2000 when thirty, eighteen and eighteen games respectively were involved.
The decade just ended has seen the WICB's first class season fluctuate from as little as fifteen to around thirty games, the forty-two in 2009 when a home-and-away roster was played being by far the highest. The reduced match program in 2010 resulted from what media reports indicate were funding issues.
CONCERNS ABOUT DISCIPLINARY
PROCESS SPARKS RESIGNATIONS
Two Cricket Albury-Wodonga (CAW) board members, a paid official and a code of conduct commissioner involved in a disciplinary hearing that last month banned a player for the whole of next season (E-News 603-3029, 7 May 2010), have resigned after an appeal reduced that sanction to a single month, claims a report in yesterday's 'Border Mail' newspaper. The 'Mail' has also indicated that one of the umpires involved "was considering walking away from the game".
North Albury captain Greg Daniel was found guilty of verbally abusing umpire Wayne Allan in the CAW's Provincial grade grand final in March, but the penalty was significantly downgraded by the Murray Cricket Council (MCC) late last week (E-News 614-3081, 31 May 2010). CAW chairman Michael Erdeljac was the chairman of both the initial and appeal hearings, despite what the 'Mail' says were conflict of interest claims and concerns the appeal panel was unconstitutional under MCC rules.
Lloyd Patterson, the code of conduct commissioner, was quoted as saying that his "experience with CAW has not been a pleasant one" and that "the whole process has been a joke". He is understood to be dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal and had investigated whether he had the power to take the matter further, but the Riverina Cricket Zone, which governs the MCC, is said to have ruled that as the commissioner he had no rights to appeal.
Erdeljac is said to have admitted CAW had made what the 'Times' labelled as "some glaring mistakes" in its handling of the Daniel case, but that measures were set to be implemented to make sure a similar situation never arose. “We will be putting a working party together to deal with the problems that have been put in front of us, they will look at our constitution and our rules to make sure this doesn’t happen again", he said, however, it "won’t be just a [CAW] board group [but will also include] some of the best cricket minds in the district".
Wayne Allan, the umpire Daniel called “a f***ing cheat” in front of non-officiating umpire Wayne Cook moments after being dismissed in the grand final, is said to be unhappy with the appeal process. “The issue isn’t about Greg Daniel, it’s more about the process", he told the 'Mail''. “I think it’s an unfair reflection on me, and I think it sends a message that the league isn’t protecting their officials", and that if he does eventually decided to retire, he would do so "with a heavy heart" for “I love umpiring [and] will be very sad to leave".
BALL THROW AT BATSMAN
LEADS TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION
A second county player in a week has been censured for throwing a ball at a player "in an inappropriate and dangerous manner", the latest incident involving Worcestershire captain Vikram Solanki in a first class match against Derbyshire in mid-May. Solanki, the chairman of the UK chapter of the Professional Cricketers' Association who has played fifty-one One Day Internationals for England, was reported by umpires David Millns and Nigel Llong for throwing the ball at Derbyshire batsman Garry Park.
Solanki was given a three disciplinary point penalty by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as a result of his actions, and the points will remain on his record for two years, with a suspension to be imposed should he accrue a total of nine penalty points in that time. Surrey paceman Andre Nel received a three point penalty last week for the same offence, and was subsequently suspended by his county for two first class matches (E-News 614-3081, 31 May 2010). Earlier in the season he was banned for two one-day games by the ECB for reaching the nine points threshold.
E-NEWS NUMBER 617
SATURDAY, 5 JUNE 2010
ERASMUS, TUCKER ELEVATED TO
ELITE UMPIRES PANEL
South African Marais Erasmus and Australian Rod Tucker were yesterday promoted to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) for 2010-11. They are to replace Erasmus' countryman, the soon to retire Rudi Koertzen (E-News 617-3092 below), and Englishman Mark Benson, who stepped down from the panel last February (E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010).
Both Erasmus and Tucker are former first class players who were named as part of a four-man emerging umpires group by the ICC fifteen months ago (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009). They have, over the last year in particular, been given a solid range of high-level international appointments by the world body, including their first Tests and two World Twenty20 Championships, while their two emerging colleagues, Nigel Llong of England and Amish Saheba of India, appear to have been cast adrift.
The elevation of Erasmus and Tucker means that four of the twelve-man EUP group are again Australians (Steve Davis, Daryl Harper, Simon Taufel and Tucker), two each come from New Zealand ('Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill) and Pakistan (Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf), and one each from England (Ian Gould), South Africa (Erasmus), Sri Lanka (Asoka de Silva) and the West Indies (Billy Doctrove). Half of the new panel have played the game at first class level: Erasmus (53 matches); Dar (17); de Silva (84, 10 of them Tests); Gould (298); Rauf (71); and Tucker (103).
Erasmus, forty-six, was an all-rounder during his playing days from 1988-97, scoring 1,913 runs for Boland at a little under 30 and taking 131 wickets at just over 28. Forty-five-year-old Tucker's matches, 101 for Tasmania and the others for New South Wales, were in the period from 1986-99, and saw him score 5,076 runs at 36 and taking 123 wickets at 41.4.
The South African made his first class debut as an umpire in February 2003, six years after retiring as a player, and was elevated to the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) in 2007, his record at senior international level currently standing at two Tests, sixteen One Day Internationals (ODI) and eleven Twenty20 Internationals (T20I).
Tucker's first exposure to umpiring was a short eight years ago and was with the TCUSA in Hobart, and after moving back to Sydney he quickly rose up the ranks, being fast-tracked by Cricket Australia (CA) via its Project Panel; making his first class debut as an umpire in December 2004 and being appointed by CA to the IUP in 2008 (E-News 251-1375, 3 June 2008). In his international career to date he has stood in three Tests, fourteen ODIs and eight T20Is.
CA congratulated Tucker on his promotion in a press release yesterday. James Sutherland, CA's Chief Executive Officer, said that "Rod's rise through the ranks has been meteoric but extremely well-deserved [and] as the first umpire to progress from CA's Project Panel (PP) to the highest level, his is a great story for Australian cricket".
The fact that "Australian umpires now comprise one third of the [EUP] is a significant achievement and recognition of the quality of our development pathway", continued Sutherland, for "CA is enthusiastic about identifying former players to remain in the game post-retirement and we expect Rod will serve as motivation for others to follow a similar path". He did not indicate who the next ex-players might be who might join the now empty PP.
KOERTZEN TO RETIRE FROM
South African umpire Rudi Koertzen is to retire from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) after eighteen years at the game's highest level. His last ICC appointments will be in the two-Test series between Pakistan and Australia which is to be played in England next month, the first at Lord's, his ninth at the home of cricket, and the last at Headingley, Leeds.
The Leeds' Test will bring down the curtain on a remarkable umpiring career that stretches back to its origins in 1981 and at first class level to a South African domestic match in Kimberley in November 1991. It will end with him having stood in 108 Tests and 218 first class games overall, a world record 209 One Day Internationals plus 173 other List A matches, 14 Twenty20 Internationals and 49 other games in that format. He will also have worked as the television umpire in 21 first class, 44 List A and 20 Twenty20 games.
Koertzen, whose 108 Tests will be second only to now retired West Indian Steve Bucknor's 128, was appointed as a full-time umpire by the ICC in 1997 and was one of the original members of the EUP when it was formed in 2002, the only other person on that initial group who is still on the panel being Australian Daryl Harper. During his career the South African worked in three World Cups, three Champions Trophy series, and two World Twenty20 Championships.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement issued yesterday that Koertzen, sixty-one, is "one of the most respected umpires in the game" and that a "distinguished career like Rudi's presents a benchmark for aspirant umpires".
Koertzen, who is currently officiating in the triangular ODI series in Zimbabwe (E-News 611-3067, 25 May 2010), said that "it has been eighteen incredible years for me as an international umpire and I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it". “I feel humbled to have been trusted with this massive responsibility", but "if I can look back at my career with pride, it is due to the sacrifices of my family and the excellent support and backing I received from my fellow umpires and colleagues in Cricket South Africa and the ICC", he continued.
“Even though I will retire after the Leeds Test, I’ll be more than happy to assist and help young umpires if they need my guidance as cricket also teaches us to give something back to the sport [and] after eighteen years in business, I think it is payback time", he added.
VICTORIA'S BARROW PROMOTED
TO NATIONAL PANEL
Victorian State Umpires Panel member Ashley Barrow has been promoted to the National Umpires Panel (NUP) for the 2010-11 season in place Rod Tucker of New South Wales who was yesterday elevated to the top level of international umpiring (E-News 617-3091 above). Barrow, who joined the Victorian panel 2006-07, is yet to stand in first class cricket, the third season running that Cricket Australia (CA) has selected an umpire for the NUP who has not previously worked at that level (E-News 471-2441, 10 August 2009).
Barrow, who becomes the fifth Victoria-based umpire on next season's twelve-man panel (E-News 611-3066, 25 May 2010), has been standing at representative level since January 2000 when he was selected for a men's under-17 national tournament.
In the ten years since he has gone on to a second under-17 championship and another at under-19 level, plus four women's interstate Twenty20s, fifteen Women's National Cricket League matches, three women's One Day Internationals (ODI), five under-19 men's ODIs, an Emerging Players Tournament (EPT), eleven matches in the former Cricket Australia Cup and now Futures League for state second XIs, and last season a debut at senior one-day interstate level.
The Victorian becomes the sixth EPT participant in two years to be promoted to the NUP, a statistic that underlines how important that annual event is in CA's umpiring pathway. Last week he was named as one of five emerging umpires for this year's EPT which is to be played in Brisbane in August (E-News 612-3070, 27 May 2010).
Next season's NUP is made up of twelve individuals whose ages range from thirty-eight to fifty-seven. Gerard Abood from New South Wales and Paul Wilson of Western Australia are the youngest at thirty-eight, Simon Fry of South Australia and Mick Martell of Western Australia both forty-three, Paul Reiffel of Queensland forty-four, Barrow and his Victorian colleague John Ward forty-eight, Tony Ward another Victorian and Bruce Oxenford of Queensland both fifty, Ian Lock of Western Australia fifty-one, and Bob Parry of Victoria fifty-seven.
Parry with seventy-four first class matches leads the group in terms of umpiring experience, followed by Lock sixty-two, Oxenford fifty-one, Fry thirty-nine, Reiffel thirty-six, John Ward twenty-seven, Tony Ward eleven, Martell ten, Abood six, Joshua four and Wilson two. Oxenford, Reiffel and Wilson are all former first class players, the latter two having represented Australia at Test level.
CA YET TO NAME NEW
INTERNATIONAL PANEL MEMBER
Rod Tucker's promotion to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 617-3091 above), not only left a vacancy on Cricket Australia's (CA) recently announced National Umpires Panel (NUP) for the 2010-11 season (E-News 617-3093 above), but also amongst the three spots Australia have on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP). As yet CA has not indicated who its choice for the IUP is, or just when the new member will be announced.
It appears likely that current third umpire member Paul Reiffel, forty-four, of Queensland will be moved into the spot vacated by Tucker and thus join the other current on-field member and state colleague Bruce Oxenford. Reiffel was promoted to the IUP just over eighteen months ago following the resignation of Peter Parker (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008), and Oxenford the year before that (E-News 65-356, 12 July 2007).
If umpiring appointments over the latter half of last season in Australia are any guide, South Australia's Simon Fry is the favourite to take over from Reiffel in the IUP third umpire position. Last January he stood with Reiffel in the domestic Twenty20 final, was the third umpire in the one-day final in February in support of Oxenford and Reiffel, and stood in the Sheffield Shield final in March with Oxenford.
The only other current NUP member who is likely to challenge Fry is Ian Lock of Western Australia, but reports last season and the appointments he was given generally suggest that he did not perform at the level he demonstrated the year before. England-born Lock was the third umpire in both the Twenty20 and Shield finals behind Fry this year, whereas twelve months before he stood in both the one-day and Twenty20 finals and was third umpire in the Shield decider behind Oxenford and Reiffel.
Lock, fifty-one, made his first class debut in March 2001 and currently has sixty-two games at that level to his credit, while Fry, forty-three, made his first class start in January 2002 and has since gone on to stand in thirty-nine matches. Their List A tallies are similar, thirty-nine for Lock and thirty-one for Fry, while in the Twenty20 format its eight and ten respectively.
E-NEWS NUMBER 618
TUESDAY, 8 JUNE 2010
OXENFORD FOR ASIA CUP
Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford has been chosen to stand in the four-nation, One Day International (ODI) format Asia Cup series, which is to get underway in Sri Lanka today week between the home nation, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. The tournament is the Queenslander's second overseas appointment for he stood as the 'neutral' umpire in three matches in the ODI series between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last November (E-News 509-2622, 21 October 2009), and suggests he may be part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'emerging group' this year (E-News 618-3096 below)
Cricket Australia flagged Oxenford's participation in next week's Cup event yesterday when it announced changes to the umpires for the six-match series between the Australian and Sri Lankan 'A' sides, most of which will be played while the Asian Cup is underway (E-News 610-3063, 24 May 2010). Oxenford will, however, return to Australia in time to stand for the final one-day game of the 'A' series in Brisbane in mid-July (E-News 618-3099 below).
The ICC is yet to announce who the other match officials will be for the forthcoming tournament in Sri Lanka. Ten match officials, four on-field and four third umpires plus two match referees were used for the last Asia Cup which was played in Pakistan two years ago, but it involved six teams, this year's four plus the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. They played a total of thirteen games over a thirteen day period, therefore as few as six umpires and a single match referee are likely to be needed this year.
On-field umpires used in 2008 were Simon Taufel from the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), and three from its second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Ian Gould of England, Tony Hill of New Zealand, and Brian Jerling of South Africa, while the match referees were Alan Hurst of Australia and Mike Proctor of South Africa (E-News 263-1423, 27 June 2008). Gould and Hill were elevated to the EUP nine months after the event concluded (E-News 395-2093, 24 March 2009).
Third umpires used were also from the IUP and were all from Asia: Zameer Haider (Pakistan); Amish Saheba (India), Gamini Silva (Sri Lanka) and AFM Akhtaruddin (Bangladesh). Only the first two named are still IUP members.
NO ANNOUNCEMENT OF ICC
'EMERGING GROUP' PLANNED
The International Cricket Council (ICC) does not plan to announce an international emerging umpires group for the twelve months ahead as it did last year (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009). Four umpires, Marais Erasmus of South Africa, Rod Tucker from Australia, Nigel Llong of England and Amish Saheba of India, were "identified" fifteen months ago and given exposure to Tests, One Day Internationals (ODI) and Twenty20 Internationals played around the world, and the first two were elevated to the ICC's top-flight Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) last week (E-News 617-3091, 5 June 2010).
An ICC spokesman told E-News yesterday that "no emerging group will be publicly identified this year but the selectors will want to take a look at certain umpires from the [second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP)] and see them tested in Test matches and ODIs". As a result "a number of appointments [will be] given to up-and-coming umps from the [IUP]" in the year ahead.
Australian Bruce Oxenford, fifty, a member of his nation's trio on the IUP, would appear to be one of those on the ICC's emerging list as he has been appointed to next week's Asia Cup series in Sri Lanka (E-News 618-3095 above). Whether Llong and Saheba will still be in the mix is not clear as both were missing from the panel of umpires for this year's World Twenty20 Championship in the Caribbean in April-May, although just what the background to that move by the ICC was is not known (E-News 583-2940, 11 March 2010).
Others who may be given overseas appointments over the next twelve months by the ICC include: Chris Gaffaney, thirty-four, of New Zealand; Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena, thirty-nine; Englishman Richard Kettleborough, thirty-seven; and possibly South African Johan Cloete, thirty-eight, although he currently only occupies a third umpire position on the IUP.
With the exception of Cloete all have played the game at first class level, Kettleborough in 33 matches, Gaffaney (83), and Dharmasena (105, 31 of those Tests). To date the Englishman has stood in 80 first class matches since his debut eight years ago, Gaffaney twelve in the fifteen months since his debut, Dharmasena 26 in the eighteen months following his first, and Cloete 80 in the seventeen years he has worked at first class level.
All four have already umpired overseas. Kettleborough visited the West Indies as part of an exchange program in January 2009 (E-News 374-1994, 18 February 2009), and New Zealand for this year's under-19 World Cup in January as well as an ODI series there in February (E-News 564-2864, 3 February 2010).
Cloete was in Bangladesh last month with the South Africa 'A' side 607-3048, 16 May 2010), and Gaffaney travelled to South Africa on exchange in March (E-News 594-2989, 30 March 2010). Apart from his visits to many countries as a player, Dharmasena has umpired ODIs in Africa and a Twenty20 Internaional in Dubai, and was also chosen to stand in the final of this year's under-19 World Cup (E-News 560-2848, 29 January 2010).
FRY APPOINTED TO THE IUP
Cricket Australia (CA) has nominated South Australian umpire Simon Fry as a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP). Fry's appointment comes after former IUP member Rod Tucker was appointed to the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel late last week (E-News 617-3091, 5 June 2010).
Fry, forty-three, will presumably move into Australia's third umpire spot on the IUP with the current occupant of that position, now Queensland-based Paul Reiffel, taking over Tucker's on-field position on the panel (E-News 617-3094, 5 June 2010). However, CA is yet to publicly confirm that that is the case.
The South Australian's first representative games came late in 2000 in a men's under-19 championship series played in Hobart, and he broke into senior ranks in January 2001 in a one-day interstate match. He made his debut at first class level in January 2002 and has since gone on to stand in 39 such matches, everyone of them in the Sheffieid Shield competition, including this year's final (E-News 585-2949, 15 March 2010), seven of them being at Bellerive.
Fry's List A record now stands at 31 while he has ten matches in the interstate Twenty20 competition, the last of the latter a final of that series (E-News 553-2818, 20 January 2010). Amongst his other achievements are a men's under-19 Test and matches in an ICC World Cricket League tournament.
CA UMPIRE MANAGER TO
VISIT HOBART TODAY
Cricket Australia's Umpires Manager Sean Cary is to visit Cricket Tasmania's headquarters at Bellerive today for discussions with senior staff. Former Western Australia first class player Cary, thirty-nine, who played 39 first class and 16 List A games for his state as a bowler in the period from 1994-2002 (E-News 586-2953, 16 March 2010), is understood to have made similar visits to state bodies around the country since he took up his current position in April.
CHANGES ANNOUNCED TO UMPIRES
FOR AUSSIE-LANKA 'A' SERIES
International appointments have forced Cricket Australia (CA) to make changes to the umpires who will stand in the six-match series between the 'A' sides from Australia and Sri Lanka which gets underway in Queensland on Friday week (E-News 617-3094, 5 June 2010). National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Ian Lock of Western Australia will now stand in one of the two four-day games and his NUP colleague John Ward of Victoria in a one-dayer.
The series between the two sides will involve two four-day games, three one-day fifty-over contests and a single Twenty20 (T20) match. Lock and fellow NUP member Paul Reiffel will now look after the first four-day game in Brisbane before Simon Fry and Reiffel stand in the second four-dayer, the T20 and the first two one-day matches, with Ward working with Bruce Oxenford in the third, the latter after having returned from the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka (E-News 618-3095 above).
Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) member Ric Evans from Western Australia will be the match referee for the two one-day games while his Victorian UHPP colleague Bob Stratford will play the same role in the T20 and one-day games.
CA had to make the changes as a result of the appointment by the International Cricket Council last week of Oxenford to the Asia Cup and Rod Tucker to its Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 617, 3091, 5 June 2010). Tucker was to have stood in one four-day and three one-day games in the 'A' series, while Oxenford will now miss the single four-day game to which he had been appointed.
E-NEWS NUMBER 619
THURSDAY, 10 JUNE 2010
ASIA CUP MATCH
Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford is to stand in four matches during next week's Asia Cup series between Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (E-News 618-3095, 8 June 2010). Oxenford's appointments, along with those of his umpiring colleagues, 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, plus match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, were announced yesterday by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Bowden and Doctrove, both members of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, are to stand in the final, Oxenford being on the field twice with both of them in the six matches that are to be played in the lead up to the decider. Third umpires for the series have not been announced, the ICC saying only indicating that officials nominated by the Asia Cricket Council will fill that role.
The series will take Oxenford's One Day International tally to 16, Pycroft's to 22, Doctrove's to 96 and Bowden's to 148. The Queenslander stood with Bowden in four of the five ODIs played between Australia and the West Indies last February.
'SMITH REVIEW' INVESTIGATION
REMAINS UNDER WRAPS
The findings of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) investigation into the controversial decision to give South Africa captain Graeme Smith 'not out' following a review during a Test match against England in Johannesburg in January still remains under wraps five months after the enquiry was announced (E-News 549-2798, 16 January 2010). Australian Daryl Harper, the third umpire in that match, was accused at the time of having the volume of the stump microphone feed turned down during his assessment, something he has publicly denied (E-News 550-2805, 17 January 2010).
Responding to queries from E-News as to when the report would be released, an ICC spokesman said simply that "there is nothing to announce at this stage". Evidence available suggested that the Australian was not at fault, the latest indication being comments made by ICC's General Manager Cricket David Richardson who last month gave a strong hint that there was a problem with the technology (E-News 61-3059, 24 May 2010).
In the last week of January, the ICC appointed the Chairman of its Cricket Committee Clive Lloyd, a former West Indies captain and later an international match referee, and Brent Lockie, a member of its Code of Conduct Commission and a Disciplinary Tribunal Member for Cricket Scotland, to conduct the investigation (E-News 558-2836, 27 January 2010).
SIX STAND IN AMERICAS
DIVISION 1 TOURNAMENT
Six umpires from three nations stood in the International Cricket Council's Americas Division 1 series played on the island of Bermuda over the last few weeks. The event, which involved teams from Argentina, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, and the United States, was made up of 15 fifty over one-day and 11 Twenty20 games played in the period from 28 May to 6 June.
Umpires involved were Ashook Brijcoomar and Karran Bayney from Canada, Hubert Smythe and Courtney Young of the Cayman Islands, and Bermudans Roger Dill, Steven Douglas, Richard Austin and Anthony Fubler. The first four stood in 8-10 games and the latter two in a single game, although the exact details are not clear as some score sheets available on-line are missing details of who the match officials were.
E-NEWS NUMBER 620
FRIDAY, 11 JUNE 2010
ECB BANS DOUBLE-BOUNCE
DELIVERY, MCC DISAGREES
Plans by Warwickshire to trial the use a double-bouncing ball delivery in a Twenty20 (T20) match against Derbyshire on Wednesday were quashed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which outlawed the delivery, says a report published in the UK newspaper the 'Daily Telegraph' yesterday. Neil Pinner, an off-spinner with Worcestershire's second XI, was said last month to be experimenting with such a ball, his aim being to find a new way to curb the flow of runs in T20 games (E-News 609-3057, 21 May 2010).
Warwickshire bowling coach Graeme Welch is said to have "specifically designed" a two-bouncer for use by seam bowlers. But the 'Telegraph' story by journalist Nick Hoult, states that following a meeting of the ECB's Cricket Committee on Tuesday, instructions were issued to all county coaches and umpires before Wednesday's game that said a double-bounce delivery should be called a 'no-ball' even though it does not contravene the Laws of Cricket. The ECB apparently considers the delivery "inappropriate for the image and spirit of our game".
Welch said he was disappointed at the ECB's ruling and claimed the delivery required skill, just like the switch-hit which the MCC has also deemed to be legal (E-News 259-1409, 18 June 2008). Like that shot "not just anyone can [bowl a double-bouncer] as it takes skill", said the Warwickshire coach, for "the margin of error is small", the trick being to get "the pace right on the second bounce".
Welch is said to have devised the tactic after watching a former off-spinner team-mate bamboozle a batsman with an accidental double-bounce delivery several years ago and has been working in the nets to develop it. “When I saw [that delivery] it set me thinking about whether you could bowl a double-bounce ball deliberately", said Welch, for "as a bowling coach you’re always looking at different ways to confuse the batsmen and make it harder for them to score runs".
While the ECB has issued the ban, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardians of the Laws of Cricket, have given it their blessing, therefore it could still be used in tournaments outside the ECB’s control. MCC Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw was quoted as saying "we don’t think it is against the Spirit of Cricket or contrary to the Laws of the game", and "see it as the same as the switch-hit and unless it changes the balance between the bat and ball we see no reason to change our view".
Law 24 states that "the umpire at the bowler's end shall call and signal No-ball if a ball which he considers to have been delivered, without having previously touched the bat or person of the striker, either (i) bounces more than twice or (ii) rolls along the ground before it reaches the popping crease".
MATCH OFFICIALS FROM EIGHT
NATIONS HEAD FOR EUROPE
Match officials from eight nations are due to travel to Europe to manage internationals played in a variety of formats over the next month, according to the latest appointments released by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Matches involved include a ICC Intercontinental Cup first class game, and One Day Internationals (ODI), including those scheduled in a World Cricket League (WCL) Division 1 tournament in the Netherlands.
Of the eight officials from outside Europe whose appointments were announced, five are umpires and three match referees. One of the umpires is Pakistani Aleem Dar of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, three are from the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka, Brian Jerling from South African and Norman Malcolm of the West Indies, and the other from the world body's third-tier Associate and Affiliates Panel, Buddhi Pradham of Nepal (E-News 618-3096, 8 June 2010).
The match referees are Javagal Srinath of India from the ICC's top panel, Adrian Griffith of the West Indies and Devdas Govindjee of South Africa. Govindjee, 62, played 45 first class matches for Eastern Province from 1971-83, while Barbadian Griffith, 38, played 79 first class games, 14 of them Tests, from 1992-2001, his age suggesting he is a potential future member on the ICC's top match referees group.
Jerling is currently standing in an Intercontinental Cup match between home side the Netherlands and Scotland, his partner being Neils Bagh of Denmark, and that pair will also look after the ODI between the same two sides next Tuesday. Bagh and Jerling have also been appointed, along with seven other match officials, to the eighteen-match WCL ODI-based event, which is to be played in the Netherlands in the period from 1-10 July and features the home side, Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya and Scotland.
Dharmasena, Griffith, Govindjee, Pradhan and Malcolm will join Bagh and Jerling, umpire Ian Ramage of Scotland and match referee David Jukes of England for the WCL tournament. Ramage will 'warm up' for that series when he stands with Dar in an ODI between Scotland and England in Edinburgh on Saturday week, Srinath being the match referee for that game.
While it has not yet been announced, logistics considerations suggest that Dar and Srinath could also be involved in the five ODIs England and Australia are to play between 22 June and 3 July. Four English umpires who will work with Dar and Srinath in that series were selected by the England and Wales Cricket Board earlier this year (E-News 590-2968, 22 March 2010).
Next Wednesday, two of those English umpires, Richard Kettleborough and Nigel Llong, will be in Dublin for the ODI between the home nation and Australia, Chris Broad of England being the match referee.
Match officials for other major international games scheduled for England next month have yet to be announced. The Pakistan Cricket Board is to provide two umpires for the two-match Twenty20 International series between that country and Australia at Edgbaston on 5-6 July, the ICC is to appoint a 'neutral' umpire and match referee for the three-match England-Bangladesh ODI series from 8-12 July, and the ICC again for the two Tests Pakistan and Australia are to play in England from 13-25 July.
Appointments for the Tests depends to a certain extent on whether issues surrounding the use of the Umpire Decision Review System in England for the first time can be resolved by the ICC (E-News 611-3069, 27 May 2010).
DROP IN UMPIRE NUMBERS
CONCERNS YORKSHIRE LEAGUE
With fewer than forty qualified umpires available on any given match day, officials in the Huddersfield Cricket League (HCL) in Yorkshire have appealed to clubs to encourage any of their ex-players to consider taking up umpiring, says a report in the 'Huddersfield Daily Examiner'. HCL Chairman Roger France is said to have told club representatives at a Council meeting that despite recruitment drives, umpire numbers continue to fall.
Trevor Atkinson, the HCL's Executive Secretary and a qualified umpire told the 'Examiner' that "unless we significantly increase our numbers very soon, we shall have a major crisis on our hands". Atkinson said that “the Umpires Association had pledged to supply 45 qualified umpires to man the League each match day, which breaks down to 30 for the 15 First Eleven matches and one each for the 15 Second Elevens games". However, "each week, because of illness, holidays and other commitments, we are now supplying fewer than 40!”, he said.
The League hopes that by appealing to clubs a number of ex-players, or even former umpires, may be persuaded to help out, even if only on an occasional basis.
E-NEWS NUMBER 621
SUNDAY, 13 JUNE 2010
CA GOES FOR ONE-DAY FORMAT,
SPLIT INNINGS TRIAL
Cricket Australia (CA) plans to trial a split-innings format in interstate one-day matches next austral summer (E-News 615-3087, 2 June 2010). Current indications are that the first four rounds of the competition before Christmas will be played under existing playing conditions, with the new format kicking-in for the last six rounds in the new year.
Speaking after a CA Board meeting on Friday, Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said that the split innings concept "provides a mechanism by which the consumer can distinguish the one-day game a little bit more from the Twenty20 format". "There's no doubt that there's some feedback [from the public] that suggests parts of the one-day game are a little bit predictable [and] that's certainly something that we are looking to address", he said.
Sutherland continued by saying that "there's a question about how radically the playing conditions [for the split innings format] may be developed" for the trial and he "honestly doesn't know the answer to that" at this time. Whether each innings will be of 20 or 25 overs duration has not yet been decided, although media reports indicate that teams will resume their second innings from the point where their first innings concluded. The latter is the case in the trial being conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board in a specially arranged county second XI tournament at the current time (E-News 615-3084, 2 June 2010).
CA anticipates finalising playing conditions for the trial sometime in the next few weeks.
QUEEN'S AWARD FOR
DUCKWORTH AND LEWIS
Mathematicians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, who in 1996 created the Duckworth-Lewis system for resetting targets in interrupted one-day matches, were both made MBEs in the Queen's Birthday Honours in the UK yesterday. The citation that accompanies the award to Duckworth says that it is for his services to the "Royal Statistical Society and to Cricket" and that for Lewis "for services to Mathematics and to Cricket".
Duckworth told journalists that he hopes "this award demonstrates to the outside world that the country believes we have made a useful contribution to the game [for] a lot of people haven't actually realised that we are actual people". "It's also nice that the citation mentions services to maths and statistics and that we have made a contribution to their public profile", he continued.
Lewis added that he "was thrilled to get the news and it's very satisfying that our solution to the rain-interruption problem on one-day cricket has been recognised in this way".
KOERTZEN LOOKS TO INVOLVEMENT
IN UMPIRE DEVELOPMENT
South African umpire Rudy Koertzen, who is set to retire from the highest levels of the game next month (E-News 617-3092, 5 June 2010), says he does not plan to leave the game completely and hopes to "somehow continue to work in umpiring, perhaps with Cricket South Africa, to bring young umpires through the system".
Speaking on this week's edition of the International Cricket Council's 'Radio Show', Koertzen says that he is "still very passionate about the game", however, his decision to call it quits is based on the need to spend more time with his family". "I just woke up one morning and realised that I was ready to stop umpiring and travelling and spend time at home with my wife and kids", he said.
Sixty-one-year-old Koertzen indicated that in "the last three to four months" he has increasingly asked himself if he "really want to go out there [in games for] you get to a stage when you think enough is enough". While he "loved travelling [the world], three-to-four months away from home at a time for up to eight months of the year just got to me".
Asked about the highlights of his career, Koertzen focussed his comments on his first Test which commenced on his home ground in Port Elizabeth on Boxing Day 1992, India being the visitors on a tour that marked South Africa's return to international cricket. "I never thought I'd reach that peak in my life", he said, and the fact that his on-field colleague in that match was the late David Shepherd of England, who he described as his "idol", "was an honour".
Of the current world panel, he says that he "particularly enjoyed standing with [Australian] Steve Davis", who he described as "a great umpire and a really nice man to be with on and off the field". The pair have worked together in ten Tests, twice together on the field, seven times when Davis was the third umpire and once when he was the fourth. Second to Davis is "probably [another Australian] Simon Taufel", but "in my opinion "Davis if the one that I would 'take to war', if I can describe it that way".
AFRIDI BACKS DAY-NIGHT
Current Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has backed the concept of day-night Test matches, believing it is necessary for the survival of the longer format of the game. Afridi, who remained in a self-imposed exile from Test cricket for over four years before returning to the five-day format recently, said he wanted to see Test cricket progress.
Afridi said that the Twenty20 (T20) format is giving Test cricket "stiff competition" and the five-day game needed to evolve as well. "When you can have [T20] cricket and 50-overs cricket played under lights why not Test matches?", he asked, and "I think it would increase the crowd participation and increase revenues and viewership for Test matches".
"In this changing world it is necessary to make changes according to the times", said Afridi, for he supports "any move that is aimed at betterment in the sport". Issues such as what colour ball should be used in Test cricket or the playing kits of teams were issues that could be sorted out in time, said the Pakistani.
"When they used white ball for the first time in one-day cricket it took time before things fell into place", he continued, and that it was "necessary for the International Cricket Council and member countries to take steps to ensure that all three formats of the sport survived together and evoked equal interest amongst cricket lovers".
E-NEWS NUMBER 622
TUESDAY, 15 JUNE 2010
MIXED FEED BACK FROM ECB'S
ONE-DAY SPLIT INNINGS TRIAL
Sussex second XI coach Mark Davis says that the one-day split innings format being trialled by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) this year is "very tactical" and is "a good test for the captains and coaches who have to be able to think on their feet and adjust strategies depending on the situation" that prevails. Davis suggests though that if you’re "looking to entertain the crowd a really viable option" would be "something like a Twenty20 Test match, where you get 10 wickets in each innings".
Davis told Cricinfo's Andrew McGlashan that in the lead up to his side's first split innings game "people were quite sceptical and negative about [the new concept], much like they were at the start of Twenty20 cricket, but the games we have played have been quite interesting and different". However, "if a team performs badly in the first 20 overs, [a match] can be dead and it isn't much of spectacle", he said.
Warwickshire second XI coach Doug Brown expressed a similar view to the UK 'Daily Telegraph', saying that a two-innings format is feasible in the long term but that the second innings "may have to be stand-alone" rather than a continuation of the first as is the case in the ECB's current trial (E-News 615-3084, 2 June 2010).
Angus Porter, the head of the UK's Professional Cricketers Association (PCA), told the Press Association that "one thing that is clear is that if you split an innings it is sometimes possible that the result of a one-sided game [becomes] clear much earlier and you know you have a bit of a non-event much earlier in the process".
Score sheets available for eleven of the fourteen games played up until yesterday's semi finals indicate that an average of 78 of the 80 overs available had to be bowled to achieve a result in eight of them, while a ninth ended after 57 overs. The other two, which were both curtailed by weather and were decided by Duckworth-Lewis, involved over totals of 32 and 34, both teams having completed their 'first' innings.
Phil Whitticase, who is in charge of Leicestershire's second XI, told Cricinfo that "some of the supporters who watched [one] game said it was a bit hard to follow with too much chopping and changing" but he thinks "that is something they could get used to". He feels that the break-of-innings concept could even up day-night one-day matches where the toss can have a major influence at grounds affected by dew.
Whitticase also talked about the impact the format can have on a batsman who is in full flight when the first 20 overs ends. "We had a young guy on 48 in the first game when he had stop and field for 20 overs", he said, and then had to "play himself in again, and although he got fifty he said he didn't feel as though he'd really earned it".
The PCA's Porter say that “players are all for innovation", but it needs to be purposeful [and] clear that you’re improving the game" for both players and spectators alike, however, he apparently believes that the playing conditions being used are "unlikely" to be transferred to first XI competitions in the future.
The comments reported in the UK media over the weekend come as Cricket Australia works to formulate arrangements for matches in its own four innings one-day competition in February next year (E-News 621-3106, 13 June 2010).
KOERTZEN GOES INTO PRINT
Soon-to-retire South African umpire Rudi Koertzen has gone into print, his book 'Slow Death' going on sale in his home nation this week, the book's title coming from the slow and deliberate way he raises his left arm to give a batsman out. Given the lead time involved in publishing, release of the book at this time suggests that Koertzen has has retirement in his sights for some time (E-News 617-3092, 5 June 2010)
Publicity for the 272 page paperback, which was written by Chris Schoeman, says that it is "humorous, informative and nostalgic" and takes the reader back to some of the "most important highlights" in the top level of international cricket, including "the controversial side" from match fixing to terrorist attacks and looks at the pros and cons of the Umpire Decision Review System. Koertzen said last week that he hopes to continue to work in umpiring, perhaps with Cricket South Africa, to bring young umpires through the system (E-News 621-3108, 13 June 2010).
The book, whose ISBN is 9781770220799 has been published by Zebra Press, and is on sale in South Africa for R200 ($A30).
NO PLAYER MICROPHONES IN
ODI MATCHES, SAYS ICC
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will not allow broadcasters to strap microphones to players during One Day Internationals (ODI) for fear that corrupt cricketers could send coded messages to illegal bookmakers and gamblers live on air, says a story in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' this morning. Australia's Channel Nine television network is said to be trying to convince the ICC to ease its stance on the issue, but the SMH's Jamie Pandaram says recent controversies surrounding alleged match-fixing and spot-fixing has led to increased resistance.
Concerns about corruption within the game may also lead to the withdrawal of permission for players to wear microphones in Twenty20 internationals (T20I), says Pandaram. Currently players are not allowed to wear microphones in ICC events such as World Cups and Champions Trophy tournaments which have ODI formats, but in bilateral series, host boards are allowed to decide if their players will wear them for the broadcaster.
Networks consider microphone-equipped players "a great tool" that can boost audiences because the viewer can get closer than ever to the action by listening to what players are thinking at crucial stages. Channel Nine has had positive feedback from viewers to players being able to speak while on the field in Twenty20 matches and wants to use the system in ODIs, where ratings are lower.
Nine's executive producer of cricket, Brad McNamara, was quoted as saying that the blockade reflected double standards by the ICC because they allow players to wear microphones in T20Is. ''There is absolutely no difference as far as we're concerned, that is one thing we're going to investigate, we can't see any problems with it", he said, and ''I think it is a little bit overprotective". If the ICC "want to lift their game they need to start thinking outside the box [for] we think they are being overzealous about miking the players", said McNamara.
An ICC spokesman was quoted as saying last night that "we allowed players to wear microphones in [T20Is] in the early days because it was a new form of the game and we wanted to give it every opportunity to succeed". "The [ICC] board can review that decision if it wishes", he said.
E-NEWS NUMBER 623
THURSDAY, 17 JUNE 2010
BROADCASTER PUSHES FOUR FULL INNINGS
IN ONE-DAY SPLIT FORMAT
Cricket Australia's (CA) plan to introduce split-innings one-day games is a positive step but does not go far enough, according to Australia's Channel Nine television network, one of the game's key commercial stakeholders. CA's one-day interstate competition next austral summer will see a trial of the four-innings concept (E-News 621-3106, 13 June 2010), but the broadcaster wants each team to have a full ten wickets available to it each time it goes to the crease, rather than what some reports suggest could be a single innings that is suspended after 20 or 25 overs for time in the field.
Brad McNamara, Channel Nine's executive producer of cricket and a former NSW all-rounder, told the 'Sydney Morning Herald' (SMH) newspaper that a "Test-match Twenty20" format with each team having 20 wickets at its disposal is preferable as "star players" would be given more exposure. "CA were talking about splitting the innings and only having the 10 wickets going over into the next innings, which I must admit doesn't excite us all that greatly", he said. Channel Nine is CA's long-term television broadcast partner and it played a key role in establishing the current one-day format over thirty years ago.
Former Australian player Dean Jones told Cricinfo yesterday that a split-innings in one-dayers "gives the opportunity for a family man who might miss Australia batting in the morning, to see the second part of their innings batting at night". He thinks that would produce "a better game, where both teams have two innings", and in an echo of McNamara's comments said that that way "you get to see Sachin Tendulkar bat twice in the day, and see any great bowler bowl twice in the day".
CA chief executive James Sutherland said on Wednesday said that "we have interviewed a number of key stakeholders" and "a 20-wicket game" is one of the formats that has been put forward.
Reports from the UK last weekend about the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) split innings trial currently being conducted there, contain suggestions that a full two-innings format is the preferable option (E-News 622-3110, 15 June 2010), rather than a continuation of the first innings as is the case with its current experiment at county second XI level (E-News 615-3084, 2 June 2010).
However, Jones and another former Australian player Simon O'Donnell, who also supports CA's planned revamp, both believe it is not just the format but also the amount of 50-over cricket that is a concern, says Cricinfo. O'Donnell thinks that "the game has basically been driven into the ground, something that I hope for the sake of Twenty20 cricket we've learnt our lesson from". Jones concurs, saying that "the International Cricket Council has got to take over the programming and not let countries do what they want with how many one-day games they play".
Former Australian player and now Cricket Australia Board member Matthew Hayden made similar comments, telling the 'SMH' on Sunday that "too much meaningless cricket" is being played at the current time. He wants to see a game "that's exciting, innovative and entertaining" and compared to T20, "one-day cricket [currently] doesn't have the excitement it used to", a view that another Australian player and now selector Merv Hughes apparently doesn't share (E-News 623-3116 below).
PLAYERS MUST UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT
ONE-DAY CHANGES, SAYS PONTING
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said he is open to experimenting with the format of one-day cricket in order to revive its flagging popularity, but that any changes must have the support and understanding of players. Ponting told journalists last Friday that the popularity of the 20-over game around the world has meant that 50-over cricket has "struggled a bit".
While acknowledging the need for change, Ponting cautioned management against too much tinkering. "I've really enjoyed the 50-over game to tell you the truth over the last couple of years", he said, and "for me" it "hasn't dropped off", "but I think it is time for a little bit of tweaking to make it better for everyone around the world to watch".
"We're in a very embryonic phase" at the moment, said Ponting, for "there's so many things they have to think about [such as] powerplays, fielding restrictions, how many overs bowlers can bowl [and] Duckworth Lewis". "Consultation with the players is pretty important in the next step of taking that forward [as] all the players need to be on board as well and understand where they're going and what they're to achieve".
Ponting's ODI team mate Mike Hussey told Melbourne radio station SEN that he's "really keen to stick with the 50-over format" rather than reduce it to 40-overs as has occurred in England and South Africa. "That extra 10 overs is a lot different in the way you go about the game and I'd like to see us stick to the [current over number]".
Another Australian player, Mitchell Johnson said on the Sydney radio station 2UE that he "still enjoying playing 50-over cricket". "Obviously it's been a bit of a problem over the last couple of years [and] I guess they're just trying to look at different ways of improving it", he said.
Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday promised to consult further with its top players about the changes it is currently looking at in the one-day game. CA chief executive James Sutherland said that the "Australian Cricketers Association has seen some of it but the players more broadly haven't and that's something we want to make them more privy to over the next couple of weeks".
ICC CLOSELY WATCHING
DOMESTIC SPLIT-INNINGS TRIALS
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will be keeping close tabs on the outcomes of the trial of a split-innings format in Australian domestic one-day games next February, but its chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, appears confident the current One Day Internationals (ODI) 50-over format remains viable, says a Cricinfo report. The 2015 World Cup, which is to be played in Australia and New Zealand, is reportedly being seen by some as a potential changing point for one-day cricket and Lorgat didn't rule out that a new structure could be in place in time for that competition.
Lorgat told Cricinfo's Andrew McGlashan that the world body hasn't "talked about changing [the ODI] format" and "I'm very confident that you will see an excellent World Cup [next year] which means we wouldn't tamper with [the format] for 2015". However, its "something we will be open-minded about [so] let's see how the domestic trials go, how the  World Cup goes and then we can take a view on it", he said.
Cricket Australia (CA) will begin the trial of a split innings format after its international players have left for next year's World Cup on the sub-continent (E-News 621-3106, 13 June 2010), while the England and Wales Cricket Board already have an experiment underway in a specially-organised competition at county second XI level (E-News 622-3110, 15 June 2010).
"Whilst we are trialling these things at domestic level we are still quite confident that 50-overs at international level will survive", Lorgat said, before going on to say that "any new structure for ODIs would need considerable time to bed in before it was used for a World Cup". While "we have been encouraging members to look at tweaks or fundamental changes to the 50-over format so we can see how it works out, we've always been mindful of giving players sufficient time to become accustomed to whatever changes we might make", he said.
CA chief executive James Sutherland told 'The Australian late last week that he has spoken informally to "a number" of other cricket countries about four-innings one-day cricket. "We've got an [ICC] conference coming up in a couple of weeks and I look forward to talking to my colleagues [there] about that", he said, "particularly those in South Africa and England who have innovated recently with playing conditions [and] I've already had direct conversations with them to get a feel for their thoughts and ideas".
Sutherland said that "we see our one-day domestic competition as a nursery for our players but also a nursery for innovation and new formats that find their way through to international cricket".
'NOTHING WRONG' WITH 50 OVER
FORMAT, SAYS AUSSIE SELECTOR
Australian selector Merv Hughes does not think there is anything wrong with fifty-over cricket and sees no reason to tinker with the format, according to a report distributed yesterday by the Australian Associated Press. Hughes' view is that the traditional form of one-day cricket, criticised for being boring and lacking context, had more substance than the instant gratification of the Twenty20 (T20) game.
Hughes told RTE Radio in Ireland, where the Australian side was preparing for today's One Day International against the home side, that “a lot of people are worried that [fifty-over cricket] will die off but I don't think it will. “A lot of people like the first fifteen overs and the last ten but I'm particularly interested in the overs from 15-40 and the teams that do well there normally win the tight games".
The former Test fast bowler said he did not believe T20 represented the future of the game. That format "is all about wham, bam, thank you and move on to the next game" and he asked whether in five years time "people going to be sick of T20 and [we'll therefore be] looking at 10-10 games just to get it over and done with quicker?"
Hughes views are at odds with his employer Cricket Australia, who last Friday announced plans to introduce split innings for its domestic limited-overs tournament next season, and a number of other current and former Australian players (E-News 623-3113 and 623-3114 above).
FOR 'POOR' T20 PITCH
Hampshire have been penalised two points for producing a "poor" pitch for their Twenty20 (T20) match against Somerset at the Rose Bowl in Southampton last Friday. On-field umpires Jeff Evans, Richard Kettleborough and third official Nigel Cowley said in their match report that the pitch "demonstrated excessive unevenness" and labelled it "poor".
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement that "after considering the pitch reports of the Umpires and after interviewing the Umpires, the Captain and Coach of both teams and the Hampshire Head Groundsman, the Pitch Panel upheld the Umpires' decision that the pitch had demonstrated excessive unevenness and should therefore be rated 'poor' ".
"As a consequence and according to regulations", continued the ECB, "Hampshire are penalised two points, [with the] penalty to be applied to the 2011 T20 competition".
E-NEWS NUMBER 624
MONDAY, 20 JUNE 2010
NAMED FOR 'SHEP'
The Devon County Cricket Club has named its new player development academy after former Test match umpire David Shepherd who died last year after a long battle against cancer (E-News 514-2648, 29 October 2009). Shepherd played for Minor County Devon before moving to Gloucestershire, then turned to umpiring in 1979 when his playing days ended, eventually standing in 92 Tests and 172 One Day Internationals, the latter including three World Cup finals.
Roger Newman, Devon's current director of cricket who was previously the director at Warwickshire's academy, is to head up the new David Shepherd County Cricket Academy, which is expected to operate in a manner similar to academy systems currently operated by a number of first class counties.
England coach Andy Flower has agreed to become the patron of the new academy, and said that "to be asked to be a patron of an academy established in memory of 'Shep' is a great honour", and he is "convinced the [new Academy] will be just as successful and benefit everyone involved in Devon cricket for many years to come".
The academy is be launched during a cricket day that has been scheduled at the North Devon Cricket Club in Instow on 12 September. Shepherd started his cricketing career with the club in the 1950s, from there playing 59 matches for Devon in the Minor Counties championship before his fifteen years with Gloucestershire from 1965-79. He continued his involvement with North Devon throughout the whole of his playing and umpiring career and right up until his death last October.
'ROADSHOW' TO COLLECT PLAYER
VIEWS ON SPLIT-INNINGS CONCEPT
Cricket Australia (CA) has promised to consult with players as it moves to introduce split-innings one-day matches into domestic cricket next austral summer (E-News 621-3106, 13 June 2010). Australia skipper Ricky Ponting reportedly told journalists before his side left for its tour of the United Kingdom last week that players had not been asked their views about the changes CA has mooted.
CA said in a press release issued last Friday that "Australian cricketers’ ideas on reviewing one-day cricket will be captured in a roadshow" that will this month meet Australian Cricketers' Association players from around the nation and the Australian squad in England, to obtain feedback prior to the finalisation of the concepts that will be introduced in to the "new-look" one-day competition.
CA chief executive James Sutherland said on Friday that research has indicated that “the idea of a split innings was popular with fans and we are keen at this stage to look at a 10 wickets-a-side, split-innings concept to see if it is feasible from public, player, broadcaster and commercial partners’ points of view". CA's long-time television broadcast partner and others have pushed the idea that a batsman dismissed in a side's first innings should be allowed to bat again in a team's second time at the crease (E-News 623-3113, 17 June 2010).
Once players' views have been obtained they together with "consolidated public, broadcaster and commercial partner feedback will then go to CA’s playing conditions committee to assess what a new-look, one-day format for interstate cricket next summer should look like".
While CA is moving to finalise its playing conditions for the trial, the final match of the England and Wales Cricket Board's nineteen-game split-innings trial series is scheduled to be played in England later today between the second XIs from Derbyshire and Sussex.
TASSY INSTRUCTORS ATTEND
Eight Tasmanians who are involved in umpire training around the state attended a one-day workshop on presentation and facilitation of educational courses that was conducted by Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire Educator Denis Burns at Bellerive yesterday. Burns was invited to the state to present the workshop by Richard Widows, Tasmania's Director of Umpiring.
Cricket Northwest's David Hudson and Paul Clark and Roy James from the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association in Launceston travelled south for the event, while those attending from the south in addition to Widows were two members of last season's State Umpires Panel, Sam Nogajski and Mike Graham-Smith, plus Steve Maxwell and Brian Muir who look after instruction under CA's National Umpires Accreditation Scheme.
IUP THIRD UMPS USED
FOR ASIA CUP
Third umpire members from Asia on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), all of whom are former first class players in their respective countries, are being used in the television suite for matches in this year's Asia Cup competition in Sri Lanka. The quartet are working with on-field umpires 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia), plus match referee Andy Pycroft from Zimbabwe, in the four-team, seven-match One Day International (ODI) series (E-News 619-3100, 10 June 2010).
With the final of the competition on Thursday to be between home side Sri Lanka and India, Pakistani umpire Ahsan Raza 36, and his Bangladesh colleague Sharfuddoula 33, would appear to be in the running for the television spot if the ICC takes a full neutral approach to officials for that game. Bowden and Doctrove have already been named as the on-field umpires for the decider, and while Oxenford could work as the third umpire, the ICC has in the past stuck with Asian umpires for that position.
Apart from Raza and Sharfuddoula, other IUP third umpire members used in Asia Cup games to date have been Sri Lankan Ranmore Martinesz, 43, and Sanjay Hazare, 49, from India. Hazare, Raza and Sharfuddoula have all made their on-field debuts in an ODI over the last nine months, their match totals to date being four, two and two respectively, but Martinesz's role in ODIs has so far been limited to the television suite.
DAR, SRINATH CONFIRMED
FOR 'ASHES' ODI MATCHES
Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar and Indian match referee Javagal Srinath have been confirmed as the neutral officials for the One Day International (ODI) series between England and Australia, the first game of which is to be played at the Rose Bowl tomorrow (E-News 620-3104, 11 June 2010). The pair are to work with umpires appointed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Ian Gould, Nigel Llong, Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth, during the five matches that have been scheduled (E-News 590-2968, 22 March 2010).
Gould is a colleague of Dar's on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-tier Elite Umpires Panel, while Llong and Kettleborough are on-field members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), and Illingworth is the ECB's third umpire member on the IUP.
The forthcoming series will take Dar's on-field ODI record to 133 games, while Gould and Llong, who are to stand with the Pakistani in two matches a piece, will reach 46 and 35 matches respectively, and Kettleborough, who has been given one game, to six. Kettleborough and Illingworth will each work as the television umpire twice and Gould once. Srinath's total as a match referee will have moved up to 84 by the time the series ends.
After the ODI series the Indian will stay on as the match referee for the two Pakistan-Australia Twenty20 Internationals.
Now eighty-one-year-old former English Test umpire Don Oslear made a return to the middle in a county second XI one-day match last Wednesday when one of the umpires was struck on the ankle by the ball and had to leave the field. Oslear, who was at the ground in an umpires’ assessor roll, had a particularly interesting time as the game between the sides from Durham and Glamorgan ended in a tie when the batsmen ran a bye off the last ball of the match.
Oslear joined the England and Wales Cricket Board's first class umpiring panel at the age of 45 without having previously played at first class level. From 1975-93 he stood in 360 first class and 338 List A games, five of the former being Tests in the period from 1980-84 and eight of the latter One Day Internationals, including the 1983 World Cup semi final at Old Trafford.
E-NEWS NUMBER 625
FRIDAY, 25 JUNE 2010
BATSMAN GETS 'THE BENEFIT', THEN
WALKS ON FIELDER'S ADVICE
A batsman's acceptance of a fielder's advice that a catch had been taken probably cost county side Durham a chance of drawing level with leader's Nottinghamshire in the England and Wales Cricket Board's Twenty20 northern group competition table last Sunday. Durham's Dale Benkenstein was given the benefit of the doubt and awarded a six by umpire Jeff Evans when a catch was taken close to the boundary, however, when the fielder assured the batsman he had caught the ball legally, Benkenstein 'walked', but doubt prevails as to the legitimacy of the dismissal.
Benkenstein was on 40 with his side needing 53 off 29 balls when he pulled a short ball high to the vicinity of the boundary rope where it was caught by Nottinghamshire fielder Alex Hales who, realising he was about to carry it over the rope and thus concede a six, threw it up, turned sharply and when back on the field of play caught it again. Hales "celebrated immediately", indicating that he thought he had caught the ball in a legal manner.
However, Benkenstein stood his ground while umpire Evans and his colleague John Steele in the words of one press report "deliberated for ages" about the situation before Evans eventually signalled six. Despite that Benkenstein ignored his reprieve, walked over to Hales and asked him if he was one hundred per cent sure he caught it legitimately, and when the fielder said 'yes' the batsman left the field.
"I was hoping he’d say he wasn’t sure and [if so] I would have stayed", said South African Benkenstein, for "that’s the way [the game] should be played". "You [have to] try and take the umpires out of it a little bit" in such a circumstance, he said. The last 28 balls of the match saw Durham score 42 runs without further loss, but even so Nottinghamshire eventually won the game by 11 runs.
Benkenstein's team-mates, who were seated on the boundary and are said to have had a good view of the incident, told him later that from what they could see it was a six. While the match was not televised video that was available is said to have appeared to confirm a six should have been scored, although it is said to have been "far from conclusive".
ECB DISCIPLINES FIVE PLAYERS
The England and Wales Cricket Board announced yesterday that five county players have received penalties under its disciplinary code as a result of incidents in matches played this month. Three were penalised for bowling a second accidental high full pitched delivery that resulted in them being disallowed from bowling further in the innings, one for using language that is "obscene, offensive or insulting and/or making an obscene gesture", and the other for "abuse of cricket ground, equipment or fixtures/fittings".
Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Albie Morkel (Durham) and Steven Patterson (Yorkshire) were the bowlers who erred, each being handed three disciplinary penalty points. Grant Flower (Essex) was reported for inappropriate use of language while Paul Harrison (Kent second XI) apparently let his apparent frustrations out on an inanimate object. The latter two players received reprimands, which will remain on their records for a period of two year but any similar breach during the next two years will result in them automatically receiving three penalty points.
RAUF, SRINATH FOR ENGLAND-BANGLADESH
Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf and match referee Javagal Srinath from India will be the neutral officials for England's three-match One Day International (ODI) series against Bangladesh early next month. Rauf is currently in the West Indies for that side's Test series against South Africa (E-News 615-3083, 2 June 2010), while Srinath is working as the match referee for the England-Australia ODIs (E-News 624-3122, 20 June 2010).
During the Bangladesh series the pair will work with English umpires Nigel Llong, Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth who are all members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) (E-News 590-2968, 22 March 2010). The latter three will all work once on the field, in the television suite and as the fourth official during the series. Illingworth's game in the middle with Rauf will be his first top-level ODI in that capacity and second overall, his debut being in Sharjah last February for the day-night match between Afghanistan and Canada.
Illingworth's partner in that Sharjah match was Pakistan's third umpire IUP member Asan Raza who is expected to be in England for the two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) Pakistan and Australia are to play at Edgbaston on 5-6 July. Raza, who was nearly killed in last year's terrorist attack in Lahore (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2010), looks likely to be the third umpire for the T20Is with Rauf and their countryman Aleem Dar, who is currently in the UK for the England-Australia ODIs, the on-field officials. Raza was the third umpire in yesterday's final of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka (E-News 624-3121, 21 June 2010).
So far unconfirmed reports suggest that England's Ian Gould, a member of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is to accompany his South African EUP colleague Rudi Koertzen on the field for the two Tests Pakistan and Australia are to play in England next month. On the other hand basic logistics considerations suggest that West Indian Billy Doctrove, who is currently in Sri Lanka for the Asian Cup, may take part in the Tests on his way back to the Caribbean.
However, if the reports about Gould are correct, he would be the first Englishman to stand in a Test on is own soil since Peter Willey worked with Koertzen in the fifth Test between England and Australia at the Oval in August 2001. Next month's Tests will be the South African's last before his retirement (E-News 617-3092, 5 June 2010).
Whether the Umpire Decision Review System will make its debut in England in the Pakistan-Australia Tests is still not known. The ICC indicated in May that it would consider whether to pursue possible use of the system for that series with UK broadcaster 'Sky' at its Board meeting in Singapore next week (E-News 612-3069, 27 May 2010).
'MENACING' MASKED MEN
Umpires in a Premier Division game on the island of Bermuda last Sunday had play halted for them when two men, with dark visors pulled over their faces and the licence plate removed from their motor bike, rode through the ground. A report in the 'Bermuda Sun' newspaper yesterday says that the incident is an echo of a killing earlier this year when masked gunmen, on a bike with no plates, drove on to a sports field and shot a man at point-blank range.
Witnesses quoted by the 'Sun' said that the driver and his pillion passenger, who the police later described as "menacing individuals", came through the main gate and drove around the field. Players who were near the boundary fled towards the pitch as the men circled the ground, however, the bike departed before the police arrived on the scene. Reports available indicate that there was no clear evidence that the pair were actually carrying a gun.
Nevertheless, Kyle Lightbourne, the captain of the side that was in the field at the time, said that all players were shaken by the incident. “It has definitely had an effect on people, for sure [and] I didn’t think I would ever be close to anything like that", he said. Another witness said it "is worrying because if someone is planning to do something when someone is playing sports, there is not much we can do to prevent it".
Despite those concerns the match resumed after the police arrived the ground and officers remained there until after the game was completed that day.
WEED KILLER CURTAILS
Weedkiller poured on to the square by vandals at a ground in Londonderry in Northern Island this week has precluded any further games being played at the Limavady Cricket Club for the remainder of the northern summer. Club chairman Ivan Lapsley told the BBC yesterday that apart from the disruption to home games the repair bill for the pitch is likely to come in at around £5,000 ($A8,600).
Describing the damage as "mindless vandalism", Lapsley said that when the "grass dies completely, it will make it really dangerous to play on". The entire square will be unusable until next year and that the damage "has dire consequences for [his] club financially" for what were to be home games are "now going to be played away so we won't have any income for three or four months".
The incident has been reported to the police and the club is hopeful security camera footage will help the investigation, says the BBC report.
E-NEWS NUMBER 626
WEDNESDAY, 30 JUNE 2010
BUCKNOR TO JOIN MCC
WORLD CRICKET COMMITTEE
Former West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor has accepted an invitation from the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to become a member of its World Cricket Committee (WCC). Bucknor, who replaces former umpiring member David Shepherd who died last year (E-News 514-2684, 29 October 2009 ), is to attend his first WCC meeting at Lord's this Thursday and Friday.
The MCC says that Bucknor, the current President of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (E-News 433-2270, 6 June 2010), "perfectly fits the requirement that every member of [the WCC] have up-to-date experience of cricket currently played at the professional level". Membership of the WCC is "voluntary and unpaid", says the MCC.
The Jamaican umpired 128 Tests, the highest tally on record, and 181 One Day Internationals. over the twenty years until his retirement last year, the latter format including five consecutive World Cup Finals, another record. He stood with Shepherd in three of those finals.
UDRS TO BE USED FOR
2011 WORLD CUP?
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to confirm tomorrow that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be used in next year's World Cup on the sub-continent, says a BBC report aired overnight. The so far unconfirmed report states that the ICC "may pay" for some broadcasting costs involved, one of the key sticking points in the introduction of the system into all Tests to date (E-News 612-3069, 27 May 2010), in order to ensure all 49 World Cup games are played using a single standard of technology.
Interviewed ahead of the ICC's current "conference week" in Singapore, ICC general manager cricket David Richardson acknowledged that UDRS cost issues had to be addressed. "Where the advertising generated by the broadcaster is quite low, to limit his costs of production the broadcaster may ask the member country to provide full costs of ball-tracking [as supplied by Hawk-Eye] which is about [$A80,000]".
Richardson added that most contracts between broadcasters and ICC member countries pre-dated the advent of UDRS and that getting its World Cup broadcaster, ESPN Star Sports, to agree to provide the necessary technology is also vitally important for the ICC, as the current deal between the two parties does not cover use of the system.
The ICC is expected to formally announce its plans at the end of its conference in Singapore tomorrow.
SPITTING INCIDENT TO
South African bowler Dale Steyn is to be investigated by match referee Jeff Crowe for allegedly spitting in the direction of West Indies spinner Sulieman Benn during the third and final Test in Barbados, according to press reports published overnight. The alleged incident took place as Steyn walked off after he had been dismissed in the morning session on the second last day of the match on Monday.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle told reporters that "we've had a discussion with the on-field umpires and the match referee and they will take this matter up to the next level if they have to". Gayle said the three-match series had been played in good spirit up until the final test "but things got out of hand" in that match. "The series has been a wonderful one, it's just unfortunate that at the end we had a bit of a boil up", he Gayle.
Tempers are said to have also flared on the last day's play overnight when Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis had to intervene to keep the peace after West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach struck Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis on the helmet.
The International Cricket Council has not indicated whether any disciplinary action will be taken over either incident.
END OF JUNE 2010 E-NEWS FILE