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March 09 (378-400)

THE MONTH’S HEADLINES

23 EDITIONS 

(Story numbers 2015-2126)



378 – 2 March [2015-2017]

• Spinner taken off after two 'beamers' (378-2015).

• Bowler's action deemed 'illegal', but still set for WWC (378-2016).

• South African players cop fine, suspension (378-2017).


379 – 3 March [2018-2020]

• Third umpires' interpretation of UDRS replays queried  (379-2018).

• UDRS to alter Test batting technique, says ECB umpire chief  (379-2019).

• England bowler to appealing 'illegal' action finding  (379-2020).


380 – 4 March [2021]

• Pakistan umpire reported critically injured in Lahore attack  (380-2021).


381 – 5 March [2022-2023]

• Raza reported in a 'critical' but 'stable' condition  (381-2022).

• Australian umpires return 'numb' and 'angry' from Lahore  (381-2023).


382 – 6 March [2024-2030]

• TCUSA members to go international  (382-2024).

• Minute's silence, black armbands, for international matches  (382-2025).

• Bangladesh training course postponed due to security concerns  (382-2026).

• 'Hot Spot' to be introduced into UDRS trial (382-2027).

• Appointments for WWC Group stage announced  (382-2028).

• Two over innings tactics aimed at maximum points (382-2029).

• Positive outlook for Hobart weather this weekend (382-2030).


383 – 9 March [2031-2036]

• Raza said to be 'recovering fast'  (383-2031).

• IUP members for Sheffield Shield final  (383-2032).

• Taufel for NZ-India Tests, says report  (383-2033).

• Lahore comments by Davis, Taufel not rational, says ICC Chief  (383-2034).

• Bowden muses on Lahore attack (383-2035).

• Hand signals used in UDRS trial after comms break down. (383-2036).


384 – 10 March [2037-2042]

• ICC Chief a 'bully' for 'not rational' comments, says Hair (384-2037).

• PCB lodges 'complaint' with ICC on Broad's remarks  (384-2038).

• Umpire bush fire victim laid to rest (384-2039).

• Bike accident dents umpire and his season (384-2040).

• Women bowlers reported for suspect actions (384-2041).

• Rain forecast for Saturday afternoon (384-2042).


385 – 11 March [2043-2047]

• Former Pakistan captain defends officials' security comments  (385-2043).

• Three England players facing censure, fines, say reports  (385-2044).

• IPL to proceed, but match officials yet to be named  (385-2045).

• Four Nepalese umpires undertaking Level 2 course  (385-2046).

• Two 'beamers' sees bowler taken off in ODI  (385-2047).


386 – 12 March [2048-2057]

• Reiffel named Cricket Australia's 'Umpire of the Year'  (386-2048).

• Queensland, Victoria win 'Spirit' awards for 2008-09  (386-2049).

• 'We failed cricketers' in Lahore, says Pakistani Minister  (386-2050).

• PCB gives 'clean chit' to Lahore security  (386-2051).

• Taufel meets Lorgat to 'clear the air', return to Pakistan possible  (386-2052).

• Barbados side being investigated for time wasting (386-2053).

• TCUSA Life Member to stand in Thai tournament  (386-2054).

• Panesar fined, Khan reprimanded, for 'excessive appealing' in Test  (386-2055).

• Experts meet to discuss alternatively-coloured balls  (386-2056).

• Rain continues as Saturday's Hobart forecast  (386-2057).

387 – 13 March [2058-2061]

• Davis, Wijewardene named for WWC 'Super Six' stage (387-2058).

• Second analysis clears Razzak's bowling action  (387-2059).

• Disciplinary action stalls, so players set for finals  (387-2060).

• Saturday's weather forecast remains at 'rain developing'  (387-2061).


388 – 15 March [2062-2065]

• WICB won't act on Barbados 'go slow', claims Cozier (388-2062).

• ICC should handle tour security, says Davis (388-2063).

• Bowler's action declared legal by the ICC (388-2064).

• Steady overnight rain ahead of Sunday's TCA matches (388-2065).


389 – 17 March [2066-2072]

• BCCI financial clout behind Test sacking, says Bucknor  (389-2066).

• Tassy 'bottoms out' on CA 'Spirit of Cricket' table  (389-2067).

• Pakistan match officials facing drastic pay cuts  (389-2068).

• New guidelines make pitch preparation more efficient, says ECB (389-2069).

• Match officials for NZ-India Tests, WC Qualifier, still not named (389-2070).

• North Zone players fined for 'unsporting behaviour'  (389-2071).

• Weather looks 'fine' for TCA semi finals weekend (389-2072).


390 – 18 March [2073-2076]

• Gould's EUP selection chances firm (390-2073).

• De Silva named for SAF-AUS ODI series(390-2074).

• Ground off-line for internationals pending remedial work (390-2075).

• IPL's planned second series in doubt (390-2076).


391 – 19 March [2077-2079]

• Slow recovery for umpire Raza  (391-2077).

• Team bus driver rewarded for heroics (391-2078).

• Showers forecast for second day of TCA semis (391-2079).


392 – 20 March [2080-2084]

• Bookings needed 'now' for TCUSA Annual Dinner (392-2080).

• Retirement his own choice, says Bucknor (392-2081).

• Bucknor names Shepherd his 'favourite' umpiring colleague (392-2082).

• Monaro umpires make their point (392-2083).

• Sunday's weather outlook still for 'showers'  (392-2084).


393 – 21 March [2085=2086]

• EUP contender for women's World Cup final  (393-2085).

• TCUSA members set for Grand Finals today  (393-2086).


394 –23 March [2087-2092]

• Range of challenging issues for CA review, planning workshop  (394-2087).

• Raza hopes to leave hospital today, says report (394-2088).

• IPL no longer 'Indian', referees, umpires, still unknown (394-2089).

• Match officials ready, but players 'on strike'  (394-2090).

• Windies loose ODI after Duckworth-Lewis miscalculation (394-2091).

• Initial weather outlook 'good' for TCA Grand Final weekend (394-2092).


395 – 24 March [2093-2100]

• Gould, Hill elevated to ICC's Elite Umpires Panel  (395-2093).

• Tucker makes international 'Emerging Umpire' list  (395-2094).

• Zimbabwean to join match referees group  (395-2095).

• Bucknor's umpiring career honoured during his last Test  (395-2096).

• Davis replaces Dar for last three Windies-England one-dayers (395-2097).

• 'Confusion' as country final ends in a tie  (395-2098).

• CA changes tune on status of hunt for day-night Test balls (395-2099).

• Removal of covers by 'saboteurs' impacts semi final match (395-2100).


396 – 26 March [2101-2104]

• John, Nogajski named for First Grade Grand Final  (396-2101).

• McGann again chosen in TCA Grade 'Team of the Year' (396-2102).

• Umpire, scorer, comments sought on TCA By Laws  (396-2103).

• Grand Final weather outlook continues positive  (396-2104).


397 – 27 March [2105-2110]

• TCA 'Spirit of Cricket' award to North Hobart  (397-2105).

• Limit referral calls to umpires only, says Bucknor  (397-2106).

• Bangladeshi umpire for World Cup Qualifier series  (397-2107).

• Farewell planned for Bucknor before his last ODI  (397-22108).

• Indoor cricket World Cup set for Brisbane (396-2109).

• 'Fresh' but 'fine' for TCA Grand Final start  (397-2110).


398 – 28 March [2111-2117] 

• Coordinated umpiring structure targeted by ACO  (398-2111).

• Top Sri Lanka's umpires' committee has resigned, says report  (398-2112).

• ACO moves to improve member communications  (398-2113).

• Roll out of ACO Level 1 and 2 training programs underway  (398-2114).

• Scorers need parallel incentives to umpires, says letter writer  (398-2115).

• Lady Board member has Test, ODI umpiring experience  (398-2116).

• Sri Lankan for World Cup Qualifier series  (398-2117).


399 – 30 March [2118-2121]

• 'Push' on for day-night Test at Lord's in 2010, says report  (399-2118).

• Compensation announced for Raza, driver's family  (399-2119).

• Illness forces Doctrove from Test match play  (399-2120).

• Second, third-tier ICC umpires for World Cup qualifier (399-2121).


400 – 31 March [2122-2126]

• Bucknor plans plain speaking autobiography   (400-2122).

• TCUSA Annual Dinner draws near (400-2123).

• NTCA 'Umpires of the Year' announced  (400-2124).

• Gilchrist for MCC 'Spirit' lecture  (400-2125).

• Three of four ICC 'emerging' umpires for WC Qualifier  (400-2126).


E-NEWS NUMBER 378

MONDAY, 2 MARCH 2009


SPINNER TAKEN OFF AFTER 

TWO 'BEAMERS'

[EN378-2015]


Former Australian Test spinner Beau Casson was ordered out of the New South Wales attack at the Gabba on Saturday after bowling two head high beamers in the Sheffield Shield match against Queensland.  Visiting South African umpire Brian Jerling, who is in Australian on exchange (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009), called both beamers and asked for Casson's removal after the second.


Casson bowled the first beamer, which was caught by the wicketkeeper above his head, in his ninth over, and two overs later Queensland tailender Chris Swan tried to hit the second only to nick it to first slip.  Jerling immediately called 'no ball' and asked NSW captain Dominic Thornley to bring on another bowler to finish the over..


Media reports say that Casson was only chosen for the Gabba match after NSW paceman Aaron Bird was suspended for an illegal bowling action (E-News 377-2011, 25 February 2009). 


BOWLER'S ACTION DEEMED 'ILLEGAL', 

BUT STILL SET FOR WWC

[EN378-2016]


England women's fast bowler Jenny Gunn has been suspended from Australian State cricket because of an illegal action, but will play in the Women's World Cup (WWC) when it gets underway this week.  The England and Wales Cricket Board said yesterday that Gunn, who plays for Western Australia in the Womens’ National Cricket League (WNCL), failed Cricket Australia doubtful bowling action tests last month.


Gunn, who was reported by umpires in November following the opening two WNCL matches of the season, is believed to have undergone specialist tests at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra in January which found that her elbow extended further than the fifteen degrees allowed under current Laws.  Her suspension at interstate level came into force last Wednesday, although no more WNCL matches are scheduled until the 2009-10 season.


A Cricket Australia spokesman said in a statement that "any player found to have displayed an illegal action is suspended from interstate competitions until she is able to complete a biomechanical analysis that demonstrates her action is legal, but no earlier than ninety days after the date a suspension commences".  That arrangement also applies to men who have been found to have an illegal action (E-News 377-2011, 25 February 2009).


Gunn goes into the WWC with six Tests, sixty-two One Day Internationals and ten Twenty20 internationals to her credit.


SOUTH AFRICAN PLAYERS 

COP FINE, SUSPENSION

[EN378-2017] 


South Africa skipper Graeme Smith has been fined ten per cent of his match fee after his domestic side failed to bowl the minimum number of overs required in a domestic Twenty20 match played in Durban on 18 February.  


Cricket South Africa announced the fine last week, together with the suspension of another national player Robin Peterson who was found guilty of using "crude and abusive" language in a recent match. Peterson, who admitted his guilt in writing, will now miss his side's next two domestic first class matches.



E-NEWS NUMBER 379

TUESDAY, 3 MARCH 2009


THIRD UMPIRES' INTERPRETATION 

OF UDRS REPLAYS QUERIED

[EN379-2018]


The actions of television umpires officiating in Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) trials being conducted in Test matches in Barbados and South Africa over the last few days have been questioned by a range of media outlets.  Most reports queried third umpire interpretation of replays and the advice they gave their on-field colleagues, a key issue in the trial of the system that was highlighted last month (E-News 369-1965, 9 February 2009), but the International Cricket Council (ICC) sees those and other problems experienced as part of the learning process involved in assessing the system.


A report in India's 'Business Day' yesterday said that "despite all the pros and cons, the referral system is undoubtedly bringing a great deal of extra excitement into the Test match arena [by] getting crowds involved, [and] is causing raging debates in the press and on television and radio", so much so that "the sponsors must be rubbing their hands in glee".  Certainly print and electronic media outlets, some of whom normally do not carry cricket stories, have made much of UDRS issues in recent days.


In Barbados the main UDRS interest was on the dismissal of West Indian batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul who was given out LBW by Zimbabwean international umpire Russell Tiffin during the Fourth Test between the West Indies and England.  Some media reports claim that it "was patently obvious to most naked eyes, except those belonging to [Tiffin]", that the ball would have gone over the top of the stumps "by six inches" as the extra bounce of what was a new ball "seemed to be carrying it clear of the stumps".


ICC regulations say that "the TV umpire should have a high degree of confidence that the ball would have made no contact with any part of the stumps or bails in order to report [to his on-field colleague] that the ball would have missed the stumps".  The third umpire is allowed to use slow-motion replays and tracking devices only until the point of impact but not the predictive part of the ball's trajectory.


Chanderpaul immediately asked for a review of the decision against him. "Somewhat surprisingly" according to one report, third umpire Daryl Harper from Australia could find nothing in replays with which to dissuade Tiffin and the batsman was on his way, a decision that saw considerable criticism directed at the television official.  Reports claim that had "the full 'Hawk Eye' replay" been available to Harper in formulating his advice to Tiffin the latter would have revoked his original decision against Chanderpaul.  


Harper was also in the firing line a little later in the game when he recommended the reversal of a 'not out' LBW decision against West Indian Brendan Nash by on-field umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan, a judgement that ended the batsman's innings, but "moments later the viewing public saw a 'Hawk Eye' replay that showed the ball sailing over the stumps", according to one report.  "One error [by Harper with Chanderpaul] might have been excusable, but what followed [with Nash] was not", claimed the 'Business Daily' report. 


Over in Johannesburg in the First Test between South Africa and Australia, Australia's Brad Haddin was given out LBW by New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden when he failed to sweep a ball delivered by spinner Paul Harris.  Haddin asked for a review, and after looking at replays third umpire Asad Rauf from Pakistan "ruled" that the batsman was 'not out'.  Claims were made that Rauf "had added" to the confusion over the referral system" as a result of the advice he gave to Bowden, according to a report distributed by Agence France Presse.


Published stories state that replays showed that Harris' ball pitched on off stump and went straight on and that "when the predictive path was shown to television viewers it showed the ball would probably have hit off stump".  Writing in the 'Nation News' in Barbados about the Chanderpaul decision, journalist Ezra Stuart said that "perhaps the ICC should consider giving the television umpire the full use of technology whereby he would be privy to the projected path of deliveries".


Discussing the Haddin decision, Doug Cowie the ICC's umpires and referees manager who was at the Johannesburg Test, explained to media present that playing conditions did not allow the television umpire to see the predictive path for "cricket people tell us that it is not accurate information".  Cowie also said that the referrals were intended to eliminate obviously incorrect decisions, a point that has been repeatedly made by the ICC.  


Just what Harper and Rauf saw and how they made their decisions has not been made public but despite that Steven James wrote in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' yesterday of Harper's "dreadful decision making" and that "it is not the system that is at fault, rather it is the quality of individual executing it [and] Harper should be relieved of his position immediately [as] he does not look up to it". 


His view was echoed by Stuart in the 'Daily Nation' who claimed that "most umpires" on the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel "are below standard", while Stephen Brenkley in 'The Independent' described the UDRS as "a blot on the landscape, like building a casino in a conservation area", and that reviews took an "interminable" amount of time and are rarely conclusive".  Channel Nine's Andrew McKinley called the stoppages "lengthy and confusing" and pointed out that the UDRS does not have access to the latest technology like his company's 'Snicko' and 'Hot-Spot'.


'Business Daily' said that if "one umpire had four referrals go against him in a game, the ICC would start watching him more closely and, at worst, remove him from their panel, but as umpires are also professionals, that would be tantamount to sacking him and depriving him of a means of earning a living".  "Some might say fine, if he is not good enough, sack him", continues the piece.


While some reports claim that both the South African and Australian players were at times unsure how to use the new system, the 'Club Call' sporting web site says that England off-spinner Graeme Swann backed the UDRS after getting two out of three LBW decisions in his favour in the Barbados Test from what were described as "weak front-foot appeals".  


"In Jamaica [in the First Test] we weren't happy with it, we thought we were on the rough end of a couple of decisions", said Swann, but that "while it's there we intend to use it to our advantage".  He told BBC Sport that "it's a system that will have people arguing over but people have always argued about LBW".  The England side's ultimate boss, England and Wales Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke, said last month that the system currently being used "undermines the authority of on-field officials", and that the third umpire should be able to intervene on his own initiative in case of doubt and that players should not be involved in the process at all (E-News 370-1971, 12 February 2009. 


David Richardson the International Cricket Council's (ICC) General Manager Cricket told a news conference in Lahore yesterday that he accepted some mistakes had been made during UDRS trials, but that the current evaluation is all about trying to find a way of using technology that works because previous trials raised questions and not all the answers were available.


Richardson, a former South African wicket-keeper, said that cricket is the most complicated game to umpire.  "I think using technology has got a mixed reaction, there are people who think, yes we've got to go with the technology, and others say we should revert to the traditions and accept the umpires' decisions no matter what they are".  "Some people say what's the use of the technology if you can't get it one hundred percent correct but my answer is we can never expect one hundred percent correct decisions and if we get close to ninety-eight per cent, it's an excellent result."


According to Richardson the response after the first UDRS trial series had been positive (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008), with the "correct decision percent [going] up from about ninety-three to ninety-eight percent".  According to him that series "proved that [the UDRS] could work without umpires being de-skilled in any way [for] we don't want the umpires just to become coat hangers or ball counters", a general concern expressed by some in the game last year.  Richardson said in October that his "only disappointment" during the first UDRS trial in the Test series between Sri Lanka and India was that the "third umpire ruled the roost" (E-News 331-1744, 17 October 2008).


Richardson concluded yesterday by saying that with UDRS trials due to be completed this month he looks forward to the ICC's Cricket Committee going through "the data" from the matches concerned at its meeting in May.  That group is expected to make a recommendation to the ICC Board on whether the system or something like it will be introduced into Tests on a permanent basis, and possibly in other international matches played in the one-day and Twenty20 formats.


UDRS TO ALTER TEST BATTING TECHNIQUE, 

SAYS ECB UMPIRE CHIEF

[EN379-2019]


Chris Kelly, the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) umpiring director, believes that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is changing the game to such an extent that defensive pad-play will soon be obsolete in Tests, says an article published in the 'Daily Telegraph' in the UK yesterday.  


According to journalist Simon Briggs, Kelly said that "players used to rely on the benefit of the doubt [being applied in an umpire's decision making], but that is becoming less of a factor as more technology comes into Test matches, and that batsmen will now "have to come up with other methods of defence rather than just thrusting a big front pad at the spinners".  


Kelly, who manages the ECB's County umpires, went on to say that "the interesting thing is that you might end up batting with one set of tactics in a Test and another for your County team [when] there are no TV umpires in action".  He is of the view that that situation would be "a little like you have in Rugby Union, where referees from the northern and southern hemispheres have different interpretations [of the rules of the game], and part of the skill is playing the referee".


Asked by Briggs about the recent controversies surrounding the television umpire's role in the UDRS trials (E-News 379-2018 above), Kelly did not want to comment on individuals, however, he did reportedly say that "the one thing that this trial has confirmed for me is that the TV umpire is now just as important as the umpires on the field, so it is vital that you have top-notch people in all three jobs".  


Umpires from the the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel have occupied the television chair in all matches the UDRS trial played and scheduled to date.  The ICC's General Manager (Cricket), David Richardson, said prior to the start of the first trial last year that there may be a case of recalling some "more experienced umpires" to be specialist television officials (E-News 284-1507, 24 July 2008).   


ENGLAND BOWLER APPEALING 

'ILLEGAL' ACTION FINDING

[EN379-2020]


England women's bowler Jenny Gunn, who was found to have an 'illegal' bowling action last week (E-News 378-2016, 2 March 2009), has appealed against the finding.  Reports indicate that Gunn, who the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) says "remains a respected and valued member of the England squad at the Women's World Cup", is said to have the full support of the ECB and Western Australia Cricket Association, for whom she plays in Australia, in launching her appeal.  


Gunn is set to play for England in the Women's World Cup when it gets underway later this week because her ban applies only to domestic cricket in Australia.


E-NEWS NUMBER 380

WEDNESDAY, 4 MARCH 2009


PAKISTAN UMPIRE REPORTED CRITICALLY 

INJURED IN LAHORE ATTACK

[EN380-2021]


Reports from Lahore last night say that Ahsan Raza, the fourth umpire in the now abandoned Second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, was critically injured after being shot in the back during the attack on the Sri Lankan team yesterday.  Raza, Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis, third official Nadeem Ghouri another Pakistani and match referee Chris Broad from England, were traveling in a minibus directly behind the Sri Lankan team's coach, their driver being killed outright in the attack.  


What are said to have been a dozen heavily armed militants used rockets, grenades and AK-47s to attack the Sri Lankan bus as it was being taken by police escort to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for the start of the second day of the Test.  Eight people, five of them policemen, are reported to have died in the incident, and six members of the Sri Lankan squad were injured in what one journalist described as a "Mumbai-like" terrorist attack.  Early this morning Australian time Raza was said to be in a critical condition in hospital. 


Raza, who is thirty-four, played twenty-one first class games in Pakistan for Faisalabad, Habib Bank Limited, Lahore and Sargodha as a wicketkeeper-batsman over a seven-year period that ended in 2000.  His name first appears as an umpire in representative games in 2004 and he made his debut at first class level in November 2006, since going on to stand in thirty-four matches at that level.  Earlier this year he was elevated to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 370-1973, 12 February 2009), and worked as the third umpire in two of the three One Day Internationals played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in late January, his first at international level.


Ghouri said that Raza, who was born in Lahore, was critically wounded in the initial stages of the assault.  A Reuters report quotes him as saying that "it was horrifying [as] there were bullets flying around us and we didn't know what was happening", for "the firing", which came from every direction, "continued for fifteen minutes".  "We all went down on the floor of the coach", runs the quote attributed to Ghouri, but "our driver [was] killed instantly from a shot from the front".  Davis, who like the others in the minibus saw driver Mohammad Zafar die, said quite understandably that he was "lost for words" over the tragedy.


Reports say that after Raza was critically wounded Broad dived on top of him to protect him, a move Ghouri said "was very brave".  Broad is said to have told former England cricketer Dominic Cork that the attack was "the most frightening experience of his life".


After the firing stopped a policeman drove the minibus the 500 metres to the Gaddafi Stadium which was then 'locked down' while security officials planned their next move.  The latest reports indicate that an Pakistani Army helicopter was used to airlifted the Sri Lankan players, Broad, Davis and Taufel from the stadium to Lahore airport from where they were to fly to Abu Dhabi, although details of those arrangements have yet to be confirmed.  Ghouri, like Raza, was born and lives in Lahore. 


The ICC's Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement issued yesterday that the world body notes the events in Lahore "with dismay" and that it "condemns [the] attack without reservation".  “It is a source of great sadness that there have been a number of fatalities" and "is also very upsetting for the wider cricket family that some of the Sri Lanka players and one match official have been injured".  


"Until the full facts of the incident are established and the players and match officials have returned home safely, the ICC will make no further comment", said the statement. 


The Sri Lankan team had only agreed to play the Test series in Pakistan, the first there for fourteen months, as replacements for India, who pulled out amid deteriorating diplomatic relations following the Mumbai terrorist attacks.  Prior to that Australia had refused to tour late last year and the Champions Trophy series that had been scheduled there was cancelled  Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad told Reuters "that all the fears expressed by foreign teams about coming to Pakistan have been proved correct" and that "Pakistan cricket will take a long time to recover" from this.


Members of the New Zealand and Indian teams wore black arm bans as a mark of respect for those lost and injured in Lahore during the second half of the opening One Day International of their five-match series that was played in Napier yesterday.


E-NEWS NUMBER 381

THURSDAY, 5 MARCH 2009


RAZA REPORTED IN A 'CRITICAL' 

BUT 'STABLE' CONDITION

[EN381-2022]


Pakistan umpire Ahsan Raza, who was shot in the upper body during the terrorist attack in Lahore on Tuesday, is reported to be in a "critical but stable" condition in intensive care this morning, according to the latest reports from the sub-continent.  Raza underwent "major surgery" thirty-six hours ago to repair a collapsed right lung and ruputured liver, a procedure that a hospital spokesman is said to have described as successful, but the thirty-four-year-old is expected to remain under intensive care until at least the weekend. 


Raza was travelling in a mini bus to the Gadaffi Stadium on Tuesday morning for the third day of the Second Test between the home side and Sri Lanka with Australian umpires Simon Taufel, Steve Davis, Pakistani Nadeem Ghouri and match referee Chris Broad from England, when terrorists opened fire at both the Sri Lankan team coach and their vehicle (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).  


Mohammad Zafar, their driver was shot dead and International Cricket Council liaison officer Abdul Sami Khan was hit in the left shoulder but is said to be recovering well.  Six policemen and two civilians died and seven of the Sri Lankan team were injured in the attack which was carried out by "around a dozen gunmen". 


In a report published last night, Reuters quoted Davis as saying that "[Broad was] actually was lying on the floor next to Ahsan and when Ahsan [was] hit blood was gushing out of him [so] Chris tried to apply some pressure to the wound [to] stem the flow of blood".  Davis indicated on arrival in Melbourne this morning that Raza had been hit after he had thrown himself on the floor of the van (E-News 381-2023 below).


Broad told BBC Radio yesterday that nothing had seemed out of the ordinary before the attacks. "The roads were blocked off as normal and there were lots of police around", he said, but "when we got to a roundabout about half a mile from the ground, things changed".  "Initially there was what I would describe as a popping sound", continued Broad, but "it didn't seem to me that there was rifle fire.  The Englishman said that Raza then called out "get on the floor, get on the floor", so all five in the back of the van did just that, although Khan was shot before he could do so and the driver was hit fatally before he could move.  


AUSTRALIAN UMPIRES RETURN 'NUMB' 

AND 'ANGRY' FROM LAHORE

[EN381-2023]


Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis, who were caught in the terrorist attack in Lahore on Tuesday, flew into Sydney and Melbourne respectively this morning.  While the pair, who will reportedly be interviewed by Australian Federal Police officers about what they saw, are physically safe, they now have to deal with the psychological aspects of their terrifying ordeal. 


Davis, who is scheduled to stand in the Women's World Cup this month (E-News 376-2007, 23 February 2009), told a media gathering at Melbourne airport that he needs time to think through his experience.  "I try to think what my feelings were and I don't know", he said.  "I think I'm still numb [and] I'm fully expecting to crash at some stage but not in front of you people I hope".  He said that he realised very quickly just how serious the attack was when his bus driver was shot dead (E-News 381-2021 above).


Taufel told reporters in Sydney that he did not know why he was still alive.  "I can't explain why I'm here [as] there is no reason for [the umpires and other staff] to still be here".  He stated that he and his colleagues were left "helpless" and completely alone as bullets rained on their van, and that while he was relieved to have got out alive he is angry he and the other umpires were stranded in a "war zone".  "Obviously they'll investigate those issues [but] what I can tell you this morning is that we were isolated [and] not given the same security and the same attention as the playing staff were", said Taufel.


While the driver of the Sri Lankan team's coach is credited with saving lives when, despite a hail of bullets, he drove his vehicle to the Gadaffi Stadium, the match official's mini van remained where it was because the driver had been killed.  Davis said that "the driver's foot was lodged on the accelerator and it was revving at a million miles an hour", but "eventually a police officer came from somewhere, dragged the driver's body out, and drove us at top speed to the stadium".  "There's a bit of anger there that we were let down", said Davis, and he believes that the attack has changed the face of cricket.


Taufel's father Roger is said by the 'Southern Star' newspaper this morning to have stated that his family had discussed the possible dangers of going to Pakistan before his son left for the country a couple of weeks ago.  Last year Taufel expressed confidence over security issues in Pakistan (E-News 289-1533, 3 August 2008).  "We discussed some of the possibilities [but] he felt [the risks were] reasonable risks", runs the report.  Taufel senior said that his son was very shaken, but "he’s resilient, he’s a dedicated family man [but his future involvement] depends how the International Cricket Council treats [the attack]".


Meanwhile Australia's the Special Broadcasting Service said in a report from the UK posted on its web site this morning that on his return home late last night Australian time, match referee Chris Broad also expressed concerns about the the lack of security that left players and officials to fend for themselves in the wake of the Lahore ambush.  "We were promised high level security and in our hour of need that security vanished and they left us to be sitting ducks", the former England batsman said.  


Pakistani authorities have reacted angrily to Broad's claim saying police officers laid down their lives to help.  "It was precisely because of police valour and bravery that the Sri Lankan team and the international umpires survived", said Lahore city police chief Habib-ur Rehman.  "Police engaged the attackers for thirty minutes [and] did not let the terrorists achieve their objective of killing the foreigners".


Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), is also said to have responded angrily to Broad's statement, asking "how can he say that when six policemen died in the attack?" 



E-NEWS NUMBER 382

  FRIDAY, 6 MARCH 2009


TCUSA MEMBERS TO GO INTERNATIONAL 

[EN382-2024]


Three TCUSA umpiring members will go international next month when they officiate in three matches between the Australian and Indian Under 19 sides that are to be played at Bellerive between 7-14 April.  The series involves two one-day games, one on 7 April and the other two days later in the lead up to a three-day match which is to start on 12 April.


Tasmanian State Umpires Panel members Steven John, Sam Nogajski and Nick McGann are to officiate in the matches, while Cricket Australia's Umpire High Performance Manager David Levens will again be in the state to observe their performance.  McGann is to stand with John in the opening encounter, and then Nogajski and John will be on the field together in the other two matches.  The latter is not entirely unfamiliar with international cricket having previously worked as the fourth official at both Test and One Day International level at Bellerive.


John, who recently received an Australian Sports Commission scholarship (E-News 369-1963, 9 February 2009), topped the list of appointments from the emerging umpires group for one-day interstate domestic competition this season (E-News 369-1966, 9 February 2009).  He has had a solid umpiring work program in both Tasmania and interstate in the eight months since taking part in his second Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) last July (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008).   


Nogajski has twice travelled interstate on umpiring duties over the last six months, the first with John to Queensland for a pre-season competition involving State sides (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008), and the second to Newcastle for the men's Under 19 national championship series, which like the EPT is a key Cricket Australia event for emerging umpires (E-News 357-1903, 5 December 2008).  Both he and McGann, who took part in this season’s men’s Under 17 national tournament in Perth, stood in Cricket Australia Cup matches for state Second XIs this season, Nogajski making his debut in that competition.


Scorers have not yet been appointed for the three games.


MINUTE'S SILENCE, BLACK ARMBANDS, 

FOR INTERNATIONAL MATCHES 

[EN382-2025]


A minute's silence will be observed, and players will wear black armbands, at the start of international matches that are scheduled to be played in four different nations over the next few days as a mark of respect for those who were killed or injured during Tuesday's terrorist attack in Lahore on the Sri Lanka national squad and match officials.


The matches involved include today's Second One Day International in Wellington between New Zealand and India, the Second Test between South Africa and Australia in Durban and the Fifth between the West Indies and England in Trinidad which both start tonight Australian time, as well as Women's World Cup games that are to be played in Australia over the weekend.


Haroon Lorgat, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Cricket Council, said in a statement issued today that  "what happened this week in Lahore has shocked and saddened not only the entire cricket community but also those with little or no interest in the game".  "We hope that through these gestures of the minute's silence and the wearing of black armbands we can let those who have lost loved ones or who are suffering know that the thoughts and prayers of the cricket world are with them", he continued.


Meanwhile, the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) says in a message posted on their web site that it is "appalled" at the "tragic loss of life and injury sustained [in the] terrorist attack", an event that "is almost impossible for us to comprehend either now or in the future".  


David Gilbert, Cricket NSW's Chief Executive Officer, has offered his organisation's full support for NSWCUSA Life Member Taufel  from now on as he moves to recover from the events in Lahore.  NSWCUSA Executive Officer Darrell Hair also offered the full support of his members and the Association's Board.


BANGLADESH TRAINING COURSE POSTPONED 

DUE TO 'SECURITY CONCERNS'

[EN382-2026]


Security concerns forced Cricket Australia (CA) to postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date the five-day Level one Umpire Course that was to have been run by its Global Development Program (GDP) in Dhaka, Bangladesh this week.  The decision, which is believed to have been taken after CA received advice from the Bangladesh Cricket Board, was made after one of the Asian nation's Army units mutinied over a pay and conditions, an event that reports indicate resulted in the violent deaths of around 100 people.  


The course, which was due to have got underway last Sunday, was to have been run by CA's Denis Burns, who is its Umpire Educator (E-News 271-1901, 5 December 2009), and GDP manager Ross Turner, plus Darren Goodger and John Evans from the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA). They all cancelled plans to fly into the country as soon as CA made its decision, and while Evans has since returned to Australia after running a course in Thailand, Burns, Goodger and Turner are to travel to Kuala Lumpur to run a six-day Level two Umpire Course for the Asia Cricket Council which is due to start next Tuesday.


In a report posted on the NSWCUSA web site this week, Goodger said from Bangkok that he and Burns, who had been working there with Evans, were fine and "being well looked after as we go about completing whatever work we can, but obviously upset by the events which led to the postponing of the program in Dhaka".  Goodger also said that he was "relieved to know that the umpires [who were to have attended the Dhaka course] and their families were not involved in any of the bloodshed".


It is not known at this stage what impact the unrest will have on the GDP's program of umpiring courses that are scheduled for Dhaka next month.  An 'Elite Umpire Course' is currently scheduled for 2-8 April, a Level three course from 21-27 April and an Umpire Assessor and Selector Course on 28-29 April.  Burns, Goodger and Turner plus at least one other person were to have travelled from Australia for those three events. 


Over in India, Dav Whatmore, the Director of Operations at India's National Cricket Academy, is to conduct a three-day Level B refresher course for umpires in Kolkata starting next Wednesday.  Media reports say that twenty-six umpires from thirteen different associations are to participate in the course.


CA's GDP is to conduct two umpire-related courses in India between now and mid-year.  A seven-day Level 2 Umpire Educator Course is scheduled for Mumbai from 25-31 May, while a six-day Level 2 Umpire Course is set for Bangalore from 3-8 June.  Burns, Goodger and Turner are believed to be listed for those programs at this stage.


'HOT SPOT' TO BE INTRODUCED 

INTO UDRS TRIAL

[EN382-2027]


'Hot Spot' technology will be included in the gadgetry available for decision-making in Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) trials for the first time during the Second Test between South Africa and Australia which is scheduled to get underway in Durban tonight Australian time.  Australian captain Ricky Ponting criticised officials for not using the infra-red imaging system during the first Test last week.


In response to questions about 'Hot Spot' from a Reuters' journalist, South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who is reported to be pleased that particular technology will be available for the final two Tests, said on Wednesday that "it's very difficult to pick up those slight edges, or whether you've nicked it or not, whether you've hit your pad unless you've got the proper technologies".  Most pundits appear to believe that 'Hot Spot' is generally able to detect whether the ball has struck the bat or not, and that it will prove useful for decisions referred on catches and LBWs.


Talking more generally about the UDRS trial, Smith, whose side along with his Australian opponents are experiencing the system for the first time, said that at this stage he remains unconvinced about it.  "I just couldn't seem to get it right so I'm a bit more sceptical and frustrated about it", said the skipper.  Indian players had similar problems during the first UDRS trial in their series against Sri Lanka last year, although reports at the time suggested that their opponents had thought more carefully about it and journalists claimed they had obtained considerable tactical advantages as a result (E-News 291-1543, 8 August 2008).


The South African captain said that his concerns were "probably because our percentages were so low in terms of decisions going our way" and that "it's frustrating when all the technology is not there".  Ponting said the new system put extra responsibility on the shoulders of the skipper.  "It's a real challenge for the captain because you have to talk to your wicketkeeper, bowler, first slip or the other batsman very quickly", he said, for "it all happens so quickly ... you only have a few seconds to decide what to do".


Despite his inexperience with the new system Ponting said that he was satisfied with it in the opening Test.  "I think it worked well [although] obviously because the decisions went more in our favour", he said.  "We must remember it is still a trial [and that] when the third umpire came in, there were some negatives and some positives, [therefore] we shouldn't expect every decision to be perfect but hopefully it eradicates the really obvious mistake".


Referrals have been the source of much debate in the current Test series between the West Indies and England (E-News 379-2018, 3 March 2009), and Ponting is said to have stated that he thinks "it was used better in our game than in the West Indies" for "it looked like there were some pretty ordinary decisions made [in the Caribbean]".  "Our game seemed to have good, common-sense decisions [and] it worked okay", he said.


Asad Rauf of Pakistan and 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand will be on the field for tonight's Second Test with West Indian Steve Bucknor in the television suite for only the second time in a Test, and Jeff Crowe of New Zealand the match referee (E-News 375-2001, 19 February 2009).  The match will be Bucknor's second-last at Test level before his retirement from international cricket late this month (E-News 376-2004, 23 February 2009).  

APPOINTMENTS FOR WWC 

GROUP STAGE ANNOUNCED

[EN382-2028]


Twelve of the thirteen umpires named for the Women's World Cup (WWC) last month (E-News 376-2007, 23 February 2009), have been appointed to the week-long, twelve-match Group stage of the competition which is to get underway in Bowral in New South Wales and Canberra tomorrow.  Australian international umpire Steve Davis, who returned home just yesterday following the terrorist attack in Lahore (E-News 381-2023, 5 March 2009), will not be standing in the first leg of the tournament, and whether he will participate in the second or 'Super Six' stage is not known at this stage.      


Two of the dozen umpires named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday, Tony Hill of New Zealand and Gerard Abood from Australia, have been each allocated three matches as on-field officials, while Australians Andrew Craig, Mick Martell and Tony Ward, Kiwi Kathy Cross, Shahul Hameed from Indonesia, Neil Harrison of Japan and Sarika Prasad from Singapore, also have three appointments, although one of theirs is as the third umpire.  South African Brian Jerling will be on the field for two games over the next week.  


Of the others, Jeff Brookes (Australia) and Lakani Oala (Papua New Guinea) also have three games, one being on the field and the other two as third umpire.  Three members of the New South Wales State Umpires Panel (E-News 318-1658, 24 September 2008), Michael Kumutat, Graeme Redman and Peter Tate, will work as fourth umpires, Redman twice and the other two once each, all of their games being televised ones at the North Sydney Oval.


Of the on-field umpires named, Hill and Jerling are members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Hameed and Prasad its third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel, Oala and Harrison its East Asia Pacific reqion Umpires Panel, Brookes, Craig, Martell and Ward Australia's National Umpires Panel, and Cross of New Zealand's Regional Panel. 


David Jukes from England will be the match referee for the Group stage and will then hand over the charge to Brian Aldridge of New Zealand who will be the match referee for the Super Six stage and the final.  Both the referees will oversee matches at the North Sydney Oval.


Details of who will be supporting the series as scorers have not been made public by the ICC.

 

TWO OVER INNINGS TACTICS 

AIMED AT MAXIMUM POINTS

[EN382-2029]


With the finals of the 2008-09 season in south-west Victoria due to get underway tomorrow week, sides from Cobden and Terang who are currently outside 'the final four', each declared their first innings' closed after just two overs last weekend in a bid to obtain maximum championship points. 

The tactics, which the Warrnambool newspaper 'The Standard' described as "bordering on unsportsmanlike", proved ineffective, as Noorat who are fourth on the table also secured an outright victory in a more standard way and thereby maintained their points lead and place in the 'four'.  Whether the Cobden-Terang declarations were part of an arrangement between the two captains or not was not made clear by the newspaper.  


Somewhat ironically, Cobden are due to play Noorat in the final home-and-away match of the season tomorrow.  'Standard' journalist Shane Fowells wrote on Wednesday that Cobden captain-coach Matt Harkin "might now be regretting the move, given he will be in the firing line against a spirited Noorat this weekend".


POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR HOBART 

WEATHER THIS WEEKEND 

[EN382-2030]


This morning's outlook for Hobart weather over the coming weekend, two days that will see the opening day of the final home-and-away matches of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's 2008-09 season, is for fine and conditions with a top temperature on both days put at nineteen degrees Celsius.


A light shower of two may be present in the Hobart area today in the south-west stream behind the low pressure system that brought rain and strong winds to the area over the last few days, and the prognosis weather chart for 10 a.m. on Saturday morning shows the top end of a cold front positioned across north-east Tasmania, so it is possible grounds may be slightly damp that day if there has been any overnight precipitation with the passage of the front.


TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games this weekend can keep a close eye on the weather forecast for the weekend this evening and again on the mornings of their matches by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.


E-NEWS NUMBER 383

   MONDAY, 9 MARCH 2009


RAZA SAID TO BE 'RECOVERING FAST'

[EN383-2031]


Pakistani umpire Ahsan Raza, who was critically injured in last week's terrorist attack in Lahore, is "recovering fast" according to brief comments attributed to Australian international umpire Simon Taufel by the Kolkata newspaper 'The Telegraph' over the weekend.  Details of Raza's condition in recent days has only been available via occasional but very limited media reports, there being no mention of how he was progressing in the seventeen press releases that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued since the attack six days ago, four of which dealt with the Lahore atrocity.


Raza was shot in the upper chest and suffered a collapsed right lung and ruputured liver and was in intensive care for several days (E-News 381-2022, 5 March 2009).  Taufel is said to have stated that the information he had on the Pakistani's health status had not come from Raza's family but rather from "other colleagues in Pakistan".  New Zealand international umpire 'Billy' Bowden told 'The Dominion Post' on Saturday that news on Raza'a condition was "encouraging" (E-News 383-2035 below).


Writing in the UK's 'Daily Telegraph', journalist Steven James said that Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar, who is in Trinidad for the Test series between the West Indies and England, "cut a worried figure" last week as "continually checked on [Raza's] progress" as he is a "close friend".  


Russell Tiffin, Dar's Zimbabwean colleague in the Caribbean at the moment, was said by James to be "wondering how fate had treated him so kindly [for he] was supposed to have been umpiring in Pakistan, but the ICC made a late swap with Australian Steve Davis", although just what caused that change hasn't been made public.


There has been no further news of the condition of ICC liaison officer Abdul Sami Khan who was in the front seat of the minivan and was shot in the left shoulder, but reports late last week suggested that at that stage he was recovering well.  Six policemen and two civilians, including the driver of the team officials' van, were killed in last week's attack.


IUP MEMBERS FOR SHEFFIELD 

SHIELD FINAL

[EN383-2032]


Two Australian members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) were last night named by Cricket Australia (CA) as the on-field officials for this year's Sheffield Shield final which is due to start in Melbourne on Friday.  Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel will both be on the field for the first time in a Shield final, and will be supported by Ian Lock a Western Australian member of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) in the third umpire's position.


For Oxenford, who made his first class debut in November 2001, it will be his forty-fourth match at that level, and Reiffel's twenty-eighth since his first in December 2004.  The Victorian is, however, no stranger to Shield finals for he played in three for Victoria in 1991, 2000 and 2001, but was only on the winning side once.  For Lock, it will be the first time he has worked in the television chair in a first class match, although he has notched up seven in one-day matches, one of those being the final of the Australian one-day domestic competition in 2003.


Last night's appointments suggest that Oxenford, Reiffel, Lock and fellow NUP member Rod Tucker from New South Wales who is also a IUP member, are at the top of CA's senior umpiring list at the moment.  Tucker is unavailable for the final as he will be in South Africa as part of an umpiring exchange program, the first of the two first class matches he has been appointed to being scheduled to get underway this Thursday (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009).


Bob Stratford, a member of Cricket Australia's Umpire High Performance Panel and the International Cricket Council's Regional Umpires' Performance Manager for the Pacific, has been appointed as the match referee for this week's final, while David Levens will be CA's Umpires High Performance Manager on duty. It will be the second time that Stratford, who umpired twelve first class games during his career, has worked as the match referee in a Shield final, the first being in 2004.  He has also been the match referee in four other Shield matches.  


The five-day match, which will be between Victoria and Queensland, is to be played at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, the MCG not being available because of a benefit concert that is planned there for the Victorian bush fires.


TAUFEL FOR NZ-INDIA TESTS, 

SAYS REPORT

[EN383-2033]


Australian international umpire Simon Taufel is to stand in the three-Test series between New Zealand and India which is due to get underway on Wednesday week in Hamilton, according to articles published in newspapers in Australia and India over the weekend.  Reports indicate that Taufel was interviewed by the Australian Federal Police on Friday about last Tuesday's terrorist attack in Lahore (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009), and that he is to "recuperate" with his family on the Gold Coast this week where he, his wife and children will undergo "counselling". 


Taufel's father Roger was quoted by the Gold Coast Bulletin as saying that his son is still angry after he was left to fend for himself during the attack alongside fellow Australian umpire Steve Davis and match referee Chris Broad from England (E-News 381-2023, 5 March 2009).    Reports from the sub-continent claim that they, along with Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan who was on the player's bus, have "fuelled speculation" that the gunmen who launched the deadly terror attack were acting on inside information.  An unexplained five-minute delay in the Pakistani team schedule and the level of security by Pakistani authorities are behind the growing conspiracy theories.


Taufel told 'The Times' of London that while the two teams had travelled to the stadium together on the first two days of the match, on Tuesday they made the journey separately.  "One thing I have been impressed about in Pakistan is that logistically they are usually very well organised [for] they normally depart on time", ran the quote attributed to him.  "We knew we were departing at 8.30 a.m. on the third morning [of the Test and as] to why the Pakistani team left at a different time, I don't know", he said.


In a separate interview Muralitharan also questioned whether the terrorists had inside information.  "Somehow in this incident there were no Police with guns on the bus" and if there had been someone "with a gun we would have had a chance of defending ourselves", he said.  "Normally all the buses go and we have four or five escorts [but] maybe [the attackers] knew the information for the right time".  International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat last night rejected the notion that a conspiracy was involved (E-News 383-2034 below).


The Test series in New Zealand will bring Taufel's tally in that form of the game to fifty-eight.  He has previously stood in two Tests in New Zealand, but none of his 139 One Day Internationals (ODI) to date have been on grounds across the Tasman.  


Indian journalist Lokendra Pratap Sahiif asked Taufel during a telephone interview on Saturday if he will have "a degree of uneasiness on the first morning" of the Test next week.  The Australian is said to have replied that "it will be like any other assignment and I’ll be preparing myself with positive thoughts".  Taufel senior was quoted by the Gold Coast newspaper as saying that his son "won't get shot over there".  


Just who Taufel's on-field colleague for the three Tests will be is yet to be announced by the ICC.  South African Rudi Koertzen, who needs just one more Test to reach the 100-game mark, is currently in New Zealand as the neutral umpire for the NZ-India ODI series, but whether he will stay on for the Tests is not known at this stage (E-News 375-2000, 19 February 2009).


LAHORE COMMENTS BY DAVIS, TAUFEL 

NOT RATIONAL, SAYS ICC CHIEF

[EN383-2034]


International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Haroon Lorgat has claimed that Australian umpires Steve Davis and Simon Taufel need time "to be more rational" about the Lahore terrorist attack, according to a range of media reports published following a press conference he gave in Sydney last night.  Davis, Taufel, and English match referee Chris Broad have all been scathing of the Pakistani security forces after feeling they were left for dead in last Tuesday's ambush by heavily armed gunmen (E-News 381-2023, 5 March 2009).


Lorgat is said to have told reporters that the trio needed time to calm down and consider what had happened.  He is said to be "mindful of the experience they have gone through" and acknowledges that it is a difficult time for them".  "I guess if you or I had gone through something we might have reacted in a similar fashion and I think we must just understand the context and allow them to settle down and be more rational in their assessment of what has transpired", runs the quote attributed to him.


The ICC CEO said that he doesn't believe in the conspiracy theory floated by Broad when he questioned why the Pakistan team bus, which normally travelled with the Sri Lankan and official's coaches to the Gadaffi Stadium each day, was delayed and left seven minutes later (E-News 383-2033 above).  "My first reaction is that I do not believe that [situation] was part of a conspiracy but], if that is indeed the case we are in for a very sad period", but he thinks the situation was "pure coincidence."


Lorgat was described by some reports as "guarded" in his response to questioning over whether Broad, Davis and Taufel could be punished by the ICC for their comments which brought an angry backlash from Pakistan cricket authorities.  "I don't want to respond in an equally knee-jerk fashion [as] I think we must just let settle what has happened", he said.  "We must be very cool, calm and collected" in our response to the situation, said Lorgat.


Lorgat said the events in Lahore had meant that cricketers were potential terrorist targets in every corner of the globe.  "I think anywhere in the world is a target, it is a question of degree and we will do assessments of all our venues", for in his view no "particular country is spared".  Lorgat said that Broad, Davis and Taufel will be asked to report on what happened in Lahore to next month's scheduled ICC Board meeting, a separate report from Dubai overnight suggesting that Broad has been asked to actually attend to discuss the issues involved.


Writing in London's 'Daily Telegraph' on the weekend, journalist Steven James states that Australian Reg Dickason, who he describes as "a sporting security adviser par excellence", described a security plan drawn up for an England tour of Pakistan last year that was eventually cancelled as "leaving a lot to be desired".  According to the 'Daily Telegraph', Dickason's experience on three previous tours was that "the protection that had been promised has not been delivered", something Broad, Davis and Taufel claimed last week, and that "the safety of the players cannot be guaranteed".


Stevens wrote that "the image of [the match official's] white minibus shamefully left isolated will linger long [as] will the thought of deaths in that attack".   "It is all still a blur" he says, "but cricket will recover [for] is too noble a game not to, its just that it might be a little different from now on".


BOWDEN MUSES ON 

LAHORE ATTACK

[EN383-2035]


New Zealand international umpire 'Billy' Bowden, who is currently officiating in South Africa (E-News 375-2001, 19 February 2009), told 'The Dominion Post' over the weekend that he would continue to stand in matches on the sub-continent as long as his employer, the International Cricket Council (ICC), assured his safety.  Bowden is reported to have said that that ICC makes "no official stand in a place where he doesn't want to or feel safe going to", but that he can "understand totally" the concerns expressed by his match official colleagues involved in the Lahore attack.


The 'Post' quotes Bowden as saying that "it is impossible to imagine the enormity of what the officials in that minivan went through" and that he is "just thankful" that those involved emerged physically unscathed and that the news of the one umpire who was seriously injured, Ahsan Raza, appears to be "more encouraging".  Bowden said he had spoken to Broad, and had contacted Taufel and Davis by e-mail.  "As a colleague and friend, I'm just so grateful that they came out of this situation alive [for] moments like this remind you how precious life is, doesn't it?"


Bowden is said to realise how easily he could have been in the officials' minivan for he could have been handed a tour of duty in Pakistan.  "It's a sobering thought", said Bowden who was said to be reflecting on the fate that sent him to South Africa instead of Pakistan.  


Three of Bowden's fifty-seven Tests to date have been played there, the last in November 2005, and he has also visited for One Day Internationals, and he has "greatly enjoyed umpiring in the sub-continent over the years and experiencing their culture".


The New Zealander was reported to be confident that the ICC would make "the right decision" about whether to go ahead with plans to hold the 2011 World Cup in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  "If it's safe to go ahead then they would do so, I'm sure, only on the basis of a pretty thorough security plan", and he gave as an example the world body's decision late last year to postpone the Champions Trophy after concerns were raised about safety.  "The ICC has shown they do listen to these types of concerns", said Bowden.


HAND SIGNALS USED IN UDRS TRIAL 

AFTER COMMS BREAK DOWN

[EN383-2036]


Third umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan had to use hand signals to advise his on-field colleague Russell Tiffin of Zimbabwe of just what he observed on television replays after a referral during the Fifth and final Test between the West Indies and England in Trinidad on Friday.  Reports are suggesting that Tiffin's radio had developed a fault and that Dar had to move to a balcony near his television suite to pass on his advice.


West Indian bowler Brendan Nash thought he'd made the vital breakthrough when Tiffin's finger went up for an LBW shout against England batsman Kevin Pietersen on the third ball he faced in his innings.  However, it only took one replay to confirm that the ball had pitched outside the line of leg stump and therefore the appeal was null and void.



E-NEWS NUMBER 384

   TUESDAY, 10 MARCH 2009


ICC CHIEF A 'BULLY' FOR 'NOT RATIONAL' 

COMMENTS, SAYS HAIR  

[EN384-2037]


Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair yesterday labelled Haroon Lorgat, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Officer, a "bully" for telling match officials caught in the Lahore attack to be "more rational" about their experience (E-News 383-2024, 9 March 2009).  Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis believe that Pakistan security failed to protect them when gunmen opened fire as they travelled behind the Sri Lanka team bus last Tuesday (E-News 381-2023, 5 March 2009).


An Agence France Presse (AFP) report last night described Hair as "furious" at Lorgat's comments for he is said to be of the view that both Australians had appeared measured and rational when commenting on the attack last Thursday, an event that left eight Pakistanis dead, including the driver of the match official's minivan, seven Sri Lankan team members and an umpire wounded, the latter critically (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).


AFP says that Hair told them in an e-mail that "no one could possibly comprehend the frightening and life threatening nature of the predicament [Davis and Taufel] found themselves in".  "For Mr Lorgat to blandly ask them to be 'more rational' I think [smacks of] bullying and [suggests that the ICC] are embarrassed that the full truth of the situation [regarding security] came out into the open".  


In a reference to how the ICC dealt with him in the past over the 'ball tampering' affair in 2006 (E-News 140-758, 22 November 2007), Hair went on to recommend that Lorgat go on a management course to help him understand his role as head of the ICC and his organisation's duty of care to players and officials, which it had "clearly failed to provide on this occasion".  "I wonder if Mr Lorgat would be making his shallow and insincere comments if it had been he trapped in a hail of bullets and felt abandoned by the very security forces that were supposed to protect them", Hair said.  


Hair, who is now Chief Executive of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, a group of which Taufel is a Life Member, described Lorgat's comment that the umpires were going through a difficult time as "the biggest understatement of all time" and questioned the ICC chief's assertion that "cricket must go on in Pakistan".  "Does someone have to die before ICC even remotely begins to understand the reality of the matter?", Hair said .


"Quite simply, the ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) totally failed the Sri Lankan players and the umpires, full stop", continued Hair.  "It is one thing to provide security and protection but another to actually be secure and protected", concludes the AFP article.  Australian security expert Reg Dickason was said in an article in London's 'Daily Telegraph' over the weekend as saying that his experience in Pakistan was that "the protection that had been promised [on previous tours] has not been delivered" (E-News 383-2034, 9 March 2009).


Meanwhile, PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt, who has written to the ICC regarding comments made by match referee Chris Broad about security lapses (E-News 384-2038 below), told BBC Radio yesterday that he expects teams to tour Pakistan in "six to nine months" and is also confident that Pakistan would remain a co-host of the 2011 World Cup.  


Butt said that he would expect the Pakistan government to guarantee visiting teams' security for he "would want us to get security to a level that would be a guarantee from my government that no such incident like this could happen again, or I will not invite anybody".  "If they cannot then we will not have cricket in Pakistan at all", he said.  


ICC president David Morgan had said earlier that "it would seem the level of security was not as expected" at the time of last week's terrorist attack.  A Pakistan government spokesman said on Sunday that it would conduct a judicial inquiry into the Lahore attack. 


PCB LODGES 'COMPLAINT' WITH ICC 

ON BROAD'S REMARKS

[EN384-2038] 


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has lodged a formal complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against match referee Chris Broad from England who criticised security after last week's terrorist attack in Lahore, says a report published by Agence France-Presse (AFP) this morning.


PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt has written a letter to the ICC that calls Broad's remarks “unwarranted”, PCB chief operating officer, Saleem Altaf, told AFP.  “He should have given his reaction in the official match report rather than going public", Altaf quoted Butt as telling the ICC. 


Broad told reporters in Britain after returning from Lahore last Tuesday that television footage showed there was “not a sign of a policeman anywhere”, leaving him and fellow officials “sitting ducks” (E-News 381-2023, 5 March 2009).  “It is a big lie that there were no policeman [and] we will lodge a protest with the ICC", said Butt at the time.



UMPIRE BUSH FIRE VICTIM 

LAID TO REST

[EN384-2039] 


Russell Pitt, an umpire with the Ferntree Gully and District Cricket Association in Victoria, who died when fire destroyed his home last month while he was taking a break from fighting that state's massive bush fires, was laid to rest  last Thursday.  Family, friends and more than 120 of his Country Fire Authority (CFA) colleagues, attended his funeral in Ferntree Gully.  Pitt, who was a volunteer fireman with the CFA member for over ten years, was described as “a very honest gentleman”, “quiet and unassuming” with a “quirky sense of humour”.


BIKE ACCIDENT DENTS UMPIRE 

AND HIS SEASON

[EN384-2040]


Tasmanian State Umpire Panel member Jamie Mitchell is out for the rest of the season after suffering serious injuries in a bicycle accident whilst he was visiting Canberra two weeks ago.  His injuries include two fractures in the clavicle, a cracked sternum, two cracked ribs, cracked scapula, severe whiplash and internal bruising, along burns from sliding along the road after coming off his bike. 


Mitchell hired a mountain bike to ride to the top of Black Mountain where the views from a major communications tower are impressive, but on the way down he lost control of the bike as it left the bitumen and slid just in front of an oncoming car, but he says that he remembers nothing of the accident itself.  He is now sporting a neck collar and sling and is expected to have to wear them for the next six weeks and is on "a constant diet" of pain killers.


Unfortunately the injuries mean that his umpiring for the 2008-09 summer is over but he looks forward to catching up with all TCUSA members at next week's meeting.


WOMEN BOWLERS REPORTED 

FOR SUSPECT ACTIONS

[EN384-2041]


England fast bowler Jenny Gunn and Sri Lankan off-spinner Rose Fernando were both reported for suspected illegal actions following the Women's World Cup (WWC) match between the two sides at Manuka Oval in Canberra last Saturday.  Umpires Gerard Abood of Australia and Kathy Cross of New Zealand are said to have raised concerns over Gunn’s short-pitched deliveries and Fernando’s quicker balls.


Gunn, who plays for Western Australia in the Women's National Cricket League, was found by Cricket Australia to have an 'illegal' bowling action last month and suspended from interstate matches after undergoing specialist tests (E-News 378-2016, 2 March 2009), but has appealed against the finding (E-News 379-2020, 3 March 2009)


The International Cricket Council said in a statement issued last night that both the England and Sri Lankan cricket boards will be advised of the reports, asked to instigate an immediate assessment of their bowler’s action, and to arrange for the undertaking of any remedial action required by the player concerned.  They are then required to report back formally to ICC as to what action has been taken, and the results.  


The ICC says that both bowlers may continue to play and bowl in international cricket until the required assessments have been completed, which will presumably not be until after the WWC ends in twelve days time.


RAIN FORECAST FOR 

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

[EN384-2042]


Rain in expected to develop in Hobart as a cold front approaches the city on Saturday afternoon according to the latest forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology this morning, while Sunday will see a 'few showers' in the area.  At the moment the Bureau is looking at a maximum of twenty two degrees Celsius on Saturday and nineteen on Sunday.


TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games this weekend can keep a close eye on the weather forecast for the weekend at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.


E-NEWS NUMBER 385

   WEDNESDAY, 11 MARCH 2009


FORMER PAKISTAN CAPTAIN DEFENDS 

OFFICIALS' SECURITY COMMENTS

[EN385-2037]


Pakistan's cricket officials should analyse the security loopholes pointed out by match referee Chris Broad and umpires Steve Davis and Simon Taufel following the Lahore terror attack instead of criticising them, says that country's former captain Mushtaq Mohammad.  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has lodged a formal complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC) against Broad after he criticised the security support provided to match officials last week (E-News 384-2038, 10 March 2009). 


A 'cricketnext.com' web site story quotes Mushtaq as saying on Monday that he doesn't "think we need to get emotional [but] we must understand the emotional trauma these people and the Sri Lankan players and officials have been through".  He said that instead of lashing out PCB officials needed to take stock of the entire episode calmly as in Mushtaq's view the match official's claims are not without basis.


Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss has also defended Broad, being quoted on the 'cricinfo' web site yesterday as saying that "all Chris Broad [and] the other officials [have done] is tell the truth as they saw it".  "I can understand the PCB's point of view [regarding Broad]", said Bayliss, for "they would be very disappointed they are not going to have too much cricket in Pakistan for the next few years [and] are trying to limit the damage, but in hindsight there simply wasn't enough [security]".


"Security measures were certainly less than when [we] were there for the Asia Cup last July and when we [were] there for the one-day series [in January before [the attack], and also probably different between Lahore [for the second Test] and [the first Test in] Karachi", Bayliss told 'The Australian' newspaper.


Meanwhile former Sri Lankan international umpire Peter Manuel, who is now the ICC's Asian Regional Umpires' Performance Manager (E-News 262-1417, 26 June 2008), and was present in the minibus when it was attacked in Lahore last week, has told the Sri Lankan media that he was "infuriated" by the fact that no effort was made by security officers to ensure the safety of the officials' van. 


Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's Chief Executive Officer claimed on Sunday that Davis and Taufel need time "to be more rational" about the Lahore terrorist attack (E-News 383-2024, 9 March 2009).   He was described by some reports at that time as being "guarded" in his response to questioning as to whether Broad, Davis and Taufel, and presumably now Manuel, could be punished by the ICC for their comments on security, remarks that brought an angry backlash from the PCB. 


THREE ENGLAND PLAYERS FACING CENSURE, 

FINES, SAY REPORTS

[EN385-2038]


England players Stuart Broad, Monty Panesar and Amjad Khan are all facing punishment as a result of their on-field actions during day three of the final Test against the West Indies in Trinidad, according to press reports from the Caribbean.  The three England bowlers are believed to have been asked to front match referee Alan Hurst from Australia and journalists say they expect them to be fined for their behaviour.


Broad, who is the son of International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad, is said to have been charged with dissent for reacting badly when Australian international umpire Daryl Harper called him for bowling a wide. The young paceman had a day earlier criticised match officials in the media for making what he considered were some bad decisions during the Test.  Spinner Panesar and fast bowler Khan were both reported for excessive appealing, with Test debutant Khan having run down to fine leg to celebrate a 'wicket' even though Harper had not raised his finger.


Both Broad and Panesar have been ticked off by umpires before for appealing too strongly but this is the first time either has been charged.  Last year Panesar was asked by his captain to apologise for what 'The Independent' said at the time was his "endless appealing" to Harper on the last day of the First Test between his side and South Africa at Lord's (E-News 277-1478, 16 July 2008). 


The London newspaper 'The Sun' reported on Monday that Panesar was "unable to control his emotions after [Zimbabwean international umpire Russell] Tiffin turned down a string of appeals and his captain Andrew Strauss dropped a catch off his bowling".  The bowler was said by 'The Sun' to be "going bananas at times and waving and leaping around like a demented performing seal", and that "Strauss needed to intervene and tell [his bowler] to stop behaving like a muppet". 


IPL TO PROCEED, BUT MATCH 

OFFICIALS YET TO BE NAMED

[EN385-2039]


Indian Premier League (IPL) organisers have confirmed that their Twenty20 tournament will be played across eight Indian cities over a fourty-five day period commencing on 10 April, says an Agence France-Presse report yesterday.  IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said on Friday that "we want to assure cricket fans and everyone involved with [the] event that the IPL is on", and that "there's no reservation about security [for] we have our security experts in and [are] holding discussions with them".  


No details of just who the match referees and umpires will be for this year's tournament have ben released to date.  Seventeen umpires were used for on-field positions during the IPL's inaugural six-week series last year, six being Indians, three South Africans, two each from Australia and Pakistan, and one each from England, New Zealand, the West Indies, and Zimbabwe (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008).  


Most of the match officials who worked on IPL contracts during the series were from the International Cricket Council's top-level 'Elite' umpire and referee panels, and second-tier International Umpire Panel.  It seems likely that those groups will again be targeted by IPL organisers for the 2009 tournament.


FOUR NEPALESE UMPIRES 

UNDERTAKING LEVEL 2 COURSE

[EN385-2040]


Four Nepali Cricket umpires are taking part in the six-say Level two umpires course that Cricket Australia is running for the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in Kuala Lumpur this week (E-News 383-2026, 6 March 2009).  Nepalese press reports state that the ACC has a policy of giving level two training to umpires from that country who get marks of eighty-five per cent or above in their level one exam, although whether that is correct is not certain. 


The four who are currently in Malaysis are Nath Subedi, Ram Kailash Yadav, Basudev Lal Karna and Manjul Bhattarai.  To date more than twenty Nepalise umpires are believed to have been awarded a Level one qualification, with Buddhi Bahadur Pradhan, Satyajit Sarkar, Binay Jha, Sameer Khan, Manihar Adhikari, Sanjay Gurung and Adip Pradhan having already completed level two.  Pradhan is a member of the International Cricket Council's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel.


Cricket Australia (CA) ran a six-day umpire program for sixteen people in Kathmandu late last year (E-News 322-1688, 3 October 2008).


TWO 'BEAMERS' SEES BOWLER 

TAKEN OFF IN ODI

[EN385-2041]


Indian seam bowler Munaf Patel was ordered out of the attack by South African umpire Rudi Koertzen after bowling two high full tosses during the forty-fifth over of New Zealand's innings in the One Day International (ODI) between the two sides in Christchurch on Sunday.  Off-spinner Yusaf Patel bowled the remaining four balls of the over and managed to capture the wicket of batsman Kyle Mills.



E-NEWS NUMBER 386

THURSDAY, 12 MARCH 2009


REIFFEL NAMED CRICKET AUSTRALIA'S 

'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR'

[EN386-2048]


Former Australian player turned umpire Paul Reiffel was yesterday presented with Cricket Australia's (CA) 'Umpire of the Year' award in recognition of what the national body says was his "exceptional season at both international and domestic level".  Reiffel, who played thirty-five Tests for Australia in the 1990s and is being described by CA as "an umpire on the rise", was elevated to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) last October following the retirement of Peter Parker (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008). 


In the four months since his promotion, Reiffel has made his debut both on the field and in the third umpire's box in a One Day International (ODI), in the latter position in a Test match, and on the ground in two Twenty20 internationals.   CA says that the forty-two year old "complimented these achievements by strong performances in interstate cricket, a record that includes the final of the domestic one-day competition and, starting tomorrow, the Sheffield Shield final (E-News 383-2032, 9 march 2009).. 


Reiffel made his first-class umpiring debut in 2004-05 and joined the National Umpires Panel (NUP) the following season and going into the Shield final has officiated in twenty-seven first-class games. In 2007 he umpired both the one-day and Twenty20 interstate domestic finals and was the television official at Bellerive in February last year when Tasmania won the 2008 domestic one-day final. As a player he was involved in a total of 167 first-class matches from 1987-2002 and ninety-two ODIs.


The Victorian, like his IUP colleague Rod Tucker, who will take the field in a first class match in South Africa later today Australian time as part of an exchange program (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009), was brought into NUP ranks via CA's Project Panel, a group that is designed to provide "fast-track" access for former players to umpiring ranks.


QUEENSLAND, VICTORIA WIN 'SPIRIT' 

AWARDS FOR 2008-09

[EN386-2049]


Sheffield Shield finalist Queensland was yesterday awarded the Benaud 'Spirit of Cricket' Award for this season's men's interstate championship, while in the Women's National Cricket League it was Victoria, who was a finalist in that competition, that was recognised with the award.  The awards were introduced six years ago as part of Cricket Australia’s (CA) commitment to improve the 'spirit' in which the game is played at all levels throughout Australian male and female cricket.  


The awards are named in honour of Lou, Richie and John Benaud for their collective contributions to Sydney, New South Wales and Australian cricket.  Richie, whose combined media and playing role has spanned more than fifty years, presented this year's awards.


A perpetual trophy, which is housed at CA's Melbourne headquarters, is engraved annually with the names of the winning men’s and women’s senior interstate teams.  Each winning team receives an individual trophy and the captains of the winning sides receive an individual medal of the same design.


At the end of each game during the season, the officiating umpires issue points on a 3, 2, 1, 0, -1 basis on the conduct of all members of a team, with sides rewarded for displaying the true spirit, traditions and values of cricket.  For the men Sheffield Shield votes are given a 3:1 weighting, in the one-day competition 2:1, and the Twenty20 series 1:1.


'WE FAILED CRICKETERS' IN LAHORE, 

SAYS PAKISTANI MINISTER

[EN386-2050]


Pakistan's Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani says that inadequate security had been provided to the Sri Lankan cricket team and match officials who were attacked in Lahore last week.  The Minister's comments, which were reported by Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper yesterday, mark the first time that a Pakistani government official has accepted blame or offered an explanation as to just how such a situation was allowed to develop, but differ significantly from the views of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) (E-News 386-2051 below).  


Journalist Jamie Pandaram reports Jilani as saying that the security team on duty on the morning of the attack was distinctly smaller than previous convoys, thus confirming comments made by Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss earlier this week (E-News 385-2043, 11 March 2009).  That, indicated Jilani, allowed the attackers to pepper the convoy with bullets and create death and mayhem without being challenged.


The Sports Minister said that his government "is very alive to whatever mistakes have occurred [for] there were lapses, [but] I assure you it will not happen again".  According to him the security cover for the players and officials was "entirely a provincial responsibility" and not that of the Pakistani Government, a situation that occurred even though all touring sides are made promises of protection by national bodies.  The Federal Government would now control all security for visiting sports teams with input from provinces, said Jilani, but "whatever happened has happened, [and] we must now look forward", he said. 


The Sports Minister rejected claims by match referee Chris Broad and others that members of the security force or government knew of the impending attack and that a conspiracy was involved (E-News 383-2033, 9 March 2009).  Jilani's view supports comments made by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat (E-News 384-2034, 10 March 2009), however, the Minister's statement about responsibility will negate the PCB's complaint to the International Cricket Council about Broad and his colleagues comments regarding security (E-News 384-2038, 10 March 2009).


The 'Herald Sun' story says that Jilani faces the difficult mission confronting the Pakistani government and the PCB in convincing other nations it is safe to play there, a guarantee given before only for players and match officials to escape death "by sheer good luck and clumsiness on the part of the terrorists".  


"We will use persuasive diplomacy in our negotiations with the ICC and our fellow cricketing nations [to host international matches in future, but] we have to deal with this situation patiently", said Jilani for "we want to keep our matches in the World Cup".  "We are all friends in the cricket community and we must have trust in each other", he said.


PCB GIVES 'CLEAN CHIT' TO 

LAHORE SECURITY

[EN386-2051]


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given a "clean chit" to the security provided to the visiting Sri Lanka team and match officials in a report that the 'cricketnext.com' web site says was submitted to the Board's chief patron, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as well as his government's sports' ministry.  Despite the PCB's reported positive report, Pakistan's Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani has acknowledged that there were defficencies in security in Lahore last week (E-News 386-2050 above). 


'Cricketnext.com' says that the PCB's report "was sent directly to the President and [his] sports ministry without waiting for an official word from the government investigating agencies".  "Sources" in the PCB were said to have stated that the report was "the Board's take on the whole incident".  "Basically in the report the Board has condemned remarks made by match referee Chris Broad that the security arrangements for the visiting players and officials were inadequate", said one source (E-News 384-2038, 10 March 2009).  He is said to have stated that the Board "expressed satisfaction with the security provided by local authorities".


The report is also believed to say that Nadeem Ghouri, who was the third umpire for the Test that was then underway and was in the officials' mini van when it was attacked, as stating that had it not been for the bravery of the security personnel who were accompanying the convoy of Sri Lanka players and match officials, more lives would have been lost in the attack.  If true, Ghouri's comments run counter to those of others in the vehicle who talked of being "abandoned" by security officials, and even accused one of attempting to hid in the van rather than confront the attackers.


TAUFEL MEETS LORGAT TO 'CLEAR THE AIR', 

RETURN TO PAKISTAN POSIBLE

[EN386-2052]


Australian umpire Simon Taufel met International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat in Sydney on Monday to "clear the air" regarding the public comments he made on last week's terrorist attack in Lahore.   On his arrival home in Australia both Taufel and his umpiring colleague Steve Davis expressed their anger at what they saw as a lack of security (E-News 381-2023, 5 March 2009), Lorgat later describing their comments as "not rational" (E-News 384-2037, 10 March 2009), but the Pakistan government has now admitted there were security lapses (E-News 386-2050 above). 


Press reports state that Taufel, who is said to have sought the meeting with the ICC Chief, gave Lorgat a "graphic description" during what was a two-hour meeting of how he and his colleagues lay on the floor of a mini bus after they were ambushed and the van was peppered with bullets (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009). 


'The Australian' newspaper quoted Taufel as saying that "Haroon and I talked about the experience of Lahore, but more particularly we talked about the broader picture and what the ICC could do to deal with the issues involved".  "It's got implications for how the ICC operates in future", said the umpire, for in his reported view the attacks were a clear indication of how the world body has been managing the game in recent times.


Meanwhile in a separate interview with Christian Nicolussi of Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph' that was published yesterday, Taufel is said to have "revealed" that he is prepared to return to Pakistan for future cricket matches.  Taufel said he still had a love of Pakistan and wouldn't dismiss future postings, commenting that "you can never say never", when asked about a Pakistan return.


"I've always had a genuine love for Pakistan and it's been one of my favourite places to go", runs the quote attributed to the umpire, for "the people are warm and hospitable and I'd never had a bad experience until last week".  But, he said, "it's a hypothetical question [as] for each tour you have to look at what's best for the athlete and what's best for the family".


"From Pakistan's perspective, hopefully cricket can return to that country as soon as it's practically possible", said Taufel.  The problem of terrorism "won't go away [and] is here to stay" and "we now have to work out a better way of responding to these risks and managing them [as] there's no use sticking our heads in the sand".  Taufel said he loved cricket too much to retire and wanted to see the game "grow and prosper".


BARBADOS SIDE BEING INVESTIGATED 

FOR 'TIME WASTING'

[EN386-2053]


The West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) is currently investigating a match referee's report that alleges that the side from Barbados was guilty of time wasting on the final day of its first class fixture against Trinidad and Tobago (TT) earlier this month.  TT needed to score 142 in the final innings of the match to secure an outright victory, however, Barbados only bowled twelve overs in ninety-nine minutes, a time period that teams playing under Tasmanian Cricket Association regulations would be expected to deliver around twenty-six overs. 


The 'Cricinfo' web site says in an article posted yesterday that umpire Basheer Ali, who was standing in his second first class match, "warned [Barbados captain Jason Haynes] on three occasions for time wasting".  Law 42.9 requires that a captain initially be given a "first and final" warning for time wasting by the fielding side, while for second or subsequence occurrences the umpire either awards five penalty runs to the batting side if the offence occurs between overs, or if it happens during an over the bowler delivering it is taken off and cannot bowl again in the innings.  


The score sheet for the match does not indicate that any penalty runs were awarded, and those who bowled in the innings all delivered complete overs, facts that suggest from a distance that the penalty clauses of the Law may not have been applied by Ali and his colleague Vernon Weekes.


The WICB said in a statement earlier this week that it "has received a report from match referee Sadick Mohammed alleging that the Barbados captain and team had breached Law 42 as it applies to time wasting" and that its "disciplinary committee is currently in the process of addressing this report in a methodical and thorough manner".


During the twelve overs it faced in its second innings, TT scored at over eight runs per over, and if it had continued at that rate it would needed to have faced a total of eighteen overs to win outright.  As it was the match was drawn, for fielding side Barbados is said to have "complained about a light that was switched on in the adjoining Petrotrin Refinery", and in 'Cricinfo's words "refused to play".  


After a "long deliberation" Ali and Weekes, the latter officiating in his ninth first class match, called off the match at 6.03 p.m. local time.  Whether they were of the view that Barbados "refused to play" is not known.


TCUSA LIFE MEMBER TO STAND 

IN THAI TOURNAMENT 

[EN386-2054]


Long-serving and TCUSA Life Member Don Heapy and former member Paul Edwards are to travel to Thailand in early April to again stand in the Hua Hin Sixes tournament which is to be played at the Dusit resort from 5-10 April.  Both Heapy and now Canberra-based Edwards umpired in last year's series which involved teams from Australia, Hong Kong and Thailand. 


Edwards told E-News that after the sixes the pair are to head for Malaysia and then Vietnam for what he describes as "rest and recreation", although in the latter they also hope to be able to stand in a Saigon Cricket Association (SCA) league match at the the Saigon Cricket Club.  


Reports from Vietnam indicate that the four-year-old SCA competition involves six teams playing in a twenty-five over format.  It is said to be like a "mini world series" with two teams made up of Indians, and the others Australians, Englishmen, Sri Lankans, and a mixed team of "Pakistanis-Kiwis-South Africans".


PANESAR FINED, KHAN REPRIMANDED, 

FOR 'EXCESSIVE APPEALING' IN TEST

[EN386-2055]


England spinner Monty Panesar has been fined twenty-five per cent of his match fee for "excessive appealing" during the Fifth Test against the West Indies in Trinidad.  Panesar's team mate Amjad Khan was given a reprimand for a similar offence while Stuart Broad was cleared of publicly criticising match officials (E-News 385-2044, 11 March 2009).  


Match referee Alan Hurst from Australia found Panesar guilty of repeatedly celebrated a dismissal before the decision was made by the umpire.  Hurst said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after a hearing into the matter that “Monty Panesar is a very enthusiastic and exuberant bowler and there is nothing wrong with that but on this occasion he has gone too far".  


 “On more than one occasion during day [four of the Test] he began celebrating a prospective dismissal rather than appealing... ...thereby not showing due respect for the role of the umpire", said Hurst, who continued by saying that Panesar "is an experienced player who should know this action is not in the spirit of the game".


Hurst also found fast bowler Amjad Khan guilty of excessive appealing after he celebrated a dismissal before the decision was made by the umpire, however, Khan was only reprimanded for, as the match referee interestingly put it, it was the bowler's first Test match and he was "willing to accept that [Khan] didn’t fully appreciate the importance of adhering to the ICC Code of Conduct".  Exactly what the logic was behind that statement was not mentioned.  


Khan is said to have apologised for his actions to the umpire concerned immediately after the incident and again at the hearing.  "It was an isolated incident but at the same time he has to learn that all players must show due respect for the role of the umpires", said Hurst, although why the player was not already aware of that was not commented on.


Broad was found not guilty of making public criticism of match officials, Hurst saying that "on the evidence presented, the actions of the player did not breach [the relevant section of] the ICC Code of Conduct”.  “While a comment attributed to Stuart Broad related to match officials and their performance, it was not specific, not perceived as serious in the context of the whole interview quoted and not proven to be an accurate quote", said Hurst, plus "Stuart was clearly positive about the umpires in other interviews conducted after the game on Sunday".


The charges against the three players were brought by on-field umpires Daryl Harper of Australia and Russell Tiffin from Zimbabwe, third umpire Aleem Dar from Pakistan and fourth official Clyde Duncan of the West Indies. 


EXPERTS MEET TO DISCUSS 

ALTERNATIVELY-COLOURED BALLS

[EN386-2056]


Cricket ball experts from around the world met at Lord's yesterday as part of on-going attempts to find an alternatively-coloured ball to the white one that is currently used in fifty-over, one-day cricket, and that can potentially be used in day-night Tests.  The meeting, which was convened and hosted by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), is said to have involved representatives from the England and Wales Cricket Board, Cricket Australia, Imperial College London, four ball manufacturers and a television company.


Tony Lewis, the MCC's World Cricket Committee (WCC) chairman, said that his organisation "is working hard to find the coloured cricket ball solution for one-day and, potentially, Test cricket".  The possibility of day-night Tests was first suggested at the WCC's meeting in May last year for it believes such a move "would boost flagging Test crowds in countries where attendances are falling".  


The aim of yesterday's meeting was, said Lewis, to discuss a number of issues such as: can we find a coloured ball to use under floodlights; can such a ball last for at least eighty overs; is it clearly visible for players, television cameras and spectators; and does it behave and deteriorate in a similar way to the traditional red ball?”  “Rather than overnight quick fixes, we’ll be looking for lasting solutions", said Lewis.


The MCC has been working with ball manufacturers and Imperial College London, who is its research partner, to find a suitable ball over the last eighteen months (E-News 133-726, 14 November 2007).  A pink ball has been trialled in seven separate games or tournaments (E-News 266-1434, 30 June 2008), with what the MCC says was "largely successful results" as "players and umpires have reported improved colour retention and visibility and its use in a televised match was well received, with no ‘comet trail’ in evidence".


Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, a member of the WCC, who used the pink ball at the recent floodlit Bushfire Appeal game in Sydney (E-News 374-1995, 18 February 2009), said that "the match ball got plenty of attention [and] players and spectators liked it".  “I felt it was easier to see than the white ball and my team-mates were happy with its colour durability", said Waugh.


Despite the MCC's positive comments, a report by the ECB's Cricket Committee last October is said to have stated that the pink-coloured balls that are currently being trialed by the MCC are little better than the white ones being used in one-day cricket (E-News 331-1745, 17 October 2008).  A BBC report last August called the trial use of pink balls in a floodlight Twenty20 County match "inconclusive" (E-News 307-161, 7 September 2008). 


The MCC says that it will continue to research the use of the pink and other coloured balls in 2009 and "hopes to persuade worldwide authorities to increase the frequency of these trials".  As part of this work Imperial College is to continue its research into the construction of balls, and specifically the way colour is applied to them.  Lewis said that "as guardian of the Laws of Cricket, [the MCC has] a duty to conduct independent research and development for the good of the game and present findings to those tasked with implementation". 


'RAIN' CONTINUES AS SATURDAY'S 

HOBART FORECAST

[EN386-2057]


The Bureau of Meteorology is continuing to forecast rain to develop in the Hobart area on Saturday as a cold front approaches and crosses the city during the morning (E-News 384, 2042, 10 March 2009).  The current compute-generated weather chart for Saturday morning shows a cold front across the Hobart area and those involved in managing matches, some the final day of home-and-away games in Tasmanian Cricket Association First and Second Grade and others the semi finals in the Southern Tasmania Cricket League, would be wise to refresh their knowledge of inclement weather scenarios for their games.


On Sunday, a Low Pressure system is forecast to be located just off the south coast of Tasmania, and showers are forecast for the Hobart area on that day.  It should be quite warm on Saturday with a maximum of twenty-four degrees Celsius given in the outlook, and cooler on Sunday behind the cold front with a maximum of seventeen.


TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games this weekend can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and situation at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.  Access is readily available to the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and radar pictures from Hobart airport via that portal.



E-NEWS NUMBER 387

FRIDAY, 13 MARCH 2009


DAVIS, WIJEWARDENE NAMED 

FOR WWC 'SUPER SIX' STAGE

[EN387-2058]


Sri Lankan Tyron Wijewardena and Australian Steve Davis are each to stand in two matches in the ten-game Super Six stage of the Women's World Cup (WWC) which is due to get underway in the Sydney area tomorrow and run until next Thursday.  Davis, who will be returning to international cricket for the first time since his involvement in the terrorist attack in Lahore last week (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009), along with Wijewardena and match referee Brian Aldridge from New Zealand, will join the twelve umpires who have been on the field in the Group Stage of the tournament over the past week (E-News 382-2028, 6 March 2009). 


Group Six appointments announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday see Jeff Brookes (Australia), Shahul Hameed (Indonesia), Neil Harrison (Japan), Brian Jerling (South Africa), Lakani Oala (Papua New Guinea) and Sarika Prasad (Singapore) each on the field for two games and in one as the third official, Davis, Wijewardena and New Zealander Tony Hill twice on the field, another Kiwi Kathy Cross one and one, Andrew Craig (Australia) one on-ground, and his countrymen Gerard Abood, Mick Martell and Tony Ward single third umpire slots.  Cross will also work as the fourth umpire in two games, and New South Wales State Umpire Panel members Marc Nickl and Graeme Redman (E-News 316-1658, 24 September 2009) in that role in one match each.


The latest appointments take Hill's games in the tournament to five on field and none as the third official (5/0), Hameed, Harrison and Prasad all 4/2, Jerling 4/1, Brookes and Oala each 3/3, Cross 3/2, Abood and Craig 3/1, Martell and Ward both 2/2, and Davis and Wijewardena 2/0.  Wijewardena was not listed amongst the umpires appointed to the WWC when the ICC announced the names last week. 


Davis is a member of the ICC's top level Elite Umpires Panel, Hill, Jerling and Wijewardena its second-tier International Umpires Panel, Hameed and Prasad its third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel, Oala and Harrison its East Asia Pacific reqion Umpires Panel, Brookes, Craig, Martell and Ward Australia's National Umpires Panel, and Cross of New Zealand's Regional Panel.     


The ICC says that appointments for the last three matches of the tournament, the World Cup final on Sunday week, and the third-fourth and fifth-sixth position play-offs the previous day, "will be announced in due course". 


SECOND ANALYSIS CLEARS 

RAZZAK'S BOWLING ACTION

[EN387-2059]


Bangladeshi spinner Adbur Razzak has had his ban for a suspect bowling action lifted by the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Razzak was suspended by the ICC in December and a later independent analysis of his bowling action at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra showed that the amount of elbow extension for both his stock delivery and fast ball exceeded fifteen degrees (E-News 368-1960, 6 February 2009).


Reports yesterday indicate that Razzak visited Canberra for a second assessment of his action last month and has now been cleared to play international cricket.  The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said in a statement that "the ICC has informed the BCB that Razzak’s bowling technique has changed to the extent that both his stock delivery and faster ball are now within the ICC tolerance level of fifteen degrees".  As a result “his action is now legal" continued the BCB, and "as a result, the previous suspension has been lifted and Razzak is once again permitted to bowl in international cricket".


Razzak's suspension and original ban came after after umpires Daryl Harper (Australia) and Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka) reported him in the Test series against New Zealand in October.  The Bangladeshi had also been reported for the same offence during an Asia Cup match against Pakistan that was played in Colombo in July 2004. that game being umpired by Brian Jerling of South Africa and Mangamuni Silva from Sri Lanka. 


DISCIPLINARY ACTION STALLS, 

SO PLAYERS SET FOR FINALS

[EN387-2060]


Two players from the same side who were cited for their "failure to obey an umpire's instruction" in the final home-and-away match of the season in the Bendigo District Cricket Association (BDCA) in Victoria, last Saturday, are to play in a semi finals of the competition this weekend because their case could not be heard this week, says a story published in the local newspaper yesterday. 


The 'Bendigo Advertiser' says that Golden Square captain Brad O’Shea and his team mate Daniel Nalder were originally slated to front the BDCA tribunal on Wednesday night, but the investigation into their actions has since been referred to the pennant committee, although just what the reason was for that switch was not stated.


The 'Advertiser' says that as the pennant committee had not as of Wednesday forwarded correspondence regarding the charges against O'Shea and Nalder to the Golden Square club, both men will therefore be available to play with their side in a First XI semi final this Saturday.  Just when the pennant committee is to meet to investigate the charges was not mentioned in the newspaper's report.


SATURDAY'S WEATHER FORECAST 

REMAINS AT 'RAIN DEVELOPING' 

[EN387-2061]


The Bureau of Meteorology is continuing to forecast rain to develop in the Hobart area on Saturday as a cold front approaches and crosses the city during the day (E-News 384, 2042, 10 March 2009).  This morning's compute-generated weather chart for tomorrow morning continues to show a cold front across the Hobart area around match start time, with the system moving slowly eastwards during the day.  A few showers are anticipated behind the cold front on Sunday.


TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games this weekend can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and situation at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.  Access is readily available to the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and radar pictures from Hobart airport via that portal.


E-NEWS NUMBER 388

SUNDAY, 15 MARCH 2009


WICB WON'T ACT ON BARBADOS 

'GO SLOW', CLAIMS COZIER

[EN388-2062]


The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is unlikely to act on the Barbados side's 'go slow' in its match against Trinidad and Tobago (TT) if their approach in the past is any guide, claims veteran Windies journalist Tony Cozier.  The Barbadians could only bowl twelve overs in ninety-nine minutes, an average of over eight minutes an over, as TT unsuccessfully chased an outright victory in the last hours of their first class match on 2 March (E-News 386-2053, 12 March 2009). 


Cozier wrote "against the shocking atrocities in Lahore last week that have shaken the game to its core, a little local controversy in a regional match would seem to be of negligible consequence", but it is he claims, "very pertinent to the present state of West Indies cricket".


Cozier quotes Forbes Persad, the chief executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TCCB) as saying that "a deliberate act of time wasting deprived Trinidad and Tobago of victory", and that he "hoped the [WICB] would "take a strong position" on the matter.  


When Cozier sought comment from Barbados manager Livy Coppin, the journalist apparently did not get a response that convinced him that the slow pace adopted by Coppin's players was defendable, saying simply that "it is difficult to imagine what circumstances could lead to [only] seven overs [being bowled] in an hour. 


Cozier says that like similar incidents before it, this month's 'go slow' requires an official investigation by the WICB and, if necessary, that they take the "strong position" Persad is after.  However, he says that "all the evidence indicates he was wasting his breath [for the incident] is the latest in a sequence about which nothing has been done by the WICB, the organisation specifically charged with protecting the reputation of West Indies cricket and guarding against indiscipline".  


Somewhat Ironically says Cozier, Barbados "were on the receiving end of the same slothful over rate in [a first class match in 2003] against Guyana".  Barbados were after seventy-two runs for victory off twenty-four overs with seven wickets standing following a rain break, but the "Guyanese meandered through eleven overs in an hour and a quarter in an obvious and, as it turned out, successful effort to thwart Barbados".  


Courtney Browne, who was then the Barbados captain and is now chairman of their selectors, charged at the time that "the sort of cricket the Guyanese displayed was horrendous".  Nine overs an hour, he said, was "total madness".  "Horrendous or not, madness or not" writes Cozier, there the matter "rested without a peep from the WICB, a tacit endorsement of such tactics".


The journalist mentions another situation two years earlier, this time in a Test match that was played in Barbados, when Dinanath Ramnarine and Merv Dillon, the West Indies eighth wicket pair, engaged in methods to ensure a draw against South Africa that Cozier says he described at the time as "demeaning", although he says now that "a stronger adjective would have been in order".


During that innings "Ramnarine claimed a strained muscle and removed his pads to receive on-field attention, Dillon called for a change of boots and critical time and overs were consumed".  Cozier claims that umpires Steve Bucknor of the West Indies and Australian Darrell Hair "did little to stop the nonsense, just as [the umpires in this month's incident] Ali and Weekes reportedly did little".  


Reports indicate that Ali "warned [Barbados captain Jason Haynes] on three occasions for time wasting", but the on-line score sheet for the match does not indicate that any penalty runs were awarded or a bowler taken off as required by the Laws of Cricket.


Ramnarine and Dillon are both Trinidadians, and Alloy Lequay, the then president of the Trinidad and Tobago Board was moved to state that "if this took place while [the pair] were wearing [Barbadian] colours, I would have ensured that an inquiry be held to get all the facts and not just a public relations exercise".  Cozier points out that Lequay was also a WICB director and says "of course, no inquiry was held, no action taken".


Cozier concludes his article by saying that "once nothing is done, as it hasn't be


ICC SHOULD HANDLE TOUR 

SECURITY, SAYS DAVIS

[EN388-2063]


Security on all cricket tours should be taken over by the International Cricket Council (ICC), says Australian umpire Steve Davis, one of the survivors on the terrorist attack in Lahore ten days ago (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).  An article published in 'The Australian' newspaper on Friday says that Davis has made that recommendation in the written report he has prepared on the attack for the ICC.


Davis told journalist Andrew Faulkner that the armed escort in Lahore had been watered down from the security provided during the First Test in Karachi the week before, when two extra vehicles carrying sub-machine guns shepherded the player and match officials' convoy.  Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss made similar comments last week (E-News 385-2037, 1 March 2009), while the Pakistan Sports Minister admitted that the lack of security was a key factor in the attack (E-News 386-2050, 12 March 2009).  


Faulkner quotes Davis as saying that "if you leave the security arrangements to the home board ... there's a vested interest in that home board getting that series going ahead, either consciously or sub-consciously".  He apparently feels that by surrendering overall responsibility for security, host nations would be free of influence from external factors, such as the money generated by home series.


In Davis' view, an agency appointed by the ICC should make an independent assessment of security risks and requirements before each series, then draw up guidelines about exactly what was required on the ground.  "That's the only way I can see it running properly because without that independence, you are at the say-so of whoever is organising security", said the umpire. 


Davis said Pakistan provided the umpires with an extensive e-mailed rundown of security protection before the tour, covering match days, around hotels, at airports and when the umpires were socialising.  'The Australian' says that Davis plans to hand his report to the ICC "in the coming days". 


BOWLER'S ACTION DECLARED 

'LEGAL' BY THE ICC

[EN388-2064]


England women's fast bowler Jenny Gunn's bowling action has been cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the world body received a report from a human movement specialist at Loughborough University in the UK.  Gunn was suspended from Australian state cricket last month after failing tests under Cricket Australia's doubtful bowling action procedures, although she has appealed that ban (E-News 379-2020, 3 March 2009) .


The quick was reported following England's World Cup win over Sri Lanka on the opening day of the competition eight days ago, the umpires raising concerns about her short-pitched deliveries (E-News 384-2041, 10 March 2009).   Since then, however, Loughborough's Dr Mark King, who is a member of the ICC's panel of human movement specialists, has declared Gunn's action legal after reviewing videos of her action from last Tuesday's England-India match.


According to King the videos he watched "are consistent with [previous] rear view recordings which clearly show that Miss Gunn's bowling arm goes from a near straight position when the upper arm is horizontal into extreme hyperextension and then back to a near straight position around the time of ball release".  "The unusual amount of hyperextension and abduction may well create the illusion that Ms Gunn throws but that is not the reality [and] her action complies with ICC regulations and the Laws of Cricket", concluded King.


Under ICC regulations, any bowler "called" for throwing or reported for a suspect action must be assessed by their country's board, which in Gunn's case was the England and Wales Cricket Board, but as yet no details of what authorities in Sri Lanka are doing regarding off-spinner Rose Fernando,who was reported for an illegal action in the same World Cup match as Gunn.


STEADY OVERNIGHT RAIN AHEAD 

OF SUNDAY'S TCA GAMES

[EN388-2065]


The spectacular thunderstorms that washed out Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches in the Hobart area yesterday afternoon have been followed by widespread overnight rain across the metropolitan area. In the eight hours to 7 a.m. today Hobart received twenty-six millimetres, Mount Wellington thirty-three, Hobart Airport fifteen, Campania sixteen and Grove twenty-three, although a radar paint at that time indicated that the situation has eased and it is fine in most areas. 


The forecast for today is for "cloudy periods with a few showers, possibly thundery during the afternoon and evening", with the maximum temperature estimated to come in at around eighteen degrees Celsius.  Computer-generated weather charts which have been indicating that a Low pressure system would be present just off the south coast of Tasmania this morning have proved to be correct, and it is that system that is expected to generate the showers today on to what will already be wet grounds.


TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games today can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and situation at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.  Access is readily available to the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and radar pictures from Hobart airport via that portal.


E-NEWS NUMBER 389

TUESDAY, 17 MARCH 2009


BCCI FINANCIAL CLOUT BEHIND TEST 

SACKING, SAYS BUCKNOR

[EN389-2066]


The Australian Associated Press (AAP) news agency reported overnight that West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor, who is to retire soon after this week's Third Test between South Africa and Australia (E-News 376-2004, 23 February 2009), has claimed that the Board of Control for Cricket in Indian (BCCI) succeeded in having him sacked from the Test match in Perth early last year because of its financial might.


Bucknor's performance in the Second Australia-India Test in Sydney in January 2008 led to Indian captain Anil Kumble filing a negative report on the West Indies official, says the AAP.  "I made two mistakes out of more than forty calls" in that match, runs the quote attributed to Bucknor, and "got better than ninety-four per cent [of the decisions right], but it wasn't good enough for some people", he added.    


The Jamaican said he wasn't surprised by the fuss the Indian camp made over his efforts in the Sydney Test.  "When you speak to a captain and he's not happy you are reported, [and if] his [national] association is strong enough they may believe that they should take action", but because some bodies "are more equal than others, especially [when money is involved], they seem to have their way", said Bucknor.  


The Indian side threatened to return home after spinner Harbhajan Singh was accused of calling Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds a "monkey", the BCCI demanding Singh's reinstatement and Bucknor's removal (E-News 171-915, 8 January 2008).  Singh was later cleared and while at first it said that Bucknor''s removal would not occur, the ICC did a 'back flip' and stood him down for the following Test between the two sides (E-News 172-919, 9 January 2008).


The West Indies Cricket Board queried the ICC over Bucknor's removal (E-News 173-924, 10 January 2008), but no publicity was ever given to the outcome of that approach.  The umpire said simply after returning home from Australia that he was "disappointed" at his dismissal (E-News 178-959, 16 January 2008).


ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said last month after Bucknor announced his retirement plans, that “Steve’s contribution to our great sport over two decades at the top level of umpiring has been immense".  “To have remained as one of the game’s top officials for that length of time has required [him] to be self-motivated, confident and well respected, and he has all those qualities in abundance, while at the same time remaining a very humble man", continued Lorgat.


Bucknor, who turns sixty-three in May, indicated in a television interview in South Africa recently that he believed he could go on at the Elite level for several more years, but there were also comments that hinted that he may be leaving against his own wishes, the ICC having decided that it was time to move him on. 

 

TASSY 'BOTTOMS OUT' ON CA 

'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' TABLE

[EN389-2067]


Tasmania received fewer 'Spirit of Cricket' (SOC) votes from umpires during the 2008-09 season than any other State side and as a result finished last on Cricket Australia's (CA) SOC 'league table'.  The 'Spirit' awards, which this year were won by the Queensland men's and Victorian women's teams (E-News 386-2049, 12 March 2009), recognise sides that have best played their cricket within the spirit of the game, a concept that was mirrored by the Tasmanian Cricket Association in its Grade competitions this season (E-News 324-1705, 8 October 2008). 


The island State propped up this season's SOC interstate table with a total of 371 points, a figure that CA describes as "meeting [SOC] performance targets", with Victoria (400), New South Wales (404), Western Australia (422), South Australia (427) and winners Queensland 433 above it.  Points accumulated by each side were garnered from the home-and-away Sheffield Shield, one-day and Twenty20 interstate matches played over the last five months.


After each match the umpires involved consider the conduct of all members of both teams and issue a score on a 3, 2, 1, 0, -1 basis.   If a team has a player or players reported and found guilty under CA's Code of Conduct during a match the team is automatically awarded a score of -1 for each player.  Given the varying lengths of each match format, points from Shield matches are given a 3:1 weighting, one-dayers 2:1 and Twenty20 1:1. 


While the Tasmania side may have met "performance targets", the fact that it was marked down over the course of the season suggests that the on-field discipline exhibited by one or more of its players was found wanting by match officials on a number of occasions. 


No details are available, however, as both CA and its State affiliates rarely issue statements on such matters and then only when events have generated such media controversy that not to do so would be counter-productive, as has been the case with Australian and Queensland player Andrew Symonds in recent times.


In contrast the International Cricket Council makes details of disciplinary issues that arise from matches conducted under its jurisdiction public, with reports appearing widely in the media as regularly reported by E-News.  


PAKISTAN MATCH OFFICIALS 

FACING DRASTIC PAY CUTS

[EN389-2068]


Match officials and players taking parrt in domestic competitions organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are to have their match fees and daily allowances reduced significantly as part of the PCB’s attempts to bring its finances into order.   According to a report by ‘Sify Sports’, umpires, match referees and players taking part in the current national one-day championship are unhappy at the PCB’s planned move. 


Media reports from the sub-continent say that the PCB is “suffering one of its worst financial turmoils” and has decided to embark on a cost cutting exercise across its domestic cricket program.  The PCB lost considerable revenue due to the cancellation of India's tour to Pakistan in January, the relocation of the Champions Trophy from Pakistan, and Australia’s decision to pull out of a Test tour there, all of those moves resulting from the volatile security situation in the country.  


An unnamed player, who spoke to ‘Sify’ on condition of anonymity, was quoted as saying that "we used to get [the equivalent of $A95] per match plus [$A19] as a daily allowance” during the one-day competition, but both fees are now said to have been cut by half.  Just what the match officials are paid was not stated, although their fees and the cuts involved are thought to be of a similar order to that of the players.


Earlier in the current season in Pakistan when first class competitions were underway, the PCB is said to have had to cut player pay per four-day match from around $A270-380 to $A190.  Javed Miandad, the PCB’s former Director-General, had said he would ensure that players and officials were paid more for domestic first class games, but he resigned suddenly without implementing his proposals.


NEW GUIDELINES MAKE PITCH PREPARATION 

MORE EFFICIENT, SAYS ECB

[EN389-2069]


New pitch rolling guidelines prepared by Cranfield University and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) could save thousands of hours of cricket pitch preparation time across the UK through more effective use of rollers, says the ECB.  The guidelines are the result of four years of ECB-commissioned research at Cranfield’s Centre for Sports Surface Technology, the aim of which was to develop a scientific understanding of rolling practices so as to optimise pitch preparation.


Dr Iain James, senior Lecturer and head of the centre for Sports Surface Technology at Cranfield, said that the "research will lead to better pitches and more efficient pitch preparation".  "We calculate that if all clubs in England and Wales were to target their rolling using these guidelines, the reduction in rolling time with save a total of over 700,000 hours of rolling per year and reduce the carbon footprint of cricket by an equivalent of a small housing estate [not to mention] cost savings in terms of fuel".


Chris Wood, an ECB pitch consultant, was quoted in a press release as saying that "the research marks a significant shift from current practice and understanding [and] will go a long way to dispel the myths and legends and instil sound and economical rolling practices for the production of quality pitches across all levels of cricket".  Over 100 groundstaff across England and Wales were consulted as part of the research.


The guidelines, which are aimed at both professional and volunteer groundstaff, the latter preparing most pitches in the UK, can be download at:  HYPERLINK "http://www.ecb.co.uk/development/facilities-funding/groundsmanship/guidelines-for-rolling-in-cricket,1776,BP.html"http://www.ecb.co.uk/development/facilities-funding/groundsmanship/guidelines-for-rolling-in-cricket,1776,BP.html


MATCH OFFICIALS FOR NZ-INDIA TESTS, 

WC QUALIFIER, STILL NOT NAMED

[EN389-2070]


With just two days to go before the start of the three Test series between New Zealand and India, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is yet to announced just who the match officials will be for the three games.  Press reports last week indicated that Australian Simon Taufel will be one of the umpires (E-News 383-2033, 9 March 2009), but just who his colleagues will be are unknown.


Match officials for another series, the ICC's twelve-team World Cup Qualifier, which is due to get underway in two weeks in South Africa, have also not been named, although the dozen playing squads were announced by the world body a week ago.  The sides who finish in the first four positions in the tournament will qualify directly for the 2011 World Cup, while both they and the teams who finish fifth and sixth will secure One Day International status for the next four years as well as automatic qualification for the ICC's four-day format, two-year long, Intercontinental Cup.  


April's series, which is to run for just under three weeks, has been described as the most important tournament for ICC Associate nations that has been played to date, the top four qualifies picking up, in addition to World Cup entry, extra funding that could run into millions of dollars.  


The twelve sides have been divided into two groups for the tournament.  Group A features Canada, Ireland, Namibia, Oman, Scotland and Uganda, the latter being the runner-up in the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 event in Argentina earlier this year (E-News 369-1968, 9 February 2009).  Group B is made up of Afghanistan, Bermuda, Denmark, Kenya, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates.   


Afghanistan, who won January's Division 3 tournament, have had a remarkable rise over the last year as the have reached next month's series in South Africa after competing in three ICC WCL tournaments played on three continents, Division 5 in Jersey, Division 4 in Tanzania and then Division 3 in Argentina.


The ICC's ten Full members nations qualify automatically for the 2011 World Cup.


NORTH ZONE PLAYERS FINED 

FOR 'UNSPORTING BEHAVIOUR'

[EN389-2071]


Aakash Chopra and Virat Kohli, two members of the North Zone side in India, were fined for unsporting behaviour during their side's fifty over one-day Deodhar Trophy match against East Zone in Cuttack last Saturday.  Match referee Hemant Wasu decided that Kohli should loose half of his match fee and Chopra twenty per cent.


'Cricinfo' says that Kohli was penalised for a heated exchange of words with Assam medium-pacer Dhiraj Goswami after being caught-and-bowled for just seven.  Goswami was reprimanded by Wasu for his role in the incident but was not fined.  Chopra's penalty was for dissent as after being adjudged LBW by Indian international umpire Suresh Shastri, he showed the umpire his bat to suggest that he had edged the ball.


WEATHER LOOKS 'FINE' FOR 

TCA SEMI FINALS WEEKEND

[EN389-2072]


Extended weather forecasts for Hobart for next weekend issued yesterday afternoon currently look positive with 'fine' conditions listed for both days.  The two days will see the Tasmanian Cricket Association's Grade semi finals decided and grand finals played in the South Tasmania Cricket League and other competitions to which the TCUSA provides match officials.


TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games this weekend can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and situation at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.  Access is readily available to the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and radar pictures from Hobart airport via that portal.


E-NEWS NUMBER 390

WEDNESDAY, 18 MARCH 2009


GOULD'S EUP SELECTION CHANCES FIRM 

[EN391-2073]


English umpire Ian Gould's chances of being selected for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) next month appear to have firmed with his appointment to two matches in the Test series between New Zealand and India which gets underway in Hamilton later today.  Gould, a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) will be standing in his third and fourth Tests in just four months (E-News 340-1796, 30 October 2008), and will share the series' six on-field positions with EUP members Simon Taufel of Australia and West Indian Billy Doctrove. 


Gould will be standing in the First Test in Hamilton over the next five days with Taufel and in the Second in Napier from 26-30 March with Doctrove, before the Australian and West Indian are paired for the Third Test in Wellington from 3-7 April.  A former player who participated in 298 first class matches and 315 List 'A' games, eighteen of those being One Day Internationals (ODI) for England, Gould has to date stood in eighty-one first class matches and 138 List A' games, thirty-one of the latter being ODIs.


The two Tests will be Doctrove's twenty-third and twenty-fourth since his first in May 2000, his last being last year's Boxing Day match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between Australia and South Africa.  The current series is his first of any kind in New Zealand, however, in addition to Australia he has also stood in Tests in Bangladesh, England, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and of course the West Indies


Taufel, who will be standing in his first games since the terrorist attack in Lahore (E-News 383-2033, 9 March 2009), will take his Test match record to fifty-seven games, the games his third and fourth Tests in New Zealand.


A second Australian, match referee Alan Hurst, will be in overall charge of the three Tests, while the third umpires will come from New Zealand IUP members.  Hurst, who is fresh from the recent Test series between the West Indies and England in the Caribbean, will take his Test match record in that role to thirty games.


The ICC only released details of appointments for the series late yesterday.


DE SILVA NAMED FOR 

SAF-AUS ODI SERIES

[EN391-2074]


Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva has been named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the ;'neutral' umpire for the forthcoming five-match One Day International (ODI) series between South Africa and Australia which is due to start in just over two weeks.  De Silva, whose ODI record will reach eighty-seven by the the time the series ends, will work with South African members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel during the five games.  


GROUND OFF-LINE FOR INTERNATIONALS 

PENDING REMEDIAL WORK 

[EN391-2075]


The International Cricket Council (ICC) has informed the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that no more international cricket can be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua until extensive remedial work is carried out and it is declared satisfactory by the world body.  Last month the ground was the scene of a Test match between the West Indies and England that lasted just ten balls before being abandoned because of an outfield that has been described in the ICC’s report as "unfit" (E-News 372-1984, 14 February 2009).


The ICC has also given the WICB an official warning for not preparing the ground effectively for the match. Appropriate work must now be carried out and monitored by the WICB before the inspection can take place, the earliest that evaluation can be undertaken being this time next year.  The ICC took its decision in accordance with the its Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, which was introduced in 2006 to ensure international cricket was played in conditions of a suitably high standard.


Australian Alan Hurst, who was the match referee for the ill-fated Test, submitted a report to the ICC expressing his concern over the quality of the playing surface and the WICB provided a reply to the ICC’s request for information on the reasons behind the condition of the outfield.  David Richardson, the ICC’s General Manager Cricket and its chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle then considered all the evidence available to them, including studying video footage of the match, before passing judgment.


Richardson said in an ICC statement that he and Madugalle “have come to the decision that the outfield was, in fact, unfit for play and of an unacceptable standard for international cricket".  “The abandoned Test match was an embarrassment to the local authorities in Antigua, to West Indies cricket in general and to the international game as a whole.. ..and the integrity of our sport cannot afford to have such farcical scenes play out as they did on the first morning of the match", says the statement.  


IPL'S PLANNED SECOND 

SERIES IN DOUBT 

[EN391-2076]


The Indian Premier League (IPL) has suffered a fresh setback with the Indian Government refusing to accept its revised fifty-nine match schedule on security grounds, and some reports from the sub-continent are suggesting that this year's event is into doubt.  The IPL's second season of Twenty20 cricket is currently scheduled to run from 10 April to 24 May, however, nationwide parliamentary elections are to be conducted in five phases between 16 April and 13 May and thus the two events clash. 


IPL organisers had submitted a new fixture schedule to the government that avoided games being played on the same day as voting in order that police and state security personnel do not have to try and simultaneously cope with both events.  Terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November and on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan earlier this month have resulted in fears that the IPL may also be a target for militants.  Reports yesterday say that what was termed "adequate security" can be provided for less than half of the matches as currently planned.  


No details of just who the match referees and umpires will be for this year's tournament have been released to date.  Seventeen umpires were used for on-field positions during the IPL's inaugural six-week series last year, six being Indians, three South Africans, two each from Australia and Pakistan, and one each from England, New Zealand, the West Indies, and Zimbabwe (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008).  


Most of the match officials who worked on IPL contracts during the series were from the International Cricket Council's top-level 'Elite' umpire and referee panels, and second-tier International Umpire Panel.  It seems likely that those groups will again be targeted by IPL organisers for the 2009 tournament if it proceeds.


In February, the Indian Cricket League, the IPL's rival competition, postponed the tournament it had scheduled for this month, organisers saying that "the financial crisis played a part", however, the ICL said at the time that it was "very confident" that it will be played later in the year (E-News 371-1978, 13 February 2009).  News reports in early February indicated that the IPL regarded England as their chief recruiting ground for umpires and suggestions were made that they had lined up two more senior officials to join a series (E-News 370-1972, 12 February 2009).    


E-NEWS NUMBER 391

THURSDAY, 19 MARCH 2009


SLOW RECOVERY FOR UMPIRE RAZA

[EN391-2077]


Pakistani umpire Ahsan Raza, who was shot during the terrorist attack in Lahore just over two weeks ago, is still in hospital recovering from his wounds.  Raza, the fourth umpire for the Test match then underway, was travelling in a van with other match officials behind the Sri Lankan team bus when he was shot in the abdomen, causing injuries to his lungs and liver (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).


Raza, a thirty-four-year-old father of three who underwent major surgery soon after the attack and was listed in a critical condition for a some time, told the Associated Press from his hospital bed earlier this week that "the doctors say it will take another eight to ten days to recover from [my] wounds".  According to his brother Ali, doctors have conducted "two major operations" and to date "have used twenty pints of blood to keep his blood pressure normal".


A report in 'The Hindu' newspaper yesterday says that the umpire believes that the terrorists targeted the Sri Lankan cricketers and had little clue that "foreign officials" including match referee Chris Broad, and Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Davis were among those in the convoy.


The Pakistan publication the 'Daily Jang' claimed in an article earlier this week that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had turned a deaf ear to Raza's pleas for help [since the attack] and that the umpire has had to purchase a fan with his own money to escape the heat as there is no air conditioning in his hospital room.  "Although there is a PCB employee present at the hospital in the day to care for Raza, no senior board official has bothered to visit the umpire [or contact] doctors to inquire about his progress from serious wounds", said the story.


PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt is said to have reacted angrily at the report.  "No one is being ignored and we have already made cash compensation to the persons who were killed or wounded in the unfortunate incident", and "one of our employees is there at the hospital everyday to take care of Ahsan Raza's needs".  He made it clear that the PCB would continue to provide assistance to the injured and that "we are proud of all these people who have saved the image of Pakistan or gave their lives or were injured in the attack".


Raza junior said that all through his recuperation his brother has said that "he wanted to be back on his feet and continue his umpiring career, [and] everyone is trying to motivate him and encourage him".  However, "I know it will take at least two months before my brother fully recovers from the wounds and gets back on to the cricket field", said the brother.  


Two Sri Lanka cricketers injured in the attacks and airlifted to Colombo soon after are expected to be released from hospital this week.  Thilan Samaraweera, who had a bullet removed from his left thigh, and Ajantha Mendis, who had head injuries from shrapnel, were expected to recover fully.  Their teammates were to return to practice next week, while psychologists had been appointed to help them work through the ordeal.


TEAM BUS DRIVER REWARDED 

FOR HEROICS 

[EN391-2078]


Pakistani bus driver Maher Khalil, who is widely credited with saving the Sri Lankan team during the terrorist attack in Lahore this month, was yesterday awarded half a million Rupees, the equivalent of just over $A18,000, for his heroic act.  


Despite that there has been no specific publicity about support provided to the family of Mohammad Zafar, the driver of the match officials van who was killed outright in the attack, although the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has suggested that it has paid "cash compensation" (E-News 391-2077 above). 


PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt presented the money to Khalil on behalf of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at a ceremony at the board headquarters in Lahore's Gaddafi stadium.  The driver will also receive around $A4,000 from the Board itself, while the Sri Lankan government has invited him for a tour that country with his family.


SHOWERS FORECAST FOR 

SECOND DAY OF TCA SEMIS 

[EN391-2079]


While weather conditions in the Hobart area on Saturday look very good for cricket with a maximum temperature of around twenty-six degrees Celsius forecast, Sunday appears likely to see showers on what will be the last day of Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) semi final Grade matches.


Current analysis by the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that a warm northerly air flow will be present across Tasmania on Saturday, however, a cold front is expected to cross the city area shortly after dawn on Sunday, hence the outlook of 'showers'.  The maximum temperature on Sunday is put at nineteen.

TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games this weekend can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and situation at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.  Access is readily available to the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and radar pictures from Hobart airport via that portal, and a look at the latter first thing on Sunday morning may provide some useful information.


E-NEWS NUMBER 392

FRIDAY, 20 MARCH 2009


BOOKINGS NEEDED 'NOW' FOR 

TCUSA ANNUAL DINNER

[EN392-2080]


With less than two weeks to the Association's Annual Dinner on 1 April, the number of members who have signed up to the event to date is "disappointing", says the TCUSA's President-Administrator Graeme Hamley.  Hamley told the last Training-Appointments meeting of the season at Bellerive on Wednesday that so far less than half the numbers that normally attend the gathering had nominated to attend this year, and he urged members to sign up now in order that appropriate catering and other arrangements for the night can be finalised.


During the evening, which is currently listed for its normal location in the Century Room at Bellerive Oval, a range of Association awards will be given out and a three-course meal provided, the cost to members being $A42.  Trophies to be presented include those for the TCUSA 'Umpire of the year', the Alan Powell Memorial trophy for services to the Association, the Bob Reid Memorial trophy to the most dedicated umpire, the best first year umpire and scorer awards, the Advisor's Merit award, umpire ratings awards, and Grand Final and Kookaburra Cup medallions.    


Members planning to attend who have no registered their interest to date are asked to contact Graeme via telephone or via e-mail as a matter of urgency.


RETIREMENT HIS OWN CHOICE, 

SAYS BUCKNOR

[EN392-2081]


West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor, who is currently standing in his 128th and last Test match, has told ABC Radio's 'Grandstand' program that age rather than performance is behind his decision to retire.  Speaking the day before the Test got underway, he gave the ABC his views on the Umpire Decision Review System, the 'neutral' umpire policy for home Tests, the size of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, and talked to the 'Cape Times' about the 2007 World Cup final, difficulties with India last year, the time he has spent 'on the road' as part of his umpiring commitments, plus his favourite grounds and on-field colleague (E-News 392-2082 below). 


Sixty-two-year-old Bucknor told the ABC's Glenn Mitchell that he did not feel it was wise to continue umpiring at the highest level well into his sixties, as he's "seen a few umpires suffer beyond sixty-three in making decisions that they would not have made five years before".  That philosophy, which is similar to that he expressed eighteen months ago (E-News 113-619, 9 October 2007), appears to counter suggestions in some quarters that he may have been pushed into retirement by the International Cricket Council (ICC) (E-News 389-2066, 17 March 2009).


Bucknor told Mitchell in an interview that is to be aired during tonight's radio coverage of the Test that in his view the use of 'neutral' umpires in home Tests is "more than disappointing - it is wrong".  Several other senior international umpires, including Australia's Simon Taufel have expressed similar feelings on more than one occasion in the past (E-News 41-228, 17 May 2007).  


Twenty-seven of Bucknor's Tests were played in the Caribbean, eight of those being on in his home nation Jamaica, the last of those being eight years ago, while the Australian has only had three of his fifty-six to date on home soil, the last involving a contrived World XI in October 2005, and before that a normal Test in December 2001.


On the subject of the referral system Bucknor said that its use in 'line' calls in recent years has been "very very good", and he "doesn't mind the experimentation", but while he acknowledges the desire of some to get decisions 100 per cent right, "old timers like him would love to return to the [days] when the umpire makes the decision".  Other than that he said, he'll leave [his comments[ there". 

Asked by the 'Cape Times' about the controversial end to the World Cup final in 2007, where he an his umpiring colleagues were strongly criticised and subsequently banned for the inaugural world Twenty20 tournament (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007), Bucknor said that while "there were many outside influences that day that affected our decisions", he took responsibility and "the blame is mine".  


He said that he's "not going to point a finger at anybody, but hopes that what happened on that occasion "doesn't happen to any other umpire in future".  He says though that he is not happy with his omission from the World Twenty20 series, a decision by the ICC that he believes "was a bit hasty" and that "the punishment that was dealt to [he and the three other umpires and the match referee] was not warranted".


Bucknor told the 'Times' that he believes he "was used" when he was removed from the Third Test between Australia and India in Perth last year after the Indian side demanded his dismissal (E-News 172-919, 9 January 2008).  "I don't think the decision was done in a proper way [and] it would have been better to ask me to decide [rather] than to force me not to umpire", he said.  Earlier this month he said that the financial clout of the Board of Control for Cricket in India had been behind that move (E-News 389-2066, 17 March 2009).  


"I was hurt, deeply hurt", for "I don't think two mistakes in a game should be that influential in your career [as] others have made more but nothing has happened to them", continued Bucknor.  However, "a champion does not lie down on the ground when he is hit, he gets up again", said the Jamaican, but he made clear that he doesn't "have any grudges against anyone [as he knows] life is not a bed of roses".


The West Indian told both the ABC and the 'Cape Times' that the sacrifices he made in being away from home for long periods during his career was "most definitely" worth it for "there are things that cricket has given me that no job could ever have [done]".   He said that over the last twenty calendar years the shortest period he has been away from home is seven months and the longest nine months.  His busiest year for Tests was in 2002 when he stood in fourteen, other particularly busy ones being 2004 with eleven, 2005 ten, and 1997, 2001 and 2003 with nine each. 


Despite the pressures on senior international umpires Bucknor believes that the ICC should maintain a twelve-man Elite panel as it is of a size that is "just right'.  The ICC increased the size of the panel from ten to twelve last April following a six-month review of umpiring issues at the international level (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007). 


Standing in a Test at Lord's the home of cricket, something he did eight times in his career (E-News 376-2004, 23 February 2009), was a great highlight, said the Jamaican, his other favourite ground being the Melbourne Cricket Ground, especially for a Boxing Day Test, as "the Australian crowds love their cricket".


Bucknor said that following retirement from internationals he would like to continue umpiring at the local level, which he believes would be an ideal way to share the vast knowledge and experience he has gained over the years.  He hopes to have the opportunity to work with young umpires in the Caribbean in order that he can continue to make a contribution to the game.


BUCKNOR NAMES SHEPHERD HIS 

'FAVOURITE' UMPIRING COLLEAGUE

[EN392-2082]


Retiring West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor stood in his world record 128 Tests with forty-one other officials from nine of the ten nations who have played Test cricket, but he told the 'Cape Times' on Wednesday said that the umpire he enjoyed standing with most was now-retired Englishman David Shepherd.   Bucknor, who describes himself as "fairly laid back" and Shepherd as "easy-going, says that their similar characteristics meant that "we got along [together] very well".


The West Indian  stood in six Tests with Shepherd, as well as a record number of World Cup finals, and they were "a team out on the field", said Bucknor, for "I would let him know things if he never saw or heard them and he would do likewise for me [and] we were the perfect team because we really enjoyed each other's company".


While Shepherd was a favourite, the umpires Bucknor stood with most is Tests with eleven games each were 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Srinivasghvan Venkatraghvan (India).  Then comes Darrell Hair (Australia) with nine, Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and David Orchard (then South Africa) both seven, Shepherd and Simon Taufel (Australia) both six, Peter Willey (England) five, and Cyril Mitchley (South Africa) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan) four each.


Those with three were David Archer (West Indies), 'Dickie' Bird (England), Bukthringhalage Cooray (Sri Lanka), Billy Doctrove (West Indies)  and Daryl Harper (Australia), and two, Lloyd Barker (West Indies), Doug Cowie (New Zealand), Arani Jayaprakash (India), Simon Lambson (South Africa), Nigel Llong (England), Mohammad Nazir (Pakistan), Steve Randell (Australia), George Sharp (England), Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe) and Tyron Wijewardene (Sri Lanka).  


Bucknor stood in single Tests with Mian Aslam (Pakistan), Mark Benson (England), Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka), Steve Dunne (New Zealand), Tony Hill (New Zealand), John Holder (England), Ian Howell (South Africa), Mervyn Kitchen (England), Karl Liebenberg (South Africa), Peter Manuel (Sri Lanka), Peter Parker (Australia), Nigel Plews (England) and Ian Robinson (Zimbabwe).


The other person who stood in a Test with Bucknor is current TCUSA member John Smeaton, he and Randell being the only Tasmanians to have worked on the field with the West Indian at the highest level of the game.


Three of Bucknor's Tests involved working with more than one partner.  Early on during his early visits to South Africa, Mitchley-Liebenberg then Mitchley-Lambson worked as third umpires and alternated out on the ground in different sessions of play, while Smeaton's Test came after Davis was injured after day two of a Test at Bellerive in November 2001. 



MONARO UMPIRES MAKE 

THEIR POINT

[EN392-2083]


Umpires in the Monaro district of south-east New South Wales have gone on the attack after some players there suggested they had not received value for money from match officials this season, says a report published in the 'Cooma-Monaro Express' yesterday.  Umpires Association president Bill Massingham, whose organisation was only former late last year, was said to be "a bit put out by the criticism".


Massingham said that before players criticise umpires they should first put their own house in order.  He told journalist John Bannon that "we have teams who turn up late or without score books [and] if we play to the letter of the law, you can lose runs and even forfeit the match for those indiscretions, but we let it slide" for the good of the game, he said.  


Pointing out that he and his colleagues are only paid "$A22 each per match", Massingham said that for some officials in the region that doesn't go far in covering their petrol costs to get to and from games.  He refuted suggestions made by some players recently that they had been charged for a service they had not received, for if umpires were not available for a match the players were reimbursed and not out of pocket in that regard.


Roger Roach, who both umpires and plays the game in the Monaro Association, told the 'Express' that he does not want to see a return to previous seasons where players umpired and that players needed to decide what sort of competition they wanted.  "We can either have a hit and giggle competition where there are no umpires, no dress codes and we do what we like, or we can have officials who will follow the laws of the game and enable the players to have a competitive and enjoyable competition", he said.


Roach said on Wednesday he would run a tight ship in the B grade final this Saturday.  "I'm going to call the captains on Friday [today] and tell them to make sure they have their teamsheets to me by 12.20 p.m. so that first ball is bowled at 12.30 p.m.", and "we will play to the letter of the law so the match is fair for both teams", he said.


SUNDAY'S WEATHER OUTLOOK 

STILL FOR 'SHOWERS

[EN391-2084 ]


Rain showers may well provide a challenge to those managing the second and last day of Tasmanian Cricket Association semi final matches on Sunday, if current indications from the Bureau of Meteorology, which have been consistent all week, turn out to be correct.  


While the weather in Hobart on Saturday, when the semi finals will get underway and Southern Tasmania Cricket League Grand Finals played, is expected to be 'fine' with a top temperature of twenty-six degrees Celsius, a cold front and trough crossing the Hobart area around dawn on Sunday may leave grounds a little wet for day two of the semis later that morning.  There may also be some showers later on in the day as games move towards a climax.


TCUSA umpires and scorers can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and situation at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.  Access is readily available to the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and radar pictures from Hobart Airport via that portal, and a look at the latter first thing on Sunday morning may provide some useful information.  


Those using the Hobart Airport radar need to remember though that Mount Wellington and the plateau to the west of there means that the radar's view from the airport doesn't always give a true representation of the rain situation west and south-west of the mountain itself.  The general air stream on Sunday is expected to be coming from the south-west. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 393

SATURDAY, 21 MARCH 2009


EUP CONTENDER FOR 

WOMEN'S WORLD CUP FINAL

[EN393-2085]


Brian Jerling of South Africa, who appears to be a contender for one of the two vacant positions that are expected to be available on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) next month, was yesterday named as one of the umpires for the final of the Women's World Cup (WWC) in Sydney tomorrow.  Jerling's colleague in the televised match at the North Sydney Oval between England and New Zealand will be Australian EUP member Steve Davis.


For fifty-year-old Jerling, who has 125 first class matches, the last two in Australia (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009), seventy-five One Day Internationals (ODI} and four Tests in the men's game to his credit to date, Sunday's final will be his fifteenth women's ODI and fifth in the current tournament.  The South African is no stranger to World Cups, having officiated in both the 2003 and 2007 men's events as well as the 2004 Under 19 series, and also umpired in the 2004 and 2008 ODI-based Asian Cup.  


Along with Ian Gould of England, who will in a few weeks have umpired his fourth Test in as many months (E-News 390-2073, 18 March 2009),  Jerling's recent appointment history points to him being prepared by the ICC for one the two EUP positions now available.  


Davis, who is fifty-six, made his international debut in December 1992, and has since stood in eighty-two men's ODIs and seventeen Tests, the last of the latter being the ill-fated match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Lahore earlier this month (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).  Like Jerling he stood in the 2007 men's World Cup and this year's women's final will be his fifth ODI in that area of the game.  He also officiated in both the 2006 and 2008 Under 19 world championships.  


Tyron Wijewardena from Sri Lanka will be the third umpire for the final and Jeff Brookes of Australia's National Umpires Panel the fourth official.


Today at Bankstown the match for third and fourth place in this year's WWC between Australia and India will see Tony Hill of New Zealand and Sarika Prasad of Singapore as the on-field officials, with the only female umpire in the series, Kathy Cross of New Zealand, as the third umpire.  


Across at Drummoyne Oval where the West Indies and Pakistan will be playing at the same time to determine fifth and six places, Indonesian Shahul Hameed and Lakani Oala of Papua New Guinea will umpire the match with Neil Harrison from Japan performing the duties of third umpire.


Like the play-offs over the past week, Brian Aldridge of New Zealand will be the match referee for the three games.  The names of the scorers who will support this weekend's matches have not yet been made public. 


A total of fourteen umpires were used in support of this year's WWC series (E-News 387-2058, 12 March 2009).


TCUSA MEMBERS SET FOR 

GRAND FINALS TODAY

[EN393-2086]


Four TCUSA members will be standing in the Southern Tasmania Cricket League Division one and Division two Grand Finals that are to be played at the Clare Stret and Eady Street grounds commencing at 10 a.m. today, both games involving sides from the Wellington and Saint Virgil's clubs.


David Gainsford and Bruce Parker will be at Clare Street and Don Heapy and Sonny Azzopardi at Eady Street.  Gainsford, Heapy and Parker are no strangers to Grand Finals, but for Azzopardi, who is in his second year as an Association umpire, it will be his first final.


E-NEWS NUMBER 394

MONDAY, 23 MARCH 2009


RANGE OF CHALLENGING ISSUES FOR 

CA REVIEW, PLANNING WORKSHOP

[EN394-2087]


Senior officials from around the nation are to discuss a complex range of umpiring-related issues during Cricket Australia's (CA) annual umpiring end-of-season review and strategic planning workshop which is due to get underway at its headquarters in Melbourne this morning.  Around fifteen people are to attend the two-day meeting, those present including members of CA's head office Umpiring Department, the Directors of umpiring from the six states and two territories, its Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP), and the head of its Technical Committee.  


The agenda for the meeting includes numerous issues that impact on umpiring operations at both the national and state level.  Subjects listed for discussion cover individual state and territory development plans, umpire education, training and coaching, the emerging umpires program, appointment policies, the make up and activities of state umpiring panels, national strategies for the retention and recruitment of match officials, 'collaborative' umpiring, 'live' internet scores, the 'My Cricket' program, and just how the UHPP operated during what was its inaugural season in its current form (E-News 274-1464, 11 July 2008),  


Those attending are expected to include CA Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford and his Melbourne colleagues Sean Easy and 'Umpire Educator' Dennis Burns, Terry Prue the Chair of CA's Technical committee, UHPP members Tony Crafter, Ric Evans, David Levens and Bob Stratford, and state and territory umpiring chiefs Darrell Hair (NSW), Brian Lawrence (Australian Capital Territory), Bob Parry (Victoria), Neil Poulton (South Australia), Mike Ralston (Queensland), Barry Rennie (Western Australia), Wolfgang Werner (Northern Territory) and Richard Widows (Tasmania).


RAZA HOPES TO LEAVE HOSPITAL 

TODAY, CLAIMS REPORT

[EN394-2088]


Pakistani umpire Ahsan Raza, who was critically injured during the terrorist attack in Lahore three weeks ago (E-News 391-2077, 19 March 2009), is hoping to be discharged from hospital later today Australian time, claims a report published in 'The Telegraph' newspaper in Kolkata, India, over the weekend.  Journalist Lokendra Pratap Sahi says that Raza was moved from intensive care in the government-run Services Hospital in Lahore late last week to what was described as a "VIP room" that is usually "meant for members of the [Pakistan] National Assembly or [their] state [equivalents]".


Speaking to the 'Telegraph' via mobile phone, the thirty-four-year-old father of three is said to have described the attack, during which he was hit by bullets in the upper body (E-News 383-2031, 9 March 2009), as "an unbelievable security lapse [and that] among other things, no sharpshooters were deployed on the high rises around the Liberty roundabout [where the assault occurred and that the] story could have been different if the [security] men had been where they were supposed to be".  


Raza praised the efforts of match referee Chris Broad of England, who tried to stem the bleeding from his wounds, as an "act [that] probably made a big difference" in terms of his survival.  Broad and Australian umpires Steve Davis and Simon Taufel were highly critical of the level of security that was provided in Lahore (E-News 381-2023, 9 March 2009), and the Pakistani Minister for Sport said that those involved "were failed" by its lack (E-News 386-2050, 12 March 2009), however, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) report on the attack is said to have given security a "clean chit" (E-News 386-2051, 12 March 2009).


According to the Telegraph's report the PCB "hasn’t announced any compensation as yet" for Raza, but he is said to have stated that the national body would "be working out something", probably "sooner rather than later".  Following its interview with Raza the newspaper contact the PCB and was told that it had just released match-related payments due to Raza for the two One Day Internationals played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka that he worked in last January.


Reports say that the PCB is currently facing significant financial difficulties and that domestic match officials are facing pay cuts as a result (E-News 389-2068, 17 March 2009). 


IPL NO LONGER 'INDIAN', REFEREES, 

UMPIRES STILL UNKNOWN 

[EN394-2089]


The second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will not longer be played in India, according to an announcement made by its organisers yesterday, the move coming because authorities on the sub-continent have ruled that they are unable to provide adequate security for the tournament at a time when national elections will also be underway (E-News 390-2076, 18 March 2009).


Reports overnight are suggesting that the series, which is due to start early next month, could be transferred to either South Africa or England, although weather at that time of the year in the latter nation would appear to be problematical.  No announcement of just who the match officials for the series will be has yet been made, and details are unlikely to be available in the short-term as IPL organisers will be stretched to move their circus to a new location over the next few weeks.  


The IPL says that it expects to be able to make an announcement on just where the series will be played sometime in the next two days.


MATCH OFFICIALS READY,

BUT PLAYERS 'ON STRIKE' 

[EN394-2090]


Umpires and scorers were at three grounds in the West Indies last Friday ready for the start of the fourth-last round of matches in the Caribbean's 'domestic' first class competition when they were informed that all the players involved were 'on strike' over differences their Association has with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).  Despite the problems the three games got underway the following day, however, they are believed to have been reduced to just three days and are scheduled to end on Monday evening local time as originally scheduled.


Umpires Evelyn Jones and Norman Malcolm were at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Friday for the home side's match against Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC).  Half-an-hour before play was due to get underway, Malcolm and Jones were said by the 'Jamaica Observer' newspaper to "appear puzzled" as to what was actually happening, the former being quoted as saying that "we have reported for duty and are ready to start the match as soon as the teams are ready, [but] as it is now there is a no-show of teams [and] we are just forced to wait it out".  


The 'Observer' reported in its Saturday edition that CCC side's bus arrived at the ground well before play was scheduled to begin, but that the players did not leave it and "remained in consistent, animated discussion for at least two hours" before their manager gave them the go-ahead to return to their hotel.  


In contrast, Jamaica's players did not appear at all, the newspaper saying that it contacted "one senior member of the Jamaica squad" and that he is said to have stated that the only way [his team mates] would be at Sabina Park that day was if "someone other than Allen Stanford arranged a winner-take-all $US10 million match".


Over in Saint Vincent, umpires Melvin Noble and Kenrick Davis-Whyttle were preparing for the Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago fixture, and in Barbados Davetirth Anandjit and Anthony Farrell for the home side's game against the Leeward Islands, but they like their colleagues in Jamaica were eventually forced to wait until the following day for their matches to start.


In Guyana, on the same day of the strike, West Indies players taking part in the opening One Day International against England (E-News 394-2091 below), placed duct tape over advertising logos on their shirts as an indication of their "solidarity" with their domestic colleagues, although they are reported to have removed the coverings at the first drinks interval.


Reports indicate that the player's strike centres on issues to do with remuneration, the scheduling of regional and international tournaments, anti-doping policies, and the cricketer's provident fund.  Matters apparently came to a head last Thursday evening ahead of the start of Friday's first class games when WIPA head Dinanath Ramnarine resigned from the WICB over the lack of progress with discussions on "critical issues".  


Latest indications are that the WICB and the WIPA are to meet in Barbados on Tuesday to try and resolve the issues that are of concern to the players.  The next round of domestic first class matches is due to start next Friday in Trinidad, Jamaica and Nevis. 


WINDIES LOOSE ODI AFTER 

DUCKWORTH-LEWIS MISCALCULATION

[EN394-2091]


England won the first One Day International of the current series against the West Indies in Guyana last Friday by one run after the home side's coach told his batsmen to accept the umpires' offer of the light, however, he had miscalculated the score under the Duckworth-Lewis method.  Duckworth-Lewis (D-L), named after the two statisticians who came up with the formula, is the mathematical system that is used to work out the result of weather-affected one-day matches.


Late in the Windies run chase when twenty-seven runs were needed, batsman Denesh Ramdin was dismissed leg before wicket on the second ball of the fourth-last over and immediately after umpires Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Clyde Duncan (West Indies) offered the batting side the light.  


Dyson thought his side was one run ahead under the D-L system and called his batsmen in, but in fact they were one run behind their opponents.  His captain Chris Gayle apparently told the media after the game that his coach was "looking in the wrong column" on the sheet he was using to make a decision, although the dismissal of Ramdin "had confused the issue" somewhat.  Dyson later accepted full responsibility for his error and apologised to his team, say reports.


England captain Andrew Strauss admitted his side were "bewildered" after being gifted victory as they went from losers to winners in the space of one delivery after Stuart Broad removed Ramdin.  "We looked at the [D-L] sheet and it seemed to suggest we were a run ahead", however, in such situations under the D-L system the calculations can change every ball, "but everyone in our support staff was one hundred per cent confident we had won [and] it was just a case of it being verified", said Strauss.


INITIAL WEATHER OUTLOOK 'GOOD' 

FOR TCA GRAND FINALS WEEKEND

[EN394-2092]


The early outlook for Hobart weather for the Grand Finals of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's 2008-09 Grade season scheduled to be played next Friday, Saturday and Sunday looks positive, according to the latest long-range forecasts available from the Bureau of Meteorology.  The First Grade Grand Final is due to start at Bellerive on Friday morning and run for three days, with Second, Third and Under 17 Grades being played over the weekend itself.


Current forecasts suggest that 'fine' conditions will prevail on all three days with maximum temperatures being close to twenty degrees Celsius.  Despite that news, the outlook could change as the weekend approaches as computer projections of weather systems five to six days ahead are far from perfect given the complexities of atmospheric motion.  Up-dates on the weather outlook for the Grand Final period can be obtained each day by going to the TCUSA's web site and clicking on the 'yellow box' at the top right of the page. 


An announcement as to who will umpire each of the four finals will be made during the TCA's Emerson Rodwell Medal Dinner at Bellerive this Wednesday evening.  In addition, two TCUSA umpiring members will be named as part of the TCA's 'Team of the Year', last year's nominees being Nick McGann and Jamie Mitchell (E-News 208-1166, 13 March 2008).


E-NEWS NUMBER 395

TUESDAY, 24 MARCH 2009


GOULD, HILL ELEVATED TO 

ICC'S ELITE UMPIRES PANEL

[EN395-2093]


The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday that Ian Gould of England and Tony Hill of New Zealand have been selected to join its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP).  With West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor set to retire from international cricket next Sunday (E-News 395-2096 below), and the departure of Australian Darrell Hair from the panel last year (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2009), the ICC move means that the EUP is again back to a membership of twelve as recommended in its review of international umpiring eighteen months ago (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007).


David Richardson, the ICC’s General Manager Cricket and head of its Umpires Selection Panel (USP), said in a statement that the promotion of Gould and Hill from its second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) was "a result of [their] perseverance, hard work and commitment and I am sure [they] will serve as an inspiration to the other [IUP] umpires who are striving hard to break into the top flight".  


According to Richardson, "apart from their sound decision-making, [the USP has] been particularly impressed with [their] team-work and ability to handle pressure when they have been given opportunities to umpire Test and high-level One Day International (ODI) cricket".  “They both enjoy a good rapport with players", he said, "and have earned a lot of respect in their international careers to date" and we are confident they will be able to make the step up to [EUP] level".


Gould, fifty-one, who has been selected for four Tests, thirteen ODIs and one Twenty20 (T20) International over the last year, was quoted by the ICC as saying that he is "delighted to have been selected" and believes that "having played cricket at a high level for twenty-one years" (E-News 390-2073, 18 March 2009), he understands the game from the players’ point of view and therefore brings that empathy to his umpiring.  "Although it’s a very different challenge to playing the game, being an umpire is enormously rewarding and a great way to stay involved", concluded Gould. 


A member of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) first class panel since 2002, Gould was promoted to the IUP in 2006, and has since gone on to be named to the four Tests as well as thirty-one ODIs. 


Hill, fifty-seven, was said to be "thrilled by this appointment" and that for him "umpiring is all about teamwork, so to be part of such a great team as the [EUP] is huge for me" and that he is "looking forward to continuing to work hard and repaying the faith the ICC has shown in me".  Hill has stood in three Tests, eleven ODIs, and a single T20 International since last April, and overall nine Tests and sixty-three ODIs since he joined the IUP in 1998.  


Two of his three Tests in the last year were somewhat unplanned and came at short notice when the original umpire selected had to withdraw (369-1968, 9 February 2009), one of them ending after just ten deliveries in farcical circumstances (E-News 372-1984, 14 February 2009).   


Yesterday's announcement means that there will now be two Englishmen and two New Zealanders on the EUP, Gould joining Mark Benson and Hill his countryman 'Billy' Bowden.  The other eight EUP members over the next twelve months will be Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf (Pakistan), Steve Davis, Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel (Australia), Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka), Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Rudi Koertzen (South Africa).  


Koertzen's retention means that he is likely to pass the 100 Test and 200 ODI match mark before the middle of this year as currently his record stands at ninety-nine Tests and 195 ODIs (E-News 375-2000, 19 February 2009).  While he holds the ODI record though, he would need to stay on for a further three years to have a chance of passing Bucknor's 128 Test match record. 


The South African turns sixty in two days time and his time on the EUP is therefore likely to be limited and the ICC has identified a number of 'emerging' umpires who will be vying for a slot on that panel over the next year (E-News 395-2094 below).  


Vacancies left by Gould and Hill on the IUP will be made by their respective home boards "in due course" says the ICC.  Just when the ECB and Cricket New Zealand will replace them on their home first class panels has not yet been announced, although given that it is expected to announce its 2009 season appointments in the very near future, the former is likely to do so quite soon.   


TUCKER MAKES INTERNATIONAL 

'EMERGING UMPIRE' LIST 

[EN395-2094]


Australian umpire Rod Tucker is one of four members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) who the world body says it has "identified" for overseas appointments over the next year, a group that could be described as an international 'emerging umpires' panel.  A former first class player who commenced his umpiring career in Tasmania, Tucker's selection is the latest promotion in what has been a rapid rise from grade to interstate cricket and on to the international scene (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009).  


In addition to Tucker, the other members of the ICC's 'emerging' group, which the ICC clearly sees as being potential candidates for future promotion to its top level Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 395-2093 above), are Marais Erasmus (South Africa), Amish Saheba (India) and Nigel Llong (England).  


All four are in their forties, and all played first class cricket prior to joining umpiring ranks, Tucker's playing record from 1986-99 including 103 first class and sixty-five List A matches (103/65), Llong's 68/136 from 1990-98, Erasmus' 53/54 from 1988-97, and Shaheba 15/0 from 1983-89, however, none of them reached full international level as players.  Shaheba is the oldest at forty-nine, Erasmus is forty-five and Tucker forty-four, while Llong turned forty just last month. 


While the Australian has most experience as a player, Llong currently leads the four in terms on time on the ground as an umpire.  He has stood in eighty-six first class matches, four of them Tests, as well as 124 List A games, twenty-four of them One Day Internationals (86/4/124/24), Shaheb is next with 55/2/62/26, then comes Erasmus with 42/0/45/6 and Tucker with 26/0/21/3. 


The Australian is currently in South Africa as part of an umpire exchange program organised by Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009).  He stood with Erasmus in the drawn four-day first class match between the Titans and Warriors in Centurion from 12-15 March, and will officiate in the Lions-Cobras game in Potchefstroom from 26-29 March.  


After that he is to stand in the ICC's One Day International (ODI) format World Cup Qualifier tournament for second-tier nations that is to be played in South Africa from 1-19 April (E-News 389-2070, 17 March 2009).    


ZIMBABWEAN TO JOIN MATCH 

REFEREES GROUP 

[EN395-2095]


Former Zimbabwe Test batsman Andy Pycroft has been added to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) match referees panel, an appointment that takes the number in the group back up to seven following the resignation of South Africa's Mike Proctor late last year (E-News 338-1785, 28 October 2008).  Pycroft took part in seventy-two first class matches, three of them Tests, during his playing career, as well as one hundred List A games, twenty of them One Day Internationals, but there is no record available on-line of him working as an umpire or match referee in the past.


ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement that “Andy is a real cricket man with a remarkably diverse background within the game at the highest level [for] he has been a player, team manager, selector and broadcaster so that, coupled with his legal background, it makes him an excellent addition to the referees’ panel".  Lorgat continued by saying that Pycroft "has a deep understanding of and passion for cricket and I am confident he will do an excellent job".


Pycroft has sat on several ICC committees including its Technical and Rules group and the Cricket Committee, and away from cricket he has worked as a lawyer for the past twenty-two years.  He considers himself "fortunate to have been involved in cricket for many years in many different capacities" and says he "has always tried to be fair and respect the game".  He is "looking forward to this new challenge [and] will be doing [his] very best to apply that range of skills effectively".


The Zimbabwean joins Chris Broad (England), Jeff Crowe (New Zealand), Alan Hurst (Australia), Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama (both Sri Lanka), and Javagal Srinath (India) on the ICC's match referee's panel for the next twelve months.


BUCKNOR'S UMPIRING CAREER 

HONOURED DURING HIS LAST TEST  

[EN395-2096]


West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor was honoured by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in brief ceremonies held during the Third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town over the weekend, events that marked his retirement from Test match cricket.  ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Haroon Lorgat presented Bucknor with a painting that features images of his umpiring career, while players and officials formed a guard of honour for him when play resumed after tea on Sunday and a range of well-known cricket identities made clear their views. 


Lorgat said that “Steve’s is a career that has embraced so much and deserves to be celebrated [for] his record of five consecutive World Cup finals will not, I contend, be overtaken and he will retire as the umpire to have officiated in the most Test matches and [as] the first to break the 100 Test mark".  “His endurance is testament to discipline and consistency, two characteristics to which all in cricket should aspire", said the CEO.


The ICC's General Manager Cricket, the former South Africa wicketkeeper David Richardson, said that Bucknor has "been a highly respected umpire and outstanding servant to the game of cricket".  “Steve’s talents will be sorely missed on the [Elite Umpires Panel] and he will be leaving a void in the game when he departs".


Former West Indies captain and international match referee and current ICC Cricket Committee Chairman Clive Lloyd said: “I’ve known Steve since [he commenced his international career] and have worked with him as a match referee".  "He takes his job very seriously and is a huge credit to cricket and the game [and] his honesty and hard-working attitude" are much valued.  


 “We all have to go at sometime and now it is Steve’s time, but I hope that the West Indies Cricket Board will look to use his knowledge and experience when it comes to training and coaching new umpires", something that Bucknor has said he wants to do (E-News 376-2004, 23 February 2009).


Former England captain and batsman-wicketkeeper Alec Stewart said he holds "Steve Bucknor up there with David Shepherd as one of the [umpiring] greats of my era" as a player.  “I think the fact Steve has been able to stand for as long as he has is a great reflection of him as an individual and also as an umpire, [for] he had great man-management skills and could diffuse any situation along with making sound decisions at tough times".


Bucknor's EUP colleague Rudi Koertzen said the West Indian's departure "is a huge loss" just like it was when Shepherd retired for "you just can’t make up for experience and knowledge", said Koertzen, and "to have had him as a colleague has been a privilege". 


ICC Umpires’ Manager Doug Cowie added: “twenty years ago this week Steve began his international umpiring career that will include 128 Tests, 181 One Day Internationals (ODI) and an amazing five consecutive World Cup finals.  “The things that made Steve a great umpire are also reflected in his personal qualities of fairness, understanding and honesty [for] he always gave the game and the players the utmost respect, even when under the greatest of pressure in Test cricket".


Bucknor's international umpiring career will come to an end this weekend when he stands in his last two ODIs when the West Indies takes on England in Barbados.  His on-field colleague for those two games will be Australian umpire Steve Davis (E-News 395-2097 below). 


DAVIS REPLACES DAR FOR LAST 

THREE WINDIES-ENGLAND ONE-DAYERS

[EN395-2097]


Australian umpire Steve Davis of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is to replace his EUP colleague Aleem Dar of Pakistan for the last three games of the five-match One Day International (ODI) series between the West Indies and England.  Dar, who stood in the first two matches with West Indian Clyde Duncan, is returning home to Pakistan for what the ICC says are "family reasons". 


Davis will stand in ODIs three and four in Barbados next Friday and Sunday with retiring West Indian Steve Bucknor (E-News 395-2096 above).  Those games will take Bucknor's ODI record to 181 matches and Davis' to eighty-four, the Australian's eighty-fifth being the fifth ODI of the series in Saint Lucia on Friday week.  Davis' on-field partner for that match has not yet been announced. 


The South Australian officiated in the Women's World Cup final last Sunday (E-News 393-2085, 21 March 2009), and prior to that was on the ground in the Second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Lahore, a match that was abandoned after a terrorist attack (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).


'CONFUSION' AS COUNTRY GRAND 

FINAL ENDS IN A TIE

[EN395-2098]


Reports say that there was "confusion" in Horsham, Victoria, on Sunday after the Horsham Cricket Association's (HCA) 'B' Grade grand final between Rup-Minyip and Jung Tigers finished in a tie, says a story in yesterday's 'Wimmera Mail-Times' newspaper.  Players and supporters were said to be seen "flicking through association rules" to find out who had won while others "meticulously" checked the score books, however, after conferring, HCA officials ruled that the team who finished higher on the ladder at the end of home-and-away games was the victor, Rup-Minyip, who finished second winning as the Jung Tigers were fourth.


Rup-Minyip batsmen Vincent White and Jordan Tegelhuter had come together for a final wicket partnership with the score at 9-134, the pair needing to get another nineteen runs to pass their opponents score of 152.  With two balls to go in the match they needed two runs to win and ran a single off the first of those balls to tie the match to the roar of the crowd but, as the newspaper reports it Tegelhuter, after completing the run and "confused by the crowd reaction ran to celebrate with his batting partner, only to have a fieldsman run him out".  


However, says the report, the unnamed umpires "ruled that Tegelhuter was 'not out' as he was not attempting to make a run".  The pair were unable to score a run off the final ball to win the match, hence the tied result.


CA CHANGES TUNE ON STATUS OF HUNT 

FOR DAY-NIGHT TEST BALLS

[EN395-2099]


Night Test cricket is still on Cricket Australia's (CA) agenda but it may take "years not months" before a suitable ball for such games becomes available, says an article published in the 'Herald Sun' newspaper in Melbourne on Sunday.  The story, which was published just over a week after a CA representative attended a meeting at Lord's to discuss attempts to find an alternatively-coloured ball for day-night matches including Tests (E-News 386-2056, 12 March 2009), suggests that progress on that objective may be slower than CA envisaged six months ago (E-News 343-1817, 5 November 2008).


Journalist Scott Walsh says in his 'Herald Sun' story that while CA has begun "an international search for a ball suited to day-night conditions", it has yet to formally commission a research agency to find the answer.  One of Australia's most prominent research organisations, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO), was said to have told Walsh that its investigation into ball development "was at a standstill because CA's general manager of cricket operations, Michael Brown, had failed to follow up preliminary inquiries" made by CA late last year.  


The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Manger of Cricket Operations David Richardson said last October that Test matches could be played under floodlights as earlier as [2009] (E-News 331-1748, 20 October 2008).  Not long after that the 'Sydney Morning Herald' ('SMH') quoted CA spokesman Peter Young as saying that the CSIRO had "told us it is absolutely possible to deliver a ball that replicates, at all times, the performance of the red ball", although they will "probably be pink" in colour .  


Young went on to say that CSIRO was "developing a system where cricket balls can be tested so [that] we know for sure these balls are [of] Test standard" and that "a landmark day-night Test will be played in Australia within two years", but Walsh's story is at odds with Young's previous optimism.    


Walsh writes that when interviewed last week, CA spokesman Philip Pope indicated that spectator demand showed that the day-night time slot was popular among viewers, but that playing Tests at night could not be launched without a ball that could withstand the required eighty overs while retaining visibility under lighting. 


"Let's be honest, [ball development] isn't top of the [agenda for the CA] directors' board meeting", he said, rather "it's a work in progress [and] it's impossible to put a timeframe on it, but we're talking years, not months".  Pope also said that "we're still at the stage where we're working out what scientists we're going to use and how that happens [and] we're dipping our toe in the water with these ideas" at the moment.


The Lord's meeting two weeks ago was convened and hosted by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which released a lengthy statement prior to it being held that detailed its aims and gave an indication as who was expected to attend, although just who CA's "representative" was is not known. To date the MCC has not given any publicity to the outcomes of the meeting. 


REMOVAL OF COVERS BY 'SABOTEURS' 

IMPACTS SEMI FINAL MATCH 

[EN395-2100]


Saboteurs ruined a semi final of the Far North Coast Cricket League in northern New South Wales between the Casino Caveliers and Tintenbar on Saturday when the covers protecting the pitch were partially removed at Oakes Oval in Lismore.   Lismore City Council curator Craig Goldsmith arrived at the ground at 7 a.m. to find the covers peeled back, exposing the northern end of the pitch to heavy overnight rain, says the 'Northern Star' newspaper.


Umpires David Went and Laurie Axtens and the two captains were said to all believe that the covers were deliberately interfered with but there were "no suspects".  The match officials are said to have offered to move the match to another ground, but Casino's captain rejected that as his side needed only a draw to progress to the final for it had claimed the minor premiership a week earlier. “We did ask to move but [the Casino captain] was within his rights to stay at Oakes and we would have done the same thing", said Tintenbar skipper Brett Crawford.


Unfortunately for Tintenbar when play began after a four-hour wait, they lost the toss and were sent in to bat, only to quickly slump to 5-42, four of the wickets falling at the rain-affected end from deliveries that are said to have reared off a good length.  They eventually limped to 123 on the second day of the game on Sunday, but Casio passed the total without losing a wicket and thus won passage to the Grand Final next weekend.

“It's certainly not a fair way to finish the season", said Crawford, for "it really leaves a bad taste in the mouth and effectively the game was decided by the toss of the coin".


The 'Northern Star' says that it is not the first time controversy has surrounded finals cricket in the Lismore area.  Four years ago the side from Lennox Head had Souths on the ropes on the first day, but a groundsman wrongly watered the pitch on the Saturday night and it "became a minefield", Lennox Head subsequently being dismissed cheaply.


When asked if the Casino side would camp out at Oakes Oval next Friday evening to ensure no tampering of the wicket before the Grand Final against the Ballina Bears, their captain Al Nowlan said he would not rule it out.


E-NEWS NUMBER 396

THURSDAY, 26 MARCH 2009


JOHN, NOGAJSKI NAMED FOR FIRST 

GRADE GRAND FINAL

[EN396-2101]


Tasmanian State Umpire Panel members Steven John and Sam Nogajski have been named as the umpires for the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 2008-09 First Grade Grand Final between North Hobart and University at Bellerive Oval.  Their appointments, together with those to three other Grade finals, were announced to over 150 guests present at the TCA's annual Emerson Rodwell Grade cricket awards dinner at Bellerive last night.    


Other TCA Grand Final umpiring appointments announced at the dinner were: Nick McGann and Michael Graham-Smith for the Second Grade game at Kingston Beach between Kingborough and North Hobart; Brian Muir and Wade Stewart for the Third Grade match at Queenborough involving Kingborough and South Hobart Sandy Bay; and Steve Gibson and Mark Wickham who will be at Lindisfarne when Clarence takes on Kingborough in the Under 17s.  Those three matches will be played over Saturday-Sunday, while the First Grade game will start tomorrow and run for three days.


The umpires will be managing their games with the assistance of eight scorers, Brett Walker and Louise Jauncey supporting the First Grade match and Des Mortimer and Vanita Holland the Second Grade game.  Names of scorers for the Third and Under 17 matches were not available last night.


John, who is in his sixth season as an umpire with the TCUSA, will be standing in his third-straight First Grade decider (E-News 208-1165, 13 March 2008).  Prior to that he officiated in a Second Grade Grand Final and an Oatlands District Cricket Association (ODCA) premiership decider.


It has had a long and very busy season for John that started with the Emerging Players Tournament in Queensland in July (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008), then went on to involve a pre-season competition in Queensland involving state playing squads, top-level one-day and Twenty20 interstate matches, games involving state Second XIs, one in Sydney and the other in Hobart, the Women's Cricket Australia Cup, and as the fourth official in the One Day International at Bellerive between Australia and South Africa.  Those achievements were topped off by the award of a $A20,000 grant under the Australian Sports Commission's National Officiating Scholarship program (E-News 369-1963, 9 February 2009), and selection for international Under 19 matches next month (E-News 382-2024, 6 March 2009). 


For his colleague Nogajski, who is also in his sixth season as an umpire, the final will be his first at that level.  In addition to that appointment he was last night also chosen in the TCA's Grade 'Team of the Year' for the first time (E-News 396-2102 below).  


Graham-Smith makes his Grade Grand Final debut in just his second season as an umpire after having stood in the Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL) 'B' Division match last year, and this season the final of both the State Twenty20 Cup and the 'Jamie Cox Plate'.  Now at the end of his fourth season, his partner McGann umpired the Second Grade decider last year and its Third Grade equivalent the season before that (E-News 208-1164, 13 March 2008).  Last night he was selected in the TCA's Grade 'Team of the Year' for the second year in a row (E-News 396-2102 below).


Both of the umpires in the Third Grade game are very experienced.  Muir will be standing in his fifth TCA Grade Grand Final in eight seasons with the TCUSA in Hobart, this year's appointment following two Second Grade and two First Grade deciders since 2005 as well as this year's State Twenty20 final and a number of top-level interstate one-day games.  Wade, an eight-year veteran with the Association, has stood in two Second Grade and a First Grade Grand Final over the last three seasons, plus the 2008-09 final of the 'Jamie Cox Plate'.  


Gibson and Wickham, who are in their eleventh and eighth season with the TCUSA respectively, are no strangers to an Under 17 Grand Final, having also been paired together for last year's match, as well as standing in that final in 2002 and 2003 respectively.  In the past Wickham has also officiated in both STCL 'A' and Derwent Valley 'B' Grand Finals, and his partner in TCA Third Grade, Derwent Valley 'A' and TCA Under 15 season deciders.    


Steve Maxwell has been named as the emergency umpire for the four matches and will be based at Bellerive over the three days of the First Grade match unless needed elsewhere.  In addition, Ian Quaggin and Caroline McGregor will be on telephone stand-by and can thus provide further back-up to the four matches if needed.


While all those games will be underway on turf in the Hobart area, the Grand Final of the ODCA is to be held up at Oatlands between Orford and Mount Pleasant on Saturday, TCUSA members Mark Gillard and Alistair Scott being selected for that match.  


Gillard is no stranger to ODCA season deciders as this year's game will be his fourth in a row and sixth overall in eight years, however, while Scott has officiated in that competition's semi finals twice in the past, the match will be his first season-decider in the country, although he has previously stood in an STCL 'A' Division premiership match.


The last Grand Final of the year will not be played until next Thursday and Friday, it being the two-day State Independent Schools Grand Final between Hutchins of Hobart and Launceston Grammar.  Ian Quaggin and Martin Betts have been appointed as umpires for that two-day game at the Hutchins Oval.


McGANN AGAIN CHOSEN IN

TCA GRADE 'TEAM OF THE YEAR'

[EN396-2102]


State Umpire Panel members Nick McGann and Sam Nogajski were last night named as members of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Grade 'Team of the Year' at the annual end-of-season Emerson Rodwell Medal Dinner at Bellerive.  McGann, who was named in the side for the second year running (E-News 208-1166, 13 March 2008), and Nogajski who was chosen for the second time the first two years ago, were selected as the match officials TCA clubs perceive as having best handled the management of all facets of the umpire's role in First Grade games this season.  


Nogajski has had a very successful season, for in the lead up to his appointment to tomorrow's TCA's First Grade Grand Final (E-News 396-2101 above), he took part in a pre-season competition in Queensland involving state playing squads, made his debut in a Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) game for state Second XIs, stood in the final of the intrastate Kookaburra Cup one-day series, and travelled to Newcastle to officiate in Cricket Australia's national men's Under 19 championship.  The latter is regarded by Cricket Australia (CA) as a key tournament on its umpiring development pathway.


McGann, who was last night named as one of the umpires for the TCA's Second Grade Grand Final (E-News 396-2101 above), stood in his second CAC match earlier this year as well as another state Second XI match, worked with Nogajski in the Kookaburra Cup final, and in Perth at CA's national men's Under 17 championship. 


Prior to moving to umpiring half-a-decade ago, both men had successful playing careers in the TCA's Grade competition, Nogajski with Clarence and McGann with Glenorchy.

McGann, along with Steven John who will be Nogajski's partner in this week's First Grade Grand Final, will umpire in the three-match series between the Australian and Indian Under 19 sides at Bellerive in two weeks time (E-News 382-2024, 6 March 2009).


UMPIRE, SCORER, COMMENTS SOUGHT 

ON TCA BY LAWS

[EN396-2103]


With the 2008-09 season drawing to a close, now is the time for TCUSA umpiring and scorer members to review and provide any constructive comments they may have on where they think the existing playing conditions or By Laws that govern all Tasmanian Cricket Association games can be improved.  


Members are asked to provide their comments to Mark Wickham of the TCUSA's Management Committee.  He will collate suggestions received so that they can be presented to the TCA's Grade Cricket Committee for consideration later this year.  Now is the time to provide your thoughts while the issues are still fresh in your mind.   


GRAND FINAL WEATHER OUTLOOK 

CONTINUES POSITIVE

[EN396-2104]


The weather outlook for the Grand Finals of the Tasmanian Cricket Association and Oatlands District Cricket Association over the next three days continues to be positive, with 'fine' being used to describe expected conditions on both Friday and Saturday before a 'late shower' arrives on Sunday afternoon.  Maximum temperatures are anticipated at around nineteen, twenty-six and twenty-five degrees Celsius respectively over those three days.  


TCUSA umpires and scorers involved in Grand Finals this week can keep a close eye on the weather forecast and situation at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site.  Access is readily available to the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and the latest radar pictures from Hobart airport via that portal. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 397

FRIDAY, 27 MARCH 2009


TCA 'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' 

AWARD TO NORTH HOBART 

[EN397-2105]


The North Hobart Cricket Club were presented with the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 'Spirit of Cricket' trophy for the 2008-09 season at the TCA's annual Emerson Rodwell medal dinner held at Bellerive on Wednesday evening.  Hobart topped the list after points awarded by TCUSA umpires standing in all Grade games this season were tallied, the scoring system and philosophy used being the same as the up-graded approach adopted late last year by Cricket Australia for interstate competitions (E-News 325-1705, 8 October 2008).


Points allocated by the umpires covered three areas of each team's performance in TCA matches, they being respect shown for their opponents, the role of the umpire and for the game itself.  Each of the three parts of the report required umpires to give teams a mark that varies between 'zero' and 'four', there thus being a maximum of twelve points available per side per match.


Final figures for the season are not available, however, prior to the last home-and-away matches North Hobart led with an average score of 6.37 points per round, followed by Kingborough 6.27, Lindisfarne 6.26, Glenorchy 6.19, South Hobart Sandy Bay 6.09, Clarence 6.02, University 5.96 and New Town 5.91.


In other trophies presented on Wednesday night as a result of votes cast by umpires during the season, Rob Denehey the curator of Anzac Park, Lindisfarne's home ground, won the TCA's groundsman's award, while South Hobart Sandy Bay all-rounder Adam Polkinghorne took out a record fifth Emerson Rodwell Medal as the Grade Cricket Player of the Year.    


LIMIT REFERRAL CALLS TO 

UMPIRES ONLY, SAYS BUCKNOR  

[EN397-2106]


Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar is concerned suggestions by West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor that umpires be in charge of referrals mean that they will tend to tend to play safe and refer a majority of appeals to the third umpire, says a report by the Press Trust of India (PTI).  Bucknor, who left the Test arena for the last time in Cape Town last Sunday, believes that players should not be able to ask for referrals and that the task should rest solely with the on-field and television umpires (E-News 383-2081, 20 March 2009).


Bucknor urged the International Cricket Council to take the right of video referrals away from players and hand it to umpires.  "It is my opinion that it is the umpires on the field, they're the ones who should be asking these questions", said Bucknor.  Umpires "know when the decisions are tough and marginal, we just know [and] I believe we are the ones who should be going up there to say, 'Third umpire, have a look at this, it is marginal'," he said.


Vengsarkar was quoted by the PTI this week as saying that while he "generally agreed" with Bucknor, at the moment umpires are prone to refer relatively straight-forward 'run out' decisions to the third official "even though they are not marginal", and that they are likely to tend in that direction for other types of appeals thereby increasing the number of stoppages in a game.


England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman Giles Clarke has expressed similar views to Bucknor, saying last month that in his view the current structure of the Umpire Decision Review System "undermines the authority of on-field officials".  He believes that the approach used in last year's Stanford Twenty20 series in which the third umpire intervened on his own initiative in case of doubt, should be trialled at international level (E-News 370-1971, 12 February 2009).


BANGLADESHI UMPIRE FOR WORLD 

CUP QUALIFIER SERIES

[EN397-2107]


Former Bangladeshi Test player Enamul Haque, who is now a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, is to stand in the twelve-team, thirty-three match World Cup Qualifier series that is due to get underway in South Africa next Wednesday and run for almost three weeks, say media reports from Dhaka yesterday.  The sides who finish in the first four positions in the tournament will qualify directly for the 2011 World Cup (E-News 389-2070, 17 March 2009).    


Enamul, forty-three, played ten Tests for his country and twenty-four other first class matches, as well as twenty-nine One Day Internationals (ODI) up until his retirement in April 2003.  He made the transition to higher-level umpiring very quickly, making his debut in first class cricket just eight months after bowling his last ball and has since gone on to chalk up twenty-eight such games.  After three years standing at domestic level Enamul was selected for the first of his now fourteen ODIs in December 2006, half of those being accumulated over the last twelve months, and late last year he worked as the third umpire in two Tests.


As a player Enamul visited England, India, Ireland, Kenya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, his first and to date only overseas travel as an umpire being for the Under 19 World Cup in Malaysia early last year (E-News 185-999, 29 January 2008). 


FAREWELL PLANNED FOR BUCKNOR 

BEFORE HIS LAST ODI

[EN397-2108]


Retiring West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor is to be honoured by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) at a ceremony that is to be held before the start of play in the Fourth One Day International (ODI) between the home side and England in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Sunday.  


That match will be Bucknor's 181st ODI and last on the international scene and WICB President Dr Julian Hunte told local media that his "sterling contribution to the game in Jamaica, the West Indies and all over the world" would be appropriately acknowledged.  


The Jamaican stood in his 128th and final Test match in Cape Town last week (E-News 395-2096, 24 March 2009) and will be in action tonight Australian time in the Third Windies-England ODI in the lead up to Sunday's game.  His on-field colleague in both matches will be Australian Steve Davis (E-News 395-2097, 24 March 2009).

 

 INDOOR CRICKET WORLD CUP 

SET FOR BRISBANE

[EN397-2109]


The Indoor Cricket World Cup is to be played in Brisbane over ten days in mid October, the series involving teams from Australia, Canada, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Wales playing in four separate divisions, two for 'open' men and women, and the others for Under 19 men and women sides.  Cricket Australia (CA) outlined details of the tournament yesterday when announcing that it and Indoor Sports Australia (ISA) have reached agreement to bring the indoor game under CA auspices.


CA Chief Executive Officer, James Sutherland, said there has been extensive consultation and negotiation between the two bodies and the move has the support of the Australian Sports Commission.  “There are obvious synergies between the indoor and outdoor formats of the game, so bringing the two formats under one Cricket umbrella makes a lot of sense", he said.


“Connecting all forms of the game builds on CA's vision for cricket to be Australia’s favourite sport, and by bringing together participants in both indoor and outdoor cricket we will have the largest participation figures in Australian sport", said Sutherland.  


ISA Chairman Greg Donnelly said the move would ensure the future of indoor cricket was secure.  “Indoor cricket has been a popular sport for many years with around 200,000 people playing across the country [and] we want to see the sport continue to grow and this is the best way for this to be realised", said Donnelly.


It is not known at this stage where match officials will be drawn from for next October's World Cup.

 

'FRESH' BUT 'FINE' FOR TCA FIRST 

GRADE GRAND FINAL START

[EN397-2111]


Umpires Steven John and Sam Nogajski are likely to have to wear their coats on to Bellerive Oval and hold on to their hats this morning for the start of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's First Grade Final between North Hobart and University (E-News 396-2102, 26 March 2009).  The latest forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology is for it to be "partly cloudy with moderate westerly winds, fresh at first" with the top temperature being put at nineteen degrees Celsius.


The outlook for the weekend proper when the other three Grade finals will be played remains unchanged from that issued over the last few days, Saturday being 'fine' with a pleasant maximum of twenty-six degrees Celsius, while Sunday's says 'shower or two later', the top temperature that day being put at twenty-three.


Details of the latest weather forecast and situation can be obtained at any time by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site, the latest weather satellite images, synoptic charts and latest radar pictures from Hobart airport being available at the click of your 'mouse'.


E-NEWS NUMBER 398

SATURDAY, 28 MARCH 2009


COORDINATED UMPIRING STRUCTURE 

TARGETED BY ACO

[EN398-2111]


Development of a coordinated approach to umpiring across England and Wales and the establishment of a clear "umpire-pathway" from local to first class level are key aims of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO), according to ECB Umpires' Manager Chris Kelly.  Writing in the first ACO newsletter since December this week, Kelly says that "it is right that our first class umpires will [now] be part of the same family as the 'recreational' majority".


Kelly, who manages the ECB's first class panel, says that under the ACO's philosophy all umpires, and presumably scorers as well, will "enjoy the same conditions and opportunities" and that "for the first time" individuals will be able to "officiate at any level" provided they have the "ability and desire". 


While a few individuals who have not played first class cricket have made it on to the ECB's first class panel in recent years (E-News 143-777, 27 November 2007), those who have continue to dominated umpiring ranks at County level.  The opening up of opportunities for non-players was one of the key 'selling points' used by the ECB when it was encouraging former members of the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers to vote for the ACO's formation eighteen months ago (E-News 131-710, 9 November 2007)  


According to Kelly, the ACO's forty County-based Boards are being "strongly encouraged" to "facilitate best-practice" by sharing their ideas "beyond County boundaries", and he mentions such issues as the "grading of umpires", the establishment of a "universal disciplinary code", and setting up a "national remuneration scale" as some of the areas that the ACO and its members need to address.


Kelly states that the "coming together" of the ACO has already borne fruit as "more national and regional competitions" have now come under its auspices, including the National Club Knockout series, the Cockspur Twenty20 Cup, Women’s County Championships and U19 Super 4s, plus County Second XI Championship and Trophy Matches. 


"This really is the start of a brave new world in which we are all being challenged at all our levels", concludes Kelly, and he asks ACO members if they are "ready for it"?


TOP SRI LANKAN UMPIRES' COMMITTEE 

HAS RESIGNED, SAYS REPORT 

[EN398-2112]


Sri Lanka's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper is this morning quoting "sources" as saying that all five members of Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) umpires' committee have resigned from their positions.  The committee headed by Ken de Alwis, which the 'Mirror' says did a "commendable job", included Sudharman de Silva, Vernon de Mel, Srinath Silva and Percy Perera.  The newspaper does not say why the group have all resigned together but says that its source expects SLC to appoint a new committee to replace it "shortly".


ACO MOVES TO IMPROVE 

MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS

[EN398-2113]


The Association of Cricket Officials' (ACO) new Board of Governors discussed a wide range of issues at its inaugural meeting which was held at Lord's on 8 January, according to details provided to members when its latest newsletter was distributed in mid-week.  In the fifteen months since its establishment the ACO, which is part of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has had to deal with a range of complex challenges, and there are several apologies in the eight-page newsletter for the "confusion and errors" that its members are said to have experienced over that time.


According to the newsletter the Board, which is the "primary method of control and decision-making at the heart of the ECB ACO", is "very enthusiastic" about what is termed its "Freedom of Information" policy, and it indicates that the outcomes of its meetings will be distributed to its County Boards a "few weeks" after the event, as well as via its newsletter and web pages. "It is important [that members] all know how the ACO [is being] run", says the newsletter.  


Twelve months ago claims were made that ACO members were not being kept abreast of developments and that they were "confused" as to what was happening (E-News 233-1291, 23 April 2008), a situation not helped by the fact that only four editions of group's newsletter were issued in 2008, there being a four-month gap in publication at one period (E-News 361-1924, 18 December 2008).  


That problem was apparently compounded by general administrative difficulties in the ACO's office at Lord's, concern being expressed by the Board "at [the] rate of response to members’ questions by phone and e-mail", and with on-going difficulties with the membership data base.  In order to speed up replies the Board is said to have agreed at its five-and-a-half hour meeting nearly three months ago to change the way members' queries are processed, although as the newsletter was being prepared there were said to be "2,500" e-mails in the ACO's 'in box'.  


The employment of a third full-time staff member in the ACO office is also expected to help in that area as one of his key tasks is to deal with member communication issues, the two other staff members who have been on-board for over a year dealing with education (E-News 398-2114 below) and general administration respectively.


Despite the difficulties the ACO says that there has been a surge in membership with "over 6,500" people now signed up, an increase of 1,500 over the seven months since considerable publicity was given to it reaching to 5,000 membership mark last July (E-News 276-1475,15 July 2008).  


Another issue related to communications that was discussed by the Board was just how to "best organise and manage" its Regional Meetings and Forums.  The April 2008 ACO newsletter indicated that Forums would be held in each of the organisation's five regions at least twice a year, however, there were no details of what if any agreement was reached in that regard at the Board meeting in January, although there was acknowledgement of the "probable need for informal sub-divisions in the larger [regions]". 


Other matters agreed to by the Board in January include the establishment of a Working Group to prepare a draft Constitution for the ACO, and that an Audit committee plus two sub-committees dealing with 'Membership Services' and 'Education' be formed.  The 'Education' group is to have a 'Technical Advisory Group' nestled within it and will have as one of its "advisors" ECB Umpires' Manager Chris Kelly (E-News 397-2111 above).  The draft Consitution and the Terms of Reference for each of the sub-groups are to be considered at the Board's next scheduled meeting in April.


Illustrations of new ACO-labelled on-field and casual wear were provided in the newsletter, as well as details of new insurance support that is available to members. 


Twelve people are listed as attending the inaugural Board meeting in January, they being Roger Knight its Chairman (E-News 177-952, 15 January 2008), former England captain Mike Gatting representing the ECB's Executive, Fraser Stewart from the Marylebone Cricket Club, Richard Holdsworth (ICC Europe), Nick Cousins and Sam Greaves (ACO office), and Regional Representatives Lorraine Elgar (London and East) (E-News 398-2116 below), Tony Leadbetter (South and West), Peter Mitchell (Midlands), Philip Radcliffe (North) and Dave Carter (Wales), while Lynn Allen was there representing scorers.  


A thirteenth position on the Board for an 'Independent Member' with a sports' background outside cricket has not yet been filled although its nominee is expected to be advised "shortly".


ROLL OUT OF ACO LEVEL 1 AND 2 

TRAINING PROGRAMS UNDERWAY 

[EN398-2114]


Nick Cousins, the Education Manager with the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO), says that there has been an "excellent response" to ACO's "new" Level 1 umpiring courses over the last few months, with thirty-four of the forty Counties having run them to date and over 900 "individual participant packs" being distributed.  In addition, a number of Level 2 umpiring and scoring courses have been conducted and this and next month will be "particularly busy" with more scheduled in the lead up to the 2009 northern summer cricket season in a few weeks, says an article by Cousins in the latest ACO newsletter this week.   


The ACO said in its August newsletter last year that it was working to develop Level 1, 2 and 3 training programs, produce regular DVDs for in-season training programs, increase the visibility of the ACO web site and planned to ask the Marylebone Cricket Club's Laws Working Party "to review 'Tom Smith' with a view to producing an up-dated and accurate book as soon as possible" (E-News 302-1505, 27 August 2008).  Roll out of the Level 1 and 2 programs now appears to have occurred as scheduled, but no timetable for the completion of the Level 3 qualification for first class officials has been announced to date and there is no reference to that program or 'Tom Smith' in the latest ACO newsletter.


Despite the success with the Level 1 umpiring program, Cousins acknowledges that there is still a need for improvement in getting materials to tutors, but that such problems have resulted because of the "sheer volume of requests".  He says though that he is "only too well aware" that much of the high level of interest was "due to the fact that we have been in something of a void in the last couple of years" and that "the challenge is to [now] maintain this level of commitment to recruitment and match it with a smoother administrative process that will cause all of us less grief". 


Cousins appears to have concerns in the scoring area saying that "the promotion of Scoring as an equally important aspect of cricket officiating [as umpiring] is easier said than done", something a letter writer to ACO's latest newsletter raises as an important issue (E-News 398-2115 below). 


The ACO's Education Manager says that he is now looking forward to reporting how those who were involved in courses of late go with their examinations and is keen to know, "just as importantly, how many [join] the [ACO]".  


SCORERS NEED PARALLEL INCENTIVES 

TO UMPIRES, SAYS LETTER WRITER

[EN398-2115]


Scorers are an integral part of a game of cricket and their worth "must be properly recognised", says a 'letter to the editor' published in the latest edition of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) newsletter this week.  "Match trophies are awarded, and match fees, travel expenses and overnight accommodation are offered to umpires [but] rarely to scorers", says Peter Danks a scorer in England.  


Danks points out that the Laws of Cricket require that two umpires and two scorers be appointed to matches, but that "while competition organisers, league committees and team captains stipulate [that] qualified umpires [be] appointed for their games, they appear willing to accept anyone to score their matches" and he asks "why?" 


He says that "if the ECB ACO is to achieve its aim of developing the roles and status of scorers in conjunction with that of umpires, they must recognise and stress to all concerned the importance of scorers at all matches".  In his view "scorers must have parallel incentives [to umpires] to advance their qualifications and be rewarded with matches appropriate to their status", a policy he claims currently "seems to apply only to umpires". 


Danks says "that ‘Scorers Can Only Record Everything Really Successfully’ if they are given the correct support!", and that the ACO should "take note and take action" in that area of the game.  


LADY BOARD MEMBER HAS 

TEST, ODI UMPIRING EXPERIENCE

[EN398-2116]


Lorraine Elgar, one of two women on the Association of Cricket Officials' (ACO) thirteen-member Board of Governors for 2009, is an experienced umpire who has stood in women's Tests, One Day Internationals (ODI) and the first-ever International Twenty20 (IT20) played by the fairer sex.  Elgar, who was elected as the ACO's representative for the 'London and East' region late last year (E-News 361-1924, 18 December 2008), started as a scorer before becoming Secretary of her local club and moving into umpiring in the Women’s County Championship and other competitions.  


Elgar stood in three women's Tests from 2001-05, her colleagues in those games being Peter Hartley, Neil Mallender and Peter Willey, all currently members of the England and Wales Cricket Board's first class panel (E-News 347-1844, 11 November 2008).  From 1997-2004 she also stood in eight ODIs, her second in 1998 being played at Lord's, a match that saw England's Lisa Keightley become the first women to score a hundred at the 'home of cricket'.  The IT20 match, her only one at that level to date, was the first time women played under lights in England. 


A member of the Minor Counties umpiring panel since 2005, Elgar has also officiated in men's County Second XI, Minor Counties and Kent League matches.


SRI LANKAN FOR WORLD CUP 

QUALIFIER SERIES

[EN398-2117]


Kumara Dharmasena, Sri Lanka's third umpire member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), is to officiate in the World Cup Qualifying tournament that is scheduled to get underway in South Africa next Wednesday, say overnight media reports from the island nation.  Those reports state that the former Test player will work as the television umpire and stand in two games during the twelve-team, thirty-three match series.


Dharmasena was promoted to the IUP in controversial circumstances last July, local umpires objecting to what they saw as his rapid promotion ahead of other longer-serving officials (E-News 283-1503, 23 July 2008), and he stood in his first One Day International as an umpire in the opening game of last month's series between Sri Lanka and India (E-News 364-1941, 30 January 2009).  Later in that series he worked in three games as the television official and Columbo's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper is reporting that his elevation to the World Cup Qualifiers came after he was recommend by Englishman Chris Broad, the match referee for the Sri Lanka-India games. 


The ICC is yet to announce just who its match referees and umpires will be for the three-week long tournament even though it is now only four days before it starts, and with warm up matches for all teams scheduled on both days of this weekend.  Media reports in other countries have indicated that former Bangladeshi Test player Enamul Haque, an IUP member in that country (E-News 397-2107, 26 March 2009), and his counterpart from Australia, former first class player Rod Tucker (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009), will also be taking part.


The top four teams from the tournament will qualify to play in the World Cup of 2011 (E-News 389-2070, 17 March 2009).


E-NEWS NUMBER 399

MONDAY, 30 MARCH 2009


'PUSH' ON FOR DAY-NIGHT TEST 

AT LORD'S IN 2010, SAYS REPORT

[EN399-2118]

I

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is said to be "pushing ahead" with plans to allow players to wear non-white 'pyjama' clothing in "the inaugural floodlit Test" which is to be played between England and Bangladesh meet at Lord's in May next year, says an article in yesterday's 'Sunday Telegraph' in the UK.  According to the report, traditional white clothing is unlikely to be able to be worn by players, for if a suitable ball is found that is capable of lasting eighty overs it will almost certainly not be of the traditional red colour.

I

According to journalists Steve James and Chris Hastings, "organisers hope day-night matches will go some way to boost attendances, which they expect will be hit by the economic downturn and by the lowly status of Bangladesh in world cricket".  Under tentative plans developed to date the Lord's Test would start at 2.30 p.m. and finish at 9.30pm, timings it is claimed that "would allow spectators to attend after work".  

I

James and Hastings say in their story that they "understand that there have already been in-depth discussions on the subject [of night Tests] at two recent [ECB] meetings", and that John Stephenson, the head of cricket for the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), "has been asked to move the initiative forward".  

I

That request may have been behind the MCC's decision to convene the meeting of "experts" on ball issues from around the world that was held at Lord's two weeks ago (E-News 386-2056, 12 March 2009), however, no publicity has been given to the outcomes of that gathering.  In what may be a response to the findings of that meeting though, Cricket Australia, after indicating late last year that efforts to find suitable ball were well underway, last week publicly suggested that it would be "years not months" before an answer to the ball problem will be found (E-News 395-2099, 24 March 2009).  

I

Dave Richardson, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) general manager cricket told the 'Telegraph' that any move to use balls of a different colour to red and one-day-like clothing in a Test match would need to be sanctioned by the world body, but the story by James and Hastings states that "sources close to the arrangements for the forthcoming Test do not believe this will be a problem".

I

Richardson went on to say that while "the ECB have not approached us yet for any such approval" the "ICC is supporting the research [being conducted] by the MCC which includes whether a white ball can be developed that can last longer and be suitable for longer versions of the game".  He says that the ICC "remains committed to the promotion of Test cricket and if [that] means playing some Tests under lights we should certainly consider it", and that the matter "will definitely be on the agenda" of the ICC cricket committee's meeting in May. 

I

The 'Telegraph' article goes on to say that "critics of the plan point out that the Test will take place at Lord's, the home of cricket, where 'whites' for Test matches are seen as sacrosanct".  Retired England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird was quoted as saying that he is "one of the old school and [he is] all for the game being played in white", while Peter Baxter, a long-time former producer of the BBC's Test Match Special program, said that "if you don't play in white then it's the thin end of the wedge [and] for many people, the attraction of cricket is the aesthetic and the sense of tradition".  

I

Despite their concerns, however, veteran broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, said that he thinks that "the England cricket team has more to worry about [at the moment] than coloured clothing" in Tests.


COMPENSATION ANNOUNCED  FOR 

RAZA, DRIVER'S FAMILY

[EN398-2119]

I

Ashan Raza, the Pakistani umpire who was critically injured in the terrorist attack in Lahore nearly four weeks ago (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009), is to have all his medical costs covered by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and has been awarded a lump sum of 100,000 Rupees ($A1,800) as well as 25,000 Rupees ($A450) each month over the next year, in compensation.  The PCB has also announced that the family of Mohammad Zafar, who was killed while driving the minivan Raza and other match officials were in during the assault, will receive 500,000 Rupees ($A9,000).

I

Reports from the sub-continent a week ago suggested that Raza was hoping to leave hospital last Monday (E-News 394-2088, 23 March 2009), however, if he did the event does not appear to have been covered by media outlets in Lahore or elsewhere in Pakistan.  The umpire said at the time that he was keen to get back into cricket.

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Two weeks ago bus driver Maher Khalil, who is widely credited with saving the Sri Lankan team during the attack, was awarded the equivalent of just over $A18,000 by the Pakistan Government for his actions(E-News 391-2078, 19 March 2008).  He was also said to be set to receive around $A4,000 from the PCB itself, while the Sri Lankan government has invited him for a tour of that country with his family.


ILLNESS FORCES DOCTROVE 

FROM TEST MATCH PLAY

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West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove was unable to officiate on the third day of the Second Test between New Zealand and India in Napier on Saturday due to illness.  Numerous media reports issued over the weekend say that Doctrove had a chest infection and that he was replaced on the field by third umpire Evan Watkin, a New Zealand member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel.

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The West Indian is said to have contracted the infection on Friday and was advised by a doctor to stand down from the game the following day.  His replacement Watkins, fifty-seven, stood in two Tests a decade ago and was in his eleventh as the television official when Doctrove's illness meant that he had to take the field.  He currently has 104 first class matches to his credit, while twenty-two of his List A games have been One Day Internationals involving his country and all ten of the top-tier cricket playing nations. Watkin stood in two first class games in South Africa in 2001 as part of an umpire exchange program,  

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Fourth umpire Chris Gaffaney, who played in eighty-three first class matches for Otago from 1995-2005, took over Watkins' duties as television umpire whilst he was on the field.  Gaffney, who has been ‘fast-tracked’ into umpiring by New Zealand authorities since his retirement made his umpiring debut at first class level in March last year and has since gone on to stand in six matches, his solitary List A game to date being in the State Shield last December.  


SECOND, THIRD-TIER ICC UMPIRES 

FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIER

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Umpires from the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) and third-tier Associates and Affiliates International Umpires Panel (AAIUP) took part in the six warm up matches for the World Cup Qualifying tournament that were played in South Africa over the weekend.  With just two days until the tournament proper starts, the ICC is yet to announce who the umpires and match referees for it will be. 

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IUP members involved in preliminary matches over the last two days were Kevan Barbour (Zimbabwe) and Kumara Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) (E-News 398-2117, 28 March 2009).  AAIUP members who stood over the weekend came from seven countries and included Karran Bayney (Canada) from the ICC's 'Americas' region, Niels Bagh (Denmark) and Paul Baldwin (Germany) from 'Europe', Jeff Luck (Namibia) and Subash Modi (Kenya) from 'Africa', and  Sarika Prasad (Singapore) and Buddhi Prada (Nepal) 'Asia'.  Prasad took part in the Women's World Cup tournament in Australia earlier this month, the last of his games in that series being the match for third and fourth place just nine days ago (E-News 393-2085, 21 March 2009).  

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Australian Rod Tucker, who media reports have indicated is also to take part, finished his second first class match on South African soil yesterday.  His on-field colleague in that game was Ian Howell, a South African member of the IUP, his partner in his initial match being Howell's IUP colleague Marais Erasmus, who together with the Australian was last week named to the ICC's 'emerging umpires' group (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009). 

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The top four teams in the Qualifing series will take part in the 2011 World Cup which is currently scheduled to be played in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (E-News 389-2070, 17 March 2009).


E-NEWS NUMBER 400

TUESDAY, 31 MARCH 2009


BUCKNOR PLANS PLAIN 

SPEAKING AUTOBIOGRAPHY   

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Now-retired West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor plans to write a plain speaking autobiography of his life and twenty years in international cricket, says an article in the 'Jamaica Observer' yesterday.  The newspaper says that Bucknor "would let his feelings be known about his journey from the streets of Montego Bay on the north coast of his native Jamaica to becoming the most-capped international umpire in [cricket history].


Bucknor, who turns sixth-three in May, was quoted by the 'Observer' as saying that he is "putting bits and pieces together", something he "did not want to do while [he] was still umpiring because [he has] a few shots to fire".  "I can't call many names, but once I fire these shots, then people will know exactly what I am talking about", said the Jamaican.  Described by some as "a gentle giant", if the newspaper story is correct then Bucknor, in its words, "plans to give the world an insight into just how tough he can be".


The long-serving umpire told the 'Observer' that he has lived his whole life believing in the concept of "fair play", but that he is walking away from the game that he loves questioning if others have always applied it in their response to situations involving him.  Bucknor spoke about his up-bringing, during which he was raised by a single mother and on some days went hungry but resisted the temptation to break the law, saying that it had helped him to cope in difficult situations and prevented him from losing his dignity with some ill-advised action or comment.  


Sometimes though, he says, his decision to remain true to his beliefs has hurt him professionally, as cricket authorities have ignored many of his suggestions, and some captains have unjustly given him low marks in their post-match assessments.  "Sometimes you do a good game", he said, "no mistakes whatsoever [and] everything is in order, and at the end of the day, you get a mark" that does not reflect what actually occurred on the field of play.  


Bucknor was involved in the highly contentious Test series between Australia and India in January last year during which he was removed from officiating in the Third Test in Perth by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after several contentious decisions contributed to India's defeat in the Second in Sydney (E-News 171-915, 8 January 2008).  The ICC said at first that it would not change umpires, but quickly reversed that decision under pressure from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (E-News 172-919, 8 January 2008).


In his interview with the 'Observer', Bucknor said that he does "not think [that] situation was handled well at all".  "There is a protocol and when someone says his umpires will remain no matter what, and the following day that is changed, you have to ask, 'who makes the decisions, or why the decisions were made'? Or, what influenced the changing of decision'?"  The West Indies Cricket Board queried the ICC about that move (E-News 173-924, 10 January 2008), however, just what the result of that approach was was never revealed publicly.


Despite all the problems though Bucknor rose to stand in a World record 128 Tests, the most by any umpire, and 181 One Day Internationals the second-most ever to date, the latter form of the game including a world record five World Cup finals.  However, he told the 'Observer' that his single greatest achievement was remaining fit in body and in mind to ensure that he could afford to give his seven children the opportunity of a sound education.


TCUSA ANNUAL DINNER 

DRAWS NEAR

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Over fifty people are expected to attend the TCUSA's 2009 Annual Dinner in the Century Room at Bellerive Oval tomorrow evening.  During the night the Association's 'Umpire of the year' will be named and trophies presented for services to the Association, to the most dedicated, best first year and most improved umpires, and the best first year and most improved scorers, while umpire ratings awards and Grand Final and Kookaburra Cup medallions will also be awarded to recipients.  


Guests attending the dinner will include TCUSA Patron Don Edwards, Derek Fails the Managing Director of the Association's sponsor 'Eyelines and his wife Belinda,  Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) Board member and Chairman of its Grade Cricket Committee Mike Gandy, Chris Garrett the TCA's Grade Cricket Manager, and former TCA Board member and Honorary TCUSA member Paul Howard.  Howard  stood in three first class matches in the 1980s, while Gandy both played first class cricket and then went on to officiate in seven such games as an umpire.


NTCA 'UMPIRES OF THE YEAR' 

ANNOUNCED

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Sixty people attended the North Tasmania Cricket Association's (NTCA) awards night two weeks ago, an event that included the announcement of 'Umpire of the Year' awards for the 2008-09 season.   Paul Clark won the award in First Grade and Andrew Clarke the Second Grade trophy for the third year running, while Roy James earned the honour in Third Grade.


NTCA Grand Finals last weekend saw Phil Gilchrist and Peter Czerkiewicz standing in First Grade, Andrew Clarke and Roy James in Second Grade, and Peter Griffin and Nigel Tapp in Third Grade.  The NTCA's 'Spirit of Cricket' award for the season was won by the South Launceston Cricket Club.


GILCHRIST FOR MCC 'SPIRIT' 

LECTURE

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Former Australian player Adam Gilchrist is to deliver the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) ninth 'Spirit of Cricket' lecture in front of over 1,000 at Lord's in late June.  At thirty-eight Gilchrist will become the youngest person to present a lecture which in the MCC's words "celebrates Sir Colin Cowdrey's successful campaign to enshrine guidelines about honest behaviour within the laws of the game".


The lecture was inaugurated in 2001 in memory of the former England captain Cowdrey who was also a past President of the MCC, both he and another former England captain and Club President Ted Dexter, being instrumental in the 'Spirit of Cricket' statement being included in the 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket as the Preamble.


MCC President Derek Underwood said in providing details of this year's lecture that "few players, past or present, encapsulate the 'Spirit of Cricket' better than Adam Gilchrist [and] we are therefore delighted that Adam will deliver this year's MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture".  


Gilchrist, who will deliver the lecture just before the Ashes series gets underway, will follow on from previous 'Spirit' lecturers such as Richie Benaud, Geoffrey Boycott, Martin Crowe, Clive Llyod, Sunil Gavaskar, Christopher Martin-Jenkins and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


THREE OF FOUR ICC 'EMERGING' 

UMPIRES FOR WC QUALIFIER

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Three of the four umpires who the International Cricket Council (ICC) indicated last week are on its 'emerging' list are to take part in the World Cup Qualifier tournament in South Africa over the next three weeks (E-News 395-2094, 24  March 2009).  South African Marais Erasmus, Indian Amish Saheba and Australian Rod Tucker are amongst the eighteen umpires and three match referees from seventeen countries who will manage the series, while their 'emerging' colleague Nigel Llong remains at home in England umpiring in County first class and one-day matches.  


The ICC yesterday named Chris Broad (England) and Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama (both Sri Lanka) as the match referees for the twelve-team, fifty-four match tournament, with Broad and Mahanama managing the thirty games of the Group stage of the series which is to get underway tomorrow and run for a week.


Umpires from the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel named in addition to Erasmus, Saheba and Tucker are: Gary Baxter (New Zealand), Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka), Enamul Hoque-Moni (Bangladesh), Ian Howell and Karl Hurter (South Africa) and Zimbabweans Kevan Barbour and Russell Tiffin.  Those from the third-tier Associates and Affliates International Umpires Panel are: Niels Bagh (Denmark), Paul Baldwin (Germany), Karran Bayney (Canada),  Jeff Luck (Namibia), Subhash Modi (Kenya), Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal), Sarika Prasad (Singapore) and Ian Ramage (Scotland).


Each umpire has been allocated five matches in the Group stage, with Baxter, Erasmus, Hoque-Moni, Howell, Hurter, Saheba and Tucker having four on the field and one as the third official, the other eleven having three and two respectively.  Tucker's four on-field games will be Canada-Oman on the opening day tomorrow with Prasad, Ireland-Uganda with Modi, Oman-Namibia with Tiffin and Scotland-Canada with Erasmus.


Erasmus comes to the tournament straight from working in the two International Twenty20 (IT20) matches between South Africa and Australia over the weekend.  Those games were his third and fourth in that form of the international game and he has also stood in twenty-five domestic Twenty20s in South Africa.  His colleague in match one was Rudi Koertzen, for whom it was his third IT20, and in the second Brian Jerling who was standing in his seventh.


END OF MARCH 2009 E-NEWS FILE