May 09 (413-430)

(Story numbers 2187-2263)

414 – 2 May  [2187-2190]
• Combined Lord's, referee, debuts for new ICC official (414-2187).
• Third 'suspect' action report for the month (414-2188).
• Bolton League tightens its leg side wide rule (414-2189).
• IUP members top IPL appointments to date  (414-2190).

415 – 4 May  [2191-2196]
• 'Legalise' the 'Doosra', say commentators  (415-2191).
• Disciplinary action 'disgraceful' claims county captain  (415-2192).
• Indian ICL officials can rejoin official competitions, says BCCI  (415-2193).
• Player arrested after brawl leads to serious injury  (415-2194).
• Venkat returns to the IPL  (415-2195).
• Hair, Goodger commence NSW-wide visits  (415-2196).

416 – 5 May  [2197-2203]
• TCUSA AGM papers being distributed  (416-2197).
• ICC Anti-Corruption Unit not involved in 2009 IPL series, says report  (416-2198).
• Two weeks of bowling action 'rehabilitation' for IPL player  (416-2199).
• Australia, Pakistan 'A' sides for pre-EPT series  (416-2200).
• Sixteen match officials used for Asia U19 Qualifier  (416-2201).
• EUP member Hill not involved in IPL  (416-2202). 
• IPL contract cricket's 'pinnacle', says Kiwi survey  (416-2203).

417 – 6 May  [2204-2209]
• TCUSA Life Member returns from Thai tournament  (417-2204).
• 'Hit the ball twice' dismissal queried  (417-2205).
• Results of Botha bowling action evaluation awaited (417-2206).
• Former Test umpire running courses for Iranian women  (417-2207).
• Intelligence agencies had warning of Lahore attack, says judge  (417-2208).
• IICUS web site provides useful Laws 'teasers'  (417-2209).

418 – 7 May  [2210-2213]
• IPL 'Tactical' over break under review  (418-2210).
• ECB drops light meter from most county matches  (418-2211).
• Player collision sees match abandoned  (418-2212).
• 'No show' by captains disappoints umpires  (418-2213).

419 – 8 May  [2214-2217]
• Bucknor to return to international cricket (419-2214).
• Two Australian players fined for 'dissent' (419-2215).
• Four NUP members named for Australia-Pakistan 'A' series (419-2216).
• Second IPL bowler reported for 'suspect action' (419-2217).

420 – 10 May  [2218-2220]
• Referral system under the spotlight, more trials tipped  (420-2218).
• Day-night Tests, over-rates, for consideration by ICC committee   (420-2219).
• Raza returns to umpiring  (420-2220).

421 – 11 May  [2221-2224]
• Interested in City-Casino 'Fun Run'? (421-2221).
• IPL bowler's action reported for second time (421-2222).
• Plenty of runs from 'trial' ball, but durability an issue? (421-2223).
• Three consecutive injured batsmen challenge for umpires  (420-2224).

422 – 13 May  [2225-2230]
• UDRS 'roll-out' in Tests recommended, 'fine-tuning' planned (422-2225).
• 'Much to be done' before day-night Tests arrive, says ICC  (422-2226).
• Stricter penalties planned for slow over-rate violations (422-2227).
• Botha's 'doosra' delivery declared 'illegal' (422-2228).
• Annual dinner images available 'on line' (422-2229).
• TCUSA Committee nominations close Friday  (422-2230).

423 – 14 May  [2231-2234]
• Taufel positive about pink balls, but says questions remain (423-2231).
• League unhappy at county's plan to return banned player (423-2232).
• T20 umpires need baseball helmet protection, says Harper (423-2233).
• Have your say on IICUS 'hypothetical' (423-2234).

424 – 15 May  [2235-2237]
• Wadekar moves to quit the ICL (424-2235).
• Two County players disciplined (424-2236).
• Bowler's run-up problem leads to match forfeiture (424-2237).

425 – 18 May  [2238-2243]
• Umpire's ICL 'ban' lifted six months after his return (425-2238).
• Windies umpire bound for England exchange  (425-2239).
• "Severe reprimand" for argument with umpires  (425-2240).
• IPL Technical Committee modifies series playing conditions (425-2241).
• Umpires' pitch rating of 'poor' criticised   (425-2242).
• Bucknor mentoring European umpires   (425-2243).

426 – 19 May  [2244-2248]
• Tests clear twice-reported bowler for a return (426-2244).
• Pitch's 'poor' rating confirmed, Glamorgan docked points (426-2245).
• Bermuda plans tougher stand on bad behaviour (426-2246).
• Dar wields the willow once again (426-2247).
• Failure to pay umpire pre-match costs premiership points   (426-2248).

427 –  20 May  [2249-2252]
• Umpires miscount 'Powerplay' overs, ECB rejects 'replay call  (427-2249).
• Amateurs more committed than paid up Windies players, says Bucknor (427-2250).
• ECB umpire rolling arm over in club cricket  (427-2251).
• 'Bowl out' to decide cup tie held at grounds kilometres apart  (427-2252).

428 – 21 May  [2253-2255]
• Recruitment of new members remains the key TCUSA issue (428-2253).
• Doing 'more' with 'less' a challenge  (428-2254).
• Queenslanders for Women's T20 World Cup warm-up games (428-2255).

429 – 25 May  [2256-2259]
• No room for Indian umps in IPL finals (429-2256).
• Spinner's action cleared, but still under scrutiny (429-2257).
• England-Windies Test officials sharing ODI series (429-2258).
• Reprimand for two WCL-7 players (429-2259).

430 – 29 May  [2260-2263]
• 'Emerging' quartet for T20 World Championships (430-2260).
• PCB enquiry into 'ball tampering' Test continuing (430-2261).
• Mumbai Association seeking more umpires (430-2262).
• Umpire dies during club match (430-2263).

Saturday, 2 May 2009


Zimbabwean Andy Pycroft, who was appointed to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) match referee's panel six weeks ago (E-News 395-2095, 24 March 2009), will be making his debut in that role next Wednesday when England takes on the West Indies in the First Test at Lord's, the home of cricket.  

Former player Pycroft toured England with the Zimbabwean side three times, however, there is no record of him appearing at Lord's in that time or working as a match referee at first class or List A level in the period since, although he has has sat on both the ICC's 'Technical and Rules' and 'Cricket' committees.

The Zimbabwean was quoted in an ICC statement as saying that he is "looking forward' to "entering this new phase in [his] cricketing life" and that "to be making [his] debut as a Test match referee at Lord’s is particularly exciting".

Pycroft will head the ICC's playing control team for the two-Test England-Windies series this month, his on-field umpires being London-born Steve Davis of Australia, who will be standing in his eighteenth and nineteenth Tests, and Sri Lankan Asoka de Silva, for whom the Tests will be his thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth as an umpire.  The Second Test is to be played at Chester-le-Street from 14-18 May. 

Both umpires, who are members of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), will be officiating in their first Test at Lord's next week, although the Australian stood in a One Day International there in June last year, but de Silva did not appear there during his six years as a player with the Sri Lankan side. 

The England and Wales Cricket Board have appointed Ian Gould, another EUP member (E-News 395-2093, 24 March 2009), as the third umpire for the Lord's Test, and Peter Hartley, an England member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, in that role for the game at Chester-le-Street.  Next week's match will be Gould's seventh as the television official in a Test, and Hartley's eighth, the former also having stood in four Tests in South Africa and New Zealand over the last six months (E-News 390-2073, 18 March 2009).

Neil Mallender, who was an EUP member for a short period earlier this decade and has played in two Tests and umpired three others, and Neil Bainton, both members of the ECB's first class panel (E-News 347-1844, 11 November 2008), will be the fourth umpires for the two Tests respectively.  



Left-arm fast-medium bowler Kamran Khan has been reported for having a "suspect illegal bowling action [during] certain deliveries" in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between its Chennai and Rajasthan franchises in Pretoria on Thursday.  Kamran's report brings to three the number of bowlers whose delivery actions have been reported as "suspect" in the last month, the other two both being spinners playing in One Day Internationals (ODI).

The latest report was made by South African umpire Rudi Koertzen and Gary Baxter of New Zealand together with Amish Saheba of India who was the third official.  As a result of their observations during the match the trio are said to have examined television footage of Kamran's action and reports indicate that it was their "collective belief" that the matter warranted further evaluation, therefore they passed their concerns on to match referee Gundappa Viswanath of India.

The matter has now been referred by the IPL, Rajasthan team management and the IPL's Technical Committee for consideration.  IPL chief Lalit Modi said in a statement that he will decided what action to take once he receives a report from the Technical Committee.

Kamran is the third bowler to be reported for a suspect action in the last three weeks.  South African off-spinner Johan Botha is currently undergoing tests after umpires raised concerns about his bowling action during his side's ODI series against Australia last month (E-News 412-2180, 24 April 2009), while Pakistan's right-arm spin bowler Saeed Ajmal was similarly reported following the Second ODI against Australia last Sunday (E-News 413-2184, 28 April 2009). 




The Bolton Cricket League (BCL) in England has introduced a "strict definition" of leg side wides for its one-day competition this northern summer that is akin to Tasmanian practice, a move that journalist Guy Haynes writing in the 'Bolton News' this morning says has "caused a bit of a stir".  Despite that Haynes says that most players he has spoken to "would like the rule to be introduced in the Bolton [and District Cricket] Association (BDCA)" which operates in the same region.

Without naming names, Haynes says that "there are one or two bowlers in local cricket who bowl down the leg side as a rule, and it would certainly be good to force them to do something different".  "Bowling a foot down leg side has been used over the years as a tactic to keep the runs down [and] while this can be very effective, it is a spoiling tactic that adds nothing to the game as either a test of skill or a spectacle", he says.  

The 'Bolton News' story says that while it is unfortunate that off-spinners are "occasionally being harshly penalised, the positives [of the change] surely outweigh that one negative that seldom occurs".  "Furthermore", he writes, "it makes the umpires’ job easier as there are no grey areas" under the new playing condition.  "It is good that the [BCL] have taken a lead with this issue [and] hopefully the [BDCA] will soon follow suit", says Haynes.

For the BDCA, which says it is the oldest competition in Lancashire and second oldest in the world, the 2009 season will be its 121st. 




A total of twenty-nine match officials from eight nations have been used by the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the twenty-four matches of its 2009 season played up until last night, members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) topping appointments made to date.  A total of twenty umpires have worked either on the field or in the television suite, there have been four match referees, and five South African locals who have assisted as fourth umpires.

Of the ten officials from the IUP who have been used in thirty-three slots to date, Tyron Wijewardene of Sri Lanka leads the pack with four on the field and two as the third umpire (4/2), then come South Africans Marais Erasmus 4/1 and Brian Jerling 4/0, Amish Saheba of India 3/2, Russell Tiffin of Zimbabwe 2/2, Kiwi Gary Baxter 3/0, Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena 2/0, Indian Suresh Shastri 1/1, and Ian Howell of South Africa and Shavir Tarapore of India both 1/0.

To date six members from the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel have been appointed to a total of twenty-seven umpiring spots, with Mark Benson from England having 6/2, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies 5/2, Simon Taufel, Australia 3/2, his countryman Daryl Harper and Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) both 2/1, and Tony Hill of New Zealand, whose only match so far was twelve days ago, 0/1.

Four Indian first class panel members have so far been allocated thirteen slots (6/7) in games this season.   To date  Shashank Ranade has been on the field for two games and in the television suite for another five (2/5), Krishna Hariharan 2/0, Sudhir Asnani 1/1 and S. Ravi 1/0. All were mentioned in Indian media reports as IPL umpires prior to the competition getting underway, however, Sanjay Hazare, who was also mentioned, has yet to appear in South Africa (E-News 405-2147, 13 April 2009).

A total of seven Indian umpires have been used in the IPL so far this year, two more than was the case in 2008 when five officials were given a total of thirty-six on-field slots and twenty-two television positions, or one-third of the total (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008).  Hariharan and Saheba are the only Indian umpires to have officiated in both of the IPL series played to date. Until last night umpires from the sub-continent had received eleven on-field appointments and ten as third umpires, a percentage that is almost the same as last year.

Three of the four match referees used so far are from India, however, South African Devdas Govindjee has officiated in the most games to date with nine (E-News 411-2177, 20 April 2009), all of them in Durban, in fourteen days, then comes Gundappa Viswanath (eight), Yashpal Sharma (six), and Javagal Srinath of the ICC's match referee's panel with one.            

 MONDAY, 4 MAY 2009





Television commentators and former players Ramiz Raja and Geoff Boycott believe that off spinners should be allowed an additional "two or three degrees" of flexion beyond the fifteen degrees currently allowed so that they can bowl a 'doosra' without censure or questioning by umpires.  The pair made their comments after Pakistani spin bowler Saeed Ajmal was reported for a suspected bowling following the second Pakistan-Australia One Day International last week (E-News 413-2184, 28 April 2009).  

The 'Cricinfo' web site reported Ramiz, a former Pakistan batsman, as saying that in his view the questioning of Ajmal's action by the umpires last week was "unacceptable" as the ability to deliver a doosra, the offspinner's equivalent of the leg-break bowler's googly, "adds to the repertoire of that type of bowler".  

Former England batsman Boycott was also critical of the decision to report Ajmal. "Muralitharan was cleared, so was Harbhajan, so why question a kid who has just come onto the scene?", Boycott asked, for he thinks "Ajmal has an art and he must execute it".

Ajmal told Cricinfo last week that umpires 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), Nadeem Ghauri and Asad Rauf of Pakistan, told him after the first Pakistan-Australia ODI that some of his doosras had a "little elbow bend", something he was "very surprised" about.  Current International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations set a legal limit of fifteen degrees of permissible straightening of the elbow joint for all bowlers in international cricket.   

Pakistan's coach, Intikhab Alam, was critical of the process that resulted in Ajmal being reported and questioned the handling of the matter by the umpires.  He is said to be of the view that the ICC lacks "consistency" in its approach to the issue, something that Cricinfo says has "prompted speculation" that the world body is cracking down on doosras, an outlook that has not been substantiated.

The report on Ajmal's action came only a few weeks after another off spinner, South Africa's Johan Botha, was reported for a similar problem (E-News 412-2180, 24 April 2009). 




Devon cricket captain Bob Dawson last week "blasted" county league officials over the five-match ban imposed on his strike bowler Ian Bishop which will rule him out of selection for all of May, say a story published in the 'South Devon Herald Express' (SDHE) last week.  Bishop, who skippers Budleigh Salterton in the Devon Premier Division, was censured for his behaviour in a game against Plympton towards the end of the 2008 season in England.

Umpires Simon Dodwell and Phil Matten submitted a report to the league on Bishop's reaction and language when he was given out LBW.  After reading the umpires' report into the game, Bishop was charged with showing dissent towards the officials and using bad language.  He was banned for three weeks on the first charge and a fortnight on the second, and as an additional punishment his side was required to start the current season on minus four premiership points.

County captain Dawson said Bishop had been treated "disgracefully" by the league's discipline committee as there was no case to answer against him in the first place.  "The whole thing is a mockery of justice as Ian did nothing in the game that even deserved reporting", runs the quote attributed to Dawson,  "He has been treated disgracefully and it makes you wonder if there was another agenda behind all this, such as making an example of a high-profile player as a warning to others?", concluded Dawson.

The SDHE says that although there is no obligation on the county club to observe suspensions imposed by the league, it is custom and practice that they do.  Dawson says that he "can understand the county committee upholding the ban as they have to be seen to be supporting the league", however, "it is a shame that the league don't support the county club in the same way". 

Geoff Coish, the Devon League secretary, told the SDHE that he was surprised Dawson has revived the disciplinary issue now almost eight months after the event.  "If Bishop was innocent, as Budleigh claim, why did he not appeal at the time, as he has a perfect right to do?", and, he continued, "if nothing untoward happened, why didn't Budleigh submit a statement from the non-striking batsman [as] he would have been perfectly placed to hear anything said".




The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has moved to allow all Indian cricketers and "support staff" such as umpires and match referees who have contracts with the Indian Cricket League (ICL) to return to BCCI-promoted cricket provided they severe all links with the ICL by 31 May.  The move follows the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision last month to rejected the ICL's application to be an "official" competition, and has been followed by indications that both South Africa and Pakistan are likely to follow the BCCI's lead. 

The BCCI decided last week to "forgive" ICL-aligned personnel and ‘let bygones be bygones’ if they provide documentation that they have resigned from the ICL, after which they can "resume playing in domestic [Indian] cricket immediately", says the BCCI's President Shashank Manohar, although they will be ineligible for selection for international cricket for one year. 

The move unlikely to have much impact on ICL match officials from the sub-continent, however, as none of them had officiated at first class level.  The ICL used a total of six Indian umpires and three match referees during the series it has run over the last fifteen months, they being Alfred Burrow, K R Chezian, Rajesh Mundhra, Venkatraman Satish, Dinesh Waghela and an 'M Rajesh'.  Match referees from that country were a 'Dr Vaghela', and former Indian Test and One Day International players Erapelli Prasanna and Ajit Wadekar who are both approaching seventy years of age.  

Former Pakistani Test and One Day International official Shakeel Khan worked as an umpire, and Test player Mustaq Mohammed a match referee, for the ICL last year, however, there were no South African match officials involved.  Neither Pakistani appears to have officiated in a match conducted under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board in the time since.  

Reports from the sub-continent say that the BCCI's decision is seen "by many" as a "virtual body blow" to the ICL, which has announced resumption of its Twenty20 league in October-November after cancelling its competition earlier this year due to the world financial situation (E-News 371-1978, 13 February 2009). 




An Indian teenager was seriously injured when a dispute in a cricket match grew ugly in Nagpur last week and an opposition player was subsequently arrested and charged with assault, says a report in the 'Times of India' (TOI).  Police are said to have indicated that the incident took place when youths clashed over a 'run out' decision, although there is no indication as to whether qualified umpires were in charge of the game.

The TOI report says that there were "several tense moments in the match and [that] the controversial ['run out'] decision made it worse".  The teams involved are said to have "started hurling abuse" at each other before the players "attacked each other with bats and wickets".

During the fracas seventeen-year-old Manjeet Singh Thakur was hit on the head and received "serious injuries" that led to him collapsing.  Thakur was rushed to a private hospital where he was operated on and local police have since arrested an opposition player and charged him with serious assault. 



Srinivas Venkataraghavan, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Director of Umpires and a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpire selection panel, worked as the match referee in two Indian Premier League (IPL) matches played in Port Elizabeth over the last two days.  

Venkat, who played fifty-seven Tests and fifteen One Day Internationals (ODI) for India before going on to stand in seventy-nine first class games as an umpire, a staggering seventy-three of them Tests, was the match referee in eleven IPL matches during the Twenty20 competition's inaugural season last year (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008).

The last two days also saw Indian first class umpire, and former first class player, Sanjay Hazare, make his IPL debut as the third umpire in Saturday night's match in Johannesburg.  Hazare is the last of a number of sub-continental umpires who Indian press reports last month said would be working in this year's IPL series (E-News 405-2147, 13 April 2009).

In a different part of the world ICC Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) members 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand) and Pakistanis Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf took their ODI records to 130, 116 and sixty respectively during the five-match Pakistan-Australia ODI series that ended in the United Arab Emirates last night.  

Bowden stood in all five games and Dar and Rauf in two each, while Pakistani member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) Nadeem Ghauri was with Bowden for the first match of the series.  Ghauri and his IUP colleague Zamer Haider worked as the third umpire in two and three of the games respectively, while New Zealand match referee Jeff Crowe took his ODI total in that role to 107 matches.

Whether Bowden, Dar and Rauf will now move on to the IPL is not known, however, media reports last month indicated the the latter two had been banned from taking part in that series by the Pakistan Cricket Board (E-News 407-2157, 16 April 2009).  Six EUP members have stood in the IPL this year to date (E-News 414-2190, 2 May 2009), those on that panel besides Bowden, Dar and Rauf not involved so far being Steve Davis (Australia), Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka) and Ian Gould (England).

Davis and de Silva will be officiating in the two-Test series between England and the West Indies until mid-month (E-News 414-2187, 2 May 2009), a time when only a dozen IPL games remain to be played, while the England and Wales Cricket Board has appointed Gould as the third umpire in one England-Windies Test, and to the first two ODIs between those sides that is to be played up until the IPL final on 24 May.  




Darrell Hair, the Chief Executive Officer of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA), and his colleague Darren Goodger, who works as an education and training officers with both the NSWCUSA and Cricket Australia, are to visit eight NSW regions over the next few months, says a story in 'The Northern Star' newspaper.  

The pair were in Lismore last weekend where local press reports say they "shared their experiences [with] and quized local umpires on their knowledge" during a seminar, an event that all captains in the local league competition were also invited to attend.



 TUESDAY, 5 MAY 2009



TCUSA members will receive formal notification via post this week of the Association's Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is to be held at Bellerive Oval on the evening of Wednesday, 20 May.  During the meeting a range of reports will be presented, and office bearers and members will be elected to the Management Committee for the 2009-10 season.  

In accordance with TCUSA rules the positions of President, Honorary Treasurer, and one committee member are open for election this year.  Nomination forms for those positions are being distributed to members with the papers sent out this week and need to be returned to President-Administrator Graeme Hamley by 15 May.  

The AGM will get underway in the Premiership Room at 7.30 p.m., and the usual fortifications will be available once the business of the meeting concludes.  Queries about the meeting or its proceedings should be directed to Graeme Hamley.




Indian Premier League (IPL) matches are not being monitored by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) believes that the $A2m fee the ICC wanted to charge for the services involved was "too high", claims a story published on the '' web site over the weekend. 

The article states that the BCCI was "reminded" of the need to appropriately cover corruption issues the day before this year's IPL competition got underway last month, but that "by then it was too late for the ACU [to swing into action as it] needs at least two months [preparation] to provide a credible cover".

'Cricketnext' says that the ICC "does not seem to be concerned" about the matter, quoting ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat as saying that while "we all recognise that that Twenty20 is a format that is susceptible [to corruption], you have to recognise that the BCCI is responsible for the IPL, it is their prerogative to ensure and to accept whether they want the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit involved or not".

The ICL made much of its anti-corruption stance in the lead up to its inaugural series last year.  The ACU interviewed three Pakistani players at one stage during the competition, the ICC saying in a statement at that time that "the purpose of [the] interviews was to seek specific information".  

The unit also reportedly interviewed another Pakistani who had claimed publicly that he was offered money to throw matches (E-News 226-1256, 13 April 2008), and a IPL franchise owner was banned by the ACU from going to his team's dug out and dressing room (E-News 243-1339, 20 May 2008). 




The Indian Premier League's (IPL) Technical Committee decided on Sunday that Kamran Khan, a fast bowler with its Rajasthan franchise, needs to undergo two weeks of rehabilitation for his "suspect" bowling action.  Kamran was reported by umpires for having a "suspect illegal bowling action [during] certain deliveries" after his side's IPL game against the Chennai franchise last Thursday (E-News 414-2188, 2 May 2009).

Press reports from India say that the IPL's Technical Committee meeting that considered the Kamran issue involved former India captains Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri as well as IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.  

Indications are that that trio reviewed television footage of the bowler's action, and they are said to have been joined in their discussions via telephone by Anurag Thakur and M A K Pataudi from India.  Thakur is a prominent politician in India, a former first class player and the current President of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, while Pataudi is another former Indian captain. 

Just what will be involved in what one report described as Kamran's "two-week rehabilitation program" was not detailed in reports from the sub-continent last night.  

Bowler's reported in International Cricket Council (ICC) matches are normally required to submit to an independent analysis of their actions by a member of the ICC's panel of human movement specialists.  If those tests find that the bowler concerned has an "illegal" action they are banned from bowling until they undertake remedial action and are reassessed (E-News 413-2184, 28 April 2009).




The 'A' sides from Australia and Pakistan are to play each other in Queensland in June and July, the series starting with two four-day games in Townsville then moving to Brisbane for three one-day matches and a single Twenty20.  The three-week long Pakistan 'A' tour, which is scheduled to start on 26 June, will end around the time that this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) would normally be expected to get underway.  Cricket Australia is yet to announce who the match officials will be for either series of matches. 




Sixteen match officials from eight nations were used to control the twenty-seven matches in the Asian Under 19 World Cup Qualifier tournament which was held in Kuwait last week. Four nations provided both match referees and umpires for the one-day match series, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the other umpires coming from Kuwait, Nepal, Oman and Singapore.

Buddhi Pradan of Nepal, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's third-tier Associates and Affiliates International Umpires Panel (AAIUP), and Sena Naniweera, who has officiated in forty-five first class matches in Sri Lanka over the last seven years, stood in the final of the tournament last Friday.  Former Pakistani first class and One Day International player Naeem Ahmed, who has considerable experience as a match referee at first class, List A, Twenty20 and Under 19 cricket at home, worked in that role in the final in Kuwait.

The other three match referees used in the eight-day tournament have all played first class cricket and worked in that match-management role at high levels in their respective countries.  Vinothen John is a former Sri Lankan Test player, while Raqibut Hasan of Bangladesh played at One Day International level, and Divakar Vasu of India in domestic first class cricket. 

Of the ten other umpires involved last week Mahfuzar Raham was from Bangladesh, V Kumar Jha (Nepal), A R Srinivasan (Oman), John Solomen and F Dawali (Kuwait), T R Kashyappan and Sankaran Srinivasan (India), Riaz Chaudhry and Rasheed Bhatti (Pakistan), while Sarik Prasad, another AAIUP member, was from Singapore.  

Both Prasad and Pradhan took part in the Kuwait series immediately after standing in the World Cup Qualifying tournament in South Africa last month (E-News 409-2163, 19 April 2009), while the Singaporean also stood in the Women's World Cup in Australia shortly before that (E-News 393-2085, 21 March 2009).

Meanwhile, other teams are vying for places in the 2010 Under 19 World Cup in Kenya in regional events taking place across five continents. The Africa qualifier is currently underway in Zambia (E-News 413-2185, 28 April 2009), while the East Asia-Pacific, European and Americas events will take in Papua New Guinea between 30 May and 8 June, in Canada from 12-18 July, and the Channel Islands from 14-20 July, respectively.  Match officials for those series have yet to be named by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

After that what the ICC calls the 'global' qualifier will be held at a date later this year and venue that are yet to be finalised, the top five teams from that series joining the ten ICC Full Members countries in Kenya next year.




Tony Hill, a New Zealand member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is not participating in the Indian Premier League's (IPL) current Twenty20 tournament in South Africa (E-News 415-2195, 4 May 2009), even though score sheets and other data available on line indicate that he was the television official in the third match of the series on 19 April .   

Originally, Kumara Dharmasena of Sri Lanka was named for the two back-to-back IPL matches scheduled for 19 April in Cape Town, however, he was also selected to stand in a finals game in the World Cup Qualifiying tournament, which was also being played in South Africa, on the same day (E-News 409-2165, 19 April 2009).  

Hill's name appeared on the IPL score sheet shortly before that game got underway, however, it is now appears likely that Billy Doctrove, a EUP member from the West Indies, was the third official for that match.




Forty-five per cent of New Zealand's elite cricketers believe that securing an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract is now the pinnacle of the sport, according to a recent survey conducted by the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association (NZCPA), says an article published in Sunday's 'New Zealand Herald' (NZH) newspaper.  In addition sixty-one per cent of the eighty-six NZCPA members surveyed said that if they had their time again they would have tailored their careers toward the Twenty20 format.

Heath Mills, who formulated the survey, told the NZH that he "expected some guys, particularly the older guys, to tick those boxes but was genuinely surprised by the numbers" that came back.  He apparently believes that the results of the survey "should be the catalyst for some serious soul-searching at administrative level with the key question being: if the current players feel this way, what do the next crop of players think, and, ultimately, is it good for the sport?"

In what the NZH describes as a more heartening result, seventy-seven per cent of players surveyed believed that in ten years time playing for New Zealand would be seen as the ultimate.  "But you'll even hear players talking about the fact that performing well at international level is so important because it is your ticket to an IPL contract", said Mills.

The story says that if any immediate evidence was required to show this shift in priorities, it was provided last week by allrounder Jacob Oram.  Oram, who missed a large portion of the international summer through injury, told cricket website that he would be prepared to walk away from Test cricket to prolong his short-form cricket life. "I could lie to you and say it's not about the money [but] I know that is something people do not necessarily want to hear", said Oram.








Long-serving and TCUSA Life Member Don Heapy is back in the state after umpiring twenty-one games in five days during the Fourteenth Hua Hin Super Sixes tournament which was held at the Dusit Resort in Thailand last month.  A total of eleven teams, five from Australia, four from Thailand and one each from Bangladesh and Hong Kong, played in two groups during the event, one the higher standard 'Cup' section that featured four sides, and the other the 'Masters' pool involving the other seven. 

Heapy and former TCUSA member Paul Edwards, who is now based in Canberra, stood in the series along with their umpiring colleagues Kader from Malaysia and Trevor Warburton from England, the latter now being a resident of both Thailand and Australia.  Heapy and Edwards stood together in the Cup Grand Final for the second year in a row, that match being between sides from the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and its counterpart from Kowloon in Hong Kong. 

Described in an article in the 'Bangkok Post' as "colourful characters", the two Tasmanians had the opportunity to watch former Australian One Day International and Twenty20 International bowler Mike Lewis bowl what Don described as a "magnificent" over for the MCC.  Despite that though it was the side from Hong Kong that came out on top.

After the tournament in Thailand, Heapy and Edwards traveled to Vietnam for what they described earlier this year  as "rest and recreation" (E-News 386-2054, 12 March 2009).  They had hoped to stand in a Saigon Cricket Association league match at the the Saigon Cricket Club, but unfortunately, travel schedules precluded that occurring.  

Despite that the duo were invited to visit Saigon again next year for games, something they plan to do after standing in the 2010 Hua Hin Super Sixes, an event to which they have also been asked to return for what will be the third time.   




A player in a Bradford League match in England last weekend was given out 'hit the ball twice', and an article in yesterday's edition of the local 'Telegraph and Argus' (TA) newspaper has queried just what happened.  The description of the event provided in the TA's report suggests on the surface at least that the umpire may have been wrong, however, just how he saw it was not recorded, for only the comments of the side whose batsman was dismissed were mentioned.

According to the story, Cleckheaton leg-spinner Tom Pringle swept a ball from Yeadon bowler Grant Soames for four, but only on his second contact with it, for the ball hit Pringle on the arm on the way to being dispatched to the boundary by the bat.  Soames is said to have said to the umpire at his end "What is that? Is it four or hit the ball twice?", and the unnamed umpire quickly "put his finger up", writes journalist Bill Marshall.  Whether the ball-bat hits were almost instantaneous or if the ball 'ballooned' from the arm, is not clear.

Cleckheaton’s scorer Bob Speight, is quoted as saying that "we don’t think [Pringle's two 'hits'] were deliberate and therefore we don’t think [he] should have been given out, but maybe the umpires weren’t au fait with the rules regarding hit the ball twice".  Speight, who has been scoring since the 1960s, says that he has "seen 'obstructing the field' dismissal a few times, but never hit the ball twice".

Cricket's Law 34 covers 'Hit the ball twice', part of which says "if, while the ball is in play, it strikes any part of [a batsman's] person or is struck by his bat and, before the ball has been touched by a fielder, he wilfully strikes it again with his bat or person, other than a hand not holding the bat, except for the sole purpose of guarding his wicket", then he shall be given out.  

In Pringle's case the ball hit his arm before he hit it with his bat, the question for the umpire at the crease being did he strike it "wilfully"?




South African offspinner Johan Botha, who was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action last month (E-News 412-2180, 24 April 2009), was tested by Professor Bruce Elliott of the University of Western Australia last Thursday and preliminary results of that bio-mechanical assessment may be available by the end of this week.  

On Monday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) named vice-captain Botha in their fifteen-man squad for next month's World Twenty20 Championship in England, Gerald Majola, CSA's Chief Executive Officer telling 'Cricinfo' that if Botha "is not cleared, we will have to ask for a replacement" for him.




Former Pakistani Test umpire Mahboob Shah has been running umpiring courses for women in Iran, says a story published in the 'Gulf News' on Monday.  The program is being organised by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), which has been active in organising umpiring and coaching programs for women in almost all Islamic countries in Asia.  

Ashraf Ul Haq, the ACC's Chief Executive Officer, told the 'Gulf News' that "there was a school of thought that believed that women from Islamic countries" could not play cricket, however, "countries like Iran have proved them wrong".  "In fact", he says, normal cricket attire "suits their religious dress code [as] they can play the game wearing full-length trousers and full-sleeve shirts, which wouldn't be possible in many other sports", and "they can [also] play wearing the hijab".

The ACC chief was quoted by the 'Gulf News' as saying that his organisation is so impressed with the increasing popularity of the game among women in the region that it has decided to host a women's cricket tournament along with that planned for men during the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China (E-News 32-177, 26 April 2007).  "The world will be surprised at the cricket facilities that China is building for the Asian Games, [for] it is a state-of -the-art stadium [that] will put a lot of international stadiums around the world to shame", said Ashraf.

Mahboob, who was born in India seventy years ago, played fourteen first class matches in Pakistan from 1954-61 for sides that included Baluchistan and Quetta.  After retiring he took up umpiring and went on to stand in a total of 159 first class and 105 List 'A' matches from 1970-98, the latter including thirty-two One Day Internationals, one of them being the 1987 World Cup Final between Australia and England in Kolkata.  His partner in that match, Indian Ram Gupta, died last year (E-News 239-1313, 5 May 2008).

Twenty-eight of Mahboob's first class games in the period from 1975-97 were Tests, most of them being played in his home country, although four were overseas, one each in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and the other two in New Zealand.  He spent six weeks in England in 1981, one of the seven one-day county matches he stood at that time  being at Lord's.




A Court of Inquiry being held in Lahore into the terrorist assault on the Sri Lankan team and match officials in early March, has heard that Pakistani intelligence agencies had received reports that insurgents planned such an attack, says an article published in the 'Daily Times' in Karachi on Monday.  Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi told the inquiry that he recommends that during any such visits in future, the player and match officials convoy should be "covered by snipers in a helicopter". 

The driver of the mini van that was transporting match officials was killed in the Lahore attack, Pakistan umpire Ashan Raza critically injured, and ICC liaison officer Abdul Sami Khan wounded in the left shoulder (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).  Raza is recovering slowly and both he and the driver's family have received financial compensation from the Pakistan government and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) (E-News 398-2119, 30 March 2009). 

Justice Shabbar Raza Rizvi apparently said that that authorities must ensure that security guidelines issued are properly implemented, stating that a "decoy bus" was to be part of security arrangements for the Sri Lankan visit, however, no such bus was present at the time of the attack. Similarly, two extra mobile police vehicles "were supposed to be following" the team and match official buses at all times, however, that arrangement "was ignored as well", he added.  

The Pakistani Sports Minister said in mid-March that players and match officials had been "failed" by security authorities (E-News 386-2050, 12 March 2009), the PCB at the same time giving the arrangements a "clean chit" (E-News 386-2051, 12 March 2009). 




The International Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (IICUS) is running an interesting 'Laws Quiz' series on its web site that is ideal in helping umpires and scorers wishing to "keep their hand in" over the winter break in the Southern Hemisphere prior to the start of the TCUSA's Winter Laws School late next month (E-News 371-1976, 13 February 2009).  

There have been eighteen separate quizes to date, each one consisting of five questions, all of which have four possible answers in a multi-choice format that is not dissimilar to TCUSA exam papers.  Participants 'click' the answer they believe is correct, and once all five answers are in, the site quickly generates advice as to just how correct the answers chosen were.  Where answers chosen are wrong a brief statement as the why is provided by the web site.

The IICUS site is at HYPERLINK "" and the quiz section can be found at the lower left of the home page.








Indian Premier League (IPL) officials are looking to reduce the amount of time allocated to its so-called "tactical time-out" at the ten over mark of each innings in its Twenty20 competition.  The IPL introduced a seven-and-a-half minute break to this year's matches in South Africa, an innovation that one report last month claimed was "designed purely to make even more money by selling [more advertising] airtime" (E-News 408-2160, 18 April 2009). 

IPL chief Lalit Modi told NDTV this week that its "tactical" time might be reduced to five minutes in each innings of the two semi-final and grand final matches of this year's IPL season later this month.  "It's not frozen yet but we are looking at two aspects", he said.  


The current concept is said to be for two, two-and-a-half-minute breaks per innings, "the first [being] just after the [opening] 'Powerplay' [of six overs]', while the second can "be taken by the fielding side at any time", according to Modi.  However, he stressed that the idea was yet to be ratified by the IPL's Technical Committee, which if previous reports are correct consists of himself and former Indian captains Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri (E-News 416-2199, 5 May 2009)..


'Cricinfo' says that during the IPL series to date, the tactical time-out break has tended to shift the momentum of the game, in its analysis "usually to the benefit of the fielding side", as the batting side tend to loose wickets in the overs immediately after the break. It also states that "other experts [are] also not certain of how much value it added to the game".  Modi says though that "a strategy break happens in every sport" but that seven-and-a-half minutes may be a bit long.




The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has decided that light meters will no longer be used in most County matches played under its auspices.  'Cricinfo' says, however, that light meters will continue to be used in international fixtures and matches between Counties and touring teams, for those games are played under International Cricket Council playing conditions.


Former Test umpire and Chairman of the UK's first-class umpires' association Peter Willey, welcomed the ECB's decision, telling the 'Wisden Cricketer' magazine that the umpires will, as was the case in the past, "decide if it is unfit, unsuitable or unsafe to continue playing", and that he thinks that "stops all the argument".  Willey indicated that in using the meters he and his colleagues "were just relying on numbers instead of common sense and experience", and believes that "the majority of umpires [will be] comfortable and happy" with the change.


ECB umpires' manager Chris Kelly was quoted as saying that "light meters will only tell an umpire if the light has got worse or better, it won't tell them whether it is safe or unsafe to play on".   The whole matter is "all about safety for players and officials", continued Kelly, and it is "now for [umpires] alone to decide using their experience and judgement".




A Two Counties League (TCL) one-day match in eastern England was abandoned last weekend after two fielders were seriously injured whilst trying to take a skied catch in the outfield.  Abberton players Matt Gilray and Mark Copson, who were fielding in the deep, collided at speed and hit their heads together with such force that both had to be taken to hospital, says a story in yesterday's 'East Anglia Daily Times' newspaper.


Ipswich-based umpire Martin White, who was standing in the game, told journalist Roddy Ashworth that "Gilray took three or four paces to the left and was just about to take the catch when Copson came running in".  “The collision was sickening, horrible", he continued, and he clearly "heard the crunch from square leg".  After the clash “Gilray was in a bad way and Copson didn't know what time of day it was", said the umpire.


Fortunately, a doctor was watching the match and was able to attend to the pair immediately after the clash.  An ambulance was called and they were taken to Colchester Hospital thirty kilometres away where they were X-Rayed, however, despite the severity of the impact, “neither player was in fact seriously hurt”, although Copson is said to have suffered a hairline fracture of his cheek..


White told the newspaper that the severity of the impact, after which another witness said "there was blood everywhere", affected both teams, and the captains subsequently agreed that they did not want to continue with the game so it was abandoned in what was the thirty-seventh over of the first innings.  


Despite that however, both teams are hoping that they will be able to replay the match in late August, subject to approval from the TCL's management committee.




The failure of club captains and senior players to attend any part of a two-day umpiring seminar in northern New South Wales last weekend has been criticised by the secretary of the Far North Coast Cricket Umpires Association (FNCCUA).  Invitations to attend the seminar, which was run by former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair and first class umpire Darren Goodger (E-News 415-2196, 4 May 2009), had been extended to all captains in the local competition in the Lismore area.   

FNCCUA secretary Bob Myatt was quoted in yesterday's edition of 'The Northern Star' newspaper as saying that he and his colleagues would have liked a few more people to have taken part in the weekend, however, he was particularly "disappointed about the lack of first grade players and captains".

Myatt continued by saying that "[captains and players are] happy to tell you where you went wrong out in the middle but they don't come along and see how difficult umpiring can be".  “Darrell raised some interesting points which would have interested the players, [for] we discussed ten scenarios that I guarantee the players would not have got any right", he continued.

'The Northern Star' story goes on to say that "even among the tight nit world of umpiring Hair could not escape talk of his controversial past which included no-balling [Sri Lankan bowler] Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing, and officiating over the only forfeited Test in history".  

 “Darrell was asked a couple of questions about his career but he played a straight bat like the professional he is", said Myatt, but “I think he's very happy being involved with grass roots cricket again rather than the dizzying heights of the International Cricket Council".  “It's a bit of a shame that he's retired", continued Myatt, "because while Simon Taufel has been named as the world's best umpire for the last five years, I think it is pretty safe to say that Hair was in the top two".

Apart from the lack of players, Myatt said Hair and Goodger had presided over a successful seminar, which the pair are now in the process of taking to the seven other NSW cricketing districts.



 FRIDAY, 8 MAY 2009





West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor, who retired from Tests and One Day Internationals (ODI) just over six weeks ago after a twenty-year career (E-News 395-2096, 24 March 2009), is to return to international cricket when he stands in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division 7 tournament in Jersey in the Channel Islands later this month .  


The one-day format, eighteen-match WCL Division 7 series features six sides representing Bahrain, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Japan, Nigeria and Suriname, and will run over eight days from 17-24 May.  Bucknor's participation in a series at the lowest level of international cricket was announced quietly via the ICC's tournament web site yesterday, and details of the philosophy and reasoning behind his appointment have not yet been released.  


The Jamaican said last month that he was "keen to officiate" in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) series and would do so if invited (E-News 405-2147, 13 April), but clearly that invite was not extended to him, a decision that comes as little surprise given his problems with Indian cricket authorities in the past (E-News 389-2066, 17 March 2009).  

Bucknor also indicated his interest in being involved with the training and development of umpires in the West Indies, and there were suggestions that he needed to remain in employment due to family commitments. 


This morning's edition of the 'Guernsey Press and Star' says that Ralph Anthony of the Guernsey Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (GACUS), sees Bucknor's visit to the island as "a massive coup for the local game".  ‘I think it’s great anyone of that standard coming over, especially if we get a chance to talk to him or just to go and watch him perform", he said.  Anthony hopes to "get some wheels in motion [so that GACUS members will] be able to talk to him".


David Jukes of England will be the tournament referee, his umpiring panel being made up of seven officials from five nations.  In addition to Bucknor the other umpires are all from Europe, they being Niels Bagh (Denmark), Paul Baldwin and Richard Smith (Germany), Louis Fourie and Trevor Magee (Ireland), and Brian Papworth (Scotland).  Baldwin and Bagh both stood in the World Cup Qualifier tournament in South Africa last month (E-News 406-2149, 15 April 2009). 


The WCL was created in 2007 in order to provide regular one-day cricket opportunities for ICC members outside the top tier of the international game and expanded to seven divisions this year, an eighth having been approved to start next year. 






Australia’s acting captain Brad Haddin and his team mate Shane Watson have been fined for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (COC) during their side's Twenty20 International against Pakistan in Dubai yesterday.  Both players were found guilty by match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand of “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision”.


Watson was given out LBW by umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan, a member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, in the fifth over of the Australian innings.  The ICC said in a statement that the "player showed dissent by gesturing towards and hitting the bat against his hand [then] continued to make verbal and physical signs of dissent as he walked off the field".


Three overs later Haddin, who was at the non-striker's end of the pitch, pointed his bat towards Pakistani umpire Zameer Haider when Andrew Symonds was also given out LBW, the ICC saying that at "that point the Australian stand-in captain also claimed to the umpire that 'there was bat involved' ".


Dar, Haider and third umpire Nadeem Ghauri who is also from Pakistan, filed the dissent charges with Crowe after the match.


Crowe said that at the subsequent hearing “both players immediately pleaded guilty to the charges and were very apologetic about their actions", however, while he "understand that players will feel frustrated at times, both Brad and Shane were quick to acknowledge that they needed to accept the umpire’s decision without gesture or verbal complaint".  


The ICC's COC requires that breaches such as 'dissent' carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of fifty per cent of a player’s match fee.  In yesterday's case Crowe docked Haddin fifteen per cent and Watson twenty-five per cent of their respective match fees.






Four members of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Panel are to stand in the six matches that the 'A' sides from Australia and Pakistan are to play in Queensland in June and July. The series will start with two four-day games in Townsville then move to Brisbane for three one-day matches and a single Twenty20 (E-News 416-220, 5 May 2009).  


Ian Lock (Western Australia) and Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) will stand in the first four-dayer, then Paul Reiffel will join Lock for the second of those games.  Oxenford will go on to take part in all three one-day games, his partner for the first two being Reiffel and the third Simon Fry (South Australia), and he will again be on the field with Fry in the Twenty20.


CA is yet to name the umpires for the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) that is expected to be played in Brisbane around the time that the 'A' sides complete their series.  


The EPT is a key tournament in CA's umpire development pathway and in recent years officials nominated by state and territory authorities have been appointed to the series.  However, there were indications earlier this year that this year umpires from each of the three other nations involved in the series might attend, thus reducing the number of slots available to Australian officials.      





Amit Singh, a medium pacer with the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Rajasthan franchise yesterday became the second player from that competition to reported for suspect bowling action in the last week.  Amit, who took four wickets for nineteen during the match, joins his team-mate Kamran Khan who is currently undergoing two weeks of "rehabilitation" after being reported for the same issue a week ago, although just what that involves has not been made public (E-News 416-2199, 5 May 2009).


Amit, whose case has been referred by the IPL to the Rajasthan team management and the IPL's Technical Committee for further scrutiny, was reported by on-field umpires Daryl Harper (Australia) and Krishna Hariharan (India), as well as third official Tyron Wijewardene (Sri Lanka).  That trio are said to have reviewed television footage after the match before deciding to refer the matter to the IPL.


Press reports say that Amit can continue playing until he is proven guilty of an illegal action


 SUNDAY, 10 MAY 2009




The future of the Umpire Decision Review System will be the key issue in the spotlight when the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee holds its annual meeting on Monday and Tuesday at Lord's.  Several normally well-placed journalists in the UK are suggesting that the committee will recommend to the ICC that trials of the review system, which were conducted in eleven Tests played in four separate series over the last nine months, continue for another year.


The ICC said in a weekend statement that in considering reports from players, umpires, broadcasters and others, the committee's focus will be on whether or not to recommend a continuation of the system, and if the answer is 'yes', just how and when that should take place.  


Six key issues are to be considered by the committee says the world body, they being: were the number of incorrect umpiring decisions reduced?; was there an undue impact on the pace of the game?; did placing the responsibility on the players for requesting reviews actually work?; was the review process practical?; what was the effect on the umpires and their authority?; and were there any other positives or negatives to be considered?


Journalist Simon Wilde wrote in 'The Times' in London this morning that "umpires are [generally] supportive of the system because they feel it reduces the chances of them making mistakes (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008), [but that] players [are] less keen, perhaps because their challenges often proved incorrect".  If their public comments are any guide, however, the nature of player's views on the system over the last nine months appear to be closely related to whether they won or lost individual matches.


Wilde says that "the likeliest outcome [of the committee's evaluation] is that a further period of experimentation over the next twelve months" will be recommended.  Another London-based journalist, Scyld Berry of the 'Daily Telegraph', had similar thoughts this morning saying that the committee is "expected to recommend further trials and improvements in the use of technology in the referral system, not its immediate adoption".  


'The Times' article says that the "chief problem" experienced to date is the time taken for decisions to be reviewed but that the ICC, which "is understood to be wedded to the rise of technology on the basis that referrals led to [umpire decision] accuracy rising from ninety-four to ninety-eight per cent", believes that the delays are "merely down to all parties getting used to the procedure".  Wilde says that "a broadcaster" is to make a presentation at the meeting at Lord's to demonstrate ways in which the process can be speeded up.


Three match referees and eleven umpires were used by the ICC in the trials, eight of the latter then being members of its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) and three from its second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), although only the EUP members were used as television umpires. 


The match referees were Alan Hurst (Australia) with six matches, Jeff Crowe (New Zealand) three and Javagal Srinath (India) two.  South African Rudi Koertzen topped the umpire's list with four on-field and two third umpire appointments (4/2), then came Mark Benson (England) 3/2, 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), Steve Bucknor, Billy Doctrove (both West Indies) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan) all 2/1, Daryl Harper (Australia) 1/2, and Aleem Dar (Pakistan) 1/1.  


IUP members Amiesh Saheba (India) and Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe) were both 2/0, while then IUP, and now EUP member, Tony Hill of New Zealand, was 1/0.  Hill, Harper and Koertzen were also involved in what was to have been another UDRS Test, however, it was abandoned after only ten balls due to the state of the playing surface (E-News 372-1984, 14 February 2009).


Current EUP members who did not take part in the trials were Steve Davis and Simon Taufel (Australia) and Ian Gould (England), the latter only joining the EUP six weeks ago (E-News 395-2093, 24 March 2009).  Taufel, who has been standing in this year's Indian Premier League series in South Africa (E-News 414-2190, 2 May 2009), will, however, be involved in the formulation of the Cricket Committee's position on the UDRS for he is a member of that group. 


The committee will be chaired for the first time by its new head, former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, other members being the ICC's chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle and a bevy of former players representing coaches, cricketers’ associations, the media, the Marylebone Cricket Club and others.  The ICC's President, Chief Officer and General Manager Cricket will also be in attendance. 


Whatever the committee recommends will be passed on to the world body's Chief Executives’ Committee and the ICC Board for consideration, those group's next meetings being set for Lord’s in the week of 22-26 June.




In addition to assessing the Umpire Decision Review System (E-News 420-2218 above), the International Cricket Committee's (ICC) Cricket Committee is to also examine issues related to day-night Tests, over-rates, One Day International (ODI) playing conditions, regulations regarding the management of bad light situations, and a number of matters related to bats and their use.


The feasibility of day-night Tests is an issue that has been under consideration for several years.  A meeting convened by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was held at Lord's in mid-March to discuss the acquisition of suitable balls for such games (E-News 386-2056, 12 March), while a related gathering there a few weeks later saw the England and Wales Cricket Board indicate that it is "pushing ahead" with plans for "the inaugural floodlit Test" in May 2010.  


However, public statements made by a range of officials at that time suggested that the introduction of such a format is far from clear cut at this time (E-News 399-2118, 30 March 2009).


The ICC committee is to also look at ways in which over-rates in international cricket can be improved, work that will presumably involve assessing the results of "research" that the committee announced last May it had commissioned into why current over-rates in both Tests and ODIs are so low (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008).  


At that time the MCC's World Cricket Committee (WCC) proposed a minimum of fifteen overs per hour in Tests, saying that if the situation had not dramatically improved in twelve months time "severe run penalties [should be introduced]" (E-News 242-1336, 15 May 2008).


Playing conditions for ODIs will also be examined over the next two days to determine if any revisions are required, the key policy issue behind that assessment being the desire to ensure the ODI format "continues to retain its relevance and popularity in a cricketing landscape" in which there are now three versions of the game at international level, Tests, ODIs and Twenty20s.


There is also mention in the ICC's press release on this week's meeting of "the possibility of putting a limit on the number of fielders on the off-side in order to restrict negative bowling tactics", although whether that remark refers to all three forms of the game or not is unclear.


Other issues on the ICC committee's agenda include whether there should be limits introduced at international level "on the weight and depths of bats", as well as any issues raised by the introduction of the double-sided bat and the 'switch-hit'.  Tony Lewis, the WCC's Chairman said last August that while the MCC's revision of Law 6 regarding the bat was a "good move", "more investigation is needed into the weight and thickness of the bat" (E-News 301-1584, 25 August 2008).  



Ahsan Raza, the Pakistani umpire who was critically injured during the terrorist attack in Lahore two months ago, returned to umpiring last Friday, according to a press report from Karachi yesterday.  Raza had hoped to take part in the Pakistan-Australia One Day International series in Sharjah over the last month (E-News 394-2088, 23 March 2009), but his recovery was slower than he expected (E-News 404-2145, 9 April 2009).


Raza officiated in what was described as "an inaugural Twenty20 match" of an unnamed tournament, and was quoted as saying that "umpiring is my only source of income" and that he was therefore "happy [to] resume [his] work".


 MONDAY, 11 MAY 2009




TCUSA sponsor 'Eyelines' is looking to having the various umpiring fraternities it supports enter teams in the 'City to Casino' run in Hobart next Sunday.  The winning team will win the 'Umpires Challenge Cup' and $A500 will be donated to the charity that they nominate.  Members wishing to take part in a cricket umpire's team should contact President-Administrator Graeme Hamley as soon as possible.





Amit Singh, a bowler with the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Rajasthan franchise, has been reported for the second time in two days for having a "suspect bowling action".  The latest report was made after his match on Saturday, his action originally being brought to the IPL's attention by match officials last Thursday (E-News 419-2217, 8 May 2009), the third such report in the League's 2009 season (E-News 416-2199, 5 May 2009).

On Saturday the on-field umpires making the report were Gary Baxter of New Zealand and Kumar Dharmasena from Sri Lanka, they being joined by the television umpire Amish Saheba of India.  The initial report earlier in the week was made by Daryl Harper (Australia), Krishna Hariharan (India) and third official Tyron Wijewardene (Sri Lanka).  Both sets of umpires are said to have reviewed television footage of Amit's action prior to making their reports.

Media reports last Friday said that Amit's case has been referred by the IPL to the Rajasthan team management and the IPL's Technical Committee for further scrutiny, but that he could continue to play until he is "proven guilty" of an illegal action.  The IPL said in a statement yesterday that the issue had again been referred to its Technical Committee.

Amit's Rajasthan team mate Kamran Khan is currently undergoing two weeks of "rehabilitation" after being reported for the same issue, although just what that activity involves has not been made public (E-News 416-2199, 5 May 2009).

The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported on Friday that Khan has been awarded two individual 'Most Valuable Player' awards worth $A150 from Rajasthan team captain-cum-coach Shane Warne for his contribution in matches earlier in the series.  The team's Chief Marketing Officer Raghu Iyer was quoted by the PTI as saying the priority regarding Khan was to "get him back to fitness" following an "unspecified injury", although "correcting his action also [remained] on [the] radar", runs the quote.


Meanwhile the PTI also said in a separate story that Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was reported for a suspect action in the second Pakistan-Australia One Day International late last month (E-News 413-2184, 28 April 2009), was hoping to travel to Perth early this week to undergo bio mechanical tests at the University of Western Australia (UWA).  A Pakistan Cricket Board official was quoted by the PTI as saying that the bowler had to pass the tests in an appropriate manner if he is to participate in the Twenty20 World Cup in England next month.

South Afrtican spinner Johan Botha, another bowler reported for a suspect action, is reported to have visited the UWA for tests three weeks ago (E-News 412-2180, 24 April 2009), but as yet no announcement of the results of that evaluation have been released.





Fears that the trial of 'Tiflex' balls in the second Division of the County Championship might have a "significant" negative impact on that competition this northern summer do not appear to have been borne out by the results so far, although problems were experienced with the ball's longevity during two separate innings in a match between Gloucestershire and Leicestershire at Bristol last week.

Writing in London's 'Daily Telegraph' last month, journalist Simon Briggs said that "if all the advance warnings are true, and the [new] 'Tiflex' ball swings and nips around for the first thirty overs, we could see plenty of low-scoring matches in second division" this season (E-News 406-2148, 15 April 2009).  Leicestershire batsmen were said to be "alarmed" after they took a batch of 'Tiflex' balls to South Africa for a pre-season training camp, the spheres reportedly "darting around" significantly in "the thin [high altitude] air around Pretoria", according to Briggs.

Reports indicate that during the game at Bristol last week, umpires Barry Dudleston and Richard Kettleborough  had to change the ball after just forty overs in Leicestershire's first innings and after forty-four overs when Gloucestershire batted in reply.  While Gloucestershire went on to win by ten wickets, their opponents managed to score a total of 464 over two innings while they themselves managed 465 for the loss of only ten wickets.

In the fifty-five innings conducted in the fifteen Division two games played so far this season, batsmen have managed to score a total of 15,129 runs while loosing 465 wickets, an average of thirty-two runs per wicket.  Of the innings in which all ten wickets fell, the highest total was 642 and the lowest 119, close to half of those times at bat producing in excess of 300 runs, with two-thirds being greater than 200.     

There were only three innings that did not reach 100, all of them being on the last afternoon of matches, three wickets being the most to fall in them. 

Whether problems have been experienced with the durability of 'Tiflex' balls in other Division two games this season is not known.





Three successive batsmen needed to use a runner during the innings of a side from Sidmouth in Devon earlier this month, providing an additional set of equations for the umpires involved to work through on the field, and the opportunity for TCUSA members to think through just how they would have handled the situation.  

Sidmouth bowled first and during their time in the field, two players pulled hamstrings, another suffering a strained calf muscle, and a fourth experienced the onset of 'tennis' elbow whilst bowling.  The latter was said to be "severely restricted" when he went into bat, although unlike the other three he did not need a runner.   

When it came to batting, a story in the 'Sidmouth Herald' indicates that the three players who needed a runner batted in order, therefore there would have been a total of four members of the batting side on the field of play for some time, two batsmen and two runners.        






The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee has recommend a "phased roll-out" of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in Tests around the world commencing in October this year.  During its two-day meeting which ended in London yesterday, the group endorsed the basic player-initiated structure of the system used over the last nine months, however, while no further trials are proposed, some "fine-tuning" that includes further umpire training is planned before the system becomes operational on a permanent basis.

Calls by England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke, former top-level international umpire Steve Bucknor of the West Indies, and others over the past year, that umpires should have responsibility in calling for reviews and deciding on their outcome so that their authority was not undermined (E-News 370-1971, 12 February 2009), were not accepted by the Cricket Committee.   

Instead it says that players should continue to initiate review requests, the ICC stating in a press statement that in the past when umpires "had the opportunity to call for reviews", the example given being the so-called 'Super Series' in Australia in 2005 which was a one-off event,  it was not effective for "it led to umpires doubting their own abilities and slowed the game down".  No details were provided as to whether the original maximum of three unsuccessful appeals per innings, or two as used in the latter part of the trial, will feature in the on-going system.  

The committee says that during the trials the system had no "undue negative influence on the pace of the game", however, it went on to state that some "fine-tuning" is needed in the way reviews are requested and processed.  It considers it to be of "vital importance" that there be further umpire training in order to ensure "maximum levels of consistency in the implementation of the system". There was some press criticism earlier this year about perceived inconsistencies in the way third umpires carried out their role (E-News 369-1965, 9 February 2009). 

While there are hints that it appears to believe the UDRS impacts on the authority of on-field umpires, the committee says that "any possible negatives [in that regard] were far outweighed by the positive effect of ensuring more correct decisions were made".  The committee "noted" that UDRS use "reduced examples of player dissent which may otherwise have occurred following incorrect decisions" and the trials are said to have reduced the number of incorrect umpiring decisions that were made, a report last year saying that that figure fell from six to two per cent (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008), 

Prior to the "phased roll-out" starting in October, the ICC says it will be working to further study "lessons learnt from the trials", to document minimum technical standards in technology and protocols, the "confirmation and implementation" of minimum standards for the third umpire’s room, additional training of umpires so that the protocols and processes involved in the system are interpreted consistently, and further briefing of players so that the process can be successfully implemented".

The Cricket Committee, which considered the results of UDRS trials conducted in four Test-playing countries over the previous nine months during its annual two-day meeting on Monday-Tuesday (E-News 420-2219, 10 May 2009), will now pass its recommendations on to the ICC Board for almost-certain endorsement at its meeting late next month.




Members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee have agreed that the introduction of day-night Test cricket is a possibility, but they want a number of key issues resolved before any decision is taken to proceed with such a concept. A day-night Test between England and Bangladesh at Lord's in May 2010 is being pushed by the England and Wales Cricket Board, however, the ICC committee appears less than convinced at the progress that has been made on the issue to date (E-News 399-2118, 30 March 2009).

Top of the list of factors mention by the committee is the development of suitable balls of an appropriate colour for such games, other issues it says need close examination including the conduct of satisfactory trials of the concept at first class level, research into whether day-night Tests are "something that spectators, broadcasters and commercial partners" actually want, and that "stakeholders" involved in individual series need to all want such matches.

The committee says that providing all of those factors can be satisfactorily addressed day-night Tests could be explored further.  If the work involved proceeds satisfactoraly, the committee could reconvene early next year via a teleconference to examine the outcomes, following which it would provide an update of its views to the ICC's Chief Executives’ Committee.   

ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat said in a statement that "the committee recognised the need to promote Test cricket and was happy for talks on this matter to advance, however, before it gave the concept the green light it agreed that several aspects needed to be firmed up first".  He continued by saying that "it may be possible to look at a trial day-night Test at some stage in 2010, although there is much to be done before we can say that is likely to happen".




Stricter enforcement of Laws 42.9 and 42.10 dealing with time-wasting and the International Cricket Council's player Code of Conduct, plus a doubling of fines, should be used to ensure required over-rates are maintained in international matches, says the ICC's Cricket Committee. The committee "recognised the importance of maintaining the pace of play, particularly in Test cricket", but said that in addition to player actions, host Boards, umpires and match referees should do everything within their control to ensure over-rates remained as high as possible.

The committee says, without giving details, that it "acknowledges improvements" in Test match over-rates over the past year and believes that the current legislated requirement of "fifteen overs per hour was appropriate, achievable and realistic".  If teams, and, in particular captains, fall below expected levels then stricter penalties should be enforced, including that if a captain receives three over-rate fines in the same format of the game in any twelve-month period, then he should automatically face a suspension.

Having said that, the committee accepted that a "message [also] should to be sent" to each host Board that they needed to be far more diligent in ensuring delays within their control that affect the pace of the game be kept to a minimum.  During its deliberations the committee was told that in the previous six months there had been an average delay of fourteen minutes per Test because of sightscreen-related issues.

Under the committee's proposals, over-rates will be displayed on scoreboards to ensure players are aware of the situation at all times, and it also agreed that protocols should be developed to minimise interruptions caused by unscheduled drinks breaks.

Last December he ICC’s Chief Executives Committee (CEC) said after its end-of-year meeting that it intended to take a “tough stance” on slow over-rates, its members calling for “stronger action against teams bowling their overs too slowly in Tests and ODIs" (E-News 359-1916, 10 December 2008). That move followed similar strong comments made by Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Sutherland (E-News 354-1888, 25 November 2008) following a slow over-rate fine Australia received during a Test against New Zealand (E-News 353-1884, 24 November 2008).

ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat said after the CEC meeting that the world body had told Test match referees and umpires to come down hard on slow over-rates and verbal abuse, issues that he saw as having “the potential to impact negatively on the way the game is perceived” and that it was looking at options that could cost teams more than a percentage of their match fees. 

In the five months since December, Australia, England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have all been fined for slow over rates, England in a Test (E-News 363-1936, 1 January 2009), and the other three sides in One Day Internationals.  In a tongue-in-cheek piece in April the editor of ‘Wisden’ wrote that over-date issues could be quickly remedied if fielding sides had to stay on the field until the number of prescribed overs for a session had been bowled (E-News 404-2142, 9 April 2009). 

In other views formulated by the Cricket Committee this week, it also agreed that there is no need to impose a limit on the weight and depth of bats, the group supporting the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) recent decision in that area, as well as the MCC's view that the double-sided bat and the 'switch-hit' should be considered legal.

The MCC consulted with a range of manufacturers and concluded that the average weight of bats had not changed much, if at all, and the appearance of greater volume was often due to the fact they were no longer pressed in preparation as much as in the past.

Discussions on whether revisions are needed to the current format of One-Day Internationals concluded that, given there had been a major alteration to the playing conditions last October with the batting side allowed to nominate one of the Powerplays (E-News 320-1676, 1 October 2008), it would be sensible to allow more time to see if that was effective before deciding upon any further changes.




South Africa spinner Johan Botha can bowl his off-break and arm-ball deliveries in international cricket, but he has been banned from bowling his 'doosra' until he undertakes remedial work and undergoes further testing.  A detailed analysis of his action undertaken at the University of Western Austraia (UWA) showed that his delivery of the ‘doosra’ exceeded the fifteen-degree level of tolerance permitted under International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations.

Botha was reported following his side's fourth One Day International against Australia in Port Elizabeth in mid-April by the two on-field umpires in that game, Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka) and Brian Jerling (South Africa), along with Jerling's countryman, third umpire Rudi Koertzen (E-News 407-2156, 16 April 2009).

The analysis performed late last month by Professor Bruce Elliott, a member of the ICC's Panel of Human Movement Specialists, at the UWA's School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, showed that the amount of elbow extension in Botha’s bowling action for both his off-break delivery and arm-ball was within the fifteen-degree level of tolerance. 

The mean elbow extension was 12.2 degrees for the off-break and 11.1 degrees for the arm-ball with no single delivery of those types proving to be illegal, however, for his 'doosra' the elbow extension was 26.7 degrees with "no single delivery proving to be legal".  

The ICC says that Botha can apply for re-assessment of his ‘doosra’ action after he has modified it, although he has the right to appeal against the UWA's analysis provided he does it within two weeks, but a number of media outlets are reporting that an appeal is "unlikely".  

Botha told journalists that he was relieved the review had finished and that he is "looking forward to playing my next match for the Proteas and linking up with my team mates" for next month's World Twenty20 Championship in England (E-News 417-2206, 6 May 2009).

Elliott’s report is said to have recommended the Botha "review his own bowling action on a regular basis to ensure his elbow flexion levels are minimized and kept within legal limits".




Twenty-five of the pictures taken by Roy Loh during the TCUSA's Annual Dinner at Bellerive on 1 April are now available on the Association's web site.  The images show all of the members who received awards during the evening, details of which were provided in E-News 402 on 4 April.   

To access the images go to the Association's web site, the address of which is provided at the top of this newsletter, then click the 'Awards' link in the banner at the top right of the screen.  Pictures taken at both the 2007 and 2008 Annual Dinners continue to be available on the web site, a link to them being provided at the bottom of this year's awards page.  




With the TCUSA's 2009 Annual General Meeting (AGM) just a week away, nominations for the positions of President, Honorary Treasurer and one Committee member close this Friday, 15 May, with President-Administrator Graeme Hamley.  Nomination forms were circulated to members in two weeks ago.  

Next Wednesday's meeting is due to get underway in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval at 7.30 p.m., and in addition to those three Management Committee elections for the 2009-10 season, members will be presented with reports from officer bearers.


 THURSDAY, 14 MAY 2009





Pink balls being trialled by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) may have a future in the game, according to Australian international umpire, Simon Taufel, who saw them at first hand yesterday morning when he was invited to stand in the opening ten overs of a match at Lord's.  

Taufel, who was in London for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committe meeting on Monday-Tuesday (E-News 422-2225, 13 May 2009), is being quoted by the MCC's web site this morning as saying that the pink balls, which are considered by some a candidate for use in day-night Tests in the future, "looked pretty good" and that in his view "you could probably see it better than a white ball". 

According to Taufel "there was a little bit of a comet trail to it but it certainly gave me a lot more information off the pitch and off the seam", but he went on to question what impact it might have on bowlers.  He asked can spinners "grip the ball because it's not a dye, it's still a lacquer", "what's it going to change [for] a swing bowler; or someone who uses shine as a method of competing in the game?", and "does [all] that change the way we'd play Test cricket?"    

Taufel said that the pink ball does not discolour to the same degree as the white balls used in One Day Internationals, for he's "seen a [pink] ball that's forty overs, fifty overs old [and] you don't get the same sort of discoloration", however, he asked "will it last [for] eighty, ninety or hundred overs?"

Asked about the possibility of day-night Tests, something that the ICC committee discussed earlier this week (E-News 422-2226, 13 May 2009), Taufel said that he was open minded on the subject. "I think we have to respond to the changing markets", and if "there are ways we can encourage more people to watch, enjoy and appreciate Test cricket, and that means changing the timing of it to suit what the market wants, then I think we need to look at that", he said.  

Following the match at Lord's Taufel is reported to have flown back to South Africa where he has been officiating in the Indian Premier League (IPL).  He told the MCC web site that "it's been great to be able to take a bit of a break from the IPL, come across, contribute towards the [ICC] cricket committee and those discussions that have taken place and hopefully add some value to a game of cricket".




Devon are set to play their strike bowler Ian Bishop in what is said to be a crucial Minor Counties Cup game against Wiltshire next Sunday, the move coming even though he is still serving a five-match ban from playing for his club side in the Devon League over remarks he made to an umpire.  Devon League Chairman David Gambie is reported to be unhappy about the approach that has been taken by the Devon County Cricket Club (DCCC). 

The Devon League's disciplinary panel banned Bishop for three games for showing dissent and added two more for using bad language and he cannot play a league game for his club until 6 June.  Although there is said to be no obligation on the county to observe suspensions imposed by the league, it has apparently been local practice for some time that they do.

Bishop's unavailability for his County was criticised by Devon's captain earlier this month (E-News 415-2192, 4 May 2009), and DCCC chairman Roger Moylan-Jones told the West Country 'Express and Echo' newspaper on Tuesday that Bishop will now be considered for Sunday's game.

The newspaper's story says that Moylan-Jones "consulted" with Gambie, Devon Cricket Board chairman Jim Wood and county umpires' head David Moseby, and in a prepared statement issued yesterday Australian time, said that "by the time of the Wiltshire game [on Sunday, Bishop] will have missed two league matches and three county matches", and will thus have "completed [the] five-match ban awarded by the Devon Cricket League".

Moylan-Jones added that the county club remains committed to the principle of supporting the league's disciplinary rulings, but with the condition that "the disciplinary code of conduct must apply consistently across the full range of Devon Cricket Board's activity in the interests of the game as a whole".

The 'Express and Echo' story says that Moylan-Jones may have consulted with league chairman Gambie, but states that it is "clear the two parties don't exactly see eye to eye over the dispute".  

Gambie is quoted as saying that he "agrees with Roger that, in the eyes of the DCCC, Ian has served a five-match ban from cricket and is therefore eligible for the next county match".  "However", he continued, "Roger's statement is misleading in as much that he has not served the five-match ban imposed by the Devon Cricket League in respect of matches under its control [as] he still has to serve out the ban [for three more league matches before returning on 6 June]".  

Gambie said that to his "knowledge, [the] DCCC, whilst always supporting the Devon League over disciplinary matters where their players are concerned, is not stopped by the England and Wales Cricket Board regulations from playing suspended Premier league players in Minor County games".




Australian umpire Daryl Harper believes that "its just a matter of time" before umpires in higher-level Twenty20 (T20) matches wear baseball helmets for protection, says a report published in the 'Times of India' (TOI) earlier this week.  

Harper, whose interest in baseball is well-known, told the newspaper that the helmets, which cover the face with a grill, will become necessary because "the big-hitting [in Twenty20s] will only increase, the bats are getting heavier, and the shots are hit with more ferocity" and "it's becoming really dangerous for us".

Harper told the TOI about his experience of being struck by "ferocious strokes" played by Matthew Hayden and Sanath Jayasuriya. "In one of the games Sanath"s shot hit me so hard that I was feeling breathless for a while [while] Hayden"s hits have brushed my ears a few times as well", said Harper.  Helmets are "something [IPL] match officials are seriously mulling over" for he has been "talking about this to some of the other umpires and they were also of the same opinion". 

The Australian also told the TOI that it has been "relatively easier" to officiate in the second IPL than the first. Crowds "in South Africa party in [their] own way, but the sound is not so deafening [as in India], [and] given the consistent bounce of the South African wickets, you easily know which [balls are] going over [the wicket], which at times becomes difficult [to judge] in India", said Harper.

Asked what the umpires think about the IPL's strategy breaks (E-News 418-2210, 7 May 2009), Harper was quoted as saying that they are "a sock for us [for] we can discuss where we [plan to] dine" after the game.




TCUSA members may like to consider the hypothetical playing situation that is currently outline on the web site of the International Institute for Cricket Umpires and Scorers (IICUS).  The webmaster is currently inviting those interested to provide their views on just how they would have responded to the events described and why.

The situation outlined is that the striker clipped the ball hard behind square leg on a very wet outfield and the batsmen ran one.  A fielder was then heard to say "don't bother, its gone" so the striker sauntered back toward his end and engaged in a little gardening with his bat half-way down the pitch. Unfortunately the ball had not gone over the boundary line and the player at square leg, who had run back to field the ball, gesticulated to that effect but he tossed the ball back without much enthusiasm to the wicketkeeper who hesitated for a moment and then removed the bails and appealed. 

In addition to that scenario, the IICUS site is running an interesting 'Laws Quiz' series that is useful in helping TCUSA umpires and scorers to "keep their hand in" over the winter break in the Southern Hemisphere prior to the start of the Winter Laws School late next month (E-News 417-2209, 6 May 2009).

The IICUS web site is at HYPERLINK ""  and the hypothetical is at the top left of the page under the title "an umpiring poser" while the quiz is at bottom left.


 FRIDAY, 15 MAY 2009




Former Indian Test captain Ajit Wadekar, who worked as a match referee in fifty Indian Cricket League (ICL) games last year, is reported to have left that organisation, according to a Press Trust of India report published yesterday.  Wadekar, along with a number of ICL contracted players, are said to be waiting for a 'No Objection Certificate' in order that they can fulfill the requirements of the Board for Control of Cricket in India's (BCCI) recently announced amnesty scheme for players, officials and others who have connections with the "rebel" league (E-News 415-2193, 4 May 2009).

Recent reports from the sub-continent say that the BCCI's decision to offer an opening for ICL personnel is seen "by many" as a "virtual body blow" to the ICL.  It announced resumption of its Twenty20 league in October-November after cancelling its competition earlier this year due to the world financial situation (E-News 371-1978, 13 February 2009), but there have been a number of player defections over the last week.  Wadekar is the only Indian match official known to have sought the BCCI's amnesty at this time. 




Two county players were disciplined by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) yesterday after incidents in a County Championship Division two match at the Oval last week, one receiving a reprimand and the other three penalty points under the ECB's disciplinary system.

Surrey opener Scott Newman was reported by umpires Jeff Evans and David Millns for actions that fall into the section of the ECB code that deals with "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play", while Middlesex’s Billy Godleman was reported for "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or making an obscene gesture".  Newman received three penalty points for his indiscretion, which will remain on his record for a period of two years, while Godleman received a reprimand. 

Under ECB regulations, if Newman accumulates nine or more penalty points in a two-year period he will receive an automatic suspension.  Godleman’s offence will remain on his record for two years and any further breach of that kind by him in that time will see him automatically receive in a three penalty point penalty.





A club side in Yorkshire were deemed to have lost a one-day cup match in the Craven League last weekend after the game was abandoned when one of its bowler's complained about his run-up and raised the question of legal liability with the umpires should he be injured, says a report in yesterday's 'Keighley News'.  At a hearing last Monday, the side was found to have forfeited the game because in the view of the umpires they refused to continue with the match.

Craven League fixture secretary Trevor Coe told journalist Bill Marshall that during the first innings of the match at Thornton, a home side "bowler made a crater on his follow-through", and that after visiting side Ingrow went into the field one of their bowlers was also landing in the so-called "crater".  It is not clear from Marshall's story whether the ground was dry at the time or not, although the league says that "weather was not an issue".

According to Coe, “attempts were made to get rid of the crater" before "suggestions were made to the [Ingrow] bowler about him bowling round the wicket or even swapping ends", although just who made the "suggestions" was not spelt out.  Ingrow captain David Brown said that following those suggestions the bowler, who was delivering only the fifth over of the innings, tried to bowl closer to the stumps in order to avoid the hole, however, that had resulted in him being warned for running on the pitch.

Brown said that at that point the bowler talked to the umpire at his end about liability should he be injured as a result of the condition of his run through, but that that had been wrongly perceived by the officials "as a threat".  After what appears to have been an argument, the umpires are said to have reported that Brown's players then walked from the ground, but Brown denied that saying that his players had not done so and had in fact followed the officials to the pavilion only after they decided to stop the game.  

Coe said that he and his league colleagues contacted Philip Radcliffe, the chairman of the Yorkshire Cricket Board’s Association of Cricket Officials, and he is reported to have said that he "had never heard of an instance like this before".  When it met on Monday night to discuss the issue, the Craven League’s executive committee decided that Ingrow had forfeited the game when they refused to continue to play.  

No additional disciplinary action is planned as "Ingrow are no longer in the cup [and that] is punishment enough at this time", said Coe, although he also indicated that in the league's view the behaviour of the bowler towards the official was "unacceptable".  Ingrow captain Brown, who was at the league's meeting, said that he was unhappy with the umpires’ version of events and that his club had written to the league to put forward its arguments.


 MONDAY, 18 MAY 2009





Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is reported to have announced on Thursday that it plans to lift the ban on players and officials who participated in Indian Cricket League (ICL) tournaments, a group that includes umpire Ranmore Martinesz.  The move comes six months after Martinesz returned to first class cricket in Sri Lanka, his first post-ICL match at that level commencing just eight days after he stood in what became the ICL's last game to date (E-News 350-1872, 20 November 2008).  

On Friday the Colombo newspaper the 'Daily Mirror' quoted SLC interim committee secretary Nishantha Ranatunga as saying that his organisation decided to remove the ban after discussions with the players and officials involved, an approach similar to moves taken recently by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) (E-News 424-2235, 15 May 2009).

Ranatunga said that following discussions with that group his organisation is "certain that they all want to come back", and that they have until 15 June "to formally communicate their desire to sever ties with ICL before they can take part in any domestic or international commitments".  According to the story by journalist Channaka de Silva, those who return will have to serve a three-month “cooling” period before they are "handed any international assignments", an arrangement that Ranatunga is quoted as indicating "is [in] according [with] an ICC guideline".  

However, Ranatunga's comments seem a little at odds with what has actually been happening in the six months since the ICL's last series ended, for during that period Martinesz stood in seven first class, and the same number of List 'A', games, run under the auspices of the SLC.

The SLC originally banned ICL officials and players from taking part in cricket in the island nation in April last year some four months after the ICL's inaugural tournament got underway (E-News 232-1289, 22 April 2008), however, five months later it voted to overturn that decision and Martinesz was then permitted to stand in Sri Lankan club cricket (E-News 316-1649, 20 September 2008).  

Within a month though, Martinesz was back standing in the ICL (E-News 328-1724, 13 October 2008), and before its last tournament was curtailed because of the Mumbai terrorist attacks late last year, he was said to have been "sounded-out" about the possibility of signing a long-term contract with the ICL (E-News 355-1892, 1 December 2008).  However, eight days after what was to become the last of his forty-six matches with the ICL he was back standing at first class level in Sri Lanka.

Martinesz played four first class matches in 1994-95 and made his umpiring debut at that level in January 2000, since going on to stand in a total of ninety-one first class games.  His first one-day intra-island domestic List A game was in October 2000 and he now has sixty-five such matches to his credit.  To date he has been the third umpire in one Test and four One Day Internationals. 




Peter Nero of Trinidad, a relative newcomer to first class cricket in the Caribbean, is to travel to England later this week as part of the umpiring exchange program initiated between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its England and Wales counterpart last year (E-News 344-1822, 6 November 2008).  Nero's one-month visit follows that made by English umpire Richard Kettleborough to the West Indies in February, a time during which he stood in three first class games (E-News 374-1994, 18 February 2009).

Nero, who turns forty-five late next month, is believed to have been scheduled to stand in six matches at various levels during his four weeks in England, some of them being first class games.  Records available indicate that the Trinidadian made his debut at senior regional level in February 2007 in a one-day fixture, and he stood in the first of what is currently his four first class matches in February last year, chalking up two games at that level in each in the last two seasons.  Two months ago he officiated in a one-day tour match between the visiting England side and a team from the West Indies Players Association.

The WICB are believed to have had a total of forty umpires from six separate areas on its first class list during the season that has just concluded there. Barbados and the Leeward Islands each had eight people in that group, while Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands all had six.  The majority of umpires on the list only received two or three appointments at first class level during the season.




Brendon McCullum, the captain of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Kolkata franchise's side, has been "severely reprimanded" for showing dissent to the umpires in his team's IPL game in Johannesburg on Saturday. Reports say that McCullum was "livid" at the decision by square leg umpire S Ravi of India to call the first ball of Kolkata's fifth over a 'no ball' because there were only three fielders within the circle.   

McCullum is said to have had "lengthy discussions" with Ravi and his on-field colleague Rudi Koertzen of South Africa, however, the umpire's decision stood.  The New Zealander reportedly apologised at a post-match press conference for arguing with the umpires, apparently saying that his reaction "was purely out of emotion".  Around the same time Ravi and Koertzen reported him for a breach of the IPL's Code of Conduct to match referee Srinivas Venkataraghavan who later announced his decision to reprimand McCullum.  




The Indian Premier League's (IPL) Technical Committee has decided that the remaining games of its current series will be allocated an extra hour for completion in situations where rain affects play, while for the semi-finals and final this weekend an additional two hours will be allowed, there being no reserve days for any of the latter three games  The early stages of this year's IPL tournament in South Africa were affected by rain, two games being washed out and a few others being decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method. 

The Technical Committee has also decided on three other changes to its playing conditions that will be implemented with immediate effect.  They are that: a ball will be considered 'dead' if a batsman happens to hit the "sky camera" which travels over the field of play on cables; substitute fielders will be permitted only in the event of injury, illness or other wholly acceptable reasons; and umpires on the field will now be allowed to consult the third umpire if they have doubts about catches.

The committee said in a statement that it wants to ensure that substitutions are be limited to extreme circumstances and should not include what is commonly referred to as a 'comfort break', a stipulation and wording introduced by the International Cricket Council last July (E-News 270-1449, 5 July 2008).

In terms of catches the Technical Committee said that "should both umpires be unable to make a decision, they may consult by a two-way radio with the third umpire, [but],the final decision will be made and given by the bowler's end umpire, who will take into account the on-field umpires' initial views and any other advice received from the third umpire".  

To date IPL third umpires have been employed to make calls on line decisions such as 'run out', 'stumped' or in judging whether a ball has reached the boundary or not, but the IPL says that its change means that there "will be a lot more clarity and more chances of reducing human error". 




Reports by the BBC and several newspapers in the UK last week say that umpires rated the pitch used for the day-night, fifty-over, match between Glamorgan and Essex at Cardiff last Tuesday as "poor".  The pitch concerned is one of many on a square that will host the opening Test of the Ashes series in July, and the umpires' assessment was criticised by the home side's cricket manager who is concerned that some will use it to reflect negatively on last year's decision to allocate the Test to the ground. 

Stephen Fry of 'The Independent' says that the pitch in question will not be used for the England-Australia Test, but Glamorgan cricket manager Matthew Maynard is said by the BBC to have described Tuesday's "poor" rating by umpires Richard Illingworth and Neil Mallender as "very harsh".  Maynard said that he "was surprised they marked it poor [as] I honestly feel it was [only] a 'below average' wicket".  No details as to why the "poor" rating was given by the umpires have been released.  

Concern about the report led, however, to inspectors from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) looking closely at another strip on the square prior to the home side's one-day match against Lancashire on Friday, however, they are said to have quickly concluded that it was "above average".  Maynard hopes that the ECB will reverse the Illingworth-Mallender pitch assessment on a ground that has had $A6m in improvements made to it over the northern winter and mark Tuesday's pitch 'below average' " rather than "poor".

Maynard may have a hard time convincing others about the umpires' judgment as between them they have seen around 950 County-level one-day pitches "up-close" over the last thirty years.  Last Tuesday's match was Illingworth's 440th one-day game at County level, 381 being as a player and fifty-nine as an umpire, while it was Mallender's 509th, with 325 as a player and 184 as an umpire.  In addition, the pair have taken part in a total of 908 first class games, 721 as players and 187 as umpires. 

Glamorgan cricket manager Maynard was, says the BBC, "philosophical about the possibility of critics of the first Test against Australia [being assigned] to Cardiff using [last week's pitch] situation to again knock that decision", Fry writing that "the news adds to the nagging concern that the [Cardiff] stadium might not be up to it".




The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that long-serving international umpire Steve Bucknor is taking part in its World Cricket League Division 7 tournament in the Channel Islands this week in order to pass on "some of his vast knowledge and experience to some of Europe’s up-and-coming match officials".  

According to an ICC press release Bucknor "graciously agreed" to work in the one-day format, eighteen-match involving sides representing Bahrain, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Japan, Nigeria and Suriname, with colleagues from Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Scotland (E-News 419-2214, 8 May 2009).  The Jamaican has said on several occasions in the past that he hoped to work in a similar umpire mentoring role in the West Indies (E-News 376-2004, 23 February 2009).

Bad weather in Guernsey yesterday prevented all three matches scheduled being completed on what was the opening day of the competition.  Today, Japan takes on Nigeria, Gibraltar plays Guernsey and Bahrain faces Suriname, yesterday's games currently being rescheduled to Tuesday the designated reserve day, however, that will depend on the weather in the Channel Islands both today and tomorrow.


 TUESDAY, 19 MAY 2009




Amit Singh, a bowler with the Rajasthan franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), was yesterday "provisionally cleared" of having a "suspect bowling action" after the IPL's Technical Committee found his delivery action was within "tolerances" set by the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Amit's action was reported twice in two days by six separate umpires earlier this month (E-News 419-2222, 11 May 2009), but a bio mechanical analysis conducted in South Africa last week has cleared him for a return.

The IPL said in a statement yesterday that testing at the University of Cape Town (UCT) showed that the four types of Amit's deliveries that were examined, his stock delivery, the off-break slower delivery, off-cutter and leg-cutter, "were legal and within ICC's legal tolerance limits".

Amit's action was assessed in detail by Professor Tim Noakes, a Human Movement Expert, Dr Kerith Aginsky, a "Cricket Bowling Specialist-Biokineticist", and Dr Michele van Rooyen who specialises in video analysis techniques, all three being from UCT's Department of Human Biology.

The IPL says that their analysis showed that in all of Amit's deliveries that were closely scrutinised, the bowler "was seen to extend his arm from the horizontal position and consistently flex his elbow again prior to ball release", a movement that does "not constitute a throw".  As a result of the analysis, Amit will be able to return to the Rajasthan franchise's line up, however, the Technical Committee emphasised that "if reported again", the bowler will "be restricted from playing for a year".

There has been a surge of reports for suspect actions over the past month.  South Africa spinner Johan Botha was subsequently cleared for a return, although without his 'doosra' (E-News 422-2228, 13 May 2009), Pakistan's off-spinner Saeed Ajmal underwent bio mechanical testing in Perth last week and is awaiting the outcome of that analysis (E-News 419-2222, 11 May 2009), while Amit's Rajasthan colleague Kamran Khan is currently undergoing "rehabilitation", although just what that activity involves has not been made public (E-News 416-2199, 5 May 2009).





Glamorgan are to loose two points from next year's County one-day series after inspectors from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) concurred with a decision by umpires to rate the wicket provided for a game in Cardiff last Tuesday as "poor".  Last week Glamorgan cricket manager Matthew Maynard described the rating given to the pitch by umpires Richard Illingworth and Neil Mallender as "very harsh" (E-News 425-2242, 18 May 2009). 

Reports from the UK overnight say that after interviewing the umpires, the Glamorgan and Essex captains and their coaches, an ECB Pitch Panel made up of Mike Denness and Tony Pigott, agreed on the "poor" rating as in their view the pitch "demonstrated excessive turn" and therefore deserved that rating.

'Cricinfo' is reporting this morning that the "panel's verdict heaps extra pressure onto the Glamorgan administration, who were controversially awarded the opening Test of the Ashes [in seven weeks time] after winning over the ECB with a [multi million dollar] staging-rights bid [that was] backed by the Welsh Assembly”.  

The web site says that the ground, now known as the Swalec Stadium, has staged just one international match since securing the Ashes Test, a One Day International between England and South Africa last September which was abandoned after three overs because of poor drainage.  

Cricinfo says that the England think-tank will be delighted that the venue for the first Test is shaping up as a turning wicket as it will be suitable for its spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar at a time when Australia is struggling to find a Test-class spinner. 

According to a recent newspaper report from London, the pitch that was classified as “poor” is not the same strip which will be used in the England-Australia Test.





The Bermuda Cricket Board's (BCB) disciplinary committee has suspended a player for three matches after he stood his ground and swore at an umpire when he was given out, report's the island newspaper 'The Royal Gazette'.  Journalist Colin Thompson wrote yesterday that Antoine Bean of the Willow Cuts side was given a 'yellow card' for his indiscretion, the first to be issued under the BCB's "new disciplinary procedure".

Thompson says the the BCB introduced what he describes as "the controversial card system" at the start of the current season "in an attempt to curb unruly behaviour in the domestic game", however, he does not outline just how the system works in practice.  

BCB vice-president Allen Richardson told the newspaper that "nowhere else in the world is this kind of behaviour accepted or tolerated", and that "we have let it go on for far too long, but no more".  

"We are determined to stamp out disrespect [and] if a player refuses to walk, swears at an umpire or at the opposition they will be immediately written up", runs the quote attributed to Richardson, who emphasised that umpires standing in BCB matches will receive the Board's full backing. 





Pakistan international umpire Aleem Dar scored forty from thirty-eight balls for Lahore in the final of that country's Eleventh National Seniors Cricket Cup on Monday, but his side's 203 off the allotted thirty-five overs was not enough to win the game against Karachi.

Dar, who turns forty-one early next month, played seventeen first class and eighteen List A games in Pakistan from 1986-98, taking a total of twenty-six wickets with leg spin in those games at any average of just over thirty runs apiece.  As a batsman his highest score in the twenty-four times he went to the crease was thirty-nine, his average being 11.7 and 19.9 respectively in first class and one-day cricket.  

Within fifteen months of standing down as a player he had made his umpiring debut at both first class and List 'A' level, and over the decade since he has stood in eighty-eight first class games, fifty-five of them Tests, and 153 List 'A' games, 116 of them One Day Internationals, one of the latter being the 2007 World Cup final.  

His experience in Twenty20 internationals is limited to just one match, it being the game between Pakistan and and Australia in the United Arab Emirates two weeks ago, however, he will likely build on that total in next month's World Championship series in England, although the International Cricket Council is yet to announce who will officiate in that competition.





A side in Oxford have had two premiership points deducted from their league total after they failed to pay the umpire prior to their one-day game against Bletchley Town on the weekend.  Teams competing in the local league normally pay cash to those officiating in their matches, however, while their opponents handed over the money as required, Oxford did not.

The match itself ended in a tie after two runs were scored off the final ball of the match before one of the batsmen was 'run out'.  Bletchley had the task ahead of them for at the start of the last over for they needed fourteen runs, but with three needed off the final delivery the ball was hit into the outfield and the batsman ran two to tie the scores.


In going for the third to win the match one of them was out of his ground when a return from the outfield saw him short of the line, that run thus not counting.






On-field umpires mistakenly allowed too many 'Powerplay' overs in a one-day match between Middlesex and Somerset at Lord's last Sunday, but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have rejected a call from the home side, which lost the game, that the match be replayed.  Rain meant that the overs available to Somerset in its innings had to be reduced from fifty to forty-one, a scenario that also limited Powerplay overs to sixteen, however, the umpires were reported by several media outlets to have been allowed the full twenty.

Following the match, Middlesex's Chief Executive Officer Vinny Codrington said in a statement that during the extra Powerplay overs, periods in which the fielding side must set their field within stipulated rescristions, Somerset went from being behind the required run rate to win the game to ahead of it, eventually going on to succeed via the Duckworth-Lewis system.  

Codrington emphasised that his club were "in no way blaming the umpires" for the situation, as they "strongly believe in [their] authority and [we] are in no way questioning their integrity".  In his view the pair had "made a technical rather than a cricketing error", and it was on that basis that Middlesex asked the ECB to consider the situation, for the result on Sunday could decide whether or not their side participates in the quarter finals of the competition.

The ECB said in a statement issued yesterday that "on-field umpires Peter Willey and Michael Gough acknowledged that they miscalculated the number of powerplay overs", but there was no indication of whether the scorers noticed the discrepency and attempted to advise their on-field colleagues of the error.  While the ECB made clear that it had "great sympathy for the position in which Middlesex has been placed", it said that a replay is not appropriate and it therefore "decided to uphold the precedent that umpire errors cannot form the basis [of declaring] a match null and void".

Middlesex's future in this year's competition will now be decided by the result of today's game between Warwickshire and Kent.  If Warwickshire win Middlesex's run will come to an end, but if Kent come out on tops, the quarter-final placing will be decided on the net run-rate.

Willey, who turns sixty later this year, is no stranger to Lord's having played and umpired there at the highest level of the game on numerous occasions.  After a first class career that totaled 559 games, twenty-six of them Tests, and 458 List 'A' matches, twenty-six of them One Day Internationals (ODI), Willey moved over to umpiring ranks.  To date he has stood in twenty-five Tests and 237 first class games overall, and thirty-four ODIs, the game at Lord's last Sunday being his 458th List 'A' match.

Gough, who was added to the ECB's full list late last year (E-News 347-1844, 11 November 2008),  is a former England Under 19 skipper and first-class player who is said to have quit the game in 2003 because he did not enjoy playing anymore (E-News 318-1661, 24 September 2008).  Not yet thirty, Gough captained the England youth side in six of the eleven Tests in which he was selected in the late 1990s, and went on to play sixty-seven first-class and forty-nine List A games for Durham. 

Gough made his debut as an umpire at first class level in April 2006 and currently has fourteen such games to his credit, as well as eight List 'A' matches, last Sunday's game at Lord's being his seventh as an official in that form of the game at County level.





West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor believes that his playing compatriots from the Caribbean could learn a lot about pride from what the BBC described yesterday as the "lesser cricketers" who are currently taking part in the International Cricket Council's Division 7 (WCL-7) tournament on Guernsey in the Channel Islands (E-News 425-2243, 18 May 2009).  

Bucknor spoke to BBC Guernsey on the same day that England beat the Windies to wrap up that Test series, saying that he has been impressed with the spirit he has seen so far in what is currently the lowest level of adult international cricket.  

During WCL-7 games played to far, he "saw people diving around the place as if their life depended on it", something "you would love to see the West Indians do".  "These guys [in WCL-7 games] were trying their utmost and they are amateurs", in contrast to the Caribbean professionals whose "pride seems to have gone out the window", said Bucknor. 

West Indian "players are making huge sums of money but I don't think they are working hard enough for that money", and because the competition for places in the team "is not tight enough [they] are still selected when they are not performing well", he said.  As a result Bucknor's conclusion was that he doesn't "think [the professionals] are doing their utmost to do the West Indian people proud".

A story in 'The Times' in London yesterday, which reported on Bucknor's development role with the six European umpires who are standing in the WCL-7 tournament, quotes him as telling those officials that in responding to appeals, the first thing an umpire "must learn is don't rush".

"Take your time, let the batsman think he has got away with it, let the bowler feel he has been unlucky", runs the quote, "then slowly smile to yourself, as if you've just got one of [Australian international umpire] Daryl Harper's jokes, and raise your finger nice and steady".  

That movement should be followed "with a bashful shrug to suggest to the batsman that there are no hard feelings", he says, and, continued the West Indian, "if you fancy a cup of tea and it's a long wait until the next interval, simply offer the batsmen the light [as] the crowd will love it".

A local newspaper in the Channel Islands, 'The Guernsey Press and Star', described Bucknor "as definitely the star attraction at the [WCL-7] tournament’s opening ceremony" last Saturday evening.  Bucknor is reported to have told the ‘Star' that "it's strange to have come [to Guernsey] after so many years of Test cricket", as he "would never have thought of doing this tournament, but I’m happy to be here", and if he is asked to other such events, "[he'll] do them" too.





Richard Illingworth, one of the twenty-five umpires on the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) first class panel (E-News 347-1844, 11 November 2008), is managing to keep his hand in as a player despite a busy season of umpiring duties with the ECB.  Another first class official, Pakistani international umpire Aleem Dar, was also in action as a player earlier this week in a national senior's cup competition (E-News 426-2247, 19 May 2009).

Illingworth, forty-five, who played first class cricket for Worcestershire from 1982-2001, has agreed to play at least nine matches for Old Elizabethans in the Birmingham League, says a report by Steve Carley in Tuesday's 'Worcestshire Journal'. Carley says that former England international Illingworth marked his debut for his new club last week by taking six wickets in his side's win over Tamworth, club coach Alan Ormrod, another former Worcestershire player, telling the 'Journal' that "it’s good to have Richard on board because his experience can help the captain".

Illingworth, who is no relation of former England captain Ray, played 376 first class and 381 List 'A' matches over a nineteen-year career.  Included in that record are nine Tests for England and he has the distinction of claiming a wicket from the first ball he delivered at that level of the game.  He retired from first class cricket in June 2001, and just over two years later returned there as an umpire, to date chalking up a total of fifty first class, fifty-nine List 'A' and twenty-three Twenty20 games at County level.  His benefit year in 1997 brought in a total close to $A700,000.





[EN427-2252 ]

A one-day cup match between two sides in Northern Ireland was decided in a somewhat unusual fashion last weekend when a five-ball 'bowl out' was held simultaneously at their respective grounds.  Sides from Bangor and Dungannon in the Northern Cricket Union agreed to take that approach after two separate attempts to complete the tie were 'washed out' by inclement weather and so that Dungannon did not have to drive the sixty kilometres to their opponents ground for the "ten minute" 'match', says a story published in today's 'Tyrone Times'.  

With the umpires at each ground communicating via mobile phone, Bangor won the toss and elected to bowl first.  Its opening delivery was called a 'wide' and the additional ball allowed by the umpire missed the stumps, Dungannon's first ball also suffering the same fate (0-0).  Ball two saw the Bangor bowler hit the stumps, Dungannon's in turn missing theirs and it appeared that Bangor had taken a 1-0 lead.  

However, the umpire at Bangor then realised that the same player had bowled both Bangor's first and second balls, and he deemed the under local playing conditions the delivery that hit the stumps was in fact "illegal" (0-0).  The umpire's colleague at Dungannon was briefed about the 'illegal' delivery over the phone, then the correct second Bangor player bowled their second ball again, recording a 'wide' then a miss (still 0-0!), 

The third ball saw the same pattern repeat itself, the designated Bangor player delivering a 'wide' and a miss, and Dungannon's again missing the stumps (0-0).  The fourth Bangor player again bowled a 'wide' and a miss, but the Dungannon number four hit the stumps to give his side the lead (1-0).  The fifth Bangor player missed the wicket with his ball therefore their opponent's last delivery was not required and Dungannon were therefore deemed to have taken the tie.

The second round of the competition is due to be played this coming Saturday, and the 'Tyrone Times' says that it "will hopefully be the first match to be played this year as the others have been washed out by [near-continuous] rain".


 THURSDAY, 21 MAY 2009




Recruitment of new members to TCUSA umpiring again ranks as the key challenge facing the Association, say reports from several officials tabled at last night's Annual General Meeting (AGM).  Indications prior to the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 2008-09 season that there would be a solid increase in the number of on-field officials available for games each week were not realised, and members were again challenged to work to bring new umpires to the Association this year.

Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpires and the Association's Advisor for the past nine seasons, said in his report that "there can be no doubt" that umpiring standards in TCA cricket have continued to improve steadily, however, he remains concerned about the recruitment of new umpires.  The latter is the key theme that also runs through the annual report prepared by the TCUSA's President-Administrator Graeme Hamley, who was reappointed to that position at the AGM for the ninth time in eighteen seasons.

Hamley says the Association's scorer membership continued to expand and that a total of eighteen, who represent every TCA club, are currently registered, but on the umpiring front things are not as positive.  He states in his report that the situation "looked particularly promising” in the lead-up to last season with a record number of umpiring recruits and the expected return of most of last season’s members, and that it appeared that would be even more serious competition for on-field positions within the ranks. 

Unfortunately, "it did not turn out that way", said Hamley, as four of the original batch of recruits elected not to commence their umpiring careers, while seven from the previous season’s umpires and another four longer-serving members departed.  That meant that the “usual” shortages occurred with those umpiring members remaining “doubling up” week after week to fill the Association's commitments, a matter compounded by the number of competitions that needed umpiring support during the season (E-News 428-2254 below).

Hamley says that all members must work to rectify that situation prior to next season, and he issued the same challenge that he has issued "several times in the past" for everyone to introduce a new member umpire or scorer member.  "Very few will embrace this challenge", says Hamley, "but any acceptance will be appreciated by all".

On a positive note for the Association, scorer recruitment meant that all TCA First and Second grade matches are now being covered each round by qualified “computer” scorers.  Hamley says that the next step is to expand that support into the TCA's lower grades, a goal that he is of the view "should be easily achievable" as "many clubs" are already utilising laptops to score their matches at those levels.

While describing the 2008-09 season as a "testing" one, Hamley thanked those "dedicated members" who formed the "backbone" of the TCUSA's work for their "efforts both on and off the park", congratulated those who were awarded trophies last month in recognition of their contributions, particularly new Life Members Mike Lee and Mark Gillard, and thanked members of the Management Committee for their continued support throughout the season.  

The TCUSA's new sponsor “Eyelines” was thanked by Hamley for providing on-field shirts and jackets to umpires from next season, their financial support also being a very positive factor which will help the Association in so many ways.  The newly reelected President also praised the work undertaken by the TCA's Appointment Committee, Richard Widows, Roy Loh and Steve Maxwell, who he said had "done a magnificent job in covering our substantial [match support] commitments each and every week".  

In his report Widows also thanked his colleagues on the selection panel and said that their work has led to the TCA appointing them again in 2009-10.  He also acknowledged the work of Maxwell and Brian Muir in overseeing Level 2 Accreditation, and Loh with the video analysis program (E-News 402-2131, 4 April 2009), as well as those who assisted with the Laws School, Annual Seminar and the regular training meetings.



Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) umpire selectors had less people available to appoint to TCA matches in 2008-09, a summer that saw the number of games played in southern Tasmania surge significantly from around 360 the previous year to over 420, an increase of thirteen per cent.  

A handful of new tournaments, most of them played in the Twenty20 format, were responsible for the jump, and the difficulties experienced in recruiting umpires again resulted in many members 'doubling-up' each weekend (E-News 428-2253 above).

A total of forty-three umpires took part in TCA games during the season just ended, five down on the previous summer, their appointments being spread over fifteen separate competitions, four more than last year.  New or one-off tournaments played included the Women's Cricket Australia Cup series, the TCA Women's Cricket League, Brighton's Twenty20 cup, and Under 18 vacation cricket which was also played in the shorter format of the game. 

While forty-three umpires were used, competition and umpiring standard requirements meant that only thirteen were chosen to stand in TCA First Grade as opposed for sixteen in 2007-08.  Ross Carlson and Caroline McGregor made their debuts in First Grade, the other eleven used having stood at that level previously.  

In the lower levels, twenty-three individual umpires were used in TCA Second Grade (down from twenty-five), thirty in Third Grade (thirty-two) and thirty-seven in Under 17s (thirty-four),  Four umpires stood with the Association for the first time this year , they being Tim Blazely, Jordan Broughton, Cameron Lee and Mark Loveluck.  

McGregor, the TCUSA's only current female umpire, topped the overall appointments list with a total of forty-one games over the six months of the season, she being followed by Steve Maxwell and Steve Gibson with forty and thirty-nine games respectively.  

TCUSA Life Members Brian Pollard and Don Heapy continued well into their third decade with the Association, Pollard with thirty-six matches taking his match tally to 472 and Heapy with twenty-four to 463.  It looks as if the former will crack the 500 game mark early next year.  A number of other members also passed significant match number milestones during the season just completed (E-News 402-2132, 4 April 2009).





Four members of the Queensland State Umpires Panel are to officiate in three Womens' Twenty20 international matches between Australia and New Zealand from 1-3 June, the games being part of both team's preparation for next month's World Twenty20 Championship in England.  Panel members Andrew Curran, Jay Kangur, Norm McNamara, Darren Moloney and Damien Mealey have been appointed to those matches by Cricket Australia, with Mealey standing twice and the others once each.



 MONDAY, 25 MAY 2009





Indian Premier League (IPL) organisers selected four officials contracted from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) for the nine on-field umpiring spots available in the finals of this year's IPL competition played over the weekend.  While the two match referees used in the finals were from the sub-continent, for the second year running IPL selectors overlooked the eight Indian umpires it used, two more than last year, in the fifty-six games played in the lead up to the finals (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008).  

Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Simon Taufel (Australia) stood in last night's final, the latter's countryman Daryl Harper working as the third official.  Koertzen and Harper filled the same positions in the IPL's 2008 final, while the South African and Taufel also stood together in the final of the multimillion dollar 'winner-takes-all' Stanford series in the Caribbean last October (E-News 342-1813, 3 November 2008).

That trio and West Indian Billy Doctrove officiated in the IPL semi finals on Friday and Saturday, the only other umpire used being South Africa's Ian Howell, who along with Koertzen occupied one third umpire slot, although three of their countrymen served as fourth umpires.  ICC match referee Javagal Srinath occupied that role in both a semi final and the final, with Srinivas Venkataraghavan, who is on the ICC umpire selection panel, looking after the other semi, the same appointments split that was made for the 2008 finals. 

A total of twenty umpires from eight nations were used for on-field slots during this year's IPL series, three more than in the league's inaugural season twelve months ago, while another six, who were all first class umpires from South Africa, worked as the fourth official in the fifty-nine games played.  Four Indians, Srinath, Venkataraghavan, Yashpal Sharma and Gundappa Viswanath, plus Devdas Govindjee of South Africa (E-News 411-2177, 20 April 2009), were the match referees for the tournament.

Fourteen of the umpires used in the series were members of ICC panels, five coming from the EUP and nine from its second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  Those from the former were Doctrove, Harper, Koertzen, Taufel and Mark Benson (England), and from the latter Gary Baxter (New Zealand), Marais Erasmus, Howell and Brian Jerling (South Africa), Kumur Dharmasena and Tyrone Wijewardene (Sri Lanka), Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe), and Amish Saheba, Suresh Shastri and Shavir Tarapore (India).  

Indian IUP members Saheba, Shastri and Tarapore were joined by their Indian first class colleagues Sudhir Asani, Krishna Hariharan, Sanjay Hazare, Shashank Ranade and S Ravi, selections that suggest the latter five are at the top of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) umpiring list below IUP level.  In addition to his ICC selection role, Venkat is also the BCCI's Director of Umpires, and he is therefore likely to have played the key role in their appointment to the IPL. 

EUP members occupied forty-four (thirty-nine per cent) of the 118 on-field positions, IUP members fifty-four (forty-six percent), and the Indian first class panel members twenty spots (seventeen per cent).  The latter and IUP members were selected for thirty-seven and forty-one per cent of the fifty-nine television positions respectively, and EUP members twenty-two per cent.

Ten of the twenty umpires used on the field, Benson, Doctrove, Hariharan, Harper, Howell, Jerling, Koertzen, Saheba, Shastri and Tiffin, also took part in the IPL's inaugural series in 2008.  They and other IUP members are now expected to travel to England for the World Twenty20 Championship tournament which gets underway late next week.   




Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal's bowling action has been cleared by a biomechanic expert and he is set to resume playing for his country in next month's World Twenty20 Championship.  Ajmal's action while bowling his 'doosra' was reported by umpires during the second One Day International against Australia in Dubai last month and he was subsequently tested by human movement experts at the University of Western Australia (E-News 419-2222, 11 May 2009).

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement yesterday that "during a comprehensive analysis it was revealed that the amount of elbow extension in Saeed Ajmal's bowling action for all deliveries was within the fifteen-degree level of tolerance permitted [under] ICC regulations".  It warned though that whenever "Ajmal bowls in a match in the future, his action will be under the scrutiny of match officials".

ICC General Manager Cricket, David Richardson, said no bowler is ever cleared and can come under scrutiny at any time.  "Ajmal can continue to bowl in international cricket on the basis he uses an action consistent to that used in the latest independent analysis of his action.  "However, it is important to emphasise that no bowler is ever "cleared" as it is impossible to predict how a player might deliver the ball in the future", said the statement.

South African off-spinner Johan Botha was also reported for his "doosra" last month, but his delivery was ruled illegal by the ICC and he has been warned against bowling that particular delivery in international cricket (E-News 422-2226, 13 May 2009).





The two umpires who stood in the two-Test series between England and the West Indies earlier this month, Australian Steve Davis and Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka, appear to be sharing the 'neutral' umpire position in the three-game One Day International (ODI) series between England and the West Indies, while Zimbabwean Andy Pycroft is the match referee.  

In April, the International Cricket Council announced the trio's appointment for the two Test series between the two nations (E-News 414-2187, 2 May 2009), however, as yet no details of their participation in the ODI series have been released by the world body.

Davis was the 'neutral' umpire for the first ODI with Pycroft the match referee, the Australian's on-field colleague for that game being Nigel Llong, who was appointed to the match by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).  The ECB chose Richard Kettleborough as the third umpire and Ian Gould, a member of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, as the fourth official.  

Peter Hartley, who like Llong and Kettleborough are England members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, stood with de Silva in the second ODI overnight, Gould being the television official.  Gould will be on the field for the third match on Tuesday, but just who the 'neutral' umpire will be in that match is not known, while Llong has been appointed as the third official. 



Two players in the World Cricket League Division 7 (WCL-7) tournament played in the Channel Islands last wek have been officially reprimanded and warned about their future conduct following an altercation during a match last Tuesday.  Gibraltar's Christian Rocca and Bahrain's Imran Sajjad were reported by on-field umpires Niels Bagh (Denmark) and Paul Baldwin (Germany) and third umpire Richard Smith (Germany) and found guilty of "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting".

Following the game, match referee David Jukes of England convened separate hearings to deal with the issue and found that the language used by each player had been offensive and fell below "the prescribed standard of behaviour which was set out in the pre-tournament captains' meeting".  Both players pleaded guilty to the charge and apologised to each other for their actions.

The final of the tournament yesterday between hosts Guernsey and Bahrain was umpired by Neils Bagh (Denmark) and Trevor Magee (Ireland), with Steve Bucknor of the West Indies the reserve official and David Jukes of England the match referee.  The match for third place between Japan and Nigeria saw umpires Paul Baldwin (Germany) and Louis Fourie (Ireland) on the ground, and the fifth place game featuring Gibraltar and Suriname was allocated to Brian Papworth (Scotland) and Richard Smith (Germany).



FRIDAY, 29 MAY 2009





Four umpires who are in the running for promotion to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-flight Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) have been named to stand in both the men's and women's Twernty20 World Cup competitions in England next month.  The quartet, who the ICC "identified" as candidates for overseas appointments two months ago (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009), are to join the twelve current members of the EUP and three of the ICC's seven-man match referees panel, for the warm-up and Group stages of both tournaments.

Of the four, South African Marais Erasmus and India's Amish Saheba took part in the Indian Premier League's recently completed second season (E-News 429-2256, 25 May 2009), and immediately before that with another of the quartet, Australian Rod Tucker, in a World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) tournament (E-News 409-2163, 19 April 2009), both those series being held in South Africa.  Those three will be joined in England by the other ICC 'emerging' umpire, Nigel Llong of England, who has been busy at home on the County circuit and international cricket over the last two months (E-News 429-2258, 25 May 2009).

Of the four, Llong and Saheba lead the way with appointments announced for the T20 World Championships to date.  They will both be on the field in four men's warm-up games, have two on-field and two third umpire slots in the men's Group stage, and three on-field positions in the women's Group stage.  In addition, Saheba will also work as the third official in two other matches in the women's Group phase.  

Erasmus and Tucker, who stood together in main WCQ final in April, are to each stand in four men's warm-up matches, however, each has only been named to single fourth umpire positions in the men's Group stage.  They have also been appointed for women's warm-up games, the South African having three on the field and the Australian one on-field and two third umpire slots.  Erasmus has also been listed for a single third umpire position in the women's Group stage.

Tucker, who commenced his umpiring career in Tasmania in 2002 and is now based in New South Wales will, together with Erasmus, be making their debuts at Lord's next Monday in men's warm-up games, while Saheba will do so in the Group stage of the men's competition in ten days time. 

The four will be working in England with current EUP members Mark Benson and Ian Gould (England), Billy Bowden and Tony Hill (New Zealand), 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), as well as ICC match referees Chris Broad (England), Alan Hurst (Australia) and Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka).

Bowden, Doctrove, Harper, Rauf and Taufel will each work on the field in three of the twelve men's Group matches, Gould two, and Dar, Davis and de Silva one each, with Benson, Hill and Koertzen each being limited to single third umpire slots.  Benson, Dar, Davis and Koertzen have no appointments in the twelve-game women's Group stage, while Doctrove, Harper and Rauf will be on the field in three matches, Bowden, de Silva, Hill and Taufel in two each, and Gould one.

Hurst, Madugalle and Broad will manage seven, eight and nine matches respectively in the Group stages of both tournaments over the next two weeks.




The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) enquiry into the 2006 'ball tampering' Test match at the Oval appears to be continuing, although just how much progress is being made is far from clear.  Reports by the Press Trust of India (PTI) earlier this week say that former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas, who was the manager of that side at the Oval, is said to have "preferred not to appear" before the PCB's enquiry.

According to the PTI report Abbas asked "what purpose is this committee going to serve now [for] what had to happen has happened and the International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken its decision" to reinstate the original result of the match (E-News 365-1945, 3 February 2009).  "Can this committee force the ICC to change its decision", continued Abbas.

The PTI quoted Abbas as saying that he "had to attend a personal engagement" which he had committed himself to before learning of the committee's request to interview him, therefore he had "informed the Board [that he] couldn't appear" before the group.  

The PCB established its committee of enquiry, with another former captain Aamir Sohail as its head, over four months ago (E-News 327-1985, 14 February 2009).  The Board's aim was said to be "to find out if Pakistani players and management was responsible for the fiasco and whether it could have been avoided", says the PTI report. 




The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is to run a special training course for past and present players who are less than fifty-five years of age in a bid to attract more players to umpiring.  The MCA says that those who take part will be trained by umpires "of high reputation who have many years of experience in the job".  

Former Indian Test captain DilipVengsarkar, who is the MCA's vice president, suggested recently that cricket umpiring should be made more "lucrative" in order to attract former players as he believes a playing background is "very helpful" for umpires.



An umpire die of natural causes during a club match in Chesire on Tuesday.  Alan Philpott, who was sixty-six, was taken ill during the tea interval in a youth game and is believed to have passed away in the umpires’ room. 

Philpott, who was a former professional footballer with the Stoke City and other clubs, umpired for many years in the North Staffs and South Cheshire Premier Cricket League.  He is survived by his wife of forty-six years, two sons and several grand children.