July 09 (445-465)



(EN-2313 TO EN-2418) 


445 –  1 July  [2313-2319]

• Sledge warning claim not correct, says Aussie spokesman (445-2313).

• Club umpires guilty of 'cheating', says League Chairman (445-2314).

• Officials named for Windies-Bangladesh series (445-2315).

• Swan sits on fence in discussion on 'walking'  (445-2316).

• Accidental 'beamer' leads to loss of disciplinary points  (445-2317).

• UDRS raises 'spirit' issues, says Gilchrist  (445-2318).

• 'Dickie' Bird statue unveiled in Barnsley (445-2319).


446 –  2 July  [2320-2326]

• Erasmus chosen as South Africa's 'Umpire of the Year'  (446-2320).

• Later start time planned for Laws, Scorer Schools  (446-2321).

• Bangladeshi for overseas first class debut  (446-2322).

• Club warned about pitch preparation practices  (446-2323).

• Censured player to face Parliamentary committee  (446-2324).

• Batsman reaches Century after 'time' called  (446-2325).

• Fielding restriction 'no ball' leads to tie  (446-2326).


447 –  3 July  [2327-2332]

• Alleged Lankan exam 'cheats' treated 'leniently', say claims  (447-2327).

• Staggered start again planned for 2009-10 TCA season (447-2328).

• 'New' white balls have improved durability, says MCC (447-2329).

• Sports Federation award for NSW scorer  (447-2330).

• Four-day Test matches under the microscope (447-2331).

• Koertzen for Intercontinental Cup match (447-2332).


448 –  4 July  [2333-2338]

• Football referee to support ECB officials development  (448-2333).

• Doctrove promotes first internationals on his home soil  (448-2334).

• PCB 'pardons' Nazir, set for ODI selection  (448-2335).

• Davis 'comfortable again' after Lahore attack  (448-2336).

• ECB launches 'Stay in the Game' campaign  (448-2337).

• Penalty for slow over rate costs match (448-2338).


449 –  6 July  [2339-2343]

• Ball strike leads to umpire's death (449-2339).

• Separate ball from each end in domestic one-day games (449-2340).

• Pink ball used in women's ODI (449-2341).

• Four games in England for Windies exchange ump (449-2342).

• Nepalise umpires for WCL Singapore tournament (449-2343).


450 –  7 July  [2344-2348]

• Inquest planned into umpire's death  (450-2344).

• Pair suspended, fined for match actions  (450-2345).

• Bowler's action queried, dropped for ODI series  (450-2346).

• Umpire features in alcohol warning advertisement  (450-2347).

• Plaque presented for quarter-of-a-Century of games  (450-2348).


451 –  8 July  [2349-2351]

• Pakistan penalised for slow Test over-rate (451-2349).

• Officials await outcome of threatened Test boycott  (451-2350).

• Umpiring MP chooses match over Queen's visit  (451-2351).



452 –  10 July  [2352-2358]

• Suspension, fines handed out for ball tampering  (452-2352).

• Umpire's passing to be marked by minute's silence  (452-2353).

• MCC committee to look at 'next steps' for UDRS  (452-2354).

• 2009-10 NUP to be announced after EPT series (452-2355).

• Parallel Ashes Test to start tonight  (452-2356).

• Fijian umpires selected for Indonesian series  (452-2357).

• Umpire spots thieves, players do the rest  (452-2358).


453 –   11 July  [2359-2363]

• Umpire reprimanded for on-field phone use, obscene gesture (453-2359).

• 200th ODI for Koertzen today? (453-2360).

• Querying decisions 'part of the game', says Illingworth (453-2361).

• Harper positive about UDRS introduction (453-2362).

• Test proceeds despite WIPA boycott (453-2363).


454 –   13 July  [2364-2367]

• Former Tassy player, Rugby referee, join UHPP (454-2364).

• Koertzen's 200th ODI acknowleged (454-2365).

• Kiwi CEO not keen on shorter, day-night Test proposals (454-2366).

• Player behaviour, umpiring standards, a concern, says Ugandan paper (454-2367).


455 –   14 July  [2368]

• England's delaying tactics ignored game's 'Spirit', says Ponting (455-2368).


456 –   15 July  [2369-2373]

• ICC 'Spirit' award shows our attitude, claims ECB boss (456-2369).

• Bangladesh players censured for 'excessive appealing' (456-2370).

• Welsh umpire's funeral to be held tomorrow (456-2371).

• Aussie official's lunch interrupted by 'leak' (456-2372).

• ACO role no bar to EPL referee career, says Bennett (456-2373).


457 –   16 July  [2374-2381]

• 'Specialist' TV umps needed for UDRS, says WCC  (457-2374).

• WCC pushes for pink ball day-night Test trial 'within a year'  (457-2375).

• 'Dying' Test format needs 'World Championship', says WCC  (457-2376).

• Two long-serving scorers for Lord's Test  (457-2377).

• Violence sees two Bermudan matches abandoned (457-2378).

• Former England coach enters Ashes 'spirit' debate. (457-2379).

• Bowler unaware of 'hat trick', but umpire was (457-2380).

• Pitch condition results in end-of-match  (457-2381).


458 –   18 July  [2382-2384]

• Ponting dismissal raises interesting UDRS issue (458-2382).

• Nine Bermudan players face disciplinary action (458-2383).

• Bird's 'tweaked' bowling action OK, ban lifted (458-2384).


459 –   21  July  [2385-2390]

• Four umps manage opening EPT matches (459-2385).

• Match officials involved in 'security lapse, claims report (459-2386).

• Aussie media focus on catch controversies (459-2387).

• Referee 'clarifies' procedures for 'clean' catches (459-2388).

• Bermuda prepares for disciplinary hearings (459-2389).

• Batsman's comment leads to umpire standing down (459-2390).


460 –   23  July  [2391-2394]

• Koertzen bemoans "cheats", provides his view on Lord's dismissals (460-2391).

• CA Chief contacts ICC 'for further information' on referrals (460-2392).

• England fined for slow over-rate in Ashes Test (460-2393).

• Pakistani reprimanded for swearing incident (460-2394).


461 –   24  July  [2395-2402]

• Australia's 'edge' blunted by sledge 'warning', says all-rounder (461-2395).

• Wilson missing from last four EPT matches (461-2396).

• Disputed match finish leads to league inquiry (461-2397).

• Over seven hundred pass ECB's Level 1 umpire's course (461-2398).

• Dar again swaps counter for bat and ball (461-2399).

• Taufel for Bangalore umpire's seminar (461-2400).

• Penalty runs awarded for 'obscene language' win match (461-2401).

• 'Cruising' charge raises police check questions (461-2402).


462 –   27  July  [2403-2406]

• Let bowlers 'prepare' the ball, says Donald (462-2403).

• Batsman 'timed out' after player 'count down' (462-2404).

• Sri Lanka 'interviews' potential IUP members (462-2405).

• PCB chief reported 'miffed' at umpire manoueverings (462-2406).


463 –   28  July  [2407-2408]

• Lightning strike raises playing policy issues (463-2407).

• Wilson returns to EPT after honeymoon break (463-2408).


464 –   29  July  [2409-2416]

• Player handed second two-year ban in two years  (464-2409). 

• Lightning victim remains in 'critical' condition  (464-2410).         .

• Don't teach 'doosra' in Australia, says 'spin summit'  (464-2411). 

• Shoaib 'open and frank' about 'line-ball' bowling methods  (464-2412). 

• Martinesz nominated for IUP ranks, says report  (464-2413).  

• 'Art' of appealing part of coaching course (464-2414).      .

• Six Asian umps for WCL Division 6 series  (464-2415).

• Kiwi penalised for dissent in county match (464-2416).


465 –   29  July  [2417-2418]

• Windies bowler fined for 'beamer', team for slow over-rate (465-2417).

• Lankan selectors' IUP nominations forwarded to ICC (465-2418).








Australian players have been cautioned by Cricket Australia (CA) about their on-field behaviour, according to a story published in the London 'Daily Mail' late last week.  However, a spokesman for the Australian team denied that the advice passed on by CA "constituted an official ban" and said the standing of Australia's cricketers in the public eye at home remained high.  


Journalist Lawrence Booth wrote that the tourists were handed the results of a survey "conducted down under" which he says revealed the Australian public wanted to see less sledging, spitting and swearing on the cricket field.  Details of the survey do not appear to have been released in Australia to date and it is therefore difficult to judge how accurate Booth's report is.  The headline on his article, which focuses on comments attributed to former Australian player and now selector Merv Hughes, is 'Cut Aussies Some Slack on Sledging, says Merv Hughes'.


Despite the headline and opening paragraph Booth goes on to quote the Australian spokesman as saying that "we conducted research at the end of the series with India in 2008 when there was a lot of media speculation about how the public felt about the Australian players", and that CA was "pleasantly surprised by the respect in which [the players] were held by the general public". "The research basically asked what they enjoyed seeing and what they didn't enjoy", he said, adding that "this is the sort of thing any employer would do, but it doesn't mean a ban on sledging".


'The Mail' quotes Hughes as saying that "it's easy to say in the coolness of a boardroom but when players are out there trying to win a Test match for Australia and the adrenalin is going, they're not thinking about being a role model".  "It's right [that CA] protects the image of their team, but there's nothing wrong with them being tough, uncompromising and aggressive", runs the quote attributed to Hughes.


Booth recalls that Hughes regularly gave former England batsman Graeme Hick "the benefit of his wisdom" in the 1990s, and says that at one point the bowler was asked by umpire 'Dickie' Bird as to why he kept barking at Hick, only to receive the reply: "Dickie, he offended me in a former life".


The story claims that "Australia remain sensitive to the issue of sledging, despite several of their high profile players openly admitting to the practice dubbed mental disintegration by former captain Steve Waugh", and says that former spinner Shane Warne is on record as saying that if he "can get a batsman out by saying something that affects his game so much, then why not?"






The Chairman of the Western District Cricket Union (WDCU) in Scotland has taken what 'The Scotsman' newspaper says is "the unprecedented step" of issuing a "sporting morality lecture" on the WDCU website following a spate of complaints that "club umpires" have been cheating in official Saturday matches.  


In his piece Chairman Jim Murphy says that "blatant cheating", such as "run-outs not given when the batsman wouldn't even be in the picture of a third umpire's camera", or stumpings "where the batsman remained out his ground even after the appeal", and "even the ludicrous 'I couldn't see for the sun in my eyes' ", are just not acceptable".


"Cricket", says Murphy, "owes much of its unique appeal to the fact it should be played not only within its Laws but within the spirit of the game".  "Unless the situation improves", he says, "steps will have to be taken to try to salvage honesty in the WDCU".  'The Scotsman' article asks just what the latter would involve, and suggests that clubs that are guilty of such practices should "be named and shamed".






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has named Zimbabwean Any Pycroft and Elite Umpire Panel officials Tony Hill of New Zealand and Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka to manage the two-Test series between the West Indies and Bangladesh in the Caribbean later this month.  


Hill is to stay on as the 'neutral' umpire for the three game One Day International (ODI) series between the two sides, the match referee for those matches being Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, while the single Twenty20 international at the end of the tour will be looked after by West Indian Cricket Board appointees.


The Test appointments will take de Silva's tally at that level to forty-one matches and Hill's to eleven, while for Pycroft it will be his third and fourth game as a Test match referee, having made his debut at Lord's in May (E-News 414-2187, 2 May 2009). Hill, who officiated in the Caribbean during the 2007 World Cup, will have been on the ground in sixty-six ODIs by the time the matches at the end of this month have been completed, while Mahanama will stretch his record to 115 games as a match referee in ODIs. 


Colombo's 'Sunday Observer' reported this week that Pycroft is to be the match referee for Sri Lanka's two Test series against New Zealand in late August, while Chris Broad of England will take up that role for the five match ODI series between those two nations in September.  The ICC is yet to confirm those appointments or indicate who the umpires for the Tests and ODIs in that series will be.






England player Graeme Swann says he would 'walk' if he thought he was 'out', even if it was during the forthcoming Ashes series.  Despite the comment Swann, who was speaking during a panel discussion that was held at Lord's immediately after former Australia batsman Adam Gilchrist presented the 2009 Colin Cowdrey lecture last week, went on to sit on the fence on the issue.


Asked by broadcaster Mark Nicholas about the issue Swann said that he "liked to think" he would 'walk'.  Nicholas pressed him, saying "come on it's The Oval [and the final Test], England are 2-1 up [and] you go forward to Nathan Hauritz, get the tiniest thing, England are already seven down and you're going to walk off?"


Swann replied "I think I probably would", receiving what the Marylebone Cricket Club web site story says was "rapturous applause from the audience in the Nursery Pavilion".  "I said I think... I'm not promising anything", the smiling England spinner added quickly and carefully.


"The problem for me is [that] on a tour in India one of their batsman had been out, caught bat-pad and got away with it", continued Swann.  He says that afterwards, Andrew Flintoff said to him "what are you whinging about? [for] if I ever see you walk I'll knock your head off!".  His attitude "was sort of" said Swann, "if they're not doing it, we're not doing it [as] it's very much an individual thing".






Surrey fast bowler Stuart Meaker has been penalised for bowling a second accidental high full toss in his side's match against Leicestershire last month.  During the game Meaker was suspended from bowling in Leicestershire's innings by umpires Michael Gough and Jeremy Lloyds who, as required by the Laws, reported him to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).


As a result of the report Meaker lost three penalty points under the ECB's player Code of Conduct regulations which will remain on his record for a period of two years.  That censure now means that he currently has a total of six points against his name, and should he collect nine or more in any two-year period it will result in an automatic one-match suspension.


Gloucestershire fast bowler Steve Kirby was similarly docked three penalty points for bowling a second accidental high, full-pitched delivery in a Twenty20 match against Glamorgan in Cardiff last month (E-News 433-2272, 6 June 2009).





Former Australian player Adam Gilchrist is not a fan of the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS) if comments he is reported to have made after presenting the annual Colin Cowdrey lecture at Lord's last week are any indication.  Gilchrist, who touched on the subject during his formal address, suggested during a panel discussion that followed that the system be left out of Tests but trialled and "tinkered with" in the shorter formats of the game.


In the Australian's view the UDRS "goes against the spirit of the game".  "You're questioning the authority of the umpire" he says, and in referring a decision "you're saying to [the umpires] 'Look, I don't believe you, I don't trust you, I don't think you're right' ".  Gilchrist feels that "it's like being pulled over by the police and getting told you're speeding and challenging that authority", and that personally he doesn't like the referral system.


Several former India players expressed similar views about the UDRS to those of Gilchrist earlier this week (E-News 444-2312, 30 June 2009), however, the International Cricket Council decided late last month that the system will be rolled out in Tests commencing in October this year (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009). 






A bronze statue of former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird was unveiled in front of 200 people in his hometown of Barnsley in Yorkshire yesterday.  A anonymous group of businessmen were said last year to have pledged the equivalent of $A110,000 to pay for the work involved (E-News 189-1020, 4 February 2008). 


Bird, who turned seventy-six in April, told a local newspaper that he was "over-whelmed, flattered and very, very honoured" by the plans.  At the unveiling he told the 'Yorkshire Post' that the occasion was "one of the best moments of my life" and that he was "delighted by the statue".  The life-sized bronze is located close to where Bird lived as a child. 








Marais Erasmus, who was identified by the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this year as one of its 'emerging' umpires (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009), was selected as South Africa's 'Umpire of the Year' at that nation's top annual cricket awards dinner held in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.  Cape Province based, the forty-five-year-old had a very busy year, standing in a range of matches at home, in England, India, Kenya and the West Indies. 


Erasmus was promoted within the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel last August (E-News 290-1537, 6 August 2008), and in the twelve months covered by the award has stood in eight first class games, two of them in India as part of an exchange program (E-News 364-1942, 30 January 2009), worked in four Test matches, one as the television umpire and another three as the fourth official, been named to eleven One Day Internationals (ODI), four being washed out by rain, the third umpire in another two, and involved in eight other one-day games at domestic level.  


In quick succession over the three months following the ICC naming him as one of their emerging quartet, he stood in the ICC's World Cup Qualifiying tournament and the Indian Premier League, both of them being played in South Africa, then in matches in both the men's and women's World Twenty20 Championships in England last month.  Last year he was also flown to the West Indies to take part in an international Under 15 tournament and before that the World Under 19 Championship in Malaysia.  


Erasmus played fifty-three first class and fifty-four one-day games for Boland in South Africa from 1988-96, then moved into umpiring where he made his debut at first class level in February 2003. In the time since he has officiated in forty-two first class matches, ten ODIs and four Twenty20 Internationals.






TCUSA members should note that from next Wednesday evening both the winter Laws and Scorers' schools will commence thirty minutes later than has previously been the case.  The new start time for both gatherings is now 7 p.m. sharp, a change that is designed to give attendees a little more time between work and the commencement of each meeting.    






Bangladeshi umpire Enamul Hoque-Moni and South African Brian Jerling have been appointed to stand in the opening match of the International Cricket Council's 2009-10 International Cup competition for second-tier nations which is to get underway tonight Australian time when Scotland hosts Canada in Aberdeen.  For Hoque-Moni it will be his first overseas appointment to a first class match.


The Bangladeshi, who is forty-three, played ten Tests and twenty-nine One Day Internationals (ODI) for his country from 1998-2003, the latter including games in the 1999 World Cup, then six months after retiring he commenced umpiring at first class level.  


In the six years since he has gone on to stand in twenty-eight first class games, to date all of them in Bangladesh, as well as sixteen ODIs, his last two being in the World Cup Qualifying tournament played in South Africa in April (E-News 409-2163, 19 April 2009).  He also has a single Twenty20 International match to his credit. 


Fifty-year-old Jerling is no stranger to first class cricket, his current match record standing at 125 games, four of them Tests and one in the 2007 edition of the Intercontinental Cup.  In addition to South Africa, he has also stood in first class games in Australia, where he was on exchange earlier this year (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009), Namibia, New Zealand, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.  


His ODI record of seventy-seven games includes the World Cups of 2003 and 2007, the Asia Cup of 2004 and other tournaments at home and in Abu Dhabi, England, including a match at Lord's, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.


Both Jerling and Hoque-Moni are members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel.






A team in Scotland that claimed its opponents objected to the state of the pitch for their Cup match ten days ago because they wanted to watch the World Twenty20 Championship final on television, have been warned by Cricket Scotland's Competitions Committee about the way they prepare their pitches for matches (E-News 444-2311, 30 June 2009).  The Poloc side, who wanted the game awarded to them, have objected to the committee's decision and have pulled out of this year's Scottish Cup series as a result.


Poloc spokesman Keith Young told 'The Glaswegian', the newspaper that first published details of the controversy, that his side had withdrawn on "a point of principle" and will face up to "any potential consequences" for their future involvement in the Scottish Cup.  "We believe it's wholly inaccurate to conclude the pitch was dangerous", said Young, and if that wasn't bad enough "they have gone way beyond that and added to our sense of injustice by warning the club as to its future conduct in the preparation of pitches".


The latest 'Glaswegian' report says that the game had to be postponed "because umpires ruled the surface unsafe", a change from its initial story last week that indicated the umpires concerned were split in their assessment of the pitch.  It is not clear from the information available whether officially appointed or club umpires were involved in the game, although the former seems likely.






The Standing Committee on Sports of Pakistan's National Assembly has summoned player Imran Nazir to one of their hearings to question him about his altercation with umpire Nadeem Ghori during the final of Pakistan's national Twenty20 competition in late May, say reports from Islamabad on Tuesday.  Imran was fined, given a three-match ban from domestic matches, and was omitted from the national side after he reacted poorly when given out LBW (E-News 434-2279, 8 June 2009).


Meanwhile, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik is to go before the Standing Committee on 14 July to explain actions taken against security officials "for negligence and security lapses" during the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team and match officials in March (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).  Legislators from the ruling PPP party last month recommended criminal proceedings against all those officials who were found to be negligent in performing their duty during the attack.


Pakistan's Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani said in March that inadequate security had been provided to the Sri Lankan cricket team and match officials who were attacked in Lahore (E-News 386-2050, 12 March 2009).  According to a report published this week by the Dawn Media Group, "a top Pakistan Cricket Board official", who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the Standing Committee is being "influenced" by "powerful circles", including an unnamed Federal Minister, to halt criminal proceedings against the security officials involved.






A batsman who was dismissed for ninety-nine in a Minor Counties Championship match in Buckinghamshire last week, reached his Century after 'time' had been called and players had returned to the pavilion.  


After the close of play umpires John Reed and Bob Sutton agreed with scorers Shelley Clayton and Lesley Hawkins and Lincolnshire captain Oliver Burford that a leg bye that had been signaled during play should in fact have been a run to Buckinghamshire opening batsman Ricky Hopwood, that decision enabling a Century to be recorded against his name.






A one-day match in Gloucestershire is said to have ended in a tie last week after a fielding restriction 'no ball' on what to have been the last ball of the game bowled the batsman, a call that resulted in the scores drawing level.  When the ball was rebowled by the Cirencester side the batsman from Poulton are said to have tried to complete a run to win the match, however, the striker was 'run out' whilst attempting to reach the crease at the bowler's end.








"Twenty prominent" Sri Lankan umpires are said to be "getting ready" to make a representation to the Mahinda Rajapakse, that nation's President, to complain about what they say is Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) alleged "leniency" with "some of the umpires" who it claims were recently caught cheating in Laws of Cricket exams, says a story published in this morning's edition of the 'Daily Mirror' newspaper in Colombo.  The issue is the latest controversy for Sri Lankan umpires, news reports over some time suggesting that the group is in a near-constant state of unrest.   


Last weekend SLC was said to be planning to conduct an independent inquiry into reports that three umpires, one of them described as a "prominent international panel" member, acted inappropriately during their exams (E-News 444-2309, 30 June 2009).  If that investigation was carried out no details of it appear to have been made public to date for the SLC is yet to make comment on either it or the claims of leniency. 


According to today's report by the 'Mirror', indications were given prior to the exams that "umpires for the present year [would be ranked] according to the marks obtained at the exam".  However, what are described as "sources", which probably means those umpires who plan to complain to Rajapakse, as saying that "the umpires who were caught copying [in the exam] had received high gradings and have not been penalised" for their alleged actions.


Despite the last remark the SLC's umpire selection group was said to have "overlooked" the "prominent" umpire concerned from selection for the forthcoming Test and One Day International (ODI) series against Pakistan because of the cheating allegations.  Tyrone Wijewardene, a Sri Lankan member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), was the only current Lankan ICC panel member not to be selected for Test or ODI duty, however, he was appointed to the single Twenty20 International between the two sides at the end of the tour.


'The Mirror' provides details of the SLC's 'A' Panel "ratings" for 2009-10 and shows that ICC Elite Umpires Panel member Asoka de Silva is at the top of the list, with its IUP members Kumara Dharmasena, Wijewardene and Gamini Silva in second, fifth and eleventh spots respectively.  


Ranmore Martinecz, who was involved in the "rebel" Indian Cricket League (ICL) last year was in third spot, with Deepal Gunawardena at number four.  Silva was last week named as the third umpire for a Test this month as well as to on-field positions in two ODIs (E-News 443-2308, 29 June 2009).


Meanwhile, the SLC's Umpires Committee has removed Martinez as the fourth umpire of the First Test against Pakistan in Galle tomorrow and replaced him with Rohitha Kottachchi. Martinez had been picked after he submitted a letter to SLC stating that he has severed links with the ICL, but the SLC has apparently asked him to produce a letter from the ICL stating that he has been released before being assigned for international duty, something that apparently has not yet been done (E-News 425-2238, 18 May 2009).






The Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) again plans to stagger the start of the 2009-10 season, with First Grade getting underway the weekend before the other four Grades (E-News 310-1621, 11 September 2008).  The draft five-Grade schedule, which will see almost 450 players on the field each weekend, calls for First Grade to get underway on Saturday, 17 October, and the Seconds, Thirds, Under 17s and Under 15s seven days later over the weekend of 24-25 October.   


Mike Gandy, the Chairman of the TCA's Grade Cricket Committee, told E-News this morning that Grade Cricket Manager Chris Garrett will be providing a draft playing schedule to clubs in the near future, and that while the resulting feedback "may result in minor ground changes, playing dates are unlikely to be amended further".  






"New" white balls designed for improved durability "passed tests" in a Twenty20 tournament in England last week, according to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).  The MCC says that the success of the tests show that its "extensive research into coloured cricket balls" is "getting closer to finding a ball suitable for day-night Tests", although the quotes attributed to several people in the its press release suggest, as indicated last week by the MCC top official, that there is still some way to go before that is achieved (E-News 442-2301, 28 June 2009).


The MCC’s Laws and Universities Manager, Fraser Stewart, said that the International Cricket Council "has already said they are keen to investigate the idea of day-night Test cricket, and obviously you can’t use a red ball, so there is a need to find a white or coloured ball that can be used which will last at least eighty overs" (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009).  The Club as been working with ball manufacturers Kookaburra and Dukes to trial variations of coatings in an effort to maintain the ball's colour and increase its durability.  


Rob Elliot, Managing Director of Kookaburra Sport, is said to have overseen the two-day trial during the MCC's Universities Twenty20 tournament at Loughborough last week and to have been pleased with the results.  "These tests aren’t conclusive by any means but I have learnt a lot" during the matches that were played, said Elliot, and while "we still have a lot of work to do [and] some fairly exhaustive tests to carry out", the event "has been very useful" and shows "we are going in the right direction". 


The white balls were said to have been used "for up to forty overs" during the course of the Universities competition, and "showed improvements from balls previously used in one-day cricket".  Should the "right model" be found Elliot is said to be keen to give it a "fuller test it in a season-long fifty over competition in both the UK and overseas".  Currently white balls used in one-day games are changed at around the thirty-four over mark in international one-day cricket.


Karl Krikken, one of the coaches at the tournament, is quoted as saying that "the ball kept its shape a bit better and the lacquer didn’t go as much".  The MCC's Fraser said that while the tournament was "very useful in seeing that by tweaking coatings you can extend the life of the ball, we will need to conduct further tests if we are to make it last eighty overs".






The New South Wales Sports Federation selected New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) scorer member Merilyn Fowler for an International-National 'Outstanding Official' award late last month.  Fowler will be officiating at Lord's during the Second Ashes Test later this month (E-News 436-2284, 11 June 2009), the last match before her retirement.  


Fowler is quoted in an article on the NSWCUSA web site as saying that she "thought that being invited to score the Ashes Test at Lord's was the pinnacle of my career, but [the award from the Federation] is really the icing on the cake", "Whilst we never set out to win awards, this makes me feel really encouraged that scoring is acknowledged as an integral and important part of the game", she said.


Whilst she has announced her retirement from active scoring following the match at Lord's, Fowler will not be lost to cricket.


Darrell Hair, the NSWCUSA's Executive Officer, says in an article on its web site that "Merilyn, along with Narelle Johnston, another first class and Test Match scorer in Sydney, will be taking on coaching and mentoring roles in New South Wales next season, [and that the state] is extremely lucky to have such experienced scorers willing to remain involved and mentor the next generation".






In addition to looking into the possibiity of day-night Tests (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009), the International Cricket Council (ICC) is also considering reducing matches played at the game's highest level from five to four days.  Despite the moves, which representatives from the ten Test playing nations [have been] working on for over six months, the world governing body says it is determined to preserve Test cricket as the pre-eminent form of the game.


ICC president David Morgan told the BBC World Service this week that the world body has moved to review Test cricket because of the continuing increase in popularity of the Twenty20 format and dwindling attendances for Tests in some countries.  "Some Test matches finish in four days and some in five and we want as many people as possible to turn up to these matches [and] we want Test matches in certain countries to be more spectator-friendly", said Morgan.


"We would only move from five-day to four-day if we considered it to be in the interests of Test match cricket", he said, and "it is the customer and not just the player we have in mind on our quest to enrich Test match cricket which is the most demanding form of our great sport". 


Morgan said that while "there will not be four-day Test match cricket in one year's time, we may have day-night Test cricket" by then.  The Marylebone Cricket Club indicated last week that day-night Tests may still be some way off as finding a suitable ball for such games is proving to be difficult (E-News 442-2301, 28 June 2009), something that has been confirmed by tests conducted in the last week (E-News 447-2329 above).   






South African Rudi Koertzen and Paul Baldwin of Germany have been named as the umpires for the four-day, first class, Intercontinental Cup match involving hosts Ireland and visitors Kenya which is to get underway this evening Australian time.  The game is the second of the 2009-10 Cup competition, the first getting underway in Aberdeen between Scotland and Canada yesterday (E-News 446-2322, 2 July 2009).


The match will be Koertzen's 208th first class match, ninety-nine of those being Tests (E-News 443-2306, 29 June 2009), but his first in a second-tier first class game, although he has officiated in a One Day International series involving non-Test playing nations.


While Koertzen is a member of the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, England-born Baldwin is with its third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel.  Tonight's match will be his ninth first class game, all of them being in the Intercontinental Cup over the last four years.  


Baldwin has stood in the last two finals of that Cup, in England in 2007 and South Africa in 2008, the former with Richard Kettleborough an English member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) and the latter with Ian Howell, a South African IUP member.  The current Intercontinental Cup series is being played over two years rather than one as in the past.








England Premier League (EPL) football referee Steve Bennett is to become an "independent director" of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) and sit on the Association's Board.  The forty-eight-year-old former international referee, who was in-charge of the 2007 FA Cup final and works as an instructor for world football's governing body, is to use that experience to help develop ECB umpires and off-field officials.


Bennett, who played under-age cricket for Kent and began refereeing football in 1984, progressed through the ranks to join the EPL's officials group in 1999,  and over the past eleven seasons he gone on to officiate in a total of 385 EPL games .  He said in an ECB press release that he "understands the importance of the officials' role and the satisfaction to be gained from officiating".   "Officials are vital players in all sports", he said, and hopes that "more people [will] get involved and experience the benefits" of such roles in cricket. 


ECB Chief Executive Officer David Collier said the appointment of Bennett showed "the importance that English cricket's governing body played on the role of officials".  "Steve's unique background will be invaluable in this role [and] his appointment demonstrates the importance that ECB places on our officials being at the heart of the game", he said.


Roger Knight, the ACO's chairman and a former secretary of the Marylebone Cricket Club, described the recruitment of Bennett as "very valuable" for "we [can] learn how the FA recruited and retained its football officials and managed their education and training and use this knowledge for our benefit".  That knowledge is expected to be particularly useful in the ACO's recently launched 'Stay in the Game' campaign (E-News 448-2337 below).


Bennett is not the first high-level football referee to become involved in cricket.  Last year, former referee Martin Bodenham, who took charge of the Football Association's 1997 League Cup final, was added to the ECB's list of first-class umpires (E-News 347-1844, 11 November 2008).






West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove, who is a native of the island of Dominica, has urged his countrymen "to turn out in large numbers" for the two One Day Internationals (ODI) between West Indies and Bangladesh that are to be played there late this month.  The two games are the first ODIs ever played on the small Caribbean nation and Doctrove, who will be standing in both matches with Tony Hill of New Zealand (E-News 445-2315, 1 July 2009), said that he was looking forward to officiating in an international on his home soil for the first time.  


Doctrove, a member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, was quoted as saying that “this is history in the making and we need to support the matches if we want to host other matches in the future".  He urged his countrymen, who total around 72,000 and live on an island about the size of metropolitan Hobart, to purchase tickets for the two games, which are to be played at the 12,000 capacity Windsor Park stadium.  That facility was constructed earlier this decade at a cost equivalent to around $A35m as a gift from the People’s Republic of China. 


A total of only twenty-nine first class matches have ever been played on Dominica since the first in 1965, most of them involving the Windward Islands side in the West Indian 'home' competition, and Doctrove has stood in nine of them plus a single West Indian 'domestic' one-day game.  He currently has seventy first class games to his credit, twenty-three of them Tests.


This month's Windies-Bangladesh ODIs on Dominica will take Doctrove's tally to eight-five matches.  The only other match played between two international sides on the island was when World Series Cricket's 'Australia' and 'West Indies' sides met in an 'ODI' there in April 1979.






Pakistan player Imran Nazir, who was fined and suspended for three domestic matches after showing dissent at an umpire's decision in a match in late May and banned from selection for Pakistan's squad for last month's World Twenty20 Championship as a result (E-News 434-2279, 8 June 2009), was pardoned by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt on Thursday after he tabled a written apology for the incident during a visit to the PCB's headquarters.


Wasim Bai, the PCB's interim chief selector, told a media outlet in Lahore later that day that as a result of the apology Nazir will now "be given serious consideration" for selection for the One Day International and Twenty20 matches that Pakistan is to play against Sri Lanka commencing on 30 July, however, he will not return in time for the three Tests of the series, the first of which is to get underway later today Australian time (E-News 443-2308, 29 June 2009).


Nazir showed dissent after being adjudged leg before by Pakistan international umpire Nadeem Ghauri in the final of a domestic Twenty20 competition and called the official "blind", according to media reports from the sub-continent.  Reports this week said that he has been summoned to face the Standing Committee on Sports of Pakistan's National Assembly later this month over the matter (E-News 446-2324, 2 July 2009).






Getting back into international cricket has been "a work in progress" following the terrorist attack in Lahore last March, says Australian international umpire Steve Davis (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).  The South Australian was quoted by the '' web site last week as saying that he is now "feeling pretty comfortable" again, although there have been several occasions when he has been reminded of the events of that day.  


Davis, who together with his partner Anne have had counselling provided by the International Cricket Council and Cricket Australia, said that while he will never forget what happened in Lahore he at no stage thought of abandoning his career as an international umpire.  


After returning to Australia he is said to have "eased back" into the job at the women's World Cup less than a month after the attack (E-News 387-2058, 13 March 2009), then flew to the West Indies at short notice to fill in for Aleem Dar, whose father was ill (E-News 406-2151, 15 April 2009), before spending the past two months in England for two Tests and two One Day Internationals involving the home side and the West Indies, and after that seven games in the World Twenty20 Championships (E-News 441-2296, 21 June 2009)..


He recalled though several incidents where he was brought back to that day in March.  "You have the odd moment [such as] in the West Indies I came out and we were getting into a very similar van with a very similar police escort, and it just had a strange feeling. It wasn't a fear thing, it wasn't anxiety, just an observation … You just notice these things a bit more", he said.


On another occasion he was sitting in a restaurant in Adelaide when a waiter dropped a glass behind him, an event that caused him to "almost hit the roof".  Later in England, "some little kid had his balloon burst when I was standing in the street".


"Straight after the [Lahore] event when we were flying home, I [wrote] about twelve pages on the plane from Dubai to Melbourne and I found that really helped", said Davis, for "I think describing [the attack] factually, rather than emotionally, helped me".  






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has launched a new recruitment campaign that is aimed at encouraging retiring players to become officials and continue their involvement in the game.  The ECB hopes that the campaign, which goes under the title of 'Stay in the Game', will help with "the sustainability of [match] officials in England and Wales", an issue that faces many umpiring groups around the world including the TCUSA (E-News 428-253, 21 May 2009). 


Former England captain Mike Gatting, the ECB's managing director of cricket partnerships who also sits on the ACO Board, said in an ECB press release that "one of our biggest aims this [northern] summer is to secure the future of officiating, and to get and keep more people involved in cricket".


David Collier, the ECB's Chief Executive Officer, said that the campaign, which was announced at the same time as the appointment of former international football referee Steve Bennett as an "independent director" of its Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) (E-News 448-2333 above), was "another great step forward for the ACO".


In another recruitment move, the ECB and the UK's Youth Sport Trust have developed a 'Young Officials" course for both umpires and scorers.  Designed for teenagers from fourteen to nineteen the program involves four hours of course work plus three matches as an umpire or scorer.


The 'Young Umpires Award" program covers subjects such as: Roles and Responsibilities; Preparation; The Playing Area; Positioning and Signals; Methods of Dismissal; LBW; Extras; and Injured Players.  The scorers program, which the ECB says is "coming soon", is expected to cover: Roles and Responsibilities; Preparation; Symbols and Signals; and The Scorebook.


The cost of taking part in each program is around $A20, and in addition to the course itself those who take part will receive a workbook, law book and a year's membership of the ACO.  






A team lost its attempt to reach the last sixteen of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) National Knock Out Cup last Sunday after it was penalised six runs for not bowling its overs in the time required, says a report in yesterday's 'Penarth Times' in the UK.  Last week a fielding restrictions ‘no ball’ resulted in a match in Gloucestershire  ending in a tie (E-News 446-2326, 2 July 2009). 


The Centurion side scored 171-8 in their fifty overs and their opponents Bath needed twelve runs to win at the start of the last over, but with two balls remaining and five runs to get, the newspaper's report suggests that the umpires then applied the six run penalty required under playing conditions, rather than complete the fifty overs first.


The 'Times' article, which is written from the perspective of the loosing side and does not indicate what the view of the umpires was, says that there were a number of incidents during the Bath innings, at one stage the ball being lost, a Bath player had to be taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle, and one of the bowler's boots had to be replaced mid-over.


In an interesting move, the Centurions are said to have appealed to the ECB over what the 'Times' report says was the "eligibility of Bath's twelfth man".  Just what that means is unclear from the newspaper's report.







An umpire in Wales has died after being struck on the head by a ball thrown by a fielder, says a report on the 'WalesOnline' web site.  Alcwyn Jenkins, seventy-two, who was umpiring a match between Swansea and Llangennech in Division One of the South Wales Cricket Association (SWCA) on Saturday, was airlifted from the ground by helicopter to a hospital in Swansea but failed to recover.


Neil Hobbs, the SWCL's honorary chairman, told the BBC that iJenkins had been umpiring for the best part of twenty-five years and that his death was the result of one of the "most freak accidents you could ever imagine on the cricket field".  


Eric Lewis, honorary treasurer of the Llangennech Cricket Club, said that his team were fielding and "had only been back [on the field] two or three minutes after a break due to rain".  A batsman "had hit the ball and one of our boys threw it in as you do and Alcwyn was just in line and it hit him on the side of the head" and he collapsed immediately.  Efforts were made to resuscitate the widower until he was taken to hospital by air ambulance.   


Steve Davies, chairman of Swansea Cricket Club, said the incident happened in front of an unusually large crowd because many of the spectators had been watching the Lions rugby match in South Africa on television in the club rooms earlier in the afternoon.  "Alcwyn was a well-known and respected umpire who regularly stood for the SWCA and had recently returned from a tour of the West Indies with the association", said Davies.  Lewis said that Jenkins was a very popular umpire and his death was a "big, big tragedy" and that the match had been abandoned after the incident.


The England and Wales Cricket Board's Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) said in a statement yesterday that it was shocked to hear of the death of Jenkins, who was described as a "respected umpire".  ACO Chairman Roger Knight said: "we are all saddened by the news of the tragic accident at Swansea on Saturday [and] we send our heartfelt condolences to his family and our thoughts are with them at this sad time".


South Wales Police said in a statement that "a seventy-two-year-old man had died following a cricket game in Swansea and there were no suspicious circumstances".  A hospital spokesperson said the injuries he suffered were consistent with being hit on the head with a cricket ball.


On the same day not far away at Worcester, the collapse on the ground of first class umpire Jeff Evans in the Australian tourists' match against the England Lions side, led to the game being called off an hour early with no result in sight.  Reports say the Evans, who was standing in his 118th first class match, appeared to be recovering with attention from a paramedic as both captains agreed to call an end to the match with fourteen overs remaining.


One report blamed the heat for Evan's plight, however, he managed to survive a total of twenty-one games in India last year with the Indian Cricket League (E-News 222-1234, 3 April 2008).






Cricket Australia (CA) plans to use two separate white balls, one from each end, in domestic one-day interstate matches during the 2009-10 austral summer.  The move, which replaces the compulsory replacement of the single white ball used after thirty-four overs, is one of a number of changes CA has made to playing conditions at interstate level for the season ahead.


The Sheffield Shield first class competition will see a match referee used in all games played.  In addition, time allowances available to players are to be adjusted to reflect actual delays, with two minutes no longer being allowed for the last wicket of an innings or when a wicket falls on the last ball before an interval.


In the interstate Twenty20 series a television umpire is to be used in all matches that are played.  The majority of games last season had third umpires appointed, however, in the season before there was controversy in the final of the competition when a television official was not used (E-News 176-945, 14 January 2008).  

Other changes in that tournament means that points then Net Run Rate will be used to separate teams, while any “overseas” or “uncontracted” player used by a side must play a qualifying game before being elligible to play in any Final.


CA has also decided to make changes to how it wants umpires to deal with the bowling of high full-pitched balls, the ruling applying in all competitons run by the national body.  During the season ahead a warning will only be given to a bowler if the umpire considers the ball concerned to be "dangerous", while slow balls are to be treated the same as fast balls.  However, the latter change will not be introduced into national under-age competitions in order "to provide leniency" to developing spinners.


In another general move which reflects a change made recently by the International Cricket Council (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009), umpires must consider whether the light is either “safe” or “dangerous”, and only they can take players from the field.  Additionally a twelfth man, or any other emergency fieldsman when walking inside the fence but outside the boundary rope, must wear a distinguishing top from the players on the field.


A bowler that has been previously suspended under the CA Doubtful Bowling Action Procedures will be reported to the national body if he is mentioned in the reports of two different umpires in any season.


E-News understands that the Tasmanian Cricket Association's Grade Cricket Committee is examining whether any of the changes CA has made to its playing conditions will be introduced to Tasmanian competitions under its jurisdiction.






A pink ball was used for the first time in an international match in the United Kingdom yesterday when England played Australia in the fourth game in the five-match Women’s One Day International series at Wormsley. The move was part of 'Pink Sunday’ at the Wormsley Cricket Ground in support of the Breast Cancer Campaign.


The England and Wales Cricket Board's Head of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor said on its website before the game that "we are all hugely excited by this new initiative and are delighted that Cricket Australia is keen to play its part". "Breast cancer is a cause that resonates with all women and we are pleased to be able to contribute in some way, however small, towards finding a cure", she said. 


Spectators were asked to wear pink and give generously to the Breast Cancer Campaign.  It is expected to be the first of many pink events at Wormsley, the ground created by the late Sir Paul Getty, as the campaign grows. 






West Indian umpire Peter Nero from Trinidad officiated in four matches, two of them first class fixtures, during his visit to England last month as part of the umpiring exchange program initiated between the West Indies Cricket Board and its England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) counterpart last year (E-News 344-1822, 6 November 2008). 


Over a three-and-a-half week period Nero stood in two three-day Second XI Championship matches, before going on to work with ECB first class umpires Martin Bodenham and Richard Illingworth in first class games in Cambridge and Oxford respectively (E-News 425-2239, 18 May 2009).   


Nero's visit follows that made by ECB first class 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).






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has named three Nepalise umpires, Buddhi Bahadur Pradhan, Binaya Jha and Sanjay Gurung. to officiate in its World Cricket League Division 6 tournament in Singapore from 29 August to 5 September.  Hosts Singapore, plus Botswana, Norway, Malaysia, Bahrain and Guernsey are competing in the tournament. 

Pradhan, who is on the ICC's third-tier Associates and Affiliates International Umpire Panel (AAIUP) umpire, has umpired thirteen One Day International matches to date.  Jha told local media outlets that the “ICC selected Nepali umpires as per Asian Cricket Council´s recommendation and we now have to prove to the ICC that we are capable".  “This is an historic moment for me", said Gurung, adding that his aim is to secure a position on the AAIUP.








The coroner's office in Swansea plans to open an inquest into the death of Welsh umpire Alcwyn Jenkins later this week, says the BBC.  Jenkins died after being hit on the head by a ball thrown in by a fielder during a match played in Wales on Saturday (E-News 449-2339, 6 July 2009).  South Wales Police have indicated that they are not treating the matter as suspicious.






Derbyshire players Tom Lungley and Dan Birch have been suspended for two weeks and fined as a result of incidents in a County Second XI match at Leicester last week.  The ban means that they will not be able to play for their clubs in the Derbyshire Premier League or in any other cricket that comes under the umbrella of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the next fortnight.


While no details of the transgressions are available, a BBC report says that Lungley and Birch were both charged with "serious dissent towards an umpire during the game".  Lungley was also reported for "intimidating behaviour towards an umpire after the close of play and Birch with threatening to assault another player".  


Both were penalised nine disciplinary points by the ECB, which means an automatic one-week suspension, while Derbyshire added a further week and imposed a suspended fine of £1,000 ($A2,000) on each player.  


The County's head of cricket John Morris said that "we cannot condone the action of these players or their behaviour on the field".  "This is a serious breach of discipline by two senior players and we find it unacceptable, whatever the circumstances", he said.  Reports say that in handing down its own censure the club was sending a message to the ECB and to the County's younger players "that indiscipline will not be to tolerated".


According to the BBC "several players were reportedly unhappy with the standard of umpiring" in the match and suggested that "tempers wore thin" as a result. 


The ECB, the Marylebone Cricket Club and the UK arm of the Professional Cricketers Association announced earlier this year that they would work together and with a range of "stake holders" to improve the overall standard of player behaviour in UK cricket (E-News 409-2164, 19 April 2009).  


Changes mentioned at that time included improved education for coaches and players, the publication of 'fair play' league tables, and alterations to the way disciplinary hearings consider evidence.  






Scotland cricketer Calum MacLeod was withdrawn from that nation's squad for the two-match One Day International (ODI) series against Canada this week after umpires expressed doubts about the legitimacy of his bowling action in a first class international match last week, according to today's Aberdeen's 'Press and Journal' newspaper.  


The Warwickshire seam bowler, who took six wickets in Scotland's four-day Intercontinental Cup match against the same opponents last week (E-News 446-2322, 2 July 2009), was pulled from the ODI squad after the intervention of the International Cricket Council, claims the report.


Umpires Enamul Haque from Bangladesh, who was making his overseas debut in a first class game as a match official, and South African Brian Jerling, are believed to have identified a problem with the twenty-year-old's action in the Cup match.  That game was MacLoed's fourth at first class level, two of those games being for Scotland and two for Warwickshire, and the bowler has since been sent back to his county "for remedial work".


Warwickshire would not comment on the decision, but the county club’s director of cricket, Ashley Giles, the former England spin bowler, named McLeod as twelfth man for the county championship match against Sussex which starts this evening Australian time.  He says that work will commence soon to address the issues raised by the umpires.






An umpire is at the centrepiece of what a press release says is a new "light-hearted" advertisement about "the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption" that is soon to be distributed in the UK.  During the one-minute video clip the grey-headed, rather haggered-looking official, is seen surreptitiously swigging ale from a glass while a match is underway, and then having to turn away to relieve himself just as a request for an LBW decision is made to him by England fast bowler James Anderson.


The alcohol awareness campaign is being mounted by the 'Drinkaware' charity under the slogan 'Drink Less, Miss Less', and is the first in a series of similar videos planned by that group. The final credit reads: 'Alcohol makes you pee more than water or soft drinks – pace yourself and miss less'.   The advertisement can currently be seen on-line by going to:






An umpire in England was presented with a commemorative engraved plaque last Friday in recognition of his having umpired all twenty-five of the annual matches played between a Marylebone Cricket Club side and the King's School in Grantham.  Local umpire Vic Heppenstall was presented with the plaque by former England Test batsman, Test umpire and Tasmanian player John Hampshire, and stood in the match with Don Oslear, another former Test official.








The Pakistan side has been fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for maintaining a slow over-rate during the First Test against Sri Lanka that ended in Galle yesterday.  Match referee Alan Hurst from Australia ruled that after time allowances were taken into consideration Younus Khan’s side was one over short of the required minimum rate during Sri Lanka's second innings 


Current ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties mean that players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.  As such Younus lost ten per cent of his match fee while his players received five-per-cent fines.  


Match score sheets indicate that during Sri Lanka's first innings Pakistan bowled an average of just under fourteen overs an hour, but in the second that figure dropped to twelve.  Sri Lanka averaged fourteen and thirteen overs per hour in Pakistan's first and second innings.  


In May last year the Maryleborne Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee proposed that a minimum of fifteen overs per hour should be bowled in Test match cricket, with teams being required to complete ninety overs each day in a six hour playing period.  The Committee said at the time that the "declining over rates in the modern game" which sees the current average rate as 13.8 overs an hour, "is unacceptable, particularly for the paying public" (E-News 242-1336, 15 May 2008). 


Last month, after much discussion over the past year (E-News 422-2227, 13 May 2009), the ICC agreed that the penalties for slow over rates should be doubled and the captain be placed on notice of suspension should his or her side receive three such sanctions over a twelve month period in the same format of the game (E-News 422-2300, 28 June 2009).  


That change is yet to be introduced into games by the ICC and Pakistan joins the West Indies as the second team to be fined for a slow over rate since plans to increase penalties were agreed to by the world body (E-News 42-2302, 28 June 2009).   






Match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe and umpires Tony Hill of New Zealand and Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka, are among many in the Caribbean who are awaiting the outcome of plans by the West Indian Player's Association (WIPA) to have its members boycott the forthcoming Test series against Bangladesh.  With the first of the two scheduled Tests due to get underway in St Vincent tomorrow evening Australian time, the WIPA said overnight that talks with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) aimed at resolving several contractual issues had failed.


Windies skipper Chris Gayle and his team say they will not face Bangladesh, says a BBC report.  The player's union threatened strike action during England's tour of the Caribbean in March and its President Dinanath Ramnarine said yesterday its members were no longer prepared to play without contracts for what would be the fifth-straight series.  The group is also said to be in dispute with the WICB over payments and fees for the tour of England in May, the Twenty20 World Cup last month and the recent four-match One Day International (ODI) home series against India.


In a statement on the WIPA website Ramnarine claimed that "we have made every effort since our meeting [with the WICB] in April to have the matters agreed upon honoured and those that were still to be agreed upon resolved in an amicable way".  


Bangladesh are scheduled to play two Tests, three ODIs and a single Twenty20 match in their current Caribbean tour (E-News 445-2315, 1 July 2009).






Scottish politicians are said by local media to have "snubbed" Queen Elizabeth II when she visited their parliament last week to mark the tenth anniversary of its establishment, the chamber being said to have been "half-empty" for her speech.  MPs contacted by the press gave a variety of reasons for their non-attendance, several being republicans, others had government or constituency work commitments, one's wife was giving birth and another's relative died, however, another was said to be "umpiring a game of cricket in Belgium". 


The MP-umpire concerned was Liz Smith, forty-nine, a member of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party for the constituency of Mid Scotland and Fife and the Shadow Minister for Children, Schools and Skills.  A right-hand bat, she played three One Day Internationals for the Scottish women's team earlier this decade, however, during the seventeen minutes she was at the crease in those matches she did not manage to score a run.


No details are available about her umpiring career or the match she was officiating in during the Queen's visit, however the game is believed to have been part of a tour by a "girl's team" to the continent.








Somerset all-rounder Omari Banks was suspended for three matches yesterday and his club docked $A2,000 plus competition points after he was reported by umpires for tampering with the ball three times in a single over in a County Second XI match last week.  Banks, who is twenty-six, will not be able to play again until 20 July and will therefore miss County Championship and one-day games that are scheduled over the next ten days.


A report by the BBC says that Banks was caught altering the condition of the ball while he was fielding at mid-wicket on the first day of the three-day match against Essex at Taunton on 1 July.  The umpire's suspicions were initially raised when the ball began to swing unexpectedly and he then saw Banks, who has played international cricket for the West Indies, using his thumb and fingernails to tamper with the ball.  The official, who was not named, is said to have then informed Banks that he would be reported before going on to awarded five penalty runs to batting side Essex.


Banks is said to have expressed "deep regret" for his actions and to have claimed at a hearing of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Cricket Disciplinary Commission yesterday that he did it because of "boredom".  An ECB statement said that Banks "explained during the panel hearing that he knew he should not do it, it was the first time he had done it and that he would not do it again, [however], he did not think the rest of the team noticed".


In addition to a $A1,000 fine Somerset was ordered to pay an additional $A1,000 to cover the costs of the hearing.  The score sheet for the match currently available on line states that Somerset earned four points for batting during the match and three for bowling, however, it lost “minus eleven” points for the tampering transgression for a total of zero for the match.


The two umpires for the game were former England and Lancashire player Graham Lloyd, the son of former player and Test umpire David, and Philip Matten, however, which one of that pair spotted Bank's actions has not been made clear.  


Lloyd, who turned forty on the day of Bank's transgression, is a member of the ECB's 'Reserve' list of umpires for 2009.  He made his debut as an umpire at first class level last April after a fifteen-year, 203 match playing career at that level from 1988-2002, a period that also included 296 List 'A' games, six of those One Day Internationals.  Matten, fifty-six, was officiating in his second Second XI game, but has stood in eleven three-day, and six one-day Minor Counties fixtures over the past four seasons.


Last month match officials rejected suggestions that the Pakistan had tampered with the ball in a World Twenty20 Championship match in England (E-News 439-2293, 15 June 2009).






Nearly fifty cricket teams across South Wales are to observe a minute's silence before their games get underway tomorrow in memory of umpire Alcwyn Jenkins who died after being struck by a ball during a match last Saturday (E-News 449-2339, 6 July 2009).  A message was posted on the South Wales Cricket Association website yesterday asking all forty-six first and second XI sides to remember his passing and contribution to the game.


Meanwhile, former English umpire 'Dickie' Bird told a journalist this week that Jenkin's death highlighted the risks faced by officials and that while he has "never heard of anyone being killed [it] may have come to the point where umpires have to wear helmets".  In May, Australian umpire Daryl Harper said that "its just a matter of time" before umpires wear baseball helmets for protection, although he was referring to higher-level Twenty20 matches (E-News 423-2233, 14 May 2009).


Cricket writer Charles Randall described suggestions by Bird and some others in the UK this week that health and safety requirements might one day require umpires to wear protective helmets as "ridiculous", as he believes it is an umpire's positioning and awareness on the field that needs to be the focus of consideration. 


Randall says that the ball that struck Jenkins, who was standing at the bowler's end at the time, had been hit into the off side by the batsman, although he does not indicate just where in that area the ball ran away to.  According to Randall, Jenkins "moved to the correct position on the off side to adjudicate in case a run-out was attempted", and that the incoming ball, which another report says was thrown from the boundary forty metres away, then struck him.  


Describing the incident as "very very rare", Randall says that "an umpire is extremely vulnerable to throwing accuracy as he cannot always turn his head to watch the fielder as he releases the ball".  "The only reason why an umpire should not move to the safer, far side of the stumps would be to give himself a clear sight of the stumps and gauge more accurately whether the player at the stumps breaks the wicket lawfully", continues Randall, but that he thinks "the umpire should retreat to the safer side in club matches, knowing a direct hit would be easy enough to adjudicate".


The Swansea coroner is yet to open an inquiry into Jenkins' death (E-News 450-2344, 7 July 2009).  The accident happened on the same ground where Sir Garfield Sobers famously hit six sixes off one over in 1968. 






Discussion about the "next steps" for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is one of a number of items on the agenda for the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee’s (WCC) annual meeting which is to be held at Lord’s on Monday and Tuesday.  The UDRS is to be "rolled out" in Tests around the world from October (E-News 422-2225, 13 May 2009), however, the committee will look at the trials conducted by the International Cricket Council over the past year, and discuss the use of 'Hotspot', 'Snickometer' and the predictive path of balls provided by 'Hawk-Eye'.


Another key item on the WCC's agenda is what is described as the "changing landscape of cricket".  That discussion aims to assess the impact this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) series in South Africa and World Twenty20 Championship in England have had on the game and what can be done to ensure the popularity of Test Cricket.  IPL chief Lalit Modi is to speak to the group about his competition and what impact it may be having on the game as a whole.


A number of matters related to the actual playing of Test matches are to be examined, according to a statement issued by the MCC yesterday.  They include the possibility of floodlit Test match cricket, including an update on research into coloured cricket balls (E-News 442-2301, 28 June 2009), suggestions that a two-division Test structure be introduced, and the condition of Test match pitches worldwide.


The MCC is concerned about "the shifting balance between bat and ball" and the WCC is to consider whether pitches are getting flatter or if bowling is getting worse, and whether there is anything the MCC, as the guardians of the Laws of Cricket, can do to help the game worldwide to produce pitches with more pace and bounce.






Cricket Australia (CA) does not plan to announce its National Umpires Panel (NUP) for the 2009-10 season until sometime after this year's twelve-day Emerging Player's Tournament (EPT) ends in Queensland on 1 August (E-News 438-2289, 14 June 2009).  


In the two years since CA highlighted the importance of the EPT in its umpiring development pathway NUP details were released well before that tournament got underway.  The change this year could mean that one or more positions on next season's panel may still be open to those named for the eighteen-match EPT which is due to start on Monday week.


Last month CA announced that six umpires from five states are to stand in this year's tournament, they being: Ashley Barrow and Geoff Joshua (Victoria); Steven John (Tasmania); Norm McNamara (Queensland); Andrew Willoughby (South Australia); and Paul Wilson (Western Australia), the latter also being a member of CA's 'Project Panel for former first class players (E-News 440-2295, 18 June 2009).


In the last two EPTs, selections for the last two ‘finals’ games of the tournament appear to have been a clear indication of how the selectors rated individual umpires.  In 2007 the main final between the first and second ranked sides was umpired by Mick Martell of Western Australia and Gerard Abood of NSW, the latter also standing in the equivalent match last year with Victorian Joshua.


Martell was appointed to the NUP the year after his EPT final (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008), and Abood, after officiating in that game for the second year in a row went on to umpire three first class games last season (E-News 346-1834, 10 November 2008).  Publicly available indications such as that, plus his non-selection for this year's EPT, suggest that he has already been added to the NUP for next season.  


Given the work involved and the need to allow planning for the season to proceed, logic suggests that by now CA is likely to have organised contracts with the majority of next season’s NUP members. 


Match appointments by CA over the last two years suggest that McNamara, Joshua and John could be ranked the highest in the lead up to the EPT, with Wilson possibly also in the mix because of the desire of higher-level CA officials to push the Project Panel system.  


Last season's NUP, which consisted of eleven men instead of the nominal twelve following the abrupt resignation of Queenslander Peter Parker just before that season began (E-News 320-1673, 1 October 2008), was made up of: Jeff Brookes, Andrew Craig, Ian Lock and Mick Martell (Western Australia); Bruce Oxenford (Queensland); Simon Fry (South Australia); Bob Parry, Paul Reiffel, Tony Ward and John Ward (Victoria); and Rod Tucker (NSW).  






As the England and Australian men's sides start the third-day of the First Ashes Test of the series in Cardiff tonight, the equivalent one-off four-day match between their two women's sides will be getting underway ninety kilometres away at New Road, Worcester.  The England and Wales Cricket Board has appointed two members of its first class list, Trevor Jesty and Nick Cook, the latter who joined that group this year (E-News 347-1844, 11 November 2008), to stand in the match.


Cook, fifty-three, stood in three women's Twenty20 Internationals last year and made his debut in a women's One Day International (ODI) on Tuesday in the Fifth and last match of the 2009 series between the two sides which was played at Lord's.  He made his debut at first class level three years ago and has since gone on to officiate in sixteen such matches. Prior to that between 1979-94 he played 356 first class games, fifteen of them Tests for England, and 223 List 'A' matches, three of them ODIs.


Jesty, sixty-one, brings 490 games of first class, and 428 List 'A', ten of them ODIs, experience as a player to tonight's Test. He stood in his first women's Test, a match between England and India, three years ago, as well as two women's ODIs involving South Africa, and two women's Twenty20 Internationals between England and New Zealand.  Over the last seventeen northern summers he has officiated in 203 first class matches in England.






Fijian umpire Mohammed Ali Maqbool has been appointed to stand in the International Cricket Council's East Asia Pacific (EAP) Under-15 tournament which is to be played in Jakarta, Indonesia, later this year.  For Maqbool, who has been umpiring on the island since 2000 and was added to the EAP's Supplementary Umpires Panel this year, it will be his first international appointment.


The 'Fiji Times' said yesterday that Maqbool is one of six umpires from around the EAP region that will umpire in Jakarta, games there being played "in a twenty over format".   Matches will, says the paper, be played in "steamy conditions" but that apparently doesn’t worry Maqbool for he is said to be "very happy to be have been selected" for the tournament as it "should be a great experience" for he is sure he "will learn a lot and continue [his] development as an umpire.”


No details of the other five umpires selected for the series in Indonesia have yet been made public.




[EN452-2358 ]


An umpire standing in an Under 17 match in Leicestershire late last month spotted two men in the second-floor changing rooms in the pavilion and alerted fielding players to their presence.  The Dunton Bassett village team manager ran to the door of the pavilion but the "men violently pushed past" him only to be met by a wall of players who barred their exit and managed to wrestle them to the ground.


A number of mobile phones belonging to players taken from the bags of both teams were recovered and the pair were detained until the police arrived.  Seventeen-year-old Dunton Bassett player Alex Dann told the local media that "we were all really shocked when it happened [for] it’s not the sort of thing you expect to see at a cricket match".


The players returned to the field after police arrived and arrested the men.  A police spokesman said later that two men had been charged with burglary and had been bailed to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.


TCUSA members will recall one of their long-serving umpiring colleagues who saw his car driven off while he was standing in a match.  Thinking his wife had borrowed the car he rang her after the game ended to ask her to pick him up only to be told that she hadn't taken the car!







The Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association (BCUA) has reprimanded one of its senior umpires, who is also an International Cricket Council (ICC) regional official, for his conduct during a limited overs match on the island late last month.  A report in 'The Royal Gazette' newspaper yesterday states that Steven Douglas held up play on several occasions to respond to calls on his mobile phone, and made "an obscene gesture" towards a spectator during the game.


In what the newspaper described as "a surprise" given that the umpire's "antics took place during [what was] a Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) sanctioned match", the BCB opted "against taking any disciplinary measures against the umpire".  However, the Board said in a statement that "the BCUA have dealt with the matter and have issued a reprimand to Douglas for his behaviour".


BCUA president Wali Manders told the 'Gazette' that in considering the matters regarding Douglas, who is the Association's Vice President and a ICC Americas Region Elite Umpires Panel member, the Association "has a disciplinary committee that deals with matters such as this and [that we] dealt with in it in our way".  The BCB's statement said that "under ICC and BCB regulations, umpire's behaviour is governed by a separate code of conduct" to players, and that "due process has been followed and the matter is now closed".


Douglas, who has umpired in around thirty international matches in senior and junior ICC America's tournaments in Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Suriname and the United States over the last five years and has also worked as a match referee, said in a letter to the BCB that he "sincerely apologises to the players and officials of [the club's involved in the match concerned], the spectators who were present, my BCUA colleagues and to the officials of the BCB".


Meanwhile, the BCB's technical committee was to have convened yesterday to decide whether or not one of the clubs involved in Douglas' match should be awarded maximum points for the forty over match because it was affected by rain.  


The club submitted an appeal to the BCB earlier this week, claiming that time lost due to Douglas interrupting play to respond to phone calls ultimately cost them maximum points.  Heavy showers ended play during the second innings of the match just three overs short of the minimum number required to constitute a game, with the appealing club's side batting and well ahead of the run rate at the time.


The club's player-coach Charlie Marshall told the 'Gazette' that his side "would have won the match but this man [Douglas] was on the phone five different times which was ludicrous and crazy", and he thinks "it's crazy for a person to have phone on them in a cricket match and stopping the game".


At the start of the current season the BCB promised to stamp out bad behaviour and enforce a strict code of conduct.  BCB vice-president Allen Richardson told the 'Gazette' in May that "our standards and the respect we have for the game and each other is almost in the gutter, [and] that nowhere else in the world is this kind of behaviour accepted or tolerated", however, he was referring to players (E-News 426-2246, 19 May 2009). 






South African umpire Rudi Koetzen will become the first person to umpire 200 One Day Internationals (ODI) today if, as it appears likely, he officiates in the second of three ODIs between Ireland and Kenya that is scheduled to be played in Dublin this evening Australian time.  Koertzen is due to stand in his 100th Test starting next Thursday at Lord's, the Second in the Ashes series (E-News 443-2306, 29 June 2009), and he therefore has time to stand in this weekend's two Ireland-Kenya ODIs and be in London on Monday, three days before that milestone Test is due to start. 


Koertzen stood in the first match of the current series between the two second-tier sides on Thursday thus taking his ODI total to 199.   His ODIs to date have been played on eighty-three separate grounds, including Bellerive three times, in nearly twenty nations since his debut in December 1993; that first match somewhat unusually being played away from his home nation in Karachi.  In addition to numerous tri-nation and other tournaments Koetzen has taken part in the 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cups, and the 2002, 2004 and 2006 Champions Trophy series.


The South African is not the first match official to work in 200 ODIs, the first being referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka who reached that mark in April 2007 during a World Cup game between England and Ireland in the Caribbean (E-News 24-133, 2 April 2007).  The former Sri Lankan player's match referee ODI record currently stands at 235 games, and he will take his Test tally to 112 in the last two matches of the current Ashes series (E-News 443-2307, 29 June 2009). 


Koertzen's on-field colleague in the first ODI last Thursday was Paul Baldwin from Germany, the pair having stood together in last week's four-day Intercontinental Cup match between Ireland and Kenya (E-News 447-2332, 3 July 2009).  The match referee for the ODI series is David Jukes of England.






Former England captain Ray Illingworth says that those who queried why Australian captain Ricky Ponting "questioned a decision or two" made by umpires on the first day of the opening Ashes Test on Wednesday should realise that its part of the game, and that he "can imagine he was inquiring why one or two of the LBWs weren't given out".


Illingworth, who was writing in yesterday's 'Yorkshire Evening Post', said that in his view "if we'd had a referral system [operating in the match], at least two would have been given out, so I can understand [Ponting] querying them in a reasonable way and saying 'why didn't you give that out? Do you think it was pitching outside leg and not hitting?' ".  Such queries are "part and parcel of the game if you do it the right way", he says. 


The Yorkshireman, went on to say that his England side "went six Test matches in Australia in 1970-71 without getting one LBW, so you can imagine what I felt like [for] I don't think it's happened in any series before or since".  During those games writes Illingworth, a series that was played with two home umpires officiating, "we did query one or two [LBW decisions], but did not so much as get one after six matches [and] you'd do think [to yourself], 'are we playing thirteen players?' ".


During the six Tests played, another was abandoned without a ball being bowled, Lou Rowan and the late Tom Brooks (E-News 68-373, 17 July 2007) stood in five matches each and Max O'Connell two.  While as Illingworth says England did not get a single leg before decision in the 100 wickets Australia lost during the series, Australia got four in the eighty-five wickets it took in the times the tourists went out to bat.






Daryl Harper, one of the three Australians on the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, supports the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS), which is to be rolled-out in Tests from October, saying it had increased the percentage of correct decisions made to ninety-eight per cent during trials conducted over the past year, says a story published by the Press Trust of India yesterday.


Harper is quoted as saying that the system "did have a few problems associated with it but generally speaking when we look at the bigger picture our percentages of correct decisions did increase during the series".  "In fact, in each series when there was a trial, and there were a number of them, the umpires' [correct] decisions went from roughly ninety-four to ninety-eight per cent after using the reviews".


The Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee is to examine "the next steps" for the UDRS at its 2009 meeting  which is to be held at Lord's on Monday and Tuesday (E-News 452-2354, 10 July 2009).






The First Test between the West Indies and Bangladesh got underway on the island of St Vincent in the Caribbean on time on Thursday local time, however, the home side was made up of what the media there are describing as a "Second XI" when the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) made good their threat for the first-choice side to boycott the match (E-News 451-2350, 8 July 2009).


Umpires Tony Hill (New Zealand) and Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka) had to abandon the first day's play due to heavy afternoon showers accompanied by thunder and lightning after just 18.5 overs, however, seventy-seven were delivered on day two overnight Australian time.  In addition to Hill and de Silva, the match referee for the game is Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, and the third and fourth officials West Indian members of the International Cicket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Norman Malcolm of Jamaica and local Goaland Greaves of St Vincent, respectively.








A former Tasmanian first class cricketer and a retired international Rugby Union referee were today named as members of Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) for 2009-10.  The pair and three others returning from last year will make up a slightly larger panel whose task is to facilitate the development and performance improvement of umpires identified in CA's high performance pathway (E-News 274-1464, 11 July 2008).


Last year's panel members Ric Evans from Western Australia and David Levans and Bob Stratford of Victoria, are to be joined in Brisbane next week to observe umpires in the Emerging Players Tournament (E-News 452-2355, 10 July 2009), by new appointees Steve Small, a former first class player for both Tasmania and NSW, and Peter Marshall, the Australian Rugby Union's (ARU) former National Referee Manager and international referee.


This season UHPP members will add the role of match referee to their list of duties in order to ensure consistency in the application of CA Playing Conditions and as "a key figure in the communication between all the participants of the game".  Their other tasks are similar to those panel members had in what was their inaugural season in 2008-09, including assessing and mentoring umpires in CA games, the selection and appointment of umpires to matches which CA is responsible for, and managing current and prospective umpires for interstate cricket. 


Small, fifty-four, who was a left-hand batsman and occasional slow bowler, played ninety first class and thirty-nine one-day games in the period from 1978-93.  Twelve of his first class matches were with Tasmania over two seasons from 1982-84 before he returned to NSW where he played in five Sheffieid Shield finals between 1986-93, being on the winning side three times and NSW's 'Cricketer of the Year' in 1990-91.  An accredited Coach he went on to work in that role with NSW from 1997-2000 and more recently in other similar capacities.


Marshall, fifty-three, has wide international experience as a Rugby referee, officiating in thirty-two Tests as well as other matches in countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Pacific Islands in the decade from 1993-2003.  He refereed in two World Cups and was in contention for the 1999 World Cup Final, but with Australia involved in the match he was ruled ineligible.  After retirement following the 2003 World Cup he joined the ARU as its National Referee Manager and was also coach of NSW Rugby referees.  


CA now has two football-related members on the UHPP, for in addition to Marshall, Levens has a solid reputation as an umpire professional development coach with the Australian Football League (E-News 274-1464, 11 July 2008).  Earlier this month the England and Wales Cricket Board appointed a long-serving referee with football's England Premier League to become an "independent director" of its Association of Cricket Officials (E-News 448-2333, 4 July 2009).


Besides Small, the others on the panel who have considerable on-field cricket experience are Evans and Stratford, both of them being former umpires.


Evans stood in sixty-six first class games, including three Tests, as well as forty-four List 'A' games, seventeen of them One Day Internationals, from 1984-97.  He was Western Australia's State Umpires Manager from 1999 to last year and has been a CA umpiring coach since 2002.  


Stratford was Victoria's State Umpiring Manager for seven years until he resigned last year to take up one of the International Cricket Council's five new Regional Umpire Performance Manager positions (E-News 262-1417, 26 June 2008).  After umpiring twelve first-class matches in the mid-1990s he worked as a CA Umpire Coach, served on the national Technical Committee, and worked as an Umpire Educator for CA in Bahrain, Malaysia, China and Bangladesh.  


Former Test umpire Tony Crafter, who became a UHPP member last August after the resignation of Darrell Hair (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2008), appears to have left the panel, however, there is no mention of that in CA's press release or any acknowledgment of his service to umpiring over many years.  


Crafter umpired thirty-three Tests and eight-four One Day Internationals over a thirteen-year international career from 1978-92.  When he retired after standing in the 1992 Sheffield Shield final he held the then Australian record for umpiring in the most Test matches.  


Since then he has worked for the CA's predecessor, the Australian Cricket Board, as its national umpire's manager, then assessed umpires for the International Cricket Council, and was a member of CA's National Umpires Selection Panel until the UHPP was formed (E-News 89-477, 28 August 2007).






The International Cricket Council (ICC) presented South African umpire Rudi Koertzen with a trophy to mark his 200th One Day International at a ceremony held prior to the start of the Ireland-Kenya match in Dublin on Saturday.  ICC publicity on Koertzen's achievement was not distributed until after the match had commenced and seven hours after E-News suggested the South African appeared likely to reach the milestone that day (E-News 453-2380, 11 July 2009).


Koertzen said in an ICC statement that "for someone who started umpiring very late in life, [200 ODIs] is a huge personal achievement and a dream come true", however "it would not have been possible without the support, appreciation and well-wishes of so many people who have been big influences on my career". “It has been [an] exciting seventeen years in the business, one that many would envy I’m sure [but] every job has highs and lows and umpiring is no exception", said the South African.  


 “I have to thank God for giving me the health and strength over all these years, then Brian Basson [Cricket South Africa's Operations Manager] who convinced me to hang in when the going was tough, and lastly the ICC which provided me the wonderful opportunity to be part of our great sport and looking after me so well".


"Umpiring provided me the opportunity to travel country to country, meet amazing people, understand different cultures but most importantly it was a privilege to see young talent of yesterday become stalwarts of today", he said. “In addition to this, I have seen our game get stronger, healthier and change from the usual five-day Test and fifty-over format to the third Twenty20 version and the success and immense popularity of the three formats speak of the health of the game", he continued.


ICC President David Morgan said that "Rudi's achievement is a result of his tremendous dedication, commitment and fitness".  "Umpiring is something he wanted to do and his achievements reflect that he has done it with passion and hard work". 


Koertzen's ODI record now stands at 201, he having stood in the third and last match of the Ireland-Kenya series yesterday.  Of the other umpires who are still standing internationally, Australians Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel are now next on the ODI list with 158 and 139 respectively, then comes 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand) with 132, Aleem Dar (Pakistan) 116, and Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe) 108.  


Harper currently lies fourth on the all-time list behind Koertzen, Steve Bucknor (West Indies) with 181 and David Shepherd (England) 172, while Taufel is level with his countryman Darrell Hair.  South African, and now Australia-based umpire David Orchard, and Steve Dunne of New Zealand, are the only others to have reached a Century of ODIs, they having 107 and 100 games respectively.






New Zealand Cricket's Chief Executive Officer Justin Vaughan is not unenthusiastic about the idea that Test matches might be reduced to four-days or played in a day-night format, according to a report from across the Tasman over the weekend.  The International Cricket Council has indicated that innovations such as those could lift the level of interest in the matches played at the game's highest-level (E-News 447-2331, 4 July 2009). 


In Vaughan's reported view, Test cricket in its current form remains engaging and entertaining and he pointed to the interest in the current Ashes series.  He is said not to be a big fan of the day-night cricket where "its likely a white ball, and therefore coloured clothing, would be required.


The Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee is to consider both the four-day and day-night Test issues during it annual two-day meeting which is to get underway at Lord's this evening Australian time (E-News 452-2354, 10 July 2009).






The Uganda Cricket Association's (UCA) disciplinary committee has had to deal with a number of incidents in which players have abused umpires in recent weeks, says a story in today's edition of Kampala's 'Daily Monitor' newspaper.  The paper says that of particular concern is the fact that "some national players [are] involved in the debacle", but it also raises questions of umpiring standards in the African nation.


National opening batsman Arthur Kyobe received the largest penalty from the disciplinary committee, being suspended for two National League matches after being found guilty of "using a volley of obscenities" at umpire David Kamala when his club team lost a match to a lower-level side.  The batsman's teammate, bowler Asadu Sseyiga, who is also a national team member, earned a one-match suspension for also showing dissent to an umpire.


Bharat Ghodadra, the captain of another top Ugandan club, and his all-rounder Karim Fazal, were reprimanded and suspended for one-match apiece after they showed dissent to umpires Baker Elonge and Phillip Kahuma in another match.


Robert Kisubi, a member of the UCA’s three-man disciplinary committee told the 'Daily Monitor' that the penalties handed out would "be tougher in future" and he warned players to desist from engaging in unnecessary exchanges with umpires.  “We were a bit lenient but if such incidents become regular then we shall be forced to impose bigger penalties", said Kisubi, a former national team player and manager.


While the 'Daily Monitor' story expresses concern about player behaviour, it also says that "if sanity proper is to be fully-restored” in games the UCA "must ensure that something is done about the general appalling officiating standards".  The story states that "questionable decisions have become the norm [and that while] human nature is definitely bound to err, the umpires should at least get the basics right". 


The newspaper described one match where it says an umpire turned up several minutes late for a game, donned unkempt clothes, and that when the game started he "opted to do his manicure and repetitively answer his mobile telephone calls", the latter also being a problem in Bermuda recently (E-News 453-2359, 11 July 2009). 








Australian captain Ponting accused England of not playing within the 'Spirit of Cricket' on the last day of the First Ashes Test in Cardiff on Sunday.  With only minutes left in the game and Australia requiring only one wicket to win the match, England's physiotherapist and an acting twelfth man ran on to the ground to visit England tailenders Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar in what media reports described as "a clear delaying tactic".


Ponting insisted in a post-match press conference that he "didn't see [Anderson]) call for any physio to come out on the ground ... as far as I'm concerned it was pretty ordinary actually".  "I think [Anderson] changed his glove the over before [so] I'm not sure his gloves were going to be too sweaty in one over?", said the captain.


England skipper Andrew Strauss claimed that Anderson's gloves needed to be changed because he had "spilt drinks on them in a drinks break".  "We first of all sent the twelfth man out just to let Jimmy and Monty know about the fact there was time left rather than just the overs", said Strauss, thus suggesting his players were unaware of match playing conditions.


After that "Jimmy [Anderson] called up to the dressing room and [as we didn't know about the spilt drink] we weren't sure whether he needed the twelfth man or the physio, and to be honest there was a lot of confusion", said the England captain somewhat incongruously.  "Our intentions were good, I don't think we were deliberately trying to waste a huge amount of time, that wasn't our tactic", said Strauss, and "the reality of the situation is that Australia didn't take that final wicket".


Ponting said that "there was nothing that we could do out on the ground [about the pair's visit to the centre], and. we had to get them off as quick so we could and get [in] a couple more overs".  "I was unhappy with it, but it lasted a couple of minutes [before] we got them off the ground", said the Australian skipper.


"But", concluded Ponting, "they can play whatever way they want to play". And in a somewhat interesting comment given the Australian side's reputation for hard play, he said that he and his side "came to play by the rules and the spirit of the game [and] it's up to [England] to do what they want to do".


An Australian team spokesman was said by the 'Cricinfo' web site to have confirmed his side would not be making an official complaint, although Ponting apparently invited match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand to review the incident.  No details are available as to what, if anything, on-field umpires Aleem Dar of Pakistan or Billy Doctrove of the West Indies may have done on the field, but they have not, according to media reports "filed any code-of-conduct charges and the match referee appears unwilling to intervene".


Australian spinner Nathan Hauritz told the media in London last night that he would have done all he could to count down the clock if he'd been in England's position.  "If it was me in that situation I wouldn't be facing up as quick every ball. They did their job. If I'm in that situation, if I call for gloves they won't care", said Hauritz.


Earlier in the day Ponting discussed in animated terms about what he thought was a catch off England batsman Paul Collingwood with umpire Aleem Dar, while another batsman Andrew Flintoff temporarily stood his ground after being caught by Ponting.  


Later batsman Stuart Broad and Australian bowler Peter Siddle twice bumped shoulders.  Ponting said he did not see the Broad-Siddle incident but thought it was not serious as umpire Billy Doctrove did not raise the matter with him on the field.  "I'm sure it's just one of those little things that happened out there that was probably accidental", he said, although television shots suggested otherwise.  


Analysis of the score sheet for the match shows that the over-rates were good and met or were close to the fifteen per hour that the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee believes should be the norm in Tests.   In England's two innings Australia averaged 14.5 and 15.2 overs an hour while England delivered at an average rate of exactly 15 per over when Australia was at the crease.








The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris has rejected accusations by Australia captain Ricky Ponting that the home side was deliberately wasting time in the final minutes of the First Ashes Test in Cardiff on Sunday.  Ponting accused England of not playing within the 'Spirit of Cricket' after its physiotherapist and twelfth man ran into the middle in what some media reports described as "a clear delaying tactic" (E-News 455-2368, 14 July 2009). 


Former England and Glamorgan batsman Morris is keen to defend England’s record "in the fair play department", according to an item posted on the ECB's web site yesterday.  “The spirit of the game is extremely important to us", he says, and "it’s disappointing to hear that an international captain of the standing of Ricky Ponting feels otherwise".


Morris' main point in defending his side, which he suggests indicates his team's attitude to such matters, is that England have won the International Cricket Council's (ICC) fair play award twice in the five years it has been running.  That trophy is presented to the international side that, in the opinion of both the ICC's Elite Umpires and Match Referees Panels, conducts itself best on the field of play each year.  “We’re very proud of that record and playing within the spirit of the game", said Morris. 


Sri Lanka are the current holders of the fair play award, having won it over the last two years (E-News 310-1620, 11 September 2008), with New Zealand the inaugural winner in 2004 and England in 2005 and 2006.


Talking about the Cardiff Test, Morris said that "we’ve not received any formal complaints" about the way the side played.  “We had two very experienced umpires out there [during the game, and] an experienced match referee and a third and fourth umpire [and] are very happy with the way we played and we’re not expecting to hear anything else".


Meanwhile a report in yesterday's Melbourne 'Herald Sun' newspaper says that West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove spoke to Australian Peter Siddle and Englishman Stuart Broad "at the time and after the game" after they twice bumped shoulders on the last afternoon of the Test.






Three Bangladeshi players have been censured for excessive appealing during the First Test against West Indies which ended in at St Vincent.yesterday.  Spinner Shakib Al Hasan and fast bowler Shahadat Hossain were fined ten and five per cent of their match fees respectively, while opener Imrul Kayes was reprimanded by match refere Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe.


Pycroft said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that "the effect of prolonging the appeal is just the same as appealing more than once which means pressurising the umpires".  “I can understand the enthusiasm and excitement on the field as the Bangladesh players were sensing a long-awaited victory and their first in the West Indies, but excessive and prolonged appealing on more than one occasion is against the spirit of the game and has no place in the game", he said.


The match referee did not fine Imrul as he "is relatively new to international cricket as he is playing only his third Test match and I am willing to accept that he didn’t fully appreciate the importance of adhering to the ICC Code of Conduct, but I am sure he has now learnt his lesson and will avoid repeating the same mistake again".


The charges were brought by on-field umpires Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka and Tony Hill of New Zealand, third umpire Clyde Duncan and fourth official Goaland Greaves who are from the West Indies. Pycroft reached his decision after a hearing attended by the players, the umpires and Bangladesh team manager Shafiq-ul Haque.






An inquest into the death of Welsh umpire Alcwyn Jenkin who was struck on the head by a ball while officiating in a match in Swansea ten days ago was opened yesterday and his funeral is due to be held tomorrow (E-News 449-2339, 6 July 2009).  Matches in the South Wales Cricket Association were proceeded by a minutes silence last weekend as a mark of respect (E-News 452-2353, 10 July 2009).






Australian match officials Alan Hurst, Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel got a surprise whilst they were having lunch on the second day of the Second Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Colombo on Monday when water dripped into their room from the toilets above, says a report posted on 'The Island' web site yesterday.  The trio and England's Ian Gould are looking after the three-Test series (E-News 443-2308, 29 June 2009). 


Match referee Hurst is said to have complained to Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club officials at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium about the leak, something the web site's report claims could have ben avoided "had ground officials looked into all relevant matters ahead of the Test Match".  According to the report "appalling conditions in the media centre during a Test two years ago drew sharp criticism from both the local and international media, forcing the club to upgrade facilities to international standards".


The stadium, which used to be called the Colombo Cricket Club Ground, is the only venue in Asia where Sir Don Bradman played cricket, both occasions in 1930 and 1948 being whilst he was en route to England by ship for an Ashes series.  On his first visit he made forty and on the second twenty.






England Premier League (EPL) football referee Steve Bennett, who was last week appointed as an "independent director" of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ACB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO), says that his new role is limited to him meeting with the ECB four times a year to discuss the development of umpires.  Bennett made his comment to the 'Kent News' on Monday when denying suggestions that he would be leaving the EPL as a result of the ECB appointment (E-News 448-2333, 4 July 2009). 


Bennett insisted that his new role will not affect his football refereeing but that he looking forward to working with the ACO.  "Nothing has really changed for me, I will still be officiating football in the Premier League and other levels next season despite some reports", he said. 


 “Basically the ECB have asked me to sit on [the ACO Board] to see if they can learn anything from the way we develop referees in football which can be used in cricket", he said, for "in football there is a system which sees referees start out at grassroots level and work their way to the top, something the ECB wants to develop". 


 “I believe in the past the ECB have consulted with rugby officials so having different sports combine is nothing new really as I think both sports can learn from each other and it will be interesting to see what happens", said Bennett.  


Nick Cousins, the ACO's Education Manager, was involved with the training of referees for the Rugby Football Union and London Rugby before he joined the ACO last year (E-News 257-1406, 18 June 2008), whilst Australia now has two individuals whose main expertise is in officiating in Rugby and Australian Rules Football on its Umpire High Performance Panel (E-News 454-2364, 13 July 2009).








The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) believes that a "specialist TV umpire panel" should be created to work in matches covered by the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) so as to ensure that those involved "are comfortable in using the required technology".  


The WCC, which endorsed the approach on the UDRS being taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) with a roll-out in Tests to start soon (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009), also supported what it said was the world body's "proposed use of the predictive element of ['Hawk Eye'] ball-tracking technology for LBW decisions". 


In discussing the UDRS the WCC, which held its 2009 meeting at Lord's on Monday and Tuesday, felt that the skills required by the third umpire in such games "are not necessarily the same as those of the on-field umpires", hence its suggestion regarding a specialist panel.  It also felt that training of umpires and players involved in UDRS matches "is crucial [and that] all parties must be fully briefed on the correct procedures" that need to be used.  


Last July, just prior to the first UDRS trial in a Test match getting underway, the ICC's General Manager (Cricket), David Richardson, said that there may be a case for "recalling" some "more experienced umpires" to be specialist television officials (E-News 284-1507, 24 July 2009). 


In supporting the ICC's UDRS work, the WCC pointed out what it saw as three particular successes from the world body's trial, namely: "an increase in the percentage of correct decisions being made; a marked improvement in on-field player behaviour; and endorsement of the system from the umpires themselves" (E-News 453-2362, 11 July 2009).  The MCC group was "also pleased to learn that ICC has sought to rectify areas of the system that caused problems or confusion".


While the WCC agreed with the ICC’s "proposed use of the predictive element of ball-tracking technology for LBW decisions", its support was "subject to the introduction of enhanced software which builds in a degree of certainty" to the system, and that would "still give the benefit of the doubt to the batsman". 


During UDRS trials over the past year, the third umpire has only been allowed to look at what technology shows a ball's trajectory was up until where it strikes the batsman and not beyond (E-News 278-1482, 17 July 2008).  






A trial of day-night Test cricket should be held "within the next twelve months" using a pink ball, according to the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee, as it "could bring new audiences to [that form of the] game, both in grounds and on television" and help stem the "decline in Test match attendances over recent years" (E-News 457-2376 below).  The WCC said that before such a trial occurs, the proposed approach should first be evaluated in first class cricket "to assess the suitability of the playing conditions and the type of ball used".


During the meeting former players Shaun Pollock of South Africa and Steve Waugh of Australia, who are both members of the WCC, provide the group with details of their experiences in trials conducted with various coloured balls.  As a result the committee were said to be "unanimous in their support of the pink ball, which would enable Test cricket to continue to be played in white clothing".


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the MCC had been hoping that next May's England-Bangladesh Test at Lord's would be played as a day-night game (E-News 399-2118, 30 March 2009), however, Keith Bradshaw, the MCC's Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, was reported to have said last month that such a game in 2010 is "unlikely" because it is proving to be a "struggle to find the right ball" (E-News 442-2301, 28 June 2009). The MCC as been working with ball manufacturers Kookaburra and Dukes to trial variations of coatings in an effort to maintain ball colour of increase its durability (E-News 447-2329, 3 July 2009).


Bradshaw is reported to have said that "we won't have had time to finish the research on the ball and we won't have had time to do the trial with a county match this [northern summer]".  Cricket Australia (CA) was said to be aiming to conduct a "mock match" under lights at either the Sydney or Melbourne Cricket Grounds this austral summer, but the national body's operations manager Michael Brown emphasised that "we're still a fair way away [from a day-night Test] but we're moving forward".  


The ICC Board agreed last month to explore the possibility of day-night Tests provided a suitable ball can be found and other factors are "satisfactorily addressed" over the coming months, and that its Cricket Committee may look at how the matter is proceeding very early next year (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009).






It’s time to implement a World Test Championship (WTC) says the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC), for "except for certain icon series, such as the Ashes, Test cricket throughout the world, and in particular the lower-ranked nations, is in very real danger of dying".  The WCC, which also supports the introduction of day-night Tests (E-News 457-2375 above), says that there are already World Championships in twenty and fifty-over cricket and an arrangement at Test level is needed "within the short-term".  


Research conducted by the MCC shows that attendances at Test cricket have declined in recent years. In addition, it says there is a growing ambivalence towards the longer format of the game from cricketers in certain nations, with "player surveys revealing that an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract was the main career aspiration for many".  


A poll conducted by the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association earlier this year indicated that forty-five per cent of New Zealand's "elite" cricketers believe that securing an IPL contract is now the pinnacle of the sport (E-News 416-203, 5 May 2009). Overnight, former England captain Graham Gooch said that yesterday's decision by England player Fred Flintoff to retire from Test cricket but continue to play the one-day and Twenty20 form of the game was an illustration of were the game is headed.


By introducing a Test Championship says the WCC, "every series would have a meaning and every Test match would have a context”.  Players would have the motivation to compete on cricket's "biggest stage" and would have "an annual or biannual chance" of winning the title, something that "would reinvigorate players, spectators and broadcasters for what is the pinnacle of the game".


The WCC believes that work should commence immediately on devising an appropriate format for a WTC.  According to it Test cricket is "not marketed sufficiently around the world, certainly not to the same extent as other forms of the game, and a focused and well-resourced marketing strategy is crucial to its success". 


Despite the MCC committee's enthusiasm, Cricket Australia (CA) says that in its view the WTC concept is not workable in the short to medium-term.  Peter Young, CA's general manager for public affairs, told ABC Radio's 'World at Noon' program yesterday that some time ago the national body thought that “there was a lot of merit [in it] and we were initially enthusiastic".  


However, after a lot of work, which Young said was "ironically [conducted with the assistance] of a Chicago-based business consultancy trying to develop a model of how a WTC would operate on a global scale", the practicalities proved too difficult.  He said that the work involved in scheduling international cricket "is a bit like playing three-dimensional chess" and that the International Cricket Council "has decided to stick with the current bi-lateral series" format involving national sides in Test series.  






Two long-serving Australian scorers will have particularly good views at Lord's this evening Australian time when the Second Ashes Test gets underway.  Merilyn Fowler of New South Wales will be in the score box high above the Tavern Stand at the south-eastern corner of the ground for what will be her last international match (E-News 436-2284, 11 June 2009), while 100 m away TCUSA Life Member Hazell Bradshaw is likely to be watching the game from the Member's Stand with son Keith, the Marylebone Cricket Club's Secretary and Chief Executive Officer.


Fowler, who has been active with the New South Wales Umpires and Scorers Association for over twenty years, will be scoring in her eleventh Test, her previous ten being at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  Reports last month said that she has also worked in "countless" One Day Internationals (ODI), Sheffield Shield and other first class matches, one-day domestic and Twenty20 games.  Earlier this month the New South Wales Sports Federation presented her with a International-National 'Outstanding Official' award to mark her contribution to the game (E-News 447-2330, 3 July 2009).


Bradshaw senior retired last year after a thirty-year career in the score box in Tasmania.  She made her debut at first class level in 1990-91 and went on to score in more than eighty games for Tasmania over sixteen seasons in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport, as well as eighteen ODIs and five Test Matches that were played in the island state (E-News 215-1192, 21 March 2008).  


Today's match at Lord's will see South African umpire Rudi Koertzen standing in his 100th Test, only the second person after now-retired West Indian umpire Steve Bucknow to achieve that milestone (E-News 443-2306, 29 June 2009) .  The game, which will be Koertzen's eighth Test at Lord's, comes less than a week after he became the first person to umpire 200 One Day Internationals (E-News 454-2365, 13 July 2009). 






Bermuda cricket endured a difficult day on Sunday when player violence in two separate matches led to both games being abandoned, while another almost went the same way over a disputed dismissal, says Monday's edition of the island newspaper 'The Royal Gazette'.  The incidents come the week after an umpire on the island was reprimanded for his on-field actions during a game late last month (E-News 453-2359, 11 July 2009).


In one match last weekend the umpire is said to have decided to end the game early when a row over a catch ended with one player allegedly smashing up the opposition's changing area.  The dismissed batsman apparently did not believe that a fair catch had been taken and he refused to leave the crease, says the 'Gazette', and when "encouraged to do so by fielders" he is said to have began waving his bat around "in a threatening manner".  


The two captains tried to restore some order, but the argument continued and the batting side's skipper eventually led his team from the field.  That is when the fielding team's equipment started to be attacked and umpire Oscar Andrade decided that the situation was no longer safe and he therefore abandoned the match.


Remarkably a second game was also abandoned on the same day, this time after a fight which is said to have broken out between two members of one side, escalated to such a degree that the umpire there also felt it necessary to end the game.


Elsewhere, player pressure on an umpire is reported to have resulted in him changing his decision.  A batsman had been adjudged 'not out' after an LBW appeal by umpire Kent Gibbons, however, the fielding side "believed they had 'run out' the player [because he] appeared to have been late getting back into his crease", says the 'Gazette'.  


Square Leg umpire Richard Burrows is said to have initially denied the second appeal but was then surrounded by "furious" fielders and after consulting with Gibbons he reversed his decision.  A member of the batting side is then said to have walked on to the field "without proper attire" and "removed the bails and pulled the stumps out of the ground"; however, it appears that order was somehow restored and the match continued. What the umpires’ perspective of the incident was is not known.


Attempts by the 'Gazette' to contact the Bermuda Cricket Board and the Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association for comment were said to have not been successful, and club officials who were spoken to said they were waiting advice from both the Board and the Association and umpires' reports on each incident.






Former England coach Duncan Fletcher believes that Ricky Ponting's criticism that the current England side lacks respect for the spirit of the game "rings hollow", for from his perspective "if any side in the world doesn't play within the spirit of the game it's Ponting's Australians".  Ponting accused England of not playing within the 'Spirit of Cricket' on the last day of the First Ashes Test in Cardiff last Sunday (E-News 455-2368, 14 July 2009).


Writing in his column in 'The Guardian' on Tuesday, Zimbabwe-born Fletcher who was England's coach during the 2005 Ashes series, said Ponting's comments on the spirit of the game was a "manifestation of his frustration" after Australia failed to separate the last English pair in the Test and had to settle for a draw.


Fletcher, who has had well-publicised disagreements with Ponting in the past, said he did not condone what England did even if it was "not really illegal". "But let's not get carried away", he continued, for "what England did ate up maybe an over at most".  


England's former coach claims that if the batsmen concerned last Sunday had wasted the same amount of time talking between overs, "no one would have batted an eyelid", however, "instead we're left with the ridiculous situation of being told off by an Australian captain for transgressing cricket's spirit, a notion he seems to only vaguely understand himself".


Ponting set a worse example for the "schoolboys watching at home", said Fletcher, for "the way [he] places pressure on the umpires and makes them look bad in front of a huge crowd and TV audience".  "The way he objected after [umpire] Aleem Dar rightly turned down a catch at silly point off Paul Collingwood was typical", claimed Fletcher, and "Ponting has to be careful [for] the way he plays is "definitely not in the spirit". 


The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris has also rejected Ponting’s accusations that the home side was deliberately wasting time on Sunday, his key argument being that his side had twice won the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) fair play award (E-News 456-2369, 15 July 2009).


Writing in a 'cricinfo' blog earlier this week, journalist Michael Jeh asked just what does the 'Spirit of Cricket' concept "really mean?"  "The only way for a noble but essentially irrelevant concept like this to meaningfully find its way back into [international] cricket is for the ICC to take a firm position on what it stands for", he wrote.  


In his view "fall-out from the thrilling finale to the Cardiff Test match merely underscores the pointlessness of an amateurish concept like ‘the spirit of cricket’ in what is essentially a cut-throat, professional business".  "At the end of the day", he says, "it’s about the bottom line, it’s about winning and it’s about not losing". 






Gloucestershire bowler James Franklin did not realise he had taken a 'hat trick' until an umpire brought it to his attention in the county match against Derbyshire on Monday, says the 'Bristol Evening Post'.   The New Zealand international took a wicket with his first ball in Derbyshire's second innings, having cleaned up their tail the previous day, but "had no idea [he'd] taken a hat-trick until the umpire reminded [him] about four overs into [his] spell", he said.  


Former first class players and Test umpires Barry Dudleston and Peter Willey are standing in the match, the game being the former's 407th first class fixture and Willey's 241st.  Dudleston, who turns sixty-four today and is thus in his last year on the England and Wales Cricket Board's 'Full' umpires list, played 295 first class matches from 1966-83, while Willey's tally was 559 from 1966-91; their playing and umpiring careers thus totalling 702 and exactly 800 first class games respectively.  






A match in Staffordshire was abandoned last Sunday after the pitch "bordered on the impossible to bat on" as the result of overnight seepage of water under the covers which had not been put on properly.  Umpires Chris Ridgway and Maurice James called a halt to the game in the eleventh over after uneven bounce made batting dangerous.


Moddershall captain Scott Oliver told a Staffordshire newspaper that his home ground is one of the most difficult pitches to bat on when it is wet because of its clay foundation which "can send the ball vertical" at times.  "It was like playing a game of snooker on a ripped cloth" and things were getting dangerous, he said.


Burslem skipper Chris Lowndes was one of several batsmen from his side to bear the brunt of the uneven bounce, taking blows to his gloves and body.  "It was a rock-hard wicket, which had softened up with the rain, and every other ball was going over the batsman's head from a good length and it just wasn't conducive to playing proper cricket", he said.


After seeing batsmen hit on a number of occasions, Ridgway and James had a chat and called Oliver and Lowndes over to ask their thoughts.  Lowndes said that he "left the decision up to the umpires because, ultimately, they are responsible for the players' safety", but that he agreed with their decision to abandon the game  "100 per cent".  The match has been rescheduled for early August.








Australian captain Ricky Ponting was given out in the Second Ashes Test being played at Lord's last night but subsequent analysis suggests that it was for the wrong reason, a situation that raises an interesting issue for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).  Ponting was officially caught at slip, South African umpire Rudi Koertzen believing the right-hander had hit the ball on to his front pad, however, replays later showed he didn't hit the ball and ball tracking technology indicated that he was in fact out LBW.


Koertzen and his West Indian colleague Billy Doctrove came together to discuss the matter, the question appearing to be as to whether the ball had carried to slip.  As is allowed under current playing conditions Koertzen, who is standing in his 100th Test (E-News 457-2377, 16 July 2009), referred the matter to television umpire Nigel Llong of England and he advised that the ball had been cleanly 'caught'.  Koertzen then gave Ponting out, although without returning to his position at the bowler's end.


Playing conditions for the Ashes series allow Llong, if he in fact looked at it and was able to reach a judgement, to advise Koertsen that Ponting had hit his boot with his bat, not the ball, a very difficult decision to make with the naked eye.  Current Test playing conditions say that “the third umpire has to determine whether the batsman has been caught, however, when reviewing the television replay(s), if it is clear to the third umpire that the batsman did not hit the ball, he shall adjudicate that the batsman is not out”.



Had the UDRS been in operation, las it will be in all Tests from October onwards time (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009), last night's dismissal would have led to an interesting sequence of events, says Australian journalist Malcolm Conn.  Ponting could have successfully challenged his dismissal but given that Law 27.4 says that "An appeal 'How's That?' covers all ways of being out", what scope would the third umpire then have to explore the issue further, for on seeing the ball did not hit the bat he is then likely to automatically ask himself if an LBW decision was a possibility.  


Such a decision would have been made easier by the fact that the International Cricket Council plans to use  the predictive element of ball-tracking technology for leg before decisions (E-News 457-2374, 16 July 2009), television presentations of it last night indicating that after it struck the Australian captain on the pad, the ball would have gone on to hit his stumps.






Nine players from five clubs playing in four matches in Bermuda last weekend are to face disciplinary hearings, according to a report in yesterday's 'Bermuda Sun' newspaper.  Two games had to be abandoned because of violence and another saw a number of on-field incidents (E-News 457-2378, 16 July 2009), events that the Bermuda Cricket Board says it "strongly deplores".


Four players, Treadwell Gibbons Jnr, and Detroy Smith, who are from separate clubs, and Ricardo Brangman and Mackie Crane who are from a third, face charges at the highest level of bringing the game into disrepute, while Cal Dill, Chris Fleming, Khiry Furbert, Kevin Hurdle and Justin Robinson face less serious, but still significant, charges.


Gibbons, Furbert and Robinson are from the Western Stars club while Fleming is from their opponnts Leg Trappers, Smith and Hurdle from the Social club, Brangman and Crance from Devonshire and Dill from Bailey Vale.  


Gibbons, who was banned for two years several years ago but had that reduced to a year after an appeal, is charged with three counts of physical assault of another player, umpire, referee, official or spectator, two counts of using language that is offensive, obscene or of a generally insulting nature to an umpire, player or spectator, and one count of abuse of ground equipment; the latter allegedly involving the "smashing up" of his opponents changing area.


Smith is charged with one count of physically assaulting an umpire and one count of violence on the field of play and four charges that all involving intimidation of an umpire by language or conduct. He is also charged on two other counts, one of showing serious dissent of an umpire's decision by action or verbal abuse, and one of use of language that is obscene, offensive or of a generally insulting nature to an umpire.  Smith's captain Kevin Hurdle has been charged with allowing his player to bring the game into disrepute.


Brangman faces a charge of physically assaulting another player, umpire, referee or spectator and one of a threat of assault on another player, official or spectator, while team mate Crane also faces a charge of physical assault of an umpire.


Justin Robinson and Khiry Furbert, who are from the same club as Gibbons, are also up on charges, Furbert for two counts of threat of assault of another player and abother of showing dissent at umpire's decision by action or verbal abuse. Team captain Robinson's charges are for using language that is obscene, offensive or generally insulting to another player and, as captain of the team, allowing his players to bring the game into disrepute and causing abandonment of the game by failing to control his team.


Cal Dill from a fourth club faces two counts of deliberate and malicious distraction or obstruction in the field of play and two counts of using language that is obscene, offensive or of an insulting nature to an umpire, while the fifth cub's Chris Fleming has been cited for using language that is obscene, offensive or of a generally insulting nature to another player.


The date on which hearings are to be held is not known at this stage.






New South Wales' pace bowler Aaron Bird has been cleared to return to first-class cricket after 'tweaking' his bowling action.  Bird was suspended in February after being judged through biomechanical analysis to have an illegal bowling action (E-News 377-2011, 25 February 2009).


Twenty-six-year-old Bird was reported by the umpires in NSW's one-day matches against Queensland and South Australia in October last year as well as the interstate Twenty20 final against Victoria in January (E-News 374-1992, 18 February 2009).  He was tested under the Cricket Australia's (CA) doubtful bowling action procedures in mid-February and results found that some of his deliveries were illegal and he was suspended for ninety days.


After the ninety-day period ended last month, Bird had his "re-modelled bowling action" reassessed at the Australian Institute of Sport’s biomechanics facility in Canberra three weeks ago and it did not exceed the fifteen degrees of elbow extension limit and his suspension was lifted as a result.








Four of the six umpires appointed to this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) were in action in two Twenty20 matches as the series got underway in south-east Queensland yesterday.  Tasmanian Steven John stood in the opening match between the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Indian sides with Ash Barrow of Victoria, while Paul Wilson of Western Australia and Andrew Willoughby of South Australia looked after the game between New Zealand and South Africa.


Later today the four sides will switch to the fifty over one-day format with India up against South Africa and the AIS playing New Zealand.  The names of the umpires for those games have not yet been released, however, the two who did not stand in yesterday's game, Geoff Joshua (Victoria) and Norm McNamara (Queensland), appear likely to stand with either Barrow, John, Willoughby or Wilson.


With yesterday's games being played on the same ground and today's on adjacent grounds, Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford and the five members of its Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP), who are all in Brisbane for the series, will have the opportunity to observe all six aspiring first class officials whilst they are in action on the field of play and elsewhere during the two-week long series.


With CA yet to name its National Umpires Panel for 2009-10, there are indications that at least four of the six officials named for the eighteen-match EPT could be vying for a spot on the panel (E-News 452-2355, 10 July 2009).    







Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper is reporting this morning that what it describes as "a serious security lapse" prior to play in the Third Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan yesterday morning led to "a heated situation" and that "some" match officials "had threatened to leave" Sri Lanka unless appropriate security was provided.  A senior Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) official has, however, reportedly described the incident as a "minor" one. 


According to the report the van ferrying match officials to the ground from their hotel was to have travelled with the Pakistani bus under security cover, however, when umpires Simon Taufel (Australia) and Ian Gould (England) and match referee Alan Hurst (Australia) and their colleagues went to catch their transport "they found that the Pakistani vehicle had left earlier than the scheduled time" without them.  As a result the match officials had to travel without security claims the 'Mirror' quoting "sources".


Hurst is said to have taken up the issue with SLC officials while Taufel "who had a previous horrifying experience in the official bus that came under attack in Lahore [in March] had thoroughly been shaken up by the lapse and had even contemplated leaving the country", says the newspaper's report by journalist Channaka de Silva (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009)..


SLC interim committee secretary Nishantha Ranatunga denied there was any lapse in security and said that there was "only a minor problem in the morning as the Pakistani bus had left early". “There was no problem about security at all [for] match officials have been provided a separate security unit, so they should have no worries”, said Ranatunga.  However, quoting "sources" again, the 'Mirror' story says that that "the separate security unit for officials was provided only after the incident" on Monday morning. 






Controversy surrounded a number of umpiring decisions on the fourth day of the Second Ashes Test at Lord's on Sunday.  While one media report yesterday said the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) "could not come fast enough", the International Cricket Council (ICC) said that technology may not necessarily help much in "confusing situations" such as that involved in the dismissal of Australian captain Ricky Ponting in his side's first innings on Friday (E-News 458-2382, 18 July 2009).  


Reports written by Australian journalists after Sunday's play focused on decisions given against their side.  All the dismissals discussed involved appeals for catches, one a decision that some critics say should have been referred to the third umpire, another that was given off a delivery that was shown to be a 'no ball', and a third that available technology suggests the batsman did not hit.   


Australian opener Simon Katich was caught off an Andrew Flintoff delivery, however, replays show that the bowler had overstepped and that a 'no ball' should have been called.  Katich's opening colleague Phillip Hughes was next to go, the ball going to first slip, the question being whether the ball had carried or not, but after a quick discussion the umpire's clearly agreed that it had.  Later on top-order batsman Michael Hussey fell to a slips catch, however, replays indicated that he had not made contact with the ball. 


South African umpire Rudi Koertzen had to make the call on the appeals against the two openers, while his West Indian colleague Billy Doctrove was at the bowler's end when Hussey was dismissed.  The decision that Doctrove had to make was a difficult one that took the technology a time to resolve, the most conclusive evidence coming from 'hot spot' which showed bat had hit ground not the ball.  Koertzen's missing of Flintoff's 'no ball' was criticised by numerous journalists, but they saved most of their comments for the manner of Hughes' demise.


Australian coach Tim Nielsen summed up the scribe's view on the Hughes' decision neatly by saying at a press conference at the end of day four that he "would have liked to have seen [the umpire's] go to third umpire [Nigel Llong] from a consistency point of view".  


Neilsen was referring to an incident in England's second innings when batsman Ravi Bopara was adjudged 'not out' by Llong after Koertzen had requested advice on whether his shot had carried to Nathan Hauritz.  In Hughes' case replays appeared to many observers to be inconclusive and therefore the "benefit of the doubt" should have been applied, while others thought the catch was a clean one.


Match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand moved overnight to clarify the umpire's approach to those two decisions (E-News 459-2388 below).    


Cricinfo's report on Sunday's play said that the UDRS, which is due to be rolled out from October (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009), "cannot come fast enough". Despite that comment Richardson, the ICC's head of operations, warned in an interview given to India's 'Central Chronicle' newspaper yesterday about expecting perfection from the UDRS and illustrated his view by discussing the dismissal of Australian skipper Ricky Ponting in his side's first innings on day two of the match on Friday.  


Ponting was given out caught at slip after Koertzen referred the matter to Llong to check whether the ball had carried or not, however, television replays made it clear that the ball had come off Ponting's pads and there was no inside edge, but technology indicated that he was out LBW.  "As far as that type of decision goes, not too much will change from October", said Richardson, "but the new system will probably enable [the on-field and third umpire] to chat to a greater extent and go on to talk about the LBW situation". 






Match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand has moved to "clarify" the procedures which led to the on-field umpires referring one low catch to the television umpire and not another during the Second Ashes Test at Lord’s on the weekend (E-News 459-2387 above).  


Crowe said in a press release issued by the International Cricket Council overnight that under playing conditions the umpire at the bowler’s end is entitled to refer an appeal for a caught decision to the third umpire if both he and the square-leg umpire are unable to decide whether a catch was taken cleanly.


 “In the first instance, when Nathan Hauritz was the fielder, the on-field umpires consulted and neither was able to decide if the catch was taken cleanly so they referred the decision to the third umpire", said Crowe.  “However, in the second instance, when [batsman Phillip Hughes was the batsman], the square-leg umpire [Doctrove] was confident the catch was taken cleanly and so [it was not referred]", he said.


Crowe went on to say that “there has been some confusion as to why one incident was referred and not the other so it is simply a question of whether either on-field umpire is able to make the call himself or if he needs advice from the third umpire".  "If he is confident of the decision then he will make it himself regardless of how near or far away the incident took place", he added.


In October last year the match referee in the Second India-Australia Test, Englishman Chris Broad, said that Koertzen made a mistake in giving Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly "a let-off" when he refused to call for the third umpire to help with a stumping appeal against him.  Replays showed the batsman’s back foot was still in the air when the bails were removed (E-News 331-1747, 20 October 2008).







The Bermuda Cricket Board's (BCB) Disciplinary Committee is to meet late this morning and again tomorrow Australian time to assess the actions of nine players from four clubs who were reported for a variety of offences eight days ago (E-News 458-2382, 18 July 2009).  The BCB said on Thursday that they deplored "the acts of violence and player indiscipline that occurred at a number of games on Sunday 12 July, 2009", and indicated that those guilty could face 'lengthy bans".






A comment by a batsman to an umpire in Scotland led to the official standing down from a match, says a story published in the 'Prestwick and Whirefield Guide' last week.  It is not clear from the report as to whether club or league-appointed umpires were involved in the game, but the batsman is said to have "taken umbrage when given out LBW".


The batsman made his remarks to the umpire as he "relucantly made his way back to the pavilion", however, the official reacted to whatever was said and indications are that he refused to continue.  Both teams left the field and it took twenty minutes to find a replacement umpire so that the match could proceed.  








South African umpire Rudi Koertzen is concerned about the attitude of batsmen who refuse to take the word of fielders who say they have taken clean catches, and believes that from now on in internationals all such situations should be automatically referred to the television umpire, says a story published on the Cricinfo web site yesterday.  Koertzen, who was at the centre of two related incidents during the Second Ashes Test, was also critical of fielders who claimed catches they were uncertain of, says journalist Alex Brown.


The world's most experienced umpire stressed that in the case of the controversies in the Lord's Test the players involved "probably believed that they caught" the balls concerned.  Speaking in more general terms though, he is quoted as saying that "for me" players who nick the ball and wait for the umpire to make a decision or claim a catch they know wasn't one are "cheating".  "It's supposed to be a gentleman's game but I can't always say it is", continued the Test Centurion, but some "guys know they can cheat and get away with things".


Koertzen and his partner in the Lord's Test, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, were criticised for referring a claimed catch taken by Nathan Hauritz in England's second innings to third umpire Nigel Llong, but declining to do so for the catch that dismissed AustraliaN Phillip Hughes in his side's second innings (E-News 459-2387, 21 July 2009).  Cricket Australia's Chief Executive Officer has also queried why the two cases were handled differently by the umpires (E-News 460-2392 below).


The South African said that in Hughes case he "couldn't see where the catch was taken because I had the bowler running down the wicket [and] didn't have a clue", so he "went straight to my partner and asked 'Was it a fair catch?' and Doctrove said, 'Yes, it went straight in.' That's it".  That's "been in our [playing] conditions all the time", he continued, but "at the end of the day, the best way of doing it now is to go upstairs for all of them".  In the Hauritz case neither umpire was sure the catch had been made cleanly.


Koertzen, who has expressed support for the Umpire Decision Review System after standing in three Tests in which it was used, believes it would have been helpful in adjudicating on Australian captain Ricky Ponting's first-innings dismissal (E-News 458-2382, 18 July 2009).  


"The sounds were perfect", he told Cricinfo", for "there were definitely two sounds and I gave it [but] if I didn't give him caught behind, if I didn't consider the fact that he hit the ball, I would've given him out LBW anyhow", he said.  "The caught comes first" in terms of dismissals, said Koertzen, and "that was the reason I went upstairs to see whether it carried because I couldn't tell".  


Stating that he hadn't seen a replay of Ponting's dismissal, the South African said that "that's the reason I made the wrong decision [and] I'm happy to carry the blame if I make a wrong decision I'll put my hand up and say, 'I'm sorry, I cocked it up", said Koertzen.


The veteran umpire said he was happy with the spirit in which the Ashes had been contested to date.  "I'm one of the umpires who do allow them a little bit of banter",  "but in this Test match they were all friendly chirps [and] not once did they say anything bad to each other".  "The Aussies play it very, very hard and they are the guys who put pressure on their opposition all the time, [however], in this Test match there was nothing serious, nothing at all".






Cricket Australia's (CA) Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland "called the International Cricket Council (ICC) for further information" over the controversy that surrounded the dismissal of opening batsman Phillip Hughes at Lord's on Monday, according to a report published in 'The Age' in Melbourne yesterday. 


'The Age' says that Sutherland was not questioning the umpire's verdict but rather wanted to know why the catch, which some observers regard as doubtful (E-News 459-2387, 21 July 2009), was not referred to the television umpire for assessment when a similar catch when England was in the field was.


Sutherland is quoted as saying that he "did ring [ICC operations manager] Dave Richardson to seek clarification on the referral situation, but in no way was it any kind of complaint", rather he "was seeking to understand the reason for the inconsistency and it was explained to my satisfaction".  


Just what Richardon told Sutherland was not mentioned, however, match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand provided his view soon after the match ended (E-News 459-2388, 21 July 2009), and on-field umpire Rudi Koertzen has also spoken publicly about the matter (E-News 460-2391 above).


Crowe said in an ICC statement issued early on Tuesday Australian time that the difference between the judgments was the square leg umpire Billy Doctrove of the West Indies believed the Hughes' catch at first slip had been taken cleanly and that he advised Koertzen of that, while both men were unsure if the ball carried in the case when England were fielding, hence the referral in that situation. 


Sutherland said he had no problems with the behaviour of Australian captain Ricky or his team, and that he was "extremely proud of how Ricky and all the players handled some tense situations".  Koertzen, who is to stand in the Third Test next week with Aleem Dar of Pakistan, has also made positive comments about player behaviour at Lord's.






England has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the Second Ashes Test at Lord’s.  Match referee Jeff Crowe imposed fines after Andrew Strauss’s side was ruled to be two overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.


In accordance with the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties, players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.  As such, Strauss was fined twenty per cent of his match fee while his players received ten per-cent fines.


According to the score sheet for the match England bowled sixty-three overs in 267 minutes in Australia's first innings, figures that equate to a rate of 14.2 overs per hour, while in the second innings they delivered 14.0 per hour.  Australia's rate was 14.6 in England's first innings and 13.6 in the second. 


The ICC agreed last month to double the fines for slow over-rates, however, as yet it is not known just when the new arrangements will come into force (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009).   Since then both Pakistan in a Test, the West Indies in a One Day International, and now England, have received slow over-rate fines (E-News 451-2349, 8 July 2009).






Pakistan leg spin bowler Danish Kaneria has been found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations during the second day of the Third Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.  Kaneria, who was charged under a section of the code that refers to “using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting”, pleaded guilty, and was given an official reprimand by match referee Alan Hurst of Australia and warned about his future conduct.


The report on the incident says that it took place after Kaneria had dismissed Angelo Mathews in the forty-fifth over of Sri Lanka’s first innings. After taking the wicket the bowler was heard to utter an expletive which was loud enough to be heard by both on-field umpires, Ian Gould of England and Simon Taufel of Australia, and was also picked up by the stump microphone. Gould and Taufel as well as third the fourth umpires Gamini Silva and Rohitna Kottahachi subsequently reported the player.


Hurst said in an ICC statement that “swearing is expressly forbidden by the ICC code and in this case it was picked up by people present at the ground and the television microphones so the potential for negatively influencing spectators or viewers at home, including children, is clear".


 “Danish knows what he said was unacceptable but in coming to my decision I took into account the fact that he apologised both immediately after the incident and in the hearing" which was held at the end of the day's play.  "I am also content that the action was not directed at the batsman or any other individual and that the action was one more of frustration than anger [and] that is why the penalty is at the low end of the scale for [such an] offence".


Under the ICC's code Kaneria's censure could have ranged from a reprimand he was given up to a fine of fifty per cent his match fee. 








Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has suggested that his side's competitive edge in the Ashes series to date might have been blunted because they have been warned to control their sledging, says a story posted on the BBC's web site overnight.  The report says that Cricket Australia (CA) reminded its players prior to the First Test getting underway in Cardiff of "their duty as role models and of the need to set the right example".


Indicating that his side has struggled to find the right balance between being gentlemen and intimidating opponents, Watson is quoted as saying that "it's a fine line between being perfect role models and being competitive".  


The all-rounder warned that Australia would pull out all the stops to retain the Ashes urn because ultimately that is what the public there will demand, saying that the side has been so competitive in the past because of "how competitive we are", but "CA have said to us to make sure we know where the line is and don't cross it".


CA's requirement is a "sticky one" says Watson, "because of course the general public in Australia want us to be perfect role models and the hardest thing when you play is to be extremely competitive and [still] not cross the line, in terms of the things the general public don't want us to do like spitting and swearing".  However, he continued, in the end "we have got to make sure we do everything we can to win because that is what CA and the Australian public do want".


CA's Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said earlier this week that he had no problems with the behaviour of Australian captain Ricky Ponting or his team (E-News 460-2392, 23 July 2009), a view echoed by Second Test umpire Rudi Koertzen of South Africa (E-News 460-2391, 23 July 2009), while former Australian captain Alan Border yesterday described the treatment of Ponting by some as "unfair".  However, former Australian Test umpire Lou Rowan was quoted by Sydney's 'Sunday Sun' as saying that the conduct of Ponting and his players was “absolutely disgraceful”.


Earlier this month in the lead up to the Cardiff Test, a spokesman for the touring side denied a report that players had been cautioned about their behaviour and that CA's advice "constituted an official ban", saying that the standing of Australia's cricketers in the public eye at home remained high (E-News 445-2313, 1 July 2009).  






Score sheets available on line indicate that Paul Wilson, a member of Cricket Australia's Project Panel for former first class players, was again missing from the umpiring line up on what was the third day's play in this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Brisbane yesterday.  Wilson stood in a Twenty20 match on the opening day of the series on Monday (E-News 459-2385, 21 July 2009), but has not appeared in any of the four fifty over matches played over the last three days, according to available information. 


Victorian Ash Barrow leads the appointments list to date, standing in two fifty over and one Twenty20 match (2/1), then comes his colleague from Melbourne Geoff Joshua and Norm McNamara of Queensland with 2/0 each, Steven John (Tasmania) and Andrew Willoughby (South Australia) both are on 1/1, then comes Wilson on 0/1.  


Two more fifty over matches are scheduled for today in Brisbane, the Australian Institute of Sport side taking on South Africa in one game, and New Zealand and South Africa in the other.  The Bureau of Meteorology forecast is for fine conditions with generally light winds and a top temperature of twenty-one degrees Celsius in the Brisbane region today.






The need for trained umpires in matches has again been brought home after a lower-level game in south Devon last Sunday ended with one side claiming it had won by one wicket and the other insisting that the game was a tie.  League officials, who have now been tasked with the job of sorting out the result in the match between the Hatherleigh and Babbacombe sides, have declared the result a tie until such time as they can conduct an investigation of the matter.


Reports from Hatherleigh's home ground say that with one ball to be bowled in the final over of the one-day fixture, Babbacombe were one run short of Hatherleigh's score of 180 with just one wicket left.  However, that 'final' ball was called a 'wide', a decision that leveled the scores, but things started to get complicated soon after when the ball was rebowled.  


Babbacombe's version of events is that their batsman Tim Goodwin edged the last delivery through the slips for a single that won the game, however, Hatherleigh says that a run was not completed before Goodwin was 'run out' because he "mistakenly thought the ball had gone for four" and had, together with his batting colleague, "gone off to celebrate victory with his team mates".  A fielder is said to have retrieved the ball from within the boundary and thrown it to the wicketkeeper who, "under the instruction of the captain, broke the stumps and appealed for a run out".


Goodwin is quoted as saying that his team's "umpire mistakenly thought the ball was still 'live' despite the winning run being completed [and] indicated that one of us may be out 'run out' as we were both standing next to him hugging each other".  "After much debate the Hatherleigh captain refused to concede the game and claimed a tie", said Goodwin, therefore "we have written to the league [seeking] clarification" of the matter.






"Over one thousand" officials took the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials Level 1 umpiring exam earlier this year, and just over two-thirds of them have now been awarded certificates, says the ECB.  A total of 761 individuals from thirty-three of the thirty-nine counties plus the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Europe' region passed last April's exam.


The course, attendance at which requires no prior knowledge of umpiring, is designed to teach "the rudiments of the Laws of Cricket" in order to help people "of all abilities to have the confidence to be able to stand as an umpire in a cricket match", and also covers ECB directives regarding youth games.  It can take up to ten hours to complete the course, although the length is determined by how well the attendees are handling the material.  


The exam, which is targeted at enabling the assessor to satisfy themselves that each candidate would be able to cope confidently with the most important and common incidents that are likely to arise in a cricket match, consists of an "oral examination using images and video clips". 


ICC Europe led this year's certificate count with ninety-five passes, followed by Surrey sixty-three, Durham sixty-two, Lancashire forty-one, Devon thirty-six, Essex and Warwickshire thirty-one each and Middlesex thirty.  According to a list released by the ECB, Cumbria, Glamorgan, Gloustershire, Hampshire, the Isle of White and Suffolk had no graduates on this occasion. 


The ECB also has a Level 1 scorers’ course on offer by correspondence.






Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar, who is in England for the First and Third Ashes Tests, took the opportunity to swap his position behind the stumps for a spell at the crease in a local match in London last weekend.  Dar, who stood in the Cardiff Test, is said by the 'Hackney Gazette' to have produced "a stunning all-round display" during his guest appearance with a side called 'The Ducks'.

Dar, who also plays occasionally at home in Pakistan (E-News 426-2247, 19 May 2009), contributed thirty-seven of his team's 182 before claiming 3/31 with his leg spinners which contributed to their opponents being dismissed for 144.  Ducks skipper Zia Hussain said that his side have "got good contacts with the Pakistan Cricket Board and we found out Aleem was available to play for us".  "He's a great leg-break bowler and he managed to get some real turn out of the pitch, which is quite an achievement on [the ground] we were playing on", said Hussain.






Australian umpire Simon Taufel is to be "the major player" in a seminar being organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for its National and Ranji umpire panels in Banglaore next month, says a report distributed by the Press Trust of India (PTI) yesterday.  Taufel, Cricket Australia's (CA) Global Development Manager Ross Turner, its Umpire Educator Dennis Burns, and National Umpire Panel member Ian Lock from Western Australia, are to conduct the seven-day course which is due to run from 6-12 August.  


This year's seminar is the third such event organised under a three-year CA-BCCI contract that is part of the Indian Board's move to lift the standard of umpiring on the sub-continent (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007).  Taufel took part in both the previous seminars, although last year only for one day (E-News 317-1653, 23 September 2008).  An unnamed member of India's national panel, who attended both previous events spoke highly of them, being quoted by the PTI as saying that "all the Indian umpires" involved are looking forward to the event.


The BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty told 'The Hindu' late last year that his organisation was in discussions with CA regarding the establishment of an umpire exchange program (E-News 337-1778, 27 October 2008), but there have been no other public utterances on the matter since then.






Five penalty runs were awarded to a batting side in a fifty over one-day match in the eastern United States last weekend because one of their opponents used "obscene language" whilst in the field, says a report posted on the 'DreamCricketUSA' web site.  The runs, which were enough to win the game for the batting side, may have been part of playing conditions in the United States Cricket Association's Eastern Conference competition, although that is not made clear in the published story.


When the batting side reached 8/195, four runs short of their opponents 199, they then scored two more runs to go to 197 when one of the batsman at the crease was out 'caught'.  According to ‘DreamCricket’, as that batsman reached the boundary on his way to the pavilion, the fielders began leaving the ground for umpires Nelson Hutchinson and George Richards are said to have awarded the penalty runs and the batting side had therefore won the match.  


The dismissed batsman is said to have told 'DreamCricket' that the umpires "didn’t say anything [about the penalty runs] when we were batting” even though indications are that the offence is said to have happened in the twenty-fifth over, some twenty overs prior to the end of the game.  It is also not clear why the umpires did not apply the penalty when the batting side were on 195.


After the match Mahadeo Ajodhi, the fielding side's coach, suggested that his wicketkeeper swore at himself in frustration when he missed what was a critical stumping chance in the twenty-fifth over, and that that is when the “obscene language” was heard by the umpires.  Ajodhi said that the keeper "was mad at himself but he didn't direct [his comments] at anybody and the umpire overheard that and that’s what the penalty was [given for]".


No details are available as to how umpires Hutchinson and Richards saw the situation.






An umpire with the North Manchester Cricket League (NMCL) has been suspended from his duties pending a hearing by the league's committee after he pleaded guilty of, and was fined £193 ($A400) by a Bolton Magistrate on Monday for, "kerb cruising for sex".  Cricket umpires in the UK have to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) or police check before they can stand in matches, and the NMCL has stood the official down pending its own hearing as it is concerned that the offence will invalidate his certificate, says 'The Bolton News'. 


League joint secretary David Pope told the 'News' that his league is "not allowed to appoint anybody [who does not hold] a CRB record certificate, and we have been advised by the Lancashire Cricket Board that [the umpire's actions] would invalidate the CRB check, so we cannot appoint him on that basis".  It has become standard practice in many countries in recent years for umpires to have passed a police check, primarily in regard to their involvement in supporting under age matches.


The umpire, who is aged forty-four, is said to have been caught in an undercover police operation in Bolton’s red light district early this month, his second such charge in the last year.  He told the newspaper that he would only be suspended until such time as he obtained a new CRB certificate, which he expected to be granted in the near future. 


 “It’s only a temporary suspension while I get a new CRB check, and I resent the insinuation that I am unfit to be an umpire", he said, for he can't “see why there’s an issue with my being an umpire [as] it’s not as though it’s something that affects what I do" in cricket.  “This is going to ruin my umpiring, which I enjoy doing, and for what? I’ve been human", said the umpire.







Former South African fast bowler Allan Donald, who now coaches with Warwickshire, says that bowlers should be allowed to "prepare" the ball in order to "redress the balance between bat and ball" and protect the "dying breed" of fast bowlers from "increasingly lifeless pitches", says a report posted on the 'Cricinfo' web site over the weekend. Journalist Nagraj Gollapudi writes that "in other words" Donald is talking about ball tampering.


Donald was asked by Gollapudi if he would recommend legalising ball tampering and said, according to the report, that "the International Cricket Council (ICC) would shoot me for saying it but we [bowlers] do need some sort of defence mechanism, something to fall back on to say 'Right, we can do this. we can now prepare this ball to go'." 


The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardians of the Laws of Cricket, are known to be concerned about "the shifting balance between bat and ball".  Earlier this month the MCC's World Cricket Committee looked at whether pitches are getting flatter or if bowling is getting worse, and whether there is anything the MCC can do to help the game worldwide to produce pitches with more pace and bounce (E-News 452-2354, 10 July 2009), however, altering the Laws to allow bowlers to "prepare" balls is unlikely to be on the agenda.


Donald acknowledges that his plea is likely to fall on deaf ears, says Gollapudi, as legalising ball-tampering "quite simply would never happen", he said, but, "let's not kid ourselves", says the South African, "there is no question [ball tampering] still goes on" today.  Two weeks ago Somerset all-rounder Omari Banks was suspended for three matches and his club fined and docked competition points after an incident in a county Second XI match (E-News 452-2352, 10 July 2009).


To get reverse swing, says Donald, one must rough one side of the ball while polishing the other. "One [popular] way to do it is to get the ball into the dirt", a method easily practised on rough subcontinent surfaces where the ball, especially the white one, soon gets scuffed up. "Even the red ball, in places like India, we found, did not take too long to reverse", said Donald.


Cricinfo reminds us that the South African isn't the first fast bowler to talk about legalisation as former New Zealand player Sir Richard Hadlee suggested it in the 1990s. Hadlee wrote in a newspaper column at the time that "as long as the bowlers or fielders use whatever means they have on their persons, I don't see anything wrong with it, [but] I'm talking about the use of a finger nails to scratch the ball, not bottle tops or those sorts of things". 


Donald agreed with Hadlee that "the best method", if "the ICC [and presumably the MCC] relented", would be to rip the ball without artificial help. "I wouldn't bite it", he said, suggesting that if "the ball gets scuffed on one side, and there is a tiny little chunk that is missing, you pick it up and just keep that side dry and keep working on it, while shining the other side very heavily without putting any moisture". 


"The whole team needs to keep track of [such a situation] and should know the ball is reversing and they need to shine one side", says Donald, while "the bowler, because he is bowling, should keep his wet hands on this side while keeping the other side dry [and] that's all you need".






A batsman was dismissed 'timed out' during a match between championship rivals Bournemouth and Havant in the Southern Premier League (SPL) in England on Saturday, according to a report in yesterday's south coast newspaper the 'Daily Echo'.  Ed Denham, Bournemouth's second last batsman, was sent back to the pavilion without facing a ball after taking longer than the three minutes to take his place at the crease.


Journalist Neil Perrett writes in his report of the match, which was between sides which currently occupy first and second spots on the SPL table, that Denham "looked ill prepared to bat when he finally came to the crease [as] a flurry of quick wickets had hastened his arrival" in the middle. 


Denham was given out by umpire Robert Iles following an appeal from a number of the Havant fieldsmen. An unnamed Bournemouth player is said to have claimed at least one of his opponents "had made his appeal after loudly counting down Denham’s arrival from ten to zero".  


The batsman's rapid departure was "the subject of much conjecture" after the game says Perrett, but the fielding side's coach declined to comment when contacted by the 'Daily Echo'.






Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) Umpires Committee is reported to have "interviewed" eleven local umpires on Friday evening as part of its process of selecting the three officials it plans to nominate to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel for the year ahead, says Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper.  Gamini Silva, Tyronne Wijewardene and Kumara Dharmasena are the island nation's three IUP members at the current time, the first two occupying the two on-field positions and the latter the television slot.


According to the 'Mirror' story, those three were "short listed" by the SCL along with fellow "Premier Division" umpires Sagara Gallage, Rohitha Kottachchi, Deepal Gunawardene, Gamini Dissanayake and Gratien Liyanage, as well as two "Division II" officials Lindon Hannibal and Ruchira Palliyaguru.


"Sources" are said to have told journalist Channaka de Silva that Dharmasena and Wijewardene, "who have earned excellent reports from the ICC during the past year", are likely to retain their slots while Silva, "who had an extremely poor home One Day International series against India earlier this year is likely to be replaced".


The 'Mirror' story says that "leading umpire" Ranmore Martinesz who has severed his links with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) was not invited to interviews as the SLC Interim Committee reportedly advised the Umpires Committee not to consider him.  


Martinesz finished third in the SLC's 2009 senior umpires exam earlier this month and was named as the fourth official for the First Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, however, he was replaced shortly after being chosen, apparently because he had yet to show formal proof of his disengagement from the ICL (E-News 447-2327, 3 July 2009).






A 'Times of India' (TOI) report from Karachi yesterday says that the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) "is miffed" with its general manager of umpiring Khizar Hayat for seeking the removal of an umpire from an international panel without discussing the matter with him.  Hayat is said to have written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) asking that Nadeem Ghauri to be replaced on its second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).


Ghauri and Zameer Haider have been Pakistan's two on-field umpires on the IUP for several years with Ashan Raza that nation's television umpire on the panel since February this year (E-News 370-1973, 12 February 2009). The TOI quotes "sources" as saying that PCB chief Ejaz Butt "was livid" when he learnt about an e-mail Hayat sent to the ICC which suggested a Lahore-based umpire named Ehteshamuddin as Ghouri's replacement.  "[Butt] was upset as he had only recently requested the ICC to give more assignments to Ghouri, who has been on the circuit for a while now", said a source. 


The issue is said to have "come to light" when the ICC, instead of replying to Hayat directly, sent an e-mail to the PCB's Director of cricket operations Zakir Khan querying why Pakistan wanted to replace Ghouri.  "Zakir brought the matter to [Butt's] notice as Ehteshamuddin is not a well known umpire and has only stood in some domestic matches".


There are a number individuals named Ehteshamuddin on data bases and it would appear that the most likely one that Hyat was attempting to have promoted was a fifty-eight-year-old who played five Tests for Pakistan from 1979-82.  If that is correct, information available suggests that he has no significant umpiring experience, although he has worked as a match referee in forty-nine first class matches, thirty-four List A games, and single youth Test and One Day International matches (ODI).  He last worked as a referee in 2004.


Ghauri, who is twelve years his junior, played a single Test for Pakistan twenty years ago and 147 first class games overall, as well as 127 List A games, six of them ODIs.  His umpiring debut at first class level came in November 1999, one year after his retirement as a player, and he now has five Tests amongst his tally of ninety-nine matches at first class level, as well as ninety-seven List A games, thirty-nine of those ODIs.








A player in the United States was fighting for his life last night after being struck by lightning as he ran off the ground to escape a sudden thunderstorm on Sunday, says a report in the New York newspaper the 'Daily News'.  The tragic incident highlights the lack of a formal 'lightning' policy in Tasmania, although the matter has been discussed many times in the past and the lack of a coordinated policy is believed to apply elsewhere, including in current Cricket Australia and International Cricket Council playing conditions.     


Patrick Gibson, forty-one, was playing for the Brooklyn-based Stars United side when wild weather chased players off the field in the late afternoon local time.  Gibson apparently lagged behind the main group of fielders as they headed for the boundary for he was "collecting equipment", possibly the stumps, when he was hit.  


It is said to have taken a little while before those at the ground realised Gibson was in trouble and when they reached him he was said to be "barely breathing", most of his clothes had been ripped from his body, and his legs were "really badly burned".  Members of both sides performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but as he was being transported to hospital he "went into cardiac arrest", according to a New York Fire Department official quoted by the 'News'.  Reports early this morning Australian time say that he remains in a critical condition. 


No details are available as to what the forecast for New York was on Sunday or precisely what happened in the lead up to the strike, one witness quoted by the 'News' saying simply that "it started raining, the thunder cracked, and [Gibson] just fell".  Weather radar 'paints' for the Brooklyn area on Sunday afternoon are no longer available on-line, however, US Weather Bureau data shows that up to fifty millimetres of rain was recorded in some parts of the New York region that afternoon from thunderstorms generated in a persistent trough that lay across the north east of the US. 


Some regions in Australia are believed to work on the basis that umpires suspend play if lightning is any where "in the proximity" of the ground, others use the so-called 'thirty-thirty' rule of thumb whereby if the time between a flash and the accompanying sound is thirty seconds or less, play is suspended for at least thirty minutes.  Tasmania's State Independent Schools Association had a policy last season though of stopping games when lightning was observed, apparently no matter how far away the flash is seen.


The National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI) in the United States says in reference to golf played there that it recommends suspending a round of golf when lightning is eight kilometres or less from a course, although whether the same parameter should also apply in cricket's case needs further advice from experts at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoMet) and similar organisations.  


A thunderstorm cell is within eight kilometres of the observer if the interval between the lightning flash and the associated thunder is twenty-five seconds or less says to the NLSI, a figure that fits closely with the 'thirty-thirty' method used in some parts of Australia.  


The NLSI goes on to stress the responsibility of golf course staff is to keep themselves "informed about daily weather conditions" and in "monitoring changing conditions throughout the day".  Forecasts and other information for Tasmania are readily available via the TCUSA web site in the lead up to matches (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007), while at grounds that have access to the internet, storm cell positions can be monitored in real time using BoMet weather radar data via the Association's home page.






Western Australian Paul Wilson, a contracted member of Cricket Australia's (CA) Project Panel, returned to the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Brisbane yesterday after a break for his honeymoon that saw him miss three match days and possibly some professional development seminars (E-News 461-2396, 24 July 2009).  Wilson's holiday booking, which E-News understands was locked-in prior to his selection for what is his second EPT, was made for a period during which the key 'umpire development pathway' tournament has been 'in play' in each of the last two years.


Yesterday's matches, both of which were Twenty20s, opened the second week of the tournament and were the eleventh and twelfth games played since it got underway eight days ago; four to date being in the shorter format and the other eight fifty-over one-day matches.  Four more one-day games, matches thirteen through sixteen, are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week, with the main first-versus-second and minor third-versus-fourth finals to be played on Saturday, again as one-dayers.  


As of yesterday, Norm McNamara of Queensland has been on the field of play for four fifty-over and one Twenty20 game for a total of 410 overs (4-1-410), then comes Geoff Joshua (Victoria) 4-0-372, Steven John (Tasmania) 3-1-309, Ash Barrow (Victoria) 2-2-270, Andrew Willoughby (South Australia) 2-2-244, then Wilson with 1-2-159, although his match time appears likely to 'catch up' slightly with the others on at least Wednesday-Thursday.  


Wilson, who joined the Project Panel two years ago as part of CA's policy of fast-tracking former first class players into senior umpiring ranks, was selected for the EPT's minor final last year (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008).  That match was unfortunately washed out, but he still appears in the mix to possibly go one better this year and stand in Saturday's main final.   


CA told E-News yesterday that it currently anticipates making a formal announcement of NUP membership for next season sometime next week after the EPT concludes.  With eleven of the twelve-man panel already likely to have been finalised, an early indication of which EPT umpires may have reached the final hurdle to join them should come on Saturday morning when the two officials for the main final are named.  


Since CA made clear the EPT's key role in its umpire development program two years ago three officials, Mick Martell of Western Australia, Gerard Abood (NSW) twice and Joshua, have been selected for the main final.  Martell was appointed to the NUP after the 2007 final as was Victorian Tony Ward who stood in the minor final that year (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008), Abood is thought to have made the panel this year (E-News 452-2355, 10 July 2009), and Joshua is again in contention, together with Barrow, John, McNamara, Wilson and Willoughby, to make the move to the NUP for the 2090-10 austral summer.








A player in Bermuda has been banned for two years as a result of his behavior in a match earlier this month, his second such censure in the last two years.  Six others involved in four games played across the island on the same Sunday, two of which were abandoned by umpires due to violence, have been handed suspensions ranging from one to ten weeks following hearings conducted by the Bermuda Cricket Board last week (E-News 459-2389, 21 July 2009).  


Treadwell Gibbons Jr copped the two-year ban for "smashing up a dressing room, physically threatening members of the opposition and his own team's scorer, and verbally abused the umpire during a violent rampage that stunned all those who saw it", says an article in the weekend 'Bermuda Sun'.  


Gibbons, who will not be able to play again until July 2011, had been banned for two years in 2007, however, that punishment was reduced to a year after an appeal and he is believed to have made his return to the game earlier this year. 


Batsman Khiry Furbert, whose refusal to walk after being given out started the chain of events that led to Gibbons' outburst and the eventual abandonment of the game, was banned for four matches. Furbert took exception to fielder Chris Flemming's claim of a catch and threatened several fielders with his bat, while Flemming himself was banned for one game and put on probation for the rest of the season for his part in the altercation, as was his skipper Justin Robinson.


An incident in another game saw Detroy Smith receive a ten-match ban for confronting an umpire over the dismissal of his captain, the entire episode being recorded on video.  Smith was "charged with five counts ranging from physically assaulting an umpire to using foul and abusive language" after he walked on to the ground, pulled out a set of stumps and threw the bails away.  


The 'Sun' says that Smith "might have expected [a longer ban], but he "expressed his remorse and offered an unqualified apology when he appeared before the disciplinary committee".  His captain Kevin Hurdle was charged with "failing to control Smith", but the committee decided there was no case to answer and the charge was dismissed.


In a third match on the Sunday in question, a fight between a father and son from the same side eventually led to that game being the second that day to be abandoned.  The son, Lamont Brangman, who was charged with "physically assaulting another player, umpire or spectator", in the words of the 'Sun' report, "escaped with a five-match ban".


Calvin Dill, a player from yet another game will miss one match and was put on probation for the rest of the season after being charged with "two counts of deliberate and malicious distraction or obstruction in the field of play, as well as two other counts of using offensive language towards an umpire".


The hearing about ninth player Mackie Crane's indiscretions, he also being charged with physically assaulting an umpire, was postponed as he was away from the island when last week's hearings were held.






Patrick Gibson, the player who was struck by lightning in a game being played in New York on Sunday, remains in a critical condition according to reports published early this morning Australian time (E-News 463-2407, 28 July 2009).  


Thunderstorms that developed in the New Jersey and Brooklyn areas late on Sunday afternoon saw not only Gibson but four others struck by lightning, one of whom was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital while another like the cricketer is in a critical condition.  


Reports indicate that the four were struck after they took shelter under a tree while Gibson was hit in the open while running from the field of play.






Australian finger spinners will continue to labour at a disadvantage to their sub-continental counterparts after the nation's leading slow bowling coaches elected to banish the 'doosra', claims an Australian Associated Press (AAP) story published in several newspapers this week.  The article states that what it calls a "spin summit" held at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane last month "decided" that there is no place for that delivery to be taught in Australia.


Delegates at the meeting are said to have included former Australian spinners Jim Higgs, Terry Jenner, Stuart MacGill, Ashley Mallett, Peter Philpott, Gavin Robertson and Shane Warne.  The seven between them played in 1,055 first class matches, a figure that includes 270 Tests, as well as 219 One Day Internationals (ODI), although Warne contributed ninety per cent of the games in the ODI figure.


Mallett is said to have written in the latest edition of the 'Adelaide Review' that there "was unanimous agreement [at the summit] that the off-spinner's 'other-one', the doosra, should not be coached in Australia".  "I have never seen anyone actually bowl the doosra [but] it has to be a chuck [and] until such time as the International Cricket Council (ICC) declares that all manner of chucking is legal in the game of cricket, I refuse to coach the doosra", wrote the South Australian.


The AAP article says that Mallett's view "is evidently not shared at ICC level, where numerous slow bowlers, most recently Saeed Ajmal of Pakistan, have been allowed to bowl the delivery after being cleared following biomechanical testing" (E-News 429-2257, 25 May 2009).  South African spinner Johan Botha was also reported for a similar issue this year, however, while he was cleared to play following tests he was banned from bowling his 'doosra' until he undertakes further remedial work and is again tested (E-News 422-2228, 13 May 2009). 


Two months ago former players Ramiz Raja and Geoff Boycott said while commentating on television that they believe spinners should be allowed an additional "two or three degrees" of flexion beyond the fifteen degrees currently permitted so that they can bowl a 'doosra' without censure or questioning by umpires (E-News 415-2191, 4 May 2009).    


Among other ideas put forward at the so-called "spin summit" was that first innings points should not be awarded in the Sheffield Shield, only for outright wins, thereby increasing the need for teams to go for "results"; while one of Warne's "numerous suggestions" was that such games should be played over five days "so as to allow more time for pitches to deteriorate and for slow bowlers to ply their trade".  


The group is also said to have called for "greater attention" to be paid to grade cricket competitions around the country in order to counter the "drop in standards" it believes has occurred "over the past decade". 






Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar briefed his bowling colleagues in the Indian Premier League's Kolkata franchise about "various methods" used by some of his Pakistan teammates to swing the ball, some of which "were very much line-ball in their legitimacy", says former Australian coach John Buchanan.


Writing in his new book, Buchanan says that he listened to what Akhtar said but "deemed those methods not appropriate for the franchise or the tournament", but there is no detail as to just what "those methods" were.  "He was simply trying to assist the team [and] was open and frank about such bowling methods but at the same time it was part of the 'add-ons' which I did not think contributed to the culture I was trying to build within the [franchise]", writes the Australian.


In November 2002, match referee Clive Lloyd of the West Indies found Shoaib guilty of ball-tampering in a Test match in Zimbabwe. He was let off with a severe reprimand but the following year in a One Day International he was fined seventy-five per cent of his match fee and given a two-match ban by referee Gundappa Vishwanath from India for the same offence.  Television footage in that game showed Shoaib scratching the surface of the ball.


The issue of ball-tampering was in the news earlier this month when a Somerset player was suspended and his club fined and docked championship points (E-News 452-2352, 10 July 2009), while former South African fast bowler Alan Donald's comments this week have sparked a wide round of comment (E-News 464-2414 below).






Sri Lankan umpire Ranmore Martinesz, who last year stood in a number of tournaments run by the "unofficial" Indian Cricket League (ICL), is to be nominated for a position on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), says a report published in Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper yesterday.  However, the 'interim committee' that is running Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is said to have "refused to forward" the names of the three umpires chosen by its Umpires Committee (UC) until it receives an explanation as to "how the candidates were selected", says the 'Mirror'.


As he normally does, journalist Channaka de Silva quotes SLC "sources" as saying that in addition to Martinesz, the others selected for ICC nomination are Kumara Dharmasena and Tyronne Wijewardene who are both current IUP members.  The naming of Martinesz is a surprise given that the SLC is reported to have told the UC not to include him in the eleven umpires it was to interview for IUP positions last Friday because in their view he is yet to formally break his ties with the ICL (E-News 462-2405, 27 July 2009). 


De Silva wrote on the weekend that Dharmasena and Wijewardene "who have earned excellent reports from the ICC during the past year", are likely to retain their slots while Gamini Silva, the third member of the current group "who had an extremely poor home One Day International series against India earlier this year is likely to be replaced", although he did not predict by who. 


Nishantha Ranatunga, SLC’s interim committee secretary is quoted as saying that "we [have] not submitted the names to the ICC as we wanted to find out that correct procedure had been followed when [the trio] were selected".  "We called the Umpires Committee for a meeting [on Monday] morning but still couldn’t take a decision [and] we have asked them to give us their selection criteria clearly in writing before we submit the names”, he said.


The story appears to be part of what appears, if media reports are to be believed, to be the on-going tension within umpiring ranks on the island nation.  Despite that Umpires Committee chairman Ken de Alwis is said to have told the 'Mirror' that in his assessment there is no problem [with] the nominations and that he is "confident that the selected names will be submitted to the ICC shortly".






Former Pakistan quick Wasim Akram plans to coach up-and-coming fast bowlers on the "art of appealing to umpires" during a training course that is being run in New Delhi this week, according to an Indian sports channel.  


Akram's primary role is to teach selected youngsters how to identify a batsman’s weaknesses, especially when they are bowling on flat, sub-continental pitches, however, he is quoted as indicating on Monday that the way appeals are made is also important as it "keeps the umpires under pressure in a legal way" and he would therefore be briefing his charges on the issue.


In a separate comment made to yesterday, Akram disagreed with former South African speedster Allan Donald's suggestion that ball tampering should be legalised in order to help "redress the balance between bat and ball" (E-News 462-2403, 27 July 2009).  


Akram, one of the greatest exponents of reverse-swing, says he doesn't "know what Donald is thinking [for] he never reverse-swung himself" and that the ball "will swing anyways and so it's not going to make any difference if you legalise it or not".  "[Even] if it's legalised, I don't think it's going to reverse-swing with the new ball [for it] has to be at least twenty-five to thirty overs old so, it's just a joke to start off with", said Akram.


Another of Donald's contemporaries, Indian fast bowler Javagal Srinath, who is now an international match referee, is also against legalising ball tampering, telling 'The Hindu' that "it is a crime as per the rules of the game and it should not be encouraged".


Sarfraz Nawaz the former Pakistan swing bowler told local media there that "Donald has gone mad" and "if ball tampering is allowed, Test matches will end in less than two days".  "Test cricket is all about the bowler and batsman making an effort, for to work on the ball is an art, and you should not allow the use of illegal means".


Despite that "ball tampering still exits", he says (E-News 464-2412 above), although "the methods of doing it have changed [and] the umpires [today] cannot pick it up with the naked eye", claimed Sarfraz.






Six umpires from four Asian countries are to officiate in the World Cricket League's (WCL) Division 6 series in Singapore from 29 August to 5 September.  Apart from three Nepalese, Buddhi Pradhan, Vinay Kumar Jha and Sanjay Gurung (E-News 449-2343, 6 July 2009), the others taking part will be Singaporean Sarika Prasad, Riaz Chaudhary of Kuwait and Kevin Bishop from Hong Kong.


In addition to hosts Singapore, the other five other sides taking part in the week-long Division 6 event are Bahrain, Botswana, Guernsey, Malaysia and Norway.  Bahrain was promoted from Division 7 two months ago and the top two sides in this year's Division 6 series will move up to WCL Division 5 and take part in that level's tournament which is scheduled for Nepal next January.  


Pradhan and Prasad are members of the International Cricket Council's third-tier Associates and Affiliates International Umpires Panel.






New Zealand fast bowler Iain O'Brien has been penalised three disciplinary points by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for showing dissent to an umpire's decision during Leicestershire's County Championship match against Essex played in Leicester last week.  


Umpires Steve Garratt and John Holder reported O'Brien to the ECB and he was found guilty of the charge yesterday.  This penalty handed down will remain on O'Brien's county record for a period of two years, and any further similar breach in that period will result in him loosing a further three penalty points.


The accumulation of nine or more penalty points in any two-year period will result in an automatic suspension.








West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach was ordered out of the attack for bowling a second high, full-pitched ball during the second One Day International (ODI) against Bangladesh in Dominica on Tuesday Caribbean time.  Roach was fined for that offence, his captain Floyd Reifer reprimanded for failing to stop the incident occurring, and both they their team mates lost pay because of a slow over-rate. 


Roach was formally warned by West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove after he bowled his first 'beamer' in the twenty-ninth over of the Bangladeshi innings, but he repeated the delivery fourteen overs later, the score sheet indicating that he was replaced at the bowling crease by Devon Thomas who was making his ODI debut.  After the game match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka fined Roach ten per cent of his match fee over the incident.


Mahanama said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that in handing down the fine he "took into account the fact it was [Roach's] first offence but, at the same time, I felt it was important to emphasise that this type of conduct is completely unacceptable and by fining the player I believe I have done so".


 “Part of the role of the captain, as highlighted in both the Laws of Cricket and the ICC Code of Conduct", continued Mahanama in the statement, "is to make sure that incidents such as this do not take place".  However, "Reifer failed in that role and, again, I made it clear to him that was unacceptable, hence the official reprimand that now appears on his record", said the match referee.


It was a bad day for Reifer who, in addition to his reprimand, was also fined ten per cent of his match fee as his side were one over short of the number required in the time allotted for Bangladesh's innings.  Under ICC regulations Reifer's team mates, including Roach, were fined five per cent of their match wage for the offence, the second such censure for the Caribbean side in just over a month (E-News 436-2286, 11 June 2009).  


Since the ICC decided to tighten-up fines for slow overs rates four weeks ago (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009), England, Pakistan and the West Indies (now twice) have received slow over-rate fines (E-News 460-2393, 23 July 2009).  No date for the introduction of the tougher penalties has yet been made public.   






Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has nominated Kumara Dharmasena, Tyrone Wijewardene and Ranmore Martinesz for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Council Umpires panel, says a report in this morning's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper in Colombo.  The move ends what the 'Mirror' says was "a huge controversy that raged for more than a week" that at one stage saw the Sr Lankan Sports Minister become involved.


The secretary of the SLC Interim committee Nishantha Ranatunga said yesterday that his organisation "nominated [the three] as recommended by the Umpires Committee of the SLC”.  At first it declined to approve those named and asked the Umpires Committee to submit details of the criteria they had used in making its selections (E-News 464-2413, 29 July 2009).  There were said to be "allegations of bias and [the] ignoring of the local ratings" but after examining the matter the SLC found that the approach taken by the selectors was satisfactory.


It is not clear which of the three men was nominated as a IUP television official.  Dharmasena, a former Sri Lankan Test and One Day International player, joined the panel in that role a year ago (E-News 279-1487, 18 July 2008) and made his One Day International debut as a match official in January (E-News 364-1941, 30 January 2009).  Indications are though that he has been promoted to an on-field position to join Wijewardene in place of Gamini Silva who has been dropped, while Martinesz, who spent most of last year with the "rebel" Indian Cricket League, will be the third official.


Sri Lankan Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge entered the controversy on the weekend telling the 'Mirror' that he planned to "order" SLC to submit a report to him on the selection criteria.  Just what transpired in that regard has not been made public.