THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
19 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 3193 to 3265)
643 - 1 August [3193-3196]
• Judge slams Police in Lahore attack inquiry report (643-3193).
• Lankan Youth Test side penalised for ball tampering (643-3194).
• ICC-ESPN agree on UDRS use in World Cup, but questions remain (643-3195).
• Double-page spread in Test program pushes umpiring (643-3196).
644 - 3 August [3197-3198]
• Oldest Test umpire, sporting all-rounder, dies aged 99 (644-3197).
• ICC EUP member for WCL series in Italy (644-3198).
645 - 4 August [3199-3205]
• More T20 games, all for premiership points, feature of Hobart season (645-3199).
• Busy club season underlines match official recruitment needs (645-3200).
• National, international umpires again on show in the state (645-3201).
• Nine women's state games, three futures matches, listed for Tasmania (645-3202).
• National male under-17 tournament headed for Hobart (645-3203).
• Jamie Cox Plate series discontinued (645-3204).
• 2010-11 TCUSA meeting dates finalised (645-3205).
646 - 5 August [3206-3212]
• ICC enquiry rejects ECB Joburg referral criticisms (646-3206).
• CT schedules Level 1 umpiring course (646-3207).
• Lack of units to limit 'Hot Spot' use in World Cup (646-3208).
• Copy of revised Laws, quiz on contents, available on-line (646-3209).
• 'As God's my judge, that's out too' (646-3210).
• Rauf defends UDRS after national skipper's criticism (646-3211).
• ECB disciplines two county players for 'dissent' (646-3212).
647 - 6 August [3213-3214]
• Harper 'planning legal action' on media comments, claims report (647-3213).
• 'Duke' balls 'swing too much', says Pakistani coach (647-3214).
648 - 8 August [3215-3216]
• EPT set for start, umpire futures on the line (648-3215).
• Sehwag, player's union, push UDRS use, BCCI unmoved (648-3216).
649 - 9 August [3217-3219]
• Throw at batsman earns Test bowler a fine (649-3217).
• Former Australian first class umpire dies (649-3218).
• Umpires, like players, need breaks, says Taufel (649-3219).
650 - 11 August [3220-3223]
• Tassy umpires in split-innings trial match (650-3220).
• CA lobbying BCCI on UDRS use, claims report (650-3221).
• 'Dead ball' call gives Pietersen a reprieve (650-3222).
• Hot dry weather stopped play? (650-3223).
651 - 13 August [3224-3228]
• Pietersen 'dead ball' incident prompts wide discussion (651-3224).
• T20 phase of EPT ends, one-dayers next (651-3225).
• SUP members return from solid week in Darwin (651-3226).
• CT increases umpire, scorer, match fees (651-3227).
• Codes of Conduct for CT umpires, captains, coaches on-line (651-3228).
652 - 16 August [3229-3233]
• CA outlines its new one-day, split innings, format (652-3229).
• CT confirms date of pre-season club-umpires meeting (652-3230).
• Names of Champions League match officials awaited (652-3231).
• UDRS available for India-Australia Tests, but will it be used? (652-3232).
• Reduce number of County T20 games, says PCA (652-3233).
653 - 17 August [3234-3237]
• Ignorance of Laws cost Somerset T20 trophy? (653-3234).
• Elite umpire organising Pakistan flood appeal (653-3235).
• Harper for Dubai ODI series, plus Tests? (653-3236).
• Geelong Association facing 'chronic' umpire shortage (653-3237).
654 - 18 August [3238-3241]
• Winter schools start umpire, scorer, preparations for 2010-11 season (654-3238).
• Sehwag on 99 hits a six, but misses century (654-3239).
• Lahore terrorist attack report received by the ICC (654-3240).
• ICC announces annual awards ceremony arrangements (654-3241).
655 - 19 August [3242-3246]
• UHPP opts to 'raffle' EPT finals spots (655-3242).
• Solid start to Winter Laws School (655-3243)
• CA seeks player interest in Project Panel appointment (655-3244).
• All 12 EUP members plus Koertzen make ICC's initial 'Umpire of the Year' cut (655-3245).
• New edition of 'Tom Smith' on the way (655-3246).
656 - 20 August [3247-3249]
• ECB officials escalated Pakistan ball-tampering row, says Hair (656-3247).
• Disquiet over UHPP 'raffle' technique (656-3248).
• One-match ban handed out for 'deliberate' 'no ball' (656-3249).
657 - 23 August [3250-3253]
• Practice bowl on pitch results in 30-minute ban (657-3250).
• Both EPT finals matches washed out (657-3251).
• Sangakkara cleared of 'physical contact' charge (657-3252).
• WCL Division 4 series ends in Italy (657-3253).
658 - 26 August [3250-3253]
• Kiwis to make history at Lord's (658-3254).
• No changes planned to Bangladesh IUP membership (658-3255).
659 - 27 August [3256-3258]
• Lord's same-nation 'neutrals' record first set 98 years ago (659-3256).
• Indian batsman fined for 'dissent' (659-3257).
• Scorer, umpire trophies on Zimbabwe awards night list (659-3258).
660 - 30 August [3258-3262]
• MCC to trial new limited overs format, CA as well? (660-3259).
• No UDRS for India-Australia Tests, say reports (660-3260).
• Koertzen offers a perspective of his RUPM Africa role (660-3261).
• India fined for slow over-rate in tri-nation final (660-3262).
661 - 31 August [3263-3265]
• ACSU warned about deliberate 'no balls' a decade ago, says Hair (661-3263).
• ICC umpires, match referees, meeting in Dubai (661-3264).
• Financial incentives behind move of players to umpiring, says Koertzen (661-3265).
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E-NEWS NUMBER 643
Sunday, 1 August 2010
JUDGE SLAMS POLICE IN LAHORE
ATTACK INQUIRY REPORT
Lahore High Court judge Shabbar Raza Rizvi, who headed an inquiry into last year's terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team and match officials, has lambasted senior police officers for being "lax" during the tragedy, says a Press Trust of India article published yesterday. Six Pakistani policemen and the driver of the mini van carrying the umpires and match referee were killed, and five Sri Lankan players and the fourth umpire Ashan Raza were wounded in the assault, the latter critically (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).
In his 120 page report, judge Rizvi said that senior police officer Haji Habibur Rehman, who was the overall commander of security for the match convoy, was nowhere to be seen when the attack took place. "I wish I had seen him marching on the road ... or at least sitting in his office before 8 a.m.", writes Rizvi, but "unfortunately, he only became visible and audible after the occurrence had taken place".
The judge also criticised Deputy Inspector General Amjad Javed Saleemi for "dereliction of duty" after his admission that he was not sure whether police officers in the area of the attack were even on duty, for "obviously he [Saleemi] would have only known, if he himself were there". In addition Police Superintendent Mohammad Abid is said to have fallen short in his duties for "he had the direct responsibility for placement of snipers on high-rise buildings [to protect the convoy] and he failed to do that", wrote the judge.
Australian Simon Taufel, one of the umpires involved, told reporters in Sydney after he returned home days after the atrocity that he and his colleagues were left "helpless" and completely alone as bullets rained on their van. "Obviously they'll investigate those issues [but] what I can tell you is that we were isolated [and] not given the same security and the same attention as the playing staff were", said Taufel at the time. Match referee Chris Broad of England expressed similar concerns saying "we were promised high level security and in our hour of need that security vanished and they left us to be sitting ducks" (E-News 381-2023, 5 March 2009).
The inquiry report came to the fore this week after the International Cricket Council said it had yet to receive it from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) (E-News 640-3186, 27 July 2010). In reacting to criticism from former ICC President Ehsan Mani, the PCB said that it required government permission to send the inquiry report to the ICC and it was in the process of obtaining the go ahead to do so (E-News 642-3192, 30 July 2010).
LANKAN YOUTH TEST SIDE PENALISED
FOR BALL TAMPERING
England's under-19 side were awarded five penalty runs after their Sri Lankan opponents were found to have tampered with the ball on the last day of the second Youth Test between the two sides at Scarborough on Friday. Little detail is available in the media as to just what occurred, although a report on the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) web site hints that the censure was actually applied during the lunch break.
The ECB's report suggests that the penalty was awarded by umpire Peter Willey, 60, a former England player who later stood in 25 Tests and 34 One Day Internationals (ODI) in the period from 1996-2003. Willey currently has 255 first class games as an umpire under his belt to add to his 559 as a player. No mention was made as what role his on-field colleague Mark Benson, 52, had in awarding the penalty. Benson retired from senior international cricket in February this year after 28 Tests, 72 ODIs and 19 Twenty20 Internationals (E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010).
ICC-ESPN AGREE ON UDRS USE IN
WORLD CUP, BUT QUESTIONS REMAIN
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and its broadcast partner ESPN-Star Sports have reached an agreement that will allow the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) to be used in next year's World Cup (WC) in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, according to a report that was posted on the 'Daily News and Analysis' (DNA) web site in India yesterday. However, the report by journalist Vijay Tagore contains inconsistencies and does not indicate just who will pay for the costs involved in the system's operation.
Tagore quotes an unnamed ICC official as saying the UDRS "will be there 100 per cent" for "the ICC Cricket Committee agreed to [the move] and the executive board approved it" in Singapore early last month (E-News 628-3137, 2 July 2010), and "now, we also have the nod from ESPN-Star Sports as well". Despite that the DNA story also quotes the ICC official also indicating that while the plan is to have the UDRS operational in all WC matches, "failing that there could be a chance that the referrals will be applied from the quarter final stage onwards".
If the UDRS is operational next year it is, at this stage, likely to be the first time it will be used in both Bangladesh and India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) being particularly opposed to it (E-News 633-3158, 14 July 2010). World Cup tournament director Ratnakar Shetty, who is also the BCCI's chief administrative officer, said he was not aware of the ESPN-Star Sport development. "I have no information about this", runs the quote attributed to Shetty by DNA, whose Board will host 29 of the 49 World Cup matches, including one semi final and the final itself.
The latest report about UDRS use during the World Cup comes only a day after Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar gave it the thumbs-down. Tendulkar told reporters during the second Test in Colombo on Thursday that he is "not fully convinced with the referral system [for] when I was [in Sri Lanka] last time [when the system had its first trial], I was not convinced with many decisions [and] did not feel comfortable" with it. The negative views of the UDRS expressed by Tendulkar and his senior team mates following that 2008 series are believed to be a key factor driving the BCCIs current attitude to the system.
The reported ICC-ESPN agreement came soon after Australia's Channel 9 indicated that it is "going to marry a couple of pieces of technology to make [UDRS operation] more accurate" for next austral summer's Ashes series (E-News 642-3190, 30 July 2010).
DOUBLE-PAGE SPREAD IN TEST
PROGRAM PUSHES UMPIRING
The match program for the current Test between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge features a double-page spread that encourages readers to take up umpiring and explains the role of the England and Wales Cricket Board's Association of Cricket Officials (ACO). Titled 'Decision-makers Wanted', the article talks about the importance of umpires, "whether its on an international ground or the village green", and provides information on the training and opportunities that are available from the ACO. It concludes by saying that "we want to give someone in the UK the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Australian umpire Simon Taufel, who [stood in] his first [senior international] at the age of 29, having had limited first class umpiring and playing experience".
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E-NEWS NUMBER 644
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
OLDEST TEST UMPIRE, SPORTING
ALL-ROUNDER, DIES AGED 99
Former New Zealand sports all-rounder Eric Tindill, who umpired a single Test in 1959 and was the world's oldest surviving Test umpire, died in Wellington on Sunday at the age of 99 years and 226 days. Tindill, who played 64 first class matches for Wellington and 5 Tests for New Zealand as a wicket keeper and opening batsman in the period from 1933-50, went on to stand in nine first class games, including the Test, over the four years from 1957 (E-News 520-2673, 10 November 2009).
Tindill's achievements in international sport were unique, for apart from cricket he also played 16 times for the All Blacks as a halfback and five-eighth, and after retiring went on to officiate in three rugby Tests, an overall record in sport that is unlikely to be bettered in this professional age. Justin Vaughan, New Zealand Cricket's chief executive, said yesterday that "Eric was a great servant to sport in this country", and "his achievements as a player in many sports, umpire and referee, as well as other amazing deeds reads like a 'Boys Own' story" and he leaves behind "a very special legacy".
Tindill toured England with the New Zealand side in 1937 and played in all three Tests, his debut at the game's highest level being at Lord's, the home of cricket, and he also took part in another 20 first class games during that tour against county sides. When the touring side was on its way home to New Zealand from England, he also played three matches in Australia in November 1937, one each in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, although none of them were given first class status.
In the match in Adelaide he caught Don Bradman off Jack Cowie's bowling, and while the pair were said to have been delighted with the prized wicket, others are said to have considered that it cost the cash-strapped New Zealanders "a fortune in gate receipts". Bradman was dismissed for just 11 in the opening over on the Saturday morning of the match, and on hearing about it "thousands of spectators", who were queuing for entry, are reported to have decided not to buy a ticket and simply left the ground.
Tindill and Cowie also worked together again 22 years later when they stood in the first Test of the season between the home nation and England in Christchurch in February 1959, Tindall's only umpiring stint at that level and the second of the three Cowie officiated in during his umpiring career. Appropriately, Tindill was inducted into New Zealand's sports hall of fame in 1995.
ICC EUP MEMBER FOR WCL
SERIES IN ITALY
English umpire Ian Gould, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is one of nine umpires who will be standing in the ICC's 18-match World Cricket League (WCL) Division 4 tournament in Bologna, Italy later this month. Teams from the home nation, Argentina, the Cayman Islands, Nepal, Tanzania and the United States will contest the event, the top two sides being promoted to the Division 3 tournament in Hong Kong next January.
Apart from Gould, who will be playing a mentoring role similar to that of his EUP colleague Simon Taufel of Australia during the WCL Division 6 event in Singapore last year (E-News 482-2501, 31 August 2009), other umpires appointed by the ICC are Andy Bisson (Germany), Louis Fourie, Charlie McElwee and Keith Smith, all of whom are from Ireland, Richard Smith (Cyprus) and Courtney Young (Cayman Islands), while Samantha Ketipe and Rakbir Ahmed from Italy will be there as third umpires. David Jukes of England will be the match referee for all games.
Matches in the series will be played at three venues in the Bologna area over the eight days starting on Saturday week.
E-NEWS NUMBER 645
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
MORE T20 GAMES, ALL FOR PREMIERSHIP
POINTS, FEATURE OF HOBART SEASON
Twenty20 (T20) cricket will be part of Cricket Tasmania's (CT) first, second, third and under-17 'Premier League' competitions in the Hobart area for the first time in 2010-11, a total of 61 such games, double the number of last season, being scheduled across the four levels over the 10 weeks leading up to Christmas. In addition to introducing the T20 format to the three lower grades, CT has also decided that all such matches will be played for premiership points in the same way as the normal one-day fifty over, and two-day games.
Rosters for CT's five-grade schedule for the season ahead involve 308 home-and-away and finals matches and will see around 450 players on the field each weekend. Under arrangements finalised late last week, first grade is scheduled to get underway on the weekend of 9-10 October, the week after the TCUSA's Annual Seminar, while the seconds, thirds, under 17s and under 15s will have to wait for a further two weeks until the weekend of 23-24 October to don their whites in earnest.
First grade teams will each play a total of 21 games in 2010-11, 7 each in the T20, one-day and two-day formats, in the lead up to the finals in March; 15 matches being scheduled prior to Christmas and 6 plus the finals in the New Year. The pre-season will be a little easier for some first grade players, scorers and umpires this season as CT has axed the Jamie Cox Plate series (E-News 645-3204 below).
Despite that there will still be four weekends when the firsts play Saturday-Sunday games, three prior to Christmas and one after, they being 9-10 October (both T20), 13-14 November (one T20, one one-day), and 4-5 December and 29-30 January (both two-day games). The two teams that top the one-day roster when those games end on 22 January will have two further full weekends, the first involving the semi finals of the statewide Kookaburra Cup event on 6 February, and the second the final of that event three weeks after that.
First team T20s involve sides playing each other once in the lead up to the final on Sunday, 12 December, that decider being between the clubs who finish first and second on the T20 'league table', however, it will not involve any premiership points being on the line. Weather permitting, two T20 rounds are to be played on the opening weekend on 9-10 October, then others on a Friday evening once, two on Wednesday evenings just prior to TCUSA training-appointments meetings, and another two on Saturdays; the latter involving 'double-headers' with second grade sides.
In addition to the T20s, six first grade one-dayers and two two-day matches have also been listed in the lead up to Christmas, with one and five of those games respectively in the New Year prior to the finals, the semis being listed for 19-20 March and final over three days from 25-27 March.
Teams in second, third and under-17 grades will all play 14 home-and-away rounds, two of them T20s, all for premiership points. In addition to the two first-second grade double-headers, the thirds and under-17s will also play their two T20 rounds on the same ground on the same day, the first on 13 November and second on 11 December.
Of the other matches in the lower grades, the seconds will play five one-day and 7 two-day games, and the thirds and under-17s seven and five respectively; while the under-15s have 10 rounds split evenly between the one and two-day formats, the finals being the normal multi-final two-day arrangement that will see all sides involved. The seconds have two full weekends of cricket scheduled, both for two-day games at the same time as the firsts in early December and late January respectively.
Details of women's matches have yet to be finalised, while the 12-match under age summer vacation T20 series is to be played between 10-12 January with the southern final on the fourteenth and if needed the state decider on the 28th. The exact age group that will apply for that series will not be known until Cricket Australia decides how it wishes to proceed with the competition nation-wide this year .
BUSY CLUB SEASON UNDERLINES
MATCH OFFICIAL RECRUITMENT NEEDS
With Cricket Tasmania (CT) scheduling another busy season of men's and women's club cricket, holiday rosters and representative games in the Hobart area during the 2010-11 summer (E-News 645-3199 above), scorers and umpires will again be in demand to support a plethora of matches in all three formats of the game. While there has been a positive surge in scorer numbers in the last year (E-News 609-3054, 21 May 2010, more are still needed, but it is the umpiring area where recruitment continues to remain the key challenge facing CT, the TCUSA and its members.
Following a warning at the TCUSA's Annual General meeting last May, that echoed similar concerns expressed the year before that (E-News 428-2253, 21 May 2009), the Association, with the backing of CT, has been trying to address the issue by encouraging club cricketers and others to become involved, and now the CT's umpiring sponsor 'Eyelines' has decided to assist with further directed financial and other support.
'Eyelines' recently engaged an advertising agency to come up with concepts for a campaign that demonstrates the many aspects of umpiring and the important role that position plays in the game. As a result of that, and with support from Michael Moschogianis, CT's General Manager of Sales and Marketing, and State Director of Umpires Richard Widows, a 'photo shoot' using an actor as an umpire and players from the Tasmanian state side as the backdrop, took place at Bellerive on Monday.
Plans for the advertising campaign that feature those photos have not yet been released, however, TCUSA members are likely to soon see the results in the media in the lead up to the start of the Laws school tonight week, and its Scoring equivalent the Wednesday after that (E-News 585-2948, 15 March 2010). While that work is going on, however, members continue to be encouraged their friends and colleagues who are interested in and know their cricket to become involved.
NATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL UMPIRES
AGAIN ON SHOW IN THE STATE
A range of national and international umpires are again expected to be on display in both domestic, tour and international matches that have been scheduled for the state, and the opportunity exists for experienced TCUSA scorers who are invited by Cricket Tasmania to support all of those games, while Tasmania's four State Umpire Panel (TSUP) members are likely to be amongst those considered by Cricket Australia (CA) for some fixtures.
CA's interesting new policy of only appointing members of its 12-man National Umpires Panel to domestic first class matches around the country, and the recent retirement of Tasmania's only current first class umpire (E-News 639-3183, 26 July 2010), suggests that once again no umpire from the state will grace the first class scene during Bellerive's five Sheffield Shield matches; a sixth being possible if Tasmania hosts the final of that competition.
However, opportunities are likely to be available for senior TSUP members to take part in the five one-day and three Twenty20 domestic games that are currently scheduled for the state. TSUP member Sam Nogajksi, who leaves for Brisbane later this week for this year's Emerging Players Tournament (E-News 641-3188, 28 July 2010), made his debut in senior interstate cricket last season when he worked as the third umpire in two T20 matches (E-News 558-2835, 27 January 2010).
Mid-November will see the Australia 'A' side take on the tourists from England in a four-day match at Bellerive, while the Englishmen will return in the New Year for a One Day International (ODI) against the senior Australian team. CA is unlikely to announce appointments for the first game until October, while the ODI will see a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpire Panel as well as those from the Australian part of its second-tier International Umpires Panel, at Bellerive. In the past the fourth umpire for Bellerive internationals has come from the TSUP (E-News 536-2767, 28 December 2009).
The ODI is to be played on a Friday, thus allowing a full set of CT 'Premier League' grade matches to be played on the Saturday and Sunday.
NINE WOMEN'S STATE GAMES, THREE
FUTURES MATCHES LISTED FOR TASMANIA
Twelve matches in Cricket Australia's Futures League for state men's second XIs and the Womens' National Cricket League (WNCL) competitions are scheduled to be played in Tasmania during the coming summer, seven before Christmas and the other five in the New Year. Umpires from Cricket Tasmania's (CT) State Umpires Panel (E-News 639-3182, 26 July 2010), are expected to be appointed for the twelve matches, while CT will invite experienced scorers from within TCUSA ranks to take part.
WNCL matches are to be played in the one-day and Twenty20 formats, a total of nine games being involved overall, while the three Futures matches will be three-day events. Women's matches will start at the NTCA ground in Launceston over three days from 30 October to 1 November, then there are two further three-day slots from 10-12 December and 27-29 January, both of the latter being at Bellerive. The men will play their first three-dayer at Bellerive from 1-3 November, the others being at Lindisfarne and the TCA Ground from 1-3 and 15-17 February respectively.
NATIONAL MALE U17 TOURNAMENT
HEADED FOR HOBART
Cricket Australia's 2011 male under-17 tournament is to be played at 8 grounds around Hobart over 9 days from 9-20 January. One member of Cricket Tasmania's (CT) State Umpires Panel (E-News 639-3182, 26 July 2010), is expected to be joined from colleagues from other state and territory panels from around the country, while TCUSA scorer members and their computers are likely to be providing key support for each game.
Eight teams, six from the states and the two territories, will play matches at KGV, Kingston Beach, Lindisfarne, New Town, Queenborough and University Ovals, plus the TCA Ground and Ferguson Park, over what will be a particularly busy two weeks for curators around the region. As a result five of the eight two-day matches in CT's third and under-17 grade round of 9-16 January will be played on the artificial pitches at such grounds as Cadbury's, Cornelian Bay, and Shoobridge and Wentworth Parks, with Eady Street, Hutchins and the Soldiers Memorial oval the only turf strips available.
JAMIE COX PLATE SERIES
Cricket Tasmania (CT) has decided to discontinue the early season Jamie Cox Plate (JCP) one-day series that involved regional representative sides from the north, north-west and south of the state, plus the Tasmanian under-19 side. The original objective of the JCP was to provide Grade cricketers with the opportunity to press their claims for selection to the state second XI and beyond, while it also provided a valuable platform for up-and-coming umpires.
CT says that after conducting a review over winter it has come to the conclusion that the series "was no longer serving its original objective", for the development of Grade cricket and the advent of Cricket Australia's Futures League competition with its age guidelines and restrictions (E-News 490-2541, 14 September 2009), now provide similar opportunities.
Despite that CT, which says that it "is strongly committed to ensuring an appropriate elite pathway is available [for players] within Tasmania", is believed to be looking at that concept of a match between an "invitational Tasmania 'A' team and the state under-19" side". Such a game is not listed on CT's current playing schedule for the 2010-11 season.
2010-11 TCUSA MEETING
Release of the Cricket Tasmania's (CT) playing rosters for the 2010-11 season has enabled TCUSA meeting dates for the next nine months to be finalised (E-News 645-3199 above). Dates and times for the meetings planned between now and late May are provided in the schedule of activities list provided at the end of this newsletter.
Following the Laws and Scorer Schools which get underway later this month (E-News 585-2948, 15 March 2010), the next major gathering will be the traditional Annual Seminar over the weekend of 2-3 October, then follows a presentation of TCA Playing Conditions to coaches and captains on the Wednesday evening after that.
The first of the fourteen training-appointments meetings is to be held on 20 October three days before all grade competitions are scheduled to start, appointments for the three first grade rounds that are to be played over the fortnight prior to that being handled directly between State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows and the senior umpires involved.
In addition to those meetings throughout the summer, dates for the TCUSA's end-of-season Annual Dinner and the Annual General Meeting have been set for late March and late May respectively. Arrangements and timings for the 2011 Winter Laws and Scorer Schools will be announced later this year.
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E-NEWS NUMBER 646
Thursday, 5 August 2010
ICC ENQUIRY REJECTS JOBURG
An independent enquiry conducted for the International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected a formal complaint by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) was used incorrectly on three occasions during England's Test match against South Africa in Johannesburg in January. The ICC released the report yesterday a month after announcing that third umpire Daryl Harper of Australia "was entirely blameless due to [a] technical failure" in one of the incidents (E-News 628-3135, 2 July 2010), and some seven months after the inquiry was first established (E-News 558-2836, 27 January 2010).
The ICC's investigation, which was conducted by Scottish barrister Brent Lockie and former West Indian captain Clive Lloyd, was required to determine whether correct third umpire procedures and protocols were followed in decisions involving England batsmen Alistair Cook and his South African counterparts AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith, and if appropriate to make recommendations on any improvements that were needed to the UDRS. "A large number of witnesses were interviewed and witness statements collected", as part of the work involved, says the ICC.
The 11 page Lockie-Lloyd report, which reads like a highly polished legal document, says that in the case of Cook's dismissal by Morne Morkel early on day one of the match, "Mr Harper followed the relevant protocols and procedures in reaching his decision, namely that Alistair Cook had correctly been given out LBW by the on-field umpire [New Zealander] Mr Tony Hill". It makes a similar comment in regard to Harper's decision later in the game that de Villiers had been given out incorrectly by Hill.
In the Smith case, which caused particular concern for the England camp as the South African skipper went on to make a century after being given 'not out' after a review of a caught behind appeal, Lockie-Lloyd state that "no ‘nick’ or edge sound came through to Mr Harper on any of the replays shown to him and there was no deflection or change of seam position on the ball as it passed the bat". "Any suggestion", continues the report, "that Mr Harper had somehow failed to ‘turn up the sound’ in order to hear the edge", as alleged by England coach Andy Flower at the time, is “both manifestly wrong and entirely unfair”.
The inquiry report goes on to say though that "differing sounds were heard on the footage of the various broadcasters" that were involved in the event, namely the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Supersport and Sky, and concludes that it was most likely that the actual sound feed to the third umpire’s room was lost at the crucial time".
The ECB called for the referral it lost as a result of the Smith incident to be restored to it (E-News 550-2806, 17 January 2010), and Lockie and Lloyd have recommended that in case of a technological failure "the protocol for reinstatement should be clarified". However, since their report was commissioned that matter has been addressed separately by the ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) . It recommended that a referral should be reinstated in cases of equipment failure but not in situations where the evidence is inconclusive and the ICC Executive Board accepted its advice at their meeting in Singapore in June (E-News 628-3137, 2 July 2010).
The report makes a series of other recommendations which include: that the best possible equipment should be made available to the third umpire; a single feed of sound and pictures should be controlled and standardised if multiple broadcasters are covering a match; and that a comprehensive training program should be devised for all those directly involved in UDRS operation. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's Chief Executive said in a statement yesterday that at a seminar involving ICC umpires and match referees held immediately after the World Twenty20 Championship in the Caribbean in May, those present supported the need for ongoing UDRS training and development.
Lorgat also stated that he is "grateful to Advocate Lockie and Mr Lloyd for their thorough review and helpful recommendations as we strive to continually enhance the UDRS" and he is "also pleased that Mr Harper had carried out the required protocols and procedures and rightly been exonerated by this report". David Richardson, the ICC's General Manager Cricket, said "it is unfortunate that the sound feed failed at a crucial time due to equipment failure [and that] clearly, all cricket stakeholders involved in delivering the UDRS need to work together to consider the recommendations arising from the investigation". "We recognise [that the] UDRS is beneficial but complex", said Richardson.
Lockie is a member of the ICC's Code of Conduct Commission (CCC) and is also a Disciplinary Tribunal Member for Cricket Scotland, while Lloyd is a former ICC match referee and currently Chairman of its Cricket Committee.
CT SCHEDULES LEVEL 1
Cricket Tasmania (CT) is to conduct a Level 1 Umpiring Course at Bellerive Oval on Monday, 11 October, instruction that is considered ideal for club coaches and volunteers who may be required to umpire Junior or Youth League matches. The course, which will run from 6.00-8.30 p.m. that evening, comprises two modules, the first covering an umpire's role and qualities, Spirit of Cricket, Code of Conduct and Playing Conditions, and the second how to manage a match and the basic rules of cricket and scoring.
Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpires, and Scott McNaughton, CT's Game Development Officer for Female Cricket, will together with other support staff facilitate the course which costs $A30 to attend. For that fee those taking part will receive a course workbook, an interactive CD-Rom, Match Day DVD and a copy of the Laws of Cricket. Successful candidates will be accredited nationally by Cricket Australia under the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme.
Places for the course can be reserved by contacting CT's Shane Holland via E-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LACK OF UNITS TO LIMIT 'HOT SPOT'
USE IN WORLD CUP
While the International Cricket Council (ICC) is keen on using the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) at next year's World Cup (E-News 643-3195, 1 August 2010), the event is unlikely to see 'Hot Spot' technology used extensively, says a report posted on the Cricinfo web site yesterday. Journalist Tariq Engineer says that a combination of a shortage of cameras, the high cost of acquiring and using the technology, and the sensitive nature of the equipment, makes it "almost impossible for [it] to be in place" in a big way on the sub-continent next February-March.
Warren Brennan, the owner of BBG Sports, the firm that supplies the equipment involved, was quoted as saying that "at present we only have four [of the infra red] cameras", a situation that "would limit us to providing 'Hot Spot' for only the quarter-final matches onwards". The seven matches involved, the four quarter finals, two semi final and the final, are to be played at five separate stadiums across Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka over an 11 day period commencing on 23 March, therefore moving four cameras around in quick time is likely to be a challenge.
Brennan indicated that such an arrangement would see two cameras available for each of the quarter-finals and semi-finals, with the possibility of four for the final in Mumbai on Saturday, 2 April. The BBG owner said that he has discussed World Cup 'Hot Spot' issues with David Richardson, the ICC's General Manager Cricket, but has "not had any updates in the past 6 weeks". According to Brennan, if he was to have had enough cameras for the entire World Cup, an order for an additional 8-10 units would have to have been placed by the ICC 6-7 months ago.
Engineer's story says that the cameras take 4-6 months to build and that there are only a handful of companies around the world that have the know-how to make them, and that each time BBG wants to buy a new one, it has to undergo a security check because the equipment is military related. Such checks can take up to three months to complete, says Brennan.
In addition to those time-frame realities, Brennan also said he needs help from the ICC and the national cricket Boards to bring the cost of the system down. The Cricinfo story says that the infra-red imaging technology currently costs around $A6,500 per day for a two-camera setup, and about $A11,000 per day for a four-camera setup. The latter figure fits with Brennan's comments in January that the use of four cameras for a five day Test match costs around $A250,000 (E-News 551-2808, 18 January 2010).
The ICC "know that if they want to take the system further, they have to figure out the funding models", said Brennan in a reference to disagreement between the world body, some national Boards and their broadcast partners, over who should foot the bill for UDRS technology. Pakistan opted not to have the referral system when they played Australia in England last month because of cost issues (E-News 633-3159, 14 July 2010), and England had a related problem in regard to its series against Bangladesh in May 612-3069, 27 May 2010), however, in Australia on the surface at least the situation appears to be considerably different (E-News 642-3190, 30 July 2010).
A hint that the UDRS overall may only be used from the quarter finals appeared in the Indian media earlier this week (E-News 643-3195, 1 August 2010). However, the absence of 'Hot Spot' does not rule out the system being used in the World Cup, says Cricinfo. Hot Spot is classed as "desirable", but not a key requirement at this point, the ICC's minimum needs for the UDRS currently including ball tracking technology ('Hawk-Eye'), super slow-motion cameras and a clean audio feed from the stump microphone (E-News 646-3206 above).
COPY OF REVISED LAWS, QUIZ ON
CONTENTS, AVAILABLE ON LINE
A copy of the revised Laws of Cricket that will come into force in October in time for the 2010-11 season in Australia (E-News 606-3042, 13 May 2010), and a 50 question quiz that has been designed to test just how well umpires and scorers understand the changes that have been made, can now both be down-loaded from the web.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardians of the Laws, this week posted the new version on its web site, while the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) has developed the quiz and posted it on its site. The down-load from the MCC site can be obtained at: http://www.lords.org/data/files/laws-of-cricket-2000-code-4th-edition-final-10422.pdf, and the quiz from the "How's That"? menu bar at the left hand side at: http://www.nswcusa.nsw.cricket.com.au
Cricket Tasmania has received printed copies of the revised Laws in the famous light blue format and these will be available at the TCUSA's Winter Laws and Scorer schools which are due to commence over the next two Wednesdays (E-News 585-2948, 15 March 2010).
'AS GOD'S MY JUDGE,
THAT'S OUT TOO'
A cricket ball that is said to be worth an estimated £1,000 ($A1,700) has been found during a house clearance in Yorkshire almost 80 years after the county's Horace Fisher became the first bowler to register a hat-trick of LBW victims in first class cricket, says a story in yesterday's 'Yorkshire Post' newspaper. The match ball from that August 1932 game against Somerset at Bramall Lane in Sheffield was mounted and specially inscribed for Fisher, and it was it that was found at the Wakefield home of his widow, Mabel, who died in April.
The umpire who adjudicated on that occasion was former Leicestershire player turned match official Alex Skelding, who, after giving Arthur Wellard and William Andrews out LBW in balls one and two, is said to have "stared up the wicket at Somerset's [wicket-keeper batsman Walter] Luckes when the third appeal was made". Finally, he is then said to have announced: "As God's my judge, that's out, too" before raising his finger.
Skelding played 177 first class games as a fast bowler for Leicestershire in the period from 1912-29, and went on to umpire 536 matches at that level over the 28 years from 1931-59. He moved on to scoring late in 1959 for Leicestershire's second XI, however, died aged 73 before the 1960 season in England got underway. The match in which he gave the three LBW decisions was Skelding's 45th as an umpire in first class cricket.
Over 100 items of Fisher memorabilia, including the match ball, were loaned to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club after being discovered in a drawer and a wardrobe at his wife's house.
RAUF DEFENDS UDRS AFTER
NATIONAL SKIPPER'S CRITICISM
Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, a member of the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, has defended the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), after criticism from Pakistan captain Salman Butt, who labelled the system as inaccurate following his experience with it in the first Test against England which his side lost on Sunday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Rauf told journalists in Lahore that he “believes this technology is a good initiative" for it "not only helps us in minimising errors but gives players freedom to request a review for an umpire’s decision". “Pakistani players might be struggling because they do not understand the system yet", continued Rauf, but Butt was briefed on it "before the match and it is his responsibility to convey all the details and its usage to the team". "A player should ask for the review only when they are 100 per cent sure that they are not out,” added Rauf.
Press reports from Nottingham criticised the Pakistani side for the way they approached use of the UDRS during the Test.
ECB DISCIPLINES COUNTY TWO
PLAYERS FOR 'DISSENT'
Two county players have been given penalties by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for showing dissent at an umpire's decision "by word of action" in separate games played late last month. Warwickshire’s Rikki Clarke was reported by umpires Mark Benson and Mark Eggleston for in a 40-over match against Leicestershire on 25 July, while Lancashire’s Second XI's Gareth Cross was reported by umpires Steve O’Shaughnessy and Hugh Evans in a match against MCC Young Cricketers earlier that same week.
Clarke's charge related to "serious" dissent and Cross just plain dissent, and the former was handed a three-point disciplinary punishment and the latter a reprimand. The Warwickshire player's points will remain on his record for a period of two years, and the accumulation of nine or more penalty points in that period will result in him receiving an automatic suspension. Cross' penalty will also remain on his record for two years and any similar further breach during that period will result in him automatically receiving three penalty points.
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E-NEWS NUMBER 647
Friday, 5 August 2010
HARPER 'PLANNING LEGAL ACTION' ON
MEDIA COMMENTS, CLAIMS REPORT
Australian international umpire Daryl Harper "is planning to take legal action [about] some of the articles written about him" when he worked as the third umpire in Tests in the West Indies 18 months ago and in South Africa in January this year, claims an article that is to be published in India's 'Sports Star' newspaper next week. Harper also apparently indicated that his current umpiring contract with the International Cricket Council (ICC) expires next June and that he is writing a book about his career.
Referral-related criticism was first directed at Harper by sections of the press during the opening Windies-England Test in Jamaica in February last year when the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) was still in the trial stage (E-News 369-1965, 9 February 2009). Media vitriol, primarily from UK journalists, also flowed after a number of UDRS-related controversies in England's fourth and final Test in South Africa last January when the referral system was theoretically fully operational (E-News 550-2805, 17 January 2010); however, Harper has since been cleared by an ICC enquiry of any wrong doing in the South African instances (E-News 646-3206, 5 August 2010).
'Star' journalist S Dinikar, writes that Harper told him that "some of the writers did not check facts and were way off the mark when they wrote some things about me". The Adelaide-based umpire, who may have been speaking to the 'Star' before the ICC publicly released the full ICC enquiry report, was quoted in the 'Star' article as saying that he plans to meet his "lawyer in Sydney soon" with regard to some of the published reports, none of which were identified in Dinikar's article.
On other matters, Harper's "dream" is said to be to stand in 100 Tests, 10 more than he has now, before he retires, however, quotes attributed to him suggest that he is fairly relaxed about the matter. “There is one more year left for me on the [ICC Elite] panel and I should be around 94 Tests by then", runs the Harper quote, who says that his "favourite umpire" is the late David Shepherd of England, "who officiated in 94 Tests and I [Harper] cannot really complain" if that is the final figure; although records available put Shepherd's actual Test tally as 92. "If I get another year, I could complete 100", says Harper, but "even if that does not happen, I would not mind".
The "one more year" the Australian refers to probably ends on 30 June 2011, the mid-year date that the ICC has of late ended and started its umpiring contracts (E-News 589-2964, 20 March 2010). That date next year falls some four months before Harper turns 60 in the October and it is therefore possible the ICC could, in age-terms at least, engage him for one last year until June 2012 when he will be aged 61 years and 8 months. The most recent retirees from the world body's top panel, Steve Bucknor of the West Indies and Rudi Koertzen of South Africa, left the Test scene at 62 years and 9 months and 61 years and four months respectively.
Harper already holds the Australian umpiring record for Tests (E-News 373-1986, 16 February 2009), and should he reach the century mark he would be only the third man to do so after Bucknor and Koertzen. The Australian has also stood in more One Day Internationals (ODI), 166, than any of his countryman, and is currently fourth on the all-time ODI list behind Koertzen (209), Bucknor (181) and Shepherd (172) (E-News 637-3173, 22 July 2010).
‘Harper's Bizarre', the name the South Australian apparently plans to give to his book, "will have chapters like ‘My best and my worst Tests' and ‘My shortest Test and my toughest Test' " and "have everything about my umpiring career, the good and the bad moments, criticisms that have not always been fair and a few happy occasions", says Harper. No details were given as to how far advanced the book is or when it will actually be published.
In terms of memories, Harper mentions the Chennai Test between India and England in 2009 season to the 'Star', a game when home batsman Sachin Tendulkar produced "an unbeaten match-winning century on a crumbling fifth-day pitch", an innings the Australian says was "astonishing" for he "can still remember the joy, the euphoria and the sheer effort Tendulkar put in". There is also a reference of last month's first Test between Sri Lanka and India in Galle where spinner Muttiah Muralitharan became the first man to reach the 800-wicket mark in Tests on the last ball of the game. "I have umpired when he took at least 125 of those wickets", said Harper, and "I will give you the specifics soon [for] I am working on [the details]".
Harper also talked about technology, saying that in his view it has already impacted umpiring. “Previously, we would only give the batsman out if we believe the ball was hitting the off or middle stump [and] even if [it] was going to hit the leg-stump, we would give the benefit of doubt to the batsman", but "now, even if one half of the ball is hitting leg-stump, we give the batsman out", he says.
'DUKE' BALLS 'SWING TOO MUCH',
SAYS PAKISTANI COACH
Pakistan coach Waqar Younis is concerned about the use of 'Duke' cricket balls in his side's current Test series against England, saying that they "swing too much", says a report posted on the 'Sify Sports' web site in India yesterday. Waqar, whose side lost the firstTest comprehensively, was quoted as saying that "our batsmen are not used to playing with 'Dukes' [for] in Pakistan, we use 'Kookaburra' or 'Gray-Nicolls', both of which have a less tendency to move", and the coach hopes that his batsmen "will adjust to the conditions soon" before the last three Tests are played.
Meanwhile England's fast bowlers will start practising with 'Kookaburra' balls that will be used during the Ashes this austral summer as soon as the Test campaign with Pakistan is over, says a 'Cricinfo' report. The Australians struggled with swing in the drawn series with Pakistan last month and England bowling coach David Saker told the "Sunday Age" this week that Kookaburra's "obviously don't swing as much as the 'Duke' ball, but some of that's got to do with the English conditions".
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E-NEWS NUMBER 648
Sunday, 8 August 2010
EPT SET FOR START, UMPIRE
FUTURES ON THE LINE
Four of the up-and-coming Australian umpires who are standing in the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in the Brisbane area over the next 13 days will be particularly closely scrutinised both on and off the field by the national selectors and two umpires with international experience, the prize for those rated highly being the possibility of promotion to the National Umpires Panel (NUP) sometime in the future.
The EPT, which involves four teams of potential future international players from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa playing 16 matches in three different formats (E-News 612-3070, 27 May 2010), is due to get underway with Twenty20 (T20) matches today and later this week, then move on to 40 and 50 over matches until two one-day finals are played on Friday week.
Umpiring appointments for 14 of those games have already been made, with key selections for the two one-day finals to be determined on the basis of performances over the next week-and-a-half. Half of the current twelve-man NUP have been promoted to their current senior rank after standing in the EPT's first-versus second final on the last day of the event over the last three years (E-News 611-3066, 25 May 2010).
Victorian Ash Barrow, who has been promoted to the NUP since being named to the EPT panel (E-News 617-3093, 5 June 2010), plus Tasmanian Sam Nogajski, will open procedures at 10 a.m. this morning when they take the field for the opening T20 between India and South Africa. In the afternoon Michael Kumutat of New South Wales and Nathan Johnston of Western Australia will look after the second game between the Australian Institute of Sport side and India; while on Monday Queenslander Damien Mealey and South African visitor Shaun George (E-News 640-3188, 27 July 2010), will stand in their first games.
Of the 28 on-field umpiring appointments that have been made, Mealey has five, three T20, two 40 over and one 50 over game (3-1-1) and his Australian colleagues four each, Barrow 3-1-0, Johnston 2-1-1, Kumutat 2-2-0, and Nogajksi 3-1-0; while George has three (1-1-1).
Current NUP member, and on-field umpire with the International cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Bruce Oxenford, will be attending week one of the event and is to stand in two T20s, the first with Barrow and second with Mealey. The latter's 40 over game in week two will be with another NUP member, Bob Parry, a former IUP appointee, who will also stand with Nogajski in a similar match.
Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire Manager Sean Cary told E-News that on EPT rest days the umpiring group will attend a series of seminars at CA's Centre of Excellence (CoE) that focus on such subjects such as sports psychology, nutrition, strength and conditioning, communication, inter-personal skills, research in optics, media training, third umpire training, and athlete assessment. Presentations, in what could be described as a 'Level 3' training program, will be provided by CoE staff members and others, including Cary, Oxenford, Parry and Denis Burns, CA's Umpire Education Manager.
Members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel, Ric Evans, David Levens, Peter Marshall, Bob Stratford and Steve Small, who with Cary make up the national umpiring selectors, will also be observing and supporting umpires during matches and the seminars. Marshall will be the match referee for all eight T20s, with Evans and Stratford each performing that role in four one-dayers.
SEHWAG, PLAYER'S UNION, PUSH
UDRS USE, BCCI UNMOVED
Indian vice-captain and opening batsman Virender Sehwag would have preferred to see the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in operation during the recently completed three-Test series in Sri Lanka, a view that appears different to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and a number of senior members of his side (E-News 643-3195, 1 August 2010). Sehwag's view is similar to that of the international player's union who called on Friday for the system to be used in all Test series, and if it is not, in none.
Sehwag said on Thursday that "sometimes umpires give good decisions and sometimes bad decisions [and] I would love to have that referral system in Test or One-Day cricket", however, he stressed that that was his "personal opinion". In the view of some journalists from the sub-continent the absence of the system "cost the Indians" during the recent series when they received what were described as some "questionable" decisions, although there were also claims that their opponents suffered in a similar manner.
The BCCI are reluctant to use the system not because of the costs involved, but because they are not convinced that it is "100 per cent foolproof" (E-News 633-3158, 14 July 2010), and the Board's president Shashank Manohar was quoted by 'The Times of India' (TOI) newspaper around the same time Sehwag was making his views known as repeating the "not 100 per cent" remark.
"We discussed it at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) [Board meeting in Singapore in June]", he said, and that the system "is the judgment of one [the system] against the other [the umpire]", says Manohar, even though the ICC has repeatedly said that the percentage of correct decisions has risen from 94 to 98 per cent when the UDRS has been operational. Manohar told the 'TOI' that he and his colleagues are not convinced the UDRS can take into account such things as the bounce, spin, pace or movement of a ball.
Manohar went on to tell the 'TOI' that "there is absolutely no pressure on [his Board] to use the system". "Even if [we] can afford it, what about other Boards [such as] Bangladesh or West Indies?", questioned Manohar, who described the fee for the system's use as "very high" with "a five-match series costing close to [$A300,000]". That figure is similar to the $A250,000 estimate for the use of four 'Hot Spot' infra red cameras for a five-Test series (E-News 646-3208, 5 August 2010).
Meanwhile former Australian player Tim May, who is now the head of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), said on Friday that he backed recent comments from leading cricketers such as Sehwag, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, Australia's Ricky Ponting, and recently-retired South African umpire Rudi Koertzen, for the review system to be implemented in all Tests. FICA represents player associations in Australia, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
"In May this year, the ICC's Cricket Committee, of which I am a member, made a recommendation to the ICC's Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) that the UDRS should be used in all Tests in all series", May said in a statement, "a recommendation that was strongly supported by players that FICA represents". "Unfortunately, the [CEC] did not adopt this recommendation", preferring instead a watered-down version (E-News 628-3137, 2 July 2010).
"The players are aware that the system isn't 100 per cent perfect", continued the FICA chief, "but believe that its introduction has resulted in an improved number of correct decisions and the eradication of the 'obvious' incorrect decision", said May. "It is unfair and confusing to players, spectators, broadcasters, sponsors and the fans watching at home on television, if one [Test] series is played under the UDRS system and the next without it", he said, and "it must also be incredibly difficult for umpires to officiate from series to series without any continuity".
May says he understands that some national Boards may have some funding issues with implementing the system and does not understand why the ICC, as a result of the CEC decision, has given the visiting team the discretion to reject the technology that the home Board will provide. "The ICC needs to adopt a firm policy [such that] it's either applicable in all Tests or none", he said.
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E-NEWS NUMBER 649
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
THROW AT BATSMAN EARNS
TEST BOWLER A FINE
England bowler Stuart Broad has been fined half of his match fee for throwing a ball at Pakistani batsman Zulqarnain Haider during the the third day's play of the second Test at Edgbaston on Sunday. Broad picked up the ball in his follow-through and hurled it at Test debutant Zulqarnain, who had not moved from his crease after playing a shot, hitting the wicketkeeper-batsman on the shoulder; the incident occurring as the home side struggled to remove lower-order Pakistani batsmen and thus win the match.
Broad's throw occurred the over after he had appealed for caught behind against Zulqarnain, a request that was rejected by both South African umpire Marais Erasmus and the Umpire Decision Review System. Erasmus and his Australian colleague Steve Davis spoke to England captain Andrew Strauss after the throw, and some journalists at the ground reported that Broad "only half-heartedly apologised to Zulqarnain with a brief wave of his hand".
Davis, Erasmus, third umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand and fourth Jeremy Lloyds of England, later charged Broad, who was playing in his thirtieth Test, with "throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and or dangerous manner". Twenty-four-year-old Broad's action was labelled as "unacceptable" by match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, who said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday that while he understands "the frustrations of a bowler in the heat of the moment, as an international sportsman one needs to control these emotions whatever may be the situation and always respect the opponent".
Broad, who has developed a reputation for on-field volatility, pleaded guilty to a charge and was fined the equivalent of around $A4,000 by Madugalle. "Stuart, by pleading guilty, realised his mistake and I'm sure he will not [make] the same mistake again", said the match referee.
Writing in the 'Daily Mail' before Broad's punishment had been announced, former England captain Nasser Hussain, said that "if you take Stuart's history into account you have to say he has been pushing things to the limit for some time". "There have been rumblings, particularly on the sub-continent, that Broad has got away with petulance before now simply because his dad Chris is [an ICC match] referee".
ICC penalties for the offence range from 50-100 percent of a player's match fee and/or a suspension of two One Day Internationals or one Test match, therefore the Englishman's censure was at the lowest possible end of the scale. Reports say that Broad "was hit in the pocket rather receiving a more serious punishment" as it was the first time he had been "formally charged by the ICC". Over the last eight weeks, two county players in England have also been censured for ball throwing incidents, although not fined. They operate under England and Wales Cricket Board rather than ICC regulations (E-News 616-3090, 4 June 2010).
FORMER AUSTRALIAN FIRST
CLASS UMPIRE DIES
Peter Weeks, a former Australian first class umpire and the current president of the South Australian Cricket Umpires Association, died on Sunday after a two-month battle against cancer. Weeks stood in five first class games in the period from 1999-2001, four in the Sheffield Shield or its equivalent, and the other a tour match between South Australia and Pakistan, plus five one-day domestic matches, one of those in the television suite.
While his time in representative cricket was behind him, Weeks was still a current A Grade Umpire in Adelaide, and South Australia's Umpiring Manager Neil Poulton said yesterday that "his strong but friendly nature and the confidence he instilled in others was admired by both umpires and cricketers alike".
In addition to his involvement in state-level matches, Weeks also stood in a Youth Test between Australia and Sri Lanka, state second XI games, two National Country Cricket Championship series, and the final of the 1999 men's under-19 national championships, a game that featured two young Queenslanders, Shane Watson and Nathan Hauritz, and a New South Welshman named Michael Clarke.
UMPIRES, LIKE PLAYERS, NEED
BREAKS, SAYS TAUFEL
International umpires need to find ways to improve the balance in their work loads if they are to have a better chance of staying at the top of their game, says Australian Simon Taufel, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP). The ICC increased the EUP's size three years ago so that its members would "spend less time away from home and more time mentoring up-and-coming officials and working on their own skills in their nation's domestic competitions" (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007), however, comments by Taufel and others suggests little may have changed in that regard.
The Australian, in a piece posted on the 'Test Match Extra' web site on Friday, is currently in Sri Lanka for three One Day Internationals (ODI), the first of which will be played today (E-News 637-3177, 22 July 2010), and he indicated that by the time he returns home following those matches he will have been on the road for five of the first eight-and-a-half months of 2010.
"For me", he wrote, the "balance between work and rest is important" for he also has "another job of being a husband and father to three children under the age of 12", and "I take my family role very seriously too", something he has spoken of frequently in the past (E-News 195-1066, 12 February 2008). "Cricket does pay the bills at the moment, [but] there is no point over-working yourself and not having enough opportunity to spend the money and time with the people who really count in your life", he says, last year's terrorist attack in Lahore being "a significant reminder of what is important in life for me" (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).
Taufel also says that all EUP members were recently given their "provisional assignments" for senior-level international matches in the lead up to the start of the World Cup in mid-February, something that has apparently not occurred in the past. "It is great for us", says the Australian, "as now we will be able to plan our lives somewhat over the next six months around the increasing cricketing schedule".
The ICC has made public the names of umpires for senior-level internationals up until the end of September, but in the four-and-a-half months from then until the World Cup starts, a total of 18 Tests and 36 ODIs that are to be played in Australia, India, Sri Lanka South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, will need to be supported, fixtures that are likely to see most, if not all, of the ICC's 19 'Elite' umpire and match referees in action.
EUP members do not, says Taufel, "have a traditional cricket season as we are 'on call' and involved in umpiring all the year round", and that even if the ICC does not need him of his colleagues "during [their home] domestic season, then we are also on call with our home Boards".
Cricket Australia (CA) "has been helpful" in that regard, he says, "and has not placed too much of an extra domestic workload on me, which has allowed me to spend some time with the family". Records available indicate that over the last five austral summers Taufel has been appointed 16 times by CA, they being to two domestic first class and four domestic one-day games, as well as nine ODIs as the 'home' umpire, and a single Twenty20 International. The New South Welshman has also though also worked a number of times in India for CA's now-ended Global Development Program training contract with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
In those five years the ICC, rather than CA, has appointed Taufel in a variety of capacities to 125 internationals, 29 Tests, 70 ODIs and 26 Twenty20 Internationals. He has also worked under non-ICC contracts in a total of 33 Twenty20 matches across the one-off 'Stanford Super Series', and two of the three Indian Premier League series (IPL), missing the first of the latter because of what a report at the time claimed was that the remuneration offered was not enough to compensate for his being away from his home for what was a six week tournament (E-News 208-1159, 13 March 2008).
ICC managers "discuss our workloads with us", says Taufel, and he indicated that the contracts he and his colleagues sign with the world body, "provide us with a four-week break with no umpiring commitments at all". However, he adds a warning, saying that "despite all the planning and good intentions, [the four-week break] does not eventuate, given ICC’s global events or [IPL] or Champions League commitments", the latter two of which umpires and match referees sign contracts that are additional to their ICC ones in order to participate in.
E-NEWS NUMBER 650
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
TASSY UMPIRES IN SPLIT-INNINGS
Two members of Tasmania's State Umpires Panel, Mike Graham-Smith and Nick McGann, were involved in the first split-innings one-day match in Australia yesterday when the Tasmanian and South Australian state squads played a 40 over game at the Marrara Oval in Darwin. Graham-Smith and McGann have been in Darwin over the last week to officiate in pre-season games involving senior squads from those two states and the Indian first class side Maharashtran (E-News 635-3165, 20 July 2010).
Cricinfo says in a report this morning that the initial verdict from the two coaches, who set up the match to trial Cricket Australia's (CA) proposed new format for one-day domestic cricket (E-News 621-3106, 13 June 2010), was that it was more popular with the younger players who were involved. Coyle told Cricinfo that "there was some skepticism from the guys who have been around for a long time while the young guys were quite excited by it" but that "it was worth having a go at the split innings [for] when it gets into place in the future, we'll be at a slight advantage".
Tasmania coach Tim Coyle was quoted as saying that the trial had showed up the "pluses and minuses" of the new proposals. He said that it had made teams think more about the tactics to be employed and the teams to be picked, a sentiment that was also expressed during the England and Wales Cricket Board's recent trial of the format in county second XI games (E-News 622-3110, 15 June 2010).
What the team found challenging, Coyle said, was the "stop and start" for the batting line up but added that that "is something good sides will find a way to get used to". "Even though one game is not the ideal example, you can see that a team would need batting depth and bowling options", he said.
Preparation for the split-over innings trial game, Coyle said, was in no way different to a normal 50-over game. After the match, though, key issues around the pattern of play came into focus, with overs 17-20 seen as ones of containment to the bowling side as the batsmen tended to focus on going into their break losing fewer wickets.
The most radical CA proposal to have a 'super-striker' who could bat twice was, however, not tried out (E-News 634-3162, 16 July 2010). Acting Tasmanian captain Xavier Doherty told the Australian Associated Press that he thought it would "de-value the competition a little bit and make it a little bit too Mickey Mouse".
Cricinfo says that the teams will be giving CA "an informal de-brief" on their experiences "in the run-up to the CA Playing Conditions Committee meeting later this week". CA's Board is expected to make a decision on the format of the domestic one-day season in 2010-11 by the end of this month.
CA LOBBYING BCCI ON UDRS
USE, CLAIMS REPORT
Australian cricket administrators are "attempting to soften" Indian opposition to the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS), starting with its use in the Test series between the two countries this October, claims a report distributed by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) yesterday. Despite attempts by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to have the UDRS used in all Test series, the world body currently allows countries to choose whether or not they wish to use the UDRS on a series-by-series basis (E-News 628-3137, 2 July 2010).
The AAP report, which was written by journalist Daniel Brettig, says that cost is one reason for the inconsistency of use as "many national Boards" have claimed an inability to pay for the technology. However, in the case of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) there are no such financial constraints, says Brettig, "only a vague mistrust of the system summed up by the words 'we don't like it' ".
Cricket Australia's (CA) is said to "be pushing" for the UDRS to be used in October Tests "as a precursor" to the home Ashes series in which the system will be operational (E-News 642-3190, 30 July 2010). It would also serve as a way to get the system into place in India ahead of the 2011 World Cup when the ICC hopes the system will be used (E-News 643-3195, 1 August 2010), says Brettig's report.
An unnamed CA spokesman told the AAP yesterday that "we're genuinely hopeful we will be able to persuade [the BCCI] that the UDRS is a good thing". A major obstacle is likely to be the suspicions of India's players, who have been "near united in their opposition" to referrals because of their experiences when they were involved in a trial of the system in Sri Lanka two years ago (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008), although a crack appeared last week when Indian vice-captain and opening batsman Virender Sehwag told journalists that he would like to see the UDRS operational in Tests and one-day cricket (E-News 648-3216, 8 August 2010).
Australian captain Ricky Ponting (E-News 636-3169, 21 July 2010), Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara, recently retired international umpire Rudi Koertzen and international players' union boss Tim May (E-News 648-3216, 8 August 2010), have all expressed the view that the system should be mandatory across all series. Around the same time though, Indian skipper MS Dhoni and prominent batsman Sachin Tendulkar repeated their concerns about it, Dhoni and BCCI president Shashank Manohar both saying that the system "is still not 100 per cent correct".
The ICC has repeatedly said that its analysis shows that the UDRS has improved the ratio of correct decisions from around 94 per cent to nearer 98 per cent.
'DEAD BALL' CALL GIVES
PIETERSEN A REPRIEVE
England batsman Kevin Pietersen had a reprieve during the second Test against Pakistan at Edgbaston last Saturday when he was caught in the outfield, however, the umpire had called 'dead ball' before Pietersen made contact with the delivery, says a Cricinfo report.
Pietersen, who eventually scored 81, was on 41 when he backed away as Mohammad Asif ran into bowl, indicating he wasn't ready to face the delivery. However, with Asif in his delivery stride, the ball was let go and Pietersen, played what was described as "a casual drive" and the ball lobbed gently into the air to Pakistani skipper Salman Butt at mid-off who took the catch, but South African umpire Marais Erasmus had already called 'dead ball' .
The England player later insisted that he'd been distracted by his fellow batsman Jonathan Trott, who walked into his eyeline while backing up at the non-striker's end. "Trotty walked in from a widish mid-on position", Pietersen told journalists, "and he was swatting away flies or bees as he walked in at a brisk pace across the wicket". "I thought he was going to walk straight across, so I pulled away, the umpire shouted 'dead ball', but the ball sort of followed me [and] instinctively, I played at it, I probably shouldn't have, and I apologise if I caused any issues".
Law 23.3.b (v) states that: "Either umpire shall call "dead ball" when he is satisfied that for an adequate reason the striker is not ready for the delivery of the ball and, if the ball is delivered, makes no attempt to play it". While he played a shot, Erasmus' call saved Pietersen from an early return to the pavilion.
HOT DRY WEATHER
The unusual recent hot and dry weather in parts of England, and difficulties in getting a water supply to the square at a ground in Derbyshire, has been cited by the Derby City Council (DCC) as the cause of the poor state of the pitch that led to a match being abandoned there last weekend. Reports that dry weather and lack of water was a factor in of all places England, comes as south-eastern Tasmania's long autumn-winter dry spell came to an end overnight with soaking rains.
Home side Littleover were 7/31 when it was decided that play could not continue, umpire Adam Hitchcock telling the local paper that "the bounce was very unpredictable" and "we needed to stop before someone was injured". Club sides in England often have their own volunteer curators but Littleover's pitch is looked after by the DCC, and it was the Council not the water situation that were blamed by both Hitchcock and Aden Melen, the Derbyshire County League's grounds committee chairman, for the situation that prevailed.
Melen said that "the top has just disintegrated and there was a hole in the wicket that [the DCC had] just filled with dust", and "the pitch wasn't even marked out properly". Hitchcock said that the strip "had weeds on it, with chunks out of it on a length and it had clearly not been rolled". "Littleover have asked [the DCC] if they can take more of a role in the preparation of the square and we'll be talking to them and to the council about whether that will be possible", said Melen.
E-NEWS NUMBER 651
Friday, 13 August 2010
PIETERSEN 'DEAD BALL' INCIDENT
England batsman Kevin Pietersen's reprieve during his side's second Test against Pakistan at Edgbaston last Saturday when he was caught in the outfield after an umpire's 'dead ball' call, appears to have prompted considerable discussion in umpiring circles, both in Australia and overseas (E-News 650-3222, 11 August 2010). Former Pakistan Test umpire Khalid Aziz for one was said in a report in 'The Nation' on Tuesday to have stated that "according to the Laws of Cricket umpire [Marais Erasmus of South Africa] should have given [Pietersen] out".
Aziz, was quoted as saying that “the clause of the Law [concerned] is very clear [in] that the striker is forbidden to play at the ball when he feels that he is not ready to play at the ball [and] in the circumstances [that prevailed the England batsman] had transgressed the Law". After "having stepped back and signified that he is not ready to receive the delivery [a batsman who] then attempts to play the ball [therefore] negates his initial action and is deemed to have accepted the delivery", continued Aziz.
It appears though that the pertinent section of the current Laws is not entirely clear in this particular case as it states that an umpire should call and signal 'dead ball' if he "is satisfied that for an adequate reason the striker is not ready for the delivery of the ball and, if the ball is delivered, makes no attempt to play it". The last 11 words appear to be the ones that Aziz was particularly focusing on.
In the words of one press report, Erasmus called 'dead ball' after seeing Pietersen's withdrawal, his call coming "while the ball was in the air" and before the England batsman had a chance to play it, therefore his assessment appears to have been that "the striker" was "not ready" to receive the delivery.
Once any umpire has called 'dead ball', no runs can be scored and no wicket taken until the ball becomes 'live' again when the bowler starts his run up or bowling action to deliver the next ball. While Pietersen subsequently spooned a catch because in his words "the ball followed" him, the ball was not live when it reached him because of the quick call by Erasmus.
'The Nation' report on Aziz's comments makes no reference to the 'dead ball' concept, and whether that it because of the journalist's selective use of comments made him, or because of his interpretation of the way the Law is written, is not known. The former umpire, who is 73, has been around the game for well over 50 years, having played 36 games of first class cricket in Pakistan in the period from 1956-74, before going on to stand in 69 such matches as an umpire, three of them Tests at home, from 1974-97. Records available also indicate that he also chalked up 34 List A matches in that time, 7 of them One Day Internationals, one of the latter in the World Cup of 1997, and was later a match referee in three Pakistani first class and two List A games.
T20 PHASE OF EPT ENDS,
The Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Brisbane reached the half-way mark on Wednesday with the finals of Twenty20 (T20) segment, the event moving on to two 40 over games both tomorrow and Monday, before a pair of 50 over matches are played next Wednesday and for the umpires, the all-important 50 over format finals on Thursday (E-News 648-3215, 8 August 2010).
Unfortunately, two T20 games on Tuesday were washed out, depriving Queensland umpires Damien Mealey and National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Bruce Oxenford the opportunity to stand in the match between the Australian Institute of Sport and South African sides, and Michael Kumutat of New South Wales and Sam Nogajski of Tasmania the contest between India and New Zealand.
During rest days in the two-week long event, EPT umpiring members have been attending a series of seminars at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence (CoE) that focus on such subjects such as sports psychology, nutrition, strength and conditioning, communication, inter-personal skills, research in optics, media training, third umpire training, and athlete assessment.
Of the six games remaining before selectors choose who will stand in the first versus second and third versus fourth finals next Thursday, Kumutat, Mealey, Nathan Johnstone of Western Australia, Shaun George of South Africa and the NUP's Bob Parry are each to stand in two, and Ash Barrow of Victoria, another NUP member, and Nogajski in one. The Tasmanian's last chance to impress will come on Monday when he stands in a 40 over game between India and New Zealand, his on-field partner for that match being Parry.
SUP MEMBERS RETURN FROM
A SOLID WEEK IN DARWN
Two members of Tasmania State Umpiring Panel (SUP), Mike Graham-Smith and Nick McGann, arrived back in Hobart on Wednesday after a week in Darwin that saw them stand in five pre-season matches, including Australia's first one-day split innings trial (E-News 650-3220, 11 August 2010).
During their sojourn in the 'Top End', the pair worked in two Twenty20 matches between the Tasmanian and South Australian state squads, and two fifty over one-day matches, the first between Tasmania and the Indian side from Maharashtra, and the second between the team from the sub-continent and South Australia.
Their fifth and final game on Tuesday was the split-innings 40 over trial. Playing conditions for that game were that in both side's first time at the crease only two fielders were allowed outside the circle in overs 1-5, with no one being required in close quarter fielding positions, and for overs 6-20 a maximum of four fielders out. The second time they bat the restrictions for overs 1-5 were the same, but in the 6-20 bracket a maximum of five fielders outside the circle were permitted.
Other requirements were that bowlers were limited to 10 overs each, and that two new balls, one from each end, were used for each team's innings. The 'super-striker' concept that had previously been floated as a possibility for Cricket Australia's (CA) new one-day format was not used (E-News 634-3162, 16 July 2010). Reports this morning indicate that CA's Board is to meet in Melbourne later today and that one of its tasks will be to finalise its domestic one-day playing format for the coming summer
E-News understands that Victorian umpire Phil Proctor, who stood in four Futures Leagues matches last season, was also in Darwin for the pre-season event, however, just which games he stood in is not known.
CT INCREASES UMPIRE,
SCORER MATCH FEES
Cricket Tasmania (CT) announced this week that match fees for scorers and umpires have been increased for the 2010-11 season. Payments for umpires for a day's play in Premier League first and second grades will rise by $10 to $115, with qualified scorers at those levels provided with a similar increase that will take their daily fee to $50.
Scorers will also earn $35 for a men's or women's Twenty20 game and umpires $80, an increase of $5 from last season. Umpires standing in thirds and under-17s will be payed $105 a day during the coming summer, a rise of $5, and in the under-15s $90, up $5 on 2009-10. On occasions when a match is abandoned prior to lunch without play match officials will be paid $40, while games for which only one umpire is available will attract a 50 per cent loading on the applicable fee for the grade level involved.
The TCUSA Management Committee decided at its meeting on 14 July that commencing this season match fees will only be made available to scorers and umpires via electronic transfer. The periods over which payments will be possible, fortnightly, monthly, mid-season and annually, will remain the same as in the past.
CODES OF CONDUCT FOR CT UMPIRES,
CAPTAINS, COACHES ON-LINE
Copies of Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Codes of Conduct sheets for umpires, captains and coaches who take part in matches organised by it in the state have been released and can now be down-loaded via the 'Playing the Game' tab on the TCUSA web site. CT requires that individuals involved in each of those three areas of the game sign copies of the form prior to the 2010-11 season commencing, and adhere to the principals listed at all times while involved in matches. Hard copies of the umpiring form will be provided to TCUSA members to sign at Association meetings in the lead up to the season's commencement in October (E-News 645-3199, 4 August 2010).
E-NEWS NUMBER 652
Monday, 16 August 2010
CA OUTLINES ITS NEW ONE-DAY,
SPLIT INNINGS, FORMAT
Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Friday that all 31 matches in its domestic one-day series this austral summer will feature the trial of a 45-over, split innings, format, a considerable change from the approach previously floated by the national body (E-News 621-3106, 13 June 2010). CA, which is reported to be looking to have the format moved to the international scene in a few years, says that it has "modified" the national one-day series as a result of "a strong message from fans that one-day cricket is their favourite format but [that] it needs refreshing [if it is] to retain that status".
Under arrangements agreed to by CA's Board on Friday, each state side's time at the crease will be divided into two blocks, the first of 20 overs and the second 25; the 45 over total lying half-way between the 50 over arrangement that has long applied internationally, and the 40 overs that domestic one-day matches in England and South Africa have been reduced to over the last year. The choice of the 'single innings' concept ignores suggestions by some, including CA's television broadcast partner, that four stand-alone innings should be involved (E-News 623-3113, 17 June 2010).
Other playing conditions include that: teams during the trial will be made up of 12 players but only 11 can bat and 11 field at the one time; two balls, one from each end, will be used for a side's entire 45 overs; bowlers will be able to bowl a maximum of 12 overs rather than the traditional 10; and fast bowlers will be permitted two bouncers per over rather than the current one. In addition, there will be no 'Power Plays', but only two fielders will be allowed outside the circle during the first five overs of each bracket (1-5 and 21-25), and four outside for the remainder (6-20 and 26-45); however, the 'super-striker' concept floated by CA last month has not been adopted (E-News 634-3162, 16 July 2010).
In arrangements not dissimilar to those that apply in CA's Sheffield Shield first class competition, a team will earn one championship point if it leads after both teams have been to the crease once, an award that it will retained even if that side eventually loses by the time the game has been completed. There will also be four points for a win, and five points in total if a team leads after the "first innings" and goes on to win overall.
CA's chief executive officer James Sutherland said the new playing conditions had been drawn up after "intense consultation" for his organisation had "listened to the public [and] undertaken comprehensive consultation across Australian cricket". "The fans told us, through formal research, that they like all three formats [but] they like One Day International (ODI) cricket best", he said, however, they want to see it "refreshed" and given an identity "that is distinctively different from [the] fast-emerging Twenty20" game. The new one-day format was, continued Sutherland, "designed to offer fans a combination of a quality contest in an exciting format which encourages players to combine strategic thinking with attacking cricket".
The Board announced the new arrangements after receiving a recommendation from its playing conditions committee, a group that includes former players Greg Chappell, Matthew Hayden, Mark Taylor, Shane Warne, Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh and CA chairman Jack Clarke. That committee met on Wednesday and are believed to have received some feedback from last Tuesday's one-day split-innings trial in Darwin, the first in Australia, during their deliberations (E-News 650-3220, 11 August 2010). They also presumably had details of the split innings trial that was conducted at county second XI level by the England and Wales Cricket Board over the last few months (E-News 622-3110, 15 June 2010).
Despite CA's positive outlook and Sutherland's claim, the ACA's Marsh is apparently not happy, being quoted by media outlets as saying that CA's decision "to trial the split innings format was made before collective player input was even sought". "For the people that play and know the game better than anyone, this process has been difficult to comprehend and players are very disappointed", continued Marsh, and while "players are open to changes" and "acknowledge that the one-day format has had its recent challenges", they "don't believe the split innings format is the best solution" (E-News 635-3166, 20 July 2010).
Meanwhile Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar was quoted in the 'Times of India' newspaper on the weekend as saying that he is convinced that players will enjoy the new playing conditions once they get use to them and that he is "glad it's being tried out in Australia". Tendulkar has been an advocate of the split-innings format since the 2002 Champions Trophy final between India and Sri Lanka, when the match could not be concluded even after 110 overs of cricket played over two days (E-News 485-2516/2517, 7 September 2009).
CA originally indicated that the new format would only apply in the second half of the season in the New Year. That arrangement would have seen the ODI-like 50 over format used up until Christmas, thus allowing players who might be selected for Australia in the 2011 World Cup next February-March on the sub-continent the chance to demonstrate their abilities. In response to Marsh's criticism, CA is said to have "revealed scratch matches would be played between 'probables and possibles' in an effort to give fringe World Cup players a chance to push their case to the national selectors". No details are yet available as to when or where such games will be played.
CT CONFIRMS DATE OF PRE-SEASON
Cricket Tasmania (CT) is to conduct its annual pre-season meeting of club personnel and umpires on Wednesday, 6 October, three days before its Premier League (PL) first grade season is due to get underway (E-News 645-3199, 4 August 2010). The meeting has been arranged to try and ensure that all involved have a proper understanding of PL Playing Conditions and other information relevant to the 2010-11 season.
This season’s briefing, which is expected to be conducted by Chris Garrett, CT's Manager of Grade Cricket, and Richard Widows its State Director of Umpires, will include information on: this year's amendments to the Laws of Cricket; PL Playing Condition and By-Law changes; 'Spirit of Cricket' matters; reporting and disciplinary tribunal procedures; captain’s reports; coaches, captains and umpire Codes of Conduct forms (E-News 651-3228, 13 August 2010); and ground pre-match inspections.
In addition to all TCUSA umpires, CT has asked that clubs arrange for their coaches and captains from each grade to attend, along with at least one delegate from club management committees, "preferably either the President, Secretary or Treasurer". The meeting is scheduled to commence at 6 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval.
NAMES OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
MATCH OFFICIALS AWAITED
The names of the ten playing squads for this year's Champions League Twenty20 (T20) series in South Africa next month have been named, but as yet no details of who the umpires and match referees will be for the 10-team event are available. A spokesman for the 23-match competition, which is due to start in just over three weeks and run for 17 days, told E-News that the "match referees and umpires panel is being finalised and should be released soon".
The 2010 Champions League tournament will bring together the top-ranked sides of the past year from the domestic T20 competitions of six nations, overall prize money on offer being in the order of $A7-8m, with the winner expected to take home a cheque worth to close to $A4m. Three teams from India, two each from Australia and South Africa, and one from New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies are taking part; but there will be no representative from either England or Pakistan.
In the inaugural CL event last October, which was played in india, organisers contracted three match referees and nine umpires for on-field and third umpire duties during what was also a twenty-three match event. Of those officials, who came from six countries, two of the match referees and three umpires were from the International Cricket Council's top-level 'Elite' panels, and the six other umpires from the world body's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 499-2578, 1 October 2009). In addition, four Indian first class umpires worked in support of games as fourth officials.
A similar appointments pattern is anticipated again this year.
UDRS AVAILABLE FOR INDIA-AUSTRALIA
TESTS, BUT WILL IT BE USED?
Press reports from India say that "all the technology required" for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be in place at every ground when Australia tours India in October to play two Tests and three One Day Internationals. Television viewers will have the benefit of information from UDRS technology, however, the umpires and players themselves will only do so if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reverses its current opposition to its use by match officials.
Current International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations for the UDRS require that data from ball-tracking technology, 'Super Slo-Mo' replays and sound from stump microphones, be available to the third umpire. The Neo Sports production team that broadcasts India's home matches plans to have each of those systems in place for the Tests, says a Cricinfo report, which quoted a senior Neo Sports executive as saying that the system could be put into place for the third umpire "at short notice" should the BCCI suddenly alter their "hard stance" on the UDRS.
Cricinfo's Sharda Ugra, writes though that in his assessment "the chances of the technology being used [by match officials] are extremely slender", even though Cricket Australia's (CA) head of cricket Michael Brown is "hopeful that [the BCCI] will be interested in our view" that the UDRS be operational for the Tests (E-News 650-3221, 11 August 2010). Young pointed to ICC data that indicated that in the 13 southern-hemisphere Tests that have seen the UDRS in operation, an estimated 97 percent of umpiring decisions had been shown to be accurate compared to 92 per cent when the system was not used.
Most Indian players have been reluctant to use the UDRS since they had difficulties with referrals when it was first used in Test cricket two years ago as part of the original ICC trial of the system (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008), and the BCCI has echoed those concerns ever since, but without spelling out precisely what their problems with it are (E-News 633-3158, 14 July 2010).
The inventor of the 'Hawk-Eye' ball tracking system, Paul Hawkins, told the Cricinfo web site last week that if the Indian players took the time to try and understand just how his and the other technology involved in the UDRS worked, their "concerns would go away". "We are trying to get to speak to some of the players", he said, and he thinks captain MS Dhoni "has expressed an interest in coming and learning a little bit more". "You need to sit down for half-an-hour and explain things properly and hopefully he [Dhoni] will find the time when it suits him", said Hawkins.
Uncertainty about whether the system will be used in October or not impacts on finalisation of umpiring arrangements for the series by the ICC, three 'neutral' umpires being required if it is operational, one of them the television official, and two on-field umpires if not, with the third umpire coming from India's representatives on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires panel.
REDUCE NUMBER OF COUNTY
T20 GAMES, SAYS PCA
County players want a reduction in the number of matches in the England's domestic Twenty20 (T20) competition and less travelling next year, according to a survey conducted by the UK Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), says London's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper. "County cricket has always placed demands on players but this year the schedule has been particularly arduous", says PCA chairman Vikram Solanki, and "the increase in the number of T20 matches has not allowed players to prepare as well as they might, or to get the necessary rest and recovery to be in prime condition for games".
The England and Wales Cricket Board is currently reviewing T20 competition arrangements for 2011 after a season that saw 151 such games played in just 44 days, with first class and one-day cricket interspersed with matches in the shorter format. Prior to 'workload' issues being raised by players, concern was expressed by some Counties last month about what were described as "shrinking attendances" at domestic Twenty20 (T20) matches this northern summer (E-News 630-3146, 8 July 2010).
Release of the PCA survey came the same week that Cricket Australia (CA) announced that it is looking to expand in six-state domestic T20 series into an eight-team competition in 2011-12. In doing that CA will have work to fit that program into a domestic playing schedule that will also include one-day games, which may be split-innings based (E-News 652-3229 above), as well as the interstate first class competition.
There was talk last year that Sheffield Shield four-day games might have to start earlier in the season, the suggestion being that fixtures may be played in the north of Australia before the wet season arrives, locations such as Cairns and Darwin being mentioned at the time.
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E-NEWS NUMBER 653
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
IGNORANCE OF LAW COST
SOMERSET T20 TROPHY?
Somerset lost the final of the County Twenty20 (T20) Championship on the weekend because its players did not know the Laws of Cricket, say media reports from the UK. A batsman who had a runner needed to score a single to win the game off the last ball, however, the injured player then ran the single and was out of his ground, but the fielding side either did not know the Law or had their mind on other things.
Hampshire’s Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian had pulled a muscle in running two off the second-last ball of the game and called for a runner. After a delay, caused because ground staff had not marked extended creases for a runner prior to the game, the final ball was bowled, Christian playing at but missing it and it struck him on the pads and ran behind point between two Somerset fielders who had been intent on saving the single and were now appealing for LBW.
Unfortunately for Somerset umpire Rob Bailey turned down their shout, and the fielders are then said to have looked at the large replay screen "to see if the LBW decision had been right". Their focus was such that they did not see that Christian, oblivious to his pain and forgetting that he had a runner, had run towards the bowler's end. Law 2 is explicit about a batsman who has a runner when he is taking strike, saying that "if he is out of his ground when the wicket is put down at the wicketkeeper’s end, he will be out 'run out' or 'stumped' irrespective of the position of the non-striker or of the runner".
As a result, if a Somerset fielder had retrieved the ball and thrown it to the wicketkeeper before Christian had hobbled back to the keeper’s end and the umpires had called ‘Time’, the Australian would have been 'run out' and Hampshire would have finished one run short of Somerset’s total. Both teams, who were playing their twentieth T20 match of the series, made 173 in their 20 overs but under the playing conditions that applied Hampshire won the game because they had only lost five wickets to Somerset's six.
Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick told journalists after the game that the pressure they were under increased as they waited for the groundsmen to mark the creases. "Under pressure you've got to try to keep a cool mind ... we just got wrapped up in what was going on", said Trescothick, and that his side "had forgotten" they could have 'run out' Christian.
'Daily Telegraph' writers Scyld Berry and Oliver Brown wrote after the match that "most professional cricketers are most unprofessional when it comes to knowledge of the laws, only learning them experientially", although that is a situation that more often than not applies to those who play the game at any level.
'ELITE' UMPIRE ORGANISING
PAKISTAN FLOOD APPEAL
Aleem Dar, a Pakistani member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, has appealed for the people of Pakistan to help their countrymen who have been affected by the catastrophic floods that are sweeping large parts of their nation. Dar is reported to have been door knocking in Lahore to gather support, and has donated the funds he received last week as part of his country's President’s Award for 'Pride of Performance' to the flood victims. Pakistan's 'The Nation' newspaper said in a report published yesterday that the ICC Umpire "is also using his contacts" in Australia, England, India and other countries to obtain additional support for flood victims.
HARPER FOR DUBAI ODI
SERIES, PLUS TESTS?
Australian umpire Daryl Harper is to stand in two One Day Internationals (ODI) between Pakistan and South Africa in Dubai in November, according to information posted on his web site yesterday. The ODIs, which are numbers four and five of the series the two teams are to play, will be followed by two Tests, one there and the other in nearby Abu Dhabi, matches that Harper is also likely to be involved in.
In his latest posting, the first since March, the Australian refers to a headline "one English paper" ran last week to indicate that he had been cleared of mismanaging, as the third umpire, a referral in the last Test of the series between South Africa and England last January in Johannesburg (E-News 646-3206, 5 August 2010). The decision, which went against the England side and led to the England and Wales Cricket Board making a formal complaint to the International Cricket Council, came seven months after the event.
While one newspaper acknowledged the inquiry's outcome other UK outlets did not says Harper. "The rest have probably chosen not to report on the findings... I guess that good news for someone doesn't sell tomorrow's fish and chip papers today", he wrote, describing the non-publish approach by UK newspapers as "Well...what a shock!"
Harper says though that "it's time to move on...and I have moved on...to Dallas, Texas", where he plans to watch a three-game baseball series. His listing of the two ODIs as his next matches suggests he may not be involved in next month's Champions league (CL) series in South Africa (E-News 652-3231, 16 August 2010). The Australian stood in the final of last year's CL event with now-retired South African Rudi Koertzen (E-News 499-2578, 1 October 2009).
GEELONG ASSOCIATION FACING
'CHRONIC' UMPIRE SHORTAGE
Turf-level cricket matches in the Geelong Cricket Association's (GCA) 2010-11 season could be umpired by club members if the GCA's "chronic umpire shortage" does not improve, says a story in this morning's 'Geelong Advertiser'. The GCA is reported to be considering a plan whereby clubs provide a non-playing official to umpire in their club's first or seconds matches if a league umpire is not available.
The "continued decline" in trained officials could threaten the standard of umpiring in the GCA, says the 'Advertiser'. It states that player dissent towards officials has contributed to a drop off in umpire numbers, even though the Association vowed to clamp down on such bad behaviour last year (E-News 481-2498, 28 August 2009). Geelong Cricket Umpires Association (GCUA) chairman John Leach admitted the decline in umpires was a concern and put out the call to anyone interested in "pulling on the white coat" during the coming season.
The GCUA currently has around 30 umpires available for matches each weekend, under half the number needed to cover the 36 GCA games involved. GCA president Grant Dew told the 'Advertiser' that "what we basically [told clubs] is if the umpiring decline continues, [they] will have to provide umpires because there won't be enough umpires to cover all our first and second-grade games", he said, therefore "we're really putting the onus on the clubs".
Those involved in "clubs at the moment are obviously into their cricket and there are a number of ex-players and people [there] who would make excellent umpires", continued Dew, who indicated that umpires are paid "about $100" a day and are encouraged to become an accredited GCUA member. Dew indicated that the league may offer clubs an incentive, such as cheaper affiliation fees, if they provide a weekly umpire to help reduce the shortage.
E-NEWS NUMBER 654
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
WINTER SCHOOLS START UMPIRE, SCORER,
PREPARATIONS FOR 2010-11 SEASON
Cricket Tasmania (CT) has been busy putting together arrangements for the 2010-11 Premier League season around Hobart for months, clubs are already hard at work in the indoor nets, and tonight umpires will start their preparations with the first of five consecutive Wednesday evening sessions that will look at cricket's Laws. Next week Scorers will commence a four-week program that has been designed to bring them up-to-date on all aspects of the 'Total Cricket Scorer' computer and associated systems.
A key focus of this year's Laws school will be on the changes to the Laws that have been made this year by the Marylebone Cricket Club and which come into force on 1 October just in time for the season ahead (E-News 600-3014, 12 April 2010).
Tonight, Tasmanian State Director of Umpires, Richard Widows, intends to work through nine of the first ten of the game's forty-two Laws, the exception being Law 2 which covers 'substitutes and runners', 'batsman or fielder leaving the field', 'batsman retiring' and 'batsman commencing innings', it being left until week four as discussions about it fit better with Laws 40 (The Wicketkeeper) and 41 (The Fielder).
During the course, the focus of presentations will be on how to apply each of the Laws and participants will need to spend the time between the weekly sessions studying in their own time to ensure they are familiar with the details. To help in that regard, each evening over the next five weeks, a list of questions that related to the Laws that have been discussed that particular night will be provided to attendees to work through between meetings.
Tables in the Premiership Room at Bellerive will be arranged to seat 8-10 people, and a senior TCUSA umpire will be assigned to each group in order to provide assistance to individuals should it be needed. They will also help coordinate and guide discussions at tables on tonight's question sheet that will occur in the first part of the following week's meeting so that individuals can be raised queries they may have about them. Th question sheets will not be marked, but rather there will be an exam on week six of the school on 22 September that must be sat by those who want to umpire in CT's Premiere League matches during the coming summer.
Tonight's meeting will start at 6.30 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval and run for two hours. Refreshments will be available to all attendees at the end of the evening.
SEHWAG ON 99 HITS A SIX,
BUT MISSES CENTURY
Indian batsman Virender Sehwag hit a 'no ball' from Sri Lankan bowler Suraj Randiv for six in the sides' One Day International (ODI) in Dambulla on Monday, however, while he was on 99 at the time, he did not score a century as the foot fault penalty for what media reports say was a "huge overstep" was enough for his side to pass Sri Lanka's total and win the match. Sri Lanka totalled 170 in their time at the crease and India drew level after just 35 overs, and without the 'no ball' and with the same shot from Sehwag they would have amassed 176 and the batsman himself 105 'not out'.
Former Indian left arm spinner Bapu Nadkarni told the 'Times of India' (TOI) after the game that he believes the six hit by Sehwag off the 'no ball' should have counted. "“I am not an expert on the rules", declared Nadkarni, but “the decision of the umpires is puzzling to me", runs the quote attributed to him, for "the no-ball is there to be taken advantage of by the batsman and Sehwag did". "How do you say the match is over and the ball is dead?" "It was not dead when Sehwag hit a six", said Nadkarni, 77, who played 191 first class matches, 41 of them Tests at home and in Australia, England, New Zealand and the West Indies, in the period from 1951-72.
The umpire who called the 'no ball' and signalled a six was Asad Rauf of Pakistan, a member of the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, who was standing in his seventy-sixth ODI. Rauf told TOI yesterday that he "did not signal the six because I was unaware of the Laws" but because he "wasn’t sure how many runs were required for the win". Given that India needed one run to win "the match was over with the 'no-ball' continued Rauf, for "it’s not for us umpires to question the Laws [but rather to] implement them as properly as we can" during games. Rauf contacted the scorers by radio after his signals and quickly clarified the situation.
Sehwag, who raised his arms in celebration before realising he had been denied a century, claimed afterwards that Randiv had deliberately bowled the 'no ball' in order to deny him a century, but after questioning by journalists he is said to have admitted that he was not aware of the Law.
Rauf apparently told the 'TOI' that he felt Sehwag was justified in venting his ire in public, but added that "it is impossible to prove but if it was deliberate then it is against the spirit of the game and I strongly disapprove of it". The umpire, who stood with Sri Lankan Ranmore Martinesz in the game, also said that he told Randiv "that if he did it deliberately it was not on".
LAHORE TERRORIST ATTACK REPORT
RECEIVED BY THE ICC
A copy of the judicial inquiry's report on the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan side and Test match officials in Lahore, Pakistan, last year has been sent to the International Cricket Council (ICC). The 600-page report strongly criticised weaknesses in the the Punjab government's security arrangements on a day that saw eight killed (E-News 643-3193, 1 August 2010), including the driver of the match officials van, and fourth umpire Ashan Raza seriously injured (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is reported to have sent the report to the ICC "about one month ago", some 17 months after the attack occurred, after it receive the approval of the Punjab Government, say press reports from Lahore yesterday. "PCB chairman Ijaz Butt told the 'Dawn' web site that "the Punjab government had sent a copy of the judicial inquiry report to the PCB with the instruction to keep it confidential", but that as soon as they got clearance, which appears to have taken some time, the report was sent to the ICC (E-News 640-3186, 27 July 2010).
An ICC spokesperson was quoted by the Cricinfo web site as saying that the report had been received by it two weeks ago. "It is a confidential report and the ICC will not make any comments on it", said the spokesperson. An ICC task force is currently working to find ways to return international cricket to Pakistan, the country's national side having in the time since to play what were to have been home Tests and One Day Internationals in both England and the United Arab Emirates (E-News 653-3236, 17 August 2010).
As a result, and somewhat unusually, Raza, who has since recovered from his injuries, made his Test debut last month as a third umpire at Lord's, the home of cricket (E-News 633-3156, 14 July 2010).
ICC ANNOUNCES ANNUAL AWARDS
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) seventh annual Awards ceremony is to be held in in Bengaluru (formerly) Bangalore, India, on 6 October, the international 'Umpire of the Year' and team 'Spirit of Cricket' awards being amongst those that will be announced on the night. Last year in Johannesburg, Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar was named as the ICC's 2009 'Umpire of the Year' (E-News 500-2581, 2 October 2009, while New Zealand picked up the 'Spirit' trophy (E-News 500-2583, 2 October 2009)
As in the past the recipient of this year's umpiring award will be decided by votes cast by the captains of the ICC's nine Full Member international sides and its seven 'Elite' match referees. Only two men have won that award in the six times it has been awarded to date, Dar and before him five-time winner Simon Taufel of Australia (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008).
The captains, match referees and the 12 members of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel will vote for the 'Spirit of Cricket' award. In addition to last year's win, New Zealand took out the inaugural award in 2004 then England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2008 (E-News 310-1620, 11 September 2009).
If it follows past practice the ICC will announce a 'short list' of 3-4 individuals and 4 teams for the respective awards sometime next month (E-News 491-2543, 16 September 2009).
E-NEWS NUMBER 655
Thursday, 19 August 2010
UHPP OPTS TO 'RAFFLE'
EPT FINALS SPOTS
Cricket Australia's (CA) five-man Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) has opted to decide who the umpires for tomorrow's two finals of the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) will be via a 'raffle', after the four under consideration for the appointments were all judged to have performed "exceptionally well" over the ten days of the tournament in Brisbane. Past EPT events have seen the UHPP rank the umpires, and while the order involved was never released, the two best performers were given the main final with those ranked third and fourth standing in the lesser game between the third and fourth sides.
With National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Ash Barrow of Victoria engaged in a meeting with his NUP colleagues in Brisbane tomorrow, the four other Australian umpires on the 2010 EPT panel, Nathan Johnstone of Western Australia, Michael Kumutat of New South Wales, Damien Mealey of Queensland and Sam Nogajski of Tasmania, are in contention for the two finals. In what is a somewhat unusual approach to selection at any level of the game, their four names will be placed in a hat at around nine o'clock this morning, the two names drawn out first looking after the main final, and the others the lesser third versus fourth match.
Had the UHPP made a selection itself as in the past, it would have given an indication of how they rated each of the umpires, six members of the current NUP having been elevated to that panel within 12 months of standing in the main EPT final over the last three years (E-News 648-3215, 8 August 2010). However, CA's Umpire Manager Sean Cary told E-News yesterday afternoon that the feedback received by the UHPP on the four from EPT captains, coaches and NUP members Bruce Oxenford and Bob Parry, the latter pair who stood with most of them in a number of matches, was such that all four were thought to have performed so well that their talents could not be split.
The quartet all have the ability to join the NUP in the future when vacancies occur, said Cary, and their performances in representative and other matches over the forthcoming summer will be closely monitored by the UHPP. If it follows its normal practice CA will name the NUP for the 2011-12 season sometime between the end of the coming season and the middle of next year. Whether there will be vacancies on the panel then will in part be determined by the performance of the current twelve members in the summer ahead.
The main final of this year's EPT, an annual competition that CA considers to be a key milestone on its "emerging umpires pathway", will be contested in a 50 over format and be between the South African and Indian sides. New Zealand and the Australian Institute of Sport teams will play each other to decide third and fourth place, but that game will be a 40-overs-a-side match.
The UHPP, which is charged with the development of top-level umpiring in Australia, is currently made up of Ric Evans, David Levens, Peter Marshall, Steve Small and Bob Stratford, with Cary as the convenor. Cary and Small are both former first class players, Evans has umpired in Tests and Stratford, who is also the International Cricket Council's Regional Umpire Performance Panel member for Australasia, in domestic first class games, while Levens and Marshall's credentials come from managing and coaching match officials in other sports (E-News 454-2364, 13 July 2009).
SOLID START TO WINTER
A solid start was made to this year's Winter Laws School at Bellerive last night with three-dozen people, a third of them new to the TCUSA, turning out on what was a bitterly cold winter winters night. As planned nine of the first ten laws were discussed, Law 2 being the exception, the emphasis in presentations being on how each of them are applied in practice (E-News 654-3238, 18 August 2010).
Attendees were provided with a list of questions the covered the laws that were discussed and will be working through them in their own time in the lead up to next week's second meeting. Next Wednesday will also see the start of the Winter Scorers School, the agenda for the first night of that program being made up of an introduction to the 'Total Cricket Scorer' computer system, comparisons between manual and computer scoring, screen layout, toolbars, match set-ups and other issues.
CA SEEKS PLAYER INTEREST IN
PROJECT PANEL APPOINTMENT
The Australian Players Association (ASA) is currently seeking expressions-of-interest from former first class players who would like to be considered for selection to Cricket Australia's (CA) Project Panel (PP), a CA initiative that is designed to 'fast-track' former first-class players into higher-level umpiring ranks. Of the three individuals who have been appointed to the PP over the last five years, Rod Tucker is now on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel, Paul Reiffel on the ICC's second-tier umpiring group, and Paul Wilson on the National Umpires Panel (NUP).
Cricket Australia (CA), which has asked the ASA to canvas its members regarding the PP, is understood to be hoping to appoint one person from the applications that are received to the panel as early as next month. That timetable is in place in order that the individual concerned can commence work in umpiring circles in his home state this coming summer. CA is believed to anticipate that provided the individual shows appropriate potential, he could come into contention for appointment to the NUP in two to three years.
In the past PP members have, in addition to match fees, been paid a retainer for their umpiring work, however, while the sums involved have never been made public, in the early years of the project figures in the order of $40,000 have been mentioned in cricket circles. Suggestions have been made to E-News that the amount may now be less than that figure.
ALL 12 EUP MEMBERS PLUS KOERTZEN
MAKE ICC'S INITIAL 'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR' CUT
The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday named all twelve members of its Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) plus recent EUP retiree Rudi Koertzen of South Africa on its 'long list' for this year's international 'Umpire of the Year' award, with that group expected to be paired down further in the lead up to next month's presentation ceremony in Bengaluru, India (E-News 654-3241, 18 August 2010). The 'Long list' for the 'Spirit of Cricket' award apparently includes all the ICC's Full Member teams, there being no mention of any individual team in last night's ICC press release.
The nominations, which cover the period from 24 August last year and 10 August this year, were made by a five-man ICC selection panel chaired by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, who is now the Chairman of its Cricket Committee, plus former international players Angus Fraser of England, Matthew Hayden of Australia, Ravi Shastri of India and Zimbabwe’s Duncan Fletcher.
NEW EDITION OF 'TOM SMITH'
ON THE WAY
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has amended the Laws of Cricket and now a new edition of the umpires' and scorers' Laws 'Bible' is about to be produced, however, it will not be available until sometime after the Laws change on 1 October. Fraser Stewart, the MCC's Laws and Universities Manager, told E-News yesterday that the revised text has been sent to the publishers, but that it will not be printed until after the 2010-11 season in Australia gets underway, the exact publication date being unknown.
The MCC took over copyright of 'Tom Smith' from the now defunct Association of Cricket Umpires, however, copyright issues, which have now apparently been resolved, caused a delay (E-News 302-1585, 27 August 2008). The MCC's Laws Working Party is also believed to be finalising changes to its Open Learning Manual and is aiming to have it available as a free down-load from the club's web site by the time the Law changes come into effect in six weeks time.
E-NEWS NUMBER 656
Friday, 20 August 2010
ECB OFFICIALS ESCALATED PAKISTAN
BALL-TAMPERING ROW, SAYS HAIR
Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair, who with West Indian Billy Doctrove was at the centre of the ball-tampering row in a Test between England and Pakistan four years ago this month, has blamed "weak management" from senior English officials for inflaming one of the most infamous stand-offs in cricket history. Interviewed on the BBC Sport's Test Match Special (TMS) on Wednesday, Hair remained unapologetic about his decision to change the ball and penalise Pakistan five runs for ball-tampering (E-News 109-602, 4 October 2007).
At the tea interval following the penalty being applied, Pakistan's captain Inzamam-ul-Haq refused to allow his side to return to the field at The Oval, and Doctrove and Hair eventually ruled that Pakistan had forfeited the Test by refusing to take the field. David Morgan, the then chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and more recently the President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), plus David Collier, who remains the ECB's chief executive today, are said by 'The Guardian' newspaper in the UK as being likely to be "those in the firing line" when Hair "name names" in his forthcoming autobiography.
Hair told 'TMS' that "the grand old man called politics came into it" and that "too many people, not only from the Pakistan side but also the ECB, got involved". Their actions "didn't do the game any favours [for] there was no doubt they got involved when they shouldn't, which further inflamed the situation", and as a result "the Pakistan cricket team thought they had a few allies who would assist them" (E-News 111-612, 6 October 2007).
Morgan was said by 'The Guardian' to have been "uncharacteristically forceful" in responding to Hair's comments. "Everybody in a formal meeting [during the dispute at The Oval] decided that they wanted the game to continue on the final day, but Mr Hair was clearly unprepared to do so", said Morgan. "Mr Hair's response was: 'If you send me out you'll make a monkey out of me", continued now ICC past President Morgan, adding that Doctrove had said that he "can't do it without Darrell".
As a result of the impass, the first forfeit in Test history occurred, and after what 'The Guardian' says were "endless political manoeuvrings within the ICC", England's victory was eventually allowed to stand (E-News 365-1945, 3 February 2009), and Hair sued the ICC for unfair dismissal. That case ended in an out-of-court settlement (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007), Morgan saying at the time that Hair should not have been demoted as a result of The Oval incident (E-News 113-618, 9 October 2007). The Australian eventually umpired in two more Tests before he was "encouraged into retirement" by the ICC (E-News 341-1806, 31 October 2008).
Hair still insists that he behaved impeccably. "I did my job to uphold the Laws of the game and the playing conditions to the best of my ability", he told 'TMS', for "the ball was in an extremely dodgy condition – scratched – there is no other word for it". "Strength of character can sometimes be mistaken for obstructiveness and arrogance", he said, and "people don't like umpires and referees in any sport who are strong on the spirit of the game and on upholding the Laws".
DISQUIET OVER UHPP
The decision by Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) to select the umpires for today's finals of the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) by raffle, appears to have produced considerable disquiet in Australian umpiring circles, if the cascade of correspondence received by E-News yesterday is any guide. The UHPP decided on that technique after it judged all four umpires in contention for the finals to have performed to an equal standard over the ten days of the tournament in Brisbane and that they couldn't be separated (E-News 655-3242, 19 August 2010).
The result, after names were drawn out of a hat yesterday morning, is that the main final between the South African and Indian sides, a 50 over game that is to be played at the Allan Border Field in the suburb of Breakfast Creek, will be managed by Nathan Johnstone, 29, of Western Australia, and Michael Kumutat, 42, of New South Wales. Some eight kilometres to the south-west at the University of Queensland, Tasmanian Sam Nogajski, 31, and Queenslander Damien Mealey, 42, will be looking after the third versus fourth match between the Australian Institute of Sport and New Zealand sides, a game that, unlike the main final, will be a 40 over affair.
Most correspondence received by E-News acknowledged how difficult selection processes of any kind can often be, however, the overwhelming sentiment was that the UHPP's approach was not, in the words of one e-mail, "good enough" for in that writer's view it "devalues" CA's highly publicised umpire development pathway, especially as UHPP members "have conducted formal observations of all four men in action over the last few seasons", and not just in this year's EPT.
Another was of the opinion that "Johnstone, Kumutat, Mealey and Nogajski and others in the umpiring chain deserve better given the commitment and hard work they put into their game", while yet another said that he "can't believe that regardless of how well each of the candidates performed [that] the UHPP are incapable of finding some differences that separate the four". "One has to wonder what would their decision might have been if one of the four had been a member of [what he called CA's] 'favoured' Project Panel!", he continued (E-News 655-3244, 19 August 2010).
Despite those types of reaction all four umpires will, as indicated by CA's Umpire Manager Sean Cary on Wednesday, have opportunities to further show their talents during representative games over the coming summer. While Cary did not go into details it appears likely, given that the UHPP is believed to consider that they all have the ability to join the National Umpires Panel in the future when vacancies occur, that each will be selected to stand in domestic one-day and Twenty20 interstate games this season.
To date only Mealey and Nogajski having worked at senior interstate level, their experience at the moment being limited to roles as third umpires at one-day level last summer, the Tasmanian twice and Queenslander once (E-News 558-2835, 27 January 2010).
E-News was in error in yesterday's edition by indicating in the main story that day that the finals were to have been played on Thursday.
ONE-MATCH BAN HANDED OUT
FOR 'DELIBERATE' 'NO BALL'
Sri Lankan bowler Suraj Randiv was yesterday suspended for a single One Day International (ODI) by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for bowling a "deliberate" 'no ball' to Indian batsman Virender Sehwag at the end of the two teams' ODI in Dambulla on Monday. Off-spinner Randiv, whose foot fault denied Sehwag his century (E-News 654-3239, 18 August 2010), was also required to forfeit his match fee because of the incident, as was his team-mate Tillakaratne Dilshan who was alleged to have "given the instruction" to Randiv to bowl the 'no-ball'.
A SLC statement said that both Randiv, who was playing his sixteenth ODI, and Dilshan, were at fault and that "it is of paramount importance to maintain the discipline of the Gentlemen’s game, especially with [SLC] being winners of the International Cricket Council's [ICC] 'Spirit of the Game' award for two consecutive years [in 2007 and 2008]" (E-News 310-1620, 11 September 2008).
“As such", continued the statement, SLC "has taken a stern decision against Suraj Randiv and TM Dilshan, for their actions", while Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara, who also came under the spotlight following the match, was advised by SLC to ensure "there is no repeat of the incident".
In a separate press release, the ICC said from Dubai that it "welcomed the decision by [SLC] to act swiftly and decisively in relation to an incident that took place at the conclusion of the [Lanka-India match] on Monday". Referring to what it called the "strong action taken by SLC following the incident", ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said that "the 'Spirit of Cricket' is a fundamental part of our great sport". The suspension and fines handed out by SLC are "a clear sign that the notion of fair play is still very important to those who love the game of cricket and we commend SLC on its commitment to that", said Lorgat.
E-NEWS NUMBER 657
Monday, 23 August 2010
PRACTICE BOWL ON PITCH
RESULTS IN 30-MINUTE BAN
New Zealand opening bowler Kyle Mills was banned from bowling for half-an-hour in last Friday's One Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka in Dambulla after he bowled a warm-up delivery that landed on the popping crease. Mills, the side's vice-captain, was given the ball for a new spell in the 39th over of Sri Lanka's innings but umpires Asad Rauf of Pakistan and Tyrone Wijewardene of Sri Lanka stopped him, team mate Jacob Oram then being brought in to deliver the over, says a 'Cricinfo' report.
Law 17, which covers 'Practice on the Pitch', says in section 1(a) that "there shall be no bowling or batting practice on the pitch, or on the area parallel and immediately adjacent to the pitch, at any time on any day of the match". It goes on to say in part in section 1(d) that if a bowler contravenes that rule "he shall not be allowed to bowl until either at least one hour later than the contravention or there has been at least 30 minutes of playing time since the contravention whichever is sooner".
In his summary for 'Cricinfo' of a game that was eventually abandoned because of rain, journalist Siddarth Ravindran described the matter as a breach of "a little-known rule" and New Zealand captain Ross Taylor was quoted as saying at the post-match press conference that Mills "wasn't aware of the rule". However, it isn't the first time New Zealand have been at the receiving end of such a ban, Taylor also saying that "we had a similar situation in a warm-up game last year when Chris Martin did a similar thing", and that he is "not sure where the rules say 30 minutes but I think he was off for an hour".
Although Ravindran says that Taylor "laughed off" the Mills' half-hour bowling ban after the match, the captain said admitted it could have proved costly for his side. "I must say we were lucky", he said, "Kyle being our best bowler and he could have only been able to bowl seven overs" and that "in hindsight, it's funny but then it wasn't funny, but Kyle won't do that again".
The reference to seven overs was that if rain had not stopped play 15 minutes after the incident Mills, who at that stage had bowled five overs in the innings, would have only had time to deliver two more overs by the time he return to the crease; in affect loosing three of the maximum of ten overs ODI playing conditions allow to a bowler in each innings.
BOTH EPT FINALS
MATCHES WASHED OUT
Both finals matches in this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Brisbane on Friday were washed out without a ball being bowled (E-News 656-3248, 20 August 2010). Umpires Sam Nogajski of Tasmania and Damien Mealey of Queensland called off play 15 minutes before the 40 over game for third place was due to get underway when rain, that started in the early hours of the morning made conditions unsuitable for play. The 50 over match for first place was abandoned three hours later by Nathan Johnstone of Western Australia and Michael Kumutat of New South Wales after attempts to mop up water were foiled by on-going precipitation.
SANGAKKARA CLEARED OF 'PHYSICAL
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has been found not guilty of a charge of "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play" during his side's One Day International (ODI) against New Zealand in Dambulla on Friday. Sangakkara bumped into New Zealand off-spinner Nathan McCullum while turning blind for a second run and umpires Asad Rauf of Pakistan and Tyron Wijewardena of Sri Lanka reported him to match referee Alan Hurst of Australia, who held a hearing into the matter.
Hurst explained his 'not guilty' decision in a press release issued by the International Cricket Council on Saturday that he "looked at video footage of the incident from various angles and considered the detailed evidence of the umpires". He "found that video evidence that was put forward by the player provided reasonable doubt as to whether the contact was deliberate". Under ICC regulations if Sangakkara had been found guilty he would have faced a fine of between 50-100 percent of his match fee, and/or a ban of a Test or either two ODIs or two Twenty20 Internationals.
WCL DIVISION 4 SERIES
ENDS IN ITALY
Umpires Richard Smith of Germany and Courtney Young of the Cayman Islands stood in the main final of the World Cricket League's 22-match Division 4 tournament in Bologna, Italy, on Saturday (E-News 644-3198, 3 August 2010). Irishman Charlie McElwee and Keith Smith looked after the match for third and Andy Bisson of Guernsey and Louis Fourie from Ireland the game for fifth.
International Cricket Council Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) member Ian Gould of England was appointed to seven matches, two of which were abandoned due to rain. He stood with four of the five other umpires during that time, McElwee being the only one who did not get a chance to work directly with him on the field. Of the five non-EUP members Fourie and Richard Smith were appointed to seven games overall, McElwee, Keith Smith and Young to six, and Bisson to five.
E-NEWS NUMBER 658
Thursday, 28 August 2010
KIWIS TO MAKE HISTORY AT LORD'S
New Zealand umpires 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill, who are both members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel, will tonight become the first neutral umpires from the same country to stand together in a Test match at Lord's. The pair will be on the field for the fourth and final Test of the England-Pakistan series, the match being Hill's first in a Test at the home of cricket and Bowden's third.
Bowden, who will be standing in his sixty-second Test, told journalists that "to be at Lord's and to create a little piece of history by being the first two neutral umpires from the same country to umpire there makes it super special". "It will be a proud moment for us, our families, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and to all our fellow umpires in New Zealand as we walk out to the middle together", he said, for "it is a testimony to the umpiring structure that has been put in place in New Zealand and I trust in a small way it will inspire future generations of Test umpires from New Zealand".
Hill, who like Bowden is from Auckland, will be standing in his twentieth Test, said that "to say I am looking forward to the Lord's Test is an understatement. "Although I have already stood there for a couple of shorter version games, to get to stand in a Test there is brilliant [and] to have a Kiwi at the other end is a bonus".
Tonight's match will be Bowden's fifth at Lord's for apart from his appearances there in Tests, one of the 148 One Day Internationals (ODI) he has stood in to date was played there. Hill has previously worked at Lord's in three games, all of them in 2009, the first in a ODI and the others in last year's Twenty20 World Championship, one of those two matches being in the television suite.
NZC Chief Executive Officer, Justin Vaughan, said in a statement that the achievement by the two umpires "marked the pinnacle of cricket umpiring excellence". “Having two umpires from one country sharing Test umpiring duties is a worthy reflection on the work done in this country over many years by the New Zealand Umpires and Scorers Association and is a very formal stamp of approval for the two men themselves". “Billy and Tony are great role models for the next generation of umpires and we are extremely proud of them", Vaughan added.
NO CHANGES PLANNED TO
BANGLADESH IUP MEMBERSHIP
Bangladeshi umpires Nadir Shah, Enamul Hoque and Sharfuddoula Ibn Shahid are to retain their current positions on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) for the coming 12 months. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) agreed to renominate the trio to the ICC during its twentieth annual general meeting last Sunday.
Over the last year Enamul Hoque, 44, a former Bangladeshi international player, has worked as the third umpire in two Tests and three One Day Internationals (ODI), as well as standing in seven ODIs and a Twenty20 International, the latter in Dubai. In the same period Nadir Shah, 46, worked in three Tests and two ODIs in the television suite, plus eleven ODIs on the field, five of them in Kenya. Both men stood together in the final of last season's Bangladesh domestic first class competition.
Sharfuddoula, 33, who has previously played first class cricket in Bangladesh, has just completed his first year on the IUP as a third umpire. In that time he made his debut in that role at both Test and ODI level as well as on the field in the latter format.
E-NEWS NUMBER 659
Friday, 27 August 2010
LORD'S SAME-NATION 'NEUTRALS'
RECORD FIRST SET 98 YEARS AGO
New Zealand umpires 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill may be the first 'neutral' pair from the same nation to stand in a Test match at Lord's since the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced its current appointments system in 2002, however, such a pairing actually occurred for the first time just over 98 years ago. Bowden and Hill's achievement has been publicised by the ICC and in the media this week (E-News 658-3254, 26 August 2010), but Englishmen John Moss and Alfred Street can claim that Lord's record for they were neutrals when Australia and South Africa played a Test at the home of cricket in July 1912.
Moss and Street were standing in the fifth of nine Tests that were played in England in 1912 as part of a triangular series that involved the home side, Australia and South Africa. Three of those matches were played at Lord's and Moss and Street, who were part of a six-man umpiring panel from England used for what was a three-day format Test tournament, stood in two of those games, Englishmen Walter Richards and William West looking after the other.
For Moss that Lord's match as a neutral official was the sixth of the eleven Tests he umpired in the period from 1902-1921, four of which were at St John's Wood. He played a single first class match for Nottinghamshire in 1892 before taking up umpiring aged 30 and going on to stand in 665 first class games over the 38 years from 1894, 78 of those fixtures being at Lord's. Street also played at first class level, his side being Surrey who he represented 51 times from 1892-98. After that he took up umpiring, eventually standing in 523 first class matches, 11 of them Tests, from 1909-1939, exactly 50 of those games being played at Lord's, three of them Tests.
Bowden, Hill, Moss and Street are part of a prestigious group that now totals eighty who have been appointed to umpire in the 121 men's Tests that have been played at the home of cricket over the past 126 years. Of those 61 were born in either England or Wales, seven in Australia, two each in India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies, and one each from Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe; Bangladesh being the only country who have played a Test but who do not to date have a representative on the list.
England's 'Dickie' Bird tops the list with 15 Lord's Tests from 1973-96, followed by his countrymen Frank Chester 12 from 1924-55, Syd Buller 11 (1960-69) and David Constant 10 from 1971-88. Retirees Rudi Koertzen from South Africa heads the list of overseas umpires with nine from 1999-2010, then comes Steve Bucknor of the West Indies with eight (1994-2008) and Darrell Hair of Australia five (1996-2004). Bird's Lord's record, which accounts for almost a quarter of his total Tests, is likely to stand for a long time, even if the ICC changes its current neutral umpires policy for Tests.
TCUSA Life Member Steve Randell was the first Australian of the modern era to be on the field in a Lord's Test, that game being in 1994, however, the first of his countrymen to have that honour was James Phillips who stood in three there between 1893 and 1905. Phillips' record is remarkable and suggests he was the first real 'international' umpire for he 'commuted', at a time when it took eight weeks or more to travel between Australia and England, between the two countries every year from 1884-1906; standing in the Sheffield Shield in the austral summer and the county Championship the following northern summer before again heading back 'down under'.
Born in Stawell, Victoria, Phillips played 124 first class games as an all-rounder for Victoria, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Middlesex and Canterbury from 1886-98, 50 of those matches being held at Lord's. He actually umpired at first class level two years before his debut as a player, maintaining the dual umpire-player role from then until his playing retirement just before the turn of the Twentieth century. All-up he stood in 278 first class games, 29 of them Tests, over the 44 years from 1884-1928 in Australia, England, South Africa the United States. Of the Tests 13 were played in Australia in either Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney, 10 in England and five in South Africa.
However, the record as a match official at Lord's in a Test belongs to a scorer not an umpire. Records that are readily available, which unfortunately are not as comprehensive as those for umpires, indicate that England's Eddie Solomon holds the Test match record at St John's Wood, for he was involved in recording the details of 28 such games there from 1968-94. He also umpired a one-day game between the MCC and Scotland at Lord's in 1992, that match seeing the likes of Australia's Michael Slater, New Zealand's Ken Rutherford and England's Peter Willey, who currently has 257 games as a first class umpire under his belt, as part of the MCC side.
INDIAN BATSMAN FINED FOR 'DISSENT'
Indian batsman Virat Kohli has been fined 15 percent of his match-fee for showing dissent at an umpire's decision during his side's One Day International (ODI) against New Zealand in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday. Kohli stood looking at umpire Asoka de Silva for what the International Cricket Council (ICC) described as "a considerable time" after he was given out caught behind.
Match referee Alan Hurst of Australia said in an ICC statement that "accepting the umpires' decisions is part and parcel of playing cricket and on this occasion Virat clearly showed dissent when he had been given out". Kohli pleaded guilty to the dissent charge, which was laid by de Silva of Sri Lanka and Asad Rauf of Pakistan, third umpire Kumar Dharmasena and fourth official Gration Liyanage, and accepted the sanction handed to him by Hurst therefore there was no need for a formal hearing into the matter.
Rauf and de Silva are members of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel and were standing in their 79th and 103rd ODI respectively.
SCORER, UMPIRE TROPHIES ON
ZIMBABWE AWARDS NIGHT LIST
Awards for Zimbabwe's 'best umpire' and 'scorer' for 2010 are among the list of trophies that are to be presented during Zimbabwe Cricket's annual dinner in Harare next Friday. Former West Indian player Brian Lara will be guest of honour at the event and deliver the keynote address at the event.
E-NEWS NUMBER 660
Monday, 30 August 2010
MCC TO TRIAL NEW LIMITED
OVERS FORMAT, CA AS WELL?
A new format for limited overs cricket developed by a South African "inventor" is to be trialled by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in two matches next Monday and Tuesday. One media report says that if successful the concept "could spread very quickly", and makes the so far unconfirmed claim that Cricket Australia's (CA) chief executive James Sutherland "is a huge fan and has already thrown his support behind trials in his country".
The distinguishing feature of what is called '5IVES' is that both teams bat in multiple ‘innings splits’ so that there are a total of five changeovers per match where the ‘not out’ batsmen at the end of an innings split resume batting at the start of their side’s next innings split. Writing on the South African web site 'supersport.com', journalist Neil Manthorp gave an example of how the '5IVES' format would apply for a 50-over match, although he says it would fit 40-over matches "just as easily".
In Manthorp's 50-over example Team ‘A’, who won the toss or was put in by its opponents, bats for its first 10 overs after which team ‘B’ faces its overs 1-10 then 11-20, then team ‘A’ bats again and faces its next 20 overs, numbers 11-20 and 21-30. The rotation continues with team B then at the crease for its second 20 overs (21-30 and 31-40), followed by team ‘A’ who finishes its allocated overs number 31-40 and 41-50. Team ’B’ then bats for the last time, finishing the match by batting its final 10 overs, 41-50.
Under the format developed by South African Dick Wood, each 10-over section of the innings would a standalone "head-to-head" with a bonus point at stake for whichever team ‘wins’ that section, thereby "taking care of the ‘dead overs’ [issue] in the middle of the innings which have become such a problem". Two substitute fielders are permitted at the beginning and end of each change-over to allow the 'not out' batsmen to pad up or unpad and they may be used to keep wicket if required.
Manthorp says that under Wood's playing conditions, a '5IVES' match becomes "a genuine ‘race’ played in similar conditions for both teams", with Duckworth-Lewis being "left unemployed because a ‘comparative score’ would be constantly available and there would be many less washouts, especially of the most frustrating kind when one team bats all of their 50 overs only for the elements to wipe out the second innings".
Wood is said to have presented his concept to Cricket South Africa, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the MCC's Cricket Committee (CC) at the latter's 2010 meeting last month. The CC, which is made up of senior international players from many countries and former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor (E-News 626-3129, 30 June 2010), are said to have "loved it", although there was no mention of the matter in the press release issued at the end of that meeting (E-News 629-3138, 4 July 2010). Just when, how and to what degree CA's Sutherland came across the concept is not known.
John Stephenson, the MCC's Head of Cricket said in a story posted on the club's web site that "a key part of MCC’s remit is to provide research and development for the good of the game and, given our independence in world cricket, we are well placed to conduct such a trial". He says that they are looking "forward to seeing how '5IVES' works in practice" and that "it may succeed, it may not, but we won’t know until we’ve given it a go".
Wood was quoted as saying that "what cricket needs is excitement and tension throughout the game, not just in the closing stages [and] to achieve that you must be able to see who is winning now". According to him '5IVES' brings the game alive creating the energy and atmosphere that sports fans crave, without compromising the integrity of the game".
Next week's two '5IVES' trial matches in England will be between the 'MCC Universities' and 'MCC Young Cricketers' teams, but just who the match officials will be has not yet been announced. The claim that Sutherland has "thrown his support behind trials" in Australia is yet to be substantiated but may be a challenge for CA as it already has a full-scale 31-match trial of its own new one-day format version planned for the coming austral summer (E-News 652-3229, 16 August 2010).
NO UDRS FOR INDIA-AUSTRALIA
TESTS, SAY REPORTS
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has indicated that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be used in the two-Test series its side will play against Australia in October, says a Press Trust of India report from Mumbai on Saturday. Earlier this month Cricket Australia (CA) was said to be "attempting to soften" Indian opposition to UDRS use in those matches, an unnamed spokesman being quoted as saying at the time that "we're genuinely hopeful we will be able to persuade [the BCCI] that the UDRS is a good thing" (E-News 650-3221, 11 August 2010).
Professor Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, was quoted by various media outlets as saying that "there won't be any UDRS in the series" against Australia and that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has already been formally advised of that decision. Asked if the system could be used in next year's World Cup on the sub-continent, Shetty, who is also the Tournament Director for those fixtures, indicated that the ICC "calls the shots over the issue" as it is their event (E-News 643-3195, 1 August 2010).
Two months ago the ICC Executive Board met in Singapore and approved 13 recommendations relating to the use of UDRS in Test matches and the World Cup, one being that the host member Board would determine whether to use UDRS in home Test series following consultation with the visiting country (E-News 628-3137, 2 July 2010). An Australian Associated Press report yesterday claimed that the decision announced by Shetty came as surprise to CA, "who had been told the matter would be decided when [their] officials made a pre-tour inspection" visit to India sometime in September.
The BCCI's announcement came a few days after recently retired South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen told the 'cricket365.com. web site that the UDRS is "a good thing for cricket". "The guys", a reference to members of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, "are, probably, 75 percent happy with the system", however, he asks "why should you have England against Australia or England against South Africa with the system, but India versus Sri Lanka without it?" (E-News 631-3149, 10 July 2010). "Wherever you go", continued Koertzen, "it should be the same across the board because you can't expect one game to run smoothly thanks to the system but the other not because there is a mistake that could not be controlled".
While UDRS-related information will not be able to be used by the umpires who are involved in October's Tests on the subcontinent, viewers watching on television will reportedly see and hear action via ball-tracking technology, 'Super Slo-Mo' replays and sound from stump microphones (E-News 652-3232, 16 August 2010). The BCCI's rejection of the system for the forthcoming series with Australia comes just a few weeks after Indian vice-captain and opening batsman Virender Sehwag is reported to have indicated that he would like to see the UDRS used in Tests and One Day Internationals (E-News 648-3216, August 2010).
KOERTZEN OFFERS A PERSPECTIVE
OF HIS RUPM AFRICA ROLE
Former South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen says that he has suggested to Cricket South Africa that he stand in "selected four-day and one-day [domestic] games" with "some of [his country's] young, upcoming umpires" in order "to nurture them into the system" and "step in if any trouble" develops with players. Koertzen made the comment in response to a question put to him by the South African web site 'Cricket365.com' late last week about what his new job as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Regional Umpire Performance Manager (RUPM) for the Africa region entails (E-News 642-3191, 30 July 2010).
The South African, who is the most experienced international umpire in world cricket, said that the "problem for young umpires coming in is that the players who have been around for many years will just abuse them". "New umpires can't be too forward", he says, for "they have to relax, work themselves in, get the respect of the players and make sure that they don't get abused or taken advantage of". His "main objective in [his] new role within South Africa, is to instill the right mentality in the young umpires", says Koertzen.
As for his RUPM role in the rest of Africa, Koertzen says that he "will work with the elite umpires from Zimbabwe, Kenya, [and] South Africa" and be "like a mentor to them". In addition, "when there is Test cricket in South Africa [he] will go and monitor the international umpires who have come to the country for the particular series". "For example, if Steve Davis [Australia] and 'Billy' Bowden [New Zealand] come and do a Test match, I will go and monitor the game and, if they want me to, I will speak to them after the day's play regarding decisions they made", said Koertzen.
"If there is anything I see and feel that they should've handled a little bit better, I will communicate this to them [and] at the end of the game I will submit a report to the ICC, which the respective umpires will see too", he continued. "We, as umpires, have to be honest with each other [and therefore] I'm not going to say something to them and then write something different in the report", he says.
INDIA FINED FOR SLOW OVER-RATE
IN TRI-NATION FINAL
The India team has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the final of the tri-nation One Day International (ODI) series in Dambulla on Saturday. Match referee Alan Hurst of Australia imposed the fines after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side was ruled, after time allowances were taken into consideration, to be two overs short of its target at the end of the match against Sri Lanka.
Under the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct regulations that cover "minor over-rate offences", players are fined 10 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, Dhoni was fined 40 per cent of his match fee while his players each lost 20-per-cent. The penalty was accepted by India without contest therefore there was no need for a hearing.
E-NEWS NUMBER 661
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
ASCU WARNED ABOUT DELIBERATE 'NO BALLS'
A DECADE AGO, SAYS HAIR
Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair says that the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) issued a global alert "a decade ago" over fears Pakistan was bowling deliberate no-balls, according to a story published in Melbourne's 'Herald-Sun' newspaper this morning. On Sunday the UK's 'News of The World' (NOTW) alleged that Pakistan fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif bowled 'no-balls' to order in the fourth Test against England at Lord's last Saturday, both men overstepping significantly on the "exact" balls predicted well before hand by players' agent Mazhar Majeed.
Hair was quoted by journalists Robert craddock and Ben Dorries as saying last night that the 'NOTW' report, which featured video footage of Majeed allegedly accepting money for made-to-order 'no-balls', "didn't shock me at all". "When the ICC's anti-corruption unit was formed [in 2000] they spoke to all the leading umpires and said there were concerns in tournaments in places like Sharjah that the Pakistanis were bowling [deliberate] no balls and wides", runs the quote attributed to Hair. "They also mentioned the possibility of strange dismissals, but they have not been able to get any proof", he continued, and "maybe the anti-corruption unit should be disbanded and they should hire the ['NOTW'] to do their investigations".
Majeed, who was later arrested and then bailed without charge as part of a Scotland Yard investigation into the matter, indicated on the covertly recorded video aired by the 'NOTW' that the Pakistani team was also involved in ball tampering. He made the claim that he "used to go out on the pitch to give the players drinks whenever we couldn't get a wicket [with] a lump of 'Vaseline' on my hand" and after transferring it by shaking hands, the players would "put it on one side of the ball and the ball would start swinging".
Hair's international umpiring career was significantly curtailed after he reported Pakistan for ball-tampering in a now infamous Test at The Oval four years ago this month, although whether there is a connection with 'Vaseline' on that occasion is doubtful as Hair was quoted in 'The Guardian' newspaper just over a week ago as saying that then "the ball was in an extremely dodgy condition – scratched – there is no other word for it" (E-News 656-3247, 20 August 2010).
However the Australian said last night that Majeed's boast reinforced his belief that Pakistan have long engaged in ball tampering. "I was never in any real doubt all sorts of shenanigans were going on, but unfortunately at the time I couldn't get the support of the ICC [for] there seemed to be a lack of a will to go down that road" by the officials who were then involved.
The ACSU was set up ten years ago following what the ICC says was "a corruption crisis which represented the gravest challenge [the game] had faced since the Packer Revolution of the 1970s and the Bodyline series of the 1930s" and that "cricket's reputation and integrity were tarnished and in danger of being destroyed".
At that time there were match-fixing allegations and revelations about South Africa captain, the late Hansie Cronje, and the captains of India and Pakistan, Mohammed Azharuddin and Salim Malik, while South African umpires Cyril Mitchley and Rudi Koertzen reported that they were offered money to influence that results of matches at different points in their career. Azharuddin, Cronje and Malik were eventually banned for life from international cricket, and other players were suspended, fined and warned about their future conduct following judicial and Board enquiries in several major cricket countries.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement yesterday that his organisation, the "England and Wales Cricket Board and Pakistan Cricket Board are committed to a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in cricket [and that] all allegations of betting irregularities or fixing of matches or incidents within matches are investigated thoroughly by the [ACSU] and [the current] case is no different".
“The integrity of the game is of paramount importance", continued Lorgat, and "prompt and decisive action will be taken against those who seek to harm it, however, the facts must first be established through a thorough investigation and it is important to respect the right of due process when addressing serious allegations of this sort". Lorgat concluded by saying that "once the process is complete, if any players are found to be guilty, the ICC will ensure that the appropriate punishment is handed out [for] we will not tolerate corruption in this great game".
ICC UMPIRES, MATCH REFEREES
MEETING IN DUBAI
Members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpire and match referees panels are meeting at the world body's headquarters in Dubai this week for what appears to be that group's annual gathering. The five-day meeting, which got underway yesterday, is believed to include members of the ICC's 'Elite', 'International' and possibly 'Associates and Affiliates' umpiring panels, its 'Elite' match referees' group, and the five members of the Regional Umpire Performance Manager panel.
FINANCIAL INCENTIVES BEHIND MOVE OF
PLAYERS TO UMPIRING, SAYS KOERTZEN
Recently retired South African umpire Rudi Koertzen is said to be "surprised" about the growing tendency for former international players to take up umpiring, according to an interview with him that was posted on the 'Cricket365.com' web site late last week. Koertzen says that not that long ago "if you asked [first class players] if they would become an umpire, they'd say: 'You've got to be crazy to stand in sun for the whole day, getting abused and shouted at', however, the situation has changed over the last half-decade because "things are a lot more lucrative financially" for them to make the switch now.
Four of the six umpires the International Cricket Council (ICC) has elevated to its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) over the last three years are former first class players, as are 18 of the 31 members of its current second-tier International Umpires panel (IUP); while five of the six IUP members who appear to be in contention for EUP positions in the next few years played first class, and in some cases, Test cricket. Cricket Australia, who has promoted three former first class players Paul Reiffel, Rod Tucker and Paul Wilson into senior umpiring ranks in recent years via its Project Panel, is currently looking for the next candidate for "fast-tracking" (E-News 655-3244, 19 August 2010).
'Cricket365' journalist Johnhenry Wilson put to Koertzen that Test players such as "Reiffel and Kumar Dharmasena [Sri Lanka] are good examples of cricketers who have moved on to international umpiring quite soon after retiring from playing", and asked if he was "comfortable with this growing trend?" Both those former players are now IUP members with Dharmasena appearing to currently be in the mix for EUP membership (E-News 637-3176, 22 July 2010).
Koertzen's reported response was that "you don't have to have played Test cricket to be a good umpire", but rather that "if you've got the feel for the game and the ability to go out there and do a good job and make good decisions, that's when people respect you". The South African added though that "having played, it probably gives you a bit of an edge because you have a fairly recent recollection of what it's like to be out there". "There are things that happen out in the field that those who have played the game at a high level will be aware of, which we as umpires who never played at such a level probably wouldn't know about", he said.
Asked about his countryman Marais Erasmus, who was promoted to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel in June (E-News 617-3091, 5 June 2010), Koertzen said that he is "sure, in time to come, Marais will fly the flag even higher than I did". "Another umpire I have a lot of time for is [another South African] Johan Cloete, (E-News 476-2479, 19 August 2009), for Koertzen thinks "he will eventually get to the very top and stay there for a number of years too".
Cloete, 39, has not played the game at first class level, but he has to date stood in 81 first class matches since his debut at that level in 1993 at the age of just 22. Australian Simon Taufel, who is regarded by most observers to be the ICC's most capable umpire and has been named the world body's 'Umpire of the Year' on five-straight occasions, did not play first class cricket.
End of August 2010 news file.