TCUSA E-NEWS APRIL 2007
Number 24 – 2 April 2007 [EN0131-0135]
Number 25 – 5 April 2007 [EN0136-0140]
Number 26 – 6 April 2007 [EN0141-0147]
Number 27 – 11 April 2007 [EN0148-0151]
Number 28 – 16 April 2007 [EN0152-0156]
Number 29 – 19 April 2007 [EN0157-0165]
Number 30 – 20 April 2007 [EN0166-0169]
Number 31 – 23 April 2007 [EN0170-0174]
Number 32 – 26 April 2007 [EN0175-0180]
Number 33 – 27 April 2007 [EN0181-0187]
Number 34 – 30 April 2007 [EN0188-0193]
E-NEWS NUMBER 24, 2 April 2007
HAIR FOR AUSTRALIAN FIRST CLASS CRICKET?
Media reports in Queensland over the weekend indicate that Australian international umpire Darrell Hair has moved back to Australia and that he may be offered an umpire's contract here. Hair is said to have returned to Sydney after three years in England, and he was quoted as saying that while no decision has been made it is "unlikely" he will umpire again. Despite that the same reports claim that Cricket Australia head James Sutherland has indicated Hair may be offered a contract to umpire First-Class cricket in Australia. Hair has stood 131 One Day Internationals and 76 Tests, the last of the latter being the controversial forfeited match between England and Pakistan at the Oval in August. If he does make himself available, Hair could be one of the National Panel of twelve umpires selected for the 2007-08 season (E-News 9, 25 February 2007). Last year he was rated as the ICC's second-best umpire behind fellow Australian Simon Taufel. His inclusion on the National Panel would further stengthen the pool of officials available to officiate at First Class level in Australia.
AWARDS PRESENTED AT NTCUSA ANNUAL DINNER
Forty-five people attended the Northern Tasmania Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NTCUSA) Annual Dinner in Launceston last Friday night. As this was the Association's 70th birthday, a cake with the NTCUSA logo was cut, local Federal Member Michael Fergusson was guest speaker, and entertainment was provided by Col Nichols and Ted Richardson. The NTCUSA's top honour, the 'Presidents Award', which is given to the person who makes a significant contribution for the betterment of the Association and its members, was awarded to NTCUSA Umpire's Advisor Paul Clark. Trophies were presented to 'Umpires of the Year' in First, Second and Third Grades - Chris Fox, Andrew Clarke and Grant Wykes. Caroline McGregor received the 'Most Promising' award, and Tony Goodwin the 'Encouragement Award' for the extra commitment he made to improve his umpiring during the season. Grand Final umpires in First, Second and Third Grade received their medallions from the NTCA at the conclusion of their matches over the weekend.
ICC REFEREE REACHES 200 ODI MATCH MARK
International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka, officiated in his 200th One Day International (ODI) last Friday in the World Cup game between England and Ireland. It is the first time any Match Referee has reached that milestone, and he has now taken charge of 67 ODIs more than Clive Lloyd the next most experienced ICC match referee. As a player Ranjan represented Sri Lanka in 21 Test matches and 65 ODIs from 1979-89, was captain from 1987 to 1989, and served two spells as a national selector in his home country. He was appointed to the ICC match referees panel in 1994 and in 2001 became the first person to hold the position of Chief Match Referee, a post he still occupies. Ranjan has taken charge of the 1999 and 2003 World Cup Finals as well as 94 Test matches. He said before last Friday's game that "It has been a fascinating experience graduating from being a player to a match official and it has been great to work with different umpires, top captains and everyone involved with this great game". ICC President Percy Sonn congratulated Ranjan on reaching this milestone and thanked him "for all his hard work and excellent judgment he has demonstrated since becoming a referee". Ranjan Madugalle is one of eight people on the ICC's 'Emirates Elite Panel' of Match Referees. The others are Chris Broad (England) with 23 Tests and 87 ODIs to date, Jeff Crowe (New Zealand) 17/69, Alan Hurst (Australia) 11/37, Clive Lloyd (West Indies) 53/133, Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka) 13/66, Mike Procter (South Africa) 41/128, and Javagal Srinath (India) 4/13. Broad, Crowe, Procter and Madugalle are each officiating in six matches of the current 24-game 'Super Eight' stage of the World Cup in the West Indies.
INDIA FINED FOR SLOW OVER RATE
Indian Captain Rahul Dravid was fined ten per cent of his match fee for a slow over-rate in his team's final World Cup Group match in Trinidad last week. Match Referee Jeff Crowe ruled that when time allowances were taken into consideration, India was still one over short of the target required by the rules . In accordance with the ICC Code of Conduct, the players were fined five per cent of their match fees for every over short, with the captain fined double. Pakistan were fined for a slow over rate in their game against Ireland a few days earlier (E-News 18, 21 March 2007).
REPRIMAND FOR STUMP STRIKE
South Africa's Robin Peterson has been officially reprimanded for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the World Cup match against Sri Lanka in Guyana last Wednesday. Peterson pleaded guilty to the Level 1 charge, laid by the four umpires under clause 1.2 of the Code which refers to "Abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings" (E-News 18, 21 March 2007). The charge related to Peterson's reaction after he scored the winning runs in his side's one-wicket win. He was seen to hit the stumps at the non-striker's end with his bat as he ran off the ground. ICC Match Referee Jeff Crowe was quoted as saying that "Robin apologised to the umpires on the field after the incident and the umpires expressed the view that there was no malice involved in his actions". Crowe continued by saying that "all players have a responsibility to maintain the highest standard of behaviour, no matter what the situation, as that is part and parcel of being a high-profile sportsman and hitting the stumps with the bat is not acceptable at any time". All ICC Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee. The charge was brought by on-field umpires Daryl Harper (Australia) and Steve Bucknor (West Indies), third umpire Mark Benson (England) and fourth official Simon Taufel (Australia). Crowe reached his conclusion after a hearing attended by the player, South Africa team manager Goolam Raja, and the four umpires.
E-NEWS NUMBER 25, 5 April 2007
STEVE MAXWELL RECEIVES TIGERS AWARD
TCUSA umpire Steve Maxwell was named as the 'Umpire of the Year' at the Tasmanian Tigers Players of the Year Annual Dinner last Friday. In announcing the award TCA Board member and former umpire Mike Gandy said that the criteria for it had been varied this year "to acknowledge the important role the umpiring community provide to cricket". Mike said that Steve has served cricket in Tasmania for many years and that he has "earned the respect and confidence of the players [and that he is] a highly regarded mentor to the umpiring fraternity". Along with Sam Nogajski, Steve was selected in the TCA Grade Team of the Year late last month (E-News 19, 22 March 2007), the fourth time in five years he has received that honour. Steve was also named as the TCUSA's 'Most Dedicated Umpire' at the Association's Annual Dinner last week (E-News 22, 29 March 2007.
HOBART PARTICIPANTS NAMED IN WOMEN'S NATIONAL SQUAD
Ten women cricketers who took part in the Under 19 National Championships in Hobart last January were named in the fourteen-member 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars squad yesterday. TCUSA umpires and scorers officiated in the Under 19 series and saw all of those players in action at close quarters. They are: WA - Nicole Bolton LHB; Victoria - Elyse Villani RHB, RM and Annie Maloney RHB, RM; SA - Alicia Dean LHB, WKT; NSW - Alyssa Healy RHB, WKT, Alison Parkin LHB, LMF, Ellyse Perry RHB, RMF; Qld - Delissa Kimmince RHB, RM; and ACT - Rebecca Maher LHB, WKT, Jessica Moyes RHB, OB. Other Shooting Star squad members, who did not play in Hobart, are Jessica Cameron and Rachael Hayes (Vic), and Rene Farrell and Kate Owen NSW).
ANOTHER FINE FOR SLOW OVER RATES
The West Indies team was fined for slow over rates during its match against Sri Lanka in the World Cup in Guyana last Sunday. Match Referee Jeff Crowe (New Zealand) imposed the fines after Brian Lara's side was ruled to be two overs short of its target at the scheduled finish of Sri Lanka's innings. ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties, players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount (E-News 18, 21 March 2007). As such, Lara was been fined twenty per cent of his match fee while his players have each received ten per cent fines. On field umpires for the West Indies v Sri Lanka match were Daryl Harper (Australia) and Mark Benson (England), while Simon Taufel (Australia) and Steve Bucknor (West Indies) were the Third and Fourth officials.
Pakistan and India were fined for slow over rates earlier in the competition (E-News 24, 2 April 2007).
HAIR HEARING DATE SET, MEMOIRS UNDERWAY
Australian umpire Darrell Hair's claim that the International Cricket Council's decision to bar him from officiating in major international matches was racially-motivated will be heard by an employment tribunal in London commencing on 1 October. The hearing is expected to last around a fortnight. Hair, who recently returned to Australia to live (E-News 23, 2 April 2007), is reported to be writing his memoirs with publication due in time for Christmas.
STEVE BUCKNOR ON DECISION MAKING
[Speaking in an interview during the current World Cup]. "I probably take a little bit more time [after an appeal] than others. I sort of replay the incident. After the incident is replayed then I try to take a decision. There are those who say, I must take my decision early. I say 'no, not every decision can be taken early' because some have to be calculated to understand what happened. These replays in my mind will tell me what happened and from there on I will take a decision".
E-NEWS NUMBER 26, 6 April 2007
BALL 'SAND-PAPERED' IN 'PRACTICE' MATCH
The Captain of the Kent County Cricket admitted and papering the ball in a practice match yesterday so that his bowlers could "practice their reverse swing", according to the 'Kent Online' web site. The report says that soon after the lunch break on what was the first day of Kent's three-day pre-season practice game against Nottinghamshire, its Captain Rob Key was seen to scrape the surface of the ball with an object taken from his pocket. The action was not noticed by the umpires, however, it was captured by a freelance photographer. Key was quoted as saying later that "The way the game is moving forward for bowlers nowadays is through reverse swing, so what we've tried to do throughout our pre-season nets was to get brand new balls, sand-paper one side and let the boys practice [with it]". He continued by saying that "it actually goes really well [in the nets and I] decided to try it [in the practice match to see what the bowlers can do, but]....I won't be going out and scratching the ball that way in a First-Class match". One of the umpires said that he and his colleague "weren't aware of anything going on but had we been I dare say we would have investigated", however, he continued, "the reality is this is only a practice game, it doesn't come under the auspices of the England and Wales Cricket Board, so had the Kent coach come on and explained what was happening then, as far as we're concerned, it would have been a case of so be it." Key was quoted as saying that he didn't "particularly care [as his] main focus is on how the bowlers are going to improve and how we can take their games further. If that's what it takes then I'll do it, maybe we should have gone out, walked up to the umpires and sandpapered it (the ball), but we just didn't really think it would be a big deal". Kent's coach was quoted as saying that "this is far from a proper cricket match... but no way would anybody at this club think of every trying to do that in a First-Class fixture or a one-day game of any kind”.
A REMINDER ON TCA BY LAWS INPUT
As mentioned previously in E-News, TCUSA members are asked to provide Umpires' Advisor Richard Widows with any thoughts or suggestions they may have about the current TCA By Laws. The TCA will be reviewing the By Laws in May and jotting down your 'hands on' experience of the booklet before the details slip from your mind will be invaluable in improving this important document for the 2007-08 season. Thoughts and comments should be provided to Richard via e-mail at: RWidows@cricket.com.au
TASMANIAN SELECTED IN AUSTRALIAN UNDER 15 SIDE
South Hobart Sandy Bay junior Sam Allender, who many TCUSA umpires and scorers have seen in action around Hobart in recent years, was yesterday selected in an Australian Under 15 team that is to tour England later this year. Sam was chosen at the completion of the School Sports Australia (SSA) Under 15 Boys Cricket Championships. During that series he scored an impressive 156 runs at an average of 31.2 for Tasmania in a tournament that was reported to have been dominated by the bowlers. The SSA Team will spend two weeks in England from at the end of August playing a range of representative teams across the country. Despite his youth Sam played in a number of TCA Second Grade games during the 2006-07 season, although most of his outings were with the Under 17s where he scored 227 runs at an average of 32.42 in a total of ten innings, three of which were not out.
ECB APPOINTS UMPIRE COACHES, TIGHTENS ASSESSMENT SYSTEM
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week appointed four coaches to support their First-Class umpires and introduced an assessment system for its on field officials. According to the ECB the coaches "will support the umpires and become instrumental in establishing and maintaining a high-performing team [while the new] assessment framework for the performance of the umpires will complement the comments gathered from captains’ reports". Under the arrangements, ECB umpires will have input into their own development, "putting them in a position to be able to work more effectively with each other and provide accountability and responsibility". The coaches will observe umpires during matches and "may also be able to assess the performance of umpires in lower competitions who aspire to stand at First-Class level". Chris Kelly, ECB's umpire and match operations manager, was quoted as saying that “the appointment of these coaches will provide valuable support for our umpires as they look to maintain the high standard of performance that the modern game deserves". He continued by saying that "the coaches [appointed] possess a wide-range of experience that will be of benefit to the development of the umpires”. Coaches selected were: David Byas, David Constant, John Hampshire and Mervyn Kitchen. Hampshire played in 577 First-Class, and eight Test, matches, and stood in twenty-one Tests as an umpire. David Constant played sixty-one First-Class games and umpired thirty-six Tests, while Kitchen played in 354 First-Class games and umpired twenty Test matches. Byas played 283 First-Class matches for Yorkshire and Lancashire, however, there is no record of him standing as an umpire at First-Class level.
BHUTAN HOLDS ITS FIRST UMPIRING COURSE
Cricket authorities in the small Asian nation of Bhutan held their first internal course for umpires earlier this month as part of a plan to lift the profile of the game in that country according to the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) web site. Bhutan, which has a population of close to two million people, lies to the north-east of India and butts up against the Himilayan mountain chain. Eight school teachers, along with twelve trainees from the National Institute of Education took part in the day-long "intensive course" which was conducted by umpire Dorji along with coaches Tobgay and Sonam Phuntsho. Dorji, who is said to be "Level 2 Accredited", is reported to be Bhutan's most experienced umpire and he recently stood in the ACC's Under 15 Challenge Cup. The introductory course involved theory, question and answer and practical sessions. In addition participants were also taught basic cricket skills and took part in what were called "game-simulations". Similar courses are scheduled to conducted in other parts of Bhutan in the near future.
ICL PROPOSES APPOINTING "OWN UMPIRES"
Zee Films, the organisers of the proposed 'Indian Cricket League' (ICL) say that they will "appoint their own umpires" to matches in the proposed Twenty 20 series which they say could eventually involve up to sixteen teams. No details are available as to where the ICL would obtain such officials and the Board for Control of Cricket in India, which has control of the game there, have yet to consider Zee's proposal.
DATES FOR WINTER LAWS SCHOOL, ANNUAL SEMINAR, UNDER REVIEW
Dates and general arrangements for this year's TCUSA Winter Laws School and weekend pre-season Annual Seminar are currently being reviewed. Details will be provided via this newsletter as they become available.
E-NEWS NUMBER 27, 11 April 2007
UMPIRE DECISIONS TO BE CHALLENGED IN TRIAL
Players will be able to challenge decisions made by umpires during the 'Friends Provident Trophy' limited-overs tournament in England this northern summer. Under the arrangements proposed, the Captain of the fielding team and the batsman in question will be able to refer decisions to the television umpire, with each side being allowed up to two unsuccessful challenges per innings. In addition, the TV umpire will be allowed to reverse a decision an umpire on the ground makes if it is "beyond reasonable doubt" that a mistake has been made. The only dismissal that cannot be challenged is when a batsman is "timed out", although one report says that 'Hawk-Eye' is unlikely to be available for LBWs until the final of the tournament at Lord’s in mid-August. Alan Fordham, the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) head of operations, said in a statement yesterday that "while [the ECB] acknowledges the high standard of umpiring in [its] domestic game, [they] believe that the opportunity to explore ways that can achieve even more correct decisions must be taken, and this is the aim of the trial". The 'Friends Provident Trophy' is a round-robin competition involving all English counties and the Scottish and Irish national teams. The International Cricket Council are said to be keeping a close eye on the experiment and are scheduled to discuss how the trial proceeds during their general meeting listed for Lord’s in June.
CALL FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN INDIAN UMPIRING SYSTEM
A column published today in the Cricinfo Magazine in India calls for improvements in the way First-Class umpires in that country are trained, supported and managed. The article by staff writer Sidharth Monga, says that there is no coincidence that India has been under-represented for several years on the International Cricket Council's panel of Elite umpires. He claims that the "simple reason is that umpiring, as a component of the game, gets short shrift from the powers that be" in India. In contrast says Monga, "Australia have three umpires on the Elite panel [and they] come from a system that has a central umpiring officer and six umpiring coaches (one for each State) to groom and develop officials". The columnist notes that those coaches "watch every ball bowled in domestic cricket, and use video footage to maintain a log of every decision taken', however, in his own country "just one match in every round was televised [during the] current season [and] umpires' appraisals still depend largely on the reports filed by team captains, which is hardly the most objective approach". Monga's views are amongst a plethora comments in the India media in the last week about the state of that nation's cricket following its team's early exit from the World Cup in the West Indies.
TWO MORE WC TEAMS FINED FOR SLOW OVER RATES
South Africa and England have become the latest teams to be fined for slow over rates in the World Cup. South Africa were one over short of the target in their game against Bangladesh last weekend, while England were two overs behind in yesterday's game against Australia. Graeme Smith's side was fined ten per cent of his match fee and his players five per cent, while Michael Vaughan lost twenty per cent and his colleagues ten per cent of their fees. The Pakistan, India and the West Indies teams had previously been fined for slow over rates during the tournament (E-News 25, 2 April 2007).
ASSOCIATION AGM SCHEDULED FOR 16 MAY
The TCUSA's Annual General Meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 16 May. At the meeting, which will commence at 7.30 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval, reports will be presented by officer bearers and members of the Management Committee for the 2007-08 season will be elected. All members are encouraged to attend. The normal post meeting fortifications will be available.
E-NEWS NUMBER 28, 16 April 2007
AUSTRALIA TO ASSIST BANGLADESH IN RAISING UMPIRING STANDARDS
Media reports from Bangladesh indicate that its Cricket Board has signed a two-year deal worth $A510,000 with Cricket Australia (CA) that aims to raise the standard of the game in the south Asian nation, including improvements in the umpiring area. According to the reports CA is to "train Bangladeshi coaches, prepare a coaching manual, set up an umpires' management system and train young players at Australian academies". CA has yet to make a statement on the planned deal and no details are currently available as just what is planned in the umpiring area. Under a previous five-year agreement that expired last year, young Bangladeshi cricketers trained under Australian coaches.
ANNUAL DINNER PICTURES NOW AVAILABLE ON LINE
Pictures taken by Roy Loh during the TCUSA's Annual Dinner on 28 March are now available on the Association's web site. To access the images go to the Tasmanian Cricket Association's web site (http://www.tascricket.com.au), click on 'Umpires and Scorers' link and once at the Home page click 'Awards' in the banner at the top of the screen. The delay in putting the images on line was caused by a number of technical issues.
KIWI FINED FOR DISSENT IN WC MATCH
New Zealand's Brendon McCullum was fined twenty per cent of his match fee for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct during his country's World Cup match against Sri Lanka last Thursday. McCullum, who was found by ICC Match Referee Mike Proctor to have shown dissent when given out LBW, pleaded guilty to the charge at a post-match hearing and apologised to the umpires for his conduct, otherwise his fine could have been more severe. Explaining the decision Procter said: "There is a thin line between disappointment and dissent and Brendon crossed that line. His reaction was unacceptable but, to his credit, he acknowledged that fact at the hearing and apologized for his conduct. We must all be conscious of the fact that this is the biggest tournament in the game with a huge audience and so every player and official must adopt the highest standards of behaviour at all times". The charge was laid by on-field officials Asad Rauf (India) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies), and third and fourth umpires Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Mark Benson (England). The hearing was attended by the match officials, McCullum, New Zealand team manager Lindsay Crocker and coach John Bracewell. Under the ICC's Code, dissent carries a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of fifty per cent of a player's match fee. The Match Referee's decision is final and binding.
DECISIONS CHALLENGE MAKES UMPIRES 'GLORIFIED HAT STANDS' SAYS BIRD
Former England international umpire Dickie Bird believes that the decision to allow players to challenge umpires decisions during this year's 50-over tournament in England effectively reduces umpires to "glorified hat stands". Bird told 'The Mirror' newspaper that last week's move by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) (E-News 27, 11 April 2007) will "take away umpires' integrity". He was also quoted as saying that "the umpire that I was brought up to be is finished [and that] if players are allowed to challenge an umpire's decision, all you have left is a man who counts six balls in an over and is nothing more than a glorified hat stand". Bird said that in the past he was "not totally opposed to the introduction of technology to help with line decisions such as run-outs and stumpings", however, he was worried such moves "would be the thin end of the wedge". 'Daily Telegraph' cricket writer Charlie Randall said on his web site that the ECB's "experiment is sheer gimmickry capable of humiliating umpires". He stated that "appeals to video [will] have to be prompt", and said that the ECB "admitted that instructions from team members watching the game from the pavilion could be discouraged but not eradicated".
WEATHER DATA COLLATED ON NEW WEB SITE PAGE
A new page designed to improve access to weather data for those officiating at games in Tasmania has recently been added to the Association's web site. Weather is an important facet of any game of cricket and those who have the responsibility of running games need to be aware of what conditions might be in the lead up to, and during, matches. Due to the complexities involved weather forecasts are not perfect and the mountainous nature of Tasmania means that there are a lot of ‘local’ effects that can influence what happens at each ground. Despite that there is an impressive range of tools available on line that, if used with care, can help umpires and others to prepare for, and on many occasions stay ahead of, weather developments. The new site, which is designed to be used by umpires in all parts of the State, is broken down into three areas: the week leading up to match day; the day before the game; and the day of the game itself. It is recommended that those who wish to use the above information for match planning etc., make the effort to become familiar with the way data is presented well prior to the 2007-08 cricket season. To access the information go to the Tasmanian Cricket Association's web site (http://www.tascricket.com.au), click on 'Umpires and Scorers' and then the yellow-coloured 'weather' box. Queries about the site and interpretation of information presented can be directed to the TCUSA Web Master. Feed-back on the usefulness or otherwise of the site is welcomed.
E-NEWS NUMBER 29, 19 April 2007
FEW COMMENTS RECEIVED ON TCA BY LAWS
To date only two TCUSA members have provided their thoughts and suggestions on the current TCA By Laws and all members are asked to provide Umpires' Advisor Richard Widows with any views they may have as soon as possible. The TCA's annual review of the By Laws is only a few weeks away and member's 'hands on' experience will be invaluable in improving this important document for the 2007-08 season. Now is the time to provide the advice, not during next October's TCUSA pre-season By Laws meeting when details will not be able to be changed. Richard can be contacted via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SEMI FINAL LINE UPS SHAPE WC UMPIRING APPOINTMENTS
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'neutral' umpire policy and likely team line ups for the semi finals of the World Cup next week provide an early indication of which officials could be named for the two games. With Australia likely to play South Africa on Anzac Day Carribean time, umpires from those nations, Simon Taufel, Daryl Harper and Rudi Koertzen, will only be eligible for the New Zealand game against Sri Lanka the day before. Conversely, New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden is only available for the Anzac Day game. Other officials who are standing in the current 'Super 8' segment of the World Cup and who are 'neutral' for all four teams are: Aleem Dar (Pakistan); Assad Rauf (India); Steve Bucknor and Billy Doctrove (West Indies); and Mark Benson (England). Given their past records and experience Taufel and Koertzen appear favourites for New Zealand's game, with Bowden, Aleem Dar, Benson and Bucknor in contention for Australia's. In what could be a warm up for the semi finals, Simon and Rudi are to stand together in the final 'Super 8' game between the West Indies and England on Saturday. That match will be Koertzen's 173rd One Day International, one more than the record previously held by England's David Sheppard (E-News 20, 27 March 2007). Rudi's first ODI was in the match between South Africa and India in Port Elizabeth in December 1992. He has also umpired eighty Test matches, the first a few weeks after his ODI debut between the same two teams, and his latest the Boxing Day game between Australia and England late last year. At 58 Rudi is the second oldest member of the ICC's Elite Umpiring Panel, Steve Bucknor topping that list at 61. The youngest member is Simon Taufel at just 36.
ANNOUNCEMENT AWAITED ON NATIONAL UMPIRING APPOINTMENT
Despite earlier indications that Cricket Australia's (CA) new National Umpire Manager would be named as quickly as possible, an announcement has yet to be made. The position, which was created in February following a six-month national review of umpiring arrangements (E-News 9, 25 February 2007), is to report to the General Manager of Cricket Operations and is "charged with the management and leadership of umpiring in Australian cricket, including high performance umpiring, management of contracted umpires, and the development and education of umpires within Australia" (E-News 10, 1 March 2007). Applications for the position closed on 5 March and the delay in the appointment, combined with a probable review by the International Cricket Council (ICC) of the membership of its 'Elite Umpiring Panel' after the World Cup, is likely to see the announcement of Australia's nationally-contracted umpires for the 2007-08 season delayed until late May. The Australian panel for the new season is normally announced by mid-April. One consideration for the ICC is Darrell Hair's future on the Elite Panel, while CA also has to take into account the possibility that he may be available for the Australian panel next season (E-News 23, 2 April 2007).
MEDIA REPORTS CLAIM STUMP MICROPHONE TECHNOLOGY A FAILURE
Media reports yesterday in both India and England claim that the use of stump microphones during the current World Cup 'Super Eight' series has been a failure. According to the stories, all of which quote "an Elite umpire" without naming him, say that "on-field umpires have given a big thumbs down to the concept and [have] suggested that the International Cricket Council (ICC) dump the experiment as quickly as it can". Use of stump microphones is not new as the ICC has previously utilised the technology in series in India and Pakistan over the last three years (E-News 23, 30 March 2007). Reports at that time appeared positive, suggesting that the ability of umpires to hear faint edges in the noisy cauldron of sub-continental grounds was considerably enhanced. Yesterday's stories quote the un-named umpire as saying that "all kind of sounds keep coming in, [that when we finish] a match we are stone deaf", and that "we have this asinine situation where batsmen are marking their guards, wicketkeepers thumping their gloves, close-in fielders adjusting their boxes and helmets, all types of words and encouragement to fellow fielders and it becomes a real pain". He allegedly claimed that "there is so much sound coming from the stump microphone that you can't really pick up the so called faint edge [and that before] we used to rely on natural sound and our eyesight to make a decision". Most surprisingly for any umpire, he was quoted as saying that "the sound from a bat is similar to the sound from the pads or gloves, you can't really tell if it was an edge or it had gone from the pads". The same umpire is said to have criticised 'Hawk-Eye' technology, giving as an example New Zealand Captain Stephen Fleming's LBW dismissal by Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas last Thursday. "Hawk-eye showed that the ball had swerved out on pitching and could have missed the off-stump" he said according to the report. "But the common consensus among us umpires is that the ball was actually coming in and the batsman was plumb in front of stumps". The ICC is yet to comment on yesterday's stories.
ROD TUCKER NAMED 'NSW SPORTS OFFICIAL' FOR MARCH
Former TCUSA umpire and First Class cricketer Rod Tucker was named as the New South Wales Sports Official for March last week. Rod, who with Bob Parry from Victoria umpired last month's Pura Cup Final, had a very busy season, standing in seven Pura Cup games, five Ford Ranger one day matches, one Twenty/20 fixture, the tour match between England and the Prime Minister's XI, and five matches in the 'Top End' series in Darwin over winter. The NSW Umpires and Scorers' Association says that he "also found time to umpire at least half the season in Sydney First Grade where he is consistently ranked by the captains and other observers as one of the very best we have". After his retirement from First Class cricket Rod commenced his umpiring career in Hobart as a member of Cricket Australia's Project Panel, a program designed to attract former players into umpiring and 'fast track' their progress to the highest levels of the game. In 2002-03 he stood in fourteen TCA games for the TCUSA, then moved to Sydney, eventually making his debut at First Class level in 2004-05 when he paired with Bob Parry at the MCG, and later in that season with TCUSA member John Smeaton at the SCG. Former Test player Paul Reiffel was named to the Project Panel with Rod and also debuted the same season, his colleague for that first game also being Bob Parry. In 2006-07 Paul stood in six Pura Cup games, four One Day interstate fixture, and the Twenty/20 final. Paul Wilson, a fast-medium bowler who played one Test and eleven One Day Internationals for Australia during the late 1990s, was appointed to the Project Panel last year. He was not appointed to any of the major interstate competitions during the season just ended.
SCOTTISH PLAYER THREATENS COURT ACTION ON CENSURE
A cricketer in Scotland is threatening court action against that country's governing body after he was banned for swearing during a game last year and his fine was increased on appeal after the charges that were laid against him were decreased. Player Sandy Strang admitted using the f' word during a crucial Scottish National Cricket League (SNCL) match and he was reported by the umpires for allegedly committing four breaches: bringing the game into disrepute; dissent; intimidation; and sledging. The SNCL Tribunal found Strang, who is reported to have had an unblemished record, guilty of disrepute and sledging and abusing an opposition batsman and gave him a two-match suspended ban. A subsequent hearing a few weeks ago threw out the disrepute case but rejected his appeal on the sledging charge, issuing a formal reprimand and suspending him for one match. Given the reduction in charges and increase in the penalty, Strang said that Scottish cricket authorities have created "an absurd precedent" and he is reported to be considering taking legal action to prevent the SNCL imposing the suspension. Direct comment from Scottish authorities is not yet available.
DOUBLING OF QUALIFIED UMPIRING NUMBERS IN EUROPE
The number of qualified umpires who are available to stand in matches played across the twenty-seven countries that make up the International Cricket Council's (ICC) European region have more than doubled over the past five years. When this year's northern hemisphere season gets under way in the next few weeks some 1,146 registered umpires will be available for matches. According to the ICC the countries involved now have a combined player strength of 83,000, double the 41,500 recorded when figures for the region were first collected in 2002. Despite the progress the data suggests that further recruitment is needed as the ratio of umpires to players is just over 1:70, while the TCUSA ratio is for example around 1:15. Of the twenty-seven countries in the European zone, ten are ICC Associate Members (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isreal, Italy, The Netherlands, and Scotland), while seventeen are Affiliate Members (Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Finland, Guernsey, Greece, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Luxemborg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland). Prospective members of the European region are said to include Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.
MOVES ON BANGLADESH PROJECT
Cricket Australia's 'Global Development Manager' Ross Turner is reported to be planning a visit to Bangladesh in the near future for discussions on the two-year, $A510,000 deal that aims to raise the standard of the game in the south Asian nation, including improvements in the umpiring area (E-News, 28, 16 April 2007). Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)'s Chief Executive Officer Mahmudur Rahman was quoted by local media outlets as saying Ross will visit, and that the project "will be a huge boost [and] we hope our cricket will reach a higher level because of Australian help".
ONE NATION SUSPENDED, ANOTHER IN DOUBT, FOR WCL'S DARWIN ROUND
One nation that was to have taken part in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) one-day tournament in Darwin next month has been suspended, and another is said to be facing a financial crises and may not be able to attend. Australian umpires are expected to be involved in the series that was originally scheduled to involve the Cayman Islands, Fiji, Hong Kong, Italy, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States. Last month the ICC suspended the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) from membership and banned it from the series in Darwin because of that Association's "failure to meet the agreed and subsequently extended deadlines for the adoption of the new USACA constitution and the holding of elections". ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said at the time that "it gives [us] no pleasure to re-enact this suspension but given the lack of progress towards a functioning administration of USA Cricket it has been left with little alternative". "The ICC recognizes that the USA has vast potential as a cricketing nation but without a functioning administration that potential is likely to remain largely untapped". Reports from Uganda this week suggested that the Cricket Association there is facing a "financial crisis" and that they are waiting a grant from the ICC. The team is said to be lacking balls, coloured jerseys, batting pads, bats, shoes, and helmets for training, and that a bowling machine that was recently received from South Africa has broken down and there is no money to repair it. The championship, which is being played for the ICC's WCL Division 3 crown, is scheduled to run between 27 May and 2 June. Names of umpires for the games have not yet been announced.
E-NEWS NUMBER 30, 20 April 2007
TOP UMPIRE SUPPORTS STUMP MICROPHONE USAGE
Australian umpire Simon Taufel, winner of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) best umpires' award for the last three years, said in an interview overnight that stump microphone technology is 'money well spent" and that he hopes the facility will continue to be used. Taufel was speaking a day after a media report that quoted an un-named "Elite umpire" as saying that "on-field umpires [officiating in the World Cup] have given a big thumbs down to the concept" (E-News 29, 19 April 2007). Under the system, on field umpires wear ear pieces that receive sounds detected by microphones embedded in the stumps at the batsman's end twenty metres away (E-News 23, 30 March 2007). Simon believes that use of microphones is especially good in series such as India versus Pakistan where there is "huge intensity and [high] noise [levels] around the grounds". He said the system does not suffer from "radio interference as we may have got in the past through use of walkie-talkies, and the closed-loop communications network [helps considerably] with match management and clearer communication with the third umpire, [particularly] in the issue of referrals". Additionally, umpires can also "monitor conversations around the stumps at [the batsman's] end, [so] that... if we detect anything between players, we can cool things down before they get too heated, [which is a] real advantage rather than a disadvantage." The ICC told reporters overnight that "where feasible" stump microphones "could continue to be used by umpires in future bilateral series".
INTERNATIONAL UMPIRES SCHEDULED FOR HOBART
A number of so-far un-named international umpires are expected to stand in the Test and One Day Internationals (ODI) that are scheduled to be played at Bellerive Oval in Hobart during the 2007-08 season. In addition to the Test Match between Australia and Sri Lanka from 16-20 November, what could be the deciding match in the Chappell-Hadlee series is scheduled for 20 December, while a India-Sri Lanka game in the Commonwealth Bank triangular series is listed for 26 February. Neutral umpires from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite Panel' are expected to be appointed to the Test match, however, the ODIs are likely to see both overseas and Australia umpires from that panel such as Simon Taufel and Daryl Harper. If past practice is followed TCUSA members will be in the score box for all three matches. The ICC is not expected to appoint its officials for the games until September or October.
MORE UMPIRING OPPORTUNITIES IN SECOND DARWIN SERIES
High-level umpires across Australia seem likely to have the opportunity to stand in a second 'winter' series in Darwin this year following yesterday's announcement by Cricket Australia (CA) that the Australian women's team is to play a series there against New Zealand. That competition, which will run for ten days in late July and involves one Twenty/20 game and five One Day Internationals (ODI), follows the International Cricket Council's World Cricket League series which is scheduled to be conducted in Darwin between 27 May and 2 June (E-News 29, 19 April 2007). Both tournaments are expected to involve Australian umpires in a similar manner to the 'Top End' series that was held in Darwin and Cairns last July between the 'A' teams from Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan. During that event Australian umpires Bob Parry (Victoria), Rod Tucker (NSW) and Ian Lock (WA), as well as New Zealander Gary Baxter, stood in a series of Twenty/20, fifty over and four-day games in Darwin. When the series moved to Cairns, Bob and Gary along with John Ward and Paul Reiffel, who are both from Victoria, umpired a similar round of matches. All the Australian umpires are currently on CA's National Umpiring Panel, while Gary, who has umpired twelve ODIs, is one of New Zealand's top officials. Australian international umpire Daryl Harper was the tournament referee and umpire coach for the two-city series (E-News 16, 18 March 2007).
STEVE BUCKNOR ON PRACTICE
[Speaking in an interview during the current World Cup]. "Just as players practice, so too must international umpires if they want to remain at the top of their game. As umpires we go to the nets before major games, before Test matches, just as the players practice, we practice. We listen for sounds, we watch the bowler's feet for no-balls and we call no-balls, we decide if a ball is pitched outside leg, or if it would have hit the wicket. In the nets, we practise as if it's a game. We're telling ourselves, 'hitting off stump', 'not hitting', 'missing' and so on. Such practice allows umpires to improve sharpness in distinguishing between sounds and to make very difficult calls such as when the ball hits both bat and pad, not necessarily in that order".
E-NEWS NUMBER 31, 23 April 2007
UMPIRING APPOINTMENTS FOR WC SEMI FINALS ANNOUNCED
Australia's Simon Taufel and South Africa's Rudi Koertzen were today named as the on-field umpires for the World Cup semi final between New Zealand and Sri Lanka which is to be played in Jamacia tomorrow night Australian time. Steve Bucknor (West Indies), who is officiating in his fifth World Cup, and Pakistan's Aleem Dar, will stand in the other semi final between Australia and South Africa on the island of St Lucia on Wednesday night. Mike Proctor (South Africa) is Match Referee for the Jamaican game and Jeff Crowe (New Zealand) for the match in St Lucia. Daryl Harper (Australia) and Asad Rauf (India) will be the third and fourth officials for Tuesday's game, while Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Mark Benson (England) will fill the same positions respectively on Wednesday. The four on-field officials named for the two matches have stood in a total of 535 One Day Internationals and 275 Test Matches. Bucknor and Koertzen are the senior umpires in terms of age and matches umpired, while Taufel and Aleem Dar, who are over twenty years younger, represent the younger brigade of up-and-coming international officials.
LLOYD RETIRES FROM INTERNATIONAL MATCH REFEREEING
West Indies cricket icon Clive Lloyd retired as an International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee last Saturday after fifteen years, fifty-three Tests and 133 One Day Internationals (ODI) in that role. During a ceremony in the lunch interval of the West Indies versus England 'Super Eight' game, Lloyd received a presentation from ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed in recognition of the "immense contribution he has made to cricket during his time as referee". Speed said that "Just as when he played the game, Clive brought his own integrity and sense of fair play to his role as referee. He had the rare ability to forge good relations with the players and he always managed to retain their respect, which is so vital for match officials. We were very lucky to have him as one of our referees". After his distinguished playing career, Clive continued in the game as an administrator with the West Indies Cricket Board and official and mentor with the West Indies team. Speaking at the presentation, Lloyd said: "I feel proud to have served [the ICC] for such a long while [but] we all come to the end eventually and this is my time, but it was a pleasure to have been involved [as a Referee]". He concluded by saying that "the transition from player to referee was not that difficult for me because if you believe in discipline it's obvious that you would fit quite easily into the role, [and] I have always felt strongly about discipline in the game". Lloyd worked with the West Indian team during the current World Cup, however, seventeen of the ODIs he officiated in were during the World Cups of 1996 and 2003.
KOERTZEN TOPS ODI LIST
Rudi Koertzen of South Africa now tops the list of umpires who have stood in One Day International (ODI) matches after he broke David Sheppard's old record in the World Cup last 'Super Eight' match last Saturday (E-News 29, 19 April 2007). The current run down of ODI umpiring records is: Rudi Koertzen 173; David Sheppard (England) 172; Steve Bucknor (West Indies) 161; Daryl Harper (Australia) 141; Darrell Hair (Australia) 131; Simon Taufel (Australia) 115; 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand) 114; David Orchard (then South Africa) 107; and Steve Dunne (New Zealand) 100. Sheppard and Dunne have retired from the game, however, David Orchard is now umpiring in Australia. Based in Queensland since 2003, he stood in five Pura Cup matches, and five Ford Ranger one day games, during the season just concluded (E-News 16, 18 March 2007).
ENGLAND, WEST INDIES, COP FURTHER OVER RATE FINES
The England and West Indies teams were both fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during their 'Super Eight' World Cup match in Barbados last Saturday. Match referee Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka) (E-News 23, 2 April 2007), imposed the fines after Michael Vaughan's side was ruled to be two overs short, and Brian Lara's side one over short of their targets, at the scheduled finish when time allowances were taken into consideration. As such, Vaughan was fined twenty per cent of his match fee and his players ten per cent, whereas Lara was fined ten per cent and his players five per cent. This is the second time both sides have been fined for slow over rates during the World Cup, while India, Pakistan and South Africa were also censured for the same offence (E-News 27, 11 April 2007).
STEVE BUCKNOR ON BAT-PAD DECISIONS
[Speaking in an interview during the current World Cup]. "Very often, the ball will hit the pad, hit the face of the bat, go to silly point and you don't hear it. When the ball hits the edge of the bat there is a distinct sound, when the ball hits the face of the bat, going across the bat it is very, very difficult to hear and very often it is the deflection of the ball that umpires will use to judge a pad-bat decision. Sometimes it can get very tricky when the ball clips the shirt going through or it may hit the edge of the bat. The deflection will influence the umpire. If the ball goes towards the slip region then it would have come off the body; if the ball goes towards leg very often it is coming off the bat. So the umpire has to calculate because he hears a sound, but the deflection is what would tell him where the sound came from, be it the bat, or the body. But is not always that it is that easy because a bowler like (Makhaya) Ntini [South Africa] will have the ball coming in all the time (to the right-hander), so hitting the shirt, it may still go to leg, so how do you judge that? It is the sound that you will have to use to judge. A ball hitting the edge of the bat has one sound. A ball hitting the shirt has another. So as umpires you have to know the difference between a bat sound, a pad sound or something coming off the shirt".
E-NEWS NUMBER 32, 26 April 2007
NOMINATIONS FOR 2007-08 TCUSA OFFICE BEARERS OPEN
Nominations for members of the Association's Management Committee for the 2007-08 season opened this week. In accordance with TCUSA rules the positions of President, Honorary Treasurer and two committee members are open for election at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 16 May. Retiring office bearers Steven John, who is the Honorary Treasurer, and Alistair Scott, are seeking re-election, however, Roy Loh, who has been President for the past two years, will not be standing. In addition, a second committee position is open to replace Phil Mann who resigned last September. Association Administrator Graeme Hamley forwarded nomination forms for the vacant positions to members earlier this week, and completed forms need to be returned to Graeme by no later than Friday, 11 May. In addition to elections the meeting will receive Annual Reports from various office holders, consider the Honorary Treasurer's financial statement, and deal with a number of other matters where required. The AGM is scheduled to be held in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval commencing at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 16 May.
CRITICISM FOR TAUFEL, KOERTZEN
Umpires Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Simon Taufel of Australia have been criticised by a normally objective journalist for decisions they made during Tuesday's World Cup semi final between Sri Lanka and New Zealand. In an article posted on his web site overnight, English cricket writer Charlie Randall talked about what he claimed were four incorrect or dubious LBW decisions. Commenting on a mode of dismissal which is often controversial, Randall said that "Silva’s thick deflection off the bat was missed – though Bond’s passionate appeal suggested otherwise – the Oram ball that removed Dilshan was missing leg stump by a couple of feet, Taylor fell swinging at a Vaas delivery across him that would sailed past off stump, Vettori missed a Muri doosra that might, just might, have clipped his off stump – no benefit of doubt for him". According to him "These four gaffes by two of the world’s best umpires were ‘confirmed’ by Hawk-Eye, by no means 100 per cent reliable, but even to the naked eye on television the decisions looked wrong, dubious at best". The journalist continued by saying that "The mistakes did not affect the result of the match, but maybe players should be allowed to expose injustice" by being able to refer decisions to the television umpire as is proposed in England this northern summer (E-News 27, 11 April 2007).
NEW ZEALAND AND SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE UMPIRE EXCHANGE
The exchange of umpires at First Class level between New Zealand and South Africa continued during the 2006-07 season. Tim Parlane from NZ officiated in two games in the Republic, while Shaun George, a member of South Africa’s First Class Panel, visited NZ and stood in matches in Wellington and Christchurch. Another exchange last season involved a NZ umpire standing in games in Melbourne, while two Victorian umpires officiated in matches in New Zealand. No details are currently available to E-News about how the exchange system works and how it is funded but more information is being sought.
CRICKET UMPIRES TO BE PART OF THE 2010 ASIAN GAMES
Cricket is to be included for the first time as a medal sport in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in November 2010, with matches played using the One Day International (ODI), 50-overs, format. Umpires from around Asia and possibly wider afield seem likely to be chosen to stand in the games. The last time cricket featured in a major multi-sport event was at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Well-known officials Steve Bucknor (West Indies), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Darrell Hair (Australia), were involved in that competition, however, the opportunity was also given to lesser-known umpires from Bangladesh, Canada, India, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, the West Indies and Zimbabwe to take part. The decision for cricket to be part of the Asian games will boost the Chinese Cricket Association (CCA). The CCA has boldly stated its ambition is for its team to be a force in ODIs by the time of the 2019 World Cup.
UMPIRING IN PARADISE
New Zealand umpire Grant Bradburn last week officiated in a club game on the tiny Pacific Island of Aitutaki, one of the Cook Islands. His description of the match appeared in an International Cricket Council press release earlier this week. "With a start time of around 5 p.m. it was hilarious to witness players arriving at their own pace, parking their scooters, kicking off their jandals [thongs] and taking their position in the field. With the main road of Aitutaki within the boundary, this created some havoc as crucial catches went up requiring the unlucky fielder to dodge scooters and cars to complete [a] dismissal. The beautiful Aitutaki lagoon is only a short distance from the middle [of the ground] and as suspected numerous balls were hit like missiles into the water. However we not once lost a ball, as there is always a local youngster keen to swim out, cool off, and retrieve it".
STEVE BUCKNOR ON NEW TECHNOLOGY
[Speaking in an interview during the current World Cup]. "There are some tough decisions that would become easier for umpires if technology is fairly and properly used to help them. Sometimes as an umpire, you are not certain if the ball has pitched outside the leg stump. You think it might be pitching just in line with leg stump, but you give the batsman the benefit of your doubt and there are times when there are snicks that you don't hear. Now you are told if you don't hear it and you don't see it, you don't give it, but the people who wrote the Laws did so without knowing about the technology which exists today. So you're going to make a mistake because you didn't hear it, but two million people in their living rooms know that the snick happened. Now why should the batsman remain at the crease, when he is definitely out, but you can't give it out because you didn't hear it with 80, 90, 100,000 people around, screaming and the Mexican wave going? So it's unfair. We need a little bit more (leeway) where the umpires will be given the go-ahead to ask for help for a few more decisions rather than get them wrong one way or the other".
E-NEWS NUMBER 33, 27 April 2007
BUCKNOR NAMED FOR FIFTH-STRAIGHT WORLD CUP FINAL, DAR HIS FIRST
West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor from Jamaica was today named to stand in an unprecedented fifth-straight World Cup final, while in what will be a surprise to some, his partner for this weekend's game between Australia and Sri Lanka is Aleem Dar of Pakistan. Between them the two men bring to the match their participation in a total of 249 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 154 Test matches, figures that make them one of the most experienced pairs ever to stand in a final. Steve was the first person to umpire 100 Test matches, and with 117 such games currently under his belt is the world record holder in that part of the game and third on the ODI list with 162 matches. In addition to umpiring cricket, he was also an international soccer referee (1985-92) who officiated in a World Cup match, an achievement that makes him the only official to have worked in both the cricket and football World Cups. Steve, who turns 61 next month, has said publicly that he expects the current World Cup to be his last. In contrast at 39 Dar will be the youngest person ever to have stood in a WC final, and his appointment is a reflection of how well he has umpired in the last year. A First Class cricketer in his own right who played seventeen matches over eleven seasons as a batsman and leg break bowler, in the last two years Dar has twice been runner up to Simon Taufel (Australia) in the international umpire of the year award. The first of his now thirty-seven Test matches was in October 2003 in the game between Bangladesh and England in Dhaka, and his latest the Ashes match between Australia and England in Sydney early in January. Dar's last One Day International (ODI) was yesterday's semi final between Australia and South Africa, his eighty-seventh in that form of the game. To date he is the only Pakistani to have been named a member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite Umpiring Panel'.
OFF-FIELD UMPIRING APPOINTMENTS GO TO KOERTZEN, BOWDEN
In what is likely to be a disappointment to him, Rudi Koertzen of South Africa will occupy the third or TV umpire's seat during the World Cup final for the second time in a row. Together with fourth official Billy Bowden of New Zealand, he will support Steve Bucknor (West Indies) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan) on the field in Barbados. Koertzen is the world record holder for One Day International matches (ODI)(E-News 20, 27 March 2007). He has been described in the media as a cricket enthusiast since his youth, playing league cricket in South Africa before commencing his umpiring career in 1981 at the age of 32. Sixteen years late he became a full-time international umpire, and was one of the original members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) 'Elite Umpiring Panel' when it was established in 2002. Rudi finished third in both 2005 and 2006 in the international umpire of the year award behind Simon Taufel (Australia) and Aleem Dar. His goal is said to be to umpire 100 Tests and 200 ODIs before he retires, and at the moment he is twenty Tests and twenty-six ODIs short of those targets. Reaching them is likely to take around eighteen months if the International Cricket Council renews his contract, however, in theory he could still be around for the next World Cup in 2011 as he will then be the close to the age Steve Bucknor is now. Brent 'Billy' Bowden is fourteen years younger than Keortzen and has stood in thirty-nine Test Matches. His first was the New Zealand versus Australia game in March 2000 and his latest was the Australia-England match in Sydney with Aleem Dar in early January. On the ODI side of the ledger, the umpire many regard as somewhat eccentric, has umpired a total of 114 games, the first in 1995 and the latest the West Indies versus Bangladesh game in the 'Super Eight' part of the World Cup late last week. Between them the four on-field and off-field umpires for the final have officiated in a total of 537 ODIs.
DETAILS SOUGHT ON SCORERS FOR THE FINAL
No details are currently available about the scorers who will record this weekend's World Cup final. E-News phoned International Cricket Council Manager of Media and Communications Brian Murgatroyd in the Carribean yesterday to obtain information about those involved. Brian agreed that scorers play an important role in cricket and agreed to "look into" providing details of those who will score in the final in Barbados.
MATCH REFEREE TO OFFICIATE IN HIS FIRST WC FINAL
Former New Zealand Captain Jeff Crowe has been named as the Match Referee for this weekend's World Cup final between Australia and Sri Lanka in Barbados, his first appointment to a final. Jeff has been an International Cricket Council Match Referee for just over three years, taking up that role after a successul playing career. Saturday's final will be his seventy-sixth in a One Day International (ODI) and he has also officiated in seventeen Test Matches, the last the Australia-England Ashes game in Perth in mid-December. As a player he represented New Zealand in thirty-nine Tests and seventy-five ODIs between 1983 and 1990. Jeff launched his playing career in South Australia, playing with what Wisden described as "considerable success" in the years between 1977 and 1982, and he represented his country in the World Cup finals of 1983 and 1987. He was appointed to the final ahead of South Africa's international Match Referee Mike Proctor, and the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka, who is ineligible for the final because of the ICC's long-standing 'neutral' official rule. Ranjan has been appointed to a total of 205 ODIs as a Match Referee, over seventy-five games more than any other official (E-News 23, 2 April 2007). Mike Proctor is second to Rajan, just ahead of the recently retired Clive Lloyd who officiated in 133 ODIs (E-News 31, 23 April 2007), England's Chris Broad with eight-six, while Jeff Crowe is on seventy-five. Crowe becomes only the fourth man to act as ICC Match Referee in a World Cup final after Peter Burge of Australia (1992), former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd (1996), and Madugalle (1999 and 2003).
BUCKNOR TOPS WORLD CUP FINAL UMPIRE LIST
Steve Bucknor has moved well clear at the top of the list those who have umpired a World Cup final, having claimed five of the eighteen positions that have been available since 1975. After his five appointments (1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007) come 'Dickie' Bird and David Shepard of England on three each (1975, 1979, 1983 and 1996, 1999, 2003 respectively), Barrie Meyer also of England on two (1979, 1983), and one each for Brian Aldridge (New Zealand)(1992), Ram Gupta (India)(1987), Aleem Dar (Pakistan) (2007), Mahboob Shan (Pakistan)(1987), and Tom Spencer (England)(1975).
AUSSIES SO NEAR AND YET SO FAR
An Australian is yet to stand as an umpire in a World Cup final, primarily due to the national team's success in reaching six of the nine finals since the tournament began in 1975. Five Australian have, however, umpired WC semi finals. Tony Crafter stood in the India-England semi final in 1987, TCUSA Life Member Steve Randell when England played South Africa in 1992, Darrell Hair in 1999 in New Zealand's match against Pakistan, Daryl Harper in India's match with Kenya in 2003 (when Simon Taufel was the third or TV umpire), and Simon himself earlier this week when Sri Lanka played New Zealand. The only Australian to be directly involved in a World Cup final as an official was Peter Burge who was the Match Referee in the Pakistan-England game at the MCG in 1992.
STEVE BUCKNOR ON 'WALKING'
[Speaking in an interview during the current World Cup]. (Walking) is good for the game. In [the] past batsmen would just walked off when they know they nicked it. In today's game, too many batsmen start prodding the pitch and asking for a new guard even when the edge is found because of whatever reason. The money is a lot more, so people think about earnings, their careers. So umpires are making more decisions nowadays, especially caught behind".
E-NEWS NUMBER 34, 30 April 2007
WC FINAL MATCH OFFICIALS 'CONFUSED' AND 'SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THE RULES'
Match Referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand was quoted in a range of media reports overnight as saying that he and his four-man umpiring group were confused and unsure how to proceed when bad light descended on Kensington Oval at the end of the World Cup final yesterday. Articles prepared by journalists vary as to just what happened at the ground, however, Crowe was reported as telling a post-match press conference that there was uncertainty amongst the five-man match management team he headed. Speaking for himself and the four umpires, Steve Bucknor, Aleem Dar, Rudi Koertzen and 'Billy' Bowden (E-News 33, 27 April 2007), Crowe said that "we were all confused as to what the right direction was and how we were going to play it [and] in hindsight I should have known the rules and the game should been called off [as bad light descended with three overs to go]". He is reported to have said that the five men, who between them have officiated in over 600 One Day Internationals, were talking to each other via radio as the light deteriorated. Reports that third umpire Koertzen pushed the view over the radio "early on" that the game needed to restart the following morning led Crowe to say that even if that was correct "that doesn't mean the two on-field umpires couldn't have overruled him". The Match Referee said that he and his colleagues "are a team" and that "a collective mistake" was made. Asked if he would resign as an International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee, Crowe was quoted as saying that he would not, but that he would "have to talk with [his] superiors on that". The ICC is expected to examine just what occurred in Barbados and the actions match officials took closely scrutinised.
COLLEAGUE PROVIDES PRE-MATCH VIEWS ON WC FINAL UMPIRES
The on field umpires in yesterday's World Cup final have "contrasting experiences as umpires", according to Australian official Daryl Harper, one of their colleagues on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite Umpiring Panel'. Writing on his personal web site before the game (http://www.cricketump.com/), Harper described Steve Bucknor of the West Indies as "meticulous in his preparation and highly focused on his goals [and that to be chosen] "to officiate in the biggest game in the Caribbean is just reward for his efforts and his accuracy as an umpire". The fact that he has been chosen to stand in five consecutive WC finals (E-News 33, 27 April 2007) is "an absolutely brilliant record that should stand for many years", says Harper. Writing about Aleem Dar of Pakistan, he said that "Aleem has had a remarkable rise in [ICC's Elite] ranks, has an outstanding record, is very committed, and deserves this opportunity". The Australian recalled meeting "Aleem Dar in Lahore in March 2002 when he was fourth umpire for the Asian Test Championship Final" and according to him Dar "was fresh faced and bubbling with enthusiasm [then, and] still is!". In Harper's view Rudi Koertzen of South Africa, who was appointed as third umpire for the final, "has also been in excellent form over a long period and must have been close to earning a position on the field". In what now seems ironic, Daryl finished his article by saying that "as umpires we know that the focus will correctly be on the players" and that "no person pays to enter the ground to watch the umpires perform".
'15 MINUTE GUIDE' TO SCORING FOR PLAYERS AVAILABLE ON LINE
A two-page, '15 minute' guide aimed at giving players "confidence to take their turn as a scorer for a few overs during a game", has been prepared by the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers in the UK. The document covers issues such as the batting and bowling sections of the scoring record, cumulative score, end of over score, byes, leg byes, wides and no balls, and scoring symbols. The guide can be downloaded in less than a minute from the Association's web site at: http://www.acus.org.uk/news.asp
HARPER SUPPORTS 'NEUTRAL' UMPIRE SYSTEM
Australian umpire Daryl Harper says that he supports the International Cricket Council's policy of appointing neutral umpires to international matches. In an on-line article written just before the World Cup final, Harper says that he had "no doubt that Simon [Taufel] would have officiated [in the final] had Australia not reached the big game". However, the fact that Simon and himself would not be eligible to stand in the final if Australia was a participant "was understood long before the [World Cup] began, so there is no disappointment from my point of view". Harper, who as a contracted ICC employee would naturally be limited in his ability to stray too far from the company line, continued by saying that suggestions by his friends that "that is an unfair situation" is something he doesn't "subscribe [to] for a moment". "Imagine", he wrote, "that an umpire was officiating in the World Cup final with his nation in the field [and] that he makes a poor judgement with an LBW decision and the opposition captain does not receive the benefit of some doubt". According to Daryl "there would be a media frenzy and cricket barrackers would be outraged, [and the umpire's] outstanding record and brilliant performances up until that moment would be set aside". In Daryl's view "only one fact would be highlighted…[the umpire's] country of birth, [but] the same decision by an umpire from a neutral country would be frowned upon and reluctantly accepted". Harper believes that "the principle of the neutral umpire seems to be working effectively in the modern game where we are placed under incredible scrutiny". "Let’s hope it continues" he concludes. Harper, who has umpired a World Cup semi final in 2003 but never a final (E-News, 33 27 April 2007), posted his comments in a diary entry on his personal web site (http://www.cricketump.com/) last Saturday morning Australian time.
AUSTRALIAN TO UMPIRE INDIA-BANGLADESH TEST MATCHES
Australian international umpire Daryl Harper is to stand in two Test matches between Bangladesh and India in late May. The two countries, who are set for a two Test, three One Day International (ODI), series in Bangladesh, are scheduled to play the first Test in Chittagong from 18-22 May, and the second in Dhaka from 25-29 May. According to Harper's personal web site, the two Tests will be his sixty-fourth and sixty-fifth at that level of the game, however, he makes no reference to being appointed to any of the ODIs. It is not known who the Australian's colleague will be in the two Tests as the International Cricket Council does not appear to have formerly announced any post World Cup appointments. In addition to the series between the two Asian nations, umpires will also need to be named shortly for the series of Tests and ODIs between England and the West Indies that are to start in late May.
Nominations for members of the Association's Management Committee for the 2007-08 season are now open (E-News 32, 26 April 2007). In accordance with TCUSA rules the positions of President, Honorary Treasurer and two committee members are open for election at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 16 May. Retiring office bearers Steven John, who is the Honorary Treasurer, and Alistair Scott, are seeking re-election, however, Roy Loh, who has been President for the past two years, will not be standing. In addition, a second committee position is open to replace Phil Mann who resigned last September. By now members should have received nomination forms for the vacant positions. The completed forms need to be returned to Graeme by no later than Friday, 11 May. In addition to elections the meeting will receive Annual Reports from various office holders, consider the Honorary Treasurer's financial statement, and deal with a number of other matters where required. The AGM is scheduled to be held in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval commencing at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 16 May.
END OF APRIL 2007 E-NEWS FILE