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May 07 (35-49)

 TCUSA E-NEWS MAY 2007

15 EDITIONS

 

Number 35 – 1 May 2007 [EN0194-0196]

Number 36 – 5 May 2007 [EN0197-0199]

Number 37 – 8 May 2007 [EN0200-0203]

Number 38 – 10 May 2007 [EN0204-0206]

Number 39 – 11 May 2007 [EN0207-0211]

Number 40 – 15 May 2007 [EN0212-0218]

Number 41 – 17 May 2007 [EN0219-0228]

Number 42 – 20 May 2007 [EN0229-0233]

Number 43 – 22 May 2007 [EN0234-0237]

Number 44 – 23 May 2007 [EN0238-0242]

Number 45 – 24 May 2007 [EN0243-0248]

Number 46 – 25 May 2007 [EN249-0253]

Number 47 – 27 May 2007 [EN0254-0257]

Number 48 – 30 May 2007 [EN0258-0262]

Number 49 – 31 May 2007 [EN0263-0269]

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 35, 1 May 2007

 

ICC CHIEF SORRY FOR WC DEBACLE, BUT CLAIMS NO RESIGNATIONS SOUGHT

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Malcolm Speed told a media conference yesterday that none of the officials involved in last weekend's World Cup final debacle will be asked to resign nor will their resignations be sought. "We sincerely apologise for the error that was made" Speed said, but "we're not going to overreact to this".  None of the five men in what the ICC calls the 'playing control team' (PCT) apparently remembered that under tournament rules twenty overs a side constituted a full match if weather intervenes - a fundamental error for an umpire at any level of the game (E-News 34, 30 April 2007).  Speed was quoted as saying that the PCT "had earned the right to umpire in the World Cup final because they are outstanding umpires and an outstanding referee" and that they continue to "have a future in the game".  David Richardson, the ICC's 'General Manager - Cricket', who described himself as "the guy ultimately responsible for how match officials perform", told the press conference that "we've tried to come up with an explanation [for what happened but] we can't".  Richardson, who is the official the ICC's Umpires and Referees Manager Doug Cowie reports to, said that "What worries me, is that we get ourselves into a pressure situation and we are not able to cope with it", and that the ICC will look at the issues involved "very seriously".  The five officials in the final have between them been involved in over 600 One Day International matches, and it is not known at this time how the ICC plans to address the problems encountered.  It had been anticipated prior to the World Cup that the world body would be reviewing membership of its ten-man 'Elite Panel' of umpires this year given the 'vacancy' created by the dumping of Australian Darrell Hair after last year's 'ball tampering' Test.  That review could in turn impact on appointments to national panels, including Australia's, the latter potentially being compounded by the continued delay in naming the country's new National Umpire Manager (E-News 29, 19 April 2007).

EN196

 

HAIR REMAINS ON ECB RESERVE LIST

Australian international umpire Darrell Hair is listed on the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) reserve umpiring list for the 2007 season for County and other matches in the UK.  Hair, who is one of eight named on the reserve list, "has made himself available" for matches says the ECB, even though he recently returned to Australia to live (E-News 23, 2 April 2007).  The ECB has already published its list of appointments to some 800 games that are to be played this northern summer in England, however, as a 'reserve' official Hair, who has been a member of that group for several years, has not been named to any game.  Umpires on the full-list know now their entire appointments for the next five months, an approach that seems common at all levels of cricket in England, but makes little allowance for the week-to-week form an official displays.  The ECB appointed twenty-four full-time umpires to its 'full list' for 2007, all except a handful being former First Class players.  Some are very well known around the world, including Ray Illingworth, Peter Willey, John Steele, and former England opening batsman Tim Robinson who joined the list this year.  The ECB recently appointed four umpire coaches and tightened the assessment system for its on-field officials (E-News 26, 6 April 2007). 

EN195

 

'UMPIRE CHALLENGE' SYSTEM COMMENCES WITH UMPIRES ON TOP

Three decisions by the on-field umpires were referred to the third or video umpire during the first game involving the player's right to challenge umpiring decisions, the man in the grandstand supporting the judgments made by his colleagues out in the middle.  Under playing arrangements the Captain of the fielding team and the batsman in question are able to refer decisions to the television umpire, with each side being allowed up to two unsuccessful challenges per innings (E-News 27, 11 April 2007).  Friends of the editor watching the Somerset-Sussex match at Taunton on Sunday say that Sussex twice asked for a referral, once when bowling when an appeal for LBW was turned down, and the other when batting, but the TV umpire agreed with both decisions.  Somerset asked once when fielding but a similar result ensued.  Recent reports indicate that only ten of the ninety-three 'Friends Provident Trophy' one day, fifty over, matches are involved in the experiment this northern summer, primarily it is believed because of the lack of appropriate television facilities at many grounds.

EN194

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 36, 5 May 2007

 

CA APPOINT NATIONAL UMPIRE MANAGER

Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday announced the appointment of former umpire Andrew Scotford to its newly established National Umpire Manager position.  Andrew, who umpired in Canberra from 1993-2000 and stood in a one day interstate Mercantile Mutual match during that time, is due to commence at CA's Melbourne headquarters in mid-June.  The national body describes the new position as being "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".  CA created the position earlier this year after a six-month review of the arrangements that apply for the management of umpires at the national level (E-News 9, 25 February 2007).  Scotford comes to CA after seven years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Volleyball Federation, holds a Bachelor of Economics-Commerce degree and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University in Canberra.  Apart from his time in cricket in the nineties, he has been a referee coordinator for Volleyball, serving as a Technical Official for that sport at the Sydney Olympics, and an Australian Rules and Touch Football umpire in Canberra.  As the National Umpire Manager he will report directly to Michael Brown, CA's General Manager, Cricket Operations, and join Mel Johnston, Dick French and Geoff Allardice on the national selection panel.  As he is not due to join CA until the middle of next month, it seems likely that the national umpiring panel for the 2007-08 season will be selected prior to his arrival.  The current panel, whose members receive CA contracts, is made up of: Jeff Brookes and Ian Lock (WA ); Steve Davis and Simon Fry (SA); Tim Laycock, David Orchard, Bruce Oxenford, and Peter Parker (Qld); Bob Parry, Paul Reiffel and John Ward  (Victoria); and Rodney Tucker (NSW).  It is not know at this stage just when the panel for next season, or the six State squads that are to be formally established as part of CA's new umpiring structure, will be announced.

EN199

 

UMPIRES' ROLE DEFINED AND DEFENDED

The role of the umpire in present-day cricket has been defined and defended in an article written by Tom Bastable, Communications Director of the new Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS), one of three umpiring groups now in the UK (E-News 12, 7 March 2007).  Writing on-line last Wednesday, Bastable says that in his opinion "the confusion at the end of the Cricket World Cup has produced a predictable outpouring of frothy opinion pieces on the role of umpires, now known apparently as ‘interfering jobsworths’ or ‘petty officials’".  Bastable wrote that in his view "It is the job of the players to satisfy the sponsors and spectators by playing the game in an attractive and entertaining way, [and] it is the job of the sponsors and governing bodies to stage matches that will attract the crowds".  However, he continued by saying that "the umpire’s remit is quite different, [it being] to ensure fair play by applying the Laws of Cricket, and any special regulations or playing conditions that may pertain to the particular match".  Bastable believes that "Umpires do not have, nor do they seek, the power to ‘adjust’ those Laws or fudge them, or bend them to suit the whims of others [and] even if they wanted to do so, how would [they] decide just whose interests were to take precedence?".  Talking about the journalist's call for the use by umpires of cricket's so-called '43rd Law', the so-called application of common sense, he says that it "already exists", and used the oft-quoted saying that "Law 43 is the common sense application of Laws 1-42".  Putting in a plug for the ICUS, one of whose planks is the need to have umpires completely separate from cricket administrators and governing bodies, Bastable concludes that the current discourse on umpires is the "most compelling argument for all umpires to be completely independent", for that way he says "each party can then make progress with their respective jobs".

EN198

 

DATES FOR WINTER LAWS SCHOOL, ANNUAL SEMINAR, UNDER REVIEW

Details of dates and general arrangements that will apply for this year's TCUSA Winter Laws School and weekend pre-season Annual Seminar will be provided via this newsletter as soon as they become available.

EN197

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 37, 8 May 2007

 

TCUSA OFFICE BEARER NOMINATIONS CLOSE ON FRIDAY

Nominations for members of the Association's Management Committee for the 2007-08 season close this week.  Forms provided to members via post two weeks ago need to be returned to Graeme Hamley by Friday, 11 May.  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 Wednesday, 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.  The AGM is scheduled to be held in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval and will commence at 7.30 p.m.

EN203

 

ALEEM DAR POINTS TO THE BOUNDARY

Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar has apparently suggested that the problems that occurred during the closing stages of last week's World Cup final resulted from mistakes made off the ground in Barbados.  In a short news item on the Cricinfo web site last weekend, Dar is quoted as saying that the overall tournament "should be of shorter duration" and that it had "tired out [both] players and umpires" by the time the final was reached.  According to Cricinfo, Dar "defended himself when asked what went wrong as rain and bad light interrupted the final, by saying the confusion did not occur because of the on-field officials [himself and West Indian Steve Bucknor]".  The report quotes the Pakistani as saying that "I think there was a communication breakdown and we acted on instructions from outside, [the feeling being] that the match had to be completed on the reserve day".  Dar told Cricinfo that "At times mistakes do happen [and that] the International Cricket Council (ICC) and match officials have done the right thing by apologising for the [errors] made".  Media reports at the time suggested third umpire Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) was responsible for the error (E-News 34, 30 April 2007), however, ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed told the world's media the day after the final that none of the officials involved will be asked to resign, nor will their resignations be sought (E-News 35, 1 May 2007).  Speed made supportive comments regarding the umpires involved in the 'ball tampering' Test last August, only to see the ICC Board dismiss Australian international umpire Darrell Hair a few months later.  The ICC Board is scheduled to meet in London next month, while Hair's claim regarding his dismissal will be heard by an employment tribunal in London in October (E-News 25, 5 April 2007).

EN202

 

AUSTRALIAN UMPIRES NAMED FOR WCL DARWIN SERIES

Four members of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) have been named for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 championship which is to be held in Darwin later this month.  Jeff Brookes (Western Australia), Simon Fry (South Australia) and Queenslanders Tim Laycock and Bruce Oxenford have been selected by Cricket Australia's (CA) national selection panel to officiate in the one day, fifty over, series involving teams from ICC Associate and Affiliate members Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Fiji, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Tanzania, and Italy.  Argentina was brought into the series recently to replace the United States which was suspended by the ICC earlier this year (E-News 29, 19 April 2007).  CA was asked to provide four umpires for the event by the ICC, and another four as yet un-named officials will be selected by the international body from its Associate and Affiliates umpiring Panel (AAP).  The names of the latter have not yet been announced, however, current AAP members are: Roger Dill (Bermuda); Subhash Modi (Kenya); Buddi Pradhan (Nepal); Shahul Hameed (Indonesia); Paul Baldwin (Germany) and Jeff Luck (Namibia).  The ICC says that "the pathway created by the [AAP] means umpires from [its] 86 Associate and Affiliate Members now have the opportunity to stand at the highest levels of the game if their performances merit it".  The ICC is to cover the costs for all eight umpires involved in this month's Darwin tournament.  In the winter of 2006 six umpires from Australia's national panel stood in the 'Top End' series involving the 'A' sides from Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan (E-News 30, 20 April 2007).  CA is yet to name the umpires for the women's series between Australia and New Zealand in Darwin in late July.  However, the strategy of selecting NUP officials for Division 3 matches, which are effectively of Grade cricket standard, suggests that national panel members will also be appointed to the women's international series.  

EN201

 

NATIONAL PANEL MEMBERS TOP INTERSTATE MATCH APPOINTMENTS

National Umpiring Panel (NUP) members filled 107 of the 150 on-field positions available in the 75 games played in the three major interstate competitions in Australia last season.  A total of 25 officials from six States were used in the games involved, 14 in the 31 Pura Cup First Class games, 22 for the 31 match one-day series, and and 25 for the 13 Twenty/20 games.  All 24 members of Cricket Australia's (CA) current twelve-man National and State umpiring panels were selected for matches.  National panel members were allocated 60 of the 62 First Class positions, 40 of the 62 one day slots, and 7 of the 26 Twenty/20 places.  Two members of the current second-tier State Umpiring Panel (SUP), Andrew Collins (South Australia) and Tony Ward (Victoria), made their debuts at First Class level during the season.  No Tasmanians stood in an interstate First Class match, the first time that has occurred since the State entered the Sheffield Shield competition 30 years ago.  One islander, Brian Muir, stood in two one day games, and Brian and Greg Luck were named for two of the Twenty/20 matches.  SUP members were given their major opportunity to perform in the one day competition, 22 of the 62 on-field slots being filled by ten of the current group.  That group did, however, fill a larger number of one day third or TV umpire positions.  In the Twenty/20 games all SUP members were given at least one match each and 19 overall.  NUP members stood in the finals of all three competitions: Bob Parry and Rod Tucker in the Pura Cup in Hobart (E-News 14, 13 March 2007); Parry and international umpire Daryl Harper for the Ford Ranger Cup finale at the MCG; and Paul Reiffel and John Ward in the Twenty/20 decider, again at the MCG. Under new arrangements put in place by CA for the 2007-08 season, the NUP will operate as it did last season, but the SUP will be replaced by six State-based umpiring squads, members of the latter being eligible for selection to First Class and other matches (E-News 9, 25 February 2007).  The names of both panel and squad members for next season have yet to be announced.

EN200

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 38, 10 May 2007

 

DATES FOR TCUSA WINTER SCHOOLS, PRE SEASON SEMINAR, SET

Dates have been set for the Association's Winter Laws School, Scoring Course and this year's Annual Seminar.  The Laws School is to commence on Wednesday, 27 June and run each subsequent Wednesday evening until 1 August, with the exam being scheduled for 8 August.  The Scorer's Course will be run in parallel with the Laws School but will start one week later on Wednesday, 4 July and conclude on 1 August.  This year's Annual Seminar has been scheduled for the weekend of 6-7 October.  All meetings will be held at Bellerive Oval, the Laws School and Seminar in the Premiership Room, the Scorers' Course in the Chairman's Room above.  Details of the various meetings will be provided in the near future.  The full list of dates and meeting times are provided at the end of this newsletter for your convenience.

EN206

 

WC FINAL UMPIRES APPOINTED TO ENGLAND-WINDIES TESTS

Three of the umpires involved in last month's World Cup final have been appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand in for four Test series between England and the West Indies over the next month.  South African Rudi Koertzen will, along with Asad Rauf from Pakistan, umpire the first two Tests, and Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand) will stand in Tests three and four.  The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has named its officials, Nigel Llong, Ian Gould and David Hartley as third umpires, while Richard Kettleborough, Ray Illingworth, Rob Bailey and Trevor Jesty will be fourth umpires.  ICC Match Referee for the series is Alan Hurst of Australia.  Brian Jerling (South Africa) of the ICC’s International Panel will umpire the three One Day Internationals (ODI) between the two sides in the first week of July.  The ECB has appointed Llong, Gould and ICC 'Elite' panel member Mark Benson to stand with Jerling in the three games, with Benson, Harltey, Gould and Llong rotating through the third and fourth official positions.  ICC Match Referee Mike Proctor from South Africa will oversee the ODIs.

EN205

 

DOCTROVE TO JOIN HARPER IN BANGLADESH

The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday named Billy Doctrove from the West Indies to stand with Australian Daryl Harper in the two Test series between Bangladesh and India later this month.  Harper announced that he had been appointed to the matches on his web site late last month (E-News 34, 30 April 2007).  Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka, a member of the ICC's International umpiring panel, is to stand the three One Day Internationals between the two nations.  He will be joined in the first match by Bangladeshi official Nadir Shah, and in the second and third games by another local, Enamul Haque.

EN204

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 39, 11 May 2007

 

SURVEY LOOKING AT UMPIRES AND SCORERS CONTRIBUTION

Over the next week researchers from the University of Tasmania (UT) will take the first steps in a project that aims to better understanding the contribution umpires and scorers make to cricket in Tasmania.  Those involved anticipated that the results obtained from the work, which is being undertaken in association with the Tasmanian Cricket Association, will assist in shaping the way the TCUSA approaches its recruitment, training and management role.  Data obtained will also provide input to broader on-going research that the UT is undertaking into people involved in not-for-profit organisations.  The first phase of the research involves collecting information from TCUSA members.  During the coming week umpires and scorers will receive in the post a survey form prepared by Dr Wayne O'Donohue of the UT's School of Management.  TCUSA members are asked to fill out and return the four-page questionnaire, which Wayne expects should only take 10-15 minutes to complete, by the end of the month.  Information provided with the questionnaire covers such matters as procedures to be used during the study, confidentiality issues, ethics and contact information for queries.  A reply paid envelope will be provided with the papers.

EN211

 

ZIMBABWE SCORERS APPEAR UNDER PRESSURE

Details of the scores and statistics from matches played in domestic cricket in Zimbabwe are increasingly difficult to obtain, according to an article on the Cricinfo web site earlier this week.  The problems being experienced are believed to stem in part from the lack of suitable scorers available to record matches in the African country.  The on-line article by Martin Williamson, says that "until this year the Zimbabwe board, aided by dedicated volunteers, has always supplied scorecards of First-Class and List A matches to the media".  He writes, however, that there were increasing problems last year with the accuracy of the data, and says that queries had to be sent to Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) "when cards did not add up or data was missing".   Last year such queries "were almost always resolved, however, this year ZC has failed to supply any data, even to its domestic media or on its own website, which is increasingly inaccessible and which has not been updated for several weeks".  Bill Frindall, the well-known BBC statistician, was quoted by Cricinfo as saying that "this situation sadly comes as no surprise" and he added that "the International Cricket Council (ICC) should threaten ZC with suspension of their membership and the withdrawal of First-Class and List A status".  Cricinfo says it has made several requests for the information, and that the ICC and the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians have also contacted ZC.  In almost all instances, ZC has failed to acknowledge the requests that have been made, says Williamson's article.

EN210

 

THIRD HOME WINTER TOURNAMENT OPEN TO UMPIRES

An Emerging Players Tournament (EPT), the third international series to held in Australia this winter, is to take place at various locations in south-east Queensland during the last half of July.  Four teams, one each from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa will play twenty one-day matches from 16-28 July.   The sides involved are: the Australian Centre of Excellence; the Karnataka State Cricket Association of India; New Zealand Emerging Players; and South African Emerging Players.  The EPT, which potentially offers umpiring opportunities to higher-level and emerging umpires, is in addition to the World Cricket League's (WCL) Division 3 series in Darwin later this month, and the Australia-NZ women's series in Darwin which will run in parallel with the Emerging Players series (E-News 30, 20 April 2007).  Four members of Australia's national panel of umpires were named for the WCL series (E-News 37, 8 May 2007), but as yet no appointments have been announced for the women's series in Darwin or the EPT in the Brisbane area. 

EN209

 

INTERESTING UMPIRES' DECISION AVAILABLE ON 'YOU TUBE'

Umpiring readers can no doubt recall a decision they have made on the field of play that they later released might not have quite been correct!  If that's the case your may like to look at a 20 second clip available on 'You Tube' that shows a decision given by a County umpire in England this week.  The umpire gives the batsman out caught behind even though the bat is clearly no where near the ball.  It appears that the fielder who runs in from second slip makes a belated request of the umpire, however, as there is no sound on the video that it is not entirely clear who made the appeal.  The video was posted on 'You Tube' last Wednesday and was captured during what looks like a 50 over one day game at the Oval.  The umpire's identity is unknown.  If you'd like to test your skills as an umpire you can down load the clip by going to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBAMDCv5c9A 

EN208

 

WCL DIVISION THREE WARM UP GAMES SCHEDULED

Cricket Australia's National Indigenous Development Squad are to play one-day games against Fiji and Papua New Guinea in Darwin on 22-23 May.  The matches will assist the two nations as they prepare for the World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 series which starts on 27 May (E-News 37, 8 May 2007).  Umpires for the two games have not yet been announced.

 

PLETHORA OF INTERNATIONAL GAMES KEEP UMPIRES BUSY

In addition to international series between England and the West Indies and Bangladesh and India over the next month (E-News 38, 10 May 2007), the International Cricket Council (ICC) also has to appoint umpires to stand in other international matches in England, Abu Dhabi and India.  A three-game One Day International (ODI) series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is scheduled for Abu Dahbi on 18, 20 and 22 May, the final of the world body's Intercontinental Cup (IC) between Canada and Ireland is to be played in England from 22-25 May, and the four-game competition between teams representing Africa and Asia in listed for India from 5-10 June.  The ICC is yet to announce who will stand in each of the games involved, however, clearly it will be a busy time for members of its 'Elite' and 'International' panels of umpires.

EN207

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 40, 15 May 2007

 

TCA GRADE COMMITTEE STARTS PLANNING FOR 2007-08 SEASON

Suggestions put forward by TCUSA members are included in the agenda for next Saturday's Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Grade Cricket Committee (GCC) meeting.   The code of conduct form for umpires coaches and captains, suggested revisions to the captain's report form, and other issues raised by TCUSA members will be considered during the GCC's all-day club consultation meeting.  Other matters that the TCA, GGC or clubs have asked to be considered include computer scoring training (E-News 38, 10 May 2007), competition structures and formats, grants to clubs, player payments, and roster dates for the 2007-08 season.  The meeting, which is to be held in the Century Room at Bellerive Oval, is expected to be attended by representatives of all TCA clubs.  Richard Widows the TCUSA's Umpires Advisor will also attend. 

EN218

 

UMPIRES, SCORERS RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN TO GET UNDERWAY

A recruitment campaign targeted at attracting new umpires and scorers to TCUSA ranks is to get underway in the near future.  Efforts will in the first instance centre around the six-week winter 'Laws School' which starts on 27 June (E-News 38, 10 May 2007).  The Association's Umpires' Advisor Richard Widows has asked members to assist the campaign by approaching anyone they believe could make a contribution to umpiring and scoring ranks and encouraging them to attend the school.  Details of the Laws School are available on the Association's web site (http://www.tascricket.com.au/tcusa.html) via the 'Laws School' button at the top of the page.  Contact details for Richard are available on the Home page of that site.   

EN217   

 

TCUSA AGM SET FOR WEDNESDAY EVENING  

The TCUSA's Annual General Meeting will get underway at 7.30 p.m. tomorrow night in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval.  In accordance with the Association's rules the positions of President, Honorary Treasurer and two committee members are open for election.  In addition to the election, the meeting will receive Annual Reports from President Roy Loh, Umpires Advisor Richard Widows, and Honorary Treasurer Steven John, and deal with a number of other matters where required.  Refreshments will be available at the end of the meeting in the normal manner.

EN216

 

ZIMBABWEAN UMPIRE NAMED FOR PAKISTAN-LANKA ODI MATCHES 

Russell Tiffin from Zimbabwe, Mark Benson from England and Suresh Shastri of India have been named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to officiate in the Pakistan versus Sri Lanka One Day International (ODI) series which starts next Friday.  The three match tournament is to be played under flood lights in Abu Dhabi on 18, 20 and 22 May (E-News 39, 11 May 2007).   Tiffin is an experienced international umpire having stood in 38 Test Matches, the first in 1995 and the last in 2004, as well as 94 ODIs over the last 12 years, the latest the game between South Africa and Pakistan in February this year.  Mark Benson comes to the series with 15 Test matches and 46 ODIs under his belt, while Shastri has stood in 11 ODIs since his first in 1993.  Tiffin and Shastri are members of the ICC's International Panel of Umpires while Benson is on its 'Elite Panel'.  The umpires will rotate during the series, each being on the ground for two games and taking up the third umpire position in the other.  The Abu Dhabi series, which will be Australian Tom Moody’s last as coach of Sri Lanka, was originally scheduled for earlier in May,  however, it was delayed due to what Cricinfo said earlier this month was "Sri Lanka's delayed arrival from the Caribbean and lack of interest from sponsors and television channels".   Organisers had originally envisaged a three team tournament involving South Africa, however, that nation reportedly refused to take part acccording to Cricinfo.  Javagal Srinath of India from the ICC’s Elite Panel of Match Referees, who has officiated in 13 ODIs and four Test matches to date, will oversee the series.

EN215

 

AUSSIE, KIWI TO STAND IN AFRO-ASIA CUP ODIs

An Australian and a New Zealander from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) International Panel of Umpires are to stand in the three One Day Internationals (ODI) between combined teams from Africa and Asia that are to be played in India from 5-10 June (E-News 39, 11 May 2007).  Peter Parker from Australia and Kiwi Tony Hill have previously umpired 44 and 40 ODIs and 8 and 4 Test matches respectively.  Chris Broad of England is the ICC's Match Referee for the series.  The three 50 over ODIs are to be played in Bangalore and Chennai, and will be proceeded by a Twenty/20 contest, however, the names of the umpires for the latter game are not known at this stage.  Africa's 15-man squad for the series is made up of 11 players from South Africa, four from Kenya and two from Zimbabwe.  Asia's squad has one player from Bangladesh, five each from India and Sri Lanka, and three from Pakistan.  The tournament was first held in South Africa in August 2005, the series ending in a 1-1 draw with one game abandoned due to rain.

EN214

 

INTERCONTINENTAL CUP FINAL AWAITS APPOINTMENTS

Despite the fact that the International Cricket Council's (ICC) four-day Intercontinental Cup final between Canada and Ireland is to start on 22 May, the world body has yet to name umpires to stand in the match.  In announcing officials for the Afro-Asia Cup series yesterday, the ICC said that umpires for the final in Leicester in England "will be announced in due course".  The Afro-Asia Cup does not commence until 5 June, two weeks after the IC final starts.  The ICC has also yet to name which members of its Associate and Affiliates umpiring Panel who will join Australians Jeff Brookes (Western Australia), Simon Fry (South Australia) and Queenslanders Tim Laycock and Bruce Oxenford in the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Darwin (E-News 37, 8 May 2007).  The 20 game, week-long series gets underway on 27 May.

EN213

 

INDIAN CRICKET LEAGUE PROPOSAL STILL ALIVE 

News of the proposed Twenty/20 match 'Indian Cricket League' (ICL), which said last month that it would "appoint their own umpires" to games, continues to appear in the media (E-News 26, 6 April 2007).  Cricinfo reported over the weekend that the league is set to comprise six teams from regions across India and could start as early as October.  Well-known former players Kapil Dev, Tony Greig, Dean Jones and Kiran More are believed to on the ICL's executive board, with Dev as Chairman.  The Board for Control of Cricket in India, which has control of the game there, has reacted cautiously to the proposed competition.  The standard of umpiring in India was criticised last month for what one writer said was because the craft "gets short shrift from the powers that be" (E-News 26, 6 April 2007). 

EN212

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 41, 17 May 2007

 

UMP OF THE YEAR, CHIEF REFEREE, ON ICC'S REVAMPED CRICKET COMMITTEE

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) three-time Umpire of the Year, Australian Simon Taufel, and Chief Referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, have been appointed as members of the world body's revamped Cricket Committee (CC).  The Committee deals with what the ICC describes as "matters or issues relating to the game or the playing of the game", and the Council's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Malcolm Speed, said in a statement that "the game now has at its disposal a group of outstanding cricket brains [that will] ensure a strong sport is able to grow even stronger".  Taufel was quoted in an ICC Press Release as saying that 'Elite' Panel members are "very pleased" to have a representative on the committee.  According to him that Panel believes that "there is an enormous amount of cricket experience on the Elite Panel" and he hopes that the new arrangement will enable he and his umpiring colleagues "to contribute in a positive way to improving the game for all participants and spectators".  Madugalle has managed 94 Tests and a record 205 One Day Internationals (E-News 23, 2 April 2007), while Taufel has stood 41 and 116 matches in the respective forms of the game.  One of the issues that umpires are likely to raise is the current policy of appointing so-called neutral umpires to Test matches and other international games.  Taufel indicated publicly as late as yesterday that he did not agree with that policy, however, many senior officials in the ICC, including Sunil Gavaskar the Chairman of the Cricket Committee, who plays a key role in umpiring selections at the highest level, clearly have a different perspective.  The reconstituted committee includes what appears to be a 'catch all' set of what the ICC terms as "representatives" of current and past players, team coaches, the media, statisticians, Associate nations, and its Board.  Apart from Taufel other Australian nationals on the 13-man group are:  Mark Taylor (past players' representative), Tim May the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, Tasmanian Keith Bradshaw the Secretary and CEO of the MCC who are the custodians of the Laws of Cricket, and Tom Moody who will provide the Coaches' viewpoint.  Moody was Coach of Sri Lanka when the ICC finalised the structure and membership of the group at its Executive Board meeting in Cape Town in early March, the same gathering that moved responsibility for termination of international games from umpires to Match Referees (E-News 12, 7 March 2007).  It is not known why the ICC waited nearly three months to announce the changes to its CC.  The revamped group is to meet for the first time on 30-31 May at the ICC's headquarters Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  Details of the agenda for that meeting will, in an ICC-standard phrase, "be announced in due course".

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CHANGES TO TCUSA MANAGEMENT GROUP FOR 2007-08

Last night's Association Annual General Meeting saw a number of changes made to the TCUSA's management committee, including the return of Graeme Hamley as President for the eighth time.  Mark Wickham was elected to replace Phil Mann and he will serve with Don Heapy (Vice President), Penny Paterson (Secretary), Steven John (Honorary Treasurer), and committee members Alistair Scott and Richard Widows.  Graeme will also continue in the Administrator position.  During the meeting annual reports were tabled from out going President Roy Loh, Umpires Advisor Richard Widows (see story below), and Treasurer Steven John.  The reports, together with pictures taken during the season, up-dated member's on-field records, Association awards, finals appointments, and management committee listings, are available in booklet form.  Copies can be obtained by members by contacting President-Administrator Graeme Hamley.  Following the elections members formally recorded a vote of thanks to Roy Loh for his service as President of the Association over the last two years.  Contact details for 2007-08 committee members are available on the Association's web site. 

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THREE STALWARTS AWARDED TCUSA LIFE MEMBERSHIP

Three long-serving TCUSA members were awarded Life Membership of the Association at last night's Annual General Meeting.  Hazell Bradshaw, Graeme Hamley and Brian Pollard, who between them have served cricket in Tasmania for close to 80 years, now join current Vice President Don Heapy, Alan Newman, Steve Randell, Alan Salter, Tim Swifte and the late Alan Powell on the Life Member's list.  Hazell retired earlier this year after a distinguished 30-year career in the score box (see story below).  Graeme has been a member of the Association since the 1989-90 season and in the time since has umpired 179 games, 76 at First Grade level.  He then turned his skills to scoring at all levels of the game, including the Test arena.  Off the field Graeme has now served on the TCUSA management committee for a total of 14 years, 8 as President, once as Vice President, 5 as Treasurer, and for the past four years as Association Administrator.  Just when Brian commenced with the Association has literally been lost in 'the mists of time' due to the loss of early records, however, Graeme Hamley says it was around 30-35 years ago.  While the records are not complete it is certain that he has stood in well over 400 games for the TCUSA, a massive 234 in First Grade, figures that easily make him the Association's highest achiever in terms of games umpired.  Brian has also served on the management committee for at least seven seasons over the years.  He is also a Life Member of the Montague Bay Cricket Club, having served with them for 20 years.  Out going TCUSA President Roy Loh thanked all three on behalf of the membership for their invaluable work over the years, and congratulated them all on their well-merited awards.  

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PRAISE FOR COMMITMENT, IMPROVED UMPIRING-SCORING STANDARDS

The TCUSA's Umpires Advisor Richard Widows praised the "wonderful commitment" and "ever increasing level of competency" displayed by the Association's umpires and scorers during the 2006-07 season in his report to the TCUSA's Annual General Meeting last night.  In wide-ranging comment, Richard commended members for their contribution to Tasmanian cricket, thanked all those involved in management, appointments and training groups, and congratulated those who were selected to officiate in representative and finals matches.  Despite what sometimes may appear to be the focus on high level umpiring, including in this newsletter during the off-season, Richard emphasised that the provision of quality umpires and scorers for Club cricket continues to be fundamental to the Association’s goals.  He hopes though that Cricket Australia's (CA) revamped national umpiring system (E-News 9, 25 February 2007), will provide opportunities for Tasmanians with the right skills to show their abilities in games played interstate, such as those in the Women's Cup, Country Cricket Championships, and the Emerging Players Tournament (E-News 39, 11 May 2007).  While commending and thanking members for their diligence, he believes all in the TCUSA need to consider whether the Association's umpires and scorers are being stretched too thinly.  He pointed out that even though there the recruitment of new members was more successful last season, the addition of the Derwent Valley competition to the appointments schedule required most officials to be "out there" on both Saturdays and Sundays.  While that commitment of members is "both admirable and hugely appreciated", Richard feels that that is an issue that every member should provide their views on prior to the season ahead.  The Umpires Advisor concluded his remarks by paying tribute to long-serving scorer Hazell Bradshaw who retired earlier this year after three decades of service to Tasmania cricket (see following story).

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LONG-SERVING SCORER CALLS 'OVER AND TIME'

Long-serving TCUSA scoring member Hazell Bradshaw, who retired at the end of last season, was congratulated on her distinguished career by a number of speakers at last night's Annual General Meeting.  State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows paid tribute to Hazell in his Annual Report saying that "such dedicated service, performed with her own delightful brand of wit and humour shall be remembered with gratitude, respect and not least, affection".  Hazell commenced her scoring career just over 30 years ago when son Keith first started in High School.  A few years later Keith started playing with New Town in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Third Grade competition and Hazell joined him there, moving up to First Grade as Keith's career progressed.  While Keith eventually moved on, later playing 25 First Class games for Tasmania, Hazell spent 30 years with New Town, the club honouring her long service by naming their ground's scorer's room after her.  Hazell started scoring in interstate matches during the 1990-91 season, recording between 80 or 90 games at that level over 16 years in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport.  During that time she also scored in 18 of the 24 One Day Internationals, and 5 of the 7 Test Matches, that have been played at Bellerive.  When asked by E-News to provide some of her favourite moments in what has been a memorable career the stories come thick and fast.  She talked about watching players like Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting and Tom Moody scoring large totals very quickly ("it was awkward to keep the figures on the score sheet" says Hazell), to trying to figure out which West Indian was responsible for a run out where three players had the ball before the wicket was broken (she asked them at lunch), to the day Tasmanian Dan Marsh put a ball through the old score box window at Bellerive in a One Day domestic game (Dan later presented her with a trophy on which the ball was mounted).  In the following fixture Hazell was seen on TV wearing a helmet!  But while she doesn't mention it in an interview with E-News, no doubt her proudest moment in cricket is when son Keith took up his current job last October as the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Marylebone Cricket Club.  In that capacity he will serve as a member of the ICC's recently reconstituted Cricket Committee (see this edition's lead story above).

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REACCREDITATION SCHEDULED FOR NUAS LEVEL 2 CARD HOLDERS

Cricket Australia (CA) will contact all holders of the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme's Level 2 (NUAS-2) qualification via mail later this month with details of how they can renew their accreditation.  NUAS-2 is part of a nationally coordinated system for sporting officials, the cricket version being designed by CA to meet the training and educational needs of umpires through continuous improvement of their knowledge and skills.  Around 50 individuals have completed the accreditation course in Tasmania to date.  Current holders will be asked to indicating on a brief one-page form the number of games they have stood in over the last four seasons, and list their "professional development activities over that time".  The latter can include for example such things as attendance to TCUSA winter laws schools and annual seminars, completion of examinations, and 'special' achievements such as selection for representative matches or finals matches.  Cost of the reaccreditation program is $15, however, it was agreed at last night's TCUSA Annual General Meeting that the Management Committee should be asked to consider covering that fee.  Members are therefore asked not to return their form to CA until advised via this newsletter.  Details of the NUAS-2 program, and contact information for TCUSA coordinators Ian Quaggin and Steve Maxwell, are available on the Association's web site.  

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ASSOCIATE AND COUNTY UMPIRES TO STAND INTERCONTINENTAL CUP FINAL

The International Cricket Council (ICC) have appointed German-based Paul Baldwin, a member of its Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel, and Richard Kettleborough a young up-and-coming County official in England, to stand in the final of the world body's Intercontinental Cup (IC) between Canada and Ireland from 22-25 May.  Naming of the officials comes after an lengthy delay (E-News 40, 15 May 2007).  The ICC's IC was first played in 2004, its aim being to give the leading players from ICC Associate sides, who normally play One Day Internationals, the chance to improve by exposing them to a longer form of the game.  The next IC will be played over two years and involve sides from Bermuda, Kenya, Canada, Ireland, Namibia, the Netherlands, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  The 2007-08 event kicks off on 28 June when Canada play the Netherlands in Toronto.  Scotland have back-to-back matches against Ireland and Netherlands at the start of August, while Bermuda will be in Europe to take on the same opponents at the end of the month.  Bermuda will be the busiest country in 2007 with four matches, all away from home, probably because of concerns the ICC currently has about the standard of the wicket at the island nation's sports headquarters. In addition to their European trip, they play Kenya in Nairobi at the start of November and from there go straight to the meet UAE in Abu Dahbi.  Namibia, on the other hand, have only one game this year, while Kenya have two.  Scotland won the inaugural IC in 2004 and Ireland the second in 2005.  Given its form in the recent World Cup Ireland is favourite to take out this year's competition.

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'YOU TUBE' DECISION HIGHLIGHTS CONCENTRATION ISSUES

Umpires wishing to improve their performance on the field can learn a valuable lesson by considering the issues involved in the 'caught behind' decision placed on the 'You Tube' web site last week, says the Tasmanian State Director of Umpiring, Richard Widows.  The umpire in a one day domestic match at the Oval in London, gave the batsman out even though his bat was clearly no where near the ball (E-News 39, 11 May 2007).  The umpire actions suggest that he was not concentrating at the time, although to his considerable credit the batsman comprehensively meets 'Spirit of Cricket' requirements by heading quickly to the pavilion without fuss.  The State Director says that "we’ve all been caught out when an appeal brings our attention back to where we didn’t realise it had wandered from", and that "the umpire should have used the [apparent] lack of a general appeal" in the video as a clear piece of information in his decision making.  Richard's assessment is that the umpire was "so immersed in whatever his distraction was that he missed that bit [of input] too".  "When the belated appeal brought him back to the game, his natural instinct was one of not wanting to appear a fool by admitting he wasn’t watching", and as a result "he foolishly agreed with the fielder appealing".  That scenario is "an extreme case of a not uncommon event" says Richard.  Umpires need "above average powers of concentration and focus" to keep the mind from wandering, and that "the ability to make good decisions consistently" is a fundamental facet of any umpire's game.  In Richard's assessment "what prevents many umpires progressing is that when this happens to them, and it happens to everyone, they don’t readily acknowledge their failing even to themselves, and as a consequence [they do not develop a] strategy for improvement".

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UMPIRES BENEFIT FROM CROSS-TASMAN EXCHANGE PROGRAM

Umpires from Associations in New Zealand and Victoria are obtaining great benefit from an annual cross-Tasman exchange program, according to Kevin Manley the Regional Training Officer of the Auckland Cricket Umpiring Association (ACUA).  Kevin told E-News this week that the exchange between the ACUA and the Victorian Cricket Umpires Association (VCUA) has been operating annually for over a decade and that it provides those chosen with the opportunity to stand in top Grade level games in "a totally different environment" to normal.  The ACUA use the program to send umpires they judge to have the potential to "kick on" to higher appointment levels in New Zealand, and that with the "odd exception" most involved have done just that.  The first ACUA member to be nominated for the exchange was in fact 'Billy' Bowden, who has since gone on the umpire 114 One Day Internationals and 39 Test Matches.  Bowden is to umpire Tests 40 and 41 early next month (E-News 38, 10 May 2007).  The exchange is co-ordinated at the Australian end by Victoria's Director of Umpiring Bob Stratford, a former First Class umpire.  Canterbury, another NZ regional umpiring Association, also sends an umpire to Victoria each season, and two Melbourne umpires go to NZ, one to each association (E-News 32, 26 April 2007).  Under the arrangement the host Association provides accommodation, match payments and expenses at local rates, while airfares and related costs are met by an umpire's home Association.

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WCL DIVISION 5 TOURNAMENT TO BE HELD JERSEY IN 2008

Jersey is to host the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cricket League Division 5 (WCL) tournament in 2008.  The event, which will involve 12 teams, is scheduled to take place sometime in May or June, however, the exact date has yet to be set.  Sides scheduled to take part will be from Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Botswana, Germany, Jersey,  Mozambique, Norway, Nepal, Singapore and the United States, plus two nations from the East-Asia Pacific region who are yet to qualify.  The top two teams at the tournament will progress to a WCL Division 4, six-team round-robin event, which is to be staged late next year at a location that is yet to be decided.  Jersey has been an Affiliate Member of ICC since June 2005 and as such is one of the more recent additions to the world body's development program.  Jersey is located off the north coast of France and is the largest of the Channel Islands.  It has a population of around 90,000 people, some 3,500 of whom are said to participate in the game there, more than 40 teams competing across two weekend, three evening, and two indoor league divisions, while a further 47 teams take part in junior competitions.  There are six grounds with turf squares on the island.

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E-NEWS NUMBER 42, 20 May 2007

 

TAUFEL SUPPORTS AXING OF NEUTRAL UMPIRING POLICY

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel believes that the best umpires should be appointed to "important matches" and that the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'neutral umpires' policy should be rescinded.  Neutral umpires now stand in all Test matches, and with the exception of the World Cup finals, one is normally appointed to One Day Internationals (ODI), the ICC rejecting a proposal that all ODIs to have two 'neutrals' two years ago.  During an interview aired on ABC television Taufel, who was recently named as a member of the ICC's revamped Cricket Committee (E-News 41, 17 May 2007), said such a policy change "would obviously have huge ramifications going forward".  It would for example "allow an Australian umpire to [stand in] Australian Test matches on home soil", and "Pakistani umpires to umpire in Pakistan, perhaps in an India-Pakistan fixture".  The world's top-rated umpire believes that the use of television-based technology and the "forensic pressure" its use puts on officials is a clear antidote to any bias that might occur.  According to him, he and his colleagues on the 'Elite Panel have "gone beyond the possibility of bias, we're just as professional as we can be, and you know there is no room for bias as we are all judged on our performance by the video".  Most pundits believe that had the neutral umpiring policy not been in place, Taufel would have been named to stand in last months' World Cup final (E-News 33, 27 April 2007).  Pakistan initiated the practice of using neutral officials when it appointed Indian umpires Virinchirpuram Ramaswamy and Pilloo Reporter to the last two Tests of its 1986 home series against the West Indies.  The ICC introduced its 'Elite' Panels of umpires and referees in April 2002 to "ensure the highest possible standards and guarantee impartiality".  Last September, in the lead up to last summer's Ashes series, Cricket Australia's (CA) spokesman Peter Young was quoted as saying that while "there are some people wanting the top two umpires in the world [for the series], we are firmly committed to the neutral umpire system and have no plans at all to push for change".  A month earlier Young and Australian captain Ricky Ponting had both spoken in favour of such a change.  E-News contacted CA's media department to determine if Young's September statement still holds, but they have not yet replied.  The neutral umpires issue looks certain to be an item on the agenda for the ICC's reconstituted Cricket Committee when it meets for the first time on 30-31 May.

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WHITE BALL DISCOLOURATION, PLAYING AREA SIZES, CONCERN TAYLOR

The discolouration of white balls and the smaller playing areas used in One Day International (ODI) matches concern former Australian Captain Mark Taylor.  Taylor, who was appointed as a representative of 'former players' on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) revamped Cricket Committee last week (E-News 41, 17 May 2007), hopes to raise both matters when the committee meets for the first time on 30-31 May.  Taylor was quoted by 'The Australian' newspaper as saying that "one thing we're all trying to get right is the white ball in one-day cricket".  He says that there "has already been quite a bit of chat in cricket circles" about "whether we should use a new ball from each end, or change the ball at a given time during the innings, [so that it is] easier for people to see".  Taylor is also keen to tackle the perception that batsmen now have "too much of an advantage" because boundaries for ODIs have "been brought in more and more" in recent years. "It seems to me we're one of the very few sports I can think of where the venue has got smaller and yet the players, who are faster and fitter than during my time in the game, are hitting the ball further," he said.  "If you look at golf" he concluded, "they're hitting the ball further, but they're making the courses longer".

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'HAWK-EYE' AVAILABLE TO UMPS AT LORDS INDOOR SCHOOL

Umpires are expected to be among those who will use 'Hawk-Eye' technology introduced at the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) Indoor School at Lord’s last week.  The MCC says that "Hawk-Eye software can accurately pinpoint the speed, line and length of each delivery, as well as the path the ball would have taken had it not been hit by the batsman, or hit the pads".  "Bowlers may see how fast they are bowling and how far they are turning the ball, while batsmen may analyse how well they play against varying degrees of spin and speed, and increase their awareness of their positioning in relation to the stumps".  The system is available as a coaching aid for international players, coaches, club cricketers or school parties, and the Club says that "umpires too can use the technology to sharpen their skills".  Users will be able to view a graphical breakdown of their statistics and take the information away on a disk.  An hour-long Hawk-Eye session is available "from as little as" the English equivalent of $A200 per hour, a fee that includes use of the net and coaching.

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AN INVITATION TO JOIN STATISTICIANS AND HISTORIANS

The UK-based 'Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians', whose members are spread across 22 countries, is looking for new members.  Founded in 1973 by a small group of avid statisticians, the Association widened its scope in the 1990s to include the word ‘Historians’ in its title.  It now numbers among its members most of the world’s leading statisticians and several of its most accomplished historians and biographers, not to mention many scorers and a Test cricketer or two.  Their principal purpose has long been "to promote and encourage research into the statistical and historical aspects of cricket at all levels throughout the world and to publish the findings".  The bulk of its members, however, comprise those whose only involvement is to enjoy the fruits of others’ labours by reading articles in the ACSH quarterly journal or to debate issues of the day on their E-mail circle.  Membership costs those overseas just under $A50 per annum, and you can subsribe by going to the  ACSH's web site at: http://www.acscricket.com/Join.html

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ACUS-ECB CONTINUE DISCUSSIONS

Officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) met at Lords on 14 May to continue discussions on how the two bodies can work more closely together "in the interest of the development of cricket and of cricket officials".  Relations between the three umpiring and scoring associations now in England, the long-established ACUS, the ECB's new 'Officials Association', and the Institute of of Cricket Umpires and Scorers, have been somewhat prickly over the last few years (E-News 12, 7 March 2007).  During last week's bilateral meeting a progress report was tabled from the ECB-ACUS 'Education Taskforce' Working Party the two groups established earlier in the year.  Its role is to look at all aspects of the training and assessment of cricket officials in the UK.  According to the ACUS, the Working Party has identified  "many areas of potential cooperation", however, further discussions are required before "cohesive proposals" can be submitted to the management and membership of both organisations.  The next ECB-ACUS meeting is scheduled to be held at Lords on 12 June.

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E-NEWS NUMBER 43, 22 May 2007

 

IGNORANCE OF THE LAWS COSTS OUTRIGHT OPPORTUNITY 

Professional cricketers "need a good spanking for failing to understand, or even read, the Laws [of cricket]" according to English columnist Charlie Randell.  The three-day County match at Leicester late last week between the home side and visitors Essex was reduced to a two-day affair after a first-day wash out.  By the Saturday morning, the actual day two of the game, the home side had made 335 and their opponents Essex were all out for 201, 134 runs behind.  According to Randell "Essex’s batting [in their first innings] had looked extremely vulnerable against seam and swing" and with two sessions of the match left the possibility of an outright win loomed.  Unfortunately says Randell, neither Leicester captain Darren Robinson or its coach Tim Boon appear "to have been aware that the follow-on figure had been automatically reduced" from 150 for a three-day game to 100 for a two-day match as stipulated by Law 13.1.  Instead they chose to go out and bat a second time and the match petered out to a draw.  Randell goes on to recall in his article how Nasser Hussain, the former England captain and now commentator for Sky Television, thought that a batsman in a match in England last year should have been run out because he jumped into the air to avoid being hit by the ball after completing a run.  Nothing was grounded when the throw hit the stumps, even though Law 38.2 makes specific mention of this eventuality as 'not out'.  Hussain’s 'on air' colleagues quickly corrected him.

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REFERRAL OF DECISIONS HAS 'NO FUTURE' CLAIMS CAPTAIN

A player's right to challenge umpiring decisions by referring them to the TV official "has no future" according to an English County captain who has experienced the trial system (E-News 35, 1 May 2007).  Speaking to the BBC after a recent game, Sussex captain Chris Adams questioned the guidelines set out by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that say the TV umpire can only overrule a decision made on the field "if it is beyond reasonable doubt that the on-field umpire has made a clear and obvious mistake".  That, says Adams, is where the scheme falls down.  "Unless there has been an absolute shocker, the third umpire will back up the umpire in the middle", he said.  "It is not open to interpretation at all, and that is the question mark for me"  "If we are trying to achieve better results then why is the third umpire not able to interpret the decision as if he was umpiring?"  He was referring in part to the fact that the TV umpire is not allowed to judge on no-balls.  That means he could find himself in a bizarre situation where an LBW appeal is referred by the batsman, all conditions of the LBW law are satisfied, except that on replay it is noticed that the delivery should have been called a no-ball.  The TV umpire has to give the batsman out, even though the no-ball is clear for all to see.  In Adam's opinion "98 per cent of these referrals will stand, so what's the point really?"  "We are trialing it at a basement level and I know the ECB want to give it a go and I will do my best to use it in an appropriate way".  "But it gets the thumbs down from me and I don't think it has a place in the game."  An initial report on the trial is to be presented to the International Cricket Council's Board meeting in England next month.

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GLASGOW MEETS TO SUB-CONTINENT

India and Pakistan are to play a special one-day match in Glasgow, Scotland, on 3 July at the invitation of Britain's Prince of Wales. It is hoped the game will raise up to $A6 million for charities in the UK and on the subcontinent.  The match, which is being played for the Friendship Cup, is being staged to commemorate the 60th anniversary of India's independence. It is being organised by the British Asian Trust and up to 5,000 tickets are on sale through an online ballot.  The match will be played after India competes in a triangular series in Belfast against Ireland and South Africa and adds to an already cluttered schedule of ODIs around the world.  Umpires for the matches in Glasgow and Belfast have yet to be been named.

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NEW CRICKET BOOKS ON THE MARKET

• 'Silent Revolutions: Writings on Cricket History' by Gideon Haigh.  Publisher: Black Ink. Cost: $32. Pages: 324.

• 'Shane Warne: Portrait of a flawed genius' by Simon Wilde.  Publisher: John Murray, Cost: $35. Pages: 215.

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E-NEWS NUMBER 44, 23 May 2007

 

CUT BACK IN NUMBER OF ODIs NEEDED SAYS MCC COMMITTEE

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) says that the schedule of international matches is far too cluttered and has recommended that fewer One Day Internationals (ODI) be played.  "While lucrative for national boards, one-day cricket can be of a higher intensity and involves more travel than Tests, the elongated series often resulting in tired players [who are] more susceptible to injury" said the WCC in a statement released by the MCC yesterday.  The committee recommends that a review of the international playing calendar be conducted by the International Cricket Council (ICC), "with the aim of striking a balance between financial gain, player welfare and audience satisfaction".  It supports the idea of a standard format for international tours of a Twenty/20 competition as a 'curtain raiser', three ODIs and a 3-5 Test match series.  The WCC's comments come at the end of a week in which even more ODIs have been crammed into the international calendar .  The next two months will see an India-Pakistan ODI in Glasgow (E-News 43, 22 May 2007), a Scotland-Pakistan ODI two days earlier, three ODIs between India and South Africa in Belfast with Ireland playing both teams before that, a quadrangular ODI tournament involving the West Indies, Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland again in Belfast, and in early June the Afro-Asia series in India (E-News 40, 15 May 2007).  Cricinfo says on its web site that "the extra series are all outside the ICC's Future Tours Program and are arranged by the individual [national] boards as money-earners".  It continued by expressing the view that "there are increasing signs that the endless schedule of one-day tournaments is leaving broadcasters weary, and there remain doubts whether some of the matches [detailed above] will attract TV coverage".  The WCC also says that the current situation means that players are less likely to be able to appear for their domestic sides, so weakening the standard of competition at First-Class level and reducing the attraction of cricket for native audiences, particularly the younger generation".  The committee's views should carry considerable weight as its membership is made up of a high-profile line up of former players, a renown international umpire in David Shepard, and Martin Crowe a current member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite' Match Referee panel.  The committee membership is: Tony Lewis (chairman); Geoffrey Boycott; Mike Brearley; Martin Crowe; Tony Dodemaide; Rahul Dravid; Andy Flower; Mike Gatting; Majid Khan; Barry Richards; David Shepherd; Alec Stewart; Courtney Walsh; and Steve Waugh.  The committee met in London on 14 May, however, its views were not made public until yesterday.

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REAL TIME MONITORING NEEDED FOR SUSPECT ACTIONS 

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) is advocating the introduction of a policy of regular monitoring of bowling actions under match conditions, using a combination of camera footage, technology and personal observation.  The WCC says that bowlers who have "correctly had their action called into question, have demonstrated under laboratory conditions that they deliver the ball fairly".  However, they believe that "a bowler’s action may differ once he returns to a match situation, particularly in moments of high pressure, extreme fatigue or when attempting to bowl a variation on the stock delivery".  According to the WCC, "a continual monitoring process would encourage bowlers to continue to pay attention to their action away from the laboratory, and ensure that they maintain a legal style of delivery at all times".  As such it supports "the continuation of development and research into technology and the wearing of monitors which will enable actions to be monitored in real time during a match yet, will not be at the expense of spectators and/or player comfort".  Players with suspect actions should be "monitored at least every six months, as well as at all ICC tournaments" it says.  The MCC supports the International Cricket Council's (ICC) policy of investigating suspect actions from as young as the Under-19 level, but suggests that remedial work could begin even earlier to ensure that the problem is addressed and rectified before players reach the top level of the game.  

EN241

 

WORLD CUP FORMAT, LENGTH, NEEDS 'URGENT REVIEW'

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) recommends that cricket's World Cup tournament last no longer than a month.  In a statement released by the MCC yesterday Australian time, the WCC says that the format of this year's World Cup lasted for almost seven weeks, and as such it "should be urgently reviewed with the intention of reducing the length of the tournament in India in 2011".  It also believes that the number of participating nations should be reduced and the competition restructured to ensure fewer one-sided matches.  In reference to the debacle that ensued in last month's final in the Carribean, the WCC says that "every effort should be made to ensure that the World Cup Final is played over 50 overs, even if this means going into a second or third day".

EN240

 

MCC COMMITTEE PUSHES BIGGER ODI PLAYING AREAS

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) believes that with the exception of a two metre gap around the edge for player safety, the whole of the available area on grounds used for international cricket should be used for matches.  The committee pointed out that the length of boundaries in international competitions is being steadily reduced, resulting in a higher number of fours and sixes, often from miss-hits.  It says that short boundaries, coupled with the advancing technology being introduced in cricket equipment, particularly bats, weigh the odds in favour of the batsmen to the detriment of bowlers, particularly the spinners.  Former Australian Captain Mark Taylor has publicly stated his concern about the same issue and said that he hopes to raise the issue during the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee’s meeting next week (E-News 42, 20 May 2007).    The MCC's announcement is expected to bring additional weight to bear on the issue.

EN239

 

USE OF GLUE ON PITCHES SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED SAYS WCC

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) believes that the practice of gluing pitches to 'quick-fix' problems that develop during play should be discontinued.  In its opinion "gluing is yet another innovation which tips the balance of the game in favour of the batsman [and that it] is also a shortcut for grounds men and could allow for mediocrity in their craft".  The committee voiced concerns over the fact almost nothing is known about the long-term effects of glue on pitches.  The MCC is currently testing its own glued pitches on the Nursery Ground at Lord’s.  The WCC says that until such research has been completed, grounds men around the world should discontinue using glue on pitches.

EN238

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 45, 24 May 2007

 

CA CONFIRMS SUPPORT FOR NEUTRAL UMPIRE POLICY

Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday confirmed its support for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) neutral umpiring policy. CA spokesman Matthew Slade told E-News by phone from Melbourne that the national body had not changed its view on the policy as outlined last September by CA's General Manager for Public Affairs, Peter Young (E-News 42, 20 May 2007).  ICC 'Elite' umpiring panel member Simon Taufel of Australia last week called for a change back to a 'best umpire available' approach to appointments for "important" international matches.  Taufel indicated that he hoped to take the issue to the ICC's Cricket Committee meeting in Dubai on 30-31 May, however, that group's Chairman, Sunil Gavaskar is known to be opposed to any change to the present policy (E-News 41, 17 May 2007).  Gavaskar, along with ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed were key players in the establishment and selection of the world body's 'Elite' umpiring panel five years ago, and it is understood that both continue to have the final say on neutral umpiring and referee appointments to Tests and One Day International matches. 

EN248 

 

ICUS BLASTS BALL TAMPERING INCIDENT

England's newly formed Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) has blasted Kent captain Robert Key for his use of ball tampering in a match last month.  The ICUS asked in a strong statement whether if was "now OK to practice cheating" and said that "some players seem to believe that it’s acceptable to practice cheating providing there is no intention to cheat in a ‘proper’ match".  Key was quoted at the time as saying that he tampered with the ball to help his bowlers practice reverse swing and "if that's what it takes then I'll do it" (E-News 26, 6 April 2007).  Those involved in the match, including the two umpires, indicated that no action was required because it was a "practice match" and as such "did not come under the jurisdiction of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)".  The ICUS says that "all cricket matches are played under the Laws of Cricket [and that] the Laws say that attempting to change the condition of the ball is unfair play – cheating".  It says that it's cheating "if it happens in a Test Match, it is cheating if it happens on a village green".  The Institute asks "what sort of example does Kent First XI Captain Key think this sets for the Kent County Cricket Club Junior Teams, or junior teams anywhere, come to that?"  It said that such an approach is "gamesmanship" and that it "must be stopped".  According to the ICUS "the only people who can stop it are properly-trained independent umpires".  It challenges the ECB to answer three questions: Do they approve of or condone Key's conduct in that match?; What 'guidance' have they issued to their First Class and Reserve List umpires on how to spot and deal with ball-tampering in County and Minor County matches during the 2007 season?; and, how will their granting the batsmen or the fielding captain the right to refer umpiring decisions to video replay in [UK domestic one day] matches this summer help the game - and build respect for umpires?" (E-News 43, 22 May 2007).  The ICUS concludes its statement by "reminding everyone that without umpires the game cannot be played at all".

EN247

 

UMPS FROM FIVE NATIONS TO STAND IN DARWIN TOURNAMENT

Umpires from five nations are to stand in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) week-long World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 tournament which starts in Darwin on Sunday.  Neil Harrison (Japan), Lakani Oala (Papua New Guinea), Hameed Shahul (Indonesia) and Sarika Siva Prasad (Singapore), are to join previously named Australians Jeff Brookes (Western Australia), Simon Fry (South Australia), and Queenslanders Tim Laycock and Bruce Oxenford for the championship (E-News 37, 8 May 2007).  Brian Aldridge from New Zealand will be the Tournament Referee.  The ICC originally indicted that the four overseas officials would come from its Associate and Affiliates umpiring Panel (AAP), however, only Indonesia's Hameed is a member of that group, having been appointed to the panel when it was first established two years ago.  Since then he has umpired seven One Day Internationals during tournaments in Holland and Kenya, officiating with 'Elite' Panel member Steve Bucknor (West Indies) several times in matches involving Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.  He has also officiated in games in which Canada, Ireland, Scotland and Bermuda took part.  Singaporean Prasad is a well-travelled umpire, having participated in over 30 matches in five countries in the last six years.  They include games in ICC Trophy series in Canada in 2001 and Northern Ireland in 2005, the Asian Cricket Council series in both Singapore in 2002 and Malaysia in 2006, and also last year the 'EuraAsia' series in the United Arab Emirates.  Harrison, who was born in England, has stood in six international matches, three each during the East Asia Pacific Cup in Vanuata in 2005 and the East Asia Pacific Women's series in Papua New Guinea (PNG) last year.  Lakani Oala played for PNG in an ICC tournament held in Kenya in 1993-94, and over the last two years has officiated in six matches in the world body's East Asia Pacific Cup in Fiji in 2005 and Brisbane in 2006.  Tournament referee Brian Aldridge is a very experienced official having stood in 25 Tests and 45 ODIs from 1986-95, the latter including the World Cup final between Pakistan and England at the MCG in 1992; a game that was the first of Steve Bucknor's five WC finals (E-news 33, 27 April 2007).  Next week's 20-game WCL series in Darwin involves teams from ICC Associate and Affiliate countries Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Fiji, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Tanzania, and Italy.

EN246

 

NSW GUIDES PROVIDE TIPS FOR UMPIRES

Umpires preparing for the 2007-08 season may wish to look at a number of training aids that are available on the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association's web site.  The down-loadable files cover such issues as: 'An Introduction to Umpiring'; 'Key Elements of Match Management'; 'Pitch Evaluation'; 'LBW Tips'; 'Net Practice'; 'Player Management'; 'Duties and Rights of Captains'; and a ready reckoner for 'Penalty Runs and Unfair Play'.  The documents are available by going to:  http://www.cricketnsw.com.au/nswcua/hgdocs.cl?PT=sd&exp=6&exclusive=1

EN245

 

PAKISTANI PLAYER REPRIMANDED FOR AGGRESSIVE 'SEND OFF'  

Pakistan's Mohammad Asif has received an official reprimand for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct during his country's One Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi last Sunday.   Asif "postured in an aggressive manner" after bowling Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and was found guilty of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game by ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath of India.  Srinath said in an ICC statement that "there is nothing wrong with being fired up as a bowler but Asif's aggressive reaction crossed the line of what is acceptable by showing disrespect to an opponent".  He said that Asif's action "sends out the wrong message to the many people watching the match either at the ground or on television, and everyone has to be aware that such behaviour has no place on the cricket field where players must always seek to act as role models".  "In mitigation, I took into account the fact that Asif's disciplinary record has been pretty good so far in his career and so I chose only to reprimand him".  If the player is found guilty of a similar misdemeanour in the next 12 months, last weekend's actions will, according to Srinath, "automatically become a Level 2 offence".  "I hope this reprimand serves as a warning to ensure that the players conduct themselves in an appropriate manner at all times", he added.  The charge was laid by on-field umpires Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe) and Suresh Shastri (India) of the ICC's International Panel, and third official Mark Benson (England), of the ICC's 'Elite' Panel (E-News 40, 15 May 2007).

EN244

 

NEW CRICKET BOOKS ON THE MARKET

• 'Bob Taylor' by Jerry Lodge.  Publisher: Association of Cricket Statisticans and Historians. Cost: $42. Pages: 72.

• 'ACS International Cricket Yearbook 2007'.  Publisher: Association of Cricket Statisticans and Historians. Cost: about $30. Pages: 72.

EN243

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 46, 25 May 2007

 

LBW 'HAT-TRICK' IN INTERCONTINENTAL CUP FINAL

Canadian seam-bowler Umar Bhatti achieved an LBW hat-trick during the Intercontinental Cup final in England on Tuesday, but it was not enough as Ireland eventually won the match by an innings and 145 runs.  Reports from the game say that Bhatti ended with figures of 5-85, four of those wickets being LBWs spread across five deliveries in two separate overs.  Given that both umpires standing in the game, Germany-based Paul Baldwin and Richard Kettleborough of England, would have been in action answering the appeals (E-News 41, 17 May 2007).  Which one was involved in the hat-trick is not known at this time.  Bhatti's feat was only the eleventh LBW hat-trick ever recorded in First Class cricket around the world.  

EN253

 

NATIONAL PANEL MEMBERS APPOINTED TO 'TOP END' SERIES

As anticipated, two members of the current National Umpiring Panel, Ian Lock and John Ward, have been appointed to stand in all five matches in this year's 'Top End' series involving women's teams from Australia and New Zealand in Darwin in late July.  Lock, who is from Western Australia, has umpired at interstate level over the past seven seasons, standing in 40 First Class and 22 One Day domestic games in that time.  Ward from Victoria has had three years at that level and has so far notched up 10 First Class games and 14 one day matches, plus an Under 19 Test match.  Both men umpired in northern Australia last July, Lock in Darwin and Ward in Cairns in matches involving the 'A' teams from Australia, India, New Zealand and Pakistan (E-News 30,20 April 2007).  This year's 'Top End' series, which involves one Twenty20 and four One Day International 'Rose Bowl' matches, is scheduled to run from 21-29 July.

EN252

 

UMPIRE APPOINTMENTS AWAITED FOR EMERGING PLAYERS TOURNAMENT

While umpires have been appointed to the 'Top End' series, the names of officials chosen for the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) which commences in south-east Queensland a week earlier, have yet to be named.  Given that Cricket Australia (CA) has chosen National Umpire Panel members for the World Cricket League's Division 3 tournament in Darwin next week (E-News 45, 24 May 2007), and the women's series in July (see story above), it is possible that the selectors will take the opportunity to name a number of 'emerging umpires' to work with the 'emerging players'.  Such an approach was mooted by those involved in the review of the administration and training of Australian umpires that was accepted by CA last February (E-News 9, 25 February 2007).  During the EPT four teams, one each from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa, will play twenty one-day matches over 12 days starting 16 July (E-News 39, 11 May 2007).  

EN251

 

'PATIENCE AND TOLERANCE' NEEDED DURING MATCHES SAYS INZAMAM

Former Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul Haq says that "players must show patience and tolerance on the field," and has urged his former team mates "to avoid getting into skirmishes with match officials and rival cricketers".  Inzamam was speaking after his former playing colleague Mohammad Asif was reprimanded for reacting "in an aggressive manner" when he bowled Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene in a One Day International in Abu Dhabi last Sunday (E-News 45, 24 May 2007).  Inzamam's views are in contrast to his own behavior in games and he admitted as much when he stated yesterday that "I myself have faced this problem and it doesn't help anyone".  The Pakistani was suspended for four matches for "bringing the game into disrepute" when he refused to lead his team back onto the field during the now infamous 'ball-tampering' Test against England at the Oval last August.  While Inzamam returned to the game for this year's World Cup, the international career of Darrell Hair, one of the umpires at the Oval, effectively came to an end; although he did stand in a second-tier Tri-series tournament involving Canada, Kenya and Scotland played in Mombasa last January. 

EN250

 

UMPIRE'S WEB SITE GOES QUIET

Australian umpire Daryl Harper's personal web site has not been up-dated since just before the World Cup final in late April despite his having stood in the Bangladesh-India Test match in Chittagong which ended last Tuesday in a draw (E-News 38, 10 May 2007).  Harper's approach in the past has been to provide general stories and the local colour of games and places he visits for matches as a member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite' umpiring panel.  During the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year he added entries to the site every 3-4 days, writing a total of ten over the length of the competition (E-News 34, 30 April 2007).  It is not known whether technical problems have prevented the posting of dispatches from Chittagong, or whether, even though he was not involved, a more low-profile approach is being adopted following the difficulties experienced by officials in the World Cup final itself (E-News 35, 1 May 2007). 

EN249

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 47, 27 May 2007

 

UMPIRES AND SCORERS SURVEY DEADLINE NEARS 

Survey forms provided to TCUSA members by a researcher from the University of Tasmania (UT) two weeks ago need to be returned this week.  The survey will assist in shaping the way the TCUSA approaches its recruitment, training and management role (E-News 39, 11 May 2007).  Dr Wayne O’Donohue of the UT's School of Management, who is conducting the research, says that to date 40 per cent of the forms distributed have been returned.  Members who have yet to respond are asked to spend 10 minutes filling out the form provided and return it by mid-week using the enclosed replied-paid envelope.

EN257

 

ICUS UMPIRING COURSE GAINS EDUCATION COUNCIL APPROVAL 

An umpiring training course developed by the recently-formed Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) has been formally recognised by the United Kingdom's Business and Technology Education Council (BETC).  The ICUS, which broke away from the long-established Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) last year, claims its new course is the first of its type "in the world to be accredited by an independent educational validation body".  BTEC's endorsement means that the ICUS have to ensure that the instruction given "is taught to a syllabus and to rigorous standards" and that as such it is a "radical new departure in umpire training [and] will deliver consistently high standards in both training objectives and learning outcomes".  ICUS Tutors, who will be paid for their role, are required to undertake "specialised tuition in advanced teaching techniques" before they run a course.  An examination by E-News of course detail provided on the Institute's web site indicates that it is very similar to Cricket Australia's (CA) four-year old National Umpires Accreditation Scheme (NUAS), as well as the way umpire training is conducted in Tasmania (E-News 41, 17 May 2007).  NUAS is endorsed by the Australian Government's Sports Commission as part of the latter's National Officiating Program.  The ICUS's new course consists of three units, two being ‘classroom’ based, the third taking place on the field of play.  Unit one involves ten two-hour sessions on the Laws of Cricket, and the second game management issues such as conflict resolution, communication skills, field-craft techniques, body language, humour and personality, duty of care, legal responsibilities and child welfare protection guide-lines.  Unit three requires participants to fill out a "self-evaluation log" on their performance as an umpire in a minimum of ten matches, "a number" of [those] matches being observed by "specialist ICUS-trained and accredited Boundary Assessors".  The ICUS has scheduled Unit 1 to run from October to Christmas each year, Unit 2 from January to mid-March, while Unit 3 will operate during each northern hemisphere summer.  Announcement of the course comes as the ACUS and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) appear to be making progress towards an agreement on umpire training issues (E-News 42, 20 May 2007).  The ECB appointed four coaches to support their First-Class umpires this year as well as an assessment system for its on field officials (E-News 26, 6 April 2007).  Up until 2005 the ECB supported the ACUS with an annual grant equivalent to $A62,000 to assist with training and examining umpires and scorers.  Australian business-trading company Bartercard is currently sponsoring the ECB's 'Officials Association' in a three-year deal worth $A250,000 (E-News 12, 7 March 2007).  Whether these various developments will see the three bodies work more closely together on the training and other issues is unknown.

EN256

 

GILCHRIST'S SQUASH BALL GRIP NO LAW BREACH SAYS MCC

Australian player Adam Gilchrist's use of a squash ball to alter his grip during his whirlwind innings in last month's World Cup final was not a breach of either the Law or Spirit of Cricket says the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) Laws Sub-Committee.  The MCC, who are the guardians of the Laws of Cricket, said in a recent statement that Law 3.6(c) "only specifies what external protective equipment is permitted for certain players".  "The only item for which any specification is given is wicket-keeper’s gloves [and external items such as] helmets, batting pads, batting gloves and forearm guards [are] all listed as permitted for [use by] batsmen".  The MCC sub-committee says that "there is no restriction in Law on the external form of batting gloves, let alone the interior thereof".  "Wicket-keepers traditionally wear ‘inners’ inside their gloves and no objection is raised to their doing so" says the MCC.  "Similarly, it has never been considered unfair for batsmen to use two grips on the bat handle [and] glove manufacturers might, for added protection against jarring, put an extra pad of some cushioning material as an integral part of the inside of the palm".  Such an approach says the MCC "would be entirely legal, but have the same effect on his grip [as Gilchrist] for a batsman who wore such gloves".  Claims made after the WC final that the umpires were responsible for ensuring that a player doesn't use equipment that is not permitted "is limited to external items" says the MCC.  In the sub-committee's assessment "there is no failure by either umpire or others in charge of the players if they do not extend their observation to non-external items". 

EN255 

 

PAKISTANI PLAYERS TOLD TO BEHAVE

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCN) has a new discipline code to punish players for dissent or sledging and its players have been warned about their conduct.  Referring to the official reprimand received by Mohammad Asif during this month's series against Sri Lanka (E-News 45, 24 May 2007), the team's manager Talat Ali said that his players "have been reminded they are ambassadors of their country and such childish actions not only affect their image but also that of Pakistan cricket".  "The Asif incident was unnecessary [and] the players have been told they must behave immaculately on the field" he said.  "Players who do not will [in addition to any International Cricket Council sanctions] also face penalties from the PCB as it has decided to deal with disciplinary matters on its own".  Ali's comments follow those of former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq who said last week that "players must show patience and tolerance on the field" (E-News 46, 25 May 2007).

EN254

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 48, 30 May 2007

 

WARNE PENALISED FOR DISSENT AND ABUSING AN UMPIRE

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has been disciplined by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over his outburst during Hampshire's County match against Kent last Thursday.  Warne, who is captain of his side, stood his ground and initially refused to leave the crease after umpire Tim Robinson adjudged him to be out leg before wicket.  When he eventually left he glared back at the umpire and reports say that he "unleashed a volley of invective on reaching the pavilion".  Robinson and fellow umpire Barrie Leadbeater reported Warne for two separate Level 2 breaches of the ECB's discipline code: "showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action and using language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectator".  Warne was found guilty of both charges and received a six point penalty.  The points will stay on Warne's record for two years and if he accumulates more than nine in that time he will be suspended, although for what length of time is unknown.  There is no indication in reports from England that he will be penalised financially for his actions. 

EN262

 

EXTRA TWENTY/20 GAMES MEAN EXTRA UMPIRING SLOTS

Cricket Australia's Twenty/20 interstate series will be expanded during the 2007-08 season with each State playing every other State before the final in mid-January, a move that opens extra places for up-and-coming umpires to show their abilities.  When the competition was introduced in 2005-06 State teams played three matches each, this was increased to four each last season, and next summer there are to be a total of 16 games in just two weeks.  Last season Cricket Australia (CA) used 'home umpires'  for Twenty20 matches and if it takes the same approach to appointments in 2007-08 there will be increased opportunities for emerging umpires to gain experience at interstate level; although there are once again only two games scheduled to be played in Tasmania.  On the one day level CA's 38-year-old domestic 50-over competition does not have a brand name for next season as Ford Ranger has withdrawn its sponsorship.  The series has had a range of sponsors since it commenced in 1969-70 including Coca-Cola, Gillette, McDonald's, FAI Insurance, Mercantile Mutual (later ING) and Ford Ranger.  The one-day and Pura Cup First Class competitions will again each involve a total of 31 games, providing a total of 124 slots for on-field officials. 

EN261

 

'ARMCHAIR UMPIRE' USEFUL GUIDE FOR NEW OFFICIALS

An index of cricket terms, many of which are presented as they relate to the Laws of Cricket, is now available on line.  The UK-based Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) have provided details of over 250 matters in the 'Armchair Umpire' section of their web site.  Many of the entries are accompanied by images, and in several cases such as 'Obstructing the Batsman', a short video clip is provided to illustrate the issues involved.  The 'Armchair Umpire' site is at: http://www.umpires.tv/armchair/armchair_index.html 

EN260

 

FORMER UMPIRES STILL  ACTIVE IN THE GAME

Several former Tasmanian umpires plan to continue their on-field careers as players in the second interstate 'Over Sixties' carnival to be played in Melbourne in November.  Patronage to Tasmania's teams is being provided by the Tasmanian Cricket Association and the sides are being organised by the Australian Cricket Society.  During this year's competition the State will be represented by two teams to be known as the 'Tassie Tigers' and 'Thylacinians'.  Mike Gandy, who in 1969 played for Tasmania against a West Indies team featuring such luminaries as Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd and Wes Hall (who bowled him for a duck!), and went on to stand with distinction in the late 1980s and early 1990s as an umpire in First Class and Women's and Under 19 Test matches, will be there with his (now not so) fast medium deliveries.  Another taking part is former First Class umpire and Northern Tasmania umpires coach Jack Hinds.  Positions are now open for the sides and anyone who will be aged 60 or more on 19 November this year are welcome to register an interest.  Enquiries should be directed to Mike Gandy on 6248-5527 or 0417-309-644, Tim Lithgow 6391-1366 or 0400-129-483, and Geoff Anyon 6343-1189 or 0418-145-045.  General information on Over Sixties Cricket is available on line at:  http://victoria060.cricketvictoria.com.au

EN259

 

AUSTRALIANS MENTORING VISITING UMPIRES

Four Australian umpires appear to be acting as mentors for overseas officials in the first eight games of this week's World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Darwin.  Current members of Cricket Australia's National Umpires Panel (NUP) Jeff Brookes (Western Australia), Simon Fry (South Australia) and Queenslanders Tim Laycock and Bruce Oxenford, who between them have stood in 69 First Class games, were each paired with an overseas official in the opening two rounds of the series.  The four umpires from the Asia-Pacific region, a number of whom are quite experienced, are Neil Harrison (Japan), Lakani Oala (Papua New Guinea), Hameed Shahul (Indonesia) and Sarika Siva Prasad (Singapore) (E-News 45, 24 May 2007).  Match scheduling for the series means that all eight umpires are guaranteed to stand in six games during the eight days of competition. 

EN258

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 49, 31 May 2007

 

WIDE-RANGING AGENDA FOR ICC CRICKET COMMITTEE'S MEETING

A wide-ranging agenda has been set for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) revamped Cricket Committee's (CC) two-day meeting which commenced in Dubai yesterday.   A statement released by the ICC says issues being considered include the frequency of international matches, playing conditions for One Day Internationals (ODI), use of a 'player appeal' system in matches, referral of decisions to TV umpires, ball tampering, and the use of glue on pitches; however, no mention is made of 'neutral umpires' (see following story).  The CC's role is to discuss and consult on cricket-playing matters and to formulate recommendations for consideration by higher-level ICC committees.  Its membership received a complete make over earlier this year (E-News 41, 17 May 2007).  Consideration of the amount of international cricket being played and the effect it is having on the standard and quality of cricket played, follows numerous complaints made by both players and administrators in many countries as well as the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) (E-News 44, 23 May 2007); and the interest of television companies may be waning (see story below).  ODI playing conditions to be discussed are said to include power-plays, over-rates, a free-hit for batsmen following a front-foot no-ball, ball changes, and the size of boundaries.  Former Australian captain and CC member Mark Taylor made public his views on the latter two issues two weeks ago (E-News 42, 20 May 2007), as has the MCC's WCC.  An amendment of the current regulations that allow on-field umpires to consult with the TV officials on the subject of clean catches only if they are unsighted will be examined.  If a change is agreed those on the ground would be able to refer any catches they are unsure about to the third official, and importantly the latter would be permitted to "initiate contact" with umpires on the ground about such issues.  In a related matter the CC is to look at whether to recommend trialing the use of player appeals to the TV umpire at this year's ICC Twenty/20 World Championships provided the system currently being trialed in UK domestic one-day cricket "proves successful".  How the CC will be able to do that given the trial is in its infancy, and that it has received some criticism to date (E-News 43, 22 May 2007), is not known.  Another matter the ICC has asked the meeting to consider is whether action should be taken against the captain and persons responsible for ball tampering or just those directly responsible: whether it is necessary to legislate to make it compulsory for umpires to first warn a captain before taking action; and whether any amendments are required to the definition of ball tampering as contained in the Laws or to the guidelines relating to this offence in the ICC's current Code of Conduct.  The CC has also been asked to draw up a policy concerning the use of adhesives in the preparation of pitches use for international matches, another issue which the WCC has commented on (E-News 44, 23 May 2007).  The meeting in Dubai is scheduled to end later today and recommendations made by it will be forwarded to the ICC's Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) for consideration, and if approved by them they can be ratified by the ICC Board.  Both the CEC and the Board meetings are scheduled to be held in London next month, the main issue for the latter group being a decision on who will replace late ICC President Percy Sonn who died last week.

EN269

 

'NEUTRAL UMPIRES' POLICY NOT LISTED FOR DUBAI DISCUSSIONS

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given no indication that its policy on the use of neutral umpires is on the agenda of its Cricket Committee's (CC) current meeting in Dubai.  Yesterday's ICC statement listed a wide range of issues to be discussed by the CC, however, some do not appear to have the same gravity as the neutral umpiring policy (see story above).  That suggests the matter will not be formally discussed, although that will not stop it being considered on the fringes of the meeting.  Australian international umpire, and CC member Simon Taufel, said earlier this month that the best umpires available should be appointed to "important matches" and the neutral umpires policy rescinded (E-News 42, 20 May 2007).  Cricket Australia has confirmed that it continues to support neutral umpires (E-News 45, 24 May 2007), as does Taufel's fellow Australian and member of the ICC's 'Elite' umpiring panel Daryl Harper (E-News 34, 30 April 2007), and CC Chairman Sunil Gavaskar also shares that view (E-News 41, 17 May 2007).  Unlike some of the other issues to be considered in Dubai, the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee did not make any comment about neutral umpires following its meeting in London earlier this month (E-News 44, 23 May 2007), another factor that suggests no change will be made to the current policy.

EN268

 

NAMING OF NATIONAL UMPIRES PANEL BELIEVED IMMINENT

Cricket Australia (CA) looks set to name the members of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) for the 2007-08 season in the next few working days.  CA's Cricket Manager Geoff Allardice told E-News by telephone from Melbourne he anticipates details of the new panel will be released "either on Friday or early next week".  Current panel members are: Rod Tucker (NSW) ; Tim Laycock, Bruce Oxenford , David Orchard, Peter Parker (Queensland); Steve Davis and Simon Fry (South Australia); Bob Parry, Paul Reiffel and John Ward (Victoria); and Jeff Brookes, Ian Lock (WA).  Davis, Parker and Parry are also members of the International Cricket Council's International Umpiring Panel (IUP), the first two standing in warm up and Group Stage matches in the World Cup earlier this year (E-News 12, 7 March 2007).  Brookes, Fry, Laycock and Oxenford are currently standing in matches in the World Cricket League's Division 3 tournament in Darwin (see following story), Lock and Ward are to travel there in July for the series between the Australian and New Zealand women's teams (E-News 46, 25 May 2007), while Tucker and Reiffel are likely to remain on the squad given CA's fast-track policy which aims at bringing former players into umpiring ranks.  Whether changes will be made to the NUP or the status quo will apply, or what the membership of the six State Umpiring Squads, or the general arrangements for their operation, will be, have not yet been made public. 

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UMPIRES CONTINUE MENTORING ROLE IN WCL MATCHES

Australia's four National Umpiring Panel umpires continued to act as mentors for overseas officials in the four games played in the World Cricket League's (WCL) Division 3 tournament in Darwin yesterday.  Jeff Brookes stood with Lakani Oala of Papua New Guinea in the match between the Cayman Islands and Uganda, Simon Fry with Sarika Siva Prasad of Singapore when Argentina played Fiji, Tim Laycock with Indonesian Hameed Shahul in Hong Kong's game with Tanzania, and Tony Harrison from Japan with Bruce Oxenford when Italy played Papua New Guinea.  A further four games are scheduled for today before a rest day on Friday, the series wrapping up over the weekend with finals matches.  Argentina, the Cayman Islands, Papua New Guinea and Uganda have already qualified for the tournaments semi finals, while the other four sides will play off for the Division 3 'Plate'.  The top two sides in the Division 3 tournament will earn a place in the WCL's Division 2 championship scheduled for Windhoek, Namibia, next November.   A top-four finish in Namibia would then mean a berth at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates in 2009, and with it the chance to secure a spot in the next ICC Cricket World Cup on the Asian sub-continent in 2011.  Just what that will mean in practice is unknown at this stage given the general desire to reduce the length of the World Cup finals and the number of teams that will be involved (E-News 44, 23 May 2007).

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EXTRA TWENTY/20 GAME FOR BELLERIVE IN 2008-09

E-news understands that Cricket Australia (CA) plans to schedule a third interstate Twenty/20 game at Bellerive Oval during the 2008-09 season.  Such a move will provide emerging officials from Tasmania with a small increase in the opportunities available to them, provided CA continues its approach of using 'home' umpires for matches in that competition (E-News 48, 30 May 2007).

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TELEVISION COMPANIES PULL OUT OF TWO ODI TOURNAMENTS

Two television companies yesterday reportedly pulled out of contracts they had for One Day Internationals (ODI) scheduled for June.  The Afro-Asia Cup three-match ODI series that is to start in India next Tuesday is in doubt after the Television company who contracted to air the games withdrew its support.  Australian international umpire Peter Parker and and Kiwi Tony Hill were appointed to the series earlier this month (E-News 40, 15 May 2007).  The Chief Executive Officer of the private broadcaster Nimbus was quoted by media on the sub-continent yesterday that his company "will not be part of the event in anyway [including] producing nor bringing sponsorship for the matches".  "This is not a sudden decision [as the issues involved] have been developing over the last few months" he said.  Doubts about the series came on the same day that Cricinfo reported that the three-match ODI series between India and South Africa scheduled for Belfast in Northern Ireland late next month are also in doubt because another television deal has fallen through.  The Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee (WCC) warned about the plethora of ODIs that are currently being played and expressed the view that "there are increasing signs that the endless schedule of one-day tournaments is leaving broadcasters weary" (E-News 44, 23 May 2007).

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LAST CALL FOR RETURN OF UMPIRES AND SCORERS SURVEY FORMS  

Survey forms provided to TCUSA members by a researcher from the University of Tasmania (UT) two weeks ago need should have been returned by now, however, if yours is still outstanding you are asked to spend 10 minutes providing your views and mail them using in the replied-paid envelope provided before the weekend.  The survey will assist in shaping the way the TCUSA approaches its recruitment, training and management role (E-News 39, 11 May 2007). 

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END OF MAY 2007 E-NEWS FILE