TCUSA E-NEWS JUNE 2007
Number 50 – 1 June 2007 [EN0270-0277]
Number 51 – 4 June 2007 [EN0278-0284]
Number 52 – 7 June 2007 [EN0285-0290]
Number 53 – 11 June 2007 [EN0291-0295]
Number 54 – 14 June 2007 [EN0296-0302]
Number 55 – 18 June 2007 [EN0303-0307]
Number 56 – 19 June 2007 [EN0308-0312]
Number 57 – 21 June 2007 [EN0313-0318]
Number 58 – 22 June 2007 [EN0319-0323]
Number 59 – 24 June 2007 [EN0324]
Number 60 – 26 June 2007 [EN0325-0330]
Number 61 – 28 June 2007 [EN0331-0338]
Number 62 – 29 June 2007 [EN0339-0340]
E-NEWS NUMBER 50, 1 June 2007
NUAS REACCREDITATION COSTS TO BE FUNDED BY THE TCUSA
The $15 cost involved in the re-accreditation process for the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme's Level 2 (NUAS-2) qualification is to be covered by the TCUSA following a decision made by the Management Committee on Wednesday. A total of 389 umpires around the country, 50 of them in Tasmania, now hold the qualification. The first group are due for re-accreditation on 30 June and the second on 31 December this year. TCUSA NUAS-2 coordinator Ian Quaggin outlined for E-News the arrangements that will apply for the re-accreditation process. Ian said that members who are NUAS-2 holders will soon receive a letter from Cricket Australia (CA) with details of what is required (E-News 41, 17 May 2007). It will include a covering letter, the re-accreditation form, and an order sheet for the Umpiring Guide CD Rom; although should they wish to purchase the latter members will be required to pay for it themselves. Current NUAS-2 holders will be asked to indicate the number of games they have stood in over the last four seasons, and list their umpiring professional development activities over that time. The latter can include such things as attendance at winter law schools and annual seminars, completion of examinations, self assessments, and attendance at on-going accreditation meetings. On receipt of the CA letter, Ian asks that members fill out the form provided and forward it via mail to Penny Patterson, TCUSA Secretary, at Post Office Box 36, Moonah 7009. The Association will collect together all forms provided and forward them direct to CA in Melbourne with a cheque for the total costs involved. Ian stressed that it "is most important that members do not return forms or monies direct to Cricket Australia". Those who are unsure of requirements can contact Ian on 03-6228-7921 or 0409-287-993, or Steve Maxwell on 03-6268-6470 or 0416-277-464.
STATUS QUO FOR NATIONAL PANEL BUT RANKINGS UNKNOWN
Cricket Australia (CA) has made no changes to the National Umpires Panel (NUP) for the 2007-08 season, however, its ranking of those named, which is fundamental to the remuneration each official receives, has so far not been released (see story below). Panel members for the year ahead, which were released on the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) web site on Wednesday, 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). It is not known at this stage whether Parker and Davis will be continuing as umpiring members of the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel, or if Parry will also be there as a Television or Third umpire member. Davis and Parker stood in the World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year and the latter will also officiate in the Afro-Asia tournament in India next month (E-News 40, 15 May 2007), while Parry stood in his third consecutive Pura Cup final in March (E-News 14, 13 March 2007). Suggestions in late March that Australian international umpire Darrell Hair might be offered a contract to officiate at First Class level in Australia did not prove to be correct (E-News 23, 2 April 2007). Umpires from NSW, Queensland and Victoria make up 75 per cent of the NUP for the year ahead, a fact that appears to rankle with some members of the NSWCUSA (see following story). Last season umpires from those three States filled 70 per cent of the Pura Cup umpiring slots available (E-News 16, 18 March 2007), and provided the two on-field and TV official for the final of that competition (E-News 14, 13 March 2007). The members of the National Umpires Selection Panel reside in those three States and would naturally be in a position to observe those umpires involved more frequently, but in formulating NUP membership and making appointments they also receive advice and comments from CA's six State Umpiring coaches (see story below).
ONLY ONE NSW UMPIRE ON NUP 'INCOMPREHENSIBLE' SAYS ASSOCIATION WEB SITE
It is "incomprehensible" that "the State acknowledged as a leader in all aspects of training, development and mentoring of umpires, not just in Australia but around the world, can only have one member on the 12-man National Umpires Panel (NUP)", according to comments posted on the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association's (NSWCUSA) web site on Wednesday. That comment on the site, which broke the news of this season's NUP before Cricket Australia's formal announcement, was subsequently deleted together with an observation which pointed out that "in contrast [to NSW] Queensland have four [members] and Victoria three [on the NUP"]. The web site says that it wishes all who have been appointed well, and that "in particular, we would like to congratulate Rod Tucker who continues to shine in elite company". NSWCUSA member Tucker, who stood in the Pura Cup final last season after only three seasons and 15 First Class games under his belt (E-News 14, 13 March 2007), is it says "continuing to be recognised for his hard work, dedication and natural ability".
DETAILS OF STATE UMPIRING SQUADS YET TO BE ANNOUNCED
While the National Umpiring Panel (NUP) for next season has been made public, details of who will serve on the six State Umpiring Squads (SUS) around the country and the arrangements that will apply for them have yet to be announced. Under Cricket Australia's new umpiring structure each SUS is to consist of "emerging elite umpires" and will include any NUP members from a State as well as non-contracted umpires identified locally as having the ability and potential to officiate at interstate level (E-News 9, 25 February 2007). The SUS concept already exists in all States, but it will now incorporate a formal requirement for those in that group to be adequately prepared for the potential appointments at First Class and related levels. It is not known if there will be a limit to the numbers in a State Squad, how much members will be paid, or when an announcement of their composition will be made. According to the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association web site the move to replace last season's second tier, Australia-wide State Panel (SP) of umpires with individual State Squads is a situation "that some see as short-sighted", however, many observers do not agree. Such people believe that there is an urgent need for a more positive approach by the national selectors to observing, mentoring, selecting and appointing suitable umpires to higher-level matches. That they say is the key requirement, regardless of whether the new or old second-tier system is in operation.
RANKING OF NUP MEMBERS DICTATES RETAINER PAID
Members of the new National Umpiring Panel (NUP) will be paid a basic retainer for their services during the 2007-08 season as well as a standard set of match fees for the games to which they are appointed. Cricket Australia (CA) ranks its 12-member panel from first to last according to the selection panel's assessment of their abilities, and provides a retainer to each member on a related sliding-scale. However, details of that ranking have not been released as was the case in previous years (see story above). E-News understands that the first-ranked umpire could receive some $47,500 and number twelve $8,000, but whether the top and bottom officials actually receive those amounts, or if the money available is spread more evenly, is unknown. In addition to a retainer a fee is provided for each of the matches in which NUP members stand. Last season the figures were: Pura Cup $2,475; Ford Ranger Cup $860; Twenty/20 domestic $645; Cricket Australia Cup $150 per day; Women's National Cricket League $150 per day; three-day tour match $1,935; one-day tour match $860; Twenty/20 International $2,750; and $3,675 for a men's One Day International (ODI) and $860 for a women's. If a NUP member occupies the third official position in a Test match the fee is $4,590, the fourth umpire receiving $2,000; the same positions in a ODI being paid $1,835 and $900 respectively. Given those figures an umpire ranked at the top of the NUP list, and who could therefore be expected to be appointed to more matches than others in the group, might earn in the order of $60,000 per annum. At the lower end of the scale a season's fee could in theory be as low as $15,000. On top of those 'domestic' earnings, the three members of the NUP who are nominated by CA as members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Panel of umpires, receive payments from the ICC for those games. Details of what members of the ICC's top-level 'Elite' Panel receive as an annual retainer for their services is unknown, however, given the near-constant travel involved and higher match fees it could be in excess of $80,000.
NUP NOMINATIONS MADE BY NATIONAL SELECTION PANEL
Appointments to the 2007-08 National Umpires Panel were made by a trio who have served together on the National Umpires Selection Panel (NUSP) for most of its five year life to date. In formulating its recommendations to Cricket Australia (CA), the three men involved would have taken into account views gleaned during their travels around the country to observe the performance of umpires in Pura Cup, Ford Ranger Cup and other competitions, as well as reports on the performance and abilities of senior umpires provided by CA's six State Umpiring Coaches. Chairman of the current panel is former Test umpire Mel Johnson and its members are Dick French, another Test official, and former First Class cricketer and CA's Cricket Manager, Geoff Allardice. Johnson and French are very experienced umpires, the former standing in 21 Tests and 49 ODIs in the period 1979-88, and the latter 19 and 57 respectively from 1977-88. Allardice played in 14 First Class matches for Victoria from 1991-94, but there is no record of him having umpired at any level of cricket. The three men have served together in all but one season since the panel was established, former Test player Colin Miller replacing Allardice for a short period. The latter will return to his normal position at CA next month and the two former international officials will be joined by CA's new National Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford (E-News 36, 5 May 2007). E-News understands that Johnson and French were each paid $12,500 by CA to perform their selection duties last season, a fee that is to rise to $30,000 in 2007-08. CA's review of national umpiring administration and training systems released earlier this year (E-News 9, 25 February 2007), mentioned the NUSP and suggested that an appointments mechanism was needed for the panel. Just what arrangements might apply in that regard are unknown at this time. It is probable that with Scotford new to the panel, CA may decide to keep he, Johnson and French together for at least the 2007-08 season.
DARRELL HAIR TO UMPIRE IN CANADA
Australian international umpire Darrell Hair is to umpire two matches in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 2007-08 Intercontinental Cup (IC) in Canada in late June and early July. Hair, together with another yet to be named official, will stand in the four-day game between Canada and the Netherlands in Toronto from 28 June to 1 July, then a week later officiate when the home side plays the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a similar contest. The IC is being played over two years and in addition to Canada, the Netherlands and the UAE, it involves sides from Bermuda, Kenya, Ireland, Namibia, and Scotland (E-News 41, 17 May 2007). Hair's last international appointment was to a second-tier Tri-series tournament involving Canada, Kenya and Scotland played in Mombasa last January (E-News 46, 25 May 2007). His claim that the ICC's decision to bar him from officiating in major international matches was racially-motivated will be heard by an employment tribunal in London commencing on 1 October (E-News 25, 5 April 2007).
AFRO-ASIAN CUP TO PROCEED
The Cricinfo web site was last night reporting that the Afro-Asia Cup scheduled for India next week will go ahead with television network ESPN-Star taking over from Nimbus Sports (E-News 49, 31 May 2007). Cricinfo quoted Syed Ashraful Haq, the chief executive of the Asian Cricket Council as saying that "the circumstances were such that the tournament could not be cancelled, considering that the matches were designated as official one-dayers, and we're happy that ESPN-Star have agreed to telecast the event". Australian international umpire Peter Parker and Tony Hill from New Zealand will umpire the three-match series (E-News 40, 15 May 2007).
E-NEWS NUMBER 51, 4 June 2007
NEUTRAL OFFICIALS, ICC UMPIRING STRUCTURE, RECOMMENDED FOR REVIEW
Use of one or more umpires in Test matches that involve their own national sides is among a range of umpiring issues the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC) has recommended be examined following its meeting in Dubai last week. Australian international umpire, and CC member Simon Taufel wants "the best umpires available" to stand in "important matches" and the current neutral umpires policy rescinded (E-News 42, 20 May 2007), although others high-up in the cricketing world disagree. The CC's decision is somewhat of a surprise as ICC pre-meeting publicity gave no indication the issue was on the agenda at the Dubai meeting (E-News 49, 31 May 2007). Other umpiring matters listed for review include the structure for the ICC's International and Elite Panels, how improved support arrangements for umpires can be financed and put into place, and the remuneration provided to international umpires. The CC recommended that a 'task force' be established to look at "how best to take international umpiring to the next level", with the group that is eventually assigned to it being led by what is described as an "independent chairman". Implementation of the recommendation, and all others made by the CC last week reported on in this edition of E-News, are subject to acceptance first by the ICC's Chief Executives' Committee, and then by its Board, at their respective meetings in London later this month.
AUSSIE-PNG UMPIRES STAND IN WCL DIVISION 3 FINAL
Lakani Oala of Papua New Guinea and Tim Laycock from Australia stood in the final of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 final between Uganda and Argentina in Darwin on Saturday. Pairing of an Australian and an overseas umpire in the final meant that such an on-field combination occurred in all 20 of the matches played during the week-long tournament. One E-News reader has challenged this newsletter's description of such pairings in the first few games of the series as the Australians 'mentoring' the four visitors (E-News 48, 30 May 2007), saying that such a description is "patronising towards visiting umpires". The reader believes the use of such a term suggests that the Australians involved, all four of whom are on the National Umpiring Panel (NUP), are more experienced and competent than the visitors. According to the correspondent that is not necessarily so, as two of the four overseas umpires have international experience in lower-tier games (E-News 45, 24 May 2007), and several of the locals have yet, in the writer's opinion, to prove themselves worthy of NUP status. Just why the appointments pattern was so consistent is unknown, and as yet E-News queries to the ICC on the matter have not yet been answered. Uganda won the week-long Division 3 tournament and they and runner up Argentina will now play in the WCL's Division 2 championship scheduled for Namibia in November (E-News 49, 31 May 2007). Argentine was elevated to Division 3 only after a team representing the United States was banned from the Darwin competition when its Association was suspended by the ICC for administrative irregularities earlier this year (E-News 29, 19 April 2007).
LAWS BALL TAMPERING DEFINITION OK, BUT ICC RULES NEED CHANGE
No changes are needed to the definition of ball tampering currently contained in the Laws of Cricket, however, parts of the the International Cricket Council's (ICC) playing conditions and code of conduct that relate to such matters need amendment, according to the ICC's Cricket Committee (CC). The committee believes that "any actions" likely to alter a ball's condition that are not specifically permitted under Law 42.3(a) should also be regarded as 'unfair', and that appropriate definitions should be added to relevant sections of the ICC's Code of Conduct document; but there is no mention of changing the Law itself. Law 42.3(a) specifically forbids the use of an "artificial substance" to polish the ball and outlines what is required when it needs cleaning or drying. The additional 'unfair' actions listed by the CC, all of which are well-known to players and officials around the world, include "deliberately throwing the ball into the ground for purposes of roughing it up, applying any 'non-artificial substance' for any purpose other than to polish the ball, lifting or otherwise interfering with any of a ball's seams, and scratching its surface with finger or thumb nails or any implement" such as, for example, sand paper (E-News 45, 24 May 2007). In terms of who should be held responsible for a ball tampering incident, the CC believes that action under the ICC's Code of Conduct should only be taken against the person or persons directly responsible for inappropriate damage to a ball, and that a team's captain should not suffer censure, either formally or otherwise, if he is not involved. ICC's statement on the CC's Dubai meeting made no mention of it having considered the question of whether umpires in international matches should give one warning to a captain before taking action when ball tampering is know to have occurred. The ICC said in a pre-meeting statement that the CC was to examine that issue (E-News 49, 31 May 2007).
ZIMBABWE STANDARD, VOLUME OF CRICKET, CONCERNS ICC GROUP
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC) is of the view that Zimbabwe should not be allowed to return to Test cricket until such time as the team demonstrates its ability to perform at a suitable standard. To do otherwise says the CC risks undermining the integrity of Test cricket. In order to be able to judge when Zimbabwe's performance merits its return to Test status, the committee felt that its team first needed to continue its current practice of playing representative four-day matches. It encouraged the scheduling of such games against the 'A' teams from ICC Full and Associate member nations, and the inclusion of the East African country in the next Intercontinental Cup for second tier cricket playing countries (E-News 41, 17 May 2007). The CC also expressed concern about the congestion in the international calendar during its meeting in Dubai last week. It is particularly troubled about the addition of "too many" One Day Internationals which, it felt, may have a severe impact on the quality, intensity and standard of international cricket and may result in injuries to players and a dearth of fast bowlers. The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) expressed similar views last month (E-News 44, 23 May 2007).
ALTERATIONS TO POWER PLAYS, MANDATORY BALL CHANGE, PROPOSED FOR ODIs
Alterations to the 'Power Play' concept, and the mandatory replacement of the white balls after 35 overs of a One Day International (ODI) innings, are some of the changes to playing conditions suggested by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC). The committee said in a statement released by the ICC after its Dubai meeting last week that power-plays should continue to be part of ODIs, but that three fielders should be allowed outside the 30 yard circle during the second or third power-plays, one more than is currently allowed. In addition the CC recommended that Australia, and any other member that wishes to do so, trial the concept of the captain of the batting side being able to choose when one of power-plays two and three is taken. The ball replacement change mooted is aimed at dealing with the issue of ball discolouration during games (E-News 42, 20 May 2007). Other changes for ODIs recommended by the committee include the provision of a free hit on the delivery that follows a front-foot no-ball, "a concerted effort by all parties to maintain and improve over-rates wherever possible", requiring umpires to impose time wasting penalties allowed under the Law if a new batsman is not ready to face his first delivery within two minutes of the fall of the previous wicket, taking the interval between innings immediately if the first innings of the match ends within 30 minutes of the scheduled interval, and changes to the length of intervals that apply when time is lost due to weather or other circumstances.
'PLAYER REFERRAL' SYSTEM DEFERRED, REFERRALS FOR CATCHES UNCHANGED
The International Cricket Committee's (ICC) Cricket Committee has recommended that any introduction of a 'player appeals' system at international level be deferred, and rejected a proposal that could have seen changes in the arrangements that apply when on-field and TV umpires liaise on decisions regarding catches. The ICC had asked the CC to provide advice on whether player appeals to the TV umpire could be trialed during its Twenty/20 World Championships in South Africa in September, but the CC suggested that the system, which is currently under evaluation in England (E-News 43, 22 May 2007), be tested "in as many countries as possible" so that "further evidence on its effectiveness or otherwise can be obtained". The proposal before the CC that could have seen umpires on the ground consult with the TV or third umpire in the grandstand about catches they are unsure of, and not just ones in which they are unsighted as at present, was rejected, although no rationale for that decision was made public. That move would also have permitted the TV official to "initiate contact" with those out on the ground about catches, a change that would have seen a situation that was only a relatively short step away from the use of a 'player referrals' system for decisions.
MINIMUM SIZES FOR ODI PLAYING ARENAS RECOMMENDED
A minimum sizes should be adopted for playing arenas used in One Day International matches according to a recommendation of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC) meeting in Dubai last week. Consideration of the issue followed concerns that boundaries used in One Day Internationals (ODI) have been made progressively smaller in recent years, and that as a result batsmen have received an inappropriate advantaged (E-News 42, 20 May 2007). According to the ICC committee's recommendation, "on grounds where space allows", boundaries square of the wicket should be no closer than 65 yards from the pitch, with the minimum length right across the ground in that direction being 150 yards. Straight hit boundaries should be a minimum of 140 yards from one end to the other. The maximum length of any boundary from the pitch in any direction was put at 90 yards. As an example Bellerive Oval is in imperial units 191 yards (175 m) long and 148 yards (135 m) wide. Thus when the central wicket on the square at Bellerive is being used, and allowance is made for a 3 yard (2 m) player safety area inside the fence, the straight hit boundaries easily meet the CC's minimum size recommendations, but those square of the wicket fall marginally short in terms of total width across the ground.
USE OF GLUE ON PITCHES SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED SAYS COMMITTEE
The use of adhesives in the preparation of pitches for international matches should be discontinued says the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC). Polyvinyl Acetate adhesives (PVA), which are similar to most commonly used wood glues, were used to prevent pitches deteriorating during some of the 50 over, One Day International matches played during last year's Champions Trophy in India. Their use in that series followed the "successful" application of similar materials to pitches in both England and New Zealand. In India PVAs were sprayed onto pitches on the morning of a match to bind the surface together so that it plays "consistently" over the whole 100 overs of the game later in the day. Five litres of the glue are added to ten litres of water make up the spray and it takes 20 minutes to cover the whole pitch, after which it is left to dry for 90 minutes then rolled ready for play. The groundsman at Old Trafford in England was quoted at the time as saying the use of glues "could reduce the significant advantage that one team gains by winning the toss". While the CC's recommendation as made public called for a ban on the use of PVAs, earlier in May the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) left open the question of their future use. According to the WCC, use glues should be discontinued until tests being carried out at the MCC's Nursery Ground pitches at Lord’s have been completed, and the short and long-term implications involved are appropriately reviewed (E-News 44, 23 May 2007).
E-NEWS NUMBER 52, 7 June 2007
URGENT CALL FOR RETURN OF SURVEY FORMS
TCUSA members who have yet to return survey forms forwarded to them by University of Tasmania researcher Wayne O'Donohue are asked to do so as a matter of urgency. The survey will assist in shaping the way the Association approaches its recruitment, training and management role (E-News 39, 11 May 2007). After an initial surge that saw 40 per cent of the questionnaires returned in the first fortnight (E-News 47, 27 May 2007), returns have slowed to a trickle in the weeks since. By yesterday morning, one week after the deadline, the overall return rate was a low 54 per cent. If the research is to provide viable results it is very important that the 25 individuals who have not yet completed and dispatched their forms do so as a matter of urgency. Once all the returns are in the next phase of the project will involve the analysis of the survey data, and possible follow-up interviews by Wayne with respondents who indicate that they are interested in talking about issues that they raised. Wayne told E-News yesterday that he should be in a position to provide a preliminary report on the data within a couple of weeks of commencing the analysis. Incorporation and analysis of any interview data will take longer.
UMPIRE SHORTAGE CAUSING CONCERN IN SYDNEY
Umpires who stand in Grade cricket in the Sydney area are "leaving the game in alarming numbers" according to a columnist writing in last Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald. Writer Alex Brown says that "by the final round of last season's competition, matches in Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades were being presided over by one official, with club volunteers and idle players filling in at the other end". According to him that "is an alarming trend, and one that is showing no obvious sign of abating". Brown says that "without umpires, matches lose credibility [and] without credible matches, players will feel less inclined to devote their weekends to the pursuit of cricket". As a result "the standard of cricket suffers, and that has long-term implications for State and national sides, which rely on Grade clubs as their major feeder system". Brown also makes the comment that "Cricket Australia's rigid adherence to a national panel of umpires for State matches has prompted disenchantment among senior grade officials, who no longer see avenues for career advancement" (E-News 50, 1 June 2007). In addition, he says "other local umpires are being lost to private schools, who offer better pay, scones and the assurance that a kid with a hyphenated surname will not harangue LBW decisions in the manner that, say, a tattooed Fifth Grade paceman might". Then there is what is described as "the trickle-down effect from the Darrell Hair saga [and that] regardless of your feelings on Hair, there is little doubt that the lack of respect and support afforded to the Australian umpire by certain players and officials in recent years has set a poor precedent for officials at all levels". Brown says that "cricket's overriding law - that the umpire's decision is final - no longer seems sacrosanct [and] accordingly, you can hardly blame umpires for walking away from a game that, at the highest level, has done much to undermine their authority".
WINTER LAWS SCHOOL STARTS IN THREE WEEKS
As previously reported the TCUSA's winter 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 (E-News 38, 10 May 2007). 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. An advertising campaign for both courses is to run in 'The Mercury' newspaper starting late next week, and publicity in other media is also proposed. TCUSA members are asked to do their bit by encouraging any of their friends or acquaintances who have an interest in cricket to attend. 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. The full list of dates and meeting times are provided at the end of this newsletter for your convenience and application forms can be downloaded from the 'Laws School' section of the Association's web site (URL provided below).
SLOW OVER RATE 'DOUBLE' FOR WEST INDIES
West Indies players were fined for slow over rates in both the first and second Test matches against England late last month. During the first game at Lords captain Ramnaresh Sarwan was fined 20 per cent of his match fee and each of his players 10 per cent, while in the second at Headingley Sawan lost 30 per cent of his fee and the others team members 15 per cent. Under the International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties, players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time and a captain double that amount. In the first Test the team was two overs short of their target and in the second they were three behind. The fines were imposed by ICC Match Referee Alan Hurst. Umpires for both matches were Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Asad Rauf from Pakistan (E-News 38, 10 May 2007).
NSWCUSA COLLABORATING CLOSELY WITH ICUS
The New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) has collaborated closely with the UK-based Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) in the development of the ICUS's new umpire training course (E-News 47, 27 May 2007). The ICUS said in a press release issued yesterday that "following discussions in Sydney between Senior Board Executives from ICUS and the NSWCUSA during the Ashes Test last January, unanimous agreement was reached that much greater national and international consistency was needed in the way cricket umpires at all levels in the recreational game are trained, assessed, developed, graded and mentored during their umpiring career". As a result of this agreement a partnership between the two organisations was created for the express purpose of developing new education courses and assessment procedures based on the current programs used in NSW. The NSWCUSA web site says that the ICUS's new course "was designed and written by an ICUS Education and Development team, using much of the copyright training material" produced in the past by the NSW Association, some of which is available on line (E-News 45, 24 May 2007). Both the ICUS and NSWCUSA are said to be currently "studying proposals for establishing more links and mutual-collaboration opportunities, including reciprocal membership". Discussions have also centred on the possibility of offering the same internationally consistent, umpire education courses and assessments programs to cricket playing countries throughout the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA ODI SERIES CONFIRMED
The three-match One Day International series between India and South Africa scheduled for Belfast in late June and early July is to proceed after a new TV deal was secured last weekend. Zee Television had pulled out of a deal to cover the matches citing differences with the Indian Cricket Board, but the series will now be broadcast by Nimbus Sports, who last week withdrew from broadcasting the Afro-Asian Cup series which is currently underway (E-News 50, 1 June 2007). The games between South African and India will be played on 26 and 29 June, and also on 1 July. Prior to that Ireland will play India on 23 June and South Africa on 24 June.
E-NEWS NUMBER 53, 11 June 2007
BOWLER'S ON-FIELD PRACTICE BREACHED LAWS CLAIMS REPORT
A news report fed to Cricket Australia's (CA) web site today claims that England fast bowler Steve Harmison breached the Laws of Cricket by "practising on the edge of the square" between innings in the Third England-Windies Test Match last Friday. England's first innings ended just before lunch on the second day and Harmison's transgression occurred as he warmed up to bowl in the West Indies first stint at the crease. According to the report from Headingly, "England should have been penalised with Harmison being removed from the attack for at least half an hour" as required under Law 17.1. That part of the Law bans practice on the square between the start and end of play each day. Instead, says the news item, Harmison was "warned off by fourth umpire Rob Bailey" and he "was allowed to open the attack", quickly removing opener Daren Ganga with the fourth legitimate ball he bowled. International Cricket Council (ICC) Match referee Alan Hurst is said to have decided that "no action should be taken" about the incident, but not before he sought "clarification" from West Indies management", presumably to see if they wished to make an issue of the reported breach. While CA's news feed highlighted the incident, the matter has not been mentioned in reports on the game distributed by the BBC, Cricinfo, the ABC and a range of newspapers. On field umpires for the match are Aleem Dar of Pakistan and 'Billy' Bowden from New Zealand (E-News 38, 10 May 2007), while Peter Hartley from England, who is on the ICC's International Panel of Umpires, is the Third or TV official.
LONG-SERVING TCUSA MEMBER STANDS DOWN
Long serving TCUSA umpiring member Ken McGinniss is to retire after a thirteen year career, however, he will not be lost to the game for he hopes to continue with the Association as an umpire's mentor and off-ground observer. Ken was in his early twenties and playing for Kingborough thirds as "a fiery opening bowler" when he decided to hang up his boots and "have a go at becoming a First Class umpire". Subsequently he joined the TCUSA in 1994-95, making his First Grade debut four seasons later. Ken's first representative game came when he was appointed to an Australian Cricket Board Cup match for Second XIs in December 1999 (now the Cricket Australia Cup), the first of his nine games in that competition. He also stood in four Australian Cricket Championships, two each at Under 17 and Under 19 levels in Brisbane, Hobart, Newcastle and Sydney. In his eighth season in black and white in 2001-02, Ken stood in the first of nine domestic one-day interstate games, then achieved his First Class ambition a few weeks later at the age of 29, when he was appointed to the Pura Cup match between Tasmania and Western Australia at Bellerive. Over the next four years he umpired a total of six First Class matches, and another two as the third official, sharing on-field duties in those matches with local John Smeaton, Ian Lock (Western Australia), Simon Fry (South Australia), and international umpires Peter Parker and David Orchard (Queensland). Well-known players that he saw in action from close quarters in those matches included Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Mike Hussey, Justin Langer, Andrew Symonds and Shane Watson. Ken was also involved in international matches, umpiring an Australia versus New Zealand women's One Day International at Bellerive, and working as the third umpire when Australia 'A' played an England XI during the Ashes tour of 2003-04. In the Tasmanian Cricket Association his record is very impressive for he stood in a total of 233 games, 151 of them in First Grade. His record in Grand Finals is remarkable: two in First Grade; six in the Seconds; two in the Thirds; one in the Under 17s; and four times in a Kookaburra Cup decider. Ken was awarded the TCUSA's 'Most Improved' and 'Umpire of the Year' trophies in the 1997-98 season.
TCA FIRST GRADE TO START ALONE IN 2007-08?
First Grade matches in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 2007-08 season look like getting underway on the weekend of 13-14 October, with those in the other three Grades starting one week later. That arrangement, which is subject to confirmation, has been designed so that First Grade can take a break over the first weekend in November when the four-team regional representative Jamie Cox Plate (JCP) series is played in Launceston. Concern was expressed by clubs last season that JCP matches had a considerable impact on First Grade teams and caused player availability problems down through the Second, Third and Under 17 Grades. The option of a staggered start was canvassed at the TCA's Grade Cricket Committee consultative meeting late last month. The TCUSA's Annual Seminar is scheduled for 6-7 October, the weekend prior to the possible First Grade start. If the option of a staggered start to the roster is confirmed, it would mean the annual By Laws meeting and first training-appointments meeting for First Grade would be held on Wednesday, 10 October, with the second training-appointments meeting one week later. Finals games next season were also discussed at last month's consultative meeting. With Easter early next year, finals are expected to occur on the weekends of 8-9 and 15-16 March, for clubs do not want to be committed to putting sides on the ground over the Easter weekend. Should Tasmania again host the Pura Cup final, the First Grade final would be slipped two weeks to 28-30 March, the same weekend as last season's premiership game.
FULL COMPUTER SCORING PLANNED FOR TCA FIRST, SECOND GRADE MATCHES
Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) clubs are likely to be provided with additional laptops and printers so that all First and Second Grade matches can be recorded on computer next season. The move, which is subject to finalisation of the TCA's budget for the new financial year, follows the successful introduction of computer scoring last season when one computer was available for games in both those Grades. In addition to scoring the new computers will also be used by clubs for general management tasks. Recruitment of scorers is critical if the new arrangement is to operate well and TCUSA members are asked to encourage any one interested in joining scoring ranks to attend the five-night computer scoring course scheduled for July-August (E-News 38, 10 May 2007). The full list of dates and meeting times are provided at the end of this newsletter and application forms can be downloaded from the 'Laws School' section of the Association's web site (URL provided below).
COMPULSORY CLOSURES FOR TCA UNDER 15 GAMES
Teams playing two-day games in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Under 15 competition next season will be required to declare their innings closed after 65 overs, the minimum which is required to be bowled in a day's play. Previously sides could bat over the two days, or at least long enough to prevent their opponents having any chance of winning games. The planned change to TCA By Laws is designed to provide both sides with the opportunity to both bat and bowl and win a match. The Under 15 roster next season is to continue with a mixture of one and two day games.
E-NEWS NUMBER 54, 14 June 2007
CLUBS ENDORSE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' FOR CAPTAINS, COACHES AND UMPIRES
The 'Code of Conduct' initiative for captains, coaches and umpires involved in Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches has been endorsed by TCA Clubs. Each of the one-page Codes, which emphasise the philosophy of the 'Spirit of Cricket' in all aspects of the game, set out in clear language the specific responsibilities of those in the three leadership areas. Captains are reminded of their key role in setting and maintaining standards of conduct on and off the field of play, particularly the need to foster respect for their opponents, team mates and umpires. The Captain's Code also aims at assisting clubs by outlining important factors they need to consider when assessing who they place in charge of their teams each season. In the Coaches' Code, which covers similar issues, their mentoring role and the way they encourage their charges to approach their participation in the sport are emphasised; while umpires are reminded of their obligation to officiate impartially, relate positively to those involved in games, know Laws and By Laws and closely watch player safety issues. Club captains and coaches are to be briefed on the Codes during the annual TCUSA By Laws evening in early October prior to the season getting under way. A date for this year's meeting has yet to be confirmed (E-News 53, 11 June 2007).
APPEAL NEEDED BEFORE CELEBRATION WARNS DAR
Pakistani international umpire Aleem Dar reportedly reminded England spinner Monty Panasar that he needed to appeal first before celebrating a wicket in this week's Third Test against the West Indies. Panesar's persistent appealing during his side's win was described by his coach Peter Moores as simply a sign of his "enthusiasm" and not an example of "unsporting behaviour". The left arm spinner finished the match with figures of 10 for 187 at Old Trafford, however, that achievement was reportedly almost overshadowed by a succession of increasingly desperate appeals that might have seen him charged under the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct. Panesar even appealed when a rogue ball bounced so much it hit century-maker Shivnarine Chanderpaul on the head. Moores praised Dar and New Zealand colleague Billy Bowden for the way they dealt with the pressures of a hard-fought final day. Asked if Panesar's appealing represented an attempt to put pressure on officials, Moores replied: "Not really, because I know it was genuine". According to him "good umpires do understand that in many ways the enthusiasm and the excitement of the game can suck players into it".
SURVEY OF MEMBERS' AVAILABILITY IN 2007-08 UNDERWAY
TCUSA umpires and scorers have been asked to provide the Management Committee with an indication of their general availability for matches during the 2007-08 season. A survey distributed by Association Administrator Graeme Hamley this week seeks to gauge potential membership for the summer ahead, the days of the week members anticipate being available on, and whether they are prepared to support competitions outside Tasmania Cricket Association (TCA) games. Graeme says in his letter that the TCUSA "has an obligation to provide umpires to all games [played] under the auspices of the TCA", however, the Management Committee aims to "support as many cricket associations as possible while at the same time addressing the needs of [its] members". The "Master Plan" for the season aims at having sufficient umpires to cover all appointments 'without double headers', and to have sufficient scorers to cover all [TCA] First and Second Grade matches each and every week" as full computer-based recording in both Grades is proposed (E-News 53, 11 June 2007). In order to meet what he says "may seem as a rather ambitious and unachievable" goal, the TCA has planned an "extensive advertising" campaign to recruit umpires and scorers (E-News 52, 7 June 2007), however, Graeme says it is critical each current member plays their part by encouraging a potential umpire or scorer to attend this winter's Laws and Scorers Schools (E-News 38, 10 May 2007). Members are asked to return membership application and survey forms they receive in the post to the TCUSA at Post Office Box 36 at Moonah 7009 as soon as possible.
LAWS SCHOOL TO INCLUDE KEY CHANGES TO TCA BY LAWS
Instruction and discussion of what are described as "significant changes" to Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) By Laws for the 2007-08 are to be included in this year's six-week winter Laws School. In addition, the exam on the Laws of Cricket scheduled for Wednesday, 8 August, will for the first time include questions on some of the more important By-Law changes. The changes, which are designed to bring TCA games into line with those played in interstate one day and First Class cricket played in Australia, include the introduction of Power Plays and free hits in First and Second Grade one-day games, and a limit to the number of short-pitched balls allowed in an over in both one and two-day matches. The Laws School is to commence at 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 27 June in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval.
SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD SET TO BECOME YOUNGEST EVER AUSTRALIAN PLAYER
New South Wales schoolgirl Ellyse Perry, who a number of TCUSA scorers and umpires saw in action in the National Under 19 Women's tournament last January, is poised to become the youngest ever cricketer to play for Australia. Perry was yesterday named in the national women’s squad to play New Zealand in the 'Top End' Series in Darwin next month. A very athletic and Glenn McGrath style right-arm fast bowler, she is also a talented right-hand bat and is considered by Cricket Australia to be a genuine all-round prospect. After the Under 19 series in Hobart Perry toured New Zealand with the Australian under-23 team. If she plays in Darwin she will surpass the previous youngest women's player Julie Stockton, who was 17 years 104 days when she made her One Day International debut. National Umpiring Panel members Ian Lock from Western Australia and John Ward from Victoria will officiate in the five-match series which runs from 21-29 July (E-News 46, 25 May 2007).
50 OVER ONE DAY GAMES, PLAYING TIME CHANGES, FOR TCA THIRDS, UNDER 17s
One day games in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Third Grade and Under 17 competitions are to be become 50 over-a-side matches in 2007-08, up from the 44 over regime that applied last season. Two-day games in those Grades will also be changed so that the playing times each day are from 1100-1800 the same as in First and Second Grades with 96 overs the minimum that need to be bowled each day.
OUTFIELD MOWING CUTS INTO THE 'SPIRIT OF CRICKET'
A rarely-applied local regulation that outfield grass 'must' be cut before a day's play was used to 'save' a match in a minor counties championship game in England on Tuesday. With Northumberland leading by 156 on the last day, the morning session was described as being "wiped out" when the umpires invoked rule 10 of the competition, which is a directive that the outfield be cut before each day's play. Cambridgeshire’s captain Damien Brandy is reported to have insisted that the already damp outfield be cut, even though the requirement is apparently rarely carried through. In comparison Law 10.3 says in part that "the outfield shall be mown on each day of [a] match on which play is expected to take place, if ground and weather conditions allow". As a result of the mowing an early lunch was taken and the game finally started at 1.30 p.m. before rain finally washed out the day a short time later with Cambridgeshire on 37 for one. Northumberland’s captain Phil Nicholson was quoted as saying that he had "never heard of a game not being able to start because the outfield had not been cut, so [he had] learnt a new rule". According to him "if we had played in the morning session, we could have had five or six wickets". Nicholson said it "was ridiculous the outfield not being cut prevented the game from going ahead" and that he doubted his opposite number's "attitude would have been the same if they had been in a strong position.” The Laws of Cricket state that in a match scheduled to last for more than one day, both the pitch and outfield must be mowed on each day - assuming that the ground and weather conditions allow it to be done. The pitch mowing must be completed not later than 30 minutes, and the outfield mowing not later than 15 minutes before the scheduled or rescheduled start of play on each day.
E-NEWS NUMBER 55, 18 June 2007
NEW CAPTAIN'S REPORT FORMS AIMED AT IMPROVING FEEDBACK
Significant revisions to umpires report forms used by captains to comment on the performance of umpires standing in Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) games have been accepted by TCA clubs. The new forms are "far more relative and focused" than the previous edition says State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows. Captains are asked to choose one of four ranges of comment from 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree' on seven key areas of an umpire's game, and there are also sections to indicate if the match was clear or not, the condition of the pitch and ground, and the overall scores in the match. Importantly, the new form has been designed so that the input captains provide can be quickly fed into a computer data base developed by TCUSA umpiring member Mark Wickham. That data base should allow an umpire's overall performance in each of the Grades of cricket they stand in to be generated in a more efficient manner than in the past. The reporting system is expected to be further stream-lined as comments will be able to be lodged with the TCA via e-mail, the proviso being that a team's captain must be the one providing the input. Club captains and coaches are to be briefed on the new forms during the annual TCUSA By Laws evening in early October just prior to the season getting under way. A date for this year's meeting has not yet been set, but it currently looks like being on the evening of Wednesday, 10 October (E-News 53, 11 June 2007).
ASSOCIATES UMPIRE TO STAND WITH DARRELL HAIR
Roger Dill from Bermuda is to stand with Australian umpire Darrell Hair in two One Day International (ODI) matches in Toronto involving home side Canada and the Netherlands early next month, with Chris Broad of England being the Match Referee. In making the announcement the International Cricket Council's (ICC) web site makes no mention of the three officiating in the two, four-day, Intercontinental Cup (IC) games scheduled for Toronto at around the same time, however, it would be surprising given the travel involved if they do not. The opening IC tie between Canada and the Dutch is scheduled to run from 28 June to 1 July, the ODIs on 3 and 4 July, and Canada's second IC match with the United Arab Emirates from 6-9 July. That timetable means that the Canadian side will be playing 10 days of cricket in 12. Dill, who is a member of the ICC's Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel, has to date officiated in three First Class matches, all of them in the previous two IC competitions, seventeen ODIs, and eight matches in the Under 19 World Cup played in Sri Lanka early last year. In the last five years he has umpired games that involved the national sides of Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, England, Ireland, Kenya, Scotland and Zimbabwe. In addition to Sri Lanka, he has traveled to places as far a field as Canada, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and both Trinidad and St Johns in the West Indies to stand in international matches. This is the second time Darrell Hair has stood in an ICC second-tier competition and follows the decision of the international body's Executive Board in November 2006 not to appoint him to future matches involving Full Members (E-news 50, 1 June 2007).
ONLY ONE UMPIRE NAMED AS YET FOR IMMINENT LANKA-BANGLADESH TESTS
Only one umpire, South African Rudi Koertzen, has so far been named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand in the three Test matches between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the first of which starts in Columbo next Monday. The ICC's web site lists Koertzen for what will be his 83rd, 84th and 85th Test matches, and the Match Referee as New Zealander Jeff Crowe, however, it is yet to indicate who will be join the South African on the field. While the Tests are to start early next week, in contrast umpires for the One Day International (ODI) series between the two nations which do not start until 20 July, have all been named. Asad Rauf from Pakistan and Suresh Shastri from India will officiate with Koertzen, with each of the three having two games on the field and a third as the TV umpire. Rauf and Koertzen are on the ICC's Elite panel and Shastri on their International Panel of umpires. Jeff Crowe will be Match Referee for the three ODIs. Next week's Test match will be the first ICC game Crowe has officiated in since the World Cup final in late April, an appointment that leaves West Indian Steve Bucknor as the only one of the five officials from that match who has yet to be named to a game by the ICC.
'ELITE' PANEL MEMBERS NAMED FOR FIVE-MATCH IRISH ODIs
Australian Match Referee Alan Hurst and International Cricket Council (ICC) 'Elite' umpires Mark Benson, 'Billy' Bowden' and Aleem Dar have been named to the five One Day Internationals (ODI) that are to be played in Ireland over the next week. Ireland face India next Saturday before playing South Africa the following day, then the two travelling sides will play each other in a three-match series. Benson from England, Dar from Pakistan and Bowden of New Zealand will rotate between the two on-field and third or TV umpire positions over the five matches. Bowden will be on the field in four of the games and his colleagues in three matches. After that Pakistan and India move to Scotland, with the former playing the home side before the two teams from the sub-continent play each other for the 'Friendship Cup' in Glasgow (E-News 43, 22 May 2007). Ian Gound of England who is on the ICC's International Umpires Panel will stand with fellow IUP member Norman Malcolm of the West Indies in the first game, and Mark Benson and Gould in the second. ICC Match Referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka will oversee the two games.
CHINA'S SEASON UNDERWAY
The 2007 domestic cricket season has started in China with 64 teams taking part in competitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang and Guangzhou. National coach Rashid Khan has been on a talent-search in the first three areas for suitable players for the national women's team which is to start training soon for this year's Asian Cricket Council's Women's Championship.
E-NEWS NUMBER 56, 19 June 2007
FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF NUP FURTHER DELAYED
Cricket Australia (CA) is yet to formally approve the names of its National Umpires Panel for the 2007-08 season and an expected announcement yesterday did not eventuate. Details of the 12 members of the NUP were released on the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association web site nearly three weeks ago (E-News 50, 1 June 2007), however, it is believed that CA's Board, which met late last week, has yet to approve the list provided to it by the selectors. In addition to approving the basic NUP list, the Board also has the task of evaluating the rankings which determine each umpire's remuneration package, as well as deciding the three umpires Australia will appoint to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpiring Panel (IUP) for the year ahead. Whether the Board has a problem with any of the names recommended, the rankings, or the selector's IUP suggestions, or the delay is simply a procedural issue, has not been made public.
ACUS MULLS MERGER WITH THE ECB'S OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION
Members of the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) in the UK have been asked to attend a special meeting on 25 July to discuss a possible merger with the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Officials Association (OA). If the proposal is agreed in principle next month, ACUS members will then be asked to vote on whether to proceed with an amalgamation via a postal ballot. The ACUS was formed in the early 1950s and until two years ago it received an annual grant from the ECB to conduct its operations, however, that money was withdrawn following the establishment of the OA by the ECB in 2005. Australian business-trading company Bartercard is currently sponsoring the ECBOA in a three-year deal worth $A250,000 (E-News 12, 7 March 2007). ECB and ACUS officials have met several times this year to try and determine how the two bodies can work more closely together "in the interest of the development of cricket and of cricket officials" (E-News 42, 20 May 2007). Last year a new body, the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS), was formed from ACUS ranks. It recently announced details of an independently accredited umpire training system (E-News 47, 27 May 2007), and the ECB and the ACUS has also agreed "to actively work [together] to develop new training and examination resources that could achieve external validation and be internationally recognised as world class". If the ACUS and the ECB formally join forces there could then be a push to bring the ICUS, which has links to the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (E-News 52, 7 June 2007), into the fold. Whether such a move would be successful is unknown at this time.
TEST CRICKET MUST BE PROTECTED SAYS CHIEF MATCH REFEREE
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle called upon the cricket nations not to devalue the standard of Test cricket in an interview given to a Sri Lankan newspaper over the weekend. Sri Lankan national Madugalle, who has officiated in over 200 One Day Internationals (E-News 23, 2 April 2007), was quoted as saying that “we should concentrate on improving the quality of cricket rather than the quantity of cricket [and] we must also ensure that Test cricket, which is your icon product, [is] not be compromised in terms of standards”. He continued by emphasising that “whatever we do we must ensure that every Test match [played involves] the best [players]". Madugalle also said that he would like to see improvements taking place in the quality of cricket administration. “I would like to see the quality of administration improving quicker than what it is in quite a few Test-playing countries", none of which he was prepared to name. "The better nations" he said, "have moved their structures to fit into the needs of the modern game and the modern commercial world". Prior to becoming an ICC Match Referee Madugalle played for and captained his country. He has been an ICC match referee since the elite panel was first formed in 1994.
CONFUSION REIGNS FOR LANKA-BANGLADESH APPOINTMENTS
A press release posted on the International Cricket Council's web site late yesterday has further confused the situation regarding umpiring appointments for the forthcoming Test and One Day International (ODI) series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The release, and details provided on the ICC's 'Referees and Umpires Appointments' page a single mouse 'click' away, are indicating diametrically different arrangements. It would appear, however, that the three umpires involved, Rudi Koertzen (South Africa), Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Suresh Shastri (India) will be sharing matches in the three Test matches, not the ODIs as indicated on the 'Appointments' page (E-News 55, 18 June 2007). The first Test is scheduled for Colombo from 25-29 June with Rauf and Suresh Shastri taking charge, Koertzen and Rauf have been selected to stand in the second there from 3-7 July, while the South African and Shastri have been appointed to the third in Kandy from 11-15 July. Koertzen will umpire all three ODIs "along with a local appointment" who has not yet been identified publicly. Shastri, who is a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, will be making his debut at Test level in the series. That suggests he may be under consideration for elevation to the ICC's Elite Panel which currently has no Indian on it and has a 'vacancy' following Darrell Hair's much criticised demise.
ONLY THREE GAMES FOR HAIR IN CANADA
Australian international umpire Darrell Hair is to stand in one Intercontinental Cup (IC) match and two One Day Internationals (ODI) in Canada over the next week, with another appointment going to an umpire from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Americas Region Panel (ARP). Hair will officiate, along with Roger Dill from Bermuda, in the IC four-day IC game between Canada and the Netherlands which starts on 28 June, then the two ODIs between the same two sides on 3 and 4 July (E-News 55, 18 June 2007). He will not, as previously surmised by this newsletter, stand in Canada's second IC match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is to run from 6-9 July, that appointment going to Dill and Courtney Young a member of the ARP from the Cayman Islands. Given that the ICC normally finalises the yearly contracts it has with its Elite umpires around this time of the year, the three games next week could well be Hair's final matches on the international scene. The Canada-UAE match will be Young's fourth at First Class level, the previous three involving IC games played by teams from Bermuda, Canada, Kenya and the United States. Those and other ICC games to which he has been appointed have been played in countries as wide apart as Argentina, Canada, and Malaysia. Before it plays Canada the UAE is to play Scotland in a IC match from 27-30 June, the officials for that game being West Indian Norman Malcolm of the ICC's International Umpiring Panel and Paul Baldwin of Germany from the world body's Associates and Affiliates International Umpires Panel.
E-NEWS NUMBER 57, 21 June 2007
ANNUAL REVIEW OF ICC 'ELITE' UMPIRE CONTRACTS RUNNING LATE
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual review of contracts with members of its 'Elite' Umpiring Panel (EUP) is running at least two months late this year. Over the five years the panel has existed, its members for the 12 months ahead have at the latest, been announced in early May, the usual time being March or April. Membership of the inaugural EUP was announced by the ICC on 12 March 2002, and in the year's since the new panel has been named on 4 April 2003, 6 February 2004, 12 May 2005, and 7 April 2006. In announcing the 2006-07 panel nearly 15 months ago the ICC said that its "annual review of umpire performance" had been completed a few weeks earlier in late March, and that "the composition of the [EUP] is reviewed every 12 months". It is not known what factors are behind the delay to this year's announcement. One possibility is the focus on the World Cup tournament in April-May, although in 2003 the announcement of the panel for 2003-04 occurred less than two weeks after the final. Other issues may relate to the decision last year to sack Australian Darrell Hair from the EUP (E-News 50, 1 June 2007), the identification of a suitable official to replace him, or the much criticised performance of the umpires in this year's World Cup final; although ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said of the latter that those involved continue to "have a future in the game" (E-News 35, 1 May 2007). Locally, the Board of Cricket Australia is also two months behind the scheduled of the last few years in naming the members of its National Umpiring Panel for the 2007-08 season (E-News 56, 19 June 2007).
SPEED, GAVASKAR KEY PLAYERS IN EUP SELECTIONS
International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed and the Chairman of its Cricket Committee, Sunil Gavaskar, play the key role in deciding the membership of the ICC's Elite Umpiring Panel. In making their decisions as to who will serve on the panel, the ICC says that the two "take into consideration the correct decision percentages of umpires and reports [on performance] from captains and Match Referees". Sixteen umpires have been members of the panel since its inception five years ago, its size varying between 7 and 11 in that time. The EUP's current 10 members are: Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf (Pakistan), Steve Bucknor and Billy Doctrove (West Indies), Daryl Harper, Darrell Hair and Simon Taufel (Australia), 'Billy Bowden (New Zealand), and Rudi Koertzen (South Africa). Only three of those, Bucknor, Harper and Koertzen, have so far served with the group since its formation. Between them the current panel have officiated in a total of exactly 500 Test matches and 1,088 One Day Internationals. Age-wise Bucknor and Koertzen are the oldest at 61 and 58 respectively, while Dar at 39 and Taufel at 36, are the yougest.
KEY ICC MEETINGS SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) will start off a week-long series of annual meetings for world cricket's leading administrators on Sunday. The two-day meeting in London will make decisions on a range of matters relating to the playing of international cricket as well as recommendations on the business of cricket for consideration by the ICC Executive Board, which will meet later in the week. Details of matters to be discussed are expected to be released in the next few days, although the recommendations generated by last month's ICC Cricket Committee meeting on a review of international umpiring, ball tampering, changes to One Day International (ODI) playing conditions, minimum sizes for ODI playing arenas, and the gluing of pitches, will be on the list (E-News 51, 4 June 2007). The CEC comprises the Chief Executives of the 10 Test-playing Members and three representatives from ICC Associate Members. Australians taking part in next week's meetings include ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed and James Sutherland CEO of Cricket Australia.
AUDIBLE EXPLETIVE IN TEST LEADS TO FINE
West Indies' player Fidel Edwards was fined 15 per cent of his match fee for using "inappropriate language" during the fourth Test match against England earlier this week. International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Alan Hurst from Australia said in a statement that "when bowling, and in frustration, Fidel swore loudly enough to be heard by spectators at the ground and television audiences". Hurst continued by saying that the ICC is "not saying that players cannot show frustration or demonstrate passion, but Fidel's means of doing so was totally unacceptable and does not set an appropriate example". Edwards was found to have breached clause 1.4 of the ICC's Code of Conduct which relates to "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting". The charge was brought by on-field umpires Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Billy Bowden (New Zealand) plus, third and fourth officials Nigel Llong and Trevor Jesty who are both from England.
TWO-THIRDS OF TCUSA MEMBERSHIP REPLY TO UTAS SURVEY
Two-thirds of TCUSA members have replied to the survey forwarded to them by the University of Tasmania (UTas) last month and the data and analysis phase of the research program is about to start . The research, which is being undertaken by Dr Wayne O'Donohue of the University's School of Management, is expected to assist in shaping the way the Association approaches its recruitment, training and management role (E-News 39, 11 May 2007). Wayne told E-News yesterday that "at best" it is possible that "another 10 or so" survey forms may be returned by members in the near future, thus taking the return rate to around 84 percent, however, "the likelihood [is] that some of those on the mailing list may no longer consider themselves active". During the next stage of the program researchers will "follow-up" respondents with a phone call where a contact number has been provided. Wayne told E-News earlier this month that he should be in a position to provide a preliminary report on the data within a couple of weeks of commencing the analysis, but incorporation and analysis of any interview data will take longer (E-News 52, 7 June 2007).
'DICKIE' BIRD FOUNDATION ENCOURAGING DISADVANTAGED YOUTH
Former international umpire 'Dickie' Bird of England is using his status in the game to assist financially disadvantaged youths. Bird's 'Dickie Bird Foundation' last week presented a 14-year-old cricketer from Liverpool with a full set of cricket whites and equipment. Bird made the presentation himself at Old Trafford saying that “the Foundation has been running for three years [and] our aim is to get kids away from street corners, get them doing exercises, get them away from television and give them a start in life.” He continued by saying that he is "not worried if they get to international level, that doesn’t bother me, but if we can give a kid a start in life and give him something to think about then we have done our job”. The Foundation's aim is to assist financially disadvantaged people under 18 years of age to participate in the sport of their choice irrespective of their social circumstances, culture or ethnicity, and to ensure that, in doing so, their chances are improved both inside and outside sport.
E-NEWS NUMBER 58, 22 June 2007
TOURNAMENT TO 'SHOWCASE', FURTHER TRAIN, EMERGING UMPIRES
Next month's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) is being used by Cricket Australia (CA) to provide training and match opportunities to potential First Class umpires from around the nation. E-News understands that CA plans to select one umpire from each State to take part in the 20-match EPT that is to involve emerging players in teams from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa (E-News 39, 11 May 2007), so that national selectors can assess their performance and abilities. Those attending will also attend a specially developed series of training programs and lectures at CA's Centre of Excellence (COE) that are aimed at improving their skills and practices relevant to First Class umpiring. Plans for using the six emerging umpires in the EPT flow in part from the review of Australian umpiring that was completed earlier this year (E-News 9, 25 February 2007), and stem originally from a commitment CA made several years ago regarding opportunities for umpires at the COE. To be selected for the EPT next month, an umpire must: be a member of their State Umpiring Panel; be considered by a State Association to be a candidate for the National Umpires Panel in the 'near future" (although not necessarily for next season); not have a current CA contract for 2007-08; have umpired at First Grade level in their State; and have completed CA's National Umpiring Accreditation Scheme Level 2 program. Nominations made by State Associations are subject to consideration and approval by CA. The names of those who are to attend the EPT have not yet been released, however, as the tournament is just four weeks away, an announcement is anticipated sometime in the next week. The series is to be held at a number of grounds in south east Queensland from 21-29 July.
EARLY TICKET ACCESS AVAILABLE TO THE 'AUSTRALIAN CRICKET FAMILY'
Cricket Australia (CA) is offering the chance for members of what it calls the 'Australian Cricket Family' (ACF) to purchase tickets for next season's Test, One Day International, Hadlee-Chappell Trophy, and Twenty20 international matches (E-News 30, 20 April 2007). According to a letter distributed by Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) Chief Executive David Johnston on Wednesday, any one who is involved in the game as a "fan, player, coach or groundkeeper" can become an ACF member. In addition to early access to tickets, "special offers, competitions and newsletters" are also available to those who join the group. To join, or obtain additional information on the ACF, those interested should click the ACF banner on the TCA's web site at: www.tascricket.com.au To be eligible for early tickets in 2007-08 you need to register by next Sunday. Tickets will be available to members in July, however, the general public will not be able to purchase them until 1 August. Individuals who are already members of the ACF do not need to re-register this year.
WCL 'MENTORING' SUGGESTION "NOT FAR OFF THE MARK"
Reports by E-News that the consistent pairing of Australian and overseas umpires for matches in last month's World Cricket League Division 3 tournament involved 'mentoring' were "not far off the mark", according to the International Cricket Council (ICC). Concern had been expressed that the 'mentoring' suggestion was "patronising towards visiting umpires", and that some of the Australians involved have yet to prove themselves worthy of National Umpiring Panel status (E-News 51, 4 June 2007). ICC Communications Officer James Fitzgerald said yesterday that "while the overseas umpires are well regarded and one, Shahul Hameed from Indonesia, is on our Associates and Affiliates International Panel, they do not get the regular chance to stand in First-Class cricket that the Cricket Australia appointed umpires do". Former New Zealand international umpire Brian Aldridge, who was the ICC's Match Referee for the tournament, told E-News that in his opinion the visiting umpires would "make excellent A Grade club umpires, but would not as yet match the ability of their First Class counterparts in Australia or New Zealand". As such says Fitzgerald, "the thinking was that the overseas umpires could learn a lot from the Australians, particularly as the tournament was being staged in Australia in familiar conditions for the Aussie umps". Aldridge, who is an advisor to the ICC East Asia-Pacific region on umpiring issues and has attended "about 15" tournaments in the ICC's East Asia Pacific Development region similar to the Darwin series, said that the "training-mentoring" approach was "very successful". The former World Cup final umpire says that it lifted the visitor's performance to the extent that one of them, Lakani Oala from Papua New Guinea, was chosen to stand in the key final of the series.
WCC CRICKET'S 'NEW CONSCIENCE' SAYS COLUMNIST
Cricket has found a "new conscience" in the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) according to columnist Tim de Lisle. Writing recently on the Cricinfo web site, de Lisle said that in his view the committee's pronouncements made to date have either been "spot on" or "pretty close" to the reality of things (E-News 44, 23 May 2007). He agrees "absolutely" that "over-scheduling [of international games] has done damage to everything from the World Cup's rarity value to a whole generation of fast bowlers", that this year's World Cup tournament was far too long, and that "glueing pitches is a hideous practice" for "cricket is essentially a game played with natural materials - leather, cork, willow, muscles and brain". The columnist wrote that the WCC's proposal that bowling actions should be monitored in matches is "probably" right, as are their views that a 3-5 Test match and three One Day International package for tours is appropriate, and that the size of grounds used for One Day International matches should be maximised. de Lisle believes that the WCC is in generally well structured in that most its high-profile members are currently "detached from playing, coaching or, as far as I know, administration" except that the "only obvious omission was a woman [for] the dear old MCC are still not fully aware of the existence of half the human race". The WCC did, however, show their "independence by pointing out that the culprits [using] glue [on pitches] include the MCC itself" says de Lisle. He concludes by saying, however, that "whether anyone will listen" to their views "remains to be seen".
COUNTY PLAYER REPRIMANDED FOR DISSENT
Worcestershire cricketer Alexei Kervezee has received a reprimand under the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) discipline code following an incident during that County's Second XI Championship match against Somerset last week. Kervezee was reported by umpires David Millns and Mike Moran for a Level One breach of the code for "showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action". No details of the incident are available. Under the ECB Code the penalty remains on the player's record for a period of two years and any further Level One breach during that period will result in an automatic imposition of three penalty points. Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne was similarly disciplined last month for "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" (E-News 48, 30 May 2007). He was given a six-point penalty and if he accumulates more than nine in the next two years he will be suspended.
E-NEWS NUMBER 59, 24 June 2007
WORLD CUP FINAL OFFICIALS BANNED FROM TWENTY20 TOURNAMENT
The five members the 'playing control team' involved in the World Cup final in late April have been banned from participating in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa in September. The ICC delivered what the Crincinfo web site described as the "humiliating punishment" to on-field umpires Steve Bucknor (West Indies) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan), the third and four umpires Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), as well as the latter's countryman Jeff Crowe who was the Match Referee. Malcolm Speed, the ICC's Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement that "it would have been easy to let sleeping dogs lie and pretend nothing happened, but the reality is that the playing control team made a serious and fundamental error that caused the final of our flagship event to end in disarray and confusion". Crowe took the blame as the head official straight after the match, but following a review by the ICC's cricket manager, Dave Richardson, the world body decided that further censure was called for. Such a performance by the five-man group was "not acceptable for such experienced and talented officials" said Speed, who continued by saying the "although we do not like to have to take such action, we felt it was necessary to decline to appoint [all five] for [the Twenty20 event]". "We feel that to stand them down for this two-week tournament is a proportionate measure" he concluded. Reacting to the decision, Crowe was quoted as saying that "while it is never easy to take criticism, I think it is right that there are consequences for our actions as match officials [and] in this instance I understand that the ICC could not merely let it go". "We set ourselves high standards as match officials and at the end of that day we did not reach those standards. It was not a pleasant experience for us but hopefully now we can look forward and learn from it". Speed was quoted after the final as saying that all five "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" (E-News 35-196). Steve Bucknor has not yet been appointed to any games by the ICC since the final, while Dar, Koertzen, Bowden and Crowe have officiated in Test and One Day Internationals in the intervening two months. Appointments of match referees and umpires for the Twenty20 Championships, which are to be held from 11-24 September, have yet to be made.
E-NEWS NUMBER 60, 26 June 2007
WINTER LAWS SCHOOL COMMENCES TOMORROW NIGHT
The first night of this year's TCUSA winter Laws School is to commence in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval at 6.30 p.m. tomorrow evening. The School will then run each subsequent Wednesday evening until 1 August with the exam being scheduled for 8 August, while the course for Scorers is to start one week later on Wednesday, 4 July and conclude on 1 August. Advertisements for the school have been published in 'The Mercury' newspaper over the last few weeks, the 'Sunday Tasmanian' rather ironically placing the advert right next to the story about World Cup final officials being banned from this year's World Twenty20 series (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007). Publicity was also given to the school by a story in 'The Mercury' about former University cricketer and club President Michael Graeme-Smith's plans to joining the umpiring fraternity.
RETURN OF NUAS RE-ACCREDITATION FORMS REQUESTED
TCUSA members who have received an invitation from Cricket Australia (CA) to renewal their National Umpires Accreditation Scheme's Level 2 (NUAS-2) qualification are asked to return their forms to the Association. The $15 cost involved in the re-accreditation process is to be covered by the TCUSA (E-News 50-277, 1 June 2007). Not all of those who have passed NUAS-2 requirements will have received a letter from CA as yet, but those that have are asked to either send their forms via post to the Association's Secretary Penny Patterson at Post Office Box 36, Moonah 7009, or hand them either Ian Quaggin or Steve Maxwell at the Laws School on tomorrow night.
FIRST CLASS PLAYER CONSIDERING MOVE TO UMPIRING
Victorian opening batsman Jason Arnberger, who missed last season because of a back injury, plans to become an umpire if surgeons decide that his playing days are over. The former Victorian and NSW player told Melbourne's 'Age' newspaper that he has commenced an umpiring course and if he cannot play on as he suspects may be the case, he will talk to Cricket Victoria about becoming "a full-time umpire". According to the report Arnberger said that he has already talked to former players Paul Reiffel, a current member of the National Umpiring Panel, and South Australia fast bowler Paul Wilson, who is now umpiring in WA, and both had told him that they enjoy their new on-field role. Asked what he thought about the calibre of umpiring in Australia, Arnberger was quoted as saying that he thinks that "the standard has dropped off a little bit since [he] came to Victoria", although it is not clear whether he was referring to those standing at interstate level or in the Melbourne area. According to him "they're struggling to get the numbers at the moment, so the more better candidates they can get, the better" and he thinks "it can improve". If he was to be accepted by Cricket Australia (CA) it is possible that he would join Wilson on CA's Project Panel (PP). The PP is part of CA's push to attract former players into umpiring ranks and 'fast-tracking' their progression to First Class cricket as has been the case with both Reiffel and former Tasmanian Rod Tucker who is now based in NSW.
UMPIRES FOR LANKA-BANGLADESH TESTS AND ODIs CONFIRMED
Umpires for matches in the three Test and three One Day International (ODI) series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which got under way yesterday are as suggested by E-News last week (E-News 56-309, 19 June 2007). Asad Rauf from Pakistan and Suresh Shastri from India are standing in the First Test which got underway on Monday, Rauf and Rudi Koertzen from South Africa will umpire the Second, while Shastri will pair with Koertzen for the Third. The series will take the number of Test matches Koertzen has umpired to 84 and Rauf to 13, while Shastri will be officiating in his first and second Tests. The South African and a local appointment will stand in the three-match ODI series. Koertzen is the world record holder for umpiring ODIs, next month's matches being his 175th, 176th and 177th in that form of the game.
ASIAN CRICKET COUNCIL TARGETS LIFT IN UMPIRING STANDARDS
The Kuala Lumpur based Asian Cricket Council (ACC) released a five-year strategic plan at its Annual General Meeting last week which aims to boost cricket participation in its 16 non-Test playing nations and lift umpiring standards. Under the plan the ACC will work to make cricket accessible to more people in Asia by establishing a coaching structure and increase the number of coaches by five percent. The target between now and 2011 is to lift the number who play the game by 10 per cent overall and 30 percent in the youth area. The strategic plan also aims at increasing to five the number of umpires from non-Test playing Asian nations on the International Cricket Council's Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel (AAUP). Currently only Buddi Bahasdur from Nepal is the only official from an ACC non-test playing country on the six-member AAUP. Twenty-two nations currently make up the ACC. Apart from Test playing nations Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, other members are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
WOMEN'S CRICKET SET TO ENTER 'NEW' ERA IN ASIA
The inaugural Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) Women's Tournament is to be held in Malaysia from 11-18 July with eight nations from that region taking part. Fifteen 30-over per side matches will be played during the series which will be held at two grounds in Johor Baru some 275 kms south of Kuala Lumpur. Teams in the tournament will represent Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). China are newcomers to the series and in a warm up for next month's series its women's team played their first-ever international against Hong Kong last Sunday but lost by 10 wickets. Umpires for the historic game were Kevin Bishop from Hong Kong and Yuzhou Lin from China while the scorer was Kim Burns from Hong Kong. Umpires for the games in Malaysia in July have yet to be named, however, it is probable that they will come from ACC member nations.
E-NEWS NUMBER 61, 28 June 2007
SOLID START TO WINTER LAWS SCHOOL
This year's winter Laws School got off to a solid start at Bellerive Oval last night with 35 people, 10 of them new, attending week one of the six-week course. Several of the new faces were from the Houn and Channel Association who intend to stand in that competition in 2007-08, the other eight setting their sights on umpiring with the TCUSA in the Tasmanian Cricket Association which is a most welcome addition to the Association's numbers. During the evening State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows was in fine form and obviously enjoyed talking about one of his favourite subjects - the Laws of Cricket. With the exception of Law 2, the salient points of Laws 1-9 were discussed last night and those attending, as well as those planning to be present for week two of the school, were encouraged to study those Laws and bring any questions or issues they may have to next week's meeting. The second night of the school will be held next Wednesday, 4 July, commencing at 6.30 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive, with the important Scorers' School getting underway in an adjacent room at the same time.
CHANGE IN THE WIND FOR NUP MEMBERSHIP?
Reports suggest that at least one change to the membership of the National Umpiring Panel (NUP) for the 2007-08 season may be under consideration by Cricket Australia (CA). Several separate mainland-based sources have told E-News that CA's Board was unable to reach a consensus on the National Umpires Selection Panel's (NUSP) recommendation that membership of the 12-man NUP remain unchanged from last season (E-News 50, 1 June 2007). It is believed during the Board's 15 June meeting one, and possibly two, of its members expressed reservations about extending the contract of one of those nominated to the umpire's panel, and that there may have also been issues related to a change to Australia's nominations to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Panel of Umpires (IPU) for the year ahead. CA's Cricket Manager Geoff Allardice, who is currently a member of the NUSP, told E-News yesterday that the panel had "just been ratified by the Board" and that an announcement of its membership is expected "within one week". The two weeks it took to reach that agreement suggests negotiations to resolve concerns raised were, as one source put it, "challenging", and the fact that an announcement is still to be made points to a change to NUP membership being on the cards as negotiations continue to formalise arrangements. If CA decides to make changes to the two on-field and single third or TV umpire it nominates to the ICC for the IPU, it would be the first time that has occurred since May 2003; Steve Davis (South Australia), Peter Parker (Queensland) and Bob Parry (Victoria) having filled those positions respectively since then. The only other Australians to serve on the IPU since it was formed in 2002 were Darrell Hair and Simon Taufel who were elevated to the ICC's 'Elite' in May 2003. CA's 14-man Board currently consists of Chairman Creagh O'Connor, Jack Clarke and Ian McLachlan from South Australia, from Queensland former Australian captain Alan Border and Bryan Phelan, Wally Edwards and Daryl Foster from Western Australia, another Australian captain Mark Taylor, Dr Harry Harinath and Robert Horsell from NSW, Bob Merriman, Tony Steele and Geoff Tamblyn from Victoria, and Tony Harrison from Tasmania.
SCOTT GODFREY RESIGNS AS TCA GRADE CRICKET MANAGER
Scott Godfrey, the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Manager of Grade Cricket, has resigned from his position and will leave the TCA on 13 July after the best part of 10 years in the job. TCUSA President Graeme Hamley told E-News last night that Scott has been "a great friend" of the Association over the years and that who ever replaces him has a "gigantic pair of shoes to fill". Graeme praised Scott's work ethic and the efficient manner in which he would deal with issues brought to his attention that "needed a fix". One of many things Scott worked on over the years was, for example, organising last January's National Women's Under 19 championship in Hobart, the success of which is an important component in the TCA's current attempt to bring the Women's World Cup to Tasmania in 2009. E-News understands that the TCA plans to place advertisements calling for applications for the Grade Cricket Manager position in newspapers this coming weekend.
CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA 'APPLAUDS' WC FINAL OFFICIALS BAN
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has welcomed the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to suspend five senior match officials following their "blunder in the final of the World Cup in the West Indies" last April (E-News 59, 26 June 2007). In a statement issued in London where he is attending an ICC meeting, CSA Chief Executive Officer Gerald Majola said that CSA "applaud[s] the decision to suspend the five from the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 Championships in South Africa". “Although it includes one of South African cricket’s favourite sons, Rudi Koertzen, we feel that match officials need to be punished, like captains and players, for transgressions". The statement continues by saying that “CSA took a decision at its last meeting to request the ICC to adopt this approach" as "captains get fines and suspensions for relatively minor infringements of the regulations such as slow over rates, yet officials get away with errors that change the outcome of matches". Majola said that CSA believes that match officials too "need to be held accountable for their actions" and that it applauds the ICC, and its Cricket Operations Department, for taking this action as they believe it will raise umpiring standards". CSA's comments are similar to those made about the accountability of umpires made by Australian international umpire Simon Taufel earlier this week (see following story).
GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIRED FOR UMPIRES SAYS TAUFEL
Australian Simon Taufel, who has been voted the world's leading umpire for each of the last three years, has called for "greater accountability from his colleagues and [for] under-performing umpires to be axed from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' Umpires Panel (EUP)", according to news reports from Melbourne. The reports stated that Taufel was of the view that if umpires made several incorrect decisions in a Test or through a series they should loose their positions on the EUP "for a period". While the report was published at the same time the announcement was made that the five officials involved in last April's World Cup final were being banned from the Twenty20 championship in September (E-News 59, 26 June 2007), there is no indication in the Taufel report that he was necessarily responding to a question about that particular matter. According to the report Taufel said that “we have now reached that point of reference where if match officials are being paid adequately, there needs to be greater accountability for performance and non-performance [and that] we have reached the stage that if umpires aren’t performing to acceptable standards, they [not be] appointed for a period". He apparently concluded by saying that "most people”, which could be read to mean EUP members, “are happy to see that happen". Taufel is the umpires’ representative on the ICC 's Cricket Committee (E-News 41, 17 May 2007), which late in May made several recommendations that are being considered by the World body this week (E-News 57, 21 June 2007), including that a review of umpiring at the highest level should be undertaken (E-News 51, 4 June 2007).
SLOW OVER RATE AGAIN COSTS INDIAN PLAYERS
India was fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its nine-wicket victory against Ireland in Belfast last Sunday. Alan Hurst the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Match Referee for the game imposed the fines after Rahul Dravid's side was judged, after time allowances were taken into consideration, to be one over short of its target at the scheduled finish of the Ireland innings. ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties for international matches require players to be fined five per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, whilst their captain is fined double that amount. As such Dravid was fined 10 per cent of his match fee while each of his players received five per cent fines. India was fined to the same degree during its last match in this year's World Cup final series in late March (E-News 23, 2 April 2007), with England, the West Indies, Pakistan and South Africa also copping slow over rate fines during that tournament (E-News 31, 23 April 2007). Last month the West Indies were fined for slow over rates in both the First and Second Tests against England (E-News 52, 7 June 2007).
TCA MATCH FEES FOR THIRD, UNDER 17, GRADES TO INCREASE
Match fees for umpires who stand in Tasmanian Cricket Association games in the Third and Under 17 Grades are to be increased to $100 a day in 2007-08, the same remuneration provided to those in First and Second Grades. Last season those standing in matches in the Third and Under 17 Grades received $85 a day and this year's increase is due to the decision that games at those levels will now run from 1100-1800, an hour longer than previously (E-News 54, 14 June 2007). The fee for Under 15 games is to rise from $75 to $85, although playing times in that competition are unchanged. Decisions on fees for Southern Tasmanian Cricket Association and Derwent Valley Association have yet to be set for next season.
DATE SET FOR ANNUAL BY LAWS MEETING
The Association's annual By Laws meeting will be held on Wednesday, 10 October commencing at 7 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval according to TCUSA President and Administrator Graeme Hamley. During the meeting, which will be open to Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) club captains and coaches, By Laws that cover the five Grades of TCA cricket will be discussed and details of the new captains, coaches and umpires Code of Conduct documents will also be presented (E-News 54, 14 June 2007).
E-NEWS NUMBER 62, 29 June 2007
UMPIRES WARNED OFF PROPOSED PACKER-LIKE LEAGUE
India's Cricket Board this week warned its umpires not to become involved in 'unapproved' cricket competitions, a vague reference that has been widely interpreted as referring to the TV-sponsored Indian Cricket League (ICL). Zee Films, the organisers of the planned ICL said in April that they will "appoint their own umpires" to matches in the proposed Twenty20 series, a competition that they say could eventually involve up to sixteen teams (E-News 26, 6 April 2007). No details were given at the time as to where the ICL would obtain such officials. This week's warning to Indian umpires was contained in a letter forwarded to them by the Board and follows a previous missive to all the associations in the country, warning officials, players and committee members from associating with "unapproved" tournaments. The Board has also debarred member associations, present or former players who derive monetary or other benefits from the Board, including welfare schemes, from associating themselves in any manner with any organisation that runs unapproved tournaments or matches. Three former India players, including the country's lone World Cup-winning skipper Kapil Dev, have already joined the ICL in various capacities. The other two ex-cricketers are former wicket keeper and immediate previous Indian selection panel chief Kiran More, and former middle order batsman Sandeep Patil. Kapil heads the ICL's Executive Board in which More is a member, while Patil has been roped in to coach one of the six teams the league proposes to field in its first season. Soon after plans for the ICL were announced in March there was a call for improvements in the way First-Class umpires in India are trained, supported and managed (E-News 27, 11 April 2007).
DISCIPLINARY POINTS, FIVE RUN PENALTY, FOR PITCH DAMAGE
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) this week issued County cricketer James Bruce of Hampshire with three penalty points under their disciplinary system after the opening bowler was deemed by the umpires to have run onto the pitch inappropriately on three occasions. Bruce was reported by umpires Barrie Leadbeater and Neil Mallender for "causing avoidable damage to the pitch that results in a five-run penalty being awarded". No details are available of the incident but it is assumed that the bowler ran into the Protected Area for a third time after two previous warnings from the umpires during his side's match against Durham earlier this month. In addition to costing his side five runs and his team of his services for the remainder of the innings (Law 42.12), the ECB classifies the offence as a "level two breach" of their disciplinary code and as such Bruce received three penalty points. The points will remain on Bruce's record for two years and the accumulation of nine or more penalty points in any two-year period will result in an automatic suspension.
END OF JUNE 2007 E-NEWS FILE