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July 07 (63-75)

TCUSA E-NEWS JULY 2007

13 EDITIONS 

 

Number 63 – 1 July 2007 [EN0341-0344]

Number 64 – 2 July 2007 [EN0345-0351]

Number 65 – 12 July 2007 [EN0352-0356]

Number 66 – 13 July 2007 [EN0357-0362]

Number 67 – 15 July 2007 [EN0363-0366]

Number 68 – 17 July 2007 [EN0367-0373]

Number 69 – 18 July 2007 [EN0374-0378]

Number 70 – 19 July 2007 [EN0379-0385]

Number 71 – 24 July 2007 [EN0386-0390]

Number 72 – 26 July 2007 [EN0391-0397]

Number 73 – 27 July 2007 [EN0398-0401]

Number 74 – 30 July 2007 [EN0402-0407]

Number 75 – 31 July 2007 [EN0408-0411]

 

 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 63, 1 July 2007

 

ICC 'TASK FORCE' TO EXAMINE INTERNATIONAL UMPIRING ISSUES

A 'task force' is to be set up by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to examine a range of issues relating to the operation of its 'Elite' and 'International' umpiring panels.  The ICC says that the group is being established with a view to "enhancing the already high standards of officiating" present on the international scene, however, the move comes at the end of a year of significant controversy for umpires at the highest level of the game (see following story).  According to the world body the 'task force' is to investigate and report on four main issues: how best to structure the first and second tier Elite and International umpiring panels; the support structures needed for the panel; umpire remuneration levels and workloads; and policies for the selection and appointment of umpires to panels and matches, including the issue of neutrality.  Formation of the task force was recommended by the ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) at its meeting in late May (E-News 51, 4 June 2007), and approved at the ICC's annual meeting in London last week.  The CC recommended that the group look at "how best to take international umpiring to the next level" and that it be headed by an "independent chairman".  While the focus of the task force will be as recommended by the CC, the ICC did not appoint an independent chairman.  Instead that role was given to David Morgan the current Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who as of last week is also President Elect of the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Morgan, who will become ICC President in June next year, was a successful businessman in a previous life and rose to become commercial director of British company Electrical Steel before his retirement in 2001.  He is a former chairman of County club Glamorgan and was confirmed as chairman of the ECB in October 2002.  England's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper said in a report that Morgan's "previous job closing down steel plants in Wales is seen as ideal training for fast-tracking the necessary improvements" in the umpiring area.  An ICC statement said that his priority over the next few weeks would be to complete his work with the ECB and work out a succession procedure.  Just when other members of the umpiring task force will be named and the group's work will commence have not been announced at this stage.  EN344.

 

HAIR UNDER CONTRACT TO APRIL 2008, ELITE PANEL UNCHANGED THIS YEAR?

Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's contract with the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not end until April 2008, according to a report in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' late last week.  If correct that would mean that he is likely to have signed a two-year contract with the ICC in early April last year, some four months before the infamous 'ball tampering' Test match between England and Pakistan in August.  An ICC spokesman told E-News last week that Elite panel umpire contracts "vary in length", a comment which together with the suggested length of Hair's contract explains in part why an announcement is yet to be made on who will serve on the Elite panel in 2007-08 (E-News 57, 21 June 2007).  In response to a further question regarding the new panel, the spokesman told this newsletter that "there was no change" to the Elite group "this year".  That makes 2007 the first year the ICC has not publicly announced the make up of that panel for the year ahead since it was established in 2002, an approach that may be aimed at taking the focus off the controversies in the international umpiring area over the past year.  Hair was "voted off" the Elite panel by the ICC's Board in November last year for his handling of the ball tampering incident, although his colleague Billy Doctrove of the West Indies continues to stand in Test matches and One Day Internationals (E-News 38, 10 May 2007).  Hair, who is currently umpiring in Canada in the second tier Intercontinental Cup (E-News 56, 19 June 2007), is taking his case to a London employment tribunal, claiming racial discrimination by the world body cost him his livelihood.  The ICC has said it will vigorously defend the matter at the hearing when it starts in London on October 1 (E-News 24, 5 April 2007).  EN343.

 

NO ANNOUNCEMENT ON BALL TAMPERING ISSUES

No announcement on matters relating to ball tampering issues was made following the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual meeting held at Lords last week.  The ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) recommended at its meeting in late May that no changes are needed to the definition of ball tampering currently contained in the Laws of Cricket, however, it did say that parts of the world body's playing conditions and code of conduct that relate to such matters need amendment (E-News 51, 4 June 2007).  Given the controversy that erupted in August last year in the Test Match between England and Pakistan it would be surprising if the ICC had not carefully assessed the CC's recommendation.  It seems probable that the matter was considered but that it was deemed prudent to make the changes without any fan fare, although just what occurred is unknown at this time.  EN342

 

BRUCE PENALISED AS A BATSMAN NOT A BOWLER

County cricketer James Bruce of Hampshire cost his side five runs as a result of an indiscretion as a batsman, not a bowler, as reported by E-News last week (E-News 62, 29 June 2007).  According to the scorecard for the Hampshire's First Class match against Durham in mid-June that is now available on line, Bruce's team was penalised in their second innings as a result of him "running down the pitch".  Whether he was guilty on all three stages required for the awarding of a five run penalty under Law 42.14 is not known.  As the number eleven batsman in the innings concerned, it is possible that during the last wicket partnership of 36 he shared with Australian Stuart Clark, he may have been at the end of the chain required for the issuing of penalty runs. 

EN341. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 64, 2 July 2007

 

SCORERS' SCHOOL TO GET UNDERWAY THIS WEEK

The first night of this year's TCUSA Scorers' School is to commence at Bellerive Oval this Wednesday and run each subsequent week until 1 August.  The TCUSA's six-week winter Laws School started last week and the second night is to be held this coming Wednesday (E-News 61, 28 June 2007).  Those attending either course need to be at the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval by 6.30 p.m. this Wednesday evening.  EN351.

 

REPLACEMENT BALL AFTER 35 OVERS TO BE INTRODUCED TO ODIs

White balls used during One Day Internationals (ODI) will now have to be replaced by a "clean used ball" at the end of the 35th over.  That and a series of other measures were agreed to at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual meeting at Lords last week and are scheduled to come into force on 1 October.  Other changes recommended by the ICC's Cricket Committee last May agreed to included: an extra fielder will be allowed outside the fielding circle during the second or third power play in an ODI; if an ODI innings is reduced, the number of overs making up each of the three powerplays will be reduced proportionately; and the availability of a 'free hit' to the next delivery should a bowler deliver a front foot no-ball.  Minimum boundary sizes in all international matches will be increased with the square boundary measuring at least 150 instead of 140 yards from one side of the ground to the other and the straight boundaries 70 instead of 65 yards.  Bellerive Oval is in imperial units 191 yards (175 m) long and 148 yards (135 m) wide (E-News 51, 4 June 2007).  EN350.

 

BATSMAN OUT 'HANDLING THE BALL'

The captain of a Hertfordshire League cricket side in England was given out ‘handled the ball’ during his team’s innings last weekend.  David Hughes, who opended the innings, had progressed to 13 when he was dismissed handled the ball after his shot was played into the ground and the ball bounced up dangerously near his stumps.  Instead of fending it away with his bat, feet etc. as he is permitted to do under the Laws, Hughes used the hand that was not holding the bat to knock the ball away.   The team report described his wicket as “a most unusual dismissal resulting from an instinctive reaction”.  Under Law 33 "either batsman is out Handled the Ball if he wilfully touches the ball while in play with a hand or hands not holding the bat unless he does so with the consent of the fielding side".   EN349.

 

KEEPER REPRIMANDED FOR DISSENT

West Indies' wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin has been officially reprimanded for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct during his side's Twenty20 international against England last Friday.  Ramdin received the censure from Match Referee Mike Procter after pleading guilty to breaching clause 1.3 of the Code which concerns "showing dissent at an umpire's decision".  The charge related to a comment made by Ramdin to umpire Nigel Llong at the end of an over in which Ramdin had an appeal for a catch at the wicket turned down by the official.  Explaining his decision Procter said "the player was clearly disappointed that an appeal had been turned down by umpire Llong but, at the end of the over, he allowed that disappointment to become dissent and that is completely unacceptable".  Ramdin was said to be "extremely apologetic at the hearing" but Proctor said that "any form of dissent cannot be allowed to pass as the game revolves around respect for an umpire's decision".  He added that Ramdin "will now have this mark on his record and that will obviously count against him if he fails to uphold the ICC Code of Conduct in future".  The charge was brought by umpire Llong, who attended the hearing alongside fellow on-field official Ian Gould, third umpire Peter Hartley and fourth official Neil Bainton.  EN348.

 

APPLICATIONS FOR GRADE CRICKET MANAGER POSITION CLOSE ON 13 JULY 

Advertisements for the positions of Grade Cricket Manager at the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) were published in newspapers around the State over the weekend and close on Friday, 13 July.  The vacancy was caused by the recent resignation of Scott Godfrey who served in the position for almost ten years (E-News 61, 28 June 2007).   EN347.

 

HARPER WEB SITE STILL UNCHANGED

The web site run by Australian international umpire Daryl Harper that details aspects his umpiring travels and experiences has still not been up-dated since that last entry before the World Cup final over two months ago, even though he stood in two Test Matches in Bangladesh last month.  E-News sent a question to the 'Ask a Question' section of the web site several weeks ago asking the long-serving umpire if he intends to continue with the service, but so far there has been no response, and no other parts of the site have changed.  EN346.

 

100 UP FOR THE ICC

Cameroon, the Falkland Islands, Peru and Swaziland were all granted Affiliate Membership of the International Cricket Council at its annual meeting in London last week.  Their addition means that the ICC now has 101 Members.  EN345.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 65, 12 July 2007

 

SHIELD FINAL UMPIRE REPLACED ON ICC INTERNATIONAL PANEL

Cricket Australia (CA) today named an unchanged twelve to its National Umpires Panel (NUP) for the 2007-08 season, the key surprise being the dropping of long-serving, three-time Pura Cup final umpire Bob Parry, from the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  Parry, who is from Victoria, has been replaced as Australia's TV umpire on the IUP by Queenslander Bruce Oxenford who worked in the third official's position during this year's Pura Cup Final, while Parry and Rod Tucker of NSW were out on the ground (E-News 14, 13 March 2007).  The decision to keep the same 12 on the NUP as last season was released unofficially six weeks ago, but there was no indication at that time Australia's IUP representation would change (E-News 50, 1 June 2007).  Subsequently, CA's Board failed to endorse the national umpire selector's recommendations at its meeting in mid-June, reports at the time suggesting one or more Board members had reservations about a proposal to change Australia's IUP membership (E-News 61, 28 June 2007).  The Pura Cup final in Hobart last March, which was Parry's third appointment in three years to that key season-ending game, was his 55th First Class match.  In his international career he has stood in four One Day Internationals (ODI) and worked as the third official in another 27 of those games, all being in the various annual tri-nation series played in Australia since the 2001-02 season.  Parry has also been the third official in seven Test matches.  Reports indicate that he is generally held in high regard in umpiring circles, a view that is reflected in his appointments over the last few years, including the Pura Cup final trifecta, and the decision to remove him from the IUP seems more related to his age rather than any serious issues with his form on the field.  At 54 he is seven years older than Oxenford who has 34 First Class and 24 Class 'A' matches under his belt, but no appearances at Test or ODI level; however, unlike Parry he has played First Class cricket (E-News 14, 13 March 2007).  In a statement released by CA earlier today, General Manager Cricket Operations, Michael Brown, praised what he said was "the continued high standard of umpiring in Australia and the crucial role all umpires play in upholding the laws and spirit of the game".  Brown was quoted as saying that “umpiring is an integral part of the game and we need to continue to support and develop [it] at all levels to ensure that Australia’s umpires remain world leaders in their field".  He also said that “Australia’s four umpires at the 2007 World Cup was the highest representation from any country" (E-News 11, 3 March 2007), and that that "is proof of the continued high standard of umpiring and umpiring development in Australia".  EN356.

 

NATIONAL UMPIRING PANEL RANKINGS NOT RELEASED

No details of the rankings that were given to each of the 12 members of the National Umpiring Panel (NUP) for the 2007-08 season were provided by Cricket Australia (CA) when it announced the panel today.  CA ranks panel members from 1-12 according to the selection panel's assessment of their abilities, and provides a retainer to each member on a related sliding-scale (E-News 50, 1 June 2007).  Panel members for the year ahead are, as was the case last year: 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).  Parker and Davis will be continuing as umpiring members of the International Cricket Council's second tier International Umpires Panel, while Oxenford will serve as a Television or Third umpire member on the IUP for the first time (see story above).  All-up the 12 men have umpired a total of 533 First Class matches, 352 in Sheffield Shield or Pura Cup games, the most experienced in terms of time on the field being former South African international umpire David Orchard who has 44 Test and 107 One Day Internationals behind him.  In addition to the 12, CA also extended Australia fast bowler Paul Wilson's membership of its Project Panel into a second season to "continue his development after a successful 2006-07 season" as part of the national body's push to bring former First Class players into umpiring ranks.  Jason Arnberger, another former First Class cricketer, recently expressed an interest in becoming an umpire, however, he is currently preparing to start at Grade level in Victoria next season (E-News 60, 26 June 2007).  EN355  

 

HAIR STANDING IN IRISH FOUR-NATION ODI SERIES

Australian international umpire Darrell Hair is standing in the four-nation One Day International (ODI) series being held in Ireland this week, an appointment that ties in with reports that he is contracted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) until April next year (E-News 63, 1 July 2007).  During the six-match competition involving Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands and the West Indies which runs from 10-15 July, Hair is to umpire three games with Indonesian Shahul Hameed of the ICC's Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel.  Hameed's last international appointment was to the World Cricket League's Division 3 series in Darwin in May (E-News 48, 30 May 2007), while Hair officiated in three games in Canada earlier this month (E-News 56, 19 June 2007).  The two men will be based in Dublin and officiate in Ireland's game against the Netherlands and Scotland, and when the latter two nations meet each other, but not in any of the three matches in which the West Indies are involved.  The Match Referee for Hair and Hameed's games will be Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka.  The other three matches in the tournament will be staged in Belfast and involve umpires Nigel Llong (England) and Amiesh Saheba (India) who are both from the ICC's second tier International Umpires Panel, the Match Referee for those games being Chris Broad from England.  EN354.  

 

DELIBERATE CONTACT WITH BATSMAN LEADS TO FINE

England opening bowler James Anderson was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact" with a batsman during his side's One Day International against the West Indies at Edgbaston on 4 July.  Anderson was found guilty of nudging batsman Runako Morton when he "dropped his right shoulder into Morton" as the latter was completing a run.  Morton pointed his bat at Anderson and South African umpire Brian Jerling had to step in to keep the two players apart.  When Morton was dismissed a short time later Anderson ran towards him and gave him a verbal send off.  England captain Paul Collingwood was quoted by Cricinfo the following day as saying that "to be perfectly honest I don't mind the boys getting stuck in if they need to, that's cricket, its as simple as that", while his opposite number Chris Gayle also down-played both incidents saying that he "hopes no-one takes it too seriously".  Despite the two captain's somewhat surprising views given what the 'Spirit of Cricket' preamble says, both players were reported by Jerling and his on-field colleague Nigel Llong of England.  International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Mike Proctor from South Africa found that Morton "was a victim of Anderson's aggression rather than [being] guilty of bad behaviour".  One the other hand Proctor, who has "no problem with players being aggressive on the field because [cricket] is all about passion and commitment", said in an ICC statement that "at the same time [players] have to recognise they are role models watched by people all over the world".  He concluded by emphasising that "cricket is after all a non-contact sport and when players fail to recognise that fact and engage in needless nudges then that is where we have to draw the line".  Video evidence was presented during the hearing and Proctor deliberated overnight before handing down his decision.  EN353.

 

AUSSIE UMPIRE APPOINTED TO ZIMBABWE MATCHES

Australian umpire Steve Davis, who was today appointed as a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) International Umpiring Panel (IUP) for the fifth-straight season (see the lead story), was last week named to stand in the three One Day International (ODI) matches between Zimbabwe and South Africa scheduled for late next month.  His appointment comes two months after the Federal Government instructed Cricket Australia to withdraw its senior national team from a tour of Zimbabwe for political reasons.  While he has umpired in Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka the West Indies as well as Australia, data available to E-News suggests the series will be the first he has officiated in in Zimbabwe itself.  If the ICC adopts its normal practice Davis is likely to be partnered on the field during the three games by Zimbabwe IUP members Kevan Barbour and Russell Tiffin, with local Ian Robinson working as the third or TV official.  The first match is listed for the provincial city of Bulawayo on 22 August with the other games to be played in the capital Harare over the following weekend.  The three games will take Davis' ODI tally to 67, his last five being in two warm up games and three Group stage matches in this year's World Cup in the West Indies.  He has also stood in 9 Test matches, 88 First Class games and a host of other matches.   EN352.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 66, 13 July 2007

 

PROJECT TO RAISE BANGLADESHI UMPIRING STANDARDS UNDERWAY

Former First Class umpire and Victorian Director of Umpiring Bob Stratford, and present National Umpires Panel member Bob Parry, are currently in Bangladesh as part of Cricket Australia's (CA) two-year training program agreement with that country.   Details of the activities the pair are conducting are not available at this time, however, E-News understand that Stratford could be in Bangladesh for up to a month and Parry for several weeks.  The aim of CA's reported $A510,000 deal with the host nation is to raise the standard of the game there, including in the umpiring area (E-News 29, 19 April 2007).  CA's 'Global Development Manager' Ross Turner visited Bangladesh last April for discussions on the program but no public comment has been made about it by CA.  General information on the project mentioned by various media outlets in Bangladesh say that an "umpires' management system" is to be set up, an activity which presumably includes training programs for both high and low-level umpires.  Under a previous five-year agreement that ended last year, young Bangladeshi cricketers trained under Australian coaches.  EN362

 

UMPIRE'S 'PROVOCATION' BLAMED FOR PLAYERS' DISSENT

Comments allegedly made by an umpire to players before a recent club game in Bermuda have been cited as a key factor in subsequent dissent shown by them during the match.  Newspaper reports from the island claim that umpire Anthony Fubler entered the dressing room of one of the sides before play in a Sunday game and said to several players that he had "got six or so wickets [in a game the day before] and that he was going to get a couple more today".  Later in the day Fubler gave two batsman from the side concerned out LBW, the first knocking over his stumps with his bat in anger as he left the crease, and the second exchanging "heated words" with the umpire before departing for the pavilion.  Both batsmen were subsequently reported for "exhibiting unsportsman-like conduct", however, their club's Vice President, while not condoning their actions on the field of play, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the umpire's alleged "bizarre behaviour" had provoked both men.  The club has submitted a written protest about Fubler to both the Bermuda Cricket Board and the Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association (BCUA).  While the result of the disciplinary hearing has not yet been made public, BCUA President Wali Manders was quoted as saying that he was not going to comment "about [Fubler's] man-management skills, but over the last couple of years [he] has improved exceptionally, and as a past cricketer his knowledge of the game is great".  In Mander's view Fubler "is very firm in his judgement and in my humble opinion [is] one of the most improved umpires..  ..[to have] risen to the top in the last couple of years".  EN361

 

OFFICIALS FOR EMERGING PLAYERS TOURNAMENT NAMED

Six umpires from around the nation have been named by Cricket Australia (CA) to take part in the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Queensland at the end of this month.  The two-week, 20-match EPT, which involves emerging players in teams from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa, is to get underway next Monday (E-News 39, 11 May 2007), however, all umpires for play in the first week will come from Queensland.  The umpires chosen by CA for week two are: Gared Abood (NSW); Andrew Curran (Queensland); Steven John (Tasmania); Mick Martell (Western Australia); Tony Ward (Victoria); and Andrew Willoughby (South Australia).  Ward is the most experienced official chosen having made his First Class debut last season, and he has also stood in nine domestic One Day (OD) matches over the last six years, while Abood has three domestic OD games under his belt.  All except John and Martell, who umpired in last season's national Under 19 tournament in Adelaide (E-News 4, 5 January 2007), have officiated in interstate Twenty20 matches.  Given the program of matches planned for the EPT's second week, each of the six could stand in up to five games in the period 22-28 July, the program also calling for them to attend specially developed training programs and lectures at CA's Centre of Excellence on several other days.  CA's overall aim is to improve the skills and on and off-field practices of the six that are relevant to umpiring at First Class level (E-News 58, 22 June 2007).  In addition to the umpires, CA's new National Umpiring Manager Andrew Scotford (E-News 36, 5 May 2007), and State umpiring coaches Rick Evans (Western Australia), Graham Reed (NSW), Bob Woods (South Australia) and Richard Widows (Tasmania), are also scheduled to be present in Brisbane for all or part of the week-long event.  It is not known whether the National Umpires Selection Panel will also attend, although current Chairman Mel Johnston lives in Queensland and it is therefore possible that he may do so (E-News 50, 1 June 2007).   EN360.

 

TAUFEL, BUCKNOR APPOINTED TO ENGLAND-INDIA TESTS

Simon Taufel from Australia and Steve Bucknor of the West Indies have, together with South African Ian Howell, been named to stand in the three-Test series between England and India which starts next week.  Taufel and Bucknor, who have been appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for their first games since the World Cup (WC) in late April, are members of the ICC's 'Elite' Umpiring Panel, while Howell, who stood in the early stages of the WC, has been a member of the world body's second-tier International Umpiring Panel (IUP) since it was formed five years ago.  The First Test is to be held at Lords from 19-23 July and will see Taufel and Bucknor standing together, the second Taufel and Howell at Trent Bridge from 27-31 July, and the Third Bucknor and Howell at the Oval from 9-13 August.  The series will take Bucknor's Test tally to a world-leading 119, Taufel's to 43 and Howell's to 9.  Third umpires for the series will be Ian Gould, Nigel Llong, and Peter Hartley who are all currently England's nominees to the ICC's IUP.    EN359

 

REPRIMAND FOR BREACH OF ICC LOGO POLICY

England seam-bowler Stuart Broad was last week found guilty of having breached the International Cricket Council's (ICC) policy on logos during a One Day International against the West Indies earlier this month.  According to the ICC, Broad wore "a visible white garment under his playing shirt", something that is not permitted under the ICC's current clothing regulations.  Match Referee Mike Proctor said in an ICC statement that the "regulations regarding clothing are there in black-and-white and teams are reminded about them on a regular basis".  Proctor went on to say that "the potential problems with players, especially bowlers, wearing visible, white garments in a match involving a white ball is obvious and hopefully this sanction against Stuart will serve as a reminder to him not to wear such garments in the future".  EN358  

 

UK-BASED ICUS LOOKING FOR TUTORS

The Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) is currently looking for tutors to present its new umpiring training course around the UK later this year.  Given that the course has been formally recognised by the United Kingdom's Business and Technology Education Council, the ICUS is required to only use accredited tutors to run its program (E-News 47, 27 May 2007).  Those interested in becoming tutors have been invited to attend an "education and training seminar" in September, after which those who "demonstrate" that they have the "skills and competence" to be appointed "as ambassadors of [the] ICUS" will be selected.  The ICUS says that it will pay its tutors for their commitment and provide them with the equipment and support they need to carry out their duties.  Tutors will be taught, says the Institute, "to make learning interesting and stimulating" and will be provided with "the best software currently available" to them "to educate, prepare, train and develop cricket umpires".  Under its previously announced training timetable the first part of the new course, which involves ten two-hour sessions on the Laws of Cricket, is to commence in October and run until Christmas.  The second section on game management issues is listed for the period from January to mid-March, while the third, which is the on-field component, will operate during each northern hemisphere summer.  With the other two UK-based umpires and scorers groups currently considering a merger and agreeing "to actively work [together] to develop new training and examination resources that could achieve external validation and be internationally recognised as world class" (E-News 56, 19 June 2007), the ICUS potentially faces competition in recruiting umpires to its courses.  EN357

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 67, 15 July 2007

 

INDIA TO APPOINT AN UMPIRE'S COACH

The Indian Cricket Board (ICB) last week announced that it is to establish the position of 'umpires coach' for the forthcoming domestic season.  Ratnakar Shetty, the ICB's chief administrative officer, told the Indian newspaper 'The Hindu' that the new position "has come as a result of numerous complaints" made about umpires in recent seasons (E-News 27, 11 April 2007).  He said that "we do not have a system or yardstick whereby the performance of an umpire could be evaluated properly [and] there's no system to pinpoint mistakes".   The Board is "hopeful the umpire's coach concept will find a solution and enhance the quality of umpiring in India's domestic tournaments".  According to the newspaper's report the ICB will initially designate ten retired umpires to oversee senior-level tournaments, and that they will be provided with "technological assistance" to supervise, evaluate and [provide advice to] the on-field umpires at the end of the match".  The system proposed appears to be very similar to the one used in Australia in recent years.  Six cameras will monitor each match and "relevant incidents" will be automatically tagged", with the coaches getting "an opportunity to sit with the on-field umpires to show [any] mistakes made".  Previously the key input on an umpire's performance in India came from team captains and Shetty told 'The Hindu' that there had been instances of umpires requesting captains to be lenient while assessing them. "The captains awarded marks to the umpires, but from the forthcoming season, the umpire's coach has been given that responsibility" he said.  EN366.

 

WEATHER PROMPTS UK TWENTY20 RULE CHANGE

Cricket authorities in England have moved quickly to modify rules governing the duration of domestic Twenty20 matches after several games were severely affected by rain late last month.  By Laws for the County-based competition originally required matches to be completed in two-and-three-quarter hours, however, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has now agreed to allow up to an hours' additional time to complete a match. Last season's playing conditions for interstate domestic Twenty20 games in Australia reflect the ECB's original By Laws, saying that "no extra time shall be permitted to make up for any time lost" and that "a minimum of five overs constitute a match".  In England the matter came to a head after Kent's game against Essex in late June was reduced to what was described as a "five over slog" even though blue skies were present and several hours of daylight remained.  Essex had bowled just 5.1 overs when rain interrupted play, and when the weather eventually cleared, Kent were given just five overs to complete the game.  The crowd vented their frustration at seeing just ten overs of cricket when weather and ground conditions were suitable for playing on.  One spectator who paid the equivalent of $100 to attend said that he "wouldn't mind if it was still pouring but there's not a cloud in the sky and they could have played on for another three hours".  Even though the then By Laws were correctly applied by umpires Barry Dudlestone and Neil Mallender, they bore the brunt of the crowd's anger at the situation, and Police and security officials had to escort them from the ground when the match ended.  At a meeting several days later the ECB accepted submissions from County clubs regarding the extra hour.  In addition the Board also agreed to hold discussions later this year to look at crowd behaviour issues.  Twenty20 games in England have grown in popularity, however, some observers believe that the desire to attract a "new audience" has led to an "undesirable faction", described sometimes as "football fan" like, attending games.  Former England player and international umpire Peter Willey recently hit out at the poor standards of crowd behaviour during the Twenty20 competition, including that on display at the Kent-Essex debacle, telling 'The Times' newspaper that he was going to write to the ECB to call for professional security to be employed next year.  EN365

 

END 'REGIONALISM', INCREASE PAY, SAYS NEW WINDIES UMPIRE CHIEF

Selection ' regionalism', improved pay, and the strengthening of the relationship with the Carribean's Cricket Board, are key issues the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) needs to address over the next year according to its new President Hartley Reid.  Speaking at the close of the WICUA's twenty-third biennial convention in Guyana, Reid said that the elimination of "insularity and regionalism" in the selection of umpires for First Class and similar level competitions in the West Indies should be a key goal of his Association.  Six main teams, some of which represent more than one nation, and a higher number of umpiring associations, are involved in 'domestic' competitions in the Carribean.  According to Reid "we know who the best umpires are", but there is a feeling amongst some in the Carribean "that every region should have a certain number of umpires doing the cricket".  He says that "we want the public to know [that] the best umpires are doing the job" in every game that is played.  On the subject of pay WICUA's President said that the fact that even the West Indies best umpires, Steve Bucknor and Billy Doctrove, receive the equivalent of just $850 for a four-day First Class game "is very unsatisfactory", and that lower grade officials receive significantly less.  Reid said "that it is only because of [their] love of the game that [our] umpires actually do cricket", and that if you look at what [officials are paid] in other jurisdictions it is not even a stipend".  Umpires standing in such games in Australia received $2,745 last season (E-News 50, 1 June 2007).  Reid, the first Barbadian to be elected WICUA President also called for a "strengthening in the relationship with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)".  As President Reid automatically becomes a member of the WICB's umpiring sub-committee, however, he says that overall there "isn't that strong a relationship between the two organisations".  "What our Executive must try to do is develop that relationship" he says.  At the moment the WICB "do not have to listen to anything the WICUA says", and Reid wants to "change that so cricket umpiring [in the West Indies] is managed by [our Association]".  EN364

 

DOCTROVE AND DAR THE 'NEUTRALS' FOR ENGLAND-INDIA ODIs

Billy Doctrove from the West Indies and Aleem Dar of Pakistan have been named as the neutral umpires for England's six match One Day International (ODI) series against India in late August and early September.  Doctrove will officiate in the first three games of the series in late August, with locals Mark Benson, Ian Gould and Nigel Llong at the opposite end.  Dar will umpire the last three matches with the same three England officials.  EN363

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 68, 17 July 2007

 

AUSTRALIAN WHO UMPIRED THE FIRST ODI DIES     Former umpire Tom Brooks, who stood in 23 Test Matches and officiated in the first ever One Day International, died in Sydney yesterday after a short illness aged 88.  Brooks, who is currently the last former Australian First Class player to umpire a Test Match, represented New South Wales from 1947-53, playing 16 games for them as a  right-arm fast bowler.  After taking up umpiring he made his debut at First Class level when he was 48, however, despite the late start he was appointed to a Test Match just three years later, his first game being the opening match of the 1970-71 Ashes series in Brisbane.  Tom went on to stand in three Ashes series in Australia, being named to a total of 14 Tests against the 'old enemy', one of them being the Centennial Test at the MCG in 1977.  When the Melbourne Test of the 1970-71 series was washed out, what was to become the first ODI was quickly organised, Brooks standing with Lou Rowan during that ground-breaking match which the home side won by five wickets.  Tom was also out in the middle when Australia played India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies in Tests that were played at the headquarters of cricket in all five mainland States.  Overall he umpired a total of 92 First Class games, 37 of them in the Sheffield Shield competition, and 16 in County cricket in England in 1977.  Tom, who was a life member of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, was awarded the Order of Australia in 1985 for services to cricket.  Cricket NSW Chief Executive Officer David Gilbert said yesterday that Brooks “made an outstanding contribution to cricket over a long period of time [and] he was an absolute gentleman who will be greatly missed".  EN373.

 

ADJUSTMENT MADE TO TCA GRADE CRICKET START     Adjustments have been made to the originally mooted start dates of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 2007-08 Grade season, however, the 'staggered start' whereby the First Grade competition commences a week earlier than the other Grades has been retained.  Rosters prepared by the TCA now call for First Grade to start with a one day game on Saturday, 20 October, one week later than originally indicated (E-News 53, 11 June 2007), while all other Grades will get underway the following weekend, 27-28 October.  During what will again be a 14 round competition, the top four Grades will play seven one-day and two-day games, with most of the one-day games to take place prior to Christmas.  Three of the two-day games will be played over a full weekend, the remainder being played over two weekends in the month immediately prior to the semi finals in early March.  TCA Under 15 cricketers, who start their games on 28 October, will play nine 'home and away' matches, four of them being two-day games, before the normal two-day final series is played over the first two weekends of March.  As a result of the changes it is not clear at this time just when the normal pre-season meeting to review TCA By Laws, which was originally listed for Wednesday, 10 October (E-News 61, 28 June 2007), will be held.  Details will be provided via this newsletter once the date is finalised.  EN372.

 

VISIT BY NEW NATIONAL UMPIRE MANAGER SCHEDULED     Cricket Australia's (CA) newly appointed Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford is to visit Hobart next Friday for discussions with State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows, Tasmanian Cricket Association and other officials.  Scotford, who umpired in Canberra from 1993-2000 and stood in the national domestic one day competition during that time, commenced with CA in mid-June.  The position he now holds was created after a six-month review by CA of the management arrangements for umpires at the national level (E-News 9, 25 February 2007).  Earlier this year CA described his job as being "charged with the management and leadership of umpiring in Australian cricket, including high performance umpiring, management of contracted umpires, and the development and education of umpires within Australia".  E-News understands that Scotford, who is based at CA's headquarters in Melbourne, plans to visit all States for preliminary 'get to know you' discussions similar to those planned for Hobart next Friday.  Later in the year he also hopes, where his schedule permits, to attend annual seminars and other gatherings of umpires around the country.  EN371.

 

CHINA TO RECEIVE CRICKET'S LAWS IN MANDARIN      "Dozens" of copies of the Laws of Cricket in Mandarin will be taken to China next week when a school from England visits Beijing for a ten-day youth sports festival.  Tasmanian Keith Bradshaw, the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) Secretary and Chief Executive, said in a statement yesterday that "there is huge potential for the game in China and, as guardians of the Laws of Cricket, [the MCC is] very pleased to be able to grant permission for the Asian Cricket Council to produce the Laws in a Mandarin translation".  Eleven fourteen-year-old boys and girls from the school in Norfolk will take part in a joint sports coaching sessions with their host school, and during that time the locals will be introduced to cricket.  Syed Ashraful Haq, Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) Chief Executive, was quoted by the MCC as saying that he was "delighted that MCC is helping the game to grow in emerging cricketing nations [and that] China is aiming to be a cricketing force of the future".  China was granted Affiliate membership of the International Cricket Council in 2004 and subsequently received a grant equivalent to around $470,000 to help the game's development there.  China's women's team are currently taking part in the ACC's inaugural Women's Tournament in Malaysia involving teams from eight nations (E-News 60, 27 June 2007).  They have won two of the three games they have played to date, a result that has seen them reach the semi finals of the competition.  That game against Nepal is being played in Johor later today Australian time.  EN370.

 

TWO CRICKET AUSTRALIA CUP MATCHES FOR HOBART     Tasmania's Second XI will again play two of its four Cricket Australia Cup games in Hobart next season, the other two being listed for Queensland and South Australia.  The side is to meet its Victorian counterparts at Lindisfarne over four days from 22-25 October and Western Australia at Bellerive Oval from 14-17 January.  Its game in Queensland is scheduled for 1-4 October and in South Australia from 12-15 November.  If Cricket Australia adopts past practice local umpires, who will probably be members of the yet to be formally established State Squad, are likely to be selected to stand in both home games.  Last season TCUSA members Greg Luck and Steven John were appointed to the Second XIs two home games (E-News 16, 18 March 2007).   EN369.

 

NATIONAL TOURNAMENT FOR HOBART IN DECEMBER     Cricket Australia's (CA) 2007-08 male national Under 19 Championships are to be held in Hobart from 10-21 December.  Teams from the six States plus the ACT and the Northern Territory normally take part in the series, each playing four one-day and three two-day matches over the 12 days of competition.  While most matches next December are scheduled for week days, the weekend of 15-16 December will be a particularly busy one for the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) with grounds being needed for both the championship and TCA Grade games.  As in previous years umpires for the series are likely to be selected by CA following advice from State associations.  EN368.  

 

SLOW OVER RATE IN TEST LEADS TO FINE     Members of England's team for the Fourth Test Match against the West Indies last month were fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during their seven-wicket victory.  Alan Hurst from Australia, who was the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Match Referee for the game, imposed the fines after Michael Vaughan's side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration.  ICC Code of Conduct regulations call for players to be fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.  As a result Vaughan was fined 10 per cent of his match fee and his team mates five per cent.  EN367.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 69, 18 July 2007

 

CRICKET AUSTRALIA WAIVES NUAS-2 REACCREDITATION FEE

Cricket Australia yesterday announced that it is to waive the $15 fee it was to charge umpires seeking re-accreditation under the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme's Level 2 (NUAS-2) program.  The TCUSA's Management committee decided in late May that the Association would cover the fee for member who are seeking renewal of the qualification this year (E-News 50, 1 June 2007).  Andrew Larratt, CA's Education and Training Manager, said yesterday that the $15 is a standard administration fee used by the Australian Sports Commission to administer umpire and coach accreditation, the cost averaging out at $3.75 per year over the four years between renewals.   While not high the national body does "not want [the fee] to be a barrier" to umpires seeking to renew their NUAS-2 certificate, and therefore forms submitted to CA will be processed without fee in 2007-08.  It is understood that CA's National Umpiring Manager Andrew Scotford and Larratt plan to revisit the fees issue with State and Territory Associations prior to the 2008-09 season.  EN378. 

 

PLAYER'S BEHAVIOUR 'IN SERIOUS DECLINE' CLAIMS UK CRICKETER    

A former First Class cricket in England told a local newspaper last weekend that he believes the behaviour of the players in the lower-level Premier League, or Grade, competition he is now playing in "is in serious decline".  Former Hampshire all-rounder Richard Scott says he has become disillusioned with the increased aggression in the game and has called on his fellow players to return to the old standards and ease the burden on the game's umpires.  He says that "the general etiquette of cricketers today is nothing like it was 20 years ago" and "players these days are far more aggressive towards umpires and put them under unnecessary pressure".  "In a typical 'Southern Electric' Premier League game these days, the whole field will go up for an LBW decision, whereas 20 years ago you'd get the bowler and the wicketkeeper - and maybe the slip cordon".  According to him "there is a lot of gamesmanship involved" and "every Saturday you'll see umpires under extreme pressure in club cricket and it is taking the fun out of playing".  Scott has been rankled by aggressive appealing, while he's also unimpressed by sledging and batsmen who fail to walk when they know they're out.  In the past he says "you'd get batsmen who would walk when they knew they were out [but] not any more".  When a batsman or bowler gets what they consider is a "rough decision" they're not happy about it, but that doesn't stop them trying "to cheat other people out".  All that means "the umpires are on a hiding to nothing" and Scott is fearful that they will turn their back on the game.  He points to what he says is the "much higher turnover of umpires these days" and that they "are walking away from the game because they've got better things to do with their time".  The responsibility he says "lies with the players" and "all of the captains [in the League] need to be brought together and the law laid down".  EN377.

 

RALSTON APPOINTED QUEENSLAND UMPIRES MANAGER

Queensland Cricket has appointed Mike Ralston as its State Umpiring Manager, a position that the Queensland Umpires and Scorers Association says replaces the State Director of Umpiring role he previously held.  Ralston stood seven First Class games over three seasons in the early 1990s, one of them a match between Queensland and the visiting India side and the others in the Sheffield Shield competition.  He also umpired two women's One Day Internationals and six List 'A' games involving Queensland and three Australian States, and Zimbabwe and the West Indies.  EN376.

 

SCOTLAND-INDIA ODI OFFICIALS NAMED

Two members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) International Umpires Panel have been named for for the One Day International (ODI) between Scotland and India which is to be played in Glasgow on 16 August.  Ian Howell from South Africa, who will be fresh from standing in two England-India Test matches over the previous two week (E-News 66, 13 July), will be accompanied by Englishman Ian Gould for the ODI.  ICC's Chief Match Referee Roshan Madugalle will be in overall charge of the match.  A few days after that game the Netherlands and Bermuda will play two ODIs in Amsterdam on 18 and 20 August.  Chris Broad of England will be the Match Referee, however, as yet no umpires for the game have been named.  EN375.

 

ODI FREE HIT NEEDS RECONSIDERATION SAYS BOWLER

Last month's decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to allow a free hit after a no ball in One Day Internationals (ODI) needs to be reconsidered says Pakistani paceman Shoaib Akhtar (E-News 64, 2 July 2007).  The ICC approved the new rule, which allows a batsman to take a free shot after a front-foot no-ball in a ODI match with the only way he can be dismissed being run out.  According to Akhtar "one-day cricket heavily favours the batsman and the new rule is very harsh on bowlers" and the rule, which will come into effect in October, "means there will be no margin of error for the bowler".  Shoaib says that he believes that one-day cricket had become too tough for fast bowlers, however, the ICC is of the view that it will make the one-day game more attractive.  "Bowlers have to toil hard in one-day cricket because most of the rules favour batsmen" with pitches being "tailor-made for batsmen so everything is against bowlers" says the Pakistani speedster.  EN374.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 70, 19 July 2007

 

'SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE' APPROACH DEMEANS GAME'S SPIRIT SAYS BROADCASTER

What is labeled the "Southern Hemisphere view" of the umpire's role is "rubbish and has been responsible for demeaning [the Spirit] of the game" says English journalist and broadcaster Christopher Martin-Jenkins.  The "Southern Hemisphere view" is he believes, that the umpire is there to decide if a batsman is out or not out, and that if he judges the latter to be the case, a batsman should stay at the crease even if he knows he is out.  Presenting the Marylebone Cricket Club's fourth annual Colin Cowdrey lecture in front of over 500 people at Lords last Monday, Martin-Jenkins said that most of the "moments of controversy [in cricket] would be quite unnecessary, and the life of umpires at every level of the game would be immeasurably easier, if every cricketer [would again] walk to the pavilion the moment he knows beyond doubt that he is out".  In his view cricket would "instantly become a better game if young cricketers in every country were taught from now on that walking is the right thing to do when they know they are genuinely out".  "Not walking when you are out is dishonest" he says.  While pointing to the antipodes Martin-Jenkins hints at problems being encountered on the County scene, and if recent reports are correct at lower levels in the English game (E-News 69, 18 July 2007).  He acknowledges though that "at the professional level player's livelihoods are stake", and he sees no problem in using appropriately proven and timely technology to help umpires who, "like players, are doing their best and will inevitably make mistakes", but points out that the "vast majority" of matches are not televised and technology is not available to officials.  He feels that "umpires in the middle should always have control of the game" but that "players who react when they get a decision with which they disagree set a terrible example and therefore have to be punished".  Further stories on aspects of Martin-Jenkins' Colin Cowdrey lecture are provided below and the full text and audio of his presentation is available on line at: http://www.lords.org  EN385.

 

QUEENSLAND NUP MEMBERS, EMERGING UMPIRE, STAND IN EARLY EPT MATCHES  

Two current members of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Panel (NUP) and an up-an-coming umpire, shared the three Twenty20 matches played on day one of the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Queensland last Monday.  Queenslanders Tim Laycock and David Orchard, who were last week again named to Cricket Australia's NUP for 2007-08 (E-News 65, 12 July 2007), and Jay Kangur, each umpired two of the games on the opening day.  Kangur and Orchard were on the field when the Australian Centre of Excellence (ACOE) side beat India's Karnataka State Cricket Association XI, Laycock and Orchard when South African Emerging Players (SAEP) defeated the ACOE, and Kangur and Laycock when New Zealand Emerging Players got home against the SAEP.  All three games were player consecutively on the same ground in Caloundra north of Brisbane.  Jay Kangur officiated in last year's EPT, and also in the national Under 19 championships held in Adelaide last December (E-News 4, 5 January 2007).  He was equal second on the appointments list for Queensland First Grade matches last season, standing in 13 games at that level.  CA last week made public the names of the six umpires from around the country who will officiate in week two of the EPT starting next Sunday and attend a specially developed training program and lectures at CA's Centre of Excellence (E-News 66, 13 July 2007).  EN384. 

 

FIFTEEN OFFICIALS FROM FIVE NATIONS SUPPORT ASIAN WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT

Fifteen officials from five Asian nations supported the Asian Cricket Council's inaugural Women's Tournament that ended in Malaysia on Wednesday with a win to Nepal.  The umpires for the 15-match series, who were all from Malaysia were: Khoo Chai Huat; M Megathevar; S Chandrasesekaran; N Sivam; Sri Murugak; and Shafizan Shariman; while the scorers, who were also Malaysian, were Banu Suppiah; Norasyika Othman; Hamidah; and Puteh Norsalasiah.  Match referees for the tournament came from five countries and were: Rumesh Ratnayake (Sri Lanka); Hector Durairatnam (Malaysia); Anoop Gidwani (Hong Kong); Sudha Shah (India); and Anil Kalaver (Singapore).  Ratnayake is a former Sri Lankan player, Shah a former Indian women's player, Durairatnam played for Malaysia, while Gidwani, who has stood in the Hong Kong Sixes, and Kalaver, have had extensive umpiring careers.  Umpires Chandrasesekaran and Khoo Chai Huat were appointed to the final while Kalaver was the Match Referee.  Kalaver has umpired in the International Cricket Council's series for second tier teams in Kenya in 1993-94, Khoo in the same competition involving Argentina, Bermuda, Gibraltar, Ireland, Isreal, Malaysia, Singapore the United Arab Emirates and the United States in 1996-97, and Chandrasesekaran was a third umpire in the Commonwealth Games series in 1998-99.  EN383.  

 

PENALTY RUNS NEEDED TO FIX SLOW OVER-RATES IN TEST CRICKET 

Monetary fines for slow over-rates in Test cricket "have not worked" and "penalty runs are the only answer" to solving the problem, according to English journalist and broadcaster Christopher Martin-Jenkins.  The veteran cricket observer said in his Colin Cowdrey lecture this week that in "session after session" in Tests played around the world, "overs have dropped to about 13 an hour" and that "15 an hour, 30 in a session or 90 in a six-hour day has to become the minimum".  He says that "20 overs an hour" was once thought to be "getting a bit slow", and with "everything else in life [getting] faster, why for heaven's sake should cricket get 25 per cent slower?".  In Martin-Jenkins' view, an undefined number of penalty runs should "be added to a batting side's total if the fielding side has been responsible [for not bowling] overs at a reasonable rate"; although batsmen should be ready to face when a bowler is ready and exceptions should be made for injuries and similar incidents.  Four-day, not five-day Tests, with 100 overs a day "everywhere other than in hot countries [or] when there are not enough daylight hours", would not only help to speed up the game but would "give everyone a bit more breathing space between games [in what is at the moment] and over crowded" program of matches (E-News 51, 4 June 2007).  The International Cricket Council (ICC) playing conditions for Tests require a minimum of 90 overs in fine weather conditions on all except the last day.  However, if on a good day the 90 overs "have not been bowled at the completion of the permitted 30 minutes of overtime, play [is to] cease upon completion of the over in progress [and] the overs not bowled shall not be made up on any subsequent day".  Under the ICC's Code of Conduct players are fined five per cent of their match fee for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.  The West Indies were fined for slow over rates in two consecutive Tests against England in May (E-News 52, 7 June 2007), and the home side in another last month (E-News 68, 17 July 2007).  EN382.

 

ICC SHOULD BE ASKED TO REDUCE NUMBER OF MATCH OFFICIALS

A call was made by this year's MCC Colin Cowdrey lecturer for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to be "respectfully asked" to consider reducing the number of officials in the 'player management groups' that run top-level matches.  Chistopher Martin-Jenkins said in his presentation that "if four umpires and a referee could not correctly interpret the ICC's own competition rules at the end of the World Cup final", then "two umpires might have misinterpreted them just as well", or "even get them dead right as, on that occasion, the umpires in the middle actually did".  Reports at the time and since have pointed to the key problem being incorrect advice provided from an official who was not on the ground (E-News 34, 30 April 2007).  Martin-Jenkins also points to what he calls the "unholy mess of the 2006 ['ball tampering'] Oval Test match between England and Pakistan", where again five officials were involved, as another example.  He says though that "reluctantly [he] would concede that the real politics of cricket means that neutral referees have come to stay, but two [on-field] umpires and a third television umpire are surely sufficient?".  The ICC is currently looking at a range international umpiring issues, including the neutral umpire debate, however, as yet it has not made public the names of the bulk of committee members or the time-table involved for its investigation (E-News 63, 1 July 2007).  EN381.  

 

BIDS ON THE TOSS BEARS SERIOUS CONSIDERATION

The toss for innings made before each game, which "too often gives too great an advantage to one team", could be replaced with the choice going to the captain "who bids the most runs", according to the MCC's 2007 Colin Cowdrey lecturer Christopher Martin Jenkins.  Under the suggestion, which Martin-Jenkins credits to David Harris a qualified coach from Heredfordshire, if a 'home' captain believes that because of the nature of the pitch batting second is worth about 40 or 50 runs to him, he might start with a bid of 20 runs, while the 'away' captain, who may not think it is worth that much could counter with a bid of, say, 25 runs.  The home captain then has a chance to out do his opponent's bid and if he raises it to 30 for example, he would win the bid and have the right to ask his opponents to bat, and they would commence their innings at 0/30.  Martin-Jenkins concedes that such an approach is "artificial", but points out that that could be said about limited-over cricket in general.  In his view, bidding would "be just another of the game's subtleties [and would introduce] a test of skill and knowledge of captains and coaches in reading a pitch and estimating the opposition, while at the same time removing an element of pure luck, [a factor] that so often seems to favour the stronger side".   The journalist and broadcaster says that the "idea bears serious consideration and may well be worth an experiment, initially in one-day cricket", but "there are definitely times when winning the toss is extremely advantageous and would attract significant bids" in the four or five-day game.  If neither captain wishes to bid "because they both think that batting first would favour neither side, the toss would take place as usual" he says.  EN380.

 

GROSS IGNORANCE

Christopher Martin-Jenkins mentions in his Colin Cowdrey lecture that someone once referred to the term 'gross ignorance' as being '144 sports commentators'!  EN379.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 71, 24 July 2007

 

"UNIVERSAL ANTIPATHY" FOR UMPIRES REFERRAL SYSTEM CLAIMS WRITER

The trial of the umpires referral system needs to be taken more seriously "by all concerned", according to a writer with England's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper.  Under the system, which is being trialled in some one-day UK domestic games this northern summer, the Captain of the fielding team and the batsman at the crease can refer decisions to the television umpire, each side being allowed up to two unsuccessful challenges per innings (E-News 27, 11 April 2007).  Columnist Steve James expressed his displeasure in an article last Sunday at what he called "the umpires' united stance" on the system as no on-field decisions made in the games involved to date having been overturned by the third official.  In addition, he says, "the players' indifference has also grated", with for example the two captains in a Surrey-Essex match apparently shaking hands before the game and agreeing that no one in the match would refer anything to the third official.  More recently Sussex's Robin Martin-Jenkins, son of the broadcaster Christopher (E-News 70, 19 July 2007), gave a clear signal as to his view of the system by suggesting that it be called the 'Third-Umpire Referral Decision', or rather by that terminology's less than complimentary acronym.  Others have also expressed negative views (E-News 28, 16 April 2007 and E-News 43, 22 May 2007).  In his article Jame's noted that the England and Wales Cricket Board "has promised" further modification to the system, although that is unlikely to occur until next year.  The International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee recommended in late May that the system not be introduced for international matches at this stage pending successful trials "in as many countries as possible" so that "further evidence on its effectiveness or otherwise can be obtained" (E-News 51, 4 June 2007).   EN390.

 

HOBART TOURNAMENT PARTICIPANT BECOMES YOUNGEST 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 (E-News 54, 14 June 2007), made her debut for the senior Australian women's team last Sunday.  Playing against New Zealand in Darwin 16 years and 291 days after her birth, she surpassed the previous youngest women's player Julie Stockton, who was 17 years 104 days old when she played her first One Day International (ODI).  Perry became the 109th woman to play ODI cricket for Australia, making a confident start to her international career with 2-37 from eight overs, including the first wicket of the match, and a handy 19 with the bat in the lower order.   Australian coach Lisa Keightley was quoted in a Cricket Australia media release as saying that Perry "did all we could ask of her and had a really good game in her first international at 16 [and] we couldn’t ask for much more from a player of that age".  National Umpiring Panel members Ian Lock from Western Australia and John Ward from Victoria are officiating in the five-match series which started on Sunday and runs until 29 July (E-News 46, 25 May 2007).  EN389.

 

RETURN NUAS-2 REACCREDITATION FORMS TO TCUSA

While Cricket Australia (CA) has decided to waive the $15 fee for reaccreditation under the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme (NUAS-2) (E-News 69, 18 July 2007), TCUSA members are still required to send paperwork they receive from CA back to the Management Committee at Post Office Box 36, Moonah 7009 (E-News 50, 1 June 2007).  Tasmanian coordinators of the NUAS-2 program, Ian Quaggin and Steve Maxwell, are required to varify and sign off forms before they are sent back to CA.  Queries on NUAS-2 matters can be directed to Ian on 03-6228-7921 or 0409-287-993), or Steve on 03-6268-6470 or 0416-277-464.  EN388. 

 

BANGLADESH NOT NEPAL

Bangladesh won the Asian Cricket Council's inaugural Women's Tournament that ended in Malaysia last Wednesday, not Nepal as reported by this newsletter last week (E-News 70, 19 July 2007).   EN387. 

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER ONE - THE QUESTION

The first of an occasional series of 'what ifs' is contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') to get readers thinking! The situation and question are as follows.  You are umpiring on a country ground and the field dips away on one side into a hollow before reaching the boundary.  In one section the grass is long and there is some cut grass lying on top.  You are standing at the striker's end and during play a fairly delivered ball is bowled and the batsman strikes it firmly into the outfield to the section of the ground that falls away.  The batsmen run and when they return for their third run a fielder returns the ball and catches the batsman at your end short of his ground.  You give the batsman out.  The ball is then thrown to you and you notice that the ball is not the one that was being used when the bowler delivered it a few moments before.  Moose asks: "what would you do next and which Law or Laws apply?"  His view will appear in the next edition of E-News - meanwhile you are invited to put your thinking caps on!!   EN386.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 72, 26 July 2007

 

NEW UK CRICKET OFFICIALS ASSOCIATION UNDER CONSIDERATION

Representatives of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) met at Lords yesterday to consider forming the 'Association of Cricket Officials' (ACO) from the ranks of the two organisations.  Reports from England indicate that under the proposal the ECB's Officials Association would merge with the ACUS, however, the third UK-based official's group, the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS), is not included in the suggested amalgamation.  According to cricket columnist Charlie Randall "the bottom line for the ECB is whether they can persuade ACUS to give up their independence, a status umpires and scorers have cherished since the association was formed in 1953".  Independence of umpires and scorers from the bodies that run cricket was a key factor behind the establishment of the ICUS last year, and that organisation has been very vocal in its condemnation of such matters as the Darrell Hair situation and another ball tampering issue (E-News 45, 24 May 2007).   The ICUS has also invested heavily in a new training system for umpires and is currently recruiting tutors (E-News 66, 13 July 2007).  Even if ACUS representatives at yesterday's meeting accept the proposal, the matter will have to be put to its members in a ballot later this year, with a two-thirds majority needed for the move to proceed.  EN397.

 

ICUS HOLDING COMPANY ACHIEVES 'CHARITY' STATUS

The UK-based Community Cricket Trust (CCT), the holding company of both the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) and the associated entity On-Side Cricket Limited (OSCL), was recognised as a registered charity by UK government authorities earlier this month.  The CCT-led consortium's objectives are "to help safeguard the future of, and actively encourage and assist greater participation in, community cricket at all levels for the public benefit".  According to its web site the Trust does not receive any grants, funding, donations, or any form of official financial support, from the England and Wales Cricket Board, the MCC or any other similar cricket-related organisations or charities and is an independent body, independently funded.  Currently the CCT's Executive Board is made up of five independent trustees, including Australian international umpire Darrell Hair who is its Deputy Chairman.  Full details of the CCT and its activities are available on line at: http://www.communitycricket.org.uk/index.html   EN396.

 

LITTLE PROGRESS ON MOOTED INDIAN UMPIRES ACADEMY

Little progress has reportedly been made in establishing an 'umpires academy' in India which local news reports say was originally discussed by the Indian Cricket Board five years ago.  Arani Jayaprakash, who officiated in 13 Test matches between 1997 and 2002 and was his Board's nominee to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) International Umpiring Panel until last year, was quoted as saying that umpires "want something to happen for the umpires [but] the academy is still at the discussion stage".  The original idea was for the umpire's academy to work along the same lines as India's National Cricket Academy.  Indian officials announced earlier this month that an umpires' coach is to be appointed before next season's domestic First Class competition gets underway, and that video and other technology would be used to monitor and improve umpiring performance (E-News 67, 15 July 2007).  That system is similar to that used in Australia to support National Umpiring Panel members, and one well-placed source has indicated that Australia is playing a role in the establishment of the Indian system, however, no details are known at this stage.  EN395.

 

WEATHER LEADS TO ANOTHER PLAYING CONDITION CHANGE

The exceptional weather being experienced in England this northern summer which has caused many games to be cancelled or seriously delayed, has led to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) amending its ‘Changing the Venue for the Match’ playing condition for First Class games.  The ECB says that as of today scheduled venues can be changed, although preferably to a ground within the county of the home side or a recognised venue used by that county.  If no such venue is available then a neutral venue, preferably within the region of the originally scheduled match, may be considered, however, it will not be possible to move a game to the listed away team's ground.  Earlier this month weather issues led to the ECB to modify the rules governing the duration of domestic Twenty20 matches (E-News 67, 15 July 2007).  EN394.

 

GRADE UMPIRES FEATURE IN WEEK ONE OF EPT

Several umpires from Queensland Grade cricket were among the seven officials who stood in the first week of the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) last week.  The first week of the series which ended last Friday, saw each of the four sides from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa play three Twenty20 and two 50 over One Day matches.  Apart from Queenslanders Tim Laycock, David Orchard and Jay Kangur who officiated in the six Twenty20 matches on days one and two (E-News 70, 19 July 2007), Bruce Oxenford of the National Umpires Panel, and three Grade cricket officials Darren Maloney, Damien Mealey and Ken Otte, were involved in the four 50 over matches.  Orchard, Maloney and Mealey stood in two 50 over games each, while Oxenford and Otte were each on the field for one game.  Little is known about Maloney, Mealey and Otte as data bases used by E-News contain little detail apart from their names.  According to the Queensland umpires association web site, Maloney umpired three First Grade games in the Brisbane competition last season, Mealey officiated at Third Grade level, while Otte's name does not appear on the Brisbane appointments list at all.  The EPT is continuing this week with the final scheduled for Saturday, umpires from around the nation standing in those games (E-News 66, 13 July 2007).  EN393.  

 

DE SILVA, WIJEWARDENE STAND WITH KOETZEN

Sri Lanka's two nominees to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) International Umpiring Panel (IUP) stood with ICC 'Elite' Panel umpire Rudi Koertzen during the three-match Lanka-Bangladesh One Day International (ODI) series which ended yesterday.  Asoka de Silva was on the field for two of the games, taking his ODI record to 68, while Tyrone Wijewardene's single appearance was his thirty-fifth ODI.  Wijewardene was the third umpire in one of the games and Ranmor Martinecz for the other two.  In addition to ODI's de Silva has umpired 33 Test matches and Wijewardene four, the former being an original member of the ICC's Elite Panel when it was formed in 2002.  de Silva was dropped from that panel two years later and was immediately nominated to the IUP by Sri Lankan officials.  EN392

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER ONE - THE ANSWER

The question appeared in E-News 71 of 24 July.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') is:  The umpire should revoke his decision, even if the batsman has left the field.  The decision could be reached under Law 42.2 which states that umpires are the sole judge of fair and unfair play.  Also under Law 5.2 the umpires are responsible for control of the ball throughout a match.  Further, if upon investigation if it is found that the ball had crossed the boundary, the umpire at the bowler's end would need to signal four and return the batsmen to their original ends.  EN391.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 73, 27 July 2007

 

THREE AUSTRALIAN UMPIRES NAMED FOR WORLD TWENTY20 CHAMPIONSHIPS

Nine umpires and three match referees were yesterday named for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) inaugural World Twenty20 championship to be played in South Africa in September.  The nine set to stand in the 27-match tournament include five officials from the ICC'S Elite Panel, Mark Benson (England), Billy Doctrove (West Indies), Asad Rauf (Pakistan), Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel (Australia), and four from the world body's International Umpires Panel (IUP), Steve Davis (Australia), Ian Howell (South Africa), Nigel Llong (England) and Tony Hill (New Zealand).  The three referees are Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka), Mike Procter (South Africa), and Chris Broad (England).  As previously announced by the ICC the five match officials involved in the World Cup final in Barbados last April, Steve Bucknor (West Indies), Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa), and Billy Bowden and Jeff Crowe (New Zealand), were not considered for the September series (E-News 59, 24 June 2007).  Other umpires that took part in early matches in the World Cup finals earlier this year who missed out on selection were ICC IUP members Ian Gould (England), Brian Jerling (South Africa), Peter Parker (Australia) and Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka).  The World Twenty20 series involves the ten ICC Full Members and two Associate teams, Kenya and Scotland.  Matches will be held in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg from 11-24 September.  The first stage of the tournament involves 20 matches in five days with three games being played most days, two of them often at the same ground.  During the second or Group stage 14 games are scheduled over 6 days before the final is played on 24 September.  Appointments of officials for individual matches in the first stage of the tournament are expected to be made in early September.  EN401.

 

THREE PLAYERS SUSPENDED FROM EPT

Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday suspended players Mark Cosgrove (South Australia), David Warner (NSW) and Aaron Finch (Victoria)from the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Queensland for "repeated inappropriate treatment" of accommodation facilities at the Centre of Excellence (COE) in Brisbane.  The three left the COE yesterday and will be suspended for four weeks, a period that includes the tour of India by the Australian COE team from 10 August until 1 September.  Commenting on the decision to suspend the three, Acting CA Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown, said: "It gives me no pleasure at all to confirm the suspension of three talented young cricketers from [the] COE".  Brown said that he'd "spoken to each player and explained why [CA had] taken this decision and reiterated [the] expectations of them when representing Cricket Australia".  Brown apologised to the management of the accommodation facility and said that CA would "be taking this opportunity to remind all our scholars of their responsibilities at the COE".  EN400. 

 

POLL OF ACUS SCORERS SUGGESTS SUPPORT FOR ORGANISATION

Two-thirds of scorers who responded to an opinion poll conducted by the  Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) in the UK have "demonstrated their support" for the organisation according to a report posted on group's web site earlier this month.  Twenty per cent of ACUS scorer members responded to the survey, a higher percentage that any recent ballots held by the Association.  Asked what their preference would be if the ACUS cease to exist, the majority of scorer members who returned survey forms said that their preference was to become members of what would have to be a new "independent scorer's association', rather than take up the options of joining the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Officials Association (OA) or the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS).  ECB and ACUS officials met yesterday in London to discuss the possible OA-ACUS amalgamation (E-News 72, 26 July 2007).  The ACUS scorer's survey indicated a desire to work with the ECB, the acceptance of the ECB as the national organisation but with strategic not operational responsibilities, but with a "fully independent" ACUS training, examination and mentoring program.  EN399.

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER TWO - THE QUESTION

The second of an occasional series of 'what ifs' is contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') to get readers thinking!  The situation and question are as follows.  The bowler clips the stumps at his end whilst in his delivery stride knocking the bails off and the stumps askew.  The ball, which is delivered fairly, is a slow full toss and is struck back to the bowler who spills the catch.  The ball then loops straight out of his hands towards the bowler's end wicket and lodges above the ground between the stumps.  The non striker has started to run but has lost sight of the ball.  The bowler notices this and quickly pulls a stump out of the ground with the same hand he is holding the ball with.  The non striker is out of his ground.  The bowler asks 'how's that!'.  You are the umpire at the bowler's end - what's your decision?  EN398.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 74, 30 July 2007

 

ABOOD, MARTELL STAND IN 'EMERGING PLAYERS' TOURNAMENT FINAL

Umpires Gared Abood from NSW and Mick Martell of Western Australia stood in the final of the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) on Saturday, while Tasmanian Steven John and Victorian John Ward were in charge of the Third-Fourth place game on the same day.  The final involved sides made up of emerging players from South Africa (SA) and New Zealand (NZ), whilst the other match saw the Australian Centre of Excellence take on the Karnataka State Cricket Association from India, both matches being played in Brisbane.  South Africa won the final easily, however, the Australians snuck home with just a ball to spare in the other match.  Umpires from six States were involved in the eight, 50-over matches played last week, and also took part in several days of specialised training designed to improve their on and off-field practices (E-News 66-360, 13 July 2007).   In addition to the Third-Fourth place match on Saturday, TCUSA umpire Steven John stood in three other games: Australia-NZ on Tuesday; NZ-SA on Wednesday; and India-NZ on Friday.  In the first two games his partner was Andrew Curran of Queensland and in the other Andrew Willoughby from South Australia.   EN407.

 

RELEASE OF ICC UMPIRING 'TASK FORCE' DETAILS POSSIBLE BY MID-AUGUST

Details of the membership, terms-of-reference and timetable of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpiring 'task force' could be released by mid-August according to Brian Murtgatroyd the ICC's Media and Communications Manager.  The world body indicated earlier this month that the 'task force' is to investigate and report on four main issues: how best to structure the first and second tier Elite and International umpiring panels; the support structures needed for the panel; umpire remuneration levels and workloads; and policies for the selection and appointment of umpires to panels and matches, including the issue of neutrality (E-News 63-344, 1 July 2007).  David Morgan, the ICC's President Elect is to chair the group.  EN406.

 

UMPIRES NAMED FOR NETHERLANDS-BERMUDA ODIs

Pakistani Aleem Dar of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' Umpires Panel, and Paul Baldwin of Germany who is on the ICC's Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel, have been named to stand in the two One Day Internationals (ODI) between the Netherlands and Bermuda on 18 and 20 August.  Dar travels to Amsterdam for the two matches after standing in two England-Windies Test matches in the first half of June and three ODIs in Ireland later that month, and after the Netherlands-Bermuda games moves on to England again to officiate in the last four of the seven ODIs between the home side and India (E-News 67-363, 15 July 2007).  For Baldwin, who was born in England, the games in Amsterdam will be his fourth and fifth ODIs, all of them being in the ICC's second-tier international competitions.  Chris Broad of England was named by the ICC as the Match Referee for both games earlier this month (E-News 69-375, 18 July 2007).  EN405.

 

PLAYER SUSPENDED AND FINED FOR CALLING UMPIRES 'CHEATS'

Glamorgan bowler Andrew Davies has been banned for five games by the South Wales Cricket Association (SWCA) and fined by his County for bringing the game into disrepute during a match between Pontarddulais and Port Talbot.  Davies was playing for Ponatarddulais in the Grade-level SWCA when he challenged several umpiring decisions, and a subsequent hearing resulted in him being banned for eight games, reduced to five as he apologised in writing.  Glamorgan also fined its seam bowler the equivalent of just over $A700 after it emerged he called the umpires "cheats".   Glamorgan's Chief Executive Mike Fatkin is reported to have said that "we felt it was appropriate we took some form of action against Andrew because we can’t condone that sort of behaviour on the cricket field'.  That action by the County did not stop it naming Davies in its squad for the County Championship game against Leicestershire at Abergavenny late last week.  As it turned out rain prevented any play on all four days of the game.  EN404.

 

ROUGHING-UP THE BALL

Pakistani leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed told England's 'The Independent on Sunday' newspaper yesterday that he had never seen anyone tamper with a ball during a game during his career.  Ahmed did not play in the infamous ball-tampering Test against England last year that led to the International Cricket Council dumping Australian international umpire Darrell Hair.  Speaking in general terms at the end of a long article and making no reference to last year's game, Ahmed said that "the only thing we did [was] to make the ball hit the rough on the wicket when we threw it back to the keeper", sometimes because there is more chance of a run-out with the ball being quicker off the ground than in the air, but on others "to rough up the ball to make it reverse-swing".  However, said Ahmed, "when the umpires realised [what] we were doing they told us to stop".   EN403. 

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER TWO - HIS ANSWER

The question appeared in E-News 73 of 27 July.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') is:  The batsman is out, however, even though the wicket was broken in a correct manner the striker is out 'caught and bowled' as the ball lodged between the stumps and had not touched the ground when the bowler took hold of it to break the stumps.  If a bowler breaks the stumps when delivering the ball as described the ball is still 'live' and play goes on, however, it must be 'put down' in the correct manner by the bowler (or fielder if that applies).  While the scenario given by Moose says that the ball had been delivered fairly, Mark Wickham points out as another 'thinking point' that had it been for example, a full-toss above the batsman's waist, the call would have been 'no ball' and the non-striker would have been out 'run out' (the bowler then being warned for the above-waist ball).  EN402.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 75, 31 July 2007

 

TAUFEL'S DECISIONS GET THE MEDIA TALKING

A number of decisions made by Australian international umpire Simon Taufel in the first two Test matches of the current England-India series have drawn considerable media comment, judgements made by his on-field colleagues not receiving the same level of scrutiny.  Taufel, the world's best umpire for the last three years, was involved in two LBW decisions that saw the batsmen being hit on the pads outside off stump, the key question for a range of pundits being whether either batsmen had actually played a shot at the ball or not.  In addition there were also several caught at the wicket decisions made by the Australian, with one being reversed after consultation with the third umpire.  While many commentators questioned the decisions, most writers acknowledged Taufel's high standing in the game, and some mentioned several "excellent" close 'not out' LBW decisions made during the two Tests, his first games since the World Cup semi final back in late April when controversy also raged (E-News 32, 26 April 2007).  Over the past week considerable column space has been taken up in the British press about the LBWs given against Indian batsmen Rahul Dravid in the First Test at Lords, and Sachin Tendulkar in the Second Test at Trent Bridge which is due to finish later today weather permitting.  In Tendulkar's case the BBC web site said that he "padded up to a delivery from Collingwood that rapped him outside the off stump" and that "after thinking 'long and hard' about it, Taufel" raised his finger.  The batsman stood in his crease for some time before leaving and there was speculation that "a meeting with the Match Referee could well be on the cards".  A total of 23 LBWs have been given in the two matches to date, 12 against England and 11 against India, the 14 in the First Test being the second highest of all time.  In England's first innings at Lords, Kevin Pietersen was given out caught behind by Taufel, however, reports say that his team mates in the dressing room, who had seen that the video replay showed the edge hadn't carried", stopped him "half-way to the pavilion".  Taufel and his colleague in that game, West Indian Steve Bucknor, then consulted TV umpire Ian Gould via radio and he apparently ruled Pietersen to be not out so he resumed his innings.  Other caught behind decisions given by Taufel against Sourav Ganguly and Pietersen in the Second Test were also questioned at length by observers from both sides of the contest.  In addition to those talking points, the Australian, Bucknor, and his fellow umpire in the Second Test, Ian Howell of South Africa, had to deal with considerable on-field angst between the two teams, particularly what one observer called the "petulant behaviour of bowlers from both teams".  Bucknor and Howell will be on the field for the Third and final Test which begins at the Oval on 9 August (E-News 66-359, 13 July 2007).  EN411.  

 

UMPIRES CRITICISED FOR ALLOWING PLAY ON 'WATERLOGGED'  GROUND

Two English umpires were criticised for allowing play to recommence in a County game in Hampshire last Friday by the captain of a side that lost a key bowler after he suffered an injury on the field.   Sussex medium-fast bowling all-rounder Luke Wright had to leave the ground after tearing a groin muscle when he lost his footing on the wet outfield on what was the third day of his sides' four-day game against Hampshire.  Wright's captain Chris Adams told local media conditions that day were the worst he has experienced in 19 years as a professional and were "not fit for First-Class cricket".  Adams said that "I have to stress that I admire the umpires' approach in trying to play" and that the two officials concerned, Nigel Cowley and Jeff Evans, were "trying to be consistent in deciding whether the ground is fit".  However, the Sussex captain said that "on day one they set themselves a standard which they have applied for the remainder of the game which I believe left them very little margin for error in deciding whether conditions were fit or not".  "Cosmetically [the ground on Friday] looked fine and you can understand the paying public's frustration because it looks okay, [however, it] was so waterlogged and the water table underneath so high that it wouldn't even take a stud", he said.   According to Adams the "headline topic this [northern summer] is the weather" and as rain has affected so much cricket in England "there could be a danger that we are being forced to play in conditions which are not fit".  A captain in another match last weekend reportedly "remonstrated" with the umpires about the ground not being safe, but play eventually got under way with no problems being experienced.  Despite his comments Adams ended by saying that everything else the two umpires did during the game was "exceptional".  Both Cowley and Evans are very experienced officials, the former having played 271 games and umpired 110 at First Class level in England, while Evans, one of the few umpires in the County Championship not to have played First Class cricket, has stood in 93 such matches.   EN410.   

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER THREE - HIS QUESTION

The third of an occasional series of 'what ifs' is contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') to get readers thinking!  The situation and question are as follows.  You are the umpire at the bowler's end. The bowler has commenced his run up and just before he starts to deliver the ball he notices the batsmen standing out of his crease and edging his way toward him. The bowler then throws the ball towards the striker's wicket whilst in his delivery stride. The batsmen swings and misses his attempt to strike the ball. The ball continues on to hit middle stump and break the striker's wicket.  The ball rebounds backwards and comes to rest between the popping and bowling creases at the strikers end.  The batsmen then taps the ball toward a fielder who was moving in to retreive the ball. Their is an appeal of 'how's that'. What's your decision?  EN409.

 

'THE DOCTOR' ON WHAT TO DO ON WINNING THE TOSS

The renowned English player W.G. Grace once gave the following advice on what he did if he won the toss.  "If it is a good pitch I bat.  If it looks as though there might be something in it for the bowlers I think about it for a bit - and then I bat.  If it looks as though there might be a lot of help for the bowlers I think about it for a little longer - and then I bat".  EN408.

 

END OF JULY 2007 E-NEWS FILE