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August 07 (76-90)

TCUSA E-NEWS AUGUST 2007

15 EDITIONS 

 

Number 76 – 2 August 2007 [EN0407-0417]

Number 77 – 4 August 2007 [EN0418-0423]

Number 78 – 6 August 2007 [EN0424-0428]

Number 79 – 9 August 2007 [EN0429-0433]

Number 80 – 10 August 2007 [EN0434-0437]

Number 81 – 13 August 2007 [EN0438-0440]

Number 82 – 14 August 2007 [EN0441-0444]

Number 83 – 16 August 2007 [EN0445-0449]

Number 84 – 17 August 2007 [EN0450-0451]

Number 85 – 20 August 2007 [EN0452-0455]

Number 86 – 22 August 2007 [EN0456-0460]

Number 87 – 23 August 2007 [EN0461-0465]

Number 88 – 26 August 2007 [EN0466-0471]

Number 89 – 28 August 2007 [EN0472-0479]

Number 90 – 30 August 2007 [EN0480-0488]

 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 76, 2 August 2007

 

BOWLER FINED FOR 'BARGING', TEAMS TO BE 'SPOKEN TO'

An Indian bowler has been heavily fined for barging a batsman during his side's recent Test match against En gland, and the Match Referee is to speak to both teams about poor on field behaviour before they meet in the third match of the series next week.  In addition to the barging incident the game was peppered with bad tempered exchanges between players, attempts to distract batsman, a beamer and other intimidatory bowling, and disputed decisions (E-News 75-411, 31 July 2007).  Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was fined 50 per cent of his match fee after shouldering England captain Michael Vaughan during the first session of play on the fourth day.  Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council that the collision was avoidable and "cricket is a non-contact sport and any deviation from that fact is completely unacceptable".  Just three weeks earlier, England opening bowler James Anderson was fined for the same offence during a ODI against the West Indies (E-News 65-353, 12 July 2007).  Madugalle from Sri Lanka was quoted by the media as saying that he would speak to Vaughan and his fellow captain Rahul Dravid to remind them of their responsibilities and "ensure that their players behaved within the Spirit and the Laws of cricket".  "The most important thing is for the captains to realise their responsibilities and for that to cascade down to the rest of the team", the 'bottom line' being that "people should remember the game for the quality of cricket that is played", not player behaviour.  Dravid reportedly said that “I think [incidents have] been blown out of proportion a bit" while Vaughan's view was that the teams were "just playing tough cricket and that’s what most teams in the world do when you’re playing at this level".  Both indicated they will try to ensure their players do not 'cross the line" in the final match of the series at the Oval which is to be umpired by West Indian Steve Bucknor and Ian Howell of South Africa.  Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott blamed the ICC for the "ugly confrontations" during the match and said that the world body is "to blame for not telling umpires to be much firmer with the players".   EN417.

 

JELLY BEAN INCIDENT 'BLOWN OUT OF PROPORTION' SAYS SKIPPER

The scattering of jelly beans on the pitch during India's innings of the Test match against England this week has been "blown out of proportion”, according to home captain Michael Vaughan.  Media reports say that the sweets were placed on "a good length" on the batting strip when Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan went to the crease, the batsman reacted angrily and pointing his bat at a fielder he suspected was behind what Vaughan later termed "the prank".  The captain was quoted as saying that "I know it's a great story, but the guys eat jelly beans, jelly babies and chew gum for energy out in the middle".  While he apologised to Zaheer after the match if "we offended [him] in any way", he emphasised that "it's important to have 11 people hunting together on the pitch", so that they "create an intensity and an environment that's uncomfortable for people to bat in".  Writing in 'The Times', former international umpire Dickie Bird said that "you won’t find any reference to jelly beans in the Laws of cricket, but what you do find is that distracting the batsman when he is trying to concentrate is against not only the Law, but against the Spirit of the game".  According to Bird the "incident boils down to a simple question as to whether the beans were thrown or placed".  "If they were chucked, the culprits were in the wrong and the umpires had to step in, [but] if they were just placed there for when Khan came out to bat, that’s just a bit of fun and, in my view, is no problem", he said.  "As far as I could see" he wrote, "the two umpires, Simon Taufel (Australia) and Ian Howell (South Africa), did the right thing in talking to both captains and just telling them to cut it out".  Bird too believes that the jelly-bean incident has been overblown" and related the story of how former Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee "once put a [rubber] snake in [Bird's] coat pocket when [he] was umpiring a Test match in Australia", giving him "a right shock", but that "all the players fell about laughing".  There is no indication that the umpires or Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle have taken any formal action over the jelly bean incident.   EN416. 

 

NO 'MANIC GLEE' FOR WORLD TWENTY20 UMPIRES 

Umpires standing in the World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa next month can be expected to give signals in conventional fashion according to a report on the Cricinfo web site.  In the South African domestic version of that facet of the game, umpires have in the past exaggerated their signals, some bounding around in what the on-line service says is "manic glee".   World Twenty20 tournament director Steve Elworthy old Cricinfo that "we obviously like everything to be high-tempo, but we would not want any umpire to feel out of their comfort zone".  "Locally", he said, "we have left it up to the umpire, but the Twenty20 World Championship has very much an international flavour and the International Cricket Council will tell umpires to officiate in their normal, stock-standard way".  Nine umpires have been named for the competition, however, the most flamboyant on the international scene, New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden, was not chosen for the series (E-News 73-401, 27 July 2007).  The tournament is scheduled to commence on 11 September.  EN415.

 

ACUS DEFERS VOTE ON POSSIBLE MERGER WITH ECB

The UK-based Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) have deferred a decision on whether or not it will hold a ballot of its members to seek their views on the creation of a new body to be called the Association of Cricket Officials (ACO).  Representatives of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the ACUS met at Lords late last month to consider forming the ACO from the ranks of the two organisations (E-News 72-397, 26 July 2007).  The ECB expressed their "disappointment and frustration" at the deferral of any decision on a ballot until the ACUS' next general council meeting in late October.  In a statement the ECB said that it believes the merger is "the best way to establish a single organisation to represent the interests of all officials, working closely with the ECB county boards, regions and the European Cricket Council, with close links to the MCC".  Cricket writer Charles Randall wrote on his web site that the merger "is a big step for ACUS because they would lose the independence they have cherished since their formation in 1953".  He is of the view that "umpires and scorers in the shires are probably not sure they would like their bosses to be the ECB", a recent survey of scorer members of the ACUS indicating that should it cease to exist, they would rather be part of a new "independent scorer's association', rather than take up the options of joining the ECB's ACO or the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (E-News 73-400, 27 July 2007).  EN414.

 

UMPIRE GETS ALL-CLEAR AFTER CHEST PAINS

English umpire Nigel Cowley had to step down from officiating in one-day match between Hampshire and Essex last Sunday after experiencing chest pains.  Cowley was taken to Southampton General Hospital for examination but was found to have suffered no serious illness.  Alan Neale, an Irish official there to observe the umpires, replaced him on the field.  England and Wales Cricket Board records show that in the current 150-day season in England Cowley, in common with many of his colleagues, will officiate in over 80 days of cricket this northern summer.  EN413. 

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 75 of 31 July.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') is:  The striker cannot be run out directly by the bowler during his delivery stride, however, the bowler can run out the batsmen directly BEFORE entering his delivery stride.  At this point the umpire would call 'no ball'.  The ball is still live when the striker hits the ball towards a fieldsman and as permission had not been granted he would be out 'Obstructing the Field'.  The umpire would then signal the 'no ball' to the scorers and caution the bowler for throwing the ball. EN412.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 77, 4 August 2007

 

SQUARE LEG UMPIRE INVOLVED IN PIETERSEN RECALL 

West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor's observation from square leg that an edge by England batsman Kevin Pietersen had fallen short of the wicket keeper in the First Test against India at Lords was the key fact behind his recall to the wicket, according to a report from India.  Media stories earlier this week had suggested that Pietersen's team mates stopped him "half-way to the pavilion" after seeing that the video replay showed the edge hadn't carried" (E-News 75,411, 31 July 2007).  As a result of Bucknor's advice, Australian Simon Taufel, the umpire at the bowler's end, referred the matter to television umpire Ian Gould who after observing the replay advised that the batsman was not out.  Neither Taufel or Bucknor, nor Taufel's on-field colleague in this week's Second Test, have made any public comment on any of the difficult issues that they had to deal in the two England-India Tests played to date (E-News 76-417, 2 August 2007).  EN423. 

 

SLEDGING OK, JUST TURN MICROPHONES OFF, SAYS COACH

England coach Peter Moores believes that stump microphones should be turned down during Tests so that players can sledge each other without the audience hearing, according to media reports.  Moores, who when taking up the coaching position earlier this year made it clear that his team should be more aggressive, was speaking in response to criticism of England's "incessent chatter" during the Second Test against India earlier this week (E-News 76-417, 2 August 2007).  He was quoted as saying that "to be fair to players, they should be allowed to go out there and play the game without being worried that everything they actually say is going to be broadcast".   He believes that "sport is a battle and that's what makes it so enthralling, [and] if people weren't bothered about it or didn't get so emotionally involved then it might become quite bland to watch".  Current International Cricket Council (ICC) rules require that stump microphones be turned on whenever a ball is in play.  Moores reportedly intends to speak to ICC Match Referee Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka about the issue prior to next week's Third and final Test of the series at the Oval.  Since this week's Test Match ended, commentators in England have generally reacted negatively to their team's aggression and the attitude they displayed on the field of play.  England was awarded the ICC's 'Spirit of Cricket Award' as the team that best conducted itself on the field in both 2005 and 2006.   The preamble to the Laws of Cricket says in part that the Spirit of the Game involves respect a team's opponents, their own captain and team, the role of the umpires, and the game's traditional values. EN422.

 

MACGILL MENTIONED IN 'GOOD BEHAVIOUR' CALL

New Australian coach Tim Neilson believes the way his team behaves in games will be just as important as on-field results, spinner Stuart MacGill getting a particular mention, according to a newspaper report yesterday.  A report in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper says that Nielsen wants the Australian team to be respected not only for its on-field dominance but also the way it conducts itself, particularly under pressure.  "If you want to be seen as the best, it's not just about winning and losing", he said.  The newspaper's article says that while no Australian has been in trouble this calendar year, officials are mindful there were seven reports by International Cricket Council Match Referees in 2006, including those of skipper Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, and Brett Lee twice.  Veteran MacGill, a regular offender who was suspended for two weeks after an incident with an umpire in Sydney Grade cricket last summer, has says the article "already been spoken to about the high standards expected of him now he is the senior spinner".  MacGill's first test will come on next month's Australia A tour of Pakistan, where he wants to be a mentor for young spinners Dan Cullen and Cullen Bailey.  "We have spoken to him about it" says Neilson, and "I know he is aware of the little issues that may be there".  EN421.

 

CALL FOR MORE TWENTY20 CRICKET IN AUSTRALIA

Bob Merriman, who this month will retire from both the Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria boards after 50 years in the game, believes programming is the biggest issue facing cricket in Australia.  Merriman suggested in an article written by a reporter from 'The Age' newspaper, that Australia should build on the popularity of the Twenty20 game with a tournament modelled on rugby union's Super 14 league.  The abbreviated form of the game should not compromise Tests or 50-over cricket according to him, but it could help satisfy a "craving for quality matches" in capital cities outside Sydney and Melbourne.  His comments come as wealthy private promoters in India and the West Indies are looking to stage professional Twenty20 leagues, and as changes to the programming of international matches forces CA to rethink the traditional triangular one-day format beyond this summer's tournament against India and Sri Lanka.  EN420.

 

BANS FOR PLAYERS, CAUTIONS FOR UMPIRES

Three players received bans totalling seven weeks, two umpires were cautioned, and both teams were deducted 30 points by a tribunal as a result of events that occurred during an Under 17 match in Devon last month.  Reports indicate that a "set of incidents" that began shortly before the end of the first innings of a team from Paignton, spilled over into the interval and escalated further on the field of play when their opponents, South Devon, occupied the crease.  Details of just what occurred during the match have not been published to date, a statement issued by the South Devon Youth Cricket League (SDYCL) tribunal only saying that "the hearing has concluded that both teams involved were guilty of breaking the Spirit of Cricket and are therefore guilty of bringing the game into disrepute".  The statement continued by indicating that "a key issue identified by the panel as precipitating the on-field events was the inappropriate handling of a welfare issue by Paignton Cricket Club, a matter that will be referred to the Devon Cricket Board (DCB) along with the full findings of the hearing”.  Both umpires, who were "cautioned as to their future conduct", are believed to be club umpires, and the tribunal instructed that matches between the two clubs next season must be handled by neutral officials, the costs involved being shared between the two clubs.  DCB secretary Martin Webb was reported as saying that his organisation "fully support the SDYCL and any other organisation in Devon that considers the game has been brought into disrepute in any way, [and] we would anticipate any such breach would be dealt with robustly".  Both clubs have the right of appeal the tribunal's decision.  EN419.

 

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

The fourth 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 attempts a slower ball.  The ball loops high in the air and bounces twice before the popping crease. The ball then rolls along the ground and comes to rest just past the bowling crease at the strikers end about 10 feet away from the striker.  The umpire calls wide ball. The striker then runs over toward the ball. He hits the ball, but in his haste just clips the ball moving it slightly. In frustration he then hits the ball a second time straight into and breaking the wicket at his end. The fielding side appeal. What your decision and what signals would you use?  EN418.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 78, 6 August 2007

 

MACGILL ENDORSES 'GOOD BEHAVIOUR' CALL

Australian spinner Stuart MacGill has endorsed new national coach Tim Nielsen's comments about the importance of good on-field behaviour.  Nielsen wants the national team to be respected not only for its on-field dominance but also the way it conducts itself, particularly when under pressure (E-News 77-421, 2 August 2007).  MacGill said that as a senior player he had a responsibility to pass on the ethos of cricket to the next generation.  He told 'The Australian' newspaper over the weekend that "cricket is a team sport and while I may not feel I have let myself down with some of the decisions I make, I feel guilty that it can impact on others".  He does not want to get himself "into a situation where [he lets] Tim Nielsen or any of the other guys down".  The veteran spinner has been at odds with umpires in the past, and last summer was suspended for two weeks for disorderly and improper conduct after an incident with an umpire in Sydney Grade cricket.  EN428.

 

BANNING REQUIRED FOR BEAMER SAYS ATHERTON

Former England captain Michael Atherton believes that Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth should have been banned for a Test for the beamer he bowled at Kevin Pietersen in last week's England-India Test at Trent Bridge.  In his column in the 'Sunday Telegraph' newspaper, Atherton wrote that a bowler must always be punished severely for bowling a beamer.  Discussing the beamer the former batsman said that "if bowled deliberately there cannot be a more cowardly action on a cricket field, if bowled accidentally it is still potentially lethal, but either way it should incur an immediate one-match ban".  Atherton suggested that Sreesanth's beamer might not have been an accident for "the ball wasn't new and the lacquer had worn off, making it less likely to slip out of his hand, [and] it wasn't wet".  Since the ball landed at the wicket keeper's feet, "the bowler missed his length by a good 30 metres", an extraordinary failing for an international bowler", claims Atherton.  "If it did slip", he continued "it slipped with remarkable accuracy, honing in on Pietersen's skull".  Though Sreesanth immediately apologised after bowling the beamer, Atherton wrote that "an apology doesn't necessarily mean it is sincere".  Shortly afterwards the Indian speedster overstepped the popping crease "by two feet" to bowl a rapid bouncer at Collingwood, and Atherton wrote that that the bowler "was hardly in control of his emotions during that particular spell".  Atherton also hit out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for what he said was its "misguided sense of priorities", querying why Sreesanth was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for a shoulder nudge of batsman Michael Vaughan (E-News 76-417, 2 August 2007), when the beamer “was a far more serious offence”. "By fining Sreesanth for a shoulder nudge that could have inflicted no physical damage and ignoring the beamer which could have maimed a less alert batsman, the ICC once again showed a liking for the irrelevancies over the issues that matter".  With ICC Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka taking no formal action in regard to the beamer, Atherton felt the onus is now on Indian captain Rahul Dravid to ensure that Sreesanth doesn't play at The Oval in the Third and final Test which begins on Thursday.  EN427.

 

BURSARY AWARD LEADS TO COUNTY MATCH OPPORTUNITY

Umpire Alan Neill, who stood in a County one-day match when the scheduled umpire became ill late last month, was at the game as the winner of a bursary designed to give Northern Ireland's umpires the chance to develop their skills.  English umpire Nigel Cowley had to step down from officiating in the game at Southampton between Hampshire and Essex last week after experiencing chest pains (E-News 76-413, 2 August 2007).  Neill was at the ground as the first winner of the Trevor Henry Memorial Bursary, which was set up by the Northern Ireland Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers to perpetuate the memory their former member who was on the International Cricket Council's Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel before he succumbed to cancer aged just 51 last year.  Neil spent time with Cowley and his colleague Jeff Evans, first at Hampshire’s four-day County Championship game against Sussex, and then their one-day match with Essex.  After Cowley became ill Neill was given just "two minutes" to get ready to go out on the field.  As Neill is not on the England and Wales Cricket Board's umpiring panel, Evans took the bowler's end while the bursary winner stood at square leg during the game.  Neill was called upon to raise his finger three times from square leg for run-outs, but "thankfully they were all pretty straight-forward", he said.  Hampshire won by two runs after Essex needed four off the last ball.  The Northern Ireland umpire said it was "a daunting, awesome experience, not least with one of the team's [being] captained by Shane Warne".  EN426.

 

HINDS BANNED FOR REMAINDER OF THE YEAR

Jamaican captain and former West Indies player Wavell Hinds, has been banned for the remainder of this calendar year after being found guilty of breaching the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) disciplinary code during a club match played in late June.  According to local media reports Hinds verbally abused on-field umpires Errington Malcolm and Desmond Edwards and they subsequently filed an official complaint.  At a disciplinary committee hearing last week, held over a month after the game concerned, a five-man panel found Hinds guilty of an infringement.  The player has the right of appeal but under JCA rules it must be filed by the end of this week, however, as yet nothing has been heard from Hinds.  If any appeal is made and it is unsuccessful, the duration of the ban could significantly affect the international career of the left-handed batsman.  Hinds, who represented the West Indies in the last of his 114 One Day International (ODI) in a series against Australia in India last October, also appeared in 45 Tests for the Carribean side, the last also against Australia in Adelaide nearly two years ago.  EN425.

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 77 of 4 August.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  While this question may never occur in practice, it involves a lot of scenarios and requires reading and understanding a number of Laws.  Q1.  The ball bounced twice before just past the popping crease rolling along the ground and then stopped after the bowling crease at the striker's end about 10 feet from the striker?  This is covered under Law 24.6.  The ball must bounce more than twice (a minimum of three times), or roll along the ground before the popping crease before being called a 'no ball'.  Q2.  The ball coming to rest after it passed the line of the striker's wicket?  This is covered in Law 24.7.  It says that the ball coming to rest in front of a line before the striker's wicket in 'no ball' then 'dead ball'.  Q3.  The ball passing wide of the striker and the ball being called a 'wide'?  This is covered under Law 25 (such a call would be correct at this point).  Q4.  The ball subsequently being hit by the striker?  This is covered under Law 25.3.  Q5.  The striker hitting the ball twice is covered under Law 34.  Q6.  The ball being hit on to the striker's wicket.  This is covered under Laws 30.1 and 30.2.  After looking at the Laws the answer to this appeal would be 'out bowled'.  To communicate this we would have to officially revoke the call of 'wide' and then give the striker out.  Having said that the most important thing that needs to be considered is the timing and duration between Q3 and Q4.  If the duration was sufficient enough we could rule the ball to be 'dead' at this point.  The is covered under Law 23.1(b).  EN424. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 79, 9 August 2007

 

JAMACIAN AWARD FOR STEVE BUCKNOR

Long-serving international umpire Steve Bucknor has been named as a member of the Order of Jamaica, his country's fourth highest award for outstanding service in the field of sport.  The Jamacian, who later today will go out on to the Oval in London in his 119th Test Match (E-News 66-359, 13 July 2007), will be presented with the award by Governor General Professor Kenneth Hall during a ceremony on 15 October.  The 61-year-old, who was an international football referee for nearly 20 years before turning to cricket in 1992, stood in a record fifth World Cup final in April (E-News 35-196, 1 May 2007).  Bucknor's 119 Test matches are a world record, a figure that is 35 Tests more than the next official on the list, South Africa's Rudi Koertzen, who recently stood in his 84th game (E-News 56-309, 15 June 2007).  In addition to Tests, Bucknor has stood in 163 One Day Internationals, 14 fewer than Koertzen who is the record holder in that form of the game, but 22 more than Australian Daryl Harper.  Overall the Jamacian has officiated in a total of 162 First Class games as well as a significant number of matches in a variety of other competitions.  EN433.

 

EXAM ENDS WINTER LAWS, SCORER'S SCHOOLS

A total of 21 people sat the TCUSA Laws of Cricket exam last night, an event that marks the end of the six week long winter Laws School for another year.  As has been the case for a number of years the exam consisted of a total of sixty multiple choice questions, most of them interesting, intricate and challenging even for seasoned umpires, with 'read the question' being the clear order of the day.  Reports indicate that those who took part enjoyed the experience of again testing their knowledge with good results being posted, especially by the half-a-dozen who are taking up umpiring for the first time this year.  While the Laws School has been in progress in July and early August, the Association's scorer members have also been busy preparing for the coming season. Current indications are that there will be sufficient numbers to operate the 16 scoring computers that are expected to be available for Tasmanian Cricket Association First and Second Grade games this season (E-News 53-292, 11 June 2007).  EN432.

 

WHOSE GOT THE CONCRETE UMP?

Thieves in England's north-east have stolen a rare garden ornament in the shape of a cricket umpire.  Five other cricketer statues were left untouched in the garden, sparking theories, says the local newspaper "that the culprits may be local cricketers with a grudge against men in white coats with twitchy index fingers".  Owner Denis Andrews told local media that the manufacturer has stopped making the cricket statues now and he considers them "priceless".   He paints the cricketers a different colour every year and at the moment they are in the local team's green, gold and white, although they also apparently look like Australian cricketers.  A Police spokesman for the region confirmed they were looking for suspects.  EN431.

 

ANNUAL SEMINAR NEXT TCUSA EVENT

The TCUSA's next scheduled event will be the annual, weekend-long, seminar which is to be held at Bellerive Oval on 6-7 October.  No details of the program for that gathering are available at this time, however, a summary of the issues that were discussed at the same event in October last year can be found on the Association's web site at http://www.tascricket.com.au/tcusa.html by clicking the 'Seminar' button.  Dates of training-appointments meetings for the 2007-08 season will be finalised and provided via this newsletter once details of the starting dates for South Tasmania Cricket League (STCL) and other non Tasman Cricket Association matches are known.  EN430. 

 

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

The fifth of a 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.  There is an injured striker with a runner. The injured striker is standing at square leg, his runner is at the non strikers' end. The delivery is called 'no ball' by the bowlers end umpire for a front foot infringement. The striker plays the ball in the air toward a fielder just in front of square.  As the fielder is about to catch the ball the injured striker deliberately walks in front of the fielder and deflects the ball away from the fielder.  There is an appeal.  What's your decision?  Is anybody out and if so how?  Moose's answer will appear in E-News Number 80.  EN429. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 80, 10 August 2007

 

NEW ADMINISTRATOR POSITIONS FOR NTCA, NWTCA

The Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) has established two new Cricket Administrator positions to oversee club cricket in the north and north-west of the state.  Notice of the positions appeared on the TCA's web site today, the key responsibilities involved being management of club competitions including bylaws, rostering, ground allocations, player registrations and clearances, tribunals, and providing administrative assistance to the State Director of Umpires and Scorers.  The TCA says that the two jobs will be part of its Cricket Department and that they will provide the successful applicants with "an exciting and rewarding working environment".  Applications for both positions close on 22 August.  EN437.

 

THIRD TEST STARTS QUIETER, UMPIRING AGAIN UNDER SCRUTINY

The first day of the Third Test between England and India at the Oval appears to have been played in a much better spirit than the second match in the series last week, although with the benefit of technology, some off-field commentators again focused on "umpiring mistakes".  As he had previously indicated (E-News 76-417, 2 August 2007), Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle spoke to both captains on Wednesday, 24 hours before the game got underway.  Madugalle is said to have "reminded [both men] of their responsibilities" during the match.  England captain Michael Vaughan was quoted as saying after the meeting that he has "looked back at the last game and I do think there were a couple of areas where we got close to stepping over the line".  He still wants to see his "bowlers doing a little bit of gamesmanship, and chirping, [but] it's swearing, and [verbal attacks] on a player, that I think is wrong".  While Madugalle's call seems to have been heeded to date, two decisions made by umpire Ian Howell from South Africa were queried by a number of commentators.  Howell upheld an appeal from left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom against Murali Karthik for an edge behind when the batsman was just nine runs short of his century, however, television replays reportedly suggested that the ball had missed the bat.  Later Sourav Ganguly was given out LBW to Paul Collingwood by Howell despite what reports say was "significant inside edge onto his pads".  EN436.  

 

UMPIRES BACKS FOR SALE IN INDIA

Advertising space on the backs of umpires is one of a range items that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is currently seeking bids from sponsors on for the period from next month until March 2010.  The deal includes sponsors for umpires’ clothing for all domestic matches and all international matches to be played by India 'A' and India junior teams in the country. In addition, other matters up for tender are ground rights and title naming rights for most international and domestic matches played in the country over the two-and-a-half-year period.  “The Board will be inviting bids from individual companies, consortia and agencies all over the world for five tenders, the bidding period running from 13-27 August.  EN435. 

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 79 of 9 August.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows. The striker is out obstructing the field.  In answering this appeal we would look at Law 24.15 - ways a batsmen can be dismissed of a 'no ball'. We then look at Law 8 in regard to runners and injured striker's. Law 8.d.2 covers the situation when the injured striker is not the striker. That Law says that the injured striker remains subject to Laws handled ball and obstruction. This leads into Law 37.3 which says the striker will be out for obstruction when either batsmen prevents a catch from being taken.  EN434.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 81, 13 August 2007

 

FURTHER CRITICISM FOR TEST UMPIRE

South African international umpire Ian Howell has again been targeted by media commentators from a number of countries for his performance in the current England-India Test match at the Oval.  Howell, who has been a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpiring Panel (IUP) since its establishment in 2002, made a number of decisions during the game that off-field observers, with the aid of a range of technologies, say were incorrect.  The umpire's "errors" earlier in the game (E-News 80-436, 10 August 2007), were compounded by several other dubious calls over the weekend.  Writing on the Cricinfo web site overnight Sambit Bal said that "umpires have a thankless vocation and they are noticed only for their mistakes [as] their actions are judged and damned by experts, journalists, and millions of viewers who now have the benefit of hugely sophisticated cameras and technologies such as Snickometer and Hotspot", however, "it's not that difficult to tell when an umpire is not up to it".  Bal said that in the previous match in the series at Trent Bridge, Australian Simon Taufel, who "is a good umpire" had, in his opinion, "an ordinary match" (E-News 75-411, 31 July 2007).  Cricinfo's writer believes that Howell, who was standing with Taufel, "had a dreadful match at Trent Bridge, and it has only got worse [in the current game] at The Oval".  Bal asked whether the [South African] should have been "standing in the series in the first place?".  His thoughts were echoed in today's 'Daily Telegraph', that paper stating that the selection of Howell for two matches in the England-India series "has not been a success".  The 'Telegraph' claims that Howell's selection was "an experiment" by the world body brought about by the fact that some of the ICC's senior umpires "will be retiring together, and soon", [and that] younger ones therefore have to be identified and educated by standing alongside senior citizens like [his current colleague] Steve Bucknor".  Another commentator claimed that the ICC "were looking at Howell as a replacement for [fellow South African] Rudi Koertzen" who, like Bucknor, is also approaching the end of his career.  If those assessments of the ICC's actions is correct, it would appear that Howell's fellow IUP member Suresh Shastri from India, was also being assessed as a possible Elite panel member when he made his Test debut in the Sri Lanka versus Bangladesh Test series last month (E-News 56-309, 19 June 2007).  Writing in the 'Daily Telegraph' Scyld Berry said that "if Howell deserved to be given charge of one Test [at Trent Bridge], there was enough evidence there to show that he did not deserve a second in a row".  He says that Howell’s appointment for the Oval game “should have been provisional, and when he did not perform to expectations at Trent Bridge, then Aleem Dar or Simon Taufel [should have been] sent for".  While saying that "the ICC cannot be blamed for not anticipating the errors" made by Howell, Crincifo's columnist Bal pointed out that as "no other international cricket is on at the moment, those appointing umpires had a full list to choose from" and asks "were none of them available?".  Howell is a very experienced official who made his debut at First Class level in 1999 and has since stood in 9 Tests and 56 One Day Internationals.  Prior to taking up umpiring he played in 119 First Class matches and 124 one day games in South Africa as a batsman and medium paced bowler.  Howell comes from a cricket loving family, both his father and uncle having been First Class umpires, while his twin brother and nephew also played at that level.  EN440.

 

BUT WAS THE BATSMAN ACTUALLY RUNNING?

Paul Franks, batting for England 'A' against Zimbabwe 'A' in a one-day match at Bulawayo in February 1999, gave a 'no-ball' from medium-pacer Guy Whittall the charge and missed.  Wicket keeper Trevor Madondo took the bails off and claimed a run-out because Franks had advanced a long way down the pitch.  Reports by observers at the ground suggested that Franks had not actually been attempted a run, but the umpire decided to give him out.  The official match record shows Franks as being 'Run Out (Madondo)'.  The umpires for the game were Zimbabwean born pair Charles Coventry and Kantilal Kanjee, however, it is not known which official was at square leg at the time.  EN439.

 

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

The sixth of a 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 ball is fairly delivered. The striker after legally hitting the ball twice calls for a run and the batsmen start running. The fielder picks up the ball and throws at the non-striker's end when the batsmen have not crossed. The ball misses the stump and goes out into the outfield. The two batsmen have completed the first run and turn for the second and before they cross each other a fielder throws the ball and it too misses the stumps and goes over boundary line. How many runs are allowed?  EN438.  

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 82, 14 August 2007

 

NEW TCA GRADE CRICKET MANAGER STARTS WORK

Chris Garrett, the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) new Grade Cricket Manager, took up his position yesterday and expects a particularly busy first few months in the job.  Garrett told E-News yesterday that he was "very excited" at having the opportunity to work in "one of the major sports administrative positions" in Tasmania and is "keen to do [the work involved] well".  Growing up on the eastern shore of the Derwent he played junior cricket and eventually in Clarence's Second Grade side in the late 1990s.  Prior to joining the TCA as its Community Cricket Officer in late June, Chris, who is 29, was in sports administration as General Manager of Southern Touch (Football), and Executive Officer of Tasmanian Touch, working there for seven years.  With the TCA Grade roster already in place Chris, who has responsibility for the youth league and Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL), says a key focus over the next few weeks will be putting in place arrangements for those competitions for the coming summer.  He also plans to get "out and about" and meet as many people from clubs and related organisations such as the TCUSA over the next few months.  Garrett replaces Scott Godfrey who left the position on 13 July after over ten years in the job (E-News 64-347, 2 July 2007).  The TCA recently announced the establishment of cricket manager positions in the north and north-west of the State (E-News 80-437, 10 August 2007).  EN444. 

 

HINDS APPEALS LENGTHY BAN

Wavell Hinds, Jamaica's captain, has appealed the ban to the end of the year handed to him by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) late last month (E-News 78-245, 6 August 2007).  Hinds lodged an official appeal with the JCA last Friday and it is believed that it will be considered at a JCA board meeting on 21 August.  According to local media reports the West Indian representative verbally abused on-field umpires Errington Malcolm and Desmond Edwards in a club match in late June and they subsequently filed an official complaint.  If upheld by the JCA the ban could significantly affect what has been described as the "stuttering" career of the left-handed batsman, who last represented the West Indies in the triangular One-Day International series against Australia in India in November last year.  EN443.

 

SRI LANKA BANS UMPIRES, PLAYERS FROM ICL

Sri Lanka is to follow India and Pakistan by threatening to ban any umpire, player or even commentator who takes part in the proposed Indian Cricket League (ICL).  Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan was quoted by local media as saying that those involved "would not be considered to [be involved in] even domestic cricket [in Sri Lanka], or hold administrative roles".  Former captain Marvan Atapattu is believed to be keen join the ICL as a commentator, while Russel Arnold, who has already called it quits and is beginning a career as a television commentator, has publicly acknowledged his desire to join ICL.  EN442.

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 81 of 13 August.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  This question required you to read and understand the contents of Law 34.  In this scenario we have already decided the striker had lawfully struck the ball twice and we must decide if, how, and how many runs will be scored.  To decide this we look at Law 34.4(a).  If the striker didn't meet these requirements then no runs should be scored and we look at Law 34.5 on how this is communicated.  If the requirements of Law 34.4(a) are met, we then look at how the runs shall be scored - Law 34.4 (b) and Law 34.4 (c, i. ii, and iii).  In this situation, if we decide the first strike was on the person 5 leg byes would be scored and we would signal leg bye and the boundary four.  If the first strike was with the bat five runs to the striker would be scored, and we would signal the boundary four.  When this occurs some communication will be required with the batsmen to ensure they are at the right ends, and as five runs are scored the striker for this delivery would be at the non striker’s end for the next delivery.  A further tip here is to make a note in your book to check with the scorers at the next break to ensure everything is correct.  EN441.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 83, 16 August 2007

 

ON-FIELD 'CHATTER' OUT OF CONTROL CLAIM COMMENTATORS

Near-constant "inane chatter" on the field during the recent Test series between England and Australia is out of control according to former international captains Ian Chappell and Tony Greg.  Speaking in an audio interview placed on Crininfo's web site this week, both commentators believe what Chappell calls "gamesmanship" and Greg "sledging" is acceptable within limits, but when it results in personal abuse it has to be censured by both umpires and the game's governing bodies.  However, handling the "constant chatter" they say went on between balls in the recent series in England, an activity that has "gone up immeasurable" over the last five years, is more difficult, according to them.  Chappell is concerned that in some circumstances such babble can over the course of an innings lead to ugly events on the field of play and needs to be curbed.  He is worried when players say, 'oh, it's just part of the game' because "its not".  Greg says that "a little bit of sledging and gamesmanship is good for television, it makes for good ratings and it makes for good newspapers".  He believes though that "when things get out of hand sensible umpires invariably nip these things in the bud" but that "it's up to the captain to get a grip over the standards that they want to set, and the leadership that you get from the captain normally sets the pattern".   Asked how umpires should handle "excessive, "harmless" talk between balls, Chappell said that  "players aren't stupid [and] they will do whatever they have to do unless they are stopped".  If he were batting when such activity occurred he too would start talking between balls.  If the umpire asked him to stop he would indicate to the official that he would stop when the fielders did.  Greg says that "the captains, umpires and the legislators have got to put their foot down and say that we've got to cut all this gee-up stuff out of the game".  EN449.

 

USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN CRICKET TO BE EXAMINED BY MCC COMMITTEE

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) says that its World Cricket Committee's (WCC) next meeting will have as a key focus matters related to the use of "technology in cricket, its possibilities and what might be good for the game or unhelpful".  Umpires have been in the news over the last few weeks with television-related technology spotlighting a range of issues (E-News 81-440, 13 August 2007), although the basic matters involved have been around for many years.  WCC's meeting, which is to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, on 25 September, is expected to involve all 17 members of the group, its numbers having been increased by the recent appointment of former Sri Lanka player Michael Tissera and India spinner Anil Kumble to its ranks.  Apart from technology no details of other items that will be on its agenda next month have been released.  The MCC says that the WCC's aims are: to debate all matters in the interests of cricket and cricketers; to consider at all times the balance of the contest between bat and ball and to assist MCC's custodianship of the Laws of the Game; to protect the spirit of cricket; and to ensure that the governing body's decisions never put cash or country interests before the good of the game.  Many in the game see the latter role as particularly important given what they perceive to be the International Cricket Council's focus on financial issues and political matters that are not directly related to cricket.  The WCC last met in mid-May and subsequently issued statements on the monitoring of unfair deliveries, the international playing program and the problem of player burnout, the format of the World Cup, shortening of boundaries in international cricket, and glued pitches (E-News 44, 23 May 2007).  EN448. 

 

BEHAVIOUR IN ENGLISH SCHOOLS GAMES CAUSING CONCERN

The deteriorating behaviour of players and their parents at public school matches in England is causing concern according to the umpires involved.  A number of letters sent to 'The Times' newspaper recently have stated that the increasing tendency for players and their parents to berate of-field officials is driven by what one writer said was "football's propensity to create hate-figures of referees".  Correspondence received by the newspaper claim that players are being coached to appeal en masse to put pressure on umpires and that this practice needs to be stamped out before young cricketers copy the professionals in "appealing incessantly and unnecessarily".  An unnamed umpire was quoted as saying that "gone are the days when a willing master ran the school first team and parents were just content that their son was part of the firsts".  According to him "parents now expect their sons to be coached to a high standard and to be part of a winning team".  As a result the coaches involved "stand or fall based on results" [and they thus] "turn a blind eye to poor behaviour because it makes winning more likely, and in some perverse way believe that it prepares the boys for the sort of behaviour that they will face in the adult game".  Another umpire added that "the boys imitate what they see on televised games [and] they are definitely influenced by it".  Both umpires say that the problem is growing and that the issue must be highlighted to the English Schools Cricket Association and Headmasters' Conference.  The report comes a month after concerns were expressed about on-field behaviour in adult Grade-level games in another part of England (E-News 69-377, 18 July 2007), and an under age match in the south-west (E-News 77-419, 4 August 2007).  EN447.

 

MELBOURNE TURF PITCHES TO BE REMOVED AS WATER SAVING MEASURE

Plans by the Melbourne City Council to replace turf pitches at up to six grounds with synthetic wickets over the next two years as a water saving measure have been widely criticised by clubs around the city, according to a report in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper this week.  The City of Melbourne currently manages 19 turf wickets and former Australian captain Graham Yallop, a District Cricket club President, believes the decision will hinder youth development as it is crucial young players are exposed to the nuances of turf wickets, which are "a greater test of technique and temperament".  City of Melbourne's Recreation Services Department manager Graham Porteous said valuable water savings would be made by digging up the pitches, however, cricket administrators around the city dispute that claim.  Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide said he was concerned about the council's decision and that "we will look at the impact on our cricket community".  EN446.

 

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

The seventh of a 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 ball is fairly delivered.  The striker hits the ball firmly out into the outfield.  The batsmen have not crossed on their fifth run.  The ball is about to hit the boundary fence when you notice a fielder who is waiting to return reach over the fence and stop the ball. What actions would an umpire take at this point and how many runs are scored?  The answer will be provided in E-News 84.  EN445.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 84, 17 August 2007

 

TAUFEL'S INDIAN VISIT PART OF INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE UMPIRING STANDARDS

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel, and Cricket Australia's (CA) global development manager Ross Turner, are to visit India next week as part of an initiative by that country aimed at improving the standard of its umpires.  Media reports from the sub-continent, quoting senior officials at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), indicate that the BCCI has been in discussion with CA about the establishment of a training and development package for its umpires.  Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI's chief administrative officer, was quoted as saying yesterday that "there have been a lot of complaints about umpiring in [Indian] domestic cricket (E-News 27-150, 11 April 2007), [and as] we also have had no umpire on the [International Cricket Council's - ICC] Elite panel [since 2004], we have to come up with ways to improve [the situation]".  According to Shetty, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, India's Director of Umpiring, who is the only Indian to have served on the ICC's Elite Panel in its five years of operation to date, recently "went to Australia and collected material which was very interesting".  Shetty and BCCI's secretary Niranjan Shah are said to have met Turner recently "to firm up the tie-up with CA to improve umpiring", although it is not clear whether that meeting was held in India or Australia.  Indian media reports describe Turner as "an expert in producing development programs [that are] tailored to suit different countries".  Pointing to "similar work" he has undertaken in Bangladesh (E-News 66-362, 13 July 2007) as well as China, Turner's "core areas of competence" were described as "talent and strategy development".  There are also indications, that have not been confirmed, that he also played a part in the introduction of the system that will record and monitor umpiring decisions in this year's Indian domestic competition which, along with the establishment of an umpire's coach, is also part of the BCCI's umpiring initiative (E-News 67-366, 15 July 2007).  It is understood that Taufel and Turner will attend an umpire’s seminar that is scheduled to be held at India's National Cricket Academy in Bangalore on Thursday and Friday next week.  That gathering will reportedly involve "108 umpires" from around India and it is said that they will focus on such issues as "the Laws of the game, match preparation, game management and fitness aspects of umpiring", in a similar manner to the TCUSA and other related organisations.  Shetty concluded his comments by indicating that the BCCI hopes to make the seminar "a regular feature", however, it appears that longer-term details still need to be ironed out with CA.  EN451.     

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 83 of 16 August.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  In the situation described, the ball automatically becomes dead when the returning fielder comes in contact with the ball as per Law 2.6(i) and Law 23.1(a)(viii).  The first outcome is to award 5 penalty runs to the batting side for the infringement.  The next thing to look at is the position of the batsmen.  As they hadn't crossed at the point of infringement the striker would be credited with the 4 runs completed prior to the infringement occurring (see Law 42.17(c)(iii).  In addition to this the ball shall not count as one of the over (see Law 2.6(i). and Law 22(b)(v).  Therefore the total number of runs from the situation described would be 9. For the next delivery the batsmen would remain at the end they were at when the infringemnt occurred (that is the striker would remain at the striker's end (see Law 18.12(a).  Note that Law 42.17(c)(iii) says that the batsmen will not change ends simply because the 5 run penalty was awarded.  Additionally when this type of infringement occurs you will have to inform both captains as to what has occurred and then report this occurrence.  Also the tip here is to also make a note in your book to check with the scorers at the next break.  EN450.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 85, 20 August 2007

 

NO DETAILS YET ON ICC UMPIRING 'TASK FORCE'

Details of the membership, terms-of-reference and timetable of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpiring 'task force' have still not been released by the world body.  Advice from the ICC late last month suggested that an announcement on the group could be made by mid-August (E-News 74-406, 30 July 2007), however, queries sent to the ICC by E-News early last week to clarify the current situation have so far not been answered.  Formation of the task force was recommended by the ICC's Cricket Committee at its meeting in late May (E-News 51, 4 June 2007) and formally endorsed eight weeks ago at the ICC's annual meeting in London (E-News 63-344, 1 July 2007).  David Morgan, the ICC's President Elect is to chair the task force, and the delay in its establishment may be due in part to the fact he is still the Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).  An ICC statement in late June said that Morgan's priority over the "next few weeks" would be to complete his work with the ECB, however, a vote to choose his replacement ended in a tie last week.  As a result a second call for nominations for the ECB's top position open again today, but the outcome of the new ballot will not be known until 25 September.  No hint has been given by the ICC as to when it wants the task force to complete its report.  Given its contracts with its 'Elite' umpiring panel appear to fall due around April each year, completion and acceptance of the task force's work by then would enable its findings to be taken into account before the next set of agreements are finalised.  The structure of the first and second tier Elite and International umpiring panels, umpire remuneration and workloads, and policies for the selection and appointment of umpires to panels and matches, including the issue of neutrality, are likely to be on the task force's agenda.  EN455.

 

TAUFEL COMMENTS ON INDIAN TRAINING VISIT

A newspaper in Mumbai quoted Australian international umpire Simon Taufel over the weekend as saying that he will "help Indian umpires revaluate their standard of umpiring at all levels" during what it claims is a six-day training course to be held from 22-27 September.  Taufel is said to have told a reporter, possibly by phone from Australia, that the umpires involved in the seminar will be "given general and practical training" and tested for their "strengths and weaknesses".  The world's top umpire for the past three years was said to have "avoided" a question as to why "no Indian is on the International Cricket Council’s Elite Panel", but instead expressed the hope that the work he undertakes "will help Indian umpires achieve high standards".  It appears that the September dates given by the newspaper for the training course are wrong as the semi finals of the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship, one of which Taufel would appear to have a good chance of being involved in, are scheduled to be played in South Africa on 22 September (E-News 73-401, 27 July 2007).  Reports last week suggested the training course would be a two-day affair and be held in Bangalore later this week (E-News 84-451, 17 August 2007).  EN454.   

 

NETHERLANDS, BERMUDAN PLAYERS REPRIMANDED FOR ALTERCATION

Two players, one from from Bermuda and another from the Netherlands, have been reprimanded after they were found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (COC) during last week's four-day Intercontinental Cup match played in Holland.  Dutchman Edgar Schiferli was found to have used language directed at Bermuda's Lionel Cann that was "obscene, offensive and of an insulting nature".  The same incident led to Cann being found guilty of engaging in "conduct unbecoming to his status which could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute".  The ICC's Match Referee David Jukes from England said in a statement that Schiferli's language and general behaviour at the time of the incident were "far below the acceptable sort of interaction between players on the field of play", while Cann was found to have "followed Schiferli and shouted at him".  Jukes gave both Schiferli and Cann an official reprimand and "warned them" of their future conduct "for a period of 12 months".  Under the ICC COC for players and officials, a player found guilty of an offence like Schiferli faces a minimum fine of 50 per cent of his match fee, but that sanction does not apply to international amateur matches like the Intercontinental Cup.   Both charges were brought by match umpires Charlie McElwee from Ireland and Ian Ramage from Scotland.  EN453.

 

PLAYER CLEARED OF SPITTING AT AN OPPONENT

A player in Scotland Grade-level cricket has been cleared of spitting at an opponent.  Kruger van Wyk, West Lothian's South African professional, was reported by the umpires following an incident during an ill-tempered clash with Arbroath earlier this month, however, a disciplinary panel last week found him not guilty.  League secretary Stewart Oliver was quoted as saying that "the panel couldn't be sure that the player spat deliberately in the direction of his opponent".  An incident in another game in the same League, Renfrew captain Sajid Majeed, was found guilty by the disciplinary panel of verbally abusing the umpires in a fixture at Forfarshire and was banned for one game.  EN452. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 86, 22 August 2007

 

WIDE MEDIA, PLAYER, CRITICISM FOR UMPIRE REFERRAL TRIAL

Media and player criticism of the umpire referral trial that was part of this year's one day domestic series in England reached a peak after last Saturday's final at Lords between Durham and Hampshire.  Commentators and players have expressed reservations about the system on numerous occasions over the last four months (E-News 71-390, 24 July 2007), but BBC commentator Jonathan Agnew's comment last Sunday that its use is "shortsighted, foolish and [was] destined to fail", best summarised the view of those in the press box.  Agnew believes that referrals go against the "entire spirit and moral code that cricket holds dear", while Christopher Martin-Jenkins wrote in his column in 'The Times' that "the desire to use more technology is based on two false premises: that the technology is completely accurate and that all decision-making can be reduced to an absolute truth".  Both captains in the final, Hampshire's Shane Warne and Durham's Dale Benkenstein, said after the game that in their assessment the system hasn't worked in this year's tournament.  In Warne's view "the technology was not up to standard" and until it is "100 per cent" there's "no point using it".  Benkenstein was equally frank saying that "at the moment it's being done half-heartedly" [and] the "third umpires just keeping backing the on field umpires".  He believes that if the system is to become fully effective umpires must "not see it as guys belittling their decision".  During the match there were a number of contentious decisions and several reports on the game say that each side could have used the system with what Cricinfo says was "some justification", but technical issues and other operational factors worked against it being used in an effective way.  While the media and players have made their views clear, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are expected to consider a formal report on the experiment sometime over the next few months that will include the assessment of the umpires involved.  EN460.  

 

FULL SPEED BEAMER "ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE" TO BOWL BY MISTAKE CLAIMS AGNEW

Former England Test fast bowler Jonathan Agnew believes it is "almost impossible" for "professionals" to bowl a "full speed" beamer to a batsman, and says that those who do should be suspended.  Agnew was commenting on a beamer bowled by Hampshire quick Chris Tremlett to Ottis Gibson of Durham in last Saturday's final of England's one day domestic competition at Lords.  He says it was "the second example of [a] wretched lack of sportsmanship seen [in England] this month, another similar ball being delivered by India speedster Shanthakumaran Sreesanth in the Second Test against England at Trent Bridge.  Agnew believes that Sreesanth and Tremlett should be placed on a list of those "who have bowled beamers at [First Class] level”, and then "suspended from the game if they ever repeat it".  Former England captain Michael Atherton expressed a similar view earlier this month after Sreesanth's ball (E-News 78-427, 6 August 2007).  EN459. 

 

2009 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP TO NSW

Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday confirmed that New South Wales will host the Women's World Cup in 2009 and that Tasmania, who had also sought the tournament, has missed out on the full-scale event.  Despite that the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) says that CA will work with the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the coming months to "explore the opportunities for states other than NSW to host pre-tournament warm-up matches".  Up to 16 warm-up matches are planned prior to the start of the tournament, while the World Cup itself, which will consist of 31 matches all-up, will be played over three weeks in March 2009.  Previous World Cups have seen the appointment of First Class umpires from the home nation to stand in matches, but whether that approach will be used in 2009, and what, if any, opportunities may be available to others such as 'emerging' umpires in warm-up games, is unknown at this stage.  TCA Chief Executive David Johnston said that while the TCA is disappointed that Tasmania will not host the entire global event he is pleased that the ICC and CA, with the support of the Tasmanian Government, is willing to explore supplementary opportunities.  He said in a statement yesterday that "the TCA would be pleased to host pre-tournament warm-up matches" and that the opportunity may be there "to bring teams such as Australia, England, India and New Zealand to Tasmania" prior to the main event".  He said that such visits help boost the profile of the cricket in the state and encourage participation in the sport, a key aim for the TCA in its 2006-10 strategic plan.  EN458.  

 

HURRICANE 'DEAN' STOPS PLAY

Officials umpiring the semi finals of the West Indies Under 19 tournament being played on the island of Saint Kitts were forced to call off play over the weekend because of rain and strong winds generated by the passage of Hurricane 'Dean', one of the most powerful storms ever seen in the Carribean.  The start of play in the match between Guyana and Barbados was delayed for over an hour due to difficulties in preparing the ground in strong winds, however, when rain began the pitch was left uncovered as players, spectators and ground staff sought shelter.  In the other game between Jamaica and the Leeward Islands, 21 overs were bowled before torrential rain set in.  The pitch and outfield quickly became waterlogged and the umpires had no choice but to abandon the game.  'Dean' has since visited Jamacia and overnight it was due to make landfall on Mexico's south-east coast.  Jamacia's senior captain Wavell Hinds was due to have his appeal of the ban handed to him for verbally abusing umpires heard in the nation's capital Kingston yesterday (E-News 82-443, 14 August 2007), however, given the damage 'Dean' inflicted there over the week end it is not known if that hearing went ahead.  EN457.

 

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

The eighth of a 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.  In this scenario you are umpiring at the striker's end.  'No ball' is called by the square leg umpire as the ball is being delivered.  The striker goes back to play the ball and in doing so accidently knocks off both bails at his end.  The striker plays the ball on to the leg side and calls for a run.  An appeal is made to you at the bowler's end as a fielder picks up the ball and throws it at the striker's end wicket.  The throw hits one stump and catches the non-striker out of his ground.  All stumps remain in the ground.  Another appeal is made.  What decisions need to be made by the umpires?  Brian's view will be provided in E-News 87.  EN456.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 87, 23 August 2007

 

AUSTRALIAN APPOINTED TO ICC UMPIRING 'TASK FORCE'

Cricket Australia's (CA) Geoff Allardice is one of four men appointed to the world body's umpiring 'task force', and the only one who is not from the International Cricket Council (ICC).  The ICC provided E-News with information on the task force and its timetable yesterday, although as yet it has not released details via the press releases that it frequently issues.  Establishment of the special-purpose committee was recommended by the ICC's Cricket Committee in late May (E-News 51-284, 4 June 2007), and accepted by the ICC Chief Executive's Committee (CEC) a month later (E-News 63-344, 1 July 2007), however since then nothing has been released about the task force's work  (E-News 85-455, 20 August 2007).  Information provided by Brian Murgatroyd, the ICC's Manager of Media and Communications, suggests that a considerable amount of work has been undertaken behind the scenes on the task force over the past two months.  The group has a complex range of issues to work through, including examining what the most appropriate structure is for the ICC's 'Elite', 'International' and 'Associate and Affiliate' international umpiring panels, related accreditation, assessment, training and logistical issues, remuneration, and policies for the selection and appointment of umpires to panels and matches; the latter including the use neutral umpires in Test matches (E-News 42-233, 20 May 2007).  Over the last eight weeks an eight-part, 79 question, survey has been formulated and circulated to contracted umpires, their coaches, players, administrators and others around the world in order to obtain direct feedback on a range of issues.  Information provided by that survey is among the matters the task force will consider when it meets in London on 6-7 September.  Questionnaires were due to be returned electronically to the ICC in Dubai last Monday and the task force's current aim is to finalise its report so that it can be submitted to the ICC's CEC for consideration at their meeting in South Africa in the last half of September.  Apart from Allardice its other members are Chairman, ICC President-Elect David Morgan from England, the ICC's Chief Match Referee Rajan Madugalle from Sri Lanka, and South African David Richardson, ICC's General Manager Cricket, whose area of responsibility includes international umpires.  Doug Cowie, the ICC's Umpires Manager, will support the committee in an administrative and secretarial capacity.  Allardice has served as a member of CA's National Umpires Selection Panel for all but one of the last five years (E-News 50-272, 1 June 2007), however, while he, Madugalle and Richardson have all played cricket at a high level, none of the four appear to have had any direct experience as umpires.  On the other hand New Zealander Cowie, who has been in his current position for 18 months, stood in 22 Test matches and 71 One Day Internationals during a 20 year career as an umpire from 1985-2005.  EN465.

 

INDIAN BOARD ANNOUNCES THREE-YEAR UMPIRE TRAINING CONTRACT

Reports from India say that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that it has entered into a three-year agreement with Cricket Australia (CA) for the training and development of its umpires, however, details of the arrangement or costs involved are not yet available.  The announcement comes after reports in India over the last week indicated Australia and India were discussing umpire training issues (E-News 85-459, 20 August 2007), and follows CA's reported $A510,000, two-year deal signed earlier in the year that involves similar activities in Bangladesh (E-News 66-362, 13 July 2007).  According to the BCCI it has allocated the equivalent of $A910,000 this financial year to set up a video recording system for use in the mentoring and training of umpires standing in all senior domestic tournaments (E-News 67-366, 15 July 2007).  Courses for women scorers and umpires are also planned to encourage their participation in the game.  The BCCI says that it made a profit in 2006-07 equivalent to $A70m, up from $A10m the previous year.  The figure for 2007-08 is anticipated as being around $A69m.  EN464.

 

LAWS SCHOOL PROVIDED 'NEW PERSPECTIVE' ON CRICKET SAYS RETIRED PLAYER

Despite over 20 years as a Grade cricketer and seven in club administration, a recently retired club captain and official says that his attendance at this year's TCUSA's Laws School has shown him that in his playing days he, like most participants, "only ever scratched the surface of the Laws of the game".  Michael Graham-Smith, former President of University Cricket Club (UCC) in the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) and skipper of their second Grade side in recent seasons, has now joined umpiring ranks.  He says in an article posted on the UCC's web site that the School provided him with a whole new perspective on the challenges umpires face and their role in the game.  Graham-Smith decided last January to "have a crack at umpiring" in 2007-08 and his studies since have resulted in him "watching matches from a very different perspective" and he is "excited" about his new role in the game.  His article says that the Laws School reminded him of a "good, old-fashioned gospel meeting where the passionate preachers spell out the truth to the assembled throng", however, while he "was soon converted" the major difference was that "the parishioners end up at the bar after the meeting".  He says though that "the umpiring fraternity is made up of a great many people who just want to put something back into the game, and [that] they push each other to raise the standards of umpiring in Tasmania".  Presenters during the six-week School reinforced the gospel anaology by often referring to the late Tom Smith's book on umpiring and scoring, with many of those present seeming to believe that "Smith is the Messiah and his book 'The Bible'", says Graham-Smith.  If Tom Smith is the "divine one" then Michael says he has many disciples in Tasmania, and that many of those turn hold up Australian international umpire Simon Taufel as "one of the anointed".  Graham-Smith watched Taufel closely in the recent England-India Tests to see what sets him apart, and despite the fact that "he probably had his worst match in the second Test" (E-News 75-411, 31 July 2007), the NSW-based official "remains far and away the best in the world".  Michael says that he will "continue to watch [Taufel] closely to find out what makes him so good".  In the lead up to the Laws exam Michael read the MCC's Laws of Cricket booklet three times, studied Tom Smith and worked his way dilligently through Cricket Australia's umpiring CD-Rom.  Overall the exam was "hard, very hard" he says, and when he finished he was "fairly confident [he] wouldn't get anywhere near [the] 85 per cent" mark required for him to be eligible for First or Second Grade matches.  Despite his reservations he scored exactly that.  Graham-Smith says he is now looking forward to the two-day umpires seminar in early October (E-News 79-430, 9 August 2007), and "can't wait" for the season to start.  In the mean time he plans to read the Law Book and Tom Smith a few more times, watch a lot of Pay TV to learn from the "anointed one", and talk to TCUSA's umpires advisor Richard Widows and "his disciples" about what to expect when the season starts.  EN463.

 

IS STEVE DAVIS GETTING A FEED?

Australian international umpire stood in the first of three One Day Internationals between Zimbabwe and the full South African side in the provincial city of Bulawayo yesterday, but a report from Harare earlier this week suggests that availability of food in the area might be a problem for him.  According to an article on Cricinfo by Harare-based freelance journalist Steven Price, South Africa's 'A' side experienced problems obtaining a meal during a visit to Bulawayo for a match last week.  Price wrote that "according to reliable sources" the team was "turned away in the evening from local restaurants which had run out of ingredients".  The players then headed for fast-food franchises, but those had also run out of supplies, however, they were able to eventually obtain a meal at a local pizza outlet. Price said that there were "also unconfirmed reports" that the India 'A side', who visited in July, "were unhappy with some of the conditions they were expected to deal with, with gripes about accommodation and food to the fore".  During yesterday's match in Bulawayo, Adelaide-based Davis umpired with former International Cricket Council 'Elite' umpires panel member Russell Tiffin.  Zimbabwean Tiffin is currently a member of the ICC's International Panel (IP), and he and that country's other officials on the IP, Kevin Barbour and Ian Robinson, stood in Zimbabwe's games against India 'A' and South Africa 'A' over the past month.  Davis now travels to Harare where two ODIs are scheduled this weekend (65-353, 12 July 2007).  EN462.

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 86 of 22 August.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  The answer for both appeals is 'not out'.  The scenario was broken into two different appeals.  The first was for 'hit wicket', but as the delivery had been called a 'no ball', the striker could not be dismissed in that manner (see Law 24.15).  Please note here though Law 27.5 that relates to answering appeals within your jurisdiction.  This Law says that the striker's end umpire, not his colleague at the bowler's end, is responsible for making decisions on appeals for 'hit wicket', 'stumped' and provided it is at his end, 'run out'.  Although Law 27.6 does give room for consultation on decisions the responsibility of each umpire as to the appeals they can make decisions on is quite clear.  The second appeal was for 'run out' and although the striker had originally broken the wicket, the fielders still have to put the wicket down as per Law 28.1(i)(iv).  With the striker breaking the wicket we look at the question of 'obstruction'.  However, in this scenario as the striker had accidently broken his wicket he was 'not out' in that regard as Law 37.1 says that the act has to be willful.  EN461.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 88, 26 August 2007

 

TASSY UMPIRES NAMED FOR DARWIN SERIES, TOUR MATCH

Tasmanian umpires Greg Luck and Steve Maxwell are to each stand in four games in the seven-team, one-day format, 'Institute Challenge', which starts in Darwin on Monday.  After that five-day series of matches, which will involve Institute of Sport teams from the Australian Capital Territory, NSW, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia, as well as a touring side from Bangladesh's Academy, the two TCUSA members will stay on in the 'Top End' for a three-day game between Tasmania and the tourists.  The Institute Challenge normally involves teams made up of the best Under-23 players from each state-based institute bolstered by a handful of older players.  Apart from Luck and Maxwell, other officials who will stand in Darwin this week are Paul Wilson from Western Australia, Richard Field from NSW, Jay Kanga from Queensland, and two so-far-unnamed officials from the Northern Territory.  Wilson, a former Australian player, is a member of Cricket Australia's Project Panel (E-News 65-355, 12 July 2007), Field was named 'Country Umpire of the Year' in his state last season, while Kanga stood in the Emerging Players Tournament in Queensland last month (E-News 74-407, 30 July 2007).  Cricket Australia's National Umpiring Manager Andrew Scotford plans to be in Darwin for the series and says he is keen to talk to the umpires involved, and intends to use the opportunity to discuss the way ahead following this year's review of umpiring at the national level (E-News 9-050, 25 February 2007).  E-News understands that the cost of sending officials to the matches in Darwin is being borne by their respective state cricket associations.  EN471.

 

COACHES, UMPIRES, SELECTORS SET FOR TRAINING, DEVELOPMENT, MEETINGS

State umpiring coaches and directors of umpiring from around Australia, the National Umpires Selection Panel, Cricket Australia's (CA) Technical Committee, and members of the National Umpire Panel (NUP), will travel to Brisbane this week for several key meetings in the lead up to the 2007-08 season.  Both gatherings are to be held at CA's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, the first involving all except NUP members running from Tuesday evening to Thursday, and the second on Friday-Saturday when the NUP will be present.  The earlier meeting is focused on the professional development of state-based officials who work at the 'coal face' of cricket, and is being put together by an independent management group from outside CA.  State coaches-directors play a key role in umpiring management structures as their focus is to lift the standard of umpiring at the local level, and identify and train officials who have the potential to go on to representative, state, and in the ultimate, international level.  Andrew Scotford, Cricket Australia's National Umpiring Manager (E-News 36-199, 5 May 2007), told E-News last week that "CA has acknowledged the importance of the umpire's role", and the coaches-directors' meeting is part of an overall push by the national body to build an effective, coordinated, nation-wide, structure in the umpire's area.  When NUP members arrive for the Friday-Saturday meeting, E-News understands that they and the state coaches-directors will review CA's 2007-08 playing conditions and policies, hear, consider and discuss game-related communications, psychology and fitness factors, as well as matters related to this year's national umpiring review and its aftermath.  NUP members will also have the opportunity of practicing their skills in the nets as the Australia squad prepares for the inaugural World Twenty20 championship which starts in South Africa at the end of next week (E-News 73-401, 27 July 2007).   EN470.

 

AUSSIE INTERNATIONALS REPRIMANDED BY ECB 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have reprimanded three Australia internationals for breaches of its disciplinary code this month.  Somerset pair Cameron White and Justin Langer have been cautioned over 'Level One' breaches of the code, while countryman Brad Hodge who plays for Lancashire, has also been disciplined.  Level One offences relate to an "abuse of a cricket ground, equipment or fixtures and fittings".  All-rounder White's offence occurred during his team's match against Derbyshire on 5 August, and his county captain Langer's in the County Championship game against Nottinghamshire a few days later.  Hodge breached the code in his side's match against Yorkshire in mid-month.  Precise details of the offences have not been made public.  The reprimands will remain on all three players' records for two years and any further Level One breach in that time will see an automatic imposition of three penalty points.  Former Australian player and Hampshire captain Shane Warne was disciplined in May for "showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action" and "using language or a gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectator" (E-News 48-262, 30 May 2007).  EN469. 

 

SMALL ISLAND GROUP CONSIDERING 'NEUTRAL' UMPIRE QUESTION

The question of 'neutral' officials may be on the agenda of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpiring 'task force' (E-News 87-465, 23 August 2007), but at the current time it is also an issue causing considerable debate in the Channel Islands.  Cricket authorities in the Islands, which are a small English archipelago in the English Channel close to the French coast, are examining using 'neutrals' in their key annual inter-island match next year.  The move comes after reports from last week's game between the islands of Guernsey and Jersey saw a "number of contentious decisions" made by the local officials who controlled the match.  Dave Piesing, Chairman of the Guernsey Cricket Board was quoted by local media as saying that "we have to consider our options" for just as players "might freeze on the big occasion, so can umpires".  He is in favour of neutral officials "not as a criticism of [local] umpires, but because the inter-island game has "become so huge".  Ward Jenner, a former captain of both islands and now the Jersey Cricket Board's Vice Chairman agreed, as did Stuart Le Prevost, Guernsey's skipper in last week's game.  Jenner acknowledged though that as "the players get to play in the key match of the season, the umpires [rightly] feel that they should [have similar opportunities] to [stand] in it".  Ralph Anthony, Secretary of the Guernsey Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers, expressed a similar view.  He believes that the match is a "carrot" that many local umpires aspire to stand in, and while he understands the reasons put forward for neutral umpires, in his view if it is removed locals "might not want to carry on in the more routine matches played in the islands".  Anthony acknowledged that there may have been "three or four contentious decisions on both sides" in this year's game, but said that "if there is a fear of bias are we going to have neutral umpires in all our regular games?".  There are a wide range of views on the value and need for neutral officials in important matches.  At the highest levels of the game Australian international umpire Daryl Harper has spoken in favour of their use (E-News 34-190, 30 April 2007), however, his countryman and colleague Simon Taufel holds an opposing view (E-News 42-233, 20 May 2007).  Whatever decision is taken in the Channel Islands for their "big match' in 2008, neutral umpires will be officiating in Jersey during the World Cricket League's Division 5 tournament when it is played there next year (E-News 41-219, 17 May 2007).  EN468.

 

HAWK-EYE FOUNDER LOOKING AT 'LB' DECISIONS SYSTEM

The UK-founder of Hawk-Eye technology is understood to be looking at the introduction of an "appeal system" for LBWs and says that he is "discussing" the issue with "cricket authorities".  Paul Hawkins, who heads the England-based Hawk-Eye Innovations company, was quoted in a brief article published in 'The Times' as saying that under the system he is proposing "captains could refer a number of close decisions to Hawk-Eye, rationed according to the number of incorrect challenges".  Such an approach would fit into the referral of decisions to umpires concept that was trialed in the UK's one-day domestic competition this northern summer (E-News 86-460, 22 August 2007).  No other details of Hawkin's proposal, or just which "cricket authorities" he has been talking to, were provided in the article.  The suggestion, given that some observers have serious doubts about Hawk-Eye, especially for LBW decisions, adds to the ongoing debate about the use of technology in the higher echelons of the game.  The Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee's (WCC) will have as a key focus matters related to the use of "technology in cricket, its possibilities and what might be good for the game or unhelpful" when it meets in South Africa on 25 September (E-News 83-448, 16 August 2007).  EN467.

 

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

The ninth of a 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.  Mid-way through an over, you have called 'dead ball' and walk over to consult your colleague at striker's end.  When you turn to return to the bowler's end position you see that the bowler is practicing bowling on the edge of the pitch and the first slip fielder is likewise bowling the ball back to him.  What are your actions?  Brian's view will be provided in E-News 89.  The EN466.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 89, 28 August 2007

 

EIGHT UMPIRES NAMED TO INAUGURAL TASMANIAN 'STATE SQUAD'

The Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) has appointed eight members of the TCUSA to its inaugural State Umpires Squad, one of six such bodies that state cricket associations around Australia have formed or are forming as part of Cricket Australia's (CA) revamp of national umpiring arrangements (E-News 9-049, 25 February 2007).  State Squads sit directly below the 12-man National Umpires Panel (NUP) in the new national structure, and if their member's performance warrants it they can be used to supplement the NUP for First Class and other matches around the country.  In the ultimate, should they be good enough, squad members could be considered for elevation to the NUP itself in future seasons.  Those named to Tasmania's 'no-contract' squad for the 2007-08 season, all of whom are seen by the TCA as "having future prospects beyond Grade cricket level", are Steven John, Greg Luck, Steve Maxwell, Nick McGann, Jamie Mitchell, Brian Muir, Sam Nogajski and Wade Stewart.  All have umpired TCA First Grade cricket, Maxwell for 9 seasons and 81 games, Muir 6/25, Stewart 5/51, John 2/23, Nogajski 2/19, Luck 1/11, McGann 1/9, and Mitchell 1/2, and the majority of them also at higher-levels (E-News 19-106 to 19-109, 22 March 2007).  In making the announcement, Tasmania's State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows, said that all of the eight "will not necessarily succeed in being appointed as First Class officials, particularly in the short-term" but that all "will be expected to contribute to the group dynamic by supporting those who do".  Appointments to higher-level matches from each of the six state squads will be made by the national selectors in consultation with state association concerned.  Such selections will be base on the performance of an umpire in state appointed roles such as the Cricket Australia Cup for state second elevens, the Women's National Cricket League, Youth Championships and Grade cricket.  Widows made it clear though that his squad's focus will not just be on higher-level cricket, for a key part of their brief will be "the on-going improvement of umpiring" at "all levels" of the game through mentoring and other support for officials around the state.  Some who are now in the new squad provided, for example, instruction during the TCUSA's recent winter Laws School.  As part of the squad's development program three of the eight squad members have been involved in tournaments around the country over winter, while others are to stand in several pre-season matches over the next six weeks (see following story).  EN479.

 

STATE SQUAD MEMBERS NAMED FOR PRE-SEASON MATCHES  

Members selected in Tasmania's inaugural State Umpiring Squad have been appointed to higher-level pre-season tournaments in the lead up to the 2007-08 season.  During those matches they have, and will, come under the scrutiny of observers who can make judgments that will affect their future umpiring careers.  In an unprecedented level of activity for Tasmanian umpires, which has been supported by an increase in the funds available for umpiring training and development, squad members will have traveled interstate for important tournaments five times in the three months before the 2007-08 season gets underway.  Steven John went to Brisbane to stand in the Emerging Players Tournament in July (E-News 74-407, 30 July 2007), while Steve Maxwell and Greg Luck are currently in Darwin officiating in the 'Institute Challenge' series and a tour game between Tasmania and Bangladesh (E-News 88-471, 26 August 2007).  In addition Nick McGann and Brian Muir are to stand in two, one-day, trial games involving Tasmanian 'Tigers' contracted players in Launceston on 8-9 September, before Maxwell and John travel there to officiate in a three-day trial game from 14-16 September as the 'Tigers' work towards the coming season.  In the first week of October, the Tasmanian side will continue their build-up by playing in a tournament in Mooloolaba, Queensland, which will involve South Australia, Victoria and the New Zealand 'A' side.  Muir and John will officiate in that series with as yet unnamed officials from other states.   State Director of umpiring Richard Widows told E-News that he expects "other opportunities will unfold" for squad members as the season progresses.  EN478.

 

JOHNSON OFF, CRAFTER ON, NATIONAL UMPIRES SELECTION PANEL

Cricket Australia (CA) has dropped Mel Johnson from the National Umpires Selection Panel (NUSP) and replaced him with former Australian international umpire Tony Crafter.  Crafter, together with long-serving NUSP member Dick French, and the group's 'Convenor', CA's National Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford, will be responsible for selecting umpires for Pura Cup, Ford Ranger Cup, Twenty20, other domestic competitions and some tour games during the 2007-08 season.  In announcing the change, Scotford acknowledged Johnson's "significant contribution [on the NUSP] over the past five years".  He said that Johnson "will continue to play a role in the development of umpires in Australia as a 'Talent ID' consultant to CA", and that his "role will be detailed further over the next few weeks".  Crafter, who is from South Australia, umpired 33 Tests and 84 One Day Internationals (ODI) over a 13 year international career from 1978-92.  When he retired after standing in the 1992 Sheffield Shield final, Crafter held the Australian record for umpiring in the most Test matches.  Since then he has worked for the then Australian Cricket Board as its national umpire's manager, then for the International Cricket Council, primarily, it is believed, in assessing umpires standing at the highest levels of the game.  French stood in 19 Tests and 57 ODIs from 1977-88 and like Johnson was a founding member of the NUSP (E-News 50-272, 1 June 2007).  Scotford umpired in Canberra from 1993-2000 and stood in a one-day interstate Mercantile Mutual match during that time (E-News 36-199, 5 May 2007).  All three are thought to be attending the pre-season umpire meetings that are being held in Brisbane this week (E-News 88-470, 26 August 2007), and with six Pura Cup matches scheduled for the last half of October, they are probably already considering appointments for those games.  EN477. 

 

INITIAL WORLD TWENTY20 APPOINTMENTS EXPECTED SOON

Match referee and umpiring match appointments for the opening stage of the inaugural World Twenty20 tournament are expected to be announced in the near future.  The series is now just two weeks away from commencing, the opening game being scheduled for 11 September.  Four groups each made up of three teams will play in three stadiums around the country over the first week, and with travel and accommodation arrangements to make it is probable that the umpires involved already know where they will be officiating in the early matches in the tournament.  Three Australians, Daryl Harper, Steve Davis and Simon Taufel were among the nine umpires named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the tournament in late July.  Five of the officials are from the ICC's 'Elite' panel and the other four from its 'International' panel (E-News 73-401, 27 July 2007).  Davis officiated in three One Day Internationals in Zimbabwe last week (E-News 87-462, 23 August 2007), while Taufel is currently in India (see following story).  EN476.

 

INDIAN UMPIRES "ENTHUSIASTIC" ABOUT TRAINING COURSE

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel was quoted in Indian media reports yesterday as saying that umpires attending a training-course at the National Cricket Academy in Banglaore this week are showing a lot of enthusiasm and are "looking for more feedback and more support".  In appears that the course Taufel and Cricket Australia's global development manager Ross Turner are currently running, which is part of a three-year training contract (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007), is made up of three, separate, two-day meetings, with around 35 umpires from across the sub-continent taking part in each gathering.  The reports say that Taufel is impressed by the umpire's "willingness to learn" and that they need to be provided with the "right tools and support" to help them become more professional.  The first step in the process was to "identify [each group's] strengths and weaknesses" and then "work to try and establish some core foundation of umpiring skills", he said.  "If I can use an analogy" said Taufel, "when you build a house you try and put a strong foundation so that the house doesn’t fall over, [and] it’s the same thing we have done in the last two days".  "We have tried to build a strong foundation on which we can build on, we have done some theoretical exercises, practicals and also an exam on laws", he said.  Reports claim that Taufel has to return to Australia for "an important umpire's meeting" later this week, a comment that if true, would indicate he will be taking part in the National Umpiring Panel's pre-season gathering in Brisbane on Friday and Saturday (E-News 88-470, 26 August 2007).  EN475.

 

ENGLAND FINED FOR SLOW OVER-RATE IN ODI

England has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the second One Day International (ODI) against India last Friday.  International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Roshan Mahanama imposed the fines after Paul Collingwood's side was ruled to be three overs short of its target at the end of Indian's innings.  Under the ICC's Code of Conduct (COC), a shortfall of more than two overs requires that a captain be automatically charged with a Level two COC breach.  As Collingwood's side was three overs short, Mahanama fined him 50 per cent of his match fee, a figure believed to be around $A1,500.  Under the COC 50 per cent is the minimum censure allowable, with the maximum being a ban of up to two matches.  In addition to the captain, the other England players were fined 15 per cent of their fee, or five per cent for every over they failed to bowl in the time allowed.  England were nearly 40 minutes late in completing their overs but had mitigating circumstances which Mahanama took into account in making his decision.  There were problems with the sightscreen during the early stages of the match, while Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar needed treatment for cramp during his innings of 99.  Speaking before the disciplinary hearing Collingwood said that "the nature of the innings, with so many boundaries being scored and with various stoppages for one thing or another, [meant] that it was [always] going to be longer than usual".  Those present at the hearing were Mahanama, Collingwood, England coach Peter Moores, team manager Phil Neale and umpires Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and England-based Ian Gould, together with their colleagues third umpire Nigel Llong and fourth official Peter Hartley.  EN474.

 

HITTING THE BALL TWICE 

Kurt Wilkinson, the Barbados batsman, was wrongly dismissed hitting the ball twice during a 2002 one-day match against Leeward Islands in Jamaica, according to UK-based journalist Charlie Randall.   Randall says that having played a defensive stroke into the ground, Wilkinson was given 'out' after appeal when the ball rebounded on to the toe of his bat.  Though it was true he was not protecting his wicket with the second hit says Randall, reports indicate that the umpire "forgot" that the action involved had to be ‘wilful’.  EN473. 

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 88 of 26 August.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  When this occurs the players have contravened Law 17.1(a) and both players would be suspended from bowling again for at maximum, one hour from the time of the offence, or if play is under way, for no more than 30 minutes of playing time after the Law was contravened.  The Bowler would not be able to complete his over and another member of his team would have to finish the over, but not the person who bowled the immediately previous over.  This requirement is covered under Law 17.1(d).  EN472.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 90, 30 August 2007

 

TWO AUSSIES IN THE RUNNING FOR ICC 'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR'

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has named four umpires, two of them from Australia, as contenders for its 2007 'Umpire of the Year' trophy.  Those in the running for this year's award, which will be presented at a ceremony next month, are Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel from Australia, Mark Benson of England, and long-serving international umpire Steve Bucknor of the West Indies.  A 56-person panel made up of the captains of the ICC's Full Member sides, its 10 'Elite' umpires, 8 'Elite' match referees, and what the ICC describes as "28 former greats of the game and members of the media", will vote on the award; each panel member considering performances on the field in the period since August last year.  The last 12 months have not been particularly easy for international officials, the 'ball tampering' Test, World Cup final debacle, and the increasing scrutiny of their performances via television-based technology, all bringing an unwanted focus on to the umpiring fraternity.  While Taufel has won the award on the three occasions it has been presented to date, in the last four months his form in both a World Cup semi final (E-News 32-179, 26 April 2007), and a Test match (E-News 75-411, 31 July 2007), has been spotlighted.  Bucknor was involved in the controversial events at the end of the World Cup (WC) final, and along with the other officials in that match was not selected to stand in next month's World Twenty20 series (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007).  While such controversies tend to dominate in the general public's mind, precisely what, if any, criteria those on the selection panel will use in deciding how they will vote have not been publicised.  Last year a straight 3-2-1 vote was cast, with the votes tallied to produce a winner.  The selection panel will have a lot of data to consider as all four contenders have been busy over the last 12 months, officiating in a total of 21 Tests and 96 ODIs in that time.  Harper and Bucknor each stood in 6 Tests, Taufel 5 and Benson 4, while in the ODI arena Harper and Benson both umpired 28 matches, Taufel 23 and Bucknor 17.  Bucknor, who holds the world record of 119 Tests, is also second on the ODI list with 163 games, and this year he stood in the semi finals in both the Champions Trophy in India and the WC in the West Indies, plus the WC final, the latter an unprecedented fifth such game in a row (E-News 33-187, 27 April 2007).  Harper is third on the all time ODI list with 141 games and also has 65 Tests on the board, Taufel 43 Tests and 116 ODIs, and Benson, the only one of the four to have played a Test or ODI, has 15 Tests and 55 ODIs to his credit.  Apart from the umpire's trophy, other prizes to be awarded in Johannesburg on 10 September, the day before the World Twenty20 Championships gets underway there at the Wanderers stadium, are the Test, One Day International (ODI), Emerging, Associate ODI, and Women players of the year.  The Test and ODI teams of the year, plus the side that best displayed the Spirit of Cricket in its games, will also be named.  EN488.

 

NINE HOBART GROUNDS LISTED FOR NATIONAL UNDER 19 CHAMPIONSHIPS

Nine grounds around Hobart have been listed for use during the nine days of play in national male Under 19 championships in December.  Lindisfarne, KGV, Kingston Beach, New Town and the TCA Ground will be used for four games each, University and Queenborough three times, while single games are listed for Fergusson Park and Hutchins School.  The series will run from 10-21 December with four one-day matches and three of two-day games being played, the same format as last year when the tournament was played in Adelaide (E-News 4-019, 5 January 2007).  If the same pattern as previous years is used for the appointment of umpires to the tournament, each state will nominate an official to take part in the series, possibly from their respective state umpiring squads (E-News 89-479, 28 August 2007).  EN487.

 

TRAINING-APPOINTMENTS MEETINGS LISTED

The latest roster for Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) Grade games for the 2007-08 season, which has been circulated with only one minor change, confirms that First Grade will commence on Saturday, 20 October, and other levels the following weekend (E-News 68-372, 17 July 2007).   TCUSA Training-Appointments meetings that flow from that roster are now as indicated in the Association's Schedule of Activities provided at the end of this newsletter.  Members should note though that given First Grade is to start one week ahead of the other four Grades there is uncertainty about whether the meeting listed for Wednesday, 17 October will actually go ahead.  E-News understands that TCA By Law issues will be discussed during the Annual Seminar on the weekend of 6-7 October, and it appears likely at this stage that the 17 October gathering will only occur if Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL) and any other matches TCUSA members will be involved in commence on the same day as TCA First Grade.  Further information on that meeting will be provided via this newsletter as information becomes available.  EN486.

 

REPORT CLAIMS WARNE TO FACE DISCIPLINE HEARING, POSSIBLE SUSPENSION

An on-line news service in southern England claims that Australian Shane Warne, is to face the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) discipline commission and that he could become "the first county cricketer to receive a one-match ban".  Warne, Hampshire's captain, has six penalty points against his name under the ECB's disciplinary code this season following his reaction to being given out LBW in his team's match against Kent in May (E-News 30-262, 30 May 2007), and an automatic suspension awaits the first player to receive nine penalty points within a two-year period.  However, the South Daily Echo's (SDE) internet edition says that the "allegation made against Warne was not included in the report [prepared] by [umpires] Roy Palmer and Nigel Llong after a match".  Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove dismissed the allegation, which relates to what SDE calls an "incident" during a match played on 12 August, as "unsubstantiated".  Despite that the SDE says that the alleged incident "has been considered serious enough" for Warne to have to attend an ECB hearing, however, to date the ECB's web site has made no reference to the matter.  EN485. 

 

NSW UMPIRES AWARDED ORDER OF AUSTRALIA 

Two country-based members of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) have been awarded the 'Order of Australia' (OAM) for services to cricket, according to the NSWCUSA's web site.  Deniliquin's Wayne Bradley and Cootamundra's Pat Kerin were awarded OAMs in the Queen's Birthday Honours List earlier this year.  Bradley's citation reads "for service to cricket through a range of administrative roles, and to the community of Deniliquin as a contributor to the development of junior sport".  Kerin's was "for service to cricket and Australian Rules football in the Cootamundra region".  EN484.  

 

FOOD A PLENTY FOR ZIMBABWE VISIT

A report in South Africa's 'Daily News' newspaper says that South Africa's senior side were "ordered" by Zimbabwean cricket authorities "to eat at the team hotel and not seek food outside" during their three One Day International match series there last week.  At a reception to welcome the side before the first game, "there was so much meat that the guests could not finish it" said the 'Daily News'.  Australian international umpire Steve Davis who stood in all three games is likely to have stayed in the same hotel, therefore overcoming any concerns there may have been about food (E-News 87-462, 23 August 2007).  According to the article the "measure by the Zimbabwean cricket authorities [was] a bid to avoid a repetition of the embarrassing scenario of last week when the South Africa 'A' cricket side were turned away at fast food outlets in Bulawayo which had run out of food".  During the three games Davis stood in two of them with local Russell Tiffin and the other with Kevan Barbour.  Tiffin is a former member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite' umpire panel, and both he and Barbour are Zimbabwe's representatives on the ICC's 'International' panel (IP).  Zimbabwe's third umpire on the IP, Ian Robinson, was in the box for two of the matches and Barbour for the other.  Of particular interest to TCUSA members is that Jerry Matibiri, who visited Tasmania briefly last January and stood in a Second Grade game with John Smeaton, was the fourth official for the last game of the series in Harare.  Jerry has three First Class games to his credit, two in Zimbabwe's top-level competition, and the other a tour game between the Zimbabwean and Indian 'A' sides in 2004.  He has also officiated in four domestic one-day games in recent years.  EN483.  

 

PLAYER SUSPENDED FOR REMARKS TO NEWSPAPER

The captain of a side in the West of England Premier League (WEPL) has been suspended for the last two games of the northern summer after remarks he made were quoted in a local newspaper and then reported to the area's umpire's body.  Michael Coles, Corcham's skipper, was aggrieved when an umpire gave him out 'caught behind' in a match against Taunton St Andrews.  Coles believed that the ball hit his shirt, not the bat, and told the 'Wiltshire Gazette', that he had ""a few choice words" with the official afterwards, and then called the umpire "incompetent", saying that he "would be surprised if nothing happened and I expect the league will contact me".  The Corsham committee discussed the case and decided Coles was in breach of the WEPL's code of conduct and banned him from selection for the last two fixtures of the season.  Corsham club chairman Tony Shardlow said "its very disappointing, but under the circumstances we believed there was nothing else we could do [for] the umpire's decision must always be respected and as a club we believed we had to nip this sort of thing in the bud".  Shardlow said that "Michael is very remorseful and has written letters of apology to the umpire concerned, the league and the club, but we believed a two match ban [is] appropriate".  WEPL administrator Chris Pannell said no further action is planned against Coles following Corsham's decision to suspend him.  A former First Class cricketer who plays in another southern England league told another newspaper in July that in his opinion the behaviour of the players in the competition in his area was in "serious decline (E-News 69-377, 18 July 2007).  EN482.

 

UMPIRES AND SCORERS FOR THE OLYMPICS?

International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Malcolm Speed told reporters in India yesterday that the world body is seeking membership of the International Olympic Committee so that Twenty20 matches can be part of future Olympic Games, according to a report aired by the BBC overnight.  Cricket was last part of the Olympics in Paris in 1900 when Great Britain beat France to take the gold medal.  Information available suggests that two umpires from England umpired that final, there being no question of 'neutral' officials being used at the turn of last Century (E-News 88-468, 26 August 2007).  According to the BBC report Speed said that the ICC's "long-term objective is to have cricket in the Olympics", although apparently there is no possibility that it will be included in the London games in 2012.  Cricket has, however, been included in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China (E-News 32-177, 26 April 2007).  EN481.

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 10 - HIS QUESTION

The tenth of a 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.  Play has started on the opening morning of a two-day match.  At the first drinks break you are approached by both captains.  The fielding skipper informs you that his opening bowler has to leave the field to attend an urgent family matter.  The captain then asks for another player to replace that player on the team sheet and the batting captain agrees to it happening.  The opening bowler has bowled seven overs. Is such a move allowed and under the Laws of Cricket and are there any restrictions?  Brian's view will be provided in E-News 91.  EN480. 

 

END OF AUGUST 2007 E-NEWS FILE