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September 07 (91-105)

TCUSA E-NEWS SEPTEMBER 2007

15 EDITIONS 

 

Number 91 – 1 September 2007 [EN0489-0494]

Number 92 – 3 September 2007 [EN0495-0499]

Number 93 – 5 September 2007 [EN0500-0505]

Number 94 – 6 September 2007 [EN0506-0513]

Number 95 – 8 September 2007 [EN0514-0516]

Number 96 – 10 September 2007 [EN0517-0520]

Number 97 – 11 September 2007 [EN0521-0524]

Number 98 – 12 September 2007 [EN0522-0531]

Number 99 – 13 September 2007 [EN0532-0541]

Number 100 – 17 September 2007 [EN0542-0550]

Number 101 – 19 September 2007 [EN0551- 0558] 

Number 102 – 22 September 2007 [EN0559- 0562] 

Number 103 – 24 September 2007 [EN0563- 0569] 

Number 104 – 25 September 2007 [EN0569- 0576] 

Number 105 – 27 September 2007 [EN0577- 0580] 

 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 91, 1 September 2007

 

'CORRIDOR OF UNCERTAINTY' FOR WORLD TWENTY20 SERIES 

What World Twenty20 broadcaster ESPN Star Sports calls the 'Corridor of Uncertainty', a "new" television technique designed to "gauge wide balls", is one of a number of systems the company plans to introduce in its world-wide presentation of the tournament.  Writing in the September edition of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Cricket Quarterly' newsletter, Manu Sawhney, the broadcaster's Executive Vice President, Programing and Marketing, says that during the series "fans across the world will witness a new phenomenon" that will take the "great game to millions across the world in the most engaging and entertaining manner".  Thirty cameras will be used to cover each match, including "track cameras on the boundary ropes to present never seen before batsmen and bowlers’ angles", plus "innovative cable cameras to present the bird’s eye view to the audience".  "New ICC graphics packages" built around the Twenty20 game will bring the match to viewers, including, the 'Corridor of Uncertainty', 'Throw Accuracy', a "first-of-its-kind fielding-related feature", a 'Biggest Sixes' program that "shows the longest sixes in the game", and what Sawhey somewhat incongruously calls "human-centric player profiles which show more holistic achievements of the players".  Precise details of each of those "phenomena" or how they work were not provided in the article, however, it would appear that Hawk-Eye technology is involved in some of them (E-News 88-467, 26 August 2007).  The addition of ESPN's "new features" further increases the level of technology in the game at it highest levels.  It comes as the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee prepares to focus on matters related to the use of "technology in cricket, its possibilities and what might be good for the game or unhelpful" at its next meeting on 25 September (E-News 83-448, 16 August 2007).   The Twenty20 World Championship is the first event in ESPN's eight-year broadcast "partnership with the ICC" that will see it cover a total of 19 events between now and 2015.  EN494. 

 

CA TO INTRODUCE NUAS-2 ACCREDITATION NEWSLETTER

Cricket Australia is set to introduce a newsletter directed at holders of the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme Level 2 (NUAS-2) qualification.  Two 'pdf' formatted, electronically-delivered, publications are planned each year, with the first or 2007-08 'pre-season' edition due to be released later this month.  Andrew Larratt, CA's Education and Training Manager, told E-News that the newsletter will have a "professional development focus" with practical tips "aimed at the process of continual development".  The first edition features a story by Australian international umpire Simon Taufel titled 'Fail to Plan - Plan to Fail'.  It also includes a one-page season planner that encourages umpires to think about their game and their goals for the summer ahead.  Larratt is currently responsible for education and training issues across the whole scope of the game in Australia, however, responsibility for umpire-related issues will move from him to a new Umpire Education and Training Officer position that is scheduled to be established within CA's Umpiring Department by 1 January next year.  Andrew Scotford, CA's Umpire Manager, told E-News last week that the recruitment process for the position will commence in the near future.  Establishment of the position was one of the outcomes of the six-month review of umpiring management issues conducted last year, CA's Board accepting the recommendation last February (E-News 9-050, 25 February 2007).  EN493.

 

TROUBLE IN PARADISE

Umpires in the Carribean nation of Trinidad and Tobago (TT) are at odds with their governing body, the TT Cricket Umpires Council (TTCUC), over issues of "nepotism, victimisation and disenfranchisement", according to local media reports.  E-News understands that the TTCUC makes umpiring appointments for both local and West Indian regional matches played in their area.  At a press briefing last Wednesday, members of the Association of Cricket Umpires of Trinidad and Tobago (ACUTT) publicly aired their grievances, giving the TTCUC "one final opportunity to meet their demands or face a boycott [by ACUTT members] of regional games".  An ACUTT member was quoted as saying that "the process of constitutional reform must start immediately with the view to arriving at a position of one man one vote to reflect the democratic will of TT umpires".  The matter has now been referred to the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA), the umbrella organisation for all regional umpiring bodies, and they say they will push the West Indies Cricket Board not to appoint ACUTT umpires to regional matches while the current controversy continues.  WICUA President Hartley Reid said in July that the elimination of "insularity and regionalism" in the selection of umpires for First Class and similar level competitions in the West Indies should be a key goal of his Association (E-News 67-364, 15 July 2007).  Details of exactly what has sparked the disagreement in TT were not provided in media reports.  EN492.  

 

BOWDEN THE 'FACE' OF NZ ARTHRITIS APPEAL

New Zealand international umpire 'Billy' Bowden's experience with Arthritis has led to him being the 'face' of a fund raising campaign that will help operate 25 support and education centres for people with the condition.  According to an article in the 'North Shore Times', Bowden said that he is not ashamed at having arthritis, but its "an ugly disease [and] once you've got it, you've got it for life", and "it doesn't just affect old people".  Bowden was diagnosed with a form of rheumatoid arthritis when he was only 20 and "when I started umpiring I had stiff fingers [and] couldn't straighten them", [so] I had to bathe them in hot water before games to loosen them up".  Bowden said that "it really tested me" as "it's a pain in the butt to live with" and is "a life sentence of pain".  In the end though Bowden "decided there was two ways [he] could go about it, [either] sit around doing nothing, or accept it and move on".  He believes that there are "a lot of people are worse off than [him], as he "can walk and see and still be involved with cricket".  "It doesn't stop you doing things you love" he says, and although one "might not be able to do them 100 percent, you can do them".  In his view "it's all in the mind".  The appeal hopes to raise around $A500,000 this year.  EN491.

 

"TEN MINUTES OF CHAOS" FOLLOWS 'RUN OUT' DECISION

What a newspaper in Oxfordshire called "ten minutes of chaos" erupted after a batsman, whose colleague at the crease had a runner, was judged to be 'run out' in a tight local Cup Final last week.  A side from Tetsworth scored 278 from their 45 overs in the one-day match, and their opponents Oxford Caribbean's reply was based around a big hitting 95 from their captain Eddie Howard.  Despite an injury to one of their batsman, Howard's side was making good progress towards victory, and the skipper was batting with a team mate who, due to an injury that he had suffered earlier in the game, was batting with a runner.  Trying to take a quick single, Howard scampered through after hitting the ball and had reached the bowler's end when the wicket keeper whipped off the striker's end bails after a return from the out field.  Unfortunately for Howard the runner had not left his crease at the bowler's end, and on appeal the square leg umpire gave Howard 'out'.  The reported "chaos" followed, the argument apparently being put by Howard's team mates that it was not Howard, their 'star' batsman, who was out, but the batsman with a runner.  The situation was not helped when a supporter of Howard's side ran on to the field and made his feelings known to the umpires.  Despite some heated arguments the decision eventually stood and Howard left the field, but after that his side lost their momentum in the run chase, although in the end they only fell five runs short of their target.  It is not known whether any disciplinary has been, or will be, taken action over the incident.  EN490.  

 

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

The question appeared in E-News 90 of 30 August.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  This scenario is covered under Law 1.2.  That Law says that once the teams have been nominated they can only be changed with the consent of the opposing captain.  Therefore in the situation detailed the player can be changed and there would be no restrictions placed on his replacement.  This is a different to Law 2 which deals with substitutes where the umpire has discretion if a substitute is allowed.  See Law 2.1,2 and 3.  EN489.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 92, 3 September 2007

 

UMPIRES, MATCH REFEREES, NAMED FOR INITIAL WORLD TWENTY20 MATCHES

Three groups of officials, each made up of four umpires and a match referee, have been named to oversee matches in the initial or group stages of the World Twenty20 tournament which commences in South Africa early next week.  Each 'Playing Control Group' will be based at a single stadium for the group stage, officiating at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, Kingsmead in Durban and Newlands in Cape Town.  Australian umpires Steve Davis and Simon Taufel will be in Durban and Daryl Harper in Johannesburg.  Harper's colleagues will be Englishmen Mark Benson from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' panel (EP), Nigel Llong from the ICC's 'International' panel (IP).  The three will be led by a third Englishman, match referee Chris Broad, and supported by South African Karl Hurter who will be the fourth official in all group matches in Johannesburg.  Davis (IP) and Taufel (EP) are in a group that includes fellow umpire Billy Doctrove (EP) of the West Indies and match referee Mike Proctor from South Africa, while IP member Brian Jerling of South Africa is the fourth umpire.  In Cape Town match referee Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka) will have with him EP member Asad Rauf (Pakistan), as well as IP officials Tony Hill (New Zealand) and Ian Howell (South Africa).  Home umpire Marian Erasmus, South Africa's umpire of the year last season, will be the fourth official for all group matches in Cape Town.  Appointments have also been made for World Twenty20 warm up matches scheduled for 8-9 September, although details are not known at this stage.  Those games will take place at Centurion, Benoni and Potchesstroom and will not carry official Twenty20 international status.  EN499.

 

UMPIRES BUSY IN AFRICAN, ASIAN, UNDER 19 TOURNAMENTS

Umpires from around Africa and Asia were involved in their respective Under 19 tournaments played in South Africa and Malaysia late last month.  The African series, which was played in Benoni last week, featured teams from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia; nine umpires from Namibia and South Africa standing in a total of 20 one-day, 50 over, matches.  Namibia won the series, the final against Kenya being umpired by Jeff Luck (Namibia) and Temba Msipha (South Africa).  Twelve umpires from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka were appointed for the 27-match, 10-team, Asian series in Kuala Lumpur; the teams involved being Afganistan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  The final, which was umpired by Rohitha Kottahachchi (Sri Lanka) and Nadeem Ghauri (Pakistan), was won by Nepal.  In winning their respective tournaments Namibia and Kenya qualify for the Under 19 World Cup to be played in Malaysia in February-March next year.  They will join the winners from the East Asia-Pacific, Europe and Americas regions, the 10 Full Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and hosts Malaysia, for the 16-team series.  First staged in Australia in 1988, the Under 19 World Cup was initially organised on an occasional basis, but since the commencement of the ICC Development Program in 1997 it has become a biennial fixture.  The 2010, 2012 and 2014 series are to be held in Kenya, Canada, and the UAE respectively.  EN498.

 

PLAYER'S ABSENCE, QUICK WICKETS, KEEPS UMPIRES ON THEIR TOES  

The combination of a player's absence from the field of play and the quick fall of wickets when his team went out to bat kept the umpires on their toes during the Test match between South Africa and India in Cape Town last January.  India's batsman Sachin Tendulkar was off the ground for 18 minutes as the South African innings ended close to stumps on the third day. Under Test match playing conditions, as opposed to the Laws of Cricket where it only applies to bowlers, Tendulkar was not able to go out to bat until 18 minutes had passed when India started its innings on day four.  The umpires, Australian Daryl Harper and Asad Rauf from Pakistan made a note of Tendulkar's absence and had calculated when he could come on to the field.  The Indian normally bats number four and therefore goes out to start his innings after two wickets have fallen.  India lost its first wicket nine minutes into the day's play therefore Harper asked third official Marais Erasmus (South Africa) via radio to remind the Indian dressing room of the restriction on Tendulkar.  Fourth official Murray Brown (South Africa) immediately went to pass on the message, but just as he arrived there, 11 minutes into the day, the second wicket fell.  That meant that Sourav Ganguly, who was not ready, had to hurriedly get dressed and pad up, but it took six minutes before he was ready to face the next ball.  Due to the delay the South African players enquired with Harper and Rauf about the "Timed Out" Law, but they did not appeal.  Harper said the he "explained to [the South Africans] that there were exceptional circumstances and they were quite happy with that".  The Australian told the media later in the day that the issue had not been raised with Indian management before play. "We don't remind players each morning that they can be out 'LBW', 'Caught' or 'Bowled'", he said, and "players must be responsible for knowing the [Laws and playing] conditions".  While "we could have gone and told them first thing in the morning [about Tendulkar's 18 minute penalty], personally I didn't want to put a negative thought in their minds that if two quick wickets fell Sachin couldn't bat".  No one has ever been dismissed 'Timed Out' in a Test match but it has happened four times in other First Class matches over the years.  EN497.  

 

POWER PLAY MODIFICATION SUITS USE OF SPINNERS SAYS DRAVID

India's captain Rahul Dravid believes that the modification to the 'Powerplay' rule in One Day Internationals (ODI), whereby a third fielder will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle for the second and third 'plays', will allow teams more options with their spinners.  According to a recent article on the Cricinfo web site, Dravid is of the view that the rule change, which will take effect next month, will "help add variety to those crucial phases of games".  When asked about the difficulty of managing his resources in those overs, he said that he "felt for a long time that the second and third Powerplays are monotonous".  "Every one is bowling seam-up bowlers and there is no charm to the game [and] it is really difficult to get through [so many] overs of Powerplay with your spinners".  He believes that the rule change will "give captains the courage to bowl the spinners in the Powerplays a lot more".  In addition to Powerplay changes, rules relating to ball replacement, free hits and minimum boundary sizes are also being introduced in ODIs starting 1 October (E-News 64-350, 2 July 2007).  EN496.  

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MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 11 - HIS QUESTION

The eleventh 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 the striker's end umpire.  The bowler has commenced his run to the wicket.  The batsmen start running as the bowler delivers the ball which is fairly delivered.  The striker attempts to hit the ball but misses.  The batsmen cross before the wicketkeeper takes the ball in front of the stumps and breaks the wicket catching the non-striker out of his ground.  There is an appeal to you at the striker's end.  What’s your decision?  Brian's view will be provided in E-News 93.  EN495. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 93, 5 September 2007

 

IMPROVED 'HAWK-EYE', PLAYER CHALLENGE SYSTEM, BEING EXPLORED

Improvements to 'Hawk-Eye' and to the speed with which data from it and other technology can be made available for assessment, and a linked, well-structured 'player referrals system', are detailed in a paper to be presented to the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee's (WCC) meeting in South Africa on 25 September, according to England's 'Daily Telegraph'.  The paper's authors, former New Zealand player and WCC member, Martin Crowe, who is now a television producer, Phil Hawkins, Hawk-Eye's inventor, and Gary Franses, another television producer, are of the view that the increased use of technology has led to umpires feeling victimised and loosing their confidence.  The core tenant of their paper centres on improvements that have been made to the 'Hawk-Eye' system, basic details of which surfaced late last month (E-News 88-467, 26 August 2007).  Crowe, who ran Sky TV's coverage in New Zealand, was not a fan of 'Hawk-Eye' at first, believing that it was "neither consistent or accurate", but he is now very positive about the work that has been undertaken on it recently by Hawkins and his company.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) is "so excited" about the improvements claims the 'Daily Telegraph', that a "joint venture [with Hawkins] is being investigated".  In Crowe's opinion the use of improved technology must go hand-in-hand with "a player challenge system as in tennis", for "that way the worst umpiring gets policed and the best still stands".  "Such a system", he says, would have to have "far more thought given to it than the experiment of referrals in county cricket this [northern] summer", a test that was widely criticised by both players and the media (E-News 86-460, 22 August 2007).  As was the case in that trial, Crowe and his colleagues propose that each team be limited to three challenges per innings, however, the third umpire would be provided with a much more sophisticated data set.  That would "include 'Hawk-Eye', super slow-motion replays, the 'Snickometer and or 'Hot Spot', as well as a view of the delivery from the umpire's position, the bowler's position, the square-leg angle and the wicket-keeper's position", the aim being to provide the third official with "umpire-dedicated" data "within 15 seconds".  There is no indication in the Daily Telegraph article as to how long that official would then have to make a judgement on the information placed before him, but if after his review the on-field umpire's decision is confirmed, the team challenging would lose one of their challenges.  Crowe and the ICC are said in the article to be in no hurry to introduce the system in international matches, but "ideally, all the [ICC's] full member nations would trial a new system in their next domestic season with a view to a first full look in international cricket [around] September 2008".  Such a timetable appears ambitious.  Last May the ICC asked its Cricket Committee (CC) to provide it with advice as to whether a referrals system could be trialed during this month's Twenty/20 World Championships in South Africa, but the CC recommended that the system be tested "in as many countries as possible" so that "further evidence on its effectiveness or otherwise can be obtained" (E-News 51-279, 4 June 2007).   The MCC's WCC's 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" (E-News 83-448, 16 August 2007).  EN505.

 

RACISM TO BLAME FOR HAIR 'SACKING' SAYS REPORT 

Australian international umpire Darrell Hair will allege that his 'sacking' by the International Cricket Council (ICC) from its 'Elite' umpiring panel following last year's ball-tampering Test match was racially motivate, according to a report published in 'The Australian' on Monday.  Journalist Malcom Conn, who is a frequent critic of the ICC, said that next month's hearing in the London Central Employment Tribunal may run up to 10 days, and that the ICC could call up to 20 witnesses.  The article confirms a report in E-News five months ago that the hearing would start on 1 October and that racial discrimination would be a central theme (E-News 24-137, 5 April 2007).  Conn states that Hair will point to the fact that his colleague in the Test, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, has continued to umpire international matches "unhindered".  Since the Test last August, Hair has umpired "just 11 days of cricket", all in second-tier international matches (E-News 65-354, 12 July 2007), which contrasts says Conn with "about 80 to 90 days of Test and one-day cricket" for other members of the ICC's 'Elite' panel.  Over the past year the four umpires who are in the running for this year's ICC 'Umpire of the Year' award have in fact taken the field on 48-58 days in Tests and One Day Internationals (ODI) (E-News 90-488, 30 August 2007).  Conn says that 'Elite' umpires "are paid a retainer, which depends on the cost of living in the country of origin, and match fees [the equivalent of] $A7,300 per Test and $A3,700 per [ODI]", and that as a result of his dismissal Hair is out of pocket around $120,000.  Contacted by the 'The Australian', Hair confirmed that "the case has been set down for 1 October and I have arranged my travel to be there" and that "I look forward to this matter being over and done with so my wife and I can get on with our lives".  Last year, ICC executive board members Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and the West Indies voted to oust Hair on the basis that they had lost confidence in him.  Australia, England and New Zealand all opposed the decision, pointing out, among other things, that there was no due process in the way the matter was handled and Hair had failed to receive natural justice.  Prior to the Test, Hair had been rated highly by the ICC.  EN504. 

 

CAPTAIN PENALISED, PAYS $A1,000 HEARING COSTS, FOR 'SERIOUS DISSENT'

Kent captain Robert Key, who was found guilty of "serious dissent" for his actions during the final of the UK's domestic Twenty20 competition at Edgbaston on 4 August, had his three-point penalty confirmed, and costs awarded against him, by an England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) disciplinary commission hearing last Monday.  An ECB statement said that the commission was satisfied that the penalty imposed on Key for his reaction to his dismissal was correct.  The Cricinfo web site says that Key was caught low at midwicket, but that as he was walking off his team mates in the "dug-out" by the boundary, who had a television monitor, told him that the ball had bounced.  However, when the umpires didn't use a replay Key hurled his bat over the boundary.  The ECB panel reprimanded Key for his actions and said that it "was particularly concerned that the incident took place during a high-profile televised match".  In reaching their decision the commission took into account Key’s unreserved apology to the umpires and to the panel, however, in addition to the points penalty he was also ordered to pay the equivalent of just under $A1,000 towards the cost of the hearing.  Earlier in the season Key was involved in sand papering a ball during a practice match (E-News 26-147, 6 April 2007), his actions and attitude on that occasion being severely criticised by a UK umpiring body (E-News 45, 247, 24 May 2007).  EN503. 

 

TEN UMPIRES FROM WIDELY-SPACED REGIONS STAND IN INTERCONTINENTAL CUP  

Ten umpires from widely-spaced parts of the world, including three members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' panel, have stood in the seven games of the ICC's second-tier 2007-08 Intercontinental Cup played so far this year.  The games, which were played in Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland and Scotland, involved umpires Niels Bagh (Denmark), Roger Dill (Bermuda), Steve Bucknor, Billy Doctrove and Norman Malcolm (West Indies), Darrell Hair (Australia), Courtney Young (Cayman Islands), Charlie McElwee (Ireland), Paul Baldwin (Germany) and Ian Ramage (Scotland).  McElwee stood in three of the games and Bagh and Dill two, the others being appointed to one match each.  All except one of the games were umpired by 'neutral' officials, the exception being when McElwee stood in Ireland's game against Bermuda late last month.  Bucknor, Doctrove and Hair are currently on the ICC's 'Elite' panel, Norman on its 'International' panel, and Baldwin and Dill on its 'Associates and Affiliates' panel.  Four more matches are scheduled for the remainder of this year, two in Kenya and one each in Namibia and the United Arab Emirates.  Umpires for those games have not yet been named.  EN502.

 

FORMER ENGLAND TEST BOWLER ENROLS IN NUAS-2 COURSE

Former England, Victoria and Western Australian pace man Alan Mullally is one of a number of aspiring umpires to enroll in Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Accreditation Scheme Level 2 (NUAS-2) course currently being run in Perth, Western Australia.  According to the Western Australian Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (WACUSA) web site 'Two to Come', Mullally has returned to Perth after spending the past two decades in the UK and says he is keen to put something back into the game.  "I got so much out of the game and played for a long time, 18 years of First Class cricket and seven years at international level, [and] I'm now quite keen to see how life is on the other side of the fence, so to speak", he said.  WA Umpiring Manager Ric Evans was quoted by the web site as saying that Mullally's interest in umpiring "is a tremendous boost to the efforts going in to recruiting new umpires".  He says that "all things being okay, Alan will be out in the field on the first day of District cricket on 6 October, and hopefully his presence and that of Paul Wilson in local umpiring ranks will encourage other former players to participate as well".  WACUSA's high-profile recruit hopes to one day officiate at international level, but 'Two to Come' says that he "understands there is a long road ahead of him before that will happen".  Mullally says that "to umpire a One-Day International in front of a crowd of about 100,000 people would be a unique experience and something I definitely aspire to".  Mullally played 19 Tests and 50 one-day internationals for England during the 1990s, chalking up a total of 230 First Class games overall for his country, Hampshire, Victoria, Western Australia and Leicestershire.  He follows in the footsteps of former Australian bowlers Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson, NSW and Tasmanian all-rounder Rod Tucker, and NSW and Victorian batsman Jason Arnberger, who have all joined the umpiring fraternity in recent seasons.  Reiffel and Tucker are currently members of the National Umpires Panel and Wilson is on CA's Project Panel for fast-tracking former players (E-News 65-355, 12 July 2007), while Arnberger is starting in Victorian District ranks this season (E-News 60-328, 26 June 2007).  EN501.  

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 12 - HIS QUESTION

The twelfth 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.  This scenario is one for both scorers and umpires.  As a scorer you have taken up a position looking straight down the wicket.  You see the ball delivered.  The striker swings at the ball.  You then observe the ball clearly hit the striker’s thigh pad and continues across the boundary.  The bowlers end umpire then signals ‘no ball’, then the ‘bye’ signal, and then the ‘boundary’ signal.  How are the runs scored?   Brian's view will be provided in E-News 94.  EN500. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 94, 6 September 2007

 

BUSY DAYS AHEAD FOR ICC UMPIRES' 'TASK FORCE'

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Umpiring 'Task Force' faces busy days ahead, first examining a wide range of issues at its two-day meeting which gets under way in London later today Australian time, and then preparing its report for tabling at the ICC's Chief Executive's Committee meeting later in the month (E-News 87-465, 23 August 2007).  The group is conducting the first full review of the ICC's international umpiring structure since the current system was established in 2002, and follows a number of high-profile on-field controversies involving umpires over the past year, particularly the 'ball tampering' Test, World Cup final debacle, and issues related to the use of technology in the game which some claim has led to umpires feeling victimised and loosing their confidence (E-News 93-505, 5 September 2007).  The Task Force 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 Affiliates' umpiring panels, related accreditation, assessment, training and logistical issues, remuneration, and policies for the selection and appointment of umpires to panels and matches.  Task force members are the Chairman, ICC President-Elect David Morgan from England, the ICC's Chief Match Referee Rajan Madugalle from Sri Lanka, South African David Richardson, ICC's General Manager Cricket, and Geoff Allardice of Cricket Australia.  Doug Cowie, the ICC's Umpires Manager, is supporting the group in a secretarial and administrative capacity.  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).  EN513.

 

UMPIRES TO 'WARM UP' FOR WORLD TWENTY20 TOURNAMENT

All nine umpires selected for the World Twenty20 tournament will be in action this weekend in ten warm up matches being played in the Johannesburg area.  Of the nine officials, Daryl Harper (Australia) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies) will be standing in three games and the other seven in two each.  Harper will stand with countryman Steve Davis, Doctrove and Nigel Llong (England), Doctrove's other partners being Davis and fellow Australian Simon Taufel.  Taufel's other match will be with Mark Benson (England).  The other tournament umpires who will stand in warm up games are Tony Hill (New Zealand), Ian Howell (South Africa), and Asad Rauf (Pakistan).  Australia, Bangladesh, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe will be involved in the ten games.  England and India are not participating, as their current One Day International series does not end until Saturday at Lords, after which they will fly to South Africa for the Twenty20 championship.  Bangladesh, Kenya and Pakistan, together with Uganda, have been practising this week in Nairobi in a three-day, six-match, quadranglar Twenty20 series.  International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Mike Proctor (South Africa) oversaw those games, with Kenyan umpires Subhash Modi, who is on the ICC's 'Associates and Affiliates panel', and Rockie D'Mello, standing in all of the matches.  The games between Kenya, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been classed as official Twenty20 internationals by the ICC, however, those involving Uganda, which is not currently one of the top six ICC Associate nations, are not.  EN512.

 

INDIA APPOINTS THIRTEEN UMPIRE COACHES

Thirteen umpire coaches have been appointed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to monitor umpiring standards in its domestic competitions.  Reports from the sub-continent say that the panel was chosen from the 105 umpires who trained with Australian international umpire Simon Taufel last week as part of a three-year agreement between the BCCI and Cricket Australia that aims to lift the standard of umpiring in India (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007).  This season each coach will, as occurs in Australia at First Class level, monitor umpires on video and at the end of the day's play, discuss their performances with them.  According to the BCCI the coaches will also talk to captains of domestic sides for their opinions on the umpires' performance.  The 13 named as coaches are Subrata Banerjee, Shyam Bansal, Vijay Chopra, KS Giridharan, Tej Handu, Borni Jamula, Narendra Menon, AL Narasimhan, Subroto Porel, Virinchirpuram Ramaswamy, Raghurir Rathore, BK Sadashiva and Jasbir Singh.  Chopra, Menon and Porel have played at First Class level, Bansal, Narasimhan and Ramaswamy have umpired 6, 1 and 26 Tests respectively, and all on the panel have stood in One Day Internationals; Rathore leading the way with 47 games.  Between them the 13, who range in age from 54-69, have a total of 595 First Class matches to their credit, Ramaswamy having the most with 91 matches while Sadashiva is at the other end of the scale with 25.  A BCCI official was quoted as saying that as a result of the changes made by the Board "we will have four [ways to] judge an umpire, the reports from match referees and from captains, video-recording of matches and the [umpire] coaches".  The coaches will report to Srinivas Venkataraghavan, the BCCI's director of umpiring, the only Indian to date to have serve on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' umpiring panel until he retired in 2004.  India's nominations to the ICC's second-tier 'International' panel have showed no consistency, wholesale changes being made over the five years since that panel was first established.  Indian umpiring standards have attracted considerable criticism in recent years (E-News 27-150, 11 April 2007).  EN511.

 

ANOTHER ABUSE OF FACILITIES LEADS TO PENALTY

Essex batsman Grant Flower has been reprimanded under the England and Wales Cricket Board's disciplinary code following an incident in a match against Derbyshire last week.  The two umpires, George Sharp and Barry Dudleston, reported Flower for a Level One breach of the code which relates to "abuse of the cricket ground, equipment or fixtures and fittings"; however, no details of just what occurred are known at this time.  The penalty will stay on Flower's record for two years and any further Level One breaches in that period will result in an automatic imposition of three penalty points.  Australians Justin Langer, Cameron White and Brad Hodge received the same sanctions last month for the same basic offence (E-News 88-469, 26 August 2007).  EN510.

 

CA's BANGLADESH TRAINING PROGRAM DESCRIBED

Details of umpire training courses being run by Cricket Australia (CA) in Bangladesh as part of a two-year, $510,000 contract, have been provided in an article on the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) web site this week.  CA is working with the Bangladesh Cricket Board to lift the standard of cricket operations in that country, the contract covering issues such as administration, player coaching and umpiring (E-News 66-362, 13 July 2007).  NSWCUSA President Tim Donahoo and board member Darren Goodger, CA's Global Development Manager Ross Turner, Victorian Director of Umpiring Bob Stratford, and National Umpire Panel member Bob Parry, were involved in presenting umpire training courses.  Four separate, five-day, Level 1 training courses, each involving 25 umpires, were conducted in Dhaka in July, the participants being the "top 100 umpires" from around the country.  The training program, which was conducted with the help of an interpreter, was held at Bangladesh's National Stadium and involved "lectures on some of the key Laws, on-field umpiring technique, preparation and routine, concentration, communication, teamwork and physical fitness".  One day of each course was spent observing all participants in a real match situation, practice games involving Bangladesh Cricket Academy players being used to assess each participant's appearance and field craft.  A written exam on the Laws was also conducted.  The best 50 will be given the opportunity to undertake Level 2 training next year, with the top 20 from there possibly going on to form the core of a group of potential international class umpires.  Donahoo says in the article that the mix of participants was interesting, with former Test and current One Day International umpires sharing space with umpires in their first year, as well as some from country areas who had traveled up to 11 hours on a bus to reach Dhaka.  "Most of them are good umpires", he says, "who would not be out of place in Sydney Grade cricket".  However, "due to the prevailing social and cultural structures they face pressures at club level very far removed from our world, [with] crowds of up to 20,000 for big club matches, and a lot of money involved".  Many of the umpires are essentially full-time during the season according to Donahoo, officiating in up to 50 matches or more (mostly one-day), fixtures.  As a result their match payments form a big part of their incomes, therefore their performance on the course was said to be very important to many of them.  EN509.

 

RUGBY LEAGUE REFEREES BENEFIT FROM HAIR'S EXPERIENCE

Australian international umpire Darrell Hair has assured Sydney Rugby League referees they are not the most harassed officials in world sport, according to an article in yesterday in Brisbane's 'Courier Mail' newspaper.  League referee's coach Robert Finch was so concerned that the morale of his officials was slipping after "a winter of unprecedented abuse", that he invited Hair to address his charges about coping with extreme pressure and criticism.  "Darrell told us about some of the issues he has been involved in" said Finch, and the pressure he has experienced was "another level up from what we [in Rugby League] are used to".  Hair was quoted by journalist Robert Craddock as saying that "the general [approach taken] was to try and jolt [League referees] out of what could become a siege mentality", telling them that "they had it pretty good" in comparison to that he experienced in international cricket.  Finch said that Hair's lecture had been well received and had achieved its purpose.  EN508.

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 11

The question appeared in E-News 92 of 3 September.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  In this scenario we will first look at the batsmen running and the Law that relates to batsmen stealing a run.  Law 42.16 says that it is unfair for batsmen to steal a run during the bowlers run up.  In this case the batsmen don't attempt to run until the bowler is delivering the ball.  As a result Law 42.16 doesn't apply. The next issue is the wicketkeepr taking the ball in front of the stumps which is referred to in Law 40.3(b).  This Law relates to the position of the wicketkeeper in that he must remain wholly behind the stumps except if the ball makes contact with the striker's bat or person, has passed the striker's end wicket or the batsmen attempt a run.  In this case the batsmen are attempting a run so the wicketkeeper can take the ball in front of the stumps.  The next question is who is out and how?  As the wicketkeeper has taken the ball directly from the bowler we will look at stumped.  However, as the striker was attempting to a run he was not liable to be stumped as per Law 39.1.  That leads into Law 39.3(a) which says he could be run out.  The 'Run out' Law 38.1 says that either batsmen can be run out if the wicket is fairly put down at any time whilst the ball is in play.  As the batsmen had crossed and the non-striker is closer to the striker's end it is he who would be dismissed 'run out'.  EN507. 

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 12

The question appeared in E-News 93 of 5 September.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose') is as follows.  In this situation as the striker hadn't hit the ball with his bat the runs would be scored as 'no ball extras' and credited against the bowler as per Law 24.13. (see also the notes in Tom Smiths' book). The total of runs scored would be five 'no ball extras'. The order of signals as given by the umpire are correct as per the Laws of Cricket. The reason for the Bye signal is to convey to the scorers that the ball has not been hit by the striker.  As for field craft, umpires in this scenario umpires will signal 'no ball', 'leg bye' and then the boundary.  That approach avoids confusion or conflict with the players (especially the keeper), and spectators alike, as they see the ball come of the body or pad and expect a 'leg bye' signal.  That avoids the need for a further explanation of what has occurred.  If they see the bye signal they will not understand and will most probably think that you have missed seeing the ball come off the pad or body.  When this scenario occurs it is also good practice to make a note and to check with the scorers that the runs scored are recorded as no ball's and not bye or leg byes.  EN506.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 95, 8 September 2007

 

GROUND TV REPLAY 'PROMPT' LEADS TO CHANGE OF DECISION

English umpire Peter Hartley's 'prompt' by the ground replay screen caused him to query his own decision and seek the advice of the third official during the sixth One Day International (ODI)I between England and India played last Wednesday.  Media reports indicate that Hartley gave English skipper Paul Collingwood 'not out' after a 'run out' appeal, however, as he was walking in from square leg to replace the bails, the crowd's reaction apparently caused him to look up at the replay screen.  The video shown on Kennington Oval's big screen clearly indicated that Collingwood had not quite made his ground, and that caused Hartley to immediately give the 'third umpire' signal.  After the referral to TV official Ian Gould, Collingwood was given 'out' via graphics on the same big screen.  One Indian press report claimed that Collingwood will go down in history as the "first batsman to be dismissed by the giant screen".  An unnamed spokesman for the International Cricket Council (ICC) was quoted by the BBC as saying that "the way [Hartley] got to the decision was not ideal, but the fact is the right decision was made".  "He should have referred the decision straight away but he had the presence of mind to refer it once he realised his mistake", said the ICC's representative, concluding with "imagine if he had not referred it when Collingwood was clearly out".  There was some discussion in other parts of the media about whether Hartley had taken too long to seek advice from off the ground, and there was debate about what Law 27.9 means by the word 'promptly'.  Tom Smith's umpiring and scoring book says that "no shame is attached to an umpire changing his mind if, in the final analysis, the decision is a correct one".  On his piece on the incident, English columnist Charlie Randall told the story of former international umpire 'Dickie' Bird giving Kent batsman Graham Cowdrey 'out' caught behind.  Cowdrey had almost reached the boundary when he was recalled, much to the fielding side's "irritation.  Randall says that Hartley's actions "seemed reasonable" to him and that the umpire "did the correct thing with Collingwood".  Hartley, who played 232 games of First Class cricket for Yorkshire and Hampshire from 1982-2000, has been a First Class umpire in England since 2003.  He was appointed as England's third umpire on the ICC's second-tier 'International' panel last year, but last Wednesday's match was the first time has taken the field in an ODI.  EN516.

 

FORMER SEAMER CLAIMS NEW ODI BALL CHANGE RULE IS 'BAD FOR BOWLERS'

The proposed rule change in One Day Internationals (ODI) whereby it will be mandatory from 1 October for the umpires to change the ball after the 35th over, could take 'reverse swing' out of the game, according to former England seamer Angus Fraser.  Fraser told 'The Hindu' newspaper's London correspondent this week that in his view “the rule will benefit the batsmen, [and also that] the batsmen could also find striking a harder ball easier in the end overs".  Earlier this month India's captain Rahul Dravid was reported to have said that the modification to Powerplay arrangements in ODIs will allow teams more options with their spinners (E-News 92-496, 3 September).  In addition to ball and Powerplay changes, rules relating to free hits and minimum boundary sizes are also being introduced in ODIs starting month (E-News 64-350, 2 July 2007).  EN515. 

 

NO SIGN OF ALLEGED WARNE 'HEARING'

A media report that Hampshire captain and former Australian international Shane Warne would have to again face the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) discipline commission for an "incident" that occurred during a match played on 12 August appears to have had no foundation (E-News 90-485, 30 August 2007).  The ECB normally posts details of hearings held by its discipline commission on its web site, however, nothing about the reported incident has appeared there over the last month.  At the time it was published late last month, the report in the South Daily Echoes internet edition stated that no details of the allegation were included in the umpires' report, a sign that nothing further would come of the yet-to-be-detailed incident.  Warne already has six points against his name this season for an incident in May (E-News 30-262, 30 May 2007).  A further report and points penalty could lead to suspension, for under the ECB's code of conduct such a sanction awaits a player who receives nine penalty points within a two-year period.  EN514.  

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 96, 10 September 2007

 

'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR' CANDIDATES DOMINATE TWENTY20 GROUP APPOINTMENTS

Three of the four umpires in the running for this year's International Cricket Council (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' award have been assigned to 10 of the 24 on-field umpiring slots in the initial or Group stage of the World Twenty20 Championship this week (E-News 90-488, 30 August 2007).  Australian Simon Taufel will stand in four matches and his countryman Daryl Harper and Mark Benson of England three each, however, the fourth candidate for the award, West Indian Steve Bucknor, was not chosen for the tournament (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007).  Of the other six umpires named by the ICC for this week's matches, Asad Rauf (Pakistan) has been assigned to four games, Tony Hill (New Zealand) three, and Steve Davis (Australia), Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Nigel Llong (England) two each, while Ian Howell (South Africa), who has been criticised in the media for his recent form, gets just a single game (E-News 81-440, 13 August 2007).  The 12 group-stage matches involve the 16 participating nations each playing two games in stadiums in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, matches in each city being overseen by ICC match referees Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka), Chris Broad (England), and Mike Proctor (South Africa) respectively (E-News 92-499, 3 September 2007).  Harper and Benson will officiate in the opening match between the home side and the West Indies in Johannesburg on Tuesday, then Taufel, who unlike the other eight umpires involved will not spend any time in the third umpire's studio during the group stage, starts with a double-header in Durban on Wednesday.  Overall two-thirds of Group stage appointments have gone to members of the ICC's 'Elite' panel and the remaining third to members of the world body's second-tier 'International' panel.  The nine umpires will be standing in matches that will be broadcast to over 105 nations by ESPN Star Sports, one of its affiliates, EML, having purchased global telecast rights last year for all ICC events from 2007-15.  ESPN recently launched a dedicated 24x7 cricket channel, 'Star Cricket', a move that one observer described as "reinforcing their position as the [world's] leading [cricket] broadcaster".  ESPN plans to use increased camera coverage and a range of "new technologies" in presenting World Twenty20 matches to its world-wide audience (E-News 91-494, 1 September 2007).  EN520  

 

RAUF, HILL, HOWELL NAMED FOR AUSTRALIA'S GAMES

Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf is to stand in both of the matches Australia will play in the group phase of the World Twenty20 championship this week.  His colleague for the match against Zimbabwe on Wednesday will be Tony Hill of New Zealand, and for the more important game against England on Friday, Ian Howell of South Africa.  The Australia-England match is one of what appears to be the four key matches in the group stage of the tournament, the others being India-Pakistan, umpired by Taufel and Doctrove, and Sri Lanka-New Zealand and South Africa-West Indies, the latter two games both being umpired by Mark Benson (England) and Daryl Harper (Australia).  Howell is the only non-member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' panel to be named for one of those crucial games.  EN519.

 

TECHNOLOGY 'NOT FOOL-PROOF' SAYS GAVASKAR

Former Indian batsman, and now influential member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Sunil Gavaskar, believes that "technology is not fool-proof" and as such decisions should be left to the umpire, according to an article published in the Indian newspaper 'The Hindu' yesterday.  Gavaskar was speaking after play in the seventh and final One Day International between England and India at Lord's on Saturday; a game in which there were two controversial umpiring decisions.  Both cases involved caught behind decisions against key batsman off 'Freddy' Flintoff's bowling made by umpire Alem Dar from Pakistan, the first Rahul Dravid and the second Sachin Tendulkar.  Gavaskar was quoted by 'The Hindu' as saying that “in run out decisions, technology is very useful and does give you the right picture, but this is not true in the case of the 'Snickometer' when it comes to assessing caught behind decisions or 'Hawk-Eye' [for] leg-before decisions".  According to the report Gavaskar "personally thinks" that both technologies "don’t, as of yet, tell you the complete story, they give you a fair estimate, but need not be entirely correct".  Dravid himself agreed, telling the Cricinfo web site that he doesn't "think the technology is good enough at the moment, especially for fine edges, snicks and LBWs" but that "it is for line decisions [run outs] and I think there it should stay".  "The technology showed that I got a snick and I have to accept it' said Dravid, however, "you feel when you snick it [and] this time I did not feel it".  Despite Gavaskar and Dravid's views the inventor of 'Hawk-Eye' and two television producers, one a former Test player, are talking up improvements they say have been made in the systems that are now available, changes they claim the ICC is "excited" about (E-News 93-505, 5 September 2007).  The trio are scheduled to present their ideas to the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee's meeting in South Africa on 25 September.  It is to focus on the use use of "technology in cricket, its possibilities and what might be good for the game or unhelpful" (E-News 83-448, 16 August 2007).  EN518.    

 

INDIA TO LODGE PROTEST AGAINST 'UMPIRING STANDARDS'

Rajeev Shukla, India's administrative manager for its team's just completed tour of the UK, says they are planning to lodge a protest with the International Cricket Council regarding umpiring standards experienced by his side over the past month (E-News 81-440, 13 August 2007).  Indian captain Rahul Dravid indicated that he will convey his thoughts in his normal end-of-series report on umpiring, but gave no hiint of what his thoughts might be.  England one-day captain Paul Collingwood, whose team won the 50-over game series but lost in the Test arena, was said to be satisfied with the overall quality of the umpiring despite the number of errors over the tour, starting with the Tests.  "I think overall the standard of umpiring has been pretty high," he said. "There's been some decisions that probably haven't been correct at times but we all make mistakes".  EN517.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 97, 11 September 2007

 

TAUFEL COLLECTS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ICC 'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR' AWARD

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel was last night named as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' for the fourth straight year since the award's inception in 2004.  Taufel was selected for the honour by votes cast by captains of the 10 Test playing nations and the eight members of the ICC's 'Elite' match referee panel.  In presenting the trophy ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said that "Simon is a brilliant umpire" and "it is clear that the players and the referees have enormous confidence in him and rightly so", for "he has once again had an outstanding year making decisions in pressure situations all over the world".  "This award reflects the fact he has got the vast majority of [his] decisions right", although the competition he faced said Speed "was very tough [as] all the members of the 'Elite' umpiring panel are generally excellent decision-makers in both [forms] of the game".  In accepting the trophy Taufel said that "it is a great honour to get this for the fourth time in a row and is something I don't take for granted".  He believes that the game is for the players but that "hopefully it raises the profile for our position in sport and perhaps encourages [people] to take up umpiring" and work towards the highest standards possible.  "There is no magic formula" in being a good umpire he said, "just a lot of hard work".  During the 12 months between 9 August 2006 and 8 August 2007, the period covered by the 2007 award, Taufel stood in five Tests played in England, India, New Zealand and Pakistan; matches that featured each of those countries plus Sri Lanka and the West Indies and took his overall Test record to 43 and First Class total to 72.  In the One Day International form of the game he was named to 23 matches, six in the Champions Trophy, including a semi final, 10 in the World Cup, again including a semi final, three in the Tri-nations in Australia, and four in another series in India.  Despite his success it was not all plain sailing as he was criticised in the media for his performance in both the World Cup semi final (E-News 32-179, 26 April 2007), and an England-India Test match later in the year (E-News 75-411, 31 July 2007); suffering like all umpires involved, as a result of the increasingly penetrating eye of technology in international matches.   Additionally, his nationality played against him in several much sought-after appointments during the year, the ICC's 'neutral umpire' policy meaning that he could not be considered for either final in the World Cup or the Champions Trophy series as Australia was involved in both games.  While Taufel was busy on the field, he was also busy off it with umpiring issues, among other things being named to the ICC's revamped Cricket Committee in May (E-News 41-28, 17 May 2007), and involved in a program that aims to lift umpiring standards in India (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007).  E-News estimates that in order to participate in all the matches he stood in over the 12 month, plus his training and other work, Taufel probably spent over four months away from his home town of Sydney during the year.  Known to be a highly-focused perfectionist who is continually working to improve his skills and knowledge of the game, he was just 28 when he stood in his first ODI in 1999, and not quite 30 when he was elevated to officiate in his first Test match; a record unlikely to be matched in the future.  He was appointed to the ICC's second-tier 'International' umpiring panel when it as established in 2002, but within a year he went to the highest level in the game when he was chosen as a member of the 'Elite' panel, a position he has now held for four-and-a-half years.  At 36 Taufel is easily the youngest member of the ICC's 'Elite' panel and it is feasible that he could be on the international scene for another 25 years.  The other three umpires originally nominated for the award this year were Mark Benson of England, Steve Bucknor from the West Indies and Daryl Harper from Australia (E-News 90-488, 30 August 2007).  All except Bucknor will be standing in the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship which gets underway in South Africa later tonight Australian time.  Benson and Harper will be officiating in the opening game between the home nation and the West Indies, while Taufel will take the field in two matches on Wednesday (E-News 96-520, 10 September 2007).  EN524.

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ICC CHIEF EXECUTIVES LOOKING AT UMPIRING 'TASK FORCE' RECOMMENDATIONS

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives Committee (CEC) is to consider recommendations made by its umpiring 'Task Force' during a two day-meeting which commenced in Johannesburg yesterday.  The umpiring task force, which is chaired by ICC President-elect David Morgan, began its work last month by surveying umpires, players, member boards and the media on the current state and perceptions of international umpiring (E-News 87-465, 23 August 2007).  Feedback received on the survey was considered by the four-man group when it met for the first time late last week in London (E-News 94-513, 6 September 2007), however, it is not clear, given the short time-frame involved, whether their recommendations will be of a preliminary or more concrete nature.  The ICC's press release on the CEC meeting simply says that the committee "will consider recommendations from the meeting of the task force".  In addition to umpiring issues the CEC will also be: reviewing the draft program of international cricket from 2012-17, particularly the amount proposed each year; examining a report on this year's World Cup in the West Indies; discussing such issues as the Indian Cricket League; and the "status of matches" played in South Africa during the Aparthied era in regard to player statistics.  Sixteen people are expected to attend the CEC including the ICC's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Malcolm Speed, its President Ray Mali, and the Chair of its Cricket Committee Suni Gavaskar, plus the CEOs of the ten Test playing nations, and three officials representing the ICC's Association member nations.  Some of the outcomes from the current CEC meeting will be passed on to the ICC's Board for consideration when it meets in Dubai at the end of October.  EN523.

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ICC PRESIDENT STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF 'SPIRIT OF CRICKET'

On the eve of the start of the World Twenty20 Championship the President of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Ray Mali has stressed the importance that the ICC places on the 'Spirit of Cricket'.  Mali said in an ICC statement that "we are confident that the players have embraced the concept" and that "all the games in this wonderful tournament will be played in the very best spirit by these true sportsmen".  The ICC's President claims the factors involved are ones that he knows "most players feel strongly about", however, despite the fact that the 'Spirit of Cricket' is written down and to many observers unambiguous, the gap between it and 2007's reality appears to may to be quite wide (E-News 76-416, 2 August 2007).  EN 522.

 

INDIA 'NEGOTIATING' ON UMPIRE EVALUATION TECHNOLOGY

A report published in yesterday's 'Hindustan Times' in India says that "cricket chiefs" in that country are negotiating with 'Microsoft' about the purchase of new software for use in recording and evaluating the performance of First Class umpires on the sub-continent.  Indian cricket board vice-president Lalit Modi was quoted as saying that his organisation "zeroed in on Microsoft after looking at several technological solutions, [and that while] the deal is not finalised yet, we are in the final stages of negotiations".  Plans to have play in all domestic matches in India recorded by six cameras form part of a multifaceted push by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to improve umpiring standards there, a program that is being supported by a three-year contact between the BCCI and Cricket Australia (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007).  The amount CA will be payed for its role is unclear, however, the BCCI is believed to be financially well off, numerous Indian media outlets describing the Board as "the richest sporting body" in the country.  Earlier this month the BCCI appointed 13 umpiring coaches who will use the technology that is eventually purchased to mentor and train on-field officials (E-News 94-511, 6 September 2007).  EN521.  

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 98, 12 September 2007

 

SRI LANKA WINS ICC 'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' AWARD

The Sri Lankan cricket team was named as the recipients of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 2007 'Spirit of Cricket' award at the world body's annual awards night in Johannesburg on Monday.  The award is presented to the team which, in the opinion of the ICC's 'Elite' umpiring and referees' panels and the captains of the 10 Test playing nations, has best conducted itself on the field within the spirit of the game.  On receiving the award on behalf of his side, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena said that it is "important to remember the Spirit of Cricket" and that the key thing his team should do is "enjoy the game [as] we are very lucky to do what we do and it is vital that we remember that".  ICC President Ray Mali stressed the importance of the 'Spirit of Cricket' in today's game in the lead up to the World Twenty20 Championship earlier this week (E-News 97-522, 11 September 2007).  Press reports indicate that Sri Lanka "narrowly defeated Ireland and New Zealand" to win the 2007 award.  New Zealand were the inaugural winners in 2004, while England won it in both 2005 and 2006.  EN531.

 

ANNUAL ICC UMPIRES AND REFEREES SEMINAR NEARS

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual umpires and match referee's seminar is scheduled to get underway in Johannesburg on 22 September.  Details of the program planned have not yet been made public, however, the ICC's James Fitzgerald told E-News yesterday that information on the meeting will be released "in due course".  Australians known to be attending the seminar are Steve Davis and Peter Parker, the country's current nominations to the ICC's second-tier 'International' umpiring panel (IUP)(E-News 65-356, 12 July 2007).  Davis is currently in South Africa for the World Twenty20 Championships, as are countrymen Simon Taufel and Daryl Harper (E-News 96-520, 10 September 2007).  It is possible that all on-field members of the ICC's IUP may be at the seminar as reports from the West Indies say that their two IUP members, Clyde Duncan and Norman Malcolm, will also be attending.  Those reports are also saying that the seminar will run from "22-26 September", a period that includes both the semi-finals and final of the World Twenty20 tournament.  EN530.  

 

DOCTROVE TO 'SUPPORT HAIR' IN LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE ICC

West Indian umpire Bill Doctrove will be supporting Australian Darrell Hair in his legal action against the International Cricket Council (ICC) when it gets underway in London on 1 October, according to 'The Times' newspaper.  Doctrove and Hair stood together in last year's 'ball tampering' Test match between England and Pakistan, but while Hair's career has been cut short by the ICC his colleague's has not, and Hair is suing the ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board for racial discrimination (E-News 93-504, 5 September 2007).  'The Times' says that other individuals expected to appear on Hair’s behalf are John Jameson, who oversaw the Laws of Cricket in his capacity as assistant secretary of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), and former West Indian captain Jimmy Adams.  Hair will be represented at the hearing, which journalist Ivo Tennant says is likely to be one of the most important recent legal cases in sport, by Robert Griffiths QC, who sits on MCC’s general committee as well as its Cricket Committee.  Opposing them will be Michael Beloff QC, who has acted for all three main political parties in the UK and the Rugby Football Union, Malcolm Speed the ICC's Chief Executive, and Dave Richardson its General Manager Cricket.  Reports indicate that Hair's case will be based on the age-old belief that the umpire’s decision is final.  Earlier this year the ICC passed responsibility for terminating international matches under its control from the umpires to match referees, a decision that was taken as a direct result of the ball-tampering Test (E-News 12-62, 7 March 2007).  EN529.

 

FORMER WEST INDIAN PLAYER TURNS TO UMPIRING

Former West India bowler Carl Tuckett, who played for Nevis and Leeward Islands in the Carribean's First Class competition, has taken up umpiring and his ultimate aim is to become a member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite' panel.  Tuckett, a Sports Officer with the Nevis Ministry of Sports, is said to have completed all exams required by the West Indies Cricket Board and is qualified to stand in First Class games.  EN528.

 

'CRICKET.COM' CONTINUES ON HOLD 

Australian international umpire Daryl Harper's web site 'cricketump.com', which first went on line on 1 January 2004 and eventually contained over 200 diary entries on matches he umpired in and places he visited for cricket, has still not been updated since the last entry on the eve of the World Cup final in the West Indies in late April (E-News 64-136, 2 July 2007).  Dairy entries detail the action in each of the days in numerous Test matches, One Day Internationals and other games played cross the world, providing an interesting picture of the many locations involved.  E-News has asked Harper several times whether he intends to continue with the site, or if not what the reasons for its apparent abandonment are, but as yet no replies have been received.  EN527. 

 

FATHER-SON TO STAND IN GERMAN CLUB FINAL

A father and son combination are to umpire the final of Germany's club championships in Mönchengladbach next Sunday.  Paul Baldwin, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier 'Affiliates and Associates' umpiring panel, and his father Peter, will stand in the match between DSSC Berlin, who have won the trophy on three previous occasions, and Bonn Cricket Club, who will be playing in their first German final.  The younger Baldwin has officiated in five One Day Internationals and five First Class games, including this year's final of the Intercontinental Cup (E-News 46-253, 25 May 2007), all of the games involving ICC second tier nations at grounds in England, Kenya, Namibia and Scotland.  The German Cricket Board's press release says that his father Peter is or was also "an international umpire", however, available data bases do not appear to list his name.  EN526. 

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 13 - HIS QUESTION

The thirteenth of a series of 'what ifs' is contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') to get readers thinking!  In this scenario a batsman has a runnier because he is injured.  You are the striker's end umpire.  'No ball' is called by the bowler's end umpire as the ball is being delivered.  The injured striker hits the ball deep into the outfield.  His runner and the non-striker both make their ground for three runs.  The ball is still alive when the fieldsman throws the ball to the wicketkeeper who breaks the wicket at the striker's end catching the injured striker standing out of his ground.  An appeal is made to you.  What’s your decision and how many runs are scored?  Brian's view on the question will be provided in E-News 99.  EN525. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 99, 13 September 2007

 

ICC 'TASK FORCE' RECOMMENDS INCREASE IN 'ELITE' PANEL MEMBERS

A recommendation that the International Cricket Council (ICC) increase the size of its 'Elite' umpiring panel from the current ten to twelve is the "main" outcome of deliberations by the ICC's umpiring 'Task Force', according to a statement issued by the world body last night Australian time.  While by implication ICC's press release indicates that other 'Task Force' recommendations were accepted by the ICC's Chief Executives Committee at its meeting last Monday and Tuesday, it throws no light at all on what they might be.  While it is not appropriate to assume too much, it would be surprising if other recommendations covering for example: key issues related the structure of, and support for, the ICC's three-level umpiring system; pay; general conditions; workloads; and selection policies and procedures, were not covered by the 'Task Force' report.  In a statement issued prior to the CEC's meeting, the ICC indicated that in addition to umpiring issues the committee would also be looking at matters related to the volume of cricket, Aparthied-era matches, and the Indian Cricket League (ICL)(E-News 97-522, 11 September 2007).  ICC's post-meeting release says that volume issues are to be further considered, the Arparthied matter returned to South Africa for further work, and there was no mention at all of deliberations on the ICL.  Recommendations accepted by the CEC are to be submitted to the ICC's Board for consideration at its next meeting that is to be held in Dubai on 30-31 October.  EN541.

 

NATIONAL STATE SQUAD MEMBERS GIVEN HIGHER-LEVEL OPPORTUNITIES

Cricket Australia (CA) has clearly taken on board the recommendations of this year's review of national umpiring arrangements in making its initial appointments to 2007-08 season matches, non-National Umpiring Panel (NUP) members of State Umpiring Squads from around the country being named to stand in Pura Cup, one-day domestic, and tour matches; and to provide general support at Test level.  Twenty-three umpires from the six states will officiate in the 29 First Class and List A matches scheduled for October-November, 12 of them from the National Umpiring Panel and 10 from the second-tier State Squads, while the other is International Cricket Council 'Elite' panel member Simon Taufel who will stand in one Pura Cup match.  CA's emphasis on developing its pool of umpires is indicated by the fact that of the 54 on-field positions available in the matches, the national body has given almost a quarter of them (12) to State Squad members - two in the Pura Cup, two in a tour match and eight in the one-day interstate competition.  November will see one of the ten State panel members make his debut at Pura Cup level, while another will return to that competition after an absence of two years (see E-News 99-539 below), and three umpires will stand in the domestic one-day competition for the first time (see E-News 99-538 below).  In addition non-NUP State Squad members will officiate in a tour match and as the fourth umpire in the two November Test matches between Australia and Sri Lanka.  Of the 10 State panelists chosen for matches, three named were Tasmanians, two each come from NSW, South Australia and Western Australia, while Queensland has one.  However, while Tasmania leads the way in terms of the number of Squad members named, to date actual on-field appointments have been limited to just two one-day matches, two on the field and two in the third umpire's box, the lowest of all the states (see E-News 99-537 below).  EN540.

 

UMPIRE TO MAKE PURA CUP DEBUTE, ANOTHER RETURNS AFTER ABSENCE

New South Wales umpire Darren Goodger has been named to make his debut in the Pura Cup competition in the match between his home state and Tasmania at the Sydney Cricket Ground from 20-23 November.  Goodger is one of fifteen umpires named by Cricket Australia this week to stand in the 12 Pura Cup games scheduled over the first six weeks of the 2007-08 interstate First Class season which starts in mid-October.  In addition to debutee Goodger, Queenslander Norm McNamara returns to Pura Cup cricket after a two-year absence at the level.  Of the 24 umpiring slots available in the first dozen games, 21 of them will be filled by the 12 members of the National Umpires Panel (NUP), while the other goes to Australian international official Simon Taufel, declared the world's best umpire for the fourth time this week (E-News 97-524, 11 September 2007).  He will stand in a Pura Cup match for the first time since October 2005.  Western Australia's Ian Lock and Queensland's Dave Orchard top the list of Pura Cup appointments over the six weeks with three games each, Lock in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney, and Orchard in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide.  Lock's colleague in the west Jeff Brookes, Queensland's Tim Laycock and Peter Parker, Rod Tucker (NSW) and John Ward (Victoria) will stand in one Pura Cup game each; Brookes and Parker both in Perth, Laycock in Hobart, Tucker in Brisbane and Ward in Melbourne.  The other six NUP members each have two games to look forward to in October-November: Steve Davis (South Australia) in Perth and Hobart; Simon Fry (South Australia) in Brisbane and Adelaide; Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) in Melbourne and Adelaide; Bob Parry (Victoria) in Sydney and Adelaide; and Paul Reiffel (Victoria) in Melbourne and Perth.  Goodger has officiated in five domestic one-day games over the last three seasons, while McNamara will be standing in his third Pura Cup game, having had one game in each of the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons.  He also has nine interstate one-day games to his credit built-up over the last five seasons.  N539.

 

ONE-DAY DOMESTIC STARTS FOR THREE UMPIRES

Umpires from South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia are to stand in their first interstate one-day domestic matches over the first two weeks of the 2007-08 season in late October.  Andrew Willoughby, Steven John and Mick Martell who are from each of those states respectively, have been appointed to one game each after being elevated from Grade-cricket in their states via appointments over the last few years to Cricket Australia Cup, National Women's Cricket League, national youth, winter tournaments in northern-parts of Australia, and other games.  Nineteen other umpires have been named for the first six weeks of the coming season's one-day series, seven from State Squads plus the dozen members of the National Umpiring Panel (NUP).  Of the thirteen matches to be played, two-thirds of on-field umpiring positions available have gone to NUP members and the remaining third to non-NUP State Squad members.  Off the field the television or third umpire positions go more evenly with eight to NUP members and the other five to their colleagues at state level.  EN538.

 

TASSY UMPS NAMED FOR ONE DAY DOMESTIC, TEST, DUTIES

Three Tasmanian umpires have been named to support two Ford Ranger one-day domestic games in Hobart in October-November, and one of them will also be a member of the 'player control group' during Australia's Test match against Sri Lanka Test from 16-20 November.  Steven John, who will be making his debut in domestic one-day interstate cricket, will stand with South Australian member of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) and International Cricket Council 'International' panel (IP) official Steve Davis when Tasmania plays Davis' home state at Bellerive on 27 October.  Brian Muir will be the third umpire for that game and again when Tasmania takes on NSW at the same ground on 4 November, a match that will see Greg Luck accompanied out on the ground by NUP/IP umpire Peter Parker.  Luck made his debut in the domestic one-day competition last season.  John, Luck and Muir, as well as several other members of Tasmania's State Umpiring Squad have, or will have stood, in a number of matches in northern parts of Australia between July and early October as part of a development and training program (E-News 89-478, 28 August 2007).  John was also named as the fourth umpire for the Test match in late November, a position Brian Muir held in the last Test there in November 2006 between the home side and the West Indies.  EN537.

 

TELEVISION, FOURTH UMPIRE, POSITIONS FOR TESTS ANNOUNCED

Cricket Australia has named international umpires Simon Taufel from NSW and Peter Parker from Queensland as the third or television officials for Australia's two Test matches against Sri Lanka in November.  Taufel will be in the box for the First Test in Brisbane from 8-12 November and Parker for the Second Test at Bellerive from 16-20 November.  Taufel has worked as the television official in ten Tests to date, seven of them in Sydney, two in Darwin and one in Brisbane; and he also has forty-three on-field appointments at the highest level of the game to his credit (E-News 97-524, 1 September 2007).  The appointment will take Parker's record as a third umpire in Test matches to fifteen, but the November match will be his first at that level in Hobart, eleven of the others to date being at the 'Gabba' in Brisbane and the other three at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  Parker has also officiated out on the ground in eight Tests.  National Umpiring Panel member Tim Laycock has been named as the fourth official for the Brisbane Test, and Tasmanian State Squad member Steven John for the Hobart game.  EN536.

 

UMPIRES APPOINTED FOR SRI LANKAN TOUR GAMES

South Australian umpires Andrew Collins and Andrew Willoughby, and National Umpire Panel members Tim Laycock and David Orchard from Queensland, will officiate in two tour games involving Sri Lanka that are to be played their home states in the lead up to the First Test which starts on 8 November.  Collins and Willoughby will stand in a three-day match between a Cricket Australia Chairman's XI and Sri Lanka at the Adelaide Oval from 27-29 October.  Laycock and Orchard will look after the touring side's game against Queensland at the Gabba from 2-4 November.  Cricket Australia's appointments schedule will keep Laycock on his toes as the tour game in Brisbane starts the day immediately after the four-day Pura Cup match between Tasmania and South Australia finishes on 1 November 2,500 km away in Hobart.  EN535.   

 

THREE NUP MEMBERS TO OFFICIATE IN HOBART MATCHES

Three members of the National Umpires Panel, Steve Davis of South Australia, and Tim Laycock and Peter Parker of Queensland, have been named to officiate in the four major games that are scheduled to be played at the Bellerive Oval in October-November.  Davis will stand with local Steven John in the one-day domestic game between Tasmania and South Australia on 27 October, then pair with Laycock for Hobart's first Pura Cup game of the season between the same two sides from 29 October to 1 November.  Parker will be joined by TCUSA member Greg Luck when Tasmania plays NSW in a one-day match on 4 November, then return to Bellerive from 16-20 November for third umpire duties in the Second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka.  The International Cricket Council has yet to name the on-field umpires for the Bellerive Test match.  Davis will be in Hobart at the time of the TCUSA's scheduled 31 October Training-Appointments meeting, however, no meetings are currently scheduled for when Parker and his on-field colleagues for the Test match are in town.  EN534.

 

PLAYER FINED FOR ACTIONS, TEAM FOR SLOW OVER RATE, IN TWENTY20

West Indies player Fidel Edwards has been fined 50 per cent of his match fee for misbehaviour, and he and his team-mates for slow over rates, following the opening game of the World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa.  The ICC said in a statement that Edwards was found guilty of a Level 1 offence under its Code of Conduct by match referee Chris Broad, the charge specifically referring to a clause in the Code which states: "Players and/or Team Officials shall at all times conduct play within the 'Spirit of the Game' as well as within the Laws of Cricket...".  According to the ICC the West Indian had bowled a bouncer to Hershel Gibbs and, after following through, he continued down the pitch to retrieve the ball from the wicketkeeper.  As he did so Edwards "appeared to say something to Gibbs and then brushed shoulders with the batsman" say the ICC.  In their statement the world body emphasised that cricket is a "non-contact sport" and that the issue of contact had specifically been raised by the ICC's Chief Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle in his pre-tournament briefing to the managers, captains and coaches of all competing teams as a result of two 'contact' incidents earlier in the year in England (E-News 65-353, 12 July and 76-417, 2 August), as well as a close call in Holland (E-News 85-452, 20 August 2007).  To have an "incident of this type in the first match of the tournament is both unfortunate and unacceptable" said Madugalle.  ICC President Ray Mali stressed the importance of the 'Spirit of Cricket' earlier this week (E-News 95-522, 11 September 2007).  The West Indies team was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration and as a result captain Ramnaresh Sarwan was personally fined 20 per cent of his match fee and his team-mates 10 per cent each under the ICC Code.  EN533.

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 13

The question appeared in E-News 98 of 12 September.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  This situation is covered clearly in Law 2.8(c).  It says that the injured striker must remain in his ground at the striker's end and if he doesn’t and the wicket is fairly put down at that end he will be run out irrespective of the position off the non-striker or his runner.  That Law continues by saying that as a consequence the runs completed by the other batsmen and the injured striker's runner will not be scored in such a situation.  However, it needs to be noted that the penalty for a 'no ball' or 'wide' will still apply!  Therefore in the scenario set in the question, the injured striker would be run out and only one run would be scored - for the 'no ball' penalty only.  We then have the situation of which end does the incoming batsmen go to as the non-striker is now at the striker's end?  So we go to Law 18.2 which covers when runs are disallowed and not scored and in this situation the runs are 'disallowed' (see the notes in Tom Smith’s book).  This moves us on to Law 18.12(b) and (ii).  It relates to returning a batsmen to the wicket he has left when runs are disallowed.  In this case the incoming batsmen would go to the striker's end.  As for field craft, some explanation maybe required to inform the batsmen and the captain of the fielding side.  In addition, as always, make a note in your book so that you can check the details with the scorers later.  EN532.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 100, 17 September 2007

 

DETAILS OF ANNUAL SEMINAR EXPECTED THIS WEEK

Details of the presenters and topics they will cover in this year's TCUSA Annual Seminar are expected to be available later this week.  The seminar, which is to be held at Bellerive Oval over the weekend of 6-7 October, aims at helping umpires and scorers to ‘fine tune’ their skills and knowledge in the lead up to start of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's Grade competition later in the month (E-News 68-372, 17 July 2007).  Last year's gathering was attended by over 40 people from the north, north-west and southern regions of Tasmania, discussions including: ‘The Role of the Umpire’; ‘Sledging and Intimidation Defined’; ‘People Management’; ‘Vision for umpires’; ‘From and Player’s Perspective’; ‘Performance Enhancement’; ‘Legal Responsibilities and Risk Management’; ‘Coping with the Umpiring Environment’; ‘Unusual Occurrences’; and ‘Concentration’.  In addition, scorers were given instruction on the then new computer-based scoring system.  Lunches and morning and afternoon teas will be provided again this year with costs being included in the cost of attendance.  EN550. 

 

ALL WORLD TWENTY20 UMPIRES CONTINUE IN 'SUPER EIGHT' STAGE

All nine umpires assigned to the World Twenty20 Championships in South Africa will continue in the five day, twelve-match, 'Super Eight' part of the competition which ends on Thursday.  Seven of the nine, Mark Benson and Nigel Llong (England), Asad Rauf (Pakistan), Tony Hill (New Zealand), Billy Doctrove (West Indies), and Steve Davis and Simon Taufel (Australia), will each stand in three games and be in the third umpire’s suite for a fourth match.  Australian Daryl Harper and Ian Howell of South Africa will be out on the ground for two matches and work as the third official in another two.  The International Cricket Council's Chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka will oversee five matches, Chris Broad from England four and Mike Proctor of South Africa three games.  EN549.

 

PARKER NAMED AS THIRD OFFICIAL FOR BRISBANE TEST

Queensland-based umpire Peter Parker was named as the third umpire for the First Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Brisbane in November, replacing Simon Taufel who was on Cricket Australia's (CA) provisional list of appointments for matches scheduled around the nation in the October-November period.  Parker is currently listed to undertake the same duties during the Second Test in Hobart later in that month (E-News 99-536, 13 September 2007).  Another adjustment to CA's list is the appointment of Queenslander Andrew Curran to stand in the tour match between that state and Sri Lanka the week before the First Test, a game that was originally assigned to National Umpire Panel member Tim Laycock, another Brisbane-based official.  Laycock will be officiating in a Pura Cup match in Hobart that finishes the day before the tour game starts in Brisbane (E-News 99-535, 13 September).  Curran gets his first opportunity at First Class level after having made his way up through the ranks via national Under 17 and Under 19 men's tournaments, women's One Day International (ODI) matches, a tied Twenty20 women's international between Australia and New Zealand (see E-News 100-546 below), youth ODIs, two domestic interstate one-day games, and both the 2006 and 2007 Emerging Player's Tournaments (E-News 74-407, 30 July 2007).  EN548.  

 

PAKISTAN ‘UNAWARE’ OF TWENTY20 'BOWL OUT' PLAYING CONDITION

Pakistan captain Shoab Malik has apparently admitted that his team had been unaware that their World Twenty20 Championship match against India last Friday would be decided on the basis of a bowl-out in case of a tie, according to an article on the Cricinfo web site.  When Misbah-ul-Haq was run out off the last ball of the game with the scores level, some confusion prevailed amongst the players about the result of the match.  Malik's opposite number Mahendra Singh Dhoni indicated that his team were not only aware of the playing condition but had actually worked through related scenarios in the lead up to the match.  Two Australians were involved in what was the first tie in a World Twenty20 Championship match, but not in a Twenty20 international (see E-News 100-546 below).  Billy Doctrove of the West Indies and Simon Taufel were on the ground for the game, while Taufel's compatriot, Steve Davis, was in the third umpire's box.  EN547.

 

'BOWL OUT' CONCEPT OVER TWENTY YEARS OLD

Last Friday's tie between India and Pakistan in the World Twenty20 Championships was not the first time such an event, and a subsequent 'bowl out', has occurred in the shortest version of the international game.  The first was when New Zealand tied with the West Indies in Auckland in February last year, the 'Black Caps' winning that 'bowl out' 3-0.  Last October a Twenty20 international between the Australian and New Zealand women’s sides in Brisbane was also decided by a 'bowl out', the home side winning that one 2-1.  The 'bowl out' concept was developed in England, being introduced in the mid-1980s in a 55 over-a-side county tournament.  On days when play was either not possible or was frequently interrupted by rain, the winner was originally decided by the toss of a coin.  However, in the 1985 final between Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire no play was possible due to rain, and umpires Don Oslear and and John Holder apparently decided that a 'bowl out' would be the way to go instead of a toss.  In that game all 22 players from both sides bowled two balls each at a single unguarded stump.  Warwickshire won that match 5-1, players hitting the stumps six times out of the 40 attempts made.  EN546.

 

NEW INTERNATIONAL TWENTY20 LEAGUE TO OPEN UMPIRING OPPORTUNITIES

Teams from Australia's six states will have the chance to compete for a $A2.4 million first prize in an international “best of the best” Champions Twenty20 tournament which is to start in late 2008, a competition that will provide additional umpiring opportunities.  In its first year the tournament is to comprise the top two teams from the domestic Twenty20 competitions in Australia, India, England and South Africa.  Plans call for the series to increase in size in the years after that to include teams from other members of the International Cricket Council.  In order that that can occur sides from nations who do not currently have a domestic Twenty20 competition are to be incorporated into tournaments played in Australia, India, South Africa or England.  New Zealand teams could, for example, compete in the Australian domestic series starting in 2008-09.  The new international league appears to have been put together very quickly in response to the planned, non-official, Indian Cricket League (E-News 62-340, 29 June 2007).  EN545. 

 

MCC CEO OUTLINES THOUGHTS ON BAT, BALL, TECHNOLOGY

Keith Bradshaw, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), said last week that he wouldn't want cricket to move "down the path of other sports such as tennis or golf, where the advent of carbon fibre and graphite shafts have changed the dynamics of the game and the way that it's [played]".  Bradshaw indicated that the MCC also doesn't want to see a situation where if a batsman mistimes a shot, the ball suddenly sails out of the ground for six.  "We don't want to see balls swinging six to eight feet" because of ball technology, he said, and "not the craft of the bowler".  The MCC's CEO was speaking during a visit to the commentary box at Lords early last week.  One of the MCC's current roles in cricket centres on promoting cricket's Laws and safeguarding its 'Spirit', an area that includes the type of playing equipment used in games.  EN544.

 

'DARYL DOT COM' RETURNS

Australian international umpire Daryl Harper's web site 'cricketump.com' is up and running again after a break of almost five months (E-News 98-527, 12 September), his first report being on the opening match of the current World Twenty20 Championships in South Africa (E-News 96-520, 10 September 2007).  Harper says from Johannesburg that he is back "after a long break from international cricket", a time during which he enjoyed a "well deserved break", although the web site makes no mention of his time in Bangladesh in May when he stood in two Test matches between Bangladesh and India (E-News 38-204, 10 May 2007).  In his latest entry the Australian says that umpiring Twenty20 cricket "is a challenge", and that "there’s very limited opportunity to have a chat with anyone so that’s disappointing, [for] the game moves quickly as the fielding team has only 80 minutes to bowl 20 overs".  To date Harper has stood in three games in the World Twenty20 series, first the opening match between South Africa and the West Indies last Tuesday, and later in the week Sri Lanka's games against Kenya and New Zealand.  In addition he was the third official when Bangladesh played the West Indies, but to date he has only commented on the opening match on his web site.  Harper is continuing in the current ‘Super 8’ stage of the tournament where he will stand in two matches (see E-News 100-549 above).  EN543. 

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 14 - HIS QUESTION

The fourteenth of a series of 'what ifs' is contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's 'Moose') to get readers thinking!  In this situation you are the umpire at the striker's end.  The bowler has commenced his run up to the wicket.  Whilst moving around the crease the striker accidentally knocks the bails off at his end.  The Bowler noticing this stops his run up and the fielding side appeals to you. What’s your decision?  Brian's view on the question will be provided in E-News 101.  EN542. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 101, 19 September 2007

 

TWO MORE DOMESTIC ONE-DAY APPOINTMENTS TO TASSY SQUAD MEMBER

Tasmanian state umpiring squad member Brian Muir has been appointed to stand in two one-day interstate matches in Hobart in December, selections that bring to eight the number positions assigned to Tasmanians in such games in the forthcoming season.  Muir will officiate with National Umpiring Panel (NUP) member Bruce Oxenford on 1 December when Tasmania play Western Australia at Bellerive.  Two weeks later in the home side's game against Victoria, Muir will be accompanied by Tim Laycock, another NUP member.  Third officials for the two matches will be TCUSA members Greg Luck and Steven John respectively.  John and Luck will be standing in one day games in October and November, Muir supporting them in both matches as the third official (E-News 99-537, 13 September).  Muir's two games will take his one-day domestic on-field tally to ten matches over the last four years, Luck made his debut in the third umpire’s position last season and will be out on the ground for the first time in November, while John will make his debut next month (E-News 99-538, 13 September 2007).  EN558.

 

NEW NTCA, NWTCA, ADMINISTRATORS APPOINTED

Appointments to the two new cricket administrator positions, one each for the North West Tasmania Cricket Association (NWTCA) and the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association (NTCA), were announced earlier this week.  Brad Cole, who was named to the NWTCA position in Devonport, started work last Monday, while Lucas Tolputt is to begin with the NTCA in Launceston on 1 October.  Cole has been involved in cricket in the north-west of the State for many years, first as a scorer, a role he has now held for over a decade, then as the Association's statistician, Assistant Secretary, and since 2001 its Secretary.  Tolputt, who has a background in financial services, has played cricket with NTCA club Mowbray for the past seven years, off the field of play serving on its committee as well as the Association's pennant committee.  Cole and Tolputt will play the same role in their respective areas, being responsible for the management of club competitions including bylaws, rostering, ground allocations, player registrations and clearances and tribunals, as well as providing administrative assistance in the umpiring and scorer area of the game.  They will also look after arrangements for Jamie Cox Plate, Kookaburra Cup and other high-profile games when they are held in their respective regions (E-News 80-437, 10 August 2007).  EN557.

 

UMPIRES PENALISE BARBADOS CLUB SIDE FOR BALL TAMPERING

A team was penalised five runs for ball tampering during a Grade-level semi final match in Barbados last Saturday, according to a report in the local 'Nation News' newspaper.  Precise details of the incident are not available, however, umpires Tunley Franklyn and Vincent Bullen apparently inspected the ball just 7.2 overs into Saint Catherines' innings and found their opponents Maple guilty of altering the condition of the ball.  According to the newspaper's account there was "minimal protest from Maple" about the penalty, and they later went on to win the match.  Under Law 42.3, which deals with changing the condition of the ball, the umpires are required to report the occurrence to the "Executive of the fielding side and any Governing Body responsible for the match".  'Nation News' makes no mention of such reports being made, although both umpires, who have stood at First Class level, are likely to have met that requirement.  Franklyn has stood in six First Class matches and two List 'A' games, Bullen's record being twelve and sixteen matches respectively.  EN556.

 

MacGILL RECEIVES ANOTHER CENSURE

Australian spinner Stuart MacGill has been fined the equivalent of 50 per cent of his match fee for abusing an opponent during the 'A' side's current tour of Pakistan.  MacGill was reported following an incident in the closing stages of the First-Class match in Faisalabad, where he approached Pakistan A's Mansoor Amjad after the batsman had been struck on the foot from one of his deliveries.  The spinner was reported under clause 2.6 of Cricket Australia's (CA) Code of Behaviour which relates to “use [of] language that is obscene, offensive or of a generally insulting nature to another player, official or spectator”.  Commenting on the decision to fine MacGill, CA’s General Manager Cricket, Michael Brown, said: “I have no problem with players being combative on the field but there is a line they cannot cross and Stuart crossed that line".  "It is disappointing", he continued, "that such a senior player would be charged under [clause 2.6] as we believe a player with nearly 200 Test wickets should be showing leadership to the emerging group of talented Australian cricketers currently playing in Pakistan".  CA's Brown said that he'd "be discussing this matter with Stuart on his return to Australia at the conclusion of the current series in Pakistan". Veteran MacGill, a regular offender who was suspended for two weeks after an incident with an umpire in Sydney Grade cricket last summer, was spoken to about the "high standards expected of him now he is the senior spinner" by new Australian coach Tim Neilson prior to the Pakistan tour getting underway (E-News 77-421, 4 August 2007).  MacGill was later quoted as saying that he does not want to get himself "into a situation where [he lets] Tim Nielsen or any of the other guys down" (E-News 78-428, 6 August 2007).  EN555.  

 

UMPIRING DIFFICULTIES 'NO SECRET MEN'S BUSINESS' 

Umpires need to be prepared to discuss problems and other issues that concern them with their peers if they are to move forward, says Tasmanian Umpiring Squad member Brian Muir in a paper circulated to his colleagues recently.  Muir, who was a Cricket Australia (CA) contracted umpire over the last two seasons, experienced a number of difficulties earlier this year, and found that a recent frank discussion with National Umpiring Panel member Bob Parry, which was arranged on the suggestion of Tasmanian State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows, has helped him focus on several key issues he needs to work on.  Muir says that his discussion with Parry, who has 55 First Class games, including the last three Pura Cup finals, and four One Day Internationals to his credit, highlighted the fact that an umpire must recognise for themselves that they are having difficulties and be prepared to share those concerns with more senior umpires or peers to obtain their advice and perspective.  There is no room for treating problems as "secret men's business", says Muir, and discussions with colleagues must be used as part of a commitment to keeping their assessment of themselves as an umpire real and crystal clear.  The Tasmanian squad member says in his paper that he didn't have the best of seasons in 2006-07, struggling with "player management issues" on the field, being "generally frustrated regarding [a relative lack of] appointments" to interstate matches, and then having to cope with the alterations to national umpiring structures, changes that saw him, like others around the country, loose his CA contract (E-News 9-049, 25 February 2007).  Parry too has had his disappointments, being dropped in July as Australia's third umpire on the International Cricket Council's second-tier 'International' panel after over four years in the position (E-News, 65-356, 12 July 2007).  Muir says that it is natural to be disappointed when appointments do not go the way one would wish, however, it is important to be gracious towards those who are chosen, and then focus on what one needs to do to get the next or future appointment.  Addressing player management issues, Muir's paper says that no one strategy fits every umpire or situation, but as a starting point umpires need to ensure they do not try to act out of character.  If they believe they need to make changes in their approach, such modifications should be made over time as too abrupt a change could get players unnecessarily off-side, he says.  Muir believes though that their shared experiences and the open nature of his discussion with Parry was "very beneficial" to him, and highlighted "several points" that he feels sure will help him in the coming season and the years ahead.  EN554. 

 

NSW PLAYER'S BOWLING ACTION CLEARED

Cricket Australia (CA) announced yesterday that New South Wales bowler Aaron Bird has passed biomechanical analysis of his bowling action.  Bird was required to complete the analysis under CA's 'Doubtful Bowling Action Procedures' after he was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action last December.  The national body's policy requires cited bowlers to undergo analysis within 21 days of being notified, however, Bird was unable to be tested until early this month due to a back injury suffered in the second half of last season.  Testing was conducted at the new Australian Institute of Sport biomechanics facility in Canberra and the analysis indicated that Bird’s bowling action was within the allowed elbow extension of up to 15 degrees for every delivery.  The clearance means that Bird is now eligible for selection in CA-controlled competitions.  EN553.

 

INDIAN UMPIRES POSITIVE ABOUT PLANNED SYSTEM CHANGES

Umpires in India have responded positively to changes being made by the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) to their training and selection arrangements.  A number of umpires have been quoted in newspapers across India over the last few weeks as welcoming the structural changes that are being made, in part with the assistance of a contract with Cricket Australia (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007).   A recent article on the Cricinfo web site reported that appointments to Ranji Trophy matches, the equivalent of Australia's Pura Cup, have in the past "usually [been] awarded in an ad hoc manner by the joint secretary of the cricket board", and that "lack of feedback" to those selected was something that was of major concern to the umpires involved.  According to the article the system has been one "that breeds disillusionment", and gives the example of umpire Maninder Singh, who played in 35 Test matches and 145 First Class games overall, then stood in three First Class games as an umpire, who quit because he "couldn't be bothered" to "butter up "BCCI officials to get games".  Maninder was quoted as saying that umpires "shouldn't be left at the mercy of board officials who don't know anything about umpiring".  Krishnan Hariharan, who was formerly one of India's nominations on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel and has two Test matches, one at Lords, and 34 One Day Internationals to his credit, was quoted by Cricinfo as saying that he "agrees that it [has been] easy to become sceptical" about the processes that have been used.  "In our system, feedback [has been] very, very poor", he said, and "we keep thinking we are doing things right until proven wrong, but there [has been] nobody to do that, and hence there is no room for improving".  New arrangements, such as the video assessment system (E-News 97-521, 11 September 2007), the appointment of umpire coaches (E-News 94-511, 6 September 2007), and a more transparent selection system will, he believes, lead to an improvement in umpiring standards on the sub-continent.  EN552.

 

MOOSE'S 'WHAT IF' NUMBER 14

The question appeared in E-News 100 of 17 September.  The answer as contributed by senior umpire Brian Muir (that's Moose) is as follows.  

This situation requires an understanding of the 'hit wicket' law. Law 35.1 says that the striker can only be out 'hit wicket' if the bowler has entered his delivery stride.  In the scenario provided the bowler hadn’t entered his delivery stride so the appeal would be answered with 'not out'. In addition, as the bowler hadn’t delivered the ball Law 35.2(e) would apply and the bowlers end umpire would call and signal dead ball.  Readers are also referred to Law 23.3b, and (viii).  EN551.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 102, 22 September 2007

 

HARPER, TAUFEL TO STAND TOGETHER IN TWENTY20 SEMI FINALS

Australian international umpires Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel will stand together in the first semi final of the World Twenty20 Championship between New Zealand and Pakistan tonight Australian time.  The pair were named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) overnight, their colleagues in that game being match referee Mike Proctor (South Africa), his countryman Ian Howell as the third umpire and Nigel Llong from Enland as the fourth official.  The second semi final between Australia and India will be controlled by match referee Chris Broad from England, on-field officials being Asad Rauf (Pakistan) and Mark Benson (England), and the third and fourth officials Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Tony Hill (New Zealand) respectively.  The ICC is expected to name the officials for Monday's final on Sunday, however, the ICC's neutral umpire policy means that Harper and Taufel will only be considered for the final if Australia looses tonight's game against India.  EN562. 

 

CHANGE OF STANCE IN TWENTY20 INNINGS CONCERNS WRITER

England batsman Kevin Pietersen's "change of stance" during his side's recent World Twenty20 Championship match against Zimbabwe represents a "tampering" with the "conventions and etiquette of cricket", according to journalist Raju Mukherji.   Mukherji says that "Pietersen took his stance with the normal right-handed grip of the bat, but with the delivery on the way he changed his stance to a left-handed grip and swatted the ball repeatedly to the fence".  According to Mukherji "it was not reverse sweep, but a change of grip [and] I do not know how the international umpires [involved] allowed him to get away with it" as it " was a travesty of cricket's laws".  "Just as a bowler has to inform the umpire that he intends to change from right-arm to left-arm and vice versa, so should a batsman", says Mukherji, and "the umpires and match referees have to be very cool and composed and not be carried away by the diversions of the shorter format [game]".  Despite the journalist's concern, Pietersen's actions as described by Mukherji appear quite legitimate for Tom Smith's 'Cricket Umpiring and Scoring' book says that "a batsman may take any action in order to play [a] delivery and that may mean turning his body so that he is adopting a different stance from when the bowler started his run up".  Smith's comments are based on Law 36.3 which says that "the off side of the striker's wicket shall be determined by the striker's stance at the moment the ball comes into play for that delivery", that 'moment' being according to Law 23.4 "when the bowler starts his run up, or if he has no run up, his bowling action".  EN561. 

 

UMPIRE APOLOGISED FOR ERROR SAYS TENDULKAR

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel apologised to Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar for giving him out LBW in the Second against England at Trent Bridge in late July (E-News 75-411, 31 July 2007), according to comments attributed to Tendulkar in an Indian newspaper interview this week.  At the time the BBC's web site said that Tendulkar "padded up to a delivery from Collingwood that rapped him outside the off stump" and that "after thinking 'long and hard' about it, Taufel" raised his finger.  That report continued by saying that "the batsman stood in his crease for some time before leaving and there was speculation that a meeting with the match referee could well be on the cards", although there is no indication two-months on that such a meeting ever occurred.  Tendulkar said that Taufel's apology "was very nice of him", and asked the question of his interviewer as to "how many guys walk up and say they are sorry?".  The Indian indicated that mistakes are "part and parcel of the game" for all involved, but "if the relationship between the players and umpires is good, the game moves forward".  EN560. 

 

LANGUAGE OFFENCE LEADS TO REPRIMAND

Somerset's Peter Trego has been reprimanded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for using "obsence, offensive and insulting language" during his side's County Championship match against Essex on 6 September.  The incident, which was reported by umpires Richard Illingworth and Peter Willey, will remain on Trego's record for a period of two years and any further breach will result in an automatic imposition of three penalty points.  EN559.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 103, 24 September 2007

 

WORLD CUP FINAL UMPIRES TO STAND IN HOBART TEST

The two umpires who stood in this year's World Cup (WC) final, West Indian Steve Bucknor and Pakistan's Aleem Dar, have been named to stand in the Second Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka which is to be played in Hobart from 16-20 November.  Bucknor, who holds the world record for umpiring Test matches, will be walking out on to Bellerive Oval for his 121st Test, while Dar, who is the youngest person ever to stand in a WC final, will be officiating in his 41st.   The Bellerive Test, which will be overseen by match referee Mike Proctor of South Africa, will the second time the two umpires have stood in a Test in Hobart, although not together.  Dar's previous game was the last such match played there two years ago when the home side took on the West Indies, and Bucknor back in November 2001 when his partner for part of the game against New Zealand was TCUSA member John Smeaton.  Third Hobart for the Hobart Test will be Australian Peter Parker, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's 'International' panel, and the fourth official TCUSA member Steven John (E-News 99-536, 13 September 2007).  Bucknor, Dar, Proctor and Parker (E-News 100-548, 17 September), will also officiate in the First Test in Brisbane from 8-12 November.  EN569 

 

RANGE OF SPEAKERS, VARIED SESSIONS, LISTED FOR ANNUAL SEMINAR

A range of speakers and a variety of sessions targeted at both new and returning scorers and umpires have been listed for the TCUSA's Annual Seminar which will be held at Hobart's Bellerive Oval on the weekend of 6-7 October.  Guest speakers who have agreed to take part include: Tasmanian Tiger Damien Wright who will speak about his side's Pura Cup victory, his experience in Tasmanian cricket and battle back from injury; Bellerive Oval's chief groundsman Cameron Hodgkins, who is responsible for what many regard as one of the best playing areas in the country, will talk about the preparation of cricket pitches; and Cricket Australia's Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford (E-News 36-199, 5 May 2007), who will address the seminar on this year's restructure of Australian umpiring.  On the Saturday everyone will be together for the guest speakers and some overview sessions, then attendees will be split into three streams during part of the day.  New umpires will be given a 'crash course' on technique and routines by State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows, scorers with work on running sheets and computer scoring with Graeme Hamley, and experienced umpires will be taken through a variety of sessions by members of the State Umpiring Panel.  Mark Wickham will present some new tools to assist umpires with Laws and warning situations, and there will be a session to review Moose's E-News 'What Ifs’, about which attendees' opinions will be keenly sought.  On the Sunday there will be a comprehensive review of Tasmanian Cricket Association playing conditions, new codes of conduct for captains, coaches and umpires will be presented (E-News 54-302, 14 June 2007), and revised umpire assessment processes will be explained.  As TCA playing conditions have undergone some significant changes, State Umpires Director Richard Widows considers attendance for those sessions mandatory.  EN568.

 

STCL SEASON TO GET UNDERWAY ON 27-28 OCTOBER 

This year's Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL) competition is to get underway on the weekend of 27-28 October, eleven teams making up the League this season.  Chris Garrett, the Tasmanian Cricket Association's Grade Cricket Manager (E-News 88-44, 14 August 2007), says that STCL's Division 1 will be made up of six teams (City, Clarence, Derwent, DOSA, Saint Virgils and Wellington), and Division 2 five sides  (Clarence, Derwent 1, Derwent 2, Saint Virgils and Wellington).  TCUSA members should note that the 27-28 October start date combined with the staggered start to TCA Grade competition (E-News 68-372, 17 July 2007) means that there will be no general appointments-training meeting on Wednesday, 17 October, in the lead-up to the start of the TCA's First Grade season on 20 October.  There will, however, be a meeting of State Squad members only on the seventeenth, and First Grade scorers will also meet with Graeme Hamley that night, both gatherings being in preparation for First Grade games the following Saturday.  EN567.

 

TAUFEL, BENSON, NAMED FOR WORLD TWENTY20 FINAL AND TESTS

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel and England's Mark Benson have been named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand in tonight's final of the World Twenty20 Championship in Johannesbug between India and Pakistan.  Match referee for the game will be Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka and the third and fourth umpires Daryl Harper (Australia) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies), respectively.  Benson and Taufel were also named over the weekend to officiate in two Tests between Pakistan and South Africa that are to be played in Karachi from 1-5 October and Lahore from 8-12 October.  Alan Hurst of Australia will be the match referee for the two Tests and also for the five One Day Internationals (ODI) between the two sides which are to be played at various locations in Pakistan between 18-29 October.  New Zealand's Billy Bowden will be the 'neutral' umpire for all the ODIs, his partner for the games probably coming from locals Asad Rauf who is on the ICC's 'Elite' umpiring panel, and Pakistan 'International' panel members Zameer Haider and Nadeem Ghauri.  EN566.

 

INZAMAN-UL-HUQ SERVED WITH WITNESS SUMMONS BY HAIR'S LAWYERS

Inzamam-ul-Haq, who was captain of Pakistan when his side was accused of ball-tampering in a Test match against England last year, was served with a witness summons last week, a move that 'The Times' newspaper says will "compel his attendance for cross-examination" in the action Australian international umpire Darrell Hair is taking against the International Cricket Council (ICC)(E-News  98-529, 12 September 2007).  According to journalist Ivo Tennant, Hair's lawyers wrote to Inzamam requesting his attendance but did not receive a reply, and the summons was then served personally on Inzamam in Yorkshire where he has recently been playing.  Inzamam now has to decide says Tennant, whether he should fly back to Pakistan and return to England before what is expected to be a two-week hearing commences on 1 October, or stay in London, although witness expenses can be recovered from the tribunal.  If Inzamam had remained in Pakistan rather than play county cricket, the tribunal would not have had the power to call him says 'The Times'.  EN565.

 

SREESANTH FINED FOR 'EXCESSIVE APPEALING'

India player Shanthakumaran Sreesanth has been fined 25 per cent of his match fee for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct during his side's  World Twenty20 semi-final against Australia last Saturday.  In addition the India side was fined as a whole for maintaining a slow over-rate after falling one over short of its requirement when time allowances were taken into consideration.  Sreesanth pleaded guilty to a charge which related to "excessive appealing following a delivery he bowled to Matthew Hayden [in] the fourth over of Australia's innings".  In explaining his decision, match referee Chris Broad from England said in an ICC statement that "when appealing for a decision a player has to realise he only needs to ask the question once and not over and over again, especially after the umpire has already turned down the appeal".  Broad said that "Sreesanth was out of order and the incident set a poor example for the millions of people watching either at the venue or on television", and "given the fact he has already made regular appearances in Code of Conduct hearings over the past 12 months, he can consider himself fortunate not to be facing a heavier punishment" (E-News 76-417, 2 August 2007).  "In addition to the fine levied, I also warned Sreesanth about his conduct going forward and if he continues to breach the Code of Conduct he can expect more severe penalties to come his way", said Broad.  The ICC statement also quotes Broad as saying that "one pleasing aspect of the hearing was that the India captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, accepted his role in the conduct of his players and, as such, I am sure he will remind Sreesanth of his responsibilities to himself, his team and the game in future".  India's slow-over rate led to its players being docked five per cent of their match fees with Dhoni, as captain, fined double that amount.  EN564.

 

CALL FOR 'IRON FIST' IN BARBADOS

A columnist from the Barbadian newspaper 'Nation News has called for tougher action by cricket authorities on the island to counter what he says is the increasing lack of discipline in the game there "before bad behaviour gets out of hand".  Journalist Ezra Stuard says that in the few weeks of Grade-level cricket played so far this season "a player has kicked down the stumps, one snatched his hat from the umpire, another walked off the field, and two teams have been docked five penalty runs for alleged ball-tampering"; although only one of the latter incidents has received any publicity to date (E-News 101-566, 19 September 2007).  The article says that cricket "used to be a gentleman's game, [but it] has been no-balled by this generation of players", and that the game is "now a war of words in a hostile environment, as hardly an over is bowled without some form of abusive comment".  According to Stuard "sledging is now a substitute for the skill of scoring runs or taking wickets, [whereas] before, it was just friendly rivalry with a bowler sportingly taunting a batsman that he could not bat and vice versa".  As a result says Stuard "umpires must be intolerant and report all unsavoury incidents [and the] Barbados Cricket Association must get its complaints and disciplinary committee to deal with these cases expeditiously".  Stuard also mentions in his article the fine West Indian player Fidel Edwards received this month for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (E-News 99-533, 13 September 2007), incidents in last season's one-day domestic final between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago where four players disputed an umpire's decision, and other similar "black spots on the game" in Carribean cricket in recent years.  "Enough is enough": says Stuard.  EN563.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 104, 25 September 2007

 

DAR TO REACH 100 ODI 'MILESTONE' IN INDIA-AUSTRALIA SERIES

Pakistan international umpire Aleem Dar is to stand in his 100th One Day International (ODI) next month during the forthcoming series between India and Australia.  Dar, who will be in Hobart for a Test match in November (E-News 103-569, 24 September 2007), has been named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to share 'neutral' umpire duties during three matches in the seven game competition.  West Indian Steve Bucknor, another Hobart visitor in November, is to stand in the other four matches.  Bucknor will officiate, along with a local official, in the first four games on 29 September and 2, 5 and 8 October, then Dar for matches five to seven from 11-17 October.  The last game at Mumbai will be Dar's 100th ODI, an event that will make him the eighth umpire to pass the ODI Century mark.  Match referee for the series will be Chris Broad of England and the second umpire for each game is likely to come from India's representatives on the ICC's second-tier  'International' umpires panel, Amiesh Saheba, Suresh Shastri and television umpire Pratapkumar.  Shastri has 13 ODIs to his credit and stood in his first two Test matches earlier this year (E-News 56-309, 19 June 2007) and he may, like IUP members from other nations, be under scrutiny by the ICC for its expanded top-level 'Elite' panel (E-News 99-541, 13 September 2007).  Saheba has umpired 12 ODIs and Pratapkumar two.  EN576. 

 

KOERTZEN PUSHES TOWARDS HIS 200 ODI TARGET

Rubi Koertzen from South Africa is to take his world record One Day International (ODI) tally to 182 games during the five-match series between Sri Lanka and England over the first half of October as he pushes towards his reported personal goal of 200 ODIs and 100 Test matches before he retires (E-News 33-186, 27 April 2007).  Match referee for the games will be former Indian Test player Javagal Srinath and Koetzen's on-field colleagues are expected to come from Sri Lanka's members on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'International' umpiring panel Asoka de Silva, a former member of the ICC's 'Elite' panel who has umpired 33 Tests and 68 ODIs, and Tyrone Wijewardene (4/35), long with third official Peter Manuel (11/45).  EN575.

 

THREE-WAY APPOINTMENTS SPLIT FOR INDIA-PAKISTAN TEST SERIES

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has named three umpires for the three-match India-Pakistan Test series to be played on the sub-continent in November-December.  'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Simon Taufel (Australia), will each stand in two matches during the series, however, the match referee for the three games has not yet been named.  Doctrove and Taufel will umpire the First Test in Delhi from 22-26 November, Bowden and Doctrove in the Second at Kolkata from 30 November to 4 December, and Bowden and Taufel in Bangalore from 8-12 December during the Third Test.  The appointments take Bowden's Test record to 43 matches, Doctrove's to 15 and Taufel's to 47; the latter having taken part in two Tests between Pakistan and South Africa in October (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007).  Prior to the Tests the two sides are to play each other in five One Day Internationals (ODI) at grounds around India in the period 6-18 November, Ian Gould, an England representative on the ICC's second-tier 'International' umpiring panel (IUP) being the neutral official in games one to three, and Doctrove in the remaining two in the week before the First Test.  Even though Gould has stood in 15 ODIs to date, the games in India will be the first time he has stood in one-day matches between Test playing nations outside of the UK.  Gould played 298 First Class matches in England and 18 ODIs for his country before taking up umpiring.  With the ICC looking to increase the size of its top level 'Elite' panel (E-News 99-541, 13 September 2007), Gould's performance in India is, like other IUP members at the moment, likely to be under particularly close scrutiny by officials from the world body.  EN574.

 

MCC COMMITTEE TO CONSIDER THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN CRICKET TODAY

The Marylebone Cricket Club's seventeen-man World Cricket Committee (WCC) is to meet later today Australian time to consider matters related to the use of "technology in cricket, its possibilities and what might be good for the game or unhelpful" (E-News 83-448, 16 August 2007).  Improvements to 'Hawk-Eye' linked to a well structured 'player referrals system' is believed to be one aspect that the group will consider when it meets in Johannesburg (E-News 93-505, 5 September 2007).  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).  EN573.

 

DECISION ROBBED PLAYER OF TWENTY20 RECORD CLAIMS MEDIA

South African media say that a decision by West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove to 'no ball' Morné Morkel denied the young speedster the opportunity to become the first bowler to take five wickets in a Twenty20 international during his side's game against New Zealand last week.  Morkel 'bowled' New Zealand batsman Mark Gillespie with the 'no ball'', a wicket that if it had stood would have given him five dismissals for the match.  Reports say that slow-motion replays "clearly show that Morkel's left heel was behind the bowling crease when he delivered [the Gillespie] ball".  Despite the media criticism Morkel was quoted as saying that he had "no hard feelings towards" Doctrove, and that he didn't want to himself "to be bothered by things such as that".  Media reports available to E-News then go on to mention Doctrove's participation in the ball tampering Test between England and Pakistan last year, and say he had "wrongly no balled South Africa's Charli Langeveldt when he bowled Ricky Ponting in a Test match in Perth".  EN572.

 

INDIAN CRICKET LEAGUE IN DOUBT?

Kapil Dev, chairman of the Indian Cricket League's board, says that the recently-floated tournament will be postponed from its original October date to November as cricketers would be "free from international duty" by that time, according to an article yesterday on the Cricinfo web site.  Dev was quoted as saying that there were "teething problems" but denied that money had anything to do with the postponement.  Indian cricket authorities last week announced the launch of its own Twenty20 competition that is linked to an international series that also involves the top regional sides from Australia, England, South Africa (E-News 100-545, 17 September 2007).  EN571.

 

UMPIRE CAUGHT OUT AFTER VANDALISM SPREE

An British aerospace engineer who used his car key to vandalise 19 vehicles causing more than $A25,000 worth of damage has been spared jail.  Christopher Tittley pleaded guilty to six charges of damage and asked for 13 similar offences to be considered.  He was sentenced to do 210 hours of community work and ordered to pay the equivalent of $A13,000 compensation by Blackpool magistrates.  Tittley's defence lawyer suggested cricket umpire Tittley may have had his drink spiked during a night out with his son as he did not remember what happened.  The lawyer said that Tittley was due to umpire a match the day after the incident and had not had a lot to drink.  EN570.  

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 105, 27 September 2007

 

RULES AMENDMENT NEEDED FOR 'CHANGE OF STANCE' ISSUE SAYS FORMER FIRST CLASS UMP

A former Tasmanian First Class umpire believes that the range of new batting techniques that have evolved as a result of Twenty20 cricket, including changes to a batsman's stance prior to the ball being delivered, are "unfair" to the fielding side and playing conditions should be amended to cover such issues.  Mike Gandy, who played First Class cricket for Tasmania and went on stand in seven games at that level as an umpire, told E-News that he concurs with the comments made last weekend by journalist Raju Mukherji about England batsman Kevin Pietersen.  Mukherji expressed the view that Pietersen's "change of stance" during his side's recent World Twenty20 Championship match against Zimbabwe represents a "tampering" with the "conventions and etiquette of cricket" (E-News 102-561, 22 September 2007).  Gandy says that while Tom Smith's views as detailed by E-News "may be a fair interpretation of the intent of the Law", concepts whereby "a right hand batsman [changes] his grip to become a left hander, as distinct from playing the lap shot where the batsman retains his right hand grip of the bat", would not have been around when Smith's book was in preparation.  Gandy, who is now a Board member of the Tasmanian Cricket Association, says that the change of stance "is as unfair as the fielder on the boundary fence behind the batsman running parallel to the boundary and changing his "true" fielding position as the bowler runs in to deliver the ball".  "When the right hand batsman becomes a left hander", he says, "the fielding team is at a distinct disadvantage [and] the umpire could indicate a 'no ball' with more than two fielders behind square [leg]".  The former fast bowler and umpire says that he hopes that the International Cricket Council and the Marylebone Cricket Club "can quickly come to terms with [the issue] and treat such situations as Unfair Play and penalise the batsman accordingly".  EN580.

 

DETAILS OF ICC UMPIRES' SEMINAR STILL AWAITED

Details of this week's International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual umpires seminar, which is being held in Johannesburg, have not yet been released publicly by the world body.  An ICC representative indicated to E-News two weeks ago that information on the gathering would be released "in due course", but last weekend their media relations group was focused on the then impending World Twenty20 finals and advice then was that information on the seminar would be provided when possible.  Media outlets in several countries have suggested that the seminar would be held from 22-26 September (E-News 65-356, 12 July 2007), reports which if correct indicate that the meeting ended overnight Australian time.  EN579.

 

YORKSHIRE WIN COUNTY CRICKET'S 'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' AWARD

Yorkshire have won the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) 'Spirit of Cricket' County Team Award for 2007, the first time that the white rose county has picked up the prize.  The Award is presented to the team which has the highest average score on Spirit of Cricket issues, as marked by the First-Class umpires, from all county-level First-Class and limited over matches played in the UK this northern summer.  MCC’s Head of Cricket, John Stephenson, said: "It has been a memorable – if difficult - year for county cricket".  "In a rain-affected season, it is encouraging to note how close all the county competitions were, with promotion, relegation and title-winning games going down to the wire" he said.  "Equally pleasing", says Stephenson, "the cricket has been played in the right spirit – hard but fair".  The England and Wales Cricket Board's First Class Cricket Operations Manager Alan Fordham said that despite the tight contests "it’s a very good example to cricketers at all levels of the game that you can play winning cricket in the right spirit".  Underpinning the MCC's 'Spirit of Cricket' campaign, postcards and posters are being distributed around the world to spread the ‘play hard, play fair’ message – with the world’s best cricketers fronting the campaign, from Adam Gilchrist and Sachin Tendulkar to Andrew Flintoff and Brian Lara.  Yorkshire was presented with its trophy at the Professional Cricketers Awards Dinner in London last Tuesday.  Previous winners of the award have been Glamorgan, Somerset and Middlesex.  EN578.

 

UMPIRE NAMED TO UNITED STATES' CRICKET HALL OF FAME

United States of America Cricket Umpires Association (USACUA) member Hammy Reid was inducted into the United States of America Cricket Hall of Fame (USCHOF) last Saturday.  Reid, who is one of the longest serving members of the USACUA and has represented the United States at International Cricket Council (ICC) competitions in several countries, is the second USACUA umpire to be elected to the USCHOF.  The now US citizen was born in Barbados and played cricket there and in England and later in the United States before taking up umpiring in 1985.  In 1989 he stood in a promotional game between the West Indies and India at the Memorial Stadium in New York, and in 1992 in another promotional game between the same two sides at New York's Downing Stadium.   Reid officiated in an international tournament for the first time in 1997, traveling to Malaysia for an ICC Trophy series (now the Intercontinental Cup), then in the same competition in Toronto, Canada, in 2001.  The following year he stood in the Second Americas Cricket Championships held in Argentina, and in 2002 at the ICC Americas Under-15 championships held at Disney World of Sports in Florida. Currently, he is the longest serving USACUA cricket umpire at ICC level and is reported to have been instrumental in establishing a permanent base in Hartford, Connecticut, for recruitment and training of umpires in the north-east of that country. He regularly travels around the United States conducting umpiring seminars in such states as Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and Washington.  EN577.

 

END OF SEPTEMBER 2007 E-NEWS FILE