October 07 (106-125)




Number 106 – 1 October 2007 [EN0581-0586]

Number 107 – 2 October 2007 [EN0587-0592]

Number 108 – 3 October 2007 [EN0593-0598]

Number 109 – 4 October 2007 [EN0599-0602]

Number 110 – 5 October 2007 [EN0599-0602]

Number 111 – 6 October 2007 [EN0603-0607]

Number 112 – 8 October 2007 [EN0608-0615]

Number 113 – 9 October 2007 [EN0616-0619]

Number 114 – 10 October 2007 [EN0620]

Number 115 – 11 October 2007 [EN0621-0623]

Number 116 – 12 October 2007 [EN0624-0627]

Number 117 – 15 October 2007 [EN0628-0633]

Number 118 – 16 October 2007 [EN0634-0637]

Number 119 – 17 October 2007 [EN0638-0639]

Number 120 – 19 October 2007 [EN0640-0647]

Number 121 – 22 October 2007 [EN0648-0653]

Number 122 – 22 October 2007 [EN0654-0659]

Number 123 – 26 October 2007 [EN0660-0669]

Number 124 – 30 October 2007 [EN0670-0677]

Number 125 – 31 October 2007 [EN0678-0684]



E-NEWS NUMBER 106, 1 October 2007



British media reports are querying whether former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq will attend the hearing of Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's racial discrimination claim against the International Cricket Council (ICC) when it gets underway in London this evening Australian time.  Inzamam was served with a summons to appear as a witness at the employment tribunal hearing in England late last month (E-News 103-565, 24 September 2007), however, reports say that while he read the summons, he returned to Pakistan last week without revealing whether he would return for the hearing.  Inzamam was said to be hoping to be selected for Pakistan in the First Test against South Africa that also begins later today in Karachi (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007), however, if so he was unsuccessful.  Earlier indications were that the summons would "compel his attendance for cross-examination", but more recent reports are down playing that saying that it "does not compel the appearance of foreigners".  Just how binding the summons is for Inzamam is therefore far from clear, as is his attendance at the hearing, for media reports of his possible non-attendance appear to only be speculative at this stage.  According to 'The Lawyer' web site, Hair is arguing that the ball-tampering decision in the England-Pakistan Test match last year was reached jointly by him and his umpiring colleague Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, and that the ICC's subsequent decision to ban him, and not Doctrove, from top-level matches, is racist.  Hair, who has remained on the ICC's 'Elite' umpiring panel since the events of August last year but has not officiated in a tier-one international match since (E-News 65-354, 12 July 2007), is believed to have arrived in London last Friday for the anticipated two-week hearing (E-News 98-529, 12 September 2007).  Media reports are indicating that a total of 21 witnesses will appear both in person and via video link, over the next fortnight, and it is possible therefore that Inzamam might make himself available for the video option.  Hair is said to be seeking the equivalent of $A4.5m in damages, a sum that would take him 35-40 years to earn umpiring at the top level of the game, but no public indication has appears to have been given that he is also asking to be formally reinstated to the ICC's 'Elite' panel.  The ICC, all of whose current Board members are understood to be testifying as witnesses, has said on several occasions that it will "vigorously" defend Hair's claim (E-News 24, 5 April 2007).  The hearing is expected to be open to the public, therefore detailed reports of daily happenings are likely to feature in all facets of the media over the next few weeks.  EN586.



Former First Class umpire Geoff Morrow died in Melbourne last Thursday after a long illness.  Morrow, who was only 55, stood in a total of 25 Sheffield Shield and Pura Cup interstate matches over ten seasons until his battle with cancer forced him to retire from the game last year.  Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said in a statement that “Geoff managed his recent illness with dignity, and the turn out for a fund raiser for his treatment late last year was a reflection of the respect and affection with which he was regarded".  Sutherland said that Morrow "would be missed for both his significant on field contribution at a community and elite cricket level, as well as for his off-field demeanour".  Morrow, who also officiated at the national level with the AFL from 1975-91, stood in more than 200 senior Grade matches in Victoria, umpiring his first interstate game in 1996-97 and going on in the next decade to stand in a total of 28 First Class matches, 15 one-day domestic games, and both women's and youth One Day Internationals (ODI).  He was the third umpire for two major internationals, the first during the Australia-England Boxing Day Test in December 1998, and the second in the following month when England played Sri Lanka in a tri-nation ODI.  Morrow umpired at all major grounds around the nation, including three times at Bellerive, once in a domestic one-dayer and twice in Pura Cup fixtures, the last being in November 2005 when he stood with fellow Victorian John Ward.  EN585. 



Cricket Australia (CA) late last week appointed local Steven John to stand in Tasmania's one-day domestic match against NSW at Bellerive on 4 November.  For John, who will be standing with National Umpiring Panel member Peter Parker, it will be his second game in that competition, his debut being in the home side's match against  South Australia a week earlier (E-News 99-537, 13 September 2007).  John replaces fellow Tasmanian State Squad (TSS) member Greg Luck who was originally named by CA for the NSW game.  Local Brian Muir will support John and Parker in the third or television umpire for the NSW match.  John and Muir are currently in Mooloolaba, Queensland, standing in a pre-season one-day competition involving New Zealand 'A', South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria which got underway yesterday and ends on Wednesday.  They and other TSS members have been taking part in a number of pre-season tournaments and matches in Tasmania and around Australia over the last few months (E-News 89-478, 28 August 2007).  EN584.



Captains of Test match, One Day International and Twenty20 international sides whose members engage in ball-tampering activities will now be held responsible for such misdemeanors if those responsible cannot be identified, according to changes the International Cricket Council (ICC) will bring into force around the world today.  Today's change also gives the match referee the final say in the awarding of a match to a side in the event of their opponents refusing to play (E-News 12-062, 7 March 2007), both arrangements coming about as a direct result of last year's England-Pakistan ball-tampering Test at the Oval in London.  Additionally, umpires will be empowered to impose time-wasting penalties if a new batsman is not ready to face his first delivery within two minutes of the fall of the previous wicket, not three minutes as required by the Laws themselves; the use of polyvinyl acetate (PVA) or other adhesives is not permitted in the preparation of pitches; and minimum ground sizes allowable for matches have been defined.  The changes, which were first discussed by the ICC's Cricket Committee last May (E-News 51-282, 4 June 2007), were formally approved by the world body's annual meeting a month later (E-News 64-350, 2 July 2007).  EN583.



Changes to the playing conditions for One Day International (ODI) matches took effect last Saturday, two days earlier than originally planned in order to avoid confusion during the current India-Australia series which got underway that day.  The main changes, which were agreed by the International Cricket Council in late June (E-News 64-350, 2 July 2007), include: a mandatory change of ball at the start of the 35th over of each innings; a free hit for the batsman following a front foot 'no-ball' on which he cannot be dismissed; minimum sizes for boundaries both square of the wicket and on the straight hit; the ability of the fielding captain to nominate either the second or third power play as one in which he have a third fielder outside the outer circle; and where the number of overs of the batting team is reduced, the number of power play overs will be reduced accordingly and also spaced out proportionately.  Playing conditions relating to ball-tampering, the awarding of a match should a side refuse to play, and the use of artificial substances in pitch preparation, which now apply to the wider game are also applicable to ODIs (see E-News 106-583 immediately above).  EN582.  



The three Pakistani members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'International' Umpires Panel (IUP) have been named to support the two Test matches and five One Day Internationals (ODI) to be played between Pakistan and South Africa this month.  Pakistan's television umpire on the IUP, Riazuddin, will work in that capacity in the First Test in Karachi which starts later today, and his IUP umpiring colleague Nadeem Ghauri in the Second in Lahore from 8-12 October; both supporting on-field officials Mark Benson (England) and Simon Taufel (Australia)(E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007).  Riazuddin, who has umpired an incredible 193 First Class matches since his first, aged 26, in 1984, has previously been appointed six times as the third umpire in a Test match and Nadeem five; and the pair have 12 and 5 Tests as on-field officials respectively.  Ghauri, Riazuddin and Pakistan's third IUP member Zameer Haider, along with seven other locals, stood in the five matches the Australia 'A' side played against their Paskistani counterparts last month; Riazuddin and his colleague Iftikhar Malik reporting Australian Stuart MacGill for a misdemeanor during the First 'unofficial' Test in Faisalabad (E-News 101-555, 19 September 2007).  In the Pakistan-South Africa ODIs, New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden, who will take his ODI tally to 122 by the end of the series, will be joined on the field by Nadeem for his 31st and 32nd ODI in the first and fifth games, Nadeem’s countrymen from the ICC's 'Elite' panel Asad Rauf and Aleem Dar for the second and fourth game respectively, and Zameer in the third for what will be only his second ODI.  Zameer and Riazuddin will each be in the third umpires suite twice during the series and Asad Rauf once.  Aleem Dar's appointment will be his 101st ODI (E-News 104-576, 25 September 2007) and Asad Rauf's 46th.  EN581.


E-NEWS NUMBER 107. 2 October 2007



Southern members of the TCUSA who have yet to advised that they plan to attend next weekend's Annual Seminar have been asked to notify Administrator Graeme Hamley of their attendance by mid-week in order that catering arrangements for the two-day event can be finalised.  To date less than half of the Hobart-based membership have formerly indicated they will be at Bellerive, while at least seventeen scorers and umpires plan to travel down to the south of the state from Launceston and Devonport.  Morning and afternoon teas and lunch will be provided on both days as part of the $30 attendance fee therefore accurate numbers are critical in planning that aspect of the weekend's activities.  A range of speakers and a variety of sessions targeted at both new and returning scorers and umpires have been listed for the seminar (E-News 103-568, 24 September 2007).  Registration for the seminar commences in the Premiership Room at Bellerive at 8.30 a.m. on Saturday, proceedings proper getting underway 30 minutes later.  Events on Sunday will commence at 9 a.m.  EN592.  



Australian international umpire Darrell Hair "ran himself out", was the "author of his own misfortune" and racial allegations he is making against the International Cricket Council (ICC) are not supported by the facts, according to the head of the ICC's legal team, Michael Belhoff QC, on the opening day of Hair's hearing in London overnight (E-News 106-586, 1 October 2007).  Reports from London indicate that as envisaged, the partnership of Hair and his on-field colleague during that game, West Indian Billy Doctrove, will be a crucial area of legal argument. Hair was quoted in media reports as saying the decisions taken on the ball-tampering issue in the England-Pakistan Test last year were made jointly with Doctrove, while Belhoff said Hair was "immeasurably the more experienced and senior of the two umpires" and that he "took the initiative and Mr Doctrove's role was only to agree".  Stressing that he took action with Doctrove, Hair said that he accused Pakistan of ball-tampering because he "was surprised by how much roughing up of the ball there had been" and concluded that the scratch marks on it "had been accelerated by human intervention".  Further emphasising the team-work involved, Hair said that at the conclusion of the game "Doctrove called time and I removed the bails at my end".  A post-match enquiry into the state of the ball convened by the ICC's Chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle after last year's match found no evidence that he ball had been interfered with, however, media reports overnight make no reference to that finding being raised yesterday.  In his opening comments at the hearing, Hair's QC Robert Griffiths said that the ICC had "bowed to pressure from a bloc of Asian countries when it in effect sacked his client" in the aftermath of the Test, despite the ICC's Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed initially backing the umpires.  Cricinfo's report quoted Griffiths as saying that "Darrell Hair's case is that he was treated the way he was because the ICC bowed to the racially discriminatory pressure that was brought to bear on it by the Asian bloc and ICC board member supporters". "The Asian bloc is dominant in cricket [and] sometimes it uses that dominance inappropriately, everyone knows it, but most are afraid to say so", said Griffiths.  The ICC's Beloff countered by saying that "the fact that a majority of those who supported the so-called resolution were Black or Asian does not of itself establish or even give rise to the inference that they took their decision on grounds of Mr Hair's race as distinct from his behaviour".  Hair's "case on the question of discrimination has been changeable, evasive and, to a degree, reckless", said Belhoff, and "critically, it was Mr Hair who baled out of the crucial meeting when an attempt was made by all interested parties to broker a restart to the match" while Doctrove stayed.  Arriving at the hearing, Ray Mali, the ICC's President, told reporters: "We are here today because we are an organisation that believes in fairness, justice and equality”. “We have come here to prove that we have been fair throughout this process [and] believe racism was never an issue in this matter" said Mali.  The second day of the hearing will commence late this afternoon Australian time.  EN591.



TCUSA umpire on-field shirts and spray jackets, together with the Association's new off-field track-suit tops and polo shirts will be available for sale at next weekend's Annual Seminar.  One-field shirts and spray jackets will sell for $35 and $45 respectively, however, the cost of track-suit tops and polo shirts was not available at the time of writing.  Members can pay cash for each of the items or preferably have the costs taken from their umpiring fees as a payroll deduction.  Forms for the latter will be available on the day.  EN590.   



Competition in this season's Derwent Valley Association (DVA) home and away series is set to get underway this Saturday and the question of whether TCUSA members will support games from 13 October onwards is to be discussed at this weekend's Annual Seminar.  The DVA will against consist of 'A' and 'B' Grade teams, four sides playing in the former and five in the latter.  Eagles, Gretna, Molesworth and New Norfolk make up 'A' Grade and they will play their matches at Boyer, Gretna and Tnywald Park, while 'B' Grade teams will come from Bushy Park, Gretna, Molesworth, New Norfolk and Ouse, that competition involving a bye each week.  The 19 rounds of 'A' Grade games will primarily be played on Saturdays, however, as Eagles do not have a home ground they may have the option of playing their 'home' games at Boyer on Sundays.  In contrast 'B' Grade has 20 Saturday-based rounds, but the Grand Finals at both levels will be played on 8 March.  EN589.



Forty-seven umpires from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) in India donated blood during a camp organised by the state's umpires' association at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, last week.  The blood was provided to a Kolkata hospital and reports indicate that a Bengally medical group is to "subsidise all expenses borne by all [120] umpires" officiating under CAB auspices.  In addition, should CAB umpires need to use medical facilities for any reason, the initial admission cost for their attendance at hospital, which is equivalent to around $A285, will be waived. EN588. 



Former English international umpire 'Dickie' Bird has written the foreword to a new cricket quiz book, around $A2.30 from each copy sold going to his 'Dickie Bird Foundation' for financially disadvantaged children (E-News 57-313, 21 June 2007).  Bird says in the introduction that “you may be of expert standard and able to answer all the questions, you may be a bar room bore who knows nothing about everything, or you could even be the next Dickie Bird: someone who has a lifetime of cricketing knowledge-but still sometimes manages to forget the most famous players’ names".  'The Cricket Quiz Book', which is scheduled to be published in May next year, is expected to contain 1,000 questions and will require those who read it to "recall facts and figures relating to every possible aspect of the game of cricket from players to umpires and national to international matches".  Authors of the 150 page book, which is expected to sell in the UK for the equivalent of around $A20, are Alan Finch, Chris Cowlin and Adam Pearson, its publisher is Apex Publishing Limited, and its ISBN is 1-906358-00-1.  EN587.


E-NEWS NUMBER 108, 3 October 2007



The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yesterday called Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's claim of racial discrimination against the International Cricket Council (ICC) as "nonsense" and "ridiculous", according to media reports from Karachi.  Hair's lawyer told the employment tribunal in London on Monday that the ICC had bowed to pressure from a bloc of Asian countries when it effectively sacked his client in the aftermath of the abandonment of the Oval Test last year when the Pakistani side was accused of ball-tampering (E-News 107-591, 2 October 2007).  PCB Chair Nasim Ashraf told reporters that "Hair's charges are incorrect [and] what happened to him was because of his own inappropriate behaviour as a Test umpire", and "there was no racial discrimination involved and it was [the ICC] Board" that made the decision to significantly down-grade Hair's umpiring status.  Ashraf, along with Sir John Anderson New Zealand Cricket Board Chairman and Peter Chingoka who holds a similar position in Zimbabwe, were appointed to the ICC sub-committee that considered Hair's actions following the ball-tampering Test; the trio's recommendation to side-line Hair later being accepted by Asian and African members of the ICC Board.  Hair's lawyer, Robert Griffiths QC, attacked the make up of that group on the first day of Hair's hearing last Monday, submitting to the tribunal that the three men were compromised in various ways before they considered the Hair issue.  Ashraf told reporters in Pakistan that he plans to go to London to give evidence at the Hair hearing, but indicated that Pakistan captain in the Test, Inzamam-ul-Haq, is "not obliged" to attend, "but if he wants he can go and testify" (E-News 106-586, 1 October 2007).  EN108-598.  



Details have yet to be released on the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee's (WCC) discussions on 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).  The WCC's seventeen members met in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 25 September, the day after the World Twenty20 final to consider the range of issues involved (E-News 104-573, 25 September 2007).  EN108-597.



National Umpire Panel member David Orchard and Brisbane First Grade umpire Ian Barsby are standing in the four-day Cricket Australia Cup game currently being played between the Second XIs from Queensland and Tasmania at the Alan Border Field in Brisbane this week.  The match, that commenced last Monday, is the first of 14 games involving the six state Second XI sides and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) that will be played between now and late February.  Two matches are to be played in each of the states and the ACT, the first in Hobart being scheduled for 22-25 October at Lindisfarne, and the second from 14-17 January at Bellerive.  Victoria and Western Australia will be Tasmania's Second XI opponents in those two games respectively (E-News 68-369, 17 July 2007), however, umpires for the October game are as yet unknown.  Orchard, who was recently appointed as the Queensland Cricket Association's (QCA) State Umpires Coach, also stood with Barsby in the opening round of Grade cricket in Brisbane late last month.  Orchard, who commenced his career in South Africa has 135 First Class games, including 44 Tests, as well as 107 One Day Internationals to his credit, replaced Mike Ralston who was named as Queensland's State Umpiring Manager earlier this year (E-News 69-376, 18 July 2007).  EN108-596.



England-based umpire Roy Palmer retired late last month after a 28-year career that saw him stand in 445 First Class games, including two Test matches and 469 List 'A' matches, including 8 One Day Internationals.  Prior to taking up umpiring Palmer played County Cricket for Somerset from 1965-70, chalking up a total of 74 games.  Fittingly Palmer's last  game was in the match between Somerset and Nottinghamshire at the County Ground in Taunton, his 'home' ground during his playing days.  In his final game at Trent Bridge a few weeks earlier, players in the Nottinghamshire-Gloucestershire 40-over match gave Palmer, 65, a standing ovation as he left the ground for the last time.  EN108-595.



Former Indian Test batsman Brijesh Patel, who is currently Secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association on the sub-continent, claims that umpires Steve Bucknor (West Indies) and Suresh Shastri (India) were "responsible for robbing Bangaloreans of a good game" last Saturday, according to local press reports.  Patel believes that the India-Australia One Day International (ODI), which was called off after just a few overs into India's innings, should have proceeded as 'the ground was fit even after two hours of rain".  "The Australians were ready to play and I can understand that the Indians had some problems after they lost one wicket, but I don't know what happened to the umpires", he said.  Patel expressed the view that the International Cricket Council should "take action against them", and that he plans to "take up this matter with the Indian cricket board".  Adam Gilchrist, Australia's captain for the match, was quoted in another media report as saying that "the umpires declared the outfield too wet for cricket, a decision that we were more-than-happy to abide by".  His counterpart, Mahenda Singh Dhoni said that "there is a thin line between bravery and foolishness" and he felt that conditions were "not ideal for a run chase".  EN108-594.



Australian international umpire Darrell Hair, who is currently in the midst of the hearing into his claim against the International Cricket Council in London (see E-News 108-598 above), attended the ICC's annual umpires' seminar in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the way to the UK last week, according to numerous media reports published over the last few days.  The ICC is yet to release any details of the content of the seminar (E-News 105-579, 27 September 2007), however, reports of the attendance of Hair and others (E-News 98-530, 12 September 2007) clearly indicate that all on-field umpiring members of the ICC's 'Elite' and 'International' panels, a total of around 30 individuals, took part in last week's gathering.  EN108-593.


E-NEWS NUMBER 109, 4 October 2007



Australian international umpire Darrell Hair told his employment tribunal hearing in London yesterday that he has no regrets about his actions in last year's ball-tampering Test, that "umpires cannot allow unfair play", he "felt unfair play was taking place", and would "do exactly the same thing again".  Hair's comments came in the third day of the hearing during which the International Cricket Council's (ICC) barrister, Michael Beloff QC, branded Hair a mudslinger, and South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen denied in a media interview comments attributed to him by Hair.  Reports from London say that the Australian described a phone call in which Koertzen had referred to the Pakistan team as cheats.  Beloff accused Hair of "sheer mud slinging" in raising the Koertzen allegation.  Hair denied any such intent, insisting he had only revealed Koertzen's comments because he felt a duty to reveal such "an unsolicited phone call".  "I was absolutely stunned to get a call of that nature" as "there seemed to be an inference other people in the ICC might have believed that the Pakistanis were cheats," Hair said.  Beloff said Hair's "wild" claims of racial discrimination were entirely based on his own perceptions and suspicions rather than any evidence.  "What you are hoping to do is cause maximum embarrassment to the ICC" in a bid to force a financial offer, Beloff told Hair, a statement that was denied by the Australian umpire.  A report posted on 'The Australian' newspaper's web site overnight says that Koertzen, who is currently umpiring in Sri Lanka (E-News 104-575, 25 September 2007), "was stunned to find himself dragged into Hair's battle with Pakistan and the ICC", that he had "no memory of making the withering comment disclosed by Hair", and that he wouldn't comment further until he spoke with "the ICC guys".  Reports say that the tribunal was told yesterday that Hair will have lost at least $A65,000 in match fees during 2007 and that the Australian is claiming an estimated future loss of earnings of about $A3.5 million if the ICC does not renew his contract in April 2008; both figures supporting previous media reports on the subject (E-News 106-586, 1 October 2007).  EN109-602.    



The International Cricket Council's barrister in Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's racial discrimination claim, was quoted in media reports from London overnight as saying that Pakistan was "not refusing to play but staging a temporary protest" after they were accused of ball-tampering in last year's Test match against Pakistan at the Oval.  Hair replied that nothing existed in the Laws of Cricket to allow for a protest against the action of an umpire.  The Australian had said that when the Oval Test finished he "felt extremely disappointed that a match should end that way ... there were four umpires in the dressing room [after the match], and there was a sombre mood ... disappointment that a team could go that far with a protest".  EN109-601. 



Inzamam-ul-Haq has indicated that he will not be attending Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's employment tribunal hearing in London, according to a range of media reports from Pakistan yesterday.  Inzamam, who was captain of Pakistan during last year's ball-tampering Test at the Oval, was quoted as saying that he has "informed the court about [his] decision [and] right now [is] concentrating on training" and "am available for selection [for the second Test against South Africa]" which is scheduled to run from Monday-Friday next week in Lahore.  That period could see Hair's hearing wound up, although reports overnight are suggesting that the inquiry is already running behind schedule and may be extended beyond the originally envisaged two weeks.  Inzamam was served with a summons to appear at the London tribunal in England late last month, and there has been speculation in the media in the time since as to whether he would attend the hearing (E-News 106-586, 1 October 2007).  EN109-600.



India's media condemned fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's on-field tantrums after he clashed with Australian batsmen during last Tuesday's second One Day International in Kochi , saying there was a "thin line between aggression and antics."  Sreesanth clashed repeatedly with the batsmen and even appealed for a run-out against Andrew Symonds after the ball was ruled dead.  After an unsuccessful appeal for LBW against Australian batsman Brad Haddin, Sreesanth ran to Haddin's feet to collect a ball that bounced off the batsman's pad and eye-balled him centimetres from his nose.  Non-striker Andrew Symonds left his crease to have a word with Sreesanth who promptly dislodged the bails and continued to appeal for a run-out even though Indian umpire Suresh Shastri ruled it a "dead" ball.  Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni prevented the situation from turning ugly by persuading Sreesanth to get on with the game, but the local media was unimpressed.  "Sreesanth's on-field behaviour made little sense," wrote ‘The Hindu’ newspaper.  "There was little excuse for Sreesanth's exaggerated and provocative celebration when he, subsequently, had Symonds caught and bowled".  In the recent past Sreesanth has been spoken to by umpires and had his match-fees docked on a number of occasions.  After being fined just two weeks ago, the Indian speedster was warned by International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad that "he can expect more severe penalties to come his way" if he continues" to breach the [ICC's] Code of Conduct" (E-News 103-564, 24 September 2007).  "He does not seem to have learnt his lesson” said several Indian media reports yesterday.  Broad is the match referee for the current seven match India-Australia ODI series (E-News 104-576, 25 September 2007).  EN109-599.  


E-NEWS NUMBER 110, 5 October 2007



Press reports say that Sir John Anderson, the chairman of New Zealand's Cricket Board, told Australian umpire Darrell Hair's employment tribunal hearing in London yesterday that the decision to call a premature end to last year's ball-tampering Test was "the most appalling decision I have seen in my entire life".  Anderson was one of three International Cricket Council (ICC) Board members who were deputed to form a sub-committee by Percy Sonn, the then ICC president, in November last year to determine how to resolve the Hair situation.  The New Zealander told the London hearing that he "had no issue with any decision Mr Hair made over ball-tampering on the field, but [he] totally disagreed with his decision not to restart the match".  "Darrell Hair refused to budge to avoid embarrassing himself [and while] he acted within the Laws of Cricket, he is a law unto himself" said Anderson.  The Australian "should have acted in the best interests of the game, in commercial terms, the spectators, television and sponsors, [and] he should have used every means possible to persuade Pakistan to play on".  Another witness, ICC Associate Board member Prince Tunku Imran, of Malaysia, told the hearing he had been "concerned" because Hair was apparently the man who stood in the way of the match resuming.  "I thought that Darrell had exercised bad judgement on that day by failing to consult with the match referee", said the Malaysian.  Anderson said that he and his colleagues on the thee-man subcommittee, Pakistan chief Nasim Ashraf and Zimbabwean head Peter Chingoka (E-News 108-598, 3 October 2007), did not mention race, Hair's key complaint against the ICC, during their 45-minute sub-committee meeting.  He said that the trio was concerned about protecting the game of cricket and "decided that the best solution was to keep Hair on the ICC's 'Elite' umpiring panel so that he could not sue the world body, and to utilise him to train umpires rather than run the risk of a similar occurrence in a Test match".  "Mr Hair knows the Laws but he cloaks himself in them" said Anderson, and the New Zealander still considers that course of action the sub-committee and subsequently the ICC as a whole took as appropriate.  EN110-607.



West Indian international umpire Billy Doctrove was unable to take the stand as scheduled during the fourth day of Australian Darrell Hair's employment tribunal in London yesterday but he will be making an appearance next week, according to media reports published overnight.  One of Hair's lawyers, Stephen Whale, told the hearing that Doctrove had been unable to leave Dominica "for personal reasons that are too confidential to explain".  The West Indian, who stood with Hair in last year's ball-tampering Test match at the Oval and is a key witness in the hearing (E-News 107-591, 2 October 2007), pulled out on Wednesday as he was due to board a plane for London.  Whale said that Doctrove still plans to attend but "that he will not be coming today".  A spokesman for the International Cricket Council (ICC) told the media that there had been no pressure exerted on the Dominican to miss the hearing.  Doctrove had though asked the ICC about whether he could stop over in London on his way home from the World Twenty20 Championship and the ICC's annual umpires seminar in Johannesburg (E-News 108-593, 3 October 2007), however, he had been told that that would be inappropriate, therefore he returned home to Dominica.  Some media reports are suggesting that the delay in Doctrove's appearance, the non-attendance of former Pakistani captain Inzamam-ul-Haq  (E-News 109-600, 4 October 2007), and the what they claim is the failure of former West Indian captain Jimmy Adams, another scheduled witness, to appear, are serious setbacks for Hair's defence.  EN110-606.



Indian off-break bowler Harbhajan Singh says that Australian players targeted him with "personal and vulgar" comments during the second One Day International between the two teams in Kochi last Tuesday.  Harbhajan told 'The Sydney Morning Herald' (SMH) that Australia had shown themselves to be bad losers following their loss to India in the semi finals of last month's inaugural World Twenty20 Championship, a series the Indians later went on to win.  The SMH quoted Harbhajan as saying that while Australia is "a very good cricket side, that does not mean that they can do whatever they want to".  Australian players "say they play the game in the right spirit, but they don't in reality" as "there is nothing gentlemanly in the way that they play" said Harbhajan.  Reports indicate that after being dismissed by Michael Clarke in the 84-run loss, Harbhajan waited mid-pitch and pointed his bat and had to be led away by umpire Steve Bucknor of the West Indies.  "I was responding to a lot of vulgar words that were said to me”, the Indian said later.  "I don't have any problem with chitchat on the field, so long as it is about the game".   Australian players "think you cannot fight back and they do not like it when you do" he said.  Harbhajan is no stranger to controversy, having incurred the displeasure of International Cricket Council match referees on four occasions, twice for send-offs and twice for abusive language to umpires.  Last Tuesday's match was an eventful one in terms of player behaviour, Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's being condemed by his nation's media for his on-field tantrums (E-News 109-599, 4 October 2007).  EN110-605.



Former Australian spinner Shane Warne believes that Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's on-field antics in last Tuesday's One Day International in Kochi illustrated his competitive streak and would spark interest in India's tour of Australia this summer (E-News 109-599, 4 October 2007).  Warne was quoted as saying that "everyone's going to be looking for Sreesanth to do his stuff with a bit of passion" and he thinks "it's going to be good for the summer".  "I think the way all that sort of stuff goes there can be too much said about it" he said.  "Sometimes in the heat of battle something will happen and someone might overstep the mark, but that's very rare and at the moment I think it's good for the game if there's a little bit of niggle in it" said the current world Test wicket record holder.  EN110-604.



Changes to the playing conditions for One Day International (ODI) matches that took effect last Saturday require that a 'free hit' be allowed for back-foot and not just front-foot 'no balls' as indicated by E-News earlier this week (E-News 106-582, 1 October 2007).  Under International Cricket Council playing conditions the delivery following a foot fault 'no ball' "shall be a free hit for whichever batsman is facing the free hit ball.  If the delivery for the free hit is not a legitimate delivery (any kind of 'no ball' or a 'wide ball'), then the next delivery will also become a free hit for whichever batsman is facing it.  Whatever happens a batsman cannot be dismissed Bowled, Caught, LBW, Stumped or Hit wicket from a free hit even if the delivery for the free hit is called 'wide ball'.  Umpires are required to signal a free hit after the normal No Ball signal by extending one arm straight upwards and moving it in a circular motion.  EN110-603.


E-NEWS NUMBER 111, 6 October 2007



An insulting hand gesture by Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-huq during a meeting that was trying to broker a restart of last year's ball-tampering Test match at the Oval, caused Australian international umpire Darrell Hair to walk out, according to evidence provided to Hair's employment tribunal action against the International Cricket Council (ICC) this week.  Hair's actions in leaving what the ICC says was a "crucial" meeting held hours after Inzamam refused to lead his team on to the field, were severely criticised by the world body's barrister during the first day of the hearing last Monday (E-News 107-591, 2 October 2007), and a number of ICC Board officials later in the week (E-News 110-607, 5 October 2007).  During what was described as a "tense meeting", officials from both England and Pakistan tried to convince the umpires and the ICC's South African match referee Mike Procter, to try and find a way to resume a match that had ended in sensation.  However, Hair and his on-field colleague, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, had awarded the Test to England and the Australian was said to be "adamant" that it was not within the power of the umpires to resume a match that was finished.  Reports say that during discussions the Pakistani skipper demanded an explanation for the ball-tampering charge, however, Hair apparently said it was not an appropriate forum to discuss the matter.  At that point Hair claims that he was contemptuously cut short by Inzamam, saying that "he waved me aside with a protracted movement of his right arm in a backhand fashion".  "I had seen this gesture before during my travels in Pakistan and I was aware that it is a serious gesture of offence" said Hair.  "To me at that very time it meant that Inzamam-ul-Haq was in no way interested in the correct procedures for such matters and had no interest in accepting my response", and he told the meeting that he "was not going to be attacked and insulted" in such a manner and he therefore left the room.  Hair's ICC critics claim that his walk out was the action of an arrogant man who cared more about his own ego and power than about the game.  EN111-612.



Australian international umpire Darrell Hair indicated that then Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-haq is unlikely to have been responsible for the change in condition of the ball in last year's forfeited England-Pakistan Test match at the Oval, say reports from London this week.  Hair told his employment tribunal that he only targeted Inzamam for the charge because as captain he was responsible for ensuring that his team played within the spirit of the game.  The Australian, who was umpiring in his 76th Test match and 141st First Class game, said any damage to the ball had happened in the brief period of play between the 52nd over, when the ball was returned to the umpires for a routine inspection after the dismissal of opener Alastair Cook, and the 56th over when Hair and umpiring colleague Billy Doctrove of the West Indies decided the ball had been intentionally vandalised.  Hair said that he accused Pakistan of ball-tampering because he "was surprised by how much roughing up of the ball there had been" and concluded that the scratch marks on it "had been accelerated by human intervention" (E-News 107-591, 2 October 2007).  The only two men to have handled the ball for any length of time during those four overs were leg-spinner Danesh Kaneria and fast-medium bowler Umar Gul, however, an enquiry convened by the ICC's Chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle after the Test found no evidence that the ball had been interfered with (E-News 107-591, 2 October 2007).   Hair was still adamant this week that it was not within an umpire's power to resume a finished cricket match but the ICC's barrister Michael Belhoff QC, said the Australian's "obduracy" and decision to walk out had killed any chance of reviving the game.  Beloff disputed Hair's contention that he and Doctrove were working together on the issues involved, saying that "Mr Hair took the initiative and Mr Doctrove's role was only to agree" (E-News 107-591, 2 October 2007).  Hair claims that the fact that he and Doctrove, who is black, have been treated differently in selection terms over the past 14 months was driven by the racial prejudice of non-white ICC leaders looking "to teach a white Australian umpire a lesson" (E-News 93-504, 5 September 2007).  EN111-611.



The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has described Australian international umpire Darrell Hair as "a troublemaker" in his witness submission to Hair's employment tribunal hearing in London according to media reports.  Full details of the CEO's submission are expected to be available when he appears before the tribunal, although just when that will be is unknown at his stage.  EN111-610.



Suresh Shastri, one of three Indian members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'International' Umpires Panel (IUP), has been appointed to stand with West Indian, and ICC 'Elite' umpires panel member Steve Bucknor in at least the first four of the seven Indian-Australia One Day Internationals (ODI) scheduled this month, according to press reports from India.  Fellow Indian IUP member Amiesh Saheba was the third umpire in the first, rain-affected game in Bangalore, and Indian IUP third umpire member G.A. Pratapkumar in the following three matches in Kochi, Hyderabad, and Chandigarh.   General indications are that Indian authorities consider Shastri to be its leading umpire at the present time and over the last nine months the has ICC appointed him to his first two Test matches (E-News  60-327, 26 June 2007), and he has stood in 10 of what by match four of the India-Australia series will be his 17 ODIs.  With the ICC looking to expand its 'Elite' panel from 10 to 12 and India very keen to have one of its nationals at the highest level of the game (E-News 84-451, 17 August 2007), Shastri is likely to be under particularly close scrutiny at the present time.  EN111-609.



The England-based Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) is to commence its first umpire training course in Liverpool next Monday, according to an article in a local newspaper.  The ICUS, which broke away from the long-established Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers last year, said earlier this year that its new course is the first of its type "in the world to be accredited by an independent educational validation body", in their case the United Kingdom's Business and Technology Education Council (E-News 47-256, 27 May 2007).  The new course consists of three units, two being ‘classroom’ based, the third taking place on the field of play.  Unit one which starts next week involves eight, two-hour sessions on the Laws of Cricket says ICUS tutor Mike Dixon, who is also the appointments secretary for the Merseyside Cricket Umpires' Association.  The second unit, which will run from January to mid-March, will cover game management issues such as conflict resolution, communication skills, field-craft techniques, body language, humour and personality, duty of care, legal responsibilities and child welfare protection guide-lines.  Unit three requires participants to fill out a "self-evaluation log" on their performance as an umpire in a minimum of ten matches with "a number" of [those] matches being observed by "specialist ICUS-trained and accredited Boundary Assessors".  The report from Liverpool does not indicate how many people will be attending next week's inaugural course.  EN111-608.


E-NEWS NUMBER 112, 8 October 2007



Feedback from participants in the TCUSA's Annual Seminar, which drew over 50 scorers and umpires from all over Tasmania on Saturday and Sunday at Bellerive, suggests that the multi-faceted program was well-received by those involved with all present eager to get out on the ground or into the score box again after the winter break.  Highlights of the two days included a heart-felt presentation by Tasmanian First Class bowler Damien Wright about some of the factors involved in the State's first Pura Cup final win last season, fascinating detail of factors that drive the preparation and maintenance of turf wickets by Bellerive Oval curator Cameron Hodgkins, details of the restructure of umpiring at the national level by Cricket Australia Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford, and of the outcomes of research into the Association's activities earlier this year presented by university researcher and TCUSA umpiring member Mark Wickham (E-News 39-211, 11 May 2007).  In addition to those plenary sessions, other parts of the seminar involved three separate streams with new umpires going to Bellerive's indoor school to receive instruction on techniques and routines from State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows, scorers working on running sheets and computer scoring with Graeme Hamley, and experienced umpires being taken through a variety of sessions by members of the State Umpiring Panel.  Seminar numbers swelled to close to 70 on Sunday morning when captains and coaches from the eight Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) clubs joined the meeting to go through TCA playing conditions for the 2007-08 season, the focus being on changes or key issues that will apply to matches this year.  The seminar was put together and organised by members of the State Umpires Squad led by Steven John, while TCUSA Secretary Penny Paterson and her helpers provided excellence morning and afternoon teas and lunches.  EN12-615. 



Sir John Anderson, the head of New Zealand cricket and a key participant in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) removal of Australian umpire Darrell Hair from top-flight cricket last year, was the subject of a spirited cross-examination by Hair's lawyer, Robert Griffith QC, at the tribunal hearing in London last Friday.  Earlier in the week Hair had not had a particularly good time in his attempt to sue the ICC for racial discrimination.  The Australian was "brutally" cross-examined by the ICC's barrister Michael Beloff QC according to several media outlets (E-News 109-602, 4 October 2007), suffered a blow on Thursday when his chief witness, umpiring colleague Billy Doctrove, cited "personal reasons" for not attending as scheduled (E-News 110-606, 5 October 2007), and then had to listen as Anderson called the decision to end last year's ball-tampering Test as "the most appalling I have seen in my entire life" (E-News 110-607, 5 October 2007).  On Friday, Griffiths cross-examined Anderson, Inderjit Singh Bindra (India) and ICC President Ray Mali, and each was, according to Britain's 'The Daily Telegraph' "sent packing, lacerated from head to foot by Griffiths's ordered mind and razor tongue".  At one point in his testimony, Mali said that the action against Hair was "a corrective measure" and that he didn't "see any reason why Mr Hair should not return to the Elite panel and umpire Test matches".  Griffiths repeated that statement to make sure Mali was fully aware of what he was saying.  The Daily Telegraph's report said that Anderson "admitted Hair was an excellent umpire, that he had not been given due process over his individual rights, that the code of conduct and the principle of natural justice had been ignored, and that the reputation of the ICC and the game was paramount".  Griffiths then referred to the final of World Cup last April, and after Anderson acknowledged that the officials in that match made in the QC's words "a complete bodge of it", he asked Sir John whether those officials are still umpiring.  The ICC Board member's reply to that question was said to be "inaudible" by the reporter present and it marked the end of his time on the stand.  According last Friday's testimony, Anderson and his two colleagues on the ICC sub-committee that formulated the world body's position on how to deal with Hair last November (E-News 110-607, 5 October 2007), developed their approach over a 45 minute lunch and the full ICC Board then took less than five minutes after it reconvened after lunch to endorse that approach.  Grifiths is said to have responded incredulously saying: "five minutes?", and "on that basis Mr Hair lost his status as a Test match umpire!".  The hearing is set to continue tonight Australian time.  EN112-614.



Tasmanian State Umpire Squad (TSUS) members Steven John and Brian Muir both stood in four games last week in Mooloolaba, Queensland, during the four-team competition involving full-strength state sides from South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, as well as New Zealand 'A'.  Seven umpires were used during the pre-season series, including in addition to the two Tasmanians, National Umpires Panel member Simon Fry from South Australia, and four officials from the local Sunshine Coast Association.  Fry took part as he is to stand in the opening one-day domestic match of the season in Brisbane involving the locals and Tasmania this Wednesday, and with the Adelaide Grade season yet to get underway, he needed to accumulate some on-field time in the lead up to that game.  The visit north by John and Muir was part of an unprecedented level of pre-season development activity for Tasmanian umpires that has seen them and most of their TSUS colleagues involved in a range of winter and pre-season matches at home and around the country over the last four months (E-News 89-478, 28 August 2007).  Both John and Muir were last week named to stand in the four-day Cricket Australia Cup match between Second XI sides from Tasmania and Victoria which is to be played at Lindisfarne from 22-25 October (E-News 108-596, 3 October 2007).  EN112-613. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 113, 9 October 2007



West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor plans to retire the international scene sometime in the next two years, according to comments attributed to him yesterday by the 'Jamacian Gleaner' newspaper.  Bucknor who is 61 and the world record holder for Test matches, was quoted as saying that "after the age of 63 umpires don't perform well" and that he has seen many of his colleagues literally fade away because they want to prove the biological clock wrong and keep umpiring until they are 65.  "Between 63 and 65, they are just not there as far as their reflexes are concerned" said Bucknor, and he therefore has a strict personal regime, keeping fit by running and going to the gym to keep his reflexes in shape.  "I might be a little different to others, but it's difficult to maintain that high level of concentration the older you get" he said, especially in locations like India and Pakistan with temperatures getting up to 40-45 degrees centigrade out on the ground.  Bucknor will turn 63 in May 2009 and if that is his target for retirement, it would appear to fit neatly with the International Cricket Council's (ICC) contract arrangements with umpires which in the past have generally been up for renewal around April each year.  The West Indian's comments highlight the significant changes ahead in the next few years for the ICC's 'Elite' umpires panel and the opportunities that will be available for up-and-coming officials.  The world body already needs to recruit two new umpires in order to take the panel's numbers from the current 10 to 12 as planned (E-News 99-541, 13 September 2007).  With question marks against how much longer Bucknor, South African Rudi Koertzen, who is only a few years behind the West Indian, and Australian Darrell Hair, will continue on the 'Elite' panel, the ICC will have to find at least five new officials to make up the 12 over the next few years.  Bucknor is currently standing in the One Day International series between India and Australia (E-News 104-576, 25 September 2007), and if reports of his retirement plan are correct next month's Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Hobart, his 122nd, will be his last in Tasmania (E-News 103-569, 24 September 2007).  The West Indian is to be presented with his 'Order of Jamaica' award by Jamaica's Governor General next Monday (E-News 79-433, 9 August 2007).  EN113-619.



David Morgan, president-elect of the International Cricket Council (ICC), told Australian umpire Darrell Hair's employment tribunal in London yesterday that he did no support last year's ICC's sub-committee recommendation that Hair be demoted but was in "the minority and ultimately supported" the decision.  Morgan, who was chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) at the time of last year's ball-tampering Test, said on the hearing's sixth day that Hair "is technically a very strong umpire" who "applied the rules of the game correctly at the Oval, [and] like the ICC management", a reference in part to ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed, Morgan "thought that Darrell should have been allowed to continue at the highest level".  The former ECB chairman stressed that he had no doubt that the ICC's resolution was not motivated in any way by race as such matters were not mentioned at all during the Board's discussions, directors only being concerned only with avoiding a similar incident occurring again.  "The other directors found it unacceptable for Darrell to ignore completely what was in the best interests of cricket, which was clearly to allow the match to continue, [and] they therefore supported the Pakistan Cricket Board's call for an inquiry into Darrell's conduct" and the now somewhat discredited, 45-minute, three-man sub-committee, was therefore formed (E-News 112-614, 8 October 2007).  Morgan then talked about the e-mail sent by Hair in which he offered to resign in return for a pay-off, saying that it should not have been made public.  "It seemed to me that this was just a situation where an employee was beginning negotiations with his employer about the termination of his contract", said Morgan. "Malcolm Speed explained that he had received advice from a number of different lawyers and that was that the e-mail had to be disclosed, therefore I trusted that [he] had obtained the appropriate legal advice and accepted that disclosure was necessary", said Morgan.  The hearing continues later today Australian time.  EN113-618.



Ken Gordon, who was President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) last year, was not aware that Billy Doctrove, Australian Darrell Hair's on-field colleague during last year's ball-tampering Test at the Oval, was a West Indian.  Gordon said that he supported the International Cricket Council's (ICC) sub-committee recommendation that Hair should continue as an ICC employee but not stand in international matches between full member countries "so avoiding the risk of a similar incident to the Oval", but did not think it was necessary to take action against Doctrove.  The West Indian umpire was to have given evidence to the tribunal hearing in London last week (E-News 110-606, 5 October 2007), and reports from the UK are claiming that he has not made contact with Hair or his lawyers since then.  EN113-617.



Reports from the London employment tribunal hearing that is looking into Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's racial discrimination claim, are suggesting that the International Cricket Council may enquire into allegations that South African umpire Rudi Koertzen labeled the Pakistan side "cheats".  Koertzen told 'The Australian' newspaper last week that he was "stunned" by Hair's allegation that he had made such a comment (E-News 109-602, 4 October 2007).  A spokesman for the International Cricket Council was quoted in the media as saying that he had had a very brief conversation with Koertzen, who is currently umpiring in Sri Lanka, to tell him that "the issue was subject to an ongoing tribunal so we would be grateful if he did not comment on the matter until the tribunal was over".  The Pakistan Cricket Board said last week that it wanted to know whether Koertzen did call its team cheats, however, the ICC is understood to have indicated to the media in London that it will do nothing until the Hair hearing has finished.  EN113-616.


E-NEWS NUMBER 114, 10 October 2007



Australian international umpire Darrell Hair yesterday abandoned his racial discrimination case against the International Cricket Council (ICC) and will undertake an as yet unspecified "rehabilitation program" over the next six months that might see him return to the top tier of international cricket.  The surprise announcement by Hair's barrister, Robert Griffiths QC, came on the seventh day of the tribunal at the London Central Employment Tribunal as a result of what the BBC is reporting as the "collapse" of the Australian's case after over a week of evidence (E-News 113-618, 9 October 2007).  The ICC said in a statement that no agreement has been made with Hair, that the Australian's decision was "unconditional", and that the rehabilitation program will "be devised by the ICC".  Paul Gilbert, Hair's solicitor, said the hearing had been called off for the best reasons for he thought the "case was going well, but ultimately you have to take the bigger picture on these things, and that's very much in Darrell's view that this is in the best interests of all the parties".  Gilbert also said that he doesn't think "Darrell regrets bringing these proceedings, and he's pleased the matter has been resolved, [and what] we have now is a future for Darrell that leads to the possibility of his return to top-level umpiring".  Malcolm Speed, the ICC's Chief Executive Officer, was quoted by the BBC as saying that he is "very pleased that this claim has been unconditionally withdrawn", and that he thinks that "in six months we'll have a better idea" about Hair's future as an umpire.  Over that time Hair "will umpire matches at Associate level" said Speed, and the ICC's board's scheduled meeting next March will discuss the results of Hair's "rehabilitation" and decide whether he can return to elite umpiring, and if so, on what terms.  Speed said that "it's a matter for the board, which is a very diverse group generally with strong and differing groups, so a lot will depend on the rehabilitation program and [Hair's] attitude towards it".  According to one report Hair is contracted to the ICC until March 2008 but that he "then has to be given 12 months notice, so in effect he remains an employee until March 2009".  EN114-620. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 115, 11 October 2007



The Marylebone  Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) believes that "much more expensive and sophisticated technology" that can "assist umpires in their pursuit of near-flawless decision-making" should be examined, however, if eventually accepted it should operate in a way that "maintains the umpires' dignity and authority over the game".  The 17-man WCC, which heard from "experts in television and other technologies" during its two day meeting in Cape Town last month, said in a statement this week that 'Ultra Motion' cameras and an "independently tested" Hawk-Eye system should be trialled in a Test series "where the highest quality of technological presence is assured".  The MCC says that it "has offered" to assist with the increased costs involved in assessing the slow-motion cameras, which its says could provide "evidence of thin edges in bat-pad catches or LBWs".  Before 'Hawk-Eye' is used in any trial says the committee, it should be subject to "independent testing to ensure its accuracy and reliability", as was the case when the International Tennis Federation adopted it as part of its official line-call process.  Hawk-Eye's inventor, Phil Hawkins, who presented information to the Cape Town meeting (E-News 93-505, 5 September 2007), told the WCC that his device is accurate to within 5 mm as to where it pitches or makes contact with the batsman.  The committee believes that Hawk-Eye should be used to assist tracking of deliveries for LBW decisions "up to the point of impact with the batsman, but that Hawk-Eye's predictive path, which is currently used on television to predict where the ball might have gone thereafter, should not be used by the third umpire".  The WCC believes that "consideration should be given to all technologies if they are subjected to the same process of independent testing as Hawk-Eye", however, systems such as 'Snickometer' and 'Hot-spot" should not be included in at least the early stages of Test-based investigations until that is done.  The MCC's committee recommended a continuation of the 'Player Challenge' experiment that was trialled by the England and Wales Cricket Board last northern summer.  If media reports are to be believed, this year's experiment in the UK's domestic one-day competition was not well-regarded by those who participated in it (E-News 86-460, 22 August 2007).  EN115-623.  



Media reports posted on a news web site in Pakistan overnight say that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formally asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to investigate an allegation that South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen described their national side as "cheats" earlier this year (E-News 113-616, 9 October 2007).  Australian umpire Darrell Hair claimed during testimony in his now-abandoned racial discrimination case against the ICC last week that Koertzen used that description, but the South African subsequently denied the allegation (E-News 109-602, 4 October 2007).  PCB Chairman Nasim Ashraf was quoted as confirming yesterday that a letter has been sent to the ICC as Pakistan wanted "a logical conclusion to the issue".  "We are concerned that an [ICC] 'Elite' umpire could say such a thing [and] we hope the ICC will look into it" said Ashraf.  The PCB Chairman, who earlier this month called Hair's racism claims "nonsense" (E-News 108-598, 3 October 2007), said he was happy that the Australian had withdrawn his case against the ICC (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007).  "I am happy because it vindicates the stand of the ICC Executive Board that there was never any racial discrimination involved" in Hair's case said Ashraf, who was a member of the ICC sub-committee that formulated the approach to Hair's demotion by the world body (E-News 110-607, 5 October 2007).  Asked about Hair's so-called "rehabilitation" and possible return as a Test umpire, Ashraf said that he could not speculate at the moment.  However, what media reports in Pakistan are calling "sources in the PCB" say that Pakistan was not happy at the chance given to Hair to possibly restore himself as a Test umpire and would not accept him back on duty.  An unnamed official was quoted as saying that "when the time comes we will take our stand, but hopefully we don't think the ICC will clear him in the first place".  EN115-622.   



Research conducted by University of Tasmania (UTas) academic Dr Wayne O'Donohue into psychological aspects of employment-related relationships that operate in workplaces predominantly made up of volunteers or part-time workers, has provided valuable insights into the workings and operations of the TCUSA .  Whilst the overall research program was not specifically aimed at exploring the roles, function or responsibilities of the TCUSA and its members, it returned science-based evidence that the Association is functioning well, provided an overview of members' attitudes to the organisation, and pointed to issues that were important to them.  O'Donohue's findings were based on a survey of TCUSA members conducted in last May-June (E-News 39-211, 11 May 2007), and fellow UTas academic and TCUSA Management Committee member Dr Mark Wickham, who presented a précis of the study at last weekend's Annual Seminar, says that the 75 per cent return rate of survey forms was "excellent" for such a study.  Wickham said in the presentation that areas suggested for improvement included: a need for better information feedback loops, especially in relation to performance management in games; a need for official ‘mentors’ amongst the group for the development of both new and existing umpires; a reduction in the number of playing conditions between Grades; and greater access to practical umpire training sessions.  Each of these issues has been considered at recent TCUSA Management Committee meetings and a number of strategies and suggestions adopted as a result.  Accordingly, in the coming weeks members will see the introduction of a new Captain's Report designed to elicit better information regarding the umpires’ performance against a number of criteria, a new Match Observer’s Report that has a similar aim, and a new CD-ROM resource that integrates the Laws of Cricket, playing conditions, and by-laws of the various Associations supported by TCUSA members.  In concluding his presentation Dr Wickham thanked all those who took the time to provide their thoughts and indicated that the management committee plans to continue its discussions on survey results over the next few months.  EN115-621. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 116, 12 October 2007



Pakistan vice-captain Salman Butt has been fined 50 percent of his match fee for breaching the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct during his country’s ongoing second and final Test match against South Africa in Lahore.  Salman was found guilty of making serious public criticism of match officials by International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Alan Hurst in a hearing after play concluded on Thursday.  Salman had criticised umpiring in the first and second Tests during his post-match comments on Wednesday, although just what aspects of the performance of Mark Benson (England) and Simon Taufel (Australia) were not spelt out in detail in media reports.  The Pakistani was found to have breached 2.3 of the ICC code of conduct that relates to serious public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match related incident or match officials.  “It is the responsibility of the captain or vice-captain to set examples on and off the field in not only what they do, but what they say", Hurst said in an ICC statement. Hurst said negative comments about some umpiring decisions made by Salman at a media conference and later printed in more than one newspaper were very specific and could have the effect of undermining the mutual respect that was essential between umpires and players.  “In reaching my decision, Salman’s previous good record, guilty plea and apology for his actions were taken into consideration", added Hurst.  The charge was brought by umpires Benson and Taufel and third and fourth officials Nadeem Ghouri and Iftikhar Malik.  EN116-627.  



TCUSA umpiring member Steven John has been appointed to stand in Cricket Australia's (CA) men's national under 19 tournament in Hobart from 10-21 December.  John, who also stood in last year's series in Adelaide (E-News 4-019, 5 January 2007), will be joined on the field of play during the seven-match series by one official from each of the other five states, but at this stage their names are unknown.  Under new arrangements formulated by CA, all six of its State Umpire Coaches will also attend the tournament as part of a plan to try and standardise the way they access, managed and report on those who are in their squads.  Nine grounds, Fergusson Park, Hutchins School, Lindisfarne, KGV, Kingston Beach, New Town, Queenborough, the TCA and University, have been listed for use during the nine days of play involved (E-News 90-487, 30 August 2007).  EN116-626.



Englishman Phil Mustard, who many longer-serving TCUSA umpires and scorers would have seen playing in Glenorchy's First Grade side in the Tasmanian Cricket Association during the 2003-04 season, made his debut England debut in its One Day International series against Sri Lanka this month.  Wicketkeeper batsman Mustard, who represented England at Under-19 level, has 67 First Class games to his credit with English county Durham, and in the season just finished won two trophies with his county, scoring almost 1000 First-Class runs in the process.  A talented all-round sportsman, he was at Manchester United for two years until he was 13 and then with Middlesbrough until he was 15.  Reports indicate that he had a fairly quiet season while playing for Glenorchy with the bat, while his club's then first choice for wicketkeeper and now State Umpire Panel member Nick McGann, denied him a place behind the stumps.  E-News has been unable to confirm rumours circulated by McGann that England's selectors have scouts watching his current form.  EN116-625.  



Australian fast bowler Brett Lee believes that the new One Day International (ODI) rule whereby the old ball is replaced for the 35th over gives batsmen an advantage towards the end of an innings.  Lee told 'The Australian' newspaper this week that "the newer balls we've been using have been pretty shiny and still have the Kookaburra writing on them".  That "makes it harder for the bowlers because you're trying to work with a ball that is as old as possible and you come on at the 34th over and you're bowling with a new ball again", he said.  Tim Nielsen, Australia's coach, says that he has noticed a change in scoring rates after the change.  "After the 34th over our run rate's escalated quite a bit", he told the paper. "We've been going on at four or five an over and it's got up to seven or eight a couple of times [because] the different ball is harder and comes on to the bat better".  That leads to a change of tactics say the Australian.  Nielsen said that "if you've got a new batsman you might bring on the fast bowlers, [but] if you've got two batsmen in you might try and batten down the hatches a bit until the ball gets softer".  EN116-624.


E-NEWS NUMBER 117, 15 October 2007



The Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee (WCC) believes that a well-structured 'player challenge' system supported by high-quality technology could have "a positive effect on the spirit of the game".  The WCC, which last week supported improvements in technology to assist umpires at international level "in their pursuit of near-flawless decision-making" (E-News 115-623, 11 October 2007), says that it "recognises that to dispute an umpire's decision is contrary to the 'Spirit of Cricket', but [feels that] a player challenge system is nonetheless worth trialling" provided it is done in tandem with enhanced technology upgrades being available to the third umpire.  It reasons that "a batsman who gets an obvious edge on a ball but is given 'not out', may be inclined to 'walk' in the knowledge that he would certainly be given out by the third umpire if the fielding side made a challenge" to the on-field official's decision.  The time taken by that technology to provide data to the third umpire, and the need to "maintain the umpires' dignity and authority over the game", are key factors in any future trial says the WCC.    EN117-633.



Australian international umpire Simon Taufel is currently taking part in a training camp in Mumbai for what media reports from the sub-continent suggest are India's 13 recently appointed umpire coaches and the panel responsible for selecting officials for Indian domestic matches (E-News 94-511, 6 September 2007).  Taufel, who only finished umpiring the five-day long Second Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Lahore last Friday, flew to Mumbai the following day for the two-day camp that commenced on Sunday and ends this evening Australian time.  Cricket Australia's (CA) Development Manager Ross Turner, who is also in Mumbai, was quoted by the media as saying that "Taufel will be a key figure" at the camp with local officials hoping that the world's best umpire for the last four years "will be able to impart some wisdom and teaching to India's up-and-coming officials" (E-News 97-524, 11 September 2007).  Turner and Taufel are making a second visit to India as part of a three-year contract between CA and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that aims to improve the standard of India's umpires (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007).  The pair previously held training sessions at Bangalore's National Cricket Academy in late August that involved over 100 umpires from around the country (E-News 89-475, 28 August 2007).    EN117-632.



Australian international umpire Daryl Harper has been appointed to officiate in two Test matches between South Africa and New Zealand next month, according to the latest entry on his web site.  The First and Second Tests between the two countries are to be played in the Johannesburg area from 8-12 and 16-20 November.  Harper's on and off-field colleagues for the two matches have not yet been publicised on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) web site, even though officials for Tests and ODIs to be played elsewhere around the world in November-December have been named (E-News 104-574, 25 September 2007).  Harper has stood in Test matches in every Test-playing nation and next month's series will take his tally at the highest level of the game to 67, one more than retired England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird's 66.  Harper thus moves to fifth on the all-time Test appointments list behind: Steve Bucknor of the West Indies, with 119; David Shepherd, England (92); Rudi Koertzen, South Africa (84); and Darrell Hair, Australia (76).  Harper says in the latest entry on his web site that he became "a fan of the Twenty20 format" during last month's World Twenty20 series for the lively action involved, the dancers who "performed some lively routines at the fall of a wicket or the scoring of a boundary", and the fireworks that "lit up the skies" on a regular basis during night games.  Harper stood in a semi final of the competition (E-News 102-562, 22 September 2007), and was the third umpire for the final (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007).  EN117-631.



Umpires from Nepal and South Africa are standing in the current four-day, second-tier, Intercontinental Cup (IC) match between Kenya and Canada in Nairobi that is scheduled to end later today Australian time.  Buddhi Pradan from Nepal, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's Associate and Affiliate International Umpires' Panel, is standing in his fourth First Class match, the previous three games also being in the IC competition in previous years, one being in Nairobi and the others in the United Arab Emirates.  Up-and-coming South African umpire Marais Erasmus 43, who is on his country's national panel, played 53 First Class matches in South Africa and has since umpired another 28 there.  Over the last 18 months he has progress to the international level as the third and fourth official in Test (E-News 92-497, 3 September 2007), One Day International, and Twenty20 matches (E-News 92-499, 3 September 2007), his appointments suggesting he might be in line for further promotion sometime in the near future.    EN117-630. 



Should Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's "rehabilitation program" over the next six months be judged as "successful" by the International Cricket Council (ICC) next March (E-News 14-620, 10 October 2007), there are at least a dozen Test matches scheduled for the three-months from May to July next year that could see his return to top-level cricket.  According to the ICC's current 'Future Tours Program', England host New Zealand for three Tests in May and South Africa for four in July, India travel to Sri Lanka for three also in July, while should Zimbabwe return to the Test arena they have two Tests listed at home against India in June.  Australia are also scheduled to play four Tests in the West Indies next May, however, Hair would be ineligible for those if the ICC continues with its 'neutral umpire' policy for Test appointments; the ‘neutrals’ issue possibly being part of the ICC's umpiring 'task force' report which the world body's board is to considered at the end of this month (E-News 97-523, 11 September 2007).  In addition to Test matches, the tours of May-July next year also feature well over twenty One Day Internationals (ODI), while the 2008 Champion's Trophy ODI series is to be played in Pakistan in September.  However, given the Board of the latter country's reported view of Hair (E-News 115-622, 11 October 2007), it remains to be seen if he would be selected to stand in a match there even if he is successfully "rehabilitated".    EN117-629.



Australian spinner Stuart MacGill is to "be spoken to" by Cricket Australia's (CA) Cricket Manager Michael Brown about his on-field behaviour during the national 'A' side's tour of Pakistan last month, according to a report published in 'The Australian' on Friday.  MacGill, who has been prevented by injury from playing in NSW's current Pura Cup match against Western Australia, was fined the equivalent of 50 per cent of his match fee for abusing an opponent in Pakistan (E-News 101-555, 19 September 2007), to add to an already poor on-field disciplinary record.  MacGill was spoken to about such issues prior to the Pakistani tour (E-News 77-421, 4 August 2007).  'The Australian' article says that "Australia desperately needs a fit MacGill to counter Sri Lanka and India" this summer, for "without him, the spinning cupboard would be almost bare".  If that is correct CA will be keen to ensure MacGill does not stray from its much-promoted support for the 'Spirit of Cricket', even though the national side's current tour of India has seen questionable behaviour by both teams (E-News 109-599, 4 October 2007 and 110-605, 5 October 2007).  EN117-628.


E-NEWS NUMBER 118, 16 October 2007



South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen's alleged referral to the Pakistan side as 'cheats', severely undermines his credibility, according to former Australian captain, and now cricket writer, Ian Chappell.  Writing in his 'Cricinfo' column, 'Chappelli' says that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) "would have legitimate cause to ask the International Cricket Council (ICC) not to appoint Koertzen for any Pakistan matches", or to get the "South African to make a grovelling apology or deny he ever made the comment".  The claim that the South African made the 'cheats' comment was made by Australian umpire Darrell Hair during his employment tribunal hearing earlier this month, but Koertzen told an Australian newspaper soon after that he had "no memory" of making such a statement (E-News 109-602, 4 October 2007).  The PCB formally asked the ICC to investigate Koertzen's alleged comment last week (E-News 115-622, 11 October 2007).  Referring to the Hair tribunal, Chappelli says it "was a fruitless exercise for Hair but he did succeed in severely embarrassing his employers [the ICC] on a number of occasions".  He says that in his view "Hair's choice of action at The Oval in August 2006 may have been questionable", but the hearing "laid bare" the ICC "administrators' incompetence" for a "worldwide audience".  EN118-637.



Media reports on the sub-continent are suggesting that Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's "rehabilitation program" will focus on improving his "man-management and communication skills".  Such an approach was apparently suggested during the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Board discussions on the Australian's future late last year, a process that was roundly criticised during Hair's employment tribunal hearing in London before it ended last week (E-News 112-614, 8 October 2007).  The ICC said last week that Hair's program will be "devised in consultation" with the world body's Umpire Manager, New Zealander Doug Cowie.  Hair indicated during the London hearing that the level of feedback he received on his performance in matches decreased after Cowie commenced in that position in March last year.  EN118-636.



South African batsman Jaque Kallis is "owed" one run by Australian international umpire Simon Taufel, according to a report Taufel provided last week to the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association web site.  On day one of the First Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Karachi on 1 October Taufel, who was umpiring with Mark Benson of England, "incorrectly signaled a bye when Kallis got a thin edge to it and [both he and the batsman] hoped this single would not count for more at a later time".  Later in the innings when Kallis was on 95 and hit a boundary to go to 99, he reminded the Australian, apparently tounge-in-cheek, before he took strike for the next delivery that he was “owed” a single.  Kallis went on to make 155.  Apart from details of each day's play, other items of interest from Taufel's report are that he and "Benny" (Benson) "tossed a bail for the choice of ends" before the start on day one, and his receipt of an early morning phone call from former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy asking that a message of congratulations be passed to South African Mark Boucher who had broken Healy's dismissal record the previous day.  Taufel "duly did before play started" that day.  After the Second Test between Pakistan and South Africa, Taufel flew to Mumbai in India for a two-day umpires training meeting (E-News 117-632, 15 October 2007), and in an interview with a newspaper there he was asked to compare himself with champion tennis player Roger Federer, his reply being that “Roger earns more money than me".  The article emphasises that Taufel takes his off-field preparation as seriously as Federer, and says that the Australian "uses a fitness trainer, has a nutritionalist, a life skills trainer and a coach".  “It is important to be fit [as] it helps to cope with the jet lag and the heat, especially if you are standing-in cities like Mumbai", Taufel is reported to have said.  EN118-635. 



Peter Hughes, the Executive Officer of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCASA), attended the weekend course for Tutors who will present the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers' (ICUS) new course in England on 29-30 September.  Opened by Keith Pont, Chairman of the Trustees of Community Cricket Trust, the ICUS' ‘parent' charity (E-News 72-396, 26 July 2007), the long-weekend Accreditation Forum consisted of a series of intensive workshops aimed at familiarising Tutors with the "new concept of training that ICUS has developed".  Course content and Course delivery were "explored in depth" through interactive sessions that included role-play and simulation of field-craft techniques.  The Institute's web site says that newly-developed course "software was warmly received by all the Tutors present, with the "use of animation and video sequences to aid the understanding, interpretation and application of Laws being greeted with enthusiasm".  Hughes, who "flew from Sydney to "represent the NSWCUSA", was one of close to thirty attendees at the weekend gathering, most being from around the UK, and others from Hong Kong and the United States.  The ICUS that its " Australian colleagues have provided [their] Education and Development Team with unlimited access to the excellent teaching materials NSWCUSA has developed for its trainee umpires" (E-News 52-286, 7 June 2007), and Hughes "demonstrated and shared a number of field-craft techniques with fellow Tutors".  The ICUS-NSWCUSA link came about through umpire Darrell Hair who is a member of both groups.  What is reported to be the first of the ICUS's new courses got under way in Liverpool, England, last week (E-News 11-612, 6 October 2007).  EN118-634.


E-NEWS NUMBER 119, 17 October 2007



Pakistan international umpire Aleem Dar will stand in his 100th One Day International (ODI) later today when India plays Australia in the seventh and final match of their current series at the 45,000-capacity Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.  Dar, the youngest person to ever stand in a World Cup final (E-News 33-187, 27 April 2007), made his ODI debut in February 2000 and in a Test in October 2003, and was elevated to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' Umpire Panel in April 2004.  The Pakistani brings up his Century after just under eight years on the ODI scene, a period that has seen him officiate in two World Cups, two Champions Trophy series, and numerous two and three-nation tournaments at 47 grounds spread across thirteen countries.  Dar, who played 17 First Class matches in Pakistan as a right hand batsman and off-break bowler before taking up umpiring, was runner up to Australian Simon Taufel in the ICC's Umpire of the Year award in 2004, 2005 and 2006.  The Pakistani, who will not turn 40 until June next year, has a generally low-key approach both on and off the field of play, and reports suggest that he is respected amongst the international cricket community for his approach to umpiring.  Like any umpire though he is sometimes embroiled in controversy, nothing more so than as one of the five-man 'player control group' in last April's World Cup final in Barbados (E-News 34-193, 30 April 2007).  Given his age he could have at least another 20 years in the game provided he maintains his form and is able to continue to live with the regular travel and absence from home that is now part of a top international umpire's life.  Tasmanians will see him in action in Hobart for the second time next month when he stands in the Second Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Bellerive Oval (E-News 103-569, 24 September 2007).  EN119-639. 



The tribunal of the Maitland cricket competition in NSW faces its first test under the Maitland and District Cricket Association's (MDCA) new Code of Conduct (COC) this week, after a First Grade player was cited in a match on Saturday.  The 'Maitland Mercury' says that the COC was a joint of-season venture between umpires and the MDCA's board of control, other competitions around the State being looked at to find an appropriate set of rules for Maitland players to follow.  The First Grade player was cited in the match between City United and Weston Workers at Robins Oval following an outburst against umpire Stuart Hicks.  The case is expected to be heard by the tribunal later this week, where the minimum sentence for dissent, general misconduct, swearing and verbal abuse if a player is found guilty attracts a penalty of one match for a first-time offender.  All subsequent offences carry two-match bans.  EN-119-638.


E-NEWS NUMBER 120, 19 October 2007



TCUSA senior umpires and scorers are well prepared after a solid pre-season build-up, however, only three of the four Tasmanian Cricket Association's opening round of First Grade matches scheduled for tomorrow will actually get underway.  Despite today's showery, blustery, conditions in Hobart, the weather forecast for Saturday is good, but problems experienced in preparing the wicket at Kingston over the last few weeks have been compounded by today's rain and the match scheduled for there has been postponed until Sunday, 11 November.  Seven of the eight members of the State Umpires Squad (SUS), the majority of whom have been officiating in matches in various parts of the country over the last three months as part of their development program (E-News 112-613, 8 October 2007), have been named to stand in this weekend's First Grade games.  All eight scorers listed for those matches have considerable experience in the score box and nearly all have attended a range of meetings held since June to make sure they are up-to-date with the latest version of the 'Total Cricket Scorer' scoring program; many of the changes to that system having been recommended to its UK manufacturers by TCUSA members.  In the matches themselves, Wade Stewart and Nick McGann are the unlucky ones having been named for the match at Kingston between last season's top side Kingborough and South Hobart Sandy Bay.  In the games that are expected to be played, Steve Maxwell and Brian Muir will be at the University oval when the 'students' take on North Hobart, while across the Derwent River at Lindisfarne, Jamie Mitchell and Sam Nogajski will look after the home side's game against New Town, and Steven John and John Smeaton will be standing in the match between Clarence and Glenorchy at Bellerive.  Former First Class umpire Smeaton is the only non-member of the current SUS named for First Grade this weekend, eighth squad member Greg Luck being overseas at the present time.  Scorers for the games will be Tas Rooney and Penny Paterson at University, Ian Collins and Alice Giblin at Lindisfarne and Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford at Bellerive.  Robert Godfrey and Darby Munroe have, like their umpiring colleagues listed for the Kingston match, the day off on Saturday.  For umpires Steven John and Brian Muir Saturday's matches mark the start of a busy period of cricket over the next week as Monday sees them on the field at Lindisfarne for the start of the four-day Cricket Australia Cup match between the Tasmania and Victoria Second XIs  (E-News 112-613, 8 October 2007).  John then goes on to make his one-day domestic interstate debut the following Saturday in the match between Tasmania and South Australia at Bellerive (E-News 99-537, 13 September 2007).  Current forecasts are suggesting that while showers may occur on the Hobart City side of the Derwent River, Lindisfarne may remain relatively dry early next week with temperatures around 16-19 over the four days.  Weather information, including forecasts, actual weather, and current satellite and radar images for areas in which matches are to be played right around Tasmania are available by 'clicking' the yellow button on the top right-hand side of the TCUSA's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN120-647.



Seven TCUSA umpires will be supporting matches in country areas this weekend, four in the Derwent Valley (DVA) competition and three in the Huon and Channel Association (HCA).  David Gainsford, Mark Gillard, Mark Wickham and Kit Williams will officiate in DVA games at Bushy Park, Gretna, Boyer and Tynwald Park respectively on Saturday, while Ray Howe, Peter Pitt, an Martin Betts will stand in HCA matches.  Wade Stewart and Steve Gibson stood in DVA games played last weekend.  EN120-646.



Five training sessions for the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme Level 2 program (NUAS-2) will be held at Bellerive Oval in the lead up to Christmas.  This season's training will commence on Wednesday, 31 October with modules 3.4 (Pre-match Preparation) and 4.7 (Skin Protection), and continue on 7 November (3.3 Personal Presentation and 4.8 Eye Protection), 21 November (2.1 Meetings), 28 November (3.5 Time Management), and 5 December (3.6 Stress).  All NUAS-2 training sessions start at 6.30 p.m. and finish just before scheduled TCUSA training-appointments meetings which get underway at 7.30 p.m.  General information about the NUAS-2 is available on the Association's web site and further details can be obtained from Tasmanian course supervisors Ian Quaggin on 03-6228-7921 or 0409-287-993, or Steve Maxwell on 03-6268-6470 or 0416-277-464.  EN120-644.



South Australian batsman Mark Cosgrove has been reprimanded for swearing during his side's opening First Class match of the season against Victoria earlier this week, according to a report in yesterday's 'Adelaide Advertiser'.  The newspapers says Cosgrove swore as he entered his team's change rooms after being adjudged LBW by umpire Steve Davis for a duck on the first ball he faced in South Australia's second innings.  He was subsequently cited for using language that is "obscene, offensive or insulting" and was also warned about his behaviour after he was, says 'The Advertiser', "controversially sent back to the pavilion" by umpire Bruce Oxenford in his side's first innings after scoring 34.  Cosgrove, who received a reprimand from independent commissioner Kevin Duggan after pleading guilty, apologised for his actions via a statement but will also be required to explain his actions to the South Australian Cricket Association said the paper.  "We're not happy and I know Mark's disappointed with that [but] I don't want to delve into too many other things because it's a situation which happened in a game and in the heat of battle", said South Australian coach Mark Sorell.  Cosgrove, 23, was sent home from Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence due to what 'The Advertiser' says was the poor standard of hygiene in his apartment in July (E-News 73-400, 27 July 2007).  Umpires Davis and Oxenford are very experienced officials, being members of the National Umpires Panel and the three-man Australian contingent on the International Cricket Council's 'International' umpire panel (E-News  65-356, 12 July 2007).  EN120-643. 



Umpires standing in First Class and a range of other higher-level matches in India are to spend the day after their matches finish reviewing video of their on-field performance with one of their coaches, according to Bomi Jamula, the head of that country's recently appointed 13-man panel of umpire coaches (E-News 94-511, 6 September 2007).  Speaking following this week's umpire coach training session in Mumbai attended by Australian Simon Taufel (E-News 117-632, 15 October 2007), former First Class umpire Jamula told local media that the emphasis at the workshop was "on how best to assess umpires' decisions".  Under the video monitoring system, which is believed to be very similar to that used by Cricket Australia (CA), eight cameras will record Indian matches this season with the umpires receiving action pertaining to their performance.  "The technical people will tag all the decisions made by the umpires and a comprehensive report will be prepared at the end of a match, [an approach] that will help in analysing and assessing the officials' performances accurately", said Jamula.  "All this will be done using an analysis matrix, borrowed from [CA]", and will form "the basis" of how the "umpires' performances will be judged", said the veteran of 66 First Class matches and 5 One Day Internationals.  "If seriously implemented, this move will surely help improve the umpiring standard" in India said Jamula.  EN120-642.



Ten years ago the Ballarat Cricket Umpires Association (BCUA) had close to 50 active members, but over the last five years umpire numbers have fallen away dramatically and the Association says that it is in "dire straights" this season.  The BCUA needs a minimum of 42 umpires to cover matches in the Ballarat Cricket Association each week, however, it only has 22 on their books at the present time, and only 19 are available for matches this weekend.  Association Secretary Gerard Dooley told the local ABC Radio station this week that his group can only umpire three to four grades each week at the moment, and with players filling in "you have situations were some decisions are not judged fairly which then can cause games to become a bit unruly".  Dooley was quoted as saying that these days "people have more options available to them in their social life, [and] in the past when you played cricket and were unable to play any more due to injuries or age it was just a natural progression to become an umpire".  The majority of umpires in the BCUA are aged between 55 and 60 and are not likely continue umpiring to far into the future, a fact that further compounds the Association's problems said Dooley.  EN120-641.



As all umpires know, a range of things can make 'noises' that could be mistaken for 'bat on ball' and lead to appeals from the fielding side for a 'caught' decision.  English columnist Charles Randall wrote this week of his countryman John Crawley who seemed fortunate to survive a loud snick while batting for England 'A' against Free State at Bloemfontein, South Africa, in 1994.  Umpire Willie Wilson felt something was not quite right, even though the fielding side were convinced.  Crawley went on to complete a century and said afterwards that his Saint Christopher medal had flicked upwards on his neck chain during the shot and hit his helmet grille, replicating a snick sound. "Good umpiring" says Randall.  EN120-640.


E-NEWS NUMBER 121, 22 October 2007



Sunil Gavaskar, the influential chairman of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) powerful Cricket Committee, has queried the role of umpires and the match referee in diffusing on-field confrontations between players in the recently-concluded One Day International series between India and Australia (E-News 110-605, 5 October 2007).  Writing in Mumbai's 'Mid-Day' newspaper over the weekend, Gavaskar said that while he is "not privy to the report the match referee may have sent to ICC", the "fact that not even one player from both sides has been reported and reprimanded shows the referee and the umpires did not do the job assigned to them".  Those official's role is "to see that the game was not brought into disrepute and the spirit of cricket [is] maintained" and he questioned the need of a match referee if he could "act only when the umpires had made a report".  According to the former champion batsman, the match referee is there not just to protect the umpires from the players but to see that the game goes on without any untoward incidents, and that what happened between players in the India-Australia series was "definitely not cricket".  Gavaskar says that by "abdicating their responsibility", match officials let the game down big time and have "raised a big question mark on their ability to control the game and players".  "It would be sad if the ICC turns a blind eye to what happened during the series, for even while accepting that the game has changed and become far more aggressive than yesteryear, what was seen on the cricket field during the series did not do any good to the image of the game nor enhance the quality by any stretch of imagination" wrote Gavaskar.  Chris Broad of England was the match referee for the series, while the umpires during the first four games were West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor of the ICC's 'Elite' panel, and Indian Suresh Shastri of the ICC's 'International' Umpires Panel (IUP).  Another 'Elite' panel member, Aleem Dar of Pakistan, and Indian IUP member Amiesh Shaheba, were on the field for the last three matches of the series (E-News 110-609, 6 October 2007).    EN121-653. 



The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) replaced its original selection as the third or TV umpire for its side's second One-day International against South Africa in Lahore last Saturday as the official concerned was suspended and facing an inquiry, according to a report by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).  Umpire Riazuddin, who has stood in 12 Test matches and 12 ODIs over the past 17 years, is being investigated on an unspecified complaint that the APP says was lodged by Australian 'A' team manager Daryl Foster after his side's four-day unofficial Test against Pakistan 'A' played in Faisalabad from 12-15 September.  Australian Stuart MacGill was fined the equivalent of 50 per cent of his match fee for abusing an opponent during that match (E-News 101-555, 19 September 2007), however, whether there is any link between that incident and the Riazuddin inquiry is unknown at this stage.  Zakir Khan, the PCB's Director, Cricket Operations, said that as the inquiry, which is being conducted by PCB General Manager Shafiq Ahmad, is still in progress his Board decided to replace Riazuddin with Nadeem Ghauri, a Pakistani member of the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel.  It is not clear just when Foster lodged his reported complaint or when the inquiry commenced, however, the situation did not prevent Riazuddin working as the third umpire during the First Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Karachi from 1-5 October.  New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden is the ICC's neutral umpire in the current five-match ODI series (E-News 106-581, 1 October 2007).    EN121-652.



While the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) First Grade season started last Saturday (E-News 120-647, 19 October 2007), all five Grades will be in action this coming weekend and it promises to be a particularly busy one for TCUSA umpires and scorers.  Sixteen two-day matches will be played in the top four Grades over Saturday-Sunday, and with 32 umpires needed to support those games alone, 16 scorers in Grades 1 and 2, plus umpires for the TCA's Under 15, Southern Tasmanian Cricket League and possibly the Derwent Valley competitions, TCUSA members will be in considerable demand.  Members will be provided with their appointments for the coming weekend this Wednesday evening at the first of the fourteen TCUSA Training-Appointments meetings scheduled for the 2007-08 season.  That meeting will get underway in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval at 7.30 p.m.  Members who are not available on one or both days this weekend should advise the Association's President-Administrator Graeme Hamley by now.  Those who haven't should do so today.    EN121-651.  



TCUSA scorers Penny Paterson and Des Mortimer were forced to 'go green' after their umpire's signal light failed to work during the Tasmanian Cricket Association's First Grade match at the University oval on Saturday.  According to the E-News' correspondent at the match, the pair at first acknowledged signals from on-field umpires Steve Maxwell and Brian Muir by "waiving their arms frantically".  It was suggested to Penny that she use the green-coloured bag she uses to take her well-known range of food and treats to matches, a move that was reported to be of "great affect", although what the scorers' colleagues out on the ground thought is unknown at this stage.    EN121-650.  



Despite being "fully updated throughout the innings" by the umpires of the progress of their overs, Pakistan was three overs short of the required target at the end of last Saturday's One Day International (ODI) against South Africa in Lahore, and its team members were subsequently fined heavily for their transgression.  With the shortfall being more than two overs, Pakistani captain Shoaib Malik was automatically charged with a Level two breach of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (COC) and was fined 50 per cent of his match fee, while his team mates are each 15 per cent out of pocket following the match.  Malik received the minimum penalty for the offence, the fine for a Level 2 COC breach ranging from the 50 per cent match fee docking, up to a full match fee fine and/or a one Test or two ODI ban.  On field umpires for the match were 'Billy' Bowden from New Zealand and local Asad Rauf, both of whom are members of the ICC's 'Elite' umpiring panel, while the third and fourth officials were Nadeem Ghauri, a Pakistani member of the ICC's International Umpires Panel, and another local Iqbal Butt. The fines were imposed by ICC match referee Alan Hurst from Australia.  Pakistan was fined for slow over rates in their match against Ireland in the World Cup in March (E-News 18-101, 21 March 2007), and players from England, India, South Africa and the West Indies have also suffered similarly over the last six months.   EN121-649.



England opener Andrew Strauss believes that "some poor umpiring decisions, some unfortunate dismissals and a few incredibly good balls delivered at just the wrong moment" were factors that led to his omission from England's squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka in December, according to a report in the 'Sunday Telegraph' in the UK yesterday.  The 30-year-old, who apparently did not elaborate on his umpiring comment, was not included when the England and Wales Cricket Board announced their Test party on Friday, following a year in which he averaged just 27.  Strauss' non-selection is the "culmination of a long, tiring and immensely frustrating 12 months" in which he says "little has gone [his] way", and he blamed the "ridiculously crowded international schedule" as compounding the problems he has been experiencing.  The International Cricket Council has yet to name the umpires who will stand in the three-Test series in December between Sri Lanka and England.  EN121-648.


E-NEWS NUMBER 122, 23 October 2007



New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has moved to "improve the standards of umpiring" in that country by establishing an 'Elite' umpiring panel of eight officials who will be expected to be available on a full-time basis throughout the 2007-08 season.  Former international official and NZC umpires manager Brian Aldridge was quoted by local media outlets as saying that forming the panel was an important moment for the game in New Zealand and that it is in line with international moves in the umpiring area (E-News 97-523, 11 September 2007).  "Historically, umpiring [in New Zealand] has been a part-time leisure activity for individuals engaged in other careers", he said, but "this initiative points to a commitment to upgrade the standing, standards and professionalism of umpiring", especially at First Class level.  The eight panel members are 'Billy' Bowden , the only NZ umpire on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' panel, Gary Baxter and Tony Hill who are their country's representatives on the ICC's 'International' panel (IUP), Evan Watkin a third official on the IUP, plus Barry Frost, Phil Jones, David Quested and Derek Walker.  Bowden (41), Quested (5), Hill (4) and Watkins (2) are the only ones in the group to have stood in a Test match to date, while those four plus Baxter have officiated on the field in a total of 226 One Day Internationals, Bowden leading the way with 119.  First Class statistics for the eight are Bowden (101 games), Quested (99), Watkins (96), Hill (62), Baxter (50), Frost (40), Jones (19) and Walker (14).  Age-wise Bowden is the youngest at 44, and Quested the oldest at 61, Baxter, Hill and Watkins are in their late fifties, and Frost, Jones and Walker in their late forties.  In terms of age the latter three might eventually form the next generation of international umpires from New Zealand over the next decade.  EN122-659. 



Pakistani umpire Siddiq Khan who stood in 187 First Class matches and five One Day Internationals in a 27-year career that ended earlier this year has died in Lahore.  Khan, whose two sons are First Class cricketers, played one match at that level in 1979 before taking up umpiring the following year.  Born in Delhi, India, in 1947, he migrated to Lahore and for many years was involved in a local club that produced a number of international cricketers, including former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.  The Pakistan Cricket Board provided Khan with "a cash award" on his retirement from umpiring earlier this year.  EN122-658.



West Australians Andrew Craig and Mick Martell are standing in the four-day WA-Queensland Second XI Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) match which got underway at Floreat Oval in Perth yesterday.  Martell made his debut in one-day interstate cricket in last Sunday's WA-Tasmania one dayer at the WACA (E-News 99-538, 13 September), while Craig is a seasoned campaigner who has chalked up 17 First Class and 17 domestic one-dayers over the last six years.  Another CAC match got underway at Lindisfarne yesterday between Tasmania and Victoria, TCUSA members Steven John and Brian Muir officiating in that game (E-News 120-647, 19 October 2007)   EN122-657. 



Nepalise umpire Buddhi Pradhan, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Associate and Affiliate International Umpires' Panel, is has been named to stand in three One Day Internationals (ODI) between Kenya and Bermuda in Nairobi this week.  His partner during the three-match series to be played on Thursday and over next weekend will be Ian Howell a South African member of the ICC's 'International' Umpires Panel, while Howell's countryman Mike Proctor will be the match referee.  Kenya and Bermuda are to play a four-day, second tier, Intercontinental Cup (IC) match in Nairobi from 1-4 November but as yet the ICC has not yet publicised which officials will manage that game.  Pradhan stood with another South African, Marais Erasmus, last week when Kenya played two ODIs against Canada, games that followed the two sides' IC match the week before (E-News 117-630, 15 October 2007).  Namibia is to play Canada in another four-day IC match starting on Thursday but as yet no officials for that game have been named by the ICC.  EN122-656.



English columnist Charlie Randall writes this week of the occasion back in 1988 when the then Somerset captain, and now journalist and broadcaster Peter Roebuck, complained about the runner that Hampshire wanted to use to assist an injured batsman in a match played at Southhampton.  Roebuck held up play to complain that the runner sent out by his opponents was exceptionally quick and much faster than the injured batsman could ever have been.  Umpires Jack Bond and Ray Julian "calmly" informed the Somerset skipper that Law 2.7 about runners does not refer to a batsman's speed in any way.  EN122-655.



Today's extended forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology for the coming weekend in Hobart, the first full day of competition for TCUSA members this season (E-News 121-651, 22 October 2007), indicates that Saturday will be 'fine' with a maximum  temperature of 22, while on Sunday the thermometer is expected to reach 18 as showers develop.  The computer-generated forecast weather map for Sunday shows a cold front approaching the west coast around mid-morning with a trough lying ahead of it right across Hobart.  Current indications are that the forecast showers could arrive by early afternoon and may, may, impact on games underway on that day.  EN122-654.


E-NEWS NUMBER 123, 26 October 2007



Most of the eight matches being played in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Second and Third Grades this weekend look like being managed by a single umpire, the first time long-term observers can recall such a situation occurring this decade.  In addition, no TCUSA umpires are available to support the opening of the Southern Tasmanian Cricket League's season, or any of the four games in the Derwent Valley Association.  The shortage of on-field officials has resulted from a number of factors, the main one being the heavy match program that has been scheduled, with the top four TCA Grades each playing two-day games over Saturday-Sunday and Under 15 matches listed for Sunday, plus a one-day interstate domestic match at Bellerive on Saturday that involves two TCUSA umpires and scorers (E-News 99-537, 13 September 2007).  What State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows says is the most difficult scheduling challenge he has faced in his eight years in the job has been compounded by the need to assign suitably experienced officials to stand with the seven new umpires who will be standing in their first games, and the fact that six umpiring members are unavailable this weekend.  Of the 36 umpires listed for games, Association Life Members Don Heapy (363 Grade games) and Brian Pollard (411) will each be starting their 22nd consequetive season, Mark Gillard his 19th (328 games), Mike Lee his 16th (266), John Smeaton and Joe Hewitt their 14th (179 and 153 respectively) and Steve Gibson his 10th (133).  Those going out for their first games as umpires in either the Under 17 or Under 15 competitions are Jack Bucher, Damien Daniels, Zac Duggan, Mike Graham-Smith (E-News 87-463, 23 August 2007), Conrad Lawson, Roger Palfreyman and Peter Walker.  EN123-669.



Thursday's computer-generated weather charts for Saturday and Sunday are indicating that northerly winds, possibly strong at times, are likely to bring temperatures in the low twenties on both days in Hobart, 'a shower or two' being forecast for Saturday and 'a little rain developing' later on Sunday.  Those involved in the management of matches this weekend can up-date themselves on the latest forecast on the morning of each day by going to the TCUSA's web site (see URL above) and clicking the yellow 'Weather' box on the top right of the screen (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  Weather for the first Pura Cup game of the season at Bellerive between Tasmania and South Australia which is to start on Monday, looks like being played in generally fine conditions at this stage, with 'a shower or two' currently forecast for both Monday and Tuesday, and fine conditions on the last two days.  Temperatures are expected to be around 17-18 degrees centigrade over the four days of the match.  EN123-668.



Pakistan international umpire Aleem Dar plans to retire at the early age of 50, according to comments attributed to him in an interview published by the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) in Mumbai this week.  Dar, who turns 40 next June and recently stood in his 100th One Day International (ODI)(E-News 96-518, 10 September 2007), told INAS that his umpiring duties take him away from home for seven to eight months a year.  He is thankful to his parents and his wife for their "sacrifices" that enable him to be away for long periods and concentrate on his job, but he misses his family, particularly his three "young" sons.  Dar also said during the interview that if he is not satisfied with one of his decisions early in a match it bothers him, but he tries "not to let that decision affect me for the rest of the match".  He admitted, says the IANS, that he wrongly gave Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar out caught behind off bowler 'Freddie' Flintoff in last month's deciding ODI against England at Lords, a mistake that occurred because of a "brief lapse in concentration".  "On that ball Flintoff was very close to bowling a 'no ball', and as I was looking at his foot my concentration was disturbed", said Dar.  Tendulkar, who scored 30 off 46 balls, was "visibly stunned and uncharacteristically stood in his crease for a few seconds" before leaving his crease, according to a report at the time.  "Immediately after I gave him out", the INAS quoted Dar as saying, "I realised from his reaction that I had given a wrong decision".  "I knew that match was the decider, I was upset [by] that decision and it was tough match [for me]" according to the IANS report.  EN123-667.



The North Hobart Cricket Club (NHCC) is looking for two umpires to officiate in a charity Twenty20 match that is to be played at the TCA Ground on Thursday, 1 November starting at 1 p.m.  The match will pit current and former NHCC players against a group from Camp Quality, a non-profit organisation that assists children living with cancer.  Those standing in the match will not receive a fee but there is a free BBQ after the game.  Those interested should contact Danny Berman at or phone Chris Williams on 0404-756-182.  EN123-666.



Ten teams from around Asia will contest the Asian Twenty20 championship which is scheduled to get underway in Kuwait tomorrow and run for a week.  Sides representing Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates will play in two separate five-nation groups, the top two sides from each advancing to the semi-finals.  Three grounds will be used in Kuwait for the 24-match series with four games scheduled each day in the lead up to the finals.  No information is currently available on he umpires who will officiate during the championship.  EN123-665.  



South African umpires Brian Jerling and Shaun George reported Titan's skipper Martin van Jaarsveld last Sunday for allegedly head-butting an opponent in his team's First Class match against the Dolphins in Durban.  Reports indicate that Van Jaarsveld head butted Dolphins fast bowler Quinton Friend during the final day's action of the four-day SuperSport Series match at Kingsmead, a competition that is the equivalent of Australia's Pura Cup.  Cricket South Africa has summoned Van Jaarsveld to a disciplinary hearing but a date for that meeting has not yet been finalised.  van Jaarsveld has played a total of 179 First Class matches for teams in both South Africa and England since 1994, and represented his country in nine Tests and 11 One Day Internationals in the period from 2002-04.  EN123-664.



South African Brian Jerling and Russell Tiffin of Zimbabwe are standing in the four-day First Class Intercontinental Cup match between Namibia and Canada that got underway in Windhoek yesterday.  Jerling and Tiffin are members of the International Cricket Council's second-tier 'International' umpire panel, the Zimbawean previously being on the world body's 'Elite' panel.  The current match is Tiffin's seventy-ninth First Class game, a figure that includes 38 Tests, one of which was played at Bellerive Oval in 1997.  Jerling is officiating in his 115th First Class game, four of them being in Test matches played last year.  EN123-663.



A series of courses and workshops aimed at recruiting and training umpires are planned by the Hungarian Cricket Association (HCA) this northern winter.  Six teams competed in the inaugural HCA season earlier this year and a number of new teams appear likely to join the Association in 2008.  EN123-662.



Former West Indian player Wavell Hinds ban from playing domestic cricket in Jamacia for the remainder of the current season in the Carribean for 'verbally abusing' umpires Errington Malcolm and Desmond Edwards has been upheld following an appeal.  Hinds hearing was delayed by the passage of Hurricane 'Dean' in August (E-News 86-457, 22 August 2007).  Despite that set back Hinds this week signed a one-year deal with English County team Derbyshire for the 2008 season.  EN123-661.



Three long-serving TCUSA members, Graeme Hamley, Joe Hewitt, and Mick Lee, were praised for their ability to read the game and move the sight screens in an efficient manner during this week's Cricket Australia Cup four-day match between the Tasmanian and Victorian Second XIs at Lindisfarne.  On-field umpires Brian Muir and Steven John were very complimentary of the efforts of the TCUSA's own 'Dad's Army'.  Opportunities are available for members to work the sight screens at Bellerive during matches scheduled there this season, including Pura Cup, one-day domestic and One Day International games, as well as next month's Australia-Sri Lanka Test match.  Those taking part earn $100 per day.  Those interested should contact TCUSA President-Adminstrator Graeme Hamley.  EN123-660.


E-NEWS NUMBER 124, 30 October 2007



The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has decided to end the decisions referral system experiment that allowed players to challenge umpires' decisions in televised County-level 50 over one-day matches while “available technology remains in its current position”.  Picking up the views of the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee (E-News 115-623, 11 October 2007), the ECB says that it will "actively work with broadcasters and other parties towards technology and systems that will assist in increasing the number of correct decisions".  Last northern summer teams were allowed up to three referrals to the third umpire (E-News 27-151, 11 April 2007), but no decisions were overturned and the system was not considered a success by either the players or the media (E-News 86-460, 22 August 2007).  The third umpire will now revert to a role of adjudicating solely on decisions requested by the on-field umpires via radio, as in international cricket.  The ECB also announced that its one-day 50 over competition will adopt One Day International regulations on Power Plays and automatic change of ball after 34 overs (E-News 64-350, 2 July 2007), guidelines for wides will be marked on pitches, and that it will conduct "further trials" of an umpire "open microphone system".  In the County Championship the minimum number of overs required in a day's play are to be reduced from 104 to 96, the use of floodlights in matches is to be discontinued in order to preserve the integrity of the competition as their use with a "red ball simply [doesn't] work", and 'dead' games should be allowed to finish at the commencement of the last hour regardless of the number of overs remaining to be bowled provided both captains agree.  EN124-677. 



The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Board is to consider recommendations of the world body's umpiring 'Task Force' during its two-day meeting which gets underway in Dubai later today Australian time.  So far the world body's only public comment on the outcomes of the umpiring review was to indicate that the numbers on its 'Elite' umpiring panel are to be increased from the current ten to twelve (E-News 99-541, 13 September 2007); no mention being made of such issues as the structure of, and support for, the ICC's three-level umpiring system, remuneration, general conditions, workloads, and selection policies and procedures (E-News 87-465, 23 August 2007).  Media reports are suggesting that other items on the ICC Board's agenda this week include the format of future World Cups, an independent audit into the Zimbabwean Cricket Board's finances, and their team's future in the Test arena.  EN124-676.   



Australian international umpire Simon Taufel says that when on-field sledging becomes personal he'll step in to ensure the situation doesn't escalate; otherwise he tends to get bored with the same old player comments.  Speaking on Sydney radio station 2KY yesterday, Taufel said that he thinks most umpires tend to let players get what they want to say off their chest and that "from our perspective, we'd rather make it a player versus player issue rather than a player versus umpire issue".  There are "a lot of competitive players out there who are really striving for whatever advantage they can get", said the Australian, but "once [comments] broach personal issues" its time for umpires to step in.  Taufel said in the interview that he would intervene to prevent sledging turning into ugly scenes as occurred in the slanging match between Indian Shantha Sreesanth's and Australian Andrew Symonds in this month's One Day International series between the two sides (E-News 109-599, 4 October 2007); a situation that was not handled well by match officials according to some observers (E-News 121-653, 22 October 2007).  In general though Taufel often "gets bored" with what he says the monotonous sledging perpetrated by some players, citing as an example comments made by South African Andre Nel in the two-Test series against Pakistan earlier this month.  Umpiring with England's Mark Benson (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007), Taufel said that he and his colleague "had a chat" to Nel and his captain Graeme Smith, telling them that Nel's comments were "getting a bit boring".  EN124-675.   



The International Cricket Council (ICC) has yet to announce who will join Australian international umpire Daryl Harper in officiating in the two-game Test match series between South Africa and New Zealand that is to be played between 8-20 November.  Harper announced on his web site nearly three weeks ago that he was to stand in both matches (E-News 117-631, 15 October 2007), and while his colleagues are likely to have been informed of their participation, the ICC has yet to publicise those appointments. Other Test series scheduled for the next three months that await umpiring appointments include South Africa and the West Indies (three matches between 26 December and 14 January) and Australia-India (four matches between 26 December and 28 January).  One Day International series which require a single 'neutral umpire' are also scheduled in November, December and January between those sides listed for Tests, plus New Zealand's six matches against Australia and Bangladesh in December.  EN124-674.     



Bermuda's Lionel Cann has been banned for two One Day Internationals (ODIs) after being found guilty of "showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision" during his team's three-wicket defeat to Kenya in Nairobi last Saturday.  The offence occurred when Cann stood his ground for an extended period of time after being given out LBW, only leaving the field after being forced to do so by his captain.  Reports indicate that all-rounder Cann continued to show his dissent by smashing a rubbish bin as he walked towards the dressing room and then shouting in the dressing room so loudly that he could be heard outside.  International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Mike Procter from South Africa found the 35-year-old guilty of a 'Level 2' breach of the ICC's Code of Conduct (COC) at a hearing held after the match ended on Saturday.  Proctor said in an ICC statement that the "ban should serve as a message to players that this type of behaviour is not allowed".  "Cricket is a sport which teaches us discipline and respect for an umpire's decision" said Proctor, and "anyone associated with this game has to respect its values and Laws and anyone being disrespectful has to be penalised".  Despite Proctor's view, similar very public incidents in the recent India-Australia series did not result in match officials taking disciplinary action (E-News 121-653, 22 October 2007).  All Level 2 COC breaches carry a minimum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee and a maximum penalty of their full match fee and/or a ban of one Test match or two ODIs.  Saturday's post-mach hearing was attended by Cann, his Team Manager and Captain, as well as on-field umpires Ian Howell (South Africa) of the ICC's International Umpire Panel, Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal) of the Associate and Affiliate International Panel (E-News 122-656, 23 October 2007), and local Moses Owesi the third umpire.  EN124-673. 



New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is hoping to 'fast track' a third former First Class player into its umpiring ranks.  Long-serving Otago top-order batsman Chris Gaffaney who retired earlier this year, has stood in four club games in the Dunedin area so far this season, and is said by local media to be poised to accept a NZC 'fast track' offer provided his employer agrees.  Gaffaney, who scored 4,711 runs at 33.41 in 83 First Class matches and 2,357 runs at 24.29 in 107 domestic one-day games, was quoted as saying that he is enjoying umpiring as "it's a good place to watch the game from [and is] something [he has] always had an interest in".  Former NZ Test spinner Evan Gray and Otago all-rounder Derek Walker are previous appointees to NZC's fast-tracking system.  Walker was last week named as a member of NZC's new eight-man 'Elite' umpiring panel, although Gray was "a surprise omission" according to some New Zealand media reports (E-News 122-659, 23 October 2007).  Cricket Australia has a similar fast tracking system, former Australian fast bowler Paul Wilson's membership of its Project Panel being extended into a second season in July, while original nominees Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker are now members of the National Umpires Panel (E-News 65-356, 12 July 2007).  EN124-672. 



National Umpire Panel (NUP) members Peter Parker and Bruce Oxenford were two of the five umpires who stood in this year's high-profile Hong Kong Sixes tournament played at the Kowloon Cricket Club's picturesque, skyscraper-surrounded, ground last weekend.  Other on-field umpires were fellow Australian, Trevor Warburton, Peter Counsell from England and Mike Walsh from Hong Kong, while locals Roger Nissim and Anoop Gidwani were the TV umpire and match referee respectively.  The Laws of Cricket apply to the 'Sixes' competition, the differences being that matches are played between two teams of six players and each game consists of a maximum of five six-ball overs bowled by each member of a side except the wicket keeper (eight-ball overs in the Final).  In addition 'wides' and 'no balls' count as two runs, batsmen retire 'not out' on reaching 31 runs (the idea being to reach 36 runs by hitting six sixes), and if five wickets fall before five overs are completed the last remaining batsman takes strike to all remaining balls with another batsman acting as runner until he is out or the six overs are completed.  A total of 21, 45-minute long games, involving ten, six-man teams, including defending champions South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, plus hosts Hong Kong and, for the first time, an 'All Stars' team, were played over the two days.  Well-known players involved in the weekend's games included Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Glen McGrath, Shahid Afridi, Anil Kumble, Craig McMillan, Geraint Jones and Heath Streak, total prize money involved being the equivalent of $A310,000, the winning tam receiving $A110,000.  ESPN-STAR Sports provided world-wide live television coverage of the tournament.  EN124-671.  



Computer-generated weather maps for the coming weekend are currently indicating that south-easterly to southerly winds will prevail in the Hobart area on both days, the TCUSA region being 'between' a large High pressure system south of the Great Australian Bight and an area of Low pressure centred off south-eastern NSW.  The air flow up Storm Bay on to coastal areas around Hobart is expected to be moist and the current forecast is for 'showers' with a maximum temperature on both days of around fifteen degrees centigrade; an outlook that points to the need for umpires to be on top of arrangements that apply for one-day games that are affect by weather.  The Bureau of Meteorology's computer-generated maps for seven days ahead are produced each afternoon and published on the web.  Those involved in the management of matches this weekend can up-date themselves on the latest forecast charts and anticipated Hobart area weather by going to the TCUSA's web site (see URL above) and clicking the yellow 'Weather' box on the top right of the screen (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN124-670. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 125, 31 October 2007



National umpire managers from a number of nations are to gather at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) headquarters in Dubai later this week, however, to date no details of who will attend and what will be discussed by those present have been made public by the ICC.  Indications are that the meeting will be held on Thursday and Friday and that Australia's new umpires' manager Andrew Scotford (E-News 36-199, 5 May 2007) will be in attendance, along with his counterparts from at least the other nine Test playing nations.  Apart from sharing information on how their respective national umpire administrative, training, observation and selection systems are structured and work in practice, it would appear likely that a key focus of national managers will be on the recommendations of the ICC's umpiring 'Task Force' (E-News 99-541, 13 September 2007).  The ICC's Board is considering the task force's report at a two-day meeting which is scheduled to end in Dubai tonight Australian time (E-News 124-676, 30 October 2007), and if approved the document will probably be passed straight from there to the manager's meeting in the same office complex a day later.  It can be surmised that the ICC will be keen to encourage each member of the umpire's managers group to where possible work strategically towards developing similar systems in their respective countries, with coordinated standards and streams from grass roots level up through their national jurisdictions into the international sphere eventually being established.  The lack of information on this week's meeting follows difficulties E-News experienced in obtaining details of the ICC's annual umpires and referees' seminar that was held in Johannesburg last month (EN108-593, 3 October 2007), four requests to the world body's press office in the lead up to, and after, the meeting, leading nowhere.    EN125-684.



England international umpire Mark Benson will visit Hobart in December as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'neutral' official in the three-match Chappel-Hadley One Day International (ODI) series between Australia and New Zealand.  Benson will stand in the day-night ODIs at the Adelaide Oval and Sydney Cricket Ground on 14 and 16 December, and at Bellerive on 20 December in the third and final match of the series.  The Englishman could be joined on the ground during the series by a number of Australian international umpires, including Simon Taufel of the ICC's 'Elite' panel, or Peter Parker and Steve Davis of the world body's second-tier 'International Umpire Panel (IUP).  Roshan Mahanama from Sri Lanka will be the match referee, IUP third umpire Bruce Oxenford could be in the television suite, and if past practice is followed the Bellerive game is likely to see a Tasmanian State Umpires' Squad member as the fourth official.  Benson was also named yesterday as the second on-field umpire for the two-match Test series between South Africa and New Zealand next month, Australian Daryl Harper announcing his appointment earlier this month (E-News 124-674, 30 October 2007).  Following the Tests between the two nations Benson will stay on as the ICC's neutral umpire in their three-game ODI series which will be played between 25 November and 2 December, his colleagues in those games being Ian Howell a South African member of the IUP in games one and three, and his up-and-coming countryman Marais Erasmus in game two (E-News 117-630, 15 October 2007).  Howell and Erasmus will also stand in the lone Twenty20 match scheduled for New Zealand's tour.  This week's appointments will take former Test and First Class player Benson's Test tally as an umpire to 19 and his ODI matches to 61, those 80 games coming over a period of just over three years.  Benson has stood in a game in Hobart once before, that match being the ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka in February last year.  EN125-683.



Australian international umpire Daryl Harper will stand in two of the three Test matches to be played between Sri Lanka and England in December, his on-field duties being shared with South African Rudi Koertzen and Pakistani Asad Rauf, while Jeff Crowe of New Zealand will be the match referee.  Rauf and Koertzen will stand in the First Test in Galle, Koertzen and Harper the Second in Colombo, and Rauf and Harper the Third in Kandy, the series running from 1-22 December.  The Tests will take Harper's Test tally to 69, Koertzen to 86, Rauf to 15 and Crowe to 23, the Australian recently being appointed to two Tests between South Africa and New Zealand next month (E-News 117-631, 15 October 2007).  It is not known at this time whether or not the three umpires will work as the third official for the Lanka-England matches in which they are not out on the field.    EN125-682.



The reverse sweep should be prohibited as 'unfair' to the fielding side because the batsman is effectively changing his stance, according to comments made by umpire Eric Jeffrey in the Association of Cricket Umpire and Scorers' Association magazine 'How's That'.  Jeffrey says that as prescribed by Law 21, a bowler cannot switch his delivery mode to over or round the wicket without notice and is forbidden to change the ball to another hand without giving prior notice.  Journalist Raju Mukherji expressed his concerns about the issue last month during the World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa (E-News 102-561, 22 September 2007), former Tasmanian First Class umpire Mike Gandy agreed with him (E-News 105-580, 27 September 2007), and this week the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) indicated that it plans to make a submission to the Marylebone Cricket Club on the issue.  EN125-681.



Former Hobart umpire Russ Turner who started umpiring in Hobart in 1986, is still involved in the game in that capacity, standing in the Victorian Women's Cricket Association (VWCA) each Sunday.  After moving to Victoria in 1992, Turner joined Cricket Victoria's ranks and eventually stood in First Grade cricket there, according to a report in Melbourne's 'Herald-Sun' newspaper.  He was quoted as saying that "umpiring women's cricket is a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday, [and he] thinks there are pretty similar skill levels between men and women, particularly at the higher grades".  EN125-680. 



Fifteen people are attending the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) first umpiring course in Liverpool and others have registered for the next one which "will be held shortly", according to the Institute's web site.  Four tutors, Mike Dixon, Peter Freeman, Ray Rigby and Dave Jones, are running the inaugural course, all "having many years umpiring experience at the highest level in recreational cricket" (E-News 111-608, 6 October 2007).  The ICUS says that feedback from those attending the current course has "been favourable", particularly in regard to the 'high tech' presentation methods being used in discussions on Laws of Cricket, the first part of a three-phase program that will extend into on-field work next northern summer (E-News 47-256, 27 May 2007).  Peter Hughes, Executive Officer of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, attended the weekend course for ICUS Tutors that was held in England on 29-30 September in the lead up to the Institute's instruction program getting underway (E-News 118-634, 16 October 2007).  EN125-679.   



The latest runs of the Bureau of Meteorology's super computer are indicating that showery weather will be present in Hobart on Friday and Saturday, the situation easing a little on Sunday.  If the current projections are correct, grounds may be quite wet on Friday and may take a little time to dry on Saturday, but conditions for the last day of the weekend should improve.  South-easterly to southerly winds are expected to prevail in the Hobart area over the weekend with maximum temperatures around the 15-17 degrees centigrade mark.  Those involved in the management of matches this weekend can up-date themselves on the latest forecast charts and anticipated Hobart area weather by going to the TCUSA's web site (see URL above) and clicking the yellow 'Weather' box on the top right of the screen (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN125-678.