November 07 (126-146)




Number 126 – 1 November 2007 [EN0685-0686]

Number 127 – 2 November 2007 [EN0687-0691]

Number 128 – 5 November 2007 [EN0692-0697]

Number 129 – 6 November 2007 [EN0698-0700]

Number 130 – 8 November 2007 [EN0701-0706]

Number 131 – 9 November 2007 [EN0707-0712]

Number 132 – 13 November 2007 [EN0713-0717]

Number 133 – 14 November 2007 [EN0718-0729]

Number 134 – 15 November 2007 [EN0730-0733]

Number 135 – 16 November 2007 [EN0734-0735]

Number 136 – 17 November 2007 [EN0736-0737]

Number 137 – 19 November 2007 [EN0738-0743]

Number 138 – 20 November 2007 [EN0744-0749]

Number 139 – 21 November 2007 [EN0750-0753]

Number 140 – 22 November 2007 [EN0754-0759]

Number 141 – 23 November 2007 [EN0760-0767]

Number 142 – 26 November 2007 [EN0768-0774]

Number 143 – 27 November 2007 [EN0774-0777]

Number 144 – 28 November 2007 [EN0778-0784]

Number 145 – 29 November 2007 [EN0785-0790]

Number 146 – 30 November 2007 [EN0791-0798]



E-NEWS NUMBER 126, 1 November 2007



Umpires appointed to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' panel are to spend less time away from home and more time mentoring up-and-coming officials and working on their own skills in their nation's domestic competitions under new arrangements announced overnight.  That revamp, which will be supported by the expansion of the panel from 10 to 12 "to cope with busy periods in the cricket calendar" (E-News 99-541, 13 September 2007), is part of a series of recommendations made by the ICC's umpiring 'Task Force' that were accepted by the ICC Board at its two-day meeting that ended in Dubai yesterday (E-News 124-676, 30 October 2007).  Under new arrangements that are to be introduced, selection of umpires to ICC panels and individual matches is to be carried out by an "independent three-person group chaired by the ICC's General Manager Cricket, while the 'neutral' umpire system whereby officials "independent" of the sides playing in ICC controlled matches is to remain.  Another key structural change will see five regional umpire coaches-mentor positions established under ICC Umpires' Manager Doug Cowie, their role being to work with the world body's 'Elite' and second-tier 'International' umpire panels from their region as well as all visiting umpires; while an accreditation process is to be developed and implemented for umpires who wish to gain entry to the 'International' panel.  An improved pay structure, including a merit-based increment, is to be introduced for 'Elite' officials, a move that the ICC says "should provide sufficient incentive" for those involved to "aspire to be appointed" to the top-tier of world umpiring.  No time frame for implementing the changes proposed was included in the ICC's media statement about the task force report, however, given the nature of recommendations it would seem that the new arrangements are unlikely to be fully in place until well into next year.  EN126-686.



England coaching staff used binoculars to monitor Pakistani cricket players they suspected of ball tampering prior to the intervention of the umpires during last year's forfeited Test at the Oval, according to the team's former coach Duncan Fletcher.  Writing in his biography Fletcher says that he and his staff were "interested in what the Pakistanis were doing with the ball" as they "could not understand how they were able to get it to reverse swing so early in the innings" during the series, something that was causing problems for England's batsman.  In extracts from his autobiography 'Behind the Shades' serialised in the 'Daily Mail' newspaper in London, the former coach reportedly wrote that "using binoculars, we began examining the Pakistanis closely in the field because we thought we had picked something up".  Fletcher says that he went to the umpires prior to play on the fourth and last day of the match to ask if he could look at the ball, but Australian international official Darrell Hair refused, allegedly telling him "I'm not going to show [it to] you", though Hair added "but we've got a handle on it and are monitoring the situation".  Fletcher describes a meeting held after the match ended during which Hair "completely lost his temper" when Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-haq asked him why his side were being accused, Hair apparently saying sternly "you know what was going on out there", before he got up and left the room (E-News 111-612, 6 October 2007).  Fletcher goes on to argue that Hair was treated unfairly over the decision to penalise Pakistan for ball tampering as it had been jointly taken with his fellow umpire, the West Indian Billy Doctrove.  "Doctrove backed [Hair] to the hilt but it was Hair who copped all the flak" and that "was unfair and doubtless it will mean that from now on umpires will not want to make the big decisions", something that "is not good for the game", says Fletcher.  Hair is currently undergoing a "rehabilitation program" that could see him returning to top-level umpiring next year (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007), although Pakistan's Cricket Board (PCB) , has made it clear that they will oppose any ICC decision to sanction Hair's return to centre stage (E-News 115-622, 11 October 2007).  The PCB is yet to respond to Fletcher's comments.  EN126-685.



E-NEWS NUMBER 127, 2 November 2007



National Umpire Panel member Peter Parker from Queensland will be officiating in his seventeenth game at Bellerive on Sunday in the one-day 50 over domestic match between Tasmania and NSW.  Parker's colleague out on the ground will be TCUSA member Steven John who will be standing in his second match at that level (E-News 106-584, 1 October 2007), while other Association members Brian Muir, Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford will be supporting the game as the TV umpire and scorers respectively.  Parker comes to Sunday's game after so far this season having stood in a one-day domestic and a Pura Cup match, his eightieth in the latter competition, as well as last weekend's Hong Kong Sixes tournament (E-News 124-671, 30 October 2007).  Next week he will be the third official in the First Test between Australia and Sri Lanka, then return to Bellerive in mid-month to work in the same role in the second Test between the two sides (E-News 100-548, 17 September 2007).  Parker's previous matches at Bellerive include one Test match, three One Day Internationals (ODI), seven First Class games (four of them Pura Cup matches), and three List A games involving touring sides.  He has also worked as the third official twice in ODIs played between Australia, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.  Now in his twenty-second consequetive season at the national level, Parker offiiated in ten Pura Cup finals in a row from 1997-2006, six on the field and four in the TV suite, possibly missing out in the 2007 decider because he was umpiring in the World Cup in the West Indies (E-News 11-56, 3 March 2007).  Parker is scheduled to give a "short address" to members of the Tasmanian Cricket Association who attend its 'Curator's Breakfast' on the second day of the Test at Bellerive on 17 November.     EN127-691.



A round of matches in the state-wide Jamie Cox Plate are scheduled to be played in Launceston this weekend.  Travelling up from the south for the games are State Umpires Squad members are Steve Maxwell, Nick McGann, Jamie Mitchell and Wade Stewart, while Chris Fox and Phillip Gilchrist from Lauceston will stand in Monday's game between the north and north-west association sides.  The matches in the north of the state mean hat no First Grade games will be played in the Tasmanian Cricket Association this weekend.   EN127-690.



National Umpire Panel member Paul Reiffel has become the "new weapon" in Geelong Cricket Association's (GCA) battle to attract umpires, according to an article in the 'Geelong Advertiser'.  Reiffel, who took 104 wickets in 35 tests for Australia before turning his hand to umpiring, has joined forces with the GCA to help recruit the next crop of match officials.  He told the paper that umpiring was a good way for retired players to maintain their involvement in cricket, saying that he "would encourage any former players in Geelong who are thinking about a career in umpiring to take it up".  "I have really enjoyed my time as an umpire since retiring [as] it is a fantastic way to remain involved in the game" he said.  GCA president Robert Agg said the association was delighted that Reiffel had agreed to promote the cause for like most sports "officials are in short supply and it's an excellent coup for us with Paul supporting the cause".  The GCA has some 25 umpires, which allows the association to appoint officials for all first XI matches but only half of scheduled second XI clashes.  "We'd like to recruit as many as we can [and with a total of] 10 grades [to cover], we can accommodate anyone who wants to give it a go", said Agg.   EN127-689.



Bermudan all rounder Lionel Cann is to be sent home from the current tour of Kenya following his two-match suspension from one-day cricket.  Cann was banned for two One Day Internationals (ODI) for showing dissent to South African umpire Ian Howell during Bermuda's second one-day international match against Kenya last Saturday (E-News 124-673, 30 October 2007).  The 35-year-old player was not in the starting line-up for the four-day Intercontinental Cup (IC) between the two sides that started in Nairobi yesterday.  Howell and Nepalise umpire Buddhi Pradhan are standing in the current game after having officiated in the three ODIs in Nairobi over the last week (E-News 121-656, 23 October 2007).   EN127-688.   



The Executive of the Grampians Cricket Association (GCA) in western Victoria received a number of complaints from umpires last weekend about the state of players cricket attire and have asked their clubs to "clean up their act".  Association secretary Scotney Hayter told the 'Stawell Times" yesterday that the main point of concern was hats and socks with "players wearing black socks in a certain A grade game", and in another match "seven different caps" were worn "amongst the 11 players involved".  Hayter said that such matters are "not really good enough" and the GCA executive has decided that starting this weekend any team that does not comply with its by-law regarding clothing will loose one premiership point.  EN127-687.


E-NEWS NUMBER 128, 5 November 2007



Planned improvements to the way umpires are trained, managed and selected for international duties will cost the International Cricket Council (ICC) in excess of $A1m according to the ICC's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Malcolm Speed.  Changes to be introduced include an increase in the number of 'Elite' umpires from ten to twelve, improved pay, the establishment of a three-man umpire selection group, and higher-level umpiring coaches in each of the ICC's five regions (E-News 126-186, 1 November 2007).  Speaking in a audio clip posted on the world body's recently revamped web site, Speed praised the standard of the ICC's current high-level umpires saying that their performance levels in what is "a particularly difficult job" is "very good".  Their task is, he says, "made more difficult by improvements in technology", for whereas "the umpire sees [a decision] once in real time", "commentators and the viewer at home [also] see it again in slow motion six times, eight times, ten times before the commentator will venture an opinion".  International umpires "have very high percentages of correct decisions", says Speed, and "work very hard at what they do".  "That's not to say that we can't improve the correct decision percentage and that we can't make it better in many ways for the umpires and that's what we are seeking to do", says the CEO  EN128-697. 



TCUSA umpires Mark Gillard and Steve Gibson were involved in a rare tied match in last weekend's Southern Tasmania Cricket League 'B' Grade 50-over match at the Cross Roads between Clarence and City.  Clarence won the toss and batted and were all out for 154 in 38 overs and when City batted in reply they were 8/80 at one stage.  A determined effort by their last few batsmen saw them reach their opponent's score in the forty-sixth over before they lost their last wicket at 154.  Mark, who is umpiring his nineteenth season of Tasmanian Cricket Association matches, told E-News today that he cannot recall ever overseeing a tied game in over 330 matches he has stood in during that time.  EN128-696.  



Martin van Jaarsveld, the captain of South African First Class side the Titans, has been suspended for two four-day matches after he was found guilty of head-butting an opponent during a match against the Dolphins in Durban late last month (E-News 123-664, 26 October 2007).  van Jaarsveld, who was batting at the time, was involved in an on-field incident with Dolphins bowler Quinton Friend, and he too was suspended by Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Disciplinary Commissioner Michael Kuper SC, although for only one four-day game.  Both players were considered in breach of clause 1.3 of CSA's Rules and Code of Conduct of Cricket that states in part that opponents "shall not verbally abuse, assault, intimidate or attempt to assault or intimidate any other participant".  South African umpires Brian Jerling and Shaun George reported both players  EN128-695. 



South African member of the International Cricket Council's International Umpire Panel (IUP) Brian Jerling is to officiate in the four One Day Internationals (ODI) to be played between Zimbabwe and the West Indies over an eight-day period starting on 30 November.  Chris Broad from England will be the International Cricket Council's match referee and the other umpires on the field of play and in the TV suite are expected to be Russell Tiffin and Kevan Barbour who are Zimbabwean on-field members of the IUP, and Ian Robinson that country's IUP third official.  The first two matches of the series will be played in Harare and the others in Bulawayo.  Originally the West Indies' tour was to have included both Test and ODIs, but Zimbabwe's continuing self-imposed suspension from Test cricket means that only one-day matches are now on the itinerary.  Second-level 'A' sides from India, South Africa and Sri Lanka have all toured Zimbabwe over the last few months (E-News 90-483, 30 August 2007).  EN128-694. 



Guyana's Clyde Duncan, who is a West Indian member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpiring Panel, is one of the instructors at the world body's umpiring workshop for the Americas region which is currently underway in Lima, Peru.  Participants during the four-day workshop that commenced yesterday were expected from Argentina, The Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos islands.  The seminar is being coordinated by Grant Dugmore, the ICC's Regional Development Officer in the Americas, logistical arrangements being organised by former Guyanese Martin Vieira, the region's General Manager  EN128-693. 



Weather conditions currently look good for next weekend's round of one-day matches that are to be played in all Tasmanian Cricket Association's Grades around Hobart this coming weekend.  The significant 'High' pressure system that is currently to the west of Tasmania is forecast to move closer to the state during the next few days and for remainder of the week a ridge of high pressure will be in the vicinity.  The Bureau of Meteorology is currently indicating that Saturday and Sunday will see 'fine' weather with top temperatures of around 18-19 degrees Celsius.  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).  EN128-692. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 129, 6 November 2007



West Indian umpire and Test record holder Steve Bucknor, who was scheduled to umpire both matches in the two-Test series between Australia and Sri Lanka this month, may now not be involved, according to an up-date posted on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) web site overnight.  Originally Bucknor was to stand in the two Tests with Pakistani colleague Aleem Dar (E-News 103-569, 24 September 2007), but according to the ICC site South African Rudi Koertzen will now officiate in both Tests and be accompanied by Tony Hill of New Zealand in the First in Brisbane and Dar in the Second in Hobart.  Despite a review of multiple media outlets this morning, including the general news section of the ICC web site, E-News has been unable to find any other reference to the change of umpires for the Test series; although the world body always indicates on its appointments page that allocations can change prior to a series.  As a result in his apparent appointment to this month's Tests in Australia, Koertzen will be standing in his eighty-fifth and eight-sixth Test matches, the game at Bellerive being his second there with Dar as the pair officiated in the last Test played in Hobart two years ago between Australia and the West Indies.  Koertzen will take that overall Test total to 88 next month during Sri Lanka's Test series against England (E-News 125, 682, 31 October 2007), and his total for the calendar year to eight such matches.  Hill will be standing in his fifth Test match and first for 18 months, his previous games being at grounds in England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka; while for Dar, who last month passed the 100 mark for One Day Internationals (E-News 119-639, 17 October 2007), will be going out for his fourtieth Test when he takes the field at Bellerive.  Australian Peter Parker is the third official for the two Test matches (E-News 100-548, 17 September 2007), while the fourth officials will be National Umpire Panel member Tim Laycock in Brisbane and Tasmanian State Squad member Steven John in Hobart.  TCUSA members Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford will be the official scorers in Hobart, the match being Hamley's second and Gainsford's first at Test level.  EN129-700. 



Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, at the centre of the Oval Test ball tampering controversy last year, yesterday accused match officials of being harsh on teams from the sub-continent.  Speaking in New Delhi on the eve of the India-Pakistan one-day series, Inzamam claimed that "you have a number of cases where it's evident that they have come down harshly on players from the sub-continent, while others go scot-free".  Now retired from international cricket, Inzamam said that as he is "no longer under the purview of the International Cricket Council, [he] can say that be it ball-tampering or slow-over rates, officials are a little harsh towards sub-continental teams".  Former England coach Duncan Fletcher ws quoted last week as saying that his team "could not understand how [Pakistan] were able to get it to reverse swing so early in the innings" during last year's series and attempted to monitor their on-field activities using binoculars (E-News 126-685, 1 November 2007).  EN129-699.



The England-based Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) is to hold a ballot this month to gauge its members' opinion on whether to end their existence as an independent body and be absorbed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)(E-News 76-414, 2 August 2007).  The decision to hold a ballot was made at an ACUS general council last week, although it is obvious that a serious split has developed in the body's membership.  In a ballot of its 9,000 members, the decision to go to a vote on a merger with the ECB's Officials Association was agreed to only narrowly, according to reports from the UK.  ACUS Chairman Geoff Lowden has told members that change was essential and that merging with the ECB was "the favoured path", the fall back option being a restructuring of the fifty-five year old body and its registration as a charity.  In Lowden's view "it has become increasingly apparent the Association cannot continue to function efficiently under the existing constitution.  One dissenting general council member was quoted as saying that "the new ECB organisation will not be democratic [as] it will not be possible for anyone to stand for election for Board posts as they can with the ACUS".  The ballot on the merger with the ECB is scheduled to conclude by 14 December.  EN129-698.


E-NEWS NUMBER 130, 8 November 2007



Difficulty in getting his "passport back in time with the necessary visa" led to Pakistani international umpire Aleem Dar withdrawing from the First Test between Australia and Sri Lanka which gets underway in Brisbane today, according to an International Cricket Council spokesman.  Originally, Dar was to have stood with West Indian Steve Bucknor in that game as well as the Second Test in Hobart next week, however, New Zealand's Tony Hill and South African Rudi Koertzen will officiate in today's match (E-News 129-700, 6 November 2007).  Brian Murgatroyd, the ICC's Media and Communications manager, indicated to E-News that Dar could have traveled to Brisbane before today's Test began but not in enough time for him prepare appropriately for the match, however, he will "fly straight into Hobart" for the Second Test.  Dar was appointed to the Australia-Lanka Tests in late September (E-News 103-569, 24 September 2007), but his visa problem appears to have only developed late last week.  It led to Hill's selection as he "was available and it is a straight-forward flight for him" from his home in Auckland, said Murgatroyd.  Bucknor was appointed to the two Tests at the same time as Dar, but Koertzen was named to replace him two weeks ago for so far unknown reasons.  Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper is reporting this morning that Bucknor also had visa-related problems, however, in the Jamaican's case the evidence publicly available suggests that is unlikely.  Records indicate that the West Indian has had a relatively quiet time since he officiated in the World Cup final in late April (E-News 34-193, 30 April 2007), being on the field for only seventeen days over that seven-month period.  In that time he oversaw two Test matches between England and India, four Australia-India One Day Internationals, and a second-tier Intercontinental Cup match between Scotland and the Netherlands (E-News 93-502, 5 September 2007).  Bucknor told a newspaper in Jamacia last month that he plans to retire within the next two years (E-News 113-619, 9 October 2007), and there was some criticism of him and his 'player control team' colleagues in their handling of on-field incidents during the recent India-Australia ODIs (E-News 121-653, 2 October 2007).  EN130-706.



Nepalise official Budhi Pradhan will continue what has been a busy month of umpiring for him when he takes the field later today Australian time for the second-tier, four-day, Intercontinental Cup (IC) match between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bermuda in Abu Dhabi.  Pradhan's colleague in the game will be West Indian international umpire Billy Doctrove, who is en route to stand in the last two One Day Internationals (ODI) between India and Pakistan late next week, then the first two Tests in their three-match series which commences the week after (E-News 104-574, 25 September 2007).  Pradhan's match schedule over the last four weeks suggests that the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel member has been selected for on-going development by the world body.  When today's game ends this weekend he will have officiated in five ODIs and three IC matches in Kenya and the UAE over a six-week period (E-News 122-656, 3 October 2007).  The UAE-Bermuda match is the last IC game scheduled for this year, the two-year 2007-08 competition resuming in the new year with over a dozen games to be played before the final in November 2008.  No schedule for those matches has been released by the ICC to date, but some of them early in the year could see Australian international umpire Darrell Hair involved as part of his so-called "rehabilitation program" (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007).  Before that, he could theoretically be chosen by Cricket Australia to stand in the One Day Internationals scheduled between the home side and New Zealand in December in which English umpire Mark Benson has been selected as the neutral official (E-News 125-683, 31 October 2007).  Such an appointment to the tri-nation ODI series in February-March that involves Australia and Asian teams India and Sri Lanka is even less likely given the current state of ICC politics (E-News 115-62, 11 October 2007).  EN130-705.  



Eight members of the twelve-man National Umpiring Panel (NUP) will be in action in four First Class matches being played in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth over the next five days.  Queenslanders Peter Parker and Tim Laycock will be working as the third and fourth officials in the Australia-Lanka Test match which starts today, while commencing tomorrow, Simon Fry (South Australia) and Ian Lock (Western Australia) will be at the Adelaide Oval when South Australia plays NSW, Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) and John Ward (Victoria) at the MCG when Victoria takes on Tasmania, and Jeff Brookes (Western Australia) and Paul Reiffel (Victoria) in Perth when the home side plays Queensland.  A ninth Australian, international umpire Daryl Harper, who is not on the NUP, is also involved in another First Class game being played in South Africa which gets underway later today, standing with Englishman Mark Benson in the First Test between the home side and New Zealand in Johannesberg (E-News 117-631, 15 October 2007).   For Brookes and Ward their games will be their first at First Class level this season while the others have one such match under their belt to date.  Lock will be standing in his forty-second First Class game (36 in the Pura Cup), Oxenford his thirty-sixth (34), Reiffel his sixteenth (15), Ward his eleventh (9) and Brookes his tenth (8).  EN130-704. 



Afghanistan and Oman tied the final of the Asian Twenty20 tournament in Kuwait late last week, but the planned bowl-out could not be held because spectators damaged the pitch in celebrating the hectic end of the match.  Afghanistan scored 151 for 3 off their 20 overs and at the end of their reply, Oman needed two runs off the last ball to win the match, but only managed one.  Reports indicate that there were "chaotic" scenes immediately after that with spectators running on to the ground and the pitch itself, so much so that it was badly damaged.  Ten national teams from all over Asian competed in the week-long tournament (E-News 123-665, 26 October 2007).  The final was umpired by Farid Malik from the United Arab Emirates and Sarika Prasad from Singapore, former Pakistani First Class player Iqbal Sikander being the match referee.  No details of other umpires who stood in the 24-match tournament are available.  EN130-703.  



Body armour may be the latest piece of must-have equipment for umpires, at least in the United States after an argument between two men during a cricket match in Orlando, Florida, last weekend, led to an on-the-field shooting that seriously injured one of the players.  According to Orlando media reports, Police responded to an emergency call on Saturday afternoon and found that a player had been shot in the abdomen.  Officers said the person concerned had become involved in a fight and threatened an opponent with a cricket bat, the latter apparently pulling out a small semi-automatic gun from his clothing and firing at his alleged assailant, hitting him at least once.  Police were quoted by local media as saying that "the shooter was defending himself from an attack with a cricket bat which is similar to a baseball bat but it's flat", [and that] "for [him] to bring a firearm to a sporting event is odd but then again, he has the right to do so".  The police officer interviewed said that the shooter "has a concealed weapons permit and if, in fact, he was protecting himself, he was authorised by law to do so".  The injured player was transported to hospital and was operated on but details of his condition have not been released.  How the umpires and scorers handled the situation was not reported.  EN130-702.



A large 'High' pressure system will be located close to Tasmania over the coming weekend and this morning's longer-range forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that matches in the south of the State on Saturday will be played in 'fine' conditions with maximum temperatures of around 19 degrees Celsius.  At the moment the Sunday forecast is for a "shower or two" with a maximum of 18 degrees.  It is not clear from weather data available on-line this morning just what system or mechanism the Bureau anticipates will produce those showers, however, the term suggests that at this stage no significant disruption to matches is likely.  It would pay though to check the TCUSA web site prior to leaving for games on Sunday (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN130-701.  


E-NEWS NUMBER 131, 9 November 2007



TCUSA umpiring member Alistair Scott was this week named to stand in his first First Grade game tomorrow.  Now in his fifth season with the Association Scott, who has stood in over eighty matches in all levels of Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) Grade and other related cricket, will be on the field with State Umpire Squad (SUS) member Steve Maxwell for the match between South Hobart Sandy Bay and Lindisfarne at Queenborough.  Another umpire, Ray Howe, who joined the Association last year, will also make his debut on Saturday in Second Grade, standing with long-serving and TCUSA Life Member Brian Pollard at the TCA Ground when North Hobart play New Town.  Thirty-eight umpires are listed for games in the TCA and Southern Tasmania Cricket League competitions this weekend, while the eight members of the SUS (E-News 89-479, 28 August 2007), will stand in the initial games of the TCA's 2007-08 Twenty20 club championship next Tuesday evening.  EN131-712.



Media reports from numerous sources are today continuing to suggest that both umpires originally named for the First Test in Brisbane between Australia and Sri Lanka both had to withdraw because of visa problems (E-News 130-706, 8 November 2007).  What the media are describing as "an umpiring source" is being quoted as saying that West Indian Steve Bucknor "forgot to fill in his visa in time and when he realised his mistake he was forced to pull out, [while Pakistani] Aleem Dar filled in the wrong form".  Journalist and commentator Peter Roebuck found it surprising that two people who live in such far-flung parts of the world should both experience visa-related problems at the same time, suggesting on ABC radio yesterday that he felt that there is more to this than is currently apparent.  Other media reports are linking the current Bucknor-Dar problem to their handling of this year's World Cup final (E-News 34-193, 30 April 2007).  The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Bucknor and Dar's appointment to the two-Test series in September (E-News 103-569, 24 September 2007).  The ICC quietly indicated in a statement released on 29 October, 10 days before the current Test began, that Dar and South African Rudi Koertzen would stand in the match, Bucknor's absence receiving no comment from them at the time.  The appointment of Tony Hill from New Zealand as Dar's replacement was more sudden, Cricket Australia (CA) not being aware of that change until 36 hours before the Test was due to begin.  In fact the E-News story on the change to Koertzen and Hill, which as prepared as a result of an up-date made to the ICC's web site, appeared before CA circulated details of the change.  EN131-711.   



Former England captain Mike Gatting, who is five weeks into his new job as the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships, is hopeful of bringing members of the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) in the UK under the ECB's auspices.  Gatting's new role at the ECB is focused on forging links from grass roots cricket to the professional arena below international level, and he told a press conference at Lords earlier this week that the ECB "would like [the ACUS] to become part of the family so we can help them do what they would like to do".  Some 9,000 ACUS members are due to vote on the proposed merger over the next month but the ballot is thought to be tight, hence Gatting's attempt to woo those involved to the ECB cause (E-News 129-698, 6 November 2007).  "The ACUS has built the foundations and we want to take it forward because we have the resources, money and backing [and the] tools in place [including accreditation] courses, with new developments to help them become better umpires", he said.  'It is not about pushing people into becoming Test umpires", said Gatting, "it is about helping them to be what they want to be [for] if they want to be a village green umpire, then they can and we will help them".  Gatting stressed how enjoyable umpiring can be and said that the ECB is planning to introduce coaching courses that use technology already in use "at the highest level".  According to him the "ACUS hasn’t got the resources to push on with the new technology that is coming in and they haven’t got the man-power to go forward with better coaching methods", although the ECB has "no set budget as yet but we think this is the right thing to do so it is a must-have".  The  Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS), who broke away from the ACUS last year, recently launched its new high-tech umpiring training program (E-News 125-679, 31 October 2007).  Up until 2005 the ECB supported the ACUS with an annual grant equivalent to $A62,000 to assist with training and examining umpires and scorers, and in March this year the national body signed a three-year, $250,000, deal with Australian business-trading company Bartercard for sponsorship of its newly-formed 'Officials Association' (E-News 12-59, 7 March 2007).  Reports from England indicate that many ACUS members blame the ECB's withdrawl of funds two years ago for their Association's current difficulties.  EN131-710. 



The India and Pakistan teams have both been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the second One Day International of their current series in Mohali yesterday.  International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Roshan Mahanama imposed the fines after both the teams were ruled to be one over short of their targets when time allowances were taken into consideration.  As a result each player was fined five per cent of their match fee and captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Shoaib Malik double that amount.  The ICC says that Mahanama spoke to both captains after the match and reminded them of their sides' obligations to complete their overs in the time allocated in the future.  EN131-709.



The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) this week offered full medical assistance to the ailing former Test umpire Aslam Khokhar under their cricketer's support program.  Aslam who is 87, played one Test match for Pakistan against England at Trent Bridge in 1954, and umpired three Tests in his home country between the two sides in the mid 1970s.  Aslam has heart and renal problems and was recently been admitted to hospital, but is now receiving medical treatment at home.  EN131-708.



The top end of a front extending northwards from high latitudes is expected to 'flick' the southern coast of Tasmania on Sunday morning bringing a "shower or two" to the Hobart area during the day, according to today's information from the Bureau of Meteorology.  That forecast, and the indication that Saturday will see fine weather, is unchanged from that issued over the last few days for the weekend ahead (E-News 130-701, 8 November 2007).  TCUSA members who are managing games over the weekend can check the latest weather information before they leave home for their match by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN131-707.


E-NEWS NUMBER 132, 13 November 2007



The quality of umpires that are to be used in India's proposed 'rebel' Twenty20 competition, the Indian Cricket League (ICL), is "questionable", according to a report broadcast over the weekend by the BBC.  No details of the officials that are to be used by the League appear to have been released at this time, therefore it has not been possible as yet to assess the broadcaster's claim.  Zee Films, organisers of the ICL, said in April that they will "appoint their own umpires" to matches (E-News 26, 6 April 2007), but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) later made it clear that any its officials who join the new league would face censure (E-News 62-340, 29 June 2007).  With increase funding and new systems now being developed to train and support BCCI umpires (E-News 89-475, 28 August 2007), it is possible that only those officials who are nearing the end of their careers might be tempted to cross to the ICL.  Confusion currently reigns as to when the ICL will start its now much delayed first season, although the names of the six teams that are to be involved have been announced as the Mumbai Champs, Chennai Super Stars, Chandigarh Lions, Hyderabad Warriors, Kolkata Tigers and Delhi Jets.  Prominent players attracted to the competition include retirees Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath and Inzamam-ul-Haq.  The BCCI recently launched a copycat Twenty20 league, its top teams having the opportunity to compete with sides in a parallel international competition (E-News 100-545, 17 September 2007), and that and the current hype around the official India-Pakistan series means that the ICL is facing stiff competition if it is to become established.  EN132-717. 



West Indian international umpire Billy Doctrove says that the mental and physical demands of officiating in Test matches requires him to get a lot of rest between each day's play, something that reduces his social life to zero while such games are underway.  Speaking via a four-clip 'umpiring master class' audio file posted on the International Cricket Council's web site, Doctrove outlines the way he prepares for international matches to which he is appointed.  The West Indian, who in the next few weeks will stand in his fourteenth and fifteenth Test matches (E-News 104-574, 25 September 2007), stresses the importance of ensuring he is in good physical condition, using a gym set up in his home to keep fit.  Prior to an international he tries where possible to arrange to stand in one or more lower-level matches, spends time viewing videos of the teams he is about to umpire in order to get to know the players, then after arrival in the match city he likes to spend time in the nets with the teams involved.  In the lead up to his two India-Pakistan Tests later this month, he stood in the final of the West Indian one-day competition in late October, and the four-day Intercontinental Cup match in Dubai between the United Arab Emirates and Bermuda that ended last Sunday (E-News 130-705, 8 November 2007).  Asked whether he needs to prepare differently for Twenty20, one-day and Test matches, he says they all have similar demands.  The need to remain focused on the state of each game and maintain high levels of concentration means that an umpire can never afford to relax as "anything can happen at any time and you have to be on the ball when that happens", he says.  Doctrove urges umpires who wish to reach the highest levels of the game to be "patient", to "read a lot about cricket, particularly playing conditions", and to develop their own style rather than copy others, but above all enjoy each game they are involved in.  EN132-716.



Umpires from Adelaide and Sydney are standing in the two Cricket Australia (CA) Cup four-day matches for state Second XIs that got underway in their home cities yesterday.  Andrew Willoughby and Shane Hicks are officiating in South Australia's match against Tasmania at the Adelaide Oval Number 2 ground, while umpires Michael Kumutat and Peter Tate are looking after the NSW-Victoria game at Hurstville Oval in Sydney.  Willoughby stood in the match between the touring Sri Lankan side and a CA Chairman's XI late last month (E-News 99-535, 13 September 2007), and will work as the third or television umpire in the domestic interstate one-day competition for the fifth time next week when South Australia takes on Western Australia.  Prior to that he has umpired in national Under 17 and Under 19 Championships, one interstate Twenty20 match, a women's Test match and two women's One Day Internationals.  For Hicks this is his third CA match as he stood in two similar games last season.  Kumutat and Tate have previously stood in national Under 19 tournaments and Tate in a CA Cup match, however, the game is Kumutat is officiating in his first such game.  EN132-715.  



Former Australian captain and now long-time television commenator Bill Lawry believes that "umpires have been weak with sledging", according to comments attributed to him in an interview published in 'The Age' newspaper on Sunday.   Lawry says that the current Australian team has been praised for its superb on-field achievements, but also criticised for the aggressive way it sometimes plays the game and for the "sledging" of opponents.  While not referring to any specific match, incident or particular side, Lawry says that umpires "should have been making more reports on sledging issues".  Match officials were criticised following the recent India-Australia One Day International series when unseemly on-field incidents occurred without formal censure (E-News 121-653, 22 October 2007).    EN132-714.



Weather conditions for this week's Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Bellerive Oval generally look favourable, although some showers may prevail on Saturday morning, according to the latest outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology.  Current data suggests that Tasmania will be close to an area of High pressure for most of the match, except on Saturday morning when a cold front is expected to pass the south of the state.  Those interested can check the latest weather information for Tasmania by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN132-713.


E-NEWS NUMBER 133, 14 November 2007



The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yesterday suspended umpire Riazuddin for making what are said to be "unsavoury comments" about Board officials during the nation's unofficial Test between the 'A' sides from Pakistan and Australia in Faisalabad in September.  Reports from Pakistan last month indicated that the PCB had established an enquiry into Riazuddin's conduct following a complaint by Australia 'A' manager Daryl Foster (E-News 121-652, 22 October 2007), however, stories published in Pakistan yesterday are querying why Foster would have waited until mid-October to file a complaint.  What Pakistani media are calling a "PCB source" was quoted as saying that Riazuddin "was facing the wrath of the Board because an official had informed [them that the umpire] had been complaining to Australia A's players and officials about how the Board had mistreated and been unjust with him".  According to that source "the Board held an internal inquiry and concluded that the complaint was correct, but by the time [it reached that conclusion], Riazuddin had umpired an international under-19 match and had been named as the third umpire in the Second Test between Pakistan and South Africa in Lahore".  However, when Riazuddin arrived in Lahore last month for that Test, the PCB's umpires manager Khizar Hayat told him he was suspended and would not officiate in the match.  He was replaced by countryman Nadeem Ghauri who is a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel.  Riazuddin has stood in 12 Tests and 12 one-day internationals, and at one time he was rated as the top umpire in Pakistan before the emergence of now ICC 'Elite' umpire panel member Aleem Dar.  There was no indication in news reports as to how long his suspension will last.  EN133-729.



Some international umpires believe that Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action is still "illegal" but they "don't dare say so publicly or officially for fear of imperilling their own careers", according to an article published in 'The Independent' newspaper in England on Sunday.  Stephen Brenkley, the paper's Cricket Correspondent, makes the claim in a story that centres on the prolific bowler's approaching elevation to the position as the highest wicket taker in Test cricket, however, he does not substantiate his assertions in any way about what he claims "some umpires" think.  Brenkley discusses at length the controversy about Muralitharan and acknowledges that the bowler has been cleared "at least twice" by "a combination of slow-motion film and human-movement specialists".  The article says that Dr Paul Hurrion, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) panel of human-movement specialists, "understands why the off-spinner generates such emotion".  Hurrion is quoted as saying that he has "no problem at all with [Muralitharan's] first 400 wickets in Test cricket when he was bowling only the off-break, but possibly some of [his deliveries] since then would be open to scrutiny".  "I think it would be good for [the player] and the game if he went through the [assessment] system again, [for while Hurrion thinks] his standard off-break is fine, every so often other deliveries might be open to doubt, though it is very difficult to judge with the naked eye", said Hurrion.  The quote continues by suggesting that despite Hurrion's observations and thoughts he believes that "it would be difficult for anybody to put their head above the parapet" and formally raise the issue again.  Muralitharan was no balled seven times by Australian international umpire Darrell Hair for throwing when Sri Lanka played Australia in a Test at Melbourne in 1995, and again by Western Australian umpire Ross Emerson in a One Day International against England in Adelaide in 1999.  EN133-728.



Several media outlets in Sri Lanka have criticised New Zealand international umpire Tony Hill for his performance in the First Test between their side and Australia that was played in Brisbane this week.  Sri Lanka's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper called Hill "probably the most inexperienced [Test] umpire" and claimed that he "appeared to have fallen to the pressure of an appeal" when he gave Jayasuriya out caught behind in the tourist's first innings.  Speaking on ABC radio on the evening of that decision, Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss simply answered 'yes' when asked if Jayasuriya was unhappy with being given out.  The 'Daily Mirror' also commented on other decisions it considered "questionable" during the Test, however, such matters were not mentioned in press reports from Australian journalists.  Hill, who was standing in his fifth Test, and 63rd First Class match, since his debut in 1994, was brought into the match at short notice after original nominee Aleem Dar of Pakistan had trouble obtaining his visa in time (E-News 131-711, 9 November 2007).  Records indicate that the Test was Hill's first game since he officiated in five matchs in the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship in September (E-News 102-562, 2 September 2007), and with only a few days notice of his appointment in Brisbane he is unlikely to have had the type of preparation West Indian international umpire Billy Doctrove feels is needed for a Test match (E-News 132-716, 13 November 2007).   EN133-727.



A pink ball could replaced the white one used in one-day domestic cricket in England if tests prove it is more durable, according to an article posted on the BBC's web site yesterday.  A spokesman for the game's lawmakers the Marylebone  Cricket Club (MCC), told BBC Sport that if the tests prove successful "a flourescent ball could be adopted for full county cricket by 2009, and then cross to the international game".  The article says that tests will be carried out on pink balls in the nets at Lord's during the current northern winter, and "also in women's cricket in Australia", before being used next northern summer "in county second XI and university matches".  The MCC's head of cricket, John Stephenson, said that "paint tends to flake off white balls and the challenge is to produce a ball which retains its colour", one of the problems that led to the International Cricket Council to change One Day International playing conditions to require a mandatory replacement of the ball in those games after 34 overs (E-News 101-582, 1 October 2007).  "My aim would be to use the pink ball in Twenty20 cricket in 2009 and thereafter in one-day international cricket", said Stephenson, "but that will be dependent on the trials and what the England and Wales Cricket Board [ECB] thinks”.  Mike Gatting, the ECB's managing director of cricket partnerships, was quoted by the BBC as saying that "we must always push the game forward and make sure we have the right equipment". "We have tried white and orange balls and perhaps pink ones will last longer [and their potential use] is a very interesting and a very wise development".  'Kookaburra', the Australian manufacturer of the existing white balls, are said to also be producing the pink ones that will be used in the proposed trials.  EN133-726.



After what the press in India is describing as the "rather peaceful" first two One Day Internationals between their national side and Pakistan, things heated up in the third game in Kanpur on Sunday with an altercation between Pakistan's Shahid Afridi and India's Gautam Gambhir.  The Pakistani all-rounder "first needled the Indian batsman leading to the choicest of expletives being exchanged right in the middle captured by the cameras", according to reports.  A ball later, Afridi "got in the way of the Indian batsman and as tempers flared" umpires Ian Gould from England and local Amiesh Shaheba were "forced to intervene".  One report says that "Afridi's antics have not missed the eye of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) match referee Roshan Mahanama from Sri Lanka", however, there has been no indication from the ICC to date that any formal action has been taken by Mahanama.  Similar incidents occurred in last month's Australia-India ODI series, and match officials were later criticised by a senior ICC official for not taking any formal action against the player's involved (E-News 121-653, 22 October 2007).  EN133-725.



Australian international umpire Simon Taufel is to stand in the third One Day International (ODI) between Australia and New Zealand at Bellerive on 20 December (ODI) with England's Mark Benson who was appointed to the series last month (E-News 125-683, 31 October 2007).  Taufel and Benson, who officiated in the final of the World Twenty20 tournament in September (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007), will also work together in the second match of the series in Sydney on 14 December.  Australian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) International Umpires Panel (IUP) Steve Davis will join Benson on the field at the Adelaide Oval for the series opener two days prior to that.  Queensland member of the National Umpires Panel, Bruce Oxenford, who was named as a third or television official on the IUP earlier this year (E-News 65-356, 12 July 2007), will be making his ODI debut in that capacity in Adelaide and continue in the other two games.  Simon Fry from South Australia, Gerald Abood from NSW and TCUSA member Brian Muir will be the fourth umpires in Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart respectively.  Roshan Mahanama from Sri Lanka will be the match referee for the series.  EN133-724.



Mark Benson of England and 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand were yesterday named as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) two umpires for this year's Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) between Australia and India, West Indian Steve Bucknor joining Benson for the Second Test in Sydney in the New Year.  Mike Proctor from South Africa will be the ICC match referee for the MCG game from 26-30 December, Steve Davis one of Australia's nominees to the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) the third or television official, and John Ward, his colleague on the National Umpire Panel (NUP), the fourth umpire.  Proctor will continue in the match referee role for the Second Test and he, Benson and Bucknor, will be joined at the Sydney Cricket Ground from 2-6 January by Australian IUP third umpire Bruce Oxenford and Rod Tucker, another NUP member as the fourth official.  The two matches will take Benson's Test tally to 21, Bowden's to 44, while Bucknor will stretch his already world record total to 120 Tests.  Davis will be in the third umpire's suite for the eighteenth time in a Test match to add to his nine such games on the field, one of the latter being the 1999 Boxing Day Test between the same two nations.  Oxenford will be making his debut as the third official in a Test match.  Given that Benson will have been in Australia since early December for the Australia-NZ One Day Internationals (E-News 125-683, 31 October 2007), it seems unlikely that he will stay on for the Third and Fourth Tests of the series in Perth and Adelaide respectively during the last half of January.   Officials for those matches have not yet been named, however, logistics considerations suggest that Bucknor and Bowden might be in line for both of those games.  EN133-723.



Steve Davis from South Australia and Peter Parker from Queensland are to officiate in the Twenty20 international match between Australia and New Zealand that is to be played in Perth on 11 December.  Both officials are members of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) and the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel (IUP).  The pair's third or television colleague on the IUP, Bruce Oxenford of Queensland, will be in the television suite while fellow NUP official Ian Lock the fourth umpire.  Roshan Mahanama from Sri Lanka will be the match referee for the game.  EN133-722.



West Australian umpire Andrew Craig and Victorian Paul Reiffel stood in yesterday's one-day domestic 50-over match between the home side and Queensland in Perth.  Craig has now officiated in a total of 17 such matches since his first in 2001, plus another between the Australian and South African 'A' sides.  He has also stood in 17 First Class games, national Under 17 and Under 19 tournaments and three Cricket Australia Cup matches, the last late last month.  Reiffel, who is a member of the 12-man National Umpires Panel (NUP), was standing in his thirteenth one-day domestic match since his debut in that form of the game nearly four years ago.  Another NUP member, Western Australian Ian Lock, was the third official for the match. EN133-721. 



Former English international umpire Nigel Plews recently received a $A9,000 grant from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to assist in funding treatment for advanced kidney cancer, according to an article published in the 'Nottingham Evening Post' last Saturday.  The newspaper says Plews had been denied certain drugs by he UK health system, and when Australian international umpire Darrell Hair heard of that he approached David Richardson, the ICC's General Manager Cricket, to see if the world body could assist.  Hair's approach came around the time he was engaged in a racial discrimination case against the world body (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007), and the 'Evening Post' claims that the ICC initially rejected the request, something that Hair was said to be "absolutely disgusted" about.  Several weeks later though both they and the ECB's cricketer's welfare charity, the Hornsby Trust, came to Plews assistance.   Plews stood in a total of 305 First Class matches from 1981-99, a record that includes eleven Tests played in England, India, New Zealand and Pakistan.  He also officiated in 16 One Day Internationals.  Funding to assist the former umpire came at the same time that the Pakistan Cricket Board was assisting one of its former officials who is in ill health (E-News 131-703, 9 November 2007).  EN133-720.



Suspended West Indies batsman Wavell Hinds was yesterday named in a Jamaica squad that is preparing for the Stanford Twenty20 tournament in January.  Hinds missed last month's one-day domestic tournament in the West Indies as he was serving a three-month ban from the game after being suspended by the Jamaica Cricket Association for comments he made to umpires in a local cricket match in June (E-News 123-661, 26 October 2007).  EN133-719.



A cold front will "bring a quick burst of showers" to the Hobart area on Saturday, but conditions during the other four days of the Second Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka later this week continue to look positive.  Yesterday's up-date by the Bureau of Meteorology of its seven-day forecast for Tasmania's capital and computer weather map projections for that period suggest that except when the showers are around on Saturday when the maximum temperature could be around 18 degrees Celsius, on the other days the mercury could range between 23 and 28 degrees.  Those interested can check the latest weather information for Tasmania by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN133-718.


E-NEWS NUMBER 134, 15 November 2007



India’s Gautam Gambhir and Shahid Afridi of Pakistan have both been heavily fined after being found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct during their sides’ third One Day International in Kanpur on Sunday (E-News 133-725, 14 November 2007).  Gambhir has been fined a total of 65 per cent of his match fee while Afridi’s fine totals 95 per cent, the Indian's punishment being less as it was the first time he has appeared before a disciplinary hearing. The players were each charged under two counts of the Code of Conduct which refer to “…conduct unbecoming to their status which could bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute,” and “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play".  The punishments were handed down by ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka following hearings held yesterday, however, it was ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed who actually laid the charges, not Mahanama.  Speed's move appears to reflect concern ay high levels of the ICC that more needs to be done when players act inappropriately, and follows criticism that incidents that occurred in last month's Australia-India ODI series did not attract formal censure (E-News 121-653, 22 October 2007).  EN134-733.   



Two seventy-year-old umpires, one a former Test official and the other a Victorian Grade umpire, are to stand in a match between what is being billed as the "Oldest Cricket Team in the World" and an Invitation Victorian XI in Melbourne next Tuesday during the Second National Over 60s Carnival.  Former Test umpire Max O'Connell from Adelaide, who stood in 19 Tests from 1971-80, and respected Victorian Cricket Association umpire Kevin Barker, will be on the ground when the 'oldest' side takes the field.  The team, which has an average age of 75.4 year, has been selected from the twelve oldest players taking part in the Over 60s Carnival.  Three of its members are Tasmanian, the oldest being Brendan Lyons at 80 years and 156 days, and the others Geoff Norton (74) and Ellis Shaw (73).  Ten sides are taking part in the Carnival itself, one each from NSW and the Australian Capital Territory, two each from South Australia and Tasmania, and four from Victoria.  Tasmania's sides, the Tassie Tigers and the Thylacinians, will each play four 40-over matches in five days, while two umpires, TCUSA Life Member Tim Swifte and Ken Naylor, will travel to Melbourne with them to stand in the tournament.  Former umpires Mike Gandy and Jack Hinds are amongst the playing group, along with former Grade cricketers Bob Cotgrove, Jack Gunn, David Shaw and Geoff Anyon.  The Tasmanian teams have been sponsored by the Australian Cricket Society Tasmania, Tasmanian Cricket Association, Cascade, Country Club Launceston, Toll Transport and JA Dunn Funeral Directors.  The latter have provided two coffins to transport the teams' gear and equipment, and the sight of the players carrying them into grounds each day will allow those involved in the series to mock their own mortality.  EN134-732.  



The Northern Territory Cricket Association this week banned eight players from playing and ordered them to do 200 hours of compulsory service for the sport after the pitch area at the Marrara Cricket Ground wicket was damaged by post match, late evening, revelry.  The pitch-block was damaged after a game on 16 September, the ground's curator finding the next day that hoses had been dragged on to the ground and turned on flooding the wicket, and that bottle tops and newspaper had been embedded in the turf.  The eight players were banned from all Darwin and representative cricket matches for 12 months, although the bans themselves have been suspended for periods up to 24 months, and 15 other players who were there on he night received written reprimands.  Chief executive Andrew Ramsay said the NT Cricket Board would not release the names of those involved or their clubs "due to the highly sensitive nature of this case".  "The Board's feeling is that it has been a highly publicised case and the players have been through enough as it is" said Ramsay.  According to him the imposition of mandatory service hours, during which those concerned could be required to umpire junior games and do work on pitches, "was an innovation designed to give the players an opportunity to make amends for what happened".  "These penalties send a clear message to players of this type of behaviour will not be tolerated", he said.  EN134-731.  



Yesterday's five-day weather outlook for Hobart released by the Bureau of Meteorology continues to suggest that apart from "a shower or two on Saturday" conditions should be fine with temperatures ranging between 20 and 28 degrees Celsius.  Those interested can check the latest weather information for Tasmania by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN134-730.  


E-NEWS NUMBER 135, 16 November 2007



The International Cricket Council is working with biomechanists on a new product that will enable bowlers with suspect actions to be tested via sensors that would be worn during play and linked to computers off the field, according to an article in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper.  Last May the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) called for the introduction of a policy of regular monitoring of bowling actions under match conditions, using a combination of camera footage, technology and personal observation (E-News 44-241, 23 May 2007).  Former Western Australia coach Daryl Foster, who has been working with University of Western Australia, biomechanist Professor Bruce Elliott on the issue, told the 'Herald Sun' that it was too early for suspect bowlers to be examined during play and that such a system will not be unveiled for at least two years.  "With the technology we have available at the moment, and the margin of error that exists, it's far better for the time being that [suspect actions are examined] in a controlled laboratory environment", Foster said.  Tests conducted on Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralidaran involved him wearing high-speed electronic tape, while 12 high-speed cameras, shooting at 250 frames a second, recorded him bowling his 'doosra'.  A recent article in in 'The Independent' newspaper claimed that some international umpires believe Muralitharan's bowling action is still "illegal" but they "don't dare say so publicly or officially for fear of imperilling their own careers" (E-News 13-728, 14 November 2007).  EN135-735.



Former England international umpire Nigel Plews, who is suffering from advanced kidney cancer, is to be provided with the life-prolonging drug 'Sutent' after an about-face by UK medical authorities.  Plews was originally denied access to the drug, the Nottinghamshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) saying last month that the overall benefit of the drug to him, which costs around $A46,000 per year, was "not sufficient to justify funding".  The PCT now says that for former umpire can receive the treatment, which normally extends life for between eight and twelve months.  Following the PCT's original decision the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) were approached for assistance and later provided him with the equivalent of $A9,000 to assist in the drug's purchase (E-News 133-720, 13 November 2007).  Plews, one of only two English Test Match umpires never to have played First-Class cricket, was quoted by Channel 4 news in the UK yesterday as saying that as a result of the PCT's decision he will now return the money provided to him by the ICC and ECB.  EN135-734.


E-NEWS NUMBER 136, 17 November 2007



An umpiring reshuffle was needed midway through the opening day of the Second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at Bellerive yesterday after Pakistani international umpire suffered an "influenze-like" illness and had to leave the field of play.  Third official Peter Parker replaced Dar on the oval at the start of the sixty-second over, a move that meant that TCUSA member Steven John, the match's fourth umpire, had to take over Parker's duties in the television suite.  A Cricket Australia (CA) spokesman was quoted by local media as saying that in addition to possible inflenza, Dar also had jet-lag as "he should have arrived [in Hobart] three days ago, but [in fact] only arrived two days ago".  The problem for Dar comes after he was forced to withdraw from the First Test in Brisbane last week after he was unable to obtain a visa in time (E-News 131-711, 9 November 2007).  Whether Dar will return for the start of the Test's second day today is unknown at this stage.  In reporting the change of umpires on its web site, Cricinfo stated that Parker's participation on the field would be "a true test" for him, and asked whether he "can stand up to the occasion?".  Just why such a comment should be made is unclear, as the Queenslander is highly experienced and is currently standing in his twenty-second consecutive First Class season (E-News 127-91, 2 November 2007).  During that time he has officiated in 108 games at that level, including eight Tests, as well as 108 One Day Internationals.  For John the experience as third umpire in a Test match comes after three months of intense cricket in pre-season matches interstate, Grade games in Hobart, and his first two matches in the domestic 50-over one-day competition (E-News 106-584, 1 October 2007).  He and Parker worked on the field together during the Tasmania-NSW one-day match on 4 November.  This is the second time an on-field umpire had to be replaced during the eight Tests played at Bellerive since the first in 1989.  TCUSA member John Smeaton, who was third umpire for the Test between Australia and New Zealand November 2001, had to replace Australian international umpire Steve Davis on the field when Davis seriously injured his leg jumping a fence after play on the first day of the match, former TCUSA member Barry Jackman taking over in the third umpire position.  EN136-737. 



Queenslander Norm McNamara returns to Pura Cup cricket after a two-year absence tomorrow when he takes the field in Brisbane for the four-day match between his home state and Victoria.  McNamara' colleague for the game will be National Umpire Panel member Rod Tucker from NSW who will be standing in his first Pura Cup game since the final of that series played in Hobart last March (E-News 14-81, 13 March 2007).  McNamara will be officiating in his fourth First Class match and his third in the Pura Cup, his other game at that level being the tour match between Queensland and Sri Lanka earlier this month.  EN136-736.  


E-NEWS NUMBER 137, 19 November 2007



Veteran ABC Radio commentator Jim Maxwell has questioned the judgement of international umpires Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Aleem Dar of Pakistan after they halted play due to rain during the Second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at Bellerive on Saturday.  Maxwell said that the pair acted too quickly and were "too precious" when they "forced" players from the oval after "the lightest sprinkle of rain fell on the ground"; actions that drew a similar response from many experienced observers at the game.  Just why Koertzen and Dar, the latter returning to the field after falling ill on Friday (E-News 136-737, 17 November 2007), reacted as they did has not yet been made public; but he issue was serious enough for the game's four umpires and match referee Mike Proctor of South Africa to all be out on the ground at one stage.  While the outfield was damp there was no indication that safety was an issue and Maxwell, who has been calling Test cricket for the ABC for 30 years, was of the view that "umpires have got to say get out there and get on with the game".  Fellow ABC commentator Drew Morphett wrote in the ABC 'Grandstand' blog that evening that he "felt angry with the umpires who robbed us [a total of 84 minutes] of cricket".  Morphett noted that during the subsequent break children playing 'Kanga' cricket were out on the oval and says that "if it was good enough for the Kanga cricket kids to play in the conditions, it was precious in the extreme for the big boys to be in the rooms sheltering from nothing".  Maxwell stated that in his view the umpire's approach to the rain and what he feels are draconian crowd control regulations in place for the Test, "were taking away the enjoyment" of spectators.  EN137-743.     



Cricket Australia's (CA) Sydney-based general manager for global development, Ross Turner, is currently making what is believed to be his third visit to India this year as part of a program designed to lift umpiring standards on the sub-continent.  Turner and Australian international umpire Simon Taufel organised two seminars for Indian umpires in Bangalore and Mumbai in August and October (E-News 117-632, 15 October 2007) as part of a three-year contract between CA and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007).  During the current visit, the length of which is unknown, Turner is being accompanied by former CA Board member, and manager of the Australia 'A' side, Brian Freedman, who is from NSW.  Turner was quoted by Indian web site 'Cricket365' as indicating that Freedman was responsible for improving umpiring standards in Australia, although details of that claim were not spelt out.  CA made major changes to the national umpiring system earlier this year following a detailed six-month review (E-News 9-50, 25 February 2007).  EN137-742.  



The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has launched a new web site aimed at reducing paperwork related to the appointment of umpires and referees to its domestic matches.  Reports from India state that the move comes at the instigation of the International Cricket Council , who have apparently been asking the BCCI for a number of years to "do away with paperwork and correspond only through email to save time and energy".  Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI's chief administrative officer, was quoted by local press outlets as saying that both paper and on-line systems will be used during the current season, but that "from next year, all work will be done on-line".  Access to the new site, which is at, is password controlled, with umpires and match referees each being provided with a unique code with which to gain access.  The appointments site will be merged with the BCCI's much-delayed official website once it is developed sometime next year.  EN137-741.



The first two games in this season's 21-match Women's National Cricket League were played over the weekend, two umpires from Sydney standing in both matches.  David Dilley and Bill Hendricks, who are both First Grade umpires in Sydney, stood in the 50-over one-day matches played between NSW and South Australia at Bankstown Oval on Saturday and Sunday.  The next two games in the series will be played in Perth next weekend when the home side plays Victoria.  EN137-740.



Scottish umpire Ian Ramage and Trevor Magee from Ireland yesterday officiated in the first-ever international cricket match to be played in Israel, while European Cricket Council Development Manager Richard Holdsworth was the match referee.  The pair stood in the 45-over game between the home nation and Croatia in Tel Aviv, a match played to determine which team will take part in the 2008 European Division 2 tournament on the Channel Island of Guernsey (E-News 41-219, 17 May 2007).  EN137-739. 



The weather outlook for Hobart for the coming weekend is listed as 'fine' on both days, according to the extended weather forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday afternoon.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is currently anticipated to be around 24 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 21.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN137-738. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 138, 20 November 2007



Delays in play after light rain fell on Bellerive Oval during the Second Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka last Saturday were "pointless" and not good for the five-day form of the game, according to journalist Malcolm Conn of 'The Australian' newspaper.  In an article published yesterday, Conn wrote that "technology may well have its place but there is evidence to suggest that these days umpires rely more on light-meter readings than they do on their experience or commonsense".  According to him "grey skies and spotting rain brought proceedings to a close for an inordinate amount of time" on Saturday, and that spectators were "bemused" that the ground was considered "too damp".  Conn's comments mirror those of ABC radio commentator Jim Maxwell who also criticised umpires Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Aleem Dar of Pakistan over the weekend, calling their decision to halt play as "precious" (E-News 137-743, 19 November 2007).  A column in Sri Lanka's 'Sunday Times' last weekend suggested that the delay occurred because their team was "not happy playing with a damp ball", however, if that is correct and was the only reason it is difficult to understand why the umpires allowed the game to be stopped for over an hour.  Whatever the reason for the delay, Conn believes that the approach to weather issues plus the security screening that spectators were subjected to are "having a deleterious effect on Test cricket and the people's appreciation of it".  EN138-749. 



NSW umpire Darren Goodger will make his debut in First Class cricket later today when he stands in the four-day Pura Cup match at the Sydney Cricket Ground between NSW and Tasmania.  Goodger who is 36, is regarded by many pundits as being NSW's most promising up-and-coming umpire, over the last six years taking part in eight Cricket Australia Cup matches, an Under 17 national tournament, a youth One Day International, and two domestic interstate Twenty20 matches.  He was recently selected to officiate in next month's national Under 19 championship in Hobart (E-News 116-626, 12 October 2007), an appointment that indicates how highly NSW umpiring officials rate him.   Goodger's colleague in today's Pura Cup match will be National Umpire Panel member Ian Lock from Western Australia who will be on the field in a Pura Cup match for the thirty-seventh time since his first in March 2001, and his third so far this season.  EN138-748.



Western Australia yesterday suspended players Luke Pomersbach and Shaun Marsh "indefinitely" after an alcohol-related breach of team rules in the lead-up to their side's one-day domestic and First Class matches against South Australia later this week.  The Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) said in a statement that it will not be making any further comment until team management completes an inquiry into the matter.  The one-day match between the two sides at the Adelaide Oval tomorrow will be managed by umpires Andrew Collins from South Australia and National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Bob Parry of Victoria, with Andrew Willoughby, another local, in the television suite.  Parry and fellow NUP member David Orchard will look after the four-day Pura Cup match that starts on Friday.  Parry will be standing in his fifty-first domestic interstate First Class match and Orchard in his twenty-third, the pair to date having a total of 56 and 137 First Class games respectively to their credit.  EN138-747. 



Pakistani international umpire Riazuddin stood in his 196th First Class game last week despite his suspension for making "unsavoury comments" about his nation's Cricket Board officials (E-News 133-729, 14 November 2007).  On the same day that the suspension was announced, Riazuddin stood in the first day of a scheduled four-day Pakistan domestic First Class game in Lahore, a situation that suggests his suspension, whose length is still unknown, only applies to international games.  EN138-746.



Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh was fined 20 per cent of his match fee for showing dissent at the umpire's decision during the fifth and final One Day International against Pakistan in Jaipur on Sunday.  Yuvraj was given out by caught behind by Indian umpire Sursh Shastri while attempting a hook shot, but the left-hander stood his ground and then appeared to indicate that the ball hit his shoulder rather than the bat before leaving the crease.  Television replays supported the batsman's claim.  Yuvraj was charged under clause 2.1 of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct which refers to "showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision", and although he pleaded not guilty he also apologised for any offence he may have caused the umpires.  During a hearing held after the match, ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka downgraded the charge to Level 1.3 after taking into account Yuvraj's apology and also the fact that it was his first appearance at a Code of Conduct hearing in his eight years at international level.  "However, the fact remains that when the umpire raises his finger a player must leave the crease immediately and without question no matter what he may think of the decision", said Mahanama in an ICC statement.  "That is one of cricket's most fundamental principles and Yuvraj's failure to adhere to that principle, especially given the message his action sends out to the millions of people watching at the ground and on television, merited some form of action", said the Sri Lankan.  The hearing was attended by Shastri, his colleague on the ground West Indian Billy Doctrove and third umpire Amiesh Saheba.  Doctrove will stand in the First and Second Test matches between the two nations between now and the end of the month (E-News 104-574, 25 September 2007).  EN138-745.      



The weather outlook for Hobart for the coming weekend continues to be listed as 'fine' on both days, according to up-dated extended weather forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is currently anticipated to be around 25 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 21.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN138-744. 


E-NEWS NUMBER 139, 21 November 2007



South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen has apologised for wrongly giving out Sri Lankan's Kumar Sangakkara on the last day of the Second Test at Bellerive Oval in Hobart yesterday.  Sangakkara was on 192 and the game at an important stage when he played pull shot off Australian bowler Stuart Clark, the ball defecting to second slip where it was caught. Koerttzen, who was standing in his 86th Test and 190th First Class game overall, answered the subsequent appeal with his characteristic long, slow, raising of his finger.  Television replays shortly afterwards showed that rather than hitting the bat, the ball actually struck the batsman's shoulder then helmet before being caught by Australian captain Ricky Ponting.  Ponting told a media conference after the game that he was certain that the Sri Lankan was out as he and his playing colleagues "all reacted on the two noises we heard at the time".  Sangakkara reacted in disbelief when the decision came, standing his ground briefly before walking off in obvious disappointment.  A similar decision given against Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh in a One Day International against Pakistan last Sunday led to a fine, but only after Singh reacted in an "inappropriate" manner before leaving the crease (E-News 138-745, 20 November 2007).   Immediately after the match finished "Rudi came and said sorry to [Sangakkara]", said Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, "but Kumar was fine with it" and he was seen exchanging back-slaps with the South African prior to the post-match presentation ceremony.  Sangakkara later told ABC Radio that he believed that Koertzen was a very competent umpire who worked hard at his game, and while the umpire made a mistake so did he as a player during matches because he too was human.  Commentators calling the match initially indicated that they, like Koertzen, thought that the batsman was out, only reacting and calling the decision "woeful" after they had the benefit of watching a slow-motion replay.  Ironically, Koertzen's decision came shortly after ABC Radio commentator Peter Roebuck praised both Koertzen and his on-field colleague Aleem Dar of Pakistan, for their "excellent decision making" on appeals throughout the match, although he was less positive about their handling of what he called "light and wet ground issues" (E-News 138-749, 20 November 2007).  EN139-753.



The breakaway Indian Cricket League has named the players of the six teams that will compete in its first tournament but information about the umpires who will be involved remains illusive.  The 20-match Twenty20 competition is set to start on 30 November and end with the final on 16 December, the winning side receiving just over $A1M for its trouble.  The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) warned earlier this year that any umpires who associate themselves with ICL will be deprived from any benefits due to them from the BCCI (E-News 62-340, 29 June 2007).  EN139-752.



Cricket officials in a regional league on the North Island of New Zealand need to be "pro-active in stamping out the behavioural problems that have surfaced in their senior men's inter-club competitions this season, says Wellington-based journalist Gary Caffell.  A player was cited by the umpires for alleged misconduct during an ill-tempered match a week ago, and Cafell wrote that the incident "should be the catalyst for administrators to take the bull by the horns", for "if they don't there is the very real danger of the current rash of ill-discipline spilling over into something much more serious".  Cafell says that in his view Association officials should be "requesting all umpires" to follow their colleagues lead last week, "so as to ensure that teams, or individual players, who offend are reminded of their obligations in a way which will encourage them not to offend again".  "If it takes suspensions or hefty fines to make that happen then so be it", he says.  EN139-751.



The weather outlook for Hobart for the coming weekend continues to be listed as 'fine', according to extended weather forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday afternoon.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is currently anticipated to be around 25 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 21.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN139-750.


E-NEWS NUMBER 140, 22 November 2007



Four umpires from the UK and two match referees from India make up the panel of officials who will manage matches in the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) Twenty20 series when it gets underway next week.  Umpires named for the series by the ICL's Executive Board Chairman Kapil Dev overnight are Jeffrey Evans, Trevor Jesty, Dean Johnson and Raymond Julian, while the referees are Ajit Wadeker and Erapalli Prasanna.  Evans, Jesty and Johnson were umpiring in England as late as last September, while Julian, who is 71, retired as an on-field official in 2001. Jesty and Julian had long playing careers at First Class level, the former notching up 490 such games in a 25-year career from 1966-91, plus ten One Day Internationals (ODI) for England, and the latter 192 from 1952-71.  Julian umpired a total of 521 First Class games from 1972-2001, officiated in six ODIs, and was the third or television umpire in six Tests, while Jesty has so far stood in 184 matches at First Class level.  Neither Evans or Johnson played First Class cricket, but Evans has to date officiated in 99 such games, however, Johnson's record shows that his umpiring career has primarily been limited to Minor County level in the UK.  Match referees Wadker and Prasanna each played over 230 First Class games and 37 and 49 Tests for India respectively in the sixties and seventies, but there is no record of them having been involved in umpiring or match refereeing prior to their involvement with the ICL.  In making the announcement Dev said that “umpiring is not an easy task, and it requires precision and experience to give right decision, as one wrong decision can change the outcome of a match".  "Our umpires and referees have rich experience of the game and an eye for precision [and] we are happy to have them with us", said Dev.  The ICL's inaugural season is scheduled to start on 30 November and end just over two weeks later (E-News 139-752, 21 November 2007), a period during which Indian and Pakistan will be playing two Test matches.  No details of the remuneration the six ICL panel members will receive for their services have been released.  EN140-759.



Australian international umpire Darrell Hair has completed a man management course, and remains convinced he handled last year's abandoned 'ball tampering' Test between England and Pakistan correctly, according to comments he made on Sydney Radio station 2KY yesterday.  No details about the course are available, but it is understood to be part of the so-called "rehabilitation program" organised for him by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following the withdrawl of his racial discrimination case against the world body last month (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007).  During the hour he spent answering questions from presenters and callers on 2KY's sports program, Hair was asked whether he'd got anything out of the course that had made him believe he'd made wrong calls in the Oval Test.  He replied that in that regard he hadn't, but he did emphasise "that it was a fantastic course to do".  "It's easy to say, look, if I'd known how to deal with that sort of issue [during the Test and], if I knew then what I know now, I may have done things differently", he said.  "But I don't believe so because there's a certain limit to what the umpire needs to do under those circumstances, and I believe that both [himself and his colleague West Indian Billy Doctrove] fulfilled those obligations with regard to ball tampering and the refusal to play".  Hair also defended his widely-reported e-mailed suggestion, at the height of the Pakistan controversy, that the ICC give him a $US500,000 severance payment.  "Anybody has the right to discuss their future with their employer and that's what I was doing" he said, but he "didn't just write that out of the blue, [as he is] not that sort of person."  In addition to the man management course, media reports indicate that the ICC's program for Hair also involves mentoring younger umpires and umpires in ICC associate nations.  Hair is to be reassessed for a possible return as an active member of ICC's 'Elite' umpiring panel next March, and said he would be ready to umpire in Pakistan if chosen to do so.  Pakistan authorities have expressed their reservations about his return at the highest levels of cricket (E-News 115-622, 11 October 2007).  EN140-758.



International Cricket Council match referee Ranjan Madugalle has requested that large red advertisements be moved from part of the stadium in New Delhi prior to the start of the First India-Pakistan Test later today Australian time.  Reports indicate that red signboards of a well-known, world-wide, mobile phone service provider had been erected at one end of the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium, and Madugalle was concerned that the red balls used during the match would be 'lost' against them by batsmen from both sides.  An unnamed senior official of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) told a local media outlet that "when Madugalle saw the heavy advertisement hoardings at the Delhi Gate End [during an inspection on Tuesday], he asked us to remove some of them".  He was particularly concerned, says the report, that when left-handers bat against a left-arm bowler bowling over the wicket, they would not be able to sight the red ball against the red hoardings.  Local media reports also say that the permanent plastic seats in that particular part of the ground are also red, but that they "might not affect the batsmen because they would be occupied by spectators".  The DDCA is also said to be raising the height of both sightscreens, for "every time Sachin [Tendulka] plays at the Kotla, he requests us to raise the sightscreen a little more so that he can see the ball better", an official said.  Madugalle, who is from Sri Lanka, was accompanied during Tuesday's ground inspection by the umpires for the First Test, Australia's Simon Taufel and West Indian Billy Doctrove (E-News 104-574, 25 September 2007).  The match will be Madugalle's ninety-eighth Test as a match referee, and he will bring up his Century in the third Test of the series in early December. Taufel and Doctove will be on he field for their forty-sixth and fourteenth Test respectively.  EN140-757.



Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper yesterday claimed that Cricket Australia (CA) had "censored its own web site" after the site criticised South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen's decision to give Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara out on the last day of the Second Test in Hobart on Monday.  Replays showed that the batsman had not hit the ball and Koertzen later apologised for his decision (E-News 139-753, 21 November 2007).  According to the paper, CA's website originally said of the dismissal that the "ball was nowhere near the bat, an atrocious decision that ends an excellent innings".  Journalist Brett Stubbs says that "a CA official then rang [its] website sub-contractor 'Cadability', and [told them that] CA could not give opinions about umpires".  The comments were quickly changed to: "Sangakkara attempts to pull, is too quickly through the shot, the ball strikes him on the shoulder and pops into the cordon, Ponting runs in and grabs the ball, big appeal and he's given out"".  Stubbs wrote that CA started its website and ball by ball coverage in 2004 after the then official Australian cricket internet site described former Australian Test opener Justin Langer as a "brown-nose gnome" during a domestic one-day match.  EN140-756.



Sri Lankan Under 15 team Saint Peter's clinched their nation's 'All Island' junior title last week, however, after the game both they and the match umpires were subjected to "manhandling" and "a barrage of eggs" from players, coaches and parents from the opposing side, according to a press report from Colombo.  'The Daily Mirror' newspaper says that the "master-in-charge of the losing school [named] 'President Rajagirya', tried his best to bring the situation under control but without success" and that "he even hit some of [his] boys to control [them] but to no avail".   The losing side's coach "should have set an example instead of adding fuel to the fire" and "it was a pathetic sight as there was no discipline shown by either the coach of the parents" involved, says the newspaper.   The Sri Lankan Schools Cricket Association is to conduct an inquiry into the incident and the umpires involved are reported to have been asked for a full report.  EN140-755.



The weather outlook for Hobart for the coming weekend continues to be listed as 'fine', according to extended weather forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on Wednesday.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is currently anticipated to be around 25 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 20.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN140-754.


E-NEWS NUMBER 141, 23 November 2007



Tasmanian State Umpiring Squad (SUS) member Jamie Mitchell has been named as one of the umpires from around the country who will stand in the national men's Under 17 tournament in Melbourne from 5-16 January.  Mitchell, who was appointed to the SUS at the start of what is just his second season umpiring in the Tasmanian Cricket Association, has a solid cricket background, having been a member of the Australian Under 19 team during its 1985 tour of India and Sri Lanka.  Other members of that team included Warren Ayres, Tom Moody, now National Umpire Panel member Paul Reifel, Gavin Robinson and Tasmania wicket keeper Richard Soule (E-News 7-44, 22 February 2007).  EN141-767.



TCUSA umpiring members were reminded by Tasmanian Director of Umpiring Richard Widows at the Association's Appointments-Training meeting on Wednesday that Tasmanian Cricket Association By Laws prohibit the use of replacement players in one-day matches played under its jurisdiction.  In raising the issue Widows emphasised the difference between a replacement and a substitute, the former being able to fully take part in a match and the latter only as a fielder.  Widows said that any request for a substitute prior to the toss being taken "is a matter for the opposing captain and not the umpires".  "After the toss", he said, "the guiding principle is that no team should be denied a substitute when a player is unavoidably and unexpectedly prevented from continuing in a match, or in the case of a batsman a runner is required, due to illness, injury or other wholly acceptable reasons that occur or transpire after the toss".  EN141-766. 



South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen is an "embarrassment to the game" claims Australian journalist Robert Craddock.  Writing in his blog on the web site of the Brisbane newspaper the 'Courier Mail' immediately after Koertzen had made an umpiring error in the Second Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at Bellerive (E-News 140-756, 2 November 2007), Craddock said that the South African has gone "from being one of the best umpires in the world" to "one of the worst", for he has "stayed too long" in the game.  According to the journalist the South African "has hearing problems, is not a bad man, but he has a large ego and simply cannot accept [that] his time has come".  On the fourth day of the Test last Monday continued Craddock, Koertzen "was caught by Channel Nine’s cameras changing his mind in several key decisions by moving his hand from behind his back and back again", and stated his view that the umpire "has lost confidence [and] it is time [for him] to go".  Four days earlier, in the first hour of the Bellerive Test and well before Koertzen's well-publicised mistake, Craddock wrote in his blog that umpiring standards have "stagnated" as "modern umpires are in a worrying comfort zone, [for as] there are so few of them on the main panel they barely ever get dropped".  "Captains are not allowed to citicise them [so] they don’t get publicly bagged by the people they judge", he says.  He made those comments after complaining about Koertzen's colleague in the Test, Alem Dar from Pakistan, turning down of an LBW appeal from Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga which Craddock believes was out, as the "ball hit the bat after hitting the pad and they were close together".  "A decent umpire such as [Australian] Simon Taufel", says the journalist, "would have got it right", although he does not mention that Taufel, like all high-level umpires, has also been criticised when technology has provided the benefit of hindsight (E-News 75-411, 31 July 2007).  The International Cricket Council (ICC) has for some years used video recordings of its umpire's work during matches as part of a system to assess each official's performance and says that it conducts regular reviews with them of their on-field work. Following a review of the then structure and systems involved in its umpiring department earlier this year, the world body is currently introducing a range of changes in that area, one initiative being to increase the number on its 'Elite' umpires panel from 10 to 12 (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007).  During his 20-year career writing about cricket, Craddock has covered more than 150 Test matches and the past five cricket World Cups, however, there is no record of him ever standing as an umpire in any form of the game.    EN141-765. 



National Umpires Panel (NUP) members Tim Laycock of Queensland and Rod Tucker of NSW are to stand in today's one-day 50-over match in Brisbane between Queensland and Victoria.  Local Norm McNamara, who made a return to Pura Cup cricket earlier this week (E-News 136-736, 17 November 2007), is the third umpire.  NSW will play Tasmania in a one-day game at the North Sydney Oval on Sunday and Tucker will be there for that match as the third official, with Darren Goodger of NSW and NUP member Ian Lock of Western Australia out on the ground.    EN141-764.



Christchurch New Zealand umpire Glenn Holdem was involved in a rare double substitution that saw him stand in all four days of this week's First Class match between Canterbury and Northern Districts.  Prior to the match Holdem was named as the emergency umpire to cover fellow Canterbury official Gary Baxter from NZ's 'Elite' umpires panel (E-News 122-659, 23 October 2007), and Evan Gray from Wellington (E-News 122-659, 23 October 2007).  Holdem was summoned at short notice on day one of the match to replace Baxter who was laid low with a viral illness, standing in the match until the latter was ready to return on day three. Preparing to return to his place of work on day three, however, Holdem again received a phone call after Gray fell ill overnight and could not take the field for the final two days.  Holdem is not a member of his nation's eight-man 'Elite' panel, but he is not without First Class experience having now stood in five such fixtures.  EN141-763.



Indian umpires Vikram Raju and Dara Dotiwalla have been flown to Australia to be present during a match to be played in South Australia later today that organisers say was arranged to celebrate the twenty-first anniversary of the tied Test match between India and Australia in 1986.  A report published in this week's 'Barossa Herald' newspaper does not make clear, however, whether the two umpires, who are now 73 and 74 years-of-age respectively, will actually officiate in the match.  The tied Test was the last of Vikram's two games at that level in his 48-match, 28-year, First Class career from 1960-88, while Dara stood in six Tests and 40 First Class games overall from 1967-89.  Winery Chateau Tanunda will host the game which will see six players who played in the tied Test on the field, including Australians Greg Matthews, Ray Bright, Bruce Reid, Geoff Marsh, David Gilbert and possibly Dean Jones, and the only Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin.  Well-known former players also said to be involved are Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga, South Africa's Barry Richards, West Indian Carl Hooper, and Pakistan’s Ijaz Ahmed.  EN141-762.



The International Cricket Council (ICC) has named a multinational team of officials to manage its World Cricket League Division 2 tournament which starts in Windhoek, Namibia, tomorrow and runs until Saturday week.  David Jukes from England is to referee the series, the umpires selected being Niels Bagh (Denmark), Karran Bayney (Canada), and South Africans Adrian Holdstock, Karl Hurter and Cliffie Isaacs, however, one name appears to be missing from the list provided by the ICC as at least six umpires are needed to cover the three matches scheduled for each day's play.  Bagh is a member of the ICC's Affiliates and Associates umpires panel, Hurter is a member of South Africa's First Class panel and that nation's third umpire on the ICC's International panel, while his countrymen Holdstock and Isaacs are on South Africa's second tier 'Emerging Umpires' list.  Teams from hosts Namibia, Argentina, Denmark, Oman, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates will be hoping to move closer to qualification for the 2011 World Cup during the tournament.  The ICC says that the WCL, which consists of five Divisions and has a promoting and relegation system, provides a clearly defined pathway for countries from outside the Test playing world to be involved in global one-day cricket.  Uganda won the WCL Division 3 series in Darwin earlier this year, defeating Argentine in the final, that match being managed by umpires Lakani Oala of Papua New Guinea and Australian National Umpire Panel member Tim Laycock from Queensland (E-News 51-283, 4 June 2007).  In addition to them three other Australians stood in the series as well as officials from Indonesia, Singapore and Japan (E-News 48-258, 30 May 2007).  EN141-761. 



Farmers in southern Tasmania are unlikely agree but the weather outlook for Hobart for the coming weekend continues to look very good.  This morning's forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology is almost identical to the outlook of 'fine' its has been providing all week  The maximum temperature on Saturday is anticipated are being around 25 degrees Celsius and on Sunday 20.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN141-760.


E-NEWS NUMBER 142, 26 November 2007



Victorian assistant coach Darren Berry is facing possible suspension over an outburst directed at the third umpire during his side's loss to Queensland in a one-day, 50 over, match played in Brisbane last Friday.  Media reports indicate that Berry, angry with the decision by third umpire Norm McNamara to give Victorian David Hussey run out, visited the television suit at the Gabba while play was still in progress and is alleged to have expressed, in colourful language, his view on the decision.  Berry, a former wicketkeeper for his state who was known for his aggressive approach on he field of play, was reportedly aggrieved that McNamara had given what as said to be a close call in favour of the fielding side.  Media reports are claiming that it was apparent from replays that the camera angles available to McNamara did not conclusively show exactly when Queensland wicketkeeper Chris Hartley removed the bails, and that "Hussey's bat appeared very close to the line as Hartley brought the ball down".  McNamara, who is 35, last week returned to four-day interstate cricket after a two-year absence (E-News 136-736, 17 November 2007).  He was working as the third official for the second time in a domestic one-dayer, and has been out on the ground for nine other games in that competition since his debut five years ago.  Berry was reported after the match and faced a two-hour hearing during which four charges brought against him, including dissent and attempting to intimidate an official, were heard.  The Victorian is said to have pleaded guilty to acting in a way that was not in the spirit of cricket as well as the charge of using obscene language.  E-News understands that the charges are to be reviewed by Cricket Australia (CA) Code of Conduct commissioner, Kevin Kelso, tomorrow.  He is expected to read the transcripts of Friday night's hearing and conduct a teleconference to take further testimony from the parties involved.  According to 'The Age' newspaper in Melbourne, witnesses to the incident include at least three umpiring officials from CA and the Queensland Cricket Association who were with McNamara at the time of the alleged incident.  'The Age', which was unable to make contact with Berry, says that the incident is such that the Victorian faces both a suspension and fines.  EN142-774.



England-based County umpires Jeff Evans and Trevor Jesty, who were named to the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) umpiring panel last week (E-News 140-759, 22 November 2007), having been assured that their contracts with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will not be affected by their ICL involvement, according to a report in Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper over the weekend.  The ECB had told all of its First Class officials that they would prefer them not to officiate in the ICL because of a lack of anti-corruption controls, says the newspaper's report.  However, as umpires are contracted to the ECB only between April and September they are free agents over the northern winter months.  Evans was quoted as saying that he sees his involvement with the ICL "as an opportunity to visit India and to gain experience umpiring in a major competition".  "I've had many sleepless nights [thinking] about [whether to accept the offer]", he said, and before making a decision he had "consulted [his] solicitor, the Professional Cricketers' Association solicitor and sought advice from anyone and everyone in the game".  In the same article, former Yorkshire and Glamorgan wicketkeeper Ismail Dawood was quoted as saying that it was tough but that he had rejected what he called "an extremely lucrative contract" to join the ICL.  He hopes to be accepted on to the ECB reserve umpires' list next year and was concerned that involvement with the ICL might count against him.  Dawood who is 32, said that he "would like to umpire in First Class cricket in England and [he] didn't want to jeopardise [his] prospects".  No details of just how much the ICL's four umpires and two match officials will receive for their participation have been made public.  EN142-773.



South African umpire Brian Jerling has been appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand in the five One Day Internationals to be played by Zimbabwe against the West Indian tourists between 30 November and 9 December.  The series will take the number of ODIs that Jerling has officiated in to 60 since his first in 2000, while the match referee, Chris Broad's tally in that form of the game will climb to 112.  A Zimbabwean umpire will stand in each game with Jerling, ICC International umpires panel (IUP) members Kevin Barbour and Russell Tiffin being likely to share the series and Ian Robinson, the host's third official on the IUP, in the television suite.  EN142-772. 



A fine and a warning were handed down to two players who continued to appeal for a catch behind the wicket after the umpire had turned it down during a four-day First Class match in Bangladesh last week.  According to the Cricinfo web site, Dhaka Division captain Mohammad Ashraful and seamer Mahbubul Alam reportedly requested that the umpire consult his square leg partner about the decision he gave off seamer Mahbubul Alam's bowling during his side's match against Rajshahi Division.  At a hearing held at the conclusion of the game, match referee Raqibul Hasan fined Ashraful thirty per cent of his match fee while Alam received a warning.  The Cricinfo report indicated that both players admitted that they had breached Bangladesh's Code of Conduct regulations.  EN142-771.



Arani Jayaprakash, the Indian umpire who gave all ten Pakistan batsmen out when Anil Kumble equalled Jim Laker's world record at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium in Delhi in 1999, hopes that new India captain Kumble can repeat of that landmark performance during the current Test series between the two nations, according to press reports from the sub-continent.  Jayaprakash said he would pray for the Indian team and that Kumble again takes 10 wickets in an innings, although he knows that "is not always possible".  Asked what his feelings were when he remembers the 1999 Test against Pakistan, Jayaprakash was quoted as saying that "there are no feelings as I was a neutral umpire".  The report said that the umpire, who stood in 13 Tests and 38 One Day Internationals in his international career from 1993-2006, declined to bask in "borrowed glory" because of his link to Kumble's record.  EN142-770.



Two five-run penalties for batsmen running on the pitch were imposed during a single innings of a local team in New Zealand last week, according to a report published in a local newspaper there.  The story indicates that umpires Chris Cogdale and David Lee gave batsmen from Wairarapa College several "friendly" warnings for their indiscretions then started the formal warning procedure, eventually being forced to give the batting side a five-run penalty.  Later in the innings another Wairarapa batsman ran on the pitch resulting in a second five-run penalty being awarded.  The College's misdemeanour actually cost them a total of 13 runs as three singles they ran during the official warning process were also involved.  Law 42.14 details the procedures required of umpires in such a situation.  EN142-769.



The weather for tomorrow evening's Twenty20 matches between First Grade teams from the Tasmanian Cricket Association looks good with a temperature of around 20 degrees expected.  Early indications are that there may be 'a shower or two' in the Hobart area next Saturday morning for the start of the two-day, all weekend games scheduled for the coming weekend.  That forecast will be refined as the end of the week approaches, however, at this early stage indications are that precipitation is unlikely to cause a major problem for matches in the Hobart area.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007). EN142-768.


E-NEWS NUMBER 143, 27 November 2007



The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has made one change to its 24-member First Class umpires list for the 2008 season, a move forced on it by the retirement of one of its long-serving officials earlier this year.  Steve Garratt from Nottingham, who has been on the ECB's reserve list since 2003 and is now one of only three on the full list who has not played at First Class level, replaces Roy Palmer who retired in September after 28 seasons on the ECB's top panel (E-News 108-595, 3 October 2007).  Chris Kelly, ECB umpires and match operations manager, said in a statement that “Steve’s promotion is thoroughly deserved as he has developed into a reliable and effective cricket official during the last few years".  Despite the minimal change made this year, the ECB says that Garratt's appointment is a "clear indication of [its] commitment to providing the appropriate opportunities to all officials", a reference to the organisation's current attempts to draw members of the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) into its ranks (E-News 131-710, 9 November 2007).  In total the 24 on the 2008 list have played a total of 6,036 First Class matches and umpired another 3,890 games at that level; their ages ranging from 34 to 65, three being in their thirties, four in their forties, nine in their fifties and eight in their sixties.  Those on the full list together with the number of First Class matches they have played and umpired are: Rob Bailey (374/38); Neil Bainton (0/57), Graham Burgess (252/251), Nigel Cowley (271/113), Barry Dudleston (295/384), Jeff Evans (0/99), Steve Garratt (0/20), Ian Gould (298/70); Mike Harris (34/146); Peter Hartley (232/57); John Holder (48/398); Vanburn Holder (313/232); Richard Illingworth (376/35); Trevor Jesty (490/184); Allan Jones (214/350); Richard Kettleborough (33/46); Barrie Leadbeater (147/445); Nigel Llong (68/72); Jeremy Lloyds (267/130); Neil Mallender (345/124); Tim Robinson (425/32); George Sharp (306/238); John Steele (379/151); and Peter Willey (559/218).  Bailey, Vanburn Holder, Illingworth, Mallender, Robinson and Willey have played Test cricket, and most of them plus Dudlestone, Gould, and Jesty in One Day Internationals.   Evans and Jesty recently joined the Indian Cricket League's competition, but former Yorkshire and Glamorgan wicketkeeper Ismail Dawood who turned down the opportunity in the hope that he might make the ECB's reserve list, did not achieve that aim this year (E-News 142-773, 26 November 2007).  Three umpires have been added to the reserve list for 2008: Andy Hicks from Worcestershire, Stephen Gale from Shropshire and Steve Malone, the former Hampshire, Essex and Glamorgan bowler.  They join Martin Bodenham, Keith Coburn, Nick Cook, Michael Gough, David Millns, and Terry Urben who were on that list last year and have been retained for next season.  Australian international umpire Darrell Hair was on the ECB reserve list at the start of the 2007 northern hemisphere season but is believed to have withdrawn shortly afterwards (E-News 35-195, 1 May 2007).  The full list excludes England international umpire Mark Benson (292/94) a member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite panel.  The ECB says that he will be used in domestic matches when available.  EN143-777.



Victorian assistant coach Darren Berry faces a possible hefty suspension when his test case for alleged third umpire abuse concludes later today, says a story posted on the Sydney Morning Herald's (SMH) web site yesterday afternoon.  Berry has been charged with four offences and reportedly pleaded guilty to two after abusing third umpire Norm McNamara following a run-out decision he made in last Friday night's one-day domestic match between Queensland and Victoria in Brisbane (E-News 142-774, 26 November 2007).  Berry is said by the SMH to have admitted to swearing and slamming a door after being told to leave the umpire's box.  Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper says that Berry told their reporter that "when passion and common sense clash, sadly on this occasion I chose the wrong option [and] I'm embarrassed and remorseful", but the SMH says there is speculation that after talking with his advocate, Berry may change his two guilty pleas made after the initial phase of the hearing.  Three of the four charges made against the Victorian are level two offences which carry a fine or match ban of one to two Pura Cup matches or two to four one-day matches, says the SMH story.  The charge of intimidation, a level three offence, carries a more severe penalty of suspension for two to four Pura Cup matches or four to eight one-dayers, according to the article.  The SMH says that it understands that no interstate player or coach has ever been charged or disciplined for such an offence against a third umpire.  Berry is expected to give further evidence to the hearing, which is being chaired by Queensland Cricket Conducts Commissioner Kevin Kelso, via a phone hook-up sometime today.  McNamara and three umpiring officials who witnessed the incident are believed to have given evidence to the hearing before it was adjourned in the early hours of last Saturday morning.  Media reports claim that McNamara made what they describe as "two contentious run-out decisions" during last Friday's match, slow-motion replays being said to not show conclusively that the batsmen were out.  EN143-776.



Two members of Western Australia's State Umpires Squad, Todd Rann and Nathan Johnstone, stood in the two Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) , one-day 50 over matches played between Western Australia and Victoria at the WACA in Perth over last weekend.  The games were Rann's tweltfh and thirteen WNCL matches since his first seven years ago and he has also stood in an Under 19 men's tournament, two National Country Cricket Championships and an East Asia Eights series.  Johnstone has officiated in a men's Under 17 national tournament and an Australian Country Cricket Championship series, the two games last weekend being his first in the WNCL.  EN143-775.


E-NEWS NUMBER 144, 28 November 2007



Victoria assistant cricket coach Darren Berry was yesterday suspended for two domestic First Class and three one-day matches for abusing a third umpire during his side's one-day domestic, 50-over match against Queensland last Friday (E-News 143-776, 26 November 2007).  Details of the Berry decision have yet to appear on Cricket Australia's (CA) web site, but media reports published on-line overnight indicate that Berry was banned from match day coaching until 21 January, however, he can apparently continue his non match day duties in the mean time.  CA Code of Conduct commissioner Kevin Kelso is believed to have suspended Berry on Tuesday after what is understood to be a near day-long hearing that reviewed and further investigated the findings of a initial two-hour meeting held last Friday night soon after the match finished (E-News 142-774, 25 November 2007).  Berry is believed to have been charged with: showing serious dissent at an umpires decision; using language that is obscene, offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player, official or spectator; and attempting to intimidate an umpire by language and conduct.   Should he choose to appeal the outcome, Berry apparently has until Friday-week to lodge relevant papers with CA.  EN143-784.  



International umpires 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Pakistani Aleem Dar, were involved in a surprise three-way Test appointments juggle overnight.  Koertzen, who was to have stood in two games in the three Test series between Sri Lanka and England, the first of which starts next Saturday (E-News 125-682, 31 October 2007), has now been replaced by Dar; the South African instead being appointed to the last two Tests of the India-Pakistan series instead of Bowden.  While the International Cricket Council (ICC) placed basic details of the changes on its web site yesterday, it gave no explanation as to why Bowden has been removed from the series on the sub-continent.  The ICC was forced to make similar last minute changes earlier this month for the Tests between Australia and Sri Lanka (E-News 130-706, 8 November 2007).  Sri Lankan newspapers are currently reporting that Koertzen was replaced for the Sri Lankan series because he wrongly gave out their vice captain Kumar Sangakkara in the Test match in Hobart a week ago (E-News 139-753, 21 November 2007); an approach that neglects the fact that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last month called for the South African to face an ICC enquiry for allegedly calling the Pakistani side "cheats" (E-News 115-622, 11 October 2007).  There has been no public indication as yet that the ICC intends to agree to the PCB's request.  It is possible that the juggling that led to the Koertzen-Dar series swap could be explained simply by basic logistics.  If Bowden had to withdraw at short notice for some reason, the fact that Koertzen was getting ready to fly to Sri Lanka and was a 'neutral' for the India-Pakistan series would mean that it would be easy for him to instead travel a short distance further to India.  Dar, at home in Pakistan, lives a relatively few hours flight time away from Sri Lanka, and is a 'neutral' in terms of the Lanka-England series.  Sri Lanka Cricket media manager Samantha Algama apparently would not comment to local media on whether his Board had asked for Koertzen to be replaced, leading local media outlets to draw their own conclusions from his reported silence on the matter.  EN143-783.  



Australian international umpire Simon Taufel, who stood in the first India-Pakistan Test of the current series this week, says that there was little tension on the ground between the teams, according to a news report from India yesterday.  Taufel told India World News that a lot of the credit for good behaviour on the field should go to the captains of the two sides, Anil Kumble and Shoaib Malik.  The Australian indicated that he an his player control colleagues, West Indian Billy Doctrove, and match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka (E-News 104-574, 25 September 2007), had done a lot of "serious work" with the two teams about behavioural issues before the Test began.  During the game ''the players were very responsible, they were very relaxed, there was not a lot of aggro or friction between [them] that we had to control", said Taufel.  Despite that, he continued, "there were a lot of tough moments, whether they were appeals or handling difficult situations, but, quite frankly, we match officials are really pleased with the way the players responded to this game".  Asked by an interviewer whether the match was easy to officiate in, the Australian said that an India-Pakistan Test series is a very challenging environment and that there is a lot of external pressure on all participants. But he says "you have got to control and manage [the pressure], so, for me it's all about keeping it simple", said the four-time ICC 'Umpire of the Year' (E-News 97-524, 11 September 2007).   Taufel said that he feels "really quite privileged to be part of [the match]" and was "very grateful to be able to contribute towards a good game of cricket".  Doctrove is to stand in the Second Test of the series in Kolkata with South African Rudi Koertzen (see E-News 144-783 above), with Taufel joining Koertzen the third game in Bangalore.  EN143-782.   



The four-day Cricket Australia (CA) Cup match between the Second XIs from the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia which started in Canberra on Monday is being umpired by Bruce Massingham and Yohan Ramasundara.  The current match is Massingham's second CA Cup game, the first being in February this year, while Sri Lankan born Yohan Ramasundara is standing in a CA Cup game for the third time.  Ramasundara  has previous taken part in two national Under 19 men's tournaments, and the 2006 winter 'Institute Challenge' series in Darwin.  EN143-781.



Namibian umpire Jeff Luck is the sixth umpire taking part in this week's World Cricket League (WCL) Division 2 tournament in Windehoek.  Initial advice from the International Cricket Council indicated that five umpires were involved (E-News 141-761, 22 November 2007), but score sheets available on line show Luck is also taking part.  Luck, who was born in South Africa, was this year's Namibian 'Umpire of the Year'.  His record to date includes standing in three second-tier One Day Internationals and five First Class matches involving Namibia and teams from South Africa's provinces.  EN143-780. 



The Malta Cricket Association held an intensive weekend umpiring course last weekend, members of the Malta Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (MACUS) who passed the exam qualifying to umpire in Europe as well as Malta.  Graham Cooper, the European Umpiring Consultant, who is based at Lords, flew to Malta to conduct a course.   MACUS officials will be in charge of matches in the island-nation's winter league which starts next weekend.  EN143-779.  



Early indications are that there may be 'a shower or two' in the Hobart area next Saturday morning for the start of the two-day, all weekend, games scheduled for the coming weekend, as a cold front moves east away from Tasmania.  At this stage indications are that precipitation is unlikely to cause a major problem for matches in the Hobart area.  The maximum temperature in Hobart on Saturday is expected to be around 21 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 21.  Ultra-violet levels are currently being described as 'extreme' in daily weather forecasts, a good reason for those outside to ensure that they have appropriate protection from the sun.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN143-778.


E-NEWS NUMBER 145, 29 November 2007



Media outlets in a number of the main cricket-playing areas of the world have started to back off their claim that South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen was dumped from the forthcoming Lanka-England Test series because of his well-publicised umpiring error this month.  Most reports over the last six hours are now in line with yesterday's E-News story that New Zealander Billy Bowden's withdrawl from the India-Pakistan series was the cause of the change, rather than any ill-feeling on the part of the Sri Lankans towards Koertzen (E-News 144-783, 28 November 2007).  A story in 'The Marlborough Times' in New Zealand overnight indicates that Bowden had to be replaced in a First Class match in Auckland this week because he needed to have what it said was "minor surgery", while 'The Guardian' newspaper in Britain said that he had "taken ill".  An article in yesterday afternoon's 'Herald Sun' in Melbourne that was one of the first to change its tack on the Koertzen issue, quoted a spokesman for the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai as denying that the South African's replacement in the Lanka-England series was performance-related.  That unnamed person was quoted as saying that "if we replaced every umpire who made a mistake, there would be no umpires left" and that "his replacement is more to do with the workload of umpires and some rescheduling".  The article made no reference to Koertzen's transfer to the India-Pakistan series or Bowden's now reported illness.  It is somewhat surprising that the ICC spokesman did not point out that move, of is he or she did, that the 'The Herald' did not report it.  E-News has as yet not been able to find any reference in the Sri Lankan media to Bowden's illness and the actual reason why Koetzen's appointment was changed, while the Pakistani media is yet to recycle his alleged labeling of their side as "cheats" (E-News 115-622, 11 October 2007).  EN145-790.



Cricket Victoria's (CV) Board of Directors may look at the issues surrounding Assistant Coach Darren Berry's eight-week suspension and he may face further reprisals, according to a report in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper this morning.  Berry was found guilty of four charges after entering the third umpire's box to dispute a decision during the one-day domestic match against Queensland in Brisbane last Friday (E-News 144-784, 28 November 2007).  CV Chief Executive Tony Dodemaide was quoted as saying that "we're disappointed when anything comes up under the code of behaviour" and it is possible that any Victorian representative found guilty of any disciplinary procedure could be subjected to further sanctions by the Board.  "I'm not saying that will necessarily be the case, [but] certainly the Board will be appraised of this, probably next week".  The 'Herald Sun' article claims that Berry, the state's most capped player, has been "gagged" by Cricket Victoria over the issue.  Cricket Australia is yet to provide details of Berry's suspension in the media releases section of its web site.  EN145-789.



Australian international umpire Darrell Hair may have completed a man management course organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of his so-called "rehabilitation" (E-News 140-758, 22 November 2007), but he has entered somewhat of a drought in terms of appointments at the international level.  Records available indicate that since the now infamous Test at the Oval fifteen months ago, Hair has had just seventeen days out on the ground.  Those days are made up of 13 One Day Internationals (ODI) between second-tier nations, and a similar level four-day Intercontinental Cup match involving Canada and the Netherlands, but his last appointment is now over four months ago.  In comparison in the 466 days since the Oval Test, Hair's nine colleagues on the ICC's 'Elite' panel have actually been out on the ground, or in the third umpires chair in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 internationals between tier one sides for between 58 and 95 days.  Hair is to launch a book of Australian bush poetry in his home town of Mudgee, NSW, tomorrow.  The book is the fourth to be written by Kevin Pye, a long-time friend and former umpiring colleague of Hair's, according to the local newspaper in Mudgee.  The report says that "Hair jumped at the chance to be involved with the launch" with Pye saying that his friend "is quite partial to Mudgee wine".  No further appointments for Hair have yet been announced by the ICC and match schedules suggest that it could be well into the New Year before he again takes the field in a match played under their jurisdiction.  Unconfirmed reports last month indicated that Hair is contracted to the ICC until March next year but that he "then has to be given 12 months notice", so in effect he remains an employee until March 2009.  Malcolm Speed, the ICC's Chief Executive Officer, was quoted by the BBC in October as saying that Hair "will umpire matches at Associate level" and that the ICC's board's scheduled meeting in March will discuss the results of Hair's "rehabilitation" and decide whether he can return to elite umpiring, and if so, on what terms (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007).  EN145-788.   



Christine Bennison, a scorer from Parramatta in NSW, has been named as one of the scorers for the Second Test between Australia and India at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the New Year, her fifth match at that level of the game.  An article published in the 'Parramatta Sun' this week says that "despite the 21st Century's computerised wonders" Bennison, who is now in her twenty-first year as the local NSW Grade side's scorer, still records details of the match "with a pen on score sheets supplied by Cricket Australia".  Despite that it’s somewhat of an irony that she is by profession a software developer.  "During matches", says Bennison, "you have to concentrate on every ball and at the end of the day I'm exhausted [and] so tired [that] I just go home and fall into bed".  Despite the concentration, she said there was still time to mentally applaud "terrific catch, great fielding, [or] great shot".  Scorers are a "little fraternity" she says and are very much part of the "third team" in a match along with the umpires.  EN145-787.



The captain of a side that was involved in a "contentious" tied match last Saturday in the Victorian Sub District Cricket Association (VSCA) has "lashed out at the umpiring", according to an article published by Star News Group papers in Melbourne this week.  Endeavour Hills captain-coach Ben Maroney was quoted as claiming that the dismissal of his last batsman on the final delivery of the day was wrong as the catch that was claimed was a "bump ball".  According to the report Maroney said that the fielder "who was alleged to have caught it [then] threw the ball at the stumps to try to get a direct hit", and what he called "the central umpire" ran to get into position for a run out".  The umpire was then alleged to have said that his move "didn’t matter because [the ball] was caught anyway".  When the time came for Maroney to sign the captains’ report the article says that all he wrote was "for the head umpire to call him".  There is no indication that Maroney's newspaper comments have as yet been considered by the VSCA.  EN145-786.  



The Bureau of Meteorology is now indicating that fine conditions will prevail next Saturday and Sunday for the Tasmanian Cricket Association's two-day matches to be played in the top four Grades, as well as the one-day domestic 50 over match at Bellerive between Tasmania and Western Australia.  The maximum temperature in Hobart on Saturday is expected to be around 21 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday a warm 27.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN145-785.


E-NEWS NUMBER 146, 30 November 2007



TCUSA members Brian Muir, Steven John, Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford are to provide key support for tomorrow's one-day, 50 over, domestic match between Tasmania and Western Australia at Bellerive.  Muir who is standing in his first match in the competition this season and his ninth overall over the last three years, will be on the field with National Umpiring Panel (NUP) Bruce Oxenford from Queensland.  John will be in the third umpire's chair for the first time in a one-day domestic game, however, he did warm the seat there during the recent Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka when on field umpire Alem Dar fell ill (E-News 136-737, 17 November 2007).  Hamley and Gainsford, who were the official scorers for that Test, will play the same role for the one-dayer.  Oxenford will stay in Hobart after the match as he will be standing in the four-day Tasmania-WA First Class match with South Australian NUP member Simon Fry which starts on Monday.  In the far north later today NUP members David Orchard (Queensland) and John Ward (Victoria) will be in Brisbane for the start of the First Class game between the home state and South Australia, while in Melbourne at the 'G', locals Bob Parry of the NUP and Victorian State Umpire Squad member Tony Ward will manage Victoria's game against NSW.  The match will be Tony Ward's second game in domestic First Class cricket, and his second overall at that level as he stood in a match between Victoria and the touring West Indies side two years ago.  EN146-798. 



International umpires will be busy in four countries over the next few days in Test and One Day Internationals (ODI) involving sides from seven of the nine top-tier nations plus Zimbabwe.  Later today in Kolkata, West Indian Billy Doctrove and South African Rudi Koertzen walk out on to the ground for the start of the Second Test between India and Pakistan, while their colleagues Alem Dar from Pakistan and Daryl Harper of Australia will make the same journey tomorrow for the First Lanka-England Test in Kandy.  In Africa later today Zimbabwe and the West Indies will play the first of their five ODIs, South African Brian Jerling and an as yet unknown local official standing in that game, while South African Marais Erasmus will make his debut in a top-tier ODI when he and England's Mark Benson manage the Second ODI between the home side and New Zealand.  Sunday will see the Zim-Windies and SA-NZ sides go around again in the Second and Third and final ODI of their series respectively.  Jerling will be standing in the former, and Benson and South African Ian Howell in the latter.  In addition to those International Cricket Council sponsored games, the Indian Cricket League is due to get under way today, but as yet which of their four umpires will stand in the opening game has not been announced (E-News 142-773, 26 November 2007).  EN146-797.



Nick Westwell from Lancashire will be standing in a number of Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches with the TCUSA over the next few weeks whilst holidaying in the state.  Westwell played in the Lancashire League before taking up umpiring this year and he told State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows via e-mail that he is very keen to work on his umpiring skills during what is expected to be a two-week visit.  The Lancastrian flies into Hobart this afternoon and will be standing in the TCA Third Grade game at the Crossroads between Clarence and Kingborough on Saturday and Sunday, his colleague on the ground being Martin Betts.  TCUSA members will be able to welcome Westwell personally as he will be attending Association meetings at Bellerive over the next few weeks.  EN146-796.



Pakistan's side is "convinced" that umpires in the First Test of their current series against India "exacted revenge for recent provocations" and that led to their defeat, according to an article in today's 'Sydney Morning Herald' (SMH).  The claim is contained in one sentence in paragraph seven of an eleven page story titled 'Indian summer had better last a while' about India's forthcoming tour of Australia.  What appears to be a throw-away remark to add spice to the story is not substantiated in the SMH piece, and a thorough check by E-News of press reports from Pakistan and India has not shown any such issue is being discussed by the media in those countries.  Just what the so-called "provocations" referred to are is not known, although issues related to Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's problems in the Test match forfeited by Pakistan last year may be one matter being hinted at (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007).  Australian international umpire Simon Taufel and Billy Doctrove from the West Indies were the on-field officials from the First Test last week, the International Cricket Council's senior official Ranjan Madugalle was the match referee, and the third and fourth umpires Indians Suresh Shastri and Shekon respectively.  EN146-795.  



The disintegration of the bat of South African player Mark Boucher during last Sunday's One Day International against New Zealand, with the largest part of it landing close to the stumps, has raised a question as to whether Boucher would have been out 'hit wicket' had the flying piece removed a bail.  If that had occurred and an appeal had been made, an item on the web site of the UK-based Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) says that Boucher would not have been dismissed as "the relevant Law (35.1) provides for this type of dismissal if the wicket is put down by bat, but by the whole bat, not just a part of it!".  The ICUS story says that "similar conditions apply if the ball should fall apart after it has been hit for the striker cannot be out ‘caught’ or ‘run out’, nor could runs be scored because the Law refers to the ball".  According to the ICUS when that in fact happened in a match at Old Trafford a few years ago the umpire, Nigel Plews (E-News 135-734, 16 November 2007), correctly deemed the ball to be dead at the instant of its splitting into two pieces.  Complete acceptance by the players to that decision "testifies to the common sense of the decision as well as its correctness and to their respect for a fine umpire", says the web site.  EN146-794. 



Paul Bedford was recently appointed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as its new Head of Operations for non First Class cricket, a role that is believed to include responsibility for umpiring and scoring issues across all levels of cricket in England and Wales.  Bedford is reportedly working closely with Mike Gatting, the ECB's Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships who recently called on members of the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers in Britain to amalgamate with the ECB's Officials Associsation (E-News 131-710, 9 November 2007).  EN146-793.   



The West Yorkshire branch of the Association of the Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) is asking all of its members to attend the group's annual general meeting tomorrow week, according to a local newspaper.  One of the subjects for discussion will be the ballot taking place on the proposed link-up between the ACUS and English Cricket Board's Officials' Association (E-News 131-710, 9 November 2007).  EN146-792.    



Matches played around Hobart during the coming weekend will be played in fine weather, according to the latest forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is expected to be around 21 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday a warm 27.  TCUSA members who are managing games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN146-791.