Share:
 

February 08 (188-202)

 TCUSA E-NEWS FEBRUARY 2008

15 EDITIONS 

 

Number 188 – 1 February 2008 [EN1011-1019]

Number 189 – 4 February 2008 [EN1020-1025]

Number 190 – 5 February 2008 [EN1026-1034]

Number 191 – 6 February 2008 [EN1035-1039]

Number 192 – 7 February 2008 [EN1040-1051]

Number 193 – 8 February 2008 [EN1052-1057]

Number 194 – 11 February 2008 [EN1058-1059]

Number 195 – 12 February 2008 [EN1060-1066]

Number 196 – 14 February 2008 [EN1067-1071]

Number 197 – 15 February 2008 [EN1072-1077]

Number 198 – 19 February 2008 [EN1078-1087]

Number 199 – 21 February 2008 [EN1088-1095]

Number 200 – 22 February 2008 [EN1096-1098]

Number 201 – 26 February 2008 [EN1099-1110]

Number 202 – 28 February 2008 [EN1110-1116]

 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 188, 1 February 2008

 

TCUSA MEMBERS TO MANAGE, SCORE, SRI LANKAN 'TOUR' MATCH

Two TCUSA umpires, Brian Muir and Greg Luck, are to stand in the one-day, fifty over match between Tasmania and the touring Sri Lankan side at Bellerive tomorrow, while Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford will be in the score box.  While Hamley and Gainsford have each scored in Test and other First Class matches as well as List 'A' one-day games, this will be their first involving Tasmania and a touring international side.  Over the last twenty years Tasmania has only played two such games, both First Class fixtures, the last being in December 1999 when India took on the locals, Paul Mulcahy from Devonport and John Smeaton standing in that match.  While both Muir and Luck have each officiated in games involving a New Zealand XI and a side from Bangladesh's Cricket Board Academy over the last five months, Saturday's match will be their first involving a full national side, and in Luck's case his first on-field appointment in a List A' game.  For Muir the game is his eleventh, fifty over List 'A' match (E-News 155-860, 14 December 2007), after coming up through the ranks via a men's national Under 17 Championship and three Under 19 series, seven Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) matches, and the pre-season Challenge series in Queensland last September-October where he stood in the final between Tasmania and a NZ XI (E-News 89-478, 28 August 2007).  Luck, who is just 24, already has both an Under 17 and Under 19 Championship under his belt, as well as two CAC games, a third umpire's slot in a domestic one-day game, two interstate Twenty20s, and matches in the Institute Challenge series plus a three-day tour game between the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and the Bangladesh side in Darwin last August.  Fellow Tasmanian State Umpires Squad member Steve Maxwell stood with Luck in the latter match (E-News 88-471, 26 August 2007).  EN188-1019.

 

LOCK TOPS DOMESTIC FIRST CLASS LIST FOR 2007-08

Western Australian member of the twelve-man National Umpires Panel (NUP) Ian Lock will top the list of appointments for the thirty home-and-away domestic First Class matches played this season, according to the latest match allocations announced by Cricket Australia (E-News 187-1007, 31 January 2008).  With umpires for the final of the competition still to be named, by early March the West Australian will have officiated in a total of seven home-and-away matches, Victorians Bob Parry and Paul Reiffel six each, South Australian Simon Fry, David Orchard (Queensland), Rod Tucker (NSW) and Victorian John Ward five each, Queenlanders Bruce Oxenford and Peter Parker four each, Jeff Brookes (WA) and Tim Laycock (Queensland) three, and Steve Davis (SA) two.  Davis, Oxenford and Parker were prevented from officiating in more domestic First Class matches because to their appointments to a range of international games, and in the latter's case two Tests (E-News 154-853, 13 December 2007).  Most NUP members received a similar number of appointments as in the previous season (E-News 16-92, 18 March 2007), the exception being Fry who almost doubled his number of games in 2007-08.  Members of the panel were given fifty-five of the sixty positions available by the national selectors, and of the other five one went to International Cricket Council 'Elite' umpires panel member Simon Taufel, and four to non-NUP members, a figure that was up from just two positions in 2006-07.  Victorian Tony Ward received two of the four slots, while Norm McNamara (Queensland) and Darren Goodger (NSW) had one match each; Goodger being the only rookie to make First Class level this season (E-News 138-748, 20 November 2007).  In state terms, Victoria topped the list in 2007-08 with nineteen appointments, Queensland had seventeen, WA ten, and SA and NSW seven each, a breakdown very similar to that in 2006-07; however, for the second season in a row no Tasmanian made it to First Class ranks.  It is two years this Sunday since the last Tasmanian to stand in a domestic First Class match took the field, former TCUSA member Ken McGinness going out with Simon Fry for the last day of Tasmania's match against WA at Bellerive on 3 February 2006  (E-News 53-294, 11 June 2007).  EN188-1018.

 

PONTING, SOME RETIREES, THINK GG SHOULD 'GET WITH THE TIMES'

Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes that Governor-General Michael Jeffery's call for a return to good manners on the cricket field belongs to a bygone era.  Speaking after a long period of controversy between the Australian and Indian teams this month, Major General Jeffery said on Tuesday that cricket players and umpires needed to take a tougher stance on sledging to restore dignity to the game (E-News 187-1008, 31 January 2008).  Ponting told the Nine television network that Major General Jeffrey's views were outdated and that modern cricket has no room for niceties.  "We're not playing the game in the 1950s now, we're playing a fully professional game and we're all being paid that way", he said.  "Our livelihoods are on the line all the time with everything that we do and, to tell the truth, I think there's been way too much made of all of this stuff over the past couple of weeks".  Ponting's view was shared by a number of former Australian players whose comments were reported in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' yesterday.  Mark Waugh was quoted as labelling the Governor-General's comments on walking "unintelligent" and defended the Australian team's style of play, while Mike Whitney said that "being the Queen's representative, [he] is maybe thinking about England".  Somewhat surprisingly given his approach over the years, Jeff Thomson said a lack of communication between rival players had much to do with the recent conflict, but also reminded the players they were representatives of a wider public.  "I think when you win, you should be a bit gracious, not look like smart-arses, and I think that's what [the Governor-General] is trying to say", said Thomson.  "[The Australian team] have got to remember they are entertainers, and remember [that] the dough comes from the public [and the players] should consider themselves lucky", said the former fast bowler.  EN188-1017.

 

ICC APOLOGISES FOR ERROR, SAYS ON-FIELD BEHAVIOUR MUST IMPROVE  

International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed says that “it is very unfortunate that human error" impinged on the hearing into Indian player Harbhajan Singh's appeal on Code of Conduct breaches earlier this week and that the "ICC accepts responsibility for this mistake".  ICC Code of Conduct Commissioner Judge John Hansen made it clear on Wednesday that had he known all the details of Harbhajan's previous misconduct charges he would have laid down a punishment stricter than a fifty per cent match fee fine (E-News 186-1003, 30 January 2008), but he was denied that information because of ICC "human and data base" error (E-News 187-1009, 31 January 2008).  Speed said in an ICC statement released late on Wednesday that “Justice Hansen’s judgment is a rigorous and independent document which clearly states the reasons for finding Harbhajan guilty of using abusive language against another player but not guilty of making a racist comment".  The ICC's chief executive said that the Judge's finding "is not a reflection" on South African match referee Mike Proctor's original finding on the Harbhajan case, or the process he used in reaching his decision (E-News 172-917, 9 January 2008).  Speed said that the controversy of the last month emphasised "the need for players to review their on-field behaviour, for it is "clear that Harbhajan verbally abused an opponent having been provoked to do so by that opponent".  “Such an approach is not acceptable behaviour on the cricket field", said Speed, and he "expects all players to use this as a wake-up call that on-field behaviour must improve".  “There are a number of issues that have arisen from this case and, once we have time to reflect fully on Justice Hansen’s report, [the ICC] will address them", said Speed.  EN188-1016.

 

SECOND TWENTY20 INTERNATIONAL FOR OXENFORD

National Umpires Panel (NUP) member Bruce Oxenford from Queensland will be standing in his second Twenty20 international in front of an anticipated 90,000 people at the MCG tonight when Australia takes on India, the winners of the inaugural World Championship last year.  Oxenford's first such match was two years ago when the home nation took of South Africa at the Gabba in Brisbane, and he was the third official in Australia's game against New Zealand in Perth last month.  His colleague on the field during tonight's match, Simon Taufel, will be standing in his eleventh Twenty20 international, all of the previous ten being during the inaugural World tournament last September, including the final of the series (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007).  NUP member Bob Parry will be the third umpire for tonight's match, his third time in that role, while Victorian State Umpires Squad number Tony Ward will be the fourth official and New Zealander Jeff Crowe the match referee.  It will be a double-header at the MCG today with the Australian and England women's sides also playing a Twenty20 in a curtain raiser, the umpires for that game being Victorians Geoff Joshua (E-News 180-966, 21 January 2008) and NUP member John Ward (E-News 162-880, 28 December 2007).  EN188-1015.  

 

END-OF-SEASON APPOINTMENTS GUIDE TO NEXT NUP?

Appointments for the last six matches of this season's First Class domestic home-and-away series announced this week may point towards a reshaping of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) prior to the 2008-09 season, according to a number of readers who approached E-News yesterday.  Seven of the twelve current members of the NUP have been named to the dozen on-field slots available in the last two rounds before the final, with five of the seven being given two matches each (E-News 187-1007, 31 January 2008).  Analysis indicates, however, that such a reduction in the number of officials used for games in late February and early March is not at all unusual, with either seven or eight used in such games over each of the last five seasons; while nine of the last ten umpiring spots in the final came from those named for the six late-season matches.  The five NUP members omitted from the final two rounds are Queenslanders Tim Laycock and David Orchard, West Australian Jeff Brookes and South Australians Steve Davis and Simon Fry.  Of them, Davis will be officiating in the Under 19 World Cup in Malaysia (E-News 185-999, 29 January 2008), while Fry was appointed to a healthy five domestic First Class games this season.  News reports last year suggested that Orchard, who turns sixty this southern winter and is a veteran of forty-four Tests, 107 One Day Internationals, and as of today 139 First Class matches, was set to loose his NUP position prior to the current season.  The announcement of the panel for 2007-08 was delayed somewhat as Cricket Australia worked through the issues involved, but he was eventually retained (E-News 65-355, 12 July 2007), later being appointed as the Queensland Cricket Association's (QCA) State Umpires Coach (E-News 108-596, 3 October 2007).  Brookes 45 and Laycock 33 were each appointed to three domestic First Class games this season, which with the exception of Davis who had just two because he was selected for international duty, were at the bottom of NUP member appointments in 2007-08.  Should any of the NUP slots currently occupied by Brookes, Laycock and Orchard actually become available later this year, appointments over the last few months suggest that the likes of Tony Ward (Victoria), Norm McNamara (Queensland) and Darren Goodger (NSW) could be in line for promotion.  Tasmania is the only state without a NUP member at the present time.  EN188-1014.

 

APPOINTMENTS FOR ODI, ONE-DAY DOMESTIC, FINALS DUE NEXT WEEK

Cricket Australia currently expects to name umpires for the final three matches of the tri-nation One Day International series, and the final of the interstate domestic one-day competition, late next week.  Decisions on which members of the National Umpires Panel will stand as the 'home' on-field, and third and fourth umpires, in the ODIs in Sydney, Brisbane, and if needed, Adelaide on 2, 4 and 7 March, and for the domestic final at a yet-to-be-determined location on 23 February, are to be made by the National Umpires Selection Panel next Thursday.  EN188-1013.

 

ICC APPOINTMENTS WEB SITE AGAIN WELL OUT-OF-DATE

The section of the International Cricket Council's web site that outlines match referee and umpiring appointments for Tests, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 matches, is again well out-of-date, having been well behind the times for most of the last month.  Of the nineteen matches that were listed on the site minutes before this edition of E-News was distributed, a tally that includes nine Tests, eight ODIs, and two Twenty20 games involving six nations, all expect two of the one-dayers have already been played.  In addition there is no listing of officials for the five ODI Pakistan-Zimbabwe series that ends tomorrow, the tri-nation ODI series that starts in Brisbane on Sunday, or England's Test and ODI visit to New Zealand that gets underway next Tuesday.  E-News obtained details of the officials for the Pakistan-Zimbabwe series via news reports (E-News 180-964, 21 January 2008) and the tri-nation series from Cricket Australia (E-News 187-1010, 31 January 2008), but nothing is known publicly as yet about the matches in New Zealand.  EN188-1012.

 

'FINE' SATURDAY, 'SHOWER OR TWO' FORECAST FOR SUNDAY

Current Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for Hobart for Saturday and Sunday indicate that tomorrow will be fine with a top temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, while Sunday will see a shower or two and be slightly cooler at 20 degrees.  A ridge will control the weather over southern Tasmania on Saturday, while a cold front is expected to clip the Hobart area sometime in the early hours of Sunday morning, the terminology used by the Bureau suggesting that grounds around the city area 'underneath' Mount Wellington will be more susceptible to the forecast showers.  TCUSA members can check the latest weather information before they leave home for games by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN188-1011. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 189, 4 February 2008

 

PENNY PATERSON SAYS 'THANK YOU'

Long-time TCUSA umpire and scorer member, and the Association's Honorary Secretary, Penny Paterson, who has been ill in Adelaide for some time, has asked that E-News pass on her thanks to all her umpiring and scoring colleagues for the 'Get Well' card and the best wishes sent to her late last month.  Penny, who joined the Association as an umpire in 2002, is now a regular scorer for University in Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) First Grade matches around Hobart and has been in the score box for Cricket Australia Cup matches on several occasions, as well as both men’s and women’s national Under 19 Championships.  She is well-known for the bags of sweets that accompany her during those times, treats that are always made freely available to those who visit to ask the score, and that ensure that the umpires out on the ground ALWAYS go up and check the score sheets!  On Sunday's she can normally be found on the ground umpiring in TCA matches, usually supplying her colleague on the day with a variety of scrumptious food, and at last year's Annual Dinner she received an Achievement Certificate for standing in fifty games with the TCUSA (E-News 22-129, 29 March 2007).  On the administration front this season is Penny's fourth as TCUSA Secretary, and she has for many years organised and prepared food for the Association's Annual Seminar and other special meetings.  Penny's many contributions were formally acknowledged in 2006 when she was awarded the Alan Powell Memorial Trophy for services to the Association.  EN189-1025.

 

CA CONTINUES TO EYE NIGHT TESTS

Cricket Australia (CA) is pushing ahead with work that they hope will see the first night Test match staged within three years, the key task being to investigate the development an appropriate ball that will last eighty overs and be visible to batsmen.  A report by journalist Peter Lalor in Saturday's 'Weekend Australian' indicates that CA has established a working party and that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is to be approached regarding ball development, for Australia's traditional manufacturer of cricket balls, 'Kookaburra', reportedly indicated late last year that the task set by CA was "impossible".  CA currently envisages that night Tests would run from either 3-10 p.m. or 2-9 p.m., and one of the tasks for the CSIRO or any other research group that is engaged for the project will be to study the effects meteorological conditions have on night cricket to find out which locations around Australia would be suitable; dew being considered a major problem when fielding after dark in some cities.  CA's general manager of cricket operations Michael Brown told Lalor that the working party is developing a project brief that "sets out what we want the ball to do", and that document will be used in the approach to the CSIRO.  First Class domestic games in Australia were played under lights in the late 1980s but players reported problems in seeing the ball, while efforts are currently underway to develop a pink-coloured ball suitable for use in one-day matches (E-News 174-932, 11 January 2008).  EN189-1024.

 

ICL EXPANDS ITS ‘DOMESTIC’ UMPIRING POOL TO FOUR 

The so-called 'rebel' Indian Cricket League (ICL) has expanded its umpiring pool for its current 'domestic' fifty over series to four.  Little-known umpires Dinesh Waghela and R Mundhava stood in the first five matches over the same number of days last week, but two others, Alfred Burrow and K R Chezian, stood in matches six and seven on Friday and Saturday.  Burrows played First Class cricket for Railways in Indian from 1978-86, however, while he worked as the match referee in one Duleep Trophy First Class game eight years ago, there is no record of him standing as an umpire in First Class or List 'A' games.  Chezain only listing as an umpire on data-bases available to E-News was for eight three-day matches in an "invitation tournament" held in Chennai in 2001-02.  Score cards for the seven ICL games played to date state that no third umpire or match referee are being assigned to matches.  EN189-1023.  

 

CRICKET NOT ALONE IN TANTRUMS OR 'TECHNOLOGY' DEBATE

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) will investigate scuffles that marred last week's men's singles final at the Korea Open and will consider introducing technologies “used in tennis and cricket”.  The final of the Super Series event between China's Lin Dan and eventual winner Lee Hyun-il of South Korea featured a number of line calls overruled by the umpire, which led to scuffles and heated exchanges, and saw a racket thrown at a rival coach.  Anne Smillie, chair of the BWF sport committee, has called for a full report and said such incidents were happening too often.  "All of this is damaging to the image of our sport and undermines confidence in the results", said Smillie in a statement, and that "players, coaches, technical officials and team officials at court side have a code of behaviour to follow.  Smillie's committee is said to be talking to referees and umpires to look at the possibility of having independent umpires operating as line judges during major semi-finals and finals.  EN189-1022.

 

UMPIRES' DREAMS ALL COME TRUE?

Umpires in the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) domestic Twenty20 competition are to be sponsored by a brewery over the next two years.  As a result of the deal 'Marston’s Smooth' becomes the "official beer" of the Twenty20 Cup, however, the ECB, which experienced problems with management of crowds during last year's series, says that it plans to "marry" the sponsorship with its ‘Drink within your Boundaries’ campaign at matches.  The 2008 event is scheduled to run from 11-26 June.  EN189-1021.

 

IS STAT-YOU DICKIE?

A group of anonymous businessmen have reportedly pledged the equivalent of $A110,000 to pay for the life-size bronze of former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird that will stand in his hometown of Barnsley in Yorkshire.  Bird, who will celebrate his seventh-fifth birthday on 19 April, told a local newspaper last week that he was "over-whelmed, flattered and very, very honoured" by the plans.  "The first I knew about it was when I was approached and told the money was already in place", said Bird, and "it's a tremendous honour and I felt humbled that people wanted to do this and that they already have the money to pay for it".  EN189-1020.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 190, 5 February 2008

 

EROSION OF UMPIRES' AUTHORITY KEY ISSUE, CLAIMS 'CHAPELLI'

On-field umpires have gradually had their authority eroded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and are becoming less inclined to make judgments, claims former Australian captain Ian Chapell in an opinion piece on the Cricinfo web site last week.  'Chapelli' points to what he says is "lack of action" by international umpires on sledging and other "banter" on the field of play as a key example and claims that their approach on such issues "was always going to lead to trouble".  He asks why cricketers are "chattier than a guest on Oprah's television show", and answers his own question by stating that its because "the ICC hasn't taken steps to curb on-field chat" and that players now see it as "part of the game".  The ICC has "failed miserably" in dealing with the issues involved, he says.   According to Chapelli "the umpires know from the experience of Darrell Hair, and now Bucknor, that the ICC won't back them if a situation erupts, so they keep a low profile in order to avoid trouble".  He wrote that the ICC needs to "act quickly so that at least the good umpires can regain their on-field authority and respect", for empowering on-field umpires would help the game enormously" (see E-News 190-1032 below).  Late last year the ICC's cricket committee chairman Suni Gavaskar publicly queried the role of umpires and the match referee in diffusing on-field confrontations between players the India-Australia One Day International series, saying that the "fact that not even one player from both sides [was] reported and reprimanded shows the referee and the umpires did not do the job assigned to them" (E-News 121-653, 2 October 2007).  EN190-1034. 

 

RAUF, HURST, FOR NZ-ENGLAND ODIs

Pakistan international umpire Asad Rauf, who recently stood in the last two Tests during India's current tour of Australia, has been named as the 'neutral' official for the five-match One Day International (ODI) series between New Zealand and England that gets underway in Wellington on Saturday.  Australian Alan Hurst will be the match referee for the series, according to an up-date placed on the International Cricket Council's web site overnight (E-News 188-1012, 1 February 2008).  The five ODIs will take both Rauf and Broad's individual tallies in that form of the game past fifty, Rauf going to fifty-one and Broad to fifty-two.  No ICC umpires have been named for the two Twenty20 internationals between the two sides over the next three days, although New Zealand's representatives on the world body's second tier International Umpires Panel appear likely to stand in those games.  EN190-1033.

 

ICC CODE OF CONDUCT SYSTEM UNDER QUERY

Niranjan Shah, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India has called for a complete overhaul of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct system following the Andrew Symonds-Harbhajan Singh row.  Shah's comments followed ICC chief executive officer Malcolm Speed's admission that the world body had supplied New Zealand High Court judge John Hansen with inaccurate information, an error that paved the way for Indian player Harbhajan Singh to escape suspension (E-News 187-1009, 31 January 2008).  "This is sport, and you do not want a situation where an argument between two players becomes a big legal battle in a courtroom", Shah said, for he is of the view that "the umpires should do more to calm the situation when players have an argument" [and] "the role of the match referee needs to be greater" (see E-News 190-1034 above).  Cricket Australia operations manager Michael Brown has indicated that his Board will be seeking an explanation from the ICC over its handling of Harbhajan's appeal, while Speed said last week that "there are a number of issues that have arisen from this case and, once we have time to reflect fully on Justice Hansen’s report, [the ICC] will address them" (E-News 188-1016, 1 February 2008).  EN190-1032.

 

ONE FOR THIRTY-EIGHT IN ONE OVER AND ALL THAT!

Ross Carlson, the TCUSA's newest umpiring member, has had a wide range of experiences as a player, coach and umpire in five Australian states and Malaysia during his forty-year involvement with cricket to date.  Carlson played his under age cricket in suburban Melbourne, commencing as a wicket keeper until in a match against a team that included Ray and Tony Shaw (of Collingwood football fame), he was "discovered" as an opening bowler.  After that he opened the bowling for his club's first grade side winning numerous Association and club bowling awards, was selected in a number of representative teams, and had "very brief stints" at both Carlton and Northcote in the Victorian Cricket Association (VCA).  Some of the more notable figures that Ross has been coached by over the years include Frank 'Typhoon' Tyson, Keith Stackpole, John Scholes and Richie Robinson.  Being a uniformed member of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), he played for their sides in Victoria and NSW, and was selected in the combined Victorian Services side to play against the VCA state squad.  Posted to Malaysia by the Air Force, he captained the RAAF's then Butterworth base side and played for the Penang Sports Club and for Penang in the Malaysian Cricket Association's state competition.  Carlson told E-News that he has been coaching junior players and teams "on an off (mostly on) for nearly forty years", his umpiring commencing "back in those early days" while working with the juniors.  Since then he has umpired in the Channel Cricket Association where he was the Umpire's Advisor for several years last decade, the Wagga Wagga and District Cricket Association in NSW, and in recent years in the Sydney Cricket Association (SCA).  Prior to returning to Tasmania last year he was umpiring in the SCA's Second Grade competition, however, during that stint in Sydney he had to give up cricket for a while when the Defence Force sent him on deployment to Sudan for six months.  Carlson tells the story of a Sunday match he played in Melbourne some years ago during which he opened the bowling against team made up predominantly of VCA players. In it he dismissed now former Australian Test player and international coach Dav Whatmore with the last ball of his first over, which in those days were eight ball affairs. "One for thirty eight from my first over!" says Ross, "not a bad result".  Ross says he is looking forward to umpiring with the TCUSA and forging good friendships with members.  EN190-1031. 

 

DAR STANDS IN TWO PAKISTAN-ZIMBABWE ODIs

Pakistan international umpire Aleem Dar joined Sri Lankan neutral umpire Asoka de Silva in the last two games of the five-match One Day International (ODI) Pakistan-Zimbabwe series late last week.  de Silva stood in all five matches, and Pakistan members of the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel (IUP) Nadeem Ghauri and Zameer Haider two and one games respectively.  The series takes Dar's ODI total to 103, de Silva's to 76, Ghauri's to 35 and Haider's to 3, while match referee Chris Broad from England has now overseen 119 ODIs.  Haider was in the third umpire's suite for two of the games, Pakistan's IUP third umpire member Riazuddin in another two, and Ghauri the other.  EN190-1030.   

 

SIX BOWLERS BANNED FOR SUSPECT ACTIONS

Six bowlers in Bangladesh have been banned from taking part in this season's Premier and First Division Leagues after their actions were reported, according to a recent article on the Cricinfo web site.  They have been instructed to rectify their bowling actions in accordance with International Cricket Council guidelines and were videoed recently by Mohammad Salahuddin, the Bangladesh Cricket Board's high performance analyst.  Another six bowlers were also assessed as having doubtful actions, however, they will be allowed to bowl for the rest of the season but face the risk of being banned for life if reported by umpires again.  EN190-1029.

 

ORCHARD NOT QUITE OVER THE HILL

A report in Brisbane's 'Courier Mail' newspaper yesterday claims that David Orchard, the Queensland Cricket Association's State Umpires Coach and member of the National Umpires Panel member, will think twice about working during his holidays.  While on a holiday break on the Gold Coast, Orchard decided to "pop over the hill" to Warwick to meet with local umpires, says the report, but halfway up a mountain, his car broke down.  After seeking assistance from the RACQ it proved too dangerous to tow his car up the hill and as a result car repairs, taxi fares and hotel accommodation turned his venture into a "very expensive holiday".  EN190-1028.

 

'SLEDGING AND INTIMIDATION' FOCUS FOR NUAS-2 TRAINING THIS WEEK

This week's National Umpires Accreditation Scheme Level 2 (NUAS-2) training program session on Wednesday evening will focus on Modules 1.4 of the syllabus titled 'Sledging and Intimidation' and 3.2 'Attitude' (E-News 153-847, 12 December 2007).  The session is scheduled to start at 6.30 p.m. at Bellerive Oval immediately prior to Training-Appointments meeting 10.  Queries about the NUAS-2 training program can be directed to Ian Quaggin (6228 7921 or 0409 287 993) or Steve Maxwell (6268 6470 or 0416 277 464).  EN190-1027. 

 

WEEKEND WEATHER LOOKS POSITIVE FOR GAMES

Initial forecasts for Hobart next weekend indicate that fine weather should again prevail for Tasmanian Cricket Association matches.  Saturday is predicted to be 'mainly fine' with a top temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, and Sunday 'fine' and slightly awrmer at 20 degrees.  TCUSA members can check the latest weather information before they leave home for games by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN190-1026.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 191, 6 February 2008

 

NO MENTION OF ACO IN RECORD ECB FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has approved a new five-year strategy and a record $A65m in funding that aims to lift the game at all levels, however, no mention was made in its announcement about the ECB's new Association of Cricket Officials (ACO).  Funded primarily by increases in broadcasting revenue, sponsorship and gate receipts over recent years, the $A65m is the biggest cash injection ever into the English game.  An ECB statement lists projects to be supported as including $A30M in aid to 2,000 community clubs, $A20m for international standard floodlighting at all county headquarter grounds, $A13M for installation of "Lord’s style drainage" at all international venues with subsequent roll-out to all counties, a $200,000 investment in the National Performance Centre at Loughborough to "maintain world leading status", and annual scholarships to thirty-six young English cricketers to benefit from playing in overseas conditions.  However, the ACO, which came into force on 1 January was not mentioned in the statement, and except for an interim Chairman being appointed in late December few details about it have emerged to date (E-News 177-952, 15 January 2008).  ECB Chairman Giles Clarke told the BBC that his Board's "resources are being targeted to build the continuing affection of the nation with its summer sport and to give people of all ages and walks of life the chance to play and watch in the best surroundings".  EN191-1039.  

 

SHARMA FINED FOR DISSENT

Indian player Rohit Sharma has been fined ten per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision” during his side’s One Day International against Sri Lanka in Brisbane yesterday.  Sharma was given out caught behind off Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, and he glared at South African umpire Rudi Koertzen before leaving his crease "after a lengthy delay".  New Zealand match referee Jeff Crowe found Sharma guilty of dissent under the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (COC), saying that "when the umpire’s finger goes up, the batsman must go without delay regardless what he thinks of the decision".  Crowe said that "in the pre-series briefing, it was made very clear to the three team managements [involved] what was expected of them and their players in the one-day series".  Television replays subsequently showed that Sharma had not made contact with the ball.  Under the COC dissent carries a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and/or a fine of up to the equivalent of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee.  EN191-1038. 

 

ICC INTERVIEWING FOR NEW CEO

Six candidates for the International Cricket Council's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position are to be interviewed in Dubai this week, according to media reports in the UK.  Current ICC CEO Malcolm Speed is due to retire in mid year after seven years at the helm, and an article in the 'Daily Telegraph' on Monday claims that the "candidates' list has a heavy Indian presence".  The newspaper names one of the six being interviews as being what it labels as "the king-maker of Indian cricket", Indrajit Singh Bindra.  None of the other candidates who are to be interviewed were named in the article.  EN191-1037.

 

PLAYERS 'NEED TO PULL THEIR HEAD IN' SAYS OFFICIAL

Players in the Maitland and District Cricket Association (MDCA) in NSW “need to learn to pull their heads in" after a series of incidents during matches last weekend, according to the Association's Senior Vice President and conduct committee member Brian Hammonds.  Hammonds, who was quoted in an article in 'The Maitland Mercury' yesterday, was speaking after a first grade player was reported for a series of incidents, that included abuse of both umpires and players, in a match last Saturday.  Another player from the same side was suspended for four matches late last year.  Hammond was quoted as saying that the charge against the player was “very very serious” and continued a "worrying trend across the competition this season", and while not wanting to use the wet weather as exoneration for poor behaviour, he said that player frustration at the number of washed out matches "might have contributed to the growing angst".  Hammonds himself had to diffuse an incident between players in a lower grade fixture on Saturday and was "left wondering what might have happened had he not been there".  The situation "is getting out of hand", he said, and people have to remember that "it’s just a game of cricket".  EN191-1036

 

'MONKEY' TAUNT CROSSES THE TASMAN, LEADS TO SUSPENSIONS

A club cricketer in New Zealand, has been suspended for four matches for calling a batsman of Sri Lankan origin a "f****** monkey", according to a report in the 'Christchurch Press' newspaper earlier this week.  Lancaster Park-Woolston all-rounder Ben McCord was disciplined at a code of conduct hearing late last week after being found guilty of making the comment to Marist batsman Niranjan Nagelswaran.  The incident occurred in a premier grade match after bowler McCord had been hit to the boundary by Nagelswaran.  The bowler's comment was heard by umpire Phil Agent, who reported McCord for abusive language not for a racial taunt.  Neither Nagelswaran nor his batting colleague heard the words spoken, saying that they only hearing McCord "mumble something".  A player in a lower grade match in the region was also charged and stood down for calling an opponent a monkey last week.  EN191-1035.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 192, 7 February 2008

 

ICC UMPIRE SELECTION PANEL IMMINENT, CLAIMS WEB SITE

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is set to appoint a four-member selection panel for the appointment of its umpires, according to a report posted on the 'Cricket365' web site overnight.  Establishment of a three-member selection panel was one of the outcomes of the world body's umpiring 'Task Force' last year (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2008).  The web site quotes what it calls "highly placed sources in the ICC" as saying that "panel members will be named before March this year" and that they will "be responsible for the nomination of umpires to the ICC's 'Elite' Umpires Panel", including its planned increase from ten to twelve. The ICC is expected to name its expanded 'Elite' panel in April, therefore the suggestion that the panel will be named "before March" appears to make sense.  Such a timetable would mean, however, that the panel would be named prior to the normal round of ICC Executive meetings in late March.  'Cricket365' gives no indication just who the ICC will appoint to the selection panel.  EN192-1051.

 

DATE SET FOR TCUSA ANNUAL DINNER

The TCUSA's Annual Dinner is to be held on 19 March in the Century Room at Bellerive Oval and members planning to attend need to advise the Association's President-Administrator Graeme Hamley of their intentions by 5 March.  The function will feature a three-course dinner with beverages together with the presentation of trophies for the umpire of the year, service to the TCUSA, most improved scorer and umpire, Advisor's merit award, best first year scorer and umpire, and medallions for grand final matches.  EN192-1050. 

 

RESPECT UMPIRING DECISIONS SAYS SANGAKKARA

Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara believes that umpiring decisions should be respected, according to an article published in the Indian newspaper 'The Hindu' yesterday.  Sangakkara was said to be responding to a question on his appeal for a caught behind against Indian batsman Rohit Sharma in last Tuesday's One Day International in Brisbane, an appeal that was upheld by South African international umpire Rudi Koerzten.  Replays indicated the Indian batsman had not touched the ball and Sharma was fined for his reaction to Koertzen's decision (E-News 191-1038, 6 February 2008). Sangakkara was quoted as saying that “we have some of the best umpires in the business and we should accept their decisions graciously [for] the beauty of the game lies in the human element".  The Sri Lankan said that umpiring decisions could go either way, referring to his own dismissal in the Hobart Test against Australia last November when Koertzen wrongly gave him out (E-News 139-753, 21 November 2007).  EN192-1049.   

 

TCUSA MEMBER FOR IMPARJA CUP NEXT WEEK

TCUSA member Steve Maxwell is to travel to Alice Springs on Sunday to umpire in the 2008 Imparja Cup series for indigenous teams from states and territories in Australia. A total of twenty-eight teams spread over four divisions will play matches during the week-long competition, the highest level being for the eight State and Territory representative sides, and the other three for Northern Territory 'Major Centres', 'Community' and 'Women'. Maxwell will join seven other umpires from around the nation, including Bruce Deem (Queensland), Mark Hanton (Victoria), Jim Harrod (Northern Territory), Les Knox (NSW), Peter Laidler (South Australia), Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory) and Jamal Principe (Western Australia). All except Laidler took part in last year's series.  A senior umpire from Cricket Australia is also expected to be in Alice Springs for the series, but as yet it has not been possible to determine who that will be. Maxwell will warm up for the tournament by umpiring four matches over a period of eleven hours in the Southern Tasmanian Cricket League's Twenty20 competition on Saturday.  The Imparja Cup, which this year is scheduled to run from 10-17 February, gives players the opportunity to participate in a strong competition and provides a platform which helps promote the game in the indigenous community. EN192-1048.

 

RESEARCH SHOWS CHILDREN MODEL ELITE ATHLETES' BEHAVIOUR

A "lot of research" indicates that children model their behaviour on the actions of their sports heroes, says Debbie Simms, Manager of the Sports Ethics Unit at the Australian Sports Commission.  Simms was speaking on ABC Radio National's 'The Sports Factor' last Friday on the subject of what does it mean to be a "good sport", particularly "in these days of fiercely competitive professional rivalry"?  She says that "athletes may not have a choice in terms of being a role model [for] they're actually chosen by kids and others".  "If those athletes are behaving in [an] inappropriate way, either on or off the field of play, there's a good chance that the kids won't see that as inappropriate, they will just see that's what you do to be a good athlete, and will model some of their behaviour" on what they see, says Simms.  Recent events in the world of cricket, she says, have "highlighted that we each individually have a responsibility to behave in a way that we would be proud of [and] that [others would] be proud of us".  Sporting administrators need to take such issues on board and provided better education in that area says Simms, although she believes that problems of late have "probably just focused people a little bit more on that importance of the role we each have to play" in sport.  EN192-1047.

 

TODAY'S ON-FIELD BANTER GOES TOO FAR SAYS LOGIE

Former West Indies batsman Gus Logie believes that today's international cricketers have taken on-field banter to a personal level and that is wrong, according to an article posted on the 'CricketNext' web site yesterday.  Alluding to incidents in last month's Australia-India Test match in Sydney, Logie was quoted as saying that cricketers should avoid making personal comments as that is bad for the game.  "Cricket is all about skill shown at the ground, [and while] we were aggressive and players also exchanged words with each other, [they were of] a different kind, which had humour in it, and the players from both the sides would have a laugh", said Logie.  "We did have our differences but at the end of the day we went to the opposition dressing room to congratulate them on their performance", said the former player.  Stressing the need for better on-field behaviour, he said youngsters were watching and "players are their role models and are the ones who bring in the crowds" and "it's just a game, after all.  EN192-1046.

 

DATES SET FOR TCUSA WINTER LAWS SCHOOL

The TCUSA Management Committee has announced dates for this year's Winter Laws School, the program following an almost identical pattern as in 2007.  Each of the Laws will be covered over a total of six meetings that will be held each Wednesday commencing on 26 June, with the Laws of Cricket exam set for 6 August just ahead of what for many will be the 'television-heavy' Olympic Games period that starts a few days later.  A full list of meeting dates for the school are provided in the ‘Events’ section of this web site above.  Information is not yet available on the school for new and returning scorers, and details will be provided once dates are set.  EN192-1045.

 

KOERTZEN, HILL, FOR TRI-NATION FINALS

The International Cricket Council has named South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen and Tony Hill from New Zealand as the 'neutral' officials for the finals of the tri-nation One Day International series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka early next month.  Koertzen will stand in the first and, if it is needed, the third match, and Hill the second, their partners for each match being expcted to be either Steve Davis, Daryl Harper, Peter Parker or Simon Taufel from Australia.  The series will take Koertzen's ODI world record to 191 games and Hill's tally to 52.  EN192-1044. 

 

BOWLING ACTION TESTS SET FOR SAMUELS

West Indies bowler Marlon Samuels is to undergo independent analysis of his bowling action at England's National Cricket Academy at Loughborough University next Monday.  Samuels was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action in respect of his “fast” deliveries after the third Test match between South Africa and the West Indies in Durban last month (E-News 176-940, 14 January 2008).  Although only his “fast” deliveries have been reported as suspect, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) process requires both them and his action generally to be analysed.  If the study confirms that only his “fast” deliveries are illegal, then he would be allowed to continue bowling in international cricket without using that delivery but subject to the warning that should he bowl his “fast” ball he would run the risk of being reported a second time.  However, if the tests conclude that Samuels generally bowls with an illegal action, he will be suspended from bowling in international cricket until such time as he has corrected his action and submitted to a fresh independent analysis that concludes that his action has been remedied.  Next week's analysis is to be undertaken by Dr Mark King, a member of the ICC's Panel of Human Movement Specialists.  Meanwhile a report in India's 'Hindustan Times' newspaper yesterday says that thirteen bowlers who took part in the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy First Class series were deemed to have suspect actions.   While those named are said to have not yet been formally reported by the umpires, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is said to be planning to send them to their National Cricket Academy to rectify their actions.  Twelve bowlers in Bangladesh were recently identified as having doubtful actions, six of them being banned from playing during the current season (E-News 190-1029, 5 February 2008).  EN192-1043. 

 

ICL UMPIRE POOL INCREASED TO SIX

The Indian Cricket League has added two more people to its umpiring pool for the current fifty over domestic series being played in Chennai, bringing to six the number of officials used in its matches.  The series, which concludes with the final on Sunday, has seen little-known umpires used in games to date, two officials named as P and V and Satish being the latest additions to the list.  The only record available for V Sathish indicates that he officiated in two invitation tournaments in Chennai earlier this decade, in a similar way to K R Chezian who stood in some of the earlier matches of the current series (E-News 189-1023, 4 February 2008).  To date Dinesh Waghela has stood in seven matches, Alfred Burrows six, Chezian and Mundhava five each, V Satish two and P Satish, about which nothing is known, one.  The ICL says that no third umpire or match referee are being assigned to its fifty over matches.  EN192-1042.  

 

AN UMPIRE'S CREED?

The opening slide of the Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers's cricket umpiring course features a quote from its founder the late Tony Bastable, that summarises his and the Institute's philosophy on the role of on-field officials in the game.  It reads as follows.  "Our duty as umpires is to ensure that the game is played fairly; we are not interested in who wins. Nor does it matter to us who has arranged the match; how many spectators there are; where they come from; who they support; what they paid for their tickets; how much prize money is at stake; what the TV rights have cost; or whether the star player pleases the crowd with a dashing century or is out LBW first ball for a duck. These are the business of the governing body of the sport, the league administrators, the competition organisers, the sponsor, the club treasurer, the team manager, coach, captain and the players. They are not the concerns of the umpires and we must never allow ourselves to be put into a situation or position where such influences could be brought to bear. The game needs genuinely independent officials  it cannot survive credibly without us".  EN192-1041.  

 

'SHOWER OR TWO' FORECAST FOR SATURDAY'S TCA MATCHES

A "shower of two" can be expected in the Hobart area on Saturday in a fresh south-easterly stream as a cold front clears the state, according to the latest forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology.  By Sunday, however, a ridge of high pressure will be pushing towards Tasmania and "fine" conditions are expected.  The maximum during Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches on Saturday is put at 18 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 20.  TCUSA members can check the latest weather information before they leave home for games by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007). EN192-1040.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 193, 8 February 2008

 

FIRST FEMALE IN TWENTY-FIVE YEARS TO STAND IN TCA FIRST GRADE

Launceston-based umpire Caroline McGregor will become the first female in twenty-five years to stand in a Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) First Grade match when walks on to the ground at Kingston Beach tomorrow morning.  McGregor, who will be working with State Umpires Squad member Steven John this weekend in the two-day match between Kingborough and New Town, is in her third season as an umpire.  She stood in National Under 19 Women's tournament in Hobart in January last year (E-News 7-45, 22 February 2007), then went on to officiate in First Grade matches in the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association (NTCA), before being appointed to its 2006-07 Third Grade Grand Final (E-News 18-102, 21 March 2007).  During the current season highlights have been receiving a $1,000 grant from the Lord Taveners Club to help with her development as an umpire, working in the women's version of the Cricket Australia Cup for state Second XI sides in Canberra in December, and in her second Under 19 Women's tournament in Brisbane last month (E-News 150-825, 7 December 2007).  McGregor along with Peter Czerkiewicz officiated in the NTCA's Twenty20 Grand Final last week, her second and Czerkiewicz's first, and last weekend she and Chris Fox looked after the semi-final of the state-wide, fifty-over format, Kookaburra Cup between Launceston and South Hobart Sandy Bay.  Former TCUSA member Julie Rhodes umpired a number of TCA First Grade matches in the early to mid 1980s, however, records held by the Association on all of its umpiring members in that era are no longer available, therefore it is not possible to provide precise details of her achievements.  EN193-1057.

 

ACUS TO TRANSFER 'TOM SMITH' COPYRIGHT TO MCC

The ownership of the copyright of the umpire's bible, 'Tom Smith's New Cricket Umpiring and Scoring' book, is to be transferred from the former Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS) to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who have apparently agreed to keep the name in future editions.  A joint sitting of the ACUS's Executive and Finance Boards is believed to have made the decision last month, and they also agreed that items that had been left to the Association by past Presidents should be donated to the Lord’s museum for display. While ACUS members voted to disband the organisation last month and become part the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) new Association of Cricket Officials (ACO), the meeting agreed that members can continue to apply for assessment for qualified membership until April 2008, and if achieved, a badge would be available to them to purchase.  Claims made by the ECB two years ago that the ACUS was facing bankruptcy were shown to be incorrect as the Association expects to hand over a surplus of around $A90,000 to the ECB once accounts are finalised.  No mention of the ACO or a budget for it was made in an ECB press release that detailed record funding for cricket earlier this week (E-News 191-1039, 6 February 2008).  The ECB recently appointed former MCC Secretary and Chief Executive Roger Knight as the ACO's interim Chair (E-News 177-952, 15 January 2008), an official who proved to be one of the ACUS's "dearest friends and allies" during his time as the MCC's top official according to the Association's last chairman Geoff Lowden.  Applications for membership of the ACO are now open.  EN193-1056.

 

'MOOSE' FOR ALAN BORDER MEDAL DINNER

TCUSA umpiring member Brian Muir is to attend the 2008 Allan Border Medal dinner in Melbourne on 26 February.  Muir will be one of a number of umpires from around the country who have been allocated a table at the black-tie function during which the ninth Allan Border Medal, the highest individual honour for a player in Australian cricket, will be awarded.  Other presentations to be made during the night include the Test, One-Day, State, Young and Women's Cricketers of the Year, plus the induction of a cricket legend or legends into the 'Hall of Fame'.  The evening's program is to be televised so look out for 'Moose' on your box!  EN193-1055.

 

SUSPECT ACTIONS PICKED UP VIA UMPIRES' VIDEO SYSTEM

The thirteen players in India who have been deemed to have suspect bowling actions were detected via the video system installed at grounds around the sub-continent late last year to assist in assessing the umpires’ performance (E-News 120-642, 19 October 2007).  Media reports say that Srinivas Venkataraghavan, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Director of Umpires and a former India captain, noticed the bowlers' suspect actions while reviewing the tapes, according to Professor Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer (E-News 192-1043, 7 February 2008).  Examination of the tapes is said to be continuing and other players with delivery actions that are of concern may be identified, claim several media outlets.  EN193-1054.

 

RAUF FOR DUBAI UMPIRING CLINIC

Pakistan international cricket umpire Asad Rauf is to conduct a coaching clinic for umpires in the United Arab Emirates in late February.  The clinic is being organised by the Dulsco Sports Club in Dubai for 25 and 26 February as a lead in to the club's cricket season which includes an open night-time flood lit tournament which will run from late April to mid-June, and the month-long Ramadan cricket series in September.  Rauf's appointment indicates that he will not be staying on in New Zealand for the three Test matches scheduled between the home nation and England in March.  The Pakistani umpired two Australia-India Test matches last month and is now in New Zealand for the five match One Day International series between the two nations (E-News 190-1033, 5 February 2008).  EN193-1053.

 

'SHOWER OR TWO' SATURDAY, 'FINE' SUNDAY, SAY FORECASTS

Latest weather forecasts prepared by the Bureau of Meteorology for Hobart on Saturday indicate that a cold front is likely to pass over the Hobart area late tomorrow is estimated to be a coolish 18 degrees Celsius.  By Sunday a ridge of high prssure will be pushing in from the west producing 'fine' conditions, the top temperature being a little warmer at 22. TCUSA members can check just where that front is and how fast it is moving before they leave home for games on Saturday by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN193-1052.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 194, 11 February 2008

 

'ELITE' UMPIRES TO STAND IN INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

"Seven or eight" of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) current ten-man 'Elite' umpiring panel, and "sixteen Indian umpires" are to officiate in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 competition when it begins in April, according to IPL Chairman, and Vice President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Lalit Modi.  Following Modi's comments on Saturday, a number of news services linked six members of the ICC's 'Elite' panel to the IPL, those so far mentioned being Australians Simon Taufel and Daryl Harper, 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), Mark Benson (England), Rudy Koertzen (South Africa) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan).  Panel members so far not named in press reports are Aleem Dar (Pakistan), West Indians Billy Doctrove and Steve Bucknor, and Darrell Hair (Australia).  When asked late last month by E-News to clarify reports then circulating that 'Elite' panel members would be used in the IPL (E-News 185-1000, 29 January 2008), ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald said only that the world body does not "make the appointments for IPL".  It is not clear at this stage therefore, whether the world's top umpires will be, or in fact can, officiate in the IPL under their ICC contracts, or via separate, perhaps enhanced agreements, direct with the cash-rich IPL.  IPL's Indian rival, the Indian Cricket League, reportedly offered its umpires "extremely lucrative contracts" for their work in its Twenty20 series last December (E-News 142-773, 26 November 2007).  Indian umpires used for the IPL are likely to come from the BCCI's own large panel (E-News 183-983, 25 January 2008).  This year's IPL season will reportedly consist of a total of fifty-nine matches, therefore 118 on-field slots, and when television officials are taken into account, 177 umpire positions overall, will need to be filled to support the series.  Indian press reports quote Modi as saying that "match referees are being appointed and [that the IPL] already have the anti-corruption and anti-doping measures in place", but no mention has been made where scorers for the matches will come from, although BCCI-affiliated officials are the obvious source.  The first IPL match is to be held in Bangalore on 18 April and the final in Mumbai on 1 June.  EN194-1059  

 

ILLNESS PREVENTS TCA FIRST GRADE DEBUT

Illness prevented Launceston umpire Caroline McGregor from making her debut in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) First Grade competition over the weekend.  McGregor was to have become the first women to stand in a match at that level for twenty-five years (E-News 193-1057, 8 February 2008), however, she had to be replaced on the eve of the game between Kingborough and New Town by first year umpire Michael Graham-Smith.  For Graham-Smith it was just his second First Grade match following his own debut at that level just three weeks ago (E-News 193-988, 25 January 2008), and he and his colleague Steven John had a close game to deal with, New Town unexpectedly winning on the first innings by just six runs.  EN194-1058.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 195, 12 February 2008

 

TAUFEL COULD LEAVE CRICKET SOON, CLAIMS REPORT

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel could walk away from cricket when his contract expires on 31 March, says a report in today's 'Daily Telegraph' in Sydney.  Taufel, ranked the best umpire in the world by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the last four years (E-News 97-524, 11 September 2007), is quoted by journalist John Pierik as saying that after next month he is "on the open market," and is "taking it year by year".  The Australian, who was linked to the new start Indian Premier League late last week (E-News 194-1059, 11 February 2008), says that "it's important to spend time with my family, spend more time with my kids", and according to Pierik is "always looking for new opportunities, [which do] not necessarily [include] umpiring".  Sydney-based Taufel, who is only 37, has become tired of the travel, being away from his family for long periods and feels the game's governing body could do more for the "often under-fire men in the middle", says the 'Daily Telegraph' article. The story goes on to say that Taufel "is expected to receive an offer to join the cashed-up [IPL] and did not rule out leaving international cricket and becoming an 'IPL specialist'", but while "that's possible" he doesn't "know what the parameters are yet".  Taufel repeated views he has expressed previously that "there is lots of room for improvement with training and support at the ICC level" (E-News 153-849, 12 December 2007).  The Australian, who is the umpiring representative on the ICC's cricket committee (E-News 41-228, 17 May 2007), says more needs to be done to help umpires make better decisions and deal with the sometimes lonely life on the road.  Pierik says that "Taufel will make a final call on his future within weeks", possibly after his annual performance appraisal with the ICC.  EN195-1066.

 

KOERTZEN "BLUNDER" UNDERLINES GAMES' "BIG PROBLEM", SAYS JOURNALIST

Umpiring is "one of the least satisfactory aspects of the game" globally and the International Cricket Council (ICC) and all the major Test nations need to "invest far more in the development of competent officials", according to long-time cricket journalist Malcolm Conn. In a story published in 'The Australian' newspaper yesterday Conn, while describing Australia's overall batting performance in the One Day International loss to India at the MCG on Sunday as "lamentable", also found space to focus on a decision made by South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen, saying that in his view it illustrates the "umpiring crisis [that is] damaging international cricket's already tarnished credibility".  According to Conn the South African was "considered perhaps the best umpire in the world at the turn of the century", however, his decision at the MCG to give the home side's Adam Gilchrist "out leg before wicket to the third ball of the game when the left-hander hit the ball into his pads" was a further indication that his form as an umpire "has become worryingly poor in recent seasons" (E-News 139-753, 21 November 2007).  An article posted on South African cricket web site keo.co.za yesterday by Simon Borchardt called Koertzen's performance "abysmal" and said that his error in the Gilchrist case, and in giving Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar "not out during his team's run chase when the snickometer showed he’d edged" a catch to wicket keeper Gilchrist, shows "why cricket needs a [player] referral system".  "Both of these mistakes could have been avoided had Koertzen been allowed to refer the decision to the third umpire", said Borchardt, and "the course of the game may have changed".  The ICC says it is planning to conduct a trial of a player referral system in the Champions Trophy series scheduled for Pakistan in September (E-News 186-1001, 30 January 2008).  EN195-1065.

 

TAUFEL, HARPER FOR TRI-NATION FINALS

Australian international umpires Simon Taufel and Daryl Harper have been named to stand in the finals of the tri-nation One Day International (ODI) series early next month.  Harper will accompany South African Rudi Koertzen during the first final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 2 March, while Taufel and New Zealander Tony Hill will stand in the second in Brisbane two days later.  Koertzen and Taufel have been named for the third final at the Adelaide Oval on 7 March should it be needed.  National Umpires Panel, and International Cricket Council 'International' panel, member Bruce Oxenford, who later today in Canberra will stand in his first ODI (E-News 161-876, 28 December 2007), will be in the television suite for all three finals matches.  EN195-1064.

 

INDIA TO INTRODUCE 'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR' AWARD

The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) plans introduced an annual award for "the best umpire" in its domestic First Class competition, says a report from the sub continent.  The award, which will be made at a so far unspecified time at the end of the current Indian season, follows efforts being made by the Board to lift the standard of its on-field officials (E-News 153-846, 12 December 2007).  EN195-1063. 

 

CLUB TO 'REVIEW' PLAYER CONDUCT AFTER SECOND SUSPENSION

Western Suburbs, a side in the Maitland and District Cricket Association (MDCA) in NSW, is to conduct an internal review of player conduct after another of its players was suspended last week, the second such censure for it this season (E-News 191-1036, 6 February 2008).  First Grade player Andrew Trappel was told by the MDCA's tribunal to consider himself a “very lucky” man when he escaped with a one-match ban after being found guilty of breaching the competition’s Code of Conduct, which includes abusive language and/or conduct detrimental to the 'Spirit of the Game'.  The penalty meant that Trappel missed his team’s two-day fixture on the weekend as well as a representative fixture against another Association, after the Hunter Valley Cricket Council (HVCC) also ruled him out.  HVCC secretary Lindsay Wood told 'The Maitland Mercury' that the representative body did not deem it appropriate to have a player who was suspended at club level be allowed to represent his district in the interim.  Tribunal chairman Chris Peters said Trappel's "good record had contributed to a lenient penalty".  Western Suburbs' president Steve Kauter said his club accepted the outcome and hoped it had reinforced the values of cricket for all players.  “We appreciate and thank the MDCA, the tribunal and umpires on their stance on this conduct", Kauter said.  “We fully support playing cricket with a positive attitude and spirit towards teams, officials and opponents", and indicated that his club will address player behaviour via an internal club review of player conduct.  EN195-1062.

 

'DICKIE' BIRD SCULPTOR REPLICAS FOR AUSTRALIA, INDIA?

Replicas of the two-metre high bronze sculptor of former English international umpire 'Dickie' Bird that is to be erected in Yorkshire later this year (E-News 189-1020, 4 Februrary 2008), are to be "sited in Australia and India", according to a report in the 'South Yorkshire Star' over the weekend.  No details were provided as to precisely where the replicas will be sited in either country.  A scale model of Bird's statue is to be unveiled at a launch later this week.  EN195-1061.  

 

'DECISION MAKING', 'DISCRIMINATION’, NUAS-2 TRAINING SUBJECTS

This week's National Umpires Accreditation Scheme Level 2 (NUAS-2) training program session on Wednesday evening will focus on Modules 1.2 (Understanding the Decision Making Process) and 1.3 (Discrimination and Vilification)(E-News 153-847, 12 December 2007).  The session is scheduled to start at 6.30 p.m. at Bellerive Oval immediately prior to Training-Appointments meeting 12.  Queries about the program can be directed to Ian Quaggin on 6228 7921 or 0409 287 993.  EN195-1060. 

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 196, 14 February 2008

 

'THE TIMES' HINTS AT NEW ICC SELECTION PANEL MEMBERS 

An article published in 'The Times' in London yesterday has provided the first indication of the possible make-up of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) new four-man umpires' selection panel (E-News 192-1051, 7 February 2008).  The story, which was written by well-connected journalists Christopher Martin-Jenkins and Patrick Kidd, says that "it is understood" that the panel will be made up of South African David Richardson, the ICC's current General Manager Cricket, the world body's chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, who is Sri Lankan, plus "a former Test umpire and one other".   "Names thought to be in the frame" for the latter two slots were said to be former New Zealand international umpire Brian Aldridge, who is currently the national umpires' manager in that country, and David Lloyd a former England Test player, First Class umpire, coach and now television commentator (E-News 166-983, 2 January 2008).  E-News understands that at present New Zealander Doug Cowie, the ICC umpires manager, is responsible for initially allocating 'neutral' umpires for matches played under the world body's auspices, but that his nominations have to be approved by Richardson, ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed, and Chairman of the ICC's Cricket Committee, Sunil Gavaskar, before they are released.  Whether Cowie will have the same basic role in the new set up is not known.  EN196-1071.

 

ADMINISTRATORS FAILING UMPIRES, SAYS FORMER TEST OFFICIAL

Former Australian Test match umpire Robin Bailhache believes umpires have been placed under intolerable pressure following the replacement of West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor after a poor second Test in Sydney last month.  In an article written by journalist Malcolm Conn that appeared on the Fox News web site last night, Bailhache was quoted as saying that Bucknor's removal (E-News 172-919, 9 January 2008), and the "shocking and appalling" sacking of Australian umpire Darrell Hair in 2006, continued what was described as the age-old trend of administrators failing to support umpires adequately.  Bucknor and Hair's treatment is having a serious impact on how umpires now approach matches, said Baihache, who stood in twenty-seven Tests from 1974-88.  "You can talk about the merits or otherwise of Steve's performance but a team should not come out so forcibly and do what [India] did", he said, for "those sort of things should be handled behind closed doors".  He continued by saying that "umpires should be able to go out on to the ground with a fair degree of confidence that they're going to be treated with respect and not be under the pump [and] to see India get away with that also sets a precedent next time a team is unhappy with an umpire, [as] once these things start you can't take them back".  Bailhache said that he suffered against Pakistan two decades ago, when the team walked off in a tour match against Victoria at the MCG after he banned spinner Mushtaq Ahmed for running on the pitch.  "To my eternal shame I let them go back on again", Bailhache said, for "I should have stuck to my guns but (Victorian captain) Simon O'Donnell wanted the game to go ahead because he badly wanted some match practice for the coming shield season, so I went back".  EN196-1070.

 

SCRUTINY ON UMPIRES "UNBELIEVABLE", SAYS GILCHRIST

The scrutiny under which international umpires operate is "unbelievable", and it is time that "people moved on from highlighting incorrect decisions", says Australian player Adam Gilchrist.  The soon to retire wicketkeeper-batsman, who was wrongly given out by South African international umpire at the MCG last Sunday (E-News 195-1065, 12 February 2008), told Agence France-Presse (AFP) yesterday that "things like that have been happening as long as the game has been played".  According to the AFP report Gilchrist said he had put the Melbourne decision behind him and backed the umpires, and although "of course you are disappointed [when mistakes occur], you just get on with it, you have to deal with it".  "I am not going to hold a grudge against any umpire, particularly [Koertzen as] I have the utmost respect for [him and] all those umpires".  EN196-1069.    

 

 

BUCKNOR, DAR, PAIRED FOR BANGLADESH TESTS CLAIMS REPORT

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor, and Pakistan's Aleem Dar, to stand in the two Tests scheduled between Bangladesh and South Africa late this month, according to a report posted on the 'Cricket365.com' web site yesterday.  Bucknor told reporters in Jamacia last month that he would be standing in the series (E-News 181-977, 22 January 2008), his first since being dropped for the final Australia-India Test match in mid-January (E-News 172-919, 9 January 2008), however, Dar's appointment has not been publicised previously.  Reporting what it said was the pair's appointment, the web site said that an "ICC source" has told it that "unless there is a refusal from [Bucknor] he will also be [in Bangladesh] for the [three- match] One Day International series" between the two sides during the first half of March.  According to the article the source indicated that "Bucknor would not be listed for the series between India and South Africa [in March-April] given his unpopularity in India".  EN196-1068.  

 

WEEKEND WEATHER LOOKS GOOD SAY FORECASTS

Latest weather forecasts prepared by the Bureau of Meteorology for Hobart the coming weekend indicate that fine weather and light winds are likely to prevail in the Hobart area for cricket.  Saturday's top temperature is expected to be around 21 degrees Celsius and Sunday a slightly warmer 23. TCUSA members can check the latest weather before leaving home for matches by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN196-1067.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 197, 15 February 2008

 

ICC MATCHES PRIORITY, OTHERWISE 'ELITE' OFFICIALS AVAILABLE TO IPL

Members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level 'Elite' Umpires Panel (EUP) are "free to officiate where they liked if it does not clash with ICC duties", according to an ICC spokesman quoted in an article in 'The Times' in London.  The comment came after the Indian Premier League (IPL) indicated that "seven or eight" members of the EUP will officiate in its inaugural season when it gets underway in April (E-News 194-509, 11 February 2008).  EUP members face a busy three months in February, March and April, with thirteen Test matches and thirty-four One Day Internationals (ODI) scheduled in widespread locations in Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Caribbean (E-News 184-995, 28 January 2008).  The IPL is scheduled to run from 18 April to 1 June, a period during which New Zealand is to play two Tests in England and Australia another two in the West Indies, a program for ICC umpires that will become tighter should Australia's tour of Pakistan, which is still under review because of security concerns, actually proceed.  South Africa's last Test in its tour of India is scheduled to finish three days before the IPL gets underway, as does the same game in Sri Lanka's tour of the West Indies.  The ICC decided, well prior to detailed planning for the IPL getting underway, to expand its ten-man EUP to twelve due to concerns about the pressures being put on the current group because of the heavy scheduling of ICC matches (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007).  EN197-1077.  

 

BCCI TO ASK ICC FOR 'TOTAL BAN' ON SLEDGING

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is to ask the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce a complete ban on sledging, according to a report in 'The Hindustan News' yesterday.  BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah told the newspaper that he would be putting the proposal at the ICC Chief Executives Committee meeting in Kuala Lumpur next week.  “Cricket is not a physical, contact sport and we don’t see why there should be any abusive language at all", said Shah. When asked how his Board's proposal could be implemented in practice and what exactly would define a “sledge”, he replied that any word that bordered on the offensive should not be allowed.  Referring to cultural differences, where a "word like ‘bastard’ is not considered offensive to Aussies, but it is to us Indians", Shah was quoted as saying that "it's better to just cut out everything that could remotely cause a problem".  India's left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan was quoted by several media outlets in Australia yesterday as saying that he is comfortable with "some chit-chat" as long as those are within the limits.  "Sledging has been a part of the game and carries a certain charm about it [and] as a fast bowler, personally, I don't think staring down at a batsman or similar such stuff is bad", Pathan told reporters.  EN197-1076.

 

TAUFEL WINS YET ANOTHER AWARD

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel was chosen as the NSW Official of the Year by the NSW Sports Federation at a black tie event held in Sydney on Tuesday evening.  Taufel, who has been named at the world's best umpires by the International Cricket Council for the past four years (E-News 97-524, 11 September 2007), previously won the NSW award in 2004 and 2005.  EN197-1075.

 

ENCOURAGE FORMER CRICKETERS TO BECOME UMPIRES, SAYS JONES

Former Australian Test batsman Dean Jones has asked former cricketers to take up the job of umpiring, according to comments attributed to him by Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper this week. "The best umpires, probably apart from Simon Taufel, are the guys who used to be players like David Shepherd and Dickie Bird", said Jones.  In his view ex players "are the guys who know the sights to look for and the special sounds of bats and pads and the individual sounds of different grounds", says Jones. "We have former players Rod Tucker and Paul Reiffel in the system and we need more", and "it's time for cricket to be pro-active [and] maybe we have to go to them and get them involved for a couple of years and see whether it works", he said.  Jones urged Cricket Australia (CA) to encourage former cricketers in officiating the game.  Former Australia fast bowler Paul Wilson has been a member of CA’s Project Panel for the last two years, a group through which Tucker and Reiffel passed on their way to their current membership of the National Umpires Panel (E-News 65-355, 12 July 2007).  EN197-1074. 

 

2008 TCUSA ANNUAL SEMINAR DATES ANNOUNCED

The dates of this year's TCUSA pre-season seminar have been set by the Management Committee, and the event will be held at Bellerive Oval over the weekend 4-5 October.  Dates for the Association's Winter Laws School were announced last week (E-News 192-1045, 7 February 2008), and the overall program for the off-season is provided in the schedule of activities below.  EN197-1073. 

 

NEAR PERFECT WEEKEND FORECAST FOR CRICKET

Fine weather with temperatures around 22 degrees Celsius and light winds are forecast for cricket in the Hobart area over the coming weekend by the Bureau of Meteorology.  TCUSA members can check the weather before they leave home for games on Saturday and Sunday by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN197-1072.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 198, 19 February 2008

 

REFERRAL SYSTEM TRIAL UNDER DISCUSSION FOR TEST SERIES

A trial of a player referral system could be a feature of the four Test series between England and South Africa in July-August, under a proposal to be discussed by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) in Kuala Lumpur today and tomorrow.  The proposal on the use of technology in decision-making, which was "prepared by ICC management", would mean that the fielding captain or the batsman at the crease could be legally entitled to ask on-field umpires to review their decision in consultation with the third or television umpire "on a limited number of occasions", says an ICC statement.   After reviewing the proposal the CEC is expected to make a recommendation to the ICC Board, and should the latter give the trial the go-ahead, "the playing conditions involved will be developed in consultation with the ICC's Cricket Committee".  ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Malcolm Speed said last month that such a system, which would not be based on either 'Hawk-Eye' or the 'Snickometer' technology, would not be trialed until the Champions Trophy tournament currently scheduled for Pakistan in September (E-News 169-908, 5 January 2008), however, a number of umpiring controversies over the last three months appear to have been a factor in bringing the matter forward (E-News 195-1065, 12 February 2008).  Speed indicated that both he and David Richardson, the ICC's General Manager Cricket, developed a player referral system in 2006 and while the CEC at the time accepted it the Board did not, the vote being split 5-5; seven members being any matter before it can be accepted.  A player referral system was trialed by the England and Wales Cricket Board during some limited over matches last northern summer but it did not turn out well, with not a single on-field decision being overturned (E-News 86-460, 22 August 2007).  However, an investigation by the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee decided that the problem did not lie in the idea itself, but in its application, and ICC President-Elect David Morgan was quoted by London's 'Daily Telegraph' over the weekend as saying that the MCC "are on the point of delivering something new in terms of technology", including "a camera that can make even the faintest feather of an edge visible to the TV umpire within seconds" (E-News 93-505, 5 September 2007).  The MCC itself has backed the referrals concept (E-News 174-927, 11 January 2008), as has Morgan (E-News 171-915, 8 January 2008), and Cricket Australia's CEO James Sutherland (E-News 168-902, 4 January 2008), while New Zealand is to trial it in the final of their domestic fifty over competition on 2 March, although the extent to which technology will be available in that game is not known (E-News 179-962, 17 January 2008).   Chaired by Speed, the CEC comprises the Chief Executives or their equivalent of the ten ICC Full Members, including Sutherland, and three representatives from ICC's Associate Members from Ireland, Hong Kong, and Namibia.  The Chairman of the ICC's Cricket Committee, Sunil Gavaskar, will also be in attendance.  EN198-1087.  

 

INDIA PUSHING SHASTRI, SAHEBA, FOR ICC 'ELITE' PANEL

Indian umpires Suresh Shastri and Amish Saheba could be offered 'Elite' panel contracts by the world Body next month, according to comments attributed to the Secretary of the Board of Control of Cricket in Indian (BCCI) Niranjan Shah in 'The Hindustan News' over the weekend.  No Indians are currently on the 'Elite' panel and the BCCI is known to be concerned about the situation, and over the last six months it has been funding efforts to lift the overall standing of umpires on the sub-continent (E-News 153-846, 12 December 2007).  A review of international umpiring issues last year led the ICC to increase its ten-man 'Elite' panel to twelve (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007), and an announcement on the overall composition of the new group in expected by the end of March; although just how many positions are actually available is complicated, publicly at least, by controversies involving current members Darrell Hair from Australia (E-News 156-862, 17 December 2007), West Indian Steve Bucknor (E-News 172-919, 9 January 2008), and South African Rudi Koertzen (E-News 195-1065, 12 February 2008).  Shastri and Saheba, as well as another eighteen on-field umpiring members from nine other countries currently on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), are all in theory at least in line for promotion to the 'Elite' panel, but in terms of umpiring experience alone, data available suggests that only Shastri, who is 52, may be the only Indian actually in the running.  From 1972-87 he played fifty-three First Class games in India, and since 1990 has officiated in fifty-eight such matches as an umpire, two of them being in Tests last year (E-News 60-327, 26 June 2007), as well as nineteen One Day Internationals (ODI).  Saheba, 48, played fifteen First Class matches for Gujurat in India's First Class competition over a five-year period in the 1980s before taking up umpiring.  Over the last fourteen years he has officiated in forty-seven First Class matches, and eighteen ODIs, the last six in last October-November's India-Australia series.  He is yet to stand in a Test match, although he has worked as the third official on two occasions, the first in 1996 and the last in November last year.  Both men have been on the IUP for the last two years.  EN198-1086. 

 

USE OF MORE TECHNOLOGY 'INEVITABLE' SAYS TAUFEL

Australian international umpire Simon Taufel believes the use of technology in decision-making will increase in the near future, according to media reports attributed to him last week.  Taufel thinks that  "given the events over the last month or so" and the outcry over umpiring, "it's probably reasonably inevitable that we're going to be using more technology in some way, shape or form".  If that does eventuate, he says, there will probably be a tendency to "use technology to err on the side of caution rather than stick our proverbials on the line and make a judgment without double-checking things".  The Australian went on to defend South African umpire Rudi Koertzen who was criticised for what turned out to be two incorrect decisions in last week's Australia-India One Day International in Melbourne.  Taufel, who was on the ground with Koertzen's in that match, said that "critics didn't appreciate how the crowd noise level at international matches could drown out noises like snicks from the bat that would normally be heard".  "You've got to appreciate that when you're in a stadium like that of 50,000 people you can't actually hear things", Taufel said.  The provision of sounds direct from stump microphones to umpires were used in last year's World Cup in the West Indies to assist with such problems, but according to press reports at the time an unnamed umpire allegedly claimed that "there is so much sound coming from the stump microphone that you can't really pick up the so called faint edge [and that before] we used to rely on natural sound and our eyesight to make a decision" (E-News 29-162, 19 April 2007).  England player and First Class umpire David Lloyd said last month that "a number" of members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Elite' panel "want more technology" used to assist them in matches, and quoted "a top international umpire", who he declined to name, as saying that "if I'm in Kolkata [at the Eden Gardens], with 86,000 people, or at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with 90,000 people, I can't hear thin edges; don't even ask me to hear them" (E-News 166-893, 2 January 2008).  EN198-1085.           

 

DAR, NOT BUCKNOR, FOR BANGLADESH ODIs

Pakistan international umpire Aleem Dar has been appointed as the 'neutral' official for the three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Bangladesh and South Africa during the first half of March. Dar will stay in Bangladesh for the three games after standing in the two Tests between the sides over the next few weeks with West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor.  International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Ranjan Madugalle will oversee all the Test and ODI matches.  A media report from the sub-continent last week suggested that Bucknor would officiate in the ODIs unless he refused the appointment offered to him by the ICC (E-News 196-1068, 14 February 2008). Whether that report, which was said at the time to have come from an "ICC source", is an accurate summation of the situation is unknown.  Next month's series will take Dar's Test match record to forty-six games and his ODI tally to 106 matches, while Bucknor will stretch his world record for Tests to 122 matches.  Sri Lankan Madugalle's record as a match referee in Tests will move on to 102 matches, and his ODI tally to 212, another world high.  Bangladesh's three officials on the ICC's second-tier 'International' umpires panel Nadir Shah (thirteen ODIs to date), Enamul Hoque-Moni (four) and third umpire AFM Akhtaruddin (sixteen) are likely to work with Dar in the ODI series, and one or two as the television official in the Tests.  EN198-1084.  

 

SRI LANKANS NEUTRALS FOR BANGLADESH-IRELAND ODIs

Sri Lankan Tyron Wijewardena, who is currently standing in the Under 19 World Cup in Malaysia (E-News 185-999, 29 January 2008), has been appointed as the neutral umpire for the three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Banglaesh and Ireland in late March.  Wijewardena's countryman, Ranjan Madugalle, will be the match referee. Former First Class player Wijewardena has been on the field in four Test matches, and next month's series will take his ODI tally to forty-seven, and Madugalle's ODI match referee world record to 215 (E-News 198-1084 above).  Bangladesh's three officials on the ICC's second-tier 'International' umpires panel Nadir Shah, Enamul Hoque-Moni and third umpire AFM Akhtaruddin are likely to work with Wijewardena in the ODI series.  EN198-1083.

 

ROW OVER PRIVATE SCHOOL PLAYER'S FAILURE TO 'WALK' 

A row has broken out over an anonymous e-mail that has accused the captain of an elite private school side in Melbourne of “bad sportsmanship”, says that city's 'Herald-Sun' newspaper.  The message accuses Melbourne Grammar captain Charles Shaw of failing to "walk" when "clearly dismissed" in an Associated Public Schools match against Wesley College.  Shaw was on thirty when he hit the ball hard and low to gully, but he stood his ground against the fielders' appeal and was given the benefit of the doubt by the umpire, then went on to make a match-winning 107.  Shaw's headmaster, former Australian Test cricketer Paul Sheahan, was quoted as saying that "a parent using an anonymous e-mail to impugn the character of a student is scandalous and cowardly".  Sheahan said that Shaw had not been able to see whether the ball was caught or not, so he was "absolutely right not to walk".  EN198-1082.  

 

INTERESTED IN TICKETS TO NEXT WEEK'S ODI?

TCUSA member Mark Wickham has two general admission tickets to next Tuesday's One Day International (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka at Bellerive that he would be pleased to pass on to any TCUSA colleague who would like to go.  Interested TCUSA members are asked to approach Mark at tomorrow night’s training-appoinments meeting at Bellerive.  If more than two people want the tickets Mark will hold at ballot during the evening.  EN198-1081. 

 

PERSONAL FITNESS FOCUS FOR NUAS-2 TRAINING THIS WEEK

This week's National Umpires Accreditation Scheme Level 2 (NUAS-2) training program session on Wednesday evening will focus on Modules 4.5 (Physical Preparation), 4.6 (Injury Prevention) and 4.9 (Hydration) (E-News 153-847, 12 December 2007).  The session is scheduled to start at 6.30 p.m. at Bellerive Oval immediately prior to Training-Appointments tomorrow night.  Queries about the NUAS-2 training program can be directed to Ian Quaggin (6228 7921 or 0409 287 993) or Steve Maxwell (6268 6470 or 0416 277 464).  EN198-1080.

 

PLEASE RETURN PERPETUAL TROPHIES THIS WEEK

Members who were awarded one of the TCUSA's perpetual trophies at last year's Annual Dinner are asked to return them to President-Administrator Graeme Hamley at this week's training-appointments meeting on Wednesday so that they can be readied for the 2008 Dinner on 19 March (E-News 192-1050, 7 February 2008).  EN198-1079.  

 

SHOWERY, COOLISH, WEEKEND FORECAST FOR HOBART

Two cold fronts, one that is currently expected to cross the Hobart area in the early hours of Saturday morning and another on Sunday morning, are expected to produce a showery weekend, according to the latest extended forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday.  The current computer-generated weather chart for both days is suggesting blustery south-west winds will be a feature, and air temperatures of around 17-18 degrees Celsius combined with the wind could mean that it will be a jumper and jacket day for umpires out on the ground.  TCUSA members can check the weather before they leave home for games on Saturday and Sunday by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN198-1078.  

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 199, 21 February 2008

 

THREE TCUSA MEMBERS TO SUPPORT DOMESTIC ONE-DAY FINAL

Three current members of the TCUSA, and a former member who started his umpiring career in Tasmania, will have key roles in the management of the final of the domestic one-day competition between Tasmania and Victoria at Bellerive on Saturday.  State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows will be the match referee while scorer members Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford will be in the score box for the match.  Former TCUSA member Rodney Tucker who is now based in NSW and whose last match at Bellerive was the final of the domestic First Class competition last March (E-News 14-81, 13 March 2007), and Queenslander Peter Parker, have been named as the on-field umpires for the game.  Paul Reiffel from Victoria, who like Tucker and Parker is a member of the National Umpires Panel, will be in the television suite for the match. Parker, who currently has sixty-three One Day Internationals to his credit, will be standing in his forty-third domestic fifty over match, and fourth final, since 1988, Tucker his thirteenth in four years and first final, while Saturday's game will be Reiffel's fourth as the third umpire, one of which was in the final of last year's competition.  EN199-1095.   

 

CEC ACCEPTS TEST REFERRAL SYSTEM TRIAL, ICC BOARD DECISION AWAITED  

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Committee (CEC) said yesterday that it "unanimously" supported a proposal on the "greater use of technology in decision-making" put to it by the world body's management group, an approach that includes a suggestion that an “umpire decision review system” be trialed during a Test series.  Should the CEC's recommendation, which was formulated during a two-day meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday-Wednesday, be accepted by the full ICC Board at its meeting on 18 March, indications are that the trial will take place during the four-match Test series in England in July-August against South Africa.  While the CEC accepted a similar proposal two years ago there was insufficient support at Board level at that time for it to proceed (E-News 198-1087, 19 February 2008).  Recent umpire-related controversies and what are reported to be improvements in some aspects in the technology available, plus overall ICC politics, could be sufficient to overturn Board member's previous concerns.  EN199-1094.

 

RAIN DELAY SCENARIOS TO BE RELEASED SEPARATELY

Rain delay scenarios discussed at last night's TCUSA training-appointments meeting will be released to members via e-mail later today.  Formatting issues precluded the scenarios being forwarded directly via E-News.  The scenarios, which were prepared by State Umpires Squad member Brian Muir, cover seven separate situations in two-day matches.  Given the forecast for showery weather in the Hobart area this coming weekend (E-News 198-1078, 19 February 2008), members will need to ensure they are on top of such issues.  State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows told E-News that he recommends all members work through each of the scenarios, the emphasis being on the need "to be comfortable" with the type of calculations involved.  Widows encourages members to contact their colleagues should any difficulties be experienced.  Brian Muir can be contacted via e-mail at brianmuir1@bigpond.com should any clarifications be required.  EN199-1093. 

 

NO TOURS PROGRAM 'WINDOW' FOR IPL TO ADD PRESSURE ON TOP UMPS?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given an "unconditional commitment" to the International Cricket Council (ICC) that Indian Premier League (IPL) matches will not interfere with the world body's Future Tours Program (FTP).  Recent media speculation suggested that a "window" would be created within the FTP, which currently covers ICC-approved international fixtures until 2012, for IPL matches.  With a crowded international program scheduled over the next four years and member's of the ICC's 'Elite' Umpires Panel set to umpire in the IPL (E-News 194-1059, 11 February 2008), the move suggests that the travel and match pressures that such top-level officials have been concerned about for some time are likely to remain (E-News 195-1066, 12 February 2008).  An ICC statement quoted its Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed as saying that while other ICC members "are supportive of the BCCI" and the IPL, a "careful" evaluation of the new competition and "its wider impact on the game in other parts of the world" will be undertaken.  Speed was speaking following "a long discussion on several issues relating to the IPL" that occurred at the two-day meeting of the ICC's Chief Executives Committee (CEC) in Malaysia on Tuesday-Wednesday.  The heads of some ICC full members at the meeting also expressed concern about "unofficial cricket events" such as the IPL's rival the Indian Cricket League (ICL).  The CEC indicted that its members did not recognise the ICL and would not grant permission for their players to take part in it.  What impact that will have on the recruitment of umpires for the ICL, which last year relied heavily on officials from England to oversee its Twenty20 series, some of who had no experience at First Class level (E-News 147-803, 4 December 2007).  The ICL relied on little-known Indian umpires during its "domestic" fifty over competition earlier this month (E-News 192-1042, 7 February 2008).  EN199-1092. 

 

NO COMMENT YET ON OUTCOME OF SLEDGING BAN PROPOSAL

The International Cricket Council (ICC) made no comments on the request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a complete ban on sledging in the statement it issued at the end of the two-day meeting of its Chief Executives Committee yesterday.  BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah was quoted by a newspaper on the sub-continent last week as saying that he planned to take the issue to the CEC for consideration (E-News 197-1076, 15 February 2008).  Former Australian captain Ian Chappel blamed what he said is "lack of action" by international umpires on sledging and other "banter" on the field of play has played a key part in a range of unsavoury on-field incidents of late, a situation that he claims has been brought about by the erosion of their authority by the ICC (E-News 190-1034, 5 February 2008).  Australian Governor-General Michael Jeffery's called for a return to "good manners" on the cricket field late last month (E-News 187-1008, 31 January 2008), however, he was told to get with the times by current Australian captain Ricky Ponting (E-News 188-1017, 1 February 2008).  EN199-1091. 

 

UMPIRING SLOTS UNAFFECTED BY SHORTER WORLD CUP IN 2011?

A proposal for a shorter World Cup tournament in 2011 appears unlikely to reduce the number of umpiring slots available in that series if the full Board of the International Cricket Council agrees to a proposal to be put before it on 18 March.  A recommendation from International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives Committee, which met in Malaysia over the last two days, suggests that the number of nations involved be cut from sixteen to fourteen, and that the length of the tournament be reduced from last year's heavily-criticised forty-seven days to thirty-eight.  The new format would include the top four teams from two groups of seven progressing to the quarter-final knockout stage, a change that would see a total of forty-nine games played, a figure that is only two less than in last year's competition. Sixteen umpires, nine from the ICC's top-level 'Elite' Umpires Panel and seven from its second-tier International panel, stood in last year's series (E-News 11-56, 3 March 2007).  Matches in the 2011 World Cup will be played in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  EN199-1090.

 

'ZERO-TOLERANCE' STANCE ON INAPPROPRIATE PUBLIC COMMENT UNDERLINED

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has underlined its "zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate public comment and abusive behaviour by players, team officials and individual Member Board members" in a statement it issued at the conclusion of its Chief Executives Committee (CEC) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.  The world body says that the CEC discussed "recent cases of inappropriate public comment by players, team and Board officials".  While not naming individuals, one of the triggers for the discussion would have been public comments made by former Indian player and ICC Cricket Committee (CC) Chairman Sunil Gavaskar last month.  Gavaskar, who took part in the CEC meeting, savaged ICC match referee Mike Proctor in a newspaper column after the South African found Indian player Harbhajan Singh guilty of making a racist remark during the Third Australia-India Test match in Sydney in early January (E-News 177-955, 15 January 2008), a decision that was later amended on appeal (E-News 186-1003, 30 January 2008).  At the time ICC President-Elect David Morgan expressed concern at Gavaskar's comments (E-News 181-975, 22 January 2008) and ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Malcolm Speed was said to have discussed the matter with Gavaskar (E-News 183-984, 25 January 2008).  The ICC's Code of Conduct, which was established well before Gavaskar made his comments, outlaws “public criticism of, or inappropriate comment on a match-related incident or match official”.  Speed said after the meeting that he welcomed "Members’ commitment to the enforcement of the Code", and that he "will be writing to umpires and [match] referees, as well as Member country CEOs, next week to inform them officially of this decision".  EN199-1089.

 

FINES FOR SLOW OVER RATES FOR THREE NATIONAL SIDES

India and Sri Lanka have been fined for maintaining slow over-rates during their One Day International (ODI) in Adelaide on Tuesday, while England were penalised for the same offence in their tied ODI against New Zealand yesterday.  Match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand found that India and Sri Lanka were respectively one and two overs short of the required target, saying that "the over-rates for all teams in this series [which includes Australia] have so far been pedestrian at times with [sides] failing to complete their full quota of overs in the stipulated time on several occasions".  Crowe continued by saying that “allowances and early finishes have meant players have been fortunate to escape fines in previous matches and this is an area that all the sides need to give further attention to and improve upon" and he plans to "talk to all the teams in the series before their next matches to remind them of their responsibilities".  Across the Tasman yesterday match referee Alan Hurst of Australia ruled that England were two overs short of their target when time allowances were taken into consideration.  Echoing Crowe's comments Hurst said "the England team has been very close to over-rate breaches in the last couple of games of this series and although this was an exceptional game of cricket, it does not negate the responsibility of the captain to ensure prescribed minimum over-rates are adhered to".  As the result of the fines Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was fined ten per cent of his match fee and each of his players five percent.  Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardena and his England counterpart Paul Collingwood each lost twenty per cent of their match fees and their players ten per cent.  EN199-1088.  

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 200, 22 February 2008

 

UMPIRE AWARDED NATIONAL OFFICIALS' SCHOLARSHIP

Western Australian State Umpiring Squad member Mick Martel is one of sixteen officials in twelve sports from around the nation who will be supported by the National Officiating Scholarship Program (NOSP) in 2008.  The year-long scholarship program, which for Martel will run until the end of the 2008-09 season, is operated by the Federal government’s Australian Sports Commission.  The program is aimed at assisting potential "high performance" officials to improve their competence and help them progress through recognised pathways to the highest levels of their chosen sport in national and international competitions.  While the program has been operating since 2003 and has to date supported well over fifty officials from over fifteen sports, Martel, 41, is the first cricket official to join NOSP ranks.  Martel and his mentor under the program, the Western Australian Cricket Association's Umpires Manager Ric Evans, attended a NOSP workshop in Brisbane earlier this month, and Martel also took part in the pre-season training program for top Australian Football League umpires in Melbourne just prior to that.  E-News understands that as part of his program Martel may sit with the third umpire in the finals of the tri-nation One Day International series early next month, and that other similar experiences are likely to be scheduled during the remainder of his program.  The West Australian, who this week stood in his third Cricket Australia Cup match, made his debut in both the domestic interstate one-day and Twenty20 competitions this season (E-News 99-538, 13 September 2007 and 164-886, 31 December 2007), and has officiated in Women's National Cricket League games, one national Under 17 and two Under 19 tournaments over the last three seasons, as well as last year's Emerging Players tournament in Queensland (E-News 74-407, 30 July 2007).  Martel, a fireman by profession, took up umpiring after playing District cricket in Perth, where he once held the First Grade opening partnership record of well in excess of 200 runs for Wanneroo with current Australian player Michael Hussey, before moving to the sub-District arena. He stood in WA's First Grade competition during first season as an umpire in 2003-04, an achievement that Evans told E-News is "a very rare occurrence".  Evans says that Martel has "a great passion for cricket" for as well as umpiring he currently serves on a sub-District management committee and also works as the curator of a sub-district ground where the turf pitches he prepares are "highly regarded", all those tasks being carried out in what spare time he has left.  Martel was awarded the Peter McConnell Medal by the WA Umpires Association in his first season as the best new umpire considered to have the most potential for higher honours, and has since gone on to be the only person to be awarded that medal twice.  EN200-1098. 

 

ICUS PLANNING SCORING COURSES

The UK-based Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ICUS) is planning a series of scoring courses for beginners during this year's northern summer.  The ICUS says that the course, which will consist of three two-hour sessions, will introducing learners to the scoring equipment required, methods of dismissal, umpires' signals and the entries in a scorebook; the latter being "demonstrated with inter-active computer simulations".  Final assessment of the students will be made as they score some of the overs of a match at their local club.  The ICUS says that the course is aimed at "young people who have no knowledge of scoring but who wish to learn and could become potential club scorers".  EN200-1097. 

 

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR COOL, SHOWERY, CONDITIONS

Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for the Hobart area over the coming weekend continue to indicate matches played around the city on Saturday will have to contend with cool, showery conditions, and blustery winds (E-News 198-1078, 19 February 2008).  Weather charts for the next few days produced by the Bureau's super computer yesterday indicate that a cold front will cross the Hobart area later today bringing showers, and that a second front will pass over southern Tasmania during Saturday evening, bringing more rain.  In between on Saturday showery conditions are expected to prevail ahead of the second front, and again on Sunday after it leaves the area.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is expected to be around 18 degrees Celsius, although it will probably feel cooler, while on Sunday the second front will drop the maximum to a cool 15 degrees.  TCUSA members can check just where the fronts are and how fast it is moving before they leave home for games on Saturday and Sunday by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN200-1096.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 201, 26 February 2008

 

SAMUELS SUSPENDED FROM BOWLING IN INTERNATIONAL CRICKET

West Indies bowler Marlon Samuels has been suspended from bowling in international cricket following independent analysis of his bowling action.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday that testing of his action in England two weeks ago (E-News 192-1043, 7 February 2008) "revealed that his off-break and fast deliveries exceeded the fifteen degrees level of tolerance permitted under regulations".  The analysis, which was conducted by Dr Mark King of the ICC's Panel of Human Movement Specialists, showed that Samuel's average elbow flexion/extension angle for an off-break delivery was twenty-seven degrees, while the elbow flexion and extension angle for his faster delivery was thirty five-degrees.  The elbow flexion/extension angle for his arm ball was said to be two degrees.  The West Indian can apply for re-assessment of his bowling action after he has modified it, however, in the mean time he has the right to appeal to the ICC's Bowling Review Group about King’s findings should he so choose.  Samuels action when he bowls fast deliveries was reported by on-field umpires Simon Taufel (Australia) and Aleem Dar (Pakistan), as well as and third umpire Brian Jerling (South Africa), at the end of the third Test match between South Africa and the West Indies in Durban in mid-January (E-News 176-940, 14 January 2008).  EN201-1110.

 

TWO BOUNCES AND OUT CAUGHT

South African batsman A. B. de Villiers was caught after pulling a ball that had bounced twice before reaching his bat during the first Test match between his side and Bangladesh in Mirpur over the weekend.  News reports say that de Villiers stood his ground after the catch was taken, however, West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor, who was standing in his 121st Test (E-News 198-1084, 19 February 2008), raised his finger as Law 24.6 states that a ball will be deemed illegitimate only if it bounces "more than twice" or "rolls along the ground" before it "reaches the popping crease".  Interestingly the 'Cricinfo' web site is reporting that de Villiers said after the day's play that he "was aware of the [Law] but [that he] was hoping for someone to call it a no-ball or whatever".  EN201-1109.

 

VENKAT BUMPED ALDRIDGE FROM ICC SELECTION PANEL, CLAIMS REPORT

The 'Cricket365.com' web site is reporting that former India captain Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghvan, or Venkat as he is more commonly known, "has been inducted into the International Cricket Council's (ICC) newly established Umpires Selection Panel (USP)".  An article in 'The Times' newspaper two weeks ago claimed that ICC's General Manager Cricket, David Richardson, the ICC's Chief Mantch Referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, former English player and Test umpire David Lloyd, and former Test umpire and current New Zealand umpires manager Brian Aldridge would form the new panel (E-News 196-1071, 14 February 2008).  The current 'Cricket365.com' report says that while "a few ICC members were in favour of having [Aldrige being] on the selection panel", he "lost out to Venkat in voting by the members" at last week's ICC Chief Executives Committee meeting in Malaysia.  The ICC has not yet made public any details of the selection panel, the formation of which was one of the outcomes of last year's ICC umpiring 'Task Force (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007), therefore it is not possible for E-News to confirm the accuracy of reports published to date.  On the surface at least Venkat appears well qualified for the selection panel.  He played a total of 341 First Class matches, including fifty-seven Tests for India, as well as fifteen One Day Internationals (ODI), in the twenty years from 1963-85.  After taking up umpiring he stood in seventy-nine First Class games, a staggering seventy-three of them, or ninety-two per cent, in Tests in eleven countries, plus fifty-two ODIs in the period from 1990-2004; a time during which he also worked as the match referee in five Tests and eight ODIs.  EN201-1108.

 

SHARMA FOUND GUILTY OF CONDUCT BREACH, INDIA CLAIMS 'PROVOCATION'

India fast bowler Ishant Sharma has been found guilty of giving Australian batsman Andrew Symonds a "send off" after bowling him during Sunday's One Day International in Sydney.  Sharma, who pleaded guilty, was fined fifteen per cent of his match fee for contravening a section of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct that deals with “pointing or gesturing towards the pavilion in an aggressive manner by a bowler or other member of the fielding side upon the dismissal of a batsman”.   Symonds appeared to take offence at Sharma's celebration at claiming his wicket and made his displeasure known and the Indian pointed to the pavilion as a result, say some media reports.  Match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand said in an ICC statement issued yesterday that in reaching his decision to fine Sharma, he "took into account the fact that [the bowler] may have been provoked and that this was his first offence and hence the [fifteen per cent of his match fee] penalty was at the lower end of the scale"; a censure of up to fifty per cent being the maximum applicable in the case.  “Clearly both teams are still sensitive to each others’ actions in the middle", said Crowe, who also pointed to the ICC's reiteration last week that "a zero tolerance attitude will be shown to abusive or insulting language and actions" (E-News 199-1089, 21 February 2008).  "Hopefully the teams in these remaining matches in the [current tri-nation series] will focus on the business of playing and entertaining", said Crowe.  Media reports published in India this morning claim that the Indian side has sent a "strongly-worded" written complaint to Crowe about the "provocative behaviour of Ricky Ponting's men and threatened to take a 'befitting action' if it was repeated in future".  While apparently accepting that Sharma was guilty as charged, Indian team manager Vimal Soni is being quoted as saying that "we also wanted [Crowe] to have a look at the provocation which Australians have been repeatedly providing in the series".  Sharma was reported by on-field officials Daryl Harper (Australia) and Tony Hill (New Zealand) and third umpire Bruce Oxenford (Australia) following the incident, and they, Crowe, Sharma, India's team manager and interim coach, and fourth official Darren Goodger, were present during the hearing.  EN201-1107. 

 

DOCTROVE, GREAVES, STAND IN $A1.6M STANFORD TWENTY20 FINAL

West Indian international umpire Billy Doctrove and his First Class colleague from the Carribean Goaland Greaves were the on-field umpires for the final of the Stanford Twenty20 series that was played in Antigua yesterday afternoon Australian time.  Match winners Trinidad and Tobago took home the equivalent of $A1.08m while runners up Jamacia had to settle with just $A0.53m.  The series, which is in its second season, involved a total of nineteen matches and was again bank rolled by Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, all of the games being played in his stadium in Saint Johns, Antigua.  Stanford is now offering $A22m for a winner-takes-all showdown next year between his own Stanford Superstars team and what is termed "a major international side".  Greaves, who is from Saint Vincent, has umpired a total of thirty-two First Class games in the West Indies since 1997, while Doctrove from Dominica has stood in sixty-two First Class matches, fifteen of them in Tests, and seventy-three One Day Internationals.  The umpire's fee for the standing in the Stanford final has not been made public.  EN201-1106.

 

AUSTRALIANS NAMED FOR NZ-ENGLAND TEST SERIES

Australian international umpires Steve Davis and Daryl Harper have each been named to stand in two of the three Test matches scheduled between New Zealand and England during March, sharing the on-field duties during the series with Rudi Koetzen of South Africa.  Davis, who will be standing in his first Test matches in nearly two years, will be on the field with Harper when the first Test gets underway on 5 March, less than a week after the end of three weeks of work in the World Under 19 series in Malaysia (E-News 201-1103 below), while Koertzen will join him for the second match around mid-month.  Harper will return to work with the South African in the third Test towards the end of March.  The series in New Zealand will take Davis' Test record to eleven matches, Harper's to seventy-one, and Koertzen's to ninety.  Javagal Srinath from India, who like Davis is also currently working in the World Under 19 series, will be the match referee for all three Test matches.  Harper and Koertzen will both be involved in the finals of the tri-nation series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka next week (E-News 195-1064, 12 February 2008).  The Australian is to stand in the first of those finals on Sunday, then travel across the Tasman for the start of the first Test on Wednesday.  Should the tri-nations finals go to a third match in Adelaide, Koertzen will have a more leisurely five free days to travel and prepare for the start of the second Test in Wellington.  EN201-1105. 

 

KEEPER'S GLOVES RULED 'IRREGULAR', NO FURTHER USE ALLOWED

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has agreed not to use the wicketkeeping gloves he wore at the start of last Sunday's One Day International after they were found to be in breach of the Laws of Cricket, says a statement released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday.  New Zealand match referee Jeff Crowe was quoted as saying that he expressed his concern about the gloves to the India dressing room during the game, and that following advice from Indian team management "Dhoni immediately changed his gloves....which was a reasonable thing to do", although not before he had caught Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist.  Press reports are saying that Dhoni told a news conference after the match that he was "unaware" that the gloves were illegal.  At the end of the game Crowe, on-field umpires, Daryl Harper (Australia) and Tony Hill (New Zealand), and third umpire Bruce Oxenford (Australia), examined the gloves and found that they had extra webbing between the thumb and the forefinger, which is a violation of Law 40.2.  That Law says that a "wicketkeeper’s gloves shall have no webbing between the fingers except joining index finger and thumb, where webbing may be inserted as a means of support" and goes on to outline in detail precisely what is, and is not, allowed. Crowe said that "Dhoni has not been penalised on this occasion but he has been advised that if he uses the gloves again before they have been modified, inspected and cleared, he could be charged for a breach of the ICC's Code of Conduct".  EN201-1104. 

 

WORLD U19 UMPIRES SLIPT INTO TWO GROUPS

Umpires officiating in the World Under 19 Championships in Malaysia have been split into two eight-man groups as the tournament reaches its last stages.  Following the Group stage, Gary Baxter (New Zealand), Marais Erasmus (South Africa), Zameer Haider (Pakistan), Peter Hartley (England), GA Prathapkumar (India) and Tyron Wijiwardena (Sri Lanka) have been assigned to look after the knock out section of the series that involves the two top teams from each of the four groups, which is known as the 'Super League'.  All eight are members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  The bottom two sides from each group go into the knock out stage in the consolation of 'Plate' section of the Championships, and their matches will be looked after by umpires Paul Baldwin (Germany), Steve Davis (Australia), Roger Dill (Bermuda), Clyde Duncan (West Indies), Jeff Luck (Namibia), Lakani Oala (Papua New Guinea), Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal) and Sarika Prasad (Singapore).  Davis, who next week will stand in a Test match in New Zealand (E-News 201-1105 above), and Duncan, are IUP members, the other six being on the ICC's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel.  During the twenty-four match Group stage over the last two weeks, each of the sixteen umpires were given three matches on the field, while a few also had the opportunity to work as third officials in matches in Kuala Lumpur that were covered by television.  The match referees Super League quarter-finals were Chris Broad from England in Kuala Lumpur and Mike Procter of South Africa who looked after the Plate quarter-finals in Johor.  Indian match referee Javagal Srinath, Broad and Proctor, worked in that capacity during the Group stage. The semi finals of the Plate series commences later today while the Super League semis are due to get underway tomorrow, final games being scheduled for the coming weekend.  EN201-1103.   

 

MORE SLOW OVER-RATE FINES HANDED OUT

The Australia team has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its One Day International against India on Sunday, and South Africa for the same offence in its Test match against Bangladesh which finished yesterday.  Match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand found that Australia was two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration, while his counterpart in the Test Ranjan Madugalle ruled that South Africa was three overs short in the Test.  Australian captain Ricky Ponting was fined twenty per cent of his match fee and his playing colleagues ten per cent, While South Africa's Graeme Smith lost thirty per cent and the rest of his side fifteen per cent.  Crowe said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that "prior to the match in Melbourne, [he] had talks with the Australia team management in which I had again reminded them of their responsibilities regarding over-rates", fellow tri-nation participants India and Sri Lanka being fined for a similar offence last week (E-News 199-1088, 21 February 2008).  South Africa averaged 12.6 overs per hour during Bangladesh's first innings in the Test and 12.8 overs in the home side's second knock.  EN201-1102. 

 

THREE UMPIRES STAND IN NZ-ENGLAND ONE DAY SERIES

New Zealand international umpire ''Billy' Bowden and Gary Baxter, a NZ member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, were the two local officials appointed to stand with Pakistan's Asad Rauf in the five-match One Day International (ODI) NZ-England series that finished over the weekend.  Baxter umpired with Bowden in the two Twenty20 internationals that preceded the ODIs, before joining Rauf for the first three ODIs, and as a result saw both teams in action at close quarters in five games over just eleven days.  Those games were a solid warm up for his matches in the World Under 19 in Malaysia, and after only a two day gap following the third ODI in the NZ-England series, Baxter was on the ground in the Under 19 match between South Africa and the West Indies (E-News 201-1103 above).  Bowden stood in the last two NZ-England ODIs and was the third official in two of the other games, NZ umpire Evan Watkin was in the television suite for the other three, as well as the two Twenty20s.  Baxter has now worked as the on-field umpire in sixteen ODIs, Rauf in fifty-one, and Bowden in 124.  EN201-1101.  

 

UMPIRING NUMBERS UP IN NON-TEST PLAYING NATIONS

The number of qualified umpires in non-Test playing countries around the world increased by seven per cent in 2007 and by 141 per cent over the last five years, according to a statement released by the International Cricket Council (ICC) overnight.  While not indicating the actual number of umpires involved, or mentioning scorers, the ICC indicated that a total of 338,051 people participated in cricket in the ICC's thirty-three Associate and fifty-eight Affiliate Members last year, an increase of seventeen per cent, and 135 per cent up on the numbers in 2002.  In the East-Asia Pacific Region, Indonesia registered 6,161 participants in 2007, a thirty-four per cent increase on 2006.  EN201-1100. 

 

OUTLOOK GOOD FOR WEEKEND WEATHER, FIRST CLASS MATCH

A cold front is expected to cross the state this Thursday bringing showers to the Hobart area, however, things should be improving on Friday as Tasmania's First Class fixture against NSW gets underway at Bellerive, according to the latest extended forecast issued by the Bureau of Meteorology yesterday.  Better weather is currently expected for Tasmanian Cricket Association matches in the Hobart area next Saturday and Sunday.  A large High pressure system is expected to be almost directly over the state on both days and fine conditions are light winds are expected to prevail.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is likely to be around 18 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 22.  On Monday, the last scheduled day of the First Class game, another fine day is expected, and the afternoon temperature should peak at around 25 degrees.  EN201-1099.

 

E-NEWS NUMBER 202, 28 February 2008

 

TCUSA FIRST GRADERS MEET WITH WORLD'S BEST UMPIRE

Six senior TCUSA First Grade umpires spent over three hours discussing a wide range of umpiring issues with Australian international umpire Simon Taufel and his colleague Bruce Oxenford over dinner on Tuesday evening.  Taufel, named at the world's best umpire by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the last four years (E-News 97-524, 11 September 2007), and Oxenford, a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, had earlier in the day officiated in the One Day International at Bellerive between India and Sri Lanka; Taufel on the field and Oxenford in the third umpire's suite.  The pair answered questions put to them about the craft of umpiring, the techniques they use and their attitude to various aspects on the game on the field of play, how they approach player management issues, the way they prepare for games, the importance of long-term goal setting, and the need for umpires to set up an appropriate balance between cricket, family, work and other personal issues.  Tasmanian State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows, who arranged the meeting and praised the pair's willingness to meet with up-and-coming officials, believes that all those present have come away with a number of "fresh ideas and thoughts worth pursuing and a few old ones that might benefit from some reflection".  EN202-1116.

 

150TH ODI FOR DARYL HARPER

Australian international umpire Daryl Harper will be standing in his 150th One Day International (ODI) on Sunday in the first match of the tri-nation series final at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the first Australian to reach that milestone.  Harper, who has been a member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite' umpiring panel since its inception six years ago, stood in his first ODI in January 1994, and since then has officiated in such matches in Australia, Canada, England, India, Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sharjah, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe; including the World Cups of 2003 and 2007.  He made his debut in First Class cricket in November 1987 and has since gone on to notch up 139 such games, a figure that includes sixty-nine Tests, the first in November 1998 and the last in Sri Lanka just before Christmas last year.  Harper has been named to stand in two Tests in the series between New Zealand and England next month (E-News 201-1105, 26 February 2008).  EN202-1115. 

 

ECB UMPIRES WARNED OFF 'UNOFFICIAL EVENTS'

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has toughened its stance against “unofficial events around the globe", making it clear that its players and officials tempted to sign up for such tournaments will be jeopardising their career chances at home.  An ECB statement issued yesterday said that it is "determined to disassociate and distance itself from any promoter, agent or individual involved in such events", however, it makes no mentioning of any specific competition, particularly the most well known at the moment, the Indian Cricket League (ICL).  England-based County umpires Jeff Evans and Trevor Jesty took part in the ICL's inaugural Twenty20 competition late last year and reports at the time stated that both had been assured that their ECB contracts would not be affected by their involvement in that series (E-News 142-773, 26 November 2007).  County umpires are contracted to the ECB between April and September and are believed to be free agents over the northern winter months, however, whether the ECB plans to close that loop-hole or deal with it in another way has not been made clear.  The ICL used little-known Indian umpires for its recent domestic fifty over competition (E-News 192-1042, 7 February 2008).  The ICL announced yesterday that former Australian players Damien Martyn, Michael Kasprowicz and Mathew Elliott have signed for the next ICL series.  EN202-1114.

 

'OBNOXIOUS WEED' COMMENT LEADS TO WARNING

Australia batsman Matthew Hayden was reprimanded by Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday after describing Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh as an "obnoxious weed" in a radio interview in Brisbane on Tuesday.  Hayden was found guilty after a three-hour hearing in Melbourne of breaching CA's code of behaviour for publicly denigrating an opponent, however, he escaped with a warning and was not fined after indicating that his "intentions were never to denigrate cricket or anyone".  The charges were laid after Indian officials lodged a formal complaint with CA over Hayden's comments, and the Indian board's chief administrative officer, Ratnakar Shetty, told the Reuters news agency that "we condemn such comments by the Australian players".  Following Hayden's comments Indian captain Mahendra Dhoni was quoted by media outlets as saying that Australia can expect a "dose of their own sledging medicine during the [forthcoming] tri-series finals", the first of which is scheduled for Sunday.  India's new cricket coach Gary Kirsten said on ABC Radio last night that despite controversies on their ongoing tour of Australia he is impressed with the team's aggressive attitude.  "What I like about Indian cricket as a whole now, and especially about the young players, is that they are ready to accept the battle", said Kirsten, for he thinks that such an approach is "very healthy for the game, whereas in the past they tended to back off".  EN202-1113.

 

SEND OFF LEADS TO OFFICIAL REPRIMAND

Indian Under 19 all-rounder Tanmay Srivastava has been reprimanded for 'sending off' a New Zealand batsman during a semi final of the youth World Cup in Malaysia yesterday.  Srivastava pleaded guilty to the charge and was given an official reprimand by match referee Chris Broad from England as the incident was his first offence under the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct.  Broad said in a statement issued by the ICC overnight that he understands "that in the heat of the moment young players can get excited, especially when they have just dismissed the opposition's highest scorer", however, "it is important for them to realise that gesturing a batsman towards the pavilion in this fashion is disrespectful and is contrary to the spirit of the game".  The Indian was reported by on-field officials Peter Hartley (England) and Marais Erasmus (South Africa), and third umpire Enamul Haque (Bangladesh). Srivastava’s senior India colleague Ishant Sharma was fined for a ‘send off’ in last Sunday’s One Day International against Australia in Melbourne (E-News 201-1107, 26 February 2008).  EN202-1112.

 

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK REMAINS POSITIVE

Despite today's cool and showery weather in the Hobart area the weather outlook for Tasmanian Cricket Association matches this coming weekend continues to look positive (E-News 201-1099, 26 February 2008).  A large High pressure system is expected to be almost directly over the state on both days and fine conditions are light winds are expected to prevail.  The maximum temperature on Saturday is likely to be around 18 degrees Celsius, and on Sunday 21.  TCUSA members can check the weather before they leave home for games on Saturday and Sunday by going to the weather section of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  EN202-1111. 

 

  

END OF FEBRUARY 2008 E-NEWS FILE