September 08 (304-320)





Number 304 –   1 September 2008 [EN1594-1597]

Number 305 –   4 September 2008 [EN1598-1601]

Number 306 –   5 September 2008 [EN1602-1604]

Number 307 –   7 September 2008 [EN1605-1611]

Number 308 –   9 September 2008 [EN1612-1616]

Number 309 – 10 September 2008 [EN1617-1618]

Number 310 – 11 September 2008 [EN1619-1626]

Number 311 – 12 September 2008 [EN1627-1629]

Number 312 – 15 September 2008 [EN1630-1633]

Number 313 – 16 September 2008 [EN1634-1637]

Number 314 – 18 September 2008 [EN1638-1642]

Number 315 – 19 September 2008 [EN1643-1647]

Number 316 – 20 September 2008 [EN1648-1650]

Number 317 – 23 September 2008 [EN1651-1654]

Number 318 – 24 September 2008 [EN1655-1661]

Number 319 – 25 September 2008 [EN1661-1665]

Number 320 – 28 September 2008 [EN1666-1672]










Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq says he does not regret his decision not to take the field after his side were penalised for ball tampering at the Oval two years ago and would do it again if the same circumstances prevailed.  Speaking on television in Karachi on Friday he said that “at times national honour is more important than victories or defeats" and the tampering accusation "was a slur on our team and nation" which he couldn't tolerate.


Inzamam said that he was happy that the International Cricket Council (ICC) had recently changed the result of the Oval Test from a win for England to a draw, although "it didn’t really matter much" to him (E-News 269-1445, 4 July 2008).  The 'Cricket Archive' web site currently lists the game as being won by England "by a concession", while the scorecard on the 'Cricinfo' site says that the "result was amended to an abandonment by the ICC in July 2008".


According to Inzamam “even the ICC match referee adjudicator, Ranjan Madugalle [from Sri Lanka] who is an experienced referee" said at a post-match hearing "that [Australian international umpire Darrell] Hair had acted in haste and he didn’t use his authority properly".  


Hair, unlike his on-field colleague at the Oval Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, was suspended from umpiring Test and other international matches by the ICC but was reinstated earlier this year, a decision which didn’t go down well with Inzamam at the time (E-News 214-1187, 20 March 2008).  After standing in two Tests in England this northern summer and a hand full of limited over internationals, Hair recently resigned from the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel effective 1 November (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2008).


During what was a wide-ranging interview Inzamam, who played 120 tests and 378 One Day Internationals, went on to criticise the Player Referrals System that was trialed in the recent Test series between Sri Lanka and India (E-News 30-1587, 27 August 2008).  “I don’t want to see this become a permanent feature because it breaks the momentum of the match", said the former skipper.  According to him "the charm of cricket is that you go by the umpires decisions and you expect mistakes since they are human beings".





A number of media reports claim that it is only a matter of time before Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash is disciplined by the England and Wales Cricket Board for on field incidents in a first-class match against Sussex ten days ago.  Surrey skipper Ramprakash was involved in a "very visible" confrontation with Sussex's Murray Goodwin that later led to what one report said was "a tirade of fury [directed towards] one of the umpires" that "made it certain that he would be reported and punished".


The row is said to have commenced when Goodwin is alleged to have accused batsman Ramprakash of running down the middle of wicket in an attempt to damage the surface on the opening day of what was a four-day match (E-News 299-1576, 21 August 2008).  Ramprakash is said to have marched toward Goodwin pointing his bat and that the duo "stood toe-to-toe" until umpires Rob Bailey and John Steele and Sussex captain Mike Yardy intervened. 


Play resumed, but later in the day when Ramprakash completed his Century, he again made an "angry gesture" at Goodwin.  He is said to have also pointed his bat at umpire Steele at the close of play, before again entering into "public" discussions with Goodwin as they left the field.


Writing on the Cricinfo web site on the general issue of player discipline, journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins says that "strong, as opposed to officious, umpires make sure that aggro does not go too far", but "if captains exercised their responsibilities we would need neither run-penalties nor disciplinary procedures", a view that was also recently expressed by Peter Hughes, the now-retired Chief Executive Officer of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (E-News 303-1587, 30 August 2008).


Martin-Jenkins feels though that the "application of a five-run penalty" for players who go too far on the field would soon "stop any nonsense", although that assumes, he says "that the umpire [concerned] subsequently gets support from his employers".  He writes that the "newly retired Darrell Hair arguably chose the wrong time and place to make his stand against ball-tampering, but he was applying the Law", however "what happened to him subsequently hardly encourages other" umpires (E-News 304-1594 above).





Former England player Marcus Trescothick's confession that he used mints to help produce 'reverse swing' has shocked a few outsiders, wrote journalist Giles Smith in 'The Times' last Saturday, but "cricket historians will have been smiling wryly, knowing that, when it comes to ball-tampering with sweets, the Trescothick revelation was merely the tip of the Sherbet Dip-Dab" (E-News 302-1586, 27 August 2008).


In his article, Giles says that as early as the 1950s, England sides were routinely rubbing the ball with a variety of sweets, including caramel from 'Mars Bars'.  According to him, after England was defeated by New Zealand in 1999, "a desperate England and Wales Cricket Board appointed a team specifically to investigate sweet-based ball-tampering".  "A researcher who worked on the project" is quoted as saying that those involved "demonstrated after extensive tests in the lab" that if used carefully fudge could "give your seam a tweak", and that the "benefits were there for all to see in the subsequent 3-1 victory over West Indies in 2000".


Giles claims that "umpires have been surprisingly slow to notice sweet-based subterfuge".  In 1977 he says, "David Constant barely batted an eyelid when Chris Old asked him to look after his hat, sweater and a quarter of sugar mice in a pink-striped paper bag".  "Billy Doctrove was similarly unflustered in 2000, when Graeme Hick requested a change of trousers in the field after an unsuccessful attempt to use candy floss", and it is therefore "little wonder that the practice has flourished". 





The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) has announced the dates and locations of its initial Regional Forums scheduled for later this month.  Earlier this year the ACO indicated that the Regional Forums would cover 'London and East', 'Midlands', 'North', 'South and West', and 'Wales' (E-News 236-1303, 28 April 2008).


Structually the ACO is to be based on individual County umpire and scorer Associations (CUSA) and the Regional Forums, that package being "fully integrated into County [Cricket] Board strategies and funding schemes".  The Forums, which are envisaged to meet at least twice a year in the future, appear designed to bridge the gap between CUSAs and the Association's top management Board.  


ACO says that each CUSA will be responsible for "inviting a maximum of ten of its members to the Forums, therefore should they take up that opportunity between fifty and 120 people could be present at each of the meetings, depending on the region involved.   Each gathering is scheduled to last no longer than three hours.


According to the ACO, the Forums will be chaired by a member of its Interim Board, while the agenda is put simply as to "discuss the election of Regional Representatives" and for those attending "to ask questions or voice any issue they may have".  When the ACO's full Board is finalised on 1 January next year, "six regional representatives" will make up almost a half of that group, and the current interim Board indicated in April that it planned to consider "names put forward" for those positions, after which it was to draw up "a short list of Officials for each region" that will then be voted on by ACO members.  


In another move, the ACO says that Australian-based company Bartercard has transferred its financial support from the ECB's former 'Officials Association' (OA) to the ACO.  The OA merged with the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers to form the ACO and Bartercard's three-year deal, which is worth the equivalent of $A200,000, is being used to "raise the standard of umpiring and scoring in the game [in England and Wales] from grass roots club level through to minor county [games]”.  


Bartercard spokesman, John Attridge, an Australian and described as "an experienced umpire", is quoted as saying that "it might seem strange to some people that an Australian company should be looking to raise the standards of English cricket, but a healthy level of competition is in the interests of both countries". “We believe this will not only benefit the game as a whole, but also it will encourage more young people to get into cricket umpiring, either as well as or instead of playing, and we are delighted to be able to help the ECB ACO work towards this aim". 







Over a dozen of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) senior umpires have decided "to stop working" after the Sharjah Cricket Council (SCC) limited their pay increase to the equivalent of $A3 per game, says a story published in the 'Gulf News' yesterday.  As a result of the decision the current Sharjah Ramadan tournament is being managed on the field by "non-regular umpires".


Tariq Butt, UAE's most experienced umpire who has stood in matches involving 'A' sides from England, India and Pakistan, is quoted by the 'News' as saying that match fees he and his colleagues receive "have remained unchanged for nearly twenty years" and that given cost-of-living rises they were insulted by the Council's offer. 


Prior to the SCC's offer, UAE umpires received the equivalent of $A21 for Twenty20 and twenty-five over games, and $A42 for fifty-over matches, a scale of fees that Tariq belives make their rates "around the lowest anywhere cricket is being played".  The umpires had requested that the SCC introduce a grading system based on experience, which would give 'A' Grade officials $A65 per game, 'B' Grade $A50, and 'C' Grade $A42.  They also sought a transport allowance of $A6 and lunch. 


Umpire Ifthikar Ali is quoted as saying that he and his colleagues "have to travel to officiate matches in Al Dhaid and [that] with increases in petrol prices we asked for a hike, but they refused".  "The council has increased their tournament fees and sponsorship charges but our fees alone remained unchanged [and] it is nothing but a lack of respect to our profession", added Ali. 


Another umpire Fareed Malek, is quoted as saying that "our protest is not against the [SCC] but to uphold the integrity of the umpires [for] we have been asking for a hike for many years but it has been continuously ignored".





Sri Lankan umpire Peter Manuel, who was appointed to a International Cricket Council (ICC) Regional Umpires' Performance Manager position in June (E-News  262-1417, 26 June 2008), is to join ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Aleem Dar and four local umpires in managing on-field activities during this year's Hong Kong Sixes (HK6) tournament.  Dar's participation in the series was announced in late July (E-News 287-1524, 30 July 2008).


Manuel, who during his high-level career from 1989-2006 stood in eighty-three first-class matches, including eleven Tests, and forty-five One Day Internationals, is to work with Dar, local umpires Kevin Bishop, Anoop Gidwani, Ian Thomson and Mike Walsh, and match referee Glyn Davies.  Teams taking part in the two-day tournament will represent Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and hosts Hong Kong, and there will also be an 'All Stars' side. 


Now Hong Kong based Walsh played seventy-three matches for Church in the  Lancashire League from 1969-82, represented Hong Kong in two ICC Trophy matches, and umpired five games in an ICC Trophy tournament in Canada in 2001.  He has also officiated in seventy-eight HK6 matches over the last eleven years.  


Gidwani, who was match referee for last year's HK6 as well as in the Asian Cricket Council's 2007 women's series in Malaysia, has also previously stood as an umpire in the Hong Kong Sixes.  Bishop officiated in two matches between the Hong Kong and Chinese women's teams last year, while Davies represented Hong Kong in eleven ICC Trophy matches played in England and the Netherlands in 1986 and 1990.


Profits from the series, which will be played at the skyscraper-surrounded Kowloon Cricket Club on 8-9 November, will be ploughed directly back into cricket development in Hong Kong.  Among the internastional players confirmed for this year's series are West Indies Shivnarine Chanderpaul and former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming.  





A pink ball was to be used for the first time in a match between two Counties when Essex played Hampshire in a Twenty20 Floodlit Challenge at the Rose Bowl in Southampton overnight.  Pinks balls are being tested as an alternative in one-day cricket to white ones which can become discoloured and are difficult for fielders and batsmen to see in certain light conditions (E-News 133-726, 14 November 2007).


Essex first-team coach Paul Grayson told local media before the match that “we are all open to change and variation in the game [and] using pink balls is certainly worth looking at for one-day cricket".   "We’ll know a bit more about the viability of them after tonight once we’ve got a bit of feedback from the players", said Grayson.    Reports on the match were not available as E-News was being prepared for publication this morning.


Pink balls were first trialled in a women’s match between Queensland and Western Australia in Brisbane last January (E-News 174-932, 11 January 2008), then when an MCC XI played Scotland at Lord’s in April (E-News 232-1286, 22 April 2008), and in a university series in late June (E-News 266-1434, 30 June 2008).  


Media reports after both the Brisbane and Lord's matches suggested that initial experiences with the pink ball were positive as they appeared to hold their shape and colour over the course of each twenty-over innings, although it remains to be seen whether they will stand the test in the longer forms of the game.   


Essex and Hampshire are to again use pink balls in the second leg of their Twenty20 Floodlit Challenge which is to be played tomorrow evening England time.





Griqualand West  batsman Adrian McLaren will miss the first two first-class matches of the season after contravening clauses of Cricket South Africa's Rules and Code of Conduct during a three-day tour match between a South African Airways Challenge XI and Sri Lanka 'A' played in Benoni last month.


McLaren was reported by umpires Rudi Koertzen and Zed Ndamane and match referee, Cyril Mitchley under clauses that state that "players and officials should at all times accept the decision of the umpires and not show dissent, that players should not engage in insulting actions and that players should not use crude or abusive language or gestures".


Although McLaren apologised for his action, it was noted that he had previously been found guilty of a similar offence, and he was therefore suspended for his side’s first two first-class matches of the coming season. 








Western Australian umpire Mick Martell, who was a surprise appointment to the National Umpires Panel (NUP) in June, has been named to stand in two first-class matches in late October and early November, his first at that level of the game (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).  Former Test player Paul Wilson, another West Australian, and a member of Cricket Australia's (CA) 'Project Panel' (PP), has also won promotion to higher-level umpiring ranks for he will officiate in his first one-day domestic game late next month.


Martell and Wilson, both of whom will make their respective debuts in Perth, are just two of the eighteen umpires CA have allocated to the nineteen interstate matches scheduled for the first month of the new domestic season, nine of them being four-day Sheffield Shield encounters and ten domestic fifty over one-day games.  Of the eighteen umpires all twelve NUP members have games, while the remaining six, including Wilson, are potential future NUP members who come from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.  CA used the same overall number of umpires in the opening month of the 2007-08 season.


Of the NUP members Queensland's Bruce Oxenford has been given five of the nineteen matches, two Sheffield Shield and three one-dayers, his State colleague Peter Parker four (two and two), West Australian Andrew Craig four (two and two, one of the latter a third umpire position), Simon Fry of South Australia four (one and three), Martell three (two and one a third umpire in a one-dayer), Paul Reiffel (Victoria) three (two and one), his State colleagues John Ward and Bob Parry two each (both one and one), Tony Ward of Victoria two (two and nil), West Australians Geoff Brookes and Ian Lock WA two each (both one and one), and Rod Tucker of NSW two (one and one).


None of the six non-NUP members were allocated first-class matches over the first month of the season.  Apart from Wilson's one dayer, those named to stand in fifty over games are Norm McNamara and Tim Laycock (Queensland), Gerard Abood (NSW) and Steven John (Tasmania).  McNamara, Laycock and Wilson will also each work, along with Andrew Collins of South Australia, as third umpires in a single one-day match.  Four of the ten one-day games will not use third umpires as one match in Adelaide, and those listed for Cairns, North Sydney and Bellerive in the first month of the season will not be televised.


McNamara and Laycock have both stood at first-class level previously, and Abood and John will be hoping to be appointed to games at that level later in the season; both being seen by many in their respective States as the member of their home Association most likely to move into the top level of domestic cricket this season.   In John's case his appointment to a first-class game would break a lengthy three-year drought in such appointments for the island State.  


CA normally arranges for those making their debut at either first-class or one-day level to do so in their home State, and for both Abood and John there are three such matches scheduled at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Bellerive in the lead up to Christmas.  Umpires from interstate have been allocated to the opening game at both venues in the first week of November, however, both Abood and John have been appointed to stand in the one-dayers listed for late October just before those four-day matches, and CA's next round of appointments, which are due for issue in early October, will be watched with considerable interest by Associations in both States.


In State terms Queenslanders were allocated eleven of the thirty-eight on-field slots available in month one of the new season, Western Australia ten, Victoria nine, South Australia four, NSW three and Tasmania one; although there is a strong biase in the location of games early in the season with WA, SA and Queensland accounting for seventy-five per cent of all ground locations; something that will change as the season progresses.





The red and yellow card disciplinary system that the Gold Coast Cricket Association (GCCA) plans to introduce during the coming season gives umpires the ability to send players from the field of play during a game, says GCCA President Neville Taylor.  A report last week stated that the system is being introduced in order 'to crack down on behavioural problems" experienced by the GCCA over the last few seasons but it was not clear if send-offs were involved (E-News 303-1587. 30 August 2008). 


Taylor told E-News by phone that disciplinary issues came to a head during last season's GCCA Grand Final when he, the Association's main sponsor, former Queensland opening batsman Mark Gaskell of Gabba Sporting Products, and former Test player Sam Loxton, witnessed a number of on-field incidents and discussed the possibility of a card system.  Part of their discussion included the send-off arrangements that Taylor says have "worked perfectly" over "the last couple of years" in the Public Schools competition around Brisbane. 


Initially, says Taylor, the GCCA looked formally at a yellow card proposal that did not include dismissals from the field, but consultation with both players and their clubs saw them ask for send offs to be introduced as they felt "it was the only way we are going to get bad behaviour out of the game".  The issue was discussed at a general meeting of the Association and received formal endorsement.  


Under the GCCA's new system a player shown two yellow cards during a season will "automatically be given one game off", while a second yellow during a single match will see a red accompany it and the player will be sent from the field.  A red in a match brings, as it does in some codes of football", instant dismissal from the game with substitutes not allowed.  


Queensland's umpiring coach David Orchard was present at that meeting and Taylor said that he explained that a similar system had been introduced in South Africa where, says the GCCA President, "it wiped out [disciplinary] problems in [just] three weeks".  


Mike Ralston, Queensland's State Umpiring Manager, emphasised to E-News that Orchard did not endorse the GCCA move, as reported previously by media outlets and as a result in this newsletter.  Ralston said that Queensland Cricket was not in favour of the approach proposed on the Gold Coast, and that such a system would not be introduced into higher levels of cricket in his State for "it is not the way in which we want our umpires to control a game". 





Recently retired international umpire Darrel Hair and current National Umpires Panel (NUP) member Bob Parry are to join Cricket Australia's (CA) Technical Committee for the coming season under the Chairmanship of Terry Prue.  The pair are replacing former first-class umpires Dick French and Bob Stratford, the latter moving on to the dual roles as a CA Umpire High Performance Manager and the International Cricket Council's Pacific Regional Umpire Performance Manager (E-News 274-1464, 11 July 2008).


CA's Technical Committee is responsible for refinements to umpiring practices, interpreting the Laws of Cricket and Playing Conditions set down for competitions, and drafting any changes to the latter about which CA's Playing Conditions Committee has given their in principle agreement. 


Hair, who this week took up the Executive Officer position at the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2008), returns to the Technical Committee after an absence of four seasons, for he Chaired the group over the first third of this decade.  For some time he was also a Laws consultant to the Marylebone Cricket Club the custodians of the Laws of Cricket. 


Parry commenced as Cricket Victoria's Umpire Manager in June after spending most of this decade in the deputy's position.  He  has been on the NUP for the last seven seasons and is currently preparing for an eighth (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008), and to date he has stood in sixty-two first-class games and forty-seven List A matches, the latter including four One Day Internationals (ODI), and he has been the third umpire in seven Tests.  


West Australian Prue remains as Chairman of the group after the last four seasons in that role, and prior to that he was a member under Hair's Chairmanship.  His high-level umpiring career covered the years from 1989-2000, a period that saw him stand in seventy-five first-class matches, nine of them Tests, while there were thirty-nine ODIs amongst his seventy-three List A games.


Prue umpired in Tasmania five times in the late 1990s, once in Devonport with local Gus Jones when the South African tourists took on Tasmania, and four times at Bellerive.  Two of the latter matches were in the Sheffield Shield when the home side played South Australia, and the other two in ODIs involving Sri Lanka and the West Indies and Australia and Pakistan.  His on-field colleagues for those games were then TCUSA members Rod Donaldson and Steve Randell, South Australian Steve Davis and Randell again respectively.









South Australian umpire Col Egar, whose debut at Test level was in the historic first-ever tied match between Australia and the West Indies in Brisbane in December 1960, died in Adelaide on Thursday aged eighty.  Egar's on-field career at the highest level of the game, which preceded his time as the Chairman of the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Cricket Australia's (CA) predecessor, also included the controversy surrounding his no-balling of Australian fast bowler Ian Meckiff for throwing in 1963.


Egar made his first-class debut at the Adelaide Oval in December 1956 aged twenty-eight, and during the next fifteen years he stood in a total of eighty-eight such matches, forty-three of them in the Sheffield Shield.  All of the twenty-nine Tests he was selected for were played in Australia during the 1960s, a decade in which he only missed one such game played on Australian soil.  


Ten of those Tests saw Australia playing England in Ashes series, another ten the West Indies, five South Africa, four India and one Pakistan.  Nine of Egar's Tests were played in Melbourne, eight in Sydney and six each in Brisbane and Adelaide, but all other first-class and representative matches in which he officiated took place in South Australia, most at the Adelaide Oval.


Egar and Col Hoy from Queensland, who died nine years ago, stood in every match of the famous 1960-61 series between the home side and the West Indies, and earned the praise of visiting captain Frank Worrell for their calm and unobtrusive umpiring throughout what was a tense and exciting series.  When the West Indies visited again in 1968-69 he again stood in every Test, the same being the case when England toured in 1962-63 and 1965-66, South Africa in 1964-64 and India in 1967-68.   


During the First Test of the South African series, Egar was at the centre of a throwing controversy when he no-balled Australian bowler Ian Meckiff from square leg.  Then Australian captain Richie Benaud did not bowl Meckiff again in the match and the speedster's career subsequently ended.  An anonymous caller to a Melbourne newspaper warned that Egar would "get the Kennedy treatment" and as a result of that and other threats from angry fans he was provided with police escorts for a period.


After retiring from umpiring in 1970 Egar became an administrator, serving with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) and then the ACB over a period of almost thirty years.  He served on the SACA Board from 1971-2000, including twelve years as Vice President, represented the SACA on the ACB from 1981-98, and was appointed as the national body's Chairman from 1989-92.  While with the ACB he managed a number of the Australian side's overseas tours, including the controversial visit to Pakistan in 1988, during which he was able to keep the tour going despite rows over umpiring standards.


CA Chairman and fellow South Australian Creagh O’Connor paid tribute Egar’s life-long dedication and service to the game in a statement issued on Friday.  He said that "Col will be best remembered by cricket followers as an outstanding international cricket umpire who was involved in several historic moments on field".  "Those of us who knew and worked with Col will also remember him with high regard for his selfless service to South Australian and Australian cricket as an administrator and volunteer, and as a manager of Australian touring cricket teams".


Australian players wore black armbands as a mark of respect for Egar during the third and final One Day International against Bangladesh in Darwin yesterday.





The Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) is offering a Level 1 Umpiring Course in 2008-09, according to an announcement posted on its web site last Monday.  The TCA says that the course is "ideal for club volunteers who may have the task of umpiring Junior or Youth League matches" and is believed to be the basic umpiring program that Cricket Australia recently developed (E-News 287-1520, 30 July 2008). 


The planned course is made up of two modules, the first of which covers umpiring issues such as an "umpire's role and qualities, Spirit of Cricket, Code of Conduct and Playing Conditions issues", and the second the match itself that includes "how to manage a match [and] the basic rules of cricket and scoring".  Dates for the course have not yet been determined, however, clubs will be advised, says the TCA, when timings are known.  


In the meantime enquiries about the course should be directed to Marc Thompson on (03) 6282 0443.





Vintcent van der Bijl, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) new Umpire and Referees manager, has defended the standard of cricketers' behavior despite a number of high-profile clashes between players over the past year.  Van der Bijl was quoted by 'The Associated Press' on Friday as saying that he "certainly [doesn't] think the spirit of the game has worsened, it is just more visible", and while that "is not an excuse for the [bad] behavior [that is the] reality".  


"What one sees today on television occurred in the old days, but it was not as visible [as] lapses in sportsmanship and aggressive behavior have been there since the game began", continues the quotes attributed to van der Bijl,  In his new position the South African national will influence the way disciplinary issues are dealt with by ICC match referees and umpires and oversee their appointments, assessment and feedback, training and development (E-News 245-1347, 25 May 2008).  He sees his his new "job as an opportunity to be part of the process to keep the 'Spirit of Cricket' strong and healthy".





Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Friday that Sean Easey has been appointed to its Umpire Officer position under national manager Andrew Scotford.  Easy comes to the role after spending sixteen months working within CA's Education Services area of Game Development where he was managing the accreditation process of both coaches and umpires. 


Scotford says that his new colleague "will bring a passion and energy for Cricket and umpiring that will help support the key initiatives in umpiring that will be undertaken as part of the Umpiring Strategic Framework". Whilst Easey’s key focus will be to manage CA’s Umpire administrative process, he will also manage the season’s record system and support the training, development and performance evaluation of CA contracted umpires.


Easy is schedule to start in his new position on Monday week and work three days a week while he completes his Bachelor of Business (Sport and Leisure Management) Degree, but will be engaged on a full-time basis from the last week of October.  Easy replaces Brent Silva who held the position for seven years until last month before leaving to take up a position at a sports sponsorship and marketing company (E-News 275-1470, 14 July 2008).





A total of 109 umpires sat the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) 2008 written examination in Mohalil last week as part of the BCCI'S move to identify new officials who have the potential to become members of their Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 241-1327, 12 May 2008).   Of those involved, thirty-three were said to be former first-class crickets and the remainder "non cricketers", the exam paper for the former being of two hours duration and the latter's three hours.


A panel of examiners is to mark the exam papers and results were expected last Friday.  Candidates who obtain satisfactory results will be asked to travel to Banglaore to undertake oral exams on 13-14 September, after which fifteen are likely to be recommended as BCCI panel umpires, say reports.  The names of those who took part in the exams were not released.


The examination panel was headed up by BCCI's Director of Umpires Srinivas Venkataraghavan, his colleagues being S. K. Bansal (North Zone), Subrata Banerjee (East Zone), V. K. Ramaswamy (South Zone), B. A. Jamula (West Zone), Narendra Menon (Central Zone).  The BCCI's umpiring committee, which Venkataraghavan heads, is planning to reduce the size of its Elite Umpires Panel from thirty-seven to thirty as part of a drive to improve the standard of top level umpiring on the sub-continent.





Cricket Australia (CA) called off this year's women's national Under 19 Championship last week because only two States and a territory nominated teams for the series, says a story in today's 'Sydney Morning Herald' (SMH).  In addition to providing a key pathway for women cricketers, the series has allowed Grade-level umpires in the host State who do not normally get the opportunity to stand in representative matches (E-News 169-907, 5 January 2008).


The SMH says that only New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory committed to sending sides to this season's tournament, and that the decision to cancel the series has left Cricket New South Wales (CNSW) "staggered".  The move comes just six months before Australia hosts the women's World Cup and just a short time after CA initiated a fund to contribute to female cricketers' costs when they represent Australia. 


CNSW Chief Executive Officer David Gilbert, whose organisation formally integrated its men's and women's programs in July 2003, is being quoted by the SMH as saying that "we've seen it happen bit by bit with States not fielding teams at every level", something that "you just wouldn't see in male cricket". 


Australian vice-captain Lisa Sthalekar is also said to have stated that "to not have this tournament for the first time in decades is a shock", and "it doesn't quite make sense when you've had CA saying publicly that the girls' game is growing".  Shalekar estimated, says the SMH, that if the trend continued, the sport would lose fifty to sixth female cricketers each year because they would not see a viable pathway into State cricket.


The SMH says that the "apparent regression of the women's game calls into question what the States do with the millions of dollars they are granted annually by CA, and what CA does to monitor the spending".


Eight teams, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will take part in next year's women's World Cup.  It will be played at six venues in NSW over the sixteen days from 7-22 March.  Umpires for the tournament have yet to be named (E-News 284-1509, 24 July 2008).





Hampshire batsman Jimmy Adams believes players will need some time to get used to using the new pink ball, says a report on the BBC on Friday.  Adams was speaking after his side's win over Essex in a special Twenty20 floodlit match last Wednesday night in which a pink ball was used by County sides for the first time (E-News 305-1600, 4 September 2008).


Calling the latest trial of a pink ball "inconclusive", the BBC quotes Adams as saying that "it's hard to judge from [a total of] just 40 overs whether it's more visible" or not.  "Quite possibly the more we play with it the easier it will get", continued Adams, who recalled that "guys had trouble when white balls were first introduced, [and] to be honest I've always found the white ball can be hard to judge in the field under lights".  "It sounds silly but it just felt like a darkish version of the white ball", said Adams, although he admitted that "when we fielded [his side] thought it was OK". 


Essex batsman Graham Napier told Sky Sports that he "found it a bit difficult to follow when it was hit along the ground", but "when it got above head height it was better".  The Essex cricket website quotes him as saying that "we are all open to change and variation in the game", and that "using pink balls is certainly worth looking at for one-day cricket. 









Australian umpire Simon Taufel and four of his colleagues on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) are in the mix for the world body's 'Umpire of the Year' award for 2008.  Taufel is the only person to have won the annual award in the four years since it was established in 2004 (E-News 97-524, 11 September 2007), and a fifth-straight win later this week in Dubai would be a remarkable achievement (E-News 303-1592, 30 August 2008).


Other umpires being considered for the world award this year are a second Australian, Steve Davis, Mark Benson (England), Aleem Dar (Pakistan), and Rudi Koertzen (South Africa).  Benson was nominated for the award last year (E-News 90-488, 30 August 2007), and Dar, who was named as the inaugural Asian 'Umpire of the Year' in July (E-News 272-1455, 8 July 2008), was runner up to Taufel on the first three occasions it was presented; while Davis was appointed to the EUP in April this year after fifteen years on the international scene (E-News 234-1296, 24 April 2008)  


The ICC has indicated that the five chosen were nominated for the award by a panel chaired by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd and that includes former Australia captain Greg Chappell, recently retired South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock, former Sri Lanka opener Sidath Wettimuny and former Bangladesh batsman Athar Ali Khan.  


It is not known to what, if any, extent technical analysis of how each of the twelve EUP members performed over the last twelve months was used in deciding just whom the nominees for this year's award would be.  Such data, which used to include statistics derived from video footage of how accurate each individual's decision making was in both the Test and One Day International (ODI) forms of the game, is no longer made public by the ICC.


In more general terms, however, analysis of each of this year's nominees international match appointments for the twelve months to 12 August indicates that Taufel had a solid year in Tests (ten), ODIs (sixteen) and Twenty20 internationals (eleven), the three forms of cricket that make up today's game.  


Benson's match record (eleven-twelve-eight) was not dissimilar in scope to Taufel and they stood together in the final of the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007), although the Australian was also on the field in Pakistan for the final of the major one-day series of the year, the Asia Cup (E-News 264-1426, 28 June 2008).


Dar, who like Taufel reached the fifty Test mark in the awards period, and to a lesser extent Koertzen, chalked up a similar number of games in the Test and ODI arena to the Australian and Benson.  Dar officiated in eleven Tests and seventeen ODIs, and Koertzen eight and thirteen respectively; overall the South African now having a total of ninety-two Tests and an unprecedented 190 ODIs to his credit.  


On the other hand neither Dar or Koertzen was appointed to the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa because of their role in the final of last year's World Cup in the West Indies (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007).  While that match occurred outside the year on which this year's award will be judged, their absence in South Africa meant that Koertzen's single Twenty20 international in Johannesburg last January was the only such match the pair were involved in over the last twelve months.


Although Davis' ODI tally of fifteen was of a similar order to his four colleagues and his Twenty20 internationals totaled nine matches, six of them in the third umpire's chair, he stood in less than half the number of Tests (four). 


What the ICC says is a "twenty-five person panel made up of renowned former players, respected members of the media [plus] an Elite umpire and Elite match referee", will now be asked to cast votes for which of the five nominees they believe deserves the 2008 award.





Queenslander Bruce Oxenford, who was this year elevated to an on-field umpires position on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) (E-News 251-1375, 3 June 2008), and newly appointed National Umpires Panel member Tony Ward from Victoria (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008), will be the first umpires to visit Tasmania for interstate matches during the 2008-09 season.  TCUSA member Steven John will work with Oxenford in a one-day game on 1 November between the home State and South Australia, and two days later the two visitors will start a first-class match involving the same two sides 


Oxenford will be standing in his thirty-second List 'A', and twenty-eighth domestic one-day, match on the first day of November, but only his second on the field at Bellerive; although he has been in the third umpire's suite there on three previous occasions, twice in a One Day International, and once in the 2007 final of the domestic first-class competition, a series that was won for the first time by Tasmania.  


For John, who made his debut at the one-day and Twenty20 domestic levels last season, it will be his fourth fifty over interstate match since his first in late October last year.  He was named as the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 'Umpire of the Year' last March after a season that saw him break into top-level cricket and be involved in providing support for a Test match and a One Day International (E-News 222-1232, 3 April 2008).


When Oxenford takes the field on 3 November for Bellerive's opening first-class match of the season, it will be his fortieth such game, and thirty-eighth in what is, after an era of commercial naming, again the Sheffield Shield.  It will be Oxenford's sixth first-class match at Bellerive since his first in March 2004, however, for Ward he will be standing at the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) headquarters for the first time in what will by then be his sixth first-class match.  Prior to this season all of his previous four first-class games have been played in Melbourne, but his fifth in mid-October will be at the Adelaide Oval, his partner there being another Queensander, Peter Parker, who like Oxenford in an on-field IUP official. 


While it will be Ward's first Bellerive match he is no stranger to Hobart.  During two Cricket Australia men's Under 19 tournaments played in Hobart in 2000-01 and again in 2007-08 (E-News 151-836, 10 December 2007), the Victorian has officiated at Kingston Beach, KGV, Lindisfarne, New Town, Queenborough, the University Oval and the old TCA ground.  


The season's third TCUSA Training-Appointments meeting is scheduled to be held on what is expected to be the third evening of the first-class match and it is hoped that both Oxenford and Ward will be able to attend that gathering of umpire and scorer members.





Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies were yesterday named on the short list for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Spirit of Cricket' award for 2009.  The captain of the winner of this year's award will be presented with the trophy during ICC's fifth annual awards night in Dubai early on Thursday morning Australian time (E-News 303-1592, 30 August 2008).


The award is to be decided by votes cast against each nominee by members of both the ICC's Elite Umpires and Match Referee Panels and the captains of the ICC's ten full member sides.  Since it was inaugurated in 2004, New Zealand, England twice, and last year Sri Lanka, have been selected for the award. 





Surrey's Mark Ramprakash has been summoned to appear before an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary panel following a "bat pointing" confrontation with umpire John Steele during a first-class match against Sussex at the Oval late last month.  County skipper Ramprakash was involved in a "very visible" confrontation with Sussex's Murray Goodwin that later led to what one report said was "a tirade of fury" directed towards Steele (E-News 304-1595, 1 September 2008).   


Ramprakash was reported by Steele and fellow umpire Rob Bailey and yesterday's 'Daily Telegraph' is reporting that the player  "has been summoned by Gerard Elias, the ECB's disciplinary chairman, to a hearing on 24 September, the day the final round of County championship matches for the season are scheduled to get underway.  Between the time of Ramprakash's reported misbehaviour and the hearing he will have played four first-class matches and three forty-over games for his County. 





Former Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar Khan, who was replaced as PCB Chairman by Dr Nasim Ashraf two years ago, believes that Ashraf, who resigned from the position in mid-August, had "committed some blunders during his tenure", including agreeing to the reinstatement of Australian umpire Darrell Hair earlier this year, says a report posted on the '' web site yesterday.


Asked to elaborate, Shaharyar is reported to have made during a press conference in Lahore was that it "was unfair" that "the suspension of [former Australian international] umpire Darrell Hair from the [International Cricket Council's] Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in the wake of the [ball-tampering] Oval Test fiasco", was carried out "without a probe by a neutral committee".  Ashraf, along with Sir John Anderson the New Zealand Cricket Board's Chairman, and Peter Chingoka who holds a similar position in Zimbabwe, were on the ICC sub-committee that recommended Hair's suspension to the world body's Board (E-News 108-598, 3 October 2007).        


The '' story goes on to say that Shaharyar "asserted" that in his view, "had Hair appeared before a neutral committee to clear his position in the Oval Test, he could not have re-entered in the [EUP]".  The former Chairman does not appear to have elaborated on just what he considered the composition of such impartial group should have been.  


Hair was reinstated to the EUP by the ICC in April this year after some twenty months of "rehabilitation", a decision that Asraf supported, he being quoted by the 'Cricinfo' web site at the time as saying that that "we, the PCB, have full confidence and faith in the ICC management that they will exercise wise judgment in assigning Mr Hair in international matches" (E-News 214-1187, 20 March 2008). 


Hair wrote to the ICC in August to resign from the EUP as of 1 November, press reports late last month claiming that he was frustrated by the lack of match appointments from the Dubai-based organisation, and it appears that he ended his international umpiring career in Toronto, Canada, last month (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2008).








Six TCUSA members have been named as members to the Tasmanian State Umpires Squad (SUS) for 2008-09, the list including a female for the first time.  Five members of last year's SUS, Steven John, Nick McGann, Brian Muir, Sam Nogajski and Jamie Mitchell return again this year, and they are being joined by former Launceston-based umpire Caroline McGregor.  


Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpiring, told E-News yesterday that this season's Squad was developed in conjunction with Cricket Australia's Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford and the national body's new Umpire High Performance Panel (E-News 274-1464, 11 July 2008).  The Squad is slightly smaller than last year (E-News 89-479, 28 August 2007), as the parameters and criteria CA has set for such groups limits numbers in order that that each individual can be coached appropriately and their performances monitored adequately. 


Of the six, John has been named by CA to stand in the first one-day interstate match of the season at Bellerive on 1 November, his fourth on-field appointment at that level since his debut almost a year ago (E-News 306-1602, 5 September 2008).  Over the winter months he has officiated in the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Brisbane in July (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008), and the following month returned there to stand in matches the Tasmanian squad played against the Australian Institute of Sport (E-News 287-1521, 30 July 2008).


John and Nogajski will be working with Victorian members of the National Umpires Squad Paul Rieffel and John Ward in a preseason competition that will involve the Tasmanian, NSW, Victorian and South Australian sides which is to be played in south-east in late September and early October.  Nogajski will return north to Newcastle, NSW in December to take part in this year's national Under 19 men's tournament, a key point on CA’s umpire’s development pathway, while McGann is to travel to Perth the following month for the Under 17 men's series.


McGregor, who was last month awarded a $3,500 grant under the Australian Sports Commission's  'Sport Leadership Grants for Women' program to attend training programs during the EPT in July (E-News 275-1469, 14 July 2008), will be umpiring in Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) Grade Cricket this season after several years in Launceston.  


She was named for her initial TCA First Grade match last season but was unable to stand in the match due to illness (E-News 194-1058, 11 February 2008), and later stood in the Second Grade Grand Final in Launceston in March (E-News 207-1154, 11 March 2008).  McGregor also took part in two separate women's interstate tournaments in Canberra and Brisbane last season (E-News 169-907, 5 January 2008).  Widows told E-News that the TCA will be "working with CA to identify opportunities for Caroline to umpire senior women's cricket on the mainland".


Widows also indicated that there has been "some discussion regarding an exchange of umpires with Victoria" for at least one of the scheduled CA Cup games involving State Second XI sides early in the New Year. 





The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Committee (CEC) is "to consider raising the payments of match officials, umpires and referees" during its two-day meeting which is due to get underway in Dubai this afternoon Australian time, says to the '' web site.  The ICC itself says that the CEC will receive a report on the trial of Player Review System (PRS) that took place during the recent Sri Test series between Sri Lanka and India and review the increasingly crowded Future Tour Program. 


The ICC said in a statement yesterday that the CEC, whose meeting is one of four it routinely holds each year, "will make decisions on a range of matters relating to the playing of cricket as well as formulating recommendations on the business of cricket for consideration by the meeting of the ICC's full Board’s next month".  It did not mention the pay issue, but resolution of such matters appears to be long overdue.  


Improvements to the pay structure of ICC umpires and other match officials, including a merit-based increment system, was one of a number of recommendations made by the world body's umpiring "task force" one year ago this week (E-News 99-541, 13 September 2007), and accepted by the ICC Board several months later (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007).  


The ICC said at the time that such improvements "should provide sufficient incentive" for those involved to "aspire to be appointed" to the top-tier of world umpiring.  No details of just what is envisaged have been made public, although then ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said last November that planned improvements to the way umpires are trained, managed and selected for international duties will cost in excess of $A1m (E-News 128-697, 5 November 2007).


It is possible that the report on the PRS trial that is to be considered by the CEC today and tomorrow was prepared by the ICC's "expert panel" that was established last month to examine the issues involved (E-News 294-1553, 13 August 2008).  


'CricketNext' is reporting that "all match officials", which presumably means some twenty members of both the ICC's Elite Umpires and Match Referee's Panels, are "scheduled to attend [the ICC's annual umpire and match referee] seminar" in Dubai from 23-25 September, "where the pros and cons of the [PRS trial are] to be deliberated and put before the decision making body", the later an inference that their views will also go to next month's ICC Board meeting.  Last year's annual umpire and match referee seminar was held in Johannesburg in September (E-News 105-579, 27 September 2007). 


Despite having a meeting scheduled for October, the ICC says that the Board will hold a one-day meeting in Dubai tomorrow, the wording of the ICC statement indicating that it will focus on "the issue of the Champions Trophy (CT)".  It was to have been held in Pakistan this month but was postponed until next year because of security concerns, and which now faces a clash with the 2009 Twenty20 Champions League finals.  The Board will "consider views of the CEC and seek to chart a course towards the successful staging of the [CT] in 2009". 








Australian international umpire Simon Taufel was named as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year for the fifth year in a row year in Dubai overnight.  The award confirmed Taufel's standing as the best umpire on the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), the 37-year-old receiving his votes from captains of cricket's ten, full member, nations and the ICC's eight-man match referees panel.


Taufel beat off competition for this award from four fellow EUP members Mark Benson (England), Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Steve Davis (Australia) and Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) (E-News 306-1612, 9 September 2008).  Taufel, who is the youngest member of the EUP, stood in his first One Day International (ODI) aged twenty-eight, and initial Test before he was thirty, and over the last eight years has gone on to officiate in 138 ODIs and fifty-three Tests, 


Unfortunately for the Australian his international career has coincided with his national side's domination of the world game and a change in policy by the ICC that called for 'neutral' umpires in Tests and other key matches.  


As a result Taufel, who joined the EUP in 2003, missed out on standing in last year's World Cup final, even though many observers regarded him as the best umpire available.  Such has been Taufel's consistency that there have been calls for the ICC to relax its rules to allow him to stand even in finals and major matches, such as Ashes Tests, featuring Australia.


When receiving his award in last night Taufel said that "umpiring is essentially a mental exercise [and] for me it's about being mentally fit and keeping at the top of my game".  He was he said "delighted to win this award but [didn't] set this as a goal at the start of a season".  "My goals are to be selected for finals and for major championships", and if "Ricky and the boys slip up, eventually I might get the chance to do a final", as was the case in the world Twenty20 Championship last year (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007).  He also stood in the final of the Asia Cup this year (E-News 264-1426, 28 June 2008).


In the voting period of this year's award Taufel stood in ten Tests, sixteen ODIs, and eleven Twenty20 internationals.  No-one else has won the 'Umpire of the Year' award since was established in 2004 and ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat last night described Taufel's dominance of it as "remarkable".





Sri Lanka won the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Spirit of Cricket' award for the second year in a row during the ICC's annual ceremony in Dubai overnight.  The award is presented to the team that, in the opinion of both the ICC's Elite Umpires and Match Referees Panels, conducted itself the best on the field of play over the past year.


Mahela Jayawarde, Sri Lanka's captain said on receiving the award on behalf of his team last night that while “the captain has to set the example, at the same time every player in the team has to take responsibility and play the game in the right spirit".  “You have to be aggressive and passionate when you play for your country as you have to want to win", he continued, "but you don’t have to cross the line and be personal [as there] are ways of being aggressive while still controlling your anger and passion". 


The ‘Spirit of Cricket’ is described in the preamble to the Laws of Cricket: “Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself".


New Zealand took out the inaugural award in 2004 and England in 2005 and 2006, before Sri Lanka's back-to-back win.  The island nation is said by the ICC as having "narrowly defeated Bangladesh, New Zealand and the West Indies" to win this year's award. 





Rosters for the 280 home-and-away and finals matches that have been scheduled for the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 2008-09 season have been released and are now available on line.  The five-Grade schedule, which will see almost 450 players on the field each weekend, calls for First Grade to get underway on 18 October, and the Seconds, Thirds, Under 17s and Under 15s seven days later over the weekend of 25-26 October. 


Full details of the roster can be obtained by going to the TCA's web site at and selecting 'Club Cricket' in the banner at the top of the page, then TCA which will take you to 'Fixtures'.  A similar service is available for the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association on the web site (NTCA), however, no details are available as yet for the Northwest Tasmania Cricket Association season. 


In the south, the TCA's First and Second Grade season is again made up of seven one-day, and seven two-day games, with five of the former being played in the lead up to Christmas, and five of the latter in the New Year prior to the final series which is listed for the last two weekends of March.  


Only one of the two-day games in those competitions is scheduled to be played over a single weekend, all the others being Saturday-Saturday, although the last of the home-and-away games could become a single weekend Saturday-Sunday game if Tasmania hosts the final of the Sheffield Shield competition in the first half of March.  


Full details of the Kookaburra Cup or the TCA's Twenty20 competition are not yet available, although it is known that Grand Final of the latter series will be played as a curtain raiser to the one-day game between Tasmania and Victoria at Bellerive on 28 December.  If played in the south of the State the Kookaburra Cup Grand Final will also be played at Bellerive Oval.


In the Third and Under 17 Grades the pattern before Christmas is the same as in the two senior competitions, but in the New Year there are three one-day games and four two-day, all of the latter being scheduled for Sunday-Sunday.  


However, should Tasmania host the final of the one-day interstate series on 22 February the second-last two-day round of the Thirds and Under 17 seasons will become one-dayers and be played the second Sunday.  Similarly, if Tasmania hosts the Shield final the last home-and-away game would also become a one-dayer, and there would then be a one-week break before the Third and Under 17 semi finals are played on the weekend of 21-22 March.  


Should Tasmania go so well as to host both interstate finals, it would mean that the Thirds and Under 17s competition would be made up of nine one-day and five two-day games.


At the Under 15 level ten rounds are scheduled, six before Christmas and four afterwards, the finals being held over two weekends in mid-March with those games being the usual first versus second, third versus fourth and so on rostering.  All games are scheduled for Sundays, four two-day matches being listed before Christmas and one afterwards.


The final matches of 2008 for the top four Grades will be on the weekend of 20-21 December, and the first for the New Year on 3-4 January, a break of a single weekend.  For the Under 15s their Christmas break runs from their last game of 2008 on 14 December to the first of 2009 on 11 January four weeks later.  


The TCA says that details of the Southern Tasmanian Cricket League roster will not be available for several weeks.





Eight players were reported in Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) competitions during the 2007-08 season, five more than the year before, according to the latest TCA's Annual Report which was distributed to members this week.  Yellow cards also rose last season, jumping to thirty-four from the twenty-two in 2006-07.


Six of the players who were reported pleaded guilty and accepted the set penalty offered them while the other two attended a judiciary hearing, the year before only one of the three players reported opting for the judicial route.  Of the thirty-four yellow cards issued last season, four led to players being suspended for a match because they had accumulated three such censures within two seasons.  





This year's women's Cricket Australia Cup (WCAC) for State Second XI sides, which involves one-day matches, is to be held in Hobart over the third week of December.  Details of just which sides will be involved and the game and ground roster have not yet been released, and whether the problems that caused this year's women's Under 19 Championship will impact on the CAC series is not known (E-News 307-1610, 7 September 2008). 


In recent years appropriately qualified umpires and scorers from home State Associations have managed the WCAC series in a similar way to the support TCUSA members gave to the national women's Under 19 tournament in Hobart in January 2007.  That was also the case when the WCAC was held in Canberra last year, although umpires from the Australian Capital Territory also welcomed TCUSA member Caroline McGregor into the fold (E-News 150-825, 7 December 2007), and it is possible that a similar interstate visitor could be involved in this year's series.





Two batsmen who retired hurt during a tournament in the United States last week were prevented from resuming their innings because they failed to inform the umpires of the reason for their withdrawl from the crease.  Their error follows a similar incident that occurred in a match across the Atlantic in England last month (E-News 292-1547, 8 August 2008).


The 'DreamCricketUSA' web site says that the Thunderbird Cricket Club and the Chicago Knights were playing in the final of a night Twenty20 tournament that was designed to "break down the barriers between established cricket leagues in Chicagoland".  Thunderbirds, who batted first, lost two batsmen to injury during their innings and on loosing their eighth wicket with the score on 124, one of them attempted to return as nine balls were left in the innings.  


However, the umpires made it clear that both players were 'Retired Out' as neither official was aware of the reasons as to why they left the crease.  Reports say that when the situation was explained to the Thunderbirds and that they "accepted the umpire's decision without question".  In their innings the Chicago Kings passed the Thunderbirds total with just four wickets down and several overs to bowl. 





Disagreement over whether a ground in Jamaica was suitable for play or not in a one-day club game has led to the matter being referred to the Jamaica Cricket Association's (JCA's) Competitions and Complaints Committee (CCC), says a report in Jamaica's 'Observer' newspaper yesterday.  Last Sunday's match between Portland and Kingston, which was to decide the eighth and final qualifier for the quarter-finals of the island nation's domestic one-day competition, was not played because of issues surrounding the outfield at Folly Oval in Portland.


Jamaica was lashed by Hurricane 'Gustav' in the lead up to last weekend and the island received significant rain fall over several days.  On the day on which play was scheduled the Kingston side arrived at the ground late and automatically forfeited the toss.  Portland elected to bat, but the visitors voiced their disapproval about a section of the outfield close to the boundary they deemed soggy and unsafe for play.  Their coach is quoted by the 'Observer' as saying that "anybody who went into that area [during play] could easily damage a knee or tear a ligament". 


As a compromise, Kingston asked that the boundary ropes be pulled in so that play could get underway, for the ground being used was "big" and in their view no one would be at a disadvantage in the forty over game.  The Observer claims that "Portland decided against that option", its captain allegedly stating that "his team would not play if the ropes were brought in". 


According to the 'Observer', "the [unnamed] umpires ruled against Kingston's request", presumably because they believed the ground was generally not fit for play, although that is not stated or even hinted at in the newspaper's report.  Portland believes that that they should be awarded the match "as the umpires ruled against Kingston's request".  However, the visitors do not agree, telling the Observer the "umpires acted unprofessionally in resolving the problem on the basis of the Portland captain's decision", and that by the latter's position was actually a refusal to play. 


Under the rules of Jamaica's one-day competition, a 'match abandoned' decision would see Portland continue in the one-day competition, while if Kingston are able to win their argument and the match is awarded to them, they will progress.  The CCC is due to meet at Sabina Park around mid-morning today Australian time to resolve the issue.





The Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday selected twenty-five umpires to participate in the Level 2 Umpire umpiring course run by it and Cricket Australia that is to get underway in Dhaka on Saturday.  'The New Nation' newspaper is reporting that four Australians, Ross Turner, Darren Goodger, Graham Chudleigh and Nick Fowler, all of whom are based in New South Wales, will conduct the six-day course (E-News 295-1559, 14 August 2008). 


Ten "Grade A", seven "Grade B", and eight "Grade C" umpires have been named to take part in the course.  Five of the Grade A group, Shawkatur Rahman Chinu, Mahbubur Rahman, Manzur Rahman, Syed Mahbubullah and Jahangir Alam are from the "national pool", the others being Abdul Aziz Shikder, Md. Wahid, Abdul Awal, Ashiqur Rahman and Rafiqul Alam. 


Grade B officials involved are SM Zakaria, Atiqur Rahman , Md. Rokonuzzaman, Masudur Rahman, Humayun Kabir Ahmed, Morshed Ali Khan Sumon, Mahbub Morshed, and the Grade C group is made up of Md Reazul Islam, Hasan Shamim, Shahid Zongi, Md. Abdul Moktadir, Sharif Shamim Ahmed, Md. Saidur Rahman, Md. Sirazul Islam and Tanvir Mahmood.








The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to extend the trial of its Player Referral System (PRS) after initial results from the recent Test series between Sri Lanka and India generally proved positive (E-News 300-1580, 22 August 2008).  Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's Chief Executive Officer, is reported to have told a press conference in Dubai yesterday that it is hoped that the trial will continue in all the bilateral series that are to be played up until the ICC's Cricket Committee's annual meeting next May.


The decision to extend the PRS trial was taken at this week's two-day meeting of the world body's Chief Executive Committee (CEC) (E-News 309-1618, 10 September 2008), after it was briefed on experience gained during the Lanka-India series by the ICC's new Umpires’ and Referees’ manager Vince van der Bijl and its Umpires’ Manager Doug Cowie, and considered a "lot of reports that indicated real support for, and the positive outcome of, the trial system". 


Several media outlets quoted Lorgat as saying his "recollection [from the CEC meeting] is that the on-going trial will involve all of the Test-playing nations and it may well involve all of the umpires and match referees as far as possible".  Currently "there are four series that have been scheduled, and we will engage with each of those members to see if they will continue with the trial system in each of those series".  It is hoped that it "will involve all of the Test playing nations, and as far as possible we want to involve all of the umpires and match referees to get them exposed to the system".


A total of fourteen Tests are scheduled between now and Christmas.  India will host six, four with Australia and two with England, Bangladesh two, their opponents being New Zealand, South Africa two against Bangladesh, and Australia four with two each involving New Zealand and South Africa respectively.  However, India's 'Daily News and Analysis' web site is currently quoting an "ICC spokesman" as "ruling out" any possibility that the PRS will be used in next month's India-Australia Test series.


Lorgat indicated that a "final report" on the trial will cover all series in which it has been employed.  It is to be presented to the ICC's Cricket Committee at its normal annual meeting in May next year, and then considered by the CEC at its gathering in June 2009. 





Press reports from Colombo indicate that the tensions that exist within umpiring ranks in Sri Lanka have again come to the fore, this time over arguments about just who should accompany the island nation's senior umpires when they attend the annual meeting of International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpires and match referees in Dubai later this month (E-News .


Sri Lanka's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper is reporting that four umpires are to travel to Dubai, they being Asoka de Silva, a member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, and Gamini Silva and Tyrone Wijewardena who are on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), plus Kumar Dharmasena who was controversely promoted to the IUP by Cricket Sri Lanka earlier this year (E-News 279-1487, 18 July 2008). 


'Mirror' journalist Channaka de Silva's article yesterday says that the latest argument is over which senior Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) official is to accompany the quartet to Dubai.  He is reporting that "the official nominated by the umpires to co-ordinate the Sri Lankan umpires at the forthcoming ICC meeting was removed and was replaced with an official by the SLC "who knows nothing about umpiring".


The SLC's Umpires Committee headed by Ken de Alwis is said to have nominated SLC Manager-Umpiring Ronnie Gunaratne "to co-ordinate" the four umpires in Dubai.  However, de Alwis’ brother Guy de Alwis who is overlooking the affairs of umpires in the SLC interim committee, allegedly removed Gunaratne from the team and appointed SLC Head of Cricket Operations Ashley de Silva “for the tour”.


The Umpires Committee did not agree with the change and again nominated Gunaratne, but de Silva is said to be "now almost confirmed to make the tour as SLC is not likely to change their stance".  SLC interim committee chairman Arjuna Ranatunga who is currently in Dubai has apparently called for an emergency meeting of the interim committee next Tuesday.





Violence broke out at an Under 15 inter school match between Royal College Panadura and Saint Benedict’s College at the latter's ground in Sri Lanka on Wednesday.  Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' reported yesterday that the commotion started when a Saint Benedict’s College batsman, who the umpires had just disallowed from using a runner, was run-out, a result that led to his side's supporters “threathening to manhandle the umpires”.


Saint Benedict’s eventually lost the match, after which Panadura parents are reported to have been assaulted by Benedict supporters.  Brother Granville Perera, the Director of Saint Benedict’s College, is said to have gone to the rescue of the visitors as other old boys of the hosts intervened to stop the assailants.  The 'Mirror' says that the umpires are due to submit their match report on this incident before the end of this week.








A visiting side in the Yorkshire Cricket League  (YCL) whose match was 'abandoned' without a ball being bowled when their opponent's groundsman would not allow the match to proceed, had the result overturned at a YCL hearing last week.  Despite agreement by the umpires and captains on the day that the match could proceed, reports indicate that the groundsman would not make the ground available for play.


Visitors York, who are challenging for the 2008 YCL Championship, had travelled to Headingley to play the Yorkshire Academy in an County Premier League match, and the 'abandonment' decision mean that they were only entitled to three points instead of eight for a 'win', a five-point loss that was critical to their premiership hopes.  Cricket leagues in the UK are won on a 'top-of-the-table' basis with no ‘finals’ series involved. 


According to a story in yesterday's edition of York's home town newspaper 'The Press'', "bright sunshine" prevailed on the day of the match, and the visitor's believed that the decision to call off the game was because the Headingley groundsman did not want the pitch to be used ahead of the First One Day International between England and South Africa that was scheduled for six days later. 


As a result of their concerns, York appealed to the YCL and last week a panel decided the pitch was fit to play and that the visitors had been "deprived of the opportunity to win the game".  York were awarded eight points and the Academy side was instructed to pay both umpire’s match fees and York's travelling expenses.





Former England batsman Steve James says that a batsman who has stretched out to ground his bat behind the crease should not be out if that bat "bounces" in the air as the wicket is broken in a 'run out' situation.  


James expresses the view in a column in the 'Wisden Cricketer' magazine that such a situation "is no different from the [case where] a batsman takes evasive action" by leaving his crease after making his ground in order to prevent himself being injured. 





The long service of soon to retire County umpire Graham Burgess was acknowledged at Taunton last Friday on what was the final day of his last match as an umpire at his old home ground.  Burgess, who played as an all-rounder for Somerset from 1966-79, will officiate in the last game of what will by then be a 263 first-class umpiring career at the end of next week, 


A presentation to mark Burgess' contribution as an umpire was made to him during the tea break in the match between Somerset and Durham.  During his fourteen-year playing career for Somerset he played 252 first-class and 210 one-day matches before retiring in June 1979.  His debut as a first-class umpire came in May 1990, and in addition to his match tally in that form of the game, he also stood in 288 List 'A' games, two of them being One Day Internationals.    


The London 'Daily Telegraph' says that Burgess, who turned sixty-five  last May, is "being forced to lay down his finger" as a County umpire because of his age.





The refusal of a side in Jamaica to commence a match when the umpires called 'play' was the reason a one-day domestic match there last week was awarded to their opponents, says a report published in that nation's 'Observer' newspaper yesterday.  The game between Portland and Kingston, which was to decide the eighth and final qualifier for the quarter-finals of the intra-island competition, was not played because of issues surrounding the outfield at Folly Oval in Portland. 


A separate report in the 'Observer' last week quoted Kingston club officials as blaming the Portland side for the decision not to start play (E-News 310--1625, 11 September 2008).  Despite that a hearing of the Jamaica Cricket Association's Competitions and Complaints Committee (CCC) held last Wednesday Caribbean time, heard that both umpire's and the Portland captain believed the ground was satisfactory for the match to proceed at the scheduled 10.30 a.m. start time, something the Kingston side did not agree to.


The CCC subsequently awarded the game to Portland because of Kingston's refused to take the field.  Kingston's coach, Terrence Corke, said the club accepted the decision of the committee, but considered the umpires "to be weak and unprofessional".  


Portland's manager Geoffrey Flemmings, who is also an umpire, told the 'Observer' that his team has been vindicated.  "It was the correct decision", said Flemmings, and that the umpires "did what they had to do” and despite coming "under a lot of pressure from the Kingstonians they did not yield.








Details of the TCUSA's National Umpire Accreditation Scheme Level 2 program (NUAS-2) for the 2008-09 season have been released.  A total of twenty-three modules have been scheduled for presentation over a four-month period commencing 22 October, most over eleven hour-long presentations and discussion sessions that will be held on Wednesday evenings immediately prior to most Training-Appointments meetings up until 18 February. 


A chronological list of specific NUAS-2 meeting dates and the Modules that are to be presented at each is provided on the 'Events' page of this web site.  A list of the NUAS-2 Modules themselves, including the key subjects that will be covered at the Annual Seminar because of their fundamental nature, is available by going to the 'NUAS-2' part of this site.  General information about the NUAS-2 program is available at that location.


This season's program is being managed by senior umpires Brian Muir and Steve Maxwell, Muir replacing Ian Quaggin who was elected to the TCUSA Management Committee at the Annual General Meeting last May (E-News 246-1354, 26 May 2008).  Queries about the program should be directed to either Brian on 03-6248-7995 or 0427-282-278., or Steve on 03-6268-6470 or 0416-277-464.  





A course targeted at Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) club scorers who were unable to attend the TCUSA's mid-year training sessions is to be held over two evenings at Bellerive on 8-9 October.  In order to receive match payments for scoring in TCA First and Second Grade matches, scorers must have completed a course and the subsequent assessment of their knowledge. 


Next month's course, which is to be presented by TCUSA President-Administrator Graeme Hamley, will include training in Total Cricket Scorer the computer scoring program used by the TCA, and Duckworth-Lewis, and will conclude with an assessment session.


Those planning to attend are requested to advise Chris Garrett, the TCA's Grade Cricket Manager, by Monday, 6 October, and where possible bring one of their clubs’ scoring laptops with them.  The meetings will start at 6.30 p.m. in the Premiership Room, Bellerive Oval on both evenings.





Representatives of clubs who play in the Southern Tasmania Cricket Association (STCL) competition were scheduled to meet last night, the aim being to try and finalise the sides that each plans to put on the field during the coming season.  Once the teams who will be involved are known the Tasmania Cricket Association will draw up the rosters for 2008-09.  





TCUSA President-Administrator Graeme Hamley has forwarded forms to members by post requesting advice on their attendance at this year's Annual Seminar on the weekend of 4-5 October at Bellerive.  Members are asked to either fill out and return the flyer provided together with payment for the two days, or advise him via e-mail or telephone that they plan to attend and then pay on the day.   


The $30 fee for the weekend includes the cost of morning and afternoon teas and lunches on both days.  A seminar dinner option is available on the Saturday evening after that day's program concludes at Bellerive and members are also asked to indicate their interest in attending.  









Cricket North West (CNW), which runs the game in the Devonport area in the north-west of the State, is on the look out for half-a-dozen more umpires for the forthcoming season, says Brad Cole, the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) CNW Administrator.  Cole told E-News yesterday that while twelve umpires are currently lining up for the 2008-09 season, additional officials are needed to provide adequate cover for both Saturday and Sunday matches.


The CNW competition will again consist of six clubs this season, each running First and Second Grade sides on Saturdays and a third the next day in what is referred to as the Sunday League.  Often, says Cole, a number of umpires on the CNW panel are not available every weekend, and the recruitment of additional officials will mean that two will be able to be supplied to the six First and Second Grade matches and also reduce the number who have to stand again on the Sunday. 


Cole says that to date "two or three" new umpires have signed on for the season ahead, however, that has been counter-balanced by long-serving Bob Marshall's retirement and the departure of several of last season's officials from the region.


The north-west region's local newspaper 'The Advocate' reported yesterday that the situation is "so bad that Cricket North West needs to double the number of umpires or games will not be able to go ahead".  Cole described that report as an "over enthusiastic" summary of the situation, however, he is trying to ensure that sufficient umpires are available for each game so that the players themselves are not called upon to stand at square leg, or in a worse-case situation, also at the bowler's end. 


CNW's 2008-09 season is due to get underway on 18 October and will, like the TCA competition in the south (E-News 310-1621, 11 September 2008), consist of seven one-day and seven two-day matches, with the semi-finals being scheduled for 21-22 March, the First Grade Grand Final from 27-29 March and the other Grades on 28-29 March. All First Grade games this season are expected to be scored using computers provided by the TCA, Cole to date having trained all but one of the club scorers who will support those games. The roster is yet to appear on the national ‘MyCricket’ data base due to computer system problems. 


Cole has been involved in cricket in the north-west of the State for many years, first as a scorer, a role he has now held for over a decade, then as the Association's statistician, Assistant Secretary, and from 2001 until he took up his current position a year ago, its Secretary (E-News 101-577, 19 September 2007).


Umpires in the north-west are paid $A90 a day plus travel.  Those in that region who are interested should contact Cole on 03-6424-7399 or via e-mail at





The International Institute of Cricket Umpiring and Scoring (IICUS), which last month made its new 'Umpiring Techniques' Manual (UTM) available on line (E-News 297-1568, 18 August 2008), is now providing a partial look at it and two other booklets it has published for its umpiring course.  Apart from the UTM, several pages of both the 'Tutors Supplement' and 'Learners Assessment Book' for "Unit C1" of the IICUS' course titled "Governing the Game" have been posted on the Institute's web site. 


The introduction to the Tutor's manual says that it "gives guidance on the IICUS approach to certain aspects of the Laws and their application [and that its] purpose is to ensure consistency of training wherever the course is delivered". One page of the 'Learner's Assessment Book' features a 'Critical Self-Assessment Form' for use by umpires following the matches they stand in.


The booklets can be viewed at:





Barrie Leadbeater, who is standing in his twenty-eighth straight season in County cricket this northern summer, is currently officiating in his 459th and final first-class match in the game between Yorkshire and Somerset at Scarborough which ends on Saturday.  Leadbeater, who played thirteen of the 147 first-class games and four of the 106 List A matches in which he represented Yorkshire at Scarborough, turned sixty-five last month and like his umpiring colleague Graham Burgess is therefore required to retire from the County scene (E-News 312-1632, 15 September 2008).   


Leeds-born Leadbeater played for Yorkshire from 1966-79 as a batsman, his last first-class game in that role being in August 1979.  He stood in his initial match as an umpire at that level just twenty months later, and says that he is "very grateful" to the then Yorkshire captain John Hampshire for "a good reference to Lord's for [inclusion in] the first-class umpires' list".  In addition to his first-class umpiring tally, Leadbeater has also stood in a total of 467 List A games and thirty-four Twenty20 County matches.  


During the last twenty-eight years Leadbeater has umpired five One Day Internationals (ODI), and two more in the third official's suite plus another two on television duty in Tests, almost two-dozen matches between County teams and touring sides from all Test playing nations except his own, and both women's and youth Tests and ODIs.  He has also served a four-year term as chairman of the First-Class Umpires' Association,  


Leadbeater told the 'CricketArchive' web site several years ago that he has been fortunate to enjoy a full adult lifetime of cricket. "If I had my time over again, I’d do exactly the same thing, and play for the same County", he said, and he looks forward to spending much more time on the golf course in his retirement.


With the departure of Leadbeater and Burgess, the average age of the remaining twenty-three members England and Wales Cricket Board's 'Full' umpire's list is fifty-three, the age range being from thirty-five to sixty-four.  Seven are in their sixties, nine in their fifties, four in their forties and three in their thirties.  Of those Mike Harris is due to turn sixty-five next May and is expected to retire this time next year, while Barry Dudleston, John Holder and Van Burn Holder will move on at the end of the 2010 season. 





Advice provided to the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) following a meeting last Monday indicates that all five clubs affiliated with the Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL), City, Derwent, DOSA, St Virgil's and Wellington, plan to run a team in the competition's 2008-09 Division One roster.  


Chris Garrett, the TCA's Grade Cricket Manager, says that the make-up of the Division two series is not yet clear as several clubs are still working to determine whether they can provide sides or not.  Garrett says that home-and-away rosters for both divisions will be prepared once club teams are finalised.





Former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird is to tour Britain in early November in a search of Britain's best sausages in a competition called 'The Hunt for Britain's Landmark Bangers", an event that is part of 'British Sausage Week'.  


The week long event is being organised by the 'British Sausage Appreciation Society' in order to "celebrate the taste, quality and diversity of the British sausage".  Bird told media in Yorkshire this week that he is "chuffed to be involved in British Sausage Week [as] sausages are as much a part of Britain's heritage as cricket and [he] can't wait to get sampling the best that each region has to offer".








Paul Clark, the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association's (NTCA) long-serving Umpires' Advisor, has been appointed as that Association's Administrator by the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA).  The Administrator position has been vacant for almost twelve months since Lucas Tolputt left the position last year after just three days in the job (E-News 101-557, 19 September 2008).


In his new job, Clark will be responsible for the management of the NTCA club competitions in the Launceston area, covering issues such as the By Laws, rostering, ground allocations, player registrations, clearances, insurance and tribunals, as well as providing administrative assistance in the umpiring and scorer area of the game.  He will also look after arrangements for Jamie Cox Plate, Kookaburra Cup and other high-profile games played in the north.


Clark, who came out of "semi-retirement" to fill the position, is no stranger to the NTCA, having served on its Board over the last four years as its Competition Director and Chairman of its Pennant Committee.  In addition during his twenty-two years with the Northern Tasmania Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, he has been its Vice President, Treasurer, and Umpires' Advisor, the latter for the last ten years in a row, and he plans to continue in all of those roles.  


During his umpiring career he has stood in the Sheffield Shield, in tour matches involving Sri Lanka, Lancashire and Otago, a women's One Day International, and a national Under 17 men's tournament.  He has also served as match referee in a one-day domestic game.


Although half-a-dozen umpires have been recruited to NTCA umpiring ranks for the 2008-09 season, Clark says another "three or four" would provide a better base to work from.  Over the last few years he says "we have seen good umpires like Caroline McGregor come on the scene" in the north, but they have moved on for a variety of understandable reasons and that has had an impact on the "depth" of officials that have been available in the region.  


The NTCA competition is scheduled to get underway on 11 October and northern umpires are meeting at the NTCA Ground in Launceston on Thursday evenings at the same time clubs are training in the indoor nets.  Those interested in joining umpiring ranks in the north should contact Clarke on 03-6331-4593 or via e-mail at 





TCUSA umpiring members Steven John, Nick McGann and Sam Nogajski, who are all members of the State Umpires Squad (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008), are all involved in pre-season matches played at Pontville north of Hobart this week.  John and Nogajski officiated in a practice match involving Tasmanian Tigers squad members that was played there on Wednesday, while the latter and McGann are to umpire a Tasmanian Under 17 trial game at the same venue today.


Next week John and Nogajski are to travel to Queensland where they will join Victorian members of the National Umpires Squad Paul Rieffel and John Ward in a preseason competition that will involve the Tasmanian, NSW, Victorian and South Australian sides.  Nogajski will return north to Newcastle, NSW in December to take part in this year's national Under 19 men's tournament, a key point on CA’s umpire’s development pathway, while McGann is to travel to Perth the following month for the Under 17 men's series.





Attendance at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual umpires and match referees seminar has this year been widened to include the world body's five new Regional Umpires' Performance Managers (RUPM) as well as the senior umpire managers from each Test-playing nations for the first time.  Information available from a variety of sources suggests that around seventy individuals who are involved in the management of international matches from over a dozen nations will take part in the three-day meeting in Dubai which starts next Tuesday.


ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald told E-News by phone from Dubai that he plans to issue a statement about the seminar early next week.  Previous formats for that gathering, and developments in a number of areas over the past year suggest that matters that are likely to be discussed include such issues as the on-going Player Referral System (PRS) trial (E-News 311-1627, 12 September 2008), the ICC's plans for increases in match payments for officials, playing conditions and the role of the new RUPM positions.  PRS and payment issues were discussed by the world body's Chief Executives Committee last week (E-News 307-1618, 10 September 2008).


At least ten Australians are expected to take part in next week's seminar.  They are ICC match referee Alan Hurst, Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) members Steve Davis, Darrell Hair, Daryl Harper and Simon Taufel, International Umpire Panel members Bruce Oxenford, Peter Parker and Rod Tucker, ICC RUPM for the Pacific Bob Stratford, and Cricket Australia Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford.  Most are likely to travel to Dubai over the coming weekend.


For Scotford, Stratford and Tucker it will be their first ICC umpires an match referee's seminar, but Hair appears likely to be attending his last as he is due to step down from the EUP as of 31 October (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2008).  





Zimbabwe's Ian Robinson, his nation's third umpire member on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), yesterday announced that he is retiring from top-level umpiring to concentrate full-time on his new role as the world body's Regional Umpires’ Performance Manager (RUPM) for the Africa region.  Robinson was one of five umpires from around the world appointed to the newly created RUPM positions three months ago (E-News 262-1417, 26 June 2008).


Robinson, who was born in England, began umpiring in 1975 after a recurring back injury prematurely ended his playing career.  Three years later he was appointed to Zimbabwe’s First-Class panel and up until the present time has been a member of that group for what the ICC says is "a record-breaking thirty-one seasons", a period during which he stood in ninety-one games at First-Class level, his last being in August last year.


His first appointment at full international level occurred in February 1992 for a One Day International (ODI) that was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as part of that year's World Cup, his on-field colleague that day being TCUSA Life Member Steve Randell.  That competition saw the Zimbabwean stand in a total of six matches, the same number of games he was on the field for in both the 1996 and 1999 World Cups in India-Pakistan and England respectively.  


Robinson eventually went on to stand in ninety ODIs in international tournaments and bilateral series all over the world, a total that contributes significantly to his 142 List A matches.  In addition he was the third umpire in fifty-two ODIs.


His debut at Test level was also Zimbabwe's, that game being in October 1992 when India played the home side in Harare during its first full tour of the African country.  Over the next nine years Robinson went on to stand in a total of twenty-eight Tests, sixteen of them in Zimbabwe, three in Sri Lanka, two each in Australia, India and Sri Lanka, as well as single matches in England, New Zealand and the West Indies.  He was also in the third umpire's suite for nine other Tests, all of which were played in Zimbabwe.


During his career, Robinson stood in a County Second XI match in England, a game that served as a "sighter" for his only Test on English soil, in Youth Tests and ODIs, and ICC Trophy matches.  His last international appointment as an umpire was in February this year when he officiated in five games during the Under 19 World Cup in Malaysia (E-News 185-999, 29 January 2008). 


Robinson, who turned 61 last March, is quoted in an ICC statement released yesterday as saying that following his appointment to the RUPM in June, "it has become clear that I will not be able to continue as a member of the [IUP and it is] with regret and enormous pride, that I am closing this chapter of my cricket life, so as to be fully effective in my new role.”


The ICC’s Umpires’ and Referees’ Manager Vince van der Bijl paid tribute to Robinson, saying that “Ian has given a huge part of his life to cricket and, in particular, to umpiring the game" and "is an enormously popular figure within cricket and an excellent umpire so his on-field influence will be missed by players, spectators and other match officials".  


 “It is great, though" van der Bijl continued, "that Ian will still be heavily involved in the game and I have no doubt that his knowledge and enthusiasm will help to develop and nurture the next generation of top-level umpires from Africa".


No announcement has yet been made as to who Robinson's replacement in Zimbabwe's third umpire slot will be.  Of his former national colleagues on the IUP, Kevan Barbour turns fifty-nine next month and Russell Tiffin fifty in June next year.  Tiffin became the eleventh umpire to stand in 100 One Day Internationals (ODI) when he took the field for the match between Zimbabwe and the West Indies at the Queen’s Sports Club in Bulawayo last December (E-News 151-830, 10 December 2007).    





County umpire Barrie Leadbeater, who is currently standing in his final First-Class match after a twenty-eight year career (E-News 314-1640, 18 September 2008), is said to be "only fifteen" LBW "victims" short of the record for any umpire in "top-class cricket", according to a story posted on the 'Cricinfo' web site yesterday.  


'Cricinfo' does not indicate the source of the statistic, the actual number of LBWs involved, or just who is the currently holder of what some umpires may consider a rather invidious claim to fame.  'Cricinfo' says that if Yorkshire captain Darren Gough was thinking of Leadbeater's near record when he decided to bowl first on winning the toss in the current match against Somerset on Wednesday, then "it backfired", as the umpire "was not very co-operative with his index finger on [that] occasion".








TCUSA umpiring member Steven John has been appointed to stand in a Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) match in Sydney from 13-16 October, a move that is believed to be the first time an umpire from interstate has been chosen for a CAC game.  While the CAC competition only involves State Second XIs, John's appointment suggests that the national selectors may want to observer him further with an eye to a possible First-Class appointment in the season ahead.


Commenting on the move by Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpires High Performance Panel (UHPP), Tasmanian State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows said that he believes John's appointment "is a significant step forward in the process of appointing emerging umpires to games where they can be observed and assessed by the relevant CA personnel".  Widows says that "CA should be congratulated" for their continued efforts to progress the system it uses to observe, assess and appoint emerging umpires.    


CA released its appointments for interstate one-day and First-Class matches for the first month of the 2008-09 season up until 6 November earlier this month.  Without the Sydney appointment the earliest that John could be observed at higher level by a UHPP member during the season proper, as opposed to last July's Emerging Player's Tournament (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008) and next week's interstate pre-season series (E-News 315-1644, 19 September 2008), would been in the one-day domestic match he has been given at Bellerive on 1 November (E-News 308-1613, 9 September 2008).  


When it announced those month-one umpiring allocations on 3 September, CA said that the next round of appointments would be released on 8 October, a date that is almost a week before John stands in Sydney.  If that next appointments release also covers a one-month period, which would end around 7 December, that would mean that the UHPP would have John's performance in Sydney in front of it when it allocates the officials to the last First-Class match of the year at Bellerive in mid-December.


Should John be appointed to a First-Class match over the next few months, he will be the first Tasmanian umpire to officiate at that level since former TCUSA member Ken McGinniss left the ground at Bellerive on 3 February 2006.





Former Sri Lankan First-Class umpire Ranmore Martinesz, who was banned from taking part in all forms of cricket and cricket related activities by his home Board for standing in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) earlier this year (E-News 232-1289, 22 April 2008), is being allowed to officiate in club matches played in the island nation.  Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) lifting of the ban on Martinez and five of its players comes after thirteen Bangladesh players were banned by their Board for joining the ICL earlier this week.


SLC's Chief Executive Officer Duleep Mendis was quoted by a number of media outlets yesterday as indicating that the decision to reprieve the six "was taken after a request from the cricketers" that they be allowed to take part in domestic cricket, and that his Board's "decision refers to a specific application from a specific group of players".  The ban on Martinez and the players was handed down by a previous SLC administration following pressure put on International Cricket Council member countries by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as part of moves to protect its Indian Premier League (IPL).


The Sri Lankan move comes as the ICL is in the final stages of preparing for the start of its next tournament in a few weeks time.  The League has been hard at work over the last six months recruiting players, umpires and other personnel for the series (E-News 293-1552, 11 August 2008), this week's "defection" to it of Bangladesh players being the most prominent outward sign of its actions to date.  Another was the England and Wales Cricket Board's recent moves to introduce twelve-month contracts for its umpires in an effort to prevent them from signing for the ICL (E-News 303-1590, 30 August 2008).  


Earlier this year several senior County umpires were employed out of their normal season by the ICL and unconfirmed reports indicated some time ago that recently retired umpires from several nations have been approached by the ICL for its next series (E-News 223-1241, 4 April 2008).  County umpire Barrie Leadbeater, whose First-Class career will end tonight Australian time (E-News 314-1640, 18 September 2008), may be a possible recruit, 'Cricinfo' in a recent match report intriguingly indicating that the game will be his "last on home soil".      


Former Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu, who was one of the players involved in the lifting of the ban by the SLC, told the 'Cricinfo' web site that it sent a "very strong message to other Boards that have imposed similar bans" and shows "the game is not ruled by any single body, and nobody should try to rule the game".  The "ICL [and] IPL both are from India and both play the same version of cricket, and I do not think that other cricket boards should get into their local politics by taking sides", he said.





Surrey and former England batsman Mark Ramprakash may have to serve a "lengthy suspension" for his indiscretion in a County match against Sussex a month ago, according to an article in yesterday's 'Daily Telegraph' in the UK.  Previous reports spoke of a confrontation Ramprakash had with an opponent and that he directed "a tirade of fury" and pointed his bat at umpire John Steele (E-News 304-1595, 1 September 2008), the latter actions says the latest 'Telegraph' report that also saw him "swear three times" at Steele. 


Ramprakash's immediate future is expected to be decided at a hearing of a England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Disciplinary Committee that is to be held at Lord's next Tuesday, although it will have no impact on him playing matches this season.  Since the Sussex game, the Surrey batsman has played in two limited over and three First-Class matches, the season ending last of the latter ending yesterday.  It is not clear at this stage just why the ECB committee has taken so long to evaluate the incident. 


The Surrey-Sussex match was umpire Steele's 160th First-Class match and has since gone on to officiate in two more such games in an umpiring career that has followed his 379 First-Class matches as an all-rounder with Leicestershire, Glamorgan and Natal from 1970-1986.  Steele's First-Class playing career ended halfway through the 1986 season when he severely injured his hand during a match, and he eventually returned to that level of the game in April 1994 as an umpire.  Since then, in addition to his First-Class and 190 List A games, he has also officiated in women's and youth Test and One Day Internationals.








Teamwork, technology and integrity in performance are the key themes for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) match officials annual seminar which is due to get underway in Dubai later today Australian time, says the world body.  The gathering, which will bring sixty-five of the world’s "most experienced and highly qualified cricket officials" together for the first time, will enable them to "share umpiring development strategies" and help towards "implement[ing] consistent logistical support for [match] officials" who work on the international scene.  


According to Vince van der Bijl, the new manager of the ICC Umpires’ and Referees’ Department, the seminar provides the opportunity for international umpires and referees to meet in one place and discuss, both formally and informally, many aspects of their jobs and how they can apply 'best practice' to their work so that "the right decisions are made when the heat is on" during matches (E-News 317-1651 below).  “Umpires and referees are human and of course mistakes will be made, but through the hard work they put in as well as the sensible implementation of technology, those mistakes can be minimised", said van der Bijl. 


 “Getting decisions correct is the key performance area for match officials and therefore it’s our primary focus", continued van der Bijl, but "cricket is a team sport and so is umpiring [and] even though it sometimes seems [as if] all the focus is on one umpire, it is important to realise that the team approach is [also] significant for success".  “The umpires and referees" who are attending have worked hard to get to such a high level, "and they have to work even harder to stay at the top, [therefore] this annual meeting is a vital part of that ongoing improvement process", said the senior ICC manager.


What the ICC calls an "intensive three-day seminar" will involve talks, workshops and question-and-answer sessions.  Those attending include the world body's seven match referees, most on its first, second and third-tier umpire panels, the five newly appointed Regional Umpire Performance Managers (RUPMs), umpire managers from each of the ICC's ten Full Members nations, and the  ICC's Umpires Selection Panel, a total of around around sixty-five people (E-News 315-1645, 19 September 2008).


During the next three days, match officials will meet with their respective RUPMs, dissect in detail the recent and continuing Player Referral System trial, review interpretations of Test and One Day International playing conditions, discuss topics such as pre-match processes, substitute fielders, use of artificial lighting, reverse sweeping, pitch protection, playing control team protocols and other aspects of playing the game, and receive an up-date on-going work of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.


An important part of the gathering is that it will allow attendees to see first-hand how the ICC's Umpires’ and Referees’ Department has been up-graded (E-News 317-1652 below), and talk with its staff about "matters related to the smooth running of cricket around the world". The Department has been significantly bolstered over the last six months by the establishment of van der Bijl's position and those of the RUPMs. 


Attendees will also be able to listen to a presentation on "leadership, teamwork and the power of the mind" by an adventurer and environmentalist who recently swam for a kilometre in a lead in the pack ice near the North Geographic Pole.


 “This conference is part of the ICC’s continued support of match officials", says said van der Bijl. "We recognise they have a difficult job to do, sometimes under enormous pressure [and] our purpose at the ICC is to create the right climate to enable them to be the very best they can be". 





The International Cricket Council (ICC) will next year introduce a "mandatory" accreditation program for umpires from around the world who are working towards international ranks, says the ICC's new Umpires and Referees Manager, Vince van der Bijl.  The program will be the last of the key broad-scale changes to international umpiring arrangements recommended by the ICC's umpiring "task force" last October to come on line (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007). 


In an article posted on the ICC's web site yesterday, van der Bijl says that International cricket umpiring "is one of the hardest officiating tasks in world sport for the decision-making involved includes "multiple factors and fine margins that have to be assessed in the blink of an eye".  The ability of match officials to "perform their role" he says, is being "severely challenged by the intense scrutiny of their actions by television and other media", the "new lucrative offerings" in the game, and the "increasing focus on results, statistics and outcomes".


Van der Bijl believes that "historically" cricket has highlighted "the almost beautiful human frailties of players and umpires and was once the very essence of cricket", however, the "game today is big business, global and very professional".  As a result there is a "drive for perfection not diverse character, increased revenue not amateur informality, and for order and standardisation as opposed to rejoicing in the games foibles".  The new accreditation arrangements, none of which were detailed, will says the senior ICC manager, ensure "that all officials appointed [to international cricket] have the right combination and standard of technical skills and management competencies". 


The accreditation process is, however, only one of a number of changes the ICC is introducing to deal with the challenges that face its umpires and referees, says van der Bijl.  The role of his "Dubai-based support team", which has been bolstered over the last few months by the establishment of his over-arching role and those of the five new Umpire Regional Performance Managers, is to "create the environment [that will] allow match officials to excel, reach past their potential and above all enjoy what they are doing".  


"Match officials prepare, train, develop in the areas of mental and emotional control, physical fitness and hone their individual skills in a similar way to the new brand of players", and for him improving their "consistency and overall performance" is his group's key focus.  "Our collective challenge", says van der Bijl, "is to foster a culture that, like a cricket team, strives for excellence on and off the field".





Australian international umpire Simon Taufel was one of five Australians who was present in Bangalore on Sunday for the start of the first of three, two-day training courses being run this week by Cricket Australia (CA) for Indian umpires at their National Cricket Academy.  A total of ninety-nine umpires, thirty-three at a time, from all of India's State associations, are scheduled to attend the three seminars.


'The Hindu' newspaper quotes Taufel as saying that the program "is a step up" from [training CA provided] last year when the focus was on "the basics, strengths and weaknesses" (E-News 117-632, 15 October 2007).  "In the current seminar" series, he says, issues to be covered include "mental and physical fitness, leg before decisions, bad-pad decisions, [dealing with] setbacks and handling the media".  


It appears though that Taufel was only present for the opening day of the six involved on Sunday, for he is scheduled to attend the International Cricket Council's Umpires and Match Referees three-day annual seminar which starts in Dubai later today (E-News 317-1651 above), and is likely to have flown there from India yesterday.  Other attendees for a short time on Sunday were the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Chief Executive Officer Professor Ratnakar Shetty, and Secretary Niranjan Shah.


Those Australians who will manage and present the courses over all six days in Bangalore are CA's Global Development Manager Ross Turner, who looks after what is believed to be a three-year umpire training contract between CA and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) (E-News 87-464, 23 August 2007), New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association training officers Nick Fowler and Darren Goodger (E-News 296-1560, 15 August 2008), and Natasha Campbell, CA's Melbourne-based Games Development Projects Officer.  


Indian media reports on the training program say that the video taping of all domestic matches that was introduced by the BCCI as part of moves to improve umpiring standards has worked well (E-News 94-511, 6 September 2008).  Those involved are said to believe they have obtained considerable benefit from it for they are able to review their performances and use them to keep improving.





Former Indian first-class umpire Umesh Kumar, who captained Punjab during his playing career, died of a heart attack on Sunday aged fifty-six.  Kumar took up umpiring in 1986 after a fifteen-year playing career as an off spinner that ended in 1985, and eventually stood in twenty-three first-class and fourteen List A games from 1987-2003.


Kumar's early umpiring career involved a time standing in lower-level games in South Africa, and his first two first-class games as a match official took place in Pakistan in 1987, but he did not stand at that level in India until six years later.  During his time as a member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Umpires Panel. Kumar worked as third umpire in single Test and One Day Internationals.


At the time of his death Kumar was a member of the Punjab State Senior Selection Committee.  His eldest son, who was just twenty-eight, died four days before his father.









Organisers of the multi-million dollar Stanford Twenty20 series scheduled for the West Indies late next month are currently negotiating with members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires and Match Referee Panels about their participation in the tournament.  A Stanford spokesman told E-News by phone from Antigua yesterday that their aim is to recruit four umpires and a single match referee for the week long series, but "at this stage" it is not possible to name just who will be involved.


Negotiations with match officials are apparently proceeding even though there is doubt at this time that the series will actually go ahead.  Stanford organisers and 'Digicel', the multi-million dollar sponsors of the West Indies Cricket Board, are locked in a row over commercial rights.


If the series does proceed, the key focus of the tournament, which will involve six matches played over seven days commencing 25 October, is a $A25m "winner takes all" game on 1 November between a Stanford-selected "Super Stars" side that is basically the West Indies by another name, and a full "England" team chosen by the England and Wales Cricket Board.  Reports indicate that players and team officials from the winning side in that match will each take home in excess of $A1m each, and Stanford is therefore labeling the match as the richest ever played.


Stanford's spokesman told E-News that given the significant stakes involved they will use "neutral" officials for its series, and that "of course means umpires and referees from England and the West Indies will not be involved".  That approach narrows the list of potential candidates for match official positions down to nine of the ICC's current twelve EUP members and six of the seven match referees.  


Potential umpires include four Australians (Steve Davis, Darrell Hair, Daryl Harper Simon Taufel), two Pakistanis (Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf), New Zealand's 'Billy' Bowden, South Africa's Rudi Koertzen and Sri Lanka's Asoka de Silva, and match referees Jeff Crowe (New Zealand), Alan Hurst (Australia), Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka), Mike Procter (South Africa) and Javagal Srinath (India).  While E-News has no knowledge of just who might be involved, given their general standing in the game umpires such as Dar, Koertzen, Taufel and possibly Hair could be at the top of Stanford's "wish list". 


Of the potential umpires and match referees, Bowden, Dar, Davis, Harper, Koertzen, Rauf, and Srinath worked under non-ICC contracts during the Indian Premier League's (IPL) inaugural six-week Twenty20 series earlier this year (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008).  Whether match referees other than Srinath were approached to take part in the IPL is not known, while Taufel turned down what has been described as a "lucrative" contract and was not involved (E-News 208-1159, 13 March 2008 ).


It is not known how much each of the officials will be paid for their week's work, however, given the extraordinary budget allocated by Texan billionaire Allen Stanford for the tournament and the obvious desire of organisers to have the best umpires and referees involved, six-figure Australian dollar sums could be involved.  Those who are finally signed up will be working under non-ICC contracts.    


Stanford's planned use of five top-level ICC match officials comes at a busy time for the world body, with sixteen international matches, five Tests and nine One Day Internationals scheduled in Africa and Asia in the week before, during and after the series in Antigua.  As many as fifteen umpires and four match referees will be needed by the ICC to cover those matches (E-News 318-1657 below).





A heavy program of international matches organised under the auspices of the International Cricket Council  (ICC) over the next three months, together with moves by a number of prominent non-ICC tournaments to utilise top-level umpires and match referees over the time, are likely to be providing the world body with a selection and scheduling challenge as it works to allocate its match officials to games between now and the New Year.  The ICC is yet to announce just who it has appointed to most of its matches, some of which are just over a week away.


During the next three months, fourteen, and possibly sixteen Tests, over twenty One Day Internationals (ODI), and several other lower-level ICC tournaments are to be played across four continents.  Scattered amongst those over an eight-week period are the Twenty20-based Stanford and Champions League series, plus the Hong Kong Sixes (HKS), who have either organised, or are negotiating, to use, high-level ICC match officials via specific, single tournament, non-ICC related contracts (E-News 318-1656 above). 


In the month commencing 9 October, the time in which Stanford's week-long series and the HKS are planned, New Zealand is to visit Bangladesh for three ODIs and two Tests, India is to take on Australia in four Tests, South Africa is to play Kenya in two ODIs, a seven-match ODI tournament involving Ireland, Kenya and Zimbabwe is to be held in Kampala, a tri-nation Twenty20 series is listed for Canada, the World Cricket League's Division four six-team tournament is to be played in Tanzania (E-News 318-1660 below), and South Africa is to start a ODI series against Bangladesh at home.  


Given match timings and locations and past ICC practice, as many as six higher-level umpires, perhaps five from the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), and two match referees, will be needed to cover the six Tests in Bangladesh and India; although if either of those series involves a continuation of the Player Referral System trial additional 'neutral' umpires may be needed (E-News 284-1507, 24 July 2008).  Should the multi-million dollar Stanford tournament manage to acquire the four EUP members and a match referee from ICC ranks for its tournament as it plans (E-News 318-1656 above), two-thirds of the EUP and half of the top-level match referees members could be on active duty over the next six weeks.


Simultaneously with those Tests, another ten umpires, one potentially a EUP member, and four match referees are likely to be required for the ODIs and other ICC tournaments.  Most of those who may be used for the ODIs are likely to come from ICC second-tier International Umpires Panel, with that panel and the third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpire Panel, likely cover many of the positions needed in Kampala and for the other lesser series.  


A second cluster of Tests and ODIs are scheduled on three continents in the last half of November, including the remaining one-dayers between South Africa and Bangladesh plus two Tests, seven ODIs involving India and England, two Tests between Australia and New Zealand, and possibly two in Pakistan against the West Indies, although the latter appear at this stage to be doubtful.  In December in addition to the Champions League week, four Tests are scheduled, two between India and England and the same number involving Australia and South Africa.  Five, possibly six EUP members and four match referees, plus a handful of IUP members, may be needed to cover those series   


The page on the ICC's web site that lists umpire and match referee appointments to international games is currently well out-of-date.  All of the twenty-one matches currently listed have been played, the last three weeks ago, and the earliest in the first half of July. 





Eight umpires were yesterday named as members of the New South Wales State Umpires Panel (SUP) for the 2008-09 season by that State's Director of Umpiring Darrell Hair.  The panel has two members more than its Tasmanian equivalent, which was reduced in size this year because of parameters laid down by Cricket Australia (CA) (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008), although the range of games available in NSW is larger than in the island State.


Those named as SUP members are National Umpires Panel (NUP) member Rod Tucker, Gerard Abood, Terry Keel, Michael Kumutat, Marc Nickl, Graeme Redman, Yohan Ramasundara and Peter Tate.  Tucker is well established on the NUP and earlier this year he was promoted to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 251-1375, 3 June 2008), however, none of the others have yet worked at first-class level.


Hair says in an article posted on the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) web site, that panel members will be appointed by Cricket Australia (CA) to matches conducted under its auspices, while other umpiring slots available "as NSW appointments" will also be involved, including Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) games, the Women's National Cricket League, men's and women's youth tournaments, third and fourth umpire duties in "certain televised matches", and in warm up matches for the Women's World Cup.  


Of the eight, Keel appears the most experienced in games accumulated, having worked as the third umpire in two first-class matches and stood in ten one-day and two Twenty20 domestic matches, five CAC games, two Australian County Championship series, plus a Test and One Day International at youth level.  


Abood, who is thirty-six, is considered by some as most likely to be selected as NSW's next first-class umpire.  He has five domestic one-day games, five domestic Twenty20 matches, two men's Under 19 and one men's Under 17 series, four Women's National Cricket League, and single women's and youth ODIs to his credit.  Abood has been prominent over the last year on CA's umpire high performance pathway, having stood in the key Emerging Players Tournament in each of the last two years, standing in the final on both occasions (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008).


Ramasundara, thirty, has also been on that pathway, for he umpired in the last two men's Under 19 national tournaments, plus a third earlier this decade.  In addition his representative appointments also include three CAC games, an Institute Challenge series, and a game between a Prime Minister's XI and the touring Sri Lankans (E-News 186-1002, 30 January 2008).


Tate, forty-three, was appointed as the third umpire for a domestic one-day match last season, however, rain washed out that game.  To date he has chalked up two CAC matches, an Australian Country Championship series, and single Under 17 and Under 19 men's tournaments.  Of the others Kumutat, who is forty, has stood in a national Under 19 men's tournament and two CAC games, Redman in an Institute Challenge series, while records available to E-News do not list Nickl as having worked at representative level.  How old the latter two are is not known.


Hair is quoted on the NSWCUSA web site as saying that the "panel has a genuine mix of experience and future potential [and his Association is] confident that all [have] the potential to step up to national level".  The season ahead "promises to be a very busy one for the panel umpires", he continued, and "there will be plenty of opportunities for [them] to not only improve their skills but to perform under the eye of the national selectors from [CA's] Umpires High Performance Panel". 





Specialist training in the 'visual performance' area has allowed Australian international umpire Simon Taufel to improve his on-field decision-making and self-confidence, says an article in last Saturday's 'Hindustan Times'.  The Australian, who this month picked up his fifth consecutive 'Umpire of the Year' award from the International Cricket Council (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008), has been using techniques developed by South African sports vision coach Dr Sherylle Calder for the last two years.


Calder, who pioneered the science of visual performance issues as part of her Doctor of Philosophy thesis, works in areas such visual stamina and endurance, hand-eye co-ordination and motor reflex skills.  In addition to her work with the likes of Taufel and national cricket sides from Australia, Pakistan and South Africa, Calder has helped the New Zealand All Blacks and recent Rugby World Cup winning sides England and South Africa, as well as top-level tennis and hockey players.  "It’s not enough to merely train your body", she says, "you’ve got to train your eyes and mind too". 


While Calder works directly with clients in one-to-one and group sessions, her training system can also be accessed directly via the internet for around $A60 using a six-week long 'eyeGym' program.  Given his highly professional approach to improving his performance on a range of issues, it is possible that Taufel may have arranged to work directly with Calder, or at the very least via her web-based training system on an on-going basis.


Calder warns that 'eyeGym' should not be used for more than fifteen minutes without a break, that a minimum five-minute break must be taken between sessions, and that users should never train for more than forty-five minutes at a time in one sitting.  Umpires wishing to explore 'eyeGym' can do so by going to:  





Eight officials from four nations have been named by the International Cricket Council for the World Cricket League's (WCL) Division four tournament which is to be played in Tanzania early next month.  The series, which involves teams from Afghanistan, Fiji, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey and the home side, will be made up of a total of fifteen, fifty over one-day games played over eight days commencing 4 October.


Umpires for the series are Ian Howell and Karl Hurter (South Africa), Sarika Prasad (Singapore), Kenyans Rockie D'Mello, Sobhash Modi, David Odhiambo and Rafik Valimohammed of Malawi.  Howell is currently the third umpire member on South Africa's part of the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel, while Hurter held that position until being dropped recently (E-News 290-1537, 6 August 2008).  David Jukes of England will be the tournament referee, while Tanzania's 'Daily News' says that locals Kulbir Gupta, Paul Nielson and Tonny Brennen, who is the Deputy British High Commissioner to Tanzania, will work as third umpires, although apparently without the aid of television.  


Prasad stood in this year's men's Under 19 World Cup in Malaysia (E-News 195-999, 29 January 2008), and has officiated in a solid range of second-tier tournaments in a number of countries, as have Modi, D'Mello and to a lesser extent Odhiambo, but there appear to be no records available about Valimohammed's experience.   


The top two teams from next month's event will be promoted to WCL Division 3 which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in January 2009 where they will be competing with Papua New Guinea, the Cayman Islands, Uganda and the home team.  The third and fourth place winners will remain in Division 4 for 2010 while the fifth and sixth placed teams will return to the WCL Division 5 in 2010.





Michael Gough, a former England Under 19 skipper and first-class player who is said to have quit the game in 2003 because he did not enjoy playing anymore, is in line for elevation to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) senior or "Full" County umpires list next year, according to a report published in 'The Independent' over the weekend.  If that report is correct, Gough will replace Barrie Leadbeater who retired from late last week (E-News 315-1647, 19 September 2008).


Gough who turns twenty-nine in December, captained the England youth side in six of the eleven Tests in which he was selected in the late 1990s, and went on to play sixty-seven first-class and forty-nine List A games for Durham.  Despite his success, he says that he was not stimulated by life as a County cricketer and kept thinking that he'd give himself "another season and I might enjoy myself more", but apparently that didn't happen.  However, he still enjoyed watching the game, and after leaving Durham decided "to give it a go as an umpire".


Records show that he commenced umpiring at County level at the start of the 2006 season, less than three years after playing his last first-class game, and was appointed to the ECB's umpire reserve list just one year later aged twenty-seven.  To date he has stood in eleven first-class and four List A matches, as well as thirty-three County Second XI games. 


Gough is by far the youngest on the current nine-man ECB Reserve list, Terry Urben being forty, Andy Hicks forty-one, David Millns forty-three, Keith Coburn forty-nine, Nick Cook fifty-two, Steve Malone fifty-four, Stephen Gale fifty-six, and Martin Bodeham fifty-eight.  Cook, Gale, Malone and Millns are former first-class cricketers, Cook with fifteen Tests, three One Day Internationals, and 356 first-class matches overall being the best known.  He made his umpiring debut at first-class level two months after Gough, and now has ten such games to his credit.   


'The Independent' report says that Leadbeater, who kept his eye in between seasons by driving long-distance trucks in the winter, "is still fit, still competent", and would like to stay on in County umpiring ranks.  However, says journalist Stephen Brenkley, "convention and the ECB regulations say that he must stand down from the list", something, he believes "does not seem fair".  


Brenkley is of the view that the ECB should find some role for Leadbeater as "an adviser or trainer" and they "might consider introducing a more meritocratic system", although just what that means is not clear.  Young umpires like Gough "are needed", says the journalist, but "so are old ones" like Leadbeater.








Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday called for applications for its long awaited 'Umpire Educator' position.  The need for the role was first identified by CA's umpiring review almost two years ago, the original plan being that it would be filled last January (E-News 236-1302, 28 April 2008), however, budgetary and other issues have delayed recruitment until now.  


The position that has now been created is designed to provide support to both CA's international and national training arms by developing, implementing and marketing umpire education and development programs both within Australia and overseas.  As a result the successful applicant, who will be based in Melbourne, is to report "jointly" to both Ross Turner, head of CA's Sydney-based Global Development Program (GDP), and Andrew Scotford the national body's Umpires Manager in Melbourne.       


Key responsibilities of the Umpire Educator are said to include: developing and delivering umpiring courses for the GDP and across Australian cricket; designing and producing resource materials; planning, managing and coordinating projects with a view to increasing participation in cricket, and standards and skills of umpires; and managing budgets and performing administrative tasks. 


Applicants are required to have: a relevant tertiary degree and/or 'Train the Trainer' qualification; umpire accreditation and umpiring experience; experience producing training materials and delivering education programs; a team oriented and customer focused approach; the ability to co-ordinate and organise with high attention to detail; excellent verbal and written communication skills; highly proficient word, excel and database skills; and an interest in and previous experience within sporting administration. 


Applications for the position, which involves "regular international and interstate travel", close on Monday, 6 October.





Five Brisbane-based umpires have been named to stand in the six Twenty20 matches that are to be played between Queensland and a side from the Indian Premier League's Kolkata franchise next week.  The two teams are to play back-to-back Twenty20 games each day on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.  Umpires Norm McNamara and Tim Laycock are to look after the Sunday matches, Andrew Curran and Craig Hoffmann Tuesday's, and McNamara and Ian Barsby on Thursday.






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary hearing into Surrey captain Mark Ramprakash's on-field dispute with a Sussex opponent and an umpire during a first-class match last month had to be postponed on Tuesday due to the unavailability of some panel members and witnesses.  An ECB spokesman told E-News yesterday that it is hoped that the hearing will convene "in the near future" after the last of the season's County matches end this weekend.


Rampakash wrote at the end of his column in the 'Daily Telegraph' on Wednesday that he regrets the dispute he had with the umpires, which reports say involved him pointing his bat at umpire John Steel and swearing at him "three times” (E-News 316-1650, 20 September 2008), and says that he has apologised to them.  The "argument was not with them" but with Sussex fielder Murray Goodwin with whom the Surrey skipper says he had "major spat", during which the two players had to be separated mid-pitch (E-News 304-1595, 1 September 2008).


Asked why Ramprakash was able to play two one-day and three first-class matches after the incident without a hearing being held, the ECB spokesman told E-News that "again, that was because of the difficulty in getting disciplinary panel members and witnesses together". 


Surrey's captain also mentions in his column a "run-in" he had with a television cameraman during at Twenty20 match earlier this year.  He says that he is "pleased" that 'Sky' have now changed their policy on getting too close to players in the dug out. 





Umpires, scorers and players were applauded from the Blunham Cricket Club's ground in Bedfordshire last Sunday evening after they set a new world endurance record for playing a game of cricket.  Several thousand spectators were present when two Blunham sides finished their match after playing continuously for a staggering fifty-nine hours thirty-five minutes!


Officials from the 'Guinness Book of Records' were present when the match got underway at 9 a.m. last Friday morning in bright sunshine, but temperatures are reported to have dropped to around five degrees on both evenings.  The ground was illuminated by four sets of floodlights on both Friday and Saturday nights and due to the cool conditions mist formed close to the ground for a while after sunrise and obscured players' lower bodies from view.  


When one of the sides were batting their players took the opportunity to snatch some sleep while the fielding team had to play on until they dismissed their opponents.  Unlike the players, and as is normal, the umpires and scorers had to concentrate all through the match, therefore reports indicate that two teams of four were used to ease the burden and enable them to get some sleep. Nevertheless, concentrating for close to thirty hours over a period of just over two days would have been a challenge.  


The previous record of fifty-five hours was set by Auckland-based Cornwall Cricket Club in New Zealand earlier this year.








Attendees at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) match officials' annual seminar in Dubai last week received "very positive feedback" on the initial trial of the Player Referral System (PRS) conducted during the recent Test series between Sri Lanka and India, according to a statement issued by the world body yesterday.  ICC Umpires’ and Referees’ Manager Vince van der Bijl says that seminar "went very well" and that he was "impressed with the level of energy and commitment displayed by everyone", across all parts of the meeting.  


Steve Davis, one of the Australian members of the Elite Umpires Panel who was in Dubai, said that for him "the most interesting thing was the detail surrounding the PRS and upcoming further trials".  Mentioning the positive feedback that had been received, Davis said that he and his colleagues "want to continue [the trials] and make a really in-depth analysis of the system".  “We need to be open-minded when considering the system and we are committed to being objective and giving it a real good try", said Davis.  The ICC is yet to indicate which Test series the trial is to continue in (E-News 311-1627, 12 September 2008). 


Van der Bijl says he was "very encouraging to see everyone so involved and attentive" during what he described as an "intensive" three-day meeting.  “There is a real desire among our umpires and referees to work as a team [that is] continually striving to get better" and while "there is always a lot of work to do", "we now look forward to the next twelve months" and "putting the right building blocks in place to make sure our officials’ performances continue to improve".  


Davis concurred, commenting that "everyone was focused and committed to improving at all levels and across all aspects of their jobs".  "There is a genuine solidarity of purpose among all umpires, referees and other officials who were there" to "be the best they can be".  “Every session was designed to aid us in finding out how we can be better and more professional in what we do and we always sought to identify practical ways in which to achieve that".


Sixty-five people, including ICC match referees, most of its first, second and third-tier umpire panel members, the five Regional Umpire Performance Managers, and umpire managers from each of the ICC's ten Full Members nations, traveled to Dubai for the seminar.  The gathering is believed to be the first time such a range of senior umpiring officials from around the world have sat down with each other for such a concentrated period that was designed to improve teamwork and raise the levels of performance at the various levels of international umpiring and refereeing.


During the three days, members of the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires’ Panel were given a presentation from the world body's Development Events Manager Andrew Faichney outlining the opportunities that are potentially available to them in the coming year.  Series mentioned included World Cricket League matches, Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, the ICC Intercontinental Cup and several regionally based tournaments and bilateral series, the majority of which are likely to be at second-tier level and below.





Five umpires have been named as members of Queensland's State Umpires Panel (SUP) for the 2008-09 season.  Those appointed are Andrew Curran, Tim Laycock, Norm McNamara, who all have experience at first-class level, and Damien Mealey and Darren Moloney.   


Laycock, who is the most experienced of the five with nine first-class, thirteen List A and four Twenty20 games to his credit, was a member of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) until dropped by Cricket Australia (CA) this winter (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).  Aged just thirty-three, he has been standing in representative games since he was twenty-six, including both men's Under 17 and Under 19 national tournaments, youth and women's One Day Internationals, eleven Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) games for State Second XIs, ten Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) games, and five matches in the International Cricket Council's World Cricket League Division three series in Darwin last year, one of them the final (E-News 51-283, 4 June 2007).  


Despite being dropped from the NUP, CA retained him on its umpire high performance pathway and named him to stand in what would have been his fourth-straight Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in July, however, he was eventually replaced for that series (E-News 274-1465, 11 July 2008). 


McNamara, thirty-six, has chalked up four first-class, ten List A, and three domestic Twenty20 games.  Appointed to his first representative game at the age of just twenty-four, his other credits include both Under 17 and Under 19 men's national championships, thirteen WNCL games, ten CAC matches, a National County Cricket Championship series, women's Test, ODI and Twenty20 international games, two EPT (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008), and an Institute Challenge series.    


Curran has a single first-class match and three domestic Twenty20 games on his record to this time, as well as twice having stood in both Under 17 and Under 19 men's national Championships, ten WNCL, three CAC, women's ODI and Twenty20 internationals, a youth ODI, and the 2006 and 2007 EPT (E-News 74-407, 30 July 2007). 


Moloney, thirty-eight, stood in the men's national Under 19 tournament in Hobart last December (E-News 151-836, 10 December 2008) and will do so again in Brisbane later this year, appointments which mark him as a potential up-and-coming umpire.  He has also officiated in three EPT from 2005-07, eight youth regional representative games over the last four years, and this year a number of pre-season practice matches involving touring sides.


Records available indicate that Mealey, who is in his thirties, is the least experienced of the five.  He stood in the 2007 Emerging Players Tournament and also in a pre-season tournament involving first-class players earlier this month, and has been named as Queensland's appointment to this season's men's Under 17 national Championship in Perth.


McNamara, Laycock and Curran, together with two Brisbane first-grade umpires, are standing in the six match Twenty20 series between Queensland and a team from the Indian Premier League's Kolkata franchise which gets under way later today (E-News 319-1663, 26 September 2008).


Earlier this month NSW named an eight-man State panel (E-News 318-1658, 14 September 2008) and Tasmania a six-man group (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008).





The International Cricket Council (ICC) has yet to name the umpires or match referees who will manage the Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 international matches that are due to get underway in India, Bangladesh and Canada in ten days time (E-News 318-1657, 24 September 2008).  Over the last twelve months the ICC has routinely announced who the match officials for series will be four to six weeks ahead of the commencement of opening matches.


At least seven 'neutral' umpires and three match referees from the ICC pool will be needed to support the three separate competitions between now and mid-October.  The first of four Tests between India and Australia is to start in Bangalore on Thursday week, the same day the the first ODI involving Bangladesh and New Zealand is to be played in Dhaka, while the following day in Toronto will see the opening games in the eight-match, four-day 'Canada Cup' Twenty20 series involving the home side, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. 


While logic suggests that the ICC should have made the appointments and arrangements well before now, just why details have not yet been released is not clear. 





Indian umpire Shavik Tarapore has been appointed to his nation's television officials' slot on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), says the Kolkata newspaper 'The Telegraph'.  Tarapore, who takes over from Pratap Kumar, joins current Indian on-field members of the IUP, Amish Saheba and Suresh Shastri, who were nominated to those positions for the third year in a row by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).


Fifty year old Tarapore, who played six first-class matches as a leg break bowler for Karnataka from 1980-86, has been umpiring at first-class level since December 1992.  Since then he has chalked up forty-six first-class games, the latest of which was the Irani Cup fixture played last week (E-News 320-1670 below), and twenty-six List A matches.  In addition, Tarapore has officiated in three men's One Day Internationals (ODI), the last in March 2002, plus a further two as the television official, and two women's ODIs.


Over the last twelve months Saheba has worked as the third umpire in three Tests and five ODIs, been on the field for nine ODIs, the last three in Darwin earlier this month (E-News 280-1491, 19 July 2008), a Twenty20 international, and in three first-class games.  In the same period Shastri, who made his Test debut fifteen months ago (E-News 60-327, 26 June 2007), has been the third umpire in two Tests and three ODIs, and stood in six ODIs, a Twenty20 international and three first-class games.


Last year the BCCI embarked on a program to lift the standard of its umpires, one of the aims being to see an Indian appointed to the ICC's top-level 'Elite' panel.  However, since Shastri was appointed to stand in two Tests in Sri Lanka in the middle of 2007, no Indian has been named to on-field positions in the forty-seven games that have been played at the highest level of the game to date.  Saheba did, however, get on the ground for an hour in the Second Test match between India and Pakistan in Kolkata last December after West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove had to leave the field after complaining of chest pain and blurred vision (E-News 147-804, 4 December 2007).





An official complaint has been lodged against 'Rest of India' bowler Munaf Patel for allegedly using abusive language during the Irani Cup match against Delhi in Vadodara late last week.  Delhi captain Virender Sehwag is reported to have provided match referee Rajinder Jadeja with a formal statement on the matter on Friday, the day after the incident is said to have occurred.


Reports indicate that during Delhi's first innings, Patel exchanged words with Aakash Chopra and Virender Sehwag after being hit for eight runs off the first three balls he bowled.  During the nine overs he delivered, in which he took four wickets, Patel is said to have "frequently exchanged words with various batsmen".  At one point umpire Shavir Tarapore, who was last week named to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 320-1669 above), is said to have had a word with Anil Kumble, the Rest of India's captain, after which Kumble had "a few words" with his bowler.


Last month Patel was found guilty of breaching a clause of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (COC) that refers to the use of "language that is obscene, offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectator" during the Second One Day International between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo (E-News 299-1574, 21 August 2008).


Tarapore's on-field colleague during the Irani Cup match was Sanjay Hazare, a former leg break and googly bowler who played forty-eight first-class matches for Baroda, was standing in his fifteen first-class match since his debut in December 1995.  Interestingly at the time of that umpiring debut Hazare was still playing first-class cricket, and he went on to notch up his last eight matches as a player at that level before transferring totally to umpiring.  





Kent captain Robert Key has been fined the equivalent of almost $A3,000 and reprimanded for his comments about a panel that was convened by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to look into the pitch that was provided for a first-class game at Durham's Riverside Ground in August.  Thirty-eight wickets fell in just two days in the match and Durham won by forty-three runs, and Key later labelled the panel's work "a bit of a muppet show".


An ECB disciplinary commission ruled late last week that Key's actions were "a serious breach of the [Code of Conduct] directives by a senior player".  Key, who following the match said that Durham should have had the points it won deducted because of the nature of the pitch is provided, was quoted by the BBC on Friday as saying that he "acknowledge the comments [he] made were inappropriate and [offered] an unreserved apology to all concerned".





Former Guyanan umpire Mohamed Baksh, who is now based in New York and serves as the United States of America Cricket Umpires Association's chief training officer, was inducted in the US 'Cricket Hall of Fame' (USCHOF) at a dinner attended by 250 guests in Hartford, Connecticut last week.  


Sixty-one year old Baksh, who stood in fifteen first-class and three List A matches, the latter including a single One Day International, in the period from 1977-89, umpired in Guyana for over twenty-five years before moving to the United States, and for a number of years was a member of the West Indies Cricket Umpires' Training Examination Committee.


Others inducted into the USCHOF on the same evening were former West Indian players Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greendidge, and United States' cricket administrator Jeff Miller.