October 08 (321-341)



    21 EDITIONS 

(EN-1673 TO EN-1810) 



321 –  1 October  [1673-1676]

• Long-serving NUP-IUP member retires from cricket (321-1673).

• Referral system trial for Australia, South Africa, Tests (321-1674).

• NSW SUP members dominate women’s tour appointments (321-1675).

• ODI, Test playing condition changes come into effect (321-1676).


322 –  2 October  [1677-1681]

• Variety, involvement, planned for Annual Seminar (322-1677).

• TCUSA three-year exam requirement reaffirmed (322-1678).

• CA pays tribute to retiring Parker (322-1679).

• Eight ‘neutral’ officials named for two Asian series (322-1680).

• ICC appointments narrow Stanford possibilities (322-1681).


323 –  3 October  [1682-1690]

• Seven member State Panel for Victoria (322-1682).

• Mallender named as UK PCA’s ‘Umpire of the Year’ (322-1683).

• ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award to Prior (322-1684).

• Patel receives second fine for abusive language (322-1685).

• Zimbabweans for Intercontinental Cup match (322-1686).

• Indian IUP umpires standing in tour match (322-1687).

• IICUS materials on trial in Kathmandu (322-1688).

• BCCI names new umpire, technical committee mmbers (322-1689).

• No sign of Ramprakash hearing (322-1690).


324 –  7 October  [1691-1703]

• Tucker, Lock to cover Parker appointments  (324-1691).

• Net training opportunity Wednesday evening (324-1692).

• Two-match ban, fines, for 'repeated' swearing at umpires (324-1693).

• MCC releases detailed guides to Law 6 changes   (324-1694).

• Barbados Umpires Association 'in upheaval', claims report  (324-1695).

• Rare 'Handled the Ball' dismissal in NZ  (324-1696).

• Umpires prepare for opening interstate matches  (324-1697).

• Benson for Canadian Twenty20 series  (324-1698).

• Koertzen quiet on coming Test series  (324-1699).

• Former Pakistani first-class umpire dies  (324-1700).

• CA again involved in 'healthy lifestyle' sponsorship  (324-1701).

• Geelong competition seriously short of umpires  (324-1702).

• CL umpire sponsorship open for bids  (324-1703).


325 –  8 October  [1704-1710]

• New  sponsor positive about vision training web site  (325-1704).

• 'Up-graded 'Spirit of Cricket' reporting system introduced  (325-1705).

• IICUS Techniques Manual's 'Stamp of Approval' reaffirmed (325-1706).

• Video clips to aid umpire development  (325-1707).

• Appointments made for opening 'Jamie Cox Plate' match  (325-1708).

• Improved format for TCA By Laws  (325-1709).

• Small pay rise for TCA First, Second Grade umpires  (325-1710).


326 –  9 October  [1711-1719]

• Abood for first-class debut, NUP spot still wide open? (326-1711).

• Fry, Parry for Bellerive visits  (326-1712).

• Match referee stresses team's responsibilities  (326-1713).

• Umpire quits County scene for ICL  (326-1714).

• Six Indian umpires used in ICL 'domestic' series  (326-1715).

• 'Niners' to join sixes and fours  (326-1716).

• Ramprakash censure 'one of the toughest ever', says paper  (326-1717).

• Umpires, scorers named for HK-Japan women’s series (326-1718).

• Umbrella group for sports officials formed (326-1719).


327 –  10 October  [1720-1723]

• Eight-man State panel for WA  (327-1720).

• BCCI-CSA umpire exchange program underway  (327-1721).

• Fry, Tucker to 'kick off' Adelaide interstate season  (327-1722).

• Weather mainly fine for weekend games  (327-1723).


328 –  13 October  [1724-1730]

• Former 'Elite' umpire standing in ICL  (328-1724).

• 'Lance Cox' merit award to long-serving Hayes  (328-1725).

• 'No Ball' delivered in Twenty20 'bowl out'   (328-1726).

• Stanford series proceeding, umpire announcement awaited  (328-1727).

• African, Asian umpires stand in WCL Division 4 final  (328-1728).

• Harper web site back on the air  (328-1729).

• How are your match notes?  (328-1730).


329 –  14 October  [1731-1735]

• Improved employer links needed for top umpires, says Parker  (329-1731).

• ICC Board to discuss Umpire Review System  (329-1732).

• Full stretch of experience on SA panel  (329-1733).

• Plenty of signals for umpiring pair  (329-1734).

• One for the 'Spirit of Cricket'  (329-1735).


330 –  15 October  [1736-1741]

• Umpire Review System set for twelve Tests  (330-1736). 

• Wash out for day two of CAC match  (330-1737). 

• Umpires set for Gabba one-dayer    (330-1738).

• Sri Lanka fined for slow ODI over-rate    (330-1739).

• Bangladeshi umpires busy in ODI series    (330-1740).

• Big brother's 'big' walk  (330-1741).


331 –  17 October  [1742-1746]

• Umpires-Scorers set for TCA First Grade start  (331-1742).

• First-Class debut for Martell  (331-1743).

• Third umpires 'ruled the roost' in initial URS trial  (331-1744).

• Differing views on attributes of pink balls  (331-1745).

• Tournaments loom, no match officials announced  (331-1746).


332 –  20 October  [1747-1751]

• Koertzen criticised for non-referral  (332-1747).

• Season's NUAS-2 training starts this week   (332-1748).

• Day-night Tests possible next year, says ICC  (331-1749).

• Former TCUSA member active in Sydney  (331-1750).

• New Bishop to continue Saturday 'pastoral duties'  (331-1751).


333 –  21 October  [1752-1757]

• Part-time officials face 'extreme' challenges, says Taufel    (333-1752).

• Former international umpire Nigel Plews dies  (333-1753).

• Western Australians for Gabba Shield match  (333-1754).

• Little known umpire heads ICL appointments   (333-1755).

• Umpires reminded of playing conditions   (333-1756).

• Windy for Hobart on Saturday, showers on Sunday?  (333-1757).


334 –  22 October  [1758-1757]

• Two Aussies for Stanford 'bash for cash'  (334-1758).

• Trio make up TCA selection panel for 2008-09  (334-1759).

• Eighty per cent of match fee fine for 'Spirit' breach  (334-1760).

• Fry, Tucker for second Adelaide one-dayer  (334-1761).

• Premiership player turns his hand to umpiring  (335-1762).

• CA commences 'Umpire Educator' interviews  (335-1763).


335 –  24 October  [1764-1769]

• 'One more sleep' to full TCA start (335-1764).

• Modified 'Decision Review System' for Stanford series  (335-1765).

• One-day umpiring debut for former Test player  (335-1766).

• MCC group to review decision making technology  (335-1767).

• Asian players singled out for discipline, claims Gavaskar  (335-1768).

• Kiwi media target umpire de Silva  (335-1769).


336 –  25 October  [1770-1777]

• Reiffel wins promotion to IUP television spot  (336-1770).

• IPL-like Southern Hemisphere series under study  (336-1771).

• Rain seriously affects Nairobi tri-nation series  (336-1772).

• Handling of Duckworth-Lewis situations challenged  (336-1773).

• It's probably happened to you too?  (336-1774).

• Four-match ban comes three months after incident  (336-1775).

• Former Proteas to face disciplinary commissioner  (336-1776).

• Ten stitches after Jones pool slip  (336-1777).


337 –  27 October  [1778-1782]

• India-Australia umpire exchange under discussion  (337-1778).

• Aussies 'kick-off' Stanford series  (337-1779).

• CA Bangladesh umpire training continues   (337-1780).

• Match officials watch the rain, not play  (337-1781).

• Five-match ban for dissent, bad language  (337-1782).


338 –  28 October  [1783-1787]

• ICC's Test result change again criticised by the MCC  (338-1783).

• UDRS good for game's 'Spirit' says WCC  (338-1784).

• Proctor to retire as match referee  (338-1785).

• Two-match ban for first-class players  (338-1786).

• De Silva for Hong Kong Sixes  (338-1787).


339 –  29 October  [1788-1795]

• Second interstate appointment in Second XI cricket  (338-1788).

• Stanford to use 'Super Over' for tied matches  (338-1789).

• Give umps sole discretion on ground, light issues, says WCC  (338-1790).

• 'Spirit of Cricket' DVD planned  (339-1791).

• Law changes possible to arrest spin bowling 'decline'  (338-1792).

• ICC encouraging further pink ball trials  (338-1793).

• Test over rates still poor, says WCC  (338-1794).

• German, South African, for Intercontinental Cup Final  (338-1795).


340 –  30 October  [1796-1801]

• Test debut for England's Gould  (340-1796).

• ICC President wants Test result 'revisted'  (340-1797).

• Wilson aiming for ICC spot (340-1798).

• Proposed 'Spirit of Cricket' DVD welcomed  (340-1799).

• Ball hit for four called 'wide', umpire on ice  (340-1800).

• Generally fine Saturday, showers on Sunday?  (340-1801).


341 –  31 October  [1802-1801]

• Hit 'wide' article factually incorrect, says umpire's chief  (341-1802).

• Interstate season opener for Bellerive tomorrow  (341-1803).

• Southern umpires for 'Jamie Cox Plate' weekend  (341-1804).

• Watson fined, Gambir awaits judgement, for 'Spirit' breaches  (341-1805).

• Hair's ICC contract ends, EUP spot remains open  (341-1806).

• Bowler reported for suspect action  (341-1807).

• PCB awaits ICC reaction to Test result change criticism  (341-1808).

• Next edition of ACO newsletter awaited  (341-1809).

• Fines handed out for 'walk off'  (341-1810).









Peter Parker, the longest-serving member of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) and a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) since 2003, has announced his retirement from cricket.  Parker advised his national and international umpiring colleagues of the move in a short e-mail distributed late last night.


The Queenslander wrote that "as of [Tuesday] afternoon I am former umpire Peter Parker" for he has accepted a position with his employer as a Training and Development officer.  He thanks all involved for their "support and help over the many years" and "looks forward to following [their] careers with great interest". 


Cricket Australia last month named Parker to stand in two Sheffield Shield and two interstate one-day domestic matches during the first month of the 2008-09 season (E-News 306-1602, 5 September 2008), and the national body will therefore have to quickly reshuffle its early summer appointments and travel plans.  His first games were listed for the Adelaide Oval between 12-17 October, and two others at the Gabba in Brisbane towards the end of the month.


Parker, who is only forty-nine, had been lining up to stand in what would have been his twenty-third consecutive season as a first-class umpire.  Over that time he officiated in 113 such games, ten of them Tests. His 133 List A games included sixty-five One Day Internationals (ODI), including the Asia Cup of 2004 and last year's World Cup in the West Indies, and he also stood in two Twenty20 internationals.  The Tests he was involved in were played in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, while the ODIs took place in the latter two nations plus India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.


The Queenslander was on the field for matches at Bellerive nineteen times, once in a Test, four times when an Australian XI played touring sides, five times in Sheffild Shield games, four in ODIs, and five in domestic one-day games, including the final of last season's competition that was won by Tasmania (E-News 199-1095, 21 February 2008).


It is not known at this stage when CA will move to name a replacement for Parker in both the NUP and IUP groups.






The International Cricket Council (ICC) is hoping that the trial of the Umpiring Referral System (URS) will continue during this austral summer's four-Test series between Australia and South Africa, according to an article published in yesterday's 'Herald Sun' newspaper in Melbourne.  Use of the trail system, which began in the series between Sri Lanka and India six weeks ago, is subject to Cricket Australia's approval, South Africa previously having agreed to its use in its series in England earlier this year (E-News 258-1400, 18 June 2008).


This summer's series is one of four that the ICC is said to have "earmarked" for on-going URS trials over the seven months between now and next May, writes journalist Jon Pierik, although just which other series the world body would like the system trialed in were not mentioned.   The ICC agreed to a continuation of the trial last month (E-News 311-1627, 12 September 2008), and its umpires and match referees were reported to be "positive" about the on-going evaluation at their annual meeting in Dubai just over a week ago (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008).


Pierik says that word on the ICC's proposed URS trial comes as an announcement is awaited on who the umpires and match referee will be for the four-Test series between India and Australia that begins in Bangalore tomorrow week.  The ICC has normally made the names of match officials for Tests public well before now, however, a busy period of games over the next few months and other factors, including the possible need for extra "neutral" umpires in series that use the URS, appears to have slowed the process (E-News 318-1657, 24 September 2008).


Pierik writes that "it would be a great surprise if South African match referee Mike Procter and umpires Steve Bucknor [West Indies] and Mark Benson [England] were appointed [to the India-Australia Tests] after the controversial Sydney Test last summer" (E-News 117-915, 8 January 2008).  If Pierik is right, and given that the four Australians on the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) are not eligible for the series because of the world body's "neutral" umpires policy for Tests, that would leave six EUP members as candidates for the India-Australia series.  


Those six, four of whom are likely to be needed for the high-profile four Test series, are: 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand); Aleem Dar and Asad Raf (Pakistan); Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka); Billy Doctrove (West Indies); and Rudi Koertzen (South Africa).  Third umpire slots will probably be filled by Indian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, including new member Shavik Tarapore  (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008).


The 'Herald Sun' quotes an "ICC spokesman" as suggesting that "both nations would be kept happy".  "Everyone is in the frame", runs the quote, but "that said, we have always shown a certain pragmatism in making appointments, and that will be the case this time around as well".


ICC offices in Dubai are closed today and tomorrow for a two-day holiday that marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.  The office is to reopen on Friday and it is possible an announcement on appointments will be made then or over the coming weekend.






All eight members of the New South Wales State Umpires Panel (SUP) will be in action during the eleven games that have been organised in conjunction with tour matches, five of them One Day Internationals (ODI), that the Indian women's side is to play in Sydney, Bowral and Canberra over an eighteen-day period commencing 22 October (E-News 318-1658, 24 September 2008).  A ninth umpire, Victorian Tony Ward of the National Umpires Panel (NUP), has been named to stand in two of the ODIs.


Gerard Abood and Peter Tate will look after the single Twenty20 international between Australia and India scheduled for Hurstville Oval in Sydney on 28 October.  The first ODI will be played there three days later and Abood will again on the field, this time with SUP-NUP member Rod Tucker, who will then go on to officiate with Tate in both the second and third ODIs at the Sydney Cricket Ground and North Sydney respectively.  The final two ODIs, which will be played in Canberra, are both to be umpired by Ward and NSW SUP member Terry Keel.


In the lead up to those six international games, five 'warm up' matches, three of them one-day contests and two Twenty20s involving the Australian, Indian, Australian Under 21, and New South Wales women's sides, will be played at Bankstown and in Bowral.  Keel and fellow SUP member Yohan Ramasundara will stand in one Twenty20 and Michael Kumutat and Graeme Redman in the other.  Ramasundara will also stand in a one-day warm up game, as will Abood, Keel and Tate, while Marc Nikl will be on the field for two. 






Changes to the playing conditions for One Day Internationals (ODI) and Tests that were agreed to by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives' Committee (CEC) at the end of June come into effect from today. Under the amendments made, batting sides in ODIs are now responsible for nominating the timing of one Power Play, and in the international game as a whole no "comfort breaks" are permitted and on-field officials are free to consult the third umpire if they are unsure whether a catch has been taken cleanly or not.


The key ODI change is the provision for the batting side to choose the timing of when one of the two optional five over Power Plays will operate, with the fielding side, which formally controlled the timing of both, nominating the timing of the other.  Fielding restrictions apply when Power Plays are in operation.


All catches in Tests and ODIs can now be referred to the third umpire when the on-field officials are unsure as to the validity of an appeal.  The amended wording on disputed catches now reads “should both umpires be unable to make a decision, they may consult by two-way radio with the third umpire as to whether there is any definitive evidence as to whether the catch was taken cleanly or not, [and] following such consultation, the final decision will be made and given by the bowler's-end umpire".


The practice of players leaving the field for 'comfort breaks' to be replaced by substitute fielders has been legislated against, with clause two of the game's playing conditions explicitly stating that such reasons do not represent "wholly acceptable" justification (E-News 270-1449, 5 July 2008).


Another change that was brought about at the ICC meeting involved handing the umpires the chance to reduce the interval between innings when an ODI game has been delayed or interrupted was introduced with immediate effect in June (E-News 240-1410, 23 June 2008). 


The ICC says that the amendments, which were unanimously approved by the CEC at its meeting, are "designed to improve the game for players, umpires and spectators".









A variety of sessions targeted at both new and returning scorers and umpires have been listed for the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Annual Seminar which is to be held at Hobart's Bellerive Oval during the coming weekend.  State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows says that the focus of the two-day pre-season gathering will be to involve all present directly in a series of workshops, thus allowing everybody to both contribute and benefit from the meeting.


All cricket associations who are registered in the State have been invited by the TCA to attend the seminar.  Close to sixty people from Umpire Associations in the north, north-west and the south of the State have so far indicated that they plan to attend the meeting.


Widows says that as well as the "numerous umpire related subjects that have been identified for discussion", all participants "will have ample opportunity to raise matters of interest for general debate or clarification".  One session is to "explore the principles involved in effective mentoring relationships" in order that the factors identified can in turn be used "as a self development tool", along with other "disciplines that can assist those committed to progress".  Association members will also be introduced to their new sponsor during the weekend.    


A review of the changes Cricket Australia's (CA's) Umpiring Department has introduced for the new season will be provided, and details of just how those moves are intended to support umpiring at all levels of the game are to be discussed. CA's new Level 1 Umpires Accreditation Course will be discussed, as will the introduction of the new 'Spirit of Cricket' voting system that has been adopted to mirror CA's national competitions. 


Widows says that new umpires who attend the seminar will have sessions designed to help them prepare for the season ahead.  They will to take part in net sessions at Bellerive's indoor facility, be introduced to on-field techniques and routines, and have "plenty of time" to meet with experienced partners they can expect to be standing with over the next five months. 


The afternoon session on Sunday will review the TCA By Laws and Playing Conditions for the 2008-09 season, the prime emphasis being on changes that have are being introduced this year.  TCA Club administrators, coaches and captains have been invited to attend that session.


Anyone interested in umpiring or scoring are welcome to take part in the seminar and should contact TCUSA President-Administrator Graeme Hamley on 6228 2582 by tomorrow afternoon if they would like to attend.






A recent meeting of the TCUSA's Management Committee has reaffirmed the Association's long-standing policy that requires all of its umpiring members to sit and satisfactorily pass an exam on the Laws of Cricket at least once every three years.  TCUSA President Graeme Hamley told E-News yesterday that with the 2008-09 season only a few weeks away, a number of umpires have so far failed to meet that requirement.


Hamley urged those involved to approach State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows regarding the exam as a matter of urgency, for once the season gets underway those who do not comply with the policy will be ineligible to stand with the Association until they do.  






Cricket Australia (CA) has paid tribute to umpire Peter Parker who yesterday announced his retirement from the game after twenty-two seasons officiating at first-class level (E-News 321-1673, 1 October 2008).  CA's Acting Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown praised Parker's contribution to the game saying that he "has had an outstanding career at international and domestic cricket level [for] over fifteen years and has represented CA, his craft and himself with distinction".


Brown continued in a CA press release as saying that the now former umpire "should feel extremely proud of the contribution he has made to the umpiring fraternity and Australian cricket as a whole, [and] his legacy will continue as we strive to develop umpires with the ability to perform in the international arena".

Parker is quoted in the CA statement as saying that he will "miss the camaraderie with the other umpires and also the players but most of all he will “miss the challenge" of umpiring.  Given that he managed to umpire ten Tests and sixty-five One Day Internationals, Parker says he is walking away from a career of which he is proud.






Eight 'neutral' match officials from seven nations were yesterday named to manage the four-Test series between India and Australia, and Bangladesh's three One Day International (ODI) and two Test series against New Zealand, which are due to get underway in Asia next Thursday.  Knowledge of who has been chosen further narrows just which umpires and match referees the organisers of the Stanford Twenty20 series might be negotiating with for their tournament late this month (E-News 322-1681 below).     


In making its appointments for the India-Australia Tests, the International Cricket Council (ICC) appears to have adhered to its promise earlier this week to keep both nations happy in regard to the officials who will control the four matches in what is expected to be hard-fought series (E-News 320-1674, 1 October 2008).  


Chris Broad from England will be the match referee with two pairs of on-field umpires each looking after two of the four matches.  The first two Tests, which are to be played in the period from 9-21 October in Bangalore and Mohali are to be umpired by Rudi Koertzen from South Africa and Pakistan's Asad Rauf, while New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden and Aleem Dar, a second Pakistani, are to stand in Tests three and four in New Delhi and Nagpur between 29 October to 10 November.  Dar's allocation to the last two Tests will preclude his previously announced participation in the Hong Kong Sixes series on the weekend of 8-9 November (E-News 287-1524, 30 July 2008).


Australian international umpire Daryl Harper will be the neutral official for the Bangladesh-NZ ODI series in Mirpur and Chittagong, while he and fellow ICC Elite Umpires Panel member Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka will be on the field for the two Tests, one at each of those two locations.  Javagal Srinath from India will be the match referee for all five of those matches.


Yesterday's appointments mean that after each of the series, Koertzen will then have umpired in ninety-four Tests, Harper seventy-five, Dar fifty-two, Bowden fifty, de Silva thirty-five and Rauf twenty-one.  Harper's ODI tally will climb to 153 matches.






Organisers of the Stanford Twenty20 series say they are still negotiating with members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires and Match Referees Panels about their involvement in their week long tournament late this month (E-News 318-1656, 24 September 2008).  With four senior umpires and a match referee still in Stanford's sights, the appointment of eight ICC match officials for series in Asia around the time of its six-match challenge in Antigua (E-News 322-1677 above), narrows the list of potential top-level umpires to just five.


A Stanford spokesman told E-News yesterday that his group had hoped to have made an announcement of its umpires and match referees last week, however, he now does not expect details to be made public "until perhaps next week".  He reiterated though that the plan is still to use only "neutral' umpires for its Twenty20 series, thus excluding Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) members Mark Benson (England) and Steve Bucknor and Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, plus Elite match referee Chris Broad (England), from its list of match official candidates.


Yesterday's appointments to two Asian series by the ICC immediately precluded umpires 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka) and Daryl Harper (Australia), plus Indian match referee Javagal Srinath, from taking part in the Antigua tournament.  However, Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan), whose last Test in the India-Australia series is scheduled to end on 21 October, could make it to the Caribbean in the three days between then and the start of Stanford's competition on the twenty-fifth.


The only other potential EUP members besides Koertzen and Rauf who could be in Stanford's mix are all Australians - Darrell Hair, who has terminated his contract with the ICC effective 31 October, Steve Davis and Simon Taufel.  Should two or more of those five decide not to accept what some reports are describing as a "substantial" contract with Stanford for a week's work, the Antigua-based group would therefore probably have to go to the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel for its on-field and third umpire officials.


Stanford's situation in terms of match referees is somewhat easier with five individuals a possibility for the single slot that is available.  Those with whom Stanford potentially could be negotiating are: Jeff Crowe (New Zealand), Alan Hurst (Australia); Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka); and Mike Proctor (South Africa).








This season's State Umpires Panel (SUP) in Victoria consists of seven positions, four of them being occupied by current members of the National Umpires Panel (NUP), and the other three by up-and-coming umpires considered to have the potential for on-going advancement.  Only two of the latter three have been named, and Victorian State Director of Umpiring (SDU) Bob Parry says that the third and last slot will not be filled until late this year just before the demand for umpires for representative games in the Melbourne area peaks.  


The four NUP members on Victoria's SUP are Parry, Paul Reiffel, and John and Tony Ward.  Tony Ward was promoted to the NUP earlier this year, John Ward and Reiffel in 2005 and Parry in 2001 (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008); the quartet already having four, sixteen, twenty-one and sixty-two first-class games to their credit respectively.  Last month, Cricket Australia appointed Reiffel to two first-class and a single one-day match for the first month of the 2008-09 season, Tony Ward to two first-class matches, and Parry and John Ward one of each form of the game (E-News 306-1602, 5 September 2008).  


Given that CA will be moving to fill the early season domestic appointments gap left by Queensland umpire Peter Parker's surprise retirement this week, it is possible that some of Victoria's SUP group could received additional matches in month one of the season (E-News 321-1673, 1 October 2008).  In an unrelated move this week, national selectors added two women's One Day Internationals to Tony Ward's appointment list (E-News 321-1675, 1 October 2008). 


The lesser known members of Victoria's SUP named to date are Ashley Barrow and Geoff Joshua.  Parry says that an addition person who was appointed to the panel resigned before the season started, and his replacement will join Barrow and Joshua at the end of the year.  Parry told E-News yesterday that either Barrow or Joshua will be Victoria's nominee to this year's men's Under 19 national Championship in Newcastle, while the yet-to-be-named seventh SUP member will probably travel to Perth for the men's Under 17 national Championships.


Barrow, forty-six, has been umpiring at representative level for almost nine years, and thirty-eight year old Joshua for close to six.  Despite that Joshua has had the more impressive appointments record, having stood in his first one-day interstate domestic and women's One Day International last season, this year's Emerging Player's Tournament, in which he officiated in the final (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008), single Under 17 and Under 19 men's national Championship series, three Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) games, and fifteen Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) contests.


Records available indicate that Barrow's first representative match was in the WNCL in January 2000, and he has since gone on to officiate in a further eight games in that competition.  In addition he has seven CAC matches to his credit, plus the 2000 and 2008 men's Under 17 men's national Championships.


In another move, Cricket Victoria have appointed long-serving, but now retired, First Grade umpire Daryl Cox to its Umpire Officer position, a role that Parry was responsible for until his elevation to State Director of Umpiring last June (E-News 261-1414, 24 June 2008).  Parry himself was in India last week assisting with umpiring training programs being run by Cricket Australia's Global Development Program (E-News 317-1653, 23 September 2008).






Former England international umpire Neil Mallender was named as the UK Professional Cricketers' Association's (PCA) 'Umpire of the Year' for 2008 at a function in London last Monday.  During the northern summer just ended, Mallender stood in a total of forty-seven matches, forty-forty on the County circuit (eleven first-class, eighteen one-day, twelve Twenty20s and three Second XI), two women's One Day Internationals, and a Youth Test.


Mallender played a total of 345 first-class matches, two of them Tests for England against Pakistan in 1992, in a career that ran for sixteen years from 1980-96.  His last first-class match as a player was in July 1996, and he stood in the first of what are currently his 135 games at that level as an umpire just nine months later.  Four years after that he was appointed to stand in the first of his twenty-two One Day Internationals, the venue for that game being Lord's.


The Yorkshire man's debut as an umpire at Test level came in October 2003 in Lahore, however, his career at the highest level of the game lasted only four months after two further Tests that were played in Zimbabwe.  Despite that he was named as a member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel in April 2004, but he never again stood in a senior Test or ODI, and disappeared from the EUP listing a year later. 

Since then Mallender has only officiated on the English County circuit, although he is one of a select band to both play and officiate in Tests. 






Sussex and England wicket-keeper Matt Prior was chosen as the recipient of the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) 'Spirit of Cricket Award' for 2008 at the UK Professional Cricket Association (PCA) Awards last Monday.  The MCC says that the honour, which is "given for a ‘champagne moment’ from the season", was awarded to Prior for his reaction to Essex’s Graham Napier’s record-breaking Twenty20 Cup innings against Sussex.


Prior watched from close quarters at Chelmsford as Napier destroyed Sussex’s attack, scoring 158 off just fifty-eight balls, including a record sixteen sixes.  When Napier reached 150, Prior congratulated him with a bear hug, despite his side facing certain defeat.  John Stephenson, the MCC's Head of Cricket said in a press release that "in the heat of the battle, taking the time out to congratulate an opponent on an excellent performance typifies the 'Spirit of Cricket' at its best".


Stephenson says that "it’s clear that young players copy what they see the internationals doing on television, both in how they play and how they conduct themselves.






'Rest of India' bowler Munaf Patel has been fined seventy-five per cent of his match fee for the second time in three weeks for using abusive language during the Irani Cup match against Delhi in Vadodara late last week. Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag lodged an official complaint with match referee Ravindra Jadeja during the match (E-News 320-1670, 28 September 2008), and Jadeja later handed Patel his latest fine.


In late August, 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).






Russell Tiffin and Kevan Barbour, Zimbabwea's two on-field umpires on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, are to stand in the four-day Intercontinental Cup (IC) match between Namibia and Ireland that is due to get underway in Windhoek later today.  The match is the second last game in the IC’s 2007-08 round-robin series for second-tier nations prior to the final of the competition next month.


The Windhoek game will be Barbour's forty-sixth at first-class level and Tiffin's eight-seventh, his last being the Second Test between the West Indies and Australia in Antigua last May; his forty-second at the highest level of the game (E-News 237-1308, 29 April 2008).  Barbour stood in four Tests, all of them in his home country, over a two-year period at the turn of the Century.


Prior to this year's IC final, Ireland is to play Kenya in Nairobi in the middle of this month.  The match staring today, plus the one in Kenya next week, will both be critical in deciding which two teams play in the final.  It is not known at this stage who will officiate in the Nairobi match or the subsequent final, nor where the premiership match will be played.


Scotland won the first IC in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in both events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider and Canada in the 2006-07 event.






Amiesh Saheba and Shavir Tarapore, who are both Indian members of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, are standing in the current four-day tour match between the Indian Board President's XI and the Australians in Hyderabad.  The match is Saheba's forty-eight first-class fixture and Tarapore's forty-seventh (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008).

Match referee for the game is former Sri Lankan first-class player Norton Fredrick, seventy, who appears to be officiating in a first-class match outside his home nation for the first time.  Before the current match, Fredrick has worked as a match referee in twenty-five first-class games in Sri Lanka's Premier Championship, and five List A matches, in the island nation over the last nine years.  He retired as a player in 1966.






International Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (IICUS) Director of Education, Denis Burns, is currently leading a six-day umpire program for sixteen people in Kathmandu, Nepal, says the IICUS web site.  Cricket Australia (CA) is understood to be sponsoring what is described as "a pilot program" using IICUS materials as part of its Global Development Program (GDP) in order "to ascertain the suitability of the course for umpires in both the domestic and international spheres".


Reports earlier this year suggested that IICUS course materials were to have been trialed in a GDP-organised course in Bangladesh (E-News 224-1345, 2 May 2008).  Indications at that time were that if the IICUS program "shook down" well it might become a key tool in the courses the GDP runs in Asia, however, it has never been clear as to whether the materials concerned were actually used on that occasion.


CA's GDP Manager, Ross Turner, has travelled to Kathmandu to view the course, a visit that follows recent umpire education and training courses he has coordinated in Mumbai, Dhaka and Bangalore on behalf of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and Bangladesh Cricket Board respectively (E-News 317-1653, 23 September 2008).  Darren Goodger, the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association's Education and Development Officer, is also in the Nepalese capital for the course, which ends next Sunday.






The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the membership of its umpire and technical committees for the year ahead at the end of its Annual General Meeting held in Mumbai last weekend.  Ten of the eighteen individuals named to the two groups are representatives of five broad regions of the sub-continent.


The eight-man umpires sub-committee is to be Chaired by Arun Jaitley and is made up of Srinivas Venkataraghavan the BCCI's Director of Umpires, Sanjay Jagdale who is described as the convenor, plus representatives from five regions around the country.  The latter are: Bikash Baruah (East); Anirudh Choudhary (North); M.N. Dorairajan (Central); Samarjeet Gaekwad (West); and T.C. Mathew (South).


Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian player and senior member of the International Cricket Council who played a key role in the selection of international umpire and match referee positions for many years (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008), heads up the ten-man Technical Committee.  


His colleagues are said to be: Kris Srikkanth the Chairman of the BCCI's senior selection committee; former Test umpire Virinchirpuram Ramaswamy; N. Srinivasan as convenor; plus Biman Bhattacharjee (East); Chetan Chauhan (North), Gyanendra Pandey (Central); Milind Rege (West); and Maturi Sridhar (South).  The tenth position is, say media reports, to be filled by "a retired umpire".






There is no sign as yet as to when the England and Wales Cricket Board’s disciplinary hearing into Surrey captain Mark Ramprakash's on-field dispute with a Sussex opponent and an umpire during a first-class match in August will be heard.  The hearing was originally listed for Lord's ten days ago but had to be postponed due to the unavailability of some panel members and witnesses because they were involved in the last round of County matches for 2008 (E-News 319-1664, 26 September 2008).  








Rod Tucker of New South Wales and Ian Lock of Western Australia, who are both members of the National Umpires Panel (NUP), were yesterday appointed to the four umpiring slots originally allocated to now-retired NUP member Peter Parker (E-News 320-1673, 1 October 2008).  Tucker is to stand in both the interstate one-day and first-class matches scheduled for the Adelaide Oval next week, and Lock in a similar pairing of games at the Gabba in Brisbane towards the end of the month.


Appointment of the two umpires was finalised at the long-scheduled, routine monthly teleconference of the five-man national selection panel, a group that is convened by Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford and is made up of him and CA's four Umpire High Performance Managers (UHPM).  Scotford told E-News yesterday prior to the phone link-up that the group also planned to work through appointments to interstate one-day and first-class matches for the month starting 6 November, however, as previously planned, details will not be released until tomorrow (E-News 316-1648, 20 September 2008). 


Asked what CA's timetable was for naming replacements for Parker on both the NUP and the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Scotford said that at this stage there was "no need to rush" a decision on either appointment.  He did say though that "initial discussions" on the subject were on the agenda for yesterday's teleconference, but gave no indication just when any decision might be reached.  


While E-News has no knowledge of just what approach the panel may have decided on yesterday regarding NUP-IUP replacements, it is possible that they may have identified potential candidates for both positions, and that those individuals will be under special scrutiny over the next month.  The panel's next scheduled meeting believed to have been set for sometime in the first week of November.






Kingborough Cricket Club (KCC), the winners of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's First Grade Premiership over the last two seasons, has scheduled a net session at the TCA Ground on Wednesday evening and umpires who wish to attend to hone their skills in the lead up to the coming season are welcome to attend.  


KCC Coach Ron Davey, who extended the invitation, told E-News yesterday that four nets will be in operation from 7.15 to 9.30 p.m. tomorrow night.  Those attending are asked to introduce themselves to Davey on arrival at the indoor facility before standing in the nets.


The first night of a two-evening course for scorers is also scheduled for tomorrow night at Bellerive (E-News 313-1635, 16 September 2008). 






Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash was yesterday suspended for the first two matches of the 2009 County Championship season after he was found guilty of "repeatedly [swearing] at one of the match umpires" in a game against Sussex in August.  Ramprakash, who pleaded guilty to the offence at a hearing of a England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) disciplinary committee, was also fined the equivalent of $A3,000 and told to pay some $A2,000 in costs.


An ECB statement issued after the hearing, which was held six weeks after the incident occurred (E-News 320-1690, 3 October 2008), said that "in imposing this penalty, the panel took into account that Ramprakash was captain at the time of the incident, his previous good character, and the facts that he was contrite, had unreservedly apologised to the umpires and had already been fined [the equivalent of $A2,000] by Surrey". 


Ramprakash's on-field row erupted when Sussex's Murray Goodwin accused him of running down the middle of the pitch in an attempt to damage its surface on the first day of the first-class match at The Oval.  Surrey's acting captain was said to have marched toward Goodwin pointing his bat and the duo stood toe-to-toe until umpires Rob Bailey and John Steele and Sussex captain Mike Yardy intervened.  


Play resumed, but when Ramprakash completed his century he again made an angry gesture at Goodwin, and at the close of the day's play pointed his bat at Steele.






The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has released a set of guides for umpires, players, manufacturers and retailers that summarise the changes it has made to Law 6.  The changes, which came in effect on 1 October, were made as a result of concerns that technology used in the manufacture of bats could alter "the balance between bat and ball" (E-News 241-1323, 12 May 2008).  


The MCC says that the guides have been produced because it "is aware that the new version of Law 6 is far more complicated than the previous version".  The guardians of the Laws of Cricket have also released a new 'Appendix E' to those Laws that also provides very precise details about matters related to the revised Law.


Copies of the four guides can be downloaded from,1020,AR.html, while Appendix E can be found at






Reports from the Carribean late last week indicate that a "major upheaval" is developing in the Barbados Cricket Umpires Association (BCUA) over the selection of the six-member umpiring panel for the island's top-level club competition for 2008-09.  What the 'Nation News' describes as "three promising umpires who have been on the rise in recent seasons", and who are on the BCUA management committee, were asked to resign after being accused of "trying to overturn a decision made by the executive of which they are a part". 


According to 'Nation News', the BCUA's selection panel, which includes "two members of the Barbados Cricket Association's board of management, a Division 1 player and a member of the BCUA's training committee", met earlier this month and selected six umpires for duties in the next regional season.  Subsequently that list of six received "unanimous approval" from the BCUA committee of management, a group that reportedly included the three unnamed umpires now at the centre of the controversy.


Reports state that those three umpires, neither of whom were amongst the six chosen but who had voted to accept the selection panel's nominations, subsequently wrote a letter to the BCUA secretary requesting that they themselves replace three of those who were selected.  The trio were said to be "upset that their names were not put forward", and claimed in their letter that three of the umpires that were chosen had "reached the zenith of their careers".  They also requested a special meeting of the full BCUA executive for the matter to be put to a vote.


The matter is said to have "erupted" at a general meeting of the BCUA held last week. When the trio's letter was read to the gathering there was "an immediate outcry from the floor with several members questioning the actions of the three".  Those present reportedly called on them to step down from the committee of management with immediate effect but they refused to resign, and moves were commenced by some members to put in train a process, within the Association's Constitutional provisions, that is aimed at removing the trio.


'Nation News' says that a fourth member of the BCUA management committee also wrote a letter asking that the recommendations be reviewed and as a result calls for his resignation have also been made.  In editorial comment the newspaper says that "umpires fighting among themselves must be mindful that decisions they make on the field will come under greater scrutiny by players and spectators".






A batsman was adjudged to have 'handled the ball' during the opening round of one-day club cricket in Christchurch, New Zealand, last Saturday.  Burnside-West's opener Carl Huyser is reported to have been batting well and headed towards fifty when he "brushed aside a ball bouncing in the direction of his stumps with his hand instead of his bat".  A report in the local newspaper yesterday says that fielding side Riccarton appealed and that after consulting with David Herber his umpiring colleague at square leg, David Reid, who was standing at the bowler's end, gave Huyser out.








Members of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) are preparing for the opening matches of the 2008-09 interstate one-day and first-class competitions that are set to get underway tomorrow and on Friday.  Five umpires, Andrew Craig and Jeff Brookes (Western Australia), Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) and Bob Parry and John Ward (Victoria) will be involved in the three games, two in Perth and one in Brisbane.  


Melbourne-based Bob Parry will be in Perth on Wednesday for the first one-day game of the season between Western Australia and New South Wales, with locals Jeff Brookes and Andrew Craig being his on-field and third umpire colleagues respectively.  


Two days later Craig and Parry will stand in a first-class game between the same two sides, a match that will be Craig's eighteenth at that level but first for three years (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).  For Parry it will be his sixty-third first-class game, a tally that includes four finals of the national first-class competition over the last five seasons (E-News 207-1155, 11 March 2008).  


Two time zones across the continent on Friday, Bruce Oxenford from Queensland and John Ward of Victoria will walk out on the Gabba for the other first-class match of the day between Queensland and Tasmania. The game will be Oxenford's thirty-ninth at first-class level since his first in November 2001, while it will be Ward's seventeenth in the last five years.  


Ward has been in Queensland over the last fortnight standing in a preseason series that involved the Tasmanian, NSW, Victorian and South Australian sides, his umpiring colleagues being fellow State and NUP member Paul Reiffel, and TCUSA members Steven John and Sam Nogajski (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008). 






England international umpire Mark Benson and Canadiian Karran Bayney were yesterday named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the umpires for next week's Twenty20 International tournament in Ontario that involves Canada, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.  Jeff Crowe of New Zealand will be the match referee for the eight-match series that will run from 10-13 October.


Benson is a member of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel and Bayney of its third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires’ Panel.  The series will double the number of international Twent20s Benson has stood in, his previous eight being in the inaugural World Championship held in South Africa last year, one of those being the final of the competition with Australian Simon Taufel (E-News 103-566, 24 September 2007).


For Bayney, who was born in Guyanan, records indicate that the series will see his debut in Twenty20 cricket at representative level.  He has one first-class game to his credit in the ICC's Intercontinental Cup, that match being played in Bermuda last month, while all of his six List A games were in the ICC's World Cricket League Division 2 series played in Namibia last December.  


Bayney has also stood in a number of ICC America's region tournaments played in Argentina, Panama, and his adopted homeland.  He has also worked as a match referee in a first-class and other international games. 






South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen, who with his Pakistani colleague Asad Rauf has been appointed to stand in the first two Tests of the fast-approaching India-Australia series, has been asked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make no public comment about the matches ahead, according to his home country newspaper the 'Business News'.


Koertzen, who lives in Eastern Cape, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that that he would "love to talk about the prospect of umpiring the Tests", but that he'd "had a phone call asking [him] not to make any comments if anyone should call”.  When asked about what 'Business News' called the "a hate-filled battle of attrition" that marked the Test series played between the two side in Australia earlier this year, Koertzen is said to have stated that he is "sure that what is in the past is in the past".


The newspaper states that "in asking him not to comment" it appears that it is "not so sure" that the ICC agrees with that view.





Zulfiqar Ahmed, a former Pakistani first-class umpire and before that an all-rounder in his country’s inaugural Test side of the 1950s, died in Lahore last Friday aged eight-two.  Zulfiqar played nine Test matches for Pakistan from 1952-57, a period in which his team won five games and lost none.  Following his retirement as a player he took up umpiring, standing at first-class level during the 1958 season in Pakistan.






Cricket Australia (CA) announced yesterday that this austral summer's international season will be "kick started" by a Twenty20 match between an Australian 'All Stars' team that was selected by State players at the end of last season, and "a full strength" Australian XI at the Gabba in Brisbane.  The 'All Stars' side is being sponsored by a whisky company and the Australian XI by a fast food group, while the current Australian touring side in India goes under the name of a make of beer. 


The Twenty20 match, that has been scheduled for Friday, 14 November will form part of weekend program that will also feature a 'Cricket Fan Day' (CFD) and party that is to be hosted by the whisky company, CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA). 


The CFD, which will be held at Allan Border Field, will feature an array of cricket excitement for all ages including a Twenty20 match between the 'ACA Masters' and an 'All Star Indigenous XI', a cricket super clinic, appearances from past and present Australian players, and a range of other activities.


CA says breathlessly in a press release that the party will be an "exclusive, invite-only event for the Australian cricketers, their partners and celebrities at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane featuring all the glitz and glamour from the red carpet".  It is not known at this stage whether any match referees, umpires, or scorers will receive an invitation to such an "exclusive" event, or which of them may officiate in the match between the whisky and fast foods teams.






With just four days before the new season gets underway, the Geelong Cricket Association (GCA) in Victoria has appealed for more umpires to join its ranks. The 'Geelong Advertiser' says that the GCA's umpiring group currently does not have the capacity to provide officials to all of the matches scheduled on turf over the coming weekend.


GCA umpires president Wayne Richards says that his group currently has thirty-three officials on its books but that it needs at least fifteen extra umpires to ensure all Division one and Division two firsts and seconds fixtures have at least one neutral official.    Umpires standing in the GCA are paid up to $A130 for a day's work.






"Umpires sponsorship" is one of a range of commercial opportunities that are currently on the table for  the Champions League (CL) series that is scheduled to be played in India from 3-10 December.  ESPN Star Sports, which has acquired the media and marketing rights for the tournament for over a billion Australian dollars, says that the week long Twenty20 series is "the highest value cricket tournament on a per game basis".  Other categories of sponsorships currently on offer include  title sponsorship, on-air, ground sponsorship, and merchandise, individual team sponsors remaining unchanged from those of their home series.








Optometrist Derek Fails, Managing Director of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) new umpires' and scorers' sponsor 'Eyelines', spoke positively about the 'eye-gym' vision training system during the launch of his company's three-year deal with the TCA last Saturday.  In providing his assessment Fails, who was asked by Tasmanian State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows to evaluate the on-line system last week, stressed jovially that he "had no shares in the [South African] company" involved but was happy to recommend it to umpires (E-News 318-1659, 24 September 2008).


Fails announced Eyeline's State-wide naming rights sponsorship for umpires and scorers at the TCA's annual umpires and scorers seminar, an arrangement that is to provide "direct funding" to all three of Tasmanian's match officials Associations.  Under the deal, year one will see Eyelines branding on umpires' shirts and jackets and the supply of caps, while in years two and three the company is to supply umpires' shirts, jackets and caps.


In addition, Eyelines are to provide the TCA with the Tasmanian 'Umpire of the Year' award, assistance with advertising and recruiting campaigns for umpires and scorers, professional development for them at conferences and the like, and discounts State-wide in their stores for umpires and scorers.  They will also be the "presenting partner" for domestic interstate one-day matches played in the State. 


The TCA's Marketing and Media Manager Michael Moschogianis, who introduced Fails at last weekend's launch, welcomed Eyelines sponsorship, although both he and Fails said that the Tasmanian umpiring fraternity will have to live with the inevitable jokes that will flow from the link that now exists between them and a company that deals with vision issues. 






Umpires standing in Grade cricket in Tasmania this season are to use an up-graded reporting system for the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 'Spirit of Cricket' (SOC) award.  Cricket Australia (CA) conducted a review of issues surrounding its SOC Award for senior interstate earlier this year, and the TCA, which as involved in those considerations, has decided to adopt changes that were agreed to by the national body.


CA's move is believed to have been made due to concerns by a number of senior administrators in Australia that SOC issues and the associated award, might not be being taken seriously enough at senior interstate level, and that the award itself did not always reflect how teams were actually performing.  As a result a new system has been devised to provide the umpires with what is hoped will be a more accurate way of reporting the way a team conducts itself. 


E-News understands that while suggestions were made during CA's review that a State team's SOC points be used as a tie breaker in the event of two or more teams sitting on the same number of competition points at the end of the season, it was decided to trial the new system this season before deciding whether or not to adopt such an option.


Those present at last weekend's umpire and scorer seminar at Bellerive were briefed on the new SOC one-page reporting system, which is divided into three parts.  The first section deals with matters related to a team's "respect for [their] opponents", the next "respect for the role of the umpire", and the third and last "respect for the game".  Each part of the report gives umpires a choice of a rating from zero to four, there being a limit of a maximum of twelve points per side per match.


Tasmanian Grade Cricket Manager Chris Garrett told the seminar that a SOC points ladder will be maintained on the TCA Association's web site this season so that clubs can keep up-to-date as to where they are in the standings.






Tasmanian umpires members, their mentors, match observers and selectors, are to continue to use the International Institute of Cricket Umpiring and Scoring's (IICUS) recently published 'Umpiring Techniques' manual as their preferred resource for on-field technique during the coming season.  The manual, which has been used by the TCUSA since it was first published by the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association seven years ago, was reissued with minor changes two months ago as a IICUS publication (E-News 297-1568, 18 August 2008).  


The manual, whose primary author is former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair, "gives advice on the art of umpiring, [and] how the umpire should handle himself and others in dealing with the multitude of varying situations which can arise during a cricket match".  The twenty-four page publication is made up of twelve sections with headings such as 'Before the Match', 'Signals and Calls', 'Decision Making', 'Positioning', 'Ground, Weather and Light', 'Answering Questions [from players]', 'Conflict Situations', 'Concentration', 'After the Match', 'Coping with Pressure', and 'Teamwork and Support'.  


Tasmanian State Director of Umpires Richard Widows says that together with "Tom Smith', which provides detailed commentary on the Laws of Cricket, and the field technique details provided in the now IICUS manual, the TCUSA has the material it needs to effectively train and educate umpires so that they are provided with the opportunity to reach their full potential.


The Manual is available on line at:   






Umpires standing in Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches this austral summer are likely to have their on-field performance recorded on video using a system developed by TCUSA member Roy Loh.  Using a digital movie camera and with the on-going support of the TCA, the now-retired umpire conducted trials of the system during the 2007-08 season, and some of his product was shown at the TCA's annual umpires and scorers seminar last weekend.


Loh's presentation showed how four TCUSA umpires reacted to a number of basic on-field situations that occurred during several matches played last season.  The clips enabled viewers to see such things as how each umpire carried themselves, their positioning as balls were hit into the outfield, the way they handled appeals, and their uniformly solid technique in moving their eyes not their heads as the bowler went through his delivery stride.  


In discussing some of the video clips shown to seminar participants, Tasmanian State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows said that the approach planned is a positive move that is "designed to help [all umpires] to see themselves in action so that they can consider, and where necessary improve, their technique".  He proposes to show recordings of individual umpires during TCUSA training-appointments meetings this season in order to help bring to the fore issues needing consideration.  "Such material", he emphasised, "will only be run in public with the express permission of the individual concerned".   


Loh told E-News that his biggest challenge in setting up the system was in the editing area, but that has now been solved by the purchase of specialised computer software plus "about ten hours" of training provided to him on editing techniques by a professional television cameraman.  "It was far from straightforward", for "the camera, its capabilities and especially the editing were things that I previously had very little experience with", said Loh.  Despite that he seems to have mastered the system, for participants at last weekend's seminar reacted positively to the video clips that were shown from last season's trial run.






Umpire and scorer appointments have been made for the opening match of the 'Jamie Cox Plate' this season between a side representing the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) and the State Under 19 side which is to be played at Lindisfarne on Sunday.  Match officials for the fifty over one-day game are umpires Brian Muir and Wade Stewart, and scorers Graeme Hamley and Robert Godfrey, the latter who is also the new Secretary of the Kingborough Club.


The other two teams in the competition, from the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association (NTCA) and the North West Tasmanian Cricket Association (NWTCA) are scheduled to play their opening match in Ulverston on 26 October.  The last four of the six 'round robin' games are to be played on the weekend of 1-2 November in Launceston and the final on 23 November in either the Devonport Oval, the NTCA Ground in Launceston or at Lindisfarne.


The series, which is named after the former Tasmanian first-class player and current national selector, is designed to bring together prospective State and National players together "in a highly competitive environment while maintaining regional pride and honour".



2008-09 TCA BY LAWS 



Copies of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 2008-09 'Grade Cricket Rules and By Laws' are now available to TCUSA umpires and scorers who were not present at Bellerive last weekend for the Annual Seminar.  This year the publication has been produced in a slightly larger and easier to read format from that used previously, and for the first time the 'contents' list is linked to page numbers, a change that makes access to information easier.  


Briefing the seminar about the By Laws, Richard Widows Tasmania's State Director of Umpiring, pointed out that the only changes in playing conditions for this season are in TCA one-day matches.  The two revisions cover the removal of the requirement for two close-in catchers other than the wicket keeper during the first compulsory Power Play, and the introduction of arrangements for replacement players in such matches.


Chris Garrett, the TCA's Grade Cricket Manager, stressed to the scorers, umpires, club captains and coaches present on the last afternoon of the seminar the importance of captain's reports, a comment echoed by Widows for whom they are an important part of his work in assessing and appointing umpires.  


After match meetings in First and Second Grades were also mentioned during the open forum, and both Garrett and Widows reinforced the value of those meetings.  In answer to a concern raised by one coach that "some captains might struggle to be objective" after "a difficult match" that involved concerns about umpiring decisions, Widows suggested that the "role of the captain is a specialised one that requires the ability to be positive and constructive at all times in carrying out their duties", and that it is important that where they have concerns they discuss them directly with the umpires before they write their after match reports.






Match payments to umpires standing in Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) First and Second Grade games during the coming season are to rise slightly from $A100 to $A105 a day.  Daily fees for accredited scorers and umpires standing in other TCA competitions remain the same, the former being $A40, umpires in Thirds, Under 17s and the Southern Tasmanian Cricket League $A100, and the Under 15s $A85. 


As has been the case over the last few years, no fee is payable if a day's play is abandoned and sufficient advice has been given to those involved, while for match officials who turn up at the ground only to find that no play is possible, a $A40 fee is payable.  Should play get underway only to be abandoned at any time during the day, umpires and scorers will receive the applicable daily fee. 


When the time match officials spend each season at matches, in meetings and training sessions, travelling and on the clothing and equipment required, TCUSA umpires 'take home' $A3-4 for each hour involved, while their scorer colleagues rates are even less.  As a result the Australian Taxation Commissioner does not treat such monies earned as assessable, while claims are not permitted on the expenditure involved. 








New South Wales State Umpires Panel member Gerard Abood was named to stand in his first two first-class matches when the second block of national umpiring appointments for the 2008-09 season was released by Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday.  The move confirms suggestions he is in contention for the vacant spot on the National Umpires Panel (NUP), however, others thought to be in the mix still appear to have time to make their case to selectors, even though their appointments are more limited in month two of the season. 


Appointments for the second month cover the four weeks from 10 November and include six Sheffield Shield, seven one-day, one four-day tour match and two Tests.  Nineteen umpires are in the overall mix, six of who were not named for games over the first month of the season, while three who were are without high-level appointments in month two.  The total number of umpires named for the season to date is twenty-two.


Abood's first-class matches are those between New South Wales and the New Zealand tourists from 13-16 November, and that State's Sheffield Shield game against Queensland a week later, both fixtures being at the Sydney Cricket Ground.  His colleague for the first match will be Victorian NUP member Paul Reiffel and the second Australian international umpire Simon Taufel.  Abood's third appointment for the month is to a one-day match on the last weekend of November at Hurstville Oval with State colleague and NUP member Rod Tucker.


Raw data on match allocations over the last few years, including analysis of recent appointments on CA's much-touted umpiring pathway, suggests that there are perhaps no more than three serious candidates for the vacant slot on the NUP; although as in all selections there are intrinsic talents that mere match numbers do not necessarily reveal.  On the numbers though Abood, Norm McNamara (Queensland) and Steven John (Tasmania) are the three that appear to stand out, although the selectors surprised earlier this year by choosing two new members of the NUP from 'left field' (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).


McNamara, who already has on-field experience at first-class level, received no appointments in month two, while John was named for his second one-day match for the season and fifth in that form of the game since his first twelve months ago (E-News 326-1712 below).  In addition the Tasmanian, who has had a solid winter match program of matches, is to stand in a Cricket Australia Cup match for State Second XIs in Sydney which starts next Monday (E-News 316-1648, 20 September 2008). 


Of the other non NUP members named for matches yesterday, Andrew Collins (South Australia), Geoff Joshua (Victoria) and Terry Keel (NSW) have each been given a one-day on-field position.  Joshua's match will be his first in 2008-09 and second since his debut last January, and Keel's his eleventh in eleven years, but first since December 2006.  Keel has his State colleague Peter Tate as the third umpire for that game in what will hopefully be the latter's actual debut, for the first one-dayer to which he was named last December was washed out without a ball being bowled.  Tasmania's Brian Muir also received a third umpire appointment (E-News 326-1712 below).


Of the eleven NUP members, all except Tony Ward received games, Bob Parry and John Ward (Victoria) both heading the list with four (each two first-class and two one-day), followed on three by another Victorian Paul Reiffel (two first-class and a one-dayer) and Simon Fry (South Australia) with two first-class and a third umpire spot in a one-day game, while Western Australians Jeff Brookes, Andrew Craig and Ian Lock both have two, Brookes a first-class and one-day game, and the others a first-class and one-day third umpire positions.  


Andrew Craig (Western Australia), Mick Martell (WA), Rod Tucker (NSW) and Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) have all been given a single domestic one-day match, however, the latter two, who are both International Umpires Panel (IUP) members, will also work as the third umpires in the First and Second Tests between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane and Adelaide respectively late next month.  Queenslander Tim Laycock and South Australian Collins will be the fourth umpires for those two games.  Paul Wilson of Western Australia who is on CA's 'Project Panel' for former first-class cricketers, does not appear at all on the month two list.  


CA Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford indicated earlier this week that the selectors will not be rushing to fill the NUP or IUP slots that are currently open (E-News 324-1691, 7 October 2008).  Analysis of fixtures, and yesterday's off-field appointments to the Tests against New Zealand, suggests that the IUP position will not need to be filled until the first half of January, and it is possible that CA may have a similar timetable in mind for the national spot.  If that is indeed the case those vying for the vacant NUP spot still have time to further demonstrate their ability to the selectors. 


The next announcement of CA umpiring appointments is scheduled for 10 November.





National Umpires Panel (NUP) members Simon Fry (South Australia) and Bob Parry (Victoria) will be the third and fourth umpires from interstate to stand in matches at Bellerive this austral summer.  Parry will officiate in two matches, the first the Sheffield match between Tasmania and New South Wales from 2-5 December and the second a one-day game on the seventh, while Fry will be his on-field partner in the four-day match.


Two Tasmanian umpires, Steven John and Brian Muir, have been named for the one-day game, John on the field with Parry, and Muir in the third umpire's suite.  John will be standing in his fifth one-day match since his debut last season, while for Muir, it will be his fifth as a third official in a domestic fifty over match, all of them at Bellerive.  He also has eleven one-day games as an on-field umpire to his credit.


The Shield match will be Parry's sixty-fourth at first-class level and tenth at Bellerive, a record that includes four of the last five Australian domestic first-class finals.  The one-day match will be his thirtieth in the national one-day series, and forty-ninth List A game overall, the latter including four One Day Internationals.  For Fry December's Shield match at Bellerive will be his twenty-seventh first-class game since his debut at that level in January 2002.  It will be his sixth such match here, the last being in January this year.


Fry and Parry, whose visits will occur during a gap in the TCUSA meeting schedule, will be preceded at Bellerive by their NUP counterparts Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) and Tony Ward (Victoria) who will be in the State early next month (E-News 308-1613, 9 September 2008).   





England-based international match referee Chris Broad has spoken to representatives of both the Indian and Australian Test teams and told them to avoid "making inappropriate public comments" during the four-match series that is to get underway this evening Australian time in Bangalore.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that Broad's call was made to both captains, coaches and team management during scheduled pre-series meetings held yesterday.


ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement that “the whole world has been waiting for this series with great expectations and we all want it to be remembered for all the right reasons, because of great cricket".  “There has been a long build-up to the series but now it is time for the cricket on the field to do the talking as a demonstration that Test cricket remains the pinnacle of our great game", said Lorgat.


The world body is clearly concerned that the disharmony that occurred in the last Test series between the two sides earlier this year will erupt again, and reports indicate that it has also spoken about media links to at least one of the umpires involved in the first two Tests (E-News 324-1699, 7 October 2008). 






Allan Jones, who has just ended his twenty-fifth straight season as an umpire in County cricket, has signed on for two seven-week stints with the Indian Cricket League (ICL), the first of which starts tomorrow.  One report says that Jones, who is sixty, has taken "early retirement" from the County scene, another that he accepts that his actions mean that he will be barred from officiating in further England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) matches.


Taunton-based Jones told the 'Daily Telegraph' this week that joining the ICL was a "no-brainer" for "the money is exceptional" and "more than [he] earned from [his] ECB contract this year.  He was due to retire from the ECB's first-class list in four years' time but says that he's had enough of the travelling involved and was finding four-day cricket "hard work".  Jones says that the ICL is a "new challenge" for him, he has never been to India before, and is "very much looking forward to it".


Jones played first-class cricket for four Counties and two teams in South Africa from 1966-81, chalking up 214 first-class and 192 List A matches as a fast-medium seam bowler.  He played his last first-class match in August 1981, two months after standing in his first match at County Second XI level as an umpire.  Appointed to the ECB's umpiring Reserve list in 1984, he made the full list a year later and has since gone on to officiate in 363 first-class and 373 List A games. Included in the latter were two One Day Internationals (ODI), and he also worked in three Tests as the third umpire. 


The ICL have not released a list of officials for the seven team, five-week, forty-one match Twenty20 tournament that starts in Hyderabad tomorrow evening Australian time.  According to quotes attributed to Jones, the ICL are "short of umpires" because the "organisers left recruitment late".  "There are a couple of umpires I know who would have gone if they had been contacted early enough", he said.  Another ICL series, which Jones has also been contracted to be involved in, is scheduled for March and April.  


In its inaugural season ICL umpires included ECB-contracted umpires Jeff Evans, Trevor Jesty and Nigel Cowley, however, while they returned to stand in County cricket in 2008 as the ECB was not able to legally prevent most of their participation in the ICL (E-News 204-1132, 4 March 2008).  The ECB did not appoint them to any televised cricket or as a fourth official at Tests or ODIs in England this northern summer.  Jesty though stood in one such match but only because 'Sky-TV' made a late switch to their scheduling say reports. 


Other umpires used by the ICL to date are now retired County umpires Ray Julian and Roy Palmer, three from lower levels in England, Dave Brandon, Ken Horton and Dean Johnson, five Indians, Alfred Burrows, K R Chesian, Rajesh Mundhra, Venkatraman Satish and Dinesh Waghela all of whom were previously little known (E-News 326-1714 below), plus Shakeel Khan from Pakistan and Ranmor Martinez of Sri Lanka.  Martinez, who was banned from cricket in his home nation after standing in the ICL, was last month given permission to stand in club cricket in the island nation (E-News 316-1649, 20 September 2008).  


The ECB recently moved to introduce twelve-month contracts, pay rises and a "loyalty bonus" for County umpires as part of a bid to try and discourage those officials from signing up with so-called 'rebel' leagues like the ICL (E-News 303-1590, 30 August 2008), but there have been various reports over the last month that it is unlikely to deter officials from breaking rank as they approach retirement, Jones being the first example to date.






The Indian Cricket League used six Indian umpires in its twenty-two match "domestic" Twenty20 tournament that was played in Hyderabad and Banglaore late last month.  The series which featured seven teams, saw two and sometimes three matches played each day between 21-30 September, although in world terms it seems to have received little publicity. 


Indians Alfred Burrows (nine matches), K R Chesian (eight), Rajesh Mundhra (eight), Venkatraman Satish (nine) and Dinesh Waghela (eight) were the main officials, with a 'M Rajesh' standing in another two.  Balwinder Sanddu was the match referee in the three matches played in Bangalore, the other nineteen being without such an official, while none of the games had third umpires.  Each of the six umpires stood in ICL matches played earlier this year (E-News 326-1713 above), but Sanddu appears to be a new face in their competitions.






'Niners', shots that travel more than ninety metres from the popping crease, and will as the name implies score a batsman nine runs, are to be used during the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) new season when it gets underway in Hyderabad tomorrow night Australian time.  Karsan Ghavri, the coach of the ICL's Chennai side, is quoted in yesterday's 'Times of India' (TOI) as saying that the decision to award a 'niner' will have to be made by the third umpire and 'Hawk-eye".


An ICL player, Hemang Badani is quoted by the TOI as saying that he "doesn't think" the new scoring opportunity "will dramatically alter the team scores".   "It will give additional scope for big hitters", says Badani, but in his assessment there will be more than two or three 'niners' in an innings.  


"The main contribution of the niners may come when you are chasing a big total and you require say thirty runs in two overs", he says, when "a batsman can look for a niner or two and that will change the match on its head".  Former Australian Test and one-day player Michael Bevan agreed, according to the 'Times' report, saying that there are not many who can go that distance and "basically the game will remain the same".


A full list of umpires for the forthcoming ICL series has not yet been released (E-News 326-1713 above).






London's 'Daily Telegraph' says that the two-match ban handed out to Surrey's Mark Ramprakash on Monday for "repeatedly" swearing at an umpire is one of the "toughest ever punishments" ever handed out by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).  The paper says that "the severity of his abuse" towards umpire John Steele led to the ECB to take what it called "the unusual decision of handing down a suspension from first-class cricket" (E-News 324-1693, 7 October 2008).


The 'Telegraph' article says that County players have been banned in the past for failing drugs tests, and Dominic Cork was suspended from a one-day match after abusing drug-testing officials, but it is thought Ramprakash is the first to be banned from championship cricket. He will miss the opening two first-class matches of his County's 2009 season and is out of pocket to the tune of around $A8,000 in fines and costs.


Ramprakash expressed remorse for swearing at Steele in his 'Daily Telegraph' column last month (E-News 319-1664, 26 September 2008).  The newspaper says that it remains to be seen whether Ramprakash will launch an appeal.  The player is said to have refused to comment to the media about the decision. 






Four umpires and three scorers will support the three match one-day series between the Hong Kong and Japanese women's teams that is scheduled to get underway today and end on Sunday.  Umpires for the series, which will be played at the Kowloon and Hong Kong Cricket Clubs and the Mission Road ground, are Hong Kong locals Kevin Bishop, Tauseef Bukhari, Anoop Gidwani and Roger Nissim, while the scorers are Renuka Gidwani, Kaori Iida, and Kulwant Singh.   






A new organisation, the Association of Elite Sports Officials, was launched in England on Tuesday as an umbrella organisation that will represent full-time officials in cricket, football, rugby league and rugby union and work to raise standards within the sports by allowing referees and umpires to exchange ideas and techniques.


David Elleray, an international football referee, will chair an executive board that includes Stuart Cummings and Ed Morrison from rugby league and union respectively, Chris Kelly, the England and Wales Cricket Board umpires and match operations manager, and Keith Hackett, the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board.  Beneath them will be an advisory group of two officials from each sport.


The organisation has had one meeting, in which officials trained together and had sessions with a sports psychologist on coping with making big decisions. There are plans to meet regularly and also to visit schools and universities in England to promote officiating as a career option, particularly among women and ethnic minorities.







Eight men, half of whom are already on the National Umpires Panel (NUP), make up Western Australia's State Umpires Panel for the 2008-09 season.  The panel is the same size as its equivalent in New South Wales, and one or two members larger than the Victorian, Tasmanian and Queensland panels. 


Current NUP members Jeff Brookes, Andrew Craig, Ian Lock and Mick Martell are the senior members of the WA panel, their four non-NUP colleagues being Dean Chamberlain, Nathan Johnstone, Todd Rann and Paul Wilson.  Information available indicates that Rann, who is in his thirties, is the most experienced match-wise, with two national Under 17 men's Championships, two National Country Cricket Championships (NCCC), an East Asia Eights series and thirteen National Women's Cricket League (WNCL) games to his credit over the last ten years.


Johnstone, twenty-eight, has an NCCC series, four WNCL games, and a women's Twenty20 interstate match under his belt, Chamberlain an NCCC tournament and a single WNCL game, while Wilson's higher-level matches have been in the Institute Challenge in Darwin last year (E-News 88-471, 26 August 2007) and the 2008 Emerging Players' Tournament in Brisbane (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008).  


As a former player who appeared in fifty-one first-class matches, including one Test, and eleven One Day Internationals from 1995-2004, Wilson is in his third season on Cricket Australia's (CA) umpires Project Panel.  That panel was set up by CA to 'fast track' former players into umpiring ranks, however, Wilson's representative match record to date has been considerably less than the first two members of the group, Paul Reiffel (Victoria) and Rod Tucker (NSW), in the same time frame.  Both Reiffel and Tucker have been on the NUP for the last three seasons.






Indian umpire Suresh Shastri became the first umpire from his country to officiate in a South African first-class match under the two country's umpires' exchange program when he commenced the SuperSport Series game between the Dolphins and the Lions in Durban yesterday, his sixtieth at that level of the game.  When that match ends on Sunday, Shastri is to head to East London a second game that starts next Thursday.


Under arrangements announced by the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India and Cricket South Africa (CSA) in July, two Indian umpires are to stand in two four-day matches in South Africa's domestic competition this austral summer, while two South African's will oversee two Duleep Trophy games in India (E-News 276-1472, 15 July 2008).  CSA has had a similar exchange program with New Zealand Cricket over the past eleven seasons.


Shastri, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), is being quoted by the '' web site as saying that "the program will give [umpires from India] first-hand experience of the playing conditions in South Africa and vice-versa, so that when the ICC asks us to [stand in] games in these countries, we will know what to expect". 


The Press Trust of India quotes CSA spokesman Moabi Litekho as saying that the exchange program was agreed to by CSA General Manager of Cricket Operations, Brian Basson, and the then BCCI Secretary, Niranjan Shah, in Malaysia early this year.  Litekho says that "CSA is confident that [the program] will assist participating nations in producing quality umpires for international recognition in the future".  


The '' web site quotes Basson as saying that that his board is confident the exchange program will assist participating countries in producing quality umpires for the future.  The site is reporting that India, South Africa and New Zealand are the only countries that currently have an international umpire exchange program at first-class level.


No indication has been given who from South Africa will travel to India as part of the exchange, or who the second Indian will be this season.  Shastri's IUP colleague Amiesh Shaheba is currently working as the third umpire in the First Test between India and Australia.  He may fill that role in the second game after which he would be free to travel to South Africa, with Shastri in the television chair for Tests three and four,  


Meanwhile South African and Zimbabwean members of the IUP, Marais Erasmus and Russell Tiffin, are to officiate in the final group match of the ICC's four-day Intercontinental Cup for 2007-08 between Kenya and Ireland that starts in Nairobi tomorrow.  Kenya needs just a draw against Ireland to qualify for next month’s final against Namibia, however, Ireland still have a chance to play in that decider if they win outright after a first innings win.






Sunday will see National Umpire Panel (NUP) members Simon Fry (South Australia) and Rod Tucker (NSW) officiating in the first interstate match played at the Adelaide Oval this season.  The pair will be standing in the one-day domestic match between the home side and Victoria, the game being Fry's twenty-second in that competition since his first in January 2001, and Tucker his thirteenth in just under five years and first since the final of last season's series at Bellerive.


Two days later Tucker will walk out on to Adelaide Oval with NUP colleague Tony Ward from Victoria in the latter's first match at first-class level since being named to the panel last June (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).  That game, which will again be between South Australia and Victoria, will be Tucker's twenty-second first-class match, two of which have been in the last two finals of the national domestic competition.  For Ward it will be his fifth first-class match and first ever at the Adelaide Oval.






Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for weekend weather in Tasmania are for a possible afternoon shower in both the south and north of the State on Saturday, but fine in the north-west, with good weather prevailing in all three regions on Sunday and maximum temperatures in the mid to high teens Centigrade.  Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games over the next two days can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007). 








David Orchard, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) inaugural Elite Umpires Panel when it was established in March 2002, and more recently a member of Australia's National Umpires Panel (NUP), is one of six umpires who have stood in the four Indian Cricket League (ICL) matches played in Hyderabad over the last three days.  Orchard, who was dropped from the NUP in June this year and is currently Queensland's umpiring coach (E-News 251-1377, 3 June 2008), is the most experienced international umpire to have worked in the ICL.


Joining Orchard on the field for the opening ICL match of the new tournament last Friday was recently retired, long-serving County umpire Allan Jones (E-News 326-1714, 9 October 2008), while Sri Lankan Ranmore Martinez was in the television suite.  Martinez, who unlike Orchard and Jones took part in ICL series earlier this year, was subsequently banned by the cricketing authorities in his home country but was cleared to return to club cricket there just three weeks ago (E-News 316-1649, 20 September 2008). 


Other umpires standing in the ICL's latest Twenty20 series are David Brandon from England, Shakeel Kahn (Pakistan) and England born Keith Smith of Ireland.  Brandon and Khan have worked in the ICL previously (E-News 326-1715, 9 October 2008), but Smith is a new recruit.  While Khan has stood at first-class level, six of them Tests, as well as sixteen One Day Internationals in the period from 1982-2002 (E-News 211-1176, 17 March 2008), Brandon and Smith's experience is limited to lower levels of the game (E-News 206-1147, 10 March 2008).


Smith officiated in four games in the ICC's European Division 2 Championship played in the Channel Islands in August, a series that featured Croatia, France, Germany, Gibralter, Guensey and Jersey.  A year earlier he stood in the European Division 3 series in Belgium, umpiring the home side and teams from Finland, Malta, Portugal.      


Also returning to the ICL in what is its second season are match referees Ajit Wadekar and Erapalli Prasanna.  Both are former Indian Test players with Wadekar, who has been involved with the ICL since its first tournament last December (E-News 147-803, 4 December 2007), having thirty-seven Tests and 200 other first-class matches to his credit in the period from 1958-75.  Prasanna player forty-nine Tests and 235 first-class games overall from 1961-79.  Wadeekar was India's 'Cricketer of the Year' in 1963 and Prasanna in 1966.






Cricket North West's (CNW) Merit Award, which is now known officially as the 'Lance Cox Medal', was presented to long-time scorer Lynne Hayes at a dinner held in Devonport last Friday evening to launch the 2008-09 season.  In addition to her contribution as a scorer, Hayes has been involved in the administration with the North West Tasmanian Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NWTCUSA).over many years. 


Hayes, who is the Burnie-Yeoman club's scorer, has given over twenty-five years of service to cricket on the north-west coast of Tasmania, having started with the then Yeoman Cricket Club in 1982.  In addition to club cricket, Hayes has also scored in over a dozen Sheffield Shield and international first-class tour matches played in Devonport, as well as a One Day International between England and the West Indies in February 1987.  That match, which was umpired by Test officials Tony Crafter and Steve Randell, featured such well-known names as Chris Broad, Ian Botham, Joel Garner, Mike Gatting, David Gower, Allan Lamb, Vivian Richards and Courtney Walsh. 


The newly named CNW award recognises a person who has contributed significantly to the NWTCUSA and CNW over a long period of time at club level.  Cox served his Association as an umpire and umpire's coach, during his career standing at first-class level in the Sheffield Shield and in matches when Tasmania played touring sides from the West Indies and Pakistan, and also officiated in the interstate one-day series over several seasons.  In January 1949 he stood in the First Test between the Australian and England women's sides at the Adelaide Oval.    






Canadian bowler Abdool Samad delivered a 'no ball' in a 'bowl out' against Zimbabwe in Toronto on Saturday after the Twenty20 match between the two sides ended in a tie (E-News 324-1698, 7 October 2008).  Under playing conditions for the four-team tournament, each side then had to nominate five bowlers to each bowl at an undefended set of stumps, the African side hitting them on three occasions and the locals once. 


Twenty20 matches played under the auspices of the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) this summer will use a "One1 Eliminator" to decide the result of a match in the event of a tie after each side receives their twenty overs.  The involves each team bowling one over to a maximum of three batsman from the other side, with the loss of two wickets during that over ending the "innings".  If its still a tie after the two overs involved it goes back to sixes, then fours, hit during the game, including the Eliminator over, and if its still a tie after that then a second pair of Eliminator overs is bowled.


Details are provided on pages 57-58 of the TCA's 2008-09 'Grade Cricket Rules and By Laws' booklet (E-News 325-1709, 8 October 2008).






The green light has been given for the Stanford Twenty20 series to proceed after the commercial dispute between the West Indies Cricket Board and its major sponsor Digicel was resolved last Friday Australian time.  As yet though match officials for the series have not been finalised.


The eight-day 'Stanford Super Series', which is to be played in Antigua starting Saturday week, is to culminate with the 'Stanford 20/20 for $US20 million' game between the Stanford Superstars and England on 1 November.  Organisers of the series indicated earlier this month that they were aiming to contract four 'neutral' umpires from of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, and an ICC match referee, to manage the series (E-News 318-1656, 24 September 2008). 


Speaking to E-News by phone from Antigua last Saturday, Stanford spokesman Imran Khan said that his organisation is yet to complete negotiations with match officials, suggesting that it could be another week before an announcement is made on the subject.  Current ICC appointments indicate that no more than six of the ICC's senior umpires, and five of its match referees, are potentially available for what are expected to be lucrative contracts with Stanford (E-News 322-1681, 2 October 2008). 






Sobhash Modi (Kenya) and Sarika Prasad (Singapore) presided over the final of the International Cricket Council's World Cricket League's (WCL) Division four tournament between Afghanistan and Hong Kong played in Tanzania on Saturday.  During the eight-day, tournament, which involved the two finalists plus Fiji, Italy, Jersey and the home side, match officials from four nations managed the eighteen fifty over one-day matches that were played (E-News 318-1660, 24 September 2008).


Modi and Prasad stood in five matches overall, as did Rafik Valimohammed (Malawi), David Odhiambo (Kenya) and Ian Howell (South Africa), another Kenyan Rockie D'Mello four, and another South African Karl Hurter seven.  David Jukes of England was the match referee for the tournament.  Howell is currently the third umpire member on South Africa's part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) International Umpires Panel, while Hurter held that position until being dropped recently (E-News 290-1537, 6 August 2008).  


Afghanistan and Hong Kong won promotion to the ICC's WCL Division 3 tournament which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in January where they will be competing with Papua New Guinea, the Cayman Islands, Uganda and the home team.  Italy and Tanzania will remain in Division 4 for 2010 while Fiji and Jersey will return to the WCL Division 5 in 2010.






What Australian international umpire Daryl Harper told 'The Wisden Cricketer' (TWC) recently was "his best friend in cricket", his laptop computer, got its first work out on his web site for the first time in four months late last week.  Harper, who is currently in Bangladesh for a three-match One Day International (ODI) series and two Test matches (E-News 322-1680, 2 October 2008), posted his first blog since the end of his stint with the Indian Premier League in early June (E-News 254-1386, 8 June 2008).


Harper's latest musing is a basic account of the first ODI between Bangladesh and New Zealand played in Mirpur last Thursday.  The second game ODI of the series was played on Saturday and the last is scheduled for next Tuesday, with the two Tests to be played before the end of this month.


According to TWC, "probably the most difficult" players he has had to umpire are the now-retired Australia spinners Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.  "They were very demanding, very persistent", he says, "and also they had their opinions about any decisions [that he] made".


The Australian is quoted by TWC as indicating that the worst thing about umpiring for a living is "probably the number of hours [he] spends away from [his] family", although modern technology means that "one can stay in touch with family and friends".  Asked which tour he most look's forward to, Harper says that he likes "England because that's where the game started and India due to the intensity wherever you go".


Harper, who turns fifty-seven between this month's First and Second Tests in Bangladesh, also says in a quote that TWC attributes to him that he also "wouldn't mind doing games in Australia".  Apart from Grade cricket in Adelaide, records indicate that the last first-class match he umpired in Australia was in December 2004 at the Sydney Cricket Ground between New South Wales and Tasmania; although he did work as the match referee in the 'Top End' series in July 2006 in Darwin and Cairns.  


Harper was on the field for three ODIs played in Australia early this year but his last domestic one-day game in the country was in the final of the national competition in February 2007.  He last visited Bellerive as the third umpire in an ODI in January 2007, before that standing in five ODIs there from 2000-05; while five of his 143 first-class matches to date were at Bellerive, the last being in December 2000.






When Hong Kong lost to Bangladesh in the fifty-over one-day format Asian Cup in Colombo July 2004, Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique dismissed the last Hong Kong batsman with what was the second ball of his eleventh over.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) are reported at the time to have reprimanded the umpires, saying both they and the third umpire should have been keeping count and communicating with each other.


Reports at the time claimed that the umpires said that the official scorers for the match, whose names are not recorded, "had lost track".  The on-field umpires were current Elite Umpires Panel member Asoka de Silva and his countryman and ICC International Umpires Panel (IUP) member Tyron Wijewardene, while India's Arani Jayaprakash from the IUP, who retired from umpiring last May (E-News 249-1369, 30 May 2008), was in the television chair.


Tasmanian umpires attempt to assist captains by keeping notes on overs bowled by each individual in a match, but the formal responsibility to ensure the maximum number of overs is not exceeded lies with team captains.








Former Australian international umpire Peter Parker believes that more work needs to be done to assist 'part time' umpires officiating at national and international level to marry that career with the demands of their on-going employment outside the game.  Parker, who made his comments in a six-minute interview aired on the Queensland edition of ABC-TVs 'Stateline' program last Friday, indicated that more employers sympathetic to the dual roles of such officials need to be recruited. 


During the interview the veteran first-class umpire, who retired from the National Umpires Panel (NUP) late last month (E-News 321-1673, 1 October 2008), said that when the full-time members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) return home after time away managing matches they can spend "quality time" with their family.  In contrast, those who are striving towards EUP level have to go to work on arrival back from their match commitments and its very difficult for individuals to "juggle" the dual responsibilities involved, he says, and that's where employers have a key role to play in that person's "career path".


Parker, who officiated at first-class level for twenty-two consecutive seasons, said that while the "money is getting better", he would have liked to have umpired on a full time basis, presumably as a member of the EUP.  Asked about his "career highlight" he put the first Test he stood in, which was at the Gabba in his home town of Brisbane in December 1993, at the top of the list, although the match in which Queensland won its first ever Sheffieid Shield in March 1995, that was also played at the Gabba, "came very very close".  His partner in the Test was Tasmanian Steve Randell and in the Shield final Darrell Hair.  


Despite concerns expressed by some that the standard of player behaviour at the highest levels of the game has deteriorated in recent years, the Queenslander indicated to 'Stateline' that things have improved.  When he started, "sledging was very very tough", but now with match referees and reports "if players step out of line" they can be reported "and suspension can mean the end of a career", he said.


Parker says that he has just taken up the job of coach of his son's Under 13 side, but that "as far as standing in the middle [his] wife or some of the other fathers can do that but not me".






The Board of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to discuss a report on the Umpire Review System (URS) during during its scheduled two-day meeting that is to get underway in Dubai this afternoon Australian time.  The ICC says in a statement that "if it deems it appropriate", the Board will nominate four series for further trials of the system between now and the meeting of the world body's Cricket Committee in April-May next year; the South Africa series in Australia this summer reportedly being one of the candidates (E-News 321-1674, 1 October 2008).


Other matters on the Board's agenda that have been made public include fresh dates in 2009 for the postponed ICC Champions Trophy, the post-2012 Future Tours Program and ICC President David Morgan will report on discussions he had last week with an Indian Cricket League representative regarding their series becoming “approved unofficial” in the ICC's eyes (E-News 293-1552, 11 August 2008).  If successful such a move would free players and officials to take part in the competition without the fear of a ban from the wider game.


The ICC Board consists of the chairman or president from each of its ten Full Members plus three Associate Member representatives.  






South Australia's seven-man State Umpires Panel (SUP) for the 2008-09 season includes officials who stand at the top of world umpiring, down through one who is on the National Umpires Panel (NUP), and onto those who stand at the senior levels of Grade cricket in Adelaide.  In addition to Steve Davis and Daryl Harper of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, and Simon Fry of the NUP, the SUP is made up of Andrew Collins, Kumar Chandrkumar, Shane Hicks and Andrew Willoughby. 


Collins is the only one of the latter four who have so far made it to first-class level, although his last match at that standard was almost two years ago.  In addition he has been on the field in ten List A matches since his first in January 2005, half-a-dozen Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) games, six Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) matches, single Under 17 and Under 19 men's national Championships, and this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008).  He also has a women's Test and One Day Internationals to his credit.


To date Willouhgby has not stood at first-class level, although he did officiate in a three-day tour game involving the Sri Lankans last season.  He also has managed matches in two Under 19 and an Under 17 men's tournament, seven WNCL and five CAC games, and in an EPT in 2007.


Records indicate that Hicks, who is thirty-one, has only been on the representative scene for a couple of years, during that time working in three CAC games and last season's men's Under 17 Championships in Melbourne; but Chandrakumar does not appear to have officiated above Grade level to this time, according to data bases consulted by E-News.






New South Wales State Umpires Panel member Michael Kumutat and his partner from Tasmania Steven John had close-quarter views yesterday as the home side lost just five wickets in scoring 417 in ninety-five overs on the first day of the Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) match at the Hurstville Oval in Sydney.  One of the opening batsmen carried his bat through the day to be 210 not out at stumps, and as a result the two umpires between them signalled fifty-eight 'fours', nine 'sixes', eight 'no balls', and four 'leg byes' in the three sessions of play.


The match, which is between the Second XIs from NSW and South Australia, is Kumutat's third in the CAC series since his debut in November last year (E-News 318-1658, 24 September 2008), while for John it is his fourth in the competition over the last two years, although his previous matches have all been played in Tasmania (E-News 316-1648, 20 September 2008). 


The selection of an umpire from another State to officiate in a CAC match is believed to be unprecedented (E-News 326-1711, 9 October 2008).  John is one of a number of umpires from around the nation who may be under consideration for the spot left vacant on the National Umpires Panel by the departure of long-serving Peter Parker late last month (E-News 326-1711, 9 October 2008).


Cricket Australia's (CA) web site does not name the scorers who are supporting the current four-day game.






Cricket New South Wales says that the 'Spirit of Cricket" was "well and truly alive" during the a season opening Second Grade match between St George and Manly-Warringah at Hurstville Oval two weeks ago.  


In the first innings of what was a one-day match, a Manly batsman took off for a quick single but "collapsed in the middle of the pitch with a serious injury" and was short of his ground when the wicket was broken.  However, "St George captain Matthew Hoggett immediately withdrew his team’s appeal for the 'run out' before checking on the welfare of his opponent".  The injured batsman was later taken to hospital.


The sportsmanship continued into the afternoon when St George loaned Manly a fieldsman to substitute for their injured player.








The International Cricket CouncIl (ICC) yesterday announced the four series in which its Umpire Review System (URS) trial is to run over the next five months, but Australians will not see the system 'in the flesh' this austral summer.  The trials, which follow an initial evaluation in the series between Sri Lanka and India in August (E-News 311, 1627, 12 September 2008), are set for New Zealand in December, India in January-February, and the Carribean and South Africa in February-March.  


Press reports over the last month had suggested that Australia's home series against South Africa would see the use of the URS but that has now proven to be incorrect (E-News 329-1732, 14 October 2008).  Yesterday's announcement was made by the world body at the end of the first day of its two-day Board meeting in Dubai.  The ICC says that it is working to expose the system to as many match referees, umpires and players as possible ahead of a decision next year on whether it should become a permanent feature of international cricket.  


New Zealand's two Test series in December is against the West Indies, India will be playing Pakistan in three Tests, the West Indies will be hosting England in four, and South Africa and Australia in three.  Those matches will mean that by the time the ICC's Cricket Committee sits down to the system at its meeting in April-May, Bangladesh will be the only current Test-playing nation not to have experienced the system during a Test.  






Yesterday's play in the Cricket Australia Cup match between the Second XIs from New South Wales and South Australia in Sydney was washed out by heavy rain.  Umpires Michael Kumutat and his partner from Tasmania Steven John had no choice but to abandon play on a day that was much slower than day one on Monday when 417 runs were scored (E-News 329-1734, 14 October 2008). 






Bruce Oxenford, Queensland's only current member on the National Umpires Panel (NUP), will be standing in his twenty-sixth interstate domestic one-day match at the Gabba in Brisbane today.  His on-field and NUP colleague for the day will be John Ward of Victoria, while Norm McNamara from Queensland's State Umpires Panel is the third umpire, his fourth in the television suite in a domestic one-dayer. 


McNamara, who is thought to be in the running for the vacant position on the NUP (E-News 326-1711, 9 October 2008), will be on the field in the Gabba's next one-day domestic game on Sunday week (E-News 306-1602, 5 September 2008).






The Sri Lanka team has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its five-wicket victory over Pakistan in the final of the Twenty20 International tournament in Toronto last Monday.  Match referee Jeff Crowe imposed the fines after Mahela Jayawardena’s side was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. 


In accordance with the International Cricket Council Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties, players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.  As such, Jayawardena was fined 20 per cent of his match fee while his players have each received 10 per cent fines. 






The three members of Bangladesh's contingent on the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel (IUP) were all busy during the recently concluded One Day International series between their home nation and New Zealand.  Former Test player turn umpire Nadir Shar stood in two of the three matches with Australian international Daryl Harper, games that took his overall ODI tally to twenty.  


Bangladesh's second on-field umpire on the IUP Enamul Haque, another former representative of his country in Tests, worked with Harper in the third ODI in what was his tenth such game.  AFM Akhtaruddin was in the television suite for all three matches, the series taking his ODI record as a third umpire to an even thirty games.  The last of his sixteen on-field appointments for ODIs was in April 2006 and since then he has worked as a third umpire in that form of the international game on seventeen occasions. 





Michael Mitchell, the brother of Tasmanian State Umpire Panel member Jamie, has just passed the 2,000 km mark in his 8,022 km fund-raising walk for cancer from the tip of Cape York in far north Queensland to Wilsons Promontory the southern-most point of mainland Australia.  Elder brother Michael, whose young brother played Under 19 cricket for Australia in the 1980s, hopes to raise $1m for Australia's Anti-Cancer Council.  


If you feel you can assist this important cause which few of us would have not encountered either directly or via family or friends, or would like to send your encouragement to the long, long walk, please contact Jamie's 'Big Brother' Michael at:








Umpires and scorers will help to get the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) 2008-09 Grade season underway tomorrow when they manage the opening round of First team matches around Hobart, weather conditions looking very favourable for what will be one-day matches.  Other TCUSA umpire and scorer members will have to wait until next weekend to ply their trade, for the TCA's other four Grades do not commence until then, although some will be involved in practice matches this Saturday and Sunday.


Five of the six members of the State Umpires Panel will be on display in First Grade games tomorrow.  At Bellerive umpires Wade Stewart and Nick McGann and scorers Graeme Hamley and Robert Godfrey will look after the replay of last year's Grand Final between Clarence and Kingborough.  A short distance away at Lindisfarne, Steven John and Ray Howe will be out on the ground while Ian Collins and Brett Walker will be in the score box when the home side takes on North Hobart.  


Across the river at New Town, where the visiting team will be Glenorchy, the umpires will be Mike Graham-Smith and Brian Muir and the scorers Janet Gainsford and Louise Jauncey; while Jamie Mitchell and Sam Nogajski will be standing at University in the home side's game against South Hobart Sandy Bay, with Kylie Baldwin and Darby Munro the scorers.


For Muir and Stewart it will be their eighth season with the TCUSA in TCA competitions, John and Nogajski's sixth, McGann's fourth, Howe and Mitchell's third, and Graham-Smith's second.  Stewart will be standing in his sixty-fifth First Grade game and Muir his fiftieth, while John's record will stand at thirty-one after tomorrow's game, Nogajski's twenty-six, McGann's twenty-four, Mitchell's thirteen, Graham-Smith's five and Howe's two.  


Nogajski, and particularly John, should be well 'warmed up' for the new season as a fortnight ago they both stood in five practice matches in Queensland that involved the State sides from South Australian, Tasmanian, NSW and Victoria (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008).  John is due to arrive back in Hobart today after a four-day Cricket Australia Cup match in Sydney that ended yesterday (E-News 330-1737, 15 October 2008).  Prior to that he was in Queensland twice in July and August for umpiring, including the Emerging Players Tournament, one of Cricket Australia's key series for emerging umpires (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008).   


Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for weekend weather in Tasmania are for morning showers in the north of the State on Saturday, however, conditions are expected to be fine in the south with a maximum temperature a pleasant twenty-tree degrees Celsius. Maximums in the Launceston and Devonport areas are expected to be in the high teens Centigrade.  


Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games over the next two days can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).  






Mick Martell, one of four Western Australian members on Australia's current National Umpires Panel (NUP), will make his debut in first-class cricket at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday when the match between the home State and Tasmania gets underway.  Selectors surprised many observers earlier this year when they named Martell to the NUP before he had stood in first-class cricket, although he has served a long apprenticeship at the lower levels of the game (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).


Martell's on-field colleague in the four-day match will be Paul Reiffel, a Victorian member of the NUP, who will be officiating in his twentieth Sheffield Shield match since his first almost four years ago, and twenty-second first-class game overall as an umpire.  Like Martell it will be his opening interstate domestic match for points this season, although he did officiate in pre-season practice games played in Queensland two weeks ago that involved the South Australian, Tasmanian, NSW and Victorian sides.  His Victorian NUP colleague John Ward also worked in those matches, as did TCUSA members Steven John and Sam Nogajski (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008). 


While Martell and Reiffel's first-class match will start on Sunday, the day before on the other side of the Australian continent in Cairns, Bruce Oxenford and NUP-discard Tim Laycock are to stand in the one-day domestic match between Queensland and New South Wales.  


For Laycock, who Cricket Australia said last June has been retained in its "umpire high performance pathway despite his dropping from the NUP, the match in Cairns will be his thirteenth one-day domestic match.  For his Queensland colleague and NUP member Oxenford, who now has two One Day Internationals under his belt as an on-field umpire, it will be his twenty-sixth domestic one-dayer.






The "only disappointment" during the recent trial of the Umpire Review System (URS) in the Test series between Sri Lanka and India was that the "third umpire ruled the roost", according to comments attributed to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Manager of Cricket Operations David Richardson yesterday.  The Press Trust of India is reporting that the ICC's "only concern" with the trial was that on-field umpires in the series "were not totally in charge of the referrals and left [them] mostly to the third umpire".


Richardson, who was speaking in Mumbai, acknowledged that the technology used was not perfect, but said that the ICC is satisfied with the URS for post-trial evaluation has found that it was right on ninety-eight per cent of occasions.  The system is "good for the game and [for] the umpires who [otherwise] carry the stigma for giving wrong decisions throughout their life", he said, but "we want the on-field umpires to be in total charge of the referrals all the time".


The ICC said late last month that its top umpires and match referees were positive about the outcomes of the trial (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008), and the world body this week named four Test series in which the evaluation of the URS will continue in over the next five months (E-News 330-1736, 15 October 2008).  


The coach of one of the sides involved, Mickey Arthur of South Africa, told media there yesterday that he welcomed use of the system, for although it is not one-hundred per cent accurate, "it gives the umpires an opportunity to rectify their mistakes [and] eliminates umpiring controversies and brings back the focus [of everyone] on the game".  


He said that he "was against it in the beginning because [he] felt that it spoilt the 'Spirit of Cricket' a bit, but there have been "some quite nasty situations [in games in the past] and if increased use of technology can eliminate those, I am all for it".






The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Cricket Committee apparently believes that the pink-coloured balls that are currently being trialed by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are little better than the white ones being used in one-day cricket, says a report circulated by 'The Wisden Cricketer' (TWC) magazine yesterday.   However, the report says that the MCC has a different view and TWC is quoting John Stephenson its head of cricket as saying that they thought the pink balls had worked.


Doubts expressed by the ECB appear to stem from use of pink balls in a Twenty20 match between Hampshire and Essex in August, a BBC report at the time calling the trial "inconclusive" (E-News 307-161, 7 September 2008).  Several players involved in that match were quoted, one saying 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", and another that its "quite possibly the more we play with it the easier it will get" for "we had trouble when white balls were first introduced.


Pink balls were first trialed 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.






An announcements is awaited on the names of the umpires and match referees who are to stand in the week-long three-team One Day International (ODI) tournament that is to get underway in Kenya this afternoon Australian time.  Match officials for two other series that are due to start in the next week, the two-game ODI series involving South Africa and Kenya and the Stanford Twenty20 tournament in Antigua, are also yet to be named.


The ODI series in Nairobi involves Ireland, Kenya and Zimbabwe playing each other twice, with the top two sides playing in the final of the series on Saturday week.  On the same day that final is to be played, half-a-world away in the Caribbean Stanford's week-long Twenty20 series that will culminate in the winner-takes-all $A25m match between the 'Stanford Superstars' and England on 1 November is to get underway.  Back in Africa Kenya is to travel to Kimberley and Potchefstroom to take on the South Africans on the last weekend of this month.


Plans called for the Stanford series to contract four umpires and a match referee from the International Cricket Council's top-level panels to officiate in that series, however, details of who will be involved have yet to be released, and attempts by E-News to this morning to clarify the situation were not successful.  








Match referee Chris Broad "has conceded" that South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen made a mistake in giving Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly "a let-off" in the Second Test against Australia on Saturday, says a story by Australian journalist Jon Pierik which has been published widely today.   Koertzen, standing at square leg, refused to call for the third umpire to help with a stumping appeal against Ganguly, however, replays "clearly showed his back foot was still in the air" when the bails were removed, wrote Pierik.


The International Cricket Council's Broad was quoted as saying that the "policy is for umpires to make as many decisions out on the field as they possibly can".  "No one likes to see umpires being criticised, especially me" continued Broad, but "I would have liked [Koertzen] to have called for the third umpire [on that occasion], but he made his decision with what he saw, and you can't argue about that". 


"The only thing you can argue about is the fact that it was possibly wrong, in hindsight, continued the Broad quote, "but at the time, if you look where he was standing, and the camera from behind him, you would also think he didn't lift his foot".  Pierik's story calls Koertzen's decision as "stunning" as "umpires regularly refer all close appeals just to be on the safe side", while another journalist Peter Roebuck described the umpire's approach as a "headstrong reluctance" to go to the television official.  


Writing in the 'Sydney Morning Herald today, Roebuck described Koertzen as "a good umpire well past his peak".  The long-serving South African international umpire, who turns sixty in late March, was reported to have said last year that he would like to stand in 100 Tests and 200 One Day Internationals (ODI) prior to retiring (E-News 33-186, 27 April 2007).  At the end of the current match he will need to officiate in six more Tests and ten ODIs if he is to reach that goal.






The first of the new season's National Umpire Accreditation Scheme Level 2 (NUAS-2) training sessions is to be held at Bellerive Oval this Wednesday evening.  Training Module 1.1 dealing with 'The role of the umpire', will be covered during the hour-long meeting which is set to start at 6.30 p.m. and end just prior to the TCUSA's opening training-appointments meeting for 2008-09. 


The NUAS-2 scheme was introduced by Cricket Australia in 2002, with Mike Lee, Ian Quaggin and the late Bob Reid working as its supervisors in southern Tasmania.  In more recent times Steve Maxwell joined Ian in running the course, but after five years in the role the latter, who "enjoyed being involved with the program", has now moved on to other roles with the Association, including working with the Management Committee and as an umpiring mentor.  


Steve is continuing in the role and is joined this season by State Umpire Panel member Brian Muir.  Ian says that "Brian together with Steve will bring new ideas to the delivery of this valuable training resource [as] both are very experienced on field umpires and have a love of the game".


Quaggin's advice to any members who have not been involved with the NUAS-2 program is to "take the course on board", as it "gives you a great opportunity to tap into a pool of expertise regarding the game of cricket".  In his view "that expertise that can only make you a better umpire and assist you in increased enjoyment of this great summer game".


TCUSA members who wish to work towards the NUAS-2 qualification should attend the course on Wednesday.  They and any other members of the Association, whether qualified or not, who would like to take part are welcome.  Prior to then queries can be directed to Steve Maxwell (03-6268-6470 or 0416-277-464) or Brian Muir (03-6248-7995 or 0427-282-278).  The full training schedule for NUAS-2 Modules is provided in the 'Schedule of Activities' provided at the base of this newsletter, and via the NUAS-2 link on the Association's web site.






Test matches may be played under floodlights as earlier as next year, according to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Manger of Cricket Operations David Richardson.  Reports from India last week quote Richardson as saying that that ICC is currently studying how balls of different colours appear under lights.


Earlier this year there were indications that Cricket Australia (CA) was pushing ahead with an investigation of day-night Tests and that they hoped to see the first night Test match staged around 2010.  The key issue was said to be the development of an appropriate ball that will last eighty overs and be visible to batsmen (E-News 189-1024, 4 February 2008).  


CA was said to have established a working party on the subject and that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was to be approached regarding ball development.  Australia's traditional manufacturer of cricket balls, 'Kookaburra', reportedly indicated late last year that the task set by CA was "impossible". 


At that time CA envisaged that night Tests would run from either 3-10 p.m. or 2-9 p.m.  One of the tasks for the CSIRO was said to be to study the effects meteorological conditions have on night cricket in order to determine which locations around Australia would be suitable; dew being considered a major problem when fielding after dark in some cities.  First-class domestic games in Australia were played under lights in the late 1980s but players reported problems in seeing the ball.






Former long-serving TCUSA member Chris Williams, who umpired with the Association over a total of nineteen seasons until moving to Sydney earlier this year, is now officiating there in both the local Grade competition and the second tier Sydney Shires Cricket Association.  Williams' 239 matches as an umpire with the TCUSA is the fifth highest on record after Brian Pollard (436), Don Heapy (381), Mark Gillard (355) and Mike Lee (287) (E-News 246-1352, 26 May 2008).     


Williams, who sent all TCUSA members his best wishes for the season ahead, told E-News last week that the standard of matches he has been umpiring in to date are "not much different to Tasmania", however, "the [overall] sheer volume" of games" is an eye opener.  He says that when he attended the opening meeting of the Grade Umpires Association last month "the auditorium was full [with] over 100 Umpires present", and the only person in the room he recognised was the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association's Executive Officer, and former international umpire, Darrell Hair.






Cricket umpires around the world come from a range of professions, however, if it didn't have one before the fraternity now has a Bishop of the Christian Church in its ranks.  Belfast-born Tom Burns, who has been a chaplain in the British forces for over twenty-five years and is a qualified cricket umpire and rugby union referee, was last week appointed by the Roman Catholic Church as the Bishop of Menevia, a Diocese that covers the country of Wales.


'The Independent Catholic News' says that with his interests in both games Bishop Burns will, as has been the case over many years, continue to be "fully occupied with pastoral duties" on most Saturdays of the year as his new position allows.  His profession means though that it is most unlikely that he will be available for appointments on Sundays.








Australian international umpire Simon Taufel says that the period of his career when he was officiating on a part time basis, working full time and juggling those roles with being a husband and raising a family, was an "extremely" challenging time.  Taufel indicated in an interview published in the 'Times of India' (TOI) last week that "there were too many masters to serve" in the dozen years prior to his appointment as a full time official in 2003, a view that echoes comments made by his recently retired Australian colleague Peter Parker earlier this month (E-News 329-1731, 14 October 2008).  


Parker said that when full-time members of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel return home after time away managing matches they can spend "quality time" with their family.  In contrast, those who are striving towards that level have to go to work on arrival back from major match commitments and its very difficult for individuals to cope with the multiple responsibilities involved.  Employers have a key role to play in a umpire's "career path", said Parker, and cricket administrators need to do more work that area.


During the TOI interview, which was conducted by E-mail, Taufel was also asked whether the fact that he doesn't have "a particular style" like "Billy Bowden's crooked finger decision or his exuberant signals, Steve Bucknor's nod or [Rudi] Koertzen's slow death", makes him "any less popular amongst the fans, television crews or media".  


Taufel is recorded as saying that "one of cricket's great charms is the diversity of people involved".  However, he is "not out there to be popular or to create a fan base" but rather "to serve the game and the players while doing [his] job to the best of [his] ability".  If [he] can keep [his] name out of the papers or not be seen by fans or commentators, then [he's] done [his] job", said Taufel, for "the focus belongs to the players [and] that's what people [go to matches] to see". 


The TOI article goes on to discuss the high fitness level that the Australian maintains, his commitment to training, and his pre-match preparation and match day routine.  He has a fitness coach who provides him with "a good cardio and strength program" that helps him stay in good shape, but that has to be balanced with the right nutritional advice, and he has a "good coach" to help in that area as well.  


Taufel has also had "several umpiring coaches" who all offered him different things and that "it's important to be surrounded by good thinkers who can constantly monitor [his] performances and challenge [him] to improve in many areas".  "Life style" and "financial" coaches are also used by the Australian, and all are valuable to his routine of "continuous improvement cycles".   


Taufel does not have a different routine for each country he officiates in, however, he researches the grounds, airports, climate and cities involved so that he if fully prepared for the matches he is to be involved in.  Match day involves a "low-key routine" but the end of the day "is more important" as he does a "warm down" that normally consists of either a thirty-minute walk, fifteen-minute run or swim plus "a full body stretch".  That helps circulation and allows him to be back fresh the next day, says Taufel.  After that a "long hot shower followed by some music or a comedy show on television" also helps.


According to the TOI article, Taufel believes that the remuneration umpires receive for their services is "improving all the time but like all things there is room for improvement".  But "if you are doing something solely for the money then you won't succeed", he says, and "you need to WANT (sic) to do something because of passion and drive".  "We need to get more people involved in umpiring, not just because they may be young, but because our side of the sport has so much to offer", he says. 


The TOI article finished with six of what it titles as 'Taufel's Tips'.  The first was that umpires should always have their own continuous improvement cycle that involves setting goals, working to achieve them, and reviewing outcomes, a cycle he says should be continuously repeated.  Number two reminds us that umpiring is "a team sport" and that to have a good game you must help your colleague as your performance is judged as a team.  


Thirdly, self discipline is paramount, and the focus must be on what is important with no distractions being allowed.   After that tip four is "think and behave positively" for "the world has a habit of creating a path to those who know where they are going", says Taufel.  Fifthly "never stop learning" for "nothing great was ever achieved without some setbacks along the way", instead learn from them.  And lastly "to be a good umpire be a good person first". 






Former England international umpire Nigel Plews, one of the few match officials in County cricket who did not come up through first-class playing ranks, has died.  A former police officer, he played and officiated in club cricket in the Nottingham area until being appointed to England's first-class panel in 1982, and in the period from 1981-99 stood in 305 first-class and 316 List A games.


During his umpiring career he officiated in eleven Tests, and another as the third umpire, as well as sixteen One Day Internationals (ODI) on the field and five others in the television suite.  Three of his Tests were at Lord's, as was his third umpire stint, and another five at grounds around England, the remainder being in India, New Zealand and Pakistan.  Of his ODIs, seven were played in England, and the others in Sharjah, including the final of the Asia Cup in 1995.  He also stood in youth Tests and ODIs and a large number of other games at representative level.  


President of the International Cricket Council (ICC) David Morgan, said in a statement yesterday that Plews "made an enormous contribution to cricket through his deep knowledge and appreciation for the game, its Laws and the way it should be played".  He was an advisor to both the Marylebone Cricket Club and the ICC on matters relating to Laws and playing regulations and made many important contributions while sitting on various committees and working groups that have had a lasting and positive impact on the game.  Morgan said that "Nigel was a true gentleman and a great friend to umpires and others involved in the game". 


Plews was diagnosed as having advanced kidney cancer in March last year but his request for access to  'Sutent', a life-prolonging, $A48,000 a year drug, was initially turned down by UK health authorities (E-News 133-720, 14 November 2007).  Last October, when he was engaged in a racial discrimination case against the International Cricket Council (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007), now former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair approached the world body and the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) cricketer's charity the Hornsby Trust for assistance.  After what was reported at the time as considerable prodding, they eventually came to Plews' assistance with a $9,000 grant.


Health authorities subsequently reversed their earlier decision and allowed Plews to receive the drug, which they said at the time could be expected to extend his life for between eight and twelve months.  Plews told local media then that as a result of that move he planned to return the money provided to him by the ICC and ECB (E-News 135-734, 16 November 2007).


The ICC says that today, as a mark of respect, umpires in the Test matches being played between India and Australia at Mohali and Bangladesh versus New Zealand at Chittagong, as well as the ODI between Zimbabwe and Ireland at Nairobi, will all wear black armbands.






Andrew Criag and Ian Lock, two of the four Western Australian members of Australia's National Umpire Panel (NUP), will be in charge when the fifth Sheffield Shield match of the season gets underway at the Gabba in Brisbane today. The game, which is between Queensland and Victoria, will be Craig's second at first-class level so far this season and Lock's first after he was named two weeks ago to replace the now retired Peter Parker in the match (E-News 324-1691, 7 October 2008).


For England-born Lock, who is in his sixth season on the NUP, it will be his forty-eighth first-class match and fifth of that kind at the Gabba, all but six of his overall total being in the domestic interstate competition.  Craig was elevated to the NUP in June this year and will be standing in his nineteenth first-class game since his debut in March 2001, a game that was played one week before Lock's first match at that level.


Lock is thought by some observers to be a possibility for the vacant spot on Australia's section of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), former Test player turned umpire Paul Reiffel being another current NUP member who is often mentioned.  


A scenario put to E-News by a mainland contact is that New South Wales NUP member Rodney Tucker, who was appointed to the IUP's third umpire slot only four months ago (E-News 251-1357, 3 June 2008), may be moved directly into an on-field position alongside Queensland's Bruce Oxenford.  Should that speculation be correct, and it seems logical given Tucker's rapid rise in recent years, Cricket Australia (CA) would be looking for someone to join the IUP as the third umpire, and basic analysis points to Lock and Reiffel as being prime candidates for that slot.


Lock, who turns fifty in December, is the more experienced umpire in terms of the number of senior level matches he has stood in.  Reiffel is his junior by seven years and has stood in twenty-one first-class games over the last four seasons, but he also brings his experience as a player in 167 first-class matches, including thirty-five Tests, and ninety-two One Day Internationals, to the selection equation.


Like Tucker, as a former player Reiffel was selected by CA for 'fast-tracking' into umpiring ranks as part of a deliberate policy.  Former first-class player Tucker, who was promoted on a near-identical timetable to Rieffel, won appointment to the IUP after just Twenty-one first-class matches as an umpire, two of them being consecutive Sheffield Shield finals, the pinnacle of the domestic game in Australia.






Little-known English umpire David Brandon, who is in his second season with the Indian Cricket League (ICL), currently shares the highest number of on-field appointments with former County umpire Allan Jones as the League's 2008-09 'Indian Championship' moves into the second third of its scheduled forty-one match series.  Brandon, whose prior experience was limited to County Second XI games (E-News 206-1147, 10 March 2008), and Jones who worked at County level for twenty-five years (E-News 326-1713, 9 October 2008), have both stood in six matches to date.


Equal third on the appointments list are Sri Lankan Ranmore Martinez and Pakistani Shakeel Kahn with four matches each, then come Australian David Orchard, who is a former South African Test umpire, and Keith Smith of Ireland, who each have three.  Martinez has been in the third umpire's chair on four occasions, Brandon, Jones, Kahn and Orchard twice, and Smith once.  On the match referee side, Ajit Wadekar has been on duty in eight of the thirteen games played until last night, and his colleague Erapalli Prasanna the other five (E-News 328-1724, 13 October 2008).   


None of the six Indians who stood in the ICL's twenty match 'domestic Twenty20' competition last month, or the single match referee used, have been named for the current series to date (E-News 326-1714, 9 October 2008).  ICL officials have indicated that the appointment of umpires "from other countries" for their current series is part of an anti-corruption drive.


The ICL says that it has "strictly followed" anti-corruption regulations stipulated by the International Cricket Council for all their matches.  Oganisers reportedly believe that corrupt practices such as betting or match-fixing are unlikely, however, the they "don't want to take any chance whatsoever" of things going awry.  


Two Melbourne-based "anti-corruption officers", Howard Beer and David Reilly, have been hired for the current tournament.  The ICL says that players are not allowed to have mobile phones in dressing rooms and visitors are barred from those areas, and that Beer and Reilly are "keeping their eyes and ears open even during the players practice sessions".






Umpires in the Brisbane area have been reminded of several playing conditions following issues that arose in the opening round of cricket there last month.  A item in the October edition of the Queensland Cricket Umpires' and Scorers' Association (QCUSA) newsletter 'Black and White", chides some members about not being aware of the arrangements that apply when play has been affected by weather on day one of a match, and of the need to be aware of under age bowling limit requirements.


The newsletter says that in "several" matches in "Round One" of the Grade competition that finished early on day one because of weather, the umpires concerned "did not advise the captains that the games would start early on day two to make up lost time".  It goes on to say that "this is very disturbing members, [as it] it is your responsibility to read, know and understand the regulations of the competition you are umpiring in".  


"We can’t tell you everything" continues the admonishment, and "the handbook is given to you to read, not to put in the bottom of your bag".  It says that "Queensland Cricket, the [QCUSA] and the players expect you to know the regulations [and] it’s YOUR (sic) job [to comply with that], so please know the regulations before you take the field".  Readers are then pointed to the page of the playing conditions on which such matters are covered. 


'Black and White' then goes on to say that "a number of problems have arisen" with regard the bowling limitations that apply to under age players.  It points out that the regulation applies only to fast or medium pace bowlers, and that no restrictions, except those that might apply in a limited over match, apply to how many overs a spin bowler can deliver.






The Bureau of Meteorology's current five day forecast for Hobart is suggesting that fine by windy conditions will prevail in the Hobart area this Saturday with temperatures being in the mid-twenties Centigrade.  Sunday will, according to the latest available forecast, be cooler with morning showers and a maximum of around seventeen centigrade, the change being the result of a cold front passing over the south of the State on Saturday evening.


Weekend forecasts for the north and north-west of the State are not yet available, although the Bureau's computer-generated charts for the first day of the weekend hints that there will be some rain there ahead of the cold front, but its extent and duration is not known at this time.


Given the nature of weather forecasting, however, the outlook for the weekend might well change over the next few days.  Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site at any time (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).








Two Australian international umpires, Steve Davis and Simon Taufel, are amongst the five match officials who have been contracted to support games in the week long 'Stanford Twenty20 for 20' series when it gets underway in Antigua on Saturday.  The tournament will culminate in a 'winner takes all' match between the 'Standford Superstars' and England on Saturday week that will net whichever side is victorious around $A25m in prize money.


Stanford's Imran Khan told E-News by phone from the West Indies early this morning that during the four-team, seven match tournament, Davis and Taufel will work with fellow members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) Rudi Koertzen of South Africa and Asad Rauf of Pakistan.  Another senior ICC official, Jeff Crowe of New Zealand, has been contracted as the match referee for the series. 


Davis, Koertzen and Rauf, worked under non-ICC contracts during the Indian Premier League's inaugural six-week Twenty20 series earlier this year (E-News 250-1371, 2 June 2008), but Taufel turned down what has been described as a "lucrative" contract and was not involved primarily, it has been reported, because of the length of time he would have been away from his family (E-News 208-1159, 13 March 2008).  Another former member of the EUP, South African born and now Australia-based David Orchard, is currently plying his trade in the 'unofficial' Indian Cricket League (E-News 331-1755, 21 October 2008), a series the ICC does not formally recognise. 


Stanford indicated to E-News last month that it intended to hire four EUP members and a match referee from ICC ranks (E-News 318-1656, 24 September 2008).  At the time Kahn said that given the significant monetary stakes involved they intended to use "neutral" officials for its series.  The ICC's announcement early this month for a range of Test and One Day Internationals (ODI) narrowed possible candidates from the EUP down to five individuals, Davis, Koertzen, Rauf, Taufel and the soon to retire Australian Darrell Hair (E-News 322-1681, 2 October 2008).


Kahn would not comment on recent reports that its match officials would earn a six figure sum for their week's work, saying that it was "a private matter" between themselves and his organisation.  "If they wish to reveal details that is up to them", said Kahn, "but we will not be releasing any information on such matters".  He would also not comment as to whether standard contracts applied to all five officials, or if agreements had been negotiated on an individual basis.


Koertzen and Rauf are currently flying to the Caribbean from India where they stood in the Second Test between the home side and Australia that ended yesterday afternoon Australian time.  Taufel's last international appointment was in the five-match ODI series between England and South Africa that ended on 3 September, while Davis officiated in two of the four Tests played between the same two sides in late July and early August.  Crowe's last international appointment was in the first two of those Tests in July.



PANEL FOR 2008-09



Long-serving TCUSA members Richard Widows, Steve Maxwell and Roy Loh have been named by the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) as members of its Umpires Appointment Panel for matches carried out under its auspices this season.  The trio, who between them have been with the TCUSA for a total of twenty-seven seasons, have the challenging task of appointing umpires to between twenty-five and thirty matches that will be played each week over the next five months.


Widows, who commenced his umpiring career in Sydney in 1989, first stood with the TCUSA in 1997, and became the Association's umpires advisor-coach in 1999, this season being his tenth in that position, a role he combines with duties as the State's Director of Umpiring.  


Maxwell has officiated in 193 matches with the TCUSA over the last nine seasons, ninety-one of them in First Grade, and has twice been named as the Association's 'Umpire of the Year' over the last five years.  Loh, who has been with the Association for seven years and stood in 120 matches over that time, was recognised for his special contribution to TCUSA activities when he was awarded the Alan Powell Memorial Trophy in 2005.  


In addition to selection duties Maxwell is also involved with the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme training program (E-News 332-1748, 20 October 2008) and Loh the match video capture program (E-News 325-1707, 8 October 2008). 






India fast bowler Zaheer Khan has been fined eighty per cent of his match fee after breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (COC) during the second Test against Australia in Mohali.  Khan pleaded guilty yesterday to a 'Level 2' charge under a COC clause that states that players “shall at all times conduct play within in the 'Spirit of the Game' as well as within the Laws of Cricket”.


The incident that led to the charge being laid took place after the fall of the first wicket in Australia’s second innings on Monday.  When Australia opener Matthew Hayden was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh, Khan ran from his fielding position towards the outgoing batsman, circling and shouting at him "in an aggressive manner before returning to his team-mates".  “Clearly, this sort of behaviour is not acceptable at any level of cricket for it showed a lack of respect for the player who had been dismissed", said match referee Chris Broad of England in an ICC statement.


 “Respect for the opposition", which is a tenant of the 'Spirit of Cricket', "was something that we talked about in the pre-series meeting I had with both captains", continued Broad, "and so it was disappointing that Zaheer behaved in this way" (E-News 326-1713, 9 October 2008).  “However, in considering the penalty, I took into account the fact that [he] had a good disciplinary record [and] he also pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was very apologetic while also promising not to repeat the offence".


The charge against Khan was laid by umpires Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan).  Under the COC the penalty for a Level 2 offence is a fine of between fifty and one hundred per cent of the player’s match fee and/or a maximum ban of one Test match or two One Day Internationals. For Level 2 offences players have the right to appeal against an adjudicator’s decision provided they do so within twenty four hours of notification of a decision.






Australian National Umpire Panel members Simon Fry (South Australia) and Rod Tucker (NSW) will be standing together in their second one-day interstate domestic match at the Adelaide Oval of the season today.  The pair worked together at the same venue ten days ago, however, this time the visiting side will be NSW instead of Victoria (E-News 327-1722, 10 October 2008).


Today's match will be the South Australian's twenty-third in that competition since his first in January 2001, and Tucker's fourteenth in just under five years.  The game is Fry's nineteeth in a domestic one-dayer at the Adelaide Oval, while for his colleague its just his second there following his debut earlier this month.


The Indian women's team also commences its eighteen-day tour of Australia today with a one-day match against the Australian Under 21 side at Bankstown in Sydney.  New South Wales State Umpires Panel (SUP) members Gerard Abood and Peter Tate will be standing in the game.  


Their SUP colleagues Terry Keel, Yohan Ramasundara  and Marc Nikl (twice) will also be involved in related matches on Friday and Saturday (E-News 320-1675, 1 October 2008).  The Indian visit will conclude with a single Twenty20 international five One Day Internationals that will be played in Sydney and Canberra over twelve days starting next Tuesday.






Jordon Broughton, who has joined the TCUSA as an umpiring member in the south of the State, is making the transition from player to match manager fresh from a Premiership last season with the City club in the Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL).  The now former right-handed opening batsman and "handy" off spinner who is eighteen, has been playing the game for the last six years in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's under age competitions for Lindisfarne and Glenorchy, for Campania and Brighton in the Southern Cricket Association, and last season with City in the STCL.


Broughton, whose highest score has been sixty-six and best bowling figures 5-32, has won a number of batting, fielding and junior cricketer of the year awards in his cricketing career to date.  Despite that success he says that he has found it difficult to commit himself to another season as a player, and after "thinking things through cautiously", decided to "attempt the challenge of cricket umpiring".  


Currently he lives in Rhyndaston and works for Tasmania Police as a public servant and hopes in the near future to become a Police Officer.  His interests and hobbies include three football codes, Australian Rules, Rugby League and Union, music, body building, and as befits his age, "girls".  Apart from working with the Police force he would one day like to umpire Test cricket and play in either the Australian Football League or the National Rugby League competitions.


Broughton will be one of the Association's new members who is expected to take the field as an umpire during the coming weekend.  Match appointments will be provided at tonight's first training meeting of the new season at Bellerive.






Cricket Australia (CA) has commenced the interview process for its new 'Umpire Educator' position.  CA's national Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford told E-News yesterday that potential candidates were short-listed last week and that plans call for the successful applicant to commence in the job before the end of this year.   


The new position is designed to provide support to 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, will report "jointly" to Scotford and Ross Turner, CA's Sydney-based head of its Global Development Program (E-News 319-1662, 26 September 2008).








Thirty-six TCUSA umpiring members, five of them new to the Association, will be standing in the twenty-four one-day matches that are scheduled in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) Grade and Southern Tasmanian Cricket League competitions this weekend.  TCA First Grade commenced last Saturday with sixteen umpires and scorers supporting matches (E-News 331-1742, 17 October 2008), but this weekend marks the full start of the 2008-09 season for players, umpires and scorers. 


Of the five new umpires, State Umpires Panel (SUP) member Caroline McGregor, will be standing in both Second and Third Grades after moving from the Launceston competition over winter (E-News 275-1469, 14 July 2008).  Adrian Richardson, who is known to most TCUSA members as a long-serving player with the Clarence Club, and Mark Loveluck, will be in separate Under 17 matches on Sunday at New Town and Geilston Bay, while the Under 15s will see Tim Blazely and Jordon Broughton (E-News 334-1762, 22 October 2008), take the field for the first time.  


The five will have solid support on the field in their matches with experienced umpires Steve Maxwell and Alistair Scott standing with McGregor, while Wade Stewart, Jamie Mitchell, Brian Pollard and David Gainsford will be working with Richardson, Loveluck, Blazely and Broughton respectively. 


McGregor will be one of eleven umpires who will be officiating on both Saturday and Sunday, her colleagues on the SUP Nick McGann and Sam Nogajski also doubling up, together with Gainsford, Pollard, Ross Carlson, Damien Daniels, Steve Gibson, Steve Maxwell, and John Smeaton.  


Of the thirty-one umpires who are returning this year, TCUSA Life Members Pollard and Don Heapy will each be standing in TCA cricket for the twenty-third consecutive season.  For Mark Gillard it will be his twentieth season, Mike Lee his sixteenth and John Smeaton his fourteenth, while Steve Gibson will also reach double digits as this is his tenth season with the Association.  All up those umpires who are returning this year have a total of 206 seasons of experience in TCA competitions, quite a number having also officiated elsewhere in Australia and some overseas.


The latest weather outlook for the weekend ahead, which was released around day break this morning, is for fine conditions in the south, north and north-west of the State on Saturday with maximum temperatures in the high teens Centigrade across the latter two areas, and in the low twenties in Hobart.  For Sunday the forecast is for a "morning shower, clearing later" in all three regions in the wake of a weak cold front that is projected to pass across Tasmania overnight on early on Sunday morning.  


Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site at any time (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007), but particularly on the morning of their matches.






Matches played in the Stanford Twenty20 series over the next week in Antigua will use a modified Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) under which player challenges will not be used but all umpires, including the third official, will be able to intervene and instigate a review of any decision about which they have doubt. "Simply put, the umpires will control and officiate the game and the players will get on with the business of playing", says Mike Haysman Stanford's Director of Cricket.  


Haysman says via a press statement that his organisation "believes it is essential that this simplified and modernised innovation is in place to ensure that incorrect decisions are eliminated and the integrity of the game is maintained".  Due to the magnitude of money on offer, Stanford felt that it was essential that correct decisions are made on the field of play and Haysman said that "we feel that the [UDRS] process is the most practical means to eliminate obvious mistakes".


London's 'Daily Telegraph' journalist Nick Hoult pointed out yesterday that the third umpire "will have to be quick off the mark" if he wants to intervene as he must do so before the next ball is bowled or a batsman who is dismissed has left the field.


Writing in 'The Guardian' yesterday, journalist Lawrence Booth said that "the chances of an umpiring error denying England's cricketers their million-dollar pay-day in Antigua [on Saturday week] all but vanished" as a result of the decision to use the UDRS.  Booth's comment comes after the International Cricket Council indicated recently that post-series evaluation of its recent UDRS trial in the Sri Lanka, India, Test series, found that the system was right on ninety-eight per cent of occasions (E-News 331-1744, 17 October 2008).   


Stanford's press release on its umpiring appointments, which was issued after E-News ran the story (E-News 334-1758, 22 October 2008), describes Australian international umpire Simon Taufel "as leading" the four-man umpiring panel for the series, his colleagues being fellow members of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel, Steve Davis (Australia), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan).  The release indicates that match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand will determine on-field appointments prior to each match.






Former Test player Paul Wilson, who is a member of Cricket Australia's 'Project Panel' and Western Australia's State Umpires Panel (E-News 327-1720, 10 October 2008), will make his debut in an interstate one-day match at the WACA in Perth today when the home side takes on Tasmania.  His on-field colleague for the game will be National Umpires Panel (NUP) member Paul Reiffel, who will be standing in his seventeen match in that competition in less than four years, officiated in the first-class game between the two sides earlier this week (E-News 331-1743, 17 October 2008).


To the east, the sixth Sheffield Shield game of the new season will get underway at the Adelaide Oval with NSW being the visitors.  Western Australian member of the NUP Jeff Brookes will be officiating in his first first-class match of the season and thirteenth overall, while for his partner Rod Tucker, a NUP colleague from NSW, its his second of the season and twenty-third in total.


Sunday sees another one-day domestic match between Queensland and Victoria at the Gabba in Brisbane.  Norm McNamara, a member of Queensland's State Umpires Panel and possible contender for the vacant NUP spot (E-News 326-1711, 9 October 2008), will be standing in his eleventh match in that competition.  On the field with McNamara will be Ian Lock an NUP member from Western Australia, who may also be in the running for another vacant spot, this one on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 331-1754, 21 October 2008).  The game will be his twenty-first one-day domestic match.    






The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) is to conduct a "comprehensive review of the use of technology in decision making" and discuss a range of other issues in New Delhi this weekend.  Following the meeting, which is the sixth held since the Committee's formation in April 2006, the group will make a series of recommendations aimed at improving the game and its governance, says the MCC.


Two of the WCC's newest members, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid, are to give "a players’ verdict" on the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) that was trialed during the Test series between Sri Lanka and India Test earlier this year.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to use the UDRS in twelve more Tests over the next five months in the lead up to its own Cricket Committee's meeting next April-May (E-News 330-1736, 15 October 2008).


The WCC has been at the forefront of investigating decision-making technology in the game, saying last October after a series of meetings that "much more expensive and sophisticated technology" that can "assist umpires in their pursuit of near-flawless decision-making" should be examined" (E-News 115-623, 11 October 2007).  


The ICC has been interested in such issues for some time, but its UDRS trial came about this year primarily as a result of controversies in the Australia-India Test series last austral summer.  Three MCC officials travelled to Colombo to take part in tests of the 'Virtual Eye' ball tracking system used in the Sri Lankan Tests trials (E-News 248-1508, 24 July 2008).


In addition to the use of technology, discussions will also be held this weekend on whether there is a decline in spin bowling around the world, the impact Twenty20 competitions are having on international cricket, and the Committee will also receive a presentation on the "successes and future direction of the Indian Premier League".


The MCC says that the WCC "is the only true independent voice in world cricket" that "ensures the MCC is a robust custodian of the Laws of Cricket".  Membership is voluntary and unpaid, with those who are invited to take part having played or are playing at high levels of the game, or have a "continued close involvement" in the media, or high-level management and administration.  The Committee is empowered to conduct research, which the MCC funds, particularly into technological advances and bio-mechanical elements of the game and its players.  


The current full list of Committee members is: Tony Lewis (Chairman), Mike Atherton, Mike Brearley, Geoffrey Boycott, Martin Crowe, Tony Dodemaide, Rahul Dravid, Andy Flower, Mike Gatting, Majid Khan, Anil Kumble, Shaun Pollock, Barry Richards, David Shepherd, Alec Stewart, Michael Tissera, Courtney Walsh, Steve Waugh.  Shepherd is the only umpire in the group.  He officiated in 412 first-class matches, a figure that includes ninety-two Tests, as well as 172 One Day Internationals in a career from 1985-2005.  Prior to that he played 282 first-class matches for Gloucestershire. 


The WCC last met at Lord's in May this year, where it pushed for the scrapping of the ICC's 'neutral' umpire policy (E-News 242-1328, 15 May 2008), annual forums for international captains (E-News 242-1334, 15 May 2008), and proposed that a minimum of fifteen overs per hour should be bowled in Test match cricket, with teams (E-News 242-1336, 15 May 2008).  






Former International Cricket Council (ICC) heavyweight and India captain Sunil Gavaskar has accused match referees of singling out Asian players after his countryman Zaheer Khan was fined at the end of the Second Test against Australia this week, says the '' web site.  Fast bowler Kahn, who pleaded guilty to the charge laid against him, lost eighty per cent of his match fee under an ICC Code of Conduct clause that states that players “shall at all times conduct play within in the 'Spirit of the Game' as well as within the Laws of Cricket” (E-News 334-1760. 22 October 2008).


Gavaskar, who resigned as head of the ICC's Cricket Committee earlier this year due to a conflict with his media commitments (E-News 219-1222, 29 March 2008), said it was strange only Asian players were being "hauled up" by match referees.  "If [Khan] swore at [Australian batsman Matthew Hayden], if he abused him, he obviously deserves to get punished", Gavaskar told the CNN-IBN news channel on Wednesday.  "But let's not mince words here [as] every time, it is always an Indian or a sub-continent player who gets hauled up, never the Australians".


Gavaskar said he was surprised no Australian player was summoned by the referee during this week's "ill-tempered match" which India won easily to take the lead in the four-match series.  "There were a lot of incidents in the match", he said.  "Do you remember Virender Sehwag was given not out when everybody appealed and Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, came from extra cover towards the umpire and kept on appealing?  "Now if that had been an Indian, the match referee would have taken him to task, fined him [and] that is where I think the ICC needs to actually get its act together", said Gavaskar.


This is not the first time that Gavaskar, the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket, has accused ICC referees of being anti-Asian.  In January, he pointed the finger at South African referee Mike Procter for charging Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh with racial abuse against Australia's Andrew Symonds during the Sydney Test (E-News 177-955, 15 January 2008).  India almost abandoned the tour over Procter's ruling but agreed to continue after a separate ICC tribunal absolved Harbhajan of the charge (E-News 186-1003, 30 January 2008).






A range of reports on web sites, in newspapers and on television in New Zealand have criticised the standard of umpiring in the First Test match between their side and Bangladesh in Chittagong this week.  Prime focus of the media's concern, in a match that NZ won, was Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva who was standing in his thirty-fourth Test, his on-field colleague being Australian Daryl Harper, a fellow member of International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 3220-1680, 2 October 2008).


In what the '' web site said was "one of the worst decisions in Test memory, de Silva gave [New Zealand batsman] Brendon McCullum out LBW to a ball that [replays showed] pitched outside leg and would have continued on to miss leg stump by a foot".  'The Nelson Mail' yesterday talked of "de Silva's rank ineptitude", although it did go on to say that "even de Silva's frustrating incompetence shouldn't gloss over what was, for the most part, a poor New Zealand batting performance", while TV New Zealand also used the term "inept" to describe the umpiring.


'Sportal' also says that both umpires "also failed to put a proper lid on Bangladesh's excessive appealing and talking that disrupted New Zealand's batsmen".  Both de Silva and Harper will be on the field for the Second and final Test of the series when it gets underway in Mirpur tomorrow.








Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday announced that it has nominated former Australian fast-bowler Paul Reiffel to join the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  Victorian Reiffel will take up the third umpire position previously occupied by Rod Tucker of NSW, another former first-class player, who will himself now move to the IUP on-field position that fell vacant three weeks ago with the retirement of long-serving member Peter Parker (E-News 321-1673, 1 October 2008). 


CA's decision means that all of those on its IUP group are now former first-players, the other on-field member Bruce Oxenford from Queensland, having played eight matches for his home State in the early 1990s.  The trio are also part of Australia's National Umpires Panel (NUP), but none of the other eight current members of that group have played at first-class level.  Reiffel and Tucker are the original members of CA's 'Project Panel' (PP) that was established in 2002 with the aim of "fast-tracking" first-class players into umpiring.


Reiffel, like Tucker, made his first-class umpiring debut in 2004-05 and they both joined the NUP the following season, the latter being elevated to the IUP five months ago (E-News 251-1375, 3 June 2008).  To date Reiffel has officiated in twenty-two first-class and sixteen List A matches, plus another four of the latter in the third umpire's chair.  In 2007 he umpired both the one-day and Twenty20 interstate domestic finals and was the television official at Bellerive last February when Tasmania won the 2008 domestic one-day final.  As a player the Victorian was involved in 167 first-class matches from 1987-2002, thirty-five of them Tests, and ninety-two One Day Internationals.


Michael Brown, CA's General Manager Cricket, said in a statement yesterday that "the PP was delivering solid results for Australian cricket" and that "the elevation [of] Paul and Rod [to the IUP] highlights the success of the fast-track program".  “It also provides another opportunity for players to continue their involvement in elite and international cricket", he continued, but there was no mention of just how CA's fast-track policy sits with the national body's much touted umpiring pathway, or just what the career prospects are for umpires who have not played at first-class level.


In joining the IUP Reiffel leap-frogged Ian Lock, a NUP member from Western Australia who was thought by some to be the other contender for the IUP slot (E-News 333-1754, 21 October 2008).  In basic match terms as an umpire, Lock has twice the experience of the Victorian, but just how the pair, or anyone else considered by the selectors for that matter, faired in terms of technical competency is not known as such data is not made public by CA. 


Former Australian fast-bowler Paul Wilson, who was added to the PP in 2006, made his interstate debut in a one-day domestic match in Perth yesterday (E-News 335-1766, 24 October 2008), Reiffel being his on-field colleague for that game.  It would surprise many observers if Wilson was elevated to the still vacant position on the NUP that flowed from Parker's departure as he is yet to stand at first-class level.  However, that did not prevent the selector's doing just that earlier this year with the promotion of Western Australian Mick Martell to the NUP (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).  Martell made his first-class debut earlier this week (E-News 331-1743, 17 October 2008). 


None of Australia's four senior-most umpires, Steve Davis, Darrell Hair, Daryl Harper or Simon Taufel, who are currently under contract to the ICC for its top-level Elite Umpires Panel, played first-class cricket prior to commencing their umpiring careers.  


There was disquiet in Sri Lanka earlier this year about what many umpires there thought was the too rapid promotion of that nation's former international player Kumar Dharmasena to that nation's third umpire position on the IUP (E-News 283-1503, 23 July 2008).  Following protests by locals at the time, the ICC's Umpires and Referees manager Doug Cowie was reported to have told those with concerns there that experience and knowledge of the Laws of Cricket are the key factors considered when selecting international umpires, and not whether an official has played at that level of the game or not (E-News 289-1351, 3 August 2008).






Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are to explore the establishment up a Southern Hemisphere, Twenty20 series similar to the Indian Premier League (IPL) competition by 2011.  As a first step in the transition to the new contest, Cricket Australia (CA) says that from 2009 it plans to bolster the "public excitement" around its existing interstate competition in the shortened form of the game by "encouraging international stars from overseas" to play in each side as part of moves to make the tournament “a bigger bash”.


CA's Board meeting in Melbourne this week approved discussions continuing between its national administration and their counterparts in South Africa and New Zealand about the development of a series built on "city-based, franchise-owned teams".  James Sutherland, CA's Chief Executive Officer, said detailed discussion with South Africa over the last year, and preliminary discussions with New Zealand, had shown strong interest in the concept.


While planning is still at a concept stage, it is based on having a yet-to-be determined number of franchises in an Africa-centred "eastern conference” and a similar “western conference" with an Australasian focus, the top teams from each grouping meeting for the finals. Timing would complement IPL timing, thereby "creating opportunity for Indian players to participate".  


Sutherland said the "strategic strength" of Twenty20 competitions in Australia, England, India and South Africa was that they attracted strong public followings for a cricket at a level below Test and One Day International cricket.  He anticipates the new Southern Hemisphere competition could be developed to feed into Champions League (CL) Twenty20, but any such direction would require the latter’s approval.






Three of the six One Day Internationals being played between Ireland, Kenya and Zimbabwe in Nairobi this week have been washed out by heavy rain, weather satellite images of the continent showing a broad band of rain bearing cloud lying across the centre of the land mass over a number of days.  


Three umpires, Marais Erasmus (South Africa), Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe) and Subhash Modi (Kenya) were each named to stand in four games, however, Erasmus and Tiffin were only able to stand in two, and Modi just a single match.  Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka is the match referee for the series, while Kenyan umpires Narandra Dave, Moses Owesi, Lalji Bhudia and David Odhambo were the fourth officials.  Erasmus and Tiffin are members of their respective nation's International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel.


Weather forecasts for Nairobi are currently indicating that conditions will be fine for the final of the series between the two African sides later today.  The names of the umpires who will stand in the match are yet to be announced.






The Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) says it will move "swiftly" to hear protests lodged by two teams who were competing in separate quarter finals of a Twenty20 competition last Sunday that were effected by rain.  Both protests relate to how the respective umpires handled the Duckworth-Lewis System (DLS), the clubs involved claiming that mistakes were made by the officials in both matches.   


A report published in the 'Nation News' in Barbados on Thursday, says that the Carlton club, who lost their match by thirteen runs under the DLS, are protesting on the grounds that they were informed by match officials there would be a resumption following a stoppage for rain.  They were initially advised they would need another twenty-two runs from one over to win, but were subsequently told that time had expired and the match had been awarded to their opponents, say reports.


Spartan, who lost by eleven runs, again under the DLS, are contending that the umpires "erred in calculating the number of overs they should have faced when set a revised target". The club is also charging that "the conditions of play changed when the pitch got wet during the break in between innings", says 'Nation News'.


The semi-finals are scheduled for tomorrow week and any delays in resolving the protests could put the BCA under pressure to complete the competition this year.  Two similar series were adversely affected by protests in the past, the 1997 final being played in June 1998, while that of 2006 was never contested after "hiccups in the semi-finals".


"We recognise what has happened in the past", said the tournament's organising committee, Wendell Kellman.  "It is not simply dragging our feet at the BCA [but rather] a question [of] getting the evidence in, getting the different parties to meet all at the same time", he said, and "we recognise that it is critical because we have a time constraint".






Indian Cricket League umpire David Brandon admitted getting himself confused, literally in the 'heat of the moment', in the Twenty20 series match between Chennai and Hyderabad in Ahmedabad on Tuesday (E-News 333-1755, 21 October 2008).  Battling the onset of some sought of locally-acquired malady, Brandon says that his "head was pounding and [he] was sweating like a dog" in very humid conditions "when a ball drifted down the leg side and was fumbled by the keeper which allowed the batsmen to scramble a single". 


Brandon writes candidly that he then "called wide but then signalled a Bye" then thought to himself "that isn't right" and so he stopped. Realising what he'd done he cancelled the signal and then gave the right one.  "One or two comments were flying around", says Brandon, and "the fielding skipper asked [him] why [he] had changed [his] call".  Brandon admits he "had a mental block for a second", but he no doubt isn't the first, or won't be the last, umpire to suffer from such a 'moment' out on the field of play. 






South Yorkshire Cricket League (SYCL) officials "have kept [the] promise" they made in August that they would crack down on "unsporting behaviour and demand respect from players" by imposing a four-week ban on a captain who argued with an umpire (E-News 297-1566, 18 August 2008), says 'The South Yorkshire Times' (SYT).  In what the newspaper calls "the first signs of the new hard line", the SYCL's disciplinary committee this week handed Wath Second XI skipper James Wadsworth the suspension for an incident that occurred on 2 August.


The SYT report says that "after considering the umpire's report and carrying out further investigations and a thorough hearing, the committee were satisfied that Wadsworth's actions had 'scant consideration' for the Laws of the game relating to the responsibility of captains".  Particular reference was made to what the newspaper calls "a Law" which states 'players and team officials must at all time accept the umpire's decision'.


Wadsworth, who was reported after a match that ended nearly three months ago, is now unable to play any part in competitive league or cup matches during the first four weeks of the 2009 season, although, both the player and his club have the right to lodge an appeal against the ban.


SYCL Vice-chairman Richard Tong told the SYT that "all clubs were warned in a statement issued in August that this sort of behaviour would not be tolerated and if it means getting tough, we will do so".  "Captains must always be aware of their responsibilities [and] if they are unhappy with an umpire then they must report their feelings by the proper channels and not on the field during the game".  


'The Times' quotes SYCL Chairman Terry Bentham as saying that "umpires should be encouraged to award five penalty runs for dissent much more often than they do at present".  He is said to believe that this should be extended to sledging between players but that that sometimes causes further trouble.


Wadworth's suspension so long after the on-field incident is twice that of the six-week delay in the hearing of a charge against Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash by an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary committee recently.  Earlier this month it handed Ramprakash a two-match ban and fined him around $A8,000 for "repeatedly swearing" at an umpire, a censure that the 'Daily Telegraph' described as one of the "toughest ever punishments" ever handed out by the ECB (E-News 326-1716, 9 October 2008).






Former Proteas Hylton Ackerman of the Dolphins and Vernon Philander of the Cobras, have been ordered to appear before Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Disciplinary Commissioner Michael Kuper SC in Johannesburg on Monday.  CSA has charged both players for allegedly contravening clauses of its Rules and Code of Conduct that refer to activity that is detrimental to the game, however, precise details are not available.  The pair were reported by umpires Brian Jerling, Shaun George and Earl Hendrikse as a result of incidents that occurred during a first-class match between their two sides a week ago.






Indian Cricket League umpire Keith Smith needed ten stitches to a gash in his head following a fall in a hotel pool in Ahmedabad last Monday.  Reports indicate that instead working on the field the next day he moved to the third umpire's suite, English umpire David Brandon taking over on the ground (E-News 333-1755, 21 October 2008).









The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is currently discussing the establishment of an umpire exchange program with Cricket Australia (CA), if remarks attributed to the BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty by 'The Hindu' newspaper yesterday are correct.  Shetty was speaking following the return of Indian umpire Suresh Shastri from South Africa where he stood in two first-class matches as part of a new exchange program between the BCCI and Cricket South Africa (CSA) (E-News 327-1722, 10 October 2008).


While the BCCI-CSA agreement involves two umpires from each country each season, Shetty indicated that at this stage "the dialogue" with CA centres around a start being made with "one umpire" going in either direction.  If as Shetty apparently indicated the proposed exchange is "similar" to that between India and South Africa, it may involve an Indian standing in at least one domestic first-class game in Australia each season, and an Australian traveling to India for the same number of Duleep Trophy matches, although that was not spelt out.  


While Shetty gave no indication of when such a program might commence, the "preliminary" nature of BCCI-CA discussions suggest that should agreement be reached, the exchange would not start until at least the 2009-10 austral summer.  CA's Global Development Program currently manages what is believed to be a three-year CA-BCCI training contract as part of the Indian Board's move to lift the standard of umpiring on the sub-continent (E-News 317-1653, 23 September 2008).   


Shastri, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) and will be the television official in the Third and Fourth Tests between India and Australia in Delhi and Nagpur, told 'The Hindu' that he was "thrilled" to get the opportunity to stand in South Africa.  "I have come back with valuable experience", he said, "the key being to adjust to the bounce and movement of the seam and pitch conditions".


Shavir Tarapore, India's newly appointed IUP third umpire (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008), has been chosen as the second Indian umpire for this season's exchange, and will travel to South Africa in February.  The two South Africans who will officiate in the Duleep Trophy games in January have not yet been named, however, it would be surprising if the up-and-coming Marais Erasmus, a new member of his country's IUP (E-News 290-1537, 6 August 2008), was not amongst them. 


International umpire exchange programs are not new, New Zealand and CSA having operated a similar program for over a decade.





Australian international umpires Steve Davis and Simon Taufel were the on-field umpires for the opening match of the Stanford Twenty20 series played in Antigua yesterday Australian time.  Rudi Koertzen of South Africa was in the television suite for the game while Jeff Crowe of New Zealand was the match referee, Asad Rauf of Pakistan being the 'reserve' umpire.


All five officials, who are working under contracts with the Stanford organisation, are members of the International Cricket Council's Elite umpiring and match referee panels (E-News 334-1758, 22 October 2008).  Stanford's tournament will culminate in a $A25m 'winner takes all' match between the 'Standford Superstars' and England next Saturday, and due to the magnitude of money on offer organisers are using both neutral match officials and a modified Umpire Decision Review System for the series (E-News 337-1765, 24 October 2008).






Two members of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA), Graham Chudleigh and Colin Philpott, are to travel to Bangladesh next month to provide umpiring training as part of Cricket Australia's (CA) two-year, $510,000 contract, with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (E-News 66-362, 13 July 2007).  The visit will be Chudleigh's third to Asia as a trainer under CA's Global Development Program (GDP), as he presented Level 1 and 2 courses in Mumbai and Dhaka in August and September (E-News 310-1626, 11 September 2008).


Plans call for Philpott to present a five-day Level 1 program that is to commence in Mirpur on Saturday week, then he and Chudleigh will team up for a six-day Level 2 program that is due to get underway there on 14 November.  Last September's Level 2 program, which involved twenty-five attendees, was held in Dhaka.  


The NSWCUSA web site describes Chudleigh as "one of the leading umpire educators in Australia", and says that he has been involved in such work since joining its Training Committee ten years ago.  A Life Member of the Association, Chudleigh played Grade cricket in Sydney and then turned his hand to umpiring, becoming a member of the NSWCUSA in 1986.  Since then he has stood in 107 First Grade matches in the Sydney Cricket Association (SCA), in an Under 17 men's tournament in 1989 and an interstate Second XI game in 1993-94.  He remains active in the SCA's Second Grade competition, working as a mentor to new umpires.


Philpott has been with the NSWCUSA since 2000 and has twenty-one First Grade matches, and 105 games overall in Sydney Grade cricket.  An umpire educator since 2005, he was the Association's Third Grade 'Umpire of the Year' in 2005 and won the Second Grade award two years.  The Dhaka visit will be his first to Asia with the GDP.






Match officials in both Test and One Day International (ODI) games scheduled on two continents over the weekend had to contend with washouts, and while the latter series has now ended, the Test looks like having to contend with further bad weather on day three today.    


On-field umpires Marais Erasmus of South Africa and Russell Tiffin of Zimbabwe, reserve official Rockie D'Mello of Kenya and match referee Rosham Mahanama from Sri Lanka, watched the rain tumble down in Nairobi on Saturday and had to abandon the final game of the tri-nation ODI series without a ball being bowled (E-News 336-1772, 25 October 2008).  Series victory was therefore 'shared' between finalists Kenya and Zimbabwe.  


Across the Indian Ocean in Bangladesh it was even worse with the first two days of the Second Test between the home side and New Zealand in Mirpur on Saturday and Sunday being abandoned without any play.  


Umpires Daryl Harper (Australia) and Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka), the third official AFM Akhtaruddin (Bangladesh) and match referee Javagal Srinath (India), were forced to watch on as rain generated by a depression in the Bay of Bengal fell.  Unfortunately the forecast for day three of the game today is for more heavy showers, however, the outlook after that is for sunny weather.    






A club captain in Devon has been suspended for the first five matches of the 2009 season in England after he was found guilty of dissent and using bad language to umpires by the league's disciplinary committee last week.  Budleigh Salterton skipper Ian Bishop had been reported by umpires Simon Dodwell and Phil Matten in late August for remarks he made during a game in which his side had six LBW decisions given against them to their opponent's one.


Bishop's side lost the game by six runs, a result that effectively ended their chances of winning the league's championship title for 2008.  'The Exmouth Herald' said in a story published last Friday that the disciplinary hearing was a "lively" one, be eventually the player was found guilty on both charges and banned for three matches on one and two on the other.


Budleigh has chosen not to appeal against the ban, but the 'Herald' says that it has written "a strongly worded letter of complaint to the league" after the ruling was handed out.  Bishop is a regular member of the Devon side and the County club will be asked to support the ban by leaving Bishop out of their early season games in the one-day Minor Counties Trophy.  Under England and Wales Cricket Board guidelines, a player banned from league cricket is also suspended from playing in representative matches.









The guardian of cricket's Laws, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), will not recognise the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to change the result of the 2006 'ball tampering' Test at the Oval from a 'forfeit' to a 'draw' (E-News 269-1445, 4 July 2008).  The MCC's World Cricket Committee (WCC), which met in New Delhi over the weekend (E-News 335-1767, 24 September 2008), said in a statement issued yesterday that under the Laws of the game there is no justification for the ICC's move, which was made almost two years after the match was played.  


In its statement, which echoed comments made by the MCC immediately after the ICC's decision (E-News 275-1468, 14 July 2008), the WCC urged the ICC to revoke its decision and to confirm that the original result of the match still stands.  It says that the ICC has no power under the Laws to decide that results should be altered, whether it feels them to be "inappropriate" or otherwise, and that the world body's move was "wrong and sets a very dangerous precedent". "Cricket is the worse for this decision", continued the statement.


The WCC pointed out that Law 21.3(a)(ii) obliges umpires to award a match to one side if, in the opinion of the umpires, the other side refuses to play (E-News 109-601, 4 October 2008).  In addition it mentions Law 21.10 which says that "Once the umpires have agreed with the scorers the correctness of the scores at the conclusion of the match the result cannot thereafter be changed". The WCC statement also refers to the 'Spirit of Cricket' Preamble to the Laws and the requirement that the role of the umpires and the game’s traditional values be respected.


During an employment tribunal hearing last October into the ICC's  treatment of one of the umpires involved in the Oval Test, Australian international umpire Darrell Hair, the world body's witnesses accepted that the decision to award the match to England was entirely in accordance with the Laws of Cricket (E-News 110-607, 5 October 2008).  Last July the ICC's Executive Board is reported to have had before it "a unanimous recommendation of the [its own] Cricket Committee that the result of the match at The Oval should remain unaltered", but despite that the Board decided to make the change.  Now ICC President David Morgan did not support the proposal and England's representative is said to have abstained.


Media reports overnight say that the ICC's cricket operations manager David Richardson will report back to the ICC on the results of the WCC meeting, but are also indicating that there is no suggestion the forfeit will be restored to cricket's records.  An ICC spokesman was quoted by the 'Crininfo' web site last night as saying that "the MCC is entitled to its view but it is the ICC that regulates the game", and "for the time being, the decision stays".  Tony Lewis, the WCC Chairman, said that "as far as we're concerned, there is no record of any other result but a forfeit and we're not reversing the ICC result, we're just saying they had no place to do that".






The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) believes that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) has already improved player conduct and is good for the 'Spirit' of the game.  The WCC, which has been pushing for the use of improved technologies in decision-making for some time (E-News 115-623, 11 October 2007), yesterday pledged its ongoing support to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its continued trials with the system and says that it "will be happy to continue to act as consultants" to the world body in that area of the game.


The WCC, which met in New Delhi last weekend  (E-News 335-1767, 24 September 2008), labeled the initial trial in the Test series between Sri Lanka and India in July "a success", and that is "was encouraged to see the process adopted for the review system ensured that the authority and dignity of the umpires was maintained".  It says that "while there will be rare occasions where technology will not be one hundred per cent accurate, its use provides an improvement to the game".  Statistics from the series show that, with the benefit of the third umpire being able to overturn incorrect decisions, the percentage ratio of correct decisions rose from ninety-two to ninety-eight per cent, and umpires are reported to be positive about the system (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008).


The WCC says that it was pleased to hear comments from current Indian players Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid, about their experiences of the recent UDRS trial in Sri Lanka.  Both are said to have reported that the trial led to "a reduction in excessive appealing, an improved atmosphere on the field and less animosity between teams".  That was in turn "good for the Spirit of Cricket", a view the WCC says is "supported by the fact that no player was reported to the match referee throughout the series".






International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Mike Procter of South Africa is to leave the position next month and become the convener of selectors for Cricket South Africa (CSA).  Proctor, who became a match referee six years ago and has to date officiated in forty-seven tests, 154 One Day Internationals and fifeteen Twenty20 internationals, will take up his new duties on 1 December after managing One Day International matches in Abu Dhabi and Zimbabwe in November.


Procter was appointed to the CSA position last Friday and the ICC’s Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat said in a press release yesterday that "his start date [was] arrived at after negotiations between us at the ICC and CSA" so that he could "complete his obligations as a match referee before assuming his new role".  “This is important because it sets a definitive mark between the end of one job and the start of another and, in terms of Mike’s position as a match referee, it ensures the continued integrity and independence of that role", said Lorgat.


Lorgat described Proctor's new role as "a challenging and rewarding one", and "that Mike will bring to it all the cricket wisdom he has acquired over more than 40 years of top-level involvement.  During his playing days Proctor was unable to play international cricket because of apartheid, but went on to coach his national side when it resumed on the international scene in 1991.






Two first-class players in South Africa were yesterday banned for two matches each for a "sledging incident" in a match earlier this month (E-News 336-1776, 25 October 2008).  Few details have been released about the incident itself, however, disciplinary commissioner, Michael Kuper, emphasised that there was "no finding of racism" between Hylton Ackerman of the Dolphins and Vernon Philander of the Cobras.


Ackerman will miss the Dolphins game against the Warriors starting on Thursday at Kingsmead in Durban and next week’s match against the Eagles at the same venue.  Philander will miss the Cobras’ match at Paarl this week against the Lions and next week’s at the same venue against the Warriors.


The two players were reported by umpires Brian Jerling, Shaun George and Earl Hendrikse. 





Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is to officiate in the two-day Hong Kong Sixes (HK6) tournament early next month.  De Silva replaces fellow EUP member Aleem Dar of Pakistan (E-News 287-1524, 30 July 2008), who will now be standing in the Fourth Test match between India and Australia during the same period (E-News 322-1680, 2 October 2008).


De Silva will join countryman Peter Manuel, who was appointed to an ICC's Regional Umpires' Performance Manager position in June (E-News 262-1417, 26 June 2008), and local umpires Kevin Bishop, Anoop Gidwani, Ian Thomson and Mike Walsh, and match referee Glyn Davies, for the weekend of matches (E-News 305-1599, 4 September 2008).


Teams taking part in the 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.  Profits from the weekend, which will be played at the skyscraper-surrounded Kowloon Cricket Club, will be ploughed directly back into cricket development in Hong Kong. 









Geoff Joshua, a member of Victoria's State Umpires Panel (E-News 323-1683, 3 October 2008), is currently standing in the four-day Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) match between the Second XI from South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory side at Adelaide Oval Number 2.  Joshua's appointment to such a match outside his own State, follows the allocation of Tasmanian Steven John to a Second XI match in Sydney earlier this month (E-News 316-1648, 20 September 2008). 


Joshua's colleague in the current match is local Andrew Collins who is a member of South Australia's SUP (E-News 329-1733, 14 October 2008).  For Collins, who has previously stood at first-class level, the game is his seventh in the CAC, while Joshua is on the field in his fourth match in that competition.


Across the Nullabor at Floreat Park in Perth, National Umpire Panel member Andrew Craig is standing with his Western Australian SUP colleague and Cricket Australia Project Panel member Paul Wilson in the CAC match between the Second XIs from the home State and Tasmania.  The game in Craig's seventh in the CAC while Wilson, who has had relatively limited exposure to representative cricket since being named to CA's PP over two years ago, is standing in the competition for the second time (E-News 327-1721, 10 October 2008).    






Organisers of the Stanford Twenty20 series in Antigua announced yesterday that they will use what is termed a 'Super Over', rather than a bowl out, to split any of its matches that end up as ties after the regulatory forty overs of the match have been completed.  Under the system, which is slightly different to that which applies in such games played in Tasmania (E-News 328-1726, 13 October 2008), each team will select two players, one to bowl and one to bat, and the pair that scores the most runs from that over will win.


A report on the 'Cricinfo' web site says that other rules that have been adopted include a five-run penalty for dissent, and that the third umpire has the ability to over-rule his on-field colleagues. Stanford said last week that its matches will use a modified Umpire Decision Review System under which player challenges will not be used but all umpires, including the third official, will be able to intervene and instigate a review of any decision about which they have doubt (E-News 335-1765, 24 October 2008), but there was no mention then of the third umpire "over-rule" move. 






All matters relating to the fitness of ground, weather and light should be decided solely by the umpires, says the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC), and that "the light" should never be offered to the batsmen.  The WCC, which met in New Delhi on Saturday-Sunday, believes that such a move would result in more play and remove the element of "tactical coming off for bad light".


Describing the trial of such an approach in English county cricket in 2008, which the WCC says was popular with umpires and players and led to less time being lost to bad light, the Committee has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to adopt its recommended policy as a playing regulation in international cricket.


Under the regulation that was used in England, the umpires would only take the players off the field when they felt that the conditions were dangerous, and that fact that they may have "simply being unsuitable", was not reason enough.  Furthermore, says the WCC, there was a consensus that umpires should try to keep the players on the field for as long as possible, as spectators can be short-changed when play is halted in light which is only marginally poor.


The ICC and the MCC has been conducting joint-research on bad light issues for some time (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008), however, at present the status of that work and its timetable have not been made public, although the WCC statement provides a clue to where the issue may be heading.






Current Indian players Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble are said to have given the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) their assurances over the weekend that player conduct at the highest level is generally good.  With the exception of one or two high profile incidents, says a statement released by the MCC on Monday, the general conduct in higher-level cricket "provides an appropriate role model for junior and amateur cricketers".


During the meeting in New Delhi, the WCC agreed to "help the International Cricket Council maintain good player conduct at all levels of the game".  The move will see the MCC produce a "positive impact DVD to highlight the good sporting conduct that exists in the professional game".  Plans call for the DVD to be shown "at international cricket matches, distribute to schools and clubs around the world and incorporate in coaching programs".






New research aimed at "encouraging the art of spin bowling around the world" is planned by the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC), and one of the outcomes could be the need to amend some of the Laws of Cricket or playing regulations.  "Much needs to be done to ensure that spin bowling remains an integral part of the sport", says the WCC, the group agreeing at its meeting in New Delhi last weekend that there has been "a decline in spin bowling in most parts of the cricketing world". 






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has encouraged the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to continue its trials of pink cricket balls for potential use in day-night Test cricket, says a statement issued on Monday after the MCC's World Cricket Committe's (WCC) meeting in New Delhi last weekend.  Pink ball trials conducted to date have generally resulted in positive feedback that has pleased the MCC, however, a media report two weeks ago indicated that the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Cricket Committee believes they are little better than the white ones currently used in one-day cricket (E-News 331-1745, 17 October 2008). 


The WCC says that each of its members (E-News 335-1767, 24 October 2008), will assist with experiments of pink balls in their respective countries to see how they behave in different conditions.  In addition, the MCC is to continue its research work with Imperial College London into cricket balls in general, including a white ball which retains its colour and does not need to be replaced, other coloured balls and red balls with more prominent seams.






Following its latest meeting over the weekend, the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) says that it has "not noted any significant improvement in [over rates in Test matches]" in the time since its last gathering five months ago.  Last May the WCC called for a minimum hourly rate of fifteen overs and said that if the situation has not dramatically improved within a year "severe run penalties" should be introduced (E-News 242-1336, 15 May 2008).


The WCC now says that it believes that where slow over-rates prevail all players should be fined equally, not just the captain, with immediate effect.  At the present time under the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations, where a side has been found guilty by a match referee of a slow over rate offence, skippers are fined twice as much of their team mates  (E-News 330-1739, 15 October 2008).


While it plans to continue to monitor the situation over the coming months, the WCC feels that Test umpires, captains, managers and players need to understand better and buy into the concept of playing the game at an acceptable tempo.  It says that time-consuming activities, such as team huddles and excessive delays while setting fields should be eliminated from the game.  


If after a further six months there is no improvement in rates, the MCC plans to work with the ICC "to formulate an appropriate run-penalty for time wasting".  "With Twenty20 cricket fast-moving, Test cricket should adapt accordingly as it needs to be an attractive product to spectators", says the WCC statement.


Also last May the ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) decided to commission research into the reasons why current over-rates in both Tests and One Day Internationals are so low (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008).  No details of who is conducting the research, its scope, or what the timetable for release of findings may be appear to have been released to date, however, it is likely that the CC will look at the matter at its next meeting in April-May.


The WCC also recommended this week that three former or current international cricketers be elected to ICC’s Executive Board "to help to ensure that the interests of cricket remained paramount in the board’s decisions".  The Committee says that it "understands that commercial interests need to be recognised to finance the sport but that the interests of cricket are best served when putting cricketing considerations first".






South African Ian Howell, that nation's third umpire on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 290-1357, 6 August 2008), and Paul Baldwin of Germany, who is on the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires’ Panel, have been named as the umpires for the final of the Intercontinental Cup (IC) between Ireland and Kenya which gets underway in Port Elizabeth tomorrow.


Previously designed around a two-group, three-day format, for second-tier cricket playing nations, the IC, which now runs over two years, has evolved into an eight-team, round-robin tournament with matches being played over four days.  Scotland won the first ICC Intercontinental Cup in 2004, beating Canada in the final, while Ireland has been victorious in both events since then, beating Kenya in the 2005 decider and Canada in the 2006-07 event.








England County umpire Ian Gould, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), has been named to stand in his first Test match next month.  Gould's partner for the two Test series between South Africa and Bangladesh will be Australian Steve Davis of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel, and his match referee another Australia, Alan Hurst.


Former wicket keeper Gould played 298 first-class matches and 315 List A games over a twenty-one year career that ended in 1996, a record that includes eighteen One Day Internationals (ODI) for England, the last ten of them in the 1983 World Cup.  Records indicate that he commenced umpiring at County Second XI level in 2001 and joined the England and Wales Cricket Board's first-class umpires panel in 2002, then was promoted to the IUP in April 2006.    


Gould is not a complete stranger to Test cricket having worked as the third umpire in six matches over the last two years, a time during which he has been on the field in twenty-six ODIs, the latter including the World Cup in the West Indies last year and as well as this year's Asian Cup (E-News 270-1451, 5 July 2008).  Nine other ODIs have been spent in the television suite as the third umpire. 


The Tests in South Africa will tale Gould's first-class record as an umpire to eight-one, Davis' Test match list to fifteen, and Hurst's to twenty-two.


Prior to the two Tests, South Africa is to play Kenya in two ODIs, the first tomorrow and the second on Sunday.  Another Englishman, Gould's fellow IUP member Nigel Llong, has been named by the ICC as the neutral umpire for that series.  He will stay on in Africa in the same capacity for the three ODIs that South Africa and Bangladesh are to play before their Test series, the first ODI being scheduled for Potchefstroom tomorrow week.  The five ODIs will take Llong's tally in that form of the game to twenty-two matches.


Match referee for the Kenya matches will be Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, who will chalk up 100 ODIs in that capacity in the second game between the two sides.  He will manage those games and the first of the Bangladesh ODIs, taking his tally to 101, before Hurst takes over for the final two matches, his sixty-third and fourth ODIs.  






International Cricket Council (ICC) president David Morgan has backed calls to overturn a decision made by the world body earlier this year that revoked the first ever Test match forfeit, saying the controversial result of the 2006 England-Pakistan match should be revisited.  In July, the ICC changed the result of the disputed test at The Oval in August 2006 from a forfeit to a draw, but last weekend the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee (WCC) said that revision was "wrong and sets a very dangerous precedent" (E-News 338-1783, 28 October 2008).

Morgan, who was in Sydney on Wednesday for the launch of the 2009 women's World Cup, told reporters that "it was a decision that was made by the ICC and it's a decision that I was not happy with".  "I was President Elect [at the time] and I didn't believe it was appropriate to change the result of the match".  Morgan said the ICC can reassess the decision, and he'd like to carefully read the [WCC's] minutes that considered the ICC executive board decision flawed.





Western Australian Paul Wilson, who is a State Umpires Panel member there and is on Cricket Australia's (CA) Project Panel for former first-class players, hopes to become a "full-time professional umpire" with the International Cricket Council, says an interview published in the 'Newcastle Herald' yesterday.  The former fast bowler commenced his playing career in Newcastle and hopes, says the 'Herald', to become the first Novocastrian to umpire at the game's highest level.


Thirty-six year old Wilson, who played at Test level for Australia, retired at the end of the 2003-04 season and now lives in Perth and works as a real estate sales and marketing co-ordinator.  Following retirement he spent some time coaching then starting umpiring in Second Grade in Perth in 2006 and was quickly elevated to First grade, and soon after that to CA's Project Panel.  He is now in his third season as an umpire.   


Journalist Robert Dillion quotes Wilson as saying that now that former Project Panel members Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker have been elevated to the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008), and he hopes that he's also "good enough" to get there on merit "and beyond".  Wilson is, he says, "following the path of those two guys, and I suppose I'm as good a chance as anyone [and its] just a matter of spots opening up and being in the right place".  "The next step for me will be to do a Sheffield Shield match then we'll see how I go from there", continued the quote.


Discussing his debut at senior interstate level last Sunday in the one-day match between WA and Tasmania, in which his on-field partner was Reiffel, Wilson says that the game was a complicated affair with rain interruptions and a win with only four balls to spare via the Duckworth-Lewis method.  "It had pretty much everything in it", says Wilson, and he's "quite happy to have it over and done with, but it was a great experience nonetheless".


Wilson told Dillon that it when he took up umpiring it had taken some adjustment to be answering appeals rather than screaming them himself.  "There are a lot of instances when you're playing when you think something was out, but you see it a bit differently standing behind the stumps", he said.  


The former bowler encouraged club cricketers who are looking to stay involved in the game after retirement to join umpiring ranks, as "it's good fun, [there's] great camaraderie between the umpires and you can still have that rapport with players as well".  "In England, they do it all the time with club and county cricketers going on to umpire when they retire, but in Australia we apparently haven't had that tradition", he said, although "hopefully we can start".






Plans by the Marylebone Cricket Club and International Cricket Council to produce a 'Spirit of Cricket' DVD were welcomed by TCUSA members during the season's second appointments-training meeting at Bellerive last night (E-News 339-1791, 29 October 2008).  Those present felt that the DVD, which is expected to be made available to all levels of the game, will be a valuable tool in educating administrators, players, match officials, and commentators about just what the 'Spirit of Cricket' is all about.






An umpire who called a wide after a ball was hit for four in Wellington last Monday will not be appointed to stand again "in the near future", says a report written by a 'Dominion Post' journalist yesterday.  According to the 'Post' the incident occurred in a Cricket Wellington senior men's competition match and that players were "gobsmacked" to see Elle Abel, who was officiating in her first senior game, extend her arms to signal a wide after a delivery had been cut to point.


Gareth Powell, the captain of the batting side who was standing at the non-striker's end at the time of the incident, said he had to inform Abel that a wide could not be called if the ball was hit.  The 'Post' article quotes Powell as saying that it was one of many poor calls that left players from both sides shaking their heads, for Abel "did not call leg-side wides and no-balls, and allowed seven-ball overs".  "You can handle a few bad decisions, but this was pretty exceptional", Powell continued, and while he appreciates that "umpires give up their time on Saturdays", players do too.


Powell filed an umpires report after the match and Cricket Wellington umpires chairman Evan Watkin, a former Test umpire who appointed Abel to the game, is aware of the report, says the 'Dominion'.  The newspaper says that Watkin acknowledged that the standard of club umpiring was mixed and that Abel needed further training, but he said he was forced to introduce novice umpires to senior cricket because of a lack of experienced alternatives.  "We just don't have enough umpires", he said. "Ideally we would start people off in much lower grades, but [last] Monday", a public holiday in New Zealand, "we only had twelve".


Abel passed an umpiring exam before being allowed to officiate, though Watkin admitted "90 per cent" of those who sit it do so on their first attempt.  Cricket Wellington chief executive Gavin Larsen said the idea of getting a single good umpire to stand at both ends had been considered, but that it made a whole day's play too tough for one person.






The weather outlook for the coming weekend is for generally fine conditions across the State on Saturday, while showers are expected to develop in the north on Sunday, and later that day in the south.  Maximum temperatures in the high teens and low twenties Centigrade are anticipated on both days in all three regions.


Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site at any time (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007), but particularly on the morning of their matches.









An article published in New Zealand's 'Dominion Post' about a Wellington-based umpire who signaled a wide after a ball had been hit by a batsman, "lacked balance and contained numerous factual errors", says Cricket Wellington's (CW) umpire's chairman Evan Watkin (E-News 340-1800, 30 October 2008).  Watkin, who contacted E-News yesterday about the story, said that for this newsletter to "give such a dreadfully written article in a newspaper" space in a publication produced for match officials "is very disappointing". 


According to Watkin, "the delivery that has caused all this irrational reporting" was "very wide and the umpire was simply too quick on the wide call because the batsman 'chased it' and managed to toe-end it to point".  "Not only 

was [the ball not hit to the boundary as indicated in the E-News report but], no runs were actually scored and the umpire rescinded the wide call", said CW's umpire chief in a e-mail.  


Watkin says that the Post's article was correct in that "it was a lady umpire and that she was officiating in her first [match]" but that while it was a "senior game" as reported by the newspaper, the Grade concerned is called "Senior 1" and is actually a second-tier competition that sits underneath Wellington's top, or "Premier", Grade.  


Rather than being "dismissed" from the umpiring roster as stated by the ‘Dominion Post', the reason that the umpire concerned has not been given another appointment is because she is "not available for the next two weeks".  Watkins says that when she is next available he "will decide whether of not [to] appoint her to a game and, if so, what Grade of game [it will be]".  


Watkin told E-News yesterday that like many umpiring groups around the world, CW "normally only have enough umpires for [its] top two Grades, and sometimes not even enough for that".  He was quoted in the original 'Post' story as saying that "ideally we would start people off in much lower grades, but [last] Monday" when the ‘wide’ call was made, which was a public holiday in New Zealand, "we only had twelve" umpires to choose from.  


Yesterday's 'Dominion Post' story, which was circulated widely on the internet, attracted a wide range of responses on the '' web site.  Today's 'Dominion Post' says that yesterday's report "caused a stir in cricket circles", 

and is quoting CW's Chief Executive Gavin Larson as saying that "its not the sort of story I want so see early in the season" but that he'd "like to think that we and the umpires association will move on from this".   






Bellerive's first interstate match of the new season is due to get underway tomorrow when Tasmania takes on South Australia in a one-day match, and three TCUSA umpire and scorer members will be involved in the management of the game.  Steven John will be on the field with Queenslander Bruce Oxenford of the National Umpires Panel (NUP), while Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford will be in the scorers' box.


Weather conditions are currently expected to be fine for a match that will be John's fourth in the interstate one-day competition and first for the current season, while Oxenford, who has stood in two such games already this summer, 

will be on the ground in his twenty-eighth domestic one-day game.


In Sydney on Sunday Gerard Abood of the New South Wales State Umpires Panel (SUP) and South Australian NUP member Simon Fry will also stand in a one-dayer.  It is the seventh time that Abood has been appointed to a domestic one-day match, but sixth time actually on the field of play as one game was washed out.  Fry will be standing in his twenty-fourth domestic one-day game, and like Oxenford his third this season (E-News 334-1761, 22 October 2008). 


Prior to that Abood will today stand in his second women's One Day International (ODI) when the five-game series between Australia and India gets underway at the Hurstville Oval in Sydney, his partner on the field being NUP member Rod Tucker who is also from NSW and will be officiating in his fourth women's ODI.  The series continues in Sydney on Saturday and next Wednesday, before concluding in Canberra next weekend with the final two matches.  


Tucker will be standing in three of the five women's ODIs, his fellow NSW SUP members Peter Tate and Terry Keel in two each, Abood in one and Tony Ward a Victorian NUP member in two (E-News 321-1675, 1 October 2008).  Abood and Tate stood in what was a tight Twenty20 international between the two sides last Tuesday.






The last four of the six 'round robin' games in this season's 'Jamie Cox Plate' are to be played in Launceston this weekend and umpires from the south of the State are to stand in every match.  State Umpire Panel members Brian Muir, Nick McGann, Jamie Mitchell and Sam Nogajksi are to travel north from Hobart for games on Saturday and Sunday that will involve teams from the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association, North West Tasmania Cricket Association, the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) and the State Under 19s.


As a result of that series, which is designed to bring together prospective State and National players "in a highly competitive environment while maintaining regional pride and honour", there will be no TCA First Grade matches 

over the next two days.  Twenty matches will, however, be played in the other four Grades and the South Tasmania Cricket League, a total of twenty-eight TCUSA umpires being involved in their management.


On Sunday, Cameron Lee will be standing in his first premiership match with the TCUSA (E-News 274-1466, 11 July 2008).  His on-field colleague in the one-day Under 15 Grade game between Lindisfarne and North Hobart at Lindisfarne will be his father, long-serving TCUSA member Mike, who will be standing in his 289th game in what is his seventeenth season with the Association (E-News 335-1764, 24 October 2008).   


Weather conditions currently look good for play in all parts of the State on Saturday as a High pressure system drifts slowly across the region, with maximum temperatures being in the high teens and low twenties Centigrade.  On Sunday, however, the north and north-west could see a "little rain developing" as the High moves away and a trough extends from the mainland, but in the south conditions are expected to remain 'fine'.


Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site at any time (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007), but particularly on the morning of their matches. 






Indian Gautam Gambhir and Australian Shane Watson were yesterday charged with contravening the 'Spirit of Cricket' during the first day's play of the Third Test in New Delhi on Wednesday.  The incident involved, which saw Gambir hitting Watson with his elbow while running to complete a run and the Australian appearing to make a comment to the Indian, last night saw Watson fined ten per cent of his match fee, but Gambir will not know his fate until later today.


The charges against the pair, a Level 2 offence for Gambir and Level 1 for Watson, were laid by on-field umpires ‘Billy’ Bowden of New Zealand and Aleem Dar of Pakistan together with third official Suresh Shastri of India.  Match referee Chris Broad of England handed Watson, who pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the offence, the fine following a hearing conducted after play ended yesterday.  Broad found Watson guilty of verbally engaging with Gambhir in a manner that was not in keeping the 'Spirit of Cricket', says a statement issued by the International Cricket Committee (ICC) overnight.


In Gambhir's case, the hearing has been adjourned until this morning Indian time to allow Broad "to review the evidence". The ICC says that the Indian has pleaded guilty to a Level 2 offence of not playing within the 'Spirit of 

Cricket', penalties for which range from a fine of between fifty and one hundred per cent of a player's match fee and/or a ban for one Test or two One Day Internationals (ODI).  


Last November Gambhir was fined a total of sixty-five per cent of his match fee, and Pakistan's Shahid Afridi ninety-five per cent, for an incident in a One Day International that in part involved “inappropriate and deliberate physical 

contact between players in the course of play".  On that occasion the charges against the pair were actually laid by then ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed, a move that was reported at the time as reflecting the concern of senior personnel at the world body that more needed to be done when players act inappropriately (E-News 134-733, 15 November 2007).    






Long-serving Australian international umpire Darrell Hair's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) contract with the International Cricket Council (ICC) comes to an end today (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2008).  Hair, who leaves the international umpiring scene after close to two decades as a first-class umpire, has stood in matches in over a dozen countries, was at the centre of a number of controversies that raised the ire of cricket administrators in several nations, and made significant contributions in the umpire education and training area that are expected to continue (E-News 298-1570, 19 August 2008).


The Australian made his debut at first-class level at the age of thirty-six in February 1989.  Twenty years on he has accumulated a total of 146 first-class matches, seventy-eight of them Tests and fifty-two in the Sheffield Shield; his 

work in the latter competition including eight finals in a row from 1992-2000.  In addition he has 187 List A match to his credit, 139 of them One Day Internationals and thirty in interstate domestic games, of which eight were the finals of the latter competition.


A member of the EUP since 2002 and rated by many observers as one of the best decision-makers on the EUP, Hair will unfortunately be remembered by the general public for the controversies that erupted after he called Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in the 1995 Boxing Day Test at the MCG, and the 'ball tampering' Test at the Oval in August 2006 (E-News 341-1808 below).  While he is departing from the ICC, Hair continues in cricket as the Executive Officer of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association.    


Asked if they have any plans to mark Hair's departure in any way, the ICC told E-News this week that it "has already publicly acknowledged Darrell’s decision to resign and there are no plans to [say] anything more".  The spokesman went on to say that his replacement will be "finalised and announced in the first quarter of next year" after what was described as the normal "process" of recruitment runs its course.  Hair's spot on the panel will go to one of the current on-field members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel,   


The ICC's reply to a question about what their plans are for a replacement for South African match referee Mike Proctor was identical to the comments it made to E-News about Hair.  Proctor is due to leave the match referees panel at the end of November after six years in the position (E-News 338-1785, 28 October 2008).  If the ICC follows its past practice in such matters the vacant position will be filled by a retired Test cricketer.


The world body normally names its Elite umpiring and match referee groups for the year ahead in March-April each year and both panels appear likely to operate one-man short until then. 






Bangladesh spinner Abdur Razzak has been reported for a suspect bowling action following his side's recent Test series against New Zealand, says the International Cricket Council (ICC) in a statement issued yesterday.  Umpires 

Daryl Harper (Australia) and Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka) say they have concerns over the player’s faster ball and, having monitored it during both matches in the series, decided it was appropriate the delivery should be scrutinised 

further under the relevant ICC process.


Razzak is now required to submit to an independent analysis of his action by a member of the ICC's panel of human movement specialists but can continue to play until the study is completed, although if reported again he faces an immediate ban.  To date the twenty-six year-old has taken seven wickets in five Tests and claimed 110 in seventy-nine One Day Internationals.






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) says it has adopted a "wait and watch policy" on the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) recommendation that the International Cricket Council (ICC) overturn its award of a draw for the disputed Test against England at the Oval in August 2006 (E-News 338-1783, 28 October 2008).  A "senior" PCB official told the '' web site on Wednesday that the Board will "keep its fingers crossed" and wait for ICC’s reaction on the MCC's ruling.


PCB Director General Saleem Altaf was quoted as saying that "it is an issue between the ICC and the MCC and we are not a direct party in this case". On the same day that Altaf spoke, ICC President David Morgan is reported to have said in Sydney that the result of the match should be "revisited" (E-News 340-1797, 30 October 2008).  Shahryar Khan, who was the PCB chairman at the time of the Oval Test, is reported by the Associated Press to have "cautioned the ICC against [again] overturning the result", for in his view the world body would "only make fun of itself and [be left] in a very awkward position".  


David Richardson, the ICC’s cricket operations manager, who attended the MCC's World Cricket Committee meeting last weekend, indicated on Monday that he will provide a report back of the WCC's position on the match to his employers, but an ICC spokesman has reportedly indicated that "for the time being, the [draw] decision stays".






With October at an end the 5,000 plus members of the England and Wales Cricket Board's Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) will be on the look out next month for the first edition of its newsletter since August, and fourth since the Association was established last January.  The April newsletter indicated that as part of a move to improve the links with its members, "regular communication is planned with members via a magazine and web site", and mention was made of six editions per year being the aim but there have been gaps of three and now two months in its production.


News is awaited from the ACO on its staffing and three sub-committees covering 'Education', 'Member Services' and 'Audit' that were to be discussed at its Interim Board's July meeting (E-News 236-1303, 28 April 2008), its initial five 

regional forums that were held in September (E-News 304-1597, 1 September 2008), the work of several 'task forces' that are developing Level 1, 2 and 3 accreditation programs, and moves to improve its web site (E-News 302-1585, 27 August 2008).  Except for the posting of the August newsletter the ACO web site has been static since mid-July.






A club and its captain were fined in Guyana this week after he led his team off the field to dispute an umpiring decision in a Twenty20 competition last weekend, says a report published in the 'Kaieteur News' yesterday.  The Albion side withdrew from the match after an umpire signalled a six for what the fielding side thought should have been a catch, claiming that it had been taken and completed inside the boundary.


Following a meeting of the Berbice Cricket Board of Control's disciplinary committee, West Indian Test opener Sewnarine Chattergoon, who was leading Albion, was fined three thousand Guyanan dollars, a figure equivalent of $A30, while the club itself was handed a $B10,000 censure.  The 'Kaieteur News' report does not say if any other disciplinary action was taken against Chattergoon, his players, or his club.