November 09 (516-529)

(EN-2654 TO EN-2711) 

516 – 2 November  [2654-2657]

• Hazare makes ODI debut, Benson flies home (516-2654).
• Performances of Tarapore, Saheba, 'impressive', says Gavaskar (516-2655).
• Zimbabwe works to improve scoring support (516-2656)
• Botha's action again questioned, but cleared after another test  (514-2657)

517 –  4 November  [2658-2663]

• TCA turf Grades set for weekend start  (517-2658)
• EUP threatened WT20 boycott over pay dispute, claims report  (517-2659).
• Second over-rate fine in a month for Australia  (517-2660).
• Two 'beamers' lead to fine for bowler  (517-2661).
• Harper eyes 100 Test mark  (517-2662).
• 'Fine', warm weather forecast for coming weekend  (517-2663).

518 – 6 November  [2664-2669]

• Umpire's death highlights key safety issues, says report  (518-2664).
• Memorial service scheduled for Shepherd  (518-2665).
• ECB to trial 'four innings' in one-day County matches  (518-2666).
• 'Don't slag our umpires off', says league official  (518-2667).
• ICC-MCC committees support Test Championship concept  (518-2668).
• Weather outlook remains positive for TCA start  (518-2669).

519 – 7 November  [2670-2671]

• Scorers line up for TCA First, Second Grade seasons (519-2670).
• Long-serving TCUSA member closing in on 500 match mark (519-2671).

520 – 9 November  [2672-2678]

• Dharmasena standing in SAf-Zim one-day series  (520-2672).
• Former Kiwi Test umpire reaches milestone  (520-2673).
• TCUSA Life Members for tour match  (520-2674).
• Lankan Ministerial probe censures Umpires' Committee  (520-2675).
• Inquiry looking at late finishing match (520-2676).
• BCCI circulates list of bowlers with 'suspect' actions  (520-2677).
• Windies IUP members stand in domestic one-day finals (511-2678).

521 – 11 November  [2679-2683]

• State Umpire Panel members in national mix  (521-2679).
• UDRS to come on line next week  (521-2680).
• Umpire abuser required to attend Level 1 course (521-2681).
• ODI debut for South Africa's Cloete (521-2682).
• Another hot day forecast for Hobart on Saturday (521-2683).

522 – 13 November  [2684-2691]

• CA emphasises 'significance' of Futures Tournament selections  (522-2684).
• No UDRS use in India-Lanka Tests?  (522-2685).
• Shepherd farewelled in Devon  (522-2686).• IPL agrees to trial pink balls (522-2687).
• Bowden for Aus-Windies ODI series, says report  (522-2688).
• CA names umpires for 'All Stars' Twenty20  (522-2689).
• Ten umpires to be used for U19 World Cup?  (522-2690).
• 'Morning drizzle' now Hobart outlook for Saturday  (522-2691).

523 – 16 November  [2692-2686]

• UDRS plans reported in doubt, costs a key issue  (523-2692).
• Harper-Hill for India-Lanka Tests  (523-2693).
• Company tests technology in NZ first class match  (523-2694).
• Match ban, fines, reprimand handed to Indian players  (523-2695).
• Kiwi fined for language, excessive appealing  (522-2686).

524 – 17 November  [2687-2691]

• England first to cop higher slow over-rate fines  (524-2687).
• ICC reverts to pre-UDRS appointments format  (524-2688).
• IPL has helped 'subdue nastiness', claims Gavaskar  (524-2689).
• Two week suspension handed down for 'off-field' incident  (524-2690).
• Non-payment of fines sees whole club suspended  (524-2691).

525 – 19 November  [2692-2697]

• Tucker to stand in South Africa ODI series  (525-2692).
• UDRS use in NZ-Pakistan Tests confirmed  (525-2693).
• Umpire appointments point to UDRS use in Aussie Tests  (525-2694).
• Three 'neutral' umpires for NZ Tests identified  (525-2695).
• Kettleborough, Illingworth, win IUP promotions  (525-2696).
• 'Showers' the current outlook for weekend TCA games  (525-2697).

526 – 22 November  [2698-2700]

• Senior ICC manager to visit Brisbane for UDRS discussions  (526-2698).
• Llong third 'neutral' for India-Lanka Tests  (526-2699).
• 'Gold medal' acknowledges Dar's world award  (526-2700).

527 – 23 November  [2701-2705]

• Eight umpires selected for U19 Championships  (527-2701).
• ECB voted against UDRS, says its chief  (527-2702).
• Spinner called twice for suspect action  (527-2703).
• Team wins back promotion after appeal hearing  (527-2704).
• NSW umpiring group slams player behaviour  (527-2705).

528 – 24 November  [2706-2707]

• Koertzen 'comfortable' with UDRS use, says report  (528-2706).
• Silva to join ICC ranks  (528-2707).

529 – 25 November  [2708-2711]

• UDRS in action on first day of Dunedin Test  (529-2708).
• Richardson 'talks up' referral system  (529-2709).
• PCB should sue 'lax' security officials, says Parliamentary group  (529-2710).
• Rain again on the horizon for weekend TCA matches  (529-2711).





Indian umpire Sanjay Hazare made his on-field debut in a One Day International (ODI) on Saturday in the third match of the India-Australia series in Delhi.  Hazare, who was originally listed as the television umpire for the match, is reported to have been given the on-field role "at the last minute" by match referee Chris Broad from England as he wanted "to reduce the pressure on two other Indian umpires, Amish Saheba and Shavir Tarapore", who had stood in matches one and two (E-News 514-2650, 29 October 2009).The all-Indian umpiring panel for the first three matches was brought about by the illness of Englishman Mark Benson, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) choice as the 'neutral' official for the first four games of the seven-match ODI series (E-News 509-2622, 21 October 2009).  Reports say that Benson has already returned home and that Sri Lankan Asoka de Silva, the ICC appointee for matches five, six and seven, has flown to India earlier than planned and will stand in the fourth ODI in Chandigarh later today. Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that Hazare had originally been scheduled to make his ODI debut in the sixth match of the series in Guwahati next Sunday.  Saheba and Tarapore were to have been on the field last Saturday, their third together in a row, but Broad's decision to swap Tarapore with Hazare changed that; and their are indications that Saheba will not be on the field for match four tonight.  Shetty is reported to have told the PTI that the BCCI "had sent Amish Saheba and Shavir Tarapore's names to the ICC as on-field umpires and Hazare the television umpire for the series, but [the world body has] a rule that if there are more than four matches in the series, the TV umpire can stand as an on-field umpire".  There were suggestions three months ago, but no confirmation, that Hazare had been nominated by the BCCI to India's third umpire position on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), former on field member Suresh Shastri being dumped from the panel, Tarapore moving up and Hazare taking the latter's television spot (E-News 468-2341, 5 August 2009).  Shetty's reported comments now confirm those reports in August.   A 'Cricinfo' report on Saturday's India-Australia match says that Hazare is "not even on the ICC panel of umpires", a comment that illustrates how difficult it often is to keep track on who is or is not on the IUP around the world, even for a well-connected publication like Cricinfo.  The section of the ICC web site that summarises IUP membership has not been up-dated for some considerable time.


Indian umpires Shavir Tarapore and Amish Saheba have both been "impressive and exercised good control over the [first two India-Australia One Day Internationals (ODI) late last week]", says former Indian captain and International Cricket Council (ICC) umpire selector Sunil Gavaskar.  Tarapore came in for particularly favourable comment in Gavaskar's newspaper column which was published on the sub-continent late last week.Gavaskar focused on two decisions that Tarapore made during the opening one dayer in Vadodara eight days ago. The first was when he gave Australian skipper Ricky Ponting out leg-before wicket to Ravindra Jadeja and the second was when he ruled Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir 'not out' despite "almost the entire Australian team converged on him in appeal". According to Gavaskar, replays showed that Ponting missed a ball that pitched just inside the leg-stump and turned towards the off stump and would have hit middle and off stump.  "Tarapore took some time before he raised his finger and it was a courageous call indeed", he says."Ponting was disappointed as all batsmen are when given out leg-before wicket", says Gavaskar, "but he would have appreciated the decision once he saw the slow motion replays that proved that Tarapore had got it right".  "Maybe", continued the former national skipper, Ponting "was surprised because there are quite a few ICC Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) members who balk at giving the Australian and England team captains out leg-before the wicket".However, states Gavaskar, the decision to give Gambhir 'not out' "was even better because the Australians who have perfected the art of putting pressure on the umpires when the situation is getting tough all rushed to the umpire along with keeper Tim Paine in claiming the ‘catch’ of a well set Gambhir".  "Once again slow mo replays and the snickometer showed that Tarapore had got it right as there was no indication on the snickometer to suggest that Gambhir had got even a feather touch to the ball"."Both were fabulous calls and most importantly Tarapore did not, like most Indian umpires, walk about after giving either decision".  "It is this walking away from their positions after giving a decision, especially the leg-before ones, that give the impression that an umpire was in no position to decide correctly".  That and "the trigger happy method of raising the finger even before the appeal is completed makes the umpire look bad, [but] as Tarapore showed there is nothing wrong in taking one’s time before giving a decision".Gavaskar says that with the Board of Control for Cricket in India now having its own panel to mentor and help umpires in domestic cricket "there should be some who should be able to make it to the ICC's EUP sooner than later".


Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) hoped to find the next generation of scorers and umpires at separate courses conducted at the Harare Sports Club over the weekend, says a 'Cricinfo' report.  A Board-picked group of nineteen, thirteen of whom are women, attended the two-day meeting, which is part of work ZC has been involved in to lift scoring standards in that country. ZC has had ongoing problems with releasing scorecards to the media, the lowest point coming in 2007 when some cards from first class and List A matches took several months to be produced (E-News 39-210, 11 May 2007).  However, while it has been working at eliminating such problems, occasional glitches still occur, says Cricinfo.  ZC spokesperson Shingai Rhuhwaya is said to have "admitted" that "in the past ZC has been challenged by errors in scorecards because many of the scorers working in high profile and fast paced matches lacked knowledge and experience"."Many of our current scorers have come out of the women's league and we want to continue to draw from this source", said Rhuhwaya, and "we'd like to see female cricket clubs continue to build a professional group that will feed into the men's league".  She said that "scoring is a task that requires "a high level of accuracy, and while one did not need to be a mathematician to be a scorer, there was the need to be a perfectionist".'Cricinfo' says that it has been involved in updating systems and has provided scoring software and training and that live scores from Zimbabwean domestic first class matches have recently started appearing on its site in near real time.  "The infrastructure has been set-up and we are now able to score live during matches held in either of the five franchise bases", said Rhuhwaya.The "refresher" course for umpires, which ran concurrently with the scorers course, appears to have been a Level-1 type course or similar, being aimed at providing those who attended "the necessary skills to handle lower-level matches, including dealing with on-field decision making challenges".


South Africa limited-overs vice-captain and off-break bowler Johan Botha has been cleared of a suspect bowling action, just over a week after it was questioned in a domestic first-class game.  The Proteas bowler and his Warriors team-mate Rusty Theron had their actions reported by umpires Johanes Cloete and Marais Erasmus during a Supersport Series match against the Dolphins in Port Elizabeth late last month, although one report says that reserve umpire Ian Howell "would not have had anything to do" with their assessment.On receipt of the umpires' reports, Cricket South Africa (CSA) arranged for the pair to undergo what were called "precautionary tests" in Cape Town conducted under the supervision of the national bowling coach Vincent Barnes.  Botha has been given the go-ahead to continue playing, even though it is the third time in his career that he has been reported.  "We are satisfied with the preliminary results of the tests", said Gerald Majola, CSA's Chief Executive Officer in a statement.During South Africa's series against Australia earlier this year, Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva and his South African counterparts Rudi Koertzen and Brian Jerling, reported Botha, who has played two Tests, forty-eight One Day Internationals and fifteen Twenty20 Internationals for the Proteas, for a suspect quicker ball and doosra (E-News 407-2156, 16 April 2009).  Following testing in Australia the twenty-seven year-old was barred from using his doosra until he undertakes further remedial work and is again tested (E-News 422-2228, 13 May 2009).Botha's action was first challenged during his Test debut in the third Test of the 2005-06 series against Australia which was played in Sydney early in the new year.




Matches in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA) turf-based Grade competitions are to get underway in the Hobart area next weekend after most grounds were cleared for play yesterday.  First Grade is to commence on Saturday, three weeks later than planned, while Second, Third and Under 17 matches will be starting two weeks late, after a very wet winter and early spring delayed the preparation of pitches and outfields (E-News 513-2641, 27 October 2009).TCA Grade Cricket Manager Chris Garrett told E-News this morning that turf pitches at three grounds, Kingston Beach, Eady Street and Soldiers' Memorial Oval, continue to be unavailable.  Garrett, who together with the curators has had the difficult task of dealing with the problems that have been and are being experienced over the last month, was still working to sought out several issues late this morning.While a solution is expected to be found, it is not known as yet just what arrangements will be put in place regarding the First Grade game between Kingbourough and South Hobart Sandy Bay that was to have been played at Kingston Beach on Saturday-Sunday.  Decisions on outstanding issues that have been made though include the cancellation of Saturday's Southern Tasmanian Cricket Association Division 2 match at Eady Street, while the Under 17 Grade match listed there for Sunday is to be moved to a yet-to-be-decided ground with a synthetic pitch.  Readers wishing to keep up to date with the latest details of matches and this locations over the weekend can do so via the TCA's web site.  TCUSA members will be up-dated on the situation at the first training-appointments meeting of the season at Bellerive tonight.Weather conditions in the lead up to the weekend and over the two days themselves look like being favourable for the long-awaited start to the season (E-News 517-2663 below).


The International Cricket Council (ICC) was involved in "difficult" pay-related negotiations with members of its Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in the lead-up to last June's World Twenty20 (WT20) Championship in England, claims a Press Trust of India (PTI) report from Karachi on Monday.  The PTI story suggests that a lawyer who represented EUP members hinted that the ICC's senior umpires could boycott the WT20 event, and while they are said to have eventually backed-down, the pay dispute, which rose during "annual negotiations", apparently remains an issue.Details of the situation are said to have been mentioned in a report prepared by ICC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Haroon Lorgat for the world body's Chief Executives Committee London meeting in June. The PTI says that "it has seen" Lorgat's paper and quotes it as saying that after "veiled threats" from "a representative" of the EUP group, who is said to have been David Ligertwood, "[ICC managers] made alternate arrangements to replace [the Elite umpires at the] WT20" event should it be necessary.  Ligertwood, who played twenty-eight first class and thirty-two List A games for Durham, Hertfordshire and Surrey from 1991-96, started practising law in 1997 and in 1999 helped set up a firm called "athletes1", an agency for those involved in professional sport.  "athletes1" describes its aim as providing "the best and most professional services" in the areas that include "athletes management" and "sports marketing".  Lorgat is said by the PTI to have gone on to say that "realising that we were not prepared to relent, [EUP members] agreed to stand during the [WT20] on the terms we had proposed".  No details of just what those terms were or just what the umpire's remuneration target was were mentioned in PTI story, except that Lorgat apparently indicated that they were "seeking large pay hikes" as well as what was somewhat curiously called the "formation of an umpires administration". The world body's CEO goes on to state that "we will need to pick up on outstanding issues" in on-going negotiations, but "we will continue to adopt a reasonable but tough approach" to discussions, says the PTI report.The ICC agreed on an "improved" pay structure, including a "merit-based increment" for EUP members following a review of international umpiring it conducted two years ago (E-News 126-686, 1 November 2007).  At the time that changes proposed, which were never detailed publicly, were seen by the ICC as, in its own words, providing "sufficient incentive" for those involved to "aspire to be appointed" to the top-tier of world umpiring. 


Australia has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate in the fourth One Day International (ODI) against India which was played in Chandigarh on Tuesday.  Match referee Chris Broad imposed the fines after Ricky Ponting’s side was ruled to be two overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration. Current International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties require that players be 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 a result Ponting was fined twenty per cent of his match fee and his playing colleagues ten per cent.  The Australia side were similarly fined last month in its semi final in the Champions Trophy series in South Africa (E-News 501-2591, 2 October 2009).The ICC decided in June to double the fines for slow over-rates and that a captain of a side involved in three such fines in the same format of the game in a rolling twelve-month period "should be", not must be, automatically banned from his team's next match in that form of the game (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009).  Since the ICC's June decision, Pakistan in a Test, the West Indies twice in the two shorter forms of the game, England twice in a Test, Australia, England and Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy, and now Australia again, have been handed slow over-rate fines at the previously existing level.  Under the three-match 'suspension' scenario the ICC announced in June, Ponting is now under threat, theoretically at least, of missing an ODI if his side is fined again in such a match at anytime over the next eleven months.  However, it is not clear as yet as to just when the announced doubling of fines or captain's censure arrangements will come into force. 


Bangladesh fast bowler Dollar Mahmud was fined fifteen per cent of his match fee after he bowled two high full toss balls in the space of four deliveries in his side's One Day International (ODI) against Zimbabwe in Dhaka last Thursday.  Under International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI playing conditions, a bowler is taken off after two such deliveries rather than three as in the Laws of Cricket.Twenty year-old Dollar's second 'beamer' hit Zimbabwe batsman Elton Chigumbura on the helmet.  Reported by on-field umpires Aleem Dar of Pakistan and Bangladeshi Enamul Haque Moni, as well as third umpire Nadir Shah another local, the matter was taken up by match referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka,Dollar pleaded guilty at an early stage in the subsequent hearing and Madugalle imposed the fine under a section of the ICC's Code of Conduct that covers issues that are either "contrary to the spirit of the game" or "brings the game into disrepute".  Examples of the former include" "the use of an illegal bat or illegal wicket-keeping gloves; deliberate time wasting; cheating during an International Match, including deliberate attempts to mislead the Umpire; or [as is the case on this occasions] any conduct which is considered ‘unfair play’ under Law 42.  Bringing the game into disrepute could involve: "public acts of misconduct; unruly public behaviour; and inappropriate comments which are detrimental to the interests of the game".


Australian umpire Daryl Harper says that he is "interested in" reaching the 100 Test mark before he retires, according to an interview he gave to the 'Cricinfo' web site recently.  Harper's tally currently stands at eighty-five, the highest number by an Australian, and he has averaged eight Tests a year during the current decade, a rate if maintained would see him bring up the 'ton' sometime in late 2011, around the time he turns sixty.The South Australian may also chalk up his 200th One Day International (ODI) around the same time for he has now stood in 161 such games.  2009 has been a quiet one for Harper in terms of ODIs as he has only stood in four to date, however, if he maintains his average of sixteen games a year that he has a achieved over most of this decade, 2006 being the top with twenty-three, his sixtieth birthday could see him joining South African Rudi Koertzen as the only umpire to achieve the 100 Test and 200 ODI 'double' (E-News 454-2365, 13 July 2009).  Now-retired West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor is the only other official to pass the 100 Test mark and currently comfortably holds the overall record with 128 games, but his ODI record fell nineteen short of the double-ton.  Bucknor looks like retaining that top Test record until at least 2020, and perhaps beyond.Asked in the interview what had been his most embarrassing moment during a cricket match, Harper pointed to an incident in an ODI between the West Indies and Pakistan in Perth in 1997.  The situation developed, says the Australian, because he "was talking too much to Pakistan captain Wasim Akram". A 'run out' had occurred the ball was returned to him as the umpire at the bower's end. The bowler, Patterson Thompson, went back to his bowling mark and Harper gave the incoming batsman his guard and went to his normal position, stood there and waited for the bowler to come charging up.  "I was focussed, prepared to look at his feet", and all of a sudden the bowler called, "No ball, maan", and Harper says he thought "what's he talking about, I'm the one that judges if it is a no-ball". "As I went to signal dead ball, all of a sudden I felt a rather large, spherical object in my pocket [for] I hadn't given the bowler the ball back", says Harper, and "thankfully the commentators never realised it".


The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting fine, warm weather for Hobart next Saturday and Sunday with maximum temperatures currently expected to be around 22-24 degrees Celsius.  Computer projections show that a large High pressure system will be located in the Tasman Sea bringing a northerly wind flow over the state from areas in inland Australia.  TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday can keep a close eye on the weather forecast for the day by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site at any time.




Concentration and positioning issues were key factors behind the death of Welsh umpire Alcwyn Jenkins in a South Wales Cricket Association match in Swansea in July (E-News 449-2339, 6 July 2009), says a report published by English journalist Charles Randall this week.  Jenkins death and the factors behind it, which have been investigated by the local coroner (E-News 450-2344, 7 July 2009), emphasises the importance of safety while umpiring and the need for the upmost concentration on the ball whilst it is in-play, says Randall.The tragedy occurred when a batsman drove a ball to mid-off and called a quick run to give the strike to his partner who was on ninety-nine.  Jenkins, who was at the bowler's end, moved to the same side of the pitch as the ball and the mid-off fielder's attempted throw at the bowler's stumps hit him a "fearsome" blow on the back of the head while he was watching the crease.  Jenkins collapsed instantly and died in an air ambulance on the way to hospital despite "frantic" efforts to save him.  A report at the time quoted a local official as saying that it was one of the "most freak accidents you could ever imagine on the cricket field".  While as Randall says in a story on his web site the incident was very rare, the facts he outlines provide an important reminder to TCUSA umpiring members as they prepare for the start of the Tasmanian Cricket Association's season this weekend (E-News 517-2658, 4 November 2009).Randall says that umpires have been severely injured by powerful shots while standing at the bowler's end or at square-leg, but throw-ins can be equally dangerous, a factor that has been consistently emphasised at TCUSA meetings over the years.  "Recruits at umpiring courses [in England] are [made] aware that 'run-out' adjudications should normally be made from the ball side, but they are told that any shot in the 'V' [between mid-off and mid-on] must be treated with special caution and that the official [concerned] should retreat to the safe side of the stumps", says Randall. One unnamed umpire was quoted by Randall as saying though that: "Theory is one thing, but it is very easy to forget with only a split second to think. You can easily find yourself on the thrower's side of the stumps and you can then get in the way of a throw to either end".  But, says Randall, Jenkin's death underlines the safety issues and umpires must retreat to the safe side as soon as possible even if their view of the stumps is impeded by the bowler or fielder, something that on-field officials should include in their match 'routines'.An official at the match in question told Randall that "if there is any question of the breaking of the stumps, [umpires should] use their on-field colleague to confirm [the ball] was taken cleanly".  "Never, ever put yourself in a position in the line of the ball", he says, and while "there could be an argument" about clashing with a fielder trying to back-up the throw, "your periphial vision will help you ride a blow" from any accidental contact with a player in that regard.Randall went on to list some of the injuries umpires in England have been subjected to in recent times.  Among them were a fractured skull and concussion umpire Judith West suffered in the 1990s when she was hit at the bowler's end by a drive during a county second XI match, first class umpire Alan Whitehead being hit on the back of the head by the arm of a bowler but managed to call "dead ball" before collapsing, while in club cricket officials have been struck by lightning, although Randall gave no details of the latter incidents or their outcome (E-News 487-2526, 10 September 2009).


Former English international umpire David Shepherd, who died last week, is to be cremated at a private ceremony in Devon next Thursday, an event that will be followed by a celebration of his life at his local parish church in Instow.  A memorial thanksgiving service is also planned for Bristol two weeks later, after which there will be a reception at the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club where he played first class cricket over fourteen seasons (E-News 514-2648, 29 October).


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are to experiment with making limited overs county matches into four innings affairs next northern summer, say reports published overnight, a concept that was called for in international cricket several months ago (E-News 485-2516, 7 September 2009).  Such games will initially only take place at second XI level, the ECB introducing a forty-over knockout competition next year for that specific purpose. Reports indicate that the ECB plans to announce specific details of the proposal next month, but that there has been support around the counties for splitting the batting into four innings to become something like a double Twenty20.  If the split works well it could be introduced into first XI county one-day games in 2011, and ultimately might be used to lift interest in One Day Internationals (E-News 518-2668 below).In first class cricket the ECB plans to continue using different match balls for first and second division games in the County Championship season, 'Dukes' for the former and 'Tiflex' the latter.  "Opinion and anecdote varies like the ball itself", says one report.  The 'Dukes' version seems to swing less than in the past and has been criticised as going soft or losing its shape too early, according to some, while 'Tiflex' balls, which were trialled at county level for the first time last northern summer (E-News 406-2148, 15 April 2009), are "as hard as a rock" for some while others complain that they too go soft too quickly.  Australia's 'Kookaburra' brand continues to dominate the white ball market in England, but Dukes remains the choice for Test cricket there.In another move the ECB, whose county one-day days will be limited to forty overs per side in 2010, has decided that its Powerplays will mirror on a pro rata basis the arrangements the International Cricket Council use, with eight overs for the opening period, followed by two blocks of of four overs each. 


A senior administrator in Yorkshire used his address at his league's annual dinner last weekend to criticised players for their failure to behave last northern summer, says a report in Bradford's 'Telegraph and Argus' newspaper this week.  “Let’s get the doom and gloom out of the way first", he said, for "I know I stand here every year and tell you about disciplinary matters but, in my defence, the message doesn’t appear to get back to you [the players]".“So here I go again", said Coe, who then ran through some of the issues the Craven League had to deal with last season, including: a player being banned for twelve months and others for up to a month, some for abusing umpires; a club losing the hosting a Cup final because of spectator abuse; and a team abusing their opponents, being fined, loosing championship points and being relegated as a result (E-News 510-2627, 23 October 2009).Coe urged players and clubs to remember that without umpires they would struggle to have a game.  “The disciplinary committee has again shown that it will back our umpires if there is a disciplinary problem,” he said", and if players want to have a rest during the season, I suggest they go on holiday and don’t slag our umpires off".


Members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee, including Australian umpire Simon Taufel, and the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC), met together in Dubai yesterday to discuss suggestions for a World Test Championship (WTC), how One Day Internationals (ODI) can be improved, and an appropriate balance established and maintained across the three formats of the game (E-News 493-2552, 22 September 2009).  The need for Test cricket to remain as the pinnacle of the game was emphasised, and it was agreed that some type of WTC, which was not defined, would assist in raising the profile of the five-day game.  A number of possible enhancements for Test cricket were discussed, including the idea of day-night Tests, "rebranding" the concept of Test cricket, making the playing regulations more flexible from series to series, while also remaining mindful of the long tradition of the game.  Plans to conduct the first day-night Test at Lord's next May were dropped last month, primarily because it has not yet been possible to find a suitable ball (E-News 501-2589, 2 October 2009).Results of a survey conducted by the MCC, which involved 1500 fans in India, South Africa and New Zealand being polled, were tabled, its finding being that the majority believed that a WTC would raise interest in the sport, while more than eighty per cent of Indian fans, despite the apparent focus there on Twenty20 cricket, said that they were "regular followers" of Tests.  ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat claimed in September that England and India were "blocking" the introduction of the WTC concept, however the England and Wales Cricket Board said tat it was not opposed to the general concept, rather the format that had been floated at that time (E-News 495-2560, 24 September 2009).A senior Cricket Australia official said in July that a WTC is not workable in the short to medium-term as attempts by "a Chicago-based business consultancy" to try and develop a suitable model for it "proved too difficult", the work involved in scheduling international cricket being described as "a bit like playing three-dimensional chess" (E-News 457-2376, 16 July 2009).  The twenty-two people at yesterday's meeting also discussed the ODI format and how it can remain viable in terms of Tests and Twenty20s.   It was accepted that international cricket can and should sustain the three formats, but that ODIs must redevelop their own identity with the balance between bat and ball being improved, but no details of just what may have been considered were released.  Suggestions were made in September that one change could be splitting each side's ODI innings into two 'digs', something the England and Wales Cricket Board now plans to trial in practice (E-News 518-2666 above).Clive Lloyd, the ICC committee chairman, was quoted as saying that the MCC has "some great cricketing minds on its committee, people with a huge amount to offer the game [as] do we at the ICC [and] it was fascinating to hear those views expressed in such a positive and engaging forum as this".Tony Lewis, who is chairman of the MCC committee, welcomed the opportunity of sharing details of some of the things his group has been working on over the last few years, including the WTC, umpire referrals and research into pink balls.  "I want to thank the ICC for the invitation to meet in this way", he said.  The joint meeting was held during what was the second day of the WCC's Dubai meeting. The MCC's traditional influence on the game seemed on the wane four years ago when the ICC moved to Dubai, says an article in today's 'Guardian' newspaper in England.  At the time the ICC emphasised that it had no plans to challenge the MCC's role as cricket's lawmakers, and the joint meeting confirms that the WCC has gained increasing prominence, says journalist David Hopps.Ideas discussed at yesterday's meeting will be presented to the ICC's Chief Executives' Committee next meeting which is to be held in Dubai at the end of this month.



The weather outlook for Tasmanian Cricket Association and other matches scheduled for tonight, the weekend and Monday, that will be managed by TCUSA members, continues to look very positive with pleasant conditions forecast for the next four days (E-News 517-2663, 4 November 2009).  Similar conditions are also expected to prevail in the north and north-west of the state.TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday can keep a close eye on the weather forecast for the day by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site at any time. 




Cricket enthusiasts would miss out on a lot if they didn't have the results of matches, the performance of individuals and teams, and a multitudinal range of quirky statistics to discuss, savour and argue about.  The data that is fundamental to the game around the world and to many of those debates comes from the often-invisible group of individuals called scorers, and all involved in the game this season in Tasmania will once again be relying on them to faithfully record the details of every ball bowled.  Nearly twenty-five scorers have been trained in the south of the state on the Total Cricket Scorer computer program being used by Cricket Tasmania for Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches.  Most of them will be working in First and Second Grades where computers have been used for several years, although this year for the first time electronic scoring is also being used in the Women's Twenty20 competition on Friday evenings, as well as some games in junior level fixtures.Lindisfarne's First Grade scorer will again be Ian Collins while Bev Shadwick will help manage Second Grade, both having served the club as scorers for many years.  At University Louise Jauncey will be engaged in her second full season with the First Grade side, and James Chapman, a junior player who will be trying scoring for the first time, is with the Second team.Glenorchy will have long-serving Janet Gainsford again there for the Firsts, although she is likely to be away on higher-level duties from time-to-time, her back-up being Jan Butterworth, Luke and Nathan’s Mum.  David Whitbread, who is about to commence his second season of computer scoring, will be looking after the Seconds.  Brett Walker, a former umpire will be at North Hobart's First Grade games for what will be his second full season, while Des Mortimer another umpire-turned-scorer, will return with the second XI.   Clarence will see Graeme Hamley again scoring for the Firsts, although when he is involved in first class and other representative games either Mark Dusatoy or Rick Wells will be in that chair.  Tony “Tex” Marshall, who has been scoring for the Club for many years, will once again be a fixture in Second Grade games.Across the river at New Town, Kylie Baldwin, who will be in her second full season on the computer, will work with umpires managing First team games, and it is thought that Tim Holbrook, who looked after Second Grade scoring last season will be back in that capacity, although that has not yet been confirmed.South Hobart Sandy Bay will have David Gainsford, a current umpire who plans to split his time between scoring on Saturday and umpiring on Sunday when the roster allows, looking after the Firsts, and David Austin the Seconds in what will be in his first season of computer scoring.  Club President 'Darby' Munro will be the back-up for both those individuals.Down at Kingborough, Club Secretary and long time scorer Robert Godfrey will once again be back with the First Grade side, while in Second Grade Andrea Dare will be there in what is her first season with the club.Some TCA clubs are extending computer scoring into junior ranks this season, Krystie Reynolds of Clarence, Scott Fisher at Lindisfarne and Anthony Tulk and Steve Jewell of North Hobart, the latter also an umpire this year, have been trained on the system to date.


Life Member Brian Pollard, who is standing in his twenty-fifth straight Tasmanian Cricket Association season this summer, is closing in on his 500th match as an umpire with the TCUSA.  On 472 games at the start of the season, Pollard is one of a number of members of the Association who looks like reaching a key milestone on the field sometime during the 2009-10 season.Another long-serving Life Member, Mark Gillard, is just fourteen games from reaching the 400 mark in what is his twenty-first season.  Steve Maxwell needs twenty-seven games in his eleventh summer with the TCUSA to reach 250 games; Wade Stewart eight for 200 in his ninth season; while Steven John, Alistair Scott and Martin Betts, all in their seventh summer with the Association, need fourteen, twenty-three and twenty-seven games respectively for 150.Those approach 100 are Nick McGann (eighty-seven in five seasons), David Gainsford (eighty-four, ten seasons) and Jamie Mitchell (eighty-three in four), while Caroline McGregor has nine to reach fifty in what is her second season.Many of the umpires listed have also stood in matches in other competitions in Tasmania, Australia and other parts of the world.



Kumar Dharmasena, one of three Sri Lankans on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier the International Umpires Panel (IUP), appears to have been appointed as the 'neutral' umpire for this week's two-match One Day International (ODI) series between South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Dharmasena stood in Sunday's opening game, his on-field colleague being South African ODI world record holder Rudi Koertzen, while the match referee was Javagal Srinath from India. Dharmasena was nominated to the IUP last year under somewhat controversial circumstances at home, the outcome of which continues to bubble away at the present time (E-News 520-2675 below), but that has not stopped him catching the eye of the ICC and others on the international scene.Last Sunday's match was Dharmasena's seventh as an umpire in an ODI and second outside Sri Lanka, the ICC having appointed him to a World Cup Qualifier series there last April (E-News 409-2163, 19 April 2009), although he did participate in 141 such games as a player in the period from 1994-2004.  He was also selected by organisers for the Indian Premier League's 2009 Twenty20 series in South Africa and last month's Champions League competition in India (E-News 499-2578, 1 October 2009).The ICC normally announces the names of neutral umpires and match referees for ODI series at least several days prior to them starting, but on this occasion that approach does not appear to have been followed.  The second and last match of the series is to be played at Centurion tonight Australian time and presumably the Sri Lankan will be standing with either Koertzen or a South African IUP member.


Former New Zealand Test player and umpire Eric Tindill became the world's longest-living Test cricketer over the weekend, when he turned 98 years, 325 days, surpassing the record of England player Francis MacKinnon who died in 1947.  Tindill, who lives in Wellington, played five Tests for New Zealand from 1937-1947 and stood in nine first class games, including a single Test in the period from 1957-61, and is therefore probably also the world's oldest Test umpire.Tindall made his Test playing debut at Lord's in June 1937 and went on to play two more games there during that tour, but then had to wait until Australia visited his homeland in 1946 and England the following year for his last two Tests.  His Test as an umpire was in Christchurch in 1959, England being the home side's opponents, his on-field colleague for that game being Jack Cowie, who was a team mate during the 1937 tour of England.In addition to his cricketing career, Tindall also made a single Test appearance for the All Blacks against England in 1936 and later referred Test rugby, and is the only Kiwi to have played and umpired Test matches in both sports.


TCUSA Life Members Brian Pollard and Tim Swifte are to officiate in a forty-over one-day match between the Australian Cricket Society and the visiting Over Sixties side from Auckland at the New Town Oval tomorrow.  The New Zealand side are to play a second game at Dover on Friday against the local side, former Tasmanian first class player and umpire Mike Gandy standing in that game with a local official.Auckland, who arrive in Hobart today, are in the state for next week's National Over Sixties Carnival.  That series which starts in Launceston this Sunday and runs until Thursday, is the fourth of its kind to date.  Umpires for the series, some of whom will be from interstate, are being coordinated by Northern Tasmania Cricket Association Administrator Paul Clark. 


A two-man 'Special Probe Committee' (SPC) has found "almost all the allegations" made against Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) current Umpires' Committee as having substance and called for the issues concerned to be addressed, says a report in Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper.  Despite that the SPC, which was appointed on the orders of Sri Lanka's Sports Minister three months ago, declined to blame any individual for the problems, instead calling for more “interaction” and “understanding” between umpires and the Umpires' Committee.According to the 'Mirror', the report to the Minister is believed to have called on the “SLC to be supportive but extremely professional with the workings of the Umpires' Committee and [to] completely steer clear of any kind of politics with the composition and functioning of this very important [group]”.  Earlier this year an unknown number of members of Sri Lanka's umpiring community complained about a number of aspects of the Umpires' Committee's work, including the selection of the country's current trio on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), and petitioned the country's political head about their concerns (E-News 479-2488, 23 August 2009).  A media report in early September suggested that the Minister was to receive the report from the SPC around that time (E-News 485-2518, 7 September 2009), but there has been no publicity about the issue until now. The SPC is said to have "found shortcomings" in the way umpires have been promoted and demoted by the Umpires' Committee, that the system "should be reviewed" and strict guidelines established for selection of first class and IUP umpires, and in a clear reference to current IUP member Kumara Dharmasena, for the 'fast-tracking' of former players into umpiring ranks.  The current discontent was sparked by Dharmasena rapid promotion to the IUP  (E-News 279-1487, 18 July 2008), but that has not prevented the ICC appointing him to a number of international matches outside his home country in the time since (E-News 520-2672 above).In addition to the promotions issue, the SPC also referred to the controversy surrounding allegations of cheating in exams by senior umpires (E-News 444-2309, 30 June 2009), recommending the immediate "elimination of anomalies in the marking system and the appointment of competent examiners".  They also want of at least three "independent, knowledgeable persons" on what is normally a five-person Umpires Committee as well as on interview panels, and request that the SLC handle match referees and the issues involved through a separate sub committee to the umpires.


Cricket South Africa (CSA) are investigating why a rain-interrupted forty-over match between the Highveld Lions and the Dolphins at Potchefstroom last Wednesday ended forty minutes after the 10.30 p.m. finish limit.  The competition's playing conditions state that "where the start of play is delayed or play is suspended, the scheduled hours of play shall not be extended" and overs are supposed to be deducted to facilitate a finish by that time. Brian Basson, CSA's general manager of cricket operations, told local media that "there may be circumstances that require the game to progress beyond the designated cut off [such as when a] team fielding second have a slow over rate ".  "I imagine that would not extend beyond one or two overs, which means it should finish by 10.40 p.m. [which is] still within reasonable bounds, [but] this match finished at 11.10 p.m., well past the scheduled finish time, says Basson.The match was initially reduced to thirty-eight overs a side, but the Lions, who batted second, were later set a revised Duckworth-Lewis target for thirty-one overs.  Reports say that there is some ambiguity in the playing conditions and Basson says that an inquiry is to be conducted into the issues involved.  Questions were also raised about the number of powerplay overs that were available to the Lions when they were in the field.Match referee Cyril Mitchley and umpires Karl Hurter and Earl Hendriks have been asked to provide a report on their view of the factors that were involved.


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have provided a list of thirty-two of its bowlers its deems as having doubtful actions to match referees, umpires' coaches and its panel of umpires and instructed that they be called "without warning" if they transgress the Laws of Cricket in domestic matches, say press reports from the sub-continent.  Guidelines issued by BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty last week are said to have asked match officials to "stay away" from suggesting or instructing any cricket association or captains "not to play a particular player", however, they are required during pre match meetings to "convey the warning and the outcome if any bowler from the circulated list plays and bowls with a suspect action".The 'Times of India' (TOI) said in an article yesterday that while the BCCI's act is "being appreciated", senior cricket board officials feel that the timing of the e-mail "wasn't right".  It was apparently sent to match officials last Tuesday, the day the first class season got underway there.  BCCI vice-president Chirayu Amin told TOI, that his organisation "is taking appropriate action to clean up the game, however, the timing should have been better [for] I think they should have done it a couple of months ago" (E-News 482-2495, 28 August 2009). The BCCI's instruction is thought by some reports to be the reason Baroda spinner Rajesh Pawar was called for a suspect action on the second day of the match against Delhi in Vadodara by umpires Anil Dandekar and Vishwas Nerukar.  He bowled twenty overs on the first day but wasn't called on again during the match.  The BCCI's e-mail is said to have indicted that Pawar's action was "beyond the twenty degree category and hence he was called", an unnamed source said. Many of the bowlers involved were "unexpectedly" identified during an analysis of match videos of umpire performance, a system that had been introduced in all BCCI matches, including age-group ones, as part of a program to improve umpiring standards (E-News 193-1054, 8 February 2008).  Media reports in some parts of India indicate that bowlers whose actions are found to continue to be suspect face an end of their playing careers, although those claims have not yet been confirmed by official sources.


Clancy Mack from the Leeward Islands and Norman Malcolm of Jamaica stood in the final of the West Indian Cricket Board's Presidents Cup one-day series in Guyana last week.  Clyde Duncan of Guyana and Goleande Greaves from the Windward Islands were paired in the first semi final of the competition and Mack and Greaves the second.  The four, who are all on the West Indian section of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), worked with eight other umpires in the round-robin section of the nine-day tournament (E-News 503-2603, 8 October 2009).  Their selection for the finals suggests they have retained their IUP positions for another year, Duncan and Malcolm in on-field positions and Greaves and Mack as television umpires.  




TCUSA members Sam Nogajski and Jamie Mitchell are to stand in the second three-day Futures League match to be played in Hobart when Tasmania hosts Queensland at Lindisfarne next week.  Nogajski, who stood in the first Futures game played at Bellerive with Nick McGann late last month (E-News 513-2641, 27 October 2009), will also be on the field there this afternoon with Mike Graham-Smith for the women's Twenty20 (WT20) match between the home side and Western Australia.The four Tasmanian State Umpires Panel members are amongst twenty-eight umpires from the six states and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) who have been appointed by Cricket Australia (CA) to the nine Futures League, twelve Womens National Cricket League (WNCL) one-day, and nine WT20 matches scheduled over the first two months of the 2009-10 season.   Home-city umpires from the respective higher-level panels in each cricketing Association have been used for the eight matches listed for Canberra, one Futures, four WNCL and three WT20 (1-4-3), five in Perth (2-2-1), four each in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney (all 1-2-1), three in Hobart (2-0-1) and two in Brisbane (1-0-1).  In addition to the four Tasmanians, five umpires each from the ACT, New South Wales and Western Australia, four South Australians, three Queenslanders and two Victorians have been nominated for the first two months of games.  Matches in the three competitions are, after First Grade cricket, at the bottom rung of CA's umpire's pathway to the top, which runs up through youth championship series, senior interstate one-day and Twenty20 matches, to the Emerging Players tournament and the National Umpires Panel itself.  The performance of each umpire in the Futures, WNCL one-day and the majority of WNCL T20 matches has been watched and evaluated by members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel, and their observations will be used to guide on-going selections to matches that are conducted under the national body's control.No Futures League games are scheduled for December, however, six WNCL and four WT20 matches are listed, two of the latter being played in Tasmania, the first at the NTCA ground in Launceston early in the month and the second at Bellerive just before New Year.  Appointments to next month's games, as well as what is for umpires the high-profile men's national Under 19 tournament in Canberra, have yet to be announced by CA.  Eight umpires are normally selected for the Under 19 series are they are likely to come from within the twenty-eight named for Futures and women's games to date.  The Under 19 series is to run over twelve days commencing on 29 November, each of the six state and two Territory representative sides playing three two-day, two one-day, and two Twenty20 matches.  


Next week's First Test between India and Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad will see the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) used 'officially' in a Test match for the first time.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) agreed last June to roll the system out around the world from 1 October onwards, the three-Test series between the two sides being the first to be played since that date (E-News 442-2400, 28 June 2009).The First Test is due to get underway on Tuesday but the ICC is yet to announce just who the three umpires for the series will be, eleven of the ICC's twelve-man Elite Umpires Panel, and four of its seven-man match referees group, qualifying as 'neutral' officials for the series.  Another interesting issue awaiting clarification is whether as reported by one media outlet early last month, the trio involved will rotate between on-feld and television umpire roles from session-to-session throughout the game or not (E-News 500-2584, 2 October 2009).


A player given a six-week suspension for using “seriously insulting language" to umpire in a semi-final match in the Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association last March, who was later banned for the current season after going public about the matter (E-News 413-2182, 28 April 2009), has had the latter censure squashed by the South East Queensland cricket board, according to a story published by the 'Queensland Times' this week.       The appeal committee rescinded the season ban on Michael Ridgewell, amending it a two-year suspended sentence instead, however, it confirmed his six week 'holiday' from the game and in an unusual move tagged on to it the requirement that he attend a Level 1 umpiring course prior to his return to the field of play.  Ridgewell conceded to the 'Times' that his original suspension was a “worthy” punishment for his on-field behaviour during the semi-final game and that the course was helping him to "see a different side" of the issues involved.  “I’ve never been totally against the [umpires]", he said, for "I do have some respect but obviously I’ve got to shut my mouth a bit more".  The player told the 'Times' in April that his remarks during last March's semi final weren't directed towards the umpire, however, he went on to describe one of the umpires to the newspaper as "third-grade at best", and that umpires have "had it in for [him] for a long time, maybe it's because I play my cricket hard".  Ridgewell will not be returning to the Ipswich Association but rather plans to start playing in lower levels of Queensland Grade cricket with South Brisbane.    


South African umpire Johan Cloete, who made his debut in first class cricket at the age of twenty-one sixteen years ago and became a third umpiring member of the International Umpires  Panel (IUP) three months ago (E-News 476-2479, 19 August 2009), made his debut in a One Day International (ODI) overnight.  Cloete stood in the match between South Africa and Zimbabwe with Sri Lankan IUP member Kumar Dharmasena the International Cricket Council's (ICC) neutral umpire for the two-match series (E-News 520-2672, 10 November 2009).ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Rudi Koertzen of South Africa was on the field with Dharmasena in the first of the two ODIs between the two sides on Sunday, thirty-eight year old Cloete making his ODI debut in the television suite in that game.  Cloete is no stranger to the third umpire's role having worked in that capacity in seven first class, twenty-five List A and thirteen Twenty20 domestic games in South Africa prior to Sunday's ODI.  Koertzen was the third umpire in last night's ODI, his forty-first in that role in that form and level of the game, two of them being in the 2003 and 2007 World Cup finals. 


Saturday's Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) games in the Hobart, which will this week be played in the one-day format, look like being conducted in hot weather, the current Bureau of Meteorology forecast for that day being for fine weather and a maximum temperature of thirty degrees Celsius.  A large High pressure system will, like last weekend, be located in the Tasman Sea and bring warm northerly winds from the mainland across the state, but a cold front is expected to have crossed the Hobart area before Sunday's matches get underway bringing showers to the south.    As a result, the weather outlook for Friday and Tuesday evening's TCA women's and men's Twenty20 also looks positive with temperatures around twenty-two degrees, however, Sunday's games may have to compete with "a few showers", a situation that might also apply to Brighton Twenty20 games on Monday evening.     TCUSA umpires and scorers taking part in games on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday can keep a close eye on the weather forecast for the day by going to the 'yellow box' at the top right of the Association's web site at any time. 




 Cricket Australia (CA) has emphasised the "significant importance" of umpiring appointments to Futures League three-day and Twenty20 (T20) series in its umpiring pathway.  In naming the six umpires from five cricket associations for next month's Futures T20 tournament yesterday, one of whom is Tasmanian Sam Nogajski, the national body stated that those games will be the "primary environment" in which it identifies umpires who could move on to next year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) and, if they are good enough, on to the National Umpires Panel.CA's Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford says that the national body's Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) "has confirmed" that its umpire high performance pathway runs up from "State Squads, to the national Under 19 male championships, to the Futures League, then Futures League T20, the EPT, to the National Umpires Panel and on to International level.  No mention is made of Women's National Cricket League matches in that development chain.  Apart from Nogajski, others appointed by CA for the three-day Futures T20 series in Melbourne from 14-17 December were Andy Collins (South Australia), Yohan Ramasundara (Australian Capital Territory), and Peter Tate (New South Wales), while host Cricket Victoria is said to have appointed Ash Barrow and Phil Proctor.   The six named are among twenty-seven umpires that have been given CA sponsored matches below senior interstate over the past two months (E-News 521-2679, 11 November 2009). Records available to E-News indicate that Collins, forty-seven, is the only one of the six with first class games under his belt, although the last was three years ago, and has also been involved in eighteen List A matches, eleven of them on the field. He was at the 2003 Under 17 (U17) and 2004 Under 19 (U19) men's tournaments, and has stood in seven Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) games, the predecessor to the Futures competition.Barrow, who is the same age as Collins, was rated in the top four emerging umpires by CA at this year's EPT in August this year (E-News 466-2419, 1 August 2009),  He currently has two U17 (2000, 2008) and a single U19 (2008) series to his credit, plus nine CAC or Futures games.  The Victorian made his List A television umpire debut last weekend, and has a second such appointment plus a debut match on the field at that level in the period prior to the Futures T20 event (E-News 512-2635, 26 October 2009).  At forty-four Tate, like Collins and Barrow, has been on the national scene for a while, and has two Under 19 (2006 and 2008) series to his credit, as well as three CAC games and a List A match in the television suite.  Data available suggests he is yet to attend an EPT series.  Sri Lankan born Ramasundara and Nogajski, who are both thirty-one, are the two younger umpires in the six-man group.  Ramasundara is no stranger to matches that are on the pathway CA has identified, having stood in the last four U19 national series, five CAC games plus a Futures match.  Nogajski is not so high-profile at the moment, officiating in last year's U19 men's series, and a CAC game, and to date this season he has been named to two Futures three-day matches, but he is highly regarded in his home state.   Barrow's state colleague Proctor, who age is not available, has limited experience in pathway events, his single CAC and Futures games both coming this year, and he seems to have skipped the U19 men's series to date.  However, while it has announced the Futures T20 umpire for a series that is currently four weeks away, CA is yet to publicise who it has selected for the 2009 U19 series which is due to start in Canberra in fourteen days time (E-News 5212-2679, 11 November 2009).Match referees named for the T20 series are CA Umpire High Performance Panel members Bob Stratford and Steve Small who are from Victoria and NSW respectively.


The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) "will not be used" during the three-match India-Sri Lanka Test series despite the ICC agreeing in June that the system would become a permanent fixture from October this year (E-News 442-2400, 28 June 2009), says a report published in the 'Hindustani Times' yesterday.  At the same time Pakistan's 'The Nation' said in a story that the system "may not be used" in the series, the first match of which is due to commence in Ahmedebad on Monday.     'The Nation' quotes what it calls "highly placed sources in the ICC" in Dubai as saying that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) "has expressed reservations [about] the system and has asked for “certain clarification”, a move that is said to have been "possibly" triggered at the request of Indian players.  The newspaper also makes the statement that the ICC's June decision means that it "was virtually compulsory for all series to have the necessary infrastructure in place" from 1 October. High-profile Indian player Sachin Tendulkar told 'India Today' late last month that he was "not particularly happy with the [UDRS]" (E-News 514-2651, 29 October 2009).  The system was first trialled during India’s Test tour of Sri Lanka last year, when almost every Sri Lankan challenge bore fruit, while a majority of the ones India made came to nought (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008). The unnamed ICC official was quoted by 'The Nation' as saying that "we have received a letter from the BCCI expressing their concern over the system, we are trying to sort out the matter and if it does not work, it may not be used in this series".  "However", the source continued, “both the Pakistan Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket have agreed in principle to have this system in place for the forthcoming three-Test series in New Zealand” which starts in Dunedin on Tuesday week.  Just when the BCCI's letter was received by the ICC was not stated.Despite the fact that the start of the India-Lanka series is only three days away the ICC is yet to publicly name who the match officials will be for the three matches (E-News 521-2680, 11 November 2009).  Officials for the Pakistan-NZ series in ten days time have also not been announced, but there has been speculation that Australian umpire Rod Tucker may be involved at that level for the first time in that series (E-News 513-2643, 27 October 2009).   


"Hundreds of people" are said to have attended the funeral in Devon yesterday of former England umpire David Shepherd who died two weeks ago (E-News 514-2648, 29 October 2009).  Following a private cremation, family and friends were joined at the service in his home village of Instow by former cricketing colleagues, including a number on the England and Wales Cricket Board's current first class umpires list.Those attending are said to have filled the church and its associated rooms across the road, while many also defied the rain and wind in what is often a breezy part of the Devon coast, to stand in the churchyard and listen to the service relayed through speakers.  A senior Anglican minister, Michael Vockings, who is a former secretary of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, gave a eulogy, say reports.


Indian Premier League (IPL) teams are to use pink balls for warm-up matches and practice sessions next year, according to a story published in the London 'Daily Telegraph' yesterday.  The move was agreed to at a meeting of the IPL franchises in Bangkok on Wednesday, and if the trial proves to be successful they could be used in the Twenty20 competition proper.John Stephenson, the assistant secretary of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), is reported to have given a presentation to IPL franchise owners in Bangkok, and as a result Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, agreed to "take delivery of 200 balls" that "could also be used" in next year's Champions League Twenty20 series, says the 'Telegraph'.Stephenson was quoted as saying that "the concept of using pink balls in the IPL received a very positive reception from the franchise owners", and that their "successful use in the IPL would be a major step towards their acceptance in international cricket, as it would expose most of the world's top Test players to the ball".  He is said to have continued with the comment that the move "adds further weight to the IPL's standing as a progressive force in the game".Over the past two years (E-News 133-726, 14 November 2007), the MCC has been working on the development of pink balls in part because of it and the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) desire to conduct day-night Test matches.  The club has overseen that ball's development and used them in a range of competitions in England, the experiment also extending to elsewhere, including Australia, at times.  Both the MCC and ECB hoped that such a Test would be played at Lord's next May, however, Keith Bradshaw, the MCC's Tasmanian-born Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, was quoted as saying in June that it is "unlikely" such a game would be played in 2010 because it is proving to be a "struggle to find the right ball" (E-News 442-2301, 28 June 2009).  In September, Bradshaw indicated that the MCC was hopeful that further match trials would be conducted in England sometime that month and also overseas throughout the 2009-10 northern winter (E-News 488-2531, 12 September 2009). The trial in England did not proceed after Worcestershire and Durham declined to experiment with a pink ball in their final County Championship match, and the proposal for a Lord's day-night Test in 2010 was subsequently dropped (E-News 501-2589, 2 October 2009).The web site reported yesterday that the MCC, which signed a three-year agreement with Abu Dhabi Cricket Club to become Associate Club partners last week, is considering holding the traditional opening match of the 2010 English season between the MCC and the champion county, this year Durham, which would normally be played at Lord's, in Abu Dhabi under floodlights using pink balls In a comment that again adds further confusion to the situation that actually applies, that story claims that "the fate of the first ever Test match" under flood lights at Lord's next May "still hangs in balance".  Glean Read, an MCC official "said from Lord's" that he was "unfortunately unable to tell [the web site reporter] much, other than [that] discussions are still ongoing", which suggests on the surface at least that little headway is being made with the issues involved.In other news from the IPL's Bangkok meeting, the league is said to have abandoned the use of a twelfth man and that instead teams will be able to "select four fielding substitutes instead", but whether it will be used as a sought of "interchange" bench as in some other sports was not made clear.


New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden is to be the neutral umpire in Australia's five-match One Day International (ODI) series against the West Indies in February, says a report published in yesterday's 'Otago Times'.  The 'Times' states that the ODIs are Bowden's "next international appointment", which if correct means that he will have had a four-month break since his last match assignment by the International Cricket Council (ICC).Bowden spoke to the 'Times' in Dunedin on Wednesday where he was working as part of New Zealand Cricket's initiative to develop the country's umpires (E-News 491-2544, 16 September 2009).  His first assignment was to watch first class umpires Barry Frost and Gary Baxter in Otago's four-day match against Northern Districts.The ICC Elite Umpire Panel member said that in New Zealand players had coaches, managers and mentors, but umpires were mostly on their own.  "There is no-one who can really sit down and watch them and help them through" and he was not only at the match to provide appraisals of the two umpires but also to offer some support in a mentoring role.  "We have got some very good umpires who have done over fifty first-class games, so we've got some experience there; we just need to get their confidence and mental capacity up, because they have got it".  Bowden, who the 'Times' says spends up to nine months a year out of the country officiating, "enjoyed having a lower profile" at the Dunedin match.  "Mentally and physically you get a bit drained [doing international cricket] and to come back and umpire domestic cricket does not do my health any good, or the game any good", runs the quote attributed to him.Next February's ODI series will take Bowden's on-field match tally in that form of the game to 141 matches.  His last ICC match assignment in Australia was for the Third Test between the home side and South Africa last January. 


Cricket Australia (CA) has appointed International Umpire Panel members Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) and Paul Reiffel (Victoria) to stand in the 'All Stars' Twenty20 matches at the Gabba on Sunday week.  Local Norm McNamara will be the third umpire for the game and CA Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford the match referee.Oxenford and McNamara are to also work together on the field in the three-day tour match between Queensland and the West Indies that is to start at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane next Wednesday.  Reiffel was originally named to stand with McNamara in that match and the reason for the change is unknown (E-News 513-2642, 27 October 2009).  CA's Perth-based Umpire High Performance Panel member Ric Evans will perform match referee duties, as well as his normal observational role, during the game.


Three members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) European Officials Association (EOA), Niels Bagh (Denmark), Paul Baldwin (Germany) and Ian Ramage (Scotland), have been appointed to the Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand in January, according to the November edition of 'Signals', the EOA's newsletter.  The story suggests that the ICC plans to appoint ten umpires for that competition, however, sixteen were used for the last such series in Malaysia in 2008 (E-News 185-999, 29 January 2009).    'Signals' says that the three Europeans, who are all members of the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel (AAUP), will work in the U19 series "alongside three other [AAUP members], and four from the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP)".  In 2008 the ICC used ten IUP and six AAUP members for that Under 19 World Cup, Baldwin being amongst that number.  Baldwin and Bagh together with Irish umpires Trevor Magee and Charlie McElwee also worked in the U19 World Cup Qualifier event in Canada in September.As yet the ICC has not made an announcement about match referees and umpires for the World Cup, however, the fact that publicity is being given to the three Europeans, logistics considerations, and publicly available information (E-News 522-2688 above), suggest the panel that will be involved has already been decided.  The ICC has been somewhat slow in publicly naming just who its match officials will be of late. 


'Morning drizzle' is the Bureau of Meteorology's (BoM) latest outlook for Tasmanian Cricket Association games that are to be played around Hobart tomorrow, the cold front that computer projections earlier this week showed would not cross until Saturday evening, progressing eastwards faster than originally anticipated (E-News 521-2683, 11 November 2009).  While TCUSA members managing matches may have to contend with dampish outfields in the morning, cloudy conditions first thing currently look like clearing to a fine afternoon with a pleasant maximum temperature of twenty-one degrees.  Those involved on Sunday face the same temperature but with the weather itself in the reverse. "late showers" being forecast at this stage as a trough approaches the state, although current indications are that they will occur after play ends for the day.Given that meteorology, like some other human professions such as economics and the medicine to give but two examples, is an inexact science, it pays to keep up-to-date with the latest weather developments before and on match day, and the latest forecasts, weather radar images and the like are continuously available by clicking on the yellow box at the top right of the TCUSA's web site.  Such information can be accessed by match officials from some grounds around Hobart - its worth checking. 




Weekend reports from Ahmedebad have confirmed that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be used for the three-match series between India and Sri Lanka which starts there later today Australian time (E-News 522-2685, 13 November 2009).  Its use in three other nations this current austral summer is also in doubt, the costs involved in its operation apparently being a factor in its rejection by some national Boards, even though they agreed to bring it on line permanently five months ago (E-News 442-2400, 28 June 2009).Pakistan and New Zealand are said to have agreed "in principal" to using the system across the Tasman for their series which starts tomorrow week, however, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has indicated that it will not use it in Tests against England next month, while a media report yesterday stated that a "high-ranking International Cricket Council (ICC) official" is to "rush to Australia" to try and "sort out" the situation here prior to the commencement of the home side's series against the West Indies in ten days time.'Fox News' reported yesterday that the ICC official, almost certainly its cricket operations manager David Richardson, will visit after what it says were "urgings from senior figures within Australian cricket", and that he "will brief Test skipper Ricky Ponting and other key cricket stakeholders, including Channel 9 commentators", on "how the system works".  Why such a briefing is needed after a well-publicised series of trials, discussions by various committees of both the Marylebone Cricket Club and the ICC, and the June decision by the world body to implement the system full-time in Tests from last month (E-News 442-2400, 28 June 2009), is difficult to comprehend.  'Fox' makes the claim though that "there is no doubt" the system will be used in Australia this summer for the Tests against the West Indies and Pakistan, although the Cricinfo web site says there are "no guarantees" that will in fact be the case. Australian players gained some experience with the UDRS during Tests in South Africa earlier this year (E-News 382-2027, 6 March 2009), although it was not used during the Ashes series in England as the Board there has not been enthusiastic about some basic principles involved (E-News 370-1971, 12 February 2009. Ponting and other leading Australia players are said to have felt that the referral process often took too long (E-News 470-2435, 7 August 2009), and sometimes did not produce the correct decision.  "It often left egg on the faces of players who decided which decisions to challenge and often it proved umpires were better judges", says the 'Fox' report.  Former Australian captain Ian Chappell said in September that in his view training better umpires is a higher priority than more technology (E-News 485-2515, 7 September 2009)Cricinfo is reporting that problems have arisen because broadcasters and national boards have baulked at the cost of implementing the UDRS.  The ICC is is understood to have indicated in June that it would not be responsible for the costs involved but rather individual Boards or broadcasters, or both, however, they are said to believe that the ICC itself should fund a system it is pushing to implement. Equipment such as 'Hawk-Eye', ultra slow motion cameras, "Hot Spot" and the like are costly, and additional technical staff are needed to support the UDRS, say reports.Gerald Majola, CSA's Chief Executive Officer was quoted by Cricinfo as saying that the referral system "will not be used [for the England Test series]".  "We informed the ICC [in June] that we would not be paying for it", continued Majola, and "our broadcaster is not prepared to pay the additional costs required", therefore "if the ICC wants it, they will have to provide the funds".Board of Control for Cricket in India Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty, said there was "nothing to explain" about his Board's decision to not use the system for the Test series against Sri Lanka, and he apparently didn't.  India originally supported the implementation of the UDRS but are said to have been dissuaded by players who have reservations about the effectiveness of referrals (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008).The ICC has stated a number of times over the last year that the UDRS reduced the number of incorrect decisions made by umpires and also cut down on the instances of player dissent (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008).


E-News understands that Australian umpire Daryl Harper and New Zealander Tony Hill are to stand in the First Test between India and Sri Lanka which is due to commence in Ahmedebad later today Australian time.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) is yet to announce just who the officials for the series will be, a situation that has probably arisen because of what may have been the very late rejection, by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, of the use of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in the three Tests (E-News 523-2692 above).With the UDRS listed for the series, the ICC was expected to name three neutral umpires, two on-field and a third in the television suite, however, the latter will not now be needed and will, if the world body follows its normal practice, be replaced by an Indian member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel.  Should the same situation apply for Tests listed for South Africa, Australia and New Zealand over the next two months, the ICC will have to manage the related uncertainties that flow into its appointment of umpires for the twelve Tests involved, especially as appointments are likely to have already been made.


A group from New Zealand company Animation Research (AR) trialled up-graded 'Virtual Eye' ball-tracking equipment and other technology it declined to identify, in the first class match between Otago and Northern Districts in Dunedin last week, says a story published in the 'Otago Times'.  AR's 'Virtual Eye', which is similar to 'Hawk-Eye', was used in the trial of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) last year (E-News 284-1508, 24 July 2008).AR won a contract to provide 'Sky' Television with 3D graphics and its ball-tracking package for use in Tests between New Zealand and Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia over the next four months, the first of which, against Pakistan, is due to get underway in Dunedin tomorrow week.  Whether the company's systems will contribute to the proposed UDRS use in the Pakistan Tests should it go ahead (E-News 523-2692), was not spelt out.Cricket operations manager for AR, Troy McNeill, told the 'Times' that everything was "going as expected".  "This trial is to avoid that first-game nightmare that you might get at the start of a tour", he said.  In general the systems have worked well, according to the report, although there have been difficulties in some areas but "hopefully, we'll get all that stuff sorted out before the [First Test]", said McNeill.Most of the LBW decisions made in the Otago match "appeared to be good ones", said McNeill, "but there was one 'howler' where the ball pitched outside leg".  "It was an interesting delivery because it swung one way and seamed quite sharply back the other [and] if you were looking at it as an umpire you would have thought it had pitched and hit [the batsman] in line", he said.McNeill indicated to the 'Times' that there is a possibility that the use of his company's equipment could be used further in domestic cricket, particularly New Zealand Cricket's Twenty20 tournament.  Domestic cricket could also be used as a training ground to test new technology and train personnel, he said.It was also revealed that AR tested some new technology last week that might be seen during the summer across the Tasman Sea.  However, McNeill became tight-lipped when asked for details, citing commercial sensitivity, says the 'Times' report.


Tamil Nadu's captain Dinesh Karthik has been banned for one Ranji Trophy match after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute by excessive appealing and charging towards the umpire in the match against Gujarat in Ahmedabad late last week.  Match referee Sanjay Patil fined Karthik seventy-five per cent of his match fee and banned him from his side's next match which starts in Amritsar tomorrow.Around the same time in Mohali, Hyderabad captain VVS Laxman was fined twenty per cent of his match fee after his side were five overs behind the required over-rate in Punjab's second innings. His team-mates lost ten per cent of their fees, while Punjab just escaped a fine after their captain Ankur Kakkar rushed through twenty overs during the last hour on the final day by using spinners.At Eden Gardens, match referee Sanjib Paul fined both Bengal and Baroda captains, Connor Williams and Laxmi Shukla respectively, twenty per cent of their match fees for slow over-rates, their playing colleagues receiving ten per cent fines.  Baroda's Satyajit Parab was given an official reprimand for aggressive appealing during Bengal's innings.


New Zealand bowler Kyle Mills was fined twenty per cent of his match fee after an incident in his side's final One Day International against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last week.  Mills was charged by match officials with three offences, showing dissent at an umpire's decision, using obscene language, and excessive appealing, however, the first was subsequently rolled into the other two.The thirty-year-old pleaded guilty to using obscene language when an appeal for the caught behind was turned down in the second last over of the match when the game was in the balance, however, he pleaded not guilty to the two other chargesMatch referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council that he "fully accepts it was a crucial moment in the match and [that Mills] was caught up in that excitement".  "However, his actions went far beyond what is acceptable behaviour on the cricket field, he was heard to use an offensive expletive and clearly he was guilty of excessive appealing by celebrating a dismissal before the umpire had given his decision", he said.Pycroft was "content to dismiss the charge of dissent" because he felt it was "tied up with the other two offences and so it would be unfair to charge him with that as well".  The fine handed down, ten per cent for each charge, are said to have been "relatively low" because of Mills good conduct record, "and the fact that he is a senior member of a team that has shown itself to play consistently within the spirit of the game" (E-News 500-2583, 2 October 2009).The charges were laid by on-field umpires Bruce Oxenford (Australia) and Nadeem Ghauri (Pakistan), along with the latter's countrymen, third umpire Zameer Haider and fourth official Ahsan Raza.



England has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its Twenty20 International (T20I) against South Africa at Centurion on Sunday, and thus becomes the first side to be censured under the International Cricket Council"s (ICC) enhanced Code of Conduct (CoC) regulations that came into force late last week. Indian match referee Javagal Srinath imposed the fines after Alastair Cook's side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.  The penalty was accepted by England without contest therefore there was no need for a hearing into the matter.  Under new CoC arrangements governing over-rates which were agreed to by the ICC back in June, slow over-rate fines have been doubled from ten-per-cent per over of match fees for captains and five for his players, to twenty and ten per cent respectively.  It addition, the captain of a side involved in three such fines in the same format of the game in a rolling twelve-month period can be banned from his team's next match in that form of the game (E-News 442-2300, 28 June 2009).  As a result, Cook, who was standing in for the injured Paul Collingwood, was fined twenty per cent of his match fee while his players received ten-per-cent fines.  If Cook, as captain, is found guilty of two further similar over-rate offences in T20Is over the next twelve months, he will receive a one-match suspension.  In the five months between the ICC's decision to tighten fines and the introduction of the revamped CoC, the world body's match referees handed down fines on nine occasions across the game's three formats, five national teams being involved, England three times, the West Indies and Australia twice each, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka both once (E-News 517-2660, 4 November 2009).




The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reverted to its normal match officials appointments policy for Test matches in the series between India and Sri Lanka that commenced in Ahmedebad yesterday, rather than the three neutral umpire arrangement that would have been required if the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) had been in use as originally planned (E-News 523-2693, 16 November 2009).While the ICC is yet to publicly announce who will oversee the three-Test series, Australian umpire Daryl Harper and New Zealander Tony Hill are as reported by E-News yesterday on the field for the First Test, while Jeff Crowe of New Zealand is the match referee, Indian member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel Amish Saheba is in the television umpire's spot, and another local, first class umpire Shashank Ranade, the fourth umpire.The 'umpires appointments' page on the ICC's web site is currently only listing series that ended last week.  No details are available as to who will be managing the five-game One Day International series between South Africa and England which starts this Friday, the three Tests between New Zealand and Pakistan that get underway next Tuesday, or the three Tests between Australia and the West Indies that commence on Thursday week,  Issues related to question marks that hang over the use of the UDRS appear likely to be behind the delays involved in naming match officials and most likely involve neutral umpire appointments.



Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar believes that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has helped subdue the "nastiness" that prevailed in international cricket and "brought goodwill among players all over the world".  Gavaskar is said to have told reporters in Mumbai yesterday that in his time "there used to be intense rivalry as every player used to play to win", but "the IPL has brought players from different countries together and created a good rapport among them".



A player has been suspended for two weeks by in the Taranaki Cricket Association (TCA) in New Zealand for what a report in the 'Taranaki Daily News' indicates was "unacceptable behaviour in an off-field incident" earlier this month.  Hawera United batsman Mark Parsons was found guilty of a breach of the TCA's Code of Conduct at a disciplinary hearing held in New Plymouth last week.In releasing the findings, TCA chairman Neil Sulzberger said an official report lodged by the umpire at the game involved said that Parson's conduct had involved "abusing, disputing or questioning an umpire's decision, or reacting in an obviously provocative or disapproving manner after an umpire's decision".  Another charge laid by the unnamed official was that the player indulged in conduct that was "prejudicial to the interests of cricket".  Last season New Zealand Cricket (NZC) stepped in and doubled the suspension given by the TCA player from the Hawera club for unruly behaviour in a match.  The TCA suspended the player for two weeks but that was doubled after NZC lodged and won an appeal against the local association's findings (E-News 374-1991, 18 February 2009).No details of just what occurred in this season's match were released by the TCA's judicial committeemen Maurice Betts and Brian Bellringer.



All twenty-five registered players from a team in the Bradford and District Evening League (BDEL) have been suspended from all forms of cricket in Yorkshire because of their failure to pay fines totalling £312 ($A560) that were handed to them during the 2009 northern summer season, says a report published in Bradford's 'Telegraph and Argus' newspaper late last week.Of the amount owed, £140 ($A250) involve umpiring fees, and £172 ($A310) for such things as failing to phone in match results or submit match report sheets.In a joint letter to the Yorkshire Cricket Board’s (YCB) transfer and disciplinary officer Ian Livesey, BDEL secretary Steve Priestley and league chairman Tom Priestley say that "despite many telephone calls to the club’s secretary" and the "personal delivery of a letter to the club secretary's address" by them, no response has been received.  The newspaper's report says that the suspensions "are certain to be backed up" by the YCB as the BDEL are affiliated to it.Livesey told the 'Argus', however, that it is possible that individual suspensions might be lifted if a player paid their one twenty-fifth share of the total owing, or £12.48 ($A23), to the league.  They would thus be eligible to play for another club if their current side remains suspended at the start of next season.



Former TCUSA member Rod Tucker, who now lives in New South Wales, has been named as the 'neutral' umpire for the five-match One Day International (ODI) series between South Africa and England which gets underway in Johannesburg late on Friday evening Australia time.  The appointment, which was announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday, is the latest milestone in Tucker's rapid rise up umpiring ranks, Friday's game being only his thirty-third List A match and fourth top-tier ODI.Tucker was only elevated to the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel as a third umpire in June last year (E-News 251-1375, 3 June 2008), then into an on-field slot on the panel just four months later following the sudden resignation of Australian umpire Peter Parker (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008).   He made his debut in international cricket as a third umpire in an ODI in Darwin in September last year, and then on the field in January's match between Australia and South Africa at Bellerive.Last March the ICC named him and three others to its then new emerging umpires group (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009), then appointed him to a World Cup Qualifying tournament in South Africa, where he also worked during an umpiring exchange arranged by Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009).  After that the ICC used him and the three other emerging umpires in the World Twenty20 Championship in England in June.India's Javagal Srinath is the match referee for the forthcoming ODIs, while South African members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Marais Erasmus, Brian Jerling and Johan Cloete, will be appointed by Cricket South Africa to either the second on-field, or third umpire, positions.Reports suggest that Tucker has been appointed to a Test match, but the speculation that he made be working in the Test series between New Zealand and Pakistan over the next month proved to be false (E-News 525-2693 below).  However, the odds that his first Test will be in the one-off match between NZ and Bangladesh in Hamilton in mid-February appear to have firmed (E-News 500-2585, 2 October 2009).


The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is to be used in the three-Test series between New Zealand and Pakistan,  according to reports from across the Tasman yesterday.  Confirmation of the plan comes after both India and South Africa discounted its use in their home series against Sri Lanka and England respectively, and at a time when there are question marks about whether Australia and West Indies will see it in their three Tests prior to Christmas (E-News 524-2688, 17 November 2009 and 525-2694 below).  The First Test is scheduled to start at Dunedin's University Oval on Tuesday, a ground that saw the review system used in trial mode in the home side's series against the West Indies last December, its first use in New Zealand, and it will now be the host for the first official use of the system in Tests.  Several glitches are reported to have surfaced in the NZ-Windies series with some "language problems among the umpires making for a lengthy time to make decisions and numerous referrals", says a story published in NZ on Tuesday. New Zealand Cricket's umpires manager Rodger McHarg, who confirmed that the UDRS will be in use next week, is said to believe that most of the problems experienced in trials of the system were ironed out at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual referees and umpires seminar in Dubai last month (E-News 500-2584, 2 October 2009), and that the system will work quicker as the officials become more familiar with it.  Three senior members of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel are to work in the series (E-News 525-2695 below), and ICC umpiring official Doug Cowie, a Kiwi, will be there during the match to oversee the system's implementation.The 'Cricinfo' web site reported yesterday that Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager of cricket, has launched "a last-ditch attempt to salvage the UDRS", spending "much of the past week locked in discussions" with Boards and television broadcasters from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand to convince them to carry the costs involved in the system.  The latter was key issue behind the current uncertainties (E-News 523-2692, 16 November 2009).Richardson is said to not be confident of changing the minds of the South Africans but he is "still talking to the [television] broadcaster [there], so it's not definitely off but I would have to say it is unlikely at this stage", however, he was said to be "slightly more confident" that it will be implemented in Australia."If the ICC pays [for the system] then all members will be sharing the cost to provide someone else's series", said Richardson, describing the situation as a "difficult interim period" where boards have existing deals with broadcasters and "we're going to have to fight through it".  "We have to rely on members to persuade their broadcast partners of the merits of this [as it] is good for the game, and broadcasters have an opportunity to commercialise the technology". The current controversy appears to have erupted very suddenly for the ICC, an England team spokesman telling the 'Daily Telegraph' earlier this week that his side "came [to South Africa] with the understanding that [the UDRS] would be in place for the Tests" and that the situation "has thrown things out a little bit" for his side.The Dunedin Test will see New Zealand company Animation Research's up-graded 'Virtual Eye' ball-tracking equipment, plus other technology that is yet to be identified publicly, in use (E-News 523-2694, 16 November 2009), although to what degree the various equipment involved will contribute to the UDRS is not clear at this stage.  




Three Englishmen and a Pakistani will be managing the three-Test series between Australia and the West Indies over the next month, appointments that suggest the International Cricket Council (ICC) anticipates that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be used for the first time in Australia.  Uncertainty currently exists as to whether the system will make its debut in Australia for the forthcoming series, the ICC's general manager of cricket currently being engaged in negotiations to try and ensure it does (E-News 525-2693 above).  Of the four match officials, Chris Broad will be the match referee and his countrymen Mark Benson and Ian Gould two of the umpires, while Asad Rauf of Pakistan is the third.  Rauf and Gould are to stand in the First Test in Brisbane starting a week today, Benson being in the third umpire position, Gould and Benson will be on the field for the second in Adelaide, with Rauf the television official, while Benson and Rauf will be a-field for the last game which is to be played in Perth, and Gould the third umpire.Following the series Gould, who will be standing in a Test in Australia for the first time, will take his record at the game's highest level to twenty-nine matches, Rauf to twenty-eight and Benson to twenty-nine, while Broad's tally as a Test match referee will reach thirty-eight games.  Benson and Rauf were involved in five and three Tests respectively when the UDRS was under trial, but for Broad and Gould it will be their first exposure to the new system as match officials. 



The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday named the three 'neutral' umpires for the three-match Test series between New Zealand and Pakistan over the next month as Simon Taufel (Australia), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies), while another Australian, Alan Hurst, is the match referee.  The series will be the first to see the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in use officially for the first time (E-News 525-2693 above).Doctrove will be the third umpire for the First Test which starts in Dunedin on Tuesday, he and the other two umpires interchanging for the following two matches in Wellington and Napier; the series taking the West Indian's Test tally to twenty-seven, the Australian's to sixty-one, and Koertzen's to 103.  Both Doctrove and Koertzen were directly involved in trials of the UDRS in Tests, the former in three matches and the latter five, however, it will be the first time Taufel has been a match official when the system has been in operation.  Hurst worked in two trial series involving a total of six UDRS matches.There is no indication that, as suggested by one report six weeks ago, that once it became official the UDRS would involve the three neutral officials rotating between on and off-field roles from session-to-session in Tests (E-News 500-2584, 2 October 2009).Speculation that Australian Rod Tucker might have been appointed to Tests for the first time in the NZ series has proved false, however, the ICC indicated yesterday that his absence from Australia in December is a result of his standing in the  five-match One Day International series in South Africa, commencing this Friday (E-News 513-2643, 27 October 2009).  It now looks as if his Test debut will be in New Zealand but not until mid-February (E-News 525-2692 above).




English umpires Richard Kettleborough and Richard Illingworth, who have both played the game at first class level, have received promotions within, and to, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  Kettleborough, who is just thirty-six, is seen by knowledgeable observers as having the potential to become a member of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel sometime in the next decade. Former England spinner Illingworth, forty-six, who like his colleague was appointed to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) first-class umpires' list in 2006, will join the panel as a third umpire, while Kettleborough moves up into the on-field spot made vacant last March by the promotion of Ian Gould to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpire Panel (E-News 395-2093, 24 March 2009).Kettleborough, a former Yorkshire batsman and occasional seamer, made his umpiring one-field debut in a One Day International (ODI) during the England-Australia series three months ago.  As a player he participated in thirty-three first class games for his county from 1994-99, as well as twenty-one domestic one-day games.  Released by Yorkshire in 1999, the first of his now seventy-three first class games as an umpire came in April 2002, his List A tally currently standing at sixty-five games. Kettleborough has also worked as the third umpire in three Tests and  five ODIs to the present time.  An indication of how the ECB sees his abilities came when he was sent to the West Indies as part of an umpiring exchange program last February (E-News 374-1994, 18 February 2009).Illingworth, forty-six, who is no relation to his more well-known Yorkshire and England colleague Ray, played 376 first class matches, nine of them Tests, his first ball in Test cricket claiming a wicket.  In addition he played 381 List A matches, twenty-five of them ODIs, one of the latter the World Cup final of 1992 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.  After a playing career that ran from 1982-2001, records available to E-News indicate that he started umpiring in 2002, the summer after his playing retirement, making his debut as an umpire at first class level in July 2003.  In the time since, Illingworth has chalked up sixty-two first class matches and a total of sixty-seven List A games; and has four Tests and two ODIs as the fourth umpire to his credit.Chris Kelly, the ECB's Umpires' Manager, said in a statement that "we are delighted that three of our first-class umpires have been nominated to serve on the [IUP]".  "These appointments demonstrate the depth of umpiring talent within county cricket and reflect the excellent progress both umpires have made over the past four seasons", he said.The two Yorkshiremen join Kent-born Nigel Llong, who has stood in six Tests since joining the IUP four seasons ago, and is now also on the ICC's four-man emerging umpires list (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009).




Current Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for Hobart this Saturday and Sunday indicate that Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) matches around Hobart may have to contend with showers as a complex area of low pressure systems and fronts pass across the state.  TCA Womens' Twenty20 games tomorrow evening may also be affected as the Bureau's outlook for that time is for "rain developing" as a front moves across southern Tasmania, while Monday's Brighton T20 series looks as though it might be similarly affected. Given the complexities involved in the current weather outlook, TCUSA members managing games over the next four days can keep up-to-date on the latest forecasts, weather radar images and the like from the Bureau by clicking on the yellow box at the top right of the TCUSA's web site. 



Media reports today say that Dave Richardson, the International Cricket Council's general manager cricket, is to arrive in Brisbane on Tuesday to "answer questions" about the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) from players and administrators in the lead up to the first Test between the home side and the West Indies which starts on Thursday.  Richardson will leave Australia on Friday after watch the first day's play in the match, if the reports are correct.  The system has been under question since first India and then South Africa declined to use it in their Test series against Sri Lanka and England respectively (E-News 523-2692, 16 November 2009), but it will be used in New Zealand starting on Tuesday in their series against Pakistan (E-News 525-2693, 19 November 2009).Meanwhile Pakistani international umpire Aleem Dar told Reuters on Friday that he backed UDRS use in Tests, saying that "I know some umpires don't agree with this system but I think it will help reduce the chances of mistakes made on the field".  Dar said that he supported the use of any technology that made the life of umpires easier for "It is a tough job out there nowadays and the review system is helpful for the umpires if used properly".




England member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) Nigel Llong, is the third 'neutral' umpire for the current three-Test series between India and Sri Lanka.  Llong is to share the on-field spots during the three-Test series along with Australia's Daryl Harper and Tony Hill of New Zealand, the latter pair standing in the opening game, Llong-Hill in the second and the Englishman and Australian in the third.Following the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) decision to decline the use of the Umpire Decision Review System for the series (E-News 523-2686, 16 November 2009), the ICC reverted to its normal practice of using a 'home' IUP member, in this case Indian Amish Saheba, in the third umpire's chair (E-News 524-2688, 17 November 2009).  Like Llong, Saheba is a member of the ICC's emerging umpires group (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009).The current series will take Llong's Test tally to eight, Hill's to fourteen and Harper's to eighty-seven, while match referee Jeff Crowe's Test record in that role will move on to thirty-eight.


The Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) presented Aleem Dar, the winner of the International Cricket Council's 'Umpire of the Year' award for 2009, with a gold medal on Wednesday to mark his achievement (E-News 500-2581, 2 October 2009).  KCCA President Dr Muhammad Ali Shah, who created controversy last month with his remarks about Australian umpire Simon Taufel (E-News 508-2616, 20 October 2009), presented the medal to Dar at a dinner reception held at his residence in North Nazimabad.  The Pakistan Cricket Board gave Dar a cheque for 500,000 Rupees ($A6,600) in Lahore last month in recognition of his ICC award (E-News 506-2614, 16 October 2009).



Eight umpires, one from each Australian state and the two territories, have been selected for this year's men's Under 19 national championships which is to get underway in Canberra next Sunday and run for two weeks.  The tournament is the first step in Cricket Australia's (CA) umpiring pathway that runs from there to the Futures League and its Twenty20 series, the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT), the National Umpires Panel (NUP), and on to International level (E-News 522-2684, 13 November 2009).Those selected by CA after nominations were received from each region's cricket association are:  Mark Donfield (Northern Territory); Andrew Hamilton (New South Wales); Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia); Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory); Damien Mealey (Queensland); Nick McGann (Tasmania); Phil Proctor (Victoria); and Luke Uthenwoldt (South Australia).  Information available suggests that Mealey is the oldest of the group at forty-one and Uthenwoldt the youngest at just twenty-four, the others whose ages are known being Johnstone twenty-nine and McGann thirty-four.  Uthernwoldt, Donfield and Johnstone have taken part in an U19 tournament before, the first at home in Adelaide in 2006 when he was twenty-one, Donfield in Hobart in 2007 and Johnstone in Newcastle last year.  All named except Donfield and Hamilton have stood in matches in either the the Futures League or its predecessor the Cricket Australia Cup, while Mealey worked in the EPT of 2007.  Johnstone and McGann have stood in a youth Test and One Day International respectively, and Johnstone and Hamilton in the National Country Cricket Championships during the current decade.Proctor has already been selected for the Futures Twenty20 series which is to be held in Melbourne in mid-December, the first games of that competition starting just two days after the U19 tournament is scheduled to end (E-News 522-2684, 13 November 2009).CA’s Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford and Umpire High Performance Panel members Ric Evans, Steve Small, Bob Stratford and Peter Marshall are to attend the tournament to watch and assess the umpires involved.  An umpiring seminar is to be held on one of the rest days that have been built into the playing schedule, while on another day a NUP member is to talk with the eight on issues related to standing in first class and other senior-level matches in Australia. 


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) voted against the introduction of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) when it was being considered by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in June, says ECB Chairman Giles Clarke (E-News 442-2400, 28 June 2009).  "We weren't keen on a referral system, so we voted against it", runs a quote attributed him over the weekend by the web site.Clarke says that during the ICC meeting at which the decision was taken to introduce the UDRS from 1 October this year, "the majority felt that it should be used" but the ECB has "consistently said we think it's an unsatisfactory system".  "We lost the vote, comprehensively, and we run a democratic world in cricket, so we've accepted that decision", he said."Then the question came up of who is going to pay for it?", continued Clarke, but the ECB has "no intention of paying for it and, if somebody doesn't pay for it, then it won't be used".  "Either it's paid for by the broadcaster, or the other side", said Clarke, a view that is similar to that expressed by Cricket South Africa last week (E-News 523-2692, 16 November 2009).Meanwhile the 'Fox News' web site said in a story published over the weekend that Australia "will forge ahead" with the UDRS in its six Tests against the West Indies and Pakistan.  David Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket, is to arrive in Brisbane tomorrow to "answer questions" about the system from players and administrators in the lead up to the first Test between the home side and the West Indies which starts on Thursday (E-News 526-2698, 22 November 2009).Last week the ICC named three neutral umpires for the Australia-Windies series, suggesting that it anticipates that the referral system will be used in those three Tests (E-News 525-2694, 19 November 2009).


Himachal Pradesh off-spinner Sarandeep Singh, who is in the twilight of his playing career, was called twice in two days last week for a suspect bowling action in the first class match between his side and Mumbai.  Square leg umpire Sanjeev Rao called the off-spinner on Wednesday, his colleague, Nikhil Patwardhan, following suit the next day, after which Himachal captain Ashok Thakur immediately took the bowler out of the attack.  Sarandeep, who played three Tests and five One Day Internationals for India, was first called in a match against Kerala last year, say reports from India, although he may have also been caught by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) then new video system which was introduced to monitor umpire performances (E-News 482-2495, 28 August 2009).  The BCCI is said to have found his action suspect but he was later cleared after tests at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore prior to the start of the current season on the sub-continent.Himachal coach Rajdeep Kalsi was said to be "guarded" in his public comments about the calling of his spinner, apparently saying that "we can't complain or question the decision" and that "the whole process in which all this has taken place isn't very convincing, plus it has definitely cost us our prospects in the game".Earlier this month the BCCI circulated a list of thirty-two bowlers it deemed to have doubtful actions to Indian match referees, umpires' coaches and its panel of umpires and instructed that they be called "without warning" if they transgress the Laws of Cricket in domestic matches.  It is not known whether Sarandeep was on that list or not.  Baroda spinner Rajesh Pawar was called for a suspect action on the second day of the match against Delhi in Vadodara by umpires Anil Dandekar and Vishwas Nerukar earlier this month (E-News 520-2677, 10 November 2009).


Aston Rowant, a team in the Home Counties League (HCL) in England who lost promotion to a higher competition when twenty-five championship points were removed from it as a result of an on-field brawl involving one of its players (E-News 508-2619, 20 October 2009), will now be promoted after an appeal hearing last week decided that the points penalty should be removed.  During a HCL match against Basingstoke in August, Rowant's Perth-based Australian seam-bowler Tim Miles became involved in a "fully fledged fight" with batsman Dean Nurse after the latter apparently believed a 'beamer' that he received had been bowled at him deliberately (E-News 480-2492, 25 August 2009).  The HCL's disciplinary committee's initial hearing and findings were annulled because of procedural issues (E-News 488-2532, 12 September 2009), but late last month a second hearing confirmed the points penalty, banned Miles for five years, docked Basingstoke five points and suspending Nurse for a year.  As a result Rowant dropped to third on the league table and the Reading Cricket Club (RCC) were promoted in their stead. According to Friday's 'Oxford Mail', last week's HCL's appeal hearing decided to modify Rowant's censure to a suspended penalty of forty championship points that will only come into force should they transgress again in someway in 2010.  It also reduced Nurse’s ban from a year to the first thirteen HCL games of the next northern summer, and modified Miles's suspension somewhat, changing it to two years with one of those year's suspended.Dave Barr, the RCC's captain, is angry about the decision says the 'Mail'.  Barr is said to have stated that “the appeal hearing as well as the first hearing found Miles to be guilty of a level four offence, the most serious you can have", and it also found "Miles to be more culpable in the incident than Nurse".  Images of the incident published in the 'Mail' in August show "a scene that most people involved with cricket would agree was unacceptable within the game and [it also] tarnished the reputation of the league by bringing the game into disrepute", said Barr.  Barr continued by saying that if it was any code of football, "the players would have received a card, yellow or red, yet in cricket, a game with no physical contact, the player was allowed to carry on [for he] was not withdrawn from the bowling attack, but [instead] went on to take a further four wickets".  The Reading captain is of the view that such actions "must call into question the decision making of the umpire and captains" involved, particularly as "we need to bear in mind that good behaviour and discipline is stressed every year, the captains are repeatedly told they have to control their players, and all players have to sign codes of conduct". "The key question", he continued, "is when making decisions on these issues, do appeal panels look at the consequences or impact of their decision before arriving at it or do they give the same punishment which corresponds with the offence regardless of the impact?"  He called for a meeting of HCL clubs to be convened before the 2010 season to work through the issues involved.“Few emerge from this incident with credit and steps must now be taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again", concluded Barr, and he expectes the England and Wales Cricket Board "will be playing an active role in sorting this out in the weeks to come, to ensure a clear message is given to all the English Premier Leagues".No details of how appeal committee saw the situation, or what all the factors were that it took into account in reaching its decision, have been made public at this time.


The secretary of the Clarence District Umpire Association (CDUA) in New South Wales, has called on local captains to "rein in their players", claiming there has been "a discernible increase in the amount of on field sledging and disrespect towards umpires" this austral summer, says a story published in Grafton's 'Daily Examiner' newspaper on Friday.Jeff Hackett said he was concerned with the level of poor on-field behaviour in the sport and that "players need to show some respect to umpires and also to other players".  The CDUA is doing its "best to attract people to become umpires, but recent incidents are "not helping" recruitment and "captains need to take control of their players and set a good example, particularly to the younger players".Hackett's comments come after what was described as "an unsavoury incident" occurred in a Twenty20 game between Souths and Brothers last Monday evening during which one player was placed on report.  No details were provided about just what occured, Hackett only saying that umpires were fed-up with the lack of respect they were receiving from players, and he issued, on behalf of his association, what was described as "a final warning to clubs and captains" in local competitions.




South African umpire Rudi Koertzen, the most experienced international umpire in the game, believes that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be "warmly welcomed by umpires in the middle", according to an article published in the 'Otago Times' yesterday.  Koertzen is set to work as the third umpire in the first Test between New Zealand and Pakistan which is to get underway in Dunedin later today, his on-field colleagues being Australian Simon Taufel and West Indian Billy Doctrove (E-News 525-2694, 19 November 2009).The 'Times' says that Koertzen is "completely comfortable with the new technology" as "you might go out in the first over and make a decision and then you have to wait for lunch to be told by your mate you've made a mistake which has already been seen by millions of people".Two of Koertzen's colleagues on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) have spoken in favour of the UDRS over the last few days.  New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden was quoted in a statement issued by the ICC as "glowing in his praise" for the system, and that it "is the best thing since sliced bread".  "It gave me confidence to make good, strong umpiring decisions and I did not fall in to the trap of relying on the [system] to bail me out" and as a result "I felt in control, relaxed and happy umpiring in the Tests every day". “I had two decisions reversed in my two Tests [in which the UDRS was in use]", said Bowden.  "I didn’t lose confidence but instead felt good that the right decision was made and it also gave me strength to get back in the zone again and concentrate on the next ball knowing I wouldn’t be criticised in the papers the next day", he continued.  Bowden says that the UDRS "will benefit the game" and he is "one hundred per cent behind the ICC’s decision so bring it on!”".  Last week Pakistani EUP member Aleem Dar also publicly supported the system (E-News 526-2698, 22 November 2009). ICC umpires manager Doug Cowie, who is in Dunedin to oversee the system, was quoted as saying that several changes had been made to it as a result of trials conducted in Tests by the world body, and that they "should improve the system".The first is said to involve the third umpire now being able to use the predictive path element of ball-tracking technology to help judge LBW appeals.  Cowie said that previously the path could not be used by the third official, however, everyone watching on television could see it, so that put the umpires at a disadvantage.  The second modification is the establishment of what has been designed "an area of certainty, where if the predicted path of the ball was to hit in that position, then the umpire's decision in the field would stand".A New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) report quotes Cowie as saying that "there's still some debate whether `Hot Spot', which was used for the first time during UDRS trials in South Africa earlier this year (E-News 382-2027, 6 March 2009), "is going to be used or not" in Dunedin.  The NZPA says that the danger in not having 'Hot Spot' "was evident last year when Kiwi Brendon McCullum was given out caught behind against the West Indies", a Test in which the UDRS was under trial.   In that game third umpire Mark Benson of England did not have access to the technology and replays seen by television viewers later confirmed there was no ball-bat contact but on-field umpire Rudi Koertzen's decision against McCullum stood.Cowie defended the time taken to review challenges, saying that the average time to decide on a dismissal was "about two minutes and twenty-five seconds", a period that he says is "not much out of a day's cricket".  Just what the longest time it has taken to resolve a challenge to date or the overall time involved in a day's play was not mentioned in the 'Times' report."In the past the games were played out in the middle and the rest of the world did not know" what went on, said Cowie, "but that has changed with technology and most umpires are very comfortable with [its use as] they don't want to make wrong decisions".Meanwhile, the ICC's General Manager Cricket, David Richardson, is to give a presentation on the UDRS and then address a media conference at the Gabba in Brisbane at lunchtime today  (E-News 526-2698, 22 November 2009).  The system will be used in the Test series between Australia and the West Indies which starts at that ground on Thursday.


Former Cricket Australia Umpire Officer Brent Silva is to join the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the New Year as its umpire and referees Administration Manager.  Silva, who was responsible for supporting senior umpires in Australia and introducing systems to improve the management of umpiring at the national level from 2001-08, left CA in August last year to join a sports marketing company (E-News 275-1470, 14 July 2008).ICC Human Resources and Administration Manager Supriya Kamat Banerjee said in an e-mail circulated to staff members last week that Silva will start work with the organisation on 3 January and report directly to Vince van der Bijl, the head of the ICC's umpiring and referees department (E-News 245-1347, 25 May 2008), an area that also includes Umpires Manager Doug Cowie a former New Zealand international umpire.After leaving CA Silva worked as operations-account manager for Willett Marketing, a firm that specialises in sport and event marketing, his role there being in Banerjee's words "maintaining his focus on sport and fulfillment delivery".  The Australian has a Bachelor of Business degree in sports management and a certificate of Education, is an accredited Australian Rugby League level 3 referee and enjoys squash and indoor soccer.In announcing Silva's resignation last year CA's Umpire Manager Andrew Scotford said that during his time with the national body Silva "made an extraordinary contribution to umpiring, the Cricket Operations Department and Cricket in general", and that "his commitment to umpires was unyielding as evidenced by his close working relationship with all umpires and state association staff".Sean Easy was appointed as Silva's successor at CA last September and took up the duties involved full-time in October (E-News 307-1608, 7 September 2008) .  He came from within the organisation, having spent sixteen months working within CA's Education Services area of Game Development area before moving to the umpire's department. 




Two LBW decisions made by on-field umpires on the opening day of the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan in Dunedin yesterday were referred to the third umpire, one decision being overturned and the other confirmed after information available from the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) was reviewed, says a report distributed by the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) last night.New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum was given out LBW by Australian umpire Simon Taufel on the second-last ball before stumps, a breakthrough that would have seen his side end the day at a poor 7/276.  However, he immediately sought a review and when third umpire Rudi Koertzen studied data from new ball-tracking technology available to him, McCullum was given the benefit of the doubt and thus ended the day 'not out'.  International Cricket Council (ICC) umpires manager Doug Cowie told the NZPA after the close of play that the technology showed that the ball struck McCullum "outside the line of the wicket to wicket impact zone, meaning the batsman was safe".  "It was exactly how the system was expected to work", he said.Earlier in the day NZ batsman Ross Taylor, who eventually made ninety, was on fifty-four when he survived an LBW appeal off Mohammad Asif's bowling.  Pakistan asked for the decision to be reviewed but they were unsuccessful in overturning the initial 'not out' call by on-field umpire Billy Doctrove of the West Indies.Cowie said that while the delivery to Taylor pitched in line, "the computer animation revealed the centre of the ball had not landed in the impact zone, prompting enough doubt as to whether it would hit the stumps".  "There is a margin for error and that goes in favour of the batsman [and] there was no clear evidence [that suggested Doctrove] should change his [real-time] decision", said Cowie.In an interesting comment, Cowie went on to say that if the technology that Koertzen used had been available during the ICC's trial of a review system in NZ last austral summer, the home side's Daniel Flynn may have made his maiden test century in Dunedin against the West Indies.  Flynn was given 'out' LBW following a referral after originally surviving the appeal when the visitors asked for the issue to be reviewed. At that time the third umpire, who was Koertzen as in the current Test, relied on a replay that showed the point of impact and not where the ball was likely to continue on to, said Cowie.  "A very small portion of the ball struck [Flynn] in line with wicket to wicket [and the original 'not out' decision] was overturned on a small amount of evidence".  "This year", he continued, "we insist [that] there [be] more clear evidence [available] to the third umpire before a decision is changed".Taylor, New Zealand's top scorer in that innings with ninety-five, said that he was always confident he was 'not out'.  "When I first got hit I thought it was quite high and maybe outside the line and as it happened the umpire made the right decision", he said."No umpire likes to make mistakes but I think umpires would rather see their mistakes corrected before they go to bed", said Cowie yesterday.


An incident that resulted in umpire Steve Bucknor being dumped from the Australia-India Test series in January last year would have been avoided if the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) had been in use, according to David Richardson the International Cricket Council's (ICC) General Manager Cricket.  Richardson was speaking to the press at the Gabba in Brisbane yesterday during a visit to reinforce the advantages of the UDRS to Tests, says a report in today's 'Sydney Morning Herald' (SMH). Richardson said that while the system "was not perfect", it "all but guaranteed" that effigies of Bucknor would not have been burnt in India as they were during their troubled series in Australia (E-News 171-915, 8 January 2008) .  Bucknor earned the ire of India after giving then Australian batsman Andrew Symonds 'not out' to a appeal for a catch at the wicket.  "From what I remember of that, I think there was a noise down the leg-side, and so we would be able to pick that up [using technology]", said Richardson.  "What's worse for the game, Steve Bucknor's effigy getting burnt in India from a bad decision or the opportunity to rectify his mistake", he said.The senior ICC official thinks that the new system will help avoid potential controversies over obvious mistakes such as Bucknor's, and that it will also largely remove on-field dissent and prompt players to walk, sparking "a generation of walkers".  The system will in effect say to the players that 'it's your game, your responsibility, you hit it, you walk, if you don't think it's out, don't appeal'.  "Let's see how brave [the players] are when it comes to actually taking that responsibility", said Richardson.Richardson said the trials of the system "was so successful" that only one of the ten full member countries, England, rejected its introduction at an ICC board meeting in June (E-News 527-2702, 23 November 2009).  However, in the last week both India and South Africa have said that they are not prepared to use the UDRS in their respective series against Sri Lanka and England (E-News 523-2692, 16 November 2009). Technology such as slow motion replays, ball tracking, 'Hot Spot' and snickometers have been approved for use by the third umpire, although Richardson stressed that the items that would be used in each Test "will vary as it would largely be up to the Test's host television broadcaster to provide [each system]".  Reports this week indicated that 'Hot Spot' will not, for example, be used in the NZ-Pakistan series which got underway in Dunedin yesterday (E-News 528-2706, 24 November 2009 and 529-2708 above).




Pakistan National Assembly's Standing Committee on Sports (SCS) has directed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to file a case against "those security officials who didn't respond to the call of duty" during the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team and match officials in Lahore in March this year (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).During a special meeting chaired by Member of National Assembly Jamshed Dasti, the committee pointed out that "little action has been taken against the officials who failed to prevent the attack", an event that saw six people killed, one of them the driver of the match official's minibus, and local umpire Ashan Raza critically injured.  The SCS "noted" that it was the PCB's responsibility "to take necessary action against all the culprits" and "it ordered" the Board to ensure that its directions were followed "in letter and spirit", says a report in yesterday's 'Daily Times' newspaper.




TCUSA members involved in the management of matches this weekend look like having to again contend with rain and showers, according to the latest extended forecast for Hobart issued by the Bureau of Meteorology early this morning.  Computer generated weather charts for the next four days show a complex, multi-centred, low pressure system located over Tasmania from Friday afternoon onwards. It will bring 'rain periods' that day and again on Saturday, and 'showers easing' on Sunday.  It is expected to be cool with a fresh south-east wind, the maximum temperature over the three days being put at just fifteen degrees Celsius.Given, like last weekend, that the weather systems that will be operating are expected to be particularly complex, umpires and scorers involved in matches can keep abreast of the latest forecasts, weather radar images and the like, by clicking on the yellow box at the top right of the TCUSA's web site.