October 10 (675-691)



(Story numbers 3312-3393)

675  676  677  678  679  680  681  682  683  684  685  686  687  688  689  690  691   

675 - 1 October [3312]

• Cricket's new Laws come into force today  (675-3312).

676 - 4 October [3313-3320]

• Conditions look promising for CT Premier League start  (675-3313).

• Umpiring my favourite role in cricket, says 'Bumbles'  (675-3314).

• Zim's Robinson returns to first class game after 3-year gap  (675-3315).

• Indian pair for Bangladesh-NZ ODI series  (675-3316).

• Eight penalised under ECB disciplinary code  (675-3317).

• Officials named for Kenya-Afghanistan series  (675-3318).

• ICC Chief pushes 50-over one-day format  (675-3319).

• Taufel named as ICC 'Brand Ambassador'  (675-3320).

677 - 5 October [3321-3325]

• Trio return as CT umpire selectors   (677-3323).

• Former NUP member returns for Futures League match  (677-3324).

• Umpire chalks up 50 years in the middle  (677-3325).

678 - 7 October [3326-3329]
• Second 'Umpire of the Year' award for Dar  (675-3326).

• Former Victorian player appointed to CA Project Panel  (675-3327).

• NZ wins third ICC 'Spirit of Cricket' award  (675-3328).

• QC to hear appeal into suspensions  (675-3329).

679 - 8 October [3330-3335]

• Tassy umpire for Futures League debut  (679-3331).

• Computer systems have problems with new one-day format  (679-3332).

• Report suggests BCCI now favour 'umpire only' referrals  (679-3333).

• Bangladesh umpire for SAf-Zim ODI series   (679-3334).

• Anti-corruption Code briefing for World Cup players, staff  (679-3335).

680 - 12 October [3336-3340]
• CA moves to 'relax' bowler practice delivery Law, CT to follow?  (680-3336).
• Showers, 'mountain snow', current Hobart outlook for Saturday  (680-3337).

• Umpire 'walks' after player's abuse  (680-3338).

• Too many fielders sees innings restart, another delayed by helicopter  (680-3339).

• Lord's to host inaugural 'Test Championship' final?  (680-3340).

681 - 14 October [3341-3345]
• CT supports 'relaxation' of 'practice delivery' Law  (681-3341).
• WICB names 12 umpires for one-day 'domestic' series  (681-3342).
• Manufacturer produces TCS split-innings 'patch'  (681-3343).
• Players to face charges over umpire 'walk out' match     (681-3344).
• Hair 'just doing his job', says Muralitharan  (681-3345).

682 - 15 October [3346-3350]

 • Changes announced to State Umpires Panel (682-3346).

683 - 18 October [3351-3353]

• BCCI third umpires to literally 'flag' video outcomes  (683-3351).

• Umpires' on-field tips helped my Test career, says Hayden  (683-3352).

• Global Cricket Academy opens in Dubai  (683-3353).

684 - 19 October [3354-3358]
• NZC announces 2010-11 umpire panels, second exchange program  (684-3354).

• Money worries almost ended my umpiring career, says Dar  (684-3355).

• Weather precludes start for Project Panel appointee  (684-3356).

• New Code of Conduct for Pakistan players  (684-3357).

• ECB continues 'hard line' on IICUS  (684-3358).

685 - 20 October [3359-3363]

• Tassy visitor Lancashire League's 'Umpire of the Year'  (685-3359).

• CT awaits advice on status of pitch preparations   (685-3360).

• 'Dot Point' summaries of CT one-day Playing Conditions 'on line'   (685-3361).

• WICB starts to address Caribbean umpiring concerns  (685-3362).

• Plans for Caribbean umpire, match referee panels, announced  (685-3363).


• Erasmus, Broad for Australia-Lanka ODI series  (687-3371).

• CSA's new IUP line-up announced (687-3372).

• Fifth 'ton' up for Sydney umpire   (687-3373).

• Training course for 24 Afghan umpires conducted in Kabul  (687-3374).

• Sri Lankan umpire on exchange to South Africa (687-3375).

688 - 25 October [3377-3382]

Friday, 1 October 2010





A number of key amendments and clarifications to the Laws of Cricket come into effect around the world today, five months after members of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) approved their introduction at a special meeting (E-News 606-3042, 13 May 2010).  The changes, which the MCC says have been made "to ensure the Laws deal with the challenges posed by the modern game", were covered in detail during the TCUSA's recently completed Winter Laws school, and will be discussed again at this weekend's Annual Seminar (E-News 674-3306, 29 September 2010).


The key 'policy' changes that have been made concern: the "offering of the light" to the batting side (Laws 3.8, 3.9); the presence of umpires at the toss (12.4); practice on the field (17.1); the taking of catches in relation to the boundary (19.4); the position of a bowler's feet for a fair delivery (24.5); the "putting down" of the wicket by parts of a broken bat (28.1); when a batsman is out of his ground (29.1); and, a batsman damaging the pitch (42.14); 


The MCC's Head of Cricket John Stephenson says that the changes in relation to the offering of the light are aimed at providing "more fairness to both sides" and reducing the amount of playing time lost.  Umpires will now be the sole arbiters of whether play should continue in poor light, the batting side having no say in the decision, which was often made for tactical reasons.


While it has long been the practice in Tasmania, the Laws now required that at least one umpire be present when the captains toss, while the winning captain must notify his counterpart of his decision to bat or field immediately, rather than as in the past being able to wait until 10 minutes before the start of play to announce their decision.  The MCC says that in some cases the latter "was being exploited to the losing side’s disadvantage and therefore contravened the Spirit of Cricket".


Other Law changes aimed at achieving "more fairness between the teams" include: forbidding bowlers delivering a "practice" ball to a team mate from bowling it into the ground, a move that can damage the ball and may waste time; giving batsmen who damage the pitch just one warning before penalty runs are issued, rather than two as used to be the case; and preventing bowlers from delivering the ball with their front foot having crossed an imaginary line between the middle stumps.


With the athleticism of fielders continually improving, especially in relation to the Twenty20 format, a change has been made as to the manner in which players can take catches near the boundary.  On other fronts, from now on if a batsman’s bat breaks in the act of playing a shot and the broken part of the bat hits the stumps and dislodges a bail, he will now be 'out'; while a sprinting batsman who has run past his stumps, but whose feet and bat happen to be in the air as the bails are removed, will now be deemed to have made his ground


Printed copies of what is known as the 'Fourth Edition to the [year] 2000 Code' are available from the TCUSA in the MCC's familiar 'light blue format, one copy being provided free to members while others can purchase them for $A6; although the full text is also available on the MCC's web site.  


Publication of a new edition of 'Tom Smith', the 'Bible' for umpires and scorers, that takes into account the new Laws is not expected to be available until December (E-News 673-3305, 27 September 2010), although one report received from the UK yesterday suggested publication may slip until early in the New Year.  It claimed, with what degree of accuracy is not known, that "the publishers say they are waiting until all the old edition have been sold, so it may be January 2011 or later" before what will be the seventh edition is released. 



Monday, 4 October 2010







Pitches have been cut and the grounds are almost ready for the opening of Cricket Tasmania's (CT) first grade Premier League competition in Hobart this coming week end.  The current weather outlook available for the lead up to Saturday-Sunday suggests that while there will be some rain in the next few days, and a "shower or two" on Friday-Saturday, it will probably not cause too many problems at Lindisfarne Oval and Fergusson Park where eight Twenty20 matches have been scheduled over the two days.


CT selectors have named eight umpires for this weekend's eight Twenty20 matches, fixtures that make up the first two rounds of the Premier League 's first grade season, games that will see T20 results attracting premiership points in the competition for the first time (E-News 645-3199, 4 August 2010).  


Umpires for first grade's round three, which will be played in the 50-over one-day format the following weekend, have also been appointed and advised.  Selections for the week after that, a weekend that will see all five CT grades and the South Tasmania Cricket League underway, will be distributed at the TCUSA's first Training-Appointments meeting of the season on Wednesday, 20 October.


That meeting will commence at 7.15 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive, the first quarter-of-an-hour being devoted to a Special General Meeting of the TCUSA that will focus on proposed amendments to the Association's Constitution.  Details of changes put together by the Management Committee that members will need to consider will be provided to them in the near future.


For those preparing for games this weekend, and throughout the whole of the season ahead, the latest weather information and forecasts for the Hobart region can be easily found 24-hours-a-day via the  'Weather Outlook' tab on the TCUSA web site.






Former English Test and One Day International player, coach, umpire and now commentator, David Lloyd, says the role in cricket that gave him the greatest amount of enjoyment was umpiring.  Lloyd played 407 first class matches, 9 of them Tests, and 288 List A games, 8 of them One Day Internationals, in the period from 1965-83, then went on to stand in 35 first class and 27 List A games as an umpire from 1985-87.   


Despite his long service as a player Lloyd, who is currently a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) four-man umpire selection panel, described the question put to him by the web site last week about his favourite role as an "easy" one to answer.  He said that he "loved" umpiring "so much" because "it’s one of those jobs [that is] ultra rewarding [for] you are out there all the time, you’ve got to be absolutely impartial and to have your wits about you every ball".


The reward comes he says at the end of a day's play when you think "well I’ve had a really good day, I’ve done my very best, [even though] I’ve made a couple of mistakes".  "I’m not sure, having been a player myself, that players understand that you will have made mistakes, but it is not a mistake that is vindictive, it’s a genuine error, and next week, to hell with it mate" its another day and you start off again trying to get everything right.


Asked whether or not the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) has helped Lloyd, who is better known by his nick name "Bumbles", says "yes".  "I’ve got a massive involvement in that [via his ICC selector's role]" and while the "Elite umpires are bloody good people they sometimes make decisions that are wrong [and the UDRS] turns it round and gets it right".  He thinks that as a result of the UDRS umpires have begun to make decisions with the review system in mind and "they are far more confident in giving someone 'out', whereas in the past they would have said 'no, no, no".  


Financial issues were behind his umpiring for only three years, and while he enjoyed it and "probably would have carried on", he moved into a salary job in another area at the England and Wales Cricket Board.  His time in the middle was, says Lloyd, an era in which the "players wouldn’t say boo to a goose [and] they would never ever come up to you [and complain about a decision] because you ruled the roost".






Former Zimbabwean Test umpire Ian Robinson, who retired two years ago soon after taking up the International Cricket Council's (ICC) then new Regional Umpire Performance Manager (Africa) position (E-News 315-1646, 19 September 2008), returned to first class cricket after a gap of over three years last Friday in a Logan Cup match played in Bulawayo.  


England-born Robinson, 63, made his first class debut in Zimbabwe in 1978, and the last of his then 91 games at that level was in August 2007, while the final of his 142 List A matches came three months after that.  Of those first class matches, 28 of them were Tests, while 90 of the List A games were One Day Internationals.  His 28 Tests were played in Australia, England, India, South Africa, Sri lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe, while on the one-day scene he stood in the 1992, 1996 and 1999 World Cups and the Asia Cup of 1995, as well as numerous series in many countries.


Robinson's regional manager contract with the ICC is believed to have ended several months ago, and he was replaced by retired member of the world body's Elite Umpires Panel, Rudi Koertzen of South Africa.  The ICC failed to mention the Zimbabwean or his departure when it announced Koertzen's appointment (E-News 640-3191, 30 July 2010). 


In the six Logan Cup games played this season to date, sometime Tasmanian visitor Jerry Matibiri, 39, and Langton Rusere, 25, have each stood in three matches each, Owen Chirombe, 37, in two, and Christopher Phiri, 35, Taurai Tapfumaneyi, 38, and Robinson one each.  The other position was shared by Russell Tiffin, 51, and Trevor Phiri, 36, the latter replacing the former after he was injured during play (E-News 667-3283, 13 September 2010).






Indian pair Shavir Tarapore and Javagal Srinath have been named as the neutral umpire and match referee for the five-match One Day International (ODI) series between Bangladesh and New Zealand which is scheduled to get underway in Dhaka tomorrow and run over the next two weeks.  For Tarapore, 52, a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpire Panel (IUP), the series will take his ODI tally to 17, and Srinath's to 94.


The forthcoming series will see Tarapore stand in his first ODI outside India, however, his career so far has not been restricted to India.  In January this year he was part of the umpire group for the 2010 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, standing in six matches (E-News 560-2848, 29 January 2010). A few months after that he worked in two matches in the men's World Twenty20 Championship in the West Indies, as well as a further five games in the parallel women's event (E-News 607-3046, 16 May 2010).  Last month he stood in the Champions League series in South Africa, although that is a non-ICC event (E-News 673-3304, 27 September 2010). 


Tarapore has stood in a total of 57 first class games in India's domestic competition since his debut in 1992, as well as 40 List A matches, 12 of them ODIs.  Like Srinath he is a former first class player, having represented Karnataka six times as a leg break bowler during the first half of the 1980s.  Srinath played 147 first class games for India, Karnataka and a number of English County sides from 1989-2003, 67 of them Tests, as well as      

290 List A games, 229 of those being ODIs.


Bangladeshi members of the IUP, Enamul Hoque Moni, 44, Nadir Shah, 46, and third umpire Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid, 34, will work with Srinath and Tarapore in on-field and television roles during the five ODIs.  Shah has stood in 34 ODIs to date, Enamul Hoque 25 and Sharfuddoula 2. 






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has named eight County players who last week received penalties under its disciplinary code as a result of incidents that occurred during separate matches played in August and September.  Half of the eight were found guilty of Level 2 offences and the other half Level 1 transgressions.


Both Murali Kartik (Somerset) and Wesley Barresi (The Netherlands), the latter side playing in the County 40-over series, were each cited for showing "serious dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action", a Level 2 offence.  Stefan Piolet (Warwickshire) and Danny Evans of Middlesex's Second XI were found guilty of the same offence as Kartik and Barresi, but in addition each also used "language or gesture that is obscene or of a serious insulting nature to another player, umpire, referee, team official or spectator".


There were four Level 1 breaches, Craig Kieswetter (Somerset) was found guilty of "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or making an obscene gesture", Tony Palladino (Essex) for "abuse of cricket ground, equipment or fixtures/fittings, and both Andrew Hall (Northamptonshire) and Jon Batty (Gloucestershire) for "showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action".


As a result of the ECB's findings, Level 2 offenders Kartik, Evans and Barresi each received three penalty points, which will remain on their records for two years.  Piolet received three penalty points for each breach of the code, and therefore now holds six penalty points, but why Evans was only docked three points for the two charges is not clear.  Players who accumulate nine or more penalty points in any two-year period receive an automatic suspension from the ECB.


The Level 1 findings against of Batty, Hall and Kieswetter resulted in them receiving reprimands, which will remain on their records for two years.  Any further Level 1 breach committed by them during that period will result in an automatic imposition of three penalty points.  Palladino received a three point penalty as he already had a Level 1 penalty standing against him, and those points will now remain on his record for two years.






South African member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires panel Marais Erasmus, and Subhash Modi of Kenya, a member of the ICC's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpire Panel (AAUP), are to stand in the three One Day Internationals (ODI) Kenya and Afghanistan are to play in Nairobi later this week.   Erasmus' countryman Devdas Govindjee will be the match referee for the series. 


Seven of the first 8 of Erasmus' current 16 ODIs were played in Nairobi in 2007 and 2008.  Modi, 64, who is one of ten members of the AAUP, stood in his first ODI in 2001 and in the time since has been on the field in a total of 19, three of which were played in South Africa, and most of which involved second-tier sides.


Also in Africa this week Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka will be in Bloemfontein on Friday and Sunday as match referee for the two Twenty20 Internationals between South Africa and Zimbabwe.  Mahanama also looks like playing the same role when the two teams play three ODIs, the first of which is due to be played on Friday week.  The ICC is yet to name the neutral umpire for that series.






Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) believes that the world body's planned One Day International (ODI) 50-over "league" rather than Cricket Australia's (CA) 45-over split-innings concept will save the one-day game at international level, according to a story published in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper on Saturday.  The ICC's Chief Executives' Committee, which includes CA's James Sutherland, recommended the establishment of the ODI league at a meeting last month (E-News 668-3284, 16 September 2010).


CA will introduce its new format to interstate cricket in Brisbane next Wednesday in a match between Queensland and Tasmania, and the Australian governing body believes it is the way of the future, says journalist Jamie Pandaram.  However, Lorgat is said to remain unconvinced that one-day cricket needs a makeover, instead calling for more context to games as in Pandaram's words "money-hungry Boards schedule meaningless series of up to seven matches".


Lorgat told the 'Herald' that is ''still a strong supporter of 50-over cricket" and that ICC "research shows fans still like the game [for] the important point is structure, schedule and context [and] a championship league would give context to every match".  He says that the league could still work if Boards continued to schedule five- or seven-match series, but that would be made difficult because each nation must play each other during the three-year championship cycle.


Lorgat believes that next year's World Cup on the sub-continent will prove the popularity of the 50-over game, which he says research shows is still the favourite format of Indian supporters.  CA's hope is that this domestic season's one-day series will prove so successful that there will be a push to use its 45-over version for the 2015 World Cup in Australia, it too having "research" by marketing specialists that it says points to the need to change.






Australian international umpire Simon Taufel and Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara have been appointed International Cricket Council (ICC) 'Brand Ambassadors' for the next 12 months, the third successive year the pair will have worked in that capacity.  Both have been members of the group since its was established in 2008.


'Brand Ambassadors', which the ICC calls an "elite group of professionals", make appearances at "social events, press conferences and coaching clinics", the aim being for them to improve knowledge of the ICC's activities and those of its "key stakeholders".  The type of events they attend include next year’s World Cup on the sub-continent, as well as projects such as 'Spirit of Cricket', developmental and other related projects, 


The other ambassadors apart from Taufel and Sangakkara announced by the ICC late last week are: the vice captain of Indian cricket team Virender Sehwag; Australia's vice captain Michael Clarke; and England Twenty20 International captain Paul Collingwood.  "Virender, Michael, Kumar, Paul and Simon have so much to offer and to have access to their valuable time and energy for issues of importance to the ICC is beneficial to the game as a whole", said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat in a press release.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010






Indian batsman Rahul Dravid believes his team will soon accept the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) after his side was "on the wrong side of several marginal calls" in the first Test against Australia, say press reports from Mohali yesterday.  The Indians have been the most vocal opponents of the system since their first experience of it during a trial in Sri Lanka two years ago (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008), although their vice-captain Virender Sehwag said last month that he would have preferred to see it in operation in the recent Test series in Sri Lanka (E-News 648-3216, 8 August 2010).


During the current Mohali Test, journalists say that Indian opener Gautam Gambhir "gesticulated with his bat" after being given out LBW on the second evening, replays showing he got a touch, his team mate Sachin Tendulkar "also had reason to query his LBW dismissal", while MS Dhoni's low edge to Shane Watson at first slip is said to have "looked inconclusive".  On the fourth morning yesterday, Australian Simon Katich escaped an LBW verdict against Harbhajan Singh that some observers believe "would have been given out on appeal".


Indian opposition to the UDRS has been based on the view that unless the system is perfect, it does not improve enough on umpires using the naked eye, a take that led to the system's non-use in the current series (E-News 660-3260, 30 August 2010).  That view was arrived at despite data that shows Test matches in which the UDRS was operational have a correct decision ratio of 98 per cent, up from 94 per cent when it is not (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008).


Dravid said that his "personal view is that if it can be proved that the technology is foolproof and it's acceptable then there is no harm going for it as long as we can be assured that the technology is available for every Test in all conditions all over the world, it's uniform".  Uniformity has been the aim of the International Cricket Council for some time (E-News 643-3195, 1 August 2010), however, most of the resistance of late has been from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, an approach that many reports in the past has been driven by the opposition of a number of its senior players.  


"There's a lot of ambiguity as to what is the kind of technology available for some series", continued Dravid, as in "some series you don't get the same cameras, you don't get the same Hot-Spots and slow motion cameras and that creates a bit of ambiguity, which is the unfortunate thing".  "If we can have a common playing field, the same systems in every series, I see no reason why we can't have that", concluded the Indian batsman.


During the match yesterday, in what one report called a "decidedly late and out-of-the-ordinary use of the third umpire", India's Sanjay Hazare, New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden asked Hazare to check whether Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma had overstepped when he had Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke caught.  Bowden told Clarke to wait while he received advice from the television suite, and while replays showed it was a tight call the bowler had in fact delivered a 'no ball' and Clarke continued his innings, although not for very long.






Three Tasmanians are amongst the 19 umpires who have been named to stand in the 12 Twenty20 and 6 one-day Womens National Cricket League games that are to be played in six cities around the country in the last half of this month.  State Umpire Panel (SUP) members Nick McGann and Jamies Mitchell, plus former SUP member Wade Stewart will be involved in two T20 and a one-day games that are to be played in Launceston over three days at the end of the month.


Apart from the Tasmanians, other umpires named for the matches are: Phil Proctor, Sam Sciacca and Richard Patterson (Victoria); Andrew Hamilton, David Lenzo, Mark Nickl and Ben Treloar (New South Wales); Simon Lightbody, Yohan Ramasundara and Andrew Shelly (Australian Capital Territory); Matthew Hall, Todd Rann and Dean Trigg (Western Australia); and Jay Kangur, Damien Mealey, and Norm McNamara (Queensland).  All are members of their respective SUPs for 2010-11.


Cricket Australia (CA) has also named eight match referees for the 18 matches, only two of whom, Peter Marshall and Steve Small,  being members of its Umpire High Performance Panel and selection group.  Others include former Australian Test umpires Darrell Hair and Terry Prue, former first class umpires Darren Goodger, Keith Rinaldi and Jim Torpey, plus CA's umpire Education and Training Officer Denis Burns.


Burns will be in Launceston for the three games there, the first T20 and the one-day match being umpired by McGann and Mitchell, before Stewart joins Mitchell for the second T20.  Scorers Nathan Bester from Launceston and Alan Dendle of Devonport will be the other two match officials for those games.






Long-serving TCUSA members Richard Widows, Steve Maxwell and Roy Loh have again been named by the Cricket Tasmania (CT) as members of its Umpires Appointment Panel for matches carried out under its auspices this season.  The trio, who between them have been with the TCUSA for a total of over thirty seasons, have the challenging task of appointing umpires to between twenty-five and thirty matches that will be played each week over the five months from the season's opening next Saturday (E-News 676-3313, 4 October 2010). 


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


Maxwell has officiated in 269 matches with the TCUSA over the last ten seasons, 115 of them in First Grade, and has twice been named as the Association's 'Umpire of the Year'.  Loh, who has been with the Association for eight years and stood in 124 matches over that time, has been recognised for his special contribution to TCUSA activities when he was awarded the Alan Powell Memorial Trophy for services to the Association in 2005, 2009 and 2010.   


In addition to selection duties Maxwell is also involved with the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme training program and Loh in the match umpire video capture program.  






Western Australian umpire Jeff Brookes, who was a member of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) for five years before being dropped five months ago (E-News 611-3066, 25 May 2010), is to return to representative cricket today when he steps out onto Floreat Park Oval in Perth for the Futures League match between the home state and South Australia.  His partner in the match will be Nathan Johnstone, an umpire Cricket Australia has indicated is in the running for a possible future spot on the NUP (E-News 655-3242, 19 August 2010).  Brookes, 47, made his debut at first class level during the 2004-05 season.  He went on to stand in twenty such games, three of them at Bellerive, plus work in 29 List A games, three of those in the television suite, and seven Twenty20s.






Ronni Pilowski, an umpire with the Western Province Cricket Umpires Association in South Africa, has just completed his fiftieth season in that capacity.  In addition to his own games, Pilowski is also responsible for organising every umpire for games in the top seven leagues that the Western Province Association runs each weekend.  Just how may matches he has stood in over that time is no known, however, one estimate puts the figure at well over 1,500.

Thursday, 7 October 2010






Pakistan's Aleem Dar was named the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' for the second year running at the world body's annual awards ceremony in Bengaluru, India, overnight.  Dar, 42, won the award from votes cast by the ICC's ten Full-Member captains and its seven-man match referees panel, and is the only person other than Australia's Simon Taufel to receive the trophy since it was first presented in 2004.


Former first class cricketer Dar made his international umpiring debut in a One Day International (ODI) in February 2000 at the age of 31, stood in his first Test in October 2003 just after turning 35, and was appointed to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) early in 2004 aged 36.  The EUP's second-youngest member behind Taufel, he has gone on to stand in a total of 60 Tests out of a total of 93 first class games overall to date, while of his 170 List A matches 133 are ODIs; the ratio of internationals to domestic matches in those two figures being unusually high.


Dar, who reports describe as "unobstrusive" and "less demonstrative" in his on-field work than some of his colleagues on the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), said last night that he was honoured to have been named the winner for a second time .  "I think the fact that I'm still playing cricket in Pakistan makes me a good umpire.  In the last four times I've played cricket I've scored centuries so I definitely think that has helped".


The Pakistani won this year's award from three fellow EUP members, New Zealand's Tony Hill, and Australians Steve Davis and five-time winner Taufel (E-News 671-3292, 21 September 2010).   The ICC award has been newly named after the late English international umpire David Shepherd who died last year (E-News 514-2648, 29 October 2009).






Cricket Australia (CA) has appointed former Victorian first class player Shawn Craig to its umpires Project Panel (PP) for the 2010-11 season, a pathway whose aim is to fast-track former first class players into umpiring ranks.  Craig, 37, a middle order batsman and leg spin bowler during his playing days, replaces Western Australian Paul Wilson, 38, who was promoted to the National Umpires Panel [NUP] four months ago after just over three years on the PP (E-News 611-3066, 25 May 2010). 


Craig, a graduate of the Australian Cricket Academy (ACA), played 20 first class games for his State, all but two in the Sheffield Shield, between 1997 and 2000, plus the same number of one-day matches in Australia's domestic competition over the same period.  Before his debut with the State team he played four matches with the ACA side in South Africa, and later for them in Australia against England A and a Pakistan touring side; as well as a range of other games, including 12 with Victoria's Second XI. 


CA General Manager Cricket Michael Brown said in a press release yesterday that “CA’s Project Panel is an important part of Australian cricket’s strategy to develop its next group of first-class umpires".  “We’ve have already had great success with Rod Tucker, Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson graduating from the Project Panel to [the NUP] and beyond in recent years", says Brown, and he believes that “over the coming seasons, we’re sure Shawn and other former first-class cricketers will follow a similar path and become full-time members of Australian and international umpiring panels". 


No details are available as to what Craig's involvement in cricket has been since his departure from first class cricket 10 years ago, however, records that are available on line make no mention of him having umpired, and CA makes no reference to any such experience in its press release.  Craig was selected following interviews conducted by CA two weeks ago (E-News 672-3299, 24 September 2010), after a call for expressions of interest was put out via the Australian Cricketers Association to its members the month before that (E-News 655-3244, 19 August 2010). 


In the past PP members have, in addition to match fees, been paid a retainer for their umpiring work, however, the sums involved have never been made public by CA.  In the early years of the project payments in the order of $40,000 per person per annum were mentioned in cricket circles, however, the amount involved today is thought to be half that figure or perhaps less.  


Whatever the amount is involved it will be significantly more than the remuneration that is provided to CA's emerging umpires' group, none of whom have played the game above grade cricket level.  CA currently has four individuals in that group, one each from New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia, all of whom in its recent assessment have the abilities to win promotion to the NUP sometime in the future (E-News 655-3242, 19 August 2010).  A number of umpires who have stood at Test level in recent years, none of whom played first class cricket including five-time world 'Umpire of the Year' Simon Taufel, have indicated how challenging it is to umpire on a part time basis while working full time and juggling work and family roles (E-News 672-3298, 24 September 2010).


Craig will now be appointed to matches in Cricket Victoria's Premier League competition which gets underway around Melbourne this weekend after a one-week delay caused by the need to replay the Australian Football League's Grand Final.  CA has previously indicated that provided a PP candidate shows appropriate potential, he could come into contention for appointment to the NUP in two to three years, about a quarter of the time it normally takes an umpire who has not played first class cricket to reach that level. 






New Zealand won the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Spirit of Cricket' award for the second time in a row and third time overall since it was introduced six years ago at the ICC's annual ceremony in Bengaluru overnight.  The award is presented to the team that, in the opinion of both the ICC's Elite Umpires and Match Referees Panels, has conducted itself the best on the field of play over the past year.


New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, who is involved in a one-day series in Bangladesh at the present time, said on behalf of his team that “it’s great to win the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for the third time and I am proud to lead a team that has been deemed once again to be the side that has most adhered to the Spirit of Cricket".  “The team I have led over the past year has without a doubt shown great sportsmanship and played the game of cricket in the right way by always respecting our opponents and those who officiate and look after us in the sport", he said.  


The ‘Spirit of Cricket’ ethos is contained in a preamble to the Laws of the game, and states that: “Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game [and that] any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself".  New Zealand took out the inaugural award in 2004 and again in 2009, England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2009.






Michael Beloff QC, the head of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct Commission, is to hear the appeals by three Pakistan cricketers against their recent suspension over spot-fixing allegations in Qatar on 30-31 October.  The ICC laid charges against the trio following allegations made in the UK's 'News of the World' newspaper about their conduct in their side's Test against England at Lord's in August, the suggestion being that two bowlers had deliberately sent down no-balls at pre-arranged times and that their captain was also a party to that activity (E-News 669-3286, 17 September 2010). 


ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement yesterday that "after receiving three separate appeals from the respective players, the ICC moved as quickly as possible to convene an independent hearing in accordance with the ICC's anti-corruption code".  "It is important to understand that the appeals are against the provisional suspension only and will not consider the substantive charges that were laid against the players on 2 September 2010".  While "we want to ensure a fair and just process in terms of our code, we are also determined to maintain the integrity of our great sport", he said, and that "in the meantime, the players remain provisionally suspended from all cricket and related activities". 

Friday, 8 October 2010





In sharp contrast to 12 months ago when Cricket Tasmania's Premier League competition was delayed by three weeks by wet weather (E-News 513-2641, 27 October 2009), the 2010-11 season is on track to start this weekend with first grade sides playing the eight Twenty20 (T20) matches that make up rounds 1 and 2 of this summer's fixtures.  TCUSA scorers and senior umpires will be supporting those games, while other umpires will be action in lower grade practice matches on Saturday-Sunday as they prepare for  their own starts in a few weeks time.


Weather conditions over the last week have panned out close to predictions issued by the Bureau of Meteorology last weekend (E-News  675-3313, 4 October 2010), with showery intervals over the Hobart region as cold fronts pass the area.  Overall though the amount of rainfall this week has been small, generally less than 2-3 mm, although areas such as Lindisfarne and Pontville where this weekend's double-headed T20s will be played probably received less than that because they are located relatively far away from surrounding mountain areas that often 'generate' showers. 


This morning's forecast for the weekend is for late showers on Saturday as a cold front crossed Hobart, although current estimates of its timing and strength suggest it will not impact on games that day, while on Sunday condition are expected to be 'fine'.  Maximum temperature on Saturday is put at around 17 degrees Celsius and on Sunday a balmy 21.  Up-dates on that situation are continuously available via the TCUSA web site.


Scorers who will be in action in first grade over the next two days, and throughout the season, include:  Kylie Baldwin (New Town); Ian Collins (Lindisfarne); Mark Dusautoy and Graeme Hamley and (Clarence); Robert Godfrey (Kingborough); Louise Jauncey (University), who was the winner of last season's 'Most Improved Scorer' award (E-News 595-2955, 1 april 2010); and  Brett Walker (North Hobart).  At the time E-News was being received this morning the name of the Sandy Bay scorer was not available.


All four member of the State Umpires Panel, Mike Graham-Smith, Nick McGann, Jamie Mitchell and Sam Nogajski will be standing in the T20s, their colleagues being senior umpires Ross Carlson, Steve Maxwell, Wade Stewart and Mark Wickham.  This weekend's first grade rounds 1 and 2 will be followed tomorrow week by round 3 which consists of one-day fifty over matches, then all grades get underway the following weekend, again with one-dayers.


The first TCUSA Training-Appointments meeting of the season will be held on Wednesday, 20 October, and will be preceded by what is anticipated as a short Special General meeting that will commence at 7.15 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval. 






State Umpire Panel (SUP) member Mike Graham-Smith will make his debut in Cricket Australia's (CA) Futures League (FL) competition in just over three weeks when he stands with SUP colleague Sam Nogajski when Tasmania's State Second XI plays its South Australian counterpart at Bellerive.  The umpiring pair will be supported by TCUSA scorers Robert Godfrey and Graeme Hamley over the three days of that match, the first of three FL games that are scheduled for Hobart this season.


Graham-Smith and Nogajski are part of a group of 16 umpires from all six States and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) who are to stand in the 9 FL fixtures that are scheduled over the next 7 weeks.  They include:  Andrew Shelley, Simon Lightbody and Yohan Ramasundara (ACT); Andrew Hamilton and Peter Tate (New South Wales); Jeff Brookes, Nathan Johnstone, Todd Rann (Western Australia); Norm McNamara and Damien Mealey (Queensland); Andrew Collins and Andrew Willoughby (South Australia); and Phil Proctor and Sam Sciacca  (Victoria).  All except Lightbody, who has two, will be standing in single FL matches between now and the end of November.


Brookes (E-News 677-3324, 5 October 2010), Johnston, Mealey, Tate, Jay Kangur (Queensland) and Michael Kumutat (NSW) (E-News 674-3308, 29 September 2010), have each stood in the three FL games that have been played in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth over the last two weeks.  Hamilton, Kangur, Lightbody, McNamara, Mealey, Proctor, Ramasundara, Rann, Shelly, Sciacca and McNamara have also been named to stand in Womens National Cricket League and associated Twenty20 matches that are to be played around the country in the last half of this month (E-News 677-3322, 5 October 2010).


CA has named four of the five members of its Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) as match referees come observers for the nine FL matches ahead.  Peter Marshall will look after three games, and Ric Evans, Steve Small and Bob Stratford one each, while the remaining three matches will see former Test umpire Terry Prue and first class umpire Kim Perrin, plus CA's umpire Education and Training Officer Denis Burns in the referee's chair.  Burns and Prue are to work in similar roles in the forthcoming women's matches.


Umpires and match referees for the final six three-day FL games of the season in February will not be named until the New Year.  The next announcement related to that competition is expected to come early next month for the Twenty20 component of the Second XI series which is scheduled for Melbourne over three days commencing 20 December.  Of interest will be whether CA names its four 'emerging' umpires Kumutat, Johnstone, Mealey and Nogajski, for that event so that UHPP members can further observe their individual abilities.  






Cricket Australia's (CA) split-innings one-day format trial got underway in Brisbane on Wednesday, however, its seems not everybody was quite ready for it, a 'Cricinfo' report yesterday saying that understanding the score was complicated by the "four segments" that made up two completed innings, something that was made harder for the "sprinkling of supporters at the ground as the main scoreboard didn't work because the computer software couldn't translate the new conditions".  Cricinfo also had problem with its ball-by-ball web-based commentary and the computer system supporting its wouldn't work over the second half of both Queensland and Tasmania's second innings as the program could not handle the change.


The second and third games of CA's one-day interstate series are to be played in Perth and Adelaide today and tomorrow respectively.  E-News understands that CA's Umpire Manager Sean Carey will be there to observe both games.  Also today the first Sheffield Shield game of the season is to commence in Brisbane, Queenslanders Paul Reiffel and Bruce Oxenford being the on-field umpires for that game; while in Perth their National Umpire Panel colleagues Bob Parry (Victoria) and Ian Lock (Western Australia) will look after the one-dayer there and in Adelaide Simon Fry (South Australia) and Paul Wilson (Western Australia).






India says that it remains opposed to the Umpire Decision Reviews System (UDRS) despite indications that some its senior players would like to see it used in Tests, and a range of "questionable decisions" given by umpires in the recently completed Test against Australia in Mohali which the home side eventually won by the narrowest of margins (E-News 677-3231, 5 October 2010).  Despite that there are indications that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appears to have changed the basis of its opposition to the system.  


BCCI Secretary and President-elect N Srinivasan, who is also a co-owner of the Chennai franchise in the Indian Premier League, told the Press Trust of India (PTI) yesterday that there are "no prospects" that the referral system will be used in Tests involving India "in the immediate future".  "Umpires are human beings and they can make errors, [and] rather than stressing on the wrong decisions given, we should be happy that India have won the Test match", he said.  "As of now, I can tell you that we are not thinking about using the UDRS for the [three-Test] New Zealand series" in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Nagpur next month, said Srinivasan.  


However, in what appears to be a significant change of philosophy, the PTI story says that "it is believed that one of India's major gripes is that the system, which allows teams to ask for referrals, should be thrown out in favour of a simpler model whereby umpires will have recourse to check on any decision if they are unsure".  In the past the BCCI has said that it is reluctant to use the UDRS not because of the costs involved, but because they are not convinced that it is "100 per cent foolproof" (E-News 633-3158, 14 July 2010), a view its senior office holders have repeated on a number of occasions (E-News 648-3216, 8 August 2010)


The sO-called "simpler model" where umpires themselves check decisions without referrals in fact happened during the Mohali Test.  New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden checked on a possible 'no-ball' when Australian Michael Clarke was caught at short mid-wicket from the bowling of Ishant Sharma, returning Clarke to the crease after replays showed Sharma had overstepped; however, the playing conditions for the current series do not allow for referrals on LBWs or edges.


Indian player Zaheer Khan told the PTI that "if the technology is available, you can give it to the umpires so that they can use it", and opening batsman Virender Sehwag "expressed a personal opinion" that he "would love to have that referral system in Test cricket, or even in one-day cricket", a view he has previously stated publicly.  Despite that senior Indian players, including captain MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar are said to be "staunch" opponents of the system (E-News 643-3195, 1 August 2010).


The UDRS is currently expected to be operational for at least the final stages of next year's World Cup on the sub-continent, for it is an event organised by the International cricket council rather than the BCCI. 






Bangladesh umpire Enamul Hoque Moni, 44, has been named as the neutral umpire for the three One Day Internationals (ODI) between South Africa and Zimbabwe, the first match of which is to get underway in Bloemfontein today week.  Former Test player Moni, who represented his country in 10 Tests and 26 ODIs in the period from 1998-2003, has stood in 26 ODIs since his umpiring debut in that format almost four years ago, the latest being in the first of five-match series Bangladesh and New Zealand played on Tuesday.


During his playing career Moni travelled overseas for matches his country played in England, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Sharjar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, while the International Cricket Council (ICC) has previously appointed him to the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia in February 2008 (E-News 185-999, 29 January 2008), second-tier ODIs that were played in South Africa and Scotland in 2009, and a tier-one Twenty20 International Dubai between Pakistan and England in February this year.


Moni's on-field colleague in last Tuesday's Bangladesh-NZ ODI was Indian umpire Shavir Tarapore who was, according to advice posted on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) web site last week, to have stood in all five matches (E-News 676-3316, 4 October 2010). Information on the site yesterday indicates, however, that Pakistan's Aleem Dar, the ICC's 'Umpire of the Year' for 2010 (E-News 678-3326, 7 October 2010), will now be the neutral umpire in the last three games of that series.  Whether there was an error in the original positing or there is some other reason for the change is not known.






Players and staff at next year's World Cup on the sub-continent will be formally briefed on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption code, says a report published in London's 'Daily Telegraph' yesterday.  ICC announced the move following a meeting of the Central Organising Committee for the event in what appears an attempt to avoid a repeat of the spot-fixing scandal that marred England's recent Test series against Pakistan.


ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that "It is absolutely vital for our flagship event and the future prosperity of cricket that we maintain public confidence in the integrity of the game".  "Repeating the education and awareness to players and support staff will leave no room for doubt that we are committed to a zero-tolerance approach to corruption", he said.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010






Cricket Australia (CA) has moved quickly to address issues that arose in two of its matches over the weekend in regard to the recent change to Law 17.3b(ii) which prevents a bowler from bowling practice balls into the ground during a match (E-News 675-3312, 1 October 2010).  Cricket Tasmania (CT) too is looking at the situation and appears likely to follow CA's lead after a number of bowlers in the opening rounds of Premier League grade cricket over the weekend also had difficulties with the new Law.


Captains in two CA one-day split-innings matches played in Perth and Adelaide are understood to have raised the practice ball issue at Post Match meetings.  Sean Carey, CA's Umpires Manager and a former first class cricketer who was at both games (E-News 679-3332, 8 October 2010), said in an e-mail sent to State Associations yesterday that "we have discussed this [issue within CA] and are happy to relax this law for Australian domestic matches".  However, Carey makes clear that "if in the Umpire’s opinion the bowler is deliberately trying to bowl the ball into the ground to change its condition the Umpire will step in and apply the appropriate penalty". 


The new version of Law 17.3b(ii) says that if a bowler "deliberately" bowls a practice ball "on to the ground" he will be in contravention of  Law 42.3 which deals with inappropriate changing of the condition of the match ball, the latter being a most serious offence.  Law 42.3 states in part that, "if the umpires together agree that the deterioration in the condition of the ball is greater than is consistent with the use it has received [in the normal course of a match], they shall consider that there has been a contravention of this Law".  


The serious nature of 42.3 is illustrated by what umpires are required to do should they determine it has been contravened.  In the first instance they must change the ball and award 5 penalty runs to the batting side, while a second or subsequent such occurrence attracts not only a 5 run penalty but also requires that the bowler at the time be removed from the attack for the remainder of the innings.  Reports also follow as a result of both situations.  Linking the bowling of practice balls so directly with such a strong Law as 42.3 in the way it currently is is seen by many observers as fraught with problems for both match officials and players.    


Tasmanian State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows told E-News last night that as currently stated the two Laws together put umpires in a "less than perfect position" and that the approach CA has decided to take is "common sense". He believes that such action will stop the confusion that has surrounded the Law since it was announced earlier this year (E-News 600-3014, 12 April 2010).  CT is yet to formally announce whether it will follow the national body at the local level, however, such a move appears likely given the problems experienced in matches in Hobart last weekend.






Weather forecasts for the coming weekend suggest at the moment at least that those involved in Premier League matches in the Hobart region will have to contend with cold and rainy conditions, especially on Saturday.  "Showers with mountain snow" is the forecast for Saturday with a top temperature of just 11 degrees Celsius predicted, current Bureau of Meteorology computer projections indicating that the Hobart region in general could receive between 5 and 15 mm of rain during Friday and overnight into Saturday morning.


The cold and squally conditions are expected to result after a strong cold front crosses the State on Friday morning bringing a very cold south-westerly air flow from deep in the Southern Ocean close to Antarctica in its wake.  Things are likely to slowly ease during Saturday and into Sunday as a High pressure system pushes towards Tasmania but there will still be a "few showers" on Sunday, however, the maximum for that day is expected to rise to 16 degrees Celsius.  Up-dates on the weather outlook for the weekend are continuously available at the TCUSA web site via the 'Weather Outlook' tab.






A first-grade match in the South Coast Cricket Association (SCCA) in New South Wales had to be abandoned on Saturday after the umpire walked off after being verbally abused one time too many, says a report in yesterday's 'Illawarra Mercury'.  The Jamberoo side had faced only six overs in chasing the 193 visiting team 'The Rail' had scored in their innings when long-serving umpire Mick Moran walked from the ground after an "alleged verbal altercation" with bowler Tyson Harding.


Harding's skipper Simon Bartlett told the 'Mercury' that the bowler and Moran became involved in an argument over decisions in the sixth over "after a running battle in earlier overs".  Bartlett said Moran's action in leaving the field and forcing the game to be called off was "extreme" but he offered no excuse for the behaviour of his bowler.  "Tyson Harding will not play first grade again while I am the first-grade captain", said Bartlett, for "it wasn't acceptable [and] I'm embarrassed about the whole matter".


The captain continued by saying that "it's my job as captain to ensure the circumstances that led to this happening should not have occurred", but he "tried to talk to [Harding] however he couldn't be controlled [and that] was a very sad situation".  What was called the "tipping point" for the umpire came after Harding bowled a bouncer which went over the wicketkeeper's head and ran to the boundary.  "Tyson went off at Mick, saying it should have been a 'dead ball' not a four", said the captain, but "he was out of order [and] Mick obviously had had enough and that was the end of the game".


An unnamed Jamberoo player is said by the 'Mercury' to have described "the behaviour of The Rail team [as] the worst he had seen in his time in first grade, with The Rail players continually sledging Moran, even while Jamberoo were bowling".  The newspaper "was not able to contact [umpire] Moran" before publishing the article this morning, but says it "understands he was distressed by the behaviour of Harding and other players in the game".


The matter has been referred to the SCCA's Disciplinary Review Committee which will investigate the issue on Thursday, a hearing that is expected to see "more than one player [having] a case to answer over their conduct", says the 'Mercury'.






An innings in the Grassmere Cricket Association (GCA) in south-western Victoria on Saturday was restarted after five overs when it was noticed that the fielding side had had 12 players on the ground during that time, says a report in today's 'Warnambool Standard' newspaper.  It was an eventful time in what was the opening day of the 2010-11 season across the south-west, for another match in the region had to be delayed for two-and-a-half hours when a helicopter air ambulance landed on the ground to pick up a seriously ill patient. 


Killarney captain Liam Cole went out to take strike when his side was 2/10 off five overs chasing Mailors Flat's 139.  Cole told the 'Standard' that his batting partner, who had counted the field twice, brought the extra man to his attention.  After a quick count of his own to confirm the situation, Cole approached umpire Peter Doherty who "then did his own count and came up with 12".


The newspaper story says that that situation sent home side skipper Cole, his Mailors Flat counterpart John Robinson and Doherty "scurrying for rule books" but "a check of the [GCA] rules produced no solution".  "I don't carry the MCC rules in my back pocket", said Cole, so all parties "agreed that the innings had to be re-started at 0-0".  "I've been playing cricket for 19 years and I've never come across it before", said the Killarney skipper.


One hundred kilometres away to the north-east of Killarney at Camperdown's Leura Oval, a match between Bookaar and Boorcan was delayed when the region's air ambulance landed on the ground.  Bookaar president Stephen Fitzgerald said he and his side had been in the field for no more than five overs when he heard a helicopter.  "We thought it might have been for the Camperdown Show" that day and may have been landing there as a treat for kids, but "it hovered around and then all of a sudden it landed in the middle of the ground".


Fitzgerald said such an occurrence had happened once during training but never during a match, and that on another occasion it was going to land on the ground during a football game, but was diverted to the Show Grounds instead.  But with the annual Show on last Saturday, it had no alternative but to land on the cricket ground, the delay reducing the game from 40 overs a side to 30.






England are to be offered the chance to host the inaugural Test championship play-off during the Ashes summer of 2013, says London's 'Daily Mail' newspaper.  The Mail's Richard Gibson says that the Board of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected to "rubber stamp proposals" recommended to it by the ICC's Chief Executive Committee last month that Test cricket should be restructured with a "champion Test team" decided when the top two teams each four years meeting in a decider (E-News 668-3285, 16 September 2010).  


The Championship proposal is one of a number of issues that the Board, which is to meet in Dubai today and tomorrow, is to discuss.  Apart from that and other 'Future Tours Program' matters, it will also receive an up-date on recent spot-fixing allegations made against three Pakistani players, and the development of the game in both the Peoples Republic of China and the United States.


Thursday, 14 October 2010






Cricket Tasmania (CT) announced that it will follow Cricket Australia's (CA) lead in taking a "relaxed" approach to the way a bowler can practice on the field of play during Premier League matches this season.  CA decided on that approach on Monday after captains in two CA one-day split-innings games played in Perth and Adelaide over the weekend raised concerns about the practice ball 'bounce' issue at post-match meetings (E-News 680-3336, 12 October 2010).  


CT's 'Manager Premier League and Competitions' Chris Garrett said in a message sent to Premier League clubs yesterday that competitions "throughout Australia" experienced "the same confusion as some players and umpires [in CT's Premier League] competition" last weekend, and that following [CA's] decision to "relax the interpretation of the Law", CT has decided to apply the national body's approach in its competitions "effective immediately".


Despite that Garrett stressed, as has CA, that if in the umpire’s opinion the bowler is deliberately trying to bowl the ball into the ground to change its condition the official will still be required to step in and apply the penalty as outlined in Law 42.3.






A 12-man panel of umpires have been selected to stand in the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) 15-match, 11-day long, one-day domestic competition that is to get underway in Jamaica tonight Australian time and end there on Sunday week.  The WICB has adopted the tournament format for its senior one-day series as a cost saving measure.

Those chosen are the Caribbean's four officials on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Clyde Duncan (Guyana), Golande Greaves (St Vincent), Clancy Mack (Antigua) and Norman Malcolm (Jamaica), plus Lennox Abraham (Dominica), Gregory Brathwaite and Vincent Bullen (Barbados), Nigel Duguid (Guyana), Vivian Johnson (Jamaica), Luther Kelly (St Kitts), and Peter Nero and Joel Wilson (Trinidad and Tobago).  

Duncan, Greaves, Mack, Malcolm, Bullen and Nero also took part in the WICB's 2010 Twenty20 event played in Barbados and Trinidad in July-August, the West Indies Billy Doctrove, a member of the ICC's top Elite Umpires Panel, coming in for the finals of that competition (E-News 641-3189, 28 July 2010).  That event was also played in a tournament format similar to the forthcoming one-day series.  

The WICB has allocated umpires to the 12 one-day 'group' matches but not as yet for the semi finals and final.  All except Wilson, who will stand in three matches, have been allocated two games on the field and a third as the reserve umpire.





The England-based company behind the 'Total Cricket Scorer' (TCS) computer program has produced a temporary 'patch' that will allow Version 5 of the system to be used to record matches played under Cricket Australia's (CA) trial split-innings one-day playing conditions.  Tests carried out in Hobart recently showed that an innings being recorded by TCS could not be 'shut down' and reopened, as is the case in CA's new format where each innings is "suspended" after 20 overs.


As a result of the problems, TCUSA scorer Graeme Hamley sought advice from the Bedfordshire company who originally advised that its program "does not yet support this match type as it has only been trialled in the UK for a few matches", and that appropriate changes are unlikely to be released in Version 5.  More recent advice though is that the ability to score a split-innings has now been included in the latest Version 5 software which can be down loaded by TCS users from the company's web site.  TCS says though that the patch is only a "temporary solution" and that a "few limitations" are involved, although those are reportedly easy to work around.


Cricket Tasmania said earlier this month that it has no plans to introduce the split-innings concept into grade cricket, but will review CA's experiences with the format prior to the 2011-12 season getting underway (E-News 672-3294, 24 September 2010).  Most Tasmanian scorers will therefore not have to record split-innings games this summer, but those involved in CA's one-day games in the State will, however, need to use the changes TCS has made to record those games.


Problems were experienced with the scoreboard at the 'Gabba' in Brisbane and 'Cricinfo's web-based ball-by-ball description during CA's first split-innings format game last week due to problems that were reported to be computer-based, although those were non-TCS systems (E-News 679-3332, 8 October 2010).






Two players are to appear before the disciplinary committee of the South Coast Cricket Association (SCCA) in south-east New South Wales tonight to answer what the 'Illawarra Mercury' says are "multiple Level 1-3 charges" laid following a match played last weekend.  Play was abandoned early in the second innings of a one-day match when the umpire left the ground after what the 'Mercury' said earlier this week was a confrontation with a fast bowler (E-News 680-3338, 12 October 2010).  


If found guilty of all offences, Simon Bartlett, the captain of 'The Rails' side, and his fast bowler Tyson Harding, could spend lengthy periods on the sidelines, for each of the matters they have been charged with are said to carry penalties that involve suspensions of between one and eight weeks.  Barlett was quoted earlier this week as saying that he tried to talk to reason with Harding but "he couldn't be controlled" and that it is his "job as captain to ensure the circumstances that led to this happening should not have occurred".  The bowler's actions were "not acceptable [and] I'm embarrassed about the whole matter", he said.


The Rail Cricket Club's president Simon Pearse has spoken out in support of two players.  "We are right behind our players [and] until a decision is made we will be fully supporting Simon and Tyson this week", he said.  Bartlett declined to comment when contacted by the 'Mercury' on Tuesday, while Harding could not be contacted.


SCCA disciplinary panel chair Ian Jackson, who stood in 15 first class games in the first half of last decade, said the alleged incidents were not the most serious he had seen during his three-year tenure.  Mike Moran, the umpire who left the match and who has stood in over 200 games over the last 11 seasons, declined to comment beyond indicating that he planned to umpire a match during the coming weekend.  South Coast District Umpires Association co-ordinator Bruce Whiteman said the last time an umpire had abandoned a top-grade match in the competition was a final between Lake Illawarra and Warilla in the 1990s.






The world's highest Test and One Day International wicket taker, Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, says that former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair, was "just doing his job" when he 'no balled' him because of his action during the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne in 1995.  Muralitharan told a Malaysian journalist during a visit to Singapore last week that he holds no grudges about the matter, says the Sri Lankan newspaper 'Island News'.


Muralitharan said that at the time he "was very disappointed" but he also "received a lot of support, which was a huge encouragement", and its now time to "live and forget".  At the time "the International Cricket Council (ICC) did not have a proper ruling [on such] problems", but  "it now has a panel looking at issues such as mine and the set-up is good", he said.  ICC regulations require that umpires must now report suspect bowling actions at the end of a match, and the bowler is then sent for independent bio-mechanical testing.  


The Sri Lankan was also called for his action by Ross Emerson, another Australian umpire, who indicated that he was urged to no-ball the Sri Lankan "by a senior Australian official", who he never been named publicly, "who then abandoned me once I had made the call".   


After tests in 2004 revealed most bowlers illegally straightened their arms according to the then rules, regulations were changed from allowing no straightening to permitting a 15-degree tolerance level, research indicating the latter could be assessed using the naked eye.  Both Emerson and Hair have pointed to those changes as vindication of their decision to call Muralitharan (E-News 631-3148, 10 July 2010).


Friday, 15 October 2010





Cricket Tasmania (CT) has announced changes to its four-man State Umpires Panel (SUP), with Nick McGann standing down "due to personal and work commitments" and former SUP member Wade Stewart returning to the panel as a result.  The first impact of that move is that Stewart will join fellow SUP member Jamie Mitchell for all three national women's games that are scheduled for Launceston late this month (E-News 677-3322, 5 October 2010).  


Stewart, who is currently in his tenth season with the TCUSA, has to date stood in 221 Cricket Tasmania matches, 90 of them at First Grade level in what from this season is known as the Premier League.  He was appointed to the inaugural SUP in 2007 (E-News 89-479, 28 August 2007), but was squeezed out the following year when Cricket Australia directed that the size of the group be reduced in order that individuals on the panel could "be coached appropriately and their performances monitored adequately" (E-News 309-1617, 10 September 2008). 


Stewart was awarded the trophy as the Association's 'Best First Year' umpire in 2002 and the 'Advisor's Merit Award' the following year.  He stood in the CT's First Grade Grand Final in 2007, and his achievements also include two season deciders in each of the Seconds, Thirds and Women's Twenty competitions.  Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpiring, told E-News today that he is "very pleased to see Wade back on the panel as in [CT's] merit based system he is thoroughly deserving" of such an appointment, Stewart himself telling colleagues that "it will be an honour to be a formal part of the group again".


Like Stewart, Launceston-born McGann, 35, was also a member of the inaugural SUP in 2007.  He commenced his umpiring career with the Association in 2005 after a long playing career at First Grade level, and has since gone on to stand in 119 matches, 46 of them in First Grade.  In that short period he has stood in four Grand Finals, one in Third Grade and the others at Second Grade level in each of the last three seasons.  


Over the last two years McGann has travelled interstate as an SUP member, twice for pre-season matches in New South Wales (E-News 468-2428, 5 August 2009), and Darwin (E-News 650-3220, 11 August 2010), and also to stand in separate men's Under-17 and under-19 national championships (E-News 527-2701, 23 November 2009).  In addition he also worked in three Women's Twenty20 Internationals, an Under-19 One Day International, and two Futures Cup matches.  In a note to his SUP colleagues he thanked "all of the people that have supported me" over the last few years and says that he plans to make a decision on his overall umpiring future "in the near future".






Wet weather this week has resulted Cricket Tasmania (CT) calling off two of the Premier League First Grade one-day matches scheduled for tomorrow, while a third that day and a fourth on Sunday that are scheduled for Fergusson Park at Pontville will only go ahead if ground conditions and weather on the day are suitable.  The Pontville ground is in generally excellent condition, and given its geographic location and the weather situation that currently prevails, it may not receive as much precipitation as Lindisfarne and the TCA ground where matches have already been cancelled. 


Sunday's game between University and Kingborough was transferred to Pontville earlier this week when it became clear the campus pitch and ground would not be ready by tomorrow.  Rain in mid-week impacted significantly on preparations at both Lindisfarne and the TCA ground, and the games there between the home side and New Town and North Hobart and Clarence respectively were called off early this morning.  


The Hobart region has generally received between 10-20 mm of rain today, and Pontville probably around 5 mm, figures that are in line with estimates produced by Bureau of Meteorology computers on Tuesday (E-News 680-3337, 12 October 2010).  If it does get underway, Saturday's match there between South Hobart Sandy Bay and Glenorchy will be played in cold, blustery conditions, with the occasional shower passing through, while conditions should ease by Sunday.  Those managing games on either day can obtain continuous up-dates on the weather via the 'Weather Outlook' tab on the TCUSA web site.


Today's wet weather and the forecast for tomorrow has also resulted in the practice match scheduled for the synthetic pitch at Cornelian Bay, which was to have involved a number of new umpires, being called off.  






Representatives of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are to visit Australia during the forthcoming Ashes series in order to study the operation of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).  The BCCI and a number of senior members of its national squad have been opposed to the system since the side was on the wrong side of the referrals ledger during the very first UDRS trial in a Test two years ago (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008), although there have been signs of late that some players are now in favour of its use (E-News 679-3333, 8 October 2010).


The BCCI’s basic concerns about the UDRS have again changed if the latest press reports are to be believed.  For a long time senior Indian officials and some players complained that the system was "not 100 per cent accurate", and more recently that only umpires and not players should be able to refer decisions.  India's great batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who usually keeps his opinions private, has been very public in his opposition to the UDRS, and repeated his "not 100 per cent accurate" concerns after scoring 214 against the Australians in Bangalore this week, although he admitted that he is "quite impressed" with 'Hot Spot'.  


Media reports this week suggest the BCCI's concerns are now the "huge costs associated with the technology" and that they are "not happy with the Hawk-Eye’s predictive [abilities]", particularly in regard to heights.  The 'Virtual Eye' ball-tracking system developed by New Zealand company 'Animation Research', and not 'Hawk-Eye', is to be used for the Australia-England series (E-News 672-3300, 24 September 2010).  


'Cricinfo' reported this week that during the recently concluded India-Australia Test series, discussions occurred between the two captains, and officials, about the UDRS and the ball-tracking technology currently being used.  The series, which was without the UDRS because of the BCCI's opposition, included controversial umpiring decisions that reports suggest would have been overturned had the referral system been operational (E-News 677-3321, 5 October 2010).  


Reports published prior to the Tests in India said that Cricket Australia was "attempting to soften" Indian opposition to the UDRS and have it used in the just completed series (E-News 650-3221, 11 August 2010), however, the BCCI did not budge on its opposition to its use (E-News 660-3260, 30 August 2010).  It appears that problems with umpiring decisions during the recent Tests followed by discussions held during the ICC Board's meeting in Dubai this week, have led to the BCCI's decision to look closely at the UDRS in operation.


ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said this week that he hoped that the next few months could be a 'turning point' for the UDRS, and in a sweetener for its Boards, the world body said that they can now look for a sponsor for UDRS use during Test series, either in conjunction with the world body or on their own.  Lorgat is to accompany BCCI officials during their UDRS-related visit to Australia.






Cricket Australia (CA) has downgraded its rating of Tests as the most important form of the game, according to a story posted on the 'Cricinfo' web site this week.  CA's chief executive James Sutherland was quoted by journalist Peter English as saying there is now "a fine balance" between the priorities of five-day fixtures and the Twenty20 (T20) Champions League (CL), a comment that comes after two Australian players were "not allowed" to leave the CL tournament in South Africa early to prepare for Tests in India because their T20 team had reached the final of that competition.


Previously, interrupting the preparation for a Test "was unthinkable but Twenty20 is changing the rules", says writer English, for CA is one of the organisers and financial winners out of the CL and Sutherland said it was important for all three formats to prosper.  "In this case, the scheduling was difficult, particularly after the decision to play Tests in the [India] series, and it is a fact of life that scheduling of elite cricket - which we have sometimes described as being as difficult as trying to play chess in three dimensions - will create tough decisions from time to time", said Sutherland said. 


Batsman Michael Hussey and bowler Doug Bolinger were the Australians involved in the quick transition from the shortest to the longest form of the game, but they were not alone as Indians MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina had to deal with a similar situation.






The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Board has approved the creation of a Test Championship and a One Day International (ODI) 'League' as part of a restructuring of the international game that also includes a reduced 50-over World Cup and an enlarged World Twenty20 event.  The ICC's forward program will now be arranged so that both the Test and ODI-based "leagues" run in four year blocks with a winner of each emerging at the end of those periods. 


The first Test play-off is scheduled for 2013, the then top four rated teams qualifying for a play-off event.  Lord's is believed to be the favoured venue for the final (E-News 681-3340, 12 October 2010), in a northern summer that is also scheduled to see England host an Ashes series.  The ODI league will start in April next year and the inaugural champions are to be crowned in April 2014.  That competition is to run separately from the World Cup, an ICC 'flagship' event, which has been reduced to 10 teams from 16 for the 2015 tournament.  


Another aspect of the changes being made by the ICC is that its World Twenty20 (T20) event will be expanded to 16 teams commencing with the 2012 tournament in Sri Lanka.  The success of smaller nations like Netherlands and Afghanistan in T20 cricket prompted the ICC to expand the tournament, which will continue to feature a women's event played in parallel.

Monday, 18 October 2010





Video supported third umpires will assist their on-field colleagues in all matches played under the auspices of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) this season, not only at first class level but also those featuring women and in men's Under-16, Under-19 and Under-22 representative games.  The third umpires will not use lights to convey the outcome of any referral to those out on the ground, but rather different coloured flags to signal their assessment.


The BCCI commenced the practice of recording all of its domestic first class matches in 2007, the aim being to assist in lifting umpire standards across India (E-News 67-366, 15 July 2007).  As part of that program each match has a former umpire designated as umpires' coach whose job it is to evaluate the performance of match officials and provide feedback to them.  Under the new arrangements that coach will now also double as the third umpire when the on-field umpires "feel the need", says the 'Hindustan Times'.


Six cameras will be used for Ranji Trophy first class games and four for other matches, although only 'run out', 'stumping' and 'hit-wicket' decisions will be able to be referred to the third umpire.  There will be no red or green lights as is the case in international matches, instead the third umpire will wave a red flag to signal ‘out', a green flag to say ‘not out' and a white flag to convey that replays are inconclusive.  In the latter case the on-field umpires will have to take a decision.


The BCCI's chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told the 'Times' last week that "there are some close calls [in matches] which become crucial in the end, so we have decided to introduce the concept of third umpire in all domestic matches to ensure that we get correct decisions".  Shetty indicated that the BCCI has already supplied its 27 affiliate associations who play in the Ranji Trophy 8 cameras each at an estimated cost that is said to be around $A46,000.


In order "to ensure smooth operation" of the project, the BCCI has focused on making sure the quality of the equipment is high and that there are enough trained video analysts, who set up the cameras, lay the cables and control the monitor the recording system.  "We are continuing the process of training [video analysts] and at the moment and have about 60 [in place]", said Shetty, and "in fact people have started taking this as a career option".


The second day of the Bengal-Karnataka U-22 match in Kolkata last week saw two run-out decisions being referred to the third umpire, one of them being ruled 'out' by umpires' coach Subrata Banerjee.  Banerjee, 65, stood in 44 first class games in India' in the period from 1983-2002, as well as 13 One Day Internationals.






New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden's advice helped Matthew Hayden resurrected his batting form and escape being dropped from the Australian team during the Ashes series in England five years ago, according to reports on Hayden's new book 'Standing My Ground' published in the 'News Limited' press last week.  The Australian says that he went out of his way to befriend some of the world's best umpires and that they often helped him during important moments of Tests.


During the 2005 Ashes series, Hayden is said to have sought Bowden's help when he was experiencing indifferent form and was facing the axe if he didn't make a big score in the fifth Test.  During that game Bowden is said to have provided some "key advice" that helped Hayden "all the way to 138", a sore that "saved his Test career".  


"Before my career-saving century against England at the Oval in 2005, Bowden visited the nets and I approached him for advice", writes Hayden.  "I told him my goal was to try to tighten up in the Test, I felt I'd been expanding my attacking game too quickly, and I asked him to speak up if he thought so too", says Hayden.  "During the match I'd say to him, 'What do you reckon?' and he'd say, 'Looking real good, just stay patient.'  "I'd sometimes ask [of a bowler], is he swinging that much? and he'd say, 'Oh, it's just starting to reverse [and] Billy was brilliant that week [and] he really helped me", says the former Australian opening batsmen.


"People might be surprised that I had conversations like this with umpires, but I never considered it insider trading. I used every resource I legally could to enhance my game, and umpires were part of that process", Hayden added.  He also says that he has great respect for former Indian Test player and umpire Srinivas Venkataraghavan (Venkat), who is now a member of the International Cricket Council's umpire selection panel.


Venkat provided "invaluable tips about batting in India", says Hayden.  "I had great respect for the man and his opinions, and would sometimes say to him, 'What about this field?' He'd say, 'They're obviously trying to make you hit across the line,' tutoring me at a vital stage of my career".  Venkat umpired a dozen Tests in which Hayden played in Australia, England, India and South Africa.






The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Global Cricket Academy (GCA) in Dubai was officially opened last week.  The Academy, which is said to have "world-class, state-of-the-art facilities", has been set up to provide opportunity for players, coaches, umpires, curators and administrators from across the ICC’s 105 member countries to take part in specialised training courses.


As part of the plan to create the "best training facility in the world", indoor facilities include class rooms, meeting rooms, a technology suite and a gymnasium, while outside there are 38 floodlit outdoor practice pitches, 28 of them turf, the latter replicating playing surfaces in Asia, Australia, South Africa and the UK.  The pitch work has involved importing specific types of clay, soil and turf, and using varying preparation and agronomic practices to replicate the characteristics of each surface.  Two floodlit cricket ovals each have five 'Australian' and five 'Asian' pitches.


The Academy's coaches work under former Australia wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh and include former Test players Mudassar Nazar from Pakistan and Dayle Hadlee of New Zealand.  That trio will be implementing a "specific elite program, provide coaching education courses and support grassroots development to make the [new facility] a centre of excellence, innovation and education for world cricket".  No details have been provided as yet as to the type of programs that will be available to umpires at the GCA, which umpires will attend, or who will train them. 

Tuesday, 19 October 2010





New Zealand umpire Barry Frost has been promoted to that country's third umpire position on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), a move that is the only change in the ranks of Cricket New Zealand's (CNZ) top-tier domestic 'Elite' umpires panel for the 2010-11 season.  A feature of the season ahead are two planned umpire exchanges, the first between NZC and Cricket Australia late next month (E-News 662-3266, 2 September 2010), and the second with Cricket Sri Lanka early in the New Year.


Frost, 52, joins on-field members Gary Baxter, 58, and Chris Gaffaney, 34, on the IUP, replacing long-serving Evan Watkin, 59, in the television spot, a move that was flagged several six weeks ago (E-News 664-3272, 7 September 2010).  Watkin though remains on NZC's domestic 'Elite' panel, along with Baxter, Frost and Gaffaney, Evan Gray, 55, Phil Jones, 50, Tim Parlane, 52, and Derek Walker, 50, plus 'Billy' Bowden, 47, and Tony Hill, 59, of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel.  The latter pair will only be available domestically if their ICC commitments for the summer, which have yet to be announced, allow.  Of the ten, Gaffaney, Gray, and Walker all played first class cricket before taking up umpiring, Gray's record including 10 Tests. 


New IUP member Frost will umpire in the Sheffield Shield competition late next month with CA's Simon Fry working in a CNZ Plunket Shield fixture around the same time.  New Zealand's National Umpire Manager Rodger McHarg told E-News yesterday that Phil Jones and Sri Lankan's Ranmore Martinesz, the third umpire on his nation's part of the IUP, will also visit each other's country's in January-February next year to stand at first class level.


McHarg says that both NZC Umpires exchanges have been made possible because of specific funding grants from the NZ Prime Minister's Scholarship funding program.  NZ Cricket is said to be "delighted to have this funding available to further develop umpiring standards by way of exchanges, and the mutual benefits that flow from such opportunities", says McHarg.


Below the domestic 'Elite' panel are NZC's 'A' and 'Emerging' panels, which like the senior group are each made up of 10 umpires.  The 'A' panel for 2010-11 is made up of: Phil Agent, Mark Elliott, Peter Gasston, Michael George, Wayne Knights, Ash Mehrotra, David Paterson, Hiran Perera, David Reid and Peter Spall.  


McHarg says that new members, Indian-born Mehrotra, 40, Sri Lankan born Perera, 44, and England-born Spall, 46, none of whom have as yet stood at first class level, "have earned their opportunity [after] solid performances on the Emerging panel".  That trio have replaced Jeremy Busby, 49, who stood in 6 first class matches from 1997-2001, Kevin Manley, 60, in 5 from 2001-09, and David Quested, 64, 116 from 1990-2010 including 5 Tests, plus 31 One Day Internationals, who have all been dropped.


Seven members of the Emerging group are new, a change that "reflects the need to encourage younger umpires in to [NZC's umpiring] pathway", says McHarg.  Those seven are: Paul Anderson, John Bromley, Tony Gillies, Aaron Hardie, Shaun Ryan, Garth Stirrat and Glen Walklin, who join Raoul Allen, Kathy Cross and Johann Fourie on the panel.  Kevin Earl, David Ellwood, Rob Kinsey and Grant McAlister were dropped from last year's group.  While now retired, Earl, along with Manley and Quested from the 'A' panel, will continue to play important part in umpiring development in NZ in coaching, mentoring and training roles. 


Most of the Emerging group's appointments will be to NZC age group and development tournaments and matches, but the learning opportunity is considered the key to the progress that these umpires can achieve going forward, says McHarg.  Around 275 matches are on NZC's program for the coming summer across all of the competitions it manages, so there will be plenty of work from all 30 members of the three panels.  


Twenty of NZC's domestic one-day series are to be televised by 'Sky' this season, a move that McHarg says is "a significant step forward in terms of enabling umpires at [that] level to be able to self review, and also develop their third umpire skills, an important area with the likley expansion in the years ahead of [the referral system] at international level".






Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar, who was named as the world 'Umpire of the Year' for the second time this month (E-News 675-3326, 7 October 2010), has told the web site that he took up umpiring after he realised his "fierce desire" to play for Pakistan would not be fulfilled.  Dar, like many umpires working toward the highest levels of the game, also talked about how difficult it was at times early on to earn sufficient money so that he could to continue with his umpiring career. 


Dar, played 17 first class matches in Pakistan from 1987-97, averaging 11.7 as a middle-order batsman and 34.4 as a leg spinner, as well as 18 one-day games where his averages were slightly better; and he continues to play in veterans cricket at home, recently scoring a century for his side.  His rise in umpiring ranks was rapid, for after his initial first class game in 1999, he made his One Day International debut in 2000, stood in the World Cup in 2003 and later that year in the first of his now 60 Tests; before being named as a member of the International Cricket Council's 'Elite' panel in 2004.


The 42-year-old said that he had to face a "severe uphill battle" to realise his umpiring dream for umpiring is "hardly the most established profession in Pakistan".  "Initially I started supervising cricket matches in local club tournaments, but there was hardly enough money to make it into a career to earn bread and butter for the family, so for a short interval, I thought of scrapping the whole idea", Dar said.  Dar paid tribute to his wife for her "consistent support" and his friend Azhar Zaidi who both encouraged him to keep going.


A number of umpires who have stood at Test level in recent years, including five-time world 'Umpire of the Year' Simon Taufel, have indicated how challenging it is to umpire on a part time basis while working full time and juggling work and family roles (E-News 672-3298, 24 September 2010).  


Dar said that former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor is his "favourite international umpire and my role model in the umpiring profession as a source of inspiration, guidance and companionship".  "He was closely associated with me in the initial part of my international career, and lent me maximum support as a senior in the trade, and guided me in carrying out my assignments", said the Pakistani.






The umpiring career of former Victorian first class player Shawn Craig, who was appointed to Cricket Australia's fast-track Project Panel (PP) two weeks ago (E-News 675-3327, 7 October 2010), got off to a slow start last Saturday as  matches in Cricket Victoria's  Premier Cricket (PC) competition had to be cancelled because of the inclement weather.   Craig, 37, a middle order batsman and leg spin bowler during his playing days, had been assigned to a PC Third Grade match between Northcote and Footscray, a fixture that is believed to be his first formal game as an umpire. 






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a new code of conduct for its players, both domestic and international, a move that follows recommendations made to it by the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Players must sign the new code before leaving for the One Day International and Test series against South Africa which is to be played in the United Arab Emirates commencing next Tuesday.


National team manager Intikhab Alam, a former Pakistan captain and coach, told reporters that it would involve stricter standards of behaviour, while players would be barred from directly addressing the media, from using mobile phones during matches and that "unauthorised people" will be barred from dressing rooms.  The playing squad were briefed about their responsibilities in a 90-minute lecture during a training camp in Lahore this week.


The ICC announced last week, following its Board meeting, that a special eight-point anti-corruption initiative had been agreed with the PCB.  Among the measures announced, the PCB must uphold a zero tolerance attitude to corruption, and introduce an education program for all registered players, as well as an accountable and robust disciplinary process.


Michael Beloff QC, the head of the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct Commission, is to hear the appeals by three Pakistan cricketers against their recent suspension over spot-fixing allegations in Qatar on 30-31 October (E-News 678-3329, 7 October 2010).






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is continuing to play hard ball with the International Institute of Cricket Umpiring and Scoring (IICUS), if a recent article in the 'Oxford Mail' is correct.  The IICUS's recent claim that a 15-year-old umpire trained by it is Britain’s youngster qualified umpire, brought a rebuke from the ECB who pointed out that has a qualified umpire who is 14, and the dispute could impact on ECB funding for cricket in Oxfordshire if the local Board there does not disassociate itself from the IICUS claims the 'Mail' article.


West Oxfordshire umpire Mick Warren, who is a IICUS Director and Secretary, conducted the training for 15-year-old Ethan Peel who received wide publicity in the print and electronic media in the UK earlier this month when he stood in a match in Oxfordshire.  Warren is closely associated with the Oxfordshire Cricket Board (OCB), and while not a member, has for many years organised the complete youth fixture list, including the appointment of umpires.


The 'Mail' says that the ECB "have put pressure on the [OCB] to disassociate themselves from Warren and IICUS", for since it was established in 2006 as a breakaway from the old Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers, the ECB has never recognise it as a training body, even though the quality of the Institute's products are of a high standard (E-News 47-256, 27 May 2007).  Its products include the 24 page 'Umpire Techniques' manual which was written by IICUS member Darrel Hair and is still a key tool used by TCUSA members (E-News 297-1568, 18 August 2008).  


The ECB's approach "has left us in a very diffcult position", says OCB chairman Chris Clements, who indicated in the Mail's words that "a large chunk of money allocated for youth cricket could be withheld by the ECB if [the OCB] did not comply".  “We are in danger of losing a valued volunteer [in Warren], but we must comply with the ECB’s wishes", continued Clements, therefore "we’ve asked Mick Warren to disassociate himself from IICUS, but have so far had no reply".  


Clements is quoted as saying that “the ECB are taking a very hard line on this [and that] the OCB fully support that position [for the national body] will take a very dim view if this county continues to be the centre of [the IICUS'] UK activities".  Peter Tomlin, chairman of Oxford-shire’s cricket umpires and scorers, said that there was no way that Warren could be involved in Oxfordshire umpiring unless he severed his ties with IICUS.


Warren, while declining to comment on his future, said that the IICUS "are professional body working for the interests of cricket umpires and scorers everywhere [and] it is most unfair that we are being discriminated against in this way".  He apparently admitted that Peel’s award for umpiring did not involve a written test, but rather through continued assessment both on and off the field.


The IICUS, a registered company with an address in Surrey, has spoken out strongly in the past about what is sees as issues or principles involving the game (E-News 45-247, 24 May 2007).  A former Director stood in the "unofficial" Indian Cricket League (E-News  206-1147, 10 March 2008), and it has criticised the ECB directly for its management of umpiring and scoring (E-News 233-1291, 23 April 2008), always maintaining the need for match officials to operate independently of players and administrators, something it feels the ECB's Association of Cricket Officials does not appropriately meet.


Originally the organisation had bases in Liverpool, Gloucester and Northants, however, the 'Mail' says that it believes that Oxfordshire, through Warren, is now its "only active base".  The organisation also had links in Australia, through the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association in Sydney, and India, although as far as it is known both have not been active in recent years.  Cricket Australia used IICUS training materials in a course it ran in Nepal two years ago (E-News  323-16880, 3 October 2008), and Cricket New South Wales' auditorium at the Sydney Cricket Ground was made an "accredited centre" for IICUS operations in Australia (E-News 297-1565, 18 August 2008).

Wednesday, 20 October 2010






Lancashire-based Nick Westwell, who has visited Hobart twice in recent summers to umpire, was named as the Lancashire League's (LL) 'Umpire of the Year' for 2010 last Friday.  Westwell, 51, who played 586 matches in the LL in the period from 1976-2007, took up umpiring three years ago and has gone on to stand in 71 games in League in the time since, that figure including 19 in the season just ended.  


The award is decided by marks given by First team captains and Westwell, who stood in Cricket Tasmania's First Grade competition last austral summer, says he was "shocked" but "over the moon" about his selection after a season that saw him stand in the Worsley Cup final, a game in which Tasmanian Alex Doolan played, that was watched by around 2,000 spectators.  Westwell told Tasmanian State Director of Umpires Richard Widows that he learnt a lot during his stints in Tasmania, visits that had contributed to his development as an umpire.


Accrington-born Westwell, who earns his living as a junior coach with Lancashire and has two loves, cricket and Accrington Stanley, is headed for the Southern Hemisphere again next month to umpire and watch cricket.  This time its to the North Island of New Zealand where he has arranged to stand in matches in the Bay of Plenty area where four competitions operate.  He says that he will be working hard whilst there to further improve his umpiring skills.






'Showers' currently appear to be the order of the day next Saturday-Sunday when all of Cricket Tasmania's (CT) seven competitions involving a total of 29 games are scheduled to get underway for the first time this season.  It remains to be seen though whether all 11 grounds with turf pitches that will be needed over the two days will be prepared in time, for while fine weather is expected over the next three days, wet conditions from Friday to Monday last week impacted on the ability of curators to do lead up work on pitches at some locations.


Fixtures next weekend call for the turf pitches on the grounds of the 8 Premier League clubs, and the Southern Tasmania Cricket League's (STCL) Eady Street and Clare Street, to all be used on both days for one-day matches.  A fifth STCL game is listed on turf at Fergusson Park on Saturday, the Sunday there seeing two women's Twenty20 (T20) fixtures.  Two other women's T20 are listed for artificial pitches at Lower Queenborough and Queens Walk on Sunday morning, with Under 15 matches played at those grounds and at Cornelian and Kangaroo Bays that afternoon.


CT, which has little room for move when it comes to turf pitch availability, will look at the status of grounds in relation to next weekend's play later today and an initial up-date is expected to be provided at tonight's first TCUSA Training-Appointments meeting at Bellerive.  


That gathering will commence at 7.15 p.m. with what is expected to be a short Special General Meeting to consider proposed amendments to the TCUSA Constitution.  During the evening new umpires will be provided with 'on-field' uniform items, advice will be provided on a range of administrative matters, including first appointments, while TCUSA Umpires Advisor Richard Widows will outline on-field expectations for the season.  Nibbles and drinks will end the evening so that both old and new members can get acquainted with each other. 






'Dot point' summaries of Playing Conditions for six of the one-day competitions Cricket Tasmania is running during the 2010-11 season can now be down loaded from the TCUSA web site.  The notes are not designed as a substitute for actual CT By Laws, rather as a 'Ready Reckoner' for umpires or scorers who are involved in managing different match formats over relatively short periods of time to quickly review the arrangements that apply to the game they are involved in, and they can also serve as a 'check list' for umpiring pairs to quickly go through prior to matches commencing.


In addition to summarising key information the downloads, which cover Premier League First-Second, Thirds-Under 17, Under 15 and Southern Tasmania Cricket League competitions, also contain links to the page and paragraph of CT's 2010-11 'By Laws' booklet should further information be required. Each document can be downloaded from the TCUSA web site by going to 'Match Management' then selecting 'CT Premier League Playing Conditions'.






Tony Howard, the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) Director of Cricket, told Caribbean umpires and match referees attending a three-day workshop in Jamaica last week that that the WICB is making "committed efforts" to lift the standards of umpiring and match refereeing in the region in order to produce world class personnel who can compete for places on the International Cricket Council's match officials panels.


In February this year, the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) forwarded a list of matters it says it has been trying to resolve with the WICB for a number of years.  Issues mentioned then included: the appointment of an umpires' manager for the Caribbean; match fees for regional and international matches; operation of the WICB's umpires' exchange program with England and Bangladesh; retirement benefits for regional umpires; and what was called the "unresolved impasse" between two umpiring bodies in Trinidad and Tobago.


The WICUA also stressed at the time that the WICB's policy regarding the "appointment, exposure, upgrading, regrading and promotion" of umpires was an issue of concern, that work needed to proceed to establish a twelve-man domestic Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in 2011, and the WICB's 'youth' policy regarding the appointment of umpires under the age of thirty-five, needed focus (E-News 575-2908, 24 February 2010).  


Howard's comments, together with the WICB's announcement earlier this month that it will set up Caribbean-wide umpire and match referee panels (E-News 685-3362 below), suggests that a number of aspects of the WICUA's concerns are being, or will be, addressed. 






The West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) Directors agreed at a meeting held in Barbados earlier this month to form three new Caribbean-wide match officials panels, two of them for umpires and the other for match referees, a move that is designed to lift the standard of match officials in the region (E-News 685-3361 above).  Just who will make up the three groups, which will each consist of 12 members, or when they will be operational has not yet been announced, however, reports say those chosen are to be paid a so-far undisclosed retainer as part of contract arrangements.


Reports from Barbados say that the three panels are to be known as the Senior Umpires Panel (SUP), the Emerging Umpires Panel (EUP) and the Match Referees Panel (MRP).  Information available suggests they will be made up of individuals who will be selected on a merit basis from the WICB's six main regions.  The WICB's Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ernest Hilaire, says that the SUP "will mostly include the senior umpires in the region", the EUP's title speaks for itself, while the MRP is to be made up of "referees who will officiate in all WICB Tournaments".


During this year's domestic first class competition in the Caribbean in January-February, the WICB used 28 umpires from its six regions for the 21 games that were played, the majority standing in only one game each (E-News 600-3015, 12 April 2010).  Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windward Islands each provided five umpires, Barbados and the Leeward Islands both four, and Guyana three.  The other two used were Richard Bailey from England and Gazi Sohel of Bangladesh, who each stood in three matches as part of exchange programs between their respective home Boards and the WICB. 


Just how, given the inter-island politics that are involved, the WICB plans to make appointments to the panels is not clear, but umpiring selections for the Caribbean's 'domestic' Twenty20 series in July-August, and to its current one-day equivalent in Jamaica (E-News 681-3342, 14 October 2010), plus attendees at a three-day workshops for umpires, match referees and video analysts from across the Caribbean held by the WICB in Jamaica last week, provide hints as to just who could be involved. 


Twelve umpires are currently standing in the one-day event, Clyde Duncan, 56 (Guyana), Golande Greaves, 53 (St Vincent), Clancy Mack, 54 (Antigua) and Norman Malcolm, 55 (Jamaica), plus Lennox Abraham (Dominica), Ricky Braithwaite (Leeward Islands), Vincent Bullen, 53 (Barbados), Nigel Duguid (Guyana), Vivian Johnson, 52 (Jamaica), Luther Kelly, 56 (St Kitts), and Peter Nero, 46, and Joel Wilson (Trinidad and Tobago).  


Six of them, Duncan, Greaves, Mack, Malcolm, Bullen and Nero also took part in the WICB's Twenty20 event two months ago (E-News 641-3189, 28 July 2010).  Nero twice, once to England and the second time to Bangladesh (E-News 562-2857, 1 February 2010), and Wilson once to England (E-News 600-3015, 12 April 2010), have been on WICB-organised umpiring exchanges, which suggests they are seen as having the potential for higher things. The WICB is yet to announce its membership on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel for the year ahead, Duncan, Greaves, Mack and Malcolm being the current incumbents.   


The 13 match referees who attended last week's Jamaica workshop were: Vanroy Burnes (Leeward Islands); Carlyle Carter and Mervyn Jones (Barbados); Reon King and Colin Stuart (Guyana); Cecil Fletcher, Denavon Hayles, Michael Hylton, Donald McNaughton (Jamaica); Selwyn Allen and Patrick Felix (Windward Islands); and Terrance Birbal and Haydn Bruce (Trinidad & Tobago).


Of those there is no record of Bruce, Burnes, Carter and McNaughton having umpired or played at first class level but that have so far worked as match referees in 2, 1, 6 and 2 such matches respectively.  Jones stood in 14 first class matches from 1996-2005 and has since officiated in 4 more as a match referee, Fletcher stood in 16 (1996-2009) but is yet to work as a match referee at that level, the same as Birbal who has umpired 40 first class games (1995-2009).  There is no record of Hayles, Hylton or Felix at all on cricket data bases consulted by E-News, while Allen's umpiring experience has been limited to being the reserve umpire in a single first class game and he too, appears yet to have worked as a match referee.


On the other hand King, 35, and Stuart, 37, have not been umpires or match referees, but they have played first class cricket.  The former played 95 first class games, 19 of them Tests from 1995-2007, and the latter 52, including 6 Tests, from 1994-2003.


Other attendees at last week's workshop in Jamaica included ICC Elite Umpires Panel member, Billy Doctrove of Dominica, the ICC's Umpires and Referees Manager Vince Van Der Bijl, and John Holder, the ICC's Regional Umpires Performance Manager for Europe and the West Indies who gave presentations to the gathering.  Van Der Bijl told participants that they "must take the responsibility to control the game and maintain discipline at all times".  


Thursday, 21 October 2010






Ten new or returning umpires are amongst the 31 TCUSA members named to stand in the 24 Cricket Tasmania (CT) matches that are to be played this coming weekend.  While current forecasts suggest that the weather will be suitable for play on Saturday-Sunday, CT has already had to cancel five matches and shuffle others around because the recent wet weather prevented turf pitches at three grounds being prepared in time (E-News 685-3360, 20 October 2010).


Curators advised CT yesterday that turf pitches at the Queenborough, King George V (KGV) and Kingston Beach Ovals will not be ready for the weekend, a situation that led two Premier League Second Grade, two Third and a single Under-17 Grade match being cancelled; although the current situation at the Soldiers Mermorial Ground on the Domain suggests that it will not be known until Saturday whether play there will be possible.  Fine weather today and for most of Friday should help that situation, however.


All First Grade games will be played for they were given priority by CT, although those originally scheduled for KGV and Kingston Beach had to be transferred to University and Fergusson Park respectively, the latter also being moved from Saturday to Sunday to make the juggle of grounds fit.  Use of Fergusson Park that day means that two women's Twenty20 fixtures that were to be played there had to be transferred to the artificial pitch on the adjacent oval at Pontville.  


New of returning umpires this weekend are:  Ted Baird; Simon Burns; Nigel Clements; Harvey Duthoit; Nick Falconer; Andrew Ikin; Brent Jones; David Matthews; Craig Meredith; and Ross Starr.  Burns, Duthoit and Matthews have stood with the TCUSA previously, Burns being named as the best first year umpire in 2002, Meredith is a former Sydney Grade player, and Jones played first class cricket in England in the mid-1990s.  Of the 31 umpires who will be at work, 19 will be involved in single matches over the weekend, while 12 are to stand in at least two matches, and three First Grade umpires in three, one each on the Saturday and two on Sunday.


The Bureau of Meteorology currently expects a trough and cold front to pass over southern Tasmania overnight Friday-Saturday, however, current indications are that little rain will fall in the Hobart area.  The forecast for Saturday is therefore for "mainly fine' conditions on both days of the weekend with the maximum temperature on both days estimated to be 17 degrees Celsius.  Those managing games on the weekend can keep up-to-date around-the-clock with weather conditions via the 'Weather Outlook' section of the TCUSA web site.






TCUSA Life Member Don Heapy is to stand in on his 500th match as an umpire with the Association during the summer ahead.  Officially on 487 games at the start of the season, Heapy is one of a number of TCUSA members owho looks like reaching a key milestone on the field sometime during the 2010-11 season, although he tells E-News that he has already passed the five Century mark as "quite a few official games have gone unrecorded" in his 32 seasons so far.


Another long-serving Life Member, Mark Gillard, needs another 31 matches to reach the 450 mark in what is his twenty-second season.  Steve Maxwell also needs 31 games in his twenty-first summer with the TCUSA to reach 300 games; Steve Gibson 11 for 250 in his thirteenth and Wade Stewart another 31 also for 250 in his tenth; while Mark Wickham needs just six in his tenth season, and Joe Hewitt 19 in his sixteenth, to bring up 200.  


Bruce Parker will reach 150 matches with another 17 games as will Sam Nogajski who, with the three matches he has stood in so far this season, is currently 7 short of that total.  Nogajski's State Umpire Panel (SUP) colleague Mike Graham-Smith will reach the 100 mark when he has umpired 17 matches this season, while Peter Walker, Conrad Lawson and Cameron Lee need 11, 13 and 15 respectively to bring their tallies with the TCUSA to 50.


Nogajski's First Grade game this weekend at Fergusson Park on Sunday will be his fiftieth at that level since his debut five seasons ago, while Stewart, another SUP member, looks likely reach the 100 game mark in First Grade by the end of the season.  






Mick Warren, the umpire at the centre of a dispute between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Oxfordshire Cricket Board (OCB), has severed his connections with the County, according to Michael Know of the 'Oxford Mail'.  The cause of this dispute was Warren’s involvement with the International Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (IICUS),  a training body not recognised by the ECB (E-News 684-3358, 19 October 2010).


The 'Mail' says that the ECB "threatened the [OCB] with a reduction in their youth cricket funding if Warren continued to work for them". Warren had organised, in a voluntary capacity, all the OCB's youth fixtures over many years, and Oxfordshire chairman Chris Clements told Know that “Although I’ve not spoken to Mick directly,  I understand he is stepping down as youth fixture secretary".  He added that  “it’s a great shame and very said, as he was a valued volunteer".


Clements revealed that Warren had been offered the post of the OCB's umpires’ appointments secretary, provided he ended his link with IICUS, "but Mick was resolute in sticking with the IICUS, so in the end it was his choice", he said.  Warren is said to have been unavailable for comment. 






Cricket Australia (CA) has assigned 20 umpires and 7 match referees for the 12 women's Twenty20 and 6 Womens National Cricket League (WNCL) one-day matches that are to be played in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney over 17 days starting on 12 November.  Three Tasmanians were amongst the 19 umpires who have been named for the first 12 T20 and 6 WNCL games in the last half of this month, however, with no matches scheduled to be played in either Tasmania or Western Australia next month, umpires from those States will not be in action in the next bunch of women's games.


Two one-day WNCL matches are scheduled for Canberra and one each in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney next month, while the nation's capital will also see the bulk of T20 encounters with four, each of the other capitals hosting two such games each; home city umpires being used for all matches.


Umpires named for next month's matches are: Victorian Phil Proctor (one WNCL, one T20), Sam Sciacca (0/2) and Richard Patterson (1/1); New South Welshmen Greg Davidson (0/1), Andrew Hamilton (1/0), David Lenzo (1/0), Matt Rouse (0/1), Ben Treloar (0/1) and Tony Wilds (0/1); Canberrans Damien Eason (1/2), Simon Lightbody (0/3), Yohan Ramasundara (1/1) and Andrew Shelly (2/2); South Australians Andy Collins (0/1), Thomas McLeod (1/1), Luke Uthenwoldt (1/1) and Andrew Willoughby (0/1); and Queenslanders Jay Kangur (0/1), Damien Mealey (1/1), and Norm McNamara (1/2).  


All except Davidson, Eason, Rouse, Wilds and the South Australians, the latter where there were no matches, received appointments to the opening series of womens' games that are currently underway (E-News 677-3322, 5 October 2010).  Collins, Hamilton, Shelley, Lightbody, McNamara, Mealey, Proctor, Ramasundara, Sciacca and Willoughby are also among those who have been appointed to Futures League matches for State Second XI sides that are to be played up until the end of November (E-News 679-3331, 8 October 2010).  


CA's Umpire High Performance Panel members Ric Evans, Peter Marshall and Steve Small will all work as match referees come umpire observers in three games each, the first pair all in Canberra and Small in Brisbane.  Other referees to be used are Denis Burns CA's Umpire Education manager for three matches in Melbourne, and former first class umpires Kim Perrin in Adelaide another three, and Graham Reed and Darren Goodger in Sydney with two and one respectively.






Four home-base umpires have again been selected to stand in the 2010 Hong Kong Sixes (HK6) tournament at the Kowloon Cricket Ground over the weekend of 6-7 November.  First played in 1992, the competition is the longest-running international tournament of its kind and will be celebrating its sixteenth edition, but funding has again prevented a high-profile international umpire to be flown in for the event (E-News 338-1787, 28 October 2009).


Hong Kong-based umpires appointed for on-field duties are: Kevin Bishop, Anoop Gidwani, Clive Howard and Mike Walsh; the third umpires being Ian Thomson and Gidwani's twin brother Sudhir, while the tournament referee is Roger Nissim, a former Hong Kong representative player. 


England-born Walsh, who played Lancashire League cricket and also represented Hong Kong in International Cricket Council Trophy matches, is no stranger to HK6 tournaments having to date chalked up 84 games in ten of the series played since 1997; however, while selected again last year in the end he was not able to take part because of illness.


Sudhir Gidwani, who was originally named as the reserve umpire in 2009, stood in 12 'Sixes' matches after Walsh's withdrawal, Bishop and Howard 11 and Anoop Gidwani 10.  Howard, a former Chairman of the Hong Kong Cricket Association, made his debut in the competition last year, while Anoop Gidwani's total over the years is 19, Bishop's 16 and Sudhir Gidwani's 13.  Thomson was also the third umpire last year, having stood in four games 12 months before that.


Teams taking part in the quick-fire tournament will represent Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and hosts Hong Kong.  Profits from the weekend, which will be played at the skyscraper-surrounded Kowloon Cricket Club, will be ploughed directly back into cricket development in Hong Kong.  






International Cricket Council (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' for 2010, Pakistan's Aleem Dar (E-News 675-3326, 7 October 2010), has urged his countryman to forget recent controversies, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to increase player awareness of their responsibilities, so that the team can regain its "lost status in the cricket world", says an article published in 'The Express Tribune' yesterday.  


Dar told the 'Tribune' that Pakistani players "should be given more classes on the ICC’s code of conduct", a comment that came a day after the PCB announced a new code for its players, a move that followed recommendations made to it by the ICC (E-News 684-3357, 19 October 2010).  "Pakistan has enormous talent and is the best team in the world, [even though] here are good days and bad days, and [the side] has had a few bad ones but I believe a good time is to follow very soon", he said.


Talking more generally, Dar said that as an umpire "its essential that you concentrate hard all the time and stay cool as well", however "its not an easy job" and "it’s really good to see technology making its way into the game".  "Some things are beyond your control, like a faint nick onto the pad or a bat-pad catch", he said, and "technology can help batsmen get a life when they deserve it", he said.


The Lahore-based umpire stressed that "the game is for the players", and that "generally my relationship with them has been good", although the key factor is respect, for you have to "give them respect and they give that back to you in return".  Despite that however, "sometimes when lines are crossed on the field I adopt a rigid approach but my first priority is to always settle down things in a pleasant manner".


During the interview Dar also said that Twenty20 (T20) cricket was more prone to umpiring mistakes because of its fast pace.  “I give equal value to all forms of cricket, even the Under-19 matches that I stand in", he said, but the T20 format "is very fast and the number of mistakes may be high just because of the pace".  Despite that he feels "comfortable in [T20s] because the ball normally remains new compared to Test cricket where it gets old and hence more difficult to spot".


Dar dedicated his second successive 'Umpire of the Year' award to the flood victims in his country "who suffered heavily during the recent disaster”.  In August he was reported to be door knocking in Lahore to help raise funds for the victims (E-News 653-3235, 17 August 2010), and he is still believed to be providing support for the family of the driver of the match officials' mini-van who was killed in last year's terrorist attack in Lahore (E-News 380-3021, 4 March 2009).  “I’m very proud to be a Pakistani [for] I’m what I’m today because of this country, [and] even when I’m on a foreign tour, my priorities lie with my country", he told the 'Tribune'.






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has decided to retain the Twenty20 fixture list for next summer despite fears of dwindling interest in the format there, according to a report in yesterday's London 'Daily Telegraph'.  The ECB's T20 competition in the northern summer just ended involved a total of 151 games played over a six week period and was widely criticised for failing to draw the big crowds previously seen in the competition (E-News 630-3146, 8 July 2010).


'Cricinfo' says that the Counties have been hoping the ECB could resolve the scheduling issue soon in order that they can commence their marketing campaign for the 2011 summer.  The 'Telegraph' says that the smaller Counties, who rely on the income generated from the long fixture list, won their battle to resist change at a meeting at Lord's on Tuesday.


Overall, Counties are said to have suffered poor financial returns last season which has made the fixture problem more acute, says the 'Telegraph', although some of that has been attributed to the football World Cup in South Africa dominating the summer as well as the neutral Test series between Pakistan and Australia. The hope is that without these distractions the 2011 season will be easier to sell cricket to the general public.


Saturday, 23 October 2010






South African umpire Marais Erasmus, who was promoted to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel nearly five months ago (E-News 617-3091, 5 June 2010), will be the neutral umpire for the three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Australia and Sri Lanka which is due to get underway in Melbourne on Wednesday week, Englishman Chris Broad being the match referee, according to reports received by E-News.


The forthcoming ODIs will be Erasmus' first international in Australia, however, he is not a complete stranger to this country having officiated in two Sheffield Shield matches earlier this year, one in Melbourne and other in Brisbane where two of the ODIs will be played (E-News 536-2765, 28 December 2009).  For Broad, who has 165 ODIs under his belt as a match referee, it will be only his second visit to Australia in that capacity in a one-day game, the last time being in January 2005, although he has looked after four Test series 'down under'.


Reports available indicate that Cricket Australia (CA) has appointed Paul Reiffel to stand with Erasmus in the opening game in Melbourne and the last in Brisbane, his fourth and fifth ODIs, with Bruce Oxenford on the field in the middle game in Sydney, his seventeenth.  Oxenford will be the third umpire in Melbourne and Brisbane and Reiffel in Sydney.  Oxenford and Reiffel, together with Simon Fry, are Australian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).


Oxenford and Reiffel will stand together in the single Twenty20 International between the two sides in Perth tomorrow week, while Fry will be the third umpire in that game, his first in that role in an international since being named to join the IUP almost five months ago (E-News 618-3097, 8 June 2010).


Reiffel's selection for two ODIs comes despite the fact that Oxenford is believed to top CA's umpires' National Umpires Panel (NUP) contract list for 2010-11, but whether there is any significance in that is not known.  CA does not discuss such issues publicly, but Reffiel is reported to be second on the list, then comes South Australia's Fry, Ian Lock (WA), Bob Parry (Victoria), Mick Martell (WA), John Ward (Victoria), Gerard Abood (NSW), Tony Ward (Victoria), Geoff Joshua (Victoria) and Paul Wilson (WA), with the newest member, Ash Barrow of Victoria, in twelfth place.  


Since the 2009-10 season's contract list, indications are that Fry leap frogged Lock, Martell did the same to John Ward, and Abood similarly to Tony Ward.  Individual retainers paid by CA, which NUP members receive in addition to match fees, are thought to run from around $50,000 per annum at the top of the ratings list to perhaps around $20,000 at the bottom.





South African umpire Shaun George, who visited Australia three months ago to stand in the Emerging Players Tournament (E-News 640-3188, 28 July 2010), has been appointed to his nation's third umpire position on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  George replaces Johan Cloete who was promoted from the IUP television spot into an on-field position alongside long-serving Brian Jerling, the new arrangements flowing from the appointment of their countryman Marais Erasmus to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel last June (E-News 617-3091, 5 June 2010).


George, 42, worked as the third umpire in a senior international for the first time in the opening Twenty20 International between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein earlier this month, and then made his on field debut in the second game between those sides in Kimberley, his colleague on that occasion being Jerling with Cloete the third umpire.  


East London based George told journalists that when Mike Gajjar of Cricket South Africa (CSA) telephoned him to give him the good news about his IUP appointment he "was ecstatic at the opportunity". "There were some butterflies in my stomach [in the lead up to the first match] but I soon settled down", said George, for "it’s a different experience [from domestic cricket], it’s intense and I learnt from the experience [and that] now that I’ve stood in an international match, I would like to do more".  His ambition is said to be to officiate in a 50-over One Day International and then a Test.


George played 17 first class games as a bowler over four years from 1987-91, 13 of them for Eastern Province and the others for Transvall, his final game being in January 1991 at the age of 23.  Just when he took up umpiring is not clear, but records available suggest that his first representative game was in February 2004 in a tour match involving England's women side, a debut at first class level coming the following November. 


In the six years since he has chalked up 45 first class matches, all but two being in the South Africa domestic competition, they being in New Zealand in early 2007 as part of CSA and New Zealand Cricket's umpiring exchange program.  In the one-day format, George has to date stood in 45 domestic games, three of them played in Zimbabwe, as well as eight in the television suite.  


There have also been 27 domestic Twenty20s (T20), 19 on the field, plus five appointments as fourth umpire in One Day Internationals (ODI), and 10 in that role in last year's Indian Premier League T20 series in South Africa (E-News 410-2169, 20 April 2009), together with work on the field in one Under-19 Test and two Under-19 ODIs.   





Lindsay Kain, who has been umpiring in the Sydney grade cricket since 1980, is currently officiating in his 500th game in that competition, according to a story published in 'The Manly Daily' newspaper yesterday.  Kain, and another veteran Arthur Watson, for whom it is his 656th match, will be on the ground at the picturesque Manly Oval today for the second and final day of a Second XI game. 


Over the years, Kain has seen quite a number of now well-known cricketers come up through the ranks, says the 'Daily', those he names including Adam Gilchrist, Greg Matthews, Geoff Lawson and Mike Whitney.  “I enjoy being part of the game, being out in the open air and doing your best to help the game", Kain said of umpiring, and he considers “the best umpire or referee [as] the one you don’t see". 


Watson, 70, said that he's "spent more than half my life on the cricket field", but "it’s all been great, I have lots and lots of good memories.”






The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) this week conducted a training workshop in Kabul for 24 Afghan cricket umpires from 18 provinces around the country.  The workshop, which lasted six days, provided both theoretical and practical training for those attending, and is the third time the ACC has arranged such training for Afghanistan Cricket Board umpires.


Former Pakistani international umpire Mahboob Shah, 72, who played 14 first class games in Pakistani in the period from 1954-61 and then went on to umpire 150 first class games from 1970-98, including 28 Tests, as well as 105 List A games, 32 of them One Day Internationals, conducted the Kabul course.






Sri Lankan umpire Prageeth Rambulkwella is currently taking part in an exchange visit to South Africa, a sojourn that has so far seen him stand in two first class matches.  Rambulkwella, 34, who played 7 first class games as a wicketkeeper-batsman in the period from 1995-2002, commenced umpiring in 2004 and stood in his initial match at first class level in January 2008. 


Rambulkwella stood in the first class match between the Dolphins and the Titans in Durban last weekend, a game which was over in three days, his partner in that fixture being local umpire Shaun George (E-News 687-3372).  His current game is the Warriors versus Cape Cobras first class fixture which is currently underway in East London, former South African international umpire Karl Hurter managing the match with him.


The Sri Lankan told local media representatives that he is grateful for the chance to visit South Africa and "stand in big matches".  “I hope the two countries continue to do this and allow the upcoming umpires to explore different conditions in which to stand", he said.  

Monday, 25 October 2010






A player was charged with ball tampering during an Under-22 Nayudu Trophy match in India last Wednesday, however, officials changed their mind the next day after a review of video evidence, and one of his team mates was cited instead.  Match officials used images captured by video equipment recently supplied to the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association by the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to determine just who the culprit was (E-News 683-3351, 18 October 2010).


Maharashtra left arm pacer Jitendra Patil was originally "convicted of ball tampering" in the game against Uttar Pradesh (UP) in Ghaziabad, a situation that ESPN Sports reported somewhat surprisingly as the "very first time Indian domestic cricket has witnessed [that] sort of issue".  Harvinder Sodhi, the match referee told the 'Hindustan Times' on Wednesday that he had arranged a hearing into the matter to be held on Thursday evening after the game was completed.  Umpires Nitim Menon and Virendra Sharma were said to have caught Patil "applying cream on the ball in the thirty-ninth over of the match", after which five runs were awarded to UP and the ball was changed. 


By the time the hearing was held though, Sodhi, Menon and Sharma had found after a "close examination of the video" that it was Patil's team mate, off-spinner Ganesh Kukade, who was responsible for interfering with the ball.  What the 'Times' says are "sources" said that at the time of the incident Patil was bowling and Kukade was positioned "in a close-in area" and that “Kukade was [seen] rubbing something on the ball".  “Even the umpires were confused so that's why the match referee chose to look at the video replay", the source added


Match referee, Harvinder Sodhi, who has reportedly sent his report to BCCI, wasn't available for comment, but Maharashtra Cricket Association chief executive Ajay Shirke is reported to have said that Kukade was fined 60 per cent of his match fee as a result of the incident.






The pressure to use technology to assist umpiring decisions in Cricket Australia's (CA) domestic one-day cup has risen after Tasmania's Ed Cowan was given out then reprieved before going on to score an unbeaten 131 during his side's match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday evening.  Cowan, who was then on 74, was given out caught behind by umpire Paul Reiffel, but keeper Brad Haddin said that he wasn't sure he caught it and Reiffel subsequently rescinded his decision.


Haddin was uncertain if he had caught the ball cleanly as a puff of sand flew up from the newly re-turfed SCG surface into his gloves as he took the catch.  After a lengthy deliberation involving Reiffel and his on-field colleague Tony Ward, Cowan resumed his innings, however, television replays available indicating that Reiffel's initial decision should have stood.  Whether third umpire Gerard Abood was consulted on the situation is not clear.


The New South Wales wicketkeeper told journalists afterwards that it was he who raised doubts about the Cowan catch and said that if technology was being used for some aspects of the game, it should be used for all decisions.  "It's a funny one because if there's a run-out you go upstairs and check, if there's a four or a six you check if it hit the rope, if you're going to use technology you might as well use it all the time",  because "for something like that you probably need to take the commonsense approach".


Haddin said that the puff of sand was what had confused him, until he saw the replay, for "I knew I caught the ball but I wasn't 100 per cent sure if it had bounced", he said.  "Because it's so sandy a big lot of sand came up and I just said to [Reiffel] 'I didn't know whether it bounced', however, he later "looked up at the [replay] screen and [the ball] went straight in, but that's cricket".


Despite benefiting from the decision, Cowan supported the calls for technology on all close calls.  "Absolutely, that's a big moment in the game [and] I've got absolutely no idea why [CA] wouldn't let you go upstairs", he said.  "You've probably got eight or nine cameras around the ground, it probably takes 10 seconds and if the side-on replay shows he caught it, I walk off the ground and we move on".  "It is a shame but you play under the conditions that you have to".


The issue is likely to have been raised at post-match meetings involving Abood, Reiffel, Ward, match referee Steve Small and the two captains. With six of those four being current or former first class players, the chances are that CA will look closely at the issue, as it did when captains expressed their concerns about the new Law 17.3b(ii) which prevents a bowler from bowling practice balls into the ground during a match (E-News 680-3336, 12 October 2010); something Cricket Tasmania has subsequently agreed to follow (E-News 681-3341, 14 October 2010).  Only a handful of the 31 one-day domestic matches are not being telecast this season.






Daryl Harper and Rod Tucker, who are both Australian members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), will be in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the next month standing in matches involving 'home side' Pakistan and South Africa.  Zimbabwe's Andy Pycroft will be the match referee for the five ODIs and two Tests, as well as the two Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), the first of the latter being played tomorrow and the second on Wednesday.    


Tucker is to officiate in first three ODIs, the opening game of which will be played in Abu Dhabi on Friday, before Harper takes over for the last two then goes on to stand in the two Tests that are scheduled for the last half of November; his first in the UAE and something that was flagged by him two months ago (E-News 653-3236, 17 August 2010).  Tucker's on-field partners will be fellow EUP members Pakistanis Asad Rauf, for one match, and Aleem Dar for two, that pair's countrymen Nadeem Ghauri and Zameer Haider working with Harper in the final two ODIs.  Haider will be the third umpire in three of those games and Ghauri and their colleague on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Ashan Raza, once each.


Raza has also been named as the third umpire for the two Tests, a move that indicates that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be used for the Tests.  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) blamed "costs" as the reason it did not provide the UDRS for its 'home series' against Australia in England this year (E-News 633-3159, 14 July 2010).  Former England player and now BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew claimed at the time that it currently costs around £300,000 ($A530,000) to install and operate "all the relevant technology" for the UDRS over "a Test series" in England (E-News 615-3085, 2 June 2010).


Harper, who turned 59 last Saturday, will stand with Sri Lankan EUP member Asoka de Silva in the Tests, the pair taking their tally at the highest level of the game to 92 and 48 games respectively, Pycroft to 15, and Raza to three as a third umpire in Tests; his first being at Lord's three months ago (E-News 633-3156, 14 July 2010).


Harper's ODI record will move on to 168 games as a result of the forthcoming series, his countryman Tucker to 17, Dar to 138, Ghauri to 43, Pycroft 27 and Haider 13.  sRauf has been named by the PCB for the two T20Is, Raza working with him for one and Ghauri the other, the latter pair having one T20I each in the television suite.   






Cricket South Africa (CSA) hopes to "persuade" the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to use the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) during the three-Test series that is to start in Johannesburg in mid-December, says a story posted on the 'Cricinfo' web site overnight.  BCCI representatives are to visit Australia during the forthcoming Ashes series in order to study UDRS operations (E-News 682-3348, 15 October 2010), but they will have to be convinced quickly if they are approve its use in time for their side's First Test in Johannesburg.


CSA chief executive Gerald Majola told Cricinfo's Firdose Moonda that "we have to persuade India because at the moment they don't want it".  Majola went on to say that South African players want to use the system because they think "it's the most fair way for decisions to be made".  South African captain Graeme Smith supported Majola's view but called for the UDRS "to be implemented properly" with the consistent use of a standard set of technology across all Test series.


In their last four Test series, South Africa have used the UDRS three times. They first experienced it against Australia early last year when it was part of the International Cricket Council's trial, then against England at home last austral summer and, most recently, in their three-Test series in the West Indies in June.  However, they did not use it in the series in India in February this year, when the choice lay with the hosts, and it also appears it will not be used in the forthcoming two-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (E-News 688-3379 above).


Cricinfo says that there is the possibility that 'Hot Spot' will be used during the South Africa-India series, even though it wasn't part of the production in the recently-completed One Day International series between South Africa and Zimbabwe.  'Hotspot' was used during the home series against England 12 months ago but broadcasting rights in South Africa have since changed hands. 


A decision on the just which aspects of available technology will be used in the series between South Africa and India is expected to be made "in the coming weeks", and Cricinfo says "its almost certain that South Africa will have ball-tracking technology, Super Slo-Mo and a clear stump mike, the three requirements needed for the UDRS system, should India change their mind". 






Change may be on the way in the West Indian membership of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) if appointments to the finals of the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) domestic one-day tournament are any guide.  The selectors chose Peter Nero, 46, an up-and-coming umpire from Trinidad and Tobago, to stand in both a semi final and final of the 15-match, 11-day long series ahead of three of the four members of the WICB's current IUP group.


Nero stood with senior IUP member Norman Malcolm in both finals games, another newcomer Nigel Duguid of Guyana accompanying his countryman and another IUP member, Clyde Duncan, in the other semi final.  Over looked for the finals were the West Indies two third umpire members of the IUP, Golande Greaves, 53, of St Vincent, and Clancy Mack, 54, who is from Antigua; while Nero's compatriot Joel Wilson was the third umpire for one semi final and the final.  Both Nero and Wilson have been provided with overseas exchange experience by the WICB over the last two years (E-News 681-3342, 14 October 2010). 


Twelve umpires stood in the one-day event in Jamaica.  In addition to Duguid, Duncan, Greaves, Mack, Malcolm, Nero and Wilson, the other umpires were Lennox Abraham (Dominica), Gregory Braithwaite, 40, and Vincent Bullen, 53 (Barbados), Vivian Johnson, 52 (Jamaica), and Luther Kelly, 56 (St Kitts).


The WICB is yet to announce just who its members of the IUP will be for 2010-11, the ICC's web site continuing to show Duncan, Greaves, Mack and Malcolm as the incumbents.  The page of that web site that details IUP members is significantly out of date, the listings for Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe not including announcements made by the cricketing authorities in those nations over the last 1-4 months.    






Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar, who was chosen as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' for the second year running earlier this month (E-News 675-3326, 7 October 2010), has been awarded a "cash prize" of half a million Rupees ($A6,000) by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as an "acknowledgement" of his achievement; the same amount given to him last year (E-News 506-2614, 22 November 2009).  PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt called Dar "an inspiration for Pakistan cricket" during a presentation ceremony held on Thursday. 


Butt said that in winning the award, Dar had "won laurels for Pakistan on the world stage and made the millions of Pakistani cricket fans proud".  "In times when we hear all sorts of [bad] stories an inspirational story like that of Aleem Dar lifts everyone's spirit".  "He has made Pakistan cricket proud through his hard work and dedication to his profession", said Butt, and "I wish him all the success in the years to come". 


Meanwhile, Dar said on television on Thursday that he considered his first job as an umpire was to "remain impartial and make minimum judgement errors" and that the biggest requirement to become "a leading and respected umpire was to be mentally very strong".  He reiterated his support for use "of the video referral system for umpires in all forms of cricket", for "if there is modern technology available it should be used as umpires are also human beings and the referral system is a great help".  


Dar also called on the PCB to introduce a central contracts system for umpires in domestic cricket in order to raise the standards of umpiring in the country and give umpires an incentive to work harder.  Last week Dar said that he had almost quit umpiring early on in his career, describing how difficult it was at times to earn sufficient money so that he could to continue (E-News 684-3355, 19 October 2010).


Jhang-born Dar pays a monthly stipend of 5,500 Rupees a month ($A65) to the family of the bus driver who lost his life while transporting match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in March last year during a terrorist attack (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009). 


Tuesday, 26 October 2010





Tasmanian State Umpire Panel member Mike Graham-Smith is one of eight umpires from around the country who have been selected to stand in Cricket Australia's (CA) male Under-19 Championships which are to be played in Brisbane from 5-16 December.  CA's U-19 tournament is one of the key milestones on its umpiring pathway, three umpires who have stood in it the last three events now being on the National Umpires Panel (NUP), as have all four who are on the national body's current emerging list.


Those named by CA yesterday for the Championships in addition to Graham-Smith are:  Himanshu Bhatia (Northern Territory); Greg Davidson (New South Wales); Jay Kangur (Queensland); Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory); Phil Proctor (Victoria); Todd Rann (Western Australia); and Luke Uthenwoldt (South Australia).  Kangur, Uthenwoldt and Lightbody and have each stood in the U19 men's series once before, the first pair in Adelaide in 2006 and the latter in Canberra last year (E-News 527-2701, 23 November 2009).


Kangur, 38, appears to be the most experienced in terms of game-time, having stood in three Emerging Players Tournaments in 2005, 2006 and 2007, the men's Under-17 Championships in 2006, the now discontinued 'Institute Challenge' series in Darwin in 2007 (E-News 88-471, 26 August 2007), and in more recent times CA's Futures League matches for State Second XIs.  


Others to have stood in the latter competition and its predecessor are Proctor with 7 such games to date, and Rann and Uthenwoldt with 3; Graham-Smith, who took part in last year's U17 series in Adelaide, being scheduled to make his debut in the Futures League at Bellerive next Monday (E-News 679-3331, 8 October 2010).  Rann has also stood in two National Country Cricket Championships (2001 and 2006), an two U17 men's series (1999 and 2008), and a U19 One day International.  All including Davidson have stood in national women's matches, but there is no record of Bhatia having umpired outside the Northern Territory as yet. 


During the 12 days this year's U19 tournament will run the eight umpires will, in addition to officiating in matches and being access for their on-field work, attend a series of "personal development' workshops organised by CA on some of the rest days.  Those meetings will include a session with Daryl Harper, an Australian member of the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, who has umpired more Tests and One Day Internationals than any other Australian.


Also attending for 3-4 days at various times across the tournament to observe and mentor the umpires will be CA's Umpires Manager Sean Cary, two members of his Umpire High Performance Panel, David Levens and Steve Small, CA's Umpire Education specialist Denis Burns, and former first class umpire Jim Torpey.


Current NUP members Tony Ward of Victoria and Mick Martell of Western Australia took part in the 2007 U19 Championships (E-News 151-836, 10 December 2007), and their colleague Ash Barrow, another Victorian, in 2008 (E-News 357-1903, 5 December 2008); while CA's four Emerging umpires Michael Kumutat (New South Wales), Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Damien Mealey (Queensland) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), and  have stood in that series in 2005, 2008 and 2009, 2009, and 2009 respectively.






'Rain', and quite a lot of it, is the current outlook for the Hobart area for Saturday and Sunday, the second full weekend of Cricket Tasmania (CT) fixtures for the 2010-11 season.  Light showers are forecast for this afternoon, although it currently appears that they will not have a great deal of impact curator's preparations for games, although the readiness of several grounds that could not be used last weekend continues to be under review.


Curators were busy at work yesterday rolling pitches at King George V Oval at Glenorchy and Soldiers Memorial Oval on the Domain, which together with Eady Street in Glenorchy, Queenborough in Sandy Bay and the Kingston Beach Oval could not be used last weekend.  Despite the fine and sunny weather of Sunday-Monday, yesterday afternoon the square at Eady Street was still damp, and the strips at both Queenborough and Kingston Beach looked somewhat underdone.  


The unavailability of those grounds last weekend led to CT having to shift ground allocations around in some cases and cancel five matches outright (E-News 686-3364, 21 October 2010), but in the end a total of nine games, three of the four in Second Grade, and two each in Third Grade, the Under 17s and the Southern Tasmania Cricket League, had to be cancelled.  CT will no doubt be watching developments with ground preparations very closely over the next few days.  


The Bureau of Meteorology's current rainfall forecast for the Hobart region on Saturday is suggesting that the Hobart region could receive between 10 and 25 mm of rain that day, but the estimates for Sunday will not be available until this afternoon after the Bureau's main computer run of the day around lunchtime.  Should such falls actually occur on Saturday it is difficult to see any of the two-day Premier League games that are due to start that day getting underway.  


Members wishing to monitor that rainfall forecast can do so every day by going to the 'Weather Outlook' section of the TCUSA web site and then the 'Day before the game section, then click on 'Rainfall amount' forecasts.  Once at the Bureau's web site 'Tasmania' should be chosen from the pull down menu, then go to 'Select District' and choose 'South South East & Houn & Channel and Lower Derwent Valley', and then pull down the day about which information is needed.






Former State Umpires Panel (SUP) member Nick McGann, who stood down from the panel two weeks ago citing "personal and work commitments", has decided not to continue his umpiring career (E-News 682-3346, 15 October 2010).  Launceston-born McGann, 35, who was named as a member of the inaugural SUP in 2007, commenced his umpiring career with the Association in 2005 after a long playing career at First Grade level in what is now Cricket Tasmania's Premier League competition.  


Over the last five seasons McGann went on to stand in 119 matches with the TCUSA, 46 of them in First Grade, that short period including four Grand Finals, one in Third Grade and the others at Second Grade level in each of the last three seasons.  At higher levels he stood in four State Second XI matches, an Under-19 One Day International, two women's Twenty20 Internationals, and both Under 17 and U19 men's national Championship series played interstate.  He also travelled to northern NSW in the 2009-10 pre-season for matches involving senior State playing squads, and again this year for similar matches in Darwin, including Australia's first-ever split innings one-day game (E-News 650-3220, 11 August 2010).  


McGann was one of two umpires selected as part of CT's Grade team of the year in both 2008 and 2009, an accolade that results from a tally of the votes for umpires made by First Grade team captains.






A Twenty20 match between Dunedin and Southland ended in a tie in Dunedin yesterday after the batsmen ran two leg byes off the final ball of the game which should have been enough to see them win the game by two runs.  Unfortunately for Southland the runs were disallowed by the unnamed umpire who as per Law 26.3b(i) should have called 'dead ball' after the first run as he deemed that no shot had been played.  The two sides were played for third place in an inter-districts competition which is part of Otago's preparation for the forthcoming Plunket Shield first class campaign, but there was no mention in the 'Otago Daily Times' article this morning of an 'Eliminator' over being used to separate the two teams.






Australia's advocation of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be turned against them during the Ashes by "the wiles of English off-spinner Graeme Swann", says former England spinner John Emburey.  Emburey, who has just returned home after watching the India-Australia Test and one-day series, told London's 'Sunday Telegraph' on the weekend that "Australia's batsmen will now have to be extra careful to keep their front pad out of the way of Swann's drifting and spinning deliveries, which will arrow in for LBW verdicts time after time".


Emburey, who along with spin partner Phil Edmonds, played a key role the last time England enjoyed Test series success in Australia in 1986-87, said left-handers Simon Katich, Mike Hussey and Marcus North would be particularly vulnerable.  "With the referral system in place, the Australian left-handers will struggle against [Swann] when he bowls at them from round the wicket", and now with "'Hot Spot' and 'Hawk-Eye' working", the doubt in an umpire's mind with close LBW shouts which went the batsman's way will to a great extent be eliminated by the technology and the use of referrals, he said. 

Wednesday, 27 October 2010





Rain still looks to be the order of the day for Saturday and Sunday, according to the latest data issued by the Bureau of Meteorology overnight (E-News 689-3384, 26 October 2010).  A large low pressure area with an associated front will be over the Tasmania-Victoria region during the weekend, and computer projections are now showing a 75-90 per cent chance of at least 5 mm of rain across the Hobart area on both Saturday and Sunday, with general falls of 10-15 and 15-25 mm respectively thought to be possible on those days. 


Members wishing to monitor that rainfall forecast can do so every day by going to the 'Weather Outlook' section of the TCUSA web site and then the 'Day before the game section, then click on 'Rainfall amount' forecasts.  Once at the Bureau's web site 'Tasmania' should be chosen from the pull down menu, then go to 'Select District' and choose 'South South East & Houn & Channel and Lower Derwent Valley', and then pull down the day about which information is needed.






Loots Bosman, the Nashua Dolphins and South Africa batsman, has been given a suspended sentence of one match by Cricket South Africa (CSA) after he reacted angrily after being bowled for 20 in a first class fixture in Kimblerley last week.  Bosman, who flattening the rest of the stumps with his bat, was reported by match officials for a breach of CSA's player Code of Conduct pertaining to abuse of cricket ground equipment and for behaviour that was seen as "unbecoming or detrimental" conduct which could bring the game of cricket into disrepute. 


CSA disciplinary commissioner Rian Cloete said after a disciplinary hearing that "as a nationally contracted player, the behaviour of Mr Bosman is unacceptable".  "The abuse of [he displayed] has drawn strong criticism from members of the public who watch the game and it constitutes a poor example to youngsters, many of whom model their conduct on what they see", continued Cloete.  "CSA has previously made it known that infractions of the Code will be severely punished", he said.


Cloete took "into account the fact that [Bosman] admitted to the offence and offered his sincere apology, however, having taken all factors into account, it is important that an effective penalty be imposed", he said.  There was no mention of any fine being imposed and the suspended sentence will stay in force until the end of the current season in South Africa. 


Adrian Holdstock and Gerrie Pienaar were the umpires in the Kimberly match, their fourth and first of the first class season respectively, and former Test umpire Cyril Mitchley, 72, the match referee, his forty-fifth at that level since he started as a match referee in 2004. 






South African umpire Barry Smith, who made his first class debut almost 34 years ago and stood in his last game at that level in January 1987, has returned to the first class scene after nearly 14 years on the side lines.  Smith stood with Adrian Holdstock at St George's Park in Port Elizabeth in the four-day game between the Warrior and the Titans in Cricket South Africa's first class competition.


It was a bit of a wet return for Smith as heavy rain resulted in day one being washed out, the ground being far too sodden for cricket, and he and Holdstock were eventually forced to abandon any hopes of play that day.  Warriors batted first then Titans' skipper Alviro Petersen forfeited his first innings, which meant that after Warriors had batted a second time, Petersen's side had 340 to get to win outright.  In the end though they fell 40 runs short and the match was drawn.  






Umpires across Australia are always encouraged to put on appropriate sun screen on their face, head, neck and hands before they go out for a session of cricket in order to maximise their chances against acquiring skin cancer, the country having one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.  Each year more than 1,700 Australians die from what is an almost entirely preventable disease.   


The 'Weather Outlook' section of the TCUSA web site now has a direct link to the Bureau of Meteorology's daily ultra-violet (UV) forecast chart which shows the expected maximum clear sky UV at noon each day across the country.  Polar-orbiting weather satellites carry amongst their suite of instruments equipment to measure Ozone levels around the planet, and that data and other information is used to calculate daily maximum UV estimates.  The Bureau's general weather forecast for each day also contains a reference to expected UV conditions.


The UV chart and the daily forecast for Hobart can be accessed via the 'Weather Outlook' tab on the TCUSA web site, the URL of which is at the top of this newsletter. 

Saturday, 30 October 2010





Former Sri Lankan of-spinner and middle order batsman Kumar Dharmasena will make his umpiring debut in a Test next Thursday just over six years after he played his last match at that level.  Dharmasena, his countryman Ranjan Madugalle, Australians Steve Davis and Simon Taufel, and Englishman Nigel Llong, have been named as match officials for the three-Test series between India and New Zealand which is to be played in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Nagpur during November.


Dharmasena, 39, who represented Sri Lanka in 31 Tests and 141 One Day Internationals (ODI) from 1993-2004, played his 155th and last first class game in March 2006 and returned to that level as an umpire just 22 months later.  Six months after that he was elevated, to the concern of some in Sri Lanka, to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) (E-News 283-1503, 23 July 2008), standing in his first ODI in January last year after an umpiring career of less than three years.


Davis will be the Sri Lankan's on-field colleague for his first Test before Taufel partners him in the second game, after which Llong arrives to work with Taufel in the third.  Llong, another former first class player, who was named as a member to the ICC's emerging international umpires group in March last year (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009), will be working in his first Test since December last year, however, in the intervening period he has been busy at home, standing in 5 ODIs, and on the County circuit in 14 first class, 13 List A and 10 Twenty20 matches during the 2010 northern summer.


The forthcoming Tests, which will have Indian members of the IUP as third and fourth umpires, will take match referee Madugalle's record in that role in Tests to 122, to add to his 21 as a player, Taufel to 66, Davis to 28 and Llong to 9.  The Umpire Decision Review System will not be in use during the series.


Dharmasena's elevation to Tests, which comes after the ICC has given him a range of matches overseas this year (E-News 637-3176, 22 July 2010), suggests he is now firmly in the mix for potential appointment to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in the next year or so.  Other EUP candidates include Llong, his countryman Richard Kettleborough, Australians Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel, plus India's Shavir Tarapore. 


Kettleborough has in fact been named as the neutral umpire for the last three of the five ODIs India and New Zealand are to play following the Tests, his ninth, tenth and eleventh such international.  Llong will be the neutral in the first two ODIs, taking his total to 39, while the match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, will reach the 150 mark in that role in ODIs in the fourth match of the series in Bangaluru on 7 December. 






The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been forced to revise the membership of its Technical Committee just a month into its one-year term after discovering some of those appointed to the group do not meet the eligibility criterion set down for the panel, said the 'Mumbai Mirror' yesterday.  According to the newspaper, the Committee is responsible for the "nitty-gritty of the playing conditions" of matches played in the BCCI's domestic competitions.


The BCCI's constitution is believed to require that the Committee consist of the chairman of the senior player's selection committee, an "umpire of international repute", and a former Test cricketer, plus five zone representatives who must have played a minimum of 25 first class matches.  Former Indian captain and International Cricket Council umpire selector Sunil Gavaskar was named as the Chair of the Committee, Virinchirpuram Ramaswamy, 65, who stood in 26 Tests and 43 One Day Internationals from 1983-2002, is the international umpire, and Sourav Ganguly the "former Test cricketer".  


However, the 'Mirror' story says that it was discovered this week that three of the five zonal representatives, Prem Thakur (north), Goutam Das Gupta (east) and Madhav Ranade (west), had each played  less than 25 first class games.  A BCCI "source" told the 'Mirror' that during work to select Technical Committee members during the Board's 81st Annual General Meeting on 29 September, "it didn’t occur to anyone" that those named were "not quaified".


When contacted in Bangkok, BCCI President-elect N Srinivasan admitted to the 'Mirror' that the original appointments were "erroneously done at the AGM" and said that the error was being rectified, although the newspaper's story also claims that "moves" were underway to replace Gavaskar, who is said to be "unpopular" to some in cricket circles in India.

Das Gupta reportedly received a letter informing him that he had been removed from the Technical Committee, however, he "was subsequently drafted into the [BCCI's] National Cricket Academy construction and infrastructure committee" in what appears to be a sweetener.  Whether Thakar and Ranade also received letters of removal was not mentioned in the 'Mirror' article, but presumably if the story is correct, they have.  



 End of the October 2010 E-News file