TOTAL OF 7 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 3394-3424)
• Tiffin returns for his 100th first class match (692-3395).
• Slow start to new Project Panel member's career (692-3396).
693 - 5 November [3397-3402]
• Good conditions expected for weekend's Premier League matches (693-3397).
• CA emerging umpires named for one-day domestic debuts (693-3398).
• Unexpected first class, one-day, debuts for two umpires (693-3399).
• Indian skipper reiterates UDRS concerns (693-3400).
• Stumping 'howler' from third umpire Haider (693-3401).
• ICC EUP member for Kuwait WCL tournament (693-3402).
• OK to question technology, says 'Virtual Eye' chief (694-3403).
• Illness led to Shield, one-day appointment changes (694-3404).
• WICB names umpires for Pakistan 'A' series (694-3405).
• Match officials contesting Karnataka position (694-3406).
• No UDRS in Pakistan 'home' series until at least 2012 (694-3407).
• Tasmanians named for WNCL games (695-3409).
• Bird would 'not have survived' today's TV scrutiny, claims ICC manager (695-3410).
• Marker pen name 'write-in' leads to hearing (695-3411).
• 'Eye care' sponsorship for Kiwi umpires (695-3412).
• Trott plans to continue with pre-ball routine (696-3413).
• 'Blocker' aiming at Test match appointment (696-3414).
• Appeal on 'deciding-score' method dismissed in Victoria (696-3415).
• Eight umpires used for WCL tournament in Kuwait (696-3416).
• Spot-fixing hearing set for January (696-3417).
697 - 15 November 
• Test debuts for Oxenford, Kettleborough (697-3418).
• Harper equals Shepherd's Test mark, extends ground record (698-3419).
• Rain on the horizon for mid-week T20 games (698-3420).
• Windies spinner's action queried by umpires (698-3421).
• ICC match referee wins Karnataka post (698-3422).
• Most umpires want UDRS says Koertzen (698-3423).
• ICC seeks world-wide tightening of anti-corruption codes (698-3424).
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 692
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
WORK UNDERWAY ON WEB-BASED
VIDEO TRAINING AID
TCUSA member Roy Loh has commenced work on the 'pilot' of a video training aid designed to improve the feedback umpires receive about their performances on the field of play. If successful the project, which uses specialist "video-sharing' software provided by the Swiss-headquartered Dartfish company, will enable individual umpires to observe themselves 'at work' within days of a game, and at the same time read their coach's comments via a secure portal on the TCUSA web site.
Loh, who with the help of Cricket Tasmania (CT) has been involved in setting up a video observing program for the Association's umpires over the last three years (E-News 325-1707, 8 October 2008), is working with Andrew Didenko, Dartfish Australia's National Operations Manager on the pilot program.
Didenko says that the goal of the project is to assist CT in "continuing to progress umpiring through umpire education", and by implication to demonstrate to cricket authorities around the world the usefulness of his company's product. CT's relatively small umpiring base, Loh's previous work, and CT's commitment to the video capture project, provide Dartfish with an ideal platform to demonstrate the software's capabilities, says Didenko.
Dartfish has provided Loh with software that enables video of umpires taken by him during a game to be quickly edited and placed on the web so that the individual concerned will be able to observe his performance on-line at home within a few days of a match. That data will be presented under a range of headings such as 'presentation', 'positioning', 'signalling' and 'posture', something Loh does by simply pressing a key at the end of a sequence he wants to capture.
The Dartfish software automatically saves a preset time sequence of the 'tape' before and after the selection key is pressed. That data is saved under the category selected which can then be up-loaded on to the web site where it can be viewed, the Dartfish process and use of the web offering a superior system to the one Loh has worked hard on in recent years. In addition to the posting of video clips on the web, Tasmania's State Director of Umpires, Richard Widows, will be able to access each umpire's tapes on line and add any comments he thinks are appropriate about what each sequence shows.
Once fully underway, umpires selected for the pilot project will be provided with Dartfish software, a manual on how to use the system and user names and passwords that will enable them to log in and review their performances. While that information will be secure, plans call for selected clips to be available via a public portal on the TCUSA web site that will allow others interested ato see something of the system's capabilities.
Loh says that he currently anticipates having core parts of the system on line by the end of this month.
TIFFIN RETURNS FOR HIS
100TH FIRST CLASS MATCH
Zimbabwean umpire Russell Tiffin, who was injured during play on the first day of the opening round of this season's Logan Cup first class competition in Bulawayo in early September (E-News 667-3283, 13 September 2010), returned to the first class scene last week for what was his 100th game at that level. Tiffin, his nation's 'Umpire of the Year' for 2010 (E-News 664-3274, 7 September 2010), stood in his centenary match in Harare with Jerry Matibiri, who has umpired in Hobart twice in the past, standing in First Grade games in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League competition.
SLOW START TO NEW PROJECT
PANEL MEMBER'S CAREER
Former Victorian first class player Shawn Craig, who was chosen by Cricket Australia last month as the latest member of its Project Panel, has had a slow start to his umpiring career over the first six weeks of the season (E-News 678-3327, 7 October 2010). Craig stood in one game in Third Grade in Cricket Victoria's (CV) Premier League competition, had another washed out, was named for a third then became "unavailable" beforehand, and is listed as "unavailable" again for a two-day round that commences in Melbourne this Saturday.
Craig stood with former first class umpire Paul Jensen in what appears to be his only game to date, and was named with him in two others. Jensen is long serving CV Premier league umpire who has stood in 12 Sheffield Shield and two other first class matches, plus almost 500 Premier League games, since commencing his umpiring career in 1978-79. Jensen is described by one source as "an official mentor" who works in Third grade with up-and-coming umpires. He is also the Umpires Advisor to the Victorian Turf Cricket Association, the third highest grade of cricket in Melbourne which has over 120 umpires on its roster.
The reason for Craig's current unavailability for appointment is not known at this time.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 693
Friday, 5 November 2010
GOOD CONDITIONS EXPECTED FOR
WEEKEND'S PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHES
Weather conditions in the Hobart area are expected to be favourable for the second day of Cricket Tasmania's Premier League (PL) matches this weekend, as well as the first senior interstate one-day game of the season at Bellerive on Saturday. All turf-based PL games played last Saturday-Sunday were affected by rain, therefore 10.30 a.m. starts and 6.30 p.m. finishes will be the norm in First, Second, Third and Under-17 games, while all Under-15 matches on Sunday will be played day two of a two-day match regardless of whether a start was achieved last week or not.
This morning's Bureau of Meteorology forecast for Saturday is for 'fine' conditions with a top temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, while Sunday's is for "a little rain later" with a high of 22 degrees. A large High pressure system will dominate the Tasmanian region on Saturday, while the late rain on Sunday is expected in association with a trough and cold front that will be approaching the State. Current indications are though that there will be no impact on matches played in the Hobart area on Sunday.
Members wishing to monitor the weather situation in the lead up to, or on the day of, the game, can do so by going to the 'Weather Outlook' section of the TCUSA web site.
CA EMERGING UMPIRES NAMED
FOR ONE-DAY DOMESTIC DEBUTS
All four members of Cricket Australia's (CA) emerging umpires group were yesterday appointed to on-field positions in CA's senior domestic one-day games next month, a move that is the next step in their progress towards possible selection to the National Umpires Panel (NUP) next year. The quartet will also take part, along with two current NUP members, in the 2010 Futures League Twenty20 (T20) tournament in Melbourne just before Christmas.
Three of the four in the group, Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (New South Wales) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), will be making their one-day senior debuts in either their home cities, or in Nogajski's case, in Burnie in north-west Tasmania, during the first half of the month. The other, Damien Mealey (Queensland), will be standing in his second one-dayer following his unexpected debut in Brisbane late last week (E-News 693-3399 below).
NUP members Ash Barrow and Mick Martell will join the four for the Futures T20 event, Barrow and Nogajski being the only returnees from the inaugural series last December; the Tasmanian being selected for the main final of that event (E-News 534-2735, 17 December 2009). Nogajski like Mealey made his third umpiring debut in the one-day competition in 2009-10, and is to work in that capacity twice more before his on-field start, the first at Bellerive tomorrow and the second there three days before his debut in Burnie on 4 December.
The emerging umpires are expected to be particularly closely scrutinised by selectors in their one-day and T20 matches, as all were reportedly rated equally after performing "exceptionally well" during this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) three months ago. The selectors were unable to split the quartet on that occasion, a situation that led appointments to the two EPT finals being made via a raffle (E-News 655-3242, 19 August 2010), although weather conditions later precluded play in both those games.
Details of the latest appointments for the four were contained in a list of selections made by CA for senior men's domestic cricket during December for a total of 5 Sheffield Shield matches, a single three-day tour game, and 9 one-day matches that will be played across the six state capitals plus Geelong in Victoria and Burnie. Eleven of the twelve members of the NUP have been allocated games in December therefore by year's end all will have stood in between nine and twelve Shield, one-day or tour matches in the first half of the season, the only one of the dozen missing next month being Bruce Oxenford of Queensland.
Oxenford's absence suggests that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed him to either a One Day International (ODI) or Test series that are to be played in either Sri Lanka or South Africa next month. Possibilities include the Second and Third Tests and all or part of the five-match ODI series between Sri Lanka and the West Indies, as well as the three Test series between South Africa and India.
Oxenford, 50, received his first overseas appointment from the ICC for an ODI series in Abu Dhabi last November, then the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January before the 2010 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in June. He has been appointed by CA to stand in tonight's second ODI between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground, his seventeenth, his partner being ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Marais Erasmus of South Africa (E-News 687-3371, 23 October 2010).
UNEXPECTED FIRST CLASS, ONE-DAY,
DEBUTS FOR TWO UMPIRES
Ash Barrow, the newest member of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Panel (NUP), made his first class debut during the very short Sheffield Shield match between Queensland and New South Wales at the Gabba on Sunday-Monday. His debut followed that of Queenslander Damien Mealey, one of CA's four emerging umpires (E-News 693-3398 above), in a one-day game the previous Friday, both men being brought in because of the unexpected absence of NUP member Tony Ward of Victoria.
Ward was to have stood in both the one-day and first class games between the two sides with Mick Martell of Western Australia another NUP member, CA's Umpire High performance Panel member David Levens being the match referee on both occasions and Mealey the television umpire for the one-day game.
Ward's unavailability, the cause of which is not known, saw Mealey moved up to an on-field position and another Queenslander Norm McNamara brought in as the third umpire for the one-dayer, then Victorian Barrow was flown to Brisbane for the Shield game after standing in the Twenty20 day-night tour match in Sydney between NSW and Sri Lanka.
Barrow was originally schedule to make his first class debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground starting next Wednesday, however, his actual debut was in a game that lasted only 142 overs in total and ended before tea on day two.
Mealey, 42, who worked as the third umpire in a domestic one-dayer last February, was yesterday appointed to an on-field position in what will be for him a second one-dayer next month, as well as to the Futures League Twenty20 series in Melbourne in December along with his three 'emerging' colleagues (E-News 693-3398 above).
INDIAN SKIPPER REITERATES
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni reiterated his concerns about the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) on the eve of the First Test against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, according to press reports. A number of Indian players have expressed their support for the review system in recent months (E-News 648-3216, 8 August 2010), but the majority, including senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar, are said to "remain sceptical".
Dhoni said he was not in favour of using the UDRS as he has "mixed opinions" about the system. "It is not always correct", he said, as for him "its like [ifI] buy a life jacket but it does not come with a warranty". "That's a bit of a hassle for me, especially with the huge amount of money you have to spend to have the system in place", he continued, but "the moment it comes with a warranty, I [will be] all for it, [but] for now, they have to improve on the technology".
The Indian skipper also said that "there are two gentlemen standing on the ground as umpires, they are professionals and paid to do their job, they have got support from the TV umpire, so it is surprising to see them making some of the mistakes" they do, and therefore "they have to step up and perform", he concluded.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori had a different view about the UDRS saying that he would have preferred to have the technology in place for the current three-Test series between the two sides on the sub-continent. While acknowledging "there are still a few hiccups with the technology", he "likes the referral system [and] thinks it is good for the game if it is used consistently". His team coach Mark Greatbatch echoed his skipper's comments, describing it as "a positive thing for the game".
Senior members of the Board of Control for Cricket in India will be in Australia later this month to watch the UDRS in operation in the first two Tests of the Ashes series (E-News 682-3348, 15 October 2010).
STUMPING 'HOWLER' FROM
THIRD UMPIRE HAIDER
South African players were said to be "stunned" to see batsman AB de Villiers given out stumped in the third and final One Day International (ODI) of the series against Pakistan in Dubai on Tuesday despite television replays showing he was "two inches" inside the crease when the bails were removed. The 'Gulf News' reported yesterday that many watching the match felt that the television umpire Zameer Haider of Pakistan, who was working as the third umpire for the twenty-ninth time in an ODI, "had pressed the wrong button" when he relayed his assessment via the replay screen.
South Africa's acting skipper Johan Botha expressed his disappointment over the decision, the 'News' quoting him as saying that "if you lose one of our best players it does affect the team a bit". "We saw the dismissal on television and we thought it was not [out] but we still stuck to what is needed to be done and full credit to the team to have got through it". Commentary on the Cricinfo web site described the decision as "a howler from the third ump".
ICC EUP MEMBER FOR KUWAIT
New Zealand umpire Tony Hill, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is to stand in matches in the ICC's World Cricket League (WCL) Division 8 tournament which is to get underway in Kuwait tomorrow. Teams from the host nation, the Bahamas, Bhutan, Germany, Gibraltar, Suriname, Vanuatu and Zambia are to take part in what is the first-ever Division 8 event, the top two sides winning promotion to the next Division 7 tournament in Botswana in May next year.
Hill, who to date has stood in 20 Tests, 76 One Day Internationals and 16 Twenty20 Internationals, told ICC media that he loves "going back to the grassroots level and hopefully put [in] some time with the guys and see if I can help them look at different ways of going forward". "Some of them may be as good as I am but never get that opportunity", he continued, for "the strange thing about umpiring is that you might start off and you might be really good, but if your country is not at the top of the world, then you need to work at a different level".
The ICC does not mention who the other umpires or the match referee will be for the 50 over based, seven-day, 20-match tournament, the games of which will commence at 8.15 a.m. local time in order that they can be completed before the main heat of the day arrives.
Hill's EUP colleagues, Simon Taufel of Australia and Ian Gould from England have been used in a mentoring capacity in other WCL tournaments in Singapore and Italy respectively over the past 15 months (E-News 644-3198, 3 August 2010).
OK TO QUESTION TECHNOLOGY,
SAYS 'VIRTUAL EYE' CHIEF
Players and umpires need to spend time understanding and questioning the workings of the technology that is behind the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), says Ian Taylor the chief executive of the New Zealand company behind the 'Virtual Eye' ball-tracking system. "The people who the technology will impact on could well be those who will give us feedback that we may not have thought of that will improve the system's tools and its efficiency", says Taylor.
'Virtual Eye', a rival to 'Hawk Eye', is to be used for the forthcoming Ashes series and as such will be one of the systems scrutinised by representative of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the next month, a visit the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket Australia hopes will convince the BCCI to accept the technology for India's future home Tests (E-News 682-3348, 15 October 2010). "We are happy for anyone to come and see what we are doing", says Taylor.
Under the ICC's current regulations, the mandatory requirements for the UDRS system are ball-tracking technology, Super Slo-Mo and a 'clear' stump mike. It is the ball tracker systems that are considered by many observers as the most contentious of the three, but Taylor says that "if broadcasters are happy with it, if they believe it enhances the viewers' experience, it will be a part of the coverage regardless", and therefore the issues of concern need to be worked through by all involved
"We want to tell stories of all kinds to the [television] viewer - why are particular fields set, what are fielders doing during a course of a day, but the irony is that the emphasis of any tracker discussion is around the LBW appeal", says Taylor. He would like to see a situation where an umpire could overrule the ball-tracker technology "if he felt uncomfortable with a particular result we gave him", but "we need to look forward and not back at the changes made all across all sport [for] technology is happening", he said.
Brad McNamara, executive producer of cricket for Australia's Channel 9, says that the decision to go with 'Virtual Eye' (VE) was "both commercial and editorial" (E-News 642-3190, 30 July 2010). "Legally, the commercial reasons must remain confidential, however, editorially, we believed VE could enhance our broadcast with other new technologies apart from ball-tracking that they could make available to us". "The ICC have tested both Hawk-Eye and Virtual Eye and there was little or no difference in accuracy [and] we hope and expect that to be the case this summer", McNamara said.
McNamara said that the ICC should contribute to the costs of putting the UDRS into place. "If the ICC wants to use technology we have developed over the years and currently pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for each year to satisfy their UDRS requirements, then they should contribute to any costs associated with getting that technology to air". The ICC is currently looking at UDRS funding issues.
ILLNESS LED TO SHIELD, ONE-DAY
A stomach virus was behind the unexpected Shield and one-day debuts of National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Ash Barrow and emerging umpire Damien Mealey in matches at the Gabba in Brisbane earlier this month (E-News 693-3399, 5 November 2010).
Barrow's NUP and Victorian state colleague Tony Ward was to have stood in both games with Western Australian Mick Martell, but Cricket Australia says he had to withdrawal in the lead up to the one day game after becoming "extremely ill".
That situation saw Mealey elevated from the third umpire position for the short match and Barrow flown in for what was a four-day match that was won outright in less than two days.
WICB NAMES UMPIRES FOR
PAKISTAN 'A' SERIES
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has selected four of its younger umpires to stand in the two 'Tests', three one-day and two Twenty20 (T20) matches the WICB's A side is to play against their Pakistani counterparts in the Caribbean over the next three weeks. Selection of the four umpires and other recent appointments suggests that at least two of those chosen may be potential candidates for West Indies' membership of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) in the next year or so.
Joel Wilson (Trinidad and Tobago) and Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados) stood in the two T20 games played in Antigua late last week, while Wilson's countryman Peter Nero and Nigel Duguid of Guyana will look after the three one-day games that the A sides are to play in Grenada, the first of which is due to get underway tonight Australian time. Nero and Duguid will then officiate in the first 'Test' on the island of St Vincent and Brathwaite and Wilson in the second which will also be played there; both games being four-day affairs.
Brathwaite and Wilson had a particularly interesting time in the opening T20 match between the A sides last Friday. The West Indies needed one run off the final delivery but Jason Holder was run out and the match was tied, but the home side won after Eliminator overs were bowled, the Windies scoring 1/7 and the Pakistanis 2/6.
Brathwaite and Duguid have yet to stand at first class level, while Wilson has four such matches to his credit, two of them in England, and Nero nine, two of those in England and another three in Bangladesh; the latter pair's overseas appointments being during WICB umpire international exchange programs.
Nero was selected ahead of three current Windies IUP members for a semi final and the final of the WICB's regional one-day competition last month and Duguid a semi final (E-News 688-3381, 25 October 2010). Wilson was the reserve umpire in a semi final and final and Brathwaite in the other semi final.
MATCH OFFICIALS CONTESTING
Former Indian international umpire Arani Jayaprakash and current International Cricket Council match referee Javagal Srinath are in competition for election as the Secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) for the three years from 2010-13. Srinath is part of the ticket of former India captain and leg-spinner Anil Kumble who is challenging current KSCA President Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, says the 'Deccan Herald'.
Jayaprakash, who played 79 first class and 15 List A matches for Mysore and Karnataka from 1971-84, later stood in 72 first class and 73 List A games in the period from 1990-2008, a record that includes 13 Tests and 38 One Day Internationals (ODI). Srinath, who in the last four-and-a-half years has refereed 15 Tests, 93 ODIs and 14 Twenty20 Internationals, played 147 first class games, 67 of them Tests, and 290 List A matches, including 229 ODIs, from 1989-2003.
NO UDRS IN PAKISTAN 'HOME'
SERIES UNTIL AT LEAST 2012
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to "bring up" the possibility of using the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in its home series when it negotiates its next television broadcast agreement, but that will not occur until 2012, says PCB official Zakir Khan.
The system will not be used in the forthcoming Tests against South Africa because the PCB has no prior agreement with its current broadcast partner to use the technology, something that was flagged when umpiring appointments for the series were announced three weeks ago (E-News 688-3379, 25 October 2010).
The 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), and Pakistan's 'Daily Times' newspaper claimed yesterday that its broadcaster was also not keen to use it in the South African series in the United Arab Emirates for the same reason.
Meanwhile the Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Nishantha Ranatunga, says that his Board is keen on utilising the UDRS for the three-Test series against the West Indies which starts next week in Galle. SLC and its television rights holders for matches in Sri Lanka are said to be working on acquiring "the required Hawk-Eye technology", a move which if successful will see three neutral umpires named by the International Cricket Council for the Tests.
RAIN AGAIN ON THE HORIZON
FOR PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES
"A shower or two" is the current outlook for Premier League games scheduled for the Hobart area tomorrow but it appears that most matches will be able to be completed that day, however, the outlook for Sunday looks more doubtful with Bureau of Meteorology computers suggesting that 15-25 mm of rain could fall across the region.
A cold front is expected to pass across Hobart overnight Friday-Saturday and it appears that grounds may be a little damp first thing tomorrow, but a broad trough of low pressure is projected to move in from the north-west late on Saturday evening bringing moist south-east winds up from Storm Bay by Sunday morning.
TCUSA Members wishing to monitor the weather situation in the lead up to, or on the day of, the game, or ultra-violet predictions for either day, can do so by going to the 'Weather Outlook' section of the TCUSA web site.
DAR, HILL FOR BOXING DAY
Aleem Dar of Pakistan, the International Cricket Council's 2010 'Umpire of the Year', and his Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) colleague Tony Hill of New Zealand, have been named as the on-field umpires for this year's Boxing Day Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The pair will each be involved in four of this summer's Ashes Tests, other match officials for the five-game series being umpires 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies and Marais Erasmus of South Africa, plus match referees Jeff Crowe, another Kiwi, and Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka.
Crowe is to manage the first three Tests in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and Madugalle the last two in Melbourne and Sydney. Dar and Doctrove will be on the field for the First Test in Brisbane in just under two weeks with Hill the television umpire, before Erasmus joins Hill in Adelaide and Doctrove moves into the TV position, then Dar will fly in to Perth to occupy the third umpire slot with Erasmus and Doctrove out on the field. At the MCG Erasmus will be the television umpire supporting Dar and Hill, then the last Test will see Bowden and Dar together with Hill the third umpire.
Dar's three Tests on the field will take his tally in the longest form of the game to 63 matches, 15 of which will have been played in Australia, and 10 part of an Ashes series. The Pakistani will be standing in his fourth-straight Australia-England series and third MCG Boxing Day Test in the past five years, one of them involving the last Ashes Test there and the other South Africa. For Hill the two Tests he will stand in will be only his second and third in Australia, his first here being at the Gabba in Brisbane in 2007 when Sri Lanka were the visitors. His total list of Tests will move to 22 following the MCG Test, a ground he has stood at once previously, that being in a One Day International (ODI) in February 2008.
Bowden's single match will be his sixty-fifth Test overall, seventeenth in Australia, seventh at the SCG and eighth in the three Ashes series he has stood in since 2005. For Doctrove his two Tests on the field will be his 30th and 31st, seventh and eighth in Australia and third and fourth in an Ashes series. Erasmus, the newest EUP member of the five umpires who was in Australia recently for the one-day series against Sri Lanka (E-News 687-3371, 23 October 2010), has been given two Tests on the field and a third in the television suite, his first in Australia and by far the highest profile of the three Tests, two in Bangladesh and one in Birmingham, he has stood in to date. The Boxing Day Test will be his tenth overall in the third umpire's chair.
Of the match referees, Madugalle's two Tests will be his 121st and 122nd as a referee and thirteenth and fourteenth Ashes games, while the MCG Boxing Day appointment is his seventh in the past 14 years. Only one of the 21 Tests he played for Sri Lanka from 1982-88 was in Australia, but it was in Perth, however, he did play eight ODIs in Australia, four each at the MCG and SCG. Now Florida-based Crowe, who also played Tests for his country around the same time as Madugalle, will see his tally as a referee in Tests move to 45, nine of which will have been in an Ashes series. He is no stranger to Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, four of his 39 Tests as a player being held at those grounds.
TASMANIANS NAMED FOR
Two Tasmanians are amongst the nine umpires who have been named to stand in the six Twenty20 and three one-day Womens National Cricket League (WNCL) games that are to be played in Adelaide, Hobart and Perth in mid-December. Tasmania State Umpire Panel members Jamie Mitchell and Wade Stewart will be involved in two T20 and single one-day WNCL games that are to be played at Bellerive between Tasmania and Victoria, their second such assignment this season, the first being in Launceston (E-News 682-3346, 15 October 2010).
Apart from the Tasmanians, other umpires named for the matches are South Australians Kumar Chandrakumar, Andy Collins, Thomas McLeod and Luke Uthenwoldt for the games in Adelaide, and for those in Perth, Western Australians Matthew Hall, Nathan Johnstone and Dean Trigg. Hall and Trigg were named for women's games played last month (E-News 677-3322, 5 October 2010), while Collins, McLeod and Uthenwoldt are to stand in matches in the women's series over the next few weeks (E-News 686-3367, 21 October 2010). The latter will also stand in the men's Under-19 national championship series in Brisbane next month (E-News 689-3383, 26 October 2010).
Former first class umpire Kim Perrin will be the match referee for the three WNCL games in Adelaide, and former Test umpire Terry Prue for those in Perth. Western Australia-based member of Cricket Australia's Umpire High Performance Panel, and another former Test umpire, Ric Evans, will be in Hobart for the three matches Mitchell and Stewart are to stand in at Bellerive.
BIRD WOULD 'NOT HAVE SURVIVED' TODAY'S
TV SCRUTINY, CLAIMS ICC MANAGER
The International Cricket Council's (ICC) push for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is not an indication that umpiring standards have slumped over the last few decades, says ICC General Manager Cricket and former South African player David Richardson. Dubai-based Richardson singled out former England umpire 'Dickie' Bird in an interview with the 'Gulf News' this week, during which he said that "there is a general perception that umpiring standards have fallen over the years, but I can assure you that after having played in the seventies, eighties and nineties that the standard of umpiring today is high".
Richardson told the newspaper that "television technology has made the job of umpires almost impossible and for that reason alone we decided that we cannot leave the umpires to the wolves and we need to use technology to help them make decisions". He mentioned statistics to justify UDRS use, saying that "in the 23 Tests in which [the system has been] used since September 2009, we have recorded 84 possible on-field umpiring errors" out of a total of 1,011 appeals.
Of those 1,011 appeals, there were 218 requests for reviews of umpiring decisions, 57 of them being overturned after the third umpire looked at them via television replays. In other words "players were correct 26 per cent of the time [but] in vast majority of the reviews the umpires were [shown to be] correct", said Richardson. The UDRS has resulted in the overall correct decision ratio going up from 92.04 to 97.68 per cent "a five per cent increase", he said.
Richardson mentioned former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird in his comments about the benefits of the UDRS to the 'Gulf News'. The newspaper reported him as saying that "Bird never gave a batsmen out leg before unless he was sure that the ball was going to hit the middle stump [and] anything outside [that] he would give not out". The senior ICC manager is then said to have stated that "today, Bird would not have survived because he would have been critcised to the full and teams may have even flown home in the middle of a series because of Bird's refusal to give leg before decisions". Bird was the umpire in only one of the 42 Tests Richardson played in the period from 1991-98.
MARKER PEN NAME 'WRITE-IN'
LEADS TO HEARING
Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has been found not guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (CoC) during his side's the fifth and final One Day International (ODI) against South Africa in Dubai on Monday. Yousuf's name on the back of what the ICC says was a "borrowed shirt" was written with a marker pen which was a violation of part of the ICC's Code that deals with "appropriate and professional standards of appearance on the field on play".
Yousuf pleaded not guilty to the offence and as required by the CoC Zimbabwean match referee Andy Pycroft held a hearing after the match. He said afterwards that in making his decision to find the player not guilty, he "took into account that Yousuf was required by [team] management representing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to wear the offending shirt as he had arrived in Dubai for the Test series [against South Africa] and not for the ODIs [and] as such, he didn’t bring with him any coloured clothing". "The matter should now be referred by the ICC to the PCB pursuant to the relevant section of the Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations", concluded Pycroft.
'EYE CARE' SPONSORSHIP
FOR KIWI UMPIRES
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has entered into a commercial partnership with eye care specialists 'Specsavers' that will provide sponsorship for all domestic cricket umpires. The company has over 45 stores throughout New Zealand and franchises in a total of 10 countries, last year selling more than 11 million frames.
NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said that the new sponsorship "is a positive step for both organisations", describing it as an "exciting new relationship" that is "going to have a positive impact on the sport". No details were provided as to the amount of money involved in the sponsorship of the time over which the arrangement will run. Under the deal the Specsavers logo will be visible on the uniforms of all NZC umpires used in first class, List A and other competitions played in New Zealand.
Australian eye care company 'Eyelines' is the sponsor of cricket umpiring in Tasmania.
TROTT PLANS TO CONTINUE
WITH PRE-BALL ROUTINE
English batsman Jonathan Trott plans to keep Australia's bowlers waiting for as long as he has to during the forthcoming Ashes series, says an article published in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' (SMH) on Friday. England's first drop engages in lengthy preparations before each delivery, marking the line of the stump and thumping down uneven cracks, however, he says he won't be changing that routine in the forthcoming series, even though his England team mates have ribbed him about his approach.
Trott told the SMH's Jamie Pandaram that he just goes about his "business in a way that's helped me be successful in the past, and hopefully will be this tour as well". ''If [the Australians have] got a problem, [they should] have a word with the umpire, and the umpire will have a word with me", he says. "That's the way I'll continue to do it [and] it's just something people pick up on because other guys don't do it [for] it sticks out like a sore thumb because it's different maybe", he continued, as he has "never got stick for it in County or any other cricket, it's just since there's all the media and people watching it".
Cape Town born Trott earned the ire of South African players last austral summer when he continuously held up bowlers with his routine. Team mate Graeme Swann says that he "can probably understand South Africa's frustrations because I've stood at slip calling him every name under the sun for Nottinghamshire over the years [and] it's quite nice to have it happen to someone else".
Last Friday in Delhi, umpires S Ravi and Shavir Tarapore had to step in and stop an argument between the captains of the Railway and Assam sides during a first class match over such a matter. Railway skipper Murali Kartik, whose side was in the field, thought his Assam counterpart Amol Muzumdar who was at the crease, was taking too long to get ready to face deliveries. Just what happened out on the field is not clear, however, match referee Manu Nayyar summoned both skippers after the day's play to discuss the rift, however, both dismissed the spat as "no big deal'.
Law 42.10 states that it is "unfair for a batsman to waste time" and that "in normal circumstances, the striker should always be ready to take strike when the bowler is ready to start his run up". Should umpires judge that either batsman is wasting time by failing to meet that requirement, the offenders are required to be given a first and final warning, and if there is any further time wasting by any batsman in that innings, the umpire shall, "at the appropriate time while the ball is dead", proceed to "award five penalty runs to the fielding side".
On the same day in the Delhi match an appeal for a bat-pad catch against Assam batsman Kumnal Saika was upheld after referral by the waving of a red flag from the pavillion. The Board of Control for Cricket in India is using video replays to assist with referrals in its matches this season, but as signal lights are not available at many grounds, the match referee conveys the outcome of a referral using different coloured flags (E-News 683-3351, 18 October 2010).
'The Age' newspaper in Melbourne reported yesterday that the Victorian Premier League club Northcote were so concerned about the fact that their opponents Geelong took what journalist Brad Beitzel states was 13 minutes to bowl the last four balls of Northcote's innings in a match earlier this month that they lodged a formal protest with Cricket Victoria (CV). Beitzel's report contains no details of just what occurred and what the actions of the umpires were, but CV dismissed the protest. Northcote president Mark Sundberg was quoted as saying that "we're not happy with the outcome but we accept the decision", while Geelong chose not to comment about the situation that prevailed.
'BLOCKER' AIMING AT TEST
Former Australian player and now National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Paul Wilson says that his goal is to umpire Test cricket sometime in the future, according to an article published in the 'Newcastle Herald', his home-town newspaper, on Friday. Now based in Western Australia, Wilson was asked how such an accomplishment would compare to winning a 'baggy green' cap in what was his only Test in 1998, and he said that it will be "a different type of pride but still one of those things I'm aiming for".
"I know how hard it was to play a Test match and I know certainly how hard it's going to be to umpire one as well, so I'm just looking forward to the journey", he says. Wilson did not score a run or take a wicket in his solitary Test, which was played in the middle of what now appears to have been a "golden era" in Australian cricket where he competed for spots against the likes of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Michael Kasprowicz and now fellow NUP member Paul Reiffel.
Wilson, 38, made his umpiring debut at first class level in November last year (E-News 513-2644, 27 October 2009), and was appointed to the NUP last June just four years after starting his officiating career after being fast-tracked via Cricket Australia's Project Panel (E-News 611-3066, 25 May 2010). He is scheduled to stand in his fifth first class game this Wednesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground when the home side takes on Tasmania, his colleague being Mick Martell, another NUP member who is based in Western Australia, with Ric Evans, another official from west of the Nullabor, being the match referee.
APPEAL ON 'DECIDING-SCORE' METHOD
DISMISSED IN VICTORIA
Cricket Victoria's (CV) Pennant Committee Appeals Tribunal last week dismissed St Kilda's objection as to how the result of a rain-effected 45-over one-day Second Grade match against Casey-South Melbourne (CSM) on the last weekend of October was decided, according to 'The Age' newspaper in Melbourne yesterday. CV, which is using Cricket Australia's split innings format for its one-day games this season (E-News 672-3294, 24 September 2010), is said to have ruled that the use of the deciding-score method, where a team's best 20 overs are counted if a match can not be completed, was appropriate.
CSM were all out for 110 in the thirty-third over they faced but rain stopped play before St Kilda had a chance to return to the crease for a second time to add to the 3/57 they had scored from the 20 overs they received in their initial batting period. St Kilda could not make the semi-finals of the Second grade one-day competition but were said to be chasing the points for the overall-season ladder, and appear to have had the support of the Melbourne Cricket Club which is reported to have written to the pennant committee seeking clarification about the matter.
'The Age' report says that the St Kilda Second XI's situation was the same as the one that cost Fitzroy-Doncaster's First Grade side a spot in that competition's semi-finals. CV's somewhat complex 'deciding-score' method is detailed in section 19.7.4 of Playing Conditions for First and Second Grades in 2010-11 at: http://premier.cricketvictoria.com.au/files//season_10-11/rules/rule_19.pdf
EIGHT UMPIRES USED FOR
WCL TOURNAMENT IN KUWAIT
Eight umpires, six of whom were flown in to Kuwait, stood in the 20-match World Cricket League Division 8 tournament that ended in Kuwait City on Friday (E-News 693-3402, 5 November 2010). In addition to New Zealand umpire Tony Hill, a member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, the others who took part were: Riaz Chaudhry (Kuwait), Fidel Jaary (United Arab Emirates), Mark Hawthorne (Ireland), JS Nathan (Kuwait), Afzalkhan Pathan (Oman), Ashwani Rana (Thailand), and Theunis van Schalkwyk (Namibia).
Score cards available indicated that Hill stood with Chaudhry, Hawthorn, Nathan and van Schalkwyk during his week in Kuwait. Former Indian first class player Satayabrata Mukherjee was the match referee for the 12 preliminary games involving the Bahamas, Bhutan, Germany, Gibraltar, Kuwait, Suriname, Vanuatu and Zambia, David Jukes of England, an ICC regular in such tournaments, looking after the semi finals and multiple finals matches that decided the final order of the teams.
SET FOR JANUARY
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has set a January date for a hearing into spot-fixing charges against three Pakistan cricketers who were suspended after allegations arose in England at the end of August during their side's tour of England. Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif are to face a hearing that is to be conducted by the ICC's Anti Corruption Tribunal in Doha, Qatar from 6-11 January.
Late last month Butt and Amir appealed unsuccessfully against the provisional handed to them by the ICC after Amir and Asif were questioned by British police following allegations published in the 'News of the World' newspaper about the final Test against England at Lord's (E-News 661-3263, 31 August 2010). It was claimed that both bowlers deliberately delivered no-balls at pre-arranged times during the Test, with Butt, who was captain, also said to be involved, in return for money from a bookmaker's "middle man".
Fellow seamer Wahab Riaz was also questioned by police, whose investigation, which isseparate from the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit's own probe, remains ongoing, although no criminal charges have yet been brought. Michael Beloff QC, who chaired the Code of Conduct Commission that rejected the appeals by Butt and Amir, will also chair the full tribunal hearing into allegations made against the trio.
TEST DEBUTS FOR OXENFORD,
Australia's Bruce Oxenford and England's Richard Kettleborough are to make their Test debuts in the three-match series between Sri Lanka and the West Indies over the next few weeks. The appointments by the International Cricket Council (ICC) mean that three umpires will have made their Test debuts this month, Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena having done so in India two weeks ago, and suggest that they and England's Nigel Llong, who is to stand in India later this week (E-News 691-3392, 30 October 2010), constitute the ICC's four-man 'emerging' group for 2010-11.
Oxenford, 50, has been named for the Third and final Test in Pallekalla in the city of Kandy which starts on the first day of December, his on-field colleague being ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Asad Rauf of Pakistan who will be standing in a Test for the thirty-fourth time. For the Queenslander, who is the eighty-ninth Australian to be appointed to a Test in the game's 133 year history, the match in Pallekalla will be the fifty-fifth first class match he has stood in since his debut at that level at the Gabba in Brisbane in November 2001.
Kettleborough, 37, who like Dharmasena, Llong and Oxenford is a former first class player and current a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, is standing in the first two Tests in Sri Lanka, Australian Steve Davis being his partner in the opening game in Galle this week, which is his twenty-ninth Test, and Rauf the second in Kettherama which starts today week. The Englishman debuted at first class level just five months after Oxenford in April 2002, and the First Test is his eighty-seventh first class game as an umpire, a match in which he becomes England's 110th Test official.
Another former first class cricketer, Australian Alan Hurst, will be the match referee for the Tests and as the Umpire Decision Review System will be in operation for the Tests, the ICC have appointed Rauf, Davis and Australian Rod Tucker as third umpires for the three games respectively.
Oxenford is to stay on in Sri Lanka after the Test to work as the neutral umpire in the five One Day Internationals (ODI) the home side and the tourists are to play in the lead up to Christmas, a series that will take his ODI tally to 22 matches. India's Javagal Srinath, the sixth of seven officials for the Tests and ODIs who has played first class cricket, will be the match referee for the ODIs and by series end he will have officiated as a referee in a total of 98 ODIs.
The ICC only announced the Test and ODI appointments for the Sri Lankan matches last night after the First Test got underway yesterday, however, there were hints in the umpiring selections by Cricket Australia two weeks ago for domestic matches next month that Oxenford had been selected for an international match overseas (E-News 693-3398, 5 November 2010).
HARPER EQUALS SHEPHERD'S TEST
MARK, EXTENDS GROUND RECORD
Australian umpire Daryl Harper has set a new record by standing at his 50th Test venue as an umpire during the Second Test between Pakistan and South Africa which is currently underway at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The 59-year-old from Adelaide is standing in his 92nd Test match, which equals the record of the late David Shepherd of England, achieving both new marks at a ground that becomes the 103rd around-the-world to have staged a Test match.
Harper, who made his debut as a Test umpire in an Ashes series game between Australia and England at Perth in 1998, has since gone on to stand at the highest level of the game in all 10 Test playing countries and the UAE. Over the past 12 years he has been on the field at seven grounds in nine Tests in the West Indies (7/10), six each in England, India and New Zealand (6/11, 6/8 and 6/11 respectively), five in Australia and South Africa (5/7 and 5/13), four each in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (4/6, 4/5 and 4/16 respectively), two in Zimbabwe (2/3), and one in Dubai in the UAE before the current game. The ground he knows best in a Test context is that at Galle in Sri Lanka where he has stood in seven such contests.
In reaching Shepherd's Test tally the Australian is now equal third on the all-time Test list behind record holder Steve Bucknor of the West Indies with 128 and Rudi Koertzen of South Africa with 108, both of whom have now retired. Harper, who has averaged seven Tests a year since his debut, with a high of 13 in 2002, appears likely to move past Shepherd in Test terms over the next six months, and could reach the 100 mark if his umpiring contract with the International Cricket Council is extended for another year next June. The South Australian is the last original member of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel who is still with the group.
RAIN ON THE HORIZON FOR
MID-WEEK T20 GAMES
Rain is again on the horizon for the Twenty20 (T20) First Grade Premier League matches that Cricket Tasmania has scheduled for grounds around Hobart on Wednesday evening. Bureau of Meteorology forecasts issued this morning are for "rain developing" as a trough of low pressure approaches Tasmania from the west during the day, with current computer rain fall forecasts suggesting grounds in the region could receive 10-15 mm of precipitation during the day.
There is a possibility that rain may not arrive until after the T20s have concluded, however, the situation will not be clearer until Wednesday morning and those managing matches will need to up-date themselves on the weather situation via the 'Weather Outlook' tab of the TCUSA web site.
Members are reminded that the TCUSA Training-Appointments meeting that was originally scheduled for Wednesday night will now not go ahead, with members instead being encouraged to attend the games to support and learn from the senior umpires who will be on the park. Match appointments for the coming weekend will for this week only be sent out via e-mail, or letter for those without electronic access.
WINDIES SPINNER'S ACTION
QUERIED BY UMPIRES
West Indies spinner Shane Shillingford has been reported to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a suspected illegal bowling action following the First Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last week. Shillingford joins off-spinner colleagues such as Saeed Ajmal, Johan Botha, Shoaib Malik, Muttiah Muralitharan, Harbhajan Singh and others, whose actions have been questioned by match officials over the last few decades.
Shillingford, who took five wickets in what was only his fourth Test, was reported by on-field umpires Steve Davis and Richard Kettlebrough, as well as television umpire Asad Rauf and fourth umpire Tyron Wijewardene (E-News 698-3418, 16 November 2010). The umpires' report is said to have cited concern over the straightening of the spinner's arm while bowling some deliveries "to the degree that may constitute an illegal action".
Under ICC regulations Shillingford's action will now be scrutinised in detail by a member of the ICC panel of human movement specialists, an examination that must be conducted within the next three weeks. Should his action be found to be illegal after that evaluation, he will be suspended until sufficient adjustments have been made to his delivery style. However, he will be able to play the Second Test which starts in Colombo later today as any possible ban from international cricket would not come into place until the West Indies Cricket Board receives a report of the assessment.
Shillingford, from Dominica, is in the squad for today's Test and it appears that he will be playing in that game for West Indian coach Otis Gibson says that "the entire team is behind [Shillingford] and he knows he has our full support". "Our job is to keep Shane focused on the upcoming match and the series [for] he's a key part of our bowling unit", says Gibson.
ICC MATCH REFEREE WINS
Current International Cricket Council match referee and former Indian fast bowler Javagal Srinath has been elected as the Secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in India for the next three years, defeating former international umpire Araniu Jayaprakash by 245 votes in a ballot held on the weekend (E-News 694-3405, 9 November 2010). Srinath was part of the ticket of former Indian captain Anil Kumble who challenged incumbent KSCA President Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, a move that saw Kumble's group win 23 of the two-dozen positions that were up for election.
MOST UMPIRES WANT UDRS
Former South African umpire Rudi Koertzen believes the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is beneficial for the game and that "99 per cent" of his colleagues "are in favour of the system as nobody likes to make a wrong decision". Koertzen also said in an interview he gave to ESPN this week that in his view 60 is the appropriate age for those on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) to retire from the international game.
Asked if the UDRS "undermine the authority of the on-field umpire and impacted on [their] ego", Koertzen said it does not, for when the umpire is "the only guy in the world who doesn't know whether you made a right or the wrong decision while millions of people actually see it [on television], it's safe to fall back on technology [for] who wants to see people slamming you in newspapers for a bad decision?" "It's not about ego", he says, "it's about being honest to your job as you only get a split second to make a decision [and] if you have technology, why not use it?"
Koertzen, whose last Test four months ago was played when he was well into his sixty-second year, believes that "60 is the right age to retire" from the EUP as "people are not going to remember you for all the good decisions you made over the years, but for the bad ones you made in [your] last two years". "I was very fortunate to have never been overtly criticised", he says, and "I accepted my mistakes whenever I made one and was never afraid to say sorry for my wrong decisions".
Journalist Jepher Christopher queried Koertzen on the elevation of former Sri Lankan off-spinner and now international umpire Kumar Dharmasena to Test level "after he has officiated in just 19 One Day Internationals" (E-News 691-3392, 30 October 2010). Koertzen is quoted as saying that that "is a very good question but I feel it's good to have former players as on-field umpires even if they haven't officiated in too many matches". "When I started at Test level, I had umpired for 10 years and stood in a lot of first class games before being selected" and it took 16 years as an umpire before he was appointed to "the ICC panel in 1997". But players like Dharmasena "have [also] seen the game from close quarters for quite sometime".
Koertzen is now the ICC's Regional Umpires Performance Manager for Africa (E-News 674-3311, 29 September 2010). He said in August that he had suggested to Cricket South Africa (CSA) that he stand in "selected four-day and one-day [domestic] games" with "some of [his country's] young, upcoming umpires" in order "to nurture them into the system" and "step in if any trouble" develops with players (E-News 660-3261, 30 August 2010). As yet CSA has not taken up that offer.
ICC SEEKS WORLD-WIDE TIGHTENING
OF ANTI-CORRUPTION CODES
Nation cricket authorities have been asked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to introduce a domestic anti-corruption code by April next year that is in line with the world body's regulations. The ICC wrote to all of its members last month requesting that they review their anti-corruption procedures and, where necessary, introduce new measures, a move that flowed directly from the spot-fixing scandal that surrounded the Pakistani team three months ago.
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive says that the ICC had prepared a template domestic code which incorporates the essence of its existing Anti-Corruption Code for use in countries lacking their own set of rules, and for those who do to review theirs against it so that they can consider the adequacy of their own measures. ICC members are asked to review on-going education planning and delivery, reporting of integrity concerns in domestic cricket and the vetting of player agents. "All members have a responsibility to demonstrate leadership and good practice in protecting the integrity of the sport at domestic and international level", Lorgat says.