January 11 (710-721)



(Story numbers 3478-3536)

710  711  712  713  714  715  716  717   718   719   720   721

712 - 13 January  [3493-3495]

• NZ skipper repeats his call for universal UDRS use  (712-3487).

• Mid-pitch 'scuffles' mar Bangladesh Premier league games  (712-3488).

• Club complains about playing in rain after match loss  (712-3489).

• Umpires no strangers to Ranji trophy finals  (712-3490).

• ECB to expand T20 format to County Seconds  (712-3491).

• Yet another league looks to cover umpire shortage  (712-3492).

713 - 13 January  [3493-3495]
• Photos show inundation of Brisbane club ground  
• Risk of corruption in UDRS use, claims technologist  (713-3494).

• One for discussion - what's your view?  (713-3495).

714 - 14 January  [3496-3500]

• Pakistan first class final a day-night, coloured ball, affair  (714-3496).

• Floods lead to postponement of Brisbane T20  (714-3497).

• UDRS 'best thing since coloured clothing', says Bowden  (714-3498).

• Harper for WCL mentoring in Hong Kong  (714-3499).

• Indian batsman has to wear BCCI policy on UDRS  (714-3500).

715 - 15 January  [3501-3503]
• Week's rain leads to widespread 'wash out'  

• UDRS for one-day debut at the MCG  (715-3502).

• Project Panel member moves up to Second Grade  (715-3503).

716 - 17 January  [3504-3508]
• ICC's Richardson observing PCB day-night first class final   

• Former Test umpire chalks up 500 Cricket Victoria matches  (715-3505).

• U17 championship images available on-line  (715-3506).

• Kiwi vice captain pushes world-wide UDRS use  (715-3507).

• Bras, knickers, pizzas hung from Bird's statue  (716-3508).

717 - 18 January  [3509-3514] 
• Showers expected to clear in time for Hobart ODI start  (717-3509).
• Match referee kept busy during Pakistan first class final  (717-3510).
• Former first class umpire for Futures' debut   (717-3511).
• All-rounder cited for dissent, outcome unknown  (717-3512).
• TCUSA members for women's interstate matches  (715-3513).
• Three-match Lanka-Windies ODI series for 'Ox'  (717-3514).

718 - 20 January  [3515-3519] 
• 'Our Don' lines up for 'official' 500th  (718-3515).
• Club attacks monumental flood clean-up, repair, task  (718-3516).
• Players 'need to contain their emotions', says Miandad  (718-3517).
• Kiwi Oram fined for dissent  (718-3518).
• 'Where's the time gone?', asks Bowden  (718-3519).

719 - 22 January  [3520-3525] 
• Fry, Cloete for CA-CSA exchange program  (719-3520).
• Baxter to replace Bowden in Australia-England ODI series  (719-3521).
• Former Test umpire for Imarja Cup  (719-3522).
• PCB plans 'new umpire grading policy'  (719-3523).
• Senior ODI debut for Gaffaney  (719-3524).
• PIA official rejects Miandad's 'contain emotions' call  (719-3525).

720 - 25 January  [3526-3531] 
• WICB exchanges with ECB, BCB, continuing (720-3526).
• Committee to decide competition's semi final result appeal (720-3527).
• Lankan 'Professionals' re-elect de Silva as President  (720-3528).
• Holder to accompany MCC tour of Namibia  (720-3529).
• Former Pakistan Test umpire dies  (720-3530).
• 'First-hand' look at 'Hawk Eye' available at Lord's  (720-3531).

721 - 28 January  [3532-3536] 

• Futures league debut for Tassy umpire  (721-3532).



Monday, 3 January 2011





The International Cricket Council (ICC) has dismissed as "nonsense" reports that Cricket South Africa (CSA) had lodged a complaint alleging Australian umpire Steve Davis was drunk on the eve of their side's Second Test against India in Durban on Boxing Day.  A report published in an Afrikaans daily 'Beeld' after India had won the match, made the ascertain that South African players had seen the 58-year-old umpire “in a drunken condition” at the hotel where both teams and match officials had stayed during the game.


'Beeld" also said that what were described as "sources in the Proteas camp", who had spoken "on condition of anonymity", also indicated that Davis was "regularly seen in a particular bar over the [week leading up to the Second Test]", and "he was also seen stumbling into the Sandton Hotel in the early hours of the morning during the first Test in Centurion" earlier in the month.  In contrast to the Second Test, South Africa won that opening game.


South African team manager, Mohammed Moosajee, is said to have referred the paper's query about the matter to Vincent van der Bijl, the ICC's umpire and referees manager.  Later, Colin Gibson, the ICC’s head of media and communications, told journalists that "no allegations have been made [against Davis], CSA hasn’t told the ICC anything" and Beeld's report was "all nonsense".  Michael Owen-Smith, CSA’s media officer, confirmed that no complaint had been lodged with the ICC about the matter.


During South Africa's loss in the Second Test Davis, along with his Pakistani colleague Asad Rauf, made a number of umpiring decisions against home batsmen that television replays subsequently suggested were wrong (E-News 710-3480 below).  However, with the Umpire Decision Review System not available to match officials because of the Indian Board's long-term attitude to its use (E-News 699-3426, 13 December 2010), viewers watching on television had information available to them that did both on-field umpires; a situation that will again prevail in the two Tests New Zealand and Pakistan are to play over the next few weeks (E-News 707-3466,  23 December 2010).






Four new umpires have been added to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel (AAIUP) for the year ahead.  The 11-man panel, one more than in previous years, now includes Theunis van Schalkwyk (Namibia), Courtney Young (Cayman Islands), Mark Hawthorne (Ireland) and Richard Smith (Cyprus). 


The quartet have replaced Subhash Modi of Kenya, who has retired earlier this month after umpiring in international cricket for nine years, Paul Baldwin of Germany, who has resigned following his selection in the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) reserve umpires panel for the second successive year (E-News 701-3438, 15 December 2010), and Karran Bayney of Canada who was dropped. 


Modi, 64, will now be a match referee for the Africa region and Vincent van der Bijl, the ICC's Umpire and Referees Manager said in a statement that he "has made invaluable contributions during a fine career" in which he umpired in 22 One Day Internationals (ODI) and nine Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), most of which involved second-tier cricketing nations.  "Modi was a role model for the emerging umpires from the Associate and Affiliate countries", said van der Bijl. 


The full AAIUP group for 2011 is: from Africa, Jeff Luck  and Theunis van Schalkwyk (Namibia); the Americas, Roger Dill (Bermuda) and Courtney Young (Cayman Islands); Asia, Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal) and  Sarika Prasad (Singapore); East Asia Pacific, Shahul Hameed (Indonesia); and Europe, Niels Bagh (Denmark), Mark Hawthorne (Ireland), Ian Ramage (Scotland) and Richard Smith (Cyprus).  An additional umpire was added to the Europe Region this year following a request by the region so that it can "meet its growing needs and requirements". 


Umpires from the AAIUP can be assigned to ODIs and T20I matches involving ICC Associates and Affiliates Members as well as officiate in interntional Under-19 and women's cricket. 


The panel drawn up by a committee made up of Van Der Bijl, ICC regional match referee David Jukes, former New Zealand Test umpire Brian Aldridge, ICC Match Officials Operations Manager Brent Silva, and ICC Development Events Manager Edward Fitzgibbon.






The International Cricket Council (ICC) should take responsibility for implementing the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) itself and remove the right of Test nations to opt out of its use, says South Africa captain Graeme Smith.  Speaking to journalists after his side's 87-run loss in the Second Test against India in Durban last week, Smith said that the world body "can't leave" provision of the system to individual national Boards".


In his comments the South African skipper made reference to two controversial LBW decisions, which were given against batsman AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher in the second innings of the Durban Test (E-News 710-3478 above).  de Villiers was adjudged leg before to a delivery from Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh when he was on 33, while Boucher, after scoring just one run, was given out in the same manner to a Zaheer Khan delivery.  Smith felt that had the UDRS been enforced in the series, those two decisions might not have gone in India’s favour, and replays appear to support that claim. 


The UDRS was first used on a 'permanent' basis by the ICC in November 2009 in a Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in Dunedin and in the time since it has been in operation in a total of seven Test series but not all that have been played over the last 14 months.  The world body has been trying to have the UDRS used in all Tests played around the world, but India's strong opposition to it, plus more recently the ICC's failure to appropriately fund the system's operation (E-News 707-3466, 24 December 2010), have meant that that objective is still far from being met.  


Cricket South Africa is said to want it to become permanent part of cricket events all over the globe, and skipper Smith believes that only if it is used regularly will "a proper idea of whether it works or not" be obtained.

Saturday, 8 January 2011






The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has once again reiterated its opposition to the use of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in Test series in which its team plays.  BCCI secretary N Srinivasan, who is also the BCCI's president-elect, told the Reuters news agency yesterday that there was "no chance" his Board, which he says "turned down" an offer to travel to Australia to observe UDRS operation during the Ashes series (E-News 701-3436, 15 December 2010), are "going to approve its use in any bilateral series".


Srinivasan was quoted as saying that "we have made our presentation to the International Cricket Council (ICC)" on the current review system and "indicated we remain concerned about the technology's limitations".  He did not indicate just when and where the presentation to the ICC was made, and stated that while the world body had planned "to take us to Australia to see how the UDRS went during the Ashes series, I did not go". 


Cricket South Africa could not convince the BCCI to use UDRS in their recently completed three Test series against India, Proteas captain Graeme Smith saying last month, after a number of controversial umpiring decisions in the second Test, that the ICC should "take responsibility" for ensuring the UDRS is used by "making it mandatory" (E-News 710-3480, 3 January 2011).  South African coach Corrie van Zyl  also supports the UDRS (E-News 700-3435, 14 December 2010), and Australia's acting captain Michael Clarke this week said he shared Smith's view on uniformity and that "it should be 100 percent used or not used at all".   


Clarke's words followed a reprieve given to England batsman Ian Bell in the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney thanks to the UDRS.  Bell, who was on 67 at the time, was judged by Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar to have been caught behind, but the decision was overturned after the batsman sought a review, for no 'Hot Spot' signature was visible on his bat.  


However, 'Snickometer', which is not part of the UDRS and was not available to television viewers until some minutes after Dar had reversed his decision following advice from third umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand, subsequently suggested the ball had made contact with the edge of Bell's bat.  The Englishman went on to score a century that further consolidated England's position in the match.


Asked by Reuters if the operational costs associated with the UDRS was the discouraging factor, Srinivasan again stressed his organisation's "serious doubts about its accuracy", but suggested that funding was "another issue" of concern.  While the ICC has so far made no public comment, the companies who provide ball tracking and 'Hot Spot' technology have indicated that they will not be making their equipment available for use in the UDRS during the one-day World Cup on the sub-continent in February-March because of the world body's failure to appropriately fund its use (E-News 704-3454, 20 December 2010). 


Srinivasan described the World Cup as "an ICC event" and therefore "if ICC decided to use it [on the sub-continent during the one-day tournament], they obviously can".  Over the next 12 months India is to play three Tests in the Caribbean against West Indies in May-June, another four in England in July-August, three more against England at home in November-December, then Australia in another four in December-January 2011-12.  If the BCCI maintains its current position re the UDRS over that time, spectators watching those 14 Tests at home or in the stadium are likely to have access to the technology, but match officials out on the field will not. 


ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said last month that he planned to continue to encourage the BCCI to support UDRS use (E-News 705-3459, 21 December 2010).






Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair is reported to believe that the increased use of technology such as 'Hot Spot' has affected the confidence of on-field umpires.  Hair was referring to Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar's reversal of his decision to give England batsman Ian Bell out caught behind during the Fifth and final Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday after the third umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand could find no evidence via the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) that the ball had come in contact with Bell's bat (E-News 711-3481 above).


Hair was quoted by the 'Daily Telegraph' as saying that "in the end I don't know why Aleem changed his decision, he should have stuck with it".  'He's heard something and nothing showed up on the technology to say he was wrong [therefore] he must have talked himself out of it".  "Something like this was always going to happen, umpires will lose confidence in their own ability and start second-guessing themselves [and] it must be draining standing there and saying 'out' or 'not out'".  


Hair emphasised that batsmen have every right to challenge umpires' calls while the current rules were in place, and Bell was "just one example" of how a player could survive despite technology.






Former English umpire 'Dickie' Bird believes that the increased use of technology in international cricket will turn umpires into "mere bystanders".  Bird, 77, who retired from the international scene 15 years ago this year, told a Sky Sports journalist in the UK this week after a number of Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) related controversies arose in the final Ashes Test in Sydney (E-News 711-3481 above), that "electronic aids have taken all the authority away from the umpire".


"I feel if you ask any umpire in the world today, he will tell you that he would prefer to go back to the old system where the umpires made their own decisions because we are getting more controversies", said Bird, a view that is the opposite of recently retired South African umpire Rudi Koertzen who was reported to have said in November that "99 per cent" of his colleagues were in favour of the UDRS (E-News 698-3423, 23 November 2010).


Bird was still officiating when umpires could first ask for replay assistance on a tight run-out, and he is of the view that that is all the help they need now.  "I think there should only be one electronic aid used and that is for the close run-out because the close run-out is the most difficult decision [and] I would leave everything else to the umpire."  


The Yorkshireman is also said to believe that the current situation is "belittling the umpire and holding the game up".  He also pointed to the inconsistency of using the UDRS in the Ashes series, but not in the India-South Africa Test series because of India's objections, and he urged the International Cricket Council to take charge of the situation. 






Indian bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was fined ten percent of his match match fee for kicking the boundary rope, and both he and all his team mates censured for maintaining a slow over rate during the Third and final Test match against South Africa in Cape Town this week.  Sreesanth kicked the rope on the fourth day of the match on Wednesday after he had had two LBW appeals turned down by Australian umpire Simon Taufel in the over he had just completed.


The fast bowler, who is known for his temperamental nature (E-News 598-3006, 9 April 2010), pleaded guilty to a charge laid by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that related to "abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings".  Sreesanth, who did not contest the charge, later told a television reporter that "I think it was anger at the spur of the moment and I'm sorry for that" and that he is "lucky it's just a ten percent fine [for] I thought it could be a ban or something and I was worried".


Match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, who handed down Sreesanth's fine, also determined that the Indian team were three overs behind the required over rate target at the end of South Africa's second innings in Cape Town.  Under ICC regulations, players are each fined ten per cent of their match fee for every over they fail to bowl in the allotted time and the captain is fined double that amount.  Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni therefore lost 60 percent of his fee and his players 30 per cent each, and Sreesanth overall 40 per cent. 


Level 1 breaches such as that Sreesanth was charged with carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player’s match fee. The charge against him was brought by on-field umpires Taufel and Ian Gould from England, third umpire Brian Jerling and fourth umpire Shaun George who are both South Africans.






Four Caribbean umpires are make their first appearances in the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) Twenty20 (T20) competition when the eight-team tournament gets underway in Antigua on Monday.  Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados), Nigel Duguid (Guyana), Luther Kelly (Saint Kitts) and Joel Wilson (Trinidad) are to take part in this month's series after what reports say were "highly commendable regional debuts" during the WICB 50 Over one-day domestic series last October (E-News 685-3363, 20 October 2010).


All up eight umpires have been named for 24-match, 12-day competition which involves Caribbean sides Barbados, Combined Campuses and  Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and the Windward Islands, plus the Canadian national side and English counties Hampshire and Somerset.  Apart from Brathwaite, Duguid, Kelly and Wilson, the other four umpires named are Billy Doctrove (Dominica), Goland Greaves (Windward Islands), Norman Malcolm (Jamaica) and Peter Nero (Trinidad and Tobago).  


Doctrove is the only current West Indian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, while Greaves and Malcolm are on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  Two other Caribbean members of the IUP, Clyde Duncan and Clancy Mack, are missing from the T20 match officials line-up.  


Of the  eight umpires, all have been given five games on the field in the round-robin part of the event, together with either three or two matches as the third or fourth umpire.  Officials for the competition's two semi final matches, the play-off for third and fourth place, and the final itself, will be named once round-robin matches are completed in two weeks time.






The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in India has lodged a complaint over the "nature of the pitch" used for its team’s Ranji Trophy Super League semi final match against Baroda earlier this week.  Karnataka , last year’s finalists in India's premier first class competition, were beaten by seven wickets inside two days on a spinning pitch that saw 33 wickets fall in less than five sessions.


Baroda had shifted the venue from the Moti Bagh Stadium in Vadodara to the Reliance Stadium in another part of that city "at the last minute", and home town spinners eventually took 14 of Karnataka's 20 wickets.  Karnataka coach K Sanath Kumar told local media outlets that "when we were preparing for the semifinal, we had the Moti Bagh stadium, where the pitch will assist pace bowlers, in our mind [and] we didn’t think that we would have to play on [the] turner" at Reliance", and that "the wicket was not fit for a Ranji semifinal".


Former Delhi batsman and match referee for the semi final, Manu Nayyar, confirmed that he had received a complaint from the KSCA.  “I have received the complaint and I will submit it to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with my report", he said.  Professor Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer said that "we will look into the matter once we get the match referee’s report, but a call on this issue has to be taken by the technical committee, not by the BCCI".


Javagal Srinath, former Indian fast bowler who is now the KSCA's secretary as well as an International Cricket Council match referee (E-News 698-3422, 23 November 2010), said that he plans to meet meet with coach Sanath to discuss the match before taking any other step.  “They have lodged a complaint as is their right with the match referee [and] I want to talk to the coach before taking any step to find out what’s in their minds", said Srinath.


Meanwhile, Nayyar said he and the umpires Sudhir Asnani and Subroto Das, had inspected video footage of Karnataka off-spinner Sunil Raju’s action at the end of the first day’s play of the match "and found nothing amiss".  Asnani, a third umpire member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News , had cautioned Raju for suspected illegal action during the lone over he bowled in Baroda’s first innings.  The video showed that “there was nothing alarming" in his action and "that’s why we allowed him to bowl [five overs] in [Baroda's] second innings", said Asnani.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011






New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is in no doubt he wants the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) used in international cricket, although with his side loosing badly to Pakistan on the weekend, he says he would have preferred to pick a better time to argue his case.  The UDRS is not being used in the New Zealand-Pakistan series because of arguments over who should pay for it, while India continues to reject its use in any bilateral series it is involved in (E-News 711-3481, 8 January 2011).


During the First Test, which NZ lost inside three days, both sides were on the wrong end of what were described as "obvious errors" which media reports claim could have been "immediately corrected" had the UDRS been in operation. The most obvious examples both involved New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum, who was given 'not out' on 34 by Australian umpire Rod Tucker in his side's first innings, however, replays showed he gloved a pull shot and was caught behind.  His second time at the crease saw him given out for 35 in the same fashion, but that time replays showed he "clearly missed the ball".  Tucker, who was standing in his seventh Test, was also the umpire on that occasion, match commentary available on line saying that he "raised [his] finger super fast". 


Vettori told journalists that he wants "to be a winning captain and argue the point [about the UDRS] rather than a losing one because I think it looks like sour grapes".  However, "I've been consistent in saying I always thought the referral system was the way to go", he said (E-News 693-3400, 5 November 2010), and "I think most people in world cricket feel the same" (E-News 710-3480, 3 January 2011).  His comments echo those of two other current Test skippers in recent weeks (E-News 710-3480, 3 January 2011).


The International Cricket Council is pushing UDRS use but does not want to pay the considerable costs involved to use it in every Test series.  Rather it appears to believe that broadcasters and national Boards should fund the system's operation, an approach the companies who provide the technology strongly disagree with (E-News 707-3466, 23 December 2010).


A number of media pundits have said this week that stepping back in time and leaving umpires the sole adjudicators of decisions without technology are gone.  One argument that has again been advanced is removing the right of players to seek a referral and leaving such decisions in the umpires' hands, an approach that the England and Wales Cricket Board has argued for in the past (E-News 370-1971, 12 February 2009), following its use in the now-defunct Stanford Twenty20 series in 2008 (E-News 335-1765, 24 October 2008).






Mid-pitch "scuffles" have seen seven players from two separate games in Bangladesh's Premier league competition either being suspended or fined in the last few weeks. In the same period another player in a third match was fined after he "confronted the umpire" after he was given out, all of the incidents leading to a call from some in Bangladesh for tougher sanctions to be handed to offenders.    


Two players were each handed one-match suspensions after they were involved what press reports describe as "an ugly scuffle" that led to the batsman grabbing a fielder by the collar in a game last week.  A "huge melee" is said to have ensued with other fielders surrounding the duo, and one of the latter was subsequently fined for his actions.  The incident was similar to that which occurred in another game the week before after which two players were suspended and another two fined; the same day, the umpire was confronted after giving a batsman out caught-behind, the player subsequently being fined for his actions.


One umpire, who declined to be named, told Bangldesh's 'Daily Star' newspaper that in his view the punishments given to the players following recent incients were "token".  "Club officials tell their players to put pressure on the umpires with the assurance that the rest will be taken care of", he said, "and the players always tell us that they hit the ball when we give a leg-before decision or that they didn't hit it when we give a caught-behind decision".


The 'Star' says that according to the umpire some of his colleagues are fearful of taking the right decision against "big clubs", although the newspaper points to what is says is "the other side of the story", in that "if the umpires are strict enough, the players and officials will remain within the Law".  The situation "is creating a lot of confusion among the match officials" says the 'Star', and it believes the Bangladesh Cricket Board needs to look at increasing the fines and tightening disciplinary arrangements for the Premier League competition.






Victorian Premier League side Geelong is unhappy that it was "forced to play through heavy rain" during a Twenty20 match it subsequently lost to Camberwell last Saturday, says the side's local paper the 'Geelong Advertiser'.  Camberwell won the match, which was played in Warnambool as part of the competition's 'Country Round, under the Duckworth Lewis system after over an hour of play was lost during the afternoon.


According to the 'Advertiser', what it described as "heavy rain" started to fall during the thirteenth over of Camberwell's innings, however, the umpires elected to stay out on the ground and allowed them to face their full complement of 20 overs.  After that the covers were put on the pitch and further play was delayed for 80 minutes such that when the rain stopped and the covers were removed Geelong's innings was reduced to 12 overs, the target score being 168.


Soon after Geelong started their innings the "rain started to fall heavily again", says the 'Advertiser', but the umpires decided to stay out on the field until their innings had reached at least five overs, which constitutes a result.  Geelong needed to be 77 at the end of six overs to win the game but had collapsed to be 5-38 after 5.5 overs when the umpires decided to call play off.


The "wet and slippery conditions" are claimed to have meant Geelong could not use its quick bowlers in the final part of Camberwell's innings and the batting side are said to have "capitalised on that".  Later, a Geelong batsman is said to have been 'run out' after slipping over mid-pitch whilst trying to regain his ground.


Geelong coach Damian Shanahan was quoted as saying that his side virtually had no hope of winning the match once they were off the ground for an extended period for "it was virtually impossible on a wicket that was wet against a fast new ball".  He said that "when it started raining heavily during Camberwell's innings we should have come off then and made it a 13-over game, [but] we sat around and lost overs and ended up with a ridiculous target to chase".


How umpires David Jones and Norman Webster saw the situation was not mentioned in the 'Advertiser' report.  Jones is a member of Cricket Victoria's Premier League panel in Melbourne while Webster is a Warnambool-based umpire.






Krishna Hariharan and Shavir Tarapore, the two umpires selected to manage the final of this season's Ranji Trophy Super League first class competition which is scheduled to commence in Vadodara today, are no strangers to the high-profile season decider.  Both have both stood in the final before, Hariharan in 2010 and Tarapore in 2001 and 2009.


Tarapore, 53, played six first class games for Karnataka over six seasons in the first half of the 1980s, and today's game will be his sixty-first as an umpire at that level.  He made his umpiring first class debut in December 1992, a month before Hariharan, and is currently an Indian member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) and has stood in 16 One Day Internationals (ODI) and three Twenty20 Internationals to date. Hariharan, 55, has officiated in two Tests and 34 ODIs during his career, and the final will be his seventy-fifth first class match. 


The television umpire for the final will be SS Shamsuddin who has stood in 11 first class games since his debut 14 months ago, however, records available suggest the match will be only his second as a television umpire, his previous experience apparently being in a single List A game last October.  Satayabrata Mukherjee, 60, who played 60 first class matches for Bengal from 1972-82, will be the match referee, his eighteenth game in that capacity at first class level.


Indications last month that a South African umpire would stand in both a Ranji semi final and the final as part of an exchange program have not been fulfilled (E-News 708-3471, 24 December 2010).  It appears more likely that the South African concerned, who has not yet been named, will stand in a semi final and final of the Duleep Trophy later this month as was the case last year when now IUP member Johan Cloete visited India.   Cloete stood with Hariharan in the final of that competition.






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) plans to introduce a new Twenty20 (T20) competition for County Second XIs next northern summer.  The 20 sides involved, the 18 first class Counties plus two other teams, will be split into four groups of five teams with each playing eight matches over just four days.  


The introduction of the competition means that Second XI cricket will mirror senior County cricket with a three-day game Second XI Championship and the one-day Second Trophy which will be played as a 40-over tournament rather than 50 overs, although whether the latter will continue to be a split-innings affair as was the case in 2010 has not yet been made clear (E-News .


Meanwhile Cricket Holdings America, a new group set up by the New Zealand and United States cricket Boards, are hoping to start a T20 league in the US in 2012.  A minimum of four teams and a maximum of eight are said to be the target at the current time but the cities that each team will be based in remain undecided.






The North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Cricket League (NSCL) in England are working to recruit more umpires for the 2011 season after the departure of umpires in recent years has left umpiring resources "stretched to the limit", a situation that applies to many similar competitions around the world.  The League have long been able to appoint two umpires for its 48 matches played across eight divisions each weekend, but now an appeal has now gone out to "ex-players and cricket lovers" to become involved as match officials.


League umpires trainer Keith Healey said that "we need to find 96 umpires for weekend matches, but you need more than that on the panel" and our "ideal figure" would be around 115.  "Numbers have gone down because some umpires have died or become disillusioned", he continued, and "hopefully there are people out there who can give something to the game.  NSCL umpires are paid "a flat rate of £35 ($A55), regardless of whether you travel just around the corner and all the way to the other end of the County".


Thursday, 13 January 2011





Heavy rain in Hobart over the last few days may have impacted on Under 17 national championship and vacation competitions this week, and sowed the seeds of doubt as to whether this weekend's Cricket Tasmania Premier League games will get under way or not, but that concern pales into insignificance when compared to the floods in south-east Queensland that have brought so much tragedy and mayhem to so many people.  


Television images have shown the devastation that prevails across a wide area, and just how cricket itself is fairing in that region can be seen in images of Queensland Cricket's South Brisbane Grade club's ground that are now available on-line at   Pictures taken yesterday show the Norman Gray Oval, which lies some 500 m from the Brisbane River, to be a lake whose level reaches almost to the top of the pavilion.  River levels are reported to have risen higher in the time since, however, the water now appears to be on the decline, although only very slowly.    


With the state of the ground and the priorities in many other key areas it looks as though it may be some time before players, umpires, scorers and spectators enjoy a game of club cricket in the Brisbane region again.  Donations to assist all those who have lost so much in the disaster can be made in a number of ways, one of them being at:






The International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to take more control of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in order to prevent the risk of corruption, says Ian Taylor the Managing Director of the New Zealand company Animation Research that provides the 'Virtual Eye' (VE) ball tracking system.  The Dunedin-based company supplied graphics to the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) and Taylor is quoted in today's 'Otago Times' newspaper as saying that one of his employees was "pressured to doctor [VE] graphics" for reasons that are probably relate to match betting.


Taylor's allegation relates to data produced by the VE system that shows just how many metres sixes hit by a batsman carry from the crease.  "We were providing the graphics [to the ICL] a couple of years ago and I had gone over to set it up" before the series began, he says, but "when I got back to New Zealand, I got a call the day after the final because one of the officials from the ICL had gone in to our operator and ordered him to make the length of a six a certain distance".  


The operator "poor guy, didn't know what to do and did it", for "this [unnamed ICL official] was hovering over him and said, `This next six when he hits it will be 107m', continued Taylor.  " I thought then that was because there was a prize of $US50,000 or whatever for [whoever hit] the longest six, [and] that they wanted [that batsman] to win it, but actually what was more likely was that there was a whole lot of gambling on it [for] there were odds [posted] for the longest six of the series".


While data such as the distance a ball is hit is not used in assisting on-field umpires where referrals have occurred in UDRS supported games, the implication from Taylor's comments is that manipulation of other parts of the system that is used in decision making could occur.  


While the ICL was not sanctioned by the ICC, Taylor believes the world body needs to take control of the UDRS to prevent it happening in series that do come under its banner, such as presumably next month's World Cup on the sub-continent.  "We have [recommended] to the ICC that there should be an authentication process [and that those involved in its operation] should have to go through a licensing process to operate the technology", a comment that suggests that the ICC is aware of the altering of data that Taylor alleges. 


In making his comments the Animation Research chief is not without an interest of his own for he would  like to set up a centre in Dunedin to train and certify people via that licensing process.  If that were to occur though the ICC would need to "buy into the idea and "show some leadership", he says, a comment that echoes Taylor's wider complaints about the failure of the ICC to provide funding for UDRS operation, something that is likely to see such items as VE, its UK rival 'Hawk Eye' and 'Hot Spot' not being available for the World Cup in February-March (E-News 707-3466, 23 December 2010).


Taylor's claim came as a hearing was being held in Doha into corruption charges laid against Pakistan trio Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer by the ICC that they conspired to bowl deliberate no-balls in a Test against England at Lord's last year (E-News 669-3286, 17 September 2010).  The world body's six-day hearing into the matter concluded yesterday but a decision was deferred as the three-man panel needs more time to consider the now six month old matter.  A separate hearing has now been scheduled for early next month.


The ICC said in a statement that "The tribunal has throughout been very conscious of the importance of these proceedings to three players and to the wider world of cricket".  The most serious charges being considered against the three men could attract playing bans ranging from five years to life.






The Laws of Cricket throw up a never-ending series of scenarios that require decisions from match officials during games, and one way to better understand how to apply the Laws is to consider a never-ending range of match day scenarios and 'what your decision' would be.    Mark Wickham has submitted the following issue for your consideration.  But don't send in your thoughts to the editor, rather bring them along to next Wednesday's TCUSA Training-Appointments meeting and join in the discussion then.


It is known to you that a player nominated for today's match has a knee injury that resulted from a fielding mishap in the previous week's game.  During the first hour of play, the player aggravates their injury in a diving effort to stop a boundary being scored.  The player's captain asks whether his player could have a substitute and a runner for the remainder of the match.  The opposition captain makes his objections to this request known to you.  What is your decision, and why?

Friday, 14 January 2011






The final of Pakistan’s first class competition the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which got underway in Karachi yesterday, is being played with "coloured balls" in a day-night format, an unprecedented event for the first class game in that nation.  Reports from the match last night suggest that orange balls are being used, a change from the pink ones that have been at the forefront of day-night experiments in a number of countries in recent years, work whose fundamental aim is to enable Test cricket to be played in that format (E-News 706-3461, 22 December 2010).     


Ijaz Butt, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement that "This innovation is in line with the initiatives that the PCB has been taking to improve the standard of the domestic game in Pakistan".  Former Pakistan skipper Javed Miandad, who is the current director general of the PCB, said that "The success of this event will bode well for our domestic structure as it could have positive implications for holding matches during the [very hot] summer [season] in Pakistan".


David Richardson, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) general manager cricket, expressed his support for the concept which "has been trialed in other countries and it is part of our wider policy of investigating the possibility of introducing day-night Test matches". "Just like we need to find ways to promote and protect Test cricket, this initiative shows the intentions of the PCB to promote the longer form of the game in Pakistan and try to make cricket even more popular than it already is".  "We are very pleased with how this trial is to be implemented and we will be very interested in the results", Richardson told Cricinfo.


Following its annual meeting last May the ICC, which earlier in the year indicated that "hard science" was the key to developing a suitable ball for day-night Tests (E-News 597-3003, 6 April 2010), said that it planned to play "an even more pro-active role in the development of a ball" which could be used in day-night Tests".  The world body said then that it would "commission research into the ideal colour for balls to be used in day-night cricket and then work closely with the equipment manufacturers before conducting relevant trials" as part of "urgent product research and analysis" of the day-night contest  (E-News 610-3061, 24 May 2010).  To date no information on that work appears to have been made public.


The on-field umpires for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final, which is to start at 2 p.m. local time each day, are Riazuddin and Zameer Haider, while Khalid Mahmood Senior is in the television suite, Anwar Khan the match referee, Kamal Marchant the reserve umpire, and Syed Imran Ali "the official scorer".  The game will be Riazuddin's 237th first class match since his debut at that level just over 26 years ago, a record that includes five previous finals in 1991, 1992, 1994, 2003 and 2009 and 12 Tests.  For Haider, who is currently a third umpire member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, the final is his 92nd at first class level, and fourth Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final after those of 2008, 2009 and 2010.


As far as can be ascertained from data that is readily available, Mahmood has only worked in the television position on three previous occasions, all in Twenty20 domestic games in Pakistan, although he has stood in 45 first class games overall.  Khan played one Test for Pakistan in 1979, and he has since gone on to work at a match referee in 114 first class matches, two of them the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy finals of  2008 and 2009.


The winner of the final, which is scheduled to be played over five days, will received one million Pakistan Rupees ($A11,700) and the runners-up half of that amount.






Floods in south-east Queensland that have inundated large area in the region (E-News 713-3493, 13 December 2011), have led Cricket Australia (CA) and Queensland Cricket (QC) to postpone the domestic Twenty20 match between Queensland and New South Wales that was to have been played at the Gabba in Brisbane tomorrow night.  The decision was made to work towards playing the match on Monday, 24 January because a number of Queensland players and their families have been directly affected by the floods, while QC's office in Albion close to the Brisbane River remains shut.


CA chief executive officer (CEO) James Sutherland said in a statement that: “Key stakeholders including the Queensland Government, Fox Sports, Cricket NSW and the Australian Cricketers Association were consulted and it was agreed that postponing Saturday’s match was the best option in the circumstances".  QC's CEO Graham Dixon said the decision took into account a range of issues such as "public transport, the fact that many people, including some of our players, would still be focussed on getting back into their homes or cleaning up, and the likelihood that the usual police and security resources we rely on would be diverted to the recovery effort".  “While the [Gabba is] in good condition there were [also] some solid logistical challenges [surrounding] catering if we had staged a game", said Dixon.


Sean Cary, CA's Umpire Manager, announced yesterday that the postponement means that changes have to be made to the match officials who will take charge of the game.  National Umpire Panel (NUP) members Bob Parry of Victoria and Gerard Abood of NSW will be on the field when the match eventually starts, and CA emerging umpire Damien Mealey in the third umpires box, CA Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) member Steve Small being the match referee.  Abood replaces original appointees NUP member Paul Wilson and Small his UHPP colleague Peter Marshall.






New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden believes that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) "is the best thing since coloured clothing was introduced".  In an e-mail reply to questions put to him by the 'Otago Times', Bowden described the system as "a positive step forward" as umpiring decisions "are scrutinised and analysed intensely these days so it makes sense to utilise the technology to help umpires make better and more correct decisions".


The Auckland-based umpire, who is to stand in his 150th One Day International this Sunday (E-News 703-3446, 19 December 2010), wrote that "Personally, [the UDRS] has given me confidence knowing that, if I make an error, then 99 per cent of the time it will be corrected ... and the game moves on [so] it's a positive outcome for all concerned".  In a reflection of comments made by his former international colleague, South Africa's Rudi Koertzen, late last year, the Kiwi said that "the majority of the international umpires that I have spoken to embrace the UDRS concept and I would be happy for it to be used in every Test", something former English international umpire has a different view on (E-News 711-3483, 8 January 2011). 


"[The UDRS] is like wearing a life jacket on a boat. In a perfect world, you would never need it. But if you fall off the boat, you're glad it's there, right?", he concluded, but whether the system is universally used in Tests, as called for by some in the cricketing world and opposed by influential cricket nations such as India (E-News 711-3481, 8 January 2011), is "a call for others to make", says Bowden.






Australian umpire Daryl Harper is to mentor umpires from six nations in Asia during the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 tournament in Hong Kong at the end of this month.  Harper follows in the footsteps of his ICC Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) colleagues, countryman Simon Taufel, Englishman Ian Gould and Kiwi Tony Hill, who have worked in a similar capacity in separate WCL events in the last year in Singapore, Italy and Kuwait respectively (E-News 644-3198, 3 August 2010), as did former EUP member Steve Bucknor of the West Indies in Gurnsey before that (E-News 419-2214, 8 May 2009).


Umpires appointed by the ICC for the six-team, 18-match WCL tournament which will be underway from 21-29 January are: Kevin Bishop (Hong Kong); L Sri Ganesh (Singapore); Shahul Hameed (Indonesia); Neil Harrison (Japan); Upul Kaluhetti (Thailand); and Vinay Kumar Ja (Nepal).  


Hameed is a member of the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel and has umpired in many countries (E-News 710-3479, 3 January 2011), while Bishop worked in a previous WCL series in Singapore but is better known for standing in numerous Hong Kong Sixes events (E-News 686-3368, 21 October 2010).  Ganesh has stood in an Asian women's tournament, England-born Harrison in several WCL, East-Asia Pacific and Australian Country Cricket Championship series, Kaluhetti and Jha in a variety of tournaments run by the Asian Cricket Council, the latter also being involved with Bishop, Taufel and others in Singapore (E-News 486-2523, 8 September 2009).  


Two reserve umpires, who will come from Hong Kong are yet to be named, while the tournament referee will be Graham Lebrooy of Sri Lanka and former New Zealand international umpire Brian Aldridge his assistant.  Data bases consulted by E-News did not contain any details of Lebrooy's background while no details of who the scorers for the event will be are currently available.    


National teams from Denmark, Italy, Oman and Papua New Guinea and the United States will join hosts Hong Kong for the event, after which the top two sides will be promoted to the WCL Division 2 series which is to be staged in the United Arab Emirates in April.  The one-day 50 over format games will be hosted at three grounds in Hong Kong: the sky-scraper surrounded Kowloon Cricket Club; Hong Kong Cricket Club; and at Mission Road.  The ICC says that no matches will be played "in China proper due to logistics".






Indian batsman Rohit Sharma "made a huge song and dance after he was wrongly given out" in his side's first One Day International against South Africa in Durban on Wednesday, says an article published in yesterday's 'Mumbai Mirror' newspaper.  Sharma was given out to a delivery from Morne Morkel that "kicked up and straightened just outside off and the batsman hit his pad with the bat as he pushed inside the line", however, Australian umpire Simon Taufel appears to have "mistook the sound for an edge", says a Cricinfo report.


Despite that, the Indian newspaper somewhat ironically says that Sharma "has to learn to accept the umpire’s decision the way it is because his cricket Board [the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)] doesn’t believe in using technology" to sought such things out (E-News 711-3481, 8 January 2011).  Viewers watching the game on television had access to the replay of the incident in near real time, but Taufel and his South African umpiring colleagues Marais Erasmus, who was on the field with him, and Brian Jerling, the third umpire, did not.


The 'Mirror' report says that "it won’t be surprising if match referee Chris Broad [of England] docks a bit of change from [Sharma's] swelling pockets", however, by the time E-News was distributed this morning the International Cricket Council (ICC) had not issued a media release on the matter.  ICC match referees normally decide such matters within 24 hours of an incident involving players.  


Saturday, 15 January 2011






The weather this morning in Hobart may be sunny and warm, but that is not enough to allow Cricket Tasmania's (CT) turf-based Premier League matches to be played this weekend, near-constant rain this week preventing curators from preparing grounds in time.  CT cancelled the second and final day of 10 matches in First, Second, Third and Under-17 grades yesterday, and only five in the latter two competitions look like being completed tomorrow for they are being played on artificial pitches as their normal turf grounds have been allocated to the on-going men's Under-17 national championship series.   


Under-17 national games have also been curtailed over the last few days because of the weather, which also disrupted CT's Under-18 vacation Twenty20 series, including the final yesterday which was to have been played on turf at Soldiers Memorial Oval.  It was transferred to the artificial pitch at Cornelian Bay, however, despite that it was still not possible for play to get underway because of the state of the outfield.  Today is a rest day in the national championship series, and given this morning's drying conditions it is hoped that those games will be able to resume as scheduled tomorrow.


CT's Under 15 games on Sunday are as per normal scheduled for artificial pitches, and hopefully drying conditions today will mean that they can also get underway on time.  Another CT competition to suffer this weekend is the Southern Tasmania Cricket League which has lost three of the five matches scheduled, but the other two tomorrow are rostered for the artificial pitches at Cornelian Bay and Wentworth Park.






The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is to be used in a One Day International (ODI) for the first time tomorrow during the opening game of the series between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).  Until now the UDRS has only been used in Tests, but with the International Cricket Council (ICC) planning to use it on the sub-continent in February-March during the latter stages of the tenth one-day World Cup, the seven Australia-England ODIs over the next two weeks should provide a solid dress rehearsal for its use in the 50-over game.


Use of the UDRS in the Australia-England matches means that the ICC has appointed neutral members of its Elite Umpires Panel to third-umpire duties for each of the one-day games for the first time, while they and five Australians will be out on the field during the series (E-News 703-3444, 19 December 2010).  The television role is to be shared between Marais Erasmus of South Africa and Kiwis Billy Bowden and Tony Hill (all twice each), and Asad Rauf of Pakistan, once.  All have also been named to stand in this year's World Cup, along with 14 other umpires from around the globe (E-News 699-3425, 13 December 2010).


Mixed signals continue to circulate as to the extent to which the UDRS will actually be in operation in the World Cup.  Six months ago there were indications that 'Hot Spot' was only likely to be utilised for the final stages of the 49 match event because there are not enough of the specialised cameras to cover all 42 pool games (E-News 646-3208, 5 August 2010).  The ICC has indicated the system will be in place in the series, but recently the providers of 'Hot Spot' and ball-tracking technologies have said publicly that they are not prepared to provide the data generated by their systems to the ICC for use by umpires unless the world body made an appropriate financial contribution (E-News 707-3466, 23 December 2010).


Meanwhile, speaking in Wellington yesterday on the eve of the Second Test against New Zealand which starts today, Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, said he wants the ICC to implement the UDRS across all Tests as in his view the technology has made a "real impression and should be implemented around the world to ensure its effectiveness".


Australian coach Tim Neilson described the UDRS in a recent blog posted on the Cricket Australia web site as "a positive innovation for international cricket".  "Its primary role" he says "is to eliminate the ‘really bad’ decisions that umpires unfortunately make, ideally reducing the impact that any decision can have on the outcome of a match" and "assists both teams in being clear on the 50/50 calls that umps make every day and takes away the whinging and moaning from all of us about the one ‘they got wrong’ ".  


During the recent Ashes Tests, Australia and England each asked for a total of 20 referrals, with England having eight decisions overturned and Australia seven. In the first and second matches the teams requested a combined 11 reviews, the number peaking at 12 in the third game in Perth.  By the end of the series though players were less hasty in requesting reviews, the Sydney Test seeing only one made by each team.  However, despite Neilson's hope that the UDRS would take "away the whinging and moaning from all of us" about errors, the use of the system was again not without significant incident (E-News 709-3474, 28 December 2010).


Tomorrow's ODI, number 3,081, comes just after the fortieth anniversary of the first such game which was also played at the MCG on 5 January 1971.  It was arranged hastily after the third Ashes Test that season was rained out without a ball bowled.  Since then nearly 1950 people from 25 national and composite teams have scored some 1,300,00 runs, and taken close to 43,500 wickets from over 1,600,000 deliveries in men's ODIs.  However, despite is many successes over the years the current 50-over arrangements are under challenge, with Cricket Australia apparently keen to have a 45-over, split-innings format  used for the 2015 World Cup 'down under' (E-News 652-3229, 16 August 2010). 






Former Victorian first class player Shawn Craig, who was chosen by Cricket Australia in October as the latest member of its Project Panel (E-News 678-3327, 7 October 2010), is to stand in his first two-day game in Cricket Victoria's (CV) Premier League Second Grade competition today.  Since commencing umpiring in mid-October, Craig is believed to have officiated in three Third Grade one-day matches, two women's Twenty20 games, and a men's T20 double-header involving CV Second and Fourth XI teams.  Craig had another Third grade one-dayer washed out, was named for another but was then "unavailable" for several weeks (E-News 692-3396, 3 November 2010).


Monday, 17 January 2011





Dave Richardson, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) general manager for cricket operations, believes that the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) move to host the final of its premier first class competition under lights will have a positive impact on the sport.  Media reports from the sub-continent say that Richardson is in Karachi at the invitation of the PCB to watch the final of the Quaid Azam trophy which is being played in a day-night format using an orange ball (E-News 714-3496, 14 January 2011).


"The PCB has taken a bold decision to hold the five-day final under lights and it will [further] help to popularise the sport", said Richardson, who also told local media outlets that the ICC was working on several recommendations to make five-day cricket including Test matches more interesting, one of them being day-night formats (E-News 572-2896, 19 February 2010).  "For us to have a complete trial [as in the Karachi game] it is necessary to see how the ball performs on the field, how the players see it, how the spectators see it and how it appears on television, and whether it creates a comet effect or it can be clearly seen", he said.


Reports suggest though that the PCB only recently decided on the day-night format for the final.  "It could've been [trialled earlier in the season] but I guess better late than never", said Subhan Ahmed, the PCB's chief operating officer.  The idea is said to have emerged during a meeting between the PCB and its broadcast partner because of concerns about attendances at first class matches during the season, says a Cricinfo report, although just when the decision was made is not entirely clear.  "At least we are taking this step and a lot will depend on how successful it is for us to carry this forward for other matches", said Ahmed.


Cricinfo also suggests that a decision on which coloured ball would be used was only made the day before the game began.  Both sides are said to have practised with an orange and pink ball, and the former, which was used in a Twenty20 competition in Pakistan a few years ago, emerged as the most favoured by players from both teams.  


Similar orange balls were used in day-night Sheffield Shield games in the 1996-97 season, the final of India's Ranji Trophy also being floodlit in 1997 although white balls were used in that game but they had to be replaced regularly.  The West Indian 2009-10 domestic first class season saw pink balls and floodlights (E-News 564-2866, 3 February 2010), as did the interstate Second XI competition in Australia around the same time (E-News 565-2867, 4 February 2010), and the English County Championship opener played in Abu Dhabi last March (E-News 597-3002, 6 April 2010); the latter trial being listed again for this year.  






Former Australian Test umpire  Bill Sheahan, has become only the third man to officiate in 500 Cricket Victoria (CV) matches, according to a report written by journalist Brad Beitzel that was published in 'The Age' newspaper in Melbourne last week.  Sheahan, 57, is currently standing in his thirtieth season in CV's Premier League competition, over two-thirds of his now 500 games being at First Grade level.  


"It all started" in the early 1980s, says Sheahan, "when I was secretary of [a club] and I was rung and asked if there was someone who could umpire a match on a Wednesday, and being a public servant who had access to 'flexi time', I said I would".  He stood in that first game with the late Bill Smyth, who had stood in four Tests in the 1960s, and "he said I had potential", continued Sheahan, and "I got into [now CV's] Second Grade pretty quickly and I only spent two or three seasons there before going up to the Firsts". 


Sheahan's first class debut was at Sale Oval in eastern Victoria in November 1989, eight years after he started umpiring, when the home side played the touring Sri Lankans, current National Umpire Panel member Paul Reiffel, and Asoka de Silva of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, both being amongst the players on that occasion.


After that baptism, he was given three first class games in his second season, none in the third, and one in the fourth, and "I was thinking things weren't working out".  "Then I got the call from Tony Crafter, the [then] Australian Cricket Board's umpire's director, who asked if I was available to do a game in Tasmania".  "I thought it was a [Sheffield shield] game, but I checked the fixture list and saw it was a Test match, so I rang Tony back and said 'Are you sure you've got the right bloke?' - but he had".  


As a result, in November 1993 Sheahan stood in his first Test, which involved Australia and New Zealand, in what was just his eighth first class match, a game that was the second only Test ever played at Bellerive.  "My first decision was a stumping [off Shane Warne] which I gave out with the naked eye, forgetting that I could use third umpire Steve Randell" to double-check, however "as I walked in to put the bails on, Steve was clapping his hands up in the stand, indicating I'd got it right".  "Warne [9] and McGrath [it was actually Tim May] got a lot of wickets in that match", said Sheahan.  Six weeks later he got the call to do his second, and what was his last Test on the field, in Sydney, his tenth first class game, "during what was South Africa's its first post-apartheid tour".


In the six seasons following that he worked as the third umpire in five consecutive Boxing day Tests involving England, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, all of them at the MCG, and in another 24 first class games, most of them in the Sheffield Shield.  There were also 14 List A matches, five of them One Day Internationals.  In 2000, he "was left off the state list so as to promote others".  


"I've felt comfortable at Premier Cricket [level], made a number of lifelong friends on the panel and with the players", and "cricket has always been my passion and [umpiring] was the best way I could envisage me staying involved in the game", he said.  "The best part of umpiring once was being involved with the best players", says Sheahan, but "now it's about being a custodian of the game, about passing on some of my experiences of how the spirit of the game should be".






Images of umpires and scorers at work in Cricket Australia's men's Under-17 national championships this week are now available on the TCUSA web site together with similar recordings made at Grade level earlier in the 2009-10 season.  The pictures, which were taken by Roy Loh, can be accessed via a link titled 'Images of members 'at work' during the 2009-10 season' that is located at the top of the Association's home page as per the URL provided at the head of this newsletter.  Members are encouraged to submit images of their colleagues in action together with a suitable caption to Roy Loh at:  File sizes sent to Roy should that are no larger than 25-35 MB.  If suitable, images submitted will then added to the on-going gallery.






New Zealand vice captain Ross Taylor has called for "consistency in the use of the Umpire Decision Review System", says a report aired by Radio New Zealand (RNZ) over the weekend.  RNZ says that the absence of the system in the current series against Pakistan has resulted in several incorrect decisions, with three mistakes made on day one of the second Test in Wellington on Saturday.  Taylor said that if the system was used in the Ashes series it should be used in every other Test match and that money should not be used as an excuse it is not.  He then went further and called for the UDRS to be "brought into one-day cricket" as is the case in Australia at the current time (E-News 715-3502, 15 January 2011).






Former England umpire Dickie Bird is said by the UK's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper to be "demanding action" from his local Council in Yorkshire to stop people hanging underwear and other items on a statue that was erected in his honour eighteen months years ago in his home town of Barnsley (E-News 445-2319, 1 July 2009).   Bras, knickers and even pizzas are said to have adorned Bird's "famous right-hand finger" from time-to-time as people have posed for photos beside the two-metre high bronze sculpture.  


Bird, now 77, plans to meet the Council to ask that they raise the plinth of the statue a few feet in order to make it harder for those wishing to hang items on it.  The 'Mirror' says though that there was "one recent addition Dickie probably didn't mind", for someone had hung a sign on the sculpture which read simply, "we won the Ashes".


Tuesday, 18 January 2011





'A few showers' is the weather forecast for Hobart on Friday for the One Day International (ODI) between Australia and England, however, current indications are that conditions at Bellerive should be suitable for play that day.  A cold front is expected to cross the capital in mid-morning bringing showers in its wake and between 1-5 mm of rain across the general Hobart area, although on the eastern side of the river at Bellerive, precipitation is more likely to be at the lower end of that scale and with the match due to start at mid-afternoon showers are likely to have cleared by then.


Two current Kiwi members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill, along with match referee Javagal Srinath of India, will be involved in looking after the game. Hill will be on the field for the first time in Tasmania in what will be his seventy-seventh ODI, his partner being Australian member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) Paul Reiffel for whom its his sixth as an umpire, while for Srinath its his ninety-fourth as a referee, and Bowden his forty-third as an ODI television umpire.  Reiffel's IUP colleague Simon Fry will be the fourth umpire in the lead up to his ODI debut in Adelaide next week (E-News 703-3444, 19 December 2010). 


With the Umpire Decision Review System in use for the match (E-News 715-3502, 15 January 2011), a situation that results in Fry's appointment as fourth umpire, there is no opportunity as in the past for a TCUSA umpiring member to work in that role.  However, three of the Association's scorer members will be providing key support for the match, with Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford the official scorers and David Gainsford the scorer in the media area.






Five players in Pakistan's domestic first class final have been fined for their actions during the match, according to press reports from the sub-continent yesterday.  The match, which ended in Karachi overnight Australian time and was played in a day-night format using orange balls (E-News 714-3496,  14 January 2011), saw accusations of ball tampering and what team management members of the side that lost say was "biased umpiring".


Match referee Anwar Khan is reported to have said that he has "never seen such a ugly match in our domestic cricket", and that players from both the Habib Bank (HB) and Pakistan International Airline (PIA) sides, who he did not name individually, "had been fined for abusing each other and showing dissent with umpiring decisions".  Two of the incidents involved batsmen, one from each side, showing clear dissent at umpiring decisions, but what the other three charges were laid for is not known in any detail.


PIA batsman Fahad Iqbal reacted inappropriately after being given out caught behind by umpire Zameer Haider.  Fahad, brother of Test batsman Faisal Iqbal and nephew of former Test captain Javed Miandad, stood on the pitch after Haider's finger was raised and repeatedly pointed to the giant screen at the ground which showed the replay.  The batsman then "walked off reluctantly" and on his way to the dressing room "smashed signboards" at the edge of the playing area.  Haider gave HB's opener Shaan Masood out in the same way and the batsman also stood his ground before walking off, banging his bat on the ground before smashing an advertising board on the way to the dressing room.


Former Pakistan Test captain Moin Khan who is now PIA's coach, and the side's 'sports manager' Shoaib Mohammad, another former international, are said to have visited the press box during the game to complain about "sub-standard and biased umpiring".  'We are not playing against eleven players, our team is fighting against 13 players which include the on-field umpires as well', seems to have been the general tenor of their remarks.  


Shoaib also apparently told reporters that his opponents had tampered with the ball "in full view of the umpires who were taking no action at all".  "The actual condition of the ball [at the end of the third day's play on Saturday] was so bad that it looked as if it has been bitten by scavengers", he claimed, for there "were clear marks of nails and it was actually scratched up". 


Media reports highlighted a number of errors that they say the "two very experienced international umpires Zameer Haider and Riazuddin" selected for the final made during the match which was televised around the nation.  Zameer in particular came under fire, a Pakistani member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, who one report said "is widely respected by all and sundry", was involved in the Fahad and Shaan dismissals, as well as an LBW decision that replays showed was wrong as the ball was "going down leg".


Former first-class spinner Haris Khan told the press that umpiring "is a difficult job and one bad decision can spoil the day and an umpires’ performance", but "the standard of umpiring during this final has been poor and replays and the slow-motion cameras have laid [the umpires' decisions] bare”.


A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official is said to have confirmed that Moin and Shoaib could face disciplinary action "for criticising the umpiring and the PCB", although precisely what they said about the latter entity was not reported.  As yet the PCB has not made any public comment on the matter. 






Former Victorian first class umpire Richard Patterson, who stood in 22 first class matches and 20 List A games in the period from 1999-2004, is to stand in his first three-day Futures League state Second XI match at the Junction Oval in Melbourne today.  Patterson, 44, who worked as the third umpire in the Boxing Day Test in 2000 as well as four One Day Internationals and last stood at first class level in November 2004 at Bellerive, is to stand in this week's Futures game with Sam Sciacca for whom the match is his second in the competition, while former Test umpire Terry Prue is the match referee.


Two other Futures League games are due to get under way today, one in Brisbane and the other in Adelaide.  The Brisbane game, which Cricket Australia's (CA) web site this morning suggests is still on despite the recent floods there, will see Norm McNamara and Damien Mealey on the field with former first class umpire Jim Torpey the match referee.  In Adelaide, Luke Uthenwoldt and Andrew Willoughby will manage the match there together with another former first class umpire Kim Perrin, the match referee.  Mealey is standing in his third game in the three-day competition this summer and McNamara and Willoughby their second. 


CA has used 19 umpires for the 15 Futures three-day games, including this week's ones, played this season so far.  Six more matches are scheduled over the next month, one of which will be played at Lindisfarne starting 1 February.  TCUSA members Mike Graham-Smith and Sam Nogajski are to stand in that game, their second of the season, with Torpey the match referee.  One further three-match round of Futures games are scheduled for mid-February, one of which will be at the TCA Ground, however, match officials have not yet been named for that game. 






Central Districts all-rounder Jacob Oram is said to have been cited for dissent in Sunday's one-day match against Otago in Palmerston North but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) appears to be keeping any outcome under wraps if an article in yesterday's 'Manawatu Standard' is correct.  After being given out LBW for a duck, the 32-year-old is said to have stood for a few seconds, glared at the umpire, then trudged slowly off the field, a reaction that umpires Evan Grey and Wayne Knights are said by the newspaper's report to have viewed as dissent.


The 'Standard' says that a meeting was held after the game to review Oram's conduct, however, details of it, including just who attended, were not released and a NZC spokesperson journalist Daniel Richardson tried to contact for comment apparently didn't return his calls.  Central Districts coach Alan Hunt said the matter was likely to remain between NZC and Oram.  "Only [NZC] can disclose anything that's in [the meeting and] I can't tell you anything", said Hunt.  While Oram may have been censured in some way he is expected to be in Central's squad to play Auckland tomorrow, says Richardson.


Sunday's game was Grey's twenty-fifth List A match as an umpire, and he has also been involved in 69 as a player, ten of the latter being One Day Internationals, while Knight was standing in his fifteenth List A match and first of the 2010-11 season.  Grey is on NZC's top-level Elite domestic panel and Watkins its second-tier 'A' panel (E-News 684-3354, 19 October 2010).  






Tasmanian State Umpire Panel members Sam Nogajski and Mike Graham-Smith are to stand in three interstate women's matches that are to be played over consecutive days at Bellerive from 27-29 January just prior to their next Futures League game together (E-News 717-3511 above).  Tasmania will take on Queensland in two Twenty20 and a single Womens National Cricket League one-day game over those days, Cricket Australia Umpire High Performance Panel member Ric Evans being the match referee and TCUSA members David Gainsford and Robert Godfrey the scorers.






Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford is to stand in three One Day Internationals (ODI) in Sri Lanka in the next few weeks rather than the five he was originally scheduled to look after last month that were postponed because of torrential rain in the island nation (E-News  703-3450, 19 December 2010).  The first of the revised ODIs involving the West Indies is to be played on 31 January in Hambantota and the other two at the revamped R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on 4 and 6 February.  The series will take Oxenford's ODI record to 21 matches, a figure he is expected to add to during the World Cup in the sub-continental region, including Sri Lanka, in February-March (E-News 699-3425, 13 December 2010).

Thursday, 20 January 2011





Long-serving TCUSA umpire Don Heapy will stand in his 500th 'official' match as an Association member in a Second Grade game at Glenorchy this Saturday, although the total of number of games of cricket he has officiated in during his 35-year career to date is thought to actually be as many as 650-700.  Despite the coming milestone TCUSA Life Member Heapy, 64, who commenced umpiring in his late twenties and retired from work just two weeks ago, hopes to continue his involvement out on the ground for many more years to come.


The eastern shore resident, who will become the second TCUSA member after Brian Pollard to chalk up 500 games (E-News 588-2963, 19 March 2010), first took up umpiring in the mid-1970s during what must have been rather serious lunch time games played by the staff of the business where he worked.  Finding he enjoyed the challenge, he started standing with the then Clarence District Cricket Association in 1975, staying there for three seasons before being asked by the Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) to join its umpiring ranks.  His first match with the TCA was in the 1979-80 season and was a Third Grade game at Glenorchy between the home side and Clarence, one player knowing he was new to the competition telling him, probably after getting a decision he didn't like, "you won't be here long son".


But here he was, and for a long time, because his second game was in Second Grade and third in the Firsts, a level he officiated at for many years.  In fact over the next 25 years Heapy stood in over 240 First Grade matches, more than any other TCUSA member, a record that includes three Grand Finals at that level.  They weren't the only season deciders Heapy was involved in though, records available suggesting he has stood in 25-30 in total, including multiple ones in the TCA's Seconds, Thirds, Under-17 and now former Fourths competitions, as well as in country Association finals in the Huon, Oatlands and Tasman areas, and the South Tasmania Cricket League.


During the last half of the 1990s Heapy was selected, as a member of the State Umpires Panel, to support both Sheffield Shield, tour and interstate one-day games, with fourth umpire positions in two One Day Internationals being the pinnacle.  The latter games, both played at Bellerive, were between Australia and the West Indies and Australia and Zimbabwe.  His duties at domestic interstate level included as the television umpire in two Sheffield Shield matches as well as a domestic List A game.  There have also been a number of state Second XI games, a national Under-17 men's tournament, in which he stood in the final, and a variety of other lower-level intra and interstate events.  


The last few years have seen Heapy really go 'international' for he has stood in four separate tournaments in Thailand, at Hau Hin and Chaing Mai, that involved teams from many countries around the world; competitions that saw him chosen for the main finals of those events due to his on-field abilities.  He is scheduled to stand in a fifth such event in Thailand in April this year.


Off the field Heapy's record is equally impressive in supporting the TCUSA's activities.  He was President of the Association for two years in the early 2000s, and all-up has served as Vice President for a total of eight.  Awards have also come his way, including the inaugural TCUSA 'Umpire of the Year' trophy in 1995, for services to the Association in 1998 and the Advisor's Merit award in 2004.  All his many achievements were recognised by his award of a Life Membership of the Association in 2002.


Heapy told E-News yesterday that he has "lots of great memories of my involvement with cricket, have made many good friends over the years, and could talk for hours about the extraordinary time I have had".  "Hopefully, I can continue to play my part in helping others to become involved in, and enjoy, the great game in the years to come", he concluded.


Don's partner in Saturday's game will, somewhat appropriately, be the only other member of the the TCUSA's exclusive '500 club', Brian Pollard.  Not many games of cricket are looked after by umpires who together have stood in over 1,000 games.






The size, complexity, nature and cost of the task of returning to play for Queensland Cricket's South Brisbane Grade club (SBCC) after the floods of south-east Queensland is made quite clear in a series of video images posted on its web site this week.  The club's three grounds, club house and practice areas were covered by several metres of water when the Brisbane River broke its banks a week ago, a flood that left the area covered in a thick layer of mud (E-News 713-3493, 13 January 2011).  


Video and still images show the interior of the devastated club rooms, which a host of workers have now hosed out and stripped back to a bare shell, the mud covered oval, pitches and practice pitch area, and the extremely messy and back-breaking nature of the clean-up that is underway.  The club says that the priority at present is to get back to playing cricket, and while there is much work to do, it is hoped to at least get the oval ready for play "in about three weeks", however, the wicket block on the main oval still requires a great deal of work before a pitch can be prepared.   Despite that the two adjacent ovals used by the club may not be played on for the remainder of the season.  


The situation that prevails can be seen at: http//  If your pitch is wet and play is delayed or not possible in a future game just remember the situation currently being tackled by members and helpers of the SBCC.  






Pakistan's former Test captain Javed Miandad says that "the next generation of cricketers" who played in the "bitter" Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QAT) final in Karachi this week "need to contain their emotions and frustrations on the field". The first class final, which was played as a day-night match with orange balls for the first time, was marked by a near-continuous war of words between players, ball tampering, slow over rates, and open dissent following umpiring decisions, events that saw the match referee fine players from both teams and ban one for two domestic one-day matches (E-News 717-3510, 18 January 2011).   


Miandad told reporters yesterday that "cricket is followed by thousands in Pakistan and dissent by players does not send out positive messages to budding cricketers".  "Sportsmen are supposed to demonstrate high levels of tolerance and patience", he said, and "players must understand that you get both bad and good decisions from umpires".  "Sometimes luck favours a player and sometimes it does not and he must accept both [such] decisions", said Miandad, who is now Director General of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). 


Match referee Anwar Khan, a former Pakistan Test fast bowler, fined Fahad Iqbal of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) side, and Kamran Sajid of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), 15,000 Rupees each ($A175), and banned the former for two one-day matches for showing dissent at umpiring decisions given against them.  The latter's team mate, opener Shan Masood, was also fined 8,000 Rupees ($A92) as a result of his contest of an umpire's decision


If that were not enough, PIA bowler Najaf Shah was fined 15,000 rupees for tampering with the ball, an act that is said to have been caught on camera.  Interestingly, PIA team management member Shoaib Mohammad accused an unnamed HBL player of ball tampering, saying that at one stage in the match, the ball's condition "was so bad that it looked as if it has been bitten by scavengers for therewere clear marks of nails and it was actually scratched up".    


But the fines did not stop there for the match referee also handed out censures for slow over rates during the match, PIA being fined 77,000 Rupees ($A900) and HBL 33,000 Rupees ($A390).      


Referring to public criticism of umpires made by PIA team managers during the match, who claimed they were playing "13 players", Miandad said that "there is a proper system for captains and coaches to lodge their reservations or protests over an umpiring decision and players cannot be allowed to take things in their own hands".  


Sources quoted in reports from Karachi over the last few days say that both PIA and HBL team managements have lodged written protests with the match referee over what they considered the "sub-standard umpiring" shown by Zameer Haider, who is on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, and his on-field colleague, former Test umpire Riazuddin.  


To date the PCB has made no formal announcement of the match referee's decisions or the "biased umpiring" comments, details of disciplinary judgements coming only from Pakistan media outlets. 


Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Moin Khan told a journalist on Monday that the orange-colored cricket ball used in the QAT final has "far better visibility than red ones", but he was critical of the quality of balls being used for the final.  He stated incorrectly, that "Kookaburra balls are used in all the international cricket competitions", and as a result "the PCB should have used the internationally-acclaimed quality ball rather than [the] locally-manufactured ones used in the match".





Central Districts and New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram was fined $NZ400 ($A310) for after showing dissent towards umpires during the a one-day domestic match against Otago in Palmerston North last Sunday. Oram was reported by Umpires Wayne Knights and Evan Gray for breaching New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) Code of Conduct (CoC) after he openly disagreed with the umpiring decision when given out LBW and was heard using inappropriate language (E-News 717-3512, 18 January 2011)


Commissioner Mike Ryan found during a hearing that Oram was guilty of "showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision", and the player admitted the breach, saying that "it was not the example that he ordinarily set".  Ryan said that while Oram's behaviour was "out of character", it was still unacceptable and he therefore imposed the fine. Under the CoC both Oram and NZC can appeal the decision should they choose to do so.






New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden says that "it''s imperative that umpires don't take the game for granted but instead look at ways to continually prepare themselves better for the challenges ahead".  Speaking via a press release issued on Tuesday two days after his 150th One Day International (ODI), what the International Cricket Council describes as one of the game's "most recognisable" match officials said that "umpiring still gives me a buzz, even goose bumps" and "I have to pinch myself now and again to realise what a privilege it is to be part of such a wonderful game and to have the opportunity to challenge my skills at the international level".


"Since umpiring my first ODI back in 1995 the game has definitely changed", says Bowden, as its "far more professional, the skills of the players have improved dramatically and with technology being a big part of the game it is [particularly] testing the skills of an umpires" at the highest level.  "Umpiring is not always a bed of roses but to me a tough day on the field beats any good day at the office", he said.


"To have the opportunity to umpire my 150th ODI at the MCG with Australia playing England with a massive crowd [was] something very special", continued the Kiwi, and "it's a proud moment for me as a New Zealander and an umpire (E-News 703-3446, 19 December 2010). "To join five other international Elite umpires who have reached [the 150 ODI] milestone is hugely satisfying, especially having lived with arthritis since 1986", but 'Where has the time gone?" he asks.


Bowden's idiosyncratic umpiring style will not, to the relief of some, be on display at Bellerive tomorrow for the second Australia-England ODI, but he will be in the television suite as the third umpire (E-News 717-3509, 18 January 2011).  

Saturday, 22 January 2011





Australian Simon Fry is to stand in two domestic first class matches in South Africa in March-April as part of the third year of the umpire exchange agreement that was set up by Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) in 2009 (E-News 368-1956, 6 February 2009).  South African Johannes Cloete, who like Fry is a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, is to travel in the opposite direction, and will stand in two Sheffieid Shield matches in Perth and Melbourne in late February and early March.


Fry, 44, who visited New Zealand in November for a single domestic first class game as part of the new exchange agreement between CA and New Zealand Cricket (E-News 684-3354, 19 October 2010), is to make his One Day International (ODI) debut next Wednesday in Adelaide when Australia plays England in the fourth match of their current series (E-News 703-3444, 19 December 2010).  Cloete, 39, currently has five such matches under his belt since his debut  in November 2009, the latest being last Tuesday in the third ODI of the series between South Africa and India in Cape Town, his on-field partner being Australian Simon Taufel (E-News 705-3458, 21 December 2010).


E-News understands that Fry will not travel to South Africa until after the Sheffield Shield final ends on 21 March.  The two final rounds of the South African domestic season are scheduled for the periods from 24-27 March and 31 March-3 April.  South AustraliaN Fry's partners on the field across the Indian Ocean are not known at this stage, but Cloete's in Perth and Melbourne will be CA National Umpire Panel members Paul Reiffel and Bob Parry respectively.






New Zealand umpire Gary Baxter has been named to replace his countryman 'Billy' Bowden in tomorrow's One Day International (ODI) between Australia and England in Sydney.  Cricket Australia said yesterday that Bowden had had to return home this morning "for personal reasons" after working as the third umpire in Friday's Australia-England ODI at Bellerive (E-News 717-3509, 18 January 2011).


Baxter, 58, who will stand with Australian Paul Reiffel in Sunday's ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground, then in the third umpire's spot at the Adelaide Oval next Wednesday before returning home himself, is no stranger to umpiring outside New Zealand.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed him to second-tier ODIs in Kenya (2007), Canada (2008), South Africa (2009), as well as Under-19 World Cups played in New Zealand in 2002 and 2010, Sri Lanka in 2006 and Malaysia 2008.  Last December he stood with Ian Ramage of Scotland in the final of the Inter-Continental Cup in Dubai, a first class competition for second-tier sides.  He has also worked in ICC matches in Cairns and Darwin, and in South Africa as part of the exchange agreement between New Zealand Cricket and Cricket South Africa..


Sunday's ODI will be Baxter's thirty-first on the field, twelve of them being at second-tier level.  He has also worked as the third umpire in eight Tests, the latest earlier this month, 16 ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals.  






Former Test umpire Bill Sheahan is one of eight umpires from the Australian states and Territories who will manage the main matches in the eighteenth Imparja Cup for Australian Indigenous cricketers which is to be played in Alice Springs from 8-13 February.  Sheahan, who earlier this month stood in his 500th Cricket Victoria match (E-News 716-3505, 17 January 2011), will join his colleagues in the six-day tournament which is hosted by Northern Territory Cricket and Cricket Australia (CA), playing conditions in the various divisions ranging from Twenty20 to forty over and Super 8 formats.


Apart from Sheahan, the other umpires known to be on this year's Imparja panel are: Shannon Bushell (Australian Capital Territory); Ross Carlson (Tasmania); Greg Cubit (Queensland); Reuben Garlett and Jamal Principe (both Western Australia); Mark Hanton (Victoria); Craig Thomas (South Australia); Kevin Whittaker (New South Wales); and a so-far unnamed Northern Territorian.  Hanton, who will again work as CA's umpire coordinator for the event, plus Garlett, Principe and Thomas, took part in last year's Imparja series, the 2011 competition being Princepe's fifth, Hanton's fourth and Garlett and Thomas' second in Alice Springs (E-News 567-2875, 8 February 2010)  


In the past CA has arranged for one of its senior umpires to attend the Cup, however, as yet no details are available as to whether a similar arrangement will apply this year.  Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair was flown to the red centre for part of the 2010 event, and Simon Taufel in 2009. 






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to introduce a "new policy of grading umpires’ performance" in a bid to improve its domestic match officials structure, say reports from Karachi yesterday.  Complaints about "substandard umpiring" in the final of the country's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QAT) first class competition this week was a factor in the move according to Sultan Rana the head of the PCB's domestic operations, although he also emphasised that moves on the umpiring front were under way before that (E-News 717-3510, 18 January 2011).


Rana told journalists in reply to queries that "Yes, the umpiring was not up to the mark [in the final], but we have already enforced a system where the umpires getting bad reports are having their number of matches cut, which in effect means [that their pay level drops]”.   Such decisions regarding umpires are said to be made on the basis of "the report of the match referee and also captains".  The PCB operations head did not indicate whether any additional matters, such as improvements in umpire training and other general support, were part of his Board's new approach to the issues involved.   


While willing to talk about the umpiring situation, Rana expressed "extreme disappointment over players’ attitude", which led to fines and at least one ban being handed out after the match, calling their approach "unjustifiable’" (E-News 718-3517, 20 January 2011).  "Even if you get a bad decision it does not mean you misbehave on the field", he said, a view that is apparently not shared by a team official from one side (E-News 719-3525 below). 


When asked whether the experiment of having the QAT final under lights with a coloured ball worked the way it was anticipated, Rana said that it had been "successful".  He is said to have hinted though that next year's deciding domestic match might see the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS) in operation as "the proposal is being considered by the Board".  Such a decision "will in part be governed on whether the television network involved can provide the basic technology needed for the [UDRS]", he said.


Last year the PCB did not opt to use the UDRS in its 'home' Test series against Australia in England because of what it said at the time were the costs involved (E-News 633-3159, 14 July 2010), so whether Rana's comments about UDRS use in a domestic final are serious or not is difficult to ascertain.






Former New Zealand first class player Chris Gaffaney is to stand in his first senior One Day International (ODI) in the opening match of the series between the home side and Pakistan in Wellington today.  The former Otago opening batsman, who retired from the first-class scene four years ago and was then fast-tracked into umpiring ranks, made his ODI debut in Toronto, Canada in two matches between that country's side and Ireland last September. 


When he retired as a player, Gaffaney approached then New Zealand umpires' chief Brian Aldridge and followed in the footsteps of two other former players, Derek Walker and Evan Gray in being fast-tracked into umpiring.  "You only get fast-tracked so far, [then] you have to perform and show you have the ability", Gaffaney said. "It's hard work but it's good fun and I love cricket", but it is "demanding at times" for those who are not full time umpires, he says.


Gaffaney's timetable this week being a good example, say press reports from across the Tasman Sea.  After making his third umpire debut in a Test in the second and last game of the series between New Zealand and Pakistan that finished in Wellington on Wednesday, one reports says that Gaffaney, who is a policeman, then returned home to Dunedin for a work shift which finished at 3 a.m. on Friday morning, before travelling back in the NZ capital for the first ODI.  "It's very busy, but it's something I've chosen to do because I enjoy it a lot", he said


The former batsman was appointed to matches overseas by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the first time last September and appears to be on the world body's list of future potential members of its top-level Elite Umpires Panel, along with others such as South African umpire Johannes Cloete (E-News 719-3520 above), Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena, Englishman Richard Kettleborough,, and Australian Bruce Oxenford (E-News 672-3296, 24 September 2010).






A "senior" official from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) side which lost this year's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (QAT) first class domestic final, has rejected former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad's call for players "to contain their emotions and frustrations on the field" (E-News 718-3517, 20 January 2011), says a story in 'The News International' publication yesterday.  Discussing the match, which saw the match referee fine members of both teams and ban one for two domestic one-day matches, the unnamed PIA staff member described his players as being "all pumped up" and showing a "fighting attitude". 


That approach "shows that [the players] care for their team and wanted to win the title", he says, and that "sledging is a part and parcel of the game, the Australians have been doing it for a long time [and] similarly other top teams do so too".  "Unfortunately [the] umpiring went against us", continued the official, and "umpires [were largely] responsible for the negative attitude our players".  “There comes a time when you need to show that you are unhappy [about the umpiring] and that was the case" during the game.  Both PIA and their opponents Habib Bank Limited, (HBL) are reported to have since lodged formal complaints with the Pakistan Cricket Board about the umpiring (E-News 719-3523 above)..


Meanwhile, HBL players also made their point-of view known to the press.   “As far as the umpiring is concerned we were also the victims of that as several decisions also went against us", said one unnamed player.  In addition “PIA’s players were using words which were intolerable but we had the courage to absorb them and play to our potential", said another.  “They accused us of ball-tampering but everyone witnessed themselves that [the PIA’s] Najaf Shah was tampering with the ball openly", something he was later fined for, although score sheets for the match that are now available on line do not indicate that the five run penalty required by the Laws of Cricket was imposed on the PIA side.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011






English umpire Richard Illingworth and a so far unnamed Bangladeshi are to each stand in three games in the West Indies Cricket Board's  (WICB) eight-team, 31-match, regional first class competition which is to be played around the Caribbean over a nine weeks from 4 February to 11 April.  Eight teams, including the England Lions or 'A' side, will compete in a seven-round league format with the top four sides going into semi finals to earn the right to play in the final from 8-11 April.


Apart from the visitors, the WICB has named 12 of its umpires for the first class series, the same dozen who took part in the regional one-day tournament last October (E-News 681-3342, 14 October 2010).  That suggests the Board may have met its aim of establishing a 'domestic' Elite Umpires Panel, a move that is designed to help lift the standard of match officials in the Caribbean, however, there appears to have been no formal announcement of that or the WICB's proposed second-tier umpire and match referee groups (E-News 685-3363, 20 October 2010).


International Cricket Council (ICC) second-tier International Umpire Panel (IUP) member Norman Malcolm of Jamaica, 55, and Peter Nero, 46, of Trinidad and Tobago have each been appointed to five matches in the first class series, and the other ten 'locals' named for four games each.  The other ten from around the region are Malcolm's fellow IUP members, Clyde Duncan, 57, (Guyana), Golande Greaves, 53, (St Vincent) and Clancy Mack, 55, (Antigua), plus Lennox Abraham (Dominica), Gregory Brathwaite and Vincent Bullen (Barbados), Nigel Duguid (Guyana), Vivian Johnson (Jamaica), Luther Kelly (St Kitts), and Joel Wilson (Trinidad and Tobago).  The umpires for the semi finals and finals will be chosen at the end of the 28 lead-up matches. 


Former England player Illingworth, 57, whose first class debut as an umpire was in 2003 and who is a third umpire member of the IUP in his home country, will stand in matches in Trinidad, Barbados and Saint Vincent in the period from 11-28 February, his partners being locals Nero, Bullen and Abrahams respectively; games that will take his first class tally to 79.  The Yorkshireman is the third England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) umpire to take part in the exchange program since it was established in late 2008 (E-News 344-1822, 6 November 2008). 


The Bangladeshi's three games in what will be the second such exchange between the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the WICB, will be in Trinidad with Nero, Antigua with Kelly, and Barbados with Abrahams, over the fortnight from 11-28 March.  Nero went to Bangladesh this time last year after a WICB-ECB exchange to England in May 2009, Wilson following him there in 2010, and the latter and the likes of Brathwaite may be in line for a Bangladesh visit in the next few months.  


The first class appointments come as the WICB's Twenty20 competition came to an end last weekend (E-News 711-3485, 8 January 2011).  That series saw  Brathwaite, Duguid, Greaves, Kelly, Malcolm, Nero and Wilson, plus ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Billy Doctrove (Dominica), standing in matches.  Brathwaite and Malcolm were chosen to stand in the final with Doctrove the third umpire and Greaves the reserve, former West Indian batsman Adrian Griffith being the match referee.  The semi finals pairings were Nero-Wilson and Brathwaite-Doctrove, with Greaves and Malcolm the third officials.  


In other exchange moves, former Sri Lankan first class players turned umpires, Lyndon Hannibal, 45, and Asanga Jayasooriya, 39, stood in first class games in Bangladesh late last year as part of the on-going exchange program between the two cricket Boards.  Hannibal played 34 first class games in Sri Lanka in the period from 1994-99 and Jayasooriya five in a single season in the mid-1990s, and their matches in Bangladesh were their seventeenth and forty-fifth respectively as umpires at that level.  Sri Lanka's  first class competition for 2011 is not scheduled to get underway until 18 February.






New Zealand's Bay of Plenty Cricket Association (BPCA) one-day club competition is said to be "in limbo" as a result of defending champions Otumoetai's appeal against their loss in last Saturday's rain-abandoned semi final, according to an article in yesterday's 'Bay of Plenty Times' (BPT).  With Duckworth-Lewis unavailable Otumoetai's opponents Mount were judged to be the winners of the game on the basis of "having lost three less wickets" after rain stopped play 10 overs from the end of the 50 over contest, but Otumoetai claim that the umpires did not applied the rules correctly.


Mount batted through light drizzle during their innings and were 217-7 in the fortieth over chasing Otumoetai's 264 all out when the players were forced from the field.  Otumoetai skipper Campbell Wilson is, says the BPT story, "adamant" his side should have been declared the winner and to have progressed to last Sunday's final, which itself was completely washed out by rain.


Wilson is quoted as saying that "There was a lot of controversy and confusion at the end of the game [on Saturday] and we left having not been given a definitive ruling on a result". According to him "Neither umpire could make a call and another umpire, who wasn't even officiating in our game, came over to try and sort it out before [the BPCA were] called in".  


The Otumoetai captain claims that the ruling on the basis of wickets lost wasn't correct, neither was factoring in average or net run-rate, but he does not say just what method was supposed to be used to decide the result, such as the type of tables used in Cricket Tasmania's lower-level competitions.  "It's all been worked out incorrectly and the way we've worked it out, using a copy of the rules from [the BPCA], we reckon we should be in the final", and "we've got a pretty good case to appeal but it'll come down to interpretation", he said.


BPCA general manager David Johnston said that he'd seen Otumoetai's appeal but had requested more information and the scorebooks before holding a hearing later today.  Johnston is said by the newspaper's story to have stated that 'wickets lost' was the right formula to determine a result, but confirmed Otumoetai were alleging the umpires had calculated incorrectly, although if it is as simple as that it is not obvious what could be more clear cut than seven wickets lost as opposed to ten.


Wilson said his team would be happy to replay the semi final next Saturday ahead of Sunday's rescheduled final, but Johnston said there is no scope in the rules to replay the game and the issue would be sorted out by the appeals committee.






Former Test cricketer and now international umpire Asoka de Silva is said to have been reelected "unanimously" as the President of Sri Lanka's Association of Professional Cricket Umpires (APCU) at their Annual General Meeting held at Wellawatte earlier this month.  The APCU, which was formed just over a year ago as a break away group from the country's long-standing Association of Cricket Umpires (ACU), is reported to have gone from 50 to 120 members in its first year of operation (E-News 586-2955, 16 March 2010).

The APCU, which it says was formed "with the consent of Sri Lankan Cricket", has been conducting seminars and training courses for new umpires over the last year, the program being described as "a big success as 40 out of the 52 applicants were successful at a written examination".  It has also made progress in setting up "a strong welfare sector" which has to date collected 350,000 Sri Lankan Rupees ($A3,166), funds that "will be utilised for the benefit of umpire members".  The Association says that it "has already donated a sum of 100,000 Rupees [$A900]" to former Sri Lankan international umpire Kandiah Francis, 71, who recently "underwent surgery".

Apart from de Silva as President, Maurice Dela Silva is the General Secretary and Ranmore Martinesz the Treasurer.  There is also an eight-man Welfare Committee; a Grading Committee which includes Tyrone Wijewardena, Asoka de Silva, Martinesz, Kumar Dharmasena and Maurice Dela Zilva; and a General Committee of four.  Asoka de Silva is a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, and Dharmasena, Wijewardena and Martinesz the world body's second-tier International Umpires Panel.  





Retired English Test umpire John Holder is to accompany a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) team that is to play five matches in Namibia over the next few weeks.  Four of the games he is expected to stand in are 50-over fixtures, including two against the Namibia national team, and there will also be a three-day match against an Invitational XI.


The MCC says that the primary objective of the tour is to support the development of top level and grassroots cricket in "a strong, emerging cricketing nation", and that in addition to the matches the tour party will also take part in three coaching sessions at local schools, in the capital Windhoek and at Walvis Bay.  MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson said in a statement issued last week that the club "is committed to increasing the international appeal of cricket and the Club’s relationship with Namibia forms an important part of developing talent in emerging nations".  


Holder stood in his last first class match with the England and Wales Cricket Board at the end of the 2009 northern summer after officiating in 421 first class matches over a 28-year career, a period that saw him stand in 11 Tests and 19 One Day Internationals.  Barbados-born Holder, who played first class cricket with Hampshire and Western Province before turning to umpiring, was named as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Regional Umpire Performance Manager for the Americas and Europe when that five-man group was established in June 2008, a role he continues to fill  (E-News 262-1417, 26 June 2008).


Namibia has been an ICC Associate Member since 1992 and qualified for the 2003 World Cup in neighbouring South Africa, and the current national side won the ICC Intercontinental Shield final for second-tier nations in Dubai last December.  The MCC has toured the country three times in the past 20 years, the most recent trip being in 2005.   





Mohammad Aslam Khokar, Pakistan's oldest surviving Test cricketer who also umpired at that level, has died in a Lahore hospital after a prolonged illness.  Khokar, who played just one Test for Pakistan on their first-ever tour to England in 1954, later officiated in three Tests, all against England in the 1970s.  He played a total of 46 first class matches in the period from 1939-64 and stood in 66 matches at that level from 1958-78,  12 of them while he was still playing first class cricket.  Khokar, who turned 91 earlier this month, was still umpiring in regional matches well into his eighties.






Match officials in England have been offered the opportunity to have "a first-hand look" at 'Hawk Eye' technology "in action" by the England and Wales Cricket Board's Association of Cricket Officials (ACO).  The sessions, which will be held at the Marylebone Cricket Club's Indoor School at Lord's, will see attendees receive "an introduction, a detailed understanding of how 'Hawk Eye works', a free hour's feedback afterwards, and participation certificates".


The ACO says that the course is "a first of its kind approach, launched specifically to cater to the increasing demand from the umpiring world to know more about the technology which has revolutionised 21st century cricket".  Those taking part will also be given an option of going on what appears to be the standard tourist tour of Lord’s.  Participation in the 'Hawk Eye' sessions will cost a total of £130 ($A210) per hour when up to six officials take part, or £90 an hour ($A145) for up to three.   

Friday, 28 January 2011







Tasmanian State Umpire Panel (SUP) member Wade Stewart has been named to make his debut in Cricket Australia's (CA) Future League three-day competition at the TCA Ground in Hobart in mid-February.  Currently in his tenth season with the TCUSA and with over 100 games in Cricket Tasmania's First Grade competition, including a grand Final, to his credit, Stewart was selected by CA for duties in the Womens National Cricket League for the first time earlier this season (E-News 695-3409, 12 November 2010).


Stewart is to stand with SUP colleague Jamie Mitchell in the Futures match between the Second XIs of the home state and Western Australia at the TCA, the game being the latter's third in CA's series for Second XI sides over the last two years.  The two men are part of a 26-man group that will have been used for the 21 Futures League three-day matches in 2010-11 by the time the season for that competition ends in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart on 17 February.


Home state umpires have been used for the three Futures games that will have been played in each of the six State capitals and in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) since last October.  Simon Lightbody (ACT) and Damien Mealey (Queensland) topped the appointments list with three games each, with two going to Norm McNamara (Queensland), Peter Tate and Andrew Hamilton (NSW), Nathan Johnstone and Todd Rann (Western Australia), Richard Patterson, Phil Proctor and Sam Sciacca (Victoria), Mike Graham-Smith and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), and Andrew Collins and Andrew Willoughby (South Australia).  Jay Kanger (Queensland), Jeff Brookes and Dean Trigg (WA), Damian Eason, Andrew Shelley and Yoshan Ramasundara (ACT), Thomas McLeod and Luke Uthenwoldt (SA), Andrew Hamilton and Greg Davidson (NSW), plus Stewart and Mitchell (Tasmania) all had one match each.


Nogajski, Kumutat, Johnstone and Mealey also took part in the Futures League Twenty20 series in Melbourne last month, Nogajski and Kumtat being selected to stand in the main final (E-News 708-3472, 24 December 2010).  


Ten match referees come umpire observers have been used by CA for Futures League three-day games this summer.  CA Umpire High Performance Panel members Peter Marshall, Steve Small and Bob Stratford were each at three games, and Ric Evans and David Levens two each.  Others used in that capacity were former first class umpires Terry Prue, Kim Perrin and Jim Torpey with two matches each, and CA Umpire Educator Denis Burns and Tasmanian State Director of Umpires Richard Widows each for one game. 






Former first class umpire Paul Jensen is to return to Cricket Victoria's (CV) First Grade tomorrow for what will be his 500th match in CV's Premier League competition, the fourth person to achieve that milestone in Victoria.  Jensen, 62, currently has thirty-three years as a CV Premier League umpire under his belt, a period that has seen him also stand in 12 first class, five List A, and both women's and Under-19 One Day Internationals plus other representative fixtures.


Jensen is described by one source as "an official mentor" who in recent times has often worked in CV's Third Grade competition with up-and-coming umpires, including this season with new Cricket Australia Project Panel member Shawn Craig (E-News 692-3396, 3 November 2010).  The latest member of the 500 club 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.  E-News understands that this weekend's two-day match at Prahran between the home side and North Melbourne will be Jensen's 318th at First Grade level.  His partner in that game will be David Jones who is currently approaching the 200 match mark with CV.


The Victorian is the third person around the country who is known to have reached the 500 match mark this season.  His CV colleague Bill Sheahan reached that figure just two weeks ago (E-News 716-3505, 17 January 2011), Tasmania Don Heapy last week (E-News 718-3515, 20 January 2011), and Sydney umpire Lindsay Kain last October (E-News 687-3373, 23 October 2010).  Last month Adelaide-man Dean Groves was recognised by the 'Guinness Book of Records' as the world's 'most durable' umpire as a result of the 55 years he spent in the middle (E-News 699-3428, 13 December 2010).






An appeals committee in New Zealand has determined the calculations and rulings made by umpires to decided the result in a rained-out semi-final of a one-day competition last Saturday were correct, and not as claimed on the day by the side that lost the match.  The skipper of the Otumoetai side told the 'Bay of Plenty Times' earlier this week that his side should have been declared the winner and to have progressed to this weekend's final (E-News 720-3527, 25 January 2011), but his argument was not accepted by the appeals committee.


Otumoetai's opponents Mount Maunganui batted through light drizzle during their innings and were 217-7 in the fortieth over chasing Otumoetai's 264 all out when the players were forced from the field.  With Duckworth-Lewis not in use, the latest reports of the situation available say that wet weather calculations that were applied showed that the two teams had tied on the same score, but as Mount Maunganui was the top qualifier they were judged to have advanced to the final.






Elizabeth French of Sierra Leone will become the first female umpire from West Africa to be appointed to an International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament when she stands in the World Cricket League African Division 3 Twenty20 event in Accra, Ghana, next month.  Eight countries from the African region, Cameroon, Gambia, Mali, Morocco, Malawi, Swaziland, Saint Helena and the Seychelles, will take part in the week-long competition which is to run from 23-28 February.


French will be officiating with seven other umpires from other countries including fellow Sierra Leonian Francis Samura plus Ghanaians Stewart Cole and Emmanuel Bruce-Okine, Emmanuel Byiringiro of Rwanda, Robert Kumwenda of Zambia, Lucy Mayunga from Tanzania, and Asif Panjwani who is from Mozambique.  Reports say that it will be is the first time in the history of Sierra Leone Cricket has had two umpires appointed to such a competition by the ICC.  Both French and Samura are said to have "excelled" during an ICC-organised umpiring course that was conducted in South Africa last month.






Suspended Pakistan bowler Mohammad Aamir has apologised to a Pakistan cricket official for violating an International Cricket Council (ICC) imposed ban by bowling "a few overs" in a "practice match" played at a Rawalpindi stadium on Monday.  A Pakistan Cricket Board official (PCB) is said have confirmed that players suspended by the ICC could not take part in any match, event or activity organised by his home board or its affiliated units.


Rawalpindi cricket chief Naeem Akhtar is quoted by the 'Daily Times' newspaper as saying that Aamir "was not aware he could not compete even at club level", and the PCB is reported to have asked for details of the match from officials at the Rawalpindi Regional Cricket Academy.  A PCB "source" was quoted as saying that "Aamir or the two other suspended players, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, can't take part in any match" organised by the PCB.


The ICC is said to have "written to the PCB [about the matter] on Tuesday".  Several months ago, says the 'Daily Times', the ICC had to "remind the PCB about the regulations regarding suspended players", after another of the suspended trio, Salman Butt, practiced at the National Cricket Academy at Lahore. Aamir, Asif and Butt were subsequently barred from the nets and playing facilities at the Academy. 


Charges against the trio are still being considered by an ICC tribunal (E-News 713-3494, 13 January 2011).


End of the January 2011 news file