(Story numbers 3537-3601)

722   723   724   725   726   727   728   729  730   731   732

722 – 1 February [3537-3539]
• Match officials named for domestic T20 finals   (722-3537).
• Pakistan umpires, referee, for IPL-4?   (722-3538).   
• Kiwis for Victorian Country Week   (722-3539).

723 - 3 February  [3560-3562]
• 2011 winter schools, seminar dates, announced  (723-3560).
• US skipper reprimanded for showing dissent  (723-3561).
• 'Home' internationals will return, but 'patience needed', says Dar  (723-3562).

724 – 7 February [3563 -3564]
• Davis to reach ODI Century during World Cup  (724-3563).
• Unavailability of 'Hot Spot' for World Cup confirmed  (724-3564).

725 – 8 February [3565-3472]
• Rain leads to all-T20 format for Imparja Cup  (725-3565).
• No awards for match officials at Border Dinner  (725-3566).
• WNCL final to Ward, Kumutat  (725-3567).
• CA Board to shorten Sheffield Shield season?  (725-3568).
• New 'Tom Smith' expected by April  (725-3569).
• Jerling completes Indian exchange  (725-3570).
• ICC umpires, referees gather for seminar  (725-3571).
• Slow over rate fine for Kiwis  (725-3572).

726 – 14 February [3573-3478]
• National 'Umpire of the Year' award on-going, says CA  (726-3573).
• PCB denies asking for review of Aamer ban  (726-3574).
• Shield format maintained, domestic one-day series reduced  (726-3575).
• Batsman's wandering leads to 'run out'  (726-3576).
• Kingborough lead CT 'Spirit of Cricket' votes  (726-3577).
• Strike on fielder's bottle attracts penalty runs  (726-3578).

727 – 16 February [3579-3581]
• Fine, reprimands handed out after Bellerive Shield match  (727-3579).
• Bowden part of WC advertising campaign  (727-3580).
• Nepalise umpire stands in WC warm ups  (727-3581).

728 – 17 February [3582-3584]
• NZC announced South Africa, Lanka, exchange umpires   (728-3582).
• Umpires receive CA 'Volunteer of the Year' awards  (728-3583).
• ICC unhappy about suspended player's commentary role  (728-3584).

729 – 19 February [3585-3587]
• State-wide rain likely to impact on today's matches  (729-3585).
• Former first class player joins Tassy umpiring ranks  (729-3586).
• Fines handed out in WICB's 2011 'domestic' first class series  (729-3587).

730 – 22 February [3588-3594]
• Fry awarded National Officials' Scholarship   (730-3588).
• Some CT Premier league matches revert to one-day rules this weekend   (730-3589).
• ICC should 'back umpires' and 'ditch' the UDRS, says Hair   (730-3590).
 Association investigates allegations umpire 'doctored' captains' reports  (730-3591).
• Batsman dismissed 'timed out' after three quick wickets fall  (730-3592).
• 'Caught' off fieldsman's helmet causes confusion  (730-3593).
• Arrests made in 'crackdown' on 'illegal' WC gambling  (730-3594).

731 – 23 February [3595-3597]
• Match officials named for domestic one-day final  (731-3595).
• No decision yet on umpire report 'doctoring' allegations   (731-3596).
• LBW decisions dominate in World Cup referrals  (731-3597).
• Travel concerns leads to unusual outright win   (731-3598).

 732 – 25 February [3599-3601]
• 'Box' bounce TV damage leads to reprimand (732-3599).
• Popping crease 'blurring' behind 'no ball' checks, says Dar  (732-3600).
• Runner for batsman with cramp OK, says MCC  (732-3601).


Tuesday, 1 February 2011


National Umpire Panel (NUP) members John Ward of Victoria and Ian Lock of Western Australia were yesterday named as the umpires for the final of Cricket Australia's (CA) domestic Twenty20 (T20) competition which is to be played at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.  Ward will also stand in the preliminary final of the series tonight at Bellerive, his partner for that game being Queensland-based NUP member Paul Reiffel, who is also on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, with Lock being in the television suite.

Ward stood in the 2007 domestic T20 final with Reiffel while Lock was on the field in the same match the following year.  The Western Australian has also been on the field in a one-day domestic final in 2009, Reiffel being his colleague, and he has also worked as the third umpire in the one-day final of 2003 and in the last two Sheffield Shield deciders at first class level.

The final of the Womens National Cricket League's T20 series, which is to be played as a curtain raiser to the men's final in Adelaide, will be looked after on the field by two other NUP members, Western Australian Mick Martell and Victorian Tony Ward, Martell's compatriot, Paul Wilson being the third umpire.  CA Umpire High Performance Panel member Ric Evans will be the match referee for the men's and women's finals in Adelaide, and his colleague Steve Small for tonight's preliminary final.


The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) apparent reservations against inviting Pakistani players for the latest edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL-4) in April-May, but two Pakistan umpires "are certain" to figure in the next IPL season in India, say media reports from the sub-continent over the weekend.  

"Top sources" at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are quoted by the Pakistani newspaper 'The Nation' as saying that Pakistan umpires Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf, both members of the International Cricket Council's top--level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), are likely to officiate in the IPL-4 after missing the last two series.

A total of ten current or former EUP members and nine of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), who are believed to work under IPL and not ICC contracts during the BCCI-sponsored Twenty20 event, have been used across the three IPL series played since 2008.  Seven of those 19, current EUP members Daryl Harper (Australia), Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and now-retired Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) plus current IUP members Brian Jerling (South Africa), Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe), and Indians Amiesh Saheba and Krishna Hariharan, the latter a former IUP member, have taken part in all three series to date.  Ten Indian first class umpires have also worked on the field or in the television suite in IPLs 1-3.

Reports also indicate that former Pakistan international player  Talat Ali will work as a match referee in IPL-4, a role he also held during the inaugural series in 2008.


Two New Zealand umpires, Mike Drinkall and Jason Wood, are to stand in the top section of the 2011 Melbourne Country Week championship that is to be played from 7-11 February.  The pair's visit is part of a long-running exchange program Cricket Victoria (CV) has with its counterparts in the North and South Islands of New Zealand, two Melbourne-based umpires travelling in the opposite direction to stand in matches there; the first of the current season being Ange Sammartino who went to the South Island before Christmas.

Eight teams from around Victoria will play a total of 16 matches next week, with the top two sides moving on to the final of the competition at Melbourne University on Friday week, CV umpires David Jones and Phil Proctor being appointed to stand in that match.  Drinkall has been allocated three matches in the championships and Wood two. 

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Dates for the Association's winter Laws and Scorer schools and Annual seminar for 2011 were agreed to at last night's TCUSA Management Committee meeting, the former being held over five consecutive Wednesday nights commencing  on 3 August and the latter over four evenings from 10 August.  At the conclusion of both courses there will be an optional examination of the Laws in early September, ten days prior to the Annual Seminar which this year will be held on the weekend of 17-18 September, a fortnight earlier than usual.  

The list of dates for the various meetings, most of will as usual be held at Bellerive Oval, are provided in the schedule of TCUSA events at the base of this newsletter and are also available on the Association's web site.  The Annual Seminar, which has been brought forward in order to give more time for umpires and scorers to engage in practice matches and because of clashes with various football finals, will be held for the first time at the Tasmanian Net Ball Centre in New Town where excellent facilities are available to support the event.  

Queries about the Laws course should be directed to State Director of Umpires Richard Widows, and for the Scorers course to TCUSA President-Administrator, Graeme Hamley.  Contact details for both are available on the Association's web site.

Cricket Tasmania (CT) is reported to currently be targeting a start to its 2011-12 Premier League First Grade season with a weekend of Twenty20 cricket on 8-9 October, a First grade one day round a week later on the fifteenth, with all Grades under way on Saturday-Sunday 22-23 October. However, those dates will not be confirmed until later in the year when CT's Grade Cricket Committee has sought feedback from clubs and finalised its deliberations.


Steve Massiah, the captain of the United States' in the World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Hong Kong last week (E-News 714-3499, 14 January 2011), has been reprimanded and warned for showing dissent after an umpire gave him out LBW last Saturday in a match against Denmark.   It was the third time during the week-long series that Massiah had been out leg before, on this occasion when he mistimed a sweep,  and he is said to have "yelled" at the umpire Vinay Kumar of Nepal while gesturing with his bat that the ball had hit it. 

Massiah pleaded guilty to the charge which was laid by the on field umpires Kumar and Kevin Bishop of Hong Kong, and match referee Graeme La Brooy handed down the reprimand and warning after a disciplinary hearing that was conducted under the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations.  

Explaining his decision in an ICC press release, La Brooy said, that he hoped "Mr Massiah has learned that there is no place for this type of behaviour in the game and that the spirit of the game should be maintained at all times. I also trust that in future, he will be more courteous and pay others the respect they deserve".


Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar has called on his country to be patient as it awaits the return of international cricket. Pakistan have not hosted an international cricket match since March 2009 when the Sri Lankan team was attacked in Lahore (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009), and they were subsequently stripped of previously allocated hosting rights for the 2011 World Cup with Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

Dar told 'The Express Tribune' last week that he remains confident his country will see tours from other countries return.  “Its really unfortunate for Pakistan that it is currently completely isolated and I understand that it’s a big drawback for our players and match officials which is discouraging", he said, "but I am hopeful that the time will come and Pakistan will be able to hold its games in the country instead of playing its home series away, but we need to be patient".

Lahore-based Dar, who won the David Shepherd Trophy as the International Cricket Council's 'Umpire of the Year' for the second time running three months ago (E-News 678-3326, 7 October 2010), also said it will be an honour to officiate in his second World Cup in a few weeks time (E-News 699-3425, 13 December 2010). “Participating in an event like the World Cup is always a great honor for a player as well as the official", said Dar, who says his "career highlight" was his appointment to stand in the final of the 2007 event in the West Indies, even though that match ended in controversy (E-News 35-196, 1 May 2007).  

As a result of the situation that prevailed in that final, Dar and his four match official colleagues were later omitted from the panel for the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007). 

Monday, 7 February 2011


Australian umpire Steve Davis will become the fourteenth man to stand in 100 One Day Internationals (ODI) when he officiates in a Group stage match of this year's World Cup (WC) in New Delhi on 9 March, his partner on that occasion being countryman Bruce Oxenford.  Davis will be on the field for five Group games, including the opening fixture of the 49-match competition on Saturday week, his colleague for that fixture being one of the International Cricket Council's emerging group of umpires, Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka.

Davis, who turns 59 the week after the tournament ends, made his ODI debut at the Adelaide Oval in December 1992, and has since gone on the stand in 97 such matches, the latest being in New Zealand last Saturday.  He stood in 35 ODIs in Australia before receiving his first appointment overseas to New Zealand in 2004 then South Africa and Sri Lanka, his sixty-second ODI being in the 2007 WC in the West Indies where he stood in three matches, all of them at the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad.        

Over the past 18 years, Davis has stood in 52 ODIs in Australia, seven of them at Bellerive, eleven in New Zealand, eight in Sri Lanka, seven in England, one being at Lord's, six each in South Africa and the West Indies, three in Scotland as well as Zimbabwe, and two in the United Arab Emirates.  He has also worked as the third umpire in another 38 ODIs and in five as the reserve official.

The thirteen umpires who have passed the 100 ODI mark at the current time are: Rudi Koertzen of South Africa (209), Steve Bucknor from the West Indies (181), David Shepherd of England (172), Daryl Harper of Australia (169), Simon Taufel of Australia (159), Billy Bowden from New Zealand (150), Darrell Hair of Australia (139), Aleem Dar from Pakistan (138), Russell Tiffin of Zimbabwe (118), David Orchard formally of South Africa (107), Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka (110), Billy Doctrove of the West Indies 101 and New Zealander Steve Dunn 100.  

Of the twelve only Bowden, Dar, Harper, Taufel, Tiffin and de Silva are still active in ODIs.  Harper will have moved to 174 matches by the end of the WC Group Stage, Taufel to 164, Bowden to 154, Dar to 143, de Silva to 114 and Doctrove to 105.  Others who will reach ODI milestones during the opening phase of the WC are Ian Gould of England and Amish Saheba of India, who will both pass the 50 match mark. 


Reports over the weekend have confirmed that 'Hot Spot' will not be part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) during the forthcoming one-day World Cup.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) indicated in October that the infra-red system would be in place for the semi finals and finals of the tournament, however, the Australian supplier of the equipment BBG Sport said in December that the ICC's reticence in paying for its use had led to it withdrawing from the event (E-News 704-3453, 20 December 2010).

'Hot Spot' cameras are not part of the ICC's minimum requirements for UDRS operation, they being a super slow-mo camera, a 'clear' stump microphone and a ball-tracking system.  For the World Cup the latter is being provided by English-based 'Hawk Eye', its rival 'Virtual Eye' not being an option as its New Zealand owners Animation Research, like BBG Sport, withdrew because they say the ICC would not pay for its use.

The Cricinfo web site says that while 'Hot Spot' is not a UDRS requirement, it is "thought to provide among the most accurate images of the contact between ball and bat, or pad".   

The cameras involved form part of military hardware used in jetfighters, tanks and warships, and fall under the category of restricted equipment which needs a temporary export licence from the Australian Defence Department whenever they are taken out of the country.  Part of that licence is believed to include the return of the cameras to Australia within a seven-day period after the end of the event in which they are being used.

Despite earlier pronouncements by BBG Sport and 'Animation Research' about the ICC's unwillingness to pay for their systems, Cricinfo says in its story that "it is possible that the logistical hurdle of moving the cameras, which are both expensive and sensitive security equipment, in and out of Sri Lanka and India [for the World Cup] could have led to the decision". 

India remains the only country in cricket that has not accepted the UDRS, and "ironically", says Cricinfo, "the only part of UDRS technology basket that is considered by the Indians to be the most trustworthy is the Hot Spot camera" (E-News 682-3348, 15 October 2010).

Tuesday, 8 February 2011





Persistent rain has forced organisers to change this week's 2011 Imparja Cup series in Alice Springs, Cricket Australia’s (CA) national Indigenous tournament, into an all Twenty20 (T20) affair for the first time in the event's 18-year history. Umpires from around Australia, including Tasmania's Ross Carlson, are in the central Australian city for the series (E-News 719-3522, 22 January 2011). 


The Alice received 24 mm of rain on Sunday and the decision to make the format change from the majority 40-over format of the past was made early yesterday morning before the first day's play once it was established that conditions weren’t suitable at all grounds being used for the event.  Grounds are reported to have "not been far off being in playing condition" yesterday, however, there were concerns about player safety and that ultimately saw the decision taken to work towards starting the tournament first thing this morning.


CA's Neale Price said yesterday the decision to revert to the T20 format was made in part to ensure equality for all the teams involved.  “After assessing the three grounds we decided there would be no way we could get on today and play properly so we sat down and decided it would be fairer for all teams if we started a fresh on Tuesday".  


With plenty of moisture around in the centre of the continent thanks to the remnants of Tropical Cyclone 'Yasi', "afternoon showers or [thunder] storms" are forecast to the Alice each day this week, with maximum temperatures expected to be around 30-33 degrees Celsius.






Awards to match officials were again missing from Cricket Australia's (CA) 2011 Alan Border medal ceremony in Melbourne last night.  It remains to be seen whether CA will resurrect its 'Umpire of the Year' award this season for the first time since 2009, although when it has done so the announcement for it has usually been made in a relatively low-key way in March and not as part of CA's annual award extravaganza.


Last night's dinner saw the naming of Australia's Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International players of the year, the International Women’s Player of the Year, Best State Player of the Year, the Bradman Young Player of the Year, and the Allan Border Medal for performances in all three forms of the international game.  The voting period for this year's awards was from 14 February 2010 to 2 February 2011.


Australian member of the International Cricket Council's top-tier Elite Umpires Panel, Daryl Harper, received CA's 'Umpire of the Year' award in 2007 for what the national body described then as "his exceptional season at both the international and domestic level" (E-News 16-093, 18 March 2007), CA using the same phrase when former Australian player turned umpire Paul Reiffel won it in 2009 (E-News 386-2048, 12 March 2009).  


CA appears to have overlooked the award in both 2008 or 2010, or if it did allocate it little or no publicity was given to the appointment.  Similar situations have occurred elsewhere, the Asian Cricket Council's hastily arranged inaugural Asian 'Umpire of the Year' award, which was won by Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar two-and-a-half years ago, not being heard of since (E-News 272-1455, 8 July 2008), while in New Zealand their annual awards night also does not recognise match officials.  


In contrast the International Cricket Council recognises the contribution of umpires by presenting the David Shepherd trophy to its 'Umpire of the Year' at the same ceremony in which players receive their awards (E-News 678-3326, 7 October 2010).





The 2011 final of Cricket Australia's (CA) one-day format Womens National Cricket League at the Sydney Cricket Ground next Sunday will be managed by Victorian umpire John Ward of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) and Michael Kumutat of NSW, one of CA's four-man emerging umpire's group, with Umpire High Performance Panel member David Levens the match referee.  


Ward, 48, stood in the final of the men's 2010-11 Twenty20 interstate competition in Adelaide last Saturday in what is his sixth season on the NUP (E-News 722-3537, 1 February 2011).  With senior NUP members Paul Reiffel and Simon Fry favourites for on-field spots in both the one-day and Sheffield Shield finals late this month and in mid-March respectively, Ward's two finals appointments over the last week suggests he is a possible to work as the third umpire in those key games.


Kumutat, 42, was also chosen, along with Tasmanian Sam Nogajski, to stand in the main final of the Futures League Twenty20 series held in Melbourne in December (E-News 708-3472, 24 December 2010).  That pair along with Queenslander Damien Mealey and Western Australian Nathan Johnstone make up CA's emerging umpires group this year, and at least one of them could be in line for promotion to the NUP later this year.






The Sheffield Shield final appears set to stay but next summer's first-class competition is in danger of being cut by two rounds to create room for Cricket Australia's (CA) revamped domestic Twenty20 (T20) competition, claims a report in 'The Age' newspaper in Melbourne this morning.  The report says that the move to abbreviate the Shield season is to "be canvassed today" at a CA Board meeting in the Victorian capital, where talks "will be dominated by Australia's humiliating Ashes capitulation and the introduction of the new [T20] League".


Journalist Andrew Wu writes that "a shortened Shield fixture will be seen as another sign of the shifting priorities in Australian cricket, which is looking towards the [T20] game as a vehicle for securing its long-term financial future".  However, "after Australia's poor Ashes performance [CA's] Board is said to be guarded about removing the [Shield final which is the] only five-day state game from the domestic calendar", Wu continues.


Shortening the first class season by two rounds would free up 12-14 days on the 2011-12 playing schedule to accommodate the expanded T20 competition, which will feature eight-teams and 31 matches next season, up from six teams and 20 matches this year.  Should the shorter Shield season be ratified, each state will play eight fewer days of first-class cricket a summer, a reduction of 20 per cent.  


There was no mention in Wu's report of suggestions twelve months ago that the Shield season start as early as September with matches being played in Darwin and Cairns during the dry season there (E-News 558-2837, 27 January 2010).  An Australian Associated Press story at the time claimed that "operations staff at CA have developed furrowed brows trying to work out how to accommodate a T20 competition of almost double the matches currently played between the six states while also not compromising the Shield". 


'The Age' says that it "understands" from a "high-ranking [CA] official" that "several board members will push to play the missing two Shield rounds during the [T20 series] using players not involved in [the shorter form of the game]" cricket.  But others such as Victorian coach Greg Shipperd is quoted as saying that he like some others would prefer cuts to be made to the national one-day cup, a move that is said to be favoured by the player's union, the powerful Australian Cricketers Association.


The CA Board is expected to announce just who will receive the eight new T20 franchises after its meeting, some of which reports say have been valued as high as $A50 million.





The new edition of 'Tom Smith', the 'Bible' for umpires and scorers, that takes into account last October's changes to the Laws of Cricket, is currently being type-set and indications are that it will be available by April, says the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).  That means what will be the seventh edition should be in Australia well before the start of the TCUSA's 2011 Winter Laws and Scorers schools in August (E-News 723-3560, 3 February 2011).  


The MCC took over copyright of 'Tom Smith' from the now defunct UK-based Association of Cricket Umpires from the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers when the latter was subsumed by the England and Wales Cricket Board's then new Association of Cricket Officials on 1 January 2008 (E-News 193-1056, 8 February 2008).  Release of the new edition has been delayed first by the need to resolve copyright issues and more lately by up-dates to the text and production matters (E-News 673-3305, 27 September 2010).





Long-serving South African umpire Brian Jerling visited India over the last few weeks as part of the umpire exchange program that was set up in 2008 by Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) (E-News 276-1472, 15 July 2008).  Jerling, 52, stood in two first class matches over the last fortnight, a semi final and the final of the Duleep Trophy, the same games previous CSA exchange umpires Johannes Cloete and Marais Erasmus worked in in 2009 and 2010 respectively (E-News 594-2989, 30 March 2010).


The visit to the sub-continent was not an new experience for Jerling for he has been there twice before for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competitions of 2008 and 2010.  The two Duleep trophy games take Jerling's first class match tally to 132 since his debut at that level just over 22 years ago, four of those games being Tests, two each in the West Indies and New Zealand over a six month period in 2006.


BCCI umpire S Ravi has been named as the Indian umpire who will stand in two first class matches in South Africa in March (E-News 708-3471, 24 December 2010), following on from Suresh Shastri in the 2008-09 season and Sudhir Asnani in 2009-10.  Australian Simon Fry will also be in South Africa on exchange around the same time (E-News 719-3520, 22 January 2011).


There were reports in the media over two years ago that claimed a similar exchange program was "under discussion" between Cricket Australia and the BCCI, however, if that was true nothing has yet eventuated on such an arrangement (E-News 337-1778, 27 October 2008).






Members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) match referees and umpire panels are currently taking part in a three-day seminar at the world body's headquarters in Dubai in the lead up to the World Cup and its warm-up games which get underway in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka this Saturday.  Reports indicate that the seminar, which got underway yesterday, is being attended by members of all three of the ICC's umpiring groups. 


The ICC indicated last year that its referees and umpires would get together twice a year to discuss current and on-going issues that fall under their purview.  Also mentioned at that time were proposed meetings in each of the world body's five regions that would involve ICC match officials from each particular area, however, as yet nothing has been heard publicly about such plans. 





The New Zealand side was fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its One Day International (ODI) against played in Napier last week after it was found to be one over short of its target at the end of the match after time allowances were taken into consideration.  


Match referee Alan Hurst of Australia, imposed fines under the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct (CoC) regulations, skipper Daniel Vettori loosing twenty per cent of his match fee and his players each ten percent.  Should Vettori as captain be found guilty of three slow over rate breaches in total in ODIs over a 12-month period, the CoC requires that he automatically receive a one-match suspension.

Monday, 14 February 2011







Australia's national 'Umpire of the Year' award has been on-going over the last few years, says Sean Cary, Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpires Manager, and has not been overlooked as suggested by E-News last week.  National winners have been named at CA's annual State Cricket Awards each March since 2004, says Cary, who joined CA just 10 months ago, although evidence suggests that promulgation of winner's names has at best been limited in some years recently.


Australian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-tier Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), Daryl Harper, received CA's 'Umpire of the Year' award in 2007 (E-News 16-093, 18 March 2007), and former Australian player turned umpire Paul Reiffel in 2009 (E-News 386-2048, 12 March 2009).  E-News said last week that "CA appears to have overlooked the award in both 2008 or 2010, or if it did allocate it little or no publicity was given to the appointment" (E-News 725-3566, 8 February 2011).   


Cary has pointed out, however, that South Australian Steve Davis was in fact the winner in 2010 and Bruce Oxenford of Queensland in 2008.  Oxenford, who stood in his first Test late last year (E-News 697-3418, 15 November 2010), was given the national award the month after he stood in his first One Day International, and Davis two years after being named as a member of the EUP (E-News 234-1296, 24 April 2008).  Both have been selected to stand in this year's World Cup on the sub-continent which starts this Saturday (E-News 699-3425, 13 December 2010).






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yesterday dismissed reports that it had filed any appeal on behalf of banned Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Aamer with the International Cricket Council (ICC).  PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt is reported to have said in a television interview on Pakistan's Geo Super channel on Friday evening that an official requested had been made to the ICC to "review" the five-year ban handed to Aamer last week.


Aamer and his colleagues Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were banned after being found guilty by an ICC tribunal of spot fixing charges during the Lord's Test against England last year (E-News 669-3286, 17 September 2010).  Salman was banned for 10 years, with five years suspended, and Asif for seven years, two-years of which were suspended; a judgement that effectively keeps all three out of all forms of cricket for at least five years.


In announcing the ICC's anti-corruption verdict on the trio, the chairman of the disciplinary tribunal Michael Beloff QC, also requested that "in special cases" the ICC review the five-year minimum sanction currently in its Code of Conduct (CoC).  PCB Chairman Butt said on television on Friday that given the recommendation that the CoC be reviewed, the PCB "too have requested the ICC review the five-year ban on Aamer".


Reports from Karachi last week speculated that Aamer, "who is only 18 and has never violated the ICC [CoC] in his two-year international career, would get a two or one-year ban, but the tribunal had to impose five years, the minimum for this type of breach".


However, the PCB's Butt admitted that the chances of Aamer's ban being reviewed or reduced were remote, saying "there is one out of million chance as the final decision would rest with the ICC".  He indicated though that he hoped the request for a review would be discussed at ICC's next Board meeting.


A PCB "official" was quoted by 'The Times of India' yesterday as saying that "we have filed no formal appeal as such" but "yes we have written to the ICC about the case in light of the observations made by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal regarding the existing anti-corruption [CoC] laws under which Butt, Asif and Aamer have been penalised". 


The unnamed official made it clear that the right to appeal against their bans only rested with the three players not with the PCB.  "The PCB has nothing to do with the due process of law that will follow after the ICC tribunal banned them", he said.  The trio have the right to appeal against their bans with the International Court of Arbitration for Sports in Geneva, provided they do so within 21 days of being found guilty.  The deadline for any such submission is Friday of next week.






Australia's Sheffield Shield first class competition is to continue in its current 31-match format next season, including a five-day final (E-News 725-3568, 8 February 2011).  Cricket Australia (CA) has been struggling with fitting the Shield and one-day series into next season at the same time it expands its Twenty20 (T20) competition, and CA's Board decided last week that cuts will be made in the one-day series and not to Shield games.


As a result of the decision the one-day cup is to be cut from ten to eight rounds, plus a final, from 2011-12 onwards.  The Board is still pressing for more of the baseball-like short form of the game though, as it has asked CA management to "continue to investigate opportunities and timing" of any possible future expansion of domestic T20 series beyond the expanded eight-team competition being targeted for next season.  






The 'run out' of a batsman during a Hawke Cup match played in Masterton, New Zealand, yesterday caused "some controversy", says a story in this morning's 'Wanganui Chronicle'.  After the last ball of an over had been bowled, Wanganui tailender Dominic Rayner reportedly "ambled up the pitch to talk to his partner and [fielding side] Wairarapa ran him out", saying the umpire had not called 'over'.  The umpire must have agreed with the appeal for Rayner was sent on his way and Wairarapa subsequently won the match on the first innings by just seven runs. 






Prior to the latest round of matches over the weekend, Kingborough were leading in the competition for this year's Cricket Tasmania (CT) Premier League 'Spirit of Cricket' (SOC) trophy.  The Kingston-based club have so far averaged 6.34 SOC points per game just ahead of second placed Lindisfarne (6.26) and University and Glenorchy who sit in joint third place with 6.17 points per game, then came North Hobart and South Hobart Sandy Bay (both 6.10), New Town 6.00 and Clarence with 5.97.  


Under CT arrangements, umpires can be allocated between zero and four points under each of the three reporting categories: 'Respect for opponents'; 'Respect for the Role of the Umpire; and 'Respect for the Game'.  The maximum score possible in an match is twelve points, but that requires exceptional behaviour under all three criteria, a 'Par' score for a game, whereby a team meets basic SOC requirements, being six.  






An umpire that awarded five penalty runs when a ball struck a plastic water bottle placed on the outfield by a fielder was "indeed correct" in his decision, says the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodians of the Laws of Cricket.  In the situation submitted to the MCC for advice, "the batsmen had crossed on their second run when the ball struck the bottle [and] the umpire said it was seven runs", five for the penalty and the other two for those run by the batsmen. 


The part of the Laws involved (41.2), requires that situation attract five penalty runs, plus any penalties for a no-ball or wide, and any completed runs and the run in progress if the batsmen had crossed at the instant of the offence.  If a spectator had thrown the bottle on to the field, says the MCC, it would not have been a breach of that Law and would have been considered an accident.  

Wednesday, 16 February 2011





Tasmanian batsman Mark Cosgrove and Victorian bowler Damien Wright have been found guilty of separate Cricket Australia (CA) Code of Behaviour (CoC) breaches during the Sheffield Shield match that ended at Bellerive Oval on Monday.  Cosgrove was reported for showing 'dissent at an umpire's decision', and Wright for using 'language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or the making of obscene gesture', both of which were Level 1 offences.


Cosgrove was dismissed on day two when he was adjudged to have edged a James Pattinson delivery through to the wicketkeeper. The umpire involved is said in one report to have "deliberated for a long time before finally raising the finger", after which Cosgrove "stared at the official and threw his hands out before walking off the ground".  Wright reacted "angrily" after an LBW appeal was turned down on the last day of the match as Victoria was trying to win the game outright in what was a tight fixture.   


CA CoC Commissioner Ray Brown held separate hearings into both matters at Bellerive after the game finished on Monday night, both of which are believed to have been attended by National Umpire Panel members Gerard Abood (NSW) and Mick Martell (Western Australia) who were standing in the match and match referee Peter Marshall.


Brown subsequently found Cosgrove guilty and issued him with a reprimand as well as fining him 15 percent of his match fee, while Wright received an official reprimand.  Under CA's CoC, all Level 1 offences carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and/or a fine of up to the equivalent of 50 percent of a player's match fee.






New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden features in a series of television advertisements prepared by the 'Pepsi' soft drink company for airing on the sub-continent during the World Cup over the next month.  Bowden, and his arthritic index finger, are at the centre of one 42-second ad, others under the slogan 'Change the Game' also featuring well-known players.


Players such as Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kevin Pietersen amongst others each have their own 'Pepsi' adverts in a series that "is about playing innovative shots or making game changing decisions at critical junctures of the play".  The Kiwi umpire's involvement is being described by one market observer as "a deliberate surprise" to attract the attention of the Indian public. 


Bowden's colourful advert, which is spoken in Hindi, can be seen on YouTube at:






Nepalise umpire Buddhi Pradhan, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associate and Affiliates Umpiring Panel, is standing in two of the World Cup warm up matches being played in Nagpur this week.  Pradhan stood in Ireland's matches against New Zealand and Zimbabwe on Saturday and yesterday respectively, his on-field colleague on both occasions being ICC Elite Panel umpire Marais Erasmus of South Africa.


Bangladeshi umpire Enamul Hoque-Moni of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel had two similar opportunities in the warm up games, the first in Chittagong for Bangladesh's game against Canada and again later today when the latter side takes on England in Fatullah just outside Dhaka.


Neither Prahdan or Hoque-Moni are currently listed for matches in the World Cup proper in any capacity. 

Thursday, 17 February 2011





The two New Zealand umpires who will be travelling to South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively as part of exchange arrangements New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has with Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), and their counterparts who will travel in the opposite direction this season, were named yesterday.  Kiwis Evan Gray and Phil Jones will travel to South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively, and CSA's Brad White and SLC's Ranmore Martinescz to New Zealand.     


Former New Zealand player and current first class umpire Gray, 56, is to travel to Johannesburg and Benoni in late March to stand in two first-class fixtures; the same time Australian Simon Fry will be in that country for matches as part of the exchange agreement between CSA and Cricket Australia (E-News 719-3520, 22 January 2011). 


Gray, a member of NZC's top-level domestic Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) who retired in 1992 after a 17-year playing career that saw him feature in 162 first class games, 10 of them Tests, made his umpiring debut at first class level five years ago next month and has gone on to stand in 22 such matches in the time since.  


CSA's White, 40, played first class cricket in his home land in the period from 1988-2000 and chalked up 78 games at that level.  After retirement he took up umpiring and since his first class debut in October 2004 has been a regular choice by CSA for its higher-level domestic competitions and currently has 63 first class games under his belt, several of them in Namibia and Zimbabwe.  He is to travel to NZ in early March to stand in two Plunket Shield games, one in Hamilton and the other in Rangiora.


The exchange between NZC and SLC was announced four months ago, and Jones, 51, a member of NZC's domestic EUP (E-News 684-3354, 19 October 2010), is already in Colombo preparing to stand in three first-class fixtures in the island nation over the next few weeks, the first of which is due to start today.  Jones, who took part in the exchange program with South Africa in 2008, made his first class debut eight years ago this month, and has since gone on to stand in 41 such matches.  


Sri Lankan Martinesz, 43, who worked as the fourth umpire in a World Cup warm up game played in Pallekele last Saturday, is now in NZ and will stand in two Plunket Shield games.  The first is scheduled to get underway in Queenstown later today, and the second in Auckland on Thursday of next week.  


Martinesz, a on-field member on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, is a former first class player who has represented his country at Under-19 level and has to date stood in 103 first class matches since his debut at that level in January 2000.  When he returns home from NZ early next month he is due to work as the fourth umpire in two WC games in Pallekele.


The NZC-CSA umpiring exchange, which is believed to be the oldest such arrangement in the world, is in its thirteenth year, while the arrangement between the Kiwis and SLC is the first between the two national Boards.  NZC said in a statement yesterday that the agreements "allow umpires to experience a new cricketing environment and conditions, along with and the challenges associated with unfamiliar venues and different players", and that it also helps develop stronger umpiring ties between countries.






Naomie O’Loughlin a coach and umpire with the South Launceston Cricket Club and Wolfgang Woerner an umpire with the Northern Territory Cricket Umpires Association, are among nine people from around the country selected by Cricket Australia (CA) for a 2011 'Volunteer of the Year' award.  O’Loughlin, Woerner and the other seven selected from "numerous" nominations received by CA, were flown to Melbourne to attend last week's Allan Border Medal dinner.


CA said in a statement issued yesterday that "Volunteers are the lifeblood of cricket and the tremendous contribution they make to our great game has played an important role in ensuring that cricket remains a strong part of the fabric of our nation’s culture".  "Each volunteer was rewarded for their outstanding contribution to Australian cricket not just in the past 12 month but for their ongoing dedication to cricket over years’ of service".


The national body says that it "is committed to recognising the significant impact volunteers have on the well-being of cricket and aims to inspire the next generation of players and fans".






The Board of the International Cricket Council (ICC) has "expressed disappointment" at the decision by "a minor Pakistan television channel" to employ the suspended Pakistani player Salman Butt as a commentator during the forthcoming World Cup.  


Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's Chief Executive, said in a statement issued yesterday that: “We are not satisfied with this appointment and we have written to [disciplinary] Tribunal chairman Michael Beloff  QC to enquire whether this could be viewed as a breach against the terms of his suspended sentence".  


At its meeting earlier this week the Board confirmed it would not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the minimum five-year sanctions imposed against Butt and his team mates Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif by the Independent Tribunal last week for spot fixing (E-News 726-3574, 14 February 2011).

Saturday, 19 February 2011





Weather forecasts this morning indicate that rain is likely to impact on turf-based matches played across the State today as a vigorous low pressure system moves right across the island from the north-west during the day.  Bureau of Meteorology outlooks and computer-derived projections suggest that 15-25 mm of rain could fall across the general Hobart region from around the time play is due to commence this morning until sometime this evening.


Radar images at 6 a.m. showed a large area of rain approaching Hobart from the north-west, observing stations in that region registering between five and twenty-five millimetres in the hours since midnight.  Information available suggests 50-100 mm of rain is possible in the Burnie area during the day, "flash floods" being possible, and 25-50 mm in the region around Launceston.  Strong winds are already being experienced in the north-west of the State and are expected in Hobart during the day. 


Those involved in managing matches at grounds where internet access is available will be able to keep up-to-date with the weather situation during the day by going to the 'Weather Outlook' page of the TCUSA web site at:|24244z





Former Tasmanian player Danny Buckingham has joined umpiring ranks in the north-west of the State.  Buckingham, 46, played his last game for Tasmania in 1994 and retired from the game two years ago, and if the weather allows it (E-News 729-3585 above), he will make his debut in Cricket North West's (CNW) First grade competition later today at Devonport Oval when the home side takes on Latrobe in the penultimate home-and-away round of CNW's 2010-11 season.


Buckingham played a total of 83 first class and 23 domestic one-day games for Tasmania over the eleven seasons from 1983-94 as a batsman, leg break and googly bowler, and often in one-day matches as the wicketkeeper.  Seventy-five of his first class games were in the Sheffield Shield competition, the other eight being matches against touring sides from England, New Zealand and West Indies on two occasions each, as well as Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  


During his career he played against such luminaries as Alan Border, Greg and Ian Chappell, Mike Gatting, Michael Holding, David Hookes, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Imran Khan, while his Tasmanian team mates included the likes of Holding, now Marylebone Cricket Club Secretary and Chief Executive Keith Bradshaw, David Boon, Ricky Ponting, Jamie Cox, Troy Cooley, current International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire panel member Rod Tucker, and David Millns, who is now on the England and Wales Cricket Board's top umpiring list (E-News 701-3438, 15 December 2010).


Burnie-born Buckingham, started his playing career with the then Yeoman Cricket Club in the late 1970s and then with Burnie Yeoman after those clubs amalgamated in 1989.  He was first selected for Tasmania's Under-19 side in 1981-82, and after taking part in the 1983-84 national Under-19 tournament played for the Australian youth side in three Tests and three One Day Internationals against their touring Sri Lankan counterparts.  Those he played with in those internationals included young men by the name of Mark Taylor, Craig McDermott and Steve and Mark Waugh, while the Sri Lankan side had Roshan Mahanama who later went on to play Test cricket and is now an ICC match referee.


After leaving Burnie Yeoman, Buckingham moved on to brief stints with Devonport and then East Devonport, then over to Victoria where he coached and played with Hastings in the Mornington Peninsula competition for six years.  Returning to Tasmania he coached Burnie Yeoman for a year, playing "a couple of games" in the Firsts, before hanging up his boots late last decade.  


Talking to E-News yesterday he said that he'd "always thought about umpiring", and did so again this season whilst watching his son play.  Earlier this month he discussed the possibility of umpiring in 2011-12 with CNW's Umpire Advisor David Hudson, but his response was to ask "what are you doing next Saturday?"  After several training sessions he stood in his first game last weekend, a CNW Second grade match at West Park in Burnie, his colleague being long-serving north-west umpire 'China' McAll.  In today's game between Devonport and Latrobe, Hudson will be his partner, while if the weather allows it Sunday will see him stand in CNW's Under-15 Grand Final.


"I was lucky enough to play against and with some very good players and great people during my playing career", says Buckingham, and "I look forward to again being involved in the sport at close quarters as an umpire".  "At my age I don't anticipate going beyond club cricket", however, if "I can do a good job and contribute something positive to the game as an umpire I will be happy", he says.  





Ryan Austin of Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), and Kirk Edwards of Barbados, have both been fined after showing "dissent" and "serious dissent" respectively in response to umpiring decisions made during the opening round of matches in the West Indies Cricket Board's 2011 regional first-class competition.  Austin's censure came during his side's game against the Windward Islands in Bridgetown, and Edward in the match with Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) at Pointe-a-Pierre.


Austin, the CCC's off-spin bowler lost half of his match fee and Edwards three-quarters, amounts that are thought to be around  $A650 and $A975 respectively.  Austin pleaded guilty to what was a level 1 charge while Edwards pleaded not guilty to a level 2 one "by action or verbal abuse", but after a hearing match referee Hayden Bruce found him guilty.  Edwards’ teammate Tino Best also appeared before Bruce to answer a level 2 charge in the same match.  He pleaded not guilty at the hearing and was subsequently cleared.


Tuesday, 22 February 2011







Adelaide-based Simon Fry of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) has been selected to join the Australian Sports Commission's (ASC) National Officiating Scholarship Program (NOSP) for 2011.  Fry's selection comes at the end of a remarkable year that has seen him stand in his first Sheffield Shield final, move into international umpiring ranks and selected by Cricket Australia (CA) for exchange visits to both New Zealand and South Africa (E-News 719-3520, 22 January 2011).


The aim of the ASC's program, which provides those selected with significant financial support thought to be similar to CA's Project Panel for former first class players chosen to take up umpiring, is to assist sports officials to fast-track their professional development by helping them progress through recognised pathways to the highest levels of their chosen sport in national and international competitions. Fry, an 'emerging' international umpire, is the fifth cricket official selected for the ASC's program over its nine years to date, a time during which over 130 officials from close to a dozen sports have received scholarships.


Fry, 44, made his first class debut in January 2002 and is nearing the end of his sixth year on the NUP.  He 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), made his One Day International debut in Adelaide last month when Australia played England in the fourth match of the summer's series (E-News 703-3444, 19 December 2010), and by the end of this season he will have stood in close to 50 first class matches.


CA's Umpire Manager Sea Cary told E-News yesterday that Tasmanian State Umpires Panel member Sam Nogajski was, like Fry, recommended to the ASC for a scholarship as an emerging umpire on the national scene.  "Unfortunately", because of the "high number and extremely high calibre of applicants" the ASC received from across the nation in many sports, "Sam was not awarded a scholarship" for 2011, says Cary.  


Nogajski is part of an emerging group of four umpires that CA has been closely watching over the last year as potential future NUP members (E-News 693-3398, 5 November 2010).  The same 'emerging-international' pairing applied when former Tasmanian umpire Steven John and Fry's NUP and international colleague Paul Reiffel were each granted scholarships two years ago (E-News 369-1963, 9 February 2009). 


Mick Martell of Western Australia, who in 2008 was the first cricket recipient of a NOSP award (E-News 200-1098, 22 February 2008), went on to be named a NUP member by CA a few months later (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008).  However, while Nogajski's nomination for the scholarship suggests he is rated well by the national body, the experience of John and last year's recipient NUP member Ian Lock of Western Australia, shows that elevation to higher levels after receiving a scholarship is by no means a certainty.    


John's appointment and selection for the scholarship in 2009 and umpiring appointments he received over the 2009-10 season, suggested he was seen as a potential NUP member at that time.  Despite that Victorian Ash Barrow was eventually selected for the NUP ahead of him (E-News 617-3093, 5 June 2010), and the Tasmanian left the umpiring scene soon after saying he could no longer afford the time needed to ensure he performed well at higher levels, nor the financial sacrifices that are involved (E-News 639-3183, 26 July 2010).


Similarly Lock, who was 51 at the time, became the fourth cricket official awarded a NOSP grant twelve months ago, telling the ASC then that "I don’t have a huge number of years to break through into international umpiring".  Just four months after Lock started his scholarship program Fry, at CA's nomination, leap-frogged him on to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 618-3097, 8 June 2010). 


At 32, Nogajski is one of the younger members of CA's emerging group, the other current NUP contenders being Nathan Johnston of Western Australia, 30, and Damien Mealey (Queensland) and Michael Kumutat (NSW) who are both 42.  Whether CA plans to make changes to NUP membership for 2011-12 and promote one of that quartet on to it later this year remains to be seen. 


To kick off their scholarship year Fry and other 2011 recipients, plus their nominated mentors, are expected to attend a three-day ASC professional development workshop in Queensland sometime next month, and will then go on to take part in individually tailored programs as well as a range of other ASC-organised meetings over the next year.  March is therefore shaping up as a particularly busy one for Fry, with several Sheffield Shield games, including another final, and two first class matches in South Africa, on his agenda.






With the first day of all the two-day games in Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Premier League First and Second Grade games abandoned due to wet conditions last Saturday (E-News 729-3585, 19 February 2011), the eight matches involved will now be played under CT's one-day playing conditions this coming Saturday.  


However, that change does not apply to Sunday's matches in the Third, Under-17 and Under-15 competitions, for at least one game in each was able to get underway despite on-going showery conditions and wet grounds.  Depending on just how much time was lost in each match last Sunday, some of the Thirds and Under-17 matches could start as early at 10.30 a.m. this week and have until 6.30 p.m. to complete the game.






Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair says that he "cannot help wondering how much of a confidence dent will be left on some [International Cricket Council] umpires when they begin to continually have decisions overturned" under the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).  Writing in the February edition of 'Black and White', the newsletter of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA), Hair says that the ICC should "back the umpires and ditch the decision review system [as its] just not worth it", a point he made publicly last month (E-News 711-3482, 8 January 2011). 


In his piece, Hair says that "we have already seen [English umpire] Mark Benson, one of the best decision makers, leave the game due to stress encountered when a couple of his decisions, made in good faith and to the best of his ability, were overturned on rather flimsy evidence" (E-News 530-2712, 8 December 2009).  


ICC Umpires’ and Referees’ Manager Vince van der Bijl said in a statement that Benson's decision to depart the international scene a year ago, three months before his ICC contract ended, to join the England and Wales Cricket Board's country umpiring ranks, "was brought on by a desire to spend more time in England with his family and some concerns about health issues" (E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010).  Benson subsequently stood in domestic cricket in England throughout the northern summer of 2010.  


Hair goes on to say in his article that during the recent Ashes series "we even saw the farcical situation of umpires ['Billy'] Bowden [of New Zealand] and [Aleem] Dar [of Pakistan]", an umpiring pair Hair describes as "generally acknowledged as two of the best in the game", as "doubting their ability to correctly call a no ball".


The NSWCUSA's Executive Officer was referring to what he called the "deflating scenes" that arose "when a bowler was ecstatic about taking a wicket (in [Australian] Michael Beer’s case what would have been his first Test Match wicket) and [Dar] decided to check with the third umpire to find out if a 'no ball' had been delivered".   "If the game is going to sap the confidence of umpires to that extent, where they cannot trust their own calls to be made on basic bread and butter decisions then the system has failed them", says Hair.


Hair says that he can recall that when he was acting as third umpire in the ICC World X1 Test match against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in October 2005, when Australian bowler Glen McGrath trapped West Indian Brian Lara LBW with "a superb delivery". On trial at the time was the option for the on field umpires to check to ensure the decision they were about to make was correct. The replay showed that Lara was in fact "plumb in front of middle stump" and umpire Simon Taufel gave him out after Hair confirmed that everything was in order. 


Hair says he asked Taufel later that, had it been a “normal” match, would he have given Lara out on the spot and he said "yes".  Lara is said to have "admitted he knew he was gone" and McGrath "complained that he had just dismissed the then best batsman in the world and he had to wait two minutes for the decision to be ratified, saying it took away the spontaneity and euphoria of the moment".  Hair says he agrees with that sentiment and that the "ICC should be working with their umpires to give them the skills and confidence to make the correct decisions on the majority of occasions".  


"One hundred per cent correct umpiring decisions will never be guaranteed even with the assistance of the technology available today", he says, and "a review system by its very nature will uncover mistakes but management of why these mistakes occur in the first place should be the priority", he says.  "It is wrong to think of the cure as being purely technological when the cause of them is not being worked on first".


"To have players second guessing the umpires call, and then umpires second guessing themselves cannot be good for the game", and Hair concludes by saying that "we often see [16 year old] players in the slips cordon [in junior cricket matches played in the Sydney Cricket Association] make the “T’ sign when an appeal is turned down", and therefore the "ICC should stop the rot and decay that will eat away at the core of the spirit of cricket – respect for the role of the umpires and the games traditional values". 






An umpire in Victoria has been stood down over allegations that he "doctored" on-line match reports to boost his ratings from captains and down-grade those of other officials, claims a report in yesterday's 'Dandenong Leader' newspaper.  The 'Leader' says that it understands the individual concerned has denied the claims, instead alleging someone had hijacked his password to access the computer system and alter the ratings.


The Dandenong and District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) executive panel planned to discuss the issue with the umpire at an executive committee meeting last night, and DDCA secretary Ray Nicholls told the newspaper that as the "matter is currently subject to further investigation, no comment will be made until such time as the investigation is completed".  Umpires’ association president Scott Olufson "neither confirmed nor denied the allegations" made against the umpire, who is said to be a "former umpire's secretary and chairman of selectors".  


The DDCA is said to have launched an investigation into the matter after alleged discrepancies in captains' ratings were discovered.  Umpires who rate well are awarded "coveted finals fixtures", says the 'Leader' story.






Four wickets fell in a club match in Napier, New Zealand, on Saturday in a period when just two legal deliveries were bowled, the last of the dismissals being 'timed' out', says a report in yesterday's 'New Zealand Herald' newspaper.  The last batsman was unable to get to the crease within the three minutes laid down by the Laws of Cricket after the third of the flurry of wickets fell in quick succession, says the article. 


Napier Technical Old Boys' number seven batsman was stumped off an "unplayable wide", its number eight was bowled, while number nine hit a catch back to the bowler.  However, number ten batsman Craig Herrick was scoring in the pavilion and had to quickly hand over the book after the second wicket fell and head for the changing room downstairs to pad up, says the 'Herald' story.


Fielding captain Indika Senarathne, who was also the bowler involved, is said to have "kept his eye on his watch and appealed [under Law 31] when three minutes had passed as Herrick grappled with his box, pads, thigh pad, helmet, gloves and bat".  "It takes some time to pad up after a hat-trick but the umpires didn't agree", states the report, however, umpires Del Whyte, who was at the crease, and Paul Anderson at square leg, are said to have stated after the match that they didn't want to give the batsman out.


Herrick was said to have been "gutted" because "no one usually has four batsmen padded up", says the 'Herald' story, but the coach of the fielding side, former Kiwi international Brendon Bracewell, was quoted as saying that it took Herrick almost five minutes to get out on to the ground.  "The umpires had no choice but to give him out claiming the wicket wasn't going to affect the outcome of the game", runs the quote attributed to Bracewell.  


The current edition of 'Tom Smith' says that Law 31 is designed "to prevent the batting side from gaining any advantage by wasting time when a batsman is dismissed".






Day one of a two-day local match played in New Zealand on Saturday finished in an "unusual" way when a batsman was given out 'caught' off a close-in fielder's helmet on the final ball of the day, says a story in yesterday's 'Taranaki Daily News'.  It is not clear if official or player umpires were involved but the newspaper says that "no-one was sure" whether the Inglewood side finished the day at 1/44 or 2/44 as they chased opponents Hawera United's first innings of 283. 


The 'Daily News' says that Taranaki umpire Bob Pitcairn cleared up the issue when contacted on Sunday, saying that  if a fieldsman catches the ball after it has touched an umpire, another fieldsman or the other batsman the striker is 'out', however, a striker may not be caught if a ball has touched a protective helmet worn by a fieldsman [Law 32.3(e)].  The Inglewood batsman will therefore resume his innings this coming Saturday with his side on 1/44.






Four betting syndicates have been broken and nine arrests made in "a crackdown" on illegal gambling on the World Cup, say New Delhi police.  The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported on the weekend that police raided a hotel in central Delhi and that in addition to the arrests they seized laptops, mobile phones and televisions.  Betting on any sport except horse racing is illegal in India, says the PTI report.


Wednesday, 23 February 2011





National Umpire Panel (NUP) members Paul Reiffel from Queensland and Simon Fry of South Australia are to stand in the final of Cricket Australia's (CA) domestic one-day competition on Sunday.  Another NUP member, John Ward of Victoria, has been named as the third umpire and Peter Marshall of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel the match referee.  


Sunday's match will be Rieffel's sixty-first as a match official in List A matches and fifth domestic one-day final in as many years for he was on the field for the decider in 2010 and 2009, and in the third umpire's chair in both 2007 and 2008 (E-News 576-2913, 25 February 2010).   Fry, in a month that has seen him awarded a national umpiring scholarship (E-News 730-3588, 22 February 2011), will be on the field for his first interstate one-day final, however, he was the third umpire in last year's match when Reiffel and Bruce Oxenford, who is currently standing in the World Cup, were on the field.


Ward's selection comes a few weeks after he stood in both the final of CA's domestic Twenty20 series in Adelaide (E-News 722-3537, 1 February 2011), and the Womens National Cricket League one-day final in Sydney (E-News 725-3567, 8 February 2011).  Reiffel and Fry look certain to be the on-field umpires in next month's Sheffield Shield final and Ward's selections could mean he will be in the third umpire's suite for the final first class game of the current Australian summer.


The venue and sides who will contest this Sunday's one-day final will not be known until the last game of the home-and-away series between Victoria and New South Wales concludes in Melbourne today.  Either of those sides could host the final, but a Victorian win today is likely to see Tasmania as their opponents.  






A decision as to whether an umpire in Victoria "doctored" on-line match reports to boost his ratings from captains has been delayed until the Dandenong and District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) executive group meets again next Monday night (E-News 730-3591, 22 February 2011).   The matter is said to have been discussed at a DDCA meeting last Monday, but its secretary Ray Nicholls told the 'Cranbourne Leader' yesterday that the matter is "complicated", "still under investigation" and that his Association would not be rushed into making a decision.  The umpire concerned is reported to have alleged at the hearing on Monday that someone had hijacked his online password to access the computer system. 






Leg Before Wicket (LBW) decisions have featured in ten of the thirteen Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) referrals that have been called for in the opening five games of this year's World Cup, the other three involved caught behind appeals.  Of those thirteen, nine have seen the on-field umpire's decision confirmed by the third umpire while four, all of them LBW, have seen the original decision overturned.


Indian umpire Shavir Tarapore had five of his decisions referred in the match between Sri Lanka and Canada, two each from both sides when they were fielding, and the other by Canada when they were batting.  Four of those five decisions referred, two for caught behind and two for LBW, saw third umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand support Tarapore's decision, but the fifth for LBW was overturned.


Australian Rod Tucker had two LBW decisions he made supported by the third umpire when Kenya played New Zealand.  On the other hand two LBW decisions by Asoka de Silva were reversed by television official Amish Saheba of India in Australia's match against Zimbabwe, de Silva's on-field colleague in that game, Richard Kettleborough of England, also having one of his LBW assessments queried and overturned.  


The first referral of the World Cup occurred on the fourth ball of Bangladesh's innings against India in the opening match.  The latter side asking that Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena refer his 'not out' call to a shout for LBW to third umpire Billy Doctrove of the West Indies.  However, after review the original decision stood and the Indian side did not refer any further decisions during that match.


Overnight Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf's decisions on appeals for an LBW and caught made by England in its match against The Netherlands were confirmed as correct by third umpire Dharmasena. 






A side that had five wickets left in its second innings at the end of the first day of a two-day game in Taree, New South Wales last Saturday, declared that innings closed early and lost the match outright by over 60 runs.  Yesterday's 'Manning River Times' says that the side's captain made the declaration rather than have to travel the 20 km from home to Taree West next Saturday for what he apparently anticipated would be a short second day of the game.


Hallidays Point were dismissed for 76 in their first innings and Taree West later declared their innings closed at 5/157 with just an hour left in the day's play.  Returning to the crease the Point side were quickly in trouble and were 5/20 at stumps on day one, still needing 61 runs to make the Taree side bat again.  The 'Times' says that in order to save travelling up to Taree next Saturday, Hallidays Point skipper Mark Taylor, "with the authorisation of umpire Steve Ward", decided to declare and give Taree West the outright win.  

Just when Ward was asked the question is not clear in the newspaper's report.

Friday, 25 February 2011





Australia captain Ricky Ponting has been reprimanded for damaging a television set in the dressing room after being dismissed against Zimbabwe in a World Cup match on Monday.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) acted after receiving a report from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and Ponting later accepted the charge, although he said yesterday he was ''a little bit'' bemused at how his accidental damaging of the set had become such a significant issue in the Indian media, and then the subject of an ICC investigation. 


ICC match referee Roshan Mahanama said: "Ricky knows that his action was in breach of the code [of behaviour], involving a brief moment of frustration".  "That said, it was clear that the damage he caused was purely accidental and without malice, he apologised shortly after the incident at the ground and immediately agreed to pay for the damage".  The Tasmanian was 'run out' at the non-striker's end by a direct throw as he attempted a second run and on his way back to the pavilion he appeared to talk angrily to himself.  Ponting says that when he arrived in the dressing room he sat near the television and took off his pads and gloves, but then stood up and threw his 'box' which bounced off his bag and hit the TV.


Last December, Ponting was fined 40 per cent of his match fee after being found guilty of “arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision” during a Test match against England at the Melbourne Cricket ground (E-News 709-3474, 28 December 2010).  






Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar says that "blurring" of the popping crease by wear and tear is behind the recent tendency for on-field umpires to check with the third umpire whether a 'no ball' has been bowled or not.  Dar and his New Zealand colleague 'Billy' Bowden took such an approach in the recent Ashes series, as have others, but former international umpire Darrell Hair recently focused on the technique when calling for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to "ditch" the Umpire Decision Review System (E-News 730-3590, 22 February 2011).   


Dar told the 'The Times of India' (TOI) yesterday that he suggested such referrals at an ICC workshop "a few years back".  He says that "there are many bowlers, especially pacers like Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Ishant Sharma, who land their front foot on the popping crease all right, but tend to drag it– often as many as 2-3 inches – across the line".  


"As the chalk-mark [crease] gets blurred after the very first ball is delivered", he continued, something all umpires have experienced, it is "hard to watch a bowler's front foot till the very last and refocus on how and where he lands the ball on the pitch [and] this results in a lot of errors".  "The ICC saw merit in my suggestion and has given the umpires the freedom to cross-check with the TV umpire if they had any doubt about where the bowler's front foot had landed". 


In other comments to the TOI reporter, the twice winner of the ICC's 'Umpire of the Year' award says that he is "quite happy to see cricket embrace more and more technology, provided it has been tried and tested" and that it doesn't undermine the role of on-field umpires.  "It is however, important that the technology is applied uniformly and consistently across all matches and in all three formats of the game", he continued, for "it is important to arrive at the correct decision, if not all the time, but on most occasions". 


With cricket taking newer shapes, Dar says that the main challenges for umpires comes from innovation in the game.  "With batsmen and bowlers being forced to innovate, umpires too have to make adjustments to be on the ball".  He gives as an example a batsman who "reverse sweeps or indulges in a switch hit" as times when "umpires must be able to quickly refocus to determine whether the ball had hit the pad in line, keeping in mind the changed 'stance' of the batsman". 


Asked if excessive appealing by players bothers him, Dar said that he is of the view that "bowlers have a right to appeal and I respect that [although] of course, there are times when some bowlers overdo it".  In such cases "it often pays to have a quiet word with them but if they still persist the match referee usually gets into the picture". 


A good umpire is someone who makes fewer mistakes, says the Pakistani, for "even if he has made a bad decision in a game, a good umpire will quickly shut it out and carry on so that he doesn't make another one and lose control of the proceedings".


Dar, who had stood in the 2007 World Cup final in the Caribbean with Steve Bucknor and was, with other members, later suspended by the ICC for misinterpreting the playing conditions (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007), although he did suggest the problems that were experienced were off the field of play (E-News 37-202, 8 May 2007).  The TOI article says that Dar "has clearly put that embarrassment behind him and is looking forward to standing in the final for the second-time running", although that would be precluded as a matter of ICC policy should the Pakistan side make the final.






The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) says that it does not plan to add anything specific to the Laws of cricket about whether or not a runner should be allowed if a batsman suffers cramp while at the crease, but that it is happy with a recent directive issued by the International Cricket Committee (ICC) that umpires in its games should allow a runner for a batsman suffering from cramp.  


The ICC was acting on medical advice that cramp should be treated as an injury or illness.  The MCC says that Law 2.1 gives the umpires sole discretion on whether or not to allow a runner and that the captain of the fielding side has no say, and that it is "content [for the ICC's] interpretation to be adopted [by officials] at any level of the game".

End of February 2011 news file