(Story numbers 3602-3681)


733  734  735  736  737  738  739  740  741  742  743  744  745  746  747  748  749  750


733 – 1 March [3602-3606]

• 2.5 metre rule saves batsman in review  (733-3602).

• Stump strike attracts reprimand  (733-3603).

• Hearing into umpire Association's expulsion scheduled  (733-3604).

• Ball 'dead', but batsman given out  (733-3605).

• Two banned players lodge appeals  (733-3606).


734 – 3 March [3607-3608]

• ICC, BCCI continue was of words on UDRS  (734-3607).

• Third player lodges appeal with international court  (734-3608).


735 – 5 March [3609-3613]

• Umpire sacked for altering 'MyCricket' data  (735-3609).

• Fielder count gets to twelve before 'play' called  (735-3610).

• UDRS 'unethical' and an 'insult' to umpires, says Dev  (735-3611).

• Review system has not enhanced the game, says former Test umpire  (735-3612).

• Player shot dead after match abandoned  (735-3613).


736 – 7 March [3614-3616]

• ICC dismisses Hair's view of Muralitharan's action  (736-3614).

• BCCI-ICC rift over UDRS just 'a difference of opinion'   (736-3615).

• Pakistan skipper wants more UDRS referrals   (736-3616).


737 – 9 March [3617-3620]

• ICC modifies umpiring guidelines for '2.5 m rule'   (737-3617).

• Reprimand handed down for Bellerive verbals  (737-3618).

• All Blacks, actors for umpiring duties  (737-3619).

• Electronics giant takes over 'Hawk Eye'  (737-3620).


738 – 10 March [3621-3625]

• LBW decisions continue to dominate WC referrals  (738-3621).

• Davis reaches ODI 'ton'  (738-3622).

• Skipper criticises 'chopping and changing' of '2.5 m rule'  (738-3623).

• Harper to move to third on all-time ODI list (738-3624).

• Boundary 'pit stop' attracts two-match ban  (738-3625).


739 – 12 March [3626-3631]

• TCUSA members line up for STCL finals  (739-3626).

• No surprises in Shield final appointments  (739-3627).

• Christchurch newspaper moves to umpire HQ  (739-3628).

• Second Grade final for newest Project Panel member  (739-3629).

• 'Pit stop' ban rescinded on appeal  (739-3630).

• Indiscipline costs two players their pay in the Caribbean  (739-3631).


740 – 15 March [3632-3635]

• Batsmen absent - 'Arrested'   (740-3632).

• Skipper reprimanded for criticising umpire's decision  (740-3633).

• Concerns about dew leads to fine  (740-3634).

• Bowler reprimanded for beamers   (740-3635).


741 – 16 March [3636-3639]

• Second national 'Umpire Award' for Oxenford  (741-3636).

• 'Spirit' awards to WA-NSW  (741-3637).

• Major changes made to Windies IUP membership  (741-3638).

• Craig moves on to CVPL Second Grade semi final  (741-3639).


742  - 17 March [3640-3643]

• Scoring pair set for second Sheffield Shield final  (742-3640).

• Umpires for CT Grade semi finals named  (742-3641).   

• ICC moves umpire from key WC games  (742-3642).   

• Orders being taken for new 'Tom Smith' edition  (742-3643).


743 – 19 March [3644-3649]

• CA lauds Aussie WC umpires, development pathways  (743-3644).

• Pink balls with white seams for day-night County season opener  (743-3645).

• Lahore attack 'security lapse' follow-up grinds on  (743-3646).

• Bat throw, on-field contact, leads to suspensions  (743-3647).

• Banned players to face criminal court  (743-3648).

• Video 'anger' leads to sack (743-3649).


744 – 21 March [3650-3654]

• Four CT Premier League Grand finals for Lindisfarne  (744-3650).

• BCCI umpire stood down after TV 'sting'  (744-3651).

• Aussies skipper talks of his philosophy on 'walking'  (744-3652).

• Intra-national exchange underway in NZ  (744-3653).

• Umpires, scorers flown in for Costa Rica tournament  (744-3654).


745 – 22 March [3655-3657]

• Rain near-term outlook, but CT Grand Final weather better  (745-3655).

• Three Aussies assigned to WC semi final spots  (745-3656).

• First year Grand Final for Project Panel member  (745-3657).


746 – 24 March [3658-3664]

• Nogajski, Graham-Smith for First Grade Grand Final  (746-3658).

• Top GF pair named in CT Premier League 'Team of the Year'  (746-3659).

• CT Chairman's 'Merit Award' to Gillard   (746-3660).

• Kingborough wins 2010-11 'Spirit of Cricket' award  (746-3661).

• Divin clear winner of Emerson Rodwell medal  (746-3662).

• Lindisfarne curator wins best ground award  (746-3663).

• Players reported for dissent, language, during Shield final  (746-3664).


747 – 25 March [3665-3671]

• Despite drenching, First Grade Grand Final set for on-time start  (747-3665).

• Pakistan tops WC Group stage referral requests  (747-3666).

• National U19 tournament umpire appointed to SCA finals spot  (747-3667).

• Umpire exchange visits underway in Bangladesh  (747-3668).

• Eight officials named for WCL2 tournament in UAE  (747-3669).

• ICC calls for 'retraction' of corruption claims  (747-3670).

• Where the money is  (747-3671).


748 – 28 March [3670-3677]

• Two Aussies on-field for WC semi finals  (748-3672).

• Lindisfarne wins two out of four CT Premierships  (748-3673).

• Trio fined for centre wicket fracas  (748-3674).

• WC LBW related referrals pass 150 mark  (748-3675).

• Newspaper retracts spot-fixing claims  (748-3676).

• ICC chief confident of the future of the 50-over game  (748-3677).


749 – 30 March [3678-3680]

• Long-serving Association member calls 'time'  (749-3678).

• TCUSA visitor Matibiri joins IUP ranks  (749-3679).

• Former first class players in the majority in 2011 IUP  (749-3680).


750 – 31 March [3681]

• Dar, Taufel named for WC final  (750-3681).




Tuesday, 1 March 2011






England batsman Ian Bell's apparent let-off in a World Cup match against India on Sunday when he was reprieved after India referred a request for LBW, has brought to the fore a little-known part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) rules for operation of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).  All the normal criteria for an LBW dismissal were met in replays, except for a requirement that a batsman struck more than 2.5 metres down the pitch is to be ruled 'not out'.


Bell went down on one foot to reverse sweep but missed the ball which rapped his front pad.  After the on-field umpire, 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, turned down the appeal, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni asked for a review.  To the naked eye, the slow motion replay suggested the situation met with the normal criteria for an LBW dismissal: not a no ball, hitting in line of the stumps and striking the wicket.  As a result Bell, who was on 17 at the time, started walking off after seeing the replays on the big screen at the stadium.


However, ICC rules on LBW reviews say that if the batsman is struck more than 2.5 metres down the pitch, he is to be ruled 'not out' regardless of the projected trajectory of the ball.  That rule is in place because it is from that distance onwards that the precision of the ball tracking technology begins to reduce, say reports.  That last piece of information was conveyed to Bowden by third umpire Rod Tucker of Australia, therefore the Kiwi's original 'not out' decision stood, and Bell was called back to the crease.  


England's captain Andrew Strauss admitted after the match that he was confused with the rule book and conceded that Bell was very fortunate to have stayed.  "Apparently if you are that far down the pitch, it needs to be hitting middle stump to be given out. I didn't know that was part of the rules and obviously Bell was lucky to get away with it", he said.  England were 2/163 at the time and Bell went on to score 69 in a game that ended in a last-ball tie.


Dhoni is said by media reports to be what Cricinfo says was "far from amused, finding it difficult to accept that both technology and human intervention played a part in coming to the decision which allowed Bell to survive and make another 52 runs".  In a post-match press conference Dhoni recalled a dismissal of his own when he had stepped outside his crease and was given LBW after he was hit on the shin. "UDRS was not there...If I can be given out, why not other batsmen? So whether it is 2.5 m or 2.4 or 2.6, it is pretty difficult for me".


Meanwhile, speaking several days before Bell's dismissal, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat described the "bold decision" to use the UDRS in the World Cup "a good one".  He said though that use of the system in One Day Internationals after the current tournament ends will only be made after a review that is to be conducted at the annual meeting of the ICC's cricket committee meeting in May.  "That expert committee will consider all of the feedback and will decide on the way forward in so far as one-day cricket is concerned", said Lorgat.


So far, LBW decisions have dominated referrals called for by batting and bowling sides in the World Cup (E-News 731-3597, 23 February 2011).





England player Tim Bresnan has been officially reprimanded for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (CoC) during his side’s tied match against India in Bengaluru on Sunday.  Bresnan, who after being clean bowled hit the stumps with his bat before departing, later pleaded guilty to “abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings”, a Level 1 offence.


Match referee Roshan Mahanama said in a statement that in reaching his decision he "took into account that Bresnan admitted his mistake, apologised for his action and that it was his first offence".  “Further, it was encouraging to note that Bresnan on his own initiative met the umpires concerned and reiterated that his action was unintentional", however, continued Mahanama, "there is no room for this type of action in our great sport and cricketers are always expected to play the game in the true spirit of cricket".


The charge against Bresnan was laid by on-field umpires 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Marais Erasmus of South Africa, together with third umpire Rod Tucker of Australia and fourth umpire Aleem Dar from Pakistan.


Mahanama also fined the entire England side for maintaining a slow over-rate in the same match.  Andrew Strauss’s side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of the Indian innings when time allowances were taken into consideration.  In accordance with the section of the ICC'S CoC that governs minor over-rate offences, the players were fined ten per cent of their match fees and Strauss double that amount.


Down in Colombo the day before, the Pakistan team was fined in a similar manner after Shahid Afridi’s side was ruled to be one over short of its target at the end of its match against Sri Lanka.  As a result all of its team members except Afridi were fined ten per cent of their match fee, the skipper loosing double that amount.






A hearing into the expulsion of the Newcastle District Cricket Umpires Association (NDCUA) from the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) is to be conducted by the NSW Cricket Association's Appeals Board on Thursday week.  The NDCUA was expelled because of what media reports late last year claimed were allegations of collusion in the election of its 2010-11 office bearers last August (E-News 706-3462, 22 December 2010). 


A 'Newcastle Herald' story said in December that NSWCUSA executive officer and former Test umpire Darrell Hair was a scrutineer at the election and is said to have raised doubts over the legitimacy of the ballot, and that "in the months since" the two organisations have apparently failed to find a mutally-agreed resolution over the matter.  NDCUA president Joe Thomson said then the 28 members who voted on the night were not involved in any collusion and that the election had been conducted fairly.  Just how accurate the Herald's story is is not known at this stage.  


Expulsion of the NDCUA is said to mean that Newcastle umpires are banned from officiating for organisations affiliated with the NSWCUSA, including for example representative fixtures at NSW Country carnivals or Country Cup matches.  Original media reports suggested that a hearing into the matter by the Appeals Board would be heard after the last Ashes Test of the summer at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the first week of January. 






An umpire standing in a Hastings River District Cricket Association match in New South Wales on Saturday gave a batsman out 'handled the ball', but if a report in the 'Port Macquarie News' yesterday is accurate it would appear that the unnamed official got it wrong.  


In a story headlined 'Umpires Handle Tough Decision', Wauchope RSL batsman Nic Cutler is said to have played at a ball which "lodged itself in his pads" after which the batsman "picked the pill up and tossed it back to the bowler".  A fielder from the Camden Haven side then appealed, says the 'News' story, "forcing the umpire to dismiss the opener 'handled ball' – a rarity in the game these days". 


Unfortunately for Cutler and the umpire, Law 23.1(v) states that a ball becomes 'dead' when "whether played at or not it lodges in the clothing or equipment of a batsman or the clothing of an umpire".    






Pakistani players Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir have filed appeals against their bans from the game with the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Last month Butt and Amir, along with team mate Mohammad Asif, were found guilty of orchestrating three pre-planned, deliberate 'no-balls' during a Test match against England at Lord's in August, and were given bans ranging from 5 to 10 years (E-News 726-3574, 14 February 2011).  


So far, Asif has not said whether he will file an appeal, however, Butt, who is currently working as a commentator at the World Cup (E-News 728-3584, 17 February 2011), has confirmed that he also plans to appear at a London court in two weeks time for a hearing into the criminal charges he faces that surround the same incident. 



Thursday, 3 March 2011






Indian cricket officials have written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to complain about the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) being used in the World Cup (WC).  The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has labelled the system "inadequate" and says it resents criticism of India captain Mahendra Dhoni by the ICC after he expressed concerns about the UDRS-related 2.5 m rule for referred LBW decisions on Sunday (E-News 733-3602, 1 March 2011).


David Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket, told journalists on Tuesday that Dhoni should make sure he is "aware of the rules" that apply to UDRS operation before questioning the implementation of technology during matches.  Richardson, who has long appeared to be the main driving force behind the referral system, said that "there are a set of rules [associated] with 'Hawk Eye' [ball-tracking technology] to assist in making the decision when [a] UDRS [review is underway], but most of the time players are not fully aware of all the rules".  "If Dhoni is made aware of the specifications of these rules, then I am sure that he will accept the decision that was made", claimed the senior ICC man.


Dhoni's concern centred on a review he requested against England batsman Ian Bell after New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden judged the batsman to be 'not out' after an appeal for LBW.  Television replays showed that the ball bowled by Yuvraj Singh would have hit the stumps but Bowden's original 'not out' ruling stood after the review because Bell was found to have been more than 2.5 m down the pitch when he was hit on the pads. "If the Hawkeye says it's going to hit the stumps, then there is no reason [why an appeal should be turned down]", said the Indian skipper after the match.


Media reports from the sub-continent overnight state that BCCI secretary N Srinivasan says in a letter sent to ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat yesterday that "the inadequacy of the Umpire Decision Referral System (UDRS) has been exposed in the [WC]".  "The [India-England match] was a case in point which clearly brought out the inadequacy of the system", continued Srinivasan, and "the ICC in consultation with 'Hawk Eye' formed playing conditions which specifies when the umpire can rely on [ball-tracking technology] when he cannot"; a comment that implies that no one else was consulted on the current UDRS rules.  "This itself is an admission on the question of reliability of the system including ball tracking technology", wrote the BCCI secretary.


Despite that Lorgat told Cricinfo yesterday that "the rules and protocols for [the UDRS] were designed by experts with much thought" and "the Bell example applies the 2.5 m rule which, in my view, accommodates the scepticism that some have with predictive technoolgy".  Use of the UDRS in the WC is "to simply avoid the shocking error that can happen", umpires are "happy" with it, and "they can go to sleep at night knowing that had they made that one mistake, it can be rectified".


Srinivasan continues by stating that the "BCCI takes strong objection to Mr David Richardson criticising the Indian captain M S Dhoni", and that "Mr Richardson's comment that the Indian captain should know the rule is out of place".  "The Indian captain only highlighted the inadequacy of the system and rightly so [for] it was there for the world to see", and "for an ICC representative to criticise a player for his post match press conference while the World Cup is being played is tantamount to pressurising the player".  "Mr Richardson has no right to do [that] and he should be instructed not to react in this fashion", concluded Srinivasan.


The BCCI and senior Indian players such as Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have made clear their reservations about the UDRS since the initial trial of the system in 2008 in a Test series in which India was involved (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008).  More recently some other senior players in the Indian side such as Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag have soften their view of the system and even called for its use world-wide in all three forms of the game (E-News 648-3216, 8 August 2010), something the ICC is striving for.  


Despite that the BCCI has maintained its opposition and has not permitted use of the system in any Test series, at home or abroad, the Indian side has been involved in (E-News 699-3426, 13 December 2010), and it also passed on the opportunity presented to it last year to observe UDRS operation at close quarters during the recent Ashes series in Australia (E-News 701-3436, 15 December 2010).  Instead Dhoni called on umpires to minmise their errors (E-News 693-3400, 5 November 2010), while more recently former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair has called for the UDRS to be "ditched" (E-News 730-3590, 22 February 2011).


With the ICC's cricket committee, in Lorgat's words, set "to consider all of the feedback [from UDRS use in the WC] and decide on the way forward in so far as [its use in] one-day cricket is concerned" at its annual meeting in May, the BCCI's continue strident opposition to its use suggests the ICC continues to face a major challenge.  Lorgat said in December that he was hopeful that the BCCI and its senior players could be encouraged to change its skepticism about the referral system (E-News 705-3459, 21 December 2010).






Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Asif yesterday joined his former team mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir in filing an appeal against the five-year ban from the game with the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.  Butt and Amir lodged their appeals late last week (E-News 733-3606, 1 March 2011), and the CAS said in a statement yesterday that the trio's "cases will be handled in accordance with the procedural rules set out in the code of sports-related arbitration". 


The Lausanne-based court said in a statement that "The [CAS] has registered the appeals filed by Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt against the International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption Tribunal's decision".  In terms of procedure "the parties [involved] will first exchange written submissions and [the matter] will then be heard at a hearing, the date of which will be fixed at a later stage".  "The CAS will not comment any further on these matters until a panel of arbitrators has been constituted and a procedural calendar established".


In a separate development, the players are due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London two weeks from today to face charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat. 



Saturday, 5 March 2011






An umpire in the Dandenong District Cricket Association (DDCA) in suburban Melbourne has been dismissed from Association ranks after being found guilty of inappropriately altering captains' umpire rating data on the DDCA's section of the 'MyCricket' web site (E-News 730-3591, 22 February 2011).  John Parker, 56, who umpired under the name of John Kristy, is alleged to have made the changes in order to give himself a better chance of being chosen for forthcoming finals matches, and media reports claim he could be banned from standing in all competitions across Victoria unless he manages to overturn the DDCA's decision via an appeal.


DDCA secretary Ray Nicholls told Melbourne's 'Herald-Sun' newspaper yesterday that Parker was found guilty "on the balance of probability and on the evidence" that was available.  Parker, a former umpires' secretary and chairman of selectors, had been "a respected umpire" in the Dandenong area and there were no problems with his abilities on the field, continued Nicholls.  However, his allegation that someone had hijacked his online password and accessed the computer system is something "we don't believe to be the case", said the DDCA secretary, who last week described the enquiry into the matter as "complicated' 9E-News 731-3596, 23 February 2011).  


As TCUSA umpiring members know, an individual umpire can obtain the ratings given to him by captains for the matches he  stands in via the 'MyCricket' system.  However, it is not possible to access to ratings given to other umpires unless those seeking such information hold a higher-level administrative position or can 'hack' into the system, and it is possible that Parker used passwords allocated to him when he was working as the DDCA's secretary and chairman of selectors.


The ban comes despite Parker's claims he is innocent and he plans to forward an appeal to the Victorian Metropolitan Cricket Union (VMCU).  That must be done by next Monday but VMCU administrator, Rodney Patterson, told the 'Herald Sun' that as of Thursday evening no such appeal had been lodged.  The Union's President Kevin Noy said that “if [there is no appeal] or the decision [after any appeal] is upheld, we would then recommend [to the wider cricket community that Parker] not be able to umpire" in any competition in Victoria.






The batsman and bowler were ready and English umpire Richard Kettleborough followed normal routine and counted the number of fielders on the ground before calling 'play' in the World Cup (WC) match between South Africa and The Netherlands at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Thursday, but instead of getting eleven, the number came out 'twelve'.  


Kettleborough, who is standing in his first WC, found that a television cameraman was on the square focussing on a close-up of the non-striker, and quickly told the intruder to leave the field.  An unnamed South African journalist in the media box is said to have stated that he has "been covering cricket for a long time and I have never seen anything like that", says a story in 'The Mangalorean' newspaper. 






Former Indian captain Kapil Dev believes that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) "is undermining the importance of on-field umpires", is "insulting" to them and "unethical", says a report by the Press Trust of india (PTI).  Dev also told reporters in Mumbai on Wednesday that he backed Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's complaint about the UDRS made after his side's World Cup match against England last Sunday (E-News 733-3602, 1 March 2011).  


Dev was quoted as saying that "when the third umpire system came into being, many people criticised it but eventually it helped the game". Now, however, he would "like to ask the ICC that if I [as an umpire] have given someone out and you refer it to the third umpire and the third umpire refers it back to me [as an umpire], how can I change my decision?"  "Either the third umpire should say 'not out' or he says 'out' and you [then] can't throw the decision back to the on-field umpire".  "Such a situation is an insult [to the] umpire concerned, and is in my opinion, unethical", said Dev.


Earlier this week the Board of Control for Cricket in India formally expressed its concern about UDRS "inadequacies" and defended Dhoni after he was criticised for his comments by a senior International Cricket Council (ICC) official (E-News 734-3607, 3 March 2011).  In Dev's opinion, Dhoni had the right to express his opinion and that it was up to the ICC to correct "the flaws in the [referral] system".  


When he spoke to Dhoni recently, says Dev, the current captain told him "the referral system didn't give him 100 per cent confidence", a term that has been one of a number of complaints about the UDRS that has been heard from Indian players and officials over the last two-and-a-half years (E-News 679-333, 8 October 2010).  The "ICC has to keep correcting, keep improving these things", says the former skipper, and "somehow they have to change their thought processes" on the referral system. 


Meanwhile, West Indies captain Darren Sammy described the review system this week as "a good asset to have in today's game as it minimises errors and brings out the correct decision most of the time", and that he has had "no problems with it [for] it's a good addition to the game".  His Bangladeshi counterpart Shakib Al Hasan too, felt that the UDRS is more beneficial than detrimental. "Technology helps, maybe not 100 per cent of the times [but] I still feel we should use it", and he too has "no complains" about it.


ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said late last year the he is "quite confident we are near to the ideal [with the UDRS, but] we will never have it 100% right" (E-News 701-3436, 15 December 2010).  






Former Pakistan international umpire Khizar Hayat says that the introduction of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) has "not in any way enhanced the game", "is forcing the umpires to make wrong decisions", and its as if they are "afraid of the 'Hot Spot' and 'Hawk Eye' systems".  During an interview with the 'Arab News' Hayat, who umpired in three World Cups (WC), was critical of the standards on display during the current tournament, saying that the “body language of some of the umpires is not appropriate".


Hayat is quoted as saying that the PCB "has developed a good" umpiring system, and that’s "why today we have two umpires (Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf) on the International Cricket Council's [top-level] Elite Umpires Panel [EUP], [and] three on the [second-tier] International Panel".  "No other country can boast of such crop", he says, forgetting perhaps that Australia has four on the EUP, and New Zealand, like Pakistan, also two.


Despite his positive outlook on the Pakistan scene, Hayat says that that the current rating system for umpires in that country, which calls for captains and the match referee to provide ratings, "leaves some chance for bias".  A former general manager of umpires and referees at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), he maintains that only "old umpires and ex-players" should be considered for the posts of managers, umpires and referees if the standards that apply in each of those areas is to be improved, "but this is not being done".


The PCB said in January, following criticism of umpiring standards in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the country's first class competition, that it was working to introduce a "new policy of grading umpires’ performance" in a bid to improve its domestic match officials structure (E-News 719-3523, 22 January 2011).  "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]”, said Sultan Rana the head of the PCB's domestic operations at the time.


Last October Aleem Dar also called on the PCB to introduce a central contracts system for umpires in domestic cricket in order to raise the standards of umpiring in the country and give umpires there an incentive to work harder (E-News 688-3382, 25 October 2010).






A dispute during a cricket match ended in the murder of a 15-year-old boy, allegedly by a trio from the rival team, in the Lucknow area of India on Wednesday afternoon, says 'The Times of India'.  Youths were playing a local match  when a decision by one the umpire led to a dispute between the two sides that saw players "almost come to blows", said to a Police Inspector.


"Prompt intervention" by some local elders is said to have ended the dispute, but only temporarily, as after the match was abandoned a player from one side is said to have been set upon by three players of the rival team and a scuffle ensued.  Before anyone could intervene the player was shot dead and the three accused fled from the scene. 


"The dispute was over a decision during the cricket match and this has been established beyond doubt", said a Police spokesman, adding that "the rest of the details will be confirmed once we lay our hands on the accused" trio. 



Monday, 7 March 2011






The International Cricket Council (ICC) insists it has "full confidence" in their umpires after former Australian Test umpire Darrell Hair reiterated his doubts about Sri Lankan spiner Muttiah Muralidaran's unorthodox bowling action over the weekend.  Hair, who called Muralidaran, the leading wicket-taker in Tests and One Day Internationals, for throwing in 1995, was quoted by Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper on Friday as saying that "a couple of current [senior international] umpires" have told him "something is wrong" with the Sri Lankan's action "but they prefer to let it go".


"There is still a lot of doubt about [Muralidaran's] deliveries", claimed Hair, but he says that umpires are prepared to turn a blind eye as he edges towards international retirement.  But ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat backed his officials saying that he's got "full confidence [in his umpires] and the rules we have in place, and it's up to the umpires to apply them".  "I'm afraid Darrell is no longer part of the panel and his opinion is just that", Lorgat added.


Muralidaran, 38, is retiring from international cricket at the end of the World Cup.  Hair suggested that some of the Sri Lankan's deliveries during the current tournament on the sub-continent may not have been legal.  Last July, another Australian umpire who called the Sri Lanka in the mid-1990s, Ross Emerson, reiterated his original stand on the matter, while Hair was quoted around the same time as saying that "the fact that the rules had to be changed to handle bowlers like [Muralitharan] vindicated my actions and the other umpires who called him (E-News 631-3148, 10 July 2010).


The Sri Lankan said last October that Hair was "just doing his job" when he 'no balled' him because of his action during the 1995 Boxing Day Test in Melbourne (E-News 681-3345, 14 October 2010).






International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat has acknowledged that the world body had a "difference of opinion" with the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) on the Umpire Decision Review System UDRS), but denied the relationship has soured because of the latest controversy.  The BCCI remains a steadfast opponent of the UDRS which is currently making its World Cup debut on the sub-continent. 


Last Wednesday, BCCI secretary N Srinivasan wrote to Lorgat to complain about a referral during India's match against England, and comments made about Indian captain M  Dhoni's reaction to the situation by ICC general manager cricket, David Richardson (E-News 734-3607, 3 March 2011).  Despite that Lorgat denied any rift had developed with the world's richest, and most influential, cricket board.  "Not at all," he told reporters in Chennai on Saturday. "We share an excellent relationship with the BCCI [and] we have to accept that there will be a difference of opinion from time-to-time, but we are mature enough to work through those", he said. 


Lorgat conceded the UDRS was not foolproof. "My understanding is that it's a work in progress. We will continually work with the technology providers ... to try and improve it all the time".   "We are aware that there is limited availability of 'Hot Spot' cameras which provide a reliable image of the ball's contact with bat or pad" (E-News 722-3564, 7 February 2011) , however,  "in spite of its absence, we have got something like a five percent improvement in correct decision-making. I believe one cannot ignore that".


Despite waving off the BCCI complaint, Lorgat is also quoted as saying that he was "disappointed" by the BCCI's letter of complaint, most of the content of which he claims was based on an "inaccurate" report, however, he did not go into any details. 






Pakistan's One Day International captain Shahid Afridi wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to consider increasing the number of appeals teams are allowed under the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), says a Press Trust of India report from Karachi on Saturday.  


Afridi said in his show 'Captain's Corner' on a Pakistani television channel, that "the use of the UDRS is a positive development and it would not be a bad idea if its use is increased in the remaining matches of the World Cup and even after that".  Afridi felt that the system "has ensured minimum errors on the field" and claimed that most teams playing in the World Cup are satisfied with its operation, something that several other national captains have stated publicly (E-News 735-3611, 5 March 2011).



Wednesday, 9 March 2011






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made changes to match officials' guidance for the Umpire Decision Review System's (UDRS) '2.5 m rule', a move that it says is aimed at obtaining a more consistent application by umpires, although it also appears to add further complexity to the issue.  In basic terms the change will allow umpires to reverse decisions where a batsman is 'plumb' and there is no doubt the ball would have hit the stumps, even if the impact is up to 3.5 m down the pitch, but additional factors have now been added to assessment required.


The two contrasting reviews that led the ICC to make the change involved England batsman Ian Bell eight days ago in the World Cup's match 11, and Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura in game 18 on Friday.  Both batsmen were struck well forward from the stumps but the 'not out' decision against Bell was not overturned despite the fact he appeared to be 'plumb' (E-News 733-3602, 1 March 2011), while Chigumbura was declared 'out' by South African umpire Marais Erasmus, a decision that stood after referral as ball tracking technology showed the ball was "going to knock down leg-stump".  


Those decisions were made under the previous 2.5 m rule which required that an on-field umpire who gave a 'not out' leg before decision could only reverse his decision if advice from the third umpire showed that the ball was "hitting the middle stump dead centre", something with which Chigumbura's decision does not appear to fit.  The 2.5 m rule was put in place originally because the precision of the ball tracking technology begins to reduce at that distance, hence the focus on the area of the middle stump.


The new directive says that if a 'not out' LBW referral shows there is a distance between the stumps and the point of impact is between 2.5 and 3.5 m, the on-field umpire can think of reversing the original 'not out' decision if the replay shows that the ball is hitting "any part of the middle" stump.  When a batsman is hit more than 3.5 m down the pitch, 'not-out' LBW decisions cannot be overturned. 


The umpires will also have to take into account just how far the ball travels between pitching and hitting the batsman, the minimum distance allowed being 40 cm.  'Hawk Eye' needs to be able to track for at least that distance before it can satisfactorally compute what the subsequent trajectory of the ball is likely to be.  If that distance is not met the original 'not out' decision will remain.  


The only situation where a bowler can obtain a change on referral is if the batsman is between 2.5 and 3.5 m from the stumps, the pitch-hit distance exceeds 40 cm, and 'Hawk Eye' predicts that the ball is "hitting middle stump" and the "whole ball" is hitting the stumps below the bails".


The change in the 'protocol' was brought into play in the India-Ireland match on Sunday when Australian umpire Rod Tucker reversed his LBW decision against Irish batsman Alex Cusack off the bowling of India's Yuvraj Singh, says a 'Cricinfo' report.  Tucker's original judgement was 'not out', and although replays showed Cusack was more than 2.5 m forward, 'Hawk Eye' data indicated the ball "was hitting middle and off at a comfortable height". The Australian was heard on the stump microphone asking Erasmus, who was the third umpire for the match, to let him know whether the ball was hitting "any part of the middle stump". 


David Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket, said on Monday that the UDRS is "working well at the tournament".  "It is a fact that the number of decisions in this event is way above the normal average for One Day Internationals", something he believes "is because of the type of wickets that prevail in the sub-continent where the bounce is often lower and where there is a greater amount of turn".  


"What it is demonstrating clearly is that the UDRS is helping umpires who are maintaining consistently high levels of performance", Richardson says.  Data collated by the world body during the World Cup is said to indicate that "correct calls have been made 97.82% of the time, up from 90.18%" and a seven per cent improvement.  It appears that the lower figure is the correctness ratio for umpires before the technology comes into play, a figure that is lower than in the past. 


Last November, Richardson said that of the 1,011 appeals made in Test matches in which the UDRS had been in operation to that time, there were 218 requests for reviews of umpiring decisions, 57 of which were overturned after the third umpire looked at them via television replays.  In other words "players were correct 26 per cent of the time [but] in vast majority of the reviews the umpires were [shown to be] correct", said Richardson.  He then goes on to state that that data showed the overall correct decision ratio went up from 92.04 to 97.68 per cent "a five per cent increase" (E-News 695-3410, 12 November 2010).






New South Wales batsman Phillip Hughes has been reprimanded for uttering "repeated audible obscenities" after he was dismissed in his side's second innings in the first class match against Tasmania at Bellerive on Friday.  Hughes was reacting to being given out caught down the leg side.  Cricket Australia says Hughes breached its player Code of Behaviour and that he pleaded guilty at a hearing conducted after the game ended a day early on Saturday.






Two All Black rugby players and two actors are to undertake umpiring duties in the earthquake charity Twenty20 game that is to be played between the Canterbury and Wellington 'Legends XIs' at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Sunday.  All Blacks Richie McCaw and Conrad Smith and actors Martin Freeman ('Bilbo Baggins') and Mark Hadlow ('Harry in King Kong'), are to rotate on and off the field during a match that will feature former high-profile players and other public 'personalities' and have as its aim raising money for the Christchurch Earthquake appeal.  Latest reports indicate that the game is headed for a "sell out".






Electronics giant Sony has completed the purchase of Hawk-Eye Innovations Limited (HEIL), the England-based company that provides ball-tracking technology that is often part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), say reports from the UK yesterday.  Financial details weren't disclosed but sections of the British media are suggesting that the Hawk-Eye company could have cost Sony around $A32 million, a figure that is close to that estimated when the company was put up for sale last September (E-News 662-3268, 2 September 2010).


Naomi Climer, vice president of Sony Europe, told journalists that Hawk-Eye has developed a worldwide reputation for "resolving close calls in critical sporting situations".  Apart from cricket, Hawk-Eye is also used in tennis and snooker, while football's world governing body FIFA could utilise the tracking system as it looks to introduce technology to rule on goal-line decisions. Paul Hawkins, inventor of Hawk-Eye, said yesterday the takeover by Sony will create "immense opportunities for the sports industry".


'Virtual Eye', Hawk Eye's ball-tracking rival that comes from New Zealand company Animation Research, was used in the recently completed Ashes Test series, however, the system from England is currently in use as part of the UDRS in the World Cup.  Brad McNamara, executive producer of cricket for Australia's Channel 9, said late last year that tests of both Hawk-Eye and Virtual Eye showed there was "little or no difference in accuracy" between the two systems (E-News 694-3403, 9 November 2010).


Despite its high-profile brand name, Hampshire-based Hawk-Eye is a relatively small company with reported profits of around $A2m last year on a revenue that was estimated at close to $A6m. 



Thursday, 10 March 2011






Leg Before Wicket (LBW) decisions continue to dominate Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) referrals called for in the matches in this year's World Cup, a trend that became evident early on in the tournament (E-News 731-3597, 23 February 2011).  With the event reaching the half-way mark yesterday, analysis of match commentaries available on line shows that 95 of the 103 referrals requested were LBW-related, the other eight involving catches.


Of the 95 LBW referrals, 46 have been requested by the bowling side and 49 by batsmen.  Of those, 12 of the former and 13 of the latter, or close to one quarter, saw the side making the request benefit, figures that mean the original decision by the umpire at the stumps stood on just 75 per cent of occasions referrals for LBW were made.  Two of the eight catch-related referrals, one each for batting and bowling, were up held, while the six that went with the on-field umpires' original decisions all involved the bowling side.


All of the 18 umpires standing in the World Cup have been involved in referrals, Daryl Harper of Australia being the highest with ten, closely followed with nine by his compatriot Rod Tucker, Asad Rauf of Pakistan, Amish Saheba of India and Nigel Llong of England.  Half of the referrals requested under Harper's watch have resulted in a change to his original decision, and four out of nine for Saheba, while all four changes asked for when Sri Lankan Asoka de Silva was the principle, all of which were LBWs, saw each of those decisions overturned on referral.      


On the other side of the ledger, none of the decisions referred when Aleem Dar of Pakistan (5), Marais Erasmus of South Africa (2), Ian Gould of England (2), and Steve Davis and Bruce Oxenford of Australia (both 3), were at the crease, were changed as a result of replays. 


Referrals have been asked for in every game, the tenth match of the series between Pakistan and Canada seeing the highest number with ten, seven by Pakistan and three by Canada, closely followed by the England versus South Africa game with a total of eight, the average across the 25 matches played so far being four.  Fixture 16 in Mohali between the Netherlands and South Africa saw a 'hat trick', three referrals in three balls, all for LBW, in the Dutch innings, all of which were denied after referral, two being from batsman and one from the fielding side.


Earlier this week the International Cricket Council's general manager cricket, David Richardson said that "the number of decisions in [the World Cup] is way above the normal average for One Day Internationals", something he believes "is because of the type of wickets that prevail in the sub-continent where the bounce is often lower and where there is a greater amount of turn" (E-News 737-3617, 9 March 2011).  The latter will have presented a particular challenge for umpires called on to make LBW judgements.  





Australian umpire Steve Davis became the fourteenth umpire to stand in 100 One Day Internationals (ODI) when he and his countryman Bruce Oxenford took charge of the World Cup match between India and the Netherlands in Delhi yesterday (E-News 731-3597, 23 February 2011).  Davis, 58 made his ODI debut in December 1992 in a match between Pakistan and West Indies in Adelaide, and last year was shortlisted for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' trophy (E-News 671-3292, 21 September 2010).


The ICC said in a statement issued before the game that as "A member of the Elite Umpires Panel [EUP] since 2008, Davis has continued to be one of the top match officials in the game, umpiring in the 2007 World Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2009".   ICC Umpires' and Referees' Manager Vince van der Bijl said that "Steve is well respected and liked by his colleagues, the players and administrators for his humour, friendship, considerate nature as well as his professional approach to umpiring".


Davis was quoted in that same statement as saying that he "can't quite believe that I am already at that landmark figure and it's fantastic to be reaching it at a World Cup".  "I feel proud to be joining a group of thirteen men who have stood in more than 100 ODIs and amongst them the late, great David Shepherd as well as many of my current colleagues from the [EUP]", he continued.


Umpires who have now stood in 100 or more ODIs are: Rudi Koertzen (209), Steve Bucknor (181), David Shepherd (172), Daryl Harper (172), Simon Taufel (162), 'Billy' Bowden (153), Aleem Dar (141), Darrell Hair (139), Russell Tiffin (118), Asoka de Silva (112), David Orchard (107), Billy Doctrove (103), Steve Dunne and Davis (100).  Bowden, Dar, Davis, de Silva, Doctrove, Harper, and Taufel are all currently standing in the World Cup, Tiffin the only other of member of the 'Century Club' who is still involved at international level.


Davis was presented with a memento to mark the occasion by ICC match referee Ranjan Madugalle in a ceremony prior to yesterday's game.






Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has criticised the International Cricket Council (ICC) for "chopping and changing" the 2.5m rule for LBW decisions in Umpire Decision Review System referrals in the World Cup.  Over the weekend the ICC issued fresh guidelines aimed, it said, at obtaining a more consistent application by umpires (E-News 737-3617, 9 March 2011).  


Sangakkara was quoted in a number of media reports as saying that his side would have liked more consistency from the world governing body. "I think the ICC has got to be careful not to make rules that [are] going to add to the confusion" during a tournament", he said.






Australian umpire Daryl Harper will move to outright third on the all-time One Day International (ODI) umpiring list when he stands in the World Cup match between Bangladesh and England in Chittagong tomorrow.  Currently on 172 ODIs, a figure that equals the late David Shepherd's one-day tally, Harper will move to third on the list behind now retired South African umpire Rudi Koertzen on 209 and Steve Bucknor of the West Indies on 181.


Adelaide-based Harper, who turns 60 in October, stood in his first ODI in Perth in January 1994, and in the time since has stood in four Champions Trophy and now three World Cups, the latter probably his last, all those and other games taking him all over the cricketing world.






A player  will miss his club’s campaign in the finals of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) in south-west Victoria after he was found guilty of a "serious misdemeanour" at an independent tribunal hearing on Tuesday night, says yesterday's 'Warrnambool Standard' newspaper.  Tom Batten, 22, of the Woodford club, was found guilty of urinating on the playing arena during a match late last month.


The 'Standard' article says that under WDCA By Laws the offence, which Batten pleaded not guilty to, is listed as carrying a four-match ban for an early guilty plea.  Despite that the tribunal's chairman Terry O’Keefe, supported by panel members Robert Anderson and Ian Yewers, said to have concluded that penalty was “a bit harsh” and instead gave Batten a two-match ban, enough for him to miss the finals.


There is said to have been "no argument" at the hearing about whether the act had occurred or not, all involved agreeing that Batten did relieve himself between the cones marking the boundary and the fence.  That apparently led to what is said to have been "vigorous debate" at the hearing of the meaning of the term “arena” in the By Laws, which the tribunal eventually decided means the ground inside the fence and not just inside the cones.


Batten said that he "was busting to go to the toilet", the toilet block was "at least 300 m away", and he "did not want to hold up play for fear of losing bonus points".  “No one could see me", he said, for he "thought it was an appropriate spot to do it", and he had earlier observed opposition players ‘go to the toilet’ in close proximity to spectators.  “I hope this doesn’t affect me playing finals", he said towards the end of the hearing, for “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while".


Player advocate Sandy White "spoke at length" about Batten, including that "he has never been reported for any misdemeanour in any sport", and concluded by "pleading with the tribunal to consider a suspended sentence".  “We acknowledge that [Batten's action] was inadvertent", said tribunal chairman O’Keefe, but nevertheless the panel decided on the two-match ban.



Saturday, 12 March 2011






Four TCUSA umpiring members will looking after the Grand Finals in the Southern Tasmania Cricket Association's (STCL) Division 1 and 2 competitions at the Clare Street and Eady Street grounds respectively today.  Bruce Parker and Cameron Lee will be standing in the top-tier match at the first named ground and Mark Wickham and Ian Ploughman at Eady Street. 


Parker is no stranger to STCL season deciders, having stood in at least seven over the last decade, but for Lee, who is at the end of his third season as a cricket umpire and was the winner of last year's TCUSA 'Most Improved Umpire' award, it will be his first Grand Final.  


Wickham stood in an STCL Division 1 final seven years ago with Parker, however, he also has six other Grand finals under his belt, four in Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Under-17 Grade, one in the now defunct Fourth Grade, and another in the country with the old Derwent Valley Association  His colleague for today's game, Ian Ploughman, commenced his umpIring career with the TCUSA two years ago, and the match at Eady Street will be his first Grand Final as a match official.  


Monday's public holiday will see two finals played at Bellerive as double headers.  Steve Maxwell and Brett Jones will look after the Statewide Twenty20 final in the afternoon, a match that will be proceeded by the Women's T20 final, Mark Gillard and Martin Betts being the umpires.  


Maxwell, who has been with the TCUSA since 1999-2000, will be standing in his eleventh competition decider, games that include a First Grade Grand final, while for Jones, a first-year umpire, it will his first such match.  For Gillard and Betts it will be a particularly memorable experience, for despite having some 36 summers of experience and close to 700 games between them, it will be the first time either of them have stood in a match at Bellerive, the home of Tasmania cricket.


The Grand Final season was kicked off last week when Wade Stewart and Sonny Azzopardi looked after the Oatlands Association Grand Final. The match was Stewart's tenth Grand Final, a record that like Maxwell includes a CT First Grade decide, while Azzopardi has stood in such matches in the STCL and Tasman Association competitions in the last few years.


CT's Grade finals season is due to get underway next weekend with semi finals in the top four grades, followed the week after by the respective Grand Finals.  Umpire appointments for the semi finals will be announced at next Wednesday's final Training-Appointments meeting of the season, and for the Grand Finals at CT's Emerson Rodwell Medal dinner the Wednesday after that. 






Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday named umpires Simon Fry, Paul Reiffel and John Ward, and match referee Ric Evans, as the officials for next week's Sheffield Shield final.  Naming of that quartet comes as no surprise, for Fry and Reiffel's Australian colleague on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Bruce Oxenford, is at the World Cup, while Ward's appointment was flagged when last month he was named for the finals of CA's domestic Twenty20 competition, the Womens National Cricket League (E-News 725-3567, 8 February 2011), and the national one-day series (E-News 731-3595, 23 February 2011).


For Reiffel, 44, who is based in Queensland, it will be his fifth Shield final, having had three as a player in 1991, 2000 and 2001, and one to date as an umpire two years ago, missing out on last year's match because he was in South Africa as part of an umpire exchange program (E-News 594-2489, 30 March 2010).  Fry from South Australia who is also 44, will be standing in his second final, having been on the field in the decider twelve months ago (E-News 585-2949, 15 March 2010).   


Ward, 48, of Victoria will be in the third umpire's chair for the first time in a first class match, however, he has been there in six domestic one-day games, the last being this year's national final, and twice in the Twenty20 competition, one of them at Bellerive.  His appointments over the last month suggest he has moved up the order of merit on CA's twelve-man National Umpires Panel (NUP) and now sits fourth behind Oxenford, Reiffel and Fry, a change that is expected to improve his NUP pay rate for the 2011-12 season.


Perth-based Evans, 68, a former Test umpire who along with Bob Stratford is one of the more influential members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel, stood in 47 first class matches over the 13 year period from 1984-97, three of them Tests, but none a Shield final.  However, next week's match, which will be played at either Bellerive or the Sydney Cricket Ground depending on how the last round of home-and-away games pan out, will be his third final as a match referee since he took up that role in 1998. 






The Christchurch newspaper 'The Star', whose office building in the heart of the city was badly damaged in the recent tragic earthquake, is now officially operating from temporary premises at the Canterbury Cricket Umpires Association building and adjacent St Albans Cricket Club in Hagley, several kilometres to the west of the city centre.  


Editor Barry Clarke said in a column yesterday that these "fine institutions" will be the home of the publication "for the next few months" as it gets back on its feet pending a resolution as to whether its normal headquarters can be repaired or perhaps demolished and rebuilt.






Former first class player Shawn Craig, Cricket Australia's (CA) latest Project Panel (PP) appointee, has been selected to stand in a two-day quarter final match in Cricket Victoria's (CV) Premier League Second Grade competition that is to be played today and tomorrow in Melbourne.  


Information available suggests that Craig, who as a PP member receives financial support from CA, has so far stood in around a dozen CV matches in his first season as an umpire, most of them in either Third Grade or women's games, and since late January, in three Second Grade games, one of the latter with CV Umpires Advisor and National Umpires Panel member, Bob Parry (E-News 715-3503, 15 January 2011). 






A player in south-west Victoria who was handed a two-match ban for urinating on the oval during a match last Tuesday, had his suspension overturned at an appeals hearing held in Warnambool on Thursday night (E-News 738-3625, 10 March 2011).  After a fifty minute hearing and eleven minutes of deliberation, an independent tribunal gave Tom Batten a three-match ban but suspended it for the next 12 months, thus clearing the way for him to play for his club in season-ending finals which start today. 


Batten relieved himself between the cones marking the boundary and the fence in a game two weeks ago, and Kevin Mullins, the player's advocate at the hearing said the term 'playing arena' wasn’t defined in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's (WDCA) By Laws and that on that basis Tuesday night’s tribunal should not have found against Batten.  Mullins is quoted in a story in yesterday's 'Warnambool Standard' as saying that “the up-shot is, the player should have no case to answer", apparently adding though that "we don’t want this looked at as some sort of technicality".  


Umpires advocate Justin Balmer said it was not the umpires’ job to define the playing arena but to work within the rules given to them by the WDCA and they had not made any error.  Tribunal chairman Jed Edwards said the panel had "no problem" with the umpires making the report, but believed the rule “could be taken in a couple of ways” and “strongly” suggested that the WDCA review the wording in its By Laws.


In announcing the panel's decision, Edwards told Batten that he had committed an act he shouldn’t have.  In overturning the original two-match ban and imposing a three-match suspended sentence, Edwards said it gave all players a warning.  “We strongly recommend to anyone playing in the Warrnambool area they don’t urinate on any part of the pitch", the latter word apparently being meant to relate to the playing area inside the boundary, rather than centre playing strips.


Batten described the decision as “a massive relief" and "a massive weight off my shoulders", that will enable him to play for his club in a semi final of the WDCA's First Grade competition today.  “I didn’t lie, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong", said Batten, for whom it has been "a tough week".  He said he was pleased he could fulfil a dream of representing his club "in its biggest moment" for “ever since I started playing cricket I wanted to play for Woodford in their first-ever [WDCA] Division one final".






Two players in separate 'domestic' first class matches in the West Indies have lost part of their match fees for actions on the field of play over the last two weeks.  Barbados captain Ryan Hinds was fined 65 per cent of his fee for dissent in the match against Guyana, while Runako Morton of Trinidad and Tobago was relieved of 35 per cent of his pay for an incident during his side's game against the Windward Islands. 


Morton was charged with a Level 1 breach relating to abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground, equipment or fixtures and fittings.   Hinds was reported for a Level 1 charge of showing dissent by word or action at an umpire’s decision, however, it was upgraded to Level 2 as it was the skipper's second Level 1 offence in 12 months. The first was during the Caribbean's regional one-day tournament last October (E-News 681-3342, 14 October 2010).


Both Morton and Hinds pleaded guilty to their respective charges and accepted the sanctions handed down to them, thus avoiding the need for hearings. 



Tuesday, 15 March 2011



[EN740-3632 ]


Two teams in a first class match played in the Caribbean over the weekend were reduced to ten men after two players, one from each side, were arrested by Police and held in custody after the opening day's play on Friday.  Trinidad and Tobago batsman Runako Morton and Leeward Islands all-rounder Tonito Willett were picked up late on Friday evening in Port of Spain for what Police sources quoted by local media say was possession of marijuana.


The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) confirmed the arrests in a statement issued over the weekend, saying that the pair "are expected to take no further part in the four-day match", which is in fact what eventually happened.  "They were taken into police custody sometime between the end of the first day's play [on Friday] and the start of the second day's play [on Saturday and] remain in police custody", said the WICB.


As a result of their forced detention, both Morton and Willett were unable to bat in the respective side's second innings.  Willett was listed as "absent hurt" in the Leeward's second spell at the crease in score sheets available on line late yesterday Australian time, however, when the match ended early this morning after Trinidad had batted a second time, the final match summary had 'absent' against each of the two batsman.  






Ireland captain William Porterfield has been reprimanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his criticism of umpire Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka in a post match press conference after his side lost to the West Indies in a World Cup match in Mohali on Friday.  Porterfield is said to have been "angered" when his team mate Gary Wilson was given out LBW by de Silva after a second review was requested of the original decision.


Wilson was adjudged LBW late in Ireland's innings and media reports claim that replays and the ball-tracking technology suggesting the decision should have been overturned.  Wilson appeared to have been hit on the pad outside of the line of off stump and was playing a shot, claim reports, although de Silva's decision was apparently based on the view that the batsman had not attempted to make contact with the bat.  


On line commentary on the match states that "after seeing the replay on the giant screen, [Wilson] implored Asoka to check again" with the third umpire.  "Eventually Asoka checks again upstairs" but the decision stands, and the commentary then goes on to say that "if Wilson wasn't playing a shot there, then I am Bill Gates".  "The decision was crucial and cost us the game", said Porterfield after the match, and that "when you have the technology and advantage of replays, that is supposed to eradicate [such] mistakes".


Porterfield pleaded guilty to a section in ICC's Code of Conduct that bans public criticism of officials, however, he avoided a fine as match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka took into account that it was his first such offence.






England bowler Graeme Swann has been fined ten per cent of his match fee for  "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match" for an incident in a World Cup match against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday.  Swann was charged with a Level 1 offence after he became, in the words of match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand, "frustrated and upset at the condition of the second ball in use during the Bangladesh innings".


The off-spinner pleaded guilty to the charge brought against him by on-field umpires Daryl Harper and Rod Tucker of Australia, and third umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan.  Crowe said that the Englishman's "comments to the on-field umpires during the twenty-sixth over of the innings were unacceptable and an over later Graeme, realising this, made a genuine apology to the umpires for his actions".


Swann said in a column in the London newspaper  'The Sun' on the weekend that he was "wrong to swear and lose my temper..  ..and apologised straightaway to [Harper]".  He believes though "it was ludicrous to play a day-night match in the World Cup that was so heavily influenced by dew" as "the ball was so wet it was like trying to bowl with a bar of soap".  


The off-spinner says the ball was "changed three times in total but it should have been changed every two or three overs", and his "frustration boiled over" when he was "trying to get the ball changed" for a third time.  "The dew wasn't the umpires' fault but every time the replacement rolled across the outfield, it became drenched", he says.  Swann was "caught swearing by the stump mic[rophone]" something he says "was very disappointing" for he doesn't "condone bad language on the field, especially if it is directed near the umpire".


Crowe said in his statement that “while it was recognised that, because of the dew, this was a difficult period to be in the field, it is also a fact that these conditions are not uncommon on the sub-continent", an issue that will obviously come into play should day-night Tests ever come to fruition in that and other regions.






Canadian fast bowler Rizwan Cheema has been reprimanded for bowling two beamers in a World Cup match played in Mumbai on Sunday.  Cheema was ordered out of the attack by Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford after delivering a second beamer on the fifth ball of the last over of New Zealand's innings.


The bowler had received a first and final warning for bowling a similar full toss above waist height on the fifth ball of the fortieth over New Zealand faced.  International Cricket Council (ICC) playing conditions require that a bowler be taken from the attack after a second such ball, as was the case with Cheema, however, the Laws of Cricket themselves require a third such breach before a bowler is removed.  


The ICC said yesterday that Cheema had pleaded guilty to breaching sections of its Code of Conduct that covers aspects that are deemed to be "contrary to the spirit of the game".



Wednesday, 16 March 2011






Queenslander Bruce Oxenford was named as the 2010-11 winner of Cricket Australia's (CA) 'Umpire Award' during the national body's State Cricket Awards luncheon held at Bellerive Oval yesterday afternoon.  For Oxenford, 51, who is currently standing in World Cup matches on the sub-continent, its the second time he has been chosen for the nation's top umpiring honour, a distinction he now shares with previous recipient Simon Taufel. 


CA said yesterday that Oxenford has "contributed to cricket" over many years, not only through "constant high performances on-field" as an umpire, but also in his support for related activity "off-field".  In deciding the winner from amongst its contracted umpires, CA gave "equal weight to on-field performance and off-field contribution", for "consultation with the umpires and umpiring community" supported such an approach, it says.  That philosophy resulted in the name of the award being changed from the 'Umpire of the Year' label of previous years.  


Apart from his "continued improvement on-field and rise in international appointments, Southport-born Oxenford "has demonstrated his passion for the [cricket] and willingness to give back to the game with presentations at the Emerging Umpires Program and ongoing mentoring of younger umpires, both in Australia and abroad", says CA, and he has set an "example of what it is to be a cricket umpire to the rest of the cricket and umpiring community".


Over the last twelve months, former first class player Oxenford has stood in his first Test, the eighty-fifth Australian to do so (E-News 697-3418, 15 November 2010), been involved in nineteen One Day Internationals (ODI), some of them in the current World Cup and the Asia Cup (E-News 618-3095, 8 June 2010), worked in three Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), plus the Champions League T20 series (E-News 673-3304, 27 September 2010), three domestic games in Australia, two in the Sheffield Shield, including the 2010 final (E-News 585-2949, 15 March 2010), and two interstate one-dayers.  


The Queenslander's next challenge is to win selection, should there be a vacancy later this year, to the International Cricket Council's top level Elite Umpires Panel, the challenge to him coming from England's Richard Kettleborough and probably the favourite for promotion, former Sri Lankan Test player Kumar Dharmasena (E-News 698-3418, 16 November 2010).


CA yesterday also made mention in its press release of Oxenford's colleagues Steve Davis, Simon Fry and Daryl Harper and their achievements over the past twelve months, a reference that suggests they were amongst those short-listed for this season's award.  


Fry is "the consummate professional", says CA, "his efforts off-field with the Umpire Leadership Group complimenting his on-field successes".  He "has had an outstanding year and is now recognised amongst Australia’s top umpires, his performances being rewarded with appointments to his [first] T20I and ODI" games (E-News 703-3444, 19 December 2010), as well as exchange program appointments to both New Zealand and South Africa (E-News 719-3520, 22 January 2011), plus the award of an Australian Sports Commission official's scholarship (E-News 730-3588, 22 February 2011). 


On the other hand, says CA, Davis and Harper "continue to represent Australia with aplomb at the international level", and "when at home, [both] are willing to volunteer their time to promote umpiring, and help to maintain Australia’s dominance and representation at the top levels of the game".


Apart from Oxenford this season and in 2007-2008, other winners have been: Davis (2009-10); Paul Reiffel (2008-09); Harper (2006-07); Peter Parker (2004-05); and Taufel (2003-04 and 2005-06).





Cricket Australia's (CA) 'Spirit of Cricket' awards for 2010-11 have been won by the men's Western Australian side and the women's team from New South Wales, the latter claiming both the Women’s National Cricket League and Women’s Twenty20 trophies.


The three awards, which are named for the three Benaud brothers in recognition of their contribution to Sydney, NSW and Australian cricket (E-News 386-2049, 12 March 2009), are decided by votes cast by umpires during the season and recognise State teams that have best played in the spirit of the game in recognition that, in CA's words, "elite cricket should be played hard – but fair".






The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has made major changes to its members on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), sacking three long-serving members and replacing them with three others who are some ten years younger.  News of the changes comes as little surprise, there being a range of indications over the past six months that flagged the WICB's intention to shake up its IUP membership (E-News 685-3363, 20 October 2010), as well as its overall approach to umpiring matters in the Caribbean.   


Norman Malcolm of Jamaica, who turns 56 later this week, is the only IUP member to retain his position, Clyde Duncan, 57, of Guyana, Goaland Greaves, 53, of St Vincent, and Clancy Mack, 55, of Antigua, being replaced by Peter Nero, 46, and Joel Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago and Gregory Brathwaite, 40, of Barbados.  Malcolm and Nero are the on-field appointees, the latter jumping straight past the television slot, while Brathwaite and Wilson fill the WICB's two third umpire spots. 


Duncan has been around the international scene for nearly twenty-five years, during that time standing in three Tests in the first half of the 1990s, and twenty-one One Day Internationals between 1988 and last year.  Greaves and Mack have hovered around the fringes of the senior international scene over the last three-to-four years, never going past third umpire duties in a handful of Tests and Twenty20 Internationals.


Their departure from internationals leaves Malcolm as the only one of the four on the new panel with experience at international level, although Nero and Wilson have taken part in umpiring exchange programs, the former to England and Bangladesh over the last two years (E-News 572-2825, 23 January 2010), and the latter to England last year (E-News 600-3015, 12 April 2010). 


At the present time Nero has stood in thirteen first class matches, two of them in England and three in Bangladesh, while Wilson has seven, two of them being in England, and Brathwaite, four.  The WICB tightened up the number of umpires it is using in the 'domestic' first class season that is currently under way there (E-News 730-3526, 25 January 2011), a move that is part of activity designed to lift umpiring standards in the Caribbean (E-News 685-3362, 20 October 2010). 


Wilson and Brathwaite have been named as the WICB umpires who will stand in matches in Bangladesh and England respectively over the next few months as part of on-going exchange agreements with the Bangladesh and England and Wales Cricket Boards.  Wilson is expected to leave the Caribbean for Bangladesh tomorrow and spend three weeks there, while Brathwaite is to officiate in England over four weeks in May.  Bangladeshi umpire Sharfuddoula Shahid, 34, a former first class player, is currently standing in WICB first class matches, games that are expected to take his first class umpiring tally to ten.


The WICB thanked Duncan, Greaves and Mack in a statement for their services of the IUP and indicated that discussions "are on-going on ways in which they can contribute to the development of umpiring in the West Indies". 






Former first class player Shawn Craig, Cricket Australia's (CA) latest Project Panel (PP) appointee, has been selected to stand in a two-day semi final match in Cricket Victoria's Premier League (CVPL) Second Grade competition that is to be played this coming weekend.  The match is believed to be Craig's fourth at Second Grade level as an umpire and follows his selection for a quarter final game in the same competition last weekend (E-News 739-3629, 12 March 2011).


Other umpires selected for the CVPL Second Grade semis include veteran Dan Bomford who is approaching 500 matches with CV, nearly 300 of them in First Grade, over the last thirty-two seasons.  The other pair selected, Ron Birch and Luke McKay, are in their first year in Second Grade, having umpired with CV over the past two and three season respectively. 



Thursday, 17 March 2011






TCUSA scorer members Janet Gainsford and Graeme Hamley have been appointed to score in the final of this year's Sheffield Shield competition, the first day of which is scheduled to start at Bellerive this morning.  The pair are no strangers to a Shield final, having been in the score box once before when Tasmania won the national competition for the first time four years ago this month (E-News 14-082, 13 March 2007).


Hamley started umpiring with the Association in 1989 and went on to stand in over 170 games, seventy-six of them Premier League First Grade matches; figures that include two Grand Finals at the top level as well as others in Second, Third Grade and other competitions.  The TCUSA's 'Umpire of the Year' in 1995-96, he was also awarded the Allen Powell trophy for 'Services to the Association' in 1998-99.  


Since taking up scoring early last decade, Hamley has worked in that capacity at the first class level since 2004, a record that at present includes some fifty first class games, three of them Tests, plus numerous One Day Internationals (ODI), Twenty20 Internationals and one-day and Twenty20 domestic and club-level games.  In addition to his work in matches, he has also been involved in Association administrative matters as President, Vice president, Administrator, Treasurer and Association Advisor for a total of almost twenty years. 


Gainsford commenced her scoring career in Sydney in 1989 for husband David's then Under 12 side.  After moving to Hobart in 1996 she supported junior cricket in the northern suburbs, where her spouse, himself a scorer and former umpire who at the time was heavily involved in coaching youth sides, then joined the North Hobart club for four years, being its scorer when its team won the Premier League First grade title in her first season there.  


In the following four years she was at Glenorchy and scored for the senior side for three seasons, winning the TCUSA's 'Most Improved Scorer' award in 2004-05, towards the end of that time also taking up the role in a number of Tasmanian Second XI games, and then in 2005-06 in the first class arena.  Appointed to the Tasmanian  first class scoring panel in 2006-07, she has since gone on to record the details of some thirty first class matches, two of them Tests, and ten ODIs, interstate one-day and T20 matches, and what must by now be well over 200 club games.   


Gainsford and Hamley will be working during the final with on-field umpires Simon Fry and Paul Reiffel, and third umpire John Ward and match referee Ric Evans (E-News 739-3627, 12 March 2011).






Sixteen TCUSA umpire members were last night appointed to the eight Cricket Tasmania Premier League semi final matches that are to be played across four Grades this coming weekend.  Of those named, eight have previously stood in Premier League Grand Finals, four of them at First Grade level, and four others in semi final contests, while for another four it will be the first time they have stood in a Grade semi final.


In First Grade, Sam Nogajski and Jamie Mitchell will be at Kingston for the game between Kingborough and Lindisfarne, and Wade Stewart and Mike Graham-Smith at University when that side takes on Clarence.  The four are all member's of the Tasmanian State Umpires Panel, Nogajski and Stewart having stood in two and one previous Grand Finals respectively.


Second Grade will see old hands Steve Maxwell, another former First Grade Grand Final umpire, and Mark Wickham, plus up-and-coming newcomers Cameron Lee and Brent Jones, in action.  Maxwell and Lee will be at Lindisfane when the home side plays South Hobart Sandy Bay (SHSB), and Wickham and Jones at New Town where Kingborough and Clarence will contest the right to play in the Grand Final next week.


Umpires chosen for Third Grade games are Ross Carlson and Steve Gibson, who will be at KGV where there will be a repeat of last year's semi final between the home side and Lindisfarne, and Tom Blazely and Martin Betts at Queenborough for SHSB's match against University.  At Under-17 level Harvey Duthoit and Mark Gillard will be up at the TCA Ground for the North Hobart versus Lindisfarne match, and  500 plus gamer Brian Pollard, another with a First Grade Grand Final to his credit, and Peter Pitt, at Soldier's Memorial Oval for the Clarence-Kingborough game.


Scorers for the weekend's eight matches have not yet been named.  Cricket Tasmania (CT) announced this week that qualified scorers, who record semi final details via computer, will be paid for their services in all four Grades.  For home-and-away rounds CT only pays scorers who work at First and Second Grade level.






Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva has been moved from several key World Cup group games that he was originally listed for, reportedly because his performance in the tournament to date.  de Silva is the only umpire among the eighteen used for on-field duties whose success percentage in reviewed decisions is less than fifty per cent, a situation that appears to boost the probability that his countryman Kumar Dharmasena will replace him on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel later this year.


de Silva was to have been one of the on-field umpires for today's key game between England and West Indies and the third official for Sunday's match between the latter side and India. The ICC yesterday moved him to two inconsequential matches for he will now work as the fourth umpire in the Ireland-Netherlands match tomorrow, and on the field in the Zimbabwe-Kenya game on Sunday; all four teams already being out of contention for the World Cup.


Dave Richardson, the ICC'S general manager cricket, said yesterday that the move of de Silva and other changes are "part of the re-organising for the last part of the Group stage [of the event], to ensure in-form umpires are on the field and in the third umpire's room for crucial matches".  


The Sri Lankan's place in today's match between England and West Indies will be taken by Australian Bruce Oxenford, who was originally listed as the fourth umpire for that game, his countryman Simon Taufel moving in as the third umpire, in place of Shavir Tarapore of India who has been moved to the fourth umpire position.  For Sunday's India-West Indies match, Taufel will now join another of his countrymen, Steve Davies, on the field with Oxenford the third.  The latter was to have been on the field with Davis for that fixture.






Copies of the new edition of 'Tom Smith', the umpire and scorer's 'bible', can be pre-ordered on-line now for delivery in April, two months ahead of the scheduled general release date in June.  The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the Guardians of the Laws of Cricket which now has copyright of the publication, has fully revised the book's content so that it covers the changes to the Laws contained in the Fourth edition to the 2000 Code that came into effect in October last year (E-News 675-3312, 1 October 2010).  The new edition, which costs £18.99 ($A25) plus postage, can be ordered via the MCC web site at: 



Saturday, 19 March 2011






Australian umpiring can be "confident of a vibrant future" if the current World Cup (WC) on the sub-continent is any guide, says Cricket Australia (CA).  The presence of five Australian umpires at the event, almost one-third of the eighteen match officials who have stood in the thirty-eight games in the Group stage of the tournament to date, "reflects very well on [the five] as individuals and on the Australian [umpiring] system in general", says CA Umpire Manager, Sean Cary.


The five WC Australians are: Steve Davis, Daryl Harper, Bruce Oxenford, Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker; who are working with three Englishmen, two each from India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and singles from South Africa and the West Indies (E-News 699-3425, 13 December 2010).  Harper and Taufel are in their third WC, Davis his second, while for Oxenford and Tucker its their first experience in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) longest running tournament.  


Oxenford, who won CA's annual 'Umpire Award' for the second time this week (E-News 741-3636, 16 March 2011), is the only one of the Australians who are not on the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), he being on the world body's second-tier group.  He and his four colleagues, who together hail from New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland, spoke positively of their WC experiences in a CA press release issued on Thursday.  


Taufel says its "a special experience, [in] a place where the game of cricket is honoured, supported and treated like a religion".  For Harper "the sub-continent exudes passion for the game [and] every [WC] has its own special challenges and unique flavour"; while Davis has enjoyed officiating in different countries, something that makes the tournament "unique", although that means "by necessity a lot of travel, both within countries and between [them]".  There have been "some exciting finishes to matches, with some surprise results", continues Davis, and he are his colleagues are "looking forward to the remainder of the tournament". 


Tucker describes his participation as "a great experience", for he is umpiring "with the best there is and watching from the best seat in the house".  The former TCUSA member, who commenced his umpiring career in Hobart in 2002, says he is "working hard but it’s very enjoyable".  Oxenford continues in similar vein calling the WC "challenging and thoroughly enjoyable", and he hopes "to end the event having provided each match with the highest possible quality of umpiring in the world".


Former first class player Cary, who took up his current role eleven months ago (E-News 597-3004, 6 April 2010), says in the same CA release that in his view the training and pathways available to umpires in Australian cricket "provide the perfect bedrock for future international honours for umpires".  "We’ve worked hard to create a system which encourages the growth of umpiring talent" he says, and the five Australians now on the sub-continent for the WC "have shown that if you work hard enough and have the determination you may well end up umpiring on the biggest stage of all".






New pink balls developed by Australian manufacturer 'Kookaburra' are to be used for the "traditional" curtain raiser to the English domestic season between last year's County champions Nottinghamshire and a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) XI.  The pink-white balls, which feature "a pink G3 finish complemented by a white seam", are a new model and will be used for the first time at first class level in the game, says the MCC.  


The four-day match, long a Lord's fixture, which will be played as a day-night fixture in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the second consecutive year, is due to get underway tomorrow week.  Players will again wear white clothing, says the MCC, and the aim, as it was last year, is "to further develop the case for introducing day-night Test match cricket as a method to address declining attendances at the longest format of the game" (E-News 597-3002, 6 April 2010).  


In the lead-up to the MCC-Nottinghamshire game, the MCC is hosting an eleven-day pre-season training camp in Abu Dhabi for its Young Cricketers and MCC Universities sides in Abu Dhabi.  The two groups, together with the UAE's Second XI, are currently playing a mix of Twenty20, 50-over and three-day games against each other.  The three-day fixture will be played as a day-night match with a pink ball.   There will also be an game of '5IVES' cricket as a follow-on from an initial trial of the new multiple split-innings format last northern summer that involved the Young Cricketers and Universities teams (E-News 665-3275, 9 September 2010).  


"The primary purpose of the [camp] is to provide a high-class pre-season training experience for the players, which fits in with one of MCC’s key objectives of providing a pathway into the professional game for talented young cricketers", says former England player and now the MCC's Head of Cricket, John Stephenson.  It also "provides an opportunity for MCC to flex its research arm, by further trialling '5IVES' cricket as an alternative format of the game, and continuing research into the use of a pink ball under floodlights".


The MCC has a three-year agreement with the Abu Dhabi Cricket Club, which was signed in November 2009, that enables it to use the Zayed international cricket stadium and the MCC Zayed Cricket Academy in Abu Dhabi.


Meanwhile, the Pembrokeshire County Cricket Club (PCCC) in Wales, is looking at a proposal to use orange balls in one of its cup competitions later this year.  Local press reports say that the Club have been "given some samples by a ball manufacturer" and some officials believe the balls will "make a huge difference, especially for matches" played late into England's often beautiful long summer evenings.


What is said to have been "the most contentious issue" at a recent PCCC meeting was a proposal to deduct points from a team that contravenes England and Wales Cricket Board's directives for youth fast and medium bowlers.  Under the mooted change, any team that defaults on this, even by mistake, will lose all championship points it accrues in a match.  


Cricket Tasmania deducts 0.25 of a premiership point "for every over or part thereof" bowled in excess of Cricket Australia young bowler limits in home-and-away matches during a season, but for finals, which get underway today, the penalty is fifty runs to the batting side "for every over or part therefore" over the specified limits. 






Two years on from the terrorist attack in Lahore that killed nine people and left an umpire and others critically injured, action against police officers who were assigned to provide security to the team is still pending despite the findings of a Pakistani judicial commission, say reports from Colombo.  A week after the incident in March 2009 the Pakistani government appointed a commission headed by Justice Shabir Raza Rizvi to investigate the causes of what was described as "a security lapse" (E-News 386-2050, 12 March 2009).  


Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah is reported to have said whilst presiding over a meeting to review the commission’s report  this week, that action against the police officers concerned "were only recommendations that were made and were not necessarily to be implemented".  The commission had described some senior Punjab police officers at the time of the attack as "negligent in their duties", saying that the gunmen were able to flee easily after carrying out the attack in the commercial heart of Lahore.


The Sri Lanka Cricket team and International Cricket Council (ICC) match officials were traveling in separate vehicles to the Gaddafi Stadium for the third days play in the Second Test against the home side when at least two dozen gunmen, none of whom have been apprehended, attacked their convoy (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).






The Bendigo District Cricket Association's (BDCA) tribunal banned two players for a total of seven matches on Thursday evening after they were reported in last weekend's Second XI semi-final between Kangaroo Flat and Golden Square.  Kangaroo Flat’s Peter Patullo and Golden Square’s Matt Christie were both charged under a BDCA rule that covers “any physical activity involving players, umpires, spectators or equipment’’, Patullo's relating to bat-throwing and Christie's to making contact with Patullo.


Both incidents occurred while Kangaroo Flat was batting, according to a story published in the 'Bendigo Advertiser' yesterday.  In his evidence, Christie said he made contact with Patullo after he saw the batsman "throw his bat at Golden Square bowler Aaron Sims after [that pair] had collided".  


Christie said that after witnessing the collision he “ran in as fast as I could yelling, ‘you can’t throw your bat at a player’ [and] tried to put a headlock [on Patullo] with an open palm and he fell forward'.  “I did put him on the ground, but it wasn’t from a punch and he got up after a couple of seconds, smiled and tapped me on the back".  “I know it’s not acceptable to do that and I apologised straight away after it happened [but] I was trying to stick up for my team-mate", said Christie.  


Umpire Geoff Young, who lodged the reports against the pair, said in a statement tabled at the hearing that Christie “floored the batsman with a round-arm punch”.  When questioned by the tribunal, Patullo described the contact as forceful and said he had a “red mark from the left part of his shoulder across his neck and [right] ear”, and that he was "hit with an arm [but] I don’t know if it was a fist".


Christie pleaded guilty and was subsequently suspended for five matches, while Patullo pleaded not guilty, however, he was suspended for two matches, one of which will be today's BDCA Second XI Grand Final against Eaglehawk.  After being told of his five-match suspension, Christie, who is on the Golden Square committee and coaches the club’s Under-17 side, told the tribunal: “I’m so disappointed in my actions [as they were] totally out of character and I again apologise to Peter that it happened".






Three Pakistan cricketers accused of spot-fixing in a Test match against England last year have been ordered to stand trial in a British court in late May.  On Thursday, former captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court for the first time since they were charged with conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments.


District Judge Howard Riddle said the allegations against the players and their agent, Mazhar Majeed, were "very serious".  "On the face of it, there is clear evidence against all of you in varying degrees", he said, before ordering that all four men to report for trial at Southwark Crown Court in London on 20 May.  The three players all live in Pakistan and were granted unconditional bail, but UK-based Majeed was freed on condition he surrender his passport and does not apply for international travel documents.


The players and their agent were charged after being questioned by detectives over accusations in the News of the World newspaper that no-balls were deliberately bowled in the fourth Test match at Lord's last August (E-News 669-3286, 17 September 2010).  Prosecutor Sally Walsh said all four men were accused of having "conspired together and with others unknown for £150,000 ($A240,000) as inducement or reward to bowl three no-balls at the fourth Test".  


She told the court the three players were accused of bowling the three no-balls "for the purpose of enabling another to cheat at gambling" and that he charges against them carry "the risk of imprisonment", she added.  An International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal last month banned the three players over the allegations (E-News 726-3574, 14 February 2011), but they have filed appeals against their bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (E-News 734-3649, 3 March 2011).





Zimbabwean first class player Mark Vermeulen has reportedly been dismissed by his Mountaineers side after what the 'Zimbabwe Independent' says was "yet another tantrum over an umpire’s decision", but this one apparently occurred off the field of play via video replay.  Vermeulen is said to have "angrily contested" two decisions given against him in a Logan Cup match against Mashonaland Eagles in Mutarelast month, and the Independent's report suggests that led to him being handed a three-match suspension by team management.


Score sheets available on line show that Vermeulen scored 14 and 9 in the two innings during the match, being given out LBW to the bowling of Tino Mutombodzi and Chad Keegan respectively.  The 'Independent' story indicates that Mountaineers' chief executive officer Philip Senzani stated that Vermeulen "checked video replays on both occasions and went mad when he viewed his second innings dismissal after discovering that he should not have been dismissed".  


Senzani said while Vermeulen "may have been unfortunate in the two decisions", his actions afterwards were "a reflection of the frustration that [all] senior [Mountaineers] players are having [because of] strong pressure from the younger players".  After learning of his suspension, Vermeulen is said to have gone "ballistic and demanded all the money he was meant to get for the rest of the season, a demand which was turned down", and that outburst is reported to have led to the Mountaineers letting him go.


The 'Independent' story lists what it says is Vermeulen's "poor disciplinary record" which includes, "among many others, being banned in England after a violent altercation with a spectator in 2006, [being] arrested on allegations of burning down the pavilion at the Cricket Academy in Harare in November 2006", and "fired by Matabeleland Tuskers [at the start of the current season] for disciplinary reasons". 


The two umpires for the game in Mutari were Jerry Matibiri, who has umpired twice in Hobart, and Russell Tiffin, Zimbabwe's senior umpire and a long-time member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel.  The game was Matibiri's twenty-fourth at first class level, and Tiffin's 104th, the latter's record including forty-four Tests.  



Monday, 21 March 2011






Lindisfarne will feature in all four of Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Premier League Grand Finals next weekend following semi final matches played over the last two days (E-News 742-3641, 17 March 2011).  The club will play Clarence in the three-day First Grade decider at Bellerive starting on Friday, its games in the Second, Third and Under-17 Grade competitions against Kingborough, South Hobart Sandy Bay and Clarence respectively being played on Saturday-Sunday.  


Umpire appointments for the four Grand Finals, the two umpires in this season's CT 'Grade team of the Year', 'Spirit of Cricket' and 'Curator' awards for 2010-11, the latter two which are decided by votes cast by umpires, will be announced during CT's annual Emerson Rodwell Medal Dinner at Bellerive this Wednesday evening. 






A state-level umpire in India has been banned from matches organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after a television network's 'sting' operation filmed what they allege was his involvement in a match fixing ring.  The Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) stood umpire Somnath Jha down until an investigation into the allegations laid against him has been completed.


Jha, 41, a former player with Bihar and now a BCCI panel umpire who has stood in six List A games, was caught, along with five others, on camera allegedly agreeing to "fix umpiring in a proposed limited over corporate cricket match", says a report in the 'Times of India' (TOI) newspaper yesterday.  A private Hindi news channel captured the footage last month and it was put to air last Thursday evening. 


Rajesh Verma, the JSCA's secretary, was quoted by the TOI as saying that "as a follow-up to the news report, we have debarred Somnath Jha from officiating in Board matches with immediate effect until the probe into the allegations against him is over".  The BCCI was "examining the matter thoroughly" continued Verma, and "therefore the state cricket body is not required to investigate [it] separately". 


At the time the news story went to air Jha was officiating in Jharkhand Premier League (JPL) matches in Ranchi, but despite "repeated" attempts by the TOI to contact him he could not be reached.  A JSCA umpire and "close colleague" of Jha said though that the accused man "is feeling guilty of his conduct and [is] not willing to have a word with anyone on this issue".  A second umpire, former JSCA member Ravi Shankar, is said to be been involved in the alleged conspiracy.


A former Bihar player, who did not wish to be named, told the TOI the situation "is very shocking and disappointing to the entire cricket community, but we need to learn lesson from the present episode". 






Australian captain Ricky Ponting added to the debate about 'walking' after admitting he stood his ground despite knowing he had been caught behind during his side's World Cup match against Pakistan on Saturday.  Ponting, who was on 19, was given 'not out' by on-field umpire Marais Erasmus of South Africa, but the decision was overturned on review.  


Ponting was quoted by reporters after the match as saying that "there were no doubts about the nick, I knew I hit it, but as always I wait for the umpire to give me out [for] that's the way I've always played the game".  When a reporter pointed out the umpire had given him 'not out', suggesting he should have "done the right thing and walked", Ponting said: "That's right, the umpire gave me not out".  


Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar was given 'not out' by Australian umpire Steve Davis to a caught behind appeal in last night's match against the West Indies, however, the Indian batsman left the crease without asking for a review.  During the 2003 World Cup, Ponting made it clear he would not encourage teammates to follow suit after Adam Gilchrist 'walked' in a semi-final against Sri Lanka.






Two umpires from Canterbury on New Zealand's South Island travelled to Hawkes Bay on the North Island over the weekend as part of the annual exchange between the respective umpiring Associations.  On Saturday the pair stood with Hawkes Bay colleagues in separate semi finals of the area's one-day competition, and yesterday they were involved in semi finals of a Twenty20 tournament, then worked together on the field in the final later in the day.  






Six umpires and two scorers from four countries were flown to Costa Rica last week to officiate in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Americas Division 3 championship series.  Six teams took part in the fifteen match Twenty20 event, the hosts Costa Rica, plus Belize, Chile, the Falkland island, Mexico and Peru.


Two Canadians, Ruban Sivanadian and Kantharatnam Shanthikumar, two Cayman Islanders, Livingston Bailey and Sydney Moore, plus Kent Gibbons of Bermuda and Denis Gibson or Argentina, filled the thirty umpiring spots available during the week, while scorers Brenda Auld (Argentine) and Michael Glasford (Bermuda) recorded the details of matches.  All except Gibson have been involved in ICC Americas tournaments in the past, while Auld has also previously played for the Argentinia's womens' side.



Tuesday, 22 March 2011






Heavy rain is forecast for Hobart over the next few days and could impact on ground preparations, however, current predictions suggest the weather will clear up in time for Cricket Tasmania's (CT) four Premier League Grade Grand Finals this weekend.  Forecasts available first thing today suggest play might not be able to start on time on Friday in the three-day First Grade encounter between Clarence and Lindisfarne at Bellerive, but conditions should be better when all four finals are underway on Saturday-Sunday (E-News 744-3650, 21 March 2011).


A strong Low Pressure system is expected to linger in the Bass Strait area over the next few days bringing rain to the Hobart area on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Bureau of Meteorology computers currently suggesting some 25-50 millimetres of rain could fall across the south-east of the State tomorrow, 15-25 mm on Thursday, and 1-5 mm on Friday.  The actual forecasts aren't so dire though, with 'Rain' the outlook for Wednesday, 'a little rain' Thursday and 'a few showers' Friday.


By Friday a south-west air flow should be established across the State, a situation that suggests showers in the Hobart area, windy and cool, but precipitation may not reach Bellerive on the eastern side of the Derwent River to any great degree.  The key to a start on Friday appears to be just how much rain falls there over the next forty-eight hours and whether the computer projections are close to the mark. 


Umpire appointments for the four Grand Finals will be announced during CT's annual Emerson Rodwell Medal Dinner at Bellerive tomorrow evening.  Umpires, scorers and others involved in the management of the Grand Finals can keep abreast of the weather outlook for hobart at any time, including during matches, via the 'Weather Outlook' link on the TCUSA web site.






Three Australians are amongst the eight members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) who have been selected for on-field positions in knock-out quarter final games in the World Cup over the next four days (E-News 743-3645, 19 March 2011).  Of the other four EUP members, two will work as third umpires in the quarters, one is a reserve while another, Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka, was not given a game in any capacity.


New Zealand's 'Billy' Bowden and Steve Davis of Australia will be on the field in the first game in Mirpur tomorrow between Pakistan and the West Indies; Marais Erasmus (South Africa) and Ian Gould (England) for the India-Australia match in Ahmedabad on Thursday; Pakistani Aleem Dar and Australian Rod Tucker when South Africa plays New Zealand in Mirpur on Friday; and Australian Simon Taufel and Billy Doctrove of the West Indies in Colombo on Saturday when the home side takes on England. 


Third umpire positions have been assigned to EUP members Daryl Harper (Australia) and Tony Hill (New Zealand), as well as Richard Kettleborough (England) and Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) who are on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  The EUP's Asad Rauf of Pakistan is one of the fourth umpires named, along with IUP members Nigel Llong (England), Bruce Oxenford (Australia) and Shavir Tarapore (India).  Chris Broad (England), Jeff Crowe (New Zealand), and Sri Lankans Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama will be the match referees.


Two of the eighteen umpires who stood in the forty-two match Group phase of the tournament, de Silva and Indian IUP member Amish Saheba who a year ago was part of the ICC's four-man emerging umpires group with Erasmus, Llong and Tucker (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009), missed out on quarter final appointments.  


Last week the Sri Lankan was moved from "key" final Group matches by the ICC for what media reports say was his poor form (E-News 742-3642, 17 March 2011).  Those reports said that de Silva's success percentage in reviewed decisions had been less than fifty per cent during the World Cup, however, while he topped the percentage list in having five of the eight decisions he made overturned on review (5/8), all of them LBWs, Harper's ratio was not far behind with seven out of thirteen (7/13).


Dharmasena got the most experience with the referral process whilst on the field in Group matches, being involved in a total of sixteen, including a whopping seven in Sunday's India-Windies game; however, only two of his decisions were overturned by technology (2/16).  After that came Harper and Tucker with thirteen referrals each, but Tucker's overturned rate was much lower than his Australian colleague with only two out of eleven decisions changed (2/11).   Saheba's statistics were 4/7, followed by Hill 3/7,  Llong and Rauf both 2/9, Taufel 1/5, Davis and Erasmus 1/6, Doctrove and Kettleborough 1/7, and Tarapore 1/8.  Three umpires had none of their decisions overturned: Bowden, Dar, and Gould from 5, 8, and 6 referrals respectively.  


Of the eight quarter final on-field umpires, Dar stood in a semi final and final in the World Cup of 2007, Taufel in semi finals in 2003 and 2007, and Bowden was the third umpire in a semi final in both 2003 and 2007; while the only other umpire named for the quarter finals with such experience is Harper with a semi final in 2003.  Taufel and Harper's ambitions of standing in a WC final have been thwarted in the past in part by the fact their countrymen played in the 2003 and 2007 deciders.  Of the semi final match referees, Madugalle worked in that capacity in both the 1999 and 2003 finals and Crowe in a semi final and final in 2007, the latter match ending in some disarray (E-News 35-196, 1 May 2007).


The ICC says that appointments for the WC semi finals in Colombo and Mohali on Tuesday-Wednesday next week will be "announced in due course", which probably means on Sunday after the last of the quarter final games have been completed.  Appointments for those game will in the first instance be shaped by which teams are playing each other as the ICC policy is that only 'neutral' officials be selected for such contests.






Former first class player Shawn Craig, Cricket Australia's latest Project Panel appointee, has been selected to stand in Cricket Victoria's (CV) Premier League Second Grade Grand final this weekend after just a handful of games at that level in what is his first year as a match official (E-News 741-3639, 16 March 2011).  The national body's Project Panel is designed to fast track former first class players into umpiring ranks, and Craig's elevation this season has indeed been rapid, but based, say a number of reports, on his actual performances and not his CA contract link.     


CV's First Grade final will be looked after by National Umpire Panel (NUP) members John and Tony Ward, the latter fresh from work as the third umpire in this week's Sheffield Shield final at Bellerive (E-News 739-3627, 12 March 2011).  Geoff Joshua, another Victorian NUP member, will be the emergency umpire for that game, but the state's two other NUP members, Ash Barrow and Bob Parry, the latter Victoria's Director of Umpires, are not amongst those umpires CV named this week for its four Grade deciders.



Thursday, 24 March 2011






TCUSA umpiring members Sam Nogajski and Mike Graham-Smith have been named to stand in Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Premier League Grand Final, the appointment being Graham-Smith's first at the pinnacle of club cricket in the State, and Nogajski's third in three years (E-News 592-2975, 25 March 2010).  The pair were among nine who have been chosen to manage CT's four Grade season-deciders over the coming weekend, with two others selected as reserves.


Details of the umpiring appointments were announced at CT's 'Emerson Rodwell Medal' dinner at Bellerive last night by selector Roy Loh.  Speaking to over 150 people on behalf of his selection panel colleagues Steve Maxwell and State Director of Umpires, Richard Widows, Loh said that the quality of umpiring at Premier League Grade level over the season had once again made the task of choosing individuals for the four finals "very difficult". 


Nogajski and Graham-Smith are to work with scorers Graeme Hamley and Ian Collins when Clarence and Lindisfarne take on each other in the First Grade match at Bellerive over three days starting tomorrow morning, Maxwell being the match referee and first reserve umpire.  Nogajski, the TCUSA's 'Umpire of the Year' for the last two seasons, and Graham-Smith, were also named as members of CT's 'Team of the Year' last night (E-News 746-3659 below).  The final will be the pair's sixty-second and forty-eighth in first Grade respectively.  Kingborough scorer Robert Godfrey will work with Peter Norton in operating the electronic score board.  


While First Grade will commence on Friday weather permitting and be played over three days (E-News 745-3655, 22 March 2011), the Second, Third and Under 17 grade finals will be played as two-day games on the weekend proper at Lindisfarne, Queenborough and the TCA Ground.  


Wade Stewart and Jamie Mitchell, who stood together in last year's Third Grade final, have been paired again, but this year in Second Grade in the match between Lindisfarne and Kingborough.   Bev Shadwick and Andrea Dare, the latter the winner of last year's TCUSA 'Most Improved Scorer' award (E-News 595-2995, 1 April 2010), will be their scoring colleagues at Anzac Park.   The weekend's game will be Stewart and Mitchell's third in Second Grade this season, most of their time being spent in First Grade where they stood in seventeen and fifteen games respectively.


Ross Carlson and Martin Betts have been named to stand in the Third Grade final between home side South Hobart Sandy Bay and Lindisfarne at Queenborough, while across on the Domain at the TCA Ground, the Under 17s from Clarence and Lindisfarne will be in action, a game that Tim Blazely and Mark Wickham will be managing.  Darby Munro and Paul Johnstone will be the scorers at Queenborough and Tony Marshall and Ian Stocks at the TCA.


Graham-Smith, Mitchell, Nogajski and Stewart are members of Tasmania's State Umpires Panel, all being chosen by Cricket Australia for interstate representative matches over the 2010-11 season; a period during which Nogajski broke into senior interstate cricket for the first time (E-News 693-3398, 5 November 2010).  


For Stewart the weekend's game will be his seventh Grade season decider in ten years of umpiring, Wickham his fifth also in ten, Nogajski fifth in eight years, Graham-Smith third in four, and Mitchell third in three; while for the others its their first in CT Grade cricket although all have had considerable experience in lower-level and country Grand Finals, one-day and Twenty20 tournament deciders, and in some cases in other parts of the world.  Other reserve umpires named for the weekend last night in addition to Maxwell were Harvey Duthoit and Brian Pollard.






Tasmanian State Umpire Panel members Sam Nogajski and Mike Graham-Smith were named as members of the Cricket Tasmania (CT) Grade 'Team of the Year' at the TCA's annual end-of-season Emerson Rodwell Medal Dinner at Bellerive last night.  The pair, who were chosen from votes cast by the eight CT Premier League clubs, were also selected independently for CT's First Grade Grand Final this coming weekend (E-News 746-3658 above).


Nogajski, who was named in the composite team for the third year running, and Graham-Smith who was chosen for the first time, were selected as the match officials that CT clubs voted as being perceived as having best handled the management of the umpire's role at First Grade level this season.  Prior to moving to umpiring, both had successful playing careers in the Premier League Grade competition, Nogajski with Clarence and Graham-Smith with University.


Richard Widows, Tasmania's State Director of Umpires, told E-News that the pair had had been selected for the First grade Grand Final before the result of club votes for the 'Team of the Year' were collated, and the fact that two different, independent, processes came up with the same result showed how well Nogajski and Graham-Smith have carried out their umpiring duties this season.  "Sam and Mike have very much earned their 'team' and senior Grand Final selections", he said, "as a result of their approach to the game both on and off the field of play". 






Long-serving TCUSA umpire and Life Member Mark Gillard, who has just completed his twenty-first season in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League competition, a period during which he passed the 450 match mark, was one of four men awarded a Cricket Tasmania (CT) 'Chairman's Merit Award' trophy during the Emerson Rodwell medal dinner at Bellerive Oval last night.  


Others to have contributed much to CT's competitions to receive the award were Steve Bax of the Lindisfarne club, Don Mills of CT's Independent Judiciary Panel, and Richard Wooley for his services to both the Glenorchy club and as a statistician with CT.






The Kingborough District Cricket Club was awarded Cricket Tasmania's 'Spirit of Cricket' award for 2010-11 at last night's Emerson Rodwell medal dinner at Bellerive.  The win comes from votes cast by umpires after each match across all five Premier League Grades for an individual team's respect for their opponents and team mates, the traditions of the game, and the role of the umpires.  Kingborough, who also won the Club Championship trophy for total premiership points accumulated by all of its sides,  takes over the 'Spirit' award from the North Hobart club, the winners over the last two years.  






Kingborough captain and all-rounder Mark Divin was the runaway winner off the Emerson Rodwell medal as the best player in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League First Grade competition for 2010-11.  Divin won the prestigious award, which is decided on  the votes of umpires, after a remarkable season in which he topped the bowling and batting aggregates and averages, in the process becoming the first person to achieve that feat since the legendary C. J. Eady way back in 1901-02.  


Divin, whose win was announced at Cricket Tasmania's medal dinner last night, scored 723 runs at 55.62 and took 40 wickets at 13.43 during the season, his consistent performances resulting in him being ten votes clear of his nearest rival at the end of the medal count.  The only First Grade award Divin didn't take away was that for wicket keeping, Ashley Doolan of New Town winning that with 29 dismissals.


Allen Newman trophies, which are also decided on umpire votes, were won last night by Anthony Roussow of Lindisfarne in Second Grade, Will Gainsford of Glenorchy in the Thirds, Zac Bury of South Hobart Sandy Bay at Under 17 level, and Thomas Gravina of New Town in the Under 15s; while the 'Multi-Grade' award for players who attract the most votes across two or more Grades, went to youngster Cody Baker of Clarence.  


Gainsford won the Third Grade batting aggregate with 759 runs, the best across all Grades, and Baker the Under 17 batting average, scoring 289 runs at 72.25, while Bury had the best aggregate at that level with 582 runs.  


South Hobart Sandy Bay Second Grade player David Kinsella's batting average of 80.50 was top in all four Grades, while Kingborough's Under 17 bowler Kyle Wisniewski had the best bowling average, taking 19 wickets at a very low 7.11, Divin's 40 wickets topping the all-Grade bowling aggregates.






Jamie Grace, the Curator of the turf ground at Anzac Park in Lindisfarne, was awarded Cricket Tasmania's Curator award for 2010-11 at last night's Emerson Rodwell medal dinner at Bellerive.  Grace was presented with the trophy by the head curator at Bellerive Oval, Marcus Pamplin.  


Its the second time in three years that the award, which is decided on assessments of grounds made by umpires at the conclusion of each match during the summer, was won for the quality of the pitches and out field at Lindisfarne, former curator there, Rob Denehey, receiving it two years ago.  Scott Munday won the award last year  for his work at the TCA Ground.    






Tasmanian batsman Mark Cosgrove and New South Wales fast bowler Scott Coyte were reported for dissent and abusive language respectively during the recently completed Sheffield Shield final in Hobart, according to press reports.  The chargers said to have been laid against both players apparently centred around Cosgrove's dismissal in Tasmania's first innings when he was given out caught down the leg side by wicket keeper Peter Nevill.  The outcome of the reports against the pair has not been publicised by Cricket Australia.



Friday, 25 March 2011






Cricket Tasmania's three-day Premier League (CTPL) Grand Final looks set to get underway on time this morning despite the drenching Hobart has received over the last forty-eight hours (E-News 745-3655, 22 March 2011).  Bureau of Meteorology gauges in the vicinity of Bellerive Oval have recorded between thirty and forty millimetres of rain over the last two days, however, the ground's excellent drainage means that umpires Sam Nogajski and Mike Graham-Smith should be able to call 'play' at 11 a.m. as scheduled (E-News 746-3658, 24 March 2011).


Other locations where CTPL Second, Third and Under-17 Grade Grand Finals are to be played on Saturday-Sunday, Lindisfarne, Queenborough and the TCA Ground, received similar amounts of rain as did Bellerive, however, while the two first-named games are more likely to experience some shower activity during today, there will also be a fresh wind which may help ensure they are fit for play to start on Saturday morning.  Conditions over the weekend should improve further as a High pressure system pushes in from the west, although it will probably be a little cool on Saturday until winds start to ease.


Umpires, scorers and others involved in the management of the Grand Finals can keep abreast of the weather outlook for Hobart at any time, including during matches, via the 'Weather Outlook' link on the TCUSA web site.






Pakistan asked for the most number of Umpire Decision Review System referrals and the Australian, England and Sri Lankan sides the least during the forty-two match Group stage of the World Cup.  Of the 161 referrals made to the third umpire, 91 or 56 per cent, were not changed after technology was brought into the equation, while 70, or 44 per cent, resulted in the on-field umpire reversing his original 'out' or 'not out' decision (E-News 745-3656, 22 March 2011).


Pakistan asked for a total of 18 referrals in their six Group matches, 12 when bowling and 6 when batting (12/6), Kenya 16 (8/8), Canada (8/6) and Zimbabwe (7/7) all 14 each, South Africa 13 (8/5), Bangladesh (7/4), Ireland (4/7), the Netherlands (3/8) and New Zealand (6/5) all 11, India (7/2) and the West Indies (2/7) both 9, and Australia (7/1), England and Sri Lanka (both 6/2), with 8 each.


As reported previously, referrals were dominated by LBW decisions (E-News 738-3621, 10 March 2011), 148 being for hits on pads, and the other 13 for catches.  Fielding captains asked for LBW related referrals 81 times and batsmen 67, the bowling team seeing the original decision changed in their favour on 16 of the 81 occasions (20 per cent), and batsmen 15 times (22 per cent).  The 13 catch referrals were all asked for by bowling sides, 5 of the original calls by the umpires concerned, or 62 per cent, being changed after advice was received from the third official.


The most number of referrals in a single match was 10 when Pakistan (7) played Canada (3), followed by Kenya-Zimbabwe with 9, England-South Africa 8, three games with 6 and another five with 5.  At the other end of the scale four fixtures saw only one referral, Bangladesh-India, Bangladesh-West Indies, Pakistan-Zimbabwe and India-West Indies, however, not one match was referral free.






New South Wales umpire Greg Davidson, who stood in this season's national Under-19 tournament in Brisbane in December (E-News 669-3383, 26 October 2010), has been appointed to a First Grade semi final in Sydney's Grade Association (SCA) competition this weekend along with former first class umpire Darren Goodger.  For Davidson, a former First Grade captain with Parramatta who is in his third season of umpiring, it will be the first time he has stood in a SCA final at First Grade level. 


Davidson and Goodger will look after the match between Sydney University and Bankstown at University, and Michael Kumutat and Bill Hendricks the other semi final contest between Randwick Petersham and St George at Coogee Oval.  Kumutat, a member of the NSW State Umpire Panel (SUP) is currently one of four members on Cricket Australia's emerging umpires group (E-News 708-3472, 24 December 2010).  


SCA Second Grade semi finals tomorrow and Sunday will see umpires Greg Lill, who stood twice at first class level and three times in interstate one-dayers in the early 2000s, and Nick Wennerbom, working together in one fixture, and NSW SUP members Anthony Wilds and David Lenzo the other.  Lill's game is believed to be his 340th with the SCA.


Semi finals will be played in all five SCA Grades this weekend, the season deciders being scheduled a week later.






Umpires from the West Indies and Sri Lanka are currently in Bangladesh as part of umpire exchange programs organised between the respective Boards.  Joel Wilson from Trinidad and Tobago, who earlier this month was promoted to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Panel (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011), is to stand in three first class matches, and Sri Lankans Asanga Jayasooriya, 40, and Lyndon Hannibal, 45, at least two.


The first of Jayasooriya's two matches, which is to get underway in Chittagong on Monday, will be his fiftieth at first class level since his debut in October 2004.  Like Jayasooriya, who played five games of first class cricket in the mid 1990s, Hannibal too played at that level,  his tally being thirty-four games in the last five years of last Century.  Hannibal's first class match tally as an umpire currently stands at twenty-one.


Wilson's current visit is his second overseas on umpiring exchange for he travelled to England in May last year (E-News 600-3015, 12 April 2010).  His three games, which will all be played in the north-western Bangladeshi city of Rajshahi, will take his first class match tally to eleven, five of which will have been played outside the West Indies.






Match officials from eight nations will travel to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) early next month for this year's eight-day World Cricket League (WCL2) Division 2 tournament.  Teams from Bermuda, Hong Kong, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and the UAE will each play six one-day, fifty over format games, the top two sides after the week of play joining the eight-team Intercontinental Cup series against WCL Division 1 sides later this year, games that are classed as first class cricket.


Former Sri Lanka Graeme Le Brooy, who has been working as a match referee at first class level for the past ten years, will have overall responsibility for matches, his umpires for the event being:  Gary Baxter (New Zealand), Muhammad Riaz (Kuwait), Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal); Sarika Prasad (Singapore), Richard Smith (Cyprus); Lakshminarayanan Sri Ganesh (Singapore), and Theunis van Schalkwyk (Namibia).  The UAE is to provide two, as yet unnamed, umpires as reserves.


Baxter is a New Zealand member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, while Pradhan, Prasad, Smith and van Schalkwyk are on the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate Panel.  Baxter's last appointment overseas was to Australia in January where he officiated in two Australia-England One Day Internationals, one of the field and the other in the third umpires suite (E-News 719-3521, 22 January 2011).






International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat has taken the rare step of criticising an Indian newspaper and its reporter for a story that claimed corruption involved in the World Cup match between Australia and Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad four weeks ago.  Lorgat says in a statement that the ICC do not normally comment on the workings of its anti-corruption unit, however, it found the report in the 'Times of India' (TOI) so "patently false" that they considered it important to make the world body's views known to the general public.


Lorgat said that for reporter to claim, as he did, "that the ICC [had] ever suggested to [him] that the match was corrupted" was not true, for as required by the ICC's anti-corruption policy, "at no stage did anyone from the ICC speak to the journalist on this topic".  Calling the stories that were written as "baseless", the ICC's chief executive called on the TOI and its reporter to issue a retraction so that "the integrity of the media" is upheld.





India's largest media and entertainment conglomerate, the unlisted Bennett, Coleman Company Limited (BCCL), has won the internet, mobile, radio and some television rights for Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournaments for the next four years.  BCCL's digital media arm, Times Internet Limited, is to pay 2.616 billion rupees (about $A58 million) for the 2011-14 rights, starting with the IPL-4, the first game of which is scheduled to start in Chennai two weeks from today.


Rights won by BCCL cover internet and mobile worldwide, with a five-minute delay on the Indian sub-continent, and global radio except for the Middle East.  The deal on television rights excludes Australia, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Singapore, South Africa and the Indian sub-continent, another as yet unnamed group or groups paying additional money to cover those areas.



Monday, 28 March 2011






Two Australians, Steve Davis and Simon Taufel, were yesterday named along with Aleem Dar of Pakistan and Ian Gould of England to stand in the semi finals of the World Cup (WC).  Dar and Davis will look after the Sri Lanka versus New Zealand match in Colombo tomorrow, and Gould and Taufel what will be the particularly tense game between two long-time rivals, home side India and their neighbours Pakistan, in Mohali on Wednesday.


Marais Erasmus of South Africa will be the third umpire in Colombo, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies the fourth umpire, and Englishman Chris Broad the match referee.  Mohali will see 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand in the television suite, former TCUSA member Rod Tucker the fourth umpire, and Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka the match referee. 


It will be the first direct experience in a WC semi final for Broad, Davis, Doctrove, Erasmus, Gould and Tucker, however, Dar, Bowden, Taufel and Madugalle have all been there before.  


For the Sri Lankan its his fifth WC as a match referee and seventh overall for he featured in two such series as a player.  Wednesday's match will be his 265th One Day International (ODI) as a match referee, the current world record, two of those games being the final matches of both the 1999 and 2003 events.


Davis is working in his second and most likely last WC and Dar, Bowden and Taufel their third.  Bowden was a television umpire in semi finals in 2003 and 2007, Taufel a semi final third umpire in 2003 and was on the field in a semi final in 2007, missing the final that year because Australia was playing in that game.  Dar stood in a semi final as well as the final of 2007, the latter game finishing in some disarray (E-News 35-196, 1 May 2007).  This WC year's semis will take Taufel's ODI match record to 166, Dar's to 145, Davis to 104 and Gould to 55.  


With Australia knocked out of contention this year Taufel appears set for the final in Mumbai this Saturday, but his partner will be dictated by whether Pakistan makes the final or not.  If it does it is likely that Gould will join Taufel on the field, however, if India topples Pakistan on Wednesday, it could be a Dar-Taufel partnership; a pairing that would see the only two men to win the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' award standing together in the deciding match. 


Appointments for the final will probably be announced by the ICC sometime on Thursday once the results of both the semi finals are known.






The Lindisfarne Cricket Club took home two of the four Cricket Tasmania Premiership Cups on offer in its Premier League Grade Grand Finals played over the weekend (E-News 746-3658, 24 March 2011).  The Club, which had teams playing in season-deciders at all four levels, won the First and Third Grade competitions, while Kingborough was successful in Second Grade and Clarence in the Under-17s, matches that bring to an end yet another summer of cricket in Hobart.


With the season-proper over, the next event for the TCUSA is the Annual Dinner at Bellerive on Wednesday evening at which a range of awards will be made to umpires and scorers of the Association.  Trophies to be presented include those for the TCUSA 'Umpire of the Year', the Alan Powell Memorial trophy for 'Services to the Association', the Bob Reid Memorial trophy to the 'Most Dedicated Umpire', the best first year umpire and scorer awards, the Advisor's Merit award, plus umpire ratings awards, and Grand Final and Kookaburra Cup other medallions. 






New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, his countryman Kyle Mills and South African batsman Francois du Plessis, have been fined for their parts in a confrontation that occurred during the Kiwi's World Cup quarter final match against South Africa in Dhaka on Friday.  Mills, who was acting as a drinks carrier, Vettori and du Plessis, were all found to have breached the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct (CoC) by match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka.


The incidents for which fines were handed down occurred in the South Africa innings when there was an altercation between du Plessis and some of the New Zealand players following the 'run out' of AB de Villiers.  Vettori, who is not known for sledging, said something to du Plessis and Mills is said to have become embroiled too. A visibly agitated du Plessis shoved Mills, the departing de Villiers returned to support his partner, and eventually the umpires had to get involved. 


Mills was subsequently fined sixty per cent of his match fee, du Plessis fifty per cent and Vettori forty per cent, for their breaching a Level 2 Article of the ICC's Code of Conduct that relates to "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players".  In addition, Mills lost "a further sixty per cent", and Vettori forty per cent, for conduct that is "contrary to the spirit of the game" or "brings the game into disrepute", the former a Level 2 offence and the latter Level 1.


Mahanama said in a statement that the incident occurred at "a crucial [time in the] match for both sides but there is never any excuse for deliberate physical contact in international cricket".  "Vettori and Mills continued to act inappropriately and contrary to the spirit of the game throughout", continued the match referee, "hence the second charges were laid against them".  "In determining the punishment I have taken into consideration the fact that none of these players has previously been involved in similar breaches of the code", he concluded.


Vettori and du Plessis pleaded guilty to the offences but Mills pleaded not guilty and his case was considered in a full hearing held by Mahanama in the presence of on-field umpires Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Rod Tucker (Australia), third umpire Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka), and fourth umpire Nigel Llong (England).  Mills was subsequently found guilty after Mahanama heard oral submissions from Mills and the match officials and considered video evidence of the incident. He did not, as he was able to under ICC regulations, lodge an appeal against the findings.






The four World Cup quarter final matches saw a significant drop off in referrals made under the Umpire Decision Review System, however, that reduction was not enough to stop requests related to LBWs passing the 150 mark for the tournament.  All-up there were seven referrals asked for across the four quarter finals, the fixture between New Zealand and South Africa being the first and so far only match in the 2011 WC not to see a single referral.


Of the seven referrals made across the four quarter finals, five were for LBW, numbers 149 to 153, and two for catches, numbers fourteen and fifteen.  In all seven cases, four made by the fielding side and three by batsmen, the original on-field umpire's decision was confirmed after technology had had its say.


Pakistan requested referrals more than any other side in the Group stage of the WC (E-News 747-3666, 25 March 2011), while only three of the eighteen umpires involved, 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, Aleem Dar of Pakistan, and Ian Gould of England, had none of their decisions overturned on review (E-News 745-3656, 22 March 2011).  






An Indian newspaper has apologised to the Australian cricket team for publishing a story on its website that accused them of spot-fixing during their World Cup match against Zimbabwe late last month.  The 'Times of India' (TOI) ran a story following the match that alleged Australia's players were being investigated for spot fixing, and the International Cricket Council (ICC) subsequently called on the newspaper to retract the claims (E-News 747-3670, 25 March 2011).


The original 'TOI' story claimed that Australian openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin were being investigated for slow batting in the Zimbabwe match because they only scored thirty-two runs in the first thirteen overs.  The report suggested three men from a "match-fixing racket" had "snuck into Australia's hotel before the game" and that there was a link between the run-rate and that alleged hotel visit.


The ICC called on the newspaper to retract the story so that "the integrity of the media" could be upheld.  Subsequently the 'TOI' posted an apology on its web site on Thursday which acknowledged the story was false and "apologised to Australia, Cricket Australia and [the] ICC for any embarrassment caused by this".  "We also accept that at no stage has the ICC ever confirmed or suggested the match was fixed and the story has since been taken off the [TOI] website".






International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat believes "the success" of the World Cup has proved that the future of One Day Internationals (ODI) is safe.  Lorgat said at a press conference in Motera last week that "the tournament so far has been an absolute success and the quality of cricket has been wonderful", and that stories run in the media over the last six months that questioned the future of fifty-over cricket "are now no more".  


South African player Jacques Kallis also spoke positively about the fifty-over game last week.  Speaking prior to his side's exit from the WC, Kallis said "there is plenty of time to recover from setbacks in fifty overs", for if "you are a good team, have strength in depth and believe in yourself, then you back yourself to win over 100 overs with bat and ball".  "Gone are the days when one player can have a great day and that’s it, game over", claims Kallis, for "players’ all-round skills have improved and that should show itself over that much cricket".


Reports last year clearly suggested that Cricket Australia (CA) was looking to have the next WC, which is to be played in Australasia, use the one-day, forty-five over, split-innings format that it trialled in its domestic competition during the 2010-11 summer (E-News 652- 3229, 16 August 2010).  Just what the lessons CA learnt from that experience, and whether there will be changes made to it for next summer in Australia, have not yet been made public.  The format was also used for one-day games at First Grade club level in some States over the summer just ended (E-News 673-3303, 27 September 2010).



Wednesday, 30 March 2011






Long-serving TCUSA member Joe Hewitt has decided to call 'time' on his umpiring career after sixteen seasons with the Association.  Since the mid-1990s Hewitt, who turns 75 this year, has stood with the TCUSA in a total of 193 matches across all Cricket Tasmania Premier League Grades, in the Southern Tasmania Cricket League and in Country Associations and feels that it is time to hang up his counter.


Amongst his matches with the TCUSA are a total of 22 in First Grade, and Grand Finals in Second Grade in 1999-2000, Under-17 in 1996-97 and Under-15 in 2009-10, plus deciders in the then Womens' competition in 2001-02 and in the country at Oatlands the same year.  Along the way he was awarded the TCUSA's 'Most Improved Umpire' trophy in both 1995-96 and 1999-2000, the latter season being when he stood in First Grade for the majority of the summer.


Over the last five years Hewitt has limited himself to standing at the Under-15 level, a period when he has contributed much to junior cricket, and most importantly in helping new umpires to learn the ropes.  Unfailingly courteous, Joe has help many of the umpires who have joined the Association over the last decade through the actuality of the challenge of their early days at the crease, and then watched their on-going development and subsequent achievements with interest and continuing encouragement.


Hewitt told E-News that he has "enjoyed" all his experiences in the game and is very much appreciative "to everyone in the Association for their help and comradeship" over the years.  He'll miss his colleagues, he says, but intends "to keep in touch [with the Association and its members] by attending meetings and other get-togethers".  He also plans to continue in his "part-time casual job at Bellerive Oval", where he looks after the Members' Pavillion, and "looks forward to catching up with past and present umpires" when cricket is being played at the headquarters of Tasmanian cricket.


Members will have the opportunity to express their thanks directly to Joe for his many contributions to the game of cricket during tonight's TCUSA Annual Dinner at Bellerive. 






Zimbabwean umpire Jerry Matibiri, who stood in a total of nineteen matches in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League competition during two visits to Hobart late last decade, has joined the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) as a third umpire.  News of Matibiri's promotion came without fanfare, his name being in the list of 33 IUP members for 2011, 13 of whom are third umpires, that the ICC posted quietly on its web site sometime over the last week (E-News 749-3680 below).


Matibiri, who turns 40 in May, had already stood in three first class matches when he first visited Hobart during the 2007-08 season, then chalked up another eight before his return to Tasmania two seasons later.  Over the last six months, however, Zimbabwe Cricket has worked him hard in the lead up to nominating him to the ICC for IUP membership, for in that time he has stood in a total of 12 domestic first class, 9 List A and two Twenty20 games, matches that have taken his tally in those forms of cricket to 25, 26 and 9 respectively.  His first class list includes last year's domestic first class final in Zimbabwe (E-News 599-3012, 11 April 2010). 


On the international front Matibiri has, in the last eighteen months, stood in five Under-19 One Day Internationals (ODI), three Under-19 Twenty20 Internationals, worked as the television umpire in two senior Twenty20 Internationals, and been the fourth umpire in three senior ODIs (E-News 611-3067, 25 May 2010).


Tasmania State Director of Umpires, Richard Widows, who worked with Matibiri during his time in Hobart, told E-News yesterday that "For our umpiring community to have had the opportunity to support and guide Jerry as well as learning from him on the occasions he's umpired with us, allows us all to share a little in his achievement. We'll follow his career with great interest and pride, grateful and confident in the knowledge that such a fine person has been recognised as a quality umpire at this level".


Zimbabwe's two on-field IUP members remain as long-serving Russell Tiffin and Owen Chirombe, the latter who moved from the television spot following the resignation of Kevan Barbour in December 2009 (E-News 534-2737, 17 December 2009).  Chirombe took part in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January last year (E-News 568-2848, 29 January 2010), and made his ODI debut ten months ago (E-News 611-3067, 25 May 2010). 






Eighteen of the 33 umpires appointed to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) for the year ahead have played at first class level, while five of those eighteen have represented their nations in Tests and One Day Internationals (ODI).  Overall membership of the IUP for the next year only became clear over the weekend when the ICC posted the new list on its web site shortly after nominations were received from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Zimbabwe Cricket.


Apart from the removal and replacement of three of the four WICB IUP members from last year (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011), other notable changes include the movement of Sri Lankan third umpire member Ranmore Martinez into an on-field spot, his colleague Tyrone Wijewardene moving in the opposite direction, and the addition of a second third umpire to both the England and Indian IUP groups, an arrangement that has applied to the WICB's panel for a number of years now.


Australian membership saw Simon Fry come in as the third umpire (E-News 618-3097, 8 June 2010), in New Zealand Barry Frost replaced Evan Watkin in that position (E-News 684-3354, 19 October 2010), Cricket South Africa moved Johannes Cloete from third umpire to an on-field spot, Shaun George being the new television official (E-News 687-3372, 23 October 2010), while Zimbabwe made Jerry Matibiri its new third umpire (E-News 749-3679 above).  On the other hand both Bangladesh and Pakistan memberships remain unchanged from last year, the former being Nadeem Ghauri, Zameer Haider, and third umpire Ahsan Raza, the latter Enamul Hoque Moni, Nadir Shah and Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid (third).  


Apart from Bangladesh and Pakistan, other IUP members are: Australia - Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel, Fry (new third); England - Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Richard Illingworth (third), Rob Bailey (new third); India - Amish Saheba, Shahvir Tarapore, Sanjay Hazare (third), Sudhir Asnani (new third); New Zealand - Gary Baxter, Chris Gaffaney, Frost (new third);  South Africa - Brian Jerling, Cloete (new on-field), George (new third); Sri Lanka - Kumar Dharmasena, Martinez (new on-field), Wijewardene (new third); West Indies - Norman Malcolm, Peter Nero (new on-field), Gregory Braithwaite (new third), Joel Wilson (new third); Zimbabwe - Russell Tiffin, Owen Chirombe, Jeremiah Matibiri (new third). 


Average age of the panel is 46, the youngest being Sharfuddoula 34, Gaffaney 35, Raza 36, Chirombe, Kettleborough 38, and Dharmasena and Matibiri 39, while at the other end of the scale Malcolm is 56 and Baxter 59.  Dharmasena, Illingworth, Ghauri, Hoque Moni and Reiffel played Tests and ODIs, others to have played at first class level being: Bailey, Gaffaney, George, Hazare, Kettleborough, Llong, Martinez, Oxenford, Raza, Saheba, Sharfuddoula, Tarapore and Wijewardene.  


All up those members with first class playing experience have taken part in a total of 1,761 matches, 86 of them Tests, and a total of 293 ODIs; Dharmasena, who is thought to be a solid prospect for promotion to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel this year, leading the way with 31 Tests and 141 ODIs.


Countries all of whose members have played first class cricket are England and Sri Lanka, while those with a majority are Australia, Bangladesh and India.  The West Indies and Zimbabwe IUP groups are the only ones for 2011 without a former first class player in their ranks. 



Thursday, 31 March 2011






The only two men to win the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' award since its inception seven years ago will be on the field for the final of the World Cup between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai on Saturday (E-News 748-3672, 28 March 2011).  Aleem Dar of Pakistan and Simon Taufel of Australia were named today to stand in the final, with Englishman Ian Gould the third umpire, Taufel's countryman Steve Davis the fourth, and Jeff Crowe of New Zealand the match referee. 


Dar and Crowe worked in the same roles in the 2007 final in the West Indies, a match that was marred by a farcical situation surrounding bad light issues (E-News 35-196, 1 May 2007).  Both men and their three umpiring colleagues in that final, Steve Bucknor (West Indies), Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) and 'Billy' Bowden (New Zealand), were subsequently stood down by the ICC and not selected for the inaugural World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa in September that year (E-News 59-324, 24 June 2007). 


Dar, 42, and Taufel, 40, the youngest members of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel, are taking part in their third WC, while for Crowe, 52, Davis, who turns 59 next week, and Gould, 53, its their second as match officials; although Crowe also took part in two others as a player and Gould one.  While it is Taufel's third WC, until this year he has been unable to be considered to officiate in a WC final because Australia has played in both the 2003 and 2007 matches, the ICC having a strict 'neutral' umpires policy.