THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
TOTAL OF 17 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 3768-3842)
769 770 771 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 779 780 781 782 783 784 785
769 - 2 June [3768-3771]
• 'Twilight' sessions for Shield matches in 2011-12? (769-3768).
• As expected, no UDRS for India's Caribbean series (769-3769).
• Hariharan India's 'Umpire of the Year' (769-3770).
• D-L decides match after floodlight failure (769-3771).
770 - 5 June [3772-3775]
• CA looking to drop 'split-innings' concept, says report (770-3772).
• Australian Ministers looking at new match-fixing laws (770-3773).
• Remedial work corrects bowler's 'illegal action' (770-3774).
• Four Windies umpires named for India ODI series (770-3775).
• New head for ICC's anti-corruption unit (769-3776).
771 - 7 June [3772-3775]
• Passing of long-serving scorer member Hazell Bradshaw (771-3777).
772 - 9 June [3778-3782]
• Parry named as East-Asia Pacific Umpires Manager (772-3778).
• Reprimand handed down after 'freak accident' at Lord's (772-3779).
• ECB director 'open-minded' about day-night tests (772-3780).
• April Fool story not far off the mark (772-3781 ).
• Banned player's match participation under investigation (772-3782).
773 - 13 June [3783-3787]
• Two final Tests for Australia's most 'capped' umpire (773-3783).
• MBE for former first class umpire (773-3784).
• Assault allegation leads to abandonment of match (773-3785).
• Umpire reverses caught behind' decision (773-3786).
• No UDRS for England-India Test series (773-3787).
774 - 15 June [3788-3791]
• 'Hotspot' company purchases two up-graded cameras (774-3788).
• PCB makes changes to IUP membership (774-3789).
• More details emerge of abandoned Irish match (774-3790).
• Laws now available in Gujarati (774-3791).
775 - 16 June [3792-3797]
• CA planning changes to Futures League arrangements (775-3792).
• 'Get on' with day-night Tests, says ball manufacturer (775-3793).
• Three-day match format for EPT confirmed (775-3794).
• Surprise ODI debut after named umpire demoted (775-3795).
• ECB warns players about showing dissent (775-3796).
• Batsman unregistered so County fined (775-3797).
776 - 18 June [3798-3802]
• Tendulkar 'not against' UDRS, but wants 'more consistency' (776-3798).
• First overseas international for Windies umpire (776-3799).
• Former Windies quick laments ODI playing conditions (776-3800).
• ECB looking at off-spinner's bowling action (776-3801).
• 'Successful' English stint for Caribbean umpire (776-3802).
777 - 20 June [3803-3805]
• BCCI considering Taufel suggestions on Indian umpiring, say reports (777-3803).
• Injury behind ODI umpire swap (777-3804)
• Orange boots in T20 too 'gimmicky' for ECB (777-3805).
778 - 22 June [3806-3811]
• India drops two from IUP ranks (778-3806).
• Rumblings in Pakistan over umpire's promotion (778-3807).
• Pitch 'unplayable', but at wrong ground (778-3808).
• Association lifts fees as it targets new members (778-3809).
• Lankan batsman to face doping hearing (778-3810).
• Another County player found guilty of 'dissent' (778-3811).
779 - 24 June [3812-3817]
• Sri Lanka fined for slow play, ICC to tighten regulations (779-3812).
• 'Wisden' editor laments slow play, calls for changes (779-3813).
• Test debutant taken off after 'Protected Area' violations (779-3814).
• Slow, pointed, departure in Test leads to fine (779-3815).
• 'Small timing error' by umpires upsets Test crowd (779-3816).
• Intercontinental Cup gets off to a wet start (779-3817).
780 - 25 June [3818-3821]
• Lankan handed three-month suspension for anti-doping violation (779-3818).
• Indian media questions BCCI policy on UDRS use (780-3819).
• ICC to look at Indian produced limited over run target system (780-3820).
• ECB warns clubs to stay away from banned players (780-3821).
781 - 26 June [3822-3825]
• Stand up to BCCI on UDRS use, urges Boycott (781-3822).
• Indian skipper criticises umpiring in Jamaica Test (781-3823).
• Windies pair disciplined for 'dissent', 'spirit' offences (781-3824).
• 'No ill feelings' towards India, says Bucknor (781-3825).
782 - 27 June [3826-3829]
ICC meeting to consider a range of contentious issues (782-3826).
• Lengthy bans handed out after umpires confronted (782-3827).
• Pakistan to support UDRS proposal in Hong Kong (782-3828).
• Getting reverse swing 'harder' as umpires now check ball, says Safraz (782-3829).
783 - 28 June [3830-3832]
• Compromise reached on UDRS use, but 'who pays' questions remain (783-3830).
• No runners to be allowed in international cricket (783-3831).
• Slow over-rate penalties for skippers tightened (783-3832).
784 - 29 June [3833-3837]
• Lloyd provides his thoughts on runner ban (784-3833).
• 'On line' commentary wrong about 'Protected Area' ball, says Harper (784-3834).
• No UDRS for Twenty20 International matches (784-3835).
• Planned ICC directive highlights 'Obstructing the Field' issue (784-3836).
• New Zealand Cricket launches NZCUSA web site (784-3837).
785 - 30 June [3838-3842]
• Harper withdrawals from his final Test appointment, media pressure cited (785-3838).
• Fourth player found guilty of 'dissent' in Windies-India Test series (785-3839).
• Club plans appeal on batsman's one-year ban (785-3840).
• Indian film company pushing actors for IPL umpire spots (785-3841).
• ICC defers decision on Presidential selection arrangements (785-3842).
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 769
Thursday, 2 June 2011
'TWILIGHT' SESSIONS FOR
SHIELD MATCHES IN 2011-12?
Some Sheffield Shield matches next austral summer could include a twilight session that would end at 8 p.m. as part of Cricket Australia's (CA) contribution to efforts to determine the viability of day-night Tests. Should the proposal current under consideration actually be adopted, the traditional red ball would be used for the games rather than the pink version, which CA says is "yet to be fully tested", although recent reports on its suitability have been positive (E-News 753-3694, 5 April 2011).
CA's move comes in the wake of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee's recent request for countries to test the feasibility of playing day-night games in the longer versions of the sport at the first-class level. The ICC indicated last month that it hopes to announce dates and venues for the first day-night Test matches next year, Lord's, the Sydney Cricket Ground or the stadium in Abu Dhabi being possible hosts because of "their powerful floodlights" (E-News 762-3742, 12 May 2011).
According to the Melbourne newspaper 'The Age", the 'twilight' concept for the Shield series has already been discussed by CA's Playing Conditions Committee, and the next step is to identify suitable grounds and dates, depending on the amount of dew and when the sun sets. Clive Lloyd, Chair of the world body's Cricket Committee expressly mentioned the issue of dew after last month's meeting, it being a problem during the World Cup earlier this year (E-News 740-3634, 15 March 2011).
'The Age' quoted a "CA spokesman", as saying that ''we are very conscious of the ICC Cricket Committee's suggestion that they would like to see some trials at first-class level in different parts of the world and we have always been very keen on trying to play cricket at times when people want to watch it".
In April, CA "handed over a bag of pink and orange balls" to the ICC so it could continue the "thus-far fruitless quest" to find a suitable ball for day-night Tests (E-News 760-3731, 21 April 2011). Reports say that Australia's Channel Nine television network is believed to have argued for orange balls to be used, saying it would be better for television viewers, however, the ICC's cricket committee apparently thinks the pink ball has more promise.
Orange balls were used in day-night Sheffield Shield games way back in the 1996-97 season, the final of India's Ranji Trophy also being floodlit in 1997 although white balls were used in that game but they had to be replaced regularly.
The West India's 2009-10 domestic first class season saw pink balls and floodlights (E-News 564-2866, 3 February 2010), as did the interstate Second XI competition in Australia around the same time (E-News 565-2867, 4 February 2010), while this year's final of Pakistan's domestic first class competitions was a day-night affair (E-News 714-3596, 14 January 2011).
AS EXPECTED, NO UDRS FOR
INDIA'S CARIBBEAN SERIES
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has confirmed that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be during their side's forthcoming Twenty20, One Day International or Test series against India which starts this evening Australian time. News reports from the Caribbean say that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has "convinced" the WICB that technology not be used during the entire tour.
India have been a staunch critic of UDRS since the first trial of the system in Sri Lanka three years ago (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008), and reiterated its position again late last month (E-News 763-3746, 16 May 2011). The review system was used in the Caribbean last month when Pakistan played five ODIs and two Tests there (E-News 762-3742, 12 May 2011).
'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR'
Long-serving Indian umpire Krishna Hariharan was named as his country's 'Umpire of the Year' during the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) annual awards ceremony in Mumbai on Tuesday. Hariharan, 55, who has been umpiring at club level since 1985, was a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) until four years ago, standing in two Tests during his time with that group.
Over the twelve months covered by the award, Kerala-born Hariharan stood in a total of 28 senior level matches in India. Eight were at first class level, three in List A games, eleven in the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Twenty20 competition, eight of those being in the television suite, and six in other lower-level representative games.
Hariharan made his first class debut in January 1993 and stood in his first One Day International (ODI) just four years later. He was selected for his first Test, which was played at Lord's, in May 2005, and was given a second the following year, around the same time he worked in his thirty-fourth, and at present last, ODI. Since slipping from IUP ranks he has been kept busy in India, working in thirty-nine first class games in India, plus all four IPL tournaments played to date.
D-L DECIDES MATCH AFTER
Play in a day-night Twenty20 match between Glamorgan and Middlesex in Cardiff was interrupted for forty minutes on Thursday evening when the floodlights failed. With the lights down and 5,000 spectators looking on, umpires Nigel Cowley and John Steele made an initial decision to award the game to Glamorgan, but as the players were shaking hands the lights finally came back on, after which they reversed their decision and allowed the game to proceed.
Glamorgan batted first and reached 4/199 in their twenty overs, and their opponents were 6/121 after 14.5 overs when three of the four floodlights being used went out. When the lights were restored at 10.40 p.m., the Duckworth-Lewis (D-L) system had to be used to help decide the result of the match. The calculations involved showed that Middlesex needed an unlikely 62 for victory from just 3.1 overs, however, they managed only another 16 runs and thus Glamorgan ran out the winners.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 770
Sunday, 5 June 2011
CA LOOKING TO DROP 'SPLIT-INNINGS'
CONCEPT, SAYS REPORT
Cricket Australia (CA) looks like dropping its split-innings, 45-over format, from its domestic one-day matches next season and move back to 50-over contests. Split-innings were introduced by CA as part of attempts to "refresh" the one-day format (E-News 652-3229, 16 August 2010), but with the 2015 World Cup likely to be a 50-over affair CA's Playing Conditions Committee (PCC) has recommended the latest change to the national Board.
The PCC's move comes after the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee recommended a number of changes to the One Day International format last month (E-News 762-3741, 12 May 2011). They including new balls from either end and forcing sides to use power plays during the middle overs, but not the split-over format, something CA has been pushing to have introduced into the international game. However, senior ICC officials in Dubai appear to have opposed such a move from the start (E-News 676-3319, 4 October 2010).
CA and PCC chairman Jack Clarke said yesterday that "overall, the public response to innovations which were trialled [last season] was good, and the public said it liked split innings", he said. While the ICC has rejected split innings, Clarke pointed out that a number of "ideas we tried, such as using two balls, reducing over restrictions on bowlers and increasing the number of bouncers allowed, are being either supported or tested further by the ICC for possible global use".
While Clarke emphasised that the PCC's recommendations should not be seen as pre-empting the final view of the full Board, given the ICC's decision deletion of split innings appears to be just a formality. Clarke's colleagues on the PCC include former players Greg Chappell, Matt Hayden, Mark Taylor, Shane Warne and Paul Marsh of the player's union; although both Hayden and Warne were unable to attend yesterday's meeting. It was that same group that was behind the introduction of the split innings concept to Australian cricket last year.
News of CA's deliberations comes as Cricket Tasmania's Premier League (PL) playing committee is looking at whether to introduce the split-innings into senior one-day games to at least First Grade level in 2011-12, as was done in both Queensland and Victoria last season (E-News 673-3303, 27 September 2010).
Some of CT's clubs are believed to be in favour of basing playing conditions for PL one-day games next season around the split-innings concept, but others are either opposed or want to see what CA is doing. A final decision is awaited, however, with CA looking likely to move back to 50-over games, it would surprise if CT significantly changed its current PL one-day playing conditions for next season.
AUSTRALIAN MINISTERS LOOKING AT
NEW MATCH-FIXING LAWS
Match-fixing in any sport in Australia will be made an offence under proposed legislation to be considered by the federal and state governments next week. The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) is to present a working party paper on corruption to senator Mark Arbib, Australia's Minister for Sport, on Wednesday, and he is to meet with his state counterparts to discuss the subject two days later.
Measures that could be part of any new law include banning the passing of information from sportsmen or support staff that could be used to make bets, and tighter control of the range of exotic or spot bets that can be placed on various elements of a match. Penalties that would apply if the initiative progresses would be a matter for each state, but Arbib has suggested the possibility of ten years in jail as an appropriate punishment.
James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's (CA) chief executive, is also chairman of COMPPS, while former International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed is its operational head. A CA spokesman told local media outlets in Melbourne that "there's been quite a lot of discussion between James Sutherland, Arbib and [chief executives of other sports]" on the matter.
REMEDIAL WORK CORRECTS
BOWLER'S 'ILLEGAL ACTION'
West Indian off-spinner Shane Shillingford's bowling action has been cleared by International Cricket Council following close analysis conducted at the University of Western Australia in Perth late last month. Shillingford was reported after the First Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last November (E-News 698-3421, 23 November 2010, and was banned the following month when tests showed his elbow extended beyond the 15 degrees permitted (E-News 706-3460, 22 December 2010).
A report by The Associated Press says that after the ban was imposed the 28-year-old Dominican undertook five months of remedial work with both West Indies and Dominica officials, and it appears to have brought his delivery action within current guidelines. Shillingford, who has played five Tests to date, says "having to overcome this hurdle has made me stronger and more determined to succeed".
FOUR WINDIES UMPIRES NAMED
FOR INDIA ODI SERIES
Four Caribbean members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel will be working in the four-match One Day International series between the West Indies and India later this month. They will work with match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand and neutral umpire Ian Gould of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 764-3753, 23 May 2011),
The senior member of the Windies quartet, Norman Malcolm of Jamaica, will stand in three of the matches with Gould although IUP newcomer Peter Nero will be the Englishman's colleague in the first and second matches which will be played in Trinidad, his third and fourth ODIs on the field (E-News 757-3719, 13 April 2011).
Two other new West Indian IUP members, Joel Wilson of Trinidad and Tobago and Gregory Brathwaite of Barbados will share third umpire duties with Nero, the latter being named for that role in matches three and four, while Malcolm will have that role in match one.
NEW HEAD FOR ICC
The International Cricket Council has appointed Yogendra Pal Singh (YP) as the new head of its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU). Singh, 55, takes over from Ravi Sawani, who is retiring from the position he has held since November 2007, although the latter will remain involved with the ACSU as a consultant.
The new ACUSA head is from New Delhi in India and served in the police there for thirty years including several years with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In the latter organisation, as joint-director in charge of anti-corruption, he was involved in what the ICC says was "the investigation of corrupt practices", particularly in Mumbai and New Delhi.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in announcing the change that: "As recent events have shown, the menace of corruption in sport is real but with the measures we have established over the years the public can be confident that we will make certain the integrity of the sport is maintained". "We must, however, remain vigilant and YP will bring with him a fresh outlook to the continuing challenges that lie ahead", he concluded.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 771
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
PASSING OF LONG-SERVING SCORER
MEMBER HAZELL BRADSHAW
Long-serving TCUSA member Hazell Bradshaw, who retired at the end of the 2006-07 after thirty years in the score box, passed away unexpectedly in Hobart at the weekend. Bradshaw, who was made a Life Member of the Association three years ago in acknowledgement of her significant contribution to cricket at all levels of the game (E-News 215-1192, 21 March 2008), set the bar on the high standards that now apply to scoring matches in Tasmania.
Hazell commenced her scoring career in the late 1970s when her eldest son Keith, who is now the Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), started playing the game in High School. A few years later he joined the New Town club in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's Third Grade competition and Hazell joined him there, moving up to First Grade as Keith's career progressed.
Keith was later selected to join the ranks of first-class cricketers, playing 25 games for Tasmania over a four-year period, but Hazell spent three decades with New Town which honoured her long service there by naming the scorer's room at their ground after her. Hazell commenced scoring in interstate matches during the 1990-91 season, going on to record the details of almost 90 games at that level over 16 years in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport; and in 18 One Day Internationals and five Test Matches at Bellerive.
When asked several years ago by E-News to name some of her favourite moments in what was a memorable career the stories came thick and fast.
She talked about watching players like Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Ricky Ponting and Tom Moody scoring large totals very quickly ("it was awkward to keep up with the figures on the score sheet", said Hazell); to trying to figure out which West Indian was responsible for a 'run out' where three players had the ball before the wicket was broken (she asked them at lunch); to the day Tasmanian Dan Marsh put a ball through the old score box window at Bellerive in a one-day domestic game. Marsh later presented her with a trophy on which the ball was mounted and in the following fixture Hazell was seen on TV wearing a helmet!
No doubt her proudest moment in cricket was when son Keith took up his MCC position in October 2006, the first non-Englishman in the then 219 year history of that club to do so. Keith is flying from England to join his brother Anthony and her husband to attend her funeral. Details of her farewell have not yet been announced.
State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows paid tribute to Hazell when her TCUSA Life Membership award was announced saying then, in words that are also appropriate to mark her passing, that "such dedicated service, performed with her own delightful brand of wit and humour will be remembered with gratitude, respect and not least, affection".
PARRY NAMED AS EAST-ASIA
PACIFIC UMPIRES MANAGER
Bob Parry, Cricket Victoria's (CV) current Umpires Manager who is also a long-serving member of Australia's National Umpires Panel (NUP), was named by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) East-Asia Pacific (EAP) Development Program as its new Umpires Manager on Tuesday. Parry, 58, takes over from New Zealander Brian Aldridge who retired from the position last month after four years in the job (E-News 762-3744, 12 May 2011).
Parry's commenced his umpiring career in the early 1990s in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association, made his interstate debut in 1997 in a one-day domestic fixture, stood in his first One Day International (ODI) in 1998, and joined the NUP in 2001-02. Since then he has gone on to work in seven Tests as the third umpire, four ODIs on the field and another thirty-one as third umpire, two International Twenty20 matches, 79 first class matches, four Sheffield Shield finals, and two domestic one day deciders.
Last week Parry attended an EAP Regional Conference in Christchurch and was quoted in an ICC statement as saying that he is "looking forward to working with EAP Umpires and stakeholders to help improve the cricket experience for all involved in our great game". ICC East-Asia Pacific Regional Development Manager Andrew Faichney said in the same statement that the appointment of someone with Parry's experience will be of huge benefit to the region.
Despite his long experience as an umpire Parry still believes he will face new challenges in the EAP role. "The greatest challenge for me [will be] dealing with the diverse competency of those in the region [and] also gaining an understanding of the cultural differences" involved, he said.
The Victorian's first opportunity to work "hands on" with EAP umpires will come during the region's Division 1 Twenty20 (T20) Trophy series that begins in Papua New Guinea on 4 July. That competition involves the home side plus Fiji, Japan, Samoa and Vanuatu, and is part of the qualification pathway for the World T20 event that is to be staged in Sri Lanka next year.
Parry's predecessor Aldridge took up the EAP position soon after retiring as Cricket New Zealand's Umpires Manager and prior to that had a distinguished career on the international umpiring scene. There was no indication in the announcement of Parry's appointment that he is to relinquish either his CV or NUP roles, however, the NUP situation should become clearer soon as the make-up of the panel for the year ahead is normally announced in June.
REPRIMAND HANDED DOWN AFTER
'FREAK ACCIDENT' AT LORD'S
England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has been reprimanded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for smashing a dressing-room window at Lord's on the final day of the Test against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Prior is said by press reports to have "reacted angrily" when he returned to the pavilion after being 'run out', his actions resulting in a spectator in the Members' area suffering minor cuts from the broken glass.
An ICC statement issued yesterday said that Prior had accepted a Level 1 charge of having breached a clause of the ICC's Code of Conduct [CoC] that relates to "abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during an international match". Under the CoC, Level 1 offences can be punished by a fine of fifty per cent of a player's match fee, but Prior's acceptance of the charge meant the punishment did not go beyond the reprimand.
Match referee Javagal Srinath of India, who handed down the sanction against the Englishman, said in the statement that "Matt knows that his action was in breach of the [CoC] and he should be more careful in future. That said, it was clear that the damage he caused was purely accidental and without malice. It's also noted that he apologised to the ground authority for the incident".
England team director Andy Flower told journalists that he was "two metres away when [the incident] happened and there was no real malicious intent at all". Describing it as "a freak accident, but definitely an accident", Flower was quoted as saying that “Matt was a little frustrated and shoved his bat in the corner and it knocked around, bounced off one or two other bats, and then hit the pane of glass".
The ICC reacted in the same manner when former Australia captain Ricky Ponting damaged a television set in his team's dressing room, in what appears to have been an equally freakish circumstance, after being 'run out' against Zimbabwe at a World Cup match in February. Ponting said at the time that when he arrived in the dressing room he sat near the television and took off his pads and gloves, but then stood up and threw his 'box' which bounced off his bag and hit the TV (E-News 732-3599, 25 February 2011).
The charge against Prior was brought by on-field umpires Billy Doctrove of the West Indies and Rod Tucker of Australia, as well as third umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan and fourth official Richard Illingworth who is from England (E-News 762-3740, 12 May 2011).
ECB DIRECTOR 'OPEN MINDED'
ABOUT DAY-NIGHT TESTS
The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) managing director Hugh Morris told the BBC's Radio 4 'Today' program yesterday that he is "open minded" about the prospect of playing floodlit Test matches. The viability of playing day-night Tests is being explored by the International Cricket Council (ICC), primarily in an effort to boost crowd numbers, although reports vary as to just what they may become a reality (E-News 762-3742, 12 May 2011).
Morris said that "a degree of caution was needed" if the concept is to be introduced and actually work. "There has been a lot of change in our game in recent years [and day-night Tests] may be a next step", he continued, "but we'd need to make sure we'd got it right before it was played at international level", particularly in regard to the colour and technology of the ball.
The ICC have recommended that all nations test the pink ball in their domestic first class competitions to ensure it is up to standard, although a report from such a match played in Abu Dhabi in March said that the pink ball with a white seam that was used then was easy to see, held its colour, hardness and shine for over 80 overs (E-News 753-3694, 5 April 2011). Cricket Australia is currently looking at twilight sessions in some Sheffield Shield matches next austral summer as part of the day-night initiative (E-News 769-3768, 2 June 2011).
Former England batsman Geoff Boycott is also an advocate for day-night Tests, telling the BBC's Test Match Special program the day prior to comments by Morris that "you have to change or sadly [Tests] are going". "If you're selling something to the public, and sadly, rightly or wrongly, we are selling [Test cricket], continued the Yorkshireman, "you have to change to what the public want, what they can afford and when they can go".
Playing day-night Tests is not a new initiative for it basically got underway in December 2009 when the then-ICC president David Morgan said he believed they would be introduced within two years (E-News 535-2742, 19 December 2009).
APRIL FOOL STORY NOT
FAR OFF THE MARK
E-News' 'spoof' on future plans for Twenty20 (T20) cricket published on April Fools' Day this year was, as it turns out, not so far off the mark in at least one aspect (E-News 751-3690, 1 April 2011). That story talked of plans to "allow spectators to wear wicket keeping gloves to grounds, so that if they catch sixes hit by batsmen they will win a prize and be able to keep the ball", but it now appears something similar was actually being considered by Cricket Australia (CA) at the time.
A report from Melbourne this week quoted Australian Cricketers' Association head Paul Marsh as saying the domestic T20 format already has "enough gimmicks" and he has faith that the current format is "fan-friendly without continually giving away the match ball during play". Apparently the 'keep the ball and win a prize' was one on the list of "innovations" CA has, or perhaps had, planned to introduced into the revamped and expanded T20 series in 2011-12.
Other "major [T20] changes", in addition to the prize proposal said by reports to be on the table include enabling a batting team to nominate a "super over" at a time of its choosing during its innings where every run scored will be doubled, presumably for both the team and the batsmen concerned, and more restrictive fielding conditions for the bowling side plus a free-hit to apply follow a 'wide' as well as a foot fault 'no ball'.
Current indications are that CA may not be in a position to finalise playing conditions for its T20 series for some time yet.
BANNED PLAYER'S MATCH PARTICIPATION
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the appearance of the banned Pakistan fast bowler, Mohammad Aamir, in a Surrey League fixture last weekend. Aamir is currently serving a five-year ban handed down by the International Cricket Council for his part in a spot-fixing scandal in a match at Lord's last August (E-News 726-3574, 14 February 2011).
Press reports in the UK say that Aamir indicated that he played on the understanding that his participation did not contravene the terms of his ban which covers all forms of cricket that comes under the auspices of national boards. He insisted that he would never have taken the risk of playing had he known it was an official match. The ECB have since made clear the game was played under its auspices, and as such the Pakistani appears to have a case to answer.
The ECB said in a press release that it had requested the Surrey Cricket Board to assist it in its investigation, and that it had also written separately to Addington, the club involved, seeking a full written explanation from the club of the events leading up to Aamir's appearance in the match. He was central to the side's 81-run victory in the game, scoring 60 as an opener then returning figures of 4/9 with the ball in just seven overs.
In January, when he was under provisional suspension and still awaiting formal punishment for the Lord's scandal, Aamir apologised to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official for bowling "a few overs" in a "practice match" played in Rawalpindi. At the time the ICC is said to have written to the PCB about the matter (E-News 721-3536, 28 January 2011).
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 773
Monday, 13 June 2011
TWO FINAL TESTS FOR AUSTRALIA'S
MOST 'CAPPED' UMPIRE
Australian umpire Daryl Harper's ten-year tenure on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) will end in Dominica early next month when he stands in the Third Test between the West Indies and India. The ICC announced recently that the Australian, who has worked in more internationals than any other Australian umpire and is third overall in the world, had been dropped from the EUP after a decade on the panel (E-News 766-3757, 26 May 2011).
For the Australian the match in Dominica, which will be the first Test ever played in that country and his ninety-sixth overall, will bring to an end an international career that commenced as the third umpire in a One Day International (ODI) at the Adelaide Oval in December 1993.
By the end of the game in Dominica he will have stood in 96 Tests, 174 ODIs, and 10 Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), and worked in the third umpire's role in 9, 44 and 7 matches respectively in those three formats. He also stood in women's ODIs and T20Is, as well as an Under-19 Test and six U-19 ODIs.
Harper will share on-field duties during the forthcoming series with Ian Gould of England and Asad Rauf of Pakistan, each of them standing in two Tests; while match referee duties will be shared by Jeff Crowe of New Zealand, and Chris Broad of England, the latter looking after Tests two and three. Gould's Test tally as an umpire will have moved on to 20 by the time the series ends, Rauf's to 35, while Crowe will have looked after 46 and Broad 44 Tests respectively.
With the Umpire Decision Review System not being used, three West Indian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Norman Malcolm and newcomers Gregory Brathwaite and Joel Wilson, will work as third umpires in one game each. Malcolm's match will be his sixth as third umpire in a Test, while for his colleagues it will be their debut in that role. To date Wilson has worked in the television suite in three ODIs to date and Brathwaite once, all of them in the last month.
MBE FOR FORMER FIRST
Former English first class umpire Jack Birkenshaw was made a Member of the British Empire "for services to cricket" in the Queens Birthday honours list announced in the UK on the weekend. Birkenshaw, 70, stood in 139 first class and 117 List A matches in the period from 1982-88, and in the last half of the 1980s was selected to stand in two Tests and six One Day Internationals.
Prior to taking up umpiring in 1982, Yorkshire-born Birkenshaw played 405 first-class matches for Leicestershire and 10 for Worcestershire over the twenty-three seasons from 1958-81, as well as five Tests for England as an off-spinner.
ASSAULT ALLEGATION LEADS
TO ABANDONMENT OF MATCH
Cricket Ireland are expected to open an investigation into the circumstances behind the abandonment of an Irish Senior Cup match between Limavady and Instonians on Saturday. Instonians’ Ireland international Andrew White claimed he was assaulted by a Limavady player during the tea interval after his side had bowled out the home team for 155, an innings in which White took three wickets.
Instonians were 1/27 at the interval when the alleged assault took place and the Belfast club decided they would finish the game in what the 'Irish Times' described in a report yesterday as "under protest". That stance was said to be "not acceptable to Limavady" and the 'Times' article says that the situation "forced the umpires to abandon the game". Cricket Ireland received the umpire's report on Sunday evening and it is believed that "a full investigation into the incident" is planned.
Meanwhile, another incident in the same game saw the Limavady club suspend opener Decker Curry, a former Irish international player, for two Irish Cup games after he struck the stumps following his first-ball dismissal at the start of the match. He was given out caught in the slips to the opening ball of the match, and despite his "protests that the ball did not carry to the fielder on the full", the umpire gave him out.
The 'Belfast Telegraph' says that the outcome of the match will be decided by Cricket Ireland following the completion of the discplinary process.
UMPIRE REVERSES CAUGHT
English first class umpire Jeff Evans gave Kent batsman Joe Denly out caught behind in a Twenty20 match against Glamorgan last Saturday. After he raised his finger, however, Evans must have run the dismissal through his mind again, for he quickly reversed his decision after apparently judging that the ball had actually hit the batsman's arm and not his bat or glove, say reports.
NO UDRS FOR ENGLAND-INDIA
The Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has sent official notification to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that it does not want the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) to be used in the forthcoming four-Test series between the two sides.
The BCCI has repeatedly squashed plans for the system to be used in Tests involving its side, the latest being opposing its use in the Tests the side is to play against the West Indies starting later this month (E-News 769-3769, 2 June 2011).
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 774
Wednesday, 15 June 2011
'HOTSPOT' COMPANY PURCHASES
TWO UP-GRADED CAMERAS
Australian company BBG Sports who supply 'Hotspot' infra-red cameras for the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS), have purchased two more of the devices and is reported to be keen for India to use the system later this year. While generally opposed to the UDRS, senior Indian players have spoken positively about 'Hotspot' in the past (E-News 701-3436, 15 December 2010).
The new acquisitions take to six the number of 'Hotspot' cameras BBG has available, four currently being in the UK for England’s home series against Sri Lanka, and the new ones in the company's office in Melbourne. The two extra cameras, which "have much faster frame rates and improved optics", "will allow us to provide hotspot technology to additional countries", says BBG Sports Director Warren Brennan.
Speaking to 'The International News' yesterday, Brennan said that “BBG have always tried to be proactive in regard to getting the UDRS accepted into as many countries as possible" and that “we are continuing to invest a considerable amount of money into improving the 'Hotspot' system". Last December he said his company had "lost patience" with the cricket's "mind-boggling labyrinth" of "bullying and bickering" over the provision of technology for the [UDRS]" (E-News 704-3454, 14 December 2010).
BBG is said to have been in contact with Indian broadcaster Nimbus to advise them about the additional cameras, but the television network has apparently advised that use of the system on the sub-continent will be up to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The BCCI has long been reluctant to use UDRS in its side's Test series, the latest being rejecting it from the forthcoming matches in England (E-News 773-3787, 13 June 2011).
PCB MAKES CHANGES TO
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is reported to have dropped Nadeem Ghouri from the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) and promoted former third umpire Ahsan Raza, into an on-field spot alongside long-serving Zameer Haider. Reports from Karachi yesterday say that Shozab Raza, who is not related to his now IUP colleague, has been been moved up to the IUP third umpire or television spot.
Press reports from Pakistan say that seven umpires were initially selected for the IUP "interview process" the PCB conducted in the lead up to its announcement. The seven involved are said to have been the Karachi duo of Khalid Mehmood and Riazuddin, plus Ghaffar Kazmi, Ahmed Shahab, Anees Siddiqi, Akram Raza and Shozab Raza from Lahore. However, Akram Raza was dropped from the process after he was arrest for alleged involvement in betting on Indian Premier League matches last month (E-News 764-3749, 20 May 2011).
PCB’s Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed and its Director Cricket Operations (International) Zakir Khan are said to have conducted the selection process, which is said to have been undertaken in what was called "two phases".
Shozab Raza, who does not appear to have played first class cricket, started his umpiring career in 2004 and has been part of PCB's Elite Panel since 2008. He made his first class umpiring debut in December 2008 and currently has eighteen first class and a dozen List A matches to his credit. A statement released by the PCB said that he was promoted to the IUP because of his "consistent performances at domestic level".
Shozab Raza`s elevation is said to have been a "shock for most of the candidates who claim that they were far better than Raza but yet they were overlooked", says one report. “The PCB has continued its trend of bestowing their favourite people and Raza`s promotion is a clear evidence of that", one of the overlooked candidates told a Karachi journalist on Monday, a view expressed by another Pakistani umpire about match official selections last month (E-News 764-3749, 20 May 2011).
Ahsan Raza, Pakistan's new IUP on-field umpire has been on the panel since 2008. In March 2009 he was seriously injured in a terrorist attack on players and match officials in Lahore (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009), but eventually recovered and made his Test debut as a third umpire at Lord's, the home of cricket, in July last year (E-News 633-3156, 14 July 2010).
MORE DETAILS EMERGE OF
ABANDONED IRISH MATCH
New details have emerged about the Irish Senior Cup match between Limavady and Instonians that was abandoned in controversial circumstances last Saturday. The details came to light as Cricket Ireland (CI) confirmed yesterday that their disciplinary committee are to investigate just what happened, says a story in yesterday's 'The Belfast Telegraph'.
Following an alleged assault on Instonians’ Ireland international Andrew White during the tea break (E-News 773-3785, 13 June 2011), their side's batsmen did not take the field at the time play was scheduled to resume. "More than half an hour later", says the 'Telegraph', "following talks with the umpires and telephone calls to Cricket Ireland officials, Instonians agreed to continue the match, but told Limavady they were only playing under protest".
However, when the Limavady side, who had been waiting on the field for that half-hour, learned of Instonians' position, they are said to have indicated that in their view "there was no point continuing with the match" and as a result "the umpires abandoned the game", says the report. Instonians later issued a statement that "confirmed an incident took place [during Saturday's game]", but indicated there would be no comment "until a decision [on the matter] has been reached by [CI]".
A statement from CI yesterday said that the official report has been received from the umpires, and when the disciplinary process has been completed, only then will the status of the match be decided. "Both clubs will be asked for their comments on the umpires' report" as part of the process, said CI.
LAWS NOW AVAILABLE IN GUJARATI
The 'Laws of Cricket' have previously been translated and published in the Indian languages of Hindi, Marathi and Kannada, but now a version is available for those who speak Gujarati. 'Cricket Na Niyamo', or the 'Laws of Cricket', have been translated by Surat-based umpire Keki Doodhwala and approved by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodian of the Laws.
Doodhwala has been umpiring in domestic tournaments across India since 1991, and his work has been placed on the MCC's web site along with versions in such languages such as Bahasha (Indonesia), French, Japanese and Malay, while the Preamble is also available in Slovenian. Almost 50 million people speak Gujarati world-wide, it being spoken in countries, apart from India and Pakistan, such as Fiji, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 775
Thursday, 16 June 2011
CA PLANNING CHANGES TO
FUTURES LEAGUE ARRANGEMENTS
Cricket Australia (CA) is reported to be planning to make key changes to its Futures League competition for the 2011-12 season that reverse arrangements put in place a year ago. Under alterations planned, matches will revert from three-day to four-day fixtures, six rather than three players over the age of 23 will be allowed in teams, and restrictions of a maximum of 96 overs in first innings and 48 in second innings will be scrapped.
Players' union chief executive Paul Marsh was quoted by the 'Cricinfo' web site as saying that the Futures League, particularly the requirement that only three players over 23 be allowed in sides, had "severely weakened" domestic cricket by thinning out the number of experienced players available to state sides.
"The players would say almost universally that the gap between grade and first-class cricket has never been larger than what it is now", he said, and as a result "the Futures League or second XI competition, which sits in between those competitions, is even more important than ever".
"You only need to have a few good young players coming through your system but you want to make sure that they are getting the best possible development opportunities", Marsh continued, for he thinks "we've gone away from what's made us strong through our grade system and [into the] first-class [game]".
Tasmania captain George Bailey was quoted as saying that the former under-23 rule makes it "really difficult to have guys who aren't in your best XI, consistently playing good, hard cricket against other teams". "I've got no doubt you play your best cricket after you're 23", he said, and "domestic cricket is only as good as the depth in squads, and the guys who, when they do enter first-class cricket, [are] ready to play".
The changes have been recommended to the CA Board by its Playing Conditions sub-committee, which included CA chairman Jack Clarke, Marsh, Greg Chappell, Matthew Hayden, Mark Taylor and Shane Warne, the same group that twelve months ago devised Futures League playing arrangements that are now being revised.
'GET ON' WITH DAY-NIGHT TESTS,
SAYS BALL MANUFACTURER
'Duke', the world’s oldest manufacturer of cricket balls, has urged administrators to make a decision on day-night Test matches. Dilip Jajodia, whose company has been hand-stitching balls since 1760, told 'The Cricketer' magazine this week that it was time for the talking to stop and that administrators need to "make a decision and tell the manufacturers what they want to do".
Jajodia, called the current situation regarding day-night Tests “a mixture of politics, a lack of knowledge and red herrings about the finish on the balls [and] they need to get on with it". He finds it "frustrating that there is no cohesive conversation between the people who make decisions and the people who make the balls". “The administrators are being pulled in several directions by one set of manufacturers with an agenda and another with another agenda", he said.
Following its 2010 annual meeting the International Cricket Council (ICC) said that "hard science" was the key to developing a suitable ball for day-night Tests (E-News 597-3003, 6 April 2010), and that it planned to play "an even more pro-active role in the development of a ball" which could be used in day-night Tests".
The ICC's then plans included the commissioning of "research into the ideal colour for balls to be used in day-night cricket and then work[ing] closely with the equipment manufacturers before conducting relevant trials" as part of "urgent product research and analysis" of the day-night contest (E-News 610-3061, 24 May 2010). Jajodia's comments about there being "no cohesive conversation" on the issue casts doubt, however, as to just how much work the ICC has actually done on the issue, at least with 'Duke'.
Cricket Australia (CA), along with the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) have been pushing the day-night Test concept for the past three years. The MCC is continuing to champion the concept but CA, which was a particularly strong supporter of such games, "handed a bag of pink and orange balls" to the ICC in April so the world body could continue the "thus-far fruitless quest" to find a suitable ball for day-night Tests (E-News 760-3731, 21 April 2011).
Orange balls were used in day-night Sheffield Shield games in the 1996-97 season, the final of India's Ranji Trophy also being floodlit in 1997 although white balls were used in that game but they had to be replaced regularly. The West Indian 2009-10 domestic first class season saw pink balls and floodlights (E-News 564-2866, 3 February 2010), as did the interstate Second XI competition in Australia around the same time (E-News 565-2867, 4 February 2010).
The English County Championship opener involving an MCC select side played in Abu Dhabi in March of 2010 and 2011 were part of the on-going trails. This year's game used a pink ball with a white seam developed by Duke's rival 'Kookaburra' which was described by a number of players as "easy to pick-up" when batting at night (E-News 7534-3694, 5 April 2011).
In an interview ten days ago, England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Hugh Morris said he’d prefer a cautious approach to the issue and called for further trials (E-News 772-3780, 9 June 2011), an approach the ICC's Cricket Committee called for last month. CA is now looking at 'twilight' sessions in some of the coming summer's Sheffield Shield matches as a further extension of trials (E-News 769-3768, 2 June 2011).
The ICC said last month that it hopes to announce dates and venues for the first day-night Test matches sometime next year (E-News 762-3742, 12 May 2011).
THREE-DAY MATCH FORMAT
FOR EPT CONFIRMED
Plans to change the format of this year's Emerging Players Tournament in Queensland from Twenty20 and one-day game into matches played over three-day has been confirmed (E-News 761-3737, 27 April 2011). The series will run from 1-13 August, the change being made because the participating nations, Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa, felt the longer version of the game was "more beneficial for overall development" of their players.
No details are yet available about which umpires Cricket Australia (CA) will choose for the tournament, which is a key event on the national body's umpire development pathway, or whether any overseas umpires will be involved as was the case last year. Each team will play the other sides once during the thirteen days involved, two-day breaks being scheduled between each of matches. Those days off will enable CA's Umpire Department to conduct, as in the past, personal development workshops for those umpires involved.
The last three EPTs have seen the next generation of international players from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa, plus CA's up-and-coming officials, take part in a total of 16-18 matches over the two weeks of the tournament. In both 2008 and 2009 four T20 and 14 fifty-over one-day games were involved, then last year the growth of T20 cricket around the world saw the number of T20s expanded, the 16 games played being split evenly between that and the one-day format.
The first round of matches of this year's series will be played in Brisbane and the second and third rounds in Townsville.
SURPRISE ODI DEBUT AFTER
NAMED UMPIRE DEMOTED
Trinidadian umpire Joel Wilson, who was promoted to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) as a third umpire in March (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011), will make his on-field debut in the fifth and final One Day International (ODI) between the West Indies and India tonight Australian time.
Wilson gets his chance after long-serving Caribbean IUP on-field member Norman Malcolm of Jamaica, who stood in second, third and fourth games of the series and was named for the fifth (E-News 757-3719, 13 April 2011), was shifted to the third umpire's role for the fifth ODI.
The West Indies Cricket Board did not give a reason for the swap when it announced the change yesterday, so whether Malcolm was dropped for the match at his 'home ground' Sabina Park because of an injury, form or any other reason is not known.
ECB WARNS PLAYERS ABOUT
County cricketers have again been warned about their behaviour after five players were found guilty of showing dissent at umpires' decisions this week. Alan Fordham, the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) first class operations manager, said on Wednesday that "there is more dissent than we would like" and the ECB is determined to prevent it spreading.
Recent offenders have included former England and now Kent captain Rob Key who was reported by umpires after a match against Northamptonshire last month and was reprimanded for a Level 1 breach. Also reprimanded were former England all-rounder Rikki Clarke of Warwickshire who was reported for showing dissent after he was given out leg-before wicket in a County match in early May, and his County team mate Varun Chopra who was reported three weeks ago.
In addition, Murray Goodwin of Sussex and Jimmy Adams of Hampshire were both charged with Level 2 breaches that involved "serious dissent", and each lost three disciplinary points. Under ECB rules players face an automatic ban when they accumulate nine disciplinary points. Goodwin was reprimanded by the ECB in April last year for excessive appealing during a County match (E-News 602-3026, 6 May 2010).
Fordham told journalists yesterday that: "I don't want to say this early in the season whether the graph [of dissent charges] is going up, but we want umpires to act and we feel the present system acts as an appropriate deterrent". "We don't want a game where players don't show their feelings, but we want to stop bad behaviour and dissent developing", he said.
The ECB was said to be "deeply concerned" by a sharp rise in offences during the 2010 summer in England, which is believed to be the worst since the current disciplinary code was introduced in 2008. During 2010, seventeen players were punished for Level 2 breaches and fourteen for Level 1 incidents. As a result of that data the situation was brought to the attention of the Counties and the players who were told "the curve is going the wrong way [so] please address it".
Fordham said there was no evidence from umpires that their decisions were regularly being disputed on the field, but the spate of offences in the past few weeks and the collective announcement of punishments suggests the ECB is keen to make its point.
SO COUNTY FINED
English county team Nottinghamshire have been fined more than $A900 by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after Victorian batsman David Hussey played against Derbyshire earlier this month without being properly registered. The ECB's discipline commission ruled that because of what was called "administrative oversight", Hussey should not have played against Derbyshire.
The ECB said in a statement that "David Hussey is entirely blameless" and that the "Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club apologised for its error, accepted the financial penalty and have put in place measures to ensure that such an error is not repeated in the future". Hussey scored 60 in Nottinghamshire's Twenty20 match victory at Trent Bridge on 3 June.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 776
Saturday, 18 June 2011
TENDULKAR 'NOT AGAINST' UDRS,
BUT WANTS 'MORE CONSISTENCY'
Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar says he is not against the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), but he wants it to be "more consistent". Speaking in the West Indies this week, Tendulkar, said he was "not against the UDRS, but [feels] it will be more effective with the support of the 'Snickometer' and 'Hot Spot' technology, as their addition to the system will "give more consistent results".
Over the last two years, media reports have suggested that the concerns of Tendulkar and his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni about the UDRS has been the prime reason the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) has been against use of the referral system.
Despite Tendulkar's comments, however, BCCI president Shashank Manohar indicated this week that he has told the International Cricket Council that "we have no problem with 'Hot Spot' [but] our objection is to ball tracking" technology", something the great Indian batsman did not appear to mention in his interview.
BBG Sports, the provider of 'Hot Spot', said this week that it had purchased two new cameras that "have much faster frame rates and improved optics" and it hopes that the BCCI will support their use later this year (E-News 774-3788, 15 June 2011). Tendulkar and Manohar's comments suggest the Australian company may be successful in their desire to have the BCCI take up their infra-red system.
Meanwhile newly appointed South African coach Gary Kirsten, who until recently held the same position with the Indian national side, has supported use of the UDRS, saying earlier this week that "it's good for the game". "I'm very much in favour of the system, I think it is quite great", he said, as it "has increased the consistency of umpiring, but I know there are some negative views of it within India".
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan believes the BCCI need to show more willingness to try the UDRS in its team's Tests. “Either every Test series has the UDRS or none does", he said, and "the Indian Board has too much power". On Tuesday, England bowler Chris Tremlett criticised the BCCI for its refusal to engage with the UDRS, saying "who knows why India is against it [as] there have been a few decisions that have been rightly overturned" in Tests to date.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended the mandatory use of UDRS, under which teams currently can make two unsuccessful appeals against an umpire's decision per innings, in all formats of the game but the BCCI have vowed to oppose it. The matter is to be discussed at an ICC Board meeting in Hong Kong late next week, but it would appear that a break through on the matter is doubtful.
FIRST OVERSEAS INTERNATIONAL
FOR WINDIES UMPIRE
West Indian umpire Peter Nero, who 'leap-frogged' into an on-field spot on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel in March (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011), has been named to stand in two One day Internationals (ODI) in Aberdeen next week. The matches, his first appointments overseas from the ICC, involve Scotland and the Netherlands, his on-field partner being Neils Bagh of Denmark, a member of the ICC's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel. David jukes of England will be the match referee.
FORMER WINDIES QUICK LAMENTS
ODI PLAYING CONDITIONS
Former West Indies fast bowler Curtley Ambrose has branded the 'free hit' in One Day Internationals (ODI) for a front foot 'no ball' as "foolishness". Speaking during the third ODI between the West Indies and India last Saturday, Ambrose said it is "unfair" to penalise a bowler just because he over stepped the crease, and he asked “how come batsmen are not penalised when they do wrong things?”
Ambrose also objected to the playing condition that only allows one bumper in an over to a batsman, a rule he believes is "designed to cripple fast bowlers". According to him, “it is hard when you bowl a bumper and the batsman hooks you for a six or four and when you turn around, you see the umpire giving you a signal" for one over the shoulder . Where is the fairness when the bowler can’t hit back at the batsman with another bumper because he will be penalised?", he asked.
The former fast bowler concluded by suggesting that "some of the persons" who make the rules "perhaps never played the game and do not understand the intangible intricacies of [cricket]". "Cricket should be a fair game", he says, "but it seems that everything goes the batsman’s way".
ECB LOOKING AT OFF-SPINNER'S
Warwickshire off-spinner Maurice Holmes has been reported to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after concerns were raised about his bowling action. Reports say that he has been reported by umpires twice in the last month but will be allowed to continue playing until the ECB has made a decision on the matter.
Holmes, 21, made his County Championship debut in early May, and his action has been compared by some to Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan. The focus of the umpire's concern about Holmes is said to be the way he delivers the off-spinner's googly, the "doosra".
'SUCCESSFUL' ENGLISH STINT
FOR CARIBBEAN UMPIRE
Gregory Brathwaite of Barbados, a third umpire member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires panel, returned to the Caribbean earlier this month after what he describes as "a successful visit" to England as part of an exchange program between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011).
Brathwaite told local media on his arrival home that he stood in "four three-day matches and two Twenty20 matches and it was a great experience to be in foreign conditions and stand in games involving different players from those I am accustomed to in the Caribbean". The experience was he said an ideal “opportunity to develop and grow as an umpire”.
“There is a lot I can take from the experience in England", continued Brathwaite. "The weather varies in England and while I was there it was quite cold [something] that can affect your performance, so it helped me a lot with my concentration levels and overall it was a great time", he said. Brathwaite described the WICB-ECB exchange program as "very good for us in the West Indies".
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 777
Monday, 20 June 2011
BCCI CONSIDERING TAUFEL SUGGESTIONS
ON INDIAN UMPIRING, SAY REPORTS
The umpires' sub-committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reported to have met in Mumbai last Saturday to consider "suggestions" by Australian umpire Simon Taufel on how the standard of umpiring in the India can be improved. The quality of domestic umpiring and the continuing absence of Indian umpires on the International Cricket Council‘s top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) is said by press reports to be "of huge concern" to the BCCI.
A BCCI "source" was quoted by the Press Trust of India (PTI) as saying that Taufel "has given some valuable suggestions on how to lift the standard of umpiring in the country". However, it is not clear if the Australian prepared a paper on the matter in the nine weeks he was in India for the World Cup and then the Indian Premier League earlier this year, or if the advice was generated late last decade as part of the umpire-related contract Cricket Australia's (CA) Global Development Program then had with the BCCI.
The latest news is almost identical to the situation that prevailed in India over four years ago when there was strong criticism of domestic umpiring standards and discussion, like now, about the lack of an Indian EUP member (E-News 27-150, 11 April 2007). As a result, the BCCI moved to tackle the issues involved, first signing what was a three-year umpire-related contract with CA. Part of that agreement included a number of week-long training courses for umpires that Taufel, among others, conducted in India for over 100 match officials (E-News 84-451, 17 August 2007).
Soon after, as part of the same push, the BCCI appointed thirteen umpire coaches to oversee the performances of its higher-level umpires (E-News 94-511, 6 September 2007), and set up a match video system, similar to that used in Australia, to record their on-field work (E-News 97-521, 11 September 2007). It also said then that it planned to establish a post-match "work day" for umpires so that they and the coach present at their match could go through performance and development issues (E-News 20-642, 19 October 2007).
Despite those efforts, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, India's current Director of Umpiring, remains the only Indian to have served on EUP in the ten years of its operation to date, his stint on the panel ending as long ago as 2004. Venkataragahavan and former international umpires Arani Jayprakash and Shyam Bansal are members of the BCCI's nine person umpiring sub-committee that are reported to have considered Taufel's suggestions, however, the outcome of their discussions are yet to be announced.
INJURY BEHIND ODI UMPIRE SWAP
Caribbean umpire Norman Malcolm was unable to take his place on the field in last week's fifth and final One Day International (ODI) between the West Indies and India in Jamaica because of what the West indies Cricket Board has described as "a physical injury which does not allow him to perform on-field duties".
Malcolm was, however, "fully able to perform the less physically strenuous duties of third umpire", and that led to Trinidadian umpire Joel Wilson, the original third umpire for the game, making his ODI debut (E-News 775-3795, 16 June 2011).
ORANGE BOOTS IN T20 TOO
'GIMMICKY' FOR ECB
Essex all-rounder Scott Styris has been banned from wearing boots of a predominantly orange colour by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Umpires informed the Kiwi during a Twenty20 (T20) game against Sussex ten days ago that his boots contravened the rules and he has subsequently received advice from the ECB that the Puma-manufactured boots, which are acceptable in the Indian Premier League, cannot be used in its T20 competition.
ECB spokesman Steve Elworthy said: “I think the thing about [T20] cricket is that we are fighting against this gimmick tag and we are trying to make sure that this form of the game doesn’t become too much of a gimmick". “We have to make sure that cricket is at the heart of the game and we are trying to keep that balance", he continued.
Reports claim that any further transgression of the ECB’s Clothing and Equipment Regulations could see Styris fined anything from £3,000 ($A4,500) to £35,000 ($A55,000).
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 778
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
FROM IUP RANKS
Indian umpire Amiesh Saheba, who just two years ago was his country's 'Umpire of the Year' and potentially in line for elevation to the the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 395-2093, 24 March 2009), has been dropped from the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). IUP third umpire member Sanjay Hazare has also been discarded from the panel, say reports from the sub-continent on Monday.
The decision to overlook both Saheba, 51, and Hazare, 50, was made by the BCCI's umpires' sub-committee at a meeting it held in Mumbai last Saturday, the only current member from the IUP who retained his position being Shahvir Tarapore, 53. Sudhir Asnani, 50, the other third umpire India has on the IUP, has been moved into an on-field spot beside Tarapore, while S Ravi, 45, comes from outside the panel to pick up the third umpire spot for the next twelve months. Overlooked was Krishna Harirharan, a former member of the IUP, who last month was chosen as India's 2011 'Umpire of the Year' (E-News 769-3770, 2 June 2011).
A "senior BCCI official" is said by the 'Mail Today' to have stated that that Saheba, who has been on the IUP for the last four years and was chosen by the ICC to stand in the World Cup earlier this year, "could not perform to international standards". “Our recommendation is based on a report [provided by the International Cricket Council]", the unnamed official said. “Having observed Saheba for the past four years, [the ICC] came to the conclusion that he hadn't improved as was expected of him", continued the official.
Referring to Asnani's promotion, the official said that “giving someone else a chance was the best option". "Hariharan's name did come up for discussion but eventually Asnani got the nod", he said, and "you can say Hariharan was edged out", principally by two senior BCCI officials who dominated selection discussions, hinted the "source".
Of India's IUP membership for the next year only Tarapore has played first class cricket, although that career was limited to just six matches over the first half of the 1980s. Asnani has been standing at first class level since November 1992 and has now been on the ground in 66 such games. Ravi and Tarapore made their first class debuts one month after Asnani, the former currently having 40 such matches to his name and the latter 62.
'The Mail' today lamented that fact that "the world's richest cricket board did not deemed it fit to issue a press statement on the decisions made by the umpires sub-committee". "In the absence of an official word and a lack of transparency, no one knows what the parameters were for picking the two umpires", says the 'Mail'.
RUMBLINGS IN PAKISTAN OVER
A number of members of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) governing committee have told journalists that they plan to raise the issue of umpire Shozab Raza’s “out of the blue” promotion to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) at the Board's next meeting. Last week Raza was moved up to the third umpire spot on the IUP because of what the PCB said has been his "consistent performances at domestic level" (E-News 774-3789, 15 June 2011).
One of the committee members, who as in most reports from the sub-continent was not named in person, was quoted by 'The News International' as saying that "this is a serious issue for us because Raza is an unknown commodity for all of us and we will not allow [PCB] officials to push people at the top who are not worthy of it". Another governing committee member added that “We will include Raza’s case as one of the main agenda [items] because we need to stop things that will harm our integrity", he said.
An official of the PCB said that the board needs to revive the forms and the system of evaluation on which the umpires are judged. “I think the board now needs to overhaul the present system of judging umpires because the PCB cannot the judge the capabilities of umpires by looking at forms on which captains and match-referees reports are written", he told ‘The News’ on the condition of anonymity.
Several reports from Pakistan said that Raza, who is a customs officer working in a warehouse in Lahore, had been elevated to the IUP "because he is a custom officer and board officials are often seen roaming around him to get their things cleared without any duty", runs one quote in ‘The News’ article.
Meanwhile, a "top PCB official" brushed aside any such claims and stressed that Raza’s appointment was purely on merit. “Shozab Raza is fulfilling the board’s criteria of having good reports from the officials and the captains", he said, and "I can assure you that his appointment is 200% on merit". "He was nominated without any bias, irrespective of being a custom inspector and there is no truth in reports that say the top officials are promoting him to get benefits because Raza is a custom officer".
BUT AT WRONG GROUND
A Scottish Premier League fixture between Dunfermline and Uddingston was almost not played last Saturday after one of the umpires phoned the curator early that day and was told the Dunfermline pitch was unplayable. Problem was, says a story in 'The Scotsman' yesterday, the person listed in Cricket Scotland's handbook as the groundsman had, unbeknown to the umpire, moved to another ground thirty kilometres away where the pitch was indeed unfit for play.
By mid-morning Cricket Scotland's website had declared the game at Dunfermline was off, but a short time later when the misunderstanding was discovered, the newspaper says it "required some frantic phone calls between the umpires, scorers, captains, club officials and tea ladies" to ensure that everyone turned up for the game on time!"
ASSOCIATION LIFTS FEES AS IT
TARGETS NEW MEMBERS
Umpires in the Geelong Cricket Association are to be paid $120 per day for a two-day fixture and $130 for a one-day game as part of an effort to encourage more officials to join umpiring ranks. Membership of the Geelong Cricket Umpires Association (GCUA) are at their lowest in decades, says a story in yesterday's Geelong Advertiser', and the GCUA's Dean Wilson told the newspaper he and his colleagues would welcome anyone with a genuine interest in the game to join the umpiring fraternity.
Wilson said that "in the early 1990s we had more than 80 umpires [but] now we struggle to get 25". "We really want the past players to get involved because they understand the game and the rules and the frustrations that go with it. It'd be great to get women involved as well. It's an untapped market and you see what they've done with [football], where some matches are umpired solely by women".
Second year umpire Rob Pow played for more than 30 years but after his reflexes gave way he decided umpiring was the best way to stay involved in the game he loved for "umpiring gave me the chance to watch the better players play and also umpire at the better grounds". Pow continued by saying that "he way the culture has changed towards umpires, you barely have a bad word said to you" and "if we get more umpires, we could get them down to the lower grades and sharpen things up a little".
LANKAN BATSMAN TO FACE
Sri Lankan batsman Upul Tharanga is to appear at an International Cricket Council hearing in Dubai on Friday to answer doping charges. Tharanga tested positive for a banned drug after Sri Lanka's World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in March. The 26-year-old says he sought treatment for an asthma-related problem and was given a steroid by a Colombo-based faith healer, who also treats other international players.
ANOTHER COUNTY PLAYER FOUND
GUILTY OF 'DISSENT'
Essex wicketkeeper James Foster has escaped significant punishment despite being found guilty of "serious dissent" following his dismissal in a Twenty20 match against Surrey last week. Foster was found guilty of the Level 2 breach of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) disciplinary code of "showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action".
As a result Foster was handed three penalty points, however, the 31-year-old escaped a ban as the disciplinary points are his first and a player must accumulate nine points before he or she attracts an automatic suspension. Foster's censure came around the same time the ECB warned clubs and players about dissent issues (E-News 775-3796, 16 June 2011).
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 779
Friday, 24 June 2011
SRI LANKA FINED FOR SLOW PLAY,
ICC TO TIGHTEN REGULATIONS
Sri Lanka has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the Third and final Test against England that ended in Southhampton on Monday. Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara's side was ruled to be two overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration, Sangakkara loosing forty per cent of his match fee and his team mates twenty per cent.
Match referee Alan Hurst from Australia, who was managing his forty-fifth and last Test match (E-News 766-3759, 26 May 2011), imposed the fines as required by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct regulations that govern what are termed "minor over-rate offences".
After considerable discussion over some time the ICC moved to tighten slow over-rate penalties in 2009. That move doubled the match fee fines that had previously been applicable and provided for a captain involved in three such events in a twelve-month period to be automatically suspended for one match.
Despite that, however, the ICC indicate in the press release that detailed the fines handed to Sri Lanka by Hurst, that its Cricket Committee recommended in May that the censure for a captain be further tightened. As a result the ICC Board is to consider a proposal during its meeting in Hong Kong next week to suspend the captain of an international side if his side is guilty of two, not three, minor over-rate offences in the same format over a 12-month period.
The ICC says it has also directed umpires to take "stricter action against batting teams guilty of time wasting". These recommendations are said to be a reflection of the Cricket Committee's ongoing concern at the current level of over-rates in international cricket (E-News 779-3813 below).
'WISDEN' EDITOR LAMENTS SLOW
PLAY, CALLS FOR CHANGES
Scyld Berry, the editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanac' and the UK 'Sunday Times' cricket correspondence, has strongly criticised the slow over rates that have applied during the recently completed Test series between England and Sri Lanka. A 'Times' story by him before the Sri Lankan side was fined for a slow over-rate (E-New 779-3812 above), said that "A serious warning needs to be issued to the Boards of both [England and Sri Lanka], both on-field umpires and, above all, both captains, that their dawdling threatens the future of Test cricket and promotes the counter-attraction of Twenty20".
Berry's article says that during the series just completed, England bowled at 13.26 overs an hour and Sri Lanka at 13.4. "Together, the two sides have been bowling their overs at 13.3 an hour which, if perpetrated worldwide in 2011, will make it the slowest annual over-rate ever", he says. He believes that "The general air of purposelessness on the field that [both sides] have combined to create is most unattractive".
Before 1950 Test cricket was conducted at a rate of at least twenty overs per hour, says Berry's article. The worldwide switch from amateurism to professionalism threw "a major spanner in the works" for in 1980 the rate sank below fifteen overs an hour for the first time, and has never reached it since. The slowest year to date was, says the 'Wisden' man, 1990, when the over-rate in Test cricket around the world sank to 13.62 overs an hour and since 1994, and despite "all the proclamations" by the International Cricket Council, it has stayed below 14.5,
Berry's view is that making the players remain on the field "until they have fulfilled their daily quota has been tried, but without success or the approval of broadcasters". "On one of the rare full days in this rain-sodden series, the first day at Lord’s, Sri Lanka delivered only 88 overs, two short of the supposedly 'mandatory’, but actually 'optional’, 90 overs, even though the extra half-hour was taken", says Berry.
As to ways to improve things, Berry supports banning anybody coming on to the field, or drinks breaks in cool weather, such as prevailed in the series, would be ways to save a few minutes. Another way to speed up over-rates would be for the third umpire to time the gap between the end of one over and the start of a next, with an allowance made for a change of bowler. In his view "a five-run penalty could then be applied to the fielding side if the time-limit is exceeded, on the grounds that the delay is unfair to all concerned".
TEST DEBUTANT TAKEN OFF AFTER
'PROTECTED AREA' VIOLATIONS
Indian opening bowler Praveen Kumar was suspended on the second day of the First Test against the West Indies in Jamaica on Tuesday after he stepped into the 'Protected Area' for a third time. Kumar, who is making his Test debut, was ordered out of the attacked by Australian umpire Daryl Harper who is standing in the second-last, and ninety-fifth Test, of his career (E-News 773-3783, 13 June 2011), but not it appears, immediately.
Kumar, 24, is playing in his thirty-ninth first class match, and already has fifty-two One day Internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals under his belt. Despite that he told Indian journalists, in words many umpires around the world have heard before, that "It's the very first time", such a thing has happened to him, and that "Nobody has ever spoken to me in a match about it". "In a way it's good that I found this out in my very first Test as I can now work on it", concluded the fast bowler.
The 'Cricinfo' on-line commentary of the over in which Kumar was dismissed from the attack by Harper makes interesting reading. After ball 50.5 Harper called "dead ball" and is said to have indicated that was the bowler's third offence. It then goes on to say, however, that Kumar delivered the last ball of the over before leaving the attack.
Law 42.12(i) states that "when the ball is dead", the umpire concerned is to "direct the captain of the fielding side to suspend the bowler forthwith [and] the bowler thus suspended shall not be allowed to bowl again in that innings". The International Cricket Council's 'Standard Test Match Playing Conditions' accepts that section of the Laws of Cricket without amendment.
SLOW, POINTED, DEPARTURE IN
TEST LEADS TO FINE
India's Amit Mishra has been fined tenpercent of his match fee after "showing dissent at an umpire's decision" after being given out late on the opening day of his side's First Test against the West Indies in Jamaica on Monday. Given out caught behind, Amit stood his ground for a lengthy period of time while gesturing to his arm guard until finally leaving the crease.
Match referee Jeff Crowe said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that "Batsmen are taking too long to leave the crease after being given out, [however], whether it is just disappointment, it's still disrespectful and, as the [ICC Code of Conduct] clearly states, unacceptable".
The charge was laid against Mishra by on-field umpires Ian Gould of England and Daryl Harper of Australia, as well as third umpire Norman Malcolm of the West Indies. Under ICC regulations the Level 1 breach involved carries a minimum penalty of an official reprimand up until a maximum of 50 per cent of a player's match fee.
'SMALL TIMING ERROR' BY
UMPIRES UPSETS TEST CROWD
Australian umpire Rod Tucker admitted to making a "small error" regarding the timing of Tea on day four of the Third and last Test between England and Sri Lanka in Southampton on Sunday. The Lunch-Tea session was interrupted by rain several times and spectators at the Rose Bowl, which was hosting its inaugural Test, are said by several media reports "to have directed their frustration at the officials due to a ill-placed Tea break".
Despite interruptions during the afternoon sessions, the players stayed off the ground an extra twenty minutes for their rescheduled tea interval, even though the ground was bathed in sunshine and the covers were off. Tucker told BBC Radio 5 Live that "What we have done during this series is to try to even out the sessions, so that a session is not too long".
"The way we were trying to do it was come out at four o'clock, play forty minutes, then have a short tea break. "We came out to start play at four o'clock and it rained straight away, so it all went awry after that". Tucker added that "In hindsight we did make a small error in that we could have started tea straight away when we came off" and "People like to pay their money to get the chance to yell at umpires occasionally".
Tucker's on-field colleague in the Test was Pakastani Aleem Dar, the third and fourth umpires Billy Doctrove and Neil Mallender of the West Indies and England respectively, and the match referee Alan Hurst of Australia.
INTERCONTINENTAL CUP GETS
AWAY TO A WET START
Danish umpire Niels Bagh and his West Indian colleague Peter Nero are standing in a four-day International Cup (IC) match between Scotland and the Netherlands this week, prior to a two-match One Day International (ODI) series between the two sides early next week (E-News 776-3799, 18 June 2011). The International Cricket Council (ICC) lists the ODI appointments on its web site but not for the first class fixture between the two second-tier teams that precedes it.
Unfortunately for the players, Bagh, Nero and match referee David Jukes of England though, no play was possible on either the opening day on Wednesday or again yesterday due to persistent rain in Aberdeen. The game is the first of the twenty-seven matches that the ICC has scheduled for the eight teams involved, Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Scotland, Namibia, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, between now and the end of October next year.
The Aberdeen match is Nero's sixteenth first class game, Bagh's fourteen and Jukes' twenty-seventh as a referee. All of the latter pair's first class games have been in the IC, while Nero's have prior to now have been in first class competitions in the West Indies, Bangladesh and England. Nero is currently a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Bagh the world body's third-tier Associate and Affiliates Umpires Panel, and Jukes its second-tier Regional Referees Panel.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 780
Saturday, 25 June 2011
LANKAN HANDED THREE-MONTH SUSPENSION
FOR ANTI-DOPING VIOLATION
Sri Lanka opening batsman Upul Tharanga was yesterday found guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation under the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Doping Code and has been suspended from all cricket and cricket-related activities for a period of three months. Tharanga, 26, provided a urine sample after the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in late March as part of the ICC’s random in-competition testing program.
The Sri Lankan's sample was subsequently tested by a World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory and was found to contain metabolites of two glucocorticosteroids - Prednisone and Prednisolone. These are classified as ‘Specified Substances’ under WADA’s Prohibited List and are prohibited in-competition "when administered by oral, intravenous intramuscular or rectal routes".
An independent anti-doping tribunal, comprising Tim Kerr, QC, as chairman, Dr Anik Sax and Professor Peter Sever, heard the case using detailed written and oral legal submissions as well as live witness evidence, including from Tharanga himself. The tribunal accepted that the batsman had ingested the ‘Specified Substances’ via a herbal remedy given to him to ease discomfort caused by a long-standing shoulder injury and found he had no intention of enhancing his sporting performance.
Tharanga is said to have pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage in the proceedings. The tribunal subsequently imposed "a period of ineligibility of three months" back-dated to commence on 9 May and expiring at midnight on 8 August this year, and he can therefore return to cricket and cricket related activities from the following day.
Tharanga apologised for "inadvertently committing an offence", and ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “We recognise that Upul has not been found guilty of deliberately cheating, but the ICC maintains its zero-tolerance approach towards doping for the benefit of all its stakeholders. Cases like this serve as a reminder to all players that they must take great care and personal responsibility at all times for the substances that they consume".
Under the processes involved both Tharanga and the ICC are entitled to appeal the decision within 21 days of their receipt of the written decision should they wish to do so.
INDIAN MEDIA QUESTIONS BCCI
POLICY ON UDRS USE
The secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Narayanaswami Srinivasan, has once again reiterated India's stance against the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), saying it is not convinced the technology used at present was sufficiently accurate. Srinivasan made his comments earlier this week despite what appears to be growing support for the system amongst Indian players, and comments from media outlets on the sub-continent this week about the BCCI's "stubborn" position on the issue.
Indian great Sachin Tendulkar said late last week that while he was not against the use of technology, the UDRS needed the support of 'Snickometer' and 'Hot Spot' to make it more consistent (E-News 776-3798, 18 June 2011). Srinivasan said the BCCI had no objection to either of those systems, but was not convinced about the accuracy of ball-tracking systems such as 'Hawk Eye'. That "is a technology that deals with the projection, trajectory and angle of the ball, and from where the cameras are placed, it cannot give a foolproof solution", claimed the BCCI secretary.
Srinivasan told the 'Indian Express' that his Board will "continue to oppose the implementation of the UDRS", but will welcome it "when it is 100 per cent error-free". "They [the players] are entitled to their opinion and they can express it as well, but the BCCI is a structured organisation [and while] we are always open to ideas we make our own decisions", he said.
The 'Times of India' newspaper this week called the BCCI's position on the UDRS as "stubborn opposition" and its "all much ado about nothing". ESPN sports said that "in the modern era, it’s possible to leave the subjectivity behind and help umpires arrive more often at the right decision. Maybe, Sachin can help convince [Indian captain] Dhoni now who in turn must turn the BCCI around [however], in the end, we probably just have to wait for a stubborn BCCI to see the light".
An article in the 'Hindustan Times' newspaper's 'Pradeep Magazine' also used the word 'stubborn' in regard to the BCCI's position. "Unlike the rest of the cricket world, which understands that the technology in use is not foolproof but still believes it is the way forward, the Indian board has been stubborn in its stand", runs the story. [The BCCI] wants a 100 per cent error-free system to assist the umpires and till that happens, it is “willing to trust” the umpire [and] no amount of criticism, no amount of players’ support for the UDRS is making it budge from its mulish negation of technical assistance".
With the International Cricket Committee's senior committees to discuss UDRS implementation in meetings in Hong Kong next week, the 'Indian Express' said that "by debunking the entire system of review on these grounds and before hearing out the possible improvements made to the technology, the BCCI has revealed its disinterest in a dialogue" about the issues involved.
ICC TO LOOK AT INDIAN PRODUCED
LIMITED OVER RUN TARGET SYSTEM
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is reported to have invited Indian engineer V Jayadevan to Hong Kong next week to provide a presentation on his 'VJD rain rule' system that calculates targets in rain-interrupted limited over matches. Last December, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was said to have "approved" the use of the system in deciding the result of rain-affected matches in the 2011 Indian Premier League (IPL) series (E-News 699-3427, 13 December 2011). Whether Jayadevan's system was actually used is not clear though, for score sheets at least indicate that those IPL games that were rained off were decided by the Duckworth-Lewis system.
ECB WARNS CLUBS TO STAY
AWAY FROM BANNED PLAYERS
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has sent a letter to all clubs that come under its auspices warning them about using players that are banned under its own and International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations. Banned Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Aamir played in a Surrey League fixture earlier this month (E-News 772-3782, 9 June 2011), despite the fact that he is serving a five-year ban handed down by the ICC for his part in a spot-fixing scandal in a match at Lord's last August (E-News 726-3574, 14 February 2011).
The ECB advice, entitled, ‘Compliance with Anti-Corruption Sanctions’ states: “Pakistani nationals Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Asif and Salman Butt …during their period of ‘ineligibility’ are prohibited from playing, coaching or otherwise participating or being involved in any capacity in any cricket match or any other kind of function or activity (other than anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programmes)".
The ECB also threatens “investigation by the relevant authorities and appropriate disciplinary action and sanctions” against any club that fails to ensure that the three players do not breach their ban. "However, action against [the Surrey League club Amir played for three weeks ago] is unlikely due to the club’s amateur status", concludes the letter.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 781
Sunday, 26 June 2011
STAND UP TO BCCI ON UDRS,
Former England captain Geoff Boycott believes that countries who support use of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) at international level must not be intimidated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) position on the matter. A proposal to use UDRS in Tests, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals, is one of the items on the agenda for this week's Annual Meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Hong Kong, but the BCCI has repeatedly made clear its opposition to the system's use (E-News 780-3819, 25 June 2011).
Boycott was quoted by the 'Cricinfo' web site on Thursday as saying countries favouring UDRS use are in a majority but to get "a positive decision" in Hong Kong "will not be easy". That is because "many countries that play cricket are frightened to death of India's financial power [and] you have got to understand that before you get to voting on anything at the ICC".
In his view "if a majority of ICC countries believe that the UDRS is a good improvement for international cricket, they should vote for it". The BCCI should be told, he says, "Sorry India, you are in a minority" as its "supposed to be a democracy around the world, where the majority takes precedence". "India won't like it, but you can't be run by one country", he says.
Boycott acknowledged that for most of last Century countries like "Australia and England" ran the Imperial Cricket Conference, the current ICC's predecessor, in a way that "wasn't fair and wasn't right". Then, those nations had two votes on issues at meetings while every other country had just one. But, says Boycott "two wrongs don't make a right". Countries should therefore say in Hong Kong that 'We are going to have the UDRS because it is made more accurate decisions for cricket and it is all players ever want'".
The ICC Chief Executives' Committee is to meet today and tomorrow, the Executive Board on Tuesday-Wednesday, and Full Council on Thursday.
INDIAN SKIPPER CRITICISES
UMPIRING IN JAMAICA TEST
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has criticised the umpiring in the First Test against the West India played in Jamaica last week. Quizzed about umpiring decisions in the post-match press conference on Thursday, Dhoni said that "if the correct decisions were made, the game would have finished much earlier and I would have been in the hotel by now".
While Dhoni did not mention anyone, media reports suggest that the target of his comments was Australian umpire Daryl Harper. A report by Indian television network NDTV available on 'You-Tube' states that the Indian skipper "was in fact talking about Daryl Harper who [in the words of the announcer] wrongly declared three Indian batsman out and turned down two confident appeals by the Indian bowlers in the second innings".
Just which of the dismissals or decisions in the match Dhoni was referring to is not clear. Had the Umpire Decision Review System been in operation the decisions in question might have been overturned after referral say some reports, however, the Board of Control for Cricket in India' (BCCI) has continuously ruled against that system's use in Tests played by its team (E-News 780-3819, 25 June 2011). The BCCI says that UDRS technology is not "100 per cent correct", and that as such it is “willing to trust the umpire" with decisions.
Contacted by UK media for his views on the matter, former English umpire 'Dickie' Bird is said to have supported Dhoni's decision to comment on the umpiring. "Captains are entitled to pass opinions on umpires, it is healthy for the sport", he said, and "I don't see anything wrong in them judging us umpires". "Why should he be penalised?" asked Bird. "In years gone by, captains used to openly criticise umpiring decisions and we used to take it sportingly. These days, the match referee steps in, and that's something I am against".
Section 2.1.7 of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel' says that "Public criticism of, or inappropriate comment in relation to an incident occurring in an International Match or any Player, Player Support Personnel, Match official or team participating in any International Match, irrespective of when such criticism or inappropriate comment is made" is a Level 1 offence. As such it could bring a censure anywhere between a reprimand and the loss of fifty per cent of a player's match fee.
The opening Test of the series was looked after by Harper, who was standing in his ninety-fifth and second last Test (E-News 773-3783, 13 June 2011), and Ian Gould of England. Jeff Crowe of New Zealand was the match referee and West Indians Norman Malcolm and Gregory Brathwaite the third and fourth officials respectively.
WINDIES PAIR DISCIPLINED FOR
'DISSENT, 'SPIRIT' OFFENCES
West Indian player Ravi Rampaul has been fined and his captain Darren Sammy reprimanded for disciplinary breaches during the First Test against India that ended on Thursday in Jamaica. Rampaul was charged with showing dissent to an umpire's decision and Sammy for actions "against the spirit of the game".
Match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday that "Just like Indian player Amit Mishra in the first innings" of the same Test (E-News 779-3815, 24 June 2011), "Ravi stood his ground and gestured to both the umpires on being given out" caught behind in the home side's second innings.
Media reports say that Rampaul, who was fined ten per cent of his match fee by Crowe, pointed to his arm to suggest where the ball had struck him when the Indian fielders appealed for a catch.
The ICC's statement regarding Sammy's offence is not entirely clear, but it appears that he gestured to the umpires in a generally similar way as Rampaul and Mishra, but he was given 'not out'. Crowe said that "Darren immediately looked to influence the umpire as to where the ball struck him", then went on to state that "it is a pity [neither player] didn't take note of Amit's earlier behaviour because it is clear that his actions were also in breach of the code of conduct".
All Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee. The charges against the pair were brought by on-field umpires Ian Gould of England and Daryl Harper of Australia, as well as West Indians Norman Malcolm, the third umpire, and Gregory Brathwaite the fourth.
'NO ILL FEELINGS' TOWARDS
INDIA, SAYS BUCKNOR
Former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor didn't attend the Test match between the West Indies and India played in Jamaica last week because he lives too far from the ground, say reports in the Indian media yesterday, but that does not mean that he has any "ill feelings" for the Indian side.
During India's 2008 tour of Australia, Indian cricket board officials demanded action be taken against Bucknor because of a series of decisions he made in the New Year Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (E-News 171-915, 8 January 2008). While the International Cricket Council initially backed him and said there would be no changes, on-going pressure from India eventually saw him replaced for the following Test in Perth (E-News 172-919, 9 January 2008). Bucknor said in this week's interviews that he "didn't apologise to the members of Indian team" then and suggested he had no plans to do so now.
The Jamaican was quoted in articles published on the sub-continent yesterday as saying that "No, absolutely I have no ill feelings for your team", in fact "I have no ill-feelings towards anybody". The reason he did not attend the match was because he "lives (some 160 km away) from the stadium and could not make it" to the ground.
Bucknor, who is now 64, still officiates in matches in Jamaica's domestic competitions. He said that he remains "keen to come to India [to stand in] Indian Premier League matches", a comment he first made several years ago, but one it appears that is unlikely to be fulfilled.
ICC MEETING TO CONSIDER A
RANGE OF CONTENTIOUS ISSUES
The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), day-night Tests, over-rates, pitches, the use of runners and plans to "further enhance" One-Day Internationals, are amongst the issues that will be under the spot-light during the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Annual Meeting in Hong Kong this week. The proposal to introduce the UDRS permanently into all forms of senior international cricket appears likely to be the most controversial issue in terms of playing the game, but there are also equally contentious matters listed on how the world body is administered.
Last month the ICC's Cricket Committee was unanimous in its recommendation that UDRS should be used in all Tests, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals, with each side allowed one unsuccessful review per innings (E-News 762, 3741, 12 May 2011). The suggestions were made following detailed technical analysis and were supported by what the committee agreed was a successful application of the system during this year's World Cup on the sub-continent. India appears to be the key nation here as it opposes the system's use at present, however, Pakistan have indicated they will support its introduction in all three formats (E-News 782-3828 following).
Away from the area of how the game is played are equally potentially divisive governmental issues. The ICC's Full Council is to consider a constitutional amendment aimed at ensuring free elections of Member boards and avoiding undue government interference in the administration of cricket. That move is designed to bring it in line with the regulations of other major sporting bodies, but it is likely to be opposed by several Asian nations.
The Full Council will also consider a second constitutional change to the way the ICC President's position is filled. Under the new proposal, the Executive Board would decide the process and term of office from time to time, subject to certain qualifying criteria. Such a move would remove the current rotational system of nomination, however, Bangaldesh, Indian and Pakistan have, say media reports, made it clear they will not support either of the constitutional changes.
The weeks of meetings started yesterday with a low-key discussion on the ICC’s rankings system and the 'headline making' issues are scheduled to be dealt with over the next few days.
LENGTHY BANS HANDED OUT
AFTER UMPIRES CONFRONTED
Three club cricketers on the island of Bermuda have received lengthy bans following an ugly incident that involved an umpire from Barbados and his Bermudian colleague eight days ago. The Bermuda Cricket Board announced on Friday that three members of the Devonshire Recreation Club, Dennis Williams, Dean Stephens and Ricardo Brangman, have been banned from all cricket for a total of twenty-two matches.
The trio are reported to have been charged with a variety of offences, including "foul and abusive language towards an umpire, intimidation of an umpire, and physically assaulting an umpire". Williams, who was at the game as a spectator, received the largest ban of ten games, while Stephens received an eight match suspension and Brangman four.
Umpires James McKirdy, a Bermudian, and his Barbadian colleague, Hector Watson, were confronted after the match ended with the Devonshire side loosing the game by fifty-three runs. Bermuda's 'Royal Gazette' said yesterday that four of the last six wickets that Devonshire lost in its run chase were to LBW decisions, which the newspaper said is "believed to have contributed to the after-match situation that prevailed".
PAKISTAN TO SUPPORT UDRS
PROPOSAL IN HONG KONG
Pakistan says it will support the International Cricket Council (ICC) proposal to introduce the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS) into all forms of senior international cricket at the ICC's Annual Meeting being held in Hong Kong over the next few days. Reports says that India is the only country that will oppose the UDRS proposal in Hong Kong this week, although there have been calls to those in favour of the system to "stand up" to India on the issue (E-News 781-3822, 26 June 2011).
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt told journalists before leaving for Hong Kong that "We really don't know why India is opposing the UDRS. They must have their reasons but as far as we are concerned we are satisfied with the impact it has had so far in Test and One Day International cricket and we felt the World Cup was a good example of this system working and getting better in future".
Butt continued by saying that while there was no doubt that India was one of the strongest and most influential members of the ICC Board, it was a wrong impression that it imposed its decisions on the other member countries of the Asian bloc or that Pakistan just followed it suit.
"We support India where we agree with their viewpoint", said Butt, but "generally we have our own independent views on decisions and I think the fact that we are not in favor of ending the rotation system of electing the ICC Chairman, or having amendments in the ICC constitution to prevent complete government interference in member board affairs, is testimony to that" (E-News 782-3826, above).
GETTING REVERSE-SWING 'HARDER'
AS UMPIRES NOW CHECK BALL, SAYS SAFRAZ
Sarfraz Nawaz, the former Pakistan fast bowler who is considered one of the pioneers of reverse-swing bowling, told the 'Express Tribune' newspaper on Friday, that there is plenty of fast bowling talent in Pakistan but that "proper guidance" is all that is needed to help players make the most of their abilities.
Now coaching the art of bowling as part of the Pakistan Cricket Board's 'Fast Track Coaching Program', Safraz, 62, who played first class cricket from 1967-85, said that "Nowadays bowlers have natural swing but lack execution", and then continued with "there was a time when umpires didn't check the ball and it was easier to craft the ball accordingly, but now reverse-swing has become harder".
COMPROMISE REACHED ON UDRS USE,
BUT 'WHO PAYS' QUESTIONS REMAIN
The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) long-standing opposition to the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) appears to have been partly resolved following discussions held at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Annual Meeting in Hong Kong yesterday. Under the agreement reached, use of the UDRS in Tests, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals will be mandatory, however, ball-tracking technology will not automatically be part of the system, and the key question of 'who pays' for the equipment required appears to remain.
The 'Times of India' says in a report published this morning that "the compromise on the vexed UDRS issue is clearly a case of give and take between India, cricket's financial muscle, and the game's world body to resolve a damaging row which was threatening to split member nations".
BBCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla told the 'Times' that during yesterday's meeting "Board president Shashank Manohar and secretary Narayanaswami Srinivasan made their reservations about some of the aspects of the UDRS clear". Their particular focus is said to have been 'Hawkeye' and similar ball-tracking tools, and as a result the agreement finally reached was that such systems will only be in the UDRS package used for a bi-lateral series where the two playing nations involved agree to its inclusion.
The BCCI has long maintained that tracking tools like 'Hawkeye' are unreliable, but it has accepted the use of infra-red cameras and audio-tracking devices. The compromised reached means then that when Indian teams are playing those latter devices and other system will be in operation but ball-tracking systems will not. It potentially clears the way for UDRS minus 'Hawk Eye' or 'Virtual Eye' to be in operation during the England-India series in July-August.
Despite that, mandatory use of UDRS in all three match formats does not appear to be straight-forward for the ICC says that it is to be used subject to availability and cost considerations. That suggests clear decisions on just who, the ICC, home Boards or broadcasters, plays for the operation and use of the technology needed, have not yet been resolved.
Apart from the key compromise on the system, the ICC's Chief Executives' Committee, also agreed that the UDRS will operate from now on with teams being allowed only a single incorrect challenge to an on-field umpire's decision per innings, rather than the two currently permitted.
NO RUNNERS TO BE ALLOWED
IN INTERNATIONAL CRICKET
Injured batsmen will no longer be allowed to have a 'runner' in any of international cricket's three formats as the result of a decision taken at a meeting of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives Committee (CEC) held in Hong Kong yesterday. The move, which was recommended to the CEC by the ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) last month, is one of a host of changes planned for international cricket that will be introduced on 1 October this year.
The ICC says that the CEC also agreed with the CC's recommendations to "further enhance" 50-over One Day International games by restricting elective powerplays to between the sixteenth and fortieth overs of each innings, and also to the use of two new balls per innings, one from each end.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement that “Even though the success of 50-over cricket played during the World Cup [this year] was universally acknowledged, the CEC rightly supported the enhancements recommended by the [CC] to strengthen the format further, including encouraging [ICC] Members to trial some specific innovations in their domestic cricket".
These innovations include: a review of the maximum number of overs that a bowler can bowl; an increase from one to two for the number of short balls permitted per over; no compulsory requirement for close catchers; and a maximum of four fielders outside the 30-yard circle during non-powerplay overs.
Cricket Australia, who decided to drop its 'split-innings' format from domestic one-day cricket next season because of the ICC's continuing push for the fifty-over format, has already used, or plans to trial, some of the "innovations" the CEC discussed yesterday (E-News 770-3772, 5 June 2011).
SLOW OVER-RATE PENALTIES
FOR SKIPPERS TIGHTENED
International captains will now be suspended from playing if their teams are found guilty of two over-rate breaches in a twelve-month period in any one format of the game, rather than the current position whereby suspensions apply to only one format and do not come into effect until three breaches have occurred over that period. The change, which was recommended by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC), were agreed to by the ICC's Chief Executives Committee (CEC) at its meeting in Hong Kong yesterday.
The ICC says that the CEC, like the CC, "was concerned at the slow over-rates in Test match cricket and agreed on stricter sanctions against captains for over-rate breaches" (E-News 779-3813, 24 June 2011). Other CC recommendations accepted by the CEC included continued research into the use of different colour balls to facilitate day-night Test matches, and a directive that batsmen can be given out for obstructing the field if they change their direction when running between the wicket to block a 'run-out' chance, were also approved.
TCUSA E-NEWS NUMBER 784
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
LLOYD PROVIDES HIS
THOUGHTS ON RUNNER BAN
Former West Indian captain Clive Lloyd, who is now the Chairman of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC), spread a little light on the ICC's decision to ban the use of runners in international cricket when he spoke to the 'London Evening Standard' overnight (E-News 783-3831, 28 June 2011). Lloyd also said that while the compromise on the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is an "improvement on the previous blanket Indian ban", he is convinced that the ability to refer LBW decisions is crucial.
While Lloyd's push on the UDRS did not achieve all his expectations, he did, says journalist Mihir Bose, "get his own way with a far-reaching proposal of his [CC] which marks a very radical change to the game". Lloyd may be known for his batting but on the issue of injured batsmen having a runner, he has no problems arguing that the Law has been unfair to bowlers.
Lloyd told the 'Standard' that "If a bowler is injured, you don't get somebody else to come and bowl for him [and] he has to go off. So, if a batsman is injured, he has to go off too. Why should he be allowed to bat using another batsman to run for him? That is giving him an unfair advantage", says Lloyd.
The former international captain and later match referee, says he is disappointed that ball-tracking technology will only be part of the UDRS package package where the two playing nations involved agree to its inclusion (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).
Lloyd told the 'Standard' that the UDRS "has made a big difference for spinners" and batsman now know they have to play the ball, and they "can't kick the spinners away like English batsmen did to Ramadhin and Valentine in the old days". "Nothing is perfect", he says, "but it is better to have a good idea most of the time than not" and existing ball tracking technology can do that.
ON LINE' COMMENTARY WRONG ABOUT
'PROTECTED AREA' BALL, SAYS HARPER
Australian umpire Daryl Harper says that Cricinfo's 'on line' description of the suspension of Indian bowler Praveen Kumar from the attack in the First Test against the West Indies last week was inaccurate and gave a false impression of the situation that actually prevailed (E-News 779-3814, 24 June 2011). The 'on line' report suggested that Kumar bowled a ball after being told he had entered the 'Protected Area' for the third time, but Harper says that the offence actually occurred on the last ball of the bowler's over.
The Australian told E-News from the Caribbean that the sixth ball "passed through to the keeper and 'dead ball' was called", then "the bowler, the fielding captain, my colleague at square leg, the batsmen were all informed [of Kumar's transgression] and the third umpire and match referee were informed via the walkie-talkie". "Any suggestion that this occurred on any other delivery in the over is completely erroneous", says Harper.
The 'Cricinfo' web site and other media outlets quoted Kumar as saying on the day the incident happened that "It's the very first time", such a thing as being censured for going into the 'Protected Area' has happened to him, and that "Nobody has ever spoken to me in a match about it". Comments such as that are familiar to most umpires around the world who have brought such an offence to a bowler's attention.
In fact, reports have since emerged from the Caribbean that say Kumar, who played in four of the five One Day Internationals (ODI) against the West Indies that preceded the current Tests, was in fact spoken to about running in the 'Protected Area' in all four matches. Harper's colleague in the First Test, Ian Gould from England, was the neutral umpire for the five ODI series (E-News 770-3775, 5 June 2011).
NO UDRS FOR TWENTY20
The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) may have received a boost yesterday when the International Cricket Council (ICC) reached a compromise for its use in international cricket (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011), but contrary to earlier reports it will not be utilised in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), according to advice provided by the world body overnight. As a result the UDRS will, subject to the appropriate resolution of who finances the technology involved, be limited to all Tests and One Day Internationals. The ICC gave no reason as to why the UDRS will not be used for the T20I format.
PLANNED ICC DIRECTIVE HIGHLIGHTS
'OBSTRUCTING THE FIELD' ISSUE
One of the most interesting decisions made by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives Committee on Monday is that a directive be sent to international umpires that batsmen can be given 'out' obstructing the field if they change their direction when running in order to block a 'run-out' chance (E-News 783-3831, 28 June 2011). The move, which was recommended by the ICCs Cricket Committee last month, comes after several incidents in international matches this year, however, it is already covered by the Laws of Cricket, although perhaps not in an obvious way say some.
An article published in 'The Cricketer' magazine in April, which was summarised in last month's edition of the Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) newsletter in the UK, says "some commentators heap praise on batsmen who get their bodies between a throw and the stumps, often citing it as a brave act" and "it appears that the practice has almost become accepted as part of the game". "Somewhat surprisingly", continues the newsletter piece, "the fielding side never seems to appeal yet there is always the possibility of the batsman being given 'out' obstructing the field" in such cases".
The article makes the statement that "it is not uncommon" to see the striker run across the pitch from the off side to the leg side mid-way through his run. Unless a batsman is diverting because a bowler or fieldsman is in their way, altering course to block a throw-in is obstructing the fielding side, is "wilful" and "obstructs the fielding side", two crucial points that are covered in Law 37, 'Obstructing the Field'. Law 37.1 states that: “Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully obstructs or distracts the fielding side by word or action".
It is up to the umpire to, as per Law 37.2, decide whether any obstuction is 'wilful' or not, however, it "is not relevant whether he felt a 'run-out' would have occurred or not", says the ACO Newsletter. "If an umpire (whose attention, it should be remembered, may mainly be focused elsewhere), feels that a batsman has significantly changed his direction, without a probable cause, and his body or bat then blocks a 'run out' chance, he should, on appeal, give the batsman out under Law 37.1", says the article.
Furthermore, it continues, any batsman running across the pitch has caused "avoidable damage" to it and is thus in breach of Law 42.14, 'Batsman damaging the pitch'. Such an action would if its the first time it has occurred in an innings result in a first and final warning, but if it is a second or subsequent occurrence it would attract a five run penalty and the disallowance of any runs scored by the batsman, except those for a 'no ball' or 'wide'.
NEW ZEALAND CRICKET
LAUNCHES NZCUSA WEB SITE
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) launched a new web site for The New Zealand Cricket Umpires' and Scorers' Association (NZCUSA) last week. The NZCUSA oversees umpiring and scoring issues at all recreational levels of cricket throughout New Zealand in combination with its six regional affiliate organisations in the Auckland, Canterbury, Central Districts, Northern Districts, Otago and Wellington areas.
The site is divided into eight major areas which provide details of the Association, how to get started, training and exams, career pathways, umpiring panels, resources available and contact information. A number of downloadable documents that cover such issues as an introduction to umpiring and how to get started in scoring are also available on the site.
The new web site can be viewed at: http://www.nzcusa.org.nz/
HARPER WITHDRAWALS FROM HIS FINAL
TEST APPOINTMENT, MEDIA PRESSURE CITED
Daryl Harper, Australia's most experienced umpire, has withdrawn from standing in the Third and final Test match between the West Indies and the India which is due to get underway on the island of Dominica next Wednesday. Reports overnight say that Harper, for whom it would have been his ninety-sixth and final Test, has withdrawn because of a barrage of negative articles in the Indian media after he stood in the First Test between the two sides in Jamaica last week.
Immediately after that Test, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni criticised the umpiring, and while he did not mention anyone by name, media reports published on the sub-continent at the time made clear he was referring to Harper (E-News 781-3823, 26 June 2011). A few days later, over last weekend, several Indian newspapers, including Saturday's 'Times of India' (TOI), ran a quote in regard to Harper's participation in the Third Test, from what was said to have been "a very senior member of the [Indian] side", that ran "we don't want him [and] you can quote it as the reaction of the entire Indian team".
The 'TOI' quoted team sources as saying Harper is "either biased against the team or simply not good", and described the decision to remove debutant Praveen Kumar from India's attack for stepping on the 'Protected Area' as "harsh", even though Kumar infringed the Laws of Cricket (E-News 784-3834, 29 June 2011). Whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India made representations to the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the matter, as it did in 2008 when West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor was taken out of a Test (E-News 172-919, 9 January 2008), is not known.
Despite the Indian team's reported comments, and the somewhat savage reaction in the Indian media, the ICC's General Manager Cricket, David Richardson, said in a statement issued last night that "Daryl’s statistics show his correct decision percentage in Tests involving India is ninety-six per cent, which is considerably higher than the international average for top-level umpires".
“We have every faith in Daryl to finish the series and while we regret his decision we do respect it", continued Richardson, but "the real shame is it deprives him of the opportunity to sign off as a Test match umpire in a manner befitting someone who has served the game so well since making his international debut back in 1994".
The ICC announced last month that Harper, 59, would leave its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) this month after a ten-year tenure, the longest of any umpire to date (E-News 766-3757, 26 May 2011). Three weeks later the ICC appointed him to his final two Tests, the first and ninety-fifth in Jamaica with Englishman Ian Gould, and last and what was to be his ninety-sixth in the first Test ever played in Dominica, with Asad Rauf of Pakistan (E-News 773-3783, 13 June 2011).
Adelaide-based Harper's first class debut was in a tour match between South Australia and New Zealand in November 1987 and he first stood at Test level eleven years later in November 1998 in an Ashes Test in Perth, his fifty-fourth first class game. His international debut actually occurred in a One Day International (ODI) almost five years before his first Test, his tally in ODIs eventually including matches in the World Cups of 2003, 2007 and 2011, the Champions Trophy series in 2002, 2004 and 2006, and many other bi-lateral and tri-lateral ODI series.
As a result of his withdrawal, Harper goes into retirement having stood in a total of ninety-five Tests, 174 One Day Internationals (ODI), and ten Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), in addition working as third umpire in 9, 44 and 7 matches respectively in those three formats. All of his T20I matches were in either the World Championships of 2007 and 2009, the latter which included the final of the event which was played at Lord's (E-News 441-2296, 21 June 2009). In other internationals he also stood in women's ODIs and T20Is, as well as an Under-19 Test and six Under-19 ODIs, matches that mean he has stood or worked in close to 300 internationals in his career.
Harper's record makes him Australia's most experienced umpire, and internationally he is third in the list of Test match umpires, after South African Rudi Koertzen's 108, and Steve Bucknor of the West Indies with 128; while he is also third in the ODI list behind Bucknor's 181 and Koertzen's 209.
Overall the South Australian, who was a member of Australia's National Umpires Panel from 1993 to 2002 when he joined the EUP, was on the ground in a total of 165 first class matches, 56 of them in the Sheffield Shield including the finals of 1998 and 1999, and two in Bangladesh's domestic competition in 2001, plus 214 List A games.
The List A classification includes thirty-two in Australia's domestic competition, seven of them the finals of 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007; while his T20 record includes thirty-five games in the Indian Premier League over three tournaments, twenty-seven of them on the field.
Despite his impressive record, which has seen him stand in every Test match playing country and six times at Lord's, four in Tests and twice in T20Is, the last two years has seen Harper involved in controversy, particularly in regard to the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), firstly in the West Indies (E-News 369-1965, 9 February 2009) and early last year in South Africa (E-News 549-2798, 16 January 2010). In March last year the ICC omitted him from the umpiring panel for the 2010 World Twenty20 Championship in the West Indies because his "general performance" did not merit selection for the event (E-News 583-2939, 11 March 2010).
However, he was found by an ICC investigation to be "entirely blameless" of any errors as third umpire in that South African Test (E-News 628-3135, 2 July 2010), but during this year's World Cup just over half of his decisions were overturned on referral, the second-worst umpiring statistic for the tournament (E-News 754-3702, 7 April 2011).
Harper withdrew from a Test match in New Zealand early last year because of what a report said then was his concern that allegations made against him in a Test in South Africa the month before, would inappropriately take the focus away from the Test in Hamilton (E-News 562-2856, 1 February 2010). It is possible therefore that the South Australian withdrew from next week's Test in Dominica for a similar reason.
Richard Kettleborough, 38, from England, who was promoted on to the EUP last month (E-News 766-3758, 26 May 2011), has been named as Harper's replacement for the Dominica Test. The game will be his first Test since joining the EUP and third overall, his first two Tests being in Sri Lanka last November (E-News 697-3418, 15 November 2010).
FOURTH PLAYER FOUND GUILTY OF
'DISSENT' IN WINDIES-INDIA SERIES
Indian batsman Suresh Raina has been fined twenty-five percent of his match fee for showing dissent at an umpire's decision during the first day of the second Test against West Indies on Tuesday. Left-handed batsman Raina, who led India in the five-match One Day International series against West Indies in the absence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, showed his displeasure after being given out 'caught' off Windies leg spinner Devendra Bishoo.
International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad of England said in a statement issued yesterday that "what Suresh did was a clear breach of the [ICC's Code of Conduct regulations], something the player himself has accepted". "There is a fine line between showing disappointment at a dismissal and demonstrating dissent", continued Broad, "but on this occasion Suresh was well over that line and his behaviour was unacceptable". Raina pleaded guilty and accepted the fine imposed on him after the end of play on Tuesday.
Cricinfo's web commentary, which was criticised this week for lack of accuracy (E-News 784-3834, 29 June 2011), described Raina's dismissal thus: "Raina falls to a late decision from [Pakistani Umpire] Asad Rauf, he is not happy at all with the decision, Bishoo got the ball to bounce awkwardly around leg stump and Raina failed to keep it down, it lobbed up off the thigh pad and forward short leg tumbled forward to take the catch, the appeal from Windies wasn't particularly aggressive, replays do not show any bat being involved".
The commentary goes on to say that after leaving the pitch, Raina "stood inside the boundary for a long time before reluctantly going inside the dressing room". With Indian cricket authorities banning use of the Umpire Decision Review System for the series, Raina had no ability to have Rauf's decision referred (E-News 762-3746, 16 May 2011).
Raina is the third batsman after his team mate Amit Mishra (E-News 779-3815, 24 June 2011) and West Indian Ravi Rampaul (E-News 781-3824, 26 June 2011), to be found guilty of disputing and umpire's decision in the current Test series in the Caribbean. Another West Indian, captain Darren Sammy was reprimanded for actions "against the spirit of the game", after he gestured to both umpires that he was 'not out, a view the umpire involved judged independently was correct (E-News 781-3824, 26 June 2011).
CLUB PLANS APPEAL ON
BATSMAN'S ONE-YEAR BAN
Former Irish batsman Decker Curry has been banned from all cricket for a year after being found guilty by a Cricket Ireland (CI) disciplinary hearing of offences committed in the abandoned Irish Cup match between his side Limavady and Instonians on 11 June (E-News 773-3785, 13 June 2011). The ban on the 44-year-old commenced straight after the disciplinary committee announced their verdict on Tuesday but Limavady say that they intend to appeal the decision.
The Limavady-Instonians game was abandoned following an alleged assault by a so-far unnamed Limavady player on Instonians' Ireland international Andrew White during the tea interval. Instonians' agreed to resume the match but only under protest, Limavady refused to play on under these conditions, and the umpires had no alternative but to abandon the match, says a report in the 'Belfast Telegraph'.
CI are still to give the reason for Curry's ban to the Limavady Club or issue an official statement, and while they plan to appeal, the Club had itself banned Curry for two Irish Cup games. However, says 'Telegraph' journalist Ian Callender, to receive a one-year ban, a player has to be found guilty of a Level Four offence which includes a "physical assault on another player", a statement that suggests Curry was involved in the incident with White.
Curry has, says Callender, denied that offence but admitted to the Level 1 transgression of using "obscene, offensive or insulting language", "showing dissent at the umpire's decision" when he was given out to the first ball of the game, and also "abuse of cricket equipment", for he wrecked the stumps with his bat before returning to the pavilion. The 'Telegraph' says that if Limavady's appeal is unsuccessful "it is likely that Curry will retire".
At the same time the CI disciplinary committee was looking into offences that occurred during the match, a separate CI group meeting at the same time ruled that Instonians had won the game because "Limavady refused to continue the match".
INDIAN FILM COMPANY PUSHING
ACTORS FOR IPL UMPIRING SPOTS
The producers of a 'Bollywood' comedy film called 'Housefull 2' are reported to be in talks with Indian Premier League (IPL) officials about having their lead actors Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh stand as umpires during next year’s IPL tournament. The new film, a sequel to the original 'Housefull' which was released last year, is scheduled to debut in some seventy-five theatres across Indian late next April immediately after IPL-5 ends, says a story published in the 'Deccan Chronicle' yesterday.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team mate Suresh Raina are reported to have been signed appear in the sequel, filming for which commenced earlier this month. The aim of Director Sajid Khan and Producer Sajid Nadiadwala is, says the 'Chronicle', to "not only add some glamour quotient to the cricket proceedings, but also act as a major publicity tool for [the new film]".
The "biggest challenge" says the 'Chronicle' story, "is to figure out a way to get non-cricketers like Riteish and Akshay to participate in a match as officials". “While Riteish has had some formal experience in cricket due to his participation in the [Twenty20 format] ‘Celebrity Cricket League’ [in India], Akshay’s association with the game is restricted to Gully cricket only", continues the story. Reports suggest that 'Gully cricket' is a computer-based game.
Nadiadwala is said to be in talks with the IPL in order "to understand the logistics involved" and "is trying to make sure that if not for the entire match, Akshay and Riteish could take to the ground for a few overs at least". "Eventually, if nothing else works out, they may just be seated in a private cabin at the stadium and give their views unofficially", says a "source" quoted by the newspaper.
Kumar, 43, is an actor, producer and martial artist who has appeared in over a hundred Hindi films, while Deshmukh, 32, has featured in 31 Bollywood films to date. Only umpires with experience at first class level, many of whom have officiated in Test matches, have stood in the 252 IPL matches arranged over the last four years (E-News 767-3761, 28 May 2011).
ICC DEFERS DECISION ON PRESIDENTIAL
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced last night that it had deferred until October its decision on whether to change its rotational presidency policy (E-News 782-3826, 27 June 2011). The ICC said in a statement issued at the end of the second-last day of its 2011 Annual Conference in Hong Kong, that its Board had "decided to defer the proposed constitutional amendment to the nominations process for election of the ICC president".
Despite that, the Board unanimously agreed on "an urgent independent review of its [own] structure and process" which is to be completed by the time of its meeting in October". ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said that he "wholeheartedly welcome an independent review of the entire ICC governance" and regards it as "a major step to meet stakeholder expectations and the high standards of a world-class organisation".
Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are scheduled to nominate the body's next-but-one leader to succeed New Zealander Alan Isaac in 2014, offered, say some reports, considerable opposition to any change at this time. The policy shift put forward to the Board by ICC management, is said to have come about as a result of they way a number of countries controversily refused to endorse former Australian prime minister John Howard as the next ICC president, despite his nomination by Australia and New Zealand.