JULY 2011


(Story numbers 3843-3945)

786   787   788   789   790   791   792   793   794   795   796   797   798   799   800   801   802   803   804   805

786 - 1 July [3843-3850]
• No runners for injured batsmen in Australian domestic competitions   (785-3843).  

• Role for Harper in Education and Training programs, says CA   (786-3844).

• CA 'Emerging' umpire quartet to stand in 2011 EPT   (785-3845).

• Bowden, Erasmus named for cricket's 2,000th Test  (786-3846).

• Grade cricket standards have 'diminished', says state coach   (786-3847).

• International umpire managers to meet in Brisbane   (786-3848). 

• Tasmanian visitor looks after two Australia 'A' side matches in Zimbabwe   (786-3849).

• 'Chapelli' berates ICC for UDRS backdown   (786-3850).

787 - 2 July [3851-3856]

• Batsman dismissed after third umpire shown wrong replay   (787-3851).

• Australian match referee prepares for 100th ODI   (787-3852).

• Harper 'furious' about ICC silence on player comments, claims report   (787-3853).

• 'Widespread abuse' of runner Law behind change, says ICC   (787-3854).

• County reprimands, fines skipper for disciplinary breach  (787-3855).

• Ganguly backs compulsory UDRS use  (787-3856).

788 - 4 July [3857-3861]
• No changes expected to NUP for 2011-12   (788-3857).

• Mentoring role for Oxenford in PNG   (788-3858).

• Harper defends performance, criticises Indian side's behaviour  (788-3859).

• Broad looses half match fee for comments to umpire Bowden   (788-3860).

• Fine for slow over-rate in Test handed to Indian side   (788-3861).

789 - 5 July [3862-3865]

• Veteran journalist concerned about 'disturbing' disciplinary trends   (789-3862). 

• German, South African for Irish matches   (789-3863).

• Skipper defends fellow skipper after 'serious dissent' fine  (789-3864).

• Umpires report medium-pacer for suspect action   (789-3865).

790 - 6 July [3866-3870]
• Tasmanian umpires panel unchanged for 2011-12  (790-3866).

• Umpiring high on the agenda for CT Game Development staff   (790-3867).

• ICC to look at UDRS sponsorship, ball-tracking accuracy   (790-3868).

• Three-way split develops in Sri Lankan umpiring   (790-3869).

• US Air Force technology assisting ECB umpire development   (790-3870).

791 - 7 July [3871-3874]

• Team's behaviour sees skipper suspended, county fined  (791-3871).

• ICC targets 'democratisation' of member boards  (791-3872).

• Spinner sets new T20 bowling record   (791-3873).

• ECB domestic itinerary 'ludicrous' says county player   (791-3874).

792- 8 July [3875-3878]

• Team's comments on umpiring attracts low-key criticism from ICC chief   (792-3875).

• Financial issues adding to T20 pressures, tensions, say skippers  (792-3876).

• Second county reprimands player over on-field behaviour   (792-3877).

• 'Last Man Stands' newest version of cricket   (792-3878).

• EAP T20 finals appointments go with rankings   (792-3878).

793 - 10 July [3879-3884]

• UDRS partly to blame for increase in dissent, says UK PCA chief  (793-3879).

• ICC following up on Indian team's umpiring comments?   (793-3880).

• Erasmus 'warms-up' for England-India series   (793-3881).

• Third dissent charge results in one-match suspension   (793-3882).

• Matibiri stands in three 'A' tri-series games   (793-3883).

• Village team bludgeons 287 in T20 match   (793-3884).

794 - 12 July [3885-3888]
• Indian media continues to complain about umpires   (794-3885).

• 'Insufficient effort' to play sees side loose match points  (794-3886).

• Spinner's action declared 'illegal' after university tests   (794-3887).

• Caribbean umpires prepare for convention   (794-3888).

795 - 13 July [3889-3893]
• 'Some' county captains 'confronted' over umpire reports, claims blogger   (795-3889).

• Indian IUP member on exchange in England   (795-3890).

• Match officials from three nations managing Africa T20 series   (795-3891).

• Former Pakistani Test umpire dies   (795-3892).

• CCTV cameras capture details of on-field brawl   (795-3893).

796 - 15 July [3894-3897]

• Umpires right to enforce 'Spirit of Cricket' issues, says 'Bumble'   (796-3894).

• Club to 'lodge complaint' about umpire's decision  (796-3895).

• Bowler's 'deliberate' wide to come under scrutiny?   (796-3896).

• Bird to return to the middle   (796-3897).

797 - 16 July [3898-3901]
• ICC 'employs double standards', says Harper   (797-3898).

• No UDRS for Lanka-Australia series, costs the issue   (797-3899).

• UK premier league chairman warns clubs about player discipline issues  (797-3900).

• Namibians look after Africa T20 decider   (797-3901).

798 - 17 July [3902-3905]

• 'Lack of support from ICC' behind Test withdrawal, says Harper   (798-3902)

• 'No comment' from ICC on Harper comments  (798-3903).

• Team indiscipline sees second county fined, captain censured   (798-3904).

• UDRS back in for Lanka-Australia series, but minus ball-tracking?   (798-3905).

799 - 18 July [3906-3909]
• Range of issues on table at MCC World Cricket Committee meeting   (799-3906).

• Indian team's conduct towards Harper 'insulting', says Roebuck   (799-3907).

• 'Team India source' calls Harper's allegations 'unwarranted'   (799-3908).

• Irish player fails in his appeal against one-year ban   (799-3909).

800 - 19 July [3910-3915]
• Timeless Test for World Championship decider?  (800-3910).

• ICC chief 'disappointed' ball-tracking technology out of England-India series   (800-3911).

• No UDRS for Pakistan-England series?   (800-3912).

• Newest ICC match referee goes Canadian   (800-3913).

• Match officials named for Americas T20 qualifier series   (800-3914).

• WEPL skipper handed three-week ban   (800-3915).

801 - 20 July [3916-3921]

• Runner ban reflects poorly on 'Spirit' of international game, says WCC   (801-3916).

• ICC shuffles England-India Test umpire appointments   (801-3917).

• MCC committee again calls for 'immediate' introduction of day-night Tests   (801-3918).

• Veracity of UDRS in doubt because of camera frame-rates, claims Harper   (801-3919).

• Former Aussies umpire looks to boost Wellington umpiring   (801-3920).

• Annual Sri Lankan 'stoush' on IUP appointments underway   (801-3921).

802 - 21 July [3922-3925]

• ECB-BCCI finalise agreement on UDRS use during England-India series   (802-3922).

• Harper's treatment 'unacceptable', says ICC umpire selector  (802-3923).

• Former NZ first class umpire dies   (802-3924).

• PCB 'keen' to have UDRS for Lankan series, costs again the issue   (802-3925).

803 - 25 July [3926-3930]

• Player's union chief wants 'consistent' use of UDRS   (803-3926).

• Captain under threat of slow over-rate ban   (803-3927).

• Technology helps 'to get it right', says Kiwi EUP member   (803-3928).

• 'Unnecessary' referrals spoiling 'culture' of game, says Agnew   (803-3929).

• UDRS operation in Lanka-Australia series still under review   (803-3930).

804 - 28 July [3930-3936]

• Another show of 'serious dissent' from a county player   (804-3931).

• Cancer claims former Windies Test umpire   (804-3932)

• 'Stronger leadership' needed from ICC on UDRS, says Flower  (804-3933).

• Inventor briefs Tendulkar on 'Hawk Eye' operation   (804-3934).

• ICC match referee to take on player's union role   (804-3935).

• Bucknor steps down as WICUA President   (804-3936).

805 - 30 July [3937-3945]

• New President targets 'first-world' status for WICUA   (805-3937).

• Hill visit 'timely' as Otago looks to promote umpiring   (805-3938).

• Match officials from ten nations for U19 WC qualifier   (805-3939).

• 'Emerging' quartet start their EPT campaign   (805-3940).

• Two county matches for Indian umpire   (805-3941).

• Broad vows to 'stay calm' over umpiring decisions   (805-3942).

• 'Forgotten' rule sees match declared 'null and void'   (805-3943).

• Umpire's car stolen during match   (805-3944).

• WA Association 'desperate' for umpiring members   (805-3945).



Friday, 1 July 2011





Cricket Australia (CA) plans to introduce the 'no runners' rule into the playing conditions for its first class, one-day and Twenty20 domestic competitions for the 2011-12 summer. The national body's move comes as a result of the decision taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this week that injured batsmen will no longer be allowed to have a 'runner' in international cricket's three playing formats (E-News 783-3831, 28 June 2011).


Sean Cary, CA's umpires manager, told E-News yesterday that the national body indicated to its state and territory affiliates some time ago that "if the ICC went ahead with the 'runner' proposal", CA would automatically apply it in the playing conditions of iinterstate competitions.  


In addition to the runner ban, CA is also understood to be planning to introduce other one-day playing conditions that were agreed to by the ICC this week.  They include: restricting elective powerplays to between the sixteenth and fortieth overs of each innings; that batsmen should be dismissed (obstructing the field) if they change their course while running to prevent a run-out chance (E-News 784-3836, 29 June 2011); and the running out of a non-striker who is backing up unfairly. 


Whether some, all or none of the new rules will filter down to Grade or Premier League club level is expected to be up to individual state cricket bodies to decide.  Last year for example, CA's then new split-innings format in one-day games, which was recently scrapped for the coming season, was not taken up by every state body for club cricket (E-News 673-3303, 27 September 2010).


Meanwhile New Zealand Cricket's Chief Executive Officer Justin Vaughan has hailed the ban on runners, says a story published in 'The Dominion Post' this week.  Vaughan, who is also a member of the International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee (CC) which formulated the runner ban, said in words similar to CC Chairman Clive Lloyd this week (E-News 784-3833, 29 June 2011), that "it's a bit of an anomaly of cricket where the batters can get some help but the bowlers can't".  


"There's certainly a feeling [amongst CC members], that runners were increasingly being used for spurious reasons", continued Vaughan, and "we shouldn't forget that cricket is not only a skill-based game but a fitness and endurance one too".






Cricket Australia (CA) paid tribute to umpire Daryl Harper's "stellar career" yesterday after it was announced that he had stood in his last international match, and indicated that it hopes his experience can "be used in CA's [on-going] education and training programs".  On Wednesday, Harper withdrew from what would have been his last Test in the wake of comments attributed to senior Indian players and a barrage of criticism from media on the sub-continent (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011).


CA's Acting Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown said that “Daryl has been a fine servant of the game over a very long period of time", and that "any international umpire who stands in 95 Test matches, 174 One Day Internationals and 10 Twenty20 International matches has shown the highest degree of professionalism over a long and distinguished career".


Brown said that CA "is proud of one of our own having achieved such a fine record and we look forward to the next generation of Australian umpires benefiting from his accrued wisdom when Daryl helps our umpire education and training program in the coming years".


CA’s Umpire Manager Sean Cary said that “Daryl has had an amazing career as a match official and becoming Australia’s most capped cricket umpire is testament to his passion and commitment to the game".  Cary says he was "fortunate enough to play Sheffield Shield cricket with Daryl officiating at one end and it was always reassuring to know we had one of the best managing our matches".


Like Brown, Cary indicated that Harper will be used in CA’s umpire education and training programs for "he’s too good a resource to let go".  "Daryl has already made a significant contribution to the development of umpiring in Australia and we all look forward to welcoming him back into CA umpiring", Cary added.


"Daryl has had a wonderful international career", continued Cary, "however let’s not forget where he started", for while he officiated in a total of 830 cricket matches, "the vast majority of those [were] at grass roots level".






The four up-and-coming Australian match officials who made up Cricket Australia's (CA) emerging umpires group last austral summer are to stand in the majority of matches in this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in late July and early August.  The quartet will get one rest day during what will be an intensive twelve-day period in Queensland, seven of those days being spent managing matches, three in developmental workshops, and one travelling from Brisbane to Townsville.


This year's EPT will again involve teams from Australia, India, New Zealand and South Africa, and consist of two fifty-over one-day games, and six three-day games; the one-dayer and two three-dayers being played in Brisbane, and the remaining three dayers further north in Townsville (E-News 775-3794, 16 June 2011).  The switch from previous years whereby only one-day or Twenty20 games were played to three-day matches was made because the participating nations felt the longer version of the game was "more beneficial for overall development" of their players.  


CA's national umpires manager Sean Cary told E-News that because of the change to the longer format the four umpires, Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (New South Wales), Sam Nogajski, Damien Mealey (Queensland) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), will be provided with "different umpire match experiences", as well as "having to cope with travel between matches, simulating a first class [match] experience nicely". 


In addition, says Cary, "we have additional professional development material to work on with these guys" that will further support their on-going development as umpires.  That will see the four attending workshops during the Brisbane section of the event that have been organised by Cary and CA's Education Officer Denis Burns. 


Australian batting coach Justin Langer will, for example, be working with the group on 'Preparation and Mental Toughness', while CA's Centre of Excellence nutritionist Michele Cort and sports psychologist Michael Lloyd will provide the latest information in their respective fields.  In addition, International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel member Simon Taufel will present a pilot 'Third Umpire Accreditation' module that he has developed on behalf of the ICC.  Taufel's presentation will be given on the day when EPT personnel and ICC umpire managers meet together (E-News 786-3848 below). 


National Umpire Panel (NUP), and ICC second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), member Simon Fry will be joining the EPT group for their first full day of workshops, and will also be in attendance to observe when the one-day matches are in progress.  The four EPT umpires will receive feedback on their performances during matches from both Fry and members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel. 


Given that as a IUP member he is likely to be involved in a number of the fifteen One day Internationals scheduled for the 2011-12 summer, Fry is believed to have asked to be in Brisbane to observe the Australian side's practice sessions as it prepares for a tour of Sri Lanka which starts on 6 August.


The four emerging umpires will return home before the EPT ends for the final two three-day games in Townsville will be looked after by so-far unnamed members of the NUP.






'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Marais Erasmus of South Africa have been named as the on-field umpires for cricket's 2,000th Test match, which will be between England and India, that is scheduled to start at Lord's on 21 July.  Those two umpires will also look after the second Test at Trent Bridge, while Australians Steve Davis and Simon Taufel will stand in games three and four at Edgbaston and The Oval respectively; Sri Lankan Ranjan Madugalle having overall control of the four matches as the match referee. 


In announcing the appointments for the four-match series yesterday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) listed the third umpire for the four Tests as "to be advised".  That suggests moves are being made to bring in a 'neutral' umpire for that position given last Monday's decision by the ICC that could result in a partial, non ball-tracking Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), being operational in the series (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  


English umpires Rob Bailey, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough and Nigel Long were originally named by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the television spot across the four Tests as it was originally to have been a non-UDRS series (E-News 754-3703, 7 April 2011).  As of this morning though all four remain on the ECB's appointments list for the Tests.


The series will see Madugalle, the ICC's chief Match referee, take his record as a match referee in Tests to 128 matches, and he will need all that experience given the robust approach both teams take to their cricket.  The historic Lord's Test will be Bowden's fourth there overall and third in fourteen months, and by the time the series ends he will have sixty-nine Tests to his credit.  


Taufel will also reach that same figure come the last Test, while Davis, who is somewhat inexplicably named as "Ian Davis" in the ICC's appointments page on its web site, will move to thirty-three Tests and Erasmus seven.  The South African will be standing in a Test at Lord's for the first time, although he has worked there twice before in Twenty20 Internationals, once on the field and the other in the television suite.


Madugalle will be 'shadowed' during the first two Tests by former Australian batsman David Boon who joined the ICC's match referee's ranks five weeks ago (E-News 766-3756, 26 May 2011).  After learning the ropes with the Sri Lankan, Boon’s first series in charge will be Zimbabwe’s home matches against Pakistan in September.  E-News understands that Madugalle will also be present for those games as Boon works into his new role in earnest.   


Earlier this week Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive officer, said that his organisation is "planning to mark the occasion [of the 2,000th Test] by celebrating this fantastic milestone", although he did not indicate just what is planned.  Lorgat continued by saying that "Test cricket is the pinnacle format of our game and I am confident that the [England-India] series will confirm this enduring format in front of full houses". 






Cricket Australia (CA) said yesterday that it was in “complete agreement” with those in the Australian cricket community who want Premier and Grade cricket to continue to be developed as an important part of the country's cricket’s future.  Damien de Bohun, CA's General Manager Game Development, spoke to journalists after South Australian coach Darren Berry was quoted in 'The Australian' yesterday morning as saying that he would be "staggered and disappointed" if cricket's post-Ashes review does look into the foundations of grade cricket.


Berry told 'The Australian" that "Grade cricket has been diminished, not just in Adelaide, [but] across the country [and] a culture has developed of players that don't care enough about their clubs".  "Fewer first-class players play out their careers at their clubs, weakening competitions and starving youngsters of role models".  As a result "the standard has dropped and grade cricket has become less meaningful", Berry continued, with "many first-class players content to all but abandon their clubs as soon as they secured spots in their state side".


“Darren Berry’s desire to better connect the elite cricketers under his charge with their respective club sides is a tremendous step in the right direction", said de Bohun.  "Any support to increase the involvement of Australia’s best cricketers with their clubs will only help to inspire and improve the performance of the next generation of players", he continued.


de Bohun pointed to the $A1 million "that CA allocates to the 146 Premier and Grade cricket clubs around the country each year", an average of around $7,000 per club, and that that commitment "is a sign of the importance CA assigns to that level of cricket".  “It is one of the biggest investments by Game Development for one simple reason, that it's really important", he said.


The Game Devlopement manager said CA was "working closely with the State and Territory Cricket Associations which administer Premier and Grade cricket, and CA strongly supports the recently announced NSW review of the role of Grade cricket in developing cricketers with the capacity to play at a higher level"


CA says it is also encouraging international and national players to participate in a 'Long Live Club Cricket Day' by revisiting the clubs that helped develop them on their journey to top cricket as a way of promoting and reinforcing the links between club and elite cricket.  “I completely support Darren Berry’s plans to encourage state players to train and play with their clubs as often as possible", concluded de Bohun.






The International Cricket Council (ICC) is to hold its annual gathering of umpire managers from Test playing countries in Brisbane late this month, the first time the event is believed to have been held outside of Dubai where the ICC has its headquarters.  Participants are currently scheduled to meet in Brisbane on the evening of 28 July, then spend the following two days discussing a variety of matters, the last day being held in conjunction with workshops being run for up-and-coming umpires taking part in this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) (E-News 786-3845 above).


Cricket Australia's Umpire Manager Sean Cary, who will be one of the participants, told E-News yesterday that the fact that the ICC is holding the meeting in this country was a "real feather in the cap of Australian match officials".  Vintcent van der Bijl, the ICC's umpire and referees manager, originally wanted to visit Brisbane himself to see EPT umpire-related training, but then apparently decided that it would benefit for all national umpire managers to see what was involved themselves.  The agenda for the meeting has not yet been released. 






Zimbabwean umpire Jerry Matibiri, who has umpired in nineteen matches in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League (CTPL) competition during two visits to Hobart over the last five years, stood in the Australia 'A' side's opening 50-over match of its tour of against Zimbabwe 'A' in Harare on Wednesday.  


Matibiri, 40, was standing in that game with Owen Chirombe his colleague on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 749-3679, 30 March 2011), and the same pair were on the field at the Harare Sports club again yesterday when Australia 'A' took on South Africa "A' for the second match of what is a tri-nation event.


The current Australia 'A' side has two Tasmanians in it, captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine, and all-rounder Luke Butterworth, who play for the University and Glenorchy clubs in CTPL competitions, and it is possible that Matibiri stood in matches they were involved in whilst he was in Hobart.






Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has spoken out strongly against International Cricket Council’s (ICC) move earlier this week to modify the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).  The ICC removed the ball tracker technology from the list of the elements that are compulsory for the system (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011), and Chappell is of the view that the amendment was made only in order "to pacify the influential Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)".  The ICC’s "nepotism and favouritism for India have become points of severe concerns for many international cricket players and analysts", claims Chappell.

Saturday, 2 July 2011






The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was given out incorrectly on the first day of the second Test against West Indies in Barbados on Tuesday because of a television error in which the wrong delivery was replayed to the third umpire.  Dhoni was caught at mid-on off fast bowler Fidel Edwards and on-field umpire Ian Gould from England wanted to check to make sure it was in fact the 'no ball' he had called, but the replay provided indicated that the delivery was a legitimate one. 


Sometime later, after Dhoni was back in the dressing room, it was discovered that both the television audience and third umpire Gregory Brathwaite, who was working in that capacity in a Test for the first time (E-News 773-3783, 13 June 2011), had been shown the wrong delivery by IMG Media, the host broadcaster for the series.  Edwards, as Gould correctly judged in real time, had actually overstepped the popping crease.


"IMG Media, acknowledged the mistake and has apologised", said match referee Chris Broad, another Englishman, in a press release issued by the ICC late on Thursday two days after the event.  


"Having looked into the situation, I am satisfied it was an unfortunate, but honest mistake in what is a tense, and live environment", said Broad, and "it is worth pointing out that the umpires followed the correct procedures and are without blame in this matter".  Broad ruled out the possibility of the decision being reversed for "the game has continued" and "we are forced now to put it behind us, and move on with the remainder of the match".  


Those comments by Broad, said one media report, "will provide Indian authorities with more fodder to [support] their argument that technology in the game is still unreliable", although their concerns centre mainly on ball-tracking systems.  The ICC got on the front foot on that issue though, pointing out in its release "that the enhanced standard for the use of the replay technology, including the presence of an ICC technical official, was not in place for this series because the [Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS)] was not in full operation".


The UDRS was one of the main bones of contention at this week's ICC Chief Executives' Committee meeting in Hong Kong, where a modified version that made ball-tracking equipment optional in the technology that makes up the UDRS package, as approved for use in all Tests and One-day Internationals (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).


A spokesman for IMG Media defended the integrity of its operations, blaming human error.  "IMG Media takes its responsibilities on this matter very seriously [and] this was a case of human error, compounded by a senior replay operative having to return home at very short notice". 


Tuesday's incident was the latest of a string of controversies that have surrounded the current Test series between the two sides.  At the time the two teams had been on the field for a total for four days, a time during which four players had been disciplined for dissent (E-News 785-33839, 30 June 2011), and one of the umpires in the opening Test walked away from the last one next week because of a barrage of criticism from unnamed Indian players (E-News 787-3853 following). 


Overnight the 'Deccan Herald' quoted Ratnakar Shetty, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) chief administrative officer as saying that the BCCI "has no intention to drag the controversy surrounding the dismissal of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and we want to move on".  "The host broadcaster have apologised for the incident", he said, and "we cannot keep on harping on the issue". 






Australian match referee Alan Hurst will oversee his one hundredth One Day International (ODI) at Lord's tomorrow when England play Sri Lanka in the third game of their five match series.  Hurst, 60, who has been an international match referee since October 2004, is to retire from that position next Saturday after the two sides play the fifth match of their series in Manchester (E-News 766-3759, 26 May 2011). 


Hurst will end his career next week having looked after forty-five Tests, twelve of which were played in England, four of those being at Lord's, eleven in Sri Lanka, seven each in New Zealand and the West Indies, six in South Africa and two in Bangladesh. 


Of what will be in a week's time a total of 102 ODIs, twenty were played in Pakistan, eighteen each in India and New Zealand, fifteen in Sri Lanka, twelve in Bangladesh, five each in England, South Africa and Ireland, and three in the West Indies and Zimbabwe.  That record includes games in both the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and the 2008 Asia Cup in Pakistan, the latter including the final of that competition.  Hurst also officiated in two Under-19 ODIs during that age group's World Cup of 2006 in Sri Lanka.


In the shortest form of the International game, Twenty20 cricket, he officiated in the World Championship series in England  in 2009, and in the same competition the following year in the West Indies, twenty-one of the twenty-eight matches Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) he has looked after being in those series, five of them at Lord's.  The Australian oversaw six women's T20Is, including the World Championship final of 2009 at Lord's.


Hurst, who played twelve Tests and eight ODIs in the period from 1974-79, will become the tenth match referee to chalk up 100 ODIs.  He will be replaced on the International Cricket Council's referees panel by fellow Australian David Boon (E-News 766-3756, 26 May 2011).






Now-retired Australian international umpire Daryl Harper is "understood to have been furious" that Indian players were allowed to publicly criticise him over the last week without repercussions from the International Cricket Council (ICC), says a report published in 'The Age' newspaper in Melbourne yesterday.  Last Wednesday Harper, who 'Age' journalist Chloe Saltau says "was already unhappy that his ICC contract had not been renewed", pulled out of what was to have been his final Test, a game that is to be played in Dominica next week (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011).


While not mentioning Harper by name, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni criticised the umpiring in what became the last Test Harper was to stand in (E-News 781-3823, 26 June 2011), and a few days later a number of Indian media outlets ran a quote in regard to Harper's participation in next week's Test, from what was said to have been "a very senior member of the [Indian] side", that ran "we don't want [Harper and] you can quote it as the reaction of the entire Indian team".  Another quote attributed to the same source was that Harper is "either biased against the team or simply not good". 


According to Saltau's article, Harper's "premature exit" had ''an all too familiar ring'' to his former colleague Darrell Hair.  'The Age' reports that Hair "could understand Harper feeling unsupported by his employer" and expressed the view that the "Indian players should have been held to account under the [ICC's] Code of Conduct (CoC)".  The ICC said in announcing Harper's exit that it had "every faith in Daryl to finish the series", but Hair said that "you can't have players picking and choosing umpires".  


The ICC's CoC involved bans "inappropriate comment" by "players and player support personnel" about, amongst other things, "match official(s)" (E-News 781-3823, 26 June 2011).  Anyone found guilty of such an offence potentially faces a censure ranging anywhere between a reprimand and the loss of fifty per cent of their match fee. 






The International Cricket Council (ICC) says its decision to do away with runners in international cricket is because there had been "widespread abuse of the rule that allowed batsmen to ask for runners in the event of an injury", says a 'Cricinfo' report published on Thursday. The Law that relates to runners has been formally part of cricket as far back as 1884 and perhaps even before then, but the ICC decided to change its playing conditions on the matter after its Cricket Committee recommended such a move at its annual meeting in May.


ICC chief Haroon Lorgat said in Hong Kong on Thursday at the conclusion of the world body's annual five-day conference, that "It's quite a difficult one for umpires to determine whether there has been a real injury to batsmen or whether it was a tactical use of runners", but there is "a strong feeling that runners were used not in the right spirit".


The move was also an attempt to redress disparity between batsmen and bowlers, said Lorgat, for "if a bowler gets injured you can't continue bowling for the rest of the day and the feeling was that it would be better to not allow the use of runners because there has been abuse in the past".


In the 2009 Champions Trophy, England captain Andrew Strauss refused to allow his South African counterpart Graeme Smith a runner after Smith requested one due to cramps.  Strauss said cramps were a side-effect of a long innings while Smith claimed runners had been granted for that reason in the past, pointing to an inconsistency in the rule's implementation.  At the time the ICC agreed with Strauss' view (E-News 497-2569, 29 September 2009).


Meanwhile, Indian middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh told the 'Times of India' yesterday that the move to abolish runners is "harsh and would affect batting sides".  "No runner means batsmen will have to get fitter", and it's "unfortunate that injured batsmen will not get runners", he said.


Cricket Australia plans to introduce the no runner rule in its domestic competitions during the 2011-12 austral summer (E-News 786-3843, 1 July 2011). 






Essex have fined captain James Foster for questioning an umpire's decision during a Twenty20 match against Surrey early last month.  The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) gave him a three disciplinary point penalty ten days ago (E-News 778-3811, 22 June 2011), but his club has now added its own penalty, although the amount involved has not been disclosed.


David East, Essex's chief executive told the BBC yesterday that his "club takes all breaches of discipline very seriously [and] James has been severely reprimanded and fined".  The 31-year-old "has also been reminded of his obligations for personal discipline and for maintaining an appropriate example as captain of the club", said East.


Foster was reported by umpires David Millns and Trevor Jesty for showing "serious dissent" following his LBW dismissal as his side lost at the Oval.  Under the ECB's disciplinary system the three points will stay on his record for two years, and should he accumulate nine points in that time he will receive an automatic suspension.





Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has applauded this week's decision by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to make the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) compulsory in Tests and One-day Internationals (E-News 784-3835, 29 June 2011).  In an interview  with Cricinfo this week, Ganguly said that the UDRS is more convincing in its present form than what it was a year or two ago, and that in time "cricketers will get used to it".


Talking about the very first trial of the referral system three years ago in a Test series between Sri Lanka and India, Ganguly, who was playing for his country at the time, he said that "at that time we were not convinced by the camera angles in use".  But, he says, in the time since there has been a lot of improvement and it could be seen during [this year's] World Cup.  "The changes were huge and the technology was just far better this time", he said.

Monday, 4 July 2011

TO NUP FOR 2011-12



Cricket Australia (CA) currently expects that the same twelve umpires who made up its National Umpires Panel (NUP) last austral summer will do so again for the 2011-12 season.  Contract offers to work on the NUP are believed to have been forwarded to the dozen individuals concerned, and CA is currently awaiting formal acceptance of the terms involved from each individual.


Provided that occurs, the NUP will be made up of: five umpires from Victoria, Ash Barrow, 48, Geoff Joshua, 41, Bob Parry, 58, John Ward, 49, and Tony Ward, 51; three from Western Australia, Ian Lock, 52, Mike Martell, 44, and Paul Wilson, 39;  two from Queensland, Bruce Oxenford, 50, and Paul Reiffel, 45; plus South Australian Simon Fry, 45, and New South Welshman Gerard Abood, 39.


For Parry it will be his eleventh season on the NUP, Oxenford and Lock their ninth, Fry, Reiffel and John Ward their seventh, Martell and Tony Ward their fourth, Abood his third, and Barrow, Joshua and Wilson their second.  Parry will start the season having stood in 79 first class matches to date, Lock 70, Oxenford 54, one of which was a Test match, Fry 50, Reiffel 45, John Ward 33, Martell and Tony Ward both 16, Abood 11, Joshua 10, Wilson 7 and Barrow 5.


Oxenford, Reiffel and Fry are also members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), while Parry is a former member of that group.  Reiffel, Wilson and Oxenford played at first class level in their younger days, the first two having represented their country at Test level.  In addition to his NUP role, Parry is also Cricket Victoria's Umpire Manager, and as of last month the Umpire Manager for the ICC's East Asia Pacific Development Program (E-News 788-3858 below).


CA is understood to pay NUP members on a sliding scale that is related to how each of the twelve is rated by the national body.  As CA has selected Oxenford, Reiffel and Fry as members of the IUP their pay is likely to be at the top of the scale, with relative newcomers such as Barrow and Wilson at the tale end.  CA does not make public either what their annual ratings are, or the pay levels involved.


Overseeing NUP members during the season will be CA's Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP).  Four of the five UHPP members, Ric Evans, David Levens, Peter Marshall and Bob Stratford, who served last season are set to return for 2011-12.  Former member Steve Small has retired and he will be placed by CA Umpire Educator Denis Burns, who will take on UHPP work in addition to his role of developing education and accreditation programs for umpires around the country. 






Bruce Oxenford, an Australian member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, is currently in Port Moresby standing with members of the ICC's East Asia Pacific (EAP) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in the region's Division 1 Twenty20 tournament, probably in a mentoring role.  Just which EUP members from the area will be in Papua New Guinea (PNG) this week is not clear, only four, Geoff Clelland and Grant Johnston (Vanuatu), Neil Harrison (Japan) and Lakani Oala (Papua New Guinea), so far being named. 


Five teams, Fiji, Samoa, Japan, Vanuatu and hosts PNG are playing this week to qualify for the "global play-off" of non-Test playing countries that is scheduled for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) early next year.  The UAE series will determine just which of the non-Test countries will play in the 2012 World Championship tournament later in the year.


Reports in June suggested that another Australian umpire, Bob Parry, would be in Port Moresby for this week's series for what will be his first get together with EAP EUP umpires since he was named as the region's new Umpire Manager (E-News 772-3778, 9 June).  Match referee duties for the tournament are expected to be handled by Sri Lanka Graeme Labrooy, a member of the ICC's second-tier Regional Referees Panel. 






Reports from a number of media outlets over the last few days indicate that Australian umpire Daryl Harper has publicly defend his performance in the first Test between the West Indies and India, and along the way criticising the on-field behaviour of the Indian side.  Harper withdrew from this week's third Test between the sides in Dominica citing unfair criticism of his decision-making in the opening match of the series in Jamaica (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011).


Harper is said to have made comments via a written statement that was provided to Indian television channel 'Headlines Today' that were then circulated via a number of other media outlets.  In what was his first public statement since his withdrawal, he apparently said that "I didn't have my best game of the year [in Jamaica] but match referee Jeff Crowe, who observed every ball, calculated that I had managed to get 94 per cent of all my decisions correct", and that "analysis was confirmed [by International Cricket Council (ICC)] headquarters in Dubai"


The quotes attributed to the Australian indicate that he conceded making two mistakes in the first Test, not the five or six Indian players have alleged, anonymously through the media, that he made. "There was one LBW against Harbhajan [Singh] that would have been reversed had the Umpire Decision Review System been available, [and] I also failed to detect a 'no ball' when West Indian [leg break bowler Devendra] Bishoo's back foot touched the side or return crease.  Harper is said to have described the foot fault mistake as "about as common as Indians eating beef burgers".


Another decision he described as "notable" involved Virat Kohli who was given out caught behind in India's first innings.  Claims by Indian players that he had wrongly given Kohli out "could not be proved", said Harper.  Kohli "flashed wide of his body at a short ball that passed well outside his body down the leg side [and] he clearly gloved the ball", said Harper, however, "replays could not confirm that my decision was right and [neither] could they confirm my decision was wrong".


Harper apparently admitted that he had not seen eye to eye with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the first Test, saying that he and the skipper "did not share many pleasantries in the match", and he expressed the view that "India's players behaved in the wrong spirit throughout the game".  The "West Indies expressed concern over Indian players' habit of charging at umpires when appealing which is against the spirit of the game", said the Australian.


The 'Times of india' (TOI) reported on Saturday that Indian players claimed to be "bemused over the controversy raging around umpire Daryl Harper's retirement and their perceived role in the entire episode".  What was described as "some Team India members", also apparently rejected allegations made by Harper that their "on-field behaviour smacks of arrogance and brashness".  


"Most of us are known to get along very well with international umpires like Ian Gould [England], Asad Rauf [Pakistan], Simon Taufel [Australia] and Aleem Dar [Pakistan] among others", said what the TOI called "a team source", who added that "We don't even want to talk about [the Harper] issue" any further. 


A report in the Melbourne newspaper 'The Age' last Friday made the claim that Harper was seriously concerned that Indian players were allowed to publicly criticise him over the last week without repercussions from the ICC (E-News 787-3853, 2 July 2011).






England fast bowler Stuart Broad has been fined half his match fee for showing dissent towards an umpire's decision during his side's second One Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday.  Broad was found guilty of making "unacceptable and offensive" remarks to New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden.


The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that Broad appealed for LBW against Jeevan Mendis in the last over of the Sri Lankan innings but that his request was turned down.  Broad is said to have made the offending comments to Bowden about that decision a short time later as players and officials left the field for the change of innings, however, the ICC did not indicate just what the words Broad used were.


Broad admitted to the offence after it had been brought to match referee Alan Hurst's notice by Bowden and his on-field colleague Richard Kettleborough of England, and as a result there was no need for a formal hearing and he was found guilty of a Level 2 breach the ICC's Code of Conduct (CoC) and promptly fined.  Level 2 breaches carry a minimum penalty of a fine equivalent to fifty per cent of a player's match fee up to a maximum of a suspension for two ODIs or two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) or one Test.


Hurst said in an ICC statement that "Accepting an umpire's decision is an essential feature of cricket and part of the game's unique spirit". "Stuart's behaviour was not acceptable in any form of cricket, and as a well-established member of his country's national side and current captain of the [England T20I] team, he must take responsibility for what he says and does".  


The fine comes a little more than a week after Broad admitted his captaincy of his country's T20I team means he'll have to be on his guard.  "I'll certainly be watching my behaviour, but to be fair I think those occasions have become rarer and rarer in the last year", he said at the time, "but I'm certainly not going to lose my passion for the game [as] I think it's something I thrive on".


Broad was fined half of his match fee during a Test against Pakistan at Edgbaston last year when he threw a ball at Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Zulqarnain Haider during play (E-News 649-3217, 10 August 2010). 






The India team has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the second Test against the West Indies that was played in Barbados last week.  The censure, which came the week after the International Cricket Council (ICC) again moved to tighten penalties for "minor" slow over-rates from October this year (E-News 783-3832, 28 June 2011), saw Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni loose sixth per cent of his match fee and his player's half that each.


Match referee Chris Broad of England imposed the fines after Dhoni's side was ruled to be three overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.  In accordance with ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing minor over-rate offences, players are fined ten per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with the captain fined double that amount.


From October this year, international captains will be suspended from playing if their teams are found guilty of two over-rate breaches in a twelve-month period in any format of the game.  The current position, which applies to Dhoni, requires three breaches in twelve months in the same match format in an international for a suspension to occur.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Veteran English broadcaster and journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins (CMJ) says that England player Stuart Broad's "hot-headedness" that saw him loose half his match fee in a One Day International last week (E-News 789-3860, 4 July 2011), is "only the most publicised example of a disturbing trend in the professional game in the UK this season and cricket’s version of 'racket abuse' is in danger of getting out of hand".  Martin-Jenkins points to the financial pressure on counties and the "South Africanisation" of the English game as possible reasons for the situation.  


Writing in his blog on 'The Cricketer' web site yesterday, CMJ said that first-class umpires in England are worried by "excessive mass appealing, a plague for too long, and by bad language when a decision goes against a player, the crime that cost Broad his fine last week" (E-News 789-3864 below).  According to Martin-Jenkins, to date in the current English season, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has placed penalty points on the records of seventeen men, four more than at the same stage of last season. 


'The Cricketer' journalist described an incident at Arundel last week when Sussex batsman Murray Goodwin was given out LBW in a match against Surrey.  Goodwin is said to have shown his "disagreement, or disappointment, plain enough by lingering at his crease and checking the relationship of his pads to the off stump", then "left the umpires no option but to report him a third time [in two years] by hitting the stationary ball, hockey style, to the boundary as he made his way [back] to the pavilion".  Before than incident Goodwin already had six disciplinary points against his name, and a further three will see him receive an automatic suspension under ECB rules. 


The incident was, says CMJ, observed by Gerard Elias, QC, the chairman of the ECB's disciplinary committee.  Elias was said to be on a tour of the county circuit in an effort to try to get "to the bottom of the sudden rash of angry behaviour that has led to a backlash by umpires this season".  Martin-Jenkins says Elias "is one of several who believe the trend to be due to the intensity of county cricket, and of Twenty20 in particular, and the desperation of every county to win at a time when all of them are feeling the cold winds of financial restraint".


CMJ "can’t help wondering whether the general 'South Africanisation' of county cricket has something to do with the harder edge that has been evident both in the England team and the domestic game generally". Players in that country are he says, "brought up to play the game toughly and not always quietly in that great sporting nation, although they always seem, also, to produce sportsmen who are articulate and courteous off the field".


Overall, says CMJ, "the problem, of course, is that club and school cricketers will try to emulate the professionals".  At the recent Eton-Harrow schools match at Lord’s, an umpire had to give the Harrow fielders a stern talking to for over-doing their appealing. and "the word" from umpires at Premier League level [in England] is that the game "is generally getting more lippy", writes CMJ.


Martin-Jenkins concludes by suggesting that "perhaps the precis of the Marylebone Cricket Club's 'Spirit of Cricket' message should not just be ‘hard but fair’, [but instead] ‘hard, fair and silent’?"  "No one can blame any cricketer for thinking that the decision just made by an umpire was terrible, we have all done that often enough", he says, "and sometimes, of course we were wrong".






South African Johannes Cloete and England-born Richard Smith of Germany are looking after the two Intercontinental Cup (IC) One Day Internationals (ODI) between Ireland and Namibia in Belfast this week.  The pair were to have stood in the IC first class fixture there late last month, however, it was not played because the Namibians failed to obtain their entry visas in time.


Smith, 38, who is a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associate and Affiliates Umpires Panel, would have made his first class debut in that match had it not been deferred.  Similarly, the two ODIs are his first, although he has previously stood in international one-day games at a lower level over the last seven years.  


Cloete, who turns forty later this month and who moved into an on-field position on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel late last year (E-News 687-3372, 23 October 2010), was appointed by the ICC to stand in matches in Ireland last year, but prior to that he has been on the field for first class games in New Zealand (2003), India (2010) and Australia earlier this year (E-News 719-3520, 22 January 2011), as part of exchange programs organised by Cricket South Africa and their counterparts in those countries.


The South African, along with Australian Bruce Oxenford and Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand appear to be at the top of the ICC's emerging list this year, and therefore in contention over the next few years for possible appointment to its top-level Elite Umpires Panel.






England's one-day captain Alastair Cook has defended team mate Stuart Broad after the bowler was fined for serious dissent during the second One Day International against Sri Lanka last Thursday.  Broad was fined around £1,500 ($A2,250) or fifty per cent of his match fee after he was found guilty of making "unacceptable and offensive" remarks to New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden (E-News 788-3860, 4 July 2011).


The International Cricket Council did not indicate just what Broad said to Bowden after the latter turned down an LBW appeal against batsman Jeevan Mendis, but London's 'Daily Mail' newspaper claimed in an article that the bowler's words to Bowden were, as the pair left the field for the innings break, "you must be ****ing joking".  


After bowling the delivery in question, Broad is said to have run towards England wicketkeeper, Craig Kieswetter, and without appealing to Bowden he started celebrating Mendis' dismissal.  Broad is said to have "looked astonished" when the decision went in favour of the batsman, although television replays are said to have supported Bowden's judgement.


Cook said that Broad had “overstepped the mark", and that "he has said that, but when he bowled aggressively he made it uncomfortable for the [Sri Lankan batsmen] out there".  "Broady has always played that way", said Cook, and "that is what has made him get so far so quickly and occasionally he has overstepped the mark".  "When you are wrong, you put your hands up and try not to do it again", said Cook, who had to deal with the discipline of a fellow captain as Broad is now the skipper of England's Twenty20 International side.


During the same innings, England bowler Jade Dernbach was involved in a stand-off with Mahela Jayawardene which Cook dismissed as showing the "correct passion needed in international cricket".    






Medium-pace bowler Snehal Pradhan from the India women's team has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday that Pradhan had been reported by on-field umpires Jeff Evans and Graham Lloyd at the conclusion of her side's first One Day International (ODI) against England in Derby on Thursday.


The ICC said that "Pradhan's bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the processes that relate to women's Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals".  She is now required to undergo an independent analysis of her action by a member of the ICC panel of human movement specialists who will be appointed in consultation with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).  "That analysis must take place within twenty-one days of the report being received by the BCCI", says the ICC.


Following that evaluation, the report of that analysis must be filed with the ICC within fourteen days of it occurring.  If Pradhan is found at that time to have bowled with an illegal action she will be suspended from bowling until she undertakes remedial action and is reassessed.  Until then, however, Pradhan is free to continue bowling in international games.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011






Cricket Tasmania (CT) has selected the same four TCUSA members for its State Umpires Panel (SUP) for 2011-12 as served on the group last summer (E-News 639-3182, 26 July 2010).  The appointment of the four, Mike Graham-Smith, Sam Nogajski, Jamie Mitchell and Wade Stewart, means they will again be eligible for selection by Cricket Australia (CA) for matches in a range of representative competitions and tournaments that the national body will run during the coming summer. 


Potential CA appointments for the four include national youth and womens' championships and Tasmanian home matches in the men's Futures League competition for state second XIs.  Once they have gained appropriate experience in those type of matches, and provided they make the grade, they could be considered to move on to senior level Twenty20 series, one-day and eventually first class domestic games.


Nogajski debuted at senior one-day domestic level last season and is, along with his three colleagues from interstate on CA's emerging umpires group, in the running for further appointments in that competition in 2011-12, and potentially also to first class games.  He and his emerging colleagues were recently chosen by CA to stand in its Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) for the second year running (E-News 785-3845, 1 July 2011).


Graham-Smith, Mitchell have previously been chosen to stand in CA national men's youth championships, and last season along with Stewart in both womens' interstate and Futures League matches.      


Sean Cary, Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire Manager is to meet each of the four on a one-to-one basis in Hobart tomorrow to provide feedback on their performances that has been prepared by CA's Umpire High Performance Panel members from observations made during CA-sponsored games last summer.  He will also discuss CA's umpiring pathway system with the four.  


Cary has visited other states recently for discussions with National Umpires Panel personnel about their performance evaluations and contract offers for the 2011-12 season (E-News 788-3857, 4 July 2011). 






With a shortage of umpires being a problem world-wide as well as in Tasmania, one group that is being proactive to help try and address the problem are coaches at Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Game Development Department (GDD).  Earlier this year GDD staff considered the umpiring issue during one of their state-wide meetings and decided that they needed to look closely at the issues involved.


As a result of those deliberations GDD staff acknowledged the key role umpires play in the game of cricket and agreed that as a part of their own professional development they could be more tuned into umpiring issues.  In their view to do so would assist them in conducting the accredited coaching courses that they provide around the state, which would in-turn help those they are teaching to improve their understanding of the role umpires play, the challenges match officials face, and the importance of knowing what the Laws of Cricket actually say. 


In order to move the issue forward, GDD staff unanimously agreed that they would all participate in a specially-organised umpiring workshop later this month in order to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.  They went further than that though and decided that they would also seek to stand in some CT Premier League games during the coming 2011-12 season.  State Director of Umpires Richard Widows told E-News yesterday that the number and level of the matches GDD staff will be involved will be decided "after due training and assessment", and will depend on each individual's ability and experience.   


Widows, who applauds the approach to umpiring that the GDD has decided to take, says that he "looks forward to the many benefits that will likely flow from this innovation", a move he believes is an Australian first for a coaching and development group.  






The International Cricket Council (ICC) plans to look for sponsors to fund the operation of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in Tests and One Day Internationals, says its chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat.  The move comes after ICC members agreed last week to a part solution to past disagreements by making ball-tracking technology an optional part of the system (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).


Lorgat, told the 'Cricinfo' web site that "there is the possibility that we could raise a sponsor to cover the cost of the UDRS", which some reports this week have suggested costs around $A5,000 per day.  Providers of the technology involved, television broadcasters, and home boards of series, have been arguing about just who should pay for the infra-red cameras, audio tracking devices, and where applicable ball-tracking technology, on an on-going basis. 


Given that the accuracy of ball-tracking technology remains under question, the ICC head said that "over the next few months", his organisation would carry out an independent assessment of such systems.  Why that should be necessary given that both ICC and Marylebone Cricket Club committees and others have looked very closely at such systems over the last few years was not made clear.






The Sri Lankan Cricket Umpires Association (SLCUA), which merged with the Association of Cricket Umpires of Sri Lanka (ACU) in 1980, was reconstituted last week, a move that means there are now three umpiring groups in that country, the other being the Association of Professional Cricket Umpires (APCU) which split from the ACU in March last year (E-News 586-2955, 16 March 2010).


The APCU was formed fifteen months ago when, reports said at the time, "a large group of senior umpires" resigned from the ACU, their main complaint appearing to be what they saw as the decline in umpiring standards across the island nation.  SLCUA chief Ashroff Ghany made similar comments earlier this week, telling Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper that while his group had been working with the SLCUA for the past three decades or so, "we have seen a clear decline in the quality of umpiring so we decided to go solo".


Ghany said his group, which covers the island nation, was "ready for action straight-away" and hopes to work closely with Sri Lanka Cricket.  He told the 'Mirror' that "our main task is to install strict discipline among our members in order to discharge umpiring in a just, fair and firm manner [for] unfortunately many of these areas are overlooked by existing factions".  


The three umpiring bodies look like being involved in an argument of just which group's umpires look after tournaments around the island, particularly schools cricket.  The ACU and the APCU have had difficulties in this area in the past (E-News 593-2984, 29 March 2010).  


“Our main concern is cricket not positions, politics or pride", says Ghany, for "we are not here to create any sort of conflicts or factions".  "If we had to corporate with [the other two groups] in any given situation for the sake of cricket, yes, we will be happy to do so", continued Ghany, but "we hope at least the quality of umpiring will be preserved by our attempt".






Senior umpires from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) undertook a range of tests of their hearing and eye control functions during a pre-season gathering at Loughborough University in the UK earlier this year.  The Umpires Testing Program has been designed, says the ECB, "to try and ensure that the highest standards of officiating are maintained within the English game".


Reports available indicate that during the tests umpires wore a helmet that is set up to project a red dot towards where that person's eyes are actually looking.  A large television screen is used to show images of various match scenarios ranging from LBW decisions to run-outs which the umpires must rule on, the red dot from the helmet marking on the screen where the umpire was actually looking, thus allowing the visual techniques they used to be assessed.


Sports optometrist Nick Dash says that the technology is based on a tracking system that is used by the United States Air Force, although what that organisation uses it for was not spelt out.  “This hasn’t been used in umpiring before, and while umpires might think they know where they are looking, there are a number of visual components to their task", said Dash.


As a result says the optometrist, “If one umpire is saying one thing and another something different, we now have the evidence to say, ‘Well, this is what you’re looking at.’ Then we can define tests or training strategies to improve their ability to umpire".  “Also", said Dash, "if there are experienced umpires who are using certain techniques, we can borrow those techniques and shorten the learning process for others".


ECB umpires manager Chris Kelly said late last month that the scheme will help and improve umpire decision making.  “These tests are not there to determine the effectiveness of the umpire, or their suitability to umpire”, he said, "it’s about supporting them and benchmarking levels of fitness, hearing and eye control that can be used to monitor people coming into the profession in the future".

Thursday, 7 July 2011







Essex captain James Foster has been banned for two matches because of the "persistent misconduct" of players under his leadership, while his county club has been fined £5,000 ($A7,500) for failing to act upon "persistent umpire complaints about player behaviour".  Media reports from England yesterday say that Foster's punishment, on the grounds of his responsibility as a captain to control his players, is unprecedented, although another captain and his county are said to be facing similar charges next week.


Earlier this week veteran English broadcaster and journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins wrote about what he labelled the "disturbing trend" in misbehaviour in "the professional game in the UK this season" (E-News 789-3862, 5 July 2011).  Writing in 'The Guardian' yesterday, journalist David Hopps said that the action against Essex and Forster is "a clear indication" that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has "finally got tough on the massive rise in misconduct charges in the first-class game" in that country.  


Hopps says in his article that "the overwhelming view of first-class umpires" is that dissent in county cricket is at a worst level than in the international game, where television cameras and substantial media coverage "provide a secondary layer of policing".  In Essex's case, players under Foster's leadership, including Foster himself, have been reported and found guilty on six occasions over the past year for a range of offences.  


Late last month Essex reprimanded Foster, a former England player, and fined him an undisclosed amount after he questioned an umpiring decision during a televised Twenty20 match against Surrey in mid-June (E-News 787-3855, 2 July 2011).  Ten days before that the ECB had given the captain a three disciplinary point penalty for the same offence (E-News 778-3811, 22 June 2011).  


The ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission Panel (CDCP) said in a statement on Tuesday that "The regulations make it absolutely clear that the captain is responsible for discipline on the field and ensuring no repetition occurs".  "We have taken into account the penalty imposed by Essex on the captain for his misconduct but in our view the captain's responsibilities are great, and we conclude that, taking all the mitigation into account, the correct penalty for the captain is an immediate two-match suspension from matches in Essex's first Xl program".


The ban means Foster, 31, missed yesterday's Twenty20 game against Hampshire and will also be unavailable for tomorrow's match in the same format against Glamorgan.


In regards to the county club itself, the CDCP said that it is "disappointed that Essex had taken no prompt action following umpires' reports on misconduct of [its] players [and that] no management policy to safeguard against potential future incidents [had subsequently been put] in place".  "We feel the appropriate penalty [for that] is a fine of £5,000" plus "a contribution of £300 [$A450] towards the cost of the hearing", said the committee, a move that was also described as "unprecedented" in some reports.  


The club said in a statement that they accepted the punishment imposed by CDCP, however, they rejected the claim that they had not taken prompt action following umpires' reports.  "The club has every confidence in James and his abilities as captain and in his long career he has had an unblemished disciplinary record with the ECB", continued the statement, but both he and the club now "wish to draw a line under these unfortunate incidents".


The decision of the CDCP, which is chaired by the solicitor David Gabbitass, "puts the onus for good behaviour firmly on county captains", says 'The Guardian' story, "and will begin to placate umpires trying to contend with a fifty per cent rise in disciplinary incidents in the first-class game".  All counties were warned at the start of this northern summer that umpires were going to clamp down on dissent and other misdemeanours from players after a larger number of charges were brought last year than in 2009.


London's 'Daily Mail' said in a story published yesterday that Somerset and their captain Marcus Trescothick are to face the same charges as Essex and Foster at a CDCP meeting that is scheduled for Lord’s next week.






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given its member boards two years to become "democratised" and free from government and political interference.  Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, called it a "significant issue" in which, "by the end of 2012, all member boards must have changed or adopted their constitution to comply with the provisions of free elections and non-interference from government bodies".


The boards most affected by the change are those of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka.  In Bangladesh all board presidents are government-appointed and the president of Pakistan appoints the board chairman there, while in Sri Lanka the board effectively answers to the sports ministry; the latter last week sacking the existing board. 


The ICC has asked member boards to implement the provisions by June 2012 but has given them a grace period of an extra year before the possibility of sanctions will be considered. If by next June enough progress has not been made on the provisions, then the current plan is that the ICC will then provide a generic constitution to the boards and ask them to work towards implementing that within the following year. Failing that, the possibility of sanctions, and suspension of membership, remains.


The ICC's move is designed to improve governance within the game and to bring its practices in line with the regulations of other major world sporting bodies (E-News 782-3826, 27 June 2011).






Somerset's left arm orthodox spinner Arul Suppiah, 27, took a world-record six wickets for five runs in a Twenty20 match against Glamorgan in Cardiff on Tuesday.  Malaysia-born Suppiah's record figures came from just 3.4 overs, four of his wickets being caught, one bowled and the other stumped.  The previous wicket-taking record was medium pacer Sohail Tanvir's 6/14 for Rajasthan against Chennai in an Indian Premier League match in May 2008.






Glamorgan wicketkeeper Mark Wallace has criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board's 2011 domestic itinerary as “ludicrous” after his side played a four-day County Championship match sandwiched between two Twenty20 (T20) games over six days last week.  Writing in a blog for 'The Cricketer' magazine, Wallace said it was far from ideal in terms of honing technique for two widely differing cricket disciplines and it’s "not the tiredness or fatigue factors I’m talking about", he said.


Records show that Glamorgan played Somerset in a T20 at Taunton on the last Sunday of June, then the next day started a four-day match against Surrey in Cardiff which finished on the following Thursday, the last day of the month, then faced Surrey again in a T20 at Cardiff the very next day.  


Wallace wrote that the two match formats "are poles apart in terms of technique, skill requirement and approach, and to expect players to seamlessly go from trying to smash the ball out of the park one day to attempting to watchfully bat all day the next is ridiculous".  “Players work hard at all aspects of the game nowadays, but it really is a tough ask to expect standards to remain at their peak when the formats of the game are altering drastically on a daily basis", he says.


Former New South Wales and now Glamorgan coach Matthew Mott also complained of the difficult schedule, which is "very different to Australia where the various competitions are compartmentalised into blocks".  “You can’t really criticise the administrators because they have a difficult job in sorting out the schedule, but a Championship match between two T20 games [isn't] good for anyone", he says.

Friday, 8 July 2011





International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Haroon Lorgat is said by the Press Trust of India (PTI) to have been "quite critical" of the Indian team’s criticism of Australian umpire Daryl Harper in an interview he gave to the news agency yesterday, but there was no indication that the world body plans to take any action on the matter.  Last week, Harper chose to step down from what would have been his farewell Test after Indian players made critical comments about his performance in an earlier Test (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011).


The ICC CEO is quoted by the PTI as saying that “There is no doubt Daryl received a lot of unfair criticism after the first Test in the series and in the wake of that he informed us that he did not wish to stand in what would have been his final Test".  "That is most unfortunate and also unjust [for] an Elite umpire whose statistics reflect a 96 per cent correct decision [ratio] in Tests involving India", for "that figure is better than the international average for top-level umpires", said Lorgat.


Using similar words to those contained last week's ICC's press release about the matter, Lorgat said that "we were content for Daryl to finish the series and while we regret his decision we do respect it".  He added that “umpiring at Test level is no easy task and I personally feel sad that Daryl was deprived of the opportunity to sign off in a manner befitting someone who has been a servant to the game as an elite umpire for many years".


There are no indications in the published PTI interview that Lorgat was asked, or made any comments about, whether the ICC has contacted the Board of Control for Cricket in India in regard to the criticisms of Harper that are alleged to have been made by personnel from their team; some of which came from what the 'Times of India' called "a very senior member".  Under ICC regulations inappropriate comments about a match official could bring a censure anywhere between a reprimand and the loss of fifty per cent of a player's match fee (E-News 781-3823, 26 June 2011).


A week ago, Harper was reported by the Melbourne newspaper 'The Age' as being "furious" that Indian players were allowed to publicly criticise him without repercussions from the ICC (E-News 787-3853, 2 July 2011), and there has been general unease in umpiring circles about the world body's apparent lack of action on the matter.  There has been no indication to date that 'Age' journalist Chloe Saltau's description of Harper's view of the situation is inaccurate.






Two county captains have told London's 'Daily Mirror' that the Twenty20 (T20) cricket their side's play on the county circuit is vital to the finances of their clubs, and that as a result such matches now have significantly more pressure and intensity.  Veteran broadcaster and journalist Martin-Jenkins wrote earlier this week that the financial returns the T20 game brings to counties are vital at a time "when all of them are feeling the cold winds of financial restraint" (E-News 789-3862, 5 July 2011).  


Rob Key, Kent's captain, said in comments published in the 'Mirror' yesterday, that "when [T20] started it was like a holiday in the middle of the season" but "every game is on a knife-edge now", while James Foster, Essex's skipper, concurred saying "there’s a lot at stake [and] it’s not hit and giggle anymore".  "Doing well can have such a positive impact on a club’s finances and people want results", said Foster, who was banned for two matches earlier this week because of his side's misbehaviour (E-News 791-3871, 7 July 2011). 


For Key, "[T20] is the closest thing to football that cricket has", and as a result "you do forget yourself at times and I have been guilty of that and been up in front of umpires".  "In those instances you have to remember, as a captain", says Key, "that you are responsible for your team, [but] the bottom line is that I don’t think players are disrespecting umpires and I don’t think there is a serious discipline issue in county cricket".


Foster said that his side "tried to be aggressive but that doesn’t mean we have shown dissent".  "When we have been in tricky situations we haven’t wanted the team to lie down and go through the motions [and] you can show aggression in your body language to encourage your team-mates", but in his view you can do that "without disrespecting the umpires or the game".


Asked by 'Mirror' journalist Paul Newman "what happened" in regard to his suspension, Foster said that he doesn't think the disciplinary action taken against him and his club "means we have been particularly badly behaved this season". "Four of the six offences we were charged with happened last year and one of the two from this season was Ryan ten Doeschate accidentally bowling two high full tosses, so that isn’t a reflection of how we go about our game", he said.


Both Martin-Jenkins and 'Guardian' journalist David Hopps two days ago (E-News 791-3871, 7 July 2011), indicated in their reports that first class umpires in England are very concerned about that overall level of dissent and aggressive appealing they have experience during the current northern hemisphere summer.  Overnight a second county announced that it had reprimanded one of its players for his actions on the field of play (E-News 792-3877 below).






Acting Sussex captain Murray Goodwin has been reprimanded and warned about his future conduct by the club, says a report posted on the Cricket World (CW) web site overnight.  The club's move against Goodwin comes after he was, says CW, reported by umpires in a match played at Arundel last week.


Sussex has indicated that Goodwin has been fined by it as a result of the Arundel incident, although that penalty, the amount of which was not disclosed, has been suspended for two years because of what CW says was "recognition of his service to the club and a previously clean disciplinary record".  The fine will only be imposed on the former Zimbabwean international if he again shows dissent towards umpires.


The "clean disciplinary record" comment appears in error as Goodwin already had six disciplinary points against his name prior to last week's incident, and should he receive a further three from the ECB for his actions at Arundel he would, under its rules, be handed an automatic one-match suspension.  


Given out LBW at Arundel, the Sussex batsman openly accessed his position in relation to the stumps, then said a report at the time, "left the umpires no option but to report him a third time [in two years] by hitting the stationary ball, hockey style, to the boundary as he made his way [back] to the pavilion" (E-News 789-3862, 5 July 2011).  


Sussex chairman David Brooks said in a statement that "The Club will not accept poor behaviour on the field of play, particularly where any action is clear in it’s intent to spectators and the media".  "We are beholden, as are our players, to respect the spirit and traditions of the game and we expect a return to the previously good behaviour shown by Murray during his distinguished Sussex career", he said.


Goodwin added that he regrets his "actions on both occasions and accept that there can be no circumstances where such a reaction is acceptable".  "I have apologised to the umpires concerned, and the club, and accept the ruling handed down by the club", he continued, for "as players, we recognise our responsibility as role models for players at all levels and of all ages".


Earlier this week the ECB  banned Essex wicket-keeper and captain James Foster for two games and gave his club a £5,000 ($A7,500) fine because of player behaviour, and Somerset and their captain Marcus Trescothick are reported to be facing similar charges next week (E-News 791-3871, 7 July 2011).  


Foster and his Kent counterpart Rob Key are reported to be of the view that there is not a serious disciplinary problem in county cricket (E-News 792-3876 above). 







What is being described as "the new type of cricket" that is already played in six countries including Australia, is now being played in Buckinghamshire, says a story in yesterday's 'Milton Keynes News' (MKN).  The newspaper says that 'Last Man Stands' (LMS) is a version of the game which is "proving popular with players who want a game but can't commit to giving up full days of their weekend".


LMS playing conditions require that each side be made up of eight players who bowl twenty, five ball, overs to their opponents.  Batsmen have to score in twos, fours and sixes only and must retire when they reach fifty, however, should that occur retirees have the option of returning to the crease if all of their team mates are out before the end of the twentieth over.  


An additional twist is that unlike normal cricket, the final wicket must be taken, which means the last batsman carries on alone until he is dismissed or the umpires call 'time'.  Mark Skelton, league coordinator in Milton Keynes, says that it "only takes two hours to play a game".


The MKN says that the format "has been officially endorsed by the English and Wales Cricket Board and "there are currently more than 18,000 players across three continents and 23 different cities".  While it is not, as yet at least, played in Tasmania, E-News understands there are small-scale competitions in the south-east Queensland, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Wollongong areas.  


Apart from Australia and England, internationally it can be found in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, South Africa and Zimbabwe.  A world championship series, the second after the inaugural week-long event played on the Gold Coast in November last year, is currently scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa, in April next year.






Neil Harrison from Japan and Lakani Oala from Papua New Guinea (PNG) stood in the final of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) East-Asia Pacific (EAP) Division 1 Twenty20 (T20) series between the home side and Vanuatu in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon.  Vanuatu-based umpires Grant Johnston and Geoff Clelland looked after the match for the third place between Samoa and Fiji earlier in the day.


A total of fourteen T20s were played in Port Moresby this week, Harrison, Johnston and Bruce Oxenford, an Australian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, standing in six matches each, and Clelland and Oala five, while ICC match referee Graeme Labrooy of Sri Lanka, oversaw all fourteen games.  Oxenford, who was present in a mentoring role (E-News 788-3858, 4 July 2011), stood with Clelland and Harrison once each, and Johnston and Oala both twice.


Both Harrison and Oala are both members of the EAP's 2011 Elite Umpires Panel, Harrison currently being ranked first and Oala third, Shahul Hameed of Indonesia being in second spot, however, he was not present for this week's T20 series.  Johnston and Clelland are ranked fourth and sixth on the panel, their Vanuatu colleague, Nigel Morrison, who did not umpire in Port Moresby, being fifth in the rankings.  Clive Elley of PNG is ranked seventh on the EUP, but he too did not stand in matches this week.


Over the past six years England-born Harrison, 39, has stood in two international tournaments in Vanuatu, an Australian National Country Cricket Championships (NCCC) series, World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 and 5 events in Darwin and Nepal respectively, EAP series in both Japan and New Zealand, four One Day Internationals in the womens World Cup (WWC) of 2009 in Australia, and as of now two EAP tournaments in Port Moresby. 


Oala, who played for PNG as a batsman in an ICC Trophy series in Kenya in 1994, has had a similar umpiring career as Harrison over the same time frame.  His appointments have included EAP series in Auckland, Brisbane and Vanuatu, the WCL 3 event in Darwin, a NCCC tournament, and warm-up matches in the WWC in Australia. 


Since 2005, Johnston has umpired in EAP events in New Zealand, Japan and Vanuatu, plus a WCL 6 series in Singapore, and Clelland in EAP tournaments in Auckland, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Vanuatu twice, as well as a World Cup Qualifying Series in Kuala Lumpur .   


The five teams involved in this week's series, Fiji, Samoa, Japan, Vanuatu and PNG, were playing for the right to take part in the "global play-off" that will decide which non-Test playing countries qualify for the 2012 T20 World Championship series (E-News 788-3858, 4 July 2011).  That play-off is scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates early next year, PNG as the winner of this week's tournament, being the EAP's representative there. 


Today, tomorrow and on Sunday, the five teams plus a PNG 'emerging' side are to play a total of nine fifty over matches.  Umpires for those games, which will not contribute to qualification for any future tournaments, have not yet been named. 

Sunday, 10 July 2011






Angus Porter, head of the UK's Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), has told 'Cricinfo' that the introduction of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) at international level, which gives players the ability to question umpire decisions, is partly to blame for the increase in dissent charges in the county game this season.  The PCA's chief executive is quoted by journalist Andrew McGlashan as saying the UDRS "has created an expectation that under certain circumstances you can challenge the umpires' decision", however, given that the system is not used in county cricket, just how Porter sees the linkage is not entirely clear.


Porter is due to meet with senior umpiring personnel from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) this week, a gathering that 'Cricinfo' says will "attempt to quell the recent spate of poor behaviour in county cricket".  However, while Porter said that "it is certainly true that in the last couple of years we've seen a bit of an increase in the number of offences", he thinks "it's wrong to leap to conclusion that all those offences are [necessarily] connected with dissent".


"Yes, the problem exists but it's at a very low level" but "if you look at the reports", continued Porter, "the charges [and points system] used in the [ECB's disciplinary] procedure include things like high-pitched deliveries as well as behaviour issues".  Pointing to the case of Essex captain James Foster, who was banned for two games earlier this week (E-News 791-3871, 7 July 2011), Porter said that it involved "five individual offences that merited not much more than a rap across the knuckles".   "Five offences in twelve months", he says, "is a level of discipline, I think, most teams sports would be delighted with". 


One issue that Porter plans to raise in this week's meeting is the feedback system that is in place for players to evaluate the performance of umpires.  He told McGlashan that his player members have indicated that they "don't have as much confidence as we'd like in the feedback [system]", and that they are of the view that what he called "a more efficient process" can "ensure better relations between players and officials".  "It's important that the players have a mechanism for giving feedback so that they don't get frustrated", said Porter.


This week's meeting, which McGlashan says is to be held at Lord's, will reportedly involve Porter and possibly other senior PCA members, Chris Kelly, the ECB's umpires' manager, and what are described as senior English umpires, and comes after a week of considerable activity by the ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission Panel (E-News 793-3882 below).  


Tim Robinson, the vice-chairman of the First-Class Umpires Association, who may well be at this week's meeting at Lord's, was quoted by the 'Daily Telegraph' yesterday as saying that he "would not say that there has been a deterioration in player behaviour but with Twenty20 there is so much at stake", a comment that is at odds with reports in the media this week that claim the ECB's senior umpires are concerned about the level of dissent in county cricket this year. 


Nineteen members of the ECB's current twenty-four man first class umpire panel played at that level prior to becoming match officials (E-News 701-3438, 15 December 2010), therefore they should be well tuned into what is, and is not, acceptable on the field of play in the county game.   






The International Cricket Council (ICC) may be in the process of following-up on comments made by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and other players in his side, about Australian umpire Daryl Harper, if the words used in its reply to queries from E-News are any indication.  Two days ago ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat was said to have been "quite critical" of criticism of Harper, but stopped short of indicating that any action was being taken given ICC regulations that cover such issues (E-News 792-3875, 8 July 2011).


Asked by E-News whether the world body had made any representations to the Board of Control for Cricket in India with regard to Dohni's criticism of umpiring in the first Test against the West Indies (E-News 781-3823, 26 June 2011), or the subsequent comments that media reports attribute to members of the Indian side (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011), ICC spokesman James Fitzgerald said that "at this stage, we have nothing to add to the statements made previously on the matter".  Such wording suggests, on the surface at least, that the issue may be being handled behind-the-scenes at this time.  






Scottish umpire Ian Ramage, one of four European members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associate and Affiliates, is to stand with ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Marais Erasmus, in a tri-nation One Day International (ODI) series involving Ireland, Scotland and Sri Lanka this week.  The series, which will see each side playing two games, is due to be played in Edinburgh over three consecutive days starting tomorrow and be overseen by match referee David Jukes from England, a member of the ICC's second-tier Regional Referees Panel.


Ramage, 53, will have taken his ODI tally to nineteen games by the end of the series, his record to date involving matches played in Ireland, Jamaica, and the Netherlands, as well as Scotland.  Erasmus, 47, who is on his way to stand in two Tests of the England-India series, the first of which is to start a week after the ODIs finish and be cricket's 2,000th Test (E-News 786-3846, 1 July 2011), will be standing in Scotland for the first time.  His ODI tally will move on to thirty-five by series end.


Dukes, 55, has to date looked after a total of seventeen ODIs, the last four being in Scotland late last month (E-News 776-3799, 18 June 2011) and in Ireland earlier this week (E-News 789-3863, 5 July 2011). 






Sussex batsman Murray Goodwin was suspended for one match by the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Cricket Discipline Commission Panel (CDCP) on Friday because he showed dissent to umpires on being dismissed on three occasions.  The move follows the reprimand, warning and suspended fine handed to him by Sussex on Thursday that relates to the same issues (E-News 792-3877, 8 July 2011).


Goodwin, who missed his side's Twenty20 against Kent yesterday as a result of the ban, pleaded guilty to a breach of the ECB's 'Directive Three', which requires that cricketers "shall at all times conduct themselves fairly and properly on the field".  In reaching their decision the CDCP is said to have taken into account that the 38-year-old Zimbabwean was "genuinely apologetic" about its actions, however, they still ordered him to pay £500 ($A750) towards the costs of the disciplinary panel's hearing.


Sussex chief executive Dave Brooks said that "as a club, we are disappointed by the outcome as we felt [given] our own internal disciplinary process, that Murray's previously good personal record, his apology to all umpires concerned, and his clear feeling of contrition merited a measure of leniency".  Essex, having fined their captain James Foster last week for misbehaviour (E-News 787-3855, 2 July 2011), made similar comments after he was later suspended by the CDCP.   


Brooks continued, however, by saying that the ruling against Goodwin "sends out a clear message to all the counties and professional cricketers that such behaviour will be dealt with severely, and in a manner over and above the fixed penalty system".  "The consistent implementation of this policy should have the desired effect of arresting a slide in on field discipline, which Sussex supports", he added.  Brook's comments about Goodwin's suspension being  "over and above the fixed penalty system" do not appear accurate, however, as the  player's suspension relates to the ECB's well-publicised, existing, disciplinary system.  


Despite claims by several journalists this week that first class umpires in England are very concerned about that overall level of dissent this northern hemisphere summer (E-News 791-3871, 7 July 2011), Tim Robinson, the vice-chairman of the First-Class Umpires Association, was quoted by the 'Daily Telegraph' yesterday as saying that "I would not say that there has been a deterioration in player behaviour but with Twenty20 there is so much at stake".  The latter part of that comment echoes the views about the pressure that is on players in that format made by two county skippers earlier this week (E-News 792-3876, 8 July 2011). 






Jerry Matibiri, who has umpired in Cricket Tasmania Premier League matches during two visits to the state in recent years, stood in three games in the seven-match tri-nation fifty-over series involving the 'A' sides from Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe that ended in Harare on Friday (E-News 786-3849, 1 July 2011).  The deciding match of the tournament, which featured the Australian and South African sides, was looked after by Matibiri's Zimbabwean colleagues on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Russell Tiffin and Owen Chirombe, who overall stood in a total of four matches each.



287 IN T20 MATCH



The village team from Bashley in south-west Hampshire thinks they may have set a new record Twenty20 (T20) score in a match played last weekend, reported the Bournemouth's 'Daily Echo' on Thursday.  The side totalled 4/287 in their twenty overs in a Southern League T20 Cup match, an outcome that bettered the highest international innings total of 6/260 by Sri Lanka against Kenya four years ago, and at county level Gloucestershire's 3/254 in a game against Middlesex last month.


Bashley skipper Andy Neal told the 'Echo' that “for such a small village to obtain such a high score is incredible".  "It was one of those days where every shot was hit big".  Somewhat "bizarrely", he continued, "during the last over the scoreboard read ‘Bashley 320 runs’, but when the game came to an end that score was overruled by the umpires and it was concluded we only made 287".  


'Wisden' editor Hugh Chevallier told the newspaper that “scoring around fourteen runs an over is a remarkable achievement".  "However, it’s inevitable", he believes, "that due to the culture and mentality of T20, scores will continue to get higher in all areas of cricket".


Tuesday, 12 July 2011






What are called "the spate of umpiring errors which have dogged the entire [Test and One Day International] series between the West Indies and India", shows that the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) "needs a quick and effective reshuffle", says an article published in the 'Times of India' (TOI) yesterday.  Journalist K Shriniwas Rao, who wrote that "some frustrated Indian players have even remarked in jest that maybe such poor umpiring is all part of a sinister design to propagate the use of more technology!", was one of a number of sub-continental scribes who have focussed on such issues over the last few days. 


Rao says that the series, which ended over the weekend, has seen the umpiring go "from bad to worse and there is real danger [the] tour may be remembered more for poor decision-making than the cricket itself".  The 'TOI' writer says it "all started" with the only Twenty20 game of the series in Trinidad and "umpiring shocks and surprises have remained a steady affair since then".  He then goes on to detail ten dismissals in the ODIs which he claims the umpires "got wrong".  


"The Tests have been no better", continues Rao, who says Australian umpire Daryl Harper got "six decisions wrong against India and three against the West Indies [in the first Test], and [as a result] almost threatened to change the course of the game".  Harper himself (E-News 788-3859, 4 July 2011), and ICC officials have defended the Australian's decision-making in the match, the latest being the world body's chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat (E-News 792-3875, 8 July 2011); however, that organisation is yet to publicly censure Indian players for their comments on umpiring after that game (E-News 793-3880, 10 July 2011).


Rao says that the "second Test at Barbados will be remembered for [Indian captain] Dhoni's dismissal thanks to a faulty television replay.  Despite the fact that umpires were cleared of any errors in that case  (E-News 787-3851, 2 July 2011), his 'TOI' article says there were "other umpiring blunders too", Pakistani EUP member Asad Rauf being singled out for comment.


Meanwhile the 'Mumbai Mirror' yesterday focused on English EUP member Richard Kettleborough who replaced Harper for the third and final Test after the Australian withdrew.  Journalist Amit Gupta wrote about the "three appaling errors he made" in the match, then goes on to state that had they been given against the Indian side rather than the West Indies, he "would not have umpired in a match involving [India] in the future". 


Windies batsman Kirk Edwards was given out 'caught' by Kettleborough in their first innings, but the ball had come off his helmet, said Gupta.  Television replays showed the ball that Marlon Samuels was given out LBW on "would have missed the off-stump", then Darren Sammy was 'caught' at forward short leg off "when the ball had neither touched bat or glove".  


"Kettleborough will survive all this", wrote Gupta, as the "West Indies doesn’t have the clout to do what India did to Steve Bucknor after the infamous Test at Sydney in 2008" (E-News 172-919, 10 January 2008), and the "West Indies will not threaten to not play the next Test as India did then" (E-News 171-915, 8 January 2008).  In the case of Harper's withdrawal from the [third] Test after reports of Indian players criticising him after the first Test in Jamaica" (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011), Gupta says that "nothing will happen in [that] case" because India was involved.


Rao says that those who do not agree with the Board of Control for Cricket in India's viewpoint on the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) "have wasted no time in saying that India cannot have it both ways, as in they cannot keep technology away and then complain about poor umpiring".  "But the fact remains", he says, "that the UDRS is not meant to bail out umpires from shoddy decision making, it is meant to improve the quality of umpiring, and the only one answerable for that quality is the ICC's Elite panel".  "That has, sadly, not happened in this series", he concludes.






A club in the Huddersfield Cricket League (HCL) has lost an appeal against their opponents being awarded a win and six championship points for a fifty-over game that was abandoned because of weather part-way into the first innings of the match in late April.  The Marsden club argued that both it and its opponents Skelmanthorpe should each get two points, but the HCL executive committee ruled last week that Skelmanthorpe be awarded a win and points "because Marsden had not made sufficient effort to complete the match", says a report in the 'Huddersfield Daily Examiner'.


Match results available on line indicate that Skelmanthorpe were 1/120 when the match was abandoned.  Marsden committee member Neil Daniel told club representatives at the League’s July meeting last week that his side and club officials felt it was wrong his club should receive no points.  


The 'Examiner' report says that "it was also pointed out [by Marsden that] the rolling of the wicket in mid-innings in an effort to dry it out following a rain break, was against the Laws of Cricket, and that was another reason why they felt the game should be considered abandoned".  The club was of the view that the umpires and the executive had acted outside their jurisdiction by awarding six points to Skelmanthorpe rather than two to each club.


HCL chairman Roger France said the umpires had reported that Marsden made “little effort” to play the game "in a proper manner, constantly debating the state of the ground when the umpires had deemed it was fit" for play.  Marsden are said to have protested on the day of the game that it was not safe for their bowlers and fielders.


Representatives of HCL clubs at the meeting were asked to vote on the issue, twenty supporting the executive’s decision while seven abstained, just three backing Marsden's view of the situation.   


At the same meeting of the league, Marsden lost its captain for six matches, four "for showing gross dissent as captain over an umpire’s decision and bringing the game into disrepute", and another two "for using foul and abusive language to the disciplinary committee".  It would appear from the newspaper report though that his suspension came as a result of his behaviour in a more recent game than April's abandoned match.


The HCL meeting also saw a player from another club banned for three matches for "using foul and abusive language", while two from yet another club received a warning "over their actions towards an umpire at the end of a game".






Warwickshire off-spinner Maurice Holmes has been banned from bowling by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for having an illegal bowling action.  Holmes, 21, was reported by umpires for having a suspect bowling action in early May, and as a result was sent for independent analysis by the ECB (E-News 776-3801, 18 June 2011), however, he failed a battery of tests carried out at Loughborough University last week.


Although Holme's action was found to be within the fifteen degrees of flex permitted by International Cricket Council regulations, the ECB is said to have decided that his delivery style was different during the tests to when he was reported by the umpires after a forty-over match against Leicestershire in May.  The ECB said in a statement that the Loughborough analysis of Holmes' bowling showed that the action he used during tests "was materially different to his action during the match in which he was reported", and the deliveries concerned had not been delivered "at a suitable pace".  


As a result of the outcome of the analysis, Holmes has been suspended from all competitive county cricket, plus the Birmingham and District Premier League competition in Warwickshire, and will not be allowed to bowl in a match situation until he has remodelled his action and it has been cleared by the ECB.  It is the second time that Holmes has had to remodel his action for a similar situation prevailed two years ago when Warwickshire first considered signing him.


Holmes was dubbed the ‘English Murali [Muralitharan]’ when he was hired by New Zealand last year to bowl at their batsmen in the nets to prepare them for facing the then Sri Lankan spin bowler.  Like Muralitharan, Holmes can bowl the ‘doosra’ and his action is highly unusual, but, unlike the Sri Lankan, he has been unable to convince officials that his action is "legal".


Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles said that he will give "Maurice all the support and backing he needs", but "we don’t believe it will necessarily be a lengthy process" to correct his action.






Umpires from Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, both the Leeward and Windward Islands and the United States are expected to attend the week-long West Indies Cricket Umpires Association convention that is to get underway on the island of Saint Lucia next Sunday.  


A report from the Caribbean says that the convention will have three objectives: to update the membership on the new development in the sport and umpires on a whole; to hold elections to elect board members to run the affairs of the association, and for umpires to acquaint themselves with members from across the various regions of the West Indies and beyond.

Wednesday, 12 July 2011





John Stern, a former editor of 'The Cricketer' magazine, says that he "understands" that "some county captains have been confronted by umpires who have discovered or deduced that they have offered less than complimentary opinions about their [umpiring] performances" in the routine post-match reports the skippers prepare for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).  Stern gives no other details in a piece he wrote for a blog on magazine's web site, except to say that the reporting system is "under scrutiny", a situation that was hinted at last week by Angus Porter, head of the UK's Professional Cricketers' Association (E-News 793-3879, 10 July 2011).


Stern went on to talk about the change that has occurred to player-umpire relations at county level in recent years, something Porter also mentioned.  The former editor states that "previous generations of players would socialise with umpires at the end of a day’s play, [thus] creating an informal bond of shared knowledge and trust, [but] this practice is by and large extinct these days as the iced bath has replaced the iced beer as the end-of-day wind-down of choice".


Like Porter, Stern says "there is a sense" that the introduction of the Umpire Decision Review System in international cricket has "legitimised the questioning of umpires’ decisions at all levels of the game", and that that situation is a factor behind the level of dissent in county cricket this season (E-News 789-3862, 5 July 2011).  "Bowlers, and spinners in particular, in county cricket", he says, "are becoming more used to asking umpires why a decision has not been given in their favour".  


Despite concerns about behaviour though, "one [unnamed] first-class umpire" Stern spoke to, who probably was the same person who made the comments about captain's reports, "reckons that player behaviour is not getting worse [and its just] that umpires are being more “diligent” in reporting and dealing with issues [as they have] been instructed by the ECB to get tough on miscreants".  That view is not dissimilar to a comment that Tim Robinson, the vice-chairman of the First-Class Umpires Association, made to the London 'Daily Telegraph' last week.


Stern's blog goes on to say that below the first-class game in England "there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest a major problem simmering away".  "In league cricket there seems to be an acceptance of bad behaviour [for] you don’t have to go too far to find stories of unpleasantness", he says, and the "aforementioned first-class umpire told me that until he retired from playing and went back into the leagues he hadn’t realised how poor the behaviour was".


At club level umpires and players are "doing it supposedly for fun and yet all too often that fundamental principle is being lost amid what one player told Stern is a “win-at-all-costs mentality that manifests itself in witless, aggressive sledging and arguing with umpires”.  It is the responsibility of the various leagues to administer their own codes of conduct but that process "relies on umpires to report players who transgress".  "But that is easier said than done, [for] if you are giving up your Saturday afternoons to umpire for the love of it and a bit of pocket money do you want the hassle or the paperwork?", he asks.


Stern says that the ECB’s recent announcement of a new code of conduct for junior cricketers, a joint initiative with Marylebone Cricket Club, "can be seen as either a proactive response to a growing problem, a depressing sign of the times or possibly a bit of both".  "They ought to turn their attention to the adult end of the game", he says, and everyone, "even at the highest level" should remember "that cricket is [just] a game".






Indian umpire Shavir Tarapore is currently in England as part of what appears to be an umpiring exchange program organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).  Tarapore, who has been a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) since 2008 (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008), is this week standing in a first class match between Derbyshire and Glamorgan, however, just which other matches he will work in whilst in England is not yet clear. 


Tarapore, 53, who played six first class matches for Karnataka in the early 1980s, was the only one of the three Indian IUP members to retain his position on the panel for 2011-12 (E-News 778-3806, 22 June 2011).  The match at Derby is his sixth-third at first class level, but he is no stranger to umpiring outside of India.  In 2009 he took part in that year's Indian Premier League Twenty20 (T20) series in South Africa, then last year he was first in New Zealand for the Under-19 World Cup then travelled to the West Indies for the men's and women's World T20 championships; his participation in the latter three tournaments being as a result of ICC appointments.  He was also on the ICC's umpiring panel for this year's World Cup on the sub-continent (E-News 754-3702, 7 April 2011).


No announcement appears to have been made by either the BCCI or ECB about the exchange program, however, presumably an ECB umpire will travel to India sometime early next year.






Six umpires, three from Kenya, Lalji Bhudia, Rockie D'Mello and Isaac Oyieko, two from Namibia, Wynand Louw and Jeff Luck, plus Ugandan James Makumbi, have been chosen by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for this week's twenty-two match Africa Division 1 Twenty20 (T20) series that is being played in Uganda.  


A fourth Kenyan, Subhash Modi, is the match referee for a tournament that involves five teams, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria and Uganda, the winner qualifying for the ICC's "global play-off" that will decide which non-Test playing countries qualify for the 2012 T20 World Championship series.  That play-off is scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates early next year.


Luck is a member of the ICC's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Panel of Umpires and Modi, 65, a former member.  Whilst umpiring in a One Day International (ODI) in Nairobi in 2006, Modi gave his son Hitesh Modi, who was playing for Kenya against Bangladesh, out LBW.  They are believed to be the first father-son pair to feature in an ODI.






Former Pakistani first class umpire Khalid Aziz, who stood in three Tests over a fourteen-year period late last century, died in Lahore last week.   Aziz, who was 73, played thirty-six first class matches in Pakistan over the seventeen years from 1957-73, his first class umpiring career commencing just ten months after his last as a player.  


His representative umpiring career ran from 1997-1997, a period that saw him stand in a total of seventy-two first class and forty-one List A games, seven of the latter being One Day Internationals.  Aziz was one of the inaugural Pakistani members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel.  In latter years he was an umpiring instructor with the ICC Development Program for Asia.  






Two players have been banned for two years as a result of incidents that occurred in a mid-week match in Sheffield, England, last month, says a report in the local newspaper 'The Star' on Monday.  Players and spectators are said to have "engaged in angry confrontation" on the field of play that lasted for several minutes and led to the match being abandoned, all of the action being captured by closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. 


The League’s Disciplinary Committee said in its findings that "the source of the problem was [the] Nether Edge [team's] persistent challenging [of] an umpiring decision", which "was inflamed and escalated by the actions of certain players of both sides but, in the main, by the aggressive behaviour of [the] Nether Edge" side.


A member of their opponent's team Norton Oakes, who was "sitting on the boundary [when the umpiring decision was challenged], entered the field of play and involved himself in the dispute thus adding to the situation", says the committee.  Several Nether Edge players then "aggressively approached the Norton Oakes player", and the fracas developed from there.  A League spokesman said the incident was “a very sad picture that does no credit to either club".


“The CCTV footage proves that within the space of four minutes, the dispute goes out of control and escalates into a general melee involving both sets of players, the umpire and, indeed, spectators, both male and female", says the disciplinary committee.


As a result of the brawl two Nether Edge players were banned from playing in the League until 2013, while a Norton Oakes player was warned about his future conduct and reprimanded for “aggravating the situation at a sensitive point without which the matter may possibly have sorted itself out".  


In addition, Nether Edge were fined £100 ($A150) and had three championship points deducted, and Norton Oakes £50 ($A75), for bringing the game into disrepute.  Both clubs have been warned that their future conduct “will be linked to this incident”.

Friday, 15 July 2011





David Lloyd, a former England player, first class umpire, coach and now journalist, commentator and member of the International Cricket Council's umpire selection panel, is said to be "enthused" about the fact that umpires on the county circuit in England are "enforcing Spirit of Cricket" issues during the current northern summer.  Writing in his column in London's 'Daily Mail' yesterday, Lloyd said that "it is only right that umpires are reiterating their priorities regarding player behaviour". 


John Stern, a former editor of 'The Cricketer' magazine, wrote recently that a first-class umpire in England, who he did not name, was of the view that player behaviour is not getting worse, and that the spate of reports in county cricket this season is because umpires are being more “diligent” in reporting and dealing with issues (E-News 795-3889, 13 July 2011).  Stern indicated that first class umpires in England had been instructed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) prior to the season commencing to "get tough on miscreants".  


Lloyd, who is widely known as 'Bumble', says that he "wouldn't say [the umpires] are flexing their muscles, they are just reminding players what is expected of them [under] the laws of the game".  "Players, and particularly captains, must remember that they are custodians of cricket and have a responsibility to it, and that includes walking off when you are given out [with] no messing", he says.  "Play it tough and play it hard", concluded Lloyd, "I could play it as tough as the next man, but play it fair and respect the umpires, it's good manners". 


A report last week said that Angus Porter, head of the UK's Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), was to meet with senior umpiring personnel from the ECB sometime this week in what was said to be an "attempt to quell the recent spate of poor behaviour in county cricket" (E-News 793-3879, 10 July 2011).  There has been no indication as yet that such a meeting has been held, or if it has, what the outcomes were.   






A club in Devon plans to lodge a formal complaint after an umpire standing in a Twenty20 (T20) match in Plymouth judged that a batsman had not deliberately collided with a bowler who was attempting to make a catch.  The game, a third versus fourth finals match played last Sunday, saw the Cornwood side defeat their opponents Plymstock, who are concerned about the incident, by three runs.


A 'Plymouth Herald' report published on Tuesday says that Plymstock claim their captain Sebastian Jordan was impeded by a Cornwood batsman as he "looked set to secure" a caught and bowled opportunity, however, there was a collision between the bowler and a batsman that saw the ball "fall harmlessly to the ground".  The umpire's verdict, says the 'Herald', was that there was "no proof of intent" that the batsman deliberately collided with bowler Jordan.


Plymstock are said to be "not claiming the incident changed the outcome of the game, but they do plan to report Cornwood to the organisers of the Plymouth T20, the Devon Cricket Board and also the Umpires Association".  Jordan, who is their skipper, was quoted as saying that "as a club we are not happy having to do [that]", however, his club feels "that in the interests of cricket, as much as anything else" they have to do so".  We are "disappointed the umpires did not view the [obstruction] matter differently", he said.


Law 37.1 says in part that "either batsman is out Obstructing the field if he wilfully obstructs or distracts the fielding side by word or action, part two of the Law going on to say that "it is for either umpire to decide whether any obstruction or distraction is wilful or not" and that they should consult each other if there is any doubt.






A batsman on the island of Bermuda was "robbed" of a century after a bowler "deliberately" bowled a ball wide down the leg side that went for four on Sunday, says a report published in 'Bermuda Gazette' on Tuesday.  Lionel Cann was unbeaten on 96 and two runs were needed for victory when bowler Irving Romaine sent his delivery wide, the second such ball of the over.  


The first wide, which also went for four, came two balls earlier when Romaine's "frustrations at his team’s poor performance finally got the better of him", and "it is difficult to say that the ball slipped out of his hand", says the 'Gazette'.  Umpires Oscar Andrade and Richard Austin were unable to say after the gamewhat might happen to Romaine, although their match reports are said to be "highly likely" to mention the incident.


Last August, Sri Lankan Suraj Randiv bowled what was judged to be a deliberate no-ball to deny India's Virender Sehwag his century in a One Day International in Dambulla.  He was subsequently handed a one-match ban by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board as a result (E-News 656-3249, 20 August 2010).






Former English international umpire 'Dickie' Bird', 78, is to "dust off "his umpiring gear and stand in a charity match in Sheffield for Cancer Research UK early next month.  As part of the fund raising effort, Bird will also host a 'Dine with Dickie' meal during the tea interval. 


Event organiser Gary Johnson told local media that his group is “very pleased" that the event is "generating such passionate support, and it’s an honour to have celebrities like Bird throwing his weight behind the idea, not just by lending his name to the event, but by actively taking part and helping us to raise more money for cancer research".


Bird last came out of retirement in January 2007 to umpire in a Beach Cricket Tri-Nations series involving former well-known players from Australia, England and the West Indies that was played in Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia. 

Saturday, 16 July 2011





Retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper has accused the International Cricket Council (ICC) of being too lenient towards India's players and claims their captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, put undue pressure on him in last month's Jamaica Test against West Indies.  Harper, who opted against standing in his scheduled farewell Test between India and the West Windies in Dominica following "unfair criticism" of his performance in Jamaica (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011), believes the ICC employs double standards in its approach to player discipline.


Harper was quoted in the 'The Australian' newspaper yesterday as questioning why Dhoni escaped without punishment after he publicly criticised umpiring decisions in the Jamaica Test, something the former umpire was said to be "furious" about in a report published two weeks ago (E-News 787-3853, 2 July 2011).  In a press conference at the end of the Jamaica game, the India captain said: "If the correct decisions were made the game would have finished much earlier and I would have been in the hotel by now" (E-News 781-3823, 26 June 2011).  That and later remarks about Harper attributed to "senior" members of the Indian side were described as "unfair" by the ICC's general manager of cricket David Richardson and its chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat (E-News 792-3875, 8 July 2011).


The two ICC managers public utterances about the criticism of Harper were limited to those low-key comments, and there has been no sign as yet that more concrete action is planned.  An ICC spokesman told E-News last week that "at this stage, we have nothing to add to the statements made previously [by Richardson and Lorgat] on the matter" (E-News 793-3880, 10 July 2011), a wording that could be interpreted as indicating that something may be underway behind the scenes three weeks after the event.


Adelaide-based Harper told 'The Australian' that he "waited for a response or some action from [ICC] management... and I waited", but "no response came... no support, no action".  "This wasn't the first time that I felt that I had been left out on a limb" by the ICC, he said.  "Some spontaneous comments [such as Dhoni's] can be harmful to the game and its best interests", said Harper, and "I had previously imagined that was the reason for a clause in the ICC Code of Conduct [that talks] about 'inappropriate public comment' [by players or support personnel]".  Dhoni's comment about an earlier return to his hotel room were "definitely inappropriate", says the Australian.


Harper indicated that the current situation illustrates what he called the "selective management" approach adopted by the ICC whereby the rules are applied differently depending on who is involved.  "I'm not a politician, I'm not an administrator, I'm just an umpire, and it seems to me the treatment I was receiving from the [Jamaica] Test was telling me that perhaps I shouldn't treat everyone [on the playing field] the same way, which is a system that's worked pretty well for a long time".  "When I need to consider which team is playing and apply the laws differently for different teams, then this game has lost sight of its standards and its values", said Harper.   


The South Australian also went on to criticise the world body for generally "dragging their feet on the issue of worsening player behaviour".  "I've never been willing to say [worsening discipline is] just a sign of the times', [for] cricket has survived too long to give in to that sort of behaviour and accept it as part and parcel of the 21st century".    


Harperr, 59, who officiated in 95 Tests and 174 One Day Internationals, statistics that place him the third in the all-time record in both match formats, also claimed that Dhoni pressured him in Jamaica after he had ordered seam bowler Praveen Kumar out of the attack for running into the Protected Area (E-News 784-3834, 29 June 2011).  Dhoni is said in Harper's words to have "had the temerity" to say to him at that time that "We've had issues with you before, Daryl", something Harper apparently believes was an attempt to intimidate him.  "I didn't ask him to elaborate", said the Australian, and "I'm still puzzled as to what those issues may have been".






Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) announced on Thursday that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be in operation during Australia's forthcoming tour of the island nation that will involve two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), five One Day Internationals (ODI) and three Tests.  The costs involved in the hire and operation of the various UDRS technologies over a six-week period appears to be the key factor behind SLC's decision to play the series without such equipment on-line.


'Mirror' journalist Channaka de Silva says that as hosts for the tour, SLC would have to spend as much as $A141,000 "to provide [UDRS support] for the one-and-a-half-month long series".  He also states that the television revenue "the cash-strapped" SLC will receive from broadcaster Ten Sports for the series will total $A3,729,000, made up of $A703,000 a Test, $A230,000 per ODI, and $A235,000 for each T20I.  SLC Interim Chairman Upali Dharmadasa told Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' on Thursday, that his organisation "might consider having the technology [but] only if a sponsor is available", something the International Cricket Council (ICC) is currently seeking for UDRS world-wide (E-News 790-3868, 6 July 2011).


The ICC decided at its annual meeting in Hong Kong last month to make UDRS use mandatory in all Tests and ODIs from 1 October this year (E-News 784-3835, 29 June 2011), and the 'Mirror' says that that gives the SLC "a window of opportunity to save a bit of cash by avoiding the huge expense for the [technology involved].  Last month, SLC is reported to have slashed its budget for the tour by one-third from an original $A2,561,000, after the sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said austere measures had to be taken.


If it had used the UDRS, SLC and Cricket Australia as the visitors, would have had the choice of discussing whether the "all-up" version, that includes ball-tracking technology, infra-red cameras and audio-tracking devices, or the "Indian version" in which ball-tracking devices are not included, would be used for the forthcoming series.


Ten Sports is said by the 'Mirror' article to be in a difficult position regarding sponsors as "most of the leading contenders" who are based in India, "the world cricket’s financial powerhouse", have already exhausted their advertising budgets as a result of this year's World Cup and the high profile Indian Premier League that followed immediately after it.  "They will obviously be struggling even to break even”, runs a quote attributed to a broadcast industry source, but whether they will still have UDRS-related technology available to the general public as part of their telecasts remains to be seen.






Clubs in the West of England Premier League (WEPL) have been given a general warning about player indiscipline after "a string of on-field incidents in recent weeks", says an article published in the 'Bristol Evening Post' yesterday.  News of concerns about behaviour comes after a surge of reports about disciplinary problems at county level, a situation that some have blamed on umpires there tightening up on behavioural issues (E-News 796-3894, 15 July 2011).  


The 'Evening Post' story says that WEPL chairman Chris Norton has written to all member clubs in a bid to improve behaviour and attitude towards umpires.  In the letter he states that the league had "received a glut of umpires' reports on players who have crossed the line as far as indiscipline on the field is concerned".  Norton then went on to refer league members to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Code of Conduct, pointing to a section that reads: "clubs must take adequate steps to ensure the good behaviour of their members and supporters towards players and umpires".  


"WEPL always supports the umpires when a report is received and looks to the players' clubs to impose the relevant sanctions on their members", continued Norton.  "This they have done admirably, but as a body we need to remind ourselves of the standards we should be meeting".  WEPL is the top level of competition for recreational club cricket in the West of England and involves clubs from Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, and is one of twenty-five such leagues that the ECB set up in 1999 to bridge the standards gap between club cricket and the first class game. 


One "experienced" WEPL captain interviewed by the 'Evening Post', who declined to be named, said that in his view Norton's warning was long overdue.  "I would say that half the league has got it all wrong in the way umpires are being treated", and "things have definitely got worse out in the middle as umpires are being shown far less respect, despite, in my opinion, doing a better job than ever".  "I'm all for a good, old hard battle, but I see young lads, particularly those from the academies, who just seem to look down on the umpires".


A second captain from another WEPL club in a different division had another view though, saying there were "no problems in terms of the treatment of umpires, but there was far more tension between teams".  "What I see and hear is more player-on-player talk going on, [and] you walk out to take your guard and someone's immediately at you with some verbals".  Bristol and District League (BDL) chairman Trevor Crouch, who also umpires in that WEPL competition, also said that he has "noticed a big increase in the chatter you hear, particularly from younger players who think they've got to create noise and atmosphere".  


Chris Strong, a member of the BDL's disciplinary sub-committee, said that he thinks "all cricket is more 'mouthy' these days, but in the [BDL] we're very lucky that clubs are glad to have umpires and they're treated with a lot more respect than other competitions".  "Three of our divisions don't have umpires every week, and considering that we have very few problems to deal with".  "In fact, there have been only two reported incidents so far this season", he says.






Two Namibian umpires, Wynand Louw and Jeff Luck, stood in the final of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) twenty-two match Africa Division 1 Twenty20 (T20) series in Kampala yesterday between their national side and tournament hosts Uganda.  The third versus fourth play-off game between Kenya and Nigeria that preceded the final was managed by Kenyan Rockie D'Mello and Ugandan James Makumbi, another Kenyan Subhash Modi being the match referee for every match of the week-long series, including yesterday's games (E-News 795-3891, 13 July 2011).  The final of the parallel series for the East Asia Pacific region in Papua New Guineau last week also saw a 'non-neutral' umpire stand in the final (E-News 792-3879, 8 July 2011).

Sunday, 17 July 2011





Former Australian umpire Daryl Harper says that he discovered that he had been "unceremoniously sacked" from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EIP)" in May after nine years of service" "while surfing the internet", the information being available there two days before the ICC announced the change (E-News 765-3752, 23 May 2011).  In documents he circulated to a wide range of media outlets on Thursday, Harper says that "there was no ceremony" involved and it was just another case, like the lack of action taken by the ICC in regards to comments by Indian players to the media about umpiring (E-News 797-3898, 16 July 2011), of him being let down by management at the world body.


The Australian says that it was basically lack of support from the ICC that led to his withdrawal from last week's Windies-India third Test in India.  "Despite rumours in parts of the media that the first Test [between the two sides earlier this month in Jamaica] was dominated by my incompetence, it was in actual fact, dominated by my respect for a wonderful game".  "Various media outlets [at the time] claim", and are still claiming (E-News 794-3885, 12 July 2011), "that I had made up to six decisions that went against India and three that went against the West Indies, and a senior player allegedly claimed that his entire team wanted me out of the reckoning for the third Test" (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011).


While acknowledging that ICC analysis has found that he made two errors in the Jamaica Test, one of them being a missed a 'no ball' (E-News 788-3859, 4 July 2011), the South Australian points to data complied by the world body over the last ten Tests he stood in that involved India.  During those games, including the Jamaica Test, Harper says that a total of 20,508 deliveries were bowled and adjudicated upon, and he had 304 "serious appeals" about which he had to make a judgement, however, his total error count in that time only involved "five errors that went against the Indian team".


Harper says that his "correct decision percentage" over those ten Tests was 96.22 per cent, and the eight individuals he stood with in those games "enjoyed similar success with 95.1% of [the] decisions [they made] being assessed as correct".  "In an ICC memo to umpires in April 2010, correct decision percentages was listed as one of three measured performance tools to be considered in reviewing performance", he continued, the "desired outcome" for EUP member being 95 per cent.  He did not mention what the other two performance indicators are that the ICC used then or now.


In an ICC media release that announced Harper's withdrawal from the third Test, ICC cricket operations manager David Richardson wrote that “The reality of the situation is that Daryl’s statistics show his correct decision percentage in Tests involving India is 96 per cent, which is considerably higher than the international average for top-level umpires".  Harper, who made the decision to withdrawal five days after the Jamaica Test, says that if the ICC had responded more appropriately than that in that time in line with its own regulations after Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made his comments about umpiring, he would have been able to finish his Test career in Dominica. 


"Claims [about the number of errors in Jamaica] "could have easily been dismissed as laughable if an ICC spokesperson had used the official ICC Incident Log, compiled by match referee, Jeff Crowe of New Zealand" in Jamaica, or Crowe's "meticulous report of my performance or [that] of Regional Umpires Performance Manager, Barry Dudleston".  "[Crowe] has been voted by his peers as the Referee of the Year in four of the past five years so he knows his business", Harper added. 


Despite that Harper says he is "not bitter at all" and is "also far from shattered".  "I’ve enjoyed an incredible journey umpiring cricket for twenty eight years so there’s no way that I am devastated by what has transpired".  "Sure I wanted to continue umpiring international cricket, but it wasn’t to be", and " I walked away because I felt that I didn’t have the support of ICC management to complete the task".  


Harper emphasised that he and his family "have many fine friends in India and in the Indian media" and that country "has always been my favourite umpiring destination".  "We love India and will not change our opinion because of the ramblings of certain individuals masquerading as cricket writers".  But "anyone with a modicum of cricket knowledge would have dismissed the outrageous claims [made against him] as nonsense".






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has refused to comment on now-retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper’s accusation of “selective management” by the world governing body in regard to player discipline, or lack of support for him as an umpire, says a story published on the web site yesterday.  Harper made the accusations in an e-mail he circulated to a wide range media outlets around-the-world on Thursday (E-News 798-3902 above).


Colin Gibson, the ICC’s head of Media and Communications, was quoted by journalist Himanshu Shekhar as saying that "we have no official comment to make on the issue", the same phraseology used by another ICC representative in reply to a query from E-News last week about whether the world body had contacted, or planned to contact, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, regarding comments made about umpiring by members of their team (E-News 793-3880, 10 July 2011).


Shekhar also contacted former India international umpire Arani Jayaprakash, who stood with Harper in a Test match in Kanpur in October 1999, about the Australian's departure.  He is said to be of the view that Harper deserved a better send-off in his farewell Test, as was quoted by ESPNSTAR as saying that he “deserved to go on a happier note [for] after all, he shared a great rapport with many international cricketers as an Elite Panel umpire".  


Jayaprakash described Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's comments about incorrect umpiring decisions prolonging what became Harper's last Test as "dragged too far".  "I would assume that Dhoni was not aware of the fact that Dominica was going to be Harper’s last Test, and had he known that, maybe his reaction would have been different".  He continued by saying that “these things happen in cricket, [we've] got to live with it, however, the Indian captain must realise that in the heat of the moment one should be aware of the border line".  "The ICC Code of Conduct is already there and players and umpires should be mindful of it", said Jayaprakash.






Somerset were given a £5,000 ($A7,500) fine and their captain Marcus Trescothick a suspended two-match ban on Friday after players from the county side were found guilty of disciplinary offences on five occasions over a twelve-month period.  Essex captain James Foster and his county received similar punishment from the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) disciplinary committee last week (E-News 791-3871, 7 July 2011).


A Cricket Discipline Commission Panel made up of Mike Smith, Alan Wadey and Peter Jewell convened to hear charges brought by the ECB against both Somerset and Trescothick, who was captain when all the offences took place.  The panel is said to have taken into consideration both Somerset's internal disciplinary procedures and the fact that the skipper himself had not been directly involved in any of the offences, had an "exemplary disciplinary record" over a period of nineteen years, and had attempted to instil good discipline within his team.


Despite that Smith, Wadey and Jewell decided that the number of separate incidents was unacceptable and that ECB regulations place a high responsibility on captains in respect of the conduct of their players, although a statement issued by them said that Trescothick "had been let down by his team".  Unlike Foster, who had been one of Essex's on-field offenders and was banned for two matches last week, Trescothick received a suspended sentence because he had not been directly involved in any of the on-field incidents.


The latest censure handed out by an ECB disciplinary panel came in the week the Professional Cricketers' Association, ECB umpires' manager Chris Kelly and senior English umpires, met in an attempt to quell what has been described as the recent spate of poor behaviour in county cricket (E-News 793-3879, 10 July 2011).  No details of that meeting, including when it was held, just who attended, and what the outcome may have been, appear to have been made public at this time.






Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said overnight that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be used in their side's forthcoming one-day and Test series against Australia, however, a final decision on whether ball-tracking technology will be included in the package is not expected to be made until later this week.  Upali Dharmadasa, the SLC interim committee chairman, originally told a local newspaper on Thursday that funding issues would prevent the technology required for the review system being acquired for the series (E-News 797-3899, 16 July 2011).


A 'Cricinfo' report yesterday quotes Dharmadasa as now saying that "the use of UDRS is a priority for us since the decision was taken, during the International Cricket Council (ICC) annual conference in Hong Kong, to use it in all series" from 1 October this year  (E-News 784-3835, 29 June 2011).


Under that ICC agreement, ball-tracking technology is an optional extra for the UDRS and it is up to the national boards of teams playing in a series to decide whether it is used or not.  Dharmadasa told 'Cricinfo' that his organisation still had a few questions about the UDRS that would be resolved this week.  However, "regarding the predictive path, we have written to the ICC and the final decision [about its inclusion] will be taken at [a] SLC meeting on Wednesday".


The first of the five One Day Internationals between the home side and Australia is scheduled to start in just over three weeks, and the first of the three Tests on the last day of next month.

Monday, 18 July 2011






The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) is to discuss a range of issues, including the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), coloured balls, day-night Tests, Laws-related matters, corruption in cricket and governance of the game, at its latest meeting which is to be held over two days at Lord's starting later today Australian time.


David Richardson, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) general manager cricket, who is a WCC member, is expected to report to the gathering on the ICC's latest decisions regarding the UDRS (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011), while former West indian international umpire and WCC member Steve Bucknor will offer an "umpire's viewpoint" on the system, say reports.  After hearing comments from that pair, media stories say that the committee is expected to discuss the reasons behind India's opposition to the present system which centres on ball-tracking technology.


Indian batsman Rahul Dravid, who is a WCC member and supporter of UDRS operation (E-News 648-3216, 8 August 2010), is expected to share his experience of facing a pink cricket ball in a day-night game.  Dravid played a first class match with a MCC team against last year's county champions Nottinghamshire in Abu Dhabi in late March, afterwards urging the cricket world to embrace the pink ball, day-night format, and saying that he found the pink ball used, which had a white seam, easy to pick up when batting for the MCC (E-News 753-3696, 5 April 2011).


Another key issue to be discussed is said to be ways in which to deal with corruption in cricket.  The committee will receive an update from another member, former Australian captain Steve Waugh, who led a WCC corruption working party, and hear in-depth presentations on the use and legality of lie detectors and also discuss how successfully cricket has dealt with Pakistan trio Mohammad Aamer, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif   The three men were given lengthy bans earlier this year after being found guilty by an ICC tribunal of engaging in spot fixing in a Test played in England last year.


After that the committee is expected to ponder what are said to be "many laws-related issues that are prevalent in the world game, including the running out of the non-striker, obstructing the field by running batsmen and the ICC's decision to introduce a playing regulation to ban runners" (E-News 783-3831, 28 June 2011), which in Australia's case are to be introduced into senior interstate cricket this coming summer (E-News 785-3843, 1 July 2011).


The possibility of conducting a World Test championship will again be on the table and discussion is expected to occur on whether the context such a move could potentially offer will improve Test match attendances.  Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe is said to be going to present his thoughts on how a World Test championship may affect the countries outside the top four in rankings.


This weeks meeting will be the last to be chaired by former England player Tony Lewis, 73, who has been at the helm since what is now an nineteen-man group was established in April 2006.  Former England captain Mike Brearley will take over from Lewis on 1 October.  





Journalist and radio commentator Peter Roebuck has criticised Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his approach to cricket and for what he called his team's "insulting conduct" towards recently retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper.  Harper withdrew from standing in the last Test of the Indian side's series against the West Indies earlier this month, citing inappropriate criticism from Dhoni and the Indians, "selective management" by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and lack of support from that body (E-News 798-3902, 17 July 2011).


Writing in his column in 'The Hindu' newspaper over the weekend, Roebuck mentions Dhoni's exchanged a words during the Jamaica Test with Harper that the Australian later said were ""We've had issues with you before, Daryl".  "There is no room for such exchange" on the field of play, wrote Roebuck, for he is of the view that the authority of a match official should not be compromised in any way.  He also pointed to what he called the "lack of censure" by the ICC over Dhoni's public comments on umpiring in Jamaica (E-News 798-3903, 17 July 2011). 


Roebuck continued by stating that “Harper is a good man" but "an accident prone umpire", nevertheless, he says, the Australian "was duly appointed by the game’s governing body and ought to have been treated with respect".  Moreover, in reference to what Indian media reports have said were Harper's six errors in the Jamaica test, Roebuck says the umpire could "not seek assistance from replays because India had rejected [use of the Umpire Decision Review System] during the series".  


Harper has pointed out several times recently that ICC logs of the Jamaica Test showed that he had made two errors, one an LBW and the other a 'no ball' call that was missed, and not the six alleged; and last week released data that showed he had only made five errors that involved the Indian side in the last ten Tests he stood in with that team.  






Indian team "sources" are said to have told the 'Times Of India' (TOI) yesterday that recently retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper's charge that the side's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni tried to intimidate him during play is "unwarranted", says an article in today's edition of the newspaper.  The unnamed sources quoted are said to be "surprised" at Harper's comments, and "some players" are described as having "laughed off" his concerns.


The article goes on to state that "Dhoni has received the backing of cricket experts", which are again not named, "especially considering Harper's record of getting into trouble with a number of International cricketers".  "Harper has had run-ins with players a number of times", claims the report without providing details, and those "cricket experts", whoever they are, are said to "prefer to believe India's side of the story rather than Harper's". 


Indian journalists frequently obtain quotes on controversial issues from what they say are sources from within the Indian team, as the latter would, in theory at least, be open to sanction by the International Cricket Council (ICC) if they make 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".  ICC fines for such matters range between a reprimand and the loss of fifty per cent of a player's match fee.






Former Ireland cricketer Decker Curry has failed in his appeal against a one-year ban from the sport, says a BBC report yesterday.  Curry was suspended from cricket for a year last month after being found guilty by a Cricket Ireland disciplinary hearing of offences committed in the abandoned Irish Cup match between his side Limavady and Instonians on 11 June (E-News 785-3840, 30 June 2011).


Instonians and Ireland player Andrew White alleged that he was assaulted by a Limavady team member during the tea interval in the match.  Curry denied the assault allegation and launched an appeal after the ban was imposed by Cricket Ireland (E-News 773-3785, 13 June 2011).  The Limavady player is understood to have admitted to a number of offences including using bad language, dissent and abuse of cricket equipment after smashing his stumps following his dismissal.


The Limavady club had issued its own suspension to Curry for two games after he struck the stumps following his first-ball dismissal in the match.  The game was abandoned after the tea interval when Instonians said they would only resume play under protest in the wake of the alleged incident (E-News 774-3790, 15 June 2011).  Limavady refused to play under these conditions, the umpires abandoned the game, and cricket Ireland later ruled that Instonians had won the game because their opponents "refused to continue the match".

Tuesday, 19 July 2011






The International Cricket Council (ICC) is considering scrapping time limits for the final of the inaugural world Test championship in 2013, returning cricket to the 1930s in the search for a definitive champion of the sport's longest format, say reports from the UK overnight.  The announcement by ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, comes as the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee is considering the world championship issue at its current meeting at Lord's (E-News 799-3906, 18 July 2011).


The World Championship concept currently being developed involves the then four highest-ranked Test teams playing each other in two semi finals and a final to determine the overall winner.  "Whether [drawn games will be] decided on a first-innings basis or on runs scored in the game, we don't know", said Lorgat, but we "will come up with a viable formula to determine a winner".  "The final may be a timeless Test [but] at this stage we don't know, but we are looking into the mechanics".   "It is a work in progress but I would favour finding a winner because you want a world champion", said the chief executive.


A so-called timeless Test places no duration constraints on players, allowing for an open-ended match until a result is secured, regular Tests being limited to five days, each of which  has six hours playing time.  Such matches often end in a draw if bad weather intervenes or either team can't bowl out the other's batsmen out in two innings.  The last timeless Test was between South Africa and England at Durban in 1939.  Despite its open-ended duration, that match was declared a draw when no result was possible after nine days of play over a twelve day period. That was because the England side had to leave or they would have missed their ship home.






International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat says he is disappointment that ball-tracking equipment will not be in use during the forthcoming Test series between England and India, the first game of which is due to commence at Lord's on Thursday.  Lorgat told journalists at Lord's yesterday that "independent scientific research" will be commissioned by the ICC in an attempt to provide compelling evidence to all member nations that ball-tracking systems should be a mandatory part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).


Opposition to ball-tracking technology comes from the Board of Control for Cricket in India but the ICC have been very clear for some time about their support for such systems, and they are now used in almost all Test series that do not involve India (E-News 800-3912 below).  "I am disappointed [as] I firmly believe in technology", said Lorgat, for he believes "it works, a vast majority of people believe it works but there is a minority of people who have been concerned by ball tracking".  "The original principle was to eliminate the obvious mistake, not the marginal call [and] not [to] replace the umpire, and I believe the UDRS is doing that", he said.


Three weeks ago the ICC named two on-field umpires for this week's Test, 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Marais Erasmus of South Africa, but listed the third umpire appointments as to be advised (E-News 786-3846, 1 July 2011).  Lorgat's comments hints that non ball-tracking parts of the UDRS may be in operation, however, just who will look after third umpire duties is not yet clear.  


The England and Wales Cricket Board been listing Rob Bailey, a third umpire on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, as the television official for the Lord's Test since April (E-News 754-3703, 7 April 2011).   If that appointment stands Bailey, a former England player, will be working in the television suite in a Test for the first time.  He made his debuts in that role in both One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals last month.





The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is "unlikely to use" the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in its ‘home’ series against England in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January-February next year, claims a report by the Asian News International (ANI) from Islamabad yesterday.  The series will consist three Tests, four One Day Internationals (ODI) and three Twenty20s and be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.


Quoting a report in Pakistan's 'Express Tribune' newspaper, ANI says that the PCB's current $A150 million dollar deal with its broadcaster Ten Sports does not include the provision of the technology.  Last month the International Cricket Council made use of the UDRS in Tests and ODIs mandatory from 1 October this year, although the inclusion of ball-tracking technology in the package involved is up to the competing nations to decide (E-News  7683-3830, 28 June 2011). 


The PCB's contract with Ten Sports is believed to expire sometime next year and the ICC has recommended that its member boards keep the provisions of the UDRS technology in mind when signing new contracts.






David Boon, the International Cricket Council's newest match referee, is to become the "new face" of Canadian Club whisky this week, says an article in 'The Australian' newspaper on Monday.  Boon, who will be shadowing match referee Ranjan Madugalle in the opening England-India Test at Lord's on Thursday, has for many years featured in advertising for an Australian brand of beer.  


The advertising campaign for the North American product will reportedly see Boon saying that he's "over beer".  Boon told 'The Australian' that "deciding to be a part of the 'Canadian Club Over Beer?' campaign wasn't a hard one", for he "thinks it's a good product which I enjoy drinking, so I'm happy to put my face to it, [however] he campaign's not about knocking beer".






Umpires from three countries and a match referee from a fourth are looking after the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Americas region qualifying  event for the 2012 World Twenty20 championships in Florida this week.  Six-teams, Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Suriname and the United States, are playing for the right to qualify for next year's global qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that will decide which two non-Test playing countries feature in the World T20 series in Sri Lanka later in 2012.


The ICC has appointed three Canadain umpires, Karran Bayney, Ashook Brijcoomar and Hubert Smythe, plus Bermudans Roger Dill and Steven Douglas to the event, the sixth umpire named being Sameer Bandekar.  Dill is a member of the ICC's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel.  Former West Indian batsman Adrian Griffith from Barbados, a member of the ICC's second-tier Regional Referees Panel, is the match referee for the series.


Data-base searches only bring up one umpire named Sameer Bandekar, he being a former first class umpire from India who stood in sixty matches at that level there in the period from 1992-2002, his record including a One Day International in 2002.  Whether it is he who is standing in Bermuda this week is not known.


Two teams from the Americas, Africa and Europe, three from Asia and one from East Asia-Pacific will take part in the UAE global qualifier.  Despite their participation in this week's event, Canada are assured of competing in the UAE along with the five other ICC nations that have One Day International status - Afghanistan, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland.






The West of England Premier League (WEPL) has handed Corsham captain Tom Hankins a three-week ban because of what the 'Wiltshire Times' says was "disciplinary charges [that] relates to clashes between Corsham players and umpires" after a match played in Bristol two weeks ago. Hankins was suspended for two-weeks as a result of his behaviour in the Bristol match, the extra week resulting from a prior one-week suspended ban that was on his record.  One of his team mates was given a two-week by the Corsham club.  Last week WEPL chairman Chris Norton wrote to clubs in the league and gave them a general warning about player indiscipline after "a string of on-field incidents in recent weeks" (E-News 797-3900, 16 July 2011).

Wednesday, 20 July 2011





The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) believes that the International Cricket Council's (ICC) recent decision to ban runners in matches played under its auspices is a "a disappointing reflection on the 'Spirit of Cricket' at international level" (E-News 783-3831, 28 June 2011).  The committee, whose eleventh meeting was held at Lord's on Monday-Tuesday, also considered the ICC's move on playing conditions that cover obstructing the field and the ability of a bowler to 'run out' the non-striker.


The WCC said that it heard one example of a lower-order batsman using a runner, claiming a hamstring strain, who then came out and opened the bowling.  Nevertheless, it felt strongly that a batsman with a genuine injury will now be penalised because some players have recently been seeking to exploit the Law by requesting a runner when they are not injured.  In its view an ICC decision two years ago that cramp should be considered an injury or illness has also made it easier for a batsman to have a runner (E-News 497-2569, 29 September 2009).  


A batsman who tears a hamstring will now have to continue batting and try to run, thereby risking aggravating the injury, or retire hurt, which could be akin to the loss of a wicket, says the WCC.  Also, if runners are not allowed, then substitute fielders should not be allowed either, as this too was an area that is often abused it says.  Instead of banning runners, "stronger umpiring" should be sufficient to solve such problems, says the committee, and that includes suspected breaches being reported under Law 42.18 (Players’ conduct) as well as the 'Spirit' Preamble to the Laws.  Cricket Australia plans to introduce the no runner rule into its senior interstate competitions this summer (E-News 786-3843, 1 July 2011).


The MCC committee went on to say that the approach umpires take also plays a key part in the obstructing the field issue.  While it supported the ICC's decision that its umpires uphold appeals for obstructing the field when a batsman has deliberately changed his running path in order to prevent a throw from hitting the stumps, the WCC says that the Law concerned "has not changed in any way".  "Rather, ICC and MCC felt that a reminder was needed to inform players of what the Law says".  Former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor, who is a WCC member, "hoped that umpires would more closely monitor batsmen who run across the pitch while attempting to block a throw", as that in itself is a breach of Law 42.14 which deals with Batsman damaging the pitch.


On the other hand the decision by the world body to change its playing conditions in regard to a bowler running out the non-striker was welcomed by the WCC and the issue is to be referred to the MCC's Laws sub-committee for consideration.  The ICC move means that in its games from 1 October, a bowler will be able to run out the non-striker "slightly later" in his delivery stride than is currently allowed.  The Laws sub-committee, which will look at the matter at its next meeting in September, is "better placed to judge whether a change in Law [is] needed", says the WCC. 


In another move, the WCC said that it and its research partner, Imperial College London, has offered their services to the ICC as the independent body that the world body's chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Monday would be engaged to conduct research on ball-tracking technology (E-News 800-3910, 19 July 2011).  The WCC statement says that the BCCI recently asked the ICC to carry out such tests, it and more recently former Australian umpire Daryl Harper raising questions about the system's veracity (E-News 801-3919 below). 


The WCC did not mention its discussions on the World Test Championship concept in its press release, although Lorgat had rather overshadowed publicity on that matter on Monday with comments about the possibility of a timeless Test (E-News E-News 800-3910, 19 July 2011). 






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has made a major revision to its umpiring appointments for the four-Test series between England and India, the first match of which is due to get underway at Lord's tomorrow evening Australian time.  Changes have been made to the original ICC Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) on-field allocations, and two other EUP members have been brought in in order that ICC senior umpires can cover third umpire roles as the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will now be in partial operation.


Three weeks ago, the ICC named New Zealander 'Billy' Bowden and South African Marais Erasmus as the on-field umpires for the first two Tests, and Australians Steve Davis and Simon Taufel for the last two games, third umpire positions being listed then as 'to be advised' (E-News 786-3846, 1 July 2011).  The ICC web site this morning shows that Pakistani Asad Rauf and Australian Rod Tucker have now been brought into the mix, such that its will be a Bowden-Rauf on-field pairing in the opening game, Erasmus-Rauf for the second, Davis-Taufel in the third as previously announced, and Tucker-Taufel in the fourth.  Erasmus, Bowden Tucker and Davis will work as third umpires respectively in the four matches.


While the UDRS will be in partial operation following a compromise reached over its use by ICC members last month (E-News 783-3832, 28 June 2011), press reports from the UK over the last few days have indicated that "further discussions" held recently between the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will see the series go ahead "with umpires entirely responsible for LBW decisions".  Not only will third umpires not have ball-tracking technology to work with, as per the ICC compromise with the BCCI, but there will also "be no use of the LBW mat superimposed on the screen, and no use of 'Hot Spot' to protect a batsman against being given out LBW even though he got an inside edge".


Journalist David Hopps of 'The Guardian' wrote that that situation will put "enormous pressure on to the on-field umpires", "especially after allegations by Australian umpire Daryl Harper about India's 'bullying' tactics on the field".  Harper used the bullying term in an interview with BBC Radio earlier this week to describe the way he feels the Indian side is playing its cricket (E-News 799-3906, 18 July 2011).






Day-night Tests should be introduced "immediately" where conditions allow and in countries where a stimulation of attendances is required, says the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) whose eleventh meeting ended at Lord's overnight Australian time.  The WCC made the same call following its July meeting last year, saying then that day-night Tests featuring a pink ball and white clothing could be played "now" in countries where attendances at such games have dropped markedly (E-News 629-3138, 4 July 2010). 


The MCC said in the statement that summarised the WCC's latest deliberations, that it will continue to use its annual Champion County fixture to highlight the viability of using a pink ball in day-night first-class cricket.  That game has been played in that format in Aby Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates over the last two years (E-News 753-3696, 5 April 2011).  As expected, the WCC heard "reports and testimonies" from players involved in this year's Abu Dhabi match.  It featured what was called "a refined pink ball, with a white seam, and black sightscreens, which was felt to be an improvement on previous trials".


The WCC says that as cricket celebrates its 2,000th Test match this week (E-News 786-3846, 1 July), which is also the 100th Test between England and india, it remains "deeply concerned about the future of Test cricket across the globe".






Slow-motion cameras that are currently used to assist in decision-making in international cricket are "not the aid it is claimed to be", says recently-retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper.  'Cricinfo' reported earlier this week that Harper has pointed to the problems of broadcast camera frame-rates as a central issue to the success or failure of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).  


Harper is reported as saying that in the recent series between the West Indies and India, television cameras shot at twenty-five frames per second, while during the World Cup on the sub-continent earlier this year, they were able to record up to fifty frames per second.  In both cases, he says, there was a high probability that the camera would not capture the ball landing or making contact with bat, pads or gloves, and that calls into question the veracity of replays and ball-tracking technology.


The Australian was quoted by 'Cricinfo' as saying that "when a batsman plays a shot well away from his body, and you as an umpire see the ball strike a glove, go through to the keeper, and you hear the sound, you can draw no other conclusion than it has been gloved to the keeper and the batsman is out".  


"At fifty frames per second there is a very slim chance of the ball ever being captured making contact with the pitch when it actually lands, because there is a minimum of sixty centimetres [of ball travel] between frames", said Harper Harper said. "If the cameras cannot capture the ball touching the pitch, I'm not quite sure how they can claim the degree of accuracy they do claim", and as such "the evidence the technology gathers could remain sketchy, particularly for ball-tracking calculations". 


Ball-tracking issues have been a major concern to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and led the International Cricket Council (ICC) to come up with a compromise on its use in the UDRS as  its meeting last month (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  On Monday, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat told journalists at Lord's that "independent scientific research" will be commissioned by the ICC in an attempt to provide compelling evidence to all member nations that ball-tracking systems should be a mandatory part of the UDRS (E-News 800-3910, 19 July 2011).


Yesterday, the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee said following its latest meeting, that it and its research partner, Imperial College London, has offered their services to the ICC to become the independent body that conducts that research.  The WCC statement says that the BCCI recently asked the ICC to carry out such tests.  "The ICC has yet to fully scope this project and send out to tender", says the WCC.






Former Australian first class umpire David Brandon, who was appointed as the new chairman of the Wellington Umpires Association in New Zealand last weekend, plans to tackle the decline in umpire numbers there and hopes to remove the perception of them as "the black sheep" of the cricket world, says a story published in 'The Dominion Post' this morning. 


Brandon, who is originally from Sydney, umpired Sheffield Shield cricket before moving to Wellington seven years ago when his partner got a new job.  The 'Post' says that he is scheduled to meet Cricket Wellington officials today to "try to raise umpires' meagre Saturday fee for the first time in six to seven years, lift the overall standard, and discuss a recruitment strategy centred around newly retired players".  "There is a career path for umpires, they can go right to the top and they can earn big bikkies, [and] we need to get to the players who've retired who are still young enough who'd like to go further".


The new chairman aims to double the number of umpires that are available for club cricket in Wellington from its present 15-20 and declining level.  Brandon says the fact some Cricket Wellington matches went without official umpires last summer was "an appalling situation that needs urgent addressing".  He is reported to have said that an umpire could be fully trained within three months but he wanted to ensure high standards through rigorous training and regular exams. "In the past we might have put some umpires in the middle who weren't quite ready for it", says a quote attributed to him.


Brandon, who succeeded former New Zealand Test umpire Evan Watkin as chaiman, cited former Otago opener Chris Gaffaney, who has risen through the ranks very quickly as an example.  Gaffaney is now a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel and is potentially in line for elevation to the ICC's top-level Elite group in a few years.  "Guys [like that] have got some real talent and can easily go on to higher things", said Brandon.






Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) Interim Committee (IC) is to meet today to discuss "alleged malpractices" committed by its Umpires Committee when selecting 2011-12 nominees for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), claims a report published in this morning's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper in Colombo.  The island nation's current IUP membership is one member short following the promotion of Kumar Dharmasena to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in May (E-News 766-3758, 26 May 2011).  


SLC Interim Committee Chairman Upali Dharmadasa is said to have confirmed to 'Mirror' journalist Channaka de Silva that he has "received several written complaints regarding the process of selections".  “We will take this matter up at the IC meeting [on Wednesday and if those] umpires who have made these complaints are correct, there had been a serious problem". 


Dharmadasa is said to have added that he was not aware if the three Sri Lankan nominees for the 2011-12 IUP panel have yet been submitted, but "assured that justice will prevail for the umpires who have long been complaining of alleged malpractices by the Umpires Committee".  What the 'Mirror' story calls "SLC sources" are said to have indicated that Asoka de Silva, who was dropped unceremoniously from the EUP for the second time in May, Ranmore Martinesz and Ruchira Palliyaguru, have been chosen for the IUP for the twelve months ahead.  Martinesz is a current IUP on-field member, with long-serving Tyrone WIjewardene in the third umpire slot.  


"A leading umpire" contacted by the newspaper is said to have "alleged that the Committee disregarded all accepted norms and practices to pick their favourites".  “They completely disregarded the umpires ratings and picked someone who was rated number eleven. Usually, they only call the first ten umpires in the ratings for the interviews, but this time they called up to number twelve in the rating for obvious reasons”, he said.


Local umpires are said to be rated through a point system, where they can obtain a maximum of 100 points through several criteria which include captains’ reports (30 points), written proficiency test (25 points), match referees’ reports (30 points), experience as an umpire (5 points), experience as a player (5 points), and interview (5 points).  At the moment that system is said to place Rohitha Kottahachchi at number one, and then the following in descending order: Tyrone WIjewardene, Ranmore Martinesz, Sagara Gallage, Gamini Dissanayake, Ravindra Kottahachchi, N Danasinghe, Gratien Liyanage, Maurice de la Zylva and Ravindra Wimalasiri.  Palliyaguru, who is likely to be the reported third umpire appointee, is allegedly ranked at number eleven, says the 'Mirror' report.


The previous SLC IC was "suddenly dissolved on 1 July by the Sports Minister", thus making all the committees appointed by them null and void. However, "in a strange move", the Umpires committee had "allegedly met after the SLC was dissolved to finalise the three names and nominate them to the ICC", says the newspaper article.


The current dispute is not new to cricket in Sri Lankan, most years seeing public controversy over the much coveted IUP spots that usually results in the SLC's Umpires Committee being accused by what are normally unnamed sources, of malpractice or corruption.

Thursday, 21 July 2011






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have agreed the protocols for use of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in the forthcoming Test series between their two sides which is due to begins at Lord's tonight Australian time.  Finalisation of the agreement appears to have been achieved very recently, for the International Cricket Council (ICC) only announced the arrangements that will apply overnight.


In accordance with the recent ICC Board decision, the minimum standards of infra-red technology and stump microphones are to be employed during the four Tests and five One Day Internationals (ODI) the two nations will play over the next eight weeks.  However, under the compromise hammered out by the ICC late last month, both Boards need to agree if the technology that makes up the UDRS package is to go beyond those minimum standards and include ball-tracking devices (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  The BCCI is against use of the latter system and the ICC has agreed to conduct an independent scientific study of its accuracy (E-News 801-3916, 20 July 2011).


The ICC statement says that while the ECB "were in favour of full usage of UDRS, which would have included ball tracking technology, the BCCI indicated their desire for the system to be limited to the agreed minimum standards in this series".  "Accordingly, to achieve a practical application", continues the statement, "it has been agreed by all parties that players shall not be able to review [LBW] decisions during the [forthcoming] Tests and ODIs".  ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat indicated earlier this week that his organisation is "disappointed" that the full review system will not be used to support the umpires (E-News 800-3911, 19 July 2011).


According to the ICC, "'it is common knowledge that the ICC and ECB would have liked ball tracking to have been included so that LBW decisions could have also been reviewed, but the [ICC chief executives] and Board meeting in Hong Kong agreed to independently confirm the accuracy of ball-tracking technology". That study "will now take place as a matter of urgency", says the ICC.  


The Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee (WCC) and its research partner Imperial College London, have already offered their services to the ICC to conduct that research.  The WCC said on Tuesday though that "the ICC has yet to fully scope [the] project and send [it] out to tender" (E-News 801-3919, 20 July 2011).






David Lloyd, a former England player, first class umpire, coach and now journalist, commentator and member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpire selection panel, says that the "abuse [Australian umpire Daryl] Harper received from [Indian captain Mahendra Singh] Dhoni and [his team mate] Harbhajan Singh was totally unacceptable" (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011).   Lloyd, who made his comments in his column in today's 'Daily Mail' newspaper, went on to support the use of "red and yellow cards" to control inappropriate behaviour on the cricket field. 


Lloyd says that after listening to an interview the BBC did with Harper earlier this week he is "more convinced than ever" that a coloured card system "must be brought in to bring back good behaviour".  In the case of the reported on-field behaviour Dhoni and his colleague  showed to Harper in the recent Jamaica Test match, "red cards for them would have left India with nine players for the rest of the match", says Lloyd.  "It’s Draconian and dramatic but it would be like a nuclear deterrent [as] it would make players show respect immediately", he says.


The column in the 'Mail' went on to talk about the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), Lloyd lamenting the fact that in the England-India series which starts tonight Australian time, that system will not be used to help decide LBW-related referrals (E-News 802-3922 above).  Lloyd says that will be the case because of the Indian Board's opposition to ball-tracking, then states "well, sorry, but the ICC want it so India should have to abide by it [for] the ICC are the governing body, for heaven’s sake". 


If such an approach is "taken to stupid extremes", continued Lloyd, "does this mean that if New Zealand, for instance, want three-day Tests they can have them?"  "Or if another side want to play with a tennis ball, they can?"  "The UDRS came in only because players cheat each other and they try to dupe the umpires".  "If that didn’t happen, we wouldn’t need [the review system], he says.


Earlier this week journalist and radio commentator Peter Roebuck criticised Dhoni for his approach to cricket and for what he called his team's "insulting conduct" towards Harper (E-News 799-3907, 18 July 2011).  Harper withdrew from what would have been his ninety-sixth and last Test earlier this month citing inappropriate behaviour by the Indian side (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011), and lack of support for his concerns from the ICC (E-News 798-3902, 17 July 2011). 






Former New Zealand first class umpire Graham Cowan, who at one stage was chairman of his country's Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NZCUSA), has died aged 71 after a short illness.  He stood in forty-six first class matches between 1973 and 1992, a period in which he also officiated in five One Day Internationals at home involving his country's side, Australia, England, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and thirty domestic one-dayers.


Cowan is being described as a great servant of cricket in New Zealand, having filling a number of roles including selector and treasurer for the West Coast Cricket Association, as an administrator with Auckland Cricket, chairman of the NZCUSA, and more recently as chairman of Northland Cricket.  New Zealand Cricket's National Umpire Manager Rodger McHarg was quoted in media reports as saying that "it was an honour and privilege to have known and umpired with Graham, [and] his contribution and service to cricket, and umpiring in particular, must not be under estimated".






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is said to be "keen" to use the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in their upcoming series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October-November, says a report from Islamabad yesterday.  That news comes three days after the PCB was said  to have indicated that it was "unlikely to use" the system in its series against England in the UAE early next year, costs being the issue (E-News 800-3912, 19 July 2011).


A "senior" PCB official was quoted as saying on Tuesday that his organisation is "working on ways to have the UDRS in the series with Sri Lanka".  The biggest problem facing the Pakistanis is the cost of having UDRS technology in "the absence of an agreement with its television broadcaster Ten Sports".  “Since having the UDRS is not part of our agreement with [them] it means an extra cost of $A35,000-$A45,000 for us", said the PCB official.  


Despite that, however, the PCB is said to be "keen to use the UDRS, especially after the recent decision of the International Cricket Council that it be used in Tests and One Day Internationals".  “Our players support the technology, we had even tried to have it for our home Test series with South Africa last year in the UAE, but things didn`t work out with the broadcaster", however, "this time we will be holding talks with our broadcaster to see how the technology can be implemented and about the extra costs involved", he said. 

Monday, 25 July 2011






Tim May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), the peak body for national players’ unions world-wide, says that his members support the use of the Umpire Decision Review system (UDRS) on a consistent basis, and are against the variations that currently occur from series to series.  May acknowledges that the system is "not perfect but nothing is", however, "it works well", a similar comment to that made by New Zealand umpire Tony Hill last week (E-News 803-3928 below), but the FICA head says it should be operational in a consistent, standardised, form in "all Test matches",  


May believes that "the chopping and changing and using one system in some Tests and not others is not only confusing for the players but [also] for the umpires and spectators".  “If you’re playing Test cricket under the auspices of the International Cricket Council (ICC), then playing conditions need to be consistent across all Test matches and you’re seeing a prime example of the power of the [Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)] in ensuring that they’re not", says former Australian player May. 


"How [the current situation] is in the best interests of cricket is beyond me", says May, in a reference to the compromise on UDRS operation that resulted from last month's ICC meeting in Hong Kong where it was agreed that the use of ball-tracking technology in UDRS packages would be optional because the BCCI opposed its use (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  “We have recently completed a survey of players and one of the questions was whether the [ICC] was dominated too much by the [BCCI]", says May, and "an overwhelming number replied yes".  


“I think everyone close to cricket realises the power of the BCCI because their commercial capability is huge" at the moment, says May, but he believes India’s attitude to referrals and the ICC agreeing with their wishes is a perfect illustration of how [that] country "is ruling the roost".  The recent UDRS compromise is "a hugely disappointing decision and it’s not in the interest of the greater game of cricket, simple as that", believes May.  “At the end of the day you hope that the people that have the commercial power are reasonable when they’re making their decisions at the ICC table [and} that they sit at the ICC table with the interests of cricket at heart rather than the interests of the BCCI or whoever they represent".


May's criticism of the BCCI and the power he says it wields came soon after Australian umpire Daryl Harper took aim at the ICC for what he believes is its failure to take action against Indian players for their approach to umpiring in what became the last Test match of his career (E-News 798-3902, 17 July 2011). 






Indian players  have "made a conscious effort" during the current Test at Lord's to speed up their over-rate so that their captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, can avoid being banned for the next Test against England at Trent Bridge, says 'Cricinfo'.  Journalist Andrew McGlashan says that Dhoni is currently "sitting on two [over-rate] fines after having previously been penalised against South Africa and West Indies, a situation that under current International Cricket Council (ICC) rules leaves him one such censure away from a suspension.

Dhoni was captain when he lost sixty per cent of his match fee, and his players thirty per cent, for a slow over-rate in a Test against South Africa in January this year (E-News 711-3484, 8 January 2011), exactly the same censure being handed to him and the side late last month in a Test in Barbados against the West Indies (E-News 788-3861, 4 July 2011).

While no official figures are yet available, as over-rate penalties are only confirmed at the end of a Test, Cricinfo says it is believed that India are "significantly below the fifteen overs per hour that Test teams should be reaching".  Basic calculations by E-News show that the over-rates in England's two innings at the crease were 13.1 and 13.6 per hour respectively, but those figures do not take into account the various allowances teams are given under ICC regulations.  

McGlashan writes that India's over-rate hasn't been helped by Dhoni, who usually keeps wickets, deciding to bowl himself at various stages during the game, which meant changing his pads and gloves with Rahul Dravid.  Bowler Ishant Sharma is said to have stated that "Dhoni just said take your time and carry on with your bowling but wherever we could cut a minute try and do that".

Should he be censured Dhoni will be dealt with under the ICC’s existing rules, however, the world body agreed late last month to tighten slow over-rate penalties as of 1 October this year, That move will see captains banned if their team is found to have broken over-rate rules in two matches in a twelve-month period, not three as at the present time (E-News 783-3832, 28 June 2011). 






New Zealand umpire Tony Hill, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), says he doesn't mind being proved wrong by the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) provided the correct decision is arrived at.  Hill is reported to have told an umpire's seminar in Nelson recently that while the technology is not fully perfected, the overall concept involved is "magnificent".


In Hill's view the hardest areas for umpires to judge are the "little fine edges down leg side off gloves" and "that's a good enough reason for having [technology involved]".  'Hot Spot' can "help detect faint edges and [ball-tracking technology such as] 'Virtual Eye' with LBW decisions", and although "not absolutely foolproof, [they] are preferable to no assistance at all", he said.  "I think [the referral system] was overused when it first came out ... in that there were just too many referrals", however, since then "[the players] take their time and do think about things logically, they often don't bother going for it, and it's usually proven afterwards that it was the right decision", he says.


The New Zealand official "can see no reason why you can't be sitting in your lounge at home and see I'm wrong".  "I'd much rather have the decision right and get on with the game", and he also finds "that the players tend to get on better with each other out on the paddock when UDRS is in use, because the little niggles that can occur when a mistake's made, they're taken out of the game".  "Quite often the emotions get hold of you out there in the middle, and especially from bowlers who, from their slightly different angle, think things are absolutely dead", he said.


Despite all the new technology, Hill believes there will always be a place for umpires at every level and in every form of the game.  "You'll always have to have someone out there [and a] neat part of the job that I've got is that someone's paying me to watch my favourite game from the best seat in the house and I'd hate to see that ever go".


Hill went on to say that the ICC's recent decision to abolish runners in international cricket makes sense since bowlers don't receive similar assistance (E-News 784-3831, 28 June 2011). "The way [the ICC] have explained it, it does make some sense in that if a bowler gets injured, you can't replace him with another person to do the bowling", and he thinks the move "has some merit".  "There'd be a few [batsmen] over the years, I'd imagine, who wouldn't have picked up hundreds without a runner coming out to help them get there, [but] nobody comes in for the poor old bowler to help him get his sixth wicket".


To date Hill, who turned sixty late last month, has officiated in twenty-three Tests and eighty-four One Day Internationals.  He joined the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel in 1998 and the EUP in 2009.  "I've been lucky enough to be given another contract by the ICC this year and we'll see how things go", he says, but "I've always maintained that I'd rather leave when I wanted to leave and I've always said that as soon as I stop enjoying it, I'll definitely go".  "But, I've never stopped enjoying it", says Hill.






The "culture" whereby batsmen often wait for decisions to be checked by the third umpire when the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is in operation, is impacting on the 'spirit' of the game, says broadcaster and journalist, Jonathan Agnew.  The former England player made his comments in column on the BBC cricket web page overnight following the dismissal of England's Dublin-born batsman Eoin Morgan in the Test against India at Lord's yesterday.   


Morgan was caught by Gautam Gambhir, says Agnew, who states that even though he was "sitting 100 yards away, 150 feet up" in the stand" he could see that Gambhir "took a clean catch".  Morgan is said to have stood his ground asking if it carried and after discussing the matter, on-field umpires 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Asad Rauf of Pakistan decided to "go upstairs" to third umpire Marais Erasmus of South Africa. 


Such a move was, says Agnew, "totally unnecessarily", and "the option for the umpires to refer it to television is spoiling the game because the players know that if they stand there, the umpires will confer and as soon as it goes to the television umpire there is a very good chance it will be given not out".  The BBC commentator says that "if players are going to continue to cheat each other", like that, "there are going to be more and more reviews and more bad decisions and we need a bit more 'spirit' in the game".






A "shortage of suitable cameras" may see the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) only operational in the Tests Sri Lanka and Australia are to play during the latter side's six week tour to the island in August-September, says a Cricinfo report published yesterday.  Last week it appeared initially as if there would be no UDRS in use during the five One Day Internationals )ODI) and three Tests scheduled because of cost concerns (E-News 797-3899, 16 July 2011), however, a day later Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said its use was "a priority", although whether ball-tracking technology would be in the mix still had to be decided (E-News 798-3905, 17 July 2011).


Upali Dharmadasa, SLC's interim chairman, told Cricinfo's Sa'adi Thawfeeq that his organisation is "in touch with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Australian company that is handling the equipment to try and make the technology available [for the ODIs and Tests], but the hitch is that they don't have sufficient cameras".  It is not clear from the report whether the reference to cameras is in regard to 'Hot Spot' thermal imaging equipment, or television cameras capable of recording in slow motion, but it appears it may be the former as Thawfeeq's report says "only one of five necessary cameras are available as the other four are being used in the ongoing Test series between England and India".


Dharmadasa also said Sri Lanka were keen to have ball-tracking technology included in the UDRS package that will be in operation, a technology that is not being used in the ongoing England-India series (E-News 802-3922, 21 July 2011).

Thursday, 28 July 2011





Days after senior officials are thought to have met to discuss disciplinary issues in first class cricket in England, another player has been found guilty of showing "serious dissent" to umpires.  Lancashire's Steven Croft, 26, was reported by umpires Neil Mallender and George Sharp for a Level 2 breach of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) disciplinary code after he was bowled by Yorkshire's Ajmal Shahzad in his side's first innings last week at Headingley.


Croft fell to the ball before tea on the first day's play as dark clouds were gathering and media reports suggested that he did not pick up the yorker length ball from Shahzad that bowled him.  He is said to have "appeared to communicate his displeasure to umpire Mallender as he walked past him", and was later "summoned to the umpires' room to explain himself at close of play".   Croft was subsequently given a three-point disciplinary censure by the ECB which will remain on his record for a period of two years.  Should he accumulate nine points in that time he will be automatically suspended from play for at least one match.


Media reports over the last few weeks indicated that representatives of the Professional Cricketers' Association, ECB umpires' manager Chris Kelly and senior English umpires, were to meet in an attempt to quell what has been described as the recent spate of poor behaviour in county cricket (E-News 793-3879, 10 July 2011).  No details of that meeting, including when it was held or who attended have been released, however, reports suggest that it was probably convened the week prior to Croft's misdemeanour (E-News 798-3904, 17 July 2011).






West Indian umpire Clyde Duncan of Guyana, who stood in two Tests and twenty-one One Day Internationals (ODI) over a twenty-two year period, died in Trinidad yesterday following a battle with cancer.  Duncan was a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel up until March this year (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011).


Duncan's two Tests on the field were in the first half of the 1990s and involved the West Indies playing Australia and England, and he was also the third umpire in another three Tests and the fourth official in six.  His senior international debut was in an ODI in 1988, the most recent in that format being in May last year. All-up Duncan stood in seventy-four first class games, most in Caribbean 'domestic' cricket, in the twenty-five years up until March this year, plus a total of seventy-one List A games.


In addition to senior internationals, Duncan also stood in three Under-19 Tests, one in the early 1990s that saw future Australian players Michael Bevan, Damien Fleming and Shane Warne in action.  There were also six Under-19 ODIs, all of which were played in Malaysia in the Under-19 World Cup in 2008.


President of the Guyana Cricket Board, Chetram Singh, said Guyanese and international cricket would be poorer for his passing.  He told the Waves Online News that Duncan had "contributed so much to umpiring in the West Indies, the world and Guyana and he was always willing to impart his knowledge to the youngsters".  Duncan, who was just 57, had travelled to Trinidad with his family for treatment.  He is survived by his wife Faye and four children.






England's coach, Andy Flower, has "expressed anger" that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has "failed to employ stronger leadership" and overrule India on their insistence that ball-tracking technology not be part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in the current Test series against England (E-News 802-3922, 21 July 2011).  Media reports say that England's inability to refer LBW decisions could have cost them victory at Lord's on Monday, when New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden made what were called "two important mistakes as the match reached its climax".  


Paul Weaver of 'The Guardian' wrote that Bowden "rejected an LBW appeal by Stuart Broad against Sachin Tendulkar, then, "even more culpably", he turned down another Broad appeal, this time against Suresh Raina, when the ball appeared to be hitting the middle of middle stump".  "Had England been able to ask for a referral", said Weaver, "both of Bowden's decisions would have been overturned".  


Even though England went on to win the match Flower said in reference to the UDRS situation that "It's unsatisfactory the way it is, there is no doubt about that,".   "We all know that UDRS is not going to be one hundred per cent, but we also know you get more right decisions using it, so let's not quibble about millimetres here when we know you get more right than wrong and that's why most Test-playing nations want to use it".  


Flower is fearful that England might lose out later in the series. "We almost saw it happen in this Test match. It would have been wrong if the outcome of the game had been seriously affected by a couple of those decisions".  "I think the ICC should be stronger in taking a lead on these issues [for] they are the world governing body and they should lead".  "I don't think it's unfair to say they haven't led on this topic", he continued.   David Lloyd, a former England player, first class umpire, coach and now journalist, commentator and member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpire selection panel, made similar comments about the need for ICC leadership on the matter last week (E-News 802-3923, 21 July 2011). 


Also over the last week Tim May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), acknowledged that the UDRS is "not perfect but nothing is", as did New Zealand umpire Tony Hill (E-News 803-3928, 25 July 2011), May saying that it should be operational in a consistent, standardised, form in "all Test matches" (E-News 803-3926, 25 July 2011).  Prior to the current series getting underway, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat expressed his "disappointment" that ball-tracking technology would not be used during the series (E-News 800-3911, 19 July 2011). 


Also last week recently retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper question the veracity of ball-tracking technology by pointing to some of the technical aspects of the cameras used to support such systems (E-News 801-3919, 20 July 2011).






Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is reported to have been briefed on the operation of 'Hawk Eye' ball-tracking equipment by the system's inventor last week.  Media reports are suggesting, however, that his interest in the technology made have more to do with "an upcoming project involving cricket simulator theme parks [that are] be built in all the major cities in India", than its use as part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).


Paul Hawkins, the inventor of 'Hawk Eye', is said to have met Tendulkar at Lord's this week during the Test match between his side and England.  Hawkins apparently explained in some detail how the technology works, including the fact that it operates "automatically" and not 'manually".  "It was clear Tendulkar had been told the Hawk-Eye system was manual, requiring an operator", said Hawkins afterwards, and "he wasn't aware it is automatic and beyond corruption by humans". 


Hawkins concluded by saying that that shows that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) "have made decisions [about 'Hawk Eye'] without knowing the facts".  He said though that Tendulkar "left saying that the BCCI could be convinced on the usage of 'Hawk-Eye' [as part of the] UDRS".


The "cricket simulator" theme parks Tendulkar is said to have links to involve the audience having an opportunity to bowl to Tendulkar and his team mate Virender Sehwag.  "What comes as a surprise", says one report, "is that the project is being constructed using the much criticised 'Hawk-Eye' [system]".






International match referee Chris Broad of England is to take over as president of the UK Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) following current head Ian Botham's decision to stand down from the role.  Broad, father to England bowler Stuart and a former Test player himself, will take the job on a two-year fixed term sometime next month.


Botham is said to have informed the PCA that his work commitments as a television commentator, as well as his charity work, meant he could not continue as the organisation's head.  Angus Porter, the PCA's chief executive, said that Botham "has been a generous and active supporter of the PCA, and it has been a privilege to work with him as president [and] we are grateful for everything he has done for us".


Broad senior, 53, has been on the International Cricket Council's match referees panel since 2003, the eight years since then seeing him manage forty-four Tests, 191 One Day Internationals, and thirty-nine Twenty20 Internationals.  






Former Jamaican first class umpire Cecil Fletcher was elected as the new president of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) at the group's twenty-fifth bi-annual meeting which was held on the island of Saint Lucia last week.  Fletcher, who takes over from another Jamaican, former international umpire Steve Bucknor, defeated Hartley Reid of Barbados, a sometime first class match referee in the Caribbean, in the election for office bearers held the Thursday. 


Fletcher was quoted in several media reports as saying that under his leadership the WICUA will be working towards improving the "quantity and quality" of Caribbean officials on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP).  The new president was quoted as saying that in order to do that his organisation "will strictly adhere" to what media reports called "the ICC’s stipulations to train umpires who are under a certain age", a reference to what for some in the Caribbean has been the West Indies Cricket Board's failure to bring younger umpires into the ranks.  


Despite being WICUA president for the last two years (E-News 433-2270, 6 June 2009), Bucknor was in London for most if not all of the Association's week-long meeting.  He was there as a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee to take part in that panel's two day meeting at Lord's, and may have stayed on for the England-India Test match later that week.  Bucknor did not attend last month's Test between the West Indies and India in Jamaica because he lived too far from the ground, said reports at the time (E-News 781-3825, 26 June 2011).

Saturday, 30 July 2011





Newly appointed president of the West Indies Cricket Umpires' Association (WICUA), Cecil Fletcher, says he'll be "spearheading a massive transformation project" aimed at bringing his Association to "first-world status", says a 'Jamaica Observer' story published on Wednesday.  In an interview with the 'Observer', Fletcher talked of making "significant improvements" to his organisation's "finance, communication, representation at the elite level and technology usage", the key aim being to improve the "quantity and quality" of Caribbean officials at the highest level of international cricket (E-News 804-3936, 28 July 2011).


Fletcher, whose organisation has members over a wide area in such places as Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, both the Leeward and Windward Islands and the United States, says that "we must increase representation for our umpires at the elite level because we have in excess of 1,000 umpires in the region and North America, [with the] United States alone having 343 members".  


The geographic distribution of the membership means, says Fletcher, that we must "ensure greater transparency by improving our communication mechanism", the first move on that being the establishment of a web site.  It is "98 per cent on stream and utilises cost-effective systems such as 'Skype', so we can convene more meetings for effective planning", he says, and "we plan to publish a 'President's Quarterly' [report] that will keep our members abreast with all relevant information pertaining to the WICUA, among other issues".


The new WICUA President "bemoaned the lack of matches for top regional officials" in the Caribbean and nearby regions due to a very short cricket season, at first class and list A level, in the West Indies and surrounding territories.  The Association "is blessed with highly educated persons within its ranks", he says, and the match shortage is "a major obstacle" for local umpires who aspire to go higher "to international and elite levels".


One of the decisions taken at last week's twenty-fifth bi-annual meeting of the WICUA in Saint Lucia is that for the first time members of the Association will be required to pay a small membership fee.  That is expected to assist the organisation to offset costs for it does not receive funding from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).  "We have a major issue with funding as we only receive a stipend once every two years from the [WICB] for our Annual General Meeting", said Fletcher, and the membership fee "will put us in a position to be more effective as far as our financing is concerned".  


According to Fletcher, the WICUA will be seeking an "audience" with the WICB to address "issues of concern", which he hopes "will be addressed amicably".    In February last year, the WICUA forwarded a list of matters it said it had been trying to resolve with the WICB for a number of years, including the appointment of an umpires' manager for the Caribbean; match fees for regional and international matches; operation of the WICB's umpires' exchange program with England and Bangladesh; and retirement benefits for regional umpires (E-News 575-2908, 24 February 2010).  Last October an WICB official said the Board was making "committed efforts" to lift the standards of umpiring and match refereeing in the region (E-News 685-3363, 20 October 2010).


Apart from Fletcher, other members of WICUA's new executive are: fellow Jamaicans Vivian Johnson, secretary; Norman Malcolm, treasurer and assistant secretary; Tony Lalacksingh, executive vice-president; plus Billy Doctrove (Dominica); Clancy Mack (Antigua); Clyde Cumberbatch (Trinidad), Fitzroy Hayles (United States, although he was born in Jamaica), and Earnest Hinds (Guyana).  Doctrove is currently on the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, Cumberbatch is a former Test umpire, and Fletcher, Johnston, Malcolm and Mack first class umpires, the latter two having stood at One Day International level. 


Next year the WICUA is to commemorate half-a-century of existence with an official church service in June and then with a ceremony at its next Biennial Convention which is scheduled for 2013. 






Tony Hill, one of two New Zealanders on the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is to give a presentation on umpiring in Dunedin tomorrow.  Hill, and his fellow Kiwi EUP member 'Billy' Bowden, are being supported by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) over the austral winter period to visit major associations around the country and assist with the promotion of umpiring. 


NZC says that each association has a degree of flexibility in terms of how they use visits by the two international umpires.  Last year Bowden visited both Invercargill and Dunedin in a promotional capacity to "help grow the awareness of umpiring".  This year Hill has been asked to have as his primarily focus the training of umpires at all levels, and is expected to stress the importance of planning and preparation, in the NZC's words, "even at club level", so as to make the umpiring day an enjoyable experience.


Hill's Dunedin visit is timely as the Otago Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (OCUSA) and Otago Cricket are looking to work more closely together to develop greater interest and participation in umpiring.  OCUSA Chairman John Henderson says that his organisation is "endeavouring to develop a proposal that identifies the key aspect of umpiring and sets out roles and responsibilities of both parties that will add-value to the cricket community and to both associations".  "Umpiring can be an extremely enjoyable experience and growing the quantity and quality of those involved can only be good for our great summer game", he says.


Sessions in Dunedin tomorrow morning are reported to include pre-season preparation, including goal-setting, pre-match preparation, player management, working with on-field colleagues, and self-analysis, which NZC says is now a crucial part of professional umpires' post match duties. The afternoon session will cover the umpire pathway in New Zealand and what is required from an individual to become a successful umpire.






Match officials from ten nations, including Englishman Ian Gould of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel, are taking part in the the ten-team qualifying tournament for next year's Under-19 World Cup (WC) that is being played in Ireland over the next fortnight.  Sides that finish in the top six in the current competition will join teams from the ten ICC members who have played Test cricket in the U-19 World Cup tournament proper in Australia early next year.


In addition to Gould, who will be mentoring his fellow umpires during the tournament, and his countryman David Jukes of the ICC's Regional Referees Panel, the other match officials, who are all members of the world body's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Panel of Umpires (AAPU), are: Niels Bagh (Denmark); Roger Dill (Bermuda); Mark Hawthorne (Ireland); Jeff Luck (Namibia); Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal); Sarika Prasad (Singapore); Ian Ramage (Scotland); Richard Smith (Cyprus); and Courtney Young (Cayman Islands). 


Duke and the nine AAPU members have been kept busy with ICC appointments so far this calendar year in the lead-up to the current qualifying event.  The Englishman has looked after ICC tournaments and matches in Botswana, on the Channel Island of Jersey, in Scotland and England, while Bagh has officiated in games in Scotland and Jersey, Dill in the United States, Hawthorne in Ireland and Jersey, Luck in Uganda, Prahdan in India and Dubai, Prasad also to Dubai plus Thailand, Ramage in Scotland and Jersey, Smith in Ireland, and Young in the United States.   


Teams from Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, the United States and Vanuatu are taking part in the one-day, fifty-over format, series which will involve a total of forty-five games. 






Queensland umpires stood in the opening games of this year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) in Brisbane on Tuesday-Wednesday, all six matches being Twenty20 fixtures.  Jay Kangur was on the field for four games and Ian Barsby, Craig Hoffman, Duan McAndrew and Damien Mealey for two each.


Mealey, who along with Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (New South Wales) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania) make up Cricket Australia's four-man emerging umpires group, are believed to have stood in the two one-day, fifty over games played in Brisbane yesterday, but as yet no details are available.  The quartet will start the first of two three-day EPT matches starting on Monday, the first in Brisbane and second which is due to get underway in Townsville on Friday (E-News 786-3845, 1 July 2011).


Before their next match assignment on Monday, the four umpires will take part in professional development workshops this weekend, today's program being conducted in conjunction with the International Cricket Council's umpire managers meeting, which is being held away from the ICC's Dubai head quarters for the first time (E-News 786-3848, 1 July 2011).






Indian umpire Shavir Tarapore stood in two first class matches during his visit to England last month as part of what appears to be an umpiring exchange program organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).  


Tarapore, who has been a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) since 2008 (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008), stood in the first class match between Derbyshire and Glamorgan at the County Ground in Derby with former Test umpire Peter Willey, then at the same level last week with Tim Robinson in Guilford when Surrey played Middlesex.  


No announcement appears to have been made by either the BCCI or ECB about the exchange program, however, presumably an ECB umpire will travel to India sometime early next year.






England bowler Stuart Broad, who like his now match referee father before him has shown a degree of volatility on the field of play (E-News 788-3860, 4 July 2011), has "vowed" to stay calm over umpiring decisions he believes are wrong, says a story published in the London 'Daily Mirror' on Thursday.  Broad is said by a number of reports to have been "on the wrong end of two shocking" LBW decisions during the first Test against India earlier this week, "but crucially, he did not lose control", says the 'Mirror'.


New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden gave both Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina 'not out' at Lord’s on Monday with England pushing for victory on what was the final day; decisions English journalists at least say were wrong.  As a player Broad is required, as outline in the Preamble to the Laws of Cricket, to amongst other things respect "the role of the umpires", to not "dispute an umpire's decision by word, action or gesture", nor "direct abusive language towards an opponent or umpire".  


When England team-mates on the balcony "told him Tendulkar was actually out", Broad "could only smother his head in his hat".  However, says the 'Mirror', "for those who think a volley of abuse was sucked in by the wide-brimmed sun shade, they will be pleasantly surprised to discover Broad used a different pressure release valve".


The bowler told the 'Mirror' that he “was saying to myself, ‘keep calm, keep calm’ and just repeating it to make me relax".  “You work very hard to take wickets and to get out one of the best players to have ever held a bat at an important moment in the game is what all that work is for, so for him to be reprieved was a real worry".  “I had a couple of stone-dead LBWs turned down but I managed to stay calm and relaxed", he said, and "there were definitely times when I wish the [Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS)] had been involved".


Earlier this week Andy Flower, England's coach, expressed similar concern over the absence of ball-tracking technology in the UDRS package that is being used in the current England-India Test series (E-News 804-3932, 28 July 2011).






The result of a match in the second division of the Home Counties Premier League (HCPL) between Rowant and Gerrards Cross two weeks ago has been declared "null and void" as the match started too late, says a story published in the 'Oxford Mail' yesterday.  The 'Mail' story says that "it appears both umpires and captains" forgot a HCPL rule that states that "any match that cannot start by 2.30 p.m. shall be caneclled”.  


Rowant, who made 6/176 in 37 overs, were originally awarded ten points, with Gerrards Cross earning five after reaching 5/87 in 33, however, both teams will now receive six apiece.  Rowant chairman Gary Condon told the 'Mail' that "the match started at 2.49 p.m., which was after the cut-off", and while its "sad, those are the rules and we have to abide by them".  As far as it is known it was the weather that caused the late start to play.






An umpire in South Yorkshire had his car stolen after a thief took his car keys, mobile phone and other personal items from the dressing room while he was standing in a match at the Doncaster Town Cricket Club recently.  Players and officials in the region are now being warned to be on their guard after a series of thefts from dressing rooms around the region, says a story that appeared in the 'Doncaster Free Press' yesterday.


Stuart Granger, chairman of the South Yorkshire Senior Cricket League Umpires Association, said the players’ changing rooms were entered and in addition to the umpire's items, several other personal possessions were stolen including two gold rings.  The umpire's car was later found abandoned and has been examined by police forensic officers.  


Granger told the 'Free Press' that "it is quite obvious that there is a team of individuals operating in this area and all clubs need to be made aware of these problems and up the level of security and provide locking facilities for all changing room areas".  "Players should be on alert on match days and clubs need to look out for strangers at matches and watch their movements around pavilions and changing rooms", he said.


A well-known and long-serving TCUSA umpire member, who has stood in more games than anyone else in the Association, once saw his car driven away from the ground whilst he was umpiring a match.  It was only after play ended for the day that he realised that it had not, as he had surmised, been taken by his wife, but rather by someone not authorised to do so!






Western Australia's Suburban Turf Cricket Umpires Association (WASTCU) is "desperately seeking" new umpires to join its ranks after suffering dwindling numbers in recent years, says a story in a local suburban newspaper yesterday.  Secretary John Pitt said attracting umpires was proving difficult nation-wide with "every association struggling", and he thinks "a major problem is that many ex-players don’t get into it once retired".


Pitt said that the suburban association, which has twenty-two member clubs and about 150 teams, competing in two-day, one-day, Twenty20 and colts matches, "would like to target ex-players but anyone with a genuine interest in the game is welcome, as some of our best umpires haven’t played at a high level".  An umpire for the past fifteen years, Pitt said that adjudicating presented its own intricacies for it is "a different perspective being an umpire, who has to be good at managing people".  “I’ve learnt a lot about the game since I’ve been behind the stumps", he says. 


“There is good pay and we provide training and support for apprentices and we also have an active social program", said Pitt.

End of July 2011 newsletters