AUGUST 2011


(Story numbers 3946-4025)

Click below to access each individual edition listed below

806   807   808   809   810   811   812   813   814   815   816   817   818   819   820   821   822

806 - 1 August [3946-3951]

• ICC praises batsman's recall after 'technically correct' dismissal   (806-3946).
• 'Dissent' charge could follow 'Obstructing the Field' dismissal   (806-3947).

• Bowler fined for confronting umpire during Test   (806-3948).

• Frustrated spinner reprimanded for Test stump kick   (806-3949).

• EPT moves into three-day match phase  (806-3950).

• England players query 'Hot Spot' accuracy   (806-3951).
• On-going pitch removal producing 'uneven bounce'   (806-3952).

807 - 2 August [3952-3959]

• STCL competition 'no longer exists', claims report   (807-3953).

• CT Game Development group starts its umpire training   (807-3954).

• 'Vaseline' replaces jelly beans as Trent Bridge talking point   (807-3955).

• Atherton says umpires make decisions, not batsmen    (807-3956).

• Bell should have remained 'out', says Botham   (807-3957).

• EPT umpiring appointments announced   (807-3958).

• 'Legal action' mooted over Lankan IUP nominations, says report   (807-3959).

808 - 3 Augusy 2011 [3960-3963]

• Ten weeks to CTPL start, let the preparations begin!   (808-3960).

• Oxenford named for his second Test   (808-3961)

• ICC schedules first 'simulator' training course for third umpires   (808-3962).

• Bell 'run out' similar to 1974 Kallicharran-Greig incident in Trinidad   (808-3963).

809 - 4 August [3963-3966]

• Ramprakash Twitters his dissent after 'serious dissent' ban   (809-3964).

• 'Hot Spot' company rules out 'Vaseline' theory   (809-3965).

• Srinath named for 100th ODI as match referee   (809-3966). 

810 - 5 August [3967-3971]

• Matibiri makes Test debut in third umpire role  (810-3967).

• CTPL games for Clare Street Oval?  (810-3968).

• No change to NUP membership for 2011-12   (810-3969).

• Second Canadian visit for Gaffaney, Brathwaite's first  (810-3970).

• Three players reprimanded in U-19 WC qualifing event   (810-3971).

811 - 8 August [3972-3975]

• New IUP member goes straight to on-field role   (811-3972).

• Rare 'batsman stealing a run' decision costs side nine runs   (811-3973).

• Umpire-player communication an issue in Bell 'run out'?   (811-3974).

• Nearly a 'No Ball', but bowler remembers in time  (811-3975).

812 - 9 August [3975-3980]
• No need for 'neutral' umpires, says former Test official  (812-3976).

• 'Neutral' trio named for England-India ODI series   (812-3977).

• Gujurat opens umpires' Academy   (812-3978).

• Bowler banned for illegal action making his way back   (812-3979).

• More reprimands in Under-19 World Cup qualifier   (812-3980).

813 - 11 August [3981-3986]

• Discipline 'not a problem' in county cricket, says UK PCA Chair   (813-3981).

• Ball-tracking for Lanka-Australia series, but no 'Hot Spot'   (813-3982).

• Entire EUP membership listed for 2012 ICC 'Umpire of the Year' award   (813-3983).

• QC Life Membership for former Test umpire   (813-3984).

• Passing for former Zimbabwean first class umpire   (813-3985).

• UWA analysis shows bowler's action 'illegal'   (813-3986).

814 - 12 August [3987-3991]

• CT revamp leads to changes in TCUSA Administrator's role   (814-3987).

• 'Fifty up' for Bermuda umpires Association   (814-3988).

• 2012 Under-19 World Cup for Queensland's dry season   (814-3989).

• NSWCUSA joins the 'Facebook' community   (814-3990).

• Strauss dismissed on 'Devil's Number' to 'no ball'   (814-3991).

815 - 15 August [3992-3995]

• ICC VP backs BCCI position on UDRS   (815-3992).

• ODI debut for new Lankan umpire   (815-3993).

• Baseball umpiring and book planned by Harper   (815-3994).

• Use of 'wrong' run target system leaves match result in doubt   (815-3995). 

816 - 18 August [3996-3999]

• Minimal changes planned to CTPL playing conditions (816-3995).

• Shortened playing days for CTPL Thirds, Under-17 matches   (816-3996).

• Geelong umpiring pool 'lowest in decades'   (816-3997).

• 2011-12 TCUSA meeting dates finalised   (816-3998).

• Football boots OK, but don't walk on the pitch   (816-3999).

817- 21 August [3999-4003]

• Surprise first class call-up for local league umpire   (817-4000).

• Joy turns to despair after Playing Conditions consulted   (817-4001).

• Suspensions handed to Minor Counties players   (817-4002).

• UK umpires a high insurance risk, but not the worst in sport   (817-4003).

818 - 23 August [4004-4009]

• Limited results of CA umpire survey released   (818-4004).

• Argus report urges focus on 'grass roots' cricket   (818-4005).

• Aussie bowler breaks leg, ankle, after slip on delivery stride   (818-4006). 

• Boon to make referee debut in Bulawayo Test   (818-4007).

• BCCI looking to embrace technology 'more fully'    (818-4008).

• Straight hit off last ball sees bowler loose three teeth   (818-4009).

819 - 24 August [4010-4013]

• Hair returns to throwing issue in his latest book   (819-4010).

• 'Good umpiring' by Tucker in Tendulkar LBW, says Lloyd   (819-4011).

• Davis for Dublin ODI   (819-4012).

• South African one-day competition to return to 50 over format   (819-4013).

820 - 26 August [4013-4017]

• Tasmanian to stand down as MCC Chief Executive   (820-4014).

• Two sides forfeit innings to achieve result   (820-4015).

• Announcement of day-night Shield matches awaited   (820-4016).

• 'A few words' over 'not out' call leads to decision change   (820-4017).

821 - 29 August [4018-4020]

• Dar, Taufel again on ICC 'Umpire of the Year' short list   (821-4018).

• Under-15 internationals show their uglier side   (821-4019).

• New 'Spirit' award for individuals announced   (821-4020).

822 - 31 August [4021-4025]
• CT increases pay for most umpire, scorer spots   (822-4021).
• Top Kiwi umpires form professional association   (822-4022).
• One change made to top NZ domestic panel   (822-4023).
• Former county chairman bags umpire   (822-4024).
• Bermuda again makes news for the wrong reasons   (822-4025). 


Monday, 1 August 2011




England batsman Ian Bell was reprieved and allowed to bat on in the second Test against India at Trent Bridge overnight after initially being given 'run out' in controversial circumstances.  Bell was given out after an umpire conference following the last ball before tea, but during the interval discussions between captains saw him reprieved, even though he had left the field of play, a move the International Cricket Council (ICC) praised as upholding the 'Spirit of Cricket'.

Bell's 'dismissal' occurred when his batting partner Eoin Morgan hit the last ball of the middle session to fine leg.  Fielder Praveen Kumar attempted to stop it but incorrectly believed it had touched the rope, Bell also apparently thinking it was four runs.  When the ball was returned to the centre Bell, who had grounded his bat, had already left his crease and was walking off the ground for tea when the bails were removed and an appeal for 'run out' made to the umpires.  Umpire Asad Rauf of Pakistan, who was at the bowler's end handed the bowler his jumper after the bails were taken off, suggesting that 'time' had not been called when the wicket was broken.

After a long discussion between Rauf, his on-field colleague Marais Erasmus and the television official 'Billy' Bowden, Bell was given 'out', but one unconfirmed report claimed that as he left he was arguing that the call of 'time' had been made.  Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was asked by the umpires if he wanted to withdraw the appeal but he said no, however, the BBC radio commentary team later said that England captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower went to the Indian dressing room during the interval and asked him to reconsider the situation.  

As a result, Dhoni held a team meeting and it was agreed that Bell should be allowed to resume his innings, although most media pundits say that the England batsman was at fault for not ensuring he was clear to leave his crease.  Bell went on to score 22 additional runs after his reprieve and was eventually dismissed for 157, but English journalists later used terms such as "stupid" and "lazy" to describe the departure from the crease that saw him given out.

Bell said after play ended for the day that "it was very naïve of me to assume the ball was dead, to walk off for tea was stupid [and] I have learned a lot of lessons".  Senior India batsman Rahul Dravid said his side's decision to withdraw the appeal "was the right thing to do [for] if that had happened to one of our guys we would have felt disappointed".  "The original decision was right in the laws of the game but not in the spirit of the game", he said. 

Haroon Lorgat, the ICC Chief Executive, later praised "Team India, the England team and match officials for the way they upheld the Great Spirit of the Great Sport of cricket" after Bell was given out, something the ICC statement said "was the technically correct decision under the letter of the law of the game".  The decision by Dhoni and his team showed "great maturity", said Lorgat, who is "grateful for the way [both] teams and match officials handled what was clearly a difficult situation and their behaviour reflects well on everyone".





Former England and now Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash was given out 'Obstructing the Field' in a first class match between his side and Gloucestershire on Saturday.  Press reports yesterday indicated that the forty-one-year-old could face a penalty for dissent after appearing to "take issue" with umpires George Sharp and Nigel Llong about his dismissal.

Ramprakash, who made a century in the first innings of the match, was on thirty-five in Surrey's second spell at the crease, but was the non-striker when given out.  His batting partner, Jason Roy, called him for a quick second run and umpire Sharp, after consulting with Llong, judged that Ramprakash had deliberately obstructed Gloucestershire's Ian Saxelby, who was at the bowler's end trying to collect a throw from the outfield and run Ramprakash out.  

"Unusually", says a report in 'The Independent' yesterday, Ramprakash "appeared to be holding his bat out in front of him at chest height, when normal practice for a batsman attempting to reach safety is to run the bat along the ground".  Saxelby told journalists later that "Ramprakash waved his bat in the air as if he were going to block the ball [and although] he didn't, the action distracted me and that is why we appealed".

The Surrey batsman, who won fifty-two Test caps, has scored more than 35,000 first-class runs in a career spanning almost a quarter-of-a-century.  He is said to have looked "bemused" by the decision, speaking to the umpires before starting to walk off, then stopping and talking to them again, before finally leaving the field of play.  Jon Culley of 'The Guardian' says that Ramprakash's on-field discussion with the umpires could see him charge with dissent.

Chris Adams, Surrey's cricket manager, was said to be stunned.  'It was a big call by the umpire for something that looked pretty innocuous", he said, and he believes Ramprakash had not deliberately tried to obstruct the fielder. "Mark and he is very upset [and] disappointed that the umpires felt that he wilfully obstructed the field", continued Adams.  However, "There are some Laws that are open to debate on what you see [and] unfortunately when the umpires see it one way and the rest of us see it another way you end up with this debate, but the fact is that the umpire is always right and unfortunately for Mark he had to go".  

Sharp and Llong are both very experienced at first class level, having between them been on the field in a total of 778 first class matches.  Sharp played 306 first class games, and the current match is his 281st as an umpire, 15 of those being in Tests.  Llong played 68 first class games and now has another 123 under his belt as an umpire, 9 being Tests.

The decision given against Ramprakash means he becomes only the twenty-third batsman in the history of first-class cricket, and the first in England for forty-eight years, to be given out for contravening Law 37.  The last to be dismissed that way in England before him was Khalid Ibadulla, who was playing for Warwickshire against Hampshire at Coventry in 1963.





Indian bowler Praveen Kumar was fined twenty per cent of his match fee on the first day's play in the second England-India Test on Friday after being found guilty of "arguing or entering into a prolonged discussion with the umpire about his decision".  Kumar appealed for a LBW against England batsman Kevin Pietersen but South African umpire Marais Erasmus turned down the appeal, and at the end of the over the bowler is said to have later "stormed up the Erasmus" and "argued strongly with him" before being "dragged away" by two members of his side.

Pietersen appeared to have been struck in line and, though he had made a big stride forward, replays available to the television audience suggested the ball would have clipped the bails.  However, the absence of ball-tracking in the Umpire Decision Review System package in use for the series at the insistence of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) (E-News 802-3922, 21 July 2011), denied the bowler any chance of a referral.

A Level 1 charge was laid against Kumar by Erasmus and his on-field colleague Asad Rauf of Pakistan, third umpire 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and fourth umpire Tim Robinson from England.  The bowler is said to have admitted to the breach and accepted the fine that was imposed on him by match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, who is being shadowed in the match by the newest international match referee, David Boon of Australia (E-News 786-3846, 1 July 2011).  

Umpires have raised issues with Kumar on more than one occasion recently.  During last week's Lord's Test he was warned by Bowden for running into the Protected Area, the same offence that saw him eventually removed from the attack in the Test in Jamaica in June by Australian umpire Daryl Harper, and in the One Day Internationals in the Caribbean that proceeded the Test series (E-News 784-3834, 29 June 2011). 

Writing in his column in London's 'Daily Mail' on Saturday, David Lloyd, one of whose roles in cricket these days is as a member of the International Cricket Council's umpire selection panel, said that the Kumar incident "perfectly illustrated why cricket should introduce yellow and red cards", an approach he raised last week in relation to treatment Harper received from Indian team members (E-News 802-3923, 21 July 2011). 

Given the number of LBW decisions that have been queried in the two Tests to date, stories from number of Indian media outlets over the weekend have called on the BCCI to rescind what one called its "obstinate" objection to ball-tracking technology.




England off-spinner Graeme Swann has been reprimanded for kicking the stumps on the second day of the second Test against India at Trent Bridge on Saturday.  Swann, whose twelve wicketless overs on his home ground cost a massive seventy-six runs, showed his frustration at the end of the eightieth over of India's first innings, dislodging the bails in the process. 

Swann immediately apologised to on-field umpires Asad Rauf of Pakistan and Marais Erasmus from South Africa, but was later given a reprimand by match referee Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka after stumps for breaching part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct that relates to abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during an international match.  

The charge against Swann was laid by Rauf, Erasmus, third umpire 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and fourth official Tim Robinson of England.  Because the bowler accepted the charge there was no need for a disciplinary hearing. 




This year's Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) will move into the three-day match phase today following the Twenty20 and fifty-over one-day games that were played last week (E-News 805-3940, 30 July 2011).  The first two three-day matches are due to get underway in Brisbane this morning, the third and fourth games in Townsville on Friday, while fixtures five and six will start in that north Queensland city on Wednesday next week.

The matches that start today are between the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and New Zealand, and India and South Africa.  In Townsville on Friday the second lot of games will see the AIS play South Africa and India up against NZ.  The four 'emerging' umpires, Damien Mealey (Queensland), Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (New South Wales) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), will look after those four matches, after which they will return home.

The final two games in Townsville is expected to see four so far unnamed members of the National Umpires Panel on the field in matches between the AIS and India and South Africa and New Zealand that are due to end on Friday week.




English players are reported to have raised doubts about 'Hot Spot' technology after Indian batsman VVS Laxman was given not-out by the third umpire when they believed he edged a delivery to wicketkeeper Matt Prior during the second Test at Trent Bridge on Saturday.  England captain Andrew Strauss referred the 'not out' decision by South African umpire Marais Erasmus, but television umpire, New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden, could find no reason to change Erasmus' original call. 

Bowden is reported to have said later that he heard a sound but could not be hundred percent sure that it was the bat that was involved, for the 'Hot Spot' camera failed did not show any edge.  That situation mean that the hosts had lost the right to refer any further decisions during the innings.  England bowler Stuart Broad said after the day's play that "all of our players thought that was quite a clear edge and 'Hot Spot' hasn't really shown up the faint edges which is a bit of a flaw I think". 

India saw the other side of the coin after the Laxman decision though when Harbhajan Singh was given out LBW by Erasmus in what was the middle of a Stuart Broad 'hat trick'.  Replays suggest the ball had taken the inside of his bat and then hit his pads.  The Board of Control for Cricket in India has spoken positively about 'Hot Spot' in the past (E-News 776-3798, 18 June 2011).   

Australian company BBG Sports currently has six 'Hot Spot' and it is believed four have been deployed in England for the Tests against India.  The company acquired cameras five and six in June, saying then that they have "much faster frame rates and improved optics" than the original models (E-News 774-3788, 15 June 2011), however, it is not clear whether they are in the UK for the current series.  Former Australian umpire Daryl Harper raised queries about the accuracy of technology used in the Umpire Decision Review System, his concerns then being centred on the relative slowness of camera frame rates (E-News 801-3919, 20 July 2011).




Vandals removed the plastic pitch being used by a new six-team cricket league in the southern Ontario city of Barrie in Canada for the third time last week.  While it has been retrieved each time it is starting to produce "uneven bounce" during games, and the Barrie Cricket League (BCL) wants the police and municipal authorities to do something about the on-going attacks on their pitch. 

BCL president Arjun Batra told the 'Barrie Examiner' on Friday that a player noticed the $A6,000 plastic pitch was missing when he drove by the ground on Thursday.  "Someone took all the nails holding it to the ground, rolled it up and threw it on the other side of the park", said Batra, a similar situation "to the second time they did it [when] they threw it in a ditch", that incident following the original offence earlier last month.

Batra told the 'Examiner' that the pitch "is getting a little beat up after all the abuse".  Players "can't just roll it up and take it away after each game [as] it's way too heavy at 200 Kg [for] you need at least four or five people to move it".  He would like to see better lighting in the section of the park where the pitch is located, perhaps a surveillance camera and, "at the very least", posting a sign warning visitors to the park to avoid vandalism.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said on Friday that "it is very disappointing to hear the pitch was damaged for a third time".  "Recreation, multiculturalism and cultural diversity is a Canadian strength [and] I hope law enforcement deals with this swiftly".  Batra doesn't think the vandalism is necessarily racially oriented though, as "people from all over the world are playing with us", including countries such as Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, SAri Lanka and the UK.,

Tuesday, 2 August 2011





A report received by E-News overnight claims that the Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL), the turf-based competition in the Hobart area whose games are supported by TCUSA umpires, "no longer exists".  STCL clubs are said to have decided to move across to the Southern Cricket Association (SCA) where games are played on artificial pitches, however, full details of the claimed change are not yet available.  

Edward Swifte, the SCA's Statistician, told E-News in an e-mail that "in light of [the STCL's demise], Cricket Tasmania umpires will no longer be required to officiate in STCL matches".  "All umpires for SCA endorsed matches [will continue to be] supplied by the SCA", he says, before going on to suggest that the TCUSA may "want to amend [its] website to reflect this reduction in opportunities [available] to your members".  The latter comment ignores the wide range of other match experiences available to TCUSA umpires and scorers in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League turf competition.

E-News has been told that the City club was the first to announce its intention to withdraw from the STCL, citing a need to do so in order to remain viable into the future, although the precise background to, and timing of, that move are not known at this stage.  A series of meetings are believed to have been held over at least the last few weeks though, and according to Swifte's advice all the other STCL clubs have now decided to join City in the SCA.

It is understood that the Wellington club in particular has been keen to continue to play on the turf pitch at their home ground Eady Street, where their off-field club facilities are well established, although City also has club room there.  Indications are said to be though that the SCA insisted that games be played on artificial pitches.  If that suggestion is indeed correct, just what the reported demise of the STCL means for the turf squares at Clare and Eady Streets therefore becomes an issue.

Cricket Tasmania has administered the STCL for most of the last decade.  It is common knowledge though that while the state body has been very supportive of the league, it has been trying for some time to encourage its member clubs to take more appropriate responsibility for their own competition in order to maximise the contribution it makes to cricket in southern Tasmania. 




All ten members of Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Game Development Department (GDD) started their planned 'close look' at umpiring issues when they attended an initial training course conducted by State Director of Umpiring, Richard Widows, at Bellerive last week. GDD staff identified the need to include umpiring in their coaching work at one of their state-wide meetings earlier this year, their aim being to help bridge the player-umpire divide and thus the enjoyment of all who   take part in the game of cricket (E-News 790-3867, 6 July 2011). 

Issues covered by Widows at last week's meeting included: what the umpire's role actually involves; the responsibilities and challenges umpires have in match management; techniques required on-field to appropriately focus on play; positioning and movement; plus basic Laws issues.  Follow-up meetings are planned in the lead up to the 2011-12 season, the aim being for each GDD member to stand in one or more matches with experienced umpires at the level that suits their competency.  

Despite being experienced club cricketers, and in one case at first class level, there was general acknowledgement at meeting's end last week that, in the words of one attendee, "I thought [on arrival] that I could umpire a game of cricket", but "left accepting that there is far more to it than I even imagined".  Widows told E-News yesterday that he was "very impressed" by the way GDD members engaged in the subject during what was a five-hour meeting, and he looks forward to further sessions with them and seeing them out on the field during the coming summer.




BBG Sports, the Australian company that provides the 'Hot Spot' technology, is to conduct tests to see whether their cameras can be tricked by the use of "artificial substances" on the edge of the bat.  The use of 'Vaseline', a brand of petroleum-based products used for skin care, for that purpose has been a talking point during the England-India Test at Trent Bridge which ended overnight, a change from the last time the two teams played there four years ago when jelly beans on the pitch was an issue for the English media (E-News 76-416, 2 August 2007).

Press reports in England are suggesting that "there is a belief among players" that 'Vaseline' can reduce the chances of a thin nick showing up on 'Hot Spot', a rumour that has come to the fore after concerns about the effectiveness of thermal imaging cameras when India's VVS Laxman survived a caught-behind appeal on the second day of the Test over the weekend (E-News 806-3951, 1 August 2011). Former England captain Michael Vaughan didn't help the situation when he 'tweeted' with a 'Vaseline' suggestion, but England bowler Stuart Broad was later asked and admitted checking the edge of Laxman's bat only to find "nothing". 

BBG's Warren Brennan has said previously that his device's accuracy is around 90-95 per cent and can be impacted by such things as bright sunshine and the speed of the bat in the shot.  According to 'Cricinfo' he now says that it is possible that a substance like 'Vaseline' could reduce the technology's effectiveness, hence the planned tests.  "I would imagine that Vaseline would restrict the friction of the ball hitting the bat so if you reduce the friction you are going to reduce the hot spot" that BBG's cameras pick up, he said, although "extra layers on the outside of the bat might [also] do the same thing".

Brennan says that he had discussions with the International Cricket Council (ICC) "less than a month ago" about manufacturers' stickers down the sides of bats, and that some of them "tend to reflect heat a bit like a mirror".  The ICC apparently said "if that is the case they might have to look changing the regulations so that the side of the bat does not have any advertising, no stickers and no logos, but that is still a work in progress", said the BBG boss.

'Hot Spot' was made a mandatory piece of technology for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) at the ICC's annual meeting in Hong Kong in June, but ball-tracking technology was made optional (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  BBG's cameras have proved to be especially effective at showeing bat-pad catches and whether a batsman has been hit pad first in an LBW appeal.  Use of any part of the UDRS in LBW decisions is not permitted in the current England-India series though (E-News 802-3922, 21 July 2011).




England batsman Ian Bell's controversial "non dismissal" during the second Test between England and India subverted the Laws of the game and had nothing to do with the 'Spirit of Cricket', according to former England captain Michael Atherton.  Bell was 'run out' but reprieved after Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to recall him to the crease at Trent Bridge on Sunday, an act that won praise from the International Cricket Council and others (E-News 806-3946, 1 August 2011).

India's players were greeted with a chorus of jeers from the crowd as they returned to the field for the final session on Sunday, but when Bell re-appeared and walked out to bat, the boos were replaced by an ovation for the tourist's sportsmanship.  Atherton, wrote in 'The Times' yesterday that "Dhoni will be hailed as a great sportsman for his actions and there is no doubt that by withdrawing his appeal, he rescued what has so far been a hard-fought and good-spirited contest". 

"Things might have deteriorated had [Dhoni] not done so", continued Atherton, however, that "is not to say he was right to do so".  "Bell was guilty of doziness and of forgetting the first rule that any young batsman is taught: you don't leave your crease while the ball is still live".  "In this instance, some spurious notion of the 'spirit' of the game has actually subverted the Laws of the game, and, therefore the natural progression of the game".

Atherton went further, in that he suggested that if anyone had brought the 'Spirit of Cricket' into question, then it was Bell.  "Surely, at the heart of the 'Spirit of Cricket' [concept] is respect for the umpires and the decisions they make", Atherton wrote.  "Through doziness or naivety, Bell took it upon himself to act as the umpire". "He, not umpire [Asad] Rauf, decided the ball had gone to the boundary; he decided that the ball was dead; he decided the over had been bowled, and that tea was at hand".  Such things are "not the bastman's job", says Atherton.

"Dhoni should not have been castigated for initially upholding the appeal", concluded the former England captain, for "it had nothing to do with the Spirit of Cricket".

From what can be ascertained from observations of the considerable volume of UK media babble on the Bell issue, no one appears to have mentioned, as E-News pointed out yesterday, that he left the field of play after being given out and after the Indian captain had reportedly turned down the on-field query from umpires about reinstating the batsmen.  Section 8 of Law 27 says that "the captain of the fielding side may withdraw an appeal only if he obtains the consent of the umpire within whose jurisdiction the appeal falls", but that such an approach must occur "before the outgoing batsman has left the field of play". 




Former England captain Ian Botham says that current batsman Ian Bell "had no right to expect to be batting after the [tea] break in the Test at Trent Bridge on Sunday.  Bell was, says Botham, 'run out' by the Indians, but unlike them he himself would have had no problem in maintaining the appeal, rather than in Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's case, giving the batsman a reprieve.

Botham says he "can understand why Dhoni withdrew his appeal and decided to go along with the spirit of the game", but if the original umpiring decision had stood, it would have made Bell "think long and hard about remaining in his crease until the ball is dead [as he] sat on the balcony watching others score the runs he should have".  "It’s an arena for big boys", says Botham, and while "the game should be played fair, it should [also] be played hard and if you don’t know the Laws then find them out quickly because it is no place to wander about with your head in the clouds".

The "reaction of the crowd", which booed both the Indians and the umpires", was also "out of order before and after tea".  "They might have been ­loosened up by one or two ­sharpeners during the day, but their booing [of players and match officials] for doing their jobs ­properly was not on".  "Just because 25,000 [spectators] believe something it doesn’t make it right", he says.

Calling Bell's approach "extremely soft cricket", the former England captain says he "can remember playing a county game and fielding at slip when there was a huge LBW shout and the umpire said not out".  "The batsman then went walkabout for no reason [and] I threw down the stumps and he was 'run out' and I certainly wasn’t going to call him back".



Sam Nogajski,  the Tasmanian member of Cricket Australia's four-man emerging umpire group, is standing in the current three-day Emerging Players Tournament (EPT) match between the Indian and South African teams in Brisbane with Michael Kumutat of New South Wales.  In the other EPT match that started in Brisbane yesterday between the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and NZ, Damien Mealey of Queensland is standing with Nathan Johnstone of Western Australia.

After the current matches end on Wednesday, all four umpires will fly to Townsville the next day to prepare for the second set of three-day matches which start on Saturday.  In those fixtures Nogajski will be working with Mealey in the game between the AIS and South Africa, while Johnstone and Kumutat have been paired for the India-NZ game.

The final round of three-day games is to start on Thursday next week, National Umpire Panel members John Ward (Victoria) and paul Wilson (Western Australia) together for the AIS-India fixture, and Mick Martell (Western Australia) and Tony Ward (Victoria) looking after New Zealand's match with South Africa.




What are described as "leading cricket umpires" in Sri Lanka are said to be "getting ready" to take legal action over who Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) plans to nominate to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), says a report in Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper this morning.  Two weeks ago SLC's interim chairman Upali Dharmadasa was quoted by the 'Mirror' as saying that his committee was to meet then to discuss "alleged malpractices" in the selection of its IUP group for 2011-12 (E-News 801-3921, 20 July 2011).

Journalist Channaka de Silva writes today that the matter is becoming a pressing one because "the [series with] Australia is about the start", and Lankan IUP members will be needed for both the Twenty20 and One Day Internationals commencing this Saturday.  "The deadline set by the ICC to nominate umpires to the panel has elapsed", claims de Silva's source, before going on to say that he doesn't know "if the ICC is going to accept any umpires from Sri Lanka at all this year".  The latter would be an unprecedented scenario, however, and the ICC would be very unlikely to allow such a situation, therefore it is probable the nominations have already been forwarded to world body.

A so-called "leading umpire" is said to have told de Silva that "some new names among the [trio named as IUP nominees] hardly have a clue about the new Umpire Decision Review System".  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).  Two weeks ago indications were that SLC planned to nominate Asoka de Silva, who was dropped from the EUP at the same time Dharmasena was promoted, current IUP member Ranmore Martinesz and newcomer Ruchira Palliyaguru to the IUP for the year ahead, but reports then claimed there were "irregularities" in the selection process.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011






Cricket Tasmania (CT) has been busy putting together arrangements for its 2010-11 Premier League (CTPL) season for months, some clubs are already hard at work in the indoor nets, and tonight umpires will start their preparations with the first of five consecutive Wednesday evening sessions that will look at cricket's Laws.  Next week Scorers will commence a four-week program that has been designed to bring them up-to-date on all aspects of computer scoring technology and associated systems.


CT is reported to currently be targeting a start the new Premier League First Grade season in a similar fashion to last year with two Twenty20 rounds on 8-9 October and one-day games on 15 October.  The weekend after that, 22-23 October is expected to see all Grades underway and the season in full swing.  However, all those dates have not yet been confirmed, CT's Grade Cricket Committee having sought feedback from clubs before it finalises its deliberations. 


Tonight, Tasmanian State Director of Umpires (SDU), Richard Widows, intends to work through nine of the first ten of the game's forty-two Laws, the exception being Law 2 which covers 'substitutes and runners', 'batsman or fielder leaving the field', 'batsman retiring' and 'batsman commencing innings', it being left until week four as discussions about it fit better with Laws 40 (The Wicketkeeper) and 41 (The Fielder).  


During the course, the focus of presentations will be on how to apply each of the Laws and participants will need to spend the time between the weekly sessions studying in their own time to ensure they are familiar with the details. To help in that regard, each evening over the next five weeks, a list of questions prepared by senior umpire Mark Wickham that related to the Laws that have been discussed that particular night will be provided to attendees to work through between meetings.


Tables in the Premiership Room at Bellerive will be arranged to seat 8-10 people, and a senior TCUSA umpire will be assigned to each group in order to provide assistance to individuals should it be needed.  They will also help coordinate and guide discussions at tables on tonight's question sheet that will occur in the first part of the following week's meeting so that individuals can be raised queries they may have about them.  


The question sheets will not be marked, but rather there will be an exam on week six of the school on 7 September that must be sat by those who want to umpire in CT's Premiere League matches during the coming summer.  Two weeks after the exam the Annual Seminar will be held over the weekend of 17-18 September.


Tonight's meeting will start at 6.30 p.m. in the Premiership Room at Bellerive Oval and run for two hours.  Refreshments will be available to all attendees at the end of the evening.  Queries about the Laws and Scorer schools, or Annual Seminar, should be directed to Tasmanian SDU Richard Widows on: (03) 6267-2372 or 0414-912-591.  General information about them can be accessed at:|24514m  





Australian Bruce Oxenford will take the field for the second time in a Test match tomorrow when the one-off series between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh gets underway in Harare.   With the current weather forecast for the Zimbabwean capital being for sunny conditions and temperatures in the low twenties centigrade, the Australian will hopefully preside over an uninterrupted match, rather than the situation that prevailed in his debut Test last December in Sri Lanka when rain allowed only 103 overs to be bowled over the course of the five-day match (E-News 700-3432, 14 December 2010). 


Oxenford's partner in the match will be former Sri Lankan Test player Kumar Dharmasena who will be standing in his third Test but first since he joined the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Paneil in May (E-News 766-3758, 26 May 2011).  Dharmasena's countryman, Roshan Mahanama, who has also played Test cricket for his country, will oversee the game as match referee, the thirty-second time he has been in that role in a Test.


The two Sri Lankans will stay on after the Test and work in the five-match One Day International series Zimbabwe and Bangladesh will play later in the month, four of the games being scheduled for Harare and the fifth and last in the country's second city, Bulawayo.  Zimbabwean members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Russell Tiffin, Owen Chirombe and Jerry Matabiri, will work with Dharmasena and Mahanama during the series but as yet appointment details have not been released.  


Of particular interest to TCUSA members is whether Matabiri, who has twice visited Hobart and stood in Cricket Tasmania Premier League games, will make his debut as a third umpire in an ODI, or even on the field of play itself.  Matibiri joined IUP ranks in March this year (E-News 749-3679, 30 March 2011.  He first worked at senior international level as the third umpire in two Twenty20 Internationals between Zimbabwe and India in June last year (E-News 






The International Cricket Council (ICC) plans to conduct a 'simulator' training program for third umpires in Galle, Sri Lanka, on the thirtieth of this month, the day before the first Test between the home side and Australia is due to get underway.  The course is to be run by Australian umpire Simon Taufel, who reports suggest has played the key role in developing the training module, and who is believed to have briefed umpire managers from Test playing countries about the course at their annual meeting which was held in Brisbane last week (E-News 786-3848, 1 July 2011).


While the ICC did not elaborate on exactly what the course involves, Taufel was quoted in a press release issued yesterday as saying "the decision-making module will involve training on run out, stumping, clean catches, bump ball, LBW (Decision Review System), caught (DRS), boundaries and front-foot no-balls".   Presumably one element will involve an umpire being shown images of such incidents, either real or animated, on a computer screen, after which he will then have to make a call as to what his decision would be in 'real time'.  


Taufel says that as the umpires involved work through the "various decision-making elements, there will also be a focus on effective communication skills".  He is said to believe that the training course "is a great initiative which will benefit [ICC Elite Umpire Panel] umpires and also [members of the second-tier] International Umpires Panel (IUP) from Sri Lanka".  Provided the Umpire Decision Review System is in operation in the Lankan-Australia Test series (E-News       798-3905, 17 July 2011), three EUP umpires will be in Galle for the Test and are likely to take part in the course, as will the three so-far unnamed Sri  Lankan IUP members for 2011-12 (E-News 807-3959, 2 August 2011).


The ICC is said to be "partnering" with television broadcaster Ten Sports and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to deliver the course.  The world body's Referees’ and Umpires’ Manager, Vince van der Bijl thanked the broadcaster and SLC for their assistance, saying that it will be "the first simulated training course we have run and we are delighted with the extension of our training program [which is] aimed at developing the world’s best match officials".






The reprieve of England batsman Ian Bell this week, after he was judged to have been 'run out in the Trent Bridge Test (E-News 806-3946, 1 August 2011), is a close parallel to an incident involving West Indian Alvin Kallicharran and Englishman Tony Greig in the first Test of the series in Trinidad in February 1974.  Windies batsman Bernard Julien played the last ball of the second day defensively to Greig at silly point who, noticing Kallicharran was out of his ground at the non striker’s end, threw the ball and hit the stumps, knocking off the bails. 


Kallicharran was not attempting a run, however, he was heading towards the pavilion, but because the umpire at the bowler's end, West Indian Douglas Sang Hue, had not called 'over' and 'time, the ball was still very much in play.  On appeal Sang Hue had little choice but to rule Kallicharran, who was then 142, 'out'.  The scoreboard changed from 6/274 to 7/274, but during that evening, and in the following twenty-four hours, which was a rest day, there were said to be "lengthy conferences" involving captains Mike Denness and Rohan Kanhai, Sang Hue of Jamaica and his Trinidadian colleague Ralph Gosein, plus administrators from both sides.


All three previous England tours of the Caribbean in 1954, 1960 and 1968 had seen riots following umpiring decisions involving West Indian players and crowd unrest when play resumed was feared.  As a result, a statement was issued before play got underway again that said that "in the interests of cricket as a whole and the future of this tour in particular the appeal has been withdrawn",  The statement also carried an apology from Greig over the incident.  Kallicharran went on to make sixteen more runs before he was given out for the second time.


Sang Hue, who was standing in the twenty-first of his eventual thirty-one Tests, is reported to have stood by his decision, however, he was apparently overruled. Kallicharran and Greig posed for the cameras smiling and shaking hands before play started again after the incident, but the decision caused considerable controversy across the cricketing world at the time.

Thursday, 4 August 2011






Surrey's Mark Ramprakash was given a one-match ban by his county and missed last night's Twenty20 fixture against Northamptonshire for what his club called the "serious dissent" he showed after being given out 'Obstructing the Field' last Saturday (E-News 806-3947, 1 August 2011).  Despite that Ramprakash remained defiant, responding via his personal 'Twitter' feed yesterday that he disagreed with the decision the umpires made.


The on-field incident, in which Ramprakash spoke to the umpires after being given out, then started starting walking off, before stopping and talking to them again, later saw him loose three disciplinary points under the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) code of conduct.  However, the county conducted what it called an "internal disciplinary process" and that led to the one-match ban being handed down. 


Surrey chief executive, Richard Gould, said in a statement published on its web site that "Mark regrets his action in returning to discuss the matter with the umpires, and accepts the imposition of a one-match ban, in addition to the automatic three-point penalty as part of the ECB disciplinary process".  "The ECB has confirmed that the case is now closed", he said.  However, Ramprakash made his views about the situation known via Twitter, apparently saying that he was (sic) "VERY disappointed to be banned for one game, given the circumstances" for he doesn't "agree with the umpires' interpretation of what happened or [the] rule".






BBG Sports, the company behind 'Hot Spot' technology, says that a batsman would have to apply "a whole centimetre" of 'Vaseline' on their bats for it to have any effect on the signature its thermal imaging cameras are able to observe, says a story published in London's 'Daily Mail' yesterday.  The company conduct tests after debate arose as to whether their cameras could be tricked by the use of "artificial substances" on the edge of the bat during the second England-India Test at Trent Bridge earlier this week (E-News 807-3955, 2 August 2011).  


Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, sparked controversy, particularly in India, when he used Twitter to ‘joke’ that VVS Laxman must have applied 'Vaseline' to his bat to avoid detection of the apparent nick which could have seen him dismissed on the second day of the second Test last Saturday.  That led to the BBG tests and they have now released a statement which reads: ‘We have done testing over the last two days in our office and have concluded that 'Vaseline' on the side of a bat has no discernible effect on our system", says the company, for "It would need 10 mm to be applied for there to be any chance [the cameras] could be affected".


Warren Brennan, BBG Sports managing director, has indicated previously that the infra-red system has only 90-95 per cent accuracy, which may explain why Laxman’s apparent nick was not detected.  That reliability rate puts it behind that of 'Hawk-Eye' ball-tracking technology which is not being used in the current Test series because the Board of Control for Cricket in India is not convinced it is accurate enough (E-News 802-3922, 21 July 2011).






Tony Hill of New Zealand and Asad Rauf of Pakistan will share on-field 'neutral' and third umpire duties during the five-match One Day International (ODI) series between Sri Lanka and Australia which is due to get underway in Pallekelle next Wednesday, Indian Javagal Srinath being the match referee.  The first match of the series will be Srinath's 100th ODI as a match referee, his first in that role being just four-and-a-half years ago, after a playing career that saw him on the field in a total of 229 such games.   


The one-day series will take Hill's record in that form of the international game to eighty-seven and Rauf to ninety, however, just which Sri Lankans will be on the field with them has not been made public at this time.  Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) would normally draw the five from its members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, however, whether the delay in naming them is related to the current controversy about the SLC's selections for that panel is not known (E-News 807-3959, 2 August 2011).  The naming of Hill and Rauf indicates that the Umpire Decision Review System will be in place for the ODIs, however, whether ball-tracking technology is part of the mix is not yet clear. 


Following the ODIs, Hill will be joined by fellow umpires Aleem Dar of Pakistan and Richard Kettleborough of England, plus the latter's countryman Chris Broad as the match referee, for the three Tests the two sides are scheduled to play over the first half of next month, each umpire standing in two Tests and working as the third umpire in another.  Those games will take Dar's on-field Test match record to sixty-seven, Hill to twenty-five and Kettleborough, who is standing in a Test for the first time since joining the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel in May, to five; while Broad's tally as a Test match referee will move up to forty-seven.  

Friday, 5 August 2011





Zimbabwean umpire Jerry Matibiri, who has stood in Cricket Tasmania Premier League competitions during two visits to the state over the last four years, made his debut at Test level overnight as the third umpire in the one-off game in Harare between the home nation and Bangladesh.  Matibiri was elevated to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) in March this year (E-News 749-3679, 30 March 2011), having first worked at senior international level as the third umpire in two Twenty20 Internationals between Zimbabwe and India in June last year.  


Harare-born Matibiri, who turned 40 in May this year, made his first class debut in April 2005 and has since gone on to stand in a total of twenty-six matches at that level in his home country, one of them being the final of the Zimbabwean domestic competition in march last year (E-News 599-3012, 11 April 2010).  His debut in a List A game was in February 2006 and he currently has twenty-ninen such games under his belt, including the final of the African country's one-day competition for the last two years in a row, as well as last month's tri-nation series involving the 'A' sides from Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe (E-News 793-3883, 10 July 2011).


Matibiri is working in the Test, which is Zimbabwe's first for six years, with on-field umpires Bruce Oxenford of Australia and Kumar Dhamasena of Sri Lanka, match referee Roshan Mahanama who is also Sri Lankan, and fourth umpire Owen Chirombe another Zimbabwean IUP member (E-News 808-3961, 3 August 2011).






Cricket Tasmania (CT) says that Clare Street Oval in New Town will now be available for its Premier League (CTPL) matches and it is seeking the interest of member clubs in putting in place "appropriate ground management arrangements" for the oval and turf square.  The Oval has for many years been used by two clubs, Derwent and Saint Virgils, in the Southern Tasmania Cricket League (STCL), but with that competition now scrapped, those clubs will be playing "at alternative grounds with synthetic pitches" (E-News 807-3953, 2 August 2011).


CT says it would like an existing CTPL club to take the ground on "as a second venue", although the state body will still be responsible for overseeing hire of the ground and the allocation of matches to it.  As such CTPL second, third, under-17 and under-15 grade games are likely to be scheduled there each weekend during the season, as they were many years ago.


Management of the ground, says CT, "largely relates to covers, but could potentially be extended to canteen operations or other opportunities should the club see those as being beneficial".  The Oval has for many years had very inadequate covers, the one that has been available being barely big enough to cover a single pitch, let alone any significant part of the square, and as a result rain often penetrates onto the pitch..


The deadline for expressions of interest from clubs is Monday next week.  Any management arrangement that is developed for Clare Street between CT and a CTPL club will be subject to the on-going approval of the Hobart City Council.  Just what will happen to the other ground that was used for STCL matches, Eady Street, which is managed by the Glenorchy City Council, is not known at this stage.






Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed yesterday that as reported last month the National Umpire Panel (NUP) will remain unchanged for the 2011-12 season (E-News 786-3857, 4 July 2011).  The twelve umpires involved will officiate across almost one hundred first class, one-day and Twenty20 interstate matches during the coming summer, while three of them will also work to support the seventeen international fixtures scheduled.


The twelve-man panel is, like last year, 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.  Oxenford, Refiffel and Fry are also on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 618-3097, 8 June 2010).


CA Acting Chief Executive Officer Michael Brown said in a press release that it was "pleasing to see Australian umpiring in such great health and setting the standard for international officiating".  “We have twelve committed and quality umpires who are dedicated to improving the standard of umpiring and setting a very high benchmark for officiating in Australia", he said, for "Australia has a history of producing international umpires through its development pathway".


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 55, two of which have been Test matches, Fry 50, Reiffel 45, John Ward 33, Martell and Tony Ward both 16, Abood 11, Joshua 10, Wilson 7 and Barrow 5.  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 772-3778, 9 June 2011).


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 again 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.






New Zealander Chris Gaffaney, who stood in two first class matches in South Africa in March last year as part of an umpire exchange agreement between the two national boards, is currently in Canada standing in the Intercontinental Cup (IC) first class fixture between the home nation and Afghanistan.  Gaffaney, a NZ member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), was sent to Canada by the ICC in 2010 for an IC match between Canada and Ireland, and at just 35 the former first class player looks to be on the ICC's watch list for higher honours as an umpire (E-News 672-3296, 24 September 2010).


On the field with Gaffaney in King City, Ontario, is West Indian Gregory Brathwaite from Barbados, who was promoted to the Caribbean's IUP group last March (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011).  Brathwaite was the West Indies Cricket Board's 2011 exchange umpire to England in May and made his third umpiring debut in a Test six weeks ago, but his appointment to the match in Canada is his first overseas by the ICC.


The IC first class match is due to end today, but the two teams are scheduled to play two One Day Internationals, the first on Sunday and the second on Tuesday, and it is likely that both umpires will also be involved in those matches.






Two Under-19 players from Namibia and a third from the United States have been reprimanded for and warned for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct during the ten-nation World Cup qualifier event being played in Ireland (E-News 805-3939, 30 July 2011).  Namibian Justin Baard was reprimanded for “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision” and his countryman Zhivago Groenewald a censure that relates to "abuse of cricket equipment”.  Jodhbir Singh of the United States' side was also found guilty of having breached the ICC’s clothing and equipment regulations. The trio admitted to the Level 1 breaches which were dealt with by ICC tournament referee David Jukes of England.
Monday, 8 August 2011





Sri Lankan umpire Ruchira Palliyaguru, apparently his country's newest member on the InternationaL Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), made his on-field debut in his very first senior international when he stood in the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) between Sri Lanka and Australia in Pallekele on Saturday.  Palliyaguruge was partnered in the match by countryman Asoka de Silva, who appears to have rejoined the IUP after being dropped from the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in May following three years with that group (E-News 766-3757, 26 May 2011).   


Reports over the last month have suggested that de Silva and Ranmore Martinesz had been selected as the island nation's on-field members of the IUP for the coming year by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), with Palliyaguru in the third umpire position (E-News 801-3921, 20 July 2011); however, the ICC's web site is yet to  confirm their appointment.  SLC selected Martinecz as the third umpire in Saturday's T20I and Tyron Wijewardene, who over the last twelve months has been Sri Lanka's third umpire on the IUP, as the fourth official for that match.  It is unusual for an IUP third umpire like Palliyaguru to stand in an international without serving an 'apprenticeship' in the television suite. 


Palliyaguru, 43, played 124 first class, 62 List A and 9 Twenty20 matches as an all-rounder for a range of high-level clubs in Sri Lanka over the 19 years from 1989-2008.   He made his umpiring debut at first class level less than two years after retiring as a player, and in the 22 months since has gone on to stand in 12 first class, 13 List A and two Twenty20 matches at domestic level.  In September 2009, one month before his umpiring debut in a first class match, he was the fourth umpire in a T20I, and he has also served in that capacity in a womens' T20I a well as in an Under-19 One Day International.


Martinesz and Palliyaguru have been named to stand together in tonight's second T20I between Sri Lanka and Australia which will also be played in Pallekele, de Silva being the third umpire and Rohitha Kottahachchi the fourth.  Overall management of the match will be in the hands of match referee Javagal Srinath of India.


What are described as "senior cricket umpires" are said to have indicated last week that they were "getting ready" to take legal action against SLC over the appointment of de Silva, Martinecz and Palliyaguru (E-News 807-3959, 2 August 2011), claiming that the trio had not been appointed on merit and that there were irregularities in the selection process.


Colombo's 'Sunday Times' said yesterday that it contacted Ashley de Silva, SLC's Director Operations, who explained that the IUP appointments were "not done according to domestic on field performances alone".  "There is a process to select these umpires and that process has been followed to the last detail [and] they have been [appointed] according to their potential and merit".  Ashley went on to tell the 'Times' that "a few years back when [former Sri Lankan Test player] Kumar Dharmasena was nominated to the [IUP] there was a huge hue and cry that he was not the best person to be in that panel (E-News 279-1487, 18 July 2008), but today Dharmasena is on the EUP”, he said.






An umpire in Scotland made a decision that is rarely heard of in a game between the Irvine and Prestwick clubs in the Western District Cricket Union two Saturdays ago, says a story published in the 'Irvine Herald' on Friday.  Irvine were batting and progressing well when one of their batsman hit the ball to the boundary, but instead of signalling 'four' the unnamed umpire said that the non-striker had "tried to steal a run by advancing down the [pitch] while the bowler was on his run-up" and awarded visitors Prestwick five penalty runs.


Irvine players are said to have "protested furiously but the umpire 'stuck to his guns' and what was effectively a nine-point swing proved decisive in the long run", says the 'Herald'.  When play resumed, Irvine went on to score 7/255 in their forty overs, the final over seeing the batsman who was judged to have tried to steal the run hit four sixes and two fours.  Prestwick later went on to win the match by making 7/256 with just three balls left, but as the 'Herald' report said "it could all have been so different if the umpire hadn't made that [five penalty run] decision".


As written, the 'Herald' report states that it was the non-striker who tried to "steal a run", and there is no indication in the article that the striker did anything other than hit the ball legitimately for 'four'.  The 'Herald' report clearly indicates that the umpire was acting under Law 42.16 which states that "It is unfair for the batsmen to attempt to steal a run during the bowler’s run up".  The reference to 'batsmen' plural in the Law suggests that either the Irvine striker was also attempting a run when he hit the ball, or as the report states only the non-striker 'ran', in which case the umpire may have inappropriately applied the Law.


If the batsmen together had been stealing a run the umpire is required, amongst a number of things under 42.16, to "call and signal Dead Ball as soon as the batsmen cross in such an attempt", "return the batsmen to their original ends"; and "award five penalty runs to the fielding side", which the newspaper's report indicates was done in this case.  However, if it was just the non-striker who was out of his crease in an attempt to gain an advantage, the bowler could have run him out under Law 42.15 provided he did so before entering his delivery stride.  






England batsman Eoin Morgan, who was batting with Ian Bell when he was 'run out' and later reprieved in the England-India Test at Trent Bridge last week (E-News 806-3946, 1 August 2011), was quoted by London's 'Daily Telegraph' on the weekend as suggesting that the communication he received from Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf caused him to think he had hit a four and that as a result the ball was 'dead' when Bell was dismissed.


Journalist Steve James quotes Morgan as asking Rauf "Is it four?’”, and Rauf is said to have "nodded his head. No, he didn’t nod his head. He sort of gestured. So I just turned round and walked off presuming the ball was dead", said the batsman.  Morgan went on to make the statement that Rauf "never actually calls 'over' [in a match]', he just gestures to the bowler" that the last ball has been bowled. 






Brian Vitori, Zimbabwea's medium-fast opening bowler, started off bowling over the wicket on the third day's play in the one-off Test against Bangladesh on Saturday but didn't seem to be getting the same 'zip' as he was on day two of the match, says a 'Cricinfo' report.  Deciding he needed to try something different, and without warning either the umpire or the batsman, he switched tack to come around the wicket.  A few paces into his run, however, he appeared to realise that something was wrong, so he went back to his mark, and "gestured emphatically to the batsman" that he would be switching to around-the-wicket and started again. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2011





Retired English international umpire John Holder, who was one of cricket's first 'neutral' umpires, sees no logic in restricting any official from overseeing a match involving his own country, says a report from the UK late last week.  Barbados-born Holder, who stood with  John Hampshire, another English umpire, in the 1989-90 India-Pakistan series, does not like the word 'neutral', saying that "no umpire favours his country".


Holder, 66, who retired from the England and Wales Cricket Board's first class umpires panel in 2009 after standing in 421 first class games, 11 of them Tests, plus 17 One Day Internationals, is now busy with umpiring activities in Hampshire and is often heard on the BBC's Test Match Special program answering questions on the Laws of Cricket.  "I don't see why an umpire cannot do duty in a match involving his country [as] they will never be biased", he says, asking "Why can't Australian Simon Taufel umpire in an Ashes match [or Pakistani] Aleem Dar stand in a match involving Pakistan"?


The neutral umpire question has been raised in the media from time-to-time over the last decade.  Some have argued that neutral umpires have improved the standard of international umpiring (E-News 637-3173, 22 July 2010), while others are opposed (E-News 613-3076, 28 May 2010).  Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's Chief Executive Officer said eighteen months ago that when the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) was in operation the integrity of home officials "cannot be questioned so easily" (E-News 536-2747, 20 December 2009).  


Asked whether the UDRS puts added pressure on today's umpires, Holder said that he didn't think so.  "No, the umpire will have to cope with that [for] he has to be good at his job and that is the bottom line".  "I am not against technology coming in as long as it is used well", he said, pointing to the fact that in his last Test, an England-Australia match at Lord's in 2001, "they had 28 cameras all along the ground". 






West Indian Billy Doctrove and South African Marais Erasmus, together with match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand, have been named as the 'neutral' officials for next month's five-match One Day International (ODI) series between England and India.  With the Umpire Decision Review System in partial operation Doctrove and Erasmus will share on-field and third umpire duties, the former being on the ground in three games and the latter two.


The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has had Ian Gould, Richard Kettleborough, Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong listed as the 'home' on-field umpire for the series for the past four months (E-News 754-3703, 7 April 2011), Gould being named for two ODIs, and the other three for one match each.  Kettleborough, who like Gould, Doctrove and Erasmus is a member of the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, is now unlikely to take part on the series, however, for last week he was named as one of the umpires for the three-Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia which will be played whilst the England-India matches are underway (E-News 809-3966, 4 August 2011).


The England-India matches will take Crowe's match referee record in ODIs to 155, Doctrove to 112 and Erasmus to 36.  Subject to the ECB naming a replacement for Kettleboorough, Gould's record will move up to 64, Llong to 47, and Illingworth to 6.





The Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) in India yesterday inaugurated what is being called "a first of its kind" Umpire's Academy in Ahmedabad whose aim is to help aspirants prepare for umpiring at local and international level.  GCA vice president Parimal Nathwani said the academy aims to produce more national and international level umpires from Gujarat.  If anyone who attends the academy is "found to be very good", they could be sent to Australia for further training at international level, said Nathwani, without providing any details.  GCA officials told the Press Trust of India they have already received "500 applications" for admission to the academy from across the state, including ten from women.






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has further relaxed their bowling ban on Warwickshire’s Maurice Holmes and the off-spinner can now play in county Second XI cricket.  Holmes, who has a similar action to Muttiah Muralitharan, was suspended from all county cricket by the ECB last month after he was twice reported by umpires in the first half of the ECB's 2011 season and his action was deemed as illegal after an independent review (E-News 794-3887, 12 July 2011).


In addition to the original ban from county cricket, Holmes was also prevented from bowling in the Birmingham and District Premier League cricket, however, reports indicate that he  was allowed to resume playing in that competition two weeks ago, three weeks after the blanket ban was handed to him.  It appears that he was given the green light to resume bowling in county Second XI games last week, and he subsequently turned out for his side against Lancashire in a one-day match that saw him take 2/51.


Despite that, Holmes will not be allowed to play in first team cricket until he has been re-tested and his action has been approved by the ECB.   At the moment no date as been fixed for Holmes to be re-tested, say reports.






Four more players have been reprimanded and warned after breaching the International Cricket Council's Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel at the Under-19 World Cup qualifier event in Ireland.  Three other players were handed reprimands during the tournament last week (E-News 810-3971, 5 August 2011).


Norman Vanua of Papua New Guinea showed dissent at an umpire's decision while United States' captain Gregory Sewdial was involved in "abuse of cricket equipment".  In addition, Canada's captain Kevasan Juvarajan and Krishna Karki of Nepal were both been found guilty by tournament referee David Jukes of England of breaching the ICC's clothing and equipment regulations.

Thursday, 11 August 2011






Vikram Solanki, the chairman of the UK Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), says that the perception that player discipline in the county game this season is any worse than in previous years is wrong (E-News 789-3862, 5 July 2011).  Solanki, the current Worcestershire and former England one-day batsman, wrote in a blog on 'The Cricketer. web site earlier this week that that standards of behaviour in cricket "generally" remain high and there's "a commonly held view that cricketers go about playing the game in the right manner".


Solanki says that it would be easy to believe from recent newspaper headlines that county cricket faces a major problem with on-field discipline, with wo county captains having appeared before England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary panels to answer for the conduct of their players, Sussex batsman Murray Goodwin has been suspended for one match and there have been a number of players punished under the ECB disciplinary code (E-News 798-3904, 17 July 2011).  "Statistically, the number of cases reported so far this year is no higher than in previous years", he says, for "only eighteen cases have been reported out of some 550 matches at first and second team level this year, and some of those are for high full tosses. 


"It seems", says the PCA chairman. "even a relatively minor incident in cricket attracts more coverage than something more serious in other sports".  "Perhaps it is because poor behaviour is relatively unusual in cricket, as compared to other sports, that when there is an occasional incident it makes news", he says.  Even so, Solanki goes on to say that "we can’t afford to be complacent though, which is why the recent meeting between the [PCA] and officials from the ECB and senior umpires is a welcome step to ensure that standards in the domestic game are maintained".  No details of that meeting last month have been made public to date.






The One Day International and Test series between Sri Lanka's and Australia, the first match of which was played overnight, will have an Umpire Decision Review System (URDS) technology package that includes 'Hawk Eye' ball-tracking technology but not 'Hot Spot', say reports from the island nation yesterday.  That situation has arisen after the two national boards agreed on ball-tracking, which is not a compulsory part of the UDRS, and because of the unavailability of 'Hot Spot' cameras as most of them are tied up in the concurrent series between England and India.


There has been uncertainty of late as to just which elements of UDRS technology would be in use in the Sri Lanka series (E-News 798-3905, 17 July 2011).  Match referee for the ODIs, Javagal Srinath of India, is said to have confirmed the use of one technology but not the other during a pre-series meeting with the two national captains, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Michael Clarke, earlier this week.  Under the arrangements outlined, each team will be allowed one unsuccessful decision review per innings in the ODIs, but two unsuccessful reviews per innings in the three Test series next month.


The full UDRS package is expected to be operational when Australia plays New Zealand in two Tests this coming austral summer, however, India is expected to reject the use of a ball-tracking system when it plays Tests in Australia later in the summer.  Last weeks one-off Test between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in Harare did not employ the UDRS for reasons of cost, the latter issue also being a factor for the system's use in the Pakistan-England series early next year (E-News 802-3925, 21 July 2011).






The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday nominated all twelve members of its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) as candidates for this year's world 'Umpire of the Year' award, the winner of which will be named at a ceremony scheduled for London on 12 September.  The award is in its eighth year, having been won for the first five years by Australian Simon Taufel (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008), and for the last two by Aleem Dar of Pakistan (E-News 678-3326, 7 October 2010).


The world's top umpire award is decided on votes cast by international captains and matches referees and is based on what the ICC says is an "umpires’ performance statistics".  While it named all twelve EUP members yesterday, if it follows past practice the ICC will announce, in the week leading up to the London ceremony, a short-list of three or four elite panel members for this year's award  (E-News 671-3292, 21 September 2010).


The winner of the ICC's 'Spirit of Cricket' award, for the international side that has best upheld that aspect of the game during the year, will also be announced in London.  It is decided by votes cast by international captains, EUP members and the ICC's seven senior match referees.  New Zealand took out the inaugural award in 2004 and again in 2009 and 2010, England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2009 (E-News 678-3328, 7 October 2010).






Former Australian Test umpire Mel Johnson, who headed Cricket Australia's umpire selection panel for most of the last decade, was awarded Life Membership of Queensland Cricket (QC) at its Annual General Meeting in Brisbane on Tuesday evening.  Johnson, 69, was recognised for his "dedication after devoting more than three decades to umpiring", and becomes the first umpire QC have honoured with Life Membership 


Brisbane-born Johnson made his first class umpiring debut in February 1978 and went on to stand in a total of sixty-seven matches at that level over the following ten years.  His international debut was in a One Day International (ODI) in December 1979 and stood in the first of his twenty-nine Tests in January 1980, in all looking after twenty-nine Tests and  forty-nine ODIs.  His first class record includes the Sheffield Shield finals of 1985 and 1986.


QC says that Johnson's "distinguished on-field career was matched by his dedication to develop the next generation of umpires", having been "active in many areas of umpiring, both in a coaching role and an administrative function with the Queensland Cricket Umpires’ and Scorers’ Association, of which he is [also] a Life Member".  He was also the inaugural Chairman of the National Umpires Selection Panel when he was appointed in 2002.


Johnson says that his own introduction to umpiring had inspired him to provide better training and preparation for umpires when he finished active officiating.  “I recall when I was going to take up umpiring, I met one of the umpires down at Bottomley Park for an assessment", he said.  “He asked me what beer I drank and I told him ‘XXXX’ and he said, ‘well, you’ve passed', and that was that, which I am sure some people who encountered me later would not be surprised to hear!”


“As I got towards the end of my umpiring career, I thought to myself that I could certainly help umpires be better prepared for what lay ahead for them, and that gave me something I could really get involved with once I finished on the field".






Charles Coventry, a Zimbabwean umpire who stood in five One Day Internationals (ODI) early last decade, passed away on the weekend aged just 52.  Coventry looked after a total of twenty-four first class games over the ten years from 1993-2002, fourteen of them domestic matches and the others involving touring international sides, all except one, which was played in Johannesburg, being fixtures in the country of his birth.  His international debut was in an ODI between Zimbabwea and New Zealand in September 2000, and in addition to five matches on the field at that level he was the television umpire in three other ODIs, and also worked in that capacity in two Tests played in Bulawayo in 2001.






Indian women medium-pacer Snehal Pradhan, who was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action in a One Day International (ODI) in late June (E-News 789-3865, 5 July 2011), has been suspended from bowling in international cricket after the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed yesterday that an independent test had found her action "illegitimate".  Pradhan will now have to undergo remedial work and further testing in order to continue bowling at international level. 


Reports say that a "comprehensive analysis" performed three weeks ago by Professor Bruce Elliott, a member of the ICC's Panel of Human Movement Specialists at the University of Western Australia's (UWA) School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, showed that the amount of elbow extension in Pradhan's bowling action for all her deliveries exceeded the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under ICC regulations, her "mean elbow extension" being two degrees above the threshold for all delivery types. 


Pradhan, 25, can apply for re-assessment of her bowling action after she has modified it in accordance with ICC regulations for the review of bowlers reported with suspected illegal bowling actions.  She has a right to appeal against UWA's conclusions to the ICC's Bowling Review Group but must do so in writing within two weeks of receiving the report.

Friday, 12 August 2011





Changes to administrative arrangements at Cricket Tasmania (CT) mean that the responsibilities of the TCUSA's Administrator position, which is funded by CT, are to be reduced, along with the remuneration involved.  Despite the move, which will sees some of the position's previous functions undertaken by a full-time CT employee,  the Administrator will still play a key role in ensuring the Association continues to operate in an efficient, effective, way.


The departure of CT's former cricket operations manager David Boon, who has taken up a match referee position with the International Cricket council (E-News 766-3756, 26 May 2011), appears to be the main reason for the revamp at Bellerive and in other parts of the state.  Boon has been replaced by his former deputy, Andrew Dykes, and Chris Garrett, who was previously CT's manager of Premier League (PL) and other competitions, has moved up to be Dykes' deputy in cricket operations.  Garrett will though continue to have a general oversight of club competition matters, a new position being created under him to focus on that role.


That new position, which is title 'Club Cricket Administrator' (CCA), has been advertised in 'The Mercury', its roles being summarised in that notice as: administration and promotion of PL cricket and other CT competitions, providing support to community associations and clubs, and looking after "umpiring and scoring administrative requirements".  Applications for the position close next Monday.  


In terms of the TCUSA's focus, the new CT position is expected to include engaging more fully the range of functions that are available on the MyCricket system.  While aspects of it were used for the fist time last season, more are expected to be brought on line for 2011-12, including managing payments to match officials, and requiring umpires to indicate their availability via notices they post on the web-based system.  Appointments will also expected to be available via the MyCricket site, although while details have yet to be worked out, not in such a way that it will impact on attendances at the TCUSA's regular training-appointments meetings.


In other changes at CT, Scott McNaughton has moved to Devonport as the new Game Development representative there, Clinton Reid has the same role in Launceston, and Mark Divin in the south.  Long-serving administrator, and former first class umpire Paul Clarke's position has been abolished by the Northern Tasmania Cricket Association, however, many observers hope that he will continue to be involved in umpiring in the north.






The Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association (BCUA) is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year and to commemorate the milestone past members are to be honoured at a series of official functions, says an article published in the 'Bermuda Sun' newspaper yesterday.  The BCUA was founded in 1961 and Randy Butler, past BCUA president and area vice-president for the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association, told the 'Sun' that "the founding members felt that an association should be formed [as] they wanted to obtain a better understanding of the Laws of Cricket and progress from club umpiring".


Roger Dill, the BCUA's training officer, and a current member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) eleven-man third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel, told the 'Sun' that “What we are trying to do is recognise the umpires who laid the foundation for where we are today".  "We want to pay tribute to them because we are very grateful for what they have achieved and the foundation they have laid", he said, and "umpires on the island will also occasionally don black armbands during matches in a show of respect for late colleagues this season".


Since the BCUA’s inception more than one hundred umpires have joined their ranks, including the late Doreen Woolridge, who was "a trailblazer in her own right".  The island’s first female umpire passed away earlier this year, and Dill says: “It was an encouragement to see her stand tall amongst the men, [for] even though she was a woman she was never rattled".  BCUA founding member Sinclair Smith also passed away this year.


Dill said he was inspired to become an umpire by the likes of BCUA founding members Anthony Roberts, Roy Ricketts and George Trott "to name a few".  “George was the first to [be appointed] to officiate in ICC-sanctioned matches and so he more or less set the foundation for the ICC's recognition of Bermuda".  "At the moment we have six umpires who can be called upon at any time to go to various places to officiate", some having stood in matches "in places such as Argentina, Botswana, Kenya and Malaysia".


Dill encourages people to join his association, however, he stresses only “passionate” cricket lovers need apply.  "It has to be for the enjoyment of the game for it you don’t enjoy it then it makes no sense umpiring because it’s not a big money making thing".






Next year's Under-19 (U19) World Cup (WC) tournament will be played in Queensland in August, and with the qualifying event in Ireland now over, all sixteen sides who will compete for the trophy are known.  Matches in the competition are to be played in Brisbane, on the Sunshine Coast and in Townsville, and if the International Cricket Council (ICC) follows its practice of recent events, it will assigned match referees from its two panels and umpires from its second and third-tier umpire panels for the event, with scorers likely to come from Queensland ranks (E-News 560-2848, 29 January 2010).

Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka and Richard Kettleborough of England, who were then both members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), stood in the last Under-19 world final in January 2010 (E-News 560-2848, 29 January 2010).  Fifteen months later, in May this year, both were promoted to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 766-3758, 26 May 2011). 

Afghanistan, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Scotland qualified as a result of the two-week long qualifying tournament that ended on Tuesday (E-News 805-3939, 30 July 2011).  Since then the draw to decide the four Groups at next year's event has been made, defending champion and host Australia being in Group A alongside 1998 winner England, Ireland and Nepal.  Group B is consists of 2010 runner-up and two-time winner Pakistan, plus Afghanistan, New Zealand and Scotland, while 2000 and 2008 champion India has been drawn in Group C along with Papua New Guinea, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.  Bangladesh, Namibia, Sri Lanka and South Africa make up Group D.


It will be the second time the U19 Cricket World Cup has been held in Australia,the nation hosting the inaugural event in 1988 in country areas of South Australia and Victoria, the semi finals and final of that event being played at the Adelaide Oval.  The decider was managed by then Australian Test umpire Tony Crafter and Ric Evans who the following year went on to stand in the first of his three Tests.  Today, Evans is a member of Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire High Performance Panel.


What impact the 2012 event will have on the annual Emerging Players Tournament, an important part of CA's umpire development pathway which is normally held in Queensland in August each year, is not known at this stage.






The New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) joined the 'Facebook' community yesterday and says that its page "will be used to advertise courses, publicise upcoming events, promote umpire achievements and provide an avenue for your questions to be answered".  Plans call for the page to be "highly interactive where you can have your say on issues that are occurring in the game of cricket", with "videos and links to pages will be posted to make sure [members are] across all contentious issues relating to Umpiring".  


The NSW page can be accessed at:!/pages/NSW-Cricket-Umpires-and-Scorers-Association/171622209563352  The TCUSA 'Facebook' page, which has been operational for the past six months, can be found at:  The latest post on the TCUSA site shows Sri Lankans Angelo Mathews and Mahela Jayawardene "combining" to catch Australian David Warner in the second Twenty20 International in Pallekele last Monday.


Umpiring is a demanding "trade" and despite their best efforts even the most accomplished, professional, match officials in the world get it wrong, as did Australian Simon Taufel last night when he failed to spot a foot fault 'no ball' that claimed a wicket in the third Test between England and India at Edgbaston.  England skipper Andrew Strauss was bowled attempting a sweep on what many Australians refer to as the "Devil's Number, 87, or 13 short of a century, however, Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra had over stepped in delivering the ball.  Mishra had up until then bowled five 'no balls' in the innings, and went on to deliver another three during yesterday's play.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011




International Cricket Council (ICC) vice-president Alan Isaac from New Zealand, who will become the world body's President next year, has backed the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) stance on the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), saying that he too "isn't convinced" that the technology works "well enough".  The BCCI, other national boards and the ICC itself reached a compromise at the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong in June, making the use of ball-tracking optional in Test and one-day series while agreeing to use 'Hot Spot' for every international game subject to availability (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  

Isaac was quoted in the New Zealand newspaper the 'Southland Times' last week as saying that the media has "tended to blame India" for the disparity that currently exists in UDRS usage.  "Often when India hold a view, they are right", he says, "but various parts of the media have a different view, whether you're Geoff Boycott or whatever".  As a result a "perception has built up that A, India are hard to deal with and B, they control world cricket, but in fact they are good to work with and on the UDRS I actually think they are right", said Issac, who will take over from Sharad Pawar of India as ICC President next year. 

"I personally am not convinced the technology works well enough, so we've got to do something about that", said Issac, a reference to the ICC's announced intention to conduct an "independent assessment" of ball-tracking systems, and seek a sponsor for on-going operation of the UDRS around the world (E-News 790-3868, 6 July 2011).




Sri Lankan umpire Ruchira Palliyaguru, his country's newest member on the InternationaL Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), made his on-field debut in a One Day International (ODI) in the second match of the series between his home country and Australia in Hambantota on Sunday.  Palliyaguru, who stood with New Zealand member of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel Tony Hill, first stood at international level in two Twenty20 Internationals the two sides played in Pallekelle last week (E-News 811-3972, 8 August 2011).

Zimbabwean IUP member Jerry Matibiri has also stepped up to ODI level, working as the third umpire for the first time in an international one-day game when Zimbabwe played Bangaldesh in the first match of their five-game series last Friday.  The week before Matibiri, who has stood in Cricket Tasmania Premier League games during visits to the state in recent years, made his third umpire debut in a Test (E-News 810-3967, 5 August 2011), his inaugural T20Is in that role being in June last year. 




Now-retired Australian umpire Daryl Harper plans to take up baseball umpiring "as a hobby", according to an interview he gave to the web site late last week.  Harper, who has followed major league baseball (MBL) in the United States for many decades, told journalist Ganeshbabu Venkat that he is "not seeking to go up the MLB level", but rather he wants "to experience what it will be like in another game that I have great passion for, to see what the ball is like when it's coming towards me instead of going away from me".  

Harper, who has watched "hundreds" of baseball games, some of them in ball parks in the United States, told Venkat that "there are a lot of similarities between cricket and baseball, especially now we've got Twenty20 [T20] cricket".  T20 "is the closest you will get to a baseball game", he says, the "two to three hours [being] all action and entertainment", and he loves baseball for "the duel between the pitchers, the fielding and batting skills" involved, and that there are "so many skills that cross-over from one sport to another".

Adelaide-based Harper also said that he has "a book planned too", that he knows what he wants to write about and is keen to write the words himself.  "I think I could write something entertaining, factual and a little bit provocative and thought provoking as well", he says.  No mention was made as to just when Harper's planned book might be published. 





Use of what the 'Jersey Evening Post' describes as "the wrong" Duckworth Lewis system in a match on the island on Saturday has led to uncertainty on the result of a key match in the Channel Islands Cricket League.  With a semi-final place in the competition at stake, the outcome of the match will now be decided by a League committee, says the 'Post'.

League secretary Ron Halliwell told the newspaper that it's "the clubs’ responsibility to know the rules they are playing too, [but] it appears a system was used off the internet and not the official rules which they should have been playing to".  "It was a very close game and it will now be decided by officials from [the League] once all the facts have been collated and we’ve received a report from the umpires".

Thursday, 18 August 2011





Despite moves by Cricket Australia (CA) to introduce a range of changes to playing conditions for its interstate competitions this season, Cricket Tasmania (CT) is only planning minimal changes to its first and second grade Premier League (CTPL) fixtures during the coming summer.  CA decided to modify some of its on-field playing conditions as a result of changes made by the International Cricket Council to its match regulations (E-News 786-3843, 1 July 2011) , but only a few of them will filter down to club cricket in Tasmania.


Key changes planned are that bowlers will now be able to deliver two bouncers per over in one-day games, and an over bracket will be established within which the discretionary Power Plays (PP) available to both the batting and bowling teams at CTPL first and second grade level must be activated.  Previously only one bouncer per over was allowed in one-day games in those two grades, and after the compulsory PP in overs 1-10, the discretionary PPs were allowed at any time in overs 11-50.  


Now the discretionary PPs will have to be taken between overs 16 and 40, a move that is designed to enliven what many, but not all, observers regard as the least interesting period of one-day games.  Only four players will be allowed outside the circle under new arrangements for PPs, five being permitted in the past.  


Some of CA's moves that will not reach down to club cricket in Tasmania this season include: no runners for injured batsmen; permitting bowlers to run out non-strikers up until their front foot lands, something that was actually in CA playing conditions last season; allowing a bowler a maximum of thirteen overs in one-day games; and disallowing replacement fielders for players who leave the ground for anything other than injury-related matters.


A presentation on CTPL Playing Conditions will be provided to coaches, captains umpires and scorers in early October a few days before the opening First grade game of the season is scheduled to start (E-News 816-3998 below).  Up-dated 'dot point' summaries of playing conditions for the various CTPL competitions will be available on the TCUSA web site under 'Match Management' prior to that meeting.






Cricket Tasmania (CT) is to shorten the length of playing days in its Thirds and Under-17 Premier League competitions for the 2011-12 season.  Instead of basic playing hours that run from 1100-1800 each Sunday, this summer will see starts at 12.30 p.m. and scheduled finishes at either 5.30 or 5.50 p.m. depending on whether two or one-day matches are being played respectively, with twenty minutes being allowed for  the tea break. 


CT's move is reported to be designed to help with the retention of senior players at third grade level, for over the last three seasons the average age of players in that competition has fallen from 22.6 years to 21.9; only a fifth of all players being 29 years or older.  CT may also be looking to lift the playing standards for many observers are of the view that the quality of cricket played at third grade level in recent years has fallen.  In the Under-17s it would also mean that particularly talented youngsters who are capable of playing in the firsts or seconds on Saturdays would be free to join their age peers on the Sunday, and thus encourage a lifting of playing standards at youth level.


The timing changes are also designed to reduce the time commitment of those who support matches in those grades, including coaches, other staff, scorers and umpires.  Hopefully that will provide an incentive for more people to give their time in those various roles, all of which are key tasks in the helping to lift the standard of games.  CT says that it believes the reduced hours will not be detrimental to junior player development.  


Under the new arrangements a minimum of 75 overs will have to be bowled each day in a two-day game in both grades, while one-day fixtures will be 40 over matches, 10 overs less than was previously the case.  


CT was looking to move Under-15 games to Sunday morning, but that will not now proceed and both their one and two-days matches will start at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon as has been the case for many years.  However, U-15 teams may for the first time each play two Twenty20 matches on a Sunday morning "at appropriate times" across the season.  When turf pitches are available, U-15 games will be played on that surface. 






Umpiring ranks in the Geelong Cricket Association (GCA) "remain severely depleted" a little more than a month out from the start of the 2011-12 season, says a report in today's 'Geelong Advertiser'.  The pool of available umpires is at the lowest level in decades, with only twenty officials so far committed for the coming summer, down from the eighty that earlier reports said were available in the 1990s (E-News 778-3809, 22 June 2011).


New Geelong Cricket Umpires Association president Greg Illingworth, an umpire himself, yesterday appealed for any players fresh out of the game to consider joining the association, describing the situation as "still very bleak".  "We're very low on umpires and we're still hoping some people who have pulled the pin from playing may be willing to turn to umpiring instead".  He said new umpires would be eased into the fraternity through the lower grades and would be provided with adequate training.


If the "chronic shortage" continues the GCA may force clubs to supply their own umpire to fill the shortfall.  The GCA will also offer clubs cash incentives to recruit new umpires, much like last year, offering a total of $500 over the course of two seasons if a dedicated umpire is provided by clubs for games.  GCA umpires are said to be "amongst the best paid in Victoria", earning about $100 a week for two-day fixtures and $130 for one-day matches.






TCUSA meeting dates for the next nine months have been finalised.   Dates and times for the meetings planned between now and late May are provided in the schedule of activities list provided at the end of this newsletter and are also available on the TCUSA web site and via the Facebook page. 


Once the current Winter Laws and Scorer Schools end early next month, the next major gathering will be the traditional Annual Seminar over the weekend of 17-18 September, then follows a presentation of TCA Playing Conditions to coaches and captains in early October three days before the opening First grade game of the season is scheduled to start.


The first of the fourteen training-appointments meetings is to be held on 19 October a few days before all five grade competitions are to get underway, appointments for the initial first grade rounds that are to be played over the fortnight prior to that being handled directly between State Director of Umpiring Richard Widows and the senior umpires involved.  


In addition to those meetings throughout the summer, dates for the TCUSA's end-of-season Annual Dinner and the Annual General Meeting have been set for late March and late May respectively.  Arrangements and timings for the 2012 Winter Laws and Scorer Schools will be announced in the New Year.






Cricket Scotland (CS) have decided that "there is nothing in the Laws of the Game that relates to the wearing of football boots or any other form of footwear" on the ground during matches, says a report published in 'The Scotsman' yesterday.  CS is reported to have made its pronouncement after the Western District Cricket Union banned the use of what the 'Scotsman' called "soccer shoes" during turf pitch based games.


CS says that "common sense should be applied by umpires, captains and players" with regard to footwear, going on to define "common sense" in this case as being that "fielders and wicketkeepers wearing football studded boots [should] not field in positions where there is an opportunity for them to [impinge on the pitch].  This should be "policed" by the umpires, where present, and the players themselves, says CS.


CS's 'Club, Facilities and Officials Group' say that they see the common sense approach as being an important part of the "'Spirit of Cricket' "that is integral to our sport".  'The Scotsman' refers to Laws 42.11 and 42.13, stating in its words that "folk can't go around wilfully messing up pitches with or without footy boots". 

Sunday, 21 August 2011






A local league umpire in Yorkshire received a surprise call to stand in a first class match in Scarborough after one of the appointed officials had to twice leave the field due to illness on the second day of the Yorkshire-Sussex game on Thursday.  Fred Bernard, 75, who umpires in the Beckett Cricket League and is training officer and tutor with the Scarborough and District Umpires’ Association, was "sitting in the stands, minding his own business, when the call came to don the white coat", says an article in the 'Yorkshire Post' on Friday.


First class umpire Trevor Jesty, 63, a former first class player who was standing in his 233rd match as an umpire at that level, fell ill soon after midday, and was briefly replaced by Yorkshire first team coach Craig White who stood at square leg while Jesty's colleague Nick Cook, looked after duties from the bowler's end.  


Bernard, who has been watching cricket at Scarborough since 1948, told the 'Post' that "our local umpires’ secretary was across in the hospitality place and someone asked him whether he knew anyone who could step in".  "He couldn’t do it because he’d already had a couple of pints, so they asked me", said Bernard, who “jumped at the chance and it was a marvellous experience".  “Everyone went out of their way to make it pleasant – Nick Cook, the other umpire, and all the players".


England and Wales Cricket Board rules dictate that a non first class umpire cannot stand at the bowler’s end, so Bernard took over the square leg spot from White and stayed there for the best part of an hour until Jesty returned.  Bernard went out for the last eighty minutes of the day's play after Jesty fell ill again, however, he did not have any decisions to make during his two stints on the field, and says that he "simply savoured the experience".






A last ball six that produced a tie in a National Twenty20 club knock-out competition match in England last Sunday led to players from the Old Mill club in the West Midlands running to join their batsmen on the field to celebrate victory, however, their joy was short-lived for the playing conditions for the game were not what they believed them to be.  Old Mill thought a tied game would be decided on which side lost fewer wickets, but in fact it was the run-rate in the first five overs of each side's innings that counted, says a story in last Thursday's 'Halesowen News'. 


Old Mill skipper Nathan Round and the rest of his team raced onto the field in celebration after the six was hit from the final ball, however, "amid chaotic scenes it was quickly revealed [their opponents Hyde] had actually won the game", says the 'News'.  “We were a bit daft in that we we’d lost one fewer wicket than [Hyde] and like a bunch of idiots we all raced onto the field and were mobbing [six-hitting batsman Ed Denham]".  “But the umpires quickly came over and said they needed to check the rules [and] within seconds we went from joy to despair and were absolutely gutted", said Round.






Berkshire have lost three players due to suspensions for its crucial final Minor Counties three-day match against Devon which is due to get underway in Sidmouth tonight Australian time.  The side's captain Bjorn Mordt and Carl Crowe each received one-match bans and Steven Naylor three games, after they were all reported for showing dissent in a game against Oxfordshire earlier this month.


Mordt told BBC Berkshire that he and his colleagues "are bitterly disappointed [for] once [the Minor Counties Cricket Association] hand out the punishment there's no chance to defend yourself".  "We believe we should have had a right to appeal, but [under] their rules and regulations you can't", he said.


There "was some niggle between a couple of players", said Mordt, and "Crowe and Naylor showed dissent to an umpire's decision, but one of those was inside the dressing room".  "The umpires didn't hear what happened in the dressing room, they were told by a third party, [but] obviously they made their minds up on that to put it in their report", claimed Mordt.






Drivers in the UK who have direct connections to sport appeared to be poor risks from an insurance point of view, with two-thirds of them no longer being eligible for a no-claims discount, much worse than the average of 45 per cent for the rest of Britain's population.  However, according to a Royal Automobile Club study into motor insurance issues released on Friday, cricket umpires have a better driving record that most engaged in sport there, although even so, almost three-quarters of them were no longer eligible for a no-claims discount. 


The study showed that professional football referees have the worst driving history, 80 per cent of them having lost their no-claims option, followed by racing car drivers (77%), footballers themselves (75%) and jockeys (74%), with cricket umpires coming in at 72 per cent.  "People working in sport usually need great hand-eye co-ordination and have to be good at processing visual information, so you would expect them to make the best drivers, but this research suggests otherwise", says Chris McDonald, one of the people behind the survey.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011






Cricket Australia (CA) says that the nation-wide survey of accredited umpires it conducted four months ago has highlighted several issues that need addressing if a start is to be made to dealing with problems being experienced with the recruitment and retention of umpires in many competitions around the country.  Details of some of the feedback received have now become available, and although the results in a number of key areas have yet to be made public, CA says it has commenced work to tackle the problems identified, although as yet no details of just what action is planned are available.


Key questions canvassed by CA's survey last April included: how satisfied umpires are with the role they play; whether individuals see themselves umpiring next season and in five years time; the adequacy of current training and development programs; general communication issues; the appropriateness of support provided by local umpiring Associations; mentoring programs and their value; and what local Association can do to "improve the experience of being a cricket umpire" (E-News 760-3730, 21 April 2011). 


Data is now available on the 'satisfaction' and 'future umpiring intentions' questions, but as yet no details have been released on how the umpiring fraternity sees such fundamental issues as the appropriateness of current development and training programs, communication within local and the national umpiring community as a whole, support available from local Associations and umpire bodies, and mentoring.  


CA's Umpires Manager Sean Cary told E-News that the results of the survey show that "we will need to recognise and acknowledge that retention is a potential threat for the sport going forward", that the current engagement-appointment model may no longer be appropriate, and that "a more contemporary engagement framework with greater flexibility may" need to be established.  In March this year CA lauded the presence of five Australian umpires at this year's World Cup  event, saying it reflected well on the development pathways available to the top racket of umpires in the country (E-News 743-3644, 19 March 2011).   


Cary said that of those umpires who completed its survey, 83 per cent were active last season.  As to the future, 57% of those who submitted their views were "extremely likely" to continue next season, 73 per cent were "likely" to do so, while 11 per cent were "not sure".  Just on half of respondents said they were "completely satisfied" with their umpiring role, a quarter "somewhat satisfied" while the remaining quarter was "neither satisfied or dissatisfied".  


Those who had umpired for less than a year put as 'love of the game' and the desire to umpire at first class level as the reasons they commenced umpiring.  However, for those who have been engaged for longer periods the focus on moving up to first class cricket fell as the reality of just how difficult it is to reach that level in Australia dawns on them.  As a result, says Cary, there is a need to establish professional development programs aimed at umpires in the 1-3 year bracket, although on the surface at least the data suggest there is also work to be done in that area across the spectrum of umpiring experience.  


Notice of the 32-question survey, which was conducted for the national body by independent research consultancy 'SportINFO', was sent via e-mail to 1,440 individuals who have completed CA's Level 1 and 2 accreditation courses over the last five years.  However, a quarter of those messages 'bounced back', and of the other three-quarters involved, just under half, or 490, ended up providing the national body with a response.  Cary says that highlights the need to "improve the accuracy and integrity of the [national umpire and scorer] data base", and that State Umpire Managers are currently attempting to help bring it up to date.  






While media reports on the Argus report into Australian cricket have, since it was released last Friday, focused on the country's senior side, the study has also made recommendations about the game's 'grass roots' level.  Among the other suggestions outlined by the review panel's report is the need to get senior players to remain in grade cricket and encourage first-class and Test players to return to their local clubs.


Argus and his colleagues concluded that more had to be done to keep senior players involved at club level in order to keep standards high and so educate young players.  They have recommended that research be conducted as to just why older players have been leaving the game earlier than in the past.  


In addition, the report says that CA should reinforce "that state players are not exempt from grade cricket and should play as often as possible", and that "a belief [amongst players] that once they have played at a higher level, they are no longer obliged to play, or were above, the previous level they played, is unacceptable".  


While the Argus-led review was underway, a number of well-known former players called for it to focus on grade cricket issues (E-News 754-3701, 7 April 2011).  South Australian coach Darren Berry expressed similar views last month, saying that playing standards as grade level had declined in recent years, a perspective that is shared by many others in the game.  


CA's Damien de Bohun, its General Manager Game Development, said in response to Berry's comments that "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 was reported to have pointed out then that each year CA provides $A1m to assist the 146 Premier and Grade cricket clubs around the country.  A few days after that the national body announced the same figure as the salary cap for each one of the eight teams in its re-engineered and much-hyped Twenty20 competition. 


Meanwhile, former Australian captain Ian Chappell says that the fact that CA is relying on the Argus report to deal with national team performance issues suggests there is something wrong with the national body itself.  Chappell, whose brother Greg lost his national selection position as a result of the review, told the BBC that "it has got to give you a bit of a clue when you have to hold a review to see what is wrong with the body that is supposed to be running cricket".  Earlier this year 'Wisden' editor Scyld Berry said that in his opinion an independent governing body was needed to run the game in Australia (E-News 759-3724, 18 April 2011).






A bowler slipped over in his delivery stride in a match in Wales on Saturday and broke both his leg and ankle, says a report published in the 'Daily Post' newspaper yesterday.  The injury to Bangor's Australian professional Shane Mott, who played a Futures League game for New South Wales last season, brought the match to a premature end and he later underwent surgery in hospital due to the serious nature of his injuries.


The 26-year-old all-rounder, who was to play for Holland in a forty-over one-day match against Worcestershire on Sunday, had earlier top-scored for Bangor in what was a rain-affected encounter, hitting 29 of his side’s total of 7/103.  Visitors St Asaph were 0/37 in the ninth over when the accident happened.


The 'Post' report indicates that Bangor were "reluctant" to continue the match after the incident and that the umpires subsequently awarded their opponents the match, something the club, which lost sixteen championship points as a result, is said to be planning to challenge with league administrators.  The league’s management committee was to meet last night local time to consider all of the circumstances involved before making a ruling, but as yet the result of their deliberations has not been announced.






Former Australian player and until recently Cricket Tasmania administrator David Boon, will make his debut as a match referee in the Zimbabwe-Pakistan Test match which is due to get underway in Bulawayo on Thursday week.  Boon, 50, will have fellow Australian Rod Tucker and Englishman Ian Gould as the umpires for that match, with Zimbabwe Cricket providing the so-far unnamed third and fourth officials.


The Test match, which will be Gould's twenty-first and Tucker's twelfth, will be followed by three One Day Internationals (ODI) then two Twenty20 Internationals over the first three weeks of September.  Boon will oversee all of those matches and Gould will be the neutral umpire for the ODIs, his on-field partner coming from Zimbabwean members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  ZC IUP members will stand in the two T20Is.


Boon was quoted in an ICC statement issued yesterday say saying that he is "really looking forward to visiting Zimbabwe for my first assignment as an elite panelist".  He says he is "sure this phase in my new cricketing life will be as enjoyable as the other experiences".  The Tasmanian visited Zimbabwe as a member of Australia's under-25 side in April 1983 and as captain of Tasmania when that side travelled there  October 1995.


Reports over the last few months indicate that in the lead up to his first match referee's role, Boon has spent time at at the ICC's headquarters in Dubai, and worked as an understudy to Ranjan Madugalle, the world body's chief match referee, in the first two Tests of the England-India series over the last two weeks of July (E-News 766-3756, 26 May 2011).






A report in the 'Times of India' (TOI) claims that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed to the use 'Hawk-Eye' ball-tracking technology in the Umpire Decision Review System package that will be in operation in its national side's forthcoming Test and One Day International series against England and the West Indies.  If so that would be a significant break through for the International Cricket Council (ICC), however, other media reports say the technology involved will be limited to use of the audio tracker and 'Hot Spot' infra-red cameras, although that too would be a first for a bilateral series on the sub-continent.


The 'TOI' report says that "no top BCCI official was willing to come on record confirming the development [regarding 'Hawk Eye'], but they did confirm that the board was in the process of changing its stand and embracing technology more fully".  The ICC said recently that it planned, at the urgings of the BCCI, to conduct research into the accuracy of ball-tracking technology, however, just what the time-line for that investigation is has not been announced.


Warren Brennan, head of Australian company BBG Sports, the owner of the 'Hot Spot' camera technology, told 'Cricinfo' that the BCCI had asked for the cameras to be provided for India's home season over the next four months.  Brennan is also said to have confirmed that 'Hot Spot' will be used for all international cricket in South Africa, including the Australian series in October and the one involving Sri Lankan after Christmas.






Zimbabwe bowler Keegan Meth lost three teeth and suffered a cut to his lower lip on the very last ball of Bangladesh's innings in the fifth and final One Day International between the two sides which was played in Bulawayo on Sunday.  Meth, who bowled the final over, was hit in the mouth by Nasir Hossain's well-hit shot off and immediately collapsed on the pitch.


After treatment on the ground Meth had to be carried from the field on a stretcher, his face bloodied, and subsequently took no further part in the game.  He was treated by the doctor at the ground and later had his lower lip sutured at a nearby hospital. Just what the damage is to his jaw and mouth will not be known until an X-ray examination and a medical report is available, but early reports suggest that he faces quite a few visits to the dentist over the next month or so.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair, who is now the Executive Officer at the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, has repeated his view that several bowlers playing cricket at the highest level today have suspect actions, this time in his new book.  Hair's book, whose title is 'In The Best Interests Of The Game', was released this week, and according to journalist Malcolm Conn, it also recycles claims made earlier this year by its author that bowlers were "chucking" during this year's World Cup.    


Hair is said to have written that he "noted that Harbhajan Singh, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Hafeez, Johan Botha and Abdur Razzaq all bowl with a highly suspicious action that may or may not fall within the fifteen degrees of tolerance" set by the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Despite that he believes that "the chances of their being reported are slim" and that "the chances of [any of them] being actually called during a match [are] absolutely zero".  Botha's action has twice been reported by umpires but later cleared (E-News 516-2657, 2 November 2009).


Sydney-based Hair called Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan almost sixteen years ago for throwing and believes cricket administrators are still shirking the issue of illegal bowling actions.  "Muralitharan was reported by match referee Chris Broad during Australia's tour of Sri Lanka in 2004 for illegal straightening of the arm at the elbow during his bowling action", writes Hair.  


Detailed tests conducted in April 2004 revealed that Muralitharan straightened his arm by an average of fourteen degrees, nine degrees in excess of the tolerance level for spin bowlers allowed by the ICC at the time.  In February the following year the ICC's Chief Executive Committee approved proposals aimed at ending the "malaise" over illegal bowling actions.  


Under the then new proposals, the tolerance limit for straightening of the arm for all bowlers was to be set at fifteen degrees, which studies had shown is the point at which the naked eye can make out excessive straightening.  "Amazingly, this was one degree more than the average of Muralitharan's arm straightening!", says Hair in his book, and he leaves no doubt that he believes the ICC modified its playing conditions to accommodate Murali's action.


Five months ago Hair was quoted by Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper as saying that "a couple of current [senior international] umpires" had told him "something is [still] wrong" with the Sri Lankan's action "but they prefer to let it go" (E-News 736-3614, 7 March 2011).


Publisher Harper Collins says that "unlike recollections of runs, wickets and anecdotes, [Hair's] is a unique story that will leave an impact long after the current generation of umpires and players calls ′time′ ".  Of key interest will be what Hair has to say about the latter stages of his career following the now infamous ball-tampering Test at The Oval in August 2006 that fourteen months later saw him placed on "rehabilitation" by the ICC (E-News 114-620, 10 October 2007), and a year after that his departure from the international game (E-News 298-1569, 19 August 2008).






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, says that the pressure was really on Australian umpire Rod Tucker when he gave Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar out LBW nine runs short of his 100th century in internationals on the last day of the fourth England-India Test at the Oval on Monday.


Lloyd wrote in his 'Daily Mail' column yesterday that "all eyes were on Rod Tucker for that LBW, but credit to him: he only saw a pair of pads, not an icon".  "He gave Tendulkar out without the [Umpire Decision Review System] to help him, but even if Sachin had been able to review, he would still have been out", and that was "good umpiring", wrote Lloyd.


Replays showed that England bowler Tim Bresnan drifted the ball in from outside off stump, Tendulkar played across the line and was struck in front but the drift was taking it onto leg.  Ball-tracking technology available to those watching on television suggest the ball would have just clipped leg stump.  Earlier Tendulkar was dropped twice, once when he was on 70 and again on 85, and he also survived two LBW shouts before Bresnan ended his innings.





Australian umpire Steve Davis will stand in the one-off One Day International (ODI) that is to be played in Dublin tomorrow between Ireland and England, his first match in that country.  Davis, who will be on the field in an ODI for the 105th time, will work with local umpire Mark Hawthorne, a member of the International Cricket Council's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpire Panel, for whom its his third ODI, having made his debut at that level in late May (E-News 764-3753, 23 May 2011). 






South Africa's domestic limited-overs competition will return to a fifty over game this austral summer after being played in a forty over format over the last two seasons.  The move, which was taken at Cricket South Africa's (CSA) annual general meeting last Saturday, will bring it into line with international one-day cricket, and comes a month after Cricket Australia also returned to the fifty over game for the same reason after a single season of forty-five over, spilt innings games (E-News 770-3772, 5 June 2011).


Two months ago CSA announced that its domestic one-dayers would revert back to a forty-five-over game, as it had been from the 1995-6 season until 2009-10, but authorities there have now decided to follow the One Day International format exactly in an attempt to win a first World Cup trophy.


Gerald Majola, CSA's chief executive said after the meeting that the new playing conditions" will be identical to those for One Day Internationals and will better]  prepare our players better for international competition".  "That should help us to win that elusive ICC limited overs trophy", he says.

Friday, 26 August 2011




Tasmanian Keith Bradshaw, who has served as the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) chief executive since October 2006, has resigned from the position and will step down in October, but will continue to be available in an advisory capacity until the end of the year.  Bradshaw said that he plans to return to Australia for family reasons, citing the death in June of his mother, TCUSA Life Member Hazell (E-News 771-3777, 7 June 2011), as a key factor.

Bradshaw, 47, said that his "five years at Lord's have been very special and I will leave with many treasured memories; it has been a great honour and privilege to serve the club".  "I have no doubt that MCC will continue to go from strength to strength as an innovative, independent voice in world cricket, which guards the Laws and Spirit of Cricket with great knowledge and passion.  "I will be proud to wear the club tie Down Under and I look forward to returning to Lord's - the best ground in the world - in the years to come".

MCC president Christopher Martin-Jenkins said in a statement that: "Keith has been a breath of fresh air at Lord's and he can be very proud of his numerous achievements at MCC.  "During his time here, Lord's has come to be seen not just as the home of cricket but as a welcoming place to all who love the game".  "We are very sorry that changing family circumstances have led him to decide he must return to Australia but the committee completely understands and respects Keith's reasons", said Martin-Jenkins. 

Bradshaw, who played first-class cricket for Tasmania until his retirement in 1988, presided over the first floodlit matches at Lord's and the move which has seen the traditional pre-season curtain-raiser between the reigning County Champions and an MCC representative side played in Abu Dhabi with a pink ball over the last two years (E-News     597-3002, 6 April 2011).  Bradshaw is the fourteen chief executive of the MCC in its 224 history to date, but the first non-Englishman to be appointed to that position.




Two sides each forfeited an innings in a rain interrupted first class match in England earlier this month in order to ensure one of them achieved an outright win.  Only thirty overs could be bowled on day one of the game between Durham and Hampshire at Chester-le-Street, while day two was completely washed out, and day three started late and finished early due to bad light, only fifty-three overs being sent down that day.

On the final day Hampshire, who were 6/230 overnight in their long drawn-out first innings, batted on for another twelve overs, then declared at 7/275.  Durham skipper Phil Mustard then forfeited his side's first innings and his counterpart Jimmy Adams followed by doing the same with his team's second opportunity to occupy the crease.  The captains reportedly struck a deal on such an arrangement prior to the start of the day's play.  

Those two moves left Durham eighty-two overs to win the match, and obtain an outright win, however, they were all out fifty runs short in the sixty-fourth over late on day four.




Cricket Australia (CA) is yet to make an announcement as to just which Sheffield Shield matches this austral summer will include a twilight session, however, indications are that between four and eight games may be under consideration.  CA said last week that such trial games will only take place in states that go to daylight savings time over summer, and eight matches scheduled for that region are currently flagged as possibilities on the Shield fixture list.

Plans for twilight sessions became public in early June and are part of CA's contribution to international efforts being made to determine the viability of day-night Tests (E-News 769-3768, 2 June 2011).  The reference to daylight savings time means that only matches scheduled for the Adelaide Oval, Bellerive, and the Melbourne and Sydney Cricket Grounds, are in contention for having twilight segments each day.

Eeight of the season's thirty home-and-away Shield games presently have start times listed as 12 noon and 'TBC' for 'to be confirmed' against them, which suggested they are being targeted as twilight possibilities.  Three games are listed for the MCG, between 11 November and 5 December, Sydney has one match, it being from 25-28 November, and the Adelaide Oval two, one at the same time as the SCG fixture, and the other in early December.  Possible games at Bellerive are put at 15-18 November and 6-9 February, however, whether all eight games will end up with a twilight session remains to be seen.   

Reports earlier this year suggested that the matches involved would see the last session of play run from 6-8 p.m. each day, that players will wear white and the traditional red ball used rather than the pink version.  However, just what the actual arrangements will be have not been made clear as yet, although CA's Playing Conditions Committee were said to be working to identify suitable grounds and dates three months ago. The amount of dew normally experience at each location was reported then to be one of the key issues in their deliberations.

The listed noon start for play suggests though that a scheduled finish of 7 p.m. is planned rather than a close at 8 p.m. as indicated in reports earlier this year.  In the Bellerive case sunset when the November game is underway is around 8.15 p.m. and in February 8.28 p.m., both well over an hour after play would be expected to finish for the day.

CA's move comes in the wake of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee's request earlier this year for countries to test the feasibility of playing day-night games in the longer versions of the sport at the first-class level.  The ICC indicated in May that it hopes to announce dates and venues for the first day-night Test matches next year, Lord's, the Sydney Cricket Ground or the stadium in Abu Dhabi being possible hosts because of "their powerful floodlights" (E-News 762-3742,  12 May 2011).  




An umpire gave a batsman 'not out' caught behind in an Under-15 international between the United States (US) and Bermudan sides on Wednesday, then revoked that decision and raised his finger after talking to his square leg colleague at the request of the fielding captain, says an article posted on the US-based 'Dream Cricket' web site yesterday.  

The story, by US-based writer Peter Della Penna, states that the ball was played at by the US batsman and was caught by the wicketkeeper diving forward, however, despite there being in the writer's assessment "a definite edge" the "ball did not appear to carry".  Importantly though, the umpire whose decision it was to make is said by Penna, who presumably spoke to him after the match, to have believed that "there was no edge" which was the basis of his initial decision.

All that changed in the next minute though for Bermudan captain Antonio Darrell approached the umpire and had what was called "a few words".  That resulted in the umpire talking with his square leg companion to obtain his opinion, although about just what is not clear, and after what was is described as a "brief deliberation" by the two officials, the batsman was given 'out'.  

That change, says Penna, left the "USA bench fuming", however, he does not explain just what caused the original decision to be overturned, especially given the bowler's end umpire's reported judgement that there was 'no ball on bat' involved.  

Monday, 29 August 2011






Aleem Dar of Pakistan and Simon Taufel of Australia, the only two men to have won the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' trophy in its seven-year history to date, have been short-listed for the 2012 award along with Ian Gould of England and Steve Davis of Australia.  Two weeks ago all twelve members of the ICC's top umpiring panel were named as potential candidates for this year's 'David Shepherd Trophy', which is to be awarded at a ceremony in London two weeks from today (E-News 813-3993, 11 August 2011).  


The winner of this year's award, which has been won five times by Taufel (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008), and twice, over the last two years, by Dar (E-News 678-3326, 7 October 2010), will be determined by votes cast by the current ten Test captains and the ICC's seven-man match referees panel, plus what the ICC says is information that is "based on the umpires' performance statistics".  Those votes and the data concerned will be collated for the fifty-one week period that ended on 3 August this year.


The ICC says that that period "includes such high-profile events as the World Cup in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the [second-tier] Intercontinental Cup final, several World Cricket League [competitions], as well as several bilateral Test and One Day International series".  All four short-listed candidates were part of the Playing Control Team for the World Cup final in Mumbai in April, Dar and Taufel on the field, Gould in the television suite and Davis as the fourth umpire (E-News 752-3691, 2 April 2011).


Over the year under consideration Gould, 54, with 31 matches, has been involved in the most senior-level internationals, followed by Dar, 43, with 24, Davis, 59, with 23 and Taufel, who turned forty in January, 21.  


Gould's total is made up of 6 Tests, all on the field, 24 ODIs (16 on the field, 5 as the TV umpire, one being the World Cup final, and 3 as the fourth official), plus one Twenty20 International (T20I) on the field.  Dar's total is 7 Tests, 5 on the field and 2 in the TV spot, plus 17 ODIs, 13 on the field, 2 TV and 2 as fourth umpire, however, like Davis and Taufel he has not stood in a T20I over the period under consideration.


Of the two Aussies, Davis has been involved in 7 Tests (5 field and 2 TV) and 16 ODIs (13 on field, 2 TV and one as the fourth umpire), and Taufel 3 Tests all of which were on the field, 18 ODIs (14 on field, 3 in the TV suite and one as fourth umpire).  Both Australians made the short-list for the world body's top umpiring award last year (E-News 671-3292, 21 September 2010). 






Bermuda's Under-15 side showed the uglier side of the modern game after one of their batsman was given out 'Obstructing the Field' on the last day of a tri-nation tournament in Winnipeg, Canada, on Friday.  According to a report on the United States based 'Dream Cricket' web site, a Bermudan team official ran onto the field to protest the decision, and later when his side were in the field they took sledging to what appears to be a new level for their age group.


The controversy started during the twenty-eighth over of Bermuda's innings when batsman Micah Perozzi defended a full delivery and the ball ran towards silly point.  "While the ball was still bouncing", says the article, Canadian wicketkeeper Sarbjot Singh moved from behind the stumps to pick it up, but as he "leaned down to do so Perozzi kicked the ball away from him".  


The report states that the ball "was not bouncing toward the stumps" and Perozzi's action "was not done in defence of his wicket".  As a result Singh is said to have asked the unnamed umpires, “Howzat?”, after which both umpires "entered into a discussion" and eventually asked Canadian skipper Prushoth Senathirajah if he wanted to withdraw the appeal.  


However, Singh "then appealed again" and "with no objection coming from Senathirajah", Perozzi was given out.  The batsman immediately "begun gesturing at both umpires while a member of the Bermuda management ran out onto the field to protest but the umpires stayed with the decision".


Later when it came time for Canada to bat, Bermuda is said to have displayed "very aggressive body language and didn’t hold back from sledging".  The first ball of the Canadian innings was said to have been "a neck high full toss", then in the next over, the Bermudan keeper "gave a shoulder barge" into one of the opening batsmen while fielding a throw. 


After the second incident, the umpires are said to have approached Bermudan captain Antonio Darrell "to have a word about controlling his players increasingly poor behavior", something 'Dream Cricket' says had been "evident all week long" (E-News 820-4017, 26 August 2011).


However, that request didn't seem to do much good for "things got even uglier [shortly after when] Perozzi completed a catch [and] started a celebration which involved him turning to the Canada bench [and] start shooting an imaginary machine gun while yelling out, “Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!”  


Remarkably, and if the report is correct, without censure, "the Bermuda team then went to the boundary edge to welcome the new batsman, all eleven fielders surrounding and chatting to him all the way to the crease".  That is said to have "prompted one of the Canada management members to call out, 'Stay away from my batsman!' ".


The 'Dream Cricket' report makes no mention of any disciplinary action being taken by tournament officials over any of the incidents.






A new 'Spirit of Cricket Award' which honours "a moment by an international player that has most adhered to the Spirit of Cricket", is to be amongst the trophies that are to be handed out at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual award ceremony in London in two weeks time.  The ICC says that the new award will be based on votes cast by the 19 members of its top-level match referee and umpire panels.


Two nominees are in the running for the inaugural award, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Jacques Kallis of South Africa.  Dhoni's nomination is for\ his recall of England batsman Ian Bell during the second Test match between England and India at Trent Bridge at the end of last month (E-News 806-3946, 1 August 2011), and Kallis for twice walking after clarifying with the opposition fielder that they had caught the ball cleanly during the World Cup.


The new award is separate from the 'Spirit of Cricket' award that is given to the international side that has best upheld that aspect of the game over the course of the year (E-News 813-3993, 11 August 2011).

Wednesday, 31 August 2011






Cricket Tasmania (CT) has announced a small increase in the pay rates for TCUSA affiliated umpires and scorers who look after one and two-day matches in its senior Premier League competitions over the 2011-12 summer.  Umpires in first and second grades will now receive $125 per day, up $10 on last year, and their scorer colleagues $55, a rise of $5.


Payments for umpires in third and under-17 grades will also increase, even though the playing hours for their matches will decrease slightly (E-News 816-3996, 18 August 2011), however, scorers at those levels will as in the past not receive a fee.  Umpires standing in those games as well as women's one-day matches will receive $110 per day, another $5 rise, while scorers in the latter competition will receive $55, which is also up $5 on 2010-11. 


Both men's and women's Twenty20 games will see umpires payed $80 and scorers $35, both rates being the same as last year.  At Under-15 level the daily umpiring fee will be $95 as opposed to the $90 of last summer.


As has been the case for a number of years now, matches that are abandonment prior to lunch without play will see umpires receive $40.  Where only one umpire is available for a game they will receive the normal daily fee plus a 50 per cent loading as in the past.  CT policy is that scorers who work at first, second grade and women's levels will only be paid if they have passed the required training and are affiliated with the TCUSA.


In another pay-related change, match payments will from this season onwards be made by CT's new 'Club Cricket Administrator, rather than the TCUSA's Administrator, the latter's role having been changed as a result (E-News 814-3987, 12 August 2011).  Payments will be done via electronic bank transfer and details of the arrangements that will apply will be provided at the Annual Seminar which will be held on the weekend of 17-18 September.






Top-level umpires in New Zealand have established their own professional association whose main role is to formalise contract negotiations with New Zealand Cricket (NZC), say press reports from across the Tasman yesterday.  Last December there were reports that NZ's top umpires were threatening to go on strike over pay concerns (E-News 700-3431, 14 December 2010), but the matter was settled via a one-year deal that relates to retainer payments and match fees, details of which, as in Australia, remain confidential.


New Zealand Professional Cricket Umpires' Association (NZPCUA) president Barry Frost, of Auckland, told the NZ Press Association that the formation of the new body placed the umpires on an equal footing with the players, who are represented by the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association.  "Being fulltime created a new dynamic and I suppose we have been muddling along with each umpire trying individually to sort out their contracts with [NZC]", he said.


Frost said that five years after NZC established its elite panel of umpires for first-class fixtures around the country, his Association means senior umpires "will be far more efficient now that we've formed our own [organisation which will speak with] one voice to [NZC]".  The NZPCUA essentially follows the model established by NZC which splits the professional and the amateur games.  


Frost said his group is currently negotiating the terms to a long-term contract with NZC, but he did not expect the coming summer's remuneration levels to differ from those that applied in 2010-11.  New Zealand's top panel umpires are in for a busy time over summer with the men's domestic competitions alone being played on 88 days starting in early November (E-News 822-4023 below).






New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has made one change to its top domestic umpires panel for the 2011-12 season, former Wellington and New Zealand spinner Evan Gray, who has stood in 26 first class games over the last five years, being dropped in favour of Wayne Knights from Auckland.  Knights, 41, has been umpiring at first class level since November 2008, and so far has three such games to his credit. 


NZC's eight-man 'Elite' group for 2011-12 is in addition to Knights: Barry Frost and Phil Jones (both Auckland); Gary Baxter and Tim Parlane (Christchurch); Chris Gaffaney (Dunedin); Derek Walker (Oamaru); and Evan Watkin (Wellington).  In addition to their domestic role, Baxter and Gaffaney are also on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel with Frost the third umpire with that group.  Unlike last year, Auckland pair 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill, who are both on the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel, were not included on their country's top domestic list (E-News 684-3354, 19 October 2010).  


Rodger McHarg, NZC's national umpire manager, was quoted in press reports yesterday as saying that the dropping of Gray to the NZC's twelve-man second-level 'A' panel was a "really hard call".  "We have had to look at the wider picture and the opportunities on merit to promote talent [but] in the end it is a numbers game and trying to fit a quart into a pint pot is not easy".  However, continued McHarg, "Wayne Knights deserves his promotion after consistent development and performances in the 'A' panel and I'm confident he will continue to develop and progress".


Tauranga-based Gray's eleven colleagues on the Kiwi's 'A panel' for the coming summer are: Phil Agent and David Reid (both Christchurch); Chris Brown, Peter Gasston, Tony Gillies, Hiran Perera, Peter Spall (all Auckland); Mike George (Paraparaumu); Ash Mehrotra (Papakura); Mark Elliott (Masterton); and David Paterson (Blenheim).  


Sydney-born Gillies, 41, has been promoted after just one season on NZC's third-tier 'Emerging' panel, while Cook Islands born Brown, who played 19 first class matches for Auckland from 1993-97, has according to reports only been umpiring for two years.  Brown, 38, appears to have leap-frogged the Emerging panel in his rise to the 'A' panel.  


Others apart from Gray on the 'A' panel who have stood at first class level are George, 52, with 26 matches since 1999, Patterson, 49, 5 since 2007, and Argent, 51, Gasston, 51, and Reid, 54, with three each, their debuts being in 2009, 2010 and 2010 respectively.  Argent, Reid and Gasston were each allocated one first class match in 2010-11 but George missed out according to records available on line.  Brown, Gilles, Perera, 44, Spall, 47, Mehrotra, 41, and Elliott are yet to stand in first class cricket. 


Wellington's Kathy Cross, 54, who is to officiate at the women's World Cup qualifying tournament in Bangladesh in November, is the sole female named on New Zealand's ten-person Emerging panel.  Cross, who has been on that panel for a number of years, has stood in the women's World Cups of 2001 in New Zealand and in 2009 in Australia (E-News 393-2085, 21 March 2009).


The emerging group for the season ahead is: Cross; Paul Anderson and Glen Walklin (Napier); Shaun Ryan (New Plymouth); David Tidmarsh (Hamilton); Raoul Allen (Auckland); John Bromley (Nelson); Garth Stirrat (Waikanae), Johann Fourie (Masterton); and Aaron Hardie (Tauranga).  Tidmarsh comes on to the panel following Gillies promotion to the 'A' group. 






Former Gloucestershire chairman John Light says that he plans to watch the future career of English first class umpire Steve Gale "with interest if he has one", after what he claims were "two bad umpiring decisions [that] affected" his side's match against Essex at Colchester last week.


Writing in his column in last Thursday's edition of the 'Gloucestershire Gazette', Light says that "Gale reversed a decision to give out [Essex's] Ryan Ten Doeschate", and that he "changed his mind after conversation with the batsman!"  That is said to have "incensed Gloucestershire players, who saw this as a senior batsman influencing [what Light called] a junior umpire".  Gale, one of the few county umpires who has not played first class cricket, was standing in his eighteenth first class match, his debut at that level being in May 2008.


"Next day [Gloucestershire batsman and captain] Alex Gidman was given out LBW having hit the ball", continued Light, and "Captain Alex unwisely gave Gale the chance to reverse that decision - after all had he not done it once?"  "This was correctly interpreted as dissent", says Light, and as a result Gidman "is on a charge".  Players are required, under the Preamble to the Laws of Cricket, that it "is against the Spirit of the Game to dispute an umpire's decision by word, action or gesture". 


"Quite correctly Alex admitted he was wrong and will accept what punishment comes his way, but surely the villain in the piece is umpire Gale", concludes the former Gloucestershire chairman in his commentary on the match. 






The Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) is to investigate what the 'Royal Gazette' newspaper said yesterday were "two gang-related incidents" which occurred during Premier Division games between the Saint George’s and PHC clubs in July and again last week.  Players from both clubs were allegedly involved in angry confrontations before both matches, and the 'Gazette'  says that umpires are becoming disillusioned with player standards.


The umpires who managed last week's game are said to have made comments in their reports to the BCB about the situation that prevailed, Saint George’s duo Detroy Smith and Macai Simmons and PHC’s Khiry Furbert being described as "the main culprits".  Furbert is understood to have been "threatened" before the July game "to such an extent that he left" before that match began, an "incident that ultimately led to a St George’s player being threatened in the return fixture [last] week".


Journalist Josh Ball writes that the most recent incident "is understood to have spurred the BCB into action after the report by umpires in the July game, Bobby Smith and Caleb John-Pierre, allegedly met with little enthusiasm".  The Saint George’s club has said it will be acting on July incident, and a PHC official has confirmed that their club will be investigating and acting on both altercations.


The BCB said in a statement released on Monday that "a committee headed by first vice president, Allen Richardson, [will] investigate the two incidents" but it "will not comment on the specifics of that enquiry until their work is concluded".  “It is untrue to claim that the Board has refused to act on the report received from the umpires", continued the statement.


Ball's story continues by saying that "the length of time it has taken to investigate the first incident has had a knock on effect with [regards to] the umpiring on the island".  "As a result of what they feel is insufficient support from the [BCB], umpires are now opting to officiate [in another competition] rather than be subjected to the anti-social behaviour of players and spectators which has reached a new low".  


The Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association are said to have refused to comment publicly on the situation, although several umpires have said privately that "they are making a point".


Last week Bermuda's Under-15 side were reported to have acted in a hostile manner in a match against Canada during a tri-nations tournament played in Winnipeg (E-News 821-40129, 28 August 2011).  


End of August 2011 news file.