(Story numbers 3946-4107)

Click below to access each individual edition listed below

823   824   825   826   827   828   829   830   831   832   833   834   835   836   837   838   839   840

823 - 1 September [4026-4027]

• 'Majority' or reports about U15 side's misbehaviour 'untrue', says BCB   (823-4026).

• Former Test player promoted to IUP on-field spot   (823-4027).

824 - 3 September [4028-4031]

• Hair's future with the NSWCUSA reported as under question  (824-4028).

• More work needed on technology, consistent UDRS packages, says Taufel   (824-4029).

• Former Kiwi first class umpire dies   (824-4030).

• Davis to attend NSW Annual Convention   (824-4031).

825 - 6 September [4032-4038]

• ICC defends UDRS following latest controversies  (825-4032).

• Galle Test pitch officially rated as 'poor'   (825-4033).

• Fifty-five years on umpire still going strong   (825-4034).

• Umpire abuse in Bermuda leads to match abandonment   (825-4035).

• Call for review of ECB bad light regulations   (825-4036)

• Protest at decisions sees Dubai club banned for a year   (825-4037).

• Three Asian EUP members to miss CL T20 series?   (825-4038).

826 - 7 September [4039-4043]

• Ball-tracking system 'error' behind Hughes' dismissal   (826-4039).

• Tassy umpire for Maroochydore Futures League match   (826-4040).

• Pink ball, day-night format for county first class fixture   (826-4041).

• ODI on-field debut for former England player   (826-4042).

• Welsh umpire set for 150th first class game   (826-4043).

827 - 8 September [4044-4047]
• First day-night Test for NZ in January?   (827-4044).

• UDRS consistency needed or game faces 'ridicule', says CA chief   (827-4045).

• EUP member for mentoring in Malaysia   (827-4046).

• Handcuffing stops play for a short period   (827-4047).

828 - 9 September [4048-4050]

• NSWCUSA Board passed 'no confidence' motion in Hair as EO   (828-4048).

• Game loosing its 'charm' because of technology, says Bird   (828-4049).

• Umpiring 'crisis' as Warnambool season looms   (828-4050).

829 - 11 September [4051-4054]

• TCUSA looses Life Member Alan Newman  (829-4051).

• Pitch scuffing in county match under investigation   (829-4052).

• Bermudan tribunal hands out multi-year bans   (829-4053).

• ICC chief executives to meet in London   (829-4054).

830 - 12 September [4055-4057]

• People skills the key to umpiring, says Taufel  (830-4055).

• ICC 'Umpire of the Year' to be named tonight   (830-4056).

• South African George moved into IUP on-field spot  (830-4057).

831 - 13 September [4058-4061]

• Third-straight 'Umpire of the Year' award for Dar  (831-4058).

• India's Dohni wins ICC 'Spirit of Cricket' award   (831-4059).

• Costs preclude UDRS use in UAE Tests, says PCB   (831-4060).

• ICC stresses need to improve over rates   (831-4061).

832 - 14 September [4062-4066]

• Four 'twilight' Shield matches scheduled by CA   (832-4062).

• Reiffel receives first ICC appointment   (832-4063).

• Oxenford only Australian umpire for Champions League series   (832-4064).

• Up-and-coming Aussie, Kiwi umpires for trans-Tasman exchange   (832-4065).

• Cold conditions for day one of county day-night trial match   (832-4066).

833 - 15 September [4067-4073]

• CA moves to enhance third umpire's role   (833-4067).

• Early season interstate appointments announced   (833-4068).

• U-19 national championship selections now wholly merit-based   (833-4069).

• Dar statistics, umpiring philosophy, underline his success   (833-4070).

• Appeals on lengthy bans lodged in Bermuda   (833-4071).

• Consistency needed in URDS technology and use, says Haddin   (833-4072).

• Umpires play 'pass-the-parcel' in day-night trial match   (833-4073).

834 - 16 September [4074-4076]

• Senior international on-field debut for Matibiri   (834-4074).

• Quality of ball in county day-night trial questioned   (834-4075).

• Dhoni's absence at awards ceremony lacks 'spirit', says Harper   (834-4076).

835 - 20 September [4077-4082]
• BCCI withdrawals support for UDRS operation   (835-4077).

• Oxenford involved in first four Champions League matches   (835-4078).

• Batsman departs without review, replay says 'not out'   (835-4079).

• Century of first class matches for Dar, Taufel   (835-4080).

• Umpires wait for pay two years on, claims report   (835-4081).

• Another mach abandoned in Bermuda   (835-4082).

836 - 22 September [4083-4089]

• ICC Board to revisit UDRS issues next month?   (836-4083).

• Two Tassy umpires set for action in Queensland   (836-4084).

• Young official chosen as UK PCA 'Umpire of the Year'   (836-4085).

• Large crowd greets Dar on his return home   (836-4086).

• EUP member to speak at Wellington meeting   (836-4087).

• Tendulkar again pushing one-day split-innings format, claims report   (836-4088).

• Under-14 match in India gets reviews   (836-4089).

837 - 23 September [4090-4095]

• TrIo returns as CT umpire selectors for 2011-12 (837-4090).

• Sixteen umpires named for opening WNCL, T20 games   (837-4091).

• Ganguly rejects call for revamping of ODI format   (837-4092).

• Former international match referee dies   (837-4093.

• Another country Association faces umpire shortage   (837-4094).

• More musings from 'Dickie' Bird   (837-4095).

838 - 25 September [4096-4100]

• 'Everybody' tampers with the ball, claims former Pakistani quick   (838-4096).

• Dozen match officials for CL series   (838-4097).

• 'Severe reprimand' handed down for pitch scuff   (838-4098).

• US 'Hall of Fame' nomination for Jamaican umpire   (838-4099).

• ECB drops 'Tiflex' balls from domestic first class scene   (838-4100).

839 - 27 September [4101-4103]

• BCCI asking 'wrong question' on UDRS, says Roebuck   (839-4101).

• Umpire's name in the mix for Gaddafi Stadium name change   (839-4102).

• Kenyan, Nepalese stand in WCL6 final   (839-40103).

840 - 30 September [4104-4107]

• Latest changes to ICC playing conditions take effect tomorrow   (840-4104).

• Bowler's action cleared after 'significant remedial work'   (840-4105).

• Busy time for ICC officials, less so for UDRS?   (840-4106).

• Success of umpire recruitment drive sees Association 'caught short'   (840-4107).


Thursday, 1 September 2011 




The Bermuda Cricket Board [BCB] has denied that its Under-15 side were guilty of bad behaviour and numerous disciplinary breaches during last week's tri-nation tournament in Winnipeg that involved national sides from both Canada and the United States.  On Sunday, US-based web site 'Dream Cricket' provided a detailed description of the on-field activities of the Bermudan side in a match against Canada last Friday (E-News 421-4019, 29 August 2011), news that was repeated by other media in the Americas region.

The BCB said in a statement issued yesterday that it has "had a full debrief" with its three-man tour management group and been in communication with tournament organisers over the matter.  As a result it described "the majority of the so-called incidents" reported by journalist Della Penna of 'Dream Cricket' as "blatantly untrue".  "There was no behaviour on tour that warranted any negative report from the umpires", said the BCB.

Incidents reported by 'Dream Cricket' that the BCB emphatically labelled as "untrue" were the claim that a Bermudan bowler deliberately bowled a high-full toss, that their wicketkeeper deliberately gave a shoulder barge to a Canadian player, that one of their fielders displayed excessive taunting directed the Canadian bench after taking a catch, and that all eleven members of the Bermuda team went to the boundary edge to surround and sledge the new batsman.  Penna's article said that such "aggressive" behaviour occurred as a result of an earlier incident when a Bermuda batsman was given out 'Obstructing the Field'.  

Bermuda's 'Royal Gazette' newspaper said overnight that there have been claims that 'Dream Cricket' had photographic evidence of the Under-15 side's bad behaviour, however, "they have failed to produce it despite reportedly being asked to do so".  In addition the web site has "failed to respond to requests for comment", while a Bermuda-based web site that ran Penna's story without attribution has since pulled it down.

E-News has asked 'Dream Cricket' for its views on the situation so-far with no response.  The article that has attracted the BCB's ire is still prominent on the 'Dream' web site this morning.  




Former England spinner Richard Illingworth, who has been a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) top domestic umpires panel since 2006, has been promoted to an on-field position on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  Illingworth, 48, who has been on the IUP in a third umpire capacity, joins Nigel Llong and replaces Richard Kettleborough who was elevated to the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel in May (E-News 766-3758, 26 May 2011). 

Illingworth, who played nine Tests and twenty-five One Day Internationals (ODI) for England in the period from 1991-96, made his debut as a first class umpire in July 2003, two years after his 376th and last game at that level as a player.  Yorkshire-born Illingworth is currently in his ninth season as a first class umpire, a time that has seen him stand in eighty-eight first class matches.  He joined the IUP as a third umpire just under two years ago and stood in his first ODI and Twenty20 International (T20I) games in 2010.  

The promotion to an on-field spot, which has come to light as a result of a posting on the ICC's web site in recent days, leaves Rob Bailey, 47, Illingworth's colleague on the ECB's Full List, as England's single third umpire member on the IUP.  Bailey made his on-field debut in an international at Old Trafford last night in the England-India T20I, Illingworth being his partner.

The ICC web site is currently listing England's second third umpire spot as 'to be advised'.  Tim Robinson, 52, another former England player, and former first class player Michael Gough, 31, appear to be potential contenders for the vacant position.

Saturday, 3 September 2011 





The future of former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair as the Executive Officer (EO) of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) appears to be under a cloud.  A number of NSWCUSA members who contacted E-News, and subsequent enquires made buy this newsletter, indicate that Hair and the Association's board of management had a major falling out last week and that he is now on "sick leave" pending a resolution of the situation. 


Reports suggest that the trigger for the current impasse was what one contact, who wanted the situation more widely known, described as "the appointment and then removal of a [NSW] country umpire coach".  The coach concerned, who has not been named, is said to have held his current position for almost ten years, but members of the NSW Country Umpires Panel had, according to one source, "often complained to Hair that feedback on their performances in matches [from the coach] was completely ineffectual or non-existent".


After due consideration Hair, who has strong views on performance standards and has often emphasised his willingness to make "hard" decisions without fear or favour, removed the coach from his position but the management committee is said to have objected to that.  Hair's attitude on such matters is probably illustrated by comments he made when the Newcastle District Cricket Umpires Association (NDCUA) was expelled from NSWCUSA ranks, the 'Newcastle Herald' quoting him then as saying "if people’s behaviour is not in accordance with what our requirements are then I think strong action needs to be taken" (E-News 706-3462, 22 December 2010).  The NDUCA later appealed to Cricket NSW about their expulsion (E-News 753-3699, 5 April 2011).


One supporter of Hair in the NSWCUSA told E-News that "cricket umpiring needs people like Hair [for] he will stand up for umpires in the face of apathy from administrators".  They argue that his performance since his EO appointment three years ago this month has had a very positive effect on the NSWCUSA, one observer saying that "membership numbers [in that time] have increased by twenty per cent, an exceptional record in the current climate where umpire numbers are dwindling throughout the rest of the country".  As such, he believes it will be very difficult for Cricket NSW, who funds the EO position, to discount such results as they consider how to resolve the situation that currently exists.


It is understood that after the matter came to a head, which was in the week that Hair's new 332 page book 'In the Best Interests of the Game' was launched (E-News 819-4010, 24 August 2011), he took what is being described as "sick leave" and is likely to be away until the middle of this month.  In a story related to his new book that ran on the ABC-TV's '7.30' program on Thursday evening and is believed to have been filmed subsequent to the disagreement with the board of management, Hair looked in robust health, although somewhat strangely his current position was described by the journalist concerned as "a consultant to Cricket NSW".


In Hair's absence, former first class umpire Darren Goodger, who is the NSWCUSA's Education and Development Manager, is understood to be looking after the EO position.  Goodger is currently scheduled to play a major role in Cricket Tasmania's Annual Seminar for umpires and scorers in Hobart in a fortnight.  However, his ability to attend that gathering appears to be in doubt for Sydney's 2011-12 grade cricket competition is due to get underway the week after that and the extra work that has now fallen his way may prevent his attendance.


The NSWCUSA was very supportive of Hair in 2006 at the time of the now infamous ball-tampering Test at the Oval between England and Pakistan.  The organisation placed a full-page 'open letter' to Malcolm Speed, the International Cricket Council's then chief executive officer, in Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper, calling Hair's treatment after that Test as "a travesty of justice".  The advertisement was paid for by NSWCUSA members after they agreed to donated their match fees that weekend towards the costs involved.






The LBW dismissal of Australian Phil Hughes in the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia in Galle on Thursday has been referred to the International Cricket Council (ICC) by the three umpires involved and their Australian colleague Simon Taufel, says a 'Cricinfo' report published yesterday.  The four are said to be concerned about the accuracy of the 'Hawk Eye' ball-tracking technology used as part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in some Tests and One Day Internationals, Taufel going further and commenting about the inconsistent availability of UDRS technology.


Hughes was given out to a ball that spun appreciably from around middle stump towards off, but the 'Hawk-Eye' predicted path had the ball going straight on with the angle from round the wicket to strike leg stump.  Hughes asked for a review of the decision but was sent on his way by English umpire Richard Kettleborough after he consulted with third umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand.


In Galle to conduct a third umpire accreditation seminar the day before the Test began (E-News 808-3962,3 August 2011), Taufel stayed on to observe the first two days of the Test in part to assess the impact of technology's inconsistent use and accuracy, having umpired in England's home series against India last month under vastly different playing conditions and technological aids.  The Australian is quoted in the 'Cricinfo' article as saying that more needed to be done to prove the veracity of devices such as 'Hawk-Eye', 'Hot Spot' and 'Virtual Eye' via independent testing that sits outside the views of broadcasters and suppliers.  


The Australian went on to emphasise that from the perspective oif a third umpire, "it is incredibly challenging here [in Sri Lanka] because the [camera] frame rates used by 'Ten Sports' per second will be different to the ones used by 'Sky' in Britain. There's ultra-motion available in the UK, there's none of that here. We have 'Hot Spot' in the UK, we don't have 'Hot Spot' here. The camera rates used by 'Hawk-Eye' here would be different to the camera rates used there [so] how can you possibly expect consistent outputs if you've got inconsistent inputs?", he asked.  Former Australian umpire Daryl Harper talked publicly about the frame-rate issue last month (E-News 801-3919, 20 July 2011).


In addition, continued Taufel, "We've also noticed the players are somewhat confused as to what they can challenge and what they can't.  In the UK they couldn't challenge LBWs, they could only challenge caught decisions [but] here we've gone back to a different system where you can challenge both".  "Surely that's got to be difficult for the players and the match officials to keep adjusting from series to series", and "our message as umpires was rather strong at the ICC cricket committee meeting where we said, we either want to use everything or nothing at all, let's try to make it consistently easier for everybody. That's what we want to work towards".


The two on-field umpires in the Galle Test, umpires Kettleborough and Pakistan's Aleem Dar, plus third umpire Hill, are also said to have sent the relevant footage of the [Hughes] incident to the ICC's cricket operations department which is headed by former South African player David Richardson.






Former New Zealand first class umpire Eric Dempster, who played as an all-rounder for Wellington and New Zealand from 1947-61, died in Dunedin last month aged 86.  A slow-medium left-arm bowler and left-hand batsman, Dempster played in a total of fifty-two first class games, five of them Tests, four of the latter during the Kiwi's 1953-54 tour of South Africa.


New Zealand Cricket says that Dempster became a member of the Wellington Cricket Umpires Association in 1949, and after moving to Dunedin he stood in fourteen first-class in the period from 1971-79 plus three One Day Internationals in the mid-1970s as well as three domestic one-day games, the single-day format being relatively new to top-level cricket at that time.






Steve Davis, one of the three Australians on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), will be a guest presenter at the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association's Annual Convention in Bathurst next weekend.  Adelaide-based Davis, 59, who is one of four EUP members short-listed for this year's ICC 'Umpire of the Year' award, the winner of which is to be announced in London on Monday week (E-News 821-4018, 29 August 2011), is to fly to the UK straight after the convention to attend the awards ceremony.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011 





Media reports from several countries are suggesting that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to again debate the effectiveness and accuracy of the current Umpires Decision Referral System (UDRS) during its chief executives meeting in London next week.  David Richardson, the ICC's General Manager Cricket, who has overall operational responsibility for the UDRS, sprung to the defence of the system yesterday after it was criticised by both players and umpires over the last few days.  


In late June the world body hammered out a compromise as to how the system is used in international cricket, however, that still left a number of key issues unresolved (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011), but controversies in matches over the last week have added further fuel to the debate.  Last week senior international umpires referred the dismissal of Australian Phillip Hughes' second innings LBW dismissal in the first Test against Sri Lanka to the ICC, an outcome that raised a question mark about both the accuracy of ball tracking technology and the technological inconsistencies from series to series (E-News 824-4029, 3 September 2011).  


On the weekend India's Rahul Dravid was given 'not out' caught behind by the on-field umpire, Billy Doctrove of the West Indies in the One Day International against England.  Replays showed no mark on the bat from the 'Hot Spot' camera, but the third umpire, Marais Erasmus of South Africa, was satisfied that he heard a sound as the ball went past Dravid's bat and relayed this information to Doctrove, who revoked his original decision and gave the batsman out.  Long-time Indian cricket journalist Harsha Bhogle wrote on the weekend that "either the umpire - and Marais Erasmus is a decent umpire - got it completely wrong with the audio evidence or 'Hot Spot' failed to find a nick again".  


Richardson said in a press release issued yesterday that the system has continued to help improve the accuracy of decision-making in international matches over the last few months.  "The purpose of the [UDRS] is to get as many decisions correct as possible [and] the statistics show that, with the full [system] in operation, the number of correct decisions rises to almost 98 per cent and that is what we must focus on", he said.  "Even if it is possible only to reach 98 per cent", he continued, "that has to be better than the average achieved without the UDRS of around 93 per cent".


Releasing the latest statistics, Richardson said that in the two Tests between the West Indies and Pakistan in May, the percentage of correct decisions made prior to UDRS referrals was 94.52 per cent, and after technology was applied to appeals 98.63 per cent.  For the three England-Sri Lanka Tests in May-June the figures were 92.35 and 98.47 per cent, in England's four Tests against Indian last month, when ball-tracking was not part of the UDRS package, 93.35 and 96.31 per cent, and in the recent five Sri Lanka-Australia One Day Internationals (ODI) 100 and 100 per cent.


"Every decision made in Test match and ODI cricket is monitored at the ICC Headquarters in Dubai", says Richardson, and the world body will continue to, monitor the accuracy of ball-tracking and all decisions whether referred or not under the UDRS.  Such monitoring reveals a minute number of errors in technology and that technology is not always conclusive, says the ICC, however, in the vast majority of cases an incorrect decision can be, and has been, rectified.






The pitch used for the opening Test between Sri Lanka and Australia in Galle last week has been rated as "poor" by match referee Chris Broad of England.  Broad has submitted a report to the International cricket Council (ICC) on the quality of the pitch as required under the world body's Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, which came into effect in 2006 and applies to all Tests, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals.


David Richardson, the ICC’s General Manager Cricket, and the world body's chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, will now consider all the evidence, including studying video footage of the match and submissions from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), the host Board.  The ICC has provided SLC with a copy of Broad’s report and it now has fourteen days to provide a reply.  Richardson and Madugalle will announce their findings sometime after that.


The pitch was the cause of much conjecture in the lead-up to the match, but by its conclusion both sides agreed it had been far too dry and offered exceedingly rare extremes of spin and variable bounce.  If the ICC is not satisfied with the SLC's explanation they could hand down a fine and a directive that corrective action be taken.






An umpire in Yorkshire who first donned the white coat fifty-five years ago was honoured for his services at an awards ceremony held at Headingley last Thursday, says a story published in the 'Ripon Gazette' yesterday.  Brian Lakin, 77,  who is still umpiring and stood for a total of 170 overs over the weekend, received the runner-up award for services to umpiring at the Yorkshire Cricket Board’s 'Outstanding Service to Cricket' awards.


Lakin became involved with cricket as a twelve-year-old in 1946 and was encouraged to take up umpiring in the mid-1950s. In the time  since he has umpired in the Wetherby League, Dales Council, the York Senior League and the now defunct Leeds and District League.  He has also contributed to the work of various cricket-related Committees, including at the moment the Leeds and District Association of Cricket Officials, and is currently the main organiser for the Leeds Area Council Cup competition.


Late last year the 'Guinness Book of Records' recognised 80-year-old Adelaide umpire Dean Groves as the world's “Most Durable” umpire for the 55 years he spent in the middle (E-News 699-3428, 13 December 2010).  It is not known if Larkin has been officiating for all of the fifty-five years mentioned in the 'Gazette' article, but he says he is "still enjoying it, but at my age it tells on the legs after two days of umpiring".  "I’m happy to keep going [and] the target is now to win the top [Yorkshire] award" for services, he says.  






Unruly behaviour in a Premier League match in Bermuda led to the umpires abandoning the game between the Devonshire and Willow Cuts clubs on Sunday, says a story in yesterday's 'Royal Gazette' newspaper.  One umpire left the ground after being verbally abused by players, and shortly after his colleague abandoned the match after receiving the same treatment, says the report.


Umpire Bobby Smith is said to have walked off the field in the seventeenth over of Willow Cuts innings as they chased the target set by them by Devonshire in the forty over game.  Smith had given a batsman out LBW and is said to have then been "bombarded with obscenities" and "subjected to scathing verbal abuse from players and spectators alike".


After Smith's departure, Willow Cuts’ player Chris Douglas went on to the ground to assist Lester Harnett the other umpire by standing at square leg.  However, before play resumed Harnett abandoned the game after allegedly being subjected to verbal abuse from players.  As a result Douglas is said to have "kicked the stumps out of the ground at the western end of the ground before walking off towards the dressing room", while Harnett was subjected to further verbal abuse after pulling stumps at the opposite end of the ground.


Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) technical committee chairman and vice-president Allen Richardson told the 'Gazette' that his association will now review the circumstances that led to the match being abandoned.  “The Board will review this matter once we receive the official match report from the umpires and then take the appropriate action", he said.  When contacted by the newspaper the coaches of both teams declined to comment on the match.


Its a busy time for the BCB as it is also investigating "two gang-related incidents" that occurred in matches there in July and August.  Players from the clubs involved were allegedly involved in angry confrontations before both matches, and the 'Gazette' said last week that umpires on the island are becoming disillusioned with player standards (E-News 822-4025, 31 August 2011).


In England, the day before the latest Bermudan fracas, an altercation between a batsman and a bowler caused the abandonment of a division one match in the York and District Senior Cricket League (YDSCL), according to an article published in 'The Press' newspaper in York yesterday.  The Clifton side were 3/93 chasing Driffield's 168 when umpires Roger Philpot and Paul Scott were forced to call-off the game.  YDSCL officials are said to have launched an investigation into what a spokesman called a “serious incident”, but no one from either club was available for comment when contacted on Sunday.






Former England player and now Warwickshire coach Ashley Giles believes the issue of bad light in first-class cricket in that country needs “to be looked at” with some form of technology employed to prevent reliance on use of the naked eye.  He supported the decision of umpires Jeff Evans and Peter Hartley to take the players off late on the final day of his side's game against Yorkshire at Edgbaston on the weekend as they were applying the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) rules that currently apply, however, he argues that those rules "are far from perfect".


Giles told local media that he "can’t argue with the umpires’ decision because it was dark [and] I think they were right to come off".  “But", he continued, "using only the naked eye and not light meters is strange in this era", for "It's a professional game now and surely there has to be a system that works and which will say that the light is too bad and that play won’t start again until it improves".  


“Yorkshire needed to win and we wanted to win and it would have been a good finish but the umpires nowadays take it out of your hands and that’s the way it is", said Giles, and "if someone gets hurt out there then the umpires are going to take it in the neck".






A newly formed club in Dubai has been banned from all competitions there for a year after their players threatened the umpires in a tournament match last week, says an article in the 'Gulf News' yesterday.  The Peace Maker Cricket Club didn't quite live up to its name after three of its batsmen were given out LBW, a situation that the 'News' says led them to announce that they would only allow the game to continue if all three decisions were withdrawn and their batsmen allowed to bat again.


The 'Gulf News' quoted the Dubai Cricket Council's secretary as saying that he was "informed about the incident as soon as it happened" and that "no clubs have got the right to interfere with umpiring decisions".  "Any protest can only be lodged after a match ends", he continued, and "the umpires informed the [Peace Maker players] about that but they refused to adhere to [that advice]".






The three umpires from the sub-continent on the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) may not be part of the umpiring group for the two-week long Champions League (CL) Twenty20 (T20) series which is due to start in India on Friday fortnight, says a story published in Colombo's 'Daily Miurror' newspaper on the weekend.   


When ask whether he or his colleague Aleem Dar will feature in the tournament, Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf was quoted as saying that "we have not been invited and I don't think either of us will figure".   Dar is currently officiating in the Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia, the last game of which is due to end just two days before the CL event is due to start.  Both Pakistani umpires and their families are said to be then scheduled to travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the Haj pilgrimage for twenty-five days.


The other Asian EUP member, Kumar Dharmasena from Sri Lanka, is also uncertain about his CL participation.  "I was asked to inform about my availability for the Champions League [but I am still undecided and will inform organisers only after checking my international schedule", but the 'Mirror' says that "most probably" he may not opt to take part.


The Champions League tournament involves club teams from Australia, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. Dharmasena took part in the inaugural series in India in 2009, and Dar and Rauf in South Africa in 2010, Dar standing in last year's final with Rudi Koertzen of South Africa. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011 






Steve Carter, the managing director of the company that provides 'Hawk-Eye' ball-tracking technology, says that a system fault led to Australian batsman Phil Hughe's LBW dismissal in the opening Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle last week.  Senior international umpires referred Hughes' dismissal to the International Cricket Council (ICC), raising questions about both the accuracy of ball tracking technology and system inconsistencies from series to series (E-News 824-4029, 3 September 2011).  


Hughes, who was attempting to sweep, was given out to a ball that spun appreciably from around middle stump towards off, but the 'Hawk-Eye' predicted path had the ball going straight on with the angle from round the wicket to strike leg stump.  Given out by English umpire Richard Kettleborough, Hughes asked for a review of the decision but was sent on his way after Kettleborough consulted with third umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand.  Hill could not over turn the standing umpire’s decision and the left-hander had to walk back to the pavilion.


Carter says "several factors", particularly that only forty centimetres of ball travel was involved, produced the error but claimed that it was a "one-off wrong decision" and that because of the small distance from pitching to interception there was "a tracking mistake".  "The ICC was provided with the details immediately after the match finished to make them aware [of the background]", he says.  "We should have done better, lessons have been learnt from the situation and the probability of it happening again in the future is greatly reduced", says Carter.


The 'Hawk Eye' chief defended his company's system, emphasising that the "technology has been beneficial tool for the sport as it has assisted the players and umpires since its invention".  On Monday, after the latest round of controversy, the ICC's David Richardson, who has overall operational responsibility for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), again emphasised the improvement in the accuracy of decision making that has been brought about by technology such as 'Hawk Eye' (E-News 825-4032, 6 September 2011).


In July, ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that his organisation would carry out an independent assessment of the accuracy of ball-tracking technology "over the next few months", as well as look for sponsors to fund the operation of the UDRS in Tests and One Day Internationals (E-News 790-3868, 6 July 2011).  To date there appears to have been no announcement on what if any progress has been made with either issue, and Richardson did not mention anything about such plans in his press release on Monday.


Hughes dismissal and that of Indian Rahul Dravid in last weekend's One Day International against England has regenerated the long drawn out debate on technology, and the matter is likely to again be on the agenda at next week's ICC chief executives meeting in London.






Tasmanian State Umpires Panel member Jamie Mitchell will travel to Maroochydore in Queensland in two weeks for the opening Futures League four-day match of the season between the Victorian and Tasmanian second XI sides.  Mitchell's on-field partner for that game will be Richard Patterson of Victoria who worked at first class level over the first half of last decade, while the match referee will be Cricket Australia (CA) Umpire High Performance Panel member Bob Stratford..


Mitchell, 45, a former Australian Under-19 international, will be standing in his fourth Futures League game, his three to date being spread over the last three seasons.  Patterson, 45, stood in twenty-two first class, and twenty List A games in the period from 1999-2004, and has the distinction of having worked as the third umpire in a Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2000.  The Maroochydore fixture will be his third Futures League game.


The day after the Tasmania-Victoria game starts, the second match in the second XI competition for the season will get underway in Brisbane when the home state plays New South Wales.  Former first class umpire Jim Topey will be the match referee for that game and the on-field umpires Jay Kangur, 39, and Damien Mealey, 43.


Mealey, a member of CA's four-man emerging umpires group over the last two years, who made his List A debut late last year (E-News 693-3399, 5 November 2010), will be standing in his eighth multi-day second XI game since December 2008.  He also took part in last season's Futures League Twenty20 series, standing in seven matches.  Brisbane-born Mealey could potentially be in line for his initial first class match this season, but as yet no announcement has been made by CA.


Jay Kangur, 39, will partner Mealey in the Queensland-NSW game, his sixth at second XI level since his debut in November 2006.  






The first class county game between Kent and Glamorgan in Canterbury next week is be played using a pink ball in a day-night format as part of on-going international trials to determine whether a Test match could be played under such conditions.  Cricket Australia has scheduled similar matches this coming summer, but unlike those which are currently scheduled to end at 7 p.m. (E-News 820-4016, 26 August 2011), the Kent fixture will see play conclude at 9 p.m.


The England and Wales Cricket Board says that the Kent-Glamorgan match, in what is the last round of the 2011 county season, has been selected because neither side is in contention for promotion from Division Two.  During the match players will wear white clothing, play will commence at 2 p.m. and floodlights turned on at 5.30 p.m., however, they will be able to be used at any time earlier in the day should it be necessary.  Actual sunset time in Canterbury in mid-September is at around 7.20 p.m.


While the last two county season openers between the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the then Champion County has been played in Abu Dhabi under the same basic day-night and ball conditions, next week's game, which will be umpired by Nigel Cowley and Martin Bodenham, will be the first played for county championship points.   For Cowley it will be his 437th first class game on the field, 271 as a player and 166th as an umpire, while for former senior football referee Bodenham, its his fifty-eighth. 


In May the International Cricket Council (ICC) said it hoped to announce dates and venues for the first day-night Test matches sometime next year.  The fixtures, which will be conducted "as trials", could be played at either Lord's, the Sydney Cricket Ground or in Abu Dhabi because of "their powerful floodlights", said the ICC's general manager cricket, David Richardson, at the time (E-News 762-3742, 12 May 2011).  


The announcement of the arrangements for the Kent game is the latest of a series of a somewhat disjointed series of trials that has seen enthusiasm for the day-night concept wax and wane amongst the authorities concerned, the key issue being whether a suitable ball could be found for such games.  






English umpire Rob Bailey made his One Day International (ODI) debut in the match between England and India in Southampton overnight.  Bailey, 47, who has been on the field in an ODI four times before as a player, joined the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel in a third umpire capacity earlier this year (E-News 749-3680, 30 March 2011).


In addition to ODIs, Bailey played four Tests for England in the late 1980s, which were among a total of 374 first class games he played for Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and the Marylebone Cricket Club in the period from 1982-2001, a time in which he also featured in 396 List A games.


He retired at the end of 2001 and joined the England and Wales Cricket Board's reserve umpires list before being appointed to the full list in the lead up to the 2006 season.  His debut as an umpire in first class cricket came in April 2003 and he currently has eighty-seven such games on the field as well as eight-eight List A and sixty-five Twenty20s to his credit, as well as many games as the third umpire.


Bailey made his senior international debut in June this year as the third umpire in England's Twenty20 International (T20I) against Sri Lanka, then on the field in last Thursday's England-India T20I.  Over the last three months he has worked as the television official in three ODIs in the lead up to yesterday's on-field debut.






Wales-born Jeff Evans, one of the few umpire on the first class circuit in the UK who has not played the game at that level, will step out in what will be his 150th first class match as an umpire next Monday when the four-day fixture between Durham and Worcestershire gets underway.  


Evans, 57, who will be working in his twelfth first class match of the 2011 season,  made his debut in the first class game in May 1999, and in the time since has gone on to also stand in 160 List A games, sixty-three Twenty20 fixtures, as well as womens' and Under-19 internationals, and as the fourth official in Test, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals.

Thursday, 8 September 2011




John Stephenson, the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) assistant secretary, is quoted in yesterday's London 'Daily Telegraph' as saying that the first day-night Test could be played in Hamilton, New Zealand, as early as January next year.  Stephenson said that “We are hoping [that an MCC side will] play a first-class day-night match in that city at the end of October against Northern Districts", and if that is successful and the International Cricket Council (ICC) approves it, New Zealand and Zimbabwe might play the first day-night Test there in January".


In May the ICC said it hoped to announce dates and venues for the first day-night Test matches sometime next year.  The ICC's general manager cricket, David Richardson, said at the time that such fixtures, which will be conducted "as trials", could be played at either Lord's, the Sydney Cricket Ground or in Abu Dhabi because of "their powerful floodlights" (E-News 762-3742, 12 May 2011). 


Stephenson was speaking following the announcement on Tuesday that the first class county game between Kent and Glamorgan in Canterbury next week is be played using a pink ball in a day-night format (E-News 826-4041, 7 September 2011).  “I think that the decision [by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)] to use the pink ball next week is a very positive one", he said, for "the experiments we have carried out in Abu Dhabi for the champion county fixture over the last two seasons have proved to be very successful (E-News 753-3694, 5 April 2011).


The MCC used Kookaburra pink balls for their match against Nottinghamshire in Abu Dhabi last March and some of the batsmen are reported to have struggled to see them when the artificial light replaced daylight, while others were more positive about the experience.  The ECB apparently proposes to use balls manufactured by the England-based Tiflex company for the Canterbury experiment.  


Cricket Australia is yet to announce which Sheffield Shield matches this season will have twilight sessions that involve 7 p.m. scheduled finishes, that program of games also being in support of potential future day-night Tests (E-News 820-4016, 26 August 2011).






Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland says the game faces ridicule unless the use of technology in umpiring decisions becomes consistent, say reports carried by a number of media outlets overnight.  Last week Australian international umpire Simon Taufel publicly warned of the problems faced by both umpires and players that have resulted from the variation in technology types and capabilities that are currently used for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) (E-News 824-4029, 3 September 2011). 


Sutherland said yesterday that he was concerned that the technology was being used haphazardly around the world.  "Until we actually get consistency, we're going to find ourselves open to ridicule for not quite getting it right," he said.  "It is partly a financial issue [but] there are other matters about access to equipment at the moment and some other concerns that [International Cricket Council] member countries have".


The comments by the CA chief follow last week's dismissal of Australia opener Phillip Hughes in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle (E-News 825-4032, 6 September 2011.  Steve Carter, the managing director of the company that provides 'Hawk-Eye' ball-tracking technology, said on Tuesday that a system fault caused the incorrect decision that was made. "We should have done better, lessons have been learnt from the situation and the probability of it happening again in the future is greatly reduced", he said (E-News 826-4039, 7 September 2011).


Surtherland said that "we continue to see little quirks in the system", but while he is "very comfortable with the tracking", he believes there is a "need to continue to have mechanisms by which umpires can make judgments about where the technology is not working or falling down".  "One of my concerns is that under the laws of the game the batsman should never lose that benefit of the doubt", however, "sometimes it would appear to me that technology is confusing that".


The Australian chief is expected to attend next week's meeting of the ICC's chief executives committee in London, a gathering at which further discussions on UDRS issues is expected by many observers to be on the agenda. 






Australian Stave Davis, one of the four umpires who has been short-listed for this year's International Cricket Council (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' award (E-News 821-4018, 29 August 2011), will be part of a team of nine officials from eight countries who will be officiating in the week-long World Cricket League's (WCL) Division 6 tournament in Malaysia later this month.  Davis' ICC Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) colleague and countryman Simon Taufel, stood in the last Division 6 event two years ago (E-News 486-2522, 8 September 2009).


Umpires named for the event in addition to Davis are: Srinivasan Adachani (Oman); Imran Haji (Kuwait); Neil Harrison (Japan); David Odhiambo (Kenya); Durga Subhedi (Nepal); and Kalidass Viswanadan (Malaysia).  Former West Indies Test batsman, Adrian Griffith, will be the referee for the tournament which will take place across three grounds in Kuala Lumpur, venues were also used for the Under-19 World Cup in 2008.


The ICC says that during his time with match officials in Malaysia Davis, like Taufel, will act as a mentor to the other umpires throughout the tournament as part of the world body's initiative for umpire development outside Full Member countries.


Teams in the tournament, which is due to get underway on Saturday week, are: Fiji, Guernsey, Jersey, Kuwait, Malaysia and Nigeria.  The two finalists of the event will be promoted to the WCL Division 5 event which is scheduled to be played in Singapore early next year. 


In addition to Davis and Taufel, the ICC has used EUP members Ian Gould from England and Tony Hill of New Zealand for mentoring in WCL events over the last two years.






Around 300 spectators looked on at a charity match played in Kent on Monday as a women protesting about the frequency with which balls have been hit into her garden over the last five years was arrested by two of the players, who happened to be policemen.  Maria Chiappini, 41, is said to have stormed on to the ground yelling and waving her arms but ended up being handcuffed and taken to Maidstone police station.


After her arrest by two of the players, both of whom are detectives with Kent Police, Chiappini was detained in the pavilion until a patrol car arrived, and then held in a cell at the local police station for six hours, a time during which she had her DNA and fingerprints taken, was given a penalty notice for public disorder and being verbally abusive, and later fined £80.


Chiappini and her husband, John, 53, have been locked in a long-running dispute with Bearsted Cricket Club since they bought their £1.2million property facing the village green five years ago.  "She was fed up with balls landing in her garden and was worried they would damage the property or hurt one of her children", say local media reports, but things came to a head "when she saw one of the players making a rude gesture at her".  She went over to remonstrate and says someone came “charging” towards her and she was grabbed by two men and marched to the pavilion.


One of the players at the annual charity match between Bearsted Cricket Club and the Bearsted and Thurnham Club said: “There has been a lot of correspondence between the club and that family. They own the biggest house that borders the village green and don’t like the fact that matches are played so close to their property".  Chiappini has appealed against the fine and lodged a complaint about the way she was treated, which is being processed by Kent Police's Professional Standards Department.

Friday, 9 September 2011






The Board of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) passed a 'no confidence' motion in its Executive Officer (EO) Darrell Hair two weeks ago, according to an announcement made during the Association's September meeting in Sydney on Wednesday evening.  Reports late last week indicated that a major falling out had occurred between the Board and Hair and that he was on "sick leave" (E-News 824-4028, 3 September 2011).


Stephen Poole, the NSWCUSA Board's chairman, made the announcement of the 'no confidence' motion to over one hundred members who were present at Wednesday's meeting.  Poole indicated that the motion was passed by his committee "as a result of several issues" about which they and Hair have obviously had a major disagreement abouit, however, he did not provide any details.  Indications late last week were that Hair's "appointment and then removal of a [NSW] country umpire coach" was one of the issues involved, but that is yet to be confirmed. 


Poole confirmed earlier reports by saying that Hair, who has been in the EO position for three years this month, is currently on what he called "medical leave".  He said that the matter now rests with Hair's actual employer, Cricket NSW, to resolve.  Former first class umpire Darren Goodger has been appointed as action Executive Officer pending resolution of the situation, said Poole.  E-News understands the matter is likely to come to a head next week as Hair is currently expected to return to work on Monday.


Wednesday's announcement is said to have been received by those at the meeting in what a source described as "stunned silence".  No questions were asked of Poole by those present about the situation and what was behind it and the meeting is said to have quickly moved on to other Association business.  






Former English international umpire 'Dickie' Bird has criticised the use of technology in cricket, saying the power of decision-making should remain with on-field officials. Bird, who is now 78, told a television interviewer on Wednesday that "umpires do make mistakes and that is the part of the game [but] machines have stumped the umpires these days, which is indeed unfortunate".


"People have contrasting views over the use of technology but I believe in the old school of thought. On committing an error an umpire and his performance is judged and criticised from many quarters which adds to the existing pressure on him", he said. "I don't like all the authority being taken away for the field umpire [for] by doing so, the game is losing its charm."


Controversy continues to rage around the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) and the various pieces of technology involved, however, the International Cricket Council has strongly defended the use of technology to assist umpires, pointing to an increase in the percentage of correct decisions made when the UDRS is in operation in matches (E-News 825-4032, 6 September 2011).






The Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) in south-west Victoria is hoping to combat its umpire shortage by offering free training, accreditation and uniforms to any umpires who sign up for the coming season, says an article published in 'The Standard' newspaper yesterday.  Newly-appointed WDCA director of umpiring Nick Frampton said the association was desperately short of umpires for the 2011-12 season and called the current outlook "grim".


Frampton said that with the season scheduled to start in just over five weeks, the association is at least four umpires short of the minimum number needed to cover all matches in the top grade and division two, while a further seven would be required to cover division three matches.  “You could say we’ve got an umpiring crisis on our hands and we’re calling on all past players or other like-minded individuals who have ever considered umpiring to give umpiring a go.”


The WDCA board of management is hoping to help ease the problem by offering a recruitment package for new umpires.  Anyone who signs up this season will receive free training, free uniforms and free Cricket Australia accreditation,  a package that is said to be worth around $A230.  WDCA umpires are paid $A80 a day for two-day matches and $A100 a day for one-day matches.

Sunday, 11 September 2011 





Former TCUSA umpires coach and advisor Alan Newman passed away in Hobart on Wednesday.  Newman was made a Life Member of the Association fifteen years ago in honour of his long and dedicated service, along the way also being presented with the 'Advisor's Merit Award" in 1991-92 and two 'Services to the Association' trophies, one in 1993-94 and the other in 1995-96.  


Originally from South Australia, Newman lived in Launceston before moving south to Hobart in the 1980s, and became a member of the TCUSA soon after.  His great love of the game came through in all he did for the Association, and those who knew him in those days spoke of his willingness to assist both his umpiring colleagues and players to better enjoy their time out on the field.  He worked as the Association's umpire advisor and coach over the three seasons from 1992-96.


Alan's farewell will be held at Millington's funeral centre in Morning starting at 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.






Yorkshire and England seamer Ajmal Shahzad is being investigated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after he was caught on camera allegedly scuffing the pitch while he was batting in the County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston a week ago yesterday, says a report on 'The Cricketer' web site on Friday.


Umpires Peter Hartley and Jeff Evans apparently did not see anything untoward at the time but the alleged offence was noticed by a Warwickshire fielder who then found evidence on footage captured by the fixed point cameras that counties use for coaching purposes. 


Journalist Paul Bolton says that he understands the umpires were shown footage after the match and have since reported Shahzad to the ECB. The incident took place while Warwickshire’s players were congratulating their captain Jim Troughton on a brilliant boundary catch to dismiss Adil Rashid which left Shahzad alone on the pitch.


The ECB refuse to comment on disciplinary cases until they have been dealt with, but Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, was quoted by Bolton as saying that he "was made aware of the incident on the day and told that the umpires would be making a report.  I didn’t see the incident myself. All we can do now is await the outcome".


Batsman are not permitted to run down the pitch or to scuff up the surface to provide assistance for bowlers. Shahzad was batting when Yorkshire were trying to set up a declaration, however, should he be summoned to appear at a disciplinary hearing he is more likely to face a three-point penalty under the ECB's disciplinary procedure rather than a suspension, says 'The Cricketer' story.  It says that Shahzad is believed to have apologised to the umpires over the matter. 


The case has similarities with Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi who was suspended for one Test match and two One Day internationals in 2005 after television cameras caught him scuffing the pitch during a Test against England in Faisalabad.  The on-field umpires for that match were Australian pair Darrell Hair and Simon Taufel.






Detroy Smith, a player in Bermuda, has been banned for three years for his part in two gang-related incidents associated with matches there in July and August, says yesterday's 'Royal Gazette' newspaper (E-News 822-4025, 31 August 2011).  Smith, his St Georges club team-mate Macai Simmons and the PHC side's Khiry Furbert all clashed in the games concerned, and Furbert was handed a two-year ban and Simmons a nine-month suspension for their part in the affair.


Still in Bermuda, the Willow Cuts side's Deunte Darrell has been banned for a year for his part in the abandoned match between his team and Devonshire last Sunday (E-News 825-4035, 6 September 2011).  Darrell was punished for what the 'Gazette' says was verbally abusing and threatening umpire Lester Harnett.  His team-mate, Chris Douglas was given a severe reprimand after he kicked over a set of stumps shortly after the match was abandoned.  Harnett's report apparently did not include Douglas' offence, and as a result the Bermuda Cricket Board were unable to deal fully with Douglas because of a lack of evidence.


A Willow Cuts spokesperson told the 'Gazette' that some of the charges teenager Darrell faced during the disciplinary hearing were “false” and feel his punishment is “excessive”.  “The club is very disappointed because a lot of this stuff is false for he did not have any confrontation with Harnett and the threats actually came from a non Willow Cuts spectator", he said.  The club has seven days in which to appeal against the sanctions imposed on their player.


Meanwhile, Bobby Smith, Harnet's umpiring colleague until he left the field shortly before the latter abandoned the game, says that he feared for his safety during the match.  He is said to have been subjected to threatening remarks from the batting side's dressing room after giving one of their batsman out LBW.  Having witnessed a physical confrontation involving players and umpires at the same venue earlier in the year, Smith thought it best to depart "before anything else happened".  


“I was shocked but not surprised because unfortunately this type of behaviour is on the incline", he said.  Such antisocial behaviour is discouraging people from wanting to become a cricket umpire, he says, for "how can you persuade someone to give up their time, even though they may love the game, to be subjected to everything they see and read about cricket?”  “Guys are tired of this sort of behaviour because it’s just not cricket", he says.


In the wake of last weekend’s incident Smith has been urged to quit umpiring by his family who fear for his safety in the current social climate, says the 'Gazette'.  “They fear for my safety because the social infrastructure in Bermuda has broken down so much and violence has crept into sport”.  Despite his family’s concerns the self-employed electrician has vowed to continue umpiring after he takes a “slight break” from standing in the middle.


Reginald Pearman, the President of the Bermuda Cricket Board''s (BCB) disciplinary tribunal, said after the recent spate of hearings that he is "naturally disappointed that we still have behavior that warrants such actions".  "The BCB will always stand firm to protect our great game [and] I commend the umpires for their sterling work in very difficult circumstances".  “The BCB is a supporter of the Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association whose professionalism continues to produce international quality umpires".   "I sincerely hope that everyone involved in the game recognises the importance of retaining values and conduct appropriate in our small country", he said.






What the International Cricket Council (ICC) calls "updates on international umpire performances" is one of the items the world body says is on the agenda for tomorrow's Chief Executives Committee (CEC) meeting in London.  Other "routine items" to be discussed include the future international tours program, ICC medical committee projects, the implementation of domestic anti-doping and anti-corruption codes, the World Test Championship concept, and member development issues.


The CEC will also consider an enhanced Venue Accreditation System for international grounds.  The existing approval process for new international venues was introduced in December 1997, however, currently there is no process for the on-going monitoring of venues. The proposal  before the committee requires that a venue will have to be re inspected and re-accredited every five years or when it undergoes major re building or renovation.


The CEC comprises the Chief Executives of the 10 Full Member nations as well as three ICC Associate Member representatives. Also present will be ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat who chairs the meeting and, by invitation, the world body's President plus the chairman of its Cricket Committee, Clive Lloyd.


Monday, 12 September 2011 






The difference between a good umpire and a great umpire comes down to people and life skills, says Australian international umpire Simon Taufel.  Speaking to Cricinfo's Daniel Brettig last week, Taufel said that "we can all know laws [and] playing conditions [and] can enforce them like a policeman, but the key [to umpiring] lies in being a good person and being able to communicate, to be able to resolve conflict and deal with issues as they come up". 


"When I look at all of the good [international] umpires of my time", what stands out is their "ability to build relationships, to have professional dealings with the people that matter within the game, to be able to manage a game of cricket, and manage a professional entertainment package, realising it is not just bat and ball", said Taufel.  


"You've got to listen and show empathy" when issues occur during a game, he continued. "The best thing you can do is listen to what the player's saying, let him get it off his chest, understand his problem, and then decide on a course of action. If you step in too quickly, you'll have a problem. If you take too long to step in, you'll have another problem".


People have a greater appreciation for the challenge of being a match official these days, says the Australian, although "personally [he's] not sure that has transposed to respect for an umpire's decision".  The Sydney-born umpire told Brettig he is seeing a lot more questioning of both umpiring decisions and requests made of players to follow instructions on issues such as over rates, changing gloves or bringing drinks out and the like.  Players, coaches and team management at international level are getting used to being able to question decisions or go to a higher authority, and things people see on television filters down to the lower levels of the game, including junior ranks, he says. 


Taufel has seen a player in his son's Under-10 game do a "T" sign for a referral when he's not happy with a decision.  "As a parent and spectator I'm not comfortable [with that and although] I appreciate the game is different at the international level [as] it's a professional occupation, it is a game and it has to uphold certain values".  "I think we're creating an environment where it is okay for a player to question an umpire's decision, and that doesn't sit comfortably with me.  As a player I was always taught to accept the umpire's decision and get on with the game. I think we're breaking that down a little bit", he says.


When asked about the 'run out' of England batsman Ian Bell in the second Test against India at Trent Bridge in late July (E-News 806-3946, 1 August 2011), Taufel said that "from a technical point of view, once [Bell] left the field, he was out, gone, and could not be called back", however, "you can do a lot of things in the game of cricket out there on the field with the agreement of both captains".  "It just goes to show what can be achieved in the game with [such] agreement [and the Trent Bridge situation] took a lot of heat out of the issue and certainly made the third and fourth Test matches [which Taufel officiated in] a lot easier to umpire, than [if there had] been this underlying undercurrent of unfairness". 


Taufel says that his "message to all the people considering umpiring as a career is: use every opportunity you've got to improve, don't take things for granted, take personal responsibility for what you do, for your own performance'. "Try not to look at yourself as a victim [when criticism is directed at you, rather] look for ways to say, 'What's my role in this, what part can I play to make it better?' There are times in games it can be particularly challenging, he says, but "rather than look at it negatively and say, "Gee, I've got a lot of decisions to make", say "What a great opportunity to show everyone how good I am".






The International Cricket Council (ICC) will present its 2011 'Umpire of the Year' award at a ceremony that is to be held in London tonight Australian time.  Four international umpires, Australians Steve Davis and Simon Taufel, Aleem Dar of Pakistan and Ian Gould of England, were short-listed for this year's 'David Shepherd Trophy' by the ICC two weeks ago (E-News 821-4018, 29 August 2011), 


Since it was inaugurated in 2004, Taufel has won the award five times (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008), and Dar twice over the last two years (E-News 678-3326, 7 October 2010).  As in the past, this year's recipient will be decided by votes cast by the ten Test captains and the ICC's seven-man match referees panel, plus what the ICC says is data that is "based on the umpires' performance statistics".  

Dar, Davis and Taufel are expected to be at the ceremony in London, however, for Gould to attend he will have to make a return dash there from Harare where he is currently standing in the One Day International (ODI) series between Zimbabwe and Pakistan (E-News 818-4007, 23 August 2011).  Gould stood with Zimbabwe's Russell Tiffin in the second ODI which was played yesterday, and the fourth and final game is schedule for Harare this Wednesday, and it is possible therefore that he could be in London tonight. 


Dar faced a similar situation for the ICC named him for the current Test series between Sri Lanka and Australia six weeks ago prior to the short-listing being made public (E-News 809-3966, 4 August 2011).  He had been named as the third umpire in the current Test between the two sides which is due to end today, however, he has been quietly replaced in that role by Shavir Tarapore an Indian member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel. 






South African umpire Shaun George, who visited Australia last year to stand in the Emerging Players Tournament (E-News 640-3188, 28 July 2010), has been appointed to an on-field position on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  George, who joined the IUP in the television spot just under a year ago (E-News 687-3372, 23 October 2010), replaces Brian Jerling, 53, who has been umpiring at international level for the last ten years.


George, 43, played seventeen first class games as a bowler over four years from 1987-91, thirteen of them for Eastern Province and the others for Transvall, his final game being in January 1991 at the age of 23.  Just when he took up umpiring is not clear, but records available suggest that his first representative game was in February 2004 in a tour match involving England's women side, a debut at first class level coming the following November. 


In the time since he has chalked up fifty-one first class matches, all but two being in the South Africa domestic competition, the exceptions being in New Zealand in early 2007 as part of Cricket South Africa and New Zealand Cricket's umpiring exchange program.  His only on-field appointment to an international to date was in a Twenty20 International (T20I) last October, however, he has also worked in the television suite in that game format once, twice in a One Day International (ODI) and once in a Test match.


George joins Johannes Cloete, 40, as a South African IUP on-field member, and has been replaced in the third umpire slot by Adrian Holdstock, 41, another former first class player.  Holdstock played sixteen first class games for Western Province and Boland in the period from 1989-96.  He made his debut at first class level as an umpire in January 2007 and currently has a total of thirty-eight such games to his credit, two of them during an exchange visit to New Zealand in March last year.


Over the last twenty-three years Jerling has stood in 132 first class, four of them Tests in New Zealand and the West Indies, plus 253 List A games, ninety-four of them ODIs, a figure that includes the World Cups of 2003 and 2007, as well as thirteen T20Is.  He has worked in the television suite in many other matches at those levels, plus been on the field in women's and Under-19 ODIs and Under-19 Tests, as well as in the first three Indian Premier League events. 


Tuesday, 13 September 2011 





Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar was last night awarded the David Shepherd Trophy as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' for the third year in a row (E-News 678-3326, 7 October 2010).  Dar won the award from a short-list made up of Ian Gould of England and Australians Steve Davis and five-time winner Simon Taufel (E-News 829-4056, 12 September 2011).


During the voting period Dar, 43, officiated in a total of twenty-four international matches, seven in Tests, five on the field and two in the television spot, plus seventeen One Day Internationals (ODI), thirteen on the field, two as the third umpire and another two as the fourth official.  The ODIs include this year's World Cup final (E-News 750-3681, 31 March 2011), a tournament in which he was one of only two of the eighteen umpires involved who went through the event without having any of his decisions overturned by the Umpire decision Review System (E-News 754-3702, 7 April 2011).


Dar said after receiving the trophy from new ICC 'Hall of Fame' inductee Alan Davidson of Australia, that "its a great honour and I'm thankful to everyone at the ICC and also my colleagues on the [ICC Elite Umpires Panel (EUP)] along with the Pakistan Cricket Board".  "I'd [also] like to also thank all my family for all their support since I'm away [on umpiring duties for] nearly eight months of the year umpiring".  Dar made his international debut as an umpire in February 2000 and joined the EUP in 2004.


The Jhang-born umpire certainly travelled extensively during the year, the matches he was involved in being played in Australia, England, India, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Wales.  His Tests were in Brisbane, Cardiff, London, Melbourne, Perth, Southampton and Sydney, and ODIs in nine separate locations in Abu Dhabi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Chittagong, Colombo, Dubai, Mirpur and Mumbai.


As in the past the ICC award was decided by votes cast by the ten Test captains and the ICC's seven-man match referees panel, plus what the ICC says is data that is "based on the umpires' performance statistics".  






Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named as the winner of the International Cricket Council's (ICC)  'Spirit of Cricket' Award for 2011 at a ceremony held in London.  This is the first time an individual has won the award, it previously being given to a team, New Zealand winning it in 2004, 2009 and again in 2010, England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2009 (E-News 678-3328, 7 October 2010).


Dhoni's was selected for the honour as a result of what the ICC says was "showing the right spirit in agreeing to allow England batsman Ian Bell to continue batting when he was 'run out' in controversial circumstances during the second Test at Trent Bridge in July (E-News 806-3946, 1 August 2011).  


ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said after the award was announced that "while the initial appeal and umpire decision [against Bell] were correct to the letter of the law, the decision by Mahendra and his team to withdraw the appeal shows great maturity. To see players and officials uphold the Great Spirit of cricket, which has underpinned the game for more than a century, is very special"


The Indian skipper's win, which was decided on votes cast by the members of the ICC's nineteen-man Elite Umpires and Match Referees Panels, comes despite his team's on and off-field display that saw now former Australian umpire Daryl Harper withdraw from a Test in the West Indies three months ago (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011).


Dhoni was voted as the winner ahead of the only other nominee South Africa’s Jacques Kallis, who during this year's World Cup 'walked' twice after he had clarified with opposition fielders that they had caught the ball cleanly rather than waiting for the umpires to decide (E-News 821-4020, 29 August 2011).






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided against using the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in the six Tests their team will play against Sri Lanka and England in the United Arab Emirates over the next five months.  Despite that the system will be in place for the ten One Day Internationals (ODI) and four Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) matches involved over both series.


PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad said in Islamabad yesterday the UDRS would not be used over the thirty days of Tests due to the "high costs of having it installed", rather it will be in operation for the fourteen days of ODIs and T20Is.  The 'Daily Times' quoted Ahmad as saying that “In principle we support the use of the UDRS and want it for both Tests and ODIs, but unfortunately we couldn’t reach an understanding with our broadcasters for the Tests".  


Ahmad continued by saying that “we have, however, reached a understanding with a company to cover the costs of the technology in the one-day matches in both series".  He insisted that when the PCB signs its next contract for broadcasting rights "we will try to ensure the broadcaster [concerned] is willing to bear the costs of using the UDRS system in our series, including Tests and ODIs".


The PCB's decision means that inconsistencies of UDRS technology from series to series will continue for at least another six months.  Last week, Australian umpire Simon Taufel talked of the problems faced by both match officials and players as a result of the variation in the range and type of equipment used as part of UDRS packages (E-News 824-4029, 3 September 2011), while Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said that the game faces "ridicule" unless consistency is achieved (E-News 827-4045, 8 September 2011).






The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives Committee (CEC) supported the need to "continuously improve" over rates in international cricket and stressed that the existing ICC regulations, which were tightened last year (E-News783-3832, , must be strictly enforced at its "routine" meeting held in London yesterday.  Other matters discussed at the one-day meeting that were made public overnight were qualification issues for the 2015 World Cup, injury prevention research and the venue accreditation system (E-News 829-4054, 11 September 2011). 


The ICC outlined a number of issues that must be watched by match officials during international matches, including: players being ready to take the field quickly after breaks; that batsmen cross on the field after a wicket falls; batsmen be ready when a bowler reaches his mark; bowlers and fielders must be ready when a batsman takes guard; the turn around time at the end of each over be improved; no extra drinks within ten minutes of a scheduled break; the change of gloves or other equipment should only take place between overs; that drinks breaks should not be longer than four minutes; and substitutions must not delay play.


In May last year the ICC said that over rates in both Tests and One Day Internationals (ODI) had improved over the preceding two years (E-News 610-3065, 24 May 2010).  Earlier this year the ICC's Cricket Committee recommended that international captains be suspended from playing if their teams are found guilty of two over-rate breaches in a twelve-month period in any one format of the game, rather than the previous position whereby suspensions apply to only one format and do not come into effect until three breaches have occurred over that period.  The change was agreed to by the CEC's last meeting which was held in Hong Kong three months ago (E-News 783-3832, 28 June 2011).  


Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said in a statement that despite the tightening, "the concern about over rates remain in Test match cricket and match officials, in conjunction with team managers and captains, should take appropriate steps to improve the over rates".  The matter "is something within our control and must be addressed", said Lorgat, and that those in charge of stadium operations "will also be urged to ensure the efficient operation of the sightscreen and the monitoring of movement around it".


In other matters considered at the London, it was given a presentation from the ICC Medical Committee (MC) on their research work, which included injury preventative programs and on the safety of helmets which at times fail to prevent serious injury to batsmen. The MC is to now work with the helmet manufacturers to prevent the incidence of serious injury to the face and head, the three main areas of concern being that: the ball can penetrate the face guard; the face guard breaks and causes facial injuries; or the ball hits a part of the head not adequately protected by the helmet.


The ICC press release on the meeting indicates that in regard to the venue accreditation system it agreed "to consolidate all the required standards" into a new document. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2011 





Four Sheffield Shield matches during the coming austral summer will have 'twilight' sessions as part of Cricket Australia's (CA) contribution to international efforts being made to determine the viability of day-night Tests (E-News 769-3768, 2 June 2011).  The games chosen will be played in Sydney and Melbourne in late November and early December, and Adelaide and Hobart in early February (E-News 820-4016, 26 August 2011).


The scheduled finishing times in Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne (all 7 p.m.) and Sydney (6.30 p.m.), are between seventy-five minutes and two hours prior to actual time the sun sets in those locations on the days the games are to be played.  When CA conducted a pink ball, day-night match in the Futures League competition for state second XI sides early in 2010, play was scheduled to end at 9.30 p.m. in order, as the national body said at the time, "to ensure the final session will finish under lights" (E-News 563-2861, 2 February 2010).  Actual sunset during that match at the Adelaide Oval was at 8.20 p.m.   


When asked why such relatively early finishes have been scheduled for this season's trial, CA's Umpire Manager Sean Cary told E-News yesterday that the size of the stands, particularly in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, and to a lesser extent Hobart, was of concern.  Cary said that with many matches going "over time" each day, with anything up to ninety minutes sometimes being involved, CA had concerns about very late finishes.  "We believe the timing planned will enable the trial to be conducted in a satisfactory way", he said.  


The 6.30 p.m. and 7 p.m. stop times will be strictly adhered to as CA's Sheffield Shield Playing Conditions for 2011-12 say that in "Twilight' matches all "make-up" time is to be "added to the start of the next day's play so the listed scheduled time for stumps is unchanged".  For example, if one hour has been carried over play will commence one hour earlier than the original scheduled time the next day with the precise session times to be determined by the umpires.


The Victorian and New South Wales sides will feature in two of the twilight matches and the South Australian and Tasmanian teams in one each.  All four fixtures will use red balls.  The hesitancy in using pink balls in all four games is believed to centre on concerns as to whether the pink variety will hold up for eighty overs in a first class game.  


One report after a day-night, pink ball first class match in Abu Dhabi in March said that the then "newest version" of the pink ball, which was manufactured by Australian company 'Kookaburra', had performed well (E-News 753-3694, 5 April 2011).  "There’s no area where we can criticise the pink balls' behaviour and hardness retention at all", said one of the coaches involved.  It "swung a bit but not excessively and maintained its shape and shine throughout [and] I’ve got a couple of balls which are 93 overs old and [while] the seam is a bit flat we can still bowl with it and the colour is great".  


Early reports from a first class day-night trial match being played in Canterbury, England, at the moment, were also positive about the visibility issue (E-News 832-4066 below). 






Former Australian Test player turned umpire Paul Reiffel has received his first overseas appointment from the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is to stand as the neutral umpire in the three One Day Internationals (ODI) Bangladesh is to play against the West Indies in Mirpur and Chittagong in mid-October.  His selection suggests he could be on a track to higher levels as appears to be the case of his Australian colleague Bruce Oxenforfd (E-News 832-4064 below).  


Reiffel, 45, a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, has been on the field or the third umpire in twenty ODIs and eleven Twenty20 Internationals since his international debut in January 2009, but those were Cricket Australia appointments.  The Melbourne-born umpire did not play in Bangladesh during his thirty-five Test, ninety-two ODI career, however, he did in India and Sri Lanka, and earlier this year gained further experience on the sub-continent by standing in eleven matches in the Indian Premier League's latest competition (E-News 767-3761, 28 May 2011).






Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford will be overseas for an extended period from October until mid-December as the International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed him to matches in Bangladesh, India and Zimbabwe during that time.  Precise details of the matches that will be involved have not yet been released, however, they are expected to include Tests and One Day Internationals, and he is thought to be the only Australian who will stand in this year's Champions League Twenty20 tournament.


Former first class player Oxenford, 51, made his on-field debut at international level in February 2008 in a One Day International (ODI) after having been on Australia's National Umpires Panel since the 2003-04 season.  Made member of the ICC's second-tier international Umpires Panel by Cricket Australia (CA) in 2007, his first year of appointments on the international scene were at home and came from CA, but his break into matches overseas came in November 2009.


Oxenford received his first overseas appointment from the ICC in January last year in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand (E-News 560-2848, 29 January 2010).  In the time since he has officiated in senior ODI series in Abu Dhabi, twice in Sri Lanka, and was one of five Australian umpires to stand in this year's World Cup on the sub-continent.  He made the leap to the highest level of the game, Tests, in December last year, and his second such match was in Zimbabwe last month (E-News 808-3961, 3 August 2011).


His international appointments over the last twenty months suggested he is under serious consideration by the ICC for a spot on its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), for the selection profile involved is very similar to those of other umpires in their lead up to selection to the EUP.  Some reports have suggested that he went close to achieving that goal last year, however, should it occur in 2012 it would not be until June, and as such raises the question as to which member of the current panel will retire or be stood down.  






Australian umpire John Ward and his New Zealand colleague Chris Gaffaney will each cross the Tasman Sea in November in a continuation of the umpire exchange program established by Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) last year (E-News 684-3354, 19 October 2010).  Gaffaney, 35, appears to be on track for a career at international level, and Ward's selection suggests he is currently ranked fourth on CA's National Umpires Panel (NUP) and could head in the same direction.


Melbourne-based Ward, 49, who joined the NUP for the 2005-06 season, currently has thirty-three first class games to his credit.  He will start the exchange with a Plunket Shield first class fixture in Lincoln from 14-17 November before heading to Dunedin for a second such game from 20-23 November, then officiate in  a men's one-dayer in the latter city on 25 November.


Gaffaney, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) who has ben appointed to second-tier internationals in Canada by the ICC over the last two years, will when in Australia stand in a one-day and Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide Oval in the period from 23-28 November, followed by a second Shield game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from 2-5 December.  The latter match is one of four games CA has listed for 'twilight' sessions (E-News 832-4062 above).


NZC's National Umpire Manager Rodger McHarg said yesterday that "the exchange program will give Chris the chance to broaden his on field experience in new conditions".  "Chris has already made very positive steps in transitioning from a first-class player to umpiring and has quickly established himself as an impressive umpire on [the IUP]".  "The challenge of officiating at Australian Test venues will be invaluable as he continues to move in the right direction in preparation for any future international appointment opportunities", concluded McHarg.


CA's Umpire Manager Sean Cary said that "John Ward is knocking on the door for higher honours and has earned this exchange opportunity on merit", an indication he is currently positioned as a future IUP member, perhaps as early as next year should current IUP member Bruce Oxenford be promoted to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 832-4064 above).  "I'm sure he will expand his knowledge of New Zealand conditions in anticipation of transferring those skills if the opportunity arises", said  Cary.


The CA-CNZ exchange program is an extension of the arrangement that both countries have established with Cricket South Africa (CSA), the cooperation with New Zealand having been in place for over a decade now, while the CA-CSA exchange started in 2009 (E-News 399-2121, 30 March 2009) .






The first day of the first class day-night trial match between Kent and Glamorgan on Monday was played in blustery and cool weather conditions and failed to attract a significant crowd, says a report in London's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper yesterday.  Kent chief executive Jamie Clifford acknowledged the late notice of the day-night playing conditions (E-News 826-4041, 7 September 2011), had made things "tricky" in that regard, but said he believed it had not affected the crowd. 


Journalist Huw Turbervill says that balls provided by English manufacturer 'Tiflex' are being used for both side's first innings, while 'Kookaburras' will be used the second time they go to the crease. That "apparently is because there is a limited supply of 'Tiflex' balls", he says, and the comparison between the two types "will be interesting as the 'Tiflex' ones have dyed pink leather, while the [Australian] 'Kookaburras' use the same lacquer known to chip off the white versions in One Day Internationals".


Turbervill's initial assessment after one day's play was that the pink ball in use "appeared easier to see than the red".  He quotes Kent batsman Adam Ball, who made twenty-six, as saying that “the visibility was fine [and] the big difference with the red ball is that you can get a good shine on them and they usually swing until 40-50 overs".  "The pink one hasn’t really swung [and] it also went soft quite quickly", a problem experienced with many 'Tiflex' balls, he says, but it "came on to the bat better after tea because of the dew". 


After playing for the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in a day-night, pink ball match in Abu Dhabi in March, Indian batsman Rahul Dravid said that he "never found sighting the ball under the lights a problem at all", although there were what he called "some things which need to be looked at, [an example being] the twilight period and dew which can be a problem in some parts of the world" (E-News 753-3694, 5 April 2011).   


Ball also said though that “the players prefer the 11 a.m. starts", which is the normal time such games get underway each day and "its the routine we are used to [and] we were thrown in at the deep end" in that regard.  "The players didn’t get a chance to put forward their views [on the change to a day-night format]". "Some of them thought the stats from this shouldn’t be counted because it’s different to what’s been played the rest of the season".


Turbervill says that an area of interest for the England and Wales Cricket Board is whether crowds in county games receive a boost from the arrival of people who work nine to five, play during the trial being scheduled to run from 2-9 p.m.  On Monday the floodlights came on at 5.30 p.m, as planned, and the sun set at 7.17 p.m., the last few hours being played under the light of a full moon as well as that of the artificial variety.


The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) head of cricket, John Stephenson, who has been prominent in pushing the day-night pink ball concept, was at the game.  “I was pleased when I heard about this match, but my concerns were: the time of year, the dew factor, and if it would be freezing cold for players and spectators", he said.  “In England you probably don’t need evening cricket in the longer game, because we get decent crowds for Tests, but it’s about rejuvenating Test attendances elsewhere in the world".


The MCC is currently discussing with New Zealand Cricket about the possibility that the Test match between their side and Bangladesh next January could be played in a day-night format (E-News 827-4044, 8 September 2011).  Cricket Australia is to conduct trials of 'twilight' cricket in four Sheffield Shield matches during the coming summer (E-News 832-4062 above).

Thursday, 15 September 2011 





In a first for Australia, Cricket Australia (CA) has moved to enhance the role of the third umpire in televised domestic matches this season by allowing the television official to intervene and reverse any 'out' or 'not out' decision given by an on-field umpire.  CA requires, however, that the change of decision be passed to the official on the field "as soon as possible" and that it "must be done before the next delivery becomes live or an outgoing batsman leaves the field of play".


The pressure to use technology to assist umpiring decisions in domestic makes arose after Tasmania's Ed Cowan was given out then reprieved before going on to score an unbeaten 131 during his side's match against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Ground last October (E-News 688-3378, 25 October 2010).   


Cowan, who was then on 74, was given out caught behind by umpire Paul Reiffel, but NSW keeper Brad Haddin said that he wasn't sure he caught the ball.  After lengthy deliberation between Reiffel and his on-field colleague Tony Ward, Reiffel subsequently rescinded his decision, however, television replays available indicating that Reiffel's original initial decision should have stood.  At that time the third umpire, who in that case was Gerard Abood, was not permitted to intervene or be consulted except in situations where run outs, hit wicket or stumpings were involved.


Haddin told journalists after the day's play ended that it was he who raised doubts about the Cowan catch and that if technology was being used for some aspects of the game, it should be used for all decisions, a view he continues to hold (E-News 833-4072 below).  "It's a funny one because if there's a run-out you go upstairs and check, if there's a four or a six you check if it hit the rope, if you're going to use technology you might as well use it all the time", because "for something like that you probably need to take the commonsense approach".  


Cowan supported the calls for technology on all close calls at the time.  "Absolutely, that's a big moment in the game [and] I've got absolutely no idea why [CA] wouldn't let you go upstairs", he said.  


Instructions for umpires developed recently by CA's Playing Conditions Committee, which is made up of chairman Jack Clarke, Mark Taylor, Greg Chappell, Paul Marsh, Matthew Hayden and Shane Warne, indicate that the third umpire cannot make a judgement based on his naked eye view of the situation, but rather his first view of a replay provided to him by the television broadcaster Fox Sports.  


CA is very keen that such situations do not delay play, and will therefore have to think through the possible techniques that umpires can apply in order that such situations present well to spectators and the viewing public.  CA's Umpire Manager Sean Cary told E-News yesterday that it will be stressed to players that the change is not a decision review situation and should not be looked upon as such by them.  






All twelve members of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Panel (NUP) have been named to look after the first nine matches of the 2011-12 Sheffield Shield first class season in Australia.  The games, which will be played over the four weeks from mid-October in every capital city except Melbourne, will be interspersed with nine fifty over one-day fixtures that will see umpires from both the NUP and CA's four-man emerging umpires group involved.  


Of the NUP members, Victorians Ash Barrow, Geoff Joshua, Bob Parry and John and Tony Ward, plus South Australian Simon Fry, will each stand in two first class games over the first month of the season, and Gerard Abood (NSW), Ian Lock, Mick Martell and Paul Wilson (Western Australia), plus Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel (Queensland, one game apiece.  Parry will start the season having stood in 79 first class matches, Lock 70, Oxenford 55, two of which were Test matches, Fry 50, Reiffel 45, John Ward 33, Martell and Tony Ward both 16, Abood 11, Joshua 10, Wilson 7 and Barrow 5.


The four members of CA's current emerging umpires group, Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (NSW), Damien Mealey (Queensland) and Sam Nogajksi (Tasmania), all have appointments in the first nine games of the domestic one-day competition. All have one match in the third umpires suite, and with the exception of Nogajski one game on the field.  Of the NUP members Fry has three on the field and none as the television umpire (3/0), Reiffel and John Ward 2-0, Barrow, Joshua, Tony Ward and Wilson 1-1, and Abood, Lock, Parry and Martell 1-0.


Eleven contenders for CA's next emerging umpires group (E-News 833-4069 below), have been named to support the six Futures League four-day state second XI matches scheduled for the first month of the season. Those games will be played in all states except Tasmania and Western Australia.  


In addition to Mealey and Jay Kangur (Queensland), Jamie Mitchell (Tasmania) and Richard Patterson (Victoria), who will look after the opening two matches late this month (E-News 826-4040, 7 September 2011), others chosen are: Simon Lightbody and Yohan Ramasundara (Australian Capital Territory); Andy Collins and Luke Uthenwoldt (South Australia); Greg Davidson and Tony Wilds (New South Wales); Ange Sammartino and Sam Sciacca (Victoria).


The twenty-four games outlined above will be watched by the five members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel, Denis Burns, Ric Evans, David Levans, Peter Marshall and Bob Stratford, plus former first class umpires Daryl Cox, Kim Perrin and Jim Torpey, the latter trio being limited to Futures League games.  Marshall will look after two first class, two one-day and one Futures League games (2-2-1), Burns, Evans and Levens all 2-2-0 Stratford 1-1-2  Torpey 0-0-1 and Cox and Perrin both 0-0-1.


Bellerive will see Fry and Joshua standing in the opening first class and one-day matches of the season there in the first week of November, with Nogajski the third umpire in the fifty over match, Marshall being the match referee for both games.






Umpiring selections for this season's male Under-19 Championship series are to be wholly merit-based, rather than the "one from each of the six states and two territories" as nominated by authorities in those areas that applied in the past.  Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) is to choose the eight that will stand in the championships in Adelaide in January using observations and other data they have collated whilst watching and dealing with Futures League state second XI and women's fixtures over the past twelve months.


The Under-19 series has been a key part of CA's umpire development pathway that runs from there onto the winter-period Emerging Players Tournament and then into senior interstate one-day, Twenty20 and first class cricket.  E-News understands that the fact that the U-19 tournament is such an important step on the pathway has led the change to a wholly merit-based arrangement, however, selections for its Under-17 equivalent, which is to be held in Hobart over the next four seasons, will remain as nominations made by each of the states and territories.


The new U-19 arrangement also means that the four current members of CA's emerging umpires group, Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (New South Wales), Damien Mealey (Queensland) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), who have been watched closely by the UHPP for several years now, will be not selected.    


The first hint of who may be a the top of CA's new emerging group for the year ahead will come when the umpires for this season's Futures League Twenty20 event in Melbourne in late November are announced, for it will precede the U-19 series in Adelaide.  Potential contenders for those tournaments include: Greg Davidson (NSW); Jay Kangur (Queensland); Tod Rann (Western Australia); Richard Patterson (Victoria); Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory); Luke Uthenwoldt (South Australia), and Mike Graham-Smith and Jamie Mitchell (Tasmania).






Aleem Dar of Pakistan, this year's world 'Umpire of the Year', delivered 100 per cent correct decisions in One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals over the last year, while his percentage in Test matches was a high 98 per cent, according to an report from Lahore that was published in the 'Express Tribune' newspaper yesterday.  The world award was decided by votes cast by the ten Test captains and the International Cricket Council's (ICC) seven-man match referees panel, plus what the International Cricket Council (ICC) says is data that is "based on the umpires' performance statistics" (E-News 831-4058, 13 September 2011).     


Dar told the 'Tribune' that umpiring is “all about how you cope with pressure on the field", a comment similar to that made last week by his Australian colleague on the ICCl's Elite Umpires Panel, Simon Taufel (E-News 830-4055, 12 September 2011).  “Decision-making is always tough because there is pressure from every corner. You need to control your nerves, especially with the advent of technology".  “But despite all that, I don’t get intimidated and keep a cool head because I’m there for a reason and the reason it to make a correct decision quickly".


Currently aged 43, Dar ruled out stepping down from the game anytime soon, but indicated that while he could officiate for another twenty years, he made clear, not for the first time, that he would "call it quits" when he reaches fifty in 2018.  “I won’t wait until I can no longer umpire and deliver correct results but will keep my and my country’s respect and part my way with the role before the ICC is forced to sideline me based on performance".


Dar regards the use of cameras and equipment under the Umpire Decision Review System as being beneficial for cricket, but vowed to rely on his own ability to make correct decisions rather than letting technology take over his responsibilities, an ethos that is underlined by the percentage of correct decisions he has achieved over the last year.  "I rely on my natural ability" and while I am human and make mistakes, "the results [of my approach] are there for you to see", he says. 






Two of four players in Bermuda who last week were handed lengthy bans as a result of incidents in matches, have decided to appeal their suspensions.  Saint George’s Cricket Club are appealing against the censures imposed by Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) on their players Detroy Smith, three years, and in Macai Simmons' case, nine months..


Two other clubs have yet to decide if an appeal will be submitted on behalf of their players Khiry Furbert and Deunte Darrell who received two and one-year bans respectively (E-News 829-4053, 11 September 2011).  Neither Smith or Simmons turned up for the BCB disciplinary hearings at which they received their suspensions, says the 'Royal Gazette'.


Meanwhile, the Willow Cuts club are appealling against the BCB’s decision to award their opponents Devonshire the points from the fifty over match that was abandoned two Sunday's ago at which Darrell received his one-year ban.  It ended three overs shy of being considered a legitimate match, BCB rules governing such games requiring “a minimum of 20 overs per team [to] constitute a match”. Cuts had only faced seventeen overs when umpire Lester Harnett abandoned the match shortly after his colleague Bobby Smith walked off the field for fear of his safety (E-News 825-4035, 6 September 2011).


BCB technical committee chairman and vice-president Allen Richardson, told the 'Gazette' that "there is no in betweens when it comes to issues with an umpire".  “If an umpire, even if he is verbally attacked, if an umpire in anyway feels threatened I will have no sympathy at all with a player".  "The umpire in a cricket match is almost like God, in most parts of the world that is one of the foundations of cricket".  “If you look at these guys, umpiring week in, week out, and I’ve been to grounds where the spectators have been horrendous, it’s almost like a cesspool, and the abuse that the umpires take [is dreadful]".






Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin says the technology should be the same wherever Tests and other internationals, say reports from Colombo yesterday.  The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) has been a major talking point during the current series between Sri Lanka and Australia, a number of decisions arrived at using technology throwing up doubt about elements of the system, and there has also been criticism of the inconsistencies from series to series (E-News 827-4045, 8 September 2011).


Haddin said that in his “opinion it needs to be consistent all around the world", for you can't "chop and change from series to series".

"If you’ve got the technology there you might as well use it and if not don’t use it at all and leave it up to the umpires", said Haddin.


Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara said that ultimately a decision needs to be made as to whether players are willing to accept technology’s foibles or that it should be held back until it’s infallible.  “We’ve seen the good and the bad of it", he said, and "I think everybody’s got to come to a middle ground, where you’ve got to accept that it’s not 100 per cent if you’re using it and be comfortable with that, or go back and say we’ll wait until technology is 100 per cent".






A total of four umpires were involved in the second day's play in the Kent-Glamorgan first class day-night trial match in Canterbury on Tuesday (E-News 832-4066, 14 September 2011), after Nigel Cowley, one of the officials appointed to the game by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), rang in sick with a throat infection and virus.


After Cowley was forced to pull out before play started leaving his ECB colleague Martin Bodenham alone, Kent League umpire Bob Whale filled the gap for the first twenty minutes of play by standing at square leg with Bodenham looking after the bowling crease at both ends.  Under ECB regulations, non first class umpires cannot stand at the bowler's end in such games (E-News 817-4000, 21 August 2011).  


Whale was replaced by former Kent offspinner and county second XI umpire, Steve Dale, who gave way in late afternoon to former Glamorgan seamer, Alex Wharf, a member of the ECB's reserve umpire's list, who drove for four hours and 250 km from his home in Caerphilly in south Wales to partner Bodenham.  Wharf, who played 121 first class matches for his county from 1994-2008, is standing in what is only his second first class match as an umpire, having made his debut at that level in April this year.


As for the second day's play itself, two rain breaks during the day adding up to 90 minutes ensured a 9.30 p.m. finish under lights, by which time a 'Cricinfo' report on the game says "the spectators and the Kent seam attack appeared frozen solid and utterly disinterested".  It went on to say that "barely one hundred hardy souls witnessed the closing overs of the second day".

Friday, 16 September 2011 





Zimbabwean umpire Jerry Matibiri, who has stood in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League competition during several visits to Hobart over the past five years, is to make his on-field debut in a senior international match later today Australian time in the Twenty20 International between the home side and Pakistan in Harare.  Matibiri, 40, whose partner on the ground will be Zimbabwe's senior umpire Russell Tiffin, became a member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) six months ago (E-News 749-3679, 30 March 2011).


Over the last eighteen months, Matibiri has stood in five Under-19 One Day Internationals (ODI), three Under-19 Twenty20 Internationals, worked as the television umpire in two senior Twenty20 Internationals, and been the fourth umpire in three senior ODIs (E-News 611-3067, 25 May 2010).  He has been particularly busy in the eight weeks leading up to today's game, serving as the third umpire in two Tests and seven ODIs, experiences that should stand him in good stead as he prepares to take the field in Harare.


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






Mark Wallace, Glamorgan's wicketkeeper in this week's day-night first class trial match against Kent, has raised questions about the quality of the pink balls used in the hastily arranged change to a late evening finish (E-News 826-4041, 7 September 2011).  Two different balls were used during the game, an English-made 'Tiflex' for both first-innings, and a Australian produced 'Kookaburra' the second time each side went out to bowl (E-News 833-4073, 15 September 2011).


Writing in an article published in today's London 'Daily Telegraph', Wallace says that "If I’m honest, [the balls used] need some work".  Sighting the ball was "often tough, but far from impossible for the batsmen" and it was the "deft variations [of flight] which were the toughest to decipher, meaning that it was the slow bowlers who became most effective in the darkness".  "At night it is your perception of depth which becomes most distorted and this was most evident in the field with players clearly finding it difficult to ascertain how quickly the ball was travelling towards them".


Wallace talked about how well the balls lasted, saying that "during daylight the ball became soft so early that [spinners came on] in the seventh over of the match".  "At night when the dew came down, [and it did so] especially heavily on the third evening, it became almost impossible to keep it dry and stop it from swelling ".  "Neither [manufacturer's ball] offered a great deal in terms of seam or swing at any time of the day", wrote the Glamorgan player, "in fact, those expecting the ball to zip around under the floodlights would have been disappointed".  


Other media reports from the match talked about "a lifeless pitch" and that the 'Tiflex' ball had quickly gone soft and lost its colour.  It was "one of the slowest pitches I've ever played on in first-class cricket", said one unnamed player, which "was a challenge in itself, but throw the pink ball and floodlights into the equation and it made for a difficult time".  


The transition period from natural to artificial light was the hardest time for batting, writes Wallace, for "with the sun low in the sky and the lights starting to have an effect, there were stages where the ball was going through shadow and into sunlight several times en route to the batsman, making viewing the pink ball very difficult".  Questions have been raised about the difficulties of dealing with this twilight period in the past, however, it is likely that the quality of the Canterbury floodlights was a factor as opposed to the situation at better equipped grounds. 


Former England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones was also critical of the ball’s performance:  “When I was batting I was glad that there wasn’t any one who was seriously quick playing, especially during the twilight period".  “The ball got scuffed-up quite quickly, which did make it a bit tricky to sight at times [for] essentially it lost its brightness".  “The depth perception of the ball when I was keeping was another issue with a few balls hitting the gloves slightly quicker than expected, but visually it wasn’t too bad".  “Overall I think it’s simply a case of ensuring that the ball maintains its brightness for as long as possible", he concluded.


Wallace said that when the players were told they would "be part of history’ in taking part in the day-night experiment, only for one unnamed player to respond with "you'll be history if I don’t end up making a thousand runs" for the season.  "Yes, we’re used to day-night one-day cricket, but to do it for four days running, and see sixty overs left to bowl in the day with the sun starting to go down was totally alien", he says.  


"We [players] don’t much like change" and there was, for example, a view once that "the Twenty20 concept was never going to be a success".  It "should come as little surprise that there was much head shaking and dissatisfaction [amongst the players] at news of our final [first class] game of the year being switched to a day-night match with a pink ball", especially given the short notice involved.


But "to [the player's] credit", once the game got underway "that early sense of unease amongst the participants soon gave way to one of intrigue and excitement", says Wallace.  "Given the match was a 'dead rubber’ end of season fixture for both sides, "it was a worthwhile exercise, and a not unwelcome change", he concluded.






The absence of Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his entire side from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual awards ceremony in London on Monday was regretful, says the ICC.  Dhoni was named as the recipient of the world body's 'Spirit of Cricket' award at that gathering, being the first individual to be so honoured with what was previously a team trophy (E-News 831-4059, 13 September 2011).


Dhoni's was selected for the honour as a result of what the ICC says was "showing the right spirit in agreeing to allow England batsman Ian Bell to continue batting when he was 'run out' in controversial circumstances during the second Test at Trent Bridge in July (E-News 806-3946, 1 August 2011).   


Colin Gibson, the ICC's media head, expressed regret that Dhoni was not present to receive the award, some reports describing the ICC as being "appalled" at the absence of both him and his team, even though they were all in London at the time.  Former Australian international umpire, Daryl Harper, who ended his career early because of the behaviour of Dhoni's side (E-News 785-3838, 30 June 2011), is reported by the Indian newspaper the "Deccan Herald" this morning as saying the captain's absence was itself against the 'Spirit of the Game'.


Harper is quoted as saying by telephone from Australia that he believes he "made very appropriate comments late last month, when Dhoni was one of the two nominations for the award".  “The “Spirit of Cricket” award should have been given to [South Africa's Jacques] Kallis and not Dhoni", for the former "acted spontaneously, when on two occasions [during this year's World cup], he asked the fieldsman if he had caught the ball cleanly".  


"Kallis wasn’t interested in the umpire’s opinion, or in the result of any replays. He was only interested in his opponent’s opinion, and he accepted that opinion without hesitation", said Harper, who was officiating with Aleem Dar of Pakistan at the time.  On the other hand “Dhoni showed no spontaneity in his decision to withdraw the appeal [and] if it hadn’t occurred on the stroke of tea, Ian Bell would not have wandered out of his ground to leave the field".


Harper said that his remarks were not prejudiced because of Dhoni’s criticism of him during India’s tour of the West Indies earlier this year.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 






Despite having agreed to conditional use of the the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) just three months ago, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) now plans to withdrawal support for it at the next International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting, say reports from the sub-continent overnight.  BCCI's new President, Narainswamy Srinivasan, made the announcement at the conclusion of his Board's eighty-second Annual General meeting in Mumbai on Sunday.


Srinivasan said that following some controversial decisions during the Indian side's recent tour of England, his Board had changed its mind on the use of 'Hot Spot' technology, which uses infra red cameras to assist assessments as to whether the ball has hit bat or not.  The BCCI opposed the use of ball-tracking technology as part of the UDRS package during the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong in July, but agreed at that time to Hot Spot's use as part of the system (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011). 


"At that time, we were under the impression that 'Hot Spot' was very good", said Srinivasan, but "we [now] want to revisit it because we feel that 'Hot Spot' is insufficient [and] do not wish to use the UDRS in its present form, even in its minimum standard".  The BCCI's change of heart has come about as a result of some controversial incidents involving the technology during the Indian side's recently completed tour of England.  


India has been a critic of UDRS ever since its side was on the wrong side of decisions during the very first trial of the system in Sri Lanka in 2008  (E-News 288-1526, 1 August 2008).


The BCCI's announcement came the day after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said that it is not sure yet whether the UDRS will be in place for its series against West Indies next month, a tour that will involve two Tests, three One Day Internationals and a Twenty20 international.


According to media reports from Dhaka, the BCB "could avoid" using the UDRS with the ICC's consent, or they may follow the minimum standard or the enhance standard, the latter two options apparently being driven by concerns about the costs involved; a view similar to that expressed recently by the Pakistan Cricket Board (E-News 831-4060, 13 September 2011).  The BCB is said to have sent a letter to ICC seeking their advice and will make a decision on how to proceed after receiving advice from Dubai.






Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford is taking part in the opening four matches of this year's Champions League Twenty20 competition in India.  Oxenford, the only Australian umpire taking part in the series (E-News 832-4064, 14 September 2011), stood in the first two games in Hyderabad yesterday, and later today he will be on the field for the third match and work as television umpire in the fourth.


The Queenslander, who is on his second umpiring visit to India following this year's World Cup, worked in the first match with Indian first class umpire Sudhir Asnani, a fellow member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel.  The television official in that game was Billy Doctrove of the West Indies from the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, with Andy Pycroft from Zimbabwe the match referee.


Oxenford and Doctrove were on the field for match two yesterday with Asani in the television suite, and today it will be Oxenford and Asani together again with Doctrove the third official in the third game of the series, the Australian moving into the third umpire role for the fourth match.  Details of just who the other umpires and match referees are for the twenty-nine match, three-week long Champions League series are yet to be announced. 




[EN835-4079 ]


Australian batsman Shaun Marsh appears to have either forgotten about the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) or believed he was out when he was given out 'caught' at short leg in his side's second innings in the third Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo yesterday.  Replays showed the ball did not hit his bat or glove, but rather a pad and then his stomach before bouncing into Lahiru Thirimanne's hands.


Marsh was given out by New Zealand umpire Tony Hill in what is often a difficult decision to pick, and left the field without either he or his batting partner Phil Hughes appearing to consider a UDRS request was in order.  With Cricket Australia having moved to enhance the third umpire's role in televised domestic matches this coming austral summer, third umpires in those games will be able to advise the on-field official to reverse his decision if the first replay available shows such a mistake has been made (E-News 833-4067, 15 September 2011). 






Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar, who won the International Cricket Council's 'Umpire of the Year' award for the third year running last week (E-News 831-4058, 13 September 2011), is currently standing in his one hundredth first class match, the third Test between Sri Lanka and Australia in Colombo which finishes later today.  Dar follows closely on the heals of Australia's Simon Taufel who reached the 100 first class match mark in the fourth Test between England and India at The Oval last month.


Dar, 43, stood in his initial first class match aged 33 in March 1999, a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy game in the Punjab city of Sargodha.  He then went on to stand in a total of 29 games in that competition, one of them a final, before being selected for his first Test in Dhaka in October 2003 at the age of 35.  In the eight years since only five of his 72 first class fixtures have been in domestic cricket in Pakistan


Taufel, 40, made his first class debut in March 1995 in a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground aged just 24 and was selected at 29 for his first Test five-and-a-half years later in what was his seventeenth first class game.  Of his 100 games to date 29 have been in the Sheffield Shield or its commercial equivalent, two of them finals, although over the last five austral summers he has only managed three such matches, the last three years ago next month.


Dar's ratio of Tests to overall first class games he has stood in is 67 per cent (67 Tests in 100 games), Taufel's being very similar at 69 per cent.  Of Test umpires in recent years the late David Shepherd of England comes in in terms of that ratio at just 22 per cent (92/412), Australians Steve Davis and Rod Tucker 28 and 29 per cent (32/115 and 12/41) respectively, Rudi Koertzen of South Africa 56 per cent (108/218), Daryl Harper of Australia 56 per cent (95/165), and world Test record holder Steve Bucknor of the West Indies 74 per cent (128/172).  By far the highest ratio in recent times is, however, India's Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan with 92 per cent (73/79), a ratio that is unlikely to ever be bettered.






Members of Guyana's Essequibo Coast and Pomeroon Cricket Umpires and Scores Association (ECPCUS), are still waiting payment for matches they have officiated in over the last two years, according to a report published in the 'Kaieteur News' in Georgetown yesterday.


The 'News' says that around $GY109,740 ($A600) is owed to ECPCUS members by the Essequibo Cricket Board.  An unnamed Essequibo umpire was quoted as saying that the matter was brought up at the Guyana Umpires Council but no avail for "every time the issue of nonpayment was raised, only promises are forth coming".  The umpire indicated that court action might be taken is the matter is not resolved soon.






Yet another match was abandoned by umpires in Bermuda over the weekend after players showed what the 'Royal Gazette' described yesterday as "serious dissent" towards the match officials involved.  The abandonment occurred in the first over of the second innings of the one-day game after the Bailey's Bay side had completed their innings in a one-day match against Willow Cuts.


The 'Gazette' says that incident unfolded after a ball was fielded at long leg by a Bailey's Bay player.  Square leg umpire Hector Watson advised his colleague Melvin Best that the fielder's leg was on the boundary ropes when he gathered the ball and a four was awarded to Cuts.  That is said to have "sparked outrage" among Bay players who challenged the umpires' decision, and eventually both umpires decided to walk off the field, "throwing the match into chaos".


The situation was witnessed by national coach David Moore and Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) vice-president Allen Richardson, who are said to have "tried in vain" to get the match restarted by holding a meeting with the umpires and representatives of both teams.  Moore declined to comment when contacted by the 'Gazette', while Richardson did not return calls, however, Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association secretary Richard Austin told journalist Colin Thompson his colleagues will no longer tolerate bad behaviour from players.


“It’s unfortunate that an umpire had to walk off the field of play because of the behaviour of players and having to take this sort of action is not something that we take lightly", said Austin.  “Without knowing the full facts we can’t say what the umpire has done is correct or incorrect. But what we can say is that players must be mindful that the umpire is not there to be the target of any abuse whatsoever. And if the abuse continues and the umpires figure it becomes a direct threat to them then that’s the action they will likely take at any time". he said.


Sunday's incident comes two weeks after the Willow Cuts' match with the Devonshire side was also abandoned (E-News 825-4035, 6 September 2011).  Umpire Lester Harnett called off that match after his on-field partner Bobby Smith walked off the field after being subjected to what he claimed were verbal threats from the Willow Cuts’ dressing room.  


Late last week the BCB appeals committee upheld a one-year suspension imposed on Willow Cuts all rounder Deunte Darrell who was found guilty of threat of an assault of an umpire, showing serious dissent towards an umpire’s decision and abusing cricket ground equipment during that game (E-News 829-4053, 11 September 2011).

Thursday, 22 September 2011 





Haroon Lorgat, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executive officer, has indicated that the world governing body could discuss India's opposition to the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) at an ICC Board meeting next month.  Earlier this week the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that it had changed its stance on even the partial use of the UDRS, saying that in its view current technology was unsuitable (E-News 835-4077, 20 September 2011).


Lorgat told reporters in Colombo yesterday that "statistics show that the accuracy of umpiring decisions had improved considerably after the UDRS became operational", a view expressed frequently by senior ICC officials (E-News 825-4032, 6 September 2011).  "India is entitled to its opinion, but in my view, the full system should be used [as] a half-way house [in regards to technology] gets you nowhere".


In July the BCCI agreed to a compromise in which it accepted the use of the infra-red 'Hot Spot' technology to determine edges, but rejected ball-tracking technology for leg-before decisions (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  It reverted to its original opposition to the entire system after 'Hot Spot' failed to accurately show edges off the bat on several occasions during India's recent tour of England.


Earlier this month Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said that the international game faces ridicule unless the use of technology in umpiring decisions becomes consistent (E-News 827-4045, 8 September 2011).  The week before, Australian international umpire Simon Taufel publicly warned of the problems faced by both umpires and players that have resulted from the variation in technology types and capabilities that are currently used for the UDRS (E-News 824-4029, 3 September 2011). 






Two members of Tasmania's State Umpires Panel, Mike Graham-Smith and Jamie Mitchell, will take the field in Queensland in 50-over matches in Maroochydore today.  The pair flew north yesterday with the state's first and second XI playing squads for a week of pre-season warm-up matches, and in Mitchell's case the opening Futures League game of the season (E-News 826-4040, 7 September 2011).


Graham-Smith will, along with local umpire Jay Kangur, look after today's one-dayer between the Tasmanian and Victoria second XIs, while Mitchell will work with Craig Hoffman, another Queensland umpire,  when the two senior teams from those states meet in a similar match at an adjacent oval.   Tomorrow night the two Tasmanians will be together when the senior Tasmanian and Victorian teams play another limited over match, except that game will be played in a day-night format.


Mitchell is to stand with Victorian Richard Patterson in the four-day Tasmania-Victoria Futures second XI match which starts on Sunday, while Graham-Smith's last appointment of the trip will a three-day Tasmania-Victoria senior squad match that starts on Monday.  Both umpires are expected to return to Tasmania today week.






Former Durham opening batsman Michael Gough, who made his umpiring debut at first class level in April 2006, has been named the UK's 'Umpire of the Year' by the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).  Gough, 31, who won the award as a result of votes cast by his fellow umpires and players in England, will be presented with the trophy at a ceremony in London tonight, and appears to be under consideration for international honours.


Gough, a former England Under-19 skipper, played for his county for five years but "fell out of love with playing the game" and retired in 2003 at the age of 23, taking up umpiring shortly afterwards.  His aim is said to be to officiate at Test Match level and he says that "to get the [PCA] award so early in my umpiring career is brilliant, [however], I've just got to make sure I build on it now, keep progressing, and [keep] working hard".


The Hartlepool-born umpire says that his mentors have been former first class players and Test match umpires David Constant and Merv Kitchen, plus another former player David Byas, and while the latter wasn't an umpire, he "came at it from a different angle and wanted to help from a captain's point of view, which was a big benefit", says Gough.


It has been a busy six months for Gough, the culmination being his selection as the fourth umpire in a Twenty20 International (T2OI) late last month.  Over that period he has worked in 15 first class games, including the county season opener, a pink ball day-night game in Abu Dhabi in March (E-News 753-3694, 5 April 2011), 12 one-day and 14 Twenty20 county fixtures, as well as second XI three-day and one-day games.  He also stood in his fifth womens' One Day International and a womens' T20I.


Gough has been chosen to visit India for a month later this year as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) umpire exchange program, the BCCI's Shavir Tarapore having stood in matches in England earlier this year (E-News 795-3890, 13 July 2011).  The Englishman's selection for the India visit confirms suggestions he is under consideration by the ECB for the vacant England third umpire spot on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 823-4027, 1 September 2011).






Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar, who was last week named as the world's best umpire for the third year in a row (E-News 831-4058, 13 September 2011), was greeted by a large crowd at Lahore airport when he returned home from Colombo yesterday after standing in third and final Test of the series between Sri Lanka and Australia.  Dar is reported to have told journalists that he felt proud to be Pakistani and that it was not his award but Pakistan's.  He is also said to have called for central contracts for umpires to be introduced by the Pakistan Cricket Board.






Tony Hill, one of two New Zealanders on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), will be a key speaker at Cricket Wellington's Umpires and Scorers training day at the Basin Reserve this Saturday, say media reports from across the Tasman yesterday.  Auckland-born Hill took part in a similar meeting held in Dunedin in late July as part of New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) work to assist with the promotion of umpiring around the country (E-News 805-3938, 30 July 2011)..   


Hill, 60, who received a two-year extension to his ICC EUP contract in June, is to speak to the Wellington meeting about “people and situation management from an umpiring viewpoint”.  NZC's national umpiring manager Rodger McHarg, who umpired three Test matches in the five-year period from 1986 and also played international hockey for his country, is to also address the gathering, his  presentation being titled “NZC and the umpiring career path”. 


Hill is to return home to Auckland today after working in the five-week long Test and One Day International series between Sri Lanka and Australia that ended on Tuesday (E-News 809-3966, 4 August 2011).  Reports say that he will miss the current Champions League Twenty20 series, but is to travel overseas again next month for the three Tests Pakistan and Sri Lanka are to play in the United Arab Emirates.  That series that will take his Test tally to either 26 or 27 matches depending on whether the Umpire Decision Review System is in operation or not (E-News 831-4060, 13 September 2011).


'Billy' Bowden, New Zealand’s other member on the EUP was invited to Saturday's meeting in Wellington, however, he is expected to stand in Champions League matches in India, but as yet has not made an appearance in a match.






Indian player Sachin Tendulkar has suggested to the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently that fifty-over games at international level should become a four innings affair, with each side batting for 25 overs twice during a match in a 'split-innings' format, according to a story published in the  London 'Daily Telegraph' yesterday.  


If the report is correct its nothing new for Tendulkar first raised the issue two years ago (E-News 485-2517, 7 September 2009), however, in the time since the ICC has rejected the concept, and even though Cricket Australia used it last austral summer, it to has reverted to single innings for its domestic one-day games this austral summer (E-News 770-3772, 5 June 2011).






A field umpire in a two-day, Under-14 interstate match played in Srinagar, India, this week, referred a 'run out' decision to the third umpire, who then used information from one of five cameras set up around the ground by the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) to give the batsman out.  The JKCA says that it installed the cameras and associated support equipment, which were used for the first time in the game, as part of its push "to bring in professionalism in the cricket in the state".  


Third umpire N P Singh, who conducted the 'run out' review, told local media that the system is "needed in modern cricket" and that its use in the junior match has been a "learning experience for the umpires and players".  JKCA treasurer Manzoor Ahmad Wazir said that "the camera set up is our own initiative so that we can improve both our players and umpires", indicating that the Association sent some of its staff away for training on the system with the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI).  


A year ago the BCCI announced that video supported third umpires would assist their on-field colleagues in all matches played under its auspices, not only at first class level but also those featuring women and in men's Under-16, Under-19 and Under-22 representative games.  


The third umpires in those games reportedly did not use lights to convey the outcome of any referral to those out on the ground, but rather different coloured flags to signal their assessment.  A red flag indicated the batsman was ‘out', a green one ‘not out', and a white flag to convey that replays were inconclusive, the on-field umpires having to make a final decision in the latter instance (E-News 683-3551, 18 October 2010).

Friday, 23 September 2011






Long-serving TCUSA members Richard Widows, Steve Maxwell and Roy Loh, have again been appointed by the Cricket Tasmania (CT) to its Umpires Appointment Panel for matches carried out under its auspices this season.  The trio, who between them have been with the TCUSA for a total of over thirty seasons, have the challenging task of appointing umpires to between twenty-five and thirty Premier League and other matches that will be played each week over the five months from the season's opening two week's tomorrow.


Widows, who commenced his umpiring career in Sydney in 1989, first stood with the TCUSA in 1997, and became the Association's umpires advisor-coach in 1999, this season being his twelfth in that position, a role he combines with duties as the State's Director of Umpiring.  


Maxwell has officiated in 310 matches with the TCUSA over the last ten seasons, 132 of them at first grade level, and has twice been named as the Association's 'Umpire of the Year'.  Loh, who has been with the Association for eight years and stood in 124 matches over that time, has been recognised for his special contribution to TCUSA activities when he was awarded the Alan Powell Memorial Trophy for services to the Association in 2005, 2009 and 2010.   


In addition to selection duties Maxwell also conducts the National Umpires Accreditation Scheme training program in Hobart and Loh in the match umpire video capture program.  






Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday named sixteen umpires and five match referees for the the six Womens National Cricket League (WNCL) one-day and twelve interstate womens' Twenty20 (T20) matches that are scheduled to be played in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney next month.  Three of those selected are new to the women's interstate one-day and T20 fixtures, but as in previous seasons those chosen reside in the city in which the matches are to be played.    


October will see Canberra host two one-day and four T20 matches and the other cities two T20s and a one-day game, and as a result a total of six umpires will be in action in the national capital.  Shannon Bushall will stand in one WNCL match (1/0), Stuart Grocock in another plus two T20s (1/2), Terry Keel (0/2)  Simon Lightbody (0/1), Yohan Ramasundara (2/1) and Andrew Shelley (0/2).  Bushall and Grocock will be making their debut in the respective competitions.


Three umpires from both Victoria and Western Australia will look after the matches there, and two each from New South Wales and Queensland.  The Perth-based officials are Matthew Hall (1/1), Todd Rann (1/2) and Dean Trigg (0/1) and those from Melbourne Richard Patterson (1/1) Ange Sammartino (0/2) and Sam Sciacca (1/1).  Those from Brisbane are Craig Hoffmann (1/2) and Jay Kangur (1/2), and Sydney, Andrew Hamilton (1/2) and newcomer Nick Wennerborn (1/2). 


A week ago, Kangur, Lightbody, Patterson, Ramasundara, Sammartino and Sciacca were also appointed to Futures League state second XI matches over the next six weeks (E-News 832-4068, 15 September 2011). 


CA has appointed five match referees for October's eighteen womens games.  Peter Marshall and Denis Burns who are both on CA's Umpire High Performance Panel will look after matches played in Canberra, and Terry Prue, Jim Torpey and Daryl Cox in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne respectively.  However, no one has been named in that role for the three games scheduled for Sydney, however, whether that is connected with the current problems being experienced by the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Asociation there is not known (E-News 828-4048, 9 September 2011). 






Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has disagreed with his former opening partner Sachin Tendulkar's call for a revamping of the playing format for One Day Internationals (ODI).  Tendulkar was reported earlier this week as suggesting such games should become a four innings affair, with each side batting for 25 overs twice during a match in a 'split-innings' format, a view he last aired two years ago (E-News 836-4088, 22 September 2011)


Ganguly told journalists in Kolkata that the current ODI format is here to stay.  "We already have a 20-over format, so why another 25 over game? The 50 over game has done well. We saw such a hugely successful World Cup in India. The format is doing wonderful which was evident in the recently concluded India-England series", he said.  


Another Indian player Rahul Dravid told journalists in Mumbai yesterday that it "would be interesting to find out on what grounds the proposal was rejected".  Dravid said the idea of split innings in ODIs had already been tested in Australia and it would be interesting how the cricketing fraternity responds to it in time" to the concept. 


International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Wednesday that the world body's Cricket Committee felt the 50-over format was in good health and didn't require any dramatic changes immediately, some thing that led Cricket Australia to drop its push for split-innings both at home and internationally (E-News 770-3772, 5 June 2011).  Ganguly said that he thinks that the ICC rejected Tendulkar's proposal "not for any cricketing reasons, but [rather] because it came from an Indian".  


Asked about the Umpire Decision Review System Ganguly, who was made the chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) technical committee last week, echoed the BCCI's view that the system needs to improve "a lot" to become acceptable (E-News 835-4077, 20 September 2011).  "I completely agree with BCCI's thought on the system", he said, especially given "what I saw in the [recently concluded] India versus England and Australia versus Sri Lanka series".  "The system needs a lot of updating before it becomes foolproof", added Ganguly.


Dravid said he felt technology would always aide umpires in making correct decisions but that considerable improvement is needed before it can become an on-going part of the international game. 






Former Indian captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who after his retirement was the match referee in two Tests and ten One Day Internationals (ODI) in the 1990s, died in New Delhi yesterday aged 70.  Better known as The Nawab of Pataudi, he played 46 Tests from 1961-75, leading his side in 40 of those games.


Pataudi was the match referee in two of the Ashes Tests played in England in 1993 and in three matches the ODI series between those two sides that followed later that northern summer.  His other ODIs as a referee were on the sub-continent in the 1996 World Cup, however, records available suggest that he did not work in that capacity on the domestic scene.






The Colac District Cricket Umpires Association (CDCUA) in south-west Victoria is the latest competition to call for umpires to join its ranks for ther 2011-12 summer, says a story published in the 'Colac Herald' this week.  Since last season three umpires have retired, two of them long serving officials, and CDCUA president Russell Adams told the 'Herald' that his Association now only has seven regular umpires to cover the seven Division 1 and 2 matches played each weekend.  


Adams said that people who couldn’t commit to a full season but wanted to help out would still be valuable, for “they don’t have to be there every week [and] if they umpire once or twice a month that would help a lot”, he said.  “We do give them training and at the start we put them with a senior umpire [or] we can put them at square leg [in order] to give them confidence they can umpire".


Two weeks ago, the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association, another competition in south-west Victoria, reported a looming shortage of umpires and said then that it hoped to combat the issue by offering free training, accreditation and uniforms to anyone who sign up for the coming season (E-News 828-4050, 9 September 2011). 





Former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird has written a new book, this one titled 'The Little Book Of Dickie Bird'.  The now 78-year-old Yorkshireman is reported to have shared his thoughts on everything from religion (“if you saw the view from my garden, you’d realise why I believe in the deity”), to modern footballers (“more training, less clubbing and keep their personal equipment in their shorts”).  


There is also philosophy, Bird writing that “the saddest words you’ll ever hear anyone say are 'if only' ”, and there is much on his love of cricket.  "When I was young my mates and I used to play for hours in the street", he says, and "I once batted for six weeks before they got me out".  Bird's 128 page paperback book is published by Dalesman Publishing and is due out next week, although it can be ordered on line now at a cost of around $A6. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011 







Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has admitted that he tampered with balls in matches on a number of occasions during his career, but then makes the claim that it’s not just him as "everyone does it".  Akhtar, who made the comments in a chapter in his newly published autobiography titled 'Controversially Yours', also says that ball tampering should be legalised in the larger interest of the game. 


Akhtar's claims come as little surprise given the many controversies that surrounded his career.  In Sri Lanka in 2003 he was caught tampering with the ball and became the second player in cricket to be banned on such a charge. The same year he was banned for one Test match and two One Day International matches for abusing South African spin bowler Paul Adams; and more recently was banned for two years for allegedly using performance enhancing drugs.


The Rawalpindi-born player says in his book that "yes, for those of you who want to know, I did tamper with the bal in that match [in 2003], and yes, I know it is against the rules and it’s not something to be proud of [and] I apologised for it".  He goes on though to state that he "tampered with the ball on many occasions, has been warned several times, and even been caught twice, [for Sri Lanka in 2003] was one such instance".  "I can’t seem to help it", he says, "I’ve got to do something with the ball".


"Almost all Pakistani fast bowlers have tampered with the ball", says Akhtar, but "I may be the first one to openly admit to it, [as] everybody is doing it".  The he makes the claim that "one Pakistani cricketer", who he wouldn't name, "actually switched the ball in the umpire’s pocket with one that reversed like crazy", although just which match that took place in was not made clear.  


However, its not just Pakistanis involved, he says, for "every team in the world tampers with the ball".  "We probably started it, but today [it] is the only way to survive because the wickets are so slow [and bowling is] like giving match practice to [batsman] as we are hit all over the ground".


According to Akhtar, "there are so many ways of tampering with the ball and it’s not just a matter of scratching it".  "I have used my boot nails and the zip of my back pocket [but] many players use 'Vaseline' or gum".  "The only way to stop it is for the International Cricket Council to ensure that some pitches are prepared in favour of bowlers", he claims. 


"They have restricted us so mercilessly that I find it very difficult to feel entirely guilty about ball tampering, and since we can’t seem to stop doing it, maybe it is not a bad idea to legalise it and set rules for it".  Akhtar finishes his ball tampering comments with the interesting view that "after all" ball tampering is "still an art in using the ball, [for] you need pace and skill to benefit from it, [and] not everyone can do it".


Press reports from the subcontinent overnight say that Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt has hit back at many of Akhtar’s claims, calling them “bullshit” and threatening legal action.  "There is not a lot of truth in [the book]", said Butt, and "he has caused us enough trouble as a player and the misery continues even now".





Nine umpires and three match referees from seven countries appear to make up the main officials panel for this year's Champions League (CL) 20-match, 13-team Twenty20 series which is currently underway in three cities in India.  All those appointed for on-field and third umpire duties are members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) first and second-tier umpiring panels, the match referees from the ICC's top panel, and the fourth umpires from India's first class panel.


As previously reported Bruce Oxenford is the only Australian umpire (E-News 835-4078, 20 September 2011), the others being :Sudhir Asnani, S Ravi and Shavir Tarapore from India; Billy Doctrove from the West Indies; Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka, 'Billy ' Bowden of New Zealand; and South Africans Marais Erasmus and Johannes Cloete,  Bowden, Doctrove, Erasmus and Dharmasena are all members of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel, and the others its second-tier International Umpires Panel.  Sri Lankans Roshan Mahanama and Ranjan Madugalle plus Zimbabwean Andy Pycroft are the match referees.


Cloete, Erasmus, Madugalle, Mahanama, Oxenford, Pycroft and Tarapore all took part in last year's CL series (E-News 673-3304, 27 September 2010).






Yorkshire and England seamer Ajmal Shahzad has been severely reprimanded, warned about his future conduct, and ordered to pay disciplinary hearing costs of £750 ($A1,200) by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), after he was caught on camera scuffing the pitch during his side's first class match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston three weeks ago (E-News 826-4052, 11 September 2011).


Shahzad is said to have admitted causing damage to the pitch when he appeared before an ECB disciplinary panel at Lord’s on Friday. The incident, which happened when Warwickshire players ran to congratulate their captain Jim Troughton on taking a brilliant boundary catch and left Shahzad alone in the middle of the pitch, was missed by the umpires but later spotted on coaching camera footage.  It was then brought to the attention of umpires Jeff Evans and Peter Hartley.


The ECB disciplinary panel took into account the fact that Shahzad had immediately admitted his guilt at the time and apologised to the umpires, his "deep regret and previously exemplary record" helping him escape without further censure.


The same disciplinary panel also looked into a charge laid against Gloucestershire’s Jon Lewis that he deliberately made physical contact with an Essex captain James Foster on the last day of the first class match between the two sides at Colchester in mid-August.  Lewis appeared to obstruct Foster as he completed a single, "angry words were exchanged" but umpire Steve Gale stepped between the two players and cooled things down.


Lewis pleaded guilty to the charge and in reaching its decision to take no further action on the matter, the disciplinary panel took into account that three penalty points had already been imposed on Lewis and that Gloucestershire had also taken their own action against him, although just what the latter was has not been publicised.






Former Jamaican Test umpire Johnny Gayle has been nominated for induction into the United States Cricket Hall of Fame.  Gayle, 87, a former officer holder with the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association (JCUA) and secretary of the West Indies Umpires Association (WIUA), is expected to receive the honour at a ceremony in Connecticut next Saturday.


Gayle began his umpiring career in 1963 and served the regional and international umpiring fraternity from 1970 to 1990.  Over that time he stood in 30 first class matches, all except two being played on the island of Jamaica, they being in Barbados and Trinidad.  Included in that tally were three Tests, all at Sabina Park, and three others there as the third umpire.  There were also 14 List A matches, two of them Once Day Internationals, plus two others in the television suite and two women's Tests.


Away from games themselves, Gayle was secretary of the JCUA for 18 years and its president for 11, and he also held the WIUA secretary's post for 18.  Over that time he was awarded Jamaica's Order of Distinction in 2000 for services to cricket as an umpire and trophies from the Jamaica Cricket Association on four occasions.  His work with the WIUA was recognised with another award at that body's biannual convention in Saint Lucia two months ago (E-News 804-3936, 28 July 2011).


Based in Hartford, Connecticut, the Cricket Hall of Fame was established in order to recognise United States and West Indies sportsmen who have rendered "outstanding services to cricket". 






The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has decided to stop using England-made 'Tiflex' balls in the second division of the County Championship.  The balls, which have been used in that competition over the last three northern summers, have reportedly proved to be unpopular with players and coaches, although not apparently seam bowlers.


'The Cricketer' web site said on Friday that a recent survey conducted by the Professional Cricketers’ Association found that the majority of players were dissatisfied with Tiflex balls, claiming that they seamed and swung excessively early in an innings.  Last week the ECB's Board decided to back a recommendation from its cricket committee that balls manufactured by Dukes, another English company, will be used in Division Two next year.  Dukes' products are already in use in Division 1.


An ECB spokesman told journalist Paul Bolton that "it was felt that there was a need for consistency with the type of balls being used and that sides coming up from the second division should not have to get used to a different type of ball". 


Counties will still be permitted to use Tiflex-manufactured balls in the Second XI Championship where the type of ball used will be determined by the home county.  White 'Kookaburra' balls will still be used in county one-day 40 over and Twenty20 games, despite the ECB conducting what 'The Cricketer' called "an inconclusive one-off trial with a white Tiflex ball in day-night domestic one dayer at Edgbaston late last month.


Last week's day-night trial in a Division 2 match at Canterbury saw pink 'Tiflex' balls used in each side's first innings, and a number of players commented on them going soft "quite quickly", a problem that was said to have been a more general issue with that manufacturers' red balls throughout the recently completed season in the UK (E-News 832-4066, 14 September 2011).

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 





The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is asking the "wrong question" with regard to the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), says journalist Peter Roebuck in his column in 'The Hindu' newspaper on Saturday.  A week ago the BCCI announced that it plans to withdrawal its support for UDRS operation (E-News 835-4077, 20 September 2011), and the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to examine the issue at its next Board meeting (E-News 836-4083, 22 September 2011).


"The BCCI wants to wait till the technology has been rendered foolproof", says Roebuck, "but humanity cannot wait upon perfection or else we'd all still be [living] in caves".  "The issue is not whether the systems are 100 per cent reliable but whether better verdicts are reached [and] to my mind, more appeals are [being] answered correctly [since the UDRS was introduced], than ever before".  "Of course, the new ways are not perfect for players will find loopholes and third umpires will err, but let's get on with it", he says, and work to achieve further improvement over time.


Defenders of the old ways insist that the umpire's decision ought to be respected and accepted and argue that this is one of the traditional and crucial disciplines of the game, writes Roebuck.  However, he says that "nothing is more calculated to reduce authority than allowing an obviously erroneous judgement to stand [and] if anything, the UDRS has improved the reputation of umpires, the good ones anyhow, by showing that they are almost always right".


Despite his views Roebuck says that the BCCI is correct in that the tracking system and other techniques that form part of the UDRS need to be credible and consistent, and "that is not happening in cricket".  "Only the Australian and English TV channels use the best available technology to track the ball", for "in these cases, the cameras take 250 pictures a minute so the tracking system has many reference points".  Elsewhere, slower and fewer cameras are used and they produce only 50 frames a second, therefore if the ball strikes the pad not long after bouncing it is quite possible the tracking system has no idea what course it took after landing. 


Roebuck believes that the ICC ought to insist upon the best technology at all important matches, and pay for it.  The issue of just who is responsible for funding UDRS operation still remains and the national Boards of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe have used costs as reasons as to why the technology could not be deployed in their home series of recent years.  The world body's chief executive Haroon Lorgat said two months ago that it planned to look for sponsor to fund UDRS operational costs (E-News 790-3868, 6 July 2011), but as yet nothing has been announced about that move.






Reports from Pakistan over the last few days indicate that since the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi there has been a "growing movement" in Lahore to remove his name from that city's main cricket ground.  One suggestion being floated in press reports is that the now Gaddafi Stadium be renamed in honour of the world's best umpire for the last three years, Pakistan's Aleem Dar (E-News 831-4058, 13 September 2011).  


Gaddafi visited Lahore in 1974 and gave a speech in support of Pakistan's then pursuit of nuclear weapons, after which Prime Minister at the time, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, renamed the Lahore Cricket Stadium for Gaddafi, even though the Libyan leader had no interest in the game.  With Gaddafi now deposed reports say that many are keen to have his name torn down from what is, with a capacity of 60,000, the largest stadium in Pakistan, and the first there to be equipped with modern floodlights with their own standby power generators. 


"Lahore's great Test centre is no ordinary stadium [and] it is a travesty for it to carry the name that it does", says one local observer.  "It is the headquarters of the Pakistan Cricket Board, which makes it not just the spiritual but also the official home of Pakistan cricket", he said.  Apart from Dar, Pakistan's first cricket captain, Abdul Hafeez Kardar is another mentioned as deserving the honour, while still others would like to the complex's name to return simply to the Lahore Cricket Ground.


Meanwhile, Dar is said to have told journalists in Karachi that the secret of his success is his honesty and his concentration on the game.  "Umpiring is a hard job, particularly when technology is also at work", he said.  When asked about winning the 'Umpire of the Year' award for the third time, Dar is reported to have said that along with right decisions the report of captains also matters a lot.  "The captains of most of the teams trust me and report about me positively", he says, and its "a great honour for me [that] top-ranking teams like Australia, England and South Africa want me to umpire their matches".






David Odhiambo of Kenya and Durga Subhedi from Nepal were chosen to stand in the main final of the week-long World Cricket League Division 6 (WCL6) tournament in Malaysia on Friday.  That pair were part of a seven-man umpiring group assembled for the event that included Australian Steve Davis from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (E-News 827-4046, 8 September 2011).


Kalidass Viswanadan of Malaysia and Oman's Srinivasan Adachani looked after the match that decided third and fourth place in the series, while Neil Harrison of Japan and Imran Mustafa from Kuwait stood in the fifth versus sixth match.  Each umpire stood in either five or six matches during the week, Davis working on the field during games with all except Viswanadan as part of a mentoring program organised by the ICC.


Teams from Fiji, Guernsey, Jersey, Kuwait, Malaysia and Nigeria took part in this year's WCL Division 6 event, Guernsey and Malaysia winning the right to play in the final and progress to the WCL Division 5 event scheduled for Singapore in February.  

Friday, 30 September 2011 




The latest amendments to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) playing conditions for Tests, One Day Internationals (ODI) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), which together with the 'Laws of Cricket' set the parameters as to the way such games are played, will come into affect from tomorrow.  The changes, most of which do not apply to club cricket in Tasmania, were recommended by the ICC's Cricket Committee in May (E-News 762-3741, 12 May 2011), and approved by the world body's Executive Board a month later (E-News 783-3831, 28 June 2011).


From tomorrow, two balls will be used per innings in ODIs, one from each end, a move that means the mandatory ball change at the end of the thirty-fourth over will no longer apply; and the minimum interval between innings in such games has been increased from 20 to 30 minutes. In addition the two five-over batting and bowling Power Plays in ODIs will now have to be taken between overs 16 and 40, and not 11-50 as in the past.  The latter change will also apply in both first and second grades in Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Premier League competition this season.


Runners have been outlawed in all three forms of the international game (E-News 7843-3833, 29 June 2011), a move that has since flowed into interstate cricket in Australia (E-News 785-3843, 1 July 2011).  In addition, international batsmen will need to be more cautious about backing up as bowlers will be allowed to 'run out' a non-striking batsmen provided they break the wicket before their delivery swing has been completed.  


Batsmen are also being discouraged from running between a fielder's throw and the stumps, a clause in the revised ICC regulations giving the fielding side the right to appeal for 'Obstructing the Field' in such a circumstance whether a 'run out' would have been affected or not (E-News 784-3836, 29 June 2011).  When responding to such an appeal the on-field umpires will be able to consult with their colleague in the television suite should they feel the need.


A new condition for Test matches has been added whereby either captain can request an extra 15-minute period of play at the scheuled lunch or tea interval if they feel a result can be achieved in that time.  Also, should a team go towards lunch nine wickets down, then the interval will now be delayed for a maximum of 30 minutes, a situation that has applied in CT playing conditions for some years now.


The first international match to fall under the new regulations will be the T20l between Bangladesh and West Indies in 12 days time, the two teams then playing the first ODI of a three-match series two days after that.  From then until mid-November there will be a solid run of internationals, with 8 Tests, 19 ODIs and 7 T20Is to be played across five regions (E-News 840-4106 below). 






Following what the International Crioket Council (ICC) describes as "significant remedial work", West Indies' off-spinner Marlon Samuels has been cleared to resume bowling in international matches.  Samuels' action was originally reported as suspect in a Test in South Africa in January 2008, and while the ICC precluded him from bowling shortly after, it has not stopped him playing as a batsman both internationally and in 'domestic' cricket in the Caribbean.


A "comprehensive analysis" conducted by the ICC the month after Samuels showed that his mean elbow extension on delivering the ball was in excess of the 15 degrees permitted by the world body's regulations.  As a result he was suspended from bowling in international cricket and subsequently undertook a significant amount of work to modify his action.  The ICC said in a statement issued yesterday that a new set of detailed tests conducted at the University of Western Australia two weeks ago indicated his elbow extension is now "comfortably within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted". 


Since he was banned from bowling Samuels has played as a batsman in five Tests, 14 One Day Internationals and four Twenty20 Internationals, plus 11 first class, a single one-day and 11 Twenty20 games in domestic cricket in the Caribbean.  He played in another three domestic T2Os shortly after being reported but before his suspension was announced, games in which he both bowled and batted, but in the three-and-a-half years since he has not rolled his arm over in a higher-level match. 






International Cricket Council (ICC) umpires and match referees will be particularly busy over the six weeks from mid-October, with 8 Tests, 19 One Day Internationals (ODI) and 7 Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) scheduled to be played across 16 cities in five nations during that time.  While a clear picture is yet to emerge, recent media reports suggest that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) may only be in operation in half of the Tests and ODIs, the cost of providing the technology being a major issue. 


Depending on how the ICC approaches the appointments matrix and whether the UDRS is in operation, 8-10 umpires and 4-6 match referees are likely to be needed to work as neutral officials, with another 12-15 ICC-rated umpires from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, supporting the ODI and T20I fixtures.


The ICC is yet to publicly announce just who the neutral appointments will be for the flurry of games.  Press and other reports over recent weeks have suggested Australian Paul Reiffel will travel to Bangladesh for that country's three ODIs against the West Indies (E-News 832-4063, 14 September 2011), while New Zealander Tony Hill will be in the United Arab Emirates for Pakistan's three-Test series against Sri Lanka (E-News 836-4087, 22 September 2011).  


Reiffel's countryman Bruce Oxenford is also involved in the appointments mix, possibly either in the two Bangladesh-Windies Tests, the 5 India-England ODIs, or the 3 ODIs and single Test Zimbabwe and New Zealand are to play (E-News 832-4064, 14 September 2011).  


Oxenford was in Zimbabwe in early August for a Test involving Bangladesh, the second of his career at the game's highest level (E-News 808-3961, 3 August 2011).  His appointment to the highly charged India-England ODI series would be a solid test for him at a time when he is under scrutiny by the ICC for possible elevation to its top-level Elite Umpires Panel next year.  If so he will have had a solid warm up for the conditions he would face there, having worked in 8 ODIs on the sub-continent during this year's World Cup, 5 of them on the field, as well as over the last 11 days, 10 Twenty20 games in the Champions League series, with more likely to come in the next week. 


South Africa will play host to Australia for 3 ODIs and 2 Tests in late October and early November, fixtures that are expected to see the UDRS in operation.  If it is, two neutral umpires would be needed for the ODIs and three for the Tests, although the total involved will depend on how the ICC approaches the appointments mix.






An urgent recruiting drive conducted by the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) in south-west Victoria over the last few weeks has paid off, according to a story published in the Warnambool newspaper 'The Standard' yesterday.   Three weeks ago the WDCA described the umpiring situation as "grim" (E-Ndews 828-4050, 9 September 2011), but it appears on the surface at least that a cash incentive scheme is helping to turn the situation around.


WDCA director of umpiring Nick Frampton is reported to have offered clubs in the area a $500 cash incentive for every person nominated to umpiring ranks, with free training, uniforms and Cricket Australia accreditation also being part of the package.  Under the deal, new recruits are required to commit to a minimum of two seasons and be available for at least three-quarters of scheduled matches each summer.


'The Standard' says that 22 prospective umpires answered the call, a situation that leaves the WDCA with a basic bill of $11,000 plus the costs of having to provide the other promised items.  Frampton told journalist Meagan Rooth that his Association had "had a phenomenal response to our recruitment campaign" and as a result had been “caught short”, not only in terms of payments but also because it now "faces a shortage of uniforms and other equipment for the new [umpiring] intake".


Frampton hopes that he will be able to attract new sponsors who can "lend their support".  “Ideally we don’t want to pass this expense directly onto clubs, so we’re calling on all businesses to consider sponsoring our umpires".  “Sponsorship of the umpires provides businesses with a unique opportunity to market their organisation to over 1000 individuals in senior and junior cricket" in the area, said Frampton.

End of September 2011 news file