OCTOBER 2011


(Story numbers 4108-4174)

Click below to access each individual edition listed below

841  842  843  844  845  846  847  848  849  850  851  852  853

841 - 5 October [4108-4115]

• Second Test match in Zimbabwe for Oxenford   (841-4108).

• Umpires banned after match abandoned, says report   (841-4109).

• Two on-field 'neutrals' for India-England ODI series   (841-4110).

• India's Tarapore named for Test debut   (841-4111).

• BCB rules out UDRS use in Windies series   (841-4112).

• No stadium name for Dar, umpire's room instead   (841-4113).

• 'Dot point' summaries of CT Playing Conditions 'on line'   (841-4114)

• Spot fixing trial gets underway   (841-4115).

842 - 6 October [4116-4119]
• 'Confusion' over Playing Conditions leads to long delay in play   (842-4116).

• Suggested day-night Test appears off the agenda   (842-4117). 

• No UDRS for India-England ODI series?   (842-4118).

• Bowden-Taufel joint on-field ODI appointments a 'clerical error'   (842-4119). 

843 - 8 October [4120-4125]

• MCC 'clarifies' difference between Laws and ICC Playing Conditions   (843-4120).

• ICC adjusts appointments for India-England ODI series   (843-4121).

• Dar adds his voice to call for UDRS 'consistency'   (843-4122).

• NSWCUSA Board's 'no confidence' motion in Hair remains unresolved   (843-4123).

• Standard of Galle Test pitch draws official warning   (843-4124).

• 'Mad dogs and Englishman' go out with the tide   (843-4125).

844 - 11 October [4126-4129]

• Legal advice sought by Hair, claims report   (844-4126).

• Fines handed out for dissent in Sialkot   (844-4127).

• UAE spinner's action reported as suspect   (844-4128).

• Dar calls for improved conditions for Pakistani umpires   (841-4129).

845 - 12 October [4130-4134]

• UDRS use moved back to 'optional'   (845-4130).

• Day-night Test debut target slips to 2013   (841-4131).

• Formal complaint lodged against umpires in Pakistan   (845-4132).

• 'Legal' and 'illegal' ball tampering methods available, says bowler   (845-4133).

• Dharmasena, Erasmus stand in CL final    (845-4134). 

846 - 13 October [4135-4141]

• Tassy pair for Futures T20 event, says report   (846-4135).

• PCB obtains UDRS sponsor for Sri Lanka, England series   (846-4136).

• Two Aussies supporting world indoor championships   (846-4137).

• Cricket NSW still pondering Hair situation   (846-4138).

• ECB censures seven players   (846-4139).

• ICC outlines why it calls balls overhead 'wide', not 'no ball'   (846-4140).

• Senior 'on-field' international debut for South African Holdstock   (846-4141).

847 - 15 October [4142-4147]

• Umpires should 'call' young bowlers with 'suspect' actions, says SLC   (847-4142).

• Appointments confirm no UDRS for Pakistan-Lanka Tests   (847-41-4143).

• Windies' Greaves assists Canadians with umpire development   (847-4144).

• 'More play', less 'aggro', says Wairarapa Chairman   (847-4145).

• Hair promotes his latest book in Victoria   (847-4146).

• 'Bucknor' goes missing, reward offered   (847-4147).

848 - 19 October [4148-4151]

• State skippers query referral issues  (848-4148).

• Reprimand for Queensland batsman   (848-4149).

• Monthly pension for retired Saurashtra umpires   (848-4150).

• Cayman Islands looks to Doctrove for umpiring boost   (848-4151).

849 - 24 October [4152]

• Hat snatch leads to fine for dissent   (849-4152).

850 - 26 October [4153-4157]

• New umpire to join Australian first class ranks   (850-4153).

• Broadcaster lines up technology for Australia-India series   (850-4154).

• Harper to return as match referee in domestic T20 series   (850-4155).

• Flamboyant signal marked Rugby World Cup win, claims report   (850-4156).

• Match referee speaks to captains about on-field behaviour   (850-4157).

851 - 28 October [4158-4160]

• CA Project Panel member for national U17 championship series   (851-4158).

• More domestic one-day appointments for 'emerging' group   (851-4159).

• Paint on pitch leads to match abandonment   (851-4160).

852 - 30 October [4161-4168]

• CA 'tweaks' domestic third umpire instructions   (852-4161).

• Women amongst match officials for WWC qualifier   (852-4162).

• Guyanese umpire again chosen for major Caribbean final  (852-4163).

• Reprimand handed to second Shield player   (852-4164).

• Four NUP members for Kiwi, India, tour matches   (852-4165).

• Latest Futures four-day appointments announced   (852-4166).

• 'Hefty pay rise' proposed for Yorkshire league umpires   (852-4167).

• USACA Presidential candidate targets improved umpire standards   (852-4168).

853 - 31 October [4169-4174]

• WICB completes IUP generation change   (853-4169).

• Test skippers back UDRS use in all internationals   (853-4170).

• Scrap neutrals, rotate umpires, says former Pakistan skipper   (853-4171).

• Aussie flight chaos leads to domestic match changes   (853-4172).

• International player behaving badly 1   (853-4173).

• International player behaving badly 2   (853-4174).


Wednesday, 5 October 2011  



[EN841-4108  ]


Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford will stand in his second Test in Zimbabwe in three months, and third overall, when the home side plays New Zealand in a one-off fixture in Bulawayo early next month (E-News 808-3961, 3 August 2011).  Oxenford is one of eleven umpires and four match referees appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to the eight Tests that are scheduled to be played in cities in Asia and Africa over an 18-day period in late October and early November (E-News 840-4106, 30 September 2011).


Queenslander Oxenford, 50, who made his Test debut in a rain affected match in Sri Lanka late last year (E-News 700-3432, 14 December 2010), has also been named as the neutral umpire for the three One Day Internationals (ODI) Zimbabwe and New Zealand are to play in Harare in the lead up to the Test (E-News 841-4110 below).  Chris Broad of England will be the match referee for the ODI series and also for the Test which will be his forty-eighth as a referee, Marais Erasmus, 47, of South Africa joining Oxenford on the field for the latter match, his seventh at Test level.  The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is not expected to be in operation for that series (E-News 841-4112 below)


Bangladesh will play the West Indies in two Tests later this month, Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena, 40, and Englishman Nigel Llong, 42, being named to stand in those two matches, with Andy Pycroft from Zimbabwe the match referee.  Those fixtures, which will also operate without the UDRS (E-News 841-4112 below), will be Dharmasena's fourth and fifth as an umpire in Tests, Llong his tenth and eleventh, and Pycroft his nineteeth and twentieth as a Test match referee.


Another Test series that will start later this month, again without the UDRS, will be played in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) where Pakistan will host Sri Lanka in a three-match 'home' series.  Australian David Boon, 50, will oversee those games as the match referee, Tony Hill, 60, of New Zealand and India's Shavir Tarapore, 53, each standing in two games, while Boon's compatriots Rod Tucker, 47, and Simon Taufel, 40, will be on the field for one match each.  Tarapore will be making his Test debut in the series, working with Hill in the second match and Taufel in the third (E-News 841-4111 below), Tucker and Hill looking after the opening game.  


The series will take Taufel's Test tally to 70 matches, Hill to 27 and Tucker to 13.  So far unnamed Pakistani members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) will work as third and fourth umpires in that series, a move that suggests the UDRS will not be in operation in the UAE for the Tests.


The last of the eight Tests scheduled for the next six weeks will be South Africa's two-match series against Australia in mid-November.  Appointments for those games suggest that the UDRS will be operational, Englishman Ian Gould standing in both matches, his twenty-second and twenty-third Tests, one each with Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, his thirty-fourth, and 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, his sixty-ninth.  The latter will be the third umpire in the first Test in Cape Town and Doctrove for the second in Johannesburg, Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka being the series match referee, his thirty-third and thirty-fourth in Tests.


Bowden, Dharmasena, Doctrove, Erasmus, Taufel and Tucker are all member of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), and Oxenford, Llong and Tarapore the IUP.  Erasmus, Gould, Oxenford, Pycroft and Taufel will also be involved in One Day Internationals over the next six weeks (E-News 841-4111 below).


The selection of Oxenford, Llong and Tarapore for Test-match duty suggests they may all be in the mix for potential elevation to the EUP in the near future.  Llong was named as a member of the ICC's emerging umpires group in March 2009 and was then selected for six Tests over the following nine months, however, the Tests in Bangladesh will be only his second and third over the past twenty-two months, and so far has been overlooked for EUP selection on two occasions. 


The eight Tests will be played under the ICC's newest set of Playing Conditions which came into force last Saturday (E-News 840-4104, 30 September 2011).






Two umpires who abandoned a match in Lancashire's Northern League after alleged "violent behaviour" by a player, have themselves been handed an "indefinite ban" from officiating in the competition, says a story published in the 'Blackpool Gazette' yesterday.  A NL disciplinary hearing is said to have "refused to say what action, if any, had been taken against the player involved", however, the Northern League Cricket Umpires Federation (NLCUF) have been informed about the umpire ban.


The umpires concerned, Steve Godfrey and Ken Shenton, are said to be "two of the most experienced umpires" in the area, Shenton having officiated at Minor Counties and county second XI level, and Godfrey in Northern League and schools cricket.


In its story on the game, which was a second XI fixture between Saint Annes and Preston, the 'Gazette' says that the situation deteriorated after a Preston player "repeatedly refused to heed warnings about running down the [pitch]".  He is said to have become "abusive and used threatening behaviour" and his actions are stated as having been "so bad that at one point he had to be restrained and pinned to the floor by four players before being escorted from the field". 


Tommy Wilson, the NLCUF's chairman, told the newspaper that “the umpires were thinking of ringing the police" at that time, for "that’s how bad it was", and they subsequently decided there was "no alternative but to abandon the game".  “I have since been told by the league that Ken and Steve should have appeared at the hearing [as witnesses but they] didn’t attend".  “That may be why they have been suspended, but they were never summoned to appear at the hearing in the first place, [rather they] were invited to attend", he says. 


Wilson continued by saying that he has "asked the chairman and the vice-chairman of the Northern League what decision has been taken about the Preston player but they say they cannot comment because [the matter] is private".  


Shenton declined to comment when contacted by the 'Gazette' and refused to say whether he was taking legal action to fight for his reinstatement.  According to Wilson the situation, as it is currently known publicly, "is a slur on the two umpires".






In an unusual move, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has named two neutral on-field umpires for this month's five-match India-England One Day International (ODI) series between the world's fourth and fifth ranked sides.  The pair, Australian Simon Taufel and 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, have between them stood in 327 ODIs and had umpiring roles in another 111, while match referee Sri Lankan Roshan Mahanama will will bring his experience of 213 ODIs as a player and another 171 as a referee to the series.


Bowden and Taufel and two of the dozen umpires and four match referees named by the ICC, plus up to six other so far unnamed umpires, for the 19 ODIs scheduled to be played by all ten Test match playing nations across Bangladesh, India, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Zimbabwe over the next six weeks.


In addition to Bowden and Taufel, other ICC Elite Umpire Panel members named are Ian Gould and Richard Kettleborough of England plus Marias Erasmus of South Africa, while the others, Bangladeshis Enamul Hoque Moni and Nadir Shah, Australians Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel, South Africans Shaun George and Johannes Cloete, and Englishman Richard Illingworth, are all members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  


Six other IUP members, three each from Pakistan and Bangladesh, are also likely to be involved, while the match referees will be Chris Broad of England, Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe and Javagal Srinath of India.  Bowden, Broad, Erasmus, Gould, Oxenford, Pycroft and Taufel will also be involved in Test matches over the next six weeks (E-News 841-4108 above). 


Reiffel will, as indicated last month (E-News 832-4062, 14 September 2011), be the neutral umpire for the three ODIs between Bangladesh and the West Indies, the first of which will be played in Dhaka on Thursday week.  Pycroft will be the match referee in each of the ODIs, Bangladeshi IUP members Moni and Shah, standing in the first, third and second ODIs with Reiffel  respectively; the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) not being in operation (E-News 841-4012 below).  Pycroft's ODI record as a referee will move up to 36 matches by the end of the series, Moni's to 34, Shah to 38 and Reiffel to 11.


Around the same time that series is being played, Zimbabwe and New Zealand will also be engaged in a three-match ODI series in Harare, also without the benefit of the UDRS.  Oxenford has been appointed as the neutral umpire for those matches along with Broad as the match referee.  Zimbabwe's three IUP members, Russell Tiffen, Owen Chirombe and Jerry Matibiri will be candidates for the second on-field and third umpire slots in the three games.


The Zimbabwean series will take Broad's ODI record as a referee to 194 matches and Oxenford's to 29, but just how many Tiffen will add to the 123 he has currently stood in, or Chirombe to his 6, remains to be seen, while it is possible twice Tasmanian visitor Matibiri could make his ODI on-field debut during the series after doing so in a Twenty20 International last month (E-News 834-4074,  16 September 2011).


Over in South Africa in the last two weeks of this month, Gould and Cloete will stand in two of the three ODIs involving visitors Australia, Kettleborough and George being on the field for the middle game, the series referee being Srinath.  The UDRS is expected to be operational during those games for Kettleborough will be the third umpire for the first and third ODIs and Gould in the second.  At the end of those games Srinath will have taken his ODI referee tally to 107 matches, Gould to 67, Kettleborough to 17 and Cloete 13, while George, who joined the IUP last month (E-News 830-4057, 12 September 2011), will be making his on-field ODI debut. 


In the UAE late next month, 'home' side Pakistan will play five ODIs against Sri Lanka.  The UDRS looks like being in operation in those matches for the ICC has named two neutrals for the series who will rotate between on-field and third umpire positions.  Erasmus will stand in ODIs one, three and five with a so far unnamed Pakistani member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, and then work as the third umpire in games two and three when Illingworth will be on the field.  Pycroft will be the match referee, having travelled to the UAE after the earlier series in Bangladesh.


The 19 ODIs will be played under the ICC's newest set of Playing Conditions which came into force last Saturday (E-News 840-4104, 30 September 2011).






Indian umpire Shavir Tarapore will become his country's sixtieth Test umpire when he makes his debut later this month in Pakistan's 'home' series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates.  Tarapore is one of the eleven umpires and four match referees appointed to the eight Tests that are scheduled to be played in cities in Asia and Africa over an 18-day period in late October and early November (E-News 841-4108  above).


The son of a first class player, Kolkata-born Tarapore, 53, played six games for Karnataka at that level in the first half of the 1980s.  He made his debut as a first class umpire in December 1992, six years after his last match for that state, and in the time since has gone on to stand in 64 such fixtures.  All but two of those games have been played on the sub-continent, the exceptions being whilst he was on exchange in England in July this year (E-News 795-3890, 13 July 2011).  


Tarapore's first appointment beyond domestic level was to a women's One Day International (ODI) in December 1997, and he moved up to senior men's ODIs two years later, his record in the latter format currently standing at 20 matches.  A member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), he was first selected as a neutral umpire in a senior ODI in October last year, and then to four games in this year's World Cup (E-News 754-3702, 7 April 2011).  There have also been appointments to the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January last year (E-News 560-2848, 29 January 2010), and the men's and women's World Twenty20 Championship series in the West Indies four months later (E-News 607-3046, 16 May 2010).    


To date he has worked in four Tests, three of them as the television umpire, the latest last month in Sri Lanka (E-News 829-4056, 12 September 2011), and another as the fourth official.  His first Test on the field is due to start in Dubai in three weeks, his partner for what will be the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka being Tony Hill of New Zealand, then in early November the third and last Test of the series between those sides will see Tarapore and Australian Simon Taufel as the umpires; the latter's countryman David Boon being the match referee for both games.


Tarapore is the fourth Indian to be selected to stand in a Test match by the ICC over the last five years, however, the other three appointed in that time were discarded after just a few matches at the game's highest level.  Amish Saheba, who was named a member of the ICC's four-man emerging umpires group two years ago (E-News 395-2094, 24 March 2009), but was dropped from the IUP earlier this year because he "could not perform to international standards" (E-News 778-3806, 22 June 2011), stood in three Tests in 2008-09.  Prior to that Suresh Shastri was on-field for two Tests in 2007, and Krishna Hariharan also for two, the last in 2006.  


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has long lamented the fact that only one of its umpires, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, has been selected for the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) since that group was established in 2002.  Venkat, who holds India's record as a Test umpire with 74 matches, left the EUP in 2004, and the BCCI will be keen for Tarapore to prove himself at Test level, and hope that he can go on to be selected as a member of the top panel sometime later this decade. 






The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) says that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be in operation during its side's  forthcoming two Test and three One Day International (ODI) series against the West Indies.  BCB media chairman Jalal Yunus told the 'Daily Star' newspaper in Dhaka earlier this week that his Board's agreement with its broadcaster, Nimbus, does not cover provision of the technology required, that "we have consulted with the International Cricket Council and they have also agreed with us on the issue".


The ICC decided at its annual conference in June to make the UDRS mandatory for all Tests and ODIs, however, that agreement was subject to certain minimum standards and commercial considerations; the use of 'Hot Spot' being made mandatory while ball-tracking technology was made optional (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  Despite that late last month the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that it planned to withdrawal its support for the minimal UDRS package (E-News 835-4077, 20 September 2011).  


The BCB is said to have originally considered adopting the minimum standard for the matches against the West Indies, however, Nimbus apparently could not provide 'Hot Spot', say reports.


While the situation is not entirely clear, media reports in recent weeks suggest that only two of the eight Tests scheduled for the next six weeks will be conducted with the UDRS operational, and perhaps in either 8 of 19 or 13 of the 19 ODIs over the same time period.  The higher ratio will apply if the India-England ODIs has the UDRS, and the lower one if it is not.






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has named the umpire’s room at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore after Aleem Dar, the winner of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' award over the last three years (E-News 831-4058, 13 September 2011).  There were suggestions earlier this week the Dar's name could be given to the entire stadium now that Gaddafi's name is no longer considered appropriate by local authorities (E-News 839-4102, 27 September 2011).


In addition to giving Dar's name to the umpire's room, the PCB is reported to have presented him with "a trophy and a cash award of Rs1 million [$A12,200]" on Sunday in recognition of his achievements.  That figure is double the "cash prize" of half a million Rupees ($A6,000) the PCB gave Dar as an "acknowledgement" of the same achievement last year (E-News 688-3382, 25 October 2010), which was the same amount given to him when he first won the award in 2009 (E-News 506-2614, 22 November 2009). 


Dar is reported to have dedicated his third consecutive ICC 'Umpire of the Year' award to the flood and dengue disease victims in Pakistan, saying he saw the award as a tribute and gift for the resilience of the Pakistani nation.  "Pakistan is presently facing so many problems from the floods, dengue disease and even otherwise, [however, despite that] we fight on and I see this award as a feel good factor for my fellow Pakstanis", Dar said.


Jhang-born Dar is reported to still pay a monthly stipend of 5,500 Rupees a month ($A65) to the family of the bus driver who lost his life during a terrorist attack while transporting match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium in March 2009 (E-News 380-2021, 4 March 2009).   






'Dot point' summaries of Playing Conditions for the two-day, one-day and Twenty20 Premier League competitions Cricket Tasmania (CT) is running during the 2011-12 season can now be down loaded from the TCUSA web site.  The notes are not designed as a substitute for actual CT By Laws, rather as a 'Ready Reckoner' for umpires or scorers.


The summaries are designed to assist those involved in managing differing match formats over relatively short periods of time to quickly review the arrangements that apply to the game they are involved in, and they can also serve as a 'check list' for umpiring pairs to go through just prior to games getting underway.  They contain links to the page and paragraph of CT's 2011-12 'By Laws' booklet should more detailed information be required at any time.


All ten documents can be downloaded from the TCUSA web site by going to 'Match Management' then selecting 'CT Premier League Playing Conditions'.  There is also a link on that page to the full CT By Laws document. 


CT's pre-season briefing on the Playing Conditions, which is normally attended by umpires, scorers, club captains and coaches, will be held in the Premiership Room at Bellerive starting at 6 p.m. tonight.





The trial of Pakistani players Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif over spot-fixing allegations that surfaced in England 13 months ago during a Test match at Lord's, has begun in London.  Former Pakistan captain Butt and fast bowler Asif have both pleading not guilty to charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, the allegation being that they conspired to bowl pre-determined no-balls.


Butt, Asif and fast bowler Mohammad Amir featured in a sting operation conducted by the now defunct British tabloid the 'News of the World'. Their former agent Mazher Majeed was recorded by a secret camera, saying when no-balls would be delivered by the bowlers (E-News 669-3286, 17 September 2010).


The players have already been punished by the International Cricket Council after a disciplinary hearing held in Qatar last February (E-News 726-3574, 14 February 2011).  It banned all three for at least five years, Butt receiving an additional suspended five-year ban and Asif a similar two-year suspended sanction.  All three men have filed appeals against their bans with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland (E-News 733-3606, 1 March 2011).

Thursday, 6 October 2011  




What has been called a "misunderstanding" over Playing Conditions caused a 28-minute delay in play near the end of Pakistan's nationally telecast Twenty20 series final in Karachi on Sunday.  With Rawalpindi needing 15 runs from six balls to win the match, batsman Mohammad Rameez went to the crease with a runner, however, it appears the umpires involved, internationals Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf were, according to one report, "confused" as to just which rule they should apply in such a situation.  


The Pakistan Cricket Board is understood to have decided, as has Cricket Australia (E-News 786-3843, 1 July 2011), to follow the International Cricket Council's (ICC) move to ban runners in all forms of the international game in its domestic competitions.  That and other changes came into affect last Saturday, the day before the final in Karachi (E-News 840-4104, 30 September 2011).  


As a result it appears that Dar and Rauf thought the new ICC Playing Condition concerning runners applied on Sunday, and the matter was only cleared up after lengthy deliberation with match referee Azizur Rehman and other unnamed officials. It was eventually agreed that since the 21-match championship series had commenced on 25 September, all of it, including Sunday's final, should be played under the old rules that did allow a runner.


Dar, the current world 'Umpire of the Year', who was one of the match officials embarrassingly caught out in the World Cup final of 2007 over a Playing Conditions issue (E-News 35-196, 1 May 2007), was quoted by the 'Express Tribune' newspaper on Monday as saying that the situation that unfolded in Karachi last weekend emphasised how important it is that umpires be very vigilant about, and know, the Playing Conditions that apply in the games they are appointed to.


Also in Sunday's final, the Sialkot side, which won the match, were fined 10,000 Pakistan Rupees ($A120) for a slow over-rate.  After allowances were taken into consideration the team was found by Rehman to have been two overs short of their bowling target.  Sialkot are reported to have accepted the penalty without contest, but were "unhappy with the match referee's attitude", team manager Mohammad Naeem blaming the delay on "the miss-communication between match officials", however, "at the end we had the title back and that was more important for us". 






It appears that the first day-night Test will not be played in New Zealand in January as was suggested last month.  A news item posted on New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) web site two days ago indicates that the match involved will start at 10.30 a.m. local time each day, a timing that would result in a scheduled finish at 5.30 p.m. which is three hours ahead of sunset at that time of the year in the north of the country.


John Stephenson, the Marylebone Cricket Club's assistant secretary, said four weeks ago that his club was hoping the one-off Test between New Zealand and Zimbabwe in late January might be played in a day-night format (E-News 827-4044, 8 September 2011).  


However, when NZC announced the match program for Zimbabwe's January-February visit on Tuesday, the fixtures included a three-day warm up game, the Test, three One Day Internationals (ODI) and two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I).  Day-night fixtures are listed, but only the two T20Is and one ODI are being played in the afternoon and evening and will require lights.  






The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be used in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series between India and England later this month, says a story posted on the India-based 'Cricket Country' web site yesterday.  The report states that the English side, which arrive in Hyderabad on Tuesday "is not [formally] aware" of the UDRS situation, and their skipper Alastair Cook is to be "advised about" it when he and his Indian counterpart, Mahendra Singh Dhoni  meet match referee Roshan Mahanama prior to the first match next week.


'Cricket Country' states that "sources" at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have advised it that someone, who was not identified, had cancelled the order for the infra-red cameras that form the basis of 'Hot Spot' and as a result that technology will not be available for the series.  The web site claims that the cancellation of the consignment with Australia-based BBG Sports had occurred because the company had "put some 'bizarre' conditions [with regard] to delivery of the cameras to India".  In the past BBG Sports has said that that the technology involved is military based and there are security issues involved.


Overnight, the Cricinfo web site reported that Warren Brennan, BBG Sports chief executive, "was disappointed" with Hot Spot's performance during India's recent tour of England and that he believed the system "did not have BCCI's support" as a result.  Earlier this year the BCCI and reached an agreement to use 'Hot Spot' for India's home season, which in addition to England's current visit also includes a full series against the West Indies.  


Recently elected BCCI president Narainswamy Srinivasan expressed his Board's dissatisfaction with 'Hot Spot' last month after its reliability was questioned during the Indian side's England tour (E-News 835-4077, 20 September 2011).  The BCCI agreed to a minimum UDRS package that included 'Hot Spot' but excluded ball-tracking technology at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 2011 Board meeting in Hong Kong in late June (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  Reports yesterday indicate that the BCCI will raise the matter again at the ICC Board meeting scheduled for Dubai this weekend (E-News 836-4083, 22 September 2011).


A spokesperson for the England team is quoted by 'Cricket Country' as saying that they are not aware of the situation regarding UDRS operations. “We are yet to clarify these things [and] hopefully we will know when we meet the match referee”, he said.  Earlier this week it appeared that the ICC had anticipated a non-UDRS situation as its web site indicated that two neutral on-field umpires had been appointed for the India-England ODIs, but this now appears to have been a clerical error (E-News 842-4119 below).  






The apparent appointment earlier this week of New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden and Australian Simon Taufel as joint on-field neutral umpires for this month's One Day International (ODI) series between India and England appears to have been a clerical error by the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Yesterday's news that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is unlikely to be in operation for the series throws up further confusion though (E-News 842-4118 above), for should that actually be the case only one neutral umpire would normally be required for the five ODIs.


The ICC web site, which originally showed Bowden and Taufel as both being on the field during each match of the the series, was quietly amended yesterday to indicate what has become the normal neutral umpire appointments pattern when the UDRS is operational during ODIs will actually apply.  It now shows that Bowden will be on the field for games one, three and five, and Taufel for the two others, each working as the third umpire when not out in the middle.  


The ICC currently lists the second on-field place in each ODI as "BCCI", the acronym for the Board of Control for Cricket in India.  That role will now fall to one or more of the four Indian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Shavir Tarapore, Sudhir Asnani, Vineet Kulkarni and S Ravi; although because Tarapore will make his Test debut later this month he is only likely to be available for the first three games (E-News 841-4111,5 October 2011).  


If the ICC's latest appointments end up actually applying, Bowden's ODI record will have move on the 163 games, and Taufel's to 169, by the end of the series.  

Saturday, 8 October 2011  






The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardian of the Laws of Cricket, issued a statement this week "clarifying the difference" between the new Playing Conditions the International Cricket Council's (ICC) introduced last Saturday, and the actual Laws of the game (E-News 840-4104, 30 September 2011).  The new ICC regulations, which include the banning of runners, matters related to a batsman obstructing the field, and a bowler attempting to run out a batsman before he delivers the ball, have apparently caused confusion in some quarters around-the-world as to whether they apply in all competitions or not. 


The MCC says that in practice the ICC's Playing Conditions do not apply to levels of cricket below international level, "although they may be replicated by [national] boards" around the world should they choose to do so.  In Cricket Australia's case it has chosen to introduced the ICC changes into cricket played under its auspices at interstate level during this austral summer (E-News 786-3843, 1 July 2011).  On the other hand, Cricket Tasmania is one state Association that has decided not to apply most of the changes to its Premier League competition.


The MCC says that under the Laws of Cricket runners are still allowed if a batsman is injured or becomes ill (E-News 783-3831, 28 June 2011), a batsman "does not have a duty to avoid a throw" at a wicket in a run out attempt but he must not wilfully obstruct a ball and if he does he will be liable to be given out (E-News 784-3836, 29 June 2011), and a bowler can only run out a batsman if he does so  before his back foot lands, for once that happens the non-striker is ‘safe’ to leave his ground.


In July, the MCC's World Cricket Committee (WCC) described the ICC's decision to ban runners in its matches as "a disappointing reflection on the 'Spirit of Cricket' at international level" (E-News 801-3916, 20 July 2011).  At that time that group also emphasised that the approach umpires take plays a key part in the obstructing the field issue, saying that the Law concerned "has not changed in any way", and that a reminder was needed to inform players of what the Law says".  


On the other hand the bowler running out the non-striker issue was referred by the WCC to the MCC's Laws sub-committee for consideration.  It is not clear if the latter group has looked in detail at the issue as yet, but the MCC said this week that in international cricket umpires have recourse to television replays and "so do not necessarily need to pay close attention to the non-striker’s position".  "Umpires in non-televised games do not have this luxury and [the MCC feels] that it would not be sensible to change the Law to reflect the ICC’s Playing Condition".  






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has adjust its umpiring appointments for the five One Day Internationals (ODI) India and England are to play later this month.  Last Monday, 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Simon Taufel of Australia were both named to on-field roles (E-News 841-4110, 5 October 2011), but a few days later this was revised to a sharing of those duties (E-News 842-4119, 6 October 2011), but now only Bowden will travel to India to stand in all five games.


While the ICC has not said so, the change is likely to have been brought about by this week's announcement that the Umpire Decision Review System will not be in operation in any form for the ODI series (E-News 842-4118, 6 October 2011).  The world body  announced the change very quietly yesterday by simply adjusting the appointments page of its web site.  Roshan Mahanama of sri Lanka is still the match referee for the series, while Indian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel will work on the field with Bowden and as the third umpire in games.






Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar joined the call for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) to be used "uniformly" across the international game when he spoke to journalists in Lahore earlier this week.  Dar's comments on the matter echo views put last month by his international colleague Simon Taufel of Australia (E-News 824-4029, 3 September 2011), and independently from him by Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland (E-News 827-4045, 8 September 2011).


Dar, the winner of the last three International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' awards, repeated comments he has made previously that the UDRS is "a good addition to the game".  On this occasion, however, he went further by saying the inconsistent use of the system from series-to-series around the world impacts on "an umpire's performance" and that in a wider sense it "is not good for the game".


Dar was speaking the day before news broke that the UDRS will not be in operation during the five-match One Day International series between India and England later this month (E-News 842-4118, 6 October 2011).  India, which agreed to the use of UDRS to a minimum standard at the ICC's annual conference in June (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011), change its mind late last month after its team's tour of England, and is currently opposed to all forms of technology involved (E-News 836-4083, 22 September 2011).


The ICC has scheduled 8 Tests and 19 One Day Internationals (ODI) over the next six weeks, games that under June's agreement should theoretically at least be conducted with the UDRS in operation (E-News 784-3835, 29 June 2011).  Despite that, current information available suggests that it may be used in only 10 of those 27 games, two of them Tests and the other eight ODIs (E-News 841-4112, 5 October 2011).






Reports from Sydney this week indicate that the "no confidence" motion the Board of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) passed against its Executive Officer Darrell Hair in late August has still not been resolved (E-News 824-4028,  3 September 2011).  Stephen Poole, the NSWCUSA Board's chairman said four weeks ago that the motion had been passed as a result of "several issues", however, he did not elaborate beyond that at that time (E-News 828-4048, 9 September 2011).


Last Wednesday evening Poole told members at the Association's October meeting at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) that Hair had returned to work recently from what has previously been described as "sick" or "medical leave", although again he gave no indication about just what was behind the break-down in relations.  While the former international umpire has returned to NSWCUSA work, he is said to be working "from home" rather that from his office at the SCG, and indications are that his actual employer, Cricket NSW, is yet to formally attempt to resolve the situation that prevails. 


Cricket NSW's chief executive Dave Gilbert has, according to media reports from India in recent weeks, been travelling on the sub-conitnent as part of the entourage that is accompanying the NSW senior side during the Champions League Twenty20 series.  With that competition coming to an end this weekend, the supposition is that he will return to Sydney sometime next week and that the NSWCUSA-Hair issue is likely to be one of the matters high on his agenda.






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) an official warning for preparing a poor quality pitch for the first Test between Sri Lanka and Australia played in Galle early last month.  Match referee Chris Broad of England officially rated the pitch as "poor" in his post-match report (E-News 825-4033, 6 September 2011).


Following Broad's report, David Richardson the ICC's General Manager Cricket and its chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, looked in detail at the situation that prevailed.  Richardson said in a statement yesterday that "it was clear from the video footage of the match that the amount of turn, especially early in the match, was excessive and there were occasions (even on the first day) where the ball went through the surface of the pitch, bouncing unusually steeply from a good length".


"Whilst it is understandable and acceptable for a pitch to deteriorate over the course of the match", continued Richardson, "for a pitch to exhibit this type of behavior at relatively early stages of the match was not acceptable".  "We do not wish to see a pitch that is too heavily weighted in favour of the batsmen [but] in this instance the balance was just too much in favour of the bowler".  It is, however, "the first time that a pitch at Galle has been rated as 'poor', and given the intention of the curator to prepare a pitch that provided a fair balance between bat and ball, we have decided to impose a[n official] warning as the sanction".


The ICC has directed that its pitch consultant Andy Atkinson carry out an inspection of the square in the next few weeks in order to make recommendations to ensure that in future the manner of preparation is in line with what is required to ensure that a better balance between bat and ball is achieved.  After that SLC will have to submit a report to the ICC confirming that the corrective actions recommended by Atkinson had been carried out, and only then will an international match be able to be played at the venue. 


Under ICC regulations the world body has the power to impose a sanction ranging from a warning and/or fine for a first offence, up to, in the case of repeated offences, a suspension of the international status of the venue. 






Passengers on ocean liners are reported to have looked on in amazement as players dressed in traditional whites jumped out of their boats and played a match in the middle of a busy shipping lane in England last week, says an Agence France-Presse report.  The game took place on a tiny sandbar in the Solent, the body of water between the south coast of England and the Isle of Wight, which is uncovered for 30 minutes at low water spring tides but at other times presents a significant navigational hazard. 


What is an annual match that dates back over 30 years took place on Bramble Bank and featured teams from the Royal Southern Yacht Club on the mainland and The Island Sailing Club from the Isle of Wight. With dry land several nautical miles away in either direction, the yachts on which the players travel dropped anchor at the still-invisible pitch an hour before the sand surfaced.  "We wait for the covers to be removed", said umpire Philip Gage, as he watched the sonar depth reading on board his yacht.  


Once the sand appeared the stumps were quickly set up, but due to the limited time available the game was reduced to seven overs per side.  More than 100 spectators crammed around the exposed sand in "beautiful autumn evening sunshine".  However, with the rising tide slowly flooding the wicket, Gage had to call 'time', sparking a scramble to get back on the boats as within minutes the entire pitch had once again vanished beneath the surface.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011  







Darrell Hair, the Executive Officer of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA), "has sought legal advice" about matters related to the "no confidence" motion passed against him by its board six weeks ago, claim reports published in Fairfax Press newspapers yesterday.  The stories, by journalist Chris Barrett, add a few details to articles run by E-News over the last month, however, none of the key people involved were prepared to talk publicly about the situation that prevails.


Barrett names the country umpires advisor that Hair is said to have been removed from his position in June as Forster-based Keith Griffiths, "a [NSWCUSA] life member with 28 years' service" (E-News 828-4048, 9 September 2011).  Griffiths' sacking is said to have "infuriated [NSWCUSA] board members", even though "Hair made that call in his capacity as supervisor of the country umpires panel, a role his job description encompasses along with being the [NSW] state director of umpires".


Two months after that occurred, says the newspaper report, "Hair arrived at a board meeting to be told that the eight other members, five elected directors, one appointed director, an honorary treasurer and a liaison officer, were passing the no-confidence motion in him and referring the issue to [Cricket NSW chief executive Dave] Gilbert", as it is that body that pays Hair's salary.  "Hair immediately went on sick leave, before returning [two weeks ago but] to work from home" (E-News 843-4123, 8 October 2011), continued Barrett.


According to the story, "Gilbert will have to soothe relations that are beyond breaking point" sometime this week, and that "the alternative" to that, "which seems unlikely given Hair's pedigree, is to [dismiss him]".  However, the former international umpire is said to have two years remaining on his [executive officer] contract, and Barrett states that he "understands" "Hair has sought legal advice about the situation".  The journalist also points out that any dismissal would see umpires in NSW "deprived of a former umpire with vast international experience".  


Hair is said to have declined to make any comment on the matter when contacted by Barrett.  NSWCUSA board chairman Stephen Poole apparently did not return calls made to him on Sunday, while Gilbert reportedly "declined to comment" about the matter.  The Fairfax story started to appear in media outlets on the sub-continent overnight.






Pakistani internationals Taufeeq Umar and Umar Gul were fined 9,000 ($A100) and 5,000 Rupees ($A60) respectively for dissent during their Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match against Sialkot on Sunday, say reports from Karachi yesterday.  Both players, who were playing for Habib Bank, are said to have "disagreed with umpire Zameer Haider over two different decisions". 


Gul is said to have been "livid when [an] appeal [he made] was turned down", after which he was "involved in a confrontation with Haider".  Umar is reported to have "felt he was not out after being given out" by Haider, "walking down [the pitch] to the umpire and showing his bat to him in a negative manner".


Karachi media reports say that both of the Habib Bank players "were not impressed by the standard of umpiring and lashed out at Haider and his umpiring colleague Shozab Raza", both of whom are members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), and who will be officiating in Pakistan's series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates next month.


“It’s a shame that such umpires have been promoted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) [to the IUP]", said one of the players who was not named, and PCB "officials should come and look at their performances in the domestic tournament before lavishing [international appointments on] them".  "Another player" is said to have added that he feels "ashamed that at on one hand umpire Aleem Dar has been taking Pakistan to new heights in the field, while on the other hand such people are being promoted to ridicule Dar’s efforts".






Vikrant Shetty, an off-spinner with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has been reported as having a suspect illegal bowling action during his side's four-day Intercontinental Cup match against Afghanistan in Sharjah last week, says a report published in the 'Gulf news' yesterday.  The 27-year-old was reported after the end of the match by on-field umpires Ahsan Raza of Pakistan and Buddhi Pradan of Nepal, and third umpire Iftikhar Ali of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) .  


Under arrangements set down in International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations, the home board, in this case the ECB, is required to conduct an initial assessment of Shetty's delivery style within three weeks; after which it has to provide the ICC with a report on that evaluation, including what if any remedial action might been appropriate.  In the mean time Shetty was able to play in yesterday's ODI between the two sides as well as a second one tomorrow.


Umpire Raza is a Pakistani member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel and Pradan its third-tier Associate and Affiliate Panel.  The match referee was former Sri Lankan player Graeme Labrooy who is on the ICC's second-tier Regional Referees Panel. 






Pakistan international umpire Aleem Dar has been trying for two years to convince the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) to improve pay and conditions for umpires in his country, say press reports from the subcontinent on Saturday.  Little progress appears to have been made on such issues in that time though because of what one report says were the "preoccupations of PCB chairman Ijaz Butt" with a range of other issues.


Dar is said to have stated that "all Test-playing nations give central contracts to [their] umpires" and the "fee structure" involved "is more impressive than what umpires get in Pakistan".  Despite that he expressed some optimism that the situation would change, something he believes will lead to "progress in umpiring" in that country. When asked why "umpires of his stature" are not emerging in Pakistan, Dar said the situation is "not too bad as new faces are making it to the International arena from Pakistan".


Dar made his comments whilst visiting the Matiari district in south-east Pakistan, where major flooded occurred again recently, to distribute relief goods worth 2.2 m Pakistani Rupees ($A24,200) he had collected with the help of an unnamed cricket club he used to play with.  He said that high-profile Pakistani players players should come forward and help by collecting donations and relief goods.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011 




The International Cricket Council (ICC) bowed to the wishes of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) yesterday and made use of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) optional, four months after a compromise agreement meant its use would be compulsory (E-News 783-3830, 28 June 2011).  The BCCI, whose position on ball-tracking technology led to the June compromise, withdrew its support for 'Hot Spot' two weeks ago after that system came under question during its side's recent tour of England (E-News 835-4077, 20 September 2011).


The ICC said in a statement issued overnight at the end of the final two-day meeting of its Board for the year in Dubai, that because of "recent experiences and the resultant concern about the effectiveness of 'Hot Spot', the Board decided to revert to its previous position to allow the participating nations to decide bi-laterally whether they wished to use the UDRS".  Despite that the Board "supported the use of technology and its continued development and were encouraged by certain Members who were willing to use and work towards improving the technology".


Haroon Lorgat, the ICC's chief executive, said that "although the UDRS improves correct umpire decisions by around five per cent and corrects any blatant errors, there are some who are not convinced by its reliability".  "We will continue to work with interested parties to improve the system while permitting the participating teams to decide whether they wish to use it or not", and the UDRS will continue to be used at all ICC events such as the World Cup.


The BCCI has said previously that the UDRS will not be in operation for the five-match One Day International series against England that is due to start in Hyderabad on Friday (E-News 842-4118, 6 October 2011) .  That situation is also expected to apply for India's home series against the West Indies next month, and during their tour of Australia at the end of the year.


Meanwhile, the fate of the Test Championship remained undecided with the ICC Board indicating that financial challenges posed a hindrance.  “It would be unfortunate if the Test Championship is delayed to 2017 but the Board needs to balance several objectives", said Lorgat.






"Considerable progress" has been made in developing a ball suitable for use in a day-night Test, says the International Cricket Council's (ICC) David Richardson, however, "extensive trials" are needed at domestic first class level before the inaugural Test is played under lights.  Last month the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was reported to have been pushing for such a game in New Zealand this January, but it appears that wish has not come to fruition (E-News 842-4117, 6 October 2011), and Richardson is now talking about 2013 as the current timing target.  


Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket, described the current quest for day-night Test cricket as being in the "research stage" when answering questions from ICC 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' followers last week, a surprising summation given that the concept, including the hunt for a suitable ball, has been on the international agenda for at least four years.  The ICC's number two administrator said that any new ball has to retain its colour for at least 80 overs as required for Test cricket, but that they need to be used at domestic first-class level before any decision can be taken introduce them into Tests.     


In early 2008 Cricket Australia (CA) was then talking about day-night Tests being played "within three years" (E-News 189-1024, 4 February 2008), and 18-months ago the ICC said it planned to conduct "urgent product research" on the concept (E-News 572-2986, 19 February 2010), later seeing a more proactive role for itself on the issue (E-News 610-3061, 24 May 2010).  Various trials and numerous discussions on the matter have occurred in the intervening period, the MCC being the key driving force for the concept.


Richardson said that "a number of trials" are to be carried out over the next 6-8 months in domestic first class cricket around the world.  Those forthcoming trials, some of which are to be conducted in what appears to be a half-hearted way in Australia this austral summer with pre sun set finishes and normal red balls being used (E-News 832-4026, 14 September 2011), follow over a dozen day-night first class games conducted in England, Pakistan, the West Indies and the United Arab Emirates, plus others at lower levels in Australia (E-News 565-2862, 3 February 2010), over the last three years.  


Richardson indicated that the feedback from what will be the latest batch of trials will be considered by the ICC's Cricket Committee meeting at its 2012 meeting next May.  Should that meeting recommend a day-night Test be scheduled, the move would have to be endorsed by the ICC board in mid-year, thus leaving the possibility of the first day-night Test being played in 2013. 






The Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), the largest body affiliated to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has lodged an official complaint with the PCB about the umpiring in their side's opening match of the season in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the nation's first class competition, according to a report in the 'Times of India' (TOI) yesterday.  Over the weekend the KCCA side lost to the State Bank team, eleven LBW decisions going against them, while their bowlers won only two.


KCCA president, Siraj-ul-Islam Bukhari said that letters sent to the PCB had complained about the umpires and "demanded" that one of them, who was not identified, not be appointed to any of KCCA's remaining matches during the current season.  Bukhari, who has held senior positions with his association for over 30 years, hoped the Board would take notice of their complaint as the umpiring standards were in his words "below par".  "Getting eleven LBWs in one match, including seven in one innings, is hard to accept especially when you consider only two batsmen of the other team were given out leg before", said Bukhari.  


The 'TOI' report  says that the KCCA's complaint is "unlikely to be taken seriously" by the PCB, as the two administrations a "have had a stormy relationship over last few months since the national body suspended KCCA secretary, Ejaz Farooqi for "violating the code of conduct".


Akbar Khan and Tahir Shah were the umpires who stood in the KCCA's match, the game being the former's seventy-first first class game and the latter's eighth.  News of the KCCA complaint came the day after two players were fined for dissent in another Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match played last week, and there were also rumblings in that match about umpiring standards (E-News 844-45127, 11 October 2011).






Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul is said to have made the claim last week that there are both "legal" and "illegal" methods whereby the condition of the ball could be changed by players during a match.  In comments reported by the web site, Gul also made the claim that English bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were involved in ball tampering, however, that was later rejected outright by the pair's one-day captain Alistair Cook.


Gul, whose ability to reverse-swing the ball early during the World Twenty20 Championship series two years ago raised eyebrows in  some quarters, said that there "are many ways" to tamper with the ball.  They include using finger nails, a method he described as "illegal", and what he called "legal" methods that included throwing the ball into the ground to rough it up.  Gul made the later statement even though it has always been illegal to deliberately change the ball's condition, a point that was emphasised again by the Marylebone Cricket Club last year when it tightened parts of the Laws of Cricket covering such activity (E-News 675-3312, 1 October 2010).


Asked if he agreed with calls for ball tampering to be legalised as suggested by former Pakistani bowler Shoaib Akhtar in his recent autobiography (E-News 838-4096, 25 September 2011), Gul said he would be opposed to such a move.  That would make it "too easy to bowl reverse swing, which is an art, and some of the beauty of the game would be lost if the practice was legalised", he said. "Leave cricket with its traditional ways rather than making changes that would take all the charm out of it", runs the quote attributed to Gul.


Gul suggested he had seen examples of ball tampering in recent times and mentioned seeing Anderson and Broad using "various techniques", however, after Cook rejected his claims he recanted slightly by saying he was only talking about the England pair in relation to natural wear that develops on a ball by throwing it across the outfield.  "We certainly haven't tampered with the ball and if [Gul had] any complaints he should have gone to the International Cricket Council (ICC)" about them, said Cook.


The Cicinfo web site said this week that with the recent change to using a separate ball from either end during One Day Internationals could impact the role of reverse swing during the 50-over matches. Previous the ball was changed after 34 overs and the period shortly before the switch was when the fast bowlers would sometimes start to get the ball to reverse. 





Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka and Marais Erasmus of South Africa, two of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) newest umpires, stood in the final of this year's Champions League (CL) Twenty20 series in Chennai on Sunday, their colleague on the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) 'Billy' Bowden being the third umpire for the match while another Sri Lankan, Ranjan Madugalle, was the match referee.  The four were part of a panel of nine umpires and three match referees from seven countries that made up the officials panel for this year's 29-match, 13-team event (E-News 838-4097, 25 September 2011).


Dharmasena and Bill Doctrove of the West Indies, another EUP member, topped the on-field appointments with eight each, Bowden, Erasmus and Australian Bruce Oxenford each had seven, India's Sudhir Asnani six, and Johannes Cloete of South Africa and Indians S Ravi and Shavir Tarapore five each.  The tallies for Asani, Doctrove and Oxenford each include four matches in the six-match CL qualifying tournament that was held immediately prior to the main series (E-News 835-4078, 20 September 2011).


Zimbabwe's Andy Pycroft and Madugalle were match referees in a total of ten matches in the three-week series, and the latter's countryman Roshan Mahanama in nine.

Thursday, 13 October 2011 





Two members of Tasmania's State Umpires Panel are to take part in this year's Futures League Twenty20 (T20) series in Melbourne next month, according to a report obtained by E-News in Canberra yesterday from a mainland source.  Selection of the pair, Mike Graham-Smith and Jamie Mitchell, puts them and the other four selected in line for January's men's Under-19 national championship event in Adelaide and from there potentially to Cricket Australia's newest batch of 3-4 emerging umpires.


Others apart from the Tasmanians that are believed to have been lined up for the Futures T20s are: Greg Davidson (New South Wales); Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory); Richard Patterson (Victoria); and Todd Rann (Western Australia).  The six have been chosen "on merit" by Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire High Performance Panel on the basis of 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 (E-News 833-4069, 15 September 2011).  Two other yet-unnamed umpires are expected to join the six for the Under-19 series, Jay Kangur of Queensland and Luke Uthenwoldt of South Australia being possible contenders.


Patterson, 45, is the most experienced for those named, having 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.  After reaching those heights, the Victorian was overlooked by a succession of national selector groups and subsequently left the umpiring scene for several years, before returning with solid performances in Victorian grade cricket twelve months ago.


Meanwhile, CA's current emerging umpires group, Damien Mealey (Queensland), Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (New South Wales) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), were recently appointed to work in a number of domestic one-day games over the next month (E-News 832-4068, 15 September 2011).  An announcement of which, if any, of those four will make their debut in first class cricket this season, is anticipated sometime in the next few weeks.   






The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has acquired a sponsor to fund the operation of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in its side's series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates over the next month and again early next year when their opponents will be England.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) talked publicly about seeking a sponsor for the UDRS three months ago (E-News 790-3868, 6 July 2011), however, the PCB's move makes it the first national board to achieve that aim.  


Last month, Subhan Ahmad, the PCB's chief operating officer, said that while the UDRS, which is to include 'Hot Spot' and ball-tracking technology, would be in place for the ten One Day Internationals and four Twenty20 Internationals matches that make up the two series as a result of an "understanding" reached "with a company", costs prevented its use in the six Tests involved (E-News 831-4060, 13 September 2011).  


The announcement of Pakistan's move on the UDRS came a few hours after the ICC Board decided, primarily at the behest of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, to end the mandatory use of the system and revert to its pre-June position by which its use will be subject to bilateral agreements between the participating boards (E-News 845-4130, 12 October 2011). The ICC said though that it will continue to support the use of technology and welcomed the PCB's decision.


While the PCB does not specifically say the system will be used in the six Tests, the inference is there in yesterday's announcement, otherwise the situation is no different to Ahmad's comment four weeks ago and the present fanfare would simply be a political move in the light of the ICC's change of heart.  If the UDRS is to now be operational for the Tests the ICC will have to quickly tinker with its current umpiring appointments by adding a 'neutral' third umpire to each game, the first match of which is due to start next Tuesday.  


The umpire appointments page on the world body's web site remains unchanged in regard to the Sri Lanka Tests this morning (E-News 841-4108, 5 October 2011).  Another, probably more difficult challenge in that time-frame, would be the acquisition and installation of the necessary technology in Abu Dhabi. 


Ahmad said yesterday's that his Board "is pleased to be taking a leading role in the use of ICC-recommended technologies for international cricket" and that the "UDRS will bring added value to our forthcoming series".  "We hope that other partner Boards will follow the example of the PCB and use the [UDRS] in their respective future series", said Ahmad, who went on to thank soft drink company 'Pepsi' "for once again supporting Pakistan cricket and the PCB in its many endeavours".


David Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket was quoted as saying, not for the first time, that "we believe that using the [UDRS] will result in getting more umpire decisions correct (E-News 825-4032, 6 September 2011), and we accordingly welcome the PCB's initiatives and that of its sponsors in securing its use in the upcoming series".  "The PCB has always led the way in supporting innovation", continued Richardson, "its trials of a "pink and orange balls in day-night conditions during its premier first-class matches [which Richardson watched being] another example" (E-News 716-3504, 17 January 2011).






Two Australians, Michael Guest of Queensland and Jason Rhodes of Victoria, are currently umpiring in this year's world indoor cricket championships in South Africa.  In addition to senior men's and women's competitions this week, there are also those for 'Under-19 and under' male and female sides, all four series being decided in finals that are scheduled for this Saturday. 


Six men's teams from Australia, India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa and a South African "development group" are taking in their tournament, the women's event featuring four sides, Australia, England, South Africa and Wales.  Men's and women's youth sides are from Australia, England, South Africa and again South African "development" groups.






Cricket New South Wales (CNSW) still appears to be pondering what to do in regard to the 'no confidence' motion passed against its State Director of Umpires Darrell Hair seven weeks ago by the Board of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) (E-News 828-4048, 9 September 2011).  NSWCUSA Chairman Stephen Poole has told his members that the motion related to "several issues", but the exact nature of all except one remain unknown (E-News 843-4123, 8 October 2011).  


A newspaper report on the weekend made the claim that Hair, who has two years to run on his current contract, had "sought legal advice" about the situation, and suggested that CNSW chief executive Dave Gilbert would address the issue this week after he returned from India (E-News 844-4126, 11 October 2011).  Hair is said by Poole to be working from home, but whether he and Gilbert have discussed the issue via electronic means or, as would appear more appropriate in the circumstances, in person, is yet to be revealed.


The issue is a major challenge for Gilbert for reports received by E-News suggest that both Hair, who is paid by CNSW, and the NSWCUSA Board, are holding firm to their respective positions.  Many in the NSW umpiring and scoring community are concerned though that if the hiatus continues for too much longer it has the potential to impact on the longer-term work of the Association and its members.    





Seven first class players were handed penalties by The England and Wales Cricket Board yesterday for incidents that occurred during games played in August-September.  Those censured were Northamptonshire's Andrew Hall, Alex Gidman and Jon Lewis of Gloucestershire, James Foster from Essex, Kyle Hogg and Karl Brown of Lancashire, and Murali Kartik from Somerset.  


Brown, Gidman and Hall were reported for "showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action", and the latter was also reported for "abuse of cricket ground, equipment or fixtures/fittings".  During the same match Gidman was playing in, Lewis and Foster were both reported for "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play", a Level 2 offence (E-News 838-4098, 25 September 2011).  Similarly, the game in which Brown was cited saw Hogg and Kartik also go in the book, this time for "throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner", another Level 2 breach.


Brown, Hall, Hogg and Gidman all received reprimands which will remain on their records for a period of two years, any further Level 1 breach during that period attracting an automatic imposition of three penalty points.  Hogg was also handed three penalty points, Foster, Kartik and Lewis receiving the same penalty.  Under the ECB's disciplinary system a player who  accumulates nine or more penalty points in any two year period receives an automatic suspension.






The decision to call a ball that bounces over a batsman's head in international cricket a 'wide' in its Playing Conditions instead of a 'no ball' as required by the Laws of Cricket was made because "batsmen are generally more skilled and the focus is slightly different" at that level, says David Richardson, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) general manager cricket. 


Former South African Test player Richardson outlined the ICC's position when answering a question from the world body's 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' followers last week.  He said that "the Laws are designed for all levels of the game including schools and clubs" (E-News 843-4120, 8 October 2011), and "one of the main reasons they require an over-the-head delivery to be called a 'no ball' is because short pitched deliveries are potentially dangerous and [the Law makers] wish to deter bowlers from seeking to gain a wicket by means of such bowling". 


According to Richardson, "one of the more exciting sights in international cricket is to see a fast bowler being hooked for four".  "In order for a bowler to gain a wicket with a short ball it is often the bowler's objective to entice the batsman into the hook shot but to get the ball up to a height where it becomes difficult for the batsman to control the shot", and "accordingly we [at the ICC] did not want to deny the bowler of the opportunity of taking the wicket by calling such a delivery a no ball".


The ICC feels that "if the bowler is able to entice the batsman into the shot and was able to secure the batsman's wicket by doing so then the bowler should be rewarded".  One the other hand should "the batsman chose to ignore the delivery or was unable to hit it, the bowler would run the risk of the delivery being called a wide".  "Its a risk and reward kind of situation for the bowler", said the ICC's number two administrator.


Cricket Tasmania's Premier League competitions follow the Laws of Cricket, balls that pitch and then travel over the head of the batsman being called 'no balls'.






South African umpire Adrian Holdstock is to make his international on-field debut in Cape Town tonight in the first of two Twenty20  Internationals (T20I) South Africa is to play against Australia in the next four days.  Holdstock is to work with Marais Erasmus, a member of the International Cricket Council's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (IUP), whose last T20 fixture was the final of the Champions League in Chennai last Sunday (E-News 845-4134, 12 October 2011).


Former first class player Holdstock, 41, was elevated to South Africa's third umpire spot on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel last month (E-News 830-4057, 12 September 2011).  He played sixteen first class games for Western Province and Boland in the period from 1989-96, 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.


Holdstock has previously stood in three women's One Day Internationals (ODI), two women's T20Is, a single men's Under-19 Test, three U19 ODIs and one U19 T20I.


The second T20I between the two sides in Johannesburg on Sunday will see Holdstock's IUP colleague Shaun George stand in his second senior international, his first being in a T20I in October last year (E-News 687-3372, 23 October 2010).

Saturday, 15 October 2011  





Sri Lankan Cricket's (SLC) Cricket Committee decided last week that umpires in the island nation should 'no ball' junior players in tournaments SLC conducts they consider have suspect bowling actions.  A newspaper report from Colombo yesterday said that the instruction, which also requires umpires to report the individual to SLC, will apply to all matches from the Under-13 to Under-19 levels, the aim being to try and ensure that remedial work can be undertaken with those involved "before it is too late".


The committee also raised concerns about what is says is the "dearth of fast bowlers coming through the school cricket system". As a result the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association has been requested to address the situation by making it mandatory that fast blowers take the new ball for at least the first ten overs of each innings.  In addition, the decision was taken to ensure that fast bowlers are used "sparingly" and bowl no more than six overs per spell at any given time during an innings. School fixtures are also to be arranged so that there is at least a 48-hour period for recovery between matches. 






The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be in operation during the three-Test series Pakistan and Sri Lanka are to play over the next few weeks.  Four days ago the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gave the impression that the system would be available for those matches (E-News 846-4136, 13 October 2011), but third and fourth umpiring appointments for the Tests it released overnight clearly show that will not be the case.


All three Pakistani members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, Zameer Haider, Ashan Raza and Shozab Raza, have been named by the PCB for the Tests, each having one game in the third umpire spot.  None of the three have stood in a Test as yet, but for Haider his game will be his sixth in that position and Ashan Raza his third, while Shozab Raza will be making his debut at Test level.  The latter has been named as the fourth umpire for Tests one and two, his chance in the television suite coming in the third Test.


Ashan Raza and Haider will work in the five-match One Day International (ODI) series that is to be played next month after the Tests.  Raza will be on the field in two of the games and Haider the other two, each working as the fourth umpire when not on the field of play during games.  As a result Haider's ODI tally will have moved on to 13 games by the end of the series and Raza to five, the latter's previous two ODIs being in second-tier matches between Afghanistan and Canada in Sharja in February last year.


The Pakistani trio will work with ICC appointed three neutral on-field umpires for the three Tests and another two for the ODIs (E-News 841-4110, 5 October 2011).  The one-day series will see the UDRS in operation (E-News 836-4060, 13 September 2011).






Goaland Greaves, who until this year was a West Indian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 741-3638, 16 March 2011), visited Toronto late last month to assist Cricket Canada (CC) with umpire development issues.  Greaves, an umpires' assessor with the West Indies Cricket Board, conducted an assessment for CC's top six umpires who stood in the final games of Canada's national Twenty20 tournament, and gave advice regarding the development of the country's 'Elite' umpiring panel and the stadardisation of training programs across the nation. .    


Reports indicate that all six umpires, who are said to hold CC's "Level 3 umpiring certification", are expected to play "pivotal roles" in providing training and assessments of umpires in different regions of the country and thus help improve umpiring standards.  CC says it plans to continue development activities during the coming northern hemisphere winter and will offer several courses throughout the country as part of a strategic plan to bring "excellence, uniformity and equality" to Canadian umpiring. 






Craig McBride, the newly appointed Chairman of the management committee of New Zealand's Wairarapa Cricket Association (WCA) is keen to address player behavioural problems, says a story published in the 'Wairarapa Time-Age' newspaper yesterday.  McBride told journalist Gary Caffell that he sought the job after becoming disillusioned with the way the sport was progressing, and that he is aiming to significantly enhance its profile in the area.


The new Chairman believes that on field problems are often caused by traditional club rivalries in that "old sores tend to emerge from time to time and things can get out of hand rather quickly when that occurs", he said.  "The harsh reality is that we need to lift the image [and] enforce the message that the game itself is far more important than any personal agendas".


Given that, McBride says he is encouraged by the "positive response from players and officials" during a recent meeting in which the local umpires Association explained in detail what was required under WCA's player Code of Conduct.  Behavioural standards weren't the only matter discussed, he says, but also the need for clubs to ensure scorebooks were kept accurately, that scoreboards were kept up-to-date for public viewing, and team lists were delivered to the umpires at least 30 minutes before the start of play.


McBride also wants the WCA to improve its communication processes, both within the cricketing community and the media.  "We have to forward plan [and] keep people aware of what is being proposed well before the date", and such an approach "is not rocket science", he says.






Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair spoke about his career to a gathering in Bendigo on Thursday evening, says a story in yesterday's 'Bendigo Advertiser'.  Hair, who has been the executive officer of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) for the past three years, was in the Victorian city to promote 'In The Best Interests of the Game', his latest book, which was released seven weeks ago (E-News  819-4010, 24 August 2011).  


Hair's publicist at Harper Collins, the book's publishers, told E-News yesterday that his promotional work during the visit to Victoria was "very limited" and that he was expected to return to Sydney yesterday, however, he might visit the state for further events related to his book in the new year should the situation warrant it.  Hair is currently in dispute with the NSWCUSA's Board and has been working from home over the last two weeks pending resolution by Cricket New South Wales of the impasse that prevails (E-News 846-4148, 13 October 2011). 






A man in Delhi has offered a reward for anyone who can help find his pedigree three-year-old Labrador dog after it was abducted whilst being walked recently. Owner Vishal Sharma, who is said to be an avid cricket lover, named the dog 'Bucknor' after the now-retired West Indian umpire Steve who has stood in more Tests than anyone else, a record he is likely to hold for at least several decades.  During the walk a car drew up and one of its occupants are said to have hit Sharma's "servant" over the head and made off with the dog.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011





A third-umpire decision that led to the dismissal of Tasmanian captain George Bailey during his team's one-day match against Western Australia in Perth on Sunday will be looked at as part of Cricket Australia's (CA) normal post-match review process, says an article published in 'The West Australian' newspaper yesterday.  Journalist John Townsend's report says that after the match Bailey and his WA counterpart Marcus North queried the decision by third umpire Nathan Johnstone to give Bailey 'run out' despite the replay "failing to confirm the dismissal".


Townsend says that "several replays" showed Bailey's bat appearing to bounce into the air as he dived to make his ground, leaving him liable to being given out 'run out'.  However, another replay suggested that the hump on the back of Bailey's bat appeared to be touching the ground which meant he should have been given 'not out'.  Had Johnstone had any doubt, which he apparently did not, then the benefit should have been given to the batsman.


Bailey is quoted as saying after the match that he wasn't sure  he was short of his ground and "it wasn't as clear cut as I would have liked when I'm given run out".  CA's umpire manager Sean Cary is said to have "confirmed" the decision would be reviewed as part of the normal analysis process used after all matches.


North and Bailey were said to also be concerned at other decisions by on-field umpires Mick Martell of Western Australia and John Ward from Victoria.  They included North's LBW to Ben Hilfenhaus and a ball that Hilfenhaus edged to WA wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi that was "referred to Johnstone despite being taken comfortably above the ground".


Townsend suggested in his article that in the case of North's LBW the ball appeared to be going over the stumps.  Cary told him that under new CA arrangements third umpire Johnstone, a member of CA's current four-man emerging umpires group, had the power to take action if in his judgement the first replay he saw indicated the umpire on the field of play had made a clear mistake.


CA moved to give third umpires the authority to take such action in its domestic fixtures this season following a review of an incident in a match twelve months ago (E-News 833-4067, 15 September 2011).  While it is "unlikely a third umpire would get involved in an issue that was a matter for the field umpire's judgment" wrote Townsend, the change "is intended to take the howler out of the game", said Cary.  





Queensland batsman Nathan Reardon was reprimanded after being found guilty of abusing "cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings", during the final day of his side's Sheffield Shield match against Victoria in Brisbane last Friday.  Reardon, who was caught behind just before the luncheon interval, damaged a chair as he left the field of play. 


Match referee David Levens and umpires Simon Fry and Bruce Oxenford apparently told Reardon and stand-in Queensland captain Chris Hartley during the lunch interval that he had been reported, and the formal proceedings were concluded at the end of the day’s play.  As required by Cricket Australia’s recently updated Code of Behaviour, Reardon was offered, and accepted, an official reprimand.






The Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) in north-west India has agreed that members of its umpiring fraternity who have been on Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) panels and have reached 60 years of age a monthly pension of 5,000 Rupees a month ($A100).  The move, which also includes a monthly stipend of 7,000 Rupees a month for those who have played at least 10 first class matches for the region, was welcomed yesterday by former Indian all-rounder Yajurvindra Singh.


SCA secretary Niranjan Shah. told local media that the "BCCI has announced their scheme for [all retired]  Test and first-class cricketers who have played more than 25 first-class matches, but players who represented [Saurashtra] were overlooked so we decided to assist our players in whatever little way we could".  Yajurvindra said that "it's wonderful gesture and I congratulate SCA for announcing this but it should be followed by the other Associations [around India] too". 






West Indian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, Billy Doctrove, will be involved in a number of cricket-related events on the Caribbean's Grand Cayman Island over the coming weekend.  The Cayman Islands Cricket Umpires Association (CICUA), which is helping to coordinate the visit, says that its hopes Doctrove will help highlight the role and importance of umpiring to cricket, assist in the continued training of local umpires, and motivate them to stay involved in the game. 


Doctrove is to fly the 2,000 km from his home on the island of Dominica on Friday and is to be welcomed at a reception that evening.  On Saturday morning he is to conduct a "seminar and motivational session" with umpires, cricketers, team managers and coaches, then on Sunday officiate in a Twenty20 match.  The topics that are to be covered during the seminar are said to include "good umpiring practices, preparing for matches and the Laws of the game". 


CICUA secretary Sydney Moore said such matters are "especially good for [players in Cayman] national teams when they are involved in international competitions, [and] we also want to promote the recruitment of young umpires in line with ICC requirements and encourage young cricketers to consider umpiring as a career path".


Theo Cuffy, technical director of Cayman Islands cricket, said that "having someone as renowned [as Doctrove] visiting is a credit to the Association’s progress and standing in the region and shows just how high our esteem is in the Caribbean".  Cuffy hopes that Doctrove's presence is critical in showing the "pathway for youngsters to get into umpiring for the world of cricket is moving forward and younger officials are needed".  "The game needs younger eyes and minds and people who are prepared to stand up in all conditions for up to six hours a day", he said.


Doctrove will travel to South Africa early next month to work in the two Tests the host is to play against Australia in Cape Town and Johannesburg (E-News 841-4108, 5 October 2011).  

Monday, 24 October 2011  





England bowler Tim Bresnan was fined 7.5% of his match fee for showing dissent towards an umpire during the One Day International his side played against India in Mohali last Thursday, the third of the current five-match series.  The level one breach of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct related to an incident at the end of the 18th over of India's innings when the fast bowler snatched his cap from Indian umpire Sudhir Asnani.


Bresnan pleaded not guilty to the charge, which led to a hearing at the end of the match attended by himself, match referee Roshan Mahanama from Sri Lanka on-field umpires Asnani and 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, television official S Ravi and fourth umpire   Vineet Kulkarni, plus England coach Andy Flower and the England team manager Phil Neale.  


Mahanama said in an ICC statement that "umpires deserve the utmost respect not only because they do a difficult job in the middle but also because millions of budding and aspiring cricketers watch every move of the players".  "This makes all international cricketers more responsible and accountable for their actions, particularly in their dealings with the umpires in various match situations".


Flower later defended Bresnan saying that he "an outstanding young man with a very good disciplinary record".  "To be quite honest, I think in this instance it is a harsh judgement", he said, and that "snatching of a cap was done out of frustration at five overthrows and an edge down to the third-man boundary [during the over], as opposed to any dissent for a decision".  'I have no problem at all with Tim's behaviour", continued the coach, but "we all [need to] move on now".


Under ICC regulations all Level 1 breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand up to a maximum penalty of 50 per cent of a player's match fee.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 






Cricket Australia (CA) has selected Sam Nogajski, a member of its emerging umpires panel for the last eighteen months, to make his first class debut in a Sheffield Shield match at the Gabba in Brisbane in mid-November.  Nogajski, 32, from Tasmania, who will stand with National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Simon Fry in the match between Queensland and New South Wales, has also been named to work with Fry in a one-day domestic game between the two sides there in the same week.


Fry and Nogajski are amongst the 12 umpires, 10 of whom are from the NUP, who have been appointed to the second set of nine Sheffield Shield games that are scheduled to be played over the four weeks from mid-November.  Queenslander Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson from Western Australia will stand in three matches each, Gerard Abood of NSW, Ian Lock and Mick Martell of WA, and New Zealand exchange umpire Chris Gaffaney (PTG 832-4065, 14 September 2011), all standing on two.  Victorians Ash Barrow, Geoff Joshua, Bob Parry and Tony Ward, have like Fry and Nogajski, been appointed to one match each.  


NUP members who are not amongst those named to the next round of Shield games are John Ward of Victoria, who will be in New Zealand in late November standing in first class fixtures there (PTG 832-4065, 14 September 2011), and Bruce Oxenford of Queensland, who may have yet to be announced commitments with the International Cricket Council in the six weeks leading up to the start of CA's domestic Twenty20 competition (PTG 850-4155 below).


Last month, Barrow, Fry, Joshua, Parry, John and Tony Ward were each named to stand in two of the first nine Shield games of the season, and Abood, Lock, Martell, Oxenford, Reiffel and Wilson one game apiece (PTG 833-4068, 15 September 2011).   The latest appointments will take Parry's first class record to 82 matches, Lock to 73, Fry 53, Reiffel 49, Martell and Tony Ward both 19, Abood 14, Joshua 13, Wilson 11 and Barrow 8.


The five members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel will work as match referees in the Shield games, Peter Marshall having one game and the others all two each.  In the first nine games Burns, Evans, Levens and Marshall were appointed to two Shield games and Stratford one.






Australian television network Channel 9 plans to have 'Hot Spot', 'Eagle Eye' and other ball-tracking devices in operation during its broadcasts of the four Tests the home side is to play against India this austral summer, according to a report by journalist Ben Dorries published around Australia yesterday. 


Dorries says that the broadcaster's decision means that "umpiring will again be a hot topic this summer" for "the all-powerful Indian board has convinced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to end the mandatory use of the Umpire Decision Review System in international cricket (PTG 835-4077, 20 September 2011).  Umpiring  decisions that television technology indicates are wrong, "will stand due to the intransigence of cricket's international political powerhouse", says Dorries. 


As a result, he is of the view that India "face the prospect of being embarrassed and humiliated daily during this summer's tour of Australia", and it "could create another hot-blooded summer of contentious decisions with the potential for some of the tensions from India's stormy series [in Australia four years ago] to bubble to the surface again".  In 2008, India threatened to return home and the ICC were also forced to replace now former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor during the series (PTG 171-915, 8 January 2008).






The 12 members of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Panel (NUP) have been appointed to all but one of the 84 umpiring spots available in the 28-match round-robin section of the revamped national Twenty20 competition which is to be played around the country in December and January.  Six match referees have also been named, five of them members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP), and the other recently retired international umpire Daryl Harper.   


Of the NUP members, Ash Barrow of Victoria and Ian Lock of Western Australia will both be on the field in six matches, Gerard Abood of NSW, South Australian Simon Fry, Bruce Oxenford of Queensland, Tony Ward of Victoria and Paul Wilson of WA all five each, Geoff Joshua and Bob Parry of Victoria, Mick Martell of WA and Paul Reiffel from Queensland four each, and John Ward of Victoria for three matches.


Those twelve, plus CA emerging umpire group member Sam Nogajski of Tasmania, who has been named to make his first class debut next month (PTG 850-4153 above), will work in the third umpire's suite during the series.  Parry will be the television official in four matches, Joshua, Reiffel, Martell, Tony Ward and Wilson in three, Abood, Fry and John Ward all two, and Barrow, Lock and Nogajski one each.  Oxenford has not been named to a third umpire slot.


Harper has been appointed as the match referee to two matches, both of them in his home city of Adelaide, while of the UHPP members, Peter Marshall has seven games, David Levens six, Ric Evans five, and Bob Stratford and Denis Burns four each.


Match officials for the semi finals of the competition and the final itself are expected to be named in late January a few days before those games are to take place.






New Zealand's eccentric umpire 'Billy' Bowden "paid his own tribute" to his country's Rugby side's win in the World Cup whilst standing in a One Day International between India and England at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium on Sunday, according to a report in 'The Guardian' newspaper on Monday.  Bowden, who was standing as the neutral umpire in the game, pirouetted and vigorously swung his arm back and forth to signal four in what Journalist Stu Foster suggested was "the most flamboyant umpiring signal ever seen in cricket".


Foster wrote that Bowden's signal "not only confirmed that England’s Kevin Pietersen had scored four runs, it also showed that the umpire, like the overwhelming majority of Kiwis, was a rugby fan and mighty relieved that his side had finally won the World Cup after a wait of 24 years".  "The news of the All Blacks’ tense victory apparently filtered its way to Bowden out at the wicket", wrote Foster, "and he wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to pay tribute in his own peculiar but very special way".


Television commentator Ravi Shastri said “Billy, Billy goes wild! Have a look at Billy", as the cheers of the crowd grew louder and louder, the emphasis being on Bowden's actions rather than Pietersen’s "majestic boundary" and "the fans in the stadium were raucously applauding the umpire".  “He’s set the stadium on fire,” added Shastri, “he’s got some energy".  However, Shastri’s colleague, former England bowler Matthew Hoggard, wasn’t so impressed.  “Umpires are there to take control of the game, not to entertain the crowd", he said as the television broadcast showed a replay of Bowden’s signal.


Foster is of the view that "so long as Bowden’s excellent [decision-making] record isn’t compromised, he should be free to signal however he likes [as] cricket fans love him for it, and his remarkable display on Sunday will only boost his popularity".  Bowden's non conformist signal can be seen on YouTube at:






Match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka is reported to have spoken to both the Indian and England captains about the behaviour of their respective teams after what was an "especially heated" One Day International between the two sides in Delhi last week.  One Indian media report stated that the English, "once famous for their stiff upper lips, have brought in language heard more in alehouses than at Lord’s", however, "by no means has the crude language [in use] been one-way traffic".


Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni told journalists that English players should not to get personal during these exchanges, and also slated the visitors for turning on each other, "yelling like schoolboys in berating the mistakes of colleagues".  The Englishmen are said to have "defended themselves stoutly, saying that [Mahanama] hasn’t heard or read too much into all this, perhaps because of the poor quality of the stump mike audio".

Friday, 28 October 2011 




[PTG 851-4158]


Cricket Australia (CA) Project Panel (PP) member Shawn Craig in one of eight umpires from around the country who has been appointed to stand in this year's men's Under-17 national championship series in Hobart in December, the first rung in CA's umpire pathway.  Former Victorian player Craig, who was a middle order batsman and leg spin bowler, was selected to join the PP a year ago this month, a group whose aim is to fast-track former first class players into umpiring ranks (PTG 678-3327, 7 October 2010).  


Craig's predecessors on the PP, Rod Tucker and Paul Reiffel, who are now members of the International Cricket Council's first and second-tier umpire panels respectively, both stood in the men's U19 men's championships in 2003 in the very early part of their umpiring careers.  Craig is only in his second season as an umpire, however, he was good enough to be selected to stand in Victoria's second grade grand final last summer after just a hand full of games at that level (PTG 745-3657, 22 March 2011), something most umpires have to wait years to achieve.  


Apart from Craig the others who will stand in the series in Hobart in December, all of whom have been appointed by their respective state or territory umpire managers on the basis that they are seen as having the potential to eventually stand at higher levels, are Murray Branch (Queensland), Shannon Bushell (Australian Capital Territory), Brent Jones (Tasmania), Chris McCann (Western Australia), Tony McGovern (Northern Territory), Ben Nicholls (New South Wales), and Craig Thomas (South Australia).  McCann was named as a member of WA's state panel for the first time this season and at 21 is by far the youngest of the eight umpires.  


Records available on line indicate that McGovern was on the umpiring panel for the U17 championships in Adelaide in January 2004, as well as its U19 equivalent in Melbourne the following December.  Thomas stood in the women's national U17 series played in Adelaide last January.




[PTG 851-4159]


Eleven members of Cricket Australia's (CA) 12-man National Umpires Panel (NUP), three from its emerging umpire group, and an umpire on exchange from New Zealand, will manage the nine senior interstate one-day games that are to be played around the country in the four weeks from mid-November.  While the four emerging umpires have all been allocated one-day games again this season, to date only one has been selected to make their first class debut (PTG 850-4153, 26 October 2011).


Of the NUP members, Western Australia's Mick Martell will be on the field in three games, his state colleague Paul Wilson, New South Welshman Gerard Abood and Victorian Geoff Joshua all in two each, while Simon Fry (South Australia), Ian Lock (WA), Paul Reiffel (Queensland), and Ash Barrow and Tony Ward (both Victoria) have one game each.  Bob Parry of Victoria will be in the television suite for one game, as will Barrow, Lock, Reiffel and John Ward.  


Chris Gaffaney who will be on exchange from New Zealand will stand in one match, as will three of CA's four-man emerging umpires group, Nathan Johnstone (WA), Michael Kumutat (NSW) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania); Kumutat also having a single third umpire appointment.  Three of the nine matches, in Burnie, Canberra and Perth, will not have third umpires as they will not be telecast.  


The only NUP member missing from the latest appointments is Bruce Oxenford of Queensland and it is possible that he has an International Cricket Council appointment in the period from mid-November to mid-December (PTG 850-4153, 26 October 2011).  During those four weeks India will be playing a three Test series against the West Indies while Bangladesh will be taking on Pakistan in a one-day series.    


Match referee duties for the nine games will be undertaken by the five members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel.  Bob Stratford has three games, Denis Burns and Ric Evans two each and David Levens and Peter Marshall both one.


CA's latest one-day selections will take Martell's one-day tally for the current season to four on the field, Fry, Reiffel and Wilson to three on the ground and one in the third umpire's chair (3-1), Abood (3-0), Barrow (2-2), Lock and John and Tony Ward (all 2-1), and Victorians Parry and Joshua both 1-1.  


Of the emerging group, by mid-December Kumutat's one-day record will have moved up to 2-2 this season, Johnstone to 2-1 and Nogajski to 1-1, the fourth member, Damien Mealey of Queensland who has not been allocated a game in this set of games, having 1-1 over the opening nine matches of the competition.




[PTG 851-4160]


The vandalisation of a pitch forced the abandonment of a match in the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association (MPCA) in Victoria last weekend, says the 'Hastings Leader' newspaper.  A bucket of white paint was poured on the artificial pitch the night before the second and final day's play in the match between the Ballam Park and Crib Point clubs in suburban Frankston.


Attempts were made to remove the thick layers of part liquid part solid paint from the playing strip, but in the end the umpires had no choice but to call off play.  Crib Point, which had amassed 337 runs in its innings the previous Saturday, was said by the 'Leader' article to have been "most disappointed" that the game was declared a draw and has lodged an appeal with the MPCA.


MPCA general manager Paul Pelzer said that his Association's "pennant committee will have a look at it as to whether the result stands or whether they make them play the day again”.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

[PTG 852-4161]

Cricket Australia (CA) is believed to have made a further change to its instructions to third umpires adjudicating in its domestic competitions at senior interstate level this season.  The amendment, which brings on line experience gained in a match in Perth a week ago (PTG 848-4148, 19 October 2011), means that the match official in the television suite will now be able to advise the on field umpires of the need to reverse any 'out' or 'not out' decision should any replay, rather than just the first one he sees as previously applied, suggest that needs to occur.


Prior to the current season getting underway, CA gave the third umpire the ability to override an on field decision provided he did not make a judgement based on his naked eye view of the situation, but rather as a result of his first view of a replay provided to him by television broadcaster Fox Sports (PTG 688-3378, 25 October 2010).  That change was brought about primarily as a result of questions that 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 twelve months ago (E-News 688-3378, 25 October 2010).


PTG understands that it was the LBW dismissal of Western Australian batsman Marcus North in last week's Perth match that caused CA to revisit details of the third umpire's role.  North was hit high on the pad and replays later suggested the ball would have gone over the stumps, but the third umpire, Western Australian Nathan Johnstone of CA's emerging umpire group, was unable to overturn the on field decision for reports say that the ball was obscured by North's bat just before it hit the pad.  The fact that subsequent replays showed the high nature of the pad strike could not be considered by Johnstone due to the 'first view only' requirement.


While CA's third umpires can now look at multiple replays before deciding to overturn a decision, they are still required by the Laws of Cricket to make that call before the next delivery becomes live or any batsman that has been given out has left the field of play.




[PTG 852-4162]


Nine officials from seven countries have been named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to manage the ten-team qualifying tournament for the next women's World Cup (WWC) in Bangladesh late next month.  During the 12-day, 13 game 50 over match series, Bangladesh, Ireland, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, the United States, the West Indies and Zimbabwe, will be competing to be one of the four sides who will go on to the main event in India in 2013. 


Kathy Cross, the only women member of New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) ten-person third-tier emerging panel of umpires, is the lone female amongst a match officials group that also includes individuals from home nation Bangladesh, plus England, Ireland, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Singapore.  Her participation in the event was flagged two months ago (PTG 822-4023, 31 August 2011).


In addition to Cross, the other umpires are Rob Bailey from England, Lakani Oala of Papua New Guinea, Buddhi Pradhan of Nepal, Ireland’s Richard Smith, Sarika Prasad of Singapore, and Enamul Houque Moni and Nadir Shah who are both from Bangladesh; while David Jukes of England will cover all games as the match referee.  Bailey, Moni and Shah are all members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, while Pradhan, Prasad and Smith come from its third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel.  Oala is on the ICC's East Asia Pacific panel.  


Cross, 54, who is from Wellington and has been on the NZC panel for a number of years, has previously stood in the women's World Cups of 2001 in New Zealand and in 2009 in Australia (E-News 393-2085, 21 March 2009).  She told NZ media that she is delighted at the prospect of travelling to Dhaka for the event for she has never been the the sub-continent before.  "I’m really excited to be part of such a great team of match officials for the event [and although] I’ve only worked with Sarika Prasad and Lakani Oala before, I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the team".  


ICC Umpires and Referees Manager, Vince van der Bijl said in a statement that “We are delighted that Kathy Cross will be umpiring [in the] Qualifier [for] she remains an excellent role model for aspiring women umpires and she showed her umpiring prowess at the [2009 WWC]"


Apart from India as the 2013 hosts, Australia, England, and New Zealand have already qualified for that tournament by virtue of being the top four sides at the WWC of 2009 in Australia.  India previously hosted the 1978 and 1997 editions of the tournament.




[PTG 852-4163]


Fast rising Guyanese umpire Nigel Duguid and Barbadian Gregory Brathwaite were appointed to stand in the final of the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) 'domestic' one-day final at Guyana's National Stadium yesterday, Goaland Greaves of St Vincent being the third umpire and former Windies Test player Andy Griffith the match referee.  Duguid, Brathwaite and Greaves were selected from an umpiring panel of six chosen by the WICB for the event, while Griffith was one of three match referees used.


Peter Nero and Joel Wilson, who are both from Trinidad and Tobago, and Lennox Abrahams from Dominica, who was the fourth official in the final, made up the umpiring panel for the tournament with Brathwaite, Duguid and Greaves; locals Colin Alfred and Shannon Crawford working a fourth umpires in a handful of games.  Currently, Nero is an on-field member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), while Brathwaite and Wilson are third umpires on the IUP.  Greaves was a long-serving Windies member of the IUP until earlier this year (PTG 741-3638, 16 March 2011).


Griffiths, a member of the ICC's second-tier Regional Match Referees panel was joined by two other former Windies Test representatives, Colin Stuart, 38, and Reon King, 36, who oversaw some games.  Stuart made his debut as a referee at first class level in February this year, and has two such games to his credit to date, however, this week's event was his first as a referee in List A games.  King's profile as a referee is the same as Stuart's.


Duguid, 41, along with Greaves, was also selected to stand in this year's final of the WICB's first class competition last April, that match being just the Guyanese umpire's seventh first class game (PTG 756-3714, 11 April 2011), while last night's final was only his twelfth List A match, one of those being in the semi final of the 2010 one-day series (PTG 688-3381, 25 October 2010).


In contrast to this year, the WICB chose 12 umpires for the same one-day event a year ago when it was held in Jamaica.  The group then included Abraham, Brathwaite, Duguid, Greaves, Nero and Wilson (PTG 681-3342, 14 October 2010);  Clancy Mack (Antigua), Norman Malcolm and Vivian Johnson (Jamaica), Vincent Bullen (Barbados), and Luther Kelly (St Kitts) missing out this year, while the other involved, Clyde Duncan of Guyana, died three months ago (PTG 804-3932, 28 July 2011).  Malcolm is, like Nero, currently listed by the ICC as an on field member of the IUP.


Eight teams took part in the 11-day, 15-match event in Guyana.  They were the WICBs seven senior sides from: Barbados, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Leeward Islands and the Windward islands; plus a team from the Sagicor High Performance Centre (SHPC). The SHPC was established by the WICB in Barbados in May last year and is believed to be similar in concept to Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, and its side in this year's 50 over competition was made up of the Caribbean's young emerging players.




[PTG 852-4164]


South Australia captain Michael Klinger has been reprimanded by Cricket Australia (CA) for showing dissent towards an umpire during his side's Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia, the second such censure of the current southern summer.  The 31-year-old opening batsman is said to have been "upset" that an appeal against opposing batsman Adam Voges was turned down during the second session of day three at Adelaide Oval last Thursday.


Voges had come to the crease with his side's score at a precarious 3-21 in its second innings with 90 runs needed to make the visitors bat again after WA had taken a 110-run lead after their first innings.  No details are available of the nature of the dismissal Klinger was appealing for, but his actions were apparently enough for National Umpire Panel members Gerard Abood of New South Wales and Paul Wilson of WA to lodge a report with match referee David Levens of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel.


Klinger's reprimand follows that handed to Queensland batsman Nathan Reardon after he was found guilty of "abusing cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings" in a Sheffield Shield match against Victoria two weeks ago (PTG 848-4149, 19 October 2011).




[PTG 852-4165]


Simon Fry of South Australia and Queensland-based Paul Reiffel, who are both members of Cricket Australia's National Umpires Panel (NUP) and the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, will be on the field late next month in Brisbane for the New Zealand touring side's only warm-up match prior to the two-Test series against Australia in December.  The pair, along with match referee Denis Burns of Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire High Performance Pane (UHPP), will manage the tourist's match against Australia 'A'.


Two other NUP members, Mick Martell of Western Australia and John Ward of Victoria, will be in Canberra for a week commencing in mid-December for two tour matches involving the Indian side as it prepares for the four Tests against Australia which start on Boxing Day in Melbourne.  In both games the visitor's will be playing a CA Chairman's XI, the first a two-day fixture, then after a two-day break, a three-day match.  UHPP member Peter Marshall will be the match referee for game two, but as yet who will fill that role in the first match has not been announced.




[PTG 852-4166]


Umpires from South Australia and Tasmania have been appointed to stand in two four-day Futures League games involving state second XI sides from their states next month, the seventh and eighth fixtures of this season's 14-match multi-day series.  Adelaide-based Andy Collins and Luke Uthenwoldt will look after the match between South Australia and Western Australia at the Adelaide Oval in mid-November, the week before Taswegians Mike Graham-Smith and Wade Stewart stand at Bellerive Oval in Hobart where the South Australian side will also be involved.


Collins, who was selected to stand in inaugural Futures Twenty20 (T20) tournament in Melbourne in December 2009 (PTG 522-2684, 13 November 2009), will be working in his twelfth state multi-day second XI match since 2003, and Uthenwoldt his sixth since his 2007 debut at that level.  For Graham-Smith it will be his third Futures game, his debut being last November, and Stewart his second after his first such game in February this year.      


Graham-Smith will also take part in this year's Futures T20 event next month, along with Greg Davidson (New South Wales), Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory), Jamie Mitchell (Tasmania), Richard Patterson (Victoria), and Todd Rann (Western Australia) (PTG 846-4135, 13 October 2011).  Observations suggest those six could be joined by the likes of Uthenwoldt and Jay Kangur of Queensland for this season's national men's Under-19 series in Adelaide.  An announcement on the panel for that event, which is a key milestone on CA's umpire development pathway, is currently awaited. 


Match referee duties in next month's Adelaide Futures match will be undertaken by Cricket Australia Umpire High Performance Panel member Peter Marshall, and in Hobart by Tasmanian State Director of Umpires Richard Widows.




[PTG 852-4167]


Umpires in the Airedale and Wharfedale League (AWL) in Yorkshire could be set for what the 'Craven Herald' last week called "a hefty pay rise" in 2012 if next month's AWL annual meeting endorses a proposal that is to be put before it.  AWL umpires, who have not had a pay rise in three years, are currently paid £27.50 ($A40) plus £0.40 ($A0.60) per mile they have to travel for each of the competition's one-day matches, however, that could rise to £32.50 ($A50) plus a maximum of £25 for travel, a total of £57.50 ($A87), should the motion planned be passed. 


League secretary Dave Alred told Bill Marshall of the 'Herald' that "the England and Wales Cricket Board’s recommendation is £35 ($A53) per match and travelling expenses of £0.40 per mile", however, "we want to put a cap on travelling expenses even though some of the umpires have to travel a long way".  “The [travelling expenses] cap will make things better for the clubs", he said.  Under the changes under consideration umpires arriving at a ground where no play is possible will be entitled to a match fee of £16.25 ($A25) instead of the current £13.75 ($A21).


Amongst other matters to be considered at next month's AWL meeting are the introduction of a bonus points system for batting and bowling, a maximum of 15 overs per bowler per innings and leg-side wides, approaches some there feel will bring more positive approach to cricket in the league and make matches there more interesting.




[PTG 852-4168]


Ram Varadarajan, an American businessman who is running for the position of President of the United States of America Cricket Association (USACA), has identified the need to improve the standards and consistency of umpires across the country as one of a range of issues he plans to work on should he be elected in the near future.  US cricket, which has gone through some turbulent times in recent years, again appears in turmoil with parochialism still rampant and the recent departure of chief executive officer Don Lockerbie.

Monday, 31 October 2011 




[PTG 853-4169]


Norman Malcolm of Jamaica is understood to have been dropped from the Caribbean's contingent on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Pane (IUP), a move that means that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has completed the IUP generation change it started seven months ago (PTG 741-3638, 16 March 2011).  In that time the WICB has reduced the average age of its IUP panel members from 54 to 43, and from a group with first class umpiring experience that ranged from 44-74 games, to the 7-16 currently held by the new four-man group.


At the beginning of 2011, Norman and Guyana's Clyde Duncan were IUP on-field members and Goaland Greaves of St Vincent and Clancy Mack of Antigua the television officials, however, the latter three were dropped in March and Malcolm apparently sometime in the last month or so.  The new panel is made up of on-field members Peter Nero of Joel Wilson, who are both from Trinidad and Tobago, and third umpires Gregory Brathwaite of Barbados and Nigel Duguid of Guyana. 


Nero, Wilson and Brathwaite joined the IUP last March, the former leap frogging straight to an on-field spot alongside Norman, and the latter pair as third umpires to replace Greaves and Mack.  Now, Wilson has moved into an on-field place alongside Nero to replace Norman, Brathwaite remains as a third umpire and Duguid comes onto the panel in the same position.  None of the four played cricket at first class level prior to taking up umpiring. 


Malcolm, 56, leaves the international scene after a career that never, from an ICC appointments perspective at least, really got started. The Jamaican's first international experience was in an Under-19 Test match in September 1996, an appointment made by the WICB, which then waited four more years before selecting him as the third umpire in a home One Day International (ODI).  The ICC did not itself move to select Norman for an on-field role in the one-day format until July 2007, seven years on, that debut involving second-tier nation Scotland.  It was June 2006 before the WICB gave him a third umpire spot in a Test for the first time.


PTG understands that Malcolm received "a poor rating" from Barry Dudleston the ICC's Regional Umpire High Performance Manager for the Caribbean earlier this year.  As a consequence, the ICC are believed to have told the WICB that should they nominate the Jamaican for another stint on the IUP he would not be accepted.


All up Malcolm stood in 27 ODIs, 13 of which involved second-tier nations, all of his first-tier match appointments being from the WICB not the ICC.  Most of those games were played in the Caribbean, but there were others in Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland.  There were also 14 matches in the television suite in ODIs, a spot he occupied six times in Tests, and 7 Twenty20 Internationals.  His other overseas appointment by the ICC was in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January 2010 (PTG      560-2848, 29 January 2010). 


The ICC's web site is this morning still indicating the Malcolm, Nero, Wilson and Brathwaite are the West Indies IUP members.




[PTG 853-4170]


Rival captains Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka and Misbah-ul Haq of Pakistan have called for the use of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in all international cricket.  The pair made their comments at the end of the second of three Tests the two teams are currently playing in the United Arab Emirates, a series in which the UDRS is not in operation because of costs (PTG 847-4143, 15 October 2011).


Both skippers are said to be rueing the lack of the UDRS as a result of a number of decisions that went against them during the first two Tests, decisions they apparently believe would have been overturned if a review had been possible.  Concerns were expressed about several decisions, amongst them an LBW and a caught behind (PTG 853-4171 below).


Dilshan told reporters that he was in favour of the UDRS, "especially when pinpoint decisions need making".  “I cannot comment over what went wrong on the decisions [but] it is important to have [the technology in operation]", said Dilshan, whose team had the UDRS in its home series against Australia last month.  Misbah said he was a "great UDRS supporter".  “I always speak about [the system for] it really helps teams and umpires [and is] a great initiative", he said.


The International Cricket Council (ICC) agreed at its annual Board meeting in Hong Kong in mid-year that the UDRS should be mandatory, but they reverted to 'optional' earlier this month after the Board of Control for Cricket in India withdrew its support (PTG 845-4130, 12 October 2011).  Last month the Pakistan Cricket Board announced it would use the UDRS only in the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka which follows the Tests.




[PTG 853-4171]


Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja believes that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should do away with the use of neutral umpires in Tests and also advocates rotating the on-field officials during the course of such games.  Rameez's comments came after what Pakistan media reports say were the "high number of debatable decisions by [umpires] Tony Hill [of New Zealand] Shavir  Tarapore [of India]" during the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka that ended in Dubai on Saturday (PTG 853-4170 above).


Rameez said that he can't see "why the ICC can't have their best umpires on [Its] Elite panel supervising in all [Test] matches".  "Why shouldn't Aleem Dar or Asad Rauf stand in a Test involving Pakistan? Why is this issue of neutral umpires so important? The ICC says it has the best umpires on its Elite panel so why can't they just stand in any match?", he questioned.


"I think the concept of home umpires having bias like in the old days has gone out of the window now with the improved television coverage and changes in the sport", continued Rameez, for he thinks "the ICC should now appoint umpires from its Elite panel regardless of their nationality [as there is] no need for neutral umpires".  He also pointed to the fact that Tarapore, who was standing in his debut Test (PTG 841-4111, 5 October 2011), is a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel.


Rameez, who records indicate has no umpiring experience, also felt that the ICC should look at the possibility of having a rotation policy for all four umpires that are named for every Test.  "They have four umpires on duty in a Test and I think it would be a good idea to rotate the duties of these umpires. The on the field umpires can be changed session to session so that they get proper rest and don't feel the heat affecting their decisions", he said.


Faisalabad-born Rameez said that Test cricket was "all about pressure and there was a lot of pressure on umpires who tended to make errors if they had a bad session".  "That is why I say it is necessary to have the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in Tests but I also think it wouldn't be a bad idea to rotate the umpires in a Test. They can get rest and focus on their job and that would mean less errors".


Rameez is not the first to call for the scrapping of the neutral umpire concept, but he is the first to do so publicly for several years.  Former Australian captain Steve Waugh did do when India last toured Australia nearly four years ago (PTG 167-896, 3 January 2008), as did former Australian opening batsman Keith Stackpole (PTG 164-884, 31 December 2007).  


Waugh, another non-umpire, wrote at the time that "the world's number one umpire for the past four years is Simon Taufel from Sydney and he should be out in the middle making the crucial decisions under pressure for this is what the best aspire to".  Waugh said neutral umpires might have been needed in the past because of a lack of professionalism but believes there is no reason to insist on neutral umpires any more.  Prior to that Taufel was reported to have expressed the view that the best umpires available should be appointed to "important matches" and the neutral umpires policy rescinded (PTG 42-233, 20 May 2007).  


At that time though Cricket Australia confirmed its support for neutral umpires (PTG 45, 24 May 2007), as had Taufel's countryman and then ICC Elite panel memberl Daryl Harper before that (PTG 34-190, 30 April 2007), as well as the then Chairman of the ICC's Cricket Committee, Indian Sunil Gavaskar (PTG 41-228, 17 May 2007).  Three years later former Pakistan captain Imran Khan said that in his view the neutrals system had "improved the game's spirit" at international level (PTG 637-3173, 22 July 2010), but another international skipper, Clive Lloyd of the West Indies, countered that with a call to end to their use (PTG 613-3076, 28 May 2010).  


The question of 'neutral' umpires was one of a number of issues examined by the ICC's umpiring 'Task Force' four years ago but the world body opted to maintain the system that is now in place (PTG 126-686, 1 November 2007).  Within 18 months though the issue was raised again, and the ICC then conducted a poll of international players on the subject but the result was a general view that the system should stay (PTG 442-2300, 28 June 2009).  


The ICC's chief executive has suggested though that when the UDRS becomes universally used, something that looks doubtful at the present time, the neutrals concept would no longer be needed because technology would quickly show if an umpire was acting in an inappropriate manner.




[PTG 853-4172]


Cricket Australia (CA) has been forced to make changes to its interstate match schedule because of the flight disruptions brought about by the industrial dispute involving the Australian airline Qantas.  The Sheffield Shield match between Queensland and Western Australia which was due to start in Perth tomorrow is now expected to get underway on Wednesday, while the Futures League games that were have to have started today in Adelaide and Sydney have postponed and will be rescheduled to "a later date".




[PTG 853-4173]


England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been reprimanded for showing dissent to an umpire after being given out LBW during his side's Twenty20 International (T20I) against India in Kolkata on Saturday.  Pietersen pleaded guilty to the Level 1 charge laid against him by on-field umpires Sudhir Asnani and S Ravi, third umpire Vineet Kulkarni and fourth official Krishnaraj Srinath, all of whom are from of India.


Match referee Roshan Mahanama from Sri Lanka said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday that "as an experienced cricketer, Kevin should know that when the umpire raises his finger, a player should leave the crease without showing his emotions no matter what he may think of the decision".  "In this case, Kevin displayed excessive and obvious disappointment at the decision which sent the wrong signals to all those watching the match at the ground and on television, and as such, merited some form of action".




[PTG 853-4174]


Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal has been officially reprimanded after being found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council's  (ICC) Code of Conduct during the opening day's play in the second and last Test of the series against the West Indies in Mirpur on Saturday.  Iqbal was charged with a Level 1 offence which relates to "Using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match". 


The charge against Tamim was laid by on-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka and Nigel Llong of England plus third umpire Nadir Shah from Bangladesh, and relates to an incident in the 85th over of the West Indies innings when Iqbal was heard using offensive language against West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels who had just walked in to bat.  Tamim pleaded guilty to the charge and the matter was therefore determined by match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe without the need for a full hearing to be held. 


Explaining his decision, Pycroft said in an ICC statement that "Tamim's behaviour against Marlon Samuels was completely unacceptable", especially given that Iqbal "had reminded him of his responsibility in the lead up to the [current Test]".  Penalties for Level 1 offences included in the ICC Code of Conduct can range from an official reprimand up to a fine commensurate to half of a player's match fee. 

End of October 2011 news file