TOTAL OF 12 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 4175-4231)
Click below to access each individual edition listed below
854 - 2 November [4175-4178]
• First class side refuses to play after ball tampering allegation (854-4175).
• Pakistani players found 'guilty' of betting scam (854-4176).
• PCB bans match referee for report oversight (854-4177).
• No ball tampering, no refusal to play, but unusual delay for consultation (855-4179).
• 'Umpires', 'Administrators' involved in match fixing too, claims Modi (855-4180).
• 'Micro stiches' hold bowler's eye together after ball strike (855-4181).
• Yorkshire stalwart looks to umpiring (855-4182).
• South Africa domestic one-dayers revert to 50-over format (855-4183).
856 - 4 November [4183-4186]
• Prison sentences handed to spot-fixing quartet (856-4184).
• Third county censured for 'repeated dissent' towards umpires (856-4185).
• Resolution of Hair impasse near? (856-4186).
857 - 7 November [4187-4192]
• India-Windies Tests for likely new EUP member (857-4187).
• Two batsman out 'obstructing the field' during 'run out' attempts (857-4188).
• Captain's 'temper tantrum' to attract fine? (857-4189).
• Third umpire decision delays to prompt BCCI into technology up-grade? (857-4190).
• New faces for next round of womens' T20, WNCL, matches (857-4191).
• Blow torch burns pitch, facilitates play (857-4192).
858 - 8 November [4193-4195]
• Umpire's report on alleged 'racial slurs' awaited (858-4193).
• On field outburst attracts reprimand (858-4194).
• MCC releases up-dated Open Learning Manual (858-4195).
859 - 11 November [4196-4199]
• South Australian umpires celebrate their Association's centenary (859-4196).
• Busy day for Test third umpire (859-4197).
• Cricket improves children's life skills, says university study (859-4198).
• Umpires 'brassed off' at 'lack of respect' (859-4199).
860 - 15 November [4200-4204]
• Bowler 'no balled' for action, removed from attack (860-4200).
• 'Spirit' issues to feature at 2011 ACO conference (860-4201).
• ODI 'market' may be 'saturated', says UK 'Sky' chief (860-4202).
• UAE off-spinner's action found to be 'illegal' (860-4203).
• SCG prepares for its 100th Test match (860-4204).
861 - 17 November [4205-4211]
• Hair departs NSWCUSA EO role (861-4205).
• Pink ball, day-night formats return to Caribbean domestic series (861-4206).
• New anti-corruption group to monitor Australian domestic matches (861-4207).
• Lack of umpires in Namibia causing tensions, says report (861-4208).
• Koetzen returns one more time (861-4209).
• A third four-innings-in-a-day Test (861-4210).
• Hold the phone? (861-4211).
862 - 18 November [4212-4215]
• MCC welcomes WICB day-night plans (862-4212).
• Umpire abuse, 'unfair tactics' sees player banned until 2013 (862-4213).
• PCB to establish 'vigilance division' to target corruption issues (862-4214).
• NSWCUSA announces Hair's departure (862-4215).
863 - 22 November [4216-4220]
• ODI debut for Indian umpire (863-4216).
• Third Windies umpire in Bangladesh exchange (863-4217).
• Player suspended after tests detect 'banned substance' (863-4218).
• Appeals lodged against 'spot-fixing' sentences (863-4219).
• 'Hit risk' may see ground closed after 175 years (863-4220).
864 - 25 November [4221-4229]
• EUP contender selected for Aus-NZ Tests (864-4221).
• Two more Tests for Indian umpire (864-4222).
• Vanuatu, PNG umpires for Australian, NZ tournaments (864-4223).
• Appeals hearing confirms spot-fixing sentences (864-4224).
• ECB looking to return domestic one-dayers to 50 over format (864-4225).
• Bird in line for Yorkshire Presidency (864-4226).
• Players use 'Twitter' to query dismissal (864-4227).
• ACC names 14 umpires for Kathmandu T20 series (864-4228).
• ICC chief executive to depart next June (864-4229).
865 - 29 November [4130-4131]
• New 'app' to allow 'voting' on on-field decisions (865-4230).
• 'Showing bat' to the umpire sees players censured (865-4231).
PLAYING THE GAME
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
FIRST CLASS SIDE REFUSES TO PLAY
AFTER BALL TAMPERING ALLEGATION
The South African domestic side the Warriors refused to resume their innings after tea on the second day of their first class match in Kimberley last Friday because they believed their opponents the Knights had tampered with the ball. The Knights have denied the accusations made against them and a hearing into the matter was to have been held by Cricket South Africa (CSA) in Johannesburg yesterday.
The Afrikaans language 'Volksblad' newspaper reported on Monday that the Warriors= accused the Knights of tampering with the ball during their first visit to the crease. The Knights had made 349 in the opening innings of the game, and after reaching 2/107 the Warriors lost five wickets in five overs and were eventually all out for 206.
While not the Warriors' captain, veteran Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince is said to have "led" the decision not to take the field because "the Knights refused to change the ball, following the batting collapse". Play is reported to have been delayed for forty minutes after tea and only resumed after match referee Cyril Mitchley, an official of considerable experience, intervened, although no details have been made public as to just what occurred in that period. The Knights eventually won the match outright by 211 runs on the final day.
The two umpires for the match, Karl Hurter and Adrian Holdstock, who were standing in their 93rd and 42nd first class games respectively, are said to have indicated that they saw "nothing strange" during the game and that there's "no evidence to back up the Warriors' claims".
The Knights have denied the allegations of ball-tampering and are said to be requesting a written apology from the Warriors. A representative told 'Sport 24' that "the ball was of a poor quality, the leather came off and it quickly became soft". "We did nothing wrong and [the Warriors'] initial refusal to play on and their subsequent behaviour is a blatant transgression of the game's disciplinary rules".
The chief executives, coaches and captains of both sides were reported to have been set to appear before CSA's legal council yesterday, but as yet there has been no announcement on the outcome of the hearing. Prince could also be in trouble for during the Knights second innings he would only walk to fetch balls struck to the boundary ropes, while some of the players refused to shake hands after the game.
CSA has been in the news this year as a result of a number of off-field controversies surrounding administrators, situations that are reported to have cost CSA some major sponsorship deals.
PAKISTANI PLAYERS FOUND
'GUILTY' OF BETTING SCAM
A court in London yesterday found two Pakistani cricketers guilty of a match-fixing plot during their side's tour of England last year. Former Test captain Salman Butt, 27, was convicted of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat at gambling, while fast bowler Mohammad Asif, 28, was found of conspiracy to cheat.
Prosecutors alleged that the pair conspired with British agent Mazher Majeed and fast bowler Mohammad Aamer, 19, to deliver three intentional no-balls during the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England in August 2010. They were charged after allegations of spot-fixing appeared in the now-defunct 'News of the World' newspaper, however, both Butt and Asif pleaded not guilty to the charges laid against them. Majeed and Aamer were also charged with the same offences but were not standing trial alongside Butt and Asif.
During the three-week trial the jury heard that vast sums of money could be made by rigging games for betting syndicates, particularly in South Asia, and that the problem was theatening the game of cricket. Majeed claimed he had at least six Pakistani players working for him and that it would cost between £50,000 and £80,000 ($A78,000 and $A125,000) to fix a "bracket", where bets are made on incidents during a given period of play.
Butt told the court that he had ignored Majeed's requests to fix games and had no knowledge of the plan to bowl no balls, although he conceded that he had failed in his duty to inform cricketing authorities of Majeed's approach. The judge in the case has yet to hand down a sentence, however, some reports claim that under British law the pair could face jail sentences of up to seven years.
PCB BANS MATCH REFEREE
FOR REPORT OVERSIGHT
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has banned match referee Ilyas Khan for one match as he was "found guilty" of not informing United Bank (UB) team officials that he had written a report on the bowling actions of two of their players. Ilyas was due to officiate in the first class match between the Karachi Blues and Habib Bank at the National Stadium Karachi that started last Saturday, however, he was replaced in that game by Iqbal Sheikh because of the ban.
Media reports from Karachi say that Ilyas, who is "arguably the strictest referee in the domestic circuit", had reservations about the legality of the bowling actions of UB off-spinner Misbah Khan and medium pacer Shabbir Ahmed in a game involving the Karachi Whites side in mid-October. He subsequently wrote to the PCB outlining his concerns but not UB management.
When a "PCB official" was asked about the matter by a journalist he apparently said that “if any match-referee or umpire is writing against any player or imposing a fine on them then they are bound to tell the team management". Should "they fail to do so", he continued, "then it is a blunder on their part and they deserve punishment".
Iiyas, 56, played 95 first class matches and 17 one-dayers as an off-break bowler in Pakistan from 1975-89. He first appeared as a match referee in November 1995 in a domestic first class game and currently has 51 such matches to his credit. There have also been 26 List A games, all of them at domestic level, 8 Twenty20s and 46 other miscellaneous fixtures around his home country. He has also managed a single Under-19 One Day international.
WICB LOOKING TO ESTABLISH
THIRD EXCHANGE AGREEMENT
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is believed to be looking to establish an umpiring exchange agreement with Cricket South Africa (CSA) similar to the ones it currently has with the England and Wales (ECB) and Bangaldesh (BCB) Cricket Boards. Any new arrangement that is set up is expected to be along the lines of the two already in operation with umpires from each Board standing in two or three first class matches in the other country.
Reports indicate that Gregory Brathwaite of Barbados and Nigel Duguid of Guyana, who are both now third umpire members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Pane (IUP) (PTG 853-4169, 31 October 2011), have been selected to travel to Bangladesh and England respectively over the next six months; the third and fourth such appointments since those exchanges commenced late last decade. Should the WICB-CSA program be established in the near future another person, probably someone who is thought capable of eventually reaching IUP level, is likely to be chosen by the WICB to travel to South Africa.
Since the WICB-ECB program began, current IUP on-field members Peter Nero and Joel Wilson, who are both from Trinidad and Tobago, travelled to England in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and Brathwaite earlier this year (PTG 776-3802, 18 June 2011).
The Englishmen who stood in first class games in the Caribbean as part of the exchange were in 2009 Richard Kettleborough, who this year joined the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel, Rob Bailey in 2010, and Richard Illingworth in February this year. Bailey and Illingworth are now IUP members. It would not surprise if the ECB's Michael Gough, who appears to be a candidate for the ECB's vacant IUP third umpire position, was chosen for a West Indies visit early next year (PTG 836-4085, 22 September 2011),
Nero also kicked off the WICB-BCB arrangement, standing in three first class matches there early in 2010, to be followed by Wilson in March this year. BCB umpire Gazi Sohel travelled to the Caribbean in 2010 (PTG 572-2899, 19 February 2010) and IUP member Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid in March this year, however, just who will go to the West Indies in 2012 is not yet known although IUP on-field member Enamul Hoque Moni is one possibility.
PLAYING THE GAME
Thursday, 3 November 2011
NO BALL TAMPERING, NO REFUSAL TO PLAY,
BUT UNUSUAL DELAY FOR CONSULTATION
South African domestic side the Knights have been found not guilty of tampering with the ball in their first class match against the Port Elizabeth-based Warriors in Kimberley last Friday. Media reports earlier this week indicated that the Warriors accused the Knights of interfering with the ball after they lost five quick wickets in their first innings on the second day of the match, however, the delay in restarting the game that day was approved by the match referee and was not a refusal to play as originally suggested by some stories that circulated (PTG 854-4175, 2 November 2011).
Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Disciplinary Commissioner Professor Rian Cloete held an inquiry into the issue in Johannesburg on Tuesday, a meeting that was attended by the chief executives, coaches and captains of both sides. He was quoted in a CSA statement as saying "no evidence" had been presented to him that ball tampering had in fact occurred, but he made no mention of the reported refusal to take the field, nor other media suggestions that veteran Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince had misbehaved.
Given the apparent inconsistency between the media reports and the short 136-word statement about Cloete's hearing, PTG contacted CSA about the refusal to play claims. They outlined the situation that actually prevailed last night, providing a copy of relevant sections of the match report prepared by umpires Karl Hurter and Adrian Holdstock.
That report states that as Hurter and Holdstock left the umpires' room after the tea interval, Warriors coach Piet Botha approached them and asked if they could delay the start so that he could talk, before play resumed, with the Warriors chief executive about his side's serious concerns about the ball being used in his side's innings, a time at the crease that was then still in progress. The umpires told Botha to speak to match referee Cyril Mitchley about the matter.
Mitchley, a former Test umpire, is said to have agreed to the request to delay the restart, and when contacted Dave Emslie, the Warriors chief executive, is understood to have told his coach, in the words of the umpires' report, "to continue the match but to do so under protest". The game was eventually resumed 35 minutes later than the scheduled time after tea, and as a result the match officials adjusted the close of play to compensate for the delay. Bad light later stopped play right at the end of the day, however, only one over of play was actually lost.
While Cloete rejected ball tampering, he expressed the view that the ball might have been of a sub-standard quality, and as a result recommended that it be examined and tested by "an independent body such as South Africa's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research" to try to establish "the reason for its unusual behaviour". A Knight's representative was quoted by the 'Sport 24' web site a few days after the match as saying that "the ball was of a poor quality, the leather came off and it quickly became soft".
'UMPIRES', 'ADMINISTRATORS' INVOLVED
IN MATCH FIXING TOO, CLAIMS MODI
Lalit Modi, the former high-profile Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian Premier League Commissioner, has accused unnamed "umpires and administrators of being involved in match-fixing". Modi, who is now no longer associated with either organisation, made his comments on Tuesday soon after a London court found banned Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and bowler Mohammad Asif guilty of spot-fixing (PTG 854-4176, 2 November 2011)
Modi, who now has an acrimonious relationship with the BCCI, is quoted by a range of Indian media outlets as saying on his 'Twitter' feed that "it's not only players that fix matches" for "sometimes there are umpires too in connivance with administrators [but such] reports are buried". Just who Modi was referring to, which country or countries were involved, or at which level or levels of the game, was not mentioned in any of his comments.
Meanwhile Haroon Lorgat, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executive said of the London court's findings that they "appear to be consistent with the findings of the independent anti-corruption tribunal which was appointed earlier this year to hear charges brought by the ICC under our own Anti-Corruption Code". Butt, Asif and Mohammad Aamer another bowler were given bans ranging from 5 to 10 years by the ICC eight months ago (PTG 726-3574, 14 February 2011).
"The ICC takes no pleasure from the fact that these players stepped outside not only the laws of the game but also the criminal laws of the country in which they were participating", continued Lorgat, before going on to emphasise that the ICC "has a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption and we will use everything within our power to ensure that any suggestion of corrupt activity within our game is comprehensively investigated and, where appropriate, robustly prosecuted".
The ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit is reported to be preparing to launch its own investigation of Pakistan's 2010 tour of England, and more players are expected to come under scrutiny in the near future. The judge in Butt and Asif's London trial indicated that the evidence in the five week hearing suggested corruption may have run deeper than just at the Lord’s Test that year.
'MICRO STICHES' HOLD BOWLER'S
EYE TOGETHER AFTER BALL STRIKE
A player in south-east Queensland remains optimistic about the chances of saving his left eye after it was severely damaged in a match ten days ago, says a story published in the 'Toowoomba Chronicle' yesterday. Wayne Walker of Chinchilla bowled a medium-pace delivery that the batsman got on the front foot to and drove directly into his left eye socket at high speed.
Walker spent six days in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital receiving treatment last week, and his eyeball is now being held together by multiple micro stitches. "All I can see is when a hand waves in front of my face", says Walker, 41, and "if I try to count the fingers it's a bit of a guessing game". His reduced vision means that he is not allowed to drive a vehicle for three months and "it's a matter of resting up now and waiting for it to settle down".
"Apparently, if they can save the eye, the stitches will have to stay in for another 12 months", says Walker, and after that "they might be able to put in an artificial lens".
YORKSHIRE STALWART LOOKS TO UMPIRING
The former Yorkshire and England all-rounder Craig White is looking to take up umpiring after deciding not to reapply for his position as first-team coach with the county club he has served since 1990. White, who stressed he was leaving on his own terms and also on thoroughly amicable ones, said he had come to realise that certain aspects of coaching were not for him and that he now wants to pursue a different direction, said the 'Yorkshire Post' yesterday.
White, 41, told Chris Walker of the 'Post' that his initial target is to get on the English first-class list, after which he hopes to move up to the highest level of the game. “I want to aim as high as I can and work my way up on to the international panel", he said "it will be hard work and there’s no guarantee I’ll make it, but I’m determined to give it a crack". “I’ve played at international level and I know the pressures involved, so hopefully that will stand me in good stead".
Yorkshire-born White played 30 Tests across seven countries and 51 One Day Internationals from 1994-2003. He represented Yorkshire over the 17 year period from 1990, being its captain from 2004-2006, playing for them and short stints with Victoria and Central Districts, in an overall total of 246 first class, 311 List A matches and 33 Twenty20s.
White says that he's "always fancied a crack at umpiring" and as he approach the end of his playing career he "looked at the various possibilities" involved, "but then I got involved with the Yorkshire second XI and then gave coaching a bit of a crack". He is now “hoping that I might be able to umpire a few second-team games next summer and take it from there", "but I’m going to have to find something else to do while I try to get on the first-class list, so I might have to play league cricket for a couple of years and get a bit of money that way and perhaps do a bit of coaching along the way".
SOUTH AFRICAN DOMESTIC ONE-DAYERS
REVERT TO 50 OVER FORMAT
PRISON SENTENCES HANDED TO
Former Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, plus sports agent Mazhar Majeed, were given prison sentences in the UK yesterday for their roles in a spot-fixing scandal during last year's Lord's Test against England (PTG 669-3286, 17 September 2010), actions the judge in the trial said had damaged the integrity of a game. Former captain Butt was sentenced two-and-a-half years, Asif one year and Amir six months, while Majeed received a sentence of two years and eight months, but all four have that right the launch appeals against their convictions (PTG 854-4176, 2 November 2011).
The three players, who have already banned from playing by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for a minimum of five years (PTG 726-3574, 14 February 2011), showed no reaction as the sentences were handed out amid strong words from the judge who said they had tainted a game known for its fairness. "'It's not cricket' was an adage", said Judge Jeremy Cooke, and "it is the insidious effect of your actions on professional cricket and the followers of it that make the offences so serious".
Cooke told the court room that "the image and integrity of what was once a game but is now a business is damaged in the eyes of all, including the many youngsters who regarded you as heroes and would have given their eye teeth to play at the levels and with the skills that you had". "Now, whenever people look back on a surprising event in a game or a surprising result, followers of the game who have paid good money to watch it ... will be left to wonder whether there has been fixing and whether what they have been watching is a genuine contest between bat and ball".
After the sentences were handed down the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reiterated its support for all anti-corruption measures taken by the ICC and its member boards and said it would be recommending to its own government that it draft laws against corruption and fixing in cricket. The PCB's Nadeem Sarwar said "it is a sad day for Pakistan cricket that these players instead of having pride in playing for their country chose to disappoint their supporters and let their nation down".
THIRD COUNTY CENSURED FOR 'REPEATED
DISSENT' TOWARDS UMPIRES
County champions Lancashire have been fined £3,500 ($A5,400) by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for "repeated dissent" towards umpires during the 2012 northern hemisphere summer. Lancashire were summoned to ECB headquarters at Lord's earlier this week because their players had been involved in a total of seven separate fixed penalty offences over the last 12-months, five of which occurred under the captaincy of Glen Chapple.
During the hearing Lancashire is said to have pointed out to the three-man ECB disciplinary commission the efforts they had made, following each of the incidents, to improve on-field discipline. Despite that a BBC report yesterday said that the panel considered the large number of such events was "unacceptable" and they decided to hand down the £3,500 fine, as well as ordering that the county pay the £500 hearing costs, a total monetary censure of £4,000 ($A6,200). In reaching their decision the panel is said to have taken Chapple's previous "exemplary record over 20 years into account", however, it still gave him a personal two-match ban which was suspended for 12 months.
In early July this year Essex captain James Foster was banned for two matches because of the "persistent misconduct" of players under his leadership, while his county club was fined £5,000 ($A7,500) for failing to act upon "persistent umpire complaints about player behaviour" (E-News 791-3871, 7 July 2011). Later that month Somerset were fined the same amount and their captain Marcus Trescothick given a suspended two-match ban after players from its side were found guilty of five disciplinary offences over a twelve-month period (PTG 798-3904, 17 July 2011).
RESOLUTION OF HAIR IMPASSE NEAR?
Resolution of the 11-week impasse between the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) and its executive officer Darrell Hair could be near as the Board of Cricket New South Wales (CNSW) is expected to discuss the issues involved at a meeting sometime next week. NSWCUSA chairman Stephen Poole, whose Board passed a 'no confidence' motion in Hair in late August (PTG 828-4048, 9 September 2011), told Association members at their monthly meeting on Wednesday of the CNSW's Board's plan and that Hair had recently commenced a second bout of medical leave after working from home for a number of weeks.
Poole indicated to his members at a previous meeting that the no confidence motion related to "several issues", however, the exact nature of all except one, which apparently relates to the dismissal of a long-serving country umpires coach, remain unknown (PTG 846-4138, 13 October 2011). A newspaper report a month ago made the claim that Hair, who was said to have two years to run on his current contract, had "sought legal advice" about the situation. That report also suggested that CNSW chief executive Dave Gilbert was expected to address the issue around that time (E-News 844-4126, 11 October 2011).
Given public comments made at its last three monthly meetings the NSWCUSA executive does not appear to have softened its view of its dispute with Hair. Just what the CNSW Board will be discussing next week is far from clear, however, one possibility is that the terms of an exit package for the former international umpire may be on the table.
PLAYING THE GAME
Monday, 7 November 2011
INDIA-WINDIES TESTS FOR
LIKELY NEW EUP MEMBER
Australian umpire Bruce Oxenford has been named to stand two of the three Tests India is to play against the West Indies over the next few weeks, appointments that are the latest indication he is a strong contender for elevation to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel next year if he continues to perform well. The ICC announced on Saturday, the eve of the first Test in Delhi, that Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharmesena, Tony Hill of New Zealand and another Aussie, Rod Tucker, would in addition to Oxenford, stand in the series, while a third Australian, David Boon, and Kiwi Jeff Crowe, would be the match referees.
For Oxenford it will be his third and fourth Tests in just over three months for he stood in two in Zimbabwe, the first in August and the second earlier this month, Tests that followed his Test debut in a rain affected match in Sri Lanka late last year (E-News 700-3432, 14 December 2010). His appointment to the Indian-Windies series was flagged by the lack of domestic appointments in Australia in the late November period (PTG 850-4153, 26 October 2011).
Tucker and Dharmesena are looking after the current Delhi Test with Crowe the match referee, Crowe and Tucker will return for the second in Kolkata and be joined by Oxenford, then the latter will partner Hill in the third and final Test in Mumbai, Boon coming in as match referee. By the time the series ends Hill's record as an umpire in Tests will have moved on to 28 games, Tucker's to 15 and Dharmasena to 6, while Crowe's as a match referee will then total 48 matches and Boon 4.
Following the Tests India and the West Indies will play a 5-match One Day International (ODI) series. Hill will be the neutral umpire in those games and Boon the match referee, the second on-field and third umpires spots being filled by Indian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel. Hill's ODI match tally will move up to 92 and Boon's as a match referee to 8 a a result of their participation in the five matches.
The Umpire Decision Review System will not be in operation during either the Test or ODI series between the two sides, the Board of Control for Cricket in India being opposed to its use (PTG 845-4130, 12 October 2011).
TWO BATSMAN OUT 'OBSTRUCTING THE
FIELD' DURING 'RUN OUT' ATTEMPTS
Two batsmen from the same side were given out 'obstructing the field' in a one-day game between South Africa's Titans and Knights sides played in Benoni yesterday and media reports are indicating that both were judged to have prevented the opposition from completing run-outs. The Titans' batsmen involved were AB de Villiers, who was playing in his first match since breaking his hand, and opening bowler Rowan Richards, however, what little reporting that is available of de Villiers dismissal raises a number of interesting issues.
One report said that "de Villiers held his line while attempting a run and was judged by umpire Lubalalo Gcuma to have interfered with [the fielder's] attempt to hit the stumps". While the description of de Villiers' dismissal may not be accurate, the words "held his line" appear to be at odds with a directive issued by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in June, which has been adopted by Cricket South Africa (CSA) for the domestic game there. It said that batsmen can be given 'out' obstructing the field by umpires "if they change their direction when running in order to block a 'run-out' chance" (PTG 784-3836, 29 June 2011). No details are as yet available of just what happened in Richards' case.
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who are the guardians of the Laws of Cricket, have pointed out that the issues covered by the ICC's directive have long been a part of the tenants under which the game is played. It said in a statement last month for example that 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" obstructing the field (PTG 843-4120, 8 October 2011).
Cricket Australia has, like CSA, also adopted the ICC directive for its matches, however, it does not in itself apply to most lower-level competitions around the country as administrators there appear to believe that the Laws themselves cover the situation adequately.
CAPTAIN'S 'TEMPER TANTRUM'
TO RESULT IN FINE?
Tasmanian captain George Bailey may face disciplinary action after an on-field confrontation with the umpires during the Sheffield Shield match against Victoria in Hobart yesterday. Bailey, who is described in 'The Mercury' newspaper this morning as "one of the most jovial players in domestic cricket", became visibly annoyed when Victorian batsman David Hussey stood his ground after edging a low ball because he believed the ball had bounced before it was taken by Tasmanian wicketkeeper Brady Jones.
Hussey, who eventually made 74, was on 8 at what was a critical stage of the match when Jones claimed the catch, but after conferring umpires Simon Fry of South Australia and Geoff Joshua from Victoria decided they were not sure and therefore gave Hussey the benefit of the doubt. The Victorian batsman said after the day's play that he "had a clear view, I saw the ball hit the ground so if you want to go another way feel free, but I know hand on heart it bounced".
''Mercury' journalist Brett Stubbs says in his report, which has the words 'temper tantrum' in its headline, that "Bailey was shocked at the decision and gesticulated angrily to both umpires immediately after the decision and at the end of that over". The Tasmanian captain is said to have refused to comment on the incident after the day's play, however, Stubbs says that his "outburst may prove financially costly", the implication of his words being that Cricket Australia match officials will be looking to censure Bailey over his interaction with the umpires after the match ends later today.
THIRD UMPIRE DECISION DELAYS TO PROMPT
BCCI INTO TECHNOLOGY UP-GRADE?
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) "has agreed" to upgrade the technology that is available to third umpires in its domestic first class competition the Ranji Trophy, according to media reports published in Mumbai on Saturday. A meeting of the BCCI’s umpires committee held in that city the day before expressed concern about the "time being wasted to find out the third umpire’s decision", with delays in play of "7-10 minutes" apparently being experienced at times before the result of run out or stumping appeals are announced.
The BCCI made the decision to install six cameras at all Ranji match grounds four years ago, however, the focus of that move was to gather footage on the performance of Indian umpires as part of a program to lift the standards of that profession across the country (PTG 97-521, 11 September 2007), a project that also included the appointment of umpire coaches and training courses provided via a contract with Cricket Australia's then global arm (PTG 87-464, 23 August 2007). Soon after though the Board decided to allowed the video collected to also be used for run out and stumping decisions, but in the absence of appropriate technology the process of decision making has become long, a situation that has led in some cases to very slow over-rates.
An unnamed BCCI umpire committee member, who acknowledged considerable cost will be involved in any up-grade, was quoted in media reports yesterday as indicating that his committee planned to submit a report on the matter to higher-level officials. The timeframe for implementation of the proposed changes is not known at this stage.
NEW FACES FOR NEXT ROUND OF
WOMENS' T20, WNCL MATCHES
Cricket Australia has named 21 umpires, including 9 debutees, for the 12 womens' Twenty20 and 6 one-day Womens National Cricket League (WNCL) games that are to be played across all states except New South Wales over a 16-day period later this month. Six of the 9 debutants will be standing in their first senior womens' T20 matches and the other three in WNCL games.
Those appointed to T20 matches are: Wayne Barron, Matthew Hall, Chris McGann and Dean Trigg from Western Australia; Craig Hoffman and Jay Kangar from Queensland; Tasmanians Mike Graham-Smith, Brent Jones and Wade Stewart; South Australians John Biddiss, Lynton Donisthorpe and Luke Uthenwoldt; Victorians Richard Patterson, Ange Sammartino and Sam Sciacca; and Shannon Bushall, Stuart Grocock, Terry Keel, Simon Lightbody, Tom Logan and Andrew Shelley of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Barron, Biddiss, Jones, Logan and McCann are the debutees.
The three WNCL games will be looked after on the field by Biddis, Donisthorpe, Hall, Hoffman, Kangar, Patterson, Sammartino, Stewart and Trigg, plus Shannon Bushell and Andrew Shelley of the ACT and Martin Betts of Tasmania. Betts, Bushell and Sammartino will be standing in their first WNCL matches.
Match referee duties for both format games in Adelaide and Melbourne by former first class umpires Kim Perrin and Daryl Cox respectively, in Brisbane and Canberra by Jim Torpey another former first class umpire, in Perth by former Test umpire Terry Prue, and Hobart by Richard Widows, THAT state's Direct of Umpires.
BLOW TORCH BURNS PITCH,
A painter's blow torch was used to dry a large dinner plate sized wet spot at a good length on a pitch in a Premier League (PL) game in Tasmania last week so that play could get underway, but not before the area concerned had been well scorched. Play in the first grade match between the University and Glenorchy sides eventually got underway, and despite concerns about just how the pitch, and that spot in particular, would play, the burnt area did not feature significantly in the match.
The two sides were involved in what was to have been a two-day match played over the weekend, however, with Saturday's play in all PL first grade games being washed out, under Cricket Tasmania playing conditions all those games automatically reverted to the one-day format on the Sunday. Unfortunately the covers had leaked at the University ground producing the very wet soft patch, and with both sides keen to play the blow torch was eventually brought in. It put a sufficient crust over the deep seated wet area and eventually play was able to get under way some two hours late.
Umpires Jamie Mitchell and Brent Jones told the two captains they would be monitoring the spot carefully and if there was any sign that there was danger to the batsmen they would abandon the game. With the likes of fast bowlers such as Australia's Ben Hilfenhaus, and Tasmanian players James Faulkner and Nathan Butterworth lining up to bowl in the game, both Mitchell and Jones monitored the area particularly closely, however, on the few occasions the ball pitched in the scorched area nothing untoward occurred.
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
UMPIRE'S REPORT ON ALLEGED
'RACIAL SLURS' AWAITED
Becker Nguyen, who plays in the Geelong Cricket Association (GCA) in Victoria, believes "the time has come to take a stand against racial slurs on the sporting field". Nguyen, who is of Vietnamese descent, told the 'Geelong Advertiser' yesterday that he was the subject of anti-Asian racial jibes while captaining the Leopold side on Saturday, a situation that was the continuation a series of incidents throughout his short career playing both cricket and football in the Geelong area.
Nguyen told Michael Auciello of the 'Advertiser' that the racial abuse had gone on go long enough and he now wanted to make a point that that sort of behaviour was unacceptable. "I've copped it in cricket and footy ... I'm here to play cricket and enjoy it like everyone else and, yeah, there's sledges here and there, but there's blokes that just take it too far", he said. Nguyen, who turns 20 later this month, said that he just want to be treated like everyone else out on the field.
Leopold president Andrew McKie said the umpire "heard the comments" during the game on Saturday and would include them in his match report when the two-day game ends next weekend. McKie said the club was happy to leave it with the umpire to make the complaint, but would consider taking the matter further if he didn't. Nguyen said he was unsure what sort of penalties should be handed out to players found guilty of racial vilification, just "whatever gets through to people".
GCA president Grant Dew said that his Association had worked with clubs to help stamp out racial vilification following incidents in a league game two years ago. In early 2010, two players in the GCA were suspended and another censured following an investigation into claims that "racially motivated verbal attacks" were made after a match in the fourth grade competition (E-News 589-2965, 20 March 2010).
Tasmanian captain George Bailey has been reprimanded after an angry confrontation with the umpires in the Sheffield Shield game against Victoria in Hobart on Sunday. Bailey pleaded guilty to the charge, which came after the umpires gave Victorian batsman David Hussey the benefit of the doubt in a disputed catch situation, at a hearing held after the match ended yesterday (PTG 857-4189, 7 November 2011).
Bailey's reprimand follows those handed in Sheffield Shield matches this season to Queensland's Nathan Reardon and South Australia captain Michael Klinger, the former for damaging a chair when he left the field of play after being dismissed (PTG 848-4149, 19 October 2011), and the latter for showing dissent towards an umpire after an appeal against an opposition batsman was turned down (PTG 852-4164, 30 October 2011).
MCC RELEASES UP-DATED
'OPEN LEARNING MANUAL'
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has released an updated version of its Open Learning Manual (OLM) that covers the latest version of the Laws of Cricket that came into force 13 months ago (PTG 675-3312, 1 October 2010). The MCC says that the Manual's aim is not to train umpires to pass examinations, but rather to help them to do a better job on the field of play, and that it does so by setting out the Laws in a "straightforward manner" that a "student can easily digest and from which they can learn".
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN UMPIRES CELEBRATE
THEIR ASSOCIATION'S CENTENARY
Grade umpires in Adelaide will wear special caps during matches over the next two Saturdays to mark the South Australian Cricket Umpires' Association's (SACUA) 100th birthday. The caps, which have a mixture of navy blue, red, green and yellow colours, feature a centenary umpires logo, says yesterday's 'Adelaide News'.
SACUA members attended what the 'News' describes as a major function on Wednesday evening to mark the centenary, an occasion that was hosted by former international umpire Daryl Harper, an Adelaide native. In addition, the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) has labelled the forthcoming set of two-day roster matches the 'Umpire Centenary Round'.
Association president Lynton Donisthorpe told journalist Andrew Capel that umpires "cop a bit of flak at times so it's nice to be recognised by SACA for the contribution we do make to the game". "It's a tough gig because it only takes one controversial decision and you get a bit of stick", he said. "What we all aim for is consistency and I think if we achieve that we get the respect of the players, which is what we're seeking".
To date 25 South Australians have umpired Test cricket, including Harper, current International Cricket Council Elite Umpire Panel member Steve Davis, and others such as Robin Bailache, Tony Crafter, Colin Egar and Max O'Connell. Another 79 people from the state have officiated in first-class matches.
BUSY DAY FOR TEST
It was a particularly busy day for New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden during the first Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town yesterday, with nine reviews being requested of him by the players over two sessions on a day that saw 23 wickets fall overall. Four of the nine original decisions made by the on-field umpires were overturned on review by the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), umpires Ian Gould of England and Billy Doctrove of the West Indies each have two decisions reversed.
Australia asked for five reviews, four bowling and one whilst batting, on the day, three being upheld, and South Africa four, three bowling and one batting, one of which was upheld. Seven of the referrals were for LBW, three of the original on-field judgements passed to Bowden being altered after an assessment of the information provided by the technology, and the other two for catches, one of which was declared out after review. Cricinfo's on line commentary said of the latter decision that "it could have never been out in the pre-UDRS era [for] the ball went into the covers off the pad and bat, and I doubt any umpire would give that out without the help of replays". That was, said the writer, a "stunning usage of the referral system".
Yesterday was only the second time in history of Tests that parts of all four Test innings' were played on the same day. The only other time was at Lord's in June 2000, when England beat the West Indies by two wickets, in just two-and-a-half days.
CRICKET IMPROVES CHILDREN'S LIFE SKILLS,
SAYS UNIVERSITY STUDY
A game of cricket during the school day can help improve pupils' behaviour and lead to calmer classrooms, according to a study conducted by the Loughborough University in England. Pupils involved in England's national school cricket scheme, 'Chance to Shine', also appeared more confident and motivated, says the study, and the game is also effective in teaching good sportsmanship.
The 'Chance to Shine' program runs regular cricket coaching and competitive matches in 4,000 primary schools and secondary schools in England, says a report aired on the BBC yesterday. The charity also aims to develop "essential life skills and values, such as leadership, discipline, teamwork and understanding how to win and lose".
Teachers told researchers they had seen positive changes in the classroom after their pupils had been involved in the cricket program. This was especially the case when schools used participation in cricket tournaments as a reward for good behaviour. They also indicated that after a game of lunchtime cricket pupils returned to their classrooms in a calmer state of mind.
Other benefits included the adoption of important life skills such as learning how to win, to lose and to cope with setbacks. One teacher told researchers: "There is one boy who was bowled out four or five times in a row and he took it really well, he learn how to deal with this though and came back in the next competition and played really well".
Good sportsmanship learnt in the competitive cricket environment, like clapping batsmen in and out and shaking hands at the end of games, led to better classroom conduct, according to the university study. The assessment of the program also showed there were improvements in pupils' teamwork in the classroom and how they learn to be more patient with each other, says the BBC.
UMPIRES 'BRASSED OFF'
AT 'LACK OF RESPECT'
Umpires in Cumbria in north-west England, who stand in the Northern Premier League, North Lancashire League and the Westmorland Cricket League, say that they will be "demanding" more respect from clubs during the 2012 northern summer. Problems experienced this year have seen a number of umpires walk away from the game, and something needs to be done about the issue says the Cumbria County Association of Cricket Officials (CCACO), otherwise it will be "back to the old days of players umpiring themselves".
Stewart Hulse, the CCACO's secretary, told Patrick O'Kane of 'The Westmorland Gazette' this week that more umpires are getting fed up with the "unsporting behaviour" they are experiencing and the "lack of respect" shown to them during matches. Match officials "are [being] verbally abused, mainly because [players] don’t agree with decisions made", he said.
As a result "umpires are getting brassed off and are just leaving [and] 2012 will be a testing time for clubs and players who think they can mouth off [for] officials will only take so much from players before saying ‘that’s it, I’m off’ ”, continued Hulse, who is concerned that umpiring coaching sessions organised in nearby counties of late have had to be cancelled "due to a lack of interest".
Stu Parkin from Kendal Cricket Club agrees with Hulse that respect is needed for umpires, most of whom he says do it "for the love of the game". "There is, on occasion, a lot of disrespect and it can sometimes result from one decision". "I can’t name players but I have seen complete disrespect to umpires in some games [and they] should be able to take a stronger stance". “It is a shame umpires are leaving the game and I don’t like that [for] without them we couldn’t play and so it is vital respect is shown to them", concluded Parkin.
Currently, umpires in the north-west can only report offending players to the relevant league, whose disciplinary committee will then dispense whatever justice they deem suitable. On a national level in England a carded system has been suggested in umpiring circles but Hulse would prefer a [championship] points deduction system. “The best way to deal with it is to hit clubs with a points deduction", he says.
Hulse admitted to the 'Gazette' though that "some umpires are their own worst enemy" for they do not report a lot on on-field incidents. "[Some] are not prepared to report abuses of any kind", therefore "disciplinary committees can do very little in censuring abusive players", he says.
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
BOWLER 'NO BALLED' FOR ACTION,
REMOVED FROM ATTACK
Gujarat seamer Amit Singh was taken out of the attack during his side's first class Ranji Trophy match against Delhi in Valsad in north-west india on Saturday after twice being called for a suspect action. Singh was called by umpire Krishnaraj Srinath, a former first class player, and taken from the attack after delivering just seven overs during the opening phase of Delhi's second innings.
Singh has previously been reported four times for having a suspect bowling action, twice in first class and List A domestic games in India, and two other times when playing for the Rajasthan franchise in the Indian Premier League in 2009. Reports over the weekend say that since then he has "undergone corrective measures", but Srinath, his on-field colleague Umesh Dubey and match referee B Raghunath decided that his action needed to be looked at again.
Raghunath, who like Srinath is a former first class player, was looking after his thirty-fifth first class game as a referee, while for Dubey it was his thirty-fifth such match and Srinath his eleventh.
'SPIRIT' ISSUES TO FEATURE
AT 2011 ACO CONFERENCE
Issues related to the 'Spirit of Cricket' and the use of technology in sport will form the main themes of the second annual conference of the Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) at Lord's this Saturday. The ACO says that 'Spirit' and fair play issues remain at the top of its agenda and that it intends to highlight and reinforce such matters during the meeting.
Paul Bedford, the England and Wales Cricket Board's head of non First-Class cricket, is to speak on discipline and fair play, and Raj Persaud, a leading UK psychologist is to provide "insight into the psychology of officiating", particularly those aspects that related to dealing with conflict and difficult situations. Football referee Howard Webb, who looked after last year's World Cup final in South Africa, will speak on his experiences at the highest level of that game. Webb's presentation will be followed by a question and answer session that will also involve "other leading officials from both cricket and rugby".
In the scoring area, last year’s ‘Scoring in the Media’ presentation will return with "a new take on the same subject", while the creators of ‘The Total Cricket Scorer’ computer program, Lee Marmara and Paul Thurstance, will present a workshop on it and the Play-Cricket on-line data base, which is similar to the MyCricket system used in Australia.
ODI 'MARKET' MAY BE 'SATURATED',
SAYS UK 'SKY' CHIEF
The market for One Day International (ODI) cricket may be saturated and that could lead to a reduction in the number of such matches played, in part because of concerns over the sport's integrity, says UK Sky Sports' managing director Barney Francis. Speaking after Pakistani players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were convicted of conspiracy to fix elements of the Lord's Test between Pakistan and England last year (PTG 856-4184, 4 November 2011), Francis told a Sports Industry Breakfast meeting in London that "the market" for international limited-overs cricket was "tightening".
Francis said that while in his view UK audiences will continue to demand England played a busy calendar of international cricket, Sky would show fewer overseas series to its viewers in Britain in future. "Cricket authorities will decide what they want to sell, but if there is not a market for the games then they won't be able to sell them", he said, pointing out that broadcast of the recent Champions League series was expected to raise as much revenue as the [Indian Premier League] but that has not been the case.
Over the last three years the number of ODIs played annually has ranged between 130-150 per year, and over the last decade ran from a high of 190 in 2007 to a low of 106 in 2005, the average being just over 140 per year. Sky currently has a £300 million ($A463 million) broadcast rights agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board.
UAE OFF-SPINNER'S ACTION
FOUND TO BE 'ILLEGAL'
United Arab Emirates (UAE) off-spinner Vikrant Shetty's bowling action has been found to be "illegal" and he has been suspended from bowling in international cricket until such time as he can demonstrate appropriate changes to his delivery style. Shetty, 27, was reported for a suspect illegal bowling action during his side's four-day Intercontinental Cup match against Afghanistan in Sharjah last month (PTG 844-4128, 11 October 2011).
Following that report, which was made by umpires Ahsan Raza of Pakistan Buddhi Pradhan of Nepal, Shelly's action was examined by the Emirates Cricket Board, that evaluation being based on "naked eye observation and video assessment", says the International Cricket Council. The bowler is now expected to undergo remedial action and then go through a new set of tests which if passed will enable him to return to the international game.
SCG PREPARES FOR ITS
100TH TEST MATCH
The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will become only the third venue, after Lord's and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), to have hosted 100 Test matches when Australia plays India in early January. The SCG Trust said yesterday that it is planning to mark the occasion during the five day match but the specific nature of the celebrations are still in the planning stages.
The SCG hosted its first Test in 1882 when Australia played England in just the sixth such match ever played. England have featured in 54 of the Tests played to date, the West Indies 14, South Africa 11, India 9, Pakistan 7, New Zealand 2 and Zimbabwe and an ICC World XI in one game each; Bangladesh and Sri Lanka so far missing out in Test match terms. Overall Australia have won 54, lost 28 and drawn 17 of the Tests played at the ground.
HAIR DEPARTS NSWCUSA EO ROLE
Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair is no longer the Executive Officer (EO) of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA), and his career in cricket may have come to an end. Hair's departure as EO, which is understood to have occurred formally yesterday, came almost three months after a 'no confidence' motion was passed against him by the NSWCUSA Board (PTG 828-4048, 9 September 2011), and the week after his situation was to have been considered by Cricket NSW's (CNSW) Board (PTG 856-4186, 4 November 2011).
The end of Hair's tenure as EO, a position he held for just over three years, two years short of his contract period, came to light yesterday. The first indication was when the auto reply function at his CNSW e-mail address came back with the statement that "As of Wednesday, 16 November I am no longer the Executive Officer of the NSWCUSA", then goes on to refer correspondents to the Association's Administration Officer Troy Penman or its Education and Development Manager, Darren Goodger. Calls to Hair's CNSW mobile found him providing the same basic information via a recorded message.
PTG sought comment from Goodger by phone yesterday afternoon for he has been acting in Hair's position for most of the last three months whilst the latter was on "medical leave", but apart from confirming the departure of his now former boss, Goodger said he was "not able to make any further public comment" on the matter. The length of time it took CNSW to resolve the Hair-NSWCUSA impasse suggests the matter was complex, especially as Hair is reported to have sought legal advice on the issues involved (PTG 844-4126, 11 October 2011).
What prompted the eight members of the NSWCUSA Board to pass their 'no confidence' motion against Hair has not been revealed. There was an early report that the dismissal of a long-serving NSW country umpire's coach by Hair was one factor (PTG 824-4028, 3 September 2011), but Stephen Poole, the NSWCUSA Board's chairman told a monthly meeting of the Association at one stage that the motion was a result of "several issues", a comment that hints that the situation that prevailed may have developed a head of steam over a period of time (PTG 843-4123, 8 October 2011).
The EO position is, like those of Goodger and Penman, funded by, and responsible to, CNSW, and Hair's messages yesterday do not necessarily mean he has left the cricketing scene altogether. He may for example, be continuing in some other capacity with CNSW, especially given that his contract still has two years to run. Whatever the case though the now former umpire, who turned 59 in late September, has been a prominent member of the world umpiring community for over two decades.
Hair was appointed to the NSWCUSA EO position in August 2008 (PTG 297-1563, 18 August 2008), around the same time he resigned as a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (PTG 298-1570, 19 August 2008).
During his umpiring career he stood in a total of 146 first-class matches, 76 of them Tests, while 52 were in Australia's Sheffield Shield competition, including eight finals in a row from 1992-2000. Of his Tests, 23 were played in Australia, 16 in England, 5 of which were at Lord's, 9 in the West Indies, 8 in South Africa, 7 in Pakistan, 5 each in New Zealand and Zimbabwe, 4 in India and one in Sharjah.
His List A match record includes 139 One Day Internationals (ODI) that were played in his home country as well as Canada, England, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Scotland, Sharjah, Singapore, South Africa, the West Indies, and Zimbabwe. They included the World Cup of 1999 and the Champions Trophy of 2004, both of which were played in England, and the Commonwealth Games of 1998 in Malaysia. His 44, non-international, List A games include 30 interstate domestic matches in Australia, including the final of that competition in 8 of the 10 seasons from 1992-2002.
Following the controversy after he called Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing in late 1995, Hair was overlooked when the ICC appointed its first Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in May 2002, but he was elevated the following year after twelve months on its second tier International Umpires Panel. His second major controversy followed what has become known as the 'ball tampering' Test at the Oval in August 2006, after which he was suspended from the EUP and not reinstated until fifteen months later following a court case and a period of "rehabilitation" (PTG 213-1186, 19 March 2008).
Off the field of play, Hair made significant contributions to umpire education and training as a member of the NSWCUSA, producing a range of quality materials that are reflected at the present time in aspects of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Accreditation Level 2 program, and the International Institute of Cricket Umpiring and Scoring's (IICUS) 'Umpiring Techniques' manual (PTG 297-1568, 18 August 2008). He was respected for his in depth knowledge of the Laws of Cricket and as such was a long-serving member of the Marylebone Cricket Club's Laws sub-committee and CA's Technical Committee.
PINK BALL, DAY-NIGHT FORMATS
RETURN TO CARIBBEAN DOMESTIC SERIES
Four of the 21 matches in the home-and-away phase of the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) 2012 'domestic' first class competition in February-March are to be played as day-night fixtures, feature pink balls and involve the players wearing traditional white clothing. The WICB trialled the same format in four similar first class games in the Caribbean in early 2010 (PTG 549-2799, 16 January 2010), however, they reverted to day time only play in the season that followed in February-March this year.
Six of the seven participating teams in next year's competition, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago, are to each play one day-night fixture, while the Combined Campuses and Colleges team have two such matches. Two of the games will be played at the 'Three Ws' Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, and the others at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana, and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at North Sound, Antigua. Sunset times in Antigua, Barbados and Georgetown vary between 6.00 and 6.15 p.m. on the days on which the four matches have been scheduled, however the WICB is yet to announce just what the hours of play for the day-night games will be.
Two years ago Ernest Hilaire, Chief Executive Officer of the WICB, said that in deciding to introduce day-night games then his Board believed they would "help to generate public interest and also be a winner with the players and officials". During and after those games there was no publicity that PTG has seen about just how the players or match officials involved viewed the experience, or what the response in crowd terms was, and it is unclear now as to why the WICB have revived the format after a break of one season. It is likely though to be linked to the push by the International Cricket Council for day-night Tests (PTG 762-3742, 12 May 2011).
Cricket Australia (CA) has scheduled four 'twilight' matches in its domestic first class competition this austral summer, however those games will end each day between seventy-five minutes and two hours prior to actual time the sun sets at the four grounds involved. Red balls, rather than those of any other colour, will be used in all four matches, CA's hesitancy in using pink ones apparently centring on concerns as to whether the pink variety will hold up for eighty overs in a first class game (PTG 832-4062, 14 September 2011). Pink balls with white seams were reported to have lasted well in one such match played in Abu Dhabi eight months ago (PTG 753-3696, 5 April 2011).
NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION GROUP TO MONITOR
AUSTRALIAN DOMESTIC MATCHES
Cricket Australia's (CA) domestic matches are to be monitored by a new anti-corruption group that has been established by the national body, says a report posted on the 'Cricinfo' web site late yesterday. The new CA unit, which will be headed by the national body's security manager Sean Carroll, will be responsible for the maintenance of security and anti-corruption standards in CA's domestic first class, one-day and Twenty20 (T20) competitions, but the responsibility for internationals is to remain with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
James Sutherland, CA's chief executive, who has been part of the push for sports-specific match-fixing legislation in Australia, said yesterday that the local game needed to be more vigilantly monitored. "Betting related corruption is a significant issue to sport in general and [CA] is determined to institute measures that safeguard the integrity of our sport", he said, and while "there has been no evidence of problems in domestic cricket, we want to move pro-actively on the basis that vigilance and constant education is critical".
CA's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit complements the work being done in this area by Australia's federal and state governments and that country's Coalition of Major Participation and Professional Sports group on sports betting matters. The work of all those bodies is expected to be formalised via legislation that is to be considered by all of the respective parliaments in the first half of next year (PTG 770-3773, 5 June 2011).
Measures that seem likely to be part of the new Australian laws include banning the passing of information from sportsmen or support staff that could be used to make bets, and tighter control of the range of exotic or spot bets that can be placed on various elements of a match. Penalties that would apply if the initiative progresses would be a matter for the individual governments, but Australia's Federal Sports Minister has in the past suggested that up to ten years in jail could be an appropriate punishment.
Meanwhile, former ICC anti-corruption chief Lord Condon says in an interview in the December issue of 'The Cricketer' magazine that the "explosion of [T20] cricket" in recent years is a major factor in the re-emergence of cricket corruption. "The ‘anything goes’ party atmosphere allowed some really bad people back into the game", he says, and "some of the notorious fixers from early years started to re-emerge on the circuit in India, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia and the UK".
Condon tells the magazine that "I think the temptation was to do a little fix here and a little fix there and still win the match – and they were not seeing it as criminal". "Since 2000 there have been probably five or six national teams who at some stage have been causing concern and have been closely monitored and scrutinised", [but] in terms of frequency, probably Pakistan has been the most challenging in recent years", he says. Three former Pakistan players and a sports agent were given jail terms in the UK earlier this month for their roles in a spot-fixing scandal last year (PTG 856-4184, 4 November 2011).
The former UK Metropolitan Police Commissioner believes cricket is now at a "critical juncture", and offers a three-pronged solution to the problem: boost the ICC's anti-corruption unit; the world body has got to be “tougher” with national boards and introduce a progressive scale of punishments until they reach the “nuclear option” of excluding a country from world cricket if they continue to fail to drive out corruption; and that players must be more involved in running the game at the world level "so they accept more responsibility and take part ownership of the problem".
LACK OF UMPIRES IN NAMIBIA
CAUSING TENSIONS, SAYS REPORT
Cricket Namibia (CN) has a shortage of umpires at local league matches, a situation that has led to some matches being umpired by players involved in the games, says an article in 'The Namibian' yesterday. That "state of affairs has enraged some of the country’s [most-senior] players, not least Polly Negongo from [CN's] Centre for Cricket Development team", writes journalist Sheefeni Nikodemus.
Negongo is reported to have said that "most matches reliant on player umpires often disintegrate into verbal brawls brought about by biased decisions", and is of the view that such situations are "just one of many indications of Cricket Namibia’s continued floundering management of the game". He says that CN has "time and again failed to encourage the development of new umpires", and that "at the moment, there are only four recognised umpires to handle league matches in the country". "Why are people not interested in becoming umpires?", asks Negongo, and "something is clearly not right".
However, CN's chief executive Graham McMillan said Negongo’s comments were "out of line". He acknowledges though that “there’s a massive shortage of umpires", says that "it’s a league requirement that each club must have a registered umpire and scorer, but this has not happened", and points out that the four umpires Negongo refers to come from just one club. “I’m actually surprised that there are clubs complaining about this when they have not nominated anyone to the panel [for] those complaining obviously haven’t read [CN's] guide book.”
Negongo went on to say that the current state of affairs has led to many key local cricket figures deserting the game, a "walkout" that also "stems from deep-rooted divisions within the cricket fraternity". But McMillan said that "every time they point a finger at CN, they have a few pointing back at themselves". He added that points will be deducted at the end of the season from clubs who have failed to comply with league regulations.
KOERTZEN RETURNS ONE MORE TIME
Former South African umpire Rudi Koertzen, who is now the International Cricket Council's Regional Umpire Performance Manager for Africa, returned to the centre of the ground one more time in a 'World Cricket Legends' (WCL) match played in Durban on Monday. Koertzen, 62, stood in a 12-over-a-side game between former South African and Indian players, says a report prepared by the Press Trust of India (PTI).
The South African side featured Mike Procter as captain, plus Paul Adams, Andrew Hudson, Peter Kirsten, Lance Klusener and Graeme Pollock, while India was led by Kapil Dev-led team and comprised the likes of Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Roger Binny, Anshuman Gaekwad and Ajay Jadeja.
The WCL concept started in 2009 when a five-over match was played in the snow on Jungraujoch in the Alps. On that occasion "all-star" teams from England and India took part in a game that was billed as being played at the ‘Top of Europe’. A matting pitch mounted on a wooden platform laid on a compacted snow surface was used, the playing area was limited by a thirty-metre circle, and the ball was a tennis-like sphere that was red-coloured and twice the normal weight (PTG 469-2437, 7 August 2009).
Koertzen, who the PTI says retired from umpiring last year, said that he misses the trips to India and see Sachin Tendulkar play in front of his home crowd.
A THIRD FOUR-INNINGS-
The article titled 'Busy day for Test third umpire' published in PTG on 11 November stated that the match referred to, the first Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town last week, "was only the second time in history of Tests that parts of all four innings in a Test were played on the same day, the only other time being at Lord's in June 2000, when England beat the West Indies by two wickets, in just two-and-a-half days".
In fact it was the third such occurrence in history, for it also happened in Hamilton, New Zealand, in December 2002 when India were the visitors. After a rain affected first day, during which a helicopter was called in to try and dry the ground, India were 8/92 at stumps by the end of day two. They were dismissed for a first innings 99 early on day three, then the Kiwis were all out for 94 in their first turn at the crease, before India made 154 in their second innings, and by stumps New Zealand were 0/24. The umpires for the game, Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka and Daryl Harper of Australia, watched on from close quarters as a total of 22 wickets fell for 279 runs that day.
In a first for Tests, that match was the first to see both teams score less than 100 in their first innings, and it was also the first time a team scoring less than 100 have achieved a first innings lead at the highest level of the game.
HOLD THE PHONE?
An article published in the 'Dandenong Leader' newspaper in suburban Melbourne this week says that an an unnamed individual sent a 'Facebook' message to a friend who is an umpire in the Dandenong District Cricket Association (DDCA) last Saturday afternoon and "was shocked when he received an instant reply". "Yep", says the 'Leader' piece, "the ump had the phone on the field with him, which probably explains why he’s working the [DDCA's] lower Turf divisions", although it is possible of course that the official concerned was off the field in either a scheduled on unscheduled break in play.
PLAYING THE GAME
Friday, 18 November 2011
MCC WELCOMES WICB
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who over the last three years has been a keen proponent of day-night Tests, has welcomed the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) decision to conduct further day-night matches in its 'domestic' first class competition early next year (PTG 861-4207, 17 November 2011). The MCC’s World Cricket Committee (WCC) first called for the introduction of day-night Tests in 2009 (PTG 386-2056, 12 March 2009).
The MCC’s Head of Cricket John Stephenson, a former England player, said in a statement yesterday that he is “delighted that the pink-ball, day-night format is going to be used in the West Indies domestic competition in 2012". The “MCC, and [its WCC] in particular, has led the research into the potential for this format to be used in Test matches in the future", says Stephenson, and “each first-class match played is adding to the wealth of evidence available about how the conditions work and that can only be a positive thing".
UMPIRE ABUSE, 'UNFAIR TACTICS'
SEES PLAYER BANNED UNTIL 2013
The Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s (WDCA) independent tribunal in south-west Victoria last night banned a player until 2013 after he was found guilty on five separate charges, says a report in this morning's 'Warnambool Standard'. Lloyd Phelan from the Port Fairy club was found guilty of "swearing at an umpire, verbally abusing an umpire, refusing to leave the ground when directed by an umpire and disputing or questioning an umpire’s decision", on the last day of a match against the Brierly Christ Church side last weekend.
Tribunal chairman Terry O’Keefe and panel members Richard Ridgwell and Robert Anderson were told that "Phelan was out of control during the match and refused to heed calls from sole umpire Brendan Sexton and [his own captain] to calm down".
Long-serving Sexton, who had not filed a report on a player in 14 years, told the tribunal Phelan’s initial outburst was in his side's first innings when he was given out LBW. The disgruntled batsman said it was the “worst decision” he had ever heard of and ignored two requests to leave the pitch. When he eventually did walk to the outer he was clearly heard “letting off a barrage of swear words” towards the umpire, says the report in the 'Standard'.
In a statutory declaration written by Phelan that was read by his club's president at the hearing, Phelan maintained the decision was “ordinary” and that he was “wrongfully given out”. Phelen's signed statement continued by saying that "he hit [the bowler's] left-arm delivery on the full, about two metres in front of the stumps, and was retaking his guard on leg stump when the call [to give him out] was made".
In addition to that situation, Phelan was also charged with "employing unfair tactics to break a batsman’s concentration, [an approach that included] calling out when the bowler began his run-up" whilst he was wicketkeeping during Brierly's second innings. “He was talking the whole time, trying to upset the Brierly batsmen", Sexton said.
Phelan, a Port Fairy-based small businessman who is new to the club, did not attend the hearing due to "work commitments". He was represented at the tribunal by Port Fairy president Richard Hodgens who plays with him in the same side.
PCB TO ESTABLISH 'VIGILANCE DIVISION'
TO TARGET CORRUPTION ISSUES
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has announced that his organisation plans to establish a 'vigilance division' as part of efforts to prevent players from being tempted into illegal betting practices. The move comes less two weeks after three former Pakistan players and a sports agent were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and to accept corrupt payments during a Test match played at Lord's in August last year (PTG 856-4184, 4 November 2011), and in the same week that Cricket Australia announced it had also established an anti-corruption until (PTG 861-4207, 17 November 2011).
Ashraf told a Dubai-based web site that the vigilance division is "going to keep a very strict eye and bring in very strict discipline so that my players, wherever they are, don't get in touch with people who try to drag them into such negative business". "We want to discourage that, we want to eliminate that" and will "we will work with the rest of the world" to address such issues.
The PCB chairman also said that he is hoping that international cricket will return to Pakistan soon. "We have had a meeting with the chairman of the Bangladesh Cricket Board and we discussed a lot of things", said Ashraf, and he was of the view "that Bangladesh would come and play one or two matches [in Pakistan]. "We will arrange all the security so there will be no lapses [and] it should be a foolproof security system", so after that when they see how we handle it "other teams can start coming".
The departure of former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair from the Executive Officer (EO) position at the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) has been formally announced by that organisation (PTG 861-4205, 17 November 2011). NSWCUSA chairman Stephen Poole says in a brief statement posted on the Association's web site yesterday that "As of close of business 16th November Darrell Hair finished duties as Executive Officer of the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association [and] Darren Goodger will be acting EO whilst the recruitment process for Darrell's successor is underway".
Goodger, a former first class umpire, who normally works as the NSWCUSA's education and development officer, has been acting EO for most of the last three months as Hair is believed to have spent most of that time on what has been described as "medical leave". There has been no announcement as to when recruitment action for a new EO will get underway, nor any indication as to whether Hair will continue in some capacity with Cricket New South Wales.
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
ODI DEBUT FOR INDIAN UMPIRE
Indian umpire S Ravi, who was appointed to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) as a third umpire five months ago (PTG 778-3806, 22 June 2011), is to make his debut in a One Day International (ODI) in the second of five matches India and the West Indies are to play over the next three weeks. Ravi, 45, will share the on-field spots during that series with IUP on-field members Shavir Tarapore and Sudhir Asnani, the latter having two matches and the former one.
Ravi worked as the third umpire in an international for the first time late last month in three of the five-match ODI series played by India and England, and his on-field debut in a senior international came in the one-off Twenty20 International (T20I) between those two side in Kolkata late last month. His first third umpire spot in a Test was last week in the second of the three Tests that India and the West Indies are currently playing.
Tarapore, who made his Test debut late last month (PTG 841-4111, 5 October 2011), will stand in the opening ODI in Cuttack a week from today with ICC appointed 'neutral' umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand, who with match referee David Boon of Australia will be taking part in all five matches (PTG 857-4187, 7 November 2011). Tarapore's absence from games two to five suggest he has been given another appointment by the ICC, possibly in the two Test series between Bangladesh and Pakistan which is be played from 9-21 December.
Vineet Kulkarni, who with Ravi is a new Indian IUP third umpire, will work in that capacity in two of the ODIs after having debuted in that role in an international in the Kolkata T20I.
THIRD WINDIES UMPIRE IN
West Indian umpire Gregory Brathwaite is currently officiating in the first of three first class matches in Bangladesh as part of the exchange program established by the West Indies and Bangladeshi Cricket Boards two years ago. Brathwaite, 41, a member of the International cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) who is from Barbados, is standing in the game between Rajshahi and Sylhet in Bogra this week, and is to go on to work in two more such games, the last of which is due to end on 8 December.
Trinidadians Peter Nero and Joel Wilson, who are now also IUP members, undertook exchange duties in Bangladesh in each of the last two years. That pair also experienced the game in England as part of an exchange program with the England and Wales Cricket Board, something the fourth current West Indies IUP member, Nigel Duguid of Gyana, is to undertake in May-June next year (PTG 854-4178, 2 November 2011).
PLAYER SUSPENDED AFTER TESTS
DETECT 'BANNED SUBSTANCE'
West Indies women's player Tremayne Smartt has been found guilty of committing an anti-doping rule violation under the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Doping Code and has been suspended from all cricket-related activities for a period of five months. Smartt, 26, was the subject of a random test at the conclusion of a Twenty20 International between her side and Pakistan in Guyana in mid-September, and the sample was subsequently found to contain 'Furosemide', a banned substance.
An independent anti-doping tribunal examined the report provided by a World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in London late last week and made its determination after considering detailed written and oral legal submissions as well as evidence from witnesses, including from Smartt herself. The tribunal accepted that Smartt had ingested 'Furosemide', which is on WADA's banned list due to its alleged use as a masking agent for other drugs, for "therapeutic reasons", specifically to treat swelling in her knee.
Smartt pleaded guilty to the offence at an early stage in the proceedings. Despite finding that she had "no intention to enhance her sporting performance or to mask the use of another performance enhancing substance", the tribunal found that she had failed to "satisfy the high levels of personal responsibility implicit upon her as an international cricketer subject to anti-doping rules".
As mandated under the ICC Code, the tribunal exercised its discretion and decided on "a period of ineligibility" of five months. All parties with a right of appeal, including Smartt and the ICC, are entitled to do so provided they lodge their concerns within 21 days of receipt of the tribunal's decision.
APPEALS LODGED AGAINST
Former Pakistani players Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir are to appeal against their jail sentences for spot-fixing sentences and the case is dues to be heard in London starting tomorrow. Butt was given a two-and-a-half year jail term, and Amir one year, after being found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments when they deliberately bowled no-balls in a Test against England at Lord's in August last year (PTG 856-4184, 4 November 2011).
'HIT RISK' MAY SEE GROUND
CLOSED AFTER 175 YEARS
Lymington Cricket Club in Hampshire, which has a history that goes back more than 200 years, could be forced to move grounds because of concerns that people playing tennis adjacent to the ground during matches could be injured. Last week local town councillors voted in favour of shifting the team from its existing home, which it has occupied for 175 years, because of safety concerns, even though no one has actually been injured by flying balls.
Reports in the local press say that the club has been that told it could only stay at its current location if it bought a £50,000 ($A80,000) net to place around the boundary to protect the neighbouring four-court tennis club. Jeremy Holt, Lymington's president, said balls had been hit into the tennis courts four times in three years but no-one had been injured and that the net suggestion was "ludicrous" and could leave the club bankrupt.
Lymington and Pennington Town Council said the club was being ejected because of "overriding" safety concerns and not "mindless bureaucracy". Penny Jackman, a councillor, said: "The plain and frightening reality is cricket balls have been landing at great speed a matter of inches from unsuspecting people", but another councillor, Paul Hickman, said there were risks surrounding all sports pitches, adding: "We might as well ban cricket".
The town council voted 4-2 in favour of moving the club, which was formed in 1807, from its current home to where its third and fourth team play, but the club claims it would cost more than £1m ($A1.5m) and take 10 years to bring the alternative facilities up to scratch. A full council meeting on the last day of this month is to make "a final decision" on the matter.
PLAYING THE GAME
Friday, 25 November 2011
EUP CONTENDER SELECTED
FOR AUS-NZ TESTS
Englishman Nigel Llong, who has been a contender for elevation to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) over the last two-and-a-half years (PTG 395-2094, 24 March 2009), is one of three umpires who has been appointed to next month's two-Test series between Australia and New Zealand. Llong, Pakistanis Asad Rauf and the current holder of the ICC's top umpiring award Aleem Dar (PTG 831-4058, 13 September 2011), plus match referee Andy Pycroft from Zimbabwe, will work together to manage the two games, both of which will see the Umpire Decision Review System in operation.
Rauf, 55, will be on the field in both matches, Dar partnering him in the first Test that starts in Brisbane a week from today with Llong in the television suite, Llong and Dar reversing those roles for the second Test in Hobart later in the month. Dar, 43, is no stranger to Australia having stood in 15 of the 67 Tests he has been on the field for to date, while Rauf's current 5 'down under' are part of a tally of 39, however, for Llong, 42, and Pycroft, 55, it will be the first time they have officiated in Australia.
The Hobart Test will be former first class player Llong's twelfth since his debut in Dunedin in January 2008, and he has since gone on to stand in matches both there and in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, his latest being in two Tests in Bangladesh last month, the latter coming after a gap in Tests of almost two years (PTG 841-4108, 5 October 2011). Pycroft, who played Test and One Day International matches for Zimbabwe, will have taken his match referee tally in Tests to 22 by the time the Hobart Test is over.
TWO MORE TESTS FOR
Indian umpire Shavir Tarapore, who became his country's sixtieth Test umpire when he made his debut in Pakistan's 'home' series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates late last month (PTG 841-4111, 5 October 2011), is to work with West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove and match referees Javagal Srinath of India and David Boon of Australia, in the two Tests Bangladesh is to play against Pakistan next month (PTG 863-4216, 22 November 2011). The short series will take Tarapore's on-field tally in Tests to 4, Boon and Srinath as match referees to 5 and 18 respectively, and Doctrove to 36.
Tarapore's selection suggests that he may, together with Australian Bruce Oxenford (PTG 841-4108, 5 October 2011), and Nigel Llong of England (PTG 864-4221 above), be in consideration for elevation to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top-level Elite Umpires Panel next year. Llong is believed to have been under serious consideration for almost three years and Oxenford over the last two, but Tarapore appears to have only come under close consideration this year.
Meanwhile Johannes Cloete of South Africa, another umpire who is thought to have the potential to join the EUP later this decade, has been named as the neutral umpire for the three One Day Internationals (ODI) that Bangladesh and Pakistan are to play in the lead up to the Test series. For Cloete, who took his ODI tally to 13 games in two of the three matches South Africa and Australia played last month, it will be his first appointment from the ICC for an ODI between top-tier international teams. Srinath, who will look after the one-day games prior to the first of the two Tests the sides are to play, will see his ODI tally in that role move up to 110 matches.
VANUATU, PNG UMPIRES FOR
AUSTRALIAN, NZ TOURNAMENTS
Vanuatu's Nigel Morrison and Clive Elley from Papua New Guinea will represent the International Cricket Council's (ICC) East Asia-Pacific (EAP) region as umpires at tournaments in New Zealand and Australia respectively over the next few months. Morrison has been appointed to the New Zealand National Under 18 Championships to be held in Christchurch from 18-27 January, while Elley will officiate the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Geelong, Victoria, starting on New Year's Day.
This is the fourth year that the EAP region has been invited to send an umpire to attend both of these tournaments and previous attendees are said to have been able to use the experience to progress their personal development. Morrison, a Kiwi by birth, was quoted in a press release as saying that he is "pleased to be umpiring at the NZ under 18's because I have always enjoyed being involved in development cricket".
EAP Umpires Manager Bob Parry, who is also a member of Australia's National Umpires Panel (PTG 772-3778, 9 June 2011), says that umpires in the region that are provided with opportunities like Morrison and Elley are expected to share the experience with their colleagues when they return to their home countries. "I am confident that this will be the case for this year's nominated umpires", said Parry, and "we congratulate them on their respective nominations and wish them well as they head overseas to represent [the region]".
APPEALS HEARING CONFIRMS
Former Pakistani players Mohammad Amir and Salman Butt have failed in their attempt to reduce the length of their jail sentences for spot-fixing activities in a Test against England at Lord's in August last year. Three appeal court judges rejected to two men's applications to limit their time behind bars at a hearing held in London on Wednesday (PTG 863-4219, 22 November 2011).
Butt's legal representative argued that his client's sentence was "out of proportion to the seriousness of the offence that was committed". He admitted for the first time that Butt had been involved in arranging the no-balls, something that had not emerged either in the trial nor in his mitigation-plea hearing, and acknowledged that was a criminal offence, but he claimed that spot fixing of individual events was at the "lower end of the scale" of such offences, with result fixing being "the gravest". Butt was described as a broken man in a state of "ruin and disgrace".
Despite those comments the three senior judges hearing the appeal reinforced what their high court colleague Mr Justice Cooke had stated in his closing remarks at the trial three weeks ago (PTG 856-4184, 4 November 2011). "These three cricketers betrayed their team, the country they had the honour to represent, the sport that gave them their distinction and all the followers of the game around the world", said the three in their summary. "Captain [Butt] was a malign influence on Amir [and] without him this corruption would not have occurred [and] his duty as captain in the event of the faintest whiff of corruption was to step in and stop it".
Amir, who is serving six months in a young offenders' institution, was found to be "much less culpable" than his captain due to being 18 years of age at the time of the corrupt activity, but the appeal judges took account of the fact that he "happily took the financial reward" on offer and that when charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) he had denied culpability.
Earlier this year the ICC handed Butt a 10-year ban from playing or coaching in all forms of organised cricket, with five years suspended. Asif's ban was for seven years, with two suspended, and Amir's was for five years, all of them effective. The players have lodged appeals with the court of arbitration for sport in Lausanne against those convictions.
ECB LOOKING TO RETURN DOMESTIC
ONE-DAYERS TO 50 OVER FORMAT
A review of English domestic cricket has recommended a return to the 50-over format for one-day matches on the county circuit in order to help boost the national side's chances in World Cups, says a BBC report. Former England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman David Morgan is said to have proposed replacing the current county 40-over competition with one that mirrors One Day Internationals (ODI), a change that has already been made by Australia and South Africa in their domestic schedules (PTG 855-4183, 5 November 2011).
English counties stopped playing 50-over matches after the 2009 season, and ECB chief executive David Collier is reported to have welcomed the change suggested by Morgan and hopes that the move will help make England "more of a force in one-day cricket". "It is clear from David's initial work that in order to complement the Team England goal of mirroring success in the Test and Twenty20 formats [in future] World Cups, the format of ODI cricket must be introduced within domestic cricket from 2014".
The ECB's Board is said to have endorsed Morgan's basic proposals this week and is to consider them in more detail at a meeting in January.
BIRD IN LINE FOR
Former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird has been proposed as an alternative candidate for the President of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, says a report published in the 'Yorkshire Post' this week. Bird is said to have been put forward as part of what the 'Post' says are moves by some to prevent former England and Yorkshire batsman Geoff Boycott taking up that role next year.
Yorkshire disclosed several years ago they intended to make Boycott president for two years from 2012 under a rotation system which has seen former players for that county, Bob Appleyard, Brian Close and present incumbent Ray Illingworth, serve identical terms of office. "A minority" of Yorkshire members and ex-Yorkshire players, "including Appleyard and Richard Hutton", are said to oppose Boycott being given the role amid grievances which, for the most part, date back to Boycott’s days as a player and captain some thirty years ago.
Yorkshire chairman Colin Graves told the 'Post' that Boycott "is the right man to be the club’s next president", and stressed it is up to the club to nominate a candidate for the presidency and for members to then vote on that nomination, meaning Boycott, Bird or whoever would not be pushed into an "embarrassing situation" of a head-to-head fight. Graves is said to have "revealed" that Yorkshire plan to make Bird president after Boycott in any case, and that he hoped Yorkshire members would back the board’s proposal to opt for Boycott.
A decision on who will replace Illingworth as president will be made at the club's annual meeting in Leeds in March.
PLAYERS USE 'TWITTER'
TO QUERY DISMISSAL
Former New South Wales, and now Western Australian bowler Mark Cameron, "could find himself the latest State player to face disciplinary action" after referring to Queensland captain James Hopes as a "disgrace" on Twitter, says a report in 'The West Australian' newspaper on Tuesday. Cameron, who is believed to have been watching on television, is said by journalist John Townsend to have been "incensed by the run-out of former NSW teammate Ben Rohrer by Hopes in the [one-day match between Queensland and NSW that was played] in Brisbane on Sunday".
According to reports, Rohrer failed to beat Hopes' throw when he collided with Queensland fast bowler Ben Cutting, "who was running towards the stumps and appeared to accidently kick the bat away from the crease". Cameron was, says Townsend, "furious that Hopes allowed the run-out to stand and expressed his anger to Rohrer on Twitter". "Just saw your [Rohrer's] run out", Cameron said, and "Why weren't you recalled by the QLD skipper? Disgrace". Rohrer's response is said to have "confirmed his own confusion and anger at the dismissal", wrote Townsend. "Still trying to work that out mate", Twittered Rohrer, for he "Thought hopesy was better than that".
Third umpire Paul Reiffel is said to have looked at several replays of the incident before confirming the run-out, video that was available apparently showing that "Hopes and Cutting were focused on the ball and stumps and were not looking at Rohrer". Hopes "could have chosen to withdraw the run-out appeal", wrote Townsend, but "declined to use it'.
ACC NAMES 14 UMPIRES FOR
KATHMANDU T20 SERIES
Fourteen Nepali umpires, a dozen from Nepal and two others from Singapore and Thailand, have been selected to officiate in the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) Twenty20 tournament that is to be held in Kathmandu early next month. Teams from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will contest the eight-day series for the right to play in the World T20 Qualifier event scheduled for the UAE in March.
The 'Himalayan News Service' says that only six of the 12 Nepalis are ACC Level-2 accredited umpires. Among the Level-2 umpires are Buddhi Bahadur Pradhan, a member of the International Cricket Council's third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel (AAUP) since its inception six years ago, Durga Nath Subedi (Devendra), Binay Kumar Jha, Sanjay Gurung, Manohar Adhikari and Satyajit Sarkar. The non-accredited Nepalese umpires are said to be Himal Raj Giri, Raman Siwakoti, Adip Pradhan, Ram Kailash Yadav, Sailendra Raj Nepal and Basudev Lal Karna.
Sarika Siva Prasad of Singapore, another AAUP member, and Sanjay Sharda of Thailand, are the other two umpires appointed by the ACC for the tournament.
ICC CHIEF EXECUTIVE
TO DEPART NEXT JUNE
International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat is to stand down from the position in June next year. The 51-year-old former South Africa first-class player took over as ICC chief executive in 2008 and agreed to a one year extension earlier this year despite being offered another three year term.
"Lorgat has informed the ICC nominations committee, chaired by ICC President Sharad Pawar, that he will not seek to renew his term of office which expires on 30 June 2012", said the ICC in a press release. Lorgat, who is the ICC's third chief executive, will step down after the ICC's 2012 annual conference which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur in late June.
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
NEW 'APP' TO ALLOW 'VOTING'
ON ON-FIELD DECISIONS
A new mobile phone application available in Australia this austral summer will enable television viewers to vote on "controversial decisions" made by umpires on the field and the results will "be collected and displayed live on TV". The system, which will be available on iOS and Android phones, has been developed jointly by the 'Vodafone' communications company and television broadcaster Channel Nine, and will go live this Thursday just in time for the start of the first Test of the summer between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane (PTG 864, 4221, 25 November 2011).
According to a press release issued yesterday, votes received via the 'app' will be displayed on television screens "in a fashion similar to the 'Worm' used during Federal election coverage" in Australia in recent years. During televised debates between senior Australian politicians, each member of the studio audience has a dial which they can adjust at any time to show how 'positive' or 'negative' they feel about the person speaking at the time. The input from each individual's device is continuously collated by a computer and the overall result is projected on the screen in real time for viewers at home, thus in theory at least giving an overall impression of how the audience feels about what is being said.
The advertisement for the new 'app' encourages viewers to use it by asking the question "Is summer not summer without the sound of your Dad screaming" at the umpires about decisions they have made that "he could do a much better job than those jokers!" As such "it might be time to put his outrageous claims to the test" via the new system, say those marketing the new product.
Anyone wishing to provide their views on an umpire's decision via the new system will, when they select the app on their phone, see two large buttons, one coloured red with the words 'OUT' in the centre, and the other coloured green with 'NOT OUT'. The example given in the press release has at the top of the phone screen the words "LBW pending. What do you think?", so presumably viewers will have to make a choice and submit it before the third umpire comes up with his judgement.
No allowance appears to have been made in the system for just how well those voting know the Laws of Cricket or are aware of the technicalities of International Cricket Council playing conditions that may apply to a particular set of circumstances about which a decision has to be made. It will therefore rely on the commentators, who in the past have not always projected a thorough knowledge of the Laws or playing conditions that apply, to correctly explain the background involved.
'SHOWING BAT' TO UMPIRE
SEES PLAYERS CENSURED
Dinesh Chandimal of Sri Lanka has been fined 10 per cent of his match fee and Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez reprimanded, for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision" during their teams' Twenty20 International played in Abu Dhabi on Friday. The charges laid against both players resulted because each showed their bat to the umpire after being given out LBW in their respective innings.
After play concluded, the players admitted the offences and accepted the sanctions offered to them by match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, the "difference in [the two] penalties being due to the degree of dissent displayed" by each batsman. The charges had been laid by on-field umpires Ahsan Raza and Zameer Haider, who are both members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel.
Pycroft said in an ICC statement that "Accepting an umpire's decision is an essential feature of cricket and part of the game's unique spirit". "These players' behaviour was not acceptable in any form of cricket and they must take responsibility for what they do", he concluded.