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    JUNE 2012
THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
TOTAL OF 13 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 4584-4638)
Click below to access each individual edition listed below
943  944  945  946  947  948  949  950  951  952  953  954  955 

 

943 -  2 June  [4584-4590]

• Positive results so far from study of ball-tracking technology  (943-4584).

• Maintain 'impetus' on day-night Tests, says ICC Committee   (943-4585).

• U-19 World Cup to see 'wearables' 'validation testing'   (943-4586).

• ECB establishes new anti-corruption group   (943-4587). 

• MCC asked to look further at 'switch hit' issues   (943-4588).

• Duckworth-Lewis to remain preferred target score system   (943-4589).  

• Cloud cover, not humidity, key to swing bowling, suggests research   (943-4590).

944 - 4 June [4591-4597]

• Abolition of ODI bowling 'Powerplay' recommended   (944-4591).

• Test over-rates, use of spinners, on the increase   (944-4592).

• Give IPL franchises 'heavy fines' for player misconduct, says Gambhir   (944-4593).

• Proposal for regular international curator workshops supported   (944-4944).

• Player in Bermuda faces ban for allegedly 'threatening' umpires    (944-4595).

• Tightening of on-field access proposed by ICC   (944-4596).

• Umpire 'pressured' into change of decision?   (944-4597).

945 - 6 June [4598-4599]

• Changes reported to Indian IUP membership   (945-4598).

• 'VJD rain rule' inventor claims review of his system 'biased'   (945-4599).

 

946 - 8 June [4600-4601]
• Doctrove retires, Oxenford to fill EUP vacancy?   (946-4600). 
• Reiffel given third bracket of ICC appointments   (946-4601). 

947 - 11 June [4602-4607]

• Reiffel given all five ODI matches in Lanka-Pakistan series   (947-4602).   

• George named South Africa 'Umpire of the year'   (947-4603).  

• MCC 'working party' to look at 'switch hit' issues   (947-4604).

• Report on Indian TV 'sting' allegations completed, outcome awaited   (947-4605).

• Hair-related rumblings continue for NSWCUSA   (947-4606) 

• BCCI 'considering' pre-season umpire meeting   (947-4607).


948 - 12 June [4608-4613]

• England's Llong promoted to ICC Elite Panel   (948-4608).

• Post hundred 'message' leads to fine   (948-4609).

• EUP plus one for World T20 Championship   (948-4610).

• UDRS making umpires 'lazy', claims Croft   (948-4611).

• News of Australian panels for 2012-13 awaited   (948-4612).

• Substantial cut made to Pakistan's top umpire panel   (948-4613).


949 - 13 June [4614]

• One change to Aussie national panel   (949-4614).

950 - 15 June [4615-4619]

• Caribbean umpires celebrate their Association's 50th year   (950-4615).

• NZC congratulates Bowden, Hill, on their EUP appointments   (950-4616).

• ICC names its 'neutrals' for England-Windies ODI series   (950-4617).

• Bermudan to appeal brawl related year-long ban   (950-4618).

• Date for Ryder hearing awaited   (950-4619).

951 - 18 June [4620-4622]

• Caribbean umpires 'not respected' internationally, says Doctrove   (951-4620).

• Former Windies player for ICC umpire, referee's, admin position?   (951-4621).

• Hair in the mix for NSWCUSA Board position   (951-4622).

952 - 20 June [4623-4626]

• Umpire saved after on-ground heart attack   (952-4623).

• Slow over-rate leads to Test match suspension   (952-4624).

• Player disciplined for 'insulting' umpires   (952-4625).

• Shortage of umpires in Bermuda leads to match cancellations   (952-4626).

953 - 26 June [4627-4632]

• Former international banned for life for corruption   (953-4627).

• Dar's 150th ODI to be played at Lord's   (953-4628).

• Pakistan coach criticises UDRS absence in Lankan series   (953-4629).

• BCB hands out two separate year-long bans   (953-4630).

• Bravo fined for public criticism of umpire   (953-4631).

• Show of dissent attracts reprimand   (953-4632).

954 - 28 June [4633-4638]

BCCI again shuts down 'mandatory' UDRS push   (954-4633).

• Zimbabwean becomes 'youngest-ever' T20I umpire   (954-4634).

• Over-rate offence ban not appropriate, claims coach   (954-4635).

• Kaneria life ban 'too harsh', says former Pakistan skipper   (954-4636).

• PCB umpires to undergo vision, hearing, tests   (954-4637). 

• Reprimand sees coach 'temporarily' relived of national duties   (954-4638).

955 - 30 June [4639-4644]

• Pakistan lodge complaint about 'poor umpiring'   (955-4639).

• CSA, NZC, to trial day-night first class matches?   (955-4640).

• ICC announces officials for Windies-NZ one-day series   (955-4641).

• Result of IPL 'sting' investigation awaited   (955-4642).

• Decision on Ryder charge expected soon, says report   (955-4643).

• Cricket for 2018 Commonwealth Games?   (955-4644).

 

 

 PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 943
Saturday, 2 June 2012   

POSITIVE RESULTS SO FAR FROM 

STUDY OF BALL-TRACKING TECHNOLOGY

[PTG 943-4584]

 

A "provisional" report on the accuracy and reliability of the ball-tracking technology conducted by an independent expert has produced very positive results in regard to system accuracy, says the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Detailed examination of 14 "situations" that occurred in Tests indicate that results obtained were in "100 per cent agreement" with the data provided by the ball tracking system in real-time.

 

In February, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that a Cambridge University group, Computer Vision Consulting (CVC), was to conduct "independent testing" of two ball-tracking technologies, 'Hawk-Eye' and 'Virtual Eye', which hail from England and New Zealand respectively (PTG 898-4370, 6 February 2012).  

 

Dr Edward Rosten, a former Cambridge University lecturer and an expert in this field, conducted the work, and his initial report was examined by the ICC's Cricket Committee this week.  The wording used in the ICC press release about the matter suggests that Rosten has more work to do on the study, however, just what that is and how long it will take has not been made public.

 

The Cricket Committee was also provided with data that "once again showed there was a significant improvement in decision making in matches where the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) was being used".  In Test matches, says the ICC, there was an "increase in correct decisions of 4.27 per cent, and in One Day Internationals (ODI) 5.01 per cent, producing an overall improvement of 4.49 per cent to 98.26 per cent".

 

"We have always said that the UDRS was there to assist the umpires in getting more decisions correct and eradicating the obvious mistakes", says the ICC's current  general manager cricket and next chief executive  David Richardson.  In addition, the Committee "noted that the improvements in UDRS technology has almost totally eradicated player-dissent", something Richardson termed "an extremely beneficial side effect of the UDRS".   

 

The Cricket Committee also heard that the developers of 'Hotspot' "have invested in new and improved cameras which are being used in the current England v West Indies series and, according to the host broadcasters, had provided much clearer and more accurate results".

 

Overall the Committee "re-iterated its view that, depending on the ability to finance the technology, the UDRS should be implemented universally in Test and ODI cricket".

 

MAINTAIN 'IMPETUS' ON DAY-NIGHT 

TESTS, SAYS ICC COMMITTEE 

[PTG 943-4585]

 

Maintaining the "impetus" towards the introduction of day-night Test cricket is important, says the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee.  During their two-day meeting at Lord's this week, the Committee recommended that should the competing countries in a bi-lateral series agree that they wish to trial such a fixture, then such a request "should be accommodated" by the world body.

 

The Committee reached its view after assessing reports of day-night fixtures using different colour balls at first class level and in other multi-day games conducted in "Australia, England and Pakistan over the last few years".  Those trials indicated that "certain cricket balls retained their colour and performed better than others", although there was no indication as to just which ones produced the better results.

 

In addition to those reports the Committee also considered "feedback from spectators" plus advice from John Stephenson, the  Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) Head of Cricket, on experience the club has gained from the coloured ball, day-night fixtures, the MCC has conducted in Abu Dhabi over the last few years (PTG 925-4502, 7 April 2012).

 

While it encouraged countries to, in Stephenson's words earlier this year, "take a leap of faith" and play at least a trial day-night Test (PTG 925-4502, 7 April 2012), the Committee also agreed that further evaluation at the domestic level should continue around the world.  

 

U-19 WORLD CUP TO SEE 

'WEARABLES' 'VALIDATION TESTING' 

[PTG 943-4586]

 

'Validation testing' of a 'wearable' technology prototype designed to test the legitimacy of bowling actions is to be conducted during this year's Under-19 World Cup in Australia in August, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Plans for the live trials were mentioned in a report on the outcomes of this week's ICC Cricket Committee meeting held at Lord's on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

According to the ICC, the Cricket Committee was briefed during its meeting on a light-weight "prototype sensor" that has been developed by Australian researchers as part of an initiative flagged over three years ago by the ICC and the Marylebone Cricket Club (PTG 377-2012, 25 February 2009).  The new system's aim is to provided detailed near real-time data during matches to indicate whether or not a bowler's elbow is being straightened inappropriately during his or her delivery swing. 

 

The next phase of the project is to involve "the further development of the sensors and the validation of the data produced" (PTG 942-4577, 29 May 2012).  Just how the project will proceed in the context of the U-19 World Cup is has not yet been made clear, however, given that the research is being conducted by experts at Griffith University, the focus is likely to be on games played in the Brisbane area.

 

ECB ESTABLISHES NEW 

ANTI-CORRUPTION GROUP

[PTG 943-4587]

 

County-level domestic Twenty20 (T20) and 40-over one-day games are to be policed by a new anti-corruption group that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is establishing as part of attempts to stop spot-fixing.  The news comes in the same week former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield and agent Mazhar Majeed lost their appeals against convictions for spot-betting scams in a county 40-over match three years ago.

 

The ECB says that members of the new group, which "will be a visible presence at matches and will act as a constant reminder to players, officials and club personnel of the need for constant vigilance", will be made up of former police officers and staff of private security firms.  Their job is to liaise with umpires and players and "look for unusual passages of play".  

 

ECB chief executive David Collier said in a statement on Thursday that the new seven-man group will be [in operation] for a 10-week period beginning with the first round of matches in [its 2012 T20] competition and end with the final round of group matches in the [parallel 40-over] competition"; a total of around 180 fixtures.  Establishment of the group, which will work in both televised and non-televised matches, "demonstrates our determination to protect the integrity of the sport", said Collier.  

 

Players from all 18 first-class counties recently participated in compulsory anti-corruption tutorial sessions organised by the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) (PTG 907-4410, 28 February 2012), and the ECB chief says "we will continue to work closely with the [PCA] to enhance player education around this issue".  The PCA said in April that those who try to engage players in match fixing use "grooming" tactics similar to those used by paedophiles (PTG 924-4499, 3 April 2012). 

 

Westfield was the first cricketer in England to be prosecuted for spot-fixing after he agreed, for a payment of £6,000 ($A9,000), to bowl an over so that his side's opponents Durham could score a set number of runs (PTG 903-4387, 20 February 2012).  He was sentenced to four months in prison for that crime and has since been released, but Majeed received a two years and eight months sentence for "conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to make corrupt payments".  

 

Meanwhile, senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials have held talks with Mohammad Amir for the first time since he was released from prison in February after serving time for spot-fixing offences during a Test at Lord's in 2010 (PTG 726-3574, 14 February 2011). 

 

In April, Amir appeared in an education video produced by the International Cricket Council's Anti-corruption and Security Unit that explaines to players how to avoid the pitfalls of fixing (PTG 925-4506, 7 April 2012).  A PCB official was quoted as saying that its meeting with Amir was a prelude to his eventual "rehabilitation".   

 

Last month the Board of Control for Cricket in India established its own anti-corruption unit, a few days before five Indian players were suspended on suspicion of spot fixing in Indian Premier League (IPL) matches   after a 'sting' operation by a television channel (PTG 939-4566, 17 May 2012).  The results of the IPL-related investigation have not yet been made public.

 

MCC ASKED TO LOOK FURTHER 

AT 'SWITCH HIT' ISSUES

[PTG 943-4588]

 

After a "detailed debate involving a wide range of opinions" about the 'switch hit', the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee decided not to recommend any changes to its current regulations that cover such shots at its two-day meeting at Lord's this week.  Instead, they are to ask the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardian of the game's Laws, "to provide further direction on the matter" after "wider consultation with players and match officials".

 

Two years ago the ICC Committee endorsed an MCC view that the switch-hit was an exciting shot which offered the bowlers a good chance of taking a wicket and should therefore remain a legitimate part of the game, but at the same time it introduced regulations to cover just how it could be used (PTG 610-3062,  24 May 2010).  Following a number of incidents during games in recent months (PTG 925-4501, 7 April 2012), the Committee decided that it needed to "again considered the matter from the perspective of retaining a fair balance between bat and ball".

 

The MCC's Laws sub-committee declared its support for the switch-hit shot nearly four years ago (PTG 259-1409, 18 June 2008), at the same indicating it would look further into matters related to Wides and LBW, both of which can be affected by a batsman changing his stance, and that it would "continue to research and discuss these implications" .  

 

Little progress appears to have been made in the latter regard in the intervening period, but after the recent incidents the ICC group refers to, the MCC said in an article posted on its web site last month that it is currently analysing "various [related] options".  

 

The club's Laws Manager Fraser Stewart pointed out to 'Sky Sports' in an interview at that time though that the issue contains a host of complications.  His view then was that before the ICC change their regulations, or indeed the MCC changes the Laws, there needs to first be a very clear definition on what a switch hit actually is(PTG 936-4553, 11 May 2012).  

 

DUCKWORTH-LEWIS TO REMAIN ICC 

PREFERRED TARGET SCORE SYSTEM 

[PTG 943-4589]

 

The Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) system should remain as the method for calculating scores in rain-affected international matches, according to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee.  The Committee,  which met at Lord's on Wednesday-Thursday, reached its decision after examining what was called an "independent review" of D/L and an alternate system developed by Indian mathematician V. J. Jayadevan. 

 

According to an ICC press released, the committee "expressed its complete satisfaction with the thoroughness and independence of the review".  It was "unanimously agreed that there was no evidence of any significant flaws in the D/L method", and that the alternate system, which is known as the 'VJD rain rule' method, does not offer anything "that could improve" present arrangements.  As a result the committee decided to continue with the D/L as the preferred method of calculating target scores in reduced limited overs international matches.  

 

Eighteen months ago the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was said to have "approved" the use of the VJD system in deciding the result of rain-affected matches in the 2011 Indian Premier League series (PTG 699-3427, 13 December 2011).  Whether Jayadevan's system was actually used is not clear though, for score sheets indicate IPL games that were rained off in that series were decided by the Duckworth-Lewis system.  

 

In June last year the ICC was reported to have invited Jayadevan to its annual meeting in Hong Kong to give a presentation on his system (PTG 780-3820, 25 June 2011), and it would appear that the review looked at by the Cricket Committee this week flowed from there.  There is no indication in Thursday's ICC statement as to just who conducted the D/L-VJD review.

 

CLOUD COVER, NOT HUMIDITY, KEY TO 

SWING BOWLING, SUGGESTS RESEARCH  

[PTG 943-4590]

 

Swing bowling has long been regarded as one of the game's dark arts, but the belief that moisture in the air in humid conditions causes the movement has been shown by researchers to probably be false.  Instead, they are suggesting that cloud cover provides the ideal environment for such bowling because it reduces turbulence in the air produced by surface heat generated by sunlight.

 

Initial work in the study by Britain's Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Auckland in New Zealand involved a review of scientific literature on sports ball dynamics produced over the last 60 years.  The UK/NZ team then moved to the laboratory phase, where they used 3D laser scanners in an atmospheric chamber to measure the effect different humidity levels had on balls that had been "aged" to simulate match conditions.  

 

While the 'altitude' at which chamber was set and the 'age' of the ball both increased 'swing', the data obtained showed "humidity may not have the significant influence on swing bowling as is widely assumed".  That was a surprise as the initial literature review had found past research "consistently cited humidity as a crucial factor in achieving swing".  

 

The newest paper, which was published in this week's edition of the online journal 'Procedia Engineering', then goes on to put forward the cloud cover theory.  It says that "still conditions" that result from less heating of the ground by the sun, mean that the "air surrounding the ball during [a] delivery was less likely to be disturbed", making it easier for the "asymmetrical flight" that is swing bowling to be produced.  

 

The study concludes by suggesting "the scientific community should turn their attention away from the question of humidity and focus their efforts [on testing] the cloud cover hypothesis".

 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 944
Monday, 4 June 2012 

ABOLITION OF ODI BOWLING 

'POWERPLAY' RECOMMENDED

[PTG 944-4591]

 

The bowling Powerplay in One Day Internationals (ODI) is to be abolished and bowlers will be able to deliver two bouncers per over as a result of deliberations by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC) last week.  The proposals are set to be ratified by the full ICC board later this month, but the extent to which they are adopted in domestic cricket around the world in the year ahead remains to be seen.

  

The committee, which assessed the results of experienced gained as domestic level around the world over the last year, found that that the "experiment" of having two sets of Powerplays between the 16th and 40th overs had "not been successful", although it gave no details as to why it reached that conclusion (PTG 942-4578, 29 May 2012).  They believe though that the use of two balls, one from each end, had been a success. 

 

As an alternative, the Committee have proposed the retention in ODIs of the now-standard 10-over fielding restrictions at the start of each innings, or Powerplay 1, followed by a single five-over Powerplay.  It can be taken only at the batting side’s discretion and must have concluded by over number 40.  The Committee also agreed that a maximum of four fielders outside the 30 metre ring during non-Powerplay overs should apply, down from five in ODIs at present.

 

David Richardson, the ICC's general manager cricket and next chief executive, said that "the changes put forward by the CC "will help enhance what is still an exceptionally popular form of the game".  "There is a need to develop a strong identity for the 50-over game distinct from Twenty20 cricket", he said.  

 

 

TEST OVER-RATES, USE OF 

SPINNERS, ON THE INCREASE

[PTG 944-4592]

 

Over-rates in Tests are at their highest in five years and the average frequency of 'no balls' at that level has dropped sharply, according to statistics presented to last week's meeting of the International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee (CC).  Statistician David Kendix also showed that there has been a reduction in the number of high scoring draws in Tests and that spin bowlers were being deployed more often in all forms of the game.

 

While improvements have been made to over-rates, the CC agreed that there was need to work to further improve the average hourly rate of overs at the game's highest level.  

 

As a result the committee agreed that: drinks in internationals will only be able to be taken on the field during official pre-arranged breaks; following a referral that results in a 'not out' decision the batsmen and bowling side must be in a position ready to resume play as soon as the decision is made; and that any delays caused by the batting side will be deducted from the allowances granted to that team in the calculation of its own over rate.

 

Current ICC general manager cricket and the world body's next chief executive David Richardson said that during last week's meeting at Lord's "there was a very intelligent and wide ranging debate on the competitiveness of Test Cricket". 

 

Richardson described the over-rate and 'no ball' data, plus other information presented Kendix, as highlighting "that Test cricket is as competitive now as it has been for many years with five teams being separated by only eight rating points" on the ICC's ratings system.  The CC is of the view though that there is a need to work towards improving "the competitiveness of some of the lesser performing countries".

 

GIVE IPL FRANCHISES 'HEAVY FINES' 

FOR PLAYER MISCONDUCT, SAYS GAMBHIR

[PTG 944-4593]

 

Gautam Gambhir, the captain of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Kolkata side, has suggested that "heavy fines" should be handed to a IPL franchise if they are "unable to control the conduct of their players", says a story in the 'Bangalore Mirror' yesterday.  The same report quotes India's Sachin Tendulkar as saying that problems the league faced this year do not raise fundamental question marks about the credibility of the tournament.

 

Tendulkar defended the IPL in his remarks, but acknowledged that he "would definitely say some things happening in cricket these days are not setting a good example".  However, he feels "there are always one or two problems in every organisation [but they] do not make the entire [IPL] organisation bad". 

 

The Indian great asked young cricketers to follow the right examples and absorb the good qualities. “My advice would be to follow the people who set the right example".  "Follow the right direction and absorb all the good qualities" that you see both on and off the field, rather than the bad, he said.

 

During this year's nearly two months long IPL there were allegations of spot fixing and undercover payments (PTG 938-4564, 15 May 2012), together with a series of indiscretions involving franchise players.  That led Gambhir to express the opinion that “it is the responsibility of each franchise to control its players" for IPL organisers "can’t appoint one person each to keep a watch over every player".   “Somewhere down the line franchises need to control these things", he said. 

 

PROPOSAL FOR 'REGULAR' INTERNATIONAL 

CURATOR WORKSHOPS SUPPORTED

[PTG 944-4594]

 

Suggestions that "regular" workshops be held for Head curators and turf managers from all Test playing nations and others from the top second-tier countries have been endorsed by the International Cricket Committee's Cricket Committee (CC).  

 

The first such workshop was held in April and reports afterwards suggested that the group had formulated "a dozen" recommendations for the CC to consider, including the regular meetings proposal (PTG 928-4516, 16 April 2012).  Details of those recommendations have not yet been made public. 

 

The CC said in a statement issued after its 2012 meeting last week that it "recognised the importance of quality pitches to the attraction of the game, and the importance of all international venues having access to the necessary equipment for the preparation of top class facilities".

 

PLAYER IN BERMUDA FACES BAN FOR 

ALLEGEDLY 'THREATENING' UMPIRES

[PTG 944-4595]

 

A player in Bermuda is facing a Level 4 charge as the result of an incident in a Premier Division match on the island a week ago.  The Willow Cuts club's Mackie Darrell faces a potential lengthy ban after it was alleged he "threatened umpires Roger Dill and Oscar Andrade during the game", says an article in yesterday's 'Royal Gazette' newspaper.

 

Under the Bermuda Cricket Board's (BCB) Code of Conduct, Level 4 offences can lead to a ban from all cricket from a minimum of between 10 scheduled 50-over or Twenty20 matches, up to a life ban and/or "such other penalty which in the opinion of the BCB Disciplinary Committee is appropriate".  The 'Gazette' says that both the BCB and Willow Cuts have so far declined to comment on the alleged incident.

 

The BCB's hearing into the charges laid against Darrell has been delayed because his son had been flown out of the Island with a serious health condition.

 

Meanwhile, Darrell's team mate Ricardo Brangman has pleaded guilty to a Level I offence of using "language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting", and has been reprimanded by the BCB.  Dennis Williams, a player from the other side in the game, was also reprimanded after he pleaded guilty to a Level I breach of "bringing the game into disrepute".

 

The BCB's 2012 season got off to a bad start early last month when a brawl broke out in a match the first round of Premier League cricket (PTG 935-4548, 10 May 2012).

 

TIGHTENING OF ON-FIELD ACCESS 

PLANNED BY ICC 

[PTG 944-4596]

 

Suspended players should not be allowed onto the field of play once an international match has started, says the International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee.  The committee, which met last week at Lord's, has also recommended a stricter approach to the enforcement of the regulations covering substitute fielders. 

 

Another point "noted" by the committee in its deliberations was the tendency for non-strikers to leave their crease before the bowler has released the ball (PTG 906-4404, 24 February 2012). They re-iterated that this was considered unfair play and that a bowler remains entitled to run out the batsman if he continues to transgress.

 

Part 42.15 of the Laws of Cricket, which deals with a 'Bowler attempting to run out non-striker before delivery', has been modified by the ICC for Tests, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals.  

 

The first sentence of the Law as controlled by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) reads "The bowler is permitted, before entering his delivery stride, to attempt to run out the non-striker", whereas in matches played under ICC auspices the middle section of that statement between the commas, has been changed to "before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing".  

 

The ICC made the change last year because they thought batsmen were getting too much of a head-start while backing up.  The CC recommended the move at its May 2011 meeting and it came into force last October (PTG 840-4104, 30 September 2011).

 

The Cricket Committee also received reports from the ICC's Medical Committee that covered issues such as guidelines around heat or extreme weather, helmet research and "age determination"; plus umpire performances and player behaviour.  Other than a basic mention, no details have been released about any of those issues.

 

UMPIRE 'PRESSURISED' INTO 

CHANGE OF DECISION?

[PTG 944-4597]

 

An umpire "changed his decision" after being angrily "confronted" by fieldsmen from the Waratah club in a match in Darwin, Australia, on Saturday, according to a report in yesterday's 'Northern Territory News".  The incident is said to have occurred after a batsman was given 'not out' for "what the umpire thought was a bump ball".  

 

According to the report by journalist Ian Butterworth, "angry" Waratah fieldsmen then approached umpire Stuart Rudd and "pressured" him to change his decision.  How Rudd saw the situation was not mentioned in Butterworth's story.
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 945
Wednesday, 6 June 2012 

CHANGES REPORTED TO 

INDIAN IUP MEMBERSHIP

[PTG 945-4598]

 

Indian media outlets reported yesterday that Shavir Tarapore has been "dropped" as a member of the International Cricket Council's  (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) umpire sub-committee.  Tarapore, 54, has been an IUP member since 2008, his initial appointment being as a third umpire (PTG 320-1669, 28 September 2008), then a year later he was moved into an on-field position (PTG 74-2459, 14 August 2009).  

 

Indications are that S. Ravi, 46, one of two current Indian third umpires on the IUP, has been moved into an on-field spot alongside Sudhir Asnani, 51, and that Ravi's third umpire spot has been taken by newcomer S. S. Shamshuddin, 42, Vineet Kulkarni, 32, retaining the other television position.  None of those four played first class cricket before taking up umpiring.

 

Ravi made his debut at first class level in 1992, aged 26, and has since gone on to stand in 44 such fixtures, two of them being in South Africa in January this year as part of the BCCI's exchange agreement with Cricket South Africa.  He has also stood in 37 List A matches, two of them One Day Internationals that were played last December, and a single Twenty20 International; plus the last four Indian Premier League series.   

 

Tarapore, who featured in six first-class matches as a leg break bowler for Karnataka from 1980-86, has been umpiring at first-class level since December 1992. News of his departure, which one Indian media outlet described as "predictable" because of what they see as his overall poor performance, comes at an unusual time for the BCCI normally announces the IUP group it proposes to nominate to the ICC for the year ahead in the August-Septembert time frame.  

 

Despite such negative media comments, some observers on the sub-continent claim his departure from the IUP could mean that the ICC have advised the BCCI that they have selected Tarapore as a member of its Elite Umpires Panel for 2012-13, about which an announcement is imminent.  

 

Since he joined the IUP, the ICC has given him a total of 20 appointments.  They include four Tests on the field, all of which were played late last year (PTG 864-4222, 25 November 2011), plus two as the television umpire when the Umpire Decision Review System was in operation.  The world body has also allocated him eight One Day Internationals, four of them in last year's World Cup, and four as the third official in that format of the game; while he stood in one World Twenty20 championship game in 2010 and was the third umpire in another.

 

'VJD RAIN RULE' INVENTOR SAYS 

REVIEW OF HIS SYSTEM 'BIAISED'  

[PTG 945-4599]

 

Indian mathematician V. J. Jayadevan has written an open letter to International Cricket Council (ICC) president Sharad Pawar asking for a "neutral review" of his method for calculating scores in rain-affected international matches.  Last week the ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) took the view that the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) system should continue to be used in international matches (PTG 943-4589, 2 June 2012).

 

Jayadevan says in his letter that "many people in the cricket community, including the legendary Mr. Sunil Gavaskar, believe that the VJD system is better than [D/L]".  He says that what the CC referred to as "an independent review" of both systems carried out first in 2005, and again this year, were flawed, and that the individual who put together both reports is biased against his system.

 

In reaching its decision the CC "expressed its complete satisfaction with the thoroughness and independence of the review", which is believed to have been undertaken on both occasions by David Kendix, an English actuary, scorer and cricket statistician and also a member of the CC.  Kendix's scorer credentials include recording the details of 13 Tests and 8 One Day Internationals (ODI), most of which have been played at Lord's.

 

This year's assessment "was a very shallow and premeditated one", claims Jayadevan, as "there was virtually no attempt to find out whether there were any shortcomings in the D/L system, [while] on the other hand, the expert deliberately exaggerated a few small and rectifiable shortcomings in VJD system".  The "expert’s strong favouritism to the D/L system deprives the ICC from getting the best available method", he says.  

 

Jayadevan states that he asked David Richardson, the ICC's current general manager cricket and its next chief executive officer, to invite him to last week's CC meeting.  That was "mainly because [Hendrix] would be doing everything to defend his report, and in my absence he could do it very easily as the other committee members, with due respect to them, do not know much about both the systems as it is a very technical thing".  

 

Richardson "promised [the latest] report would be shown to me and my reactions to that also would be considered before taking a decision", but that did not happen, writes Jayadevan.  He does "not want any special consideration as an Indian, but just because of being an Indian, I should not be deprived of natural justice", and as such an "expert who is not from England or India" should look at the two systems, says the VJD rain rule inventor.
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 946
Friday, 8 June 2012

DOCTROVE RETIRES, OXENFORD 

TO FILL EUP VACANCY?

[PTG 946-4600 ]

 

West Indian umpire Billy Doctrove will not be seeking an extension to his International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) contract when it expires at the end of this month and has announced his retirement.  The Dominica-born umpire's departure leaves a vacancy on the 12-man EUP that many observers believe will be filled sometime in the next few weeks by Australian Bruce Oxenford (PTG 929-4519, 17 April 2012).

 

Doctrove, who turns 57 early next month, was due to officiate in the One Day International (ODI) and Test series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan that commenced yesterday (PTG 942-4579, 29 May 2012), but withdrew because of a family bereavement (PTG 946-4601 below).  There are indications he decided to retire some months ago and that series was to have been his last, and that is probably why Oxenford has been given so many assignments by the ICC over the last year (PTG 883-4306, 9 January 2012).

 

The Dominican made his international debut in an ODI in April 1998 and stood in a Test for the first time two years later.  The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) nominated him as a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel in 2004, and the world body elevated him to the EUP in 2006.  His retirement brings down the curtain on an international career that saw him stand in a total of 38 Tests, 112 ODIs and 17 Twenty20 Internationals, including the final of the 2010 World Twenty20 (T20) championship in Barbados.

  

Doctrove said in an ICC statement that that final was a highlight of his career, and "a special and an unforgettable occasion" (PTG 607-3045, 16 May 2010).  Overall "it has been an incredible 14 years for me as an international umpire and I have enjoyed every moment of it".  He also said he is "honoured and privileged to have been part of the transformation process in cricket [that saw] the introduction of technology which is now considered as an integral component of [the international game]", as well as "the introduction of the revolutionary [T20] format which has taken cricket to a completely new level".

 

The now former international umpire said he is "extremely thankful to my family and friends worldwide for their support and encouragement that they afforded to me during my career".  “I would also like to thank the WICB and the ICC for the many opportunities they provided me to serve this wonderful game".  The players' pavilion at Dominica's prime cricket ground Windsor Park in the capital Roseau was named after Doctrove two years ago (PTG 596-2999, 3 April 2010). 

 

Apart from his career in cricket, Doctrove was also Dominica's first FIFA referee, and from 1995-97 he officiating in a number of internationals in the Caribbean, including a World Cup qualifier between Guyana and Grenada in 1996.  He quit football in 1997.

 

Vince Van Der Bijl, the ICC's Umpires and Referees Manager, said in a statement that “Billy has been an excellent servant of the game and we thank him on behalf of the entire cricket fraternity for his outstanding contribution as an international umpire for 14 years".  “To have remained as one of the game’s top officials for that length of time has required Billy to be self-motivated, confident and well respected", he said.

 

Should Oxenford be promoted to the EUP it would mean the panel would then be without umpires from Bangladesh, India, Zimbabwe and now the West Indies.  In such a case Australia would have four members, England, New Zealand and Pakistan two each, and South Africa and Sri Lanka each one.

 

REIFFEL GIVEN THIRD BRACKET 

OF ICC APPOINTMENTS 

[PTG 946-4601]

 

Australian Paul Reiffel has been brought in as the neutral umpire in the first three of five One Day Internationals (ODI) Sri Lanka and Pakistan are playing this month, the first match of which was played yesterday.  West Indian Bill Doctrove was originally named as the neutral umpire for the five-match series (PTG 942-4579, 29 May 2012), however, he had to return home due to a family bereavement (PTG 946-4600 above).

 

Reiffel was called in at short notice for what is his third ICC appointment in the last nine months.  His first was in October last year when he stood in three ODIs in Bangladesh (PTG 832-4062, 14 September 2011), the West Indies being the visitors; and he returned there in March for four games in this year's Asia Cup competition (PTG 908-4413, 3 March 2012).  The three Sri Lanka-Pakistan ODIs will take Reiffel's record as an umpire in that form of the game to 22 matches.  His fourth ICC appointment is likely to be in the Under-19 World Cup which is to be played in Queensland in August.

 

It is not yet clear who will replace Doctrove in ODIs four and five of the current series or stand with Englishman Ian Gould in the first of the three Tests late this month.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 947
Monday, 11 June 2012  

 

REIFFEL GIVEN ALL FIVE ODI MATCHES 

IN LANKA-PAKISTAN SERIES

[PTG 947-4602]

 

Australian umpire Paul Reiffel has been allocated all five matches in the current One Day International (ODI) series being played between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the island nation.  Billy Doctrove of the West Indies was originally named for all five matches, then Reiffel was brought in for the first three after Doctrove had to return home unexpectedly (PTG 946-4600, 8 June 2012), but the International Cricket Council (ICC) has now given the Australian all five fixtures.

 

The ICC has also brought in another Australian, Steve Davis, to stand in the first of the three Tests the two sides are to play after the ODIs, his partner being Ian Gould of England (PTG 942-4579, 29 May 2012).  Doctrove had been named to work in that match, a game that was to have been the last of the Dominican's Test career, but it will now become the South Australian's 37th.  

 

GEORGE NAMED SOUTH AFRICAN 

'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR'

[PTG 947-4603]

 

Shaun George was named as South Africa's 'Umpire of the Year' at his country's annual awards ceremony which was held in Johannesburg last week.  George, 44, who was moved up to an on-field spot in the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel late last year (PTG 830-4057, 12 September 2011), made his One Day International (ODI) debut last October and has since stood in two further matches at that level.

 

During the last year George stood in a total of eight first class games, four in South Africa's domestic competition, one a tour match there, plus an Intercontinental Cup match in Kenya, and two others in India, one the semi final and the other the final of the Duleep Trophy series; games that took his overall first class tally since November 2004 to 58.  

 

George's List A matches over the last 12 months have, in addition to the three ODIs, included three World Cricket League games in Kenya and 7 in CSA's domestic competition, one of those being the final of that series.  In the Twenty20 (T20) format he was on the ground in a total of 14 matches, 10 domestic fixtures, including the final for the second year in a row, and 5 at international level. 

 

Also announced at the same awards ceremony was Cricket South Africa's (CSA) umpire 'Umpire of the Year' selection which went to veteran Karl Hurter, 48, whose last first class match of the 2011-12 season was his 100th in his now almost 15 years of officiating at that level.  He chalked up 11 first class games last austral summer, plus 7 List A fixtures, two of which were in the television suite, and 11 T20s, 4 being as the third umpire.  

 

Namibia's 'Umpire of the Year' was also named last week, Jeff Luck, 55, being the recipient. During the year Luck, a member of the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate Panel, stood in three first-class games, two in the Intercontinental cup and one in CSA's domestic competition.  There were also three matches in the one-day format World Cricket League, and a dozen Twenty20 Internationals involving tier-two national sides.

 

MCC 'WORKING PARTY' TO 

LOOK AT 'SWITCH HIT' ISSUES

[PTG 947-4604]

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) Laws sub-committee is to form a "working party of experts" to gather feedback from players and officials on their views of the 'switch hit' shot.  The MCC, which was asked to look at the issue at last month's meeting of the International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee (CC) (PTG 943-4588, 2 June 2012), says that the working party's aim will be to provide a solution which is "applicable to all levels of the game, and not just at international level".

 

The Laws sub-committee declared its support for the switch-hit shot nearly four years ago (PTG 259-1409, 18 June 2008), at the same indicating it would look further into matters related to Wides and LBW, both of which can be affected by a batsman changing his stance, and that it would "continue to research and discuss these implications".  Little progress appears to have been made in that regard in the intervening period up until the CC's recent request.

 

REPORT ON INDIAN TV 'STING' ALLEGATIONS

COMPLETED, OUTCOME AWAITED

[PTG 947-4605]

 

A report on the allegations of corruption levelled against five players in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) competition as a result of a television station's 'sting' operation has been completed, according to reports from the sub-continent over the weekend.  The findings by Ravi Sawani, the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) new anti-corruption group, will now be examined by a three-man disciplinary board, however just when it will convene is not yet known.

 

The five men involved, Taduri Sudhindra from the IPL's Hyderabad franchise, Pune's Mohnish Mishra, Punjab's Amit Yadav and Shalabh Shrivastava, and Abhinav Bali who didn't have a 2012 IPL contract, were suspended from all formats of the game on the sub-continent whilst the BCCI investigated the allegations made against them (PTG 939-4566, 17 May 2012).  The three-man panel will decide on what, if any, action should be taken against the five accused.

 

HAIR-RELATED RUMBLINGS 

CONTINUE FOR NSWCUSA 

[PTG 947-4606]

 

Relations between the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association's (NSWCUSA) Board and its former Executive Officer (EO) Darrell Hair appear to have reached a new low.  The Board passed a 'no confidence motion' in EO Hair in August and he left the position three months later (PTG 861-4205, 17 November 2011), but early last month a second motion, this time to "severely censure" Hair, was passed by the eight-man Board.

 

Last Friday, Board chairman Stephen Poole and new EO Nick Carson sent a message to the NSWCUSA's 1,200 plus members indicating that in their view Hair has failed to abide by the requirements he asked for as part of last November's departure agreement.  Those requirements were detailed in a so-called "Separation Deed' agreed to by Hair, the Association and Cricket NSW, say Poole and Carson, but they say the former EO's actions "since his departure" have been "unacceptable and in breach of the Association's By Laws", and that resulted in the Board's second censure.

 

In their message, Poole and Carson outline the Board's views on a number of issues, and assure their members the "Board has maintained dignity in this matter at all times and acted in the best interests of the Association".  "The Board took the actions [it did against Hair] based on available evidence", the original no confidence motion being related to "performance related issues", they say.  What those issues were have never been made public, and the chairman and new EO say they will continue "to maintain the confidentiality required [on such matters as required] under the Separation Deed".

 

While the current situation is complex enough, there could be further difficulties for the Association and its work if rumours that Hair plans to nominate for election to the NSWCUSA's Board at the 2012 Annual General Meeting early next month turn out to actually be true.  A report from a country-based member of the Association says that there is talk amongst members that three current Board members who are up for reelection plan to stand again.  If the now twice-sanctioned Hair does stand a ballot would be required to determine the outcome.

 

Just how the long-serving former international umpire sees the overall situation that has evolved over the last nine months, or whether he plans to stand for a Board position next month, are currently not known. 

 

BCCI 'CONSIDERING' PRE-SEASON 

UMPIRE MEETING

[PTG 947-4607]

 

Consideration is being given by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to conducting a pre-season meeting of its first class umpires "to discuss and assess their performance [during the 2011] season", says a report by the Press Trust of India (PTI).  The meeting would be the BCCI's latest attempt to lift umpiring standards since it started videoing senior level matches and set up a specialised coaching group nearly five years ago (PTG 87-464, 23 August 2007).

 

BCCI joint secretary and head of its umpires' sub-committee Anurag Thakur told PTI the videos "would be shown during the [proposed] meeting, and individuals "would be told where they have gone wrong" and what he described as "corrective measures taken".  

 

Thakur also said that there has been lengthy discussions at last week's sub-committee meeting on how to make more use of the specialised umpires' Academy in Nagpur.  "We plan to use the Academy to the fullest in order to get the best available umpiring talent", he said, without going into just what is proposed or what the time frame might be.

 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 948
Tuesday, 12 June 2012  

ENGLAND'S LLONG PROMOTED 

TO ICC ELITE PANEL

[PTG 948-4608]

 

English umpire Nigel Llong has been promoted to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top Elite Umpires Panel (EUP).  Llong,  who joined the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel ten years ago and was identified as a EUP candidate by the world body in early 2009 (PTG 395-2094, 24 March 2009), takes the spot that fell vacant with the retirement of West Indian Billy Doctrove last week (PTG 946-4600, 8 June 2012).

 

Llong is no stranger to international cricket for he has already stood in 12 Tests, 55 One Day Internationals (ODI) and 16 Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), basic figures that stand up well in relation to those of a number of his now EUP colleagues.  He made his international debut in June 2005 in what was the second-ever T20I, his first ODI coming the following northern summer at Lord’s, and his first Test in Dunedin in January 2008.

 

Kent-born Llong, 43, played first class cricket as a left-handed batsman and an off-spinner for his county from 1990-98, featuring in 68 such matches during which he scored 3,024 runs and took 35 wickets; his best season being in 1993 when he scored 943 runs in 18 matches at an average of 42.86.  After his retirement he moved into umpiring, making his first class debut in April 2000, and he current has a total of 133 such matches to his credit.

 

Llong's promotion brings to three the number of Englishmen on the EUP for 2012-13, the others being Ian Gould and Richard Kettleborough.  Three Australians remain on the panel, Steve Davis, Rod Tucker and Simon Taufel, plus two Pakistanis Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf, two New Zealanders 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill, and Marais Erasmus from South Africa and Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena.  Bruce Oxenford, another Australian who many thought was a contender for promotion this year, was overlooked, although is appears not completely (PTG 948-4610 below), as was India's Shavir Tarapore (PTG 945-4598, 6 June 2012). 

 

In terms of on-field experience on the EUP for the year ahead Dar currently leads the way in Tests umpired with 74, followed by Taufel 71, Bowden 70, Rauf 43, Davis 36, Hill 31, Gould 27, Tucker 19, Erasmus and Llong both 12, and Dharmasena and Kettleborough 9 each.  Taufel heads the ODI list with 172 games, then comes Bowden 170, Dar 149, Davis 111, Rauf 95, Hill 93, Gould 72, Llong 55, Erasmus 41, Dharmasena 35, Tucker 26 and Kettleborough 18.  Taufel also heads the T20I list with 26 to date, while Bowden has 19, Dar 18, Hill and Rauf both 17, Llong 16, Gould 15, Davis 14, Erasmus 13, Tucker 8, and Dharmasena and Kettleborough 3 each.

 

Those responsible for selecting the EUP for 2012-13 were: David Richardson the ICC's current General Manager Cricket), Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka, the world body's Chief Match Referee, Englishman David Lloyd a former player, coach, umpire and now television commentator, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan a former player and to date the only Indian to have served on the EUP.

 

POST HUNDRED 'MESSAGE' 

LEADS TO FINE

[PTG 948-4609]

 

West Indies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin has been fined 20 percent of his match fee for celebrating his hundred on the fourth day of the third Test against England at Edgbaston on Sunday with a protest against former Caribbean great Vivian Richards.  After reaching the landmark, Ramdin held up a piece of paper with the words: 'YEA VIV, TALK NAH', in response to comments made by Richards on BBC Radio earlier in the match.

 

Richards said that Ramdin's play had "deteriorated in such a big way" and he looked a "totally lost guy" after making just one and six during the second Test at Trent Bridge last week.  But at Edgbaston Ramdin made 107 not out and shared an extraordinary last-wicket stand of 143 with Tino Best, whose 95 was the highest innings by any number 11 batsman in a Test match.

 

Match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka said yesterday that he'd taken disciplinary action under the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct after charges were laid by on-field field umpires Tony Hill of New Zealand and another Sri Lankan and Kumar Dharmasena, plus third umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan and fourth official David Millns of England.  

 

"It is important that we do not allow a precedent to be set with such a premeditated celebration by Mr Ramdin", said Mahanama said in an ICC statement.  "We all understand the importance of celebrating a milestone, however, one should not use that time as an opportunity to hit out at one's critic or send messages to the world", he continued, adding ""I hope Mr Ramdin has learnt his lesson from this incident and that we will not see such behaviour by him or any player in the future when celebrating an achievement within a game of international cricket".

 

West Indies captain Darren Sammy, responding to Mahanama's move, said: "Denesh and I spoke and he said that his emotions got the better of him".  "We as a West Indian team have a lot of respect for our past players, especially somebody so great as Sir Viv. I know Ramdin will probably have a word with him, no love lost, and we can continue respecting our great past players".

 

Richards reportedly didn't see any funny side to Ramdin's actions, telling the BBC's Test Match Special on Sunday that the situation was "like in a football match ... if you are losing 5-0 and you score a goal in the 90th minute, you shouldn't be running around jumping for joy".  "I wouldn't be happy with that. I set my standards a bit higher", said Richards.

 

EUP PLUS ONE FOR WORLD 

T20 CHAMPIONSHIP

[PTG 948-4610]

 

Australian Bruce Oxenford is the only non-member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) to be named for this year's men's and women's World Twenty20 Championship series in Sri Lanka in September-October.  Oxenford, thought by many observers to have been a contender for appointment to the EUP this year (PTG 929-4519, 17 April 2012), was one of six non-EUP umpires who stood in last year's World Cup on the sub-continent after, in the ICC's words yesterday, "being identified as an emerging and talented match official".

 

All-up the ICC is to use 15 match officials during the T20 series, Oxenford and the 12 EUP members being the umpires (PTG  948-4608 above), plus three match referees, the same overall number it appointed for the 2010 event in the West Indies (PTG 601-3020, 5 May 2010).  The referees will be Sri Lankan Ranjan Madugalle and his New Zealand colleague Jeff Crowe who will share the job of oversseeing the men's matches that are to be played, while a second Sri Lanka, Graeme La Brooy of the ICC's second-tier Regional Referees' Panel, will be the match referee for the women’s part of the event.

 

The match officials for the T20 Championship were selected by a panel consisting of: David Richardson the ICC's current General Manager Cricket), Madugalle as the world body's Chief Match Referee, Englishman David Lloyd, a former player, coach, umpire and now television commentator, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan a former Test player and the only Indian to date to have served on the EUP.  Umpire and referee appointments for the series in Sri Lanka will be announced closer to the tournament.

 

UDRS MAKING UMPIRES 

'LAZY', CLAIMS CROFT 

[PTG 948-4611]

 

Former West Indian player and now media commentator Colin Croft believes that international umpires are "getting very lazy" because they depend too much on technology in their decision making, says a report published in the 'Trinidad Guardian' last week.  While he says his long experience at the pointy end of aviation means that he "appreciates" the technology behind the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), Croft feels umpires are now using it in a way that the International Cricket Council (ICC) never intended.

 

Croft focuses primarily on 'no ball' issues to make his point.  Today, "even if a batsman knows he nicked a ball through to the keeper or slips cordon, he hesitates, and asks, by his body language, if not in voice, if perhaps the ball was indeed a 'no-ball' ", writes Croft.  The same situation applies, he continues, "when a batsman is caught in the deep, mid-wicket or extra-cover boundary, [or] even bowled, [for it seems that] the umpire [has to] check [with the third official] if the bowler has ‘no-balled' ”. 

 

In Croft's view "there is something seriously wrong with [such] equations".  "Where exactly is this taking us in this game?", he asks, before answering his own question by expressing the view that "umpires are being made into robots".  "They are now depending more than ever on a machine to even tell them if a “no-ball” has been bowled, [and] if so, what are they out there for, except to simply count six deliveries?" 

 

"I have no problem with a situation in which the umpire really does not know, genuinely, if a batsman has nicked it to the wicket-keeper", says Croft.  "That is exactly why these systems were designed in the first place, to help umpires make proper decisions", but "if a catch is taken, and the umpire makes his decision in favour of the bowler, or not, then that decision should stand, regardless of whether it was a “no ball” or not".  "If an umpire makes a mistake by not calling a “no-ball” when that ball gets a wicket, so be it".  "The world sees that a mistake was made. That is no tragedy at all. No one died!", he says. 

 

Croft believes "there must be more trust in umpires".  When he started playing Tests in the late 1970s "umpires were generally respected and revered for decision making".  "Few international umpires [then] and even now, are simply incompetent,  but most were, and are, extremely good, regardless of nationality".  "Umpires like England’s 'Dickie' Bird,  West Indians Douglas Sang Hue and Steve Buckner, and Australia’s Tony Crafter, did not get their reputations as being good umpires by using technology, they did that by doing what they were put out there to do; make difficult and sensible decisions".  

 

However, such :trust is gone" these days claims Croft, for "both umpires and players alike are putting their full faith in a machine that,  simply,  obviously,  cannot be 100 per cent right!".  He refers to his long experience in aviation as an air traffic controller and airline pilot, and in engineering related issues, saying that background tells him that machines are "not always the right thing to use or rely on".  "In football, if a ball hits a player’s hand but is not whistled by the referee, then the ball can be played down to the opposing end, to score a goal, even as the queries continue", he says.  "In sport,  mistakes will be made [for] being humans, we all make them".  

 

Croft concludes by putting the view that "instead of leaning on the UDRS and the rest", why doesn't the International Cricket Council ICC and the respective national Boards "recruit 18-25 year-olds, who may not be able to play cricket that well, but who are interested in being taught the game",  and make them into competent regional and international umpires".  "If that does not happen, machines will take over fully, soon!", concludes Croft.

 

NEWS OF AUSTRALIAN PANELS 

FOR 2012-13 AWAITED 

[PTG 948-4612]

 

An announcement on just who will make up Australia's National Umpires Panel (NUP) for the coming austral summer is awaited now that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided on the make-up of its Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) for 2012-13 (PTG 948-4608 above).  News that Bruce Oxenford did not win selection to the EUP, at least this time around, means that with the retirement of long-serving Bob Parry from the NUP (PTG 919-4475, 23 March 2012), one clear vacancy exists on the 12-man panel, but whether additional changes will also ensue remains an issue of interest.

 

Seasoned observers in a number of states are suggesting that Tasmanian Sam Nogajski, who made his first class debut last austral summer, is the front runner to fill Parry's position.  The Hobart-born umpire, 32, who in addition to moving successfully up to first class level last season was also awarded a prestigious Australian Sport Commission National Officiating Scholarship late last year (PTG 872-4259, 13 December 2011), will have Parry as his mentor during his scholarship year.

 

Others potentially in line for promotion on to the NUP are Queenslander Damien Mealey and Richard Patterson of Victoria, but they may only come into contention if Cricket Australia (CA) decides to drop one of the lesser performing umpires on the current NUP; something some believe is a possibility.  

 

Like Nogajski, Mealey, 44, was also given his initial first class match in 2011-12, but Patterson, 46, already has a total of 22 matches at that level to his credit.  He is thought to have fallen out of favour with the then selectors in 2005, but his recent return to senior cricket culminated in his being selected by CA for the main final of the Under-19, four nation One Day International series in Townsville last April (PTG 929-4519, 17 April 2012).

 

Oxenford's situation suggests that Australian positions on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) will remain unchanged for the next year.  He and Paul Reiffel are likely to retain their on-field spots and Simon Fry the television position, which means that John Ward will have to wait at least another 12 months before a move to the IUP, provided of course he holds his form during the coming austral summer.

 

SUBSTANTIAL CUT MADE TO 

PAKISTAN'S TOP UMPIRE PANEL

[PTG 948-4613]

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decreased the number of umpires on its top domestic panel from the 27 last year to just 20 for the next 12 months. Media reports from Kararchi yesterday say that the PCB decided on the cut last week, in the process "demoting 10 umpires" for what the stories claim, probably rather simplistically, was a result of "complaints laid by teams" during the last season of its national competitions. 

 

Umpires who have been promoted to the PCB's elite panel include: Aftab Gilani, Akmal Hyatt, Saqib Khan, Majid Hussain, and Sajid Afridi, while those dropped to the grade one panel include Islam Khan, Masood Khan, Akbar Khan, Jameel Kamran, Iqbal Butt, Meer Dad, and Aijaz.  Two long-serving elite panel umpires, Shakeel Khan and Rasheed Bhatti, are reported to have retired.

 

The PCB committee that decided on the changes for the year ahead is said to be made up of Zakir Khan, Saqib Irfan, and the two Pakistanis on the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf.


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 949
Wednesday, 13 June 2012  

ONE CHANGE TO AUSSIE 

NATIONAL PANEL

[PTG 949-4614]

 

Cricket Australia (CA) has made only one change to its National Umpire Panel (NUP) for 2012-13, Tasmanian Sam Nogajski being selected to join 11 colleagues by CA's Umpire High Performance Panel and will officiate in all senior Australian interstate matches during the coming austral summer.  Nogajski, 32, whose elevation to CA's top domestic panel surprises few, is the first person from his state to be selected as a NUP member since the current panel structure was established in 2004. 

 

Nogajksi, who fills the position left vacant by the retirement of long-serving Bob Parry earlier this year (PTG 919-4475, 23 March 2012), joins Gerard Abood, Ash Barrow, Simon Fry, Geoff Joshua, Ian Lock, Mick Martell, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel Tony and John Ward and Paul Wilson, on the panel.  For Oxenford and Lock it will be their tenth season on the NUP, Fry, Reiffel and John Ward their eighth, Martell and Tony Ward season number five, Abood and Joshua their fourth, and Barrow and Wilson their third.

 

CA Cricket Operations General Manager Geoff Allardice congratulate all twelve on their appointments, "but particularly Sam who joins the panel for the first time after showing great improvement in the last 12-24 months".  “Sam officiated in two first-class matches last summer and I wish him well for the coming season as he takes the next step-up in his umpiring career". 

 

Allardice said it was pleasing that "Australian umpiring was in such great health".  "We have twelve quality umpires who are dedicated to improving the standard of officiating and continuing Australia’s proud history of producing quality umpires who have come through the development pathway and often on to international honours".  

 

Cricket Tasmania Director of Umpiring Richard Widows said in a press release that Nogajski's call-up was well-deserved and very important for the promotion and recognition of umpiring in Tasmania.  “Sam’s selection identifies the success of the Tasmanian umpiring pathway in progressing Sam from former first grade cricketer to contracted [NUP] member", he said. 

 

CA also announced yesterday that its nominees for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) for 2012-13 will, as anticipated remain unchanged (PTG 948-4612, 12 June 2012), Oxenford and Reiffel being in the on-field positions and Fry the third umpire.  IUP members can appointed to international matches by Cricket Australia at home, or by the ICC overseas.  Reiffel is for example currently standing in a One Day International series in Sri Lanka, his third such ICC appointment in the last nine months  (PTG 947-4602, 11 June 2012).

 

No specific mention is made in CA's press release about Project Panel (PP) appointments for former first class players, but it is assumed that Shawn Craig will continue in that role as he has been appointed to stand on an Under-19 one day series that Australia and Pakistan are to play in Queensland in July.  Craig, a PP member for the last two years, will work with NUP member Wilson and Greg Davidson from New South Wales during that series, games that will be the first internationals for both Craig and Davidson.


PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 950
Friday, 15 June 2012

 

CARIBBEAN UMPIRES CELEBRATE 

THEIR ASSOCIATION'S 50TH YEAR

[PTG 950-4615]

 

The West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) celebrated their 50th anniversary earlier this week with inter-faith church services held across the Caribbean to mark the occasion.  The first WICUA convention was held in Trinidad over five days in June 1962, issues discussed during that time including LBW, 'drag', 'throwing', and limitation of on side fieldsmen. 

 

Since that first gathering the Association has held a biennial convention in various parts of the West Indies cricket domain, the most recent being held on the island of Saint Lucia last July.  

 

Cecil Fletcher, the WICUA's current President, thanked the West Indies Cricket Board for their on-going support in a message sent to members to mark the occasion.  He also mentioned a number of WICB umpires who have reached the top internationally over the years, saying the likes of Steve Bucknor, Billy Doctrove, Douglas Sanghue and the late Ralph Gosein "have all made us proud".

 

NZC CONGRATULATES BOWDEN, HILL, 

ON THEIR EUP APPOINTMENTS 

[PTG 950-4616 ]

 

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has "warmly congratulated" umpires 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill for their on-going appointments as members of the International Cricket Council's top level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) earlier this week (PTG 948-4608, 12 June 2012).  Bowden, 49, was first named as a EUP member in 2003 and is one of the longest serving members of the 2012-13 group, while Hill, who turns 61 the week after next, was appointed in 2009 (PTG 395-2093, 24 March 2009).

 

NZC umpire's manager Manager Rodger McHarg said in a press release that Bowden and Hill's success is a credit to their hard-work as individuals, but also highlights "the strength of the development program and pathway for New Zealand umpires". "Their on-going selection is the result of consistent, high quality performances over a number of seasons", he continued, but it is also "a fantastic endorsement for the umpiring programs we have in place".

 

ICC NAMES ITS 'NEUTRALS' FOR 

ENGLAND-WINDIES ODI SERIES

[PTG 950-4617]

 

Sri Lankan umpire Kumara Dharmasena and Tony Hill of New Zealand have been named as the 'neutral umpires for the three One Day Internationals (ODI) England and the West Indies are to play over the next two weeks, Hill's countryman Jeff Crowe being the match referee.  As yet, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has not made public which of its umpires of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) will stand in the three games with Dharmasena and Hill.

 

The three ODIs will take Crowe's record as a match referee in that format to 168 games, while Hill's single game on the field will take him to 94, and Dharmasena two will move him on to 37 ODIs; the pair working as the third umpire in two and one matches respectively.   Crowe will stay on to oversee the single Twenty20 International the two sides will play after the ODIs, the ECB naming Dharmasena and Hill's ICC Elite Umpire Panel colleague Richard Kettleborough and IUP member Richard Illingworth as the on-field umpires, another of its IUP members, Richard Bailey, being the third official. 

 

Meanwhile, the single ODI Australia is to play against Ireland tomorrow week will see Kettleborough again in action, his partner for that match being Irishman Mark Hawthorne, a member of the ICC's third-tier Associate and Afffiliate Panel.  Englishman Chris Broad has been named as the match referee for that game, his 203rd in that role.

 

BERMUDAN TO APPEAL BRAWL

RELATED YEAR-LONG BAN 

[PTG 950-4618]

 

Bermudan Kevin Hurdle, who played for his national side in the 2007 World Cup, has been suspended for a year for his involvement in a brawl that forced a First Division match on the island to be abandoned last month (PTG 935-4548, 10 May 2012).  Hurdle, from the Flatts club, was found guilty by a Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) disciplinary committee last week of committing both Level 2 and 4 offences, while his team mate, Rahji Edness, was given a two-match ban.

 

The 'Royal Gazette' newspaper reported on Wednesday that its "understands" the disciplinary committee based their decision upon "unofficial reports of the incident" that marred the opening weekend of the BCB's 2012  season, there being no recognised umpires appointed to the fixture.  The match was halted in the 23rd over of the second innings with Flatts in the field and their opponents the Stars club at the crease.

 

The trouble is reported to have started when Stars batsman Tre Manders stood his ground after he was adjudged to have been run out at the bowler's end by stand-in umpire Wayne Campbell, who is the president of his club.  He had been told not to leave the crease by his father Andre who is not only the Stars’ player-coach, but was standing as the umpire at square leg at the time.  

 

"Heated words" were then exchanged between the batsman and Edness, a situation that reportedly led to Manders junior threatening to strike Edness with the bat.  Hurdle is said to have stepped in to separate the two men but is alleged to have been shoved by Manders senior.  After that Hurdle allegedly attempted to kick Manders senior in retaliation, a move that led to Campbell deciding "that enough was enough" and he "pulled stumps".  

 

Manders senior denies shoving Hurdle.  “I told Tre to stay because the ball had crossed the boundary for a four and I was trying to signal this to umpire [Campbell] who didn’t see it", he said. “The Flatts players were also unsure and that’s what started the dispute".  “It didn’t matter who was batting because the ball had reached the boundary and so the batsman wasn’t out and I was trying to signal this to the umpire".

 

Both senior and junior Manders were charged with committing Level 2 offences but as yet no sactions have been announced against them.  Hurdle's club is appealing his ban and because of that he was able to play last weekend, but there are no plans to contest Edness' censure, say reports.

 

DATE FOR RYDER 

HEARING AWAITED

[PTG 950-4619]

 

Cricket Wellington (CW) chief executive Peter Clinton insists his organisation isn't stalling over New Zealand international Jesse Ryder's code of conduct hearing into an incident that occurred during one of its club matches played on the last day of March.  Reports then said that Ryder, who was batting at the time, had to be physically restrained during a "heated exchange" with a bowler (PTG  923-4497, 2 April 2012).

 

Clinton is quoted by Fairfax NZ journalist Craig Simcox as saying that attempts were still be made nearly three months on to confirm a hearing date.  "We haven't been able to pin down a date that's suitable for all parties; we're still working on that", he said, but it is expected to "take place some time shortly, but it's just contingent on getting everyone together at the right time".

 

The latest delay was caused by Ryder's representative, NZ Cricket Players Association head Heath Mills, being in India conducting security checks for the New Zealand team's tour there in August.  Ryder, who headed off to play in the Indian Premier League shortly after the incident, another part of the reason the hearing has been delayed, is said to have written a letter of apology to the opposing club and the player involved.   

 

Suggestions put to Clinton by Simcox that CW "hoped the issue would quietly go away", were denied.  "No, I don't think that is a fair comment", he said, however he "declined to comment further" on the matter.  When the hearing is convened, reports available claim that the only ones present will be the code of conduct commissioner, umpires Stuart Bullen and Jeremy Busby, plus Ryder and Mills.
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 951
Monday, 18 June 2012  

 

CARIBBEAN UMPIRES 'NOT RESPECTED' 

INTERNATIONALLY, SAYS DOCTROVE 

[PTG 951-4620]

 

Recently retired West Indian international umpire Billy Doctrove believes Caribbean umpires are not getting a fair break on the international stage, says a report in Guyana's 'Stabroak News' on Friday.  Doctrove, who spent 14 years as an international umpire (PTG 946-4600, 8 June 2012), made the assertion while addressing umpires during celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) last weekend (PTG 950-4615, 15 June 2012).

 

Doctrove is reported by the 'News' to have said that he does "not believe that [WICUA members] are being treated as equals among umpire associations in the world", and that "officials from the Caribbean were not always accorded the same respect as their international peers".  “We are still being looked at as inferior and this is something that really hurts me, [for] we have shown that we have umpires in our region that can go to the very top and make it big and be successful", he said.  

 

The Domincan umpire suggested that the the problem may be related to the fact that the West Indies side is currently "weak", although there is no indication he substantiated that claim.   Given the situation as he sees it he urged local umpires to redouble their efforts to "prove themselves".  “Coming from a small country like Dominica we have to work doubly hard to make it to where the other guys are".  "This is something that we have to live with and acknowledge", he said.

 

Earlier in the week Doctrove said that his retirement had "been something that I have been considering for a while now".  "The job is one that takes me away from my family very often, I have been travelling long distances and taking long drives, [and] now these things are beginning to take a toll on me".  

 

"While I will probably miss umpiring international matches, I certainly won't be missing the travelling", he said.  However, it appears that Doctrove will not be lost to cricket.  "I still want to be involved in cricket umpiring at [Caribbean] regional level, [for] I firmly believe that I have a contribution to make and feel that I can play a part in helping young umpires take that next step".

 

Julian Hunte, the President of the West Indies Cricket Board, hailed Doctrove "as an outstanding servant of West Indies cricket and one of the leading regional umpires".  “It is with a mixture of regret and pride that I offer best wishes and sincere gratitude and thanks to Billy Doctrove on his retirement from international cricket umpiring". “Billy has been an outstanding and faithful servant of West Indies and world cricket for 14 years and we will be the poorer for his decision to now serve from off the field", he added.

 

FORMER WINDIES PLAYER FOR ICC 

UMPIRE, REFEREES', ADMIN POSITION?

[PTG 951-4621]

 

India's 'Cricket Country' web site reported yesterday that former West Indies opener Adrian Griffith, who is currently a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier Regional Referees Panel (RRP), is to take up the world body's umpire and referees administration manager position in Dubai.  Griffith will be part of the operations department under Vince van der Bilj, the ICC's current umpire and referees manager, says the web site's Gautam Singh, but just when that will occur was not mentioned in the report. 

 

Griffith, 40, who represented the West Indies in fourteen Tests and nine One Day Internationals from 1996-2000, worked as operations manager for the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, and has also been a West Indies Cricket Board match referees panel member over the last three years.  'Cricket Country' quotes Griffith as saying that he considers it "a great honour" to be chosen to work with the ICC.

 

The ICC is yet to confirm the report of Griffith's selection, the position not being listed on the 'current vacancies' page of the world body's web site.  Brent Silva from Australia, Cricket Australia's umpires officer from 2001-2008 (PTG 275-1470, 14 July 2008), took up the ICC' umpire and referees administration manager position in January 2010 (PTG 528-2707, 14 November 2009).  Whether Griffith is replacing him or the pair will work together on administrative matters has not yet been made public, but it does mean a position will now be vacant on the RRP.

 

HAIR IN THE MIX FOR 

NSWCUSA BOARD POSITION

[PTG 951-4622]

 

Former international umpire Darrell Hair is one of four candidates who have nominated for the three positions that are available on the Board of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) for 2012-13.  Apart from Hair, who is a NSWCUSA Life Member, the others who have nominated for the positions, all of whom are currently Board members, are chairman Stephen Poole, Geoff Garland and Colin Philpott.  

 

Ballot papers for the election have been forwarded to the Association's 1,200 plus members for their consideration and vote, the closing time for returns being on the morning of 4 July.  The result of the ballot is to be announced at the Association's Annual General Meeting that evening.

 

Hair, who was the Association's Executive Officer (EO) for three years until last November, has been the subject of two separate formal censures by the Board over the last ten months (PTG 947-4606, 11 June 2012), the first of which eventually led to him relinquishing the EO position (PTG  861-4205, 17 November 2011).  
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 952
Wednesday, 20 June 2012   


UMPIRE SAVED AFTER 

ON-GROUND HEART ATTACK 

[PTG 952-4623]

 

A cricket-playing doctor saved the life of an umpire who suffered a heart attack during a Liverpool and District competition match in England last Saturday.  Ray Heap was umpiring in a Second XI game between Formby and New Brighton when he suffered a severe heart attack with just one ball of the match to bowl, says a story published in the 'Liverpool Post' yesterday, but he is now expected to make a full recovery.

 

Dr Jude Mahadanaarachchi, a former Formby player who was attending a function at the neighbouring tennis club, went to Heap’s aid and performed cardiopulmonary respiration on him.  He said that he "heard someone shout that the umpire had collapsed and when I rushed over it was clear it was a serious heart attack".  “A few of the players and my wife helped me and we stayed with him until the ambulance arrived".

 

New Brighton captain Adam Sandalls said that “Dr Jude was a hero and he definitely saved Ray’s life".  “It was the very last ball of the match and Formby needed two runs so I had taken my time setting the field when I saw Ray collapse to the floor".  “At first I thought he had just had a tumble but the bowler called out and one of the Formby players ran on to give him CPR".  “It was a terrible shock as I have never seen someone getting CPR in real life".

 

Heap is now recovering in Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, where he is said to be doing well.  Sandalls said that he "would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Formby Cricket Club for their help" in what was a very serious situation. 

 

SLOW OVER-RATE LEADS TO 

TEST MATCH SUSPENSION 

[PTG 952-4624]

 

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has been suspended from the first Test against Sri Lanka which starts in in Galle on Friday after his side was found guilty of a "serious over-rate offence" during the fifth and final One Day International (ODI) between the two sides in Colombo on Monday.  The Pakistan side was ruled to be three overs short of its target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration.

 

Under International Cricket Council (ICC) playing conditions, a "serious over-rate offence" in a ODI or Twenty20 International is defined as "more than two overs short of the Minimum Over Rate" set down for such games.  The playing conditions also meant that match referee Chris Broad from England handed Misbah two suspension points while each of his players lost 40 per cent of their match fee, 10 per cent for each of the first two overs, and 20 per cent for the additional over.

 

According to the ICC player Code of Conduct, the imposition of two suspension points means that Misbah will miss the first Test.  Such suspension points must be applied to the immediately subsequent international matches in which a player, in this case Misbah, is most likely to participate following the announcement of the points decision.

 

Pakistan was also fined for a slow over-rate in the opening ODI of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh in Dhaka in March (PTG 914-4449, 13 March 2012). However, on that occasion the side was only two overs down and the matter was thus treated as a 'Minor Over Rate Offence', therefore this latest offence is not treated as a second offence within a 12 month period for the purposes of sanctioning.

 

The charge against the Pakistan side laid by on-field umpires Paul Reiffel of Australia and Ranmore Martinesz of Sri Lanka, who are both members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), plus third umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge, another local IUP member, and fourth umpire Nilan de Silva.

 

PLAYER DISCIPLINED FOR 

'INSULTING' UMPIRES

[PTG 952-4625]

 

Lancashire and former England fast-bowler Sajid Mahmood has been penalised after "insulting match umpires" Peter Willey and Steve O’Shaughnessy during a Twenty20 match against Derbyshire last Thursday.  Mahmood is said to have used "language that is obscene, offensive or insulting" and received three penalty points under the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) disciplinary code. The Bolton-born player, who prior to last week's incident had three penalty points against his name, now holds six penalty points and should he collect three more within a two-year period he will be automatically suspended under ECB rules. 

 

SHORTAGE OF UMPIRES IN BERMUDA 

LEADS TO MATCH CANCELLATIONS 

[PTG 952-4626]

 

A shortage of umpires in Bermuda led to two of four game's in the First Division competition there being cancelled last week, says a report in the island's 'Royal Gazette'.  The newspaper's Clay Smith says that teams are refusing to play without qualified umpires as they are concerned incidents such as that which led to a match being abandoned on the first day of the season in early May could occur again (PTG 950-4618, 15 June 2012).

 

The 'Gazette' story says that the Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) have decreed that none of the cancelled games can be replayed for the clubs "were responsible for finding their own umpires if there was a shortage".  In the recent off-season former BCB, vice-president, Allen Richardson "met with clubs, umpires and interested cricket lovers to discuss the way forward and how the shortage of umpires could be solved", says Smith.

 

The umpires themselves are said to have suggested that each club should list two of their members who could start at square leg and then be trained to move up to a full role on the field.  That idea "apparently fell on deaf ears and clubs have failed to adhere to their request", writes Smith, and "once again a good idea that was not followed through", and that is the "reason the shortage of umpires continues".  

 

Given the problems experienced last week "why hasn’t the BCB called an emergency meeting with club officials, coaches, umpires and captains to discuss the current state of the game?", asks the 'Gazette'.  It is "one thing to have administrators running cricket, but we need more hands on people to get into the trenches, and actually implement things that can inspire, improve, and develop our cricket and cricketers", says Smith.


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 953
Tuesday, 26 June 2012

 

FORMER INTERNATIONAL BANNED 

FOR LIFE FOR CORRUPTION

[PTG 953-4627]

 

Former Pakistan and Essex leg spinner Danish Kaneria was banned for life on Friday and branded "a liar" and a "grave danger" to the game after a four-day England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) hearing into county cricket's first corruption case.  Mervyn Westfield, his former Essex team-mate and accomplice in a scam in a one-day match played almost three years ago, who was sentenced to four months in jail earlier this year (PTG 903-4387, 20 February 2012), was suspended by the ECB for five years.

 

Kaneria was banned for life because the ECB panel reached the conclusion that he "approached a number of what he saw as potential targets at Essex" for recruitment as fixers. Westfield, who pleaded guilty on the hearing's first day, escaped a life ban by pleading guilty to a charge of fixing, appearing as a prosecution witness, and agreeing to front future anti-corruption education programs.  He told the hearing that Kaneria arranged for him to be paid £6,000 ($A9,000), to concede 12 runs in his first over in the September 2009 game.    

 

Gerard Elias QC, who chaired the ECB three-man panel that worked through more than 400 pages of evidence, said that "we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from [Kaneria's] corrupt activities". "We have no doubt that this is a cancer which must be rooted out of cricket".  "As a senior international player of repute he plainly betrayed the trust reposed in him in his dealings with fellow team-mates and we regard his persistent efforts to recruit spot fixers as being a seriously aggravating factor in his case", said Elias.

 

An ECB statement said: "Kaneria has made no admission, has shown no remorse and sought to cast blame on other plainly innocent persons. In all these circumstances, we regard Danish Kaneria as a grave danger to... cricket and we must take every appropriate step to protect our game from his corrupt activities".  Despite such comments and the verdict, reports say that Kaneria remained defiant, claiming that he is "innocent, and I'll fight to clear my name", lawyers acting for him saying he would launch an appeal.

 

The bans handed to the two players apply not only to cricket in England as all national boards have signed a "mutual recognition of sanctions" agreement and the International Cricket Council is said to "expect" the Pakistan Cricket Board to recognise the punishment, a move that if enforced would prevent Kaneria from playing in his home country.

 

DAR'S 150TH ODI TO 

BE PLAYED AT LORD'S 

[PTG 953-4628]

 

Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' for the past three years, is to stand in his 150th One Day International (ODI) in the opening match of the England-Australia series at Lord's, the home of cricket, on Friday.  Dar and South African umpire Marais Erasmus plus match referee Javagal Srinath have been named by the ICC as the neutral officials for the five ODIs the two teams will play, Dar standing in three games and Erasmus two; the pair working as third umpires when not on the field.

 

Dar made his debut in an ODI in February 2000 and has since gone on to stand in the Champions Trophy series of 2004, 2006 and 2009 and the World Cups of 2003, 2007 and 2011; matches in the latter two of both competitions including the final.  There were initial indications in January that Dar was to have brought up his 150th ODI in New Zealand in February (PTG 895-4359, 31 January 2012), but the ICC changed match assignments prior to that series getting underway (PTG 914-4445, 13 March 2012). 

 

When he walks out to stand in his 150th and becomes the seventh umpire to reach that mark, Dar will have been on the field in an ODI in a total of 14 countries: Bangladesh and Pakistan 22 each; the West Indies 17; England 16; India 13; South Africa 12;  New Zealand 12; Australia 10; the United Arab Emirates 8; Zimbabwe 7; Ireland 6; Kenya 4; the Netherlands 2; and Scotland 1.

 

The series will see Dar take his ODI record to 152, Erasmus to 43 and Srinath's as a referee to 115.  That trio, who were selected for the series by the ICC, will be joined by England and Wales Cricket Board appointees Rob Bailey, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough and Nigel Llong.  Gould, Kettleborough and Llong are, like Dar and Erasmus, members of the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), and Bailey and Illingworth its second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  

 

All five Englishman have been appointed to one match each, a situation that will take Gould's ODI record to 73, Llong to 56, Kettleborough to 19 and Illingworth to 12, while Bailey will be standing in just his third ODI following his debut in September last year (PTG 823-4027, 1 September 2011).  With the recent promotion of Llong to the EUP (PTG 948-4608, 12 June 2012), Bailey is expected to be moved from an IUP third umpire to an on-field spot on that panel later this year.

 

PAKISTAN COACH CRITICISES 

UDRS ABSENCE IN LANKAN SERIES 

[PTG 953-4629]

 

Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore has criticised the absence of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) after his team suffered what one report claimed were numerous "contentious decisions" given by umpires Steve Davis of Australia and Ian Gould of England in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.  Whatmore, a former coach of Sri Lankan, said he was surprised the UDRS was not available for the current series as it had been used for Sri Lanka’s two home Tests against England in March-April.

 

Whatmore, whose team is said to have been on the "wrong end of six decisions", said "it does not seem right to me that you have [UDRS] for one series and not for another".  “It should be made compulsory for every series", he continued, for such a move would "go a long way in helping ensure correct decisions" are made. 

 

Asked if Pakistan planned to make an "official complaint" about the two on-field umpires, Whatmore said he would not make a public comment on such matters.  “Whatever I need to say will be done through official channels" and "there will be a fair bit to say", but "we will do it the right way [as] we have ways of communicating with those who matter", he said.

 

On the same day Whatmore made his comments, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives Committee (CEC) decided in its meeting in Kuala Lumpur that the use of UDRS in senior international cricket should be made "mandatory".  That recommendation will now be considered by the ICC's full board during its meeting today and tomorrow in Kuala Lumpur.  

 

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement issued after the CEC meeting ended that "we have made good progress in independently testing ball-tracking", the reliability of the UDRS "had been proved", and it should be used in all Test matches and One Day Internationals, "provided host countries can afford the equipment".  The latter issue is believed to be the key reason the UDRS is not being used during the current series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.  

 

Lorgat's claim comes three weeks after the ICC said that a detailed examination of 14 "situations" that occurred in Tests indicated that results obtained were in "100 per cent agreement" with the data provided by the ball tracking system in real-time (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012).

 

The ICC agreed in 2010 that the UDRS should be mandatory in senior international cricket, only to move back to an optional use of the system the following year later as a result of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) continued opposition to the system.   

 

Reports last month indicated that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had written to the BCCI asking that the UDRS be operational during England's four Test series on the sub-continent in November-December (PTG 941-4573, 25 May 2012).  What the BCCI's reaction to the CEC recommendation and the ECB's request will be remains to be seen.

 

The CEC meeting also supported a recommendation from the ICC's Cricket Committee that day-night Tests be introduced as long as both teams in a series agree, and provided the ICC can come up with a suitable ball (PTG 943-4585, 2 June 2012).

 

BCB HANDS OUT TWO 

SEPARATE YEAR-LONG BANS  

[PTG 953-4630]

 

Former Bermudan representative player Kevin Hurdle has lost his appeal against a one-year ban imposed on him for physically assaulting an opponent and showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision in the opening round of matches on the island in early May (PTG 950-4618, 15 June 2012).  At the same time, Mackie Darrell from another club, was given a one-year ban after being found guilty of threat of assault on an umpire in another match late in the same month (PTG 944-4595, 4 June 2012).

 

In addition to Hurdle in a match that had to be abandoned because of a "brawl", one of his team mates, Rahji Edness, was suspended for two-matches by a Bermudan Cricket Board disciplinary panel for using "obscene, insulting and offensive language or gestures".  Two members of the opposing side, player-coach Andre Manders and his son Tre, were reprimanded for Level 1 offences.  

 

Enders and both the Manders are now back playing, but as it now stands Hurdle will not take the field again until June next year.  His club are, however, said to be considering taking the case to Bermuda's Ministry of Sports' Alternate Dispute Resolution arbitration panel in the hope of having the ban, which they argue is "excessive", reduced.

 

There were no official umpires at the early May one-day match that was halted in the 23rd over of the second innings with the Manders' side at the crease.  Stand-in umpire and the president of Hurdle's club Wayne Campbell decided to end the match after a heated argument erupted following a disputed decision (PTG 935-4548, 10 May 2012).

 

As a result of enquiries into the late May match at which official umpires were present, Darrell was handed the year-long ban for threatening to assault an umpire and is currently not eligible to play again until 6 June 2013.  It remains unclear whether his club will appeal against the sanction handed to him.

 

Last month Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association secretary Richard Austin said that "escalating anti-social behaviour" in the game on the island was having a serious detrimental affect on efforts to recruit new umpires (PTG 936-4555, 11 May 2012). 

 

BRAVO FINED FOR PUBLIC 

CRITICISM OF UMPIRES

[PTG 953-4631]

 

West Indies' Dwayne Bravo has been fined 20 per cent of his match fee for publicly criticising an umpiring decision following the second One Day International against England at The Oval last Tuesday.  Commenting on the dismissal of team mate Chris Gayle, Bravo told reporters: "It is okay, umpires make mistakes, that's accepted, but not when they see it after [on replays] and they realised they made a wrong decision but stand by it".

 

Opening batsman Gayle had made 53 in just 51 balls when he was given out LBW to off-spinner Graeme Swann by New Zealand umpire Tony Hill in what Bravo later described as "a game-changing" decision.  Gayle immediately asked for a review of the decision as he is said to have believed that he got an inside-edge to the ball, but after several minutes' study third umpire Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka decided there was no evidence available to him that Hill's decision should be overturned.  

 

One report at the time said that it was a "close call either way as to whether the ball had hit the bat or pad first", while another stated that "It's practically impossible to tell if the ball squeezed on to the pad via the bat or the other way around".  Match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council that Bravo had stepped "over the mark" in his comments.

 

SHOW OF DISSENT 

ATTRACTS REPRIMAND

[PTG 953-4632]

 

Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale was reprimanded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action", a Level 1 breach of their disciplinary code.  Gale was reported by umpires David Millns and Peter Willey after Friday week's Twenty20 match against Durham at Headingley, and the reprimand will stay on his record for two years.

 

Reports say that Yorkshire players "were furious on two separate occasions" in the final over of their pursuit Durham's total, eventually falling just two runs short.  They apparently felt a shot from batsman Azeem Rafiq had reached the boundary, but a four was not signalled, and were reportedly "amazed" that a ball bowled by Durham's Scott Borthwick that was left by Rafiq was not called wide.
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 954
Thursday, 28 June 2012  


BCCI AGAIN SHUTS DOWN 

'MANDATORY' UDRS PUSH 

[PTG 954-4633]

 

The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Committee (CEC) may have called for the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) to be made "mandatory" for all Tests and One Day Internationals earlier this week (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012), but yesterday the push for that move was scuttled at the ICC Board meeting in Kuala Lumpur.  The world body said in a statement last night that the Board "agreed to continue with the present arrangement where the two competing nations in a bilateral series decide" whether the UDRS is to be used of not.  

 

No reason was given by the ICC as to why the Board took the position it did, however, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) torpedoed a similar bid for mandatory UDRS use last year, a previous decision to make the system's use compulsory being      overturned and the ICC's UDRS policy reverting back to "optional" (PTG 845-4130, 12 October 2012).  The BCCI said after Sunday's CEC meeting that its "stance on the UDRS is unchanged", as it's still "not foolproof", a comment that appears to ignore what the ICC says were very positive results from detailed examination of independently conducted ball-tracking tests it sponsored (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012).

 

Since the ICC's previous attempt to make UDRS mandatory, ball-tracking and other technology has been used on a series-by-series basis. That piecemeal solution has led to regular controversy, most recently in Galle last weekend, Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore complained on Sunday that the absence of system had cost his team a number of key decisions in the first Test against Sri Lanka (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012).

 

The BCCI is also reported to have rejected a request from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that the UDRS be operational for England's tour of India in November-December (PTG 941-4573, 25 May 2012).  A report in 'The Guardian' newspaper yesterday claimed that "an ECB insider", who it did not name, had indicated that "progress was being made on that front until India were put on the spot with the ICC’s latest proposal to make [UDRS operation] compulsory".  

 

Whilst the UDRS recommendation was stood aside by the Board, it did approve suggestions from the CEC that 'Hot Spot' cameras be part of the minimum specifications for UDRS technology, and amendments to technology-related LBW protocols.

 

Meanwhile, former England captain Michael Vaughan said on BBC Radfio on Tuesday that the ICC must take a firm stance with regards to the UDRS "and say to India this is happening, get used to it".  In Vaughan's view "it works wonderfully well around all the different formats" and "it's there to get rid of the blunder [and] over time it has proven to be very, very good". 

 

"India need to get with the real world and get on with it because they're ruining it", continued Vaughan.  "They are almost a little bit egotistical and saying 'you can't tell us what to do' and I think it's about time the ICC said 'you've got to listen to us because it's going to happen'."  "Sachin [Tendulkar] doesn't like it and [he] is a massive player in the Indian dressing room and with the Indian hierarchy and I guess [the BBCI] is just going along with what with he thinks", concluded Vaughan.

 

ZIMBABWEAN BECOMES 'YOUNGEST-EVER' 

SENIOR T20I UMPIRE 

[PTG 954-4634]

 

Zimbabwean Langton Rusere is believed to have become the youngest umpire to stand in a Twenty20 International (T20I) when he took the field in a match between the home side South Africa in Harare last week.  Rusere is thought to have broken Australian Simon Taufel's record, he being 36 when he officiated in a T20I in September 2007 during the inaugural World Championship played in South Africa.

 

Rusere was quoted as saying before the game that he felt "very honoured to be a part of cricketing history", especially given that Simon Taufel is highly respected by the players and he is the umpire I look up to at international level".  Given that he is not a current Zimbabwean member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Rusere's appointment to a senior international is unusual. 

 

The Masvingo-born umpire, who was partnered by long-serving international umpire Russell Tiffin in his first T20I, said that his selection is "a welcome development and I am pleased that [Zimbabwe Cricket] decided to have me take part in this series as an on field umpire".  Rusere's next goal is said to be to break Taufel's One Day International (ODI) record, the Australian officiating in his first ODI at the age of 28. 

 

Rusere, who made his first class debut in Zimbabwe in March 2009 at the age of 23 and has stood in 37 such matches to date, was taking part in the T20I tri-series involving Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and South Africa.  In addition to him all three of Zimbabwea's IUP members, Tiffin, Owen Chirombe and Jerry Matibiri, worked on the field and as third umpires during the seven-game event.  Tiffin and Chirombe stood in the final of the tournament, Matibiri being the third umpire.  

 

OVER-RATE OFFENCE BAN NOT 

APPROPRIATE, CLAIMS COACH 

[PTG 954-4635]

 

Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore has criticised the decision to ban the his captain Misbah-ul-Haq from the first Test of the series against Sri Lanka.  Misbah was forced to sit out the Test because of a "serious over-rate" offence by his side during the fifth One Day International between the two sides last week (PTG 952-4624, 20 June 2012).

 

Whatmore suggested that instead of banning a player a more appropriate alternative would be to impose penalties during the match in which the offence was committed, rather than let the punishment affect the next game.  That would presumably involve a system similar to that which occurs in club cricket in many countries where runs are awarded to batting sides at the end of their innings where the prescribed number of overs have not been bowled in a set time after allowances are taken into account.

 

The former Sri Lankan and now Pakistan coach said that he finds it "very difficult to understand why a good player, a captain, is barred from playing". "I know there's rules with it [but] people want to see the best teams participating, particularly in Test matches" where attendance levels are a problem in some countries.  "You want your best players playing all the time", he said, and "I think we need to reassess and revisit" the issue.

 

KANERIA LIFE BAN 'TOO HARSH', 

SAYS FORMER PAKISTAN SKIPPER 

[PTG 954-4636]

 

Former Pakistan captain Mushtaq Mohammad has told reporters in Islamabad that he believes the life ban given to Danish Kaneria is "harsh", and that "at maximum" a ban of five years should have been imposed.  Kaneria was banned from any cricket for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week after being found guilty of corruption in relation to spot-fixing issues, a censure that is likely to apply world-wide (PTG 953-4627, 26 June 2012). 

 

Mushtaq said that “cricket was Danish’s profession and whilst he has erred, I don’t think the disciplinary panel should have given him a ban for life".  The Board of the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday called for a global, lifetime ban for Kaneria, but Mushtaq believes "a ban of 5 years like that imposed upon Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif would have been the right punishment", and he "thinks Danish is well within his rights to challenge what is an over the top ban".  

 

Kaneria, his country's fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests, has already indicated that he plans to lodge an appeal against the ban, something he will have 14-days in which to do once he formally receives the ECB's final judgement.  The ECB disciplinary panel, consisting of Gerard Elias QC, David Gabbitass and the former England allrounder Jamie Dalrymple, was critical of Kaneria in its judgement released last Friday, but on Tuesday Kaneria's lawyer accused the ECB of reaching a "pre-determined" verdict about the guilt of his client. 

 

Despite his view of Kaneria's ban, Mushtaq says he is glad that "tainted Pakistani cricketers" have been caught and punished and that it’s "high time cricketers [in that country] got their house in order and cleaned up their act".  He also praised the Pakistan Cricket Board for their efforts to educate young cricketers there about match fixing issues and the "peril" such matters put their careers in, "but there is still much work to be done" in that area, he says. 

 

Mushtaq said that the majority of cricketers in Pakistan come from poor backgrounds and "when they come into the cricketing limelight and see all of this money floating around and the riches that are on offer then sadly temptation gets the better of them" and corrupt people take advantage of them.  They are reluctant to get involved at first and fear the consequences of being caught, but the methods used by some bookmakers are very convincing, says Mushtaq; a tutorial prepared for players in England earlier this year saying they utilise grooming techniques similar to those used by paedophiles (PTG 924-4499, 3 April 2012).

 

In the same week that the ECB announced its verdict on Kaneria, Butt was released from jail in England after serving eight months of what was a thirty-month sentence.  Amir was released in February after serving half of his six-month sentence, while Asif was freed in May, half-way through his year-long sentence.  In April, Amir appeared in an education video produced by the ICC's Anti-corruption and Security Unit that explains to players how to avoid the pitfalls of fixing (PTG 925-4506, 7 April 2012).   

 

PCB UMPIRES TO UNDERGO 

VISION, HEARING, TESTS

[PTG 954-4637]

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) senior domestic umpire panel members will all be required to undergo eye and hearing tests prior to the next season there getting underway, say reports from Kararchi yesterday.  The move comes as a result of recommendations put forward by the two Pakistani members of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf, who have, says the report "been handed the task to improve the standard of umpiring in Pakistan" by the PCB. 

 

Dar is quoted as telling a journalist the preference is "to bring former cricketers who understand the game [to the PCB's top panel] and younger people whose reflexes are sharp".  The proposed tests are part of plans "to make sure that we get the best umpires next season", continued Dar, who with Rauf is working with the PCB's director of domestic cricket and the manager umpires and referees in the effort to raise umpiring standards.

 

The report also says that Dar has asked the PCB to end what it describes as "the tradition of captain handing in a report regarding the umpires [and that] the match-referee's report" should be the key focus of umpire evaluations.  In the past "some umpires have wanted to be in the captain's good books [and thus get a good report], while some are afraid to make tough decisions", says Dar.

 

Earlier this month the PCB reduced the size of its senior panel from 27 to 20 as part of moves to raise the standard of umpiring in Pakistan (PTG 948-4613, 12 June 2012).

 

REPRIMAND SEES COACH 'TEMPORARILY'  

RELIEVED OF NATIONAL DUTIES  

[PTG 954-4638]

 

Bermuda's Under-18 coach Andre Manders has been temporarily relieved of his duties for his part in the fracas that led to a First Division club match on the island being abandoned on the first day of the season there last month (PTG 953-4630, 26 June 2012).  Manders, a national youth coach over the last two decades, was due to travel with Bermuda's U-18 national squad to next month’s Americas Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but has now been replaced.

 

Last week Manders was reprimanded by the Bermuda Cricket Board's (BCB) disciplinary committee after being found guilty of displaying conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game during the club match.  The latest move against him is, claims the 'Royal Gazette', a "further punishment", and he is reported to be due to meet with the BCB in the near future to discuss his future with the national program.

 

Manders son Tre, who is among the 14 players chosen to represent Bermuda’s U-18s in Florida, was also reprimanded for using obscene, offensive and insulting language or gestures during the same club match; but whether he will still accompany the team to Florida or not is not known at this stage.  

 

During the club game in question, two players from the opposing side were also sanctioned, Kevin Hurdle being given a year-long ban and Rahji Edness two matches.  Hurdle's club is still considering taking his case to the Ministry of Sports Alternate Dispute Resolution arbitration panel in the hope of having their player’s punishment reduced.


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 955
Saturday, 30 June 2012

PAKISTAN LODGE COMPLAINT 

ABOUT 'POOR UMPIRING'  

[PTG 954-4639]

 

Pakistan team management is reported to have lodged a complaint with the International Cricket Council (ICC) over what is being described by media outlets there as "poor umpiring" during the recently concluded first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, a match in which their side suffered a heavy defeat.  Stories circulating in both countries claim, but do not substantiate, that "at least 10 controversial errors, which mostly went against the visitors", were made by umpires Steve Davis of Australia and Ian Gould of England.

 

What the reports call "a source" in the Pakistan camp, is quoted as saying that Pakistan coach Dav Whatmore and team manager Naved Cheema told match referee David Boon from Australia after the game ended "that the Pakistani players had concerns over umpiring standards" during the match.  "While one or two bad decisions were acceptable, the majority of the bad decisions went against them", runs the quote. 

 

Whatmore said during the Test that he would not comment publicly on umpiring issues, however, he clearly felt strongly about the situation, telling reporters after day three that "whatever I need to say will be done through official channels".  Whatmore went on to indicate that "there will be a fair bit to say" to the ICC about the situation, but "we will do it the right way [as] we have ways of communicating with those who matter", he said.    

 

The two umpires who are under the microscope at this time have 236 first class matches as umpires between them, 63 being Tests.  Davis, 60, who replaced now-retired West Indian Billy Doctrove for the first Test (PTG 947-4602, 11 June 2012), has been umpiring at first class level for almost 12 years, and the Galle match was his 120th first class fixture, 37 of which were Tests.  Gould, 51, played a total of 298 first class games prior to taking up umpiring, the Galle Test being his 116th first class game and 26th Test.  The Englishman is scheduled to stand in both the second and third Tests, Australian Simon Taufel being his partner in both games (PTG 942-4579, 29 May 2012).

 

At the same time Whatmore raised queries about the umpires, he also complained about the non-availability of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) during the current series (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012).  That situation arose says Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) says because of prohibitive costs involved in obtaining and utilising such equipment, although SLC were able to afford it in March-April this year when England were the tourists,  

 

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, who describes himself as a UDRS "fan", said earlier this week that he wanted the ICC to pay for UDRS technology if individual national Boards, such as his own, cannot afford to fund it when they host touring teams.  In Jayawardene's view "the ICC must take it upon themselves to fund the system instead of leaving it to [home Boards] to decide whether they use it or not".  

 

In July last year, then ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that the world body planned to look for sponsors to fund UDRS operations (PTG 790-3868, 6 July 2011), but recent attempts by a majority of ICC Full members to set up such a deal are said to have been discouraged by India.  Last October when Sri Lanka played Pakistan "at home" in the United Arab Emirates, the Pakistan Cricket Board became the first cricketing body to have a sponsor who funded UDRS operation (PTG 846-4136, 13 October 2012).

 

On the same day Whatmore made his comments, the ICC's Chief Executives Committee supported "mandatory" UDRS operation in Tests and One Day Internationals, however, a few days later the Board of the ICC declined to support that proposal (PTG 954-4633, 28 June 2012), again primarily because of India's long-held opposition to the system.

 

New ICC chief executive officer David Richardson (PTG 936-4557, 11 May 2012), said after the Kuala Lumpur gathering that he wouldn't try to force India to "lower its opposition" to UDRS technology.  "The [Board of Control for Cricket in India] need to make that decision for themselves", he said, for "it's never good to make anyone do anything kicking and screaming".  "The introduction of technology has always been controversial... but slowly but surely that's changed and I think we're pretty much at that point where everyone is accepting, certainly at international level", he said.

 

CSA, NZC, TO TRIAL DAY-NIGHT 

FIRST CLASS MATCHES? 

[PTG 955-4640]

 

Day-night Test cricket is "one of the exciting ideas" to emerge from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual conference in Kuala Lumpur this week, according to Jacques Faul, Cricket South Africa's (CSA) acting chief executive, New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) chief executive David White making similar comments.  Such games have been on the international agenda for close to five years now and the annual conference accepted a recommendation that day-night Tests be introduced provided both teams in a series agree (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012).

 

Cricinfo's Firdose Moonda quotes Faul as saying on his return to South Africa that during the ICC meeting all Test playing nations "were encouraged to try and host a day-night Test".  CSA's acting chief said that "the specifics of day-night Test cricket are already being talked about", with "one idea" being to start the day's play at 4 p.m. with stumps "around 10 p.m".  

 

Under that concept playing time each day would be "an hour less than is currently the norm", he says, an issue of some interest that does not appear to have previously been mentioned in public.  Most discussion in recent years has centred on 2 p.m. starts and 9 p.m. finishes with the standard six hours of play a day.

 

However, Faul's grasp of the day-night situation may be limited, for he apparently went on to talk about Pakistan being "the only country to have played first-class cricket under lights, with the final of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy being played as a day-night fixture for the last two seasons" (PTG 874-4270, 17 December 2011).  

 

That suggests he is not aware of the dozen first class day-night games played in the last three years across counties such as England, the United Arab Emirates and the West Indies (PTG 896, 4362, 2 February 2012), as well similar trials at lower levels several years ago in Australia (PTG 565-2867, 4 February 2010).  The Aussies took far more timid approach at first class level last austral summer with what were called 'twilight' games that finished well before dark (PTG 832-4062, 14 September 2011).  

 

According to Faul feedback from the "Pakistan experiment" attracted interest from "some countries".  There "weren't any negative comments about it", he continued, and "we have been told", that "the pink 'Kookaburra' ball is good enough" for such games.  That appears to mirror views expressed three months ago by John Stephenson, the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) Head of Cricket, who said then that he was "delighted" with the performance of "Kookuburra company's 'Generation 5' pink balls" in day-night conditions (PTG 925-4502, 7 April 2012).

 

Asked about the possibility of a day-night Test in South Africa, Faul said the idea is something CSA may "want to try", although he would "not be happy to rush into it without some form of trial run".  "I'm not brave enough to just get into a [international] night game without testing it", he said, therefore "if we do it, we will start off with a [domestic] first-class match". 

 

Faul said that before any such move CSA would have to look carefully into which grounds they can use, weather issues being a particular focus. ""I am a little scared about the dew factor at certain [places] at certain times of the year", he said, making particular reference to grounds on the country's Highveld as well as coastal Durban, both areas where humidity is high and there tends to be significant amounts of dew during the summer months.  

 

Dew caused a major problem in a World Cup one-day match in Bangladesh in March last year, the ball having to be changed three times during the evening session (PTG 740-3634, 15 March 2011).

 

Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White was quoted by media outlets there on Thursday as saying that he's excited by the prospect of day-night Tests and plans to talk to his Board about it.  Those reports also have White, who took part in the Kuala Lumpur meeting, suggesting his organisation "might look at some trials at domestic or [senior club] level in the very near future".

 

Publicly available information indicates that until now neither CSA of CNZ have shown any inclination to play day-night first class fixtures, even though the ICC and the MCC have been actively encouraging such trials over the last 3-4 years. Last year the MCC made an approach to NZC about the possibility of staging what would have been the first day-night Test in Hamilton in January this year (PTG 827-4044, 8 September 2011), but nothing eventuated with that idea (PTG 842-4117, 6 October 2011).

 

ICC ANNOUNCES OFFICIALS FOR 

WINDIES-NZ ONE-DAY SERIES

[PTG 955-4641]

 

Two English umpire, Richards Illingworth and Kettleborough, plus match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, have been named as the neutral officials for the one-day series the West Indies and New Zealand are to play in the Caribbean over the next fortnight.  Illingworth, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), will stand in three of the five One Day Internationals, (ODI) and Kettleborough, from the ICC's top Elite Umpires Panel, two.

 

Illingworth will on the field in the first, third and fifth matches in Jamaica, St Kitts and St Kitts, and Kettleborough the other two in Jamaica and St Kitts respectively.  When not on the field the pair will work as third umpires during the ODIs, West Indian members of the IUP will have been selected by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for the second on-field position in each match, but as yet what those appointments are do not appear to have been made public.

 

Prior to the ODI series the teams will play two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) in Florida before moving on to the West Indies proper.  Pycroft will oversee both those fixtures, the first of which is to be played tonight Australian time, WICB IUP members looking after on-field and third umpire duties.   

 

By the time the T20I and ODI series ends in mid-July, Pycroft will have moved his record as a match referee in ODIs to 58 games and in T20Is to 16 matches, while Kettleborough will take his ODI tally to an even 20, and Illingworth to 14.

 

RESULT OF IPL 'STING' 

INVESTIGATION AWAITED 

[PTG 955-4642]

 

Three weeks after the report of an investigation into allegations of corruption levelled against five players during this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) was said to have been handed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (PTG 947-4605, 11 June 2012), there is still no news of the outcome.  The five were caught in an Indian television station's 'sting' operation in mid-May (PTG 938-4564, 15 May 2012).

 

Last month Indian media reports stated that Ravi Sawani, the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) new anti-corruption group, had completed his enquiry and that a three-man BCCI disciplinary board would examine his report and hand down a decision.  No publicity has been given to either who will make up that committee, or just when it will make its decision public.

 

The five under investigation, all of who deny the charges, are IPL franchise team members Taduri Sudhindra (Hyderabad), Mohnish Mishra (Pune) and Punjab's Amit Yadav and Shalabh Shrivastava, plus Abhinav Bali who didn't have a 2012 IPL contract,  They have all been suspended from all types of cricket on the sub-continent pending the result of the enquiry (PTG 939-4566, 17 May 2012).

  

DECISION ON RYDER CHARGE 

EXPECTED SOON, SAYS REPORT

[PTG 955-4643]

 

A hearing into an on-field incident in a club match in Wellington in March that involved New Zealand's Jesse Ryder was held last Tuesday and the result of the "unacceptable behaviour" charge laid against him is expected to be announced soon.  Media reports following the match said that Ryder, who was batting at the time, had to be physically restrained following a "heated exchange" with bowler Harry Boam (PTG  923-4497, 2 April 2012).  

 

The three-month delay in conducting the hearing was caused by Ryder's absence playing in the Indian Premier League, and the difficulties of getting everyone who needed to have input to the hearing together (PTG 950-4619, 15 June 2012).  Tuesday's hour-long closed hearing, which was convened by Code of Conduct commissioner John Greenwood, is said to have involved Ryder, his manager, his vice-captain on the day, Cricket Wellington chief executive Peter Clinton and umpires chairman David Brandon, while the head of the NZ players union Heath Mills took part via telephone. 

 

A report from umpires Jeremy Busby and Stu Bullen plus a statement from Boam, who is currently playing in England, were said to have been tabled.  Reports say that it is "understood" an incident report filed by opposing captain Simon Baker was withdrawn after Ryder sent a letter of apology to Boam and his club.

 

CRICKET FOR 2018 

COMMONWEALTH GAMES? 

[PTG 955-4644]

 

The Commonwealth Games Federation has formally invited the International Cricket Council to look at the possibility of cricket returning to the Youth Games in St Lucia in 2017 and the full event Queensland's Gold Coast in 2018.  Cricket has only featured once in a Commonwealth Games to date, that being in in Malaysia in 1998 when 16 teams competed in a 50-over match format; but there are suggestions that the Twenty20 format could apply in six years time if the proposal goes ahead.  

 

End of June 2012 News file