956 - 3 July [4645-4650]
• BCCI bans five players for corruption (956-4645).
• Umpiring 'standards' contributed to decline in T&T game, claim some (956-4646).
• PCB seeking UDRS sponsor for Aussie one-day series (956-4647).
• Dar receives memento to mark 150th ODI (956-4648).
• Ryder reprimanded for March on-field incident (956-4649).
• Chinese, Aussie umpires look after Beijing tournament (956-4650).
957 - 5 July [4651-4654]
• League awarding points for provision of umpires and scorers (957-4651).
• Contract for new-generation 'Hot Spot' cameras signed (957-4652).
• 'Businessman' offered 'millions' to fix county match, says former player (957-4653).
• ECB hands out reprimand for dissent (957-4654).
958 - 7 July [4655-4659]
• UAE temperatures result in night-night ODI series (958-4655).
• Young bowler takes six wickets in a over (958-4656).
• CA computer system scoring plans moving ahead (958-4657).
• Hair fails in bid for NSWCUSA Board position (958-4658).
• One match Minor Counties ban given for dissent (958-4659).
959 - 10 July [4660-4668]
• PCB calls on BCCI to 'review' its UDRS position (959-4660).
• Caribbean umpire selected for U-19 World Cup (959-4661).
• Former Sri Lankan Test umpire dies (959-4662).
• Davis standing in final Lanka-Pakistan Test (959-4663).
• 'Beamers' attract ECB reprimand (959-4664).
• Workshop conducted for 'emerging' Windies umpires (959-4665).
• ACC uses 18 match officials in week-long U-19 tournament (950-4666).
• CA rolling out Level 2 reaccreditation (959-4667).
• ACO looking to boost female scorer, umpire numbers (959-4668).
960 - 11 July [4669-4673]
• ICC Board not given ball-tracking research, BCCI follow-up planned (960-4669).
• Keeper suffers 'severe' eye injury from bail strike (960-4670).
• County CEO complains to ECB over Duckworth-Lewis target (960-4671).
• Singaporean headed for third U19 World Cup (960-4672).
• PCB bans Kaneria pending ECB appeal result (960-4673).
961 - 13 July [4674-4678]
• Sri Lanka's de Silva departs international scene (961-4674).
• CA appoints new Umpire Manager (961-4675).
• Second overseas exchange for India's Ravi (961-4676).
• Bermudan disciplinary panel again busy (961-4677).
• Kaneria lodges appeal against ECB life-time ban (961-4678).
962 - 16 July [4679-4683]
• Lord's Test farewell for Taufel? (959-4679).
• Match officials named for England, South Africa Tests (959-4680).
• Oxenford, Broad 'neutrals' for Lanka-India ODI series (959-4681).
• De Silva missed annual SLC umpires examination, claims report (959-4682).
963 - 18 July [4684-4685]
• ICC Australia-NZ RUPM position appears vacant (963-4684).
• One-year ban to go to independent arbitrator (963-4685).
964 - 20 July [4686-4689]
• Reiffel announces his Test umpiring debut via 'Twitter' (964-4686).
• Umpire chalks up 50 years at the crease (964-4687).
• Budgetary, program issues behind RUPM cut? (964-4688).
• Two match ban handed down for umpire abuse (964-4689).
965 - 23 July [4690-4696]
• Player out for six years after two separate umpire assault 'threats' (965-4690).
• Dharmasena decision-making statistics on the 'up' (965-4691).
• Another over-rate fine for Dhoni and his team (965-4692).
• Lankan to stand in U-19 World Cup, says report (965-4693).
• Pitch panel clears County after 'spin-fest' (965-4694).
• Taufel's 'day' featured on ICC video clip (965-4695).
• Remonstration costs batsman his wicket, and his team victory (965-4696).
966 - 25 July [4697-4698]
• Allardice appointed as new ICC General Manager Cricket (966-4697).
• Two Windies Tests for Reiffel (966-4698).
967 - 27 July [4699-4702]
• Aussie pre-season series final audition for next CA NUP member? (967-4699).
• CA congratulates Test debutant (967-4700).
• New umpiring newsletter to appear next month (967-4701).
• Hair finds another important niche (967-4702).
968 - 29 July [4703-4706]
• Ball-tampering 'suspicions' appear unfounded (968-4703).
• Dutch batsman reprimanded for LBW 'dummy spit' (968-4704).
• Ground's facilities, slow payment of fees, concerns in Sport-of-Spain (968-4705).
• 'You are the Umpire' series makes a return (968-4706).
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 3 July 2012
BCCI BANS FIVE PLAYERS
One player has been banned from all forms of cricket for life, a second for five years, and three others for one year each, following an investigation into allegations of corruption made during this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) series by an Indian television channel (PTG 938-4564, 15 May 2012). The five were provisionally suspended in May shortly after the allegations went to air and the results of the enquiry into the matter were finally announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday.
Footage taken clandestinely by India TV appeared to show Taduri Sudhindra, a member of the IPL's Hyderabad franchise who previously played first class cricket for Madhya Pradesh, negotiating a fee for bowling a no-ball. In response to questioning by an undercover reporter posing as a sports agent, he claimed spot-fixing was "common" at any level of Indian cricket, but that the rates differ according to the standard of the game.
The BCCI's three-man disciplinary committee, which was made up of its president N Srinivasan and vice-presidents Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah, said in a statement after considering the report presented to it three weeks ago (PTG 947-4605, 11 June 2012), that it "held Sudhindra guilty of actually receiving a consideration to spot-fix in a domestic cricket match, and hence imposed [what it called] an exemplary penalty on him". Sudhindra becomes the third Indian player to be banned for life, for in 2000 Mohammad Azharuddin was found guilty of match-fixing and Ajay Sharma for having links with bookies. Azharuddin has since been pardoned by the BCCI.
Shalabh Srivastava, from the Punjab franchise, was given a five-year ban for agreeing in the 'sting' operation to spot fix during an IPL match, although he did not actually carry out such activities. Three other players, Mohnish Mishra (Pune), Amit Yadav (Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, the latter who didn't have a 2012 IPL contract, all received one-year bans for what the BCCI called “loose talk and unsubstantiated bragging” about their ability to manipulate match sequences, a claim that "brought the game into disrepute".
Comments were also made during India TV's filming in a Delhi hotel that under-the-table payments were being made to IPL players on top of their contracted fees, however, the BCCI press release that announced the bans made no mention of such matters. Of the five, Srivastava, Mishra and Bali previously played in the now-defunct "rebel" Indian Cricket League, a competition reports at the time said may have had corruption problems (PTG 488-2539, 13 September 2009).
New International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive David Richardson said in a statement issued yesterday that "It is inappropriate for the ICC to comment on the specifics of the case as it is domestic matter, but this matter serves as a reminder that there is a continuing need for high levels of vigilance both at international and domestic level to keep the game corruption-free".
Meanwhile, former Pakistan bowler Danish Kaneria is unlikely to be allowed to resume his career in Pakistan after being banned for life for corruption by the England and Wales Cricket Board, according to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PTG 954-4636, 28 June 2012). The Board's chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed told the Press Trust of India on the weekend that he did not see any chances of Kaneria, who plans to appeal his ban, being allowed to resume his career in Pakistan, although "we still have to look at some legal and technical formalities".
Last year, Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were jailed in Britain for their role in a spot-fixing scandal relating to a Test match against England at Lord's in August 2010, although they have all now been released. Ahmed said that "the question before us now" with regard to that trio "is whether these players have any remorse or regret over how they have damaged the image of Pakistan cricket and sadly so far the answer is in the negative".
On returning home last week Butt called for a new trial in Pakistan, saying he was wrongly convicted and would be cleared in a Pakistani court. The Reuters news agency quoted him as saying during a news conference in Lahore that he doesn't think he "got justice in the trial that sentenced me to a jail term [and] I want a trial in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, because there was no evidence confirming I did spot-fixing".
The trio were banned for a minimum of five years by the International Cricket Council, a censure that they are currently appealing with the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration of Sport (PTG 733-3607, 3 March 2011).
UMPIRING STANDARDS CONTRIBUTED
TO DECLINE IN T&T GAME, CLAIM SOME
Concerns about the standard of umpiring in Trinidad are said to have dominated the latter stages of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board's (TTCB) symposium on local and regional cricket held last weekend. During the meeting, which had as its focus the TTCB’s Strategic Plan for 2011-16, umpires were, says the 'Trinidad Express', "charged with shouldering some of the blame for the decline in [playing] standards" in the country, and "roundly criticised for failing to show up at matches".
President of the Trinidad and Tobago Umpires and Scorers Council, Lalman Kowlessar, is said to have "launched a stout defence of the umpires and highlighted the hurdles the officials face in the execution of their duties", the second time he has publicly had to do so in the past six weeks (PTG 940-4570, 22 May 2012). He said on the weekend that an umpire’s job "is stressful, taxing and goes unrewarded, but there are ongoing efforts to continue attracting young talent and providing opportunities for high level training".
A club official, who in May expressed concern at umpiring standards, claimed then that "there is a clique of umpires that ensures that certain games do not have a result and that certain teams win and others lose". He also said "some umpires" were "intimidated by certain clubs and pressured into giving decisions", "that a lot of umpires who stand in Premier Division matches are not qualified to umpire at that level"", and mentioned "allegations and rumours about 'back-room' deals between umpires and clubs".
Baldath Mahabir, a TTCB representative on the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), who played a leading role in the development of the 2011-12 plan, said there were several initiatives that could be undertaken to uplift umpiring standards including "targeting school teachers during the school holidays to take up the sport".
Mahabir said the increased certification of new officials along with the taping of entire matches to assess umpire performance and the introduction of a card system like football will deal with player indiscipline. However, his suggestion that there should be a shorter period of training for umpires was "vociferously opposed" by several umpires present, says the 'Express' report. They pointed out that the training of an umpire to the highest standard cannot be rushed and "takes years".
What the 2011-16 plan itself says about umpiring activities over that time period is not known at this time, however, the WICB must have some confidence in TTCB umpires as it has two, Peter Nero and Joel Wilson, filling the on-field spots of its section of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel.
PCB SEEKING UDRS SPONSOR
FOR AUSSIE ONE-DAY SERIES
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is looking for a sponsor to help it provided the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) for next month's one-day series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Last year the PCB, which supports use of the system, became the first cricketing body to obtain a sponsor who funded UDRS operations in their UAE "home" series against Sri Lanka (PTG 846-4136, 13 October 2012).
PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed was quoted by the Press Trust of India yesterday as saying that although the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Board decided against mandatory UDRS use in Tests and one-day matches last week (PTG 954-4633, 28 June 2012), Pakistan continued to support the system. "We are trying to obtain sponsorship to use the DRS against Australia in the one-dayers as we feel it is a system that has helped the game and umpires", said Ahmed.
Pakistan press reports say their side "suffered" during the first Test of the current series against Sri Lanka late last month because of due some "contentious" umpiring decisions which could not be reviewed as latter's Board decided not to fund UDRS operations because of the costs involved (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012). The Pakistanis have since complained to the ICC about the standard of umpiring in that match, a fixture their side lost convincingly (PTG 955-4639, 30 June 2012).
Ahmed, who attended the ICC chief executives meeting in Kuala Lumpur that recommended mandatory UDRS use, said that his Board "understood" the financial burdens involved in providing UDRS systems, and indicated that they were only able to provide it in last year's Sri Lankan series because of sponsorship. The ICC has left it to the national Boards involved in a bilateral series to decide between them if they want to use the UDRS or not.
Commenting on the ICC decision to encourage day-night Test matches, Ahmed pointed to the fact that the PCB has staged the final of its premier domestic first class competition, the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, as day-night encounters over the last two years, saying that both events were "pretty successful". In his view though day-night Tests should first be "experimented with" in series between "weaker nations before they can be tried in bigger matches".
Ahmed said so far Cricket South Africa (CSA), which will host Pakistan for a Test series early next year, had not spoken about the possibility of experimenting with a day-night Test at that time. "We think it would be too early", he said, reflecting a general view expressed by CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul last week (PTG 955-4640, 30 June 2012).
Meanwhile, India's Sachin Tendulkar, the most capped player in Test history, told his country's NDTV English news channel on Sunday that he doesn't favour day-night Test matches and that the concept needs to be thoroughly trialled in domestic first class games. Tendulkar said that the introduction such a concept in Tests is "not as easy as it seems" for "you must be sure the ball [used] retains its [red] colour and [can be] picked by the batters".
"We need to "get the response from the players all across the world, not just a few countries, but all across the world and then take that step forward", said Tendulkar, whose views are thought by many observers to be closely listened to by officials from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
DAR RECEIVES MEMENTO
TO MARK 150TH ODI
Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar, who stood in his 150th One Day International (ODI) in the match between England and Australia at Lord's last Friday (PTG 953-4628, 26 June 2012), was presented with a memento to mark the achievement at the post-match ceremony by match referee Javagal Srinath after the match ended.
The 44-year-old, who has won the David Shepherd Trophy as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' for the last three years, said in a statement that he was "honoured and humbled to join the exclusive 150-ODI club which includes some of the most respected gentlemen in this noble profession". "To get to the landmark at the home of cricket in a match featuring the oldest opponents in the sport makes this occasion more memorable", and "I consider myself extremely lucky and fortunate to have been granted so many opportunities", said Dar
Dar, the seventh umpire to reach the 150 mark, thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board, the ICC, and his fellow match officials for their support over the years, "for without their continued guidance I would not have come this far". He also gave a "special thanks" to his family "who have been extremely supportive" of his umpiring career.
RYDER REPRIMANDED FOR
MARCH ON-FIELD INCIDENT
Former New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has been reprimanded by Cricket Wellington (CW) for his actions in a club match played in that city in late March. CW charged Ryder with unacceptable behaviour after he had to be physically restrained whilst batting following a "heated exchange" with bowler and first class team-mate Harry Boam (PTG 923-4497, 2 April 2012).
Code of conduct commissioner John Greenwood, who conducted the hearing into the case last Tuesday (PTG 955-4643, 30 June 2012), found that Ryder had "reacted badly to personal provocation from an opposition player and that his response amounted to unacceptable behaviour", say press reports overnight. However, he decided there were "mitigating circumstances", which he did not detail, and that a reprimand was the most "appropriate" penalty.
Ryder's manager, Aaron Klee, would not comment on the outcome of the hearing, while the chairman of the Wellington umpires' association, David Brandon, indicated he was unable to speak without the approval of CW chief executive Peter Clinton. Clinton issued a statement about what he called the "unsavoury" incident and indicated that it "reflected poorly on the players involved". He said that "The hearing concludes the matter and I'm confident we won't see any repeat behaviour".
Reports available suggest that Ryder, who formally apologised to Boam and his club several months ago, pleaded guilty to the charge laid against him at the hearing.
CHINESE, AUSSIE UMPIRES LOOK
AFTER BEIJING TOURNAMENT
Sixteen teams, one of them an all-Chinese side, and others from Australia, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore, took part in the Beijing Cricket Sixes event last weekend. According to a report in the 'China Daily' report, two unnamed Chinese and one Australian umpire looked after what was described as one of the "biggest events" on the Beijing expatriates' sporting calendar.
Beijing Cricket Club president Ian Syer told the newspaper that "We are delighted to finally have an all-Chinese team, the 'Shell Sunbirds' from Shenyang in Liaoning province, taking part in the Sixes", he said, for "it can only be good for the long-term development of the sport in China". Syer says that the three-day event, which is in its fourth year, continues to grow in popularity among the cricket-playing foreign community and is as much a social occasion as a competitive event.
LEAGUE AWARDING POINTS FOR
PROVISION OF UMPIRES AND SCORERS
Knotty Green, who were the top club in the Mid Bucks League (MBL) in southern England three years ago, are currently facing relegation from the competition's Premier Division in part because of their failure to provide a scorer or umpire for most home matches. This season's MBL By-Laws give a team two championship points for each of the positions filled in a game, but Knotty Green have only been able to comply on one occasion, which means they have lost 28 points already and are well adrift at the foot of the Premier Division table.
First team player David Williams told local media that "it sounds like such a small thing but it’s becoming more of a problem in the lower leagues" to get scorers and umpires. “Our club president and his partner used to [umpire and score], but he’s in his eighties now and other people at the club can’t seem to find time to do it", for "people are working harder and finding it more difficult to find time at the weekend". “You can lose an awful loft of points in the course of a season so we’re desperate to find an umpire and scorer", said Williams.
In addition to 'played', 'won', 'lost' 'drawn' and 'total points' columns, this year MBL's championship tables include a tally of 'Umpire Scorer' points earned by each club. The other nine clubs in the Premier Division have been awarded between 22 and 36 points from the nine games played up until the end of June, but Knotty Green has just four. Only two of the ten clubs in the top division have a perfect record of providing a scorer and umpire in all games to date.
Earlier this year the 'Leicester Mercury' reported that Leicestershire's Premier Division, the top flight of club cricket in the county, was set to introduce a rule that would see a side loose three championship points if it failed to provide a scorer for any game during the 2012 season (PTG 882-4302, 6 January 2012). Whether they proceeded with that plan is not clear, for while they have a 'penalty points' column in their league tables all clubs currently have a zero in it against their name.
CONTRACT FOR NEW-GENERATION
'HOT SPOT' CAMERAS SIGNED
UK-based defence electronics company Selex Galileo (SG) has signed an "exclusive contract" to supply Australian firm BBG Sports their new-generation 'SLX-Hawk' InfraRed thermal imaging devices for use as 'Hot Spot' cameras. SG says that the "state of the art cameras" are normally fitted to 'Chinook' helicopters flown by British Forces in Afghanistan and used by ground patrols there, and that they are "so powerful they can detect enemy forces up to 70 km away, even in the dark".
Warren Brennan, Melbourne-based BBG Sports' chief executive, said in a press release that "there is no question that [SG's] cameras are at least a generation in front of our earlier cameras and most likely two”. "The image [they produce is] significantly sharper and there is no motion blur", he says, and they can detect an "extremely faint edge [that is] very sharp and clear like nothing we had ever seen before". Blurred pictures from the previous generation cameras were often criticised by observers.
SG's Capability Manager for Imagers and Detectors, Kennedy McEwen, said that his company's "cameras are really top of the range". "For cricket, the much higher shutter speed means you can actually track the ball in flight [where] previously the bat and ball was just a blur". "Now you can see the bat clearly hit the ball and can even see the heat from the ball's impact mid-swing", he said.
The new camera was tested in games in Australia last austral summer, and was utilised more recently during the Test series between England and the West Indies. BBG sports is said to have trialled a number of potential systems over a year-and-a-half before finally settling on SG's devices. No information is available as to which companies produced the other systems that were examined by BBG Sports, nor have details of the cost and duration of the SG-BBG contract been released.
'BUSINESSMAN' OFFERED MILLIONS TO FIX
COUNTY MATCH, SAYS FORMER PLAYER
Former England and Leicestershire's wicketkeeper Paul Nixon has given his account of a meeting with an Indian businessman which led to an offer of £5 million ($A7.78 million) to fix one of his county's Twenty20 matches. In his autobiography 'Keeping Quiet', Nixon says the person, who he names only as 'K', "wormed his way into a position of friendship following a mutual interest in property", a type of 'grooming tactic' that has been identified as a hall-mark of those interested in match-fixing activities (PTG 924-4499, 3 April 2012).
Nixon, who retired from playing last year, said "over a period of months, always in London but in different hotels, K's interest never faded - and a friendly, working rapport was established" between him and 'K'. Nixon "accepted a valuable gift from the businessman in 2010", but it was only when he was offered what he called the ''absurd'' amount of money that he realised the true intent of the businessman's approach.
Nixon says he reported the incident to his county coach, the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit and the Professional Cricketers' Association.
ECB HANDS OUT
REPRIMAND FOR DISSENT
Hampshire all-rounder Hamza Riazuddin has been reprimanded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action" during the County Second XI match against Middlesex late last month.
Riazuddin was reported by umpires Graham Lloyd, from the ECB's second-tier Reserve List, and Nepalese umpire Buddhi Pradhan who is on a three-week visit to England are part of a development program (PTG 924-4498, 3 April 2012).
The penalty will remain on Riazuddin's record for a period of two years and if he accumulates nine or more penalty points in any two-year period he will be automatically suspended.
PLAYING THE GAME
Saturday, 7 July 2012
UAE TEMPERATURES RESULT
IN NIGHT-NIGHT ODI SERIES
Pakistan and Australia are to play what will be the first night-night One Day Internationals (ODI) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in August-September. Currently, plans call for each game to start at 6 p.m. local time, just 30 minutes before the sun sets, and conclude at 1.45 a.m. the next morning, a schedule that has been set in order to limit the effect of the stifling 40 degree plus Centigrade day-time heat that is the UAE norm at that time of the year.
Late last month the International Cricket Council, which normally limits the number of Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) teams play in the course of a year, gave permission for the Pakistan-Australia series to be made up of six short-format games. However Pakistan, spurred on by a pre-existing television broadcast deal, decided on a mix of three ODIs and three T20Is. The T20Is will start at 8 p.m. and be finished by 11 p.m., but the ODIs will stretch well into the following day.
Australian Cricket Association (ACA) chief executive Paul Marsh told Cricinfo's Brydon Coverdale that the early morning finishing time raises a completely new set of safety issues. "Cricket Australia [CA] has a duty to provide safe working conditions for its players", he said, "whether that relates to security or heat or dangerous pitches or any other issues". International cricket has never been played in the UAE in June, July, August or September, which are the region's hottest months.
"We're concerned about the heat and we're not comfortable with the playing hours", said Marsh, for "how aware are players going to be" so late in the day?" "If you're standing there facing someone bowling at 150 km/h, are you going to be more tired at that time of day than you [otherwise] would be?" "Can they adjust their sleep patterns to play at that time of day?" "There are all of those things we have to look at".
Marsh said Australia's series with Pakistan "has been put on for commercial, not necessarily cricket reasons" and the ACA is seeking feedback from Australian one-day players about whether they were comfortable with the arrangements. Despite that the ACA chief was also quoted as saying that while the heat "remained an issue even with the late start times", the tour would go ahead unless serious safety issues arose.
A CA spokesman told Coverdale that while the series had been scheduled at unusual times, it was important to support Pakistan to ensure the series went ahead. Like the ACA, CA has concerns about heat but feels the night timings should mean temperatures should be "reasonable and [something like players] are used to". "It's a one-off and unusual situation". "It's an unusual time of day and an unusual circumstance but we sympathise with Pakistan and we're keen to do what we can to support them", said the spokesman.
Pakistan were forced to move the series against Australia back to what has become its "home" base in the three years since the terrorist attack in Lahore (PTG 380-2021, 4 March 2009) after failing first to play it in Sri Lanka, and then Malaysia.
YOUNG BOWLER TAKES SIX
WICKETS IN AN OVER
An 11-year-old player took six consecutive wickets in an over during an Under-13 match played in south-east England on Wednesday, says a report in yesterday's 'Maidenhead Advertiser'. Kieran Grey of the Maidenhead and Bray Cricket Club (MBCC), removed a Taplow batsman with every ball of the first over of game and finished with the remarkable figures of 1-1-0-6.
The 'Advertiser' says that Grey clean bowled the first five batsman, before the sixth was caught at cover, an event that "sparked wild scenes of celebration". MBCC youth coach Huw Buckle said that he was "square leg umpire and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing". “It was just amazing to watch, everyone went mad as each wicket went down and by the time he bowled the fifth, the boys were going crazy". “The sixth he pitched up a bit and the Taplow player looped it high and it was held at cover", he said, "it was just amazing to watch".
Buckle continued by saying that "it was just something you never thought you would see". "The umpire who was at the bowler's end has watched cricket all over the world he had said afterwards that he had never seen anything like it". “Nobody knows of anyone who has done it before". "I don’t even know what you would call it, a platinum hat-trick?”
After completing the over, Grey was "removed from the bowling attack to protect his figures", says the report. He was presented with the match ball at the end of the game as a memento.
CA COMPUTER SCORING SYSTEM
PLANS MOVING AHEAD
Reports indicate that Cricket Australia (CA) is relatively well-advance in efforts to acquire a computer-based scoring system for use in all matches played under its auspices this austral summer, but more work is needed before it is fully operational. Several months ago CA was said to be investigating a range of commercially-available scoring programs that are already on the market and in use in some states (PTG 935-4551, 10 May 2012), however, the national body ended up engaging a Melbourne-based company to develop a brand new system that meets its specialist needs.
CA is believed to have turned to a company called ProWess Sports to develop the new system. That company, which has been in operation since 1982, says on its web site that it provides "leading edge technology applications and services to sport teams, leagues, coaches and analysts both in Australia and internationally".
It lists involvement at the "elite level" of such sports as Australian Rules Football, Basketball, Cricket, Netball, Racing, Rugby and Soccer, but stresses that it puts "as much emphasis in ensuring" sportspeople at the "lower levels" of those activities can take advantage of the "wonderful technology" that they provide.
One of CA's key objectives in pursuing a standardised scoring system was to ensure that it can be readily married with its 'MyCricket' web-based system. CA has invested considerable resources in MyCricket and it has become a key tool in the management of cricket associations and clubs at all levels around Australia, but the national body wants details of matches, from first class right down to the lowest club level across the nation, to be able to be displayed on-line via MyCricket on a near real-time basis.
Just why CA decided to go forego current technology, which has for example been used to record the details of all first and second grade matches in Tasmania for the past five years (PTG 53-292, 11 June 200), is not clear. There have been indications in the past that several readily available systems could be made compatible with MyCricket, therefore it is possible that costs may have resulted in the decision to go with the ProWess company. Given though that the Melbourne company feeds sports results to at least one major betting company, similar to the way sports data firm Opta does in the UK (PTG 917-4463, 19 March 2012), other financial aspects could have influenced CA planning decisions.
Whatever the background, with CA's first class and one-day seasons due to start in October, senior scorers in those states that have yet to embrace computer-based technology, and to a lesser extent those who have utilised other computer packages, will need sufficient time to get up to speed on the new ProWess system. Just when a version of the program will be available that is sufficiently advanced such that it can be utilised for training then move into matches, is not yet clear.
Earlier this year CA's target was said to be to have at least one computer used in scoring all of its matches during the coming 2012-13 austral summer, although where the situation dictates the second scorer will be allowed to use traditional paper-based methods. One unconfirmed report suggests that the plan is for all CA scoring to be done with computers from the start of the 2013-14 season.
HAIR FAILS IN BID FOR
NSWCUSA BOARD POSITION
Former international umpire Darrell Hair failed to win election to the Board of the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) at the organisation's Annual General Meeting on Wednesday. Hair, who was its Executive Officer (EO) for three years up until his departure in controversial circumstances last November (PTG 861-4205, 17 November 2011), lost out in the voting to three Board members from last year who were amongst those who passed a 'no confidence' motion against him in late August (PTG 824-4028, 3 September 2011), plus a "severe censure" eight weeks ago (PTG 947-4606, 11 June 2012).
Little if any information of what was behind the original 'no confidence' motion has been made public and the details are supposed to be kept confidential as part of a "Separation Deed" agreed to by Hair, the NSWCUSA and Cricket NSW prior to his departure from the EO position. A very early report suggested that Hair's sacking of a NSW country umpire coach, who was not named but was said at the time to have held the position for almost a decade and was regarded by some as "old guard", was at least one trigger.
That has not been confirmed, but the Association's Country Umpires Advisor Keith Griffiths says in his contribution to the NSWCUSA's 2011-12 Annual Report that "It was most disappointing for myself that certain developments that occurred even before [the 2011-12] season began had the effect of my not being able to visit many [NSW country] carnivals during the season". Griffiths "sincerely hopes that these difficulties are now behind us and we can look ahead to the next season".
Over 1,200 members of the NSWCUSA had the right to vote to decide which of the four candidates would fill the three positions available on their Board for the year ahead. About a third, a total of 480, actually cast their vote, a significant increase over the 211 who did so twelve months ago. Those figures suggest an increased interest from members after a year re-elected Board member Stephen Poole described in his the 2011-12 Chairman's Report as "a period of change" which was at times "difficult and tumultuous".
As a result of the election, the NSWCUSA Board for 2012-13 is made up of: five elected Directors - Graham Chudleigh, David Dilley, Geoff Garland, Colin Philpott and Poole; plus Laurie Borg (Treasurer), Neil Findlay (Liaison Officer), Nick Carson (Executive Officer), and Darren Goodger (Education and Development Manager). Carson became a Board member in March following his appointment as EO (PTG 908-4116, 3 March 2012), while his eight colleagues served for the whole of 2011-12.
ONE-MATCH MINOR COUNTIES
BAN GIVEN FOR DISSENT
Shropshire cricket professional Chris Whelan has been hit with a one-match Minor Counties Championship suspension after showing dissent to an unnamed umpire. The former Worcestershire and Middlesex fast bowler has been censured for "his response" to a rejected leg before appeal against Herefordshire batsman Brad Wadlan in late June's rain-affected drawn game, says a report in Thursday's 'Shropshire Post'.
“Chris is banned for one match and it’s particularly disappointing", said Shropshire captain Ed Foster. “In my opinion it’s quite unfortunate and harsh because there wasn’t a great deal going on – I’ve seen a lot worse in both club and Minor Counties cricket go unpunished". Whelan made his debut for Shropshire in the victory over Cheshire last month and the game in Herefordshire was just his second appearance with the county.
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
PCB CALLS ON BCCI TO
'REVIEW' ITS UDRS POSITION
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to review its position on the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) and support its use in all international games, say reports from the sub-continent over the weekend. Ashraf said the technology is a "great development and a constructive step forward for the game of cricket", and the BCCI as "the powerhouse of the sport today must back its implementation".
Last month two senior International Cricket Council (ICC) committees called for the UDRS to be made "mandatory" for all Tests and One Day Internationals. They made their recommendation after examining a "provisional" study by Dr Ed Rosten, a Cambridge-based expert in computer vision technology, that apparently showed that ball tracking system in real-time was highly accurate (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012).
The support given to the system by the two committees was not followed up on by the ICC Board though, and the present arrangement where the two competing nations in a bilateral series decide whether the UDRS is to be used of not was maintained. Reports suggested that "a vote" on the matter was not taken by the Board because of what on-going media reports said was the BCCI's opposition to the UDRS (PTG 954-4633, 28 June 2012). However, Rosten's analysis was said in May to have been limited to "14 situations", and it is not clear whether they included some of the more bizarre results that ball tracking devices have produced in recent times (PTG 825-4032, 6 September 2011).
The PCB chairman said that he feels "accepting the UDRS system will be in the larger interest of the sport" and that it is "also beneficial for the umpires in the long run". Whilst the PCB says that it is "among the strongest supporters" of the UDRS, it is currently looking for a sponsor so that it can provide the system for their side's forthcoming One Day International series against Australia at the United Arab Emirates (PTG 958-4655, 7 July 2012).
CARIBBEAN UMPIRE SELECTED
FOR U-19 WORLD CUP
West Indian umpire Peter Nero, 48, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), is to officiate in next month's Under-19 World Cup tournament in Queensland. Details of Nero's appointment came in a note posted on the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association web site recently, and follows similar news that Zimbabwean IUP member Owen Chirombe had also been selected for the event (PTG 942-4583, 29 May 2012).
Nero, who is from Trinidad and Tobago, made his debut at first class level in February 2008 and has since gone on to stand in 21 such matches, some of which have been in Bangladesh and England as part of inter-country exchange programs, while another was an ICC appointment to an Intercontinental Cup match in Scotland. He joined the IUP in March last year (PTG 741-3638, 16 March 2011), and stood in his first One Day and Twenty20 Internationals a month later, and currently has 10 ODIs and 6 T20Is to his credit.
The appointment of Nero and Chirombe suggests the ICC will, as in the last few U-19 World Cups, select umpires for the event from both the IUP and its third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires’ Panel (PTG 560-4828, 29 January 2010). Since standing in the final of the 2010 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, umpires Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Richard Kettleborough (England), who were then IUP members, have gone to be appointed to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel (PTG 766-3758, 26 May 2011).
FORMER SRI LANKAN
TEST UMPIRE DIES
Former Sri Lankan international umpire Ignatius Anandappa died at the age of 73 last Wednesday in Moratuwa after a brief illness. Anandappa stood in three Tests and seven One Day Internationals in the 1990s out of a total of 71 first class and 20 List A games. Following his retirement from active umpiring he served as the Sri Lankan Association of Cricket Umpires' administrative manager for over a decade before relinquishing the position in 2010.
DAVIS STANDING IN FINAL
Australian umpire Steve Davis is standing with countryman Simon Taufel in this week's third Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Pallekele and not Englishman Ian Gould as previously reported (PTG 942-4579, 29 May 2012). The International Cricket Council (ICC) indicated in a post placed on its web site in late May that remains unchanged this morning, that Gould would stand in all three Tests, a somewhat unusual arrangement; however, score sheets available on line and other commentary say that Davis is standing in what is the final match of the series.
For Davis, 60, who umpired his first Test almost 15 years ago in Hobart, the Pallekele fixture is his 37th at the game's highest level, sixth with Taufel as his on-field partner, and fifth overall in Sri Lanka. He first stood at first class level in a Sheffield Shield match in Adelaide in November 1990, and in the nearly 22 years since has been on the field in 121 first class games, 74 of which have been Shield games; five being end-of-season finals of that competition. He is yet to stand in a Test in either Bangladesh or Zimbabwe, but he has stood in one-day games in both countries.
During the three Lanka-Pakistan Tests the Umpire Decision Review System was not in operation, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) blaming the costs involved as the reason for its non-appearance (PTG 953-4628, 26 June 2012). SLC appointed Ranmore Martinez, an on-field member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) as the third umpire in two games, and Lankan IUP third umpire member Ruchira Palliyaguru to the other.
That appointment was Palliyaguru's his first to a Test match since being selected for the IUP last year (PTG 811-3972, 8 August 2011). The former first class player, 54 who turned out in 124 games at that level from 1989-2008, is a potential candidate for the umpiring panel for next month's Under-19 World Cup event in Queensland next month (PTG 959-4661 above). Should he attend he won't be a complete stranger to that competition as he was Sri Lanka's on-tour selector during the last U-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2010, just three months after he made his first class umpiring debut (PTG 533-2734, 16 December 2009).
Another interesting appointment was that Raveendra Wimalasiri, 52, as the fourth umpire to the current Test in support of Davis, Taufel and Palliyaguru. Also a former first class player, who featured in 86 games from 1990-2006, Wimalasiri could be in the running for elevation to Sri Lanka's IUP trio if the country's two-time member of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel, Asoka de Silva, retires or is retired from his current IUP on-field spot. Wimalasiri, who first stood at first class level in 2008 and has 34 games to his credit, took part in last month's Asian Under-19 series, his first international appointment, and stood in the final with Singapore's Sarika Prasad (PTG 959-4666 below).
'BEAMERS' ATTRACT ECB REPRIMAND
Durham's Liam Plunkett was reprimanded by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) yesterday after he was banned from bowling in a Twenty20 match against Nottinghamshire two weeks ago for bowling two accidental high full-pitched balls. Plunkett was reported by umpires Nick Cook and David Millns for a Level 1 breach of the ECB's disciplinary code, and the reprimand will remain on his record for a period of two years. Should Plunkett accumulate nine or more ECB disciplinary penalty points in any two-year period he will receive an automatic suspension from the ECB.
WORKSHOP CONDUCTED FOR
'EMERGING' WINDIES UMPIRES
The twenty-two members of the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) 'Emerging Panel' attended a three-day workshop at the WICB's High Performance Centre in Barbados late last month. Workshop presentations were given by former English Test match umpire Barry Dudleston, who is now the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Regional Umpires Performance Manager for the UK and the Caribbean, plus the four Windies members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Peter Nero, Gregory Brathwaite, Joel Wilson and Nigel Dugid.
Those selected by the WICB to attend the workshop were: Athol Hamilton, Christopher Taylor, Verdayne Smith and Patrick Gustard (Jamaica); Leslie Reifer, Jonathan Blades, Ricardo Brathwaite and Ryan Willoughby (Barbados); Colin Alfred, Shannon Crawford, Nandkumar Shivsankar and Gyanandad Sukhdeo (Guyana); Carl Tuckett, Bernard Joseph, Michael Morton and Whycliff Mitchum (Leeward Islands); Francis Maurice and Erickson Delgalerie (Windward Islands); and Anthony Sanowar, Danesh Ramdhanie, Lyndon Rajkumar and Zahid Bassarath ([Trinidad and Tobago).
Of the 22, only Tuckett, 42, and Maurice, 53, have played first class cricket, the former featuring in 41 matches with the Leeward Islands from 1995-2004 plus a single One Day International in 1998, and the latter six for the Windward islands in the period from 1985-93. Tuckett has one game as a referee in first class cricket way back in 2003 but neither he or Maurice are known to have umpired at that level, the only ones to do so being Gustard and Brathwaite with one match each over two years ago, and Alfred and Mitchum with 12 and 13 games respectively since 2001.
West Indies Cricket Umpires Association President Cecil Fletcher described the three-day meeting as "a significant move which will go a long way in exposing the Emerging panel to the real world, where [performance] expectations are high".
ACC USES 18 MATCH OFFICIALS
IN WEEK-LONG U-19 TOURNAMENT
Thirteen umpires and five match referees from nine nations were used by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) during its 9-day, 15-match 2012 Under-19 Asia Cup tournament in Malaysia late last month. The ACC brought match officials from Bangladesh, China, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand together for the 50-over format event that featured teams from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar and Sri Lanka.
Umpires selected for the series were: Narayanan Sivan and Tanvir Ahmed (Bangladesh); Sun Jianxin (China); Shavir Tarapore (India); Imran Mustafa (Kuwait); Viswandan Kalidas (Malaysia); Vinay Jha (Nepal); Batumalai Ramani and Shozab Raza (Pakistan); Sarika Prasad and Sri Ganesh (Singapore); Raveendra Wimalasiri (Sri Lanka); and Ashwani Rana (Thailand).
Raza and Tarapore are currently members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, although an Indian media report in May suggested Tarapore will leave that panel later this year (PTG 945-4598, 6 June 2012), while Prasad is on the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate Panel.
The referees were: Aminul Islam (Bangladesh); Bandula Warnapura (Sri Lanka); Ramesh Menon (Malaysia); Venkatesh Prasad (India); and Rumesh Ratnayake (Sri Lanka). Islam, Prasad, Ratnayake and Warnapura are all former Test players.
The final of the competition, which was between India and Pakistan, ended in a thrilling 282-run tie. Singapore's Prasad and Wimalasiri from Sri Lanka stood in the final with Ratnayake the match referee and Kalidas the reserve umpire. During the week the referees looked after 2-4 matches each, while on-field umpiring appointments ranged from four for Tanvir Ahmed and Wimalasiri and three for Shozab Raza, Sarika Prasad and Shavir Tarapore, the others standing in either one or two games.
CA ROLLING OUT LEVEL 2
Cricket Australia (CA) has started to roll out the reaccreditation of Level 2 umpires who attained that qualification in the middle of last decade. The work involved, which should have occurred several years ago, was hampered by mismanagement of the program's member data base late last decade (PTG 760-3730, 21 April 2011).
Accompanying the new plastic cards being issued is a note from CA chief executive James Sutherland who thanks those involved for their "continued involvement in facilitating a quality cricket experience [as umpires] each week". Sutherland says the "role you play in creating an environment that is fair, inclusive and enjoyable for all participants is paramount to increasing participation in cricket". He acknowledges "the many hours put into your umpiring" both on and off the field, and says his "note is a genuine expression of our appreciation for your role".
CA is also reported to be working to place its Level 2 program on line, a proposal that was first flagged some 16 months ago, but there has been no announcement on what progress is being made with that project. News is also awaited on the newsletter that plans discussed in April this year indicated would be distributed to match officials around the country on a semi-regular basis, or the planned reissue of the nation-wide survey of umpires whose key aim was to solicit information to help address the widespread 'recruitment and retention' issues that face many competitions in Australia (PTG 936-4554, 11 May 2012).
ACO LOOKING TO BOOST FEMALE
SCORER, UMPIRE NUMBERS
The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) announced yesterday that it is to launch an initiative to increase the participation of female umpire and scorers in the game. The program is currently in the planning stage, the aim being to formally launched it in 2013, and the ACO is looking for volunteers of "all ages, all officials, [with] any experience" to help with the venture. The move comes following what the ECB says was "the successful program to recruit Young Officials".
PLAYING THE GAME
Wednesday, 11 July 2012
ICC BOARD NOT GIVEN BALL-TRACKING
RESEARCH, BCCI FOLLOW-UP PLANNED
Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Wally Edwards said on Monday that "provisional" results of independent research into ball-tracking technology conducted by an expert in computer vision technology, were not made available to last month's meeting of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Board in Kuala Lumpur. The data convinced the ICC Chief Executives' Committee to recommend to the Board that Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) use be "mandatory", however, the matter was not discussed by the Board, leaving its utilisation to be determined by nations on a series-by-series basis (PTG 954-4633, 28 June 2012).
CA's chairman said that "India have agreed [that] ICC management" will now go to India and present, what was termed in June Cambridge researcher Dr Ed Rosten's "positive" findings, to BCCI officials (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012). "Unfortunately if that presentation, or whatever it is they had, had been presented to the Board [in Kuala Lumpur] it might have changed things", he said. "The fundamental reason India don't support [the UDRS] is they don't believe it", although "so too don't others", and "hopefully [Rosten's data] will help convince them that there is sufficient accuracy in the system". He gave no details as to just when the data will be presented to the BCCI.
Edwards stressed that the BCCI can't be "steamrolled" into accepting the UDRS, rather they have to make the move themselves, a view similar to that expressed by ICC chief executive David Richardson last month (PTG 954-4639, 30 June 2012) . India is "a member of the [ICC] like we are or England are, and we can only achieve what we can achieve, but it takes diplomacy", said Edwards on Monday. "We can advise them that we want to use UDRS but as it currently stands they've got the right to say, 'No, we don't want to use it [and] you have to respect that they have views".
''Obviously India are a major, major power", continued Edwards. "The reason that cricket is so healthy in the world and that we've got 105 nations in the ICC getting paid money every year to help develop cricket is because of India", he said, and "we have to respect the fact that India are a major generator of our revenues for that is a fact".
KEEPER SUFFERS 'SEVERE' EYE
INJURY FROM BAIL STRIKE
South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher underwent eye surgery on Monday after a freak accident during the first day of his side's tour opener against English county Somerset at Taunton. The 35-year-old was hit in the face and his eyeball ruptured when a bail ricocheted off the stumps when Somerset batsman Gemaal Hussain was bowled by leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
Boucher, as would be expected for a spinner, was standing up to the stumps, however, he was wearing a cap rather than a helmet. After treatment on the field, the wicketkeeper was helped off with blood coming from his left eye and taken immediately to hospital where he underwent surgery for a lacerated eyeball.
South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said that "the injury can be described as severe" and that "the eyeball was repaired during the operation but the long-term prognosis won't be known for a few days". "From a medical point of view a lot depends on whether there is damage to the retina, which allows us to see and focus", said Moosajee. The injury is bad enough though for the veteran wicketkeeper to first withdraw from the rest of his side's two-month tour of England, and then announce his retirement from the international game as he faces an "uncertain recovery".
Keepers standing up to spinners face the prospect of being hit like Boucher, but so do umpires standing at the bowler's end when the wicket is broken by a ball hit solidly down the pitch by the batsman at the crease. Earlier this year West Indian Chris Gayle said that he believed umpires should wear helmets in order to protect them from wayward balls (PTG 932-4532, 26 April 2012), Pakistan international umpire Asad Rauf also expressing a similar view (PTG 933-4539, 2 May 2012).
COUNTY CEO COMPLAINS TO ECB
OVER DUCKWORTH-LEWIS TARGET
Northamptonshire chief executive officer David Smith has written to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to express his concerns about the Duckworth-Lewis (D-L) calculation that saw Gloucestershire book their place in the quarter-finals of the ECB's 2012 county Twenty20 (T20) tournament on Sunday, says 'The Cricketer' magazine. Northamptonshire had reached 4/31 in 8.3 overs when rain halted play, but the weather dried up in time to allow Gloucestershire to chase a D-L derived score of 23 in five overs, a target they reached with 8 wickets and 16 balls to spare.
Former Warwickshire batsman Smith was unhappy with the equation and claimed that the run chase made a "mockery of the competition". “How a target of 23 in five overs constitutes a game is beyond me. It makes a total mockery of the integrity of our T20 game", he said, and as a result he has written to Alan Fordham, the ECB’s operations manager for first-class cricket, raising his concerns about the D-L calculation. Smith is currently awaiting a response from ECB headquarters at Lord’s.
SINGAPOREAN HEADED FOR
THIRD U-19 WORLD CUP
Singapore-based umpire Sarika Prasad, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel, is to stand in his third Under-19 World Cup tournament next month in Queensland. Prasad, who is originally from Visakhapatnam in India and has been in Singapore since 1995, previously stood in a total of 12 matches in the world U-19 events in Malaysia in 2008 and New Zealand in 2010 (PTG 560-2848, 29 January 2010).
Since 2005, Prasad has stood in five first class games, all involving second-tier nations in the ICC's Intercontinental Cup, as well as three One Day Internationals at that level, plus numerous other men's, women's and youth internationals that have seen him travel to places such as Bangladesh, Ireland, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates on multiple occasions. Next month's U-19 event will be his second in Australia, for he took part in the women's World Cup there in 2009 (PTG 376-2007, 23 February 2009).
Prasad is the third umpire known to have been selected for the U-19 World Cup following news that West Indian umpire Peter Nero (PTG 959-4661, 10 July 2012), and Zimbabwean Owen Chirombe (PTG 942-4583, 29 May 2012), will also take part in the event. The ICC is yet to announce who the umpires and match referees for the tournament will be.
PCB BANS KANERIA PENDING
ECB APPEAL RESULT
[PTG 960-4673 ]
Former Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has been suspended from playing in his home country until a decision has been reached on any appeal he may launch against the life ban the England and Wales Cricket Board handed him last month for match-related corruption (PTG 953-4627, 26 June 2012). The decision was taken after the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) Integrity Committee reviewed Kaneria's case, and discussed "in detail" both the International Cricket Council and PCB Anti-Corruption codes, say reports from Lahore yesterday.
SRI LANKA'S DE SILVA DEPARTS
Asoka de Silva, who twice served on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is missing from the trio Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has nominated for the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) for 2012-13. A revised list of Lankan IUP members posted on the ICC's web site yesterday has as the on-field umpires Ranmore Martinez and Tyron Wijewardena, while the third umpire remains as Ruchira Palliyaguru.
After De Silva completed six-years as a Test and One Day International player from 1985-92, he served on the EUP from 2002-04 but was dropped by the ICC and the SLC placed him on the IUP. Then in 2008, four years after he departed, the ICC reinstated him to the top panel only to omit him again three years later in what some reports at the time claimed was mid-way through a two-year contract (PTG 766-3757, 26 May 2011). Despite the ICC's move, SLC quickly nominated him for a return to the IUP (PTG 809-3921, 20 July 2011), however, in the 12 months since the SLC has given him only limited international work.
In dropping 56-year-old de Silva, SLC has taken a 'back to the future' approach in naming Wijewardena to an on-field position on the IUP. The latter, who is 50, served on the IUP for a number of years before being dropped in 2010, and he returns by leap-frogging Palliyaguru who is six years his junior. During his playing career Wijewardena featured in five first class games and Palliyaguru 124.
Other IUP changes listed yesterday by the ICC included confirmation that India has, as reported previously, dropped Shavir Tarapore from the IUP, however, the four nominated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), or at least as posted on the ICC web site, are not as reported by media outlets on the sub-continent six weeks ago (PTG 945-4598, 6 June 2012).
Those reports had Sudhir Asnani and S. Ravi, the latter a third umpire last year, in the on-field spots with S. S. Shamshuddin joining as a third umpire alongside last year's other television official Vineet Kulkarni. While the ICC web site confirms Asnani as an on-field umpire, it shows that Kulkarni has been moved up to join him, newcomer Ravi Sundaram and Shamshuddin having third umpire roles. According to the web site Ravi is completely missing from the panel, which is somewhat of a mystery given he is currently on exchange in England, his second such BCCI overseas posting in 18 months (PTG 961-4676 below).
Over in England Rob Bailey has, as anticipated following the elevation of Nigel Llong to the EUP (PTG 953-4628, 28 June 2012), been given an on-field IUP spot alongside Richard Illingworth, but no one is listed in the third umpire position. Whether that is an oversight or error on the web site, or the England and Wales Cricket Board has yet to decide who should be moved into the television spot, is not known.
Past appointments suggest the third umpire choice is between former England Test player Tim Robinson, 53, and former first class player Michael Gough, 32, who was last year's UK Professional Cricketers' Association's 'Umpire of the Year' (PTG 836-4085, 22 September 2011). Robinson is currently standing in a first class match in Gloucestershire with Ravi.
CA APPOINTS NEW
Cricket Australia's (CA) Umpire Manager Sean Cary has been promoted to the position of Cricket Manager at the national body, and its Umpire Officer Sean Easy has been appointed to take on Cary's former role. Former first class player Cary took on the Umpire Manager's job in April 2010 after leaving the Australian Sporting Goods Association (PTG 597-3004, 6 April 2010), while Easy has been working in the Umpire Officer position for the past four years.
CA says that Easy, 29, will continue to report to Cary and be responsible to him for managing the nation's senior umpires and match referees, plus dealing with the International Cricket Council (ICC) on all umpiring and playing conditions issues. Geoff Allardice, CA's General Manager Cricket Operations said in a message to staff that Easy has already "developed a strong working relationship with the umpiring group, and thoroughly deserves the opportunity to show his leadership skills in this role".
Allardice's memo indicates that, as has been the case for the last two years, CA Umpire Educator Denis Burns will continue to report directly to Cary, although presumably only on education issues as Burns is also a member of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel which it is assumed Easy will now chair and coordinate.
Allardice says that Cary will now be responsible for such issues as: managing men's and women's interstate competitions; overseeing the performance of our umpires and match referees; education and policing of CA’s behavioural Codes and Policies; playing conditions for all CA’s competitions; scheduling of all interstate competitions; and contracting of all state players. Cary's two-and-a-half years as Umpire Manager is similar to the tenure of his predecessor Andrew Scotford who was there for a similar period (PTG 542-2772, 7 January 2010).
What plans CA has to fill Easy's former position are not known at this time, however, the vacancy comes as a number of umpire and scorer initiatives are on the table (PTG 959-4667, 10 July 2012).
Some reports suggest that the person Easy succeeded in that position in 2008, Brent Silva, has left the ICC after serving them in a similar position in Dubai over the last two years (PTG 951-4621, 18 June 2012). In the 15 months between his CA and ICC positions Silva worked for a sports marketing company (PTG 275-1470, 14 July 2008), but what he is doing now is not known.
SECOND OVERSEAS EXCHANGE
FOR INDIA'S RAVI
Indian first class umpire S. Ravi is currently in England as part of the umpire exchange agreement between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The visit, during which he is expected to stand in 3-4 county first class games, comes 18 months after he stood in two first class games in South Africa (PTG 725-3570, 8 February 2011).
Ravi, 46, is currently standing in the four-day match between Gloucestershire and Essex in Cheltenham with former England Test player, and now ECB first class umpire Tim Robinson, who umpired on exchange in india in December-January 2010-11 (PTG 708-3471, 24 December 2010). The current match is Ravi's 45th as an umpire at first class level and Robinson's 94th.
The Englishman appears to be in the running for appointment to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, however, a post on the ICC's web site yesterday suggests, somewhat confusingly, that Ravi has lost his position on that panel (PTG 961-4674 above).
No details are currently available as to which other matches Ravi will stand in during his sojourn in County cricket.
PANEL AGAIN BUSY
Three Bermudans have been censured for their actions in a match between Southampton Rangers and Bailey’s Bay two weekends ago. One player was handed a three-match ban from all cricket and a second dismissed for a package of two 50-over and one Twenty20 (T20) game, while a third was issued an official reprimand by the Bermuda Cricket Board's (BCB) disciplinary panel, says a report in the 'Bermuda News' on Wednesday.
Rangers' Janeiro Tucker was found to be guilty of a range of offences. They were: excessive appealing during at a match; showing dissent at an Umpire’s decision; using language that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player, umpire or spectator; and, bringing the game into disrepute. Under BCB statutes the first offence listed is a Level 1 and the other three Level 2. As a result of all that Tucker was banned from all cricket on the island for three matches.
Another player, Dion Stovell, was found not guilty of: excessive appealing during at match; and throwing a ball at or near a player in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner (Level 2); which were Level 1 and 2 charges respectively. However, he was found guilty of showing dissent at an umpire’s decision and bringing the game into disrepute, which are both Level 2 offences. That led him to be suspended from all cricket for two 50-over matches and one T20 game.
A third player, Rodney Trott, was found guilty of showing dissent at an umpire’s decision in the game and was given an official reprimand.
It has been a busy season for the BCB's disciplinary panel which has had to adjudicate in a range of on-field incidents that have occurred in the 10 weeks of play so far, work that has included handing out several year-long bans (PTG 953-4630, 26 June 2012).
KANERIA LODGES APPEAL
AGAINST ECB LIFE TIME BAN
Former Pakistan and Essex leg spinner Danish Kaneria has lodged an appeal against the life time ban for match-related corruption in county cricket given to him by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last month (PTG 953-4627, 26 June 2012). Mervyn Westfield, Kaneria's Essex team mate, who was given a five-year ban but will be allowed to play club cricket after three years, has given no indication that he plans an appeal.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced earlier this week that they will uphold the ECB's ban on Kaneria as part of an agreement reached by all members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) pending the outcome of his appeal, and he is therefore not permitted to take part in games played under the auspices of the PCB or any other ICC nation (PTG 960-4673, 11 July 2012).
After the ECB panel announced its decision nearly three weeks ago, Kaneria's legal team describing the outcome of the ECB tribunal as "pre-determined" and called for the appeal hearing to be conducted in an "open manner". Kaneria has maintained his innocence, and apart from the appeal to the ECB has also hinted that a second to the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport could be on the cards.
PLAYING THE GAME
Monday, 16 July 2012
LORD'S TEST FAREWELL
Australian umpire Simon Taufel has been selected by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand at Lord's next month in the last of the three Tests England and Sri Lanka are to play over the next four weeks (PTG 962-4680 below), a fixture that could be his last at Test level if reports received by 'PTG' are to be believed. Middle Eastern and Asian sources claim that Taufel is to retire from the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) following the World Twenty20 Championship (WT20C) series in Sri Lanka in October, a suggestion that the ICC is yet to fully refute.
When asked if he could "confirm or deny" the claims about Taufel's imminent retirement, ICC Communications Manager Colin Gibson told 'PTG' that the Australian, who recently umpired two Tests in Sri Lanka and now has the Lord's appointment and the WT20C series in his diary, "hasn’t announced his retirement and is an active member of the [EUP]". That statement is fundamentally correct, however, Taufel has hinted in the past that an early retirement was always a possibility, and what better way to leave Test cricket than in a match at the 'home of cricket'?
Since making his first class debut in 1995 aged just 24, in a One Day International (ODI) in 1999 at 28, and a Test match a month before his 30th birthday, Taufel has gone on to become one of the most respected match officials on the world scene. As such he won the first five ICC 'Umpire of the Year' trophies in the period from 2004-08 (PTG 310-1619, 11 September 2008), his calm and confident approach being underpinned by close attention to preparing both physically and mentally for each game in which he stands; techniques that have come to be followed closely by many umpires around-the-world.
Appointed to the EUP in 2003 at the age of 32, Taufel's record of achievement since and the fact that he is only 41 and therefore potentially has many more years ahead of him, cast doubts on suggestions he is to retire in three months time. Despite his talents and considerable achievements though, the frequent absences from home involved as a EUP member had started to take their toll five years into his stint on the panel, and he was making it clear publicly even then that he wanted to spend more time at home with his wife and young children. His former EUP colleague Billy Doctrove of the West Indies spoke of similar issues being behind his reason to leave the panel last month (PTG 951-4620, 18 June 2012).
Early in 2008 Taufel talked of taking his umpiring career "year by year", and that he was "always looking for new opportunities, [which do] not necessarily [include] umpiring" (PTG 195-1066, 2 February 2008). His outlook, or that of his family, would not have been helped when he was one of a number of match officials who were lucky to survive a terrorist attack in Lahore in March 2009. He said afterwards that he and his colleagues were left "helpless" and completely alone and he didn't known how they came through unscathed (PTG 381-2023, 5 March 2009).
In addition, he has sometimes appeared a little disillusioned with the game, saying last year in reference to the Umpire Decision Review (UDRS) system: "I think we're creating an environment where it is okay for a player to question an umpire's decision, and that doesn't sit comfortably with me". "As a player I was always taught to accept the umpire's decision and get on with the game [and] I think we're breaking that down a little bit" (PTG 830-4055, 12 September 2011). At another time he called for more consistency in UDRS packages and independent testing of the ball tracking and other technologies involved (PTG 824-4029, 3 September 2011).
In 2009 he missed out on the 'Umpire of the Year' title for the first time, Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar winning it then and twice since (PTG 831-4058, 13 September 2011); although if the Australian does retire in October as is being suggested, he would have one more shot at the trophy as it will be decided for 2012 on performances in the year that ends before the WT20C gets underway in late September.
Coupled with the claim that he will leave the EUP, is the suggestion that the Australian will take up some sought of ICC training role after his departure. That also tends to fit Taufel's work record and expertise, for he has frequently been involved in such programs in the past, and has personally developed and presented on more than one occasion what many describe as high-quality training packages for the ICC and others on a range of matters (PTG 808-3962, 3 August 2011).
The obvious choice to replace the Australian on the EUP would be his countryman Bruce Oxenford who the ICC appears to have been grooming for a EUP spot for the last 18 months (PTG 929-4519, 17 April 2012). His appointment as the only non-EUP member to work in the WT20C (PTG 948-4610, 12 June 2010), which looked a little unusual when it was announced, also appears to make more sense when the Taufel retirement scenario is added to the mix. In addition, at the same time the ICC announced Taufel will be at Lord's next month, it also indicated Oxenford will be the neutral umpire in the forthcoming ODI series between Sri Lanka and India (PTG 962-4681 below).
However, despite the comment and speculation that currently exists in some circles, until the ICC and Taufel himself make clear what his future plans in the game are, the claims that are being made will remain just that - claims.
MATCH OFFICIALS NAMED FOR
ENGLAND, SOUTH AFRICA TESTS
Sri Lankan member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel Kumar Dharmasena didn't play a Test match at Lord's during his playing career, but he will be on the field in a Test at the 'home of cricket' next month for the first time. Dharmasena was yesterday named as one of six officials from four countries who are to manage the three-Test series England and South Africa are to play over the next four weeks.
The series will be managed overall by match referee Jeff Crowe of New Zealand, his umpires being in addition to Dharmasena three Australians, Steve Davis, Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker, plus Asad Rauf of Pakistan. Davis is to stand in matches one and two with Rauf in the first at The Oval and Tucker the second at Headingley, Taufel and Dharmasena being on the ground in match three at Lord's. Dharmasena, Rauf and Tucker will work as the third umpire in Tests one, two and three respectively.
Taufel will be standing in a Lord's Test for the fourth, and some claim, last time (PTG 962-4679 above); a game that will see him move to equal sixth on the all-time Test umpires list with Aleem Dar of Pakistan on 74 matches, the pair having now gone past former Indian EUP member Srinivas Venkataraghavan on 73. Crowe's Test match referees tally will move on to 55, Rauf 44, Davis 40, Tucker 20 and Dharmasena 10.
OXENFORD, BROAD 'NEUTRALS' FOR
LANKA-INDIA ODI SERIES
Australian Bruce Oxenford is to work as the neutral umpire and Chris Broad of England the match referee in the five One Day Internationals (ODI) Sri Lanka and India are to play later this month, a series during which the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be operational. The last of the five matches, which is to be played in Pallekele, will see Sri Lankan member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) Tyron Wijewardene standing in his 50th ODI.
Oxenford's appointment by the ICC is a further indication that he is in line for elevation to its Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), possibly before year's end if some reports currently circulating are correct (PTG 962-4679 above). The Queenslander is to stand with Ranmore Martinesz a Sri Lankan IUP member in the first match in Hambantota and IUP third umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge in the second at the same ground, both those appointments being made by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).
Kumar Dharmasena, a Sri Lankan EUP member, has been nominated by SLC to stand with Oxenford in ODIs three and four in Colombo, then Wijewardenein will join the Australian for the fifth in Pallekele. With the UDRS not in operation, third umpire duties are expected to be shared by Martinesz, Palliyaguruge and Wijewardene.
By the time the ODI series ends in early August, Broad will have taken his referee record in ODIs to 211 matches, Wijewardene's tallty will be 50, Oxenford's 39, Dharmasena's 38, Martinesz's 7 and Palliyaguruge's 3.
DE SILVA MISSED ANNUAL SLC UMPIRES
EXAMINATION, CLAIMS REPORT
Asoka de Silva, who until last year was a member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, did not take part in the annual examination Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) requires its senior umpires to undergo, and thus was "not considered" for an on-going contract, says a story published in Colombo's 'Sunday Times' yesterday. The SLC's exams were conducted in May and the first ten ranked umpires were called up for interviews by its Umpires Committee, after which selections for senior panels the 2012-13 year were made.
The Umpires Committee nominated Ranmore Martinesz, Tyron Wijewardene and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, to the ICC for appointment to the world body's second-tier International Umpires Panel (PTG 961-4674, 13 July 2012). The next five in ranking order are said to be Maurice de la Zilva, 49, Sena Nandaweera, 58, Ravindra Wimalasiri, 42, Sagara Gallage, 47, and Nishan Dhanasinghe, 45, and they have been named as members of the SLC's Emerging Umpires Panel for the year ahead. Raveendra Kottachch and Rohitha Kottachchi are said to have been ranked at nine and ten respectively.
The Umpires Committee interview is said to have involved a "range of questions on the Laws of Cricket" and general "knowledge of the game". In making their final selections the selection panel are said to have also taken into account match "statistics and reports along with personal observations [that were] available".
Gallage, Dhanasinghe and Wimalasiri are all former first class players who featured in 19, 45 and 42 games respectively. Nandaweera, who has been standing at first class level since 2002, has to date stood in 63 such games, Gallage's debut came in 2004 and has 60 first class matches to his name, Dhanasinghe in February 2006 (28 matches) and de la Zliva in December that year (47 games), while Wimalasiri made his debut in January 2008 and has currently stood in 34 matches. Wimalasiri was chosen for last month's Asian Cricket Council Under-19 tournament and was selected to stand in the final with Singapore's Sarika Prasad (PTG 959-4666, 10 July 2012).
During his international umpiring career between 1999 and 2011, the now overlooked de Silva officiated in 49 Tests, 122 One Day Internationals and 11 Twenty20 Internationals. The 'Times', which described his "career as an ICC international umpire" as "chequered", says that he "is to be given a farewell by SLC", however, no details of just when that will occur were mention by the 'Times'.
The SLC's annual umpire selection process has, as has been the case for many years (PTG 8901-3921, 20 July 2011), again resulted in claims from what the country's 'Daily Mirror' describes as "some of the country’s top umpires", "that they might resort to legal action again to stop the never ending injustices [that has been] plaguing the country’s umpiring for years". They are said to be frustrated by "favouritism shown by the Sri Lanka Cricket Umpires Committee in picking officials for the ICC panel and international assignments".
"Three top umpires" are said to have "complained [about] the injustice they face" to Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission (HRC). It is said to have finished its inquiry into their claims and is expected to "issue their verdict shortly". SLC Umpires Manager Carlton Bernadus is said to have "admitted" at the HRC hearing that there had been "discrepancies in the criteria followed by the previous Umpires Committee" and "had promised to rectify them this year".
BAILEY 'BACK' TO IUP
THIRD UMPIRE SPOT
English umpire Rob Bailey's reported promotion to an on-field spot on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) late last week (PTG 961-4674, 13 July 2012), appears to have been a 'clerical' error, for the ICC's web site was amended over the weekend and he is now back in his former third umpire spot. Richard Illingworth continues to be listed as an IUP on-field umpire, but the spot that Bailey was placed in, which was formerly occupied by Nigel Llong who is now on the ICC's top Elite Umpires Panel (PTG 953-4628, 28 June 2012), is now blank.
PLAYING THE GAME
Wednesday, 18 July 2012
ICC AUSTRALIA-NZ RUPM
POSITION APPEARS VACANT
The 'Australia-NZ' (ANZ) position on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Regional Umpire Performance Manager (RUPM) panel for 2012-13 appears to be vacant at the current time. The ICC posted details of the five-man RUPM group for the year ahead on its web site on Monday, the ANZ spot being listed as 'TBA', for 'To Be Advised'; a move that comes, perhaps coincidently, soon after claims arose that Australian umpire Simon Taufel will retire soon and take up an ICC training role (PTG 962-4679, 16 July 2012).
In basic terms, the role of RUPM members is to work with and support ICC 'Elite' and second-tier 'International' umpire panel members who are assigned to international matches in their region, a task that involves keeping detailed logs of on-field work, and preparing general reports of performance (E-News 234-1296, 24 April 2008). The RUPM structure, which has positions that cover 'Africa', 'UK/West Indies', 'India/Bangladesh', 'Sri Lanka/Pakistan' and ANZ, was first established by the ICC in 2008 (E-News 234-1296, 24 April 2008).
Melbourne-based Bob Stratford, 62, who stood in twelve first-class matches in the mid-1990s, was appointed to the RUPM ANZ position when the regional managers structure was first adopted (PTG 262-1417, 26 June 2008), and he has worked in that role in the time since. Whether his contract with the ICC has ended, or he has resigned from the position is not known.
The ICC's list for 2012-13 also suggests that former South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen may have ended his time as the RUPM's 'Africa' representative, a position he took on two years ago (PTG 640-3191, 30 July 2010). Former England Test umpire Barry Duddlestone, who has been the RUPM 'UK/West Indies' member since April last year (PTG 752-3692, 2 April 2011), is listed against that area and also 'Africa', and he thus would appear to have a very large area to cover. The incumbents for the other two areas, Arani Jayaprakash ('India/Bangladesh') and Peter Manual (Sri Lanka/Pakistan), remain unchanged.
'PTG' contacted the ICC yesterday to try and determine just what the actual situation is regarding the positions Stratford and Koertzen have filled in recent years, but as yet no reply has been received and the ICC web site remains unchanged this morning.
In another ICC web post this week, former West Indies opener Adrian Griffith is missing from the world body's second-tier Regional Referees Panel (RRP), his former 'Americas' position being listed as 'TBA'. A report last month said that Griffith, 40, was to join the ICC operations department as its umpire and referees administrator under Vince van der Bilj, the ICC's current umpire and referees manager (PTG 951-4621, 18 June 2012).
ONE-YEAR BAN TO GO TO
The Flatts club in Bermuda has asked the island's Ministry of Sports Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) arbitration panel to look into the one-year ban handed to their main strike bowler Kevin Hurdle by the Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) last month (PTG 950-4618, 15 June 2012). Hurdle, 35, was censured for his involvement in a brawl that forced a First Division match on the island to be abandoned on the first day of the season in early May (PTG 935-4548, 10 May 2012).
Soon after Hurdle was handed the ban Flatts made a formal appealed the BCB but that was subsequently turned down (PTG 953-4630, 26 June 2012). A story in Bermuda's 'Royal Gazette' yesterday says that the club is "upset with the manner in which the BCB handled the disciplinary case and that is why they have asked the ADR to make a ruling on the matter in order "to get [what a Flatts' source' described as ] a more objective view of the case".
Flatts view that Hurdle’s punishment was "too severe" is a claim that the BCB is said to "strongly reject". BCB chief executive Neil Speight told the 'Gazette' that "any claims that the penalty assessed on Kevin is excessive have absolutely no foundation". “Kevin Hurdle pled guilty to both Code of Conduct breaches [laid against him] at his recent hearing", continued Speight, and "the Disciplinary Committee levied the minimum penalty available to them after considering [what were] mitigating circumstances".
Hurdle was found guilty of kicking the player/coach of the opposing side and showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision. There were no official umpires at the abandoned match that was halted in the 23rd over of the second innings of the one-day game.
PLAYING THE GAME
Friday, 20 July 2012
REIFFEL ANNOUNCES HIS TEST
UMPIRING DEBUT VIA 'TWITTER'
Former Australian fast bowler Paul Reiffel will make his Test debut for a second time, on this occasion as an umpire, when he stands in the West Indies-New Zealand series beginning next week, a sign that he is seen as a potential candidate for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) sometime in the future. The ICC has yet to announce the appointment, the news coming from Reiffel himself yesterday via his 'Twitter' account.
Reiffel, now 46, played 35 Tests and 92 One Day Internationals (ODI) for Australia in the 1990s, one of the latter games being a win in the World Cup final of 1999. Following retirement in January 2002, he was selected along with now EUP member Rod Tucker as one of the original members of Cricket Australia's (CA) 'Project Panel' later that year, the aim of that group being to "fast-track" first-class players into umpiring. He made his first-class umpiring debut in December 2004 and joined CA's National Umpires Panel six months later, then in 2008 was promoted to the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (PTG 336-1770, 25 October 2008).
Melbourne-born Reiffel's first Test next week will be his 50th game as an umpire at first class level, 38 of those matches so far being in Australia's Sheffield Shield competition, two of them finals, and a further two during an exchange visit to South Africa in March 2010 (PTG 594-2989, 10 March 2010). The other 9 were tour matches involving teams from England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
On the way to Test selection he was named as CA's 'Umpire of the Year' for the 2008-09 austral summer (PTG 386-2048, 12 March 2009), the same year he was awarded a $A20,000 Australian Sports Commission National Officials Scholarship to further develop his officiating skills (PTG 369-1963, 9 February 2009)
Reiffel, who now resides in Queensland, made his umpiring debut at international level in January 2009. Since then he has gone on to stand in 23 ODIs, 11 of them being ICC appointments, 7 in Bangladesh and 4 in Sri Lanka, plus 7 Twenty20 Internationals. His 'Tweet' yesterday read: "Off to the west indies , w.i v n.z test series , its a weird feeling to make your test debut for a second time !!! #strangefeeling" (sic).
The West Indies and New Zealand are to play two Tests over the next two-and-a-half weeks, the first in Antigua starting next Wednesday, and the second in Jamaica. It would appear from his message that Reiffel will stand in both games, but the ICC is yet to announce who his match referee or fellow umpires will be.
When he takes the field next week Reiffel will become the 91st Australian to have officiated in a Test. Of those 20 made their debuts in the 19th Century, 66 in the 20th, and five so far in the 21st Century - Simon Taufel in 2000, John Smeaton (2001), Bruce Oxenford and Rod Tucker (both 2010), and now Reiffel in 2012.
UMPIRE CHALKS UP 50
YEARS AT THE CREASE
English umpire Brian Cartwright is celebrating 50 years at the crease this year, the last 33 northern summers being with Nottinghamshire's Bassetlaw and District League (BDL). Cartwright, 74, says that umpiring is "not only the best place to watch [a] game, it is also a very enjoyable thing to be doing" and he has no current plans to retire for "while I've got my health what's the point of packing it in?”
Cartwright started his umpiring career in the Mansfield and District League after returning home from national service with the Royal Air Force in 1962. He went on to spells in other competitions, including the North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire League, then was "persuaded" to stand in the BDL in 1979. In those five decades though he has not seen a worse English summer than the current one for rain has led to the cancellation of many matches, and as such its been "very frustrating for players, people watching and umpires" alike.
During his time Cartwright has umpired a number of former international players, including England's Tim Robinson, who is now a first class umpire, Derek Randall and Devon Malcolm. “I can remember [Malcolm] bowling at my end which quite an experience", he said, and “[Randall] and the way he batted", describing such things being "great memories". He also had the opportunity to umpire a game at Trent Bridge, which was a "thrilling experience".
Asked about anything unusual that had happened to him during matches, he recalled the day he had to stop a game "because of the sun". It "was very low and full, and in everyone’s eyeline so I had to stop play for about 10 minutes". “Everyone thought the match was over but we re-started soon after and completed the game".
"There have also been plenty of other incidents when stumps have not broken and players have not appealed when they should have done", and he is "always surprised how many cricketers do not know the rules of the game and fail to appeal [as it] happens more than you would think".
Cartwright is keen to see other people follow in his footsteps and take up umpiring in the BDL. “We need more umpires and it would be great to see more people coming forward to take it up". He told local media that he is “very proud of having reached 50 years [as] there are not many umpires around who have been doing it as long".
BUDGETARY, PROGRAM ISSUES
BEHIND RUPM CUT?
The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that Barry Duddlestone, its England-based 'UK/West Indies' Regional Umpire Performance Manager (RUPM), has had the Zimbabwean part of the 'Africa' RUPM position added to his duties. ICC umpire and referee manager Vince van der Bilj is to cover internationals in South Africa with Duddlestone "helping out" there "as required", the pair overseeing the areas looked after over the last two years by former South African umpire Rudi Koertzen who has "retired" (PTG 963-4684, 18 July 2012).
The ICC established the five, now four, RUPM positions four years ago as a direct result of a lengthy review of international umpiring conducted by a high-powered ICC 'task force' made up of then ICC President-Elect David Morgan, the ICC's Chief Match Referee Rajan Madugalle, David Richardson, ICC's then General Manager Cricket and now Chief Executive, and Geoff Allardice of Cricket Australia (CA); Doug Cowie the ICC's then Umpires Manager providing secretarial and administrative support (PTG 126-686, 1 November 2007).
RUPMs were seen as an important facet of the then new structure, the totality of which was designed to improve the way umpiring was managed and overseen at international level. Other facets introduced at that time included the expansion of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel from 10 to 12 "to cope with busy periods in the cricket calendar", the establishment of an "independent" umpire selection panel, and an improved pay structure for international umpires, including a merit-based increment (PTG 99-541, 13 September 2007).
Given the large number of former first class and international umpires in South Africa and Zimbabwe, basic business practice suggests that the decision not to replace Koertzen as the 'Africa' RUPM with a 'local' from that continent was driven by budgetary issues. Just what they might be is not clear, however, possibilities include a tightening of the ICC's budget, a desire to improve pay for other RUPM members, or to free funds to support so far unannounced new work or positions within van der Bilj's department.
While it has cut back in 'Africa', the ICC told 'PTG' yesterday that its plans call for "another person" to fill the now vacant 'Australia-NZ' (ANZ) RUPM spot (PTG 963-4684, 18 July 2012). Whether someone will be 'parachuted' into the position or a selection process will ensue, and if so over what time frame, is not known at this time; but presumably the job will be filled prior to internationals getting underway in the Australia-NZ region in November.
Former ANZ incumbent Bob Stratford has, says the ICC, "stepped down to work for CA full time", presumably a reference to his role on CA's domestic Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP). A former first-class umpire, Stratford was Victoria's State Umpiring Manager for seven years until he resigned in June 2008 to take up the then new ANZ RUPM position (PTG 262-1417, 26 June 2008).
During his career Melbourne-based Stratford has also worked as a CA Umpire Coach, served on CA's Technical Committee, and worked as an Umpire Educator for CA in Bahrain, Bangladesh, Chin and Malaysia. He was named as an inaugural member of the UHPP in 2008 soon after taking up the RUPM position (PTG 274-1464, 11 July 2008).
TWO-MATCH BAN HANDED
DOWN FOR UMPIRE ABUSE
Oxfordshire batsman Craig Haupt has been banned for two games after showing dissent to an umpire while playing for his Banbury club in a recent Home Counties Premier League (HCPL) Division 1 fixture. Haupt was handed the ban because he argued with umpire Kevin Beaumont after he was given out LBW in a game again his side's local rivals.
His captain Jimmy Phillips told the 'Oxford Mail' that “Derby matches can bring out the best and worst in people, and they normally bring out the best in Craig, but he knows what he did during the match was wrong. “Craig and Kevin have known each other for years. It is not a personal issue. It was just related to things on the field", continued Phillips. “Craig went in and apologised and the pair had a beer afterwards, but he had obviously pushed it too far".
PLAYING THE GAME
Monday, 23 July 2012
PLAYER OUT FOR SIX YEARS AFTER TWO
SEPARATE UMPIRE ASSAULT 'THREATS'
Toronto Darrell, a player with the Willow Cuts side in Bermuda, has been banned from playing cricket on the island until 2018 as the result of an incident in a match played earlier this month, says the 'Royal Gazette' newspaper. Darrell was found guilty of a Level 4 disciplinary breach that involved the "Threat of assault on an Umpire or Match Referee" and suspended for five years, the particularly lengthy ban resulting from the fact that he had already been banned for a year for a separate, similar offence.
Darrell was handed his latest punishment by the Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) as the result of an incident in a match between his side, Willow Cuts, and Premier Division rivals St David’s two weeks ago. His earlier year-long suspended was for the threat of assault on an umpire in a match in late May (PTG 944-4595, 4 June 2012), the two Level 4 breaches leaving the BCB with little choice but to suspend him for a further five years, thus taking his overall suspension to six years. Currently he is ineligible to play in Bermuda until 13 July 2018.
It is not clear from reports available that Darrell was actually playing in the latest match in which he offended, although it would appear that he should not have been given the earlier one-year ban had been handed to him just over a week before the latest incident (PTG 953-4630, 26 June 2012), and he may therefore have been a spectator at the game.
Darrell's six-year sentence is the most severe of a string of significant bans that have been handed out by the BCB for a series of match-related incidents in the three months of the 2012 season to date (PTG 961-4677, 13 July 2012). His team mate Kevin Hurdle also received a one-year in late June for a different incident (PTG 953-4630, 26 June 2012), however, his case is being taken to Bermuda's Ministry of Sports Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) arbitration panel by his club (PTG 963-4684, 18 July 2012).
During the 2011 season, the BCB gave three players multi-year bans for their part in match-associated gang-related incidents (PTG 829-4053, 11 September 2011).
STATISTICS ON THE UP
The decision-making of Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena, a member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel, has improved over the past 18 months, according to statistics published in yesterday's edition of the Colombo newspaper 'The Nation'. ICC-collated data on the performance of its umpires, in this case Dharmasena, is rarely seen by the general public these days, in contrast to the more open situation that prevailed a decade ago.
'Nation' journalist Sa’adi Thawfeeq says that over the last six months of 2011, a period in which Dharmasena stood in 4 Tests and 5 One Day Internationals (ODI), "97.13 per cent" of the decisions he made in Tests, and "100 percent" of those in ODIs, were judged on close examination to have been correct calls. Dharmasena, 41, became a EUP member in May last year, just prior to the start of that period (PTG 766-3758, 26 May 2011).
Figures for the 12 months prior to that, 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011, when he was a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, show his statistics to have been "96.72" and "96.04" in his 2 Tests and 18 ODIs respectively. That period included the 2011 World Cup on the sub-continent, a series in which he was involved in the most referrals, 18, experienced by any other umpire whilst standing in a match, only two of which were changed after technology was consulted (PTG 754-3702, 7 April 2011)
Dharmasena, 41, who represented his country in 31 Tests and 141 ODIs from 1993-2004 as a spinner and useful late order batsman, told Thawfeeq that "many cricketers pursue different careers after they have finished playing". "I chose umpiring because it gives me a chance to be very close to the game which I love so dearly".
"Nobody encouraged me to take to umpiring [as] I had been weighing [the possibility] in my mind [during the last] few years of my playing career", he continued. “Because I loved it so much I sat for the exams and got through them easily". "I find it very easy to handle the players because I have played so much of cricket at international level", he said.
While the statistical improvement in his decision-making will be very satisfying to Dharmasena personally, it will also be reflected in the level of remuneration he receives, for the ICC introduced a merit-based increment to umpire pay four years ago (PTG 126-686, 1 November 2007). Thawfeeq claims that Dharmasena's latest set of statistics puts him "amongst the top umpires on the [EUP]", but no other details about such matters are available.
In his umpiring career to date Dharmasena has officiated in 9 Tests, 36 ODIs and 3 Twenty20 Internationals, although he will add to those figures over the next month. At present he is working as the third umpire in the first Test between England and South Africa at The Oval, a match that will end on Tuesday at the latest, next Saturday and the following Tuesday he will be back in Colombo for the third and fourth ODIs of the current Sri Lanka-India series (PTG 959-4681, 16 July 2012), then some 10 days later he will fly back to London for the start of the third England-South Africa Test at Lord's (PTG 959-4680, 16 July 2012).
ANOTHER OVER-RATE FINE
FOR DHONI AND HIS TEAM
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his side have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during their opening One Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka in Hambantota on Saturday. Dhoni's team were ruled to be an over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration, and in accordance with International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations match referee Chris Broad of England fined Dhoni 20 per cent of his match fee and his colleagues 10 per cent.
In January, Dhoni was suspended for one Test and his team fined as a result of a slow over-rate during the third Test against Australia in Perth. The one-match ban was imposed because it was the second time within a 12 months period that an Indian side led by Dhoni had been censured for slow over rates in a Test (PTG 888-4332, 16 January 2012).
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was suspended from the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle late last month after his side was found guilty of a "serious over-rate offence" during the fifth and final ODI between the two sides in Colombo a few days before (PTG 952-4624, 20 June 2012). The Pakistanis were found to be three overs short at the end of the match, which by ICC definition is a "serious over-rate offence", one or two overs short being a "minor" offence.
There has been a tightening of over-rate requirements over the last nine months after the the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Executive Board accepted a recommendation from its Cricket Committee in June 2011 that a captain of an international side should be suspended for one match if his side is found guilty of two "minor over-rate" offences in the same match format over a 12-month period (PTG 783-3832, 28 June 2011).
LANKAN TO STAND IN U-19
WORLD CUP, SAYS REPORT
Sri Lankan umpire Ranmore Martinesz is to officiate in next month's Under-19 World Cup event in Australia, according to press reports from the island nation over the weekend. The same stories state that he has also been assigned as the 'neutral' umpire for the five One Day Internationals (ODI) Bangaldesh and the West Indies are to play in November-December, his first overseas assignment by the ICC for a series involving Test playing nations.
Martinesz, 45, who played one U-19 ODI for his country in March 1985 and then had a brief first class career of four games in 1994-95, made his umpiring debut at that level in January 2000 and in the dozen years since gone on to stand in a total of 117 such matches, all of them in Sri Lanka. His List A games now total 102, 7 of those being One Day Internationals (ODI), while his Twenty20 International tally is also currently 7.
An on-field umpire member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) Martinescz has, in addition to the U-19 World Cup and the ODI series in Bangladesh, also been chosen as the "Mentor Umpire" for the World Cricket League Division 4 tournament in Malaysia in early September.
The ICC has yet to announce the umpires and match referees who will work in next month's U-19 World Cup, however, press reports over the last few months have indicated that two other IUP members, Owen Chirombe of Zimbabwe and Peter Nero of the West Indies, will take part, as well as Sarika Prasad of Singaopore who is a member of the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel (PTG 960-4672, 11 July 2012).
PITCH PANEL CLEARS
COUNTY AFTER 'SPIN-FEST'
Lancashire escaped a points penalty after an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pitch panel concluded that weather-related issues were behind the "poor" rating given to the pitch that was prepared for the County Championship match against Worcestershire at Old Trafford last week. ECB pitch liaison officers Chris Wood, Bill Hughes and Jack Birkenshaw were brought in as a result of the "excessive turn" that ensued during the match.
The trio interviewed umpires George Sharp and Peter Willey, the captain and coach of both teams and Lancashire's head groundsman, before determining that the bad weather that prevailed during the preparation of the pitch, which had "significant grass dying on the square", was behind the way it played during the game. The panel was convened after Lancashire lost the match inside three days, 34 of the 40 wickets taken in the game falling to spin.
Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson said of the pitch that "the bounce has been consistent [and its] up for debate how much skill batsmen have shown when coping with spin". Old Trafford, which saw the square turned by 90 degrees at the end of September 2010 (PTG 485-2519, 7 September 2009), is made up of a mixture of newly-laid pitches and ones that have been kept from the old square. It was a "new pitch on the extra square" that was involved in the match against Worcestershire.
TAUFEL'S 'DAY' FEATURED
ON ICC VIDEO CLIP
A six-minute video titled 'Follow a day in the life of Simon Taufel' was posted on the International Cricket Council's web site over the weekend. The feature was recorded whilst Australian umpire Taufel was in the United Arab Emirates for the 72-match World Twenty20 qualifier series in March, a competition in which he stood in 12 matches and worked as a mentor to the other umpires selected for the event (PTG 921-4485, 26 March 2012).
During the video Taufel touches on such issues as pre-match preparation, the items he carries with him on the field of play, and some of his routines and "superstitions". He says that on the way to a match in the transport van he prefers to keep to himself as "too much talking upsets me a little bit". Once at the ground, where he arrives at least an hour-and-a-half before the match starts, he has a routine of unpacking, and consulting with the groundsman and other officials.
Included in the "bag of tricks" he has with him on the ground are: scissors, a sprig tightener, eye drops, nail clipping file, bowler's marker, a spare bail ("they break fairly frequently"), lip balm, a note book for recording details such as bowler overs, delays to play, stoppages and decisions he makes, and "because I come from Australia", a small spray can of 'Aeroguard' an insect repellant. After that all that's needed is what he describes as the three Cs - "cap, counter and courage".
Taufel has some superstitions though and always follows a set routine. He won't for example put his boots or sun screen on until at least 30 minutes before the game starts, and then his left boot always goes on first. After that he lets his on-field colleague go out the door ahead of him and also carry the ball, and \to also shake hands with players and leave the ground ahead of him at the end of a game. Such "superstations", which relate to "humility and respect" for others, "don't always work", says Taufel, "but that's what we do".
After a match has ended and the associated paper work is complete, Taufel says its then very important to "get mental down-time". He tends to watch what he calls "brain dead TV - comedies, news channels or anything else but cricket umpire stuff".
The video clip can be seen at: http://www.icc-cricket.com/media_interactive_zone/broadcast_video.php?mediaId=3008
REMONSTRATION COSTS BATSMAN
HIS WICKET, AND HIS TEAM VICTORY
A batsman in a recent match in the North Staffs and South Chesire League was 'run out' after he left his crease to remonstrate with a fielder. Porthill Park's Fahad Masood pushed a ball down the ground and ran two, says a local newspaper, but he then ventured out of his crease and pointed his bat at the opposing skipper, claiming he had interfered with his running, but when the ball was returned and the bails removed he was given out.
Masood, who was on 64 at the time and is reported to have been batting well, is said to have believed that the ball was 'dead', but umpires Neil Somerville and Graham Spence judged otherwise and gave him out. He apparently had to be led from the field by his team-mates for he stood at the crease protesting after his dismissal. "Fahad thought he had permission from the umpire to leave his crease, but that obviously wasn't the case", said his skipper Neil Ellsmore after the game, and "it's a shame because he batted superbly [and] without the run out, we'd have won the game easily".
Porthill Park managed to get to 9/169 by the time their overs ran out, just behind the 7/170 scored by their opponents in what was a rain affected one-day game.
ALLARDICE APPOINTED AS NEW
ICC GENERAL MANAGER CRICKET
Geoff Allardice, who played 14 first class games as a batsman for Victoria in the early 1990s and has been Cricket Australia's (CA) General Manager Cricket Operations (GMCO) for the past eight months, was yesterday named as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) new General Manager Cricket (GMC). Allardice, 45, replaces long-serving incumbent David Richardson, who is now the ICC's Chief Executive Officer (PTG 936-4557, 11 May 2012), in a role that is responsible for match officials and the actual playing of the game at international level.
Prior to moving into the GMCO position last December, Melbourne-born Allardice worked as CA's Cricket Manager for close to a decade, one his tasks in that role involving matters related to the selection, training and management of umpires, as well as such issues as playing conditions. During that time he was one of four men appointed by the ICC to a 'task force' that conducted a detailed review of international umpiring and initiated a number of significant changes in that area that remain today (PTG 126-686, 1 November 2007).
Allardice's new ICC role is not dissimilar to his long-term CA job for the world body's Cricket Operations Department (COD), which he will now head, provides administrative services in support of playing the game at international level, including the selection, appointment, assessment and professional development of match officials for such fixtures. The group's tasks includes making all the logistical arrangements for match official's travel, accommodation, clothing, training and video analysis assessment of performance.
The COD also coordinates the implementation of regulations pertaining to the playing of the international game, particularly Playing Conditions, Code of Conduct arrangements, and regulations relating to illegal bowling actions, clothing, equipment, pitches and venues.
Commenting on Allardice's appointment, Richardson said he was a "great addition to the ICC team". "Geoff has a wealth of knowledge and experience, gained during his time with [CA]", and "I am looking forward to working with him and deploying his undoubted talent at the ICC".
It is not clear as yet just when Allardice will leave CA to take up his new position in Dubai, but when he does he will be the third senior CA staff member to have departed in the last eight months, the first being then CMCO Michael Brown in December and the second Competitions Manager Ben Oliver last month. The latter resulted in CA appointing Sean Easy as its new Umpire Manager after it moved the previous incumbent Sean Cary up the CA hierarchy (PTG 961-4675, 13 July 2012).
TWO WINDIES TESTS
Former Australian fast bowler Paul Reiffel has been appointed to both of the Tests the West Indies and New Zealand are to play in the Caribbean over the next two weeks, the first of which is scheduled to get underway in Antigua later today local time. Reiffel 'tweeted' news of his appointment last week (PTG 964-4686, 20 July 2012), however, it was not clear until the International Cricket Council (ICC) released details yesterday that he would stand in both games.
Ranjan Madugalle, the ICC's chief match referee, will oversee the series, while English umpire Richard Kettleborough will stand with Reiffel in the first Test and South African Marais Erasmus with the Australian in the second; the latter pair working a third umpire in the second and first games respectively. Kettleborough stood in three of the five One Day Internationals the two sides played earlier this month (PTG 955-4641, 30 June 2012).
While the series will be Reiffel's first in Tests as an umpire, he is no stranger to that level of the game having played in 35 such games in the 1990s Sri Lankan Madugalle played 14 Tests less than Reiffel during his career in the 1980s, however, the forthcoming series will take his tally as a referee in Tests to 136 matches - the highest on record. Both Erasmus and Kettleborough played first class cricket but not Tests, and their single games on the field in the series will take their tally at that level to 13 and 10 respectively.
The appointment of three umpires for the two Tests indicates that the Umpire Decision Review System will be in operation.
AUSSIE PRE-SEASON 'FINAL AUDITION'
FOR NEXT CA NUP MEMBER?
Reports that Australian umpire Simon Taufel is to retire from the world's top umpiring panel in October and be replaced by countryman Bruce Oxenford (PTG 959-4679, 16 July 2012), bring extra meaning to pre-season practice games that are to be played between senior Australian State squads in Queensland next month. Cricket Australia's (CA) current 'emerging' umpires group are believed to have been appointed to the series, and should Oxenford win promotion, one of them will replace him on CA's National Umpires Panel (NUP) before the 2012-13 season begins.
Current indications are that six umpires, five 'emerging' and one from the NUP, will support the practice games, be watched by members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP), and take part in umpire-related 'professional development' activities. 'Emerging' umpires likely to be involved are: Greg Davidson (New South Wales); Michael Graham-Smith (Tasmania); Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory); Damien Mealey (Queensland); and Richard Patterson (Victoria); but the name of the NUP member is not known.
Graham-Smith, Patterson and Lightbody took part in the four-nation Under-19 One Day International (ODI) series held in Townsville in April, the first two standing in the final (PTG 929-4519, 17 April 2012). Davidson missed being selected for that 10-game event (PTG 897-4367, 3 February 2012), however, next week he will be standing in an Under-19 ODIs between Australia and Pakistan along with NUP member Paul Wilson and CA Project Panel member Shawn Craig (PTG 949-4614, 13 June 2012).
Mealey, who made his first class debut last austral summer (PTG 899-4372, 9 February 2012), looks to be the only member of CA's previous emerging group still in contention for higher honours; Tasmanian Sam Nogajksi having been promoted to the NUP a month ago, while Michael Kumutat (NSW) and Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia) appear, for the moment at least, to have slipped to one side on Australia's national umpiring pathway.
If Taufel is to retire and Oxenford move up to the international stage, logic suggests that CA will already be well aware of the situation that would then unfold in just over two months time. Given UHPP members or their proxies have been closely watching those likely to be involved next month for several years now, probably in 20-25 games or more, CA should have a fairly clear idea as to who the key contenders for possible promotion to the NUP in a few month's time are. Next month's games will though give those involved a last chance to show their abilities before any selection is finalised.
Given his experience Patterson appears to be the front-runner at this stage. While Mealey has one first class game under his belt, Patterson chalked up a total of 22 over the five years from 1999. He is understood to have fallen out of favour with the then selectors in 2005, but reports indicate that since his return to senior cricket two years ago he has performed solidly.
Should a vacancy materialise whoever is chosen will of course join the NUP at or near the bottom of that group, but Oxenford's departure would also open up opportunities at the top where international opportunities lie. NUP member Paul Reiffel, who is currently standing in his first Test (PTG 967-4700 below), would move to the top of the list and occupy the first Australian on-field spot on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpire Panel (IUP), that group's current third umpire Simon Fry joining him in an on-field role, while John Ward is seen by many as the likely contender for the coming season's IUP third umpire's spot.
Cricket Australia (CA) has congratulated former Australian player Paul Reiffel on his appointment to his first Test in an umpiring role (PTG 964-4686, 20 July 2012). Reiffel is currently standing in the series between the West Indies and New Zealand, and CA's Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said in a press release issued before his debut on Wednesday that "it was great to see another Australian umpiring at Test level", an achievement he says is "a testament to CA’s umpire program".
Sutherland said that “Paul was a terrific cricketer for Australia who is now proving that he is an excellent official as well and we wish him all the best for his Test umpiring debut". “Paul’s rise to the top of umpiring ranks continues Australia’s proud history of producing quality umpires who have come through the development pathway and on to international honours, [and] we hope his transition from player to umpire will continue to inspire others to take that path once their playing days have concluded", continued Sutherland.
Reiffel, who commenced umpiring after retiring as a player was, along with Rod Tucker, appointed to CA's Project Panel (PP) when it was formed in 2002, its aim being to 'fast-track' former first class players into umpiring ranks. Tucker made his Test debut in 2010 and is now a member of the International Cricket Council's top Elite Umpires Panel for former first class, Reiffel being the second of the four PP members chosen over the last decade to stand in a Test.
Victorian-born and now Queensland-based Reiffel becomes just the fifth former Australian Test player to umpire a Test match, behind Charles Bannerman, George Coulthard, Patrick George McShane and Alan Richardson. The first three achieved the feat in the 19th Century, and the latter nearly 80 years ago in the 1930s.
Richardson, a South Australian who is not from the same lineage as Victor Richardson's grandsons the Chappell brothers, stood in 14 first class matches as an umpire in the period from 1934-37. His first nine games as an umpire were played in the West Indies in the 12 months from January 1934, and the last five in Australia during the 1936-37 austral summer. His two Tests as an umpire came not in Australia but during his stint in the Caribbean, and were between the West Indies and England.
Prior to umpiring Richardson played 86 first class games from 1919-33, most for his home state and the last few for Western Australia after he was appointed that State's coach. The first four of his nine Tests were played in Australia in 1924-25 and the last 5 in England in 1926. He also played seven seasons in the Lancashire League from 1928-34, the first four with Bacup and the other three for Burnley.
McShane, a Victorian, is somewhat unique and is likely to remain so in that his one and only Test as an umpire occurred before he played at that level, although the latter came only a week after the former. That umpiring debut, which was the fourth Test of the 1884-85 series, was played in Sydney in mid-March 1885 when he was 27, is his only one on record as an umpire in first class cricket. His first Test as a player came a few days later in Melbourne in the fifth match of the 1884-85 series. Overall McShane played 36 first class games from 1880-93, all of which were in Australia with three of those being Tests.
Bannerman umpired 12 Tests, 10 in Sydney and two in Melbourne between 1887 and 1902, his Test debut being only his third at first class level. Overall he stood in 58 first class matches in the period from 1887-1905 in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, his last four being in New Zealand, three being in Christchurch and one in Wellington. His first class playing career stretched from 1871-1888 and involved 44 games, 3 of them Tests, 18 in Australia, either Sydney or Melbourne, 15 in England during the tour of 1878, and one in Philadelphia in the United States on the way back home in that year.
Coulthard's story is a particularly tragic one for he died aged just 27 from tuberculosis. He played 6 first class games from 1880-82, his last being his one and only Test as a player. He went on to stand in two Tests, the first in January 1879 and the second in March 1882 but he died early in 1883 following a 16-month illness.
NEW UMPIRING NEWSLETTER
TO APPEAR NEXT MONTH
Cricket Australia (CA) plans to roll out the inaugural edition of its planned "periodical umpiring newsletter" next month, according to a note circulated to league and umpire associations by Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Youth Cricket Administrator Will Braid yesterday. Braid says that CT "strongly recommends that cricket associations and umpiring bodies around Tasmania" place the e-mail addresses of their officials on the 'MyCricket' web system, as the newsletter is to be distributed electronically.
The newsletter concept, which was endorsed by State and Territory Director of Umpires (SDU) at CA's annual post season meeting in Melbourne in April (PTG 933-4538, 2 May 2012), is reported to be seen as containing such items "news on umpiring courses, CA appointments of interest, Law changes and useful information for umpires at any level".
Reports indicate that it is being put together but an editorial group headed by current national Umpire Educator Denis Burns. Burns, who has a background in the development of high-tech training material (PTG 357-1901, 5 December 2008), is being supported in newsletter work by some of the eight SDUs from around the country. He is also thought to be currently working towards the release of the long-delayed and awaited revamp of CA's Level 2 training package (PTG 931-4529, 22 April 2012).
HAIR FINDS ANOTHER
Former Australian umpires Darrell Hair has a new role as manager of the St George Police and Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) on the outskirts of Sydney, according to an article published in this morning's 'St George and Sutherland Leader' newspaper. Hair, who retired from international cricket in 2008 then worked as the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association's (NSWCUSA) Executive Officer for three years until last November, "is no longer involved with the sport" says the 'Leader' article.
'Leader' journalist Emma Partridge says that Hair "never dreamed he would manage a PCYC when his mother told him to join the Orange PCYC in 1964 to stop his loitering after school". More than 750 members use the club's facilities for sport, including squash, soccer, gymnastics, indoor soccer, basketball mixed martial arts and boxing, and programs for traffic offenders' and children at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity are also run there. "I like the fact that [the PCYC] provides activities for youth and gets them off the street", says Hair.
Another aspect of the club is that music tutors offer tuition to youngsters aged from eight to their late teens in guitar, brass, keyboards or singing. Hair, who turns 60 late in September, said he had noticed a change in the five youths who started recording music with the help of PCYC, and that he would be delighted if someone donated a set of drums or any spare instrument. "Since they have been involved in music it's actually given them a real sense of purpose and to be able to record their songs and have other people hear it is good for their morale".
The former umpire, who with 78 games is currently fifth in the all-time list of Test umpires, hopes "to revive a Friday night drop-in session where kids could watch movies and sporting games and plans to host barbecues at railway stations in the area to recruit more members".
On the cricket front Partridge quotes Hair, who missed out on a NSWCUSA Board position last month (PTG 958-4868, 7 July 2012), as saying that "People say to me with all the controversy and that sort of thing that I must be disheartened with the game", however, "nothing could be further from the truth because I really loved cricket". "It sent me to all parts of the world and took me to places I never dreamed of going to, and took me to a few places I wouldn't dream of going back to".
Media reports from Antigua on Friday talked of "suspicions" New Zealand opening bowler Doug Bracewell had engaged in ball tampering during the second day of the opening Test against the West Indies. Despite what was described as "unusual behaviour" by Bracewell, an inspection of the ball by Test debutant Paul Reiffel of Australia does not appear to have turned up anything of concern.
During the fourth over of the West Indies' first innings, television footage showed the Kiwi pressing the ball against his thigh and some observers thought that he may have at the same time scratched its surface with his right index finger, "and other digits as well". Reiffel was not in a position to see what was happening but reports suggest he was alerted to the situation by third umpire Marais Erasmus of South Africa.
Reiffel requested the ball from Bracewell after the third ball of the over, however, there is no indication that he found any evidence of alteration to the condition of the ball. Match referee Ranjan Madugalle from Sri Lanka has not spoken to any members of the New Zealand squad or team management regarding the incident, say reports, although Bracewell's action "was not", wrote journalist Hamish Bidwell "a good look".
DUTCH BATSMAN REPRIMANDED
FOR LBW 'DUMMY SPIT'
Netherlands' opening batsman Wesley Barresi has received a warning and official reprimand for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision" during his side's World Cricket League 50-over one-day match against the United Arab Emirates in Rotterdam last week. Barresi was given out LBW, but "delayed in his departure from the crease after the umpire's decision" was given and "expressed his unhappiness" about the situation, says the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Match referee David Jukes said in an ICC statement that "One can understand Mr Barresi's disappointment but he should make his way more promptly from the crease and not linger so long in future. He should also remember to not express such unhappiness at the umpires' decision. I hope this reprimand and warning will remind him to always respect the umpires' decision".
The charge against Johannesburg-born Barresi, 28, was bought by on-field umpires Buddhi Pradhan of Nepal and Vineet Kulkarni of India. He pleaded guilty and accepted the proposed sanction.
GROUND'S FACILITIES, SLOW PAYMENT
OF FEES, CONCERNS IN SPORT-OF-SPAIN
"Disgruntled" umpires in Port-of-Spain are reported to have expressed concerns about a number of issues during the first of a series of symposiums on the future of the local game held by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) a week ago, says the 'Trinidad Express'. The prime focus was on the lack of facilities at the multi-pitch Queen's Park Savannah playing ground, which lies less than a kilometre from the more-famous Test oval and can host up to a dozen games simultaneously, but there were also concerns on the time being taken to pay match officials their fees.
Premchand Roopia raised concerns about "the lack of toilet facilities", saying that "the absence of washrooms poses a health hazard for officials and players alike", and is "particularly embarrassing for females who are continuing to play a leading role in the local game". In his view match officials have to perform their duties under "very difficult conditions", for "more often than not [they] cannot get a drink of cold water on match days", and when they are "fortunate to do so they may have to share the same cup with a half-dozen others".
Stephen Martel, secretary of the North Zone association which plays its matches at Savannah, is reported to have said he was well aware of the difficulties faced by players and match officials. He said there were "three washrooms there at one time", however, they were "demolished" by the Port-of-Spain City Corporation and talks are currently on-going with the Mayor about a solution, portable toilets being one option, he said. Martel also said problems associated with parking for players, match officials and spectators was also being tackled by the North Zone.
Roopia also expressed concern about umpire remuneration, particularly the time it takes for payments to be made and of "the need to institute a standard stipend" for officials. TTCB president Azim Bassarath responded by saying "the Umpires Council were solely responsible for umpires receiving late stipends", as his organisation usually passes on money to them within two weeks of a match being played.
'YOU ARE THE UMPIRE'
SERIES MAKES A RETURN
The cartoon-based 'You are the Umpire' series that has appeared periodically in 'The Guardian' newspaper over the last three years has made a return after nearly a 12 month break. Three new strips, each of which features three match scenarios for umpires to consider, have been posted on the 'Guardian' web site over the last two weeks, and the answers provided by former Test umpire John Holder have drawn quite a few responses from readers.
Issues included in number 47 of the series, the first of which was published in May 2009, include what are titled "some unorthodox protection, an impatient runner and a canine fielder", while number 48 has "a dance down the wicket, an unusual toss and some switch-hitting, and the latest number 49 "a mid-run rethink, a bowler's brainwave and a batsman who refuses to walk". Each scenario has attracted considerable comment on the 'comments' page of the site which is open to all to give their views.
Details are available on line at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/series/you-are-the-umpire