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   AUGUST 2012
THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
TOTAL OF 18 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 4707-4792)
Click below to access each individual edition listed below
969  970  971  972  973  974  975  976  977  978  
979  980  981  982  983  984  985  986

 

969 - 1 August  [4707-4709]

• Lankan exchange plans 'put on hold', claims report   (969-4707).

• Caymans umpire to stand in U-19 World Cup   (969-4708).

• Newest laws translation to assist game in Andhra Pradesh   (969-4709).

970 - 3 August [4710-4712]

• Early 'Dead Ball' call negates slips 'catch'   (970-4710).

• Fourth U-19 World Cup for Nepalese umpire   (970-4711).

• Return ICC uniforms or face fines, says SLC   (970-4712).

971 - 4 August [4713-4715]

• 2013 EUP candidates on show at U-19 World Cup   (971-4713).

• Newest CA NUP member for U-19 'warm up' matches   (971-4714).

• Two Aussie umpires make their international debuts   (971-4715).

972 - 6 August [4716-4720]

• 'Gamesmanship' prompted 'dead ball' calls, claim writers   (972-4716).

• Work continuing on new Aussie electronic scoring system   (972-4717).

• Pakistani umpire targeted via 'Twitter'   (972-4718).

• Sri Lanka fined for slow over-rate   (972-4719).

• Former first class umpire faces jail term   (972-4720).

973 - 7 August [4721-4724]

• ICC calls for 'Umpire Coach' applications  (973-4721).

• No day-night Tests listed for this austral summer   (973-4722).

• Tight stumping behind anti-umpire 'Tweet'?  (973-4723).

• NZC congratulates umpire on U-19 World cup selection  (973-4724).

974 - 8 August [4725,4729]

• Aussie 'emerging' umpires for 2012-13 announced  (974-4725).

• CA releases first edition of new umpires' newsletter  (974-4726).

• T20 final tied after last ball 'short run'   (974-4727).

• No day-night first class games scheduled for Australia in 2012-13   (974-4728).

• Artificial light scenarios examined at ICC match officials meeting   (974-4729).

975 - 10 August [4730]

• Don't call 'dead ball' for bowler's end stump strikes, says ECB  (975-4730).

976 - 13 August [4731-4734]

• World Cricket Committee set for 13th meeting  (976-4731).

• Ball-tampering suggestions 'storm in a tea cup', says Kiwi  (976-4732).

• Reprimand for 'dissent' handed out on day two of U-19 World Cup  (976-4732).

• Keeper struggling to retain vision in left eye  (976-4734).

977 - 14 August [4735-4739]

• All 13 EUP members on initial 'David Shepherd' trophy list   (977-4735).

• Five players nominated for ICC 'Spirit of Cricket' award  (977-4736).

• UDRS 'disagreements' on WCC agenda  (977-4737).

• National award for Pakistani umpire  (977-4738).

• Suspicions of corruption in Sri Lanka  (977-4739).

978 - 16 August [4740-4744]

• 'Degree of repetition' needed for Finn-type 'dead ball' call, says ICC  (978-4740).

• WCC wants 'robust accreditation process' for UDRS technology   (978-4741).

• 'Some support' at WCC meeting for 'switch hit' LBW change   (978-4742).

• ICC congratulated on approach to 'bad light'   (978-4743).

• 'Carefully chosen venues' needed for initial day-night Tests, says WCC   (978-4744).

979 - 17 August [4745-4750]

• Ban player mobile phones during televised domestic matches, says WCC   (979-4745).

• International umpire strongly denies 'exploitation' allegations   (979-4746).

• Police interview umpire after alleged match-related assault   (979-4747).

• Vote on proposed revamp of CA Board structure due today   (979-4748).

• Batsman docked disciplinary points for 'showing dissent'   (979-4749).

• Adelaide Oval to remain as 'Adelaide Oval'   (979-4750).

980 - 18 August [4751-4756]

• New CA scoring package set for release, but training time-line tight  (980-4751).

• NZC promotes former Otago all-rounder to IUP  (980-4752).

• Criticism after 'inconclusive' review overturns on-field decision  (980-4753).

• Taufel to move to equal third on all-time ODI list  (980-4754).

• ICC match officials for India-NZ Tests named  (980-4755).

• Proposed restructure of Australian Board approved  (980-4756).

981 - 20 August [4757-4760]

• Umpires reshuffled for last week of U19 World Cup   (981-4757).

• Neutral officials named for Australia-Afghanistan ODI   (981-4758).

• LBW decision revoked after chat with square leg, says report   (981-4759).

• Players 'indisciplined', most umpires 'incompetent' in Jamaica, claims scribe   (981-4760).

982 - 22 August [4761-4763]

• South Africa to trial day-night 'first class' match    (982-4761).

• De Silva to the fore in SLPL matches    (982-4762).

• U-19 players reprimanded for bat smash, clothing issues   (982-4763).

983 - 24 August [4764-4775]

• Three appear in running for U-19 World Cup final   (983-4764).

• Taufel comment fuels retirement reports   (983-4765).

• Jamaican umpires refute 'incompetent' claims   (983-4766).

• Umpires boycott matches over disciplinary issue    (983-4767).

• Constant effort needed to improve umpiring skills, says 'Secret' Agent   (983-4768).

• Players to adjust sleep patterns for 'late night' ODI series   (983-4769).

• All quiet so far on the 'wearables' front   (983-4770).

• ICC 'Elite' umpires domestic match records vary   (983-4771).

• Crude umpire 'game' available on line   (983-4772).

• ICC reprimand for too many company logos on gloves   (983-4773).

• First class official conducts Botswana umpiring course   (983-4774).

• Second sanction in eight weeks for Hampshire's Riazuddin   (983-4775).

984 - 25 August [4776-4779]

• Illingworth, Martinesz named for U-19 World Cup final   (984-4776).

• Chief match referee backs use of UDRS   (984-4777).

• Young Tasmanian wicketkeepers 'standing-up' must now wear helmets   (984-4778).

• Pollock welcomes day-night 'first class' trial   (984-4779).

985 - 28 August [4780-4783]

• 'Wearables' project to stretch into 2014  (985-4780).

• Test batsman reprimanded for 'serious dissent', but media focus on technology    (985-4781).

• Brisbane one week, Abu Dhabi the next  (985-4782).

• 'Official warning' to U-19 batsman for decision 'dissent'   (985-4783).

986 - 31 August [4784-4792]

• Six 'short listed' for 2012 ICC 'Umpire of the Year' trophy   (986-4784).

• Umpire hospitalised after 'back of the head' ball strike   (986-4785).

• Four week suspension handed to Devon League umpire    (986-4786).

• Taunton crowd 'angry' after batsman backing-up is 'run out'    (986-4787).

• Four in running for ICC 'Spirit of Cricket' award   (986-4788).

• 'Wearables' development costs $A500K and counting    (986-4789).

• Vacancy on England IUP group still appears open   (986-4790).  

• Long-serving Windies umpire announces departure   (986-4791).

• U-19 World Cup umpire to 'mentor' WCL officials   (986-4792).

 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 969
Wednesday, 1 August 2012    

 LANKAN EXCHANGE PLANS 'PUT 

ON HOLD', CLAIMS REPORT 

[PTG 969-4707]

 

Plans by Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) umpires committee to send officials to stand in first-class matches in Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa early next year have been "put on hold" by SLC's Executive Committee for financial reasons, say media reports from Colombo.  The SLC has umpire exchange agreements with the national Boards of all three countries, the longest standing being with Bangladesh and the latest with New Zealand which was announced in 2010 (PTG 684-3354, 19 October 2010).

 

The latest press reports state that the proposal put forward by the umpires committee called for "two Sri Lanka umpires to officiate in three first-class matches" in each of the three countries, and "two umpires from each of the three countries" to stand in three first-class matches in Sri Lanka.  In recent years SLC has sent two umpires to Bangladesh in a season. but only one to both New Zealand and South Africa.

 

SLC has had a difficult time financially over the last 15 months after incurring debts close to $A70 million as a result of the work involved in building stadiums in Hambantota and Pallekele, and renovating the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, for the last year's World Cup. 

 

The SLC first sent umpires to Bangaldesh in 2008, then to Pakistan early the next year, but while the former program has continued unabated until now, the latter appears to have been abandoned following the terrorist attack in Lahore (PTG 380-2021,  4 March 2009).  The exchange with South Africa commenced in late 2010 and to New Zealand early in 2011 (PTG 728-3582, 17 February 2011), but neither appears to have been operational this year.  

 

CAYMAN UMPIRE TO STAND 

IN U-19 WORLD CUP 

[PTG 969-4708]

 

Courtney Young from the Cayman Islands is the latest umpire to be identified by press reports as an official who is to stand in next month's Under-19 World Cup tournament in Queensland.  Young, 57, who is one of 11 members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel (AAUP), has stood in a range of ICC events held in the Americas, Asia and Europe over the last seven years. 

 

Young began his umpiring career in 1993 after a successful playing career with local clubs in the Caymans,  a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea that has a total population of around 55,000.  Since 2005, the ICC has flown him to Ireland, Italy and Malaysia once each, twice to both Argentina and the United States, and three times each to Bermuda and Canada, to officiate in international games or tournaments.    

 

President of the Cayman Islands Cricket Umpires Association for 17 years until this year, he describes former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor as his "inspiration" for he admired "his cool demeanour and his knowledge of the game.  Young told local media that he feels “humbled and honoured to be chosen" for the Under-19 World Cup.  It is a "real privilege and honour", and despite his age he believes "the sky is the limit" and he "wants to test [himself] will continue to work towards the highest level" of the game.

 

Young is the second AAUP member known to have been chosen for next month's series, Sarika Prasad of Singapore being the other (PTG 960-4672, 11 July 2012).  Members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel identified to date for the event are: Owen Chirombe of Zimbabwe (PTG 942-4583, 29 May 2012); Peter Nero of the West Indies (PTG 959-4661, 10 July 2012); and Ranmore Martinecsz of Sri Lanka (PTG 965-4693, 23 July 2012).  

 

A total of 10 IUP, 6 AAUP members and three match referees are expected to be named for the U-19 World Cup.   

 

NEWEST LAWS TRANSLATION TO 

ASSIST GAME IN ANDHRA PRADESH

[PTG 969-4709]

 

The 'Laws of Cricket' have been translated into Telugu as part of efforts to make coaching and other information more widely available in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India where it is an official language.  The Laws now form part of the Indian National Cricket Academy's (NCA) Telugu language Coaching Manual which was released by the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) in Hyderabad on Sunday, says the 'Times of India' (TOI).

 

Translation of the Laws into a language that is spoken by some 74 million people, the third largest group of native speakers in India, was undertaken by umpire Surapaneni Rama Krishna, who has a background as a science teacher.  The work, which took a year, was described by him as a "labour of love".  He said he had tried to simplify the language "so that even a common man could understand the nuances" of the Laws,  but that he had "not compromised" on the meanings involved.

 

After Rama Krishna completed the translation it was sent to the NCA and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for consideration.  Subsequently both the BCCI and NCA approved the manual, says the 'TOI', and also expressed appreciation to the ACA for a work that will "help take the game to the grassroots level" in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring areas where Telugu is spoken.


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 970
Friday, 3 August 2012  
 

EARLY 'DEAD BALL' CALL 

NEGATES SLIPS 'CATCH'  

[PTG 970-4710]

 

England fast bowler Steven Finn was denied the wicket of South Africa captain Graeme Smith early on the first day of the second Test at Headingley yesterday after the opening batsman was caught at slip following a 'dead ball' call by Australian umpire Steve Davis.  Reports say that the ball was called 'dead' by Davis as soon as Finn dislodged the bails at the non-striker's end in what was the third ball of his second over, the third time he had come in contact with the stumps in the nine balls he had bowled up until that time. 

 

England captain Andrew Strauss is said to have had "an animated discussion with Davis" following the 'dead ball' call, and soon afterwards the incident produced a heavy volume of chatter across the full range of media platforms.  The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who are the guardians of the Laws of Cricket, defended the Australian's call, but it has also indicated that its Laws sub-committee will look closely at the situation.  Fraser Stewart, the MCC's Laws manager is being quoted by the 'Cricinfo' web site this morning as saying that "we will discuss amending the Laws", "but we will not rush into anything". 

 

The MCC explained in a post placed on its web site very soon after the incident, that "No specific Law dictates whether or not a bowler should be penalised for disturbing the stumps at the non-striker's end".  Its assessment was that Davis had applied Law 23.4 (vi) which requires an umpire to call 'dead ball'  if "the striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery".  

 

"Of course", continued the MCC, "what the Umpire feels is distracting to the batsman is entirely subjective", but in the circumstances "Davis was within his rights to signal dead ball".  Later in the first session Davis, who is standing in his 38th Test and 121st first class game overall, called 'dead ball' again after Finn broke the wicket for the fourth and fifth time and on both those occasions Smith hit him for four, but as the ball was 'dead' by the time he received it, those 'runs' did not stand.   

 

A number of media reports written following end-of-play press conferences say that both Smith and his opening partner Alviro Petersen had complained to Davis before the former's 'dismissal' that Finn's habit of knocking the stumps was "off-putting".  Television pictures appeared to show Smith talking to Davis about something, possibly just that, when he was the non-striker, but well prior to his nick to slips off Finn; however, there appears to be no visual evidence that he was distracted when he played the shot that got the edge.  

 

England bowler James Anderson is quoted as saying that "Finny was told to be careful because it was distracting the batsmen, [but] at no stage was he told it would be called 'dead ball' ".  "There is nothing in the rules that says the umpire can't do that", continued Anderson, but "It's strange that no batsmen have complained about it before", although "if it was distracting and they told the umpire, then fair enough".  Evidence currently available suggests that Strauss, as the captain of the fielding side, was not made aware by Davis of the advice that he is said to have given to Finn, nor what potentially might happen should his collisions with the stumps continue.  

 

'Cricinfo' says in a story published overnight that there is precedent for Davis' decision.  A similar situation arose in first-class game between Cambridge University and Lancashire in April after a batsmen from the latter side complained to the umpires that Cambridge seamer and opening bowler Peter Turnbull, who like Finn also has a habit of dislodging the bails with his leg in his delivery stride, was distracting them with such actions.  

 

Umpires Russell Evans and Steve O'Shaughnessy, who are both former first class players, are said to have decided then that all such repeat occurrences in that match would result in the ball being called 'dead'.  O'Shaughnessy is a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board's top or 'Full' umpires list, while Evans is on its secondary 'Reserve' list this year.

 

FOURTH U-19 WORLD CUP 

FOR NEPALESE UMPIRE

[PTG 970-4711]

 

Nepalese umpire Buddhi Pradhan is to stand in his fourth-straight Under-19 World Cup in six years later this month, according to a report received by 'PTG' yesterday.  Prahan, 36, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpires Panel (AAUP), has to date stood in a total of 16 games across the last three U-19 World Cups in Sri Lanka in 2006, Malaysia in 2008 and New Zealand in 2010 (PTG 560-2848, 29 January 2010). 

 

Since his international debut seven years ago, Prahdan has featured in a total of 11 first class and 18 One Day Internationals, all of which were fixtures between second-tier national sides.  Last month he was on the field in England in a range of County Second XI matches as part of three-week development program hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (PTG 957-4654, 5 July 2012).  After that he travelled to the Netherlands where he officiated in a World Cricket League one-day series involving that country and the visiting United Arab Emirates' side (PTG 968-4704, 29 July 2012). 

 

Pradhan is the third AAUP member known to have been chosen for next month's series, Sarika Prasad of Singapore (PTG 960-4672, 11 July 2012) and Courtney Young from the Cayman Islands being the others (PTG 969-4708, 1 August 2012).  Members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel identified to date for the event are: Owen Chirombe of Zimbabwe (PTG 942-4583, 29 May 2012); Peter Nero of the West Indies (PTG 959-4661, 10 July 2012); and Ranmore Martinecsz of Sri Lanka (PTG 965-4693, 23 July 2012). 

 

The ICC indicated earlier this week that the full list of match officials for the 48-match U-19 series, which is due to get underway in earnest on Saturday week, would be released on Wednesday, but so far that has not occurred.  Over the last month the world body has released a plethora of media statements about the forthcoming tournament, most of them focusing on how important past World Cup tournaments were to player's eventual careers; however, no mention has been made to date about match officials.

 

Now-established players who have been rolled out to laud the importance of previous U-19 World Cups to their careers included South Africans Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla (2000 in Sri Lanka), Pakistan’s middle-order batsman Azhar Ali (2002 in New Zealand), Sri Lanka's Angelo Matthews and Alastair Cook of England (2004 in Bangladesh), and former Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, Australian David Warner and West Indies Kieron Pollard (all 2006 in Sri Lanka).  

 

Pollard's reported statement that those involved in the 2012 event "will have an excellent opportunity to break into international cricket if they manage to produce solid performances", was echoed by the others, and is probably also true for at least some of the umpires in terms of their potential for eventual elevation to ICC's top Elite Umpires Panel (EUP).  

 

The two umpires who stood in the 2010 U-19 world final, Sri Lanka's Kumur Dhamesena and England's Richard Kettleborough are now EUP members, while a third who took part in that tournament, Bruce Oxenford of Australia, is expected by some observers to join the elite group in a couple of months (PTG 959-4679, 16 July 2012).

 

RETURN ICC UNIFORMS OR 

FACE FINES, SAYS SLC 

[PTG 970-4712]

 

The six Sri Lankan umpires who have worked as fourth umpire in international matches on the island over the last few months have been requested to return their uniforms at the end of their national side's current series against India or face a fine, says a report posted on the 'Island Cricket' web site yesterday.  Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are said to have indicated that the uniforms must be returned by Sunday week, otherwise the individuals concerned will face fines of $A20-30 per day thereafter.

 

According to Channaka de Silva, the sports editor of Sri Lanka’s 'Daily Mirror' newspaper, the SLC is short of ICC uniforms as a result of the "large number of umpires given international exposure by SLC" in recent times.  He says that the ICC does not allow its member Boards to manufacture uniforms and instead provides the number that home national bodies request "for each [international] series", a situation that has reportedly been confirmed by ICC spokesman Colin Gibson.

 

The umpires concerned, who include Sagara Gallage, Sena Nandiweera, Raveendra Wimalasiri and Maurice Zilwa, were reportedly notified of the return requirement via e-mail by Carlton Bernardus, the SLC's manager of umpires and match referees, but he is said by the 'Mirror' to have refused to comment publicly on the matter.

 

Reports say that the SLC is currently experiencing financial constraints brought about as a result of issues related to last year's World Cup, a situation the recently forced it to put umpire exchange programs with Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa "on hold" for at least the time being (PTG 969-4707, 1 August 2012).

  PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 971
Saturday, 4 August 2012  

2013 EUP CANDIDATES ON

SHOW AT U-19 WORLD CUP 

[PTG 971-4713]

 

Two former Test players who made their umpiring debuts at that level this year have been named amongst the 16-man umpiring group who will look after this month's 48-match, one-day format, Under-19 World Cup tournament in Australia.  With several positions on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) potentially up for grabs in 10 months time, they and several others who will be in action over the next four weeks in the State of Queensland will be out to again impress the selectors.   

 

Of the 16 umpires chosen, 10 are from the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) and six from its third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel (AAUP), a pattern that is the same that applied in the 2010 event in New Zealand.  They will work in matches that will be under the general supervision of senior ICC match referees David Boon of Australia and Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, plus Boon's countryman Steve Bernard, the newest addition to the ICC's second-tier Regional Referees Panel (PTG 866-4233, 1 December 2011).  

 

IUP members named are: Ahsan Raza (Pakistan); Owen Chirombe (Zimbabwe); Johan Cloete (South Africa); Enamul Hoque Moni (Bangladesh); Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand); Richard Illingworth (England); Ranmore Martinez (Sri Lanka); Peter Nero (West Indies); Paul Reiffel (Australia); and Ravi Sundaram (India).  Those from the AAUP are: Ian Ramage (Scotland); Mark Hawthorne and Richard Smith (Ireland); Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal); Sarika Prasad (Singapore); and Courtney Young (Cayman Islands).

 

Reiffel is today standing in his second Test following his debut at that level in the West Indies last week (PTG 967-4700, 27 July 2012), while Moni stood in his first Test last January (PTG 888-4331, 16 January 2012), although he has been overlooked in the time since.  Of the others Raza, Cloete, Gaffaney, Illingworth, Martinecz and Ravi have all worked as television umpires in Tests, although ICC 'neutral' umpire appointments in One Day Internationals over the last few years suggest that Illingworth, and then probably Cloete, Gaffaney, and Martinez, are after Reiffel and Moni, next on the world body's current 'watch list'. 

 

Seven of the 16 match officials have taken part in previous U-19 World Cup tournaments.  The Queensland series will be Prahdan's fourth in a row (PTG 970-4711, 3 August 2012), Prasad's third after since Malaysia (2008) and New Zealand (2010); Mahaanama's third after Bangladesh (2004) and Sri Lanka (2006); Moni's second after Malaysia; Chirombe and Ramage's second, their first being in 2010; and also Cloete's second after the 1998 event in his home country.  

 

The latter tournament was played at a time when the host nation provided the umpires, but Cloete, who had made his first class debut four years before that at the age of just 22, still managed to be selected for the final along with another South African first class umpire, the late Stewart Deenik.

 

In terms of current age, Young is the oldest umpire selected at 57, then comes Ramage 53, Prasad 52, Hawthorne and Illingworth both 49, Nero 48, Moni, Ravi and Reiffel all 46, Martinez 45, Cloete, 41, Smith who turns 40 at the end of this month, Chirombe 39, Raza 38 and Gaffaney and Prahdan both 36.  Illingworth, Moni, Reiffel, Raza and Gaffaney played at first class level before taking up umpiring, the first three plus Boon and Mahanama also representing their country at Test level.  

 

Eight of the umpires, evenly split between IUP and AAUP members, will work under Mahanama in the 12 'first round' matches that are to be played in Townsville over six-straight days beginning next Saturday.  That group is made up of Cloete, Gaffaney, Martinesz, Moni, Ramage, Ravi, Raza and Young; while two unnamed "Cricket Australia appointee(s)" will work as third, non-television, umpires in two games.  

 

One of the two first round games that are to be played in the far north Queensland city each day will be broadcast, and as a result a television umpire has been assigned to them; all except Young having at least one opportunity in that role.  All eight umpires have been allocated three games on the ground during the first round, while Mahamana will oversee each broadcast game on the spot, and the other on a 'remote' basis simultaneously.  

 

Some 1,400 km south in Brisbane, where six first round matches are scheduled, Boon will watch on as Hawthorne, Illingworth, Nero and Prasad go about their work.  Down on the Gold Coast, 80 km to the south-east of Brisbane, Bernard will have an umpiring group made up of Chirombe, Prahdan, Reiffel and Smith.  Six preliminary matches are scheduled at both those locations, Reiffel being on the ground for two and Chirombe in four, the other six each having three in the middle.

 

The ICC says that umpire and match referee appointments for the 24-match 'Super League', 'Plate Championship' and finals part of the event, the teams for which will be decided by the results of the first round, will be announced "in due course".  All of those games will be played either in Brisbane or Townsville.

 

NEWEST CA NUP MEMBER 

FOR U-19 'WARM-UP' GAMES

[PTG 971-4714]

 

Sam Nogajski, the newest member of Cricket Australia's domestic National Umpires Panel is to stand in two of the 16 warm-up games for the Under-19 World Cup next Tuesday and Wednesday (PTG 949-4614, 13 June 2012).  Tasmanian Nogajski will be on the field with Nepalese umpire Buddhi Pradan in a match between the Zimbabwean and Namibian sides on Tuesday, and with Irishman Richard Smith the next day when New Zealand plays Nepal, both fixtures being played on Queensland's Sunshine Coast south-east of Brisbane. 

 

All of the 16 warm-up fixtures are to be played in the Brisbane-Sunshine Coast region, 15 of the 16 umpires named for the U-19 World Cup each having games on each of the two days (PTG 971-4713 above).  Nogajski has been drafted into to the preliminary games as part of his own 'warm-up' for the domestic season ahead, and because the sixteenth umpire selected for the U-19 event, Australian Paul Reiffel, is not expected to return Australia from the West Indies, where he is currently standing in a Test match, until late Wednesday at the earliest.  Reiffel will be on the ground on the Sunshine Coast on the Saturday though as its the first day of the World Cup proper. 

 

TWO AUSSIE UMPIRES MAKE THEIR 

INTERNATIONAL DEBUTS

[PTG 971-4715]

 

Two Australian umpires, Greg Davidson of New South Wales and Shawn Craig of Victoria, made their international debuts this week during the three-match Under-19 One Day International series between Australia and Pakistan.  Each stood in two of the games as did Cricket Australia (CA) National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Paul Wilson, CA Umpire High Performance Panel member Bob Stratford looking after each game as the match referee and umpire observer.

 

Wilson is a former member of CA's Project Panel (PP) which has as its aim the fast-tracking of former first class players into umpiring ranks, while Craig, who is in his third season as an umpire, is the current member on the PP.  Davidson is one of CA's emerging umpires group who appears to be a potential candidate for the NUP in a future season. 
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 972
Monday, 6 August 2012 


'GAMESMANSHIP' PROMPTED 'DEAD

BALL' CALLS, CLAIM WRITERS 

[PTG 972-4716]


Former England player Angus Fraser says that it is "not beyond the realms of possibility" that complaints by South African batsmen they were "distracted" when England bowler Steve Finn broke the stumps on his run through was a tactic "to unsettle England's youngest and most hostile bowler".  On Thursday, five of Finn's deliveries on the opening day of the second Test between the two sides were called 'dead' by Australian umpire Steve Davis because of stump contact, including one on which a 'catch' was taken and two others when 'fours' were 'scored' (PTG 970-4710, 3 August 2012).


Writing in 'The Independent' yesterday Fraser, a former opening bowler himself, said that batsmen always "look for ways to put a bowler off" and "it is a nonsense" that a batsman is distracted by the bails at the non-striker's end being dislodged by a bowler.  "If it was a tactic by Smith", continued Fraser, "it probably worked because it would have weighed heavily on Finn's mind as he ran in to bowl, in the same way that worrying about bowling 'no-balls' would".


Fraser acknowledged though that in the "past two or three years Finn has committed this apparent crime on numerous occasions while playing for Middlesex and England", but says that by signalling 'dead ball' last Thursday "Davis set a dangerous precedent".  In his view the complaints lodged with Davis by batsmen Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen "obviously influenced the umpire's decision-making".  "I have never seen an umpire call 'dead ball' when it has happened", writes Fraser, who played 46 Tests and 290 first class matches overall from 1984-2002, and is now Middlesex's director of cricket.


Writing in 'The Scotsman' on Saturday, long-term Scottish journalist Allan Massie made similar comments, describing Smith and Petersen's complaints to Davis as "Gamesmanship", which he says the word’s inventor, Stephen Potter, defined as “the art of winning games without actually cheating”.  Massie went on to state that after Smith was 'caught' off the 'dead ball' and Finn again knocked the stumps, "the thoroughly distracted Smith clobbered him to the boundary but was deprived of his runs because the ball was adjudged 'dead' ”. 


Massie says that a batsman watches the bowler’s hand, "not the stumps at the other end, and Finn’s hand at the moment of delivery is about ten feet up in the air".  "Smith is mentally hard as teak and his power of concentration is famous", he continued, and "it’s more likely that he thought that raising a complaint would distract Finn from his task".


In a joint statement, the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the guardians of the Laws of the game, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), confirmed Davis had ruled the ball was dead because Finn had dislodged the bails in his bowling follow through.  "Finn had broken the wicket at least three times prior to [the Smith catch] incident", said the statement, and "both batsmen complained that it was a distraction and Finn was told to move over".  


In addition, Davis and his on-field partner and countryman Rod Tucker are said to have "decided [probably via their radio link] that if it happened again they would call dead ball".  Several England players confirmed that Finn had been told to "get over" but not that a 'dead ball' call would result.  When Finn was switched to Tucker's end later in the opening day he did not hit the stumps, therefore Tucker was not required to call 'dead ball' for that reason as a result. 


The MCC’s Laws sub-committee, which current includes International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Dave Richardson and Australian umpire Simon Taufel, is to discuss the issue at its next meeting in September.  Guidance to international umpires on the situation is likely to be issued before then, say reports, Fraser Stewart, the MCC Laws manager, indicating that in the mean time "we will talk to the [ICC] about what happens in the rest of [the England-South Africa] series". 


"There will two new umpires for the third Test [Taufel and Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharmesena, although Tucker will be the third umpire] and they need to be clear how they will handle a similar situation if it arises", said Fraser.


WORK CONTINUING ON NEW AUSSIE

ELECTRONIC SCORING SYSTEM 

[PTG 972-4717]


Cricket Australia (CA) is planning to conduct training on the new computer-based scoring system it hopes to use to record the details of all matches played under its auspices this austral summer.  Reports say that CA has had the "product", which is called 'StatsMaster Cricket', tested "by various states" and that all feedback received is being incorporated into the program prior to training sessions that are to be held in all six States and two Territories this month.


Data recorded by the 'StatsMaster Cricket' program, which is being developed by Melbourne-based company ProWess Sports (PTG 958-4657, 7 July 2012), has been structured so that it is compatible with CA's on-line 'MyCricket' system, the aim being to ensure match details will be able to posted on line with just a few key strokes.  CA plans for the 2012-13 summer call for one scorer to record the match on a laptop through 'MyCricket', while another does so on a normal paper-based score sheet, or presumably in those States where computers are already used, another such system.  


Reports available suggest that considerable work has been undertaken in at least one state to 'shake down' the new program by using it to 'score' past Tests and other games, and it is feedback from such work that has been used to help modify early versions of the 'StatsMaster Cricket' program to try and ensure that it can deal with all likely match scenarios.  In addition to introducing electronics into standard scoring duties for its games, CA is also said to be aiming to move the majority of the paperwork generated from its matches, which has in recent times run to a dozen or more pages, replaced by reports entered directly on to the MyCricket web site. 


PAKISTANI UMPIRE TARGETED 

VIA 'TWITTER' 

[PTG 972-4718]


Australian journalist Malcolm Conn, long-time chief cricket writer at News Limited and a regular on the on-line social network 'Twitter', posted a couple of umpire-related comments on that system on Friday, but just what provoked them in the short term is not clear.  Conn's barbs were directed at former Pakistani first class player and now international umpire Asad Rauf, who has been standing at first class level since 1998, and in Tests since 2005. 


Conn's first post, which was sent on Friday morning said "Asad Rauf in the attention-seeking glory boy umps club with Bowden", the latter presumably a reference to Rauf's New Zealand colleague on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), 'Billy' Bowden.  The second post a few minutes later read "Asad Rauf dangerous ump in charge of video. Cost Benson his career in Adelaide with terrible overule. Too tight to call". 


The latter appears to refer to English umpire Mark Benson who was a member of the EUP from 2006-10.  He resigned from that panel in February 2010 a few months after he withdrew from a Test match at the Adelaide Oval at the end of the opening day because of health issues (E-News 566-2871, 5 February 2010).


During that first day in Adelaide, Benson was asked to make several difficult decisions and twice had his 'not-out' caught-behind judgements reviewed by the Australians.  Both were close and then third umpire Rauf gave the first 'not out' but overturned the second call, which sent Chanderpaul on his way.  After Benson withdrew the Pakistani went on to the field with Englishman Ian Gould for the remaining four days, and some media reports suggested there was more to the situation than illness. 


One report claimed that once back in the umpires' room Benson had "ranted about the [Umpire Decision Review System]" and expressed the view that it "just makes umpiring harder".  A few days later the Englishman refuted such claims, saying that "media speculation about the so-called disagreement in the umpires’ room" during the game is unfounded and totally untrue" (E-News 531-2717, 9 December 2009).    


It was in fact the third time Benson had withdrawn from an international because of health scares, the first being during a Test in Durban in 2006 and the second in India a few months prior to the Adelaide Test (PTG 512-2636, 26 October 2009).  The day he announced that he was leaving the EUP, health issues again being cited, Benson also said that he would be taking up a contract with the England and Wales Board to umpire in county cricket.  The Adelaide Test was the last of the 26 he stood in, but in the three northern summers since he has gone on to stand in almost 30 first class, a dozen List A, and nearly 20 Twenty20 games.


Benson made history in 2008 in Sri Lanka when he became the first umpire to be asked to refer a decision.  Home batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan asked for Benson's decision to give him out caught behind to be reviewed, and he changed his verdict when third umpire Rudi Koertzen of South Africa could not say conclusively that the ball had hit Dilshan's bat or the ground on the way through to the Indian wicketkeeper.


SRI LANKA FINED FOR 

SLOW OVER-RATE 

[PTG 972-4719]


Sri Lanka has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the fifth and final One Day International (ODI) against India in Pallekele on Saturday.  Match referee Chris Broad of England imposed the fines after Angelo Mathews’ side was ruled to be one over short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration.


International Cricket Council (ICC) Code of Conduct (CoC) regulations governing 'minor' over-rate offences, which is defined as either one or two overs short, players are fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every over and their captain fined double that amount.  As such, Mathews was fined 20 per cent of his match fee and his ten playing colleagues received 10-per-cent fines.  If Mathews is found guilty, as captain, of one more minor over-rate offence in ODIs over the next 12 months, he will receive a one-match suspension as per the provisions of the ICC CoC.


Sri Lanka's opponents in the series were fined for a similar one over discrepancy earlier in the five-match ODI series (PTG 965-4692, 23 July 2012).


FORMER FIRST CLASS UMPIRE 

FACES JAIL TERM

[PTG 972-4720]


Former New Zealand first-class umpire Ian Shine faces a jail term after he pleaded guilty to crimes committed against twelve boys that stretch back to 2003 in Auckland on Wednesday.  The 24 charges laid against him related to youngsters whose ages range from 11-18, news reports quoting Police as saying that Shine had "systematically groomed" the boys, all of whom were from lower socio-economic backgrounds, since 2003. 


Shine, 58, stood in 23 first class matches in the period from 2000-06, the last two being in South Africa as part of an umpire exchange program; other fixtures he was involved in including two women's One Day Internationals (ODI) and seven Under-19 ODIs, five of the latter being in the U-19 World Cup of 2002.  His List A career, which began in December 1998, started with an international between the 'A' sides from his home country and Pakistan.


Following his guilty plea Shine was remanded in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced late next month. 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 973
Tuesday, 7 August 2012 

ICC CALLS FOR 'UMPIRE 

COACH' APPLICATIONS

[PTG 973-4721]


The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday advertised for an 'Umpire Coach' "to performance manage, assist and coach" officials on its Elite, International and Associates-Affiliates panels.  While the wording used in the call for applications does not make it entirely clear, it would appear that the job is the ICC Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) Regional Umpire Performance Manager (RUPM) position that was vacated earlier this year by Australian Bob Stratford (PTG 963-4684, 18 July 2012).


A post on the 'Current Vacancies' section of the ICC web site says that the key focus of the position is on developing, coordinating and implementing training and professional development for the umpires on the ICC's first-tier Elite and second-tier International Umpire Panels.  There is also a requirement to work with "designated home boards" in the "development of identification strategies and training for top emerging domestic umpires" who presumably the ICC believe have the potential to move into international ranks.


Fundamental to the position's overall role are tasks that include: observing, assessing and reporting on umpire performance in "specified International matches"; conducting post-match or series reviews of umpires; ensuring that the umpires are fully versed with the Laws, playing conditions, interpretations and regulations; and assisting in the development of "ICC umpire accreditation functions". 


All those descriptions point to an RUPM-type role, but only a very short sentence that reads "preference will be given to candidates [who are] based in Australasia", suggests it will cover the ANZ region Stratford has looked after over the past four years.  Apart from that the wording used is very general and could be interpreted as indicating the next occupant of the position may be expected to work outside a specific geographic region more regularly than has been the case in the past.  If so, that would fit with indications of late that a world-wide revamp of the now four-year-old RUPM system may be in the wind (PTG 964-4688, 20 July 2012).


The ICC makes it very clear that the person who is selected for the advertised position will be involved in considerable travel, saying that they will be away from their family for "about 5 months" each year.  In addition to match-related duties, the travel will involve attendance at workshops involving the ICC's two referee groups and all three-tiers of its umpiring panels, as well as those conducted by national boards.  They will be expected to give training presentations and run workshops "as may be required". 


Applicants are required to show they have the experience and ability to: "coach and mentor"; have very good training and presentation skills; have an "understanding of and empathy for the unique requirements of match officials in sport" and cross cultural experience; and self-management and organisational abilities.


Applications for the position close with the ICC in Dubai on Thursday week, and if it is for the Australasian region it appears likely that a selection decision will be made within a month.  Such a timetable would allow the successful applicant to take up the role well prior to the international season getting underway in Australia and New Zealand in November. 


The full job description for the position can be obtained by going to http://www.icc-cricket.com and clicking on 'The ICC', then 'About ICC' and finally the 'Current Vacancies' tabs. 


NO DAY-NIGHT TESTS LISTED

FOR THIS AUSTRAL SUMMER

[PTG 973-4722]


While Test playing nations "were encouraged to try and host a day-night Test" at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Annual Meeting in June (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012), it appears that the Boards of the three South Hemisphere countries involved have not taken up the suggestion, at least for the forthcoming 2012-13 austral summer.  A total of 14 Tests are scheduled across 12 cities in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa between mid-November and late-March, however, each of the 70 days involved currently have the start of play listed as either 10.30 or 11.00 a.m. local time each day. 


Cricket South Africa's (CSA) acting chief executive Jacques Faul said on return from the ICC meeting in late-June that a day-night Test in South Africa could be something CSA may "want to try", although he would "not be happy to rush into it without some form of trial run".  Around the same time New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White was quoted by media there as saying that he was excited by the prospect of day-night Tests and that he planned to talk to his Board about it (PTG 955-4640, 30 June 2012).


However, Faul also said that he was "not brave enough to just get into a [international] night game without testing it", therefore "if we do it, we will start off with a [domestic] first-class match", while White suggested that his organisation "might look at some trials at domestic or [senior club] level in the very near future".  As yet there has been no indication from either Board that such trials are planned for the 2012-13 season.


Cricket Australia (CA) was very active in supporting the day-night concept for a number of years, arranging a number of trials in State Second XI matches, but it literally dropped the ball early in 2010 and passed the issue to the ICC to manage (PTG 568-2878, 10 February 2010).  Since then CA's only practical effort was limited to the four 'twilight' Sheffield Shield matches played in 2011-12 which finished well before sun set each day (PTG 832-4062, 14 September 2011).


The ICC and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) have been actively encouraging the day-night Test concept over the last 3-4 years. Twelve months ago the MCC made an approach to NZC about the possibility of staging what would have been the first day-night Test in Hamilton in January this year (PTG 827-4044, 8 September 2011), but nothing came of that idea (PTG 842-4117, 6 October 2011).  


TIGHT STUMPING BEHIND 

ANTI-UMPIRE 'TWEET'?

[PTG 973-4723]


The timing of Australian journalist Malcolm Conn's 'Twitter' comments about Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf on Friday suggest they may have been made in relation to the stumping of South Africa's Jacques Rudolph in the second Test at Headingley.  Conn, long-time chief cricket writer at News Limited, cast aspersions about Rauf being a "dangerous ump in charge of video" and accused him of being "attention-seeking" in his two 'Tweets' late last week (PTG 972-4718, 6 August 2012).


At the time Rauf was the television umpire at Headingley and gave Rudolph out after a review of video footage of what was just the second ball delivered in the match by part-time England off-spinner Kevin Pietersen.  Reports say that Rauf looked at the replays for some time before advising that Rudolph hadn't quite managed to get his foot back in the crease.  Some observers at the game thought though the the replays were inconclusive and therefore the South African should have been declared 'not out'.


Cricinfo's on-line commentary gave one view which read "Hmmm stumping was highly debatable - benefit of doubt now goes to bowler - how times have changed".  Conn's Tweet made specific reference to Rauf's handling of a caught behind referral during a Test in Adelaide in December 2009, which his comments indicate he thinks cost former English umpire Mark Benson his international umpiring career.  Benson and the International Cricket Council have always maintained publicly that his departure was for health reasons (PTG 566-2871, 5 February 2010).     


NZC CONGRATULATES UMPIRE ON 

'U-19 WORLD CUP SELECTION  

[PTG 973-4724]


New Zealand Cricket (NZC) yesterday congratulated umpire Chris Gaffaney on his selection as a match official for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup umpiring team (PTG 971-4713, 4 August 2012).  NZC Umpire Manager Rodger McHarg, a former Test umpire, called Gaffaney's appointment "in such a high-calibre group of umpires" as a "massive honour" that indicates how well he is regarded internationally, and we "hope it leads to higher honours in the future”.

 

During the first round of pool matches Gaffaney will be based in Townsville, his first game in the event proper being between Zimbabwe and Papa New Guinea with Courtney Young of the Cayman Islands.  Today though he will be in action, again with Young, on the outskirts of Brisbane in an opening warm-up match between England and Pakistan; and tomorrow in a second and last game in the same area before he travels to Townsville between Ireland and Sri Lanka with Sarika Prasad of Singapore (PTG 971-4714, 4 August 2012).  


Gaffaney, 36, is the second youngest umpire standing in the World Cup event, Nepalese Buddhi Pradan being two weeks his junior.  The Kiwi played 83 first class games for Otago from 1995-2005, took up umpiring in 2007 and stood in his first match at that level in 2008 and currently has 21 such matches to his credit.  Dunedin-borm Gaffaney's first international as an umpire was in a One Day International between Canada and Ireland in Toronto in September 2010 just three years into his umpiring career.

 
PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 974
Wednesday, 8 August 2012 

AUSSIE 'EMERGING' UMPIRES 

FOR 2012-13 ANNOUNCED 

[PTG 974-4725]

 

Five umpires from eastern Australia have been selected to attend what Cricket Australia (CA) calls its 2012 'Academy Program' for emerging umpires in Brisbane early next month, says a story published in the first edition of CA's new Cricket Umpires Newsletter yesterday (PTG 974-4726 below).  During the week-long event the umpires will take part in a series of professional development workshops at CA's Centre of Excellence or 'Academy' and officiate in a number of pre-season practice matches involving State players.

 

The five named are: Greg Davidson (New South Wales); Mike Graham-Smith (Tasmania); Simon Lightbody (Australian Capital Territory); and Victorians Richard Patterson and Shawn Craig; although if all six State squads play an additional umpire will be needed.  Appointments given to the first four over the last 12 months pointed to their probable selection to the Brisbane event some time ago (PTG 967-4699, 27 July 2012), but for Craig, who is on CA's Project Panel for former first class players who made his international debut last week (PTG 971-4715, 4 August 2012), it will be the first time he has stood at such a senior level in what will be his third season as an umpire.

 

CA is utilising State pre-season matches this year because the event that normally forms the core for its Academy Program, the Emerging Players Tournament (EPT), has not been held because the 2012 Under-19 World Cup 2012 is being played in Queensland.  In addition to formally announcing CA's new emerging umpire groups, the national body's Umpire Educator Denis Burns, who wrote the newsletter story, also provides an outline of just what is involved for those who are invited by CA to take part in the Academy Program.

 

Burns writes that before last year's EPT, which involved then emerging umpires Nathan Johnstone (Western Australia), Michael Kumutat (New South Wales), Damien Mealey (Queensland) and Sam Nogajski (Tasmania), the four had to: complete an on-line personality profile; monitor their hydration levels and nutrition regimes; read specific texts that related to professional development workshops; assimilate specific [EPT] Playing Conditions; and record their personal, professional and umpiring specific goals.  

 

The profile, hydration and goal setting work was used in workshop sessions held during the 2011 EPT, and the text, was the poem ‘Invictus’, was the centre piece of a round-table discussion on mental toughness with former Australian player Justin Langer (PTG 786-3845, 1 July 2011).  Burns says that the workshop sessions offered "intense, deep learning opportunities facilitated by expert practitioners" that are "followed up with one-to-one discussions to ensure that key concepts have been understood and assimilated".  "Group exercises are also used to ensure a team ethic is nurtured through discussion and sharing of ideas and goals", he says.

 

In the 2011-12 season following the EPT centred Academy Program, the "performances and behaviours" of the four were monitored by members of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) using what's called the Athlete Management System (AMS).  Umpires on the program were required to input data to the AMS on a range of behaviours that include: reactions to critiquing; fatigue; sleep patterns; resolution of conflict; closure on situations that arise and the like.  If the UHPP is happy and an umpire's overall performance in State and Grade matches is considered satisfactory, they were then given the opportunity of officiating in a CA one-day domestic or first class fixtures.  

 

Burns says that umpires who take part in the Academy program receive a certificate of attendance, but their involvement "does not offer any guarantee of selection for first class umpire appointments".  He says that CA's National Umpire Panel (NUP) "is a relatively small group by international standards" and "individuals from the Academy program must therefore perform at a sustained level of excellence in order to be considered for inclusion in such a small, elite body".

 

CA's Umpire Educator says that an Australian umpire will only be awarded "Accreditation Level 3" status after the "satisfactory completion of a minimum of 10 first class matches as a field umpire, the word satisfactory being "defined as demonstrating all the competencies expected of a first class umpire in Australia". 

 

Of last year's emerging umpire group Nogajski was promoted to the NUP in June (PTG 969-4614, 13 June 2012), Mealey may have been pencilled in for the vacancy that many expect will appear on that panel in two month's time (PTG 967-4699, 27 July 2012), while Johnstone and Kumutat appear to have slipped from consideration at this time.

 

CA RELEASES FIRST EDITION 

OF NEW UMPIRES' NEWSLETTER

[PTG 974-4726]

 

The first edition of Cricket Australia's (CA) new newsletter for Australian cricket umpires which was released yesterday contained a range of information of interest to match officials around the country.  The new publication, which is being circulated in electronic format only, has been on the drawing boards since April this year and is considered by many to be much needed and very positive initiative from CA's Umpire Department.

 

The first edition has 12 separate sections which cover such matters as: details of CA's emerging umpires' group for 2012-13 (PTG 974-4725 above; former Australian player Greg Chappell's view on umpires; what current members of CA's National Umpires Panel would have done differently in their early years as umpires; a link to a Laws quiz prepared by the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA); and other items.

 

The editorial team for the newsletter, which is expected to be produced 3-4 times a year, is made up of CA's Umpire Educator Denis Burns, New South Wales State Director of Umpiring Darren Goodger, and Barry Rennie the WACA's umpire coordinator.  CA plans call for the newsletter to be circulated to umpires whose contact details are contained in its 'MyCricket' system.  Whether the newsletter will eventually be available on CA's web site is not known.

 

T20 FINAL TIED AFTER 

LAST BALL 'SHORT RUN'

[PTG 974-4727]

 

The final of a Twenty20 competition between two Grimsby and District Midweek sides in Lincolnshire ended in a tie last weekend after one of the two runs hit off the final ball of the game was called 'short' by an umpire.  With no rules apparently in place to cover a tied situation, the two clubs agreed to share the trophy after what had been a three-month-long, multi-match knock-out event. 

 

The first innings of the match saw the Immingham side reach 5/147 and in reply the Punjab Lions were 5/146 with one ball remaining after an innings that had included a 'handled the ball' dismissal.  The last delivery of the game was hit into the outfield and the batsmen ran two and thought that the game had been won but, in the words of the local media report "hawk-eyed umpire" Kevin Cook signalled one run short, thus leaving the Punjab side also on 5/147.

 

NO DAY-NIGHT FIRST CLASS GAMES

SCHEDULED FOR AUSTRALIA IN 2012-13 

[PTG 974-4728]

 

Yesterday's release of fixtures for Australia's domestic first class competition indicates that Cricket Australia (CA) is not planning to experiment with any form of day-night cricket in that format during the 2012-12 austral summer.  The Sheffield Shield series, which will played across the country from the middle of September until late March, will start at either 10, 10.30 of 11 a.m. local time each day, timings that indicate CA's dabble with 'twilight' games last season is not being repeated (PTG 832-4062, 14 September 2011).

 

Across the Indian Ocean, Cricket South Africa also seems to have decided against a day-night trial in its 30-match domestic first class competition.  It will also get underway in mid-September, the match program currently listing the start of play on each of the 120 days involved as being either 9 or 10 a.m.  

 

Test matches that are to be played in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa this southern summer will, despite encouragement from the International Cricket Council for a day-night fixture, start at the traditional morning times (PTG 973-4722, 7 August 2012). 

 

All-up in Australia this coming summer, members of CA's National Umpires Panel will be required for a total of 91 matches across its first class, one-day and Twenty20 competitions; each having 31, 25 and 35 games respectively.  Whilst none of the first class games will be played at night, 17 of the one-dayers and all of the T20s will be.  In contrast South African domestic one-dayers will see 12 of the 32 games played at night and 28 of the 32 T20s 

 

ARTIFICIAL LIGHT SCENARIOS EXAMINED 

AT ICC MATCH OFFICIALS MEETING 

[PTG 973-4729]

 

Factors surrounding the use of artificial light during games were one of a number of matters looked at by the world's top umpires and match officials during their two-day meeting in Dubai in April, according to a video now available on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) web site.  The two-day "intensive workshop", which involved some two dozen members of the ICC's Elite umpire and referees panel plus the world body's five Regional Umpire Performance Managers, had an emphasis on trying to ensure playing control teams managing matches around the world take a consistent approach on a range of issues. 

 

Part of the video shows a practical session held by the group at Dubai's cricket stadium that looked at the use of artificial light.  Steve Davis, an Australian member of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), says that he and his colleagues were "trying to get a consensus on when should we turn the lights on" in a game, and after that occurs "when its actually unsafe for the batsman" to be at the crease when the lights are operational.  

 

A bowling machine was used during the session and Davis makes specific reference to "looking at the effect of the red ball" in such situations, but whether white or other coloured balls were also involved in the trial is not known.  Whether the "bad light trial" conducted by Cricket Australia (CA) in March to develop what one media report at the time said was "a comprehensive light policy", the details of which remain under wraps, had any connection to the artificial light section of the ICC's Workshop a few weeks later is not known.  CA said at the time that details of their trial would be released at an "an appropriate time and in an appropriate forum" (PTG 919-4477, 23 March 2-12). 

 

Australian match referee David Boon described the ICC workshop, which is one of two held each year for match officials by the world body, as being a "very practical one" that was designed to "get consistency in our approach" on a whole range of match-related matters.  Boon says that attendees went through "a lot of situations the guys have encountered over a period of time", as well as a range of "scenarios" and that "roll play" was involved. "As referees and as umpires we operate independently throughout the world and we must [therefore work to] maintain a consistent method and process", he said.

 

Sri Lankan match referee Rajan Madugalle, the ICC's top official in that area, emphasised how important it is for the "playing control team", which is made up of a match referee and four umpire in internationals, to work closely together.  "We are a team", says Madugalle, therefore we "must try and perform well together to ensure that as the third team in a match we have as good a game as the two teams that play".

 

South African EUP member Marais Erasmus says on the video that a key emphasis of the workshop was on the need for those who took part to take the experience and ideas they have gained back to the members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel in their countries and/or regions, as well as down into the top levels of domestic cricket there.  That approach is part of the effort to "ensure consistency" across the world he says, and to give those umpires involved "every opportunity to progress to Elite status".

 

If the ICC follows past practice, the next umpires and referees workshop will be held in Sri Lanka in mid-September a few days before this year's World Twenty20 event gets underway.  Meanwhile the video of April's workshop in Dubai can be viewed on line at:  http://www.icc-cricket.com/media_interactive_zone/broadcast_video.php?mediaId=3044


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 975
Friday, 10 August 2012 

DON'T CALL 'DEAD BALL' FOR BOWLER'S 

END STUMP STRIKES, SAYS ECB 

[PTG 975-4730]


County umpires have been told that they should not call 'dead ball' if bowlers disturb the wicket at the non-striker’s end as England seamer Steve Finn did during last week’s Headingley Test, says an article in today's London 'Daily Telegraph'.  In the story, journalist Paul Bolton says that Australian umpires Steve Davis and Rod Tucker "warned Finn they would call dead ball", something that until now does not appear to have been stated publicly, but that in doing so that "may have exceeded their authority", a claim that comes despite the fact that the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) said last week that such a call was legitimate.  

 

According to Bolton, England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) umpires’ manager Chris Kelly has now advised England’s first-class umpires that they should not call 'dead ball' if they encounter a similar situation to Finn's in County cricket.  “Some umpires asked questions about the interpretation of the law after Headingley but we have not had a problem and the advice is for them to carry on doing what they have been doing", runs the quote attributed to Kelly.  Last week 'Cricinfo' said that such a situation had in fact occurred in a first class game in England in April, and that the umpires then had decided on a 'dead ball' call approach (PTG 970-4710, 3 August 2012).

 

Finn was denied Smith's wicket early on the first day of the game when he was caught at slip after Davis' first 'dead ball' call, the umpire doing the same thing several times more when the batsman hit Finn for 'four', scores that of course did not count.  While comments from other players after that day's play confirmed Finn had been warned about running into the stumps, there has been no indication until Bolton's story appeared today that either the bowler or his skipper had actually been told about the potential for a 'dead ball' outcome.  Some observers later put Smith and Petersen's complaints down to 'gamesmanship' (PTG 972-4716, 6 August 2012).

 

The MCC said last week that its Laws sub-committee will "look closely" at the issue at its September meeting, but Bolton says that "no changes to the 'dead ball' Law are anticipated".  The International Cricket Council has yet to issue guidance to the Australian Simon Taufel, a member of the MCC laws sub-committee, and the Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena, who will stand in next week’s third Test between England and South Africa at Lord’s, on whether they should call 'dead ball' if Finn or any other bowler dislodges the bails.  

 

The matter is also expected to be debated by the MCC's World Cricket Committee at its second meeting of 2012 which is to be held at Lord’s next Monday and Tuesday.  Its last meeting was held in Perth in January (PTG 885-4315/4318, 11 January 2012).


PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 976
Monday, 13 August 2012    


WORLD CRICKET COMMITTEE 

SET FOR 13TH MEETING

[PTG 976-4731]

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC), which is made up of individuals with a great deal of experience at the highest levels of the game, is to consider a range of cricket-related issues during its meeting at Lord's today and tomorrow.  The agenda for what will be the WCC's thirteenth meeting has not been released, however, matters such as corruption, the use and operation of technology, Tests in general and day-night ones in particular, are likely to be on the list.

 

The MCC defines the WCC's aims as: "to debate all matters in the interests of cricket and cricketers; to consider at all times the balance of the contest between bat and ball and to assist [the] MCC's custodianship of the Laws of the Game; to protect the Spirit of Cricket; and, to be sure that governing body decisions never put cash or country interests before the good of the game".  The group is also required to "conduct research, particularly into technological advances and bio-mechanical elements of the game and its players", the MCC providing the funding for such work. 

 

At its last meeting in January in Cape Town, the key focus of WCC discussions was corruption, and a range of recommendations were put forward to address the issue, amongst them: lifetime bans for those found to be involved in such activity; the potential use of lie detectors; investigations of any "unexplained wealth" shown by players; and the education of players (PTG 885-4315, 11 January 2012). 

 

Also examined was what could be done to ensure that Test cricket "remains" as the 'pinnacle' of the game (PTG 885-4316, 11 January 2012), the International Cricket Council's (ICC) approach on runners and substitutes (PTG 885-4317, 11 January 2012), so-called 'wearable' technology (PTG 885-4318, 11 January 2012), and the Umpire Decision Review System.  Further consideration of those issues is expected at Lord's, together with factors such as 'switch hits' and last week's 'dead ball' situation involving England bowler Steve Finn (PTG 975-4730, 10 August 2012).

 

The committee brings together people from many countries, five current members being from England, three South Africa, two each from Australia, India and the West Indies, and one each from New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; Bangladesh and Zimbabwe being the only Test playing nations currently without anyone on the group.  Almost half of the membership have led their country in Tests, including the only women on the group, current England captain Charlotte Edwards, she being one of three on the WCC who are still playing at international level.

 

All-up, those on the WCC at present have been on the field in over 1,400 Tests and almost 4,800 first class games overall.  Most are there as a result of their playing experience but only one, West Indian Steve Bucknor, has umpired a Test, he having stood in 128 such matches, a world record that is expected to stand for many decades, plus 172 first class games overall.  

 

Bucknor is not entirely alone though for two other members have some direct insight into the role and work of match officials, former Pakistani all-rounder Majid Khan having also refereed four Tests and umpired five first class matches, while past South African wicket keeper David Richardson has refereed three women's One Day Internationals.  Importantly though Richardson is now the ICC's Chief Executive Officer and was for ten years the world body's General Manager Cricket, a position that included responsibility for international umpires and referees.

 

The WCC meets twice annually, one meeting taking place at Lord's in the northern summer immediately prior to a Test at that ground, and the second usually during the season in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

BALL-TAMPERING SUGGESTIONS 

'STORM IN A TEA CUP', SAYS KIWI

[PTG 976-4732]

 

New Zealand bowler Doug Bracewell says that suggestions that he tampered with the ball in the recent Test series against the West Indies were ill-founded and "a storm in a teacup".  Late last month media reports from Antigua talked of "suspicions" Bracewell had engaged in ball tampering during the second day of the opening Test, but inspection of the ball by new Test umpire Paul Reiffel of Australia did not appear to turn up anything of concern (PTG 968-4703, 29 July 2012).

 

During the match 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".  Bracewell, 22,  told 'Hawkes Bay Today' journalist Anendra Singh on Thursday that such reports were "just a big deal out of nothing".  According to him the ball had "a big scuff mark on one side" and he was "trying to take the 'peel' coming out from it [and] I wasn't even thinking about it".  Match officials took no further action on the matter.

 

Law 42.3 says that while players are permitted to polish the ball, or wipe off grass and dirt from its surface, any action which alters the condition of the ball, or damages it further, is an offence.

 

REPRIMANDED FOR 'DISSENT' HANDED 

OUT ON DAY TWO OF U-19 WORLD CUP  

[PTG 976-4733]

 

Bangladesh Under-19 player Asif Ahmed of Bangladesh has been reprimanded for showing dissent at an umpire's decision during his side's World Cup match against South Africa in Brisbane yesterday.  Asif pleaded guilty to the charge laid against him by on-field umpires Mark Hawthrone of Ireland and Peter Nero from the West Indies and third umpire Sarika Prasad from Singapore, and accepted the sanction imposed by match referee David Boon of Australia.

 

KEEPER STRUGGLING TO 

RETAIN VISION IN LEFT EYE 

[PTG 976-4734]

 

Mark Boucher, the former South Africa wicketkeeper, lost the lens, iris and pupil of his left eye, and suffered "severe damage" to his retina, as a result of an injury suffered in a warm-up tour match in Taunton in early July.  The 35-year-old, who was standing up to the stumps but was not wearing a helmet, 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 (PTG 960-4670, 11 July 2012).  

 

Boucher, who has undergone two major operations and four blood draining procedures since the incident, told journalists recently that its been a difficult time for him both "mentally and physically".  "Attaining some vision in my left eye will take some time and a lot of patience", he says.  "I don't want people to feel sorry for me [as] injuries happen and this could have happened earlier on in my career", continued Boucher, and this is "just another challenge in my life and something that I will be working to overcome".

 

Playing Conditions for some junior competitions around the world require that umpires ensure that young wicketkeepers are wearing a helmet when standing up to the stumps prior to balls being delivered, although some coaches insist that their custodians do so.  Other leagues only lay down such a requirement for junior batsmen when they are at the crease.


PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 977
Tuesday, 14 August 2012

 

ALL 13 EUP MEMBERS ON INITIAL 

'DAVID SHEPHERD' TROPHY LIST

[PTG 977-4735]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday nominated all those who have served on its top-level Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) this year as candidates for the 2012 world 'Umpire of the Year' award, the winner of which will be named at a ceremony in Colombo on 15 September.  The award is in its ninth year, having been won for the first five years by Australian Simon Taufel (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008), and for the last three by Aleem Dar of Pakistan (E-News 831-4058, 13 September 2011).

 

This year's award will be decided on votes cast by international captains and match referees for games played in the period from 4 August 2011 to 6 August this year, and is based on what the ICC says are "umpires’ performance statistics" gathered over that time.  While it named all thirteen EUP members yesterday, if it follows past practice the ICC will announce, a few weeks prior to the Colombo ceremony, a short-list of three or four EUP members for this year's award, which is named for the late David Shepherd of England (E-News 821-4018, 19 August 2011).

 

While the EUP is made of of twelve individuals, former West Indian Billy Doctrove, who retired from the EUP in June (PTG 946-4600, 8 June 2012), was also included in the list of nominees as he had been an active umpire for all but two months of the award period.  The others named were: Dar and his countryman Asad Rauf, Taufel and fellow Australians Steve Davis and Rod Tucker, New Zealanders 'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill, Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena, South Africa's Marais Erasmus, and Englishmen Ian Gould, Nigel Llong and Richard Kettleborough. 

 

In overall terms, Erasmus was involved as an umpire in a combined total of 30 senior internationals during the award period, then comes Dharmesena with 27, Hill 26, Kettleborough and Llong both 23, Gould 22; Davis 20, Dar, Doctrove, Rauf and Taufel all 18, Tucker 17, and Bowden 15.  

 

Tucker topped the Test on-field list with 10, while Dar, Davis and Gould had 9 each, Hill 8, Dharmesena, Erasmus and Kettleborough all 7, Rauf and Taufel 6, Doctrove 5, Llong 3 and Bowden 2.  For One Day Internationals, Dharmesena led with 13, then came Gould 11, Bowden, Hill and Llong 10 each, Erasmus 9, Davis, Kettleborough, and Rauf all 7, Doctrove 6, Dar and Taufel both 5, and Tucker 2.  

 

Taufel led the Twenty20 International (T20I) list with 4 games, another 8 he was involved in not having T20I status as they involved third-tier national sides (PTG 921-4485, 26 March 2012), then came Llong with 2, and Dharmesena, Erasmus, Hill, Kettleborough with one each, the other seven EUP members having none.

 

This year's 'David Shepherd' trophy will be presented a few days before the start of the 2012 World Twenty20 Championship, a competition that all except Doctrove will stand in.  The current twelve EUP members plus Australian Bruce Oxenford, who looks likely to be promoted to the EUP in October, will be on the field in that tournament (PTG 948-4610, 12 June 2012).  

 

Previous award ceremonies have been held in London (2004 and 2011), Sydney (2005), Mumbai (2006), Johannesburg (2007 and 2009), Dubai (2008) and Bengaluru (2010) around the time of major ICC events. 

 

FIVE PLAYERS NOMINATED FOR 

ICC 'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' AWARD 

[PTG 977-4736]

 

Five players were yesterday nominated for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) ninth 'Spirit of Cricket' award, the winner of which will be named at a ceremony in Colombo in mid-September.  The award, which up until last year was team-based, was won in 2011 by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (PTG 831-4059, 11 September 2011), and will this year go to the individual whose “action, moment, gesture or decision on the field of play" in the international game over the past year "best reflects the Spirit of Cricket”.

 

Those chosen for consideration this year were: Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan); Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers (South Africa); Kieron Pollard (West Indies); and Daniel Vettori (New Zealand).  They were nominated by members of the ICC's top-level referee and umpire panels, and the final selection will be made as a result of votes cast by them and the captains of all ten Test playing nations.

 

The ICC said yesterday that Mohammad Hafeez was selected for consideration when he "instinctively and immediately", "without any fuss or bother", informed the umpire that, despite his wicketkeeper's "enthusiatic appeal", the ball played to slips had not carried to him during his side's first Test against England in Dubai in January.

 

On the other hand Kallis' nomination resulted from his acceptance of a fielder's assurance that he had caught a ball the South African had nicked to slips during this month's Headingly Test, and did not wait for a review by the third umpire.  

 

His team mate de Villiers is on the list for a similar reason, this time in a Test last December against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg when he was on 99.  He had, says the ICC, a "brief consultation with the umpire who asks him whether he wanted the decision reviewed 'upstairs', but despite the prospect of reaching 100 de Villiers accepted the fielder's word that the catch was fair and departed.

 

Pollard is being considered as a result of his reaction after India's Virender Sehwag was dismissed after a 149 ball score of 219 with his side on 3/376 in a One Day International.  The West Indian "immediately and spontaneously congratulated Sehwag as he walked off", says the ICC, and "almost every West Indian player ran from their fielding position to acclaim his incredible innings", a situation the world body believes was "a magnanimous gesture by [him] and the whole team".

 

Prior to Dhoni's win last year,  New Zealand won the 'Spirit' award in 2004, 2009 and again in 2010, England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2009 (E-News 678-3328, 7 October 2010).

  

UDRS 'DISAGREEMENTS' 

ON WCC AGENDA 

[PTG 977-4737]

 

What the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) yesterday called "on-going disagreements over the Umpire Decision Review System" (UDRS), is one a number of topics being discussed by its World Cricket Committee at its mid-year two-day meeting which is due to conclude at Lord's today.  The WCC is made up of individuals who between them have been on the field in over 1,400 Tests and almost 4,800 first class games overall (PTG 976-4731, 13 August 2012).  

 

In June, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Committee (CEC) called for UDRS operations to be made "mandatory" for all Tests and One Day Internationals (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012), however, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) on-going opposition to the technology involved thwarted that objective (PTG 954-4633, 28 June 2012).

 

The CEC's support flowed from a "provisional" report on the accuracy and reliability of the ball-tracking technology used in the UDRS that was conducted by an independent expert on computer vision systems and recommended to them by the ICC's Cricket Committee a few weeks before (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012).  That study had at that stage looked at 14 "situations" that had occurred in Tests and indicated ball-tracking results obtained in real-time were "100 per cent" accurate (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012). 

 

Last month Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards said publicly that the study had not been made available to the ICC's top Board and that "India have agreed [to] ICC management" travelling to the sub-continent to present the details to the BCCI (PTG 960-4669, 11 July 2012).  No news of such a visit has surfaced in the time since, however, it would appear that it will not occur until the examination of ball-tracking technology has been fully completed.  Given the politics, just why the CEC pushed the position it did when the work had not been finalised is not clear.   

 

Other matters the MCC said yesterday are on the WCC's current agenda were: "innovations in One Day Internationals; women's cricket; recent developments in corruption; governance of the game; and continuing trials of day-night first-class cricket".

 

NATIONAL AWARD FOR 

PAKISTANI UMPIRE  

[PTG 977-4738]

 

Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar was yesterday named as one of this year's recipients of his nation's third highest honour and civilian award, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz or 'Star of Excellence', by President Asif Ali Zardari.  The award,  which was one of a number given to mark Pakistan's 66th Independence Day, recognises Dar's contribution to cricket, and is given to individuals who have made an "especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of Pakistan, world peace, cultural or other significant public endeavors". 

 

SUSPICIONS OF CORRUPTION 

IN SRI LANKA  

[PTG 977-4739]

 

The Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) board forwarded a copy of a "taped conversation" to the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday that reports say involves allegations of corruption.  Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) media manager Rajith Fernando said in an e-mailed statement that the tape was initially given to a local newspaper but is now in the hands of officials of the ICC's Anti Corruption Unit (ACU).

 

Fernando did not reveal the contents of the tape or who was involved in the alleged corruption deal but said that the SLC was made aware of the recording late last week.  ACU members are currently in Sri Lanka to cover the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) Twenty20 tournament which involves players from both Sri Lanka and overseas.  Sri Lankan cricketers have to date not been involved in any serious corruption allegations.

 

Whether the suspicions relate to the 24-match SLPL is not known.  That competition got underway last Saturday and is to conclude with the final on the last day of this month, twelve Sri Lankan umpires having been used in the five games played up until last night, including former international Asoka de Silva (PTG 962-4682, 16 July 2012).  Their work is being overseen by match referees Vinothen John, Graeme Labrooy and Chaminda Mendis who are all former Sri Lankan Test players.

 

SLPL teams represent seven of Sri Lanka's eight provinces, the only one not represented being Sabaragamuwa in the central south of the island.


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 978
Thursday, 16 August 2012     


'DEGREE OF REPETITION' NEEDED FOR 

FINN-TYPE 'DEAD BALL' CALL, SAYS ICC

[PTG 978-4740]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided that "a degree of repetition or a significant ‘demolition’ of the stumps" will be required before its umpires can call 'dead ball' in a Steven Finn-type situation, according to a press release issued by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) yesterday.  'Dead ball' was called by Australian umpire Steve Davis on a number of occasions during the second Test between England and South Africa at Headingley two weeks ago after Finn broke the stumps whilst delivering the ball (PTG 970-4710, 3 August 2012).  

 

After considered the issue at its meeting earlier this week, the MCC's World Cricket Committee (WCC) said that it was "pleased to hear" that the ICC had decided that when a bowler accidentally breaks the wicket during his delivery in an international match, it will "not automatically result in a call of dead ball".  Despite that the WCC believes that Davis and his countryman Rod Tucker had handled the Finn situation at Headingley "well" given the "particular circumstances [involved] in which the batsmen and the umpire were distracted when the wicket was repeatedly broken". 

 

Last week the England and Wales Cricket Board advised its first class umpires that they should not call 'dead ball' if bowlers disturb the wicket at the non-striker’s end in a Finn-type situation (PTG 975-4730, 10 August 2012).  

 

WCC WANTS 'ROBUST ACCREDITATION 

PROCESS' FOR UDRS TECHNOLOGY 

[PTG 978-4741]

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) has called for "a robust accreditation process, as used in other sports", "to guarantee the quality of the technology" that it utilised in the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).  The WCC's view was formulated during its mid-year meeting at Lord's on Monday-Tuesday, a gathering that saw it addressed by Paul Hawkins, the 'Hawk-Eye' ball tracking systems' founder, on the "latest" technology available for UDRS operations. 

 

The committee is said to have been "impressed by arguments" put by Hawkins "about the accuracy of the predicted path" provided by ball tracking technology and says it "is solidly behind the use of technology" in the game.  Presumably the WCC also looked at the on-going review of 'Hawk-Eye' and 'Virtual Eye' ball tracking systems being conducted for the International Cricket Council (ICC) by Dr Edward Rosten, a former Cambridge University lecturer and an expert in computer vision systems.  His initial 'provisional' report of that work was provided to the ICC's cricket Committee in late May (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012)

 

In June, the ICC's Chief Executive Committee called, on the basis of Rosten's initial work, for the UDRS to be made "mandatory" for all Tests and One Day Internationals (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012), however, opposition from the Board of Control for Cricket in India negated that push (PTG 954-4633, 28 June 2012).  The WCC now says that it "hopes that the time will not be too far away when all countries will agree to [UDRS] use", after which "a sponsor could be sought to support the [operational] costs" involved. 

 

'SOME SUPPORT' AT WCC MEETING 

FOR 'SWITCH HIT' LBW CHANGE 

[PTG 978-4742]

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) says that there was "some support" for  amending the LBW Law to cover a 'switch hit' shot situation at the latest meeting of its World Cricket Committee (WCC).  Prior to the WCC meeting, which was held at Lord's on Monday and Tuesday, the MCC had, as the guardians of the game's Laws, "interviewed a number of leading players and umpires from around the world" to obtain their views on "the complex range of issues surrounding the shot".

 

During its deliberations the WCC is said to have recognised "the innovation and excitement of the shot".  They believe that it enhances "the spectator experience" but say that consideration of the issue has to be set against the "need to maintain a fair balance between bat and ball"; the key issue being LBW-related and whether balls that pitch outside the original leg stump should now come into the equation for a dismissal.  One sticking point appears to be that the "leading" umpires questioned, who were not named, did not want to have to differentiate between a 'switch hit' and a 'reverse sweep'. 

 

Because "no definitive position was reached" this week, the MCC says that it will continue to "garner opinion from more stakeholders" and the matter is therefore expected to be discussed further at the WCC's next meeting this austral summer.  It will also feature at next month's meeting of the MCC's laws sub-committee.  The MCC was asked to look at the issue by the International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee (CC) and is to provide its views to the CC's 2013 meeting in May.   

 

ICC CONGRATULATED ON 

APPROACH TO 'BAD LIGHT' 

[PTG 978-4743]

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) has "congratulated" the International Cricket Council (ICC), "players and umpires", for the way in which play "now continues for longer" in international matches when bad light situations apply.  The WCC cited the Test match played between England and the West Indies at Lord's last May as an example of when play proceeded for "a large proportion of the match" under floodlights (PTG 942-4580, 29 May 2012), an approach the WCC says "might not have been the case a year or two earlier".

 

Under International Cricket Council (ICC) playing conditions it has been possible for some time for floodlights to be switched on during conventional hours of play in Tests in order to bolster fading natural light.  Despite that though, teams have still been forced off by bad natural light in Tests despite the floodlights because of difficulties in sighting a red ball.  The ICC's top umpires and referees held a practical session on the use of artificial light in red ball situations during their latest gathering in Dubai in April, just a few weeks before the Lord's Test (PTG 973-4729, 8 August 2012).

 

'CAREFULLY CHOSEN VENUES' NEEDED FOR 

INITIAL DAY-NIGHT TESTS, SAYS WCC 

[PTG 978-4744]

 

If white clothing is "considered a necessity" for day-night Tests, then pink balls are the best option for such games says the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC).  During its two-day meeting at Lord's this week, the WCC stressed again its "strong support" for floodlit Tests, but only at what it called "some carefully chosen venues". 

 

The MCC-WCC has been pushing the day-night Test concept for the last five years and in June the International Cricket Council supported a recommendation from its Cricket Committee (PTG 943-4585, 2 June 2012), that day-night Tests be introduced as long as both teams in a series agree, and provided a suitable ball can be found (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012).

 

The WCC believes that the first day-night Test Match should be played "in a country where attendances are currently poor, at grounds and times when there is little dew, and at an accessible venue".  No details of where the committee thinks such a game should be played were mentioned in its post-meeting press release.  

 

None of the fourteen Tests scheduled for the forthcoming austral summer in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are currently planned as day-nighters (PTG 973-4722, 7 August 2012), and it would also appear no trials of the concept are planned in those countries over the 2012-13 season at domestic first class level (PTG 974-4728, 8 August 2012). 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 979
Friday, 17 August 2012  

BAN PLAYER MOBILE PHONES DURING 

TELEVISED DOMESTIC MATCHES, SAYS WCC 

[PTG 979-4745]

 

Players should be banned from using mobile phones during televised domestic cricket matches, says the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC).  Such measures are already in place for internationals, however, the WCC believes "the threat of corruption" is such that the policy needs to now apply to domestic fixtures that are broadcast live, many of which are shown around the world in real-time and could thus could potentially attract the inappropriate attention by some betting groups.

 

WCC members, who earlier this year called corruption a "serious danger" to the game (PTG 885-4315, 11 January 2012), also praised the introduction in recent times of anti-corruption Codes of Conduct and player education arrangements during its mid-year meeting on Monday and Tuesday at Lord's (PTG 978, 16 August 2012), but said "more needed to be done".  "The [WCC], like the [International Cricket Council], is well aware of the risks of displacement of crooked fixers from international matches to domestic televised matches", said a statement issued by the MCC on Wednesday.

 

Whilst the WCC was meeting, Australia's Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) commended the New South Wales Government after it announced the introduction of "tough new laws" designed to safeguard the integrity of sport in that State.  COMPPS, which has representation from Cricket Australia, the country's four football codes, and national Netball and Tennis authorities, welcomed the proposed legislation that will see a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment for anyone found to have engaged in or facilitated conduct that corrupts the outcome of a sporting event.

 

COMPPS Executive Director Malcolm Speed, a former ICC Chief Executive Officer (PTG 235-1297, 27 April 2008), said he looked forward to other Australian States and Territories who have been looking at the issue for several years now (PTG 770-3773, 5 June 2011), following suit to establish a nationally consistent approach.  “The combination of cheating in sport legislation and integrity agreement legislation across [all] States and Territories will give sport the best legislative framework to combat the increasing threat of corruption in sport", said Speed.  

 

INTERNATIONAL UMPIRE STRONGLY 

DENIES 'EXPLOITATION' ALLEGATIONS 

[PTG 979-4746]

 

Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), is currently battling claims by a 21-year-old Mumbai-based model that he sexually exploited her on the pretext of marriage.  While Rauf has strongly denied having any relationship with his accuser the allegations, which some reports say include claims he promised to buy a car and flat for her, have been given prominent publicity by a wide range of media outlets across both India and Pakistan over the last two days. 

 

The Lahore-born umpire called the claims levelled by the model as "preposterous" and that "she is just making this story up to gain cheap publicity and fame".  "I am discussing the matter with my lawyer and will adopt a course of action after that", he said, at the same time making it clear he would appear before the Indian police if he is summoned over the issue. "I have committed no crime so I am not afraid of facing any inquiry", said Rauf.

 

The Press Trust of India (PTI) says Rauf has admitted photographs of him posing with the model were real, but that he is in his words "56 and happily married with two kids" and that "at my age how can I promise to marry anyone else".  He indicated that he owns "a small flat" in Lahore, but despite the fact that he has "been working with the ICC for 10 years", he cannot "buy my own luxurious flat, [therefore] how could I have promised a flat in an expensive city like Mumbai". 

 

According to the model, she meet Rauf in Sri Lanka in March this year through a common friend and that they became "very good friends" are were together there and later in India.  Rauf was in Sri Lanka in March for the Test series between that country and England (PTG 915-4454, 15 March 2012), and in India in April and early May for the Indian Premier League.  Some reports claim that the ICC is to investigate what Rauf's accuser was doing in Sri Lanka, and that its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit will be liaising with Mumbai police to try to find out whether she had any contacts with Sri Lankan players. 

 

Rauf's next international appointment appears to be, along with his EUP colleagues and Australian Bruce Oxenford, to the three-week-long, 23-match World Twenty20 Championship series which is to get underway in Sri Lanka  on 18 September (PTG 948-4610, 12 June 2012). 

 

POLICE INTERVIEW UMPIRE AFTER 

ALLEGED MATCH-RELATED ASSAULT

[PTG 979-4747]

 

An umpire from the Catford Cricket Club in Kent has been interviewed by police following an alleged attack on an official from rival club Sidcup during a Kent Cricket League (KCL) Second XI match late last month, say local media reports.  The man attacked, who is said to be in his 60s, required hospital treatment after suffering facial injuries.

 

Police were reportedly called to Catford's ground but the "suspect" is said to have "fled the scene" before their arrival.  Lewisham police later interviewed a man in his 40s under caution and their inquiries are said to be continuing.  A KCL spokesman said that he couldn’t comment on the case because of the police investigation, however, he was able to confirm a Catford official has been 'indefinitely' suspended from officiating but the club itself will not be punished as a result of the incident.

 

VOTE ON PROPOSED REVAMP OF CA 

BOARD STRUCTURE DUE TODAY 

[PTG 978-4748]

 

A key vote on plans for Cricket Australia (CA) to be managed by an independent Board of Directors is to take place later today during an "Extraordinary General Meeting" of the current state-aligned structured CA Board in Melbourne.   The proposed change was put forward by the Crawford and Carter Governance review last year (PTG 932-4533, 26 April 2012), and only one state, South Australia, is likely to vote against the move.

 

Media reports yesterday said that South Australia's opposition to the change relates mainly to the fact future CA Board members will not be able to simultaneously hold positions on State cricket association Boards.  Even if South Australia maintains its position though, the proposal is still expected to pass, and if it does the first three independent directors are likely to be in place by the end of October.

 

BATSMAN DOCKED DISCIPLINARY 

POINTS FOR 'SHOWING DISSENT'

[PTG 978-4749]

 

Warwickshire batsman Rikki Clarke has received a three-point disciplinary points penalty for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action" during his side's first class match against Worcestershire at Edgbaston earlier this month.  Clarke was reported by umpires Mark Benson and Neil Bainton as a result of the incident, and as it came within 24 months of a previous offence that attracted a reprimand, the points penalty was applied by the England and Wales Cricket Board.  The penalty will remain on Clarke's disciplinary record for a period of two years and should he accumulate nine or more points in any two-year period, he will receive an automatic suspenion.

 

ADELAIDE OVAL TO REMAIN 

AS 'ADELAIDE OVAL'

[PTG 978-4750]

 

In an unusual move in these marketing-driven times, the South Australian Government has decided that the Adelaide Oval is an "icon" and that as a result its name will not be changed to attract a naming-rights sponsor.  State Treasurer Jack Snelling said yesterday that his government did not believe there would be public support to change the oval's identity just to raise extra cash, say media reports.

 

The move comes as a a prominent Gulf-based airline signed a five-year extension of its naming rights deal for the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne.  Docklands chief Ian Collins said Adelaide was missing out on more than $A20 million over five years by not going down the same path, and that without a naming rights sponsor balancing the books was more difficult, forcing operators to rely more heavily on crowd levels, club success, the weather and match scheduling.

 

Snelling told journalists though that he thinks "the [South Australian] community is pretty clear on the issue" and that "they want Adelaide Oval to continue being the Adelaide Oval".  He appreciates that offering the oval to a sponsor would bring in "a considerable amount of money", "but so might any number of other things and the government has to make decisions on how far it's prepared to go".

 

"The Adelaide Oval is an icon throughout the world and Adelaide and South Australia get substantial benefit from having it known as the Adelaide Oval", continued Snelling, and he doesn't "think it would be in our economic interest to consider renaming it, even for payment of a considerable amount of money".

 

This austral summer will see the ground host its 600th first class game since the first in December 1884, the single Test scheduled there in November between Australia and South Africa being the 71st held at the ground.


PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 980
Saturday, 18 August 2012


NEW CA SCORING PACKAGE SET FOR 

RELEASE, BUT TRAINING TIME-LINE TIGHT 

[PTG 980-4751]

 

The new match scoring and statistics package developed for Cricket Australia (CA) by Melbourne-based company Prowess Sports will be released in the next week or so, according to a circular sent out by the national body on Thursday.  News that the program will be available so soon comes as a surprise to a number of experienced scorers who have tested it in recent months, but if is now ready now the time-line for training prior to CA competitions getting underway in four weeks time is still tight.

 

CA says in Thursday's notice that the system is fully integrated with its MyCricket website and that it allows users to score a match with a laptop or tablet and then upload a scorecard to that site "at the touch of a button", the latter being a key objective in developing the new system (PTG 958-4657, 7 July 2012).  The program, which ProWess calls 'StatsMaster', also offers "a range of match analysis and reporting features allowing tracking of player and team performance across a season".

 

'StatsMaster' is designed for Windows PCs and tablets running at minimum Microsoft .NET v4.0 on computers, although hardware with higher capabilities will perform more efficiently and faster, particularly for graphics, database updating and internet connectivity.  It will, says CA, be available for purchase through ProWess Sports at an introductory offer price of $A99 for one "perpetual licence", but that the price will rise to $A149 per licence starting 1 October, although a bulk purchase discount will be available for those who acquire the software from October onwards.  

 

One very experienced scorer, who has used the 'Total Cricket Scorer' (TCS) program to record the details of Test, other first class and senior short form games over the last five years, told 'PTG' yesterday that the last version of 'Statsmaster' he examined in detail was "not ready or suitable" for use by scorers who have no previous computer scoring experience.  He says that he is "eager" to see and test the next version of Prowess' system.  Another scorer who has a background in computing is reported to have described TCS as "88 per cent perfect" after five years of solid use and development, but that in comparison the version of the 'Statsmaster' system he experienced recently "wouldn't rate at more than 20 per cent".

 

CA's plans for the 2012-13 summer call for one scorer to record their matches on a laptop through 'StatsMaster' and 'MyCricket', while another does so on a normal paper-based score sheet, or presumably in those States where computers are already used, a system such as TCS (PTG 972-4717, 6 August 2012).  With its domestic first class season starting a month from now considerable work is still needed to make sure scorers in all States and territories, some of whom will not have scored with computers before, are appropriately trained and prepared before the first ball is bowled.

 

In Tasmania, where most of the match-related testing of 'StatsMaster' has been undertaken, Shane Holland, Cricket Tasmania's (CT) Club Cricket Administrator, asked his clubs yesterday "to hold off purchasing the [new system] until CT confirms its usage in [its Premier League] competition in 2012-13". He went on to state that CT "has informed [CA] the most recent version [of 'StasMaster'] was not of a good enough standard to use in [club cricket]".  He concluded by saying that "CT will continue to work with CA to ensure standard [scoring] requirements are met prior to the commencement of the season". 

 

NZC PROMOTES FORMER 

OTAGO ALL-ROUNDER TO IUP

[PTG 980-4752]

 

Former Otago all-rounder Derek Walker has been promoted to New Zealand's third umpire spot on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  Walker's selection ahead of Barry Frost, the previous holder of the position, was announced by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) yesterday, along with details of the make up of its domestic 'Elite', 'A' and 'Emerging' umpiring panels for the 2012-13 austral summer.

 

Walker, 52, who played 40 first class and 31 List A matches for Otago from 1980-89, joins his countrymen Gary Baxter, 60, and Chris Gaffaney, 36, on the IUP as NZC has again nominated the latter pair to the ICC for the two on-field positions on that panel.  Frost, 54, has occupied NZC's IUP third umpire spot for the last two seasons, but was only given three matches on the field in senior internationals in that time, all of them being Twenty20 Internationals.

 

 

Despite that Auckland-based Frost retains his place on what is a slightly enlarged NZC domestic 'Elite' Panel, the elevation of former 'A' Panel umpire Phil Agent, who recently moved from Christchurch to Dunedin and turns 52 on Monday, taking the senior group to nine in number this season.  The other seven are: Baxter and Tim Parlane 54 (Christchurch); Gaffaney (Dunedin); Walker (Oamaru); Phil Jones 52 and Wayne Knights, 42 next week (Auckland); and Evan Watkin 61 (Wellington). 


Commenting on Agent's elevation, NZC Umpire Manager Rodger McHarg said in a statement that the now Dunedin-based umpire "performed strongly on the A Panel during the last two years and thoroughly deserves his promotion" and he is "confident he will continue to develop and progress".  Agent made his first class debut in March 2009 and currently has five such matches and two senior domestic Twenty20s to his credit, his only List A appointment to date, in January last year, being washed out.
 

NZC's 'A' Panel remains at twelve in number, for Agent's promotion has been countered by the departure from that group of Evan Gray, who was dropped from the 'Elite' panel prior to the 2011-12 season (PTG 822-4023, 31 August 2011).  That pair have been replaced by Raoul Allen 50 (Auckland) and Johann Fourie 55 (Masterton), who were both born in South Africa and have been moved up from the NZC 'Emerging' Panel, to join: Hiran Perera 45, Mike George 53, Chris Brown 39, Peter Gasston 42, Peter Spall 48 and Tony Gillies 42 (all Auckland); Ash Mehrotra 42 (Papakura); Mark Elliott 52 (Masterton);, David Reid 55 (Christchurch); and David Paterson 50 (Blenheim), 

 

Gray, who is now 57, played Test cricket for his country in the 1980s, made his first class umpiring debut in 2006 and stood in 26 games over the next five years, the last two being on exchange in South Africa in March last year.  When he was dropped from the Elite Panel twelve months ago McHarg called it "a really hard call", but there was no mention in NZC's press release of his departure from the A Panel this year or acknowledgement of his umpiring contribution.

 

The NZC Emerging Panel for 2012-13 is made up of: Paul Anderson and Glen Walklin (Napier); Shaun Ryan (New Plymouth); David Tidmarsh (Hamilton); Kathy Cross (Wellington); John Bromley (Nelson); Garth Stirrat (Waikanae); Aaron Hardie (Tauranga); and Richard Hooper (Christchurch).  Hooper, whose wife was killed in last year’s Christchurch earthquake, is the one new face on the list following what NZC says were "strong performances in his region" last season. Cross, 55, who officiate at the women's World Cup qualifying tournament in Bangladesh last November (PTG 852-4162, 30 October 2011), is the sole female amongst NZC's 30 person senior umpiring panels.

 

Around 300 matches are expected to be covered by NZC umpires this season, Elite Panel members primarily covering the country's first class, one-day and Twenty20 series, umpires from the A Panel being appointed to those competitions when the three IUP members are officiating in international matches.  The 'A' and Emerging' groups cover all other senior and junior national competitions.

 

CRITICISM AFTER 'INCONCLUSIVE' REVIEW 

OVERTURNS ON-FIELD DECISION 

[PTG 980-4753]

 

Questions have again been raised the way the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) has been applied after South African batsman Jacques Kallis was given out caught behind on day one of the third Test against England at Lord's on Thursday.  Kallis played at a ball from bowler Steven Finn down the leg side, but Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena answered the associated appeal with 'not out' for he did not think the batsman gloved the ball, but after what media reports are calling a "inconclusive review", that decision was overturned by third umpire Rod Tucker of Australia.

 

Replays are said to indicate that if Kallis had indeed gloved the ball, he did so with his hand off the bat and therefore should have been given 'not out'.  On watching the initial replays, commentators called it "a tight call" and Tucker took a long time to go through the evidence before him.  Most pundits agreed a noise accompanied the ball passing Kallis' hand area, but when Tucker overturned Dharmasena's decision, there was a general view that he did not have enough "conclusive evidence" to do so, a similar situation to that which had occurred in a stumping in the previous Test (PTG 973-4723, 7 August 2012).

 

Kallis, who is known for his sporting approach to cricket and has been nominated for the International Cricket Council's 'Spirit of Cricket' award as a result (PTG 977-4736, 14 August 2012), left his crease in such a manner that one report said "may get him in trouble".  His coach Gary Kirsten and captain Graeme Smith are said to have visited Tucker in the third umpire’s room to, in the report's word, "express their ­frustrations". 

 

Finn said later that the umpire made their decisions "based on what he sees and I thought it was out, that’s why we reviewed it".  Proteas batsman JP Duminy had a different point of view describing it as "one of those things, but we were a bit disappointed".

 

TAUFEL TO MOVE TO EQUAL 

THIRD ON ALL-TIME ODI LIST 

[PTG 980-4754]

 

Australian umpire Simon Taufel will join countryman Daryl Harper on third spot on the all-time One Day International (ODI) list when he stands in the fourth of the five ODIs England and South Africa are to play over the next three weeks.  Taufel has been named with Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena as the neutral umpires, and Zimbabwean Andy Pycroft the match referee, for the series.

 

Dharmasena will be on the ground for ODIs one, three and five in Cardiff, at The Oval, and Trent Bridge respectively, while Taufel will be there for the second at The Rose Bowl and at Lord's for the fourth where the pair are currently standing in the last of three Tests between the two sides (PTG 980-4753 above).  When not on the field during the ODIs teach will work as the third umpire, the England and Wales Cricket Board appointing the second on-field official for each game.

 

The Lord's ODI will be Taufel's 174th, the same number Harper accumulated over the 17 years and 3 months from January 1994 to March 2011, however, Taufel reached that mark in just 13 years and 9 months, his ODI debut being in January 1999.  For Dharmasena the series will take his ODI tally to 41, while Pycroft will have overseen a total of 58 games. 

 

Reports currently circulating indicate that Taufel is to retire as an umpire in October (PTG 962-4679, 16 July 2012), and if so just as the current Test at Lord's will be his last there, his farewell ODI will also be at the home of cricket.  That ODI will be his third at Lord's and take the number of internationals has been involved in there to eight, the current Test being his fourth and there was one Twenty20 International, it being the final of the 2009 World Championship event (PTG 441-2296, 21 June 2009).

 

While Taufel will move up to equal third on the ODI list, New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden will around the same time equal the late David Shepherd of England's ODI record of 172 matches after he stands in two of the three games Pakistan and Australia are to play in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Shepherd and Bowden will then be equal fourth on the long-term ODI tally behind Taufel and Harper, who in turn are headed by now-retired Steve Bucknor of the West Indies on 181 and South African Rudi Koertzen on 208.

 

The second neutral umpire for the Pakistan-Australia series is Nigel Llong of England who will stand in one match, the pair working as third umpires when not on the field.  Javagal Srinath of India will be the match referee while the second on-field umpire will be nominated by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the selection coming from its members on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpire Panel, or Aleem Dar or Asad Rauf who are on the world body's Elite Panel.

 

Llong's ODI record will move up to 57 matches as a result of the series, and Srinath's as a match referee to 115 matches.  The trio and their Pakistani colleagues will be working unusual hours during the three matches, the extreme heat that is the norm in the UAE in late August and early September forcing organisers to start each game at 6 p.m. local time, just 30 minutes before the sun sets, and conclude at 1.45 a.m. the next morning (PTG 958-4655, 7 July 2012).

 

ICC MATCH OFFICIALS FOR 

INDIA-NZ TESTS NAMED

[PTG 980-4755]

 

Two Englishmen and an Australian have been named as the neutral officials for the two Tests India and New Zealand are to play in Delhi and Bengalura in the next few weeks.  Steve Davis of Australia will work with Englishman Ian Gould on the field in both games, while the latter's countryman Chris Broad will be the match referee.

 

The series will take Broad's referee tally in Tests to 53, while Davis will move up to 42 and Gould to 31.  With the Umpire Decision Review System not in operation, the third umpires for both matches will come from one of the for indian members umpires on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel.

 

PROPOSED RESTRUCTURE OF 

AUSTRALIAN BOARD APPROVED 

[PTG 980-4756]

 

Cricket Australia (CA) is to be overseen by an independent Board of Directors as a result of a vote taken at a "Extraordinary General Meeting" of its current state-aligned structured Board yesterday (PTG 979-4748, 17 August 2012). As a result the present 14-member Board is to be reduced to nine made up of one person from each of the six State Associations plus three independent directors.

 

Board Chairman Wally Edwards said after the vote that the governance changes were the biggest since CA’s forerunner, the Australian Cricket Board, was formed in 1905.  “Australian cricket needs a governance [arrangement] that the sport deserves as a highly-professional, major player in the global sport and entertainment arena", he said.

 

The six State Association appointed Directors will be: Edwards (Western Australia); John Bannon (South Australia); Earl Eddings (Victoria), Dr Harrry Harinath (New South Wales), Michael Kasprowicz (Queensland); and Tony Harrison (Tasmania).  The independent directors are yet to be named.


PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 981
Monday, 20 August 2012

  

UMPIRES RESHUFFLED FOR LAST

WEEK OF U-19 WORLD CUP  

[PTG 981-4757]

 

Umpires taking part in the Under-19 World Cup in Queensland have been reshuffled for the last week of the competition, some travelling the 1,400 km from Brisbane to Townsville on Saturday for the higher-level Super League finals, and others the opposite direction for Plate Championship games.  Given the distance involved and the standard and frequency of matches in each location this week, it would appear that the candidates for the main final next Sunday will come from the current Townsville group, two of whom made their Test debuts this year.

 

The Super League, from which the World Cup winner will eventually come, is made up of the eight sides who finished either first of second in the four initial playing Groups last week, while those in the Plate Championship ended third and fourth in their Group.  Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies won the right to challenge for the title via the Super League, while the consolation Plate section involves Afghanistan, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. 

 

Those umpires now in Townsville, where eleven games are to be played this week under the supervision of match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, are Johannes Cloete (South Africa), Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand), Richard Illingworth (England), Enamul Hoque Moni (Bangladesh), Ranmore Martinez (Sri Lanka), Peter Nero (West Indies), Ravi Sundaram (India) and Paul Reiffel (Australia), all of whom are members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).  All eight have been given on-field spots in the four quarter finals, the first two of which were played yesterday while the other are scheduled for today.   

 

Down in Brisbane where David Boon of Australia will be the match referee, thirteen Plate games will be played.  The IUP members there are Ahsan Raza (Pakistan) and Owen Chirombe (Zimbabwe), while those from the world body's third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel (AAUP) are Sarika Prasad (Singapore), Ian Ramage (Scotland), Mark Hawthorne and Richard Smith (both Ireland), Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal) and Courtney Young (Cayman Islands).  Prasad, Pradhan, Ramage and Chirombe all stood in the Plate series in the 2010 event.

 

Moni and Reiffel, the two who made their Test debuts this year (PTG 971-4713, 4 August 2012), would on that basis alone appear to be favourites for the on-field spots in the final next Sunday, however, they will be challenged by their six IUP colleagues for those slots.  All eight in Townsville have considerable incentive to reach that final, for the pair chosen for the 2010 event, Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka and Richard Kettleborough of England, were both elevated to the ICC's top-level Elite Umpires Panel just fifteenth months later after their performances were further examined in matches at Test and senior One Day International levels (PTG 766-3758, 26 May 2011). 

However, in the end the ICC's neutral officials position for internationals will play a key part i selections for the finall.  With Sri Lanka missing the Super League, and as of yesterday Bangladesh and England out of contention, Martinez, Moni and Illingworth do not have that issue to think about, but South African Cloete, New Zealand's Gaffaney, Nero from the West Indies, Ravi of India and Australia's Reiffel still do.
 

NEUTRAL OFFICIALS NAMED FOR 

AUSTRALIA-AFGHANISTAN ODI  

[PTG 981-4758]

 

New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden and match referee Javagal Srinath of India have been named as the neutral officials for the one-off One Day International (ODI) between Afghanistan and Australia in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday.  The pair, who will also be involved in the Australia-Pakistan series next week, will work in Sharjah with what the International Cricket Council (ICC) calls 'home board" appointments in the second on-field and third umpire spots.

 

The so-called 'Home Board' officials for this particular match are unlikely to come from Afghanistan itself, but rather Pakistani members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel who are in the UAE for the Australia-Pakistan series, thus making it an all-neutral Playing Control Team (PCT).  Whatever the make up of the five-man PCT they will be working unusual hours for an ODI as play is to start at 6 p.m. Sharjah time and finish just before 2 a.m. local the next morning; an arrangement that has been chosen so that players do not have to contend with the very high day time temperatures that are experienced in the UAE at this time of the year (PTG 958-4655, 7 July 2012).

 

By the time Bowden and Srinath have looked after the Afghanistan match and the three Australia-Pakistan ODIs, the former will have umpired 173 such matches and the latter overseen 176 as a match referee.  As such Bowden will have moved to outright fourth on the all-time umpire ODI list behind Australians Simon Taufel and Daryl Harper on 174, now-retired Steve Bucknor of the West Indies on 181 and South African Rudi Koertzen on 208 (PTG 980-4754, 18 August 2012).

 

LBW DECISION REVOKED AFTER  

CHAT WITH SQUARE LEG, SAYS REPORT 

[PTG 981-4759 ]

 

An umpire appears to have revoked his decision after he gave a batsman out LBW in a first class match in England earlier this month, but only after consulting his on-field colleague, suggests a media report from the game.  Durham wicketkeeper batsman Phil Mustard was on 43 in his side's first innings at Chester-le-Street when Surrey all-rounder Zander de Bruyn angled the ball into his pads and umpire Jeff Evans gave him 'out'.

 

However Evans, who was standing in his 162nd first class game, is then said to have discussed the matter with Michael Gough at square leg in what was his 71st, and it would appear that they concluded Mustard had in fact got an inside edge to the ball and he was therefore recalled to the crease, says a 'Cricinfo' report on the game.  Somewhat ironically, Mustard only added three more runs before he was trapped in front again, this time with a more permanent result.

 

PLAYERS 'INDISCIPLINED', MOST UMPIRES 

'INCOMPETENT' IN JAMAICA, CLAIMS SCRIBE

[PTG 981-4760 ]

 

 

A Jamaican journalist has bemoaned the standard of club cricket on display on the island nation during the just completed 2012 season and called "most" of the umpires involved as "embarrassing" and "incompetent".  Tony Becca says in an article published in yesterday's edition of the 'Jamaica Gleaner' newspaper that "most of the players" in the competition "in a season best forgotten", "were indisciplined and they appealed for everything in a manner [that suggested] they wanted to fight the umpire" involved.  
 

Becca, who has been watching cricket on the island "for over 50 years", writes that "in appealing the standard approach [from players] saw them run up and down the field and then towards the umpire as if they were playing Cowboys and Indians and they were the Indians preparing for a war".  He expresses the view that the Jamaica Cricket Association "needs to do something about [such issues] before the situation becomes uncontrollable".
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 982
Wednesday, 22 August 2012  

SOUTH AFRICA TO TRIAL DAY-NIGHT 

'FIRST CLASS' MATCH 

[PTG 982-4761]

 

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is to play its first four-day day-night match in Potchefstroom early next month, however, the pre-season friendly between between the North West Dragons and the Knights will not be afforded first class status.  During the game which is to start on 3 September, play will get underway at 2:30 p.m., with the scheduled end of the day's play being at 9 p.m.

 

Reports from South Africa overnight say that players will wear their normal first-class white or cream clothing and that they will play with the "new improved, 'Kookaburra Turf' pink balls and use black sightscreens.  CSA acting Chief Executive Officer Jacques Faul, who flagged interest in a day-night trial in June, said that “the trial [comes] a result of our commitment to the International Cricket Council [ICC] to test the feasibility of first-class day-night cricket under South African climatic conditions" (PTG 944-4640, 30 June 2012).  There are no plans for such games in CSA's domestic first class or Test rosters this austral summer (PTG 974-4728, 8 August 2012). 

 

Faul went on to say the match referee Devdas Govindjee, in consultation with on-field umpires Adrian Holdstock, Shaun George and

third umpire Karl Hurter, plus the coaches and captains of both sides "will compile an extensive, detailed report on the match and submit it to CSA", which in turn "will forward it to the ICC".

 

In another move announced yesterday, CSA is to change the timing of the lunch and tea intervals in all its official first-class games this coming season so that both are 30 minutes long; the same arrangement applying to next month's trial day-night match.  Traditionally a 40 minute lunch break and a 20 minute tea break applies in most first class and club multi-day games.  CSA says the change was agreed to after after consultation between its General Manager of Cricket, Corrie van Zyl, Manager of Cricket Operations, Mike Gajjar, and the head coaches of the sides involved.

 

DE SILVA TO THE FORE 

IN SLPL MATCHES 

[PTG 982-4762]

 

Claims that former Sri Lankan international umpire Asoka de Silva was "not considered" by his country's Board for an on-going umpiring contract this year appear to have been refuted by his frequent appearances during the Sri Lanka Cricket's on-going Twenty20 competition.  De Silva, a former member of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, has been on the field in eight of the first 15 games of the the 24-match Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) event, and worked as the television umpire in three others.

 

Last month a story published in Colombo's 'Sunday Times' claimed that de Silva did not take part in Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) compulsory annual umpires examination in May, and that as a result he was not ranked when the SLC's senior panels for the 2012-13 year were chosen (PTG 962-4682, 16 July 2012).

 

With Sri Lanka's top ranked umpire Ranmore Martinecz in Australia for the Under-19 World Cup (PTG 981-4757, 20 August 2012), de Silva, Tyron Wijewardene and Ruchira Palliyaguruge have between them filled the 24 of the 30 on-field positions in SLPL fixtures completed to date.  Wijewardene and Palliyaguruge, who were reportedly ranked two and three by SLC in May, have had nine and seven games on the field respectively, plus three others each as third officials.

 

Fourth ranked Maurice Zilva has been appointed to two matches so far, while single games have gone to Sena Nandiweera (ranked fifth), Raveendra Wimalasiri (sixth), Sagara Gallage (seventh) and Ravindra Kottahachchi (ninth).

 

Two brothers, Graeme and Wendell Labrooy are amongst the five match referees who have overlooked SLPL games to date, the others being Vinothen John and the non-related Chaminda and Manjoy Mendis. All five played first class cricket, Graeme Labrooy and John all also Test cricket, and Chaminda Mendis at One Day International level. 

 

U-19 PLAYERS REPRIMANDED FOR 

BAT SMASH, CLOTHING ISSUES  

[PTG 982-4763]

 

England Under-19 all-rounder Craig Overton received an official warning and reprimand for "abuse of cricket equipment or clothing, ground equipment or fixtures and fittings during his side's World Cup quarter-final match against South Africa on Sunday.  Overton damaged a wall with his bat on his way to the dressing room after being 'run out'.

 

Match referee Roshan Mahanama said in a statement that Overton, 18, "apologised for his actions and must now learn from this incident".  "As an aspiring senior level cricketer he must understand he is a potential role model for future cricketers and there is no place for these type of actions at a global event or any other for that matter", said Mahanama.  The charge against the England batsman was brought by on-field umpires Paul Reiffel of Australia and Ravi Sundarum from India, as well as third umpire Enamul Hoque Moni from Bangladesh and fourth official Ranmore Martinesz of Sri Lanka.

 

After the same match South Africa's Shaylin Pillay received an official warning and reprimand for breacing International Cricket Council clothing regulations. According to Mahanama World Cup "teams have been educated and warned on their clothing and equipment", and "I hope this serves as a warning to Mr Pillay and the other teams that they must adhere to these regulations".

 

That comment apparently went unheeded though for one day later three players, Ehsan Adil of Pakistan and New Zealand's Cam Fletcher and Michael Davidson, received similar reprimands in their respective quarter final games against India and the West Indies respectively.

 

Adil of Pakistan was charged by on-field umpires Richard Illingworth of England and Bangladesh's Moni plus third and fourth umpires Peter Nero of the West Indies and Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand.  Fletcher and Davidson were cited by on-field umpires Richard Illingworth of England and Ranmore Martinecz of Sri Lanka.
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 983
Friday, 24 August 2012  

 

  THREE APPEAR IN RUNNING FOR 

U-19 WORLD CUP FINAL

[PTG 983-4764]

 

International Cricket Council (ICC) selection policies point to three umpires being in the running for the two on-field positions in Sunday's Under-19 World Cup final between Australia and India in Townsville.  Analysis suggests that neither of the two umpires who made their debuts at Test level this year are in contention, one as his own national side is in the final, and the other because his performances over the last week may not have justified his selection.

 

The ICC chose four umpires for the two top-level U-19 semi final matches this week: Johannes Cloete (South Africa), Richard Illingworth (England), Ranmore Martinesz (Sri Lanka) and Paul Reiffel (Australia); appointments that point to that quartet having been assessed as the four best performing umpires in tournament over the last two weeks.  Unfortunately for Reiffel, who made his Test debut last month in the West Indies (PTG 964-4686, 20 July 2012 ), the ICC's neutral umpire policy suggests he will not be considered for the final, thus leaving Cloete, Illingworth and Martinecsz as the likely contenders.

 

Bangladeshi umpire Enamul Hoque Moni, who like Reiffel played Test cricket for his country and made his debut as an umpire at that level this year (PTG 888-4331, 16 January 2012), was appointed as the television umpire in one of the semi finals, a situation that suggests he is unlikely to be allocated the final and was ranked by the selectors behind Cloete, Illingworth, Martinesz and Reiffel.  As such Moni was possibly ranked fifth of the eight-man umpiring group in Townsville ahead of Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand), Peter Nero (West Indies) and Ravi Sundaram (India), although that cannot be confirmed as the ICC does not release such data.

 

If that ranking assessment is in fact correct, Cloete 41, Martinesz 45, Reiffel 46 and Illingworth who turned 49 yesterday and js another former Test player, can be expected to be looked at closely by the ICC between now and April for possible promotion to its Elite Umpires Panel in the May-June period, and thus form what can be referred to as the latest international 'emerging' umpires group.  Reiffel has stood in his first two Tests, and he and the other three seem in the running to be 'tested' at the level by the ICC over the next seven months, a time during which a total of fourteen Tests and twenty-one One Day Internationals are scheduled.

 

At the same time the top eight sides in the tournament were playing in Townsville for the right to contest Sunday's final, down in Brisbane the Plate series for the bottom eight teams in the World Cup, that is being umpired by umpires ranked nine to sixteen during the event (PTG 981-4757, 20 August 2012), has been underway.  The final of that section of the competition, which is to played today between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, is to be umpired by Sarika Prasad of Singapore and Ian Ramage of Ireland, the latter's countryman Mark Hawthorne being the reserve.  All three are members of the ICC's third-tier Associate and Affiliates Umpires Panel.

 

TAUFEL COMMENT FUELS 

RETIREMENT REPORTS 

[PTG 983-4765]

 

Reports that Australian umpire Simon Taufel is to voluntarily stand down from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in October appear to have received a boost from the man himself.  Suggestions surfaced last month that he is to leave the EUP after the World Twenty20 Championship series ends, claims that led 'PTG' to ask at the time whether last week's Test between England and South Africa at Lord's would be the Australian's last (PTG 962-4679, 16 July 2012).

 

In a post that appeared on 'The International Cricket Hall of Fame' web site on Wednesday, Taufel writes that the England-South Africa encounter was his on-field partner Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena’s "first Test at Lords" (PTG 962-4680, 16 July 2012), but then goes on to state that it was "for me, my last Test at Lords".  Even if he is retiring though that game will not have been his last at the 'home of cricket', for he is scheduled to stand in a One Day International there on Sunday week (PTG 980-4754, 18 August 2012).  

 

Accompanying claims Taufel is to retire from the EUP are suggestions that he is to take on some sought of oversight role in the development, training and selection of international umpires.  While details are very sketchy, analysis of the ICC's current operational structure points to Taufel working under South African Vince van der Bilj, the head of the world body's umpire and referees department.  If so his focus is likely to be on the work of its Regional Umpire Performance Managers, a system that appears to be set for revamping (PTG 973-4721, 7 August 2012).  Interestingly though, van der Bilj turns 65 next March, and should he retire then it may open an even wider range of management opportunities for Taufel.

 

Writing further about his "last" Lord's Test, the Sydney-born umpire says that "the English summer finally arrived and it must have been the first time that I have umpired a Test in the UK without having to wear a jacket on any of the days".  That game was in fact his fifteenth Test in England since his first nine years ago this month, a record that includes four matches at Lord's, three at Old Trafford, and two each at Edgsbaston, Headingley, The Oval and Trent Bridge.  Those fixtures saw England take on India and New Zealand (four times each), South Africa (three), and Pakistan and the West Indies (twice each). 

 

Taufel goes on to say that day five of the Test was a busy one with his Australian colleague third umpire Rod Tucker "working overtime on the last afternoon".  During that time Tucker had, says Taufel, "several issues to rule on, a front foot 'no ball', a possible third bouncer in an over, a close stumping, a close 'run out' and the list went on", but as is to be expected he makes no reference in his piece to third umpire related issues that occurred earlier in the game (PTG 980-4753, 18 August 2012).

 

JAMAICAN UMPIRES REFUTE 

'INCOMPETENT' CLAIMS

[PTG 983-4766]

 

The Jamaica Cricket Umpires' Association (JCUA) Honorary Secretary has written to the 'Jamaica Gleaner' to refute claims by journalist Tony Becca that the standard of "most" umpiring in the island nation has been "embarrassing" and "incompetent" during the season that has just ended .  In a 'Gleaner' article last weekend, Becca spoke to the state of cricket in Jamaica and made comments about player disciplinary problems, before going on to target the umpiring there (PTG 981-4760, 20 August 2012)

 

The JCUA's Daniel Warren-Kidd says In a letter published in the 'Gleaner' yesterday, that the "type of loose, unsubstantiated comment" used by Becca "is damaging to the reputation of our members".  He says that "unless Mr Becca can point to any particular instance in which members misinterpreted the laws of the game or failed to uphold the playing conditions, he should withdraw those unfortunate comments".

 

Warren-Kidd goes on to say that "while we recognise that as individuals umpires are not infallible, we take umbrage at the sports writer's categorisation of the competency of members of an association that continues to produce quality umpires, such as the four who recently attended the West Indies Cricket Board's Emerging Panel of Umpires seminar in Barbados".  JCUA members Athol Hamilton, Christopher Taylor, Verdayne Smith and Patrick Gustard attended that event, along with twenty others from Barbados, Guyana, the Leeward Islands, the Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago. 

 

JCUA's Honorary Secretary concludes by saying that "Mr Becca should also be mindful of the stewardship of international umpires such as Douglas Sang Hue and Steve Bucknor, who are renowned for having served the game of cricket with distinction".  

 

The much-respected Sang Hue, now 80, stood in 31 Tests in the Caribbean in the twenty years from 1962, a time during which he also featured in 27 World Series Cricket fixtures in both Australia and the West Indies.  Bucknor 66, stood in more Tests than any other man but retired from international cricket two-and-a-half years ago (PTG 392-2091, 20 March 2009). 

 

Currently, Jamaica does not have a representative on the West Indies section of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel. 

 

UMPIRES BOYCOTT MATCHES

 OVER DISCIPLINARY ISSUE 

[PTG 983-4767]

 

Umpires in the Durham Coast League (DCL) in far north England "refused to officiate" in the fixtures last weekend in a "stand of solidarity" over a player disciplinary issue, says a story published in Wednesday's edition of the 'Sunderland Echo'.  The row is said to have centred around, but possibly not been limited to, an incident in July when a batsman from the Murton club was reported by an umpire for what was called "unacceptable behaviour" after he was given out at a match in Easington.

 

The 'Echo' says that the DCL's executive committee gave the player "a seven-day suspension" for his actions, which were not detailed, at a meeting held on Wednesday last week, a censure that was "far short of what the umpires were seeking".  In order to "show their disappointment, the umpires, who were not at the meeting, agreed to boycott the league’s matches [the following] Saturday".

 

The only umpire to indicate that he would not be joining the boycott was Roy Simpson who is also DCL's chairman.  Speaking before Saturday’s matches, Simpson is reported to have said that he did not know how many people were taking part in the boycott "but there will be some games without umpires, although they will go ahead".

 

The 'Echo' says that "other officials" in addition to Simpson were found for the "top three games" played in the league last weekend, while the others were looked after by the players themselves.  However, one of the latter games had to be abandoned with no play possible when the two sides involved couldn’t agree on whether or not the ground was fit for play, and as a result the outcome of that match now rests with the DCL executive.

 

Meanwhile, the dispute between the umpires and the league’s executive remains unresolved, says the 'Echo', but one unnamed umpire contacted, who didn’t wish to be named, said that the aim of those involved was to achieve an "amicable" conclusion to the matter.

 

CONSTANT EFFORT NEEDED TO IMPROVE 

UMPIRING SKILLS, SAYS 'SECRET' AGENT

[PTG 983-4768]

 

Newly promoted New Zealand umpire Phil Agent believes that "you can't be a good umpire unless you realise it is impossible to get it 100 per cent right", says a story published in Dunedin's 'Otago Daily Times' (ODT) yesterday.  Agent 52, whose nickname somewhat inevitably is 'Secret', was named as a member of New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) top domestic umpire panel for the first time last week, eleven years after commencing his umpiring career (PTG 980-4752, 18 August 2012).

 

Agent told 'ODT' journalist Adrian Seconi that he believes an umpire should "always [be] looking to improve" and "if I make a mistake I try and work out why I didn't get it right and look at the process and what led up to that decision".  He is "constantly brushing up on the Laws of Cricket" and "reads a few chapters of the rule book each week".  "The better your knowledge of the rules are, the more confident you are and the more confidence players have in you", he says.  

 

Asked about conflict on the field of play, the Westport-born umpire says it is "part of the deal when you are an umpire".  "Defending decisions in an emotionally charged arena is par for the course", he says, "but if you are 'firm, fair and consistent', the challenging times are manageable".  In his view "every day out in the middle is a good day" and "if you are passionate about cricket the players will pick up on that".  

 

After that all the players want "is consistency", he says, a philosophy he learnt playing senior cricket in North Canterbury and something he is always striving to deliver as an umpire.  "When the bowler reaches his mark, turns and starts running in", Agent "takes a deep breath and whispers to himself 'watch the ball, watch the ball, and keep your head still' "; something he thinks is "probably the same mantra the batsman is muttering over and over to himself".

 

A member of the NZC's second-tier 'A' Panel for the past "three or four years" his goal now is to cement a place on the Elite Panel by giving it "a good crack for two or three seasons", after which "who knows what [will] come along?".  "I just love the game of cricket", he says, and "it's the reason you umpire", for he is "not doing it for the money".  While NZC Elite Panel members receive a retainer and are paid match fees and that results, in Seconi's words, "in a good income during the summer months", Agent has "not quite figured out" how what he calls "a dream job" will "fit in with his current job [as a hotel manager]".  

 

Agent moved to Dunedin a year ago to manage a hotel there after his home in Christchurch was destroyed in the September 2010 7.1 magnitude earthquake that was a precursor to the even more serious event five months later that killed 185 people.  What was meant to be a brief stint in Otago has now stretched to a year and he has no plans to leave Dunedin anytime soon. 

 

His move south means that he joins now fellow Dunedin-based umpires Chris Gaffaney and Derek Walker on the NZC's nine-man Elite Panel, a situation that means the Otago region accounts for a third of the country's leading domestic umpires.  Gaffaney, who is currently in Australia for the Under-19 World Cup (PTG 983-4764 above), is an on-field member of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, while Walker was named as the third umpire on that group last week.  Both played first class cricket for Otago before commencing their umpiring careers.

 

The 'ODT' story says that Tim Parlane another Elite Panel member, who is currently based in Christchurch, is also planning to transfer to Dunedin "soon".

 

PLAYERS ADJUSTING SLEEP PATTERNS 

FOR 'LATE NIGHT' ODI SERIES 

[PTG 983-4769]

 

Australian players taking part in One Day International matches against Afghanistan and Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the next ten days, plan to adjust their sleep patterns so that they can deal better with the unusual playing times that are to apply for the four games.  In order to limit the effect of the stifling 40 degree Centigrade plus day-time heat that is the UAE norm at this time of the year, the games are 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 (PTG 958-4655, 7 July 2012).

 

Australia's acting head coach Steve Rixon told journalists yesterday that the situation is "one of the very few times in the 30-odd years I've been around international and [inter-]state cricket that you actually had to keep people up to make sure they're looked after best".  "However", he continued, "it is very important that we do get those patterns right" and "we need to start [them] now so that by the time the first game comes around [on Saturday], we [will have] built some sort of body clock that's going to work for us".

 

Rixon said his players will skew their schedule so that they have breakfast between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day, their lunch period and the equivalent of their normal evening meal being adjusted in tune.  Presumably neutral officials 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, Javagal Srinath of India and Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka (PTG 981-4758, 20 August 2012), and the so far unnamed other umpires involved, will take the same approach.

 

ALL QUIET SO FAR ON THE 

'WEARABLES' FRONT 

[PTG 983-4770]

 

With the Under-19 World Cup to end in two days time there has been no news of 'validation testing' of a 'wearable' technology prototype designed to test the legitimacy of bowling actions.  The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Committee (CC) mentioned plans for such an evaluation during the U-19 event following its 2012 meeting which was held at Lord's in late May (PTG 943-4586, 2 June 2012).

 

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

 

The next phase of the project was said in May to involve "the further development of the sensors and the validation of the data produced" (PTG 942-4577, 29 May 2012).  Just what the plans were in the context of the U-19 World Cup was not made clear at the time, however, there was speculation then that given that the research is being conducted by experts at Brisbane's Griffith University, the focus was likely to be on games played in that area.  Since then though there have been some suggestions that the testing did not occur during actual matches, rather in either net or 'laboratory' conditions.

 

Current ICC regulations stipulate a 15-degree tolerance threshold for elbow extension in the bowling action, a limit that is generally accepted as the point at which any elbow extension begins to become noticeable to the naked eye.  Currently, bowlers who have suspect actions are required to travel to undergo a range of tests at a small number of specially-equipped laboratories in order to determine the legality or otherwise of their bowling style (PTG  934-4547, 6 May 2012). 

 

The prototype sensor is being developed by sports and electronics engineers at Griffith's Centre for Wireless Monitoring and Applications (CWMA) in conjunction with Cricket Australia’s Sport Science Medicine Unit and the Australian Institute of Sport’s Biomechanics department in Canberra.  The CWMA has an established track record in producing similarly-sized sensors for swimmers, tennis players and other athletes.   

 

ICC 'ELITE' UMPIRES DOMESTIC 

MATCH RECORDS VARY

[PTG 983-4771]

 

The thirteen umpires who have occupied spots on the International Cricket Council's top Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in the last twelve months have shown considerable variation when it comes to standing in domestic matches in their home countries over that time. Half have not stood in any such games in that period, however, despite that four of those did manage to sign on for stints in competitions such as the well-paying Indian Premier League series (IPL).

 

Englishmen Nigel Llong and Richard Kettleborough were the most active 'at home' in the last 12 months, the former standing in twelve first class, seven one-day and three Twenty20 (T20) county games, and the latter in four first class, six one-day and four T20s. Their countryman Ian Gould worked in six domestic first class and one one-day fixtures, while South Africa's Marais Erasmus stood in three of Cricket South Africa's domestiuc first class and eight T20 fixtures, and Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharmesena in four domestic one-dayers at home.  Dharmesena was also involved in the T20-based Champions League (CL) and the IPL, and Erasmus in the CL.

 

'Billy' Bowden and Tony Hill of New Zealand, Steve Davis, Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker of Australia, and recently-retired Billy Doctrove of the West Indies, did not stand in any domestic matches in their home countries, however, Bowden and Doctrove took part in both CL and IPL fixtures, and Taufel and Tucker in the IPL (PTG 940-4571, 22 May 2012).  The other two EUP members, Pakistani's Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf, also worked in the IPL, but also managed to stand in a single domestic game at home, that being the final of Pakistan's T20 competition; a match in which there was some "confusion" between international and domestic playing conditions (PTG 842-4116, 6 October 2011).

 

The ICC increased the size of its 'Elite' umpiring panel from ten to twelve in 2008 following a review of international umpiring issues that was conducted by a 'Task Force' the world body set-up the previous year (PTG 99-541, 13 September 2007).  The expansion was aimed at trying to ensure EUP members spent less time away from home and more mentoring up-and-coming officials and working on their own skills in their nation's domestic competitions (PTG 126-686, 1 November 2007).  

 

CRUDE UMPIRE 'GAME' 

AVAILABLE ON LINE 

[PTG 983-4772]

 

A crude on-line game produced in India titled 'Cricket Umpire Decision' that is now available 'on line' provides 'umpires' with the opportunity to make decisions on a range of cartoon-based match scenarios.  The game's screen provides an end-on view of the pitch and the match action, but on occasions, depending on the scenario shown, an inset screen pops up to show the ball being caught, or bouncing near or over the boundary.  

 

During the game players are shown a series of deliveries and are required to make their decision on what they see by clicking one of eight icons that are available to them, they being: 'wide'; 'bye'; 'leg bye'; 'dead ball'; 'no ball'; 'four'; 'six'; and 'out'.  Decisions, which include those associated with LBW, 'caught' and 'run out', have to be made in fairly quick time, although there is a 'replay' button for viewing the 'action' again.

 

Players have three 'lives' and if they use up that quota by giving 'wrong' decisions they are automatically excluded from the game, although it is easy to start another should that be required.  A correct decision results in a 'Good Decision' window popping up and an incorrect one with 'Bad Decision', then the next scenario is shown provided the third life has not been lost.

 

 ICC REPRIMAND FOR TOO MANY 

COMPANY LOGOS ON GLOVES 

[PTG 983-4773]

 

Sri Lanka's Under-19 wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella became the fifth player to reprimanded for breach of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) clothing and equipment regulations during his side's Plate-level World Cup match against Ireland in Brisbane on Wednesday (PTG 982-4763, 22 August 2012).  Dickwella was found to have "exceeded the permitted number of manufacturers' logos on his wicketkeeping gloves when he took the field in the afternoon".

 

The charge against Dickwella was brought by on-field umpires Ahsan Raza of Pakistan and Ian Ramage of Scotland plus third umpire Sarika Prasad from Singapore, and he was subsequently issued with the reprimand by Australian match referee David Boon.  The ICC says that "one of the core objectives of [its] Clothing and Equipment Regulations is to ensure appropriate and professional standards of appearance on the field of play".  

 

ICC umpires are "not required" to warn "the offending person to remove or cover up a prohibited logo", or in other words give them a 'friendly', before reporting them.

 

FIRST CLASS OFFICIAL CONDUCTS 

BOTSWANA UMPIRING COURSE   

[PTG 983-4774]

 

South African first class umpire Karl Hurter recently conducted an umpiring course for members of The Botswana Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (BCUSA) in Gaborone, that nation's capital.  BCUSA secretary Ravi Angara told 'The Botswana Gazette' that the the course was for beginners and was part of on-going work to "develop a pool of people who are sufficiently knowledgeable about cricket" so that the development of the game in the southern African country can be "accelerated".

 

SECOND SANCTION IN EIGHT WEEKS 

FOR HAMPSHIRE'S RIAZUDDIN    

[PTG 983-4775]

 

Hampshire’s Hamza Riazuddin was penalised under the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) discipline code yesterday after a second offence in Second XI match in eight weeks.  Riazuddin 22, was reported by umpires Ben Debenham and Mark Newell for "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting" in his side's game against Sussex in Horsham last week.

 

In late June Riazuddin was reprimanded by the ECB for "showing dissent at an umpire's decision by word or action" during match against Middlesex at Northwood (PTG 957-4654, 5 July 2012), and as the latest incident is within 24 months of a previous offence he has been given a three-point penalty. It will remain on his record for a period of two years and the accumulation of nine or more points in that time will result in an automatic suspension. 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 984
Saturday, 25 August 2012 
 

 

ILLINGWORTH, MARTINESZ NAMED 

FOR WORLD U-19 FINAL  

[PTG 984-4776]

 

Richard Illingworth from England and Sri Lankan Ranmore Martinesz have been appointed to stand in tomorrow's Under-19 World Cup final between Australia and India in Townsville, a match that will be managed by match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka.  Illingworth, Martinesz and South African Johan Cloete appeared to be in the running for the most important match of the tournament (PTG 983-4764, 24 August 2012), however, Cloete has been named as the television umpire for the match with Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand  the fourth official.  

 

Today's third place play off game in Townsville between New Zealand and South Africa in the far north Queensland city is being looked after on the field by umpires Enamul Hoque Moni of Bangladesh and Paul Reiffel of Australia, their television colleague being Ravi Sundaram from India, and Peter Nero of the West Indies the fourth umpire.  Mahanama will also be the match referee for that game.  

 

Of the four umpires who will be on the field for those two games, three have played in Tests, Illingworth, Moni and Reiffel, while the latter pair have chalked up 'the double', as they have also umpired at that level.  In addition, Gaffaney and Martinesz have played first class cricket in their respective countries.

 

CHIEF MATCH REFEREE  

BACKS USE OF UDRS  

[PTG 984-4777]

 

The International Cricket Council's chief match referee, Sri Lanka's Ranjan Madugalle, has told Colombo's 'Daily Mirror' that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is "good for the game" and the system must be used regularly and given "a chance to improve" further.  Madugalle, a former Sri Lankan captain who played 21 Tests and 63 One Day Internationals (ODI) for his country from 1979-88, is now by far the world's most experienced cricket referee, having overseen 134 Tests, 265 ODIs and 46 Twenty20 Internationals to date.  

 

Madugalle acknowledged "there are certain [UDRS] operational issues that we need to tackle, [but that] happens in anything", however, "by standing still you fall behind in today’s world" and "we have no choice but to move forward".  "When you introduce something afresh and new, there are always teething problems" and "one must never forget that technology advances every day [and you thus get] greater accuracy and consistency".  "We must give it a chance to get the best results", he says, whilst pointing to the improvements in decision making accuracy the UDRS has already produced.

 

Comments provided to the 'Mirror' by Madugalle were focused on the technology involved, and the interviewer did not appear to have raised anything about the way umpires are interpreting and applying UDRS derived data.  There have been a number of controversies recently about assessments third umpires have made in overturning their on-field colleague's decisions (PTG 980-4753, 18 August 2012), however, the ICC rarely shares any analysis it conducts of such situations with the wider public.

 

YOUNG TASMANIAN KEEPERS 'STANDING-UP' 

MUST NOW WEAR HELMETS

[PTG 984-4778]

 

Wicketkeepers aged less than fifteen who stand up to the stumps in both junior and senior matches conducted by Cricket Tasmania (CT) this austral summer will be required to wear a helmet.  CT has, like many other competitions around the world, had a policy that batsman in that age bracket must wear helmets when at the crease or who are fielding within ten metres of the striker, but that is now being extended to close-up wicketkeeping situations.

 

Tasmanian State Director of Umpires Richard Widows told umpires at a pre-season meeting this week that the change is being brought in as a direct result of the "horrific injuries" South African wicketkeeper Mark Boucher suffered in a game last month.  Boucher lost the lens, iris and pupil of his left eye, and suffered "severe damage" to his retina, when he was hit in the eye by a spinning bail whilst standing up to the stumps without a helmet in a tour match in England (PTG 976-4734, 13 August 2012).  

 

While the Boucher incident is not common, Widows said that it illustrates what can happen, and given the damage a young wicketkeeper could suffer in such a circumstance and potentially be left to deal with it the rest of their lives, the requirement to wear helmets is "more than justified".  As a result umpires in CT competitions this year will not allow a ball to be delivered if young wicketkeepers standing up are not wearing a helmet.

 

POLLOCK WELCOMES DAY-NIGHT 

'FIRST CLASS' TRIAL

[PTG 984-4779]

 

Former South African player Shaun Pollock has supported Cricket South Africa's (CSA) decision to play a trial pink ball, day-night, four-day match, for the first time, says the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).  This week CSA announced that its Dragon and Knights first class sides are to play such a match in Potchefstroom early next month as part of a commitment to the International Cricket Council's push for day-night Tests, however, the game will not have first class status (PTG 982-4761, 22 August 2012).

 

Pollock, a member of the MCC's World Cricket Committee, called CSA's move in a story posted on the club's web site yesterday "a great idea" for he "feels day-night Test cricket could be played in the future in certain parts of the world".  The MCC together with the ICC have been looking at the day-night Test concept for a number of years now, and the world body accepted a recommendation submitted to its annual meeting in June that day-night Tests be introduced, but only provided both teams in a series agree (PTG 953-4629, 26 June 2012).

 

Over the last three years, day-night games that, unlike Potchefstroom, had first class status, have been played in England, Pakistan and the West Indies, while the MCC has held its traditional county season opener against the previous year's county champions as a day-night fixture in Abu Dhabi during that time (PTG 925-4502, 7 April 2012).

 

Play in Potchefstroom in two weeks time is to get underway at 2:30 p.m. each day with the scheduled end of proceedings being 9 p.m.  Reports say that the second session of play is to run from 5.10 to 7.20 p.m., and calculations for that area of the world show the sun will set at 6 p.m., half-way through that period, with dusk following twenty minutes later.
 
PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 985
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

'WEARABLES' PROJECT 

TO STRETCH INTO 2014 

[PTG 985-4780]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday that it is "encouraged by progress made so far" on the development of a "light, cost effective and wearable" device that is capable of "assessing the legality of bowling actions in match and training conditions" (PTG 983-4770, 24 August 2012).  However, apart from revealing that the project is to extend into 2014, yesterday's ICC press release about the work involved provided little new information, and none that was significant.  

 

Currently, bowlers who are reported by international umpires as having a "suspicious illegal bowling action" are required to travel to an ICC-approved biomechanics laboratory to assess the amount of elbow extension in their bowling action (PTG 934-4547, 6 May 2012).  However, if 'wearables' technology is perfected, it will be capable of measuring a bowlers’ actions in a match environment and thus is likely to do away with the time and expense involved in a detail examination under laboratory conditions.

 

The ICC and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) first commissioned work on the project three-and-a-half years ago (PTG 377-2012, 25 February 2009), and the ICC's Cricket Committee indicated in late May this year that work had reached the 'prototype stage' and there were plans for an evaluation during the recently completed U-19 World Cup in Australia (PTG 942-4577, 29 May 2012).  Whether any work was conducted during, or in direct relation to, that event, has not been made public.

 

According to the ICC, the project has now "entered the second phase" of what is "a three phase project" that will "conclude in late 2013". The second phase is said to be "concerned with the technology’s measurement methods and precision against current laboratory protocols", a statement that does not appear on the surface to fit with May's suggestion that a useful "prototype" existed.  "Phase 3", which at present is scheduled for 2014, is to "focus on making the technology more comfortable for players as well as maximising wireless data transmission and battery life".

 

The project is being managed on behalf of the ICC by Brisbane-based Praxis Sport Science Pty Ltd, a sports science consultancy company headed up by Dr Marc Portus.  Portus was involved with the original research behind the 15 degree tolerance threshold for illegal actions" set by the ICC when he worked as a Biomechanist for the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Cricket Australia (CA).  He is managing a research team made up of sport scientists and engineers from Griffith University’s Centre for Wireless Monitoring and Applications in Brisbane, the AIS’s Biomechanics department in Canberra, and CA's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

 

ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson, said in a statement that the world body "is keen to see this technology implemented in elite cricket and believe it will be a significant stride forward in detecting illegal bowling actions in match conditions".  He also acknowledged the MCC's role saying that it had "made a significant financial contribution to the project".  Estimates of the total cost of what by the end of 2014 will have been a six-year project have not been made public.

 

TEST BATSMAN REPRIMANDED FOR 'SERIOUS DISSENT', 

BUT MEDIA FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY 

[PTG 985-4781]

 

New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum has been reprimanded for "showing serious dissent" at an umpire's decision during the first Test against India in Hyderabad on Sunday.  McCullum was given out LBW as his side fought to avoid an innings defeat but stood at the crease for an extended period of time and showed his bat to umpire Steve Davis of Australia, a situation that led New Zealand journalists to bemoan the absence of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS).

 

In announcing McCullum's sanction, match referee Chris Broad of England said he understands that "New Zealand had an uphill task and Brendon was leading his side's fight back, but his actions, after he was given out, were unacceptable".  The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Code of Conduct "clearly states that whatever may be the situation, you have to always respect and accept an umpire's decision", said Broad, after Davis, and his on-field colleague Ian Gould of England, third umpire Vineet Kulkarni and fourth umpire Chettithody Shamsuddin, who are both from India, reported the Kiwi batsman. 

 

New Zealand journalist Kris Shannon wrote that his national side "have every right to feel aggrieved with India's refusal to use the UDRS", describing Davis' decision as "a shocker" as McCullum had got "a clear inside edge" to the ball.  "In any other part of the world but India", whose national Board refuses to allow UDRS technology to be used in its matches, "McCullum would have instantly challenged the call and the decision would have been reversed after one replay", says Shannon.  The ICC has always said that main rationale for the UDRS was to negate shocker-type decisions.

 

Radio journalist Brian Waddle wrote a piece on Saturday about his "frustration" with regard to a technology-related matter of another kind.  An appeal for a catch against New Zealand captain Ross Taylor in his side's first innings on the Friday was referred by Davis and Gould to Kulkarni who upheld the appeal.  Waddle makes the claim that Kulkarni's decision was made "despite no clear evidence that a catch had been fairly taken", and that as such Taylor should have been given the benefit of the doubt.

 

Taylor said in response to questions about the absence of the UDRS after his side had lost the match that "different parts of the world, in different sports, have different rules", and "its part and parcel of parcel of playing in this part of the world".  "With no UDRS, the umpires are human and they make mistakes", he said.  

 

BRISBANE ONE WEEK, 

ABU DHABI THE NEXT 

[PTG 985-4782]

 

Last Friday Pakistani umpire Ahsan Raza stood in his sixth and last match in this year's Under-19 World Cup series in Australia (PTG 985-4783 below), but next Friday he will be in Abu Dhabi for his seventh One Day International (ODI), the second match of the three-game ODI series between Pakistan and Australia.  Raza and this countrymen Zameer Haider are to work with umpires 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and Nigel Llong of England and match referees Javagal Srinath of India and Roshan Mahanama during the three ODIs (PTG 980-4754, 18 August 2012).

 

Bowden will be on the field in ODIs one and three in Sharjah, the first with Haider and the latter with Raza, Llong being in the television suite on both occasions.  The second game on Friday will see Raza standing with Llong, Bowden being the third umpire.  The series will take Haider's ODI record to fifteen games and Raza's to eight.

 

Once the ODIs finish next Monday, three Twenty20 Internationals will be played between the two sides over the following week, all of them in Dubai.  Mahanama will oversee all three games with Haider, Ahsan Raza and a third Pakistani umpire Shozab Raza each having two games on the field and one in the television suite.  Haider will take his T20 record to ten during the series, Ahsan Raza to eight and Shozab Raza to four.  

 

All three are Pakistani members of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Shozab Raza currently occupying the third umpires spot.   

 

'OFFICIAL WARNING' TO U-19 

BATSMAN FOR DECISION 'DISSENT'  

[PTG 985-4783]

 

Ireland Under-19 opening batsman Ryan Hunter was handed an official warning for showing dissent at an umpire's decision during his side's final World Cup match against Scotland in Brisbane last Friday.  Hunter "stood at the wicket for an extended period of time and also raised his bat" in the sixth over of his side's innings after being declared 'out' LBW to medium pacer Ruaidhri Smith.

 

Match referee David Boon of Australia said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council that "accepting and respecting the umpire's decision is one of the fundamental pillars of our Great Sport" and that he's "sure Ryan has learnt his lesson, will be careful in future and will play his important role in upholding the strong spirit of the game of cricket".

 

The charge against Hunter was brought by on-field umpires Ahsan Raza of Pakistan and Buddhi Pradhan of Nepal together with third umpire Courtney Young of the Cayman Islands and fourth umpire Owen Chirombe from Zimbabwe.  One week on from Friday's match Raza will be standing in a One Day International in Abu Dhabi (PTG 985-4782 above).
 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 986
Friday, 31 August 2012

 

  
SIX 'SHORT LISTED' FOR 2012 

ICC 'UMPIRE OF THE YEAR' TROPHY

[PTG 986-4784]

 

Aleem Dar of Pakistan and Simon Taufel of Australia, the only two men to have won the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' trophy in its eight years to date, were short-listed for the 2012 award yesterday along with 'Billy Bowden' (New Zealand), Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka), Richard Kettleborough (England), and Rod Tucker, a second Australian.  Two weeks ago all thirteen members of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) over the past year were named as potential candidates for this year's award, the winner of which is to be named at a ceremony in Colombo two weeks from tomorrow (E-News 977-4735, 14 August 2012).  

 

The winner of this year's 'David Shepherd Trophy', which has been won five times by Taufel (E-News 310-1619, 11 September 2008), and three times over the last three years by Dar (E-News 831-4058, 713 September 2011), will be determined by votes cast by the current ten Test captains and the ICC's seven-man match referees panel, plus what the ICC says is information that is "based on the umpires' performance statistics".  Those votes and the data concerned cover the fifty-two week period that ended earlier this month.

 

Of the six 'finalists' Dar and Taufel have reached the penultimate stage each year the award has been in operation, while Dharmasena and Kettleborough make the final cut for the first time after just over twelve months on the EUP (E-News 766-3758, 26 May 2011), and Tucker after two, but Bowden has been a member of the panel for ten years.  

 

During the award period, Tucker topped the Test on-field list with 10, Dar had 9, Dharmesena and Kettleborough both 7, Taufel 6 and Bowden 2, while Dharmesena stood in 13 One Day Internationals, Bowden 10, Kettleborough 7, Dar and Taufel both 5, and Tucker 2, and in senior Twenty20 Internationals Taufel had 4, Dharmesena and Kettleborough one each, and Bowden, Dar and Tucker none.  In terms of senior international on-field appointments over the last twelve month, Dharmesena is out in front with 21, then came Kettleborough and Taufel with 15, Dar 14, and Bowden and Tucker both 12. 

 

Bowden and Taufel did not played at first class level before turning to umpiring, Dar, Kettleborough and Tucker did in their respective countries, while Dharmasena represented his nation in Tests and One Day Internationals.  

 

Those EUP members not in the running for this year's trophy are former West Indian Billy Doctrove, who retired from the EUP in June (PTG 946-4600, 8 June 2012), Pakistan's Asad Rauf, Australian Steve Davis, New Zealander Tony Hill, South Africa's Marais Erasmus, and English duo Ian Gould and Nigel Llong.  Gould and Davis were short-listed with Dar and Taufel for the 2011 award, Davis and Hill in 2010, Hill and Rauf in 2009, and Davis plus former EUP members Mark Benson (England) and Rudi Koertsen (South Africa) in 2008.

 

Meanwhile Gould, and ICC match referee Javagal Srinath of India, are members of a thirty-two person international panel who cast their votes to decide a number of international player awards which will also be announced at the Colombo ceremony.

 

UMPIRE HOSPITALISED AFTER 

'BACK OF THE HEAD' BALL STRIKE

[PTG 986-4785]

 

An umpire in North Yorkshire had to be taken to hospital by ambulance last weekend after he was "struck on the back of the head" by a ball thrown from the outfield, says a report published in Tuesday's 'Evening Gazette'.  While details are not completely clear, it would appear that umpire Mick Kirkbright, who has been umpiring for 11 years, was not watching the ball, the type of error that led to the death of an umpire in Wales three years ago due to what an inquest later found were "concentration and positioning issues" (PTG 518-2664, 6 November 2009). 

 

Journalist Andrew Wilkinson says that "hundreds of spectators" at Marske where "shocked" when Kirkbright fell to the ground after being struck by a ball thrown in by Stokesley's Jonny Weighell.  The game was stopped and he was treated on the ground for twenty minutes before being taken to hospital.  Kirkbright was full of praise for those who helped him out in the middle, saying later that when he got to hospital "the doctor was impressed with how the blood flow had been stopped".  

 

Kirkbright later called the situation “just one of those things", and that "nobody [was] to blame".  “In fact it’s the first time in my umpiring career I have been applauded off the field and in typical cricket humour [one of the batsmen] blamed me for putting [his side] off their stride, [for] as usual it was the umpire’s fault!”.  But, while "it’s the one thing you dread, it won’t put me off "getting back on the field", says Kirkbright.

 

In May 2010, less than a year after the death in Wales, an umpire standing at square leg in an Airedale and Wharfedale League fixture in West Yorkshire was rushed to hospital with a fractured skull after he was hit on the side of his head by a throw from the boundary (PTG 602-3025, 6 May 2010).  John Whittaker was "still unwell" in hospital several days after the incident, but was later reported to have made a full recovery (PTG 603-3028, 7 May 2010).

 

FOUR WEEK SUSPENSION HANDED 

TO DEVON LEAGUE UMPIRE 

[PTG 986-4786]

 

A disciplinary hearing conducted by the Devon Association of Cricket Officials (DACO) on Tuesday suspended a Devon League umpire for four matches because of the way he managed a match, says a story published in the West Country's 'Herald Express' newspaper yesterday.  Phil Matten, 59, who stands in Minor Counties and County Second XI matches as well as the Devon League, was banned for "four Devon Cricket League weeks", and with the 2012 season drawing to a close that means he will not be appointed again until round three of the 2013 northern summer.

 

Matten was the subject of a complaint lodged by the Bovey Tracey club after they lost a match against Exmouth two weeks ago.  A feature of the game were seven LBW decisions given against Bovey in their second innings, five of which were given by Matten, however, the 'Express' story says that the club's complaint centred around the way he managed the match, rather than his decision making.

 

In a statement released after Tuesday evening's hearing, DACO chairman Gavin Lane said Matten had "acted in a way which brought the good name of umpires and the association into question".  "After consideration of evidence from the various parties involved and a full and frank exchange, the [three-man] hearing panel unanimously agreed that [Matten] had acted in a manner that was prejudicial to the good name of DACO and the impartial and unbiased duties of umpires", said Lane.

 

No details of just what Matten did to attract the censure have been released, however, Lane "stressed that the hearing did not concern itself with umpiring decisions made on the field of play".  Matten has stood in a total of forty-four Minor Counties and fifteen County Second XI games over the last six years, the last being during the current English season.

 

TAUNTON CROWD 'ANGRY' AFTER 

BATSMAN BACKING UP IS 'RUN OUT' 

[PTG 986-4787]

 

Surrey are reported to have been booed from the field in Taunton yesterday and called "a disgrace to cricket" by angry spectators after their India spinner Murali Kartik ran out Somerset batsman Alex Barrow for backing up too far and his captain, Gareth Batty, refused to withdraw what 'Cricinfo' called in a report published overnight a "highly contentious appeal".  Kartik, who played for Somerset in 2010-11, removed a bail at the non-striker's end as he was about to deliver the final ball of an over.

 

Although the Laws of Cricket do not require him to do so, Kartik is said to have cautioned Barrow earlier in the over.  Bowler's end umpire Peter Hartley, who is standing in his 119th first class match after a 232 game first class playing career, is said to have "had a long conversation" with Batty "during which [he] apparently asked on three occasions whether the skipper wanted to withdraw Kartik's appeal".  "Finally, and reluctantly it seemed, Hartley raised his finger", says the report. 

 

Many amongst the third-day crowd, which is estimated to have totalled around 2,000, booed as Barrow left the ground and booed again at the start of Kartik's next over, then slow hand clapped Surrey for a short time, jeering once more when Batty introduced himself into the attack an hour after Barrow's dismissal.  When Surrey's players left the field for tea they were jeered again, the boos resuming when they returned after the interval.

 

Former Somerset and Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Steve Snell, who was in the crowd at Taunton, told BBC Radio Bristol that he'd "never seen anything like it in my nine years in the professional game" and said that he was "shocked" by what he called "really bad sportsmanship" on Kartik's part.  "He was acting within the Laws of the game", continued Snell, who then went on to say "but it's an unwritten rule that you just don't do it, especially in the four-day game".  Even though Barrow was in affect "cheating", Snell says that "as a cricketer, you wouldn't think about [running him out]".

 

In February this year Indian captain Virender Sehwag withdrew an appeal after the spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had run out Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne in a similar fashion during a One Day International in Brisbane (PTG 905-4398, 22 February 2012). 

 

FOUR IN RUNNING FOR ICC 

'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' AWARD 

[PTG 986-4788]

 

Four players were yesterday nominated for the International Cricket Council's (ICC) ninth 'Spirit of Cricket' award, the winner of which will be named at a ceremony in Colombo in mid-September.  The award, which up until last year was team-based, was won in 2011 by Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (PTG 831-4059, 11 September 2011), and will this year go to the individual whose “action, moment, gesture or decision on the field of play" in the international game over the past year "best reflects the Spirit of Cricket”.

 

Those originally chosen for consideration this year were: Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan); Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers (South Africa); Kieron Pollard (West Indies); and Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) (PTG 977-4736, 14 August 2012); however, Pollard was not included in the final list released yesterday.  Kallis becomes a finalist for the second year in a row (PTG 821-4020, 29 August 2011).

 

Pollard was originally nominated as a result of his reaction after India's Virender Sehwag was dismissed after a 149 ball score of 219 with his side on 3/376 in a One Day International.  The West Indian "immediately and spontaneously congratulated Sehwag as he walked off", said the ICC, and "almost every West Indian player ran from their fielding position to acclaim his incredible innings", a situation the world body believes was "a magnanimous gesture by [him] and the whole team".

 

Prior to Dhoni's win last year, the New Zealand side won the award in 2004, 2009 and again in 2010, England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2009 (E-News 678-3328, 7 October 2010).

 

'WEARABLES' DEVELOPMENT 

COSTS $A500K AND COUNTING

[PTG 986-4789]

 

A report posted on a Sri Lanka news web site yesterday suggests that the International Cricket Council and the Marylebone Cricket Club have invested $A500,000 to date to develop a device that is capable of assessing the legality of bowling actions in match and training conditions, but more funding is expected to be needed to complete the project over the next two years.  Earlier this week the ICC said that the work involved, which was first announced in 2009 (PTG 377-2012, 25 February 2009), will continue until 2014 (PTG 985-4780, 28 August 2012).

 

Those with knowledge of how the development of such systems works have suggested to 'PTG' that given the nature of the technology involved the costs involved are not excessive.  Much of the expenditure involves setting up and running tests at the Australian Institute of Sport's (AIS) specialised laboratory in Canberra in order that "thousands of data points" over hundreds of bowling scenarios can be obtained to compare with the data collected simultaneously by the 'Wearables' device.  

 

Reports suggest that the main 'Wearables' package has been reduced to the size of a match-box and that is worn on the upper arm.  In order to measure the degree and timing of a bowler's arm bend, the key sensors that feed data into the 'match-box' data logger are strapped both above and below a bowler's elbow.  Laboratory work in scheduled for 2013 while 2014 is to see the "focus on making the technology more comfortable for players [and] maximising wireless data transmission and battery life".  

 

VACANCY ON ENGLAND IUP 

GROUP STILL APPEARS OPEN 

[PTG 986-4790]

 

News is still awaited as to whether former England Test player Rob Bailey, who is currently a third umpire member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), will be promoted into England's vacant IUP on-field spot, and if so just who will replace him in the television position for the year ahead.  Bailey, 48, played a total of four Tests and four One Day Internationals for England, and 374 first class and 396 List A games overall, over the twenty-one seasons from 1982-2002.  

 

Twenty months after his retirement as a player, he made his first class  umpiring debut in April 2003, and he stood in his 100th first class match earlier this month.  He was promoted to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) full list of first-class umpires in October 2005, having made his international debut as an umpire in a Women's ODI in August 2004.

 

The vacancy in the ECB's IUP group occurred nearly three months ago when Nigel Llong was promoted to the ICC's Elite Umpire Panel (PTG 948-4608, 12 June 2012).  Those thought to be in contention for the IUP third umpire role appear to be another 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).  

 

LONG-SERVING WINDIES 

UMPIRE ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE 

[PTG 986-4791]

 

Jamaican first class Vivian Johnson has resigned as a member of the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) Senior Umpire's Panel for family-related reasons after a seventeen year career at first class level.  His debut at first class level was in January 1995 and he went on to stand in a total of twenty-three matches at that level, plus seven WICB one-day matches and four Twenty games.  

 

Johnson, 54, who has been Secretary of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) since 2003, says that the highlight of his career was a first class match between the touring Indians and Jamaica, captained respectively by Sachin Tendulkar and Courtney Walsh, that was played at Sabina Park in 1997.  His letter to the WICB regarding his departure he expressed his "sincere gratitude and thanks to the WICB and the WICUA for the opportunity they afforded me to serve West Indies" cricket.

 

U-19 WORLD CUP UMPIRE 

TO 'MENTOR' WCL OFFICIALS

[PTG 986-4792]

 

Match officials from eight countries are to manage the six-team, week-long, World Cricket League (WCL) Division 4 tournament which is to get underway in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.  David Jukes of England, a member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) second-tier Regional Referee's Panel, will oversee the tournament, while ICC International Umpire Panel member Ranmore Martinesz, who last Sunday stood in the final of the Under-19 World Cup (PTG 984-4776, 25 August 2012), will work as a mentor and educator during the series (PTG 965-4693, 23 July 2012). 

 

The umpires selected by the ICC for the 18-match event, which involves teams from Denmark, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Tanzania and the United States of America, are in addition to Martinesz: Mumbai-born Sameer Bandekar (USA); Sri Ganesh (Singapore); Viswandan Kalidas (Malaysia); Wynand Louw (Namibia), Durga Subedi (Nepal) and Ashwani Rana (Thailand).  The two teams that make Monday week's final will be promoted to the WCL's Division 3 tournament which is to be staged in Bermuda next April-May.

 

Bandekar appears to be the same Mumbai-born umpire who stood in three Tests and a single One Day International in India from 1997-2002, and 62 first class matches overall on the sub-continebt over a twenty year period up until January last year.  In July 2011 he is recorded as standing in an ICC Americas tournament that was played in Florida.

 

With next week's event, Ganesh will have been involved in five international tournaments in the last twenty months.  The first was the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) Trophy series in Bangkok in December 2010, then came the WCL Division 3 tournament in Hong Kong in January 2011, where he was chosen to stand in the main final, the WCL Division 2 series in Dubai in April 2011, the WCL Division 5 series last February, and the ACC's U-19 event in Singapore two months ago.

 

Malaysia's Kalidas, 40, has previously stood in ACC U-19 series in Thailand in December 2009 and Malaysia July 2011, the Asian Games cricket competition in China in December 2009, and the WCL Division 6 event in Malaysia in September last year.  Louw, 51, has officiated in a total of 18 first class matches since October 2006, all except one being in Cricket South Africa's Provincial Three-Day Competition, as well as twenty List A games, most in CSA's Provincial one-day equivalent, plus the WCL Division 7 tournament of May last year.  Next week's series in Malaysia appears to be his first outside southern Africa.

 

  

Like Ganesh and Kalidas, Subedi has stood in a number of ACC events over the last three years.  There was the ACC U-19 series in Thailand in December 2009, the September 2011 WCL Division 6 tournament in Malaysia, the ACC Twenty20 tournament in Nepal three months after that, and the WCL Division 5 series in Singapore last February in which he was on the field for the main final.  Rana has over the last five years stood in ACC tournaments in Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the WCL Division 5 series in Nepal in February 2010 and WCL Division 5 games in Kuwait eight months later.

 

End of August 2012 News file