1,034 - 1 January [5022-5024]
• Four named for South African Tests (1034-5022).
• Lankan umpire associations looking to merge, say reports (1034-5023).
• Reprimand, suspended fine, for bowling action remarks (1034-5024).
1,035 - 5 January [5025-5030]
• Two new members appointed to ICC third-tier panel (1035-5025).
• Appointment of Bangladesh pair to IUP 'subject to BCB enquiry' (1035-5026).
• 'Spirit of Cricket' put aside for T20 'entertainment' (1035-5027).
• Slow over-rate fines for Brisbane, Melbourne sides (1035-5028).
• Jayaprakash out of contention for ICC Umpire Coach role? (1035-5029).
• 'Illegal' actions result in 'rehab' programs (1035-5030).
1,036 - 7 January [5031-5033]
• Next edition of Laws likely October (1036-5031).
• Ranji Trophy matches for ECB, CSA umpires (1036-5032.
• Skipper 'doesn't expect to be disciplined' after on-field row (1036-5033).
1,037 - 8 January [5034-5039]
• One-match ban, fines, for former Aussie spinner (1037-5034).
• 'Dissent' costs Harbhajan half his match fee (1037-5035).
• 'Twitter' comment on umpires sees Birt fined (1037-5036).
• Second Melbourne side cops slow over-rate fine (1037-5037).
• New IUP member for international debut (1037-5038).
• Pycroft, Davis, 'neutrals' for India-England ODI series (1037-5039).
1,038 - 10 January [5040-5046]
• 'Marketing' more important than 'Spirit' at CA? (1038-5040).
• Injury forces Samuels out of CA series, raises questions (1038-5041).
• Warne's 'passion' 'inspirational', claims team mate (1038-5042).
• 'How will kids react to Warne's actions?', asks journalists (1038-5043).
• More slow over-rate fines for Aussie T20 sides (1038-5044).
• NUP members named for WNCL final (1038-5045).
• NSWCUSA announces staff changes (1038-5046).
1,039 - 12 January [5047-5050]
• MCC selects Taufel for 2012 Cowdrey Lecture (1039-5047).
• Despite no appeal batsman given out (1039-5048).
• Push to give home boards decision on UDRS use (1039-5049).
• Berry, Samuels hearings still awaited (1039-5050).
1040 - 15 January [5051-5058]
• Professionalism has shifted the game's 'moral ground', claims 'Times' writer (1040-5051).
• 'Agressive' umpiring blamed for bowler's removal (1040-5052).
• Kulkarni's 'rapid rise' up umpiring ranks continues (1040-5053).
• CA announces T20 semi final appointments (1040-5054).
• Terrorist attack survivor Pakistan's 2012 'Umpire of the Year' (1040-5055).
• 'Free hit' Playing Condition 'unfair', says Chopra (1040-5056).
• Omani team blames umpire 'bias' for loss (1040-5057).
• WICUA web site goes quiet (1040-5058).
1041 - 18 January [5059-5063]
• Players to face ball tampering, altercation, charges (1041-5059).
• Warne reported for over-rate related 'spirit' breach (1041-5060).
• Officials named for Aussie T20 finals (1041-5061).
• CA T20 player replacement rules to change, says report (1041-5062).
• Former England player said to be eyeing umpiring career (1041-5063).
1042 - 19 January [5064-5067]
• ACO investigating alleged 'fixing' of umpire performance and pitch reports (1042-5064).
• Senior Kiwi umpire preparing for third women's World Cup (1042-5065).
• Eight WICB SUP members standing in Caribbean T20 series (1042-5065).
• Ranji Trophy semi finals for English, South African, umpires (1042-5066).
1043 - 21 January [5068-71]
• Leewards' first and so far only Test umpire dies (1043-5068).
• Trio to face CA disciplinary hearings today (1043-5069).
• 'Serious' over-rate offence sees skipper suspended for two matches (1043-5070).
• First ICC senior 'neutral' appointment since February for Moni (1043-5071).
1044 - 22 January [5072-77]
• 'Spirit' breach results in $A5,000 fine (1044-5072).
• 'Extreme provocation' judgement sees Samuels reprimanded (1044-5073).
• Giving review powers to umpires 'worth considering', says Bailey (1044-5074).
• Decision to abandon ODI 'inconsistent', claims Lankan skipper (1044-5075).
• Warner handed reprimand for dissent (1044-5076).
• Unusual toilet stop for Pietersen (1044-5077).
1045 - 23 January [5078-5081]
• Samuels deserved more than a reprimand, says White (1045-5078).
• English, South African officials working in BPL-2 (1045-5079).
• Quartet named for Ranji Trophy final (1045-5080).
• Slow over-rate fine for local Bangladesh T20 side (1045-5081).
1046 - 24 January [5082-5085]
• Finn's 'stump break' tendency again costs him a wicket (1046-5082).
• Reiffel missing from latest CA appointments list (1046-5083).
• Player to front tribunal after 'Facebook' posting (1046-5084).
• NSW slow over-rate appeal 'partially upheld' (1046-5085).
1047 - 26 January [5086-5089]
• African trio sign up for Pakistan's planned domestic T20 series (1047-5086).
• CSA hands out suspensions to two players (1047-5087).
• ECB fast-tracking approach a concern for some (1047-5088).
• New Jersey umpires to launch up-graded on-line training program (1047-5089).
1048 - 28 January [5090-5097]
• Another call to give umpires, not players, review powers (1048-5090).
• Match officials named for Women's World Cup (1048-5091).
• Ten-week suspended sentence for 'Facebook' posting (1048-5092).
• Indian umpiring standards in ODI series described as 'abysmal' (1048-5093).
• Maiden senior neutral appointment for indian umpire (1048-5094).
• Australasian quarter to manage South African Tests (1048-5095).
• 'Neutral' officials named for Australia-Windies ODI series (1048-5096).
• PCB offering $A2M insurance cover for overseas T20 players (1048-5097).
1049 - 31 January [5098-5106]
• Junior fast bowling limits again questioned (1049-5098).
• 'Ugly, 'angry' scenes see no sanctions, players 'still friends' (1049-5099).
• 'Kookuburra' asked to examine ball at centre of tampering allegations (1049-5100).
• ICC coy about revealing 'Finn' 'dead ball' guidelines (1049-5101).
• No ODI debut for new Aussie international (1049-5102).
• BPL franchise lodges law suit over spot-fixing allegations (1049-5103).
• Details of ICC Board meeting under wraps (1049-5104).
• Umpires boycott Nairobi tournament over pay rates (1049-5105).
• Bowler's action cleared after 'rehabilitation', re-test (1049-5106).
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
FOUR NAMED FOR
SOUTH AFRICAN TESTS
Two Australians an Englishman and a Sri Lankan have been appointed to manage the two Test series South Africa and New Zealand are to play in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth over the next two weeks. David Boon will be the match referee for the series while England's Ian Gould will be on the field in each game, his colleague in the first being Australian Rod Tucker and in the second Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka; the latter pair working as third umpires when not standing with Gould.
The series will take Gould's record as a Test match umpire to thirty-three games, Tucker's to twenty-three, and Boon and Dharmasena in their respective roles to thirteen Tests each. The two games will see Tucker and Dharmasena's third umpire records move up to nine and six respectively. All four played at first class level prior to taking up umpiring, Gould representing England in One Day Internationals and Boon and Dharmasena their respective nations also in Tests.
LANKAN UMPIRE ASSOCIATIONS LOOKING
TO MERGE, SAY REPORTS
Reports from Sri Lanka over the weekend suggest that two of the country's main umpiring bodies, the Association of Cricket Umpires (ACU) and the Association of Professional Cricket Umpires (APCU), are in talks about a merger. The APCU split from the ACU almost three years ago because of what reports at the time said was the APCU's view that umpiring standards in the island nation had "hit a low and nothing is being done to deal with the situation" (PTG 586-2955, 16 March 2010).
ACU President Nihal Pathirage was quoted recently as saying that he believes "that as the pioneering umpires association and the association with the largest membership, the ACU will be the only recognised cricket umpires association in Sri Lanka in the future". He said that the split three years ago "had detrimental effects on the game", indicated that the two associations signed a 'memorandum of understanding' last February 2012 and that negotiations were on going, and that he expects a merger will become "a reality in the near future”.
Then International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) member Asoka de Silva was a key figure behind the APCU's establishment, as was current EUP member Kumar Dharmasena plus the likes of Ranmore Martinesz and Tyrone Wijewardena who are members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel.
REPRIMAND, SUSPENDED FINE, FOR
BOWLING ACTION REMARKS
Brisbane Twenty20 coach Darren Lehmann has been reprimanded and given a $A3,000 two-year suspended fine by Cricket Australia for questioning the legality of West Indies and Melbourne T20 all-rounder Marlon Samuels' bowling action. Lehmann was charged and found guilty of making "detrimental public comments" about Samuels' action at the end the two side's match in Melbourne ten days ago (PTG 1032-5010, 24 December 2012).
PLAYING THE GAME
Saturday, 5 January 2013
TWO NEW MEMBERS APPOINTED
TO ICC THIRD-TIER PANEL
Sameer Bandekar of the United States of America and Wynand Louw of Namibia have been appointed as members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) third-tier Associates and Affiliates Panel of Umpires (AAPU) for 2013 following what the ICC says was its "annual review and selection process". Bandekar, 48, replaces Roger Dill of Bermuda, while Louw, 51, has replaced his countryman Jeff Luck.
Mumbai-born Bandekar migrated to the USA late last decade having officiated in sixty first class matches in India in the period from 1992-2011. During that time he stood in a One Day International (ODI) between India and Zimbabwe, worked as the third umpire in three Tests, and was on the field in three women's ODIs, one of which was in the 1997 women's World Cup. Louw already has nineteen first class and twenty List A games to his credit, most in Cricket South Africa's (CSA) three and one-day competitions, but also some in matches involving ICC second-tier nations, a group that includes Namibia.
Dill stood in eleven second-tier first class matches, twenty-five ODIs and eleven Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) during his time, ICC duties seeing him travelling multiple times to matches in Argentina, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Namibia, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and the West Indies.
Luck has been on the field in twenty first class matches, twelve in CSA competitions and the others in ICC games between second-tier nations, plus three second-tier ODIs and three T20Is. He has not travelled quite so widely as Dill, his umpiring trips with the ICC being to Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Vince Van Der Bijl, the ICC's Umpire and Referees Manager, payed tribute to the both Luck and Dill who have served on the AAPU since its inception in 2005, saying “On behalf of the ICC, I want to thank [them] for their untiring services and contributions in making the [AAPU] the strong and reputable unit that it is now", and "I am delighted that they have both agreed to continue to champion match officiating in their regions”.
The decision on AAUP membership for 2012-13 was made by a selection committee made up of Van Der Bijl, David Jukes an ICC Regional Match Referee, former international umpire Brian Aldridge of New Zealand, Adrian Griffith the ICC's Umpire and Referees Administration Manager, and Edward Fitzgibbon, the ICC Development Events Manager.
AAUP members can be assigned to ODIs and T20I matches involving the ICC's Associates and Affiliates Members as well as in international Under-19 and women’s cricket.
The ICC is yet to announce who the 'Americas' member of its second-tier Regional Referees Panel will be for the year ahead. The position appears to have fallen vacant when Griffith took up his current Dubai-based administrative position six months ago (PTG 951-4621, 18 June 2012).
APPOINTMENT OF BANGLADESHI PAIR
TO IUP 'SUBJECT TO BCB ENQUIRY'
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has listed Bangladeshi umpires Nadir Shah and Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid as members of its second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) for 2012-13, but says "confirmation of [their] appointment is pending [the outcome of] a Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] enquiry". The ICC confirmed overall IUP membership for the year ahead on Thursday, five weeks after the full set of information on the panel first appeared on its web site (PTG 1024-4974, 30 November 2012).
The BCB has been investigating claims by an Indian television station that Shah and Shahid were involved in game-related corrupt practices (PTG 1001-4862, 9 October 2012), but as yet no findings have been handed down and no time-line for a result has been announced; a factor that is possibly behind the delay in the ICC's announcement (PTG 1032-5015, 27 December 2012). Similar enquires were instigated in Pakistan and Sri Lanka with regard to a number of their umpires, none of whom are current IUP members, however, at this time there have been no public indications as to just where either of those investigations are at.
As reported previously (PTG 961-4674, 13 July 2012), the five new third umpires appointed to the IUP for 2012-13 are: Anisur Rahman (Bangladesh); Michael Gough and Tim Robinson (both England); C. Shamshuddin (India); Derek Walker (New Zealand); and John Ward (Australia). The new on-field members are: Simon Fry (Australia); Rob Bailey (England); and Vineet Kulkarni (India); while Tyrone Wijewardena returned to an on-field spot after being dropped entirely from the panel by Sri Lanka Cricket several years ago.
'SPIRIT OF CRICKET' PUT ASIDE
FOR T20 'ENTERTAINMENT'
Brisbane Twenty20 batsman Dan Christian and fast bowler Clint McKay from one of the Melbourne sides literally went toe-to-toe during their match in Brisbane on Thursday evening. The Christian-McKay confrontation, which was reminiscent of activities in Major League Baseball in the United States, is the latest in a string of heated exchanges in Cricket Australia's (CA) Indian Premier League-like competition, but so far only a pre-match coach-player rift and slow-over-rate fines appear to have resulted in disciplinary action (PTG 1035-5028 below).
McKay took exception to Christian's running between the wickets as he tried to get to the ball and attempt a run out. Christian attempted to hook a McKay delivery but missed and the ball dropped from his body and stopped just in front of the popping crease, and the two players ran into each other as one ran for a leg bye and the other for a run out. After picking up the ball McKay strode the length of the pitch yelling at Christian until the grill of the latter's helmet touched the bowler's nose, somewhat like heavy weight boxers in a pre-fight publicity stunt.
In Melbourne on Wednesday evening, a pre-match discussion between Adelaide coach Darren Berry and Melbourne's Marlon Samuels, apparently with regard to claims recently that Samuel's bowling action is suspect, has seen Berry cited by CA for misconduct. The same game saw Melbourne bowler John Hastings and Adelaide batsman Kieron Pollard have a spirited discussion whilst their jaws were centimetres apart in what one commentator described, in Australian Rules football parlance, as "a bit of spice".
Berry has been charged with being involved in "Unbecoming Behaviour" "to a representative player or official that could (a) bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute or (b) be harmful to the interests of cricket". No date has yet been set for Berry's hearing, which comes after Brisbane coach Darrenn Lehmann was reprimanded earlier this week and given a suspended fine over his own comments about Samuel's action (PTG 1034-5024, 1 January 2013).
On Sunday players from the two Sydney sides, Brad Haddin and Chris Gayle, had a dispute after the former Australian wicketkeeper took exception to Gayle's chest thumping actions after the latter had him caught in the outfield. Haddin twice pointed the handle of his bat at Gayle as he left the field and made comment on television immediately afterwards, the spat continuing into the domain of 'Twitter'.
Fox Sports, which has television rights for the tournament, says in a story posted on its web site that CA's T20 event "is advertised as a 'family friendly' competition, but with several on-field run-ins erupting in recent weeks, [it] is proving as fierce and confrontational as an Ashes Test". The web site then encourages its readers to nominate their favourite "boil over" in the competition to date, but no mention is made of the 'Spirit of Cricket' Preamble to the game's Laws.
SLOW OVER-RATE FINES FOR
BRISBANE, MELBOURNE SIDES
The Brisbane and Melbourne 'Stars' sides have been penalised for maintaining slow over rates in their Twenty20 match in Brisbane on Thursday night. After time allowances were taken into consideration, Brisbane was assessed to be two overs behind the required rate at the end of the match and the Melbourne side one over behind.
Under Cricket Australia's (CA) Twenty20 competition's Playing Conditions each member of a team’s playing XI is fined $250 for every over they finish behind the required rate. That meant that Brisbane team members were each fined $A500 and their opponents $A250 each; their respective captains James Hopes and Shane Warne also receiving what CA calls "one strike each".
That means that should either Hopes or Warne be captain should their sides are given another slow-over rate penalty this season, they will each be automatically suspended for one match.
JAYAPRAKASH OUT OF CONTENTION
FOR ICC UMPIRE COACH ROLE?
Unconfirmed reports from Mumbai this week are suggesting that former Indian international umpire Arani Jayaprakash will not be seeking appointment as one of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) four new Umpire Coaches. Applications for the coaches, which are to replace the world body's current Regional Umpire Performance Manager (RUPM), closed last Monday (PTG 1029-4998, 14 December 2012).
Jayaprakash was an inaugural RUPM appointee when that structure was set up by the ICC in 2008 (PTG 2262-1417, 26 June 2008), his role at initially covering international umpiring activities in India and Bangladesh, but was later limited to India alone. The Karnataka-born former first class cricketer, who is also a current member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's umpires panel, stood in thirteen Tests and thirty-eight One Day Internationals (ODI) during an eighteen year career that ended in May 2008 (PTG 249-1369, 30 May 2008).
One report suggests that Jayaprakash is out of contention because he does not wish to spend the "approximately 100 days of the year" the ICC advertisement for the new Umpire Coaches says are required to spend travelling away from home each year.
'ILLEGAL' ACTIONS RESULT
IN 'REHAB' PROGRAMS
Two 19-year-old bowlers in South Africa are under going a "rehabilitation" program after independent tests carried out by the Australian Institute of Sport and their own country's Sports Science Institute deemed their actions to be "illegal". The two bowlers, Prenelan Subrayen of KwaZulu-Natal and Solo Nqweni from Eastern Province, will not be permitted to take part in first-class cricket until work on their actions has been satisfactorally completed.
Subrayen, a right-arm offspinner, has taken six wickets in three first-class matches to date this season, while right-arm seamer Nqweni has thirty-three wickets from eight matches. Corrie van Zyl, Cricket South Africa's (CSA) general manager cricket, said that "we have every confidence that the rehab process will be successful and that these two talented young cricketers will be able to continue their promising careers in the near future".
Van Zyl said the players' respective provincial teams will be conducting the rehabilitation program with CSA's assistance. van Zyl pointed out though that the situation has been complicated for Prenelan because he suffered a bad dislocation of his bowling shoulder several years ago and this has contributed to the current problem.
NEXT EDITION OF LAWS
LIKELY IN OCTOBER
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) anticipates that the next revision of the game's Laws could come into effect in October, a timing that if achieved would see what will be labelled the '5th Edition of the [year] 2000 Code' apply to 2013-14 season matches in the Southern Hemisphere. As yet virtually no detail of the full range of changes the MCC's Laws sub-committee has identified are available, although some of the work involved is said to be at the "drafting and re-writing stage".
When introduced, the changes under consideration will be the first updates to the Laws since the last changes came in to effect in October 2010 (PTG 675-3312, 1 October 2012). The only hint the MCC has given so far about the revision is with regard to Law 17 which deals with 'Practice on the Field', the arrangements for which were revised as part of the 2010 changes (PTG 599-3014, 12 April 2010).
The change made just over two years ago said that bowlers would no longer be allowed to bowl the ball into the ground in preparation for starting their spell, as it was felt that this could alter the condition of the ball. However, that Law is now one of those being altered, says the MCC, and "in future, bowlers will be allowed to deliver their practice balls into the ground but there will be more scope for the Umpires to step in if they feel that the ball is being damaged, deliberately or not, as a result of this Law change".
Cricket Australia (CA) was one competition organiser who decided to take, two weeks after the 2010 change came into effect, what it then called a "relaxed"approach to that change. The version CA applied to its games was very similar to that which is apparently now being put forward by the Laws sub-committee (PTG 680-3336, 12 October 2010).
Once the the sub-committee completes its work on that and other Laws, the MCC says that "other advisory bodies such as the [its] World Cricket Committee [WCC]" will examine the proposals before the details are made public. It is probable that the WCC will consider such matters as part of its next meeting, which is scheduled to be held in New Zealand next month, and following that if all goes well and the club follows past practice, its members could be asked to vote on whatever changes are put to them at a Special General Meeting sometime in May.
Such a timetable would give the club around five months to arrange for printing of the '5th edition', make changes to such documents as its 'Open Learning Manual' and online resources and, if the changes are significant enough, possibly even prepare a revised version of the 'Tom Smith' umpires and scorers manual.
RANJI TROPHY MATCHES
FOR ECB, CSA UMPIRES
South African umpire Adrian Holdstock and Englishman Rob Bailey are in India as part of the respective exchange programs the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has with Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The pair are currently standing in separate quarter final games in the BCCI's Ranji Trophy first class series, and will also officiate in the semi finals of that competition next week.
Holdstock, 42, who is South Africa's third umpire on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), is taking part in his third overseas exchange visit as a CSA umpire, his first being to New Zealand in March 2010 and second to Australia in February last year. He and the BCCI's Krishnaraj Srinath are at present standing in the Ranji quarter-final between Mumbai and Baroda, a match that is the South African's fiftieth first class match since his debut at that level in January 2007; his move to umpiring coming after a sixteen match playing career with Western Province and Boland from 1989-96.
Media reports from Mumbai quote Holdstock as saying that India is the “final destination” for an umpire as "the conditions and turning wickets are something we aren't used to in South Africa [and] to get to the next level, this is the test you must go through". The same reports say that he is to make his debut in a One Day International between South Africa and New Zealand in Potchefstroom on 25 January.
Bailey, 49, played Test and One Day International cricket for England during a playing career that included a total of 374 first class games from 1992-2001. After moving to umpiring on his retirement, he made his first class debut in April 2003 and the two games in India over the next two weeks will be his 102nd and 103rd; three of which were in the West Indies in January 2010 as part of the ECB-West Indies exchange program. Recently promoted to an on-field IUP position, his first match in India is the Ranji quarter-final between Uttar Pradesh and Services in Indore, Amish Shaheba being his colleague for the game..
Details of Holdstock and Bailey's appointments and partners for the two semi final fixtures are expected to be announced later in the week.
SKIPPER 'DOESN'T EXPECT TO BE
DISCIPLINED' AFTER ON-FIELD ROW
Former Australian spinner Shane Warne, the captain of one of Melbourne's sides in Cricket Australia's (CA) Twenty20 competition, says that he doesn't expect to be disciplined by CA as a result of a number of on-field confrontations during his team's match against his team's cross-town rivals at the Docklands stadium last night. Warne's clashes with West indian Marlon Samuels are the latest in a series of on-field incidents that have been a feature of CA's short-form competition over the past week (PTG 1035-5027, 5 January 2013).
Reports say that Warne's team were "unsure Samuels had taken a catch to dismiss [batsman] Brad Hodge early in their side's innings. Soon afterwards Samuels appeared to restrain David Hussey as he set off for a second run. While Samuels made light of it, Hussey wasn't too pleased and there was "chat and some bat waving", but umpire Sam Nogajski was quick to wave the pair away.
The Hussey incident is said to have resulted in "Warne having some very harsh words to Samuels" when the latter went in to the crease to bat later in the night. One report said "Warne angrily yelled and gesticulated at him", saying "F*** you, Marlon", a situation that led Nogajski and his colleague Simon Fry "to intervene". Cricinfo's on line report called Warne's move "gamesmanship", and an attempt to get the record crowd of 46,581 "into the game".
In the following over with Clint McKay bowling, Warne raced in to cut off a single and underarmed the ball into Samuels upper body, prompting the West Indian to hurl his bat down the pitch in Warne's direction "in disgust" as "players and umpires rushed in to diffuse a potentially explosive situation". One report says that "Warne has just blatantly thrown the ball at Samuels for no real reason" and other images showed Warne pulling at Samuel's jumper and gesturing repeatedly to him. The former Australian bowler later claimed he "tried to throw the ball to [his wicketkeeper]", not Samuels.
The next ball in McKay's over saw Warne gesture furiously at the square-leg umpire when he ruled a wide for height. Asked about his temper by commentators from television broadcaster Fox Sports Warne, who was making live comments to air during play, said: "What are you meant to do when someone throws a bat at you?"
Simon Helmot, the coach of Warne's opponents, said he'd never seen such incidents in a match, calling it "quite interesting", "competitive" and "hard". "We probably tested the boundaries a little bit, but hopefully we can work our way through it and everything will be OK in the end". "You don't know what's said or who says what or how it's said, the tone. It probably looked worse than what it was", concluded Helmot.
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
ONE-MATCH BAN, FINES, FOR
FORMER AUSSIE SPINNER
Former Australian spinner Shane Warne has been given one-match ban and fined a total of $A4,500 after a clash with Marlon Samuels during a Cricket Australia (CA) Twenty20 (T20) competition match in Melbourne on Sunday evening (PTG 1036-5033-7 January 2013). Samuels was also charged with offences during the match but his hearing is yet to be held, while Cameron White, one of Warne's team mates, was handed a suspended fine for his behaviour during the game at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium.
CA charged Warne with four breaches of its player 'Code of Behaviour". The first was showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision; the second, engaging in inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with other players or officials; the third for throwing the ball at or near a player or official in an inappropriate and/or dangerous manner; and the fourth for using language that is obscene, offensive or of a generally insulting nature to another player, official or spectator.
The "serious dissent" at an umpire’s decision was downgraded to "showing dissent" at an umpire’s decision, an offence for which he was found guilty and fined $A500. The physical contact charge brought another guilty verdict and a fine of $A3,000 and a suspension of one T20 match, while the obscene language citation also resulted in a guilty decision and a $A1,000 fine. He was found not guilty in regard to the throwing the ball charge.
Warne said after the hearing yestersay that he was "disappointed at some of my actions last night as captain and as a player, but I'm also very disappointed at the severe penalty I received". After initially indicating he might appeal the ban and fine he later decided "to accept [the] one-match ban penalty". In a subsequent 'Twitter' post he said that he "went too far in trying to stand up for the team".
The charges laid against Samuels were: engaging in inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with other players or officials; and Unbecoming Behaviour, namely that “players and officials must not at any time engage in behaviour unbecoming to a representative player or official that could (a) bring them or the game of cricket into disrepute or (b) be harmful to the interests of cricket. His case has yet to be heard as he suffered what reports say is a serious eye injury during Sunday's game.
White was charged with one count of showing dissent at an umpire’s decision. He was found guilty, and as he had been involved in a previous CoB breach within the last 18 months (PTG 877-4285, 23 December 2011), the penalty was upgraded and he was fined $A1,000.
'DISSENT' COSTS HARBHAJAN
HALF HIS MATCH FEE
Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh has been fined fifty per cent of his match fee for showing dissent to umpire’s decision during his team’s Ranji Trophy quarter final match against Jharkhand in Jamshedpur on Monday. The sometime Indian off spinner is said to have argued with umpire CK Nandan after having his appeal for a catch turned down. Reports say that Harbhajan was summoned by match referee Sunil Chaturvedi at the end of day two of the game, and given the fine "after a discussion of over fifteen minutes".
'TWITTER' COMMENT ON UMPIRES
SEES BIRT FINED
Cricket Australia (CA) has fined Hobart Twenty20 batsman Travis Birt $A1,000 for breaching its player Code of Behaviour. Birt was found guilty of making "Detrimental Public Comment" about umpires in a 'Twitter' message he posted on Chrtistmas Eve the day after a match in Hobart the evening before.
Soon after the match Birt was given an official reprimand for gesticulating at the crease when given out during a match then hitting the boundary rope with his bat on the way off (PTG 1032-1518, 27 December 2012). He initially used his 'Twitter' feed to apologise for his actions, but a short time later, in response to a supporter's comment defending him, he tweeted: "Umpires ruining games". Reports yesterday say that he was not sanctioned for the comment at the time as CA only became aware of his post "days later".
After he was fined yesterday, Birt returned to 'Twitter' to indicate that the fine might stop him using the social medium again, tweeting, saying: "Thanks Twitter, been good while it lasted. See ya".
SECOND MELBOURNE T20 SIDE
COPS SLOW OVER-RATE FINE
The Melbourne 'Renegades' side in Cricket Australia's domestic Twenty20 (T20) competition has been penalised for maintaining a slow over rate in their match against the Melbourne 'Stars' on Sunday evening. After time allowances were taken into consideration, the 'Renegades' were assessed as being one over behind the required rate in a match that saw a number of players charged for a range of offences (PTG 1037-5034 above).
Under the T20 competition'a Playing Conditions each member of the playing XI was fined $A250 while their captain Aaron Finch also incurs "one strike". That means that should the side incur another slow-over rate penalty during the current season when Finch is playing, he will receive an automatic one match suspension.
The 'Renegrades' penalty came a few days after the second Melbourne side the 'Stars' and the team from Brisbane were each handed similar fines for slow over rates (PTG 1035-5028, 5 January 2013).
NEW IUP MEMBER FOR
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Richard Kettleborough of England, Marais Erasmus of South Africa and Javagal Srinath of India will be the 'neutral' officials for five One Day Internationals (ODI) Australia and Sri Lanka are to play over the next two weeks. News that the trio would be officiating in the series first appeared on the ICC's web site over two months ago ago, but that advice was taken down within a few hours (PTG 1011-4918, 30 October 2012).
Kettleborough will be on the field for three of the games and in the television suite for the other two, while Erasmus will stand in two and work as the third umpire in three matches, Srinath overseeing all five games as the match referee. The series will take Kettleborough's ODI record as an umpire to twenty-eight, Erasmus' to forty-five and Srinath to 121.
The trio will work with the three Australian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), Paul Reiffel, Simon Fry and John Ward during the series, Reiffel will be on the field in three games and Fry two. The latter two have been named as fourth umpires for first two games while Ward, who was promoted to the IUP late last year (PTG 1024-4975, 30 November 2012), will be limited to working in that spot for the last three ODIs.
However, Ward will make his senior international on-field debut in the second of two Twenty20 Internationals Australia and Sri Lanka are to play after the ODI series ends. Fry will be on the ground in both those matches, Reiffel being his partner in the first and Ward in the second, the latter two being third umpires when not on the field, while Srinath will be the match referee for both fixtures.
PYCROFT, DAVIS, 'NEUTRALS'
FOR INDIA-ENGLAND ODI SERIES
Zimbabwean Andy Pycroft and Australian Steve Davis have been named as the neutral officials for the five-match One Day International (ODI) series India and England are to play later this month in Rajkot, Kochi, Ranchi, Mohali and Dharamsala. The five game will take Davis' ODI match record to 116 matches and Pycroft's as a referee to 77.
With the Umpire Decision Review System not in operation the second on-field and third umpire positions will go to Indian members of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel. Appointments for those spots have not yet been announced.
'MARKETING' MORE IMPORTANT
THAN 'SPIRIT' AT CA?
Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Sutherland has been criticised for his response to on-field incidents involving Melbourne captain Shane Warne during a CA Twenty20 match on Sunday evening. On Monday, Warne was fined and suspended for one T20 game as a result of his actions (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013), and Sutherland's comments afterwards led a number of senior Australian journalists to query whether CA is more focussed on the marketing of its T20 event than 'Spirit of Cricket' issues.
Sutherland, who one report stated "did not seem too upset by" the match's incidents, indicated during the media conference that he had only seen them via short video clips, was "not in any way condoning breaches of our Code of Behaviour" and that it was "not a great thing to see an altercation between two players out in the middle". But for him "the two teams had a lot at stake basically vying for the top of the table", and he thinks, presumably a reference to the on-field behaviour, "it's a sign of where [the T20 competition] is at". One of Warne's team mates has described his skipper's"passion" as an "inspiration" (PTG 1038-5042 below).
The CEO went on to state that "Players are entertainers, they are putting on a show, but first and foremost they're also sportsmen who are competing for big prizes, and... ..this sort of thing is something that only inspires greater rivalry between [the two Melbourne T20] teams, and only creates greater interest in the competition". "To be honest", said Sutherland, "I thought it looked like two teams playing in front of a big crowd in a very charged environment with a lot at stake", and "there was clearly a lot of passion out [on the ground]".
Sutherland, a former first class player, acknowledged Warne's value in marketing CA's T20 event, describing what he "has done in [the competition] over the past two seasons as phenomenal" and that he "is a great promoter of the game". "If you look back over the course [of the competition] and across state cricket and Australian players these sought of things are isolated", he said, but made no reference to a string of on-field incidents in the T20 competition prior to last Sunday, or that he was aware of them, none of which attracted disciplinary action (PTG 1035-5027, 5 January 2013).
In an article in 'The Australian' newspaper on Tuesday that generally summed up most print media remarks, noted writer Gideon Haigh, who was chosen by CA to give the 2012 'Sir Donald Bradman Oration' (PTG 1009-4903, 27 October 2012), described Samuels as "a bit of a tit", called the punishment handed to Warne as "token", and termed Sutherland's overall comments as "mealey-mouthed"; the latter term being defined by the dictionary as an "unwillingness to state facts or opinions simply and directly". The on-field incidents "even crossed the bounds of artificiality" wrote Haigh, while other stories queried what the attitude of younger players will be to match officials as a result (PTG 1038-5043 below).
In a post on Cricinfo's blog page on Tuesday, Michael Jeh said that CA "probably had no real choice but to impose some form of penalty" (see also PTG 1038-5043 below). "They are to be commended for running an exhaustive education program for their Under-17 and Under-19 squads" that cover a range of behavioural issiues, education that "I know for a fact is more than lip service". "The commitment to promoting credible role models is at the cornerstone of [CA's] motives and it is a responsibility [that organisation takes series]", and lack of action "would have gone against everything the [CA] genuinely tries to instil in the next generation of cricketers coming through the system".
CA moved to try and hose down the issue on Tuesday with Ben Amarfio, its executive general manager of marketing, digital and communications, going on Melbourne radio to say that the Warne-Samuels situation it is not the type of publicity his organisation wants. "That was a disappointing incident" he said, for "we don't want to see that kind of role model behaviour anywhere in cricket". He also thinks "Shane has copped his medicine by [putting up] his hand up and is disappointed with his own behaviour".
INJURY FORCES SAMUELS OUT OF
CA SERIES, RAISES QUESTIONS
West Indian Marlon Samuels will not play in Cricket Australia's (CA) Twenty20 (T20) competition again this season after he suffered a suspected fracture of the eye socket during a match played in Melbourne on Sunday. On Tuesday, the T20 series' Technical Committee gave approval for England batsman Alex Hales to replace him in their team's playing squad, but with Samuels yet to face a disciplinary hearing into misconduct charges, his replacement by Hales will raise questions should he be suspended for his actions.
CA has charged Samuels with "Unbecoming Behaviour" and "engaging in inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with other players or officials" as a result of the confrontation between himself and former Australian spinner Shane Warne, plus a tug at an opposition player's shirt, in the game in which he was injured (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013). Under CA's T20 event player 'Code of Behaviour', the potential penalties for a Level 2 offence such as the physical contact charge range from a basic fine of $A1,000 up to a maximum of a combination of a $A2,000 fine and a two-match suspension.
Hales played for the Melbourne side in its last home-and-away match of the season at the Sydney Cricket Ground last night and was instrumental in the side's win in what was the team's last game before the semi finals and possibly final of the competition next week. If Samuels is banned for a match by the Code of Behaviour Commissioner who conducts his hearing, the advantage his team gained as a result of his replacement by Hales appears likely to be queried by some observers.
WARNE 'PASSION' 'INSPIRATIONAL',
CLAIMS TEAM MATE
Former Australian spinner Shane Warne's performance as captain in a Cricket Australia (CA) Twenty20 match last Sunday is described by his team mate David Hussey as "inspirational" in an article published in 'The Australian' this morning. Warne's "a great motivator of men" runs the quote attributed to Hussey, and when "the players saw him [confront the opposition's Marlon Samuels they] probably lifted [to] a new gear".
Describing the one-match ban his captain was handed as a result of his on-field dispute with Samuels as "over the top", Warne using the term "harsh" earlier in the week (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013), Hussey says his captain "just proved to everybody that he's got a will to win", that "he's passionate" and "come semi-final time [in the competition] it will be no different".
"Shane's brilliant, he wears his heart on his sleeve, [and] all the boys love playing for him", continued Hussey, although he does concede that "both teams probably overstepped the mark a bit" and "it probably wasn't a great view for cricket". But in Hussey's view "you want your captain to stick up for you".
'HOW WILL KIDS REACT TO WARNE'S
ACTIONS?', ASKS JOURNALISTS
Long-time Australian cricket journalist Malcolm Conn says he suspects former Australian spinner Shane Warne has "clearly never read The Laws of Cricket", but that "if he did he would discover, at the front of the book, 'The Preamble' [titled] The Spirit of Cricket'. Warne was fined and suspended for one match as the result of his on-field actions during a Cricket Australia Twemty20 match played in Melbourne on Sunday evening (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013), the length of of the ban being queried by a number of journalists, one of whom described it as "token" (PTG 1038-5040 above).
While Conn described Warne in an article in Sydney's 'Daily Telegraph' as "the greatest player of the modern era [whose] performances were phenomenal and achievements amazing", he is of the view that he carried on "like a schoolyard bully" on Sunday, "and set a dreadful example for the thousands of kids at the match or watching on Fox Sports". "His greatness has done more for the game than anyone since Bradman and his presence in the [T20 event] has given the revamped competition the kudos it desperately needs", but "none of that excuses his appalling behaviour".
Warne's "heated run-in" with his opposition side's Marlon Samuels "was a disgrace", continued Conn, who points to the latter as starting "all the nonsense by grabbing [batsman] David Hussey when he was attempting to run between wickets" (PTG 1036-5033, 7 January 2013). "Leadership [in a game of cricket] goes way beyond setting the field and changing the bowling" and "if Warne spent less time thinking about himself and more timing thinking about the good of the game he might get it, but at 43 years of age it is probably way too late for that".
Conn then asks the question as to whether "those kids" who were watching the game at the ground or at home, "now think it's okay to disrespect opponents and umpires because Warnie does?" He points out that "the major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains", the "key word [being] responsibility", "a concept Warne does not understand".
In a post on Cricinfo's blog page, Michael Jeh wrote of the reaction of his children aged nine, eight and seven as the events of last Sunday's game unfolded on their television set. "The questions flowed immediately", he says, like: “Daddy, is he allowed to do that on a cricket field? Why did that man say that naughty word? Is there going to be a fight?” Jeh then asks: " Was this really a game of cricket that I was trying to debrief to my children?"
The 'Daily Telegraph' article by Conn says that as "a multimillionaire earning half a million dollars to play in [CA's T20 competition]" whose wages are reported to be subsidised by CA in acknowledgement of his "marketing value", fining him $A4,500 "is like grounding a naughty kid for roughly two minutes". "More thought needs to go into a suitable punishment", he says, one of which would be to "make Warne memorise and recite the 'Spirt of Cricket' preamble to team mates, opponents and school children around the country".
MORE SLOW OVER-RATES
FINES FOR AUSSIE T20 SIDES
The Melbourne 'Stars' and Sydney 'Thunder' sides in Cricket Australia's Twenty20 competition have been penalised for maintaining slow over rates in their match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday night. At the end of the match both teams were assessed as being one over behind the required rate after time allowances were taken into consideration,
As required under the competition's Playing Conditions each member a team’s playing XI is fined $250 for every over they finish behind the required rate, while their captains also each incurred "one strike". Should a captain receive two "strikes" in a season he is automatically suspended for the next match his team plays.
It is the second time this season the 'Stars' have been penalised for a slow over-rate (PTG 1035-5028, 5 January 2013), however, they have had a different skipper each time. The first was Shane Warne last week and on Tuesday it was Cameron White as Warne was serving a one-match suspension (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 1037), while Chris Gayle received the "one strike" as the Thunder's captain.
NUP MEMBERS NAMED
FOR WNCL FINAL
Two members of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpires Panel (NUP), Damien Mealey from Queensland and Tony Ward of Victoria, have been appointed to officiate in the final of CA's 50-over format Womens National Cricket League (WNCL) competition on Sunday in Sydney, CA Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) member Ric Evans being the match referee. That trio plus New South Wales-based umpires Andrew Hamilton and David Taylor and match referee Graham Reed will a also be involved in the two semi finals tomorrow and the playoff for third place match on Saturday.
Ward, Hamilton and Evans are to look after tomorrow's NSW-Western Australia semi final and Mealey, Taylor and Reed the parallel fixture that day between Queensland and Victoria. The three New South Welshmen will then oversee the third place playoff on Saturday in the lead up to the final at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Mealey, Ward and Evans will be in action together. Hamilton, Mealey and Taylor have previously each stood in one WNCL game during the current austral summer.
The WNCL's four-match final series comes after twenty-eight home-and-away games played over the last three months. Those fixtures, which were made up of three games each in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, saw a total of twenty-eight umpires involved. NSW used six of its senior umpires for the six positions available, Victoria five, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Queensland and South Australia four each, and Tasmania and Western Australia both three.
Evans and CA's Umpire Manager Sean Easey with one match each, were the only UHPP members used as match referees during the home-and-away games, locals Reed, Darrel Cox, Terry Keel, Jim Torpey and Richard Widows looking after their three games in NSW, Victoria, the ACT, Queensland and Tasmania respectively as referees. Others used in that capacity were Kim Perrin and Bob Woods in Adelaide and Terry Prue in Perth.
The New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) and Cricket NSW yesterday announced a restructure of its staffing, Troy Penman being "rewarded for his commitment, dedication and ability" with a promotion to the newly created position of Administration Manager, and Sharad Patel appointed to Penman's former role of Administration Officer.
According to the announcement, the NSWCUSA's education and development and State Director of Umpiring roles will continue to sit with Executive Officer Darren Goodger (PTG 1032-5013, 24 December 2012). Penman has been with the Association since September 2009 and is said to "enjoy the respect of the umpiring and scoring community" of what is the largest association of its kind in Australia. Patel, a NSWCUSA member who still plays the game, previously worked with a company of chartered accountants and is studying for a Bachelor of Business, a program he is to continue in a part time capacity.
The staffing reshuffle at the NSWCUSA comes a week after the association commenced the celebration of its Centenary year with the opening of the refurbished 'Ted Wykes' umpires' room at the Sydney Cricket Ground (PTG 999-4857, 4 October 2012).
PLAYING THE GAME
MCC SELECTS TAUFEL FOR
2013 COWDREY LECTURE
Simon Taufel, who won the International Cricket Council's (ICC) 'Umpire of the Year' title five times last decade, is to deliver the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) 2013 'Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture' at Lord's in July. In announcing Taufel's selection yesterday, MCC President Mike Griffith said that as the first umpire to deliver the lecture, which is now in its thirteenth year, Taufel will offer "a unique insight" into how the 'Spirit of Cricket' Preamble to the Laws "translates within the modern game".
Griffith continued by saying that Taufel "has been one of the most respected umpires in world cricket for over a decade". "As a member of the MCC Laws sub committee, the Club already benefits from his vast knowledge and experience to help tackle the key issues surrounding the game’s Laws".
Taufel, who is now the ICC's new Umpire Performance and Training Manager (PTG 995-4833, 27 September 2012), is quoted in an MCC press release as saying that "After the initial shock of being asked", he was "delighted, honoured and humbled to be able to participate in such an important cricket event", and looks "forward to representing umpiring in this fine tradition and all that Mr Cowdrey stood for".
The Cowdrey Lecture was inaugurated in 2001 and named after Colin Cowdrey, the former England captain, first person to play 100 Tests and a prominent MCC Member who, alongside another ex-England skipper, Ted Dexter, successfully campaigned for the 'Spirit of Cricket' concept to be formally included as a Preamble to the 2000 Code of the game's Laws.
Taufel will be the third Australian to deliver the speech, following in the footsteps of Adam Gilchrist in 2009 and Richie Benaud, who gave the initial lecture in 2001 that year after Cowdrey's death. He will be the third non first class player to deliver the address after Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and the late broadcaster and MCC President, Christopher Martin-Jenkins.
DESPITE NO APPEAL
BATSMAN GIVEN OUT
Adelaide Twenty20 batsman Kane Richardson got a reprieve during his side's match against Perth on Thursday evening after he trod on his stumps, was given out, then recalled to the crease because the fielders had not appealed, say reports. Richardson's collision with his stumps, which occurred before he had scored, went unnoticed by the players despite the fact that the bails and stumps lit up like a Christmas Tree after they were broken (PTG 1027-4992, 10 December 2012).
Square leg umpire Paul Wilson, who did not appear to notice the stump strike, was seen to put his finger up and Richardson left his crease. He stopped just inside the boundary, and after Wilson and his on-field colleague Mick Martell conferred with third umpire Sam Nogajski, Perth skipper Simon Katich called the right-hander back because none of his players had actually appealed. Replays clearly indicated that Richardson had broken his stumps while executing a hook shot.
Katich was quoted after the match as saying that "The ruling was we had to appeal and none of us did so we did the right thing and brought him back". Law 27.1, whose title is 'Umpire not to give batsman out without an appeal", says in part that "Neither umpire shall give a batsman out, even though he may be out under the Laws, unless appealed to by a fielder", therefore just why Wilson raised his finger is not known.
During the match Melbourne T20 skipper Shane Warne got involved by commenting in a 'Twitter' post as the South Australia-based side quickly lost wickets in what turned out to be a vain run chase: "Terrible team Adelaide picked, what were they thinking!" The official Adelaide 'Twitter' feed replied by suggesting Warne might not play in the finals because they're not held in London, a reference to the bowler missing a game because he spent Christmas in the UK with his fiancee.
In a subsequent post the person responsible for the Adelaide 'tweet' went on to say "things might get ugly if Warney decided to throw a ball at them", a reference to the on-field clash Warne had with Melbourne batsman Marlon Samuels last Sunday that resulted in the former Australian spinner being fined and suspended for one match (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013).
PUSH TO GIVE HOME BOARDS
DECISION ON UDRS USE
Reports from India indicate that moves are underway to try and give home boards in an international series the right to decide whether the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will be operational or not. Currently, both national boards whose teams are involved in a bilateral Test, One Day International or Twenty20 International series must agree to UDRS use, however, there was a push early last month at a meeting of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive Committee (CEC), for the home board change.
The 'Pune Mirror' said in a story published on Thursday that the only national chief executive who spoke against the move at the CEC's latest meeting was Sanjay Jagdale, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Jagdale declined to comment on the situation when approached by 'Cricinfo', but the 'Mirror' report indicates the CEC's recommendation is to be consider by the ICC Board at its meeting in Dubai on 29-30 January.
'Cricinfo' quotes "an ICC member" as saying "I think [the CEC's push] might come to nothing, quite frankly" as he does "not necessarily think the chairman of [national] boards would have the same view as their chief executives". Similar attempts have been made in the past to circumvent the BCCI's opposition to UDRS use, the CEC passing a resolution prior to last June's ICC's annual conference in Kuala Lumpur to make the system mandatory for all events. However, the ICC board did not put the issue to a vote (PTG 954-4633, 28 June 2012).
Prior to that the BCCI torpedoed a similar bid for mandatory UDRS in 2011, a previous decision to make the system's use "compulsory" being overturned, the policy reverting back to the "optional" status that currently applies and requires both boards to agree (PTG 845-4130, 12 October 2011).
BERRY, SAMUELS HEARINGS
Cricket Australia (CA) said yesterday that Adelaide coach Darren Berry’s Code of Behaviour hearing, which had been scheduled for that afternoon, had been postponed. Berry was cited as a result of a pre-match discussion he had with Marlon Samuels from one of Melbourne's two Twenty20 sides ten days ago, apparently with regard to claims the week before that Samuel's bowling action is suspect (PTG 1035-5027, 5 January 2013).
CA Commissioner John Price is reported to have granted a request by the Melbourne side to postpone the hearing until Samuels, who was seriously injured in a match last weekend, is "passed as medically fit to participate". The date of Berry's hearing is expected to be confirmed next week, as will the timing of the separate hearing into the charges laid against Samuels (PTG 1038-5041, 10 January 2013).
PLAYING THE GAME
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
PROFESSIONALISM HAS SHIFTED THE GAMES'
'MORAL GROUND', CLAIMS 'TIMES' WRITER
Modern sport is "not supposed to be a moral lesson but a fierce and terrible drama and a player who fails to appreciate this is short-changing both his audience and his team mates", says the Chief Sports Writer of the London 'Times', Simon Barnes. Barnes wrote about the issue in an article that compares the contrasting views on 'walking' held by current 'Times' chief cricket correspondent Mike Atherton and his predecessor, the late Christopher Martin-Jenkins.
Barnes says that former England captain Atherton had as a player, and still has as a journalist, strong views that a batsman should not 'walk' even if he knows he is out, while broadcaster, writer and former Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) President Martin-Jenkins spoke often about the "morality" of a batsman 'walking' in such a situation.
In his 2007 MCC Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's, Martin-Jenkins said that "cricket would instantly become a better game if young [players] in every country were to be taught from now onwards that walking is the thing to do when they know they are genuinely out" (PTG 70-385, 19 July 2007). Barnes writes about the appropriateness of that philosophy applying for "games played on the village green", but then goes on to draw a line between amateur and professional sport, saying the comparison between the two is now "discontinuous".
Barnes says "modern Test cricketers don't walk" as "their team mates would feel betrayed by a batsman who was self-indulgent enough to walk, and perhaps we spectators would too". Professional sport is "more than mere [money], its a career, its about who you are and what you want to be", he says. "Its about paying the mortgage and pleasing the sponsors". "Its about fulfilling your talents and your ambitions". "Its about the livelihood and the ambitions of your colleagues" and as such walking "is irresponsible".
"When you become a professional athlete you stop playing the sport for fun" and "inevitably sport changes as a result". "We who watch [professional sport] have to understand that it is not like anything you and I have ever done in the name of fun". "Its a job" that shouldn't be "confused with a day off", and while we grow up to "believe that work and play are opposites, strange things happen when the two become one".
At professional level, states Barnes, "failure is not something to laugh off, success is not something you can take or leave" as "triumph and disaster can affect the rest of your life". "Inevitably, then, there has been a moral drift between the amateur and professional game". In Barnes view 'walking' is "extinct in cricket" not because cricket "is no longer moral but because cricket's professional moral ground has shifted since the days when the game was played only for fun".
'AGRESSIVE' UMPIRING BLAMED
FOR BOWLER'S REMOVAL
Former Australian wicketkeeper and now television commentator Ian Healy blamed what he called "agressive umpiring" for the removal of One Day International (ODI) debutant Kane Richardson from the attack in his side's 50-over match against Sri Lanka in Adelaide on Sunday. Fast bowler Richardson was, as required by the Laws, taken out of the attack by South African umpire Marais Erasmus after the last ball of his sixth over when he ran into the 'Protected Area' too many times during Sri Lanka's innings.
South Australian bowling coach Rob Cassell says that Richardson, 21, has been working for sometime to "smooth" what he called the "longstanding fault" with his approach. "Kane runs in on an arc and by straightening his run-up it will allow him to follow through off the pitch". Cassell is confident a solution will be found that will not impact on the "great form" he says Richardson has displayed during Australian domestic Twenty20, one-day and first class matches this season.
Another former Australian first class player and coach Tim Nielson, who was commentating on Sunday's game for ABC Radio, also appeared to have a problem with what the Laws require of a bowler with regard to the Protected Area. After initial confusion about just what Erasmus' direction to Australian skipper George Bailey about Richardson was, Nielson expressed surprise that the innings ban "applied to [bowling from] both ends" of the pitch.
Healy was Australia's wicketkeeper in 119 Tests and 168 ODIs in the period from 1988-2000 and has been working as a television commentator for the last decade. Nielson played 101 first class and 51 List A games for South Australia as a wicketkeeper-batsman during the 1990s, then moved into coaching with South Australia and then with the Australia's national team. He is also a former head coach at Cricket Australia's Centre for Excellence in Brisbane.
KULKARNI'S 'RAPID RISE' UP
UMPIRING RANKS CONTINUES
Indian umpire Vineet Kulkarni, who is to stand in his second One Day International (ODI) in Kochi later today when India and England meet, has had a "rapid rise" up umpiring ranks on the subcontinent and become a "much respected umpire", according to an 'Indian Express' report published yesterday. Kulkarni, 33, made his debut at ODI in the high pressure match between India and Pakistan in Kolkata two weeks ago, standing with New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden, and today his on field colleague will be Australian Steve Davis.
Kulkarni, who has a degree in Organic Chemistry, says that he realised as early as the age of ten that he did not have the skills required to become anything but an "ordinary player". As a result he has "always been fascinated with the men in the white coats", and when growing up "used to observe umpires with a little more interest on television".
That "fascination" pushed him to umpire at club level in his teenage years before in 1997, at the age of eighteen, he met Chandra Sathe a former Indian first class umpire who had stood at ODI level. Sathe pushed Kulkarni into "investing serious time in umpiring if I really believed in it and that was where it all started", he says. In 1998 he topped the Maharashtra Cricket Association umpires' exam then stood in "a lot of inter-district games" before passing the Board of Control for Cricket in India's umpires' exams in 2008.
Pune-born Kulkarni made his debut at first class level in November 2009 at the age of thirty, and was named as an Indian third umpire member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel in 2011. In 2012 he was on the field in two domestic first class matches in both Australia and South Africa as part of exchange programs, and was appointed to the final of India's Duleep Trophy last month.
Kulkarni says his preparation for international matches is the same as for any other game. He studies the Laws and Playing Conditions in detail "because you need to be on a very strong technical footing when you officiate an international match". "Other than that, I study both teams, their bowlers and playing styles, and umpiring in the nets is a very helpful exercise". "You can simulate the feel of a live match and can really get a good measure of yourself that way", he says.
In his view though an umpire is only as good as his man management skills. “I admire David Shepherd for the way he managed players on the field [for] as an umpire, you can’t be a policeman and penalise players". "You need to communicate effectively with the player and that is something I constantly work on".
"Like every umpire", selection as a member of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel "is an important personal goal" for Kulkarni, but "that improving over every game is something he places [the greatest] emphasis on [at the present time]". “Umpiring more games helps you deal better with pressure", he says, and "the more appeals you face, your conditioning and mental alertness improves".
CA ANNOUNCES T20 SEMI
Six umpires and two match referees have been appointed to manage the semi finals of Cricket Australia's (CA) Twenty20 competition later today in Melbourne and tomorrow in Perth. CA National Umpire Panel (NUP) members John Ward and Paul Wilson will be on the field in Melbourne tonight with Garard Abood the third umpire and CA Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) member Bob Stratford the match referee, while the Perth game will be looked after by Simon Fry and Mick Martell, third umpire Geoff Joshua and the UHPP's Ric Evans.
For Ward, today's semi final will be his twenty-sixth match in the tournament over the last five years, a record that includes the final of the event in 2007, 2011 and 2012. Its the twenty-fourth CA T20 match for Fry, who stood in the final of 2010, and also Martell, while for Ward its his eighteenth and first in a final series.
Appointments for the final of the competition on Saturday, the venue for which will not be known until after the semi finals, are likely to be announced on Thursday. Umpire allocations for the One Day Internationals Australia and Sri Lanka are to play either side of the final on Friday and Sunday suggest that Fry is a likely candidate for the T20 final, with Wilson and Martell filling either the second on-field and third umpire spots.
The final of CA's Women's T20 competition will be played as a curtain raiser for the men's final on Saturday. NUP members appear likely to be appointed to that match and the announcement of those selections is also anticiopated on Thursday.
TERRORIST ATTACK SURVIVOR
PAKISTAN'S 2012 'UMPIRE OF YEAR'
Ahsan Raza was awarded the inaugural Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) 'Umpire of the Year' award during the PCB's "first ever" annual awards ceremony in Lahore on Saturday. What is being called the 'Aleem Dar Trophy', which includes a prize of 100,000 Rupees ($A1,025), was one of a total of eighteen awards announced by current PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, but no details have been released about the procedures used in deciding the trophy's winner.
Raza, 38, a former wicketkeeper who played 21 first-class matches during the last half of the 1990s, made his umpiring debut at that level in 2006 and has officiated in 72 first-class matches to date, ten of them in 2012. He was promoted to the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel in 2010 and has since gone on to stand in eight One Day Internationals and the same number of Twenty20 Internationals, three of his ODIs and six of the T20Is being in 2012; and he also officiated in the Under-19 World Cup in Australia in August.
Raza was shot in the back and critically wounded during the terrorist attack in Lahore in 2009 and lost a lung as a result (PTG 380-2021, 4 March 2009). It took nine months before he had recovered sufficiently to return to the game.
'FREE HIT' PLAYING CONDITION
'UNFAIR', SAYS CHOPRA
Former India batsman Aakash Chopra believes that the 'free-hit' Playing Condition in the limited-over game whereby a batsman can play a subsequent legitimate delivery "without the fear of losing his wicket", "goes against the fundamentals of cricket". In a story published on the 'Cricinfo' web site yesterday, Chopra says that bowler's "have the right to take a wicket off a legitimate delivery and the current situation is "unfair".
Chopra writes that the basic premise of cricket is that an error has consequences, but if as a batsman you make a mistake on a 'free hit', you will escape punishment. Cricket is at its best when there's balance between bat and ball, he says, and "changing this [Playing Condition] will bring back some parity on the pitch". "Let's not make the game more skewed towards batsmen than it already is", he says, but does not mention that a batsman can be dismissed 'handling the ball', 'hit the ball twice', 'obstructing the field' or 'run out' on a 'free hit' delivery.
OMANI TEAM BLAMES
UMPIRE 'BIAS' FOR LOSS
Oman Cricket League (OCL) team Assarain has lodged an official complaint and called for a re-match after several umpiring decisions went against them during their match against the 'Passage to India' side last Thursday, says a report published in the 'Oman Times' on the weekend. Assarain team manager Vinu Mathew alleged that "umpiring blunders" caused his team to loose the 50-over match by one wicket, claims that has led OCL officials to launch an investigation into the issues raised.
Vinu pointed to three decisions that went against his team: "batsman Sindo Michael was given 'run out' on a close call", another "was given out LBW when the edge could be heard in the pavilion", while a third "was given 'run out' even though he was in". The team manager described the decisions involved "biased, as we consider the umpires too qualified to make these elementary errors".
All that led to Vinu's side refusing to sign-off the scoresheet and forward a "strong letter" to OCL general secretary Madhu Jesrani asking for both an investigation and that the game be replayed "with a different set of umpires". Jesrani confirmed that the matters raised will be looked into but he refused to go into the allegations made against the umpires, saying that "umpiring errors do happen in cricket but that does not mean our umpires are biased".
WICUA WEB SITE GOES QUIET
The web site set up by the West Indies Cricket Umpire Association (WICUA) two years ago in an attempt to improve communications between its members across the Caribbean and North America has not been updated for several months. Association President Cecil Fletcher has been the prime contributor over the last two years with his 'quarterly reports', however, even that posting appears to have ceased as the latest, which was due at the end of December, is yet to appear.
What Fletcher called last September "the prolonged delay" in setting up the site was "vigorously debated" during the WICUA's 2010 convention on the island of Saint Lucia, and the site was established later that year by Robin Ford. Fletcher said three months ago that "the fact that the [web] site is being underutilised [and] is void of current happenings within the association" was disappointing. He pleaded with members to send materials for publication as there is "much activity" across the association's wide geographic area that is of interest and "could be of benefit to others".
The WICUA's next biannual conference is scheduled to be held in Trinidad from 28 June to 6 July this year.
PLAYERS TO FACE BALL TAMPERING,
Two players are to face disciplinary hearings after an on-field confrontation during a first class match in Cape Town last week. Quinton de Kock, South Africa's new limited-overs wicketkeeper batsman who plays for the Lions, allegedly pushed Cobras captain Justin Ontong after umpires Brian Jerling and Shaun George changed the ball because they believed its condition had been altered twenty overs into the Lions' second innings.
Reports from Cape Town say that after Jerling and George decided to change the ball De Kock, who was batting at the time, was "in accordance with protocol", asked to choose a replacement ball. The Cobras are said to have been unhappy with his choice, the claim being that the one he selected was "much older" than the original. After "words were exchanged" between the two players what was called "a slight scuffle" ensued.
De Kock will appear in front of a disciplinary commissioner on charges over his role in pushing an opposition player, while Ontong will face charges of ball tampering, an allegation his side has denied. Reports say that the ball involved "will be sent away for tests to determine whether it was [inappropriately] damaged in any way".
Despite the charge laid against him De Kock, 20, who played for South Africa's Under-19 side in last year's World Cup in Australia, will be allowed to play the first two One Day Internationals (ODI) against New Zealand tomorrow and on Tuesday as the pair's disciplinary hearings have been put back to next Wednesday. Tomorrow's ODI will be de Kock's debut at ODI level.
WARNE REPORTED FOR OVER-RATE
RELATED 'SPIRIT' BREACH
Shane Warne, the captain of the Melbourne 'Stars' Twenty20 side, has again been reported for breaching Cricket Australia's (CA) Code of Behaviour, this time in relation to slow over-rate issues. CA has charged Warne, who was fined and suspended as a result of incidents in a match played ten days ago (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013), with breaching the "Laws of Cricket and Spirit of the Game" during the semi final of its domestic series in Perth on Wednesday evening.
The Melbourne skipper, who was on "one strike" for a slow-over rate offence earlier in the season and faced an automatic one-match suspension for a second such "strike" (PTG 1035-5028, 5 January 2013), was not listed as his team's captain on the team sheet for Wednesday's rain-affected game, but he appeared to be in charge on the field. Fast bowler James Faulkner was named as captain on the team sheet and took part in the coin toss.
CA say they had sent a memo to teams competing in their T20 competition early last month that stated, under a heading 'Over Rates': "If a team's official captain is selected but not named as captain, this will be considered against the Spirit of Cricket and may attract a Code of Behaviour charge". Another of Warne's team mates, vice-captain Cameron White, is also on one strike, having filled in for Warne whilst he was suspended, that match also attracting a slow over-rate fine and White the strike (PTG 1037-5037, 8 January 2013).
Faulkner denied post-match there was anything untoward in what reports describe as the "surprise decision" to hand him the captaincy. "It's just what we've got going on in our group at the moment...everyone chipping in little bits of leadership there". "It's something I really enjoy and it's something hopefully I get more of an opportunity (to do) down the track".
A foot fault 'no-ball' by Faulkner off what was supposed to be the final ball of the innings, when the Perth side still needed three runs to win, contributed to a dramatic finish to the match. However, while the subsequent 'free hit' produced a four and a last ball win, had Faulker not overstepped, it would have still been a 'free hit' as his side had six players outside the fielding circle. CA Playing Conditions for the series required that a 'free hit' apply to any type of 'no ball' (PTG 993-4825, 19 September 2012).
The time and date of Warne's latest hearing has not yet been announced, the same situation that still applies to those involving Adelaide coach Darren Berry and Marlon Samuels from Melbourne's second T20 side (PTG 1039-5050, 12 January 2013).
OFFICIALS NAMED FOR
AUSSIE T20 FINALS
Cricket Australia (CA) has appointed National Umpire Panel (NUP) members Simon Fry and Mick Martell to stand in the final of its domestic Twenty20 competition in Perth tomorrow night, with Paul Wilson being the third umpire and CA Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) member Peter Marshall the match referee. It will be the second time Fry has featured in a T20 final, but for his three colleagues its their first such fixture.
In somewhat of a surprise, two non-IUP members, Western Australians Dean Trigg and Matthew Hall, have been named to look after the women's T20 final that proceeds the men's fixture, their selection coming ahead of prospective NUP member Nathan Johnstone who will be the third umpire, with UHPP member Ric Evans the referee.
CA T20 PLAYER REPLACEMENT
RULES TO CHANGE, SAYS REPORT
Cricket Australia (CA) operations general manager Mike McKenna has indicated that players in CA's domestic Twenty20 competition who are replaced in their team's squad because of injury next season will be able to return to their side should they subsequently recover from their injury. Current rules prevent a player returning once replaced in the squad, a fact that the Melbourne 'Stars' side has bemoaned in relation to Australian fast bowler James Pattinson over the last few weeks.
Pattinson was injured in a Test against South Africa in late November and medical advice at the time was that he would be out for action until after the T20 competition had ended. As a result the 'Stars' were given permission to replace him with South Australian fast bowler Daniel Worrall, however, Pattinson recovered more quickly than expected and the Melbourne side lobbied CA to be allowed to bring him back for Wednesday's semi final in Perth, say 'Sydney Morning Herald' journalists Adam Cooper and Jesse Hogan.
'Stars' officials are reported to have been "annoyed" at having a fit Pattinson ruled out of a return while the other Melbourne side the 'Renegrades' were allowed to replace Marlon Samuels, who was reported around the same time he was seriously injured in a match. Stars chief executive Clint Cooper said CA's own original medical advice suggested Pattinson faced a long recovery, and that getting a conflicting view in such a situation would have put his club at odds with the national body.
Cooper also questioned why Samuels was able to be replaced by another overseas player, England's Alex Hales, when the West Indies all-rounder was still facing suspension. Samuels' disciplinary hearing is still awaited as he recovers from being hit in the face. ''You would expect he would get a similar punishment to what Shane did", said Cooper earlier this week, "and in that circumstance you wouldn't be able to sub a player out if he was suspended, I would have thought" (PTG 1038-5041, 10 January 2013).
McKenna said on Wednesday the Stars knew the rules when they replaced Pattinson, and changing those rules during the competition would be unfair on other teams. McKenna said he "understood" the Stars' frustration over the matter and indicated the rule would be changed for next season. ''We all like to see the very best players playing. There's no doubt as part of our review this rule will be looked at to make sure that where players are available we can field them",' he said, but "that's a process for after the season, not during the season".
FORMER ENGLAND PLAYER SAID
TO BE EYEING UMPIRING CAREER
England, Derbyshire, Somerset and finally Durham player Ian Blackwell, 34, whose 210 match first class playing career appears to be over, has plans to become a first-class umpire and "looks likely" to make the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) second-level 'Reserve' list next year, claims a report posted on the 'Cricket World' web site yesterday.
Reports say that Blackwell, who played one Test and thirty-four One-Day Internationals for England, is currently recovering from an operation on a "long-standing shoulder injury" two months ago and has "battled an expanding waistline for much of his career". To date there has been no indication that Blackwell has umpired or undertaken courses that might prepare him to start umpiring at club level during the 2013 northern hemisphere summer.
The ECB is yet to name its Full and Reserve umpiring lists for the 2013 English summer. An announcement about those panels is normally made in November-December each year (PTG 866-4232, 1 December 2011).
ACO INVESTIGATING ALLEGED 'FIXING' OF UMPIRE
PERFORMANCE AND PITCH REPORTS
Former English first class umpire Keith Coburn, who is now the chairman of the Cambridgeshire Cricket Association (CCA), is under investigation for his alleged involvement in the "fixing of cards used to mark umpire [performances] and pitch [ratings]", claims a story published in yesterday's 'Cambridge News'. According to the article the investigation, which is being conducted by the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Association of Cricket Officials (ACO), does not relate to the English first class game, but rather to club and league level.
When approached about the issue by a 'News' journalist an ECB spokesman confirmed that an "internal investigation" is underway but indicated that no further comment on the situation would be made at this stage. Coburn, who is also the county umpire appointments officer for the Cambridgeshire branch of the ACO, is said to have told the newspaper that he was aware of the investigation but that he did not expect to find out precise details until after an ECB meeting scheduled for next week.
Coburn was on the ECB’s second-tier umpire Reserve list for both the 2008 and 209 English seasons. Prior to that he had made his debut at Minor Counties level in 1988 at the age of twenty-nine and has gone on to stand in sixty-five three-day and forty-two one-day fixtures in that competition, the latter including the one-day final of 2001 at Lord's. He has also been on the field in over three dozen County Second XI matches and ten first class games, three of them in the ECB's County Championship, plus twenty List A matches.
In addition to his current role with the CCA and the ACO, Coburn, 53, is the chairman of both the East Anglian Premier League and the Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Premier League, and is also still active in East Anglia as an umpire.
SENIOR KIWI UMPIRE PREPARING FOR
THIRD WOMENS' WORLD CUP
New Zealand umpire Kathy Cross is to stand in all three Twenty20 (T20) matches the Australian and New Zealand women's teams are to play in Melbourne late next week. Cross, 55, who is on her way to umpire in the women's World Cup in India later this month, will be on the field for the first two T20s with Cricket Australia (CA) National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Geoff Joshua and with a second NUP member, Ash Barrow, in the third, Bob Stratford of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel looking after all three games as match referee.
Cross, who is currently a member of New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) third-tier Emerging Umpires Panel (PTG 980-4752, 18 August 2012), started playing cricket at the age of thirty-three. “In women’s cricket [then] we didn’t have officials [and] umpired our own matches, so when I decided I wasn’t going to play anymore, a friend of mine suggested that I might want to become an umpire".
From there, it’s all happened quite rapidly for Cross, for just a couple of seasons after moving into umpiring she was chosen to stand the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in 2000, following that up with a second such event in 2009 in Australia (PTG 393-2085, 21 March 2009). In between she stood in five NZC men's senior List A and one senior men's T20 and a range of other NZC games, then was the only female umpire to be selected to stand in the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament in Bangladesh in 2011, an event that saw her selected to officiate in the third place play-off (PTG 852-4162, 30 October 2011).
Cross, who is currently the sole female amongst the thirty people on NZC's senior umpiring panels, believes her achievements can be used as encouragement for more females to become involved in umpiring. “There aren’t many of us around, it’s a predominantly male domain, [and] I would love to see more women become involved in the umpiring ranks", she says. Cross' ultimate goal before she leaves the world of umpiring, "which hopefully isn’t for a while", is to do a women's game at Lords, an event that if it does happen "would be the pinnacle of my umpiring career".
EIGHT WICB SUP MEMBERS STANDING
IN CARIBBEAN T20 SERIES
Eight of the twelve umpires on the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) Senior Umpires Panel (SUP) have been standing in the Caribbean's 2013, six-team, twenty-one match Twenty20 series in Trinidad and Tobago and the island of Saint Lucia 400 km to the north over the last two weeks. The final of the event is scheduled to be played on Saint Lucia on Sunday, but as yet the match officials for that game have not been announced.
Umpires who have been involved over the last fortnight are long-term SUP members Gregory Brathwaite (Barbados), Nigel Duguid (Guyana), and Peter Nero and Joel Wilson (Trinidad and Tobago), plus newcomers Patrick Gustard and Verdayne Smith (Jamaica), Leslie Reifer Jr (Barbados), and Nandkumar Shivsankar (Guyana) who were elevated to the SUP four months ago in what was a major shake-up of the panel (PTG 994-4828, 24 September 2012).
Hayden Bruce, 49, from Trinidad and Tobago was the match referee for all thirteen games played in Port of Spain. He has previously umpired two first class matches and one List A game in 2006 and 2007, and has gone on to work as the referee in nine first class games in the Caribbean over the last two years. Once the tournament moved to Saint Lucia, locally-born Patrick Felix, 62, who was the referee for two first class matches last year, took over management of T20 games for the remainder of the series.
The four SUP members not taking part in the event are: Lennox Abraham (Dominica) and Norman Malcolm (Jamaica), and new appointees Zahid Bassarath and Danesh Ramdhanie who are both from Trinidad and Tobago.
RANJI TROPHY SEMI FINALS FOR
ENGLISH, SOUTH AFRICAN, UMPIRES
English umpire Rob Bailey and South African Adrian Holdstock are currently standing in semi final matches of India's Ranji Trophy first class competition in Rajkot and Delhi respectively. Bailey is working in the match between Saurashtra and Punjab with Indian umpire Chettihody Shamsuddin and Holdstock in the Services-Mumbia game with Subroto Das.
Bailey and Holstock are in India as part of the respective exchange programs the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket South Africa (CSA), and stood in the first of their two games on the sub-continent in separate Ranji quarter final games played last week (PTG 1037-5032, 7 January 2013).
PLAYING THE GAME
Monday, 21 January 2013
LEEWARDS' FIRST AND SO
FAR ONLY TEST UMPIRE DIES
Former West Indies international umpire Andrew Weekes, who is the only Leeward Islander to stand at Test level to date, died on his home island of Saint Kitts on Thursday at the age of 72. Weekes officiated in a total of fifty first class games in the period from 1979-95, four of which were Tests, as well as fourteen List A games, three of the latter being One Day Internationals (ODI) and two finals of the West Indies Cricket Board's one-day competition.
Saint Kitts cricket identity Victor Eddy told 'SKNVibes' that Weekes, who was also a football referee in his time, started his umpiring career with the local league in the area around his home town of Sandy Point and that he was heavily involved in the establishment of the Saint Kitts Cricket Umpires Association in the late 1970s, serving as its first President.
After successfully completing the West Indies Cricket Umpires Exam, Weekes made his debut at first class level in March 1979, his twelfth such game four years later being his first Test. He is one of only forty-four umpires from the Caribbean who have stood at Test level, fourteen of whom came from Trinidad, nine from Guyana, eight each from Barbados and Jamaica, and four from the Windward Islands.
Weekes' on-field colleague in his last ODI in March 1989 was Jamaican Steve Bucknor who was making his international debut at the start of a career that saw him stand in 181 ODIs, including five-straight World Cup finals, and a record 128 Tests, over the following twenty years (PTG 395-2096, 24 March 2009) .
TRIO TO FACE CA DISCIPLINARY
Cricket Australia's (CA) latest disciplinary charge against Melbourne 'Stars' Twenty20 captain Shane Warne, together with those laid earlier this month against Marlon Samuels of the Melbourne 'Renegades' and the Adelaide coach Darren Berry, are to be considered at a disciplinary hearing in Melbourne later today, say reports.
Warne was cited on Wednesday after his side's semi-final loss in Perth for trying to avoid possible suspension for a slow over-rate offence (PTG 1041-5060, 18 January 2013), but media reports are suggesting that he is an "unlikely starter" at today's hearing and that his playing days "are over".
Samuels faces charges of deliberate physical contact and bringing the game into disrepute and if found guilty could face suspension even though CA's T20 competition has ended for the season (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013). Berry could be fined up to $A5,750 for bringing the game into disrepute as a result of a pre-match discussion he had with Samuels regarding the latter's bowling action (PTG 1037-5027, 5 January 2013).
While the events involving Berry and Samuels occurred two weeks ago, CA postpone the hearing until Samuels, who was seriously injured in the match from which the disciplinary charges stem, was "passed as medically fit to participate" (PTG 1039-5050, 12 January 2013).
'SERIOUS' OVER-RATE OFFENCE SEES SKIPPER
SUSPENDED FOR TWO MATCHES
South Africa's one-day captain AB de Villiers has been suspended for two One Day Internationals (ODI) and he and his team mates fined 100-per-cent of their match fees for maintaining a slow over-rate during the opening ODI against New Zealand in Paarl on Saturday. Match referee David Boon ruled that after allowances were taken into consideration the hosts were a massive six overs short of their target at the end of the match.
De Villiers pleaded guilty to the charge laid against him by on-field umpires Enamul Haque-Moni and Shaun George, third umpire Aleem Dar and fourth official Johan Cloete therefore no hearing was necessary. His suspension means he will not be able to play in the remaining two ODIs of the series.
International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations that cover such "serious" over-rate offences require that the captain be given two suspension points while the players are fined 10-per-cent of their match fees for each of the first two overs short and 20-per-cent for every additional over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time.
Should de Villiers be found guilty of a second serious over-rate offence in an ODI over the next twelve months, he will receive a sanction of between two and eight suspension points as per the provisions of the ICC code.
FIRST SENIOR ICC 'NEUTRAL' APPOINTMENT
SINCE FEBRUARY FOR MONI
Bangladeshi umpire Enamul Hoque Moni has received his first appointment as a 'neutral' official in a senior international from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in almost a year for the three-match One Day International (ODI) series South Africa and New Zealand are currently playing. While the ICC is yet to post details of appointments for that series on its web site, indications are that the ICC's other neutrals involved are umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan and match referee David Boon (PTG 1043-5070 above).
Moni made his debut as a Test umpire in New Zealand twelve months ago this week and then worked in ODI series there in February being (PTG 888-4331, 16 January 2012), however, apart from standing in the Under-19 World Cup in Australia in August, his other appointments to senior internationals since have been by the Bangladesh Cricket Board to five ODIs at home. If as anticipated he is on the field in two ODIs during the current series in South Africa his match record in that format of the game will move on the forty-five games.
For Dar what is likely to be only one ODI on the field will take his umpiring record in that format to 152 games, while for Boon the three ODIs will take his match referee record to twenty-two matches.
'SPIRIT' BREACH RESULTS
IN $A5,000 FINE
Melbourne 'Stars' Twenty20 (T20) captain Shane Warne was fined $A5,000 by Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday for a 'Spirit of Cricket' breach and immediately afterwards blamed his team's management and expressed disappointed with the decision. The fine is similar to the $4,500 penalty Warne was handed earlier this month for his behaviour during a previous match, although that also had a one-match suspension attached (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013).
Yesterday's fine comes because Warne's team mate James Faulkner was named as the Stars' captain for their semi-final in Perth last Wednesday in case the side was involved in another slow over-rate situation, an approach CA warned its T20 teams prior to the series commencing last month would be considered against the 'Spirit of Cricket' and could attract a Code of Behaviour charge (PTG 1041-5060, 18 January 2013).
Warne, who did not attend yesterday's hearing, had been issued with "one strike" for a slow over rate violation earlier this month (PTG 1035-5028, 5 January 2013), and a second "strike" in the semi final would have resulted in an automatic one-match ban. He said on 'Twitter' after the fine was handed down yesterday that he "had know [sic] idea about the rule/law..." and if he had been he "would have tossed the coin". "I should have been informed and made aware by management'' and he apparently believes it is they who should have been fined rather than him.
'Stars' chief executive officer Clint Cooper said that his "[organisation] and Shane Warne have accepted the fine". ''We equally shoulder the responsibility of the breach given the miscommunication between team management and Shane Warne [as] key parties involved in the incident were unaware of the memo". ''We hope this blemish on Shane's record doesn't overshadow what he has contributed and achieved in the game over the past twenty-five years, and in more recent times his work in establishing [CA's T20 competition]".
CA operations general manager Mike McKenna said that ''It's not unusual for people not to appear [at hearings] if they don't have much of a defence in the circumstances". McKenna told journalists Warne's fine was aimed at eradicating similar cases and was "not designed to push him away from the game". "On the balance of things, Shane has been fantastic for the [T20 competition]", and "despite a few incidents", McKenna doesn't "think his star has waned".
'EXTREME PROVOCATION' JUDGEMENT
SEES SAMUELS REPRIMANDED
Melbourne 'Renegades' Twenty20 (T20) all-rounder Marlon Samuels was reprimanded by Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday for his part in incidents in a match against the Melbourne 'Stars' three weeks ago (PTG 1036-5033, 7 January 2013). A separate CA hearing yesterday saw a charge laid against Adelaide T20 coach Darren Berry for a pre-match argument he had with Samuels prior to another match set aside (PTG 1035-5027, 5 January 2013).
CA charged Samuels with "unbecoming behaviour" and "engaging in inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with other players or officials" following a confrontation between himself and former 'Stars' spinner Shane Warne that saw Samuels throw his bat down the pitch, plus a separate incident that involved him tugging on an opposition batsman's shirt earlier in the match. CA's disciplinary panel found Samuels' guilty of "unbecoming behaviour" but judged that he was reacting to "extreme provocation" from Warne and it dismissed the shirt tugging physical contact charge.
Warne was fined $A4,500 and suspended for one-match in relation to his part in the exchanges with Samuels (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2013). Under CA's T20 event player 'Code of Behaviour', Samuels' had faced potential penalties for the physical contact charge that ranged from $A1,000 up to a maximum of a combination of a $A2,000 fine and a two-match suspension.
Following the hearing Samuels accused Warne of "desperate" behaviour unbecoming for a legend of the game and called on CA, as the organisers of the T20 competition, to adopt a more disciplined attitude towards player behaviour to ensure the right example was set to the family audience that the tournament is so anxious to attract. According to him "every game you have [players] in other [players'] face" and "it's not a boxing game".
Berry had his charge of "unbecoming behaviour" in a pre-match discussion he had with Samuels, apparently in regard to claims made by Brisbane coach Darren Leahmann prior to that that Samuel's bowling action is suspect, dismissed. Lehmann himself was reprimanded late last year and given a $A3,000 two-year suspended fine for questioning the legality of Samuels' bowling action (PTG 1034-5024, 1 January 2013).
GIVING REVIEW POWERS TO UMPIRES
'WORTH CONSIDERING', SAYS BAILEY
Members of Australia's One Day International (ODI) side have defended captain Michael Clarke's use of the side's only decision review to try and defend his own wicket even though it cost two key dismissals in Sunday's washed-out ODI against Sri Lanka in Sydney. Clarke called for a review when he was given out LBW, a decision that was confirmed by third umpire Richard Kettleborough, but two of his later batsmen lost their wickets following umpire errors, decisions that would most certainly have been overturned had reviews been possible.
Teams are allowed just one unsuccessful review in an ODI and when David Warner and Moises Henriques were given out LBW by South African umpire Marais Erasmus and Australian Paul Reiffel respectively later in the Australian innings, the fact that replays showed their bats had made contact with each ball before it hit their pads was no help to them. Warner was later reprimanded for his reaction to Erasmus' decision to give him out (PTG 1044-5076 below).
Australia batsman and Twenty20 captain George Bailey told journalists that Clarke was within his rights to "go upstairs". He said there had been no [team] edict that any player should be certain they are 'not out' before potentially using the single review. "I don't think you want to be seen as a player who is reviewing everything just on the off-chance the bowler might have overstepped", he said.
"The umpires happen to make a couple of wrong decisions after [Clarke used the review, but] that's the nature of the game", and "I don't think you can not use your review thinking [such things are] going to happen". "They're both good umpires and they go games and series without any intention of making those bad decisions so that's just what happens".
Earlier this austral summer Bailey spoke strongly against of the way the review system originally operated in Australian domestic short-format matches (PTG 1024-4974, 30 November 2012). Before Cricket Australia scrapped the system after complaints from players and coaches, reviews had been in the hands of the umpires (PTG 993-4825, 19 September 2012), and Bailey said yesterday the better quality of replays available for international matches meant taking the process out of the players' hands was worth considering.
DECISION TO ABANDON ODI 'INCONSISTENT',
CLAIMS LANKAN SKIPPER
Media reports indicate that Sri Lanka will complain to match referee Javagal Srinath and the International Cricket Council (ICC) after Sunday's One Day International (ODI) against Australia in Sydney was abandoned due to the weather. An hour-and-a-half of rain and drizzle saw the game curtailed, but Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said afterwards his side had previously played in far worse conditions and called on ICC match officials to take a consistent approach to adverse weather issues.
Umpires Marais Erasmus of South Africa and Paul Reiffel of Australia are reported to have judged that the outfield at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) was too wet to play. Three months ago in an ODI against New Zealand in Sri Lanka "the interpretation of what we got in that series [in regard to such situations] was quite different to what we got today", said Jayawardene after the game.
The ICC has not made any comment on the issue, but reports that are available claim that Srinath explained play would not resume because he, Erasmus and Reiffel felt conditions at the SCG "were unfair", a 'Sydney Morning Herald' report stating "the umpires [were concerned about] the effect on the ball and the need for it to be replaced after every over". Jayawardene said that in the series in Sri Lanka he referred to, Andy Pycroft the match referee had said play would only be stopped if conditions were deemed "unsafe".
Australian captain Michael Clarke said his team wanted to get back on the field despite the delay enhancing Sri Lanka's chances of winning. ''I think this ground is known for its drainage. I've played a number of games here where it's held a lot more water than that and we've managed to get back on and play games of cricket", runs the quote attributed to him.
WARNER HANDED REPRIMAND
Australian batsman David Warner has been handed an official reprimand by match referee Javagal Srinath after pleading guilty to dissent during the fourth One Day International against Sri Lanka in Sydney on Sunday. Warner was visibly disappointed with the decision that saw him dismissed LBW off the bowling of Thisara Perera, initially standing his ground then walking off shaking his head.
Warner admitted the charge, which was brought by onfield umpires Marais Erasmus of South Africa and Paul Reiffel of Australia, third umpire Richard Kettleborough from England and fourth umpire Australian John Ward. As he pleaded guilty Srinath was not required to hold a formal hearing. Replays clearly showing that Warner had made contact with the ball prior to it striking his pad (PTG 1044-5074 above).
UNUSUAL TOILET STOP
England batsman Kevin Pietersen is reported to have been warned about his behaviour during the One Day International (ODI) against India on Saturday in a highly unusual setting on Sunday. Pietersen stood, apparently "in disbelief", after he was given out caught behind in the match then left the field shaking his head, apparently in a similar fashion to Australia's David Warner in another ODI in Sydney two days ago (PTG 1044-5076 above).
Reports say that match referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe did not raise the issue immediately after the match on Saturday but rather asked Pietersen and England one-day coach Ashley Giles to step into the toilet at Ranchi airport, as both teams waited for a charter flight to take them to Chandigarh, to discuss the matter and issue a warning . Pycroft is said to have felt the toilet was the quietest and most private place for him to tell Pietersen to watch his future conduct.
English media reports say that perhaps Pycroft was lenient because Pietersen was, according to replays, clearly 'not out', but with the Board of Control for Cricket in India opposed to the use of the Umpire Decision Review System Pietersen had no choice but to go. Giles is said to have confirmed that the discussion with Pycroft "was in the gents, and that "Andy was right to speak to Kev [and] we have to be careful with reactions to decisions but I think it was more disappointment from Kev" than anything else.
PLAYING THE GAME
Wednesday, 23 January 2013
SAMUELS DESERVED MORE
THAN A REPRIMAND, SAYS WHITE
Former Australian Twenty20 captain Cameron White, who played under Shane Warne for the Melbourne 'Stars' in Cricket Australia's (CA) 2012-13 domestic T20 competition, has criticised Melbourne 'Renegrades' player Marlon Samuels for throwing his bat in response to Warne in a match three weeks ago. Warne was fined $A4,500 and suspended for one match for grabbing Samuels' shirt and verbally abusing him, but Samuels censure was limited to a reprimand for his part in the fracas (PTG 1044-5073, 22 January 2013).
CA Commissioner John Price argued that Samuels, who launched his bat down the pitch when Warne threw a ball in his direction, was subjected to "extreme provocation" and thus handed him the comparatively light sentence of a reprimand at a hearing on Monday. Yesterday, however, White told a journalist that Samuels' conduct was worthy of a much more severe punishment and said provocation was a weak excuse.
White said: "Remarkable, isn't it? How many times have you seen someone throw their cricket bat and get off (with) a fine because they were provoked?" "Interesting one but I've never seen it before", he continued, but "that's out of our hands and that's what the judiciary came up with". "It's just one of those things in the heat of the battle [and] I don't think you can use [being provoked] as an excuse".
"I don't think [Samuels] is very well liked, not just from the Stars' point of view, but in Australian cricket [as] people think he carries on a bit", said White, who himself was found guilty of showing dissent at an umpire's decision during the same match. As he had been involved in a previous Code of Behaviour breach within the last 18 months (PTG 877-4285, 23 December 2011), the penalty was upgraded and he was fined $A1,000.
ENGLISH, SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIALS
WORKING IN BPL-2
English umpires Richard Illingworth and Jeremy Lloyds and South African match referee Mike Proctor are currently working in the Bangladesh Cricket Board's domestic Twenty20 competition, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), which got underway in Dhaka last Friday. In the eight games played up until last night the trio have been part of a panel that includes six local umpires and a match referee for the seven-team, forty-six match tournament which is due to end on 19 February.
Lloyds and Proctor took part in the inaugural BPL event twelve months ago, the former standing in a total of fourteen matches in what was then a thirty-three game event, and the latter overseeing sixteen games as match referee, including the final (PTG 908-415, 3 March 2012). The third non-Bangladeshi match official used last year for the series was former South African international and Australian domestic umpire David Orchard.
Bangladeshi umpires who have worked in games to date are: Masudur Rahman; Anisur Rahman; Mahfuzur Rahman; Tanvir Ahmed; Gazi Sohel; and Akteruzzaman; with Raqibul Hassan as the second match referee. Hassan was the second match referee in the BPL's 2012 season, while the three Rahmans, Ahmed and Sohel umpired in last year's event.
QUARTET NAMED FOR
RANJI TROPHY FINAL
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has appointed Krishna Hariharan and CK Nandan as the umpires for the five-day final of its Ranji Trophy first class competition between Mumbai and Saurashtra. Chinmaya Sharma will oversee the game as match referee with Virender Sharma the third umpire in the game which is due to start in Mumbai on Saturday.
Former international umpire Hariharan, 57, who stood in two Tests and thirty-four One Day Internationals in the period from 1997-2006, will be standing in his ninety-first first class game. For Nandan, 49, who had a short three-match first class career with Karnataka in the 1980s, it will be his thirty-fifth match at that level in the thirteen years since his debut.
Sharma played fifty-three first class games for Services from 1985-99 and will be working in his thirty-first match as a first class match referee; while third umpire Sharma is a relative newcomer to the first class game, having stood in fourteen matches at that level since his debut in 2009, but what information is available on line does not indicate he has previously worked as a third umpire.
SLOW OVER-RATE FINE FOR
LOCAL BANGLADESH T20 SIDE
Duronto Rajshahi captain Tamim Iqbal became the first player to receive a penalty in the Bangladesh Premier League after match referee Roqibul Hassan fined him Tk 50,000 ($A600) for maintaining a slow over rate during their match against Sylhet Royals in Mirpur on Sunday. Hassan imposed the fine after Duronto were ruled to be two overs short at the end of their innings when time allowances were taken into consideration as required by the Twenty20 tournament’s playing condition.
PLAYING THE GAME
Thursday, 24 January 2013
FINN'S 'STUMP BREAK' TENDENCY
AGAIN COSTS HIM A WICKET
England bowler Steven Finn's tendency to break the stumps in his delivery stride has again cost his side a key wicket, this time in yesterday's One Day International against India in Mohali. Finn thought he had Suresh Raina caught at first slip but Australian umpire Steve Davis appears to have judged that Raina had been distracted and England captain Alistair Cook's reported protests that Finn was entitled to a warning went unheeded.
Finn's tendency to disturb the stumps when bowling came into focus last August in a Test match against South Africa at Headingley, Davis being the umpire on that occasion. Reports say that the Australian was applying Law 23.4 (b)(vi) which states in part that "either umpire shall call and signal dead ball when the striker is distracted by any noise or movement or in any other way while he is preparing to receive, or receiving a delivery", however, at Headingley Davis first made the call only when Finn had transgressed a third time (PTG 970-4710, 3 August 2012).
Cook told journalists after yesterday's game that he didn't recall being told that a 'dead ball' call would apply after the first instance of a stump strike in the current series but rather one warning would be given. Raina appeared set to head for the pavilion until the dead-ball signal came, suggesting that he had not been distracted by Finn's run-in with the stumps, however, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that series' umpires had indeed spoken previously about dead-balling for a first offence.
The England captain's apparent confusion appears real given a range of public pronouncements on the issue over the last six months and the lack of a clear public statement on the matter from the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) World Cricket Committee said after its mid-August meeting that it was "pleased to hear" that the [ICC] had decided that when a bowler accidentally breaks the wicket during his delivery it will "not automatically result in a call of dead ball", but rather that "a degree of repetition or a significant ‘demolition’ of the stumps" will be required" (PTG 979-4740, 16 August 2012).
'PTG' was told by a credible source in November ago that "guidelines" had been provided to ICC umpires on how to deal with such situations should they arise and that those guidelines would be discussed and explained to all the sides in the pre-series meetings match referees conduct with the respective team captains and coaches, however, the detail contained in those guidelines have not made public (PTG 1016-4939, 7 November 2012).
Finn's stump strikes occurred again during the World Twenty20 championships in Sri Lanka in September-October (PTG 997-4843, 1 October 2012), and the MCC was said by some at that time to favour a one warning then a 'no ball' call for any repetition (PTG 999-4854, 4 October 2012). The former approach penalised the batting side as they lost any runs scored off such balls, but the latter method would mean that such runs would be retained and the bowling side penalised.
There have been indications that Finn-type situations are one of the issues the MCC Laws sub-committee has on its agenda and that a formal approach on how to deal with such occurrences might be included in the next revision of the Laws, perhaps as early as next October (PTG 987-4795, 3 September 2012 and PTG 1036-5032, 7 January 2013).
REIFFEL MISSING FROM LATEST
CA APPOINTMENTS LIST
Former Australian player and now umpire Paul Reiffel is the only member of Cricket Australia's (CA) National Umpire Panel (NUP) missing from the list of match official appointments announced for the seven Sheffield Shield, nine one-day and one tour games scheduled around the country between today and 21 February. Reiffel's absence has led to speculation that he may have been appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to the Test series South Africa and Pakistan are scheduled to play in the period from 1-26 February.
CA's latest appointments indicate that Reiffel's Australian colleagues on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Simon Fry and John Ward, will be involved in the One Day International series between Australia and the West Indies from 1-14 February. Ward only appears back on the domestic scene on the ninth of February and Fry on the seventeenth, both having single one-day games on their return.
Reiffel may also be involved in that series and his absence could simply mean he is just be taking a break prior to the last few rounds of the Australian domestic season commencing in late February, but as yet the ICC has given no indication as to what the appointments for the Australia-Windies series will be.
Another aspect of CA's latest umpire and referee allocations to its domestic matches is the absence, with the exception of a single one-day third umpire position, of any of its emerging umpires. Western Australian Nathan Johnstone, who along with Victorian Richard Patterson appears to be at the top of the emerging stream, has been given that lone appointment at a time of year when CA has tended in the past to give such individuals exposure to one-day games in both on-field and third umpire positions.
The one-day tour match between an Australian Prime Minister's XI and the West Indies will see NUP member Tony Ward on the field with Australian Capital Territory umpire Stuart Grocock. Ian Lock another NUP member will be the third umpire and another ACT umpire Mark Ferris the fourth, CA Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) member Bob Stratford being the match referee.
Stratford's UHPP colleagues Denis Burns, Ric Evans, David Levens and Peter Marshall have, together with former Australian international umpire Daryl Harper, been appointed as match referees for CA's first class and one-day games over the next month.
PLAYER TO FRONT TRIBUNAL
AFTER 'FACEBOOK' POSTING
A player in the Orange District Cricket Association (ODCA) in New South Wales has been reported for posting "a derogatory comment" about an umpire on 'Facebook' after he was given out in LBW in a match last month (PTG 1030-5002, 19 December 2012). Opening batsman Luke Clarke from the Orange side CYMS has been charge with bringing the game into disrepute after he made known his feelings on both the dismissal and umpire Brianne Cowden via the social media site.
Clarke is said to have pleaded 'not guilty' to the charge but Peter Snowden, the president of Clarke's club who will present his case at the planned hearing, told the 'Central Western Daily' on Tuesday that the batsman’s behaviour was “inappropriate and ill-advised”, however, it did not contravene any ODCA laws. He said that his club is "concerned about modelling behaviour for our club’s juniors, as well as respecting both the traditions of the game and umpires", and indicated Clarke had apologised to teammates for his behaviour and offered to contact Cowden and apologise to him.
News of the charge against Clarke came just over a month after a player from another ODCA club was handed a sixteen-week suspension for hitting an opponent with an open hand and verbally abusing an umpire. That and the 'Facebook' issue led ODCA president Mark Frecklington to stress at the time the need for players to control their behaviour. “Players need to be aware of the code of conduct in place", said Frecklington, "social media isn’t a place to vent frustrations" and “they need to be careful of what they say and do".
NSW SLOW OVER-RATE APPEAL
Cricket Australia (CA) announced yesterday that an appeal by Cricket New South Wales about a slow over-rate penalty handed to its first class side had been "partially upheld". Observers had noticed that the NSW side's points tally on the Sheffield Shield table was 1.5 less than it should have been and there was speculation, in the absence of any previous announcement by CA, that a slow over-rate situation had occurred.
It is now apparent that match referee David Levens, a member of CA's Umpire High Performance Panel, penalise the NSW side 1.5 championship points after its Sheffield Shield match against Victoria in mid-November 2012. At the end of that game NSW was assessed to have been three overs behind the required target, and under Sheffield Shield playing conditions teams are penalised 0.5 points for every over they are behind the required rate.
Cricket NSW appealed the decision and in considering their submission CA Code of Behaviour Commissioner Gordon Lewis found that an error had occurred in calculating the original penalty and that the team were only two overs behind the required target. The penalty was subsequently reduced on appeal from 1.5 match points to 1 match point, meaning that the appeal was partially upheld.
There are also indications that NSW's women's side were docked points for a slow over-rate offence in a Womens' National Cricket League match against the Australian Capital Territory in October. Records show they lost 0.5 points in that match which suggests they were judged to have been one over behind the required over-rate. Whether they appealed that decision is not known.
AFRICAN TRIO SIGN UP FOR PAKISTAN'S
PLANNED DOMESTIC T20 SERIES
Three former members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top umpire and referee panels, Mike Proctor, Rudi Koertzen and Russell Tiffin, are reported to have signed contracts to work in the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) 2013 Twenty20 (T20) tournament in March-April. A 'Cricinfo' report describes the signing of the three officials from outside Pakistan "a notable scoop" given that the international players' union has recommended to its members not to take part in the PCB's event because of security concerns.
South African Proctor, who is currently in Bangladesh officiating in their T20 event (PTG 1045-5079, 23 January 2013), will work as a match referee in the PCB's competition, while his countryman Koertzen and Zimbabwean Tiffin will join the likes of Pakistan's Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf, who are both current ICC Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) members, and other so far unnamed umpires and a referee from that country, in managing matches.
Procter, 66, who was a member of the ICC's senior match referees panel from 2002-08, was quoted in a press release produced by the PCB as saying he is "delighted" to be involved in what is being called the Pakistan Super League (PSL). "It is unfortunate that Pakistan and its fans do not currently enjoy their beloved international cricket stars at home and this cannot remain so", he continued, and he is "willing to get involved, and to help change perceptions about cricket being played in Pakistan".
Tiffin, 53, a EUP member from 2002-04 who is still on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, is quoted in the same PCB release as saying that he's "been to Pakistan before on cricketing assignments and I am keen to take part in the PSL". "With the talent we know that exists in Pakistan, I am sure this competition will be quite a spectacle and I cannot wait to be a part of it" and "I am confident that the PCB can deliver a safe and secure event".
Koertzen is said by the PCB to have spoken in similar fashion to his two colleagues. "We all know that Pakistan is going through a trying phase and we in the cricket family need to do what we can to help". "I have never had any problem umpiring in Pakistan, and I am actually looking forward to go over and catch up with old friends". Koertzen, 63, who was on the EUP from 2002-10, holds the record for umpiring the most number of One Day Internationals and is second to former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor on the Test match list.
Details of the matches the trio will work in or the remuneration involved have not been made public at this time, however, several reports are suggesting that Proctor, Tiffin and Koertzen will be paid well for their services..
CSA HANDS OUT SUSPENSIONS
TO TWO PLAYERS
A Cricket South Africa (CSA) disciplinary committee has suspended two members of the domestic side the Lions, Quinton de Kock and Imran Tahir, as a result of incidents that occurred in first class matches played over the last four weeks. As yet though there is no news of the outcome of the allegations of ball tampering laid again Cobras captain Justin Ontong during the game in which de Kock's actions led to his suspension (1041-5059, 18 January 2013).
De Kock, who was batting at the time, was involved in an on-field "scuffle" with the Cobras' Alistair Gray after umpires Brian Jerling and Shaun George asked for the ball to be changed because they were concerned about its condition. De Kock and his batting partner chose a ball Cobras' fielders are said to have thought was much older than the original, Gray and de Kock exchanged words, then de Kock pushed Gray.
CSA disciplinary commissioner Rian Cloete said in a statement that "Mr de Kock has a clean disciplinary record and has never been charged with an offence in cricket [and] apologised to umpires George and Jerling for his behaviour". Despite that Cloete found him guilty of inappropriate and deliberate physical contact with a player, and using language that is "seriously obscene, offensive or insulting towards another participant". De Kock tweeted an apology for "embarrassing" his team the day after the incident and his apparent sense of guilt was noted by commissioner Cloete.
Tahir's offence came in a match against the Knights in Potchefstroom in the last week of 2012 when he made clear his feeling towards opposition players in such a way that the comments were clearly heard within the ground as a whole. Tahir, who apologised for his actions in writing, was charged under the "seriously obscene, offensive or insulting towards another participant" clause of CSA's playing behaviour document.
The suspensions mean that De Kock will miss the Lions' last first class match of the season, against the Knights in Kimberly late next week, while Tahir is not playing for the Lions in the first class fixture which is currently underway in Benoni against the Titans.
It appears likely that the charge against Ontong will not be heard until the result of tests CSA ordered on the ball Jerling and George had concerns about have been completed.
ECB FAST-TRACKING APPROACH
A CONCERN FOR SOME
Former England player Ian Blackwell, who is eyeing an umpiring career after his playing days are over, has been standing in a range of matches in the North of England Premier League (NEPL) as his playing duties with Durham have allowed over the last two years. Reports last week claimed Blackwell "looks likely" to make the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) second-level 'Reserve' list next year (PTG 1041-5063, 18 January 2013), however, the prospect of such a speedy elevation, which is not unusual for former first class players in England, has led some there to express concern.
'PTG' understands that Blackwell has stood in around a dozen NEPL first and second grade fixtures over the last two English summers. His involvement, in a league that some observers believe is one of the best of its kind under ECB auspices, was however cut short in his second season last year when he was loaned to Warwickshire as a player in July and at the same time signed to take the field for NEPL side Newcastle; league organisers deciding it would be "unfair" if he continued umpiring whilst playing in the same competition.
County players who retire and express a desire to join the list are made honourary members of the ECB's Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) and can obtain an ECB umpire Level 2 qualification without standing in a game, although in Blackwell's case he has made a significant commitment to obtain experience as an umpire.
Reliable reports speak positively of his umpiring performances to date and in particular the positive rapport he has with players. An NEPL second XI match summary that a club posted on its web site in Blackwell's first season described him as being "personable and encouraging with our young players", that "he got every decision right, and was happy to discuss his decisions with captain and bowler on the pitch".
Current indications are that he is likely to stand in the West of England Premier League, which involves teams from the counties of Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, during the 2013 northern summer. He is also said to be looking to seek the ECB's Level 3 qualification and gain experience in Minor Counties cricket, selection for which normally requires an individual without first class playing experience many years as an umpire to obtain.
While far from negative to Blackwell as an individual, a number of league-level umpires in England, none of whom wanted to be named, have expressed their concern to 'PTG' about what one termed "the apparent comparative ease" with which former players there are able to reach first class umpiring ranks.
A posting on one umpire-related web site in England last week in relation to what another 'PTG' correspondence called the ECB's "apparent preference" of providing "employment to retired players", read in part: "we had hoped that ECB ACO would ensure that ALL [sic] umpires would serve a reasonable period of apprenticeship" before being elevated to higher levels.
In the five years since the ECB's ACO took over from the now defunct Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACUS), eight umpires have been promoted to the ECB's top umpiring panel. Five of those were former first class players and one played at Minor Counties level.
In November 2007, the month before around 9,000 then ACUS members were to vote on whether or not to merge with the ACO, ECB Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships Mike Gatting (PTG 131-710, 9 November), and others from the organisation, talked publicly of its commitment to providing appropriate opportunities to what were called "all officials" (PTG 143-777, 27 November 2007).
NEW JERSEY UMPIRES TO LAUNCH UP-GRADED
ON-LINE TRAINING PROGRAM
The New Jersey State Cricket Umpires Association (NJSCUA) in the United States is to launch a second, up-graded, version of its on-line training and certification program for umpires tomorrow. The NJSCUA has been offering training programs that are based on the requirements of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association (WICUA) and the United States Cricket Umpire’s Association (USACUA) since 2010, and the original version of their on-line program was launched in time for the 2012 northern summer.
Speaking about the 2013 program earlier this week, NJSCUA President Deepak Katte said that what he called last year's “i-class” ran over twelve weekends and was conducted without any "major glitches" arising. "All the participants were extremely happy with the way it was presented", said Katte, and to date "over twenty-three umpires" have been "trained and certified" via the system.
"Such [an on-line] training program is offered only at a handful of places around the world and I believe [our] efforts [in developing the on-line system] will ultimately go a long way towards betterment of Cricket in USA", continued Katte, and "this is just the beginning and further developments are on the way".
ANOTHER CALL TO GIVE UMPIRES,
NOT PLAYERS, REVIEW POWERS
Former Australian captain and now television commentator Ian Chappell believes it's time to put the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in the hands of the umpires so that it is no longer used for tactical reasons, rids the game of the umpire 'howler', and on most occasions, "brings a satisfactory outcome" to decision making. Chappell called for a "serious rethink" of the way the UDRS is used in an article posted on the 'Cricinfo' web site yesterday, something Australian skipper George Bailey touched on last week.
Chappell points to a series of incidents in yesterday week's One Day International (ODI) in Sydney between Australia and Sri Lanka that he says clearly shows the flaws in UDRS operation at the present time. Australian captain Michael Clarke used up Australia's sole review on himself, after which says Chappell, David Warner and Moises Henriques were "then ambushed by incorrect umpiring decisions, both [having] got healthy inside edges to deliveries but were adjudged LBW".
Firstly, says Chappell, the International Cricket Council has always emphasised that the key aim of the UDRS is to eliminate blatantly wrong umpiring decisions, but he has for a long time been asking himself the question: "how can you guarantee the correct decision will be reached when there are a finite number of unsuccessful reviews?". What he didn't realise in the early years though was that the UDRS would "become more of a tactical ploy than a review system", for in "the unreliable hands of players", it is being used more for "50-50 decisions" than to eradicate very bad umpiring decisions.
"If a team's best batsman is at the crease and the side is in trouble, a review will almost always result", he says, which is "more a case of self-preservation than any highly principled attempt to be a part of improving the umpiring standard". In his view such "constant reviewing of 50-50 decisions can only undermine the confidence of the umpires [and] is likely to change their decision-making thought process". It also goes against "one of the founding principles of the game" for "as kids we were told the umpire is right, so always accept his decision without question".
Chappell states that "there never has been, nor will there ever be, a case where a 50-50 decision causes animosity on the cricket field". Players are "conditioned", he says, to accept that one day these decisions "will go your way and the next they'll go against you". In addition the way the UDRS current operates "interrupts the flow of the game" and "some of the more exciting moments, like the celebration of a crucial wicket or a brilliant catch, are put on hold, never to be recaptured, as the review process grinds to a conclusion".
Australia Twenty20 and sometimes ODI captain George Bailey told journalists a week ago that "taking the [UDRS] process out of the players' hands was worth considering" (PTG 1044-5074, 22 January 2013). Bailey had criticised just such an approach used in Australian domestic matches earlier in the current austral summer (PTG 1024-4974, 30 November 2012), but apparently feels the better quality of replays available in international matches may mean such an approach could bring positive results.
Cricket Australia's (CA) television officials were given the ability to reverse on-field decisions during the 2011-12 austral summer provided they did so before the next ball was bowled (PTG 833-4067, 15 September 2011), but that was extended this southern summer to allow them to "stop play" where they believed a closer look at replays was warranted (PTG 993-4824, 19 September 2012). The latter system was discarded due to what media reports at the time described as a "near revolt from players and coaches", and CA is reported to have asked its Playing Conditions Committee to investigate an alternative review system (PTG 1024-4974, 30 November 2013).
MATCH OFFICIALS NAMED FOR
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Thirteen umpires and a single match referee from a total of eleven countries have been appointed to manage the Women's World Cup in India which is due to get underway next Friday and run until mid-February. Seven of the umpires are from the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), five from its third-tier Associate and Affiliate Umpires Panel (AAUP), plus the only female chosen, Kathy Cross of New Zealand, who will be standing in her third such event (PTG 1042-5065, 19 January 2013).
Cross will be working with IUP members Gregory Brathwaite (West Indies), Vineet Kulkarni, Ravi Sundaram and C. Shamshuddin (all India), Ruchira Palliyaguru (Sri Lanka), Ahsan Raza (Pakistan) and Shaun George (South Africa), while the AAUP members are, Ian Ramage (Scotland), Mark Hawthorne (Ireland), Shahul Hameed (Indonesia), Buddhi Pradhan (Nepal) and Sarika Prasad (Singapore). Sundaram will be replaced by Shamshuddin from 7 February onwards due to the former's appointment to next month's men’s series between New Zealand and England (PTG 1048-5094 below).
All except Shamshuddin have been allocated two matches each in the twelve-match first stage of the competition. Starting today those twelve will take part in a series of warm-up games, having been assigned to either one or two of those fixtures over the next few days.
David Jukes of England, a member of the ICC's second-tier Regional Referees' Panel, will look after match referee duties during the tournament, while Tony Hill of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel will attend the event in an umpire mentoring role.
TEN-WEEK SUSPENDED SENTENCE
FOR 'FACEBOOK' POSTING
A player in the Orange District Cricket Association (ODCA) in New South Wales who posted a derogatory comment about an umpire on 'Facebook' following a match last month has been handed a ten-week suspended sentence by an ODCA tribunal (PTG 1046-5084, 24 January 2013). The decision means that Luke Clarke, who was charged with acting in a manner that was detrimental to the spirit of the game or likely to bring the game into disrepute, is now free to play for the rest of season.
Clarke, who took the on-line comments about his LBW dismissal and umpire Brianne Cowden down within hours of posting them, pleaded not guilty to the charge and his club argued argued that he had shown remorse and apologised for his actions after the matter was dealt with by the club. The tribunal found him guilty and suspended him for the remainder of the season, but that sentence was deferred until the Monday after the ODCA's 2012-13 grand finals because of his previous good record and that he was a “respected” and “fair” player.
ODCA president Mark Frecklington told the 'Central Western Daily' that the ten-week suspended sentence showed his association "wouldn’t stand for any kind of abuse, directed at anyone, on social media", and Clarke’s case "should serve as notice to the rest of the competition". “As far as we’re concerned it is a serious issue and we deemed it serious enough to set an example by it", Frecklington said, and "people need to be made aware anything they say, particularly when it’s related to a game they’re playing in, needs to be thought through carefully".
INDIAN UMPIRING STANDARDS IN ODI
SERIES DESCRIBED AS 'ABYSMAL'
Indian umpires have come in for criticism for what is described as their "poor officiating" in the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series their country has played against England over the last two weeks. Scyld Berry, the long-time cricket writer for London's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper, quotes former England captain Nasser Hussain in an article published last Friday as saying the performance of the local umpires was "abysmal", before going on to agree with that description.
Berry does not suggest that either of the three Indians who stood in the ODIs, Sudhir Asnani, Vineet Kulkarni and Ravi Sundaram, were "biased", but rather that they "simply failed to demonstrate the necessary feel for the game", something he claims if "not surprising [as] none of them have played first-class cricket". He also wrote, without offering any detailed analysis, that for the 'neutral' on-field umpire for the five games, "sixty year-old Australian, Steve Davis", "it looked like a series too far".
"India have out-batted England, fielded just as well, and out-bowled England in pace and spin" during the series, says Berry, before going on to claim that "in other countries, notably England and Pakistan, and a bit in the West Indies, most first-class umpires have played first-class cricket"; a statement that these days is not correct in the latter region's case.
Umpires who have played the first class game, writes Berry, "know the angles, pause to think whether the batsman has got an inside edge, and use their well-trained ears as much as eyes", something he suggests Asnani, Kulkarni and Sundaram did not do over the last two weeks; Sundaram, who has just been appointed to his first senior international as a 'neutral' (PTG 1048-5094 below), getting particular mention in that regard.
Berry goers on to state that it is "harsh but fair to say the only Indian umpire of international standard in the last generation has been Srini Venkataraghavan, who is currently on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) umpire selection panel and head of umpiring at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Venkat, as he is generally known, played fifty-seven Tests before going on to umpire seventy-three, and in Berry's assessment "he was as good as any umpire in the world in the late 1990s".
Since Venkat retired in 2004 "there hasn’t been one Indian umpire on the ICC Elite Umpires Panel", something Berry believes "reflects badly on the [BCCI] in a land of a billion people, with a budget of billions, but with not one umpire of international standard".
Current Indian umpires "specialise in theoretical knowledge, which is no substitute for practical experience", writes Berry, but he also points to "regionalism" within India as a problem, the BCCI's umpiring committee Venkat leads including representative from a number of zones, and that such "regional reps" "will be tempted to push his mates, rather than back the best". To cap that all off, he says, the country that most needs the Umpire Decision Review System, "to correct howlers when one of their umpires stands in a [ODI] at home, or two in a Twenty20 international", is the country that refuses to use [the system at all]".
MAIDEN SENIOR 'NEUTRAL' APPOINTMENT
FOR INDIAN UMPIRE
Ravi Sundaram, an Indian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), has been given his first overseas appointment as a 'neutral' umpire in a senior international series in New Zealand next month. Sundaram, 46, who has been umpiring at first class level in India for just over ten years, is expected to work with another so far unnamed neutral umpire and match referee, plus New Zealand IUP members, in One Day Internationals (ODI) scheduled for Hamilton, Napier and Auckland in the period from 17-23 February.
Sundaram was named on Saturday as a member of the umpiring panel for the Women's World Cup (PTG 1048-5091 above), but the ICC then went on to indicate that he will be "replaced from 7 February onwards due to his appointment to the upcoming men’s series between New Zealand and England". He has to date stood in five ODIs, and worked as a third umpire in eight others, three of the television spots being in last year's Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
Of his forty-eight first class games to date, two were in South African domestic cricket in January 2011 (PTG 725-3570, 8 February 2011), and a second pair in England's county championship last July (PTG 961-4676, 13 July 2012). His other experience outside India was in last August's Under-19 World Cup event in Australia, a series in which he stood in six matches including the play-off for fifth place, and finished with a third umpire spot in the match to decide third place (PTG 984-4776, 25 August 2012).
AUSTRALASIAN QUARTER TO MANAGE
SOUTH AFRICAN TESTS
Two Australians and two New Zealanders are to manage the three Test series South Africa and Pakistan are to play in the Johannesburg region and Cape Town in February. Jeff Crowe of New Zealand will be the match referee for each game, while his countryman 'Billy' Bowden and Australians Steve Davis and Bruce Oxenford will share on-field and television umpire duties.
The two games Bowden will be on the field in Johannesburg and Centurion will take his Test tally to seventy-four matches, equal to that of now retired Australian Simon Taufel, and equal seventh overall. Crowe will move his match referee tally in Tests to sixty, Davis his umpiring record in Tests to forty-four, and Oxenford to twelve. Davis' match record as a television umpire will move on to twenty-seven, Bowden to fifteen and Oxenford to eight.
The International Cricket Council's announcement of match officials for the series yesterday ends speculation that Australian umpire Paul Reiffel, who is missing from Cricket Australia's domestic appointments list for the period when the South African Tests are underway, may have been part of the umpiring panel for the three Tests (PTG 1046-5083, 24 January 2013).
'NEUTRAL' OFFICIALS NAMED FOR
AUSTRALIA-WINDIES ODI SERIES
Sri Lankan Ranjan Madugalle, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief match referee, will take his One Day International match record in that role 270 game in the forthcoming five-match series Australia and the West Indies are to play in Perth, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne over the first ten days of February. Madugalle will work with ICC Elite Umpire Panel members Asad Rauf of Pakistan and Nigel Llong of England, plus the three Australian members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Paul Reiffel, Simon Fry and John Ward, during the series.
Rauf will stand in three matches, probably with Reiffel and Llong in two, possibly with Fry, the Pakistani and Englishman working as the third umpire when they are not on the field. Rauf's ODI record will push closer to the 100-match mark and will end the series on ninety-eight games plus forty-one in the television spot, while Llong will move on the fifty-nine and thirty-five respectively. If Reiffel stands in three games his ODI tally will be thirty at series end and should Fry have two games his total will have moved on to seven.
It is possible though that Ward, who will make his on-field debut in a senior international later today in a Twenty20 International in Melbourne (PTG 1037-5038, 8 January 2013), could debut in an ODI during the Australia-Windies series.
PCB OFFERING $A2M INSURANCE COVER
FOR OVERSEAS T20 PLAYERS
Foreign players have been offered life insurance cover of up to $A2 million to play in the Pakistan Twenty20 league, according to reports from that country over the weekend. News of the insurance offer came soon after three former members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top umpire and referee panels, Mike Proctor, Rudi Koertzen and Russell Tiffin, are reported to have signed contracts to work in the tournament in March-April (PTG 1047-5086, 26 January 2013). In addition to offering players from outside Pakistan the insurance cover the PCB is also offering tax free salaries of $A10,000-$A25,000 to play in the planned ten-day event.
JUNIOR FAST BOWLING LIMITS
Young fast bowlers should be bowling more, not less, and all fast bowlers need a more even workload if the current spate of fast-bowling injuries is to be overcome, say two leading sports scientists whose views were featured in 'The Australian' newspaper on Tuesday. In an article the centres on the controversy surrounding Cricket Australia's (CA) current player "rotation" policy, journalist Andrew Faulkner says that researcher Rob Aughey and former Victorian and Western Australian fast bowler Mathew Inness also question the policy whereby CA and the Boards of other nations limit the number of overs young pace bowlers can deliver in a spell and overall in a day.
Writing in Victoria University's on line journal, Aughey and Inness cite research into the relationship between Australian football players' training regimes and their injuries. "Research shows that athletes tolerate constant workloads better than workloads with large variations over short periods", they say, and "an ideal situation for an athlete would involve a steady progression in workload, combined with periods of slightly lower activity, thus allowing adaptation and therefore greater fitness and resilience to injury".
CA limit fast or medium paced bowlers to six-over spells if they are Under-17, or eight overs if they are Under-19, and Aughey and Inness argue that young bodies unused to bowling long spells are bound to fail when asked to bowl more in senior ranks. Last October, experienced cricket physiotherapist Patrick Farhart, who spearheaded the introduction of bowling restrictions at junior level in Australia a decade ago, made similar comments (PTG 1008-4898, 25 October 2012).
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, who was interviewed by Faulkner for his piece on Aughey and Inness' assessments, said the load management advocated by them was nothing new. "Load management is really not rocket science", Kountouris said. "Everyone who works in this area understands that the body needs a consistent load".
Kountouris said junior over limit requirements were introduced so that players were not lost to the game in their teens. "If a young bowler has a stress fracture in his back, then comes back and gets injured again, then there's a chance he'll go off and do something else", therefore "scrapping the limits might lower the quality of fast bowlers in the system". "All you would get is the ones that are the most robust coming through and they might not necessarily be the best bowlers", runs the quote attributed to Kountouris.
Faulkner reports in a follow-up article in this morning's edition of 'The Australian' that Kountouris has been supported by another researcher, Dr John Orchard, who "asked" Aughey via 'Twitter' this week: "Why don't you suggest actual solutions in an article rather than bagging fellow sports scientists?" and "Why didn't you write that in cricket the captain decides match bowling workload and not perpetuate the myth that sports science does?" Aughey told 'The Australian' yesterday that he stood by the on line article, saying "the whole idea was to start a conversation, to get people talking, and we're happy that there is some discussion about it".
What Faulkner does not say though is that Orchard, who could not be contacted by 'The Australian' for comment, practices at Sydney University's Sports Clinic, is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Public Health there, and is involved with both the New South Wales and Australian cricket sides.
'UGLY', 'ANGRY' SCENES SEE NO
SANCTIONS, PLAYERS STILL 'FRIENDS
A number of players were involved with what media reports called "ugly" and "angry" scenes at the end of Monday's Twenty20 International between Australia and Sri Lanka in Melbourne, however, the activity involved was not enough to attract any sanctions from match referee Javagal Srinath from India. Srinath indicated that he didn't see what went on and in the words of one media report "saw fit to let the incident pass without comment, let alone action".
The quarrel between the players came after Australian batsman Glenn Maxwell hit both the fourth and fifth balls of the last over of the match for four, meaning that another four off the final ball would have given Australia a one run win and thus square the two-match series. What appears to have sparked the incident was the decision of the Sri Lankans to huddle together as a group to offer advice to bowler Thisara Perera on how to deliver the final ball. That led Maxwell to shout to them to get on with the game and not waste time, Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene in turn yelling back at Maxwell.
The pair's exchange of words continued immediately after the final ball was bowled, a delivery that saw Sri Lanka win by three runs, and Maxwell and Jayawardene clashing immediately in a nose-to-nose argument that was reminiscent of Cricket Australia's recent domestic Twenty20 series, while bowler Perera at the same time taunted Maxwell. Several Australia players then argued with Jayawardene during the on-field handshakes, scenes that were observed by some 39,000 spectators and a large television audience, but not Srinath.
Australian captain George Bailey, who was not involved in the fracas, said he couldn't comment specifically on what happened before and after the final ball because he wasn't out there, but that the situation resulted from player's "passion" as they "care about the game and care about the way they play". Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews backed Bailey, saying "Things happen, they play it hard, we play it hard [and] exchange a few words" and that "after the game you're friends".
Earlier in the game, ten overs into the Australian's run chase, there was a forty-six minute delay due to rain. One media report said that "ground staff were held to what appeared an inordinately high standard to restart after what had only been a brief shower". As was the case in a One Day International the two sides played the week before (PTG 1044-5075, 22 January 2013), the umpires, this time Australians Simon Fry and debutant John Ward, are said to have been concerned that the conditions were what was termed "unfair" to both sides.
The ICC's Playing Conditions for T20Is, like the Laws of Cricket, makes the umpires "the final judges of the fitness of the ground, weather and light for play". They go on to say that if conditions are such that there is an "obvious and foreseeable risk to the safety of any player or umpire, so that it would be unreasonable or dangerous for play to take place", then umpires "shall immediately suspend play, or not allow play to commence or to restart", and that that decision "is one for the umpires alone to make".
"The fact that the grass and the ball are wet and slippery does not warrant the ground conditions being regarded as unreasonable or dangerous", say the Playing Conditions, however, the word "unfair" is not used.
'KOOKABURRA' ASKED TO EXAMINE BALL AT
CENTRE OF TAMPERING ALLEGATIONS
A Cricket South Africa (CSA) disciplinary committee has ordered that the ball at the centre of a tampering allegations in a domestic first class match two weeks ago be sent to its manufacturer in Australia for detailed examination and testing. Umpires Brian Jerling and Shaun George asked for the ball to be changed as they were concerned about its condition and Cobras skipper Justin Ontong was later charged with ball tampering, an allegation his side has denied (PTG 1041-5059, 18 January 2013).
Reports indicate that the ball has been sent to Kookaburra's manufacturing facility south-east of Melbourne, and that until that company provides its analysis to CSA Ontong is eligible to continue playing. Over the last week he has been captaining a South African Invitational XI in a four-day match against the touring Pakistanis, a game that is their only outing prior to the first Test against South Africa which starts tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Knights allrounder Johan van der Wath has been banned for one domestic first class match match after he was found guilty by CSA Disciplinary Commissioner Professor Rian Cloete, of using "language that is seriously obscene, offensive or insulting towards another participant" during a game this month, a level 2 offence under the CSA Code of Conduct.
ICC COY ABOUT REVEALING 'FINN'
'DEAD BALL' GUIDELINES
Six months after a delivery was first called 'dead' because of England bowler Steven Finn's tendency to knock over the stumps in his delivery stride, it is still not clear to the general public just how the International Cricket Council (ICC) expects its umpires to react in such situations. England captain Alistair Cook said earlier this week that he was confused about the issue, although his Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni indicated he was aware that a call of 'dead ball' would apply for "a first offence" in their recent One Day International series (PTG 1046-5082, 24 January 2013).
The ICC were reported to have introduced a first and final warning then 'dead ball' call requirement as a direct result of Finn breaking the stumps on a number of occasions in a Test match at Headingley in early August (PTG 970-4710, 3 August 2012), and a very reliable source later said that umpires were instructed to follow that protocol during the World Twenty20 Championship in Sri Lanka in September-October (PTG 991-4814, 16 September 2012). Dhoni's comment seems to suggest 'dead ball' is now to be called on a first offence and that the single warning has been scrapped.
'PTG' has sent two requests to the ICC's communications department over the last three months asking what appear to be straight-forward questions such as: "what the ICC's instructions are to its umpires regarding Finn broken wicket situations"; and does "one warning then dead ball [apply] or what?" Replies received to date suggest that, as is to be expected, "guidelines" have been provided to the ICC's match officials, but that they are not available for general consumption. An e-mail from the ICC this week said simply that the guidelines "will be released in due course".
Just what the timing of that release will be is far from clear, and why the ICC should be so coy in making public such information is baffling a number of experienced observers consulted by 'PTG' over the last few days. Finn's next outing in international cricket is likely to be in New Zealand in February-March during his team's tour there, and unless he finds a way of correcting his stump break habit the issue seems likely to arise again then.
There have been indications that Finn-type situations are one of the issues the MCC Laws sub-committee has on its agenda and that a formal approach on how to deal with such occurrences might be included in the next revision of the Laws, perhaps as early as next October (PTG 987-4795, 3 September 2012 and PTG 1036-5032, 7 January 2013). One approach being talked about is a first and final warning and then a 'no ball' call rather than 'dead ball' being made for any subsequent occurrence (PTG 999-4854, 4 October 2012).
NO ODI DEBUT FOR NEW
John Ward, the newest Australian member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), who made his senior international debut in a Twenty20 International (T20I) last Monday (PTG 1037-5038, 8 January 2013), is to stand in a second such match next month, but not in a One Day International (ODI) during the current austral summer.
Ward's IUP colleagues Paul Reiffel and Simon Fry have, as anticipated, been appointed to three and two ODIs respectively in the series between Australia and the West Indies alongside neutrals Sri Lankan Ranjan Madugalle as match referee and umpires Asad Rauf of Pakistan and Nigel Llong of England (PTG 1048-5096, 28 January 2013). Ward has been named as the fourth official for the first two ODIs, before returning to stand with Reiffel in the single T20I, Fry being the third umpire on that occasion.
In their first season on the IUP, Reiffel, Fry and now ICC Elite Umpire Panel member Rod Tucker, were all given both T20Is and ODIs, Tucker two of each kind, Reiffel two and one respectively, and Fry one of each, however, in Ward's case Cricket Australia has selected him for two T20Is. Australia's 2012-13 home season involves a total of ten ODIs and three T20Is.
BPL FRANCHISE LODGES LAW SUIT
OVER SPOT-FIXING ALLEGATIONS
Management of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) side Khulna have filed what is reported to be a billion Taka ($A12M) libel suit against the BPL's Rangpur franchise with a Dhaka court after the latter's owner raised what was described as a spot-fixing allegation against Khuluna, say reports from Chittagong yesterday. Rangpur head Rafiqul Islam alleged in a local newspaper earlier this week that his side was the victim of "spot-fixing" during what was a nine-run loss to Khulna last Friday.
Dhaka's 'New Age' newspaper said yesterday that Islam "pointed to an incident of a run-out [at] the 12.2 overs [mark] of their innings when Australian batsman Cameron Borgas was [given out 'run out'] despite him being blocked by a fielder on his way to the crease". He described the incident as "suspicious" given that the incident was not replayed during the television broadcast, and was also concerned because the scoreboard "went dysfunctional for a while during the match".
Khulna spokesperson, Chowdhury Khaled Masud, confirmed that the law suit had been lodged, but said that was unable to provide details at this time.
DETAILS OF ICC BOARD MEETING
TOPICS UNDER WRAPS
The Board of the International Cricket Council (ICC) began the first of its four scheduled meetings for the year in Dubai on Tuesday but details of just what they are discussing remain under wraps. An ICC press release that announced the meeting says only that the multi-day meeting "will be discussing a wide range of topics including recommendations from [its] Chief Executives' Committee (CEC), an update on ICC Events and also recommendations from its various committees".
There were indications earlier this month that moves were underway via the CEC to try and give home boards in an international series the right to decide whether the Umpire Decision Review System will be operational or not, as opposed to the current situation whereby the boards of both the home and visiting teams must agree to the system's use (PTG 1039-5048, 12 January 2013).
UMPIRES BOYCOTT NAIROBI
TOURNAMENT OVER PAY RATES
The Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association's (NPCA) one-day fifty-over match tournament continued last weekend despite umpires from the Kenya Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (KCUSA) boycotting the event. Local media reports say KCUSA members withdrew their support after failing to agree with the NPCA over what they see as suitable match fees.
The KCUSA is said to have requested a minimum rate of 4,500 Kenyan Shillings (KES) ($A50) per umpire per day but the NPCA, which is an affiliate of Cricket Kenya, is said to have dismissed that bid, insisting that they would only hand over 2,800 KES ($A30) to each umpire in a game. As a result of the boycott all teams in the event followed a NPCA rule which states that if an official umpire is not available both the teams need to nominate and appoint umpires for their game.
BOWLER'S ACTION CLEARED AFTER
KwaZulu-Natal off spinner Prenelan Subrayen has been cleared by Cricket South Africa to bowl in all levels of cricket. Subrayen's action had been found to be illegal (PTG 1035-5030, 5 January 2013), but after a period of rehabilitation he has now been re-tested and his action found to have been sufficiently modified. The off spinner was tested by the Australian Institute of Sport and by the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, but there is no word yet about Eastern Province's Solo Nqweni who was stood down for the same reason at the same time as Subrayen.