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                     JULY 2014
THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
TOTAL OF 21 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 6688-6783)


Click below to access each individual edition listed below

1,383  1,384  1,385  1,386  1,387  1,388  1,389  1,390  1,391  1,392  1,393  1,394  1,395  1,396  1,397  1,398  1,399  1,400  1,401  1,402  1,403 


1,383 -  1 July [6688-6690]

• CA-NZC continue to push towards day-night Test    (1383-6688).

• Current pink ball ‘dead and dull’, says player’s union chief    (1383-6689).

• Ralston departs the Queensland scene    (1383-6690).

1,384 - 2 July [6691-6695]

• Match fixing activities see Vincent banned for life   (1384-6691).

• PCB faced bankruptcy before ICC revamp, claims chairman   (1384-6692).

• Officials named for ‘A’ series matches in Brisbane, Darwin and Townsville   (1384-6693).

• Player sues employer over work social match injury   (1384-6694).

• Umpire orders ‘cool down’ break after on-field confrontation   (1384-6695).

1,385 - 3 July [6696-6701]

 Madugalle to manage his 150th Test as a match referee   (1385-6696).

• ‘Big three’ to host all major ICC events until 2023   (1385-6697).

• Kiwi announces his international umpiring retirement   (1385-6698).

• Indian umpire commences England exchange visit   (1385-6699).

• Seagull denies batsman six runs   (1385-6700).

• Cricket Tasmania looks to fill new umpire support position   (1385-6701).

1,386 - 4 July [6702-6705]

• 2015-23 media rights deal could earn world cricket billions  (1386-6702).

• Crowe named for 200th ODI as a match referee  (1386-6703).

• Planned fix gone wrong saw Vincent threatened with bat  (1386-6704).

• Amputee seeking high-tech limb so he can return to the game  (1386-6705).

1,387 - 6 July [6706-6709]

• Life ban may deter player reporting of corruption, claims union chief   (1387-6706).

• ICC queries player’s mid-match dressing room departure   (1387-6707).

• ‘Unintentional’ ‘beamer’ breaks batsman’s hand   (1387-6708).

• Air ambulance stops play   (1387-6709).

1,388 - 8 July [6710-6717]

• ‘Big Three’ have hijacked the game, says Bacher   (1388-6710).

• NZ player’s union chief uncertain about Test pink ball   (1388-6711).

• County players penalised for on-field actions   (1388-6712).

• Call for league to go to all-electronic scoring    (1388-6713).

• Pay rise for centrally contracted Pakistan players   (1388-6714).

• England-India Test scheduled ‘a little bit crazy'   (1388-6715).

• ‘Severe attitude problem’ results in six-month ban   (1388-6716).

• Umpire treads the boards as an umpire   (1388-6717).

1,389 - 11 July [6718-6719]

• Initial net trials for latest version of day-night pink ball   (1389-6718).

• South Africans the neutrals for Zimbabwe-Afghanistan ODI series   (1389-6719).

1,390 - 14 July [6720-6728]

• Competition’s ‘volunteers’ to be superseded by ‘managers’?   (1390-6720).

• WCC to be briefed on ICC revamp   (1390-6721).

• ICC announces new women’s championship series   (1390-6722).

• Remove restrictions on short-pitched bowling, says former Windies quick (1390-6723).

• Spinner banned after testing shows his action is 'illegal'   (1390-6724).

• No match official imports for CPL-2?   (1390-6725).

• PCB asks ICC for advice on review of Malik life ban   (1390-6726).

• Player considering appeal against six-month ‘attitude’ ban   (1390-6727).

• League hopes player bans will serve notice to others   (1390-6728).
 

1,391 - 16 July [6729-6732]
• BCCI not sitting on ‘pots of money’, says Srinivasan   (1391-6729).

• Managers replace volunteers in Victoria   (1391-6730).

• Anderson facing lunch break misconduct charge   (1391-6731).

• Charity group planning high level match   (1391-6732).

1,392 - 17 July [6733-6740]

 •  Call for ‘Big Three' to set out a long-term vision for the game   (1392-6733).

•  Bat size Law to remain unchanged ‘for now'   (1392-6734).

•  Meaning of ‘Mankad’ Law clear, no ’Spirit’ violation involved, says WCC   (1392-6735).

•  Jadeja charged in ’tit-for-tat' response from England team manager   (1392-6736).

•  ICC ACSU review called ‘crucial’ in fight against corruption   (1392-6737).

•  Sri Lanka mull way ahead for spinner Senanayake   (1392-6738).

•  Bangladesh pair set to appeal their bans   (1392-6739).

•  ECB disciplines two players   (1392-6740).

1,393 - 18 July [6741-6743]

• ICC is responsible for increase in on-field misdemeanours, says ‘Chappelli'    (1393-6741).

• Commissioner appointed for Anderson-Jadeja hearings    (1393-6742).

• Thieves steal entire ‘Astro Turf’ pitch   (1393-6743).

1,394 - 19 July [6744-6745]

• Philander fined for ball tampering during Galle Test   (1394-6744).

• ICC-BCB to appeal BPL acquittals   (1394-6745).

1,395 - 20 July [6746-6755]

• Ball tampering ‘akin to match fixing’, says Aussie bowler  (1395-6746).

• ICC to investigate after Trent Bridge Test pitch is rated as ‘poor'  (1395-6747).

• Groundsman’s Lord’s pitch sweeping style defended (1395-6748).

• Umpires instructed to be stricter in managing player aggression (1395-6749).

• India indulged in ‘gamesmanship’ during ICC revamp negotiations, says CEO  (1395-6750).

• One less first class team in the Caribbean  (1395-6751).

• Gavaskar leaves IPL role  (1395-6752).

• Srinivasan keen to grow the game beyond ten Test nations   (1395-6753).

• Alcohol-related incident sees four South African players censured  (1395-6754).

• ’Tour de Bradford League clubs’ raises money for cancer research  (1395-6755).

1,396 - 22 July [6756-6757]

• South Africa attempted to suppress ball tampering images, says report   (1396-6756).

• Shakib apologises, seeks reduction of six-month ban   (1396-6757).

1,397 - 23 July [6758-6764]

• ICC Excomm working to develop 2016-23 strategic plan   (1397-6758).

• Anderson hearing date set, news of Jadeja’s awaited   (1397-6759).

• NZ introduces contracts for women players   (1397-6760).

• BPL corruption pair lodge appeals against fines, bans   (1397-6761).

• Third Supreme Court gets involved in cricket    (1397-6762).

• CPL ticket money goes missing, investigation underway    (1397-6763).

• Jail time for fraudster umpire    (1397-6764).

1,398 - 25 July [6765-6767]

 • Zimbabwe power-broker leaves ZC board   (1398-6765).

• India-born umpire promoted to top NZ domestic panel   (1398-6766).

• Kiwi’s bowling action deemed ‘illegal'   (1398-6767).

1,399 - 26 July [6768-6769]

• Jadeja fined over Anderson incident, BCCI ’not satisfied’ so appeal possible   (1399-6768).

• CPL pair fined for ‘ugly’ on-field confrontation   (1399-6769).

1,400 - 28 July [6770-6772]

• Dhoni criticises Jadeja decision, ICC urges respect for judicial processes   (1400-6770).

• ‘More serious’ approach needed to tackle on-field behaviour, says Cozier    (1400-6771).

• Test debut keeper fined for 'unfairly’ claiming a catch   (1400-6772).

1,401 - 29 July [6773-6775]

• More CA T20 franchises could face charges over recruitment actions   (1401-6773).

• Perth visit to start banned bowler’s remedial work   (1401-6774).

• Officials named for Australia-Pakistan women’s series   (1401-6775).

• Queensland appoints new umpire manager   (1401-6776).

1,402 - 30 July [6777-6781]

• No sign of a sanction for Dhoni’s match referee criticism   (1402-6777).

• CA to establish female Project Panel spot, say reports   (1402-6778).

• ICC bans player’s ‘Save Gaza', ‘Free Palestine’, wrist bands   (1402-6779).

• WICB revamps ‘domestic’ first class player recruitment arrangements   (1402-6780).

• Thieves again target a dressing room in Lancashire   (1402-6781).

1,403 - 31 July [6782-6783]

• ‘Legal submissions’ win Jadeja the right of appeal   (1403-6782).

• Four named to manage Sri Lanka-Pakistan Tests   (1403-6783).

 
 
PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,383
Tuesday, 1 July 2014

CA-NZC CONTINUE TO PUSH 

TOWARDS DAY-NIGHT TEST 

[1383-6688]

 

Australia and New Zealand are continuing to target playing the first day-night Test match in November next year, their respective chief executive officers meeting in Melbourne last week during the International Cricket Council'sd Annual Conference to discuss the concept.  Cricket Australia’s (CA) James Sutherland and New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) David White both appear determined to make such a game a reality some seven years after it was first mooted by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) (PTG 339-1793, 29 October 2008), however, finding a suitable ball continues to remain a very key issue.

 

Sutherland repeated his often made observation that: "a day-night game will strengthen Test cricket in many parts of the world”.  He stressed as he has in the past: "We're not talking about playing the Boxing Day Test [in Melbourne] or New Year's Test [in Sydney] at night”, rather the inaugural game is expected to go to either Adelaide or Hobart in a “non-holiday” period.  Perth appears unlikely as it is three hours behind most Australian eastern states in summer where it is 9 p.m. when stumps are drawn, a last session timing that is already very good for prime time television ratings in the east, while Sutherland said the ‘Gabba' would need to improve their lighting before Brisbane could be considered.

 

White said the two nations would continue to work together to develop a pink ball suitable for Test conditions as "What's obviously critical is how the ball behaves [and] whether it is reasonably consistent with the red ball”, something players in Australia currently think it doesn’t (PTG 1383-6689 below).  “Ensuring the ball behaves as closely as possible to the red ball is vital for the success of this initiative”.  In his view "There's a few hoops to go through but certainly we're heading in the right direction”, but “since Test cricket was played in 1876 [it was 1877] there have been significant changes [such as] covered pitches, over limits, fielding restrictions, introduction of helmets, changing of the no-ball law, [and] as administrators we must keep evolving”. 

 

Sutherland, who in the past has talked about the probable need to accept differences to the red ball, said feedback on the ball used in day-night, pink ball, Sheffield Shield match trials last March was positive and playing statistics from those game were "not abnormal” (PTG  1310-6321, 11 March 2014).  According to him there was no "rogue behaviour" from the pink balls and concerns that as soon as twilight settled in the ball would behave peculiarly proved wrong (PTG 1081-5268, 26 March 2013).  "I guess what we've learnt from [the Shield trial] is there are no really obvious reasons why we shouldn't be continuing to progress with our intent around day-night Tests”, said Sutherland, whose organisation has scheduled further Sheffield Shield day-night trials in four months time (PTG 1380-6680, 24 June 2014).

 

White said there were two good reasons for considering day-night Tests in New Zealand: the increased access for fans, and the commercial advantages of operating in a more appealing time-zone for broadcasting markets (PTG 1183-5707, 2 September 2013).  David Gyngell, the chief executive officer of Australian broadcaster Channel Nine shares "the excitement of both Cricket Australia and our friends in New Zealand about day-night Test cricket”.  “It’s something we’ve all kicked around for a considerable period and the time feels right to take the next step”.  The television company paid record amounts for Test cricket broadcast rights last year, Gyngell saying then "we will do everything possible to work alongside [CA] on the future of Tests under lights" and are "really keen to see it happen” (PTG 1121-5446, 10 June 2013).

 

The NZC chief executive emphasised that his players would need to be comfortable with the proposal.  He'd like "one or two warm-up games in similar conditions leading up to [the inaugural] Test”, but whether that would be on tour or at home before hand is not clear.  NZC are said to be planning to undertake their own trials during the coming austral summer, though not in first-class cricket, something White said last September was on their agenda for last season but did not eventuate (PTG 1309-6315, 10 March 2014).  White indicated that if the first day-nighter proved a success if would enhance the prospect of New Zealand hosting one in the future.  

 

The International Cricket Council has previously backed the idea of nations working together to stage day-night Test matches and its chief executive David Richardson again gave his backing to CA-NZC plans.  In October 2008 he indicated such a game could be played in 2009, one of a number of such utterances by senior officials over the last seven years (PTG 331-1749, 20 October 2008). Yesterday he said: "The MCC and some of our members, including [CA], have trialled pink balls in different conditions and the feedback indicates that significant improvements have been made to the quality of the ball”, said Richardson.  He did not mention the experience gained by the West Indies Cricket Board which has played more day-night first class games than any other national board (PTG 1315-6344, 18 March 2014).

 

CURRENT PINK BALL ‘DEAD AND DULL’, 

SAYS PLAYER’S UNION CHIEF 

[1383-6689]

 

Players involved in Cricket Australia’s (CA) day-night, pink ball first class trial last March are less than happy about the prospect of a Test being played under such conditions, according to a survey conducted by the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) or player’s union.  Of the players who replied to the survey  a majority would not want to play day-night Tests as is being pushed by CA (PTG 1383-6688 above), a very significant ninety-four percent saying the pink balls used last March played nothing like the traditional red ‘Kookaburra’; an assessment considerably different from reports that have come from Marylebone Cricket Club sponsored day-night games over the last half decade (PTG 1080-5253, 24 March 2013).    .

 

ACA chief Paul Marsh told ‘Cricinfo' yesterday that those who took part in the games in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne four months ago were quite critical of the pink ball and the general feedback was that it went soft very quickly, the ball didn't swing, it didn't seam, it didn't reverse swing.  "So it became a ball that was very difficult to get batsmen out with, but it was also difficult to score runs because it got soft quickly”.  “Given the way the ball performed, the risk is that with no movement and the ball getting very soft, it could result in a very, very boring game of cricket”.  CA chief executive James Sutherland described the pink ball used in the March trials yesterday as showing “no rogue behaviour”.

 

“A day-night Test match might increase the excitement levels but you may actually lose out by having a ball that doesn't do anything”, said Marsh.  "That's something that they've got to keep working on. The first day-night Test match, no matter what the ball is I'm sure people will turn up and it will rate well because it's new, but you've got to look beyond the first one or two games and look at the sustainability of it”.  "I'd encourage them to keep investing in trying to find a ball that fits the purpose, because at the moment our view is that the pink ball is not”.  "We're still very open to the trialing of it [and] commend [CA] on trialing it”, however, “we think there's a little bit of a way to go yet before the ball is ready for Test cricket”, concluded Marsh. 

 

ACA survey results show that 44 per cent of players do not believe March's day-night games were a success, 45 per cent being “unsure”; 51  per cent are against playing day-night Tests in the future with 26 per cent unsure; 94 per cent didn’t think the pink ball show similar signs of wear and tear as the traditional red ‘Kookaburra; 89 percent felt the pink ball did not swing and seam like the red version; and 75 per cent judged the pink ball did not provide a fair contest between bat and ball.  On the other hand 58 per cent believed the pink ball was easy to see while batting and fielding in natural afternoon light, 42 per cent disagreeing, however, there was an even split as to whether or not it was easy to see while batting and fielding under lights.

 

RALSTON DEPARTS THE 

QUEENSLAND SCENE

[1383-6690]

 

Queensland’s State Umpiring Manager Mike Ralston retired from that position yesterday six months short of his sixty-fifth birthday after a decade in the job.  New South Wales born Ralston stood in eight first class and six List A games in the first half of the 1990s, as was also on the field in two women’s One Day Internationals during that decade. 

 

Five weeks ago Queensland Cricket called for applications for the position of 'Umpire Development and Support Manager', a role that appears to encompass the jobs previously covered by both Ralston and his fellow first class umpire David Orchard, the latter having the title of ‘State Umpire Coach’ (PTG 1362-6581, 25 May 2014).  As yet no announcement has been made as to who the occupant of the new position will be.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,384
Wednesday, 2 July 2014

MATCH FIXING ACTIVITIES SEE 

VINCENT BANNED FOR LIFE

[1384-6691]

 

Former New Zealand player Lou Vincent was banned for life yesterday as a result admissions he made to officers from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) that he had taken part in match-fixing (PTG 1354-6538, 13 May 2014).  Last month the ECB banned former Sussex player Naved Arif for life after he confessed to similar activities in a game in which Vincent was a team-mate (PTG 1377-6660, 19 June 2014), and Vincent was handed a three-year ban by the Bangladesh Cricket Board on the same day for failing to report an approach to him by a bookmaker whilst playing in that country (PTG  1377-6661, 19 June 2014)

 

Vincent, who was reported seven weeks ago to have revealed “widespread fixing across cricket” (PTG 1354-6538, 13 May 2014), played for Lancashire in 2008 and Sussex in 2011.  He pleaded guilty to eighteen breaches of ECB anti-corruption regulations, four of which relate to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008, a game in which he is reported to have offered £20,000 ($A36,000) to team mate Mal Loye (PTG 1356-6544, 19 May 2014).  The remaining fourteen charges were laid in regard to two matches played in August 2011, one a Sussex-Lancashire Twenty20 fixture and the other a Sussex-Kent forty over one-day game Arif was also charged over.  

 

In addition to the ECB, Champions League Twenty20 organisers also announced yesterday that Vincent, who played in that series for Auckland in 2011 and 2012, has been banned for life from participating in that event (PTG 1361-6573, 24 May 2014).  He is said to have attempted to corrupt two matches involving his side during the 2012 series in South Africa by "entering into agreements with a bookmaker for financial gain”.  Six charges against him relate to a match against Hampshire in Johannesburg and another in Cape Town when Kolkata were the opponents.  Vincent also faced a further charge in regard to the 2011 series where he failed to report an approach from a bookmaker. 

 

The ECB confirmed that Vincent has accepted an agreed sanction of a life ban from all forms of cricket, in the form of concurrent life bans for each of the eleven offences which carried such a ban.  The terms of the ban prevent him from playing, coaching or participating in any form of cricket which is recognised or sanctioned by ECB, the ICC or any other National Cricket Federation.

 

ECB chief executive David Collier said of the decision: “This has been a complex case which has crossed different cricketing jurisdictions and required close collaboration and intelligence-sharing between both our own anti-corruption unit, other domestic boards and the ICC’s ACSU".  “We are extremely pleased that the matter has now been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and that an individual who repeatedly sought to involve others in corrupt activity for his own personal gain has accepted that his conduct warrants a lifetime ban from cricket”.  “It once again highlights our resolve to keep cricket clean and rid the game of the tiny minority who seek to undermine the sport’s integrity”.

 

Vincent, 35, who is first New Zealand professional sportsman or woman to receive a life ban, issued a statement yesterday that said he has brought shame on himself and his country by helping to fix matches.  It read in part: “My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat”.  “I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing”. "I have lived with this dark secret for many years, but just months ago I reached the point where I decided I had to come forward and tell the truth”.  “It’s a truth that has rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world”.  "I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud”.

 

Vincent said he hoped he could convince others to avoid the mistakes he has made. “It is entirely my fault that I will never be able to stand in front of a game again. It is entirely my fault that I will not be able to apply my skills in a positive way to help future cricketers. But it is entirely possible that I can use this moment to convince others not to be tempted by wrongdoing. To do the right thing for themselves, for their families and friends, and for the sport they love?  He added that while he has suffered from depression he accepted responsibility for his actions. “I do suffer from depression but it is absolutely no reason or excuse for all that I have done wrong”, he said.

 

Among Vincent’s allegations were that a "world-famous international" dubbed "Player X” by the media recruited him into the world of match-rigging.  His countryman Chris Cairns has said he believes he is Player X but questioned Vincent's credibility and vehemently denied any involvement (PTG 1379-6673, 23 June 2014).  Vincent's statement about his ban made no reference to Cairns, Daryl Tuffey who has also denied any wrongdoing (PTG 1359-6564, 22 May 2014), or any other player.

 

PCB FACED BANKRUPTCY BEFORE 

ICC REVAMP, CLAIMS CHAIRMAN

[1384-6692]

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) faced bankruptcy and isolation if it did not back the radical changes made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last week, claimed its chairman Najam Sethi on Monday.  Sethi told a news conference in Lahore that the PCB could have collapsed within two years if it did not support the sweeping reforms made to ICC organisational arrangement mades in Melbourne last week (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014), changes the PCB originally opposed (PTG 1273-6137, 21 January 2014).

 

Sethi said the PCB had struggled for the last five years to run cricket in the country, as well as the national team, due to security problems.  "Since 2009 we have hosted no home series and that has caused us loss of revenues but we have somehow managed”.  He says that by supporting the ICC revamp the PCB are assured earnings of around $US450 million ($A476 million) in the next eight-year cycle of international cricket.

 

The bulk of that money is expected to come due to a six-tour agreement with India over that time.  Those matches were agreed under the international Future Tours Program with four of them to be played in Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates provided both cricket boards receive government clearances.  The PCB’s remaining income will come from the ICC, Sethi indicating his organisation's share of ICC earnings over the period will also increase to $US150 million [$A159 million]”.  Reports state that during the last seven-year cycle Pakistan received $US10 million ($A10.6 million) from the ICC each year.

 

Sethi went on to claim that Pakistan gained significantly in other ways during last week's ICC meeting.  He said “we have been included in the Executive Committee of the ICC for one year, with India, Australia and England as the permanent members, which means we will be at the forefront of most of the decisions”.  That, Sethi claimed, "will get Pakistan the most funds after the 'Big Three’ [of Australia-England-India]”.

 

The PCB chairman also said the PCB would lodge a fresh application with the ICC in October to allow banned pace bowler Mohammad Aamer to play domestic cricket before his five-year ban for spot-fixing ends in September 2015 (PTG 1333-6438, 14 April 2014).   "The ICC committee will approve the revamped anti-corruption code in October in which a clause has been included allowing a banned player to play domestic cricket before his ban ends”, said Sethi.

 

Two months ago the PCB was reported to be planning, on the recommendation of a judicial inquiry, to review the life ban imposed on the country's former captain Saleem Malik for match fixing (PTG 1344-6496, 3 May 2014), but as yet no publicity appears to have been given to the outcome of that work.

 

OFFICIALS NAMED FOR ‘A’ TEAM MATCHES 

IN BRISBANE, DARWIN AND TOWNSVILLE

[1384-6693]

 

Australia’s top six rated domestic umpires, and four members of Cricket Australia’s five-man Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) have been named to look after the fourteen match tri-nation one-day series the ‘A’ sides of Australia, India and South Africa are to play in Darwin over the last two weeks of this month.  The umpires named are National Umpire Panel (NUP) members Simon Fry, Mick Martell, John Ward and Paul Wilson, who are all members of the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, plus Gerard Abood and relative newcomer Sam Nogajski, while the UHPP members, who will work as match referees, are Steve Bernard, Peter Marshall, Bob Stratford and David Tallala. 

 

Prior to that series the Australian and Indian ‘A’ sides will play two four-day games in Brisbane, the first of which will get underway this Sunday.  Fry and Martell will stand in both games, their colleagues on the NUP, Mike Graham-Smith and Geoff Joshua being the reserves for the first and second games respectively, while Bernard will manage both games as the match referee.  After the Darwin one-day series, the Australian and South African sides will play two four-day matches in Townsville, Ward and Wilson standing in those fixtures, NUP members Damien Mealey and Ash Barrow are the reserves, while the fifth UHPP member Daryl Harper will be the match referee.

 

The two newcomers to the NUP this year, Greg Davidson and Shawn Craig, are not amongst the appointees, but they Barrow, Graham-Smith and Mealey, plus NUP fringe members Tony Wilds and Phil Gillespie, are according to some reports believed to be in line for a range of state squad pre-season matches in late August and early September.

 

PLAYER SUES EMPLOYER OVER 

WORK SOCIAL MATCH INJURY

[1384-6694]

 

An emergency worker in Melbourne who fell over a park bench playing cricket is suing the Victorian State Emergency Service (SES) for exposing him to the “hazard”, according to the city’s ‘Herald Sun’ newspaper.  The SES, a government agency for managing responses to flood, storm, tsunami and earthquake emergencies that occur in Victoria, organised a social game for its employees during a public holiday in January 2008 during which George Anestopoulos claims he broke his collar bone when he stumbled over the bench whilst trying to catch a ball.

 

Anestopoulos, 49, criticised his employer in documents lodged with Victoria's County Court for staging the match in a reserve with “several hazards such as lamp posts and park benches”.  Somewhat ironically given the SES’s role, Anestopoulos, claimed the SES should have done a risk assessment of the playing area and drawn up a 'Work Safety Plan' before putting on the game.

 

He said the SES should not have allowed the game to be played on the reserve, which is down the street from its headquarters, because it was uneven and bound by a “busy highway”.  At the time of the accident he had been employed by the SES as a senior learning and development officer for less than a year, and now claims that the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve injury, headaches and chronic pain, anxiety and depression were as a result of the accident.  “The plaintiff suffered the said injuries, loss and damage as a result of the negligence of the defendant”, claims the statement.

 

When contacted by the ‘Herald Sun’, SES spokesman Stefan ­Delatovic declined to comment, and the newspaper was unable to contact Anestopoulos’s lawyer for comment.

 

UMPIRE ORDERS A ‘COOL DOWN’ BREAK 

AFTER ON-FIELD CONFRONTATION 

[1384-6695]

 

When on-field tensions got to boiling point in a game on Bermuda last weekend umpire Craig Brangman flicked off the bails, said "I’m not taking this", and ordered the players to “take a water break” in order that they could cool down, says an article in the island’s ‘Royal Gazette’ newspaper yesterday.  Brangman initiated the break following a mid-crease verbal exchange between Willow Cuts batsman Chris Douglas and Dion Stovell the Southampton Rangers captain.

 

Initially it appeared that the Cuts players had walked off the field in protest, but Malachi Jones the team’s captain, denied that saying that : “When [Douglas and Stovell] came together and exchanged words the umpire decided they needed to calm things down by sending us off the field for a water break”.  Brangman is reported to have said "when you are ready to play cricket come back”.  "Sometimes it can get a bit personal but never to the point where it is going to be a fight”, said Jones.

 

Willow Cuts manager Dexter Basden also denied that his team walked off the field. “The umpire said ‘take a water break, get a breather and let them come back out’" said Basden, "Then he came down and said it was time, lets get back out on the field and our troops went back on the field”.  After play recommenced a Southampton batsman was dismissed for “Obstructing the Field’ when he popped up the ball on the leg side and then obstructed the wicketkeeper as he tried to take the catch.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,385
Thursday, 3 July 2014

MADUGALLE TO MANAGE HIS 150TH 

TEST AS A MATCH REFEREE 

[1385-6696]

 

Sri Lankan Ranjan Madugalle, 55, who looked after his first Test as a match referee in January 1993, will become the first person to oversee 150th Tests in that role when England and India play the last game of their five-match series at The Oval in London in mid August.  Madugalle was named by the International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday as one of five match officials from four neutral countries who will manage the Tests at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, the Rose Bowl, Old Trafford and The Oval, the first of which will get underway next Wednesday.

 

Madugalle’s countryman Kumar Dharmasena and Australian Bruce Oxenford will stand in the first two Tests with another Australian David Boon the match referee.  Boon will also be there for the third game, Australian Rod Tucker and Marais Erasmus of South Africa being on field, and while the latter pair will stay for match four they will have Madugalle as their referee.  Dharmasena comes back for the final game and will work with another Australian Paul Reiffel in what will be Madugalle’s 150th.

 

With the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) not in use for the series, English members of the ICC’s Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) and second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) will work as third and fourth officials during the Tests, and the five One Day Internationals (ODI) that follow them.  To date EUP member Ian Gould has been appointed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as the third umpire in next week’s opening Test and IUP member Rob Bailey the reserve, the latter moving into the television spot for the second game at Lord’s when the reserve will be Tim Robinson.  

 

The ECB were reported last month to have asked India, the only cricket-playing nation that does not employ UDRS, to consider its use for the five-Test series, one report saying “in the hope that Sachin Tendulkar’s recent retirement would encourage a change in position”.  It had been a widely held belief that Tendulkar’s distrust of the system had been the main reason for India refusing to allow the use of UDRS in series they played in.

 

Apart from Madugalle’s 150th, the Tests will take Boon’s tally as a referee at the game’s highest level to 24, Tucker as an umpire to 33, Dharmasena 26, Erasmus 25, Oxenford 19 and Reiffel 11.  Oxenford will be standing at Lord’s for the first time, Boon for the second time as a match referee and Dharmasena for the third as an umpire.  Of the seven, Boon, Dharmasena, Madugalle and Reiffel all played Test cricket prior to becoming match officials.

 

Reiffel and Madugalle will stay on after the last Test as the neutrals for the five ODIs in late August and early September, so far unnamed England EUP and IUP members working in the second on-field, television and reserve umpire spots.  Madugalle will push his world record tally as an ODI referee to a massive 284 games while Reiffel will move to 38 as an umpire.  The ICC web post on the series indicates Reiffel and Madugalle will officiate in the single Twenty20 International between the two sides after the ODIs end.  All umpires for such games in a bilateral series normally come from the home board.

 

‘BIG THREE’ TO HOST ALL MAJOR 

ICC EVENTS UNTIL 2023

[1385-6697]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has awarded all of its major tournaments over the eight years from 2016-23 to India, England and Australia, a situation some media reports are suggesting is the first effect of those three nations, the so-called ‘Big Three’, now having key roles in the management of the international game (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014).  India will host three, in the ICC’s words "major world events", the 2016 men’s and women’s World Twenty20 Championship (WT20C), 2021 Champions Trophy (CT), and 2023 fifty-over World Cup (WC), while England and Wales will host the 2017 CT and 2019 WC, and Australia the 2020 men’s and women’s WT20 series.

 

Yesterday's ICC press release does not list a men’s WT20 in what would be the events normal biennial time slot of 2018, but there will be a women’s event that year in the West Indies, and another in South Africa in 2022.  Women's fifty-over WC tournaments have been scheduled for England and Wales in 2017 and New Zealand in 2021, while the next three Under-19 WC events will be in Bangladesh in 2016, New Zealand in 2018, South Africa in 2020, and the West Indies in 2022.

 

As for qualifying events for national sides outside the Test playing nations to earn the right to take part in "major world events”, 2015 will see the 2016 WT20 qualifier series played across Ireland and Scotland, but the location of the 2019 qualifier in the lead up to the main event proper in 2020 has yet to be decided.  Qualifiers for the fifty-over World Cups of 2019 and 2023 will he held in Bangladesh in 2018 and Zimbabwe in 2022 respectively.  Pakistan, for security reasons, and Sri Lanka are to only ICC full member nations not to have been allocated an ICC event over the next nine years.

 

KIWI ANNOUNCES HIS INTERNATIONAL 

UMPIRING RETIREMENT

[1385-6698]

 

New Zealand umpire Gary Baxter has announced his retirement from international cricket, according to overnight press reports from that country.  Baxter, 62, a trained fireman who started umpiring club cricket in 1997 before making his first class debut in February 1999 and in an international in 2005, has indicated he will officiate in domestic cricket for another summer at first class level, "maybe two, if they want him”, before assessing his future.

 

Baxter, who was moved by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) from an on-field to a third umpire spot on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) last year to make way for ‘Billy’ Bowden’s return (PTG 1170-5653, 15 August 2013), told Fairfax New Zealand that: "At my age, I'm never going to get on the [ICC] Elite Umpires Panel now.  "I had a good stint, I thought the one-dayer I did in Hamilton between New Zealand and India in January was going to be my last”.  "I mentioned it to [fellow umpire] Rod Tucker and, unbeknown to me, he organised for the New Zealand guys to sign a jersey for me which was really nice”.

 

Christchurch-born Baxter said that the fact he did not get to umpire in a Test was "disappointing". "I'm realistic, but it is still a bit disappointing. We had guys like ‘Billy' [Bowden] and Tony [Hill] on the [EUP] so it was always going to be tough”.  "I would have liked to stand in a Test, I thought I was good enough, but a country the size of New Zealand was always unlikely to get three [on the EUP].”

 

During his international career Baxter stood in 38 One Day Internationals (ODI) and 16 Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) over the past nine years as an IUP member. He currently has 83 first class games under his belt, two being in Australia and another two in South Africa and one a second-tier international in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plus 119 List A, some of which were played in Australia, Canada, Kenya, South Africa, the UAE and Zimbabwe.  There have also been 65 Twenty20 fixtures, 7 of the latter in the Indian Premier League in 2009, as wells women’s ODIs and T20Is, Under 19 Tests and ODIs, the latter in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2010 U-19 World Cup series in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and New Zealand respectively, including the final of the 2008 event.

 

Baxter’s retirement announcement is likely to have been sparked by advice to him from NZC that he will not be continuing on the IUP during the coming austral summer.  That panel faces a shake up at the moment with Bowden having been promoted back to the EUP leaving Chris Gaffaney the sole IUP on-field member.  Current third umpire member Derek Walker, 54, appears likely to move into Bowden’s vacant spot, but as yet who will take up the third umpire role has not been announced.

 

INDIAN UMPIRE COMMENCES 

ENGLAND EXCHANGE VISIT

[1385-6699]

 

Indian umpire Anil Chaudhary commenced his four-match exchange visit to England on Tuesday in a county second XI one-day match in Leicester between Leicestershire and Worcestershire, and is currently in action again for a three-day game between the same sides.  Chaudhary, 49, who is to stand in two county first class matches later this month before returning home, is the fourth Indian after Shavir Tarapore in 2011, Ravi Sundaram in 2012 and Chettithody Shamshuddin last year, to visit England on exchange as part of an agreement between the respective national boards.

 

Chaudhary will stay in Leicester after the two second XI fixtures for a first class match between the home county and Kent, his umpiring colleague there being Peter Hartley who visited Indian on exchange in January 2012 and stood in a semi final and final of that season’s Ranji Trophy.  After a two-day break the Delhi-born umpire will travel to Colchester for his second and last first class match of his visit, the teams involved being Essex and Hampshire and his umpiring colleague Tim Robinson, another former exchangee to Indian in December-January 2010-11; Chaudhary being the television umpire in one of his two first class games there. 

 

Elevated to third umpire membership of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel eleven months ago (PTG 1166-5642, 10 August 2013), Chaudhary made his debut at senior international level in a Twenty20 International (T20I) last October, and in a One Day International (ODI) the month after that.  He has been standing at first class level since January 2000 and currently has 43 such games to his credit, one being in last season’s Ranji Trophy final, two others on exchange in South Africa in January-February 2013, and a further two in Australia last February (PTG 1284-6187, 5 February 2014).  

 

Over the past 14 years Chaudhary’s record has also included a total of 47 List A games, one last year’s ODI, and 46 Twenty20s, a single T20I and 23 in the Indian Premier League.  In May last year he became the first Indian national to stand in a final of that competition in its then six-year history (PTG 1135-5507, 30 June 2013).

 

SEAGULL DENIES BATSMAN SIX RUNS

[1385-6700]

 

Middlesex batsman Ryan Higgins was denied what looked to be a certain six by an unfortunate seagull that was flying past during his side’s Twenty20 match again Sussex in the seaside city of Hove  last Friday.  The lusty hit off leg spinner Will Beer struck the bird which fell on to the centre of the pitch before quickly scuttling away in a somewhat dazed state, the ball deflecting sufficiently far into the field for Higgins and his batting partner Ollie Rayner to complete two runs 

 

CRICKET TASMANIA LOOKS TO FILL 

NEW UMPIRE SUPPORT POSITION

[1385-6701]

 

Cricket Tasmania (CT) has called for applications for its newly established  full-time, twelve month fixed-term, 'Umpiring Development and Administration Officer’ position, a job that will report to Richard Widows, Tasmania’s State Director of Umpires.  Widows oversees the training and development of match officials for CT’s Premier League competitions in Hobart, provides specialist support for those identified as having the potential to go to higher levels, and advises and supports umpiring activities in other parts of the island state.    

   

The advertisement for the new position lists responsibilities involved as including: supporting the effective recruitment, retention and development of umpires; contributing to the management and development of umpiring resources; managing and maintaining umpiring related databases; identifying umpires in consideration for higher honours and assisting in their development; and being a driving force in the consistent messaging and promotion of umpiring through traditional media and social media channels.

 

Those applying are required to submit their applications by next Monday morning and have: at least Cricket Australia Level 2 umpiring qualifications; a comprehensive knowledge of the Laws of Cricket; “passion" for the game; well-developed relationship building and stakeholder management skills; exceptional planning, coordination and organisational skills; proven facilitation and presentation skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills; proven experience of working effectively with volunteers; and resilience, energy, initiative and integrity.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,386
Friday, 4 July 2014

2015-23 MEDIA RIGHTS DEAL COULD

EARN WORLD CRICKET BILLIONS

[1385-6702]

 

Media rights for major events run by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the eight years from 2015-23 could provide the world body with around $US2.5 billion ($A2.7 billion) in earnings, say reports, a prediction that if correct would be a very significant 100 per cent increase on the $US1.2 billion ($A1.3 billion) the rights for the current eight-year period sold for in 2008.  Part of the reason for such a rise is said to be growing competition between broadcasters to own "prestigious sporting events", especially in south Asia where three of the six ICC “major world events” will be played in the new rights period (PTG 1385-6697, 3 July 2014).

 

The ICC said in calling for bids for the 2015-23 period this week that during the "current commercial cycle" 2007-15 its events have "grown significantly in reach and value". This year's World Twenty20 Championship in Bangladesh for example was broadcast in excess of twenty different languages across 200 countries and is said to have reached a quarter of the world’s population, while the next fifty-over World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand next February-March, and is part of the current contract period, has says the ICC the potential to reach an audience of more than two billion.

 

Englishman Giles Clarke, the chairman of the ICC’s Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee Chairman (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014), said via an ICC press release that: “Revenues from media rights sales underpin the future growth and development of cricket by ensuring certainty of revenues to ICC Members”.  “ICC events have grown as global properties and are now recognised as premium sports events around the world and the next eight years will see the ICC's major events being played in cricket’s core markets, thereby making the media rights package highly attractive”, therefore “I am positive we will get some strong bids from the world’s leading broadcasters”.

 

ICC chief executive, David Richardson, said: “Following unprecedented global coverage and attendance at major ICC events, and the rapidly expanding popularity of emerging nations and women’s cricket, the next eight years promises to provide competitive matches, shine a light on current and future stars of the game, and provide world class fan engagement and entertainment. In short, the ICC events will become a ‘must have’ for leading broadcasters and content platforms, making the ICC media rights packages much sought after in the broadcast market”.

 

CROWE NAMED FOR 200TH 

ODI AS A MATCH REFEREE

[1385-6703]

 

New Zealand match referee Jeff Crowe will be looking after his 200th One Day International (ODI) in Pallekele next Wednesday when Sri Lanka and South Africa play the second game of their three-match ODI series, the third man after Ranjan Madugalle of Sri Lanka and Chris Broad of England to pass that mark.  Crowe, whose first ODI as a referee was in April 2004, will be working with umpires Steve Davis of Australia and Nigel Llong of England, plus the three Sri Lankan members of the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, Ranmore Martinez, Ruchira Palliyaguru and Ravindra Winalasiri.

 

Davis will stand in the first and third matches of the series in Colombo and Hambantota respectively with Llong the television umpire, their roles being reverse in match two in Pallekele, but just who of Martinez, Palliyaguru and Winalasiri will be on-field in the three games has not yet been made public.  Apart from taking Crowe’s ODI record to 201, the series will see Davis’ record move to 124 on-field and 51 in the third umpire spot (124/51), and Llong’s to 79/40.

 

Crowe, 55, will stay on after the ODIs to manage the two Tests that will be played in the last half of this month, his 66th and 67th as a match referee, the umpires for those games being Llong, his countryman Richard Kettleborough, and New Zealander ‘Billy’ Bowden.  Kettleborough is to stand in both fixtures, his on-field partner being Bowden in the first Test in Galle with Llong the television umpire, while Llong will be on-ground in the second in Colombo, Bowden working in the television suite.  The two Tests will take Bowden’s record to 79 games on-field and 17 as the third umpire (79/17), Llong to 25/17 and Kettleborough to 22/10.

 

PLANNED FIX GONE WRONG SAW 

VINCENT THREATENED WITH BAT

[1385-6704]

 

Banned cricketer Lou Vincent has told New Zealand television he was threatened with a cricket bat in a hotel room when he messed up a planned fix.  Vincent, who was banned for life on Tuesday as a result admissions he made about match fixing activities (PTG 1384-6691, 2 July 2014), said a member of a betting syndicate turned on him when he hit a six instead of getting out, as had been agreed before a match in the now defunct Indian Cricket League six years ago  (PTG 1358-6558, 21 May 2014).  

 

Former New Zealand player Vincent said that his mistake of hitting a six instead of being stumped as he planned meant that he did not receive payment on that occasion.  "I got a phone call to meet the person I was working for”, said Vincent in the television interview, and “he got a cricket bat and he was walking towards me with a killer look in his eyes”.  “I could tell straight away that I'd done wrong [and] was really surprised that he didn't follow through and hit me”.

 

Vincent went on to say that he was first approached to fix matches at a meeting with a businessman who was there to discuss promotional endorsements, however, he was instead offered the services of a prostitute and a large stack of American dollars.  He initially turned down the approach, but changed his mind when he discovered "a personal hero of his" was involved in fixing matches. "The person I was working for was a huge role model to me and there was no way I could say no”, he claimed.

 

Despite losing the trust of the fixers in India after his error, Vincent was approached again when he moved to England.  "I was forgiven and told I had to earn trust back with him and his people and I was told to underperform and prove I was trustworthy” (PTG 1356-6544, 19 May 2014).  He did what he was instructed and received payment for those performances, which ultimately lead to him being charged and banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

 

AMPUTEE SEEKING HIGH-TECH LIMB SO 

HE CAN RETURN TO THE GAME

[1385-6705]

 

Twenty-year-old Tom Carter from Newport in Wales who had his left leg amputated last year because of bone cancer, is hoping to play again if he can raise enough money to buy a £50,000 ($A92,000) high-tech prosthetic limb.  Carter, who has been playing for the Newport Cricket Club since he was six, feared his sporting career was over after surgery and chemotherapy, but he has now raised over half of the money needed after locals and the Welsh cricket community rallied round, but further donations are needed, says a BBC report.

 

Unlike his current artificial limb which only goes up and down like a hinge, the high-tech version has a built-in microprocessor in the knee to allow extra movement and flexibility which would enable him to return as a batsman with his club.  Carter, who hopes to be able to play with England’s disability side, is working towards having the new leg by the time the 2015 northern summer comes around.  “Watching the Paralympics last year showed me it could be done and it helped me believe”, he says, and “I’ve always hoped and believed that I’d play cricket again, it’s a big part of my life and to play again would be great".

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,387
Sunday, 6 July 2014

LIFE BAN MAY DETER PLAYER REPORTING 

OF CORRUPTION, CLAIMS UNION CHIEF 

[1387-6706]

 

The life ban handed to former New Zealand player Lou Vincent for match fixing may deter other players from reporting offences, claims the chief of the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association, or player’s union, Heath Mills.  Vincent, 35, was banned from all forms of cricket last Tuesday after admitting eighteen match-fixing offences (PTG 1384-6691, 2 July 2014).

 

Mills described what Vincent did as "unacceptable and required a heavy sanction, but I can only assume the people making these decisions are not motivated to have players coming forward in the future”.  The union chief, who facilitated legal help for Vincent after the player confided to him that he had been involved in corruption, added: "The bigger goal here has to be the fight against corruption in our sport". 

 

“Anti-corruption officers have few tools in this fight and their most important tool is information from players”, continued Mills, “so by not giving people credit for coming forward and providing information, you are effectively putting up a significant barrier for anyone coming forward in the future”.  Vincent, who accepted the ban handed to him, is reported to have co-operated with officials during the investigation of his offences.

 

ICC QUERIES PLAYER’S MID-MATCH 

DRESSING ROOM DEPARTURE 

[1387-6707]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is reported to have sent a letter to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) asking how Sakib al Hasan could leave the dressing room to deal with a personal matter during a rain break in a One Day International against India in Dhaka last month, an incident that is said to have seen him involved in a scuffle with a spectator (PTG 1376-6658, 16 June 2014).  All-rounder Hasan later admitted he made a mistake by leaving the player’s area but the BCB is yet to announce what if any sanction will be imposed on him for that move (PTG 1379-6674, 23 June 2014).

 

An BCB official who “preferred not to be named”, told Dhaka’s ’New Age’ newspaper yesterday that ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit officials, as well as match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, "have all made observations regarding the incident", a situation ‘New Age’ states “could land the all-rounder in a serious trouble in the near future”.  ICC regulations forbid players leaving the confines of the playing area or dressing room areas during a match as part of anti-corruption measures.

 

Hasan became embroiled in further trouble on Friday when he left Dhaka for the West Indies to play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), an event for which he had not received a “No Objection” certificate from the BCB.  The BCB’s cricket operations chief Akram Khan is reported to have given verbal permission for Hasan to leave for his CPL engagements but did not ask him to seek written approval.  The BCB has now called Hasan back home and he is due to arrive back in Dhaka this morning.

 

‘UNINTENTIONAL ‘BEAMER’ 

BREAKS BATSMAN’S HAND 

[1387-6708]

 

An “unintentional" ‘beamer' from former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee broke the hand of his former team mate, leg-spinner Shane Warne, during yesterday’s Lord’s bicentennial match between the Marylebone Cricket Club and a Rest of the World XI at the ‘home of cricket’.  Warne, the World XI captain, was batting at the end of his side's innings, went on to face four more deliveries after the break occurred.  Lee was quick to hold up his hand and offer his apologies after doing damage that is expected to see Warne’s right hand out of action for around six weeks, although he may be able to use his mobile phone with his left.

 

AIR AMBULANCE STOPS PLAY

[1387-6709]

 

Players and spectators at a youth match being played in Yorkshire got more drama than they bargained for when play was interrupted by an air ambulance landing on the ground earlier this week.  Richmondshire Cricket Club was hosting an Under-15 match against a touring team from Australia when the players noticed a Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) helicopter hovering overhead and cleared the ground so it could land.

 

Cricket club stewardess Kelly Jobling said the air ambulance occasionally uses the ground as an emergency landing pad as it is the only safe place for a helicopter to land in the small market town of Richmond.  “It happens perhaps once or twice every couple of years”, she added.  “We knew we had to get the players off the [ground] so we made sure it was safe before it could land”.  “Normally they would call us ahead but we only realised what was happening when we saw the aircraft and then a road ambulance arrived in our car park”.

 

On this occasion the helicopter was responding to a call to a man who had suffered a heart attack and who had been transported to the ground by road ambulance.  A GNAA spokesman added: "We would like to thank the cricket team who abandoned their match to allow the aircraft to land and load the patient”.  After the helicopter left for hospital, where the an was reported later to be recovering, the match resumed.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,388
Tuesday, 8 July 2014

‘BIG THREE’ HAVE HIJACKED 

THE GAME, SAYS BACHER

[1388-6710]

 

Former South African player and senior cricket administrator Ali Bacher has expressed "grave disappointment” about the International Cricket Council’s new direction, and believes Australia, England and India "have hijacked the game”.  In an interview with India’s ‘Telegraph’ newspaper, Bacher also described the elevation of suspended Board of Control for Cricket in India president Narayanswamy Srinivasan to the new ICC chairman position when he is being “investigated by a committee set up by [India’s] Supreme Court" as "mind-boggling”.

 

Cricket South Africa (CSA) recently defended its decision to vote for the recent changes to the way the ICC operates, an approach it initially strongly opposed (PTG 1273-6138, 21 January 2014).  "What staggers me the most [about the changes] is that not a word has been said by any of the member countries of the ICC”, said Bacher, and while CSA at first “came out strongly against the new direction and raised a hue and cry, it quickly gave in”.

 

"South Africa, in fact, held the trump card [about whether the changes went ahead as] Pakistan and Sri Lanka had also been resisting then”, claimed Bacher, "but India induced South Africa to change direction”.  "To add insult to injury, when the ICC ratified the membership of its various committees at its Annual Conference in Melbourne late last month, CSA was the only full ICC member not represented on any of them” (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014).  "Even Zimbabwe and Bangladesh have been given positions, but not South Africa. What more is there to say?”, said Bacher.

 

While Bacher was disappointed with both Australia and England joining forces with India "in its bid to take over the sport", he said England had not painted themselves in glory in recent times. "Who can forget that a few years ago, the England and Wales Cricket Board jumped into bed with a gentleman who is now serving the equivalent of a life sentence in a Texas prison on charges of fraud”, a reference to former United States’ businessman Alan Stamford.

 

Bacher says that earlier this year he spoke to Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards who told him that for the last two years ICC operations had become untenable because of what the ’Telegraph’ story describes as the "persistent demands made by India”.  "According to Edwards, Australia and England were going along with India, keeping it in the loop, as that was a way of having some control over India”, runs the quote attributed to Bacher.

 

NZ PLAYER’S UNION CHIEF UNCERTAIN 

ABOUT PINK TEST BALL

[1388-6711]

 

Pink balls need to be tested by senior New Zealand players in New Zealand conditions before a day-night Test can go ahead, says Heath Mills the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association (NZCPA) or players' union.  Mills comments as reported in the ’Sunday News’ were in response to Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) reiteration last week of their plans to stage such a game in Australia in November 2015, NZC chief executive David White saying then his organisation is to undertake their own trials during the coming austral summer, though not at first-class level (PTG 1383-6688, 1 July 2014). 

 

White emphasised that his players would need to be comfortable with the day-night Test proposal and he'd like "one or two warm-up games in similar conditions leading up to [the inaugural] Test”.  Mills pointed to the fact that there had yet to be any trials in New Zealand means there has also been no chance for his members to be surveyed about their opinions.  "We are supportive of any trial and would encourage [NZC] to look at that” but he is concerned about the generally negative feedback from Australian first class players who took part in day-night Sheffield Shield games last March, particularly with regard to the durability of the pink ball which most are said to feel isn't yet ready for Test cricket (PTG 1383-6689, 1 July 2014).

 

Mills said any trial, which White indicated last September was to be held last austral summer but did not eventuate (PTG 1309-6315, 10 March 2014), needed to involve New Zealand players at a high level.  "Everyone wants to get excited because it is new and different but we need to make sure it is the right way forward”.  White said last week that ensuring the ball behaved "as close as possible to the red ball is vital for the success of this initiative”.  The trial fixture he talked about would enable “us to examine more closely issues such as dew, and its effect on the condition of the ball".

 

COUNTY PLAYERS PENALISED 

FOR ON-FIELD ACTIONS

[1388-6712]

 

Somerset’s Alfonso Thomas and Leicestershire’s Nathan Buck received penalties under the England and Wales Cricket Board’s disciplinary code late last week.  Thomas lost three penalty points while Buck was reprimanded, penalties that will remain on their records for a period of two years,  the accumulation of nine or more penalty points in any two year period resulting in an automatic suspension.

 

Thomas was reported by umpires Rob Bailey and Peter Hartley in his side’s County Championship match against Lancashire for "throwing a ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner”, a Level Two breach, and Buck by umpires Peter Willey and Steve O’Shaughnessy for delivering an accidental high full pitched ball in a Twenty20 fixture against Yorkshire, a Level One breach.

 

CALL FOR LEAGUE TO GO 

TO ALL-ELECTRONIC SCORING

[1388-6713]

 

Attempts by Devon Cricket League (DCL) management officials to have all of its thirty clubs score games electronically has not been a success, according to an article in the ‘Plymouth Herald’ last week.  As a result run rates, not the Duckworth-Lewis system, are used to set target scores in DCL matches where rain intervenes, something that led Plymstock skipper James Nichols to complain to the ‘Herald’ needs changing after his side lost a rain-affected game against Axminster on run-rate.

 

Nichols is quoted as saying his side "outplayed [Axminster] in every department and had we played a full 45-over game they would not have got anywhere near our total”.  “They were six wickets down when they won, and on a difficult deck to bat on they were struggling against our spinners”.  “When it rains, run-rate massively favours the side batting second and it means our best bowlers can’t bowl as many overs”.  In his view: “The league really has to look at adopting the Duckworth-Lewis method as a fairer way of deciding rain-affected games”.

 

The ‘Herald’ says that Plymstock aren’t the first side to complain this season about wet weather rules, but until now "costs have prevented the use of the Duckworth-Lewis system”.  The newspaper’s report says that when it was last investigated a couple of years ago by a league administrator the license would have cost the DCL £2,500 ($A4,600) a season.  Nichols says a cheaper option would be to get all DCL scorers to use laptops fitted with 'Total Cricket Scorer’ (TCS) software as it has built-in Duckworth-Lewis calculations.

 

However, of the DCL’s thirty clubs, only seventeen use ’TCS’ for scoring, eight of the ten at Premier level, seven of the ten in the A Division, and two of ten in B Division.  Until every club has the software the DCL has indicated that the TCS option isn’t possible.

 

PAY RISE FOR CENTRALLY CONTRACTED

PAKISTAN PLAYERS

[1388-6714]

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gave its players a "major boost in pay" as part of new central contracts awarded to them last week, say reports from Lahore.  News of the increase came a few days after PCB chairman Najam Sethi announced that recent changes to International Cricket Council organisational arrangements mean that his board could earn in the order of $US450 million ($A476 million) in the next eight-year cycle of international cricket, the average potentially being close to $A60 million per year (PTG 1384-6692, 2 July 2014). 

 

In a country where the average annual wage is reported to be around 990,000 Rupees ($A10,700),  A rated players will receive 550,000 Rupees for a Test, B players 480,000 and those rated C or D 410,000, a range from $A6,000 to $A5,200 to $A4,400).  One Day International (ODI) match fees will now be 363,000, 303,000 and 242,000 Rupees respectively ($A4,000-$A3,300-$A2,600), and those for a Twenty20 International (T20I) 275,000, 220,000 and 165,000 Rupees ($A3,000-$A2,400-$A1,800); squad members who are not in the playing XI being entitled to half of the match fee for the format being played. 

 

The match fees are in addition to the monthly retainers that are paid to centrally contracted players, those in category A for example earning a monthly fee of close to 400,000 Rupees ($A4,300), or around $A51,600 per year.   The PCB has also increased the additional "special allowance” it provides its national captain, who will now be paid 50,000 Rupees for a Test ($A540) and 25,000 for a ODI ($A270) "regardless of the fact whether he plays in them or not".

 

In addition, the PCB has also promised players a 250 per cent bonus on top of the match fees they earn if they win a series against any of the top three ranked teams in the ICC rankings, currently Australia, South Africa and Pakistan themselves.  Should they win an event such as the World Cup, Champions Trophy, World Twenty20 Championship series or the Asia Cup, the bonuses all rise to 300 per cent of the respective match fee.  Some players are said to have expressed unhappiness over the fact that the board has dropped the bonus of 100 per cent of their match fees for winning individual games as applied in the last set of central contracts.

 

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif told reporters that while the increase in match fees is welcome, "I would have liked to see the board increasing the Test match fees more compared to the other two formats as this would have encouraged the young players to try and win a Test cap”.  "At present, Pakistan is playing far more one-day and T20 matches in a year, and a player knows that if he can manage to play certain amount of [ODIs] and [T20Is] he can earn far more than what he would be earning by playing in just Test matches”.  

 

Latif’s view is that with "more and more foreign T20 leagues coming up", there is "a danger that the youngsters and seniors opt to just focus on limited over games rather than Test matches”.  Over the remainder of the current calendar year the Pakistan side is scheduled to play seven Tests, eleven ODIs and four T20Is.  An A rated player who appears in all of those games could earn around $A98,000 over the next six months in match fees alone, and those at the lowest C-D levels around $A66,000.  For the seven Tests player’s earnings for all games would range from $A30,800-42,000, but in contrast the fifteen shorter format games would pay an individual $A36,000-56,000.

 

ENGLAND-INDIA TEST SCHEDULE 

‘A LITTLE BIT CRAZY'

[1388-6715]

 

England fast bowler Stuart Broad yesterday described the scheduling of his side’s forthcoming Test series against India as “a little bit crazy”.  The teams are to play five matches over the next six weeks, which translates to twenty-five days of Test cricket over forty-two days, a situation Broad says doesn’t allow a lot of time to rest.  Broad indicated that he’s "got a bit of a sore knee at the moment [and] it's a constant annoyance”.  "It will get sorted when there's a window, but I can play cricket with it”, however,  he was prepared for the prospect of being rested at some point in the series.

 

‘SEVERE ATTITUDE PROBLEM’ 

RESULTS IN SIX-MONTH BAN

[1388-6716]

 

Bangladesh all-rounder and former national captain Shakib Al Hasan has been banned for six months by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) because what it called a "severe attitude problem”.  BCB president Nazmul Hassan said the twenty-seven-year-old has been punished for "serious misbehaviour" towards new coach Chandika Hathurusingha and that his attitude problem is "unprecedented in the history of Bangladesh cricket”.

 

The BCB board yesterday voted unanimously to ban Shakib from both domestic and international cricket and he has not been granted the 'No Objection Certificate' which would allow him to compete in domestic competitions outside Bangladesh, including the Caribbean Premier League, the 2014 edition of which starts this weekend, an event he was called back from by his national board last weekend (PTG 1387-6707, 6 July 2014).  As a result he will miss Bangladesh's tour of the West Indies which starts next month, and will only complete his ban a month before next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

 

The BCB president said Shakib's behaviour had impacted directly on the team.  "We want to give a clear message, if his behaviour is repeated, he might be banned for life” for there "will be no compromise when it comes to discipline”.  Shakib is Bangladesh's leading wicket-taker in Tests having taken 122 in 34 Tests, and only two players have scored more than his 2,278 runs.

 

UMPIRE TREADS THE BOARDS 

AS AN UMPIRE

[1388-6717]

 

A new one-act play that has a Yorkshire Dales cricket umpire as a central part of the story is to premier at an arts festival in Derbyshire this weekend, and tour parts of northern England over the next few months.   The play, which is titled 'Godfrey’s Last Stand', has been written by playwright Alan Stockdill, is about a man with half a century in the game behind him who has the chance to live his lifelong dream of officiating at a match between England and Australia.

 

Stockdill has cast Keith Royston, an experienced Huddersfield thespian who is also an umpire in the Huddersfield Cricket League in real-life, in the role of Godfrey. The playwright told his local newspaper that he wrote the play with Royston in mind, however, the actor, who joined Huddersfield Thespians back in 1959, is eager to play down his role. “It’s very flattering”, he says, “but the really important thing is that Alan has written this play himself and the fact that it’s about cricket is just a bonus for me and I’m enjoying doing it”.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,389
Friday, 11 July 2014

INITIAL NET TRIALS FOR LATEST

VERSION OF DAY-NIGHT PINK BALL

[1389-6718]

 

Cricket Australia (CA) have trialled a new version of a pink ball as it works towards what it hopes will be the first day-night Test in November next year in a series against New Zealand (PTG 1383-6688, 1 July 2014).  Australia’s player’s union released a survey of its members last week that showed they have considerable concerns about the version of the pink ball used in a trial in Sheffield Shield games last March, a matter that is worrying New Zealand player’s union (PTG 1388-6711, 8 July 2014), but CA appears confident it will be able to overcome player's reservations prior to next year’s Test.

 

Australian manufacturer ‘Kookaburra’ are said to have "tested a new, harder version of the pink ball" with CA's National Performance Squad (NPS) during a net session in Brisbane yesterday.  Ross Thompson, Kookaburra's Head of Cricket Ball Production, said in an article posted on CA’s web site last night that the new version of the ball featured a harder inner core and more durable stitching that was now green, like those on white balls used in limited-overs cricket, instead of the white of last March.  Thompson watched the NPS net session as did Australian player’s union Manager of Cricket Operations Graham Manou.

 

Of the players at the net session, Western Australia fast bowler Jason Behrendorff said: “The ball held its shine reasonably well on one side, but it still scuffs and gets soft a little bit on the other side at times, especially if the batter hits it into the wicket or if it’s quite abrasive then it might go pear-shaped a little bit quickly”.  “They’ve made some good gains and hopefully we can continue to see that in the future.”  New South Wales batsman Ryan Carters said “it was a brand new ball so it’s a little bit hard to tell what it would have been like once it got a bit older, but it certainly felt good on the bat as a new ball”.  

 

Leg-spinner James Muirhead found "is that it’s very similar to the red ball and it holds its shape pretty well” and “as a spin bowler it feels quite nice in the hands and I can’t really pick any negatives out of the pink ball”.  “It’s a very balanced ball, the white ball can get a bit wobbly at some stages, and the red ball gets a bit out of shape as it gets older, but the pink ball holds its shape really well”.  Just how many deliveries were sent down with the new ball at the net session is not known.

 

Sean Cary, CA's senior manager of cricket operations, stressed that the ball is a work in progress and that: "We need to work with the players to manage their expectations".  "They adapt to playing in different conditions from going to the ‘Gabba’ [in Brisbane] to Adelaide Oval, going from Australia to India, from India to the United Kingdom. They adapt to playing with a ‘Kookaburra' ball compared to a ‘Duke’ ball”.  "[The players] probably underestimate how well they do adapt to change and I can't see why going from a red ball to a pink ball is going to be that big of a difference for them”.  Cary also noted though, as has CA chief executive James Sutherland a number of times over the last three years, that "players need to accept that the pink ball will not be able to truly replicate the traditional red one".  

 

Cary  went on to say: “our aim is to get a ball for round two of the 2014-15 Shield competition [in November] to be as close to the ball that we’re going to have used in the following year in a Test match”.  He indicated that feedback will be gathered from yesterday's net session and more testing will be conducted in "various conditions”.  If we need to continually work on the ball in [2015] then ‘Kookaburra' are open to working with us to make sure we get the ball right”.  He thinks though “we’ve got plenty of time between now and then to bring the players along for the ride”.

 

SOUTH AFRICANS THE NEUTRALS FOR

ZIMBABWE-AFGHANISTAN ODI SERIED

[1389-6719]

 

South Africans Devdas Govindjee and Johan Cloete have been named as the neutral officials for the four-match One Day International (ODI) series between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan which will be played in Bulawayo later this month.  Govindjee, a member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier Regional Referees Panel, will work in that capacity during the series while Cloete, an ICC second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) member, will stand in all four matches.

 

Cloete’s umpiring colleagues during the series are expected to be Zimbabwe’s IUP members Russell Tiffin, Owen Chirombe and Jerry Matibiri, who will work either alongside Cloete on the field or as the third and fourth umpires.  The series will take Cloete’s ODI record to 41 matches and Govindjee to 27 as a referee.  Prior to the series getting underway Tiffin’s ODI record stands at 130 on-field, 31 as the third umpire and 2 as a reserve (130/31/2), Chirombe 12/11/8 and Matibiri 3/15/9.  

 

Tiffin is currently number nine on the all-time ODI umpire games list and, after ‘Billy’ Bowden of New Zealand and Aleem Dar of Pakistan, the third-most experienced umpire in that format of the international game still active at that level.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,390
Monday, 14 July 2014

COMPETITION'S ‘VOLUNTEERS’ TO BE 

SUPERSEDED BY ‘MANAGERS’? 

[1390-6720]

 

Volunteer members of a committee that has administered Victoria’s top club and first class feeder competition for 100 years, are to vote on a proposal tonight that seeks to abolish the group and hand over its management activities to Cricket Victoria (CV) staff, says Melbourne’s ‘Herald Sun’ newspaper.  The Pennant Committee, which is made up of representatives nominated by five clubs, is responsible for grounds, fixturing, playing dates, player registrations, umpires, disputes and all rules and regulations that govern the competition, some of its members also being involved in player disciplinary matters.

 

CV chairman Geoff Tamblyn told the ‘Herald Sun’ that the committee, which was established when the competition was formed in 1906-07, had served state cricket well, but that it is time for "a more professional approach" to managing Premier Cricket.  “There have been various discussions with [club] presidents and the delegates about whether Premier Cricket would be better served by having management run it, that Cricket Victoria take total control rather than have it in the hands of volunteers”, said Tamblyn, his board and CV management personnel being "very much in favour of seeing a change".

 

Tamblyn went on to say: “It’s about good governance, how the system should run”.  He pointed to the fact that in the early 1970s CV "had three employees - the secretary, the assistant secretary and Frank Tyson”, but “now you have over 65 full-time staff”.  He is said to have acknowledged there had been “perceptions’’ of conflicts of interest involving members of Pennant Committees, but indicated he couldn’t remember a case where anyone’s impartially could seriously be questioned.  CV’s Premier Cricket manager, Mike Ronchi, said the competition was becoming “semi-professional’’ and “it just needs full-time administrators to push the game forward’’.

 

WCC TO BE BRIEFED 

ON ICC REVAMP 

[1390-6721]

 

The recent restructure of International Cricket Council (ICC) operations (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014), is to be considered by members of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) during its meeting at Lord’s today and tomorrow, although to what end is not clear.  England and Wales Cricket Board Chairman Giles Clarke, one of the driving forces behind the ICC revamp, ICC chief executive David Richardson, and former ICC president Ehsan Mani, the latter who spoke out strongly against the changes as originally proposed (PTG 1278-6156, 28 January 2014), will be attending the meeting to provide details of the revamp and take questions from committee members, says the MCC.

 

Also during the next two days John Stephenson, the MCC's Head of Cricket, and Fraser Stewart the club’s Cricket Academy Manager, are to give presentations on what are described as "numerous issues” related to the Laws and Playing Regulations, including the prospect of day-night Tests played with pink balls, the size of bats, and illegal bowling actions.  Like Richardson, Stephenson is a member of the ICC’s Cricket Committee, a group which discussed such issues at its 2014 meeting a month ago (PTG 1,371, 7 June 2014). 

 

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards is to lead discussions about the next steps in the women’s game including the development of professional contracts for women, and the proposed International Women’s Championship (PTG 1390-6722 below); while Stephenson and WCC member Rahul Dravid are to cover "the various issues" facing the Indian Premier League following its seventh edition earlier this year, one matter being "the link between the competition and the MCC Spirit of Cricket initiative”.

 

In what will be his final WCC meeting, former Pakistan captain Majid Khan is to provide a presentation on "the state of cricket in Pakistan and steps being taken to repair the damage done by the 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore”.  The meeting will also receive an update on developments in China and Zimbabwe as well as the issues facing ICC Associate countries since the ICC restructure.  There will also be a discussion on "corruption in world cricket".

 

The MCC describes the WCC as an "independent body" comprised of current and former international players and officials from around the world.  Former England captain Mike Brearley is the current WCC chairman, his members for this week’s meeting being: Dravid; Edwards; Richardson; Majid Khan; Jimmy Adams; Steve Bucknor; Rod Marsh; Tim May; Shaun Pollock; Kumar Sangakkara; Andrew Strauss; Michael Vaughan; and Steve Waugh.

 

ICC ANNOUNCES NEW WOMEN'S

 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

[1390-6722]

 

The world’s top eight national women’s teams are to take part in the inaugural Women’s Championship that will see them play each other in three One Day Internationals (ODI), either at home or away, over the next two years.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) says the Championship has been developed to create "a more extensive and meaningful bilateral playing program for women's cricket”, and comes after a proposal for a Women’s International Cricket League was rejected by ICC members (PTG 1369-6616, 5 June 2014).

 

Under ICC plans points will be awarded for each ODI, the top four sides at the conclusion of the first Championship gaining automatic qualification to the Women’s World Cup of 2017 which is to be hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (PTG 1385-6697, 3 July 2014).  The bottom four sides will have a second chance to qualify through a Qualifier series in 2017 that will see them joined by six regional qualifiers.  The first round of the new series will see Australia play Pakistan on home soil, while England will host India, Sri Lanka will host South Africa, and the West Indies will host New Zealand. 

 

In announcing the new Championship event, ICC chief executive David Richardson said it: "provides another fantastic opportunity" for women’s cricket along with a recent decision to hold a stand-alone Women’s World Twenty20 tournament every four years, alternately with the on-going joint men’s and women’s World Twenty20.

 

Chair of the ICC Women’s Committee, Clare Connor, said the new "Championship is an exciting new initiative that represents a significant step in the continued development of women’s cricket”  "The multi-year structure provides regular playing opportunities for the leading women’s teams, as well as clear context around bi-lateral series that provides a competitive pathway into the Women’s World Cup [of] 2017”.

 

REMOVE RESTRICTIONS ON SHORT-PITCHED 

BOWLING, SAYS FORMER WINDIES QUICK

[1390-6723]

 

Former West Indian fast bowler Curtly Ambrose believes the game’s administrators need to make Test matches more exciting by creating quicker pitches and removing restrictions on short-pitched bowling.  Ambrose said in an interview with 'Standard Sport’ last week that in his view if such changes are not made the level of interest in the five-day format will continue to decline.

 

Ambrose said that the two-bouncers-per-over rule which restricts the number of short-pitched balls a fast bowler can deliver has taken away a lot of the flair from cricket and “the International Cricket Council needs to look at it again”.  “If a fast bowler can bowl only a limited number of short balls, you’re taking away a weapon from him”.  "If a batsman is playing the hook shot, the fast bowler needs to be able to see whether that was a fluke, or whether he is serious”.  "Of course, the umpire should step in if the bowler is overdoing it but don’t take away the excitement. It’s so difficult for a fast bowler today”.

 

In Ambrose’s view "things are very one-sided today [as] it's all about the batsmen, while some of the wickets are so slow and low that it is difficult to play well”.  "If you go to a Test match and there is no excitement, it is going to turn people off. If there is a good fast bowler who can rattle the batsman, people enjoy that. When a batsman takes on a fast bowler, people love that competition, regardless of which teams are playing. That is certainly the case in the Caribbean”.

 

SPINNER BANNED AFTER TESTING 

SHOWS HIS ACTION ‘ILLEGAL'

[1390-6724]

 

Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake has been banned from bowling in international cricket after being found to have an illegal action.  Senanayake, 29, was reported by umpires during a One Day International (ODI) against England at Lord’s a month ago (PTG 1367-6608, 3 June 2014), and “comprehensive" laboratory testing at Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU) showed “all of his deliveries" transgress the 15-degree elbow extension permitted by the International Cricket Council (PTG 1372-6636, 8 June 2014). 

 

A statement issued by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) over the weekend said that the CMU report "concludes that Sachithra bowled with an illegal bowling action and consequently he is banned from bowling in international cricket, effective immediately” and that the "matter will be referred to the SLC Cricket Committee for their recommendation”.  Senanayake, who played in the three-match ODI series against South Africa that ended on Saturday, first underwent biomechanics testing three years ago after being reported during a Sri Lanka A tour of England but was cleared on that occasion. 

 

ICC regulations allow the spinner to apply for a re-assessment after he has undertaken work to modify his current bowling action.

 

NO MATCH OFFICIAL 

IMPORTS FOR CPL-2?

[1390-6725]

 

West Indies based match officials managed the opening three games of this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL-2) Twenty20 series played on the island of Grenada over the weekend.  The inaugural event last year saw CPL organisers employ then former International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel member 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand and South African Mike Proctor a former ICC match referee, and thus become the third high-profile 'national domestic' T20 event, after those of Indian and Bangladesh, to contract match officials from outside its playing region (PTG 1158-5601, 31 July 2013).  

 

Hayden Bruce of Trinidad of Tobago was the match referee for the three Grenada games, the umpires being his countryman Peter Nero, Nigel Duguid of Guyana and Patrick Gustard of Jamaica, who each had two games on-field and another as the third umpire.  That trio are members of the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) twelve-man Senior Umpires Panel, Nero and Duguid also being on the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel.  The three were amongst nine WICB umpires who stood in CPL-1 last year, Bruce along with Proctor being the match referees (PTG 1179-5692, 26 August 2014). 

 

The reserve umpire in al three Grenada games was Deighton Butler, a former Windward Islands medium-fast bowler who played five One Day Internationals and a single Twenty20 International (T20I) for the West Indies ten years ago.  Butler, who turns 40 next Friday, appeared as an umpire in WICB matches last year, first in a Caribbean-wide Under-15 series in Jamaica in July, then in an Under-19 limited overs tournament on the island of St Kitts the month after that.  Over the last twelve months he has been the fourth umpire in two T20Is and several first class games, but is yet to debut at the latter level as an umpire. 

 

PCB ASKS ICC FOR ADVICE 

ON REVIEW OF MALIK LIFE BAN    

[1390-6726]

 

Pakistan officials are reported to have asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) for advice following former captain Salim Malik's plea to have the life ban handed to him in 2000 for match-fixing removed.  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is said to have written to the ICC after Malik criticised the PCB for refusing to review his life ban after a court declared the life ban handed to him “illegal" (PTG 1338-6464, 24 April 2014).

 

Malik argued in his meeting with PCB chairman Najam Sethi that the board should clarify the position with the ICC.  A "senior PCB official" told Reuters last week that “we have asked the ICC to look into the documents provided by Malik and provide us with guidance on what can be done in his case”.  Malik told the news agency he was delighted to learn about the action being taken by the PCB.  "I served Pakistan cricket for 19 years and nobody can return the 14 years of torture I have been through”.  He wants "to be vindicated in my stand that I am innocent and I want to serve Pakistan cricket in some capacity”.

 

PLAYER CONSIDERING APPEAL 

AGAINST SIX-MONTH ‘ATTITUDE’ BAN   

[1390-6727]

 

Reports from Dhaka yesterday say that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will not give Sakib al Hasan a specific written explanation as to just why he was given a six-month ban last week.  The all-rounder and former national captain was handed the suspension by the BCB because of what it said was "multiple disciplinary breaches and a severe attitude problem” (PTG 1388-6716, 8 July 2014). 

 

Sakib is said to be waiting for written advice from the BCB before deciding whether he will appeal against the ban, but according to the BCB's acting chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury such advice "is unnecessary" and he can appeal at any time.  Nizamuddin told reporters on Saturday that last week’s BCB "media release [about the ban] can be considered as a universal document in this regard”.  

 

LEAGUE HOPES PLAYER BANS 

WILL SERVE NOTICE TO OTHERS

[1390-6728]

 

The Devon Cricket League (DCL) are reported to be hoping that bans handed out to three players from Paignton will make others in the competition think about their behaviour during matches, according to Torquay’s ‘Herald Express’ newspaper.  The trio, skipper Connor Bryan, George Benton and George Yates, have been banned for a combined total of five matches after being reported for their behaviour during a match against Budleigh Salterton.

 

Umpires Andy White and Marilyn MacQueen lodged complaints against the trio and Bryan was subsequently suspended for two matches "under regulations relating to unfair play”, Benton also for two matches for showing dissent to an umpire and using bad language, and Yates for one game for using bad language on the field.

 

DCL chairman Stuart Munday told the ‘Herald’ that reports reaching him suggested standards of behaviour are declining and if clubs won't do something about it the league will.  "Responsibility for how players conduct themselves lies with the clubs”, said Munday, and club “chairmen should be saying to captains it is their job to cut out the nonsense on the pitch”.  “If that means going in the dressing room half an hour before a match to get the message across so be it".

 

"Players should be looking at the bans given to the Paignton players and be saying to themselves 'we don't want that happening to us’”, continued Munday.  "The majority of games pass off without any sort of incident at all, but there is too much dissent, bad language and childish behaviour coming in to our great game and it has to stop”.

 

Munday said one thing to emerge from the disciplinary hearing was the need for umpires to attend in person.  "The rules don't demand umpires to turn up, only that it is desirable if they do”.  In the case of the Paignton players "there was some dispute over some of the facts and it makes it difficult to decide what went on when one of the parties is not there [and] we will be looking to bring in a new rule that umpires have to attend in future”. 

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,391
Wednesday, 16 July 2014

BCCI NOT SITTING ON 'POTS 

OF MONEY’, SAYS SRINIVASAN

[1391-6729]

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not sitting on "pots of money” and shares its revenues with players and state associations for promoting the sport, according to comments attributed yesterday to Narayanswamy Srinivasan, the new chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).  Srinivasan, who has been BCCI chairman for the past seven years, was speaking in Chennai at what the Press Trust of India (PTI) last night called a "felicitation function” to mark his elevation within the ICC, an event organised by the local Chamber of Commerce and Management Association.

 

Srinivasan is said to have claimed that the "BCCI is often much misunderstood [for] you really do not hear what [the organisation] has done”.  “Since 2004 it has generated more revenue through media rights and sponsorships, at the same time ensuring returns for all of its twenty-five state members.  He indicated that twenty-six per cent of earnings was given to players both at the international and domestic level, and described the BCCI as "a not-for-profit organisation” as it "committed to its members, association and players".

 

An average player in the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI’s main domestic first class competition, who was earning mere "hundreds” of Rupees in the past, now earns about 35,000 Rupees ($A625) a day, a situation that “makes cricket a viable career option today”, said Srinivasan, who gave that as an example of "what we have done to them”.  The BCCI also "provides pensions to former cricketers and umpires”, something “we looked into it on our own and did it without fanfare" 

 

The PTI reports states that Srinivasan also said the BCCI was giving a grant of 500 million Rupees ($A8.9 million) "to each of its state associations", and that cricket academies had been set up "in various places like Rajkot, Ranchi, Pune”.  [“The money generated by the BCCI] is given back to the game for creating more playgrounds, more facilities, more infrastructure [for Indian cricket]".  "Today the avenues and opportunities for cricketers to improve their skills are huge”, he said, adding all these initiatives were backed up by "strong administration" and in a "systematic" way.  The “focus is not only on cricket but also on everything that surrounds it including the infrastructure, the spectators, etc.”, said Srinivasan.

 

MANAGERS REPLACE VOLUNTEERS IN VICTORIA

[1391-6730]

 

A Cricket Victoria delegates meeting voted on Monday evening to abolish the volunteer-based committee that has run the top club competition in that state for over a Century, the role of what was the Pennant Committee now passing to administrators at Cricket Victoria (CV).  The Pennant Committee, which was made up of five representatives nominated by clubs, was responsible for grounds, fixturing, playing dates, player registrations, umpires, disputes and all rules and regulations that govern the competition, some of its members also being involved in player disciplinary matters (PTG 1390-6720, 14 July 2014).

 

CV Chairman Geoff Tamblyn indicated in an item posted on CV’s web site yesterday that the decision will further the development of the competition.  He said  that “there have been various discussions with the presidents and the delegates over the past twelve to eighteen months about whether Premier Cricket would be better served by having full time CV staff and management run it, rather than rely on volunteers to oversee our top flight grade of cricket".

 

Mike Ronchi, CV's Premier Cricket Strategy and Development Manager,  said the competition will always be indebted to Pennant Committees of the past "who have dedicated their time and energies as volunteers to administer our great game”.  He described the endorsement for the changes as "very pleasing”.  "The fact that we now have the faith and assurance of the clubs to be entrusted with the management of our state's finest cricket competition gives us the confidence and an opportunity to work alongside all stakeholders in pushing a vision for what is best, not only for the Premier Cricket competition but for Victorian cricket”, said Ronchi.

 

ANDERSON FACING LUNCH BREAK 

MISCONDUCT CHARGE

[1391-6731]

 

England bowler James Anderson has been charged with misconduct by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following claims he abused and pushed India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja immediately after the teams left the field for lunch on day two of last week's Trent Bridge Test.  The Level three complaint against Anderson was lodged with the ICC by Indian team manager Sunil Dev following consultation with several of his players and coach Duncan Fletcher, Dev notifying match referee David Boon of Australia about the matter.

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board, who called the incident “minor” in a statement, said Anderson "categorically denies the accusations" and has lodged its own complaint against Jadeja.  It is alleged that the offence followed a verbal altercation between the pair as they were walking from the field.  Anderson is reported to have indicated Jadeja moved towards him "in a threatening manner” and he in turn "put his hands up in defence and it was all over in a couple of seconds”.

 

Dev told ‘Cricinfo’ that “everyone [he consulted] complained that [Anderson] physically touched [Jadeja] and pushed him”.  "It was all over the dressing room”.  "It is serious matter only because you can't push anybody. So I put in a complaint with the match referee”.

 

Anderson's charge, which is in relation to "conduct that is either contrary to the spirit of the game or brings the game into disrepute”, could be heard as soon as today ahead of the second Test between the two sides which is due to start at Lord's tomorrow.  Under ICC regulations all Level 3 breaches, which are adjudicated on by a Judicial Commissioner, carry a penalty of between four and eight Suspension Points, two suspension points equating to a ban of one Test, or two One Day Internationals, depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player.

 

CHARITY GROUP PLANNING 

HIGH-LEVEL MATCH

[1391-6731]

 

A group of players from South Africa and other parts of the world are planning to play a Twenty20 match in aid of a number of charities on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa’s highest peak, in September.  Retired South African player Makhaya Ntini told the 'Sunday Times' that he has been invited to take part in the match and that it will be played at an elevation of 5,785 metres, slightly below the mountain’s 5,895 metre high peak, and as such it is being billed as the “highest match” ever played.

 

Ntini, who "gets to play cricket where no one has ever played before”, said proceeds from the match will be donated to organisations working on research into cancer and those fighting rhino poaching.  Organiser David Harper said he came up with the idea after a sarcastic remark from his wife that "he could only play cricket at the highest level if he played on top of a mountain”.  Harper said the match will be played under "official T20 rules".

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,392
Thursday, 17 July 2014

CALL FOR ‘BIG THREE’ TO SET OUT A

LONG-TERM VISION FOR THE GAME

[1392-6733]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to establish a long-term strategy that will "deliver positive change" for the game in the years ahead, says the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC), a view it formulated after discussions during its mid-year meeting at Lord’s on Monday-Tuesday on the recent restructure of the ICC (PTG 1390-6721, 14 July 2014).  With the ICC’s current strategic plan due to end next year, the WCC believes that the prime movers behind ICC changes, the national Boards of Australia, England and India, the so-called ‘Big Three’, have a "responsibility [to work] for the good of the game” as a whole, and that includes establishing "a clear vision” for the future.

The WCC expressed concern yesterday that "Australia, England and India will receive a substantially larger proportion" of revenues generated from ICC events to be held over the eight years from 2016-23 than the other seven ICC full members.  In the committee’s assessment, there is "a real prospect the strong will get stronger, to the detriment of competition in the game”, although it admits "it is too early to judge adequately the effect of this disparity in payments to member countries”.  It considers though the creation of a 'Test match fund' that is to distributed to the other seven full members, and the potential for an ICC Associate member country to play Test cricket in the future, as positive developments.  

 

While it "accepts that change of some form was required at the ICC” and “it is impossible for [it] to judge the motives of the three nations in their actions, the WCC wants "to ensure review processes are set up [within the world body] and adhered to, in order to ensure the health of all ICC members”.  “Transparent monitoring of the new structure needs to be introduced”, it says, and proposes that be done via "four-yearly reviews to measure progress and fairness in the way ICC conducts its affairs". 

 

A statement issued by the MCC yesterday says that key input to WCC considerations of the ICC restructure came from what it called "contrasting presentations” about the matter from England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke, one of three key men behind changes at the world body, and former ICC president Ehsan Mani, who earlier this year expressed his concern about the revamp as originally proposed. 

 

Established in April 2006, the WCC is an independent body comprised of current and former international players and umpires from across the globe.  It meets twice yearly to discuss prevalent issues in the game and acts as a complementary body to ICC and its constituent nations. Prior to this week’s meeting it last met in the United Arab Emirates in January (PTG 1270, 16 January 2014).

 

BAT SIZE LAW TO REMAIN 

UNCHANGED ‘FOR NOW'

[1392-6734]

 

Modern bat design has not yet tipped the balance between bat and ball sufficiently far in favour of the batsman as to warrant a change to the Laws of Cricket “for now", says the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC).  That position was arrived at after those present at the WCC’s mid-year meeting earlier this week were unable to reach a satisfactory consensus on the issue, however, concerns were such that it was recommended the MCC continue to "closely monitor this aspect of the game".

 

A considerable part of the WCC’s discussions appears to have centred around a study carried out into One Day Internationals (ODI) played over the last thirty-five years that shows the number of boundaries, especially sixes, being hit in each innings of a match have, in the WCC’s words "increased dramatically".

 

That work was complimented by research into the size of bats through the decades conducted at the request of the MCC by Imperial College London.  It had a focus on the thickness of bat edges and depths and demonstrated, said the WCC in a statement yesterday, and found that modern bats "have bigger sweet spots, with much larger edges, and that the ball goes further when hit closer to the edge". 

 

The WCC is said to have "debated the pros and cons of the increase in ODI sixes", including such matters as how boundaries are received by those watching the game both at the ground and on television, as well as the apparent prevalence of mis-hits now going against the bowler that clear the boundary.  The group also discussed the importance for boundaries themselves to be pushed out as far as possible, within health and safety regulations, to further prevent bowlers from being disadvantaged (PTG 1371-6631, 7 June 2014). 

 

MEANING OF ‘MANKAD’ LAW CLEAR, NO

‘SPIRIT’ VIOLATION INVOLVED, SAYS WCC

[1392-6735]

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) considered the Law that relates to a bowler running out the non-striker during its meeting at Lord’s on Monday-Tuesday, and concluded its meaning "is clear and the act is not against the Spirit of Cricket”.  The WCC reviewed the Law in light of last month's dismissal of Jos Buttler in a One Day International between England and Sri Lanka at Edgbaston (PTG 1368-6610, 4 June 2014), saying in a statement issued yesterday that its "unanimous view" "was unequivocal in its belief that the Law, as written, does not require any alteration".  

 

If the non-striker is out of his ground earlier than allowed in either the Laws of Cricket or International Playing Conditions, the details of which are slightly different as to just when the bowler can attempt the run out (PTG 905-4398, 22 February 2012), "then [that batsman] can have no complaints should he be dismissed in this manner”, says the WCC.  The group goes on to state: "Furthermore, the committee believes it was not against the Spirit of Cricket to uphold such an appeal, and urges batsmen to ensure they do not try to gain an unfair advantage by moving out of their crease before the appropriate time”.

 

A posting on 'The Laws Blog' section of the MCC's web site soon after Buttler’s dismissal said that there is "nothing in the Law" which states the bowler must warn the batsman first, and "it could be argued” bowler Sachithra Senanayake, who had previously given Buttler a warning, "was being generous" in doing so.  It then went on to "encourage" bowlers to give such a warning, something the MCC has not mentioned in two previous attempts to explain the background to 'Mankad'-like dismissals (PTG 1370-6624, 6 June 2014).

 

The ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) expressed the view around the same time that current Laws and Playing Conditions provide a "sensible balance" between preventing a batsman from gaining an advantage whilst at the same time preventing the bowler from "unfairly seducing the batsman into leaving his crease by faking to deliver and then holding on to the ball” (PTG 1371-6632, 7 June 2014).  

 

JADEJA CHARGED AFTER ‘TIT-FOR-TAT’

RESPONSE FROM ENGLAND TEAM MANAGER

[1392-6736]

 

Indian all-rounnder Ravindra Jadeja has been charged with misconduct by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his alleged altercation with England’s James Anderson after they left the field for lunch last Thursday during their side’s opening Test match at Trent Bridge (PTG 1391-6731, 16 July 2014).  Indian team manager Sunil Dev  reported Anderson to the ICC and England team manager Phil Neale has now reciprocated by doing the same in regards to Jadeja, moves from both camps that came despite reports the ICC attempted to resolve the matter.

 

Like Anderson, Jadeja has been charged in relation to "conduct that is either contrary to the spirit of the game or brings the game into disrepute”, however, the Indian’s is a Level Two offence whereas the Englishman’s is a Level Three.  All Level Two breaches carry a fine of between 50-100 per cent of a player’s applicable match fee and a ban of either one Test or two One Day Internationals (ODI) depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player.  Level Three offences can attract a ban of between two and four Tests or four to eight ODIs.

 

While the incident, which the England and Wales Cricket Board described in a press release as “minor”, occurred last Thursday, formal charges against Anderson were not laid until Tuesday.  ‘Cricinfo’ reported overnight that it understands an ICC lawyer "flew to England on Friday” in an attempt to resolve the issue between the two sides, however, he or she was unsuccessful and Dev lodged his complaint that Anderson "pushed and abused" Jadeja with the ICC on Sunday evening.  

 

England captain Alastair Cook yesterday suggested to journalists India were trying to eliminate Anderson from matches in the four remaining Tests and “we’re surprised it’s come to the situation it’s come to”.  His counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni later insisted Jadeja had been “blameless" in the incident and his side were simply following ICC guidelines that bar physical contact, something Anderson has denied occurred.  Both the charged players are expected to play in the second Test between the two sides when it gets underway at Lord’s today.  Reports suggest an ICC commissioner is to look into the charges against the pair “within fourteen days”, a period during which the third Test is to be played in Southampton.

 

ICC ACSU REVIEW CALLED ‘CRUCIAL’ IN 

FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION

[1392-6737]

 

Improved communication and multi-jurisdictional co-operation between the member Boards of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is needed to improve the fight against corruption in the game, says the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC).  The WCC said in a statement issued yesterday following its meeting at Lord’s earlier in the week, that the threat of corruption is constant, particularly in domestic televised games, and approaches to players by those involved in betting rings are still being attempted.

 

Aware that the ICC is currently reviewing its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), the WCC called for the it to have a full-time leader appointed who will ensure member Boards work together to increase the collective database of information relating to player approaches. The WCC called the ACSU review “crucial [for] with the right structure, systems and leadership in place, and ensuring that the budget is sufficient, the game will be better placed to deal with this major problem".

 

SRI LANKA MULL WAY AHEAD 

FOR SPINNER SENANAYAKE

[1392-6738]

 

Despite tests indicating Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake's elbow flexes between thirty-six and forty-three degrees during some deliveries, considerably more than the fifteen degrees allowed in internationals, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are reported to be confident his action can be modified in time to take part in the World Cup in six months time.  Senanayake was tested at Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU) last month after being reported by umpires during a One Day International (ODI) against England at Lord’s (PTG 1390-6724, 14 July 2014).

 

SLC's cricket committee met on Monday to discuss what is needed to ensure Senanayake’s action is appropriately modified, but reports from the island nation indicate some members of the "cricket establishment" there are querying the testing procedure used to analyse Senanayake's bowling.  Both SLC and Senanayake have the option of requesting a hearing with a the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Bowling Review Group, provided they do so within fourteen days, a period that ends tomorrow.  The review group usually consists of  human-movement specialist, a former player, a former umpire, a current match referee and two ICC officials.

 

During its meeting at Lord’s on Monday-Tuesday, the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee (WCC) indicated it is pleased with testing procedures for illegal bowling actions and supportive of the ICC’s continued efforts to deal with the issue of illegal bowling actions.   The WCC said in a statement yesterday that “whilst it is unfortunate Senanayake has been suspended from bowling, it is a credit to the system that he was reported and tested promptly”.   Following its 2014 meeting six weeks ago, the ICC Cricket Committee's assessment was that there are "a number of bowlers" currently employing suspect actions in international cricket and the world body's suspect action reporting and testing procedures is not adequately scrutinising them  (PTG 1371-6630, 7 June 2014) . 

 

WCC members this week recorded their "serious concerns on this subject generally, regarding it as one of the sport’s major issues", and hoped that the continued joint ICC-MCC research into wearable sensors would soon be a workable option for match conditions.   A newspaper report last November indicated that a functioning, cheap and readily available 'wearable' technology that will enable the legitimacy of a bowler's action to be determined in near 'real-time', could be available "within two years", that is by the end of 2015 (PTG 1241-5988, 25 November 2013).   In the meantime the WCC, as did the ICC’s Cricket Committee last month, called for "vigilance and strength from the umpires to report players whose bowling actions were questionable".

 

BANGLADESH PAIR SET TO 

APPEAL THEIR BANS

[1392-6739]

 

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful is to appeal against the eight-year ban given to him by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) a month ago after he admitted helping to fix matches during the second edition of Bangladesh Premier League early last year (PTG 1377-6661, 19 June 2014).  Ashraful plans to file the appeal later this week is also said to be “hopeful" of getting access to BCB training facilities and trying to engage a trainer to put together a program so he can stay game ready.

 

In addition to Ashraful, national all-rounder Sakib al Hasan is expected to appeal “in the next two or three days” against his six-month world-wide ban given to him last week for "multiple disciplinary breaches and a severe attitude problem” (PTG 1388-6716, 8 July 2014).  Sakib reportedly spoke to acting BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury for permission for speaking to coach Chandika Hathurusinghe who lodged the complaint that led to the all-rounder’s ban.  

 

BCB’s media committee chairman Jalal Yunus hinted to journalists in Dhaka on Tuesday that there is "hardly any scope to reconsider their decision regarding Sakib even if it is recommended by Hathurusinghe”.  "It is a decision of the Board and the coach has got nothing to do with it”, said Jalal, and "both of them should only talk about practice arrangements for him during the ban". 

 

ECB DISCIPLINES TWO PLAYERS

[1392-6740]

 

Leicestershire’s Charlie Shreck and Durham’s Mark Stoneman have received penalties under the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) disciplinary code.  Shreck was reported by umpires Steve O’Shaughnessy and Graham Lloyd for "bowling a fast short pitched ball and/or accidental high full pitched ball that results in the bowler being disallowed from bowling any further in that innings”, a Level One offence, and Stoneman by umpires Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough for "showing serious dissent against an umpire’s decision by word or action”, a Level Two breach.

 

Shreck’s offence occurred during a Twenty20 match against Derbyshire played two weeks ago and received a reprimand.  Stoneman’s came during a County Championship match against Yorkshire last week and has led to him loosing three disciplinary points.  The respective penalties will remain on the pair's records for a period of two years, the accumulation of nine or more penalty points in any two-year period resulting in an automatic suspension.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,393
Friday, 18 July 2014

ICC IS RESPONSIBLE FOR INCREASE IN 

ON-FIELD MISDEMEANORS, SAYS ‘CHAPELLI' 

[1393-6741]

 

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell blames the International Cricket Council (ICC) for being unable to curb what he believes is a rise in confrontational behaviour between players during its games.  Chappell made his comments in the wake of an alleged altercation that occurred between India's Ravindra Jadeja and England's James Anderson at Trent Bridge last week, an incident that has since seen both players charged with misconduct by the ICC via complaints laid by their respective team managers (PTG 1393-6741 below).

 

Former India captain Sunil Gavaksar told the ‘Press Trust of India’ on Wednesday that some “action is due” in regards to the Anderson-Jadeja controversy.  Gavaskar feels that the "attitude in some quarters” that such things are "good for the game” has led to "more and more such incidents”.  “I have played more than one Test to know that there will always be a bit of chat but it has never been like today”, said Gavaskar, and "youngsters watching on now would feel that this is par for the course”. 

 

Several weeks ago former England, Kent and Middlesex batsman Ed Smith, said in a blog on the ‘Cricinfo’ web site in reference to a Test match between England and Sri Lanka at Headingley in late June, that “players know they can get away with murder” and its “time to stop treating umpires with contempt".  Smith’s focus on that occasion was on an extended argument involving Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews and England batsman Joe Root.

 

Television images suggest that umpire ‘Billy’ Bowden of New Zealand and his on-field colleague Steve Davis of Australia were reduced to using phrases such as, "That's enough!”,  wrote Smith, however, the argument between the two players "continued as if the umpires weren't present at all”.  “Instead of the being the ultimate authority”, Davis and Bowden "seemed to be reduced to a kind of chorus” as the two players “shouted over them".

 

Smith’s assessment is that “in the vast majority of cases, sportsmen know exactly what they are doing”.  "The players calculated that they could keep the argument going as they wished without any real sanctions being imposed on them”.  “They judged correctly”, he continued, for “they effectively called the umpires’ bluff” as no disciplinary reports appear to have been filed during that Test.

 

While its part of the job of umpires to manage difficult issues such as that involving Mathews and Root, Smith asks "what stopped [Bowden and Davis] from taking a stronger stand?”  In his view the two officials, like the players, "asked a question [of themselves] and made a calculation: 'If I actually do something here, what will happen to me, will I be backed by the ICC?’ "Will I ever be asked to umpire again if I'm deemed to have 'lost control'?”  Smith then goes on to make the claim, on the basis of what information is not clear, that "the umpires clearly felt the risks [of controlling the players] outweighed the gains”.

 

Instead of what he says is "a gradual creep towards contemptuous treatment of umpires”, Smith proposed that: "umpires be given the right to use yellow and red cards (or an equivalent system of final warning then sending off) and encouraged to use them; suspensions should follow bad behaviour; the ICC should support and promote strong umpires rather than compliant ones; fielding captains be held accountable for the actions of their team on the pitch (no more pretending that they didn't see/hear/know); and fines and bans for captains who fail to control their team”.  “After all, umpires stand on the authority of their employers”, says Smith.

 

Smith acknowledges that cricket is "played by human beings and human beings are not perfect and no one should therefore expect or want the game to be angelic".  "As a [now former] professional batsman, I never felt aggrieved when a fast bowler, having found the outside edge only for the ball to fly safely through the slips, let me know how lucky I was”, he says.  “But when players amble towards each other in the middle of a Test match, entirely in control of their emotions, stringing together long speeches of ordered prose, all spoken over the heads of the umpires… then the game has a problem”.  Instead of the usual chant of "something must be done", it is "time some things must really be done”, concluded Smith.

 

COMMISSIONER APPOINTED FOR 

ANDERSON-JADEJA HEARINGS 

[1393-6742]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed Australian Gordon Lewis as the Judicial Commissioner who will look into the misconducted charges laid against James Anderson of England and Ravindra Jadeja of India earlier this week (PTG 1392-6736, 17 July 2014).   Lewis, who is Australia’s representative on the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, is to oversee a “preliminary" hearing via telephone next Tuesday, the day after the current England-India Test at Lord’s ends, the players and officials involved being at that ground.  That meeting will be limited to looking at any basic issues that need to be cleared up, set the date of the full hearing, and explain to those involved the procedures that will be followed.  Just when the full hearing will be held is not yet known.

 

THIEVES STEAL ENTIRE 

'ASTRO TURF' PITCH 

[1393-6743]

 

Thieves stole the carpet of an entire ‘Astro Turf' practice pitch from the nets area at the St Modens Cricket Club in Bannockburn, Scotland, earlier this month.  ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper reported yesterday that the twenty-seven by four metre strip, which was part of a practice area that cost £5000 ($A9,000) to install, was “surgically removed” and the club, which plays in the Strathmore and Perthshire Union competition, is now up for a bill of “not less than £1000” ($A1,825) to replace it.

 

Club spokesman George Pollock, who is also a local solicitor, said: “We noticed it was gone when we turned up for practice” and it looks like “someone decided it has got value for something and my suspicion is that it has been taken for their garden or to use for putting practice”.  Inspector Jim Young of Police Scotland said: “Astro turf has become a popular substitute to conventional grass and I suspect [it] is now being fitted to a garden in the local area”. Young believes it "would have required a considerable amount of time to remove with a vehicle or persons making return trips with a wheelbarrow to [remove it]”.

 

Down in Leicestershire the 160-year-old Barkby United Cricket Club reported another unusual theft, this one being the perimeter fence around their ground which was taken away in a nighttime raid by thieves.  Police there are also investigating the matter and have appealed for anyone with information about the theft to contact them.

 

In Lancashire there was a theft of a a more conventional kind, around £350 ($A640) being stolen from a dressing room during a Ribblesdale League match between Ribblesdale and Great Harwood at the former’s home ground in Clitheroe.  It is the second time a team’s changing room has been broken into in Lancashire this season, a dozen mobile phones being taken from Church Cricket Club in mid-June, although on that occasion the devices were recovered after players caught the thief after a chase (PTG 1377-6665, 19 June 2014).

 

Ribblesdale player Ian Britcliffe told his local newspaper that £250 ($A460) was taken from one of the Great Harwood player’s wallet, a further £100 ($A180) being snatched from another’s bag.  “These sort of things do not usually happen in the centre of Clitheroe and it is very disturbing”, said Britcliffe, for “nothing like this has ever happened at Ribblesdale before”.  “The game was well attended, there were upwards of 60 to 70 people at the ground at any one time so you would think people would have seen it”.  Police were called to look into the thefts and are now appealing for anybody with information to come forward.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,394
Saturday, 19 July 2014

PHILANDER FINED FOR BALL 

TAMPERING IN GALLE TEST

[1394-6744]

 

South Africa’s Vernon Philander has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee for an offence the International Cricket Council (ICC) said overnight involved “changing the condition of the ball" during the third day’s play in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle yesterday.  Philander was seen in scratching the surface with his fingers and thumb in television footage that was not aired during live coverage but was viewed by match officials after play ended for the day.  

 

The 29-year-old all-rounder, who the ICC says accepted the penalty without contest, was charged by the four officials managing the game, match referee Jeff Crowe, on-field umpires ‘Billy' Bowden and Richard Kettleborough, and third umpire and four umpires Nigel Llong and Ruchira Palliyaguruge.  Penalties for what was a Level 2 offence can range from 50-100 per cent of a player’s match fee and/or two Suspension Points, the latter equating to a ban of one Test, or two One Day Internationals, depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player.

 

Last October, South Africa’s Faf du Plessis was fined half of his match fee after he was caught by television cameras rubbing the ball close to the zip on his trouser pocket during a Test match against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (PTG 1219-5861, 28 October 2013).  Philander also played in that game and du Plessis is again his team mate in the Galle Test.

 

ICC-BCB TO APPEAL 

BPL ACQUITTALS

[1394-6745]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday confirmed that they plan to appeal against the acquittal of six people who faced Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) corruption charges by the BCB's anti-corruption tribunal.  Last year ten individuals, most of them players, were charged by the ICC with corruption-related offences during the BPL’s 2013 season (PTG 1169-5649, 14 August 2013), however, in late February the tribunal acquitted six of them (PTG 1303-6283, 2 March 2014), although last month it handed bans, two of which were particularly lengthy, to the four others charged (PTG 1377-6661, 19 June 2014).  

 

The ICC said in a statement yesterday that, as they and the BCB indicated immediately after the announcement of the tribunal’s broad findings in February, “we are extremely disappointed at the outcome of the proceedings, and seeing the reasons given by the tribunal for its decision has done nothing to address our concerns”.  The ICC and the BCB said then they reserved the right to appeal the decision once it received the tribunal’s detailed legal reasoning behind their findings, something that did not occur until seven weeks ago (PTG 1373-6638, 10 June 2014).

 

Yesterday's ICC statement said that in the world body’s assessment: "clear and compelling evidence of corruption by a number of individuals have not been taken into account properly”.  "Having now had the opportunity to review the detailed decision in its entirety and taken advice on it, we believe that we have very strong grounds on which we can base our appeal”.  "We do not believe that the sport would be sending the right message if it does not challenge what, in our opinion, are incorrect findings”.  

 

Media reports last month suggested the tribunal considered the ICC’s investigation into BPL corruption "flawed and incomplete to the extent that allegations of unfairness could be sustained”.  In other words, had any of the acquitted six actually had charges laid against them its assessment is there is a strong probability the cases against them would have been thrown out on appeal (PTG 1374-6643, 12 June 2014). 

 

The BCB’s Anti-Corruption Code, which governs how BPL corruption charge proceedings are handled, provides for a two-stage appeal process.  The first is an appeal to the chairman of the BCB’s Disciplinary Panel, retired Supreme Court Justice Mohammad Abdur Rashid, and if required the second will be to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

 

 

The six acquitted were all from the BPL’s Dhaka Gladiators franchise, they being team owner Salim Chowdhury, spinner Mosharraf Hossain, fast bowler Mahbubul Alam, English all-rounder Darren Stevens, bowling coach Mohammad Rafique and manager Gourav Rawat (PTG 1303-6283, 2 March 2014).  Whether the ICC-BCB appeal covers all their cases has not been made public. 

 

Those who were found guilty by the tribunal and banned were former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful, Gladiators managing director Shihab Chowdhury, who is the son of Salim Chowdhury, New Zealander Lou Vincent, and Sri Lankan Kaushal Lokuarachchi (PTG 1377-6661, 19 June 2014).  Ashraful, who was also fined one million Taka ($A13,800), and Lokuarachchi, have since indicated that they plan to appeal their world-wide suspensions from the game (PTG 1392-6739, 17 July 2014 and PTG 1379-6670, 23 June 2014 respectively). 

 

Ian Pont, the Gladiator’s coach during last year’s BPL has been praised by the ICC for his role in uncovering corruption in that event.  It was Pont who "promptly reported a corrupt approach he received from [his managing dirrector] Shihab Chowdhury”, and “it was [his] evidence that led to the tribunal upholding the main charge” that led to Chowdhury being banned for ten years, says the ICC.  David Richardson, the ICC's chief executive, said yesterday that Pont’s actions "are to be highly commended” and “the sport would benefit greatly if it contained more men of Mr Pont’s integrity and quality”.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,395
Sunday, 20 July 2014

BALL TAMPERING ‘AKIN TO MATCH 

FIXING', SAYS AUSSIE BOWLER

[1395-6746]

 

Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris has labelled ball tampering "akin to match fixing" in the wake of South African Vernon Philander's sanction for scratching the surface of the ball during a Test match against Sri Lanka on Friday, according to a story posted on Cricket Australia’s (CA) web site yesterday afternoon.  Philander was fined three-quarters of his match fee for the offence, an amount around $A2,400, and became the second South African, after team mate Faf du Plessis, to have been sanctioned for such an action in the last ten months (PTG 1394-6744, 19 July 2014).

 

Another story posted on CA’s web site around the same time said Philander's ball tampering "may have especially interested [Australian batsman] David Warner”, who suggested following his side's Port Elizabeth Test against South Africa five months ago that the umpires needed to keep a close watch on the South Africans in the field in regard to ball tampering.  Warner queried how that side’s bowlers had achieved significantly more reverse-swing than Australia’s in that Test and claimed his opponents were "pushing the boundaries on scuffing up the ball” (PTG 1299-6264, 26 February 2014), a suggestion that led to him being fined fifteen per cent of his match fee (PTG 1301-6276, 28 February 2014).

 

South Africa’s Dale Steyn had produced what one report called a "reverse-swing master class” in Port Elizabeth, and he did so again in Galle after lunch two days ago, taking five-wickets that afternoon in a display a ‘Cricinfo’ report called “sensational".

 

Harris, who is currently in Darwin coaching the Australia ‘A' bowlers ahead of a tri-series involving the Indian and South African ‘A’ sides that starts today, told the web site there was "no room in the game" for those who tamper with the ball and that such an action is “disappointing”.  Philander is a "good bowler" said Harris, who was surprised he had tampered with the ball.  "I don't [know] the guys [in the South Africa team] individually too well but I wouldn't have thought teams would go out and do that deliberately” but “obviously they do”.

 

The Laws of the game require that when the "deterioration in the condition of the ball is greater than is consistent with the use it has received", umpires must change the ball, award five penalty runes to the batting side, and report the captain and or player concerned.  In the unlikely event that they believe the ball needs to be changed again for that reason in the same innings, the Laws direct the umpires to suspend, for the remainder of the innings, the person bowling at the time.  However, International Cricket Council (ICC) Playing Conditions were amended last October to cover two basic scenarios, one if it is not possible to identify just who the ball changing culprit is, and a second if the guilty party can clearly be identified (PTG 1207-5809, 10 October 2013).  

 

In the former situation, ICC umpires are required to change the ball and issue the captain with a first and final warning that "will apply for the remainder of a Test match, or for the remainder of an ODI or Twenty20 International series".  If there is a further such incident in a Test or during the other two series, apart from changing the ball, a five-run penalty is then to be awarded and the captain will be held responsible and reported.  On the other hand if umpires can identify the player responsible the procedure for the umpires is more straight-forward in that the ball must be changed, a five-run penalty awarded, and the player responsible reported.  Former Australian captain Ian Chappell expressed the view overnight that the penalty for ball tampering should be suspension.

 

Philander was sanctioned after match officials reviewed television footage following Friday’s play.  The ICC said in a press release that shots of his actions were not broadcast during live coverage of the game, however, just why that was has not been explained.  On-line score sheets for the Galle Test show no sign that a five-run penalty was awarded against South Africa for his misdemeanour, nor in the circumstances was the ball changed.  

 

ICC TO INVESTIGATE AFTER TRENT BRIDGE 

TEST PITCH IS RATED AS ‘POOR' 

[1395-6747]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced yesterday that the pitch provided for the opening England-India Test at Trent Bridge last week was officially rated as “poor” by match referee David Boon of Australia.  Reports during the game described the pitch as very slow, Nottinghamshire's chief executive Lisa Pursehouse dismissing suggestions by some that the club deliberately prepared a lifeless pitch to ensure the match went the full five days, while groundsman Steve Birks took the unusual step of apologising for its condition after day one of what became a drawn game that saw 29 wickets fall and 1,344 runs scored during three innings. 

 

Boon expressed his concerns over the quality of the pitch in his match report and it has been forwarded to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) which has fourteen days to provide its response.  Once that is available the ICC’s General Manager Cricket, Geoff Allardice, and its chief match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, will consider all the evidence available, including studying video footage of the match, before deciding whether or not the pitch was “poor" and if so, if a penalty should be imposed as per the ICC's Pitch Monitoring Process (PMP).

 

There has been considerable speculation that better drainage has contributed to drying out squares on several English grounds and changing their character, but the ECB has denied that.  It said in a statement yesterday it and Nottinghamshire are already working closely to address the "uncharacteristic nature" of the Test pitch, and that Birks and ECB pitch inspector Chris Wood are planning the corrective action required under PMP arrangements.

 

Current PMP regulations state that on the first occasion a pitch or outfield is rated as “poor” a warning and/or a fine not exceeding $US15,000 ($A16,000) can be given to the home board, in this case the ECB, together with a directive for appropriate corrective action.  A "second or further” occurrence within a period of five years of the previous finding would attract a fine not exceeding $US30,000 ($A32,000) together with a directive for appropriate corrective action.  Further sanctions apply to pitches and outfields that are found after investigation to be rated as “unfit”.  

 

The ICC says it will make no further comments about the matter until Allardice and Madugalle complete their investigation.  Home boards who disagree with any findings handed down after an investigation have the right of appeal, however, they must set out and lodge such a document within twenty-four hours of receiving the ICC’s findings.

 

GROUNDSMAN’S LORD’S PITCH 

SWEEPING STYLE DEFENDED 

[1395-6748]

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has defended the conduct of a member of their groundstaff after former England player Kevin Pietersen drew attention to his method of sweeping the pitch at lunch during the second England-India Test at Lord’s yesterday.   The staff member dragged his right shoe down the line of leg stump in a flat footed action as he tidied the pitch during lunch and Pietersen posted a video of it on his ‘Twitter’ feed, labelling it as “UNBELIEVABLE”, the word being followed by seven exclamation marks.

 

England first class umpire David Millns, the fourth umpire for the match who was guarding the pitch during the interval, is said to have “quickly approached” the staff member to inform him of his error.  An MCC spokesman subsequently said on 'Twitter that it was “a genuine, honest mistake, and there was no intent to damage the pitch”.  The groundsman involved was not wearing spikes or studs. 

 

Despite that Pietersen followed up with “He knew what he was doing” on Twitter, while former England captain Michael Vaughan described the incident as “a little sniffy”, however, there is no suggestion that either of them had any evidence to back up their opinions.  A report in ‘The Independent’ that quotes "Indian cricket sources” says there would be no complaint about the matter from the visiting team.

 

UMPIRES INSTRUCTED TO BE STRICTER 

IN MANAGING PLAYER AGRESSION 

[1395-6749]

 

“Instructions have gone to umpires to be stricter” with regards to aggression on the field of play, said David Richardson, chief executive International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday.  Speaking to BBC Radio’s Jomathan Agnew following a week in which England’s James Anderson and India’s Ravindra Jadeja were charged with misconduct (PTG 1393-6742, 18 July 2014), Richardson also said iff someone is "swearing and saying the wrong things and that escalates into something physical, it needs to be looked at”.

 

Richardson went on to state that if "someone [is found] guilty” of misbehaviour “he deserves to be punished” and “when people take it off the field” like Anderson and Jadeja are said to have done, "that is where we should really be very strong in drawing the line”.   “We would like the focus to be on cricket, not on disciplinary-type issues”, continued the chief executive, who described player behaviour during last austral summer’s Ashes series as “not particularly good”.

 

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has blamed the ICC for being unable to curb the rise in confrontational behaviour between players during its games, his Indian counterpart Sunil Gavaskar expressing similar concern (PTG 1393-6741, 18 July 2014).  During its annual meeting last month the ICC’s Cricket Committee suggested "strict action against players getting physical” and that there is an impression that "a large section of the viewing public are young fans who could be misguided by unruly behaviour”.  The committee said it wanted umpires to be more proactive and demanded strict action against the offenders (PTG 1370-6623, 6 June 2014). 

 

INDIA INDULGED IN ‘GAMESMANSHIP’ DURING 

ICC REVAMP NEGOTIATIONS, SAYS CEO

[1395-6750]

 

India indulged in "gamesmanship" and were "in the driving seat" during negotiations over the recent restructure of International Cricket Council (ICC) organisational arrangements, according to ICC chief executive David Richardson.  The former South African player, whose term as chief executive was extended for another two years last month, was responding to questions put to him by BBC Test Match Special’s Jonathan Agnew during the opening day of the England-India Test at Lord’s on Friday.

 

Suggestions by the likes of Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards, and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Sanjay Patel (PTG 1372-6634, 8 June 2014), that the BCCI threatened to form an alternate version of the ICC last year unless there was a major restructure in the way the world body operated were not commented on by Richardson, however, he did not deny the BCCI had played a forceful hand.  "India were saying, 'We need to have more of a say, we need more money’, so it was a negotiation”, said the ICC chief executive.

 

Richardson admitted “gamesmanship” was involved and "certainly India are in the driving seat when it comes to being in a good position at the negotiating table, bearing in mind their tours of every country are the extreme revenue generators”.  However, he played down fears that the so-called ‘Big Three’, the national boards of Australia, England and India, had arranged to dominate decision-making in the ICC, suggesting their new status was merely a formalising of what he suggested was “a pre-existing pattern".

 

During his talk with Agnew, Richardson said that the ICC Board, which comprises the ten full ICC members and three associate representatives, remained the primary decision-making body, not the new executive committee.  "The reality is although there's been a lot of talk about change, it is the people who were having the most influence on the ICC board in the past that will still have the most influence going forward”.  "It is a clash of ideologies essentially; there are people who think the ICC should be a more independent body and others think it should remain a members’ body”.

 

Richardson described the changes "a wake-up call to other countries who have sat back and let things happen”.  "There were people attending meetings sometimes seemingly sleeping at them, not participating, not contributing”.  "When that happens there is going to be a power vacuum and people who have the authority are going to take control”.

 

The chief executive also defended the appointment of Naryanaswami Srinivasan as ICC chairman despite Indis's Supreme Court standing him down from his BCCI role as part of corruption investigations in the Indian Premier League.  "The Supreme Court has not gone as far as to say he should not be involved with ICC or be the next chairman”, said Richardson, who went on to emphasise that “what we do know is the Supreme Court charges to be investigated are totally unsubstantiated at this point in time”.

 

ONE LESS FIRST CLASS 

TEAM IN THE CARIBBEAN

[1395-6751]

 

The Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team has been dropped from the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) regional first class competition, a move that reduces the ‘domestic’ series to six teams: Barbados; Guyana; Jamaica; Leeward Islands; Trinidad and Tobago; and the Windward Islands.  Despite that decision, which was made last week during a board meeting held in Antigua, the WICB approved a recommendation for CCC to compete in next year’s fifty-over regional tournament.

 

Last year, the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) expressed concern over initial moves by the WICB to exclude CCC from regional competitions. A number of CCC players are reported to have approached WIPA with their concerns and the proposal had been criticised in some quarters.  Some reports say the WICB move is part of its thrust to restructure regional competitions and among other things make them more financially viable. 

 

In April, the WICB agreed to a "nineteen-point plan” that aims to re-establish the West Indies as the "number one performing team in world cricket” (PTG 1329-6414, 6 April 2014).  Its targets include improvements to professionalisation of [domestic] first class cricket and doubling of matches in the regional first class tournament.  A structured year-round program for all WICB and first class contracted players is envisaged, as well as fifteen full-time annually contracted players for each of the six regional boards, however, whether there were any initiatives directed to umpires and scorers is not known,

 

CCC, which was effectively a continuation of the previous University of the West Indies team, was established for the 2007-08 season, playing their first matches in the domestic one-day competition in October 2007.  They made their four-day debut in January 2008 and in 2011 reached the final along with eventual winner Jamaica. 

 

GAVASKAR LEAVES IPL ROLE

[1395-6752]

 

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, who was appointed by India’s Supreme Court to look after management of this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) series, was relieved of the task on Friday by the Court.  Gavaskar was asked to undertake that task just two weeks below the IPL’s start, Shivlal Yadav, another former Indian player and current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice-president, being appointed to oversee all other BCCI affairs; both moves coming after incumbent BCCI president Narayanswami Srinivasan was stood down by the Court in relation to an IPL corruption investigation (PTG 1323-6378, 29 March 2014).

 

In releasing Gavaskar, Supreme Court Justices T S Thakur and Ibrahim Kalifullah recorded their appreciation for his "smooth management" of this year's IPL and gave the go ahead for him to seek remuneration from the BCCI for his work as he was not permitted to fill his normal commentator-related activities during his time as manager of the IPL.

 

Yadav though was asked to continue as BCCI president until the Court hands down a further order.  Srinivasan is one of thirteen people being looked into by a Court sponsored three-man panel.  They have been asked to file their findings by the end of next month so that the Court can consider the matter further in September, although their chairman, former Punjab Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal, has not ruled out an extension of time being needed (PTG 1358-6557, 21 May 2014).

 

SRINIVASAN KEEN TO GROW GAME 

BEYOND TEN TEST NATIONS

[1395-6753]

 

Narayanswam Srinivasan, the new chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has told India’s NDTV that Test cricket "cannot be limited to a ten-member club” forever, and the format should be promoted in those countries where there is interest and an appropriate domestic structure.  Srinivasan made that comment as the new chairman of the ICC’s Development Committee, a group whose task is to grow the game beyond its traditional boundaries (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014).

 

Srinivasan says he is keen on bringing about a change in the structure of international cricket during his two-year tenure as ICC chairman, telling "all the [ICC] Associate and Affiliate [members] that I want to make a change and [that is why the make-up of] the Development Committee has been changed.  “I am now [its] chairman and we have two full [ICC] member directors [Peter Chingoka of Zimbabwe and, the WICB’s Cameron, New Zealand’s Martin Snedden] so there is going to be a lot of focus on what we can do and how to bring more competition in cricket by upgrading the skills of those who are on the verge and who are the top associates". 

 

The ICC chairman spoke of China's plans to take up the sport. "The Chinese are the member of Asian Cricket Council {which Srinivasan was chairman of until last month] and a representative of Chinese Cricket Association made it clear that if cricket becomes an Olympic sport then they will plunge into it”.  However, "at the moment they are concentrating on other sports”, he said. 

 

Srinivasan went on to say his appointment as ICC chairman is different from past administrators such as Jagmohan Dalmiya and Sharad Pawar who were both BCCI and ICC presidents.  "In earlier years when earlier presidents were there, they did not have a vote on the table, because if you were president at that time the rule was that you couldn't hold a[n cricket administration] position in your [home] country”.  Now "a person who is representing India can be the chairman, so when you sit there, you sit with a vote, and that makes a huge difference".

 

The new ICC chairman also said that the sport's image had taken a battering because of New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent’s match-mixing activities.  He also said again that his conscience was clear in regard to Indian Premier League corruption issues, saying "I have not done anything that will tarnish the game.”, however, he would not comment on the on-going investigation by a panel established by India’s Supreme Court for legal reasons. 

 

ALCOHOL RELATED INCIDENT SEES FOUR 

SOUTH AFRICAN PLAYERS CENSURED

[1395-6754]

 

Four women members of Cricket South Africa's (CSA) National Cricket Academy (NCA) have been found guilty of breaching their CSA contractual obligations in an alcohol-related incident that occurred on the last day of May, says a CSA press release issued on Friday.  CSA Disciplinary Commissioner Professor Rian Cloete, found KwaZulu-Natal’s Chloe Tyron and Trisha Chetty, plus Western Province’s Moseline Daniels and Shabnim Ismail, guilty of behaviour that was unbecoming and brought the game into disrepute.

 

Sanctions handed down by Cloete are that the four, who are all in their early twenties, be officially reprimanded and given a written warning, they be suspended from attending the NCA for the remainder of this year, and that they be required to "participate and successfully complete a South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) prescribed alcohol counselling program plus life skills training through [another] SACA program within the next six months. Tony Irish, SACA’s chief executive, is required to certify they complete those programs satisfactorily.

 

CSA’s censure comes in a week in which England player Gary Ballance was “reminded of his responsibilities” by his coach after photographs emerged of him dancing topless, and in the words of the London ‘Daily Telegraph, "indisputably legless”, in a Nottingham nightclub last Sunday after the Trent Bridge Test against India had ended.  Ballance was pictured "in a dishevelled state of undress and intoxication”, an eyewitness being quoted as saying: “They had to carry him out at the end of the night.  He was standing outside with his top off screaming ‘England! England! England!’”

 

'TOUR DE BRADFORD LEAGUE CLUBS' RAISES 

MONEY FOR CANCER RESEARCH

[1395-6755]

 

A cricket coach from Bradford has cycled 130 km to visit the grounds of all 25 Bradford League clubs, and another that it to join next year, as part of a project to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research.  Pete Brooke, 45, decided to take on the challenge in memory of his parents, his mother dying from pancreatic cancer in 2010, and his father from blood cancer myeloma last December. 

 

Brooke, who manages East Bierley's Under-13 team, set off from that club’s ground as the first ball was bowled in a Second XI game, the aim being to complete his club circuit ride and return before that match ended.  So far he has raised £430 ($A780) for Yorkshire Cancer Research, his target being £500 ($A910).  He told Bradford’s ‘Telegraph and Argus’ that his "mum and dad had always been great cricket fans and had supported East Bierley Cricket Club around the Bradford League for many years, so it seemed fitting to take on the challenge in their memory".

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,396
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

SOUTH AFRICA ATTEMPTED TO SUPPRESS 

BALL TAMPERING IMAGES, SAYS REPORT 

[1396-6756]

 

Reports from Colombo claim that "Cricket South Africa (CSA) and their team management” tried to pressure Asia-based broadcaster Ten Sports from airing television footage that showed bowler Vernon Philander tampering with the ball during the third day of the Test match against Sri Lanka at Galle last Friday.  Philander was fined 75 per cent of his match fee by the International Cricket Council for “changing the condition of the ball” after video showed him scratching its surface with his fingers and thumb (PTG 1394-6744, 19 July 2014).

 

The footage involved was not shown during live coverage of the match and charges against Philander were only laid when match officials reviewed the vision after play had ended for the day, Ten Sports’ producers having altered match referee Jeff Crowe to the matter.  ‘Cricinfo’ is reporting that the vision was eventually put to air during near the end of the final day’s play two days later after Sri Lanka Cricket, to which Ten Sports is contracted to broadcast the game there, insisted it be made public.  

 

Had the vision been streamed as part of the live broadcast and thus been available to third umpire Nigel Llong of England to see, Sri Lanka could have been awarded five penalty runs for the incident and the ball changed as occurred last October in another Test involving South Africa  On that occasion all-rounder Faf du Plessis was seen live on television rubbing the ball in the vicinity of a zipper on his trousers in a match against Pakistan.  Five runs were awarded to Pakistan and the ball changed as a result and du Plessis was later fined half of his match fee for his actions (PTG 1219-5861, 28 October 2014).

 

South Africa coach Russell Domingo has denied his team have earned a reputation for ball tampering saying after the fourth day’s play on Saturday that: I'd hate to say that other sides are a bit better at doing it than we are”.  "We don't try to do it intentionally and [Philander] said he was [only] cleaning” the ball.  CSA are said to have not responded to queries from ‘Cricinfo’ about reports they tried to suppress the television footage.

 

Leading South African cricket journalist Neil Manthorp wrote in an article posted on the SuperSport website that: "Ever since the inception of the Umpire Decision Review System there have been suggestions of varying seriousness that neutral television directors are as important as neutral umpires”.  "Given that the footage of Philander was never aired, the decision of the Ten Sports director to make it available to the umpires opens up a whole new debate”.  "Is the television director also a match official?”, he asks.

 

SHAKIB APOLOGISES, SEEKS REDUCTION 

OF SIX-MONTH BAN

[1396-6757]

 

Suspended Bangladesh player Shakib Al Hasan has publicly apologised for his actions and appealed to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to reduce the six-month ban given to him three weeks ago for misbehaviour.  The all-rounder was censured for what the BCB called a "severe attitude problem”, a situation that led the board to also decide not to allow him to play in overseas league competitions until the end of 2015 (PTG 1388-6716, 8 July 2014).        

 

Shakib, who met BCB president Nazmul Hassan last week, told reporters on Sunday that "my behaviour was not mature. I apologise for this. In future it will not happen again”.  "Nothing can be more painful than staying away from cricket [and] I sincerely apologise to the BCB and the Bangladesh cricket team if they are embarrassed at my behaviour” and he accepted that he had not acted "properly on many occasions”.  

 

Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, the BCB's acting chief executive, told reporters that he had received Shakib’s appeal, but BCB president Nazmul Hassan said he "sees no chance” Shakib could return in time to take part in Bangladesh’s month-long tour of the West Indies in four weeks time.   "Shakib made an appeal through a nice latter… we found nothing negative in him and his recent behaviour impressed me, I think he could have understood mistakes, so, we'll consider his appeal positively”, he added.  

 

BCB cricket operations chief Akram said “it is good that he has appealed” and “we will look into the matter and will do what serves the best interest of our cricket”.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,397
Wednesday, 22 July 2014

ICC EXCOMM WORKING TO DEVELOP 

2016-23 STRATEGIC PLAN

[1397-6758]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) says it has already commenced preparatory work on producing a long-term plan which will apply immediately after its current five-year strategic plan expires next year, says a Press Trust of India (PTI) report yesterday.  Last week the Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket Committee (WCC) called on the ICC to establish a long-term strategy that will "deliver positive change" for the game in the years ahead (PTG 1392-6733, 17 July 2014).

 

An ICC spokesman told PTI: "Work on this comprehensive and detailed process started last month [ahead of the WCC meeting] and it is expected to be approved for implementation at the ICC Annual Conference in 2015”.  The ICC’S new Executive Committee (Excomm), which will have primary responsibility for developing the strategy through to 2023, met under the chairmanship of Cricket Australia president Wally Edwards in Melbourne last month to commence thework.  

 

The new plan is expected to set long-term targets for the organisation and provide guidelines as to how these targets should be achieved.  "We already have clarity on where the major ICC events will be staged (PTG 1385-6697, 3 July 2014), and the Future Tours Program is also close to being finalised through to 2023.  "This gives us the opportunity to develop a long-term plan that focuses on sustaining and promoting Test cricket, improving attendances at all international cricket and increasing the number of competitive teams”, the spokesman added. 

 

ANDERSON HEARING DATE SET, 

NEWS OF JADEJA’S AWAITED

[1397-6759]

 

The hearing into allegations England seamer James Anderson “pushed” India’s Ravindra Jadeja during a lunch interval in the second Test at Lord’s is to be held on Friday week, the day after the third Test between the two sides in Southampton is due to end.  Anderson’s Level Three charge is to be overseen via teleconference by International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct commissioner Gordon Lewis, a retired Australian judge, while the Level Two charge faced by Jadeja is to be heard by David Boon the match referee at Lord’s, however, a date for the latter hearing has not yet been set.  

 

Anderson faces a potential penalty of a ban of between two and four Tests or four to eight One Day Internationals (ODI) depending on which type of match is scheduled next for the suspended player (PTG 1391-6731, 16 July 2014), and Jadeja a fine of between half or all of his match fee and a ban of either one Test or two ODIs (PTG 1392-6736, 17 July 2014).  The ICC pointed out after yesterday’s preliminary hearing into the matter that Lewis has the option to punish Anderson for a lesser offence should he find him not guilty of the one with which he had been charged.  

 

ICC regulations require that Lewis’s judgement be delivered within forty-eight hours of the hearing’s ending.  Anderson is clear to play in the third Test, the fourth of the series being scheduled to start at Old Trafford six days after the hearing ends, and the fifth at The Oval two weeks after that.  Lewis is required to hand down his decision within forty-eight hours of next week’s hearing.  Should be believe he needs to, Anderson has the right of appeal against any decision given to him.

 

After The Oval Test in mid-August, the two sides are to play five ODIs and a single Twenty20 International before the series ends.  Jadeja and Anderson were photographed shaking hands after the Indian ran the Englishman out to complete India’s win in the second Test at Lord’s on Monday.

 

NZ INTRODUCES CONTRACTS 

FOR WOMEN PLAYERS

[1397-6760]

 

New Zealand’s top ten women players will be awarded annual contracts under the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding between New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA), says a report in the ‘New Zealand Herald’.  Previously, women there were only paid fees when training and playing as national team members and the contracts are said to acknowledge the increasing demands being placed nowadays on players involved at international level.

 

NZC Head of Cricket Lindsay Crocker said a leading player on a retainer contract would now, depending on selection, have the ability to earn around $NZ25,000 ($A23,000) per year while still having the opportunity to complete other work or study.  Retainers are said to range from $NZ10-12,000 per annum ($A9,2900-11,000) and daily fees will also be paid to those selected for training camps and international tours.  Those chosen from outside the ten top contracts will receive a casual playing contract and be paid daily fees where applicable.

  

Crocker said the contract system is designed to keep New Zealand's best women's players in the game for longer. "It provides a training structure between tours so our leading players can compete at international level while still maintaining full time employment outside cricket”, he said, although he acknowledged NZC is unable to emulate recent moves by Cricket Australia or the England and Wales Cricket Board to contract their national women's squad members on a full time basis.  Nevertheless, NZCPA Player Services Manager Henry Moore called the introduction "a significant step forward”.

 

BPL CORRUPTION PAIR LODGE 

APPEALS AGAINST FINES, BANS

[1397-6761]

 

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and Shihab Chowdhury the managing director of the Bangladesh Cricket League’s (BPL) former Dhaka Gladiators franchise, have both lodged appeals against the substantial fines and eight and ten-year bans given to them by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for match fixing.  Ashraful confessed publicly to fixing activities and Chowdhury is reported to have been recorded talking about the fixing of a BPL game in the second, and to date last BPL, in February 2013 (PTG 1377-6661, 19 June 2014).

 

The pair are reported to have sent their appeals to retired justice Mohammad Abdur Rashid, the BCB's disciplinary panel chief.  Ashraful told reporters he was appealing because he “wants to return to cricket before my eight-year ban is up”.  Should he and Chowdhury fail to convince the disciplinary panel, their next option would appear to be to the approach the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland and ask it to consider the matter.

 

In addition to Ashraful and Chowdhury, a BCB tribunal also found New Zealander Lou Vincent and Sri Lankan Kaushal Lokuarachchi guilty of BPL corruption, the former being banned for three years and the latter eighteen months.  Lokuarachchi indicated four weeks ago that he planned to appeal (PTG 1379-6670, 23 June 2014), however, whether he has actually done so has not as yet been made public.

 

The BCB and the International Cricket Committee also plan to submit appeals, although theirs will be in relation to the six people who were also charged with BPL corruption but were acquitted by the tribunal.  In announcing their intention to appeal last week, the two organisations said they were "extremely disappointed" at the acquittals and indicated they believe the reasoning behind the tribunal decision-making was flawed (PTG 1394-6745, 19 July 2014).

 

THIRD SUPREME COURT 

GETS INVOLVED IN CRICKET

[1397-6762]

 

Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered cricket authorities there to hold a fresh election for the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chairman position in order to try and end what media reports say has now become a fourteen-month "administrative crisis" within that organisation.  Problems began in May last year when then chairman Zaka Ashraf was suspended for holding “dubious" elections, and since then he and current incumbent Najam Sethi have been engaged in a power struggle; each leap frogging the other as chairman several times via a series of Court rulings and government decrees.

 

Sethi was restored to the position for the third time earlier this month, but told journalists after the Court’s latest ruling on Monday that he would not be contesting the required election.  A veteran newspaper editor and television anchor, Sehti reiterated his previous comments that he has no long-term interest in the chairman’s position", saying he will only remain in that role until the elections are held, after which he plans to sit on the PCB board.   Sethi also indicated that the new chairman will replace him as Pakistan’s representative on the International Cricket Council's new Executive Committee, a group that is dominated by members from Australia, England and India (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014).

 

Traditionally, Pakistan's government of the day has appointed its own candidate as head of the PCB, a system which has come in for criticism from some quarters in that country.  The PCB's patron, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is expected to announce later this week the name of the caretaker chairman who will look after the organisation’s affairs until the election can be held.  The Court’s intervention in cricket matters follows that of its counterpart in neighbouring India which was asked to look into matters related to last year’s Indian Premier League series (PTG 1323-6378, 29 March  2014), while Bangladesh’s Supreme Court is expected to revisit in the next few weeks a challenge it considered twelve months ago into the “legality” of the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s current constitution.

 

CPL TICKET MONEY GOES MISSING, 

INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

[1397-6763]

 

Some $US200,000 ($A215,000) in ticket sales for three matches in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) over the next few days have been stolen, according to police in Trinidad and Tobago.  Investigating officers have told reporters the money was taken from the ticketing office at the Queens Park Oval in Port-Of-Spain between Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

 

Media reports from Port-Of-Spain quote investigating officers as saying Queen's Park's ticketing co-coordinator Karen Bynoe placed the money in an envelope and secured it in a drawer late on Saturday afternoon, but it was not there when she went to office on Sunday.  An envelope with a number of cheques that was also in the drawer was untouched, said police.

 

Police believe the robbery was an "inside job" since the door to the general office was not tampered with, but the one leading to the office where the money was kept was broken into.  A number of people have been questioned but no arrest has yet been made.  "CPL can confirm that there is an investigation currently underway regarding an issue with tickets”, said Abigail Edwards the competition’s media officer for Trinidad and Tobago, “however [we] cannot comment further until such a time as the relevant authorities have completed their enquiries”.

 

JAIL TIME FOR FRAUDSTER UMPIRE 

[1397-6764]

 

A Saddleworth and District Cricket League (SDCL) umpire who defrauded sports clubs in the Greater Manchester area out of nearly £50,000 ($A91,000) in the period from 2007-12 has been jailed for three years.  Anthony Beard, 59, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of fraud by abuse of position, was sentenced at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court yesterday.

 

As treasurer of SDCL club Flowery Field, Beard wrote thirty-nine cheques payable to himself or companies to his benefit to a total value of £7,286 ($A13,250), £180 ($A330) of which went to his wife.  In his role as Secretary of a charity he was a signatory on its bank account and made out twenty-four cheques payable to himself or for his benefit worth £28,078 ($A51,000), and as a Director and Secretary of a football club he defrauded it of £11,775 ($A21,400).

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,398
Friday, 25 July 2014

ZIMBABWE POWER-BROKER 

LEAVES ZC BOARD

[1398-6765]

 

Peter Chingoka, who has been the chairman of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) since 1992 and the subject of considerable controversy over the years in regard to financial management issues, stepped down from the position yesterday.  During his time in the job, which included the country’ first ever Test, cricket in Zimbabwe moved from relative stability to a series of difficulties that included player strikes over non-payment of dues (PTG 1297-6259, 23 February 2014).

 

Chingoka’s resignation comes as ZC is facing severe financial challenges that surround the servicing a multi-million dollar debt (PTG 1327-6402, 4 April 2014).  The current situation follows a controversy in 2011 which involved himself, his ZC vice-chairman Wilson Manase and Ozias Bvute, the former ZC managing director, the three all sitting on the board of Zimbabwe’s ‘Metbank’; Manase being the chairman of its board, Chingoka a non-executive director, and Bvute a major share holder.  On-going reports, which Chingoka rejects, claim they used a $US6 million ($A6.4 million) loan from the International Cricket Council (ICC) that was designed to retire some of their then debt, to enrich the bank.

 

Other queries about ZC’s handling of money that were on the table before that have never appeared to be appropriately dealt with by the ICC.  Former ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed was put on paid leave for several months prior to his contract running out in July 2008 because of his reported unhappiness at the ICC board's failure to take any significant action against ZC with regard to the state of its finances.  Speed’s concerns related to an independent audit provided to the ICC that is reported to have suggested serious irregularities were found (PTG 235-1297, 27 April 2008).

 

ZC said yesterday that Manase will take over from Chingoka as chairman which means he will slip into membership of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Governance Review and Development committees in Chingoka’s place (PTG 1382-6685, 30 June 2014).  

 

INDIA-BORN UMPIRE PROMOTED 

TO TOP NZ DOMESTIC PANEL

[1398-6766]

 

Uttar Pradesh-born Ashley Mehrotra has been elevated to New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) top domestic umpiring panel for the coming austral summer, replacing ‘Billy' Bowden who was reinstated to the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) in May (PTG 1343-6492, 2 May 2014).  Mehrotra is the only new appointee to NZC’s own EUP, joining last year’s members, his Northern Districts colleague Tony Gillies, Auckland-based Barry Frost, Phil Jones and Wayne Knights, Otago’s Chris Gaffaney and Derek Walker, and Gary Baxter and Tim Parlane of Canterbury.

 

NZC has promoted Derek Walker from a third umpire position on the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) alongside Chris Gaffaney, while Phil Jones appears to have moved up to the IUP third umpire spot, although just what the arrangement is is not entirely clear.  Jones “will be the designated Third Umpire (TV) for the 2014-15 international home season, which includes series against South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan”, said NZC in a press release, however, its web posting does not list him as an IUP member.

 

Of the eight returning members Baxter, who announced his retirement from the international game earlier this month (PTG 1385-6698, 3 July 2014), will be working at first class level for the eighteenth season, Frost his sixteenth, Jones fourteenth, Parlane twelfth, Walker tenth, Gaffaney seventh, Knights sixth, and Gillies fourth.  In age the nine run from Baxter at 61, Frost and Parlane 56, Jones and Walker 54, Mehrotra 45, Gillies 44, Knights 43, and Gaffaney 38.   Gaffaney and Walker are the only ones of the nine who played at first class level prior to taking up umpiring.

 

Rodger McHarg, NZC Match Officials Manager and a former Test umpire, said via a press release "those selected thoroughly deserve their spot on the panels and we’re confident that the quality of umpiring at all levels will be of a high standard”, Mehrotra in particular having put in “strong performances" last season that justify his promotion.  “The recent appointment of Tony Hill as NZC Umpire Coach (PTG 1267-6111, 10 January 2014), will provide further opportunity for umpires to get valuable feedback and we expect this to have considerable benefits on the quality of officiating”, said McHarg.     

 

NZC has named twenty-one as members of its Reserve Panel, the same sized group as last year.  Eight of those are from Central Districts, John Bromley, Mark Elliott, Johann Fourie, Mike George, Richard Hooper, Dave Paterson, Shaun Ryan and Glen Walklin, four from Auckland, Raoul Allen, Chris Brown, Peter Gasston and Hiran Perera, three from Wellington, Aaron Hardie, Kathy Cross and Garth Stirrat, three also from Northern Districts, Phil Agent, John Dempsey and David Tidmarsh, two from Canterbury, David Reid and Eugene Sanders, and one from Otago, Shaun Haig. 

 

Cross remains a member of the ICC's third-tier third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel (AAIUP) for a second year, having been appointed to it last January (PTG 1280-6164, 31 January 2014).  Last March the ICC appointed her to stand in the week-long World Cricket League Division 5 tournament in Malaysia (PTG 1304-6291, 3 March 2014).

 

Of the other Reserve Panel members, Dempsey, Haig and Saunders are the new comers, while those missing from the group named prior to last season are Peter Spall and former Test umpire Evan Watkin who two seasons ago was on the NZC’s Elite Panel.  Watkin was moved to the Reserve Panel a year ago (PTG 1187-5725, 14 September 2013), however, he does not appear to have actually stood in any NZC games during the 2013-14 season, Spall also being noticeable for his absence from appointments made (PTG 1227-5915, 7 November 2013).

 

KIWI’S BOWLING ACTION 

DEEMED ‘ILLEGAL'

[1398-6767]

 

New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, who is also an occasional off-spinner, has been banned from bowling because of an illegal action.  Williamson, 23, was reported after New Zealand's second Test against the West Indies in mid-June, match officials telling New Zealand team management they were concerned about a number of his deliveries they considered to be suspect (PTG 1379-6672, 23 June 2014).

 

Williamson, who made his first class debut aged seventeen and played his first Test three years later, had his action analysed in detail at Cardiff Metropolitan University (CMU).  That work found his elbow extension when bowling exceeds the fifteen degrees allowable under International Cricket Council rules.  The subsequent ban handed to him with regard to bowling also applies to county cricket, where Williamson currently plays for Yorkshire.

 

The suspension can be lifted if he reworks his action and has it found legal by similar independent testing.  Williamson says he "will focus on changing whatever's necessary to return to the bowling crease”.  "Clearly, the onus is on me to satisfy assessors as to the legality of my action, and I'm aware I have some hard work in front of me to achieve that goal”.  "It's never nice going through this sort of process but it will be worth it if I can manage to bowl again at international level”.

 

Williamson becomes the second international player to be banned from bowling because of his delivery action over the last two weeks, Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake also being found by CMU testing to have an illegal action (PTG 1390-6724, 14 July 2014),  

 

Their reporting by match officials and subsequent testing came after the ICC’s Cricket Committee said last month that there are "a number of bowlers" currently employing suspect actions in international cricket and that umpires and referees should be encouraged to "better identify suspect bowlers with greater confidence” (PTG 1371-6630, 7 June 2014).  Two weeks after that the world body’s Chief Executives Committee supported the Cricket Committee’s concerns (PTG 1381-6682, 26 June 2014).

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,399
Saturday, 26 July 2014

JAJEDA FINED OVER ANDERSON INCIDENT, 

BCCI ‘NOT SATISFIED’ SO APPEAL POSSIBLE

[1399-6768]

 

During an unannounced two-and-a-half hour hearing held in Southampton on Thursday, Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was found guilty of "conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” and fined half his match fee as a result of an altercation that involved England's James Anderson during a lunch break in the first Test at Trent Bridge earlier this month (PTG 1391-6731, 16 July 2014).  However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), whose captain has called Jadeja “blameless” in the incident (PTG 1392-6736, 17 July 2014), indicated after the fine was announced by match referee David Boon that it was "not satisfied with the verdict" and will consider appealing the decision.

 

Boon took the decision during the hearing to downgrade Jadeja's offence from a Level Two rating to a Level One.  He said via an International Cricket Council (ICC) press release yesterday that: "While I was in no doubt that confrontation did occur, and that such conduct was not in the spirit of the game and should not have taken place, I was not comfortably satisfied that this was a Level Two offence”.  Boon is expected to hand down his written reasoning for his decision by Monday after which the BCCI will decide whether to appeal or not.

 

Under ICC regulations penalties given for a Level One offence can only be appealed if the player concerned has been given such a penalty for the second time in a twelve-month period.  That means the BCCI can lodge an appeal for last November Jadeja was fined ten per cent of his match fee for his part in a mocking send-off given to Australian batsman Shane Watson in a series-deciding One Day International in Bangalore.  On that occasion the ICC charged Jadeja with "using language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting during an international match” (PTG 1225-5902, 4 November 2014).

 

Anderson, who will face a hearing next Friday into a Level Three charge that he “abused and pushed” Jajeda, an offence he and the England and Wales Cricket Board deny, could face a ban of between two and four Tests or four to eight One Day Internationals if found guilty by ICC code of conduct commissioner Gordon Lewis, a retired Australian judge (PTG 1397-6759, 23 July 2014). 

 

CPL PAIR FINED FOR ‘UGLY'

ON-FIELD CONFRONTATION

[1399-6769]

 

St Lucia's Tino Best and Barbados player Shoaib Malik, a former Pakistan captain, have both been fined for their on-field confrontation during a Caribbean Premier League (CPL) match played at Kensington Oval, Barbados, on Wednesday.  Best was fined a total of sixty per cent of his match fee for two offences, the first a Level One and the second a Level Two, while Malik lost half of his match fee for a level Two offence.

 

The incident occurred in the fifteenth over of the Barbados’ innings, Malik hitting Best for two successive deliveries before loosing his wicket, and it was during his celebration of the dismissal that Best made physical contact with the batsman and the pair "exchanged words”, a situation several reports described as “ugly".

 

Best’s Level One charge related to “conduct that either (a) is contrary to the spirit of the game; or (b) brings the game into disrepute”, and his Level Two for “using language or a gesture(s) that is seriously obscene, seriously offensive or of a seriously insulting nature to another player”.  He was fined fifty per cent of his match fee for the Level Two offence and ten per cent for the Level One.  Malik’s conduct involved “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play during [what was termed] an international match”. 

 

CPL organisers said in a statement that at a hearing convened by match referee Denovan Hayles, both players pleaded guilty to the charges laid against them by umpires Joel Wilson and Gregory Brathwaite.  The CPL release added that investigations are ongoing into another incident which took place after the match at the players’ hotel.  “While this is being investigated, CPL management can confirm that the incident was minor and no one was injured”, said the release.


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,400
Monday, 28 July 2014

DHONI CRITICISES JADEJA DECISION, ICC 

URGES RESPECT FOR JUDICIAL PROCESSES 

[1400-6770]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday took the unusual step of publicly calling on "all relevant parties to respect the judicial process[es]” involved in looking into the incident between England’s James Anderson and India’s Ravindra Jadeja during the first Test at Trent Bridge nearly two weeks ago (PTG 1391-6731, 16 July 2014).  Jadeja was fined half of his match fee by match referee David Boon (PTG 1399-6768, 26 July 2014), while Anderson will face a hearing next Friday that could see him receive multi-Test bans (PTG 1397-6759, 23 July 2014), situations that have led to their respective captains to comment publicly on the matter.     

 

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said in a statement issued late last night: “England captain Alastair Cook and, more recently, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, have made public comments relating to the alleged incident, the latter of which is critical of and undermines the ICC disciplinary process”.  Last week Cook claimed India “exaggerated” the incident, which he did not see, and on Saturday Dhoni told reporters Jadeja’s punishment was “unjust" and "a lot of things were neglected in judging the case”, a direct criticism of Boon’s handling of the matter.  

 

The Indian captain went on to say: “Something was said to Jadeja in the corridor [as he and Anderson went to lunch] and he just turned around to see what was happening and on that basis he has been fined”.  “[Jadeja] was pushed so hard [by Anderson] he could barely keep his balance”, stated Dhoni, “was not aggressive at all and that's the reason we are very hurt by [Boon’s decision]".  Dhoni added somewhat provocatively: "By [the ICC’s] logic if you were to say 'excuse me' behind me in the corridor and I turned around to face you I would also get fined fifty percent of my match fee”.  Anderson has previously denied claims he had pushed Jadeja.

 

Richardson said: “The ICC would like to reiterate its full support of the process followed and respect for the decision made by David Boon”.  “ICC [disciplinary] hearings of this nature are, generally speaking, difficult processes to work through, with detailed legal submissions, witness statements and oral witness testimony”.  "We are satisfied that Mr Boon carefully and comprehensively considered the evidence and submissions presented to him at the hearing, which included conflicting evidence from both sides, prior to making his decision".

 

The ICC chief executive, who is a lawyer by profession, went on to stress that: “In legal matters such as this, the ICC takes extremely seriously its duty as administrators of the game”.  "Therefore, I request all stakeholders to respect the process which remains on-going and remind them of their duties to the integrity of the process and the sport so that we can focus on the game of cricket itself”.  There was no indicated the ICC was considering censuring Dhoni for his comments.

 

Once Boon’s written reasoning behind his decision to fine Jadeja is available, the Board of Control for Cricket in India plans to study it in order to decided whether or not they they will submit an appeal.

 

‘MORE SERIOUS’ APPROACH NEEDED TO TACKLE 

ON-FIELD BEHAVIOUR, SAYS COZIER 

[1400-6771]

 

Veteran West Indian writer Tony Cozier, who has been commentating on the game for half a century, says that “like so many other governing bodies, Caribbean Premier League (CPL) organisers have once again let players "who engaged in ugly on-field confrontations” get away with limited sanctions.  Cozier was writing in a ‘blog’ on the ‘Cricinfo’ web site about an altercation between St Lucia's Tino Best and Barbados' Shoaib Malik during a CPL match played at Kensington Oval, Barbados, last Wednesday, that saw them both receive monetary fines (PTG 1399-6769, 26 July 2014).  

 

Cozier writes that the two player’s on-field clash "was not the end of it” for later that evening there was a further flare-up between them at the hotel at which their respective teams were based.  What were called “credible eyewitnesses” are said to have stated the confrontation was so heated they feared it would come to blows until St Lucia captain Darren Sammy separated the pair.  CPL management had confirm an incident occurred at the hotel but said it was "minor and no one was injured”.

 

However, the issue was further intensified by tweets from Malik's wife Sania Mirza who raised what Cozier called "the always contentious issue of race”.  Mirza's message read: "Racial abusing on a cricket field? Disgusting. I know [Shoaib] didn't hit him but now I wish he would have”.  Lendl Simmons, a member of the CPL’s Guyanan franchise side, who has had disagreements with Best in West Indies cricket over the years, used the same technology to chip in and taunt Best. 

 

Cozier called Mirza’s message, which he thinks is directly linked to whatever the on-field comment was that Best made to Malik at the start of the confrontation, "a serious charge at a time when all sporting bodies, among them the International Criket Council, have introduced strict anti-racism regulations”.  “Here was an opportunity for the CPL, in its second year of operation, to publicly state in unequivocal terms that it would not stand for such behaviour in its tournament”, wrote Cozier.  “Instead it simply announced the following day that both players had been fined for their on-field clash". 

 

In a statement posted on the CPL’s web site on Friday, the league's chief executive Damien O’Donohue said: "We take our responsibility of ensuring that we protect and promote the integrity of the tournament and the game itself very seriously”.  That comment was not in relation to the Best-Malik stoush, but rather to the arrest of three unnamed individuals for "suspicious behaviour at CPL games over the course of the tournament so far”, a probable reference to betting activities.  However, Cozier is of the view that “behaviour on the field of play is even more critical to ensuring the integrity of the tournament".

 

Cozier points out that the CPL is not alone in such an approach to controversy, giving as examples the confrontations between Australian Shane Warne and the West Indies’ Marlon Samuels in Melbourne eighteen months ago (PTG 1037-5034, 8 January 2014), and that involving another Australia-West Indies pair, Mitchell Starc and Keiron Pollard in this year’s Indian Premier League (PTG 1348-6515, 8 May 2014).  Warne was eventually fined and banned for one match, while Pollard and Starc were fined an amount of money that in all likelihood had no impact on them.  Officials would "would rather deal with such matters hurriedly and move on”, claims Cozier.

 

TEST DEBUT KEEPER FINED FOR 

‘UNFAIRLY’ CLAIMING A CATCH 

[1400-6772]

 

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella, who is making his Test debut during the current game against South Africa in Colombo, has been fined a tenth of his match fee and reprimanded for claiming a catch on a bounce and "celebrating" by throwing the ball in the air on Saturday.  Dickwella admitted to the Level One charge of conduct that is "either contrary to the spirit of the game or brings tint into disrepute", and accepted the sanction imposed on him by match referee Jeff Crowe. 

 

The incident had occurred when South African batsman AB de Villiers gloved a ball down the leg side.  On collecting the ball Dickwella immediately threw it in the air and appealed but de Villiers stood his ground.  Umpire Nigel Llong then conferred with his square leg colleague Richard Kettleborough before asking third umpire ‘Billy’ Bowden to look into the matter, but replays clearly showed the ball had bounced inches short of the keeper's gloves.

 

Commenting on his decision via an International Cricket Council press release, Crowe said: “While claiming an unfair catch is a serious offence, we noted that this is Niroshan’s his first Test and in excitement he claimed the catch”.  "We are sure that in future when a catch of this nature is in doubt, he will indicate such”.  The charge was laid against Dickwella by Kettleborough and Llong, both Englishmen, third umpire Bowden from New Zealand, and fourth umpire Ranmore Martinesz of Sri Lanka.  All Level One breaches carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum of fifty per cent of a player’s match fee.


PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,401
Tuesday, 29 July 2014

‘MORE CA T20 FRANCHISES COULD FACE 

CHARGES OVER RECRUITMENT ACTIONS

[1401-6773]

 

“At least half" of Cricket Australia’s (CA) eight domestic Twenty20 franchise sides could face charges of breaking their competition’s player recruitment rules in the next few weeks, says an article published in ‘The Australian’ newspaper yesterday.  Two months ago the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) sacked its then high performance manager Jamie Cox for his “failure to disclose player recruitment negotiations carried out by him” (PTG 1361-6577, 24 May 2014), actions that also saw CA ban Cox from associating with SACA’s Adelaide T20 franchise side for the 2014-15 season, and SACA itself handed a straight $A30,000 fine (PTG 1378-6668, 20 June 2014).

 

Journalist Peter Lalor wrote yesterday that SACA was alerted to irregularities in its recruitment actions by CA’s Integrity Unit after Cox's "lap top was examined and evidence of [inappropriate] deals were discovered in e-mails to player agents”. Cox was found to have offered three players contracts during the T20 league’s embargo period on player negotiations which runs for 102 days from early February to mid-May, part of the reason behind that hiatus being "to maximise and manage publicity around signings”.  

 

The SACA findings led the Integrity Unit to go on to look closely at the other seven franchises, work that Lalor says has shown a number of them "have committed similar if less serious breaches than Cox”.   A CA spokesman confirmed that the investigation into such matters was on-going but is "expect it to be completed in the coming weeks”, however, “no charges have been laid to date”.

 

‘The Australian’ says it is not the first time franchises have been found in breach of the league’s code of conduct but "there is angst" amongst their administrators that embargo-related rules are too restrictive and were never clearly defined.  In recent years sides have announced their new signings within hours, if not minutes, of the embargo being lifted, says Lalor, a sign that deals were being done in the embargo period. He “understands” though that as a "concession to those concerned” the length of the embargo period will be reduced” by CA.  General managers of the eight franchises "have recently returned from a study trip to the United States and [are expected to] meet CA again this week”.

 

Cox, a former first class player and later a selector for Australia’s senior national sides, is said to be widely respected in Australian cricket and attracted "considerable sympathy from the rest of the cricket community over his sacking".  'The Australian’ states that it understands that he has been offered work in CA’s high performance unit, a move "that has raised the ire of its Integrity Unit and reflects the complicated nature of the situation”; although it is not the first time integrity issues have run up against operational priorities at CA (PTG 1038-5040, 10 January 2013).

 

CA’s T20 league was televised on free to air television for the first time last season and proved to be "an enormous ratings success", with almost a million viewers per match, greater than anybody anticipated, tuning in.  That "has dramatically increased the commercial value of the league and its teams”, says Lalor.

 

PERTH VISIT TO START BANNED 

BOWLER’S REMEDIAL WORK

[1401-6774]

 

Sri Lankan spinner Sachithra Senanayake, who was banned from bowling in international cricket earlier this month because his current action was found to be illegal (PTG 1390-6724, 14 July 2014), is to start remedial work with a a week-long visit to the University of Western Australia’s Human Movement laboratory in Perth next month.  

 

Carlton Bernadus, Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) head of cricket operations told ‘Cricinfo’ yesterday Senanayake’s action will be scrutinised through three-dimensional cameras which will give a better picture of just what changes are required.  The bowler, whose action exceeded the International Cricket Council’s fifteen degrees of arm flex limit when tested at Cardiff Metropolitan University late last month, will be accompanied on his visit to Australia by Jerome Jayaratne SLC’s head of coaching.

 

OFFICIALS NAMED FOR AUSTRALIA-PAKISTAN 

WOMEN’S SERIES

[1401-6775]

 

Next month’s eight match series between the Australian and Pakistan women’s sides in south-east Queensland, which is part of the International Cricket Council’s new championship series for women (PTG 1390-6722, 14 July 2014) will be managed by three members of Cricket Australia’s National Umpires Panel (NUP), while two from its Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP) will work as match referees.  The umpires selected, Gerard Abood, Sam Nogajski and Geoff Joshua are to work across the four One Day Internationals (ODI) and four Twenty20 internationals (T20I) involved, the UHPP members being Steve Bernard and David Talalla.

 

Abood and Nogajski are to each stand in three of the four ODIs and Joshua in two, Bernard being the match referee in those fixtures.  For the T20Is Abood and Joshua will both be on-field in three games and Nogajski two, matches that will see Talalla as the referee.  Abood has previously stood in six womens’ ODIs, three in the 2009 World Cup, Joshua one earlier this year, while for Nogajski and Bernard their games will be their first in a womens’ fifty over international.  All three umpires have women’s T20Is behind them, Nogajski six, Joshua five, and Abood four, however, the four matches will be Talalla’s first as a referee in a women’s T20I. 

 

Abood and relative newcomer Nogajski have been standing in the tri-nation one-day series the ‘A’ sides of Australia, India and South Africa are currently playing in Darwin, while Joshua was the reserve umpire in one of the two four-day fixtures the Australian and Indian ‘A’ sides played in Brisbane earlier this month (PTG 1384-6693, 2 July 2014).  At the moment Abood, Nogajski and Joshua appear to be rated fifth, sixth and seventh respectively by CA on the twelve-man NUP. 

 

QUEENSLAND APPOINTS 

NEW UMPIRE MANAGER

[1401-6776]

 

Queensland Cricket (QC) has appointed Robert Dunbar to its new position of 'Umpire Development and Support Manager', a job that amalgamates and has as its aim enhancing, the roles played by former first class umpires Mike Ralston and David Orchard over the last decade.  QC advertised the position in late May (PTG 1362-6581, 25 May 2014), Ralston and Orchard left their respective positions as Queensland’s 'State Umpiring Manager’ and ‘State Umpire Coach’ at the end of June (PTG 1383-6690, 1 July 2014), Dunbar commencing in the new role around the same time.

 

Dunbar, 52, whose job involves training, managing, leading, mentoring and increasing participation rates of umpires at all levels throughout Queensland, played club cricket in the south-east of the state before moving on to umpiring in the 1990s.  He is believed to have umpired with the Sunshine Coast Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (SCCUSA) north-east of Brisbane where he stood at club level and in matches played there by touring first class squads, and there were also fixtures involving lower-level representative sides from around Australia plus events such as at least one National Country Cricket Championship series.  He also served in several SCCUSA administrative posts, including that of President.

 

Prior to joining QC, Dunbar spent most of his career in senior management roles in the building industry, his educational background being in accounting, banking and finance.  Positions held in the past include as chairman of the Australian Institute of Management's Sunshine Coast Committee, the chief executive a not-for-profit group that dealt with apprentices and trainees, the general manager of a property group, and as a regional manager of the Queensland Master Builders Association.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,402
Wednesday, 30 July 2014

NO SIGN OF A SANCTION FOR 

DHONI’S MATCH REFEREE CRITICISM

[1402-6777]

 

Despite appearing to breach the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) player code of conduct with his remarks about the appropriateness of the disciplinary hearing held into team mate Ravindra Jadeja’s recent misconduct charge, there is no indication Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be censured for his comments.  Dhoni’s is reported to have said on the weekend that Jadeja’s punishment was “unjust" and "a lot of things were neglected [by match referee David Boon] in judging the case”, an observation that contributed to ICC chief executive David Richardson's public call to "respect the judicial process” involved (PTG 1400-6770, 28 July 2014).

 

Wisden India’s Shamya Dasgupta asked in an article published on Monday that while: "Dhoni must be lauded for sticking up for his mate and playing the leader, shouldn’t he have done what he and other captains usually do and say [when questioned by journalists] that the matter is under investigation or some such, and that he is not allowed to comment on it?”  "If all the ICC can hand out for [the comments he made] is a gentle rap on the wrist” such as that given to him by Richardson, continued Dasgupta, "what’s to stop other captains from questioning the match referee’s authority?”  The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has indicated it may appeal Boon’s decision on the Jadeja case (PTG 1399-6768, 26 July 2014), but there is not sign as yet that has actually occurred. 

 

The ICC’s player code of conduct makes clear in a number of paragraphs that public criticism of match officials, or “inappropriate” comment on an incident that occurs in a match is “detrimental to the interested of the game” and is not acceptable, "irrespective of when such criticism or inappropriate comment is made”.  "When assessing the seriousness of the breach, the context within which the comments have been made and the gravity of the offending comments must be taken into account”, says the code.

 

Dasgupta’s article also talked of the "serious jump in the number of quarrels, an increased frequency of physical contact between players, and the somewhat questionable reprimands [handed out to] the offenders”; views similar to those expressed recently by long-time West Indian commentator Tony Cozier (PTG 1400-6771, 28 July 2014), and former Australian captain Ian Chappell (PTG 1393-6741, 18 July 2014).  Richardson said last week though that “Instructions have gone to [ICC] umpires to be stricter” with regards to aggression on the field of play (PTG 1395-6749, 20 July 2014).

 

Richardson’s challenge in responding to Dhoni’s criticism of Boon is that the Indian captain has very close links to long-time BCCI president Narayana­swami Srinivasan who as of a month ago, is as the ICC’s chairman Richardson's line manager.  In April last year Australian journalist Gideon Haigh described Srinivasan and Dhoni as having “been joined at the thigh pad since 2008” when the latter became the captain of the Indian Premier League’s Chennai franchise, a team that is owned by Srinivasan’s company India Cements.  As well as being the BCCI’s national captain, Dhoni has for the past eighteen months also been an India Cements vice president.  

 

CA TO ESTABLISH FEMALE 'PROJECT 

PANEL' SPOT, SAY REPORTS 

[1402-6778]

 

Cricket Australia (CA), which has been encouraging former first class players to take up umpiring via its ‘fast-track’ Project Panel over the last twelve years, is to call for applications for both male, and for the first time, female spots on that panel, say reports circulating in Australian umpiring circles.  Since 2002, CA has selected four men for the Project Panel, Rod Tucker, Paul Reiffel, Paul Wilson and Shawn Craig, the first two now being on the International Cricket Council’s Elite Umpires Panel, and the latter pair on CA’s top domestic group the National Umpires Panel (NUP). 

 

Fifteen months ago CA was reported to be planning to recruit, prior to the 2013-14 austral summer, a female to what was described as its Project Panel.  That move was part of an initiative to bring more females into match official ranks around the country by providing them with training programs and a clear pathway and opportunities to progress (PTG 1101-5359, 8 May 2013).  However, no female was appointed to the panel and efforts to recruit more females were stymied, primarily claimed reports late last year because senior CA management failed to provide even modest resources in support (PTG 1220-5875, 29 October 2013). 

 

Presumably CA, which last called for applications for the Project Panel in 2010 (PTG 655-3244, 19 August 2010), will be looking for a former first class player, who most likely will not have any umpiring credentials, to fill the male Project Panel spot, however, just how it proposes to approach the recruitment of a female appears less clear.  Use of the 'Project' description implies, at least on the surface, that applications will be restricted to females who have played at state or international level but are not yet involved in umpiring. Outside that, the pool of females who regularly stood in higher club-level games in Australia in 2013-14, and have reasonably basic experience, can be counted on one hand (PTG 1275-6144, 22 January 2014).

 

While the details available are sparse it is generally thought that Craig, who spent four years on the Project Panel until he was appointed to the NUP earlier this year, received a retainer from CA in the order of $A50-55,000 a year during that period.  In his first couple of seasons he was appointed to progressively more senior series of club games in his home city of Melbourne, after which CA selected him for representative games, including women’s and Under-19 men’s One Day Internationals.  If they show satisfactory progress the new Project Panel members, who logic suggests will be appointed by at least early September, are likely to follow the same general path.

 

ICC BANS PLAYER’S ‘FREE GAZA’,

‘FREE PALESTINE’, WRIST BANDS

[1402-6779]

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned England's Moeen Ali from wearing wrist bands in support of the people of Gaza during the Test match against India in Southampton.  Ali wore wrist bands that read "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine” during play on Monday, something an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spokesman told reporters was not an offence as his messages were "humanitarian rather than political”, however, match referee David Boon stepped in before play began yesterday and directed he not wear again in international fixtures. 

 

Birmingham-born Ali, a practising Muslim of Pakistani descent, has previously been photographed in his home city helping to raise funds for Gaza relief efforts.  On Monday the all-rounder's wristbands were on public display during the forty-two minutes he was at the crease, and again in the field later that day.  ICC regulations prohibit the display of political, religious or racial statements on a player’s clothing and equipment, a breach of which can mean a penalty of a fine of up to fifty per cent of a player's match fee for what would be a Level One offence.

 

The ICC said in a statement yesterday that Ali was told by Boon that while he is free to express his views on causes that are important to him away from the cricket field, he is not permitted to wear the wristbands on the field of play and was warned not to wear them again during an international match.

 

In contrast to that, the entire England team yesterday wore the logo of the UK’s 'Help for Heroes’ charity on their shirt collars to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.  ‘Help for Heroes’ was formed to assist military personnel who have been wounded in the conflicts Britain has been involved in more recently.  

 

In addition, a minute’s silence was held before yesterday’s play and the ECB gave away 1,000 tickets to members of the nation’s armed forces.  Brian Havill, the ECB’s acting chief executive, said: “At a time when the entire nation will be marking the outbreak of World War One, it is important that cricket recognises the enormous human cost of the conflict and in particular the hundreds of first class cricketers who gave their lives in service of their country”.

 

Last Friday in Glasgow, Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang was warned he risked being barred from competing in the Commonwealth Games if he again wore gloves bearing the message "Save Gaza”.  Awang could have been ejected from the event for wearing the gloves during competition on Thursday, instead he was given a reprimand and warned not to wear them again.  Although Awang insisted his message was "humanitarian" rather than politically-motivated, he issued an apology about the matter.

 

WICB REVAMPS ‘DOMESTIC’ FIRST CLASS 

PLAYER RECRUITMENT ARRANGEMENTS

[1402-6780]

 

The West Indies six remaining regional first class teams will be able to select players from all over the region, and possibly from other countries, as part of changes to the game’s structures approved recently by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).  Earlier this month the WICB dropped the Combined Campuses and Colleges team from its ‘domestic' first class competition (PTG 1395-6751, 20 July 2014), a similar move to that made by Zimbabwe Cricket in April when it excluded its now former Southern Rocks side (PTG 1327-6402, 4 April 2014).

 

WICB president Whycliffe Cameron outlined the change to player recruitment arrangements in a television interview yesterday.  They are part of a nineteen point plan recommended by WICB director Richard Pybus whose aim is to re-establish the West Indies as the "number one performing team in world cricket” (PTG 1329-6414, 6 April 2014).  "We have announced that coming this year, with the new professional structure, teams will be able to select the best players from around the region, however, the teams are [still] going to fall directly under the auspices of the [six respective] territorial boards”.

 

THIEVES AGAIN TARGET A DRESSING 

ROOM IN LANCASHIRE

[1402-6781]

 

Players representing Lancashire's Ribblesdale League in an inter-league Twenty20 at the Blackpool Cricket Club last Friday had six smartphones, £200 ($A360) in cash, and an “expensive” watch, stolen from their bags during play.  The incident follows the loss of £350 ($A640) from a dressing room during a Ribblesdale League match earlier this month (PTG 1393-6743, 18 July 2014), and the lifting of a dozen mobile phones in a Lancashire League fixture six weeks ago (PTG 1377-6665, 19 June 2014).

 

Player Callum Clarke told the ‘Burnley Citizen': “After the game, we came back in and the first thing I noticed was my phone wasn’t where I left it and I couldn’t find it”.  “I asked one of the other lads to ring it but they couldn’t find their phones either”.  “The police were great with us and said they would check CCTV, but I don’t know that there’s much they can do”.  His team mate Stuart Maher added: “I wasn’t affected because I had left my things in the car and they had overlooked the cash in my pocket as they had gone for wallets in bags".

 

Unlike the Lancashire League incident where the players were able to eventually catch the thief by tracking the phones, in Blackpool those responsible quickly turned off the trackers on each of the phones they stole.

PLAYING THE GAME
NUMBER 1,403
Thursday, 31 July 2014

‘LEGAL SUBMISSIONS’ WIN 

JADEJA THE RIGHT OF APPEAL

[1403-6782]

 

Gordon Lewis, the judicial commissioner who is to preside over England player James Anderson’s Level Three misconduct hearing in Southampton tomorrow, is to also oversee an appeal lodged by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) against the charge and fine handed to Ravindra Jadeja in relation to the Anderson incident.   Jadeja was originally charged with a Level Two offence for his alleged part in what some media outlets are, without much imagination calling “pushgate", but while match referee David Boon reduce it to Level One, Indian officials made it very clear they were unhappy with Boon’s conclusion as the their man was innocent of any wrong doing (PTG 1399-6768, 26 July 2014). 

 

In his decision last week Boon said he "was in no doubt that confrontation [between Anderson and Jadeja] did occur", and that such conduct was not in the spirit of the game and should not have taken place.  He fined the Indian after finding him guilty of "conduct contrary to the spirit of the game” 

 

Under International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct regulations it is usually not possible to appeal a guilty verdict handed down to a player for a Level One incident.  However, where a player receives more than one such censure in a twelve month period an appeal is allowed, a situation that appears to apply to Jadeja because nine months ago he was fined for a Level One swearing offence in a One-Day International played in Banglaore (PTG 1225-5902, 4 November 2014).  However, the ICC is believed to have argued that under the regulations that right to appeal did not apply in this particular case, but the BCCI successfully convinced the world body via “legal submissions” that Jadeja is entitled to have his case examined further.

 

Lewis, a retired Australian judge will hear Jadeja's appeal, and Anderson’s charge, via teleconference from Melbourne.  Those in the room in Southampton for the respective hearings will, in addition to the two players themselves, also include those from both teams and their support staff who claim to have witnessed the now infamous interaction at Trent Bridge, plus of course a number of lawyers who will where needed place detailed arguments to Lewis on the finer points of both cases.

 

FOUR NAMED TO MANAGE 

SRI LANKA-PAKISTAN TESTS

[1403-6783]

 

Englishmen Ian Gould and Richard Illingworth, Australian Bruce Oxenford and Zimbabwean Andy Pycroft, have been named to manage next month's two Test series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.  Gould is to stand in both fixtures, the first in Galle with Oxenford and second in Colombo with Illingworth, the latter two working as third umpires when not on the field, while Pyrcoft will be the match referee.

 

The series will take Pyrcoft’s record as a match referee in Tests to 30, Gould’s Test umpire tally to 41 on-field, Oxenford 20 plus 11 in the third umpires suite (20/11), while on currently available statistics Illingworth’s will move on to 10/5.  Last month when working as the third umpire in the second Test between the West Indies and New Zealand at Port of Spain, Illingworth took the field after the first drinks break on the fourth day and remained there during play until the end of the match on the final day.  He replaced Australian Rod Tucker who was presumably either ill of injured. 

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) decided in 2011 that "reserve umpires who take over as permanent replacements for injured, ill or otherwise absent on-field umpires for the remainder of a match will be credited with an official Test appearance”.  At the same time though it said that providing what is called "temporary cover" for an on-field umpire is viewed as part of the fulfillment of third umpire duties and should not in itself be classified as a Test appearance (PTG 871-4255, 11 December 2011.  Clarification as to whether Illingworth’s on-field stint last month will count on his umpiring statistics has been sought from the ICC. 

End of July 2014 News file