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                      JUNE 2015
THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
TOTAL OF 23 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 7492-7607)


Click below to access each individual edition listed below

1,558  1,559  1,560  1,561  1,562  1,563  1,564  1,565  1,566  1,567  1,568  1,569  1,570  1,571  1,572  1,573  1,574  1,575  1,576  1,577  1,578  1,579  1,580

  

 PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,558

  Monday, 1 June 2015

 

• Referees, umpires named for opening Intercontinental Cup games [1558-7492].

• Tiffin stands in all three Pakistan-Zimbabwe ODIs [1558-7493].

• IPL’s CSK is ‘worth’ only 500,000 Rupees! [1558-7494].

• The game is not the same, says Dev [1558-7495].

 

Headline: Referees, umpires named for opening Intercontinental Cup games.

Article prepared from:  ICC media release.

Journalist: PTG editor.

Published:  Monday, 1 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,492. 

 

Chettithody Shamshuddin of India and Mark Hawthorne from Ireland are to stand in the four-day, first class, International Cup match between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which is due to get underway in Malahide on the outskirts of Dublin tomorrow, Devdas Govindjee of South Africa being the match referee.  On the same day in Stirling to the west of Edinburgh, the home nation will face Afghanistan, a game in which Scottish umpire Allan Haggo and Gregory Brathwaite of the West Indies will be on-field, and David Jukes of England the match referee.

 

Brathwaite and Shamshuddin are members of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, Haggo and Hawthorne its third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel (AAIUP), and Dukes and Govindjee its second-tier Regional Referees Panel. Haggo was appointed to the AAIUP in January this year (PTG 1497-7229, 8 January 2015), and this week’s fixture will be his debut at first class level, while for Howthorne its his fifth and fourth overall in the Intercontinental Cup games.

 

For Braithwaite the match will be his thirty-seventh at first class level and fourth International Cup appointment from the ICC in the last four years, two having been in Scotland and one in Canada.  His other ICC overseas appointments in that time have been to six second-tier men’s ODIs, four in Canada and two in Scotland, plus five women’s ODIs in India during the 2013 World Cup.  Shamshuddin is on his first overseas appointment from the ICC for what will be his twenty-eighth first class game overall, although he has been on domestic exchange to both Australia and South Africa in the last eighteen months.

 

Eight sides are involved in the two-year long International Cup series of 2015-17, the others besides Afghanistan, Ireland Scotland and the UAE being Hong Kong, Namibia, the Netherlands and Papua New Guinea.  The side that tops the table after all home-and-away matches have been completed at the end of 2017 are to play the nation that is ranked tenth in Test cricket at that time.  Those two teams will then be involved in the inaugural four-match ’Test Challenge’ series during 2018 and should the Intercontinental Cup winner prevail in what will be a home-and-away series, new ICC arrangements mean that it would become the eleventh Test nation.

 

Headline: Tiffin stands in all three Pakistan-Zimbabwe ODIs.

Article from:  Match score sheets.

Journalist: PTG editor.

Published:  Monday, 1 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,493. 

 

Zimbabwean umpire Russell Tiffin was on-field in all three One Day Internationals (ODI), his national side played during their visit to Pakistan which ended yesterday.  Three locals, Aleem Dar, Shozab Raza and Ahsan Raza shared the other three on-ground spots with Ahmed Shahab in the television suite for all three fifty over games.  Ashan Raza stood in both the Twenty20 Internationals that proceeded the ODIs, the first with Shozab Raza and the second with Ahmed Shahab.  Azhar Khan referred as the local match referee for all five games, Sri Lankan Roshan Mahanama serving in a “remote” capacity when needed (PTG 1557-7483, 29 May 2015).

 

Headline: IPL’s CSK is ‘worth’ only 500,000 Rupees!

Article from:  Asian Age.

Journalist: Not stated

Published:  Sunday, 31 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,494. 

 

One of the most popular and successful Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK), has found themselves under India's Directorate General of Economic Enforcement (DGEE) scanner after the agency sought details regarding the undervaluation of the franchise.  

 

As part of the process of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) boss Narayanaswami Srinivasan and International Cricket Council chairman distancing itself from CSK, which is owned by his company India Cements Ltd., following a Supreme Court order citing conflict of interest, India Cements proposed to transfer control of the franchise to a trust, at a value of just 500,000 Indian Rupees [$A10,257 or £UK5,128].

 

According to an estimate, CSK pays 400 million Rupees [$A8.2 million or £UK4.1 million] to the IPL for its annual franchisee fee and spends over 600 million Rupees [$A12.3 million or £UK6.2 million] on players’ remuneration every year. The BCCI has sought legal opinion on the issue before responding formally to the DGEE’s request for information.

 

Editor’s note: According to Wikipedia the DGEE "is a law enforcement and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India”.

 

Headline: The game is not the same, says Dev.

Article from:  CNN-IBN.

Journalist: Sanjeeb Mukherjea.

Published:  Saturday, 30 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,495. 

 

Cricket has gone through a sea change since coloured clothing made its debut during the Kerry Packer days. Innovation has been never-ending since then. From the game's rules to equipment to technique, nothing has remained constant in an era where Test cricket may soon be played under lights and the colour of the Test ball may turn from red to pink.

 

To some extent, former India captain Kapil Dev agrees with this sea change but laments that swing bowling - the art he mastered - has been at the receiving end of it.  "I think the game has changed a lot.  A lot of people say this is the same game. I don't think so”, said Kapil in an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN, and went on to explain further.  "I think the players have become much stronger, the equipment has changed quite a bit. So, it's wonderful to see that. New ideas, New things and approach to the game has changed. Some of the things have really improved”. 

 

But what hurts Kapil is that swing bowling has somewhat suffered through this change.  "As a swing bowler, I would say swing has not come back; it has gone out of the system”, the man who once held the record for most Test wickets and was known for a smooth action and classical outswing said. The former India captain and coach went on to add that the players too have to evolve with this change.

 

"We have never seen in 100 years what we have seen in last five years. The game has come to an age where you have to keep on trying doing something different to enjoy it, and the people can talk about that”.

 
PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,559

   Tuesday, 2 June 2015

 

• High time umpires protected themselves by wearing helmets [1559-7496].

• Home thoughts from an English village cricket field [1559-7497].

• Cricket gets official nod in Sweden [1559-7498].

• Demand for cricket pitches up in Saskatoon [1559-7499].

• Like Blatter, like Srinivasan: If only India's police could arrest cricket officials [1559-7500].

• New CA league to shake up women’s game [1559-7501].

 

Headline: High time umpires protected themselves by wearing helmets.

Article from: Hindustan Times.

Writer: Indian player Gautam Gambhir.

Published: Thursday, 28 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,496. 

 

There could be a disaster waiting in cricket that if we act now we can avoid. I am talking about the safety of the umpires here. I really think that it is about time that umpires wear a helmet or at least a facial grill while officiating at the bowler's end.

 

If you look at the number of hard hits that go straight these days with those big booming bats you'd know what I mean. In fact, the risk is further considering that the umpire is looking at the bowler's foot for a 'no ball' and then looking up to follow the ball. In the process he ends up picking the trajectory of the ball later than he should have which increases the risk of getting hit.

 

In umpires who are generally on the other side of 40-45 their reflexes aren't as sharp. I remember during the 2003 World Cup one straight hit by Sachin Tendulkar almost cleaned up Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar. More than a decade later, with the advent of Twenty20, batsmen are hitting the ball harder. I think given all of this it is almost imperative that an umpire gets protection just like they do in baseball with a face mask or a helmet.  Just like any other accident, it is better to be smarter before than after.

 

I shared this thought with an India teammate and he cheekily told me that he knows of at least two ICC umpires who claim that they stand wearing abdomen guards. Well done Sirs!

 

Editor’s note:  Last November, Israeli umpire Hillel Oscar died after he was struck in the face by a ball when it ricocheted off the stumps from a shot hit straight down the pitch (PTG 1471-7117, 30 November 2014).  International Cricket Council Umpire Performance and Training Manager Simon Taufel said in March that umpires are likely to wear helmets or other protective gear in the future to combat the danger posed by the proliferation of more powerful bats and hard-hitting batsmen (PTG 1534-7384, 9 March 2015).  Well before that, now former Australian umpire Daryl Harper said in 2009: "its just a matter of time before umpires in higher-level Twenty20 matches wear baseball helmets which cover the face with a grill for protection” (PTG 423-2233, 14 May 2009).  Sydney umpire Karl Wentzel is ahead of the pack though for he has worn a helmet since 2001 after he had five teeth knocked out whilst standing at the bowler's end (PTG 1515-7299, 5 February 2015).

 

Headline: Home thoughts from an English village cricket field.

Edited article from: Financial Times.

Journalist: Jurek Martin (Washington DC correspondent).

Published:  Sunday, 31 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,497. 

Please excuse the sentimentality that follows but at my age any thoughts about the past inevitably leads there. My rediscovery last weekend was the game of cricket, not at the exalted level of the fine Test match simultaneously being played at Lord’s between England and New Zealand but on a far humbler sward, the pitch at Church Stretton in Shropshire.

 

I was there because my old London team, Barnes Common, was playing a couple of games against local villages, as it does each Whitsun bank holiday. I did not score a hundred or take five wickets or even get a game — you cannot descend from Washington, DC, and expect to displace a regular team member, especially when your always slow left arm spinners now go into reverse before reaching the batsman.

 

But, vicariously, I felt a part of the game and found that I missed what I had grown up playing, once at a reasonable level. It wasn’t just the sound of bat on ball, or the typically English sub-Arctic weather, but this sense of pure enjoyment, of camaraderie, of 22 men from two sides, ranging from teenagers to those well into their 60s, simply doing what they really like for an afternoon and hashing it over in the pub afterwards.

 

On the flight back to the United States I found myself wondering where else could men continue to play a team sport well into their dotage, fathers playing alongside sons (five of the Barnes team were such), wives and girlfriends making the sandwiches and cakes for the mid-game tea whenever the side plays at home.

 

Barnes Common, founded by a bunch of architects who loved the game, now comprises players from all walks of life and around the world. Its captain, Graeme, is Australian, its opening bowler, Suraj, is Indian, and its star batsman Henry can still bat with a certain elegance but whose wife, Peg, insists he wear a helmet.

 

Way back when, I played a fair bit of cricket for Marin County, just outside San Francisco. Our home ground was at the far end of the driving range of the exclusive Peacock Gap country club. We laid down our matting wicket, transported from match to match in the Rolls-Royce belonging to our captain who was the Australian consul, hopefully out of range of any golf balls. Playing away, in public parks, we were at greater risk from baseballs and frisbees. But the same camaraderie, and tea breaks and drinks in the bar afterwards, applied.

 

At the professional level, cricket has its problems, the excitement of the England-New Zealand match at Lord’s, the holiest of holies, notwithstanding. At the grass roots, however, it simply will not go away nor should it. If nothing else, the English language would be poorer without it.  Church Stretton told me and so would I.

 

Headline: Cricket gets official nod in Sweden.

Article from: Swedish Radio News .

Journalist: not stated.

Published:  Sunday, 31 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,498. 

 

The world of cricket – with its bowlers and batsmen, wickets and creases – is growing in popularity in Sweden. Now the quintessentially Commonwealth game has been recognised by the Swedish Sports Confederation.  On Saturday, the committee that governs sport in Sweden accepted the Swedish Cricket Federation into its ranks, 25 years after the sport arrived in the country, brought over by a few expats.  Today, there are some 2,600 cricket players in Sweden who play for 40 clubs.

 

Shahzeb Choudry, the federation’s chairman, told Swedish Radio News: “The growth has been phenomenal. When I moved here there were only 13 or 14 clubs who played in the league and I think that it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the country”.  Given its popularity in the Commonwealth, many of the players in Sweden come from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

 

Choudry says the sport is not only fun, but also a good tool for integration.  “In the club I play for we have players from different backgrounds and different cultures playing together”, he said. “For example, we have people playing who are from Afghanistan. They can learn the sport and at the same time have more interaction with Swedes, so they learn the language”.

 

The acceptance into Sweden's Sports Confederation means the cricket group will get funding and can promote the sport further.  “Economically it’s very good for us, but most important is the recognition that we’ll now get”, said Choudry.  A few other sports associations that had applied for membership in the sports governing body, such as crossbow shooting, bridge, and cheerleading, didn’t make the cut.

 

Now members of the cricket federation will vote on formally joining the Swedish sports fraternity and start work on expanding knowledge about the sport that can often seem impenetrable to outsiders.  The federation does offer training courses to familiarise more Swedes with cricket’s somewhat arcane terminology, including the ‘biffer', the cart-wheeling stump and, of course, the 'dibble dobbly’.  

 

Headline: Demand for cricket pitches up in Saskatoon.

Article from: CBC Radio News.

Journalist: not stated.

Published:  Friday, 29 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,499. 

 

Cricket is becoming so popular in the western Canadian prarie city of Saskatoon, so much so that local authorities there are developing a new pitch in the Pierre Radisson park.  Iftekhar Kalyar, the president of the Saskatoon Cricket Association, said he has seen an exponential growth in the popularity of cricket across the province of Saskatchewan over the last five years.  

 

According to Kalyar "In 2010 we only had four teams, three in Regina and one in Saskatoon, but now we have 27 teams across Saskatchewan” who play in one league and frequently travel to other cities for matches.  He credits recent immigration especially from Southeast Asia, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and his home country, Pakistan.  "When they come here they're still passionate about cricket”, said Kalyar.

 

Headline: Like Blatter, like Srinivasan: If only India's police could arrest cricket officials.

Article from: F Sportts.

Journalist: Tariq Engineer  .

Published:  Thursday, 28 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,500. 

 

FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s defence will be familiar with every one who follows Indian cricket - it is right out of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Narayanaswami Srinivasan’s playbook.  When the Indian Supreme Court told Srinivasan to step aside as board president while hearing the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting and fixing case, Srinivasan kept insisting that he had not been charged with anything and therefore should be able to stay on the throne.  Blatter’s defence is no different. “The president is not involved”, FIFA spokesperson Walter De Gregorio said on Wednesday. “Of course he is the head of FIFA, but he is not involved so how can you say he has to step down?”

 

It doesn't matter that under Blatter, FIFA has been consistently and rampantly corrupt. What matters it that the trail of corruption does not lead to his door – at least not yet.  Both the BCCI and FIFA share a similar philosophy as well. They have stridently maintained they are private bodies that operate within their own rules and guidelines and are not subject to outside interference. They are the Lords and Masters of their universe.

 

Blatter and Srinivasan controlled their respective organisations by doling out favours and withholding rewards for friends and foes alike. Under Srinivasan, Indian state associations began receiving much more money than before. Under Blatter, football federations in Asia, the Americas and Africa found themselves the beneficiaries of his largesse. No wonder the Asian Football Confederation gave Blatter its vote of confidence on Thursday.

 

It is enough to make you wonder whether somewhere, hidden from view like Hogwarts, there is a special school for those who wish to rule the world of sport. There students are trained in the dark arts of politicking and bribery, with special attention paid to those with a messiah complex and a penchant for egomania.  After all, at a recent CONCACAF meeting, Blatter was compared to Jesus Christ, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela for the way he has run football. And former India cricketer Farokh Engineer called Srinivasan one of the best Board presidents ever.

 

The US Justice Department investigation has now given the lie to that world view, just as the Indian Supreme Court let the BCCI know it cannot operate as an impenetrable black hole anymore.  When it comes to the BCCI, the only person who has lost anything is Srinivasan, who was only ousted as BCCI president. He continues though to head the International Cricket Council and run world cricket.

 

As we all know, in India, sports associations are either run by politicians or benefit from political patronage. Arun Jaitley, India’s Finance Minister, was the chief patron of Delhi District Cricket Association, having been president for over a decade before that, before resigning in December last year.  Two years ago in Mumbai, Sharad Pawar, then the newly elected president of the Mumbai Cricket Association, threw out a report on corruption involving World Cup tickets and catering that was produced by his own association.

 

“The world is corrupt and FIFA represents the world”, Dan Wetzel writes for Yahoo.com. The BCCI doesn’t represent the world, but it does represent India and there is no doubting India is corrupt.  The arrests of seven FIFA officials in Zurich is the fantasy come to life of everyone who wants to clean up cricket in India. However, for the muck to be well and truly swept out of the BCCI’s Augean stables, the fantasy of police arresting officials has to become a reality. Until then, it will be business as usual no matter who sits on the throne.

 

Headline: New CA league to shake up women’s game.

Article from: Cricket Australia.

Journalist: Laura Jolly.

Published:  Wednesday, 27 May 2015.

PTG listing: 7,501. 

 

Australia’s top female cricketers are predicting some interesting movements when Cricket Australia’s (CA) revamped women’s Twenty20 League signings are revealed later this year.  The new league is set to launch next austral summer with teams aligned to CA's eight existing men’s T20 team franchises. Clubs are currently recruiting their foundation members, but to ensure a balanced competition, they are only allowed to sign up to five current or recent members of Australia’s national women’s side, or up to three overseas players in place of the equivalent number of Australian players.

 

Under the new arrangements, the men's and womern's competitions will mostly run concurrently during the December-January window, with many women's matches on weekends.  Australia opening batter Elyse Villani said that: ”With eight teams involved in the new competition, one more than in the current Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL), the changes will give more players exposure to the elite level of the game”.  Internationals from other countries who played in last year’s WNCL and Women’s T20 competitions, including England skipper Charlotte Edwards, her teammates Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor, New Zealand captain Suzie Bates and fellow White Ferns Sophie Devine, Nicola Browne and Sara McGlashan, will be sought after.

 

Australia opening batter Elyse Villani said the condensed nature of the tournament could also encourage players to branch out from their home states.  “If they’re able to financially and with work and individual circumstances, I think people will definitely be looking to move and be part of a new program”  .“It’s good for players to get a fresh approach and learn from different people”, said Villani.

 

Rene Farrell, another Australian player, described the new set up as a “great concept” for the women’s game. “It’s great direction to head in.  “I think if there’s one or two more teams and a few extra girls, plus more international girls coming over, it’s only going to strengthen the competition within Australia.  “The WNCL is already the best competition in the world in my eyes, but with the addition of the women’s T20 series it will be even stronger and even better”.

 

Editor’s note:  Given the introduction by the ICC of the world Women’s Championship series (PTG 1390-6722, 14 July 2014) and the revamp of the women’s game in Australia, just how plans for the mooted Women’s International Cricket League (PTG 1342-6485, 1 May 2014).now stand are far from clear even though its proponents are still talking up its prospects (PTG 1557-7484, 29 May 2015). 

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,560

  Wednesday, 3 June 2015

 

• Davis to retire after England-NZ ODI series [1560-7502].

• Boy drowns whilst trying to retrieve ball [1560-7503].

• No UDRS during India series, says Bangladesh Cricket Board President [1560-75043].

 

Headline: Davis to retire after England-NZ ODI series.

Article from: ICC press release.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,502. 

 

Australian umpire Steve Davis, a member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), announced yesterday that he will retire from international umpiring at the end of the One-Day International (ODI) series between England and New Zealand which is due to end at Chester-le-Street on Saturday, 20 June.  London-born Davis, 63, was selected as a member of the ICC’s then International Panel in 2002, and he was promoted to the EUP in 2008 (PTG 234-1296, 24 April 2008).

 

Davis made his first-class umpiring debut in 1990-91 and umpired in his first ODI in 1992 when he officiated an mtch between Pakistan and the West Indies in his home town of Adelaide. His first Test appointment was five years later in Hobart when he stood in the match between Australia and New Zealand.  When he retires in just over two weeks time, he will have been on-field in 140 first class games, 57 of them Tests and five Sheffield Shield finals, 195 List A matches, 137 of them ODIs, and 49 Twenty20 fixtures, 26 being Twenty20 Internationals (T20I).  

 

Fifteen of the ODIs were across the World Cups of 2007, 2011 and 2015 and the 2009 and 2013 Champions Trophy tournaments, while 24 across all five World Twenty20 Championship series played to date.  

 

Announcing his decision, Davis said: “It has been a difficult but considered decision. I have had a marvelous 25-year career during which I worked with some of the best umpires and match referees”.  “I have made many lasting friendships all around the world, both on and off the field, which I will treasure forever”.  “I also take this opportunity to thank Cricket Australia and the ICC for their support and the opportunities they have given me. And as much as anyone, I thank my wife Annie and our families for their encouragement and support over the years”.

 

ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice, paid tribute to Davis when he said: “Steve will finish international cricket on a high, leaving the game with the respect of not only his umpiring colleagues, but of the match referees and players as well”.  “He was one of the best match managers on the field, and a great team man for umpires and referees to work alongside”.  "He has also been the leader of the elite umpires over recent years, and his calming influence will be hard to replace”.

 

Vince Van Der Bijl, the ICC’s Senior Umpires and Referees Manager, congratulated Davis on a successful career. He said: “The Elite Panel had been fortunate to have a person of Steve’s calibre and stature involved with the group for the last seven years".

 

“Through his leadership and commitment, Steve has had an immense influence on the umpiring community, which will be fondly remembered by all those who have worked with him during his long and distinguished umpiring career.  “On behalf of the ICC, I thank Steve for his significant contribution to the game”.  The ICC concluded its press release by saying Davis’ replacement on the EUP "will be announced in due course”.

 

Editor’s note:  Davis’ departure from the EUP has been widely anticipated.  Similarly, many knowledgable observers expect Indian umpire Sundarum Ravi to be elevated to the EUP in Davis’ place.  The ICC’s formal announcement as to just who the new EUP member will be is expected soon, and certainly before the end of this month.   

 

Headline: Boy drowns whilst trying to retrieve ball.

Article from: The Hindu.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,503. 

 

A search for a cricket ball turned fatal for a ten-year-old boy in Devarabisanahalli near Banglaore on Saturday when he was washed away in a storm-water drain.  Police said the boy, who was playing cricket with his friends, was trying to cross a six-metre-deep drain via a wooden plank to retrieve the ball on the other side when he fell into the fast moving water.  His body was recovered following morning after a lengthy search.

 

Headline: No UDRS during India series, says Bangladesh Cricket Board President.

Article from: Dawn.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,504.

 

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan has said that the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be used in the single Test and three One Day International (ODI) series against India which is due to start next Wednesday.  Nazmul told the media during at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday that: "Following discussions between the two boards, we have decided not to take the UDRS for the upcoming home series against India”.  "As far as I know, no team goes for the UDRS while playing against India”.

 

Editor’s note:  The ICC has yet to indicate publicly who the match officials for the Test, which is to start in Fatullah next Wednesday, nor for the three ODIs, on the 18th, 21st and 24th of this month.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,561

  Friday, 5 June 2015

 

• Gaffaney, Ravi promoted to EUP, Bowden dropped for a second time [1561-7505].

• CA congratulates Davis on his career [1561-7506].

• Australia demonstrates hardline stance on concussion [1561-7507].

• NZ Cricket set to scrap Aussie Test  [1561-7508].

• Two-match series the biggest threat facing Test cricket today [1561-7509].

 

Headline: Gaffaney, Ravi promoted to EUP, Bowden dropped for a second time.

Article from: ICC press release.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Friday, 5 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,505. 

 

New Zealand umpire Chris Gaffaney and India’s Sundarum Ravi have been promoted to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) for the 2015-16 year in place of Gaffaney’s countryman ‘Billy’ Bowden and the retiring Australian Steve Davis (PTG 1560-7502, 3 June 2015).  Ravi is only the second Indian, after Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan (Venkat), to make the EUP since its inception in 2002 but his promotion is not unexpected, however, the elevation of Gaffaney and the departure of Bowden after just one year back on the EUP is.

 

Ravi has stood in six Tests, including the recently completed series between England and New Zealand, twenty-four One Day Internationals (ODI), three of which were during this year's World Cup, and twelve Twenty20 Internationals (T20I).  An ICC press release quotes him as saying: "I have always enjoyed the company of those umpires already on the Elite Panel and now I have the chance to work with them all on a more regular basis". "I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead and aim to maintain a high standard of umpiring”.

 

The Indian's elevation will not come as a surprise to former EUP member and nor ICC Umpires Performance and Training Manager  Simon Taufel, who gave high marks to Indian umpires in a recent interview with ‘Cricinfo’ (PTG 1557-7482, 29 May 2015). Although Taufel, who is advisor and mentor to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s top panel of umpires, was non-committal over why Indians had not been in the panel for so long, he stressed the big strides made by the likes of Ravi in the last few years to make themselves eligible. 

 

Gaffaney began his international career as an umpire in 2010 and has stood two Tests, forty-one ODIs, three in this year's World Cup, and fifteen T20Is.  Prior to taking up umpiring he played eighty-three first-class matches as an opener for Otago.

 

The Kiwi said via the ICC release: “I am thrilled to be promoted to the Elite Panel as it has to be the aim of every umpire to be appointed to this select group".  "I have a number of people to thank, especially those who have assisted from the very beginning of my umpire career, and will be doing this individually in due course". "I, however, need to mention the support and understanding of both New Zealand Cricket and the Police force, who allowed me the opportunity to follow my career as a policeman and also as an umpire. I am extremely grateful for their understanding, which has made this possible”.

 

Bowden was dropped from the EUP in 2013 for what were broadly hinted at the time as "performance" issues (PTG 1130-5485, 26 June 2013), however, he worked his way back and returned to the panel last year (PTG 1343-6492, 2 May 2014).  What appears to some observers to be Gaffaney’s early elevation to the EUP could be read as suggesting Bowden had not convinced his ICC bosses that he should be retained for another year.

 

Interestingly, apart from stating that Bowden has been “replaced”, the ICC press release makes no further mention of him or his contribution to the game since he made his international debut in an ODI in March 1995.  For the record, he has been on the ground in a remarkable eight-four Tests, 195 ODIs, a figure that is currently second on the all-time ODI list, and twenty-one T20Is.   The ODIs include twenty-four across the World Cups of 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015, plus thirteen in the Champions Trophy series of 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2013 and eight in the Asian Cup events of 2004 and 2010.    

 

Apart from Gaffaney and Ravi, the other members of the EUP for the next year are: Aleem Dar (Pakistan); Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka); Marais Erasmus (South Africa); Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong (all England), and Australians Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel, and Rod Tucker.  As such Dar, Dharmasena, Gaffaney, Erasmus and Ravi will have to share on-field and television duties during the Ashes Test series in July-August.

 

The 2015-16 team was picked by the ICC umpires selection panel consisting of ICC general manager Geoff Allardice, chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle, former England player, coach and umpire David Lloyd, and former umpire and Indian captain Venkataraghavan.

 

Editor’s note:  The ICC’s failure to make any comment about Bowden and his contribution to the game is in stark contrast to its praise for Davis earlier in the week when he announced his retirement, although the Australian probably wasn’t given much choice but to depart.  However, the world body has a track record of on the one hand praising those who leave their employ and on the other showing a distinct desire to ‘disappear’ others, such as appears the case with Bowden, with the minimum fuss possible.  Whether Bowden, who it now appears is very unlikely to be able to make a second come back to the EUP, has any public comment on the matter remains to be seen.

 

Headline: CA congratulates Davis on his career.

Article from: Cricket Australia press release.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Wednesday, 3 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,506. 

 

Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday praised Australian umpire Steve Davis after he announced his retirement from the International Cricket Council’s Elite Umpires Panel on Tuesday (PTG 1560-7502, 3 June 2015).  Davis will retire from international umpiring at the end of the upcoming ODI series between England and New Zealand, finishing at the Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street in two weeks.

 

CA chief executive James Sutherland said in a statement: "Australian cricket congratulates Steve on a wonderful career. As one of Australia's leading officials, Steve's achievements have been significant during his twenty-five years on the field spanning 57 Tests and several World Cups”. "Steve leaves the game with the respect of the international cricketing community and is held in high regard by match officials and players alike”.

 

Sutherland continued by saying: "The leadership Steve has shown during his time on the ICC's Elite Panel is a credit to him and we thank him for his outstanding contribution to the game”.  "Steve made his way up through the Australian domestic ranks before making his international debut in 1992 when he officiated an ODI between Pakistan and the West Indies in Adelaide.  His Test debut followed five years later when he umpired Australia and New Zealand in Hobart”.

 

Headline: Australia demonstrates hardline stance on concussion.

Article from: Sydney Morning Herald.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,507. 

 

If any further evidence was needed to spell out the new world Australia's cricketers are living in since the terrible events of last November, then it arrived loud and clear here in Dominica ahead of the first Test against the West Indies.  For twenty minutes an increasingly forlorn Chris Rogers stood, in the outfield of the Windsor Park National Stadium, being told why he would be ruled out of Australia's first Test against the West Indies that started on Wednesday.

 

At times the conversation, also involving team doctor Peter Brukner, Australian captain Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann, appeared animated, almost as if Rogers was being berated for being late to training or missing the bus. As it turns out, the trio were simply trying to get across to the veteran opener why he couldn't be allowed to play this week.

 

In another time Rogers, on his final tour for Australia, would be suiting up against the West Indies, the blow he received to the helmet from a local net bowler on Sunday simply a bump in the road, even a badge of honour.  But with eyes now wide open about the possible consequences of being struck by a cricket ball since the death of Phillip Hughes - and with the sport promising to take the same hardline stance on concussions that the football codes have preached - he was never going to be allowed to play once he reported a headache and dizziness to Brukner.

 

Clarke said: "I think there's probably a few players that wouldn't have played as many Test matches as they did if that was the case long ago". "But I think there's obviously a lot of research done by the experts in all sports. You know, it is spoken about a lot — certainly when I spent some time at home before coming here — in the Australian Rules Football and in Rugby League in particular.

 

"I think Chris is exactly like me. He wants to play, as I want him to play, but he also understands and respects that there is a lot more to it than just walking back out onto the field and playing again”, continued Clarke.  "As I'm sure the doc would have said, if he gets hit again who knows what the consequences are, and I don't think anybody wants to see that happen for the sake of missing one game. I think it takes courage for the doctor to make this decision”.

 

The ruling out of Rogers brought back memories of Ricky Ponting's concern about a concussed Justin Langer during the third Test against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2006. Langer had been padded up and ready to complete Australia's run chase at number 11 but was not required as Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz sealed victory. Ponting would say afterwards that he would have been willing to declare and sacrifice the win if Langer had insisted on batting. 

 

Cricket Australia (CA) adopted the more conservative Zurich guidelines on dealing with concussion during the last southern summer, giving the touring doctor little choice but to side with caution. And with such outspoken player welfare advocates as Brukner, a former top medico at Liverpool Football Club, and CA's chief medical officer John Orchard calling the shots, it should be little surprise the way the Rogers situation was dealt with. 

 

During a summer in which Australia's view of player safety and of such weapons as the bouncer changed forever, Rogers had also suffered a blow to the head that left him shaken. He even contemplated his future after a ball hit him on the back of the helmet while he was fielding during a Test against India in Brisbane, only a matter of weeks after Hughes' passing.

 

There were other notable incidents during the last Australian season: New South Wales batsman Ben Rohrer was knocked out by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield game in Melbourne, while fellow Blues squad member Daniel Hughes was rushed to hospital during a Sydney grade game (PTG 1509-7274, 26 January 2015).  There continues to be introspection about where cricket needs to play catch up, and there is every chance that an independent review into the circumstances around Hughes' death will make newly updated helmets on the market mandatory. 

 

However, one of those would not have done Rogers any good. He was hit flush on the helmet above the temple. He'd played through the shot before the ball arrived. But in standing him down, Brukner has demonstrated emphatically that while a Test cap is one thing, a player's health and safety comes first.

 

Editor’s note:  The CA's Orchard, who cared for Phillip Hughes immediately after he was hit last November (PTG 1468-7109, 26 November 2014), called for a tightening of then current concussion protocols some eighteen months ago (PTG 1244-6010, 29 November 2013).  A few days before Hughes was struck he also spoke about allowing players to be substituted and take a full role in Tests when a person on a team list suffers a substantive injury during a game (PTG 1465-7099, 23 November 2014).

 

Headline: NZ Cricket set to scrap Aussie Test.

Article from: New Zealand Herald.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 5 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,508. 

 

New Zealand might have agitated for a three-test series against England but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) are reportedly in negotiations to drop one home Test against Australia this summer in favour of three One Day Internationals (ODI) for the Chappell-Hadlee trophy.  Currently, Australia are due to play three tests in New Zealand in February - the Black Caps will also tour Australia in November - but NZC are looking to trim it back to a two-Test series in order to carry on the momentum from this year's World Cup when Australia beat New Zealand in the final.

 

NZ Cricket CEO David White told Fairfax media: "It's an interesting debate”.  "We want three-match Test series where possible and there's been a lot of valid discussion about that over the last week [after the drawn two-Test series in England]”.  "But on the back of the success of the World Cup, and bearing in mind we would have played Three test matches in Australia [in November], it would be very appealing to have three Chappell-Hadlee ODIs in New Zealand."

 

Cricket Australia were "very receptive" to the idea, according to White.  NZC are keen to play Australia more regularly in a post-Future Tours Program world cricket now operates in - tours are now negotiated between individual countries over an eight-year period.  The last time the Chappell-Hadlee trophy was contested as a series was in 2010, when Australia triumphed 3-2 in New Zealand. The Black Caps won back the trophy this year with their win over Australia in pool play at the World Cup.

 

White also said the controversial day-night test in Australia in November was still a possibility, despite the fact the players are opposed to being used as guinea pigs in what is a very important series for the Test is due to be played with a pink ball.

 

Editor’s note:  A related story regarding the number of Tests that now make up such series today appears immediately below in 1561-7509.  Of late there has also been discussion of reducing Tests to four days in order to fit more of the shorter form of the game during the English summer (PTG 1557-7480, 29 May 2015).

 

Headline: Two-match series the biggest threat facing Test cricket today. 

Article from: London Daily Telegraph.

Journalist:  Jonathan Lieu.

Published: Wednesday, 3 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,509. 

 

For any lover of Test cricket a two-match Test series is the height of rudeness: the equivalent of the party guest who arrives with a giant boom box, a bucking bronco and a giant vat of guacamole, only to leave after half an hour. Should rain intervene on the fifth day at Headingley [during the second and last England-NZ Test of the recent series] as it did on the fourth, there is a strong chance that this match will be drawn, and England will win the series. 

 

Given the quality and spirit that New Zealand have displayed in their short visit to these shores, it would be a tremendous shame. And yet these days, it is becoming an increasingly unavoidable hazard of the sport. Never mind spot-fixing, dead pitches or Giles Clarke: two-match series are the biggest threat facing Test cricket today. 

 

The rise of the two-Test series began in the early 2000s as a perfectly reasonable solution to an emerging problem: how to accommodate the chronic weakness of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe without stunting their development or devaluing the five-day game. In England, a country that did not play a single two-Test series between 1975 and 1996, it allowed seven Tests to be squeezed into a summer, maximising broadcast revenue. But what was once a convenient expedient has become the default across an entire swathe of the Test-playing world. 

 

Series that would once have taken place over three, four or even five matches have now been pruned to a bare minimum: South Africa v India, South Africa v Australia, India v West Indies, Australia v New Zealand. Whereas Australia and the West Indies once jousted over six Tests in the 1970s, now Australia are currently in the Caribbean for an utterly inconsequential two-match jaunt that serves merely as a warm-up for their series against England. A Test series should be its own end; instead it is too often a whim, a trimming, the cricketing equivalent of that basket of artisan bread you get in posh restaurants while they are cooking your food. Nobody ever says after a slap-up meal: “Wow, that bread was delicious”. Even if it was. 

 

From the moment New Zealand landed in England, you sensed a lingering resentment that they been reduced to an Ashes hors d’oeuvre by the schedulers. Scarcely a murmur was raised at the time; when the current Future Tours Program was being drawn up by the International Cricket Council in the summer of 2011, New Zealand were ranked eighth in the world, and by quite some distance. But now, as the third-best team in Test cricket, their every stride speaks of a team with a few points to prove. 

 

“Yeah, it would be nice,” BJ Watling admitted after Monday’s washout. “I’d like to think that we probably deserve one extra game. Often you’re just warming into it with two Tests. If we win [this Test], it’s one-all, and it’s a bit of an anticlimax. But that’s the way it is”. Watling, like every single New Zealand cricketer of his generation, has no idea what it is like to play in a series of more than three Tests.  New Zealand have not been invited to participate in one since they won here in [England in] 1999. 

 

Their coach Mike Hesson said something interesting on Sky Sports on Monday morning. He suggested that New Zealand’s ultra-aggressive approach was partly a by-product of the short series they play. With little time to acclimatise to conditions or iron out flaws in technique, often the best option is simply to play in the style they are most comfortable with: a long-form version of the one-day game they so excel in. “I guess you look at the players you have and see how you can get the best out of them,” he said. 

 

And with two-Test rubbers increasingly stuffing the schedules like cricketing Polyfilla, this series could well be a sign of where we are all headed. The poor quality of recent meetings between England, India and Australia have shown up the limitations of the modern five-Test model, which is habitually crammed into six or seven weeks and thus offers an enormous advantage to the home side. 

 

Perhaps the future of Test cricket is as a fascinating kaleidoscope of micro-series: an arresting, appetite-whetting curio before the more serious limited-overs stuff. One-day cricket used to be a curtain-raiser for the longer game. It would be ironic if they were eventually to switch places. 

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,562

  Saturday, 6 June 2015

 

• Bowden has enough time to return to EUP, says NZC Manager [1560-7510].

• Eye injury forces Kieswetter retirement [1560-7511].

 

Headline: Bowden has enough time to return to EUP, says NZC Manager.

Article from:  Stuff New Zealand

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Saturday, 6 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,510. 

 

Rodger McHarg, New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) match officials manager, believes ‘Billy’ Bowden has enough time on his side to make another bid to return to the top after being dropped from the International Cricket Council’s twelve-man Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) earlier this week (PTG 1561-7505, 5 June 2015).   Bowden digested his axing on Friday and saw some positives that included “getting to know my family again along with respected friends for the next three months” and he says he is looking forward to umpiring for NZC during their busy 2015-16 season at home and that meant "exciting times ahead”.

 

It's not the first time Bowden has been dropped. He was on the EUP for a decade from 2003 but fell out of favour in 2013. He battled back to regain his place for the 2014-15 season but has now missed the cut again.  McHarg says he didn't know the reasons behind Bowden's demotion but said, at the age of 52 he was "still young enough to return” and that NZC would look to work with him on that during the domestic season; a similar sentiment to that it express the first time he was dropped from the EUP (PTG 1132-5494, 27 June 2013).

 

Gaffaney, 39, joins the growing trend of former first-class and test players moving into the umpiring scene and making rapid strides.  McHarg says they have umpiring qualities that can't be taught.  In his view "The thing that underpins it is what I call cricket nous … an intuitive understanding of what is happening”.  "Chris is very level-headed with good people management skills". "That's very important and his background in the police stands him in good stead in that regard”.  "He has certainly worked very hard to achieve this opportunity and we are delighted for him”.

 

The former Otago opening batsman is moving quickly into his new full-time job as he has been assigned to handle Sri Lanka hosting Pakistan for three Tests, five One Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals. He's in for a busy time with as much as two-thirds of his year on the road.

 

Headline: Eye injury forces Kieswetter retirement.

Article from:  Cricinfo

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 5 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,511. 

 

Craig Kieswetter, the England One Day International and Twenty20 International wicketkeeper who was 'Man of the Match' in the 2010 World Twenty20 final, has announced his retirement following the eye injury he sustained last year.  Kieswetter was struck in the face when a ball went between his helmet and grille when playing against Northamptonshire, breaking his nose and damaging his eye socket. He returned for two matches at the end of the 2014 season, then went to play T20 in South Africa, but struggled with the effects of the injuries.

 

Earlier this year he said he would take this season off from playing for Somerset to try and make a full recovery but even at that stage admitted he may have to curtail his career.  "After been given the opportunity to take some time off and step away from the game, I've come to the decision that wasn't the easiest to make, yet I feel is the right one”, Kieswetter said. "Having gone through that experience of my eye injury and everything it entailed, I feel mentally I will never again be the player that I was”.  As a result "I am calling time on my career and walking away with no regrets".

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,563

  Monday, 8 June 2015

 

• Wicketkeeper moves to outfield without pads, gloves [1563-7512].

• Man picking up cricket equipment post match survives lightning strike [1563-7513].

• Cloete, Holdstock receive South African awards [1563-7514].

• 'Hands in front' reduce umpire ball-injury risk, says former Test umpire [1563-7515].

• Ravi: IPL has improved Indian umpiring standards  [1563-7516].   

• Cricket is becoming dangerously rigged in favour of batsmen, says Ambrose [1563-7517].

• Captain claims County schedule could become dangerous [1563-7518].

• School drops cricket due to complex rules and wet weather [1563-7519].

• Nine of team’s batsman dismissed without scoring in a 40-over match [1563-7520].

 

Headline: Wicketkeeper moves to outfield without pads, gloves.

Article from:  Fox Sports.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Sunday, 7 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,512. 

 

Is a cricket team without a wicketkeeper still a cricket team? This sounds like a strange exercise in existentialism, but it’s actually a practical question umpires had to ask each other after a bizarre field placement during a match in the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Twenty20 series at the County Ground in Northampton  on Friday.

 

With Northamptonshire batsman Josh Cobb taking a liking to spinners Saeed Ajmal and Moeen Ali, Worcestershire captain Daryl Mitchell knew something needed to be done to stem the flow of runs.  Rather than changing the position of one of his fielders, he added one more player to their number. Wicketkeeper Ben Cox was instructed to ditch his gloves and pads and take up a position at fly slip.  

 

This prompted a lengthy discussion between the two umpires, Nick Cook and Graham Lloyd, during which Mitchell and Cobb were both brought in to have their say.  Eventually it was agreed there was no rule preventing a team from not having a wicketkeeper, and play was allowed to resume.  The move had the desired effect, with Cobb eventually caught in the deep off the bowling of Ajmal for 80, as Northamptonshire fell 14 runs short in their run chase.

 

After the match, Worcestshire’s director of cricket Steve Rhodes revealed the inspiration for his team’s creative move.  “It came about when I watched MS Dhoni stand back to the spinners for India and I thought that was a great idea”, said Rhodes. Afterwards, he said he wanted another catcher around the corner and he felt he could do that himself, standing back. That’s how it started us thinking about it”.

 

After the match Cobb questioned whether the unconventional move was in the spirit of the game.  “I saw Daryl Mitchell tell Ben Cox to go back and I thought he was going to keep from the edge of the ring”, Cobb said. “Then I turned around and saw him without pads or gloves on.  It’s in the Laws and they’ve obviously looked into it and there’s no Law against it. You’ve just got to question whether it’s in the spirit of the game. But that’s probably because it’s never been done before. When they first come out, these things usually get questioned and left alone”.

 

Headline: Man picking up cricket equipment post match survives lightning strike.

Article from:  KKTV News.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Sunday, 7 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,513.

 

A man who was picking up equipment after a cricket match that had just ended in Colorado Springs survived being hit by lightning on Saturday.  Witnesses, who say the lightning strike came without warning and hit Venkat Ramani on the top of his head, rushed to help him for he was literally "blown out of his shoes”.  He suffered serious burns and teammates quickly transferred him to a Denver hospital for treatment.  Latest reports say he is expected to survive.  The park was full of people at the time but no one else appears to have been injured by the strike.

 

Headline: Cloete, Holdstock receive South African awards.

Article from:  Sports24.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 5 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,514.

 

Johan Cloete, who was selected to stand in World Cup matches in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, was named Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) 2014-15 'Umpire of the Year’, his colleague Adrian Holdstock receiving the CSA’s 'Umpires’ Umpire of the Year’ award, which appears to be new, while the Gauteng Cricket Board took home the 'Scorers’ Association of the Year’ trophy.  

 

The three awards were handed out during a CSA gala banquet last Wednesday night at which the nation’s top men and women international and domestic players in all formats of the game also received their awards.  CSA appears to be unique on the international scene in that it includes match officials in its annual awards prize giving evening.

 

Headline: 'Hands in front' reduce umpire ball-injury risk, says former Test umpire.

Article from:  PTG.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Sunday, 7 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,515.

 

Former England Test umpire John Holder has told ‘PTG’, in response to Indian player Gautam Gambhir’s call for umpires to wear helmets, that he “totally agrees” with the idea (PTG 1559-7476, 2 June 2015).  He says he "vividly remembers the incident in the World Cup mentioned [by Gambhir] when [Pakistan umpire] Aleem Dar was very nearly decapitated by that Sachin Tendulkar straight drive, the ball whistled under the right side of his throat and just under his jaw as it flew to the boundary”.

 

Holder goes on to express the view that "all umpires should be encouraged to stand with their hands in front, rather than behind their back”.  He says with your hands behind your back and the ball drilled back at your body, there is insufficient time to bring your hands around to try to deflect the ball, and mentions “a lucky escape” he had over twenty years ago in a county match. 

 

On that occasion former West Indies off-spinner Roger Harper "had me standing up to the wicket as he bowled around the wicket to Warwickshire's Paul Smith”.  "I was holding Harper's floppy hat behind my back. Smith smashed a half volley hard back at my chest but I had no chance of bringing my hands around to deflect the ball”.  "Luckily Harper stuck his left hand out and almost caught the ball [an action that] no doubt saved me from a serious chest injury, which might have proved fatal”.  "From that moment on I never again kept my hands behind my back, at either end”.

 

Headline: Ravi: IPL has improved Indian umpiring standards.   .

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 5 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,516.

 

Sundaram Ravi, who was announced as one of two new members of the International Cricket Council’s Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) last week (PTG 1561-7505, 5 June 2015), feels many of his compatriots are on the verge of breaking into the top bracket after improving their skills by officiating in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He told ‘Cricinfo’ that: "In the last five to six years, the standard of Indian umpires has gone up because of our umpires standing in the IPL, which is an international standard tournament". "They get to work with elite umpires and referees from different countries, to interact with international players, coaches, support staff and other stakeholders, all of which has made Indian umpires better".

 

Ravi continued be saying he is "sure in the near future at least one or two more Indians will make it to the EUP.  "A couple of them are now nominated for the World Twenty 20 qualifiers in Scotland and Ireland next month. That's a big tournament for them. If they do well, they can get on to the emerging panel and move up the ladder.

 

Chennai-based Ravi credited Australian Simon Taufel for his rise. "I have been working very closely with Simon for most of the last three years. I have learnt a lot from him, right from preparation to getting into the game, decision making, handling big players, match management skills, the man- management skills, how to get out of setbacks".  All those skills have helped me to become a better umpire. I am very thankful to Simon, it is because of him that I have achieved this dream”.

 

Speaking about his journey, Ravi said he had dreamt of making the top league. "I was working hard for this. I was expecting it because I was on the emerging panel of ICC and after having a good World Cup I thought I should be there and I got the nod from the selectors.  As umpires, who are umpiring at the highest level of the game, we are bound to be scrutinised by the media, the players, and the captains.  We should be prepared for that. If you make an error, it will be highlighted, technology will expose you at some stage or the other. You should be prepared for that, learn from that error and move on. You can't do much about it”.

 

Editor’s note:  The ICC has not yet announced publicly who the umpires that Ravi refers to for the World Twenty20 qualifiers in Scotland and Ireland next month will be.  Closer to then though that have still not indicated who the match officials will be for the single Test Bangladesh and India are to play in Fatullah that starts in two days time, nor the three One Day Internationals that will follow.

 

Headline: Cricket is becoming dangerously rigged in favour of batsmen, says Ambrose.

Article from:  London Daily Telegraph

Journalist:  Jonathan Lieu.

Published: Saturday, 6 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,517. 

 

Former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose never used to say very much when he was a cricketer.  It is why he has called his new autobiography 'Time To Talk', and the early impressions are that not much has changed. “I’m not a big talker,” he says, a trifle forebodingly, at the start of our interview. “Some guys like to be in the media every day, all the time, talking about themselves. I wasn’t one of those players. Plus, I always preferred to let the ball do the talking for me”.

 

A tally of 405 Test wickets testifies that cricket balls in the hands of Ambrose did not talk; they shouted. But, as it turns out, Ambrose certainly can talk when the mood takes him, and what animates him most is not talking about the past, but about the present. He sees unresponsive pitches all over the world, the rise of Twenty20, increasingly restrictive regulations on bowlers. And he concludes that cricket is a game becoming dangerously rigged in favour of the batsman. 

 

“I’m not so sure if I would have lasted very long in this modern era”, he says, “because there are too many things against fast bowlers. I played with a lot of passion. I thrived on competition. And presently, the competition isn’t as fierce. There’s no excitement. That’s one of the reasons why some spectators have stayed away from Test cricket”. 

 

“When you look at all the things that are against the bowler, it’s a joke. For instance: in one-day cricket, a fast bowler oversteps the front mark, bowls a no-ball, gets penalised with a free hit. Now, how can that be fair? “Look at the wide situation as well. Sometimes a ball pitches on the stumps, shifts down the leg side and misses the pads by half an inch. And you call a wide. How can you justify that? The batsman doesn’t get penalised for anything. The bowlers have no margin for error. It’s ridiculous. The game is too one-sided”.

 

England’s recent Test series against New Zealand was terrific entertainment, breaking records for scoring and run-rate. But it is part of a broader trend in Test cricket that is seeing more runs being scored more quickly than at any point in recent history. Matches like Australia’s three-day win against West Indies in Dominica last week are becoming ever rarer. For Ambrose, it has all gone too far. “There is no better sight in Test cricket, than a great fast bowler versus a great batsman. Spectators love the excitement. If I bowl a bouncer and the batsman smacks you out of the park, that’s excitement. Next thing, you hear from the umpire: ‘That’s one for the over.’ Now the fight is over”. 

 

“As a bowler, you want to be convinced that the batsman can do it again. He should be allowed to bowl another bouncer, or even two. I’ve seen someone like Sir Viv Richards versus Dennis Lillee back in the day, and there’s no better sight. Sir Viv will hit a few out of the park, he’ll hop and skip for a few, and that’s excitement. The people who are making these rules are killing Test cricket slowly”.

 

“For the fast bowlers that are playing now, the pitches in the Caribbean are a big, big turn-off”, Ambrose says. “The pitches have become very flat, not good for fast bowling. The guys who are taking wickets in regional competition now are spinners, because the pitches are terrible. Until we get better cricket pitches, we will continue to struggle”.

 

And yet for all his dire warnings, Ambrose remains an optimist at heart: a true believer in the redemptive qualities of Test cricket. He felt a surge of pride every time he stepped out to represent the West Indies, and the West Indies’ current bowling coach he wants, in tandem with the side’s coach Phil Simmons, to restore that simple pride to the current team. 

 

Headline: Captain claims County schedule could become dangerous.

Article from:  BBC.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 5 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,518. 

 

Middlesex and England one-day captain Eoin Morgan has described the current County schedule as "terrible”.  Middlesex are midway through a two-week spell of Championship and Twenty20 cricket, with just two rest days in between.  "The schedule at the moment is terrible and doesn't benefit anybody”, Morgan, 28, told BBC London 94.9 on Thursday.  "It could get to a point, if it continues like this, where it becomes dangerous. Travelling and playing is a recipe for disaster”.

 

After a one-week break following the Championship draw with Hampshire, the continuation of the T20 competition has tested Middlesex's resources. They had no rest in between their Division One first class match against Warwickshire at Lord's this week and back-to-back T20 matches away to Hampshire and Glamorgan on Thursday and Friday.  Then, after a day's rest on Saturday, Middlesex will begin a four-day match against Yorkshire at Headingley on Sunday.

 

"We have had a long run of cricket, particularly our bowlers”, said batsman Morgan, who was appointed England one-day captain prior to this year's World Cup.

"Toby Roland-Jones bowled 50 overs in the last game against Warwickshire and Steven Finn bowled 47. To change from one format to another in no time is really, really tough”.  Former England batsman Kevin Petersen also criticised the County cricket calendar in his column in the London ‘Daily Telegraph' on Friday, saying "you can't expect players to deliver consistently when their workloads are too high”.

 

Morgan backs a change to the schedule where the T20 competition would be played in a block format instead of the One-Day Cup, which is predominantly played in late July and early August.  "It would benefit the players hugely”, he said. "I think you would see the standard, and the consistency in the performances, elongate throughout the season”.  "It would produce more entertaining cricket and a higher standard of cricket. It would benefit all the Counties, English cricket and the senior team.  "We'd get to see exactly what everyone is capable of instead of chopping and changing and seeing guys go through stints of form and then out of form”.

 

Headline: School drops cricket due to complex rules and wet weather.

Article from:  London Daily Telegraph

Journalist:  Nicola Harley.

Published: Saturday, 6 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,519. 

 

It might be the world's most second popular sport, played by over 120 million people across the world but for one school the rules of the game have baffled staff and led to it being axed from the timetable.  Since the 16th century cricket has been an integral part of sporting life in Britain, but for Morrison's Academy, in Crieff, in Perthshire in Scotland, the continuous wet weather and complex rules have led to stumped staff dropping it from the timetable. 

 

The decision was announced in a letter to parents at the 530-pupil co-educational day school, which counts actor Ewan McGregor and British Olympic curling star Eve Muirhead among its former pupils. Director of sport Scott Weston said the move followed a review of summer games at the school, which he joined last year from a teaching post at another top Scottish independent school, Glasgow Academy.  

 

Weston said: "After much deliberation and consultation with colleagues both in school and beyond, I have taken the decision to stop playing cricket from the end of this session”.  "The principal reasons behind this move are that the Summer Term is significantly shorter than when cricket was a major summer sport and there is therefore appreciably less time in which to learn and play the game”.  

 

"The need to prepare for public examinations, which in the case of senior members of the School now begin at the end of April, only three weeks into the term, means there is very little time to practice let alone play matches”.  "Unfortunately local club cricket, which traditionally supported what we were doing at school, has declined across Strathearn and, in the case of Crieff, ceased to exist all together”.  "These problems are compounded by having to try and play cricket on early-season wickets which are typically soft and not conducive to a decent standard of the game”.  "Finally, cricket takes a long time to learn and many who join the school have no knowledge or experience of the game." 

 

Pupils at Morrison's will in future concentrate on tennis, athletics and "outdoor pursuits" -- canoeing, mountain biking, rock climbing activities and moutaineering -- in the summer, while boys will continue to play rugby in the winter and spring, and girls hockey.  

 

Weston added: "For those of you who have not played cricket the game is of a highly technical nature and it requires a great deal of time to be dedicated to its development, and over a number of years, to make the necessary improvements and gain a suitable understanding of the tactics involved". "It is not lost on me that new forms of the game have an increasingly high profile internationally, but that doesn't take account of the limitations of time and the challenges posed by the climate that the game faces locally here in Crieff and more generally across Scotland”.

 

The school said the new summer program would allow pupils to "to develop their skills in more individual activities", provide a more rounded exposure to sport, and "afford the opportunity to hone a broader range of skills, both physical and mental, while being less reliant on team mates for support”. 

 

Headline: Nine of team’s batsman dismissed without scoring in a 40-over match.

Article from:  Cricket Australia

Journalist:  Laura Jolly.

Published: Sunday, 7 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,520. 

 

A scorecard that has to be seen to be believed has emerged from club cricket in the Czech Republic, with a Prague side tallying an incredible nine ducks in the one innings.  Playing in the Czech Cricket Union (CCU) Pro40 League, the Prague Cricket Club 2nd XI was bowled out for 54 chasing Bohemian Cricket Club’s 126 in their 40-over clash late last month.

 

Number three batsman Aditya Jaiswal top-scored with an unbeaten 43 off 49 balls and the next highest score, and the only other batsman to score a run, was number four Abhi Samanth with one.  Ten extras contributed to the Prague total, including six leg byes, two byes and two wides.  Bohemian bowler Sudesh Wickremasinghe claimed 6/17 from his seven overs. 

 

The Czech national cricket team has been an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council since 2000, and cricket is played in the Czech Republic from April to September each year, with six teams taking part in the CCU Pro40 League, one of two domestic leagues in the Czech Republic.  A Twenty20 competition is also held.  

 

The most ducks recorded in a Test innings is six, a record shared by Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and India. Last year, England rolled India for 152 in the first innings of their match in Manchester, with Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Pankaj Singh all departing without scoring.  Six ducks have been recorded in a single One Day International innings on five occasions, with Pakistan responsible for three (1987, 1993 and 2012) of those.  

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,564

  Wednesday, 10 June 2015

 

• Fielding without a wicketkeeper: one-day cricket returns to an old ploy [1564-7521].

• Match officials for Bangladesh-India Test revealed [1564-7522].

 

Headline: Fielding without a wicketkeeper: one-day cricket returns to an old ploy.

Article from:  The Guardian.

Journalist:  John Ashdown.

Published: Tuesday, 9 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,521. 

 

One of the many beauties of cricket is that it exists in a state of perpetual evolution. Some are giant strides (overarm bowling, six-ball overs, the advent of Twenty20, and the like) while others are small steps – LBW-rule tinkering, advances in bat technology, pinch-hitting – but cumulatively no less significant.  The latest nudge along the evolutionary road came last Friday evening at the County Ground during Worcestershire’s Twenty20 fixture against Northamptonshire (PTG 1563-7512, 8 June 2015).

 

The idea of playing without a wicketkeeper isn’t a new one and in a way goes all the way back to the early 1800s when a longstop was routinely employed directly behind the keeper to prevent boundaries (the keeper at that stage being more concerned with stumpings and run-outs than actually stopping the ball – a longstop would generally wear more protective clothing as mobility on the boundary wasn’t deemed as important as it was behind the stumps).

 

But there have been a few more recent precursors. In a John Player League game at Lord’s in 1972 Warwickshire captain Mike Smith posted his wicketkeeper to the boundary for the final ball of a limited-overs game against Middlesex, who needed three runs to win. In 1979 England played a day-night game in Sydney against the West Indies, who ended up, like Middlesex, needing three to win off the final ball. So Mike Brearley, who had been in the Middlesex side denied by Smith’s ingenuity seven years earlier, sent wicketkeeper David Bairstow to field as longstop.

 

Bairstow was on the receiving end of a few beer cans, Brearley on the receiving end of some Aussie abuse, but Colin Croft was on the receiving end of a fine Ian Botham delivery and England won by two runs. Brearley, in 'Art of Captaincy', describes the plan as the “perfectly logical conclusion” of “how maladaptive attacking fields are in one-day cricket”.

 

In 1988 the ploy was used in a slightly different fashion by the Reverend Andrew Wingfield-Digby, captain of Dorset, in a story retold in Andrew Ward’s 'Cricket’s Strangest Matches'. With 11 overs of their two-day Minor Counties match against Cheshire remaining, the game seemed to be dwindling to a draw. Cheshire were 92 for six but in the middle of a solid 43-run seventh-wicket partnership. The batsmen, Neil Smith and Geoff Blackburn, seemed dug in for the duration but there was no suggestion of them chasing the 201 their side needed for an outright victory.

 

So Wingfield-Digby dismissed his wicketkeeper from his post and ordered Graeme Calway to bowl wides. And that Calway did such that a total of 60 runs came from that over, a score that left Cheshire with a far more palatable 53 runs to get in the remaining 10 overs. The batting team, thus tempted, were bowled out and Dorset won by 18 runs with 12 balls to spare, the last four wickets falling for the addition of just 14 runs.

 

Worcestershire’s strategy in the Twenty20 last Friday was something different again. Did it work? Well enough – only one bye was conceded in the remainder of the innings and Worcestershire ended up winning by 14 runs. And it’s an idea that has a sound logic behind it: in a situation where runs are more important than wickets the switch essentially trades a catcher for a run-saver. Though whether the idea will catch on remains to be seen – don’t expect to see Jos Buttler fielding at fly slip at any point at Edgbaston on Tuesday in the One Day International against England.

 

Headline: Match officials for Bangladesh-India Test revealed.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,522. 

 

Media reports indicate that Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena and England’s Nigel Llong will be on-field for the single Test between Bangladesh and India that is due to start today in Fatullah, Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe being the match referee (PTG 1563-7516, 8 June 2015).  Bangladeshi members of the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, Sharfuddoula and Enamul Haque, are the television and fourth umpires respectively for the game.  All five officials have played first class cricket, Dharmasena, Enamul Haque and Pycroft doing so at Test level.

 

The match, the eighth ever Test between the two countries, will take Dharmasena record as an on-field umpire in a Test to 30, one short of the number he played in for his country, Llong to 29 and Pycroft as a referee to 37.  Sharfuddoula will be working as the third umpire in a Test for the fourth time, however, the Umpire Decision Review System will not be in operation during the game (PTG 1560-7504, 3 June 2015).  Enamul Haque, who was given an on-field spot in a Test between New Zealand and Zimbabwe in January 2012, but not since (PTG 888-4331, 16 January 2012), has served as a third umpire in Tests 10 times, the same number he played for his country, today’s game being his fifth as a fourth official.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,565

  Thursday, 11 June 2015

 

• Bat’s tapered edge has potential to reduce ‘slugfest’, claim designers [1565-7523].

• Glamorgan cleared over declaration after Derby protest [1565-7524].

• Long-serving Jerling calls time on career  [1565-7525].

• Warne calls for controversial rule changes to be made to assist bowlers [1565-7526].

• MCC-BBC open nominations for 2015 ‘CMJ’ ’Spirit of Cricket’ awards [1565-7527].

• Dharmasena conducts workshop for Sri Lankan umpires [1565-7528].

• Indian cricket board a superpower with feudal mindset [1565-7529].

• Referee, umpire, Test match records that are unlikely to be broken [1565-7530].

 

Headline: Bat’s tapered edge has potential to reduce ‘slugfest’, claim designers.

Article from:  Cricinfo web site.

Journalist:  Sidharth Monga.

Published: Monday, 8 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,523. 

 

During the recently concluded World Cup, the most lopsided towards the bat so far, former Australian captain Ian Chappell expressed concerns about the safety of bowlers and the umpire while Rahul Dravid is not sure how net bowlers have managed to avoid injuries.  The steady increase in the thickness (but not weight) of bats has altered the balance between bat and ball, the ball is being hit harder than it has ever been, and balls that take the edge are travelling farther than they ever did. 

 

Yet the latest innovation in bat-making to fall foul of the traditionalists might just be one that actually takes wood off the blade, making some parts of it thinner. It should be welcomed, except that this new bat primarily intends to make sure edges don't carry - or at least not as far as they do now. And the increased bat speed, a by-product of the innovation, might just end up sending the ball even further when it is middled.

 

When Mirik Gogri, Ayush Jain and some of their friends were at the Bombay Indian Institute of Technology they began work on a new bat they call ‘Gladius', which they have since trademarked.  That was during India's horror run in away Tests in 2011 and 2012 and their objective was to come up with a tool that could reduce the number of wickets that India lost to catches behind the wicket.  In the process though they might have stumbled upon an aerodynamically enhanced overall design. 

 

In layman's terms they have tapered the bat’s edges. Under the game’s current Laws, the face cannot be wider than 10.8 cm. Now imagine if the back of the bat remained at its maximum width of 10.8 cm and the front was made narrower by 0.75 cm on either side. If the ball now hits the slanted edge, it won't travel as far as it would off a normal bat edge, and the increased bat speed, a by-product, might just end up sending the ball even further when it’s actually middled

 

The simplicity of the idea is astonishing. It makes you wonder why nobody, including the lawmakers, thought of it before.  The Marylebone Cricket Club can't find a flaw with the bat under the Laws as they stand, but this innovation has forced it to consider a stipulation that the face of the bat not be narrower than 8.8 cm, which means the slant cannot be more than one centimetre on either side.

 

Various tests have been performed on the bat in simulated environments, but the results may not match those in actual play, where no two deliveries can be identical and hit the edge on the same spot and with identical bounce and pace. Science, though, says that overall the tapered sides ought to make outside edges weaker but give leading edges more legs. 

 

The bat has been handed out to a few coaches, and while they find it to be better aerodynamically, it has, as expected, hit a stonewall that has to do with perception. Every bat-maker in the world talks of a batsman's psychology. Gray-Nicolls, the sports-equipment manufacturer, has done tests that prove the thickness of a bat has little to do with how much the ball travels, weight does, but some of the biggest hitters in cricket today like to use chunky bats. Just the sight of a big bat empowers batsmen, bat-makers feel, and most are fairly set in their ways in terms of what they want. 

 

In the process of trying to convince batsmen, Gogri and his colleagues have discovered that hardly anyone uses a bat that is 10.8 cm wide anyway. Most bats are about 10.4 cm wide. They are now looking at procuring bats, using the same willow, that are 10.8 cm wide so that they can do their thing on it and see how players respond. However, it has been difficult to convince big bat companies to make wider bats for the makers of ‘Gladius' to experiment with.

 

If this bat is to succeed there will eventually have to be a psychological trade-off between the confidence derived from looking at a full-faced bat and one with softer edges - to be used when the conditions demand more circumspection, when scoring runs is not the prime objective. The simplicity of the idea means there is no need for a bat to be specially manufactured: existing bats can be modified for the purpose. On the face of it neither the developers of the bat nor the batsmen who might want to experiment with it have much to lose, but the bowlers might have a thing or three to say.

 

Headline: Glamorgan cleared over declaration after Derby protest.

Article from:  BBC.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,524. 

 

Glamorgan will have no action taken against them despite a Derbyshire protest over an early declaration in their recent drawn Championship match.  The Welsh county declared their first innings on 4/103, 102 runs behind, a move that lead Derbyshire claiming they had been unfairly deprived of the chance to earn bowling bonus points.  However, a statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Discipline Commission now says: "Counties must have a wide discretion in deciding the best way to approach a game”.

 

Glamorgan's declaration during the game in Cardiff in May, which was badly disrupted by rain, was made in the hope of profiting from good bowling conditions and to improve a poor over-rate from Derbyshire's first innings.  Deputy chairman of the ECB's Discipline Commission, Mike Smith, considered the complaint and decided not to take any further action.  There was no criticism of Derbyshire for making the protest and the commission added that: "Any complaint under Playing Condition 14 will be carefully considered on its individual merits and the particular circumstances of the game”.

 

That ECB Playing Condition covers extraordinary declarations and "is usually a declaration aimed primarily at denying the bowling side the opportunity to acquire further bonus points in that innings, but without enhancing the batting side's prospects of winning or saving the match”.  Play did not resume on the evening of Glamorgan's declaration because of further weather problems, with Derbyshire then batting out time on the final day.  Glamorgan were able to improve their over-rate  though and thus they avoided the possibility of being docked championship points.

 

Headline: Long-serving Jerling calls time on career.

Article from:  Cricket South Africa.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,525. 

 

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced its domestic umpires’ and match referees’ panels for the 2015-16 season yesterday with two umpires, Stephen Harris and Clifford Isaacs, being promoted from its Amateur Panel (AP) to the National First Class Panel (NFCP).  They replace long-serving first class panel member and former Test umpire Brian Jerling, who according to CSA "has decided to call time after serving South African cricket for the past 27 years with distinction”, and Lourens Engelbrecht who is "standing down because of ill-health”.

 

In addition, there are four newcomers to the AP in Gladman Gaseba, Kevin Lawrence, Hassen Dawood and Bongani Ntshebe who have shown promise at the various select CSA tournaments.  At the top end of the spectrum Marais Erasmus serves on the International Cricket Council’s top Elite Umpires Panel, while Johan Cloete, Shaun George and Adrian Holdstock remain South African members of the world body’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, the latter in the television spot.  The CSA’s National Match Referees Panel remains as: Tiefie Barnes; Devdas Govindjee; Barry Lambson; and Shahid Wadvalla.

.

CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat said in a press release that he “Congratulates all our umpires on their deserved appointments for next season” and that “umpires are central to the game of cricket and we are fortunate to have an extremely competent group of match officials”.  “We will continue to create opportunities for them to develop through our exchange programs with Australia, India and New Zealand”.

 

Lorgat thanked Jerling and Engelbrecht for their service to the game.  Jerling, 56, who has been umpiring at first class level since December 1988, stood in a total of 148 first class games, four of them Tests, 260 List A games, 94 of them One Day Internationals, eight across the World Cups of 2003 and 2007, and 88 Twenty20s, 13 being internationals.  Engelbrecht, 50, made his first class debut in November 2005 and went on to stand in a total of 61 first class, 57 List A and 17 Twenty20 fixtures

 

The NFCP for the next austral summer is made up of 13 umpires: Murray Brown; Johan Cloete; Marais Erasmus; Babalo Gcuma; Shaun George; Stephen Harris; Adrian Holdstock; Clifford Isaacs; Bongani Jele; Allahudien Paleker; Gerrie Pienaar; Dennis Smith; and Brad White.  AP members total 19 and are: Rudi Birkenstock; Hassen Dawood; Gladman Gaseba; Ryan Hendricks; Earl Hendrikse; Marlon Jansen; Kevin Lawrence; Lester Leendertz; Bryan Mantle; Jack Morton; Bongani Ntshebe; Stephen Rex; Jurie Sadler; Faizel Samsoodien; Abdoellah Steenkamp; Irvin Van Kerwel; Phillip Vosloo; Laurance Willemse; and Jeff Wolhuter.  

 

Headline: Warne calls for controversial rule changes to be made to assist bowlers.

Article from:  Fox Sports.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Tuesday, 9 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,526. 

 

Former Australian spinner Shane Warne’s never been afraid to go against the grain by spouting some left-field ideas on the future of cricket, and the latest edition of the ‘Warnifesto’ is no different.  The leg-spin legend has floated the prospect of changing the size of cricket balls to help combat the dominance of batsmen in the modern game.   “For over 100 years we’ve never changed the ball”, said Warne. “We’ve changed the size of the bats. Why not change the ball?"

 

In an interview with the 'Financial Times', Warne also called for other drastic rule changes including one that has previously been mentioned by the new chief of English cricket.  “I also think we should have four-day Test matches. I’d make the stumps a bit bigger”.  England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves put forward the idea of cutting Test matches to four days, rather than the current five, in a discussion paper that came to light in February (PTG 1528-7355, 28 February 2015), and was discussed by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricket Committee last month.

 

Warne’s suggestion to alter the size of the ball comes after a World Cup that saw countless batting records broken, leading to fans bemoaning the lack of contest between bat and ball.  The ICC looked at addressing this concern, its Cricket Committee’ recommending several rule changes that focused on field restrictions.  Warne isn’t on the committee but agrees with some of the rule changes proposed.  “I’d have no restrictions in one-day cricket”.  “No fielders inside the circle, have them wherever you want, and I think bowlers should be able to bowl as many overs as they want”.

 

During the 'Financial Times' interview Warne was asked if he thinks people listen to his "cricket ramblings”.  His reply was: “Some people listen. Some people don’t like to admit that maybe I’m correct”.

 

Headline: MCC-BBC open nominations for 2015 ‘CMJ’ ’Spirit of Cricket’ awards.

Article from:  Marylebone Cricket Club press release.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published:  Tuesday, 9 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,527. 

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the BBC are now accepting nominations for the 2015 Christopher Martin-Jenkins (CMJ) 'Spirit of Cricket’ Awards.  Whilst the ‘spirit’ of cricket is sometimes hard to define, the four CMJ awards are given to those who have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship, fair play or respect for opponents and umpires either on a specific occasion or throughout the season (PTG 1432-6297, 22 September 2014).  

 

The Boys’ and Girls’ Awards are given to the class, team or individual boy or girl who has best displayed the 'Spirit of Cricket' either on a specific occasion or throughout 2015.  The Schools and Elite Awards are based on the same criteria, the latter being given to a professional cricketer playing in England in the 2015 season.  Nominations for the four awards can be submitted up until noon on Monday, 7 September, the winners being selected by a panel of judges from MCC and the BBC. 

 

The Boys’ and Girls’ award winners will recieve tickets to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s one-day domestic cup final which is to be played at Lord’s in the last half of September and will be interviewed as part of the BBC's coverage of the match.  The successful school will be presented with a cheque for £UK2000 ($A4,000) to help support its on-going cricket program.

 

Current MCC President David Morgan said: “MCC works hard to promote the 'Spirit of Cricket' message, and Christopher Martin-Jenkins was a huge part of that during his time as MCC President therefore it is fitting that MCC and the BBC continue to pay tribute to him in this way”.  “I have been struck by the sportsmanship of previous winners of this competition and I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s entries”.

 

MCC 'Spirit of Cricket', now into its second decade, is a central force for good in the game at all levels and strives to increase its impact across all nations.  It has been embraced by the world’s finest players, including all Indian Premier League captains, and is also being used in schools to teach children about the benefits of teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship and learning how to win and lose. 

 

In his 2007 MCC Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's, Martin-Jenkins said that "cricket would instantly become a better game if young [players] in every country were to be taught from now onwards that walking is the thing to do when they know they are genuinely out" (PTG 70-385, 19 July 2007).  

 

Headline: Dharmasena conducts workshop for Sri Lankan umpires.

Article from:  Sri Lanka Cricket press release.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Tuesday, 9 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,528. 

 

Kumar Dharmasena, a member of the International Cricket Council’s Elite Umpires Panel, recently held a workshop for the Level 1 and 2 domestic umpires at Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) headquarters in Colombo.  Sidath Wettimuny, the Chairman of SLC’s Interim Committee, initiated arrangements for the gathering. 

 

During the workshop Dharmasena covered topics titled: ‘Pre-match preparation', ‘Concentration', 'Improving your focus through routines', 'Practice makes Perfect', 'Positive personal belief’, 'Anticipate challenge’, 'Staying calm under pressure', and ‘Overcoming set backs'.  He also answered questions put forward by participants.

 

Headline: Indian cricket board a superpower with feudal mindset.

Article from:  Deccan Herald.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Tuesday, 2 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,529. 

 

The Indian cricket board is bothered about its image more than the development of the sport or the promotion of players. It wants to project itself as a modern cricket power with a feudal mindset.  If the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) thinks it is modern and a superpower, then it should first drop the world "control" and with it the acronym.  Like the boards of all cricket-playing nations it should be Cricket India, and the men running it should show some restraint.

 

Since the board cannot be hectoring players of international stature it does the next best thing by pampering them with glorified designations like advisors, chairmen or members of its so-called high-powered committees. It is only to buy the silence of the noisy.  There are players willing to genuflect before the board officials to stay in the limelight.

 

The Board's latest exercise is to form a puffed up three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman. The three “legends", as BCCI's secretary Anurag Thakur's described them, have apparently agreed to give back something to the game that gave them so much. All three do not seem to know what they are getting into, Ganguly for one saying publicly he did not know what his new role entails.  Importantly though they will all work in an honorary capacity, perhaps claiming only the perks. 

 

The question is whether because of their appointment the BCCI’s current Technical Committee, which is chaired by Anil Kumble, is redundant, or will the now two committees duplicate the effort or work at cross purposes when their paths cross?  The Technical Committee with top-class cricketers keep putting forward their ideas but much of it is water on duck's back for those in authority who take decisions to please the powerful cliques in the board and always seem to have the monetary aspect at the back of their mind.  State associations oblige their cronies in a similar fashion.

 

Headline: Referee, umpire, Test match records that are unlikely to be broken.

Article from:  India.com.

Journalist:  Bharath Seervi

Published: Tuesday, 9 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,530. 

 

John Reid of New Zealand holds the record as the oldest Test match referee, being 73 years 270 days when his last Test in that role, which was between India and Zimbabwe in Delhi, ended in 2002. The oldest on-field umpire to date was Alfred Jones of Australia who was aged 69 years 275 days at the end of an Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March 1929, his seventh and last Test.  Both records appear very unlikely to be broken. 

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,566

  Friday, 12 June 2015

 

• Professional players team-up to strengthen Australian club cricket [1566-7531].

• Non-use of wicketkeeper not a ’spirit’ issue, says MCC [1566-7532].

• Australian cricket faces government funding cut [1566-7533].

• Kulkarni to run Assam umpire seminar [1566-7534].

• A true test of umpire concentration, on-field counting technique [1566-7535].

 

Headline: Professional players team-up to strengthen Australian club cricket.

Article from:  Cricket Australia.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Thursday, 11 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,531. 

 

Australia’s top cricketers have dug deep into their own pockets to fund a new initiative that will narrow the gap between club and first-class cricket.  The 'Premier Cricket Program' will support Australia’s 87 Premier (Grade) Cricket clubs in utilising former or non-contracted domestic cricketers to either play, coach or mentor club sides.  

 

The unprecedented contribution of more than $A1 million from Australia’s elite players comes after an increase in estimated income during the 2012-17 Cricket Australia-ACA Memorandum Of Understanding period, the same period that covers the current Cricket Australia (CA) media rights deal (PTG 1324-6385, 31 March 2014).  Clubs can now apply for a $10,000 grant per year for three years to allow current Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) members, who consist of former and current first-class players, to continue to be involved in Premier Cricket.

 

"Every player who represents a State, Big Bash League or Australian team comes through the Premier Cricket system”, Australia Test captain Michael Clarke said. “While for some of us the opportunities at the moment to play at club level are limited, having competitive and testing competitions influenced by experienced and knowledgeable players is vital".  "The decision to devote the surplus funds in the Player Payment Pool was a unanimous one by Australia’s contracted players, with the Premier Cricket Program the first step in strengthening club cricket around the country".

 

"As current players, we're passionate about strengthening Premier Cricket and remember the influence that many former first-class players had on our careers as we came through”, said Australia allrounder and ACA Executive member Shane Watson.  “The decision to invest in the Premier Cricket Program is therefore one that's close to home and hopefully a way that we can ensure the generations to come receive the best possible education at club level”.

 

ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson says the funding from the playing group outlines their commitment to the game at club level.  "They want to ensure that Premier Cricket remains the lifeblood of Australian cricket by providing a platform for ACA Members to remain in the game through playing, coaching, talent identification and administrative roles”, Nicholson said.  "The current players strongly believe that former first-class players and those recently delisted possess a wealth of skill, experience and expertise that can be utilised to help strengthen Premier Cricket and narrow the gap between this level and high performance cricket”.

 

Editor’s note: In March last year there was a report that the ACA had negotiated an arrangement with CA whereby $A10.75m would be set aside to finance an ACA initiative "that sees past players employed to further develop and promote the game” (PTG 1324-6385, 31 March 2014).  Whether that is the money referred to in the article is players digging "deep into their own pockets” is not clear.  Five months before that the ACA expressed their concern about the state of the Australian game and questioned whether CA’s Argus review of 2011 had done its job.  Media reports at the time said that they saw the key issues as: the domestic playing schedule, including what was termed 'the over prioritisation of Twenty20 cricket'; injury management; coaching; governance and leadership; and the strength of pathway competitions from club to national level (PTG 1214-5843, 20 October 2013).  Whether CA has any concrete plans for a parallel strengthening of match officials support and standards at Premier Cricket level is far from clear, but on its record of the last decade, it appears unlikely.   

 

Headline: Non-use of wicketkeeper not a ’spirit’ issue, says MCC.

Article from:  Marylebone Cricket Club.

Journalist:  Edited MCC Laws Department release.

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,532. 

 

Worcestershire’s decision to field without a wicket-keeper in their Twenty20 match against Northamptonshire last Friday was lawful (PTG 1564-7521, 3 June 2015).  Some have questioned whether fielding without a wicket-keeper is within the 'Spirit of Cricket’ (PTG 1563-7512, 8 June 2015), however, the Marylebone Cricket Club, as the guardian of the game’s Laws, is happy that it is a legitimate tactic. 

  

The advantage gained is that there is an extra fielder within the fielding circle, the disadvantages are that a batsman cannot be dismissed Stumped and that Run outs at the striker’s end will be harder to affect.  There is also a higher likelyhood of byes if the batsman misses the ball and the ball misses the wicket, so it is up to the fielding side to balance the risk.  However, the disadvantages are counter-balanced by having an extra fielder, meaning that this scenario should not be viewed as unfair play. 

 

Headline: Australian cricket faces government funding cut.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  Samantha Lane.

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,523. 

 

Cricket will receive the same amount of money from Australian taxpayers for the 2015-16 Financial Year but after that it faces reduced funding from the Federal Government.  In 2014-15 the game received $A1.116 million from the government and will do so again in 2015-16, but after that the annual allocation is expected to fall to $A950,000.  

 

Total funding available from the government, which is directed specifically at encouraging Australians to participate in a range of sporting activities, is $A22 for the 2015-16 Financial Year.  Cricket is not the only sport to have their allocation reduced. The redesign of participation funding follows a twelve-month review and restructuring in a time of tight national budgets. 

 

Headline: Kulkarni to run Assam umpire seminar.

Article from:  Assam Tribune.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Wednesday, 10 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,524. 

 

The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) will hold a seminar for its panel umpires in Guwahati this weekend, the program being presented by Vineet Kulkarni an Indian member of the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel.  Around thirty umpires, including seven Board of Control for Cricket in India  (BCCI) Level 1 officials will take part in a program that has been organised to help lift the standard of umpiring in Assam.  The ACA has also scheduled a clinic for scorers from its affiliated districts the following weekend.  Tapash Roy, Bhaskar Bora and Navajyoti Sarma, who are all all BCCI panel scorers, will run that program. 

 

Headline: A true test of umpire concentration, on-field counting technique.

Article from:  PTG.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Friday, 12 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,525. 

 

In a New Zealand Cricket three-day first class match played in Christchurch in February 1990, Wellington’s Bert Vance had a bowler’s worst nightmares come true. Canterbury were 8/108 chasing 328 for an outright win when Wellington captain Ervin McSweeney decided to throw the ball to sometime bowler Vance to tempt the remaining batsmen to go for their shots and thus end the innings and win the game. They went for the shots alright, and while they did not score the runs needed for an outright they were 8/290 when the game ended, mostly thanks to the Vance over.

 

Vance, who played at Test level as a batsman, bowled seventeen no-balls in his single over and was hit for six fours and eight sixes, Lee Germon scoring 70 of those runs, bringing up his century in the process.  He ended the game on 160 not out, his highest score at that level.  Presumably stunned at the turn of events, umpires Patricia Carrick and Don McKencie appear to have lost track of the legitimate balls bowled in the over, records available indicating that only five such deliveries were involved.  Vance's over, with the legitimate balls shown in brackets, went: 0(4)446646141066666(0)(0)4(0)(1).   

 

Carrick is particularly interesting as she was standing in what was the last of the fifteen first class matches she was on the field for in the period from 1987-90.  Prior to that she played seven women’s Tests for her country as a fast-medium bowler from 1968-77, three each in New Zealand and South Africa and one in Australia.  She also stood in a single women’s Test and One Day International.  The match was also the last of McKencie’s eight games at first class level.  Prior to taking up umpiring he featured in seventeen first class matches for Otago from 1975-81.

 

Editor’s note:  It is difficult to determine just how many female umpires have stood at first class level.  The editor would be interested in hearing from any reader who can provide the names of those who have.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,567

  Monday, 15 June 2015

 

Stories in this edition:

• Indian team open to UDRS usage discussions, says captain [1567-7536].

• How was that ’not out’? [1567-7537].

• Eight officials named for Lanka-Pakistan, Bangladesh-India series [1567-7538]. 

• Match officials for next Intercontinental Cup fixture announced [1567-7539].

• Central Districts in danger of getting away from why it was founded [1567-7540].

• Srinivasan unanimously re-elected Tamil Nadu president [1567-7541].

• Dhoni makes it to ‘Forbes’ sports list with earnings of $US31 million  [1567-7542].

 

Headline: Indian team open to UDRS usage discussions, says captain.

Article from:  Cricinfo web site.

Journalist:  Mohammad Isam and Alagappan Muthu.

Published: Sunday, 14 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,536. 

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been adamantly against the use of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) for a while, but India captain Virat Kohli has said that he is open to discussing the matter with his team, moving forward into a long season in the subcontinent.  "You have to sit and analyse and ask the bowlers what they feel about it. Ask the batters what they feel about that”, Kohli said after the single Test against Bangladesh in Fatullah. "We literally just came into this Test match with very less time on hand. So now that we have time, I am sure these discussions will take place”.

 

India are the only team who insist on not using UDRS in a series, but things appear to be changing. Last year, Kohli's predecessor MS Dhoni had opened up on the possibility of India changing their mind about the referral system if it would assess an appeal independently and not try to "justify" the on-field umpire's call.  The situation has changed a long way from when then BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan dubbed UDRS "a faulty system" in October 2013 (PTG 1209-581, 12 October 2013).

 

Earlier this month, ICC CEO Dave Richardson said the BCCI doesn't want UDRS because it goes "against the spirit of cricket”. The ICC argued that umpires getting heavily criticised and teams threatening to leave a series due to umpiring are reasons to consider using the system.

 

"We have always said that we would like to have the same rules for everybody as far as UDRS is concerned and implement it on a uniform, consistent basis”, Richardson said. "The fact is though one of our members doesn't want UDRS, they have a number of concerns regarding it, the major one being in their view the principle of a player reviewing an umpire's decision goes against the grain of what the spirit of cricket is all about”.

 

"Our argument has always been 'well, what's better? An umpire being accused of a cheat, his effigy being burnt, teams threatening to go home in the middle of a series because they are upset with umpiring decisions. Is that good for the game? Or the altercation where an umpiring decision need to be changed even if he is a little bit embarrassed by having to change his decision?”  He said that the ICC is testing the technology to make it more accurate and reliable and he was confident that through these processes, the BCCI will agree on the DRS.

 

"Ideally, we want the players to accept the decisions and walk off although historically that has not always happened”. Richardson said.  "We think it is better for the game that we get as many decisions correct as possible. Ideally we want to be uniform but we are not there yet. What Geoff [Allardice, ICC general manager] is arranging is the testing of the technology so that everyone believes and trusts what the technology is supposed to be delivering is accurate and reliable. Once we get over that hurdle, the confidence in the UDRS will grow and eventually we will end up with everybody accepting it".

 

"Down the line, may we get to develop the technology to such an extent that we can revert to the umpire being in control, whether the decision is to be reviewed or not. That is not in the realms of possibility but at this stage, the technology isn't such that a system like that will work. That is an objection in principle that they have”.  For Kohli, however, the process of accepting the DRS starts in much smaller steps.

 

Headline: How was that ’not out’?.

Article from:  Sydney Morning Herald.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Sunday, 14 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,537. 

 

Australia was left scratching their heads at a perplexing UDRS call late in the second Test against the West Indies in Jamaica.  The West Indies lost two early wickets in their second innings and appeared to lose a third wicket when Nathan Lyon trapped Darren Bravo in front and was given out LBW by umpire Ian Gould.

 

However, despite replays indicating that the ball would have travelled on to hit the stumps the ball-tracking technology instead declared that the skidder from Lyon would have cleared middle stump. Even Gould, having to overturn his decision when that information was relayed to him, looked confused by what Hawk-eye had spat out.

 

Aussie fast bowler Josh Hazlewood said the review’s outcome had definitely been a surprise.  “We were pretty happy with it at first”, he said before playing devil’s advocate with: “[Lyon’s] obviously getting a fair bit of bounce and, if that’s what ‘Hawkeye' says, then it’s obviously going over the top”.  It would have been obviously not out if Lyon was bowling a moon ball. But a cricket ball?  It’s no wonder Gould looked puzzled.

 

Headline: Eight officials named for Lanka-Pakistan, Bangladesh-India series.

Article from:  ICC web site.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Sunday, 14 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,538. 

 

Match officials from Australia, England, India and New Zealand are to manage the three Test and five One Day International match series between Sri Lanka and Pakistan which is due to get underway in Galle tomorrow.  The appointments as announced by the ICC overnight are:

 

Tests Referee On-field On-field Television

17 June Galle Chris Broad Richard Illingowrth Paul Reiffel Chris Gaffaney

25 June Colombo Chris Broad Sundarum Ravi Richard Illingworth Paul Reiffel

3   July Pallekele Chris Broad Paul Reiffel Ian Gould Sundarum Ravi

 

One Day Internationals

11July Dambulla Javagal Srinath Ian Gould Sr iLankan umpire Rod Tucker  

15 July Kandy Javagal Srinath Rod Tucker Sri Lankan umpire Ian Gould  

19 July Colombo Javagal Srinath Ian Gould Sri Lankan umpire Rod Tucker  

22 July Colombo Javagal Srinath Rod Tucker Sri Lankan umpire Ian Gould  

26 July Hambantota Javagal Srinath Ian Gould Sri Lankan umpire Rod Tucker

 

Twenty20 Internationals

30 July Colombo Javagal Srinath SriLankan umpire SriLankan umpire SriLankan umpire      

1 August Colombo Javagal Srinath SriLankan umpire SriLankan umpire SriLankan umpire      

 

At the same time the world body named Zimbabwean Andy Pycroft and Australian Rod Tucker as the neutral officials for the two ODIs Bangladesh and India have scheduled over the next week.  Just which Bangladeshi members of the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel will fill the second on-field, third and fourth umpire positions has not yet been made public.

 

One Day Internationals

18 June Mirpur Andy Pycroft Rod Tucker Bangladesh umpire Bangladesh umpire

21 June Mirpur Andy Pycroft Rod Tucker Bangladesh umpire Bangladesh umpire

 

Headline: Match officials for next Intercontinental Cup fixture announced.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Sunday, 14 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,539.

 

Steve Bernard of Australia, Sarika Prasad of Singapore and Gregory Brathwaite of the West Indies will work as the match referee and on-field umpires respectively when the Netherlands takes on Intercontinental Cup debutant Papua New Guinea (PNG) in Amsterdam tomorrow.  The Intercontinental Cup, a first class ranked competition, is the new pathway to Test cricket for the side that wins the eight-team round-robin tournament spread over the next two-and-a-half years will play the tenth-ranked Test side.  Should the International Cup winner also that contest they would become the eleventh Test nation (PTG 1558-7492, 1 June 2015).

 

Brathwaite, a member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel, will be standing in his fourth Intercontinental Cup game, the last being two weeks ago, and thirty-eighth first class game overall since his debut at that level in December 2010.  For Prasad, from the ICC’s third-tier Associate and Affiliate International Umpires Panel, its his ninth in the competition since his first ten years ago, his last being the final of the 2011-13 final played in Dubai last December.  

 

Bernard, a member of the ICC’s second-tier Regional Referees Panel, who doubles as a member of Cricket Australia’s Umpire High Performance Panel, will be overseeing his fourteenth first class game and third in the Intercontinental Cup. 

 

Headline: Central Districts in danger of getting away from why it was founded.

Article from:  Manawatu Standard.

Journalist:  Trevor Read (Opinion piece).

Published: Thursday, 11 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,540. 

 

Cricket is not usually the hot topic in mid-winter but it seems Central Districts (CD) is a changing’.  We were never at ease with the sudden departure of Manawatu man Neil Hood from the CD chief's role in April and now we know nor were the two Manawatu men on the CD board, Dennis Radford and Mark Cleaver, for both have taken the honourable option and resigned their positions.  It seemed neither was happy with the way Hood's high jump was handled, nor with the rapid installing of his successor, and probably the reasons for it.

 

For Cleaver and Radford to have stayed on the board would have been tantamount to approving of Hood's exit. Hood has lain low since, gagged by the conditions of his severance.  It appears New Zealand Cricket (NZC) are now calling too many shots when it comes to the major associations. They do fund the first-class game and the development programs.  But then so they should, because the associations are their shareholders.

 

From what we can gather, Hood wanted CD to be for CD and its member districts and players from within the region rather than be a repository for spare men from the metropolitans.  And quite right too. That's why CD was formed in 1950, because they mostly got the bum's rush from the toffs in Wellington when it came to the first-class side.

 

Now it appears the national mob want to have about 90 first-class cricketers contracted countrywide and be able to place them where they choose. NZC don't give a toss where they're playing as long as they're playing.  If Auckland have 25 players and room only for 15, then the surplus would be trucked off to somewhere like CD, as if to another franchise.  That would ensure zero interest in the team from the CD rank and file. Two summers ago, CD had a glut of imports - and crapped out.

 

While it works in rugby, because players return to their ITM Cup provinces, cricket doesn't have that. They have the Hawke Cup, but the metro associations don't play in it and players outnumber spectators.  Anyway, this Hood business has created a schism within CD which might take years to heal, from Manawatu's viewpoint at least.

 

We understand NZC wanted CD's high-performance palaver and everything else based in far-flung Napier.  The headquarters only went to Napier mainly because Blair Furlong became the secretary. Hawke's Bay might claim more sun than the Sahara and yet annual meetings are held in Palmerston North because it is CD's geographical centre. It has  the revolutionary grassed indoor wicket and Manawatu have been the biggest provider of CD and NZ players for decades. 

 

NZC are also pushing through constitutional changes to have board members elected from anywhere. The board could be populated by directors from Upper Queen Street, while CD's ethos has always been that CD is for CD and they need administrators who know how it ticks.  Straight-shooters like Graeme Young and Basil Netten, in their day, would have told NZ Cricket to go jump. That's what the CD districts should do when it comes to the upcoming special general meeting, a reminder to the suits about who bloody well owns the game and to stop stuffing it up.

 

Headline: Srinivasan unanimously re-elected Tamil Nadu president.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 12 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,541.

 

Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the former head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and now the chairman of the International Cricket Council, was unanimously re-elected president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) during its 85th Annual General Meeting held in Chennai on Friday.  Srinivasan, who was forced to step aside from BCCI president’s post and later withdraw from a re-election attempt, has been elected in the TNCA for a one-year term.  Incumbent Secretary Kashi Viswanathan also held on to his position for another term while V P Narsimhan was elected Treasurer.

 

Headline: Dhoni makes it to ‘Forbes' sports list with earnings of $US31 million.

Article from:  Daily News Analysis.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 12 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,542.

 

Former Indian Test captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is richer than Maria Sharapova, Wayne Rooney, Serena Williams, Andy Murray and Usain Bolt.  According to the American publication ‘Forbes Magazine', India's most successful cricket captain earned $US31 million over the past year. That puts him in joint twenty-third position on the publication's list of the world’s 100 highest-paid sportspersons level with Brazilian footballer Neymar.    

 

Forbes says Dhoni, 34, made $US27 m ($A34.9 m, £UK17.3 m) from commercial endorsements and $US4 m ($A5.2 m, £UK2.6 m) in salary and winnings.  He was in twenty-second place on the list last year which was down from sixteenth in 2013.  Dhoni was the only cricketer in the 100 that made up this year’s list, the other sports represented being: Baseball with 28; Basketball 18; American football 16; Soccer 15; Tennis 7; Golf 6; Motorsport 5; Boxing 3; and Athletics 1. 

 

Editor’s note:  Australia’s ‘Business Review Weekly’ magazine indicated in their earnings list for the top fifty sportsman in that country in 2014 published last February that Shane Watson topped the cricket list with $A4.5m ($US3.5 m, £UK2.2 m), or around ten per cent of Dhoni’s earnings in the same time period (PTG 1524-7336,  18 February 2015).

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,568

  Tuesday, 16 June 2015

 

Stories in this edition:

• Match abandoned after two players seriously injured in collision [1568-7543].

• Australia await answer from New Zealand on day-night Test plans [1568-7544].

 

Headline: Match abandoned after two players seriously injured in collision.

Article from:  ‘Daily Mirror'.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Monday, 15 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,543. 

 

Surrey players Rory Burns and Moises Henriques were both knocked unconscious when they collided whilst fielding for their side in a Twenty20 game against Sussex at Arundel Castle on Sunday.  The pair were both going for a high catch in the outfield and had to be treated on the ground for 40 minutes before being taken to hospital, after which the match was called off.

 

Henriques was struck by his team-mate's knee and both players immediately fell to the ground, medical staff quickly attending to the stricken pair with an off-duty doctor assisting medical staff from the two clubs.  Both players needed oxygen following the clash and three ambulances were called onto the pitch, but the duo were both able to offer a thumbs-up to the concerned spectators before they were taken to St Richards' Hospital in Chichester.

 

Henriques broke his jaw in three places, while Burns suffered cuts above and below his left eye.  Surrey took to Twitter on Monday morning to issue an update on the duo's condition: "Latest news on the two boys..Both Rory and Moises are in decent shape following their operations overnight..further updates later in the day”, it read.

 

Former England skipper Alec Stewart, who is now the director of cricket at Surrey posted a picture of Burns in his hospital bed, smiling and giving the thumbs up alongside a member of the medical team, before confirming that the 24-year-old will be leaving hospital on Monday afternoon, while Henriques will stay in for another 24 hours.  Burns had stitches on his facial injuries following the incident, while Portuguese-born Australian Henriques still faces dental surgery.

 

At the time of the incident Sussex were 7/141 at the 18.4 over mark of what was the first innings of the game.  Umpires Alex Wharf and Jeremy Lloyds then decided to abandon the match.  "It was a horrific situation for everyone involved - the players and the spectators who were close to the incident”, said Wharf.  "Incidents like that are very rare but the first priority is always the welfare of the players. We consulted with the England and Wales Cricket Board and the captains and there was never any chance of the game continuing”. 

 

Editor’s note:  Last April, Ankit Keshri, a former captain of Bengal's Under-19 side, has died following an on-field collision with a team mate Sourabh Mondal in an East Bengal club match.  Mondal's knee struck Keshri in the head and he subsequently suffered a cardiac arrest and died (PTG 1551-7447, 23 April 2015).

 

Headline: Australia await answer from New Zealand on day-night Test plans.

Article from:  Sydney Morning Herald'.

Journalist:  Jon Pierik.

Published: Monday, 15 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,544. 

 

Already facing the prospect of an uncompetitive West Indies touring team for the Boxing Day Test, Cricket Australia's (CA) hopes of staging the inaugural day-night Test match in November hinge on the support of New Zealand.  A survey last month of New Zealand's top cricketers by its players' association found that 17 of 20 opposed the concept, with CA keen to launch the format either in Adelaide, Brisbane or Hobart during this summer's campaign (PTG 1554-7459, 22 May 2015).

 

The CA board again discussed the concept last week, and it's hoped a formal response from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is delivered by the end of the month so the summer schedule can be released.  The two countries could debate the issue more when they gather at the International Cricket Council's annual conference in Barbados from 22-26 June.

 

A CA spokesman said on Monday that discussions with NZC were ongoing, and pointed out that NZC chief David White has long been a supporter of the day-night Test idea (PTG 1183-5707, 2 September 2013). However, the New Zealand players have indicated they believe the format is "gimmicky". Cricket sources have suggested that the Black Caps could even feel the night Test, because of its unknown vagaries, could jeopardise their hopes of winning the three-match series.

 

CA had pushed for the day-night Test at a time when the Black Caps were struggling in Test cricket but Brendon McCallum's team has improved markedly in recent times, surging into the World Cup final and splitting its two-Test series in England, buoying hopes of defeating Australia in a series it treats in the same manner as Australia does the Ashes.

 

CA has yet to release its schedule for the 2015-16 season but Australia's top players are set to have at least one round of Sheffield Shield matches to adjust to the pink ball and lights. The Black Caps will have at least one tour game to adjust.  While Adelaide is the favourite to stage the Test, CA could opt to make a splash by having the traditional summer opener at the Gabba in Brisbane the debut venue. This call will also be influenced by host broadcaster, Channel Nine, and whether it wants the Test to fall within its ratings period (PTG 1383-6688, 1 July 2014).

 

There was improvement in the pink balls used when tested during the Sheffield Shield last summer but concerns remain. There were issues for batsmen and bowlers during the dusk period, while spectators also had trouble sighting the ball through the day.  However, a change in the seam of the ‘Kookaburra' ball from an earlier experiment is said to have allowed the ball to swing and seam more, while it retained its hardness for longer.  ‘Kookaburra' managing director Brett Elliot was unavailable for comment, while NZC and the NZCPA chief Heath Mills did not respond to a request for comment.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,569

  Wednesday, 17 June 2015

 

Stories in this edition:

• Pink cricket ball ‘Test match ready’, says manufacturer ‘Kookaburra’ [1569-7545].

• Documentary film raises questions on cricket’s future [1569-7546].

 

Headline: Pink cricket ball ‘Test match ready’, says manufacturer ‘Kookaburra'.

Article from:  Sydney Morning Herald.

Journalist:  Jon Pierik.

Published: Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,545. 

The manufacturer of cricket's new pink ball has declared it is “Test match ready" - if the inaugural day-night Test goes ahead in Australia in November.  Cricket Australia (CA) hopes to stage the first day-night test against New Zealand later this year, with Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart the possible venues PTG 1568-7544, 16 June 2015).  

 

‘Kookaburra' managing director Brett Elliot said he had been pleased with the results of extensive testing, including in Australia's domestic first class Sheffield Shield competition last season when a ball with a green seam was used.  Elliot said the pink ball had been tested by CA, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

 

"The Kookaburra turf pink ball has been extensively tested over the past five years by the MCC, ECB, CA, and I believe the ball is ready for an international test match. We have also supplied a number of other ICC members like CSA [Cricket South Africa] and WIC [West Indies], and have been equally happy with its performances at domestic level”, he said.

 

"There has always been a subtle difference in the construction of the turf red to that of the turf white ball and the same applies to that of the pink ball. In fact, in terms of construction, the pink ball sits in between that of the red and white turf”.  "They all have identical centres which is the proven ‘Kookaburra' five-layered centre so, in terms of hardness, bounce, all three balls are identical. They also all use the very best of Australia hide which is carefully alum tanned. However, the red and the pink leather is dyed whereas the white is not."

 

There have been some concerns from batsmen and bowlers about the visibility of the ball during the dusk period, particularly when it began to scuff up, while spectators and even state coaches said they had struggled to see the ball race along the field at night.  In the most recent Sheffield Shield trials, the ball swung and seamed for longer and it retained its hardness.

 

"To ensure the best visibility whilst also preserving the natural wear characteristics of the ball throughout the course of the game, we add additional colour to the pink ball and also the white ball. This enhances the brightness of the ball although some say also encourages early swing”, Elliot said.  "Like most things that are new and different it will be critically analysed. However, I feel an extensive amount of research, development and testing has gone into the ball to make it as close to the red turf ball as possible and, thus, test match ready”.

 

CA hopes the day-night format will eventually encourage more people to attend matches after work, particularly in countries where the traditional format is struggling attendance-wise.  It will also provide a boost for television broadcasters, as the final session will be held during prime time.  CA hopes to have an answer from its New Zealand counterpart by the end of the month as to whether it will take part.  Some New Zealand players have described the night format as “gimmicky”.

 

Headline: Documentary film raises questions on cricket’s future.

Article from:  London Daily Telegraph.

Journalist:  Alan Tyers.

Published: Monday, 15 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,546. 

 

Any movie worth its salt needs a baddie. 'Death of a Gentleman', a new documentary about the decline of Test cricket and the murky world of the sport’s administration, offers up not one but two. Boo, hiss, then at Giles Clarke, until last month the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) chairman, in the Darth Vader role: intimidating, bruising, combative. And then hide behind the sofa for the appearance of Narayanaswami Srinivasan, saturnine, unbending, seemingly invincible at the head of his Empire.  Both are among the interviewees in this film, which was four years in the making. 

 

It began with a manageable brief: to ask if and how Twenty20 was destroying Test cricket – the “Gentleman” of the title.  What film-makers Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber have ended up with is a sweeping, impassioned and polemical chronicle of how the game’s governance has been taken out of the hands of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and placed in the hands of the ‘Big Three’, which is to say India, with England and Australia the weedy sidekicks in the bully’s shadow, egging him on and hoping not to get a pasting themselves. 

 

This current situation, the film contends, is the result of the January 2014 ICC meeting in Dubai at which these countries rubber‑stamped a land-grab for the proceeds of television rights. Many claim this will reduce the likes of South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies to vassal status.  Enjoying the matches against New Zealand? Well, don’t get used to it, because there is more money to be made for India, Australia and England to just play each other while, for instance, West Indies put out a weakened team because their best players are making a buck in the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

 

In a combative interview, Clarke argues: “I have every right to put my board’s interests first”. And Srinivasan says: “We are all equal when we sit at the ICC table. The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is very well-meaning”. The film professes otherwise, and argues that the sport is contracting in on itself to one monolithic market: Indian T20. 

 

The documentary paints a picture of a web of money and influence and one figure to whom all roads lead back: Srinivasan, the former president of the BCCI who is now the ICC chairman, and the grand fromage of Indian Cements, which owned the Chennai Super Kings, an IPL team – the same IPL that is accused of killing Test cricket by paying players huge sums to participate in it rather than play in Tests for their countries. 

 

It is a complicated story and it is to the credit of the film-makers that it is not a dry one. Clarke says: “People are not interested in cricket administration, and why should they be?” The answer, as portrayed in this film, is: because the current way things are run is seriously harming the long-term viability of the sport in anything other than the Twenty20 version as played in India. 

 

But what the film lacks is that one killer document or whistle-blower to say “So-and-so did an illegal thing and here are the specifics of it”.  When Srinivasan talks about the “large cricket family”, one is irresistibly reminded of an even better-known head of a massive global sport. For years, everyone said “Sepp Blatter’s Fifa stinks” but nobody had the actual goods until Chuck Blazer had his collar felt. 

 

Perhaps cricket will one day be attracting the attention of the FBI, and perhaps it won’t, but the sense that things are being carved up behind the scenes by powerful, unaccountable men with no transparency is very much of our time.  Unlike some of those discussed by the film, I am happy to declare a conflict of interest in writing about it: I have known Collins and Kimber for five years or so. They sent out an email to, no doubt, everyone they have ever met asking for help funding the film. I gave the princely sum of 50 quid. Many others have contributed to this movie in much more significant ways: the roll call of interviewees is an absolute who’s who, from Jonathan Agnew to Lalit Modi. 

 

One of the most telling comments comes from the Australian cricket historian Gideon Haigh, who says: “Does cricket make money to exist or does it exist to make money?” This film, which premiered at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival last week and will be shown in London next month, makes a powerful argument that it is currently the latter.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,570

  Thursday, 18 June 2015

 

• Cricketers face 'critical' risks from ball, lightning and mental illness, says FICA [1570-7547].

• Hampshire fined, handed suspended points deduction over disciplinary matters [1570-7548].

• Comments to the media results in two-match ban for captain [1570-7549].

• Vijay fined for bat sticker irregularities [1570-7550]. 

 

Headline: Cricketers face 'critical' risks from ball, lightning and mental illness, says FICA.

Article from:  BBC.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,547. 

 

Cricketers are as much at risk from lightning strikes, mental illness and terrorism as they are of being seriously injured by the ball.  The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), or player’s union, has identified the main risks to cricketers in a new report that finds significant health, safety and security inconsistencies and it wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to respond to its findings.

 

Tony Irish, executive chairman of FICA, said: "We believe it is time for the game to address all of the potential risks to players and participants in their professional lives in a comprehensive and considered way”.  Irish wants additional research and investment to set "non-negotiable minimum standards in all areas”.  In the report each area of risk was measured by being given a rating from low to critical, depending on how likely it was to happen, multiplied by the potential damage to health, on a scale from fatal down to short-term injury. 

 

On-field ball impacts, security issues and the dangers of lightning strike were listed in the ‘Critical’ category.  Australia opener Hughes died two days after being struck on the top of the neck by a ball during a domestic match in Sydney last November.  Former England and Somerset wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter announced his retirement this month because of a playing-related eye injury. Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher retired in 2012 after sustaining an eye injury during the tour of England.  FICA's report also highlights the considerable risk of injury to on-field umpires of being struck by a ball.  Recommendations in the report include research into new helmet designs which offer protection beyond the new minimum standard.

 

‘Critical' risk also includes tour and event security.  In 2009 gunmen attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to play in the Pakistani city of Lahore. Seven cricketers, an assistant coach and an umpire were injured.  England cricketers flew home from their tour of India in 2008 following terror attacks in Mumbai.  In May, Zimbabwe became the first Test-playing team to tour Pakistan in the six years since the attack on the Sri Lanka team took place.

 

The ‘Critical’ category also lists mental illness as an issue.  Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick and ex-One Day International all-rounder Michael Yardy both retired from international cricket because of mental illness.  Jonathan Trott left the Ashes tour of Australia in 2013 because of a long-standing stress-related condition.

 

The second FICA report category is labelled ‘High’ risk and includes on-field injury.  Indian cricketer Ankit Keshri died after colliding with a team-mate as they both attempted to take a catch in a club match in Kolkata in April, and this week Surrey pair Moises Henriques and Rory Burns were taken to hospital after colliding while attempting to take a catch during a Twenty20game with Sussex at Arundel. Henriques suffered a broken jaw while Burns required stitches to a cut around his eye.

 

Also in the ‘High’ risk class are sun and heat-related conditions.  Australia captain Michael Clarke, former England coach Andy Flower and former England spinner John Emburey have all been treated for skin cancer.  Former Australian cricket captain and commentator Richie Benaud was being treated for skin cancer before his death in April.

 

Of ‘Moderate' risk is the area of 'public status related incidents’.  New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder ended up in intensive care after being attacked as he left a bar in 2013.  England one-day captain Eoin Morgan was the victim of a blackmail attempt in January while former Australia batsman David Hookes died after suffering head injuries in a fight outside a Melbourne pub in 2004.  Travel accidents and injuries sustained in off-field activities are deemed a moderate risk while medical conditions are high risk.  Long-term health issues and other physical illnesses carry a moderate risk while there is a low risk of crowd disturbances.

 

The BBC says that the ICC has yet to respond to its request for a comment.

 

Headline: Hampshire fined, handed suspended points deduction over disciplinary matters.

Article from:  ECB press release.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,548. 

 

Hampshire have been fined and given a suspended points deduction by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after their players were found to have committed at least five fixed penalty offences over a twelve-month period.  A three-man Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) Disciplinary Panel decided the County had not done enough to improve disciplinary standards and handed it a sixteen-point deduction in the County Championship plus either two points in the ECB’s domestic Twenty20 competition or two in its one-day series.   

 

A statement on the ECB’s official website reads: “A CDC Disciplinary Panel was convened to hear a charge brought by the ECB against Hampshire Cricket relating to five or more separate occasions when their registered cricketers committed fixed penalty offences over a 12-month period”.  “The panel, made up of Ricky Needham, Mike Smith and Tim O’Gorman, was concerned insufficient measures had been taken by Hampshire to proactively address their ongoing responsibility to maintain disciplinary standards with players".

 

The County has to pay a fine of £4,000 ($A8,170) and a hearing cost contribution of £500 ($A1,020), but the points deduction sanctions were suspended for a year and will only be applied if a further fixed penalty offence occurs within that period in the competition in which the offence takes place.  Fixed penalty offences relate to “certain conduct whether on or off the field of play amounting to a breach of the Laws of Cricket and/or the Spirit of Cricket”.  

 

Headline: Comments to the media results in two-match ban for captain. 

Article from:  Oxford Mail.

Journalist:  Michael Knox.

Published: Tuesday, 16 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,549. 

 

Oxford Cricket Club captain Ian Crosby has been banned for two matches following his scathing criticism of umpires in a match last week.  Crosby’s comments, which appeared in the 'Oxford Mail', came following his side's one-wicket defeat by Horspath in Division 1 of the Home Counties Premier League.  He was fuming at the decision of umpires Martin Thomas and Phil Hirst to award Horspath six penalty runs for his side failing to start their fiftieth and final over in the allocated time of three hours and twenty minutes.

 

Crosby claimed he had been told by Hirst that Oxford were within the allotted time, only to find out after the first ball of the last over that penalty runs were being awarded.  With five runs coming off the next two balls, Horspath had passed their target and both sides thought the game was over.  But the umpires then ruled that the final three deliveries had to be bowled.  The Oxford captain said: “It was the worst display of umpiring I have seen in 11 years in that league”. “It was an absolute disgrace and ruined what was a really good game.”

 

The league’s disciplinary committee took exception to these remarks and charged the Crosby under the England and Wales Cricket Board’s disciplinary regulation 2.1.8.  This states: “Players and club officials shall not make any public or media comment which is detrimental to the League, clubs, umpires or the game in general”.  "In this instance, media shall include press, radio, television, external websites, club websites, social networking sites and club match programs”.

 

Crosby, who did not contest the charge, was found guilty of a ‘Level Two’ offence, which means a two-match ban.  Dave Burden, The league’s disciplinary chairman said: “The remarks he made against umpires were totally unacceptable” and that "the ban refers to two games actually played”, not fixtures cancelled because of weather or other reasons.

 

Oxford’s cancelled game at Banbury last Saturday therefore does not count, so Crosby, whose side lie bottom of the table, will now miss the next two matches at home to Harefield this Saturday and away to leaders Henley the next.  The captain said: “I accept that the league are quite within their rights to ban me”.

 

Editor’s note:  What the umpire’s view is of the situation that prevailed during the game has not been made public.

 

Headline: Vijay fined for bat sticker irregularities. 

Article from:  Cricket Australia web site.

Journalist:  Dave Middleton.

Published: Thursday, 18 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,550. 

 

India’s Murali Vijay has been fined twenty-five per cent of his match fee from the washed out Fatullah Test against Bangladesh after falling foul of International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations.  The Indian opener was fined for having a bat that violated clause 19.43 of the ICC's Clothing and Equipment Rules and Regulations as the logo in question was placed towards the bottom-half of one of edge of his bat.  

 

Images from the match show the logo in clear view as Vijay waved his bat to salute his half-century. They also show the same logo taped up the following day when Vijay again waves his bat to celebrate brining up his 150.  

 

Clause 19.43 of the ICC's regulations was updated on the first of May this year restricting the size and location of manufacturer's logos on the edges of bats.  Previously, one manufacturer’s logo was permitted on the edge of the bat, providing it did not exceed fifty per cent of the edge of the bat.  Under the new regulations any number of logos are permitted on the edge of the bat, provided they are kept within the top nine inches from the shoulder.

 

In 2010 Vijay was reprimanded by the match referee for sporting several advertising logos on his bat pads while hitting a century against Australia in Bangalore.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,571

  Friday, 19 June 2015

 

• ECB to pump £3m into Women's Cricket Super League [1571-7551].

• Singapore’s Tembusu Partners invests $US10 m in NZ’s CricHQ [1571-7552].

• IPL entity announces plan to purchase Caribbean franchise [1571-7553].

• New world record for longest bowler’s run-up claimed [1571-7554].

 

Headline: ECB to pump £3m into Women's Cricket Super League.

Article from:  BBC.

Journalist:  Joe Wilson.

Published: Thursday, 18 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,551. 

 

English cricket has made its biggest ever investment in the women's game by pledging £3m ($A6.1 m) over a four-year period for a new six-team ‘Women’s Cricket Super League’ (WCSL) which will start in the 2016 northern summer.  The tournament will initially employ the Twenty20 format and take place over a period of about two weeks, then in 2017 a fifty over tournament will be added to the series.  The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is looking for venues for games, but these will not necessarily be current county grounds.

 

The new tournament is set to mirror the Women's Big Bash League which begins in Australia later this year.  The plan is to attract the world's best players to compete alongside England's leading female cricketers. The ECB said as well as improving standards domestically, the move will aim to inspire more women and girls to take part in the sport, as well as providing more revenue opportunities through broadcasting and sponsorship.

 

Clare Connor, ECB director of England Women's Cricket, said the WCSL was "the next stage in the evolution of women's cricket in this country" following the introduction of central contracts last year.  ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said that: "Today marks a major step for the women's game in England”, while UK Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch also welcomed the move as "a huge step forward for women's sport”.

 

The £3 m funding will pay for coaching and facilities as well as promotion of the competition and prize money over the four years, an average of £750,000 ($A1.5 m) per year.  It is the first time there has ever been prize money for domestic women's cricket in England.  Potential teams will be invited to make expressions of interest. "Any cricket-minded organisations will be able to submit a proposal to become a host for a Women's Cricket Super League team with the successful candidates confirmed by the end of the year”, the ECB said.

 

Simon Burnton of the London ‘Daily Telegraph’ wrote on the same day that the WCSL will supersede the existing 38-team Women’s County Championship, the aim being to create a smaller competition of greater quality. The current eighteen centrally-contract players, who are currently spread around the top two divisions, will all be involved, while each team will also be allowed two overseas players.  

 

The announcement could also preface the return of cricket to terrestrial television after a decade’s absence. Burnton quotes Connor as saying: “Sky have obviously been phenomenal in their support for the women’s game”. “But I think this probably gives us the opportunity to speak to every broadcaster, whether it’s free-to-air or subscription. Obviously we want some or all of the games to be on TV”.

 

 

Headline: Singapore’s Tembusu Partners invests $US10 m in NZ’s CricHQ.

Article from:  Digital News Asia.

Journalist: Not stated.

Published: Friday, 19 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,552. 

Wellington-based CricHQ Ltd said it has secured up to $US10 million ($A12.8 m, £UK6.3 m) of funding from Singapore-based private equity firm Tembusu Partners Pte Ltd.  The funds will be used to enhance its cricket digital platform and grow its global operations, the New Zealand company said in a statement.

 

Tembusu Partners manages over $US223 m ($A288 m, £UK140 m)  and has a strong record in investing in high-growth enterprises, CricHQ said, adding that it will be the second investment by Tembusu Growth Fund III – which has a target size of around $US111 m ($A142.3 m, £UK69.9 m) .  “Tembusu’s investment enables CricHQ to expand significantly and achieve our growth targets”, said CricHQ founder and chief executive officer Simon Baker.  “CricHQ will benefit from Tembusu’s experience and network in Asia, and is based in Singapore – the ideal gateway to our key markets”, he added.

 

Forty-one of 106 national governing bodies for cricket have partnered with it to improve administration of the game in their jurisdictions from club level upwards, CricHQ claimed, describing the game as the world’s second most popular sport, with an estimated global following of over three billion.

 

Cricket administration previously consisted of paper-based, time-intensive methods of data collection. CricHQ aims to accomplish its mission of ‘Making Cricket Better’ for cricket stakeholders.  It said its digital platform combines integrated competition management, live scoring and customer relationship management to solve the problem of data loss.  It says its crowd-sourced and independently-validated data collection process allows fans to receive the benefit of the biggest and broadest range of cricket in the world.

  

“Tembusu believes that CricHQ’s business model is highly scalable and it has a huge opportunity to become the world’s leading online repository of cricket information”, said Tembusu Partners founder and chairman Andy Lim.

 

Headline: IPL entity announces plan to purchase Caribbean franchise.

Article from:  Indian Express.

Journalist: Not stated.

Published: Thursday, 18 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,553.

 

Caribbean Premier League (CPL) organisers announced today that the owners of Indian Premier League side the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) intend to acquire the CPL’s Trinidad and Tobago (TT) franchise, subject to all the "regulatory and board approvals”.  KKR were the IPL champions in 2012 and 2014 and were ranked by 'Forbes Magazine’ earlier this year to have the highest brand value in the IPL.

 

Shah Rukh Khan, owner of KKR, said, "This is in line with our vision to expand globally and we are thrilled to become part of the great cricketing tradition of TT. The passion for franchise cricket in the Caribbean is evident with the success of CPL and we hope to bring all the best practices of KKR to the TT franchise”.  KKR chief executive Venky Mysore said, "We have been fortunate to be recognised as one of the most professionally managed franchises in IPL. Our positive experience in building a successful franchise has encouraged us to expand globally. The success of CPL and the TT franchise in particular, makes it a very good fit for us”.

 

Damien O'Donohoe, the CPL’s chief executive said: "This deal represents yet another great step forward in the story of the CPL as it grows in status and popularity around the world".  "KKR are a huge franchise in the world of cricket, so for a brand like theirs to choose to invest in the CPL proves that we are doing all the right things and heading in the right direction”.

 

This year’s version of the CPL starts tomorrow and runs until late next month. Last year's tournament attracted a global audience in excess of 65 million and this year is set to be even higher as fans across the world continue to be drawn to the high quality action on the pitch and the unique party atmosphere off it.

 

Headline: New world record for longest bowler’s run-up claimed.

Article from:  Yahoo News.

Journalist: Not stated.

Published: Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,554.

 

A bowler claimed a sightly freakish record during a celebrity cricket match this week in that he ran 2.6 miles (4 km) before delivering the ball to a batsman.  Ian Biddle, 43, a financial consultant by day and a cricket coach by evening, was pushed forward by the Alcester and Ragley Park Cricket Club in the Cotswold Hill League to attempt to break the record for the longest bowling run-up. 

 

The previous record stood at 1.6 miles (2.4 km) and was held by a bowler called Jason Rowson, who completed the then record approach immediately after running a full marathon unrelated to the attempt.  Biddle said, “I feel quite proud to have achieved something of the stature of a world record, even though it’s a small achievement in the grand scheme of things”.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,572

  Sunday, 21 June 2015

 

• Dhoni, Mustafizur fined for on-field contact [1572-7555].

• Australian umpire reported standing in CPL 2015 [1572-7556].

• Hampshire vows to clamp down on player discipline [1572-7557].

• ICC Annual Conference week starts in Barbados on Monday [1572-7558].

 

Headline: Dhoni, Mustafizur fined for on-field contact.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 19 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,555. 

 

Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been fined fifty and seventy per cent of their match fees respectively after being found guilty of breaching the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Code of Conduct during the first Bangladesh-India One-Day International of the series in Mirpur on Thursday.  The two players were found to have breached Article 2.2.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “Inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between Players in the course of play during an International Match”. 

 

The incident happened in the 25th over of India’s innings when Dhoni made a physical contact with debutant Mustafizur Rahman while running a single. Following the contact, the left-arm fast bowler left the field and Nasir Hossain bowled the remaining four deliveries to complete the over.  Both the players pleaded not guilty to the charge and as such, a hearing was held on Friday morning by match referee Andy Pycroft in which television footage was used. Apart from the match officials, both the players and their managers attended the hearing. 

 

Explaining his decision Pycroft said: “In the hearing, Dhoni defended the charge on the basis that the bowler was on the wrong line and realising that he couldn’t avoid the collision, he used his hand and arm to push him away as he went through to ‘minimise the impact’".  “However, my assessment was that Dhoni deliberately pushed and shouldered Mustafizur, which was inappropriate”.  "Even if there was a narrow gap between the runner (Suresh Raina) and the bowler, an experienced Dhoni should have tried to avoid the collision as cricket is a non-contact sport and the players are expected to avoid physical contact at all times”.  "On this basis, I fined Dhoni three-quarters of his match fee”. 

 

Having initially pleaded not guilty to the offence, upon being faced with the evidence during the hearing and upon questioning, Mustafizur admitted his guilt and accepted the proposed sanction.  Pycroft said: “Mustafizur was fined fifty per cent of his match fee after he admitted that that his actions in not getting out of the batsman’s way were inappropriate and he should have done more to avoid the contact" 

 

The charge had been laid by the on-field umpires Rod Tucker and Enamul Haque, as well as third umpire Anisur Rahman and fourth umpire Masudur Rahman.  Under ICC regulations all Level Two breaches carry a minimum penalty of a minimum fine of fifty per cent of applicable Match Fee and/or up to two (2) Suspension Points. 

 

Headline: Australian umpire reported standing in CPL 2015.

Article from:  PTG sources.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Sunday, 21 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,556. 

 

Reports from Barbados yesterday say that Australian umpire Mick Martell will be one of the match officials who will to stand in this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) series, while South African Devdas Govindjee will work as a match referees.  Martell, an Australian member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), and Govindjee who is on the ICC’s second-tier Regional Referees Panel, are reported to have been contracted for the thirty-three match tournament which is due to get underway later this morning Australian time.

 

The first CPL series in 2013 saw New Zealand umpire ‘Billy’ Bowden, who was then an IUP member, and former ICC match referee Mike Proctor, employed for that series alongside West Indian match officials, the pair featuring in the final of that event (PTG 1179-5692, 26 August 2013).  Last year CPL organisers employed an all West Indian officials panel (PTG 1415-6834, 19 August 2014), however, that series ended in considerable controversy with those involved in managing the final making somewhat of a mess of the playing conditions that applied (PTG 1482-7173, 13 December 2014).  

 

Just how many CPL games Govindjee and Martell will feature in over the next month is not known at this stage as the list of CPL 2015 match officials has not been released.

 

Headline: Hampshire vows to clamp down on player discipline.

Article from:  Portsmouth News.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 19 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,557.

 

Hampshire have vowed to clamp down on their discipline after receiving a suspended points deduction and a fine. The Ageas Bowl outfit will be walking a disciplinary tightrope and will face a hefty punishment if their players misbehave again in the next twelve months.  As it stands, they were fined by the Cricket Discipline Commission and will be deducted sixteen Championship points or two points in the Twenty20 or fifty-over series if they are handed another fixed penalty in the next year (PTG 1570-7548, 18 June 2015). 

 

The County’s Director of cricket, Giles White, admitted that the players had over-stepped the mark and had been reminded of their responsibilities, but he believes the general standard of on-pitch behaviour had been good.  White said though that his club prides itself on playing in the correct manner and that "Over the years, certainly since I’ve been in charge, the feedback from umpires has been very positive about the way the boys play as a group”.  

 

"Unfortunately, we’ve slipped up on occasions. In the heat of the moment we’ve let ourselves down in isolated incidents. That’s not acceptable, we’ve got to cut that out and the boys know that".  "We’ll take the punishment and move on”.  Although Hampshire are competitive, they are not generally seen as a nasty side to play against and it certainly goes against their old ‘Happy Hampshire’ tag from the past.

 

White indicated that the players had been hit in the pocket for their transgressions.  He said: "We have measures in place, we sit down with the players and there is a monetary fines process in place as well”.  Owais Shah was the most recent to fall foul of the umpires during the club’s win over Middlesex in a Twenty20 two weeks ago.  The former England man was reprimanded for a Level One breach of the ECB’s Discipline code for "using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting and/or making an obscene gesture), after being caught on a stump microphone reacting to his dismissal”.

 

That came within a month of a similar offence by Michael Carberry in the County Championship defeat against Yorkshire at Headingley at the beginning of May.  The other three offences occurred last season.  

 

Former all-rounder Matt Coles received two of the other four penalties in the space of a few weeks before his return to Kent.  He was reported for a Level Two breach (throwing the ball at or near a player, umpire or official in an inappropriate and dangerous manner) during a Championship win against Leicestershire in September, soon after a Level One misdemeanour, while wicketkeeper Adam Wheater was suspended for two matches last August for a Level Two offence in a one-day fixture.

 

Headline: ICC Annual Conference week starts in Barbados on Monday.

Article from:  ICC media release.

Journalist:  Sami Ul Hasan.

Published: Saturday, 20 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,558.

 

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Annual Conference week will begin in Barbados tomorrow with the meetings of the world body’s Chief Executives Committee (CEC) and its Associate and Affiliate Members’ (AAM) group, and will conclude with the ICC Business Corporation's (IBC) Board meeting on Friday.  This will be the first time the ICC’s annual meetings will take place in the West Indies and with delegates from over fifty ICC Members expected to attend it will be the largest-ever gathering of cricket administrators in the Americas region to date.

 

The AAM meeting will last one day, the CEC run over Monday-Tuesday, then on Wednesday its Human Resources and Remuneration Committee, Executive Committee, Annual Conference, and Governance Committee meetings will be held.  The ICC Board, ICC Development International (IDI) Board and IBC Board meetings will take place in the period from Wednesday to Friday, and the Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee on Thursday

                                                              

Key issues on the agenda of the meetings will include: Amendments to the ICC’s Memorandum and Articles of Association; Investiture of new ICC President; ICC Associate Membership application from Serbia; Updates on the status of Sri Lanka Cricket and United States of America Cricket Association; A report from the Chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit; Recommendations on cricket and development matters from recent committee meetings; and ICC strategy post-2015.

 

The Conference is being hosted by the West Indies Cricket Board with the support of the Barbados Cricket Association and Barbados Tourism Marketing Incorporated.  

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,573

  Monday, 22 June 2015

 

• Two Aussies working in CPL series [1573-7559].

• Aussies' famous 'line’ could be ‘head butted’ during Ashes, says skipper [1573-7560].

• 'You're going into the unknown’, says Trent Boult of mooted day-night Test [1573-7561].

 

Headline: Two Aussies working in CPL series.

Article from:  Cricket Australia release.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Wednesday, 17 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,559. 

 

Two Australian umpires will be standing in this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) series, according to a story that was quietly posted on Cricket Australia’s (CA) web site last Wednesday.  It now appears that in addition to CA National Umpire Panel (NUP) member Mick Martell (PTG 1752-7556, 21 June 2015), his NUP and International Cricket Council second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) colleague John Ward is also involved, and CA says they “are only internationally appointed umpires to [what is] the [CPL’s] third edition".

 

CA Match Officials Manager Sean Easey says via the posted story that the appointments of the two Australians pays tribute to the hard work and commitment of the whole Australian panel.  “The appointment of Mick and John to the tournament is wonderful recognition of their strong performances and reputation on field, and is a great opportunity for them to prove their wares in an international setting”, said Easey. “It is also a great testament to our umpiring pathway that a domestic tournament of this calibre is looking to the Australian shores for umpires’.

 

The CA release says the two Australians will be challenged when standing in a new environment whilst experiencing a rigorous schedule, "travelling between countries Barbados; St Kitts; St Lucia; Jamaica; Trinidad and Guyana during their four-week, sixteen-match stint”. The CPL is a thirty-three match tournament this year.  

 

CA goes on to point out though that umpiring on foreign soil is nothing new for the pair, with Martell making his One Day International debut in New Zealand as part of the World Cup 2015 qualifiers in January 2014 (PTG 1254-6098, 6 January 2014), while Ward was appointed to the World Twenty20 Championship qualifiers in Dubai in November 2013 (PTG 1244-6009, 29 November 2013).  Both umpires have also participated in international umpire exchange programs to countries including New Zealand, South Africa and India in the past. Martell completed the most recent exchange overseas in October 2014 when he stood in two Duleep Trophy Finals in India (PTG 1457-7063, 28 October 2014).

 

Editor’s note:  Martell and Ward’s NUP and IUP colleague Simon Fry, stood in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the first time earlier this year.  Just how the IPL/CPL appointments came about, and whether they were part of a CA master plan or some other, perhaps random, mechanism, is impossible to determine given the amount of information publicly available.  It seems likely that all three took part, with CA’s blessing, in their respective series via contracts to each event’s organisers.  The CPL is yet to announce its full match officials team for the current event.

 

Headline: Aussies' famous 'line’ could be ‘head butted’ during Ashes, says skipper.

Article from:  Sydney Morning Herald.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Monday, 22 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,560. 

 

Australian captain Michael Clarke says he has never instructed Australia's so-called 'attack dog' David Warner to sledge an opponent and supports the opener's apparent desire to retreat from being the team's chief on-field instigator in the Ashes.  Warner gave an interview during the series in the West Indies that wound up last week in which he indicated he was looking to change his approach in the heat of battle in the middle and not necessarily, as he's often previously been, be in the thick of the action when it comes to barking at rival players (PTG 1504-7253, 20 January 2015).

 

Warner, 28, was twice found guilty of code of conduct breaches during the last Australian summer and following a pre-World Cup crackdown from the International Cricket Council on on-field behaviour, is among a number of players who could face a possible suspension if they transgress in the upcoming Test series against England (PTG 1505-7257, 21 January 2015).  Warner told ‘Cricinfo’ last week: "In the past I've been someone who's been told to go out there and do this and do that, but at the end of the day I've got to look after myself, and that's what everyone does". "There are people who do talk and don't talk on the field. If I don't want to be that instigator, I don't have to be that instigator”.

 

Speaking during Australia's first full training session since landing in England, Clarke said he was fine with Warner's shift in attitude, so long as he pumped out runs with the bat. The Australian captain predicted the Ashes series would be played in good spirits, but after an often hostile showdown two summers ago the last time they came together he forecast that both teams “could ‘headbutt' the line between what is acceptable and not”.  "I didn't hear what Davey said but I can guarantee that as captain of Davey I have certainly never asked him to go and sledge somebody and I think I can speak for the coach as well, that he certainly has never done that”, said Clarke.

 

The captain continued: "The environment I try and create around this group is I want players to play the way they feel they can play their best cricket”.  "Davey is a big part of this team, he's in tremendous form. He's batted beautifully in all forms of the game over the past twelve months and we need him to be successful here”.  "If he feels like he's said a lot through his career and he wants to say less...if that helps his game then I'm all for it"

 

Clarke himself was at the centre of the drama on England's last tour of Australia when he was reprimanded for telling England bowler James Anderson to "get ready for a broken f------ arm" during the first Test in Brisbane in 2013 (PTG 1242-5996, 26 November 2013). He said Australia would not be retreating from their trademark aggression here.  "I'm confident it will be played in the right spirit”, Clarke said of this Ashes series, which begins in Cardiff in just over two weeks. 

 

"On the field both teams will play hard and I know I probably say this every series but we respect that there is a line that you can't cross”.  "Both teams might headbutt that line but I'm confident we won't over-step the mark".  "I think that's how we play our best, it's a big part of the Australian way but I think you also need to keep in mind that there is a line and you can't overstep that”.  "As captain of the team I'll make sure I'm leading the way on that front and I'm confident the boys will certainly follow”.  

 

Headline: 'You're going into the unknown’, says Trent Boult of mooted day-night Test.

Article from:  New Zealand Herald.

Journalist:  Kris Shannon.

Published: Sunday 21 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,561. 

 

Cricket's first day-night Test complete with pink ball looks set to be confirmed but the Black Caps remain reluctant to be lab rats in the "bizarre" concept.  New Zealand and Australia look set to be the first international sides to experiment with the innovation, likely to play with a pink ball and under lights in the third Test at the Adelaide Oval in November.  The timing of what is essentially a trial run has caused much consternation among this country's cricketers, believing a crucial three-Test series against their trans-Tasman foes could be marred by entering into the unknown.

 

But with the final arrangements to be ironed out at the International Cricket Council's annual conference in Barbados this week, the day-night Test seems set to get the go-ahead.  Players' association boss Heath Mills had previously suggested the Black Caps were "overwhelmingly not supportive" of the concept, with one internal survey finding seventeen of twenty contracted players opposed to being part of a day-night test.

 

Trent Boult, back in the Bay of Plenty while recovering from a back injury, told Radio Newstalk ZB he was worried about being handed a foreign ball and thrust into action against the second-ranked Test side in the world. Boult was introduced to the ball after the second test against England at Leeds earlier this month and his initial impression was one of vexation.  "I had had a look at it and it's different, that's for sure”, he said. "I haven't had any experience with it so that's the only thing I'm really worried about. You're going into the unknown”.

 

With a congested international calendar unlikely to allow for a chance to test the pink ball in a warm-up match, net practise will be the only avenue for New Zealand's bowlers to gain a feel for how it behaves.  And even then, with the mooted Test set to see play start in the mid-afternoon, it will be difficult to ascertain how the ball reacts in completely different conditions near the close of play.  "Unless the nets are at nine o'clock at night and we get a good feel for it, it's going to be pretty bizarre, that's for sure”, said Boult. "It's not ideal at all."

 

Manufacturers ‘Kookaburra' said last week their pink ball was now ready for Test matches (PTG 1569-7545, 17 June 2015), even if previous trials had proved the ball unreliable. Australia's top players, unlike their counterparts, could receive another chance to test the ball, with Cricket Australia keen to schedule a pink-ball round early in the 2015-16 Sheffield Shield season.  But for Boult and the Black Caps, it could be a case of wait-and-see, left to contend with what appears to be a revenue-generating gimmick while they bid to rise from third in the world test rankings.  

 

"You're not sure if it swings or if it seams”, Boult said. "I can't really see a pink ball shining up too well, as well. There are just too many unknowns from my point of view”.  "And to go straight into a Test match, you're going into a totally different game pretty misunderstood and pretty fresh. I'm not really too sure about it, to be honest. Once again, it's in the hands of New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia too see what happens with it. But it could be a bit of an experience”.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,574

 Tuesday, 23 June 2015

 

• Massachusetts Institute of Technology looking at UDRS issues [1574-7562].

• Money talks, players don't, in day-night Test cricket debate [1574-7563].

• 2015 EUP candidate back for Lanka-Pakistan ODI series [1574-7564].

• Players, umpires now ‘more sensitive’ about helmet strikes [1574-7565].

• Pakistan off-spinner again reported for a suspect action [1574-7566].

 

Headline: Massachusetts Institute of Technology looking at UDRS issues.

Article from:  Bangalore Mirror .

Journalist:  Vijay Tagore.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,562.

 

Despite the recent hints from Jagmohan Dalmiya and Virat Kohli (PTG 1567-7536, 15 June 2015), it seems there won't be any change in position of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vis-a-vis the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS). It is almost certain that the BCCI officials, currently in Barbados for the annual conference of the International Cricket Council (ICC), will brook no request from the ICC officials to review their stated position on the referrals.

 

Even before the BCCI delegation left for the Caribbean, it was decided that current opposing stand to the UDRS will continue. The board will consider revisiting their position only after Anil Kumble's expected visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston where the former India leg break bowler, who is the chairman of both the ICC and BCCI’s Cricket Committees, will be given a demonstration on the latest changes to the referral technology.  It has been confirmed to this paper that Kumble will be visiting Boston accompanied by Geoff Allardice, the ICC's general manager, after the conclusion of the ICC meeting.

 

An ICC spokesman said: "Geoff and Anil are visiting MIT after the ICC Annual Conference to discuss the project and to see a demonstration of the testing apparatus they will use to measure the performance of the DRS technologies".  A scientist of Indian origin at the Boston institute is believed to have developed a technology that can address BCCI's concerns on UDRS, particularly on ball-tracking but it will be known only after Kumble's visit. Anyway, no breakthrough is possible before the end of the year. 

 

Editor’s note:  This appears to be the first time MIT has been identified as the latest independent “university group” that the ICC has engaged to look into UDRS technicalities.  Precisely what the focus of the work in Boston is is not entirely clear from this article, although ICC chief executive David Richardson indicated in February that work underway at “an American University” involved ball-tracking issues (PTG 1520-7318, 14 February 2015).  

 

Following controversies during the 2013 Ashes series in England, the ICC established a Working Group to took at UDRS technology.  It recommended to the world body’s Cricket Committee twelve months ago that all such systems should be independently evaluated, the aim being provide a consistent system that can be accepted and used in all high-profile matches around the world (PTG 1460-7074, 15 November 2014). That apparently led to MIT’s involvement in the issue.

 

Prior to that though, in July 2011, then ICC chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat said his organisation planned to carry out, "over the next few months", an independent assessment of infra-red cameras, audio tracking devices, and ball-tracking technology (PTG 790-3868, 6 July 2011).  Six months later in February 2012, the ICC indicated publicly that a "detailed independent study" of UDRS ball tracking technology would be conducted by "a Cambridge University group" later that year to "help persuade Indian cricket authorities" that the system's use in matches can be beneficial rather than detrimental to the game (PTG 898-4370, 6 February 2012).  

 

That review, which was conducted by Dr Edward Rosten a former Cambridge University lecturer and an expert in such matters, focussed on obtaining "precise evidence" on the degree to which 'Hawk' and 'Virtual' eye data can be trusted to assist decision making in international matches (PTG 902-4385, 17 February 2012).  A “provisional" report presented to the ICC’s Cricket Committee in May of that year said "very positive results in regard to system accuracy” had been obtained, a detailed examination of fourteen "situations" that occurred in Tests indicate that results obtained were in "100 per cent agreement" with the data provided by the ball tracking system in real-time (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012).  There was a hint that Rosten would continue that work, however nothing appears to have happened in that regard - at least publicly.

 

Headline: Money talks, players don't, in day-night Test cricket debate.

Article from:  Sydney Morning Herald.

Journalist:  Mark Geenty.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,563.

Money and power will talk loudest when Cricket Australia (CA) soon confirms the inaugural day-night Test, despite widespread and continuing discord from New Zealand's top players.  The official line from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was that negotiations were ongoing for the pink ball Test under lights, pencilled in for Adelaide in late November.  NZC hasn't taken a public stance but chief executive David White has maintained the Black Caps players need to agree before NZC will sign on the dotted line with its Australian counterpart.

 

That's where it becomes an increasing headache for NZC, which is in talks with its wealthy and powerful cricketing neighbour to agree on regular trans-Tasman matches and an annual revival of the Chappell-Hadlee One Day International series.  New Zealand's premier fast bowler Trent Boult has never bowled with a pink ball and added his opposition at the weekend, backing the earlier confirmation from Players' Association boss Heath Mills that seventeen of twenty NZC contracted players were against day-night Test cricket in a survey (PTG 1573-7561, 22 June 2015).

 

Even Australia's players, notably captain Michael Clarke, are known to be day-night Test sceptics but given their large pay packets CA might argue it can call the shots.  No-one from NZC or the Players' Association would comment on Monday, but the increasing feeling is the match will go ahead, and the players will begrudgingly accept it is a necessary evil. At least one, preferably two, warm-up games in Australia with the new ball will be part of the deal.

 

CA is hugely keen to host the first day-night Test which chief executive James Sutherland believes will boost television and spectator revenue. If NZC plays ball, it's a golden bargaining chip for more regular and lucrative contact with Australia, starting with a proposal to scrap a New Zealand home Test in February and play three Chappell-Hadlee ODIs instead (PTG 1561-7508, 5 June 2015).

 

NZC's annual revenue is around $A44 million (£UK21.7 m) while CA topped that in its player payments alone, which last year were $A54.3 million (£UK6.5 m). CA's top retainer, paid to batsman Steve Smith, is understood to be over $A2 m (£UK970,000) while the top NZC retainer when the contracts are finalised next month will nudge past $A180,000 (£UK86,800) for the first time.

 

The day-night Test concept has been given the green light by an International Cricket Council. ‘Kookaburra', manufacturer of the pink ball which was trialled in first-class matches in Australia and the United Arab Emirates, insists it is ready for action and will stand up to the rigours of a five-day Test (PTG 1569-7545, 17 June 2015).  The ball may well be a pink lemon, but NZC and the Black Caps might have to suck it up.

 

Headline: 2015 EUP candidate back for Lanka-Pakistan ODI series.

Article from:  Prepared from ICC appointments information.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,564. 

 

Sri Lankan umpire Ranmore Martinesz may have missed out to India’s Sundarum Ravi and New Zealand’s Chris Gaffaney in appointment to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) (PTG 1561-7505, 5 June 2015), but he is continuing to stand in internationals.  Martinesz, who turns 48 tomorrow and is a member of the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), will be on-field in three of the five One Day Internationals Sri Lanka and Pakistan will play next month, his IUP partner Ravindra Wimalasiri standing in the other two; while India’s Javagal Srinath, Englishman Ian Gould and Australian Rod Tucker being the series’ neutral match officials (PTG 1567-7538, 15 June 2015).

 

Martinesz, who with Ravi and Gaffaney was given a series of key appointments by the ICC over the past year that indicated he was an EUP candidate, will have been appointed to the coming series by Sri Lanka Cricket.  Should he receive similar appointments from the ICC itself over the next six months it may suggest he is still on the world body’s watch list for EUP selection in mid-2016.  

 

If so he may well be in the race with Kiwi ‘Billy’ Bowden, 52, who seems likely to be retained by New Zealand Cricket in one of their IUP spots (PTG 1560-7510, 6 June 2015), although there is no indication yet as to just what the ICC itself thinks about his future.  Could he be recalled for the forthcoming Ashes series as he was in 2013 following his first dumping from the EUP? (PTG 1229-5923, 10 November 2013).  

 

Others potentially on the ICC’s 2016 EUP potentials list are: Michael Gough, 35, of England, West Indian Joel Wilson, 48, Johan Cloete, 43, from South Africa, Simon Fry, 48, of Australia, and a second Sri Lankan Ruchira Palliyaguruge, 47, although he has been overlooked for the forthcoming Lanka-Pakistan ODIs, but will stand in their two Twenty20 Internationals,    

 

That presupposes of course that a vacancy will appear on the EUP in 2016.  On 30 June next year, the date around which EUP contracts for the one to two years ahead are decided, the age range of current EUP members will be between forty and fifty-six, newcomer Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand being the youngest and Bruce Oxenford of Australia the oldest.  As such at this stage there is no obvious candidate to step down from the panel.

 

Headline: Players, umpires now ‘more sensitive’ about helmet strikes.

Article from:  The Guardian.

Journalist:  Lizzy Ammon.

Published: Monday, 22 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,565. 

 

Bit of a worrying incident here at Wantage Road in the first class match between Northamptonshire and Kent today. A short delivery from Northamptonshire's Olly Stone hit Kent tail end batsman Mitchell Claydon in the helmet which just about split in two and piece fell off it. Umpires Steve Garrett and Neil Mallender and the players on the ground were straight up to him to see if he was OK. He seems to be fine if a bit shaken. He’s got a new lid and is carrying on.  I’ve noticed that players and umpires are much more sensitive any time anyone gets hit on the helmet since the tragedy in Sydney last November – they all run straight up to anyone who gets clonked.

 

Headline: Pakistan off-spinner again reported for a suspect action.

Article from:  Cricinfo web site.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Monday, 22 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,566. 

 

Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez has again been reported for a suspected illegal action following his side’s 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Galle in the first Test.  Hafeez was reported last September while playing for Lahore in the Champions League Twenty20 series (PTG 1436-6947, 29 September 2014), as well as last November during a Test match against New Zealand (PTG 1459-7071, 14 November 2014).  The International Cricket Council said at the time: "The match officials' report, which was handed over to the Pakistan team manager Moin Khan, cited concerns about the legality of the thirty-four-year-old's bowling action”.

 

Hafeez was subsequently found guilty during testing in December, with an elbow extension of thirty-one degrees, well beyond the permitted level of fifteen degrees (PTG 1477-7145, 8 December 20124). As such, he could now be banned from bowling for up to a year if his action is again found to be illegal. The part-time off-spinner bowled ten overs in each innings of the Test and took 2/40.  Pakistan team management has confirmed the reporting of Hafeez, giving him twenty-one days to undergo testing in which time he is still permitted to bowl – leaving him available as an option with the ball for captain Misbah-ul-Haq for the second and third Tests of this current series against Sri Lanka. 

 

After he was found guilty last December, Hafeez went to a biomechanics lab in Chennai to undergo remedial work but failed an unofficial test soon after (PTG 1495-7223, 5 January 2015). The top-order batsman missed the World Cup through injury but his action was cleared a short while later after more testing in Chennai. 

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,575

 Wednesday, 24 June 2015

 

• Sangakkara to replace Crowe in match referee role? [1575-7567].

• MCC to launch Laws ‘App' [1575-7568].

• ECB launches 2015 National Cricket Playing Survey [1575-7569].

• 'Boys aren't happy' about day-night Test but ‘just get on with it' [1575-7570].

• USA confirmed as venue for ’Tendulkar-Warne' league [1575-7571].

• $A50m rebel cricket contract would be tempting: David Warner [1575-7572].

• Steve O'Shaughnessy heading for top in umpire career [1575-7573].

 

Headline: Sangakkara to replace Crowe in match referee role?

Article from:  PTG sources.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Wednesday, 24 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,567.

 

 

Sri Lankan wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who has announced that he plans to retire from Test cricket in August, is reported to be in line to take over New Zealander Jeff Crowe’s position on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) top match referees panel in mid-2016.  Sangakkara, who will be thirty-eight at that time, and who has been contract to play for the Hobart franchise in Cricket Australia’s next domestic Twenty20 series in December-January, is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen ever to play the game and has featured prominently in world player rankings and awards over the past decade. 

 

Sangakkara to date has played 131 Tests, and will retired on 404 One Day Internationals (ODI) and 56 Twenty20 Internationals (T20I).  Before his cricketing career took off he had enrolled at the University of Colombo to complete a Bachelor of Law, however, he has yet to complete it but says on his web site that he intends to do so after he retires as a player.  Should he, as reports claim, join the ICC’s match referees panel he will be the third Sri Lankan working with that group, the others being ICC chief match referee Ranjan Mudugalle and Roshan Mahanama.  Kumar Dharmasena, a fourth Sri Lankan, is currently a member of the ICC’s Elite Umpires Panel.

 

Crowe, a long-time resident of Florida, who like Sangakkara and all current members of the world body’s top match officials panel is a former Test player, will only be fifty-seven in mid-2016.  By that time though he will have been travelling the world as a referee for twelve years, having overseen to this time a total of seventy-one Tests, second on the all-time referee list after Mudugalle, 218 ODIs, third on the all-time list after Mudugalle and Chris Broad of England, and forty-eight T20Is, third again after that same pair.  Whether he or the ICC see that its time for him to move on in the near future awaits official confirmation. 

 

Headline: MCC to launch Laws ‘App'.

Article from:  Association of Cricket Officials.

Journalist:  Mark Williams (MCC).

Published: Monday, 22 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,568.

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are launching an ‘App' on the Laws of Cricket to coincide with the Lord’s Ashes Test next month. It is intended that its content will include the 'Spirit of Cricket', the Laws of Cricket and Appendices in full, explanations of some of the more complicated Laws, Laws in Action, Laws related articles and in particular, a quiz on the Laws which will involve multiple choice questions, with three or more possible answers.

 

Initially it is intended that there will be three questions on each Law: one elementary, one intermediate and one advanced. It is also intended that these questions will be changed and updated from time to time.  MCC are offering members of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) the chance to submit potential questions on the Laws, together with between three and five possible multiple choice answers. These will be stored in a question bank from which future questions will be drawn. 

 

This is an opportunity for members to have a go at examining the Laws, thinking carefully about them and understanding common misconceptions on the Laws when submitting ‘incorrect’ options for the multiple choice answers.  Members should submit their proposed questions to the ACO in the first instance, who will collate, edit and forward to MCC in due course.

 

Headline: ECB launches 2015 National Cricket Playing Survey.

Article from:  Association of Cricket Officials.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Monday, 22 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,569.

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) 2015 survey is now open and aims to generate new and innovative ideas which will help to retain existing players and increase take-up of the sport. We’d like you to urge every player, whether Premier League or occasional Sunday friendly player, to have their say on all aspects of the recreational game.

 

Last year more than 37,000 current and former players nationwide responded to the survey, giving the ECB a fresh insight into how best to improve and support the grassroots game (PTG 1493-7212, 1 January 2015). Nearly 100 leagues have already revised structures or formats this season based on player feedback from last year's survey.  Please help make this survey a success by directing all the players you come into contact with to its dedicated web site.

 

Editor’s note: Last March, Cricket Australia (CA) said it received comments from over 800 clubs in response to its on-line survey which was aimed at identifying the “challenges” those at the ‘grass roots’ level of the sport in that country believe they face (PTG 1533-7380, 6 March 2015).  CA indicated then that findings from the survey will be provided to clubs and associations “in the lead up to the 2015-16 [austral summer] season". 

 

Headline: 'Boys aren't happy' about day-night Test but ‘just get on with it'.

Article from:  New Zealand Herald.

Journalist:   David Leggat.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,570.

 

Amid all the grumbling and "boys aren't happy" talk over the idea of using a pink ball for the first time in a Test, if it comes to fruition why not just get on with it?  Australia and New Zealand have a three-Test series late this year across the Tasman, Cricket Australia (CA) are pushing the idea of using a pink ball for what would be the first day-night Test, and ball makers Kookaburra say the technology has improved markedly from the early years and the pink pill is now Test ready (PTG 1574-7563, 23 June 2015).

 

Players on both sides are evidently unhappy and want to stay red and play in the day.  What this risks is that when they're told the day-nighter - most likely in Adelaide - is on, the players will go into the match with a negative mindset.  New Zealand Cricket (NZC) are unlikely to want to press the players to do something they really don't want to, but they have other balls in the air, such as fostering closer cricket relations with the neighbours.

 

Having been shunned in recent years (remember the last Test clash was three and a half years ago, a thrilling seven-run win in Hobart, you may recall), New Zealand's rapidly improving form under Brendon McCullum, and attendant rise in the rankings, makes them an appealing opponent, both for the quality of their cricket, and the way they approach the game.  New Zealand want more trans-Tasman activity, understandably. CA want day-night Tests which they maintain will be a crowd-puller and produce better television revenue.

 

Let's suppose CA guarantee to NZC they'll become more regular playing mates in the years ahead, and for starters there are five or six tests - still to be finalised - looming next summer, but first we really want that day-nighter.  What's NZC to do? The New Zealand players mightn't fancy it, and NZC probably don't want to strong arm their players, but there is pragmatism to consider.

 

Here's a thought: why not roll the sleeves up and give this idea a genuine crack? Once the die is cast, assuming it is, become pro-active, welcome the prospect.  Day-night Tests might die a rapid death, and there are areas of the cricket world where the climate doesn't lend itself to night time test cricket in any case.

 

New Zealand will have leadup matches to prepare, and get used to the vagaries of the pink ball. But the worst thing would be to go into the match fretting, not really wanting to be there, figuring it's too gimmicky by half.  If push comes to firmer push, why not just try it. New Zealand have been given an opportunity to be part of cricket history, albeit a quirky part of it.  If it comes, embrace it, make the most if it. You never know, they might a: enjoy it more than they think, and b: even win the Test.

 

Headline: USA confirmed as venue for ’Tendulkar-Warne' league.

Article from:  Wisden India.

Journalist:   Not stated.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,571.

 

Yankee Stadium in New York, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, have been confirmed as venues for the first set of matches in what is being called the Legends Twenty20 League.  The competition, which is being promoted by former Indian and Australian players Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne, looks likely be held in November after the conclusion of the 2015 Major League Baseball season in the United States.

 

Under the reported proposal, a series of exhibition matches will also be held around such countries and places as Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over a three-and-a-half-year period to promote the game.  Players such as Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Brian Lara and Wasim Akram were confirmed to have signed up for the league along with twenty other cricketers.

 

Warne told News Limited on Monday: "All the players have said, 'If you and Sachin are doing it, we'd like to do it as well”. "We've got all the players you'd want to see from the past twenty years”.  "Part of the all-stars idea is we go around and the people who haven't had the opportunity to see these guys play over the years because they're based in the States can come”.  Warne also confirmed it would be a matter of time before official sanction for the tournament is obtained. "We've met with the International Cricket Council who are very happy to be on board with us, so we just want them to be official partners with us. We're speaking with the American Cricket Association to make sure they can help us as well”.

 

Harlem Globetrotters, an exhibition basketball team, are the inspiration behind the tournament. "Myself and Sachin had an idea - why not take cricket to America and be the Harlem Globetrotters, go around and do free exhibitions at schools ... help grow the game of cricket [in a country where there are already] forty-five teams in LA?" said Warne.

 

The Legends T20 Cricket League will be competing with a parallel Twenty20 cricket league for retired cricketers launched by Dean Jones, the former Australia batsman, in partnership with the Emirates Cricket Board.  The Masters Cricket League, which is being promoted by Major Events a firm owned by Jones, is set to be played in the UAE from February 2016, with the Emirates board and Dubai's Grand Midwest Group as partners.

 

Editor’s note:  So far there appears to have been no indication which umpire, scorer or referee “legends” will be engaged to manage matches proposed circuses by the two corporate entities involved.

 

Headline: $A50m rebel cricket contract would be tempting: David Warner.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  Jesse Hogan.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,572.

Australian batsman David Warner says he would consider taking up a mega contract offer from a rebel cricket league, in line with the way many of Australia's best players defected to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket (WSC) in the late 1970s.  Fairfax Media last month revealed Indian billionaire Subhash Chandra was, through his Essel Group empire, prepared to offer Warner and Australia Test captain Michael Clarke each a ten-year contract worth $A50 million (£UK26 m) to spearhead the mooted rebel Twenty20 league.

 

Such a move would almost certainly, as occurred during the WSC split, disqualify those who signed with the rebel competition from representing Australia in current International Cricket Council-sanctioned competitions, such as the looming Ashes series.  Warner said he considered being a target of the rebel league as one of "the things that come out in today's day and age".  "I don't like pointing things at people, but say for instance in the NRL or NFL or NBA if someone puts out a couple of extra thousand dollars on the table ... nine times out of 10 they do take that”.

 

It's about being honest. You can't rule it out, you can't say no, because ... we love playing the sport we do but we also love getting paid for what we do, so if we can be honest and up front [that it is better]. If I say I'd never take it and all of a sudden I do it looks stupid on your behalf. I'm just being honest in saying it's not out of the question, and I'd certainly have to think about it”. 

 

Warner agreed players from countries where central contracts are dwarfed by those on offer to top Australians would be more susceptible to offers from a rebel league.  "You have three or four [international] teams where the average wage is going to be fantastic and some other teams are going to be not as fortunate, and if you're putting them [offers] out there it's a no-brainer for some of those teams. At the end of the day people have to survive in this world, and it's either work and be paid for what you love doing or work and be paid for something you don't like doing. There's options there”.

 

After Fairfax Media disclosed Essel's ambitions, Cricket Australia offered longer deals to some of its centrally contracted players. Pat Howard, CA's executive general manager of team performance, said the multi-year deals were designed to "deal with the environment we've got out there”.

 

Headline: Steve O'Shaughnessy heading for top in umpire career.

Article from:  Bolton News .

Journalist:  Neil Bonnar.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,573.

 

Former Bolton cricketer Steve O’Shaughnessy, a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) Full List, has revealed he would love to join the International Cricket Council’s Elite Umpires Panel as he prepares for his first international assignment at Emirates Old Trafford tonight.  O’Shaughnessy played for Lancashire and Worcestershire in a nine-year county career through the 1980s, and has been a full-time umpire in County cricket since 2011 (PTG 701-3438, 15 December 2010).  The fifty-three-year-old will be the fourth umpire for England’s Twenty20 international against New Zealand tonight and he hopes it is the start of an exciting period in his post-playing career.

 

Now Essex-based O’Shaughnessy said he "would love to be on the elite panel of umpires and stand in Test matches around the world.  "The next level I have to attain is an international level within our group at the ECB”.  “I'm at the level below that, but being given games suggests I'm moving in the right direction”.  "From that, I'll be able to do One Day Internationals (ODI) in the middle at home”.  “I will also be able to do third umpires and ODIs away from home. From that international panel within the ECB, the ICC then recruit the top level elite umpires".

 

O’Shaughnessy confessed though that: "time might be against me for that because there are others ahead of me, and it looks like the ICC are looking towards a more youth-orientated policy, but you never say never”.  “It would be good fun for a couple of years”.  He is unsure whether tonight's debut at Old Trafford has happened by accident or design.  “The boss (ECB head of umpires, Chris Kelly), may have thought 'he's got to do one somewhere, so it may as well be at his home ground’.  "I don’t know whether it was deliberate, but it will be nice”.  “I always enjoy going back to Old Trafford, even though it's changed beyond all recognition now”.

 

Twenty20, ironically, would have suited all-rounder O’Shaughnessy down to the ground as a player.  In 1983, he broke the record for fastest timed first-class hundred of thirty-five minutes whilst playing for Lancashire against Leicestershire, albeit in contrived circumstances as the visitors chased a declaration in an Old Trafford match.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,576

 Thursday, 25 June 2015

 

• ACA president concerned debut of day-night cricket Test being rushed [1576-7574].

• Latest set of MCC Laws animations available on-line [1576-7575].

• Australians make CPL umpiring debuts [1576-7576].

• India's Essel Group contacting more Australian players about rebel cricket league [1576-7577].

• ICC ‘Americas’ team to feature in 2016 WICB fifty-over series [1576-7578].

 

Headline: ACA president concerned debut of day-night cricket Test being rushed.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,574.

 

Greg Dyer, the president of the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) or player’s union, says it is not only New Zealand players who have had misgivings about featuring in the first day-night Test this summer, with their Australian counterparts also having doubts amid a belief it is being rushed in too hastily.  Confirmation of the day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand, likely to be held in Adelaide, is imminent - there are plans for it to be announced next week - but while Cricket Australia (CA) are eager to pioneer the concept and widen the audience of the five-day game, it has come with opposition from players.

 

The New Zealanders have made the most noise, with 17 of 20 top Black Caps players against playing in a pink-ball Test according to a recent survey by their union (PTG 1573-7561, 22 June 2015), and some Australian players, while less outspoken about their thoughts, are also far from convinced. Veteran opener Chris Rogers, who is colour blind so wouldn't play in the day-night Test even if he wasn't retiring after the Ashes (PTG 1431-6921, 21 September 2014), said in London on Tuesday that there remained uncertainty among Australian players about facing a pink ball at night. There are other players who share the New Zealanders' view about it being a "gimmicky" addition to the game (PTG 1575-7570, 24 June 2015).

 

Dyer, the most senior players' union official, said while the ACA supported the concept in principle as an avenue to make Test cricket more appealing in countries where it is struggling, there was a concern it was being introduced too soon and without enough trials.  "We're very happy to see initiatives around the marketing of the sport and the introduction of larger audiences and trying to develop the game in that way”, Dyer said. "But let's make sure it's all absolutely tried and tested and is going to provide full integrity to Test cricket. We're keen to be convinced”.  

 

Despite claims by ‘Kookaburra', the manufacturer of the pink ball that it is Test-match ready (PTG 1569-7545, 17 June 2015), the ACA continues to have concerns around player safety and how the ball is impacted by the different conditions of playing at night.  They want players to become more familiar with the ball and its characteristics before it's used in a Test match.

 

According to Rogers: "There is a still a little bit of uncertainty [in the Australian camp] I think”. "I don't think a lot of guys have had experience with it. I mean I don't think Michael Clarke has actually played in a pink-ball game so I'd say probably uncertainty is the biggest word. But we all know this is the way of the future so you have to embrace it. That's a given. If it works that would be fantastic so we'll have to see how that pans out.  "It's still going to be very difficult I think for people like myself with vision difficulties. I don't think it's ideal but if it's the way of the future then, like I said, you have to embrace it”.

 

Australian captain Clarke has been a known sceptic of the idea (PTG 1346-6506, 5 May 2014), but while there are doubts the players appear resigned to the fact that they are simply passengers on this particular journey, with CA full steam ahead in their desire to make the day-night Test a reality this summer (PTG 1574-7563, 23 June 2015). They have only been waiting for an official answer from their would-be partner in the project, New Zealand Cricket (PTG 1568-7544, 16 June 2015).

 

Headline: Latest set of MCC Laws animations available on-line.

Article from:  MCC web site.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Wednesday, 24 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,575.

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the Guardians of the Laws of Cricket, has released a third set of animated videos as part of a long-term program designed to help explain "some of the frequently misunderstood areas of the Laws".  The new videos, which bring to fifteen the total released to date  are aimed primarily at beginners or casual observers rather than experienced umpires or scorers and have been voiced over in English, Hindi and Urdu, and cover five subjects: 'Bye and Leg Bye'; 'Dead Ball'; 'Fair Catch'; ‘Runners'; and ‘Stumped'.

 

British humourist Stephen Fry and former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja have again provided the narration for the English and Urdu versions of the new videos, while those in Hindi feature the voice of Bollywood actor and cricket enthusiast Saif Ali Khan.  The initial five videos released eighteen months ago covered: ‘LBW’; 'No Balls’; ‘Wides’; 'Boundary catching’; and 'Running out the non-striker’ (PTG 1200-5775, 2 October 2013).  The second last August were: 'The wicket is down'; 'Obstructing the field'; 'Batsman out of his ground'; 'Damaging the pitch'; and 'Hit the ball twice’ (PTG 1410-6809, 9 August 2014).

 

Headline: Australians make CPL umpiring debuts.

Article from:  PTG.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,576.

 

Australians Mick Martell and John Ward are amongst six umpires who have worked in on-field or television positions during the opening four games of this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) series (PTG 1573-7559, 22 June 2015), the others being members of the West Indies Cricket Boards Senior Umpires Panel: Nigel Duguid, Patrick Gustard, Peter Nero and Joel Wilson.  South African Devdas Govindjee has been the match referee for two of the games and Hayden Bruce from Trinidad and Tobago, who worked in the same role in the last two CPL events, the referee in the other two matches played to date.

 

Cricket Australia’s comment that Martell and Ward were to be in the Caribbean for a "four-week, sixteen-match stint” (PTG 1573-7559, 22 June 2015), suggests they will be working in the competition up until immediately before the three-match final series starts in the last week of July.  Whether they will be retained for the two semi finals and the final itself is unclear, but reports from the Caribbean are suggesting Govindjee will be the referee for the Port-of-Spain final.  With this year’s CPL consisting of 33 matches, a "sixteen-match stint” for the two Australians would mean that they will occupy 32 of the 99 on-field and television spots available, or around one-third of the total.  

 

Headline: India's Essel Group contacting more Australian players about rebel cricket league.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,577.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) officials are aware that some Australian players have been spoken to by individuals representing would-be rebel league backers Essel Group but hope to strike a blow to the Indian company's plans by finalising new deals, including in some cases multi-year arrangements, with their centrally contracted players in England over the next week.  Pat Howard, CA's executive general manager of team performance, is due to arrive in London on Friday and one of his first assignments will be holding contract meetings with the Ashes squad members who are among the nineteen players on Australia's contract list for 2015-16.’

 

Those talks have a different context this week than in previous years because of the proposed rival cricket organisation fronted by business tycoon Subhash Chandra's ‘Essel', the owner of India's 'Zee Entertainment' and the 'Ten Sports' television network. CA are well aware that Essel operatives have been in contact with their players when they were on the subcontinent in April and May for the Indian Premier League.  Among those offered two-year deals by CA was David Warner, who recently gave an insight into his view of Essel's ambitions, admitting it would be tempting if the company was forthcoming with plans hatched earlier this year to poach him and others with $A50 million (£UK26 m) contracts (PTG 1575-7572, 24 June 2015).    .

 

The new CA deals have to be signed by next Tuesday when the players' current contracts expire. Despite offering multiyear contracts in a move described as "risk management" by Howard last month, CA officials are relaxed about the Essel threat, as it has to date amounted to nothing firm beyond their confirmation in May of intentions to set up a rival Twenty20 league.

 

Chandra's re-emergence - Essel previously presided over the failed Indian Cricket League (ICL) - was expected to be a discussion topic at the International Cricket Council's (ICC) annual conference in Barbados this week after the world body launched an investigation following a meeting of executives in Dubai in April.  Among the attendees at the Bridgetown summit are outgoing CA chairman Wally Edwards, his deputy and successor David Peever who will take over in October (PTG 1346-6505, 5 May 2014), and chief executive James Sutherland.

 

Editor’s note:  In addition to the apparent plans by the Essel Group to establish a new high-profile Twenty20 entity, plans are also afoot for what appear to be two similer competitions: the ‘Legends’ T20 series in the United States and 'The Masters Cricket League’ in the United Arab Emirates (PTG 1575-7572, 24 June 2015).  World cricket’s officialdom showed how coordinated it can be by the way it worked to discourage both players and match officials from taken part in the ‘rebel’ or ‘unofficial’ ICL series last decade (PTG 202-1114, 28 February 2008), Sri Lanka’s Ranmore Martinez for example being banned for a period from standing in matches there because he stood in ICL games (PTG 206-1148, 10 March 2008).  History suggests Essel are very unlikely to receive the ICC’s blessing, but how the other two events are seen by it is not yet entirely clear. 

 

Headline: ICC ‘Americas’ team to feature in 2016 WICB fifty-over series.

Article from:  ICC release.

Journalist:  PTG Editor.

Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,578.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that an Americas representative team is to be selected to play in the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) ‘domestic’ fifty-over one-day series in January next year.  The best performing players from that team will then be given the opportunity to trial for selection with one of the Caribbean Premier League’s (CPL) six franchises.

 

Tim Anderson, the ICC’s Head of Global Development, said: “It’s exciting that the ICC, in cooperation with the WICB, is able to provide this opportunity to the best cricketers in the Americas region”. “The region is full of talented cricketers, with many in the USA and Canada, and we hope to uncover some stars of the future”.

 

WICB president Dave Cameron said: “The WICB takes its role to assist the development of cricket in the Americas region seriously, and therefore we are delighted to be supporting this initiative”.  “The [fifty-over competition] and the CPL are important events on our annual calendar, and to extend opportunities to the best players in the Americas to compete in them is the right thing to do in-line with ICC’s strategy to grow cricket beyond its traditional boundaries”.

 

Over the last four years, the traditional set of six West Indian ‘domestic’ teams from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and Trinidad and Tobago, have been joined by several other entities in the WICB’s fifty-over series.  Earlier this year it was the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) plus the West Indies Under-19 side, in 2014 CCC and Ireland, 2013 just CCC, and in 2012 CCC and a team from the WICB's Sagicor High Performance Centre in Barbados.  

 

Whether the 2016 series will see the Americas side and the CCC will join the six other teams is not yet clear.  CCC lost its first class status two years ago (PTG 1395-6751, 20 July 2014).

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,577

 Friday, 26 June 2015



• CA pushing ’new era’ of ‘competitive bidding’ for Test, ODI city hostings [1577-7581].

• Umpiring oversight costs Pakistan [1577-7582].

• Henriques' jaw banded shut for next five weeks after nasty collision [1577-7583].

• Two Nottinghamshire players disciplined by ECB [1577-7584].

• African pair appointed to Southampton WCL-1 matches [1577-7585].

• NSW Central Coast cricket faces major turmoil [1577-7586].

 

Headline: CA pushing ’new era’ of ‘competitive bidding’ for Test, ODI city hostings.

Article from:  News Corp Australia.

Journalist:  John Ferguson.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,581.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) is at war with key states over a multi-million-dollar bid to extract cash from taxpayers that some governments fear will result in competitive bidding between cities for the right to host Tests and One Day Internationals (ODI).  'The Australian' can reveal the peak cricket body has been in confidential talks with the states over controversial new revenue-raising measures that have raised questions about existing fixtures becoming part of a bidding war from other states.

 

In the first instance, governments are being sounded out to pay for the right to promote their city and state through television and branding at grounds. This is despite the history of already hosting cricket in capital cities without paying fees to CA. Fears of a bidding war as part of the new commercialisation agenda have led the Victorian government to declare the iconic Boxing Day Test must stay in Melbourne.

 

'The Australian' understands that at-times heated discussions with multiple states have centred on CA telling them that the “new era’’ of competition for major events means that there is demand from other cities to steal big-ticket clashes, such as the Boxing Day and new year’s tests in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.  In a strongly worded statement, the Victorian government warned last night that the Melbourne Boxing Day Test belonged to the game.  “It doesn’t belong to Cricket Australia; it belongs to the fans, who come in their tens of thousands every year to the MCG”, said Victorian Sports Minister John Eren.

 

While the coming 2015-16 season will benefit from a six-Test summer, which will enable each state capital city to host a match, some states are concerned that the new commercialisation drive will inevitably lead in the medium term to changes to the calendar. “They are putting out a very clear message privately that there are no guarantees for Tests like Boxing Day”, said a source with intimate knowledge of the discussions. “It’s all about money.’’

 

Unlike Australian Open tennis, which is also held in Melbourne and has for years had a close relationship with the Victorian government, cricket has not previously sought to extract substantial taxpayer funds from the states, effectively for hosting rights. This would include, for example, the rights for the host city to have its name printed on the ground and signs and the images beamed around the world.

 

Industry experts believe naming rights and other fees could be worth up to $A20 million (£UK9.9 m) for the cricketing body, depending on how many states signed up. Propos­als of multi-year contracts have been put to some states. While CA wants to capitalise on its prized “content’’, the catch is that it benefits greatly from the use of taxpayer-funded facilities across Australia that are worth more than $A2 billion (£UK985 b). CA would not have had the revenue flows to build these assets and relies heavily on goodwill from Australia's state and federal governments.

 

While Victoria is unaware of another state bidding for the Boxing Day Test, 'The Australian' understands that the states have been warned of the potential for an overhaul of the fixture in the future and the threat of a bidding war has been discussed privately.

 

A CA spokesman said yesterday the recent vow by New South Wales Premier Mike Baird to fight for more major events highlighted the new era of competition among the states. On the question of another state vying for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, the spokesman denied emphatically yesterday that there would be any change to the Boxing Day Test but confirmed that CA was in the middle of an overhaul of its commercial relationship with governments

 

It is understood that Victoria will not be paying any money to CA for an event that it already hosts, putting it at odds with the peak body.  Another source aware of the discussions said there was potential for the smaller states, such as South Australia, to be squeezed out by CA on potential Tests or preferred dates for Tests.  South Australia has spent $A550m (£UK270 m) on new stands at Adelaide Oval but missed out this year on Test on Australia Day or an ODI outside the World Cup, sparking a ferocious backlash from fans. At that time the state government accused CA of stripping the Test without consultation.

 

Editor’s note:  Hobart, amongst others, has a similar story in recent times as Adelaide, although not to the same extent.  Nevertheless, it was state and federal governments that provided funding to the tuned of around $A30 m (£UK14.8 m) to build a new stand at Bellerive Oval in the lead up to this year’s World Cup.  That was done after senior Cricket Tasmania officials claimed, with what validity is not clear, the International Cricket Council would not allocate games to the ground if a new stand was not added to the then existing facilities.

 

Headline: Umpiring oversight costs Pakistan.

Article from:  ‘Cricinfo' web site.

Journalist:  Andre Fidel Fernando and Umar Farooq.

Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,582.

 

Sub-optimal use of the Umpire Decision Review System appears to have cost Pakistan the wicket of Kaushal Silva in Sri Lanka's first innings on day one of of the sides’  second Test in Colombo.  Umpire Sundarum Ravi gave Silva not out, apparently in relation to an appeal for a bat-pad catch, a decision that led the fielding side ti immediately ask for a review by third umpire Paul Reiffel.

 

While the batsman appeared not to edge the ball, replays showed him to be a candidate for LBW.  However, Reiffel did not check for an LBW at the time and Ravi was advised not to change his decision. 

 

Replays and projections showed that Silva had been hit in line with the stumps, that the ball would have gone on to strike middle-and-leg stump, and that the point of impact on the pad was less than three metres from the stumps. If so that means the not-out decision could have been overturned had Reiffel checked for an LBW dismissal. 

 

Section 3.3(f) of the International Cricket Council's Test match playing conditions state: The third umpire shall not withhold any factual information which may help in the decision making process, even if the information is not directly prompted by the on-field umpire's questions. In particular, in reviewing a dismissal, if the third umpire believes that the batsman may instead be out by any other mode of dismissal, he shall advise the on-field umpire accordingly. The process of consultation described in this paragraph in respect of such other mode of dismissal shall then be conducted as if the batsman has been given not out.

 

As the clause does not suggest umpires ‘must' check for all possible modes of dismissal for a review, Reiffel's mistake seems an error of judgement, rather than a failure to follow protocol. He may have overlooked the possibility of an LBW dismissal during his consultation.

 

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis went to Chris Broad, the match referee, to seek an explanation for the decision. ‘Cricinfo' understands Broad and Reiffel apologised for the oversight, and it was reluctantly accepted by the team because nothing could be done as play carried on.

 

Headline: Henriques' jaw banded shut for next five weeks after nasty collision.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,583.

 

Moises Henriques, the New South Wales and former Test all-rounder, will have his jaw rubber-banded shut and eat food through a straw for the next five weeks, but could rebound from a shocking outfield collision with a teammate to feature again for English county Surrey this season.  Henriques, 28, and Surrey teammate Rory Burns were both knocked unconscious when they collided during a Twenty20 match at Arundel, south of London, in mid-June, leading to worrying scenes with three ambulances driven onto the field and the players receiving oxygen treatment on the ground (PTG 1568-7543, 16 June 2015).

 

Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart, the former England captain, said both players were progressing well. He said Burns, 24, could even play for Surrey this weekend but Henriques still faced an uncomfortable and frustrating month or so after surgery on a jaw broken in three places. "Once the bands come off he'll see the dental people regarding four of his teeth and they'll go from there. It's a slow process but he's improving by the day”.

 

Stewart likened the frightening collision to the infamous incident involving Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie in Sri Lanka in 1999, when the then Test captain was left with a broken nose and his fast bowling teammate a broken shin.  They ran into each other after trying to retrieve a top edge from Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene.

 

Headline: Two Nottinghamshire players disciplined by ECB.

Article from:  ECB media release.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,584.

 

Nottinghamshire players James Taylor and Samit Patel have each been given three penalty points for breaching the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) discipline code during recent County Championship matches.  Under ECB disciplinary arrangements the penalties will remain on each of their records for two years and the accumulation of nine or more penalty points in any two-year period will result in an automatic suspension. 

 

Taylor, a member of the England squad for the OneDay International series against New Zealand, was reported for two Level One breaches of "showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action" and "abuse of cricket ground, equipment or fixtures/fittings, during this week's match against Yorkshire.  The ECB announced in a statement that the penalty for the initial offence is a reprimand and the penalty for the subsequent one is three penalty points.

 

Patel, meanwhile, has been punished with three points for a Level Two of the code, which relates to "showing serious dissent at an umpire’s decision", during the match against Somerset two weeks ago.

 

Headline: African pair appointed to Southampton WCL-1 matches.

Article from: PTG sources.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,585.

 

South African Shaun George and Kenya’s David Odhiambo have been appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand in the two World Cricket League Division one (WCL-1) fifty-over games Kenya and the United Srab Emirates are playing in Southhampton this week, David Jukes of England being the match referee.

 

For George, an on-field member of the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, its the seventh time he has been selected for matches outside his country by the ICC, four being for International Cup, first class fixtures involving the top non-Test playing countries in Harare, Nairobi, Dublin and Windhoek, as well as WCL games played in Mombasa and Dublin.

 

Odhiambo, a member of the ICC’s third-tier Affiliates and Associated International Umpires Panel, this week’s games will be his fourth and fifth in WCL-1 games, two of which were played in Dublin.  He has also stood in WCL-1 and lower level internationals in Uganda, Windhoel and Dubai.

 

Headline: NSW Central Coast cricket faces major turmoil.

Article from: Newcastle Herald.

Journalist:  Josh Leeson.

Published: Thursday, 25 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,586.

 

A major upheaval of the Central Coast Cricket Association (CCCA) in the Newcastle area of New South Wales, is expected in coming weeks after an audit of finances revealed a $A15,000 (£UK7,400) debt.  Two weeks ago clubs lodged a vote of no confidence in the seven-person board after three years of financial statements were presented, but because it was not a ‘‘special general meeting’’ a vote of no confidence was deemed unconstitutional.  Three board members subsequently resigned and three casual vacancies were filled.

 

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for mid-July where clubs will have the constitutional power to pass a vote of no confidence in the board.  Cricket NSW’s operations manager for country cricket, Bruce Whitehouse, plans to meet with clubs this week to pledge his organisation’s support for the competition.  ‘‘We’re not finger-pointing at anyone, we just want to get them back on board. A strong Central Coast cricket is good for country cricket”, said Whitehouse.  The CCCA is responsible for running both the senior and junior competitions.

 

Cricket NSW was alerted to the CCCA’s financial problems in May by the competition’s manager Lindy Peters who started in the role last season after the financial mess was created.  Asked if the $A15,000 debt would inflate playing fees for Central Coast cricketers next season, Peters said: ‘‘It’s unsure. That’s something that is yet to be determined [and] at the AGM further things will be decided”.

 

Most of the Central Coast’s debt was caused by redevelopment at the Mount Penang Oval.  In comparison, the nearby Newcastle District Cricket Association, which is responsible only for the senior grade competition, has about $A30,000 (£UK14,800)in working capital.

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,578

 Saturday, 27 June 2015


 Umpire on the mend following ball strike to head [1578-7587].

• Pakistan have review reinstated [1578-7588].

• Player knocked unconscious during on-field brawl [1578-7589].

• Blackpool cricket pro banned, faces Level Four charge [1578-7590].

• Hampshire appealing ECB censure, but still walking disciplinary tightrope [1578-7591].

• PCB asks ICC to schedule bowling test for Hafeez [1578-7592].

 

Headline: Umpire on the mend following ball strike to head.

Article from:  Grimsby Telegraph.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,587.

 

Lincolnshire County Cricket League (LCCL) umpire George Smith is on the mend after suffering an injury during a match in Grimsby last weekend.  Officiating in the LCCL game between Grimsby Town seconds and Hibaldstow he had to be taken to hospital after being struck on the head by a wayward throw.  Smith required five stitches to his ear, and was kept in hospital overnight for observation before being allowed home the next day.

 

Headline: Pakistan have review reinstated.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,588.

 

In a rare move, Pakistan have been given back the review they lost due to an umpiring oversight on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo (PTG 1577-7582, 26 June 2015). The review, which was used to refer an unsuccessful appeal against Kaushal Silva, was restored to Pakistan at the start of the second day today, leaving them with the full quota of two reviews left.   

 

Headline: Player knocked unconscious during on-field brawl.

Article from:  Western Daily Press.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,589.

 

A Wiltshire County League match between the Beanacre and Melksham side and a Swindon Civil Service club team was abandoned after a fight, that left one person unconscious, broke out on the pitch.  The fracas kicked off after "banter" between two players escalated, with one fielder having a bat pushed in his face before being grabbed by the throat, apparently by a Civil Service player.  Beanacre secretary Andrew Footner who was bowling at the time, was knocked out and had to be treated by paramedics.  The players then shook hands "like gentlemen" and had tea together before the police turned up and arrested a man.

 

Graham Compton, chairman of the Civil Service club, said they would abide by any punishment from the league given to their player and were preparing a letter of apology to their opponents.  He said he “hasn't got the full facts of what happened but it seems that this has been building in cricket for a long time”.  "There is thing called sledging - winding up the opposition - and it is acceptable to a point but it is often going too far”.  "If it was a football game [the censure against the player concerned] would be a maximum ten-game ban”.

 

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: "A 41-year-old male from Swindon was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm”. "He was taken to a police station and interviewed and has been released on police bail while inquiries continue”.

 

A Wiltshire League representative said the matter is currently being investigated by the League's Disciplinary Panel. "I am afraid that, until such time that this matter is resolved, I can make no further comment other than to confirm that, at this moment in time, the game is considered to be abandoned, with each side receiving eight points each”.  "However, that may well be amended once the disciplinary procedure has run its course”.

 

Headline: Blackpool cricket pro banned, faces Level Four charge.

Article from:  Blackpool Gazette.

Journalist:  Christi Viljoen.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,590.

 

Blackpool Cricket Club will be without professional Christi Viljoen for this weekend’s Northern Premier League double-header after the Namibian all-rounder was banned over a row with an umpire.  The incident occurred during last Sunday’s Readers Cup victory over Netherfield when, according to Blackpool captain Paul Danson: “Christi had a run-in with umpire Barry Evans and has received a Level Four ban, which rules him out of this weekend’s games”.  'The Gazette' understands a disciplinary hearing will be held next week, though a date had not been finalised last night.

 

Headline: Hampshire appealing ECB censure, but still walking disciplinary tightrope.

Article from:  The News.

Journalist:  Steve Wilson.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,591.

 

Hampshire believe they have dodged the disciplinary bullet after their latest player brush with discipline.  The club were hit with a fine and a suspended points deduction by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week (PTG 1572-7557, 21 June 2015), although they have since decided to appeal the decision.  Depending on the outcome of that appeal, it could see the points deduction enforced if they step out of line once more.

 

Player Liam Dawson sailed close to the wind once again in the Championship defeat to Somerset this week when he stood his ground in disbelief for several seconds after being adjudged LBW by the umpire in the second innings.  Skipper Jimmy Adams said: ‘We think it’s okay but the lads were watching on the balcony desperately willing him to get off as quickly as possible”.  "It could be the case that we will have to speak to the lads again and maybe put in some more serious protocol” regarding such issues.

 

Adams continued:  "It’s hard because you can excuse a little bit of the red mist at times but we all know what the boundaries are we can’t afford to push it”.  "By the time you get off the field you can go into the loos or something to make merry hell [about a situation], “but we can’t afford to do it on the pitch”.

 

Headline: PCB asks ICC to schedule bowling test for Hafeez.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,592.

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to schedule a bowling assessment Test for all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez in Chennai. According to a source in the board, the PCB has written to the ICC to carry out a bowling assessment of Hafeez as soon as possible. Hafeez, a batting all-rounder who bowls off-spin, was reported by match officials for having a suspect bowling action for the second time within a year during the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle few days ago (PTG 1574-7566, 23 June 2015).

 

Under ICC regulations Hafeez has to undergo a bowling assessment test at a ICC accredited laboratory within fourteen-days and can continue to bowl during this period. If he fails the ICC test he can be banned from bowling for twelve months. “The PCB is concerned with the situation with Hafeez and wants the test to be held as soon as possible in Chennai because they want a clear picture of where he stands”, said the PCB source.  The PCB hierarchy and the national team management are said to be "not very hopeful" that Hafeez’s bowling action will be cleared.

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,579

 Sunday, 28 June 2015


• Team India disgruntled with Bangladesh umpires, to lodge complaint [1579-7593].

• ICC tinkers with ODI, T20I Playing Conditions [1579-7594].

• BCCI continues to block UDRS use; MIT testing to being soon [1579-7595].

• CD districts have to reach consensus before constitutional changes [1579-7596].

• ‘Significant’ ICC ‘concerns’ result in USACA suspension [1579-7597].

• SCG wins hosting rights for top-class cricket [1579-7598].

• McCullum” 'I often rely on painkillers to play’ [1579-7599].

 

Headline: Team India disgruntled with Bangladesh umpires, to lodge complaint.

Article from:  Zee Media Bureau.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,593.

 

Team India is disgruntled with the Bangladesh umpires who officiated in their recent three-match One Day International (ODI) series. Contentious decisions left players angry and that has prompted the team to make a formal complaint to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).  According to a report in the tabloid 'Mail Today', a complaint with the signatures of team director Ravi Shastri and skipper MS Dhoni is being prepared. The BCCI is then expected to take the matter to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

 

Three major incidents have irked the Indian team, the first being that the name of Bangladeshi Mustafizur Rahman was not mentioned in the on-field collision report submitted by umpires against MS Dhoni in the first ODI (PTG 1572-7555, 21 June 2015).  In addition, Bangladesh umpire Anisur Rahman gave the benefit of doubt to Tamim Iqbal after Kohli claimed close-to-the-ground which replays showed didn't hit the ground; and Ambati Rayudu was given out by Enamul Haque in the third ODI when the ball clearly missed his bat, hitting the thigh pad instead.  

 

Editor’s note: The Indian team, which lost the Bangladesh series, has a record of lodging complaints about umpiring which are, as they should be, routinely turned down flat by the ICC, at least publicly.  Whether Mustafizur Rahman’s name was mention in the umpires’ report or not is unknown, but what is clear was that he was later fined half of his match fee by match referee Andy Pycroft, Dhoni loosing seventy-five per cent (PTG 1572-7555, 21 June 2015).  Enamul Haque was on-field with neutral umpire Rod Tucker in ODIs one and three, his 51st and 52nd ODIs, while Sharfuddoula stood with the Australian in the second game, his 18th ODI.  Anisur Rahman was the third umpire in the first two matches and Sharfuddoula in the final fixture.  All are members of the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel.   

 

Headline: ICC tinkers with ODI, T20I Playing Conditions.

Article from:  Agence France Presse.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,594.

 

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual conference in Barbados this week has decided on a number of changes to the Playing Conditions that apply to fifty-over One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket.  The aim of the changes, which will take affect next Sunday in time for next week's Sri Lanka-Pakistan series (PTG 1574-7564, 23 June 2015), is said to be to restore the balance between bat and ball after this year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand yielded the largest number of 300 and even 400-plus totals at the ICC's showpiece tournament.

 

From next week, five fielders will be allowed outside the thirty-yard circle between the 41st and 50th overs in ODIs, rather than the current four.  In addition, there will be no compulsory catchers during the first ten overs in such games and no batting Powerplays will be allowed between overs fifteen to forty.  In another change for both ODI and T20I, all 'no-balls', not just foot faults, will lead to a free hit.  At present only a bowler’s foot fault results in a free hit in internationals.

 

Speaking about the changes, ICC chief executive David Richardson, said: "We have thoroughly reviewed the ODI format after a very successful World Cup”.  "There was no need to make any radical changes to what has proved to be a vibrant and popular format but we wanted to take this opportunity to make the format simpler and easier to follow for the public as well as maintaining a balance between bat and ball”.

 

The former South Africa wicket-keeper added: "In making these adjustments, we have tried to ensure that ODI cricket retains the attacking, aggressive and thrilling brand, which has recently become the hallmark of fifty-over cricket and sets us on a positive path to the next World Cup in England in 2019”.

 

In another 2019 World Cup-related decision, the ICC has confirmed it will remain as a ten-team tournament.  Plans to cut the competition from fourteen teams have been in place since 2011, but debate over the format of the next edition was opened during this year's event in Australia and New Zealand.  The good performance of non-Test sides like Ireland led Richardson to say earlier this year that the 2019 event’s format may be reviewed, however, reports say the matter was not discussed in Barbados conference this week.

 

The 2019 tournament will be made up of England hosts, the other top seven teams in ODI world rankings and two qualifiers from an event that is to take place in Bangladesh.  In theory, that will make it harder for Ireland, who have featured in the last three World Cups and beat Test sides West Indies and Zimbabwe this year, to qualify.  The other ICC Associate members who featured in 2015, Afghanistan, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates, would also be set for the qualifying event, probably alongside two Test nations.

 

Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas, now 67, was appointed ICC president during conference week.  He succeeds Bangladesh’s Mustafa Kamal, who resigned following comments he made about umpires (PTG 1546-7430, 2 April 2015), in the ceremonial post which passes between cricket’s national governing bodies on annual rotation.  Zaheer scored more than 5,000 runs in 78 Tests, 2,500 in 62 One Day Internationals and more than 34,000 in a professional career that brought him 108 centuries – making him the only Asian batsman to make a century of first-class centuries.  South Africa, Zimbabwe and West Indies will be the next three nations to supply the ICC president, followed by England for the 2019-20 term of office. 

 

Headline: BCCI continues to block UDRS use; MIT testing to being soon.

Article from:  ‘Cricinfo’ web site.

Journalist:  Nagraj Gollapudi.

Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,595.

 

While individual players in the India team have looked back and revised their stance on the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remains staunchly against using the current technology to aid umpires in decision-making.  "No," was ICC chief executive Dave Richardson's considered, one-word response, delivered with a chuckle, when asked following the ICC’s annual conference week about whether there was any indication that India would buy into the UDRS in the foreseeable future (PTG 1574-7562, 23 June 2015). 

 

That puts to rest any imminent change of mind by the BCCI that some predicted as a result of the open-ended statements delivered by two senior players: MS Dhoni during the Australia tour last December and Virat Kohli after India's one-off Test against Bangladesh earlier this month (PTG 1567-7536, 15 June 2015).

 

Richardson paused, creased his eyebrows as if he was giving a considered thought before responding, but in the end he just realised it was futile. Still he remains optimistic. "But having said that, times change, players move on. The modern player is more amenable to new ideas and innovation. So who knows, in the next couple of years”, said Richardson.

 

The ICC chief executive has encountered the 'Are India ready for UDRS?' question virtually at every press briefing. Every time he has had to put a straight face to give the same answer. Unfortunately for him today, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, the ICC chairman and former former BCCI president, who was scheduled to sit with Richardson to address the media, was absent.

 

According to Richardson as much as the ICC would like to have a uniform UDRS applied consistently across the board, India remain unconvinced. “Until we have everyone singing from the same hymn sheet in that regard it remains upto the host board to pay for the technology that is used in a series". "So that is why in some series you have got the full works: ball tracking, 'Hot Spot’, ‘Snicko', you name it and in others series they have to do with less”.

 

Richardson also said he continues to remain hopeful of eventually getting to a state where the same technology would be applied in a consistent fashion. "We are not there yet. But to that end we trying to take the approach of making sure everyone has full faith or full belief that the technology that we use is accurate and reliable”.  

 

To take matters forward Richardson said that the pair of ICC general manager Geoff Allardice and Anil Kumble, head of ICC's cricket committee, would be travelling to the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston from Barbados. There they will meet with engineers from the Field Intelligence Laboratory there and discuss the scheduled testing of performance of all technologies being used in cricket. 

 

This plan was originally recommended at the ICC meeting in Mumbai in May where it was decided that once the results are known, the UDRS protocol and procedures would be reviewed. The testing is scheduled for the second half of 2015.  "Hopefully they will now put those testing processes in place, finalise those, then we can put our various technologies through the testing process, come out with a clean chit”, Richardson said. "If everyone is saying they are accurate, they are fit for purpose which will help I think convince some doubters that technology is not what it is cracked up to be” by some.

 

Headline: ‘Significant’ ICC ‘concerns’ result in USACA suspension.

Article from:  Press Association.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,596.

 

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) board has “unanimously” agreed to suspended the ICC membership of the United States Cricket Association (USACA) with immediate effect.  The suspension comes after findings set out in an ICC review group report which found “significant concerns about the governance, finance, reputation and cricketing activities of USACA”.  

 

The ICC chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan said in a statement: “The ICC board has made this difficult decision after careful consideration and in the best interest of the game and all cricketers in the USA”.  “The country has tremendous potential but because of governance, financial and cricketing challenges, the opportunity to grow the game is not being properly nurtured".

 

“The ICC board had put USACA on notice in its January meeting this year and had hoped that it would show some urgency to address and improve in the areas that were identified as weaknesses”.  "Unfortunately, the response to date has been inadequate and it has proved necessary for the ICC board to take further action”.  In order for the suspension to be lifted, USACA will need to prove the issues identified have been addressed and remedied in full.

 

The decision to suspend the USACA means it will not receive any ICC funding but the United States team will be able to participate in next month’s World Twenty20 qualifier series in Ireland and Scotland.  The USA U-19 team will also be permitted to play in the upcoming Americas U19 Championship in Bermuda. 

 

The USACA is regarded by the ICC as the governing body for the sport in that country, however in their authority is being challenged by a rival organisation, the American Cricket Federation (ACF) (PTG 1347-6512, 7 May 2014).  Players and umpires banned in ICC affiliated countries have featured in events run by ACF affiliated groups (PTG 1376-6657, 16 June 2014). 

 

In a similar vein, the ICC Board received an update on cricket administration arrangements in Sri Lanka Cricket and reiterated its earlier position that the appointment of an Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) by the Government of Sri Lanka was a breach of the ICC’s constitution. The Sri Lankan Sports Minister was urged to hold free and fair elections before the next ICC Board meeting in October, the ICC making clear it reserved the right to take further action against the SLC in the event of further non-compliance.

 

During conference week the ICC also decided to suspend the memberships of affiliates Morocco and Turkey while Brunei’s was “removed”.  In contrast Serbia’s application for affiliate membership was approved.

 

Headline: SCG wins hosting rights for top-class cricket.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,597.

 

Cricket looks finished at Sydney's Olympic Stadium after the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) was awarded exclusive rights to Australia's international matches in the city for the next seven years.  Cricket Australia’s (CA) schedule for summer will be announced next week and while there will be much focus on confirmation of the first day-night Test match, and the booking of the lowly West Indies as Australia's opponents for the Boxing Day Test and Sydney Test, negotiations for new long-term hosting deals for international cricket in Sydney have also been burning away in the background for months (PTG 1577-7581, 26 June 2015).  

 

Both the SCG and Olympic venues have been vying for the rights to stage Australian games in Sydney over the next seven years, a contract worth tens of millions of dollars.  The traditional home of the game in Sydney has won the day, meaning it is set to host the city's annual Twenty20 international in January, starting with a game between Australia and India next summer.  In a further development that match has been talked about as a contender to land on Australia Day instead of the date being set aside for Adelaide, who after a recent history of hosting games on the country’s national day believe that date should be theirs.  

 

The SCG's new seven-year deal, expected to be announced imminently, follows news that the Cricket NSW-owned Sydney Thunder Twenty20 franchise will shift its home from the Olympic Stadium to the more boutique Showground Stadium in a ten-year arrangement. The Thunder are tipped to buy the Olympic Stadium’s drop-in pitches, further signalling that the latter may well have seen its last cricket game.

 

The 84,000-seat Olympic venue has had a mixed run with cricket. There were complaints from players about the state of the surface a year ago and its dimensions, with short straight boundaries, were  sometimes a discussion point. However, it remains highly regarded by cricket officials and there were some unforgettable moments there, and the record crowd for a day's cricket in NSW, 59,659, was set there in an Australia-India Twenty20 International in 2012.

 

Headline: CD districts have to reach consensus before constitutional changes.

Article from:  Manawatu Standard.

Journalist:  George Heagney.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,598.

Constitutional changes will have to get the nod of approval or disapproval from all within Central Districts (CD) before they go to a special general meeting.  Changes to the constitution are understood to have been mooted by New Zealand Cricket, which could include allowing board members to be elected from anywhere.  But before CD have a special meeting to make the call about whether they want to go through with the changes, all the CD minor associations will have to agree one way or the other.  Board members have always been able to be nominated from anywhere by the association, but in CD's case, board members have always been from CD for CD.  

 

The eight minor associations who fall within CD’s ambit are the Hawke’s Bay, Horowhenua Kapiti, Manawatu, Marlborough, Nelson, Taranaki, Wairarapa and Wanganui Cricket Association.  Manawatu Cricket Association chairman Don Cleland said because they changes hadn't been decided, he couldn't comment until they are.  According to him CD cricket exists to represent members of the districts and because Manawatu is one of those, he hoped any changes served their interests as best it can and makes the game healthy in the region, something he hopes all the eight CD districts aspire to.

 

Another proposed change to the Constitution is for the number of board members could go from seven to being up to seven.  The Manawatu pair of Mark Cleaver and Dennis Radford recently resigned from the CD board following the mysterious resignation of former chief executive Neil Hood in April.  Those left on the board are chairman Blair Robinson (Hawke's Bay), Campbell Furlong (Hawke's Bay), Greg Stretch (Marlborough), Phil Chandler (Hawke's Bay) and Russell Dempster (Taranaki).  New board members will have to be elected at the CD annual meeting, likely to be in November.

 

Headline: McCullum” 'I often rely on painkillers to play’.

Article from:  New Zealand Herald.

Journalist:  Kris Shannon.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,599.

 

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum will play on for another year but says he is often reliant on painkillers to take his place in the middle, a contingency required to cope with a balky back born out of years of wicket-keeping.  McCullum, who yesterday announced a twelve-month extension to his New Zealand Cricket contract, is constantly battling a body that has been left battered and bruised after a lifetime in sport.  While he rarely shows the signs outwardly, still regularly seen flying across the outfield and flinging himself after seemingly lost causes, McCullum feels every one of his 33 years.

 

It's a situation unlikely to improve while he's still playing and, with the finish line now in sight, McCullum acknowledged the need for extra assistance to manage the aches and pains.  He told Newstalk ZB: "Sometimes you have to take some things that give you a little bit of relief" . "But you don't want to live on those, either - that's not how sport's meant to be played”.  "But sometimes you do suffer injuries and there's stiffness and soreness, and you have to take painkillers to be able to get out there and play”.  "I'm certainly not advocating for everyone to follow that sort of script but, at this stage, I'm a bit stiff and sore so you take some mild medicine to get you out there”.

 

After a twelve-month stretch as intense as any he's experienced, McCullum's discomfort is understandable. Performing with his brand of aggression would certainly take its toll, particularly when any new problems are piling on top of the long-standing issues he has faced in the latter years of his career.  "There's times when you feel physically at the top of your game”, he said. "Then there's times when you might take a fall in the field, or you might have a fairly intense travel schedule, or you might suffer a slight niggle during the game”.

 

"You don't want to finish your career and not be able to chase your kids around the park”, continued McCullum. "There's a fine line there. But if I didn't think that I was going to be fit and strong enough to be able to get through the next twelve months, then I wouldn't have committed”. 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,580

 Monday, 29 June 2015

• Dar to set new post-War Ashes record [1580-7600].

• Aussie coach throws weight behind day-night Test as announcement looms [1580-7601].

• ICC moves to refocus, bolster, world-wide anti-corruption efforts [1580-7602].

• South Australia won’t fuel ‘greed’ of cricket bosses [1580-7603].

• ICC outlines strategic aims for 2016-19 [1580-7604].

• Radio-frequency tracking expert for ICC technology study? [1580-7605].

• Umpires shut down Papare during Colombo Test [1580-7606].

• When a bowler delivered 21.5 consecutive maiden overs [1580-7607].

 

Headline: Dar to set new post-War Ashes record.

Article from:  PTG.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Monday, 29 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,600.

 

As well as pushing within two matches of his 100th Test, Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar will set a new post-Second World War record for standing in Ashes Tests during the forthcoming five-Test series, having been given on-field appointments in three of those fixtures.  Dar, who has 95 Tests behind him at the present time, has officiated in all 5 Ashes series held over the last 10 years, during that time standing in 13 Tests (5/13), one game less than well-known English umpires Frank Chester (6/14 from 1924-55) and ‘Dickie’ Bird (6/14 from 1975-93), and Steve Bucknor of the West Indies (7/14 from 1994-2007).  

 

Dar, along with senior members of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), Marais Erasmus of South Africa (currently 3/7) and Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka (currently 2/6), feature prominently in Ashes umpiring appointments announced overnight.  Also listed are EUP newcomers Sundarum Ravi of India and Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand who go into the series with six and two Test tallies respectively, and for whom it will be their first Ashes series.  The first four Tests will be overseen by the International Cricket Council’s chief match referee Ranjan Mudugalle (7/19 since 1997) and the last by Jeff Crowe of New Zealand (4/12 since 2006).

 

Erasmus will feature in four matches, two on-field and two as the television umpire, Dar and Dharmasena each have three on field, while for Gaffaney its one on-field and two as the third official, and Ravi one on-field and one television spot.  For the First Test in Cardiff and the Second at Lord’s, the umpiring combination is Dharmasena-Erasmus-Gaffaney, the latter being the television umpire in both.  The Third Test at Edgbaston will see Dar-Gaffaney-Erasmus together, the Fourth at Trent Bridge Dar-Ravi-Erasmus, and for the Fifth at The Oval, Dar-Dharmasen-Ravi.

 

The series will take Madugalle’s record as a match referee in Tests to a world-high of 159 and Crowe, who is second on the all-time list, to 72, while Dar’s Test record will move up to 98 on-field and 16 as the third umpire (98/16), Dharmasena 33/8, Erasmus 32/38, Ravi 8/9 and Gaffaney 3/3.

 

Those five umpires are the only EUP members who meet the ICC's ‘neutral’ match official requirement, one more than was the case in 2013 when the small number available across the five games was claimed by some to have led to fatigue and bad decision-making (PTG 1174-5671, 20 August 2013).  Not available because of  their nationalities, are EUP members Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough and Nigel Llong from England, and Australians Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker.   The ICC said following its annual conference week in Barbados last week that it “noted” Ravi and Gaffaney’s elevation to the EUP and what it called "the emergence of a new generation of umpires from a wider range of countries”.

 

While Dar may will easily pass the 14 Ashes Test mark over the next two months, he has a long way to go to catch the next highest Bob Crocket of Australia who from 1901-25 took part in 6 Ashes series and 23 Tests, as well as the current and likely all-time holder of the record, Jim Phillips of Australia, who from 1884-1905 stood in 9 Ashes series and a total of 24 Tests.  

 

Other umpires who have featured in more than six Ashes Tests include: Rudi Koertzen, South Africa 5/12 (2001-09); Lou Rowan, Australia 3/11(1962-71); Charlie Elliott (1961-72) and Syd Buller of England (1956-68) both 4/10; David Constant (1972-85) and David Shepherd (1985-2001), England, both 5/9; Tony Crafter, Australia 4/9 (1978-91); Robin Bailhache, Australia 3/9 (1974-83); Col Egar, Australia 2/9 (1962-66); Frank Lee, England 3/7 (1953-61); Dick French, Australia 3/7 (1978-87); Srinivas Venkataraghavan, India 4/6 (1994-2001); and Barrie Meyer, England 4/6 (1981-93). 

 

Headline: Aussie coach throws weight behind day-night Test as announcement looms.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  Chris Barrett.

Published: Sunday, 28 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,601.

 

Australia's players have their reservations, and their New Zealand counterparts have been dead against it (PTG 1576-7574, 25 June 2015), but there are high-profile advocates for the day-night Test experiment, and chief among them is the Australian head coach and selector Darren Lehmann.  The pink-ball Test, slated for Adelaide in November between Australia and the Black Caps, is tipped to be confirmed as part of the summer scheduling announcement on Tuesday, with Cricket Australia (CA) intent on pushing it through and New Zealand Cricket (NZC), wanting to secure more regular matches against their more wealthy geographical rivals, a willing partner in the project despite the vocal opposition of their players.

 

The concept stands to be the centrepiece of a new seven-year agreement between CA and NZC that will see the countries play far more regularly in Test series and in one-dayers for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. It's an alliance that is even more significant for the Kiwis, whose revenue is only a fraction of Australia's and whose players are paid substantially less. So while they've argued against the merits of playing Test cricket at night, for the Black Caps players an anticipated pay rise may well sweeten the deal (PTG 1575-7570, 24 June 2015).   

 

The day-night Test, the baby of CA chief James Sutherland for years, having first being raised by the Marylebone Cricket Club in 2008 (PTG 339-1793, 29 October 2008), has its attractions to many; certainly television broadcaster Channel Nine, who can expect inflated ratings with the match on the box in prime time (PTG 1121-5446, 10 June 2013). Sutherland will also tell you that the fans will be the winners, able to show up in the evenings outside the holiday period when Test match attendances generally aren't what they are when folks are off work and kids are off school.  CA has commercial interests, though, in the venture taking off for imagine how much more their broadcast rights partners might pay should it be a ratings hit?  But the question is whether having a few thousand more spectators through the gate and an extra few million in the TV deal should outweigh the drawbacks.

 

Lehmann, who along with CA director Mark Taylor was part of the day-night Test talks at the ICC Cricket Committee meeting in Mumbai last month, is certainly arguing in favour. He told John Gibbs' Sports Today programme on Sydney radio station 2UE last week: "I think we've got to have a look at it, to be perfectly honest, from my point of view". "It might be a huge success, it might not, but we won't know until we give it a go, will we?”  "I'm all for change so if it improves the game then that's a winner for me”.  "The ball has got to be the biggest issue and if that's fine I can't see why we wouldn't do it”.

 

Well, there are players that can see they shouldn't, and the issue of safety, with most having none or little experience of how the pink ball might behave at night and how visible it is.  More broadly, though, there is the risk to the integrity of the format. There is already plenty of after-dark cricket played, and a lot of it is rather expendable, but Test cricket has retained its integrity because it's seen as the most pure form of the game.  Players can do without a one-day series in Bangladesh and any that are rested from the limited-overs campaign in England following the Ashes won't bat an eyelid. 

 

When it comes to Tests, however, no matter the opponent, it is non-negotiable. And the fact some have spoken about not wanting to play in a "gimmicky" pink-ball Test should speak volumes. Then there is the issue of the the records books, as central to Test cricket as any sport. Cynics argue there should be an asterix applied to runs or wickets with the pink ball. And because of the vastly different conditions over three sessions of play - day and night if you like - should there be different categories for hundreds or 'five-fors' taken in the evening as opposed to the afternoon? 

 

Now former England player Kevin Pietersen, speaking about the concept last year, certainly thinks so.  He said "if they start playing day-night Test cricket, then they have to start new statistics because it's totally different". "You've got [the likes of] Brett Lee running in at quarter to ten at night with the second new ball. I mean it's just stupid”.

 

There are opponents of the day-night Test that will tell you it is simply Sutherland attempting to leave a legacy from his long tenure running CA. The issue is what kind of legacy that will be: one that rejuvenates Test cricket in the outposts where it is struggling and magnifies its appeal in Australia, or one that tampers with the game's traditions, selling its soul for the broadcast dollar.  We will only begin to find out in November.

 

Headline: ICC moves to refocus, bolster, world-wide anti-corruption efforts.

Article from:  PTG.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Monday, 29 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,602.

 

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) will become the "central focal point" for all anti-corruption activities in international and domestic cricket and have enhanced intelligence capabilities, as a result of decisions taken by the ICC Board at its meeting in Barbados last week.  The world body says the change was one of a number of recommendations that came from its 'Integrity Working Party’ (IWP), a group that was set up at its 2014 annual conference in Melbourne to review the "global risks for international and domestic cricket created by the threat of corruption” (PTG 1380-6678, 24 June 2014 and 1392-6737, 17 July 2014). 

 

All ICC Full Members and Associate Members with One Day International and Twenty20 International status are required to, within six months, "review their anti-corruption resources and adopt and ensure it includes the core principles contained in the ICC’s domestic template code”.  That is being done "to ensure they effectively protect domestic cricket”.  In addition an international panel of qualified individuals is to be established from which ICC Member states "may, and the ICC will", draw on for membership of their anti-corruption tribunals.  According to the ICC such changes "pave the way for greater coordination of preventative and investigative activity around the world with a unified vision to ‘keep cricket clean’".

 

Additionally, there will be a “renewed emphasis on a program that encompasses prevention, disruption, investigation and prosecution in that order of priority”.  A review is in the pipeline "of all training materials used for prevention, education and awareness to ensure that there is a consistency of message imparted, the most suitable and up-to-date techniques are used (such as video clips, scenarios and participative exercises) and records are retained of all those in receipt of training”.

 

The ICC and its Members also plan to "take active steps to lobby [their governments] for the criminalisation of match fixing in sport in all Member countries and strengthen relationships with other anti-corruption stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies and betting monitoring companies".

  

ICC Chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan said via a press release that the work of the IWP, which was advised in its work by John Abbott, the former Director General of the UK's National Criminal Intelligence Service, as an independent expert who has " many years of experience in tackling corruption in sport”, “has been an extensive exercise, which clearly reflects our seriousness, endeavour and commitment to addressing and eradicating the menace of corruption from cricket”.  "The successful implementation of these recommendations will help reduce the threat level but we need to remain vigilant and maintain a zero-tolerance approach”.

 

Headline: South Australia won’t fuel ‘greed’ of cricket bosses.

Article from:  News Corporation.

Journalist:  Tessa Akerman, Tony Ferguson, Rebecca Puddy.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,603.

 

A second Australian State government has lashed out at Cricket Australia's (CA) bid to extract millions from states in return for hosting international games.  South Australian Sports Minister Leon Bignell said yesterday that CA was becoming “greedy”, dismissing the peak cricketing body’s demand for seven-figure payments as a “try on” to get money from the States.

 

Bignell pledged that his government would not cave in to the demands, saying South Australia would not enter into a bidding war for Test cricket.  He said CA was seeking a “seven-fgure” amount to to secure a Test in the State but “We’re not going to put tax payers money up to guarantee those games  in South Australia”.  “We’ll pay for marketing, but we won’t pay for games we already have”.

 

His comments came after Victorian Sports Minister John Eren demanded that CA keep the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.  ‘The Australian’ revealed yesterday the peak cricket body had been in confidential talks with the States over controversial new revenue-rairing measures that have raised questions about existing fixtures becoming part of a bidding war (PTG 1577-7581, 26 June 2015).

 

In the first instance, governments are being sounded out to pay for the right to promote their city and State through television and branding at grounds.  This is despite the history of already hosting cricket in capital cities without paying fees to CA.  The Victorian government has issued a warning to other States that the Boxing Day Test is not for sale, but CA said it was a commercial business and needed to look at the funding of the sport.

 

CA acting chief executive Mike McKenna repeated earlier statements by the organisation that it had no plans to move the Boxing Day Test away from Melbourne, although South Australia’s Bignell said CA had claimed another State was bidding to steal the Boxing Day Test.  “I can’t see any reason why the Boxing Day Test wouldn’t be in Melbourne”, said McKenna, who indicated “it was up to the Victorian government to decide whether it would make a financial contribution for the Boxing Day Test”.  “I think they need to look at their strategy, their existing investments, and what budget they have available”.

 

McKenna denied CA was trying the leverage money out of State governments and said the body was “just trying to get government to spend the money that they spend already on cricket, rather than on other sports”.  “I think like any good commercial business we’ve got to look at funding of cricket, and if someone came to us with a massive offer we’d have to listen, but our primary loyalty to Boxing Day Test is to the MCG and the Victorian government”, he said.

 

Victorian Sport Minister Eren said he had “good information” to suggest CA had privately been shopping the Boxing Day Test around.  “I want it to be very clear to everybody, including the fans, that you’ve got us on your side”, he said.  “We will not allow the Boxing Day Test to go anywhere else”.  He called such a proposal “ludicrous” and that it would be to CA’s detriment.  “It would not be as successful as what it is here [in Melbourne], it would not be as profitable”, he said. 

 

Editor’s note:  The above article was published the day before a story from News Corporation’s rival, Fairfax Media, indicated the Sydney Cricket Ground had won the right to host all international cricket played in that city for the next seven years, a “contract worth tens of millions of dollars" (PTG 1579-7597, 28 June 2015).

 

Headline: ICC outlines strategic aims for 2016-19.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Sunday, 28 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,604.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) says that its “new” strategic plan for the period from 2016-19 involves building the game "around a vision of cricket becoming the ‘world’s favourite sport’”.  It says the strategy covers the following four broad areas: making sure men's and women's international cricket is attractive to play and watch; protecting the integrity of the game; delivering successful major events and building their value; and improving the quality and reach of international cricket via development and marketing programs.

 

ICC chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan said via a press release at the end of the world body’s annual conference in Barbados last week that the plan is: "an ambitious and long-term vision for the ICC and its Members”.  "We need the game to become more popular and sustainable in more countries and it is important that ICC events continue to grow and that all international cricket becomes more appealing to the public”.  “We also have an important role to play in protecting the integrity of the game and increasing the number of truly competitive teams”.

 

The ICC Board’s Barbados meeting also decided "that a considerable amount of time should be set aside at its [next regular] quarterly meeting in October for the directors and chief executives to discuss issues relating to bilateral cricket, including enhancing the context and value of Test and One Day International (ODI) series".  Srinivasan said: “It is time for all of the Members to look at ways in which we can generate more interest and value in our cricket”.

 

Board members also “noted” the increasing prevalence of “good quality pitches and good spirited player behaviour, in particular, in the recent ODI series between England and New Zealand", and “strong home performances from Bangladesh” in recent ODI series against Pakistan and India.  It was also given a presentation by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on this month’s home series against Zimbabwe and noted "the seriousness" with which the PCB had dealt with, and was continuing to deal with, the security challenges there.

 

Headline: Umpires shut down Papare during Colombo Test.

Article from:  The Nation.

Journalist:  Sa'adi Thawfeeq.

Published: Sunday, 28 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,605.

 

A Papare band that began playing music during the morning session of the First Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Colombo today was asked to stop playing, apparently by on-field umpires Sundartum Ravi and Richard Illingworth.  Papare is a brand of music that is often heard at cricket grounds throughout the south Asian region, and today's request for them to totally desist during a game is unheard of in Sri Lanka.   

 

An almost similar incident happened during England’s Test match against Sri Lanka at Kandy in December 2007 when the English batsmen complained about the disturbance.  As a result Pakistan umpires Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf instructed the band to only play between overs or at stoppages.

 

 

Headline: Radio-frequency tracking expert for ICC technology study?

Article from:  PTG.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Monday, 29 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,606.

 

Reports from the north-eastern United States are suggesting Geoff Allardice, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) general manager cricket, and Anil Kumble the head of its Cricket Committee, are to meet with Indian-born Sanjay Sarma, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, over the next few days as part of the ICC’s quest to test the performance of technologies used in the Umpire Decision Review System (PTG 1579-7595, 28 June 2015).

 

Sarma, 47, has since 1998 been working on matters related to Radio-frequency identification (RFID) which is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. Such expertise is likely to be the reason he has come to the attention of the ICC as one of the world body’s key needs is to demonstrate just how accurate, or otherwise, current ball-tracking technology is (PTG 1574-7562, 23 June 2015).

 

Three years ago the ICC engaged Dr Edward Rosten, a former Cambridge University lecturer, to obtain "precise evidence" on the degree to which 'Hawk' and 'Virtual' eye data can be trusted to assist decision making in internationals (PTG 902-4385, 17 February 2012).  A “provisional" report he presented to the ICC’s Cricket Committee in May 2012 said "very positive results in regard to system accuracy” had been obtained, a detailed examination of 14 "situations" that occurred in Tests finding results obtained were in "100 per cent agreement" with the data provided by the ball tracking system in real-time (PTG 943-4584, 2 June 2012).  Just why then the ICC is now looking to MIT to assist them is far from clear. 

 

Headline: When a bowler delivered 21.5 consecutive maiden overs.

Article from:  PTG.

Journalist:  PTG editor.

Published: Monday, 29 June 2015.

PTG listing: 7,607.

 

In an era of baseball-like Twenty20 cricket, where batsmen are often rewarded with a six for a misshit stroke, it’s hard to imagine a bowler delivering 21.5 consecutive maidens.  Indian left-arm orthodox bowler Bapu Nadkarni did so against the visiting England side in January 1964 when he delivered a total of 131 consecutive dot balls, or 21.5 overs, in the first Test of the five-Test series in what was then called Madras. Nadkarni ended his side’s first innings in the field with figures of 32-27-5-0 and therefore conceded an average of just 0.15 runs per over.  In England’s second innings his figures were equally miserly being 6-4-6-2 in what ended up a drawn match.



End of June 2015 news.