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                      OCTOBER 2015
THE MONTH’S HEADLINES
TOTAL OF 23 EDITIONS PUBLISHED
(Story numbers 8086-8229)


Click below to access each individual edition listed below 

1,654  1,655  1,656  1,657  1,658  1,659  1,660  1,661  1,662  1,663  1,664  1,665  1,666  1,667  1,668  1,669  1,670  1,671  1,672  1,673  1,674  1,675  1,676


PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,654

  Thursday, 1 October 2015


• MCC change Laws to reward ‘intelligent fielding' [1654-8086].

• Fifth-straight UK PCA ‘Umpire of the Year’ award for Gough [1654-8087].

• Busy pre-season seminar for Australia’s top umpires [1654-8088].

• Australia’s tour to Bangladesh looks set to be scrapped [1654-8089].

• Secret Mumbai meeting nobody had a clue about [1654-8090].

• BCCI bars 22 Delhi players from age-group tournaments [1654-8091].

• Fraud and corruption report handed over to Sri Lankan Minister [1654-8092].

• Aussie bookmakers asked questions on Test match betting [1654-8093].

 

Headline: MCC change Laws to reward ‘intelligent fielding'.

Article from:  MCC press release.

Journalist:  Not stated.                           

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,086.

 

An update to the Laws which will, in some circumstances, allow a fielder to move significantly before the ball has reached the batsman, comes into force today (PTG 1592-7689, 15 July 2015).  The changes introduced by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) allow the fielder to respond to movements made by a batsman if it becomes obvious that he intends to play the ball in a certain direction, and are designed to recognise such a movement as ‘intelligent fielding’ rather than as being deceptive.

 

An example of this occurred during an Australia-Pakistan One Day International in Abu Dhabi last year, when Australia’s Steve Smith moved from first slip to leg slip after seeing batsman Fawad Alam shape to play a sweep shot.  Smith then took a simple catch after Alam chipped the ball straight to him in his new fielding position (PTG 1448-7014, 14 October 2014).

 

The batsman will continue to be protected from significant movement by fielders before he has made preparations to play the ball and the limitation of on-side fielders as referred to in Law 41.5 will also apply.  There is also a change to Law 40.4 regarding 'Movement by wicket-keeper’, which permits movement in response to the stroke the batsman is about to play, subject to the wicket-keeper remaining in position as per Law 40.3.  At the same time the change also provides clarification regarding other forms of acceptable movement by the wicket-keeper, after the ball comes into play and before it reaches the striker.

 

John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: "As the Guardian of the Laws and Spirit of cricket, it is important that MCC continues to keep pace with the game’s development, and that’s why we have made these changes to the Laws.  Steve Smith’s excellent catch in Abu Dhabi last year illustrated that such skilful anticipation by a fielder should be within the Laws of the game, and these changes now make that the case”.   

 

Headline: Fifth-straight UK PCA ‘Umpire of the Year’ award for Gough.

Article from:  PCA press release.

Journalist:  PTG Editor.                           

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,087.

 

Former first class player Michael Gough, who is a prospective candidate for a spot on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel later this decade, has been named the UK Professional Cricket Association’s (PCA) ‘Umpire of the Year’ for the fifth year in a row.  Gough was awarded the trophy at the PCA's 2015 awards dinner in London on Tuesday.

  

Gough, 35, started playing cricket at the Durham County Cricket Academy at the age of twelve, before going on to play for England Under-19s as captain and with the England A side on a 1999 tour to New Zealand and Bangladesh.  He retired from first class cricket aged just twenty-three at the end of the 2003 northern summer, and stood in his first game at that level two-and-a-half years later.

 

Appointed to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) umpire Reserve List at the age of 27 in 2006, then in late 2008 to its Full List (PTG 347-1844, 11 November 2008), his rapid rise continued when in 2012 he became a third umpire member of the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, then an on-field member in late 2013 (PTG 1297-6257, 23 February 2014).  

 

During 2015 Gough was on the field in 9 first class, 21 List A - 11 of which were One Day Internationals, three being in the World Cup - and 7 Twenty20 games, one of which was an international, plus an Under-19 Test.

 

Headline: Busy pre-season seminar for Australia’s top umpires.

Article from:  CA release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                           

Published: Thursday, 1 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,088.

 

Third umpire simulation, effective fitness and utilising instant replay technology to determine LBW decisions, were included on the agenda for Cricket Australia’s (CA) busy three-day, pre-season umpire’s seminar at its National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Brisbane last week.  The meeting involved members of CA’s top-tier National Umpire Panel and for the first time its second-tier Development Panel, plus International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) members Rod Tucker and Bruce Oxenford, new CA Umpire Coach Ian Lock, ICC Umpire Coach David Levens, and New Zealand Cricket’s Umpire Coach and former EUP member, Tony Hill.

 

CA says third umpire training involved a "full simulation" of the role, including communications with a television director and technician located outside in the replay truck, and focussed on fine tuning communication and processes to achieve the correct result.  It has been suggested that at present CA has no plans to put third umpire decision to air in real time during the coming season, however, with international umpires having done so successfully over recent months such a move at domestic level is seen by some an inevitable.

 

Indoor LBW sessions are said to have utilised the NCC’s instant replay technology to judge pitching and impact of the ball from both the bowler’s end and square leg.  In a separate exercise, different coloured sunglass lenses were tested using a variety of coloured balls, both outside in the sun and under lights, to determine which ones best suited the eyes of each umpire.

 

Information was also provide to attendees in regard to fitness, especially what to do in the gym and pool whilst away from home for games so they can best prepare, and maximise recovery.  Similarly, with umpires facing a "hectic travel and game schedules over the cricket season”, sleep and nutrition issues were also discussed and "handy tips” provided on how to ensure they perform their best each game day.  The group also underwent exercises and discussed issues related to maintaining their focus throughout a game.

 

An overview of CA's changes in Playing Conditions across its senior competitions, as well as discussions around Code of Behaviour standards, were also covered during the meeting. 

 

Headline: Australia’s tour to Bangladesh looks set to be scrapped.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                           

Published: Thursday, 1 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,089.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to announce the two-Test series against Bangladesh, which is slated to start on Saturday with a tour game, has been abandoned in the wake of terrorist threats.  CA's security staff briefed it's board and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on Wednesday on return from meetings in Bangladesh (PTG 1652-8079, 29 September 2015).  

 

In a final attempt to persuade CA to have a change of heart, Nazmul Hassan, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, revealed an unprecedented level of security for a touring nation would be supplied.  "We have left no stone unturned in providing assurance regarding security for the Australian team”, Hassan said in a statement on Wednesday.  "The Bangladesh Government has committed additional security on top of the substantial and elaborate arrangements in the BCB's standard Security Plan for international cricket.

 

The International Cricket Council told ‘PTG’ on Wednesday that it was monitoring the situation and would only release details of the match officials who had been appointed for the two Tests if the decision is taken to proceed with the tour.

 

Headline: Secret Mumbai meeting nobody had a clue about.

Article from:  Mumbai Mirror.

Journalist:  Vijay Tagore.                           

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,090.

 

Last Sunday some of the Indian cricket's most powerful men got together in an ultra secret meeting at a five-star hotel in Mumbai to seal the appointment of Shashank Manohar as the new president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) (PTG 1653-8085, 30 September 2015).

 

The discussion was headed by Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, easily the most powerful man in the Indian cricket administration today, who flew in quietly to Mumbai.  He was joined by Manohar, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, and Maharashtra Cricket Association chief Ajay Shirke. Earlier in the day, Manohar and Shirke visited Sharad Pawar, a senior Indian politician andformer BCCI and International Cricket Council president, at his residence in Mumbai. 

 

A wide range of issues were discussed during the nearly three-hour meeting, including the dwindling credibility of the Board, the thorny issue of conflict of interest that is at the centre of all of former BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan's woes, and even the question upper most in every fan's mind why is the country no longer producing enough match-winners. 

 

Some of those present also raised concerns about the top officials' internal mails finding their way to the media with worrying regularity. "Those present wanted the new administration, more precisely the new president, to take measures that will restore the Board's credibility”, the source said without elaborating on the matter of snooping and hacking. 

 

The Board's credibility took a huge beating after the Supreme Court barred Srinivasan from continuing as the BCCI president in the wake of the Indian Premier League (IPL) match-fixing controversy and the conflict of interest situation regarding Srinivasan's stake in the IPL’s Chennai Super Kings franchise while at the same time heading the Board.   To make matters worse for Srinivasan and the Board, his son-in-law Gurunathan Maiyappan was found guilty of betting during the IPL matches. 

 

The Board sources said that one of the top agendas of the new president, Manohar, would be to ensure the BCCI delivers a clean IPL, wherein there would be no conflict of interest among its members.  Among other points, the officials felt that the board should take measures and implement points that are largely likely to be addressed by the Indian Supreme Court;s Lodha Committee which is to report on BCCI governance, structures and organisation by the end of the year (PTG 1645-8056, 15 September 2015). 

 

Meanwhile, what have been described as “major" changes to match points arrangements in the 2015-16 Ranji Trophy first class series, which were recommended by the BCCI’s Technical Committee in May, are unlikely to be applied this year due to the inability of the Board to decide on the matter.  The changes proposed, which were centred around doing away with points for the first-innings lead in a Ranji game, were to have been considered at the abandoned BCCI Working Committee meeting in late August (PTG 1630-7956, 29 August 2015).  With the new series due to get under way across India today, the BCCI now appears to have no option but to stick to last season’s points system.

 

Headline: BCCI bars 22 Delhi players from age-group tournaments.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist:  Not stated.                           

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,091.

 

Ratnakar Shetty, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Game Development Manager, has advised the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) that 22 players registered with it have been barred from taking part in the age-group tournaments because of concerns about the accuracy of their birth certificates.

 

DDCA president Sneh Prakash Bansal indicated that two Under-19 cricketers had been withdrawn from a match that is to be played later this week.  Former Delhi captain Kirti Azad, who played Test cricket for India and is now a member of India’s lower house of Parliament, said "We all know that DDCA is a den of legalised corruption”.

 

In August the BCCI decided not to use medical technology to determine the age of players in the Under-19 age group (PTG 1617-7873, 12 August 2015).  However, such testing of younger players indicated that a considerable number of potentially ineligible individuals were playing in tournaments (PTG 1621-7904, 18 August 2015).

 

Headline: Fraud and corruption report handed over to Sri Lankan Minister.

Article from:  News.lk.

Journalist:  Not stated.                           

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,092.

 

The final report of the committee appointed to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), was submitted to the country's Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake on Tuesday.  The report was handed over by Ravi Algama the chairman of the three-man Board of Inquiry, all of whom are lawyers, which was established to "investigate and report on any corruption, abuse of power and authority by any Office Bearer or members of the SLC’s former executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket.

 

Headline: Aussie bookmakers asked questions on Test match betting.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist:  John Stensholt.                           

Published: Thursday, 1 October 2015 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,093.

 

Bookmakers could face an Australian Federal Police investigation and heavy fines for allowing betting on Test matches and golf tournaments after the first day's play.  The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) has recently written to the bookmakers, including big names such as William Hill, Crownbet and Sportsbet, demanding wagering firms show how they have not breached Australia's Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) by allowing betting after the end of a day's play during Test matches or golf events.

 

A breach of the act attracts fines of $1.2 million per day, with ACMA to refer the issue to the AFP for investigation should the bookmakers be unable to show cause as to why the matter should not be investigated. The move is understood to have come after complaints to ACMA from a member of the public or a company.  

 

The complaint to the ACMA about betting after the first ball of a Test match or the opening tee shot of a golf tournament alleges betting at the close of day's play during those events should be banned as the match or tournament is "in-play" once it commences on the day.  Bookmakers argue if that principle is applied to competitions such as the Australian football or rugby game, betting on end-of-season grand final winners would not be allowed after round one. A breach could mean the bookmakers racking up tens and potentially millions of dollars of fines.

 

The Australian Wagering Council (AWC), the industry body representing the bookmakers and wagering companies, has long highlighted the need for the IGA to reflect technological advances and changes in consumer preferences and online behaviour.  The IGA is set to be reviewed by the federal government and a report is due to handed down by the end of the year. "Licensed Australian wagering service providers and their customers need and deserve a clear and contemporary legislative framework”, said an AWC spokesperson.


PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,655

  Saturday, 3 October 2015


• Vatican team to play Muslim, Argentine slum, clubs [1655-8094].

• Supreme Court petition seeks TNCA ban for Srinivasan [1655-8095].

• Tour cancellation ‘unfortunate’, says BCB president [1655-8096].

• WACA century looming for young umpire [1655-8097].

• Reprimand handed out following dissent charge [1655-8098].

• Missing acceditation sees club denied promotion [1655-8099].

 

Headline: Vatican team to play Muslim, Argentine slum, clubs.

Article from:  Associated Press.

Journalist: Nicole Winfield.                          

Published: Friday, 2 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,094.

 

The Vatican is expanding the reach of its cricket club this season, hosting a Muslim team from Yorkshire and a club from the same Buenos Aires slum where Jorge Mario Bergoglio ministered before becoming Pope Francis (PTG 1427-6900, 10 September 2014).  The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture says its St. Peter's Cricket Club will play a number of games this month, including rematches against teams from the Anglican Church it played during its inaugural tour of Britain last year (PTG 1426-6895, 7 September 2015).  

 

But in a sign that the Vatican's initiative of blending sport with faith is spreading beyond just improved relations with the Anglican Church, the Vatican team will, two weeks from today, play Yorkshire’s Mount Cricket Club, a Muslim team made up mostly of Pakistanis, at Rome's Campanelle Cricket Ground.  "It's Muslims and Catholics playing together — a bridge being made in sport between believers”, said the Reverend Robert McCullouch, who spent four decades working in Pakistan and is now based in Rome with his St. Columban missionary order.

 

Three days before that St Peter’s will play the Caacupe de la Villa club from the Villa 21 slum of Buenos Aires where the current Pope used to work. Legend has it that the head of the Argentine cricket association proposed a cricket club for the shantytown in 2009, and the slum's pastor, "Padre Pepe”, took him up on the idea.  The then-archbishop of Buenos Aires and now Pope gave his approval as he knew Padre Pepe is a longtime believer in the role that parish-based sports can have for disadvantaged kids.  

 

Daniel Juarez, coordinator of the Argentina-based group "Cricket Without Borders" who helped arrange the match with the Vatican, said the group plans to fly to Rome next week, tour the city for a few days and then play the Vatican club.   Juarez said the cricket program is aimed at social inclusion.  "It's not that they just play". "We give them training, we teach them English and help them to keep studying so they can get work”.

 

The St. Peter's Cricket Club was founded in 2013, the brainchild of the Australian ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy (PTG 1209-5823, 12 October 2013). It is made up of seminarians and young priests, most from Sri Lanka, India and elsewhere, who are training at Rome's pontifical universities.  In soccer-mad Europe, its aim is to forge ties with teams of other faiths and be ambassadors of the Catholic Church in parts of the world where cricket vies with soccer as the most popular game.

 

Headline: Supreme Court petition seeks TNCA ban for Srinivasan.

Article from:  Deccan Chronicle.

Journalist:  Not stated.                           

Published: Friday, 2 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,095.

 

Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma has asked India’s Supreme Court to declare Narayanaswami Srinivasan "ineligible or disentitled" to hold the post of president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA).  The application was raised with the Court by Verma's counsel Rajat Sehgal on Thursday and the matter has been listed for consideration on Monday.  Vera has a long history of pursuing Srinivasan through the Supreme Court.

 

In his latest plea to the Court Verma says: "Srinivasan should be removed from TNCA president's post as he continues to have commercial interest in the events run by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in breach of that organisation’s regulations”.  Vera also asked Srinivasan be banned from attending the BCCI’s Annual General Meeting and its Working Committee as a representative of TNCA.  

 

Vera, who points in his submission to last January’s Supreme Court decision to disallow "any person who has commercial interest from contesting in [BCCI] elections”, claims Srinivasan is attempting to take advantage of the "enormous clout" he wields at the TNCA by he is nominated to represent it at  at BCCI Working Committee meetings.  

 

However, reports say that with Shashank Manohar's return as the BCCI president an absolutely done deal, associate-turned-foe Srinivasan has decided not to attend Sunday's Special General Meeting in Mumbai which will elect a new president (PTG 1654-8090, 1 October 2015).  An Srinivasan aide said that the TNCA "will be represented by P.S. Raman and Mr Srinivasan is not travelling from Chennai”.  With Srinivasan not going to Mumbai, the distinct possibility of acrimony over who is eligible to represent Tamil Nadu could be eliminated, and it would show Srinivasan in "good light," as somebody termed it, before the Supreme Court.

 

Headline: Tour cancellation ‘unfortunate’, says BCB president.

Article froms :  Dhaka Tribune.

Journalist: Minhaz Uddin Khan .                           

Published: Friday, 2 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,096.

 

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan has called Cricket Australia’s (CA) decision to postpone their side's visit to Bangladesh for a two-match Test series “unfortunate”. CA, following a series of meetings with the board and delegates from the government of Australia, decided to postpone the tour of Bangladesh on security grounds (PTG 1654-8089, 1 October 2015).

 

CA chief executive officer James Sutherland, said via a press release today that recent advice from the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its own head of security over an increase in security risk for the Australian team in Bangladesh meant this month’s matches could not proceed.  An independent security assessment confirmed there is a risk of terrorism in Bangladesh with Australian nationals potential targets.

 

Sutherland called it "a very difficult decision” and “but that, regrettably, we have no alternative but to postpone the tour”.  Nazmul, who is also a member of the Bangladesh parliament,  said he could not understand the move for "despite assurances of foolproof security, they declined to tour”.  “What I understand is the security alert is not only for Bangladesh but also for other countries, but I don’t see any country that has stopped playing cricket”.  “India is on the sixth place on Australia’s terror index while Bangladesh is twenty-third.  So does that mean there will be no cricket in India and Sri Lanka also?” 

 

Nazmul continued: “The whole nation was eagerly waiting for the tour so in that way, it is a big loss for us. The fans have been deprived from cricket. People of Bangladesh are hurt, we are hurt of the decision [and] there is no doubt [the BCB] will incur losses due to the CA’s decision”.  He called the issue is “a very big one” and as such plans to raise it at the International Cricket Council’s quarterly Board meeting late next week, as well as discussing with CA a window in which to reschedule the tour.

 

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan has labelled Australia 'oversensitive' for postponing the Bangladesh tour.  “One man gets killed, an Italian [aide worker], and the tour is off. We've had 50,000 people killed in Pakistan”, Khan said.  "A certain amount of tension is likely through terrorism, but they have to trust the Bangladeshis, however, some of the countries, like Australia and New Zealand, are oversensitive” about such things.

 

The chairman’s comments come as Bangladesh's women’s team says it feels “comfortable” now that it is on tour in Pakistan.  The PCB has promised "foolproof security" for the women's team with players staying at the club where they will play all their matches.  The series against their Pakistani counterparts, which consists of two Twenty20s and two 50 over matches, was given the green light after a visit by a Bangladeshi security delegation. 

 

Major foreign cricket teams have stayed away since Pakistani militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009, killing eight people and injuring several visiting players (PTG 380-2021, 4 March 2009).  The country’s international isolation was overcome earlier this year when Zimbabwe toured for a short limited-over series, but hopes for more cricket remain slim after a bomb went off outside the ground during the last match of that series.

 

Headline: WACA century looming for young umpire.

Article froms :  Community News .

Journalist:  Francis Curro.                           

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,097.

 

Perth umpire Trent Steenholdt is set to become the youngest umpire to stand in 100 senior games in the Western Australian Cricket Association’s  (WACA) top club competition.  Steenholdt, 26, who is currently standing in Cricket Australia Under-17s men’s National Championships in Brisbane (PTG 1622-7912, 19 August 2015), has to date stood in 92 first-grade fixtures, and is hoping to one day umpire at Sheffield Shield level and maybe international cricket.

 

Steenholdt, who says he was never good enough as a player to make it in first-grade cricket, but he still wanted to be out there, made his umpiring debut at 15 and at first-grade level when he was 19.  “I remember it was the windiest day down there and [first class representatives] Adam Voges and Steve Magoffin were both playing and I couldn’t believe it”, he said.  It wasn’t all smooth sailing in his first umpiring experience. He put the bowler’s cap on his head and only realised his mistake when former Test umpire Rick Evans, who was watching on, started shaking his head. 

 

So what does it take to be an umpire? According to Steenholdt, patience and having a thick skin. “It’s just like playing cricket, except you are just in a different pair of pants and a hat,” he said.  “You have to have a steady head, be stoic by nature and try not to get emotionally involved in the game”. 

 

Headline: Reprimand handed out following dissent charge.

Article froms :  ECB press release.

Journalist:  Not stated.                           

Published: Friday, 2 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,098.

 

The England and Wales Cricket Board’s Cricket Discipline Commission has reprimanded Northamptonshire’s Rob Newton for the Level One disciplinary breach of "showing dissent at an umpire’s decision by word or action”.  Newton was reported by umpires Steve Garratt and Nigel Llong during Northamptonshire’s final County Championship match of the 2015 season against Surrey late last month. The penalty will remain on Newton's record for a period of two years and the accumulation of nine or more penalty points in any two year period will result in an automatic suspension.

 

Headline: Missing acceditation sees club denied promotion.

Article froms :  Derbyshire Telegraph.

Journalist:  Colston Crawford.                           

Published: Friday, 2 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,099.

 

A row has broken out after Derbyshire club Langley Mill were told they would not be promoted to the top level of the Derbyshire Premier League, despite finishing second in Division Two this year. The resurgent club clinched second place in the division with a win on the last day of the season and thought they would be joining champions Nutbrook in Division One, but both they and third-placed West Hallam have been told they cannot go up as they do not have ‘Clubmark' accreditation in place.

 

Sport England says ‘Clubmark' accreditation is given to clubs that "provide the right environment which ensures the welfare of members and encourages everyone to enjoy sport and stay involved throughout their lives”.  An accredited club is acknowledged as providing "a safe, rewarding and fulfilling place for participants of all ages as well as helping parents and carers know that they're choosing the right club for their young people".

 

As things stand, the fourth-placed Sawley and Long Eaton Park club have taken the second promotion slot.  Neither Langley Mill nor West Hallam have ‘Clubmark' and the league have decreed that they do not have time to get it by the start of the 2016 season, therefore they have been excluded.  Langley Mill have protested the decision and the situation will be aired at the League's Executive Committee meeting on Monday.

 

The issue appears to revolve around the wording of a rule introduced in 2012, which warned clubs that they would only be allowed to play in the Premier League in the 2016 season if they ran at least three junior teams, had a Grade A ground and ‘Clubmark' accreditation.  A league spokesman said: "The clubs have known about this for three years and they've been reminded regularly.  You can't sort Clubmark out in a few weeks”.

 

The situation has led to an outpouring of comment on social media, the majority of it in support of Langley Mill's position.  However, a suggestion in some comments that decision has been made because the MIllers' ground is inadequate has been refuted by the league.  "Their ground is rated A-plus”, added the spokesman.

 

The club's stance appears to hinge on the arguably ambiguous wording of the rule as it merely states that ‘Clubmark' has to be in place by the start of the 2016 season.  Ironically, had they occupied a top two place in 2014, Langley Mill would not have been denied promotion, since they would still have had 18 months to sort out the necessary paperwork.  They will argue now that the only difference is the time available to secure Clubmark.

 

Langley Mill chairman Daniel Lacey said: "Every e-mail I've had says you have to have it in place to play in Division One in the 2016 season.  Most things that are required for Clubmark,we already have in place at the club”.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,656

  Monday, 5 October 2015

 

• Long-serving NZ umpire to pass 100th first class game mark [1656-8100].

• Manohar elected as new BCCI president [1656-8101].

• County cricket falls into obscurity as the women’s game gets all the hype [1656-8102].

• Indian fans rue home umpire’s decisions [1656-8103].

• London court appearance curtails NZ skipper’s pink-ball training [1656-8104].

• Special coin minted for tosses in India-South Africa series [1656-8105].

• Coaches race to find cricket's first baseball diamond [1656-8106].

 

Headline: Long-serving NZ umpire to pass 100th first class game mark.

Article from:  NZC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Sunday, 4 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1656-8100.

 

Long-serving New Zealand umpire Barry Frost, who made his debut at first class level in 1999, is to stand in his 100th first class game when Auckland plays Wellington in mid-February in New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) Plunket Shield competition, while his colleague ‘Billy’ Bowden will reach the 100 match mark in Twenty20s in Hamilton late next month.  NZC appointment lists also show: two umpires are to make their first class debuts, and five in both List A and senior Twenty20 fixtures, over the next six months; umpires from three countries will again visit as part of on-going exchange programs; and a female umpire will stand in a senior men’s game for the first time in eight years. 

 

NZC has selected 15 of its umpires, all nine of its Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), and six from the second-tier Reserve Panel, plus 33 scorers, to manage the 91 senior men’s domestic matches that will be played across the three formats between late October and early April.  For the first time since the 2012-13 season, no match referees have been appointed as the organisation’s financial constraints led to those positions being scrapped last month (PTG  1637-8012, 5 September 2015). 

 

Frost, 57, currently has 95 first class, 88 List A and 55 Twenty20 matches to his credit, all except one, a first class game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground between Victoria and Queensland whilst on exchange in 2010, being played at home in New Zealand.  A member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel for several years earlier this decade, he has also stood in Twenty20 Internationals and worked as the third umpire in Tests and One Day Internationals (ODI).

 

Former Otago batsman Shaun Haig, 33, who played 34 first class games from 2006-11, and Richard Hooper, 38, who are both members of NZC’s second-tier Reserve Panel, are the two first class debutants, and they plus fellow Reserve Panel member John Bromley, 46, who has one previous first class game to his credit, will also standing in List A and T20 games. Of the other Reserve Panel members, Garth Stirratt, 46, and Shaun Ryan, 45, are to make their List A debuts, while Kathy Cross, who stood in five List A and single senior T20 games last decade, will return as an on-field umpire in a senior T20. 

 

In other appointments, so far unnamed Australian, South African and Sri Lankan umpires will visit during the season, the Australian for a single Plunket Shield game in mid-February, and the other two for two such matches each in the last half of March. Which NZC umpires will travel to those three countries on exchange over the next five months has not yet been announced.  Of other exchanges, an umpire from the ICC’s East Asian Pacific region is to stand in five games in the men’s annual Under-17 tournament in January. 

 

NZC’s women’s Under-21 tournament in December currently has NZC’s three most experienced female umpires, Cross, Diana Venter and Kim Cotton, listed for half of the 42 on-field spots, and the remainder may well, as was the case last year, go to female umpires from the larger Australasian region.  Cross has also been appointed to stand in three of the four ODIs the New Zealand and Sri Lankan women’s sides are to play in November, plus two of the three Twenty20 Internationals, and will also be on-field in all six games the New Zealand women are to play against their Australian counterparts in February-March.

 

An announcement is awaited as to which of NZC’s three ICC International Umpire Panel members, Bowden, Derek Walker and Phil Jones (PTG 1651-8077, 25 September 2015), will stand as the home umpire in the 11 ODIs that are scheduled during the season.  Provided he does not have an ICC appointment elsewhere in the period from mid-December to mid-February, Bowden seems likely to stand in at least five ODIs as he has no domestic match responsibilities during that time, matches that would make him only the second umpire to reach the 200 ODI mark (PTG 1640-8028, 8 September 2015).

 

Headline: Manohar elected as new BCCI president.

Article from:  Various reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor                          

Published: Sunday, 4 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1656-8101.

 

Shashank Manohar took over as the new president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday after being the only candidate to nominate for the position at a Special General Meeting held in Mumbai  (PTG 1654-8090, 1 October 2015).  The position became vacant late last month when the then incumbent Jagmohan Dalmiya died.  Manohar, 58, a lawyer by profession who previously held the post from 2008-11, has proposed a 10-point agenda to "clean up” the BCCI, the most important being seen as the appointment of an ethics officer to oversee its proceedings.  

 

The other nine points are being reported as: transparency in financial administration; details of all expenditure over 500,000 Rupees ($A10,900, £UK5,050) to be put online; the organisation’s balance sheet to be made public; “top BCCI officials” to be made accountable for their actions; a restructure of the National Cricket Academy; all Board meetings are to be held at the BCCI's headquarters in Mumbai; women players to get central contracts; and all administrative reforms are to be in place in two months. 

 

The latter timing appears to be an attempt to usurp the Indian Supreme Court’s Lodha committee which is to make recommendations on BCCI administrative arrangements by year’s end.

 

Headline: County cricket falls into obscurity as the women’s game gets all the hype.

Article from:  London Daily Telegraph.

Journalist: Christopher Booker                          

Published: Sunday, 4 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1656-8102.

 

Maybe I missed it, but was there a single proper report last weekend on the end of this year’s County cricket championship? Page after page on the rugby, but the only full account I could find of the extraordinary roller-coaster match which kept my County team Somerset in the top division was on an Asian website. 

 

There was a time when the end of the County season was given lavish coverage, including not just the complete national averages but individual averages for each county. Today, although radio and television are eager to tell us what happened when Cowdenbeath played Hamilton Academicals at football, their interest in four-day County cricket is barely perceptible. 

 

In 2015 this has been counter-balanced more than ever by a concerted media push to highlight women’s cricket. Two weeks after the final England-Australia Test at the Oval, cricket lovers were startled to hear BBC news headlining that “England has lost the Ashes”. Only when the details followed did we learn that it was England’s women who had lost to Australia. 

 

Some years back, when I had the pleasure of meeting our former women’s national captain, Baroness (Rachel) Heyhoe Flint, in the president’s box at Lords, I idly fantasised about asking her to play for my side in the annual September needle-match, when our village club split down the middle for our most fiercely fought game of the season. 

 

I imagined my rival skipper laughing at being told that one of my guest players was a woman in her seventies, only to see her smashing a century in a dozen overs. But the truth is that there is not a first-class county team in England which could not beat the national women’s side by an innings, possibly before lunch. 

 

It has been sad to see the County Championship, which once kept much of the nation gripped for months on end, slipping away into such obscurity. 

 

Headline: Indian fans rue home umpire’s decisions.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Saturday, 3 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1656-8103.

 

Past claims that home umpires give decisions in favour their own national team as opposed to touring sides were turned upside down in the first Twenty20 International between India and South Africa in Dharamsala on Friday.  Furious fans blamed Indian umpire Vineet Kulkarni for India's defeat in the game as he twice gave JP Duminy, South Africa’s match winner in their run chase, ‘not out’ to two LBW appeals.

 

Indian captain MS Dhoni did not hide his disappointment with the 35-year-old Kulkarni's decisions, saying in the post-match presentation ceremony: "If decisions don't go in your favour, that also puts pressure and I thought we were unfortunate not to get Duminy.  The game was evenly poised but that's how cricket is, you don't get everything in your favour”.  Angry Indian fans took to Twitter to slam Kulkarni whose name was trending significantly on Twitter soon after the match ended. 

 

Headline: London court appearance curtails NZ skipper’s pink-ball training.

Article from:  Cricket Australia news.

Journalist: Dave Middleton.                          

Published: Sunday, 4 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1656-8104.

 

New Zealand take a significant step forward in their preparations for this austral summer’s trans-Tasman Test series this week, but will do it without skipper Brendon McCullum.  The Black Caps leader is in London, a key witness in the perjury trial of former NZ all-rounder Chris Cairns, which is due to begin on Monday (PTG 1647-8063, 17 September 2015). It is alleged Cairns misled the British courts in 2012 during libel proceedings against Indian businessman and Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi. 

 

McCullum is a star witness, while others set to appear include former Black Caps fast bowler and newly signed Brisbane Heat bowling coach Shane Bond and New Zealand Cricket's chief executive David White.  McCullum will miss a crucial two-day intense practice session under lights with the pink Kookaburra ball in Hamilton this week, as New Zealand's players seek to come to grips with the new ball before cricket's first-ever day-night Test in Adelaide (PTG 1651-8078, 25 September 2015). 

 

The London trial is scheduled for four weeks, although it is not expected that McCullum will be required to remain in the British capital and miss his team's entire preparation for the three-Test Commonwealth Bank Series that starts in Brisbane early next month.  The captain's absence, while not ideal, is not going to affect the team's preparations, says opening batsman Tom Latham.  Latham told Fairfax NZ: "We're certainly looking forward to getting together [in Hamilton], and getting a bit of pink ball training and then we can go from there".

 

The Kiwis, who may host their own day-night Test if the ground-breaking Adelaide Test proves a hit with fans, will focus exclusively on the pink ball this week but Latham says the squad has not overlooked the red-ball.  "I've had one hit against it, and we're up in Hamilton next week pink ball training, but I've been trying to focus on the other two Tests as well”.  "It'll be interesting though and I'm certainly looking forward to creating a bit of history".  

 

Headline: Special coin minted for tosses in India-South Africa series.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Saturday, 3 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1656-8105.

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has had a coin specially-minted for use in tosses for all matches being played against South Africa during their current tour of the sub-continent, games that have been labelled the ‘Freedom Series'.  The coin has images of India’s Mahatma Gandhi and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela on the ‘Heads’ side, and the logo of the ‘Freedom Series’ on the ‘Tails’ side. 

 

The 20 gram, gold-plated, sterling silver coin was launched by the BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur along with the two Twenty20 captains, MS Dhoni and Faf du Plessis, before the opening game of the series on Friday. Thakur said via a statement: “This is our small way to pay homage to Gandhiji as we celebrate his 146th birth anniversary.  Both he and Nelson Mandela proved to the world that freedom could be achieved through the path of non-violence, a true symbol of peace, truth and harmony”. 

 

Headline: Coaches race to find cricket's first baseball diamond.

Article from:  The Guardian.

Journalist: Josh Burrows.                          

Published: Saturday, 3 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1656-8106.

 

The important thing to understand about JB Bernstein is that he is no charlatan. Because when this sharply dressed American sports agent says that he is going to turn an aspiring baseball player into the first United States citizen to win a contract in cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL), at first it is difficult not to scoff at him.  But Bernstein is serious. And for those who need evidence of his sanity, the fact that exactly the same feat of sporting alchemy is being attempted by Julien Fountain, a former fielding coach to international cricket teams, should provide it (PTG 1506-7267, 22 January 2015).

 

Between the two men, the race is on to create the first professional baseball-to-cricket convert. If one of them hits the jackpot, Twenty20 cricket fans could be watching a baseball player taking guard against world-class bowlers such as Dale Steyn and Lasith Malinga as early as next year.

 

Of the two projects, Bernstein’s will be the most high-profile. Starting at the end of this month, around the time of the 2015 World Series, this New York-born, self-made multimillionaire will tour US schools and campuses putting cricket bats in the hands of 50,000 wannabe baseball players. A select few with electric hand-eye co-ordination and a natural propensity to hit the ball on the bounce (or “off a pitch”, as Bernstein puts it) will be hot-housed in a training camp next summer with a clutch of cricket coaches. The batter who impresses most will be offered to the IPL.

 

Ambitious? Certainly. But when it comes to adopting a talent from one sport and turning him professional in a foreign country – in a sport he has never watched, with techniques he has never used – nobody has a track record like Bernstein.

 

In 2007, he arrived in India searching for kids who could throw at 90 mph. In the backwaters of Uttar Pradesh he discovered Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. Less than two years later, Singh and Patel were pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Major League Baseball. They were the first Indians in history to earn professional sports contracts in the US and their story became a Hollywood movie, 'Million Dollar Arm'. Bernstein simply aims to repeat that trick.

 

“We’re optimistic that a baseball player can transfer his hitting skills to cricket as effectively as a cricketer can transfer his throwing skills to baseball”, he says. “The guys that are used to hitting with a baseball bat are going to look at a cricket bat with eyes wide open. It’s a big hitting area, and there are going to be guys backing themselves to hit a six every time.”

 

The basic statistics support Bernstein’s theory about the comparative ease of hitting cricket balls. At the smallest stadium in Major League Baseball – Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox – the fence at left-field is 95 m from the home plate. The biggest fields require a hit of more than 130 m for a home run. By contrast, for international Twenty20 cricket, straight boundaries must be no bigger than 82 m. In domestic tournaments, most are much, much shorter.

 

The first world-class convert is probably long overdue, given how the sports have always cast curious glances at each other. In 1874, a team of baseballers won six games of cricket in England, albeit with 18 players to the cricket teams’ 11. In 1935, Babe Ruth, baseball’s original demigod, visited London and took a group of net bowlers to the cleaners.

 

“Sure, I could smack the ball alright,” the Babe shrugged afterwards. “How could I help it when you have a great wide board to swing?” Ruth had splintered the edges of his cricket bat, such was the force he swung with, but Alan Fairfax, the former Australian player who had been watching, told the assembled press: “In a fortnight, I could make one of the world’s greatest batsmen out of him”.

 

Last year, in preparation for the cricket tournament at the Asian Games (PTG 1439-6965. 2 October 2014), a team of South Korean baseballers played a Twenty20 match against a Sri Lankan club side. The South Koreans – not a cricketer among them – made 165 in 20 overs, a sizeable total, despite failing to score off almost half their balls. “It’s monstrous: they just hit”, said Fountain, who later became their coach.

 

A year later, the seed that was sowed in Fountain’s mind that afternoon in Sri Lanka has grown into 'Switch Hit 20'. Essentially, that project is no different from Bernstein’s. The Shoreham-born Englishman has been scouting for disillusioned talent in the minor baseball leagues in the US. So far he has collected about 100 professional batters keen to give cricket a try, enticed by an earning potential that far outstrips professional baseball outside of the major leagues.

 

That cohort will be whittled down by coaches in much the same way that Bernstein’s will be. Fountain says that he in discussions with “well-established” cricket administrators about the potential of his US recruits. “Hitting a ball is hitting a ball,” he says, basing his confidence on 20 years in and out of the international cricket coaching circuit. “One of the biggest challenges is getting them to hit straight. It’s all very well taking a huge swish, but the swish has to be in a vertical plane.  I had a couple of the South Koreans who could smash the ball a stupid distance … but they were also being bowled swinging across the line, by trying to hit the ball with a horizontal bat, rather than a vertical bat, batsmen leave themselves at great risk of being dismissed".

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,657

  Tuesday, 6 October 2015

 

• Bowler issued ’show-cause’ notice over umpire abuse [1657-8107].

• Consist application of Laws, Playing Conditions focus for ICC officials [1657-8108].

• Crowd trouble stops play in Cuttack T20I [1657-8109].

• South African women postpone Bangladesh tour [1657-8110].

• ‘No chance’ for Pakistan-India series, says security advisor [1657-8111].

• Court hands Srinivasan issue back to BCCI [1657-8112].

 

Headline: Bowler issued ’show-cause’ notice over umpire abuse.

Article from:  The Nation.

Journalist: Hafiz Imran.                          

Published: Sunday, 4 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1657-8107.

 

Peshawar Region fast bowler Imran Khan, 28, has been issued with a ‘show-cause’ notice by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the aggressive behaviour he displayed to match officials during the domestic National Twenty20 Cup final against the Lahore Blues in Rawalpindi two weeks ago.  In addition to using abusive language to the umpires, Khan also physically pushed one of them away, actions for which he was fined half of his of match fee by referee Mussadaq Rasool.   

 

Despite that censure, the PCB is taking his case seriously, and "stern action" is expected to be taken against him, according to a PCB source.  Should he acknowledge his actions in the final Khan could face a ban of 3-5 matches, but if he does not a full enquiry into his behaviour will be conducted.  The source claimed though that the bowler: "is a part of national team which is to play a Test series against England this month, and his punishment will be postponed until that series ends in early November”. 

 

The on-field umpires for the National Twenty20 Cup final were Ahsan Raza and Shozab Raza who apart from their positions on the PCB’s senior umpires’  panel, are also members of the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel.

 

Headline: Consist application of Laws, Playing Conditions focus for ICC officials.

Article from:  Agence France Presse.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Tuesday, 5 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1657-8108.

 

A meeting of International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite referees and umpires held in Dubai recently is reported to have focussed on the consistent application of the Laws and Playing Conditions across all formats of the game by all international panel umpires around the world.  ICC general manager cricket Geoff Allardice said on Monday there was also "a long session on TV umpiring and making sure that we're approaching it the same way across all umpires and again, delivering consistency to the players and the teams”.  Former Australian fast bowler turned international umpire Paul Reiffel is quoted as saying: "These conferences are good, we get to talk to each other about interpretations regarding laws, new laws coming in, there are always new Playing Conditions coming in”.  

 

Headline: Crowd trouble stops play in Cuttack T20I.

Article from:  Various reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 5 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1657-8109.

 

The second Twenty20 International between India and South Africa was suspended on Monday after fans, angry about the performance of the home team, started hurling plastic bottles on to the ground.  India, who also lost the first match of the series, were bundled out for their second lowest T20 total of 92, to the displeasure of a full house in Cuttack.  

 

Supporters threw bottles during the change of innings and again 11 overs into South Africa's innings when play was stopped play for 27 minutes. The players remained in the middle through the delay and play resumed at 10 pm, with security personnel lining the boundaries. However, a third wave of bottle-throwing two overs later forced the players to leave the field and resulted in a 24-minute hold-up until police cleared the section of the crowd causing the disruption.

 

When the match finally resumed most of the policemen lining the boundary could be seen watching the match, rather than facing the crowd as is the standard procedure for stadium security personnel.

 

Headline: South African women postpone Bangladesh tour.

Article from:  Various reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 5 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1657-8110.

 

South Africa's womens side have postponed a planned tour of Bangladesh later this month citing security concerns.  The move comes in the wake of the killing of two foreigners in the South Asian nation, and follows the Australian men’s team’s decision to call off their two-match Test series in Bangladesh after official security warnings (PTG.  The South Africans were to have arrive mid-month to play five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.

 

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said Cricket South Africa had wanted a security plan for the women’s team. “They wanted a security report but we thought it would be better to speak face-to-face in Dubai during the International Cricket Council’s quarterly Board meeting” which begins in Dubai on Friday.  Hassan said the series was “temporarily postponed by mutual consent” and he hoped it could still go ahead soon. “We also need to know what type of security plan they have in mind”, he added.

 

Hassan said measures to tighten security should have satisfied any safety concerns, telling reporters in Dhaka that while many countries face such terror threats, “it never stops cricket”.  Around the same time Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi criticised Australia’s decision to call off their Bangladesh tour, saying that while security was paramount, tours should “not be cancelled over minor issues”.  

 

“Security is paramount but tours should not get cancelled over minor issues”, continued Afridi. “Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka should show some unity and counter these security fears as we have suffered a lot with international teams not coming to Pakistan”.  Afridi also commended Bangladesh’s decision to send their women’s team to Pakistan (PTG 1655-8096, 3 October 2015).

 

Headline: ‘No chance’ for Pakistan-India series, says security advisor.

Article from:  Agence France Presse.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Tuesday, 5 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1657-8111.

 

Pakistan's National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz today ruled out a potential cricket series against India, saying he saw no chance of a revival of ties between the arch-rivals under "the current situation”.  Aziz's remarks come with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) awaiting a final response from their Indian counterparts on a series due to be played in December-January in United Arab Emirates (PTG 1647-8060, 17 September 2015).  

 

Aziz told Pakistani media in Islamabad: "I see no chance of cricket between Pakistan and India under the current situation”.  "We need to make [the] situation favourable for cricket and other things”  “[The PCB] is in contact with Indian officials on cricket so they are in a better position to tell the exact situation but I am not very hopeful".

 

India agreed to play six Test series with Pakistan between 2015-2023 after the PCB agreed to reforms to the International Cricket Council (ICC) last year which gave hefty powers, and revenues, to cricket's big three: India, Australia and England.  But all the series were subject to clearance from the respective governments.

 

India called off most sporting fixtures between the two countries after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which were planned by militants in Pakistan, though they did play a limited-overs series in 2012.  Relations between the South Asian nuclear rivals are near their lowest ebb, marred by continued violations along their de facto border this year and the cancellation of talks between national security advisors in August.

 

PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan has said he hopes a meeting with Indian counterparts on the sidelines of an ICC meeting in Dubai this week will settle the matter.

 

Headline: Court hands Srinivasan issue back to BCCI.

Article from:  Various reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 5 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1657-8112.

 

The Indian Supreme Court yesterday said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was free to decide whether its former president Narayanaswami Srinivasan was still in a conflict of interest situation.  Last January, the Court barred Srinivasan from the BCCI’s president’s position because of his then dual role as a co-owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a situation that led to the abandonment of a BCCI Working Committee in late August, and the postponement of its 2015 Annual General Meeting (PTG 1655-8095, 3 October 2015). 

 

In its January judgment the Court held that "no one who has any commercial interest in the BCCI events shall be eligible for contesting the elections for any post whatsoever”.  The Court said yesterday that: "On the day we pronounced the judgment [in January, Srinivasan] had a conflict of interest. You [BCCI] will have to take a view on whatever happened after that.  You are free to stick to that [view] and if you stick to that we are not saying you are wrong, we are also not saying you are right”.

 

Describing the application for clarification by the BCCI on as "misconceived", the court said, "We don't see any need for man clarification as [the January judgment] is self-explanatory and does not suffer from any ambiguity”.  While refusing to issue any clarification on the plea by the BCCI on the status of Srinivasan, the bench however, said that if Srinivasan was aggrieved by the any of the board's views, he could raise it before an appropriate court.

 

Appearing for the BCCI, senior counsel K K Venugopal told the court that "restructuring" India Cement's control of the CSK franchise and the formation of a new company named CSK Ltd and its subsequent transfer to a trust was a "sham transaction" and Srinivasan continued to be in a situation of conflict of interest.  "Srinivasan continues to be subject of disqualification on account of his continued state of conflict of interest", Venugopal asserted.

 

Political leader Subramanian Swamy, who appeared at the hearing “representing the public interest of millions of cricket lovers”, told the Court that the two-year ban on the CSK by the Supreme Court appointed Justice R.M. Lodha committee was "arbitrary and reckless”.  The Court was not impressed with that a argument though, one of the Justices saying: "Mr Swamy you can't be more loyal to Srinivasan than he himself is”. 

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,658

  Wednesday, 7 October 2015

 

• Australia’s Fry named for Test debut [1658-8113].

• CA reprimands batsman for using 'non-compliant' helmet [1658-8114].

• Pakistan off-spinner’s action attracts report [1658-8115].

• Former international umpire on Cairns’ witness list [1658-8116].

• Match officials for US ‘All-Star series yet to be named [1658-8117].

• New president bars Srinivasan from BCCI meetings [1658-8118].

• Historic Mumbai grounds safe from Metro construction, says rail official [1658-8119].

 

Headline: Australia’s Fry named for Test debut.

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 7 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8113.

 

Adelaide-based Simon Fry will become the 481st person to stand in a Test, and 92nd Australian, when he takes the field in the second game of the two-Test series between Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Colombo two weeks tomorrow (PTG 1649-8067, 22 September 2015).  For Fry, 49, who is in his eleventh year as a member of Cricket Australia’s (CA) National Umpires Panel, the Test will be his 75th first class match on-field, games that include a record six-straight Sheffield Shield finals (PTG 1537-7401, 18 March 2015).

 

A member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) since 2010 (PTG 618-3097, 8 June 2010), Fry has in his career to date, worked as the television umpire in Tests on three occasions, and been on-field in 91 List A fixtures, 23 of them One Day Internationals and another four CA domestic finals, plus 47 Twenty20 fixtures, 8 being internationals and another 6 in this year’s Indian Premier League series. 

 

Awarded an Australian National Officials’ Scholarship in 2011 (PTG 730-3588, 22 February 2011), CA sent Fry on exchange to New Zealand in 2010 to stand in first class games, then South Africa in 2011 and India in 2012, and named him as its ‘Umpire of the Year’ in both 2014 and 2015 (PTG 1542-7416, 26 March 2015).  The ICC appointed him as a neutral umpire to lower-level internationals in Canada 2013 and the Under-19 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in 2014, then senior fixtures as a neutral in Sri Lanka in 2014, the World Cup earlier this year, and Zimbabwe two months ago (PTG 1587-7653, 8 July 2015).

 

The Australian, who comes from the same umpire’s association as former ICC Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) members Daryl Harper and Steve Davis, becomes the second umpire to make his Test debut this year after that of West Indian IUP member Joel Wilson, 48, who did so in the series between Bangladesh and South Africa in July (PTG 1585-7641, 6 July 2015).  Such appointments suggest that the ICC has decided to look at how a new generation of potential EUP members perform at Test level, and that Sri Lankan IUP member Ranmore Martinez, 48, who was given 7 Tests over the two years to April this year, may no longer be in contention for an EUP spot (PTG 1574-7564, 23 June 2015).  

 

Of the 10 umpires before Fry who have made their Test debuts over the last five years, six of them, Chris Gaffney of New Zealand, Bangladesh’s Enamul Haque, Australians Paul Reiffel and Bruce Oxenford of Australia, Englishman Richard Illingworth and Martinez, played at first class level before turning to umpiring, with three of them, Enamul Haque, Reiffel and Illingworth, also playing Test cricket.  

 

The last two debutants before Fry, Gaffney and Wilson, each made their debuts at the game’s highest level in their 31st first class game, while for Enamul Haque it came in his 40th, both Sundarum Ravi of India and Reiffel their 49th, Oxenford his 54th, Shavir Tarapore of India his 64th, then comes Fry's 75th, Illingworth's 95th, and Martinez's 127th.  Of the last ten Test debutants only five, Gaffney, Oxenford, Ravi, Reiffel and Illingworth, have so far gone on the join the EUP. 

 

While none of the current members of the EUP appear to face an age-related departure from that panel in 2016, the allocation of Tests to Wilson and Fry by the ICC further reminds the current 12 EUP incumbents that their on-going performance is continually under review. 

 

Fry, the first Australian to make a Test debut since now EUP member Reiffel three years ago (PTG 966-4698, 23 July 2012), will be working in the coming series in Sri Lanka with EUP members Richard Illingworth of England, Rod Tucker of Australia and Marais Eramus of South Africa.  Another Australian David Boon will be the match referee for the series.  Illingworth and Erasmus will be on-field for the first Test in Galle next Wednesday with Fry the third umpire, the latter going to stand in the second in Colombo with Tucker supported by Erasmus as the third umpire.

 

Headline: CA reprimands batsman for using 'non-compliant' helmet.

Article from:  CA web article.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 6 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8114.

 

Western Australian opener Shaun Marsh has become the first player to be reprimanded for failing to wear a helmet compliant with Cricket Australia’s (CA) new 'State Equipment and Apparel Regulations’ which came into force this month.  Marsh, who made a century in Western Australia’s loss to South Australia in Monday's opening round of CA’s one-day domestic series, was reported for the style of helmet he opted to wear, which fell foul of the new regulation. 

 

CA said in a statement that its new regulation requires: “all Australian and State contracted players to wear a helmet compliant with the British Standard – BS7928:2013 ‘Specification for head protectors for cricketers’ ”, a standard that is sometimes referred to as the ‘British tick’. That requirement was introduced as a result of an International Cricket Council (ICC) directive for Member countries to adopt the British Standard as the new international standard for helmets.  CA informed its players in August that the rule would be applied from the beginning of the 2015-16 austral summer.

 

Players were advised they could either be provided a compliant helmet by CA, otherwise the manufacturer that provided their equipment had to provide one. A compliant helmet is identified by a sticker on the helmet and umpires standing in CA matches this season, in the case of Marsh’s match, Phillip Gillespie and Mike Graham-Smith, are undertaking random compliance checks.  Given it was Marsh’s first offence in the past 18 months, he was offered and accepted a reprimand from match referee Stephen Bernard.  

 

The current British Standard the ICC and CA refer to does include a requirement that the newly designed clip-on guards that better protect the back of a batsman's neck be fitted.  In July, a media report suggested CA was set to make all first-class players in that country wear the clip-on guards (PTG 1598-7738, 22 July 2015), an innovation Australian opener Chris Rogers claimed saved him from serious injury when he was struck behind the ear in an Ashes Test (PTG 1600-7759, 24 July 2015).  After seeing Rogers struck then Australia captain Michael Clarke decided to upgrade to a helmet with the clip on guards (PTG 1605-7790, 29 July 2015).

 

Angus Porter, the chief executive of the UK Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), or players union, expressed the view in August that the ICC's lack of leadership in enforcing world-wide minimum safety standards on helmets “seems bound to increase the chances of avoidable tragedy” (PTG 1618-7877, 13 August 2015).

 

August also saw CA survey umpires Australia to obtain their their views about the extent of their vulnerability to ball strikes and to understand the "optimum level of protective gear" they believe they should wear (PTG 1613-7840, 7 August 2015).  CA’s match officials manager Sean Easy said at the time the survey was part of broader research that involved umpires from other countries.  In the same month the England and Wales Cricket Board’s 25 Full List first-class umpires were reported to be examining protective gear, including for the head, heart and back of the neck, which could be worn during the 2016 northern summer (PTG 1631-7965, 30 August 2015).  

 

As yet no publicity has been given to either the findings that flowed from CA's survey, or the status of the investigations being conducted by ECB officials.

 

Headline: Pakistan off-spinner’s action attracts report.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 6 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8115.

 

Pakistan's Bilal Asif has joined the long list of bowlers reported over the last 12 months for a suspected illegal bowling action.  The off-spinner was 

cited by on-field umpires Jerry Matibiri and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, third umpire Russell Tiffin and match referee David Jukes, following the third and final One Day International (ODI) of the series against Zimbabwe in Harare on Monday.  

 

Bilal, 30, who played only 11 first-class matches before making the senior national team and was playing only in his second ODI, took five-wicket wickets, a feat that saw him named ‘man-of-the-match’.  An International Cricket Council (ICC) media release says he is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of that examination are known.

 

Since July last year, a number of offspinners, including Sohag Gazi, Saeed Ajmal, Prosper Utseya, Sachithra Senanayake, Kane Williamson and Tharindu Kaushal, as well as bowlers who use other styles, have been reported and tested for suspect actions by the ICC.

 

Headline: Former international umpire on Cairns’ trial witness list.

Article from:  Various reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 6 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8116.

 

Former international umpire Steve Davis of Australia, who retired from the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) top Elite Umpires Panel in June (PTG 1560-7502, 3 June 2015 ), is reported to be one of around 15 witnesses who will give evidence, some via video-link, during the London perjury and perverting the course of justice trial of former New Zealand player Chris Cairns (PTG 1647-8063, 17 September 2015).  Just what aspect of the court’s proceedings Davis will be asked to provide evidence on is not clear.

 

In addition to Davis, a number of players have been listed as witnesses, including the former and current New Zealand captains, Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum (PTG 1656-8104, 5 October 2015), former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, Kiwi players Shane Bond, Andre Adams, Mal Loye and Kyle Mills, and current New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White. Other witnesses are said to include "ICC officials and a doctor” and former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent who pleaded guilty to corruption charges last year and was handed a life ban from cricket (PTG 1384-6691, 2 July 2014).

 

Cairns and his barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland, who is accused on one count of perverting the course of justice, appeared in the dock at Southwark crown court for the first time on Monday in a case that could last until mid-November.  The charges, which both the accused deny, relate to a 2012 civil action against Lalit Modi, the founder of the Indian Premier League. Modi was sued by Cairns after accusing the former NZ all-rounder of match-fixing via ’Twitter' in 2010 and Cairns, who captained the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League in 2007 and 2008, won £90,000 ($A192,000) damages and legal costs against him.

 

Cairns is accused of perjury in the Modi defamation case, namely that he “wilfully made a statement in that proceeding which he knew to be false, namely that he had never, ever cheated at cricket and nor would he ever contemplate such a thing”.  He and Fitch-Holland are accused of an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice in that they “arranged to approach [Vincent] with a view to his providing a false witness statement in support of [Cairns’] libel action against [Modi]”, and “induced [Vincent] to provide a false witness statement during a ‘Skype' conversation”.

 

Headline: Match officials for US ‘All-Star series yet to be named.

Article from:  Wall Street Journal.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 6 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8117.

 

More than two dozen of the world's most well-known former players will play Twenty20 matches at Major League Baseball stadiums in New York, Houston and Los Angeles in the week from 7-14 November.  Players named to date include Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Michael Vaughan, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, and Mahela Jayawardene, however, Leverage Agency, the sports and entertainment firm which is organising what is being called the 'Cricket All-Star Series’, is yet to indicate who the umpires and scorers will be for the three games.

 

The three baseball stadiums are being converted into a cricket stadium for the purpose with the help of "a pitch specialist" from New Zealand.  Pitches are "crafted in Indianapolis” for games Warne says would be highly competitive.  "To make history in America playing these cricket games--myself and Sachin walking out and tossing the coin in New York will be a pretty epic moment”, he said.  Tendulkar was quoted as saying: "We want to leave an impression behind. That's what we are here for--to entertain people, to leave great memories behind and get them excited about some quality cricket”.  

 

No further news has surfaced of a proposal reported in June of a series of exhibition matches that were proposed for such countries and places as Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emiratesover a three-and-a-half-year period to promote the game (PTG 1575-7571, 24 June 2015). 

 

Headline: New president bars Srinivasan from BCCI meetings.

Article from:  Cricket Country.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Tuesday, 6 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8118.

 

Shahshank Manohar, the new president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reported to have informed India's Supreme Court that the board has barred its former president Narayanaswami Srinivasan from attending any meeting as the administrator still suffers a “conflict of interest”.  On Monday, the Court said that the BCCI was free to decide whether Srinivasan was still in a conflict of interest situation (PTG 1657-8112, 6 October 2015). 

 

Headline: Historic Mumbai grounds safe from Metro construction, says rail official.

Article from:  NDTV.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Tuesday, 6 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8119.

 

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has dismissed concerns that its new suburban rail route across the city will gobble up cricket grounds.  MMRC managing director Ashwini Bhide told reporters that "only a few" cricket pitches and matches at the famed Oval Maidan and the historic Azad Maidan, which have some 20 and 22 pitches respectively, would be relocated temporarily whilst railway construction activities are underway.

 

According to Bhide: "A few cricket pitches at Azad Maidan will be shifted and we are working with the sports department to ensure that the majority of cricketing activities continues undisturbed”.   Her response came after a campaign by Mumbai's cricket community that expressed apprehension that the game's activities would be severely hampered and both the grounds would be usurped by the Metro rail corridor.

 

"The Oval Maidan is spread over nine hectares, and the Metro corridor will require a temporarily area of around 0.39 hectares, or four percent at the northern end for a period of 3-4 years only. Thereafter, it will be restored and returned. Since the plot required is very small, there is no likelihood of causing any hurdles in cricket activities there”, said Bhide.  Similarly, the Azad Maidan measures around 20 hectares of which 3.27 hectares, or 16 percent, will be used for Metro work.  The MMRC will permanently retain 1,000 square metres at Azad Maidan after works have been completed.

 

When ready the new line is expected to carry around 1.4 million commuters daily.  It will link 12 educational complexes, 11 major hospitals, 11 "employment clusters", and Mumbai's domestic and international airports.  Estimates are that it will also reduce nearly half a million vehicle trips and save an estimated 250,000 litres of fuel daily.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,659

  Thursday, 8 October 2015

 

• Black Caps positive after initial test of pink ball [1659-8120].

• CA congratulates Test debutant [1659-8121].

• Five to manage Pakistan-England Test series [1659-8122].

• Match officials named for Zimbabwe-Ireland-Afghanstan ODIs [1659-8123].

• Court told: ‘Cairns was repeatedly involved in match-fixing' [1659-8124].

• Australian players report ’suspicious approaches' [1659-8125].

 

Headline: Black Caps positive after initial test of pink ball.

Article from:  New Zealand Herald.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Thursday, 8 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1659-8120.

 

Black Caps wicketkeeper BJ Watling is keen to learn more about the new pink ball when they test it in match conditions at Seddon Park in Hamilton over the next two days (PTG 1651-8078, 25 September 2015).  Following Wednesday night's training session, Watling spoke positively about the team's initial impressions of the pink ‘Kookaburra' ball, which they will use in the inaugural day-night test against Australia in Adelaide late next month.

 

The side were put through their paces with the new ball, working under lights to examine how it comes out of the night sky and assessing the degree of movement through the air and off the bounce.  "The boys were pretty fizzed tonight. They were excited to get out here at 8.30 pm which is a new time to train for us so it was very exciting and the boys are looking forward to quite a big occasion in Adelaide”, said Watling.

 

Watling described the ball as “"very bright. You could see the ball quite easily. It's just going to take a bit of getting used to catching it from the black sky and trying to get used to seeing it from a white sight screen.  It felt pretty similar to what a white ball does in a black sky. You sort of lose a depth of perception, especially tonight.  It did look like it sort of swung a bit, a little bit of wobble, but again I think Adelaide will be a different temperature so I don't know how much it will affect it. Its six degrees [Centigrade] in Hamilton, it's fresh but it's going to be different again in Adelaide”.

 

The Black Caps bowlers will have their first use of the ball today when their 15-man side plays a non-competitive match against a composite selection that includes fringe players.  "There will be a few factors that we'll have to take into consideration but we're still reasonably upbeat about it and it's a new challenge and something exciting for the boys to look forward to”, continued Watling.  "So a little bit to get used to, but I'll find out a lot more tomorrow during the game and during the different phases of the day”.

 

Headline: CA congratulates Test debutant.

Article from:  CA web posting.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Thursday, 8 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1659-8121.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) congratulated Test debutant Simon Fry in a posting on it web site yesterday (PTG 1658-8113, 7 October 2015).  CA Head of Cricket Operations Sean Cary said: “We congratulate Simon on his appointment to make his Test debut officiating in the Sri Lanka-West Indies series this month.  Simon has worked incredibly hard and consistently since he made his first class debut 13 years ago, and this is reward for his dedication and persistence". 

 

"Officiating at international level is an elite environment, with less than 100 Australian umpires making their Test debut”, continued Cary.  “In Simon’s extensive career, his commitment to improvement and professionalism has been recognised by his peers, as well as players. Off the cricket field, Simon is a keen contributor and is generous with his time to mentor emerging umpires. We wish Simon all the best for his Test debut”, concluded Cary.

 

Headline: Five to manage Pakistan-England Test series.

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 7 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1659-8122.

 

Five match officials from four countries have been named to manage the three Test series between Pakistan and England in the United Arab Emirates over the next four weeks.  Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe will be involved in all three fixtures as the match referee, his umpires being Australians Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel, Indian Sundarum Ravi and New Zealander Chris Gaffney.

 

The two Australians will be on-field in next Tuesday’s opening Test in Abu Dhabi, Ravi being the third umpire, it will be an Oxenford-Ravi combination for the second in Dubai with Reiffel the television official, before Gaffney comes in to stand with Reiffel in the third Test in Sharjah with Oxenford moving to the third umpire position.

 

Headline: Match officials named for Zimbabwe-Ireland-Afghanstan ODIs.

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 7 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1659-8123.

 

Indian Javagal Srinath and South African Johan Cloete have been named as the neutral officials for the three One Day Internationals (ODI) Zimbabwe and Ireland are to play in Harare over the next week.  Srinath will oversee the series as the match referee, while Cloete will be on-field in each match, the first and third with Zimbabwean Russell Tiffin, and the second with Jerry Matibiri.  It would appear Langton Rusere will not make his ODI debut during the series as he has been listed as the third umpire for all three games, however, that milestone may well occur soon when Zimbabwe plays Afghanistan.

 

The Zimbabwe-Afghanistan series, which consists of five games and will be played in Bulawayo during the last half of this month, will see English umpire Nigel Llong move to within two matches of becoming the sixteenth umpire to have stood in 100 ODIs.  Long, who will be on-field in all of those games with either Tiffin, Matibiti and Rusere, will work under South African match referee Devdas Govindjee, a member of the ICC’s second-tier Regional Referees Panel.  Just which of the three locals will stand with Llong, or work as the third umpire in each game, has not yet been announced. 

 

Headline: Court told: ‘Cairns was repeatedly involved in match-fixing'.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Nick Miller.                          

Published: Thursday, 8 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1659-8124.

 

Former New Zealand player Chris Cairns lied on oath about his involvement in the corrupt world of gambling, prostitutes and match fixing in last decade’s Indian Cricket League (ICL), a London court was told on the opening day of his trial on Wednesday.  Prosecutor Sasha Wass QC told the jury he will demonstrate Cairns "had been involved in cheating at cricket, or match fixing, for some time – and when he denied it, he was lying to the court on oath”.  Wass said that “several umpires”, amongst them former Australian international Steve Davis, are to give evidence during the trial that they suspect match fixing by players during the time Cairns was playing the game (PTG 1658-8116, 7 October 2015).

 

The prosecutor told the jury Cairns believed he deserved a "piece of the pie" and reduced some games to almost farcical levels in order to win crooked money through "spread betting”.  Wass said the jury of four men and eight women would hear evidence that: Cairns targeted players on his Chandigarh Lions [ICL] team to help him fix matches, instructing them when to play badly and when to get out; he bullied younger players in the team to go along with the plan, saying they would "never play cricket again" if they didn’t; he offered then ICL player, now New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, up to $180,000 (in an unspecified currency but believed to be US dollars) a game to work for Cairns”, an offer McCullum declined.

 

Wass also stated that a second player, former New Zealand player Lou Vincent, who was banned for life from cricket last year (PTG 1384-6691, 2 July 2014), agreed to deliberately underperform in several games on Cairns' instruction in exchange for $US50,000 a match, and that former Australian captain Ricky Ponting remembered being with McCullum during a phone conversation in which Cairns made "a business proposal" to McCullum, at the time Cairns was allegedly trying to recruit McCullum into match fixing.

The prosecutor went on to say that another New Zealand player, Chris Harris, remembered two "peculiar" games, including one in April 2008 when Cairns hit a simple catch which was then dropped, and followed it up by going for "a silly run" in which he was run out.  The Chandigarh wicketkeeper then came in and unexpectedly scored with enthusiasm, winning the game for Cairns' team. Cairns was "far from pleased", said Wass.  New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond recalled another game in October 2008 when Cairns was noticeably disappointed when his team won.

 

Headline: Australian players report ’suspicious approaches'.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Jon Pierik.                          

Published: Wednesday, 7 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1659-8125.

 

Australia's cricketers took advantage of an opportunity to provide information on suspicious approaches in a bid to help the sport rid itself of a potentially sinister underbelly.  Cricket Australia (CA) introduced an amnesty through October and November last year, allowing international and state players to report any corruption-related issues without the fear of impunity (PTG 1452-7036, 22 October 2014).  Players face bans of up to five years if it's discovered they have failed to report any suspicious behaviour.  

 

CA will not provide specifics on the information provided, but a spokesman said: "Our integrity unit was pleased with the response to the amnesty. The process was confidential and therefore details of anyone that was forthcoming with information cannot be disclosed”.  Players had self-reported any suspicious behaviour before the amnesty, detailing approaches on local and international shores. It's understood there was no suggestion any Australian player had been involved in attempting to organise any questionable behaviour.

 

Many Australians take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a  competition which has been mired in corruption claims. Two franchises, the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, have been banned for the next two years from the IPL after officials were found guilty of betting on matches (PTG 1625-7935, 22 August 2015).

 

CA does not have any plans to introduce an amnesty again this season, but a hotline remains in place.  "Not only does the hotline provide players, coaches and officials with an additional channel to report integrity issues such as corruption or doping activities, but it also provides the public with a simple and easy opportunity to report such integrity issues to CA”, the spokesman said.

 

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption chief, recently said corruption will never leave cricket, but authorities had to persist in erasing threats such as match and spot fixing (PTG 1650-8071, 24 September 2015).  Twenty20 competitions remain particularly susceptible to the threat of corruption with CA, which established its integrity unit four years ago (PTG 861-4207, 17 November 2011), beefing up its overall protocols last year under security manager Sean Carroll and integrity manager Iain Roy. This included turning to bet monitoring company, Sport radar. There are estimates the sports betting market is worth about $A3 trillion annually, of which cricket contributes about 10 per cent.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,660

  Saturday, 10 October 2015

 

• Bizarre run out sparks debate [1660-8126].

• Major sponsor working with BCCI to resolve IPL 'concerns' [1660-8127].

• CA releases initial WNCL, Futures League, appointments [1660-8128].

• Black Caps in the pink [1660-8129].

 

Headline: Bizarre run out sparks debate.

Article from:  Cricbuzz.

Journalist: Vedam Jaishankar .                          

Published: Friday, 9 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1660-8126.

 

Can a run out be more freakish than Sreevats Goswami's on the first day of the Ranji Trophy match between his side Bengal and Karnataka in Benglaru on Thursday? The Bengal batsman's dismissal triggered heated discussions that resonated through the KSCA stadium. It must have been the most perplexing dismissal of the left-hander's career.

 

Goswami, who turned out for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League a few seasons ago, walked in to bat in the fifth over of the first class game at a time when Karnataka's medium-pacers were getting the ball to dart around and decided to take his stance outside the batting crease.  During his eight ball, eight minute, innings he would often step out to the medium-pacers to throw them off the length that helped them swing the ball.

 

Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar countered it by deploying a silly mid-off, hoping that it would discourage the batsman from stepping out.  However, Goswami was undeterred and as he ventured out one more time opening bowler Vinay swooped on the ball on his follow-through and threw it towards the stumps. Goswami's bat was grounded in the crease, but the ball struck the bottom of the bat, forced it off the ground and crashed into the stumps, with Goswami's bat in the air.

 

On an appeal from Karnataka, on-field umpires Nitin Menon and Pashchim Pathak asked third umpire Virender Sharma for advice and he declared Goswami run out, for there was no part of his body or bat grounded in the crease when the stumps were knocked down. Heated discussion around the fairness of the decision raged through the afternoon. While some believed that the appeal should have been withdrawn, others felt that the umpires went by the Law by declaring the batsman out.

 

To those who go by the spirit of the game, it must be pointed out that if the ball which ricocheted off the bat had sped to the boundary instead of crashing into the stumps, the batsman would have gleefully taken the four overthrows.  Hence, they shouldn't get selective, however bizarre the run out might seem.

 

Headline: Major sponsor working with BCCI to resolve IPL 'concerns'.

Article from:  Reuters.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Friday, 9 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1660-8127.

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is confident it can address the concerns of one its main Indian Premier League (IPL) sponsors ‘Pepsi' amid local media reports the global food and beverage giant wants to end its title sponsorship of the scandal-hit IPL.  Cricket lords over other sports in India and teams in the IPL, with an estimated brand value $US3.5 billion ($A4.8 bn, UK2.3 bn), and ‘Bollywood' stars and major conglomerates such as Reliance Industries as investors.

 

'Pepsi' bagged the IPL title sponsorship rights in 2012 for five years (2013-17) for 3.97 billion Indian rupees ($US61.31 million), almost double that of original IPL sponsor DLF, India's biggest listed property developer, which paid for the rights from 2008-12.  The Twenty20 league has been dogged by corruption allegations for years and in July a panel set up by India's top court recommended suspending the franchise owners of two teams for two years following an illegal betting and spot-fixing scandal.

 

The BCCI and and 'Pepsi’ said in a joint statement issued on Friday that they "have had a longstanding cordial relationship and have been in discussions to work out a solution which addresses Pepsi's concerns, [something] both parties will share [publicly] when ready”.  The statement gave no further details on the specific issues at stake.

 

IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told reporters on Friday: "We are in constant contact with them. We are working out a solution. We are addressing their concerns and they are addressing our concerns.  I think talks are going on in a very cordial relationship. They have been our long-standing partners. So I don't think there will be any problem and we will work it out”.

 

Meanwhile, the BCCI's all-powerful Working Committee has been scheduled for Sunday week in Mumbai and is set to be a crucial one with many issues confronting the Cricket Board.  The earlier Working Committee meeting in late August was adjourned after deciding to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court on whether Narayanaswami Srinivasan could attend the meetings of the BCCI as the authorised representative of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA)

 

In other moves, new BCCI president Shashank Manohar has shifted the organisation’s treasury office from Chennai to Mumbai, and made the BCCI constitution available online on the board's official website, changes that were amongst the promises he made after taking charge. A Mumbai-based firm has been engaged as the BCCI’s internal auditor, replacing a Chennai financial company which has links to Srinivasan’s TNCA. 

 

Headline: CA releases initial WNCL, Futures League, appointments.

Article from:  CA appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                  

Published: Saturday, 10 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1660-8128.

 

Sydney-based Cricket Australia (CA) Development Panel (DP) member Claire Polosak, Tasmanian state umpire panel member Wade Stewart, and Adelaide-based former Australian international umpire Steve Davis, are in Brisbane this weekend for opening matches matches in CA’s 50-over format Womens’ National Cricket League (WNCL).  Polosak and Stewart are each standing in three matches, while Davis will oversee the same number of fixtures.

 

The three are amongst 12 match officials named for the first nine games of the WNCL season, which are being played in semi-tournament style (PTG 1589-7669, 10 July 2015), six in Brisbane and the other three in Perth. Rob Dunbar, Queensland Cricket’s Umpire Development and Support Manager is, like Davis, working as the match referee in three of the Brisbane games, with former Test umpire Terry Prue undertaking the same role in the Perth fixtures.  Data available on-line about Davis’ career makes no mention of him having previously worked as a referee.

 

Other umpires standing Brisbane games are locals Ben Farrell and Murray Branch who each have two matches to look after, while Donovan Koch and Jayvan Roddick-Collins will be on-field in one each.  In Perth James Hewitt, Nathan Johnstone and Todd Rann each have two matches.

 

As well as this year’s national men’s Under-19 series in six weeks (PTG 1609-7827, 3 August 2015), CA has also appointed Koch to a four-day State Second XI, Futures League, fixture in Mackay later this month between Queensland and Tasmania with DP member Damien Mealey, Dunbar being the match referee.  Healey had been appointed to this month’s CA senior men’s one-day matches, however, reports suggest he had to withdraw from that series.

 

Two other DP members, Simon Lightbody and Tony Wilds are being flown to Perth for another Futures match between the home side and Victoria which will be played at the same time, CA Umpire High Performance Panel member David Talalla being the referee.  South Australian umpires Cory Black and Luke Uthenwoldt will be on-field when their home state’s side plays New South Wales in Adelaide. 

 

Meanwhile, Victorian Daryl Brigham and Trent Steenholdt from Western Australia (PTG 1655-8097, 3 October 2015), were selected to stand in this year’s final of Cricket Australia’s men’s Under-17 National Championship series played in Brisbane on Thursday.  

 

The pair were amongst ten umpires appointed to the tournament (PTG 1622-7912, 19 August 2015).  If other final game appointments are taken as a guide, Tasmania’s Darren Close and Keiran Knight of New South Wales were rated third-fourth during the tournament, Hennie Boates of WA and Andrew Crozier of the Australian Capital Territory fifth-sixth, Queenslander Ben Farrell and Harvey Wolff of Tasmania seventh-eighth, and Cory Black from South Australia and NSW’s Mark Nickl ninth-tenth.

 

Headline: Black Caps in the pink.

Article from:  Australian Associated Press

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Saturday, 10 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1660-8129.

 

New Zealand’s cricketers are getting to grips with the new pink ball as they prepare for their historic day-night Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval next month.  The Kiwis are playing a practice game under lights at Seddon Park in Hamilton as they adjust to life with the new Kookaburra ball.

 

However, despite suggestions the ball may prove difficult, spin bowler Mark Craig had no worries with the way it was behaving. “It’s a matter of the boys just getting used to it and adjusting”, Craig said yesterday.  “This is what these two days are all about — finding out different ways of using it and how it reacts under the lights.”

 

Craig had no concerns about the visibility of the Kookaburra at twilight, suggesting it was similar to the white ball used in one-day internationals. “Obviously with it being the first of its kind, everyone is in an even playing field and these two days here are crucial, building into what will be an awesome series.”

 

The Black Caps will also get a chance to use the pink ball in a two-day warm-up game against an Australian XI in Perth in the week between the second and third Test matches.

 

Craig can’t wait to take on the world champions in their own back yard.  “We’re very excited to get over there and take those boys on in their home conditions. It’s going to be incredibly tough”.  The Black Caps leave for Australia in ten days and begin their tour with a one-day match against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra three days later.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,661

  Tuesday, 13 October 2015

 

• Helmet ‘probably’ saved my life, says Morgan [1661-8130].

• Indian team management complains about Indian umpire [1661-8131].

• London court told of ICL match-fixing [1661-8132].

• Sri Lankan official being probed by ICC [1661-8133].

• Slow over-rate fine for South Africa [1661-8134].

• Association reported for security breach [1661-8135].

• Umpires reluctant to call suspect actions? [1661-8136].

• ICC seeks ball tracking support for WT20 series [1661-8137].

 

Headline: Helmet ‘probably’ saved my life, says Morgan.

Article from:  Sky Sports.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Monday, 12 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8130.

 

England one-day captain Eoin Morgan says that his helmet “probably" saved his life when he was hit on the head by a bouncer delivered by Australian Mitchell Starc in a One Day International at Old Trafford last month (PTG 1649-8070, 22 September 2015).  Morgan was struck on the side of head by a ball that was clocked 90 mph and led to him taking no further part in the match due to concussion.

 

The Ireland-born player told Sky Sports: "I feel incredibly lucky, considering the position I was in.  The medical staff were excellent in dealing with the situation. I am now fully fit and raring to get back into it.  The ball hit the softest part of the helmet but the helmet did its job and probably saved my life. But there was no way I could have batted on”.

 

Headline: Indian team management complains about Indian umpire.

Article from:  The Hindu.

Journalist: Vijay Lokapally.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8131.

 

Indian team management has lodged a complaint against home umpire Vineet Kulkarni for what it believes have been a number of poor decisions, all of them LBW-related, he has made during the current series against South Africa.  The Indians were convinced Kulkarni let off Jean-Paul Duminy twice in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Dharamshala nine days ago (PTG 1656-8103, 5 October 2015), and more recently erred in judging both Faf du Plessis and Shikhar Dhawan not out in Sunday's first One Day International (ODI) at Kanpur. 

 

Standing in his seventh T20I, Kulkarni turned down left-arm spinner Axar Patel’s appeal for leg-before when Duminy was on five with South Africa needing 96 runs off 48 balls.  Later, when Duminy was on 33 and South Africa needed 43 off 23 balls, Kulkarni signalled two leg-byes as Bhuvneshwar Kumar vehemently appealed when the South African left-hander missed an intended flick. With two ‘lives’, Duminy pulled off a dramatic last-over victory for South Africa. 

 

At Kanpur on Sunday the Indians were livid when Kulkarni, in his 18th ODI match since debut in 2009, upheld Morne Morkel’s leg-before shout against Shikhar Dhawan, who was in firm control as India attempted to chase 304 to win.  The Indians were upset at the umpire giving the batsman out despite Morkel coming round the wicket. The Indians, who lost by five runs to trail 0-1 in the five-match series, also believed that they had du Plessis first ball. 

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, which is opposed to the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), is now under pressure to have a rethink following such incidents when its team ends up a loser due to errors by home umpires.

 

Headline: London court told of ICL match-fixing.

Article from:  Agence France-Presse.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Monday, 12 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8132.

 

Former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent told a London courtroom on Monday that he had helped to fix matches under “direct orders” from his captain, Chris Cairns (PTG 1659-8124, 8 October 2015). Speaking at Cairns’ perjury trial, Vincent, 36, said that Cairns persuaded him to take part in match-fixing, and promised him $US50,000 per game to under-perform while they were playing for the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008. Vincent said that he continued to fix matches after leaving the Chandigarh side, before confessing to the cricket authorities in 2012.  He was banned for life from the game last year (PTG 1384-6691, 2 July 2014).

 

Headline: Sri Lankan official being probed by ICC.

Article from:  NDTV.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Monday, 12 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8133.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has launched a probe into a top Sri Lankan official suspected of involvement in match-fixing.  Jayananda Warnaweera, curator of the Galle International Stadium, is under investigation by the ICC's anti-corruption unit, according to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Prakash Shaffter.

 

Sources say the anti-corruption investigation had been going on for nearly a month, but SLC was only formally told on Friday. Pending the probe Warnaweera, who resigned from the SLC's board last week, is barred from taking part in the Test match between Sri Lanka and West Indies which is due to get underway at the Galle stadium on Wednesday.  Shaffter said: "We requested him to refrain from performing any functions for the foreseeable future and he acceded to our request”.

 

Warnaweera was not immediately available for comment, but official sources said he did not turn up for questioning by ICC investigators. Details of the alleged wrongdoing were not known.  Sri Lankan players and umpires have been accused of match fixing in the past, but this is the first time a senior official has been accused of such an involvement.

 

Headline: Slow over-rate fine for South Africa.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Monday, 12 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8134.

 

South Africa has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its victory in the opening game of the One Day International (ODI) series against India at Kanpur on Sunday.  Match referee Chris Broad imposed the fine after AB De Villiers’ side was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. De Villiers was fined 40 per cent of his match fee, while his players received 20 per cent fines.  

 

The Proteas captain had previously been found guilty of minor over-rate offences on two occasions in the past 12 months, that being in Perth last November as well as in this year's World Cup, and as a result he served a one match suspension during the first ODI against Bangladesh in July.  Sunday's censure means he is now on notice about another potential suspension should he transgress again in the next 12 months.

 

De Villiers pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction so there was no need for a formal hearing.  The charge was laid by on-field umpires Aleem Dar from Pakistan and Vineet Kulkarni of India, plus the latter’s countrymen, third umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin and fourth umpire Anil Dandekar.

 

Headline: Association reported for security breach.

Article from:  The Hindu.

Journalist: G. Wiswanath.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8135.

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) has reported the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) for violating rules that bar unaccredited people from entering the players and match officials area during BCCI matches.  The ACSU says former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin was in the area with DDCA vice-president Chetan Chauhan during the final day of the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Vidarbha at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Sunday.  Several players, who were reportedly unaware of the rule, went towards Azharuddin and greeted him. 

 

A BCCI match referee told 'The Hindu' that the ACSU is very strict and follows International Cricket Council match-protocol for the board’s domestic matches.  “The players and match officials are accredited and their photographs are displayed at the entrance of the dressing room and match officials’ room. Only very few officials of the association are given accreditation. If anyone wants to meet the players, even if it is a selector, he has to approach the ACSU officer. He either accompanies the visitor to the player or official concerned, or brings them to meet the visitor”, he said.

 

Fifteen years ago, the BCCI banned Azharuddin for life, linking him to a match-fixing scandal, and barred him from any cricket activity under its jurisdiction.   Though the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the ban in 2012 (PTG 1017-4945, 10 November 2012), the BCCI has not done so.  BCCI sources say Azharuddin, who played 99 Tests, is keen to see the life-ban lifted by Indian cricket authorities. 

 

Headline: Umpires reluctant to call suspect actions?

Article from:  Colombo ’Sunday Times'.

Journalist: Marlon Fernandopulle.                          

Published: Sunday, 11 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8136.

 

Two of Sri Lanka’s leading schoolboy players who have been included in the national Under-19 squad for the current tour by their Pakistani counterparts and next year’s U-19 World Cup, are reported to have suspect bowling actions.  One was reported by match officials following the first three-day game against the Pakistanis in Hambantota last week, while the second who is playing in the second match of the tour, re modeled his action after being reported last year, however, sources doubt he will pass scrutiny. 

 

What is surprising and shocking is both these players have claimed heaps of wickets playing for their respective schools and been instrumental in their respective teams' recent successes. However umpires at school level have turned a blind eye to date on their actions, permitting them to continue to torment opposing batsman with illegal deliveries.

 

Only last week at a Division One school’s first XI match between two leading Colombo schools, an off spinner who took four wickets, and whose action was believed to be suspect, continued to bowl as the officiating umpires preferred to ignore the bowlers action. However, the coach of the opposing party who were the hosts, videoed the action and showed it to his visiting counterpart after the game.  The latter had a close look at the video and accepted the fact that his off spinner has a suspect action. 

 

Why the officiating umpires refrained from reporting the suspect bowling action is a mystery! Is it due to an old boy of the school holding a position in the Umpires Committee, and if the bowler is reported the umpires’ immediate future will be in disarray?!

 

With the commencement of the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket first XI and Under-13 tournament's in full swing the number of bowlers being reported with suspect actions has increased rapidly. Reliable sources claim the number, which stood below 100 at the end of last season, has today reached the two hundred mark. “The situation is alarming as the number of illegal bowling actions are on the rise”, a source added.

 

In August, International Cricket Council's Richard Dunne visited Sri Lanka to conduct a series of workshops to educate local umpires on suspect actions (PTG 1626-7942, 24 August 2015). However, certain umpires are reluctant to report certain bowlers although their action is suspected to be illegal, especially at the first XI level.  This is mainly due to the immense pressure put on umpires by coaches and sometimes by school old boys and parents.

 

It is up to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to come down hard on the matter and save Sri Lanka’s next generation of Cricketers.  SLC should think in terms of suspending these umpires and coaches, if not this problem will only continue to grow and ruin the game both locally and internationally.

 

Headline: ICC seeks ball tracking support for WT20 series.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Monday, 12 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1661-8137.

 

The International Cricket Council called on Monday for proposals from companies to supply and manage ball tracking technology for next year's World Twenty20 (WT20) Championship which will be held in India in March-April.  The successful company is expected to have a proven track record in supplying and managing ball tracking services for international cricket and sufficient resources to provide all the necessary services, including equipment, installation, production and operation, and adequately trained personnel.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,662

  Wednesday, 14 October 2015

 

• Taufel to quit ICC post, claims report [1662-8138].

• Coach, players suspended for season over social media posts [1662-8139].

• ‘Most people have watched a rigged game’, says Vincent [1662-8140].

• ECB junior bowling restrictions 'counter productive’, claims club [1662-8141].

• Seven named to manage Under-19 WC Qualifier [1662-8142].

• Australian players pledge $A20 million towards game’s growth [1662-8143].

• Northants looking at £250,000 Council loan [1662-8144].

 

Headline: Taufel to quit ICC post, claims report.

Article from:  The Hindu.

Journalist: G Viswanath.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1662-8138.

 

Former Australian international umpire Simon Taufel will leave his position as the International Cricket Council (ICC) Umpire Performance and Training Manager at the end of this month, say sources close to him, although the ICC is keen to avail itself of his expertise via a revised job description.  Taufel, 44, won the ICC's ‘Umpire of the Year’ award for five years in a row from 2004008 and ttook up his current job after the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in 2012 (PTG 995-4833, 27 September 2012).  

 

The Australian, who has been associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) umpire programs since 2006, will be at the Board’s Umpire Academy in Nagpur late this month to run a two-day program for the BCCI’s fresh batch of umpires who passed examinations this year. He will also run a two-day program for Umpire Educators at Nagpur after that.

 

Taufel had an excellent rapport with Indian umpires and he could be largely credited with recognising the excellent work of Sundarum Ravi that led to the Indian being promoted to the ICC’s top Elite Umpires Panel (EUP)this year.

 

Editor’s note:  The article does not provide any details as to why Taufel is leaving his position and the ICC is yet to confirmed the veracity of the story.  There are indications though that Taufel and former EUP member Steve Davis will be the on-field umpires for the three-match ‘Cricket-All Stars’ series to be played in the United States next month, current EUP member Marais Erasmus from South Africa being the third umpire (PTG 1658-8117, 7 October 2015).

 

Headline: Coach, players suspended for season over social media posts.

Article from:  Manningham Leader.

Journalist: Michael Randall and Megan Hustwaite.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1662-8139.

 

The captain-coach of a cricket club in Melbourne’s east and four of his players have been suspended from playing for the entire season over a closed Facebook chat group that featured comments critical of their league.  Doncaster Cricket Club’s (DCC) Sam Noble told a Melbourne radio station he was slapped with the ban, along with a suspended sentence covering next season, by the Box Hill District Cricket Association (BHDCA) after the league discovered the Facebook page.  

 

While Noble would not reveal what the comments were he admitted in the radio interview they could have been construed as sexist and likened it to what he called "pub chat”.  "There were a lot of profanities, and some of it was a bit crass, as blokes sort of do away from the eyes of the public, sitting around at a mate's place”, said Noble.  “It was just a lot of blokes sitting there egging each other on as to trying to get a bit of a laugh out of it”.  The closed discussions went public when someone took a screenshot of the messages and distributed them (PTG 1615-7862, 10 August 2015).

 

Noble claimed the BHDCA did not follow due process before issuing the ban over a "social media breach”, however, he has been allowed to continue coaching, a position he says leaves him confused over the suspension process.  “So I can coach but I can’t play. I would’ve thought if you’re suspended you’re suspended and that’s what’s baffled me, with no paperwork to say what I’ve actually breached, just an e-mail sent to our president saying I was suspended”.

 

Calling the BHDCA’s handing out of the “hefty suspensions” an “over reaction”, Noble said he didn't know why they weren't warned to remove the Facebook first.  "We're sitting in limbo, we've already missed one game and, by the sound of it, we'll miss at least another one before we can even have a right of reply or anything like that”.

 

Editor’s note”  The BHDCA says in a message posted on its web site on Tuesday after the above story was published that “two appeals against the severity of the sentences” have been received and an appeals board is being assembled to hear them next week.  

 

It goes on to state that those involved have been charged with “one or more of the following offences”: “unauthorised use of the BHDCA name”; “foul language”; “accusations of impropriety by, and abuse of, [the BHDCA management committee]”; “vulgar pictures”; “sexual innuendo”; and “defamatory statements made about the [patron of the BHDCA]”.  

 

The posting concludes with: “The Committee of Management takes seriously its obligations to protect the integrity and well-being of the competition, the Association brand and the Clubs, Players and volunteer administrators that make up the BHDCA”.

 

Headline: ‘Most people have watched a rigged game’, says Vincent.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Kevin Norquay.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1662-8140.

Chances are you have watched a fixed cricket match without realising: it's almost impossible to detect, recidivist fixer Lou Vincent has told Chris Cairns' perjury trial in London.  On a day when he changed his testimony and admitted sleeping with a prostitute a bookmaker had sent to him as a "present", Vincent also gave Southwark Crown Court a fascinating insight into match fixing (PTG 1661-8132, 13 October 2015).

 

If the game was live on TV and there was betting on it, there's a higher chance the fixers were at play, particularly if it was in India, he said.  "The average person watching a game - no one could tell. It's very hard to detect.  In a Twenty20 game a batsman can change the course of a match by under performing - not going for his shots, picking out the field, getting run out needlessly.  It's virtually impossible to fix a match as an individual”, Vincent told the court.

 

Rather than engineer the result, which is difficult, players fix brackets of games - batting slowly for a set number of overs so that those in the know can bet on a certainty.  Vincent helped fix matches in India and English County matches where he played for Lancashire and Sussex (PTG 1377-6660, 19 June 2014).  It was at Sussex he had a change of heart, and went back on a pre-arranged fix with an Indian bookie. "He requested me to spot fix over a three-over period where he wanted the team to score 14 runs”.  Vincent changed his mind and gave a signal that the fix was off, strode to the pitch determined to do well - and was bowled first ball.

 

He learnt the art at Chandigarh while playing in the now defunct Indian Cricket League in 2008, saying his then captain Cairns introduced him to fixing matches by under performing (PTG 1385-6704, 3 July 2014).  At the time he was afflicted by depression so the fix instructions had to be kept simple, he told the jury.  After telling the trial he wanted to come clean about his match fixing - which he alleges Cairns got him into - he altered his story on the prostitute under cross examination by Orlando Pownall, QC.  He said she was a "present" used as match fixing bait by a bookie.

 

Hours earlier, he had given the court the impression - by omission of detail - he had not slept with her.  He had not lied, he had omitted that detail from his report to the International Cricket Council on the incident to protect his then wife, he said.  The first witness called, Vincent was in the dock the whole day, as he is likely to be for most of Tuesday.

 

His evidence is crucial to the case, in which Cairns faces criminal charges carrying a maximum of six years' jail.  It traversed the dark underbelly of match fixing, where results or scoring rates are rigged in advance so those in the know can cash in.  It also took in Vincent's personal woes, his battle with depression after being dropped from the Black Caps in 2007 and his use of cannabis and anti-depressants.

 

Cairns has said he had never instructed Vincent or anyone else to under perform at cricket. Vincent has admitted he did cheat at cricket and is serving a life ban from the sport for doing so (PTG 1384-6691, 2 July 2014). 

 

Headline: ECB junior bowling restrictions 'counter productive’, claims club.

Article from:  Bradford Telegraph and Argus.

Journalist: Bill Marshall.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1662-8141.

 

The Bolton Villas Cricket Club, a Division Three member of Yorkshire's Airedale and Wharfedale Senior Cricket League (AWSCL), have suggested the league do away with the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) bowling restrictions for juniors.  That and a number of other proposals are to be discussed at the league’s Council meeting this week.

 

Bolton Villas view is that the limits set for young bowlers are “counter productive” and "limit a junior's development rather than assist, and make games contrived and they also penalise clubs attempting to develop juniors”.  They say in a submission to the AWSCL: "Ditch ECB bowling regulations on the basis that if we are not to be an ECB Premier League then what can they do?"

 

The club is also in favour of scrapping fielding circles, which were trialled during the 2015 season at first-team level only.  According to them they are of "little value, a frippery and one more job for hard-pressed volunteers”.  However other clubs, Bilton and Tong Park, Ilkley and Steeton, want fielding circles extending to second-team cricket.  Among the suggestions received by the league are that clubs be only obliged to provide drinks, rather than full teas.

 

Meanwhile, the league's management committee want all clubs to send at least one new umpire to the Airedale and Wharfedale Umpires' Association close-season course, and that they should then stand in at least ten league or cup matches next season.  All clubs whose umpires fulfil this criteria will receive a £50 ($A104) one-off discount on league subscriptions for 2017, while clubs who fail to comply will have a £50 increase in their subscriptions.

 

Headline: Seven named to manage Under-19 WC Qualifier.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1662-8142.

 

Seven match officials from six countries are to manage the 12-match Under-19 World Cup Qualifier series which will be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, over the next 8 days.  The teams competing in the event are the runners-up from five International Cricket Council (ICC) regions: Ireland (Europe), Nepal (Asia), Papua New Guinea (East-Asia Pacific), Uganda (Africa) and USA (Americas).  The winner of the tournament will take the final remaining place in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh next January-February.

 

Graeme La Brooy from Sri Lanka, a member of the ICC’s second-tier Regional Referees Panel will oversee the event, while Singapore’s Sarika Prasad, a long-time member of the world body’s third-tier Associates and Affiliates International Umpires Panel, will be there as a “mentor umpire”.  They will work with umpires Tabarak Dar and Ian Thomson from Hong Kong, Vinay Kumar of Nepal, Afghanistan’s Ahmad Shah Pakteen and Kalidas Viswanadan from Malaysia.  Dar was born in Pakistan and Thomson in Australia.

 

Headline: Australian players pledge $A20 million towards game’s growth.

Article from:  Sydney Daily Telegraph.

Journalist: Carly Adno.                          

Published: Wednesday, 14 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1662-8143.

 

In an unprecedented move, 100 of Australia’s elite cricketers have joined together to pledge $A20 million (£UK9.6 m) towards the growth of cricket in the country.  The funds are being allocated through the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) to help the game at grassroots level, support past players and develop further opportunities for female cricketers.

 

Alistair Nicholson, ACA chief executive, says it’s all about the players putting something back into the game.  “We got all the first-class cricketers who are in [Sydney] for [Cricket Australia’s (CA) one-day domestic series] and the Australian [national squad] camp to come along to promote a couple of programs that the guys have contributed to”.  

 

According to Nicholson: “There’s the past player program, which has come out of the World Cup fund where past players can contribute clinics, and the second program is a number of state of the game initiatives to create cricket pathways. It’s the current players giving back to past players and helping grow the game”.

 

Nicholson says the players, along with Cricket Australia and ACA, are enthusiastic about working together to help the sport grow.  The money will be provided over a number of years, with the first payment being $A4 million (£1.9 m), followed by $A6 million (£2.9 m).

 

Editor’s note:  Just how the $A20 million “pledge” fits with the ACA’s Premier Cricket Program (PCP) (PTG 1566-7531, 12 June 2015), which the ACA says has received $A1 million (£479,000) in funding from "the current male playing group” for the 2015-16 season, its first year, and across how many years the $A20 million will be spread, are not clear.  The ACA has indicated that 101 of its members "are [currently] participating [via the PCP] across 85 Australian Premier Cricket clubs - 42 of which were not in playing or coaching roles with their club last season” (PTG 1616-7867, 11 August 2015).  

 

Headline: Northants looking at £250,000 Council loan.

Article from:  Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1662-8144.

 

Northants County Cricket Club could be given a loan of £250,000 ($A521,000)  by Northampton Borough Council (NBC) to “help it get back to a financially sustainable position”, it has been announced.  The plans, put forward by the Conservative administration at the borough council, will be discussed at a meeting next Wednesday at the Guildhall.  The loan would be part of a wider package of measures the club is organising as part of their changing business plan.

 

An NBC spokesman said: “The cricket club’s business plan shows that the loan would be repaid within five years. The council would initially only loan the Club up to £100,000 ($A208,500), with an additional £150,000 ($A312,500) available if more support is needed”.

 

Councillor Mary Markham, leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “Later this month we will look at providing financial support to help the Cricket Club get back onto a stable footing. With over a century of tradition the Cricket Club is one of the oldest still playing in the County Championship, and a big part of life in Northampton". 

 

“However, cricket is changing and that means the Club must restructure off the pitch if they are to have a future on it. A secured loan, as part of a larger financial package, would help the Club to make the changes it needs to. They have set out a strong business case that shows how they know what changes are needed and how they could quickly repay the loan”.

 

Leader of the NBC’s Labour Group, Councillor Danielle Stonec said: “I have no problem giving the Cricket Club a secured loan as we want to see it succeed in the future. Cricket is incredibly popular in the town and the wider county. However, the council admits this loan is help the cricket club ‘get back to a back to a financially sustainable position’. “The borough council must be very careful to remember the lessons of the loan to [local football club] and ensure those mistakes don’t happen again in this case. After all they said [the football club] had a strong business case”, said Stonec.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,663

  Friday, 16 October 2015

 

• Team manager fined for ‘inappropriate’ umpire comments [1663-8145].

• ICC confirms Taufel departure, negotiations for ‘alternative role’ [1663-8146].

• Post-ban bowler fined ‘150 per cent’ of match fee [1663-8147].

• NZ Major Associations open to private investment [1663-8148].

 

Headline: Team manager fined for ‘inappropriate’ umpire comments.

Article from:  Various media.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 16 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1663-8145.

 

Indian team manager Vinod Phadke has been fined 40 percent of his match fee for making "inappropriate comments" about an umpire during the hosts' ongoing series against South Africa, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.  Vinod Phadke told a website that his team was unhappy with Vineet Kulkarni, an Indian member of the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, and that he was going to complain about him in his report at the end of the series.

 

The ICC said in a statement that: "Phadke pleaded not guilty to the charge and as such match referee Chris Broad conducted a formal hearing after the match”.  India were unhappy about decisions that went against them during the first Twenty20 match between the sides at Dharamsala and during the first One Day International in Kanpur. India lost both matches (PTG 1661-8131, 13 October 2015). 

 

Headline: ICC confirms Taufel departure, negotiations for ‘alternative role’.

Article from:  Various.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 16 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1663-8146.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed the resignation of Simon Taufel from his Umpire Performance and Training Manager (UPTM) position but says it is “in negotiations” with him in "regard to a possible alternate role within the organisation” (PTG 1662-8138, 14 October 2015).  That situation suggests Taufel may well have been in somewhat of a hurry to depart, but if that is the case just what the reasons were, and what his future in the game might be after next month’s ‘All Stars’ series in the United States, remain to be seen.   

 

An ICC spokesman has been quoted in the Indian media as saying Taufel "has been in [the UPTM] position for three years and now probably wants to try something new.  He has put in his papers, but we are speaking to him. Discussions are on to keep him on board in some capacity. His last working day is 31 October but we are hopeful that he will be with us in some other capacity after that too”.

 

The UPTM job, which currently has three Umpire Coach positions under it, was essentially created for Taufel by the ICC after he decided, at the age of just 41, that it was time to end his on-field career; primarily he said at the time and well before that, because of the large amount of time he was spending away from his family (PTG  988-4800, 4 September 2012).  The ICC wanted to retain his expertise then just as it obviously does again now.

 

Just prior to taking up the UPTM role, Taufel acknowledged that setting up an international training and performance architecture from scratch would, in the short to medium-term, "be challenging for all involved” (PTG 1009-4902, 27 October 2012).  The complex task of establishing a coordinated, high-quality training and development system for international umpires across the ten Test playing counties, and have it reflected down into national systems, was indeed a challenge, and while much is still to be done, it did result in some impressive outputs (PTG 1417-6843, 22 August 2014).   

 

The question now is what the ICC will do to ensure its umpire performance and training group continues with its work from here, something that will obviously not become clearer to the world body until Taufel responds to its current overtures, what ever they may be.  One job the Australian seems likely to continue with though is the umpire training role be plays with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, an organisation and nation with which he clearly enjoys a special relationship.  

 

Headline: Post-ban bowler fined ‘150 per cent’ of match fee.

Article from:  Express Tribune.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Thursday, 15 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1663-8147.

 

Former Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Aemer has been fined “150 per cent” of his match-fee for his behaviour during a qualifing match for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first class series between his Sui Southern Gas Company side and their opponents Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) this week.  Aemer is reported to have engaged in “repeated” verbally sledging of PIA batsmen, especially Test batsman Faisal Iqbal, taunting him on his alleged backing by his legendary uncle Javed Miandad. 

 

Faisal eventually responded to Aemer's taunts by hitting a ball to the boundary and then shouting "go away thief” to the bowler, a reference to his conviction, jail term and ban following a spot-fixing incident during a Test at Lord’s in 2010  (PTG 1631-7971, 30 August 2015).  A Pakistan Cricket Board official told journalists that Aemer had “first been fined 50 per cent of his match-fee for misbehaving, and then an additional 100 per cent for his a spat with Faisal”.  The batsman was in turn “warned” about his comments.

 

Meanwhile, in another incident, State Bank of Pakistan team manager Zaheer Ahmed has been been fined 75 per cent of his match fee for failing to prove charges of ball tampering against Mohammad Irfan of the Khan Research Laboratories side in another Quaid-e-Azam Trophy played in Lahore.  Irfan in turn lost half of his match fee after he was involved in a heated argument with players and officials when umpires Ahsan Raza and Imtiaz Iqbal decided to check the condition of the ball.

 

Headline: NZ Major Associations open to private investment.

Article from:  New Zealand Herald.

Journalist: Andrew Alderson.                          

Published: Monday, 12 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1663-8148.

 

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has signed off participation agreements with the country’s six Major Associations (MA), Auckland, Canterbury, Central Districts, Northern Districts, Otago and Wellington, which allow up to 49 per cent investment from shareholders in any one province (PTG 1357-6460, 22 April 2014).  No such investment is imminent but it presents an option which may allow MAs to operate more profitably, as NZC looks to financially future proof itself.  

 

The architect of the revamp has been David Cooper, NZC's general manager of domestic cricket, who said the agreements: “set a framework for the competitions and clear roles for NZC and its licensees, particularly around private investment. It protects the game's future”.  

 

Talk about overhauling the domestic game stretches back to 2012. In-depth negotiations began in April 2014 but took a hiatus during the build-up and hosting of the World Cup.  The move will supplement the overall master agreement, including scheduling, between the NZC, MAs and New Zealand Cricket Players' Association until midway through 2018.

 

In addition, that deal encompasses each format of the game being locked into separate windows each season. There will also be an increased focus on promoting and marketing the domestic game and the centralisation of naming rights and uniform branding with NZC, who are deemed better placed to leverage revenue and absorb the risk of finding sponsors.

 

The invitation to third-party investors was initially met with mixed reaction (PTG 1331-6427, 10 April 2014). Some associations, like Canterbury, were open to investment; others like Auckland were reluctant (PTG 1356-6548, 19 May 2014).  The latter’s chief executive Mark Cameron said they had overcome those concerns which essentially amounted to wanting a measured discussion rather than rushing into change.

 

"We're pleased with the documents which effectively formalise what we already do. But we must get the product right first. T20 needs to be more marketable. We appreciate the opportunity may exist [to take on investors], but we're going into it with caution. For instance, attendance still has a way to go to present a product an investor might be happy with, [but] you don't sell you house until you've painted it”.

 

There was also a view the three NZC competitions (four-day, one-day and T20) played a subservient role as development vehicles for the New Zealand team, rather than operating as their own entities in a competitive sports market for disposable entertainment dollars up against the likes of Super Rugby, NRL league, netball's ANZ championship and basketball's ANBL.  MAs also recognised the absence of the lucrative Champions League T20 series (PTG 1593-7702, 16 July 2015), might mean less interest in broadcasting T20 cricket without the lure of attending an annual international televised event as incentive.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,664

  Sunday, 18 October 2015

 

• Zimbabwean banned for racist tirade [1664-8149].

• Politician’s helicopter stops play [1664-8150].

• Victorian pair fined for on-field indiscretions [1664-8151].

• Kulkarni’s future ‘on the line’, claims BCCI source [1664-8152].

• CA seeking fairer deal for female players [1664-8152].

 

Headline: Zimbabwean banned for racist tirade.

Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Liam Brickhill.                          

Published: Saturday, 17 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1664-8149.

 

Zimbabwe batsman Mark Vermeulen has been banned from all cricket by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) after it emerged that he had engaged in a racist tirade on social media during which he referred to black Zimbabweans as "apes”.  Although Vermeulen subsequently deleted the comment, a screenshot eventually made its way into the public sphere, again via social media. 

 

ZC, which did not indicate just how long the ban is for, said in a statement on Friday that "Racism is abominable and there can be no defence for it.  Mark Vermeulen has been banned after he owned up to repulsive remarks that reflect racism, prejudice and plain ignorance. We find Vermeulen's Facebook comment distasteful and unacceptable, particularly for a senior sportsman who should have learned from playing in Zimbabwe and abroad that there is no place for racism in sport”.

 

Vermeulen issued a statement which read in part: "I know my comments were over the top and I apologise to all that I have offended.  But as a cricketer, it's how our minds work... It was not meant in a menacing way. It was just a chirp that often happens out on the field of play and as men, you take the blow on the chin and get on with the game”.

 

Behavioural and disciplinary issues have long been a problem for Vermeulen, with trouble surfacing as early as his high school days in Harare in the mid-1990s. He was banned from representing his school, Prince Edward High in Harare, for walking off with the stumps after being given out LBW and locking himself in the changing room.

 

In 2004 he was struck on the head by a bouncer delivered by India's Irfan Pathan at the Gabba.  The injury, which was similar to one he suffered the year prior to that, when he was struck whilst batting in the nets, required urgent surgery, after which Vermeulen's behaviour became increasingly erratic. 

 

He was banned from playing cricket in England for ten years after an altercation with some spectators during a club game and, most infamously, he burned down Zimbabwe's cricket academy in 2006 in retaliation for being overlooked by the national side.  He was acquitted of charges of arson in 2008 on the grounds that he had been suffering psychiatric problems, including partial complex epilepsy and impulsive behaviour disorder, ever since his injury in Australia.

 

Headline: Politician’s helicopter stops play.

Article from: The Express Tribune.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Saturday, 17 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1664-8150.

 

Twenty overs were lost from the first day’s play in a three-day match in the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Under-19 Inter-region tournament between Hyderabad and Quetta on Friday when the ground had to be cleared for the arrival of a helicopter.  The 83-over per day match was being dominated by the Hyderabadi bowlers leading up to lunch, but they weren’t able to resume as scheduled after that break because the ground was being prepared for the helicopter of Syed Qaim Ali Shah, the Chief Minister of Sindh, one of Pakistan’s four provinces.   

 

With the helicopter yet to arrive, local officials gave into pressure and allowed play to resume, but 25 minutes into the afternoon session proceedings were cut short when the aircraft arrived in the area.  The Chief Minister then travelled by car to attend a meeting, the helicopter remaining in the centre of the ground whilst he was away.  The game resumed for the second time after he returned and the aircraft departed.

 

Although, the district administration of Hyderabad owns the stadium, it was leased to the PCB in 2007. The stadium’s manager, Ali Jan Rajpar, expressed helplessness when asked why he could not stop the officials from using the ground for the landing.  Around a dozen vehicles were also brought on to the ground to receive the Chief Minister.  According to members of his entourage the stadium was used as a helipad for "security reasons". 

 

Headline: Victorian pair fined for on-field indiscretions.

Article from:  CA release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Saturday, 17 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1664-8151.

 

Victorians Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade have been fined for violating Cricket Australia’s (CA) code of player behaviour during the domestic one-day match against South Australia in Sydney on Friday, Finch loosing 70 per cent of his match fee and Wade 50 per cent.  

 

The pair were reported by umpires Mick Martell and John Ward for “using language that is obscene, offensive or insulting during a match”, incidents that both occurred following each player’s dismissal, Finch LBW and Wade ‘run out’.  Finch was also reported for “showing dissent at an umpire’s decision”.

 

Both players admitted the offences and each accepted match referee Steve Bernard’s proposed penalty of an official reprimand and their respective fines therefore no hearings were required.  Wade's fine came because as it was his second Level One disciplinary offence in the past 18 months, he having suspended for one game in last year’s competition when he broke a window with a water bottle after being dismissed (PTG 1451-7030, 18 October 2014).

 

Wade and Finch are the sixth and seventh players to be sanctioned during this season’s CA one-day series, joining teammate James Pattinson, Western Australian duo Shaun Marsh and Nathan Coulter-Nile, Queensland's Ben Cutting and South Australia's Alex Ross.  CA has not publicised the nature of their offences.

 

Headline: Kulkarni’s future ‘on the line’, claims BCCI source.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Saturday, 17 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1664-8152.

 

An unnamed Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has claimed that the future of Maharashtra umpire Vineet Kulkarni, a member of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) second-tier Elite Umpires Panel, rests with the kind of report ICC match referee Chris Broad writes about his performance, as well as a video review of his decision making. Indian team management has lodged a complaint against Kulkarni for what it believes have been a number of poor decisions, all of them LBW-related, in the on-going series against South Africa (PTG 1661-8131, 13 October 2015).

 

Kulkarni, 36, started as a scorer, made his first class debut just six years ago, and at Twenty20 International and One Day International in September 2012 and January 2013 respectively.  Last year, he was not assigned on-field duty in Ranji Trophy final despite his home state Maharashtra not qualifying for the final.  He is currently ranked as India’s top domestic match official, however, the rankings have not been updated as, according to a BCCI source: “There has been no BCCI Umpires’ sub-committee assessment meeting for the last two years”.

 

Meanwhile, the BCCI has started holding debriefing sessions of match referees and umpires after each of this season's Ranji Trophy first class matches.  A source said: "the two on-field umpire and TV umpire will sit with match referee and the match will be dissected [in order that those involved] get a first-hand report of his performance from the match referee”.

 

Headline: CA seeking fairer deal for female players.

Article from:  Sydney Sunday Telegraph.

Journalist: Jamie Pandaram.                          

Published: Sunday, 18 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1664-8153.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) will demand that male players dip into their payment pool to pay female players as part of the next collective bargaining agreement (CBA).  The 'Sunday Telegraph' can reveal that CA will not agree to form a separate memorandum of understanding (MOU) for female players — as demanded by the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) — unless the men also concede to splitting their lucrative share of the game’s money.

 

The development comes after revelations that of the $A70 million (£UK33 m) now in the players’ payment fund at present, not a single cent will be paid to female cricketers because they were not part of the last MOU agreed to in 2012.  But the ACA, which is refusing to give any of the $A70 million to female players, has hit back at CA saying they’re trying to change a signed deal halfway through.

 

ACA boss Alistair Nicholson said: “That $70 million is part of a revenue-sharing arrangement the male players made with CA, in good times that goes up and it can also go down, but right now CA have $A200 million (£UK94.2 m) on top of that. That’s money they have got that is based on the hard work of the playing group.  Secondly, it’s respecting the existing contract that the players have with CA. It was agreed to in 2012 and now we’re halfway through that agreement they’re looking to change that.  I am not sure if you’ll find anywhere else in the world an employer asking one group of employees to pay for another group of employees”.

 

CA is paying its female contracted players a total of $A2.26 million (£UK1.1 m), which it wants the ACA to take on from the players’ pool. If CA continues to pay out of its own funds, all of which is put back into the game, then it’s understood several development officers and coaches would need to be made redundant.  Negotiations between CA and the ACA will begin in coming weeks for the new CBA to start from 2017, and under the circumstances it will be tense at best.

 

Christina Matthews, the chief executive of the Western Australian Cricket Association, believes male players would be willing to part with some of their player pool cash.  “It would be interesting to know if the players who are playing now, if asked whether they’d be happy to give up $A2 million of that $A70 million to give the women a great increase, would support it — I would be very surprised if most didn’t.

 

Matthews says that she “understands the ACA’s point of view, they’re going into negotiations and they don’t want payments that have already been agreed to be decreased.  But I’m sure that in this instance an arrangement could be made for a one-off payment, on the understanding that it all starts with a new platform for an MOU if the parties can agree this is not a precedent”.

 

But the female players are not universally demanding the men dip into their own pockets.  Spin bowler Erin Osborne said while she’d love to cash in on some of the $70 million, she’d prefer not to do so at the expense of her male counterparts.  “I see where the men are coming from, they shouldn’t be responsible for funding our wages”, she said.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,665

  Monday, 19 October 2015

 

• Club wins protest over wrong coloured sight screens [1665-8154].

• Senior state umpire officials meet with CA Umpire Coach [1665-8155].

• CSK, RR escape ’termination', ‘Pepsi’ departs as IPL sponsor [1665-8156].

• 2015 ICC awards to be announced via press release [1665-8157].

• Brace yourself: a defence of the ‘doosra’ [1665-8158].

• Science helps Cook take the heat [1665-8159].

• Indian market focus behind car company’s ICC sponsorship [1665-8160].

• Cricket should be Olympic sport, says ECB chief [1665-8161].

• ‘Greeny yellow’ ball next on ICC agenda? [1665-8161].

 

Headline: Club wins protest over wrong coloured sight screens.

Article from:  Jamaican Gleaner.

Journalist: Tony Becca.                          

Published: Sunday, 18 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8154.

 

A limited overs match between Jamaica’s Melbourne and St Thomas Cricket Clubs played late last month had to be replayed because of the blue coloured sight screens at Melbourne Oval in suburban Kingston.  Melbourne won the game comfortably, however, St Thomas later protested to the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) that they had complained to the umpires and lost because of the colour, pointing to competition rules that state black screens should be used.  

 

Melbourne said that the sightscreen had nothing to do with the result, that they had used the particular colour before, including last season, and no other team had complained, that the JCA knew about it but did nothing and their silence indicated they agreed with the colour's use.  They also indicated it was difficult to get the black cloth needed to cover the sight screen, that other clubs had used a blue screen this season, and that St Thomas' protest came after the match had started.

 

JCA’s disciplinary committee threw out the St Thomas’ protest, but the club appealed the decision and the committee later ruled that the match had to be replayed.  Did Melbourne deserve to be penalised for using a blue instead of a black screen?  In the circumstances the answer is 'no' and it is no because of the JCA’s silence on the matter last season and again this season.

 

The matter has now been compounded by another controversy  The replay of the match that was ordered was scheduled for two Saturdays ago, but two days before that it was moved to the Sunday by the JCA, a move Melbourne protested.  Melbourne prepared its ground for the Saturday, provided lunch and turned up that day for the replay, however, St Thomas and the umpires turned up on Sunday!  Since then the JCA has ruled against Melbourne for their behaviour and awarded their opponents the game.

 

The blame rests entirely with the JCA for sitting by and twiddling their thumbs about the sight screen issue. In Jamaica, anything and everything goes. Administrators, and members of the JCA are mostly selfish people; they are concerned only about themselves and their own clubs or parishes. Everything, important or not, urgent or not, is done at their own pace and mostly at a slow pace, unless things are really urgent.

 

Headline: Senior state umpire officials meet with CA Umpire Coach.

Article from:  Sources.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Sunday, 18 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8155.

 

Cricket Australia’s (CA) newly appointed Umpire Coach Ian Lock is believed to have held a meeting with senior umpire trainers and managers from around Australia late last week.  Little information is available about just what was on the agenda for discussion, however, it would appear the focus was on ways to better standardise umpiring techniques, training, development  and reporting systems across the nation.

 

The meeting, which was apparently an initial scoping of ideas on an issue that is not without complexity, seems likely to have concentrated on the top three levels of CA’s umpiring pathway.  That starts with those chosen from Premier League club level onto state umpire panel groups, which in turn feeds CA’s second-tier Development Panel, then for those who have the ability,  to its top-tier National Umpires Panel.   

 

Headline: CSK, RR escape ’termination', ‘Pepsi’ departs as IPL sponsor.

Article from:  The Times of India.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Sunday, 18 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8156.

 

Suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) have escaped “termination" after the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Working Committee confirmed on Sunday that no long-term action will be taken against them (PTG 1625-7935, 22 August 2015).   The Committee met for the first time since it abandoned its last gathering seven weeks ago because of "lack of legal clarity” as to whether it was appropriate for former BCCI president Narayanaswami Srinivasan to attend (PTG 1630-7956, 29 August 2015).

 

The BCCI will now float tenders for two new franchises to take CSK and RR's place for next year's ninth edition of the Twenty20 league, a move that means in 2018, once CSK and RR serve the two-year suspension handed to them by a committee set up by India’s Supreme Court, the IPL will have 10 teams. 

 

In other major developments from Sunday’s Working Committee meeting, it was confirmed soft drink manufacturer ‘Pepsi' has cut ties with the BCCI by withdrawing as IPL title sponsors.  They will be replaced by Chinese mobile phone company ‘VIVO' will be the sponsors for the next two years. The terms and conditions are reportedly to be similar to that of Pepsi. 

 

The beverage giant had bagged the five-year IPL title sponsorship contract in 2012 by paying 3.96 billion Rupees ($A84.2 million, £UK39.6 m),  almost double of what DLF had paid for the previous five-year period, and was said to be keen to pull out of the deal due to issues that have brought the game into ‘disrepute’ (PTG 1660-8127, 10 October 2015). 

 

As part of their bid to bring in more transparency and accountability on financial fronts, the BCCI is to update the names of all former players and umpires who are receiving monthly pensions from it and place the details on its web site.

 

Headline: 2015 ICC awards to be announced via press release.

Article from:  Pakistan Observer.

Journalist: Bipin Dani.                          

Published: Saturday, 17 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8157.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) will announce the winners of its Annual Awards, including the ‘Umpire of the Year’ and ’Spirit of Cricket’ trophies, next month via a media release, rather than at an awards dinner, or via a television program as in the past.  The Awards, which were first presented in 2004, were made at a gala dinner each year from then until 2012, while those in 2013 and 2014 were television events.

 

In addition to the umpire and spirit awards, others to be announced include: the best players from Tests, One Day Internationals, Twenty20 Internationals, Women’s cricketer of the year, Emerging player of the year, and captain of the year.  Selections for most of them are made via panels made up of former players, cricket-writers and journalists who cast votes, while the winner of the umpires’ award has, in the past, been decided by a mixture of vote of the ten Test captains for the year and statistics of on-field performances.

 

Past ‘Umpire of the Year’ awards have been won by just four men, Australian Simon Taufel five times from 2004-08 (PTG 310-1619, 11 September 2008), Pakistan’s Aleem Dar over the three years from 2009-11 (PTG 831-4058, 13 September 2011), Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka in 2012 (PTG 991-4812, 16 September 2012), and Richard Kettleborough of England for the last two years (PTG 1460-7072, 15 November 2014).

 

From 2004-10 the ‘Spirit’ award went to teams, New Zealand winning it three times (2004, 2009 and 2010), England twice (2005 and 2006), and Sri Lanka also twice (2007 and 2008).  In 2011 the ICC changed it to an individual award when Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the recipients (PTG 831-4059, 13 September 2011), in 2012 it was New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori (PTG 991-4813, 16 September 2012), and in 2013 Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardena PTG 1253-6050, 14 December 2013) who had accepted the 2008 award on behalf of his team.  England seamer Katherine Brunt won it last year.

 

Headline: Brace yourself: a defence of the ‘doosra'.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Dean Jones.                          

Published: Sunday, 18 October  2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8158.

 

Saqlain Mushtaq was the greatest off-spinner I faced. "Saqy", as I call him, was the bowler who invented the "doosra", which is an Urdu term meaning "the other one", and Saqy I believe was the best bowler who ever used the delivery, which deceived many batsmen. Saqy delivered the ball with an off-break action but it spun like a leg-break. It was a magnificent delivery that was later used by great off-spinners such as Muthiah Muralidaran, Harbhajan Singh and a host of others.

 

But the doosra is under attack by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Bowlers around the world who are using the doosra as part of their arsenal are being cited by the ICC as bowling an illegal delivery (PTG 1653-8083, 30 September 2015). The ICC has received mountains of advice from scientists and bio-mechanists saying that the doosra cannot be bowled within the allowed 15-degree tolerance of a bowler's elbow.

 

Saqlain disagrees. When Muralidaran was cited for an illegal bowling action in 2004, the ICC thought it should do its due  diligence and check the actions from a cross-section of bowlers — from pacemen to leg-break bowlers — before it deliberated on Muralidaran's action.

 

The first bowler the ICC checked was Glenn McGrath. The immediate results proved that McGrath's arm extension was 10 degrees. The ICC was in shock, as were many others, as we all thought he had a magnificent, clean action. So the ICC Playing Condition was created that said a bowler's elbow action was not to surpass 15 degrees.  There are many people who suggest the limit should be pushed out to 20 degrees (PTG 1443-6985, 6 October 2014). Is it time the ICC took another look at what is "fair and not fair" with bowlers' actions?

 

I have no problem with the ICC direction going after bowlers with suspect actions. There seemed to be an epidemic of illegal actions around the world and the results have shown that. The ICC has directed umpires to report on actions and specify exactly what type of delivery they feel is illegal. In recent years bowlers who have been reported with suspect actions have recorded up to a staggering 50 degrees of bend in their elbow joints.

 

I have no doubt that the ICC is trying to protect the spirit of the game, but it seems to be just picking on the spinners (PTG 1418-6846, 23 August 2014). I faced a few fast bowlers in my time and when they bowled a bouncer it was definitely two yards faster and I'm sure it was with an elbow angle worse than 15 degrees.

 

Saqlain believes he took 30 per cent of his wickets with the doosra. As a boy he slept on the roof of a crowded building in Lahore where he learnt to bowl the delivery. He experimented with all types of deliveries, mainly practising with a ping pong ball.

 

To bowl the doosra, Saqy realised he needed strength in his fingers, forearms and shoulders. Technique starts from the ground up, and the bowlers'  feet when in delivery stride, have to be slightly open and the ball delivered by using a certain twist by the fore, middle and ring fingers. Interestingly, the thumb is not involved in holding the ball at any stage.

 

Some bowlers say the back of the hand should be shown to the batsman at release point while delivering the doosra, but this is not the way Saqlain bowled it. Saqlain's back of his hand was always pointed towards mid-wicket.  

 

He suggested that if the ICC has queries on bowlers then they should be allowed to use an elbow brace to stop elbows bending more than 15 degrees. Cricket purists say that bowlers should not be using an aid to deliver the ball, such as tape on their bowling hand or otherwise. I disagree with that theory.

 

Saeed Ajmal has been the best recent exponent of the doosra (PTG 1427-6896, 10 September 2014). I just wonder, instead of sending him to the salt mines, whether he can bowl with a brace on his bowling arm to help him keep within the conditions of what is a legal delivery. Sadly, we will probably never see him again and that is a shame as bowling the doosra is a real art and shouldn't be lost to the game.

 

Bowlers use braces on their knees, why not on their elbows? It was OK for Adam Gilchrist to place a squash ball in his left glove during the 2007 World Cup final to help his top hand have more control when driving. It has to go both ways. Why can't we create a blow-up device (similar to floats used by kids in the swimming pool) that can be placed over a bowler's elbow to help them bowl within the prescribed 15-degree allowance?

 

Bowlers are not getting much love from the ICC. With the flat tracks produced in Asia, the short boundaries and big bats, the bowlers seem to be not getting a fair deal. Umpires are all over bowlers on how they look after the ball because the batsmen don't like the ball reversing too much. Batsmen are smiling all the way to the bank with the reverse and switch hits. Restrictions on fielding men on the boundary ropes definitely help batsmen, too.

 

It is time the ICC took another look at what is a fair bowling action. Bowlers will be under further notice with new technologies soon to be introduced where dots are placed on elbows to measure actions during a match. There will be more precise measurements and better readings for the experts. One thing is for sure, once this technology is introduced, it won't be just the spinners who will be under attack as some fast bowlers will also be concerned.

 

Headline: Science helps Cook take the heat.

Article from:  The Times.

Journalist: Josh Burrows.                          

Published: Friday, 16 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8159.

 

While Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik was reportedly put on a drip after his marathon innings of 245 during the first Test against England in Abu Dhabi this week, England captain Alastair Cook came off the field, strapped on a layer of foam padding, put on a thick pair of gloves and headed back out to open the batting in temperatures approaching 38 degrees Centigrade. 

 

Between the first ball of the Test and the close of play yesterday evening, the England captain had spent 19 and a half hours under the beating desert sun.  According to Raph Brandon, the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) head of science and medicine, Cook’s ability to endure the conditions at least as well as Pakistanis raised in the 40 C heat of the Punjab is largely psychological. 

 

“The more you’re exposed to playing in the heat, the more your brain and body works out that you’re not going to die and that you can go out and perform OK”, said Brandon. “Back in the dressing room it’s about lowering your body temperature as quickly as possible. We’re not putting them in freezer rooms for half an hour — just an ice bath for a few minutes and an ice towel on the back of the neck” (PTG 1209-5821, 12 October 2013 and PTG 987-4796, 3 September 2012).

 

Preparation for recent tours to Asia has involved running or cycling in a heat chamber with the thermostat turned up. This year, however, the ECB’s scientists felt that a post-Ashes rest would be more beneficial. 

 

Centrally contracted players have annual sessions with dermatologists to check for signs of skin cancer and players also have personal hydration plans for electrolytes and water intake based on tests that measure the rate at which they lose salts and minerals in their sweat. The theory that Cook has a mystical ability not to perspire is, of course, mythical; as one of the fittest players in the team, he is likely to have a more efficient cooling mechanism than most. 

 

After 19 Tests in Asia, Cook’s average is more than 61. Barring calamity, he will finish the current tour to the United Arab Emirates with more Test runs in Asia than any batsman from a non-Asian country. To those who have seen him in training, this is not a huge surprise. According to Brandon: “He always gets good scores on the running tests and when he was in the academy at Loughborough, he always wanted to win the fitness tests and fitness challenges.  The whole team are easily as fit as rugby players, but probably not quite as fit as a top-level footballers”.

 

Unlike endurance athletes, the England players are not given prescribed meals before and after play, but Cook is unlikely to have enjoyed a fry-up this morning. Instead, he will have reapplied his suncream, re-marked his guard and started all over again.  Asked half-joking last night about the prospect of spending another day in the sun trying to beat his highest Test score of 294, Cook replied: “I’d take 295”.

 

Headline: Indian market focus behind car company’s ICC sponsorship.

Article from:  Economic Times.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Friday, 16 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8160.

 

Japanese motor company Nissan has signed an eight-year deal with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in an effort to improve its brand visibility and performance in the Indian market. The agreement with ICC, which runs through 2023, makes Nissan a global sponsor of cricket's international tournaments, including the World Cup, Champions Trophy and World Twenty20 Championship, as well as women's cricket, Under-19, and a range of qualifying events. 

 

Although officials were tightlipped about the size of the deal, they said it's "a double digit figure in millions of dollars and a big part of our marketing focus".  Roel de Vries, corporate vice-president and global head of marketing and brand strategy for Nissan said: "We are targeting a five per cent market share in India by 2020. We believe India is a strategic part of the automotive future and our future. This investment in cricket is big and a majority of the impact will be felt in India which shows our focus on India”.  

 

India is forecast to become the world's third-largest car market by 2020. Nissan has not faired well in India in recent months with a 58 per cent drop in sales in September alone.  

 

In other ICC news, its board has decided, as of next April, to double the prize money of the top-ranked Test team to $US1 million ($A1.3 m, £UK648,000) from its existing $US500,000 ($A688,000, £UK324,000), and also increase investment in women's cricket five-fold. 

 

A media release said: "The board approved an increased allocation of $US65 million ($A89.4 m, £UK42.1 m) as the prize money for the top-ranked Test sides and for men's and women's ICC events during the period 2016-2023. This represents a 41 per cent increase in the total prize money paid to players compared to the previous eight-year cycle. 

 

Also increased is the money available to the ICC's second-tier Associate, and third-tier Affiliate members from $US125 million  ($A171 m, £UK81 m) in the previous cycle to $US208 million ($A286.1 m, £UK134.7 m) for the period from 2016-2023.

 

Headline: Cricket should be Olympic sport, says ECB chief.

Article from:  London Daily Mail.

Journalist: Lawrence Booth.                          

Published: Sunday, 18 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8161.

 

Colin Graves, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has insisted cricket should be part of the Olympics, opening the way for the sport’s possible inclusion in the 2024 Games.  Graves’s predecessor Giles Clarke always resisted the move (ptg 1594-7704, 17 July 2015), arguing that the cost to English cricket of interrupting the summer schedule every four years was too high (PTG 1625-7930, 22 August 2015).

 

But Graves told 'Cricinfo: ‘I think it should be an Olympic sport in one format or another and I will be asking the board to support it.  He believes a short format version of the game could work at a future Olympic Games.  "I’m not saying Twenty20 is the way to do it: somebody might come up with something entirely different – a 10-over competition, who knows? (PTG 1644-8050, 13 September 2015). It’s about fitting it in to the schedule and the grounds, wherever the Olympics are held”.

 

If cricket were accepted into the Olympic fold, it would unlock millions of dollars of government funding for the sport in countries where it remains on the periphery (PTG 1630-7962, 29 August 2015).  But Graves’s ambition may need the support of the Indian board, who have shown no interest in cricket’s inclusion in the Games for fear of losing control of their star players’ image rights.

 

David Richardson, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has indicated that the ICC will hold further discussions on the possibility of cricket taking its place in the Olympics sometime in the future (PTG 1595- 7719, 19 July 2015).

 

Headline: ‘Greeny yellow’ ball next on ICC agenda?

Article from:  The Times.

Journalist: Mike Atherton.                          

Published: Monday, 19 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1665-8162.

 

The longterm solution to the problem of bad light curtailing finishes to Test matches, despite floodlights, could be the permanent use of a different coloured ball.  Acknowledging that cricket had a “problem”, Dave Richardson, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), told 'The Times' that the players’ reaction to the first day-night Test in Adelaide next month would have some bearing on whether a pink or yellow ball could be used throughout games in future.

 

England’s push for victory against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last week was frustrated ultimately by the umpires’ decision to come off for bad light before the scheduled end, despite the use of floodlights. No blame could be attached to the umpires, who followed the letter of the law and based their decision on the light meter reading taken the day before.  England refused to apportion blame, but there is no doubt that the finish was unsatisfactory for spectators and that the game has an image problem, something that the administrators have tried to address with little effect.

 

Following on from similar scenes at The Oval during the Ashes in 2013 (PTG 1180-5696, 27 August 2013), the ICC tried to persuade the players and coaches of all international teams to play on in artificial light that would be far from perfect but acceptable, only to be rebuffed.  “In the past, we have tried to say that if we are using floodlights then it should be good enough”, Richardson said. “Not perfect but good enough and we should able to persuade both teams to play to the end of the game. We tried to persuade countries after the 2013 Oval Test to play on regardless but we met with resistance. Teams haven’t accepted that. 

 

“Longterm we will probably end up with a pink or ‘greeny yellow’ ball so that we can play under floodlights. If the different coloured ball is good enough. We could also look to improve the quality of the floodlights. It causes trouble for the game. 

Where it doesn’t work is that the benchmark that the umpires set is for danger to the batsmen". 

 

"Usually, on the second or third day, say, the batsmen are happy to come off, but then on the fifth they are not. But only one side can win the game, then, so it’s not fair to move the goalposts. I acknowledge it’s a problem and we need to strive for a solution, but we are not there yet”.

 

Trevor Bayliss, the England head coach, refused to blame the umpires or use bad light as an excuse for England’s failure to wrap up the Test. “It’s part of the game”, he said. “We got one more over in than the day before. Everyone is aware of what the situation is, so right from the very start we knew we might not get the full allocation. If the shoe was on the other foot we’d probably be doing the same thing. That’s the way the game is these days. You can look at that or back to the first day when we missed a few chances”.

 

The Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC) World Cricket Committee, on which sit such luminaries as Steve Waugh and Mike Brearley, has long encouraged the game’s authorities to try day-night Tests with the use of a pink ball as a way of encouraging bigger crowds. To that end, the MCC and champion County have played day-night four-day games with a pink ball in Abu Dhabi since 2010 as a curtain raiser for the English season. 

 

Next month, New Zealand and Australia are set to make history when the first day-night Test match will be played in Adelaide with a pink ball.  While Richardson is not convinced that it will cure all Test cricket’s ills, and may not help crowds in the United Arab Emirates necessarily, the experiment will be keenly watched to see how the players fare with a different coloured ball that will be used both during daytime and under lights.

 

When the decision was made by Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket to agree to the experiment, the head of the New Zealand players’ association, Heath Mills, recognised the uncertainties about the pink ball and the possibilities for the game: “It’s fair to say our players are nervous about the day-night Test”, he said. “It’s uncharted territory and because of that there will be uncertainty and apprehension. However the players can see the bigger picture and the greater good it brings to all levels of the game”.

 

For now, there is no immediate solution and the problem could occur again in Dubai in the second Pakistan-England Test this week, where the light is likely to fade even more quickly as we move into the winter months. Nor, according to Richardson, should we expect a pitch that will offer much more pace than the one witnessed in Abu Dhabi, which Richardson described as “particularly disappointing”.

 

Despite this, the ICC has not contemplated taking the preparation of pitches away from the home authorities and into central control. “Preparing pitches is not an exact science and we have often seen some very good pitches in Abu Dhabi”,” Richardson said.  

 

He’s "more worried about the Dubai pitch coming up, to be honest, because no matter what the groundsman does he struggles to get pace into it because of the type of clay he has to contend with. Sometimes he leaves grass on it, but then the seamers have a field day and it is unlikely that Pakistan will want that.  We have tried to define what we regard as a good pitch at a curator’s conference. We are trying to encourage a balance and avoid a pitch that is good for nobody, where you can’t time the ball and the bowlers struggle to get wickets”. 

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,666

  Tuesday, 20 October 2015

 

• Dar withdrawn from ODIs after anti-Pakistan protester threats [1666-8163].

• Indoor cricket a possibility as an ­Olympic event [1666-8164].

• Samuels’ bowling action queried for a third time [1666-8165].

• CA consultant defends domestic one-day pitches [1666-8166].

• Make Pakistan's home Tests day-night affairs [1666-8167].

• Players' chief urges a 'bold' cricket shake-up [1666-8168].

 

Headline: Dar withdrawn from ODIs after anti-Pakistan protester threats.

Article from:  ICC and various media stories.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1666-8163.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has withdrawn Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar from the two remaining One Day Internationals (ODI) in the ongoing series between India and South Africa.  The ICC made the decision following an incident in Mumbai on Monday where a group of extremists stormed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) offices, and threatened to prevent the umpire from standing in the fifth and last ODI in Mumbai on Sunday.

 

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan's scheduled meeting with Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar had to be deferred following protests at the BCCI office by the Shiv Sena, a far-right regional political party which opposes any ties between India and Pakistan.  Shiv Sena’s focus is on a potential India-Pakistan series in December but it also threatened to stop Dar from officiating Sunday’s game.

 

An ICC spokesman said: "Under the present circumstances, it will be unreasonable to expect from Aleem that he will be able to perform his duties to the best of his abilities. As such, he has been withdraw and his replacement will be announced in due course”.

 

Dar stood in the first three India-South Africa games in Kanpur, Indore and Rajkot, and was scheduled to be on-field in the fourth in Chennai on Thursday in the lead up to Sunday’s game, matches that would have been his 176th and 177th ODIs since his debut in February 2000.

 

The meeting between the heads of the PCB and BCCI was to have included discussions on the possibility of the India-Pakistan series going ahead.  More than 50 Shiv Sena workers barged into the building shouting anti-Pakistan slogans and stormed Manohar's office, asking the BCCI chief to cancel the series.  

 

Shaharyar, along with PCB chief executive Najam Sethi, were asked not to leave their south Mumbai hotel, which is a five-minute drive from BCCI headquarters. It is unclear whether Shaharyar will now meet Manohar in person but he is expected to meet BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur and Indian Premier League chairman Rajeev Shukla in Delhi on Tuesday.

 

ICC president Zaheer Abbas has condemned the involvement of political parties in cricket.  Abbas who is also a former Pakistan player, told Pakistani TV channels: “It’s not a new thing. It’s has happened before also. But being the President of the ICC, I want cricket to spread all around the world.  Politics and cricket are totally different and should be kept as so. Pakistan is not asking India to play in Pakistan. Pakistan is asking for a bilateral series to be played at a neutral venue”.

 

Headline: Indoor cricket a possibility as an ­Olympic event.

Article from: London Daily Telegraph.

Journalist: Nick Hoult.                          

Published: Monday, 19 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1666-8164.

 

A delegation from the International Cricket Council (ICC) is due to meet the International Olympic Committee (IOC) next month to explore the prospect of cricket applying to become an Olympic sport following a shift in policy at the game’s ­governing body.  There will also be a concerted push for the sport to be restored to the Commonwealth Games as well in a bid to widen its appeal. 

 

It had been thought that ­Twenty20 would be the ideal format for Olympic inclusion but The Daily Telegraph understands it is not the only ­option on the table with indoor cricket another form of the game that could be modified for the Games, making it easier to put on in countries where there is no cricket infrastructure or grass pitches. 

 

Twenty20 cricket has been a part of the past two Asian Games but the sport has not been in the Olympics since 1900. A bid for it be included in the 2024 Games now seems a very strong possibility. 

 

There has been opposition, most notably from England and India, to the sport becoming a part of the Olympics but that is changing. Colin Graves, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), is supportive of the Olympic bid and his board will vote next month to back an application from the ICC (PTG 1665-8161, 19 October 2015). 

 

Giles Clarke, the former ECB chairman and now its president, will meet IOC officials along with Dave Richardson, the chief ­executive of the ICC. Clarke has previously been ­opposed to cricket becoming an ­Olympic sport fearing that the impact it would have on the English season. 

 

But choosing a format such as ­indoor cricket that is not played by professionals would ease some of those concerns although it still ­appears likely a more traditional form of the game will eventually be chosen once the formal application process begins. 

Indoor cricket has been played since the Sixties and is played by eight players a side. Each player bowls two overs and bats in a partnership for four overs with runs scored in certain hitting zones. 

 

The Indoor Cricket World Cup has been played every two years since 1995 by both men and women with Australia the dominant team. 

 

Headline: Samuels’ bowling action queried for a third time.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Monday, 19 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1666-8165.

 

West Indies’ off-break bowler Marlon Samuels has been reported with a suspect bowling action during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last week.  The match officials’ report, which was provided to the West Indies team management, cited concerns about the legality of the 34-year-old’s bowling action.

 

Samuels’ action will now be scrutinised further under the International Cricket Council’s suspect action process and as such is required to undergo testing within 14 days.  During that period, which covers the second Test against Sri Lanka this week, Samuels is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known.

 

This is the third time Samuels has been reported with a suspect action.  He was first reported after the third Test between South Africa and the West Indies in Durban in January 2008 and was subsequently suspended from bowling in international cricket, however, after remedial work to his bowling action, he was allowed to resume bowling in September 2011 (PTG 840-4105, 30 September 2011).

 

Samuels was then reported following the second Test against India in Mumbai in November 2013  (PTG 1233-5956, 17 November 2013). Following reassessment, he was allowed to continue to bowl his standard off-break delivery in international cricket, but was not permitted to bowl his quicker deliveries which were found to exceed the 15 degree level of tolerance (PTG 1255-6056, 17 December 2013).

 

Headline: CA consultant defends domestic one-day pitches.

Article from:  CA web site.

Journalist: Callum Kanoniuk.                          

Published: Monday, 19 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1666-8166.

 

Long-serving Australian curator Les Burdett has defended the state of the pitches provided for Cricket Australia’s (CA) ongoing one-day domestic series and encouraged his peers around the country to embrace the unique characteristics of their venue for the benefit of the game at international level.  There have been a number of media reports during the one-day tournament that have queried the quality of the pitches provided for the series.  

 

For example, the pitch at Blacktown International Sportspark for the match between South Australia and Tasmania last week was questioned by television commentator Tom Moody on Twitter, as well as man of the match Tim Paine.  Moody’s tweet said: "Blacktown wicket today very poor, two paced, up and down, obviously no covers out this way!”  Paine, who scored an unbeaten century called it “diabolical”, "much softer than we thought” and was "seaming and popping and a bit wet”.  He labelled his first half and hour at the crease "interesting”.  

 

This year’s one-day competition has been largely devoid of high-scoring run chases with only five of the 18 matches played so far have been won by the team batting second.  But Burdett, 64, who retired from his post at the Adelaide Oval in 2010 after 41 years in the job and was brought on board by CA as a ‘pitch consultant’ to oversee the preparation and maintenance of the pitches at the five suburban venues around Sydney playing host to the competition, believes it’s not necessarily a bad thing for Australia’s best cricketers to experience conditions that will test their skill and mental fortitude.  

 

Burnett said that while the pitches have been accused of being slow, it’s hard to say they have nullified high-quality fast bowling when Mitchell Starc needs just two more wickets to break the competition record for the number of wickets in a season.  “Whether you’re in Adelaide, Sydney or Brisbane in October after coming through winter, your pitches are never really quick”, said Burnett.   “[Sydney] pitches quicken up through December and January when the grass is growing and established, the soil is warmer and everything is working for you as a curator. Then you can produce really good pitches".  

 

"Having said that”, continued Tasmanian-born Burnett, "the pitches I’ve seen thus far have been terrific. Some have played a little slow, but you’ve got to expect that at this time of year. Sometimes you can look at a scoreboard and say how the pitch has played, but you’ve got to look a bit deeper than that and look at the calibre of the batsmen and bowlers”. 

 

Burdett strongly believes that curators should be preparing pitches for the benefit of the game and allowing players to showcase their skill and technique for what he describes as an “honest competition between willow and leather”. “Pitches in Australia are different for a combination of soil type, climate, time of year and methodology.  They’re not all the same, and it would be boring if they were and the last thing we want to do is what they do in England where they all have the same clay and soil, and sometimes get told when and when not to roll them”.

 

"Our curators, all they want to do is produce good pitches so good cricket will be played on them”, concluded Burdett.

 

Headline: Make Pakistan's home Tests day-night affairs.

Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Kamran Abbasi.                          

Published: Monday, 19 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1666-8167.

 

Cricket fights the elements, against rain and dark. No other major sport is so severely challenged. Cricket fights economics, against the tyranny of working hours and school days, for five days at a time. Clearly, Test cricket is impractical, incompatible with the demands of the real world, except in advanced economies like England and Australia, where leisure and recreation are highly valued. 

 

Money, thrills and convenience create the quick fix of limited-overs cricket. For these reasons, many administrators might happily wish Test cricket's death. Yet the pull of Test cricket is clear. It was self-evident on that final day of the first Pakistan-England Test in Abu Dhabi last week. 

 

Limited-overs cricket is unable to deliver such drama, to examine a cricketer's mettle so sternly, to captivate an audience as intently. Test cricket survives for these very reasons. It is deeply loved by too many of a certain generation, a generation that remains influential.

 

But what of the future? The next generations brought up on a sport of empty stadiums, as was the case last week, and no atmosphere? That's why administrators must act now to preserve the survival of Test cricket.   This is not a new challenge. Poor attendance has blighted Test cricket for over a decade, since the rise of television coverage, even spreading to India and the West Indies, where full houses were once guaranteed. 

 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is as guilty as any cricket board of ignoring poor attendances for Test cricket. It is not a problem of exile. Blanket television coverage, poor facilities, dead wickets, and the burdens of life ruined Test cricket as a spectator sport long before Pakistan's move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Exile is an excuse, a convenient lie. 

 

The stadiums in the UAE are impressive, albeit illogically situated. The pitches aren't as dead as their reputation suggests, although livelier surfaces will help. The burdens of life remain, the tyranny of working hours and school days. The battle against the elements is a constant, the iron laws of nature remain iron laws. 

 

There is only one route to secure the future of Test cricket, if you accept the argument that no spectators at the ground will ultimately mean no viewers on television, the death of revenue. Day-night cricket must become commonplace in the Test game. The success of limited-overs cricket is largely based on its convenience for busy spectators. Day-night cricket panders to that convenience economy. 

 

By contrast, Test cricket in the dead atmospheres of Pakistan and the UAE fails players and viewers. An urgent reform is required. The UAE is ideal to establish Test cricket as a day-night sport, with its early nightfall and minimal evening dew. The PCB is known for embracing innovation in cricket. With the support of the International Cricket Council it needs to make amends for years of neglect. 

 

Pakistan should become the first nation to embrace day-night cricket for all home Tests. No major record must be broken again in the silence of an empty stadium. When Younis Khan reaches 10,000 Test runs in a home Test [he is currently approaching 8.800 runs], it must be to the rapturous applause his historic achievement deserves.

 

Headline: Players' chief urges a 'bold' cricket shake-up.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Jon Pierik.                          

Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1666-8168.

 

The world's leading cricketers remain concerned about the lack of context in international formats and have called on the game's governing body to implement a "bold" shake-up.  Tony Irish, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA), or players’  union, claims there is a growing gap in wealth between the International Cricket Council's (ICC) big three  – India, Australia and England – contributing to the demise of the Future Tours Program (FTP) outside major series such as the Ashes.

 

Irish said his organisation remains: "concerned by the widening gap in wealth between the big-three boards and the others and believe that this contributes significantly to the increasing trend towards free agency among players in the smaller countries.  We also remain concerned by the deregulation of the FTP and the lack of structure and context of bilateral cricket. Players in many countries are finding bilateral cricket less and less attractive.  FICA believes that some form of Test and One Day International leagues should be seriously explored. We have conveyed these views to ICC in various discussions over the last few months”.

 

Several West Indies players will be plying their trade in Cricket Australia's (CA) Big Bash League this southern summer rather than with their national side in the three-Test series against Australia.  CA chairman Wally Edwards, whose tenure is about to end, has been a driving force for change and has called for the introduction of what would be termed Cricket World Cup in the one-day format, where there would be a more meaningful and defined qualification.

 

ICC Chairman Narayanaswami Srinivasan recently led a joint session of the board and the chief executives' committee "to discuss and identify ways to enhance the context and value of future bilateral cricket" but those close to the discussions admit it is a slow process and it could be sometime before there is any change.

 

According to Irish: “[Test and ODI leagues are] what would introduce genuine context to bilateral international cricket. But doing it properly would entail having a regulated framework for the FTP and so the current matrix of tours and matches would have to be reviewed and possibly scrapped.  It would be a bold but much needed step. It would require a major piece of work to get the buy-in of all boards, especially the big three”.

 

Australia's marquee home series against England and India remain well attended and attract the general interest of the wider sporting community, but this summer will provide an accurate guide of that wider interest when New Zealand and the West Indies tour.  The historic day-night, pink-ball Test in Adelaide against the Black Caps is one way governing boards hope to stimulate greater interest in the game's traditional form, particularly outside of the bilateral (and money-spinning) agreements and series between the major nations.

 

Improving the one-day format is also a major challenge, for there are a plethora of tournaments around the world largely scheduled for financial reasons but lack a genuine competitive reason for being held.  Edwards' plan is to have greater qualification for the World Cup, opening the door for even traditional nations to miss out. This was shown on a lesser scale recently when the West Indies failed to qualify for the eight-nation Champions Trophy tournament in 2017 because of their poor ranking.

 

The next World Cup will only feature 10 nations, which should heighten qualifying interest, but the axing of four non-Test nations who took part this year's event hasn't been welcomed by all.  The "ICC now sees itself as a members organisation instead of a world governing body of cricket and, consequently, doesn't take a global view on the game. Restricting the [World Cup] to ten teams is just one example of that”, Irish said.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,667

 Wednesday, 21 October 2015

 

• Ball-tracking might not work with pink ball: ‘Virtual Eye’ boss [1667-8169].

• ICC shuffles match officials following Dar withdrawal [1667-8170].

• Enhanced ‘Snickometer' ready for Test use [1667-8171].

• Six-a-side cricket another Olympics possibility [1667-8172].

• Your square isn’t asleep - nor should it be! [1667-8173].

 

Headline: Ball-tracking might not work with pink ball: ‘Virtual Eye’ boss.

Article from:  Dominion Post.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Wednesday, 21 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1667-8169.

 

The inaugural day-night Test between between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide has been hit by more controversy with Ian Taylor, whose Dunedin-based company Animation Research provides the ‘Virtual Eye’ ball-tracking technology for Australian broadcaster Channel 9’s telecasts, claiming it may not work with the pink ball.  Taylor told New Zealand’s One News his company was not consulted during pink ball testing and that the algorithms ‘Virtual Eye' uses to track red and white balls have not been verified. 

 

Taylor said in relation to testing: "I guess we just fell through the cracks where everyone just expected, well we're going to have a pink ball day-night Test the stuff will work.  Well it doesn’t.  Under perfect conditions the pink ball tracks really well. As soon as it starts to wear it starts to come unstuck because the ball's no longer red nor pink nor white”.  Taylor's team haven't been given the time or resources to develop a new algorithm and will only get a few days testing in Adelaide before the match.

 

The Animation Research chief, who has 'cried wolf' about aspects of his technology in the past possibly in order to improve commercial leverage,  told One News:  "We may turn up [in Adelaide] and it all works perfectly, but the odds of that are pretty against that happening from what we've seen so far.  We’re talking millimetres; in or out, Test series win, Test series loss”.

 

Headline: ICC shuffles match officials following Dar withdrawal.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 21 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1667-8170.

 

Two Indian umpires are to stand in the fourth One Day International (ODI) between India and South Africa as a result of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to withdraw Aleem Dar from the series due to threats against him by Indian extremists (PTG 1666-8163, 20 October 2015). 

 

Sundaram Ravi, the Indian member of the ICC’s Elite Umpires Panel, who had previously been selected for the Pakistan-England series, but will now stand in the fourth ODI between India and South Africa in Chennai on Thursday. Because of exceptional circumstances, both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed that two Indian umpires will stand in that game.

 

Ravi was the third umpire in the first Pakistan-England Test in Abu Dhabi last week when Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel were on-field and he was to be on-field in the second with Oxenford in Dubai starting on Thursday (PTG 1659-8122, 8 October 2015).  Instead it will be Oxenford and Reiffel, who was to have been third umpire, on-field in the second Test with Chris Gaffney the third official.  Gaffney will stand with Reiffel in the third Test in Sharjah with Oxenford as third.

 

As a result in the Pakistan-England series Bruce Oxenford and Paul Reiffel will be on the on-field umpires for the second Test which starts in Dubai on Thursday, while Chris Gaffaney has been named as the TV umpire. Oxenford and Gaffaney will stand in the third Test in Sharjah, with Reiffel named as TV umpire.

 

The ICC says it "appreciates the cooperation of all four Boards", the BCCI, CSA, Pakistan Cricket Board and England and Wales Cricket Board, "in facilitating the changes".

 

Headline: Enhanced ‘Snickometer' ready for Test use.

Article from:  The Nation.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1667-8171.

 

'Ultra-edge', Hot Spot's enhanced version of ‘Snicko', has been approved for use as part of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), according to Geoff Allardice, the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) general manager of cricket, although the prospect of any uniformity over the application of the technology, and a long-term solution for who carries the cost, remains a long way off.

 

The 'Ultra-edge' system has been developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston (PTG  1643-8045, 11 September 2015), and over the last six months has been tested in the background at various Test matches.  It is able to detect fine nicks with more certainty than the standard ‘Snicko' and differentiate more clearly over sounds created by bat, pads or clothing, although Allardice said "ultimately we are still judging a sound and it will need interpretation as to what created that sound”.

 

However, it is unlikely to be seen in all Test series, given that the poorer Test boards are unable to afford their share of the cost for the full UDRS. Neither of the Test series taking place at the moment, Pakistan-England in the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka-West Indies, has the full system available, both lacking 'Hot Spot' and ‘Snicko' due to the cost burden on the home boards of providing the systems in conjunction with the host broadcaster. 

 

Two decisions in particular in Abu Dhabi during the first Pakistan-England Test last week would have had been given more clarity had either or both of those elements been available. Instead third umpire Sundarum Ravi was left only with audio to use to adjudicate on nicks behind. In Pakistan's first innings Misbah-ul-Haq was dismissed caught behind when the on-field not-out call was overturned.  Then, in their second innings, Mohammad Hafeez survived a tight decision having also been given not out caught behind off Adil Rashid.

 

One solution to find uniformity on what is available would be for the ICC to centrally carry the cost of the UDRS. When asked if this was an option, David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said: "Yes, but we need to get to the stage where everyone is using it.  To me it's not such a big issue, whichever way you look at it cricket ends up paying for it. If [ICC] members are going to place it on the broadcasters to provide the technology then they may deduct the cost from what they pay the board. Ideally we want to get to the stage of consistent application”.

 

The major stumbling block to that consistency remains the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).  There has been a hint of some thawing over the issue with Anil Kumble, who is chairman of the ICC cricket committee, slowly becoming a convert (PTG 1624-7920, 21 August 2015). He had initially been put off the system by his experience as a player during the first series it was trialled, between Sri Lanka and India in 2008, when there were a number of contentious decisions (PTG 288-1526, 1 August 2008). 

 

Richardson conceded though that the BCCI may never come around.  "Hopefully the BCCI will take heed when the [ICC’s] cricket committee meet next May”, he said. "The problem is they also have an objection from an 'in principle' point of view as well as doubts over accuracy. It's not guaranteed they will go down that route.”

 

Meanwhile, there are no plans in the near future to implement a system in which the third umpire can intervene on the initial calling of no-balls after the umpires themselves said they wanted to retain the authority of watching the front-line in the middle (PTG 1628-7947, 26 August 2015).  Missed no-balls, an increasing occurrence at international level, were a feature of the first Test in Abu Dhabi.  

 

England’s Stuart Broad was denied the wicket of Shoaib Malik when he overstepped, a decision confirmed by the TV umpire, not on-field, following an earlier no-ball which had not been called. Later, replays showed that Alastair Cook's 263 was ended by a no-ball when Shoaib Malik, in a more unusual occurrence, landed in front of the line before dragging his heel back.

 

Currently, third umpires are provided with split-screen replays from the square-on cameras which are locked on the popping crease. Within ten seconds they can see a replay of any delivery, but currently there is no protocol for them to intervene in a decision unless asked by the on-field official.

 

"We talked about it at length a few weeks ago and the view of the [elite umpiring] group is that they need to get better and be more decisive” (PTG 1634-7993, 2 September 2015), Allardice said. "They weren't looking for a technology solution, it's part of their trade and they think they can do all better (PTG 1625-7928, 22 August 2015). It's not all umpires on all days, no-balls are called all over the world, but there are some missed - there have been from day dot, they are just being scrutinised a lot more. At the moment we aren't looking at a technology solution, but there are things being worked on behind the scenes”.

 

Allardice confirmed that the instructions to umpires was only to call no-balls when they were certain. However, he insisted that the on-field officials, sometimes helped by information from the TV umpire, still communicated with bowlers to warn them when they were getting close to the line.

 

Headline: Six-a-side cricket another Olympics possibility.

Article from:  The Times.

Journalist: Mike Atheron.                          

Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1667-8172.

 

There is a small band of people who must give thanks to FIFA's Sepp Blatter on a daily basis. Administrators of other sports, for example, who have found the spotlight turned away from them, while football is under the cosh.  Historically, cricket governance has been little remarked upon, although this summer a film called 'Death of a Gentleman' worked hard to expose the cynicism of India, England and Australia who brazenly hijacked both the political control of the world game and the direction of its finances (PTG 1621-7903, 18 August 2015).

 

While these manoeuvres were happening, Dave Richardson, the chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), was kept in the dark until the takeover was a fait accompli. Whereas his predecessor, Haroon Lorgat, pushed for reform, Richardson has played a quieter hand.

 

The result was a memorable description of Richardson by Gideon Haigh, a columnist for 'The Australian', as having the “air of a long-suffering club secretary, preoccupied with the covers and the tea urn”. It’s not necessarily a description that infuriates him, but having been granted another extension to his contract that will keep him in charge of the ICC until at least the northern summer of 2017, he is keen to make his mark before he goes.

 

His biggest focus is the structure of cricket outside the ICC events and domestic Twenty20 competitions: the bilateral Test and One Day International (ODI) tours, such as the one being played by England and Pakistan, which lack focus and context; something that concerns the world players’ union (PTG 1666-8168, 20 October 2015). The result is that the broadcast revenues for such series are being squeezed, as is Test cricket.

 

Principally, this will involve replacing bilateral tours with a Test league, to help to boost the game’s longest format and rolling ODIs, which will act as qualifiers for ICC events. Exploring ways in which the game can grow will also involve looking at cricket returning to the Olympic Games, possibly in a six-a side format, for the first time since 1900.

 

“There is so much that can be done for Test cricket”, he said. “We’ve got the boards to agree that we must review bilateral cricket. Part of that is to create some context and meaning for Tests, whether that’s in the form of a proper league or championship, as well as ODIs. A Test league is certainly back on the agenda, but not in the form of a play-off as was previously imagined.

 

“Working out the detail will be difficult because everyone wants to play India all the time, and we can’t have a 12-team home and away league over four years as it doesn’t fit. India and England were anti the Test championship last time on commercial grounds. The Champions Trophy brought in a lot of money and the Test championship wouldn’t. The format was difficult, not a perfect solution at all.

 

“I personally would favour a league and that might be two divisions, six and six, so that we can promote teams like Ireland. We’ve got the Intercontinental Cup for second-tier nations so you could have 18 teams, divisions of six, six and six. I don’t think we’d want to encourage more teams than that playing multi-day cricket.

 

“Ideally we need to have something in place not only for Test cricket, but for ODI cricket too. Most countries have their broadcast agreements up to 2019. Very few go beyond that. So if we were to introduce something new, ideally it would come in around 2020. If sooner then brilliant, but it’s difficult before then”.

 

As for growing the game, the ICC has been criticised for reducing the next two World Cups to ten teams, a myopia that has been highlighted by the success of the Rugby World Cup and the staggering Japanese viewing figures, 25 million according to some reports, for Japan’s match against Scotland. While rugby embraces the world, cricket shrinks. Richardson is unrepentant, though.

 

“We have our World T20”, he said. “That is the logical vehicle to use to give global opportunities to emerging teams, rather than the World Cup. Our biggest fear before this last World Cup was that there would be a lot of onesided games. Thankfully that wasn’t the case”.  Why, then, are they still committed to a ten-team tournament?

 

“The honest reason is that we are committed commercially to our media rights’ agreement. I like the idea of a ten-team World Cup also, because I liked the way the 1992 World Cup [in Australia] was organised. Provided that we have broken the ceiling of allowing ICC Associate members to come through their World Cricket League then the next step is to make sure we have our ODIs structured so that the associates are a genuine part of it”.

 

It seems an unusual path to take, though, given the ICC’s stated desire to make cricket the most popular sport on the planet by 2023.

 

“What we are trying to do is target 18 to 20 Associate member countries that we think have potential to be the next Ireland”, Richardson said. “Certainly countries like Zimbabwe need to be challenged by countries coming through and although we are quite proud of the development of teams like Ireland we need to do more”.

 

“We have got to identify countries like USA, Nepal, Japan, Malaysia with potential to grow. That’s where we want to spend at least 50 per cent of the money we allocate on development so that we can get some meaningful progress”.  To that end, Richardson and Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board, will go to Lausanne next month to explore the opportunity for cricket’s return to the Olympics with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a return that Richardson estimates at no more than a 50 per cent chance — and even that might be too hopeful, given India’s likely opposition. 

 

Clarke had his eyes opened to the opportunities after the London Olympics, and the ECB’s previously hardline stance has softened under Colin Graves, the chairman, and Tom Harrison, the chief executive (PTG 1665-8161, 19 October 2015).  “We just need to be open to that opportunity”, Richardson said. “From a development point of view, it makes sense. It has to happen within a year for 2024, so we are going to explore the opportunity next month. As things stand, India wouldn’t be keen at all. 

 

A complicating factor is that the IOC can only cater for a certain number of participants, so in order for us to get more teams there we might have to consider a different format, like six-a-side or something like that. We don’t know yet what the IOC has in mind”.

 

The United States is another frontier on the ICC’s horizon, and the world body has recently granted an opportunity to Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar to run a private tournament there involving many of the game’s recently retired great players (PTG 1575-7571, 24 June 2015). “It’s their project”, he said. “In a way we have just been opportunistic because we have suspended the USA Cricket Association (PTG 1579-7597, 28 June 2015), so we have been sanctioning these kind of tournaments”.

 

Money is never far from the surface and, in that way, Dubai is a fitting home for the ICC. Given the vast amounts of money coming into the game, the last television rights deal for 2015-23 was sold for $US1.9 billion ($A2.6 bn, £UK1.2 bn), and the arrested development of the game’s governance, with poor transparency and a self-serving ethics code that lacks independence, there are surely dangers for a game that lacks checks and balances.

 

It could be that administrative corruption will be the game’s next challenge. At the moment, though, focus remains on the players, given that the Chris Cairns perjury case is in full flow at Southwark Crown Court (PTG 1662-8140, 14 October 2015).  Richardson is as bullish as he can be that international cricket is clean, but acknowledges the threat of corruption in domestic T20 leagues.  “Players are better educated; they have more to lose; they are better paid and bookies are focusing their efforts on softer targets in the domestic leagues which don’t fall under our jurisdiction”, he said. 

 

“Generally I’m optimistic. More people are watching than ever before, there is more money than before, there are so many more opportunities for everyone in the game.  We now have domestic leagues which generate revenues we didn’t have before; the ICC events are flying, we just need to sort out our bilateral cricket now”.

 

Headline: Your square isn’t asleep - nor should it be!

Article from:  Cricket World.

Journalist: Jamie Foyster.                          

Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1667-8173.

 

A common misconception by some cricket groundsmen or volunteers is that once the end of season renovations are carried out and the English winter begins, their square is put to bed and that is it until the New Year.

 

I was at a seminar last March when one groundsman told me he hadn’t been to the ground since the previous November and didn’t even know how it looked after the winter. Then no surprise his square didn’t: ( a) perform as he wanted it to; or (b) looked as good as it should for the league level they are in. So neglect your square during the winter months at your peril!

 

It’s now a few weeks since my squares renovations were completed and it has generally been fairly dry so a few of the ends still have a bit of growing to do before I give them their first cut with the rotary mower.  I usually wait until all the ends have full grown and filled in up to about an inch and a half long before cutting the square with my rotary mower which has had its blade sharpened before use to ensure a good clean cut.

 

I’ll then give the square its first feed with an Autumn-Winter fertiliser which usually lasts until around end of November and also spray it for worm control to keep the casts at bay. The spray will usually last until January depending on the weather and how much rain falls.

 

Please ensure you have completed a safe use of pesticides course so that you are legally allowed to apply pesticides as the ‘Grandfather' rights are now expiring and all suppliers of pesticide products are checking to ensure that people buying products from them have the necessary certification. I actually received my letter confirming mine from Sherriff Amenity today.

 

It is a good time to take your machinery in for servicing to ensure you get them back well before needing them again.  I took all my mowers and scarifier in today and I’ll get them back in a few weeks looking like new and ready for the new year. If you leave it until January or later you can caught up amongst all the other clubs leaving it late and you might not get them back when you need to start using them.

 

Do not skimp on servicing your machines. The time you do will be the time you get halfway through the season and something breaks or goes wrong and you’ll wish you’d had the machine properly serviced.  Ensure your machine has an oil and filter change, new spark plug, bottom blade and regrind of the cylinder along with checking and lubricating the chains, greasing all the nipples and checking the controls and cables as a minimum.

 

Also don’t forget your roller! Most servicing companies will come out to your club and perform a service. At my own club I service the roller myself as it is an old Aveling Barford GAY made in about 1968 and it is very straightforward to service with just oil filter, grease nipples and oil change being the main items.  I am lucky that it has had electric start put on it as most of these models I see out and about are still crank handle start which gives you popeye arms!

 

Remember your square is a living breathing thing so it will soon tell you if it needs something. It will lose colour if it needs feeding. It will show signs of disease if it needs treating, worm casts will start showing in numbers if your spray is wearing off.  So keep a regular eye on your square ensuring debris is swept off or vacuumed up using a rotary mower and you will easily stay on top of what it needs.  And have you booked in or planned aeration for your square?

 

Keep your outfield cut while the grass is still actively growing and at the moment I am still cutting about once a week with the temperatures staying up and the occasional rain shower perking it up.

 

Renovations on all my squares are completed and the first cuts, feeds and sprays carried out on ones that are ready for it. So I’m now going away for my end-of-season holiday as I’ve been seven days a week since March so time to find some sunshine and warmth and recharge the batteries before returning to the cold damp grey miserable UK and continue the maintenance of the squares and outfields to ensure that come the spring they are as I want them to be.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,668

 Thursday, 22 October 2015

 

• Pink ball technologies will be ready, says CA [1668-8174].

• Video illustrates on-field technique issue [1668-8175].

• Restructure of BCCI committee memberships on table [1668-8176].

• Why universal use of UDRS is closer, but still not close enough [1668-8177].

 

Headline: Pink ball technologies will be ready, says CA.

Article from:  Fairfax Media NZ.

Journalist: Joseph Pearson.                          

Published: Wednesday, 21 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1668-8174.

Cricket Australia (CA) are confident there will be no technology issues with tracking the pink ball in the inaugural day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand next month.  The head of Animations Research, Ian Taylor, whose Dunedin company provides ‘Virtual Eye’ ball tracking technology, indicated on Tuesday there could potentially be a problem with the system picking up the pink ball as it deteriorates during each innings of the Test (PTG 1667-8169, 21 October 2015).

 

A CA spokesman said on Wednesday: "We have been conducting a range of tests with Channel Nine over the last 18 months and have every confidence that the required technologies will be ready and available for the Test match”.  Despite that Taylor again expressed concern about the issue and admitted he would prefer to be "open and frank" about the current situation with just over five weeks to go until the day-night Test starts in Adelaide.

 

Taylor said: "We still haven't done a single game with a pink ball, let alone a day-night Test.  People knew we had been testing down at the stadium in Dunedin. People asked was it working and in all honesty, I had to say it wasn't working.  We can track it some of the time.  When we signed up, all these contracts [involved] a red and white ball, and now we've got a pink ball, and with not very much time we're resourced to do it just for a one-off [Test]".

 

The issue for Animation Research "is being able to replicate the conditions of a five-day Test with a pink ball, under daylight dusk and night-time, it requires a considerable amount of time to see what all of the conditions were.  It cost us $NZ8,500 ($A       ) just to hire the stadium so we could have a look under lights. It requires a lot of investment to make this work [for] anyone trying to track a ball at 250 frames a second from 100 metres away [will have to deal with] some issues”.

 

Taylor emphasised that: "Nobody should be diving for cover. It's just about being open and saying this is the real world. Let's deal with this together because, if two days before the test we can't track it when it's worn and the lights are on, then at least everybody knows.  There were test runs for players to get them used to [the pink ball], test runs for normal cameras but we didn't get the ability to do that. It should have happened a few months ago”.

 

While Taylor was forthright with his concerns he went on state there would "definitely be a solution" because it is "definitely" possible to track the pink ball but his company hadn't been given enough time to test it and replicate the varying conditions of a five-day test.  The virtual ball-tracking system for the forthcoming day-night Test is “unique", according to Taylor, and it will be a modification of existing technologies used for red and white cricket balls.  

 

Taylor did reveal that a new system is being developed for next year that will consider the pink ball in its production. "We're in the process of developing a whole new tracking system, using new technologies that have become available and we have to fund that ourselves.  That development will absolutely include a pink ball as part of the mix. We're developing a whole new system so it matter won't matter what colour the ball is”.

 

Headline: Video illustrates on-field technique issue.

Article from:  Channel 9.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Wednesday, 21 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1668-8175.

 

When it comes to runouts first class umpires are blessed with the help of television replays and third officials to get it right.  For the rest, there's often a bit of guesswork involved, particularly in close calls.  But an umpire in Victoria has taken it to a whole new level after giving a batsman out despite the player being behind him as he dived for the crease

 

Standing in his usual position behind the stumps at the bowler's end, the umpire moved to the same side the ball was hit as the two batsmen raced for a single. Unfortunately, he positioned himself between the stumps and where the batsman was diving and could not see the player as the bails were broken. 

 

Despite having no idea whether the batsmen was short of his ground or not, the man in the middle raised his finger to send the runner on his way.  And while the umpire got the decision right, he should have given the batsman not out by all rights as he had no idea whether the batsman actually made his ground or not. 

 

Whether he has a sixth sense or eyes in the back of the head we don't know.  But the dismissal serves as a perfect lesson for umpires about getting their positioning right to avoid guess work.  In this case its one for the technique of moving to the side of the pitch opposite to which the ball has been hit. 

 

Headline: Restructure of BCCI committee memberships on table.

Article from:  The Hindu.

Journalist: G. Viswanath                         

Published: Wednesday, 21 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1668-8176.

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) powerful Working Committee, whose membership currently totals 23, is looking at reducing its size and that of a plethora of sub-committees that manage the BCCI’s affairs, many of which have memberships of “jumbo” size.  Clearly the BCCI is in overdrive, what with the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R.M. Lodha committee, which is to report on BCCI structures and operations by the end of the year, breathing down its neck to recommend best practices and reforms. 

 

Apart from 23 Working Committee members, at this time the BCCI’s marketing committee has a whopping 29 members, Museum Committee 18, National Cricket Academy Board 17, Indian Premier League Governing Council 13 plus all office-bearers of the BCCI, Technical Committee 10, Data Management Committee and Umpires Sub-Committee both 9 each, Information and Technology Committee 8, New Area Development Committee and TV production committee 8, the Senior Tournament Committee, Finance Committee, Junior Cricket Committee, Tour Program and Fixtures Committee, and Women’s Committee all 7, Vizzy Trophy Committee 6, senior and junior selection committees and the women’s selection committee all 5 each, Constitution Review Committee 4, Affiliation Committee and Disciplinary Committee both 3, and Legal Committee 2.

 

An official who is closely following BCCI developments said: “There is no Museum and hence the Museum committee may not exist after the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) , and the majority of the committees are likely to be trimmed to six members, although there could be a few exceptions”.  The formal notice circulated on Monday in regard to the AGM has several proposals to amend the conflict of interest rules for BCCI and affiliated administrators, players both current and retired, administrative and support staff, and the appointment of an ethics officer or ombudsman”.

 

Headline: Why universal use of UDRS is closer, but still not close enough.

Article from:  The Guardian.

Journalist: Mike Selvey.                          

Published: Wednesday, 21 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1668-8177.

 

The objections by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the universal adoption of the Umpire Decision Review System are twofold: firstly the general principle of using technology and secondly the accuracy of the equipment in any case. 

 

To a degree they must be contingent, and it has been the task of the International Cricket Council (ICC), which decides on the protocols for international cricket, to attempt to get all the equipment available tested independently and hopefully verified and in that way convince the BCCI, and indeed sceptics everywhere, of the value that technology can bring to the game without taking it over.

 

To this end, for some time now, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the leading body for such research, has been working on precisely that, with the intention of testing 'Hawk-Eye' and 'Virtual Eye', the two pieces of tracking technology used around the world, as well as ‘Snicko' and ‘Hot Spot', the devices used to detect edges and to an extent differentiate between types of noise (PTG 1639-8020, 7 September 2015). 

 

As a result of this, 'Ultra Edge', an advanced piece of equipment that can meet these requirements to a very high level of accuracy has been approved by the ICC (PTG 1667-8171, 21 October 2015), following stringent testing at Loughborough on specially constructed apparatus (PTG 1643-8045, 11 September 2015), and can be used forthwith.

 

With ball tracking, it will take a while longer yet: MIT are in the process of building their own testing equipment, hope to begin the testing process in the new year and be in a position to offer a verdict to the ICC cricket committee at their 2016 meeting next May with a recommendation to follow from that body.

 

For now, the debate rumbles on, not just about the technology itself, but who should be responsible for it and who should pay for it. The present arrangement is straightforward: the ICC lends its approval for use, as is now the case with 'Ultra Edge', but it is then down to the host broadcaster to decide how much of the equipment they wish to budget for. So for England’s current series against Pakistan Ten Sports have decided that they do not wish to pay for either ‘Hot Spot' or ‘Snicko', leaving an audio feed and two-dimensional television pictures as the only means of attempting to verify edges.

 

Of course, this leads to an inconsistent game worldwide, where some series have all the best technology available and some, as with England’s current series, do not. ICC acknowledges that this is unsatisfactory, and will almost certainly opt to fund the installation of requisite technology for all matches in future, but not until the best equipment has been established and verified, and, presumably, until India come on board.

 

If MIT does vouch for the accuracy of ball-tracking, however, there is likely to be an adjustment to the protocols involved in its application, in particular the parameters in which the “umpire’s call” operates. Currently – a personal opinion – it is much too generous to the umpire, and allows some ridiculously anomalous LBW decisions according to whether the original decision was out or not out. 

 

According to ICC general manager of cricket, Geoff Allardice, the accuracy of umpiring decisions has increased significantly over the past couple of years (although this in no small part must be measured using equipment whose own accuracy they are currently testing). When it comes to LBWs, they are particularly good on line, against height which needs more work. 

 

There is a common belief that some way has to be found to maintain some umpiring judgment, hence the “umpire’s call” element. But if the tracking technology is found to be as accurate as the manufacturers claim ('Hawk-Eye' believes it to be accurate to within a millimetre from around seven metres out), then there is little reason not to narrow the parameters and put the umpires under a little more scrutiny. It will certainly be instructive to see how the decision accuracy statistics hold up then.

 

Meanwhile, just when things appeared to be coming together, a spanner has been thrown in the works by Ian Taylor, the head of Animation Research that supplies Virtual Eye tracking technology (PTG 1668-8174 above).  So presumably that will be something further for MIT to investigate and more grist to the BCCI mill.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,669

 Saturday, 24 October 2015

 

• Pink ball 'didn't hold up well at all’, says Voges [1669-8178].

• A million reasons to think pink [1669-8179].

• Dharmasena to replace Dar for Mumbai ODI [1669-8180].

• Initial Sheffield Shield appointments circulated [1669-8181].

• Pink ball a safety hazard, says Aussie quick [1669-8182].

• Sobers backs day-night Tests to be a hit [1669-8183].

• Dissent results in fine for South African [1669-8184].

• ICC to confront security issues in subcontinent [1669-8185].

• Test cricket the 'ultimate' but for how long, asks Watson [1669-8186].

• Kiwi skipper tipping good-natured Test series against Australia [1669-8187].

• Pakistan mulling boycott of World T20 in India [1669-8188].

 

Headline: Pink ball 'didn't hold up well at all’, says Voges.

Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Daniel Brettig.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8178.

 

Australia batsman Adam Voges has expressed severe doubt about the ability of the experimental pink ball to hold up to 80 overs of battering in the upcoming day-night Adelaide Test, saying the ball had lost its colouring and was "more green than pink" by the end of the 50-over Prime Minister's XI fixture against New Zealand on Friday evening.

 

The manufacturer, ‘Kookaburra', has gone through countless variations of the pink ball over the past five years in an effort to find a workable ball for day-night Tests, but Voges said the latest edition "didn't hold up very well at all" to fewer than 50 overs of use at Manuka Oval in Canberra, which has pitch characteristics not dissimilar to those expected in Adelaide.

 

Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards and his heir apparent David Peever were seen closely observing the balls used in the match after the game. The various doubts raised by numerous players about a host of aspects of the experiment - including visibility, the quality of cricket and the change in conditions from day to night - will only be thrown into sharper focus by Voges' critique.

 

"There wasn't much pink left on it by the end of the game”, Voges said. "The one that got hit onto the roof [by Martin Guptill] and didn't come back was 28 overs old and it looked like it was 68 overs old to be fair. To be honest, it didn't hold up very well at all tonight".

 

"It looked as though the lacquer had come off and it was turning green basically. There were bits of pink left, but it was more green than pink by the end. I know that it stopped swinging, there was no reverse-swing or anything like that because both sides get chunked up equally, but yeah the older it gets, I can't see it being any easier to see”.

 

Voges' previous experience of the pink ball had been in Brisbane and Perth in Sheffield Shield games, where the hard pitches and lush green outfields preserved its condition in an adequate fashion, though the ball swung extravagantly at times and made batting difficult.  However at Manuka, pronounced early swing for Trent Boult and Tim Southee that left the PM's XI in early trouble later gave way to featureless passages of cricket devoid of any movement or pace with diminishing visibility.

 

"The two Shield games I played with it were in Brisbane and Perth and it held up pretty well there. But this is my first experience of lower, slower wickets”, Voges said. "They're very good new-ball bowlers and the key will be to get through their first spells and then get them back for second and third spells - as we saw with the pink ball tonight, in both innings, get them into their second spell and it can be a different story”.

 

Other Australian players, including Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood (PTG 1669-8182 below), have expressed reservations about the concept, while the former captain Ricky Ponting has said he was "always against" an experiment that tampered with Test cricket's traditions, however, former West Indian captain Gary Sobers is in favour (PTG 1669-8183 below).  

 

Whatever has been said, one thing is now certain - there is no time to address the issues raised by the PM's XI match before the Adelaide Test which will gets underway five weeks from Friday.

 

Headline: A million reasons to think pink.

Article from:  The Australian.

Journalist: Peter Lalor.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8179.

 

Players have been offered a $A1 million (£UK472,600) series prize to overcome their reluctance about this summer’s day-night Test match in Adelaide, and while many remain cynical over what they see is a break with tradition, some are coming around.  Tim Southee, who will captain New Zealand in a pink ball game against the Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra today, said the Kiwis were still feeling their way with the new ball but were excited to be “part of history”.

 

“We had a hit-out with it a couple of weeks ago in Hamilton (PTG 1660-8129, 10 October 2015), and we’re still learning to what it is going to do, we’ve still got another two-day (game with pink ball) in Perth before the (third) Test in Adelaide so, yeah, I think the guys are excited to try something new and see how it does go”, he said.

 

“In Hamilton, I think the general consensus was that it was more like a white ball than a red ball. I think it is meant to sit somewhere in between the two but it probably does lean more towards the white ball. But I think we’ve all bowled enough with a white ball and a red ball to, I guess, understand what is needed. So, yeah, it is just another ball, I guess”.

 

Australian cricketers were not as positive after recent trials with the pink ball. Two bowlers reported that it went soft quickly, would not reverse and became dirty and hard to see as it aged.  

 

One batsman said that even though there had been modifications to the seam colour and leather “it was shit before and it still is shit”.  “It swings out of the blue, it doesn’t swing, there seems to be no rhyme or reason about when it will or won’t”, said the player, who did not want to be named. “Unless they change it every 40 overs, it is going to be impossible for spectators see”.  Another player who trained with it earlier this week and played in the Shield round last year when the pink ball was used was far more positive.

 

Cricket Australia has stumped up a $A1m prize for the three-Test series — divided 60:40 between the winning and losing team — that is seen as a pay-off to players who were reluctant to participate in the experiment.  That ratio suggests members of the series' winning side will pick up around $A50,000 (£UK23,600) each in addition to their match fees, and the loosing players around $A35,000 (£UK16,500) each,

 

Former captain Ricky Ponting slammed the concept earlier this week. “I’ve actually been against it the whole time”, Ponting said.  “I mean I understand the reasons behind wanting to innovate and wanting to be different but at the same time I think Test cricket is all about history and tradition as far as I’m concerned.  “But I guess the game has to go on and move forward. It will be interesting to see what the players make of it all and how much they enjoy the occasion.

 

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum won’t play in Canberra today but will be available for the two-day game against the Cricket Australia XI on Saturday-Sunday.  McCullum, who was in England last week giving evidence at the Chris Cairns perjury trial in London, was diplomatic about the pink ball experiment.  “The two boards were in discussions but from our point of view we arrived at the fact we were going to play a Test match with the pink ball”, he said.  “It is what it is, I know there’s been a bit of negativity around it, but I guess we’ll find out with the pink ball whether it works or not, and that’s one of the good things about playing the Test”.

 

Headline: Dharmasena replaces Dar for Mumbai ODI.

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8180.

 

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Dharmasena will be on-field the fifth One-Day International between India and South Africa which is to be played in Mumbai on Sunday, in place of Pakistani Aleem Dar who the International Cricket Council withdrew from the game because of security concerns after anti-Pakistan political protests (PTG 1667-8170, 21 October 2015).  

 

Dharmasena’s appointment to the game in Mumbai is somewhat ironic as protests by a different set of activists whose focus is the alleged ill treatment of Tamils in Sri Lanka has meant he has been unable to stand in matches in Chennai in recent years.  Those fixtures include a Test as well as a number of Indian Premier League matches (PTG 1547-7423, 4 April 2015)

 

Headline: Initial Sheffield Shield appointments circulated.

Article from:  Sources.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8181.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) has named all 12 members of its National Umpires Panel (NUP), two from from its second-tier Development Panel (DP), all five of its Umpire High Performance Panel (UHPP), and a total of 21 scorers, to look after the 15 Sheffield Shield first class games that are to be played around the country in the six weeks which start next Wednesday.

 

Next week’s opening round of games in Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne, which will be played with pink balls in a day-night format (PTG 1589-7667, 10 July 2015), will see NUP members Greg Davidson and Mick Martell on-field in Adelaide, Gerard Abood and Shawn Craig together in Hobart, and Phillip Gillespie and Geoff Joshua in Melbourne. Abood and Joshua have stood in day-night, first class, pink ball Shield matches in previous seasons.

 

Across the 15 Shield games each of the NUP members have been allocated either two or three matches, while former NUP member Damien Mealey and his now DP colleague Tony Wilds each have one game.  CA’s five UHPP members will all be at three games each as the match referee.  While data on scorer statistics is hard to obtain and varify, it would appear that four of the 21 scorers are to make their first class debut: Sam Byrnes in Mackay; Glen Davey in Melbourne; Steve Jewell in Hobart; and Chris McLeod in Sydney.

 

Of the six four-day Futures League State second XI games scheduled for November, DP member Simon Lightbody has been allocated two games to add to the one he stood in in Perth this week with Wilds (PTG 1660-8128, 10 October 2015). 

 

Brisbane-based Donovan Koch, who is seen by many observers as a future DP prospect, will together with James Hewitt of Perth, be flown to Sydney for a Futures game in early November.  It is the only Futures fixture next month to have a UHPP member, in this case David Tallala, as the match referee, a move that suggests CA wants to have a closer look at the two umpires.

 

Twelve Womens National Cricket League (WNCL) 50 over games are listed for November, 17 umpires from around the country being selected for those fixtures at home venues, while former international umpire Steve Davis is amongst the match referees.  Wilds and another DP member David Shepard will be on-field in some of those games.  Canberra’s Deanne Young is the only female selected for a WNCL match in November.

 

CA’s fifth DP member Claire Polosak’s name appears to be missing from the appointments list next month, although as yet the full list of appointments for the two men’s and single women’s series have not been posted on the match officials page on CA’s web site.

 

Headline: Pink ball a safety hazard, says Australian quick.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Andrew Wu.                          

Published: Thursday, 22 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8182.

 

Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has expressed safety concerns over the pink ball to be used in the inaugural day-night Test match in Adelaide next month, saying there are visibility issues for fielders square of the wicket.  The Australian Test seamer believes big improvements have been made since the ball was first trialled two-and-a-half years ago but there were potential dangers for fielders around sunset, especially if an explosive hitter such as New Zealand's Brendon McCullum was at the crease.

 

There is a feeling among players the twilight period, when there is a mixture of natural and artificial light, is when the ball is hardest to see, especially if it was about 30-40 overs old, having lost its shine.  Twilight has long been regarded as the most awkward time for batsmen in day-night one-day games and there are similar reservations with the pink ball.

 

Hazlewood and the NSW team, which features five players likely to play a part in next month's Trans Tasman series, took part in a centre-wicket session under lights on Tuesday night.  Although NSW batsmen had trouble facing Mitchell Starc, the difficulties were attributed more to the left-armer's skill than anything inherently wrong with the ball.

 

But Hazlewood is concerned the ball may be hard to detect for some fielders. One of the most difficult shots for fielders to take is the cut shot - which has a flat trajectory off the bat - as players can have troubles picking up the ball from the crowd. It is not as big an issue for drives.

 

"It was a little bit tough to see for the square-on fielders, at point and square leg, it was a bit easier in front of the wicket”, Hazlewood said. "The time when the sun is setting, those fielders square of the wicket, when there's someone like [New Zealand captain] Brendon McCullum batting, it's going to come pretty quickly whether you're at backward point or square leg".

 

"It's going to be tough to see and hang on to. It might be a little bit dangerous but the more we use it ... the more we will get used to it. It's going to take some getting used to at this stage. We're adapting on the batting and bowling fronts, it's just the fielding.  And the spectators, how well they will see the ball at that stage of the day. If they can't see it, they'll ask themselves what they're doing there watching.  It will be interesting to see how it goes”.

 

Hazlewood's views on the properties of the ball will strike a chord with the game's traditionalists, including former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who are worried the day-night experiment will affect the contest between bat and ball.  NZ coach Mike Hesson said the training camp in Hamilton had "removed the element of fear or the unknown" but was unsure how the warmer conditions in Australia would affect the ball.

 

Headline: Sobers backs day-night Tests to be a hit.

Article from:  Australian Associated Press.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Thursday, 22 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8183.

 

Former West Indies captain Garfield Sobers has backed day-night Test matches to be a hit with spectators while bemoaning the cash-rich Twenty20 leagues that he believes are eroding Test cricket by luring some money-hungry players away from the longest form of the sport.  The 79-year-old, regarded by some as cricket's greatest all-rounder, said he did not think the 20-over game would fade away, but supported the idea of day-night Test matches to win back spectators for the longest form, which he said was the "utmost" for any player.

 

Sobers added playing day-night Test matches could also increase the number of people interested in playing the sport.  "I think day and night cricket will bring back some of those players too. It is a good move to have Test cricket day and night. I am all in favour of that”.  

 

He lamented though the huge amount of money offered to players by T20 tournaments, especially the Indian Premier League (IPL).  "I think Twenty20 has taken a toll”, he said while on a visit to Sri Lanka as chief guest at the second Test between hosts Sri Lanka and West Indies starting in Colombo.  Sobers had no objection to the 50-over one-day matches, describing them as "quite good”.

 

Asked if he thought T20 tournaments had destroyed the purists' game of Test, he said: "I think so. I think it certainly destroyed West Indies cricket, I'll tell you that”.  He is concerned that many players did not put in their best for their country.  "There is a lot of money in the game today and a lot of players don't have the same heart and the same ideas as I did ... my obligation was to West Indies cricket”.

 

In his assessment, many players in the current West Indies team were marking time to sign up for the IPL and not concerned about playing as a team.

 

Headline: Dissent results in fine for South African.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8184.

 

South Africa's Faf du Plessis has been fined 15 per cent of his match fee for showing dissent at an umpire's decision during the fourth One Day International against India in Chennai on Thursday.  The incident happened in the 15th over of South Africa’s run-chase when du Plessis showed dissent by raising his right hand after being declared caught behind off Axar Patel.  Replays showed there was some noise when the ball went past the bat as did ‘Snicko’.

 

Following the match du Plessis admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by match referee Chris Broad and as such, there was no need for a formal hearing.  The charge was laid by on-field umpires Sundarum Ravi and Chettihody Shamsuddin and third umpire Anil Chaudhary.  All Level One breaches in international cricket carry a minimum penalty of an official reprimand up to a fine equal to half of a player's match fee.

 

Headline: ICC to confront security issues in subcontinent.

Article from:  The Times.

Journalist: Richard Hobson.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8185.

 

Reg Dickason, the security adviser for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), will leave England’s current tour to United Arab Emirates to form part of a team heading to Bangladesh to assess anti-terrorist measures in place for the Under-19 World Cup next January-February.  The move comes as the International Cricket Council (ICC) confronts a series of safety issues in the subcontinent and awaits final arrangements for the World Twenty20 in India, which is still without a schedule, although it is less than five months away and may be cut from eight to five venues. 

 

With Pakistan unable to play leading opposition at home since the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, the ICC is keen that concerns over a second Test-playing country can be allayed to allow the youth tournament to go ahead in January.

An ICC statement issued ten days ago confirmed that Bangladesh will be the U-19 hosts, but that is likely to change if Dickason, who also advises players via the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, deems the present climate too dangerous.

 

Sean Norris, the ICC security manager, is heading the Bangladesh trip at the start of next month, which is being taken so seriously that David Richardson, the ICC chief executive, may travel too. Sri Lanka is a possible alternative venue, although there is no official plan ‘B'.  Australia scrapped their scheduled tour to Bangladesh this month after a late alert and the murder of an Italian charity worker, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility (PTG 1655-8096, 3 October 2015). South Africa subsequently postponed a visit by their women’s team (PTG 1657-8110, 6 October 2015).

 

Current UK Foreign Office advice refers to “a high threat from terrorism” in Bangladesh and advises tourists to “keep a low profile in all public spaces and limit attendance at events where westerners may gather”.  England’s men are due to tour Bangladesh next northern autumn, but players would be highly reluctant to travel in the present circumstances. Even if offered the highest level of security, as was the case with Australia, concerns would exist for families and supporters.

 

Four English players — Dawid Malan, Chris Jordan, Josh Cobb and Darren Stevens — were allocated places in next month’s Bangladesh Premier League yesterday, but the UK Professional Cricketers’ Association will advise great care if they take up their slots. Jordan is highly unlikely to feature because of England commitments.

 

Problems around the World Twenty20, which is due to start on 11 March, were compounded on Monday when right-wing extremists stormed the Mumbai headquarters of the Board of Control for Cricket in India before scheduled talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board. That prompted the ICC to withdraw umpire Aleem Dar from the last two games of the one-day series there against South Africa (PTG 1669-8180 above).

Asif Iqbal, a former Pakistan captain, said: “The ICC should be telling India that if the political climate does not show a marked improvement — and improvement to be gauged not by the Indian board but by ICC —the ICC will have no alternative but to withdraw the T20 World Cup from India”.

 

There is next to no chance of that, but Pakistan will be kept away from Mumbai if they decide to participate (PTG 1669-8188 below). Plans to use as many as eight venues for the men’s and women’s competitions — twice as many as in Bangladesh in 2014 — are being reconsidered as expensive and impractical because of the vast distances between locations.

 

Headline: Test cricket the 'ultimate' but for how long, asks Watson.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Jon Pierik.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8186.

 

Retired Australian Test player Shane Watson, who is also an executive with the Australian Cricketers Association, says the sport's traditional long-form format remains the "ultimate" competition but believes its importance could eventually be usurped by the bite-sized format.   While Watson maintains he had no regrets over his Test career, he was surprised that in nine Tests in India he never played before a sell-out crowd, highlighting the shifting focus of supporters in what is unofficially the home of cricket.

 

That, in part, can be attributed to some of the remote venues the Australians have played at, but more to the already strong interest in One Day Internationals (ODI) among the locals and the growing prevalence of the Twenty20 format through the Indian Premier League.

 

Having retired from Test cricket after this year's Ashes defeat, Watson, still firmly in the frame for the two short-form versions, said Test cricket had a fight on its hands to retain its status.  "I never played in front of a full crowd [in India]. The most I played in front of was a three-quarter full crowd, whereas Twenty20s and one-dayers, whether domestic or international, are full”, he said.

 

"That alone, and when you see that in South Africa and the West Indies, we played a series there [West Indies] recently and there was hardly anyone there [shows the change]. Then you see the Caribbean Premier League, and it is packed. I think over time, and it's going to be a gradual progression, I think it [cricket] is going to move more towards soccer, and how that's played with leagues, then international cricket - it [Test cricket] is not just the priority.  I think that is still a long, long way away but it's just how things have shifted”.

 

The worldwide players union, the Federation of International Cricketers Association, has called for greater context for Test and ODIs, in part to help ensure the best players remain available and are less inclined to freelance in domestic Twenty20 competitions (PTG 1666-8168, 20 October 2015 and 1667-8172, 21 October 2015). 

 

The decision to trial a day-night Test in Adelaide against New Zealand next month, with the inducement of $A1 million in prizemoney for the three-Test series (PTG 1669-8179 above), is a way authorities are attempting to develop a blueprint to help reinvigorate the format, particularly in countries outside of England and Australia where support for Tests generally remains healthy. 

 

Watson, 34, said the explosion of the Big Bash League in Australia, which begins while the Test summer is still at its peak and has forced the domestic one-day series and Sheffield Shield matches to other times, reinforced the changing nature of the sport locally.  "To think that the Big Bash is competing against Test cricket, and it's dominating, whether it's ratings or people actually coming along to the ground, it's certainly at a very interesting stage”.

 

Watson also said: "I know the hierarchy of Cricket Australia but also the International Cricket Council are trying to find the right balance but there is no doubt Test cricket is the ultimate. It's the tradition of the sport. But commerciality is also the priority for the boards as well.  As you can see now, the Big Bash has shifted priorities to where [CA’s one-day series] and the Sheffield Shield fit in”.

 

Headline: Kiwi skipper tipping good-natured Test series against Australia.

Article from:  Australian Associated Press.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Thursday, 22 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8187.

 

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum expects good spirit to prevail over spiteful sledging in next month's Test series against Steve Smith's new-look Australian team.  The Black Caps skipper seems to have become something of a poster boy for good sportsmanship in the game and last month collected a spirit of cricket award for his leadership on New Zealand's tour to England (PTG 1650-8072, 24 September 2015).  His stance on on-field spite has not always been matched by an Australian team brought up on what Steve Waugh called mental disintegration.

 

Things got heated the last time the two nations met, in the World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March, with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin criticised for repeated sledging (PTG 1544-7422, 31 March 2015).  Particular attention was paid to his inexplicably enthusiastic send off for opener Martin Guptill and Haddin later said he did it because he felt "uncomfortable" with how nice the Black Caps had been when they tore through the eventual champions at Eden Park.  No action was taken against Haddin by match officials (PTG 1546-7429, 2 April 2015).

 

Asked whether he thought things might change now that Haddin and some other Australian veterans had retired, McCullum said only time would tell.  "We're certainly not spending any energy on it or worried about it”, he said on the eve of New Zealand's first tour match against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra on Friday.  "With Steve Smith and Darren Lehmann as coach, I think the two teams will get on well.  It'll be healthy competition on the field but I think it should be played in good spirits.  Our focus will be very much on our skills rather than anything”.

 

Under his leadership, the Black Caps have earned worldwide praise for their fearless but fair-minded style of play in 2015 - including their dream run to the final of the World Cup and a drawn Test series with England.  "It's better than not being the nice guys”, McCullum smiled.  "We just go play cricket and we have a good time while we're at it.  We've got a great bunch of guys that we're playing with. We're out there representing our country and that's where our focus is rather than the other stuff”.

 

Following Friday's day-nighter, New Zealand will play a two-day red-ball match against a Cricket Australia XI over the weekend, before playing them again in Sydney over four days next week.

 

Headline: Pakistan mulling boycott of World T20 in India.

Article from:  Emirates 24/7.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Thursday, 22 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1669-8188.

 

Pakistan are undecided whether they should boycott next year's World Twenty20 in India after talks for the proposed full series between the two countries in United Arab Emirates in December broke down (PTG 1669-8185 above).  Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan was due to meet Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar on Monday but the meeting was cancelled after far-right activists stormed the Mumbai office in protest at the dialogue (PTG 1666-8163, 20 October 2015).

 

Khan said his hopes of talks being rescheduled on Tuesday in the Indian capital were dashed after he failed to hear from the BCCI.  It has been suggested in some quarters that Pakistan should boycott the World Twenty20 event if India does not agree to play a full series that has been listed for the end of the year.

 

“At the moment, the chances of Pakistan-India series are very bleak but we have not yet closed the doors. If we don’t hear anything positive from the BCCI then we will consider it a ‘No’ from them and the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries for holding Pakistan-India series will be null and void”, said Shaharyar while speaking at the press briefing in Lahore on Wednesday evening after returning from India. 

 

The PCB chairman has given a 10-day time period to the BCCI for the revival of Pakistan-India bilateral cricket series.  “If the BCCI does not answer us on revival of Pakistan-India series in 10 days time, it will be presumed that they don’t want to play Pakistan and after that we will decide our team’s participation in the T20 World Cup”, he said.  

 

The 81-year-old former diplomat said it was unfortunate that India's government and its cricket board had been hijacked by a "very small group”.  “I went to India upon the invitation of BCCI chief Shashank Manohar. But I was surprised at the indifferent attitude shown by the Indian officials. I would say they were not very good hosts and did not have the courtesy to reschedule the meeting after the first one was cancelled because of the protests".

 

On Wednesday, the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) said under the circumstances it would not participate in the Asia Cup for the Blind which is due to be held in Kochi in late January.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,670

 Sunday, 25 October 2015

 

• First class match sees player altercation, umpire pushed [1670-8189].

• UDRS set for summer of cricket, says Aussie broadcaster [1670-8190].

• On-field ODI debut for Zimbabwe’s Rusere [1670-8191].

• BCCI to appoint Ombudsman at 2015 AGM [1670-8192].

 

Headline: First class match sees player altercation, umpire pushed.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1670-8189.

 

Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir nearly came to blows with his opposite number Manoj Tiwary and even pushed the umpire during a Ranji trophy match with Bengal at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Saturday.  Gambhir, who was standing in the slips, went charging towards Tiwary who was at the crease and then pushed umpire Krishnaraj Srinath who tried to come in between. Pushing the umpire is a grave offence in cricket, and could invite a ban.

 

The incident happened in the eighth over after Partha Sarathi Bhattacharjee was dismissed and Tiwary came in to bat at number four wearing a cap.  Tiwary took guard and settled down to take strike before signalling to the dressing room to bring his helmet as a pacer was operating from the other end. The Delhi players felt that it was a deliberate time wasting tactic and Manan exchanged angry words with the Bengal skipper. 

 

All of a sudden, Gambhir, at first slip, got into the action and started abusing Tiwary, who then retaliated.  Suddenly all hell broke loose as Gambhir said: “Shaam ko mil tujhe maroonga (Meet me in the evening, I will hit you). And Tiwary retorted, saying: “Shaam kya abhi bahar chal (Why wait till evening, let’s go out and settle it now”).

 

Gambhir charged towards Tiwary with his fists raised, but the batsman was in no mood to back down. Umpire Srinath who was at the bowler’s end came sprinting to prevent a fight, but Gambhir tried to push him away.  Manoj was then seen shouting at Gambhir, saying: “Did I tell you anything? Why did you have to come in between”. Both Tiwary and Gambhir are expected to be summoned by the match referee Valmick Buch.

 

Headline: UDRS set for summer of cricket, says Aussie broadcaster.

Article from:  Australian Associated Press.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Saturday, 24 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1670-8190.

 

Australian television broadcaster Channel Nine is adamant the inaugural day-night cricket Test will feature the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) as per normal, despite concerns being raised by the firm responsible for ball-tracking technology.  Nine have already spent plenty of time and money to prepare for the prime-time event, conducting a range of tests in partnership with Cricket Australia (CA) over the past 18 months, but there is still much to do. 

 

That includes working closely with Animation Research, the New Zealand company that has helped deliver the UDRS in Australian Tests since its inception.  Ian Taylor, head of Animation Research, recently questioned whether his organisation had enough time to ensure its technology could reliably track an old pink ball (PTG 1667-8169, 21 October 2015).  Nine's head of sport Steve Crawley appreciated why Taylor was anxious but did not share the feeling.  "I can understand he's concerned but we're going to get there”, said Crawley.

 

Crawley understands "the pressure Ian feels and his concern is genuine but we'll work it out. We've got plenty of time to continue our testing and we'll get there if it's humanely possible to get there - and I believe it is”.  He added that Nine had "tougher things than tracking a pink ball to worry about this year”.  "People ring every year before the cricket starts, asking what innovations we have for the summer”, he said.  "Tracking a pink ball isn't the newest and biggest thing we'll be doing this year, but I believe you shouldn't talk about them until you do it. You never brag about something before you've done it”.  A CA spokesperson echoed Crawley's confidence. 

 

Animation Research were not part of Nine's pink-ball trial at the Melbourne Cricket Ground earlier this year (PTG 1500-7239, 13 January 2015), however, they conducted UDRS tests at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium in August.

 

Headline: On-field ODI debut for Zimbabwe’s Rusere.

Article from:  Sources.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1670-8191.

 

Zimbabwean umpire Langton Rusere became the 13th person from that country to stand in a One Day International when he made his debut in the final game of the home side’s series against Afghanistan in Bulawayo on Saturday.  Rusere, 30. made his first class debut in March 2009 at the age of just 23 and to date has stood in 55 first class, 45 List A and 17 Twenty20s t senior level.

 

Headline: BCCI to appoint Ombudsman at 2015 AGM.

Article from:  Zee Media Bureau.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Saturday, 24 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1670-8192.

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is all set to appoint an Ombudsman at its 2015 Annual General Meeting which is scheduled to be held at its headquarters in Mumbai on Thursday fortnight.  The Ombudsman’s role will be "to deal with the complaints of Conflict of Interest and any act of indiscipline or misconduct or violation of any of the Rules and Regulations of the Board by an administrator” (PTG 1668-8176, 22 October 2015).

 

However, some board members are apprehensive about adopting the proposal.  “Appointing an independent observer to settle issues of conflict of interest is a good idea, but there are positives and negatives”, said one.  "Not all may welcome this because we don’t know who the Ombudsman would be and who will vouch for his neutrality”.

 

There is a section of the board though that is backing the new president to bring in new regulations to make BCCI more transparent.  “This is being done to ensure the board runs in fair and transparent manner, so that the Supreme Court can’t find flaws in our system. It came down heavily on the issue of conflict of interest and we must avoid repeating mistakes and the BCCI has to take steps to show it’s proactive".

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,671

 Monday, 26 October 2015

 

• Not too late to call off day-night Test, says ACA [1671-8193].

• Skippers fined for on-field fracas in Delhi [1671-8194].

• Referee approached about ‘ball tampering’ concerns [1671-8195].

• Sledging: where does one draw the line? [1671-8196].

• ICC faces threat of rebellion, claims PCB head [1671-8197].

• Pakistan college cricketers in awe of Indian hospitality [1671-8198].

• Will female players loose their joy? [1671-8199].

 

Headline: Not too late to call off day-night Test, says ACA.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Andrew Wu.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1671-8193.

 

Greg Dyer, the president of the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) or players’ union says it is not too late for Cricket Australia (CA) to abort next month's day-night Test due to concerns about the pink ball.  The feedback from next weekend's opening round of Sheffield Shield matches, where the pink ball will go on trial again, is set to form the key plank on the stance taken by the players' union on the fate of the Adelaide Test. And if problems persist the ACA will ask for the Test to be played as a traditional day fixture, however, CA said on Sunday that there were no plans to change the schedule.

 

While the bulk of Australia's cricketers support the concept of day-night Tests, there are still worries the pink ball may not be up to scratch. Paceman Josh Hazlewood has said the ball could be hard to see for fielders square of the wicket (PTG 1669-8182, 24 October 2015), while Test incumbent Adam Voges said the ball used in the Prime Minister's XI match last week had become green (PTG 1669-8178, 24 October 2015).

 

Dyer, the most senior official in the players' union, said day-night Test cricket was too important an initiative for the game to fail.  With only a month before the Test, a late change would present a logistical dilemma for CA and TV broadcasters, but Dyer said it was never too late if they thought it would be unsuccessful.  "We called off a tour of Bangladesh at the very last minute, didn't we?" he said. "And I would have thought it's better to make that call if you think that's the case”.

 

"I'm not saying we're at that point but if the players are expressing concern around it all I think we need to be very careful. We need to listen to the players and be absolutely confident that this thing is going to work. If it's not, we play that game as a normal day fixture.  I'm sure there's lots of television scheduling and all sorts of issues around that but that's only if we're 100 per cent confident we'll be successful”.

 

Dyer said next weekend's round of day-night Shield matches was crucial  (PTG 1669-8181, 24 October 2015). "The feedback out of that is going to be decisive. There's a lot of players who are keen to see it [day-night Tests] happen, I must say. This is not something we're getting a uniform discussion on. There are players who have different attitudes and views; coming to a consensus will not be a simple matter. A lot of the guys have said, quite rightly, what a good initiative, it's going to be a good thing for Test cricket. I absolutely agree but we need to be real confident we're not going to have someone cleaned up in the gully because they couldn't pick it up”.

 

The manufacturer of cricket's pink ball has defended the new look, saying the pitch – rather than the ball – was to blame for the troubles batsman like Voges had in Canberra.  ‘Kookaburra' group general manager Brett Elliot said the pink ball would deteriorate in a similar fashion to the traditional red variety.  "The ball naturally scuffs and deteriorates over the course of 80 overs like all balls. This is an essential characteristic of the cricket ball in order to ensure a balance between bat and ball. It also ensures skills like spin bowling are brought into the game”, he said.

 

"The red ball scuffs and picks up the green from outfields and pitch; it's just that the contrast is more obvious on a coloured ball. The ball pictured looked well worn, the seams had all but worn away, which also suggests an abrasive pitch. The abrasiveness of pitch will have an impact on the ball as it's always done”.

 

Cricket insiders insist Manuka Oval in Canberra has the most abrasive pitch in the country, and has had a similar impact on the white ball.

CA will keep a close eye on the opening round of Shield matches and feedback from players, but has taken great confidence from the trials last season using the pink ball.

 

Meanwhile, Australia and New South Wales captain Steve Smith says he is not worried about the pink ball that has received scathing reviews from members of the Prime Ministers XI following their one-day, day-night match against New Zealand in Canberra on Friday night.  Speaking on Saturday evening, Smith said the day-night Test and pink ball were great additions to the game. He hadn’t "spoken to the other players yet, but I guess we'll find out more after the [day-night, pink ball] Sheffield Shield game next week in Adelaide”.

 

However, it took $A1 million in prizemoney for players from Australia and New Zealand to agree to the day-night Test (PTG 1669-8178, 24 October 2015), with fears the pink ball would make life difficult when batting and bowling, and also in the field, particularly during dusk when it can be challenging to quickly pick up on its direction.

 

CA has a lot riding on the day-night concept. Chief executive James Sutherland has long been a driving force. It's hoped the clash will lift attendance and the television-viewing audience, with the final session staged during prime time. It's also hoped this will encourage nations where Test cricket is struggling for public support to experiment with the concept.

 

Headline: Skippers fined for on-field fracas in Delhi.

Article from:  Various report.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1671-8194.

 

Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir has been fined 70 percent of his match fee while his Bengal counterpart Manoj Tiwary lost 40 per cent for their on-field altercation during the third day of the Ranji Trophy match in Delhi on Saturday (PTG 1670-8189, 25 October 2015).  Anurag Thakur, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said incidents like that between Gambhir and Tiwary should not take place and promised "corrective measures”.   

 

Thakur said: "Each and every player playing the game should avoid indulging in such. I had a word with the match officials and asked them to look into the details of the incident". Gambhir was found guilty of a Level Two offence and while Tiwary’s was classed as Level One.  

 

However, Gambhir has protested his innocence of wrongdoing, saying in a statement which read in part: "I was most surprised that certain sections of the media have reported that I pushed an on-field umpire during [the] Delhi-Bengal Ranji Trophy game.  At no point did I threaten or pushed any on-field umpires. Nor did I threaten to beat [Tiwary] up.  I am a proud cricketer who is trying to win Ranji Trophy for my state. For me it is a game of cricket where both teams are fired up to win and may the best team win”.

 

Headline: Referee approached about ‘ball tampering’ concerns.

Article from:  GeoTV.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1671-8195.

 

Match referee Andy Pycroft was consulted by England’s head coach Trevor Bayliss during the evening session on fourth day of the Dubai Test against Pakistan after a heated tirade took place between Wahab Riaz and England vice-captain Joe Root over alleged ball tampering.  The England batsman and the Pakistani fast bowler were seen involved a squabble during the drinks break. Root’s gestures suggested that he was accusing Wahab of unlawfully altering the ball’s condition.

 

Wahab was seen in replays using his shoe to lift the ball to avoid touching it with his sweaty palms in a bid to keep it dry to extract more reverse swing.  This is not the first occasion when England has levelled such allegations on Pakistani pacers. They accused two of the greatest fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis after the 1992 rout at the hands of Pakistan on their home soil.  Former Pakistani players Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz had also faced similar allegations by the same opponents in the past.

 

However, Pycroft did not call in any player after conclusion of Sunday's day’s play. and England’s assistant coach, Paul Farbrace, played down the incident after stumps when he insisted there was no lingering issue.  “In the heat of battle you are going to see the odd exchange between players”, he said. “Riaz certainly won’t be signing for Chelsea in the Premier League with his footballing skills. The umpires dealt with it at the time and that is the end of it”.

 

Headline: Sledging: where does one draw the line?

Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Michael Jeh.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1671-8196.

 

Zimbabwe batsman Mark Vermeulen, who has been banned from all cricket for racist comments, said in part apology for his actions that "as a cricketer, it's how our minds work... It was not meant in a menacing way….it was just a chirp that often happens out on the field of play, and as men, you take the blow on the chin and get on with the game” (PTG 1664-8149, 18 October 2015).

 

Sounds so innocent doesn't it: "a chirp". How cute and harmless. It almost puts the onus back on the victim to stop being such a sook. After all, if you want to be a man "you take the blow on the chin and get on with the game". 

 

What happens when it's not men but 12-year-old boys instead? Are they too meant to take it on the chin, learn to play cricket like "real men" and get on with the game? I was driving my son to junior cricket in Brisbane on Saturday morning and we were discussing this very incident, including the casual, off-hand downplaying of it by Vermeulen, and he asked me when a boy becomes a man in this crazy, mixed-up, cricket sub-culture. About an hour later, by Vermeulen's definition, my boy crossed that threshold into manhood. 

 

During my son’s Under-13 game that day, the big, burly fast bowler and captain of the opposition, having already sledged my son before he had even taken guard, took it to another level with: "I am going to kill you", delivered a few inches away from his face.  "Sledging's okay but this is clearly inappropriate. He needs to know where to draw the line”, said a coach, as if 'The Line' was a visible mark on the field. 

 

Do you need to consult the playing regulations to check if a physical threat involving death, however casually it may have been delivered by a 12-year-old boy, technically breaches The Line?   It is a topic of discussion that I am intimately acquainted with at the moment as I travel around Australia, running Cricket Australia's (CA) 'Inclusion and Diversity' education program for elite under-age squads. 

 

CA's commitment to creating a culture that is genuinely inclusive to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or ethnic background is utterly admirable. The instructions were clear when I began in this consultancy role - there will be no excuses for serious breaches in our sport. We want every cricketer to feel that they have a place in Australia's cricket family. 

 

How that quite plays out in jurisdictions beyond CA's control, like in a dreamy park in West Brisbane in a game that features 12-year-olds, is another matter altogether. Running sessions for the cream of Australia's youth talent is relatively straightforward. They're mostly intelligent, articulate and committed cricketers who've mastered self-discipline to make it to representative level.

 

The question most commonly asked is: how do you know where to draw the line? I don't have an easy answer to that, so I tend instead to throw it open to debate, to get them to discuss it among themselves. As an educator, I know that the most illuminating moments happen when the light bulb is switched on internally. It's often a beautiful thing to behold, when these young men and women, on the cusp of crossing into professional ranks, agree among themselves that if you're in the habit of playing with loaded guns, accidents will inevitably happen. 

 

There is no such thing as a clearly defined line that all parties agree to. Human nature being what it is, what constitutes abuse to one person is banter or a chirp to another.  There's no easy answer, but  the sooner administrators, coaches and players, including the young, figure that out, the better.  At some point, it behoves parents, administrators, coaches and the boys to decide for themselves what constitutes appropriate boundaries. 

 

Headline: ICC faces threat of rebellion, claims PCB head.

Article from:  London Daily Telegraph.

Journalist: Nick Hoult.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1671-8197.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is facing the threat of open rebellion a little more than year after voting through changes that empowered England, India and Australia to run the world game. The so called “Big Three” now enjoy increased revenue share and total control following constitutional changes agreed last year, but the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has revealed a growing split in the world game that looks set to be brought to a head by his country’s failed attempts to organise a tour against India in December. 

 

Pakistan voted for the changes to the ICC’s constitution after being promised six lucrative series against India over an eight year period but there is a sense they were duped by an the Indian board that knew its own government would not allow cricketing ties between the two countries to resume (PTG 1311-6327, 12 March 2014).  Talks between India and Pakistan over a series to be held in December were cancelled this week after far right Hindu extremists stormed the office of the Indian cricket board in Mumbai (PTG 1666-8163, 20 October 2015). 

 

It leaves Giles Clarke, the president of the England and Wales Cricket Board, facing the threat of having to renegotiate a fairer and more democratic ICC constitution, and therefore conceivably less money for England and India, if as expected he takes over as chairman of the ICC later this year. 

 

PCB chairman Shahrayar Khan told the ‘Telegraph’: “We signed the new constitution on the understanding that India would play us six times in eight years. This was the inducement to us to drop our opposition and for the ICC to have a unanimous agreement.  Now we are facing the problem if India does not play. It not only goes against Memorandum of Understanding [India] signed [with us] but also the understanding on which we signed the new constitution”. 

 

“I know apart from Pakistan there are other countries not happy with this unequal treatment within the ICC board. It is unequal and undemocratic. But we signed it so we had to accept it. But within a year if treatment is not the same for each country then I think Pakistan will have to consider what to do about it. What can we do? There are other countries that feel like this. Anything is possible. I think the deal can be undone if the big three themselves feel this is not getting the work done”.

 

As a career diplomat, and one who was ambassador to France and Great Britain, Khan will have measured words carefully, particularly given the tense political situation between India and Pakistan. He has given India a week to confirm the series against Pakistan in December. 

 

He also warned Pakistan could pull out of the World Twenty20, due to be played in India next year, over security concerns (PTG 1669-8188, 24 October 2015). This week the Pakistani umpire, Aleem Dar, was pulled out of a match in Mumbai after the ICC could not guarantee his safety. “I have a feeling our government is going to say to us that even if you want to go the security situation is such you cannot go”, he said. “It becomes a force majeure if the government says you cannot go. The atmosphere is very hostile to Pakistan now”.

 

Headline: Pakistan college cricketers in awe of Indian hospitality.

Article from:  Press Trust of India.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Friday, 23 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1671-8198.

 

The recent anti-Pakistan protests in India may have further jeopardised the revival of the much awaited cricketing ties between the two countries but a bunch of college-going cricketers from Karachi, oblivious of the simmering tensions at the higher level, are having the time of their lives in the “safe haven” of Dehradun in northern India. 

 

While Shiv Sena-led protests in Mumbai did not allow the chiefs of Indian and Pakistan cricket boards to meet (PTG 1666-8163, 20 October 2015), the political party has taken on the task of ensuring that no one from across [Pakistan] border, be it cricketer or actor, is allowed in the state.  However, the students from Jinnah Degree College, one of the eight teams taking part in Campus Cricket World Finals, have thoroughly enjoyed their time since arriving in India a week ago. 

 

Faizan Khan, a List A cricketer who is captaining the team of 11 Karachi-based cricketers, said: “It has almost been a week since we came. What do I say, we feel very welcome here. It feels even better and safer than back home. It is just like home. I would say the treatment is even better than home”. 

 

Shouldn’t he be worried when there is a risk to the safety?  “We heard about what happened in Mumbai and that Pakistan Cricket Board chief [Shahryar Khan] had to go back home without talking to Board of Control for Cricket in India officials, but honestly, we have not been able to find a single negative here. The only thing we would have wished for was to win more games in the tournament”, said the 23-year-old, who plays for Southern Gas Corporation back home.

 

It was a long journey for the Karachi boys who reached their destination via Dubai and Delhi. The squad is usually bigger than the 11 players who take the field but not in the case of these aspiring men.  “We are only 11 guys here. We have a manager who is an Indian. Some of our main players could not get the visa, so we just came with whatever we had. I have injured my leg but I have to take the field”, said Khan after his team’s third loss in as many games. 

 

A wicket-keeper batsman, Khan was ready with an instant reply when asked about his role model.  “M S Dhoni”, he said. “And I am not saying this because I am in India. It is just because he comes across as a good personality and a great batsman. It is my dream to meet him. I don’t wish to meet any international cricketer but Dhoni.  There is something special about him”, he said. What will the boys take back from their time in India? “The love that people gave us here is something we will remember for the rest of our lives”.

 

Headline: Will female players loose their joy?

Article from:  The Australian.

Journalist: Gideon Haigh.                          

Published: Saturday, 24 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1671-8199.

 

Ashleigh Barty and Jess Cameron are two gifted young female athletes who have just made big decisions, for themselves, and also for others.  Barty, 19, decided to turn her back on tennis, at which she was Australia’s most exciting young female prospect, in favour of cricket, joining the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Cameron, 26, decided to forgo representing the Perth Scorchers in the same competition and foreshadowed an indefinite break from the game.

 

For cricket, Barty’s is a feel-good story. Earlier this year she went to talk to the Heat about her career as an international athlete, but on experiencing their closeness and camaraderie decided that she preferred their life to hers.  “It is tough when you’re by yourself [on the tennis circuit] and I think that’s why team sport is so appealing”, Barty has explained. “There’s never a lonesome moment on the field if you’re struggling. There’s 10 other girls that can help you out and get you through the tough times”.

 

From Cameron, another versatile athlete who has played women’s football and men’s cricket, no comments have issued, although ‘Cricinfo' reports that she is “believed to have lost her former enjoyment for the game and has told teammates she needs a break”.  Funnily enough, she made a hundred last weekend: when you’re not enjoying those, it probably is time for a break.

 

All of which comes at a telling moment in Australian women’s cricket, standing on the brink of professionalism with its enhanced rewards and demands, even if it’s hardly rushing into the future on a hoverboard: compared to the $A600,000 (£UK282,800) Barty earned in her last full year on the tennis circuit, the $A17,000 (£UK8,014) base pay of a female domestic cricketer is pin money.

 

From another standpoint, however, these are more than a step forward and step back for an embryonic competition: they raise interesting questions that elsewhere can seem almost taboo. Just who is deriving what pleasure and satisfaction from the modern big-time cricket field?

 

Modern sport contains little scope for the discussion of enjoyment. The only time you hear it consistently mentioned is at the end of a career, when athletes are won’t to talk about their enjoyment having ebbed away, although in this context diminished enjoyment is usually inseparable from dwindling success.

 

Playing at the top level is such a fondly imagined wish of the everyday sports participant that it’s hard to credit the reality being anything other than one long exhilaration. Were it not fun, we ask, why would anyone persist?  Of course, there’s all sort of reasons, many of them the same as those involved in continuing an unsatisfying or unstimulating job: security, income, companionship, force of habit, the devil-you-know.

 

Imagine being a mid-20s male earning half a million dollars a year for something at which you’re pretty good. That would make up for quite a bit of disgruntlement, drudgery and physical pain, especially if you had contemporaries undergoing a similar experience, especially if you had friends who had always known you as “the sportsman”.  Should that worry us where cricket is concerned? After all, in every occupation there is a broad spectrum of degrees of engagement.

 

Well, maybe just a little. Long-term markers of job satisfaction in industrialised nations are at historically low levels. Demands on 21st century workers are greater, more intense, less predictable than ever before. Pay is now known by the technical word “compensation” — significantly, I think, the same word we use for ex gratia disbursements in the event of suffering.

 

We acknowledge the increased relentlessness of professional sports, while imagining it to be different because the monetary rewards have improved so markedly. But improvements in income do not correlate precisely with fulfilment or happiness. Appetite grows with the eating. Comparison begets jealousy. And palates jade ­regardless.

 

The last word I would have associated with Australia’s cricket during the recent Ashes series was enjoyment. In fact, it had an exhausted quality — not so much physical as mental. Watching players who had toiled through a home summer prolonged by the World Cup followed by the Indian Premier League and the Worrell Trophy drag themselves out for another training session was to experience a bit of ennui yourself. Talk of “work ethic” was so pervasive you’d have sworn they were 'toting barges and lifting bales'.

 

By no means an outstanding team, England were a far more outwardly happy unit. Astute punters are said to be able to discern winners from equine behaviours in the mounting yard. England’s zesty morning kickabouts set a tone of playfulness and togetherness that seemed to carry over into their cricket.

 

And if we’re to pursue the idea of cricket as occupation further, this makes sense too. God knows it has led to numberless unbearable workplace bonding exercises, but many reputable sources tell us that happier workers are more productive, more imaginative, more successful. And in sport the relationship between winning and happiness flows both ways.

 

It’s interesting that it is through the women’s game that these ideas — Barty’s observation of the joy in companionship, Cameron’s position that sometimes you just need a break — have been expressed.  Women, it’s often observed, are more emotionally mature and articulate than men of a comparable age. And women have, of course, historically been paid far less for sport, where they have been paid at all.

 

The WBBL is an exciting development for the game in this country. But it will also change the relationship the players have with cricket?  Having historically made considerable sacrifices to participate, female cricketers have tended to put a higher premium on enjoyment, on mutual support, on balanced lives. More will be expected of them at the outset for, as yet, not much coin — a period of adjustment impends.

 

Yet if there’s something I wish for Australian cricketers of both sexes this summer, it’s for their deeper acquaintance with the game’s many joys. It will probably make them better players. It will almost certainly make them better people, too.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,672

 Tuesday, 27 October 2015

 

• Waugh: day-night Tests can save dwindling format [1672-8200].

• CA dismisses pink ball concerns [1672-8201].

• ‘Intelligent fielding’ defeated by intelligent 'batting' [1672-8202].

• Tainted duo travelling with team but can’t play! [1672-8203].

• NZ heroes inspire junior boom [1672-8204].

• Former BCB director allegedly assaults groundsman [1672-8205].

 

Headline: Waugh: day-night Tests can save dwindling format.

Article from:  Herald Sun and Cricinfo.

Journalist: Jon Ralph and Daniel Brettig.                          

Published: Monday, 26 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1672-8200.

 

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh says it is time for critics of day-night Test cricket to get on board, adamant the new format could help “save” a dwindling format.  Australia and New Zealand will play the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide in late November despite a barrage of criticism about the new pink ball (PTG 1671-8193, 26 October 2015).  Test batsman Adam Voges said last week the ball quickly turned green after use (PTG 1669-8178, 24 October 2015), while bowler Mitchell Starc said mid-year he was “yet to be convinced” (PTG 1582-7616, 2 July 2015).

 

But Waugh is sick of seeing Tests played in front of barren stadiums, arguing only Australia and England draw quality crowds.  “Test cricket needs day-night Test cricket. I was on the Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket Committee for eight years and we pushed this 10 years ago (PTG 242-1334, 15 May 2008).  I think it’s definitely needed. If we save Test cricket and this plays a part, it’s very important".  

 

"At the end of the day the ball might not be perfect but neither was the white one-day ball.  Let’s just play and worry about the other stuff later. It’s round, they will still be able to see it and it will be a storm in a teacup at the end of the day.  People are always scared to embrace something new but let’s give it a go.  I think once we start playing day-night Test matches we will sit back and say, ‘What was all the fuss about, we should have been playing it a while ago’ “.

 

Voges’ comments came after the Prime Ministers XI was well beaten by New Zealand in Canberra last Friday, with the Test incumbent worried by the lack of swing and durability (PTG 1672-8201 below).  Starc has also wondered out loud whether the International Cricket Council should put an asterisk on match records to differentiate them from a normal day-time Test.

 

Headline: CA dismisses pink ball concerns.

Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Daniel Brettig.                          

Published: Monday, 26 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1672-8201.

 

Concerns raised during the Prime Minister's XI match about the experimental pink ball have been dismissed by Cricket Australia (CA), as a host of cricket and broadcasting figures prepare to descend on Adelaide for Wednesday's day-night Sheffield Shield fixture that will be used for all manner of last-minute rehearsals.

 

The match between South Australia and New South Wales, part of a full round of floodlit Shield games, will not only serve as a pink ball proving ground for the players involved but also broadcaster Channel Nine and various operators of technology associated with international cricket and the Umpire Decision Review System (PTG 1668-8174, 22 October 2015).  Management and crew from Nine, CA, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) and other interested parties, will be in Adelaide to see for themselves how the ball and playing conditions stand up to scrutiny.

 

The latest version of the 'Kookaburra ball was chewed up badly by an abrasive pitch and square at Canberra’s Manuka Oval, leading the Test batsman Adam Voges to offer a blunt critique (PTG 1669-8178, 24 October 2015). Players on both sides were similarly nonplussed, and there was much discussion of the topic during the two-day tour match that followed.  

 

David Hussey, another participant, said the ball simply did not look capable of lasting 80 overs.  He told a Melbourne radio station that: "The ball simply doesn't stand up for the 80 overs, and during the PM's XI game we had to change the ball twice, so certainly some tinkering needs to happen sooner rather than later”.  "The administrators have simply gone ahead with it, they want day-night Test cricket to happen purely for TV rights I believe’.

 

Hussey thinks though "it's going to be here to stay but I really think they have to do something about the ball and very quickly”.  "Talking to some of the Kiwis after Friday night's match, they were fielding in the evening and they could barely pick up the ball". 

 

"So it's probably more of a player safety issue rather than playing at night. As Victoria batting coach I'm trying to tell all the batters just to play the ball as late as they possibly can, because it is a different style of ball, and you just see a sort of blur to start off with. It takes a few balls to get used to it.  The concept sits quite comfortably with all the players, but the pink ball, there could be a better option about”, concluded Hussey.

 

Separate issues about the ball's visibility were raised, including the inability of some batsmen to pick up the orientation of the seam as a way of working out which way it was going to be swinging or seaming. Visual cues such as these are viewed as critical to a batsman's capacity to survive against fast bowling at the top level of the game (PTG 1669-8182, 24 October 2015). 

 

However CA's head of cricket operations, Sean Cary, said the Canberra match was not a source of worry.  "We're not reading too much into the condition of the ball during the Prime Minister's XI match in Canberra”, said Cary, who will also be in Adelaide for the Shield match. "We know the Manuka wicket is very abrasive and has a similar impact on a white ball in limited-overs cricket".

 

"We've worked very closely with the [ACA] and ‘Kookaburra' during its development to get it ready and fit for purpose. That included making significant improvements in the last 18 months around greater seam visibility, colour, shape and hardness.  We're as confident as we can be that the ball is ready to go and I think from the experiences in the last round of Shield cricket that we had using the pink ball [in November last year], we can be really positive as we approach the Test”.

 

ACA president Greg Dyer has stated that it is not too late for the Adelaide Test to revert to a day fixture (PTG 1671-8193, 26 October 2015). However the logistics and commercial arrangements being set in place for a match that was announced as far back as June make this a distinctly unlikely possibility - in a nutshell too much money is being spent, or made.

 

Advocates of day-night Test cricket have been out in force, with the former Australian captain Steve Waugh declaring the necessity of the game moving into the night in a string of interviews (PTG 1672-8200 above). 

 

Headline: ‘Intelligent fielding’ defeated by ‘intelligent batting'.

Article from:  Herald Sun .

Journalist: Herald Sun.                          

Published: Monday, 26 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1672-8202.

 

Moves by England players to take advantage of  a change in the Laws that the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) says is designed to recognise “intelligent fielding”, were defeated by some intelligent batting by Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq during the  two sides’ second Test in Dubai on the weekend.  The Laws update regarding the movement of fielders came into force this month (PTG 1654-8087, 1 October 2015).

 

Facing England spinner Adil Rashid, the right-handed Misbah toyed with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and first slip James Anderson, playing a shot that cricket may never have seen before.  As the ball was delivered, he took a big step forward, apparently readying himself for a paddle sweep, sending Buttler and Anderson scurrying to the leg side, only to abort at the last second and guide the ball through the now-vacant first slip spot to pick up two runs.  Misbah’s new stoke may well find its way into the cricketing lexicon like other shots from the modern era.

 

Headline: Tainted duo travelling with team but can’t play!

Article from:  Dawn.

Journalist: Khalid Khan.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1672-8203.

 

The start of the first-class cricket season in Pakistan is usually a low-keyed affair. But Monday’s opening fixture of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy National Cricket Championship here in Karachi will see two players present at the National Stadium but they won’t be part of the playing XI throughout the premier tournament.   The duo in question is the tainted former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and his national team mate Mohammad Asif, who were recently signed up by Water and Power Development Authority (WDPA) team, who take on Karachi Whites in a four-day Pool ‘B’ match. 

 

Despite the signing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who are monitoring the rehabilitation program which both Salman and Asif have to strictly follow (PTG 1631-7971, 30 August 2015), has made it clear that they are not allowed to play in any tournament organised by the cricket board, at least for the 2015-16 season. 

 

However, WDPA team management have, curiously enough, allowed Salman and Asif to practice with their team-mates and remain part of the squad which will also travel to Rawalpindi, Lahore, Sialkot, Islamabad and Faisalabad over the next seven weeks for a total of seven preliminary-round games. 

 

It is yet to be confirmed whether WDPA officials have obtained the PCB’s permission to have the pair officially stay with the squad, although both of them became eligible to return to competitive cricket in early September after serving bans for their parts in the spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test of the 2010 series in England. 

 

Mohammad Aamer, their co-conspirator in that Test, has already returned to domestic cricket after being granted special dispensation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and became eligible for international cricket on the same day Salman and Asif were declared free again.  However, his return to the game has not been without controversy (PTG 1663-8147, 16 October 2015).

 

An ICC media release in mid-August stated that Salman and Asif were eligible for competitive cricket, not only at the domestic level but also internationally, after fulfilling the specific conditions as laid down by the independent anti-corruption tribunal.  But the PCB’s clear stance is something that WPDA officials are not willing to obey because they apparently feel that Salman and Asif should be treated in the same manner as Aemer, who hopes to carry his wicket-taking form for Sui Southern Gas Company  (SSGC) when they meet Lahore Blues in a Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Pool ‘A’ fixture starting on Monday. 

 

Editor’s note: Mohammad Aamer took the field for SSGC in Lahore on Monday, however, both Salman and Asif were missing from the WDPA side that took to the field in Karachi.

 

Headline: NZ heroes inspire junior boom.

Article from:  New Zealand Herald.

Journalist: Andrew Alderson.                          

Published: Sunday, 25 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1672-8204.

 

Six-year-old Riley Hoon will don cricket gear for the first time next weekend when the junior season starts in Auckland, with the Black Caps' sustained success responsible for his, and many other, registrations.  After New Zealand co-hosted the World Cup and the national side qualified for their first final in March, there has been an unprecedented boost in junior numbers this season.  Auckland Cricket have reported a 20-30 per cent increase and clubs are clamouring to ensure they have the resources to deal with it.

 

Riley's father Damien says the sport is a family tradition - he played at age-group level for Wellington and Riley's maternal grandfather John Carson represented Auckland and Northern Districts - but the current New Zealand side have been a catalyst. "Riley saw the World Cup and I think it registered how well New Zealand did”, Damien says.  "New Zealand have been inspirational on the international stage and they performed as a team rather than relying on one or two individuals.  Their sportsmanship seems to be held in high regard around the world, too. If he could emulate that, we'd be pretty proud. Their values have filtered through to the public”.

 

The Hoon family spent happy hours last summer playing in front of a stumps sticker on their wheelie bin. Riley tended to want to "whack it more than block it" but will soon learn more about the game's nuances.  "We're going to the Parnell club which seems really organised”, Damien says. "They're teaching them the skills prior to Christmas, before letting them play.  He's playing Saturday mornings but I've heard of other clubs inviting kids to play on Friday nights and opening club rooms to give it a community feel”.

 

The resurgence is not isolated to Auckland's eastern suburbs.  Otara's Primary School came to prominence when, under the banner of Papatoetoe Cricket Club, they became Auckland's 6B grade champions and won the local Otara Cluster in 2014. They repeated the dose last season.  Cricket barely raised a whisper at the school five years ago. Now it's de rigueur.

 

Deputy principal Fiona McAree-Ngaau says they sent a team to a 'Hooked On Cricket' tournament organised by the New Zealand Players' Association a few years ago. They were trounced but staff, parents and children became absorbed enough in the game to make it part of their summers.  "Papatoetoe Cricket Club have worked with us, giving lessons to every senior kid, and we run an after-school program for our junior and middle school”, McAree-Ngaau says. We are probably going to need to cap the numbers. So many of the little kids see the big kids and want to play”.

 

Grafton United club chairman Nick Albrecht sees a link between the World Cup and their rise in junior numbers from 410 to 540 (32 per cent) but says it's also a case of Auckland Cricket harvesting from long-standing initiatives.  "Cricket is on a high approaching the levels of the 1980s but they [Auckland Cricket] spent years engaging with the likes of schools, councils, community boards and trusts, even in non-cricketing areas, starting with the 'Club Is The Hub' scheme.  "This gave clubs the autonomy to carve out their own futures and is a model for other sports organisations because it makes clubs the heart and soul.

 

One concern for Albrecht though is "whether we have enough grounds and wickets to sustain this growth. There are few green spaces left in the Auckland isthmus and Auckland Cricket are engaging with the council to find solutions”.

 

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have also taken notice, feedback commissioned by them suggesting they offered too few options for working parents to involve their children.  As a result they are exploring novel ways of playing the game to combat what, on occasion, can be a numbing three to six hours on a Saturday.  "We've launched modified games that remove costs, can be played mid-week and completed in under two hours”, says Ed Shuttleworth, NZC's general manager of community cricket.  

 

Headline: Former BCB director allegedly assaults groundsman.

Article from:  The Daily Star.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Monday, 26 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1672-8205.

 

A member of the ground staff in Rajshahi was reportedly assaulted on Saturday after the first day's play of the National Cricket League first class match between the home side the Rajshahi Division and the visiting Barisal Division team.  The person accused of beating up the groundsman is Mahmood Jamal, the general secretary of Rajshahi Divisional Sports Association, and a former director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

 

According to sources, Jamal was unhappy with the kind of pitch that his side Rajshahi batted on as after two hours play they were 7/36 and were eventually dismissed for 119 in just 43 overs, the Barisal side reaching 2/153 at stumps on day one.  That apparently led Jamal to call the groundsman to his office after play ended on Saturday evening and it was then that the alleged assault is said to have taken place.     

 

BCB Grounds Committee chairman Hanif Bhuiyan reported the matter to the board, which issued a statement deploring the alleged incident which it called "very unfortunate” for “one cannot beat someone up like this [as it] is a human rights violation”.  “[Jamal] could have lodged a complaint with the tournament committee if he wanted to raise any concern. We condemn it very strongly and are going to further investigate the issue and then take action”.

 

Akram Khan, the BCB's tournament committee chairman, said "cricket is not just about a player or an official. It has reached a stage where the wicket is a huge factor so we cannot misbehave with the groundstaff who make a contribution every day. I feel that they are a part of cricket's progress and saving them is the board's responsibility. We must give them security”.  He went on to indicate Jamal's complaint against Russell was "about water being sprayed on the pitch, a claim that should have been referred to the match referee rather than allegedly assaulting the worker". 

 

"If the wicket wasn't good enough, the start of the match would have definitely been delayed”, said Akram. "The match started on time. One team made a score of 300-plus. One can blame the wicket but he should have talked to the match referee and umpires. But he cannot physically abuse a groundstaff. We have taken disciplinary actions in the past so I am sure we will take another strong decision on this matter”.

 

However Jamal has denied the claims and brushed them aside as rumours.  “Nothing of such sort has happened. I didn't have any problem with anyone at the ground. These things that you're hearing have all been cooked up”, said Jamal.  However, he refused to comment on the BCB statement, adding that he was not present at the ground "during the second day's play on Sunday”.

 

The groundsman, whose name is Mohammad Russell, has reportedly filed a complaint with police saying he had been threatened before being “kicked out of the stadium” after the first day’s play.  

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,673

 Wednesday, 28 October 2015

 

• Illingworth, Ravi on-field for inaugural day-night Test [1673-8206].

• Severe earthquake stops first class games [1673-8207].

• Aussie keepers pushing to use specialised helmet [1673-8208].

• Another groundsman allegedly abused over pitch [1673-8209].

• Five neutrals named for India-South Africa Tests [1673-8210].

• Gough continues march towards EUP spot [1673-8211].

 

Headline: Illingworth, Ravi on-field for inaugural day-night Test.

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 27 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1673-8206.

 

Richard Illingworth from England and Sundarum Ravi of India are to stand in the inaugural day-night Test match between Australia and New Zealand late next month.  They, together with match referee Roshan Mahanama and a second English umpire their Elite Umpire Panel colleague Nigel Llong, will be involved in managing the two sides’ three Test series, the first match of which is scheduled to get underway in Brisbane tomorrow week.

 

Across the three Tests each of the umpires will stand in two matches and work as the television umpire in a third.  The two Englishmen will be on-field in Brisbane with Ravi in the television suite, while the second match in Perth will see Illingworth as the third umpire in support of Llong and Ravi, before Llong takes up the television spot for the day-night fixture in Adelaide.

 

While players have and are being given opportunities to experience the pink ball in day-night fixtures in the lead up to Adelaide, just what arrangements the International Cricket Council have made for Illingworth and Ravi in that regard are not clear.  Both have stood many times in short form, day-night matches with white balls at both domestic and international level, however, it would appear neither of them have yet stood in such games with a pink ball. 

 

Mahanama, who is to step down from his match referee post at the end of the year (PTG 1646-8057, 16 September 2015), will have taken his record in that role to 61 Tests by the end of the series, while Llong’s record as a Test umpire will move on to 33 on-field and 19 as the television umpire (33/19), Illingworth to 20/6 and Ravi 10/11. 

 

Headline: Severe earthquake stops first class games.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 27 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1673-8207.

 

A severe earthquake that hit Pakistan, India and Afghanistan on Monday, killing at last report almost 400 people, prevented four of the eight season opening Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first class matches that were to start that day in Pakistan from getting underway that day.  Buildings, phone lines, internet services and electricity are down across a wide area after massive tremors, that are reported to have lasted almost a minute, struck.

 

The games affected were those being played in the cities of Islamabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Sialkot, which are all located in the northern part of Pakistan less than 500 km from the 8.1 magnitude quake’s epicentre in north-eastern Afghanistan.  The other four matches in Hyderabad, Karachi and Lahore, cities that lie some 1,200 km from the epicentre, were able to start on schedule.  Despite the problems all eight matches were able to get underway on Tuesday.

 

Headline: Aussie keepers pushing to use specialised helmet.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Jon Pierik and Daniel Cherny.                          

Published: Tuesday, 27 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1673-8208.

 

Two of Australia's leading wicketkeepers are fighting to be able to use a specialised helmet when standing up to the stumps.  Australian One Day International (ODI) gloveman Matthew Wade, and the national womens team’s Alyssa Healy, are seeking to wear a special helmet supplied by global manufacturer ‘Shrey' - the only company that produces a custom-made helmet for wicketkeeping.  Its helmet features a special grill, and is shorter at the back to enhance comfort for keepers when they bend down.

 

Under new guidelines, all batting helmets used in Cricket Australia (CA)-sanctioned competitions must be approved for use pursuant to the standards set by the British Standards Institute (PTG 1658-8114, 7 October 2015).  The problem for Wade, a former Test gloveman and current Victorian captain, and Healy, is that the International Cricket Council (ICC) does not have any standards laid out for helmets specifically for use by wicketkeepers. 

 

Shrey is not seeking to have the helmet approved by the ICC because the company does not want batsmen wearing it.  The company claims that of all its helmets - batting and wicketkeeping - have been tested to ensure they can withstand the impact of a collision. 

 

As it stands, CA does not compel wicketkeepers to wear a helmet, but if a player chooses to wear one, it has to be a batting helmet, because they are the only ones approved. Other boards have interpreted the ICC rules differently, meaning keepers such as Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed and England's Jos Buttler continue to wear the Shrey helmet in international play.  Wade had been allowed to wear the special helmet up until the new mandate was imposed by CA this summer, donning it as recently as last month's ODI series in England.

 

CA is aware of Wade and Healy's angst, and is working with the manufacturers, the Australian Cricketers' Association and the players involved to address the issue.  A review into the death of Phil Hughes by barrister David Curtain (PTG 1598-7738, 22 July 2015), a report on which is expected to be released soon, could also provide a recommendation as to what wicketkeepers will be allowed to wear.

 

While mindful of comfort issues, authorities want to ensure there are no concerns about eye protection, so wicketkeepers can avoid a repeat of the serious eye injury to South African Mark Boucher when he was standing up to a spinner without a helmet, an incident that forced his retirement in 2013. Boucher's eye was punctured after a bail rebounded into his eye (PTG 1468-7111, 26 November 2014). 

 

Australian Twenty20 captain Aaron Finch praises the tougher standards required for helmets since Hughes’ death almost a year ago, but said it was bemusing that Wade, his Victorian teammate, was unable to wear a specialised helmet.  "I think it's good that there is an industry standard as such. You have to look out for players' safety. Now that that is in place, that's great. But the one thing I can't understand is, I know Matty Wade has a helmet that has a little bit of a shorter peak at the front for wicketkeeping but if he wears that in a game, he will get a two-game suspension”, Finch said.

 

‘Masuri’, another helmet manufacturer, has a contractual arrangement with CA, which means that Shrey and other producers have had to sign separate agreements with CA in order for their helmets to be used. Players who seek to wear a non-Masuri helmet must also seek approval from CA, but this is generally a straightforward process.

 

Headline: Another groundsman allegedly abused over pitch.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 27 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1673-8209.

 

Two Indian team support members, Ravi Shastri and Bharat Arun, have been accused of abusing Wankhede Stadium curator Sudhir Naik over the nature of the pitch he provided for the fifth and final India-South Africa One Day International on Sunday, a match the home side lost easily.  The incident came a day after a member of the ground staff in Rajshahi, Bangladesh, was reportedly assaulted by a home official over the pitch he provided for a National Cricket League first class fixture (PTG 1672-8205, 27 October 2015).

 

Shastri and Arun allegedly made abusive remarks about the pitch as they crossed paths with Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) curator Naik after a match which saw South Africa post a massive score of 4/438 in 50 overs.  Their disquiet is said to have arisen on the eve of the game when they expressed unhappiness that the MCA had prepared a batting pitch.  They are alleged to have requested it be made on the slower side, but the MCA instead used a heavy roller twice on the day before the game.  

 

As a result of their request, Indian team management decided to play three spinners, but when they saw the pitch pre-match, Shastri and Arun allegedly became angry and asked Naik to water the pitch, but he ignored that request.  Later, when India lost the game, Arun and Shastri are said to have had "a war of words with Naik”.

 

Anurag Thakur, the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said on Monday that the board needs to first look into the details of the incident before taking action against anyone.  "As far as the BCCI taking action as anyone is concerned, whether it is the player or the management or member of the support staff we have made it very clear that the rules and regulations are equal for everyone. The yardstick will be followed in every case”.

 

Speaking on the controversies over corruption and match-fixing plaguing the BCCI’s Indian Premier League (IPL), Thakur said, "I agree that you can't create success stories overnight and you can't clean up the mess overnight. But I can assure you in the last seven months we have tried our best”.  We understand our role and I can assure the cricket loving fraternity we are here to deliver and make this game more popular. Sponsors are coming our way so that shows sponsors have faith in us and people have faith in the IPL”.

 

Headline: Five neutrals named for India-South Africa Tests.

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 27 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1673-8210.

 

Five senior international match officials from four countries have been named to manage the four Test series between India and South Africa that is to be played in Mohali, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Delhi over the next six weeks.  New Zealand’s Jeff Crowe has been named as the match referee for the series, while the umpires will be Australian Bruce Oxenford, Englishmen Ian Gould and Richard Kettleborough, and Sri Lankan Kumar Dharmasena.  

 

Dharmasena and Kettleborough will be on-field in the opening game in Mohali which starts on Thursday week, Gould comes in to stand with Kettleborough in the second match in Bengaluru, the third Test in Nagpur will see Gould and Oxenford together, before Dharmasena returns for the fourth in Delhi with Oxenford.  The four games will move Crowe’s Test record as a referee to 76 matches, Gould’s on-field tally to 47, Dharmasena 35, Kettleborough 32 and Oxenford 28.  

 

Third umpire appointments for the series, which will come from the four Indian members of the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, have not yet been made public.

 

Headline: Gough continues march towards EUP spot.

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Tuesday, 27 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1673-8211.

 

Michael Gough of England and Rod Tucker of Australia have been named as a neutral umpires for the three match One Day International (ODI) series Sri Lanka and the West Indies are to play over the next two weeks, the match referee for the series, which also includes two Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), being Tucker’s countryman David Boon.  Aged just 35, Gough is clearly regarded by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as a prospective member of its top Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), the forthcoming ODIs being the latest in a string of high-profile matches the ICC has appointed him to this year. 

 

Gough, a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), will be on-field in the first and third games, his 21st and 22nd ODIs and Tucker, from the EUP, in the second and 64th of his career, the pair working as the third umpire when not on the field.  Tucker and Gough will be on-field in their respective ODIs with Sri Lankan IUP members, however, details of their allocations to matches have not yet been released.  The latter will stand in the two T20Is, games that will also be overseen by Boon.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,674

 Thursday, 29 October 2015

 

• Day-night Test pair to get format ‘sighter’ in tour match [1674-8212].

• Bowler in clear after allegedly treading on ball in Dubai Test [1674-8213].

• Three teenage umpires step into Wellington premier cricket cauldron [1674-8214].

• BBC in talks over screening English cricket from 2019 [1674-8215].

• ICC seeking Outside Broadcast services for 2016-19 events [1674-8216].

 

Headline: Day-night Test pair to get format ‘sighter’ in tour match.

Article from:  Cricket Australia appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1674-8212.

 

Richard Illingworth and Sundarum Ravi, the two umpires who have been named to stand in the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide in four weeks time (PTG 1673-8206, 28 October 2015), will not go into that match without some on-field, day-night, pink ball, experience.  In an unusual but understandable move in the circumstances, the pair will be on-field in Perth the week before the Test when Western Australia takes on the New Zealand tourists in a two-day, day-night, pink ball fixture, a match that would normally be looked after by Australian umpires.

 

Meanwhile, three of the four Australian members of the International Cricket Council’s second-tier International Umpires Panel, Paul Wilson, Mick Martell and Simon Fry, have been named as the fourth umpires for the three Australia-NZ Tests, in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide respectively.  Scorers for the series will be Gail Cartwright and Cliff Howard in Brisbane, Ann Ridley and Sandy Wheeler in Perth, and Rita Artis and Neil Ricketts in Adelaide.  Wheeler and Lance Catchpole will be the scorers in Illingworth and Ravi’s tour game in Perth.

 

Headline: Bowler in clear after allegedly treading on ball in Dubai Test.

Article from:  The Guardian.

Journalist: Ali Martin.                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1674-8213.

 

Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz will face no disciplinary action from the International Cricket Council after England batsman Joe Root appeared to accuse the Pakistan fast bowler of treading on the ball during the second Test in Dubai earlier this week.  Riaz was shown kicking the ball during the evening session of the fourth day by the TV cameras with Root, who was batting at the time, making a gesture to suggest he had, in fact, stamped on it (PTG 1671-8195, 26 October 2015).

 

Scuffing the ball can enhance reverse swing, but no footage has emerged to suggest the bowler had done so deliberately. As such, match referee Andy Pycroft has not included it in his match report and no further action will be taken.  England head coach Trevor Bayliss, who immediately went to see Pycroft after the incident, is happy that the umpires found no wrongdoing but believes the best way to avoid suspicion is to avoid contact with the boot altogether.

 

“The match referee assured me that the umpires out on the field had looked at the ball and there was no damage to it. That was the end of it”, said Bayliss. “You’re probably best off keeping your feet out of it and then there’s no issue at all. The main thing was there was no damage to the ball, and let’s get on with it. Both games have been played in a pretty good spirit so far and I think that will continue”.

 

Headline: Three teenage umpires step into Wellington premier cricket cauldron.

Article from: The Dominion Post

Journalist: Cameron Burnell.                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1674-8214.

 

Three teenage umpires are making the step up to Wellington premier club cricket this season.  While it's not unusual to see the odd young umpire at that level of cricket, having Wellington College students Josh Symonds and George Morris, both 17, and 19-year-old Stuart Hope all standing in their maiden season at the same time is a rare occurrence.

 

All three were original members of a program started four years ago to allow school-age boys and girls to join the Cricket Wellington Umpires and Scorers Inc organisation on completing standard umpiring exams.  Cricket Wellington's principal umpire training officer, Jeremy Busby, said the aim wasn't to stop kids playing cricket, rather to get them umpiring Year 9 and 10 tournaments to plant seeds in their minds about officiating later.

 

"What we did not envisage was some of them could ask to officiate instead of playing while still very young”, Busby said. "This happened with some then moving on last season to officiate at premier schools level”.

 

Symonds and Hope stood in their first club games last Saturday, while Morris is in line to do the same this weekend.  All three have worked through three levels of umpire training and meet every second Thursday night for training sessions with Busby and senior umpires. Symonds moved to umpiring when hockey started taking up his time during summer, while Morris and Hope saw it as the best way to be involved with high-level cricket after school.

 

Symonds said he was excited about the prospect of umpiring Wellington's top cricketers this summer and hoped to reach the highest level in world cricket one day.  "When you get closer to it it gets a bit nerve-racking, but once you get through the first over it's quite enjoyable to watch the top level of cricket.  The end goal for me would be umpiring a Test match, that would be awesome”.

 

Hope said he expected to be treated the same by the players as his more experience colleagues.  "I'm just another umpire there to do a job, hopefully they don't think 'oh he's young, he'll be inexperienced', as I do have a fair bit of experience from what I've done”.  It would be a sad state of affairs if any players did give the young umpires grief, as there isn't a queue of people wanting to give up their Saturdays for a pittance".

 

Morris said he would be treating his appointments as just another game to umpire.  "The tempo of the game increases, but I'll be able to adjust to that. At the end of the day it's the same decisions, it's just a different crowd you're making them for”.

 

Headline: BBC in talks over screening English cricket from 2019.

Article from:  The Times.

Journalist: Richard Hobson.                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1674-8215.

 

Cricket in the UK could return to BBC television, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) prepared to tailor a package of games to suit in the next round of rights negotiations. ECB chairman Colin Graves said that his organisation's commercial department has already spoken to broadcasters seeking their wishes beyond 2019, when the present broadcast contract with pay-TV company ‘Sky' is due to expire. 

 

The main chunk of fixtures will go to Sky or another pay-TV outlet BT Sport, whose recent five-year deal with Cricket Australia features the 2017-18 Ashes (PTG 1632-7983, 31 August 2015). But the ECB believes that it can also arrange a bundle of matches, possibly around a new-look domestic 20-over competition, to interest free-to-air broadcaster the BBC without upsetting the bigger players in the market. 

 

When the BBC lost the rights to Channel 4 in 1999, Lord MacLaurin, the ECB chairman at the time, said that “we need to relaunch cricket in a fresh and exciting way”. Sky then took over after the 2005 Ashes, since when England home games on terrestrial television have been restricted to highlights on Channel 5. The change to subscription TV has been blamed by many for the apparent fall in interest in cricket in England over the last decade.

 

Graves said: “Our commercial guys are talking to everybody, all the broadcasters not just the BBC, and saying that if we have a new format of packages for cricket, would you be interested? That is both domestic and the international bit”.

 

Match schedules post 2019 are unclear because the international Future Tours Programme is still to be agreed while plans for a revamped domestic Twenty20 comprising eight or so high-profile teams are on the back burner (PTG 1625-7930, 22 August 2015). “It is early days, but we want to get the packages right so the broadcasters who are interested can bid for them”, Graves said. “There is no priority for anybody". 

 

“We get questions on numerous occasions about terrestrial television, but this is only part of the whole equation. It was not us taking the game from terrestrial [broadcasters in 2005, rather] it was terrestrial not wanting it”. By asking specifically what the BBC would like, the ECB is raising the chances of eventually securing a bid. 

 

That is why Graves sees sense in going to broadcasters in good time. “Exactly,” he said. “The other part is that the young generation do not want terrestrial television. They have tablets, iPhones. Our commercial guys are looking at that and trying to work on it”.

 

On the more immediate domestic front, Graves said that Counties will know “without a shadow of a doubt” the playing format arrangements for the 2017 season before the start of the 2016 campaign, and that switching to County Championship divisions of eight and ten teams “does look the best option”.  To achieve that two teams would be relegated from Division one next season with only one going up from Division two. 

 

Proposed changes will be close to those presented last summer, a reduction from 16 to 14 Championship matches and two main blocks of white-ball cricket comprising 50-over games at the start of the week and Twenty20 from Fridays to Sundays (PTG 1636-8008, 4 September 2015). 

 

Graves opted not to force through issues until “everyone is in a comfortable place”. But he is determined that changes must appeal beyond County members — now below 80,000 — to the nine million people who ECB research says have an interest in cricket. Asked how many Counties need swaying, Graves said: “That is the 64,000 dollar question. We went round to all the Counties during the summer. What we did not do, and it needs a bit more time, is to look at the financial implications of the changes we are working on”.

 

“If they lose the odd Friday-night Twenty20 game, which has generated £UK60, 70 or 80,000 ($A128,700-171,600), that will be a big hit. We have to make sure we help them to get the best income they can”. 

 

Headline: ICC seeking Outside Broadcast services for 2016-19 events.

Article from:  ICC press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1674-8216.

 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has issued tenders for production services and outside broadcast equipment for a range of its events that are to be conducted in the period from 2016-19. Interested parties are expected to have appropriate experience, infrastructure, staffing, resources, capability and financial standing to produce outstanding live cricket coverage. 

 

The ICC is seeking proposals in respect to the following ICC series: the 2016 World Twenty20 in India, Champions Trophy of 2017 in England and Wales, the 2019 World Cup again in England and Wales, a World Cup Qualifier series in Bangladesh in 2018, the 2016 and 2018 Under-19 World Cups in Bangladesh and New Zealand respectively, the Women’s World Cup of 2017 in England and Wales, and Women’s World Twenty20 series in the West Indies in 2018. 

 

Interested parties are required (a) to have appropriate experience, infrastructure, staffing, resources, capability and financial standing to supply state-of-the-art outside broadcast equipment for use in the production of first-class live audiovisual coverage of the ICC events; and (b) to own directly a substantial majority of the outside broadcast equipment that it would consider deploying for each event.   Submissions to conduct the services required need to be forwarded to the ICC in Dubai by next Wednesday.

 

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,675

Friday, 30 October 2015

 

• Call for increase in ‘Umpire’s Call’ margin of doubt [1675-8217].

• Day-night Test will go ahead, insists CA chief executive [1675-8218].

• Ticket sales high for first day-night Test [1675-8219].

• Umpire donates to Pakistan earthquake relief [1675-8220].

• CA reports net surplus of $A99 million for 2014-15 [1675-8221].

• BBL expansion to see Sheffield Shield final axed? [1675-8222].

• BCCI regrets scrapping of Pakistan talks [1675-8223].

• South African women set for Bangladesh tour [1675-8224].

• If you're not very good at playing, be imaginative with your excuses [1675-8225].

 

Headline: Call for increase in ‘Umpire’s Call’ margin of doubt.

Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Umar Farooq .                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8217.

 

Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, has criticised the inconsistency of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) and believes that the margin of doubt for ‘Umpire's Call' should be increased from 50 percent to 75 percent. The current set-up, he claims, is allowing match officials to be complacent in their decision-making.

 

An umpire's call verdict is currently given when a TV replay suggests that an LBW decision is too marginal to be fairly overturned. Waqar believes there is excessive weight given to distinct parameters - pitching point, point of impact with batsman's body, and whether the ball is hitting the stumps or not. Presently, if the umpire gives an appeal 'not out' and less than half the ball is shown to be hitting the stumps, the decision will not be overturned.

 

Waqar told Cricinfo: "I strongly believed this 50 percent formula is not fair to the players”. "They should even it out a little bit by making it 70/30 or 75/25. If the ball strikes you inside the line 25 percent it should be given out rather than making a verdict on the basis of 50 percent. Sometimes a decision is 'not out' when it is hitting 49 percent [of the stump], even though you are convinced that it is hitting flush. So that sparks frustration, this whole mechanism needs to be tweaked".

 

"Even if it's hitting the stump 30 percent, it should be given out rather than applying umpire's call and a 50 percent margin. We don't mind playing with UDRS but the important factor is it should involve all elements, otherwise it will kept on leaving out a lot of controversy”.

 

UDRS technology is being used during Pakistan's series against England, although without the use of ‘Hot Spot' and ‘Snickometer', because their addition would raise the cost by more than £UK6,000 per day ($A13,000). The third umpire is explicitly prohibited from discussing whether or not a particular appeal should be given out or not, as UDRS requires conclusive evidence to overturn a decision. However, with half of the technology in use, Waqar doesn't believe this makes any sense.

 

"This half-UDRS is not acceptable and the system like this doesn't make any sense”, he said. "You either don't have it or have it complete. Some decisions look very ugly and that is why people complain. We have witnessed big blunders and I think the International Cricket Council (ICC) should take care of it and it should be the one body controlling it uniformly for all".

 

"Sometimes one bad decision can affect the entire game like we had in [the last week’s first Test against England] Abu Dhabi. I have already met with the ICC and suggested that they revisit their parameters. They have agreed to some extent and I hope this will be considered at their Cricket Committee meeting [in May]”.

 

The issue of Umpire's Call was raised last week in an ICC briefing for journalists ahead of the Dubai Test, with Geoff Allardice, the ICC's general manager, confirming that the margin for error would be examined in the future as the technology improves.  However, the ICC continues to point out that UDRS is designed to make amends for clear mistakes, not close decisions. In 19 Tests played in the six months from April to September, 899 decisions were made, of which 179 were reviewed and 35 were reversed. 

 

ICC statistics indicated that prior to the introduction of the UDRS 95.6 percent of decisions were correct. It says that since then that figure has risen to 99.1 percent.

 

Headline: Day-night Test will go ahead, insists CA chief executive.

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Jon Pierik.                          

Published: Friday, 30 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8218.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) chief James Sutherland insists the inaugural day-night Test featuring a pink ball will go ahead in Adelaide next month, declaring comments that there was still time to alter the schedule "a bit late”.  As Test players adjust to the colour in the opening round of Sheffield Shield matches, opinions on the ball are split, while captaincy tactics are already emerging, such as declaring early in the evening and having batsmen negotiate a searching spell under floodlights.

 

Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) president Greg Dyer told Fairfax Media this week  it was not too late to abort the pink-ball concept and have the third Test against New Zealand played during daylight hours – should the ball not be up to scratch (PTG 1671-8193, 26 October 2015).   However, Sutherland said on Thursday manufacturer ‘Kookaburra' had worked on the development of the ball like no other, and said the day-night Test was needed to help reinvigorate the sport's longest form (PTG  1672-8200, 27 October 2015).

 

Sutherland suggested Dyer's comments would not carry any weight at this stage of the summer. "Those comments were a bit late”, he said, before going on to point out that the ACA had been heavily involved in the day-night concept. He denied the new fixture had become a "personal crusade” by himself, rather: “It's about trying to make sure that Test cricket retains its currency and relevance in a rapidly changing, competitive world”.

 

"I was more concerned about criticism a couple of years ago, or observations a couple of years ago when we were really testing and trialling, and that is the thing here. We have been through a really rigorous process in conjunction with working really closely, particularly with ‘Kookaburra', and as [‘Kookaburra' managing director] Brett Elliot said earlier this week, more work has gone into preparing this pink ball than any ball in the history of the game” (PTG 1672-8201, 27 October 2015).

 

"We haven't learnt anything new over the course of the last week or so that we didn't know already. Having had a look at the photos of the ball from [day one of the Sheffield Shield clash] in Adelaide, I am actually more positive and comfortable than I was. I don't see any negatives”, continued Sutherland.  "We are in high-positive preparation mode now. The trials are gone, they happened a long time ago. These matches that are being played are making sure our Test players have an opportunity to play under these conditions quite close to the [day-night Test”.

 

The on-going day-night Shield match between NSW and South Australia in Adelaide sparked innovative tactics from NSW and Australian skipper Steve Smith under lights on day one on Wednesday. The belief is that the pink ball will provide greater assistance for fast bowlers under floodlights.  Having seen his team lose five quick wickets after tea, Smith closed NSW’s first innings, and had his quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood take charge and left the home side reeling at 3/3.  This move – to have an opponent bat under lights – could be replicated during the Test.

 

Headline: Ticket sales high for first day-night Test.

Article from:  Australian Associated Press.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Thursday, 29 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8219.

 

Ticket sales for the first-ever day-night cricket Test have been strong with pre-sales generating "Ashes-level” interest.  Australia host New Zealand in the historic pink-ball encounter, the last match of a three-Test series, at Adelaide Oval and organisers are thrilled with the early support.  

 

"We can say that ticket sales for the day-night Test, have been very strong”, a Cricket Australia spokesman told News Corporation.  "Interstate and international visitors represent 65 per cent of the total tickets sold to date including with the majority of those tickets coming from Victoria, New South Wales and New Zealand”. 

 

South Australian Cricket Association chief executive Keith Bradshaw said they always believed a day-night Test would make this form of the game more accessible for members and fans.  "So far, strong ticket sales are reflecting this and we expect some fantastic crowds at Adelaide Oval across the five days”.

 

Headline: Umpire donates to Pakistan earthquake relief.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Thursday, 29 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8220.

 

Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar has donated one million Pakistan Rupees ($A13,360, £UK6,225) to assist victims of this week’s 8.1 magnitude earthquake which caused serious devastation in country’s northern provinces and eastern Afghanistan (PTG 1673-8207, 28 October 2015).  Dar expressed grief over the deaths involved and hoped the donation will be used in the rehabilitation of those affected by the tragedy.

 

Dar’s effort is not a first for him.  Three years ago, with the help of a cricket club he used to play with, he distribute relief goods worth 2.2 million Rupees ($A24,200, (£UK11,600) in the Matiari district of south-east Pakistan where major flooding had occurred (PTG 841-4129, 11 October 2011).

 

Meanwhile, the Afghanistan side dedicated their 2-0 win over Zimbabwe in the side's two-match Twenty20 series on Wednesday to victims of the earthquake which rocked their country.  Four days earlier they became the first non-Test side to beat a Test-playing nation in a One Day International series.

 

Headline: CA reports net surplus of $A99 million for 2014-15.

Article from:  CA press release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Thursday, 29 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8221.

 

Cricket Australia (CA) recorded a net surplus of $A99 million in the last financial year following the co-hosting of the 2015 World Cup with New Zealand, the board said after its annual general meeting on Thursday.  Revenue over the 2014-15 year increased from a then record of $A295.9 million in 2013-14 to $A380.9 million (£UK136.8-176.1 m) after its share of the net profit from the 50-overs tournament in February-March.  CA’s income for 2013-14 was itself up seventy-six per cent on 2012-13 (PTG 1456-7061, 27 October 2014). 

 

CA Chief Executive James Sutherland said in a statement: "Last summer was billed as the biggest ever in the history of Australian cricket and it lived up to that promise.  The World Cup was easily the biggest sporting event this country has seen since the Sydney Olympics and has left a positive legacy for cricket in Australia, particularly in its ability to unite people of many cultural backgrounds in their passion for the game”.

 

The discontinuation of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament, which was run since 2009 by the cricket boards of India, Australia and South Africa, this year also boosted the board's coffers (PTG 1636-8006, 4 September 2015).  CA said it would invest some $A60 million (£UK27.7 m), with a major focus on the development of women's cricket.

 

Revenue is projected to rise to $A1.32 billion (£UK610 m) for the four-year reporting period from 2013-17, up from $A736 million (£UK340.3 m) in the previous four-year period.  "The financial benefit from the [World Cup] tournament will be spread over the long term given that staging [such events] in Australia happens only once every 20-25 years”, said Sutherland. 

 

However, with CA's financial cycle based over four-year periods, this year's bumper profit has to cover seasons such as this summer's Test series against New Zealand and West Indies, which are likely to be loss making; the type of financial variation New Zealand Cricket, which also benefited from the World Cup, also has to manage (PTG 1637-8012, 5 September 2015). CA said though that the strong result had meant finances had gone from being "fragile" two years ago to "very secure”.   

 

Headline: BBL expansion to see Sheffield Shield final axed?

Article from:  Fairfax Media.

Journalist: Jon Pierik.                          

Published: Friday, 30 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8222.

 

Having overseen the greatest board and operational changes in Cricket Australia (CA) history, retiring chairman Wally Edwards has one more move he would like to see – the scrapping of the beleaguered Sheffield Shield final.  Edwards was honoured on his final day in the key role on Thursday, and will be replaced by David Peever, the former Rio Tinto Australia managing director and Queensland club cricketer (PTG 1346-6505, 5 May 2014).

 

Western Australian Edwards, a former Test opener, was also a major player at the International Cricket Council during his four years, and led the powerful executive committee, also featuring India and England, which effectively rules the sport and dictates where finances are spent.  Edwards has made a name for himself as a savvy straight-shooter, and made it clear what he thought when asked whether the Sheffield Shield final was an outdated fixture.

 

"I don't think it plays any real part in our season. When I played Shield cricket, we didn't have a Shield final. The game, you played ... home and away, the best side wins”, he said.  "It seems to be the fairest way. The Shield final, over many years, has proved itself to be a bit of a non-event, to be honest. There probably have only been three or four good Shield finals. The rest of them have been shockers, a bad advertisement for the game.  

 

Edwards also praised New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for its help in brokering an agreement that paved the way for next month’s inaugural day-night Test (PTG 1675-8218 above).  He dismissed reports that NZC was wary of wanting to forge a closer relationship and only signed the deal because of this pressure.  “[NZC] is in a very imaginative and dynamic stage. They're very progressive”, Edwards told reporters.  "They understand the need to get Test cricket refreshed. They've spoken passionately about it at [International Cricket Council meetings]”.

 

CA chief executive James Sutherland admitted the Sheffield Shield final could be scrapped in the near future, for there are plans to expand Twenty20's lucrative Big Bash League. This franchise-based competition increasingly is becoming the lifeblood of the sport, particularly in seasons when the marquee Test nations do not tour (PTG 1675-8221 above).

 

"I think Wally is right. If you do look through history, the Shield finals have been absolutely dominated by the home team or a long draw. I think it's very rare, maybe five per cent of the time, that the away team has actually won”, Sutherland, who tasted Shield success as an all-rounder with Victoria, said.

 

"So from that point of view, it's never actually been a great spectacle, and I guess that's part of thoughts as we continue to review and assess the mix of content. At the moment it is there. I don't think we should change it unless there was good reason to change that. But, at the same time, we are in a good position at the moment of having a burgeoning Twenty20 domestic competition that is in big demand”.  "At some stage in the future, we will be looking at ways in which we can expand that, whether that is expansion through number of matches or number of teams, of what have you. That might put pressure on other parts of our program”.

 

Edwards, who oversaw the move from a largely state-prejudiced CA board to a more independent commission, leaves CA in a strong position.  At Thursday's annual general meeting, there was much delight over CA's $A99 million profit for 2014-15 (PTG 1675-8221 above).  

 

Headline: BCCI regrets scrapping of Pakistan talks.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 30 October 2015 .  

PTG listing: 1675-8223.

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has written to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressing regret over the cancellation of the talks between its president Shashank Manohar and PCB chief Shahryar Khan in Mumbai earlier this month (PTG 1666-8163, 20 October 2015). The BCCi also reportedly said that it has approached the Indian government for a decision on the bilateral series scheduled to be held in December.

 

Manohar and Shahryar were scheduled to meet at the BCCI's headquarters in Mumbai early last week to discuss the bilateral series which was thrown into uncertainty due to political problems between the two neighbours following heightened tension along the border.  The series, which was scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates, was part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the PCB and the BCCI.

 

According to the MoU, the two nations are to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023. Four of those series will be hosted by Pakistan and the six tours, pending a legal agreement,- will include up to 14 Tests, 30 One Day Internationals and 12 Twenty20 Internationals.

 

“Mr. Manohar has expressed his sincere regrets for the cancellation of the meeting”, the PCB said in a statement on Thursday.  “It has also been conveyed [to the PCB] that the BCCI has officially approached the Indian government to obtain definitive guidance on the Pakistan-India series”.  "The PCB maintains that sports and politics should not be mixed and hopes that the BCCI will not be held hostage by extremist elements who wish to sabotage bilateral cricket relations”.

 

The PCB’s director of media operations Amjad Hussain said on Thursday that there is still hope for an India-Pakistan bilateral showdown in December.  India have not played a full bilateral Test series with Pakistan after the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. The last time senior sides from the two countries met in a full series was in 2007, though Pakistan toured India for a short limited-overs series in December 2012.

 

Headline: South African women set for Bangladesh tour.

Article from:  The Daily Star.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Friday, 30 October 2015 .  

PTG listing: 1675-8224.

 

South Africa women's team will arrive in Dhaka next Tuesday to play three One Day Internationals and four Twenty20 Internationals against their Bangladeshi counterparts over the first half of November. All the matches will be played at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox's Bazar.  Cricket South Africa deferred the tour on security grounds three weeks ago (PTG 1657-8107, 6 October 2015), a week after Australia’s senior men’s tour of the country was postponed for the same basic reason (PTG 1654-8089, 1 October 2015).

 

Headline: If you're not very good at playing, be imaginative with your excuses.

Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Nicholas Hogg.                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8225.

 

The excuse is a method of self-defence, and a vital skill in the preservation of a club cricketer's ego. Where the professional player has an audience of coaches and high-definition cameras to scrutinise every action of his game, and the self-made error is there for all to see, the amateur has licence to blame an external force for his downfall. Depending on the mistake that needs a scapegoat, the excuse for the golden duck, dropped catch, or that over that mostly ends up in the next field, will be anybody's, or anything's, fault but our own. 

 

The light, either too much of it or too little, can pretty much help out in any predicament. The spilled chance - from that lollipop that loops into your hands and then onto the grass, to the flat-batted screamer that singes your fingertips because you were too scared to make the attempt - can be nullified with the universal "I didn't pick it up", followed by a shrug of the shoulders, and perhaps a point to either the background or the sun. 

 

There is no argument with the player who can't see the ball - who can check your eyesight to see if you're lying? - and this bad light/bright light excuse can be called upon whether at the crease, while fielding, or not wanting to give your team-mate out stumped because you're staring into the setting sun. 

 

Unfortunately I had none of these particular defenders at hand when I once dropped an absolute sitter at cover. Our famously luckless opening bowler was doing the Stuart Broad double teapot and glaring. My plea was that I'd slipped. I theatrically checked my studs and then the turf. Obviously the groundsman had over-watered the square. But when the batsman went on to make a hatful of runs, I had no allies, until weeks after the game, when a photographer sent us photos of the match. Quite clearly I could be seen losing my footing, and was nearly horizontal when my hands actually clutched at the ball. The bowler was having none of it. I'd dropped a sitter, as simple as that. The lesson was that an excuse must be instant to be effective.

 

At club level it is the beleaguered umpire who is the scapegoat for the struggling batsman. I know players who swear they have never truly been out LBW. Every such dismissal is put down to either bias or a poor decision, but never, God forbid, their own lack of ability. And when that middle stump is pegged back, or the big hit ends up in the hands of the infield, the bad workman is quick to blame his tools. From bats that are too heavy, grips that slip, to dud blades that the well-heeled club player will toss aside. 

 

Bowlers are a different breed to batsmen, and possibly even more creative when it comes to finding an excuse for a bad ball, spell, or lack of form. My own go-to object of blame is the ball. As a swing bowler I need a surface that buffs it to a decent shine. A cheap cherry with peeling lacquer that resembles an old dishrag after a few overs is the first excuse. 

 

Then the weather: obviously the wrong conditions for swing bowling; either too dry, wet, windy or calm. And if the conditions are perfect, the skipper has got me bowling from the wrong end, at the wrong time. If it's the right end, the run-up is bumpy. Or on a slope, or the footing is uneven. Or I'm bowling too soon after a particularly opulent tea - although indigestion can hardly be an excuse when I'm the one solely responsible for putting half a dozen cream scones down my gullet.

 

In a game with so many variables, the list of excuses is almost inexhaustible. This season alone I've witnessed a batsman blame the umpire (me) for his golden duck as I called play before he was ready (not true); a catch dropped because someone in the crowd (of three) said "Catch!"; a slow-scoring opener bowled after uncharacteristically hauling across the line because he thought his team-mates were ironically cheering his forward-defensive prods; a player run out wearing oversize pads - all because he had lent his own pads to the team-mate who ended up stranding him; a sitter at mid-on fluffed because of "sweaty palms"; and a batsman, in form and scoring freely, dismissed when his dad turned up and told him to "play straight" after he whipped a half-volley from outside off stump through midwicket - he was castled next ball, showing the bowler the maker's name.

 

We are infallible, but our egos are creative enough to magic the excuse out of thin air. And if that means we're not bellowing at our team-mates for missing catches or getting out first ball - because sometimes we're not actually good enough - then I'm all for the fiction and fantasy that makes the village game so special.

  

PLAYING THE GAME

NUMBER 1,676

Saturday, 31 October 2015

 

• Troubled pitch forces abandonment of tour match [1676-8226].

• ICC silent on future umpire training, development, arrangements [1676-8227].

 South Africa signs up to ‘CricHQ' package [1676-8228].

• Cricket helps brings Catholics, Anglicans closer together [1676-8229].

 

Headline: Troubled pitch forces abandonment of tour match.

Article from:  Various media reports.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 30 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1676-8226.

 

A three-day match between a Cricket Australia (CA) XI and the New Zealand tourists has been abandoned after four sessions as the pitch at Sydney's Blacktown International Sports Park, which is on a square where concerns were expressed during matches played two weeks ago, was deemed ‘unfit' for play.  The CA XI amassed a record-breaking 1/503 inside 122 overs prior to lunch on day two on Friday, but when Ryan Carters was dismissed for 209 and his captain Ashton Turner declared, the two teams and the umpires walked off together, shaking hands and bidding farewell. 

 

Black Caps officials, including captain Brendon McCullum, coach Mike Hesson and their CA XI counterparts met with match referee Bob Stratford and umpires Paul Wilson and John Ward to determine the outcome of the match.  CA Head of Cricket Operations Sean Cary later said it had "been agreed the match should be abandoned due to the wicket’s deteriorating surface becoming unfit for first class cricket”.  

 

Cary was quoted as saying: "Preparation of the wicket was compromised by poor weather conditions in Sydney early this week [and] we’re working with New Zealand Cricket to provide alternative preparation for the team ahead of next week’s first Test in Brisbane”.  Bureau of Meteorology records for Bankstown say a total of 8 mm of rain fell in the area two days before the game began, but none on the days either side of that.

 

The pitch used was showing signs of dryness and cracking on Thursday morning before day one got underway.  The heavy hessian cover remained on the pitch right up until the toss, and by the end of play that day, New Zealand had failed to take a wicket, large chunks of turf having been dislodged across the wicket, most notably in the popping crease and bowlers' follow-throughs.   Whether it was the exact same pitch that came under question during CA’s domestic one-day series just over a week ago is not clear (PTG 1666-8166, 20 October 2015), 

 

CA XI openers Aaron Finch and Carters resumed on 0/376 on the morning of day two, but not wanting to risk injury to his express bowlers, McCullum instead used medium pacer Jimmy Neesham for four overs and spin from Mark Craig and a fleet of part-timers.  Finch, who scored his maiden first-class double-century, and Carters who also achieved that feat, punished New Zealand on the dead track that offered no assistance to the bowlers.  Their opening partnership of 503 was a new first class record opening partnership in Australia.

 

New Zealand coach Hesson equated the state of the pitch to ''the fourth day of a match in Abu Dhabi” and said there was ''no doubt" New Zealand were disappointed at what CA had lined up for them as preparation for the first Test starting in Brisbane next Thursday.   Hesson would not blame the ground staff, his information being it is hard to grow grass at this time of year on that pitch block, but that begged the question as to why CA had scheduled the game for that ground in the first place.

 

The match was originally set for a four-day contest but before it got underway it was shortened by a day to allow the visitors an extra day in Brisbane ahead of the first Test which starts at the Gabba next Thursday.

 

Headline: ICC silent on future umpire training, development, arrangements.

Article from:  Various sources.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Saturday, 31 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1676-8227.

 

Nearly three weeks after news broke that Simon Taufel was to leave his position as the International Cricket Council (ICC) Umpire Performance and Training Manager (UPTM) (PTG 1662-8138, 14 October 2015), there is no indication of just how the world body proposes to cover his departure. The ICC has previously indicated that Taufel was to sign off from the UPTM position today, the last day of October, however, it also made it clear it was “in negotiations” with him in "regard to a possible alternate role within the organisation” (PTG 1663-8146, 16 October 2015).  

 

Taufel, together with Denis Burns one of his three ICC Umpire Coaches, has been at the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) Umpire Academy in Nagpur this week, the pair reportedly running a two-day program for 19 newly certified BCCI umpires on Tuesday-Wednesday, and then conducting a second two-day seminar, this time for Umpire Educators, on Thursday-Friday. A so far unconfirmed report earlier this year suggested Taufel was paid a total of $US110,000 ($A154,800, £UK71,740) by the BCCI across 2014-15 for his services (PTG 1553-7457, 21 May 2015), but if that is true whether he also received his ICC salary for that work is not clear.

 

In terms of line control at the ICC, it is believed Taufel’s UPTM position and his Umpire Coaches fall under Vintcent van der Bijl, the ICC’s umpires' and referees’ manager, who has worked in that role for the past 7 years (PTG 245-1347, 25 May 2008).  He in turn reports to ICC number two Geoff Allardice its general manager cricket and therefore they and ICC chief executive David Richardson would probably be the ones negotiating with the Australian about any “alternate role” he can play at the world body.

 

What appears clear at this stage though is that Taufel will be in New York one week from today standing in the first of the three Tendulkar-Warne Twenty20 matches that are to be played around the United States in November, a private tournament that the ICC has given “approved” status (PTG 1575-7571, 24 June 2015).  Matches two and three are listed for Houston and Los Angeles respectively.

 

A report earlier this month suggested that Taufel and his recently retired countryman Steve Davis would be standing in the three games, with Marais Erasmus, a current member of the ICC’s Elite Umpires Panel, being the third umpire (PTG 1662-8138, 14 October 2015).  Another more recent report though suggests it will be a Taufel-Erasmus combination on-field, and adds that the ICC’s chief match referee Ranjan Mudugalle, will work as the referee.  Presumably the fee Erasmus and Mudugalle are paid for their services by the series’  organisers will be additional to that they receive from the ICC.

 

Headline: South Africa signs up to ‘CricHQ' package.

Article from:  Scoop Media release.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Friday, 30 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1676-8228.

 

‘CricHQ', the Wellington-based company that specialises in the capture and use of cricket data, has more runs on the board, this time in South Africa (PTG 1571-7552, 19 June 2015).  A new deal signed with Cricket South Africa (CSA) will see CricHQ implement its digital platform at all levels of the game in the Republic.

 

Cricket administration has traditionally consisted of paper-based, time-intensive methods of data collection. CricHQ’s system unites the sport’s administrative, scoring and social functions on one integrated, digital platform.  “We’re naturally thrilled to have Test cricket’s number one nation on board”, said CricHQ chief executive Simon Baker. “They see in our platform a way to bring all the game’s stakeholders in South Africa together and lift cricket to another level”.

 

CricHQ can deliver performance insights for coaches and players, as well as providing fans with live scores and the opportunity to participate in a cricket themed social network.  Since its establishment in 2010, the company has entered into a partnerships with New Zealand Cricket and Sri Lanka Cricket in 2013 (PTG 1069-5199, 1 March 2013), and the signing of CSA represents another major advance.

 

Headline: Cricket helps brings Catholics, Anglicans closer together.

Article from:  Australian Associated Press.

Journalist: Not stated.                          

Published: Friday, 30 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1676-8229.

 

Pope Francis has received an unusual gift aimed at boosting relations between the Catholic and Anglican churches on Thursday: A cricket bat signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and his team following their recent rematch with the Vatican's XI in Rome.  Australian Cardinal George Pell gave Francis the bat after the Vatican’s St Peter's Cricket Club beat the Church of England's XI in a 20-over match (PTG 1655-8094, 3 October 2015).  Argentine-born Francis promptly signed the bat himself. 

 

 

End of October 2015 news.