November 08 (342-354)


(EN-1811 TO EN-1891) 



342 –  3 November  [1811-1815]

• India appeal Gambhir's ban, Judge appointed for hearing  (342-1811).

• Sheffield Shield returns to Bellerive  (342-1812).

• Koertzen, Taufel stand in Stanford final  (342-1813).

• MCC Test result view 'farcical' claims Inzamam  (342-1814).

• Bees again stop play for Dar, Bowden  (342-1815).


343 –  5 November  [1816-1819]

• Gambhir looses Test ban appeal, BCCI rejects decision  (343-1816).

• Balls suitable for day-night Tests possible, says CSIRO  (343-1817).

• 'Ball tampering' Test result 'ping pong' continues  (343-1818).

• Bird fears Twenty20 could 'kill' County cricket  (343-1819).


344 –  6 November  [1820-1827]

• Australia concerned Gambhir may play, claims report  (344-1820).

• Birt believed reported for audible obscenity  (344-1821).

• Windies-England umpire exchange program announced  (344-1822).

• 'Memento' marks Harper's 75th Test  (344-1823).

• ICC bent rules for Muralitharan, says Gilchrist  (344-1824).

• ACO Regional Representatives vote underway  (344-1825).

• Former first-class player reported, says paper  (344-1826).

• Drought leads to change in covers use in Victoria  (344-1827).


345 –  9 November  [1828-1833]

• BCCI criticised for approach to 'Spirit' issues  (345-1828).

• Two teams top TCA 'Spirit of Cricket' table  (345-1829).

• Kenyan Association celebrates its fifty years  (345-1830).

• Bowden congratulated on fiftieth Test  (345-1831).

• ICL players fined for 'on-field altercation'  (345-1832).

• Cup stops one match but another rolls on  (345-1833).


346 –  10 November  [1834-1842]

• Abood firms for NUP slot, Wilson still in the mix?  (346-1834).

• More interstate visitors for Bellerive Shield matches  (346-1835).

• Test keeper's 'brain fade' costs team five runs (346-1836).

• Over rate problems dictate match tactics (346-1837).

• Fry, John Ward for Adelaide Shield match  (346-1838).

• Match officials miss out on NZ awards night  (346-1839).

• Windies exchange program needs structure, says Jamaican  (346-1840).

• ICL reaches semi final stage (346-1841).

• Harper for Abu Dhabi ODI series  (346-1842).


347 –  11 November  [1843-1846]

• Australia fined for slow over rates in Test  (347-1843).

• Football referee completes move to ECB Full List  (347-1844).

• Australians named for ODI series, Proctor to bow out  (347-1845).

• Cooler weather forecast for coming weekend  (347-1846).


348 –  12 November  [1847-1857]

• 'Sin bin' bowlers to combat slow over rates, says Buchanan    (348-1847).

• Aussie IUP members named for Test third umpire spots  (348-1848).

• Tassy scorer for MCG match, scoring workshop  (348-1849).

• NZ, Lankan umpires for Champions League, says report  (348-1850).

• Lengthy suspension handed out for umpire abuse  (348-1851).

• Umpire's car, scorer's computer, damaged by sixes  (348-1852).

• IICUS education head believed in CA Educator mix  (348-1853).

• Proteas' batsman given two-match suspension  (348-1854).

• Five match officials used for ICL semis  (348-1855).

• Umpire calls 'Time' on thirty year career  (348-1856).

• Forecast for cool weekend with showers unchanged  (348-1857).


349 –  13 November  [1858-1866]

• No regrets about Watson 'elbow', says Gambhir  (349-1858).

• 10.30 a.m. start for Saturday TCA Grade matches  (349-1859). 

• Parker returns for 'All Star' match  (349-1860).

• New ECB Full List umpire spent time in Tasmania  (349-1861).

• First-class debut for Abood today  (349-1862). 

• 'Yellow cards' for trial in County cricket?  (349-1863).

• Potential EUP members work together in ODI series   (349-1864).

• ICC International panel listing well out-of-date   (349-1865).

• Bird joins the 'bring back Warne' brigade    (349-1866).


350 –  20 November  [1867-1873]

• Bucknor out of Tests due to 'travel difficulties'  (350-1867).

• Dar, Proctor for five-match ODI series  (350-1868).

• Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan umpires on exchange  (350-1869).

• Hair criticises E-News reporting  (350-1870).

• England player counselled for on-field reactions  (350-1871).

• Four ICL umpires to stay for 'World Series'  (350-1872).

• Third Honorary Degree for umpire  (350-1873).


351 –  22 November  [1874-1877]

• Busy month for Harper in India  (350-1874).

• Chirombe debuts as ODI third umpire  (350-1875).

• Reprimand handed down for dissent in Test  (350-1876).

• Award to Bowden for arthritis work  (350-1877).


352 –  23 November  [1878-1883]

• Twenty20 spoils changed umpire appointments policy?  (352-1878).

• Baxter, Taufel for Champions League final claims report  (352-1879).

• Watch kept on Aussie Test over-rates, on-field delays  (352-1880).

• Mystery surrounds status of Sri Lankan match referee (352-1881).

• Simmonds not keen on 'send off' approach to disciplIne  (352-1882).

• Bowler taken off for consecutive beamers  (352-1883).


353 –  24 November  [1884-1887]

•  Australia again fined for slow Test over rate  (353-1884).

•  IUP members to share Twenty20 international spots  (353-1885).

•  'Feet watching' impacts on decision making, says research  (353-1886).

•  Pink balls planned for Bradford Twenty20 series  (353-1887).


354 –  25 November  [1887-1891]

• Slow over rates 'not good enough', says CA CEO  (354-1888).

• Lancashire League umpire for second Tassy visit  (354-1889).

• Indian umpiring pair sue over non-selection  (354-1890).

• Tiffin back for third Zim-Lanka ODI  (354-1891).









India has appealed against the International Cricket Council's (ICC) decision to ban batsman Gautam Gambhir for one Test for breaching the 'Spirit of the Cricket' (SOC) during the first day's play of the third Test against Australia in Delhi on Wednesday.  Gambir's suspension, India's announcement that it would appeal, and the appointed by the ICC of South African lawyer Justice Albie Sachs to conduct the hearing, all occurred over the space of twelve hours on Friday.  


Gambhir, who pleaded guilty to the charge laid against him for elbowing Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, was handed his suspension the day after Watson was fined ten per cent of his match fee for a lesser SOC-related violation, his main contribution at the time of the incident appearing to be words spoken and not a physical action (E-News 341-1805, 31 October 2008).


Match referee Chris Broad of England, who last Thursday conducted the original hearing into the matter, said in an ICC statement that his "decision to find Gambhir guilty of a level two offence is indicative of the fact that any degree of physical contact [during a game of cricket] is unacceptable".  


The match referee said that "in the view of the umpires [who laid the disciplinarycharge against the Indian], the facts of this case, [and particularly] the lightness of the physical conduct and the element of provocation", charging Gambhir with a higher-level offence could not be justified. 


Last November Gambhir was fined sixty-five per cent of his match fee, and Pakistan's Shahid Afridi ninety-five per cent, for an incident in a One Day International that in part involved “inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play" (E-News 134-733, 15 November  2007).  


In reaching his decision Broad took "into account the previous offences of 

Gambhir", but is "satisfied that the penalty imposed is an appropriate outcome in the circumstances of this matter".  Had the Indian been subjected to a higher-level charge said Broad, his previous offence meant that he would have been obliged to impose a minimum penalty of a two-Test match ban on the opening batsman.  


Justice Sachs is a senior judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa and is Cricket South Africa’s appointment on the ICC Code of Conduct Commission.  Under Code of Conduct (COC) provisions, he has the power to increase, decrease, amend or otherwise substitute his own decision from that made at the original hearing, and his decision is final and binding on all parties.  


The ICC says that Sachs "will issue further directions as regards the hearing in due course", although the COC indicates that an appeal should be heard within seven days of the appointment of a Commissioner.  Such a timetable could see the hearing occur prior to the start of the fourth and final Test of the series in Nagpur next Thursday.  In the mean time COC regulations allow Gambhir to continue playing until Sachs' verdict on the appeal being handed down.  It is therefore possible that he might be able to play in Nagpur if the result of the appeal is not finalised by then.


Prior to any public announcement being made of his decision, Sachs is required to provide it in writing to the ICC's head of legal matters David Becker, who will then forward it to Gambhir, Broad, and the world body's ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat.  The ICC Executive Board recently approved an amendment to the COC that requires a player who is unsuccessful with his appeal to be responsible for the costs of the work involved.   






Queenslander Bruce Oxenford, who was elevated to an on-field umpires position on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) this year (E-News 251-1375, 3 June 2008), and newly appointed National Umpires Panel (NUP) member Tony Ward from Victoria (E-News 251-1374, 3 June 2008), will be on the ground at Bellerive today for the opening match of the Sheffield Shield competition there for the 2008-09 season.  

Today's match between Tasmania and South Australia will be Oxenford's fortieth first-class game and thirty-eighth in what is, after an era of commercial naming, again the Sheffield Shield.  It will be Oxenford's sixth first-class match at Bellerive since his first in March 2004, however, for Ward he will be standing at the Tasmanian Cricket Association's headquarters for the first time in what is his sixth first-class match.  The on-field pair will work with TCUSA scorer members Graeme Hamley and Janet Gainsford who will be in the score box.


While it will be Ward's first Bellerive match he is no stranger to Hobart having officiated in two Cricket Australia men's Under 19 tournaments there earlier this decade (E-News 151-836, 10 December 2007).  During those series he has officiated at Kingston Beach, KGV, Lindisfarne, New Town, Queenborough, the University Oval and the old TCA ground. 


Tomorrow in Sydney another new IUP member, Victorian Paul Reiffel (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008) and his NUP colleague Simon Fry from South Australia, will manage the Sheffield Shield match between the home side and Victoria.  For Reiffel it will be his twenty-third first-class game while Fry will take his first-class tally to twenty-six.  This season in the lead up to tomorrow's match Reiffel has stood in single Sheffield Shield and domestic one-day matches and Fry in two games in the latter competition.






South African umpire Rudi Koertzen and Australian Simon Taufel were on the ground for the $A25m 'winner takes all' match between the Stanford Superstars and England in Antigua yesterday morning Australian time, while Taufel's countryman Steve Davis was in the third umpire's chair and New Zealand's Jeff Crowe the match referee.


During the week-long, six match series all four umpires, a group that also 

included Pakistani Asad Rauf, each had three games in the middle, while Davis, Koertzen and Taufel were all in the television suite on two occasions.  Rauf did not receive a third umpire umpire appointment being the 'reserve' three times, a position the other three occupied only once.         






Former Pakistan cricket captain Inzamamul Haq took a swipe at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Friday over its decision not to recognise the International Cricket Council's (ICC) change of the result of the 2006 'ball tampering' Test at the Oval from a 'forfeit' to a 'draw' (E-News 338-1783, 28 October 2008).  Inzamam, who was Pakistan's captain for that match, told Lahore's 'Daily Times' that the MCC's World Cricket Committee's view was "farcical". 


Inzamam, who is currently leading a side in the "unofficial" Indian Cricket League, expressed his surprise over the interest shown in the Oval Test.  “I don’t know why they are taking so much interest in it", runs the 'Daily Times' quote.  “I mean the decision to change the result was taken with the consent of the ICC bosses and the case was closed", he said (E-News 269-1445, 4 July 2008).  According to the former national captain even if the ICC decides to change the result of the Test, it won’t affect him much, for "the only thing such a move will achieve is ridicule" for the world body.


Current ICC President David Morgan was reported to have indicated last week that the result of the Test should be "revisited" (E-News 340-1797, 30 October 2008), saying then that he was "President Elect [at the time of the ICC decision and [he] didn't believe it was appropriate to change the result of the match".  Morgan said the ICC can reassess the decision, and that he'd like to carefully read the [WCC's] minutes that considered the ICC executive board decision flawed.


The Pakistan Cricket Board said last week that it has adopted a "wait and watch policy" on the MCC's call (E-News 341-1808, 31 October 2008).






International umpires Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and Billy Bowden (New Zealand) were involved in a 'bees stopped play' incident for the second time in their careers on Friday during the Third Test between India and Australia in Delhi.  Bowden first experienced such a phenomenon in Vishakhapatnam during a One Day International between India and Pakistan in 2005, while Dar faced it in a Test involving Sri Lanka and England late last year in Kandy (E-News 148-812, 5 December 2007).


Last Friday players and umpires lay on their stomachs for several minutes waiting the bees to depart, although Indian player Ishant, fielding at the fine-leg boundary, managed to stay upright through the ground invasion.  At one stage Bowden tried to move in order to get the game back underway, however, the bees put him back in his place and it took a little longer before play could resume.








Indian opener Gautam Gambhir will be missing from the Indian line up in the Fourth and final Test against Australia in Nagpur tomorrow after his appeal against a one-match ban was rejected overnight.  Despite the decision, which under ICC regulations is final and binding on all parties, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has rejected the decision of Appeals Commissioner Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa.


The BCCI said in a letter to the ICC that the appeals process “seems to [have been] pre-decided as the same [censure of a one-Test ban as was originally handed down] has been passed without affording the player an opportunity of a personal hearing”.  "Deciding the appeal in a hurry without hearing the player" means that "serious damage/prejudice has been caused to Gambhir as the order is a permanent blot on him which has the potential of damaging a bright and successful career", continued the BCCI letter. 


Justice Sachs reached his verdict after studying video footage, documentary records and written submissions.  In his verdict Sachs said that no one had disputed the basic facts of the incident and the only issue in the appeal was whether the original penalty was disproportionate in all the circumstances that prevailed. and as such there was nothing that precluded him for continuing with the appeal at this stage.  


The Commisioner said that he said that he was "prepared to accept that [Gambhir] had been the victim of prolonged and persistent verbal abuse by members of the Australian team, culminating in a moment of anger that led to his unfortunate lapse", however, "cricket is not a contact sport".  


Sachs said that while he was "not without sympathy" for Gambhir, the original penalty imposed on him was not so "disproportionately severe" that he should overturn match referee Chris Broad's decision of last Friday.  The Indian pleaded guilty to the charge said Sachs and "it was not the first time" he was involved in such an incident [and] millions of people saw it" on television.  "Though his excellence does not require him to be better behaved than mediocre players, it does not give him immunity from the rules of the Code of Conduct" for "the cricketing world is entitled to expect from him and all cricketers the highest standards".


Following the judgment ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat said in a statement that "the ICC Code of Conduct is a robust and independent process designed to achieve a fair and proper outcome".  “Although we have received an objection letter from the BCCI, there is nothing more that we can do as the Appeal Commissioner’s decision is final and binding".  “The matter is now closed and the ICC will make no further comment on the case", concluded Lorgat.






Research conducted by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Association (CSIRO) has shown that it is possible to develop balls that are suitable for use in day-night Test matches, says a report published in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' (SMH) newspaper last weekend.  The International Cricket Council's (ICC) Manger of Cricket Operations David Richardson is reported to have said recently that Test matches may be played under floodlights as earlier as next year (E-News 331-1748, 20 October 2008), while the SMH story states that "a landmark day-night Test will be played in Australia within two years".

The 'SMH' report quotes CA spokesman Peter Young as saying that the CSIRO has "told us it is absolutely possible to deliver a ball that replicates, at all times, the performance of the red ball", although they will "probably be pink" in colour says the article.  The major difficulty for CA in its moves to introduce day-night Tests is the development of a ball that can be appropriately seen by those involved in the game, retains its performance under lights for up to eighty overs, and does so "in the heat of an afternoon and during an evening with dew present". 


According to quotes attributed to Young, the CSIRO is "developing a system where cricket balls can be tested so [that] we know for sure these balls are [of] Test standard", or in other words a "cricketing version of the Australian Standards Association".  CA established a working party and approached the CSIRO early this year after Australia's traditional manufacturer of cricket balls, 'Kookaburra', reportedly indicated that the task set by CA was "impossible" (E-News 189-1024, 4 February 2008).  


During the 1990s when day-night Sheffield Shield matches were played, yellow then orange balls were used, however, at that time batsmen in particular complained that both colours were hard to see and that they behaved differently to the long-used red balls.   White balls used in one-day matches would not be suitable in Tests where players wear white, and recent trials of pink coloured ones have reportedly brought mixed results, although last week the ICC encouraged the continuance of trials of such balls (E-News 339-1793, 29 October 2008).


Young told the 'Sun Herald' that "whatever sport you look at the world is saying that we want to watch these events at night".  CA's recent "meeting with the CSIRO has been a significant first step" he said, and while "some people would obviously be disappointed if we went down this path, there were similar reservations when limited-overs cricket first came along".






Ehsan Mani, a former President of the International Cricket Council (ICC) from Pakistan, is reported to be shocked at the Marylebone Cricket Club's (MCC) stand on the controversial 2006 Oval Test result between England and Pakistan, says a report published in the 'Gulf News'.  The MCC last week repeated its call for the reinstatement of the 'original' result whereby Pakistan forfeited the Test and England were declared the winners, a situation that was amended to a draw by the ICC earlier this year (E-News 269-1445, 4 July 2008).    


Speaking to the 'Gulf News' from London, Mani said that he was "surprised that the MCC has raised this point now [for it] had ample opportunity before the ICC [Board] met [last July] to discuss changing of the result.  According to Mani, "The MCC should have made its views known before the ICC took its decision [but he did] not believe that the ICC will now reverse the decision".


When asked whether the MCC has the ultimate power with regard to the results of a match and whether they are justified in their demand, Mani is reported to have said that "as the Custodian of the Laws of Cricket, the MCC has every right to raise the issue but I do not believe that it has the power to force the ICC to change its decision".  He said that "the MCC is represented at the ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) [and] it would be interesting to find out if its representative raised the issue at that forum". 


Previous reports have indicated that at the meeting during which it changed the original result of the Test, the ICC Board had before it a "unanimous" recommendation from its Cricket Committee (CC) that the original result of the Test not be changed.  The MCC's representative on the ICC's CC is Keith Bradshaw its Secretary and Chief Executive Officer (E-News 275-1648, 14 July 2008).






Former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird said on Sunday that he feared Twenty20 cricket "would kill County cricket within four years", says a report distributed by the 'Press Association' (PA) in the UK.  Bird made his comments after watching last Saturday's Stanford Twenty20 $A25m 'winner takes all' match in Antigua on television (E-News 323-1813, 3 November 2008).


The PA has Bird saying that while "Twenty20 puts bums on seats, has done a lot for the game [and] has brought youngsters into cricket, it could kill County cricket".  "There could be no County cricket in four years' time, it's suffering with spectators and they're just flooding the market with Twenty20 games and tournaments", runs the quote.

The former umpire said he believed the number of international tournaments the England cricket team now plays was distracting spectators from County cricket. He said that he remembered "when a Test match used to be really special, and that's because we would play far fewer" such matches.  The Yorkshire man said he had been "disappointed" with England's performance in Saturday's match in Antigua but that it was impossible to assess form in only twenty overs as "on the night it could have been anybody's".







Australia in concerned that banned India batsman Gautam Gambhir may be named to play in the FourthTest between the two sides when it begins in Nagpur today, claims a report in 'The Australian' newspaper this morning.  Journalist Malcolm Conn's story claims that Australian captain Ricky Ponting is worried Gambhir will be chosen despite International Cricket Council (ICC) appeals commissioner, South African judge Albie Sachs, upholding his one-Test suspension (E-News 343-1816, 5 November 2008).


Conn quotes Ponting as saying yesterday that "it's going to be awkward" for him if "we [go] out to do the toss and the guy who has been rubbed out has his name on the team sheet".  Calling the Board of Control of Cricket in India' (BCCI) rejection of Commissioner Sach's  decision as "the latest outrage from cricket's billion-dollar bully", Conn writes that "if India attempts to force the issue by including Gambhir in the team for a Test Australia must win to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, it would face forfeiting the match by selecting an ineligible player".


Cricket Australia (CA) claimed last night that Gambhir's possible selection was a matter for the ICC, says 'The Australian' story, a spokesman being quoted as stating that "CA assumes the ICC would act accordingly".  According to Conn, "CA and the ICC refused to speculate on the outcome if India attempted to play Gambhir [and] the ICC denied Indian claims it must respond to an official complaint from the BCCI within forty-eight hours".


An ICC official is quoted as saying that "According to the ruling all member countries signed up with, [the decision on Gambhir] is final and binding [for] due process has been gone through and the matter is closed".  Conn writes that despite the ICC's unequivocal stance, the Australians are planning for all contingencies.  "We have to be prepared for [whether he] is or isn't going to play".  "Obviously a decision has been made that India is not happy with" continues the Ponting quote, and "it will be interesting to see where the next twenty-four hours heads".


A report on ABC Radio yesterday says that Ponting has denied claims that Gambhir has been the victim of persistent sledging from his team, an issue that Commissioner Sachs suggested in his finding was actually the case when he said that he was "not without sympathy" for Gambhir over such matters. 






Tasmanian player Travis Birt is believed to have been reported for an audible obscenity during the third day's play of the Sheffield Shield match between his State and South Australia at Bellerive yesterday.  Reports indicate that Birt, who was given out LBW during what was a tense run chase, made clear his feelings about the decision after returning to the dressing room, his comments being of such volume that they could be heard both out on the ground and in nearby stands.


No details have been made public about what if any action has been taken against Birt, whether a hearing has been held or is planned, or what any outcomes from the incident may have been.  Cricket Australia is normally reticent to make public details of reports laid against its players or what decisions are taken by disciplinary hearings.


Umpires for the match are National Umpire Panel members Bruce Oxenford of Queensland and Tony Ward of Victoria.








The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced yesterday that it and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to establish an umpiring exchange program.  Under proposed arrangements an umpire from the Caribbean will officiate in first-class County cricket during the 2009 northern summer, while an Englishman will stand in the forthcoming season in the West Indies.


According to a 'Cricinfo' report, the proposal was suggested by Tony Howard the WICB's chief cricket operations officer, and is intended to aid Caribbean officials who "were at a disadvantage when it comes to international appointments because of a lack of exposure and experience".  The idea, presented to the ICC at their annual meeting in Dubai last month, has been accepted and welcomed, says Cricinfo.


Howard told the WICB's web site that "We see this as an excellent opportunity to promote cricket umpiring as a career in the Caribbean".  Cricinfo says that the exchange program with the ECB will be an on-going exercise and the WICB is also "exploring further opportunities with Australia and Bangladesh".  An Indian official was reported to have said last week that his nation is currently discussing the establishment of an umpire exchange program with Cricket Australia (E-News 337-1778, 27 October 2008).






Australian international umpire Daryl Harper was presented with "a memento" to mark his seventy-fifth Test at the end of the series between Bangladesh and New Zealand last week, says a report published on his web site.  Harper says that he was "delighted" to receive the "memento" but that he "must be getting old" as only four other umpires Steve Bucknor (West Indies) with 124, Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) 94, David Shepherd (England) 92, and Darrell Hair (Australia) 78, have completed more Tests. 


Both Hair and Shepherd have retired from international cricket, Bucknor who will turn sixty-three next May has indicated that he is in his last year at that level, and Koertzen whose sixtieth birthday falls in March, has been said to be hoping to reach the 100 Test, 200 One Day International marks prior to retiring.  


In the time since his Test career began ten years ago this month Harper, who turned fifty-seven in October, has officiated in Tests played in all ten countries that have played the game at its highest level.  Of the seventy-five games, twelve have been played in South Africa, eleven in England, four of those being at Lord's, ten each in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, seven in both Australia and the West Indies, six in Bangladesh, five in Pakistan, four in India, and three in Zimbabwe.






Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist believes that the International Cricket Council (ICC) should never have allowed Muttiah Muralitharan to play for Sri Lanka because the off-spinner's action is, he claims, "in technical breach of the rules".  Gilchrist makes the comments in 'True Colours', his new autobiography, in which he also suggested Muralitharan had been afforded "political protection" during his record-breaking career, says an article published in 'The Guardian' newspaper in the UK this week.


'The Gaurdian' says that in 2005 the ICC changed the laws of the game to allow bowlers "to straighten their bowling arm up to fifteen degrees", a figure that rendered Muralitharan's action legitimate.  Gilchrist writes that while he said he did not begrudge Muralitharan his achievements he believed the ICC made a mistake by not requesting the spinner remodel his action in accordance with the Laws of Cricket.  


Gilchrist writes that he doesn't think that Muralitharan is personally to blame for he bowled the way he bowled, and it was not up to him to do any more than he was asked.  The Australian says that he personally likes the bowler but that his sympathies are more with those batsmen from every nation whose careers suffered because of a bowler who was in technical breach of the rules and seemed to enjoy a "kind of political protection".


Suspicions regarding Muralitharan's action were first officially raised during Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in 1995-96 when the former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair no-balled the off-spinner during a Test in Melbourne. The ICC subsequently cleared Muralitharan after he undertook biomechanic analysis at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the University of Hong Kong in 1996. The conclusion of those tests was that Muralitharan's action created the "optical illusion of throwing".


Despite that he encountered further problems on his next tour of Australia, in 1998-99, when he was again no-balled, this time by another Australian umpire, the now-retired Ross Emerson. That prompted Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka's captain at the time, to walk his team off the field while Muralitharan promised never to tour Australia again after being subjected to calls of "no ball" from the crowd whenever he bowled.  


Muralitharan's action was cleared again following further tests at the UWA and in England, but the controversy over his bowling style resurfaced in 2004 when the ICC match referee Chris Broad of England reported his "doosra" delivery as outside the laws of the game. That forced the ICC to rethink its laws on bowling, and while Muralitharan's doosra was banned the decision to allow bowlers to bend their arm by fifteen degrees was made.






Ballot forms for the election of three Regional Representatives for the England and Wales Cricket Board's Association of Cricket Officials (ACO) have been forwarded to members in its 'London and East', 'South and West' and 'North' regions.  No voting will take place in the 'Midlands' and 'Wales' regions as there was only one nominee put forward in both of those areas. 


Under plans announced earlier this year the five Regional Representatives will be part on the ACO's Board when it is formed early next year.  Voting for the three regions is due to close on the morning of Monday, 24 November, and ratification of the nominations is to be made by the ACO's final Interim Board meeting on 4 December.  


The ACO says that the results "will be published in the next newsletter and on the website early in December", a comment that suggests that the gap in its newsletter series could stretch to four months and see just four such publications released in the ACO's first year of operations (E-News 341-1809, 31 October 2008). 






Former Western Australian bowler Daniel McLauchlan has been reported for "number of incidents involving opposition players, and one concerning an umpire", during the day one of the two-day First Grade match between Sutherland and Blacktown in Sydney last Saturday, says a report in a local paper there this week.  The 'Saint George and Sutherland Shire Leader' (SSSL) newspaper says that while McLauchlan has apologised, it was unclear whether he would play for Sutherland again.


The SSSL report quotes McLauchlan as saying that he has apologised for his actions during the match, especially as he "had been warned about any poor behavior when [he] rejoined the club recently".  ``I was frustrated bowling, but at the end of the day I acted in an embarrassing manner", runs the quote, for "the club gave me an opportunity after I returned from WA, and I've let the club and the players down".


The Sydney Grade Cricket disciplinary committee is expected to consider the report when it meets tonight, says the newspaper's report.






Cricket Victoria’s (CV) pennant committee has banned the use of covers for the rest of the Victorian Premier Cricket (VPC) season in order to preserve the competition’s turf pitches, says a report published in the 'Berwick News' yesterday.  Curators will only be able to use covers after noon on the day before a match if pennant committee members give them permission, although umpires will still be able to order their use on game days, says the report.


VPC manager Peter Binns is quoted as saying that CV's committee members would “happily wear” the odd wash-out if it meant getting through the season.  “The pennant committee thought that it was a bit nonsensical not to let every available drop of rain fall on our wicket tables", he said, and "we’re asking for a bit of cooperation from the clubs in that regard, and hopefully they’ll see the logic behind it".


Victorian Water Minister Tim Holding will announce on 30 November whether Melbourne will move onto stage four water restrictions, a situation that Binns said was “a massive concern” and that "we’re approaching that date with a bit of trepidation".  “There are quite a number of pitches around the suburban areas that are not getting water on them and I don’t see any other alternative than complying with it", said Binns.


Binns said a worst-case scenario would see the seasons of the Third and Fourth Grades' seasons cut short.  “I don’t think there will be any major dramas with the Firsts and Seconds.







Journalist Makarand Waingankar of the Indian newspaper 'The Hindu' believes that the appeal by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) against the one-Test ban imposed on his countryman Gautam Gambhir is "setting a bad precedent".  The BCCI registered its displeasure at International Cricket Council (ICC) Appeals Commissioner Justice Albie Sachs decision to uphold the decision of match referee Chris Broad of banning Gambhir for one Test "despite obvious evidence", says Waingankar.


Concerns were expressed that the BCCI may have named Gambhir to play in the Fourth Test against Australia when it got underway last Thursday (E-News 344-1820, 7 November 2008), however, that did not eventuate.  Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni reportedly arrived at the ground that day and told waiting reporters that he didn't know whether Gambhir would be in his side or not, says the '' web site.


'The Hindu' journalist writes that Indian authorities have "been quite notorious in flouting the Code of Conduct and in the case of Gambhir it was evident that whatever may have been the provocation, elbowing the opposition can’t be tolerated".  In his view the way ‘Spirit of Cricket’ issues are dealt with "seems to be all-talk and no-action, especially when one is at the receiving end". 


Gambhir "is perpetually seeking confrontation" and 'The Hindu' article goes on to say that Australians have said that he "needs some sort of provocation to concentrate on his batting".  "If one observes minutely" continues Waingankar, "Gambhir does have the tendency to get into confrontation with the opposition early in his innings", however, "the problem" for the Indian opening batsman "is that he is not shrewd enough to do it diplomatically so that the match referee can’t bring up any of the clauses of the Code of Conduct".


Waingankar believes that "in the context of Indian cricket, Gambhir [sets] a bad example for the youngsters".  "There have been some serious instances in junior cricket" in recent times in India he says, and "abusing opponents at every opportunity is being encouraged by coaches and funnily the umpires [regard it] as part of the game".  "First, abuse the batsman and if he survives, put pressure on the umpires" seems to be "part of [the] strategy" that is used, says the journalist.  


He says that after Indian player Munaf Patel used "unparliamentary language against Sehwag and Akash Chopra" in a home first-class match earlier this year "the match referee reported the matter to the BCCI", but instead of dropping him from the Indian team, he was selected and still continues to" play at international level.  


"In the larger interest of the game" the BCCI "must not set bad precedents" says Waingankar, and although in "Harbhajan Singh’s case" in Australia last January "the BCCI did have some grounds to back the player", that is "surely not [so] in the case of Gambhir [for by] supporting [him], the BCCI is sending the wrong signals to other players".






Two clubs, Lindisfarne and North Hobart top the Tasmanian Cricket Association's (TCA} 'Spirit of Cricket' (SOC) 'league' table after two rounds of competition this austral summer.  Overall the eight TCA teams are averaging close to six points per game, just half of the maximum points that are available to them under the system this year.


The TCA said last month that it intended to publish regular up-dates on the table on its web site as part of a revamp of the SOC system that is related to moves on the national scene (E-News 325-1705, 8 October 2008).  The TCA's SOC Award involves First, Second, Third, Under 17s and Under 15 Grades, with teams being judged by TCUSA umpires under three categories which each have a maximum of four points, and teams can therefore attract a maximum of twelve votes per team per game.  The three categories are: respect for opponents; respect for the role of the umpire; and respect for the game.  


TCA's web site indicates that both Lindisfarne and North Hobart  are polling an average of 6.7 points per game, New Town 6.1, Clarence 6.0, Kingborough 6.0, Glenorchy 5.9, and both South Hobart Sandy Bay and University 5.7.  






The Kenyan Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (KCUSA), an independent body with its own constitution, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its founding at a dinner held in the pavilion of Nairobi's Gymkhana ground last night.  "Appreciation and gratitude" was expressed to all members of the Association who have given "relentless services for the last fifty years for the love of the game".


Late last month the KCUSA hosted a dinner in the honour of International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee, Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka, Ian Robinson the ICC's Regional Umpires Performance Manager for Africa, the world body's second-tier International Umpires Panel members Russell Tiffin of Zimbabwe and Marais Erasmus from South Africa, and their own member Subhash Modi, who is on the ICC's third-tier Associates and Affiliates Umpiring Panel.  All were in Nairobi for the tri-nation series invoving the home side, Ireland and Zimbabwe, and Kenya umpires had opportunities to discuss finer points of umpiring and playing conditions with them says the Association.


In the past the KCUSA has hosted functions in honour of umpires such as "Dickie'  Bird, John Holder and David Shepherd of England, Australians Darrell Hair and Daryl Harper, Steve Bucknor of the West Indies, Rudi Koertzen and David Orchard of South Africa and others.






The International Cricket Council (ICC) has congratulated New Zealand umpire 'Billy' Bowden for taking his Test match tally to fifty Tests during the current India-Australia game in Nagpur, saying in a statement that he has joined "the elite of the elite" (E-News 322-1680, 2 October 2008).  Bowden is the tenth umpire in the history of the game, and the sixth of the ICC's current eleven-member Elite Umpires Panel, to reach that milestone. 


The ICC's Umpires’ and Referees’ Manager Vince van der Bijl said in the statement that “Billy has been one of the most consistent and well-respected officials of recent years and this achievement is an indication of the level of commitment he has shown to his umpiring and to the game of cricket in general".   


 “When he first emerged on the international scene, Billy adopted a very fresh and at times flamboyant style" continued van der Bijl but "I am glad that he has always managed to maintain his own unique character but he also honed his approach to umpiring in a mature way that is more in keeping with his status as a senior member of the elite panel".  “Excellence on the field for officials does not come automatically [but] requires constant development of skills and our elite umpires work hard to stay at the top of their game".  


Bowden's Test debut was in a match between New Zealand and Australia in Auckland in March 2000 and since then he has stood in such matches in all countries who have played Test cricket.  Fourteen of his fifty Tests have been in Australia, eight in England, one of which was at Lord's, seven in the West Indies, five in India, four in Sri Lanka, three each in New Zealand, Pakistan and Zimbabwe, two in Bangladesh and one in South Africa.  Of his Australian games five have been at the Sydney Cricket Ground, two in Boxing Day Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, two each in Perth and Adelaide, and single games in Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin.


Apart from Tests, Bowden has also stood in 127 One Day Internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals as well as being selected to officiate at the World Cups of 2003 and 2007. 


Other umpires to have notched up fifty Tests are: Aleem Dar of Pakistan with fifty-two; Simon Taufel (Australia) fifty-three; 'Dickie Bird' (England) sixty-six from 1973-96; Srinivas Venkataraghavan (India) seventy-three from 1993-2004; Daryl Harper (Australia) seventy-five (E-News 34-1823, 7 November 2008), David Shepherd (England) ninety-two from 1985-2005; Rudi Koertzen (South Africa) ninety-four; and Steve Bucknor (West Indies) 124.


Chris Broad of England, the ICC's match referee in the current Test match, presented Bowden with a memento to mark his fifty Tests in Kanpur this week.






The Indian Cricket League (ICL) fined two of its players fifty per cent "of their monthly fees" on Friday for their involvement in an on-field altercation during a Twenty20 Indian Championship match played at Panchkula last Tuesday.  Match referee Ajit Wadekar imposed the censure on Ganapathi Vignesh of the ICL's Chennai franchise and Deep Dasgupta of the Royal Bengal Tigers following a hearing on Wednesday, but no details are available as to what the fine means in basic monetary terms..


Royal Bengal Tigers franchise holder Mithun Chakraborty has been quoted by Indian media outlets as saying that "as an ardent cricket fan I firmly believe that players should behave responsibly on and off the field [and that] all players should respect and uphold the 'Spirit of the Game'".  He went on to say that in his view his player had been provoked and was "greatly pleased that the ICL disciplinary committee has taken a similar view towards the incident and penalised both players involved equally". 






The Melbourne Cup brought one Sheffield Shield match to a halt for six minutes but play in another game in that competition rolled on last Tuesday after the umpires kept the game going through the nation-stopping horse race.  At Bellerive in the match between Tasmania and South Australia National Umpires Panel (NUP) umpires Bruce Oxenford (Queensland) and Tony Ward (Victoria) stood with the players and watched the race on the big replay screen, but at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) their NUP colleagues Paul Reiffel (Victoria) and Simon Fry (South Australia) decided to continue the game.


Media reports from the SCG state that while fielding Victorian players asked that a drinks break be taken at three o'clock, twenty minutes later than normally scheduled so that they could watch the race, NSW weren't keen on the idea so the decision fell to Reiffel and Fry who decided that play should continue.  Down in Hobart six minutes were added to play in the middle session of the day to make up time lost while the horses went around at Flemington.








The odds that New South Wales umpire Gerard Abood will be named to fill the vacant spot on Australia's National Umpires Panel (NUP) appear to have firmed with his appointment on Friday to a third first-class match in the month leading up to Christmas.  Appointments made by Cricket Australia (CA) selection panel over the past six weeks suggest that Abood's main rival now appears to be CA Project Panel member Paul Wilson, who also on Friday was appointed to stand in a two-day tour match between Western Australia and South Africa in Perth next month; although just when CA plans to fill the available NUP position is not known.    


Abood is due to make his first-class debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground this Thursday when New South Wales play the New Zealand tourists in a four-day game (E-News 326-1711, 9 October 2008), and then on Friday week he will stand with Australian international umpire Simon Taufel in a Sheffieid Shield match at the same ground, his latest appointment last Friday being a second Shield game there from 18-21 December.  


Those three matches are part of the nine that CA has allocated Abood in the first half of the season, for he has also been named for three one-day domestic games, a women's One Day International and two other women's tour matches.  He stood in the women's games late last month (E-News 321-1675, 1 October 2008), his first one-day domestic game of the season a week ago, and has two further such matches up until the New Year, the first late this month and the other just before Christmas, the latter again seeing Taufel as his on-field colleague.


Wilson has considerably less umpiring experience than Abood, making his debut in domestic one-day interstate cricket two weeks ago and in the television suite for a similar match last week (E-News 335-1766, 24 October 2008).  Details of his technical competency are not known as CA does not release such statistics, however, one factor in his favour is that there have been clear indications that influential senior CA management officials are keen where possible to promote former players who have Project Panel contracts (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008).  


Abood and Wilson were part of a fourteen-man group named by CA for three Sheffield Shield, five one-day domestic interstate, and the South African tour games that are to be played in the period from 10-23 December, the fourth such announcement made so far this season.  Eight members of the NUP, Western Australians Jeff Brookes, Andrew Craig, Ian Lock and Mick Martell, Victorians John and Tony Ward, Queenslander Bruce Oxenford and New South Welshman Rod Tucker have been allocated games, along with Abood, Taufel, Wilson, Victorian State Umpires Panel member Geoff Joshua, and TCUSA members Brian Muir and Steven John (E-News 346-1835 below). 


Third and fourth umpires for the three Test series between Australia and South Africa scheduled for the period between 17 December and 7 January are to be named later today says CA.  Television umpires for those matches are likely to come from Australian members of the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008), while the other three positions are expected to be filled by State Umpire Panel members from New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.






Queensland's Bruce Oxenford and his National Umpiring Panel (NUP) colleague Jeff Brookes of Western Australia will become the twenty-ninth and thirtieth interstate umpires to stand in a first-class match at Bellerive since a Tasmanian last had that honour when they officiate in the Sheffield Shield match between the home side and Queensland in the middle of December.  The pair were named for the match by Cricket Australia selectors last Friday (E-News 346-1834 above), the game being Oxenford's fourth at the home of Tasmanian cricket so far this austral summer.


Tasmanians were not, however, missing in the latest appointments round, for Tasmanian State Umpire Panel members Brian Muir and Steven John were each allocated positions in the one-day domestic match between the same two sides on 14 December.  During that match Muir will be on the field with Oxenford, the game being his twelfth domestic one-dayer since his debut four years ago, while John will work in the third umpire's suite.  


CA's lastest appointments mean that since former TCUSA member Ken McGinniss left the field at Bellerive on 4 February 2006 at the end of a domestic first-class match, Bob Parry a NUP member from Victoria will have officiated there in five such matches, Simon Fry of South Australia four, and Oxenford and Parry's Vitorian colleague Paul Reiffel three times each.  Other visitors who have managed such games over the last thirty-five months are current NUP members Brookes, Rod Tucker of New South Wales, John and Tony Ward of Victoria, and Ian Lock of Western Australia, plus former members Tim Laycock and David Orchard (Queensland) and Steve Davis (South Australia).


A TCUSA training-appointments meeting is scheduled for mid way through the Shield match Oxenford and Brookes will manage at Bellerive next month and it is hoped that they will be able to attend the meeting.  Oxenford and his Victorian NUP colleague Tony Ward, plus CA Umpires High Performance Panel member Tony Crafter contributed to last Wednesday evening's TCUSA meeting after the third day's play in the Shield match between Tasmania and South Australia.  Parry and Fry will stand in a Shield game at Bellerive early next month, however, no training-appointments meetings are listed for that period. 









Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin cost his side five runs when he removed his glove, threw it at the ball and stopped it, while fielding during the Fourth Test match against India in Nagpur yesterday.  Following the incident New Zealand international umpire 'Billy' Bowden talked to Australian captain Ricky Ponting and then signaled penalty runs to India to the scorers.


Haddin, who is playing in his ninety-eighth first-class match and seventh Test and therefore have a reasonable grasp of the Laws, contravened them when he dived to his left in an attempt to collect a delivery that flew off Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar's hip, but when he realised that he couldn't gather the ball he used his glove in a manner that the Laws do not allow.  Tom Smith's 'New Cricket Umpiring and Scoring' provides a useful summary of a range of similar fielding illegalities on pages 249-252.






Australian captain Ricky Ponting faced a one-Test suspension after his side bowled just 10.5 overs in the hour before tea in the Fourth Test against India in Nagpur yesterday, a period during which Australia looked poised to give itself a chance to win the match, says a report published in 'The Age' newspaper today.  Ponting's response after tea was to turn to part-time bowlers in an attempt to make good the rate, however, that let India off the hook and it went on to set the Australians a challenging fourth innings score to win the match, level the series and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.


'The Age' states that "an aggravated Ponting [had] a long conversation about the over rates with umpire Aleem Dar of Pakistan", while ABC Radio indicated that match referee Chris Broad had raised the matter with the Australian at the tea break.  In four full days in the field this series, the tourists have failed each time to bowl the required minimum ninety overs and Captains can be suspended if their teams over rates are poor in a match or over the course of a series.  Had a ban been imposed on Ponting media reports say that it would have to be served during the coming home Test series against New Zealand later this month. 


Speaking to the media after yesterday's plan, Australia coach Tim Nielsen defended Ponting’s strategy and was quoted as saying that his "understanding was that we were more than six overs down at the tea break" and he was "getting regular updates from the umpires through match referee Chris Broad as the day went on".  Nielsen apparently said the umpires are yet to speak to the team or the captain regarding the issue.  


In regard to Ponting’s chances of being handed a ban Neilsen said that such a move "is not necessarily an automatic thing" and he doesn't "think [Ponting] was warned as such [for] everybody is aware of the consequences of being more than six overs down at the end of the match".


Commentating for television, former Australian captain Allan Border said that he didn't "know what to make of all this [for Australia went] into the tea break on a high and [came] out worrying about over rates".  "I am glad Ricky can't read my mind right now because he is not going to like it", said Border.


Ponting was criticised for being unable to use his strike bowler Brett Lee for a whole session in the Third Test in Mohali because he was six overs down in the over rate.  Last Saturday India captain Mahendra Dhoni was also criticised by former Australian captain Ian Chappell for his side's sluggish rate that day, the first session yielding just forty-two runs as Dhoni set an eight-one offside field for his fast bowlers. Chappell also hammered the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its "reluctance to impose bans on offending captains".  


Writing in 'The Australian today, Malcolm Conn, who is often highly critical of the ICC, says that the world body "could start getting serious about over rates and getting the umpires involved to curtail the seemingly endless team meetings that take place on the field now sides have endless team meetings off it [although] we know they are important because Andrew Symonds was sacked for not attending one".  John Pierik in the 'Herald Sun' in Melbourne added that in his view "eccentric New Zealand [umpire] 'Billy' Bowden, once voted by Australian players as their least favourite umpire, needs to be told to stop chatting and get on with the game".


Last month the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee reiterated its concerns about slow over rates in Tests, a matter it raised last year (E-News 339-1794, 29 October 2008).  The ICC's Cricket Committee (CC) announced in May that it had commission research into the reasons why current over-rates in both Tests and One Day Internationals are so low (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008).  






National Umpire Panel members Simon Fry of South Australia and John Ward of Victoria will be managing the tenth Sheffield Shield match of the season when it gets underway at the Adelaide Oval today.  The game, between South Australia and Western Australia, will be the second such match of the season for both umpires, Fry's twenty-seventh since his debut in January 2002, and Ward's eighteenth since his first in November 2003.






Both male and female players were recognised with a plethora of awards during New Zealand Cricket's annual awards dinner held in Auckland last Tuesday, however, someone appears to have forgotten to include a category for match officials in the evening's schedule.  


Trophies were presented to NZ's overall 'Player of the Year', in list of categories for outstanding players in both domestic men's and women's competitions, to a 'Young Player of the Year', administrators and other deserving recipients, but ones that recognised the contribution match officials make to the game were no where to be seen.






News that umpires in the Caribbean will get the opportunity to officiate in first-class matches in England next year has not impressed Norman Malcolm, a West Indies member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP), says an article published in the 'Jamaica Observer' newspaper yesterday.  The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced last week that it and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have agreed to establish an exchange program with an umpire from each visiting the other to stand in matches commencing next year (E-News 344-1822, 6 November 2008).   


Malcolm, who is also an executive member of the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association and President of the Jamaica Cricket Umpires Association, said he was not aware that such an exchange agreement was being planned until he was briefed about it at the ICC's annual match officials' annual seminar in Dubai in late September (E-News 320-1666, 28 September 2008).  In his view, the reciprocal arrangement is attractive, but he says that in practice West Indian umpires stand to benefit far less than has been suggested.


The Jamaican, who has thirty-seven first-class matches and two One Day Internationals to his credit, is said to have told the 'Observer' that his prime concern is that "there is no established process" in the West Indies that can be used to "ensure that the best umpires, the most deserving umpires, get the push forward".  In addition, he indicated that the umpires who are to be chosen have to be aged forty-five and below, however, he foresees a problem as "the majority" of West Indies umpires on the first-class panel are presently above that age range, says the 'Observer' report. 


Malcolm pointed to the allocation of umpires to competitions played internally in the Caribbean this year and that "if you look at what's been happening only umpires from the region where the competition is being played are selected".  "There's no method [or] plurality in how the thing was done [and] people just went and willy nilly selected people", implying that a similar approach could be used to decide ECB exchange participants.  He says that the deal with the ECB encourages "insularity" and will in no way help to expose the region's best young umpires" to the international scene.


Despite that Malcolm believes that he has a solution that "could ensure fairness" in selection procedures and plans to discuss his views when "top umpires from the Caribbean" meet in Guyana for a regional one-day competition that is scheduled for 13-23 November.  He said that as is the case at first-class level in the Caribbean, each territory should be requested to recommend their "top six young umpires" from which the WICB would choose individuals for Youth tournaments, and if they are good enough, subsequently for first-class games and exchange positions.




The Indian Cricket League (ICL) completed the thirty-sixth and last of the matches in the 'round-robin' section of its current Twenty20 tournament yesterday and the tournament is set to wrap up this week with two semi finals, and a three-match final series.  Over the last thirty-one days six umpires from five countries and two match referees from India have managed games played in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Gurgaon, and Panchkula.


Match referee slots over the three-dozen games to date have been evenly shared between former Indian players Ajit Wadekar and Erapalli Prasanna (E-News 333-1755, 21 October 2008).  On the umpiring side data available indicates that former County umpire Alan Jones has so far topped the list of appointments with fourteen, while David Brandon (England), Ranmore Martinesz (Sri Lanka), David Orchard (Australia) and Keith Smith (Ireland) have been on the field in twelve games apiece, and Shakeel Kahn (Pakistan) ten.


Kahn has worked in the television suite on eight occasions, Jones, Martinesz and Orchard six, and Brandon and Smith both five times each.





Australian international umpire Daryl Harper is to officiate during the three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Pakistan and the West Indies in Abu Dhabi later this week.  Harper indicates on his web site that he will be the television umpire in the first match on Wednesday and have an on-field role in match two on Friday, however, there is no mention of him being involved in match three on Sunday.


The International Cricket Council is yet to announce who the match officials for this week's series will be and just who Harper's colleagues will be in Abu Dahbi is therefore not known.  The Australian's appointment to a third umpire's slot in a three-match series appears unusual, although it could be because the series is to be played on 'neutral' ground.  If Harper is involved as indicated on his web site, the game on Wednesday will be his thirty-eighth in the television suite in a ODI and first since the semi finals of last year's World Cup in the West Indies (E-News 31-174, 23 April 2007).


Friday's game will be Harper's 154th as an on-field official and normal appointment patterns would mean that he would also stand in Sunday's match which would be his 155th, but the situation in that regard is not clear. 








Australia has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the Fourth Test against India which ended in Nagpur yesterday.  International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee Chris Broad of England imposed the fines after Ricky Ponting’s side was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration, a much better situation than the ten overs it was said to have been behind on day four of the match on Sunday.


ICC Code of Conduct regulations governing over-rate penalties require players are fined five per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time, with their captain fined double that amount.   As such Ponting was fined twenty per cent of his match fee while his players have each received ten per cent fines. Ponting was forced to use part time bowlers on Sunday in order to bring the over rate up to requirements, thus sacrificing a potential match-winning situation (E-News 346-1837, 10 November 2008).


The 'Cricinfo' web site is reporting this morning that Cricket Australia (CA) plans to ask Ponting to clarify his reasons for using the part-timers, quoting CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland as saying that he was keen to speak to talk with his captain to find out why the seemingly defensive options were preferred.  "I might be concerned, I might not be", runs the quote, for "it depends on exactly getting a really clear understanding of the circumstances that ensured that we played the way we did after the tea break".


'Cricinfo' goes on to say that Ponting will be asked to relate to Sutherland the messages that came from the umpires during the tea break regarding how far Australia were behind in the over rates.  Rarely in the four-Test series did either team get through their overs quickly enough and it is a growing trend that Sutherland believes the ICC must address, says 'Cricinfo'.  


"In a broad sense, I have major concerns about over rates in international cricket", said Sutherland. "Generally speaking the public deserves more by way of over rates and it's certainly something we'll be taking up with the ICC".  "If we can play a little bit more cricket and get more overs in or lose less overs at the end of the day then that's probably a good thing for Test cricket", he said.






Former Football Association (FA) referee Martin Bodenham, who officiated the 1997 League Cup final in England, was yesterday named to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Full List of full-time, professional umpires for 2009.  Others added to the List by the ECB are Nick Cook, Michael Gough and David Millns, the four new appointees replacing Graham Burgess and Barrie Leadbeater who have retired (E-News 314-1640, 18 September, and Allan Jones who left early and is now working in the Indian Cricket League (E-News 346-1841, 10 November 2008), and taking the List back up to a full-strength twenty-five.


Bodenham, who has been on the ECB's Reserve List since 2006 and made his debut at first-class level in April of that year, is the only person to have refereed top-flight football and umpired first-class cricket matches in England and Wales.   In an ECB statement he said that when he "retired as a football referee ten years ago, [he] took up umpiring and continued to play [as] cricket is and always has been [his] major sporting passion".  


"Absolutely delighted" to be promoted, fifty-eight year old Bodenham said he began playing cricket when he was around ten or eleven years old and loves the game, and when he retired as a football referee ten years ago he took up umpiring and continued to play 2nd XI League cricket.  “After umpiring in the Sussex League it was England head coach, Peter Moores, who encouraged me to apply for the ECB reserve list and I thank Peter for helping me realise my potential".


Bodenham refereed in two FA Cup semifinals and was the fourth official for the 1994 Champions League final, when AC Milan defeated Barcelona 4-0. He once showed a red card to current Sunderland manager, the excitable Roy Keane, while the then Manchester United player was being carried off the field on a stretcher.  He follows West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor, who once refereed a qualifier for soccer's World Cup between El Salvador and the Netherlands Antilles, in officiating in both sports. 


Michael Gough is a former England Under 19 skipper and first-class player who is said to have quit the game in 2003 because he did not enjoy playing anymore, and suggestions were made several months ago that he was in line for a promotion to the Full List (E-News 318-1661, 24 September 2008).  Gough who turns twenty-nine in December, captained the England youth side in six of the eleven Tests in which he was selected in the late 1990s, and went on to play sixty-seven first-class and forty-nine List A games for Durham.  


Fifty-two year old Nick Cook played fifteen Tests and three One Day Internationals for England as a finger-spinner in the 1980s, his overall first-class record being 356 games and one-day game tally 223 matches in the period from 1978-94.  Cook has a loose connection with Tasmania as it was David Boon who scored the runs off him at Old Trafford to win the Test that gave Australia the Ashes in 1989.   Moving on to umpiring, he stood in his first game in the County Second XI Championship in July 2004, and at first-class level in July 2006.  He now has ten matches at first-class level and thirteen List A games to his credit.


David Millns, who joined the ECB's Reserve List in 2007, is also a former first-class player who featured in 171 such matches, and ninety-eight List A games in a fourteen year career that ended in 2001.  Aged forty-three, he commenced umpiring in County Second XI games in 2006, and since standing in his initial first-class game in April 2006 has officiated in ten such matches, three of them in the County Championship.  


ECB umpires’ manager Chris Kelly said in a statement that his organisation has "a pool of talented umpires supporting our first-class game and Martin, Nick, Michael and David have earned their promotion following good performances at first-class level.  “They will all bring something different to the game, but superb judgement, excellent player relations, wisdom and common sense are just some of the qualities they share with all the umpires on the Full List".


Others on the Full List for 2009 besides that four new officials are:  Rob Bailey; Neil Bainton; Nigel Cowley; Barry Duddleston; Jeff Evans; Steve Garrat; Ian Gould; Mike Harris; Peter Hartley; John Holder; Van Burn Holder; Richard Illingworth; Trevor Jesty; Richard Kettleborough; Nigel Llong; Jeremy Lloyds; Neil Mallender; Tim Robinson; George Sharp; John Steele; and Peter Willey.  All twenty-five on the Full List are now employed by the ECB on a twelve-month basis, a move made in order to cut off the flow of umpires to the Indian Cricket League (E-News 303-1590, 30 August 2008). 






Australian members of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel (EUP), Steve Davis and Daryl Harper, plus their English EUP colleague Mark Benson, have been named as the umpires for this week's three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Pakistan and the West Indies in Abu Dhabi.  The competition will be managed by South African match referee Mike Proctor, his last assignment before he leaves the ICC panel (E-News 338-1785, 28 October 2008).


The three umpires will stand in two matches each this week and work in the third umpire's suite once, the series taking Harper's ODI tally to 155 on the field and thirty-eight as a third umpire (E-News 346-1842, 10 November 2008), Davis' to eighty-one and thirty-seven, and Benson's to sixty-seven and twenty-five respectively.  Proctor's ODI record as a match referee will end at 157 matches when the series is completed, and he has also managed forty-seven Tests in that role.  


After Abu Dahbi Harper will move on to India where he will stand in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh ODIs between India and England that are scheduled for Bangalore, Cuttack, Guwahati and New Delhi in the period from 23 November to 2 December, games that will see his record in that form of the game stretch to 159 matches.  


Then in the second half of December Harper will, along with Pakistani EUP member Asad Rauf, stand in the two Test series between the same two nations, matches that will take the Australian's Test record to seventy-seven and Rauf's to twenty-three.  Rauf was in India last month for the first two Tests between India and Australia in that recently completed series.  Match referee for the India-England Test series will be Jeff Crowe of New Zealand, his twenty-sixth and seventh games in that role.


Before Harper stands in the four Indian-England ODIs, Russell Tiffin of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel is to officiate in the first three games of that series, the first of which starts this Friday.  Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka will be the match referee for all seven-matches in the ODI series, with members of India’s contingent on the ICC’s second-tier International Umpires Panel filling the second on-field and third umpire’s spots.






Initial Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for the coming weekend in Tasmania suggest that conditions will be cool with showers, "mountain snow" and a maximum of just fourteen degrees Centigrade being the outlook for Hobart on Saturday.  A few showers are forecast for Sunday in the south of the State, the temperature warming just a little on that day.  The current outlook is that the north and north-west on Saturday will experience a few showers during the day with maximums in the high teens Centigrade.


Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site at any time (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007), but particularly on the morning of their matches.  








Former Australian coach John Buchanan says that captains should be yellow-carded for slow over rates and if they don't improve quickly their best bowler should be banned from bowling for periods of the match to combat slow play, according to an article published in 'The Age' in Melbourne this morning.  Buchanan's comments were made before Australian captain Ricky Ponting last night defended his approach to a slow over rate problem that had a key impact on tactics used in the Fourth Test against India in Kanpur last Sunday (E-News 347-1843, 11 November 2008). 


In 'The Age' article, Buchanan was critical of the pace of cricket in every form it was played, and said punishments for slow over rates needed to be applied immediately in matches.  He is quoted as saying that he believes that "the ICC need to step in and clearly establish what are minimum over rates and support the referees and umpires to administer it, and it has to be fines and something that impacts on the game immediately".  Last May the ICC's Cricket Committee commissioned research into the reasons why current over-rates in both Tests and One Day Internationals are so low (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008).


"In twenty-over cricket, at the end of every five overs, the umpires' referee would advise the captain, 'Mate, you are an over behind and if in the next three overs or five overs you have not caught that up then your number one bowler bowls one less over in the game", said Buchanan, or "in other words, there is a yellow-carding or red-carding so it is impacting upon the captain's ability to use his bowling resources".  Similar arrangements should apply in Tests, he says, and if a team is behind and they "don't catch up in the next hour then [their] prime bowler loses a certain amount of time in the game, a session or whatever".


On arrival back in Sydney last night, Ponting said he had warned his teammates in recent years that slow over rates would one day bite them but that moment did not occur in the lost fourth Test in India.  "We speak about it at every team meeting [and] I've told the bowlers, the whole team, for a couple of years now that if we keep going the way we are there's going to be some time or moment where it's really going to come back and hurt us or bite us", runs a quote attributed to him.


"I remember the Perth Test last summer [was] almost exactly the same [as then] we got down to eight or nine overs down there as well, so it absolutely can hurt you".  Ponting is said to have admitted that falling nine overs behind in play was unacceptable as "nine overs is thirty-five minutes play [and] that's a lot of time lost, so we have to look at every possible way we can to ensure we don't get to an unacceptable level," he said.


Elsewhere media reports say that Ponting's former team-mates Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist have come out in defence of the embattled captain, claiming he would never put himself before his country as has been alleged about the Fourth Test situation last Sunday, and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori also gave Ponting a ringing character endorsement.  However, in an ABC Radio interview Gilchrist would not say if he thought that it was an error not to use the front-line attack after tea in the rush to make up overs.






Australia's three members of the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) will all have third umpire roles in the five Test matches that are to be played around the country this austral summer.  At the same time five umpires, two of them from the National Umpires Panel (NUP) and the others from State Umpire Panels (SUP), will work as fourth officials in those matches. 


Recently appointed Victorian IUP member Paul Reiffel (E-News 336-1770, 25 October 2008), will make his debut in the third umpire's suite in an international in Perth in mid-December during the First Test between Australia and South Africa, the fourth umpire being Western Australian NUP member Mick Martell.  Reiffel has worked in the television suite four times in the Australian domestic one-day competition, two of those games being finals, the last at Bellerive in February this year (E-News 199-1095, 21 February 2008).


Reiffel's IUP colleagues Rod Tucker of New South Wales and Bruce Oxenford of Queensland will work in the television chair for two Tests each.  The former's appointments are in the First Test against New Zealand in Brisbane next week, which will be his debut in the television chair in Tests, and the Third Test involving the South Africans early in the New Year in Sydney.  He has previously worked as a third official in two One Day Internationals and a Twenty20 international, as well as three Australian domestic one-day games.  Oxenford, who will working as a third umpire in a Test for the third and fourth time, has been named for the Second Tests of both the New Zealand and South African series in Adelaide and Melbourne respectively. 


The fourth official in Brisbane will be Norm McNamara of Queensland, Adelaide Andrew Collins of South Australia, Perth Mick Martell of Western Australia, Melbourne Tony Ward of Victoria, and Sydney Gerard Abood of NSW.  Martell and Ward are NUP members while the other three are on their respective State Umpire Panels.





TCUSA President-Administrator and scorer 'Guru' Graeme Hamley is in Melbourne today and is to score in the one-day domestic match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) between Victoria and Tasmania.  The visit to the mainland, which E-News understands is part of Cricket Australia's (CA) national trial of electronic scoring, will also involve a scoring workshop that is to be held tomorrow.


Plans for today's match will see four scorers record match details, two using books and another two, Hamley and a colleague from Victoria, with computers.  The workshop tomorrow afternoon and evening will involve Victorian scorers, however, the details of what is planned are not clear at this stage.  Hamley travelled to Brisbane in July as part of CA's electronic scoring work, and ran a workshop there for scorers from Queensland and New South Wales (E-News 279-1486, 18 July 2008).


Hamley and his scoring colleagues will be watching on at the MCG today when Victoria National Umpires Panel (NUP) member Bob Parry and local State Umpires Panel (SUP) member Geoff Joshua take the field.  For Parry it will be his forty-ninth List A match, twenty-eighth domestic one-dayer and second this season, while Joshua will be standing in just his second one-day domestic match (E-News 323-1683, 3 October 2008).  The third umpire for the game will be Ian Lock a Western Australian member of the NUP. 


Meanwhile in Canberra, New South Wales SUP member Yohan Ramasundara, who is based in the national capital, and another local from there Simon Lightbody, are standing in the four-day Cricket Australia Cup (CAC) match between the Australian Capital Territory and West Australia's Second XI.  The four-day game, which is due to end on Thursday, is Ramasundara's fourth in the CAC (E-News 318-1658, 24 September 2008), but it appears to be Lightbody's debut in that competition.






New Zealand umpire Gary Baxter is to stand in six games during the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India next month, says a report posted on the '' web site yesterday.  Baxter, a New Zealand member of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel is to officiate in Bangalore "alongside" fellow umpire Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka, who is a member of the ICC's Elite Umpires Panel, however, no other umpires for the series have as yet been named.


The inaugural series will be played in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai over eight days from 3-10 December and involve eight teams, prize money totalling around $A10m.  The sides are Indian Premier League finalists the Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, Western Australia and Victoria (Australia), the Titans and Dolphins (South Africa), Middlesex (England) and the Sialkot Stallions (Pakistan).  Baxter and de Silva will officiate in 'Group B' which will involve matches featuring Western Australia, the Dolphins, Rajasthan Rebels and Sialkot Stallions.  


Fifty-six year old Baxter's international experience includes nineteen One Day Internationals (ODI) over the last three years in Canada, Kenya and at home, ten of them involving tier-one international sides.  To date he has stood in two Twenty20 internationals, both of them in February this year, as well as six domestic matches in that form of the game in NZ over the last three years.  In the first-class game he has stood in fifty-seven matches, two of them in South Africa in 2002 on 'exchange' and two others in Cairns and Darwin in 2006, the same year he stood in the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka.


Baxter is quoted as saying that being chosen for the Champions League "is a great opportunity for there will be big crowds and a fantastic atmosphere".  "It's also good for New Zealand umpires to get this sort of experience and exposure at the top levels of the game", he said.


The second edition of the Champions League next year is expected to see twelve teams involved and has been scheduled to run over sixteen days commencing on 25 September.  The recent boom in Twenty20 cricket, sparked by the lucrative IPL, has led to growing concerns about the future of traditional Test and ODI cricket.








Former Western Australian bowler Daniel McLauchlan has been suspended for seven-and-a-half matches for using abusive language towards an umpire in a club match in Sydney ten days ago (E-News 344-1826, 6 November 2008).  McLauchlan's offence occurred during the first day of a two-day game on 1 November and was not allowed to take part in day two last Saturday, and is now ineligible for the next seven games in the Sydney Grade competition and cannot play for any other club around the country while the suspension is in force.






The rear window of an umpire's car and a computer in the scorer's box were damaged on consecutive days by sixes hit by batsman from the Gold Coast Dolphins in Queensland last weekend.  On Saturday at Toombul during an innings of 132, one of First team skipper Brad Ipson's sixes cleared the boundary fence and the fence around the ground before smashing the rear window of umpire Dave Wills' car which was parked out in the street.   


On Sunday another Gold Coast batsman, Kevin Chapman, hit a ball straight at the scorer's box at Kerrydale.  The window was slightly open and the ball flew through and crashed into the laptop computer of Valley scorer Pat Culpan, smashing the screen completely.  Fortunately there was no damage to the internal workings of the laptop and he was later able to retrieve data, however, repair work is expected to cost around $A600.






Englishman Denis Burns, who played a key role in the development of the International Institute of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (IICUS) high-tech training material, is believed to have been an applicant for Cricket Australia's 'Umpire Educator' position, interviews for which are believed to have commenced late last month (E-News 334-1763, 22 October 2008).  Burns led CA's six-day umpire program for sixteen people in Kathmandu, Nepal, last month, a course that used IICUS materials and involved one of his potential bosses at CA, Global Development Program (GDP) manager Ross Turner (E-News 322-1688, 3 October 2008).


CA's new position is designed to provide support to CA's international and national training arms by developing, implementing and marketing umpire education and development programs both within Australia and overseas.  As a result the successful applicant, who will be based in Melbourne, will report "jointly" to CA's Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford and Turner, who works from Sydney (E-News 319-1662, 26 September 2008).


Burns has a background in education, teaching in schools, and further and adult education colleges in England, and for most of the last twenty years has been a university lecturer in education and information technology at Liverpool John Moores University, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Cumbria. 


He has also worked with a range of businesses on the development and use of business presentation software, and lectured on the Laws of Cricket to umpires and players in Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Norway and Switzerland, and has visited Sydney to discuss umpire training resources with the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association.  Burns is believed to umpire on a regular basis throughout the cricket season in England, standing in a full range of games from youth cricket to senior matches. 


Despite positive reviews of the IICUS's educational material, the England and Wales Cricket Board has so far made it clear that it has no plans to use it for its training programs.  Whether, should Burns' application for the CA Umpire Educator position be successful, Australian authorities will use IICUS materials in its GDP and on the national scene, or whether new materials will be developed, remains to be seen.











Proteas and Highveld Lions batsman, Neil McKenzie, was yesterday found guilty of showing dissent at an umpire's decision and suspended for two matches, says the '' web site.  McKenzie appeared before Cricket South Africa's (CSA) disciplinary commissioner Michael Kuper, SC, in Johannesburg after being charged with CSA Code of Conduct (COC) clauses that state that players and team officials must at all times accept an umpire's decision and not show dissent, or  use crude or abusive language nor make offensive gestures to any other participant, official or spectator.


The incident took place during the first-class match between McKenzie's side and the Nashua Titans which was played at SuperSport Park, Centurion early last month.  Charges against the player were laid by umpires South African umpires Shaun George and Murray Brown.  George was standing in the thirty-seventh first-class match of his four-year career at the level to date, while for Brown it was his fifty-second such match since his debut in September 2002.


In another case decided by commissioner Kuper yesterday, South Africa's vice-captain, Ashwell Prince, has admitted guilt and apologised for his behaviour after breaching CSA's COC while playing for the Warriors against the Dolphins in Durban last week, say the 'cricinfo' web site this morning.  Prince was reported by on-field umpires Murray Brown and Zed Ndamane for conduct that was "unbecoming or detrimental … which could bring them, the [CSA] Board or the game of cricket into disrepute".  Prince was "severely reprimanded" by Kuper but reports say that his previous clean playing record was taken into account when the verdict was formulated.






Four of the Indian Cricket Leagues (ICL) six-man umpiring panel were involved in the semi finals of the ICL's current Indian Championship Twenty20 series on Monday and Tuesday.  David Brandon of England and Ranmore Martinecz from Sri Lanka worked in both games, once on the field and once in the television position, while Australian-based former South African David Orchard and recently retired English County umpire Allan Jones stood in one match, while Indian Erapilli Prasanna was the match referee for both games.


The three-match final series is to start tomorrow, with the last two matches scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.  Umpires for those games have yet to be announced, nor is it known which match officials will be involved in the ICL's next tournament, the seven-match 'World Series' which is due to start on 23 November.  Teams labelled 'ICL Bangladesh', 'ICL India', 'ICL Pakistan' and 'ICL World' will compete in that series.






After almost thirty years and more than 1,000 games as an umpire, Cornishman Conway Polkinghorne has called 'Time' for the last time, according to a report in the 'Cornish Guardian' this week.  Polkinghorne donned the white coat for the very last time in September at the end of one of the most weather-ravaged seasons in England in memory, but unfortunately even that match had to be abandoned just seventeen overs into a fifty over game. 


Polkinghorne contribution to cricket in Cornwall has taken him all over the world with Cornwall schools cricket sides, areas of the planet visited including Australia, New Zealand. South Africa, Wales, the West Indies and the Channel Islands.  The Seventy-two year old, who took up umpiring in the mid 1970s after over twenty-five years as a player, told the 'Guardian' that he has never experienced a year in which so many games have been decimated by the weather. 






Bureau of Meteorology computer projections continue to indicate the next weekend will be a cool one for all involved in cricket in Tasmania (E-News 347- 1846, 11 November 2008).  A strong cold front is currently expected to cross the Hobart area in the very early hours of Saturday morning bringing the colder conditions.


"A few showers and mountain snow" is the current outlook for the State's capital on Saturday with a maximum temperature of only fourteen degrees Celsius, while Sunday should see a "morning shower or two" and a maximum only a couple of degrees higher.  Showers are also forecast for the north and north-west of Tasmania on Saturday, maximums there being estimated to be around sixteen or seventeen degrees.


Umpires and scorers involved in the management of games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site at any time (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007). 








Indian player Gautam Gambhir does not regret nudging Australian bowler Shane Watson with his elbow during the Third Test between the two sides in Mohali two weeks ago, according to quotes attributed to him in a story on the 'cricinfo' web site.  As a result of his actions Gambhir was found guilty of breaching the 'Spirit of the Cricket' and banned for one Test, a penalty that saw him miss the Fourth and final Test in Nagpur.  


Gambhir claimed in his defence at the original hearing into the incident that he had been subjected to prolonged and persistent verbal abuse by members of the Australian team, a situation that was denied by the Australians (E-News 344-1820, 6 November 2008), but about which the appeals hearing commissioner, South African Judge Albie Sachs, expressed some sympathy on Gambhir's behalf (E-News 343-1816, 5 November 2008).


In the 'cricinfo' article Gambhir says that "Aussies sledge from all corners, they sledged at me in Bangalore, Mohali and then in Delhi [and he] could have taken [their sledging] to a point, but they tend to get personal which is just not on".  According to him the Australians "don't like it when the opposition reacts the way we did [for] they never thought we would come hard at them, that's why they reacted the way they did".


If what he did was wrong says Gambhir, then "sledging should be stopped [for] it has no place in the game".  "I agree that I shouldn't have crossed a certain line but people should take the holistic view rather than blaming just me for the episode [and] frankly, I don't regret the Watson episode", he said.  The Indian player said he was unlikely to change the manner in which he approaches the Australians as he likes "to be aggressive" as he is "a fighter who plays for his team, his country and will do everything to restore that pride and never you'd see me taking a backward step".






With the first day's play of Tasmanian Cricket Association (TCA) First and Second Grade matches either washed out or severely curtailed by weather around Hobart last Saturday, play will  start at 10.30 a.m. on day two this week and can run where needed as late as 6.30 p.m.  Despite that the up-dated weather outlook issued last night by the Bureau of Meteorology for this Saturday continues the forecast of showers and mountain snow for the Hobart area with cool temperatures (E-News 348-1857, 12 November 2008), a forecast which suggests games may be subjected to further interruptions, particularly to the west of the River Derwent.  


Sunday in Hobart is expected to see some clearing showers with cool conditions prevailing.  Launceston is currently expected to see a few showers on Saturday with a maximum temperature in the high teens Centigrade, but Sunday's outlook is for "mainly fine" conditions, while in the north-west region it's for showers on both days of the weekend.


Umpires and scorers in all three areas of the State who are involved in the management of games next weekend can stay up-to-date with the latest weather information by going to the yellow weather box at the top right of the Association's web site at any time (E-News 28-152, 16 April 2007).







Recently retired Australian international umpire Peter Parker is to make a return to umpiring ranks when he works as the third umpire in a Twenty20 match between two Australian sides sponsored by a whisky manufacturer and a fast food company at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday evening (E-News 321-1673, 1 October 2008).  On-field umpires for the game between a Australian Cricketer's Association 'All Stars' side and an Australian XI (E-News 324-1701, 7 October 2008), will be Queensland-based National Umpires Panel member Bruce Oxenford and his New South Wales colleague Rod Tucker 


Tucker will also be in Brisbane this time next week working in the third umpire's booth during the First Test between Australia and New Zealand (E-News 348-1848, 12 November 2008).  The International Cricket Council (ICC) has not yet announced who the two on-field umpires for that game will be.  Given that 'neutral' officials will be involved, other ICC appointments suggest that if Elite Umpires Panel members are to be used for the two-Test series, they will come from either Aleem Dar of Pakistan, West Indians Billy Doctrove and Steve Bucknor, Mark Benson of England, Rudi Koertzen from South Africa or Asoka de Silva of Sri Lanka. 






David Millns, who was this week promoted by the England and Wales Cricket Board to its Full List of umpires (E-News 347-1844, 11 November 2008), played for Tasmania and the University Cricket Club in the Tasmanian Cricket Association's Grade competition during the 1994-95 season.  A left-arm quick bowler and capable lower-order batsman, Millns played six first-class matches for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield, three of them at Bellerive, plus a single domestic interstate one-day game which as also played there.


At first-class level Millns has a batting average for Tasmania of seventy-six, his highest score being fifty-one not out, however, his bowling figures are not quite so impressive for the eighteen wickets he took cost 44.4 runs each.  Millins' team mates at that time had names such as Cox, Di Venuto, Hills, Ponting, Young and another now player-turned-umpire, the New South Wales based National Umpires Panel member Rod Tucker.  


With University the Englishman played three First Grade matches plus a single limited over 'Kookaburra Cup' game.  He took three wickets in First Grade at an average of 29.33, while his batting average was 7.0 with a highest score of ten.  






New South Wales State Umpires Panel member Gerard Abood will become his State Association's seventy-eighth first-class umpire when he takes the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for the match between his State side and the touring New Zealanders today.  As is now tradition, umpires who stand at first-class level at the SCG get to add their signature to the white board in the umpire's room, and one of Abood's tasks before play begins will be to carry out that task.


Abood quickly made his potential known in his first season with the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) in 2000-01, winning both the 'Rookie of the Year' award as well as the Association's Panel 4 'Umpire of the Year' trophy at the age of twenty-nine.  The following season he won the Panel 2 'Umpire of the Year' award, and in season three the Panel 1 award, the first and so far only member of the NSWCUSA to have won three different panel awards in their first three years with the Association. 


In his second season with the NSWCUSA, Abood stood in the national men's Under 17s tournament in Victoria, eleven months later working in the equivalent Under 19's series in Canberra, and two years after that he was in Melbourne for his second Under 19s series.  


During his initial season in Sydney First Grade in Sydney in 2002-03, he officiated in the first of his four National Women's Cricket League games, a men's Under 19 One Day International (ODI) between Australia and England at Hurstville Oval, and twelve months later in a women's ODI between the same two nations.  He added another match to his women's ODI tally this month when Australia played India, as well as a Twenty20 international between the two sides (E-News 341-1803, 31 October 2008). 


Moving to Victoria in 2005, he spent two seasons there, umpiring in the first of his now four Cricket Australia Cup matches involving State Second XIs, and whilst there stood in the first of his now seven one-day interstate domestic games, and the first of his two Emerging Players Tournaments, standing in the final on both occasions (E-News 285-1512, 25 July 2008).   


On Friday next week Abood is to stand with Australian international umpire Simon Taufel in a Sheffieid Shield match at the SCG, and he will be there again for his second Shield game on 18 December (E-News 346-1834, 10 November 2008).  What data is available suggests he may be in line for promotion to the vacancy on the National Umpires Panel that was formally filled by long-serving Queenslander Peter Parker (E-News 31-1673, 1 October 2008).   






Yellow cards for abusing an umpire or excessive sledging are likely to be introduced into first-class cricket in England in 2010 if trials at minor county and club level prove successful next northern summer, according to a story by journalist Ivo Tennant that was published in 'The Times' in London yesterday.  Tennant's report says that England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman Giles Clarke was to discuss such a move with the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) at Lord's last night, the two organisations both being housed at the famous ground.


Tennant's article quotes Clarke as saying that “Jack Simmons and Mike Griffith, the chairmen of the ECB and MCC cricket committees [respectively], are very concerned [about umpire abuse and sledging issues] and, if the trials work, we would want [yellow cards] as part of the first-class game, although much cricket at that level is self-policed".  "Abuse of the umpire and sledging have to be stopped" continued Clarke, and he suggested that just as a rugby player is sent off the field for ten minutes or one-eighth of the game, a cricketer could be sent off for a similar proportion of playing time. 


'The Times' piece says that those general concerns and thoughts are supported by Dennis Amiss, "the most influential person on the ECB on cricketing matters".  Amiss told Tennant that he personally "would not be against introducing yellow cards in first-class cricket".  “When I was a player", he continued, "I had confidence in English umpires as they were former professional cricketers, but the Australians were always inclined to sledge".  Hoping that Red cards would not be part of any such system, Amiss said to receive a yellow card "it would have to be a bad misdemeanour but we have to move the game forward".


Charles Fry, the MCC's Chairman, indicated to Tennant that some form of punishment could even be incorporated in the Laws. “My personal view is that the behaviour in the international game is very good but in league cricket it's absolutely awful", said Fry.  “We would always be keen on anything to improve it [but] at the moment there are no penalties", he said.


The Gold Coast Cricket Association in Queensland has introduced a red and yellow card disciplinary system that gives umpires the ability to send players from the field of play during a game.  Under the system a player shown two yellow cards during a season will "automatically be given one game off", while a second yellow during a single match will see a red accompany it and the player will be sent from the field.  A red in a match brings, as it does in some codes of football, instant dismissal from the game with substitutes not allowed.


Mike Ralston, Queensland's State Umpiring Manager told E-News in September that Queensland Cricket was not in favour of the approach proposed on the Gold Coast, and that such a system would not be introduced into higher levels of cricket in his State for "it is not the way in which we want our umpires to control a game" (E-News 306-1603, 5 September 2008).  






Two young international umpires who have played at first-class level, and who some observers believe could move up to the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel (EUP) in the future, worked together in the three-match One Day International (ODI) series between South Africa and Bangladesh that concluded with a wash out yesterday.  Thirty-nine year old Nigel Llong of England was the 'neutral' umpire for the series (E-News 340-1796, 30 October 2008), while forty-four year old Marais Erasmus of South Africa was named to on-field positions in two of the games, one of them unfortunately being the wash out.


Brian Jerling, one of Erasmus's colleagues on South Africa's chapter of the International Cricket Council's International Umpires Panel (IUP) stood with Llong in the second ODI, and he, Erasmus and former IUP member Ian Howell were appointed to one game each in the third umpire's suite (E-News 290-1537, 6 August 2008).  Llong is a member of England's IUP group. 


Llong played sixty-eight first-class and 136 one-day games in a career that ran from 19901-2000, while Erasmus' career from 1988-97 involved thirty-seven first-class and fifty-four one-day games.   The Englishman now has eighty-four first-class matches under his belt as an umpire, two of them Tests (E-News 154-853, 13 December 2007), and after this week's matches, a total of twenty-one ODIs.  To date Erasmus has officiated in thirty-seven first-class fixtures and seven ODIs.






The thirty-member, ten-nation list of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) second-tier International Umpires Panel that is currently on the 'Match Officials' page of the ICC's web site, appears to be well out of date.  Publicity from a variety of sources over the past six months indicate that entries provided for Australia, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe no longer reflect the situation that actually prevails.


Australia's listing currently shows Steve Davis and Peter Parker as the on-field umpires and Bruce Oxenford as the television official.  Davis moved up to the ICC's top-tier Elite Umpires Panel in April (E-News 228-1270, 16 April 2008), while Parker retired six weeks ago (E-News 321-1673, 1 October 2008) and Oxenford was promoted from the third umpire's spot to an on-field one last June (E-News 251-1375, 3 June 2008).  Rod Tucker was given the third umpire's position when Oxenford moved up, then was elevated himself three weeks ago and Paul Reiffel was appoiinted to the television position (E-News 335-1770, 25 October 2008).


In the other nations India's third umpire's place is shown as being occupied by GA Prathap Kumar, an umpire that press reports on the sub-continent suggest was replaced two months ago by Shavir Tarapore (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008).  South Africa's listing does not show Marais Erasmus' promotion to an on-field position, and the demotion of Ian Howell and Karl Hurter (E-News 290-1537, 6 August 2008).


Sri Lanka's third umpire is listed as Gamini Silva and not former Sri Lankan off spinner Kumar Dharmasena who was promoted last July (E-News 283-1503, 23 July 2008), and Asoka de Silva, who moved up to the EUP with Davis last in April, is still shown as an IUP member, and just who his replacement is is not known.  Zimbabwe's Ian Robinson, who for many years was his nation's television official, announced his retirement two months ago (E-News 315-1646, 19 September 2008), and there has been no publicity as to who has, or is to, replace him.






Former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird believes Australia will be "panicked" into bringing back leg-spinner Shane Warne for next year's Ashes series and says that the bowler represents their "only chance" of beating England, says a story published in yesterday's 'Yorkshire Post'.  According to the article, Bird predicted Australia would attempt to coax Warne, who is now thirty-nine, out of retirement, claiming that he would "secretly relish one last crack at the old enemy with Australia's spin bowling reserves in turmoil following Warne's retirement and that of fellow leg-spinner Stuart MacGill".


Bird says that he knows that "Shane has said he won't come out of retirement, but I think that he will change his mind and that the challenge of the Ashes will inspire him".  "I might be wrong but, deep down, I think Shane will have missed international cricket and that he would dearly love to play against England once more", continued Bird.  "I don't think there's any other way Australia can beat England, I really don't; their bowling attack isn't strong enough otherwise for there's only Brett Lee who is a really world-class bowler, and their only chance of winning the Ashes lies with Shane", he said.


The former umpire is said by the 'Post' to have "insisted" that it would not take [Warne] long to readjust to the demands of international competition.  "I think Shane can slip back into international cricket quite easily" for he can get himself fit enough because it isn't so much of a problem for a spin bowler to do that".  "I just think the lad's got so much talent that he could quite easily pick up from where he left off, and the Aussies need him, make no mistake about it", said Yorkshire-born Bird.








West Indian international umpire Steve Bucknor, whose appointment to umpire the two Test series between Australia and New Zealand was announced last Friday, has been replaced by South African Rudi Koertzen. Bucknor was named to stand in a similar series involving the touring Sri Lankans this time last year but had to pull out because he 'forgot to fill in his visa in time" (E-News 131-711, 9 November 2007), and this year the International Cricket Council (ICC) is describing his withdrawl as "due to travel difficulties".


Details of the appointment of Bucknor and his Caribbean colleague Billy Doctrove for the two Tests, the first of which is due to start today in Brisbane, were provided in a statement released by the ICC early last Friday Australian time, however, the change to Koertzen was announced just four days later.  Koertzen was also brought into replace Bucknor for the Sri Lankan series last November. 


Koertzen officiated in the First and Second Tests of the recent series between India and Australia, and this month's New Zealand Tests will take his overall tally in that form of the game to ninety-six, while Doctrove will be standing in his twentieth and twenty-first Tests.  The matches will be Doctove's second and third Tests in Australia, his only previous one being in Perth three years ago, while Koertzen's total 'down under' will reach twenty by the time the series ends.  Match referee for the two Tests will be Chris Broad of England, who filled the same role in Australia's recent Test series against India, and will be managing his thirty-second and thirty-three Tests. 


Australian member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP) Rod Tucker will be the third umpire for the First Test in Brisbane while local Norm McNamara of the Queensland State Umpires Panel (SUP) will be the fourth official.  Tucker's IUP colleague Bruce Oxenford of Queensland will be in the television chair for the Second Test in Adelaide with South Australian SUP member Andrew Collins the fourth umpire (E-News 348-1848, 12 November 2008).   






Pakistani international umpire Aleem Dar has been named as the 'neutral' official for the five-match One Day International (ODI) series between Zimbabwe and the tourists from Sri Lanka, while South African Mike Proctor will oversee the series in what will be his last stint as an international match referee.  The International Cricket Council (ICC) indicated in a statement last week that Proctor's last series was to have been the three ODIs between Pakistan and the West Indies in Abu Dhabi earlier this month (E-News 347-1845, 11 November 2008).


The five-games between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, the first of which will get underway later today Australian time, will take Dar's ODI tally to 113 matches and see Proctor retire with 162 ODIs as a match referee.  Dar is expected to be accompanied on the ground during the five matches, all of which will be played in Harare, by Zimbabwean members of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (IUP).


Unless changes have been made recently to Zimbabwe's IUP on-field pair, Kevan Barbour is likely to stand with Dar in the first two games, however, and at least one other home umpire is expected to work in the third umpire slot.  Barbour's IUP colleague Russell Tiffin is currently standing in the ODI series between Indian and England (E-News 350-1871 below), and will not be available for the first and second matches in Harare, although indications are that he could be back at home for the third, fourth and fifth games next week.


With former Zimbabwean third umpire IUP member Tim Robinson now having retired (E-News 315-1645, 19 September 2008), the third umpire spot needs to be filled, and it is possible that local officials Owen Chirombe and Taurai Tapfumaney, who umpired both the four-day and one-day matches that Sri Lanka has played over the past week as warm ups to the ODI series, are in the selection mix.


Chirombe, whose age is not available, has stood in sixteen first-class and a dozen domestic one-day games  over the past three-and-a-half years plus five Youth ODIs during the Afro-Asian Cup in India in 2005.  Tapfumaney, who is thirty-six and made his debut at first-class level at the age of twenty-four, now has thirty-three first-class games under his belt.  To date he has worked in a single ODI as the third umpire, that game being back in 2001, and has thirty-six domestic one-day games to his credit.






Bangladeshi umpires Enamul Hoque Moni and Mahbubur Rahman Shaheen are to officiate in three first class cricket matches and single one-day games in Sri Lanka Cricket's Premier League over the next month.  The pair, who arrived in Colombo earlier this week, are taking part in an umpiring exchange program that has been set up by the two nations, their Sri Lankan counterparts Athula Sennanayake and Sagara Gallage currently being in Bangladesh to stand in its National Cricket League.






Former Australian international umpire Darrell Hair has publicly criticised E-News for what he describes as "certain instances" when in his view this newsletter has published stories that contained information he believes "is of a personal or private nature".  Hair's statement, which was posted on the New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association (NSWCUSA) web site on Tuesday and appears to be directed primarily at NSWCUSA members "who may be on the [E-News] mailing list", does not identify which stories have been of concern to him.


E-News has published numerous NSWCUSA-related stories over the past two years with no previous complaint, but Hair contacted this newsletter last week to express his concerns about a story he believes was of a confidential nature and should not have been run.  Details contained in the story in question had been circulating in some cricket circles for some time and the report as published was accurate, but the fact that one or more people in the information loop chose to make details available to the wider world is understandably  of concern to those involved.  


In his statement the now NSWCUSA Executive Officer  makes clear that he and his two staff members had nothing to do with the release of the story.  He states that "there is no contact or relationship, personal or professional, between any member of the staff of NSWCUSA and the TCUSA E-News Editor and none should be inferred even though articles may [be published] about NSW Umpiring and Scoring".  Other stories published on NSWCUSA related issues or its members in recent times have been written from information that has either been published on its own web site or were the result of analysis of data contained on a variety of publicly available data bases. 


Hair's statement says that while E-News stores may contain information that "may well be of interest to members of the umpiring and scoring fraternity", and that the newsletter "purports to 'keep you up-to-date' with TCUSA related activities", the publication of "personal or private" information "has nothing to do with TCUSA activities".  The TCUSA's focus is on cricket umpiring and scoring and E-News has published over 1,800 individual reports over the last two years on subjects that clearly fall within that ambit.






England bowler Stuart Broad had what 'The Independent' says was his first brush with officialdom at the conclusion of his side's One Day International against India in Indore last Monday, says journalist and former player Angus Fraser.  Broad was "hauled in front" of match referee Roshan Mahanama of Sri Lanka "after reacting petulantly to a rather harsh wide call" from Zimbabwean international umpire Russell Tiffin, says the story.


Fraser says that Broad's behaviour led to Tiffin speaking to him and Kevin Pietersen, the England captain, however, the bowler "continued to show his disappointment after his next two balls, which were straight.   The story states that Broad's body language in his follow-through after both those balls basically said "was that straight enough".


Mahanama is quoted as saying that Broad's actions were "a borderline case as far as disciplinary action is concerned".  "We just wanted to have a word with him to say that that was not the way to react [for] we expect players to show greater respect to an umpire", continued the quote.   


Commenting on how his father Chris, who is also an international match referee (E-News 350-1867 above), would have treated him Broad said that he "would probably have fined me my whole match fee [but] I was just given a talking to [and] told that I shouldn't show disappointment like that".


Broad is not the only player Mahanama has spoken to in the series says Fraser's report as he also called Indian player Harbhajan Singh in to his room after the first ODI in Rajkot when he waved at Englishman Samit Patel as if to say "cheerio" when he dismissed him.






Four of the six umpires used by the Indian Cricket League (ICL) for its recent Twenty20 series are to stay on for its seven match 'World Series' which is due to get underway next Sunday in Ahmedabad, according to a recent report on the blog of ICL official David Brandon from England.  That report suggests that Brandon, former County umpire Allan Jones, Sri Lankan Ranmore Martinez and David Orchard from Australia will officiate in next week's 'World Series', while Keith Smith from Ireland and Shakeel Kahn of Pakistan have returned home.


Brandon says in his blog that he finished second behind Jones in the ICL's umpire rankings and that he and Martinez have been offered a contract for next year's ICL series, but no mention was made of Jones or Orchard in that regard.  During the five-matches that made up the ICL's recent domestic final series, Jones, Martinez, Orchard and Jones, who were the most experienced of the six umpires used in the round robin games, each stood in three games and Brandon in one.  Martinez featured in all five matches, two of them in the television suite, Brandon was there twice and Jones once.


Overall in the domestic tournament Jones topped the list of appointments with seventeen, then came Martinesz and Orchard with fifteen each, Brandon thirteen, Smith twelve and Kahn ten.  Kahn and Martinez worked in the television suite on eight occasions, Brandon and Jones both seven, Orchard six, and Smith five times.

Teams labelled 'ICL Bangladesh', 'ICL India', 'ICL Pakistan' and 'ICL World' will compete in next week's Twenty20 series (E-News 348-1855, 12 November 2008). 






Former England international umpire 'Dickie' Bird and retired chat show host Sir Michael Parkinson have both been awarded Honorary Doctors of Letters degrees by the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire.   Bird, the son of a miner who already has honorary degrees from Sheffield Hallam University and Leeds University is reported to have said that "one more [degree] and I will have as many as Nelson Mandela".


The 'Daily Telegraph' quoted Parkinson, who played cricket with Bird in their early years, as saying that Bird is "not sophisticated" but is "the nicest man in the world [for] he is one of those rare people you meet who what you see is what you get [and is] very much his own man".  Following the degree ceremony the two donned mortar boards and gowns and joined seventy graduates in a parade through part of their home town of Barnsley that was led by a brass band.








Australian international umpire Daryl Harper starts a busy month of cricket in India tomorrow when he officiates in the fourth One Day International (ODI) between the home side and England in Bangalore.  Harper indicates in the latest entry on his web site that he is to stand in four ODIs, six matches in the Champions League Twenty20 competition, and two Test matches in India, a total of twenty days of cricket in the three forms of the game in just thirty-one days. 


Sunday's India-England ODI is to be played in Bangalore, the fifth of the series in Cuttack on Wednesday, the sixth in Guwahati on Saturday and the last in Delhi on Tuesday week.   After that Harper returns to Bangalore where five of the fifteen Champions League games are to be played, the first starting less than a day after the last ODI finishes in Delhi 2,000 km to the north.  Other umpires known to be officiating in Bangalore are Asoka de Silva from Sri Lanka, who is a colleague of Harper's on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Elite Umpires Panel, and Gary Baxter of New Zealand a member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel (E-News 348-1850, 12 November 2008). 


Bangalore will be where Group B sides Western Australia, the Dolphins from South Africa, Rajasthan Rebels of India and Pakistan's Sialkot Stallions play four of their six round robin games, the remaining two being listed for Chennai and Mumbai.  The fifth match scheduled for Bangalore on 8 December is the first semi final of the tournament, with the second semi final and final being played in Chennai on the ninth and tenth of December respectively.


With the First India-England Test currently due to get underway in Ahmedabad on the eleventh, Harper could be in contention for the Bangalore semi final, however, his Test commitment suggests that he is unlikely to participate in the two Twenty20 final matches in Chennai.  The Australian's busy month, which follows a three match ODI series between Pakistan and the West Indies in Abu Dhabi a week ago (E-News 347-1845, 11 November 2008), ends in Mumbai just before Christmas where the Second Test is to be played from 19-23 December.






Zimbabwean umpire Owen Chirombe made his debut in the third umpire's chair last Thursday in the first One Day International (ODI) between the home side and Sri Lanka in Harare, and also occupied that position for the second game on the five match series today (E-News 350-1868, 20 November 2008).  On-field umpires for both matches were Aleem Dar, the International Cricket Council's (ICC) neutral appointment from Pakistan, and Zimbabwean member of the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel Kevan Barbour.






Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim has been officially reprimanded for showing dissent at an umpire’s decision during the first Test against South Africa at Bloemfontein on Thursday.  Mushfiqur was found guilty by match referee Alan Hurst of Australia, who said in a statement issued by the International Cricket Council that after being given out LBW, "Mushfiqur left the crease immediately but he was looking at and touching the edge of the bat as he left", something "that is inappropriate and clearly unacceptable after an LBW decision".


Hurst said that the batsman, who faced a minimum penalty of an official reprimand and a maximum penalty of a fine equivalent to half of his match fee, "has apologised for his actions and said he sincerely regretted this misdemeanor".  As a result of that and his previous good record the lesser penalty was applied by Hurst. 


The charge was brought by on-field umpires Steve Davis of Australia and Ian Gould of England, the latter who is standing in his first Test match, and third and fourth officials Marais Erasmus and Brian Jerling respectively who are both from South Africa (E-News 340-1796, 30 October 2008).






New Zealand international umpire 'Billy' Bowden was yesterday awarded the Arthritis New Zealand (ANZ) 'Business Development Award' for his contribution as an ambassador for the charitable organisation (E-News 91-491, 1 September 2007).  ANZ's Chief Executive Sandra Kirby says that “Billy’s been a wonderful inspiration to people with arthritis all over New Zealand [and that] his help over the last few years has been immeasurable not only for fundraising, but also by creating awareness that arthritis is not only an older person’s disease”.   


Bowden says in an ANZ press release that "it’s a privilege to be recognised for this work", however, that’s not why he is involved for he is "absolutely wrapped that [he] can make a difference and help people with arthritis”.  ANZ says that Bowden's "work with the charity has provided a great platform for the organisation to lobby for better treatment of arthritis sufferers and improved access to vital medicines that aren’t being subsidised under the current system" in that country.








The amount of money on offer to the winners of Australia's interstate Twenty20 competition this season, and the even higher financial return available to them via next year's Champions League series, appears to be behind Cricket Australia's (CA) revamp of its approach to umpiring appointments for this season's domestic series.  Two-thirds of umpiring spots in the fifteen home-and-away matches announced on Friday went to the nation's senior listed umpires, a complete reversal of the policy that applied last season, and instead of 'home' officials being used for each match, half of this season's games will involve umpires who have traveled from interstate. 


Details of the Champions League concept, the first tournament of which is due to get underway in India early next month (E-News 352-1879 below), were still being developed when appointments for the 2007-08 season's interstate series were formulated. That competition saw twenty-one umpires, just eight or one-third from the National Umpires Panel (NUP) and thirteen or two-thirds from the six State Umpire Panels (SUP), being used.  In 2008-09, nineteen umpires have been named with twelve or two-thirds of them being NUP or international panel members, while SUP members make up the remaining third.


Of the fifteen home-and-away games scheduled for the twenty-three day period from Boxing Day, New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria will host three each, and Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia two apiece.  Nineteen umpires, eleven of whom are members of the NUP and a twelfth, Australian international official Daryl Harper, have been selected for games, seven of the NUP members being listed to travel interstate for eight of the fifteen matches, a change from last year when 'home' umpires were used for all 'round robin' games in the competition.  


As a result of the change to appointments policy, and despite the fact that three matches, one more than last year, are to be played in Tasmania this season, the number of spots allocated to officials from the island State has fallen from four to three.  Tasmanian SUP member Steven John has been allocated two matches, one at Bellerive and the other in Launceston, and his colleague Brian Muir a single match.  John's colleague at Bellerive will be Victorian NUP member Paul Reiffel and in Launceston another NUP member Ian Lock of Western Australia, while Muir's partner will be a third member of the NUP, Tony Ward of Victoria. 


In addition to the game in Launceston, Lock will also travel from Perth for a match in Adelaide, while apart from Reiffel and Ward's visit interstate to Tasmania, other NUP members travelling will be Simon Fry from Adelaide to Sydney, Andrew Craig from Perth to Sydney, Jeff Brookes from Perth to Brisbane, and Bob Parry from Melbourne to Sydney.  NUP members standing in matches in their home States are Mick Martell (WA) and John Ward (Victoria) who will officiate in two each, and Brookes, Parry, Bruce Oxenford (Queensland), Reiffel, Rod Tucker (NSW) and Tony Ward, one game each.  


Apart from the three slots allocated to Tasmanian's John and Muir, other SUP members allocated games were Andrew Collins (South Australia), Gerard Abood (NSW) and Geoff Joshua (Victoria) two matches each, and Norm McNamara (Queensland) and Paul Wilson (WA) one game apiece.  


After the round robin matches this season's series will end with a preliminary final on 21 January and the final three days later. The location for those matches will be decided once the competition table is finalised and umpiring appointments are not expected to be announced until the New Year.   


As was the case last year no television officials have been allocated to any of the fifteen home-and-away games, but given the criticism after last year's final about the lack of a third umpire even though the match was televised, reportedly as a cost saving measure (E-News 177-949, 15 January 2008), third umpires seem more likely to be used in both final games this season. 





A report in today's 'Rediff News' in India states that New Zealand umpire Gary Baxter and Australian Simon Taufel are to stand in the final of the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League final that is to be played in Chennai on 10 December.  The report also states that Taufel and Indian umpire Shahvir Tarapore will officiate in the second semi final of the competition the day before, and Australian Daryl Harper and Pakistan's Asad Rauf the first in Banglaore on 8 December (E-News 350-1874, 22 November 2008).


'Rediff' quotes tournament Director Dhiraj Malhotra as saying that 'Billy' Bowden of New Zealand, Amish Saheba of India and Marais Erasmus of South Africa will officiate in all matches played in Mumbai, Rauf, Harper and India's Suresh Shastri in Bangalore games, and Baxter, Taufel and Tarapore in Chennai.  Earlier reports suggested that Baxter would be based in Bangalore and that one of his partners would be Sri Lankan Asoka de Silva, but the latter's name is not mentioned in the 'Rediff' report (E-News 348-1850, 12 November 2008).


Bowden, Harper, Rauf and Taufel are members of the International Cricket Council's Elite Umpires Panel, while Baxter, Erasmus, Saheba, Shastri and Tarapore are on the ICC's second-tier International Umpires Panel, with Tarapore being a third umpire member (E-News 320-1669, 28 September 2008). 


Match referees named by 'Rediff' for the tournament are New Zealander Jeff Crowe, Sri Lanka's Roshan Mahanama and Indian Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghvan a former ICC match referee who is currently India's Director of Umpires and a member of the ICC's umpire selection panel (E-News 229-1273, 17 April 2008).  Mahanama is currently in India managing the One Day International series between the home nation and England that ends just prior to the Champions League series getting underway, while Crowe will be officiating in the two Test series between the two countries that starts the day after the Champions League final.


The fifteen match series is scheduled to get underway on Wednesday week.






Cricket Australia Umpires Manager Andrew Scotford and long-serving Brisbane scorer Arch Morris were used to record the length and nature of every on-field delay, and the time taken to bowl each over, when the Australians were in the field during the recently completed First Test against New Zealand in Brisbane, say a number of media reports published over the last few days.  The move was part of the team's efforts to try and ensure that they get through the required ninety overs in the day, something they were unable to achieve during the recent tour of India, a situation that led to some criticism (E-News 347-1843, 11 November 2008). 


Left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson was quoted as indicating that the side's efforts were a big improvement on that in India and credited doing the "little things" right to quicken the rate to keep them out of the "danger zone".  Fast bowler "Brett [Lee] was getting back to his mark a lot quicker, and we were leaving our hats on the boundary when we could", runs a quote attributed to him.  


Vice captain Michael Clarke is quoted as saying that if "it means bowlers leaving their hat at fine leg instead of giving it to the umpire, or if it means running between our overs, it’s just something we are going to have to continually work on".  On the other hand New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has the opposite problem saying that his team “have problems with being too fast and [we] have to slow ourselves down".


Last year, and again in October (E-News 339-1794, 29 October 2008), the Marylebone Cricket Club's World Cricket Committee reiterated its concerns about slow over rates in Tests, and the International Cricket Council's Cricket Committee (CC) announced in May that it had commission research into the reasons why current over-rates in both Tests and One Day Internationals are so low (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008).  


It could be reasonably presumed that such "research" would involve data gathering like that undertaken by Scotford and Morris last week, however, if such work has been undertaken in Tests to date there has been no publicity about it as yet.








Mystery surrounds the status of Sri Lanka's chief domestic match referee Graeme Labrooy after Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) moved responsibility for those positions from Labrooy back under its Umpires Committee, says a report in the island nation's 'Daily Mirror' newspaper last week.  Journalist Channaka de Silva says in the newspaper that Labrooy has, for all intents and purposes been "sacked", although he has not been "officially informed" of the decision.


Labrooy told the 'Mirror' that he was appointed as SLC's "first ever" Chief Match Referee last December during the tenure of the then SLC Interim committee under the chairmanship of Jayantha Dharmadasa.  That move, says the article, followed "a directive from the International Cricket Council that match referees should be independent and not be under the Umpires Committee" which had controlled them until that time. SLC Umpires Committee manager Ronnie Gunaratne is said to have informed Labrooy about the change. 


According to the 'Mirror' it is not clear who took what appears to be the decision to move match referees back under the Umpires Committee, a member of the SLC's interim Committee member who was contacted saying that they did not discuss or approve such a decision.  “I am also in the dark as to who has taken this decision”, said Labrooy.  


The match referee controversy appears to be part of the seemingly endless, on-going struggle within Sri Lankan cricket management circles.  Labrooy is the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Cricketers’ Association a group that the 'Daily Mirror' says has been agitating for players’ rights, including a recent stand-off between Sri Lankan players and SLC interim committee chief Arjuna Ranatunga over their participation in the Indian Premier League.  






Former Lancashire chairman and the current chair of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) cricket committee Jack Simmons, doesn't believe that a 'send off' disciplinary system is needed at the grassroots level of the game as yet, says an article published in 'the Citizen' newspaper in Burnley last week.  Simmonds was involved in discussions with the Marylebone Cricket Club earlier this month prior to which ECB Chairman Giles Clarke indicated that such a system would be trialed in Minor County and club cricket in 2009 (E-News 349-1863, 13 November 2008). 


Simmons is quoted by 'The Citizen' as saying that he thinks a send off system "would have to be something for leagues themselves to introduce", but he "would hate to think that it would be getting to the stage where anybody has to be sent from the field of play".  “Perhaps in the amateur game it is getting a little bit worse", he said, but "as for the professional game, one or two have gone over the top but the umpire will have a word and the situation is dealt with". "If anybody is found to have misbehaved then [he] would hope that league officials would take the relevant action and ban players for however number of games, like they do in international cricket now with match referees".


'The Citizen, says that Brian Woodhead, chairman of the Ribblesdale League, believes that discipline has improved in the past two seasons since his league introduced a disciplinary code of conduct for the players to follow.  “We have a code of conduct that we introduced, which the clubs have adopted and is working well", said Woodhead, and "any disciplinary action is first of all taken by the clubs, and in the last two years it is rare that the league has had to intervene in disciplinary matters at all".






Victorian quick Dirk Nannes was banned from bowling for the remainder of Western Australia's first innings in Perth last Friday after he delivered two consecutive head-high full tosses to batsman Luke Pomersbach.  Nannes was ordered out of the attack by Andrew Craig, a Western Australian member of the National Umpires Panel (NUP) who was officiating with NUP colleague John Ward of Victoria.


Nannes dismissal from the Victorian attack occurred in the second, and his first, over of the four-day game.  His first delivery was a full toss that claimed the wicket of WA opener Shaun Marsh who was caught in the gully, but it was his second and third to incoming batsman Pomersbach that led Craig to ask Victorian captain David Hussey to take him out of the attack.  The bowler was apparently not reported over the incident as the umpires deemed his actions weren't malicious.


Victorian chairman of selectors John MacWhirter insisted that Nannes' beamers were accidental as 'he wouldn't have been foolish enough to do that, to bowl three balls like that".  "I guess for whatever reason they did slip out" said MacWhirter, but "he missed the last game through illness and didn't have a lot of bowling in the last week so I guess it had something to do with it".


Nannes has so far bowled twenty-one overs in WA's second innings, apparently without incident. 








The Australian team was fined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) today for maintaining a slow over-rate during the First Test against New Zealand which ended in Brisbane yesterday, the second such censure Rick Ponting's side has attracted in the last two weeks (E-News 347-1843, 11 November 2008).  ICC match referee Chris Broad from England imposed the fines after Australia was ruled to be three overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration.


Under ICC Code of Conduct regulations Broad's finding meant that Ponting was fined thirty per cent of his match fee while his players have each received fifteen per cent fines.  In the Fourth Test against India earlier this month the side was found to have been two overs short of the target.  Reports indicate that Australian players were well aware of the over rate issue prior to the match getting underway, and a close off-field watch was kept on related matters when they were in the field in Brisbane (E-News 352-1880, 23 November 2008). 






Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker, Australia's three members on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, are to share the six on-field and three third umpire spots that are available in the three Twenty20 Internationals that are scheduled to be played in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in January-February.


Oxenford and Tucker will stand in the first match between Australia and South Africa at the MCG on 11 January with Reiffel in the television chair, while Reiffel will join Tucker on the field for the second match between the two sides at the Gabba two days later, Qxenford moving to the third umpires slot.  In mid-February Australia will again be in action, this time against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground, a match that will see the on-field pairing being Oxenford and Reiffel and Tucker as the third official.


The three matches will see both Rieffel and Tucker standing in an international Twenty20 for the first time, although the latter has previously worked as the third umpire in one such match. Oxenford currently has three Twenty20 internationals to his credit, two on the field and the other in the television suite.


The fourth umpires for the three games will be members of State Umpire Panels from the city in which the games are to be played, Geoff Joshua in Melbourne, Norm McNamara in Brisbane and Gerard Abood in Sydney.






A Melbourne optometrist and two sports scientists believe that there is not enough time for an umpire to judge an LBW accurately so soon after they have observed where a bowler's feet land.  The trio, who reached their conclusions after evaluating laboratory tests, published their findings in a recent edition of the journal of 'Clinical and Experimental Optometry' (CEO), says a story published in 'The Australian'.


Journalist Peter Lalor says that former Australian player and long-time commentator Richie Benaud has long argued that the umpires would be in a better position to judge what is happening at the other end if the front foot law was abandoned and the back foot law reintroduced.  Up until the early 1960s no-balls were judged by the position of the back foot, but the Law was changed to the front foot to eradicate 'dragging', a factor that saw some fast bowlers gain a significant advantage.  


Despite Benaud's view, however, the research paper suggests that it does not make a significant difference which foot is watched, or in the words of Lalor's article in 'The Australian, "umpires tend to get it just as wrong judging [the] front foot as they do judging [the] back foot".  The CEO paper went on to state what will appear obvious to many umpires in that there was a significant improvement in an umpires' performance if they did not have to judge where the bowler's feet land.


That says Lalor, suggests that if the third umpire were used to make the simple 'no ball' calls then the officials in the middle of the ground "could do the more important job [of watching the ball and batsman] better".  'The Australian' article does not discuss how the third umpire would relay such a call to the players on the field.






The Bradford League in England proposes to use pink cricket balls in their Twenty20 competition next northern summer, says a report in the 'Bradford Telegraph' last week.  Alan Birkinshaw, the league’s public relations and marketing manager, told a meeting of club representatives that a sponsor has been obtained who will fund the cost of the balls, and that the "umpires and a framework of rules" are already in place for the planned Tuesday evening competition.








Cricket Australia's (CA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) James Sutherland has criticised the national team for slow over rates and claims that drastic penalties, such as banning bowlers or even removing a fieldsman, may be necessary to improve the situation worldwide, says an article published in 'The Australian' newspaper this morning.  Sutherland made his comments yesterday after Ricky Ponting's side was fined for slow over rates in the First Test against New Zealand, the second such censure in two Tests for the team (E-News 353-1884, 24 November 2008).


Journalist Malcolm Conn quotes Sutherland as saying that "the Australian team clearly needs to look into the reasons why it hasn't, in recent times, been on top of its game in regard to over rates".  "The rules and regulations are very clear and we are falling behind, which is not good enough", said the CA CEO.


Sutherland told Conn that he plans to raise the over rate issue at a meeting of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executives Committee next month, in what 'The Australian' says is an attempt "to ignite the debate on what he sees as an international problem".  The ICC's Cricket Committee announced last May that it had commission research into the reasons why current over-rates in both Tests and One Day Internationals are so low (E-News 241-1324, 12 May 2008), but as yet no details of just what work was planned have been released.


Conn states that Sutherland said that over rate problems in the Sheffield Shield were solved when state teams were docked points that could cost them a place in the final and that international cricket should look at penalties other than fines.  "I'm very confident to say we've fixed the problem of over rates [in the Sheffield Shield] and the teams bowl the ninety-six overs required without a hiccup", said Sutherland.


CA's CEO apparently believes that umpires do not have "a big enough stick to wield during the game" regarding over rates.  Proposals floated previously have suggested that teams should lose five runs for every over they are behind, but Sutherland is said not to be in favour of run penalties.  "Maybe a team could lose a fieldsman or a bowler if you drop a certain amount of overs behind", Sutherland said.


Conn's article says that Sutherland claimed it was essential for the future of cricket, particularly Test cricket, that teams around the world improved their over rates to give better value to the paying public.  "We are a sport that is played in front of millions of people on television and in a broad sense over rates should continue to move along at the expected minimum of fifteen overs an hour", he said, for "if they don't it's a significant blight on the game".


Meanwhile Ponting, who was fined close to $A4,000 for his side's latest failure to met over rate targets, is being reported by a number of media outlets as saying that his side "tried [their] hardest" to keep up with required rates during the recent Test but that "without having a specialist spinner in your side you find it hard to remain level par through the course of the game".  


Former Australian captain Ian Chappell says in his latest column on 'cricinfo'com' that it is "difficult to understand why Ponting needs to engage in long, drawn-out conversations with his bowlers, which is the main cause of Australia's slow over-rate". 






Lancashire League umpire Nick Westwell, who stood in a number of Tasmanian Cricket Association matches early last summer, is returning to Hobart this week for another stint with the TCUSA.  Westwell, who is due to arrive in the state tomorrow afternoon in time for this week's training-appointments meeting, spent last weekend in Hong Kong where he officiated in two matches at the Hong Kong Cricket Club.  


Westwell told E-News by telephone from Hong Kong last night that he is keen to catch up with the many friends he made during his visit last year and to get out on the field here again with his colleagues.






Two senior umpires in India have issued a legal notice to the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) demanding damages because it has not assigning them work as umpires for the last several years, says a story posted on the '' web site.  The notice is said to state that the two umpires, Vivek Dongre and Suhas Laxman, have been "doing their duties" for over two decades and that they have passed all the exams required of them to continue their duties as umpires.


The pair's legal advocate Mahesh Chauhan said that despite their experience and that they were up-to-date with the required exams, their names had not been sent to the Board of Control for Cricket in India for national-level examination. "My clients [are] contesting [the situation] for the Board is harassing them by stopping their assignments", said Chauhan.  Both umpires have demanded a sum of money to cover their "mental agony and damages" and the BCA has been asked to reply to the notice within two weeks.






Zimbabwean umpire Russell Tiffin, who officiated in the first three One Day Internationals between India and England last week, stood in the third ODI between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in Harare yesterday with 'neutral' umpire Alem Dar of Pakistan.  Tiffin's Zimbabwean colleague on the International Cricket Council's second-tier International Umpires Panel, Kevan Barbour, was in the television suite for the match (E-News 351-1875, 22 November 2008).


Over in India, the first two games in the Indian Cricket League's (ICL) 'World Series' played on Sunday and Monday saw Englishman David Brandon stand in both matches.  Brandon's on-field colleague in the first game was David Orchard from Australia and in the second Allan Jones of England.  Ranmore Martinez from Sri Lanka was the third official for both games.  Match referee for the opening match was Adjit Wadekar and in last night's game Erapilli Prasanna.  Both are from India.