NZC QUERIES ‘KOOKABURRA’
OVER BALL STANDARDS
Australian company ‘Kookaburra’ has been criticised by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) over the quality of its international-standard cricket balls for there is increasing concern over their ability to withstand the rigours of a Test match, says a report in today’s ’Sydney Morning Herald. NZC is said to be "seeking answers from Kookaburra" over why some of its $A100-plus balls "are struggling to go the distance” in the current Test series against Sri Lanka.
Journalists Mark Geenty and Tom Cowie say the problem "reached farcical levels" on day two of the second Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Sunday when the second new ball was deemed out of shape by the umpires Steve Davis and Richard Illingworth after just seven deliveries. It was the fourth time the ball had to be changed in the first two days of the game, the first in New Zealand's opening innings lasting just twenty-three overs.
NZC head of cricket Lindsay Crocker said the balls are "going [out of shape] so early”, and that his organisation has been in touch with Cricket Australia as it was having "similar problems", as well as Cricket South Africa which also uses the ‘Kookaburra’ brand. ‘Kookaburra’ balls are used in most Test-playing countries, the ‘Dukes’ brand in England and ’SG’ in India (SG) being the notable exceptions.
Genty and Cowie write that the situation could lead to NZC approaching other ball suppliers such as ‘Dukes' when its commercial deal with ‘Kookaburra' expires in two years. Cricket Auckland is trialling the cheaper ‘Dukes' balls in club cricket there this season, after the company looked to push into the southern-hemisphere market last summer. "When that contract comes around it will be an opportunity for us to look at other alternatives”, said Crocker.
Former Australian player Shane Warne has been critical of ‘Kookaburra' balls constantly going out of shape during the Tests between Australia and India. There have been numerous instances during the series of balls being replaced midway through an innings or of bowlers asking the umpire to check if the ball is out of shape. During one stint as commentator on Channel Nine, the ever talkative Warne suggested cricket balls be produced by one manufacturer and standardised across the world to ensure the best possible ball.
The International Cricket Council has sanctioned several different brands and it is up to individual boards to decide who their supplier is. White “Kookaburra' balls will be used for this year's World Cup series in Australia and New Zealand.
CA AMENDS DOMESTIC T20
‘SUPER OVER’ RULES
Cricket Australia (CA) has changed the rules that apply when ‘Super’ or ‘Eliminator’ overs are needed to decided the result of tied matches in its domestic Twenty20 competition. Previously, and as currently applies in Twenty20 Internationals and major domestic series around the world, if a team looses two wickets in such overs their ‘innings’ is complete, however, CA now allows both teams to bat for six fair deliveries regardless of how many wickets they loose.
The change, which is also reported to allow each team to use a new ball for their six deliveries rather than that the one used in the second innings of the main match, came to light in Brisbane on Monday when CA franchise teams from Melbourne and Sydney each finished on 150, Sydney loosing six wickets and Melbourne four. This is the second time Playing Conditions changes have come to light via an incident in a match in the last three months (PTG 1450-7026, 16 October 2014).
In its 'Super Over’ on Monday, Melbourne scored 0/19 off seven deliveries, one of which was a wide, but Sydney could only manage 2/5 off the first five deliveries having lost wickets on balls two and five. While an extraordinary run of no balls or wides would have been needed to overcome Melbourne’s total, the new batsman went to the crease for the last delivery and hit it for four, his side finishing their ’Super Over’ on 2/9.
Reports suggest the change was made because of the way a T20 match between Perth and one of CA’s Sydney franchises ended in January last year. On that occasion Sydney batted first in the ‘Eliminator’ and lost two wickets in four balls for just one run, and when Perth went to the crease a four off the first ball faced produced four runs in what in television terms was somewhat of an anti-climax.
Whether the CA’s change of Playing Conditions will be taken up by the International Cricket Council or other domestic leagues around the world is not yet known.
INDONESIAN UMPIRE STANDING IN
AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY SERIES
Jakarta-based Indonesian umpire Suresh Subramanian is one of fourteen umpires standing in this week’s 2015 Australian Country Cricket Championships (ACCC) series being played in the northern Victorian city of Bendigo. The annual series, which features country teams from all Australian states except Tasmania plus an side picked from the International Cricket Council’s East Asia Pacific (EAP) region, involves a total of fifteen games, six played in two-day and nine in one-day formats.
India-born Subramanian, a member of the EAP’s top umpiring panel, was ranked eighth of the nine members of that group last year (PTG 1455-7058, 26 October 2014). Records available indicate he has in the past taken part in the EAP’s Under-17 championship series in Vanuatu in September 2010, plus its equivalent Under-19 series played in south-east Queensland, the first in February 2011 and second in July 2013.
Subramanian, one of two Indonesians on the EAP’s top group, told the ‘Bendigo Advertiser’ yesterday that “cricket is anything but a major sporting code in Indonesia, but the sport is growing and we are trying to promote the game”. He said that there are sixteen teams and around 500 people playing the game in Indonesia where the season runs for all but three weeks of the year. Matches there are played on synthetic wickets because it rains "almost every day”, something that "makes it too hard to prepare turf wickets”.
Subramanian is the third EAP umpire member to take part in an ACCC series, Papua New Guinea (PNG) umpires Clive Elly and Alu Kapa doing so in 2012 and 2014 respectively. In other EAP news Helen Atai of PNG, the top ranking member of its second-tier Development Umpires Panel, took part in NZC’s women’s Under-21 tournament in Lincoln late last month (PTG 1454-7049, 24 October 2014).
A so far unnamed EAP umpire member is due to stand in New Zealand Cricket’s annual ten-day men’s Under-19 tournament which is due to get underway in Lincoln near Christchurch next Tuesday (PTG 1455-7058, 26 October 2014), and if the practice of the last few years is followed another will take part in next month's Imparja Cup series in Alice Springs.
According to the 2015 ACCC Handbook for what is the sixtieth such event, the other thirteen umpires apart from Subramanian come from the Bendigo District Cricket Umpires Association, they being named as: Paul Abbott; Colin Brayshaw; Alan Clements; Kevin Gunn; John Hewitt; Russell McGibbon ; Steve Patten; Ken Reed; Greg Reeves; Rod Southon; Joe Sarteschi; Larry Wust; and Geoff Young. The Handbook does not provide any details of the scorers who are supporting the tournament.
In his welcome to the event contained in the Handbook, Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland congratulates "the players and umpires who have been selected to represent your respective States and Territories” at the tournament. Wether CA is considering offering so-called ‘grass roots’ umpires from other states the opportunity to be selected for future series is not known.
BATSMAN GETS OFF
THE MARK WITH A ‘7'
West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite got off the mark in the second innings of the Test against South Africa in Cape Town yesterday with an unusual seven runs. Brathwaite drove square off bowler Vernon Philander and ran three, but a strong throw from fielder Jonty de Villiers to the bowler’s end beat the field and quickly ran to the fence for four.
International cricket has arrived in Townsville once again. Matches including two one day limited overs are presently being played followed by a three day match. All matches are being played at Tony Ireland Stadium, which was recently given the approval by ICC representatives. Test matches may be on the horizon for Townsville.
Points of interest to the Townsville Cricket community are the new scoreboard with graphics which allows ease of viewing. No replays at the moment, but sure to come with international test matches.
The current matches will bring a smile to umpires faces and traditional cricketers with a scene not too regular at matches: That is both the fielding and batting team being on field and ready to play five minutes before the offical call of play by officials. Congratulations to PNG and Hong Kong players, keen to play cricket and in the spirit of the game. A sight for sore eyes. Maybe our local boys could take a leaf out of their book.
Meeting is set down for 9.00am Sunday for all 2014/15 season umpires. TCI Senior Chair has advised that the playing conditions will be on the Townsville Cricket Website prior, so please ensure that you download and bring a copy with you together with your notebooks. The meeting is to ensure all umpires understand the playing conditions for all grades, refresher on Laws and opportunity to discuss any items for clarity. Consistency is the season catch phrase.
New association Shirts are being ordered by the Secretary. Should you require another on field shirt (White, Blue or Grey) then please ensure you make the request early.
Welcome to aspiring new umpires Ian Hanson and John Baldwin, who have undertaken their theory training, and had the opportunity to officiate a preseason match to date. Both will be at the meeting so please introduce yourself.
Townsville welcomes the Touring Team of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Assoc from India. Begining their tour in Cairns Madhya Pradesh CA Team arrived in Townsville on Tuesday. In Cairns they achieved success and have continued with their winning way successfully defending a 238 score against Nth Qld Cricket Open team today at Endeavour Park No 1 oval in a one day 50 over match. Tomorrow a three day match will commence allowing the Nth Queensland team an opportunity to showcase there talent albiet having little match fitness given the time of the year and the regular season commencing in September. Some flashes of brillance from both teams today with the ball and bat. Take a look at our gallery for some images. Further updates to follow. Pictured are Umpires - Nigel Woods and Murray Hobbs at the toss with the captains.
The three day match commenced on Friday the 22nd August. MDCA won the toss and elected to bat scoring 226 runs, with NQCA in their first innings in reply attaining 200.
On day two MDCA were 100 for 3 an overall lead of 126 with one day to play. Will a declaration be made in an attempt to win outright?
Changes to the MCC Laws of Cricket came into effect as of the 1st October 2013 (2000 Code 5th Edition) New training videos have been released which assist umpires to effectively understand the changes and by reading in conjunction with the laws assist in a clear and consie way. The video links are included on our training page and are being utilised in our training delivery for existing and new umpires. Take a look now.