Tuesday, July 28, 2015


You are the Umpire

Test your knowledge of the laws with this great article from "The Guardian". Answers soon.


MCC 2000 code - 6th Edition 2015 Coming soon

There will be two changes to the Laws of cricket, surrounding movement by fielders and the wicket-keeper.  This has been approved by the MCC cricket committee but needs to wait until 29th July for approval by the overarching MCC Committee.  These changes were initially to be included in the 2017 changes but, given the confusion in the world game over this area, it was decided to ‘fast-track’ it for inclusion this year.

 A draft wording via ICC will be released shortly, even though it won’t be approved by MCC until the end of July.  MCC will have the type-setting all sorted, so that the Laws books can be printed immediately after that meeting. As soon as available we will advise all members of our association.


BCCI continues to block UDRS use; MIT testing to begin soon.

Article from:  ‘Cricinfo’ web site.

Journalist:  Nagraj Gollapudi.
Published: Friday, 26 June 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

To take matters forward Richardson said that the pair of ICC general manager Geoff Allardice and Anil Kumble, head of ICC's cricket committee, would be travelling to the Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston from Barbados (PTG 1574-7562, 23 June 2015). There they will meet with engineers from MIT's Field Intelligence Laboratory and discuss the scheduled testing of performance of all technologies being used in cricket. 

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

ICC approves changes to ODI, T20I Playing Conditions.

Article from:  Agence France Presse.

Journalist:  Not stated.

Published: Saturday, 27 June 2015.

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

From next week, five fielders will be allowed outside the thirty-yard circle between the 41st and 50th overs in ODIs, rather than the current four.  In addition, there will be no compulsory catchers during the first ten overs in such games and no batting Powerplays will be allowed between overs fifteen to forty.  In another change for both ODI and T20Is, all 'no-balls', not just foot faults, will lead to a free hit; as already applies in some domestic competitions around the world.  At present only a bowler’s foot fault results in a free hit in internationals.

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

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

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

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

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

South Africa, Zimbabwe and West Indies will be the next three nations to supply the ICC president, followed by England for the 2019-20 term of office. 

Does Test cricket need to become more attractive to the masses?

Article from:  New Zealand Herald.

Journalist:  Dylan Cleaver.
Published: Wednesday, 1 July 2015.           

To open with a philosophical question: Does Test cricket actually need to become more attractive to the masses? The answer to that probably depends on which side of the commercial imperative divide you stand on.  The recent crowds for the England-New Zealand Test series and the anticipated crowds for the upcoming Ashes suggest the long-form is in rude health in Blighty, but it is not the case everywhere.  

Take away one-off events, such as Brendon McCullum approaching a triple century or Tests returning to Christchurch after a long, earthquake-enforced absence, and it remains a struggle to get more than a couple of thousand folk through the gates of a Test match here in New Zealand.  So maybe it's worth having a wee look-see at how a day-night Test could alter the Test experience. If the Adelaide experiment - the wet dream of Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland - is a success, then New Zealand Cricket could look at doing something here, as long as dew is not too much of an issue.

Test cricket really is an anachronism. If somebody was now to approach a sports marketing firm to suggest a game that took 35 hours to complete over five days without the guarantee of a winner and loser, they'd be laughed out of the room by people wearing skateboarding sneakers and caps on backwards.  So the reinvigoration of Tests should not be seen as a light-and-dark issue. Already the style and attitude of the players has changed. Test cricket is so-o-o-o much more attractive than it was last century. What the players now need is a set of playing conditions to maximise the new-found aggression.

Here are some suggestions:  Reduce tests to four 100-over days. That would reduce the length of Tests by 50 overs but, crucially, 24 hours.  Have four 25-over sessions per day with three 20-minute breaks. Honestly, there is no bigger mood killer in cricket than the 40-minute 'lunch' break. You talk about anachronisms, well that's one that can disappear immediately. Some would argue that puts bowlers who bowl long spells in danger of injury if they haven't time to properly recover over lunch, but it will be up to captains and coaches to manage loads.

Put in genuine penalties for slow over rates, like the loss of a fielder for a session. The match referee could determine whether the fault is that of the fielding team. This would further encourage the use of spinners.  Have a 30m circle that comes into play after the loss of the eighth wicket and legislate that only five fielders can be outside the circle. There is nothing more boring in Tests right now than the sight of fields spreading for the recognised batsman as fielding captains try to force the tailenders on strike.

Now, I have to tell you I've run a few of these ideas past Sir Richard Hadlee and his enthusiasm for my game-changers would best be described as tepid. Over the course of our illustrious cricket careers, Hadlee accrued 431 more test wickets than I, and 3124 more runs. So I bow to his superior onfield talent, but I'm prepared to debate him on this.  Hadlee feels the spreading of fields when the tail comes in is an important part of the tactics of cricket. I feel it has become an anti-tactic; the default position of lazy captains. Under my proposal, tactics will be just as much to the fore, except they will be positive.

There might even be scope for different batting order paradigms, with genuine hard-hitting all-rounders being played at number 10 to make use of the fielding restrictions.  The players have given Test cricket a shot in the arm by the way they approach the game. I don't blame administrators for trying to keep pace, but they should look beyond merely trying to shed a little more artificial light on the situation

More Articles...

  1. Latest set of MCC Laws animations available on-line.
  2. ACA president concerned debut of day-night cricket Test being rushed.
  3. MCC to launch Laws ‘App'.
  4. Headline: Dhoni, Mustafizur fined for on-field contact.

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