Saturday, November 28, 2015


ICC ‘still in discussions’ with Taufel over possible new role.


Article from:  Sources.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 11 November 2015.  

PTG listing: 1685-8280.

A month after news of his resignation became public, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is believed to still be in discussions with former international umpire Simon Taufel, who left his position as the ICC’s Umpire Performance and Training Manager 10 days ago, about a possible "alternate role" for him with the world body (PTG 1663-8146, 16 October 2015).     Simon James Arnold Taufel

Taufel is currently in the United States working as a match official in a series of exhibition matches that are being fronted by former Indian and Australia players Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warner.  Taufel was on-field in the first game in New York last Saturday with ICC Elite Umpire Panel (EUP) member Marais Erasmus, former EUP member Steve Davis being the third umpire, and the ICC’s chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle the referee for the game

If you're not very good at playing, be imaginative with your excuses

I really like this Article from:  Cricinfo.

Journalist: Nicholas Hogg.                          

Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1675-8225.

The excuse is a method of self-defence, and a vital skill in the preservation of a club cricketer's ego. Where the professional player has an audience of coaches and high-definition cameras to scrutinise every action of his game, and the self-made error is there for all to see, the amateur has licence to blame an external force for his downfall. Depending on the mistake that needs a scapegoat, the excuse for the golden duck, dropped catch, or that over that mostly ends up in the next field, will be anybody's, or anything's, fault but our own. 

The light, either too much of it or too little, can pretty much help out in any predicament. The spilled chance - from that lollipop that loops into your hands and then onto the grass, to the flat-batted screamer that singes your fingertips because you were too scared to make the attempt - can be nullified with the universal "I didn't pick it up", followed by a shrug of the shoulders, and perhaps a point to either the background or the sun. 

There is no argument with the player who can't see the ball - who can check your eyesight to see if you're lying? - and this bad light/bright light excuse can be called upon whether at the crease, while fielding, or not wanting to give your team-mate out stumped because you're staring into the setting sun. 

Unfortunately I had none of these particular defenders at hand when I once dropped an absolute sitter at cover. Our famously luckless opening bowler was doing the Stuart Broad double teapot and glaring. My plea was that I'd slipped. I theatrically checked my studs and then the turf. Obviously the groundsman had over-watered the square. But when the batsman went on to make a hatful of runs, I had no allies, until weeks after the game, when a photographer sent us photos of the match. Quite clearly I could be seen losing my footing, and was nearly horizontal when my hands actually clutched at the ball. The bowler was having none of it. I'd dropped a sitter, as simple as that. The lesson was that an excuse must be instant to be effective.

At club level it is the beleaguered umpire who is the scapegoat for the struggling batsman. I know players who swear they have never truly been out LBW. Every such dismissal is put down to either bias or a poor decision, but never, God forbid, their own lack of ability. And when that middle stump is pegged back, or the big hit ends up in the hands of the infield, the bad workman is quick to blame his tools. From bats that are too heavy, grips that slip, to dud blades that the well-heeled club player will toss aside. 

Bowlers are a different breed to batsmen, and possibly even more creative when it comes to finding an excuse for a bad ball, spell, or lack of form. My own go-to object of blame is the ball. As a swing bowler I need a surface that buffs it to a decent shine. A cheap cherry with peeling lacquer that resembles an old dishrag after a few overs is the first excuse. 

Then the weather: obviously the wrong conditions for swing bowling; either too dry, wet, windy or calm. And if the conditions are perfect, the skipper has got me bowling from the wrong end, at the wrong time. If it's the right end, the run-up is bumpy. Or on a slope, or the footing is uneven. Or I'm bowling too soon after a particularly opulent tea - although indigestion can hardly be an excuse when I'm the one solely responsible for putting half a dozen cream scones down my gullet.

In a game with so many variables, the list of excuses is almost inexhaustible. This season alone I've witnessed a batsman blame the umpire (me) for his golden duck as I called play before he was ready (not true); a catch dropped because someone in the crowd (of three) said "Catch!"; a slow-scoring opener bowled after uncharacteristically hauling across the line because he thought his team-mates were ironically cheering his forward-defensive prods; a player run out wearing oversize pads - all because he had lent his own pads to the team-mate who ended up stranding him; a sitter at mid-on fluffed because of "sweaty palms"; and a batsman, in form and scoring freely, dismissed when his dad turned up and told him to "play straight" after he whipped a half-volley from outside off stump through midwicket - he was castled next ball, showing the bowler the maker's name.

We are infallible, but our egos are creative enough to magic the excuse out of thin air. And if that means we're not bellowing at our team-mates for missing catches or getting out first ball - because sometimes we're not actually good enough - then I'm all for the fiction and fantasy that makes the village game so special.

CA releases initial WNCL, Futures League, appointments

Article from:  CA appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                  

Published: Saturday, 10 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1660-8128.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Australia’s Fry named for Test debut

Article from:  ICC appointments.

Journalist: PTG Editor.                          

Published: Wednesday, 7 October 2015.  

PTG listing: 1658-8113.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WACA century looming for young umpire

Article froms :  Community News .

Journalist:  Francis Curro.                           

Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2015.  

PTG listing: 8,097.

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

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

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

More Articles...

  1. Bold CA move gives new meaning to ‘fast-tracking'
  2. Umpire Course for Beginners and Qualified Umpires.
  3. Long distance ‘commutes’ help with Darwin umpire shortage
  4. Umpire Training Aug 2015

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