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March 2013

Time to Reflect The regular season is over. Back in September we all looked ahead to what would be a long a tough season. Naturally at the end of the season many would (and already have) said how quickly it has gone by. Some statistics.

SACUSA Office Bearers President: Ted Branson Vice President: Craig Thomas Treasurer:


Michial Farrow

Committee members:

SACUSA members umpiring for SACA, ATCA, PDCA & MTGCA from have stood in 3037 matches which equates to 4280 umpiring days or 1 year & 9 months worth of hours. SACUSA’s Database has grown to 579 umpires with an estimated 400 yet to be added.

Lynton Donisthorpe

Max Bartlett Geoff Sando Jeff King and Tony Trist Auditors:

95 aspiring umpires in the Metropolitan Area completed their Level 1 accreditation.

Bob Woods and Simon Fry

36 current umpires underwent the training for their Level 2 Accreditation. Umpires from SACUSA and ATCUSA covered no less than 15 carnivals including Junior, National and International matches. 5 Umpires participated in Futures League or Women’s National League. 2 Umpires in National Championships, 2 Umpires in 1st Class cricket and 2 umpires in International Matches. NOW WHO’ BOSS? It would be very easy to sit back now and relax, but the jobs not done yet. Finals are upon us and for many this presents us with our greatest challenges yet.

ANNUAL DINNER 11 May 2013 West Lakes Golf Club

Hopefully all we have done this season will mean we are up to the challenge.

One evening, after the honeymoon, he was organizing his golfing equipment. His wife was standing nearby watching him. After along period of silence she finally speaks. "Honey, I've been thinking, now that we're married I think it's time you quit golfing. Maybe you should sell your clubs and golf cart."

Contacts He gets this horrified look on his face. Secretary - Michial Farrow 0435 872 215 She says, "Darling, what's wrong?"

Sticky Wicket - Tim Pellew 0414 58 58 42 ”There for a minute you were sounding like my ex-wife.” "Ex wife!" she screams, "I didn't know you were married before!" ”I wasn't!“

OVER RATES The following is a personal thought from one of our umpires (who looks up to players). It is not necessarily the opinion of SACUSA nor of SACA. It is hoped that it promotes some dialogue amongst us for the sake of healthy debate. Thank you Martin for your thoughts. Is the 6-runs-per-over penalty for not bowling the quota fair? In our umpiring role, we apply and interpret the Laws of Cricket and our Bylaws to the best of our ability. Under the Bylaws it puts in our hands the power to apply penalty runs per slow over rate to a team to win a match that otherwise it may have lost under the laws of cricket. This seems to me a rather harsh penalty for the original winning team, especially for a one or two overs deficit. I should not comment on the current system without suggesting an alternative solution, so here mine goes: Why not dock the offending team one premiership point for every two overs short: the slow winning team reduces its premiership points, and the losing team has negative points. Yes, that means that a one over deficit will not be punished and that is probably pretty fair anyway given the vagaries of a culmination of a few seconds and minutes during a full day’s play. An important matter is that the winning team under the rules of cricket still keeps its win. Imagine you were a bowler who took a hat-trick in the last over of the day to win the match, only to have the match taken away due to a slow rate, say, in that last over due to discussions and considered field changes causing a longer than permitted time-rate for that over, coupled with the rest of the day’s rates! This system has the possibility of a team missing the finals due to slow over rates either throughout the season, or just on one occasion. Although the suggestion may be argued by some as harsher than at present, it removes the umpires responsibility of awarding games based on checking watches exactly. In the words of Gilbert and Sullivan, “Let the punishment fit the Crime”. Editor’s Note: Strangely, this sort of suggestion has been overheard from some team officials during after-match drinks!

PHONEY Murphy says to Paddy, "What ya talkin to an envelope for?" "I'm sending a voicemail ya thick sod!"

CA U17 MENS’ NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP Recently, I was lucky enough to be chosen as the umpire to represent South Australia at the Cricket Australia U17 Men’s National Championships held in Hobart between 10 – 20 December last year. Suffice to say, it was a fantastic experience and very rewarding from an umpiring and personal perspective. My thanks go to Neil Poulton, Kim Perrin and SACA for providing me with this great opportunity. The U17’s is the first step on the Cricket Australia representative pathway for male players (for females the first tournament is at U15 level). The Championships are run each year and this year presented a new format. In previous years each of the six States and two Territories would play each other in a round robin tournament which would include two-day, one-day and T20 cricket. This year the T20 format was discarded and each of the teams would play three two-day and two one-day games. For me, that meant eight days of umpiring out of the 10 that the Championships ran for. When I first saw the schedule, I was really excited to get stuck in but I also knew that I would be sore and tired by the end. It’s difficult to run through all the games I had in detail, but the cricket was fantastic. It was quite special to note that somewhere in this group of 100 young cricketers some future Australian players would be taking part. I officiated Western Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and NT mainly, which at first glance might not seem like the teams to produce “blockbuster” matches, but I can safely say that I some of the best games of the Championships. I witnessed the NT defend a modest 50 over target (9/201) in the first match of the Championships and protect their last 20 runs in the final 9 overs for their first ever win over WA. A casual observer would have thought the boys from the north had just won the Championships, let alone just one match. Similarly, my second highlight saw the ACT make a huge first innings score (9/405) on the first day of a two-day match only for the NT 8, 9 and 10 batsmen hold on for over a session to achieve a draw in scenes which drew comparisons to the recent Test series against South Africa. Finally, the best match was saved until last where Tasmania took on the NT at the Tasmanian Cricket Association Ground (forerunner to Bellerive and a ground where Bradman plied his trade). After a couple of small first innings totals the NT captain made sporting declaration to set Tasmania 176 from 37 overs remaining in the match. After a thrilling run chase, Tasmania got the runs with 2 balls to spare.

The experiences didn’t stop away from the cricket either. During the “non-match” days Denis Burns from CA ran seminars to continue our cricket education. Luckily for us, the Hobart Test was starting whilst we were there and for the first of our seminars Denis had organised for the two Test umpires, Tony Hill and Nigel Llong to come and speak with us. They were extremely generous with their time and spoke at length for about an hour on a range of topics and then fielded questions from us for another 30 minutes or so. Similarly, on the second of the training days Sam Nogajski, one of the most recent appointments to the National Umpires Panel and local Tasmanian, came in and spoke about his experiences and how he has progressed through the Cricket Australia pathway. What I found fascinating listening and speaking with these three gentlemen was the level of dedication and personal drive they all had to not only be better umpires, but better people in their lives away from cricket. Additionally, I could relate to their experiences because despite these guys being at the top of their game internationally and domestically, they go through the same things that we do on a Saturday afternoon only they experience it at a more concentrated and visible level. One final, lasting impact these Championships left on me was the camaraderie that we eight umpires built up over the two weeks. It’s not doing it justice mentioning here but we started the Championships not knowing each other but quickly built good, lasting friendships. It’s very difficult to encapsulate all the experiences I had in Hobart in just a few short words in this article. As I said at the start, it was one of the most rewarding experiences both from an umpiring and personal perspective I have been lucky enough to enjoy. Before I left I set myself two goals: firstly do my best and enjoy the two weeks but secondly continue the good reputation built up by South Australian umpires who have gone before me and show the rest of Australia that SA have some pretty good umpires coming through. Hopefully I have gone a small way in achieving that. Thanks Cain Kemp for that great report

BAT/PAD In a match Australia v Sri Lanka match, most of us would have seen two Australian batters given out LBW after there were no Decision Reviews left to them for a challenge to the umpires’ decisions. The slow motion replays with super close-in zoom showed us on TV that each time the ball had just hit the bat before the pad. Now I know from discussion with umpires that these decisions are hard to adjudicate at any level game. How often after an out decision does the batter leave the ground in obvious disappointment indication that he/she had hit the ball. In many cases the batter may have been right but I am sure that there are many that the batter either thinks the ball hit the bat first, or pretends that it did. When I was playing, most batters would return the pavilion saying that they “smashed” it on to the pad. I think more times than not the umpire is correct. They are hard ones, given that the umpire is 22 or so metres away in many cases.

Danger Zone Law 42.11 is about “the protected area” of the pitch. It is our duty as umpires to ensure that the requirements of Laws 42.12, 13 and 14 are adhered to, and in matches played on hard pitches, although there may not be damage occurring by encroachment into the “danger zone”, players (often juniors) should be educated to the fact that there is such an area that is not to be encroached upon, generally. If we as umpires are not strict about warning players about encroaching into the zone, what is our answer to, say, a batter who on seeing obvious footmarks in the danger zone, asks an umpire what is he/she doing about the bowler’s footmarks? Kane Richardson encroached recently whilst playing for Australia and after a “friendly” a caution and final warning, his next infringement had him embarrassingly for him removed from the bowling attack by the umpires. Umpires turned up to a recent Country Carnival match. It was Monday, and the pitch had been used 2 days earlier for A grade. At one end, there was a large zone of obvious bowlers’ deep, rough, footmarks in the danger one in front of off stump. We could not believe that such a thing had happened and wondered what the umpire had done about it. Obviously not much or too late! SUPPORT YOUR MATE A couple incidents this season demonstrate what not to do on or off the field. In the first incident, a batter was given out LBW from what seemed to the square leg umpire was too high. The batter left the field touching his thigh pad well above his pads. As he went passed the sq. leg umpire, the bowlers end umpire heard the sq. leg umpire say to the departing batter “Bad luck; it looked a bit high from here.” In the other incident, again after an LBW decision the square leg umpire was heard to say to the departing batter, who was indicating that he hit the ball, “Yes, I heard two noises”.

Now those two incidents from the square leg umpire are absolutely not on, ever. Support you mate: no comment is ever necessary even though your think your mate may have been incorrect! In a case where a batter was reported for dissent, such a comments of the “other” umpire was used by the reported batter as evidence to the Commissioner at the hearing to throw doubt on the ability of the other umpire.

CARN THE CROWS A recent study has found over 200 dead crows near Ceduna S.Aus., and there was concern that they may have died from the Avian Flu virus. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and he confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu, to everyone's relief. However, he was also able to determine that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with large trucks, and only 2% were killed by car impact. The State hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine the disproportionate percentages for the large truck versus car kills. 
The Ornithological Behaviourist determined the cause in short order. 
When crows eat road kill, they always set-up a look-out Crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger. His conclusion was that the lookout crow could say "Cahhhhhk", but he could not say "Truuuuck." Now you know!

A PAST HAPPENING One of our more aged umpires can tell a related story, something like this: When the umpires returned to the pitch after tea, the bails from one end were missing from where they had been left adjacent to the stumps. After a bit of searching in the vicinity of the wicket, the embarrassed umpire announced that he would need to leave the field to get replacement bails, whereupon one of the batters, the late David Hookes, asked the umpire “are you looking for these?” as he retrieved them from his pocket. BLIND LEADING THE… Paddy says "Mick, I'm thinking of buying a Labrador. "Bugger that" say Mick "have you seen how many of their owners go blind?" ON THE FIELD Walking on to the field before the start of the first day’s play, one of our umpires picked up a ball that had obviously been left on the field during a team’s warm-up. The ball was in reasonable condition and the umpire pocketed the new ball and threw the old ball to the ‘keeper as the team entered the field. The ‘keeper looked at the ball and approached his skipper “ …why this old ball?” The skipper was heard “ I gave the umps the new ball box…”Hey umps” he called out “what’s with the ball?” as he brought it over for inspection. “Oh, sorry, I pulled the wrong one out of my pocket!”. After many overs and no wickets having fallen, the skipper remarked, ”maybe it is the wrong ball after all.” Ed’s note: This may have been funny to some but it is not really a professional approach to our umpiring duties. STILL ON THE FIELD In a recent B Grade match he ball was edged wide and high to the cordon. The ‘keeper leapt to his right but could not control the ball as it bounced high behind him wide of first slip who similarly jumped, only to deflect the ball sideways as he too missed the catch. Second slip dived full length to his left behind him to at last hold the catch just above the ground. Great jubilation and laughter as you could imagine from the fielding team, and the batter on leaving turned to the umpire: “Is that really fair?”

SACUSA Club Song We’re the umps from South Australia, We put our fingers up anywhere, We’re the umps from South Australia, We raise our digits without fear, We’re just and fair and scrupulous, We will fire them without fear, We’re the umps from South Australia, We put our fingers up anywhere. (Sung to the tune of the Marines’ Hymn)

SPIRIT OF CRICKET This was touching. In a recent U16W match the fielding team “chased leather” all day but none ever, surprisingly, became dispirited, particularly with one partnership being over 200. When eventually the batter who made 153 got out somehow, every fielder ran to the departing batter to congratulate him. When the batter who made 66 got out in the penultimate over, many did the same and the others clapped as he left the field. NOT A HOLE IN ONE! I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave. As I was standing there I noticed 4 grave diggers walking about with a coffin, 3 hours later and they're still walking about with it. I thought to myself, they've lost the plot!!

PROTECT THE SQUARE On arrival at an oval recently, the groundsman approached the umpires as they were setting up the wickets on day one. He pointed out some large scratch marks on some of the other pitches. He pointed out that they were made by fielders “marking “where their captain had asked them to field on pitches adjoining the match pitch. We have all seen bowlers make enormous marks for their run-up start, in spite of having a bowling marker; and fielders do the same. We umpires should be on the look-out for this marking when it is on the square and ask that the pitches are not marked for the sake of future pitch preparing.

NOT ONLY DOES THE STRIKER HAVE A STANCE In a recent match, the opening bowler after a few overs from the top of his run-up called to the bowler’s end umpire “Can you close your legs a bit please?” You can imagine the roar of laughter from the fielders and batters! No, it wasn’t anything to do with the umpire’s diet: the bowler wanted to run closer to the stumps and thought that he may step on the umpire’s foot during his approach!!!!!!!!!!! THE 2012/13 SEASON NEARS AN END Finals start next weekend, and we congratulate all umpires officiating in their respective Associations’ finals and wish them good umpiring. To all umpires of this season, we trust you had an enjoyable season and will be back next season.

STICKY WICKET—On holiday! We produced 6 editions of Sticky Wicket over the 2012/13 season and we are planning for more next season. The first issue should be on the table for our first Association/SACA meeting yet to be advised, just prior the season ‘s commencement.

Sticky Wicket March 2013  

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Sticky Wicket March 2013  

monthly newsletter