Issue #97 Japan scores a consolation victory in WCL-7


June 5, 2009                                                                                              Issue #97

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.


  • Japan scores a consolation victory in WCL-7
  • The fine print
  • Asia & EAP news –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • Neil Harrison’s memoir
  • Announcements
  • IECC poll results
  • Reader’s corner
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Japan scores a consolation victory in WCL-7

Japan managed a consolation win in the recently concluded ICC World Cricket League Division 7 tournament at Port Soif, Guernsey, which, otherwise brought disappointment to fans back home. The consolation win – against Suriname – was powered by a dream spell by fast bowler Patrick Giles-Jones, whose outstanding figures of 7/9 helped Japan beat Suriname by 8 wickets. Giles-Jones, an Australian playing for Japan, had helped reduce Suriname to 7/8 at one stage but a rear guard action from Surinamese batsmen helped them score 66. Japan overcame the meager target in 29.4 overs, losing two wickets in that process. Japan had earlier lost to Nigeria and hosts, Guernsey and later lost the last match against table toppers, Bahrain.

Nigeria recorded their two-wicket victory over Japan in the penultimate over, despite a reasonably healthy target Japan set for Nigeria, powered by an unbeaten 55 from Ko Irie.
Japan 187/8 (50 overs, K Irie 55*)
Nigera 188/8 (48.1 overs, G Beath 3/20)

In the second match against Guernsey, Japan’s score of 150 for 8 was easily overcome by the hosts with 11.3 overs to spare. Ko Irie followedup with his previous performance and made a valuable contribution to Japanese innings with an aggressive 49.
Japan 150/8 (50 overs, K Irie 49)
Guernsey 152/3 (38.3 overs)

The left-arm fast bowler Giles-Jones starred again in the last match with an outstanding bowling spell that saw Bahrain collapsing to 24/4 before recovering to post an imposing 260 runs on the board. Giles-Jones initiated a top order collapse by catching three of the first four batsmen in front of the wicket. Although Giles-Jones went on to claim 5 wickets Bahrain’s total proved too heavy for Japan and they were eventually bowled out for a paltry 64 runs in 26 overs.
Bahrain 260 (49.3 overs, P Giles-Jones 5/39)
Japan 64.

Source: various cricket websites

Patrick Giles-Jones and Ko Irie were Japan’s shining stars and provided the only silver lining in an otherwise lacklustre foreign trip for the Japanese players. With three losses out of their four matches Japan’s poor show outside the EAP region continued, highlighting the low domestic standards and underscoring the need to further open up JCA’s attitude towards the foreign players’ community in Japan in order to spur an inclusive development of playing standards. By limiting themselves to deal with only a small section of the foreign cricket community, the attempts to improve the standards by the JCA can only meet with limited success. Japan’s problems in the Guernsey tournament was compounded by the fact that two of their Pakistani origin players were rejected visa resulting in the original squad of 14 being reduced to 12, prompting their coach to draft himself in all the matches. But the moot point remained whether it was wiser to play one of their Japanese players than to draft in an aging coach (not that his performance was bad). One would hope that the generous grant ICC provides to Japan would be spent more wisely to improve the domestic playing standards. As an Associate member, Japan receives USD200,000 or more annually, depending on the grade they are placed inside the Associate grouping.

+ Kansai Cricket +

Jason from Kansai reports:

The games are on but there is no sign of competitive matches yet. We have a big problem with grounds, only me and the KRAC have any and they are few and far between. Ashiya looks hopeful every year though.

KCL results are available here

The Fine Print

A controversial SMS game introduced in the IPL, which evoked strong criticism for promoting to gambling, was discontinued with the games’ inventors taking note of the apprehensions expressed by Sports Minister M S Gill and many former cricketers. Gill had denounced the SMS game in which fans made ball by ball predictions for cash prizes, saying it amounted to gambling.

Javed Miandad thinks that all is not well with the IPL that is underway in South Africa. He thinks IPL is a joke but at the same time worried about some of the results. “There is a definite smell of match-fixing coming from the IPL where strange things are happening. I don’t consider the IPL as cricket, it is a joke. It is strange that players who are not regular bowlers have taken hat-tricks in the league. Teams are losing matches from winning positions,” Miandad said.

Bollywood diva and co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, Shilpa Shetty praised her captian as a a wonderful guy. She also is set to share Bollywood screen space with her team’s coach-cum-captain Shane Warne. “I understand the whole former nemesis thing between Shane and South Africa but I think he’s a wonderful guy without prejudices. He has a sense of fair play and he’s a good sportsman. And as captain and coach of my team he’s also an example of what I appreciate in players: consistency and dedication, irrespective of what career phase they’re in,” Shetty told You magazine of South Africa.

Comments: Meanwhile, Shilpa’s sister Samita Shetty is causing ripples in the tabloid newspapers. Read the Best of the Web section elsewhere in this Newsletter.

IPL umpire Daryl Harper wanted to wear a helmet on a few occasions, apparently. “In one of the games Sanath’s [Jayasuriya] shot hit me so hard that I was feeling breathless for a while. And Hayden’s hits have brushed my ears a few times as well,” Harper said. “I was talking about this to some of the other umpires and they were also of the same opinion. Given the pace with which some of the players hit those shots, it’s becoming really dangerous for us. I guess it’s just a matter of time before you see us using those baseball helmets.”

A cricket kit ordered from Pakistan by Dilawar Hussain, of Blackburn, U.K., was ruined by over eager customs officials searching for explosives. Eight of his bats and a few pairs of pads arrived with holes drilled in them! Neither the Pakistani nor the UK government has owned up the damage.

In an incident what the accused described as related to “matters of the heart”, Bermudan fast bowler George O’Brien had been charged with using a Taser stun-gun against a “love rival”. Incidentally, O’Brien was handed a two-year suspended ban in 2005 after reportedly punching an opponent during Bermuda’s Cup Match, the biggest game of the year. In 2006 he was dropped from the national side after he missed a number of training sessions. That led to him being excluded from the 2007 World Cup squad, and days after being left out he broke his leg playing football.

Former England international Chris Lewis has been found guilty of cocaine smuggling and has been handed a 13-year jail sentence. The former all-rounder was found with more £140,000 worth of cocaine hidden in his luggage late last year at Gatwick airport when he returned from a trip to St. Lucia. He had cocaine in liquid form hidden in tins of fruit and vegetable juice inside a cricket bag.

Former Ausralian fast bowler and current Delhi Dare-Devils player, Glenn McGrath, rues that he has not been getting any game in the IPL. “It has been hard to be a part of the bench, and I was hoping for a game during the league stage. I have asked a couple of people about why I was not being played, and I get the sense that they were worried about my fitness. I feel fitter than I did last year, but I guess I will not get a chance to prove that now.” McGrath said.

After promising to reveal his identity at the end of Kolkata Knight Riders’ Indian Premier League campaign, the blogger, who calls himself a Fake IPL Player, has left everyone guessing by not coming out with the much-awaited disclosure in what is ostensibly his last post. In a video post titled ‘FIP RIP’, a shadow declares himself to be the fake IPL player.

Javed Sheikh, 53, a former first-class cricketer died during a veterans Twenty20 match in Pakistan, leaving organisers contemplating a ban on players with a history of cardiac problems. Sheikh collapsed during the match at Asgher Ali Shah stadium in Karachi, having complained of chest pain after bowling three overs.

Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

+ Japan’s young colts unimpressive +

Japan’s U-19 team, currently taking part in the 2009 Pepsi EAP Under-19 trophy in Papua New Guinea (PNG), have lost all their matches. In the first match against PNG, Japanese boys were bowled out for 55 and in the second match Fiji bowled Japan out for 59. Japan could not cross 50 runs in the third match against Indonesia. The boys, however, did a good job of bowling out Indonesia for 103 runs with Raheel Kano claiming 5/21.

Results are available at:

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of May 31:

One team slowly slipping down the ranks is YC&AC while the Wombats are clawing their way back to top with an awesome winning record of 5 out of 5 matches this season.

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1    Tokyo Giants (1)
2    Al Karam (5)
3    Nagoya (2)
4    Tokyo Wombats (6)
5    YC&AC (3)
6    Serendib (4)
7    Wyverns (7)
8    Sano(10)
9    Kansai Lions (11)
10  Indian Engineers (9)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

Neil Harrison’s memoir

We requested Neil Harrison, Japan’s international umpire from the EAP Umpires Panel, to share with us his personal experiences in the
international circuit this year. Harrison’s biggest assignment (so far!) was to umpire in the Women’s World Cup early this year in Sydney,
which was telecast live and involved third umpire decisions.

Harrison writes:

For me, 2008 was a quiet year on the umpiring front, with no international activity in the East Asia Pacific region and a lot of washouts down in Shizuoka. That turned around somewhat dramatically in 2009 with a surprise invitation to umpire in the Women’s World Cup in Sydney as my first appointment in the year of any sort. This was the biggest and best organised tournament I’ve been involved in, even if the level of cricket turned out to be substantially lower than news reports had led me to expect. As it was so long, I didn’t have enough paid holidays so I had to take unpaid leave from work to attend the tournament.

Two of my colleagues on the EAP Umpires Panel were also invited (Shahul Hameed of Indonesia and Lakani Oala of PNG), and we were joined by Cathy Cross of New Zealand, Sarika Prasad of Singapore, 5 members of the Aussie first class panel, Tony Hill, Brian Jerling and Tyron Wijewardene of the International Panel and Steve Davis of the Elite Panel. Not a bad selection of umpires.

In all I got to umpire 7 games on field, with an additional 2 games as reserve umpire and one game as TV umpire (not a single referral in
close to 90 overs of cricket!) We umpired on some beautiful grounds, including Bowral (Don Bradman’s home ground – the umpires’ changing room was the store room of the Bradman Museum) and Bankstown (the Waugh twins’ home ground), and all the while we had the chance to observe and pick the brains of some of the finest umpires around.

Australia were clear pre-tournament favourites to win, and from the 3 rounds of warm-up matches it quickly became clear that Australia,
England, India and New Zealand were streets ahead of Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. The tournament results didn’t quite go as the hosts had planned and hoped, however, with the Australians unable to qualify for the final due to insipid performances against New Zealand and India. England defeated New Zealand in the final and India beat Australia in the 3rd place play-off, which I think fairly represented the performances of the teams over the 3 weeks of play.

While in Sydney, I was invited to umpire in the Vanuatu vs Fiji Bi-Lateral Series in Vanuatu in May. Being neighbours (relatively speaking),
Fiji and Vanuatu play each other fairly regularly, and Fiji traditionally run out easy winners, but Vanuatu have a reputation as one of the
most improved teams in the region and this time there was the added incentive of potential promotion from Affiliate to Associate member of the ICC (joining PNG, Fiji and Japan as EAP Associate members). Vanuatu had already fulfilled other Associate requirements (for example, logistical and administrative structures) but had been told they also needed to prove they could beat existing Associate members in a competition format. The ICC effectively gave Vanuatu two bites at the cherry by dividing the week into two 3-game series, with a winning majority in either series being sufficient to meet the ICC demands.

As it was, the ICC need not have worried as Vanuatu comfortably outplayed Fiji in the first two matches (winning by 6 wickets and 97 runs), rendering the remainder of the series something of a damp squib. Fiji bounced back to win match 3 by 32 runs, closing out Series A. Series B
was then designated friendlies only, but after Vanuatu took the first match, the second and third matches were cancelled due to the death of a local cricket stalwart on the morning of the second match. A consolation T20 match was played on the last day.

The good news from Japan’s point of view is that Fiji are (temporarily at least) on the way down, but the bad news is that Vanuatu are most definitely on the way up. The EAP pecking order has long been PNG followed by a big gap, then Fiji followed by another big gap, then Cook Islands, Japan and Vanuatu followed by a smaller gap, then Indonesia, Samoa and Tonga. PNG remain a long way out in front, but the gap between Fiji and the pack is closing. Fiji have appointed a respected new Kiwi coach and Aussie manager with a view to stopping the slide. We’ll have a chance to see how they fare in the next EAP senior tournament in Samoa in September.


Beer for Books events

THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the Beers for Books event organized by 5/28 at The Pink Cow. We had a great time while creating 449 books for kids.

With the addition of the 2,831 books from the event with John Wood on May 14th we created well over 3,000 books in May. Beers for Books is truly gaining momentum as word spreads about how fun it is to organize and participate in B4B events.

The next scheduled events in Japan are 5/31 at IUJ in Niigata, 6/5 at Benny’s Place in Yokohama, 6/8 at Arterra in San Diego, 6/18 at The Pink Cow in Tokyo, and a VERY special event 7/4 in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture. See the events section of this website for all the details and see you there!!

Editor **
You may recall that the the Indian Engineers cricket club became a sponsor of “Beers for Books”, a casual networking event that helps raise money for Room to Read. The idea behind the concept is a regular social networking event which will be held in a bar/restaurant in a casual setting. For every drink you order, the bar/restaurant will donate 100yen to Room to Read. One beer = 100yen = 1 local language book for a child in a developing country where Room to Read operates (Nepal, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Zambia). So all you have to do is to drink a beer!

We encourage our readers to attend the events to help promote literacy and education in developing countries. We will be publishing the event details in this Newsletter as well as on our website regularly.

T-20 World Cup live on HumTum TV

HumTum TV, an Osaka based internet TV company, has obtained exclusive internet telecast rights in Japan for the upcoming T-20 World cup in England. The whole series is available for subscribers for JPY 7,000. Readers of this Newsletter is entitled to a 500yen discount if you mention the campaign code “IECC” when you subscribe it.

Readers’ Corner

This is in response to your news item in the last issue in which the KCL Committee was forced to announce new guidelines for claiming umpiring expenses. Can we really be talking about cricket when we have players arguing decisions with umpires? Do we really have members amongst us who will cheat their fellow cricketers with fraudulent expense claims? It may be a good time to remind our fellow cricketers just exactly what makes a “cricketer” and how the game should be played. The very fact that this ruling is necessary is an appalling indictment on those whom it is designed to censure. This is not the game of cricket that I was raised to play.

David Todd

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Your take on England-WI series?

England will win 67%
West Indies will win 33%
Draw 0%

Take the new poll:

Will India retain the T-20 World Cup?

Best of the Web

Collection of some of the best catches

It is learned that the friendship between Bollywood actress Shamita Shetty and Warne grew close during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) tour. Reveals a source, “Warne is known to be a ladies’ man. He met the younger Shetty just once before the IPL. Read here.

Gorillas play cricket, a promotional ad for the ICC World Twenty20 released by ICC

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“You help us in cricket and we will help you in soccer!” – Message from Indian president Pratibha Patil when she visited Brazil in 2008.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. France is the current Olympic silver medallists in cricket. England had defeated France at the Paris Games final in 1900, the last time
cricket was played in Olympics.

2. Malaysian born Lall Singh played for India in 1932 against England at Lords.

That’s all in this edition!