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Umpire chief: Ball controversy unfortunate

Published:Thursday | December 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer

West Indies Cricket Umpires Association president, Cecil Fletcher, has described as unfortunate, the recent incident surroun-ding the misuse of a ball during the WICB Four-day Professional League encounter between Jamaica Franchise and Leewards Hurricanes at Sabina Park.

The incident, which took place on Sunday's third day, reportedly saw the Leewards using the wrong ball throughout Jamaica's second innings, during which they were given a victory target of 195 runs.

Jamaica eventually reached their target comfortably at 195 for six inside the first hour of the final day with Leewards coach, Ridley Jacobs, crying foul after the game.

"It's unfortunate what has been reported to have taken place," said Fletcher, who is also a member of the WICB Umpires and Match Referees Committee, which evaluates regional officials.

"However, I am a part of the West Indies Umpires and Match Referees Committee and as such don't want to get into what is being said."

"The match referee is to submit a report, following which it will be reviewed, and, if necessary, decisions will be taken."

According to Jacobs, after having Jamaica on the back foot at 42 for three at tea break, the Leewards were handed a 34 overs old ball after entering the interval with a 16 overs old equivalent.

The former West Indies wicketkeeper argued that this cost his team dearly, as given the difference in age of the balls, had it been the 16 overs version, his team, could have put Jamaica under more pressure.

Jamaica were at one stage on 35 for five in the first innings.

Cause for concern

"The normal procedure is that the person who is going to be the standing umpire would retain the ball," said Fletcher, who is a former first-class umpire, and is serving his second two-year term as president of the regional body.

"The fact that it is alleged that there may be a mishap is therefore cause for concern, and, we await the reports from the various stakeholders," he added.

Danesh Ramdhanie of Trinidad and Tobago and Christopher Taylor of Jamaica were the umpires during the fixture with the third umpire being Jamaican, Athol Hamilton.

Another Jamaican, Michael Hylton, was the match referee.