Dubai: India’s Nitin Menon on Monday grew to become the youngest member of the Worldwide Cricket Council’s Elite Panel of Umpires, changing England’s Nigel Llong for the upcoming 2020-21 season after an annual overview.
The 36-year-old, who has officiated in three Checks, 24 ODIs and 16 T20Is, is simply the third from India to make it to the distinguished group after former captain Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Sundaram Ravi. Ravi was axed final 12 months.
“To be officiating regularly along with the leading umpires and referees of the world is something that I always dreamt of and the feeling has yet to sink in,” Menon was quoted as saying in an ICC assertion.
England’s Michael Gough, 40, was the youngest within the present panel earlier than Menon’s elevation.
Menon give up taking part in aggressive cricket at 22 and by 23, he had develop into a senior umpire, officiating in BCCI accredited matches.
A range panel comprising ICC Basic Supervisor (Cricket) Geoff Allardice (Chairman), former participant and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, and match referees Ranjan Madugalle and David Boon, picked Menon, who was earlier a part of the Emirates ICC Worldwide Panel of Umpires.
Whereas commonplace of Indian umpiring has copped loads of criticism globally, efficiency of Menon over the previous few years has been a silver lining.
Menon is nicely conscious of his obligations.
“We did not have any representation in the Elite Panel for a while. I now want to keep the Indian flag flying high. I hope to see more umpires from India at the top level,” Menon informed BCCI.TV.
“I see this as an opportunity and a big responsibility to take Indian Umpires forward and guide them in every possible way by sharing my experiences.”
He additionally thanked ICC’s Umpire Coach Denis Burns
“I am very grateful to Mr. Denis Burns for all his guidance and support in my career as an International Umpire.”
The elevation to the Elite Panel makes Menon eligible to officiate in subsequent 12 months’s Ashes in Australia in case ICC revokes the native umpires for residence collection coverage which has been accredited owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Menon additionally turns into eligible to face for all 5 Check matches that India will play towards England at residence early subsequent 12 months.
The son of a former worldwide umpire, Menon had a brief cricketing profession and performed two Checklist A video games for Madhya Pradesh.
“My father (Narendra Menon) is a former international umpire and in 2006, BCCI conducted an exam for umpires and that was after a gap of almost 10 years,” he recalled.
“So my father told me to take a chance and give the exam saying ‘if you clear, you can always take up umpiring as a profession’, so I took the Test and in 2006, I became an umpire,” Menon revealed about his journey.
He began at a younger age and has now accomplished 13 years on this career.
“My priority was to play for the country rather than umpiring. But I quit playing at 22 and I became a senior umpire at the age of 23. It wasn’t worth trying to play and umpire so I decided to focus on umpiring alone.”
Menon is assured that the rapport he has constructed with senior umpires through the years, having officiated in two ICC tournaments (2018 and 2020 Ladies’s T20 World Cup), will preserve him in good stead.
“I’m feeling very confident by the fact that age is on my side, but the performance is what ultimately matters. Whether I do well or not, age has little to do with performance.”
“I’ve stood with most of the guys from the Elite Panel in the IPL or international games, so I’ll always have a rapport with them and I’m feeling comfortable to go.”
India’s robust home construction and years of umpiring in Ranji Trophy will even turn out to be useful when he stands for the Check matches comprising elite groups.
“The Ranji Trophy is very competitive, and then when we do well we get a chance in the IPL, which in a way feels like an international game,” he mentioned.
The promotion to the panel doesn’t occur in a single day and Menon is aware of that he wants to stay constant in decision-making.
“It’s not like you perform just one year and you’ll be on the elite panel, so we have to be persistent with our performance and ultimately your hard work will be rewarded because the structure requires us to be consistent.”
With all the thrill, Menon didn’t neglect to say the perks of being an Elite Panel umpire.
“You get the best seat in the house. You get to watch the best bowlers, best batsmen, best performers. You can’t ask for too much more”.
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