Ranji Trophy: Home is where the art is for these umpires
Mumbai and Karnataka could not play the ongoing Ranji Trophy quarter-final at the VCA Stadium on home soil thanks to BCCI's neutral venue policy
Mumbai and Karnataka could not play the ongoing Ranji Trophy quarter-final at the VCA Stadium on home soil thanks to BCCI's neutral venue policy. But in a rare occurrence, all three match officials - Abhijit Deshmukh, Nitin Pandit (on-field umpires) and Ulhas Gandhe (third umpire) of VCA - got an opportunity to officiate in a first-class match at home. This is for the first time in domestic cricket that all three officials belong to the same association where the match is being held.
(From left to right) Nitin Pandit, Ulhas Gandhe and AD Deshmukh at the VCA Stadium at Jamtha yesterday. Pic/Subodh Mayure
"It is a unique opportunity to officiate a match on your home ground and that too, with the others from the same city," said Pandit. For former Vidarbha Ranji cricketer Ulhas, to officiate a match is just like living a dream. "I played just 37 first-class matches for Vidarbha, but I crossed the half-century mark as an umpire in first-class matches. I want to fulfill my dream of wearing the umpire's hat in Tests, ODIs and T20s," said Ulhas.