Umpires Vrinda, Janani pleasantly surprised by ICC call
Vrinda and Janani have officiated in Cooch Behar U-19 matches besides doing one U-23 CK Nayudu Trophy game.
Mumbai's Vrinda Rathi, 30, and Chennai-based N Janani, 34, who began their BCCI panel umpiring journey together just two years ago, expressed their pleasant surprise at being inducted into the ICC Development panel of umpires on Wednesday. Both felt the honour had come a tad earlier than expected.
"This is only our second season with the BCCI, so we never expected this to come so early," Vrinda told mid-day on Thursday.
Vrinda and Janani have officiated in Cooch Behar U-19 matches besides doing one U-23 CK Nayudu Trophy game. Their induction into the ICC panel will now see them officiating international matches between ICC's Associate nations. While Vrinda is a former cricketer, having represented Mumbai University, Janani has never played the game at any level but has followed it closely. "I grew up watching cricket matches on Doordarshan. I spent most of my childhood watching cricket and tennis on TV. I always wanted to be involved with cricket and saw umpiring as the perfect avenue," Janani told mid-day over the phone from Chennai.
Janani, who grew up watching and admiring English umpire David Shepherd and India's S Venkataraghavan on TV, felt Pakistan's Aleem Dar is the best umpire currently. "At international level, everybody is good but I feel Dar is the best. The decisions he takes cannot be questioned. Even in this era of DRS [Decision Review System], most of his decisions are correct. I also admire Kumar Dharmasena's progression to ICC's Elite panel," said Janani.
Vrinda, meanwhile, enjoyed her initial cricketing journey as a bowler for Mumbai University before a scoring stint at the 2013 Women's World Cup made her pick umpiring as a career. "At the 2013 World Cup, I watched New Zealand umpire Kathy Cross. Seeing her officiating a match, I felt I too could do so. In the same year, I cleared the MCA [Mumbai Cricket Association] umpiring examination," said Vrinda, who felt that umpiring is a lot tougher than playing.
"As a player, you can just go out and express yourself without thinking about the consequences. If you fail, you can make a comeback in the next innings or the next match. But as an umpire, you cannot have a bad day or even a bad over because it's impossible to make a comeback," Vrinda concluded.
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