Wednesday, 15 July, 2020

India's Menon becomes youngest elite umpire

Menon gave up playing cricket when he was 22 to start umpiring and has gradually moved up the rankings officiating in three Tests 24 One-day internationals and 16 Twenty20 Internationals India umpire Nitin Menon inducted in ICC Elite Panel
Cary Erickson | 01 July, 2020, 08:57

"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", the official website of ICC quoted Nitin Menon as saying.

Nitin Menon has become the third Indian umpire to be included in the ICC's Elite Panel of umpires, with cricket's governing body announcing his elevation to the top tier on Monday.

Menon, who had stood in 2018 and 2020 editions of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, had represented Madhya Pradesh in two List A matches in 2004.

Menon was earlier a part of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires.

The umpire also added that he wants to see more representation from India in the ICC's elite panel. While standard of Indian umpiring has copped a lot of criticism globally, performance of Menon over the past few years has been a silver lining.

The selection was made by a panel consisting of ICC General Manager - Cricket, Geoff Allardice (Chairman), former player and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, and match referees Ranjan Madugalle and David Boon. Nitin has been changed by Nigel Long of England for 2020-21. Menon quit playing competitive cricket at 22 and by 23, he had become a senior umpire, officiating in BCCI accredited matches. I look forward to the challenges and will do my best at every opportunity I get. At 22, he chose to follow the footsteps of his father Narendra, a former first first-class cricketer and an worldwide umpire.

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Menon, who started his umpiring career in 2017, has officiated in three Tests, 24 ODIs, and 16 T20Is in men's cricket.

Simon Taufel, one of the greatest-ever umpires of the modern era, isn't surprised by Nitin Menon's selection as, according to him, Menon's talent was visible from the very outset. "I would also like to thank my family for their sacrifices and unconditional support throughout my career", he added.

Apart from years of domestic experience, including the Indian Premier League, under his belt, Menon has also stood in 43 men's global matches.

"One fine day, just after finishing his U-22 days - by then he had played for MP in one-dayers - he walked up to me and said: "Papa, I am serious". I congratulate him for being selected to the Elite panel and wish him continued success".

He has also been the TV Umpire in 12 internationals, taking the overall tally to 53.