When Suresh Shastri walks out to officiate the first Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the SSC ground in Colombo next Monday, an Indian umpire would be standing in a Test match after exactly 50 Tests the world over.
The last Indian to serve as an on-field umpire in a Test was K Hariharan, in the final Test between Lanka and Bangladesh at Bogra in March 2006.
Shastri, who was elevated to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) international panel last year, will be making his Test debut 14 years after standing in the first of his 13 ODIs.
“I have become more experienced and mature,” said the 51-year-old former Rajasthan left-arm spinner on Wednesday, a day before leaving for Colombo.
“I feel the Test call has come at the right time. All the years of first-class experience in India have been a big bonus. I will be going with a lot of experience and am confident of doing well.”
Shastri aims to be consistent. “We must be fair. Till now I have not had any problem in any of the international matches. Things have been going smoothly. I guess it comes with experience.”