THE ALL-INDIA Ranji panel umpires examination concluded here on Sunday. The two-day practical and viva examination was conducted by former international umpires Madhav V Gothoskar, V K Ramaswamy, Ram Babu Gupta, Subroto Banerjee and Prof Rathore. BCCI joint secretary Pandav presided over the panel as the umpires committee chairman S Venkatraghavan could not attend the examination.
On the first day on November 25, a total of 29 umpires from all over India, who had qualified after the written examination, appeared for practical and viva. Three umpires from Madhya Pradesh—Manish Jain, Nitin Menon and Rajesh Timane—also appeared for the examination.
All the umpires were on their toes as the test was taken on the field by arranging a cricket match. The examiners judged the umpires’ performances on the field and their observation during the match.
On many occasions, the fielders and the batmen made the umpires’ job tough by their fielding, knocking off the bails before hitting the stumps, running over the pitch and other things to confuse them.
On same day, there was a written examination for former Ranji players who had played 25 and more Ranji matches. A total of 23 former players sat for the written examination. The results were announced the same evening and the umpires panel short listed 14 players.
Manish Majithia and Nikhil Patwardhan were the two former players from MP who appeared for the examination. Nikhil got through in the written examination and appeared for the practical and viva on Sunday.
The examiners were former test umpires of the country Madhav V Gothoskar from Mumbai (West Zone). He has officiated in 14 test matches and one ODI. He played cricket in 1948-49 in Indore along with leading cricketers.
The high standards of the examination can be gauged from the reputation of the umpires who conducted the examinations. V K Ramaswamy, who has officiated in maximum test matches in the batch, has officiated in 26 tests and 43 ODIs.
He represented Hyderabad (South Zone). He was the first umpire to officiate in Pakistan as a neutral umpire along with Piloo Reporter in 1986.
Ram Babu Gupta from Delhi (North Zone) officiated in 11 test matches and 24 ODI and he was the first Indian umpire to officiate in the World Cup final played between Australia and England in 1987. Subroto Benerjee from Kolkota (East Zone) officiated in 13 ODI and during his time he was the youngest in qualifying in Ranji Panel at the age of 21 years. Prof Rathore from Rajasthan has officiated in two test matches and seven one-day international.
Former international umpire Narendra Menon from MP was the co coordinator for the examination. He was assisted by Narendra Dua, Sunil Dudhale and S M Ranganath.