ICC Includes India's Nitin Menon In Elite Panel Of Umpires

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

"To be officiating regularly along with the leading umpires and referees of the world is something that I always dreamt of and the feeling has yet to sink in", an elated Nitin Menon said via an ICC press-release.

Indias Nitin Menon has been included in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires for the season 2020-21 following the annual review and selection process conducted by the International Cricket Council, a statement said on Monday. Menon has also stood in ten women's T20Is, including the 2018 and 2020 T20 World Cups.

Narendra Menon, his father who featured in 51 First Class games for Madhya Pradesh from late 1960s till early 1980s and officiated in four ODIs during his two-decade-long umpiring journey, reveals the discussion was far from being spontaneous.

Menon made his (international) umpiring debut in 2017, wherein Team India played a T20I game against England at the Green Park Stadium. "He continued playing and umpiring, having cleared the MPCA exam in his first attempt but the moment he cleared the BCCI exam in 2007, he stopped playing cricket".

"I realised that I wasn't that good a cricketer to sustain at the First Class level, so we discussed it at home and made a decision to concentrate on umpiring instead".

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. He was earlier part of the worldwide panel and will replace England's Nigel Llong in the Elite roster.

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"I see this as an opportunity and a big responsibility to take Indian Umpires forward and guide them in every possible way by sharing my experiences", he added.

Nitin Menon part of ICC's Elite Panel of Umpires: The 36-year old umpire is only the third Indian to be included into the Elite Panel. "I would also like to thank my family for their sacrifices and unconditional support throughout my career", he added.

Menon's father pushed him to take the next stride.

"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 am very grateful to Mr. Denis Burns for all his guidance and support in my career as an International Umpire", he concluded.

He will also be a potential candidate to stand for the five-match Test series between India and England, slated for next year. "I've stood with most of the guys from the Elite Panel in the IPL or global games, so I'll always have a rapport with them and I'm feeling comfortable to go".

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