Having become a part of the elite ICC Panel of umpires, at the young age of 36. Nitin Menon considers the Ashes Series as the ultimate challenge. Another huge challenge he feels is to ensure that the players knowingly or unknowingly do not apply saliva on the ball, as per latest ICC guidelines.
Menon was a promising cricketer, but quit his playing career when he was 22 and shifted to his family profession of umpiring. This move culminated in Menon making his international debut three years back and his entry in the elite 12 member ICC panel is the icing on the cake.
Having become part of the elite club in unprecedented times of COVID-19, Menon does not know where his next assignment will be but is fully aware that enforcing the ICCs latest guidelines will be a challenge.
“The main challenge will be of ball management, more so in Test Matches”, said the Indore-based umpire.
“My dream series will be Ashes no doubt.” The ICC recently also decided that only local umpires will be used due to travel restrictions imposed due to Corona outbreak.
The way the visiting West Indies team , quarantined itself for two weeks before getting down to training, umpires will be required to do the same. Menon thinks this will take a mental toll on the umpires.
Besides ensuring players do not apply saliva on the ball umpires will also have to monitor that they adhere to social distancing and are regularly sanitizing their hands after coming in contact with the ball. Umpires too will have to follow guidelines on social distancing.”
Wearing gloves may be an individual choice of the umpires but we have decided that we will carry sanitizers in our pockets. After the drinks break and at the fall of a wicket we have to hold the ball so just to be safe. And by chance if a player applies saliva on the ball, we will have to sanitize it”. The drastic changes made in the game due to COVID-19,could also affect the overrates according to Menon.