K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan promoted to ICC's international panel of umpires

Ananthapadmanabhan could sense that he was inching closer to the nomination after he stood as on-field umpire in crucial matches last season.

Ananthapadmanabhan said the senior umpires, such as Shamsuddin and S. Ravi, used to share their experience and help others like him prepare before taking up assignments.

 

K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan, who was included in the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires on Monday, said he expected the nomination and added that it was the result of his perseverance and hard work.

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The 50-year-old former Kerala captain, who began his umpiring career in 2006, could sense that he was inching closer to the nomination after he stood as on-field umpire in all important matches last season.

“After Nitin Menon got selected to Elite Panel there was an opening in the International Panel and I thought I had a good chance. I had umpired in some important matches last season like the Ranji Trophy final, Syed Mustaq Ali final, the IPL, India-England A Test match and was part of the umpires exchange programme with South Africa. I was also one of the senior umpires around and it was difficult to ignore my credentials. So it didn't come as a surprise but I am happy that I got the break and I am thankful to God,'' said Ananthapadmanabhan, who became an umpire after retirement to stay connected to the sport.

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“I could have been a coach after my retirement but I chose umpiring because for me it was the easiest way to be part of the game again. The crowd and players make you feel that you are not missing anything and as an umpire you are always tuned in to the game,'' he said.

Former India captain S. Venkataraghavan and former Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel had influenced him.

“Venkataraghavan was a towering personality. He was a former Indian captain and an international umpire who was widely respected. I was always in awe of him and wanted to be respected like him. Taufel was another highly respected individual who was the best umpire in the world. His classes during seminars were informative. He taught me how the pre-match preparation is important for an umpire,'' he said.

Ananthapadmanabhan said the senior umpires like Shamsuddin and S. Ravi used to share their experience and help others like him prepare before taking up assignments as third and fourth umpires.

He added that umpiring from both ends for a session during the last season's Ranji Trophy final was the most memorable moment in his career. “It was a high pressure match; the other umpire Shamsuddin got injured and couldn't take the field on the second day. The replacement umpire was due to arrive only in the afternoon. I was told to umpire from both ends till he arrived and I did a good job without any complaints, " he said.