Janani, Vrinda represent new wave of female umpires in India: Denis Burns

Veteran umpire coach Denis Burns has hailed Indian women umpires Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi's promotion to the ICC development panel.

Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi

Indian cricket umpires Vrinda Rathi and Janani Narayanan inducted into the ICC Development panel of umpires in March this year.   -  Special Arrangement

Veteran umpire coach Denis Burns has hailed the promotion of Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi to the ICC development panel and said by investing in them, the BCCI has raised the status and recognition of umpiring in the country.

Burns spent a considerable amount of time in India as part of his job and in the last decade, he has worked closely with Indian umpires and overseen their rise at the international level.

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Currently, India has four officials on ICC’s International Panel and until recently S. Ravi was also a member of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.

Welcoming the inclusion of Janani and Vrinda into the ICC Development Panel, Burns said: “I think Janani and Vrinda represent the ‘new wave’ of female umpires in India. I first worked with them last year when I conducted the induction course for new umpires in Chennai. S. Ravi and the BCCI International Panel of Umpires assisted me.

“I have had the privilege of facilitating courses in India for over 10 years and the enthusiasm, commitment and work ethic of last year’s group was extraordinary.

“By investing in umpiring the BCCI have raised the status and recognition of umpiring in India. Umpiring is now a full-time occupation for many young, aspiring officials. This was evident in the induction course.

“All attendees were highly motivated and eager to develop their knowledge and understanding of the Laws and their skills as potential TV umpires.”

Burns has been conducting online discussions, video simulations with a large group of Indian umpires during this coronavirus-forced break. During the break, Burns has been preparing Janani and Vrinda for the role of a third umpire.

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“Every week we conduct a one-to-one 3rd Umpire simulation session and the progress of Janani and Vrinda has been excellent,” he told BCCI.TV.

“We began with the expectations of the ICC’s accepted protocols of communication with TV directors and we are now exploring the technologies used in the DRS system. This also includes the need to develop relationships with the TV director and his crew,” he added.

Janani said the exercise has helped her understand the role of a third umpire in a practical manner.

“Our sessions last for an hour. I am not used to third umpiring and it’s something new that I am learning. By practicing this, we will be ready whenever we get televised matches.

“Through this drill we get accustomed to the order we need to follow and the exact phrases we need to use. We have looked at many different dismissals and Denis’s feedback is highly useful,” she said.

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Vrinda believes the video simulation will help her to improve her decision-making abilities. “Denis has so many different videos of different dismissals. We have studied the boundary footage, boundary catches, no-ball videos and also the DRS. He has been very patient with me and encourages me to do better every time.

“It has been a confidence booster and I even take notes and refer to them later even after the session is over.”

Burns said the two female umpires from India are putting in the hard work and improving.

“They continue to push themselves to be the best umpires they can be. Their progress has been exceptional. They are determined to hit the ground running when the opportunity eventually arises.”

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