BCCI introduces a Plus category for Umpires
ICC Elite Panel member, Nitin Menon, is among 10 officials classified as Group A of the newly introduced BCCI umpires. Others in the A+ category include four international referees – Anil Chaudhary, Madangopal Jayaraman, Virender Kumar Sharma and KN Ananthapadmabhanan. Rohan Pandit, Nikhil Patwardhan, Sadashiv Iyer, Ulhas Gandhe and Navdeep Singh Sidhu are also in category A. 20 referees including C Shamshuddin form Group A, 60 in Group B, 46 in Group C and 11 in Group D, aged 60-65 years.
The full list was tabulated at the Apex Council meeting on Thursday following work done by former international referees K Hariharan, Sudhir Asnani and Amiesh Saheba, and members of the BCCI arbitration subcommittee .
Players in tier A+ and tier A are paid Rs 40,000 a day for a first tier game while Rs 30,000 a day is paid in tier B and C.
Although the list was presented as a ‘classification of arbitrators’, a BCCI official clarified to PTI that the board created the groups.
“It’s not a classification. There are groups where A is the new type. A+ and A, one could say make up the cream of Indian bulbs. Bulbs in class B and C are also good.
“When it comes to the assignment of duties in domestic leagues starting from the top with the Ranji Trophy, group priority will take precedence. The grouping was done after reviewing the season’s performances. 2021-2022,” the official said.
The Board of Directors has not added to its list of referees since 2018. With the threat of COVID-19 reduced, BCCI has decided to proceed with an official domestic season after two years. The board plans to organize up to 1832 matches for the age groups in men’s and women’s cricket, a major exercise.
The standard of Indian umpires is often criticized in the highly watched IPL.
Only one Indian, Menon, is a member of the ICC elite council.
When asked about the number of referees graduating at the highest level, the BCCI official added: “We are too focused on the elite team. Only the UK has three referees in the elite panel, Australia has the best team. two and only one left. You can only have so much there.
“Focus should be on improving driver standards at all levels,” the official added.
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