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HomeCricket NewsWomen Umpires Vrinda Rathi, Janani Narayanan, & Gayathri Venugopalan to make Ranji...

Women Umpires Vrinda Rathi, Janani Narayanan, & Gayathri Venugopalan to make Ranji debut

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Vrinda Rathi, Janani Narayanan, and Gayathri Venugopalan created history on Tuesday by becoming the first females to officiate in Ranji Trophy. The incredible trio were previously a scorer, a software engineer and a player who had to let go of her career due to an injury.

Rathi umpired in the Goa vs Pondicherry match in Porvorim whereas Narayanan was umpiring in the Railways vs Tripura match in Surat. Venugopalan officiated the second match of Jharkhand vs Chhattisgarh. These women became leading ladies with the courtesy of BCCI for their decision to draft women umpires in the league of men.

Narayanan, 36, held cricket close to heart and wanted to be in the field for which she had previously approached Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) on multiple occasions to become an umpire. Years later, when TNCA agreed to change the rules to allow women to officiate, she cleared the BCCI’s Level 2 umpiring exam in 2018 and switched immediately from her 9 to 6 IT job. In 2021, she also officiated in the Tamil Nadu Premier League.

Rathi, 32, was a scorer for local matches in Mumbai and rose from there. She cleared her BCCI scorer’s exam and became an official BCCI scorer in the 2013 Women’s World Cup. She later shifted to umpiring.

Former veteran umpire heaps of praise on Janani and Vrinda

Both were included in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) panel of development umpires in 2020. Denis Burns, a veteran umpire coach, who worked with both said, “I think Janani and Vrinda represent the ‘new wave’ of female umpires in India.”

On the other hand, Venugopalan, 43, was a player whose career got cut short due to a shoulder injury. She started her umpiring career in 2019 after she cleared the BCCI exam. Previously, she also served as a reserve fourth umpire in Ranji Trophy.

BCCI presently has only three registered umpires out of 150 and has a long way to go in terms of having female umpires ready to officiate in men’s cricket.


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Pratik Pathak
Pratik Pathakhttps://madovercricket.com/
A full-time learner and a part-time writer. Been unwavering myself to give my share of knowledge on cricket as well as different sports. A web series aficionado and a perennial Breaking Bad and Sherlock admirer.

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