Indian umpire Nitin Menon has been included in ICC Elite Panel of Umpires for 2020-21 season replacing England umpire Nigel Llong. Menon has thus far officiated in three Test matches and he is only the third Indian umpire to be included in the ICC elite panel list after Sundaram Ravi and Srinivas Venkatraghavan.
Menon gave his gratitude to the ICC and stated that it is a matter of great honour and pride for him to be included in the ICC elite panel of umpires. Menon added that it was always his dream to be included in the elite list of umpires and he also understands that the position comes with a great responsibility.
“It’s a great honour and matter of pride for me to be named in the Elite panel,” said Menon. “To be officiating regularly along with the leading umpires and referees of the world is something that I always dreamt of and the feeling has yet to sink in.
“Having already officiated in Tests, ODIs and T20Is as well as in ICC events, I understand the great responsibility that comes with the job. I look forward to the challenges and will do my best at every opportunity I get. I also feel this is a responsibility on me to take Indian umpires forward and help them by sharing my experiences.
Menon’s father Narendra Menon was also a former International umpire. In fact, initially Menon wanted to be a player but his father insisted that he should also try his hand in umpiring if his career as a cricketer doesn’t work out. In 2004, Menon played two List A matches for Madhya Pradesh but when there was an umpiring Test in 2006 conducted by BCCI, he started a new innings in his career.
At 36, Menon is the youngest umpire to be included in the Elite panel of umpires. Menon has officiated in three Test matches, 24 One Day Internationals and 16 T20Is. Nitin gave his gratitude to Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, Board of Control for Cricket in India and International Cricket Council for their support.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the ICC for their support and believing in my ability over the years. I would also like to thank my family for their sacrifices and unconditional support throughout my career.”
Meanwhile, Adrian Griffith, ICC senior manager, stated Menon deserves his place in the ICC elite after consistent performances at the top level.
On the other hand, ICC elite list of umpires was introduced in April 2002 to maintain a high standard of umpiring at the International level.