ICC retains Menon in Elite Panel, set for maiden neutral umpire appearance
RAJKOT: India’s Nitin Menon has retained his place in the ICC Elite Panel and is set to make his maiden appearance as a neutral umpire in Sri Lanka later this month. A BCCI official told PTI that Menon has got a one-year extension from the International Cricket Council. The 38-year-old from Indore remains the only Indian in the 11-member Elite Panel of Umpires.
“The ICC recently gave a one-year extension to Menon who has been our leading umpire over the last three to four years. You will also see him making his debut as a neutral umpire later this month,” the official told PTI. Menon was promoted to the Elite Panel at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, becoming the third Indian to enter the club after S Venkataraghavan and S Ravi.
However, Menon was limited to officiating international matches only within India with the ICC allowing local umpires due to the travel restrictions in place. With COVID-19 on the wane, the governing body has resumed normal service with Australian Paul Reiffel currently performing duties in England’s home series against New Zealand. After completing his duties in the ongoing five-match T20 series between India and South Africa, Menon is set to travel to Sri Lanka for the home team’s two-Test series against Australia, beginning June 29 in Galle.
There is no change in the Elite Panel and besides Menon, it includes Aleem Dar from Pakistan, Chris Gaffaney from New Zealand, Kumara Dharmasena from Sri Lanka, Marais Erasmus from South Africa, Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough (all three from England), Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker from Australia and Joel Wilson from the West Indies. The BCCI takes the call on who to include in the ICC International Panel of Umpires. Currently, four Indians are in the lower tier including Anil Chaudhary, Virender Sharma, J Madanagopal and K N Ananthapadmanabhan.