Saturday, August 17, 2013

S Ravi has it in him to become No. 1 Test Umpire in the World

Former Board Umpire and Ravi’s Umpiring Mentor R Radhakrishnan believes Ravi will 'Hit the Sky' in Umpiring  
R Radhakrishnan was one of the most respected umpires in the domestic circuit having umpired over 100 Ranji Trophy matches in a career spanning three decades - 1980s- 2000s. In all he umpired for 38years. He was also the 2nd youngest ever umpire from Tamil Nadu having passed the exam when he was only 18years. He was unlucky not to have got international recognition despite once being reported to the BCCI by a match referee as one with great potential and as one who should get into the immediate elevation into the international engagements.

Radha, as he is known in the cricketing circles here, was the one who spotted the true potential in Ravi and mentored him in the late 1990s and created the confidence in him to make it big as an umpire. He was so impressed with Ravi and his umpiring capabilities that he took leave of absence from his employer SBI for over a month and took it as a personal challenge to coach Ravi for the board umpiring exam.

Radha recounts those days of association with Ravi:

“As a player in the 1980s, Ravi would never give up and would always fight tooth and nail for his team. It was around 1996-97 that I was assigned the task of coaching umpires for the board exam. Immediately after a few sessions, I found Ravi had the acumen to understand law in its entirety. On-field he was really extraordinary.”

Radha told himself in late 1990s after umpiring with Ravi in a local league match that this man would one day ‘Hit the Sky’ in umpiring.

“Those days, Ravi was a little aggressive in his style for my liking. I kept instilling in him that while being authoritative was fine, it was important to know how to execute one’s authority as an umpire. His implementation was crude in the beginning and he had a few rough edges that had to be sharpened. In those early days, while he was a humourous person, he was not really easily accessible to everyone and was almost headstrong given the enormous confidence he had in his umpiring abilities.”

Fast Learner
Radha sat with him for hours at the end of many matches that they umpired together and inculcated the match management skills in Ravi initiating him with the importance of relationships with players, authorities, grounds men and sometimes even the spectators.

The quality that impressed Radha the most was Ravi’s ability to learn. “He was a fast learner. He adapted very quickly. In those few years, I could see him palpably mellowing down in his authoritative style. Every year, his performance became better  and reached a new level. Very quickly, he started gaining the respect of the players.”

‘Ravi’s forte is his decision making ability.  I was amazed at his perfection. In tricky situations, he was always bold and was truly outstanding. I could clearly see that he had the potential to grow into an internationally respected umpire.”

Radha is sure that Ravi will go the full distance in umpiring. “I am confident that he will grow fast in the ICC Panel. I do think he has it in him to be the best and I expect him to become the Number One Umpire on the ICC Panel in the future.”

No comments: