Big New Year Gift
Madanagopal and his long time friend Ananthapadmanabhan to umpire Ranji Semi Final
Two months after I had written about JR Madanagopal (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2016/10/madanagopal-j.html still awaiting the big break in Umpiring) the big call has finally come this evening. The Ranji Trophy knock out posting that had remained elusive all these years has finally arrived. He has been posted for the knock out semi Final Clash between Gujarat and Jharkhand starting this Sunday.
JR Madanagopal, whose umpiring prospects I had first written in 2012 (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2012/05/.-set-for-big-leap-as-umpire.html) has finally managed to draw the attention of the powers that be with an impressive performance in the league phase of the current Ranji season, where he umpired some crucial matches including ones involving Bombay.
Interestingly, his umpiring partner for the Ranji Knock out is former Kerala and South Zone leggie KN Ananthapadmanabhan. Both Madanagopal and Ananthapadmanabhan passed the umpiring board exam in the same year a decade ago with almost identical marks!!
Ananthapadmanabhan (http://prtraveller.blogspot.in/2016/09/ananthapadmanabhan-kn.html) had told prtraveller earlier this year that he and Madan were constantly engaged in intellectual discussions on umpiring over the last many years.
This is the first time Madanagopal will be umpiring a knock out Ranji game. A good game could possibly land him a Finals opportunity as well (if Bombay makes the final).
It is hoped that both of them who played their cricket with a lot of commitment over a long period of time, will be able to soon make it into the (inter) national level in umpiring.
PS: Madanagopal should have made his knock out debut last week but unfortunately as the Ranji quarter final clashed with the U19 match that he was umpiring earlier last week, he had to let go that opportunity. Thankfully, he has had to wait only a week longer.