Nitin Menon incorporated in ICC Elite Panel

Nitin Menon has become the third Indian umpire to be included in the ICC’s Elite Panel of umpires, with cricket’s governing body announcing his elevation to the top tier on Monday.

Ever since officiating in his maiden First Class match as a 28-year-old in 2011-12, Nitin has emerged as one of the most consistent umpires in Indian cricket.

This is reflected in the fact that he already has featured in three Tests, 24 ODIs and 16 T20Is in men’s cricket. The 36-year-old from Indore has also stood in 10 women’s T20Is, including the 2018 and 2020 T20 World Cups.

Nitin, who made two List A appearances for Madhya Pradesh in the zonal one-dayers in 2004, joins S. Venkataraghavan and S. Ravi in the club of Indians who have made it to the Elite Panel.

His father, Narendra, was also an international umpire and a First Class cricketer. Nikhil, his younger brother, has been officiating in age-group cricket as part of the BCCI panel.

Calculated risk

Nitin admitted that it was a calculated risk to shift focus to umpiring. “I realised that I wasn’t that good a cricketer to sustain [myself] at the First Class level, so we discussed it at home and decided to concentrate on umpiring instead. It was a calculated risk but I am glad it has worked for me,” Nitin told The Hindu.

“He [Menon Sr.] is also delighted, but ever since our childhood, we have never discussed cricket at home. And the same rule applies even now.”

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