Real cricket match prediction: Referees Rathi, Narayanan and Venugopalan debut with Ranji Trophy

Former goalscorer, former software engineer and career-shortened injury-hit player made history on Tuesday when Vrinda Rathi, Janani Narayanan and Gayathri Venugopalan became the first trio of women to referee the prestigious Ranji Trophy. left.

Venugopal refereeed her Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh second round matches in Jamshedpur, while Narayanan and Rathi refereeed the Railways v Tripura in Surat and Goa v Pondicherry matches in Porvorim respectively.

Already highly regarded on the women’s circuit, with diverse backgrounds, the trio became pioneers thanks to the BCCI’s decision to have women judges on the men’s national circuit.

Narayanan, 36, loved cricket and everything related to it. She wanted to go on the field and she contacted the Nadu State Cricket Association (TNCA) several times to become a referee. Years after state agencies changed rules to allow women to become referees, she passed the BCCI Level 2 referee exam in 2018 and left her comfortable IT job without a second thought. I became more focused on refereeing.

She has also been on the board of the Tamil Nadu Premier League in 2021.

Rati, 32, has emerged from Maidan, Mumbai. She used to score in local games before passing her BCCI top scorer exam. She was her BCCI official goalscorer for the 2013 Women’s World Cup. She later switched to refereeing.

Narayanan and Rathi are experienced referees and have been appointed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Development Referees Panel in 2020.

Veteran referee coach Dennis Barnes, who has worked closely with Indian referees and oversaw their rise to international level, was welcoming the duo’s promotion to the ICC Development Institute.

“I think Janani and Vrinda represent the ‘new wave’ of female referees in India,” he said.

Her 43-year-old Delhi-based Venugopalan said she dreamed of becoming a cricketer, but her shoulder injury dashed her hopes. After passing the BCCI exam, started working as a referee in 2019.

She was previously a preliminary judge (4th) at the Ranji Trophy.

BCCI still has a lot to do to catch up with the women referees who are already officiating in men’s cricket in Australia and England. Of her 150 arbitrators registered with BCCI, she is the only three women.

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