DUBAI, June 29: India�s Nitin Menon on Monday became the youngest member of the International Cricket Council�s Elite Panel of Umpires, replacing England�s Nigel Llong for the upcoming 2020-21 season after an annual review.
The 36-year-old, who has officiated in three Tests, 24 ODIs and 16 T20Is, is only the third from India to make it to the prestigious group after former captain Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Sundaram Ravi. Ravi was axed last year.
�To be officiating regularly along with the leading umpires and referees of the world is something that I always dreamt of and the feeling has yet to sink in,� Menon was quoted as saying in an ICC statement.
England�s Michael Gough, 40, was the youngest in the current panel before Menon�s elevation.
Menon quit playing competitive cricket at 22 and by 23, he had become a senior umpire, officiating in BCCI accredited matches.
A selection panel comprising ICC General Manager (Cricket) Geoff Allardice (Chairman), former player and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, and match referees Ranjan Madugalle and David Boon, picked Menon, who was earlier part of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires.
While standard of Indian umpiring has copped a lot of criticism globally, performance of Menon over the past few years has been a silver lining.
Menon is well aware of his responsibilities.
�We did not have any representation in the Elite Panel for a while. I now want to keep the Indian flag flying high. I hope to see more umpires from India at the top level,� Menon told bcci.tv. � PTI