India’s Nitin Menon, 36, yesterday became the youngest member of the International Cricket Council’s elite umpire list. Menon gave up playing cricket when he was 22 to start umpiring and has gradually moved up the rankings, officiating in three Tests, 24 one-day internationals and 16 Twenty20 matches. “My priority was to play for the country rather than umpiring,” said Menon, who played two matches for Madhya Pradesh state in 2004 before taking up umpiring.
“I quit playing at 22 and I became a senior umpire at the age of 23. It wasn’t worth trying to play and umpire so I decided to focus on umpiring alone,” added Menon, who replaced England’s Nigel Llong on the 2020-21 season list. “I’m feeling very confident by the fact that age is on my side, but the performance is what ultimately matters. Whether I do well or not, age has little to do with performance.”
Menon is only the third Indian after Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Sundaram Ravi — who was dropped from the list last year — to join the elite group of 12 umpires who take charge at top matches and tournaments.
Sri Lanka probes
allegations 2011 World Cup final was fixed
Sri Lanka has ordered a criminal probe into allegations the 2011 cricket World Cup final was “sold” to India, officials said yesterday. “A criminal investigation has begun,” KDS. Ruwanchandra, the secretary to the sports ministry, said. “It is handled by the (police) independent Special Investigation Unit on sports-related offences.”
Former sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage claimed earlier this month that Sri Lanka sold the match to ensure an Indian victory. “I feel I can talk about it now. I am not connecting players, but some sections were involved,” Aluthgamage said.
The island nation’s 1996 World Cup-winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has also cast doubt on the result and previously called for an investigation. Local media reports said former skipper and chief selector for the 2011 finals, Aravinda de Silva, had been summoned for an interview with investigators today.
After starting strongly, Sri Lanka lost the final at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium by six wickets. Sri Lanka batted first and scored 274-6 off 50 overs. They appeared in a commanding position when Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar was out for 18. But India turned the game dramatically, thanks in part to poor fielding and bowling by Sri Lanka, who were led by Kumar Sangakkara.
Sangakkara had said Aluthgamage should share his allegations with the global governing body the International Cricket Council. International cricket in Sri Lanka has previously been linked to corruption allegations, including claims of match-fixing ahead of a 2018 Test against England.
Earlier this month, the Sri Lankan cricket board said the ICC was investigating three unnamed ex-players over corruption claims. Match-fixing was made a criminal offence in November. Offenders face fines of up to 100mn rupees ($555,000) and up to 10 years’ jail.
West Indies to wear 'Black Lives Matter' logo for England Tests
The West Indies cricket team will wear "Black Lives Matter" logos on their shirts during next month's Test series against England in a show of solidarity with the global movement. The tourists will follow the lead of English Premier League footballers during the three-Test series, which starts at the Ageas Bowl on July 8.
The move comes after the death of African-American George Floyd in US police custody last month. The logo, which has a clenched fist in place of the letter 'A' in the word "Black", was designed by Watford player Troy Deeney's partner Alisha Hosannah. West Indies captain Jason Holder said the team remained focused on winning the series but that there were bigger issues to address. West Indies captain Jason Holder said the team remained focused on winning the series but that there were bigger issues to address. "This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team," he said.
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