In a significant development, Indian female umpires Janani Narayanan and Vrinda Rathi have been named in the International Panel of ICC Development Umpires. Narayanan and Rathi's inclusion in the panel took the tally to three female match officials as GS Lakshmi is on the International Panel of Match Referees.
The announcement came after the launch of 100% Cricket, a 12-month campaign anticipated to build on the momentum of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.
Narayan has been umpiring in Indian domestic tournaments since 2018. After the announcement, she thanked the BCCI for the help they provided and added that she is looking forward to officiating to the best of her abilities.
"I'm delighted to be named in ICC's development panel and look forward to officiating to the best of my ability. I have been a lifelong fan of cricket and worked passionately towards becoming an umpire. This opportunity gives me the chance of learning from seniors on the circuit and improve in the years to come," the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) official website quoted Narayanan as saying.
"I want to thank the BCCI for all their help and the ICC for giving me this break. I would like to thank Mr Radhakrishnan, who has been my mentor since I first started umpiring. I would also like to thank my parents who never stopped me from watching cricket on TV, my senior umpires Sai Darshan, Ashwin Kumar and all my state panel umpires, national panel umpires and referees who have helped me learn and grow," she added.
Furthermore, Rathi said she is privileged to be named in the ICC's development panel and thanked the cricket board for backing her over the years.
"I feel privileged to be named in ICC's development panel as this opens new avenues for me. I am sure I will get to learn a lot from other members of the panel and look forward to future assignments," Rathi said.
"Having played cricket and also officiated as a scorer, this was a natural progression for me and I am happy at the way things have unfolded. I am thankful to the BCCI for backing me over the years and to the ICC for giving me this opportunity. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my family, colleagues and mentors for all the help and support over the years," she added.