Umpires Anil Chaudhary and Virender Sharma to make debut in the first two Tests between India and England
The International Cricket Council has selected the pair of Anil Chaudhary and Virender Sharma to stand alongside umpire Nitin Menon in the first two Tests between India and England.
The first Test of the four-match series will begin at the MA Chidambaram Stadium from February 5 while the second game will be played at the same venue from February 13. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, both Chaudhary and Sharma will make their debut in the longest format of the game, having officiated in 20 and two ODIs respectively.
The 37-year-old Menon, who is the only Indian official on ICC’s Elite Panel, will be officiating in his fourth Test match. Chaudhary will be the on-field umpire for the opening Test, with Sharma replacing him in the second.
Moreover, former Indian fast bowler Javagal Srinath, who has 551 international wickets, will be the match referee for England’s tour of India.
In June 2020, ICC had temporarily removed neutral umpires owing to the logistical challenges with international travel. Last month, West Indies Test skipper Jason Holder had said that he does not understand the situation where players can travel overseas and quarantine, but the umpires cannot do the same.
During the second Test against Australia, Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah had backed the idea of having a neutral umpire in a bilateral series. Bumrah said the situations amid the pandemic are difficult and he completely understands it, but it is unfortunate that umpires cannot travel like players for the bilateral series or tournaments.
Meanwhile, England’s touring contingent and the India squad is in Chennai and undergoing quarantine. They will start training for the first Test from Tuesday.