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Shahvir Tarapore to officiate in his 100th first-class match

Ahead of his landmark match, the umpire speaks about routines & memorable moments

After Suresh Shastri and Amish Saheba earlier this season, Shavir Tarapore will become the third umpire to officiate in 100 first-class matches. The former Karnataka cricketer will reach the landmark when he steps onto the field to officiate in the Ranji Trophy match between Orissa and Jharkhand.

Looking forward to the momentous occasion, Tarapore said, “It is a milestone that I am looking forward to with great anticipation. But my preparation remains the same. I will be following the same routines, which have helped me get this far. I am looking forward to this game.”

Like cricketers, Tarapore also has his routines to prepare himself for a match. “I prepare myself mentally and physically to officiate in any match that I have done over the years, including Test matches or one-day internationals or any other matches. I have already started preparing that way for this game,” he said while speaking toBCCI.TV.

Describing his preparation, he said, “From the umpiring aspect of it, I have always followed a little bit of physical training from time to time. I do it almost every day - walk or jog as that helps me stand there for seven-and-a-half hours. And of course, I update myself with the laws and playing conditions. Though we are doing matches day in and day out, it is always better to update yourself just before the game.”

Asked about the challenges faced by an umpire, he mentioned, “Basically, the challenge has always been that you have to be updated with the laws and the playing conditions because they keep changing from season to season. You learn through experience -meeting senior people or from your mentor if you have one. Another aspect is match management – how to take (understand and assess) situation, also how do you get along with the players is important.

Speaking about taking up umpiring after finishing as a cricketer, Tarapore said, “After being a first-class cricketer for Karnataka from 1980 to 1987, I tried my hand at a little bit of coaching. (However,) I thought that umpiring will be the other alternative because (of) being (able to be) on the field. Also, right through my playing days, I thought that it is the best way to be in the center of the action on the field, which motivated me to try my hand at umpiring.”

Looking back on the journey, he reminisced, “It was the passion that kept me going. Being a first-class cricketer myself kept me going. With God’s grace, hard work and with the support of the BCCI and my state association, I started climbing the ladder slowly. Once you start climbing the ladder, like any player, you get even more motivated. That is exactly what happened for me. I started working harder. With every step that I took, I set a goal for me to reach the next level. I got on the ICC panel and did about four Test matches and along with that ODIs, World Cup and IPL etc. came my way.

“I started (umpiring) in the 1991-92 season with the BCCI. It has evolved a lot since then. The laws have changed from time to time. The playing conditions have changed and with a lot of technology coming in, we have to move along with time. You have to use all the latest equipment given to you whether you are on field or whether you are sitting in the box as TV umpire. The reserve umpire’s job has now doubled. In any walk of life, you have to be updated and move along,” he said while reflecting on the role.

Asked about the highlight of his career thus far, the senior umpire said, “For me there could be only one and that would firstly be the day when I was appointed through the BCCI to the ICC and (then) when I got my first posting as a Test umpire. To officiate in a Test was the highlight of my umpiring career. That was exactly what I worked for when I started umpiring.”

While talking about his most memorable game as an umpire, Tarapore unhesitantly said, “There have been a few but officiating in the match where Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to get the double-hundred in ODIs was a highlight because that was history and I was part of it. I officiated in that match against South Africa in Gwalior. 

Prajakta Pawar
Prajakta Pawar

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