There are no shortcuts in sports. It is your hard work and patience that counts. Before one can become eligible to officiate in an international game, one has to prove himself at various stages.
The BCCI recognised umpires are allotted matches conducted by the Board and one starts from the junior level. There is bound to be nervousness initially and to help a young umpire deal with anxiety if any, a senior umpire is always posted. The match referee too helps and provides assistance.
Every match is video recorded. Your performance speaks for yourself. A review committee goes through the footage and monitors you.
One has to slowly climb the ladder and in the first year, one gets U-15, U-19, U-23 and women’s junior and senior games. If your performance is not satisfactory, you need to go down a level, improve and come back again.
The review committee judges you on these criteria
a) Body language
b) Communications skills
c) Man-management skills
d) Player and team management
e) Team work with match referee and scorers on the ground
f) Your focus and alertness
With so much cricket being played all around, fitness is something very important. You may not require the same fitness levels as the players, but you still need to be fit to stand on the field all day. Mental alertness is also very important. The upkeep of your body, your heart beat and your eyesight and vision need to be optimized.
The BCCI will send you for medical examination every year and you need to prove yourself medically fit. You will be checked for stress levels, hearing capacity, eye test and physical fitness. These tests are part of the system. You have to prove yourself in every way.
If you are doing well, you get to officiate in multi-day games. Officiating in multi-day games is an entirely different experience. Your fitness and ability to concentrate for long hours is put to test and your performance is watched.
Once you tick the boxes and gain confidence of the committee you are promoted and get to officiate in the Ranji Trophy. To help you familiarize with first-class cricket, at first you are posted as an official for Group C games.
The level of cricket played in the Ranji Trophy is different and competitive. As you do well, you earn your way to officiate in matches involving the top teams.
You first get to officiate in league games of the tournament and when you do well, you get knockout games.
When you clear that stage, you get Duleep Trophy, Irani Trophy and the Challenger Trophy. Some of these matches are even televised and by now, you are well aware in the circuit. A good show will once again result in further promotion and you get to officiate in practice matches or A games involving the visiting teams.
At every stage you are being assessed and they give you feedback. The ability to withstand pressure is also checked. When you tick all the boxes, you go to the international panel.
The pressure at the international level can be demanding and thus you first get home series. You start with either being the third umpire or the fourth umpire and later get the distinction of being an on field umpire. If you perform well, you get to join the ICC elite panel.