29-year-old Vrinda Rathi is all set to become the first ever female umpire in Indian cricket. Rathi, who hails from Navi Mumbai, has cleared BCCI’s Level 2 exams and that makes her eligible to officiate national level matches. Apart from Rathi, Chennai’s N Janani has also cleared the exams. Rathi started her career as a scorer and worked during the Women’s World Cup in 2013. During the tournament, Rathi decided to pursue umpiring as a career and took inspiration from New Zealand’s woman Umpire Kathy Cross.
During her interview with the Times of India, Rathi revealed how she is often addressed as ‘Sir’ on the field. She is also of the view that gender does not matter when you are in the middle.
@MumbaiCricAssoc Its a special occasion for mumbai umpiring as 5 mumbai Umpires qualified to be in the BCCI panel of umpires, including the first ever lady umpire Vrinda Rathi in BCCI history.
— Ganesh Iyer (@GaneshIiyganra) October 12, 2018
"Initially, there were unsubstantiated apprehensions about the quality that a woman umpire may bring in, when everyone around knows that you mean business at the center of the field, your gender does not matter." - Vrinda Rathi to Times of India.
“Boys also control their aggression in presence of women umpires. it’s the women who are ruling the maidans in Mumbai”, she adds. Rathi has officiated in Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) matches since 2013. She has recently, officiated in women’s cricket matches and junior boys’ matches as well.