Mumbai-based Vrinda Rathi, along with Chennai’s N Janani, is set to change the prevalent gender norm in Indian cricket's umpiring circuit. The two have cleared the BCCI's national level umpiring exam.
This means that the duo can now officiate women's cricket matches and junior-level boy's matches across the country.
29-year-old Vrinda, Navi-Mumbai-based fitness coach, has been a BCCI scorer since 2010. It was during her stint as a scorer at the Women’s World Cup in 2013 that Rathi first spotted a woman umpire New Zealand’s Kathy Cross.
Vrinda Rathi has also umpired many local matches, which according to her has been an interesting experience. Talking to TOI about this, she said "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 centre of the field, your gender does not matter."
However, she does think that inherent patience and 'lack of rigidity' in women help her do the job.
"Ego is something an umpire cannot afford," she says.
As Vrinda will take the field in the coming days, we look forward to women like her breaking the glass ceiling, because decision-making on the pitch, should not be a privilege only for men.