ABU DHABI: On-field Indian umpire Paschim Pathak came into the limelight during the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) IPL match on Sunday -- much like that of former India hockey player Ram Prakash Singh, whose long hair in late 1980s annoyed then national team coach MP Ganesh.
During first IPL match of Sunday's double-header between SRH and KKR, social media started buzzing about Pathak's shoulder length hair and his peculiar stance while the ball is being bowled.
Pathak, 43, sported long, flowing hair underneath his cap and could be seen bent over while standing at the non-striker's end while the bowler came running in behind him.
"Paschim pathak: who played well Between SRH and KKR. Inspired from MSD," tweeted one social media user, referring to the famously long hair Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni featured in the early part of his illustrious international career.
"Paschim Pathak what a rockstar haircut!" tweeted another viewer.
"When you wanted to be a Rockstar but parental pressure forced you to be an Umpire," teased a tweet.
"Old-fashioned crouch from umpire Paschim Pathak," said another twitter user.
"Paschim Pathak looks like someone whose real job is to be a rockstar," said another tweet.
"Paschim Pathak umpiring style is so old school. But not his hairstyle," said a user.
There were also a few who noted Pathak's voice had with that of batting great Sachin Tendulkar whenever it came on the broadcast while he spoke with the third umpire. "This umpire Paschim Pathak looks like Taher Shah and sounds like SRT," said one such tweet referring to the Pakistani singer.
Pathak seems to have a penchant for attracting attention. In March 2016, he took the field wearing a helmet in an ICC World T20 warm-up game between a Mumbai Cricket Association XI and an England XI in Mumbai.
Pathak is a panel umpire of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), but the board evidently has no issues with his fashionable hairstyle -- much unlike what hockey player RP Singh experienced in late 1980s.
Singh had shoulder length hair as a player, but then national coach MP Ganesh, a former India hockey captain, did not approve of the hairstyle and asked him to cut his hair. Singh didn't agree with him -- and still sports the same hairstyle. He is currently Director in Sports Directorate, Uttar Pradesh, and posted in Lucknow.