Whether it’s regarding the human body or a response to an LBW appeal in the cricket field, Dr K N Raghavan’s decisions have the sharpness of a scalpel. Meet Dr Raghavan, a doctor-turned civil servant, who is the new Commissioner of Customs Kochi unit.
But the most interesting feature of Dr Raghavan is that he is an umpire who has officiated in One-day International games (ODIs). He opted for umpiring more by accident than plan. “It was famous umpire Sriramulu who asked me to concentrate on umpiring during an Umpire Clinic during my pre-degree days. Till then I was only playing cricket. Since then I started studying cricket,” said Dr Raghavan.
Young Raghavan was a member of the state U-19 central zone team. After pre-degree he joined Kozhikode Medical College for MBBS.
“The MBBS course and its exam schedule were not matching with the cricket schedule. This was another reason for me to keep off from the field and take to umpiring,” he said. By the time he completed MBBS, Raghavan had become a qualified First Class umpire. However, with the achievement of civil service during his medical PG days, he bid goodbye to his medical career.
During this period, he officiated in five one-dayers, including the one played between India and Australia in Kochi in 1998, the first ODI at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. India-Bangladesh (1998 in Mohali), India-South Africa (2000 in Kochi), India-Zimbabwe(2001 in Hyderabad) and India-Australia (2001 in Visakhapatnam) are the other ODIs which he stood in. However, since the ICC constituted its own Elite Panel of Umpires in 2002, Raghavan has not officiated any Internationals.
“Cricket has always been a hobby for me. By the time the ICC formed its own panel, I had reached some responsible position in my career as a civil servant. I found it difficult to spare time for umpiring since umpiring had become a full-time career. Hence I decided to focus on my official responsibilities,” he said.
However, Raghavan still finds time to umpire junior level matches and First Class matches such as Ranji Trophy, Deodhar Trophy and Duleep Trophy.