Bengaluru: Nitin Pathy from Bengaluru is on his way. After making his first appearance last month as an on-field referee representing the Netherlands in two home games against Scotland, he secured his third assignment on Wednesday – in an international with the Decision Review System (DRS).
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Nitin said when asked about his achievement.
Wednesday’s match against Ireland in Utrecht – which was held as part of the Cricket World Cup – heralded the start of the DRS era in Dutch cricket. It was also the first cricket match broadcast by a Dutch channel.
Nitin, 34, started his cricket career as a contributor to United Cricketers in Davanagher before his coach Prakash Pawar advised him to become a referee as well. “I passed the Karnataka State Cricket Commission (KSCA) exam in 2006 and BCCI board exam level 1 in 2009. Shavir Tarapore, Nandan and S Muralidhar were my mentors in KSCA.”
In 2017, Nitin, an electrical engineer by profession, moved to the Netherlands. “I never thought I would have time to play cricket when I moved to Europe. I came to the Netherlands on a one-year contract. Soon I got a job at Intel that allowed me to get a long-term visa. I contacted the Royal Dutch Cricket Association (KNCB) for a chance To manage matches. The federation officials encouraged me and I was able to lead the top divisions in their local championships.”
Nitin joined the KNCB’s National Match Referees Committee and was promoted to the ICC Referees Development Committee this year after two Dutch officials on the panel retired in 2020. “KNCB officials are open and willing to help even though I come from elsewhere.”
As part of his preparation for the ODI matches, Nitin trained under the supervision of ICC Match Referee David Jukes and Referee Coach Dennis Burns. “It was a great experience working with them,” Nitin said. They gave a lot of practical information and instilled confidence in me. I received positive feedback from them after the matches and it was no different from the decisions that were reviewed during the match against Ireland.”
As Nitin takes on new roles in Europe, the only drawback he says is part of an ICC affiliate country is the limited options for governance. With the West Indies, Pakistan and England touring the country next year, Nitin is looking forward to more international exposure.
Nitin’s wife, Namrata Nataraj, works in a travel agency and the couple lives in Eindhoven. His parents d. Revanasidaba and Dr. Vijaya is in Bengaluru.
So far, 95 arbitrators have been appointed to the ODIs representing India while 11 Indians have represented ICC partner countries in the form of more than 50 arbitrators. Sameer Bandekar chairs the private investment institutions representing both India and the United States of America.
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