Many cricket players from the 2008 U-19 World Cup champions have gone on to become stars of this beautiful game. For others, their paths have gone different ways but still remains tied to the sport. Two players from that triumphant team – Ajitesh Argal and Tanmay Srivastava – have emerged as new BCCI umpires after passing their exams.
The inspiring journey of this duo has gone on to become one of cricket’s most talked-about stories in recent times. Let’s take a look at these cricketers’ journeys from youth world champions to becoming custodians of laid-down rules in cricket.
Argal played as one of Team India’s top all-rounders at the 2008 U-19 World Cup. He featured as a lower-order batter and used his wicket right-hand pace bowling to put India on top in many games to the World Cup. Argal also recorded exceptional spells for Team India throughout the tournament.
One of such remarkable performances came in the final when India U-19 faced South Africa U-19. Ajitesh recorded a 2 for 7 in just five overs in the last game, moving India closer to a historic triumph. Argal’s contributions in that final helped India secure their victory in one of the competitions top low-score finals to date.
Ajitesh moved on from that world-conquering team to play ten First-Class matches. He claimed two-dozen wickets at a 31.29 average throughout his stint before chasing other dreams.
After his competitive cricket career, Ajitesh worked in an income tax firm before taking the BCCI umpiring exam. His success at this exam means he gets to return as a world champion in a junior cricket format to the game he has always loved since youth.
Srivastava played as a left-handed opener for the 2008 U-19 World Cup side. The Uttar Pradesh batter scored 260+ runs in just six games at the tournament, racking up an impressive 52.40 average. He also got a much-needed 46 runs in the final to see off South Africa U-19.
Tanmay went on to feature in ninety (90) First-Class cricket matches, racking up an eye-catching 4900+ runs with a 34.4 average. He also got up to ten (10) centuries and twenty-seven (27) half centuries throughout his First-Class cricket career. Tanmay also registered 1720+ runs in A List cricket in 40+ games, making him one of India’s top talents at the time.
Why Do Former Cricketers Choose to Become Umpires?
Ex-cricketers like Ajitesh and Tanmay usually become umpires out of their undying love for cricket. These cricketers also exhibit a desire to serve in any meaningful capacity in the game to move in to a higher level.
Players transitioning to officiating cricket games always comes with a lot of excitement. It is common to see players sharing their excitement at becoming an essential part of the BCCI’s officiating panel. Experienced cricketers also serve as umpires to represent India on the international scene and contribute to global cricket as a major sport.
How Does the BCCI Help New Umpires Settle In?
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) helps fresh match officials settle in by hosting a curated orientation seminar. These seminars usher in new umpires with important knowledge and insights to prepare them for BCCI-standard matches.
The rising officiating challenges of the new game means they have their work cut out already. However, the wealth of experience these former cricketers possess should be enough to see them pull off great shifts in their new roles. Fans should also expect quality decisions from these experienced ex-cricketers when its game time.
Inspiration drawn from the exciting career paths of Ajitesh Argal and Tanmay Srivastava from key 2008 U-19 World Cup players to umpires is truly remarkable. These players are a direct testament to how former players always show a burning passion to serve the world of cricket however they can.
The undying passion of ex-cricketers drives them to make valid contributions in different capacities. As these cricketers take up their new positions, it is evident that they will carry the same zeal, dedication, and love for cricket that drove their early exploits as players.
Ensuring that the game of cricket remains alive in India isn’t so difficult with such a vibrant and rich ex-player community in officiating. These cricketers will take on officiating in First-Class games and go on to succeed in other capacities. We all pray Ajitesh, Tanmay, and other former cricketers’ success in new roles they assume at the BCCI.