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Breaking gender barrier: India’s first female Cricket Umpire Vrinda Rathi

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Vrinda Rathi: India's first female Cricket Umpire breaking gender barrier

Mumbai: Vrinda Rathi 29, is a Navi-Mumbai based fitness trainer, cleared the Board Of Control For Cricket In India’s (BCCI) Level-2 Umpiring Exam; is all set to become India’s first female cricket umpire and eligible for umpiring in international women’s cricket.

Vrinda Rathi has been a BCCI scorer since 2010.

While scoring for India during the women’s world cup 2013, she spotted for the first time a woman umpire: New Zealand’s Kathy Cross. It was the moment that inspired her to make a move to umpiring.

A female umpire in cricketing world is still an aberration, even in all-women cricket matches. Since the start of this game, umpiring has always been the privilege of men. It was only in 2016; Australia’s Claire Polosak forayed into this profession dominated by Men.

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Speaking to a leading daily newspaper she said, “Umpiring requires you to hone your skills under the scorching sun. The job calls for both physical endurance and mental toughness. More than body language, communication, and interpersonal skills, it’s astute decision-making that defines a good umpire.”

Vrinda Rathi: India's first female Cricket Umpire breaking gender barrier
Source: Facebook

Rathi has played cricket in her college days and she was a medium pacer bowler. She has represented Mumbai University for four years.

Though she is happy that her efforts came to fruition, she is also aware that she needs to put double efforts in comparison to her male counterparts. While her male peers had the luxury to make minor mistakes, she couldn’t afford to make such mistakes as it wouldn’t go unnoticed due to her gender.

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Last month, Rathi and Chennai’s N Jnani cleared the BCCI level 2 umpiring exam and make it to one of India’s first women umpires who can now officiate women’s cricket matches at the national level and junior level boy’s matches across the country.

Rathi is preparing for her first official debut match in Puducherry for Under-16 boys, wishing they could call her ‘Madam’.

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