KN Ananthapadmanabhan, the well-known Malayali umpire, is now part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) International Panel of Umpires, joined by C Shamshuddin, Anil Chaudhary and Virender Sharma. With this promotion, Ananthapadmanabhan can soon officiate the ODI and T20 internationals, in addition to, umpiring in the junior World Cup.
So, who is KN Ananthapadmanabhan?
Many know of him as the former Indian first-class cricketer, hailing from the state of Kerala. He was the first Malayali player to pull off a double of 2000 runs and 200 wickets in the Ranji Trophy. Did you know that in his first-class cricketing career, Ananthapadmanabhan took 344 wickets from the 105 matches he was part of? While he has represented the State team, the South Zone in first-class, List A cricket in India, and India “A” team in international cricket, he couldn’t represent Team India in ODI’s or Tests. As the story goes, his growing career had occurred simultaneously with that of Anil Kumble who was chosen over him.
But, fortunately, life had different plans for the former Kerala leg-spinner.
Over the past few years, he has been an umpire and has experience in officiating almost every domestic tournament in India, including the IPL, England Lions match, and Women’s List A and T20 games. In fact, he was also the official during the Ranji Trophy final between Bengal and Saurashtra in 2019. Back in 2006, he was welcomed into the ICC umpires panel, and since then, has been growing his career in umpiring, establishing himself as one of the best Indian umpires we have ever seen.
In an interview, according to Hindustan Times, Ananthapadmanabhan shared, “This was what I was waiting for a long time, and I knew I would get it and am extremely happy and delighted…A lot of international cricket is on the cards and hopefully, I will be in one of those. I knew I would make it as I was given quite a number of opportunities to harness my skills by ICC.”
A statement released by the Kerala Cricket Association congratulated KN Ananthapadmanabhan on his success, stating, “We are very happy to announce that K N Ananthapadmanabhan has been elevated to the “Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires…A recognition of hard work and perseverance.”