Sikkim cricket umpire coaching
In a first in the fledgling cricket history of Sikkim, 30 aspiring umpires, including eight women, underwent a five-day Level-O course organised by the Sikkim Cricket Association (SiCA) at the Sikkim Cricket Ground (SCG) near Rangpo from November 25 to 29.
The course, which comprised both theory and practical classes, was conducted by Satrajit Lahiri and Somnath Jha, both of whom are Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)-empanelled Ranji Trophy umpires. The trainees were also asked to alternately umpire an actual cricket match played between two local teams, Alpine Cricket Club and Shaft Cricket Club, as part of their course.
SiCA will award certificates to all the successful candidates, which would make them eligible to officiate in official matches organised by the association. “While four of the 30 candidates had officiated in the recently-organised Khanchenzonga Shield, the rest are former players, current players and even complete freshers,” said Karma Sonam Lhendup, the joint secretary of SiCA.
SiCA, which was granted full membership of the BCCI, had sought application for the course from interested candidates earlier in the month. The criteria for selection were a candidate had to be less than 45 years of age, Class XII pass, fluency in English, physically fit and, preferably, a former or current player.
“This was the first time we had organised such a course, and we are encouraged by the response. This is perhaps because of the series of activities SiCA has been undertaking,” said Lhendup. Earlier in the month, SiCA had for the first time organised inter-club tournament for men and T20 tournament for women and also a three-day O-Level course for coaches.
Lahiri, the Ranji umpire, said he was impressed with the trainees, the facility available at the SCG and the manner in which the entire event was organised.
“I must say, in the next two three years, we will see a few of them will be in the BCCI panel,” he said.
Lukmit Lepcha, an aspiring umpire who undertook the course, said she got to learn a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“MCC (read cricket) laws are not easy. We got to clear many doubts and the course was very educative,” said the 34-year-old from Dzongu in North Sikkim. Lukmit said she is basically a football player, but also follows cricket very keenly.