Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Youngest match referee all for player development

Shreyas Khanolkar
Shreyas Khanolkar

The ongoing T20 Mumbai League boasts of some senior players like leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, 46, and Mumbai U-19 chief selector and left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar, 38. On hindsight, albeit not on the field, it also features the country's youngest match referee — Shreyas Khanolkar.

At 40, Khanolkar, a former under-19 and ex-Railways cricketer, who took up match refereeing from this season, felt the TTML is like a mini Indian Premier League (IPL) where local players can not only shine, but also learn how to control their on-field behaviour. "As match referees, we not only supervise the game, but also concentrate on players' behaviour. There are young boys playing in this tournament and most of the time, their reactions to certain decisions go against the rule book, so we are trying to make them understand that if they want to play at the higher level, they need to play within the guidelines right from local cricket," he told mid-day recently.

Talking about how different his role as a match referee is from that of a player, the former Mumbai U-16 chief selector added: "A match referee's job is like running a successful event. If there's no issue during the game, then it's a great achievement. It's a challenging job that requires a lot of man-management skills, but I am enjoying it," he added.

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