Indoor cricket umpire Ashik rises to elite panel

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Carries ten years of experience and outdoor umpiring qualifications into World Cup

Indoor cricket umpire Ashik rises to elite panel

UAE umpire Ashik Kuniyil who will officiate in the Indoor Cricket World Cup.

Dubai,September 13 – Ashik Kuniyil is the only umpire from the UAE in the elite panel of umpires that will officiate in the World Indoor Cricket World Cup to be held at Insportz Club from September 16 to 23.

Ashik won a place alongside renowned international indoor cricket umpires from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa through his years of dedication and devotion towards indoor cricket.

Speaking to , Ashik said: “I started as an indoor cricket umpire in 2008. I came to the UAE in 2007 and while staying in the labour camp I used to visit Insportz to watch sports events there. I hail from Kannur in Kerala and was a soft ball (another version of baseball) player. Mahesh Nambiar, whom I had met in Kannur, introduced me to Insportz and thus I started umpiring. I used to play cricket for Nucaf Tellicherry in outdoor cricket and so began playing indoor cricket too representing Kannur.”

Ashik soon made a name for himself as an indoor cricket umpire and organisers of indoor domestic tournaments began to approach him regularly. “Mahesh Mondkar of ICC Academy gave me lot of opportunities backed by Andrew Russell, the Emirates Cricket Board Development Manager. Menino Po, Manager of Insportz, referred my name to the World Indoor Cricket Federation, based on my experience.”

Ashik had qualified as an outdoor umpire too. “I passed the O level umpiring course conducted by Sharjah Cricket Council and also Level One umpiring course conducted by the ICC. It helped me expand my knowledge of the rules of the game though indoor cricket rules are different,” said Ashik

How different is umpiring indoor cricket from outdoor? “In indoor cricket there is only one umpire and he sits behind the batsman. Since the ball is live all the time in indoor cricket the umpire has to be alert all the time,” said Ashik, who also multi-tasks by maintaining the scoring too.

“Initially it was tough but today with ten years of experience I can perform everything smoothly,” said Ashik, who had officiated in an international indoor too when a tri nation series involving South Africa, India and Insportz UAE team was held at Insportz.

Ashik also sharpened his skills as an indoor player in order to understand the game. “I play in the Tellicherry Premier League and I am a member of the Chetam Coon team that were two times runner up in this league.”

The umpires for the Indoor World Cup are: Andrew Hall Villiers (AUS), Ben Ridgway (AUS). Chris Fitzgerald (NZ), Dino De Pentieiros (SA), Elton Daniels (SA), Michael Guest (AUS), Ashik Kuniyil (UAE) and Wayne Robertson (NZ).

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