To fight biases and get into a terrain that has remained entirely a male domain, takes an extra amount of obstinacy and zeal. To say it’s tough is an understatement; it’s like giving a jolt to the belief that a certain gender is only opposite to do the job, but why is the question that nobody can aptly answer.
However, there are still a few valiant ones whose names pop up time and again, for challenging society’s hypocrisy and taking on a job that can supposedly be done only by men.
Meet Mumbai’s Vrinda Rathi, who with her focus and hard work, has accomplished the feat of becoming India’s first national female umpire. The 29-year-old is often mistakenly addressed as ‘sir’ by the boys, but undeterred, she continues to keep her stoic and composed stance as she knows that it is more out of habit that they often end up calling her so.
The Navi Mumbai based fitness coach cracked BCCI’s Level 2 umpiring exam last month. Vrinda spends her weekends on cricket grounds doing what she does best – keeping a hawk’s eye on players during a match and give her decision.
Vrinda, who has been officiating Mumbai Cricket Association matches since 2013, can now do umpiring for women’s cricket matches and junior boys matches across India.
The idea of taking up the profession struck Vrinda when she saw New Zealand’s woman umpire, Kathy Cross during Women’s World Cup in 2013 where she was working as a scorer. After coming back home, Rathi diverted all her focus to appearing for the local and state-level umpiring exams, which he cracked.
Now, from September to April, Vrinda umpires over 60 match days on an average, which is a decent record. Taking to Indiatimes, Vrinda says, “Umpiring requires you to hone your skills under the scorching sun, which requires both physical endurance and mental toughness. More than body language, communication and interpersonal skills, it’s astute decision-making that defines a good umpire. The higher the level of umpiring, the simpler is the person.”
IPL team Rajasthan Royals took to Instagram to congratulate Vrinda and wrote: “When everyone around knows that you mean business at the centre of the field, your gender does not matter.” Vrinda Rathi is all set to become India’s first national woman umpire! A real inspiration for all, to break shackles and chase dreams! A real inspiration for all, to break shackles and chase dreams!
View this post on Instagram
"When everyone around knows that you mean business at the centre of the field, your gender does not matter." Vrinda Rathi is all set to become India's first national woman umpire! A real inspiration for all, to break shackles and chase dreams! PC: india.com #HallaBol #VrindaRathi