Nitin Menon has been included in the International Cricket Council's Elite Panel of Umpires for the upcoming season. Menon replaces England's Nigel Llong.
The 36-year-old, who has officiated in three Tests, 24 ODIs and 16 T20Is, becomes only the third Indian to make it to the prestigious panel after Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Sundaram Ravi.
A selection panel comprising ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice (Chairman), former player and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, and match referees Ranjan Madugalle and David Boon, picked Menon.
“It’s a great honour and matter of pride for me to be named in the Elite panel. To be officiating regularly along with the leading umpires and referees of the world is something that I always dreamt of and the feeling has yet to sink in,” he said.
The Indore-based Menon was named as one of the twelve on-field umpires for the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20. He was also the on-field umpire in 2019 Indian Premier League Final along with Ian Gould.
The other members of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires are Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney, Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel, Rod Tucker and Joel Wilson.
Menon had earlier told Deccan Herald that the ICC's latest move to decided to do away with the requirement to appoint neutral match officials owing to the current logistical challenges with international travel was a great opportunity for Indian umpires.
Menon has represented Madhya Pradesh in List A cricket and after failing to make the cut at the top level, decided to follow in the footsteps of his father and started officiating in matches. His first international game was a T20I between India and England on January 26, 2017 while his first international ODI was a match between Afghanistan and Ireland on March 15, 2017.
But in the same year, he was reportedly involved in some howlers, according to a report in ESPNCricinfo.