Wednesday, 5 October, 2022

Umpire Masudur on cloud nine after Asia Cup success

Umpire Masudur on cloud nine after Asia Cup success
A recent photo shows Bangladesh umpire Masudur Rahman Mukul speaking to Pakistan skipper Babar Azam during an Asia Cup T20 match between India and Pakistan in Dubai, UAE. —Tanvin Tamim

Bangladesh umpire Masudur Rahman Mukul’s life changed following the recently-concluded Asia Cup. The experienced umpire of the country is getting the kind of recognition that he never imagined.

Recently, when he visited Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, he had to take selfies with different people waiting for him at the venue.

In a country where umpires are thriving for respect, it was certainly a breath of fresh air considering the fact his brilliant umpiring in the two high-voltage matches between India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup didn’t go unnoticed.

“To be honest, I never expected that I would be getting this kind of recognition as an umpire though I dreamt about it,” Masudur told The Daily Sun.

“I’m enjoying it at the same time I’m also thinking that I need to make sure that my performance doesn’t go down or else I will be where I was before,” said Masudur, adding that his dream came true when he officiated the match between India and Pakistan.

“All the international matches that I officiated were on my home soil and I never officiated any international matches abroad. My first international match on foreign soil was the India-Pakistan game and naturally, there was excitement.

“It was like a dream came true for me and when I successfully completed the opening game between the two arch-rivals, my confidence grew up,” he said.

Masudur was a very effective player in domestic cricket where he played for 19 years. However, he regretted that he failed to make it into the national setup.

 After the end of his cricketing career in 2006, the 47-year-old completed all three level courses for the umpires.

“I played domestic cricket from 1989 to 2006. When I left cricket, I started umpiring after doing level 1, 2 and 3 courses. That is when I set up my goal that someday I will become an umpire of ICC,” said Masudur.

“When I joined the level 1 course, I got a white t-shirt that had the logo of the Bangladesh team and on that day I decided to become an umpire,” he said, adding that he is well aware that it’s a thankless job.

“I tell you one thing when we came to this profession we all knew that this is a thankless job. I won’t say that the situation of the umpires will change right away but I feel it is my duty to bring respect for us from the players and the officials. When they have faith in us, the situation will change,” he added.

Masudur, who officiated three Asia Cup matches including the final, claimed that the perception of people regarding the umpires has changed to a large extent after the Asia Cup.

 “I think the people’s perception about us changed and they feel that umpires also carry the flag of the nation. Secondly, people understood that decision-making is not the only thing in umpiring,” he said.

“The ICC had the feeling that we (Bangladeshi umpires) are lagging behind in man-management and controlling as well as in report writing and conversation. But now we have proved that we aren’t lagging behind in any department. Last year, we (the four Bangladeshi umpires at the ICC) were at the top in decision-making with a 92-plus percentage and I don’t think many people know about it,” he concluded.