Veteran match official Sunil Chaturvedi added another feather to his cap when he officiated in the Col CK Nayudu Match between Bengal and Punjab at the JU Second Campus, Salt Lake on Sunday, 8th January 2023. The match will remain special for the 61-year-old for it is a reminder of his yeoman services as he completed 25 glorious years as BCCI Match Referee. Before the start of the match, a felicitation function was organized to mark the event where a cake was cut.
Chaturvedi was overcome by emotions when asked to recall his long journey. “It was in 1999 that I officiated in my first game as a BCCI Match Referee and back then I didn’t know that I will come such a long way and will continue to officiate for 25 long years. I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and this has been a thoroughly rewarding journey.”
Chaturvedi, a former wicket-keeper batsman who played for Uttar Pradesh, notched up seven hundreds and scored 3864 runs in his 13-year cricketing career. He effected 105 dismissals – 88 catches and 17 stumpings during his 72-match first-class stint. “I took up the role of the match official as I wanted to be associated with the game after I retired. The Board was encouraging former players and I think this was the right decision that I made. I feel the post of Match Referee ranks amongst the top, where you can remain involved in the game. As a former player, you can decide to be a selector or a coach or a match official and can continue to serve the game. A match referee’s role is extremely important as he is in charge to conduct the game in a fair, transparent and professional manner.”
Ask him about the qualities required to be a successful match official and he says, “Truthfulness to oneself, honesty and integrity are important qualities that you must possess. You must also have an in-depth knowledge of the game and its rules. As long as you are passionate and love the game, a match official’s role is something you will always enjoy.”