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This classy brew thrills

Dr K.N. Raghavan is a multi-faceted personality who has successfully yoked the bat with the scalpel, the laws of umpiring with the laws of governance. VIMAL KUMAR.R meets him

WHEN ONE meets a multi faceted personality like Dr KN Raghavan, one wonders about the path trod to achieve such distinctions. His is a story of hard work, dedication, fun and luck all rolled into one. He is one of Kerala's national panel umpires just as much as a doctor and a bureaucrat.

Raghavan, presently on deputation to the Kerala government, is posted as the Managing Director of the Kerala State Rubber Marketing Federation Ltd. Being a doctor as well; he is entrusted with the additional responsibility, as CEO of the Cooperative Medical College, in Kochi.

Born and brought up in Kochi, Raghavan was lucky enough to get the right breaks at the right time. His parents played a pivotal role in moulding his career. " I had no particular ambition while at Rajagiri High School, Kalamassery. Like any other student who scores good marks, I took the second group during the pre-degree course at Bharatha Matha College'', says Raghavan.

He took to umpiring more by accident than plan. Being interested in cricket he answered an advertisement for an umpire's clinic held at Ernakulam. "I was one among the ten, to be selected to the Kerala Cricket Association panel. Sriramulu, the famous cricket umpire took the classes. It was for the first time such a selection was held in Kerala'', recalls Raghavan.

Simultaneously Raghavan gained admission to the Calicut Medical College during which, cricket umpiring took a back seat. After graduating, he did his senior house surgeonship, specialising in General surgery. He enrolled for his MD in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram and it was during this time that qualified to the Civil Services.

What made the doctor switch from medicine to Civil Services? Raghavan was frank, "As soon as I was into the MBBS course, I realised that I was not cut out for this. But I decided to complete what I had begun and also for a basic qualification''. He was inspired in switching to Civil Services by his doctor-friend Dr.Venu, IAS. "Venu was my hostel mate at Calicut. His selection to the Civil Services inspired me and I began preparing for the exams".

Before commencing training at Mussoorie, Raghavan was selected as a national panel umpire by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He was fortunate that the final selection and his Civil Services training did not coincide. In 1992 Raghavan officiated his first Ranji Trophy match between Bihar and Tripura at Ranchi and in 1996 he was elevated to the All-India panel. This made him eligible to officiate one-day internationals apart from the other national matches. Raghavan made his one-day debut with the match between India and.Bangladesh at Mohali, in 1998.

"I was fortunate to have got good support from my bosses. But I make it a point to reduce the number of matches, so as to fulfil my responsibilities as an IRS officer,'' says Raghavan.

Raghavan who represented the Ernakulam under-19 cricket team is now the vice-president of Kerala Cricket Association.

Dr. Raghavan's book on cricket, `World Cup Chronicle', was published in 1999

His future plan is to be an ICC panel umpire. `Howzatt!' for a man who has yoked together the bat with the scalpel!

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