For Chettithody Shamsuddin (43), the only umpire from Hyderabad to have officiated in the just-concluded Pepsi IPL (another Hyderabadi and former Ranji batsman A. Nandakishore was the fourth umpire for a few matches), it was an experience which he feels “should help him realise bigger dreams”.
For someone with increasing acceptance among cricketers and officials for the way he handles difficult situations, Shamsuddin reminds that noise factor was the biggest challenge in the IPL. “It is something very difficult for anyone.” Then how did he cope with it? “We thrive on our experience and self-confidence,” he says.
How does one prepare before a big match?
“We discuss a lot about the players, playing conditions, ground and a brief history of some of the so-called temperamental characters. We even go to the training sessions (nets) and often point to the bowlers if they are too ‘tight’ on the popping crease. These things, in a way, are some sort of practice for us before the big games,” explains Shamsuddin, who learnt the theory part of the job first from R. Chandrakumar and then the technical and practical knowledge from veterans like Ivaturi Sivaram and V.K. Ramaswamy.
Did he feel the pressure of the ambience and the reputation of some of the big names around? “No never. In fact, they are all very humble,” he says.
Interestingly, Shamsuddin had the privilege of being out there in the middle when Chris Gayle hit that record-breaking 175 for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors.
“Oh! That was the most memorable outing for me. It was not normal cricket and was something out of the world. When Gayle bats, you do expect him to play big strokes. But that evening, he was extraordinary,” recalls Shamsuddin. “And, we (umpires) were often on our toes to look for cover from his big hits,” he says.
Any souvenirs that he has kept for himself? “All that I have are sweet memories of doing a good job to the best of my ability in this IPL.
The inputs I picked up by watching some of the best including Simon Taufel should help me a long way,” says Shamsuddin, who officiated in 24 Ranji Trophy games since 2009.
It is something very difficult for anyone to handle
The noise factor
Shamsuddin, the only umpire from city to have officiated in the IPL-6, recalls the extraordinary innings of 175 by the towering West Indian. On the IPL experience, the Hyderabadi feels it will help him realise bigger dreams