International cricket umpire K.N. Raghavan announced his retirement from the BCCI panel on Wednesday.

With umpiring almost becoming a full-time job, Raghavan, currently the Commissioner of Customs in Kochi, said he could not find time for it.

Raghavan, who was elevated to the BCCI’s national panel in 1996, has umpired in two ODIs (one on field and another as third umpire) and was a reserve umpire in three other one-day internationals. He has also officiated in numerous Duleep, Deodhar and Ranji matches.

Focus on ICC panel

India has not had an umpire in the ICC’s Elite Panel for almost ten years now and Raghavan said that the national body BCCI must focus on this aspect of cricket too.

“We have quality umpires, they just have to guided and groomed to the next level,” said Raghavan.

“We need to select four or five umpires and put them into that slot where they can do one-day internationals and then project one or two for the ICC panel. This is one area where we can give more thrust. If the Board says, yes…we will work towards getting two of our umpires in the panel, am sure they will find one or two who can easily fit into the panel. That sort of thrust is required.

“We need umpires in the ICC panel. And the fact that we have not had umpires in the ICC panel for some time is a shame for us.

“I personally feel that many of our umpires are better that the some of those in the panel.”

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