BENGALURU: Nitin Bathi from Bengaluru is on a roll. Having made his debut as an on-field umpire representing the Netherlands in the country’s two home matches against Scotland last month, he got his third assignment on Wednesday – in an ODI enabled with the decision review system (DRS).
“I was at the right place at the right time,” said Nitin when asked about his achievement.
Wednesday’s game against Ireland in Utrecht – held as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League – ushered in the DRS era in Dutch cricket. It was also the first cricket match to be televised on a Dutch channel.
Nitin, 34, started his cricket career as a wicketkeeper for United Cricketers in Davanagere before his coach Prakash Pawar advised him to take up umpiring as well. “I cleared the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) state panel examination in 2006 and the BCCI Level-1 panel test in 2009. Shavir Tarapore, Nandan and S Muralidhar were my mentors at the KSCA,” he said.
In 2017, Nitin, an electronics engineer by profession, moved to the Netherlands. “I never thought I would have time for cricket when I moved to Europe. I came to the Netherlands on a one-year contract. Soon, I got a job at Intel which helped me get a long-term visa. I approached Royal Dutch Cricket Association (KNCB) for an opportunity to officiate in matches. The association officials encouraged me and I was able to officiate in the top divisions of their domestic competitions.”
Nitin joined the KNCB’s national panel of match officials and was elevated to the ICC Development Panel of Umpires this year after two Dutch officials in the panel retired in 2020. “The KNCB officials were open-minded and ready to help despite the fact that I am from another place,” Nitin added.
As part of his preparation for the ODIs, Nitin has been training under International Cricket Council match referee David Jukes and umpires’ coach Denis Burns. “Working with them was a wonderful experience. They gave a lot of practical information and instilled confidence in me. I got positive feedback from them after the matches and didn’t have to reverse decisions reviewed during the game against Ireland,” Nitin said.
While Nitin enjoys a fresh innings in Europe, the only disadvantage he feels being part of an associate nation of the ICC is the limited umpiring opportunities. However, with West Indies, Pakistan and England touring the country next year, Nitin is looking forward to more international exposure.
Nitin’s wife Namrata Nataraj is working with a travel agency and the couple is based at Eindhoven. His parents Dr Revanasiddappa and Dr Vijaya are in Bengaluru.
As many as 95 umpires officiated in ODIs representing India so far while 11 Indians represented ICC’s associate nations in the 50-over format. Sameer Bandekar officiated ODIs representing India as well as the United States of America.


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