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Foreign umpire Martin Saggers officiating in the Bengal v Vidarbha Ranji Trophy game

Nitin Menon also officiated in the County Championship earlier this year.

Martin Saggers
Martin Saggers. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)

The former English cricketer turned umpire Martin Saggers is officiating the ongoing match between Bengal and Vidarbha in Ranji Trophy. The fifth round of the ongoing season commenced on Wednesday but the fans were left befuddled when a foreign umpire strode out on the field with his ally Nand Kishore to officiate. They were left wondering if it is possible for an overseas umpire to come all over to India and do umpiring in the domestic matches.

This is not the first instance when a foreign umpire has been walked out on the field in the domestic matches. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England Cricket Board (ECB) made an agreement way back in 2013 about sending the umpires from both the countries to officiate in few matches during the home season. Accordingly, every year an umpire from the National panel visits India every year and vice versa. The program is called as ‘Umpire Exchange Program’ which has been undertaken by almost all Test playing nations in order to give more exposure to the upcoming umpires.

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Nitin Menon officiated in County

Indian umpire Nitin Menon also travelled to England earlier this year during the County Championship and officiated in a couple of matches as a part of this program. He did umpiring in Leicestershire versus Sussex match from June 9-12 and Worcestershire’s game against Kent from June 19-22. Similarly, Martin Saggers is one of the on-field umpires in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season.

Who is Martin Saggers?

Martin Saggers is the former England cricketer who could play only three Test matches for his country. He made his debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka in October 2003 and then never played beyond June 2004. He last played for England against New Zealand in a home Test and had picked the wicket of Mark Richardson in his very first delivery. However, he was dropped after that game and then he retired from first-class cricket in 2009. He took up the umpiring soon and was included in the full list of ECB umpires for the 2012 season after being in the reserves for a couple of years.

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