Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid Saikat is poised to make history as the first umpire from Bangladesh to officiate in a World Cup. Saikat, a member of the ICC Emerging panel, has been selected by the ICC to be part of the 16-man umpiring panel for the upcoming quadrennial event scheduled to take place in India from October 5 to November 19, 2023.
Saikat, widely regarded as one of the finest Bangladeshi umpires, boasts an impressive track record, having officiated in 13 Tests, 85 ODIs, and 59 T20Is. His inclusion in the World Cup umpiring team adds another feather to his illustrious career. Nonetheless, Saikat himself places the experience of officiating in a Test match at the pinnacle of his achievements.
“It’s obviously a dream to officiate in the forthcoming ICC World Cup. It’s an honor and a privilege, and a huge achievement for me to become the first Bangladeshi to officiate in the World Cup,” Saikat was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “It’s been the result of a process, and I have earned it through dedication and hard work.”
Saikat has already gained valuable experience officiating in various ICC events, including the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, ICC Women’s World Cup, and Under-19 World Cup, all of which have contributed to his growth as an umpire.
“I think I am aware of the environment that prevails in an ICC event, considering I have some experience, but at the same time, the intensity will be much higher than what I have experienced so far, and I am looking forward to that challenge. There will be different teams, so I have to prepare by studying about them,” said Saikat, emphasizing the importance of preparation in officiating elite-level sports.
Saikat further explained how umpires prepare and conduct trial runs before any event to keep their senses sharp. He added, “We have an ICC drive with videos of incidents, and I still make mistakes despite watching them. At times I go to the nets to see what the bowlers are doing. In the World Cup, there will be matches after one day or two, so I have to start preparing now regarding different countries to make sure I am fully prepared for the big event.”
Saikat believes that his appointment to officiate in the World Cup will serve as inspiration for other Bangladeshi umpires and motivate aspiring candidates to aim higher. “I think my officiating at the World Cup will be inspiring for other umpires from Bangladesh because when they have the belief that it is possible to reach this far, they will be motivated to do better,” he said.
Among the 16 umpires selected for the event, 12 are from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, and four are members of the ICC Emerging Umpires’ Panel for the ICC World Cup 2023.
Match officials for ICC World Cup 2023: Chris Brown, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney, Michael Gough, Adrian Holdstock, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nitin Menon, Ahsan Raza, Paul Reiffel, Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid Saikat, Rod Tucker, Alex Wharf, Joel Wilson, Paul Wilson.