Dubai: India's Nitin Menon was included in the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) Elite Panel of Umpires for the upcoming 2020-21 season.
Menon will replace England's Nigel Llong and is the third Indian umpire to feature in the panel after former captain Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Sundaram Ravi.
The 36-year-old Menon, who has officiated in three Tests, 24 ODIs and 16 T20Is, also became the youngest umpire to join the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.
''It's a great honour and matter of pride for me to be named in the Elite panel. To be officiating regularly along with the leading umpires and referees of the world is something that I always dreamt of and the feeling has yet to sink in,'' Menon was quoted as saying in an ICC statement.
''Having already officiated in Tests, ODIs and T20Is as well as in ICC events, I understand the great responsibility that comes with the job. I look forward to the challenges and will do my best at every opportunity I get. I also feel this is a responsibility on me to take Indian umpires forward and help them by sharing my experiences.
''I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, BCCI and ICC for their support and believing in my ability over the years. I would also like to thank my family for their sacrifices and unconditional support throughout my career,'' he added.
A selection panel consisting of ICC General Manager - Cricket, Geoff Allardice (Chairman), former player and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, and match referees Ranjan Madugalle and David Boon, picked Menon, who was earlier part of the ICC International Panel of Umpires.
''Nitin has come through our pathway system with very consistent performances. I congratulate him for being selected to the Elite panel and wish him continued success,'' said Adrian Griffith, ICC senior manager - umpires and referees.
The other members of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires are Aleem Dar, Kumar Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney, Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel, Rod Tucker and Joel Wilson.(UNI)