The ICC World T20 Africa Qualifier A is a great platform for many young players on the African continent, but there are also other role-players who make their own dreams come true along the way.
One of these is umpire, Ravi Angara, who stood in his 100th AM International during the match between hosts Nigeria and Sierra Leone on Wednesday.
To do it at the Tafawa Balewa Square Cricket Oval was poignant in itself, as it illustrated just how much the game has grown since Angara was a little boy growing up in India. He first got into the game as a six-year old, and was a wicket-keeper growing up. The game has allowed him to see the world.
“Never in my wildest dreams, did I think that my 100th international would be in Nigeria. It has been a great experience to be in West Africa. Many thanks to my colleagues and mentors who have helped me along the way,” a clearly proud Angara said.
Looking back on his journey thus far, Angara said that he was still hungry for a lot more.
“I am fortunate to reach this milestone, and it would be great if I could reach 200 internationals. In order to do that, I need to keep improving and stay fit,” he said, referring to the demands for a modern umpire.
Along the way, Angara has also made connections with those he stands in the middle with. After all, much like batting, umpiring is about partnerships.
So, who is the best umpire that Ravi Angara has worked alongside?
“Wynand Louw,” he says, without hesitation.
“He passed on so much of his knowledge to me, and that helped me grow into the umpire I am today. He was very disciplined in his preparation for matches, and that attention to detail has rubbed off onto me. For that, I thank him.