Former India cricketer Nidhi Buley has made it to the umpiring panel of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Her sister Ritika has also joined her in the list as a total of four females passed the umpiring exam conducted by the BCCI with a distinction. Nidhi Buley has played for India at the international level back in 2006 featuring in an ODI and a Test each.

On the other hand, her sister Ritika couldn't make it to the higher level but she featured for Madhya Pradesh in domestic cricket in 31 first-class matches. The BCCI conducted an exam for the retired cricketers in the second week of June and the results of the same were declared on Wednesday (July 26). Candidates needed more than 120 marks out of 150 and both Nidhi and Ritika passed the exam with flying colours scoring 133.5 and 133 marks respectively.

Apart from them, V Kritika from Tamil Nadu and Ankita Guha of Vidarbha were the other females who passed the exam and were elevated to the BCCI panel. Nikhil Patil of Mumbai Cricket Association topped the exam with a massive score of 147 out of 150. Coming back to Nidhi, she played for India in 2006 and bowled seven overs to pick one wicket in an ODI against Ireland. She also featured in the Test match against England and bowled 12 wicketless overs conceding 43 runs.

But she never represented India again. Her sister Ritika never got picked for India but she always wanted to enter the big club

of match officials. Nidhi regretted not getting to play at Lord's in her career but she now wants to officiate in a game at the Mecca of Cricket. "As a player, I could not play at Lord's. We had a game there on the England tour in 2006 but I was not in the playing eleven. If I can umpire at Lord's that will be a dream come true for me," Nidhi said.

Nidhi Buley has also witnessed the transformation of women's cricket in the last few years and lauded the BCCI for playing a huge supporting role. "The BCCI has supported us a lot. It is after a long time retired cricketers are entering the umpiring space. The board wants to promote female umpires and bring them at par with men. It wants to treat them equally. In my playing days, even getting to practice with the male players was a big deal. I hope I get to officiate in men's matches which will be a big challenge," she further said.

Ritika, 31, didn't get to play for India like her sister but she wants to officiate in men and women's cricket both as her interest was always in umpiring. "As a player, I could not represent India, umpiring is the only way I can realise my dream. I used to stand behind the stumps and wonder how the umpires go about their job and count six balls. I understood that when I became an umpire myself. As players we don't know much about the laws of the game. It is only when you study you realise you did not know so much about the game," Ritika said while speaking to PTI.
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