In the kaleidoscope that cricket is, careers of various hues appear and disappear creating radiant patterns that only last momentarily. In this turbulent world, K. Srinivasan deserves credit for staying relevant by evolving and reinventing himself.
A cricketer, a coach and an umpire, Srinivasan, younger brother of all-rounder K. Barathan, has seen it all.
Prolific in local league
A brief career for Tamil Nadu in the one-dayers in 1993-94 notwithstanding, the No. 3 strokemaker and off-spinner continued to be a force in first division league with 25 hundreds including a double against Globe Trotters.
And in 2000, a heroic Srinivasan, representing SICAL, ambushed the fancied Jolly Rovers with an eight-wicket innings haul followed by 179.
Asked to promote Young Stars from second to first division in 2003-04 — the team belonged to Kalpathi Aghoram with whom he has played for CromBest and was looked after by another friend R. Rangarajan — Srinivasan was successful.
Never idle, Srinivasan had by then cleared the NCA Level II coaching course. And he coached the Tripura Ranji Trophy team in 2003-04.
Gaining in stature
Passing umpiring exams, he began standing in Ranji games from 2001; talk about wearing different hats. Gradually, Srinivasan began gaining in stature as an umpire, officiating in Ranji semifinals, tour games, matches between ‘A’ sides and in the IPL in various roles.
For the last seven years, he was the chairman of the TNCA umpire’s sub-committee. Last season, he was second in BCCI’s rankings for domestic umpires.
Now 54, Srinivasan will retire next year unless he stands in an international game. “Even if I officiate in a Twenty20 international, my retirement age becomes 58. And if I stand in a Test, it is 60.”
Srinivasan said, “Instead, why not have medical tests for umpires every year?”
Among his memorable moments as umpire is when Sachin Tendulkar stopped him from tying his shoe-lace — a normal practice for umpires — out of respect in a practice game between the Indian probables in Chennai. “He has so much humility.”
And Srinivasan believes players considered tough to handle are great to deal with “if you communicate with them in a direct and honest manner.”
Srinivasan is a survivor.