Two Indians, Vijeylaxmi and Harini, in ICC Future Leaders programme

Two Indians –  match referee Vijeylaxmi Narasimhan and media-turned-sports-management professional Harini Rana – have been selected as India’s representatives for the ICC 100% Cricket Future Leaders Programme.

The programme, according to a statement by the International Cricket Council statement, is the world cricket governing body’s “long-term commitment to accelerate the growth of women’s cricket and women in cricket”.

While Vijeylaxmi will be part of the first batch of 20 women who will be mentored starting September, Rana will be the lone Indian in the second batch from November.

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The former Tamil Nadu player has been a referee for the past three years after clearing the exams in 2018. She has officiated in an international women’s quadrangular T20 series in Patna featuring India A, B, Bangladesh and Thailand national teams apart from two Tamil Nadu Premier League matches in 2019.

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Vijeylaxmi, who became a certified BCCI match referee since 2018-19 after coaching Tamil Nadu’s Under-19 girls’ team for a year, will be mentored by Australian umpire Claire Polosak. “I am looking forward to learning about the skills, professional ethics and domain knowledge,” Vijeylaxmi told Sportstar.

Rana has been associated with the sports ecosystem for over a decade now. After becoming only the second national sports editor of a television channel before turning 30, she has forayed into sports management for the last four years. She hopes to learn the nuances about governance and development of the game during her course.

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“It’s a great achievement as an Indian. It’s a great achievement to represent India. It gives me a platform to develop myself and make an impactful cotribution to women in sports, something that I am passionate about,” Rana said.

Besides the duo, veteran journalist Sharda Ugra has also been roped in as a mentor for Roberta Morretti Avery (Brazil) in the first batch.a

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