The ongoing T20 Mumbai League boasts of some senior cricketers like Pravin Tambe (46) and Mumbai U-19 chief selector and left-arm spinner Rajesh Pawar (38). However, albeit not on the field, it also features the country’s youngest match referee, Shreyas Khanolkar.

Khanolkar is a former under-19 and ex-Railways cricketer, who took up match refereeing from this season. He has played first-class matches scoring  2241 runs. Also, the right-arm off-break bowler has claimed 39 wickets in his short career.

However, he gave up the game to take up the role of a match referee. Currently, he is officiating matches in the ongoing Mumbai T20 league. Previously, Khanolkar worked as Mumbai U-16 chief selector.

Khanolkar talks about his role:

The 40-year-old Khanolkar feels the T20 league is like a mini IPL where local players can not only shine, but also learn how to control their on-field behaviour.

As match referees, we not only supervise the game but also concentrate on players’ behaviour. There are young boys playing in this tournament and most of the time, their reactions to certain decisions go against the rule book, so we are trying to make them understand that if they want to play at the higher level, they need to play within the guidelines right from local cricket,” he told mid-day.

Talking about his role as a match referee, Khanolkar admits it is a very challenging job and requires man management.

A match referee’s job is like running a successful event. If there’s no issue during the game, then it’s a great achievement. It’s a challenging job that requires a lot of man-management skills, but I am enjoying it,” he concluded.

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