Hong Kong Girl Knocks Seniors For Six

Shurabhi Das, a 14-year old student at Hong Kong’s South Island School made ACC history last month by being the first female and the youngest person to ever attend an Umpiring Course. Moreover, she scored 96 out of 100 in the Umpires’ Elementary Examination, the highest ever.

“I would love to be an international umpire - maybe even get onto the ICC panel!-(and it would be great if I was the first/only woman umpire to be an international umpire)!”

Bright and bubbly, with what even her headmaster acknowledges as an Irfan Pathan obsession, Shurabhi Das’s progress so far is symbolic of the ever-increasing opportunities available to cricketers and associated personnel in Asia. Her ambitions are large, and the world of cricket should be large enough to accommodate them.

Shurabhi’s involvement in the Hong Kong Umpiring Course came about through her classmate Louise Choi, who worked as a summer student in the Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) office, helping to organise the course.

Shurabhi with South Island School friends Jacqui and Claire

According to her headmaster, John Wray, Shurabhi is “a popular and successful student; friendly adventurous, optimistic, cheerful and competitive. She always gives everything her best….Outside of the classroom she is interested in Indian Music and Dance. She is very sporty. Her favourite sportspeople are Irfan Pathan (who she admits to being obsessed about), Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pietersen and Brett Lee.”

We corresponded with her via e-mail.

Why do you like cricket? Does anyone in your family play?
“I got influenced by my brother and my dad who are fanatical about cricket!”

How did your interest in cricket start?
“I was never really interested in cricket until 2003 (India vs. Australia series), when Irfan Pathan made his debut for India! I immediately started following cricket, and soon I realized that it was a very interesting sport! Since then, I've been Irfan's biggest fan and I take a deep interest in the sport itself, too.”

Shurabhi with Kapil Dev at the 2003 Hong Kong Sixes

What interests you about umpiring?
“The thing that interests me most about umpiring is that everything (in a match) depends on the decisions that the umpires make! Also the fact that I get to watch cricket, and actively take part in the match.”

How much cricket do you play?
“I don't play a lot, but I absolutely love watching it! I enjoy watching all forms of cricket (on TV usually), especially when India, England, or Australia are concerned. I prefer ODI matches to Test matches, but I follow all aspects of the game.”

Do you play any other sports?
“I love playing sports; I play soccer, hockey, and sometimes a bit of cricket when I find time.”

Next Page | “At first I was a bit intimidated, but soon we all made friends with each other, so it was great!”