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May 2, 2008
Former international umpire Ram Babu Gupta has died in London, aged 72. He officiated in 11 Tests and 24 ODIs from 1985 to 1990.
Conveying his condolences, BCCI president Sharad Pawar said, "He was one of our best umpires ever. It is an irreplaceable loss." Gupta remains the only Indian to have umpired a World Cup final; he stood in the 1987 final in Kolkata along with Pakistan's Mahboob Shah.
Rajan Mehra, a Test umpire during the mid-eighties, told the Hindu, "Gupta made remarkable progress as an umpire. I was his senior but always admired his officiating. He was very popular and quite a competent umpire. He was known to make fewer mistakes."
Gupta also officiated in the famous Chepauk Test in 1988 when legspinner Narendra Hirwani took 16 wickets against West Indies on his debut. Gupta's last international appearance was in a one-dayer in Sharjah in May 1990.
He was also president of the Delhi District Cricket Association for one year and served as its treasurer for eight years.
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