Wisden Asia Cricket

June 2005: Openers

Five questions for Krishna Hariharan

K Hariharan, one of the three Indian representatives on the ICC's international panel of umpires, made his Test debut at Lord's. Rahul Bhatia met up with him

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Where did it all begin for you?
It started in Tamil Nadu in 1985. A friend introduced me to the game and said 'Why don't you start umpiring?' I enjoyed it, sat for the exam, and got through.

What does it take to be an international umpire?
Discipline. You need to have schedules. It is not easy to stand on the field for seven or eight hours. You need to know what to eat, what not to eat, how much walking or running you can do, or how much physical exercise you can do. How much you can sleep.

How do you prepare yourself physically?
I do some stretching exercises, yoga. I play tennis for two and a half hours a day - even on holidays. I thought tennis and golf were the games to go for at this age.

What quality do you think is vital?
It's very important to stay cool. The players react, the spectators react, the commentators react, even the administrators react; but an umpire cannot react. There may be criticism, but you need to be level-headed and stay focused on your job.

Does having family around help?
Yes. My wife plays a very big role in my life. When I am travelling she keeps track of what is said about me - good or bad comments. Every day after the game, within an hour, she will call to tell me what has been said about me.

Rahul Bhatia is staff writer of Cricinfo

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