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COVID-19: Stranded at village, umpire Anil Chaudhary climbs trees in search of mobile network

The umpire, in a recent media statement, revealed that he is not only fighting coronavirus but also has to deal with a communication nightmare.

SNS | New Delhi |

ICC international panel umpire Anil Chaudhary is stranded in his ancestral village in Uttar Pradesh owing to the nationwide lockdown enforced in an attempt to defeat the coronavirus infection.

The umpire, in a recent media statement, revealed that he is not only fighting coronavirus but also has to deal with a communication nightmare as he has climb up trees in search of a mobile network.

Notably, Chaudhary was all set to officiate in the India-South Africa ODI series but the series was called off midway in view of the health threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the 55-year-old decided to visit his village, Dangrol in UP’s Shamli district, with his two sons.

“I’m here with my sons since March 16. Since I was visiting after quite some time I planned to stay for a week but then the lockdown was announced and now I’m following the directives, while my mother and wife are in Delhi,” Chaudhary was quoted as saying by PTI.

“The biggest problem is mobile connectivity. I can’t talk to anyone or use the internet. To be able to do that I have to go outside the village, climb up a tree or go to the rooftop. Then also the network is very poor,” he said.

The umpire has even posted pictures of himself on social media trying to make a phone call while on top of a tree.

The umpire stated that he needs internet to access ICC’online programmes for umpires which is still a massive task in rural India. Moreover, his son’s studies are also severely affected as educational institutions have taken the E-learning route to finish the assigned curriculum amid the coronavirus crisis.

“One of my sons’ studies in the Hindu College. His classes are going on but he is unable to attend them.”

The umpire was quick to point out that the issue was not a new one as the village hardly ever receives good mobile and internet connectivity despite being less than 100 Km away from the national capital.

Chaudhary also went on to state that the village chief has already written a letter to the authorities about the issue but haven’t heard from them as yet. Meanwhile, Chaudhary has done his bit to educate the people in his village about the dreaded Coronavirus and how to prevent themselves from getting infected.

“I have asked people here not to gather around, avoid playing cards together, continuously wash their hands with soap,” the umpire, who has officiated 20 ODIs and 27 T20s, said.

“I have also distributed some masks to them and all of them are maintaining social distancing,” he concluded.

(With inputs from PTI)