About Saroop Kishen Reu
Pt. Swaroop Kishen Reu was born on 13th July 1930 in his ancestral house in Habba Kadal locality of the Srinagar district in Kashmir. He had his schooling in Delhi, where his father was posted. He did his B.Com and LL.B. from the Delhi University He then took up a job in the office of Accountant General of India and due to his sincerity and hard work became an Accounts Officer in it.
Pt. Swaroop Kishen Reu had a great love for, the game of cricket right from his childhood . He was a member of the Delhi University cricket team as a batsman cum wicket keeper. He made his debut as an umpire in December 15-20, 1978 Test match at Bangalore in the first series against the West Indies led by Clive Lloyd but unfortunately that Test match had to be abandoned due to riots. In the next Test match of this series at Madras he and the other umpire J.D. Ghosh were criticized by the experts and commentators for allowing too many bouncers in the match by D.L. Haynes, causing severe injuries to the players. This West Indies team had cricket stalwarts of that period like M.D. Marshall, A.B. Williams, Jwel Gardner, Michel Holding and Sir Vivien Richards, etc.
A year later in 1979 at the same ground Pt. Swaroop Kishen Reu, his fellow umpire and players had to lay prostrate on the ground during the session of the game when swarms of bees attacked all of them suddenly to save themselves from their sting, which was really a very peculiar sight to watch.
As an umpire Pt. Swaroop Kishen Reu was a witness to numerous Test records which were achieved in the history of Test cricket right before his eyes mainly by Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev. Kishen Reu was generally considered to be a lucky umpire for India. But in his 13th Test in 1983-84 at Kanpur India lost the match. In the Test series against England in 1981-82 in the fourth Test match at Calcutta he stood in the Eden Garden ground as an umpire before a record crowd of about 4 lac spectators throughout its five days, which is a world record. A further niche was carved at Bombay in 1983-84 series when he erased the feeling of indecision felt by his fellow umpire M. V. Gothosker after an Indian appeal against Haynes for handling the ball. It was fourth such dismissal in the history of Test cricket.
Pt. Swaroop Kishen Reu being a law graduate used to apply his legal and analytical mind while enforcing rules and regulations of the game as laid down by the I.C.C. on the ground. He once took to task Imran Khan the skipper of Pakistan for tampering with the ball. His last Test as an umpire was at Bombay, from November 28 to December 3 in the 1984- 85 series against England led by David Gower . He stood on the ground as an umpire in 17 Test matches which is an Indian record shared with another Indian umpire B. Satyaji Rao.
Pt. Swaroop Kishen Reu apart from performing the duties as an umpire in Test matches also had the opportunity to do the same job in One Day International matches as well. His first ODI was India verses England at Jallundhar on 20th December 1981 and his last ODI was England verses Pakistan at Sharjah on 26th May 1985. In the ODI played at Jallundhar in the Gandhi Stadium in 1981-82 series the Indian side was led by Sunil Gavaskar with Dileep Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev, Kirti Azad, Sandeep Patil, Ravi Shastri and Madan Lal as its members. The captain of the England’s team was Kitch Fletcher and Graham Gort, Geof Boycott, Ian Bothom, David Gower, Mike Getting and Geoff Cook were its members. India won this ODI by 6 wickets.
In recognition of his outstanding services for the game of cricket he was awarded Padma Shree in 1986 by the President of India Gyani Zail Singh. He then started leading a retired life. He died on 21st November 1992 at the age of 62 years at Delhi due to Cancer.
Source: Dr. BN Sharga