Umpires and administrators aren't the first people that come to mind when one thinks of cricket heroes, but if heroes are those who overcome adversity, then Gibraltar's Sunil Chandiramani certainly fits the bill.
Sunil, 33, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease aged just four and spent his childhood travelling to hospital in London for various tests, scans and observations every summer, with one of his kidneys failing not long after turning five.
Not knowing when - or even if - his other kidney would fail, he nevertheless continued to lead a normal life, hanging out with friends and playing sport. At the age of 14 his health began to deteriorate and he had to travel to London more frequently, with a transplant now being talked about.
Despite this, his passion for sport continued, particularly for cricket in which he represented Gibraltar at age group level, and also table tennis in which he represented his country. Having a B+ blood type meant that donors would be hard to come by in Europe as that particular blood group is far more common in Asia.
His parents were tested and his father was found to be compatible and the surgery was pencilled in for after he took his GCSE exams in 2003. His health then stabilised somewhat and the surgery was delayed so that he could complete his A-Levels on schedule in 2005.
However shortly before his A-Levels his health began to deteriorate again, and a diagnosis of kidney stones ruled his father out as a donor. He made it through his exams and then spent three months in India in search of a donor there which proved to be fruitless due to concerns over safety.
Dialysis was eventually required, which he began in February 2006, initially for two hours twice a week but soon increased to three hours three times a week. Sunil never let his dialysis get in the way of his life and passions, which by now included cricket umpiring.
He was appointed to the ICC Europe Umpire panel, and was able to arrange international tournaments around his dialysis schedule. His first tournament was an Under-15 Division Two event in La Manga in August 2007, in which he umpired the final, followed by an Under-17 Division Two tournament in Germany the following year.
In the meantime, he'd been placed on the donor list in neighbouring Spain, and in October 2008 he received the call he'd been waiting for, telling him that there was a donor kidney waiting for him in Cadiz. The surgery went ahead, and after two weeks in hospital he went home to continue his recovery.
One of possible the side-effects of his medication was diabetes, which he was diagnosed with in March 2010 after almost slipping into a diabetic coma. The transplant allowed him to resume a normal life and he soon returned to umpiring on the ICC Europe panel, officiating in tournaments in the Netherlands, Spain, the Isle of Man and Sussex until the panel was dissolved in 2014.
Throughout this time, Sunil was invited to workshops with the ICC European Elite Panel and continued with his umpiring qualifications. He also resumed his education, studying law at Cardiff University which eventually led to his present career as a barrister at Attias & Levy in Gibraltar.
He has found that his umpiring experience has served him well, with similarities between the two roles as they both involve paying keen attention to rules, regulations and laws. The experience as a barrister also helped during his time as president of the Gibraltar Cricket Board for just over three years from October 2016 to last November. He originally joined the board as a committee member in 2014 before becoming vice-president in 2015.
He has found that his legal training enabled him to communicate more effectively with ICC officials, ranging from regional development staff all the way up to the then deputy (and current interim) chairman Imran Khawaja.
Gibraltar are a long-standing ICC member, having joined in 1969, but are one of the smallest in terms of population. The ICC may have a bad reputation amongst some, but not in Gibraltar. The development team are in fact highly regarded within associate cricket, and in particular, in Gibraltar. Sunil feels all the ICC development staff are keen to grow the game and were always keen to discuss development in Gibraltar.
A key part of Sunil's time as GCB president was the development of new facilities. Land is at a premium in the territory (Gibraltar is approximately 0.5% the size of London as a point of comparison) but they have managed to develop new facilities including a state of the art gym and indoor cricket centre as well as a cricket ground, helped by government interest in developing sporting infrastructure.
There are hopes that the facility can be an alternative to La Manga for county winter training, particularly if Brexit negotiations lead to UK citizens needing visas for travel to Spain. It is also hoped that the facility may also attract the likes of county second XIs and youth teams, providing key experience for Gibraltar's national team. It was hoped that it could have hosted the Iberia Cup T20I series against Portugal and Spain last October but clearance from the ICC couldn't be obtained in time and the event was moved to La Manga.
Sunil's umpiring career has continued with a European Under-19 qualifier in 2018 and the aforementioned Iberia Cup in which he made his umpiring debut in T20 internationals.
In addition to the umpiring and legal career, Sunil also keeps himself busy as president of Kidney Care Gibraltar, a charity dedicated to raising awareness of kidney health and kidney disease.
During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Sunil had to "shield" for three months earlier this year, only leaving his apartment to take rubbish to the bins. Now able to venture further than that, he has taken the opportunity to get fit - unlike many of us during these times - losing weight and feeling the healthiest he has ever felt, even able to come off some of his diabetes medication.
He has also started playing cricket socially again as well as further developing his umpiring, bowling in the nets and hoping to play a couple of matches a year for his club side, Tarik CC.
Having overcome such adversity at a young age, Sunil Chandiramani definitely qualifies as a hero of European cricket. At just 33 and possessing a drive to always improve and develop the game he adores, he no doubt has much more to contribute yet.