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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 24/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) A couple of top international umpires from India supervised the first-round matches at the 2012 His Majesty's Cup Hockey Championship that concluded on Sunday. R V Raghu Prasad, who officiated at the 2012 Games, and experienced international umpire Javed Nuruddin Shaikh, who made his fourth visit to Oman in four years, were hired by the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) to umpire for HM's Cup matches.Speaking to Muscat Daily, Prasad, who officiated in three group stage matches at the London Games, said, I am happy to return to Muscat and share my experience with the local umpires, who also officiated alongside us. The HM's Cup is a prestigious tournament and it feels great to be a part of it. My last visit here was for the 2010 edition of the HM's Cup.Prasad, who started his international career as an umpire in 2003, said, I felt proud to represent India as an umpire at the Olympics. I was among 17 elite umpires from around the world at the Games. It was a huge learning experience.Shaikh, who hails from Mumbai, has already become a popular face among foreign umpires in the sultanate. There is no doubt that Omani hockey players are extremely passionate about the sport, he said. I don't remember having any problem with any player or any coach while officiating here. My job is to maintain transparency in the way matches are officiated.Prasad and Shaikh have returned to India after the first round for their respective international duties and the OHA is now on the lookout for a fresh batch of overseas umpires for the semifinals and final, to be played from November 12-26.Prasad next travels to Australia to officiate in the eight-nation Champions Trophy to be played from December 1-9, while Shaikh will head to Argentina for the Champions Challenge tournament from November 24 to December 2.Saad Mo-hy Zaghlool, the OHA's technical director, said, We have a nearly 20-day break after the first round for the Eid al Adha holidays. So, both the umpires had to return to India."Mohy Zaghlool added, We are now looking for other international umpires for the knockout matches and I must admit it will be a bit difficult to find a new pair as good as they were during the first round. 


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