The Oman and UAE cricket boards hosted Level 0 Umpiring courses in their respective countries in July. The course in Oman was conducted by veteran ACC and Oman Cricket tournament umpire A. R. Srinivasan who was assisted by Afzal Sher Khan and R. Chidambaram and in UAE by senior Sharjah umpires Iftikhar Ali, Fidel Jaary and Talib Hussain, deputizing for the late Farid Malik.

Both courses were run over five days with Oman drawing 31 participants and UAE 25.

ACC Development Officer for Oman Iqbal Sikander was present in Muscat at the start of the course and congratulated all participants for their enthusiasm shown in taking up umpiring. The 31 future Omani umpires were also urged by Oman Cricket Board (OCB) Honorary General Secretary Madhu Jesrani and OCB Member Madhu Sampat to regularly stand in their upcoming domestic tournaments.

For the first time ever, a woman took part in an Oman umpiring course. Panna Rashmi Ray, a schoolteacher from Muscat, attended the Level 0. “The explanation of the Laws have made things a lot more simple and enjoyable. I liked how the classes were conducted and it was nice to learn so much about a game that I love. There’s one thing for sure – I will never criticize an umpire again. They are always under a lot of pressure and have to make a correct decision in such a short time,” said Ms. Ray.

Iqbal saw the addition of a female umpire as a sign of things to come. “It was something new and exciting to have Panna with us. She’s very interested and shows great potential. We hope there will be more lady umpires and maybe after a year’s experience, we can use them in our women’s tournaments,” he said.

Oman and UAE have conducted the Level 0 course because “the ACC has placed more importance on local boards running the basics”, said Iqbal. After a year’s practice, these umpires will progress to the Level I. “Future Level I courses could also be run locally under the supervision of the Development Officers for coaching courses and ACC umpiring personnel for the umpiring courses, with the local coaches and umpires taking the lead” said Iqbal.

More Cricket = More Umpires in the UAE

Filed August 12th, 2010