The Sharjah Cricket Council are conducting an umpiring course in July in order to provide professional umpires for the growing number of matches in the UAE.

With over 1500 matches being held during the cricketing season (September to April), there are more than 3000 umpiring appointments needed a year.

Turf wicket at Al Dhaid cricket ground

UAE have added grounds in recent years to meet the demand for cricket. The forthcoming Level 0 course will serve as a refresher to some umpires with the majority of them taking the qualification for the first time. Sharjah will be holding two floodlit tournaments during Ramadhan in August – a 25-over event at the Sharjah stadium and a Twenty20 event at the Al Dhaid Cricket Village. Although the participants of this course will not be ready to stand in either event, the long-term goal is to get them ready for the start of the new season.

In the UAE cricket is currently played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Al Ain, Ras al-Khaima, Umm al-Quwain and is quickly spreading. Abu Dhabi may be next to conduct a similar course but a date is yet to be confirmed.

“We need more professional umpires and this is a good start for us. Altogether there are about 70 to 80 umpires in the UAE, not all qualified though and some cannot communicate in English. For them, the course and the exam afterwards will be in Urdu,” said Farid Malik, who is conducting the course with Iftikhar Ali and Fidel Jaary.

Farid Malik on duty at the 2009 ACC Twenty20 Cup in UAE
Farid Malik has umpired at numerous ACC tournaments, the ICC Trophy in 1997 and the World Cup in 1996 and invariably seems to stand in exciting matches.

The course which is open to anyone with an interest in the game, will not only focus on the 42 laws and its various interpretations. “Apart from the laws, we need to teach them how to be good umpires. They obviously cannot make mistakes with the laws but they also need to know how to behave and the requirements to become a good umpire”, added Mr. Malik.

UAE Cricket Profile
Laws of Cricket in Urdu

Filed June 1st, 2010