New Delhi, 30th December, 2015: Coal India Hockey India League the premier league for hockey in India today announced the list of officials for the fourth season of the League. Hockey India League, the flagship event of Hockey India – the apex body governing the sport in the country, and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is scheduled to be played across six venues in India from 18th January – 21st February. The tournament will witness six franchises Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai and defending champions Ranchi Rays battling for supremacy in the richest field hockey league in the world.
Along-side three times Hockey India League – Tournament Director, Bjorn Isberg from Sweden the major officials governing the tournament will include Andy Mair from Scotland who has been appointed as the Umpire’s Manager. Andy enjoyed a long career on the World Panel and having umpired at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, he will also be a part of the umpiring team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games as a video umpire. He cites his biggest achievement as umpiring the 2010 World Cup final in Delhi in 2010. The 2016 Hockey India League will be his first experience of the competition.
Muthukumar Balakrisnan from Malaysia will donne the role of the Assistant Tournament Director in the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League. Muthukumar retired from international umpiring in 2002 and has since enjoyed a long and successful career as a technical official both in Asia and internationally. 2016 will mark his third stint at the Hockey India League. He regards it as a very professionally managed tournament and an exhibition of the highest calibre of hockey.
The Indian contingent on board for the fourth season of Coal India Hockey India League consists of Technical Officer – Davinder Bhatia, a former player for the Indian Women’s national team, her highlights include a gold medal in the 1981 Asia Cup and the 1982 Asian Games. Since becoming a technical official she is regularly appointed as a tournament director within India. Intentionally her most prestigious appointment is the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Davinder will be partnered by – Claudius De Sales from India in this division.
The judge’s panel will see a lot of Indian’s in action with names like Milind Narwekar, Anjali Sharma and Sonia Bathla. Milind has been a regular fixture at many events in India and South East Asia for a number of years, both as an umpire and more recently as a technical official. Anjali as a player has participated in numerous national championships. Since then she has gone on to become a very experienced technical official with an appointment as a Judge to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on the horizon. She has previously officiated at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the World League Semi Final in Belgium in 2015. She brings experience of the previous three editions of the Hockey India League into the 2016 edition. Sonia Bathla the third member of the panel played in a string of National Championships before picking up the whistle and beginning her umpiring career. She umpired at numeral national events in India before becoming a technical official. Her most prestigious appointment to date was as a Judge at the Junior Women’s Asia Cup in 2015.
The International umpires on display at this year’s edition will be German Montes De Oca from Argentina. Marcin Grochal from Poland, Martin Madden from Scotland, David Tomilson from Scotland, Jacob Mejzlik from Czech Republic and Ben Göntgen from Germany.
De Oca has been umpiring since 2005 and has chalked up an impressive CV having umpired in two Champions Trophies, 2014 World Cup and 2012 London Olympic Games. He lists his career highlight as umpiring the 2012-13 World League Final in Delhi between The Netherlands and New Zealand.
Marcin has been an international umpire for 10 years now. Following the World Cup in The Hague he was upgraded to the World Panel (the highest panel for FIH umpires). He was selected for the 2012 London Olympic Games and his impressive displays have now earned him a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Martin Madden had a stellar 2014 culminating in his promotion to the World Panel following impressive performances at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague. He then went on to umpire the final of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in his home city of Glasgow. But the real cherry on top of a long and very impressive career is a place in the umpiring team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
David’s international umpiring career began in 2007. He has come to India on a few occasions during his career to date and is once again looking forward to experiencing the passion of the crowds and the unique tournament atmosphere created at hockey events in India. This will be the second appearance at the HIL for David.
Hockey runs in the family for Jakub Mejzlik. His mother won a silver medal in hockey while representing the then Czechoslovakia at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. He also has two sisters, both of whom play in the Czech Republic national team. He lists his biggest achievement to date as having umpired the 2014 Asian Games Gold Medal match between India and Pakistan.
The last of the sequence is Ben Göntgen who has been steadily climbing up the umpiring panels since he became in international umpire in 2012. He is vastly experienced in both outdoor and indoor hockey. He has been fortunate t umpire at the 2015 Indoor World Cup, 2015 EHL Final Four, and 2015 Eurohockey Championships and also umpired the final at the 2015 Sultan of Johor Cup.
RV Raghuprasad who si one of the Indian umpires in the league, began his umpiring career in 2001 and made his international debut in Perth in 2003. He has since gone on to umpire over 100 international matches and was awarded the Golden Whistle at the World League Semi Final in Belgium in 2015. He has umpired at the 2012 London Olympic Games as well as World Cups in The Hague (2014) and Delhi (2010). The Hockey India League 2016 will be his fourth. GS Sangha will be his partner with a career spanning 17 years and counting, the experience of Sangha is a great source of comfort to the players and the umpiring team. He has had a long international umpiring career with highlights including the Afro-Asian Games, FIH World League Round 2 as well as many other appointments in Asia and around the world.
Following is the complete list of officials for Coal India Hockey India League 2016:
||Bjorn Isberg (Swe)
|Lead Umpires Manager
||Craig Gribble (NZL)
||Andy Mair (SCO)
|Assistant Tournament Director
||Muthukumar Balakrisnan (MAS)
Gavin Hawke (NZL)
||Claudius De Sales (IND)
Davinder Bhatia (IND)
Ashutosh Verma (IND)
||Milind Narwekar (IND)
Anjali Sharma (IND)
Sonia Bathla (IND)
||German Montes De Oca (ARG)
Marcin Grochal (POL)
Martin Madden (SCO)
David Tomlinson (NZL)
Jakub Mejzlik (CZE)
Ben Göntgen (GER)
||RV Raghuprasad (IND)
GS Sangha (IND)
Ripudaman Sharma (IND)
Deepak Joshi (IND)
Dhaval Prajapti (IND)
Anil Kumar (IND)