INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY umpire Shakeel Ahmed Qureshi retired after a remarkable career spanning 16 years. Talking to journalists, Shakeel said he is satisfied with his performance on the field. “I am happy with the experience of umpiring in 75 international matches. The most important thing for me was the non-controversial career I had,” he said.
Recalling his first match, he said it was a turning point in his career. “In 1991, I umpired for the first time in an international tournament. I can still remember those moments when I first appeared in the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup Hockey Tournament,” he said.
His last appearance in an international tournament was in the four-nation championship that was organised in Germany in June this year.
The final match played between Holland and Germany in the four-nation tournament at Hamburg in 1996 was a memorable fixture, he added.
“This was the most thrilling and exciting match for me as two top hockey nations were clashing for the title,” the International hockey umpire said.
On being asked about Indian hockey, he said, “We have excellent players but lack of coordination leads to continuous defeats. A psychologist with the team will help players to enhance their coordination on the field,” he suggested.
On future planning, Shakeel said he has been selected by the FIH as tournament director for international hockey matches. “I will render my services to hockey till my last breath,” he added.
An employee of the State Bank of India, Shakeel said SBI has supported him a lot. “It was the SBI that has supported me in smoothly conducting my umpiring career,” Shakeel said.