HIL is scheduled to be held across six venues across the country from January 10 to February 21 © Getty Images (Representational Image)
HIL is scheduled to be held across six venues across the country from January 10 to February 21 © Getty Images (Representational Image)

New Delhi: Sweden’s Bjorn Isberg was today appointed as the tournament director while Andy Mair from Scotland was named as the umpire’s manager for the fourth Hockey India League (HIL). Coal HIL, the flagship event of Hockey India (HI) and sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), is scheduled to be held across six venues across the country from January 10 to February 21. 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.

Besides three-time HIL tournament Director, Isberg, Mair from Scotland has been appointed as the umpire’s manager as one of the major officials governing the tournament. Mair 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 Games as a video umpire. He cites his biggest achievement as umpiring the 2010 World Cup final in Delhi.

Muthukumar Balakrisnan from Malaysia will don the role of the assistant tournament director in the fourth edition of the HIL. 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. The Indian contingent on board for the fourth season of HIL 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. Davinder will be partnered by Claudius De Sales from India in this division.

The judge’s panel will see a lot of Indians 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. 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 HIL 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 G ntgen from Germany.

Following is the complete list of officials for Coal India Hockey India League 2016:

Tournament Director: Bjorn Isberg (SWE)

Lead Umpires Manager: Craig Gribble (NZL)

Umpires Manager: Andy Mair (SCO)

Assistant Tournament Director: Muthukumar Balakrisnan (MAS, Gavin Hawke (NZL)

Technical Officers: Claudius De Sales (IND), Davinder Bhatia (IND), Ashutosh Verma (IND)

Judges: Milind Narwekar (IND), Anjali Sharma (IND), Sonia Bathla (IND)

International Umpires: German Montes De Oca (ARG), Marcin Grochal (POL), Martin Madden (SCO), David Tomlinson (NZL), Jakub Mejzlik (CZE), Ben G ntgen (GER)

Indian Umpires: RV Raghuprasad (IND), GS Sangha (IND), Ripudaman Sharma (IND), Deepak Joshi (IND), Dhaval Prajapti (IND), Anil Kumar (IND).