Johannesburg : Before the start of the Hockey World League semifinal round match between Germany and South Africa on Thursday, umpire Haider Rasool received the Golden Whistle from the FIH. The golden whistle is awarded to umpires on completing 100 senior international matches.
Haider Rasool is the first Pakistani to complete the century.A former goal keeper, who attended quite a few national camps including the one for the World Cup 1998, Haider started to blow whistle on domestic circuit in 2002. Next year, he attended an umpiring seminar conducted by the Asian Hockey Federation in the Malaysian city of Ipoh. Umpired first tournament outside Pakistan: 2nd edition of the Indian Premier League, in 2004.Declared “International Umpire” in 2005 by the FIH.First Junior International Tournament (6-Nation in Malaysia) in 2005.First Senior International Tournament (MIA International Challenge, Singapore) in August 2005.
It has been a story of the rise and rise since then.After umpiring quite a few regional qualifiers and invitational tournaments, where he got good reports by the tournaments’ Umpire Managers, Haider was promoted to the ‘Promising Umpires’ list of the FIH in Feb, 2008.This enabled him to stand, among others, in continental tournaments like the Pan Am Championships (2008) and the Asian Games (2010) as well as other high profile events such as the Junior World Cup (2009) and the Commonwealth Games (2010).
Again, his consistently high quality performance got him excellent evaluations, and Haider Rasool became a ‘Grade 1’ international umpire in Dec, 2010.This up gradation enabled him to stand in the Champions Trophy’s editions.
Next step up was the ‘World Development Panel’ in 2013, a notch below the World Panel (the top most tier).
He was among the reserves for the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Haider is very hopeful to blow whistle in the 2018 World Cup and also to be promoted to the World Panel- soon.