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Qatar-based cricket umpire Shivani creates history

Qatar-based cricket umpire Shivani creates history


Raajiv Tripathi
DOHA
Qatar-based Indian Shivani Mishra created history by becoming the first woman from Asia to officiate at the ICC World Twenty20 men's qualifying tournament.
She was recently appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to officiate at the Asia Sub-Regional A Qualifying Tournament, held in Kuwait. She umpired in four matches, including the inaugural match between hosts Kuwait and Maldives. In the other three, she did the duty as the third umpire.
Shivani is among a handful of women in the world to have such a distinction. The other women umpires to have earlier officiated being New Zealand's Kathy Cross, Australia's Claire Polosak and Jacqueline Williams of the West Indies.
A passionate sportswoman, Shivani completed various recognised courses in coaching, umpiring and match refereeing to reach this level.
"I wish to really thank a lot of people for getting this rare opportunity of officiating in the prestigious ICC World T20 Asia Sub-Regional A Qualifier. It was indeed a dream come true for me.
"I want to thank the Qatar Cricket Association (QCA) officials President Yousef Jeham al Kuwari, Operations Manager Manzoor Ahmad, Local Cricket Head Gul Khan Jadoun and Ms Mariam. Also, the support from my school principal and staff has been immense and unconditional. Without their help, I would have been just impossible for me to come up to this level. My family too has been a big strength for me," she said.
A Physical Education teacher at Pearl School and a big fan of India's great batsman Sunil Gavaskar, Shivani has spent about 13 years in Qatar in two phases.
It was in the second phase that she joined the QCA soon after her arrival here in April 2011. Then she started her journey as the match official through different courses under the Asian Cricket Council and the ICC.
Initially, Shivani was an athlete and that helped her become a cricketer at college and university levels. Coming from a traditional family, it was quite difficult for her to pursue a sports career. Later after the marriage, her husband encouraged her to restart and has been taking care of the house and their two daughters when she is busy with the cricketing assignments.
"I'm quite excited having done my first major assignment at the ICC World T20 Asia sub-regional qualifiers (A). I was a bit tense when I was posted for the inaugural match of the event between hosts Kuwait and Maldives. A huge crowd had turned up to cheer the home team.
"There was a sensational start by Maldives as they took two Kuwait wickets in the first over from my end. One of the decisions was a faint caught behind. The local team supporters began shouting, but I was confident and ruled the batsman out. With time, the pressure eased up later and both of us umpires were in full control of the match," she recalled.
"The experience of the ICC World Cup Qualifier level was absolutely wonderful. It was a great learning experience. I was able to share a great deal of knowledge with other umpires and now I'm looking for my next opportunity," she added.
Shivani has been umpiring in domestic matches for many years. Additionally, she regularly coaches the Qatar women's cricket team and is a part of the umpire educator panel.
She is delighted to see the game growing in Qatar."We've built a strong domestic cricket foundation over various divisions. The QCA is also nurturing the young boys regularly. The hard work that has been done till now has started to pay off. With time, Qatar cricket will surely get better and stronger," she opined.

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Comments
  • Anita Parasher May 09, 2018

    Congratulations ma'am. Feeling proud!! Stay blessed.

  • Priti lionel May 09, 2018

    Congratulations mam, ..we n all girls feel happy n proud of you ....

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