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This international hockey umpire from India has received the Golden Whistle Award, making him the 35th umpire in the history of FIH to receive the honour and also the third Indian umpire to officiate 100 senior international matches. Here are 10 amazing facts about the young achiever.
“The big month for top umpires continues, this time with India’s Raghu Prasad earning his spot on the FIH’s Golden Whistle list for his appointment on the AUS v PAK game, his 100th match, at the ensuing Fintro Hockey World League in Antwerp,” says an official press release from International Hockey Federation, FIH.
“At FIH we really value a good umpire. It is with this in mind that we present a Golden Whistle Award to every FIH International Umpire who completes their 100th official Senior International Inter-Nations Match”, FIH said.
“It’s an awesome feeling to reach this milestone as it is not an easy job for an umpire to reach that level. I cannot express how I feel about it – it really is unbelievable,” 36 year old Raghu Prasad told FH Umpires.
Here are some interesting facts about R V Raghu Prasad (or Raghu, as he is popularly called)
1. As a young lad, Raghu wanted to become a Doctor.
2. He started playing hockey when he was in 6th standard, though his parents wanted him to become a cricketer.
3. An engineering graduate from Bengaluru, Raghu Prasad began his career by playing hockey for the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) club.
Incidentally Sandeep Michael, who led India to the Junior Asia Cup gold in 2004, was his Club mate.
4. He started umpiring in 1999-2000, officiating in State and National level tournaments in the country.
5. His first big domestic assignment was when he officiated in the 2002 Senior Hockey tournament in New Delhi.
6. In 2003, Raghu got to officiate his first International match at the Hockey Australia Challenge Cup. He was then just 24 years old.
7. In 2005, he got to officiate in his first Junior World Cup tournament held in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
8. He was included in the FIH World Development Panel on July 16, 2009, making him eligible to officiate in Olympic and World Cup matches.
9. Since becoming an international umpire in 2003, Raghu has officiated at many world level events including the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, which was held last year in The Hague, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and four FIH Champions Trophy events.
10. He is the 35th umpire in the history of FIH to receive the Golden Whistle Award and is the third Indian umpire to officiate 100 senior international matches, joining Satinder Kumar and Javed Shaikh who received their Golden Whistles in 2009 and 2014 respectively.