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Smash-hit! Meet rule enforcers of racquets

- City umpire duo to monitor Delhi badminton meet, state to produce more experts

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) appointed two city-based shuttle umpires as technical officials for the prestigious Yonex Sunrise India Open Super Series, to start at Siri Fort Stadium, New Delhi, from Tuesday.

Both employees of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), Raju Kumar and Ranjeet Kumar Singh, on reaching the national capital, attended a technical panel meeting on Monday.

The prestigious shuttle series ends on April 4.

The Super Series, a big-ticket shuttle tournament, is being organised in India since 2010. Top badminton players of the world, including home talent Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, will display their deft drop shots across the net in the tourney’s 2014 edition.

“It is a proud moment for Jharkhand that two of our umpires will be associated with a top-notch badminton tournament. Both Kumar and Singh have experience behind them and will handle the technical aspects of the game to a nicety,” said K. Prabhakar Rao, secretary of Jharkhand Badminton Association.

Kumar, the first umpire from the eastern region to secure the top position in national-level umpires’ examination in 2010, said he was looking forward to his time at the Super Series. “I have a sound technical knowledge of the game and will put in my best at the Delhi meet,” he added.

Kumar, nominated as umpire for the inaugural Indian Badminton League last year, let go of the opportunity as he did not get leave from his job.

Kumar and Singh worked as technical officials at India Open Series in New Delhi last year and a number of other state-level tournaments.

Apart from these two, the state boasts three badminton umpires. These comprise S.S. Sahay and Alok Novel from Jamshedpur and Neeraj Shroff from Deoghar.

Sources from the state shuttle outfit said Jharkhand could expect more badminton umpires to emerge.

To cite an instance, Ajit Kumar, a DVC employee, recently sat for the national-level exam and is awaiting his results.

“We are trying to promote those who have a keen knowledge about the game. They can try their luck at the national-level exams. This way, the state can produce more umpires who can officiate in international competitions,” an office bearer of Jharkhand Badminton Association said.

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