Pakistan’s first-ever female hockey umpire, Benish Hayat, has been appointed to the umpire panel for the upcoming Commonwealth Games. She is the first female hockey umpire from the country to officiate at a mega event and is the only Pakistani umpire to be included in the umpire panel in the upcoming competition.
Benish is also an ex-hockey player and has played for Pakistan 10 times. She was on the 2006 Asian Games Qualifiers team and helped Pakistan get to the main tournament by finishing fourth in the qualifiers.
Benish commenced her umpiring career in 2012, not long after she retired from playing the sport in 2011. She has officiated in 49 matches since her debut, including the 2018 Women’s Asian Games in Indonesia. Additionally, she was selected for the panel of umpires for the 2016 South Asian Games in India though she did not end up officiating any matches in the tournament.
It is not yet determined whether Benish will preside over the women’s tournament or the men’s tournament in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games are set to commence today in Birmingham. The field hockey competition is scheduled to begin on 29 July with the women’s final scheduled to be played on 7 August while the men’s final will be held on 8 August.