Learning a new trick
Chief guest for Oman-Kazakhstan match, Sarmila Parajuli Dhakal, Nepal Ambassador to Oman, was given the first lessons of hockey by AHF CEO Tayyib Ikram in presence of OHA Chairman Talib al Wahaibi and other officials. The ambassador was keen to learn how to hit a shot and readily managed one under the guidance of Ikram. To the short chat during the break with match commentator Saleh Tatcher, Sarmila said she was impressed with the facilities for hockey in the Sultanate. She said watching professional level hockey was really nice and hoped that the sport would gain popularity in Nepal too.

Coaching blues
Pakistan great Tahir Zaman, national coach of Oman team, had told players to have an easy approach against lower-ranked Kazakhstan in their final Pool B match. Though Oman managed a decent 3-0 result, Zaman said the players missed a lot of opportunities to break into the Kazakh penalty area and that resulted in the few shots on goal. “I have told them to play freely and they took that for a relaxed approach and we didn’t penetrate much into the Kazakh penalty area,” the coach said in a lighter vein.

Live commentary
Saleh Thacher, well known in Oman circles for live commentaries, is livening up the hockey action at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex with his update of the matches. Often providing the live updates of the matches, Thacher also finds time in between to chat with chief guests and top personalities to entertain the crowd at the venue. A keen hockey enthusiast himself, the Indian is turning out to be the perfect anchor for the Asian Qualifiers in Muscat.
— Compiled by Anuroop A