Another milestone for Aleem Dar

April 28, 2024

The seasoned umpire has completed 25 years in international cricket

Another milestone for Aleem Dar

Umpiring is one of the toughest tasks in the game of cricket. Players are never satisfied with the umpire’s decision when they go against them.

The television umpire watches slow-motion replays from different angles and several times, before giving his judgment, but the umpire standing in the ground has to give a verdict from a distance of more than 22 yards and that too immediately after the ball has been delivered.

Pakistani umpires Khizer Hayat, Shakoor Rana, Javed Akhtar, Saleem Badar and Asad Rauf earned a great name in international umpiring, but the fame and respect earned by Aleem Dar remains unmatched.

During the Pakistan-New Zealand T20I series, Dar made history as he became the first umpire in the world of cricket to officiate matches for 25 consecutive years.

After an exceptional 19-year tenure on the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, Dar gracefully stepped down in March 2023. He officiated the matches played in Pakistan as a local umpire.

After retiring as an ICC umpire, in his message he said, “It has been a long journey, but I have enjoyed every bit of it. I have had the pleasure and honour of umpiring the world over and what I have achieved is something I did not even dream of when I started in the profession.”

He advised umpires the world over to work hard, maintain discipline and never stop learning. “I thank the ICC, PCB and my colleagues on the panel for their support over the years.”

In his illustrious umpiring career, Dar supervised 172 Test matches (145 as on-field and 27 as a TV umpire). 299 one-day internationals (231 as on-field and 68 as a TV umpire). He also officiated 90 T20I, 72 as on-field umpire while 18 as a TV umpire. He holds the record of umpiring in the most number of T20 World Cups.

Aleem Sarwar Dar supervised most Test matches (38) in England and 35 in Australia. Interestingly in his home (Pakistan), he supervised only 10 Test matches.

Dar’s tally of international matches (561) is the highest by any umpire. He also holds the record of umpiring in the most number of T20 World Cups (five). He also supervised the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006 and 2009, Men’s ODI World Cup finals in 2007 and 2001.

He was also one of the on-field umpires in the 2009 Women’s World Cup. He is also the youngest umpire to officiate in 100 Test matches and is among the top three umpires who have umpired more than 100 Test matches.

He received six nominations for the prestigious best umpire award that proved his reputation as one of the most reliable and respected umpires in cricket history.

Dar ended Simon Taufel’s run of five successive awards. He was also nominated for the Award in 2005 and 2006, but on both occasions Taufel won the honour. Aleem was voted the ICC Umpire of the Year for three consecutive years — 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Born on June 6, 1968, in Gujranwala, Dar made his international debut in 2000. He stood in his first ODI aged 32. From these early days, he showed promise and quickly climbed the ranks, eventually earning a spot on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) esteemed panel of umpires in 2002.

He made his debut as an ICC umpire during the match between England and Bangladesh in Dhaka in October 2003.

Throughout his memorable career, Dar has received numerous tributes and awards, underscoring his excellence and contribution to umpiring.

For nearly 19 years, Dar was an integral member of the ICC Elite Panel, a remarkable feat that reflects his sustained excellence and the high regard in which he is held by his peers, players, and fans worldwide.

He officiated at the 2003 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in South Africa. He also stood in the final of the ODI World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and the T20 World Cup in 2010 and 2012.

Dar, who played 17 first-class matches, made his umpiring debut on February 16, 2000, in Pakistan’s ODI against Sri Lanka in Gujranwala, his hometown.

His first Test was between Bangladesh and England in Dhaka in October 2003.

Aleem was inducted into the Elite Panel of Umpires in 2004. He has served as an umpire in five World Cups.

He is one of the most respected umpires in the world for his accurate decisions.The government of Pakistan recognised his services by bestowing on him the highest civil award, “Pride of Performance”, in 2011. He also received “Sitara-e-Imtiaz” in 2013.

“The World Cup 2011 was a milestone for me as none of my decisions was reversed even after referrals were taken,” he said. “To me the basic requirement for being a successful and respected umpire is honesty.”

About umpiring standards in Pakistan, in an interview a few years back, Aleem lamented the fact that there were quality umpires coming out of India and Sri Lanka, but Pakistan and Bangladesh were far behind.

In 2016, at a ceremony held in his honour, Dar expressed his concerns about the future of Pakistani adjudicators because of insufficient remuneration they get in domestic cricket.

In Pakistan, match fees for umpires are very scanty. While Test and international cricketers in other countries are choosing to become umpires due to better financial packages, the situation in Pakistan is different, he said.

“I would suggest the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) invest more [in umpiring] if it wants to improve cricket and the standard of umpiring in Pakistan,” he said.

“The most important thing is that there are no umpiring institutions in the country. Our first-class cricketers are not coming to this field,” he added.

“I think first of all we need to improve the pay packages for umpires in Pakistan. In England and Australia, pay packages for umpires are so attractive that they don’t even want to come on the ICC elite panel,” he said.

NOTE: All statistics are updated till the 2nd T20I between Pakistan vs New Zealand, April 20, 2024.

Another milestone for Aleem Dar