Karachi: Pakistan’s Aleem Dar will become only the third member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires to reach the 100-Test mark when he takes to the field to officiate in the second Test between South Africa and England on Saturday at Newlands.
Aleem will join the exclusive company of Steve Buckner and Rudi Koertzen to have umpired in 100 or more Tests, to date.
The 47-year-old former right-handed batsman and off-spinner made 17 first-class appearances over a career spanning 12 years. Following his retirement, Aleem made the transition to umpiring and in 2000 stood in his first ODI when Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka in Gujranwala. He made his debut Test appearance three years later, when Bangladesh hosted England in Dhaka.
Since then, he has umpired in 99 Tests, in 178 ODIs and 35 T20Is to date.
Aleem was selected in the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires in 2004. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the leading and most respected umpires in world cricket and was named as the ICC Umpire of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2011, Aleem was awarded Pride of Performance, Pakistan’s highest civil award, while in 2013, he received Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence), Pakistan’s third-highest civil award.
Speaking ahead of the impending landmark, Aleem said: “I am delighted and proud to reach this significant personal milestone in my career. It is amazing to think how quickly time has flown. I am extremely grateful to all the support I have received throughout the years, not least from the Pakistan Cricket Board as well as the International Cricket Council.
“It is an enormous honour to be involved in a sport which has given me so much enjoyment, enabled me to travel the world and experience so many different cultures. To my family, I would like to pay a special tribute because I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the career I have had to date without their love and support. An umpire’s life can be challenging at times, with lots of time away from home, but they understand how important this is to me and have always given me their full support.
“I have been privileged to have worked alongside some of the very best match officials and have umpired in classic matches at iconic venues featuring modern-day greats. It is a great honour for me and one which I will cherish for many years to come.”
ICC General Manager – Cricket, Geoff Allardice said: “Aleem has been one of the best and most respected umpires in world cricket for many years. It is not easy to umpire at the elite level for more than a decade, and his professionalism, consistency and reliability have allowed him to perform so well for so long.
“Aleem is in esteemed company alongside two other umpiring greats, Steve Buckner and Rudi Koertzen, and he should be extremely proud of his achievements. He is widely respected in the cricket community and all involved in the game will join me in congratulating him on reaching this significant milestone,” he added.