Aleem Dar set to become only third umpire to reach 100-Test Landmark

Karachi—Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar will become only the third member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires to reach the 100-Test mark when he officiates in the second Test between England South Africa on January 02, 2016 (Saturday) at Newlands.

47-year-old former right-handed batsman and off-spinner Aleem will join the exclusive company of Steve Bucknor and Rudi Koertzen to have umpired in 100 or more Tests, to date.

Speaking ahead of the feat, Aleem said that he was delighted and proud to reach this significant milestone in his career. “I am extremely grateful for all the support that I have received throughout the years, not just from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), but also from the International Cricket Council (ICC).” 

“An umpire’s life can be challenging at times, with lots of time away from home, but my family members have always given me their full support,” he added.

ICC General Manager Geoff Allardice said that Aleem had 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,” he said.

Aleem Dar 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 in October 2003. 

Over the next six months he was appointed to stand in several more Test matches, and as a neutral umpire in ODI matches away from Pakistan. Since then, he has umpired in 99 Tests, 178 ODIs and 35 T20Is.

In April 2004, he became the first Pakistani to be part of the ICC Elite Umpire Panel. He was nominated for the ICC Umpire of the year Award in 2005 and 2006, beaten on both occasions by the Australian Simon Taufel.

On 17 October 2007, Dar umpired in his 100th ODI – between India and Australia at Mumbai – making him the tenth umpire in the history of cricket to reach that landmark. He reached the landmark in a record time, taking just seven years, and became the first Pakistani to officiate in a century of One Day Internationals.

Dar has stood in a solitary Pakistan-India ODI match at Karachi in 2006 and five Ashes Test matches. He was also one of the on-field umpires for the final of the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, standing alongside Rudi Koertzen. He stood in the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup between Australia and Sri Lanka, where he officiated with Steve Bucknor.

He was also selected to stand in the final of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 between Australia and England. He has never umpired a Test match in Pakistan, because his appointment in the international panel came after the introduction of neutral umpires for Test matches.

In January 2005, Dar and his colleague Steve Bucknor, received death threats during a Test match between England and South Africa at Centurion. He was also involved in a controversy during the 2007 Cricket World Cup final where he, along with fellow officials Bucknor, Koertzen, Bowden and Crowe incorrectly made Australia bowl three unnecessary over in near darkness. Consequently, the ICC decided to suspend him, along with the other four officials, from duty for the next ICC event, which was the 2007 World Twenty20 Championship.

He proved his accuracy at the 2011 Cricket World Cup when all the 15 Umpire Decision Review System appeals against him were struck down.

After being nominated twice in 2005 and 2006, Dar finally won the Umpire of the Year award in October 2009. By claiming the award, Dar ended Simon Taufel’s run of five successive awards. It was the first time that any umpire other than Taufel had picked up the accolade in the six years that the ceremony has taken place.

In October 2010, he won the award for a second straight year. In September 2011, he was named best umpire for the third consecutive year. On 14 August 2010, the government of Pakistan honoured him with the President’s Award for Pride of Performance, and in 2013, he received Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) – Pakistan’s third-highest civil award. He was also honoured by ICC for officiating in 150 ODI’s.

Umpires with 90 or more Tests:

Umpires                      Span               Tests

Steve Bucknor            1989-2009            128

Rudi Koertzen             1992-2010            108

Aleem Dar                   2003- to date         99

Daryl Harper                1998-2011             95

David Shepherd           1985-2005            92

Elite Panel of ICC Umpires

Umpire                                 Tests

Aleem Dar                               99

Ian Gould                                 48

Rod Tucker                              40

Kumar Dharmasena               35

Marais Erasmus                       35

Nigel Llong                                35

Richard Kettleborough           33

Bruce Oxenford                        30

Paul Reiffel                                22

Richard Illingworth                  19

S Ravi                                           10

Chris Gaffaney                           05

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