Aleem Dar, Pakistan’s pride and joy, has stepped down from his position at the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires after providing his services for decades. Often cited as one of the best Umpires of the generation, Dar has been hailed for his incredible skills on and off the field.
Dar is just 54 years old, but at this age, he has already officiated a record 435 men’s Test matches and a total of four T20 World Cup finals in his time as a member of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires. The journey to this incredible career has been perfect, and Dar has given it his all.
Aleem Dar Leaves ICC Elite Panel of Umpires
While Aleem Dar has stepped down from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, it does not mean he has ended his career as an Umpire. He will still work, but he will work specifically with PCB. He will report to the pitch when Pakistan Cricket Board wants his services for matches played on the Pakistani pitches and grounds.
He will also be available to tour with different teams, specifically Pakistan, if he made part of the International Panel of Umpires, just a step down from the Elite Panel of Umpires.
Aleem Dar said, “I have had the pleasure and honor of umpiring the world over, and what I have achieved is something I did not even dream of when I started in the profession.”
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He further added, “Though I am still keen to continue as an international umpire, I felt it was now the right time, after 19 years on the road, to step away from the Elite panel and provide an opportunity to someone from the International Panel. My message to umpires the world over is to work hard, maintain discipline and never stop learning.”
With 144 men’s Tests and 222 ODIs under his belt, Dar has officiated more matches in these categories than any other umpire. He made history as the first Pakistani umpire to join the Elite Panel when it was established in 2002.
Dar also had the honor of officiating the final matches of the ODI World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and the T20 World Cup in 2010 and 2012. His exceptional performance earned him three consecutive David Shepherd trophies for umpire of the year, starting in 2009.
“I thank the ICC, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), and my colleagues on the panel for their support over the years,” Dar said. “I would also like to thank my family, without whose support I could not have gone on for so long. I look forward to continuing to serve the game as an umpire.”
The Elite Panel of ICC umpires has expanded from 11 to 12 with the recent inclusion of Adrian Holdstock from South Africa and Ahsan Raza from Pakistan. Raza, who has officiated 69 men’s T20Is, holds the record for the most matches in this category, surpassing even Dar.
The current list of Elite Panel umpires comprises Chris Gaffaney (New Zealand), Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka), Marais Erasmus (South Africa), Michael Gough (England), Nitin Menon (India), Paul Reiffel (Australia), Richard Illingworth (England), Richard Kettleborough (England), Rodney Tucker (Australia), and Joel Wilson (West Indies).