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Aleem Dar sets major umpiring record

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Renowned Pakistan-based umpire Aleem Dar added another feather to his cap as he became the first umpire to officiate international cricket matches for 25 years.

Gujranwala-hailed Dar made his umpiring career debut in February 2000 when he officiated a One-Day International (ODI) fixture between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

His precision and pinpoint decisions soon brought him on the radar of the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the apex body, soon inducted him into the international panel of umpires.

He continued to flourish in the role and became a part of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires in 2002, the same year of its inception.

Aleem Dar, who won the ICC Umpire of the Year Award thrice in his decorated career, has officiated in 231 ODI matches, 145 Test matches and 70 T20 Internationals.

Notably, his tally of international matches is the highest by any umpire.

Dar 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.

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Furthermore, he is the youngest umpire to officiate in 100 Test matches and is also among the top three umpires who have umpired more than 100 Test matches.

He remained a part of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires for a staggering 19 years before relinquishing his role in March 2023.

“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,” Aleem Dar was quoted saying by the ICC.

“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.

“I thank the ICC, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and my colleagues on the panel for their support over the years. 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.”

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