LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday congratulated Aleem Dar on reaching the 200-ODI milestone when he took the field in Dublin for the match between Bangladesh and the Windies.
Aleem, an ICC elite panelist and winner of the David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year from 2009-2011, has become the third umpire after Rudi Koertzen (209) and Billy Bowden (200) to achieve the rare distinction.
Aleem, who was bestowed with the President’s Award for Pride of Performance in 2010, has been named as one of the umpires for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which means he can potentially become the most ODI capped umpire during cricket’s pinnacle 50-over event.
PCB Managing Director, Wasim Khan, said: “On behalf of the PCB and all cricket fans, I want to congratulate Aleem on the magnificent achievement of officiating in 200 ODIs. This feat is testament to Aleem’s skill, judgement and commitment to excellence.
“Aleem made a swift and timely transition from a first-class cricketer in 1997 to an international umpire in 2000. Today, he stands tall as one of the most respected and admired umpires in the world.
“Aleem is a strong role model for youngsters and retired cricketers who are looking at careers within the game. Umpiring is a hugely credible profession and provides incredible opportunities for individuals to serve the game and earn an excellent living.
“As a nation, we are immensely proud of Aleem’s achievements and we look forward to him continuing to shine on the world stage.”
In the traditional format of the game, Aleem has umpired in 125 Tests and is three short of Steve Bucknor’s record of 128 Tests. He is sitting on top of the tree in T20Is with 43 matches.
Aleem Dar, reflecting on his achievement, said: “I feel honoured to have reached 200 ODIs. Not only the number of matches, it has been a privilege to be in the elite company of some of the best match officials, to watch the best players of this century around the globe and be involved in some of the most fascinating cricket matches.
“I remember my first ODI, which was coincidentally in my hometown of Gujranwala between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 2000. My 200th is in Dublin, and it has been a 19-year journey, sometime a tough one without my family who made a big sacrifice for my ambitions and love for the game.
“As an umpire, you make good and bad decisions, and this is all part of the game. What an umpire shouldn’t do is to misinterpret the playing conditions as that is something everyone remembers for a long time.
“There have been lots of highlights in my career, but umpiring in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is something I remember very fondly as all the 15 referrals against my decisions were upheld by technology. Being involved in some of the epic Ashes clashes, umpiring in the 2004 Antigua Test where Brian Lara scored 400 not out and the 2006 South Africa versus Australia ODI where South Africa chased down 434 to win in Johannesburg are some of the other matches that stand out for me.”