Aleem Dar will surpass Rudi Koertzen’s record of officiating most one-day internationals (ODIs) as an umpire during the second clash of the three-match series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Sunday, which will be his 210th ODI.
The 52-year-old, who played first-class cricket in Pakistan for over a decade as an all-rounder before taking up the role of umpire, had also made his ODI debut as an umpire in Pakistan, when he stood in a match against Sri Lanka in his hometown of Gujranwala in February 2000.
Last year, Aleem passed his idol Steve Bucknor to the top of the Test umpires’ list. He holds the record of officiating in 132 Test matches and is second in the list of T20Is, only behind compatriot Ahsan Raza, with 46 T20Is. Aleem has officiated in 387 international matches so far, the most by any umpire.
Reflecting on the same, Aleem Dar stated,”It is a matter of great honour for me to be on the top of the list of both Tests and ODIs for umpires.
When I had started out in the profession, I had never imagined I would get this far. I can only say that I have enjoyed every moment on the field and learning has been an ongoing process all this while.
“I thank my family for standing by me over the years and am grateful to the International Cricket Council and the Pakistan Cricket Board for backing me and providing me with all the opportunities. I am also thankful to all my colleague match officials for their help and support,” the ICC press release quoted the former Pakistan cricketer as saying.
Meanwhile, Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager Umpires and Referees, congratulated Dar on achieving the milestone while also wishing him luck for his future endeavours.
“Aleem has been a very consistent umpire over the years, and this is reflected in his 16 years on the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.
We congratulate Aleem on the milestone, and wish him all the best for the upcoming game and series. We are sure many aspiring match officials look up to Aleem, and he will continue to inspire the next generation,” he stated.
On a related note, Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe by 26 runs in the first ODI at the same venue on Friday.