Aleem Dar, the 52-year-old umpire from Pakistan, has now become the first umpire to officiate on-field in 400 international matches. He recorded this feat on Saturday in the T20I match between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Aleem Dar already had the record of most appearances as an on-field umpire in Tests (136), and ODIs(211) – now he also surpasses compatriot umpire, Ahsan Raza, to officiate on-field in most T20Is (53).
Another record which he achieved was of officiating in 500 international matches – 400 on-field and 100 previously as TV umpire or the third umpire.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) congratulated Aleem Dar on his unprecedented accomplishment via a tweet.
“Congratulations to umpire Aleem Dar, who is standing in his 400th men’s international game today. What an achievement!” the ICC tweeted.
Aleem Dar made his international umpiring debut in 2000
It has been more than 20 years since Aleem Dar made his debut as an international umpire in an ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka – after playing 17 first-class and 18 List-A matches as a leg-spinner in the 1980s and 90s. He is the first umpire from Pakistan in the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires.
Dar’s landmark achievement is even more praiseworthy considering the fact that only three umpires – South Africa’s Rudi Koertzen, West Indies’ Steve Bucknor, and New Zealand’s Billy Bowden – have stood in more than 300 internationals.
He was named the ICC Umpire of the year and was awarded the David Shepherd Trophy for three straight years between 2009 and 2011. It was also the first time that an umpire other than Simon Taufel won the award. The Australian received the honour for five consecutive years since the award’s inception.
Amongst Indians, S Venkataraghavan with 125 matches and S Ravi with 107 appearances as umpire leads the chart.
Congratulations to umpire Aleem Dar, who is standing in his 400th men's international game today 🎉
— ICC (@ICC) March 20, 2021