Aleem Dar, the first Pakistani umpire to be part of the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires has stepped down from the panel after standing in a record 435 men’s international matches. In his career, Dar stood in five ICC CWC tournaments and seven ICC T20 WC tournaments. The ICC Elite Umpire Selection Panel headed by ICC General Manager Wasim Khan increased the number of umpires on the panel from 11 to 12. New additions like South Africa’s Adrian Holdstock and Pakistan’s Ahsan Raza have been made to the elite list.
Aleem joined the Elite panel back in the year 2002 and has been part of it since then. Dar has officiated in 144 Tests and 222 ODIs, which is more than any other umpire. When it comes to T20Is, he has stood in 69 matches and is only behind compatriot Ahsan in terms of the number of matches.
Aleem expressed gratitude to his colleagues and spoke about his journey.
“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.
“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," he said.
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice congratulated Aleem for a successful career.
“Aleem's contribution to international cricket and to the ICC has been truly remarkable. Consistently elite performances over such a long period saw him enjoy enormous respect across all involved in international cricket. I wish Aleem all the best for the future and I am sure his involvement in the game will continue for many years to come,” Allardice said.
The new inclusions in the panel, Holdstock and Ahsan were both part of the panels for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cups in 2021 and 2022. While Holdstock has officiated in five Tests, 42 ODIs, and 48 T20Is, Ahsan has stood in seven Tests, 41 ODIs, and 72 T20Is.
The other members of the panel are - 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), Joel Wilson (West Indies).