Aleem Dar, a seasoned official from Pakistan who has officiated in a record number of international cricket matches throughout his illustrious career, resigned from the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires on Thursday.
The 58-year-old played in 69 T20 Internationals, 144 Tests, and 222 ODIs, both of which set world records.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced in a press release that experienced umpire Aleem Dar had retired after 19 years on the Elite Panel and 435 men’s international games, a record.
In 2002, Aleem officiated his first international game as an Elite Panel umpire, and a year later, he was in South Africa for the 2003 World Cup.
Aleem, who began umpiring after playing first-class cricket in Pakistan, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to officiate international matches.
“It’s been a long journey, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Aleem said, according to the ICC release.
“I’ve had the pleasure and honor of umpiring all over the world, and what I’ve accomplished is something I never dreamed of when I first started in the profession.”
Aleem’s contribution to the sport was lauded by ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice.
“Aleem’s contribution to international cricket and the ICC has been truly remarkable. “His consistently elite performances over such a long period earned him enormous respect from all involved in international cricket,” Allardice said.
The ICC announced the addition of South Africa’s Adrian Holdstock and Pakistan’s Ahsan Raza to the Elite Panel. Aleem has been replaced by Ahsan.
Meanwhile, Najam Sethi, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Management Committee, congratulated Ahsan on his appointment to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and thanked Aleem for his services.
Ahsan, 48, has been a member of the ICC International Panel of Umpires since 2010 and is the first umpire to have officiated in 50 T20 Internationals. He has umpired in 72 T20Is, seven Tests, and 41 One-Day Internationals.
“It is a source of great pride and joy for the entire nation that Ahsan Raza has been appointed to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires. “I would like to congratulate Ahsan on this wonderful achievement, and I am confident that he will continue to work hard with dedication and passion to improve the image and profile of this noble profession,” Sethi said.
“I’d also like to congratulate Aleem on his distinguished career as a panelist. He was the first Pakistani to join the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, and he has established himself as one of the most respected and highly qualified umpires in the game.”