Pakisatni cricketer and umpire Aleem Sarwar Dar has decided to step down from the International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Panel of Umpires after 19 years.
“Dar has had a long and celebrated career as an international umpire. He made his international debut in 2000 and quickly rose through the ranks, with his sound decisions in matches earning him acclaim from the players and fans,” the ICC said in an official statement on Thursday.
Dar has officiated in 435 men’s international matches.
Talking about Dar’s expansive career, ICC said: “Dar was appointed to the ICC International Panel of Umpires in 2002 and officiated at the 2003 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in South Africa. Dar continued his rise as he was appointed as a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires in 2004. He was the first Pakistani to be appointed to the Elite Panel”.
Lauding Dar’s contributions, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said: “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.”
Dar also shed light on his journey as an umpire which included being voted for the ICC Umpire of the Year for three consecutive years between 2009 and 2011
“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,” Dar said.
“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,” he added.
Ahsan Raza joins elite panel
At the same time, Pakistan’s Ahsan Raza was included in the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.
Raza has stood in seven Tests, 41 ODIs and 48 T20Is over the course of his umpiring career, so far.
“South Africa’s Adrian Holdstock and Pakistan’s Ahsan Raza have been added to the ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpires for 2023-24,” the ICC said.
“The addition of Holdstock and Raza sees the number of umpires in the panel rise up to 12 from 11.
The additions were overseen by the ICC Elite Umpire selection panel, headed by ICC General Manager — Cricket, Wasim Khan. Holdstock has officiated in five Tests, 42 ODIs and 48 T20Is. Raza has stood in seven Tests, 41 ODIs and 48 T20Is.
The other members of the panel include 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).
There is no change in the ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees.