Aleem Dar will referee Steve Bucknor’s record in most of the friendly matches in the first friendly between Australia and New Zealand, starting on Thursday in Perth.
The 51-year-old, who became referee after a decade of first-rate cricket in Pakistan, has been refereeing his 129th friendly since his debut in Dhaka in 2003 during the England tour of Bangladesh.
Dar began his international career in 2000 during the ODI home series against Sri Lanka in Pakistan. He has played 207 one-day internationals and is only two games behind the record of 209 games left in this format, contested by Rudi Koertzen from South Africa. Dar has also officiated in 46 Twenty20 Internationals.
Aleem Dar: “This is a milestone I never thought of when I started my career as a referee. It’s a truly amazing feeling and a highlight of my life when I’m out here in Australia. Thousands of kilometers from the beginning of my international career in Gujranwala. “
“Steve Bucknor was my role model and it’s only just getting on that I’ve played more test games than he did. In nearly two decades of my international career, I was fortunate enough to see some memorable games and achievements, such as Brian Lara’s 400-point test and South Africa’s epic pursuit of Australia’s 434 points in an ODI in Johannesburg in 2006.
“It was a long journey that would not have been possible without the support of my family. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and the International Cricket Council and the Pakistan Cricket Board for their opportunities. I also thank all colleagues who have supported me over the years. I am determined to do my best in the coming years and face further challenges. “
Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager Referee, and Referee:
“Aleem has been a dedicated and consistent referee over the years. He has been a member of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires for over 15 years.
“I congratulate Aleem on this milestone and wish him all the best for the game. It is not easy to assert yourself in this modern-day of intense scrutiny, but I am sure that with his commitment he will continue to strive for the coming years. “