When Aleem Dar walked out to the middle at Lord’s for the second Ashes Test on Thursday, 15 August, it was his 128th Test match as an umpire.
Only Steve Bucknor, whose career spanned from 1989 to 2009, has stood in as many matches.
It was an especially poignant moment for Dar, who considers Bucknor his idol. “It’s a great honour to equal the number of Test matches of my role model, umpire Steve Bucknor,” he said in a statement.
“I am thankful to Almighty God, ICC, PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), my colleagues, my coaches, my club P&T and especially thanks to my family as without their help it was not easy to achieve this.”
Dar, 51, featured in 17 first-class games in Pakistan during his playing days, taking 11 wickets with his leg-spin. He has gone on to truly flourish in his umpiring career, having stood in his first ODI in 2000, aged 31, at Gujranwala.
He has been an umpire at all ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup events since 2003. He is also one of only three umpires to have officiated in 200 ODIs.