LAHORE: Aleem Dar, Pakistan’s most prominent international cricket umpire who achieved a major milestone on Monday, has advised youngsters to work hard with honesty if they wanted to achieve life aims.
“I would like to advise youngsters to always work hard, respect elders and work with honesty as these are vital for anyone to achieve the set targets in life,” the soft-spoken Aleem said on Monday in a short message to media from South Africa.
The 48-year-old Aleem, who started his international umpiring career back in 2000, featured in his 332nd international match when he stood as field umpire along with Australia’s Rod Tucker in the second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka that started at Newlands in Cape Town on Monday.
The Pakistani adjudicator in the process surpassed South African umpire Rudi Koertzen, who had officiated in 331 international matches (108 Tests, 209 ODIs, 14 T20 Internationals), to become the umpire with most supervised international matches under his belt.
In Cape Town, Aleem, who has been named the ICC Umpire of the Year award for three consecutive years (2009-2011), is supervising his 109th Test match; he has also officiated in 182 ODIs and 41 T20 Internationals.
Koertzen, 67, started his international umpiring career in 1992 and ended it in 2010.
In April 2004, Aleem became the first Pakistani to be part of the ICC Elite Umpire Panel.
In October 2007, Aleem umpired in his 100th ODI between India and Australia at Mumbai, making him the tenth umpire in the history of cricket to reach that landmark.
He proved his high calibre in extremely high-pressure international cricket matches at the 2011 World Cup when all the 15 Decision Review System (DRS) appeals against him were struck down.
On Aug 14, 2010, the government of Pakistan honoured Aleem with the President’s Award for Pride of Performance.
In the message from South Africa on Monday, Aleem also said: “First of all I am thankful to God for achieving this record.
“I am also thankful to the ICC, PCB, friends, all Pakistanis and my family and my native cricket club P&T Gymkhana as without their support it would be hard to achieve this record.”