When Aleem Dar will take field on Thursday in the first Australia vs New Zealand Test in Perth, he will break the legendary Steve Bucknor‘s record for the most Tests as an umpire.
Currently, both Dar and Bucknor have officiated as umpires in 129 Tests each.
The 51-year-old Dar began his international career in 2000 during Pakistan’s home ODI series against Sri Lanka and stood in his first Test in 2003 during England’s tour of Bangladesh.
“This is one milestone I had never thought of when I began my umpiring career,” Bucknor told ICC. “It is a truly amazing feeling and a high point of my life when I take the field here in Australia; thousands of miles from where I started my international career at home in Gujranwala.”
He added, “Steve Bucknor was my idol and it is only sinking in now that I will have officiated in more Test matches than him. In the nearly two decades of my international career, I have had the good fortune of watching some memorable matches and achievements like Brian Lara’s Test knock of 400 not out and South Africa’s epic chase of Australia’s score of 434 in an ODI in Johannesburg in 2006.”
Dar took to umpiring after playing first-class cricket in Pakistan for over a decade. He has also officiated in 207 ODIs and just two short of the all-time record held by Rudi Koertzen.
“It has been a long journey which would not have been possible without the support of my family. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them as well as the International Cricket Council and the Pakistan Cricket Board for giving me the chances I got. I am also thankful to all my colleague match officials for their support over the years. I am committed to doing my best in the coming years and taking on more challenges,” Dar said.