Australia Vs New Zealand: Aleem Dar set to break record for most Tests as umpire

Dar is set to break Steve Bucknor’s record for the most Test matches as an umpire.

Aleem Dar has been officiating as an umpire in Test matches since 2003.   -  Getty Images

The day-night Test in Perth between Australia and New Zealand will mark a landmark for umpire Aleem Dar.

This will be Dar’s 129th Test as an on-field umpire — the most Test matches as an umpire. It will break the record of 128 Tests set by Steve Bucknor.

The 51-year-old Dar took up umpiring after a decade of playing first-class cricket in Pakistan, and made his international debut as an umpire in Dhaka in 2000 during Pakistan’s home ODI series against Sri Lanka.

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His debut Test as an umpire was in 2003 in Dhaka, during England’s tour of Bangladesh.

Dar said: “This is one milestone I had never thought of when I began my umpiring career. 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.”

Memorable matches

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.

“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 has officiated in 207 One Day Internationals and is only two matches shy of the record of 209 matches in that format held by Rudi Koertzen of South Africa. Dar has also officiated in 46 Twenty20 Internationals.

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