Pak’s Aleem Dar completes century of ODIs

November 14th, 2007 - 2:51 am ICT by admin  
Aleem achieved the mark at the age of 39, the second youngest after Simon Taufel of Australia who completed his ton earlier this year at 35.

Aleem’s first-class career as a middle-order batsman and wrist spinner spanned nearly a decade (between 1986/87 and 1997/98) but was altogether more modest. He scored 270 runs and took 11 wickets in 17 first-class matches for Gujranwala, Allied Bank, Lahore and Rawalpindi.

In sharp contrast, Aleem has earned the reputation as one of the best and most respected umpires in a short span, evident from the fact that he was nominated for the ICC Umpire of the Year award in 2006 only to be beaten by Taufel.

The journey to the top started in 1998, when Aleem turned his attention to umpiring and within two years made his debut as an international umpire in Gujranwala. In 2002, he was included in the ICC International Panel of Umpires and in April 2004, his excellent decision-making and temperament, particularly in the World Cup 2003 in South Africa, earned him promotion to the ICC Emirates Elite Panel.

Aleem’s success story shows that determination, hard work and commitment are the key to success in any profession. It also reflects that not only the cricketers, but officials can also reach the zenith of glory if there is a quest to rise.

“It has been a fairy-tale ride for me,” admitted Aleem.

“Like any youngster, I also wanted to be a Test cricketer and although I couldn’t cherish my childhood ambitions because of various reasons, I find myself extremely honoured and lucky to still be an active member of the cricket fraternity.

“I couldn’t have a impressive career as a cricketer because I started my cricket late due to my father’s regular postings in remote areas. And when I really got an opportunity, there was fierce competition besides limited backing, facilities and resources,” he said in an ICC statement.

Aleem said that by becoming a Test umpire he has fulfilled his dreams of being part of international cricket. “You don’t always get what you dream but I am one of those lucky people who almost achieved what they dreamed of.”

“To officiate in 100 ODIs and 39 Tests is something like a dream come true. Completing a century of ODIs is not only an honour for me but also for Pakistan, as I am the first umpire from Asia to achieve this distinction,” he added.

Most appearances by umpires (as of 25 October 2007):

Rudi Koertzen (South Africa)- 182avid Shepherd (England)- 172teve Bucknor (West Indies)- 167aryl Harper (Australia)- 141arrell Hair (Australia)- 135illy Bowden (New Zealand)- 120imon Taufel (Australia)- 116avid Orchard (South Africa)- 107teve Dunne (New Zealand)- 100leem Dar (Pakistan)- 100. (ANI)

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