LAHORE - ICC Elite Panel Umpire Aleem Dar was honoured during a reception hosted by former Pakistan team manager Azhar Zaidi for equalizing former West Indian umpire Steve Bucknor’s record of 128 Test matches.

The ceremony was attended by several cricket officials and organizers as well as former Test cricketers Abdul Qadir, Ashraf Ali and Amir Nazir. Azhar Zaidi, Abdul Qadir and Nawab Ashiq Hussain Qureshi, CEO veterans cricket, presented shields to Aleem Dar for his achievements.

Sharing his views, Azhar Zaidi said that Aleem Dar is a hero of Pakistan, who is earning laurels for the country across the globe. “We are proud of hero of this son of Pakistani soil and hope he will continue to shine and bring more laurels to the country.

“I am also hopeful that Prime Minister Imran Khan will also say a few words of appreciation for this great hero and also spare some time from his busy schedule to meet Aleem Dar and honour this umpiring legend in a trend-setting manner,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Aleem Dar termed Steve Bucknor as his role model and paid rich tributes to him. “It’s a great honour to equal the number of Test matches of Steve Bucknor. I am grateful to Allah Almighty, the ICC, the PCB, my colleagues, my coaches, my club P&T and my family as without their help as it was not easy to achieve such a big feat,” Dar said.

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.