Thatscricket - News - Pak umpire Aleem Dar to officiate in Tests

Published: Saturday, February 7, 2004, 17:40 [IST]
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London:Aleem Dar will become a Test match umpire in April, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said after promoting the Pakistani to its elite panel of officals.

Dar, who is set to become a Test match umpire at the relatively young age of 35, is joined on the panel by Neil Mallender, the former England medium-pacer.

However, the ICC confirmed that following its annual performance review Sri Lanka's Asoka de Silva, South Africa's David Orchard and Zimbabwe's Russell Tiffin had all been dropped from the panel whose members alone are now allowed to stand in Tests.

The announcement came just a day after the ICC confirmed that experienced Indian umpire Srinivasa Venkataraghavan, the former India captain and off-spinner, was retiring from the panel.

"I'm very pleased to be given this opportunity. Making this panel was my aim and having made it to this level I will now be aiming to do my best," said Dar, a former Lahore and Railways leg-break bowler.

Meanwhile Mallender, 42, who played two Tests for England, said, "I was quite shocked when I was told. "To umpire at this level was my aim but it has come around sooner than I expected it would."

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed said, "Over the past two years we have seen a strong group of new umpires emerge, Now Aleem Dar and Neil Mallender have also demonstrated that they are ready to take the next step in their careers."

Both Dar and Mallender face a heavy workload as, after Venkat's retirement, the number of umpires allowed to stand in Tests will have dropped from eleven to nine.

ICC elite umpire panel:

Brent 'Billy' Bowden (NZL), Steve Bucknor (WIS), Aleem Dar (PAK), Darrell Hair (AUS), Daryl Harper (AUS), Rudi Koertzen (RSA), Neil Mallender (ENG), David Shepherd (ENG) Simon Taufel (AUS)

Venkatraghavan to bid adieu to Test umpiring

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