Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar has called on the country to be patient as it awaits the return of international cricket.
Pakistan have not hosted an international cricket match since March 2009 when the Sri Lankan team was attacked in Lahore before being stripped of the World Cup hosting rights, the event that starts next month in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
However, Dar, one of the umpires on the Elite Panel of the International Cricket Council (ICC), remained confident of the return of international cricket.
“Its really unfortunate for Pakistan that it is currently completely isolated,” Dar told I understand that it’s a big drawback for our players and match officials which is discouraging.”
“But I am hopeful that the time will come and Pakistan will be able to hold its games in the country instead of playing its home series away but we need to be patient.”
Dar, who won the David Shepherd Trophy for the second time in two years after being named Umpire of the Year at the ICC Awards last year, has officiated in 63 Tests, 138 One-Day Internationals and 18 Twenty20s. But the 42-year-old is yet to officiate a Test in Pakistan as his appointment to the panel came after the introduction of neutral umpires for cricket’s longest format.
‘Honour to officiate World Cup’
Dar, who has been involved in numerous high profile matches and is one of the most respected umpires at the international front, said it will be an honour to officiate in his second World Cup.
“Participating in an event like the World Cup is always a great honor for a player as well as the official,” said Dar, whose career highlight includes his appointment to stand in the final of the 2007 World Cup between Australia and Sri Lanka along with West Indian’s Steve Bucknor. Dar was also selected to stand in the final of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 between Australia and England.