LAHORE, Jan 26 (APP):The third and final T20I between Pakistan and Bangladesh at the Gaddafi Stadium here on Monday will mark history with Ahsan Raza becoming the only umpire to officiate in 50 T20Is.
Ahsan is amongst International Panel of ICC Umpires and over the years has become one of the most recognised faces in international cricket.
Ahsan, a former first-class cricketer, began his international umpiring career in February 2010 by standing in an ODI between Afghanistan and Canada at Sharjah Cricket Ground.
Later that year in October, he officiated his first T20I match when Pakistan played South Africa at Abu Dhabi. Overall, the 45-year-old has stood in 85 international matches and he will be seen in action in the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
Ahsan Raza said said on Sunday : “You want to excel in whatever you do. I am about to become the first umpire to stand in 50 T20Is, which is an honour for me and my country.
“I am very excited as I am completing this milestone in my hometown and at the home of Pakistan cricket.
“T20 format might come across as a short one to the viewers, but it has its own challenges for the umpires. There’s a lot of pressure while officiating T20 matches as anything can happen anytime. You have to be more active in this format because of the innovative strokes like reverse-sweep and paddle-sweep.”
The Pakistani umpires continue to excel, a testimony of which is the fact that three of the five umpires with most T20Is are from Pakistan.
Aleem Dar, the celebrated umpire who is part of Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, is behind Ahsan with 46 T20Is, while Shozab Raza, who is in International Panel of ICC Umpires, has officiated 36 matches and is fifth on the list.