By Sohail Ali

LAHORE, Oct 31 (APP):Pakistan’s most respected cricket umpire, Aleem Dar, is set to break record for standing in most One-Day Internationals (ODIs) as umpire when he officiates in his 210th ODI on Sunday at Rawalpindi at his home soil.

The 52-year-old will achieve the landmark milestone of his illustrious career by standing as the umpire in the second ODI between Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

Aleem already holds the record in Tests and has officiated in a record 387 international matches and will surpass Rudi Koertzen’s record of most One Day Internationals as an umpire.

Aleem who played first-class cricket for over a decade as an all-rounder before taking up umpiring, had also made his ODI debut in Pakistan, when he stood in a match against Sri Lanka in his hometown of Gujranwala in February 2000.

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Last year, Aleem passed his idol Steve Bucknor to the top of the Test umpires’ list. He holds the record of officiating in 132 Test matches and is second in the list of T20Is, only behind compatriot Ahsan Raza, with 46 T20Is. Aleem has officiated in 387 international matches so far, the most by any umpire.

Aleem said on the eve of the match said : “It is a matter of great honour for me to be on the top of the list of both Tests and ODIs for umpires.

“When I had started out in the profession, I had never imagined I would get this far. I can only say that I have enjoyed every moment on the field and learning has been an ongoing process all this while.

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“I thank my family for standing by me over the years and am grateful to the International Cricket Council and the Pakistan Cricket Board for backing me and providing me with all the opportunities. I am also thankful to all my colleague match officials for their help and support.”

Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager Umpires and Referees said : “Aleem has been a very consistent umpire over the years, and this is reflected in his 16 years on the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.

“We congratulate Aleem on the milestone, and wish him all the best for the upcoming game and series. We are sure many aspiring match officials look up to Aleem, and he will continue to inspire the next generation.”