Aleem Dar calls for consistency in the use of technology (Exclusive Interview)

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I'm delighted to present PakPassion's exclusive interview with Aleem Dar.

Aleem made his international umpiring debut in an ODI between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Gujranwala on February 16, 2000. In 2002 he became a member of ICC's International Panel of umpires. He impressed the ICC with his accurate decision making, and was chosen to umpire at the ICC Cricket World Cup in early 2003, where he was one of the better-performing umpires.

His high standard was again rewarded when he was appointed to stand in his first Test match in October 2003; the match between Bangladesh and England at Dhaka.

In April 2004, he became the first Pakistani to be part of the ICC Elite Umpire Panel. Since then he has been regarded as one of the top and most consistent umpires.

He won three consecutive ICC Umpire of the Year awards 2009, 2010 and 2011, after being nominated twice in 2005 and 2006. Aleem Dar and Simon Taufel are the only umpires to have received the award since its inception.

A former first class cricketer, Dar played for Allied Bank, Gujranwala Cricket Association, Lahore, and Pakistan Railways as a right-handed batsman and a leg-break bowler. Since his retirement as a player, he has gained prominence as one of the leading umpires in international cricket and is an excellent ambassador for Pakistan and Pakistan cricket.
 
PakPassion.net: Aleem bhai it's an absolute pleasure speaking with you and many thanks for your time in doing this interview with PakPassion.

Aleem Dar : My pleasure.


PakPassion.net : When did you start thinking about becoming an umpire and what made you turn to umpiring?

Aleem Dar : Everybody has ambitions. We all want to make the best of our lives and our futures. I wanted to be a professional cricketer and with that dream in my mind and with the blessings of my mother I went to Lahore from my village (Jhang).

Unfortunately such is life that not everyone’s dreams come true. I played some first class cricket and tried my best to do well at that level but I could not succeed. It was a difficult situation that I found myself in, having promised my mother that I would succeed at being a professional cricketer. My thoughts then turned to the day that I had left my village and told my mother that I would become a professional cricketer but now I could not fulfil that promise.

As luck would have it and I guess it was my destiny that Majid Khan who was the Chief Executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board and Ramiz Raja who was also in a prominent position at the Pakistan Cricket Board issued an advertisement for umpires in domestic cricket. The advertisement clearly stated that they were looking for umpires for domestic cricket particularly, applications were welcome from former first class cricketers. The Board stated that they wanted to improve the standard of umpiring in domestic cricket.

After seeing the advertisement I thought that I would try and become an umpire in domestic cricket. When I applied for an umpiring position at the PCB, I had no idea that the profession would give me so much enjoyment and respect around the world. Looking back now it was a good decision that I made to take up umpiring. I’m very grateful to the Almighty for all the success and respect.


PakPassion.net : What standard of cricket did your playing career go up to?

Aleem Dar : I played some Under 19 cricket when I first went to Lahore. I then moved onto playing some Grade 2 cricket and then I played 17 first class matches. I did quite well in Grade 2 cricket where I scored some centuries, but I wasn’t very successful in first class cricket.


PakPassion.net : Tell us about your first ever umpiring assignment?

Aleem Dar : It was a domestic Under 19 match at Muzzafargarh. Shakeel Khan was supposed to be one of the umpires in that match but he had some issues with the PCB and I was called up as his replacement.

Aurangzeb who was a very senior umpire in Pakistan was my co umpire. Naturally it was a very happy and special moment for me. Aurangzeb was very supportive and appreciative of my umpiring and after my very first match as an umpire he stated that “one day Aleem will be a top umpire”. I still remember Aurangzeb’s words that he spoke after that match.


PakPassion.net : You travel the world as an umpire, but on occasions boredom must be an issue. How do you like to spend your time away from cricket whilst on overseas umpiring assignments?

Aleem Dar : I’m not a good tourist at all. During match days it’s not so much of an issue as I am obviously busy, but during the free days things become quite tough for me because I don’t really like to leave my hotel room. So during the days away from cricket I spend a lot of my time in the hotel room speaking with my family on Skype.


PakPassion.net : I take it that your family travel with you on some tours?

Aleem Dar : The children’s schooling comes first so their travelling with myself depends on whether they are at school or on holidays. When the children are off school in the summer or in December and if I am required to umpire during those periods I take my family with me. They will be travelling with me in June this year too when I will be umpiring in England, but my wife and I put the children’s education first. Australia is also a destination that I normally take my family with me.

My family normally complete 2 or 3 tours a year with me, but even that is not enough for me. It’s difficult being thousands of miles away from them, but I’m not alone in that regard, even the younger umpires who are new to the umpiring circuit like Richard Kettleborough and Kumar Dharmasena are realising how tough the travelling is and they have only been doing the job for a year or so.

It’s very tough for those with young families as you are away from home for 6 or 7 months of the year, but at the end of the day you have to make these sacrifices.


PakPassion.net : Recently you were pictured bowling to the Australian team in the nets in Australia. Was that a one-off and did you spot any weaknesses in the Australian batsmen?

Aleem Dar : (laughs) Actually I’m still playing club cricket in Pakistan, Australia and sometimes in England when time permits, so I like to keep fit. When the net sessions are going on during practice days I like to do some umpiring and also bowl too. I generally mix things up, by bowling some pace and spin.

I’m not so sure about spotting any weaknesses via my bowling, but yes you can spot some weaknesses in batsmen that you then think about for your umpiring purposes.


PakPassion.net : Did you manage to get any of the Australian batsmen out in that net session where you were pictured?

Aleem Dar : (laughs) I don’t think I got anybody out, but I did beat a few of the batsmen. I bowled a couple of bouncers to Warner also.


PakPassion.net : There must have been a few less serious moments both on and off the field during your tenure as an umpire. Would you like to share with us any particular incident that amused you?

Aleem Dar : Yes there are always plenty of incidents that bring a smile. One particular incident was very amusing and that was when Asoka De Silva and I were umpiring in Wellington. The lunch break had finished and Asoka and I were getting ready to go back onto the field for the post lunch session. As we tried to enter the field, the security officials stopped us from entering the field. Asoka and I were quite surprised with us not being allowed back onto the field so we asked one of the security officials what the problem was. They stated that the umpires were already on the field.

I looked onto the field and there were two gentlemen dressed exactly like Asoka and I already on the field. We managed to convince the security personnel that we were in fact the actual umpires and were eventually let back onto the field.

The spoof umpires then left the field and we all had a laugh about it. They shook Asoka and my hand as they left the field and it was all very good natured and humorous.


PakPassion.net : What year was that incident in Wellington?

Aleem Dar : That was four years ago.


PakPassion.net : You obviously spend a lot of time with your fellow umpires. You must have built up some good friendships with your co umpires?

Aleem Dar : I enjoy umpiring with all of my co umpires. I wouldn’t say there was any one particular umpire who I would term as my best friend. There is a good camaraderie amongst the elite panel umpires and I enjoy umpiring with all of them.

Asad Rauf is a good friend and I enjoy umpiring with him. Billy Bowden and I also have a very good relationship having umpired together in so many matches over the years. In addition Steve Bucknor was someone who I always enjoyed umpiring alongside.


PakPassion.net : Do you think the DRS has been of help to yourself as an umpire?

Aleem Dar : Definitely. I’m strongly in favour of the DRS and I think it’s very helpful to umpires sometimes. Some umpires do find it uncomfortable having to reverse a decision that they have made in front of thousands at the ground and millions on television. But umpires are human, they will make mistakes too.

A good umpire is one that forgets about any mistakes he has made previously and concentrates on the next delivery. One incorrect decision can change the whole scenario of a match and that’s why I am in favour of the DRS.

However there has to be consistency though with the technology that is made available. In the recent Sri Lanka versus England series the hotspot technology was not being used. To have the use of consistent elements of technology at each match would make it easier for players, spectators and umpires alike.

DRS ensures that most decisions can be corrected.


PakPassion.net : You make an interesting point about hotspot not being used in some series, yet being used for others. Do you think that hotspot should be used in all series?

Aleem Dar : Yes absolutely. That technology is being made available in series in Australia and England and it’s definitely benefiting the decision making process.

Also the super slow motion cameras - this type of technology definitely helps the umpires. If all this technology was available in every series then it would bring about consistency to the DRS process.


PakPassion.net : Those that are not in favour of DRS are saying that it highlights every mistake that an umpire makes. Do you think that DRS and technology adds to the pressure on the on field umpires?

Aleem Dar : No I don’t think it does. I can only speak for myself and I welcome DRS and the other technology that is being made available. I am human, I know I will make mistakes, but I just concentrate on the next delivery. I would say to any umpires out there that if you have made a mistake just concentrate on the next delivery and don’t let that earlier mistake affect your confidence.

I’m fully supportive of the DRS and other technology and don’t see it as interfering with my umpiring or detrimental to my performance. Even the very best umpires will make mistakes and if the technology highlights those mistakes and gets the right decision made, then that is good for the game of cricket.


PakPassion.net : Cricketers like to analyse their performance after the day’s play. Are you one of those umpires who will watch the highlights and analyse any mistakes or decisions that you have made?

Aleem Dar : I will sit down and look at any mistakes that I have made. I firmly believe that you learn from your mistakes. I will look at the mistake(s) that I have made and analyse why that mistake occurred.

Any decisions we have made during a match are made available to us by the ICC. They are available to the umpires in slow motion so we can look at each of the decisions in detail, which is of great benefit to all of the umpires. I think as an umpire you have to be able to look at any mistakes you have made and realise why that mistake was made and do your utmost to not let that type of mistake occur again.


PakPassion.net : With the introduction of DRS and the other technology available to umpires, do you think neutral umpires should be done away with?

Aleem Dar : No I disagree. I must appreciate Imran Khan’s idea of bringing neutral umpires to international cricket. I’m very grateful that I’ve been the top ranking umpire for the last 3 years but the opportunity to umpire in the Ashes is just something special and I would not have had that opportunity if it had not been for the introduction of neutral umpires. Umpiring in the Ashes series is very tough due to the intensity, but I feel more pressure umpiring a match involving Pakistan than I do in any other match.

I feel that umpiring matches in your home country is much tougher than umpiring in any neutral series. At the moment I think the balance is just right in that 2 neutral umpires stand in Test matches, one in One Day Internationals and two local umpires in twenty20 internationals.


PakPassion.net : At the moment 2 reviews are allowed in Test matches, do you think that is adequate particularly if a big error is made after a team has used up its 2 reviews? Should the third umpire perhaps intervene?

Aleem Dar : I don’t think the third umpire should have the ability to intervene in the scenario that you have outlined. As an umpire if a team has used up its 2 reviews yes you are under greater pressure to ensure that your decision is the right one, but I don’t think the third umpire should be intervening in on field decisions that have been made. The on field umpire is the man in charge and he can consult with the 3rd umpire, not the other way around.

The number of reviews is a decision for the Cricket Committee.


PakPassion.net : Recently the Super 8s T20 Cup took place in Rawalpindi. I’m not sure if you saw any of the action, but there were some poor umpiring decisions during that tournament. What suggestions would you make to the PCB to improve the standard of umpiring in Pakistan?

Aleem Dar : I did not see the matches as I was away in New Zealand. Umpiring is a difficult art and science. It takes years to develop these skills and the PCB seem committed to helping raise the standard of the umpires in Pakistan. I am certainly there to help if required. This is after all another example of how technology can ensure less mistakes are made.


PakPassion.net : What can the PCB do to help upcoming and current umpires in Pakistan? Are the new umpires ready for the demands of domestic and possibly international cricket?

Aleem Dar : It’s good to see former international and first class cricketers in Pakistan going into umpiring. I’ve made some suggestions to the PCB regarding umpiring and cricket in general in Pakistan and will share those with you. I’ve said that regular fitness tests need to be done for all of the umpires in Pakistan. At the moment the ICC carries out regular eye tests and hearing tests and that should also be done in Pakistan particularly before any major tournament.

I suggested to the PCB that if domestic matches or tournaments aren’t televised then at least get some video coverage of those matches so that umpires can watch the footage and also it will help the selectors and players too. Once you have that recording, it can help everyone including the umpires.

Another suggestion I have made to the PCB is to ensure that they use the kookaburra cricket ball in domestic cricket, as whenever our cricketers use this ball in other countries they struggle to cope with it.

These small things like the cricket ball and the video recording are small but very important things that can help Pakistan cricket.


PakPassion.net : You make an interesting point about the eye tests, the hearing tests and the fitness tests. At the moment are these not being performed on a regular basis on umpires in Pakistan?

Aleem Dar : No these tests do not occur on a regular basis. It’s been quite a few years since I had my tests in Pakistan. I think my last hearing and eye test under the supervision of the PCB was about 5 or 6 years ago.

In addition blood pressure checks should also be performed before a match and after the match has finished, as your blood pressure has a major impact on your decision making. If your blood pressure is too high or too low then you will have less time to make an important decision.

Also personal issues can affect your decision making progress. If you have personal problems or are stressed then those will affect your ability to make correct decisions.

At the moment the ICC are keen to raise the levels of fitness amongst the umpires and I think this should also be the case in Pakistan. Experience counts for a lot as an umpire, but you have to be physically fit too and all of the aforementioned tests need to be performed on a regular basis.

Umpiring trends are changing and there is definitely more emphasis on physical fitness. You stand in the middle for 7 or 8 hours so you have to be ready for those demands.

These are all important issues that the PCB can look to implement to help umpires in Pakistan.


PakPassion.net : Is there one particular match that you look back upon and feel that it was your best umpiring performance ?

Aleem Dar : It’s difficult to pinpoint one particular match. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few good matches over the years, but I love umpiring in the Ashes. It’s a very enjoyable series for the players and the umpires and a series that I particularly look forward to.

I feel that the last two Ashes series went particularly well for me.


PakPassion.net : What is your routine before an international day’s play?

Aleem Dar : The night before a match I don’t really think about the following day’s match and generally stay cool and calm. I always look to get to sleep early and get about 7 to 8 hours sleep. I think if you do not get a good night’s sleep ahead of the match the next day, then you are not at your best. You have to make sure you are fresh and alert.

I don’t believe in pre match meetings and if the match is in Pakistan then I will sleep in a separate room away from my children to ensure that I get a good night’s sleep!


PakPassion.net : As a former first class cricketer yourself, have you ever been tempted to offer a bit of technical advice on the field to one of the players?

Aleem Dar : I would not do that during the game as that would be unfair. In domestic cricket some of the players will come up to me after the completion of a match and ask me about how they did and I will offer some advice if they ask.

As an umpire you can naturally see everything so you are in a good position to see where players are going wrong.

Sometimes in domestic cricket a batsman will ask about his footwork, likewise a bowler may ask for some feedback too, so I don’t think there is anything wrong with giving them a bit of feedback after the match.


PakPassion.net : You’ve umpired around the world, but are there any particular grounds that you particularly enjoy umpiring at?

Aleem Dar : The Gaddafi stadium (Lahore) is one of my favourite grounds as the umpires room at that stadium are named after me! Lords is another personal favourite of mine. The traditions, the history of that ground and the unique atmosphere make umpiring there a very pleasurable experience.


PakPassion.net : Have you got in mind a target date from when you wish to stop umpiring?

Aleem Dar : If you are fit enough the ICC allows you to continue umpiring till the age of 65. In Pakistan you can umpire in domestic cricket until the age of 60.

I’ll be 44 in June this year and I’m thinking of umpiring in international cricket for another 5 or 6 y ears. It’s difficult to know what is going to happen in the future but I’d like to retire from umpiring at the age of 50.


PakPassion.net : You are a fantastic role model for Pakistan and a great ambassador for the country. Do you have a message for all your fans and well wishers and all those around the world that will be reading this interview?

Aleem Dar : There is nothing more important than honesty and hard work in this world. Whatever job you do, whatever you want to achieve, always remain honest to it, give it your all and you will enjoy the fruits of your honesty and hard work.


PakPassion.net : Many thanks for your time and all the best for the future.

Aleem Dar : Thank you.
 
Aleem is a fantastic umpire but even a better human being. He is a true SUPER STAR
 
My most respected Pakistani (i dont know much about other Pak personalities so :) )
 
He's a top umpire but by the sounds of it he's an even better man.

Good reading!!

Aleem Dar : There is nothing more important than honesty and hard work in this world. Whatever job you do, whatever you want to achieve, always remain honest to it, give it your all and you will enjoy the fruits of your honesty and hard work.


The PCB and other boards should print and frame this then hang it up in everyone stadium around.
 
He's a top umpire but by the sounds of it he's an even better man.

Good reading!!




The PCB and other boards should print and frame this then hang it up in everyone stadium around.

If only!

Aleem Dar as next head of PCB?
 
Totally agree with what he said re DRS and Hotspot and consistency. Any technology used should be uniform and applied equally to all teams and all series. That way it's the same for both sides and for all sides. I'm less worried about how accurate Hotspot or Hawkeye is - the point is it will treat both sides exactly the same, so the whole issue of bias gets taken out of the equation.
 
Great interview!
He has really made our nation proud due to his eminent recognition as an umpire. He is also a very good person.
 
Top interview of one of Pakistan's national treasures.
 
Sometimes you can interview someone and the answers are predictable and the interview can be rather tedious, but this interview was thoroughly enjoyable.

At times it just felt like a relaxed chat about cricket :)

A real gentleman is Aleem !
 
Congratulations to 43 yrs old Aleem Dar for standing in yet another Test Series

He will be officiating in his 73rd Test at Lords today (Eng V WI)
 
Aleem's words were ringing in my ears today regarding consistency in the use of technology around the world.

DRS etc is a must for every international cricket match.

The ICC need to find a sponsor for this as a matter of urgency.
 
This is getting embarrassing now.

Technology has to be a MUST for every international match wherever in the world it is played.
 
Aleem's words were ringing in my ears today regarding consistency in the use of technology around the world.

DRS etc is a must for every international cricket match.

The ICC need to find a sponsor for this as a matter of urgency.

Saj do you think that there could be contractual issues if the ICC sign up sponsors for DRS, if they sign up a sponsor who is in opposition to a sponsor of a international team or if by having a sponsor it encroaches on the available sponsorship of certain teams.

For instance if they used a sponsor from Pakistan that was in direct competition with Pakistans main sponsor it could cause huge problems. I think it will be up to the boards to find individual sponsors for each series. There is also the problem of an ICC sponsor having to cover all teat matches that may not be in their area, for instance a Pakistan insurance company would not be interested in sponsoring a test series between SA and England.
 
Saj do you think that there could be contractual issues if the ICC sign up sponsors for DRS, if they sign up a sponsor who is in opposition to a sponsor of a international team or if by having a sponsor it encroaches on the available sponsorship of certain teams.

For instance if they used a sponsor from Pakistan that was in direct competition with Pakistans main sponsor it could cause huge problems. I think it will be up to the boards to find individual sponsors for each series. There is also the problem of an ICC sponsor having to cover all teat matches that may not be in their area, for instance a Pakistan insurance company would not be interested in sponsoring a test series between SA and England.

Some good questions Gilly.

The way I see it is that it boils down to BCCI opposition to the DRS. I mean the ICC have got a global sponsor for their rankings in Reliance, so really I don't think the issue is of finding a sponsor. They probably have a number of global sponsors ready to sponsor the DRS etc

However to me it seems like its the BCCI who are the stumbling block.
 
I agree that the BCCI is preventing the use of DRS because they pay most of the subscriptions to the ICC and if the ICC pay for DRS then they will be paying for the majority of it. The only real option the ICC will have is to have a clause in their payments to the member countries that the money must be used to pay for DRS. This will of course reduce the available amount of money for each boards running costs.
 
Although he's considered one of the best in the biz...just found this video...what atrocious decision from Dar! :facepalm:

perhaps the worst in cricketing history..

[utube]eqNJLQddOp4&feature=related[/utube]
 
Thanks for that breaking news statsman.
 
PakPassion.net : Cricketers like to analyse their performance after the day’s play. Are you one of those umpires who will watch the highlights and analyse any mistakes or decisions that you have made?

Aleem Dar : I will sit down and look at any mistakes that I have made. I firmly believe that you learn from your mistakes. I will look at the mistake(s) that I have made and analyse why that mistake occurred.

Any decisions we have made during a match are made available to us by the ICC. They are available to the umpires in slow motion so we can look at each of the decisions in detail, which is of great benefit to all of the umpires. I think as an umpire you have to be able to look at any mistakes you have made and realise why that mistake was made and do your utmost to not let that type of mistake occur again.
 
Pakistan’s most prominent international cricket umpire Aleem Dar has achieved a major milestone on Tuesday, as he has officiated 350 international matches.

Dar is the most experienced umpire who has supervised 117 tests, 190 ODIs and 43 T 20Is. The 49-years-old featured in his 350th match when he stood as field umpire in the third T 20I match between Pakistan and West Indies at National Stadium Karachi.

It’s a co-incidence that Aleem supervised his first T 20I match in his home country, played between World XI and Pakistan.

Earlier in April 2004, Aleem became the first Pakistani to be part of the ICC Elite Umpire Panel. He also won ICC’s Umpire of the Year award in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

In October 2007, Aleem umpired in his 100th ODI between India and Australia at Mumbai, making him the tenth umpire in the history of cricket to reach that landmark.

Pakistani umpire, part of the International Cricket Council’s Elite Panel, has a desire to officiate in a fifth World Cup.

The Jhang-born started his career as a cricketer having earned accolades as an umpire ever since he officiated in his first match on February 16, 2000, in Gujranwala between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

https://arysports.tv/aleem-dar-becomes-the-first-umpire-to-officiate-350-international-matches/
 
Pakistan’s legendary Umpire Aleem Dar, who recently became the first umpire in the history of the game to supervise 350 international matches, says he is thankful to Pakistan, that has given him everything.

In a video message, the three-time ICC umpire of the year winner said, “I thank Allah for completing 350 international games, which is a world record.”

“I’m thankful to Pakistan Cricket Board, International Cricket Council (ICC) and this country, because whatever I am today is because of Pakistan. I gained respect due to Pakistan.”


“Pakistan has given me Pride of Performance and Sitara-e-Imtiaz. I am thankful to the people of this beautiful nation, who always prayed for me. I request them to continue praying for me, so I can make Pakistan proud again,” he added.

https://www.brecorder.com/2018/04/0...s-told-he-isnt-fit-for-international-cricket/
 
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