Pakistan’s Aleem Dar to officiate first Test at home

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Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar will stand in his very first Test in his home country 17 years into his career as an international match official.

Because of the conditions brought about by the pandemic, all international matches are being officiated by match officials from the host nation opening the door for Dar to end his long wait to umpire a Test in Pakistan.

Dar given opportunity for historic gig

Dar said that the moment he walks out onto the park will be an emotional one for him with political instability and events beyond his control preventing one of the world’s best umpires from standing in a Test on home soil.

“It has been nearly a 17-year and 132-Test wait, but it is about to be over. Like the players, the match officials also want to umpire in matches on home ground, something we achieve in white-ball cricket, but Test cricket remains the pinnacle format and I am delighted that I will be standing in the two Tests between two excellent sides,” said Dar.

Pakistan Cricket Board

Dar will be joined in the middle by compatriot Ahsan Raza who will make his Test debut as will match referee Mohammad Javed Malik.

The Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed the appointments of the match officials this week, revealing Asif Yaqoob and Rashid Riaz would carry out the third and fourth umpire’s duties.

“As per the ICC’s interim playing regulations, the requirement to appoint third country officials has temporarily been removed from the playing conditions for all international formats owing to the current logistical challenges with international travel,” said the PCB regarding the absence of neutral umpires.

The PCB have reiterated the altered playing conditions for the series which include a ban on applying saliva to the ball.

“Players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball,” said the PCB.

“A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side.”

The ICC has also made allowance for the lack of neutral umpires by granting the sides an extra DRS review, the same conditions have been in play during all Test series played since international cricket returned midway through 2020.

Umpire roster for Pakistan vs South Africa

26-30 Jan – 1st Test. Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (on-field umpires), Asif Yaqoob (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)

4-8 Feb – 2nd Test. Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (on-field umpires), Asif Yaqoob (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)

11 Feb – 1st T20I. Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (on-field umpires), Shozab Raza (third umpire), Asif Yaqoob (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)

13 Feb – 2nd T20I. Shozab Raza and Asif Yaqoob (on-field umpires), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)

14 Feb – 3rd T20I. Aleem Dar and Rashid Riaz (on-field umpires), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Shozab Raza (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee).

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