LAHORE: Pakistan’s award-winning umpire Aleem Dar vowed to rely on his own ability rather than technology but has regarded the use of cameras and equipment beneficial for cricket.
Dar, 43, was voted Umpire of the Year by the 10 full-member captains as well as the eight-man Elite Panel of ICC match referees, based on his decision statistics and officiating skills over the past 12 months. He delivered 100% correct decisions in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20s with the percentage as high as 98% in Test matches.
It was the third year in a row that he received the ICC award.
“It’s all about how you cope with pressure on the field,” Dar told The Express Tribune from London. “Decision-making is always tough because there is pressure from every corner. You need to control your nerves, especially with the advent of technology.
“But despite all that, I don’t get intimidated and keep a cool head because I’m there for a reason and the reason it to make a correct decision quickly.”
Dar beat strong competition from Ian Gould and five-time winner Simon Taufel to land this year’s award. He made his international debut as an umpire in 2000 before joining the Elite Panel in 2004.
“Although I am human and that means the probability of making mistakes exists as well, technology has already made its way into the game to correct those mistakes and that makes it helpful for the sport. However, I rely on my natural ability and the results are there for you to see.”
Dar ruled out stepping down from the game anytime soon, adding that he could officiate for another 20 years but said he would call it quits when he reaches his half-century.
“I won’t wait until I can no longer umpire and deliver correct results but will keep my and my country’s respect and part my way with the role before the ICC is forced to sideline me based on performance.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2011.