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Sunday, January 30, 2011


Pak umpire Aleem Dar wishes return of International Cricket in Pakistan
Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar has expressed desire for the return of International Cricket in his native country in the near future once the security situation of the country improves.
Dar, while giving an interview to a local newspaper, said, “It’s really unfortunate for Pakistan that it is currently completely isolated. I understand that it’s a big drawback for our players and match officials which is discouraging. But I am hopeful that the time will come and Pakistan will be able to hold its games in the country instead of playing its home series away but we need to be patient.”
Pakistan has not hosted any international cricket event since March 2009, after the touring Sri Lankan cricket team was ambushed by alleged terrorists in Lahore. The attack took place when the team was going towards the Gaddafi Stadium to play an ODI against the host country.
This attacked claimed the lives of eight Pakistanis while injuring six Sri Lankan players. The ODI series was immediately called off and the tourists were flown back to their country.
This incident caused an international embarrassment for Pakistan, making the country a no-go area for foreign countries.
Since the attack, no foreign country has agreed to take part in any international cricket activity in the terrorism-hit state of Pakistan. This has created a big problem for cricketing authorities in Pakistan because now they have to use the services of a third county to host home series. Pakistan has been using England and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as its offshore base for hosting all home tournaments.
While talking about the World Cup, Dar, who is the most respected umpire in the world of cricket for his commendable decision-making ability on the field, said, “Participating in an event like the World Cup is always a great honour for a player as well as the official.” This is Dar’s second World Cup as an umpire; he officiated the final of the 2007 World Cup with former umpire Steve Bucknor (West Indies) that was played between Australia and Sri Lanka in the Caribbean.
Dar is currently ranked as the number one umpire in cricket after winning the ICC Umpire of the Year award consecutively in 2009 and 2010.
Dar, who has officiated 62 Tests and 127 ODIs, is expected to make the upcoming World Cup error free, which is set to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
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