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October 3, 2009
Pakistan's Aleem Dar, who was named Umpire of the Year at the ICC Awards, has credited a very high standard as the reason for his success. It was the first time he had received an ICC award, and in an interview with Pakistan daily Dawn, Dar said it was a great honour for his country.
"What I'm today is because of the country I love and represent. I feel very proud to be a Pakistani at this moment. It's a just reward for all the hard work put into the job."
Dar said not letting pressure affect him was an essential factor in his success as in international umpire. "As a person, I try to remain as calm as possible while making sure I'm not ruffled by anything on the field. As an umpire, it's imperative that you concentrate hard all the time and stay cool as well. That way, one tends to make lesser mistakes than others.
"It's not an easy job [umpiring] in this modern age where technology checks your progress all the way through television replays from various angles. It's not humanly possible not to commit errors here and there. However at least one should try to learn from this and try not to repeat the same [mistakes] again."
Dar, who has officiated in 57 Tests and 119 one-day internationals, rued the fact that he had not been able to stand in a Test played by Pakistan. "It's something I miss but that is obviously beyond me because of the ICC policy of having 'third country' umpires officiating in a Test between two particular countries," he said. "Had I become an international umpire in the 1990s or even the early period of this decade, I might have stood in some of the Tests played by Pakistan."
Reflecting on the 2007 World Cup final in Barbados, Dar said it was "a bleak moment" for all the match officials involved but that it was "something not committed intentionally". The ICC banned the five match officials whose combined errors caused the game to be completed amid farcical scenes of near-darkness.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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