Pakistan news October 8, 2012

Umpire Ahsan Raza honoured by PCB

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ahsan Raza has won the Aleem Dar Trophy and a prize of Rs 100,000 for being Pakistan's umpire of the year. It is the first time the PCB has given such an award to one of its umpires.

The award was to be given at the completion of the domestic season but the board named Raza the winner at the start of the 2012-13 season. There was neither a ceremony nor did the PCB outline the procedure followed to choose Raza. It issued a press release saying, "director general PCB Javed Miandad presented the Aleem Dar Trophy to the best umpire of the year along with Rs100,000 to Ahsan Raza, PCB elite panel umpire."

The PCB had already started recognising umpiring talent in the country by offering contracts to three of their top officials: Raza, Zameer Haider, and Shozab Raza. They are also on the ICC international panel.

Raza was one of several people injured during the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus during the Lahore Test in March 2009. He was traveling with the other ICC match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium in a different vehicle on the third day of the second Test, when he was shot in the back and critically wounded. Raza had to undergo emergency surgery to repair a collapsed lung and damaged liver, and took nine months to recover and return to the game.

Raza, 38, made his debut as a first-class umpire in 2006 and has officiated in 63 first-class matches so far. He started his international career as a third umpire and was promoted to the ICC international panel in 2010. He has been an on-field umpire in 16 matches and the third umpire in 15 between 2009 and 2012. Before taking up umpiring, Raza was a wicketkeeper and played 21 first-class matches.