Umpire Aleem Dar wins the Umpire of the year award at the ICC awards ceremony.. – File Photo

HYDERABAD: Aleem Dar, three-time winner of the ICC Umpire of the Year, has said that umpiring department needs serious attention to make it more effective.

Talking to journalists at the Mehran Arts Council late on Saturday in connection with his initiative to collect relief goods and donations for flood-affected people of Sindh, he said that all Test-playing nations give central contracts to umpires and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should consider it as well.

“Umpires also need central contracts. Almost all Test-playing countries offer central contracts to umpires and their fee structure is more impressive than what umpires get in Pakistan,” he remarked.

Aleem, who plans to perform Hajj this year, said he is striving for the past two years, but due to preoccupations of PCB chairman Ijaz But the matter is yet to be resolved.

However, he expressed optimism, saying that situation would change that would lead to progress in umpiring.

“Shahid Afridi must return to international cricket,” he remarked, adding that cricketers like Shoaib Malik and other players should come forward to helping rain-affected people by collecting donations and relief goods for them.

Aleem visited Matiari district for distributing the relief goods worth Rs2.2million he collected with the help of the cricket club he used to play with.

About international matches, he maintained that currently foreign teams are not ready to play in Pakistan, but players of different countries do want to play in Pakistan.

“I am hopeful as conditions are improving for international cricket in Pakistan,” he commented.

When asked why umpires of his stature are not emerging in the country, he said that situation is not too bad as new faces are making it to the International arena from Pakistan.

Referring to T20 Cup in Karachi where semi-finals and final attracted impressive crowd, Aleem said that more such events should be organized to give a message to the world that situation has changed in Pakistan and it is safe to play cricket in the country.

Aleem said that he has never been dependent on technology because if one starts having too much reliance on it, it dominates umpire’s mind and starts dictating him.

“I always go with a free mind, watch the ball closely and never take pressure from any team,” he claimed.


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