Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza to umpire South Africa Tests
Aleem Dar will officiate in his first-ever Test at home, while on-field umpire Ahsan Raza and match referee Mohammad Javed Malik will also make their Test debuts as the Pakistan Cricket Board, on behalf of the International Cricket Council, Saturday confirmed match officials’ appointments for the two-match series between Pakistan and South Africa, which starts in Karachi on 26 January.
Elite panelist Aleem Dar has umpired in a record 132 Tests since making his debut in 2003 in Dhaka, while Ahsan part of the international panel has umpired in 37 ODIs and 57 T20Is to date. Javed Malik, a former first-class cricketer and a member of the ICC’s international panel, has refereed in 10 ODIs and six T20Is.
Asif Yaqoob and Rashid Riaz will be the third and fourth umpires, respectively, while Javed Malik will lead the playing control team for both the Tests. The second Test will begin in Rawalpindi from 4 February.
As per the ICC’s interim playing regulations, the requirement to appoint third country officials has temporarily been removed from the playing conditions for all international formats owing to the current logistical challenges with international travel. The ICC, however, continues to appoint locally based match officials from the ICC Elite Panel of Match Officials and the ICC International Panel of Match Officials.
For the three-match T20I series, Javed Malik will continue to be the match referee, while Aleem and Ahsan Raza will be the on-field umpires for the first match with Shozab Raza in the TV umpire’s box and Asif Yaqoob as fourth umpire.
Shozab Raza and Asif Yaqoob will stand in the second T20I with Ahsan Raza and Rashid Riaz as third and fourth umpires, respectively, while Aleem Dar and Rashid Riaz will be the on-field umpires for the third T20I with Ahsan Raza and Shozab Raza as third and fourth umpires, respectively.
Aleem Dar said: “It will definitely be an emotional moment for me to umpire in a Test involving Pakistan. It has been nearly a 17-year and 132-Test wait, but its about to be over. Like the players, the match officials also want to umpire in matches on home ground, something we achieve in white-ball cricket, but Test cricket remains the pinnacle format and I am delighted that I will be standing in the two Tests between two excellent sides.”
Pakistan v South Africa - Umpire and match referee appointments:
26-30 Jan – 1st Test. Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (on-field umpires), Asif Yaqoob (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)
4-8 Feb – 2nd Test. Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (on-field umpires), Asif Yaqoob (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)
11 Feb – 1st T20I. Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (on-field umpires), Shozab Raza (third umpire), Asif Yaqoob (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)
13 Feb – 2nd T20I. Shozab Raza and Asif Yaqoob (on-field umpires), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)
14 Feb – 3rd T20I. Aleem Dar and Rashid Riaz (on-field umpires), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Shozab Raza (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee).
ICC’s interim playing regulations, which will be applicable to the upcoming series, are:
Ban on applying saliva to the ball: Players will not be permitted to use saliva to shine the ball. If a player does apply saliva to the ball, the umpires will manage the situation with some leniency during an initial period of adjustment for the players, but subsequent instances will result in the team receiving a warning.
A team can be issued up to two warnings per innings but repeated use of saliva on the ball will result in a 5-run penalty to the batting side. Whenever saliva is applied to the ball, the umpires will be instructed to clean the ball before play recommences.
Additional DRS reviews: The CEC has also confirmed an additional unsuccessful DRS review for each team in each innings of a match, keeping in mind that there may be less experienced umpires on duty at times. This will increase the number of unsuccessful appeals per innings for each team to two for the white-ball formats.
The ICC Cricket Operations team will support Match Referees when processing Code of Conduct breaches and a neutral Elite Panel match referee will conduct any hearing remotely via video link.