Aleem Dar has been one of the most respected ICC umpires in the world. However, on Sunday, when he came to officiate the India-New Zealand warm-up match, he was unrecognisable.
Contrary to his clean shaven look in the past, Dar had now grown beard in Islamic style. One would have thought that the members of Pakistani cricket team may be behind this new look as several players had lately become very religious.
But Dar said that it was the South African star batsman, Hashim Amla, who asked him to grow beard.
He told PTV Sports that Alma had asked him to grow his beard in accordance with how it’s been prescribed in Islam.
Dar said that when Amla approached him, he had already been thinking about growing a beard. It did not take him long to act on the star batsman’s advice.
Dar has officiated in 111 Tests, 183 ODIs and 41 T20Is. He’s won the ICC Umpire of the Year Award three years in a row in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
As for Amla, he’s been the mainstay of the batting for both the South African team and Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. In the 10th edition of the IPL, Amla scored 420 runs in 10 matches with an average of 60. He had become the first cricketer to score two 100s- 104 against Gujarat Lions and 104 against Mumbai Indians.