The Perth Test is proving to be an attritional Test for players and umpires. Lockie Ferguson of New Zealand was ruled out of bowling due to a hamstring injury while Australia's Josh Hazlewood suffered a calf strain which ruled him out of bowling for the match. Not only are the players laid low by injury, but even the umpires are also not safe. Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar suffered an unfortunate injury during Australia's second innings against New Zealand on day 4.
The incident occured in the 36th over of the Australian innings. Tim Southee was bowling to Marnus Labuschagne and the batsman tapped the ball to the leg side. Joe Burns wanted the single but was sent back and he had to reach the crease with a diving slide. However, the throw from the fielder was to the bowler's end. As umpire Dar looked to move to his left to avoid the throw, he was blindsighted by Mitchell Santner who ran in and collided heavily with the umpire. Santner apparently impacted Dar's knees and the New Zealand physio came out with the magic spray.
Dar fell heavily on his knee and was wincing in pain. The Pakistan umpire was back on his feet and he took a few gingerly steps. He received heavy strapping on his knee. Marais Erasmus is the third umpire and was ready to take Dar's place but he continued to umpire. The Perth Test is a special match for Dar as he created a new world record. Dar umpired in his 129th Test and it became a new world record for being an umpire in most Tests in history. Before the Perth Test, he was level with West Indies' Steve Bucknor who has officiated in 128 Tests from 1989 to 2009.
In a statement to the International Cricket Council (ICC), Dar said, "This is one milestone I had never thought of when I began my umpiring career. It is a truly amazing feeling and a high point of my life when I take the field here in Australia; thousands of miles from where I started my international career at home in Gujranwala. Steve Bucknor was my idol and it is only sinking in now that I will have officiated in more Test matches than him. In the nearly two decades of my international career, I have had the good fortune of watching some memorable matches and achievements like Brian Lara's Test knock of 400 not out and South Africa's epic chase of Australia's score of 434 in an ODI in Johannesburg in 2006."
Dar made his umpiring debut in 2003 during the Bangladesh vs England Test in Dhaka while his final Test was the 2019 Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord's. The Pakistan umpire has also officiated in 207 ODI games and he is just three behind South Africa's Rudi Koertzen who has officiated in 209 games. Dar is only one among three umpires to have officiated in over 100 Tests and 200 ODIs, the others being Koertzen, Bucknor and New Zealand umpire Billy Bowden in ODIs. Dar is also two behind his fellow Pakistan umpire Ahsan Raza for most matches officiated in Twenty20 Internationals.