Dar deserves Umpire of the year award: Raza

Pakistan had something to cheer for when Aleem Dar was named the ICC Umpire of the Year for the third successive year during the annual awards function in London on Monday.

Aleem Dar during the ICC annual awards function in London on Monday.
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In fact, Ahsan Raza, another Pakistani umpire from ICC's Elite Panel, was confident that Dar would win this time too. "Believe it or not, I had a dream where Aleem was certain to win this trophy for the third year in a row", said Raza. "He (Aleem) rightly deserved this award. He is bound to get an amazing reception when he returns to Pakistan," Raza added.

Dar will head to Sri Lanka (to officiate in the 3rd Test against Australia starting Friday) from England where he collected the trophy on Monday.

"ICC had specifically asked India's Shavir Tarapore to replace Dar as TV umpire for the 2nd Sri Lanka-Australia Test, so that he can be available for the function," said a source.

Interestingly, Dar has been giving Rs 5000 every month to the family of the bus driver who lost his life while transporting match officials from the hotel to the Gadaffi Stadium in March 2008 when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team.

And the winners are...

Player: Jonathan Trott (ENG)
* Test: Alastair Cook (ENG)
* One-day: Kumar Sangakkara (SRI)
* Women: Stafanie Taylor (WIS)
* Umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK)
* T20 performance: Tim Southee (NZL) -- for taking 5-18 vs Pakistan
* Associate & Affiliate Player: Ryan ten Doeschate (NED)
* Spirit of Cricket: MS Dhoni (IND)
* Emerging player: Devendra Bishoo (WIS)

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