Aleem Dar's long and storied journey as an umpire on the ICC's Elite Panel has come to an end

The 54-year old has stepped down after officiating in a record 435 men's Testsm ODIs and T20Is including four World Cup finals. It doesn't mean his career in international cricket is over though

Dar can still work matches played at home in Pakistan any time the PCB picks him to do so.

"I have had the pleasure and honour of umpiring the world over and what I have achieved is something I did not even dream of when I started in the profession,"

he said in a statement released by the ICC on Thursday.

"Though I am still keen to continue as an international umpire, I felt it was now the right time, after 19 years on the road to step away from the Elite panel and

provide an opportunity to someone from the International Panel. My message to umpires the world over is to work hard, maintain discipline and never stop learning."

Dar has officiated more men's Tests (144) and ODIs (222) than anybody else and was the first Pakistan umpire to be named on the Elite Panel back when it was first established in 2002.

He stood in the final of the ODI World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and the T20 World Cup in 2010 and 2012. He won the David Shepherd trophy for umpire of the year three times, back-to-back, starting 2009.

ESPNcricinfo understands that Dar had been considering stepping down for a while now, since before even the Covid-19 pandemic.

. But the ensuing lack of games and travel restrictions meant he never acted on it.

"I thank the ICC, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and my colleagues on the panel for their support over the years," Dar said.

"I would also like to thank my family; without whose support I could not have gone on for so long. I look forward to continuing to serve the game as an umpire".

The ICC welcomed two new umpires onto their Elite Panel, taking its number from 11 to 12. Adrian Holdstock (South Africa) and Ahsan Raza (Pakistan)