Dar at the Tryst
He is one of the world’s leading umpires and should have been officiating in the cauldron of an Ashes Test match.
Instead, England’s quick demolition of Australia at Edgbaston meant that Aleem Dar had a rare Saturday afternoon to himself.
There are many ways the 47 year-old veteran of 96 Test matches might have chosen to enjoy a day off – a trip to the coast perhaps, a visit to the shops or simply the chance to put his feet up.
Instead Dar was an interested spectator as Stenhousemuir hosted Kilmarnock in a Western Union First Division match.
Stenhousemuir’s Tryst ground, with its modest facilities and handful of spectators, is a million cricketing miles from Edgbaston, one of the world’s top international venues.
Yet Dar looked quite at home as he watched the action, his allegiance lying with the Kilmarnock team for whom both a cousin and nephew of the famous umpire play.
Dar’s appearance also no doubt served to keep Saturday’s umpires on their toes, watched as they were by one of the best in the business.
Just as well, then, that the officials chosen for this match were two of Scotland’s finest in Mike Nash and Alex Dowdalls, the latter a member of the ICC Regional Associate and Affiliate Panel.
Dowdalls said: “It was quite a surprise to see Aleem watching the game and a real contrast to what he would have been doing if the Test had gone the distance.
“Mike and I had the chance to have a word with him during a rain break and it was a real honour to chat to him and umpire in front of him.”
The day ended in mild disappointment for the Dar family as Stenhousemuir ran out winners, a result which was good enough to see them leapfrog Prestwick to go top of the table.
Aamir Shahzad was the home hero with 4-7 in a nine-wicket success.
Prestwick, meanwhile, suffered a surprise defeat to Glasgow Accies at the Henry Thow Oval where John Oliver claimed a hat-trick for Accies.
St Michaels remain bottom after a heavy defeat to Irvine.
The entire Premier card was washed-out.