Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar on Thursday equalled Steve Bucknor’s world record of officiating in 128 Test matches during the second Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord’s.
“It’s a great honour to equal the number of Test matches of my role model, umpire Steve Bucknor,” 51-year-old Dar was quoted as saying in an ICC tweet.
Dar made his Test debut in a match between Bangladesh and England in Dhaka in October 2003 and officiated in 376 matches across three formats.
Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and decided to bowl in the rain-delayed second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Thursday.
After Wednesday’s first day was washed out without a ball bowled, Paine was putting his faith in Australia’s pace attack to make early inroads into England’s fallible top order.
“There’s been a bit of weather around. A shortened game, I think probably the best way to win it is to take more wickets,” said Paine, who made his Test debut at Lord’s in 2010, at the toss.
But with the sun breaking through blue skies,conditions for batting were improving.
“We would probably looked to bowl first as well, but it might be a good one (toss) to lose,” said England captain Joe Root.
“It looks a pretty good surface. It might be tricky this morning, but we need to get through that and make a big first-innings total.”
England made two changes from the side that lost by 251 runs to Australia in last week’s first Test at Edgbaston to go 1-0 down in the five-match series.
World Cup-winning fast bowler Jofra Archer was given a Test debut after James Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, was ruled out with the calf injury that meant he only bowled four overs at Edgbaston.
Meanwhile left-arm spinner Jack Leach was recalled after England dropped Moeen Ali following the off-spinner’s poor display with both bat and ball in the first Test.
Left-arm seamer Sam Curran was left out from England’s 12-man squad.
Australia had already announced their one change on Wednesday, with fast bowler Josh Hazlewood coming in for his first match of this series after fellow quick James Pattinson was left out.