This South Africa umpire in 2nd Test has India roots


South African umpire Allahudien Paleker is having a fine Test debut in the ongoing second match of the series against India, at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, but very few know that his family has its roots in Khed tehsi of Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra.

Shiv village ‘sarpanch’ (village head) Durvesh Palekar said, on Wednesday, “I am also a Palekar. He traces his roots to our Shiv village. His father then migrated to South Africa for a job and later settled there. Allahudien was born in South Africa, but his original village is Shiv, which is in Khed tehsil.

“The entire village, the gram panchayat (local governing body) is proud of him, that our name and that of the village has gone on the international level. We are extremely happy,” added Durvesh.

Umpire Palekar, 44, who was elevated to the ICC panel of umpires in 2017, also officiated in a Ranji Trophy game at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai, during the 2014-15 Indian domestic season.

He officiated in the Mumbai – Madhya Pradesh league match along with Indian umpire Krishnamachari Srinivasan.

“He did umpiring in that Ranji Trophy game and also stood in another Ranji game in India as part of the umpire exchange programme,” a senior Mumbai Cricket Association umpire, who was also an MCA’s office-bearer in the past, said.

In that drawn game against Madhya Pradesh, Palekar witnessed centuries by Suryakumar Yadav (135) and Shreyas Iyer (142 not out).

Palekar is a former first-class player. His father Jamalodien is also an umpire.

On January 19, 2019, he officiated in his first One-Day International, between South Africa and Pakistan, at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.

In October 2019, he was named among the 12 umpires to officiate in the 2019 T20 World Cup qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

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