It was with considerable sadness that we heard of the passing of Farid Malik of the UAE, one of the region’s most eminent umpires. He passed away at the age of 59 at the start of July, having suffered a heart attack. It was not just his skill at umpiring that distinguished him, he was a warm and personable individual whose smile and common sense were readily apparent whenever one encountered him.

He had achieved much in life since moving to the UAE in the 1970s from Lahore, Pakistan. Mr. Malik was TV umpire in four matches of the 1996 World Cup and stood in seven matches of the 1997 ICC Trophy and once the ACC set up its own regular events he stood in all the ones held in the Middle East. He had the knack of umpiring particularly exciting matches. He was extremely active on the local cricket scene in Dubai and Sharjah, mentoring players and umpires alike. His links to the UAE cricket community were deep and he was a massive presence on the circuit.

Singapore’s T20I umpire Sarika Prasad who stood with Mr. Malik a number of times said, “Umpiring with him is a very pleasant experience. He is very calm and has all the good qualities needed of an umpire. He takes all the pressures easily and is very relaxed in his decision-making. He was helpful to his younger partners and even after the game passed on his experience and advice to the others.”

Emirates Cricket Board Administrator Mazhar Khan said Mr. Malik was a “true gentleman and so popular in the UAE cricket fraternity.”

“He had a passion for cricket that cannot be explained in words,” said Shahzad Altaf, a UAE World Cup 1996 player, “he had dedicated his life to the game and continued to do so. He was easily the best umpire in the UAE.”

Farid Malik will be very much missed.

More Cricket = More Umpires in the UAE

Filed July 26th, 2010