Allahudien Paleker, the Johannesburg Test umpire who has Indian roots
Umpire Allahudien Paleker looks on as South Africa pacer Marco Jansen bowls at the Indian batters in the second Test match at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
SOUTH AFRICAN umpire Allahudien Paleker, who is officiating in the ongoing second Test match between South Africa and India at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, has India connections as his family traces its origins to Ratnagiri district of the western state of Maharashtra.
He has also officiated in a game between Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh in Ranji Trophy, India’s top domestic tournament, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in the 2014-15 season.
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Paleker, a former first-class cricketer in South Africa who was born in that country, has links to the Shiv village in Khed tehsil of Ratnagiri district.
Shiv village ‘sarpanch’ (village head) Durvesh Palekar told the Press Trust of India on Wednesday (5), “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.”
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“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,” he said.
Speaking on Paleker’s umpiring in the Ranji match, a senior umpire at the Mumbai Cricket Association, who was also the body’s office-bearer once, said, “He (Paleker) did umpire in that Ranji Trophy game and also stood in another Ranji game in India as part of the umpire exchange programme.”
Current India national players Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Yadav had hit centuries in that game.
Paleker’s father Jamalodien is also an umpire.
Paleker, who has officiated in T20 and one-day international matches in 2018 and 2019, respectively, was standing in his first Test match as the umpire in Johannesburg. In 2017, he was promoted to the International Cricket Council’s international panel of umpires.
He is officiating in the Johannesburg Test with compatriot Marais Erasmus.