Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Legendary Umpire Simon Taufel

Simon Taufel The Legend Of Cricket Umpiring:

Simon James Arthur Taufel, (born 21 January 1971 in St Leonards, New South Wales), is an Australian cricket umpire who was a member of the ICC Elite umpire panel. He won five consecutive ICC Umpire of the Year awards between 2004 and 2008, and is generally considered to be one of the best umpires in the world. On 26 September 2012 he announced his retirement from international cricket after the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 final and would be taking new role of Umpire Performance and Training Manager.

Umpiring career:

Despite initially having no intention of becoming an umpire, he agreed to go along with a friend to an umpiring course. After he passed the subsequent exam he began umpiring grade cricket. He quickly progressed through the ranks and made his first-class debut in 1995, aged just 24.

He has officiated in 74 Test matches and 174 One-Day Internationals, Including the 2012 World Twenty20 final 34 Twenty20 International since his first international assignment, an ODI between Australia and Sri Lanka at Sydney in January 1999, when he was just 27. During his illustrious career, he was named the ICC’s Umpire of the Year for five straight years, between 2004 and 2008, and has stood in most major tournaments. However, he had to wait until April 2011 to stand in his first ICC Cricket World Cup final because Australia made every one between 1999 and 2007.

International cricket:

Taufel stood in his first One Day International (ODI) on 13 January 1999 in the match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Sydney when he was 28 years old. He umpired his first Test match in December 2000 – the Boxing Day Test between Australia and West Indies at Melbourne. He stood in another Test match a year later between Australia and South Africa at Adelaide, during which he was criticised for not intervening when Brett Lee bowled four successive bouncers at tail-end batsmen.{{Citation needed|date=March 2011} }He became a member of the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires in 2002. He was chosen to umpire at the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

Taufel has been named the top umpire of the year five times, and in August 2006 the ICC's annual umpire review officially ranked second for accuracy (behind Darrell Hair), and top overall. He umpired in the final of the 2004 Champions Trophy. At the 2006 Champions Trophy he umpired a semi-final, but could not umpire the final because Australia had reached the final. In January 2007 he became the youngest umpire to stand in 100 ODIs, and in April 2007 took charge of the World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, again being ineligible for the final which featured Australia. He umpired alongside Aleem Dar in the final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup between Sri Lanka and India, gaining the opportunity to do so after Australia were knocked out by India in the Quarter Finals.

On 3 March 2009, Taufel was one of the officials caught in the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team by terrorists in Lahore, Pakistan. He along with Chris Broad criticized the Pakistan security forces' response to the incident.

On September 26, Taufel announced he will quit the international cricket after the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, at which he was umpiring at the time. He said he will step down from cricket's elite panel of umpires to take over a new role as the ICC's Umpire Performance and Training Manager.

Taufel called the India-Pakistan semifinal showdown at the PCA Stadium in Mohali during that World Cup the ‘most exciting match’ of his career. “When I look back, there are many memorable moments but I can instantly remember the India versus Pakistan game at Mohali as the most exciting one. The Prime Ministers of the two countries were present, and it was more than just a game of cricket. I believe there were two finals in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – the semifinal and the final."

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