The ICC World T20 in SriLanka over the past few weeks has been special not just because of the tags “World Cup” or “T20” but because of it being the last international tournament for the greatest umpire ever, Simon Taufel.
Simon hails from Australia, who have mostly been the world champions both in Tests and ODIs since his debut and so was he, in all the possible formats in Cricket umpiring. Australian cricket team might have lost its charm and standards but Simon didn’t, till the last day of his umpiring career! I hardly remember any decision of his’ which made me feel like “Oh, No! How?” If there was any err in his judgement, I am sure it would still be with any of the technologies which can be used.
Cricket is not just about a batsman and a bowler but has lot to do with the decision making on field by the match officials, in which Simon is the best. I can understand the amount of pressure that would be on an umpire when a bowler appeals for a wicket. Never have I seen Simon with a double thought when officiating. OUT or NOT OUT, he is confident.
Simon has once, in an interview, revealed that he wants to officiate in his home country for a test match which was never possible because of the neutral umpire policy of ICC in tests. I believe you can never have an umpire who is more neutral than he is towards any country, be it his homeland too!
Simon, we sure will miss your elegance on the cricket ground. I am sure your ever smiling face with composed body language standing tall behind the non-striker’s wickets will be missed by batsmen. You are simply a genius who made us believe umpiring is very simple, which isn’t! I am lucky to have seen you officiating an IPL match in Hyderabad. I was as delighted to have seen you as I was to have seen Rahul Dravid and Dale Steyn that night.
Now that you have decided to retire from umpiring, ICC needs to seriously have a thought about increasing the use of technology in cricketing decisions. It wasn’t required till now as you have always been better than the technology. You may have hurt many hearts by giving many batsmen OUT, but I am sure they all will be feeling hard on your retirement. You are a legend, you deserve all the respect that you get. You may be moving out of cricket field but will never be out of our minds. Wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Thank you, Simon!