Simon Taufel - Respected umpire bids adieu

2012 saw a young turk making his presence felt, retirements galore as well as internal team controversies that saw former captains forced to sit out before making their comebacks. These are the cricket-related personalities who made the headlines this year.



The well-respected Australian umpire stepped down from the ICC's elite panel at the end of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. He was replaced by his countryman Bruce Oxenford, who joined the elite panel on November 1. Taufel was named the ICC's Umpire of the Year five successive times from 2004 to 2008.

The 41-year-old Taufel has now taken up the newly-created role of umpire performance and training manager with the ICC, a job that he hopes will allow him to spend more time at home in Sydney with his wife and children after nearly a decade of travelling the world as a match official. "In my new position as ICC umpire performance and training manager, I look forward to help create professional programmes and resources to support the current and future generations of cricket match officials. The new role includes working closely with the national cricket federations which is really exciting as is continuing to work with the entire cricket community in helping the development of our cricket umpires," Taufel said.

Taufel made his international debut in January 1999 in an ODI between Australia in Sri Lanka in Sydney and 23 months later he made his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test between Australia and the West Indies. Taufel umpired in 74 Tests and 174 ODIs with his last Test and ODI appearances being at Lord's in August 2012 in matches featuring England and South Africa.

Taufel stood in the 2011 World Cup final and was also in the middle for the deciders of the World Twenty20 in 2007, 2009 and 2012; as well as the Champions Trophy in 2004. Taufel was also part of the group of officials shot at during the terrorist attack in Pakistan in 2009.

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