Virat Kohli, JP Duminy and Irfan Pathan say other umpires will have to meet the standards Simon Taufel has set
Tributes poured in for Simon Taufel, the most decorated of ICC's Elite Panel of Umpires.
Simon Taufel’s retirement as an active umpire at the end of the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 will mean that the most decorated member of the ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpires will not be around to oversee big games anymore.
Taufel has been among the few officials who have been regarded with respect across the board, and once he announced his retirement, players cutting across team boundaries came out with their tributes.
Virat Kohli, vice-captain of the Indian team, said that Taufel had set the bar as far as umpiring is concerned. “He has been the best by far over the years now. He has been very consistent,” said Kohli. “He has built good relations with players, every player is friendly with him and every one respects him. In return, he respects the players as well. We (the players) have a sort of comfort level with him.”
Jean-Paul Duminy, the South African middle-order batsman, echoed Kohli’s words. “Taufel has been outstanding for the sport,” said Duminy.
“He is still going to be involved in the training programme, so I wish him all the best for the future,” added Duminy, alluding to Taufel’s future engagement as ICC Umpire Training and Performance Manager.
Irfan Pathan, the Indian all-rounder, also used the word ‘respect’ liberally in the context. “I think he has taken umpiring to a different level. Whenever you meet him, you feel like giving respect to him,” said Pathan. “The way he has carried himself over the years has been amazing.”
Duminy also mentioned how Taufel would spend many minutes watching teams practice before games. “It’s professionalism,” said Duminy. “I have always seen him in practice sessions before the match, making sure that he has got his eye in.”
Going back to the fact that when Taufel stood as an umpire during a match, the players also felt more confident, Kohli said, “He is not too harsh on you. You know that he is going to do his job well and he expects you to do the same. He is a gem of a person.”
“It’s now up to other umpires to live up to the standards he has set,” said Kohli, concluding his tribute to Taufel.