Greetings from Jaipur in India.
After the ICC Cricket World Cup here in India, I managed to have three weeks break with the family and am now back in “Incredible India” for the 4th edition of the IPL T20 competition. Having arrived a couple of days ago, it was my first match today between Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals and Yuvraj Singh’s Pune Warriors.
Up to today I have spent my couple of days getting acclimatized with plenty of sleep, a light gym session, getting to know our security liaison officer Danie Jacobs and some retail therapy. My breakfast chats with Danie were very interesting as he was formerly a close protection officer to Nelson Mandela, one of my personal heroes. Danie told me of Nelson’s character, personality and leadership traits which were fascinating to hear and learn more about – I’m halfway through Nelson’s 751 page book and it has inspired me to finish it soon.
The weather here is very hot and getting hotter. We had a 4pm start to today’s game with the mercury still hovering around the 40 degree Celsius mark. Having woken up early at 3.45am, it was a long wait until leaving for the ground at 2.15pm. I was able to use the extra time to do some training work and clean up some outstanding emails.
…he not only tried to spin him out but also sledge him out with some comical lines relating to his lack of fitness and related chest size.
Warne won the toss and elected to bowl first. The heat and pressure was on with plenty of bowling changes and Warne himself getting stuck into Robin Uthappa as he not only tried to spin him out but also sledge him out with some comical lines relating to his lack of fitness and related chest size. We all had a good laugh over it. Pune managed a good score of 143 on difficult pitch off their 20 overs and looked very much in control when they had Rajasthan needing 52 runs off their last 36 balls.
Ross Taylor stood up for the home side and belted 17 off the next over and then was instrumental getting the equation down to needing 6 runs off the last over. Rajasthan got home with a few balls to spare and Taylor finished with 47 not out off 35 balls. The crowd was jubilant and somehow Pune had managed to let the game slip away.
Our match Referee, Dev Govindgee from South Africa, had officiated the last few matches here and for this time had been trying to get his picture taken with Liz Hurley (Shane Warne’s girlfriend) but never found the right opportunity. As this was his last game with Rajasthan and given the good mood of the locals, I grabbed Dev and his camera and led him back onto the field where the post match ceremony was taking place – find Shane and we’ll surely find Liz I thought. I had never met or spoken to Liz before and walked up to her and introduced Dev and asked her if she would be kind enough to pose for a picture with the Match Referee and his wife Urmila – “sure, not a problem” was the response. So, I took a few photos of them and left them to exchange small talk and went back to the umpire’s room for some supper – job done. (And no Helen, I did not stop to talk to Liz or get a photo with her, despite Shane asking me if I wanted to – it was just my good deed for the day…for Dev and his wife!).
Back to the hotel at around 8.30pm to pack and get ready for the 5.30am wakeup call as I fly off to Mumbai early in the morning for my next match. The T20 circus now rolls on and time to move on to the next venue and match.
All the best for now and take care, Simon.
Inside the juggernaut – Simon Taufel on umpiring big cricket.
Australian cricket umpire Simon Taufel has kindly agreed for the Museum to publish his blogs from major world tournaments. Featuring unique insights into the challenges and rewards of touring and umpiring at the top level, the Museum gratefully acknowledges Simon’s permission to reproduce his work.