A local audience braved the winter chills at the Bradman Museum last night. They gathered to hear former international cricket umpire and current ICC Elite Umpire Performance and Training Manager, Simon Taufel speak about umpiring international cricket. Following the talk the audience watched the first session live from Trent Bridge.
Simon is a gifted speaker and entertained the audience taking them deep into the detail of officiating in a Test match all the while building anticipation for that first ball of the 2013 Ashes series. He spoke of the discipline required to umpire at the top level, not just in concentrating on the field but also staying fit and healthy off it – not an easy task in third-world environments.
A knowledgeable audience questioned Simon about the ever-evolving relationship between the umpires and new technologies and were shocked to hear that no less than 32 different cameras are used in today’s games. These and other challenges to the umpires authority are immense yet the modern umpire is correct in better than 91% of all cases. Intriguingly the Decision Referral System available to Captains show reversing of umpiring decisions are successful in only 22% of cases. Those figures speak volumes of elite umpires’ judgment capability!
Simon, a victim of the Lahore terrorist attack against the Sri Lankan team in 2009, also spoke about the heighted security that complicates running matches in many countries today, including individual security screening required of all players, match officials and spectators.
Ever seeking higher umpiring standards at all levels of cricket, Simon Taufel left the Highlands the next day for Nagpur, India to attend a gathering of the International Cricket Council’s Elite Umpire Training Panel.
Simon delivered the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture this year. Read and listen to his address here.