Taufel umpired in 74 Tests and 174 ODIs with his last Test and ODI appearances being at Lord’s a month ago

When Simon Taufel strides out to the middle alongside Aleem Dar seconds before the start of the ICC World Twenty20 final here on Sunday, the Australian will surely feel a twinge of emotion.

Having announced his retirement from the ICC’s Elite Panel, the renowned umpire is all set to bow out after a one last stand near the pitch, making split-second decisions with an unflappable approach while his face will remain inscrutable as ever.

Taufel, who is all set to embrace his new role of being the ICC High Performance Manager for Umpires, spoke to the media here on Saturday. Excerpts:

The big game

I can instantly remember that the India versus Pakistan (semifinal) game at Mohali during the 2011 World Cup was the most exciting one. The Prime Ministers of the two countries were present and it was more than just a game of cricket.

I believe there were two finals in 2011 World Cup. The semifinal and the final.

The challenges

Shane Warne bowling 25 overs on the fifth day of a Test match in Adelaide or (Muttiah) Muralitharan bowling 25 overs on the final day at Kandy were some of the big moments.

The moment of truth

That day (on which terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus at Lahore in 2009) did change me personally.

I learnt a lot on that day and it helped me focus on the priorities of my life. After that incident, I had to make a difficult phone call to my wife.

The final good-bye

I always wanted to finish at an ICC event and go out on my own terms. I wanted to have my family here when I walk away from on-field international umpiring.

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