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You are your best judge, says Simon Taufel

Tête-à-tête: Simon Taufel (right) with Santosh Desai at the event in Mumbai on Saturday

Tête-à-tête: Simon Taufel (right) with Santosh Desai at the event in Mumbai on Saturday  

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5-time winner of ICC’s Best Umpire title speaks about his book at Mumbai LitFest

Simon Taufel, five-time winner of the International Cricket Council’s Best Umpire title, on Saturday said the best judge of any player’s game is the player himself.

Mr. Taufel made revelation while talking about his latest book, Finding The Gaps, at Tata Literature Live! - The Mumbai LitFest on Saturday. The Australian umpire said it took him more time to find a publisher for the book than to write it.

“It took me about 17 days to write the whole book, but it took me more then two months to find a publisher for it,” he said. Mr. Taufel has been part of 74 test matches, 174 ODI matches and 34 T-20 matches during his career.

The umpire also touched upon the 2009 attacks on the Sri Lankan cricket team, when he was also part of the convoy and had a narrow escape. “It was day which changed the cricket landscape. It was that day that I learnt how important life is. I first thought fireworks were being set off to welcome the players. It was only later that I realised that we were under attack by a group of terrorists. My driver was shot in the head and died on spot, while the fourth umpire was shot twice on the stomach. I feel lucky to have got out alive,” Mr. Taufel said.

He also expressed concern about the fact that while people idolise players, they hardly spare a thought for the feelings of the umpire.

“I have talked about this incident in the book because I think it was an event that taught me the importance of friendship and courage. People must understand that even the umpires have feelings, desires, hopes and passion as other human beings,” Mr. Taufel said.

Talking about the game and an umpire’s role, Mr. Taufel revealed that he is not a big supporter of Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which was introduced in cricket few years ago.

“It’s like pointing out an umpire’s mistake in public. Just think of how embarrassing it might be for him when he has to reverse his decision based on the VAR, while thousands watch from the stands,” Mr. Taufel said.

He also talked about the importance and impact that a captain has over his team.

“A captain should accept the responsibility when his team loses a particular match. For example, Virat Kohli has all the qualities of being a good captain. He does get a bit aggressive on field sometimes, but which human being does not have flaws?” he asked.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 10:07:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/you-are-your-best-judge-says-simon-taufel/article29995576.ece

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