Simon James Arthur Taufel, (born 21 January 1971 in St Leonards, New South Wales), is a former Australian cricket umpire who was earlier a member of the ICC Elite umpire panel. He won five consecutive ICC Umpire of the Year awards between 2004 and 2008, and was generally considered to have been the best umpire in the world during his time. He announced his retirement from international cricket on 26 September 2012, after the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 final. He subsequently worked as the ICC's Umpire Performance and Training Manager until October 2015.
|Full name||Simon James Arthur Taufel|
|Born||21 January 1971|
St Leonards, New South Wales, Australia
|Domestic team information|
|Tests umpired||74 (2000–2012)|
|ODIs umpired||174 (1999–2012)|
|T20Is umpired||34 (2007–2012)|
Source: ESPNCricinfo, 6 October 2012
Taufel played for Cammeray Cricket Club in the Northern Suburbs Cricket Association as a fast-medium bowler. After the 1990–1991 season he won the club's best and fairest award, was leading wicket-taker and had the lowest bowling average in the association. His career was cut short by a back injury.
Despite initially having no intention of becoming an umpire, he agreed to go along with a friend to an umpiring course. After he passed the subsequent exam he began umpiring grade cricket. He quickly progressed through the ranks and made his first-class debut in 1995, aged just 24.
Taufel stood in his first One Day International (ODI) on 13 January 1999 in the match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Sydney when he was 27 years old. He umpired his first Test match in December 2000 – the Boxing Day Test between Australia and West Indies at Melbourne. He became a member of the Emirates International Panel of ICC Umpires in 2002. He was chosen to umpire at the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
Taufel has been named the top umpire of the year five times, and in August 2006 the ICC's annual umpire review officially ranked second for accuracy (behind Darrell Hair), and top overall. He umpired in the final of the 2004 Champions Trophy. At the 2006 Champions Trophy he umpired a semi-final, but could not umpire the final because Australia had reached the final. In January 2007 he became the youngest umpire to stand in 100 ODIs, and in April 2007 took charge of the World Cup semi-final between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, again being ineligible for the final which featured Australia. He umpired alongside Aleem Dar in the final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup between Sri Lanka and India, gaining the opportunity to do so after Australia were knocked out by India in the Quarter Finals.
On 3 March 2009, Taufel was one of the officials caught in the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team by terrorists in Lahore, Pakistan. He along with Chris Broad criticized the Pakistan security forces' response to the incident.
Taufel quit international cricket after the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, at which he was umpiring at the time. He stepped down from cricket's elite panel of umpires to take over a new role as the ICC's Umpire Performance and Training Manager. He resigned from that role in October 2015.
Taufel won the ICC Umpire of the Year for the first five years of its existence (2004–2008). His winning streak was broken in October 2009, when Aleem Dar of Pakistan won the ICC Umpire of the Year award.
Taufel is the youngest person to have received the ICC's Bronze Bails Award for umpiring 100 ODIs.
- Taufel is Umpire of Year again Cricinfo. Retrieved September 2008
- "Taufel to retire after World Twenty20". Cricinfo. 26 September 2012.
- "Mohali semifinal my most exciting match: Taufel". Wisden India. 6 October 2012.
- "Simon Taufel's comment on Training of Third Umpires". Times of India. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
- "Taufel to resign as ICC umpires manager". Cricinfo. 14 October 2015.
- "106th Annual Report and Financial Statement" (PDF). Northern Suburbs Cricket Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- "Statistics". Cammeray Cricket Club. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- Arora, Nishant (9 February 2006). "Taufel puts on his exercising shoes". Cricket Next. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- "Emirates Elite Panel of Umpires – Simon Taufel". International Cricket Council. Archived from the original on 5 November 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
- Simon Taufel : Australian Cricket Umpire Statistics Archived 7 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- "India v Sri Lanka: Taufel and Dar to umpire World Cup final". Cricinfo.
- "We were abandoned by Pak security: Simon Taufel". Indian Express. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.