Bangalore, Sep 26: One of the best umpires in world cricket, Simon Taufel of Australia will retire after the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old Taufel will take up a new role with ICC after the World T20 in Sri Lanka. He is currently umpiring in Sri Lanka.
"The ICC has announced that Simon Taufel will step down from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires at the end of the World T20," ICC tweeted on Wednesday morning.
In another tweet, ICC wrote: "Simon Taufel will take up the new role of ICC Umpire Performance and Training Manager at the end of the World T20."
The Australian umpired in 74 Tests and 174 ODIs with his last Test and ODI appearances being at Lord's a month ago in England-South Africa series. So far he has stood in 29 Twenty20 Internationals, the most by a umpire.
Taufel umpired in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. He also stood in the finals of the ICC World Twenty20 2007 and 2009 in South Africa and England respectively, as well as in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 in England along with Rudi Koertzen.
Taufel, announcing his decision, said: "Following the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012, I'm moving on from active international umpiring for personal and professional reasons. My wife and children have supported me immensely throughout my career and it is time for me to spend more time with them.
"My passion for cricket umpiring and personal professional development has shifted from on the field to off the field. In my new position as ICC Umpire Performance and Training Manager, I look forward to help create professional programmes and resources to support the current and future generations of cricket match officials.
"The new role includes working closely with the National Cricket Federations which is really exciting as is continuing to work with the entire cricket community in helping the development of our cricket umpires."
Simon Taufel also thanked for the support he received during his illustrious career. "I'd particularly like to acknowledge and sincerely thank my family, all the umpires and referees that I've worked with, the NSWCU&SA (New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association), Cricket Australia, the ICC staff, my coaches and friends for their support and sacrifice.
"What we have achieved together over a long period of time has been very rewarding and satisfying. It's been a great journey, but the time is right to take a new path and I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity of assisting the next umpiring generation.
"Finally, my personal thanks and appreciation goes to all the players, coaches, scorers, support staff, media and administrators I have worked with, and who have contributed to many good moments and memories," he added.
Former Australian player-turned commentator, Tom Moody said he was "sad" that Taufel was stepping down but added that he was thrilled at his role as an "educator". "Sad to see Simon Taufel stand down as an elite umpire one of the best the game's had! Thrilled though he's staying involved as an educator," Mood wrote on his twitter page.
Moody wrote in another tweet: "Simon Taufel probably the first to bring total professionalism to umpiring, embracing physical & mental preparation, ahead of his time!"
His Test umpiring debut was in 2000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) when Australia played West Indies. His first ODI match was Australia Vs Sri Lanka in 1999 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). In Durban, 2007, he made his T20I debut in the match between New Zealand and Kenya.
Taufel won the ICC Umpire of the Year awards for five successive years, between 2004 and 2008.
Simon Taufel Umpiring Biography
Test debut Australia v West Indies at Melbourne, Dec 26-29, 2000
Last Test England v South Africa at Lord's, Aug 16-20, 2012
Test matches 74
ODI debut Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney, Jan 13, 1999
Last ODI England v South Africa at Lord's, Sep 2, 2012
ODI matches 174
T20I debut Kenya v New Zealand at Durban, Sep 12, 2007
Last T20I England v India at Colombo (RPS), Sep 23, 2012
T20I matches 29
Note: Taufel might stand in the Super Eights of World T20
ICC Umpire of the Year 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008