Umpire Simon Taufel announces retirement
Australia's premier cricket umpire Simon Taufel has announced he will quit the international circuit following the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Taufel will step down from the game's elite panel of umpires to take over a new role as the ICC's Umpire Performance and Training Manager.
The 41-year-old made a meteoric rise through the ranks and was named the ICC's Umpire of the Year for five consecutive seasons from 2004-08.
Taufel stood in his first one day international in 1999 as a 27-year-old, and was just 29 when he made his Test debut the following summer.
The Sydneysider is eager to spend more time with his wife and children and said the time was right to move away from having an on-field role to mentoring the next generation of officials.
"Following the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, 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," said Taufel in an ICC statement.
"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."
In an outstanding career, Taufel umpired in 74 Tests and 174 ODIs with his last Test and ODI appearances being at Lord's a month ago in matches featuring England and South Africa.
Taufel has also had the honour of umpiring in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai and stood in the finals of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 and 2009 as well as in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004.
ICC chief executive David Richardson said he was looking forward to what Taufel could offer to the game in his new role.
"Simon has been one of the most respected umpires for over a decade due to his excellent decision-making and man-management skills," said Richardson.
"He has been a role model for umpires globally who look to him for inspiration and guidance. I am delighted that he will be working with us to groom and develop the next generation of elite umpires and have no doubt that he will be equally successful in his new role as ICC's Umpire Performance and Training Manager."