ICC Awards 2007 September 10, 2007

Taufel voted top umpire of the year

Cricinfo staff

Simon Taufel: the Roger Federer of umpiring © Getty Images
Simon Taufel proved he was still the best umpire in world cricket by winning the Umpire of the Year prize for the fourth year running at the ICC awards in Johanesburg. Taufel, 36, was rated ahead of Mark Benson, Daryl Harper and Steve Bucknor, the three others who had been shortlisted for the award.

Asked to compare himself with Roger Federer, who won the US Open for the fourth year in a row on Sunday, Taufel only said: "Roger earns a lot more money than I do."

Elaborating on his own achievement, Taufel said: "It is certainly special and something I don't take for granted. It is a great honour to get this for the fourth time in a row. "For the other nominees Mark Benson, Daryl Harper and Steve Bucknor, I thought they had a great year and it was a pleasure to stand with them.

"Hopefully it raises the profile for our position in sport and perhaps it encourages young boys and girls or men and women to take up umpiring and that has to be good. There is no magic formula, just a lot of hard work and it is important to remember it is a player's game."

Taufel was given the award after the ten Test captains and the eight-man panel of match referees submitted their votes.

Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive who presented the award, said: "On behalf of the ICC I would like to congratulate Simon on this award. He is a brilliant umpire and it is good to see that he is being recognised as such. It is clear that the players and the referees have enormous confidence in him and rightly so.

"He has once again had an outstanding year making decisions in pressure situations all over the world and this award reflects the fact he has got the vast majority of those decisions right."

In the period under consideration (August 9, 2006 to August 7, 2007), Taufel stood in five Tests and 23 ODIs, including the Champions Trophy and the World Cup.