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September 26, 2012
The Australian umpire Simon Taufel will step down from the ICC's elite panel at the end of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. He will be replaced by his countryman Bruce Oxenford, who will join the elite panel from November 1, having impressed the ICC with his work at international level over the past few years.
Taufel, 41, will take up the newly-created role of umpire performance and training manager with the ICC, a job that he hopes will allow him to spend more time at home in Sydney with his wife and children after nearly a decade of travelling the world as a match official. Taufel was named the ICC's Umpire of the Year five successive times from 2004 to 2008 and has remained one of the game's most respected umpires throughout his career.
In 2011, he stood in the World Cup final and has also been in the middle for the deciders of the World Twenty20 in 2007 and 2009, as well as the Champions Trophy in 2004. However, Taufel also endured the horror of being part of the group of officials shot at during the terrorist attack in Pakistan in 2009.
"Following the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012, I'm moving on from active international umpiring for personal and professional reasons," Taufel said. "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."
The ICC's chief executive, Dave Richardson, said: "Simon has been one of the most respected umpires for over a decade due to his excellent decision-making and man-management skills. 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. In the meantime I know that Simon, thorough professional that he is, will want to focus on the job at hand, that of getting things right on the field, something he has done as well as any other umpire in the history of the game."
Taufel will leave the game having stood in 74 Test matches and 174 one-day internationals. He made his international debut at the age of 27 in a one-day international in Sydney in 1999 and his first Test appearance came in the Boxing Day Test of 2000, when he was 29.
A former leading schoolboy cricketer in Sydney, Taufel was a fast bowler who played in teams alongside Michael Slater and Adam Gilchrist. However, a back injury ended his playing career and he took to umpiring at a young age.
His replacement on the international panel, Oxenford, is a former first-class cricketer who played eight matches for Queensland in the early 1990s. Oxenford, 52, made his debut as an international umpires in a T20 match in early 2006 and over the past three years has regularly been appointed to tours outside Australia as part of the ICC's international panel.
"Bruce is a very experienced and respected umpire, and follows a long line of elite Australian umpires," Vince van der Bijl, the ICC's umpire and referee manager, said. "He has been umpiring at the first-class level for well over a decade and is committed and dedicated to officiating. We are delighted to welcome Bruce, who will add his own brand of professionalism, energy and love of umpiring to the elite panel."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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