MCC news January 11, 2013

Taufel to deliver MCC lecture

ESPNcricinfo staff

Simon Taufel, the recently retired Australian umpire, will give the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture this year. He will be the first umpire to do so.

Taufel became the most respected umpire in the world after standing in his first Test match aged 29 in 2000. He was named umpire of the year five successive times from 2004 to 2008 and stood in 74 Tests, 174 ODIs and 34 international Twenty20s - the last of which being the World T20 final in October.

He will be the third Australian to deliver the lecture, this year on July 24, following Richie Benaud in 2001 and Adam Gilchrist in 2009, and the third non-international cricketer after Christopher Martin-Jenkins in 2007 and Desmond Tutu in 2008.

"Simon Taufel has been one of the most respected umpires in world cricket for over a decade," MCC president, Mike Griffith, said. "I am delighted that he has accepted the club's invitation to give the thirteenth lecture.

"He will offer a unique insight into how the spirit of cricket preamble practically translates within the modern game. As a member of the MCC laws sub-committee, the club already benefits from his vast knowledge and experience to help tackle the key issues surrounding the game's laws. I am very much looking forward to listening to him address the current areas of contention in the sport."

Taufel said he was initially shocked to be asked: "I am delighted, honoured and humbled to be able to participate in such an important cricket event - I look forward to representing umpiring in this fine tradition and all that Lord Cowdrey stood for."

The spirit of cricket Cowdrey lecture began in 2001 in memory of the late Lord Cowdrey, a past president of MCC, who, together with another former president, Ted Dexter, was the driving force in having the spirit of cricket included as the preamble to the laws of the game.

Previous lectures have been delivered by Kumar Sangakkara, who, in 2011, was the youngest person to do so, former England captain Geoffrey Boycott and West Indian great Clive Lloyd.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 13, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Leave Spirit of cricket as Cricket fields still need his on field services.In Taufel's presence Aleem Dar concentration was good but its dipping now so do less but do Umpiring not only lectures

  • Peter on January 11, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    What a good choice! Delighted to learn this. Taufel was absolutely superb as an umpire & the best in the world for several years. Always a sense of relief to see him striding out to the middle, as you knew no-one would bother "trying it on." Rising above the fray, he was calmness personified, not to mention always seeming to get his decisions right! Have hardly heard him speak, apart from a few brief words into a mike during bad rain breaks. Looking forward to this lecture very much. LILLIANTHOMSON: You are right that Cowdrey backed very much the wrong side in 1968, and post-apartheid posterity does not show his actions at the time in the best light. I, too, think he was wrong but he was doing what he thought was right. Given his background (very establishment, top connections) & his understandably strong wish to save the tour (as well as the pressure on him) his actions were understandable. It was '68, not 2013. But I wish he'd acted differently & no doubt so did poor Dolly.

  • David on January 11, 2013, 15:07 GMT

    Anyone familiar with the d'Oliveira affair will wonder how Colin Cowdrey's name came to be attached to a Spirit of Cricket lecture.

    I'm sure that M.C.C was a splendid, clubbable fellow. But Peter Oborn's biography of D'Oliveira painted a very unfavourable picture of his behaviour at that time.

  • John on January 11, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    Simon - heap more pressure on the BCCI by giving a ringing endorsement to the full use of DRS in all international matches. Call for the control of DRS to be under the ICC Elite umpiring panel and make the point that with India using DRS it will be much easier to finance its costs through an integrated ICC sponsorship of DRS eg by Emirates or Etihad. That would be in the Spirit of cricket !

  • Ryan on January 11, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Nice to see this. Taufel was a very good umpire. Although, at the end of his career, his ability, like a cricketer, begun to decline. He retired at the right time.

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