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.