Taufel is Umpire of Year again

The Australian umpire, Simon Taufel, has been named as Umpire of the Year for the fifth successive year at the ICC Awards in Dubai. Taufel, 37, received his votes from the captains of the ten Full Member nations, as well as the eight-man elite panel of ICC match referees.
Receiving the award, Taufel said: "I'm delighted to win this award but I don't set this as a goal at the start of a season. My goals are to be selected for finals and for major championships like the Champions Trophy or World Twenty20. If Ricky and the boys slip up eventually I might get the chance to do a final.

"Umpiring is essentially a mental exercise. For me it's about being mentally fit and keeping at the top of my game."

Taufel was presented the award by ICC's chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, who said it was "remarkable" that Taufel had won the award for the fifth year in a row. Taufel beat off strong competition for this award from his colleagues on the elite panel - Mark Benson, Rudi Koertzen, Steve Davis and Aleem Dar.

Taufel, who made his first-class debut as an umpire in 1994-95, joined the panel in 2003. In the voting period of these awards, he stood in 10 Tests and 16 ODIs, as well as the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa, where he was an on-field umpire in the thrilling India v Pakistan final, along with Benson.

The Umpire of the Year was one of 11 individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented in association with the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations. The awards were based on the 12 months between August 9, 2007 and August 12, 2008.