Colombo, Sept 26 (IBNS) The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday announced that Simon Taufel will step down from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires at the end of the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012, which runs until Oct 7, to take up the new role of ICC Umpire Performance and Training Manager.
The 41-year-old made his international debut in Jan 1999 in an ODI between Australia in Sri Lanka in Sydney and 23 months later he made his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test between Australia and the West Indies.
In an outstanding career, Simon Taufel umpired in 74 Tests and 174 ODIs with his last Test and ODI appearances being at Lord's a month ago in matches featuring England and South Africa.
Simon Taufel won the ICC Umpire of the Year award for five successive years from 2004 to 2008 and also had the honour of umpiring in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
He also stood in the finals of the ICC World Twenty20 2007 and 2009 in South Africa and England respectively, as well as in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 in England along with Rudi Koertzen.
Simon Taufel, announcing his decision, said: "Following the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012, I'm moving on from active international umpiring for personal and professional reasons. 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."
Simon Taufel also thanked for the support he received during his illustrious career. "I'd particularly like to acknowledge and sincerely thank my family, all the umpires and referees that I've worked with, the NSWCU&SA (New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association), Cricket Australia, the ICC staff, my coaches and friends for their support and sacrifice.
"What we have achieved together over a long period of time has been very rewarding and satisfying. It's been a great journey, but the time is right to take a new path and I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity of assisting the next umpiring generation.
"Finally, my personal thanks and appreciation goes to all the players, coaches, scorers, support staff, media and administrators I have worked with, and who have contributed to many good moments and memories," he added.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, paying tribute to Simon Taufel, 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, a 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," added Richardson.