Former International Cricket Council Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel doesn’t think cricket’s increasing reliance on technology has rendered his ilk irrelevant but says they need encouragement for making decisions.
“I don’t think so,” the five-time ICC Umpire of the Year winner said when asked if umpires are losing relevance.
“But we should encourage umpires to use good techniques and to make decisions, we shouldn’t just abrogate the responsibility that we are making decisions [after referring] everything upstairs, we should be backing our cricket umpires to call it as they see it. The umpires get to the top because they make good decisions.”
The 48-year-old Australian is here to promote ‘Filling the Gaps’, a book that draws from Taufel’s life experience, including surviving the 2009 terrorist attack in Lahore.
Asked if technology was taking the charm out of cricket, he said right balance has to be maintained.
“What’s really important to me is that we [need to] keep a good balance of human endeavours and skills together with technology.”
He is all praise for India captain Virat Kohli and said he is someone who is setting an example for his team.
“I have used Kohli as an example of someone who’s developing their leadership skills in a positive way. He is certainly more in touch with his abilities as a captain, abilities as a leader.
“And some of the things we talked about Virat - not asking his team or players to do things which he wouldn’t do himself, by maintaining his personal high standard and setting an example to follow and making sure that he would continue to add value to his team.
“He has maintained his high standards and is setting an example for his players. He keeps challenging his team which is really good. He is starting to show some great leadership qualities,” Taufel told PTI in a telephonic interaction.
His thoughts were again sought on whether day/night Tests were the way forward to popularise the longest format.
“Well it is something that needs exploration, there are some challenges around the conditions, whether that’s dew at night or the colour of the ball, there are some intriguing challenges with the format being played at that time of the day.
“But it is something that we should explore on the basis that it might be a part of the solution for giving Test cricket a little bit of more exposure, and prominence with the public.
“We have to make sure that it is not the only thing we try, it is really important to promote Test cricket and promote the players who play Test cricket,” he added.