Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Simon Taufel, next IPL casualty!

If my previous post-- on how the Indian Premier League (IPL) has hit Australian cricket and poses a serious threat to the game at large-- seemed far-fetched, sample this.

Simon Taufel, who never missed the ICC Umpire of the Year award since its 2004 inception, is not keen to renew his contract which expires on March 31.

Talking to The Daily Telegraph, Taufel says

After that I am on the open market.

While he tried to convince the world that he wants to spend more time with family and hence the decision, Taufel hinted he was game for the IPL plunge.

That's possible but I don't know what the parameters are yet.

Now, if officiating in 59 Twenty20 matches of the cash-awash IPL spread over 44 days fill your coffers, who wants to stand under the scorching sun and intermittent shower for days at stretch throughout the year to earn his bread?

This would be a terrible blow for the ICC, which is already grappling with umpiring blunders that blighted the Sydney Test.

Of the 10 umpires on the ICC panel, finger-happy Steve Bucknor and the Oval-faced Darrell Hair are cooling their heels on the sidelines. South African Rudi Koertzen has no clue about what happened at the striker’s end and 22 yards seems too much for his eyeshot.

By April, when the IPL is thrust on us, prepare for more crises.

Image: Getty Images

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