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“Seemed like the whole world had their private jets parked at Chandigarh Airport”: Simon Taufel on 2011 India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final

India rejoice after beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semi-final.
India rejoice after beating arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semi-final.
Modified 07 Apr 2021

Former international umpire Simon Taufel has said that the 2011 World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan in Mohali was the final before the final.

Taufel is regarded as one of the greatest umpires in the game before he retired from the sport after the 2012 T20 World Cup.

Speaking to ICC about the India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final in 2011, Taufel recalled:

"The semi-final in Mohali was certainly a wonderful occasion and in a lot of ways, it was a final in itself. It seemed like the whole world was watching us, it seemed like the whole world had their private jets parked at Chandigarh Airport. Already the city of Mumbai was in celebration mode in anticipation of what I would call a second final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.”

India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in the World Cup semi-final in Mohali to progress to the final against Sri Lanka. In a bizarre match, Sachin Tendulkar, who top-scored with 85, was dropped four times by Pakistan in the match.

Chasing 261 for a place in the final, Pakistan were restricted to 231, as five Indian bowlers picked up two wickets apiece to stifle the visitors.

Glad that we got through unscathed: Simon Taufel on 2011 World Cup final

Looking back at the 2011 World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the former umpire said that he was very relieved when MS Dhoni hit the winning six to seal the match.


Explaining how difficult it was to officiate in that game owing to the noise generated by a packed house, Simon Taufel elaborated:

"You looked at the full house of the crowd and the noise that was going on, and I remember turning to Aleem (Dar) and saying 'good luck hearing anything tonight, and may all of your outside edges be loud ones'."

Simon Taufel continued:

"I remember the ball being hit out of the park, and in some ways, you think 'thank god that is over and we've got through the event relatively unscathed'. While other people were celebrating or other people were consoling each other, for us umpires, it was all about the sense of relief that we actually got through it. Nothing significant or major happened to be a talking point or a distracting issue from an umpiring team perspective, and that was a great thing and we could just walk into the room and relax".

India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the 2011 World Cup final. Chasing 275 to win, Dhoni led from the front with an unbeaten 91 off 79 balls, finishing the game off with a towering six off Nuwan Kulasekara, a shot that is now part of Indian cricketing folklore.

Published 07 Apr 2021, 13:19 IST
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