Simon Taufel calls it quits from his leadership role in Cricket Australia's umpiring wing
Umpiring great Simon Taufel, who has been the head of umpiring for Cricket Australia of late, has reportedly quit office.
A report from the Fairfax Media explains that Taufel took early leave last week and will not return before his contract expires on Friday, which will be just a fortnight before the 2018-19 season opens with the domestic one-day series.
Having been recruited by CA's head of performance Pat Howard with an aim of improving the standards of umpiring within the country, Taufel had only been in the role as match referee and umpire selection panel manager since August 2016. His primary role was overseeing umpires and referees at first-class and Big Bash League level.
There is a lot of doubt regarding the actual reasons why Taufel decided to leave, with a CA spokesperson citing ''personal decisions'' to be behind Taufel's departure. At the same time, there is also enough reason to believe that he had grown frustrated with the leadership in the sport. In either case, it is understood that Taufel has left on his own volition.
One definite source said that he was "well known for his serious, precise, professional approach to matching management issues" but then, that he "had difficulty carrying all key people forward with him". The report also speaks of a lack of funding into his department being a major potential reason.
Taufel, who hails from Sydney, started umpiring at the age of 29 and officiated in 74 Tests, 174 one-day internationals and 34 Twenty20 Internationals. He was the "ICC Umpire of the Year" each year between 2004 and 2008. Post-retirement, he came to the new role amidst concerns that CA's levels in the management and training of umpires and match referees at a first-class level had slipped considerably, and has since worked hard in clearing those doubts.