Former member of ICC’s Elite Panel of Umpire’s, Simon Taufel takes a trip down memory lane to the 2011 World Cup where he officiated in the semi-final between India and Pakistan, and then in the final between India and Sri Lanka. Simon Taufel says that the hosts played in two finals as the semi-final against their arch-rivals also felt like a final.
India defeated Pakistan by 29 runs courtesy of Sachin Tendulkar’s knock of 85 runs, and then got the better of Sri Lanka with the help of two great knocks from Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni to clinch the World Cup trophy after 28 years, becoming the first team to do so on home soil.
“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,” Simon Taufel told ICC.
“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,” he added.
For us umpires it is all about the sense of relief that we have actually gotten through it: Simon Taufel
When MS Dhoni launched the title-winning six, Simon Taufel, who was named the ICC’s Umpire of the Year every year from 2004 to 2008, says that he was relieved, more than anything else, that the game and the tournament was over.
He was standing alongside Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar in the final. The 50-year-old former pacer talks about how satisfied he and the other umpires were that the tournament went through without any controversy involving the umpires.
“You look at the full house of the crowd and the noise that is going on, and I remember turning to Aleem and said ‘good luck hearing anything tonight and may all of your outside edges be loud ones’. 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 are celebrating or other people are consoling each other, for us umpires it is all about the sense of relief that we have actually gotten through it. Nothing significant or major has happened to be a talking point or a distracting issue from an umpiring team perspective and that is a great thing and we can just walk in the room and just relax now,” the Australian stated.
Also Read: IPL 2021: Devdutt Padikkal Returns Negative For Covid; Joins RCB Set-Up