After players, IPL targets umpires; Taufel first in list

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Sydney, Feb 12 (UNI) International Cricket Council's (ICC) number one umpire Simon Taufel, may turn down his contract with cricket's governing body and can join the multi-million dollar Twenty20 venture with the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Taufel's contract with the ICC expires on March 31 but he is not sure whether he will renew his contract or not.

''After [March 31] I am on the open market,'' he told Daily Telegraph.

The 37-year-old Australian added that unlike international players, umpires hardly get an opportunity to stand on their home grounds.

He said constant travelling throughout the year is taking its toll on the umpires and needed time to spend with their families.

''The difference between us and the players is we don't have a home series as such. That makes it harder. There are fewer opportunities for us.

''How do you balance that with hobbies and family life and celebrating anniversaries? ''I am taking it year by year. It's important to spend time with my family, spend more time with my kids. I am always looking for new opportunities, not necessarily umpiring,'' he said.

However, rated as the best umpire for last four years, Taufel is expected to receive a call from the lucrative IPL and did not rule out leaving international umpiring for the Indian venture.

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

Taufel's loss could be a big blow to the ICC which witnessed a series of controversies following various umpiring blunders in recent times.

The BCCI backed IPL is expected to offer hefty amounts to the umpires which the officials would find hard to turn down.

Currently, umpires are on a retainer and are paid 6,600 dollars per Test and 3,300 dollars per One-Day International.

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