Taufel bags Umpire of the year award to make it five in a row

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Dubai, Sep 11 (UNI) For the fifth successive time, Australia's Simon Taufel was named as Umpire of the Year at the ICC Awards here last night.

The 37-year-old Taufel was voted to this award by the 10 Full Member captains as well as the eight-man Elite Panel of ICC Referees.

''I'm delighted to win this award but I don't set this as a goal at the start of a season. My goals are to be selected for finals and for major championships like the Champions Trophy or World Twenty20. If Ricky and the boys slip up eventually I might get the chance to do a final,'' Taufel said after receiving the award.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat presented the award and said it was 'remarkable' that Taufel had won the award for the fifth year in a row.

''Umpiring is essentially a mental exercise. For me it's about being mentally fit and keeping at the top of my game,'' Taufel added.

Taufel beat off strong competition for this award from his colleagues on the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires Mark Benson, Rudi Koertzen, Steve Davis and Aleem Dar.

Taufel, who made his first-class debut as an umpire in 1994-95, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in 2003 and and has won the award every year since its inception in 2004.

In the voting period of these awards Taufel stood in 10 Tests and 16 ODIs, as well as the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa, where he was an on-field umpire in the thrilling India vs Pakistan final along with Benson.

The Umpire of the Year was one of 11 individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented in association with FICA (the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations).

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