Taufel hopes to see Pakistan hosting international matches in the near future
Veteran Australian umpire Simon Taufel, who was in Pakistan during the horrific terrorist attack that targeted the Sri Lankan team members in March 2009, has revealed that he would like to see international cricket return to the nation since he has had plenty of fond memories about the country, the people and the cricket matches played there.
The Express Tribune quoted Taufel as saying: “We all would like cricket to be played in Pakistan sooner than later. It’s certainly a place I have fond memories of and of the people and cricket played there. I have officiated a lot in Pakistan, it is important that we learn from experiences and we learnt a lot from that. The cricket that we see today is different, the security level we see these days for players, officials and venues, is more and people are more aware of those potential problems now.”
The attack, carried by gunmen, killed six police officers and the driver of the bus Taufel was travelling on.
It also left seven Sri Lankan players and a reserve umpire injured.
Since then, Pakistan have not hosted a single international tour, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are doing everything possible to revive the sport in their country.
Taufel, who announced his retirement from umpiring after the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 final, stated that the attack had left a lasting mark on the sport and himself as well.
“It (the incident) did change me personally and did change cricket. I think my family is happy seeing me sitting here. It was a difficult telephone call which I had with my wife that day,” Taufel said.