Umpire of the Year Simon Taufel - 2006 Umpire of the Year © Getty Images Simon Taufel was named as Umpire of the Year for the third successive year at the ICC Awards in Mumbai. Taufel, who is 35 and from Australia, was voted to this award by the ten Test captains as well as the eight-man Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Referees. ICC President Percy Sonn said: "On behalf of the ICC I would like to congratulate Simon on this award. He is a brilliant umpire and it is good to see that he is being recognised as such. It is clear that the players and the referees have enormous confidence in him and rightly so. He has once again had an outstanding year making decisions in pressure situations all over the world and this award reflects the fact he has got the vast majority of those decisions right. “Mind you, it should be pointed out that the competition for this award was very tough because all the members of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires are excellent decision-makers in both ODIs and in the longer form of the game,” said Mr Sonn. Taufel’s calm, considered self-assurance instills confidence in players and spectators and this is backed up by an extremely high success rate in his decision making. He was selected to stand in the Johnnie Walker Super Series between Australia and ICC World XI in 2005 and stood in his first Test match at Lord’s in July 2006 when England took on Pakistan. Taufel, who made his first-class debut as an umpire in 1994/95, joined the Emirates Elite Panel in 2003. In the voting period of these awards (1 August 2005 to 8 August 2006), Taufel stood in 12 Tests and 15 ODIs. After receiving the award, Taufel said: “It is good to win an individual award but really it should be remembered that umpiring is a team sport. There are two guys out there in the middle, one in the box and a fourth umpire too so although it’s great to win this, it’s not an individual effort. “Winning this for the third time is possibly even more special for me because it tells me that what I am doing is along the right lines and it inspires me to keep improving in what I am doing. It is also a tribute to my coaches and family who have been supporting to me for so long. “It can be a tough existence at times and it’s not easy to keep at the top of your game but it is events like this that make a difference to us. Perhaps the ICC Awards will inspire other people to choose umpiring as a possible career path and that can only be good for the game.” The Umpire of the Year was one of ten individual and team honours handed out during the ICC Awards, presented by Hyundai in association with FICA (the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations). The event, held at the Taj Lands End Hotel, recognises cricket's star performers over a 12-month period. Votes for the Umpire of the Year award were cast a 3-2-1 vote (3 votes being the greater value), with the votes tallied to produce a winner. Taufel received the trophy from ICC’s chief referee Ranjan Madugalle. The trophy, produced by Swarovski, features a crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, cusped in a hand which extends from an aluminium base. The hand represents the theme of "breaking through" in pursuit of excellence. The trophy features a clear crystal ball, weighs 1.2 kilograms, is 30 centimetres high and 11 centimetres in width.