We had Vaibhav Purandare in conversation with our esteemed guest of the hour, former cricketer and umpire of the Australian Cricket Board, Mr. Simon Taufel. Mr. Simon launched his latest book, Finding the gaps at the Bangalore Literature Festival. His legacy as an umpire at the international cricket has established him as a stalwart of the gentleman’s game providing the necessary momentum for the launch of his book. The book essentially attempts at transferring the rules, regulations and teachings of cricket and its surroundings to the everyday life of an individual. 

 

Considering the conversational narrative style of the book, there is a certain sense of personal touch to it. Simon expressed that cricket provided him with the perfect platform to write a book that covers the imperatives of living a successful life. Cricket, seen as a simulation of life, requires a certain sense of dignity, responsibility and resilience to achieve objectives at a personal level and organizational level. The book is a testament to the attributes of cricket which can be transported to the contemporary world. 

 

Simon further claimed that he genuinely enjoys sharing and providing information. Being able to invoke people’s potential was the primary reason for Simon to become a mentor off the field in the profession of life. He decided to quit the role of an umpire. He believes that mentorship and training to an individual is imperative in order to achieve success in life as it provides a sense of direction. The act of coaching, training, and professional development on and off the field of cricket has been an enticing and enriching journey for Simon. 

 

He spoke about the importance of books and the nuances that it contains which creates a reverence towards it. The conversational style and aptitude of a book renders as if the person reading the book is speaking or talking directly to the author. Simon said that the key to succeed in a specific area such as writing a book and acquiring knowledge for the same is to read and understand the works of acquaintances and peers from the industry. Justin Langer’s Seeing the sunrise had a great impact on the culmination of his journey in writing a book. 

 

Moving to the topic of personal accounts on the pitch, Vaibhav proceeded to ask Simon about the pressures of being the adjudicator in IPL. Specially with the volatile and loud atmosphere when judging. Simon’s insightful answer alluded to the importance of believing in oneself. IPL is so media popular that the umpire’s mistakes would not be taken well. But Simon said that he relies on these mistakes to provide him with the necessary feedback to get better and succeed. Simon posited the theory of “Gut-o-meter” which is believing in the gut instinct of oneself and making a decision regardless of the outcome. “…the key is to believe in yourself and just go with it”, said Simon. 

 

Simon spoke of the four Cs that one must take into consideration while making employment decisions. The four Cs being capability, competency, character, and chemistry. The latter two provide an insight into the personality of an individual, a key in many situations that require values, behavior and integrity to triumph over difficult situations. 

 

Simon explained different concepts that his book covers at length – concepts such as ‘right and wrong’, the value of respect for the profession, and the need for humility. The book also touches on the understanding of one’s position in the macrocosm of the universe and regulating messages that provide opportunities of transcendence for the game and the people involved.

 

To conclude, Simon ended with a statement that was an eye opener to the crowd and got loud applause. He said, “Keep it simple and watch the ball.”

 

 

 

About the Author: A self proclaimed meme lord that barely makes any but laughs at many, all Vishal Bhadri does is read, listen to music, and cry during both the activities. Vishal has a poetry blog called Memory Palace that has all of his two poems in it.  He is doing his triple major in Communications, Literature and Psychology at Christ University. He currently writes for TheSeer.