BENGALURU: Former umpire Simon Taufel is used to taking lightning quick decisions on a cricket field. But when it comes to choosing what to eat for lunch or dinner or where to head for a holiday, Taufel firmly hands over the decision-making reins to his friends and family. “I make enough decisions so I ask them to make those decisions for me,” said the five time winner of the ICC Umpire of the Year award, at the Bengaluru launch of his book at Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC) on Monday.
The book, titled Finding the Gaps: Transferable Skills to Be the Best You Can Be, is one that Taufel hopes can help its reader realise that they too can be successful, unlock their potential and be the best person they can be. “The book talks about things that helped me get to the top and stay there for a certain period of time,” he said while addressing the students of the institute, adding that it also contains tips on handling pressure, maintaining a positive attitude and stories of mistakes.
Taufel, who called himself an “accidental umpire”, continued, “The definition of experience is making mistakes and I’ve made a lot. Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Kumble, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne... I’ve got the best in the world wrong.”
The book, ultimately, was just a way for the former umpire to have a conversation with other people. Interestingly, this is his second attempt at the book, having tried writing it for the first time 10 years ago. “I showed two chapters to an Australian publisher but they decided to not go ahead with it,” he told CE, adding that it took eight weeks to pen all the chapters. “It took longer to find a publisher.”
The hardest part was writing it in a way that would allow people to connect with it. “So I wrote it the way I would read one. There are lots of chapter summaries because I usually read a book a second time to highlight the portions I consider the main lesson,” he explained.
Also mentioned in the book are cricketers Mark Taylor, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, who Taufel calls “leaders with integrity and self-awareness.” Or as he prefers to say, “Leaders that people can connect with. Hopefully these examples will get the message across.”