'Pleased to be back here in a safe environment' - Simon Taufel returns to Pakistan with mixed emotions

‘Pleased to be back here in a safe environment’ – Simon Taufel returns to Pakistan with mixed emotions

One of the best umpires the game has seen, Taufel added that cricket has the ability to do “amazing things” as it brings people together and reminded that this fact needs to be celebrated.

Simon Taufel
Simon Taufel. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The fifth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) was set to kick off on Thursday with a match between defending champions Quetta Gladiators and two-time champions Islamabad United in Karachi. The tournament holds significance this year for it will be entirely held on the soil of Pakistan and not in the UAE — fully or partially — as it was the case till last year.

Ahead of the tournament’s kick-off, former international umpire Simon Taufel was in Pakistan and he conceded that it was an occasion for him with mixed emotions for the Australian was also at the receiving end of the terror attack that was carried out against the Sri Lankan national team that visited Pakistan in 2009.

The situation was horrible that the visiting team had to be airlifted from the middle of the ground to safety. No player or match official was hurt but Pakistan was sidelined as an international host for years since that, even missing the rights to host the ICC World Cup in 2011.

Speaking to Geo Pakistan, the 49-year-old former umpire who was officiating the Test series along with compatriot Steve Davis, said– “I come back to Pakistan with mixed emotions and feelings I’m very pleased to be back here in a safe environment and one that requires constant vigilance.”

One of the best umpires the game has seen, Taufel added that cricket has the ability to do “amazing things” as it brings people together and reminded that this fact needs to be celebrated.

Curtly Ambrose also bats for Pakistan as cricket host

Former West Indian fast bowler Curtly Ambrose was also happy that cricket returned to Pakistan, overcoming the odds. The legendary former cricketer said he was in Pakistan so that people can get to know that the country is now safe for cricket.“It has changed quite a bit but it has improved quite a lot,” the 56-year-old said.

Recently, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh toured Pakistan despite initial concerns and the visits went successfully, improving the cricketing fraternity’s trust on Pakistan. The arrival of many foreign cricketers to Pakistan to take part in the PSL has also helped the country’s efforts to reclaim its lost image.

Watch: Irfan Pathan’s interview post his retirement