Simon Taufel, the five-time ICC Umpire of the Year, will deliver the 2013 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's on Wednesday 24 July.
I am delighted, honoured and humbled
Taufel, who retired in 2012, will be the first umpire to deliver the address, which will be the 13th SoC Cowdrey Lecture. He is the third Australian to deliver the speech, following in the footsteps of Adam Gilchrist in 2009 and Richie Benaud, who gave the initial lecture in 2001.
He is the third person from outside the circle of former and current international players to deliver the address after The Most Reverend Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late broadcaster and MCC President Christopher Martin-Jenkins.
Taufel, 41, spoke of his pleasure at being invited by MCC President Mike Griffith to make the speech.
"After the initial shock of being asked, I am delighted, honoured and humbled to be able to participate in such an important cricket event," he said.
"I look forward to representing umpiring in this fine tradition and all that Mr Cowdrey stood for."
Griffith added: "Simon Taufel has been one of the most respected umpires in world cricket for over a decade, and I am delighted that he has accepted the Club’s invitation to give the thirteenth MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture.
"As the first umpire to deliver the Lecture, he will offer a unique insight into how the Spirit of Cricket Preamble, which was introduced to the 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket, practically translates within the modern game.
"Indeed, as a member of the MCC Laws sub committee, the Club already benefits from his vast knowledge and experience to help tackle the key issues surrounding the game’s Laws. I am very much looking forward to listening to him address the current areas of contention in the sport, at an event which has become one of the highlights of the MCC calendar."
Taufel umpired in 74 Tests, 174 ODIs and 34 T20 internationals in an international career which started in 1999. He was widely regarded as among the leading umpires in the world during a career which included three ICC World T20 finals and the 2011 ICC World Cup final in Mumbai.
A look back at Simon Taufel's career
The MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture was inaugurated in 2001 and named after Colin Cowdrey, the former England captain and prominent MCC Member who, alongside another ex-England skipper, Ted Dexter, successfully campaigned for the Spirit of Cricket to be included as a Preamble to the 2000 Code of the Laws of Cricket.