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HomeCricket NewsRudi Koertzen, former ICC elite-panel umpire, dies aged 73

Rudi Koertzen, former ICC elite-panel umpire, dies aged 73

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Former South African umpire Rudi Koertzen, a member of the ICC’s elite panel, passed away at the age of 73 on Tuesday (August 9). It is believed that he passed away in a car accident while en route from Cape Town to Despatch. He resided with his family in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

At the time of his retirement in 2010, Koertzen had officiated 331 international games. A record that has since been surpassed by Pakistan’s Aleem Dar. Koertzen was one of only three umpires to stand in more than 100 Test matches. There were 2 more umpires along with him: Dar and Steve Bucknor of the West Indies.

“It is a very big loss foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,” Dar said of Koertzen’s death. “I stood in so many games with him. He was not only very good as an umpire but also an excellent colleague, always very cooperative on field and also always willing to help off the field. Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.”

In 1992–1993, during India’s tour of South Africa, Koertzen played in his first international series. His debut match was the second ODI in Gqebera (then Port Elizabeth). He later rose to prominence as one of the best and most respected umpires in the world. He received accolades in September 1999 for turning down a bribe to rig a West Indies vs. India match in Singapore. However, the 2007 World Cup final was a misstep in his career. Koertzen served as the third umpire in that game in Barbados.

Rudi Koertzen co-authored a book on his umpiring career

Koertzen openly discussed the 2007 World Cup final and other well-known “errors” he had committed in his career in a book . He co-wrote ‘Slow Death: Memoirs of a Cricket Umpire’ after retiring from international play in 2010.

Koertzen was a medium pacer who played top-division club cricket in Kimberley when he was younger. He last participated in a representative game in an IPL game in Bengaluru in 2011. The match was between Royal Challenger Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings.

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Pratik Pathak
Pratik Pathakhttps://madovercricket.com/
A full-time learner and a part-time writer. Been unwavering myself to give my share of knowledge on cricket as well as different sports. A web series aficionado and a perennial Breaking Bad and Sherlock admirer.