Johannesburg 9 August : Cricket South Africa (CSA) has expressed condolences for the passing of the former international Umpire Rudi Koertzen who died in an automobile crash on Tuesday.The 73-year old was on his return journey from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape, after a golfing weekend when the tragic accident occurred.
Three other people were killed in the accident in the early hours of the morning in Riversdale.
Koertzen was appointed an Umpire in 1981 He was appointed an Umpire on the international stage in 1992, during India’s historical tour of South Africa.
In 1997 in 1997, the South African was appointed as an full-time ICC umpire.He was one of the first members of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires.
He served as the television Umpire in the 2003 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup finals and officiated in three Men’s ODI World Cups.
Following the 2010 Test match between Australia and Pakistan, he retired from international umpiring.
He was the Umpire on-field in 331 international games, which is the highest after Aleem Dar.He as the TV Umpire in 66 games.He is also one of the three umpires to be present in over 200 ODIs.
“The death of this giant is a tragic loss for the sport.Koertzen’s contributions to Umpiring and Umpiring, for which he was a part of the game for the majority of his time, is a testament to his unselfish dedication and devotion,” said Pholetsi Moseki, CSA Chief Executive Officer in an announcement.
“With his passing, a new curtain of an impressive legacy has been ripped away, but it will not be forgotten.In his memory let’s pledge to live up to his love for umpiring, and discover an army of umpires that will take on the tradition of the sport into the future.” he added.
Koertzen received the ICC Bronze Bails Award for 100 ODIs, as well as the ICC Silver Bails Award for 200 ODIs as well as the ICC Golden Bails Award for 100 Tests.He was the first Umpire who stood in 200 Tests and 100 ODIs which was matched only by Aleem Dar.
“Rudi is gone at a time when Cricket is starting to reap the benefits of his labors.His passing has stripped us of an enormous burden on the foundation , upon which we now stand,” CSA Board Chairperson, Lawson Naidoo said.
“While this is an awful day for Cricket in South Africa, we are nevertheless encouraged by the numerous lessons of service and servant leadership he left for us to model and take inspiration from.In the name of the Cricket South Board, I offer my sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of Rudi and the many people he had touched in his life,” he added.
The South African players are wearing black armbands in honor of his memory during their four-day match against the England Lions in Canterbury.