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Former international umpire Rudi Koertzen dies, aged 73

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Former international umpire Rudi Koertzen passed away in a car crash on Tuesday in South Africa.

Koertzen, 73, was on his way back home from Cape Town after a weekend of golf when the fatal accident happened. Three others were also killed in the crash in the early morning hours in Riversdale.

Koertzen, who became an umpire in 1981, made his debut as an international umpire in 1992 during India's historic tour of South Africa.

In 1997 Koertzen was appointed as a full-time ICC umpire and was one of the first members of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires. He was the TV Umpire in the 2003 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup finals and officiated in three Men's ODI World Cups.

GettyImages-79106983
GettyImages-79106983

After the 2010 Test match between Australia and Pakistan, he retired from international umpiring. He stood as the on-field umpire in 331 international matches, the most after Aleem Dar, and was also the TV umpire in 66 matches. He is also one of the only three umpires to stand in more than 200 ODIs.

Koertzen won the ICC Bronze Bails Award for 100 ODIs, the ICC Silver Bails Award for 200 ODIs and the ICC Golden Bails Award for 100 Tests. He was the first umpire to stand in 200 ODIs and 100 Tests, a feat matched only by Aleem Dar to date.

Paying tribute to Koertzen, ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said, "Rudi was among the best umpires of his generation and one players had utmost respect for. He officiated in international games for close to two decades and the ICC relied on him for some big matches during this period. 

“Rudi was also very popular among his contemporaries and always willing to help. His contribution to cricket will be remembered for years to come. We send our condolences to his family and friends at his tragic death.”

The South African players are wearing black armbands in honour of him during their four-day game against England Lions in Canterbury.

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