Former international cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen has died in a car crash in South Africa.
- Rudi Koertzen made his debut as an international umpire in 1992
- He was on the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of umpires
- Koertzen still umpired occasionally in amateur cricket in his hometown
Koertzen, 73, was on his way back home from Cape Town after a weekend of golf when the fatal accident happened on Tuesday morning (local time).
Three others were also killed in the crash at Riversdale, around 300km east of Cape Town.
Koertzen became an umpire in 1981 and made his debut as an international umpire in 1992 during India’s historic tour of South Africa.
He was on the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of umpires for eight years and officiated in 331 matches, a record at the time of his retirement in 2010 that has since been surpassed by Pakistan’s Aleem Dar.
“It is a very big loss, foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,” Dar said.
“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 the field and also always willing to help off the field.
“Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.”
Koertzen’s time as an umpire was best remembered for the entertainingly slow raising of his finger to dismiss a batter.
A number of professional cricketers around the world expressed their condolences at the news of Koertzen’s death.
Koertzen still occasionally umpired in amateur cricket in his hometown of Despatch in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.