Former ICC Elite-Panel veteran umpire Rudi Koertzen passes away tragically; social media grieves
Rudi Koertzen was an ICC Elite-Panel umpire who officiated 397 international matches across formats. He was involved in a car crash, leading to his demise at 73, leaving social media grieving.
According to a local website, former South African international umpire Rudi Koertzen was killed in a car crash on Tuesday morning in Riversdale. The former ICC Elite-Panel veteran was aged 73. His wife and four children survive Koertzen. He happens to be one of the most respected umpires in world cricket. From the late 1990s till 2010, Koertzen officiated in nearly 400 international games across formats.
"The world-famous cricket umpire, Rudi Koertzen, and three other people were killed in a head-on collision near Riversdale on Tuesday morning. The 73-year-old Koertzen from Despatch in Nelson Mandela Bay was on his way home from Cape Town after a golf weekend," briefed Algoa FM News.
Koertzen's son, Rudi Koertzen Jr, also confirmed the tragic news. "He went on a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were expected to come back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf," he told the website. Koertzen was inducted into the ICC's Elite Panel in 2002 and happened to be a part of it for eight years.
During his tenure, Koertzen was an on-field and TV umpire in 397 matches, including 128 Tests, a record 250 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), and 19 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). He also had his share of controversies, including continuing with the 2007 ODI World Cup final between Sri Lanka and Australia in near darkness due to a wrong interpretation of the rule. It forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to not give him any assignment during the inaugural ICC World T20 2007 in his home country.
(With inputs from PTI)