Former international umpire Rudi Koertzen passes away after fatal car accident

Former international cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen passed away after a fatal car accident on Tuesday, August 9.
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Koertzen officiated in over 300 international matches.

Former South Africa born cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen passed away after a fatal car accident on Tuesday, August 9. Koertzen, aged 73, was on his way back home from Cape Town to his residence at Despatch in Nelson Mandela Bay after a golf weekend, when he met with the accident in the Riversdale area.

He was one of the game's highly respected umpires, having served in nearly 400 international matches.

Koertzen officiated as field umpire in 108 Tests, 209 ODIs and 14 T20Is totalling it to 331, with only Aleem Dar exceeding those numbers in Tests, ODIs and all international cricket till date. He also served as the Television umpire in 20 Tests, 41 ODIs and five T20Is in an umpiring career spanning nearly two decades (1992-2010).

He had his unique style of umpiring - the slow raise of the dreaded finger being the most remembered sight to rule the batsman out - with the hat occasionally being replaced by a white cap, with the sunglasses being more or less constant.

He stood in a number of high profile tournaments, like the 2005 Ashes series, the 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cups, wherein he officiated as an on-field umpire in the semi-finals and as the third umpire in the finals, and the ICC Champions Trophy 2004 and 2006, wherein he stood as one of the on-field umpires in the finals. His misinterpretation of rules regarding bad light in the 2007 final led to him being banned for the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup later in the year, though he made it to the next edition in England in 2009.

He was one of the four umpires in the ICC SuperSeries, played between the then World Champions Australia and the World XI in 2005, alongside Simon Taufel, Aleem Dar and Darrell Hair.

He announced his retirement from international umpiring in 2010.

His last recognized game as an umpire was the penultimate league game of the IPL 2011 played between the eventual finalists Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium.

The South African cricket team will wear black bands in honour of one of game's leading match-officials during their four-day practice match against the England Lions at St. Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, beginning Tuesday, August 9.