Former international referee Rudi Koertzen was pronounced dead on Monday after being involved in a car accident while returning from a golf break in Cape Town. The sad news of his passing has prompted many tributes from former cricket players, fans and institutions around the world.
Acclaimed South African referee Rudi Koertzen died on Sunday, succumbing to injuries sustained in an unfortunate car crash. His son Rudi Koerzen Jr. passed on the news, which confirmed the legendary cricketing figure had left aged 73.
“He was in a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were supposed to come back on Monday, but it looks like they decided to play another round of golf,” he told NDTV.
Koertzen began his refereeing career in 1981, before becoming a full-time referee in 1992, when he also played his first international match. Over the next 18 years, he would go on to referee in 108 Tests and 209 ODIs, the latter remaining a record to this day. His last international match was a test match between Australia and Pakistan in 2010, after which he called it quits on an illustrious career.
In 2005 and 2006, he finished on the podium of the ICC Awarded Referee of the Year after being voted Best Referee in 2002. Koertzen had officiated as the third referee at the 2003 and 2007 ICC World Cup Finals and was also a regular member of the contingent of referees for landmark fixtures such as The Ashes and the India-Pakistan bilateral series.
Marylebone Cricket Club, the body responsible for establishing and regulating the laws of the sport, tweeted its condolences to the South African family.
“MCC is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Honorary Life Member and former umpire, Rudi Koertzen. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.”
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