South African elite panel umpire Rudi Koertzen passes away, aged 73

The South African elite panel umpire, Rudi Koertzen, has breathed his last at the age of 73. The reason for the cause is an accident, he died in a car accident while driving from Cape Town to Despatch in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, which is also the place of his residence.

“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,” said Koertzen’s son, Rudi Koertzen jr. to the Algoa FM News.

Moreover, Koertzen was part of the ICC’s elite panel of umpires for eight years from 2002 and officiated in 331 international matches, this was a record in 2010, which was later broken by Aleem Dar. Also, the South African has featured in over 100 Tests.

“It is a very big loss foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket. 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 field and also always willing to help off the field. Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.” said Aleem Dar on Koertzen’s death.

“Rudi was such a strong character, physically and mentally. He paved the way for South African umpires to get to the world stage. Made us all believe it’s possible. A true legend. As a young umpire, I learnt a lot from him.” word of Marais Erasmus.

His last game was an IPL 2011 match between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“Rudi departs at the time when cricket is beginning to enjoy the fruit of his toil. His passing has robbed us of a giant upon [whose] foundation we now stand. While this is a sad day for cricket in South Africa, we are however comforted by the many lessons of servitude and servant leadership he has left behind for us to embody and emulate.” said Lawson Naidoo, Cricket South Africa chairperson.

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