Rudi Koertzen dies in South Africa car accident

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Cape Town: Former international cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen died on Tuesday in a car accident in South Africa, his family said.

Koertzen, 73, 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.

Rudi Koertzen during his last Test match in 2010.  The South African former umpire has died aged 73.

Rudi Koertzen during his last Test match in 2010. The South African former umpire has died aged 73.Credit:AP

“It is a very big loss, foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,” Dar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“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.”

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Koertzen was famous for his unique method of giving a batter out, where he woud slowly raise his left arm with his finger pointing at the batter. It became known as the “slow finger of death.” He was one of cricket’s most respected umpires.

“The passing of this titan is a sad loss for the game,” said Cricket South Africa CEO Pholetsi Moseki, who paid tribute to Koertzen’s “selfless dedication and commitment.”

South Africa’s Algoa FM radio station reported that Koertzen and three other people were killed in a head-on collision near the town of Riversdale in the Western Cape province. Koertzen was returning to his home in the Eastern Cape province after playing in a golf tournament when the crash happened, the station said.



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