One of the finest umpires in International Cricket, Rudi Koertzen, died of a car crash on Tuesday 9th August. He, along with three others, was killed in a car collision in Riversale.
His son, Rudi Koertzen Jr, confirmed this news on Algoa FM News. The son said, “He went on a golf tournament with some of his friends, and theory were expected to come back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf.”
As the news dropped, Virender Sehwag, a former Indian cricketer, were among the first to pay his tribute to this legend. An overflow of homage and tribute followed from the cricketing circle. Hall of Famers like Jacques Kallis, Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs were among the tributors.
Koertzen has stood for about 108 test matches and a record-breaking 209 international one-day matches. He also stood for about 14 T20 matches in his 18 year long career.
He had a unique style of giving out. He would slowly raise the left arm, and the finger would indicate that the player was out. He was cricket’s one of the most widely respected umpires. He was nicknamed the “Slow finger of death.”
Rudi Koertzen was only among three South African umpires who stood for more than 100 test matches in their career. The legend finally retired in 2010, and his last match was a Test match between Pakistan and Australia.