Famous ICC umpire and one of the original members of the ICC elite panel of Umpires, Rudi Koertzen, died in a car crash on Tuesday morning.
The 73-year-old went to Cape Town with his friends for a golf tournament. The incident occurred near Riversdale when the group was returning home.
Koertzen and three others died on the spot after a head-on collision.
The news was confirmed by a local newspaper and his son Rudi Koertzen Jr. His son confirmed to a local FM news channel that his father is no more.
He said, “Dad went for a golf tournament and was supposed to be back on Monday. But it seems that they stayed back for another round of golf.”
Koertzen started umpiring in 1992, and over the years, he rose through the ranks and emerged as one of the best umpires. Additionally, he found a fan club of his own for his unique style of slowly raising his index finger to signal batters out.
Besides being one of the earlier members of the ICC elite panel of umpires founded in 2002, Rudi officiated in 331 matches and was the first umpire in cricket’s history to win three elite ICC umpires awards.
· ICC Bronze Bails Award for 100 ODIs
· ICC Silver Bails Award for 200 ODIs
· ICC Golden Bails Award for 100 Tests
The other umpire to achieve the same is Pakistan’s Aleem Dar.
South Africa will wear black armbands in his honour against England A on August 9.