Former South African international referee Rudi Koertzen was killed in a car accident on Tuesday morning near a town called Riversdale, a local website reported.
He was 73 years old. Koertzen is survived by his wife and four children.
One of the most respected umpires in world cricket from the late 1990s to 2010, Koertzen officiated in almost 400 international matches.
”World renowned cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen and three other people were killed in a head-on collision near Riversdale on Tuesday morning. Koertzen, 73, from Despatch in Nelson Mandela Bay, was on his way back from Cape Town after a weekend of golf,’ Algoa FM News reported.
The former referee’s son, Rudi Koertzen Jr, has confirmed the tragic news.
“He was in a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were supposed to be back on Monday, but it looks like they decided to play another round of golf,” Koertzen Jr told the website.
Koertzen was inducted into the ICC’s elite panel in 2002 and served on it for eight years.
During his tenure, he officiated as a referee on the pitch and on TV in no less than 397 matches, including 128 Test matches, a record 250 ODIs and 19 T20 Internationals.
It has also had its share of controversies, including the continuation of the 2007 ODI World Cup final between Sri Lanka and Australia in near obscurity due to a misinterpretation of the rule, which forced the ICC not to entrust him with any mission during the first World T20, which took place in his own country, in 2007.
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