7 June 2010
Having stood in 106 tests, a record 209 one-day internationals, and 14 Twenty20 internationals, South African umpire Rudi Koertzen has announced his retirement from international cricket.
He will be replaced on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) Elite Panel of Umpires by fellow-South African Marais Erasmus.
“Cricket South Africa salutes this outstanding South African cricketing son, who has earned the respect of players throughout the world with his expert and even-handed umpiring,” Cricket SA (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola said in a statement this week.
“History will record Rudi’s outstanding contribution to the advancement of cricket in South Africa and throughout the cricketing world,” Majola said.
“He has been a fine role model for aspirant umpires, and it is a great tribute to him that one of his proteges, Marais Erasmus, has been elected to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires.”
Reflecting on his career as an umpire, Koertzen said: “If I can look back at my career with pride, it is due to the sacrifices of my family and the excellent support and backing I received from my fellow umpires and colleagues in Cricket South Africa and the ICC.
“Even though I will retire after the Leeds test between Australia and Pakistan, from 21 to 25 July, I’ll be more than happy to assist and help young umpires if they need my guidance, as cricket also teaches us to give something back to the sport,” Koertzen said.
“After 18 years in business, I think it is payback time.”
‘Benchmark for aspirant umpires’
Erasmus expressed his delight at being elected to the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires, saying: “To follow in the footsteps of someone like Rudi Koertzen, who is a legend of the game, is something that most of us umpires aspire to.
“Representing my country is a big responsibility, and I look forward to taking it on and doing my best wherever the game takes me.”
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on the ICC’s website that Koertzen had made a big contribution to the game. “A distinguished career like Rudi’s presents a benchmark for aspirant umpires,” he said.
“Rudi is a role model for many of the younger-generation umpires, and his distinguished career sets a standard for them to emulate.
“He is one of the most respected umpires in the game, and has always been confident and self motivated yet humble,” Lorgat said. “It is why he has been comfortably able to embrace the core values of the traditional game with the technological advances in recent times.”
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