The International Cricket Council (ICC) has paid tribute to South African umpire Rudi Koertzen, who will stand in his final game when Australia meet Pakistan at Headingley from 21st July.
The match will be his 108th Test and he has also stood in 209 One-Day Internationals and 14 Twenty20 Internationals having made his international debut on 9th December 1992 in Port Elizabeth, when South Africa played India in an ODI. Three weeks later he made his Test debut when the two sides met again.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to Rudi for his hard work and effort throughout his career as an international umpire," ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said.
“He is one of the most highly respected umpires of the game and we wish him the best of luck in his final Test tomorrow. It is somewhat fitting that Rudi’s final appointment before retiring from the Elite Panel is to officiate in the pinnacle of our great sport, Test cricket.”
Vincent van der Bijl, ICC Umpires and Referees manager, added: “Rudi can be proud of the respect and affection that he has generated among his fellow umpires as well as captains, players and administrators alike. We all applaud him for his professionalism, integrity and for being such a fine team player in the officiating ranks. His character, warmth and sheer love of cricket will remain with us and be a beacon for those who follow.
“We hope that the Headingley crowd give Rudi the reception that his outstanding career deserves. He is special and he will be remembered as one of the greats of the umpiring fraternity.”
© Cricket World 2010