Former International Cricket Council (ICC) umpire Rudi Koertzen has passed away at the age of 73.

The South African was involved in a car accident in his native country while driving from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape in South Africa, where he lived with his family.

Rudi Koertzen was part of the “elite” panel of umpires for eight years from 2002. He officiated in 331 international matches, a record at the time of his retirement in 2010, which Pakistan’s Aleem Dar has since broken. Along with Dar and West Indies’ Steve Bucknor, Koertzen was one of three umpires to stand in over 100 Tests.

Speaking to ESPNcricInfo Aleem Dar expressed his condolences.

“It is a very big loss, foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,”.

I stood in so many games with him. He was not only very good as an umpire but also an excellent colleague, always very cooperative on field and also always willing to help off the field.

“Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.”

Fellow South African umpire Marais Erasmus said: “Rudi was such a strong character, physically and mentally. He paved the way for South African umpires to get to the world stage. Made us all believe it’s possible. A true legend. As a young umpire, I learnt a lot from him.”

Previous articleFraser-Pryce, McLaughlin remain unrivalled at World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet
Next articleSerena Williams announces retirement