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TRIBUTES ARRIVED for South African cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen, who tragically passed away at the age of 73.
Koertzen passed away this week in a terrible car accident while returning from a golf tournament.
Rudi Koerzten dies at the age of 73
South African cricket umpire tragically killed in car accident
A family spokesman said: “Rudi suffered fatal injuries after an accident near Stilbaai between Cape Town and Gqeberha.”
Rudi Jr confirmed the death of his father to the South African website Algoa FM News.
He said: “My father went to a golf tournament with some friends and they were expected to be back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf.”
Koertzen’s passing has shaken the cricket world to its core and prompted a slew of tributes to the late umpire.
Australian great Jason Gillespie wrote: “RIP Rudy, very good referee, good man. Thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Former India international Virender Sehwag said: “Ok Rudi Koertzen! Om Shanti. Condolences to his family.
“I had a great relationship with him. Every time I played a jump shot, he would scold me saying, ‘Play it sensibly, I want to see your hitting.'”
Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara said: “Saddened by the tragic loss of Rudi Koertzen.
“What a wonderful friend and umpire. Honest, direct and loved the game. Shared many beers in the bar discussing cricket with him. RIP my friend.”
Fellow referee Aleem Dar also paid a moving tribute to his late colleague.
He said: “It’s a very big loss especially for his family and then for South Africa and cricket.
“I stood in so many games with him.
“He was not only a very good referee, but also an excellent colleague, always very cooperative on the pitch and also always ready to help off the pitch.
“Because of the way he was, he was also very respected by the players.”
The late Koertzen was famous for the iconic way in which he declared the batter out, slowly raising his index finger in the air.
He was later nicknamed the “slow finger of death”.