South African umpire Rudi Koertzen died in a car crash on Tuesday. The 73-year-old was on his way home from Cape Town after a golf weekend when the car he was travelling had a head-on collision in Riverdale. Three other people were killed in the accident. 

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“He went on a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were expected to come back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf,” his son Rudi Koertzen Jr. told Algoa FM News.

Former India opener Virender Sehwag paid tribute to the legendary umpire. He revealed that Koertzen used to scold him after he played a rash shot. 

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“Vale Rudi Koertzen ! Om Shanti. Condolences to his family. Had a great relation with him. Whenever I used to play a rash shot, he used to scold me saying, “Play sensibly, I want to watch your batting. One he wanted to buy a particular brand of cricket pads for his son,” Sehwag tweeted. 

In another tweet, Sehwag said: “And enquired about it from me. I gifted him and he was so grateful . A gentleman and a very wonderful person. Will miss you Rudi. Om Shanti.”

“Tragic news of the sudden passing away of Rudi Koertzen. He was a gifted individual and one of the finest umpires the game has witnessed, known for his sharp decision making abilities. My deepest condolences to his family and well wishers 🙏🏻 #RudiKoertzen,” Yuvraj Singh tweeted. 

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“RIP to one of the best Umpire in the World Rudi Koertzen 💔🥲🏏. I always enjoyed bowling from his end. Condolences to the family and friends #RipRudi,” Waqar Younis said. 

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Rudi Koertzen officiated his first international match in 1992. He was appointed as a full-time International Cricket Council (ICC) umpire in 1997. The 73-year-old then became the second umpire after Steve Bucknor, to officiate in more than 200 ODIs and 100 Tests.

Koertzen was the third umpire in the 2003 and 2007 World Cup finals. He retired in 2010.