Cricket in South Africa (CSA) expressed shock and sadness at the death of the former judge Rudy Kerzenwho died from injuries sustained in a car accident on Tuesday morning at the age of 73.

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Born on 26 March 1949 in Knysna, Western Cape, Kertzen made his Test debut in 1992 in the Boxing Day match between South Africa and India in Port Elizabeth.

He went on to an 18-year career in top-level umpiring, during which he played 108 Tests, a record 209 ODIs and 14 T20Is, achieving respected international status as an umpire in the ICC’s elite group.

Rudi Kertzen in action in the opening match of the 1999 FIFA World Cup Championship

Known for his slow raising of his arm to bat, Rudy Kuertzen has described his stand-up performance in the 1999 World Cup opener between England and Sri Lanka as his fondest memory.

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On June 4, 2010, Kertzen announced his decision to retire from refereeing. He played in his last ODI between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in Harare on 9 June 2010 and in his last Test on 21–24 July 2010 between Pakistan and Australia in Leeds.

Paying tribute to Kertzen’s contribution to cricket, CSA Chief Executive Officer, Foletsi Moseki said: “The death of this titan is a sad loss to the game. Koertzen’s contribution to refereeing, to which he devoted most of his life, speaks volumes for his selfless dedication and commitment.

“With his passing, another curtain has fallen on a rich legacy, but it will never be forgotten. In his honour, let us resolve to embody his passion for refereeing and unearth a crop of referees who will carry the game’s fortunes into the future.”

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Chairman of the CSA Board, Lawson Naidoo said: “Rudy leaves at a time when cricket is beginning to enjoy the fruits of its labour. His death deprived us of a giant, on whose foundation we now stand.

“While this is a sad day for cricket in South Africa, we are, however, comforted by the many lessons of servitude and service that he left behind to embody and emulate.

“On behalf of the South African Cricket Board, I offer my sincere condolences to Rudy’s family and to the many people he touched.”

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