April 21, 2007

Umpire Koertzen breaks record for most number of ODIs

Rudi Koertzen of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires is today standing in his 173rd One-Day International as he takes charge of the West Indies versus England Super Eight game in Barbados. In doing so he has now beaten the all-time record set by David Shepherd.

Koertzen (58) made his international debut on 9 December 1992 in a match between South Africa and India in Port Elizabeth and since then has gone on to become one of the game's most respected officials, also standing in 80 Tests.

A member of the Emirates Elite Panel of umpires since 2002, he stood in the 1999 and 2003 ICC Cricket World Cups (including the Australia - Sri Lanka semi-final in Port Elizabeth at the latter tournament, which was his 100th ODI).

Koertzen also stood in the 2002 and 2004 ICC Champions Trophies, the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal match in Melbourne in January 2005 and the Johnnie Walker Super Series Test match between Australia and the ICC World XI in Sydney in October 2005.

Commenting on the milestone, ICC Umpires Manager Doug Cowie said: "Rudi's achievement is testament to his remarkable consistency and enormous ability as a decision-maker.

"He has proved himself to be unyielding, resilient, dependable, loyal and dedicated, all qualities that are needed to make it to the top of his profession and he has been an outstanding performer for many years now.

"Apart from his decision-making qualities Rudi has developed a wonderful rapport with players and he has shown himself over the years to be a top professional. As a fellow umpire he was a great guy to stand with because he never gets upset or rattled. He just gets on with his job."

ICC President Percy Sonn added his tribute: "For someone to stay at the top of his game for as long as Rudi has requires incredible commitment and dedication. Thankfully, Rudi has that and his obvious love for what he does is apparent every time he takes the field.

"I would like to thank Rudi on behalf of the ICC for the years of great service he has given to the game through his umpiring and I have no doubt he will continue to excel in the middle for years to come. Perhaps he could become the first umpire ever to stand in 200 ODIs.

"And on a personal note, as a South African it's great to see him continue to do so well and we are all very proud of him at home."

Most ODIs appearances by umpires (correct to close of play on 21 April):

Rudi Koertzen - 173
David Shepherd - 172
Steve Bucknor - 161
Daryl Harper - 141
Darrell Hair - 131
Simon Taufel - 115
Billy Bowden - 114
David Orchard - 107
Steve Dunne - 100

James Fitzgerald is ICC Communications Officer

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