Koertzen replaces Bowden for India-Pakistan clash
Umpire Rudi Koertzen has been withdrawn from the upcoming Test series between England and hosts Sri Lanka, and will now officiate in the remainder of the India-Pakistan series, the ICC confirmed today.
Koerzten, 58, was due to stand in the three-match contest starting in Kandy on Saturday but he was relocated to India after Billy Bowden, the New Zealand umpire, was forced to withdraw from the series due to personal reasons. The Pakistani umpire, Aleem Dar, was available but ineligible to officiate in that contest, so he will now join his compatriot Asad Rauf at Kandy.
The ICC said that the decision was not related to the incident in Hobart earlier this month, when Koertzen incorrectly adjudged Kumar Sangakarra out for 192 to extinguish the slim chance Sri Lanka had of levelling the series. He apologised to the batsman afterwards.
"We have a very professional bunch of umpires, and Rudi Koertzen is one of the best," said Sangakkara in his Cricinfo column. "You have to look at umpiring just like you do your batting: you make mistakes, but you get on with it. Once you have confidence in the umpire and the umpire in you, it's easy to move on."
Dar will stand with Daryl Harper in the second Test in Colombo, while Rauf will partner Harper during the third Test in Galle. Koertzen, who has been an international umpire since 1992, has stood in 86 Tests and 182 one-day internationals.