Rudi Koertzen August 29, 2010

'McGrath always moaned and whinged' - Koertzen

Cricinfo staff

Rudi Koertzen, the former South African Elite Panel umpire who recently retired from international matches, has said the Australian players were quite a handful to officiate, singling out former fast bowler Glenn McGrath.

In an interview earlier this month, Koertzen said Shane Warne was the hardest bowler to umpire purely because of the pressure he used to exert. However, he wasn't always pleased with McGrath's conduct on the field. McGrath, who ended his successful Test career as Australia's second-highest wicket-taker with 563 wickets, had a few run-ins with match referees and umpires.

"He wasn't one of the happiest guys. He always moaned and whinged," Koertzen told "If he wasn't getting wickets and the batsmen were hitting him for a few fours, he got a bit personal and upset. I thought I was very fortunate to get on with probably 99% of the players in world cricket.

"There was always the odd individual who had to be babied all the time. You had to be like a policeman to them. A fielder like Matthew Hayden or Andrew Symonds, you always had to be alert when they were on the field because something was going to happen. If you didn't pick it up as soon as possible things were going to get out of hand."

Koertzen also sounded out a warning for players to not let their emotions get the better of them. He referred to the incident where the England fast bowler Stuart Broad flung the ball back to Pakistan's Zulqarnain Haider, striking his shoulder. Broad apologised for his spontaneous act and was fined 50% of his match fee. Koertzen felt that Broad, who's not shy of showing his aggression on the field, was deserving of that punishment, or else it would have led to a bad precedent.

"It's so unnecessary for a bowler to pick up the ball and throw it at the batsman. It's just not part of the game," Koertzen said. "He is a good lad, honestly he is. But sometimes he gets a bit too emotional. When it happened I thought: 'Here we go'.

"It had been breeding for a while and the first thing I was waiting for was to see whether he was reported or not. He was reported and that was a good thing. If he gets away with it on one day, then the next day he is going to take advantage of players and umpires again."

Koertzen is a strong backer of the Umpire Decision Review System and wants it to be implemented across all series. The system has been used haphazardly as cricket boards like the BCCI have shown little or no interest in implementing it.

"The guys are, probably, 75% happy with the system. The problem is, why should you have England against Australia or England against South Africa with the system, but India versus Sri Lanka without it?"

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Billy on September 4, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    Vikram Narayanan, don't know what planet you are from or whether you just made a typo but to suggest that South Africa were a better team than Australia between 1990 to 2010 is absolutely ridiculous. Regardless of Australia's behaviour, they were the clear world champions in this period having lost the least number of series, won the most number of test matches and series, won three World Cups, had the most successful bowlers, the most successful batsmen, and held the number one ranking for a good 12 years. And really, they didn't win in 2008, it was 3-all after six Tests (three in Australia and three in South Africa).

  • Dummy4 on September 1, 2010, 17:07 GMT

    I am not an aussie fan & I don't like their behaviour just as Rudi.

    But w/o them cricket would be ruled by SA with no nearest rival both mental and cricket talent wise.

    So I would say AUS with the likes of Warne/McGrath,S.Waugh at the end of the day after all these yrs post retirement have contributed, w/o them cricket would be very predictable w/o tussles.

    Look at AUS-SA 1999 Semis and all the test battles to have taken place between them. SA were THE BETTER TEAM than Aus 1990-2010(had big batting depth,2 qlty fast bowlers and what not) on paper yet they underperformed. Glad they won in Aus 2008. This was as Kallis said close to winning a WC, if not better.

  • Billy on August 30, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    redneck, the point you make about the Windies fast bowlers is excellent. There is a romanticism about the Calypso style, and the legend has grown. Most of it was deserved, but I'm sure there were incidents of poor umpiring back in those days followed by complaints from the Windies, and also examples of bad sportsmanship as well. Of course, the passing of time meant that a lot of the negative stuff was forgotten and only the legend remains. In the case of Australia, a lot of people still remember the bad stuff, but let's face it, in 40 years time, people will read only of McGrath's greatness. Only true cricket historians will bother with articles like this.

  • Hiren on August 30, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    What harbhajan said to symonds was "teri maa ki" which does sound more like a monkey. But I personally dont understand whats all the fuss about calling someone monkey and how is that racist, and can end up your careers. I am sure players on the field have used worst words on another player.

  • Rolland on August 30, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Rudi was well past his use-by date when he finished. He made lots of errors. I am starting to wonder from his comments whether he took the field with an open mind or whether he decided if he was going to give a decision according to whether he liked the bowler.

  • Wayne on August 30, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    Ha ha ha ha!! Saw the article heading and thought... This is something the one-eyed Asian fan will just LOVE to read. I am South African and I am proud of Rudi Koertzen and his views. But Glenn Mcgrath was ABSOLUTELY brilliant. Definitely the best ever "line and lengther". And I think many people forget that he could make the older ball "talk" too. I love the bad-ass persona on the field and Mcgrath and Warne brought that typical Aussie attitude to the park but were great guys off it. They played hard and as a South African (although we got hammered by them more often than not) I really enjoyed the way they played. And to the whining and crying Indian fans... Sorry guys.. Kail Dev is abt your biggest legend... As a bowler he doesn't even come close to McGrath... So stop whining please....Good luck Rudi!!

  • Mick on August 30, 2010, 9:33 GMT

    I'd rather support an arrogant, succesful side that one from a corupt, match-fixing (sub) continent.

  • Nathan on August 30, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    @TipTop32, please tell me you're joking. How can you make the statement 'Racism has been officially approved by ICC for white players ' when the most blatant piece of on field racism was perpetrated by an indian, who basically got away scot free? It also virtually ended Symonds career because he was not the same after the Australian cricket board hung him out to dry rather than stand up to BCCI bullying. @Blythesville, your comment is just wrong and is obviously based on your own prejudices because it cannot be supported by fact. Yep, Aussies complained when they were racially vilified, because racism should not be tolerated. But as for just playing hard, they can take as much as they give without complaint because they grow up with it. Did Aus complain about the kiwis taunting Clarke about his relationship break up? How about the whole SA team ganging up to try to harass and intimidate P.Hughes on his debut? Rather than complain, I believe Hughes publicly said 'bring it on'.

  • John on August 30, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Why does everyone assume that arrogance and pride are bad things? Successful teams need to be arrogant to be so successful. Australians are arrogant because we're used to winning, and we don't like to experience anything but winning. I see nothing wrong with that. At least we're honest about it, to me, being graceful and humble in victory just seems two faced and fake.

  • anil on August 30, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    No wonder McGrath name was out. He may be one of the greatest bolwers cricket has seen but the fact that he used to whing about every boundary hit by a batsmen still remains. Face it Ozs you just can't play cricket. You need some agression to unsettle batsmen. Worst thing is almost all countries are following this procedure.See what rudy also has to say abt matty and Symonds. They are the trouble makers. Ranjan Madugalle, Chris Broad, Mike Dennis are few of the refrees who always sided with Oz. These people should be done and dusted with. Because they have encouraged this kind of behavior from Oz. Whatever happens on the field stays on field, and they use many offensive instigating language. Whats the point of winning dirty? Then why do Ozs whing abt bodyline? Thats also fair. At least Eng used game.

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