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August 29, 2010
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 cricket365.com. "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?"
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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