Johannesburg - The ICC has paid tribute to Rudi Koertzen on Tuesday as the renowned umpire prepares for his final Test.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat says: "We owe a debt of gratitude to Rudi for his hard work and effort throughout his time as an international umpire"
Emirates Elite Panel umpire Rudi Koertzen will officiate in his final Test match on Wednesday when Pakistan take on Australia in the MCC Spirit of Cricket Test match at Headingley and so bringing the end to a long and distinguished umpiring career.
The retirement of Koertzen see the end of an outstanding career for the South African at top-level umpiring in which the 61-year-old will have stood in 108 Tests, a record 209 ODIs and 14 T20Is.
Koertzen, born on March 26, 1949 in Knysna, Cape Province, made his international ODI debut on December 9, 1992 in a match between South Africa and India in Port Elizabeth and three weeks later at the same venue and between the same opponents stood in his first Test match.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: "We owe a debt of gratitude to Rudi for his hard work and effort throughout his career as an international umpire
"He is one of the most highly respected umpires of the game and we wish him the best of luck in his final Test. It is somewhat fitting that Rudi's final appointment before retiring from the Elite Panel is to officiate in the pinnacle of our great sport, Test cricket."
Vincent van der Bijl, the ICC Umpires and Referees manager, added: "Rudi can be proud of the respect and affection that he has generated among his fellow umpires as well as captains, players and administrators alike. We all applaud him for his professionalism, integrity and for being such a fine team player in the officiating ranks. His character, warmth and sheer love of cricket will remain with us and be a beacon for those who follow.
"We hope that the Headingley crowd give Rudi the reception that his outstanding career deserves. He is special and he will be remembered as one of the greats of the umpiring fraternity."