Koertzen becomes first umpire to stand in 200 ODIs

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Dubai, July 11 (ANI): Rudi Koertzen of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires today made history when he became the first umpire to stand in 200 One-Day Internationals by umpiring in the second ODI between Ireland and Kenya in Dublin.

Koertzen (60) made his international debut on December 9, 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 99 Tests.

The second Ashes Test between England and Australia starting at Lord's on 16 July will be Koertzen's 100th Test and will make him only the second umpire after Steve Bucknor (128 Tests and 181 ODIs) to complete the double.

A member of the Emirates Elite Panel of umpires since 2002, he stood in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cups (including the Australia - Sri Lanka semi-final in Port Elizabeth in the middle of those three tournaments, which was his 100th ODI) and the ICC World Twenty20 2009 (including the Sri Lanka - West Indies semi-final at The Oval).

Commenting on his achievement, Koertzen said: "For someone who started umpiring very late in life, it is a huge personal achievement and a dream come true. It is really a great and satisfying feeling to achieve something as massive as this one."

Sharing his international journey, he said: "It has been exciting 17 years in the business, one that many would envy I'm sure. Every job has highs and lows and umpiring is no exception.Umpiring provided me the opportunity to travel country to country, meet amazing people, understand different cultures but most importantly it was a privilege to see young talent of yesterday become stalwarts of today," he added.

ICC President David Morgan added his tribute. "Rudi's achievement is by no means a small one and is a result of his tremendous dedication, commitment and fitness. Umpiring is something he wanted to do and his achievements reflect that he has done it with passion and hard work." (ANI)

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