Retiring Koertzen concedes umpiring was difficult, but pressure improved skills

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Leeds (UK), July 22 (ANI): Retiring South African cricket umpire Rudi Koertzen has conceded that it is extremely difficult to officiate a match.

Koertzen, who retires after the end of the second Test between Pakistan and Australia being played at Leeds, however, said the pressure had only helped him to improve as the years went by.

Having umpired in 108 Tests, 209 one-day international and 14 Twenty20 internationals, Koertzen said: "The more pressure they put on you, the better you are. It makes you tougher out there in the middle".

"It's not only them, it's all spheres of cricket. Whether it's club level or whatever, if they know they can get hold of you and break you down, they will do it," he added.

The South African's method of giving batsmen out, a theatrically protracted raising of the finger, is so distinctive that he named his autobiography Slow Death.

Lauding a career of almost 18 years, International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the game owed "a debt of gratitude to Rudi for his hard work and effort throughout his career." (ANI)

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