London: South African umpire Rudi Koertzen who became the second umpire in Test history to officiate in 100 Tests said that Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the greatest cricketers he has highest regard for.
Koertzen, who had officiated 200 One-Day Internationals, on Thursday became the only person after after Steve Bucknor to officiate in 100 Tests by taking the field in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.
Looking back on his long career, Koertzen said he was lucky to have seen Tendulkar and Lara bat from close quarters.
"I was privileged to have seen some of the greatest modern day cricketers very closely. It would be unfair to pin-point one or two players but I have to name Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar for whom I have the greatest respect and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing them bat," he said.
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A cricket enthusiast since his youth, Koertzen played league cricket and became an umpire in 1981. His "slow death" style of indicating that a batsman is out makes him at once recognisable anywhere in the cricket world.