London: Rudi Koertzen, who on Thursday became the second umpire to officiate in 100 Tests, said Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the two cricketers he has highest regard for.

He became the only person after Steve Bucknor to officiate in 100 Tests by taking the field in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Looking back on his career, the 60-year-old South African said he was fortunate to have seen Tendulkar and Lara bat from close quarters.

“I have been fortunate and 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. “

“They had amazing reflexes and used to pick up the ball as soon as it left the bowler’s hand which helped them make batting look very graceful and elegant due to their superb timing, excellent footwork, ability to hit the gaps and score runs off good balls, ” Koertzen said.

As regards bowlers, Koertzen said: “I have always admired fast bowlers like Glenn McGrath and Allan Donald but the bowler who stands out is Shane Warne.

“He used to get the best out of the umpires by putting a lot of pressure on them.” — Agencies

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