Former Australian umpire Lou Rowan passes away at 91

Melbourne [Australia], Feb.3 : Former Australian umpire Lou Rowan, who officiated in 25 Tests, passed away on Friday.

The 91-year-old was at the centre of the 1971 controversy in which England captain Ray Illingworth led his team off the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Rowan, who was one of Australia's leading umpires through most of 1960s, held the record for being Australia's oldest living Test umpire.

Away from the game, he was a former Queensland drug squad detective. Rowan, known for his no-nonsense approach, was most remembered for the 1971 Sydney Test, during which he warned England fast bowler John Snow for intimidatory bowling to Australia's Terry Jenner.

Snow, while fielding on the boundary, was grabbed by a member of the crowd after the warning and Illingworth walked his team off the field in protest.

He instructed Illingworth that England had to resume play or forfeit the match, and play did indeed continue.

Rowan, in his memoir, titled 'The Umpire's Story,' said that he did not regret his actions on that day where he did not give a single LBW to England during five Tests of that series.

"It is not a happy thought that, as an umpire, I might have been the spark to explode Anglo-Australian Test cricket relations to smithereens," ESPNcricinfo quotes Rowan As saying in his memoir.

"But I have no regrets for my part in the affair; I would act no differently in similar circumstances now, whether at club or international cricket level." He also holds the distinction of officiating in the inaugural One-Day International played between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in January, 1971.

Source: ANI