Raman Sabba Row former England batter and administrator passes away

Raman Sabba Row

On Thursday (April 18), Raman Subba Row -- former England opener -- passed away at the age of 92. He was England's oldest living men's Test cricketer.

The ex-Englishman was mainly known for his role as a cricket administrator, who brought advertisement and changed the game completely. Meanwhile, Subba Row's playing career comprised 13 Tests between 1958 and 1961, including three centuries at an average of 46.85

Subba Row, son of a London-based Indian lawyer, retired from international cricket at the young age of 29. He, however, remained close to the game, serving as chairman of Surrey. His contributions also helped in establishing the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) - the forerunner of the England Cricket Board (ECB).

ECB chair Richard Thompson said, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo, "We are extremely saddened to hear of Raman's passing." He further opined, "He was a great cricket man and his remarkable cricket career saw success both on and off the field - as a player, official, administrator and Chair of both Surrey and the Test and County Cricket Board. Our sport owes him an enormous debt of gratitude, and on behalf of the ECB, we would like to send our sincere condolences to Raman's friends and family at this sad time.

Wasim Khan -- the ICC's general manager of cricket -- also reacted to the news and said: "It is sad to hear of the passing of Raman and I would like to extend deepest condolences on behalf of everyone at the ICC."

Raman was a respected cricketer of his era, who went on to become the chair of the Test and County Cricket Board. He was also one of the earliest ICC match referees, officiating very ably in different parts of the world.

Subba Row was responsible for the first perimeter advertising on cricket grounds, at the Oval in 1968. This led to harsh criticism from Gubby Allen -- one of the most powerful figures in the game -- who informed him that this would never occur at the Mecca of Cricket, i.e. the Lord's cricket ground, London.19:30

Despite the criticism, Row's reforms were appreciated by those who understood that first-class games were in dire need of income amid shrinking crowds. As a result, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was kept in the loop and a marketing sub-committee was started under Row's guidance. Thus, there were boards placed all around the boundary at headquarters


Further, Subba Row also served as manager of England's tour to India and Sri Lanka in 1981-82. In 1991, the veteran cricketer was awarded a CBE for his services to the game. Later, from 1992-2001, he also acted as a match referee for the ICC, overseeing 41 Tests and 119 ODIs.