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Raman Subba Row dies aged 92

Former England Test batter was also a long-serving administrator and ICC match referee

ESPNcricinfo staff
18-Apr-2024 • 11 hrs ago
Raman Subba Row batting against South Africa in 1960  •  Central Press/Getty Images

Raman Subba Row batting against South Africa in 1960  •  Central Press/Getty Images

Raman Subba Row, the former England opener and ICC match referee who also had a long career in cricket administration, has died aged 92.
Subba Row played 13 Tests for England between 1958 and 1961, scoring three hundreds and averaging 46.85, but retired from the game after his final international appearance, at the age of 29. He went on to found a public relations firm but remained close to the game, serving as chairman of Surrey and helping to establish the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) - the forerunner of the ECB.
Prior to his death, he was England oldest living men's Test cricketer.
"We are extremely saddened to hear of Raman's passing," Richard Thompson, ECB chair, said. "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."
Born in Streatham, Subba Row made his Surrey debut in 1953, as part of the team captained by Stuart Surridge that won seven County Championships in a row. He left to join Northamptonshire in 1955 and became captain in 1958, winning an England debut against New Zealand the same summer.
A finger injury prevented him from taking part in the 1958-59 Ashes but by 1961 he was established in the side for the visit of Australia and scored centuries in the first and fifth Tests, as England secured a 2-2 draw.
Overall, Subba Row's first-class career spanned ten years and 260 matches, during which he scored more than 14,000 runs and took 87 wickets with his legspin.
After his retirement from playing, he was a key figure in the developing the commercial side of Surrey and The Oval, as well as leading the way in the foundation of the TCCB - of which he served as chairman between 1985 and 1990 - to run the English game. He also served as manager of England's tour to India and Sri Lanka in 1981-82.
In 1991 he was awarded a CBE for services to cricket. Between 1992 and 2001 he was a match referee for the ICC, overseeing 41 Tests and 119 ODIs.
Wasim Khan, the ICC's general manager of cricket, 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."