Nigel Plews 1934-2008 October 20, 2008

Nigel Plews dies aged 74

Cricinfo staff

Nigel Plews, 1934-2008 © Getty Images

Nigel Plews, the former international umpire, has died aged 74.

Plews had been battling kidney cancer after he was diagnosed with the illness in March 2007. It was too late to operate, however, and the option to have a life-prolonging drug called Sutent - which cost over £20,000 a year - was initially turned down by the Nottinghamshire Primary Care Trust.

As news spread of Plews' case - Darrell Hair was instrumental in raising funds and awareness - the trust reversed their decision.

"I wanted to live and the drug that they can give ... it doesn't cure you ... it just extends your life," Plews said in November 2007. "That was the sole purpose of going through with it. The people that follow me are more important. They should get it without having to go through what I did."

Plews was a rarity: an umpire who had never played first-class cricket. Standing at 6ft 6in, he was a former fraud squad detective with Nottingham City police, playing and officiating club cricket in Nottingham. He was elevated to the first-class panel in 1982, and later stood in 11 Tests and 16 ODIs.

"Nigel made an enormous contribution to cricket through his deep knowledge and appreciation for the game, its laws and the way it should be played," said David Morgan, the ICC president, in a statement on Monday. "He was an advisor to the MCC and the ICC on matters relating to laws and playing regulations and made many important contributions while sitting on various committees and working groups that have had a lasting and positive impact on the game.

"Nigel was a true gentleman and a great friend to umpires and others involved in the game. At 6ft 6ins he was certainly a big man, but through the contribution he made to the world of cricket he can truly be described as a giant."