Louis Patrick Rowan
May 02, 1925, Murwillumbah, New South Wales
February 03, 2017 (aged 91y 277d)
Lou Rowan was one of Australia's leading umpires in the 1960s, officiating in 25 Tests between 1963 and 1971. He first stood in 1958-59 and until his retirement in 1971-72 he never umpired a first-class match - other than a Test - away from Brisbane. His Test career started with controversy when his colleague Col Egar called Ian Meckiff in Rowan's third Test in 1962-63, ending the bowler's career, weeks after Rowan had cleared him in a state match. "My critics can please themselves whether I was satisfied with him, or not as competent as I should have been," Rowan said. Throughout his career he was not a man to be messed with, either as an umpire or a police detective. His final Test was equally torrid. At Sydney in 1970-71 he warned John Snow for intimdatory bowling, an act which led to crowd trouble and Ray Illingworth leading his side off the field. Rowan threatened to award the game to Australia if England did not return. In five Tests in that Ashes series Rowan did not give England one lbw. At Melbourne, he stood in the first-ever ODI, hastily arranged after the Test had been washed out. He umpired three of the unofficial Tests between Australia and the World XI in 1971-72 before retiring. He wrote a no-nonsense autobiography later that year entitled The Umpire's Story and continued to court controversy for decades. In 1995 he said that Muttiah Muralitharan and Arjuna Ranatunga should be banned, in 2000 he said the same of Brett Lee, and in 2005 he labeled Ricky Ponting a "smart arse and a disaster".
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