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Lou Rowan, the Australian umpire who was at the centre of the 1971 controversy in which England captain Ray Illingworth led his team off the SCG, has died at the age of 91.
Rowan officiated in 25 Tests as well as the inaugural one-day international, and was one of Australia's leading umpire through much of the 1960s. Prior to his death he was also Australia's oldest living Test umpire, and away from the game he was a former Queensland drug squad detective.
He was most remembered for the 1971 Sydney Test, during which Rowan warned England fast bowler John Snow for intimidatory bowling to Australia's Terry Jenner. After the warning, Snow was grabbed by a member of the crowd while fielding on the boundary, and Illingworth walked his team off the field in protest.
Rowan instructed Illingworth that England had to resume play or forfeit the match, and play did indeed continue. In his memoir, titled The Umpire's Story, Rowan - who also did not give a single lbw to England during five Tests of that series - said he did not regret his actions on that day.
"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," Rowan wrote. "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."
Rowan had also been on the field during another controversial moment earlier in his career, although on that occasion was not an antagonist. Standing in his third Test, at the Gabba in 1963, Rowan was at the other end when his fellow umpire Colin Egar called Ian Meckiff for chucking, effectively ending Meckiff's career.