ECB saddened by the passing of Raman Subba Row CBE

Raman Subba Row has died at the age of 92

The England and Wales Cricket Board is deeply saddened to learn of the death of former England Men’s Test cricketer and renowned international referee Raman Subba Row at the age of 92. At the time of his death he was England’s oldest living men’s cricketer.

Born in Streatham, London, in 1932, Whitgift-educated Raman first caught the eye with Cambridge by taking 5 for 21 in the 1951 Varsity match. Yet it was as an accomplished left-handed batsman that the barrister’s son was to make his true mark on both the county and international game.

In 1953, after University, he began his cricket career with Surrey County Cricket Club at the Oval in London, a place which he often referred to as his second home. Later that year George Duckworth invited Raman to be part of the Commonwealth touring cricket side to India. 

Unable to secure a permanent place in Surrey’s multiyear winning side, he moved to Northamptonshire County Cricket Club in 1955 where he became county captain in 1958. It was this move that caught the eye of the England selectors with him being awarded the first of his 13 England Men’s caps in July 1958 against New Zealand. He scored a century in both his first and last tests against Australia in 1961. During his short playing career he amassed over 15,000 test and county runs and took 87 wickets. Raman was one of Wisden cricketers of the year in 1961.

Life after playing cricket took him into the world of public relations, whilst returning to Surrey County Cricket Club to help drive a programme of ground development, commercial sponsorship and creating long term income with Bernie Coleman, Derek Newton and Brian Downing.

In 1981 he managed England’s cricket tour to India and Sri Lanka, captained by Keith Fletcher. Between 1985 and 1990 he was Chairman of the Test and County Cricket Board, now known as the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Upon his retirement from business Raman became one of the first ICC referees overseeing 160 tests and one day internationals and then finally a pitch liaison officer with the infamous Oval groundsman, Harry Brind.

From his school days Raman dedicated his life to the development of the game of cricket, enjoying the warm cricketing friendships created from the Caribbean to New Zealand and everything geographically in between. He believed that the game of cricket should be enjoyed by everyone everywhere, something promoted by the Lord’s Taverners, MCC Foundation and the ECB today. In 1991 he was awarded a CBE by the late Queen Elizabeth II for services to cricket.

ECB Chair Richard Thompson said: “We are extremely saddened to hear of Raman’s passing. 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 & 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.”

Raman is survived by his wife Anne, daughter Michele, son Alistair, 8 grandchildren and a great grand daughter. His eldest son Christopher sadly passed away in 2020. Raman will be fondly remembered by all at the ECB.