Col Egar, the former Test umpire and Australian cricket administrator, has died in Adelaide at the age of 80. Egar was one of the leading umpires during the 1960s and went on to serve as the chairman of the Australian Cricket Board from 1989 to 1992.
He officiated in 29 of Australia's 30 home Tests during the 1960s and is probably best remembered for his part in the Ian Meckiff throwing incident. In the first Test of the 1963-64 series against South Africa, Egar no-balled Meckiff, the Australia fast bowler, four times in his first over.
It finished Meckiff's career and also brought death threats for Egar, who went on to continue umpiring at the highest level for five more years. He also stood in the tied Test between West Indies and Australia in Brisbane in 1960-61 and, along with his colleague Col Hoy, earned the praise of the visiting captain Frank Worrell for their calm and unobtrusive officiating.
After retiring from on-field duties, Egar stayed involved with the game by joining the board of the South Australian Cricket Association. He was a board member from 1971-72 to 1999-2000, including 12 years as vice-president, and sat on the Australian board from 1981 to 1998. During that time Egar managed several Australian tours, including the 1988 visit to Pakistan when he helped keep the tour on course despite disputes over umpiring standards.
Creagh O'Connor, the Cricket Australia chairman, said Egar had given lifelong service to the game. "Col will be best remembered by cricket followers as an outstanding international cricket umpire who was involved in several historic moments on field," O'Connor said.
"But those of us who knew and worked with Col will also remember him with high regard for his selfless service to SA and Australian cricket as an administrator and volunteer, and as a manager of Australian touring cricket teams. He gave a lot to cricket and the Australian game is all the better for that."