Sir George Oswald Browning "Gubby" Allen CBE (31 July 1902 – 29 November 1989) was a cricketer who captained England in eleven Test matches.
In first-class matches, he played for Middlesex and Cambridge University.
A fast bowler and hard-hitting lower-order batsman, Allen later became an influential cricket administrator who held key positions in the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which effectively ruled English cricket at the time; he also served as chairman of the England selectors.
Allen was born in Australia and grew up in England from the age of six.
After playing cricket for Eton College, he went to Cambridge University where he established a reputation as a fast bowler, albeit one who was often injured.
After leaving university, Allen played mainly for Middlesex.
He improved as a batsman in the following seasons until work commitments forced him to play less regularly.
A change of career allowed him to play more cricket, and by the late 1920s he was on the verge of the England Test team.
He made his debut in 1930, and remained in contention for a place, when he was available to play, for the rest of the decade.
During the controversial Bodyline tour of 1932–33, Allen was very successful for England but refused to use the intimidatory tactics employed by his teammates.
From 1933, Allen worked in the London Stock Exchange, which limited the amount of cricket he could play.
Even so, he was appointed England captain in 1936 and led the team during the 1936–37 tour of Australia, when the home team won 3–2 having lost the first two matches.
He continued to play irregularly for Middlesex until 1939; after the Second World War, in which he worked in military intelligence, he played irregularly for Middlesex and other teams into the 1950s.
He captained England in a final Test series in the West Indies in 1947–48.
As a cricketer, Allen was affected by his lack of regular play and was at his most effective during his two tours of Australia when he was able to build up his form.
At other times, his bowling was often erratic but occasionally devastating.
An orthodox batsman, he often scored runs when his team were under pressure.
As Allen's first-class career came to a close, he moved into administration and held considerable influence in English and world cricket.
He was instrumental in the creation of a MCC coaching manual, and worked hard to eliminate illegal bowling actions.
As chairman of selectors from 1955 to 1961, he presided over a period of great success for English cricket, during which he worked closely with the Test captain Peter May.
In 1963, he became MCC president, and was made the club's treasurer the following year.
In this role, he was deeply involved in the D'Oliveira affair, a controversy over the potential selection of Basil D'Oliveira to tour South Africa.
After Allen's gradual retirement from his administrative roles, he was knighted in 1986 and spent his later years in a flat close to Lord's, where he died, aged 87, in 1989.