Former England Captain Denness Passes Away

Former Essex and Kent cricketer Mike Denness, who played for Scotland and captained England, has passed away aged 72 after a long battle with cancer.

Denness, a right-hand batsman, made his England debut in 1969, going on to play 28 matches, 19 of them as captain. He played the majority of his career for Kent before moving to Essex in 1977, retiring in 1980.

Born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, he represented Scotland in first-class cricket between 1959 and 1967. He was capped by Kent in 1964, captained the side between 1972 and 1976 and was capped by Essex soon after joining them in 1977.

He scored four Test centuries and also played 12 One-Day Internationals, leading England's 1975 World Cup squad.

In 501 first-class matches, he scored 25,886 runs with 33 centuries and in 233 one-day games, struck six centuries in scoring 5,397 runs.

After his retirement, he became an International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee and at the time of his death was the president of Kent County Cricket Club.

He had been awarded an OBE earlier this year.

Having also represented the MCC, he was made an Honorary Life Member in 1982, and MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson, also a former Essex cricketer and a friend of Denness, paid the following tribute:

"Mike Denness was a great friend of MCC and a fine cricketer. He was an excellent servant of the game off the field and he will be sadly missed in the cricket community."

England and Wales Cricket Board Chief Executive David Collier added:

"Mike was a man who gave so much to our game in so many different ways as a player, captain, match referee and administrator. 

"I had the honour of working with Mike in my first role in cricket administration at Essex and Mike was a wonderful source of advice and knowledge.  He will be sorely missed by all - especially by everyone at Kent.

"All at ECB were delighted to see him receive national recognition for his service to cricket in the recent New Year’s Honours list and we send our condolences today to his partner Doreen, immediate family and all his many friends within the First Class game."

© Cricket World 2013

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