Denness succumbs to cancer

sportsmikedennessMike Denness, the only Scotland-born cricketer to have captained England, has died of cancer at the age of 72.

A stylish batsman who played county cricket for Kent and Essex, Denness captained England in 19 of his 28 Tests and scored 25,886 first-class runs.

Leading England in the disappointing 1974-75 Ashes tour, he famously dropped himself for the fourth Test in Sydney.Denness, who was Kent president, was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List four months agoIt was during his time as Kent captain that Denness experienced his greatest success, winning the John Player League three times, the Benson & Hedges Cup twice and the Gillette Cup once.

Denness made his Test debut in 1969 and was named captain in 1974, leading a side that came back from 1-0 down to tie the series in West Indies before whitewashing India 3-0 at home.In the following winter’s Ashes down under, Denness and his men were overwhelmed by an Australian attack that included fast bowlers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.

In desperate form and under fire from the English media, Denness took the decision to omit himself from the fourth Test, only to return and score 188 as captain in the sixth. (BBC)

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