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Denness passes away

Essex CCC

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Former England captain Mike Denness has died aged 72, his former county Kent have confirmed.

Denness, who is the only Scotsman to have captained England, passed away on Friday after a long battle with cancer.

The batsman played 28 Tests from 1969 to 1975, 19 of them as captain, and was awarded an OBE in this year's New Years Honours for services to sport.

Denness scored four Test centuries and seven fifties after making his debut against New Zealand at the Oval in 1969.

He replaced Ray Illingworth as captain for the drawn 1974 tour of the West Indies and made back-to-back hundreds that summer as England beat India 3-0.

A drawn series with Pakistan followed before England headed to Australia for the 1974-75 Ashes, during which Denness controversially dropped himself for the fourth Test after making just 65 runs in his first six innings.

Mike Denness

Mike Denness, the only Scotsman to have captained England, here at Lord's in 2001. The batsman played 19 of his 28 Tests as captain

He returned for the fifth and sixth Tests, making an international-best of 188 in the latter, but England lost the series 4-1.

His final Test century came in his next match as he helped guide England to a 2-0 victory over New Zealand, but an innings defeat in the first Ashes Test in the summer of 1975 saw him relieved of his duties and exit the Test arena with a batting average of 39.69.

Denness also played 12 one-day-internationals, scoring 264 runs. He later went on to become an ICC Test referee.

Denness played 501 first-class matches from 1959 to 1980, scoring 25,886 runs at an average of 33.48.

He spent the vast majority of his career at Kent where he made 17,047 of his first-class runs and captained the county to six domestic trophies in the 1970s before finishing his playing career with Essex.

Denness went on to coach the second XI at Kent and served as chairman of the county's cricket committee. He was in the final week of his year as the club's president when he passed away.

Denness was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1975 and was an honorary member of the MCC.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "We are sad to hear the news of Mike's passing and our thoughts go out to the members of his family and friends.

"Mike was a fine cricketer, a successful administrator at the Kent County Cricket Club and a vital member of our panel of match referees in the mid-nineties.

"Mike will always be remembered as an outstanding servant of our sport."

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