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Michael (Mike) Henry Denness


1940 -

Cricketer. Born in Bellshill (North Lanarkshire), Denness learned his cricket in Ayr and played for the national team (1959-67). Moving south of the borders, he joined Kent in 1962 and this team dominated English county cricket in the early 1970s, winning the county championship in 1970. Under Denness' captaincy (1972-76), Kent won the John Player League on three occasions, the Benson and Hedges Cup twice and the Gillette Cup. He transferred to Essex in 1976 and this team won the county championships in 1979.

He switched his allegiance to England, a rather more successful cricketing nation than Scotland, in 1969. He captained England in 19 test matches during the 1970s. Known as a stylish batsman, Denness amassed a remarkable 25,886 runs over his career, including four test centuries.

Denness runs a public-relations company and returned to Kent as chairman in 2000. He ended his cricketting career as an international umpire, although controversy struck in 2001 when he censured six Indian players during a test match in South Africa, which brought angry protesters onto the streets and complaints in parliament in India.

Denness was inducted as one of the first members of the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.


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